Friday, October 22, 2004


i haven't thought of thomas mcguane for yonks. but this kinda cool story popped up in the world's best magazine (i still can't quite believe it's free on the net). and anyway i wanted to try putting up a link....
anyway, mcgaune also is mentioned in the "talk of the town" section. what a cool guy.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

bad feelings

I've been trolling the blogoshere a little and it's scary.
Right up I should say I think Kerry likely to be a fine president and Bush a scary unthinking man. I'm a new-yorker reading atheist and social democrat who is probably by the standards of the US pretty far to the left of centre. (Of course I think I'm the epitome of sweet moderation and reasonable and considered opinions.)
Both of them have been stretching the truth- ok, lying- on the campaign trail; I hope it's not just my bias that finds the lies of Bush go deeper and to be far more sinister.
That aside, I generally find the lefty/democratic bloggers to be scathing and sarcastic about Bush, but generally more sceptical and thoughtful about politics, the world and -well, reality.
The right-wing blogs are terrifying.
First of all, they've swallowed the "Swift Boat Liars for Bush" character assassination of Kerry hook line and sinker. They regularly quote these lies as if they were incontrovertable, when they've very largely been completely and systematically debunked. So to them, Kerry is a lying, self-serving, opportunistic creep, intent on stealing their money and using it to fund abortion- or perhaps just giving it all to Osama.
And they use the most intemperate hate-language I've encountered on the web.
Second, they live in a world I hardly recognise, where anyone outside the USA is a semi-human, and hardly counts; where tax cuts are automatically good, deficits are something the democrats run, and God is indubitably on their foul-mouthed side.
Scary. Complete conviction mostly based on complete fiction.
If Bush wins, it's a tragedy for humanity (and most other living species).
But if America votes him back in, in some ways I've come to think maybe we've have got the President we deserve.
A right-wing corporate lacky, religious crank of an arrogant, incurious blinkered self-righteous puff-bag.
Did I say the right-wing bloggers use intemperate hateful language?

Monday, October 18, 2004

it's weird this year...

There are a million signs this isn't an "ordinary election". For a start, it's interesting- absorbing- probably costing the nation a mint of lost productivity as people scan the blog-scape daily.
For a second, the media seem- just a little- very slowly- to be cottoning on to reality. All lies are not equal; he sez she sez isn't reporting- especially when he sez the moon is a tangerine and she sez it's not....
Yep, they're starting to call the Bush administration- right to the top- on it's "laxity" with the truth. (Liar liar....oh, sorry, we can't use the "L" word)
And on top of that, everyone seems to be angry as all get-out. I am. I've registered to vote, (in Vermont, it's purely symbolic) because GW and cronies seem to have an agenda that's foolish (iraq) and scary (imperialism, grand hubris, burn the future) and just plain WRONG (using government to redistribute wealth to the wealthy, letting corporations run the EPA, shafting social security).
But the shouting is partof the fun.
And blogs are where a whole heap of this happens.
They probably don't make much difference- who reads 'em if they're not already passionate- but then again, without passion, politics is ditchwater.
Bring on Nov 2- so I can have a life again.
On the other hand, I'll miss it.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Electoral What?

Ever been to electoral college? I think that's where you learn about our weird electoral system. It's not just undemocratic- meaning, fundamentally, that the guy with the most votes doesn't necessarily get elected.
It's also weird and archaic and fundamentally (did I say this before) undemocratic.
In an election cycle increasingly dominated by money, for example, how much is your vote worth? If you live in solidly Democratic Vermont, say, both sides spent under ten cents of their campaign money trolling for your approval. Because they already know where Vermont's electoral college votes are going. (Ok, you miss out on a lot of egregious election advertising, it's not all bad). In Ohio, though, a key "swing state" (there simply ain't enuff swingers in VT, folks) your vote is "worth" about ten dollars in advertising and other spends.
Ok, I made up these figures. But I bet they're not that far off.
So lets get with the twenty-first century. Before we start trying to spread democracy like margerine across the face of the globe, we need a fairer, saner, system at home. Where each vote has equal worth. And here's the kicker- it's very simple, and (unless there's a recount...) probably cheaper.
Now don't get me started on how we count the damn things...