The honeymoon's over, folks. The euphoria over Richard Moon, of the University of Windsor -- the "independent" analyst of Section 13(1) of the Canadian "Human Rights" Commission charter that deals with hate speech -- sure didn't last long. Sure, he recommended the section be repealed.
Blazing Cat Fur reports on the Canadian "Human Rights" Commission report by Professor Richard Moon, of the University of Windsor, recommending that Section 13(1) of the CHRC charter be REPEALED.
Yes. OH, yes. Most DECIDEDLY ...... YES.
This is the section of the "law" that has allowed the CHRC to bankrupt and publicly humiliate ordinary, innocent citizens, and which has allowed it to attempt to mandate what anyone can say about anyone else -- completely OUTSIDE any kind of enforceable libel laws. In other words, censorship.
The recommendation by Dr. Moon is decidedly a HUGE boost in the right direction. But the possibility exists that the CHRC will simply weasel away from it, using language that will ensure they will "pay attention" to the recommendation without actually acting on it.
BCF posted a link to submit your comments directly to the CHRC relating to this issue.
Please!!!!! add your voice. Keep the pressure ON. Tell this outfit you will NOT put up with ANY infringement on free speech not accounted for by LAW. It doesn't matter what country you come from. Let's give our Canadian brothers and sisters every ounce of support we can.
Indiepundit gives the best take I've seen anywhere on the gay marriage debate:
"Nobody said this marriage debate would be easy. I guess it goes to the heart of the question of modernity. Dreher sees it intrinsically bound to the failures of our modern culture. Sullivan says Dreher's vision of a return to an older, simpler past is impossible. ...
"Essentially I think that the wrong questions are being asked. Modernity is full of moral qualms, but there are good things that have emerged as well. We need to find a way to determine what is truly good, universally good, that has been, perhaps, uncovered only now--like equal rights for women or gays--and what is bad, morally decrepit, or dangerous to a society."
Please read the whole post.
As I said before, humanity is evolving. We must carefully consider what is truly spiritual and what may be old rules that bear no relevance to the understanding of ourselves as humans that we recognize today.
"They've been living on borrowed time for the better part of two decades, thanks to advertisers willing to toss in more cash each year even as ratings slowly trended ever lower.
"But with the economy in a tailspin -- and the Big Three auto manufacturers, some of TV's best advertisers, near ruin -- the biz may finally have to pull the emergency cord.
"'This day was going to come,' says one conglom bigwig. 'I don't think the business can be sustained without real change at this juncture. ... We have a gun to all of our heads.'"
Do tell. My, my.
Now, it's because of you network idiots I don't have TV at all -- haven't had for five years now, and I don't miss it. But if you were to start broadcasting REAL NEWS for a change, and INTELLIGENT SHOWS, I might return.
But from the sounds of that Variety article, you're offering me infomercials. Feh.
Charles Henry at Covenant Zone slices away at just how "intellectualism" is defined and perceived, vis-a-vis the recent election of Barack Obama as the new U.S. president. The general (breathless) perception among the MSM seems to be our next president is coming into office with heavy-weight "intellectual" credentials. (This seems to somehow comfort people.) But is he?
"Everything old is new again, to the new mind. I would expect that for as long as there have been leaders, there has been an accompanying argument about how to measure the intelligence of these leaders, and how to even agree on what is being measured when we talk about a leader’s 'intelligence'.
"The recent US presidential campaign brought forth many attempts to explore and possibly define terms we tend to view too narrowly, words with worlds of meaning behind them; for example, 'expertise', 'intelligence', and 'wisdom'."
Wilson, for example, was an Intellectual par extraordinaire, as a former academic. (Mr. Ivory Tower was basically responsible for the loss of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers' lives, as he dithered and dallied about taking a moral stand until he finally did.) Other presidents, however, will surprise you with the depth of their intellectual pursuits: Truman, widely seen as a "bumpkin," intellectually speaking, read Thucydides and Cicero for inspiration. (Charles Henry cites Thomas Sowell's excellent essay "Intellectuals.")
