Media candidate endorsements

October 30, 2004 by  
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It seems strange that US newspapers choose to openly endorse a presidential candidate by declaring their position. In a way it’s better than what we had in Australia before the election, where newspapers were accused of pretending to be non-partisan, while pushing hard for Mark Latham over our recently re-elected prime minister John Howard. And while the majority of the press were accused of unfairly pulling for Latham, we see how much good that did him. Latham, and Labor, lost abysmally.

If the majority of mainstream media, or at least newspapers in the US, are editorialising for Kerry and demonising Bush I can see it having a similar effect to what it did here in Australia. That is, the exact opposite of what they had hoped.

Here’s my postal vote

October 28, 2004 by  
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This one’s for you, Lynndie. Tasteless? Yes.

Again with the harshness

October 26, 2004 by  
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Electablog gets stuck into republicans again… At the core of the GOP strategy is a need to attract less-educated voters. […] You don’t need a postgraduate degree to know that’s a pretty sad strategy.

Stupid is as Stupid does

October 25, 2004 by  
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In the comments section of a post on Caliblog, I linked to an article at Electablog. The numbers are staggering. While some would say, “That’s America for you,” I think you could stop for a second and look at your own country and yourself, jackass. (Update: That was a bit harsh, wasn’t it? I’m getting a little agitated at the thought of Bush winning…) Let me just remind you I’m Australian. The majority of people all over the world are just plain stupid. We all believe the spin when it suits us. And it always suits them. Damn the man. Here’s the end of the post at Electablog:

Maybe, instead of funding another set of attack dogs, we need to start a few new 527s that are dedicated to spending millions of dollars on the cause of simply informing the American people of the facts (or at least occasionally slapping them across the face to see if they’re awake).

Basically the report is the result of a survey of democratic and republican supporters and what they believe about issues relating to the war in Iraq. What it comes down to is that, despite high-profile reports released proving the non-existence of both WMDs before the invasion and a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda, Bush supporters not only continue to believe those things, but in some cases seem to think the reports concluded something other than what they did. Ah, misinformation. The actual report referred to says:

“Apparently, to avoid this cognitive dissonance [between supporting Bush’s mistaken reasons for going to war and the obvious reality presented to them], Bush supporters suppress awareness of unsettling information.

But now, while others have peeled off, Bush supporters continue to hold onto their image of Bush as a capable protector. To do this it appears that many need to continue to screen out
[credible] information that undermines this image.”

Brief

October 21, 2004 by  
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Two weeks ago my sister invited me to sign up for NaNoWriMo. The objective? To write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. What use have I of university? I thought. So I signed up. Now Blogger is getting in on the action.

So, here’s a link to what will be my ‘novel’ blog. Prepare for the insanity of writing that leaves you frustrated by a plot that takes you nowhere.

Goodnight

October 14, 2004 by  
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The second presidential candidate’s debate was today. I haven’t had the time to watch it online. I probably won’t be taking the time to watch it online. You can read all about it, well, in many places on the web. I, on the other hand, must attend to more urgent matters. I will not return for at least several days. Enjoy. And so, I bid you adieu.

Doonesbury

October 13, 2004 by  
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Doonsebury’s Gary Trudeau continues in his effort to educate the public about why voting for Bush would be a bad idea.

Yesterday’s strip asked readers to view an email from the Wall Street Journal’s Farnaz Fassihi in Iraq. I hope that link is right. My computer is having issues and won’t open the Doonesbury link for yesterday’s strip. Metafilter tells us that, for her trouble, Farnaz has been pulled from Iraq.
Update: I finally got the correct link from yesterday’s Doonesbury strip, but every time I try to open it, Internet Explorer crashes. It may or may not be the same thing as what I linked to above.

Today’s strip points us to an article at salon.com.

Democracy?

October 13, 2004 by  
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There is no such thing as a free and fair democracy. Sometimes it’s difficult to remain rational. Combined with the Ohio voter registration @!$&*^%! debacle, now we have Democratic registrations getting trashed. It’s enough to make a person want to take up arms. I don’t have the time to go into it, so just read the original story here. These three blogs didn’t do much more than say something brief about the story, but the comment threads (where available) will give you an idea of people’s reactions.
Metafilter were the first to pick it up (that I saw).
Electablog now has something on it.
As does Daily Kos

So they’re all “left” blogs. That doesn’t invalidate the fact this took place. I’ve emailed Instapundit, as a “right” leaning blogger, asking him to comment on it.

Could this not all be avoided by not requiring people to indicate their party preference on registration forms? Why should anyone know who I’m going to vote for before I do so? Just put ‘undecided’ or ‘independent’, or, here’s a thought, ‘None of your bloody business’.

We want terror, yes we do, We want Terror, how about you?

October 12, 2004 by  
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Is this for real? Electablog points to statements by both Bush and Cheney where they say, respectively, “Our goal is not to reduce terror” and, “reducing terrorism” is “all part of a pre-9-11 mindset…naive and dangerous”.

