Tuesday, September 30, 2008

You wait till now to tell us this?

Why did Olmert leave it till he was a lame duck to tell the truth?

If Israel went to the negotiating table with this as a basis for talks, well...

You know, Northern Ireland looked intractable. It looked impossible. And it's not fixed, but it does look possible.

So who knows? Some will always hate Jews. We have to recognise and accept that. But I believe most -- on both sides -- want peace and a viable state for their people.

Of course, the key in Olmert's suggestion is that any land traded for the major settlements should be of equal quality. Fat chance.

Bite my poll

Looks like you can't fool the public all the time. The media called the first debate -- mostly on McSnake's "strong" point, foreign policy -- a draw, but polls show that the people think Obama wiped the floor with the old fool.

Also, lol at McCain having a "truth squad". Presumably they're equipped with bargepoles.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cool as a cucnigumber

It's no wonder Americans are so fucking dumb. Check this out for "informed" political comment.

Obama is "too cool" in a crisis.

I mean, fuck, that's the last thing you want when everything's in the shitter. Some guy coolly figuring out the solution and working out how to turn things around. Much better just to bomb everything and hope that whatever's left standing resembles a solution.

Thing is, a lot of Americans lap that shit up. They don't like hard thinking and they feel intimidated when confronted with evidence that someone is doing some. I'm pretty sure their education system crushes any semblance of critical thinking out of them. Either that or there's something in the water.

And let's face it. Were Obama "one of us", you wouldn't be reading this shit. It's just another way of saying he's "different". Yeah yeah, we noticed. HE'S BLACK OMFG.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Debatable outcome

A draw? Are you fucking kidding me?

McCain retaliated by repeatedly portraying Obama as inexperienced and unfit to be president, dismissing the Democrat as "naive".

You have to be fucking kidding me.

I'm not that keen on either guy's politics, or their views on economics, but one looked like a president, and the other looked like a pygmy. One had a command of the facts, a broad knowledge of the issues, a strategic vision, which I don't agree with but can respect. The other one kept saying, I've been to Pakistan so I know what's needed; I've been around a long time, so I know how to change things.

Hang on! You've been around a long time; doesn't that make you part of the problem? What exactly did you change? Except for all your positions.

Above all, this struck me. When asked what spending he would have reluctantly to give up after bailing out the rich, McCain said he would cut everything but the military. WTF? America faces a depression that will put millions on the breadline, and McCain wants the government to give up welfare? And, erm, education? WTF? This man wants to kill foreigners so much he'd give up your kids' schooling to pay for it.

And lol at the wiggly worm thing and the dive it took every time McSnakeoil started to talk.

Friday, September 26, 2008

File under who gives a shit

Here is the most LOL quote I've read this week:

The Act of Settlement is an 18th-century anachronism that has no place in a modern 21st-century constitution.

Yah, and having a king isn't.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Take me into your skin

There's a point in Take me into your skin where you're sure he's going to drop it but he doesn't. He brings it back, heavy and relentless, and it builds again.

It is a perfect encapsulation of what I believe great innovation to be. You understand the basis for it. You understand the genre, recognise its limitations, expect the track to stay within its constraints. (After all, this is part of what makes genre art enjoyable.)

But Trentemoller confounds expectation, and the innovation is surprising, throwing into relief the ordinariness of genre trance and techno.

It is a wonderful song, fashioned out of bits and pieces of a whole spectrum of dance, but not a ragbag; it is all melted into a stunning, undescribable piece of music.

So he's no Bach. Right. But Bach was then and this is what we have now. Classical music now is an irrelevance. An artist like Steve Reich has salience only because he is experimental like Aphex.

Isn't visual art the same, you ask. No. Visual art is dead. Tracey Emin killed it, but it was severely wounded once we decided that splashing paint randomly said something about who we are. Not that it doesn't. But it belies any idea that we have anything to say about ourselves than to shrug or screech inconsolably.

And Take me into your skin does not have much to say. I wouldn't claim otherwise. It says a small thing. But it says it so well: if music moves you at all, you'll have a shiver of yearning halfway in. You don't get that from Coldplay! (Well okay, you might. But if you do, erm, maybe just loosen the top button a smidgen.)

Take me into your skin

There's a point in Take me into your skin where you're sure he's going to drop it but he doesn't. He brings it back, heavy and relentless, and it builds again.

It is a perfect encapsulation of what I believe great innovation to be. You understand the basis for it. You understand the genre, recognise its limitations, expect the track to stay within its constraints. (After all, this is part of what makes genre art enjoyable.)

But Trentemoller confounds expectation, and the innovation is surprising, throwing into relief the ordinariness of genre trance and techno.

It is a wonderful song, fashioned out of bits and pieces of a whole spectrum of dance, but not a ragbag; it is all melted into a stunning, undescribable piece of music.

So he's no Bach. Right. But Bach was then and this is what we have now. Classical music now is an irrelevance. An artist like Steve Reich has salience only because he is experimental like Aphex.

