15 October 2008


Does it strike anybody else that John McCain's debate performance has come unhinged?


13 October 2008


Before the vote on Tuesday, please visit this website to learn how to vote against the Tories in your riding.


10 October 2008

Crazy Malicious

The Globe and Mail endorses Harper. Hell freezes over?


09 October 2008

Crazy Delicious

This will probably no longer be current by the time the two of you read this, but this afternoon's electoral map at fivethirtyeight, which shows West Virginia as a tossup (due to an ARG poll that has Obama 8 points ahead there, is a thing of beauty. Also note Florida in light blue (leaning Obama).

Of course, we will probably all be disappointed on November 4 when the Republicans rig the election. Again.


05 October 2008

I think the article below speaks for itself...

From the Norwegian newspaper VG, via the blogosphere:

Mary lacked money to fly home to Norway – he saved her love

ÅSGÅRDSTRAND (VG): Mary was a newlywed and ready to move to Norway, but was stopped at the airport because she didn’t have enough money for the trip. Then a stranger turned up and paid for her.

Mary Menth Andersen was 31 years old at the time and had just married Norwegian Dag Andersen. She was looking forward to starting a new life in Åsgårdstrand in Vestfold with him. But first she had to get all of her belongings across to Norway. The date was November 2nd, 1988.

At the airport in Miami things were hectic as usual, with long lines at the check-in counters. When it was finally Mary’s turn and she had placed her luggage on the baggage line, she got the message that would crush her bubbling feeling of happiness.
"You’ll have to pay a 103 dollar surcharge if you want to bring both those suitcases to Norway," the man behind the counter said.

Mary had no money. Her new husband had travelled ahead of her to Norway, and she had no one else to call.
"I was completely desperate and tried to think which of my things I could manage without. But I had already made such a careful selection of my most prized possessions," says Mary.

Although she explained the situation to the man behind the counter, he showed no signs of mercy.
"I started to cry, tears were pouring down my face and I had no idea what to do. Then I heard a gentle and friendly voice behind me saying, That’s OK, I’ll pay for her."

Mary turned around to see a tall man whom she had never seen before.
"He had a gentle and kind voice that was still firm and decisive. The first thing I thought was, Who is this man?"
Although this happened 20 years ago, Mary still remembers the authority that radiated from the man.
"He was nicely dressed, fashionably dressed with brown leather shoes, a cotton shirt open at the throat and khaki pants", says Mary.

She was thrilled to be able to bring both her suitcases to Norway and assured the stranger that he would get his money back. The man wrote his name and address on a piece of paper that he gave to Mary. She thanked him repeatedly. When she finally walked off towards the security checkpoint, he waved goodbye to her.

The piece of paper said ‘Barack Obama’ and his address in Kansas, which is the state where his mother comes from. Mary carried the slip of paper around in her wallet for years, before it was thrown out.
"He was my knight in shining armor," says Mary, smiling.

She paid the 103 dollars back to Obama the day after she arrived in Norway. At that time he had just finished his job as a poorly paid community worker* in Chicago, and had started his law studies at prestigious Harvard university.
In the spring of 2006 Mary’s parents had heard that Obama was considering a run for president, but that he had still not decided. They chose to write a letter in which they told him that he would receive their votes. At the same time, they thanked Obama for helping their daughter 18 years earlier.

In a letter to Mary’s parents dated May 4th, 2006 and stamped ‘United States Senate, Washington DC’, Barack Obama writes**:
‘I want to thank you for the lovely things you wrote about me and for reminding me of what happened at Miami airport. I’m happy I could help back then, and I’m delighted to hear that your daughter is happy in Norway. Please send her my best wishes. Sincerely, Barack Obama, United States senator’.The parents sent the letter on to Mary.

This week VG met her and her husband in the café that she runs with her friend Lisbeth Tollefsrud in Åsgårdstrand.
"It’s amazing to think that the man who helped me 20 years ago may now become the next US president, says Mary delightedly."

