Find the content

June 23, 2007 by  
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Another reason not to dismiss YouTube as unprofessional.  It’s not about the worst content you might find there, it’s about the best content you can find there.

CNN to host YouTube presidential debates – Lost Remote TV Blog

Howard Obama

February 21, 2007 by  
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Not sure if this will work or not, but embedded video of Colbert’s reaction to Howard’s verbal attack on Barack Obama the other week.

Holler for Hillary

January 22, 2007 by  
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As expected, Hillary Clinton has also thrown her hat into the Democratic candidate’s ring for the presidency.

It looks like things could get ugly though, with rumours that Clinton’s camp is going to try and discredit Obama in a really nasty way.

Here is Hillary’s announcement video. She’s all about having a conversation with you.

Barracking for Barack

January 19, 2007 by  
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Barack Obama has virtually decided to run for president of the United States. I say virtually because until February 10th, when he will make an official announcement of intent, he’s formed an ‘exploratory committee’. Presumably it’s to see if he wants to run a campaign, but the chances of that happening are fairly high.

The fun bit is that if a Democrat is elected president, they are almost certain to be either America’s first black or female president, since Hilary Clinton is the only other likely contender.

Obama’s big strategy seems to be a little too, how shall we say, optimistic?

Today our leader’s in Washington seem incapable of working together in a practical, common-sense way. Politics has become so bitter and partisan, so gummed up by money and influence, that we can’t tackle the big problems that demand solutions. That’s what we have to change first, we have to change our politics.

Good luck. I thought ‘bitter’ and ‘partisan’ was what politics was about, not to mention money and influence. Of course rival politicians aren’t going to work together for the common good. It’s a sign of weakness to agree with your opposition’s positive measure, as it’s often claimed to be an obvious lack of policies or initiative of your own. Nobody’s brave enough to say, “I think you should all listen intently to this brilliant idea my rival has”.

Fix politics. I’ll have to remember that for the second edition of my book, Standing by the Wishing Well. The best-selling first edition featured that wish popularly know as ‘the beauty pageant’: world peace. It’s available at all good book stores and self-help centers.

If you want to watch it, this is the video of Barack Obama’s announcement.

President ’08 – Decided

November 20, 2006 by  
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The poll for President of the United States, 2008, has closed. I was one of the four who had already voted, but the ballot needed to be decided, so I cast a second deciding vote. It wasn’t the same as my first vote, but if exit polls at the earley edition are anything to go by, and I assure you they are, Oprah Winfrey will lead the United States forward after the 2008 elections!

Here are the final results

[poll=4]

Presidential Elections ’08

November 17, 2006 by  
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Voting is still open for President of the United States, 2008 (see the sidebar). Currently four votes have been counted, one each going to Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell, John Edwards and Oprah Winfrey. It’s starting to look like a Democratic candidate runoff, but they’ve all demanded a recount.

Cast your vote today! Polling closes Sunday night.

Win-win!

November 4, 2006 by  
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This would have to be rather unsettling for Republicans, for whom Rupert Murdoch’s FOX News has been a very strong supporter

When asked, ‘what if the Democrats win the next two elections?’, Murdoch responded:

It’ll be terrific. People will be watching Fox News like crazy.

From:
Lost Remote TV Blog – Murdoch on Fox Business Channel, Democrats

Again saved in drafts, this from almost four weeks ago will be interesting to follow in four days time… In the meantime, cast your vote for President of the United States, 2008! Here or in the sidebar on the right.

Vote

November 2, 2006 by  
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It’s that time again, and while I only recently returned a vote to the US for some county school board decision, yesterday I sent off my sheet for the November 7 elections. Actually, Iowa isn’t being contested for the senate, but they packed the ballot card with other votes.

I voted for: US Representative District 4, Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor of State, Treasurer of State, Secretary of Agriculture, Attorney General, State Representative District 7, County Treasurer, County Recorder, County Attorney, County Public Hospital Trustees, Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner, County Agricultural Extension Council, Court of Appeals Judges, District Court Judge and District Associate Judge. They also tried to get that sneaky school funding proposal through again with different wording.

I actually don’t know anything about that school funding proposal, just as I don’t know anything about the people running for the positions mentioned above, but I voted against it anyway.

As always, I hope my vote gets there in time for November 7! There was a short story recently in the International Herald Tribune about the difficulties overseas voters face.

And while we’re at it, why not produce a quick poll here? It has nothing to do with the current elections, which are senate elections, but if you could, who would you vote for as President of the United States in the 2008 elections? If you’re interested, you can find some more information about a few of these people (the real potentials) by following the link above to the potential candidates for 2008.