Isn't visual art the same, you ask. No. Visual art is dead. Tracey Emin killed it, but it was severely wounded once we decided that splashing paint randomly said something about who we are. Not that it doesn't. But it belies any idea that we have anything to say about ourselves than to shrug or screech inconsolably.

And Take me into your skin does not have much to say. I wouldn't claim otherwise. It says a small thing. But it says it so well: if music moves you at all, you'll have a shiver of yearning halfway in. You don't get that from Coldplay! (Well okay, you might. But if you do, erm, maybe just loosen the top button a smidgen.)

Monday, September 22, 2008


99% of what ails me would be cured by more sex. That and marijuana would do the job. The other 1% is consternation at being mortal. I haven't found a solution for that yet.

I was thinking, what will I tell Zenella when she asks about sex? I don't mean, about the biology thing. That's not sex any more than eating is a description of your alimentary system.

For some, it's the be-all and end-all, the point. For others, it's intimately tied into emotion, which is weird because emotion largely doesn't exist (much of it is readily explained as body states and post hoc rationalisations of how events were for us), for others it's purely something to do, like reading a book or watching TV. (And of course, it's something to do at least at some points for all of us.) Some fear it, because it undermines their view of themselves; others are confused by it. Some crave it, and that seems worse to me than fearing it. (I wonder why that is? Perhaps my socialisation has led me truly to consider cowardice less of a sin than neediness? I don't know. I like to fulfil needs, don't I? How can you love the need and hate the needy?)

Our world has made an icon of it, because we are now free to express what we wish, and what we have to say is "SEX", because it is fundamental to us. It's what we live for, work for, what drives us, what inspires us, one way or the other. Much of the rest of our lives is a shadowy backdrop to what we really care about, or fills in the space in our lives where there is no sex. If we all did more of it--well, have you ever seen an unhappy bonobo?

Mohammed Atta wrote in his will that women should not touch his genitals when he was made ready for his funeral. This is what he was concerned about in his final hours. That's how powerful it is, that a man can fear it, or hate it, or want it, whichever, so much.

And it's incredible, isn't it though, that the "free world" is all about money and sex? That, freed from the bonds of want, we can scarcely see past them, that we do not want to elevate ourselves for any other purpose. (Elevate ourselves! You just can't kill the Romantic in you once it has been animated.) We aspire to be wealthy and have sex. A bit like dogs. Except they measure wealth differently.

Erm, maybe ask your mother?

Feed the rich


Yes, we should all follow your lead and get the poor to subsidise the rich. We already know you believe that.

More on the crisis

This is an interesting expansion of the alternative bailout idea. Not all of Newberry's bases for discussion are widely accepted, but his plan probably does work. It would hurt, a lot, but America is due some hurt. I'm sorry to say it, but you are. You're like a guy who's been putting everything on his credit card for years and only paying the minimum each month. Somewhere down the track, you have to pay the card off. That hurts, but how it hurts is something you can control somewhat. (It's only a bit like that; don't get carried away with the analogy.)


Oh, and for fuck's sake, DO NOT VOTE MCCAIN. I'm pretty sure no one reading this blog is superwealthy. You have nothing to gain from four more years of these robbing bastards. You may have been stupid enough to vote for them in 2000 or 2004, but jeezus, you can't be dumb enough to do it again.

You should be in the streets rioting, do you realise that? The aristos have fucked you royally. It's like the last days of the French monarchy, and Palin is Marie Antoinette, suggesting that you are going to have cake. You aren't.

On Krugman on the crisis

For those who don't understand the credit crisis, here's Krugman. I'd say this is essentially correct, and that if the US government gained $700 billion of equity in the firms that have been left holding shit paper, that would a/ ease the credit crisis and b/ be a reasonable thing for the government to do. It could of course sell its share back when the time is right, at a profit because let's face it, if Goldman Sachs can just write off the rubbish it's holding, its share price will climb.

This might sound a bit like nationalising the banks, but it's more like acquiring a "golden share" because I don't think Krugman suggests, nor would I, that the government should actually run any of these institutions.

It would actually be interesting to see how business ran themselves if the state was a significant shareholder. Is it a way of achieving oversight without regulation? Maybe it could be sold that way.


See also Brad DeLong. This is really important. The draft bailout bill gives the new president's finance minister a free hand.

Do you want the man McCain chooses to have $700 billion to hand out as he chooses?

I know that some of the people who read this blog don't understand economics at all, and that's okay. Economics is mostly bullshit in a box, tied up with a pink bow. You just need to ask yourself, if someone I knew had a business and made a terrible mistake (or did something very wrong hoping not to get caught out), what would I rather do to "help": buy his mistake off him for ten thousand bucks so he can just carry on in business, or buy half his business off him for ten thousand bucks and just say "bin the mistake now you have the money to continue"?


Another question that might occur is this: why is the government doing all this for the banks when it did nothing for the poor guys who were conned into taking out mortgages they couldn't pay and had their homes repossessed when the bubble burst? It's a good question.