Second Presidential Debate

October 12, 2004 by  
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Excuse-moi. Je suis en retard (et je suis en retard pour mon age aussi). Excuse me. I’m late (and I’m also retarded).

We felt the juvenile need to somehow work that into our French oral presentation last semester, so I thought I’d share it with you, since this is a little overdue.

First Presidential Debate

Alright, in order of occurrence:

BUSH twice said 75% of Al-Qaeda have been brought to justice. Given almost 100% of Islamic terrorism is now credited to Al-Qaeda or groups closely associated with them, I’d like to know how the administration came to a total number of Al-Qaeda members to know they have 75% of them.

BUSH said the UN sanctions were not effective in removing Saddam Hussein. Thankfully KERRY very quickly pointed out the effect of sanctions was NOT to remove Saddam Hussein. If the US administration was hoping sanctions would remove Saddam, they had plans in place to get rid of him long before 9/11. I know this is fairly well accepted, but it’s another slip of the tongue by Bush lending credence to the claims.

KERRY seemed to spend far too much time speaking directly to Charles Gibson, the host for the debate. This hurts him in terms of BUSH’s appeal to people’s emotions rather than their intellect. Was that harsh? That was harsh.

BUSH: “Iraq is going to be free, and America is going to be better off for it.” Again, later he talked about spreading freedom, because ‘liberty can change habits’. He said similar things in the first debate, and I said it then, forced freedom is no freedom. Yes, Iraqis are happy to be free from Saddam, but they want to define their freedom. Nobody wants someone else to force so-called freedom on them that is really only looking out for the interests of those who are forcing it. And that’s exactly what the statement says. Iraq hasn’t been freed in the interests of the future of Iraq, but in the interests of the future of America.

KERRY, even when not being accused of being ‘wishy-washy’ or ‘flip-flopping’, is talking about how he’s not changing positions on issues. The man doth protest too much, methinks.

BUSH, in response to a question about America’s social standing in the world community, said people may not agree with the decisions they make, but “people love America”. That’s just false, and the American people should be aware of that. People do not love America. However right or wrong, ill-informed or otherwise their opinions are, the fact is they don’t.

KERRY: “He rushed to war without a plan to win the peace. […] Winning the peace is larger than the military component.” Basically Kerry said he had enough troops to win the war, but not enough to secure peace, which is why the situation spiralled out of control. I think Kerry won that exchange.

When asked what he would do if Iran became an immediate threat, KERRY couldn’t say. Instead of answering the question he chose to talk about what BUSH hasn’t done, and so allowed North Korea and Iran to reach the positions they’re in. Too weak on Kerry’s part. Express an opinion!

Taxes – boring.

I liked what KERRY had to say on abortion. I would have to say I’m generally against abortion, for various reasons, but it’s not a clear-cut issue. Kerry said that as a Catholic he had very strong beliefs about it, “But I can’t take what is an article of faith for me and legislate it for someone who doesn’t share that article of faith, whether they be agnostic, atheist, Jew, Protestant, whatever. I can’t do that.”

Alright, that’s the end of this. Almost everything keeps coming back to the war in Iraq. For me that helps Kerry, but if I was living in the US and worried about taxes, I’d also be concerned with domestic issues. I think talking excessively about Iraq is probably helping Bush in the long run.

Drive-by

October 12, 2004 by  
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I watched the 2nd presidential debate and will comment on that…hopefully before the next one on Wednesday, but you never know. Overall I’d call it a draw. If it was just about what they said, Kerry won. He’s been all over Bush on the actual issues being discussed. On the other hand, Bush was firm in his answers and looked more confident than last time. If you say it with confidence, people will believe you right? He also interacts well with people. For some, that aspect of his presentation endears him to them, hence the draw.

I’ve also received my absentee ballot for the US election. Looking forward to exercising my right to vote soon. Not that it did me any good in Australia two days ago … sigh. Till next time.

Update: I forgot to include this link to an article by Dwight Eisenhower’s son, a Republican, about why he’ll be voting for Kerry. Thanks to Doonesbury for that (You can link to them from the left if you so desire).

Update 2: The link above would have taken you to The Union Leader website to see that article. The site crashed due to to excessive traffic.

Liberals remain in power

October 10, 2004 by  
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Just got home late. Had to update this quickly. Well, I didn’t have to but I am.

John Howard and the Liberals have won government with, amazingly, a 3.3% swing. That was unexpected. Related, this story suggests Coalition government may get control of the senate as well as the House of Representatives through Family First. I wouldn’t be SO sure Family First is going to follow the Liberals blindly. I certainly hope not.

At a dinner tonight I got talking about the election with some friends. More to the point, who we voted for. That was fun…

On a completely different note, I noticed this story as well. The AIDS virus was manufactured for biological warfare, claims Wangari Maathai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Alright, that’s all I have time for. Must sleep. I’m part of the way through watching the 2nd US Presidential debate online. Will have something to say about that when I’m done. I’m only about a quarter of the way through it at this point, but Kerry seems to be doing better, for me.

