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I could write a post about the elaborately choreographed stage production that is the Democratic Convention, but Dr. Violet Socks has already said it for me. Suffice it to say, I spent last night trying to wash out the bitter taste in my mouth with a bottle of Australian shiraz. It didn’t work, and now I have a mild hangover seasoning my cynicism and disgust.

I remember my parents’ generation talking about Watergate, and how that destroyed their innocence about the state of politics. Now I know what that feels like. Hurray?

A friend came through with free tickets to a concert tonight, so I am saved from watching the Faux Coronation, but I doubt I’ll be missing much. Will Obama’s long-game be able to save himself from the hole his short-game dug him? I doubt it. I guess we’ll see.

Yeah. What she said.

Throughout the primaries, Hillary Clinton was demonized for the following:

  • Being a “Washington insider” (“OLD SKOOL WASHINGTON OMG!!1!”)
  • A hawk who voted for AUMF (“SHE VOTED FOR IRAQ OMG!!1!”)
  • For being “divisive” and not “post-partisan” enough (“SHE’S SO ABRASIVE AND COMBATIVE AND REPUBLICANS HATE HER OMG!!!1!”)
  • Being ‘racist’ (“‘FAIRY TALE!’ RFK ASSASSINATED IN JUNE! OMG!!1!”)
  • For giving Republicans ‘ammunition’ against Obama (“SHE CALLED HIM INEXPERIENCED WHATTABITCH OMG”!!1!)

So who does Obama pick as his running mate? Joe Biden. Joe Biden, who’s been in the Senate since Nixon, and is about as ‘old skool Washington’ as you can get. Joe Biden, who also voted for AUMF. Joe Biden, a partisan pitbull, like Clinton, who won’t be shy about attacking McCain. Joe Biden, who let kicked off his own presidential bid by calling Obama “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” Joe Biden, who said that Barack Obama was not ready yet to be president and that the Presidency is “not something that lends itself to on-the-job training.”

So, basically, Joe Biden is the living embodiment of everything they falsely tarred Hillary Clinton with – all those supposed negatives that Cheeto Eaters said made her unfit for VP shortlist, let alone the Office of the President – but, it’s not only OK, it’s celebrated.  Joe Biden, who hits all of Hillary’s supposed negatives, and none of her positives – like she’s not a racist, or a sexist, and, y’know she got 18 million votes in the primary and her selection could actually unite the party – and he’s the Hopey Changey VP! …Yeah. The new IOKIYAR is IOKIYNH (It’s OK If You’re Not Hillary), I suppose.

I didn’t think anything could bewilder me as much as the “Hillary isn’t even a Democrat!!!“/”You can’t vote for McCain! Hillary and Obama are practically the same candidate!” meme backflip of June, but…. Congratulations, Obamacans. You have truly reduced this election season to a theatre of the absurd.

edit, 2:03pm: As I strolled down to my local bakery for a tasty pastry, I realized I ought to clarify something. I’m thrilled Hillary will not be Obama’s VP. Thrilled. She’s better off in the Senate, at the very least, and from there she can be appointed to any number of positions to which she is eminently qualified (Senate Majority Leader, Supreme Court, etc.) I’m just saying, if you’re going to pick a VP candidate, it might be best to not a) pick the person who looks on paper to be a poor-man’s version of the person you’ve been vilifying for 6 months, and b) seems to contradict the message of your entire primary campaign.

Melissa McEwan, August 15, 2008:

Okay, this has got to be a joke, right? The DNC is just fucking with the press, who’s dumb enough to fall for the suggestion that Joe Fookin’ Biden is “believed to be at the top of” Obama’s veep shortlist. Because there’s no way in blue hell that Obama could be foolish enough to be seriously considering for one blinking second putting on his ticket the speech plagiarizing, bankruptcy bill voting, Bush-coddling, racist, sexist asshat Biden, a consummate gaffe machine who launched his own ’08 presidential bid with a screeching dog whistle that declared Obama “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

CNN, August 23, 2008:

Sen. Barack Obama has selected Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware as his running mate on the Democratic ticket for the White House, two Democratic sources told CNN.

No really. It’s the only way to explain crap like this:

Sen. Barack Obama’s team will continue its aggressive outreach to evangelical voters at the Democratic National Convention next week. Making a prime-time appearance Thursday night will be Joel C. Hunter, a Florida megachurch pastor who will deliver the convention’s closing prayer following Obama’s speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination…

Whether or not larger numbers of evangelical voters will join him in accepting the Democrats’ invitation is still unclear, Hunter said. But, he added, his presence in Denver shows the party’s recognition of “pro-life voices.”