And think about this. The reason no one can sell their "toxic" MBS assets is that mortgages are not being repaid. Ask yourself how much the value of the defaulted loans underlying the MBS is.

If it is less than $700 billion, maybe it would occur to you that the government could buy the mortgages, rather than the MBS. It could then put the mortgages on ultralow fixed interest rates, allowing the people who have them a/ not to default and b/ not to lose their homes.

It wouldn't fix the crisis but wtf. Who would you rather get $700 billion of public money? The banker who caused the fucking mess in the first place or the guy who is getting shafted by it?

Here, the excellent Ian Welsh explains how it could work. This helps the lenders by giving them capital for their shitty mortgages; helps the banks by allowing the MBS to be fairly valued, making them tradeable; and most importantly, helps the people. Of course, the right will hate it. When business gets money for nothing, or get bailed out when they fuck up, that's fine. When people get money for nothing, or get bailed out when they fuck up, that's socialism, and we can't have that, can we?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Blame the poor obv.


I may or may not write something about the credit crisis, but I'll tell you for nothing, it's not the poor's fault for buying homes.

The crisis is not an outcome of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae's problems. That's arse. Their problems are an outcome of the crisis.

Also, note that none of the bodies mentioned in the article--the mortgage guarantors and the Fed--was actually a government agency until recently. Not that the US government is blameless, nor those of other Western nations. The asset bubble didn't blow itself up; our finance ministers were all hard at the pump.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Moose in the hoose

Get thee behind me, mouse.

Hilarious. Please do read the last par. Apparently, I really am Satan.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


John McSame shows his immense foreign policy experience by demonstrating that not only does he not know that Zapatero is the PM of Spain but that he is not sure where Spain even is.

I read something the other day that suggested McSnakeoil is showing the symptoms of repeated head trauma: short-term memory loss, confusion among others, in other words, he's punch drunk. He sure does seem that way.

It seems weird to me that Americans will even consider voting for such a small man. They sure must hate blacks!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


It was a nut that done it. I have never been sickly. Far from it. I'm the guy with soup and a damp towel for your forehead when the epidemic strikes. But I've been sick, physically ill, for at least four years. Not every day, but on and off.

What the fuck is that? I don't believe in "psychosomatic" illness, and I haven't really been feeling all that stressed anyway. Yeah, I feel a bit of poker-related stress, and it sucks that my job as an editor has turned into a job as a course developer, and the whole shithouse marriage thing wears on you from time to time, but relatively speaking, I've been okay. I have been laughing it off on the whole.

I can't remember whether I've blogged it, but I was having panic attacks related to dying. That sounds much more bleh than it is: I mean I was having existential difficulties that were difficult to get a grip on. I think it's quite common in older men: the whole midlife crisis thing. So I didn't get a motorbike; I got an anxiety disorder instead. But here's the weird thing. Somewhere within dealing with that, I got somewhat of a grip on the thing that has bothered me for my whole adult life. I call it agoraphobia, but it's more like fear of being afraid. Now I've found something I'm really afraid of: the only thing I'm really afraid of, I'm okay with most of the rest of it. I have a fragile, preliminary understanding that it is possible for me to be happy.

I feel in charge. I think that putting it to Mrs Zen that she wasn't making the decision about my going home, nor was she deciding for my kids, made me feel much more positive. (You could spin it as now Zen wears the trousers, but it's never been anything like that I don't.)

But I am under the weather today. I never had food poisoning in all the years I lived in the UK (you're not at all that much risk if you eat vegetarian), but I've had it more than once here. It was a nut, I think. But I like nuts too much for the price not to be worth paying. There's an analogy trying to crawl out of that nut, I'm sure.


I do not know the road to it though. And I know I know a lot, about this world and the things in it, but that's something I don't know. I will not know it until I walk on it.

I know that makes me contrary, because we all know it's money or love or drugs or some other part of our lives. But I don't believe it is. I believe it is none of that and all of that. I believe that I can leave where I am through a door, but I do not know where the door is or what it leads to. It's not a sin not to know. I am not easily satisfied, so it's not like it's a one-word answer.

But I'm easily pleased, so it can't be a whole bookful. (I am actually so easily pleased, comparatively, that I sometimes do not understand the effort some people go to not to please me. I'm pretty sure I'm better to know when I'm pleased.)

Sigh. I was thinking that we are indeed noble in reason. I used to enjoy disputation, but of course I have always known that we each know our answers, we are simply answering different questions. So I am tired of contrariness. I wonder whether the resolution to my midlife crisis will not be a leather jacket but a quiet enjoyment of nuts, minding no one's business but my own. After all, I've never liked you enough to care that much about you. I'm just squeamish.

I think that will be my epitaph: He was squeamish. I can think of worse. But not much.

White power

A superb post, which just about says it all.

Just about the only reason McCain/Palin are close to Obama in the polls is that Obama is black.

You know what else is white privilege? When someone says that someone they work for says they "won't vote for a black man" and other white women tell her that that's okay, keep working for her, you can't change their minds anyway.

