Media candidate endorsementsIt 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.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/30/2004 11:21:00 am || ||
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Here's my postal voteThis one's for you, Lynndie. Tasteless? Yes.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/28/2004 02:31:00 am || ||
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Again with the harshnessElectablog 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.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/26/2004 11:16:00 am || ||
Monday, October 25, 2004
Stupid is as Stupid doesIn 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."
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/25/2004 06:06:00 pm || ||
Thursday, October 21, 2004
BriefTwo 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.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/21/2004 01:20:00 am || ||
Thursday, October 14, 2004
GoodnightThe 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.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/14/2004 05:47:00 pm || ||
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
DoonesburyDoonsebury'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.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/13/2004 04:01:00 pm || ||
Democracy?There is no such thing as a free and fair democracy. Sometimes it's difficult to remain rational. Combined with the Ohio voter registration
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'.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/13/2004 03:36:00 pm || ||
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
We want terror, yes we do, We want Terror, how about you?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".
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/12/2004 03:22:00 pm || ||
Second Presidential Debate
|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 last semester, so I thought I'd share it with you, since this is a little overdue. 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.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/12/2004 01:53:00 pm || ||
Drive-byI 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.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/12/2004 01:51:00 am || ||
Sunday, October 10, 2004
Liberals remain in powerJust 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.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/10/2004 01:36:00 am || ||
Saturday, October 09, 2004
What about me?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...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.
This time, the Pentagon wants 100 percent voter participation here and at many American bases around the world.
"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.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/09/2004 03:03:00 am || ||
Friday, October 08, 2004
Dear DiaryAgainst 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.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/08/2004 02:55:00 am || ||
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Team AmericaI 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
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/05/2004 11:49:00 pm || ||
Welcome to Planet AmericaThis is a contributing factor to why the majority of the world riles at American ego. Bush is talking about Kerry's call for summits with world leaders to make the world a safer place. He says Kerry's policies are "dangerous for world peace".
"A summit won't solve the problem. Strong, consistent leadership is what this world needs."Did you get that? Not what America needs. What this world needs (Team America pretty much on the money). And there you have the problem, which people refuse to recognise. It's not president of the United States that will be decided on November 9. It's President of the World. But only if Bush's cronies get voted back in. If they do, I vote for a coup where Powell assumes leadership of the country. Interesting though, that page includes a link to a speech by Powell at George Washington University, in which he said,
"We do not see the war against terrorism and the nurturing of constructive relationships among the major powers as competing tasks. We conduct the war on terrorism with an eye turned toward great power cooperation. And we seek enhanced great power cooperation with an eye turned toward success in the war on terrorism."Seems he would make a good addition to Kerry's cabinet. Any cabinet.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/05/2004 11:05:00 pm || ||
Corrupting PowerDick Cheney, in a story titled Impact from the Shadows, is:
- arguably the most powerful vice president in US history
- When he chooses to insert himself into the process, he is a powerful force for resolving problems -- or an unmovable roadblock that thwarts the agenda of others, especially Powell
- "He has become the national security adviser...he has co-opted the leadership and policy-shaping role that the national security adviser [Condoleeza Rice] or secretary of state [Colin Powell] usually has."
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/05/2004 11:01:00 pm || ||
A lie is a terrible thing to wasteRumsfeld, when asked to explain the connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda said, "To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two." He later said he was misunderstood, citing the fact that since 2002 he has acknowledged those ties. Ah, alzheimers. Makes it hard to keep those lies straight.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/05/2004 11:00:00 pm || ||
Terror and the UNThe UN is employing Hamas terrorists. Peter Hansen, the director of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said,
"I don't see that as a crime." Hamas, he says, "is a political organization . . . and we do not do political vetting."Do they have candidates standing for the seat of West Bank? Were they voted in to represent the Palestinian people? Not a great deal of (legitimate) political organisations I know of who launch missiles at 'innocent' people and find ways to justify it. Hang about. No. No, I take that back. There are a few. Okay, many.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/05/2004 10:59:00 pm || ||
Robot bloggersThis is crazy. Computer generated blogging. I am learn has some language problems which make it hard to follow, if not slightly amusing. R.Robot on the other hand is quite lucid, almost frighteningly so, even if the points or arguments aren't accurate. Found through MetaFilter
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/05/2004 10:02:00 pm || ||
Monday, October 04, 2004
UPDATE: Iraqi School yearThe new school year started in Iraq on Saturday.
The New York Post toes the official line and says 80% of children "flock" to school.
Islam Online more accurately reports an unprecedented low turnout. However, they conveniently use quotes by an Iraqi mother to: blame it on fear of the presence of US forces, not insurgents; fear of US gunfire, not insurgents and; point out they are resistance fighters,not terrorists or insurgents.