What about me?

October 9, 2004 by  
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I’ve been avoiding posting, but I HAD to comment on this: Pentagon Leaders Tell Ranks to Get Ballots and Use Them. I suspect you may not be able to go to the link. If not, just picking out from the first few pars will do:

…a 20-year veteran of the Air Force, remembers that voting on American military bases was always a low priority…
This time, the Pentagon wants 100 percent voter participation here and at many American bases around the world.

And who else to urge them? Why, good old Rummy (DoD bio, WhiteHouse bio) himself, and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Myers.

“It’s very rare that you see a four-star general [Myers] getting on television, telling soldiers to register and vote. It’s been a huge, huge push to get everyone registered. It was coming straight down from the secretary of defense.”

All very well and good, but who’s concerned the Absentee Ballots for civilians are received in time? Not frickin’ Donald Rumsfeld, that’s for DAMN sure. Supposedly, according to the County Auditor who kindly sent me a letter asking me to vote for her, my absentee ballot was mailed out “on or around September 23“. Given the transit time necessary, often two weeks or more between Australia and the US, this seems more than just a little ill-prepared. IF it got here in time, I would have approximately one week to complete and return it. It’s been two weeks and I still have not received it. I could not possibly receive it now until Monday, giving me just a few days to send it back, and hope it goes quicker than it came. The County Auditor has not responded to my email requesting information. The embassy will be hearing from me first thing Monday. Who’s making sure my vote is counted? No frickin’ body. Bastards. Even the thought of being excluded from voting is making me livid.

On a lighter note, here’s some inadvertent poetry by Donald Rumsfeld.

And, having previously only an inkling of the NY Post being a tabloid, I now realise it fully. Thanks Danya. I won’t link the article that confirmed it for me. Just believe it was atrocious and move on.

Dear Diary

October 8, 2004 by  
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Against my better judgement, I’m posting the meat of an email I sent to a friend. Some people I know apparently read this to find out what’s happening in my life, so here you go. If I had a diary, it might read something like this:

Has my week got brighter as it’s gone on? No, would be the short answer to that one. Stop reading now if you don’t want to know and claim Option A:
(a) pretend that you never read this

As I think about it now so many thoughts are going through my head, not least of them, ‘Just deal with it ya wuss!’. Which is what also makes it hard to verbalise…or email-ise (which is much less intimidating than the old face-to-face, tet-a-tet, showdown, as it were). :) A wry smile from me, cuz it could be funny, but I’m just not feeling it.

So long (HACK) story (CHOP) short, I feelllllllllllllllll (it’s coming) lllllllllll immature. Sounds stupid for me to say it…unless it’s fairly well recognised by others, I don’t know. Not in a oh-you-childish-prankster-funny-haha kind of way, but in my everyday dealings, my reaction to life in general, and my relationship with God. It manifests itself in other ways (eg laziness re:study), but I think that’s the root cause of what’s making me ‘unhappy’. Moreso that I know what the problem is, and haven’t been able to change it. Unable…unwilling? I just don’t know.

I’m still up (1.45am) because I’m trying to get an assignment done that’s due today (Fri). I’m not trying as hard as I should be, which is why I haven’t handed in the one that was due yesterday, and am wondering, based on some general emails about a third subject, whether I’m going to fail that because of some other stuff that should probably be handed in today as well… Sometimes it just feels like the whole building’s coming down, and there’s nowhere to go.

[imagine 25 minutes here of re-reading that line, thinking about what it really means, trying to somehow explain it, deleting, repeat]

I don’t know if ‘crisis of faith’ is an accurate description or not – probably. Hence the emotion on the weekend and on Sunday night. And yet, here I am again…apparently unchanged. It bites.

So I’ve gone with Option E:
(e) let me know what is going on and tell me if I can make things easier for you.

Make things easier for me? No idea. … All the talk in the world doesn’t fix inaction, and that’s all me. Having said that, it seems pointless to have told you all this. And yet I have.

Team America

October 5, 2004 by  
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I can’t wait until this movie, Team America : World Police, comes out. Looks very much like Thunderbirds with the marionnettes, used because “dealing with actors sucks, they’re terrible”. Very funny trailer. I will go out on a limb and say Trey Stone and Matt Parker have come up with yet another fantastic film. Sometimes you just need to look at the funny side of what’s happening to the world around us. In the movie Kim Jong-Il sings a song about being lonely. Trey Parker:

My dream is that if we can get “I’m so lonely” nominated for an Oscar, that he comes and performs it.”

Matt Stone:

“I think people will think we made it up, his love for drama and big musicals, but we didn’t. It’s absolutely true. He probably will see this movie. And cry.”

A partial clip of the song at Latinoreview.com

There’s another, different clip, of the song at spalliance.net

Update: Story in the Korea Times and added link to a profile of Kim above

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