Here's the thing: We're all impressed by people who appear to be smarter than we are. We WANT our leaders to be smarter than we are. Usually, we accept the fact they're not nerds, and applaud whichever managerial skills they bring into office that will ensure enough smart people are in key positions to more or less move us all forward. But when we get a leader who's perceived as a "smart" person, we're instantly comforted, especially in these uncertain times. We approve of them in advance of their actions. (Never a good idea.)
George Bush is seen as Not Smart. AAANK! Outta here. Obama is seen as Smart. AHHHH! Instant gratification.
Well, as anyone who has microwaved a so-called gourmet dinner can tell you, it never tastes like what we expect it to. It's nuked, for one thing. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
If you ask me, true intellectualism is not probing history and knowledge down to the quark level. It's knowing how to surf life, with all its demands and complexities, such that you are reasonably happy, spiritually fulfilled and other people are better off because you've helped them live their own lives -- and having a constant, and unsated, curiosity about life itself.
This is how I will measure president-elect Obama -- not on his intellectual "credentials."
And it seems to me he's got a lot to learn from Bumpkin Truman right there.
"Take a good, long, look at this ballot and tell me how it is possibly not a vote for Norm Coleman in the Minnesota State Senate race.
"What possible scenarios could explain this ballot's existence in a supposedly good, decent, and well ordered universe if it is not a vote for Norm Coleman? Did the voter have a seizure as he entered the voting booth, pen in hand, yet somehow managed to accidentally submit his ballot to the machine as the poll monitors frantically tried to stop him from swallowing his tongue?"
Yet, this is one of the ballots being disputed in Minnesota's Senate recount by funny-once-for-about-15-minutes Al Franken.
The winners were all well and truly deserving. Please check their blogs out.
As far as I can tell, Yours Truly garnered a respectable 2 percent of the vote for Best Gal Infidel Blogger. Debbie Schlussel won, and deservedly so, as she's a crackerjack opinionator, but the field included some stellar bloggers. Me? I'm still on Cloud 9 simply for being nominated. I love being an infidel. I'm going to have a badge made, one of these days. So, in that spirit, I'll have to strive for a higher ranking on the infidel-o-meter for next year's awards competition!
WHERE to begin on this magical country. Nowhere else do you get so much in so little a place. History? Architecture? Natural beauty? Contributions to culture? Way off the scale. That's only scratching the surface. And always, Scotland keeps surprising, just when you think you've got the country neatly pigeonholed in cliches.
For instance, Loch Lomond. You know, "You take the high road, and I'll take the low road" etc. Did anyone ever stop and realize how staggeringly beautiful Loch Lomond really IS?
(image credit: britishcouncil.org) Here's a stalwart lad who is, basically, throwing a TREE. Other cultures celebrate strength by, I dunno, brandishing yer six-iron, or putting on scary costumes, or batting a goat around. Scots prove STRENGTH. Period. End of story.
Let's move on to the under-the-kilt thing (please! *wink*):
(image credit: ripnet.com)
(Okay, so that part is true. Ah. Yes. Mmm-hmm.)
Now, being an absolute worshipper at the shrine of history -- and romance -- long ago, I succumbed to the mystique that surrounds Mary Queen of Scots, and Holyrood House -- which, in its own right, could consume eons of meditation:
(image credit: wikimedia.org)
But Scotland isn't just its history. Scots, like all of us, live, grow, learn.
I've often wondered what it must be like, being from a country with such long, rich, historical tradition, and being labeled -- and perceived -- by same. The truth is, Scots are people, too. Scots worry about paying their mortgages, and making sure dinner is on the table.
With a cool accent :)
(image credit: about.com)
In truth, since most of the world only sees Scotland through historical cliches, the perception is different from actual reality. You only have to see "Trainspotters" to know Scots suffer from the same ills as anyone else. And yet ... and yet ....
I can confidently destroy the popular myth that Scots are dour, cheap, unimaginative, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseam. Scots know how to surf.