People's Daily Online has some back-to-school photos and a related story about a girl's high school.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/04/2004 11:49:00 am || ||
TalkativeSince I'm wasting some time and I'd planned on posting this, I'll do it now. I'm reading Pilgrim's Progess and I liked this excerpt. Apologies for the old English.
A conversation has just taken place between three men. Says Christian to Faithful, who has just rebuked Talkative as one "whose religion lies in talk":
You did well, to talk so plainly to him as you did; there is but little of this faithful dealing with men nowadays, and that makes religion to stink so in the nostrils of so many, as it doth; for they are these talkative fools whose religion is only in word, and are debauched and vain in their conversation, that (being so much admitted into the fellowship of the godly) do puzzle the world, blemish Christianity, and grieve the sincere. I wish that all men would deal with such as you have done: then should they either be made more conformable to religion, or the company of saints would be too hot for them.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/04/2004 03:28:00 am || ||
MerrillI'm taking a not-so-well-deserved break from my all-night session - writing an assignment that's already 10 days overdue to post something I came across. John C. Merrill, doyen of journalism and media academia, writes in Twilight of Press Freedom: The Rise of People's Journalism:
Communitarianism is a power concept that must be taken seriously. In America it is invading social consciousness on the coattail of a loss of media credibility, offering to replace an ever-growing media libertinism and arrogance.So, we should all work together to build a 'better' society by putting aside our own interests. Social responsibility versus individual freedom... Will you allow your voice to be 'controlled' for the greater good?
A big problem in the new century will be the control of the mushrooming Internet and the new "people's journalism," but this can and will be done in concert with the new spirit of community solidarity. So it would appear that the 21st century will be one of a more orderly and disciplined press, dedicated to social harmony and operating as a thermostat to keep the communal temperature at a comfortable level. It will be a century, as well, that views press freedom somewhat nostalgically - a glorious idea that came and went.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/04/2004 03:03:00 am || ||
Saturday, October 02, 2004
School's inIt's Saturday, 7.00 am in Baghdad. 5 million kids all over Iraq will hopefully be safe when going back to school today. Think of them.
Azhar al-Azzawi says her two nephews, aged 8 and 11, are very excited about going back to school and seeing their friends again.IHT unsure if it's today or two weeks away, but first article would indicate it is definitely today.
"Their father doesn't want to disappoint them and will send them to school as planned but he will spend the entire day waiting in his car in front of the school," she said.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/02/2004 01:50:00 pm || ||
Gratuitous baby pic should lighten the room a little
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/02/2004 02:24:00 am || ||
Friday, October 01, 2004
First DebateJust 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)
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/01/2004 01:29:00 pm || ||
UPDATE: Beslan - revenge beckonsI posted earlier about the Beslan school and the possible inflammation of local ethnic tensions between Ingush and Ossetian. Ruslan Aushev was president of Ingushetia from 1993 to 2001, and the Kremlin sent him to negotiate with the hostage-takers. He's saying revenge could ignite regional violence "as soon as the [traditional mourning period of] 40 days pass.
"Those who are doing this either do not understand what they are doing or are doing this on purpose to set the south of Russia, and maybe the North Caucasus and the entire Caucasus on fire"
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/01/2004 04:09:00 am || ||
Speechless - to a point.Car Bombs Kill 34 Children in Baghdad
Insurgents wouldn't be stupid enough to attack Iraqi children, I thought . What can you say, or do? 34 kids...
The Baghdad blasts coincided with crowds gathering to celebrate the opening of a new sewage plant. It was not clear if the event or a U.S. convoy passing nearby was the target.41 dead, 139 wounded, including 10 US soldiers... Timed to influence tonight's presidential debate?
The first explosion was followed by two more that struck those who rushed to the aid of the initial victims.
Want to help some schools in Iraq? Iraqischools.com
My earlier post said schools were teaching about religions other than Islam. This story suggests schools are now only teaching Islam. Seeems unlikely the story is representative of all schools, but worrying if it's a spreading trend.
Why worrying? This is something I've had for a few days, not sure how to introduce it, or what to say about it. It's an 'academic' article posted on the wa-muslim-news forum, in relation to the Beslan school killings...
With respect to the question of the legitimacy of targeting a school in Islam ... Jihaad is not restricted by time or place.But while these brave fighters are well within their 'rights' to take non-Muslim criminals hostage at "a school or a hospital or a place of worship ... because the Jihaad is not restricted by place" - truth be told, they didn't kill anyone.
...they [the Russians] are Kuffar and the Kuffar by default are mujrim (criminals)...
As Muslims, we must always be wary of what news the Kuffar (non-Muslims) bring us. We are not allowed to doubt Muslims, but we are obliged to doubt the Kuffar.
Indeed, they [the Russians] were the ones who opened fire and started the assault on the academy and killed their own people including women and children.I can only hope this is a fundamentalist viewpoint not shared by moderate Muslims...
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 10/01/2004 01:15:00 am || ||