Uh, Barack? “PRO-LIFE VOICES” ARE ALREADY BEING LISTENED TO.  You know who’s being ignored? The majority of the population who’re pro-choice, aka your base. Astraea, months ago:

I don’t know how many times I heard in the past six months that Obama needed to tiptoe around abortion so he wouldn’t scare away the Independents. (Of course, I was also told to trust that he would defend reproductive rights once he was in office, so I guess it’s okay to lie to get the Independents).

NARAL sponsored a poll that challenges these assumptions. In fact, NARAL has shown that Obama can gain not just Independent women, but Republican women as well by being strong on choice and making his position clear (not to mention us pesky Clinton supporters who aren’t ready to back Obama). By being a champion for choice and attacking McCain’s pro-life record, Obama could differentiate himself from a candidate portrayed by the media as a moderate and falsely attacked by pro-life groups as less than ideal. By standing up for choice, Obama would strengthen the Democratic party by winning the support of pro-choice women. NARAL lays all this out very clearly. Promoting a pro-choice message:

  • Moves the swing vote by drawing Independent women toward Obama.
  • Generates crossover support by moving pro-choice Republican women toward Obama.
  • Consolidates the base by bringing home Democratic women

NARAL’s poll focused on Republican and Independent women in important battleground states and found that when the difference between Obama and McCain’s positions on choice are stated clearly, Obama gains 13 points among pro-choice Independent women and 9 points among pro-choice Republican women. Overall, the impact on the general election is significant:

Once balanced information about Obama and McCain’s respective positions on choice is introduced, Obama gains 6 points, with his overall lead in these twelve states expanding from a net two points (47-45 perconet) to a net 13 points (53-40 percent).

That is huge. Also huge:

Among pro-choice Independent women, pro-choice Republican women, and liberal to moderate Republican women, the issue of abortion produces a larger advantage for Democrats than the economy, the war in Iraq, or health care.


Get that, Democrats? Pro-choice positions aren’t just window dressing for pro-choice women of any political persuasion.

Unfortunately, no, Astraea – the Democrats don’t get it. At all.

(My laptop arrived. If you couldn’t tell.)

“You’re feisty and I like that, but you’re wrong,” Obama responded to Timmons.

He just can’t help it, can he?

New computer still hasn’t arrived. Combined with a sudden burst of work craziness and my quadrennial Olympic Fever, not been posting much – though I am thrilled (though wary) with the news of Hillary’s name being put in nomination. Hurray!

I’m also fighting off a cold, so I’m feeling too fuzzy-headed to post anything of substance, but I’m amused to find that, in my semi-absence, I’ve attracted myself a libertarian troll who has a hard-on for my Chill Down the Spine post (my most linked-to entry to date, but I think he found it through the ‘corpocracy’ tag.)

There’s a couple of comments waiting in moderation, but I thought I’d share the more hilarious of the two:

Liberty is Freedom
http://adoxography | anitshallbedone@****.com | 207.200.116.131

There are only Two guarantees in America. Life and Liberty. One has to be willing to die to keep theseTwo Freedoms.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
As the citizens of America bow, on bended knee. To Powers of “CORPORACACY”. Its minions rally together with faith of their master’s power and authority. Dividing monetary gains of fortune and control. Drawing funds directly from individual citizens. By use of “Deception” “Deceit” and out rite lies. This is the representation of “Corporacacy” of the new world order. Power and control over the weakest element combined with acceptance.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The guarantees of Life and Liberty have been breached! What are you going to do about that? Manipulation instigated thru selective enforcement excusing all violators living in the honored grace of authorities. Stripping citizens of their basic right to LIBERTY. States failing to honor federal lease agreements and the federal government is letting states get away with it. What is up with that? Is our government asleep?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What has happened to independent self supporting America. This whole country, (it appears has jumped on the welfare wagon). We do not need this crap… Round em up ship em out. Shut down this socialist’s communist agenda. We do not need this crap… Congress and every politician have caused this debt. Every city should pay its own way. Every family should earn and pay their own way. A human’s labor is the most valuable asset they possess. Congress has stolen that. Give it back!

2008/08/10 at 1:54 PM

Hear that? Jump off the Welfare Wagon and bow down to the ‘Corporacacy’, bitchez! Oh, the lollerskates.

No postiness for awhile – I was away all weekend for an event in my hometown, and halfway through the weekend, my only two-year-old Vaio went kaput for the second time – and this time it wasn’t under warranty. After hearing that parts and labour would likely cost upwards of $300, I decided to cut my losses, and not an hour ago, I purchased zees, a Studio 17 from Dell:

Shiny!