Well, you can. But first you have to stop feeling this is okay in your bones, and start feeling disgust. Disgust with what? You are yourself a good place to start.

Pony with that, sir?

Watching the news last night, I was struck by the difference between the Obama and McCain line on the financial crisis. Obama focused on how bad the crisis was and who was responsible. He gave the impression of someone just overwhelmed by how bad this shit is, which is a reasonable reaction. McCain promised to fix it and get everyone a pony.

People like ponies.

McCain is going to win this election if Obama doesn't wake the fuck up. No one wants to hear who's to blame. No one gives a shit that McCain is a liar and his whole team are corporate lobbyists. No one is going to ask the hard question--exactly how are you going to fix it, John? It's a battle of rhetoric. All of a sudden, a man who blustered and bullshitted his way to the Democratic nomination has lost the wind from his sails.

The question how McCain plans to fix the crisis is obviously one that anyone reasonable would find difficult. Republicans don't like restraints on the "free market", so how would he do it?

Well, the answer doesn't matter. McCain doesn't have the slightest clue how to fix, or any intention at all of fixing, the financial crisis. He's promising ponies, not outlining policies.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A leaf

It's easier to know what you don't want than what you do, so often because what you don't want exists, and you don't know what what you want is.

I don't want to die but I've never really wanted to live either. I prefer to be a leaf on the stream. I say prefer, but inertia is not so much a preference as an aversion to the converse.

I find I like so little that the world becomes tiny. But I like driving home on a sunny spring day, the flowers in the hedgerow, the world green and fresh. I like the water in Tingalpa Creek, the smell of eucalypts, being so stoned I cannot fret, Scotland's shame, sitting out here on a cool night with a cigar, Outhouse by Nathan Fake, knowing that I will soon be walking on the cliffs at Zennor, Zenita's smile, making my boy feel safe, my golden girl, Lorca.

There's a lot to like if you are able to float on the breeze and keep your feet from touching the quicksand.

I like you too, or I would if you were willing to be likeable. I'm pathetically easy to please. How can a leaf on the breeze be anything else?

I am old enough to be my dad. That's a weird fucking thing. But it's not something to be discontent about. I feel tired, and sometimes sorely tried, but I do not feel entirely disheartened. How could I? I have a good heart; I have faith in that; and I have faith in my fellow man, which nothing has ever managed to disabuse me of.

I believe you can lift me up, and I can you. I won't stop believing it, no matter how small you insist on being. I believe in you because life without belief is a shell of a thing, a deeply unsatisfying cavern to throw yourself into.

I cannot be a nihilist because even if there is nothing, it will always be better to believe that something lies just around the corner, maybe out of reach, but always in our imagining, something like freedom. I cannot be a nihilist because I have to believe we can free ourselves, because if we cannot, I cannot, and that is too much to bear.

Sigh. I'm sure I had something else to say. Or nothing else to say. In a blog, they're much the same thing, right?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Black sky, silver moon

So I am watching her high in the sky, spinning in a wheel. It is a miracle of centrifugal force.

It is a miracle we are here. I do not care what alignment of atoms, stars and magic made us, we are here.

WE ARE HERE. And I love my child, so fiercely it burns inside, it makes a mark that no passage of time can rub out.

I am looking out into the sullen night and I love her, and I am thinking, I know it is a tragedy we have to give it up, but we have to be here.

It is a deep dark night and the moon is silver and beautiful. I love her so fiercely it humbles me to know that whatever else I am it can love like this.


You know, I did not forget about you. That is what I wanted to say. For me, love never dies. It burns a mark a mile wide and I cannot scrub it out.

I do not understand people who can cancel it out. Just like that. That is what I wanted to say. I do not understand that it can be something you just say goodbye to.

That is what I needed to say to you. It's not deep or complex; it's simple and I think it's real.

I think it's real. Because everything else is a coat we wear. But when someone reaches out and touches you, it's something you cannot fake.

I think it's real. You found something inside me, or beside me, I don't know. A bell, you struck it with a hammer. Something without a name, you made it chime.

It still rings for you.

I do not know how to forget about you. I do not know how to stop wanting to kiss you. When I see your picture, all I think is that I want to touch you, to run my hands through your hair, wordlessly, not destroying everything with stupid words, not breaking everything with a world of thought.

I have nothing else to say. I mean, why bother? What else even begins to matter?

Balance of the force

So here's a small cred test for you audiophiles.

If I say Boymerang, and you say, erm, returning wood stick that Aborigines use, I say oh no.

If I say Boymerang, and you say, erm, Aussie boy band, does Motown covers, I say no no.

If I say Boymerang, and you say, erm, cutting-edge tech dnb, I say oh yes.

If I say Boymerang, and you say, erm, cutting-edge tech legendary dnb by that fucking hotshot genius guy outta Bark Psychosis, I say ja ja mein Herr.

Well of course what things are doesn't matter much. What matters is do you love it.

Well, do you love ultraprecise drum programming? Yeah? Then you love it.
Do you love bass is the bottom line in your face hard rhythm? Yeah? Then you love it.
Do you love inventive full-on techy dnb? Oh yeah. I love it.

