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Speaking of weird, peruse these hopefuls

Speaking of weird, peruse these hopefuls

TIRED OF the same-old same-old for 2004's presidential election? Dissatisfied with the Republican incumbent? Uninspired by the eight Democrats now mauling each other for the right to challenge him? Maybe you're the voter the National Barking Spider Resurgence Party seeks -- the one, confused, ill-advised, hapless voter. Former newspaper columnist Michael W. Bay of Lakewood, Colo., is the "party's" presidential candidate, with expatriate bookshop owner Dave Cogan of Germany as his running mate. "We of the National Barking Spider Resurgence Party will not -- unlike our Democrap counter- parts -- treat the rule of law like a used Kleenex when it doesn't suit our objectives; and unlike our Republican't counterparts, will not legislate morality from the oft-hypocritical halls of Congress," their Web site vows. "We'll do it over Happy Hour at the local bowling alley, where everyday rationale and morality is more likely to be found."

Cogan's own Web site includes a 65-item list of reasons not to vote for him, concluding with "I'm not even going to vote for me, and if I had any money, I wouldn't give me a campaign contribution."

The Barking Spiders aren't the only dark-horse contenders for the White House. Somewhere out beyond the usual third-party realms of Green, Libertarian, American Independent and so forth are contenders ranging from the satirical to the serious, from the scary to the sublime.

Michael T. "Doc" Witort, 59, of Westchester, Ill., is running on the "Health Party" ticket. He's not a medical doctor; he practices Oxygen Incentive Living-Integrative Therapy (OIL-IT) -- infusing oxygen into the body through muscle manipulation and other means -- to treat muscular and skeletal pain disorders. The state of Illinois has sued him, claiming he violated consumer fraud laws by making bogus health claims.

So, perhaps that's "SNAKE-OIL-IT."

Computer network administrator Andrew Rotramel of Pasadena, Texas, is running without party affiliation. According to his Web site -- called Andrewland ("It Is Always Morning In Andrewland") -- Rotramel would, among other things, legalize drugs and prostitution, name noted political dissident and scholar Noam Chomsky his national security adviser ("if he will serve"), and "abolish capitol (sic) punishment."

No more punishment from the capitol? Here, here.

Sterling David Allan, 40, of Ephraim, Utah, represents the Providential Party -- which he founded in November -- and says he has "evidence that his run for the Presidency was foretold in the Bible" in a code he discovered in 1996 "based in the alphabetical sequence of words in the Bible and the numbers associated with them."

The founder of the Remnant Saints Inter-Continental Congress ("Toward the Establishment of the Government of God on Earth") envisions "nothing short of heaven on earth, where people are good because they want to be, not because the government makes them."

Former stockbroker and actor Jackson Kirk Grimes, 53, of Elkton, Md., would prefer to make people be good. The United Fascist Union candidate believes a planetary alignment in 2000 signaled "the dawn of the age of Aquarius ... when spiritual enlightenment will replace physical lust, the advancement will replace individualism and selfishness and the earth will become one under a global government and a new one world religoun (sic) that will displace nationalism and banish racism.

"The great statesman Benito Mussolini was a wise man, given up to higher thoughts than the average leaders of the era he lived in," Grimes said in a speech posted to his Web site, adding the Italian dictator "understood that the way to save humanity from humanity was to return to the ways of nature and we could do this best by restoring the Empire of the Romans just as 2000 years ago when the Romans ruled the earth."

Usually it's California that gets a bad rap as politically peculiar ... oh, wait.

His Royal Majesty Caesar St. Augustine De Buonaparte, 43, of Malibu, got a leg up on Grimes' Roman Empire fixation by taking up where Joshua Abraham Norton of San Francisco left off more than a century ago -- declaring himself emperor of the United States, even while running for president on the "Good Party" ticket.