She has already voted for Obama. She recently donated 100 dollars to his campaign. She often tells the story from Miami airport, both when race issues are raised and when the conversation turns to the presidential elections.
"I sincerely hope the Americans will see reason and understand that Obama means change," says Mary.


03 October 2008

One More Thing

I've been doing some hardcore housecleaning over the last couple of days, and have had CNN on as background noise. And I have to ask:

What happened to the phrase "working class"?

Coverage of the bailout and the VP debate was filled with references to the "middle class," and "American workers," but "working class" has been nowhere to be found. I mean, I know the United States is supposed to be a classless society. But is "middle class" now officially synonymous with "working class"? Is it like ordering a Tall coffee at Starbucks - the nomenclature's all been supersized?

In other news, Sarah Palin continues to be terrible. That is all.


What's Past Is Prologue

And by that destiny to perform an act / whereof what's past is prologue; what to come, / in yours and my discharge.
-Antonio, The Tempest

Two truths are told, / as happy prologues to the swelling act / of the imperial theme.

""Say it ain't so, Joe, there you go again pointing backwards again. Now doggone it, let's look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future."
-Sarah Palin

Joe Biden tossed in a little bit of Shakespeare last night to counter Sarah Palin's nonsensical insistence that, all evidence to the contrary, the Democratic ticket and not her own is stuck in the past. "Past is prologue," Biden reeled off - and most of the pundits forgave him for a moment that could be considered *gasp* a little professorial.

Time is paramount in the theatre and one of the most satisfying elements of Shakespeare's writing is his attention to it. In the quotes above, Antonio and Macbeth are spurred by circumstance and their own darker natures to confuse history with destiny. To each, malfeasance in the past predicts, enables and sanctifies villainy - regicide - in the present; both commit a sort of cosmic pathetic fallacy whereby Nature, and not individual failing, is responsible for future behaviour. Neither looks to the past for lessons, only for validation. The tragedy is then as Santayana said: those who through their own shortsighted desires and rampant egocentrism fail to learn from the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

Biden's reference was thus uncannily appropriate to the substance of Sarah Palin. She does have some - not in policy, but in "vaunting ambition." Her answer on the powers and duties of the Vice President was terrifying; like her response to Katie Couric on Dick Cheney's greatest mistake ('Worst thing I guess that would have been the duck hunting accident--where you know, that was an accident") it betrays either an obliviousness, or more likely an appreciation, for Cheney's executive power grab over the past eight years. As a person, she might be a nice, feisty lady with a wacky family. As a politician, she's an untutored monster.

Sarah Palin would have us ignore the past, both hers and that of the Bush administration, because that's just what she does. Her abuses as Mayor and Governor are legion, but I suspect she doesn't really see them. Her unsuitability for the Vice Presidency is obvious. (As an aside, imagine if Palin had been at the table of the Canadian leaders debate last night. Would she have lasted five minutes? Four? Any of the men, to say nothing of Elizabeth May, would have clobbered her. Elizabeth May would have shredded her like a pine tree in a pulp mill).

I'm not suggesting merely that Palin doesn't understand history. It's worse than that: Palin knows history - she believes what she believes and wants what she wants wants, cherry-picking the historical record from the Flood on to support her own delusions. And if her attitude towards power is any indication, her future for the American people is nothing less than bullying, small-minded and vicious - tyranny in a bob and $400 glasses.

Antonio was stopped. We know what happened to Macbeth. Let's pray that with Palin, the result is like the former. Otherwise, as Sarah might say, our reward is in heaven. Right?


02 October 2008

City on the Hill

"America is a shining city on the hill, as Ronald Reagan said."
-Sarah Palin

Ronald Reagan may have said it. But if she thinks he coined it, she's forgotten her American history. All of it.


"We represent a perfect ideal"

Sarah Palin on America.



FALSE dilemma!

"Now, Barack Obama had said that all we're doing in Afghanistan is air-raiding villages and killing civilians. And such a reckless, reckless comment and untrue comment, again, hurts our cause. That's not what we're doing there. We're fighting terrorists."

- Sarah Palin in the debate just now.

No comment is possible.