Take a look at this classroom. THIS is the rebuttal against popular perception. Today's Scots are not only open to change -- despite, perhaps, their own reluctance -- but embracing it, because Scots KNOW HOW TO SURF. They always have, and always will.
(Even though the waves around the Shetlands et al. might actually kill them, LOL :)
I mean, just LOOK at these kids. They are the new Scotland. They're neither "dour," nor "cheap," nor any other cliche. They are Scots.
(image credit: scottishyouthparliament.org.uk)
My dear mom is a native of Nova Scotia -- "New Scotland" -- in Canada. She inherited the tradition of thrift -- which, when all is said and done, is Scotland's greatest contribution to humanity.
"Thrift" means using every resource as wisely as you can. It must never be confused with "meanness." Please meditate on that, when glibly laughing at anyone for being "Scotch." Scots have the patent on everyday human wisdom. My mom cheerfully washed and ironed her three dresses each week, working her way through college during the depression, because you really don't NEED more than three dresses.
And, finally, I love Scots because:
My Maggie was an exchange student who was able to visit Scotland a couple of years ago, and she shared this with me:
She was on the tube in London, and she happened to engage a young Scot lad in conversation. She said: "I LOVE your accent." And he said: "Yeers is bay-ter."
So, sue me, but I'm finding the current financial crisis interesting, more than scary.
Sure, the house of cards is collapsing, even as I type this. But, well, I knew it was going to happen -- as did Karmasurfer --
But, like everyone else trying to make sense of "credit default swap" and all the other heretofore incomprehensible, and shadowy, mechanisms of finance, I'd like to know JUST WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING.
We've been saving food, water and other necessaries for at least a year. We're good, should the balloon truly go up. But we don't want to give up on the status quo just yet -- we want to surf, and, God willing, not wipe out.
In that spirit, check out this super explanation of just what the threat might entail from The New Republic, under the COMPLETELY AWESOME HEADLINE* of "Debt Man Walking."
*other awesome headlines of yore: The Russian president objecting to invading Iraq: "Putin on the Fritz" -- and, on an art theft from the Louvre, "Take the Monet and Run."
Though the other candidates are all stalwart warriors against insanity, my vote had to go to Blazing Cat Fur for Category 1, Blogger most likely to face a Section 13(1) complaint. Believe you me, that name is well-deserved :)
"The most shocking aspect of Aqsa Parvez's murder is not that it was allegedly committed by her closest male relatives in an 'honour killing.' No, the most shocking thing is that women like Farrah Khan -- a member of a group for young Muslim women called Our Collective Dreams -- are in a complete state of denial about what motivates these crimes.
"Instead of showing support for the victims and disgust toward their murderers, Ms. Khan and others end up misdirecting their wrath at those who dare to see the obvious -- the religious and cultural underpinnings of these despicable and dishonourable acts."
(In other words, you're racist and Islamophobic for blaming someone for murder. Okay, guilty as charged.)
There's so much bloggy goodness at BCF (and, in fairness, to the other nominees).
However, Yours Truly is also nominated in Category 4, Favourite Gal Infidel Blogger. (I blush!)
Vote early and vote often!
UPDATE: Ugh, link to Infidel Blogging Awards up before was wrong -- fixed now.
Col. Robert Neville finds depressing parallels between Jackie O chic and the upcoming First Lady, noting, in his own inimitable fashion, the usual rock-and-hard-place conclusion:
"Thinks: 'It's hard enough keeping up this ridiculous bob! So there's no way I'm marrying a fat Greek shipping magnate!' Spot the difference. That’s right. Jackie O said almost nothing of interest that anyone remembers. Michelle Obama says plenty of crap that's hard to forget. You be the judge of which is the more enjoyable experience."
The Colonel pursues further tangents. But I was struck by the comparison.