So imagine how thrilled I was to find this album. I'm a sucker for tightly produced, clever dnb (big fan of Photek, obv.), and this is all that plus an excellent grasp of dynamics.

If you don't know Bark Psychosis, I suppose you could describe it as laid-back, complex jazzy ambient (if that description appeals, you are in for a treat if you seek out BP, because Graham Sutton, teh Boymerang, has wit and creativity to burn). Hex, BP's more famous outing, is like a rainy night in sound (akin somewhat to Untrue by Burial, but from a jazz/ambient angle rather than a dubstep one). Boymerang is far from laid back--it features frantic, fullon jungle rhythms--but the melodies and overdubs are satisfyingly autumnal.

I suppose dnb is just one of those genres: you're into it or you're not. If you are, this is something you'll love right down to your marrow (and I love it!), but if you're not, it's just some more noise.


I am also listening to Genghis Tron's grindcore/techno crossover. It's not a description that sounds like it will work but it does somewhat. I love their leadoff EP, Cloak of love, which sounds a lot like someone threw Meshuggah, Aphex and 65days into a room and made them fight it out, but their other stuff is a bit more authentically grindy. Not complaining. I like some grind: metal, dead in the water in the late 80s/90s, has come back as a vibrant, exciting genre. Let's face it. If you don't like an inyerface riff, you're getting thrown out of boys' club. It's cockraising stuff, and you can pretend you prefer jazz, but you'll yearn for the heavy if you don't get any.

I particularly like Arms, which strikes me as the most fully realised example of what they aimed for. Maybe it's just that I love the beautiful riff that soars away at the end, a wonderful chiming row of high notes.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Impalin' Russia


If McCain dies, omfg:

I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can't blink. You have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we're on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can't blink.

Well that's just bullshit, right? Tough (and close to incomprehensible) talk for the retards. Yeahbut. She is also saying we should speed up entry to NATO for Georgia and Ukraine.

OMFG. These lunatics think they can have a war with Russia. It's fucking Eastasia all over the place.

Yeah okay, don't get alarmed. She would be managed, right? They wouldn't let a crazed, underinformed fuckwit near the controls, amirite?

That would never happen.

And the worst of it is that the people pulling the strings are crazier than she is.

We have had brief moments of hope, it seems forever ago, but America is sick and rotten, and we are liable to stand helplessly by while it drags us all to ruin.

Hell in a handkerchief


Fuck no. We should not teach theology in a fucking science class.

I don't have time to fisk this idiot, but he blogs it here. The simple answer to children who bring up their god in a science class is "whatever your beliefs about how the world came into being, this class is about science. Science excludes supernatural explanations. It may not be correct to do so, but that's what it does, and that's what we're studying here."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

About Grace Note

LOL. I almost wish this was true. I sound deliciously demented, yet in reality I'm very nearly sane. Sadly, the guy who wrote it is broke afaik so I can't make any money out of him for defaming me. Not that I would. I don't take personally what people have to say about me and never have. I'm a far harsher critic than anyone out there.

Weirdly though, I'm pretty open, and my motives are never as dark as poor Adrian thinks. Mostly just fucking about. Isn't that true of most of us though? Just fucking about until the Grim Reaper calls time...

Bigger than squirrels

Jonah Goldberg is much laughed at in the libosphere, mostly with good cause, because he is a spectacularly dishonest hack. Let's take a look at the latest pack of bullshit he's foisting on an unwary America.

I note when I read this stuff that the big difference between liberal and conservative commentators is that the libs do not need to lie. They don't really need to do a con job, or twist the facts. The facts favour them.

Anyway, to Jonah:

Barack Obama, a famous fan of pickup basketball, must recognize his plight: It's two on one now. John McCain drafted Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the star point guard from the Wasilla Warriors, to double-team Obama.

(McCain's team doesn't care if no one guards Joe Biden, who seems to spend most of his time yelling to the media, "I'm open! I'm open!" But when he gets the ball, all he does is talk about what a great player he is and dribble in place.)

Lie number 1. Biden has been rather lowkey, but I think the Dems were taken by surprise by Palin. She's such an extreme choice, so obviously a terrible pick, that it's tough to know what to say. Biden has focused on McCain, but the media don't want to hear about McCain. They are also aware that any attack on Palin's record, knowledge or suitability for the role will have the Republicans clutch their ankles, dive to the floor and yell for the red card, claiming a foul and invoking the s-word. It was foolish of the Obama campaign to indulge in sexism in their fight against Clinton, and now they're reaping that particular whirlwind. Of course, the idea of Republicans slamming anyone for being sexist is hilarious, but these people have moved far beyond parody.

The media are, as usual, playing in the Republican frame. It's all about Sarah. The Republicans want to make it Palin vs Obama, giving McCain a free ride. He is deeply flawed, and I think would struggle, even in racist America, to beat Obama. But the focus is not on John McCain.