5 SLEEPS TO U2


[poll=4]

Crikey

October 10, 2006 by  
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Just some links to Crikey stories, already mentioned here in the last couple of days:

The world mourns Anna Politkovskaya
who was murdered “two days before she was to publish an exposé on the Chechen Prime Minister, Ramzan Kadyrov, a man close to Putin and accused of various human rights atrocities”.

The scary security implications of global warming
PM John Howard requests an ONA report on the security implications of global warming, while a two-year-old Pentagon report

painted Biblical scenes of global catastrophe costing millions of lives, with “nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting” that could erupt across the world and “bring the planet to the edge of anarchy.”

Fondness of Absence

September 25, 2006 by  
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Whether in the military or registered as a citizen abroad, Americans get their ARMED SERVICES OR OVERSEAS BALLOT sent to them in the mail.

Often when I get these ballots there is no way to return them by the election date, since international postage delivery times don’t seem to be taken into account when they send them in the first place. And they tell me, in the material included, that whether or not you vote, it’s illegal not to return the ballot.

So I pay the $1.85 international postage and dutifully put in my votes for sheriff, county auditor, and town school board, to name the few I vaguely remember. I have no way of knowing the people I’m expected to choose between, they’re just text on a ballot slip as far as I’m concerned. They could just as well put Mickey Mouse down as a candidate for all I care. But I know Mickey Mouse – so I’d probably vote for him.

So there’s absentee ballots by mail-in, but what’s next? Electronic touch screen was used in the last presidential election, and I can imagine online voting being used in the future. Apart from security issues to do with the possibility of hacking an election – and that’s probably the biggest issue I have – I’m also worried about perceived affiliations. Just because I voted for someone once doesn’t guarantee my vote for life.

I first registered to vote for the presidential election between John Kerry and George W. Bush – 2004. It just so happened that I registered through a Democrat-affiliated organisation that was trying to mobilise the international American community. I didn’t count on the town school board being thrown into this voting bargain.

I don’t really have any concrete political affiliations. I wouldn’t vote Republican simply for the fact that they are not Democrat, or vice versa. The same goes for my Australian voting habits in relation to Labor, Liberal, Democrat, Family First, Greens or an independent.

I would argue I vote with my conscience, having taken into consideration the facts (as tenuous as that term in politics might be) as they present themselves. That’s the way democracy should work if you believe the public should actually understand the issues their vote affects. If not, then continuously voting for one particular party without care or consideration for ambiguous personal beliefs, like ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, is the way to go!

But that’s just me, and everyone brings their own ideas to the conversation. I’ll come back to online voting, and my secondary issue with it – affiliation. My point is somewhat lost, since my main example that follows isn’t online or electronic voting as such, but I’ll finish anyway.

I received an email from President Jimmy Carter three days ago. He asked me to go visit a website and request my own absentee ballot online, so I could submit it on time and guarantee my vote is counted.

To quote the beginning and end:

Dear Fellow Democrat,

On November 7, Americans throughout our land will vote in mid-term elections for the House and Senate.

[…]

Thank you for doing your part to ensure a brighter future for America in the world.

President Jimmy Carter

Don’t get me wrong, I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to make sure my vote counts, but perhaps ‘Dear Fellow Concerned Citizen’ would have been more appropriate.

I’m not Democrat or Republican, Labor or Liberal; I’m a concerned citizen with the unique privilege of having the opportunity to exercise my democratic right in two different countries at the same time. So don’t count on my association with, or support for, any one party. I reserve the right to cross the floor, in any direction I choose, to cast a conscience vote as and when necessary.

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.

First Debate

October 1, 2004 by  
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Just a few things I noticed.

BUSH: A free Iraq will be an ally in the war on terror, will help secure Israel and will enforce the hopes and aspirations of the reformers in places like Iran.

It exhibits a fair degree of arrogance to assume securing Israel would ever be in the plans of any Iraqi. I can only assume he means Iraq will do as they’re told.

Colin Powell has suggested anything is possible in how to deal with Iran, and Greg Sheridan said it will be the biggest issue next year. Is Bush suggesting the use of Iraqi troops in Iran’s enforcement agenda?

Very even debate, but I’d have to give it to Kerry in the end. I think he’s presenting a vision of how to win not only militarily against ‘terror’, but ideologically against the dislike of America worldwide. Bush seems to simply be repeating the ‘fear’ argument while offering no alternatives or solution to that fear.

Have a read at Instapundit if you want better commentary.

Good quality video (RealPlayer) at WashingtonPost.com, as well as a full transcript.

Fox News lets you choose MediaPlayer or RealPlayer and speed (56K/300K)

Second Debate