(image credit: jezebel.com)
Now, in fairness, Mrs. Obama has generally dressed quite tastefully, in my opinion, a few outfits notwithstanding. (My mom, whose taste has always been impeccable -- my own lamentable fashion sense notwithstanding -- sniffed at this ensemble, calling it "Harlem 'chic'-anery off the rack:")
(image credit: swamppolitics.com)
Okay, so Michelle Obama's no Jackie. Very few will ever have the former First Lady's classic fashion intuition. But Jackie was a lady in more ways than simply dressing well. She knew that diplomacy was as much a mark of a lady -- or, for that matter, a gentleman -- than anything.
Many find the forthcoming First Lady's candor refreshing. Many others find it crass, insensitive and self-serving.
Clothing, diplomacy and everything else aside -- am I the only one who's noticed a distinct resemblance between Michelle Obama and stellar actress Sigourney Weaver?
(image credit: inyourface.freedomblogging.com)
(image credit: www.umes.edu)
Not sure Ms. Weaver -- an all-time favorite of mine -- would appreciate the comparison. But, well ...
Someone I deeply respect is Gay Patriot -- both for his invaluable insight into what it means to be a gay American, and for his steadfast conservatism. Therefore, it was to him I turned when pondering the issue of gay marriage.
Here's my own viewpoint on gays: Gay people are normal. They're simply sexually oriented toward the same sex.
Here's my viewpoint on marriage: It is a spiritual compact -- quite apart from, and more than, the civil and legal aspects that accompany it. Furthermore, its spiritual nature is borne of historical legal tradition stretching back to when Homo Sapiens first organized communities.
To me, this is the invisible barrier gays are butting up against when trying to convince the prevailing culture that they ought to be able to be ~married~ in the same sense as men and women.
Quite simply, the traditional spiritual tradition -- across all cultures -- clearly states that a spiritual union can ONLY take place between a man and a woman. So ... in order to enjoy proper recognition of properly spiritual marriage, the task of gays is to up-end human history. And human belief. And change it.
Not an easy task, to say the least.
Me? I believe there is a way forward, spiritually. I believe it was PEOPLE, and not Jesus Christ Himself, who forbade such unions. I believe that all who truly love should be able to consecrate their union.
But it's going to take time, and a lot of soul-searching on the part of everyone (read: pretty much everyone), to find the courage to question and examine Biblical texts -- first and foremost -- and then to wait for insight to come, from which change will come.
Everyone lauds the American Constitution as a baseline standard, but flexible, template for guiding our national way forward. Daily challenges to its limits are expected. Why are we afraid to apply the same scrutiny to the Bible?
The Bible was given to us as a moral compass. Its basic truths will last forever. But what if the people who wrote its texts had as their lens base, human standards, rather than love-inspired, divinely guided acceptance of EVERYONE (he-LOOO our Lord Jesus)? Are we to go out and smite Philistines with the jawbone of an ass if they offend us? Does this include gays?
Here is where I depart from a lot of my fellow Christians. Me, I take our Lord Jesus' ACTUAL WORDS as my base standard, rather than all the "smiting hip and thigh" stuff from the Old Testament. Jesus came to fulfill the INTENT of the law. Not the letter.
The letter of the Biblical law sez: Gays are bad. The intent sez: We are ALL good.
So, I guess my point is, gays ought to be able to be married, and spiritually bond like we all want to -- but 1) They've got a load of history and tradition to navigate first, and 2) They should realize this is why people don't want them to get married, and it is going to take TIME to change.
"As the media keeps gushing on about how America has finally adopted tolerance as the great virtue, and that we're all united now, let's consider the Brave Catherine Vogt Experiment. ...
"(J)ust before the election, Catherine consulted with her history teacher, then bravely wore a unique T-shirt to school and recorded the comments of teachers and students in her journal. The T-shirt bore the simple yet quite subversive words drawn with a red marker: 'McCain Girl.' ...
"'One person told me to go die. It was a lot of dying. A lot of comments about how I should be killed,' Catherine said, of the tolerance in Oak Park."
Ah. Yes. We're all united, now.
With unity like this, who needs enemies?
What a brave girl. And a journalist to put the rest of them to shame.