So after the halftime show of the political conventions, to strain the sports metaphor a bit further, it looks as if the change-up in strategy has Team Obama rattled and in danger of choking.

This is true. Obama has become reactive and his campaign is plainly floundering now.

Polls - the closest thing we have to a scoreboard - show that McCain, at least temporarily, has taken the lead. On Tuesday, the Real Clear Politics average of national polls showed McCain ahead by a razor-thin (and statistically meaningless) 2.9 percentage points. The USA Today-Gallup poll had McCain leading by a whopping 10 points among likely voters (and four points among registered voters), though that's almost surely an overstatement.

But when I look around the blogosphere, do I see all those people who said Palin would be terrible for the Republicans eating crow? No, I don't. They don't get it. They are not living in a lovely liberal country. They are living in Appalachia.

The McCain-Palin convention bounce also all but closed the ticket's gender gap. According to Rasmussen Reports, Obama had a 14-point lead among women; now it's three. According to the latest ABC/Washington Post poll, McCain now has a 12-point lead among white women.

Which is incredible, as Cintra Wilson notes. Picking Palin was a slap in the face for women. But they must like it, because they seem to be queueing up to show her love and be slapped again.

Still, there's a lot of pressure on Sarah Barracuda. Called up from the political minors, she could yet wilt under the hot lights. But that's looking less and less likely.

One notes that Ms Palin has yet to be questioned by the press. Can they manage her all the way to November? Will the press catch her offguard?

The other day, she showed her ignorance of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which was quite breathtaking. It should disqualify her immediately from consideration for a role that could see her become president in the next few years. So one can hope that given the opportunity, she'll fuck up plenty more times, enough that it can't be ignored.

The outrageous attacks on Palin out of the block (She banned books! She opposed family planning education! She's a creationist!) have missed the mark.

Well, not so outrageous. All are true. She asked the Wasilla head librarian whether she could remove books, and when she expressed dissent, tried to sack her. She opposed, and openly opposes, family planning education. She's an avowed creationist.

I mean, wtf. It's "outrageous" to tell the truth, but it's okay to lie? This is the topsy-turvy world Republicans live in.

At this point, I want to note something. Goldberg, and commentators like him, are not the smartest boys in class, but they are not complete idiots. They know that Palin is poison. They are probably caught in a dichotomy: horrified by her but delighted that they could win again because of her.

And the eagerness of the mainstream media to go after her family life has backfired as well.

It has backfired on the media? No, but the myth of the media's being liberal must be maintained. This is aided by McCain--a man who has assiduously courted the media, and had almost entirely positive, often slavering, treatment--pretending that he is battling a corrupt establishment media. Which is hilarious, because the media is corrupt and does represent the establishment, but strongly favours the right.

For instance, Hanna Rosin wrote sneeringly in Slate magazine of Palin's "wreck of a home life." Would Slate say that Obama, conceived out of wedlock to a teen mom, comes from a "wreck" of a family? I somehow doubt it.

This sort of thing is terrible, and the liberal sections of the media have done Obama no favours by wildly speculating about Palin's family. Even if the speculations are true, they are not damaging to her as much as the speculation damages Obama. The people who like Palin simply do not care that she may have lied about her pregnancy. They will even be able to see some dignity in it. And they do not mind bullying a boy into a shotgun wedding. Many people still think that's the right outcome when you bang a girl up.

Palin's more sober critics, mostly on the right, worried that picking her would undermine McCain's claim to "experience."

Which it should have done.

Almost the exact opposite has happened.

Which was predictable. Making this a contest of who has the right experience, when she so plainly is not fit for the job, just makes Obama look "not ready".

He is supremely ready, of course. Of the four people on offer, he is by far the best suited to be president, and the best equipped. BY FAR. In a sane world, judged by sane reasonable people, this wouldn't even be in question.

Thanks to the double-team strategy, Obama has found himself in the awkward position of sounding as if he's running against the GOP's vice presidential nominee.

Which is a large part of the Republican strategy, of course.

When Obama compared his own experience to Palin's tenure as mayor of Wasilla (leaving out her current job as governor), he ran right into the pick the McCain campaign had set, leaving McCain a clearer path to victory.

Very true. Goldberg means 'trap', not 'pick', of course. It's interesting that Goldberg lets slip a truth here: that McCain needed a 'trap' for Obama to have any chance of winning.

It should go without saying that having been mayor of a village is not in itself a great preparation for being leader of the free world (but we are talking about a world in which getting shot down in a plane counts as foreign policy experience). Obama could and should have stuck to saying "she's a gimmick pick and we have nothing to say about her. Now, about McCain..."

The more Obama has to explain why being a community organizer - or a state legislator, or a one-term senator with few accomplishments under his belt - is better preparation for the presidency than being a mayor or governor, the more he volunteers his own shortcomings when compared with McCain.

Well no. The more he ends up fighting it out on Republican ground. What is this bullshit about "experience"? Lots of very good American presidents have lacked executive experience and no one cared. Why do we care this time? Because practically the only merit that John McCain has is that he's been around for a long time.

