Wednesday, November 24, 2004

what's he up to?

this article in the hill, suggests Kerry might have another shot at the presidency.
while i'm impressed by kerry, it strikes a slightly sour note. maybe the vanity and ambition are stronger in jkfII than i'd imagined.
late, but here's some of the new yorker's take on nov 2.

Along with the sadness, there is puzzlement. Incumbents, especially in time of war, have a built-in advantage. But this incumbent had led the country into a war, the war in Iraq, that half the public had come to see as a mistake, and had led the country down what more than half the public saw, in pollster’s shorthand, as “the wrong track.” The election’s outcome defies logic, and perhaps that is the point. The early analyses credited Bush’s victory to religious conservatives, particularly those in the evangelical movement. In voting for Bush, as eighty per cent of them did, many of these formerly nonvoting white evangelicals are remaining true to their unworldliness. In voting for a party that wants to tax work rather than wealth, that scorns thrift, that sees the natural world not as a common inheritance but as an object of exploitation, and that equates economic inequality with economic vitality, they have voted against their own material (and, some might imagine, spiritual) well-being.

here's the full link

Monday, November 15, 2004

it's the oil, stupid.

This New Yorker article, Pump Dreams, by John Cassidy, treads a little delicately around the core reason for the invasion of Iraq and why "retreat is not an option". It's certainly worth a read- the Bush/Cheney oil baron clique- right out of Dallas, in a stupid kinda way- are not about to raise taxes on gas, or mandate better mpg for cars and light trucks. But high oil prices are likely to do what they lack the guts or foresight or common sense for.
Global warning.... what globe? Isn't the earth flat, like texas?

Friday, November 05, 2004


an unfortunate fact of american political life is you run for president as an almost unknown, and if you fail- obscurity.
this is a fault. I'm sure i'm not alone in hoping kerry can play a part in america's future. he's got the mana. and i don't think we can afford to discard this leader.
I'd like tos ee a sort of "opposition" that regularly issues statements and articulates where the democrats would position themselves on policy- over the next four years. we need a relatively uniform and informed and distinguished spokesperson to tell america just how and why and when and where the bush corps are destroying our liberty, prosperity, and happiness.
how about the dems appoint a spokesperson and an "shadow cabinet" and take these issues to the public for the next four years, as happens in democracies worldwide- (like here in new zealand).
the time to do it is NOW!

liberal oasis

is always good. this strategy doc
is worth a permalink though. the left in the us needs to work grass-roots to move the terms of debate.
so we can talk about good government.
so a message of sharing a community means something, so we can articulate some social values that demonstrate our moral positions.
like progressive taxation is in the best interests of everyone.
like the immorality of the world's wealthiest most powerful nation having X million kids growing up in poverty.
like the immorality of the death penalty- something we hold onto in common with china and the taliban- not the civilised nations of the world.
it's a long haul and needs a lot of work.
but while mr bush the "holiday president" moans about how hard it is- we have got to do it and there's no point waiting.
in some respects time is on our side- young people today are more inclined to be progressive on a range of issues.
but if the $400 million plus that right-wing and corporate interests throw at think-tanks and "institutes" is not going to leach through the media and keep the terms of the national debate just where they want it- we have to get moving.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

atheist pacifist liberals

no point being coy. using (for it brings a level of comfort with it even to one of the reality based community) the "royal" we- we are atheist pacifist liberals here, and proud of it. we don't have a happy fantasy about life in the clouds with a perfect father; we do not believe in violence (jesus, we believe, was fully human but also a remarkable moral thinker) and we are liberals- in fact in many respects we are socialists. we believe america is blind to the benefits of socialism, which continuously saves capitalism's arse, by curbing its worst excesses.
and despite the re-election of bush (a deeply undemocratic man, we feel) we believe in democracy, not demagogery, and rationality over faith.
ATHEISTS UNITE! SOCIALISM FOREVER (or at least a little bit of it now and then). And a big up yr nose to those who voted bush whatever their reasons, whatever their excuse. You guys deserve him.
we also want to float another idea- succession. the great cultural gulf is widening. New England could be extended across the noreast and include Illinois Michigan and Wisconscin. It would make a fine country. The west coast would be rather like bangladesh... we jest. But it'd make another fine country, and arnie could fulfill his ambition and become president without messily having to damage the constitution.
Southerners have often floated the idea; now is the time for them to "succeed"- and if they don't WE SHOULD.

four more "yeah?"s

we lost. the forces of intolerence and unreality took a resounding victory.
henceforth we will not be as tolerent of christianlity when it blinds people to reality.
and as a lowly worm on the blogosphere, i promise to turn- nasty, maybe. but certainly to keep up the arguments.
no real reason to hope bush will be reborn as a moderate. the scary scary thing is that rove and cheney and gang have complete constitutional control of the "world's only superpower" for a while at least. (the deficits they're running may actuall bring them down. who's paying for the iraq war? actually the saudis and the chinese are lending us the cash. talk about a "global test"- wait til we have to ask those dudes if it's ok if we have another little war, please).
congress, senate, supreme court, white house. it's a clean sweep. never happened before and you can bet they're gonna play it to the max.
a world-scale distater for- international affairs. the only hope is that the rest of the world will re-unite to bolster the UN. it's our only hope!
-the environment, particularly in the US, but espeically vis a vis kyoto, the whole world will suffer.
-the cause of social justice- tax the poor, elevate the rich. boy am i glad i don't live in the US. it's gonna be vital the sort of policies that have created that mess don't emigrate here via dr brash and mr hide.
i cld analyse all day. but right now i'm gonna go out and firebomb a picture of a church!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

on a knife-edge

there's bated breath all round, but also a sense of optimism in the liberal blogs. some of that is just that finally, after a fever of worry and wait and talk, people are getting to do something- and the volunteers to get out the vote know they can make a difference.
the polls are still too close to call, but i too feel a cautious optimism. kerry will make a fine president- i think the best for many decades. bush- well, if we elect him, we deserve him. but say a long goodbye to democracy, rationality, civil liberty, and peace.
anyway it's a great relief it's almost over. life will go one, whichever way it falls.
just more of us will be alive if kerry wins...