Shiny!

In red.

Shexay!

Shexay!

As a bonus with my purchase, I got a deal on a Creative Zen media player, which is – I think – the mobile-video device I’ve been looking for forever:

So teeny!

So teeny!

Mama likes her toys. Yes, she does.

But lots of stuff happened this weekend/early this week! And I don’t want it to pass by unnoticed. And so, what Astraea and Melissa said.

A few hours before I hopped a bus home for the long weekend, a friend warned me (over IM) to be careful of psychopaths. Bemused, I flippantly replied, “Always do?”

She then asked: “What, you didn’t hear about Winnipeg?” Me: “Winnipeg?” At which point, she linked me this.

My trip home was uneventful, other than the unexpected delight of a friend from high school showing up to chat with me for the four-hour-tour of the more rural areas of our province. When I got home, however, I rushed to the internet to see if there were more updates on the story, and I don’t know what I expected when I clicked on the link “Bus beheading grabs world headlines” (besides horror and sympathy), but I certainly didn’t expect these choice comments:


Some of the U.S. reaction seemed to imply the incident is a sign of weakness in Canadian character.

“Canadians are wussies,” one opined.

“Way to exit the vehicle you panzies (sic). Yesterday when someone opened up shop with a 12 guauge (sic) shotgun in the Pennsylvania he got rushed by multiple people as he was still firing shots.”

Other readers were also disturbed by what they saw as a lack of action on the part of the passengers on the bus to stop the killing.

One wrote: “37 people didn’t have anything to throw at him? 37 people couldn’t have over powered one guy with a knife?”

“Isn’t this the same mentality that allowed 2 or 3 idiots with box cutters to take out the Twin Towers?”

A comment on Blogger News Network compared the incidents to the notorious Kitty Genovese case.

“They all `watched’ and the bus driver had to ask a trucker to help him keep the guy in the bus.”

“No handguns allowed in Canada, we know. But no woman had a purse to bonk him on the head?”

“No one bothered to throw a can of diet Coke at the guy’s head? Who was on the bus? The Old Ladies’ Home and Gardening Society?”

The Mo’Kelly Report website carried the story and a comment from a reader who insisted the incident was a terrorist act.

“Winnipeg is only a few miles from the U.S. border.”

“The idea was to get as close to the U.S. as he could, if not get into the U.S., then engage in the attack in front of a busload of people. This was another act of radical Islamic terrorism on North American soil.”

“Beheading is the trademark of al-Qaeda.”

In short: Canadians are cowardly and callous, old ladies even, and then a quick turn to “OMG TERRISTS.”

There is so much “WTF” in there, but first, I would like to point out that there is an assumption that everyone on the bus was of able mind and body to subdue a madman, which, in my experience? Not the case.  I take the bus frequently, and can tell you – leaving completely aside the issue of the inherent awkwardness of how a bus is designed impeding on any attempt to intervene, with the seats and the narrow aisle – that these are the types of people typically found on busses:

1. Teenagers who do not have cars/licenses.

2. Older middle-aged (if not elderly) people who do not feel comfortable driving long distances on highways.

3. Young mothers with children, and other young adults who can’t afford cars – mostly women, like myself.

And I’ve never had a bus driver who looked younger than 45/50 years old.

With these typical demographics, the victim – a 22-year-old young man – was probably the most likely person to be able to subdue a madman with a knife.

And he was a madman. Yes, we have handgun laws, but the other reason we don’t carry weapons? We’re not a particularly violent country. Sure, there are patches of gun violence, particularly in Toronto and Vancouver, but they’re usually highly localized and related to gangs/drug use: poor neighbourhoods and the club districts.  Aside from the hand-to-hand drunken fisticuffs likely to break out over a hockey game? One isn’t likely to come across actual violence in our quiet home and native land. You can talk about Kitty Genovese all you want, but (as the article notes) the shock, the likelihood that it was too late to save Tim McLean, and the fact that Vince Weigquang Li was totally out of his fucking mind? and threatening anyone who tried to get closer? I’d be off that bus lickety-split myself.

In conclusion: when I first read the story, and the description of Li’s demeanor, my immediate diagnosis was “full-on psychotic break.” It takes a special kind of paranoid, US-centric worldview to come up with “the idea was to get as close to the U.S. as he could, if not get into the U.S., then engage in the attack in front of a busload of people. This was another act of radical Islamic terrorism on North American soil.” Like, seriously, Paranoid American Dude, get the fuck over yourself. Not everything is About You.

R.I.P., Tim.