Besides, on paper, Obama doesn't stand up very well against Palin. All of the mythic themes of Obama's political narrative - the ethics reformer, the bipartisan, the new kind of politician - look like press-release material next to Palin's accomplishments.

This is a riduculous and transparent lie. As mayor of the village of Wasilla (no bigger than my home town--and let me tell you, if you suggested to me that being mayor of Hayle was decent preparation for running a country, I'd laugh in your stupid face) she ran up a huge debt. As governor of Alaska, she has done little enough.

Obama voted the Democratic Party line more often (97 percent) than McCain voted in accord with President Bush (90 percent).

Jonah neglects to mention that mostly Bush has set the legislative agenda, and has had a craven Republican congress behind him, so the Dems have largely been voting *against* reactionary laws.

In Washington, Obama's supposedly "sweeping" ethics reform - which forces congressmen to eat lobbyist-provided meals standing up instead of sitting down - and his feckless reforms in Illinois make him look the Bambi to Palin's Godzilla.

Jonah probably didn't understand the ethics reform, and we all know that the spiteful girls hate other girls who are good at maths.

Obama's idea of ethics reform is to mandate clean sheets in the brothel. Palin's is to tear it down.

First, Jonah forgets which party made the place a brothel. Then, he repeats the lie that Palin is in any way, or would be in any way, a reformer. As if! The "reforms" President Palin would introduce would be to push Bush's extremist agenda even harder. The corporations are salivating at the idea of a Palin presidency.

The most unsportsmanlike conduct in the days to come will be the search for Palin gaffes, of which there undoubtedly will be many. The media will call fouls on her that they never call on the other candidates. Over the last week, Obama misspoke and referred to his "Muslim faith" on ABC's "This Week" and told a rally how excited he was to be in "New Pennsylvania." Perhaps that's one of the 57 states he once claimed to campaign in?

Wow. Obama makes a slip of the tongue, and it's huge news. Palin makes a serious mistake about mortgages and it's ignored.

This is the thing. A "gaffe" like saying that America has 57 states doesn't reveal anything about Obama. Stressed and tired presidential candidates can be expected to make silly errors like that. I'd even forgive McCain the whole Pakistan/Iraq border thing. But not knowing what Fannie Mae is or does is different.

And let's not forget Biden, whose gaffes are the unavoidable byproduct of his limitless gasbaggery. Biden could shout on "Meet the Press," "Get these squirrels off of me!" and the collective response would be, "There goes Joe again." But if Palin flubs the name of the deputy agriculture minister of Kyrgyzstan, the media will blow their whistles saying she's unprepared for the job.

No, Jonah, she did not know what Fannie Mae is. That's not to forget a tiny, unimportant fact. That's not to know what the organisation your government has just taken over, which has a huge trillion-plus dollar portfolio of home loans, is and does. That's a bit bigger than squirrels, bro.

One notes also that Biden will at least appear on MTP. No chance of Palin facing anything resembling hard questioning (not that she would get that on MTP, but even the softballs indulged in there will be potential handgrenades for her).

Fair or not, that's how it works in the pros. But so far, it still looks as if the MVP title is hers to lose.

Keep saying so, Jonah, and you might start believing it before November.

Sunday, September 07, 2008


Hilarious. My friends at the Wikipedia Review have taken a break from trying to out Wikipedia editors to out each other.

I've known this person had a sock farm for three years. It was pretty obvious. I had an email correspondence with him back then, and it was plain that "she" was a he (very hard to hide it in your writing as various websites around the web will demonstrate to you) and equally plain that he was deranged. Wikipedia Review is a bit of a haven for the deranged though. I'm left wondering whether they really couldn't have known that the posters concerned were the same person, when it was plain as the nose on your face that they were. Perhaps I'm just better at the Shell Game than they are?

Of course, they weren't interested in hearing about it back then, or until they had pretty undeniable evidence thrusted into their face, because they are a typical internet website. On the 'Net, and I suppose this is true IRL too, sites quickly ossify into groups of cliques that fight each other and fight outsiders. Wikipedia itself is precisely like that. You wouldn't believe, if you knew nothing about it, that people writing an encyclopaedia could find a way to create war, but WP is as much a social networking site or roleplaying game even as it is a project to make a book.

Everywhere I go on the 'Net, it's the same story. The liberal blogosphere is a vast echo chamber, in which the same dull, centrist voices cite each other's dull, ill-considered views, and dissent is usually squashed with the t-word. (The actual trolls are just as tedious as the bloggers, sadly; none has any subtlety or ability.) The Uselessnet has died on its arse. I used to frequent four groups: alt.writing has died completely; misc.writing has become ossified into gangs, which endlessly fuck each other, all comfortable in their slippers, all happy with their positions, the dynamic thrown down the drain--and outraging them has become so much less fun because there is no one left who can give it back with any vigour; alt.fiction.original always was a cosy Care Bear club, which defeats its purpose (to improve one another's writing) by abhorring any attempt to improve one another's writing; alt.fan.scarecrow has only a few members, now so cosy with each other that all they have left is gangfucking outsiders. This is the fate of any forum. Whatever spark they had dies, and they are left with their past glories: when we used to be fun, when we used to be good trolls, when we used to have something to offer.

People can go the same way, of course. They stop bothering; stop caring; stop wanting to enliven each other.

I can't be bothered with it. I'm sufficiently enervated already, without needing to be grouphugging people who just aren't all that loveable to begin with, but are familiar enough that you ignore the smell. I suppose I do understand the attraction, but I've always thought it's better to be loved for what you have to offer, and not just because you've been around for a long time.

But I don't want to slide together in comfort into oblivion. I want us to raise each other up, to be a challenge for each other, as well as a safe harbour whe the seas are rough (I don't deny the value of having friends, obv., particularly when life hurts, as it's wont to do). (That doesn't mean simply typing "you are a cunt" in my comments, Grant, which I take to be your stunted way of trying to do what I suggest, rather than a pathetic, years-long need to troll me because you are that sad: see? I have a heart generous enough at least to think you're not entirely the pathetic fuckwit you seem to be.)

If I was to indulge in an analogy, I think I'd go for this: we are at Klosters and we do not know how to ski. No one does. Some pretend but no one really does. Well, we could sit in our hut, with a nice fire going, and chat over a brandy while ignoring the storm outside, or we could strap ourselves into skis, get a good grip on each other, and throw ourselves onto the slope.

Or something like that. Anyway, you get the picture. I'll never do well at being in the gang because cosy fireside chats will never do as much for me as, well, burning the chalet down, frankly.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Vote Sambo

She's a bigot, a racist and a liar sounds like an endorsement to most Republicans though.

Friday, September 05, 2008

About Palin

There's a nasty misogynist air about the criticism of Palin in the "liberal" blogosphere, and this commentary is spot on. Part of the reason for picking a candidate so horrible is to make it all about Sarah, making it a contest between Palin and Obama, allowing McCain, a small man who should not even dream of being the president, to rise above it and pretend to be the bipartisan dream, rather than the mean hack who has thrown everything he once claimed to stand for overboard and adopted the right's memes so that he can get this close.

Yes, you read me right. I think Palin is a horrible candidate. I can imagine the leaders of the rest of the Western world going WTF at the thought of this woman becoming president. She is the embodiment of the frothing-at-the-mouth right, ultranationalist (although her nation seems to be Alaska, not the States), antichoice, proabstinence, creationist, a science denier. I don't care about her fucked-up family but she is clearly a ruthless shithead in her political dealings. Her much-vaunted "experience" has mostly consisted of exercising power without regard to ethics or decency. And running up debts. Which Republicans, purportedly fiscal conservatives, seem to love to do. (The whole thing about experience is bullshit, of course. It's just another way of saying he's "uppity": this nigra just doesn't have what it takes--yeah, we get it; what it takes is a white skin.)

The worst of all this is that McCain chose this woman. Okay, it's a bit like someone ate all the good chocolates, leaving him with the hard ones that no one really likes and a strawberry cream, which he plumped for. But still, he should be, and hopefully will be, slammed for his utter irresponsibility in choosing someone so unfitted for it. And she is. Picture those leaders with their heads in their hands, going WTF. It's not because she's unknown. If she was extremely talented, no one would care about that. But this is a woman you doubt could even find Iran on a map, and is still puzzled how the Russians got the tanks through Alabama without anyone stopping them. A liar, a cheat, a nobody. (And lest I be taken to be attacking her for her womanhood: I wouldn't be impressed if he'd picked a man whose claims included running up a $23 million debt as mayor of a village of 5000 and lying his way to the top in a state that even the hicks think is where the hicks live.)

McCain has burned all his bridges and shoved all his chips into getting his base out. It's slightly scary how many dumbarse women I've seen on TV, in the press and in blog comments saying how impressed they are with this woman who would, given her druthers, rob them of their equality and their rights over their own body, but I suppose the chick done good meme is powerful enough to blind some to what kind of chick we're actually dealing with.

This is the real McCain on view here: not an honourable, straight dealer. Not a hero, not a man who bucks the trend. A small man, a weasel, who when faced with the defeat of his candidacy, pulled out a joker that showed total disregard for honour, for his country, for anything but winning.

Well, no surprises. He's a Republican. Any shred of decency that party harboured they've long burned away. The worst you can say about Palin, really all you need say, is that she's a fine representative of the Republican Party.

Mr Say Anything.


Obama: The surge is working
Progressives: WAT

Is there nothing this guy won't sell out to get into power?

It's a big uppity yours to everyone who hates Bush's failed polciies
in Iraq. You're not worth as much to Obama as the few righties who've
been turned off by the Barracuda and her Sugar Daddy.

There is better security in some places in Iraq because all the other
side have now been murdered. Praising Bush for that is like praising
Truman for the drop in the crime rate in Hiroshima in August 1945 over

""The Iraqis still haven't taken responsibility."

CUNT. The Iraqis didn't invade the place and smash it up, you twat.