You haven't been paying attention to history. Remember "Blowin' In The Wind"? Specifically, the line, "When will they ever learn?"
The answer, my friend, newly plucked out of the wind, is "Never."
Col. Robert Neville (who always dresses for dinner) sez:
"It's always twilight of the mind in the dimming intellectual and moral light of the Left Liberal. 'Look out, Barry! The white girl in the Santa suit has a gun!' ...
"Don’t get me wrong. I’ve spent plenty of time making a damn fine mess of things myself. But what amazes me, though, is people who have the time, money, opportunity and the responsibility to know better, but don’t. Not a bit. Boobs so incurious, so untouchable and so unchallenged, that they’re naturally very highly paid and lauded."
(Hahahahaha! Sorry, couldn't help it *grin*)
The Colonel takes us down the rabbit hole with Alice -- in this case, Alice Walker, sycophant-extraordinaire of leftism -- and slices, dices and juliennes her deftly in his own inimitable fashion. Viz:
"Alice has just written a preposterous "Open Letter" to her Lord and Saviour, Barack Hussein Obama. ...
"Alice doesn’t live in reality anymore. Nope. She’s inhabiting that absurd netherworld PC construct where, as Mark Steyn has described, the world is seen as merely a series of grievances that must all be taken equally seriously, unless of course they’re white, Western, Christian, working class and American."
The Colonel's patience is wearing thin. He sez:
"Now, I've Fisked as much as I cold stand. I deserve a fucking medal. Be warned, though. Alice’s sycophantic, uber-butt kissing and absurd and laughable prose is more turgid, unreadable and seemingly stoned, than if a Frat party of Junior Communists wrote Hallmark Cards, after scoring ten kilos of Colombian Gold, and choofing it down faster than Barry Obama the undergrad."
(Brief station break while I recover from appreciative laughter)
So, there you have it, friends. A Trifecta: 1) An absolute laser eye on everything wrong with leftist stupidity; 2) Convincing cultural and historical insight into same; and 3) A thumping good laugh.
Maybe I should charge a fee for this valuable insight. Alas, I've already thrown myself at the Colonel's feet, begging for marriage, to no avail. Ah, well, if at first you don't succeed, and all that :)
I LOVE discoveries. When I saw I'd gotten a hit from someone in Réunion, I just had to investigate. And WHAT a find :)
This beautiful island is located near Mauritius. Wikipedia describes it thusly:
"Saint-Denis (or unofficially Saint-Denis de la Réunion for disambiguation) is the préfecture (administrative capital) of the French overseas région and overseas département of Réunion, in the Indian Ocean.
"Saint-Denis is the most populous commune in the French overseas departments. At the 1999 census, there were 158,139 inhabitants in the urban area of Saint-Denis, 131,557 of whom lived in the city (commune) of Saint-Denis proper and the remainder in the neighbouring commune of Sainte-Marie."
How cool is that -- it's a commune! (Okay, okay, but still ...)
(image credit: phonebookoftheworld.com)
And talk about colorful and interesting architecture -- check out City Hall:
(image credit: pbase.com)
And it's nice to know the people can be party animals, too :) --
Leave it to Oz writers like Tim Blair to correctly interpret what's behind the wildly swinging pendulum that is reaction to the election of Barack Obama (and it doesn't say much for our OWN so-called journalists):
"Time (M)agazine’s Nancy Gibbs hails the Almighty O:
'Some princes are born in palaces. Some are born in mangers. But a few are born in the imagination, out of scraps of history and hope. Barack Obama never talks about how people see him …'
"Time Inc.’s income in the most recent quarter dropped 35.5 per cent relative to 2007. Pray to Prince Obama. Some are born in Hawaii.
"UPDATE. The SMH’s Aaron Timms seems a little weary of political prince-making.
(Hahahahahaha! I am SO GROOVING on Time Magazine tanking. Filthy hypocrites. Welcome to the bread line, dawgs.)
*Sigh.* Pretty bad when Oz eclipses our own press. I'm not surprised. And I'm more than pleased. I celebrate real journalists wherever they come from, and, like anyone else, want the true story. (Plus, Oz rocks, rolls and rules. But nevermindthatnow.)
"BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Sunnis and Shi'ites made an emotional reach across the sectarian divide on Tuesday, reopening a Baghdad bridge between the two communities closed since a 2005 stampede, the deadliest incident of the war."
"It had been closed since 2005 when rumors of a suicide bombing panicked thousands of Shi'ites crossing the bridge for a pilgrimage to the Kadhimiya shrine. About one thousand people died in that stampede, clogging the river below with corpses.
"But on Tuesday Sunni children from Adhamiya raced to see their Shi'ite friends in Kadhimiya. Women from the two communities met up on the bridge, kissing and hugging each other with joy."
Okay, so the blogosphere has noticed that the President-Elect has quickly airbrushed language from his "Change" website, specifically about community service and the fact that young Americans may be REQUIRED to put out X number of hours.
(Got that? Not "requested" -- not "encouraged" -- but REQUIRED. As in law.)
Well, as usual, A Missourian at An Advocate For The Republic puts his own, superbly dry spin on things. Commenting on the airbrushing, he said:
"Perhaps someone in the Obama camp glanced at the 13th amendment:
'Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime where of the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. . .'"
The title of his post? "You'd Think That Amendment Would Be His Favorite ..."
"According to their press release, the wreath is intended to:
'commemorate the 60th anniversary of the United Nations'Universal Declaration of Human Rights.'
"Funny, most ordinary Canadians see Remembrance Day as a chance to honor those who fought to preserve our freedoms -- not to commemorate a meaningless scrap of paper issued by a private club for dictators.
"The CHRC's publicity stunt is especially galling considering how many Canadian citizens are now under life-time speech bans imposed by these 'human rights' tribunals, merely for exercising their God-given (not UN given) rights of free speech, assembly and worship."
Weasels. Slime. Parasites.
BCF includes links for all Canadians (hell, anyone who still cares about veterans, their sacrifices, and free speech) to let Members of Parliament know how they feel about this travesty. Please add your voice.
"The United States, having for the most part a deeply conservative people, had until now just about stood out against many of the mistakes which have ruined so much of the rest of the world.
"Suspicious of welfare addiction, feeble justice and high taxes, totally committed to preserving its own national sovereignty, unabashedly Christian in a world part secular and part Muslim, suspicious of the Great Global Warming panic, it was unique.
"These strengths had been fading for some time, mainly due to poorly controlled mass immigration and to the march of political correctness. They had also been weakened by the failure of America’s conservative party – the Republicans – to fight on the cultural and moral fronts.
"They preferred to posture on the world stage. Scared of confronting Left-wing teachers and sexual revolutionaries at home, they could order soldiers to be brave on their behalf in far-off deserts. And now the US, like Britain before it, has begun the long slow descent into the Third World. How sad.
Tonight, in recognition of Barack Obama's historic win of the presidency, I'd like to celebrate three people: William of Ockham, the Buddha, and Joe the Plumber.
What do these three have in common, and what do they have to do with President-Elect Obama? I'll get to that.
William of Ockham is famous for his dictum that simplest is best. The Buddha is famous for his recognition that life is what we perceive it to be. Joe the Plumber is famous for his concern that tax hikes might make the pursuit of his dream impossible.
At the heart of all three is the idea that life is all about possibilities. It can be described thusly: A hope for better things -- an expectation that it is possible -- a clear path to accomplish it - and the will to make it happen. QED.
Leftist ideology is all about how bad life is. Conservative ideology is all about the foregoing. Which mindset truly sets the stage for "change?"
Leftists are all about self-flagellation. Oh, we've been so BAD, throughout history. Anything GOOD comes about after we admit how BAD we've been.
Pardon me. Only this will truly suffice: Fuck that. Set yourself up for failure, using past failure as a model, and only failure will result.
We'll see how the leftist mindset will channel -- or roadblock (thinks me) -- future advancement. Obama and the Democrats are at the helm.
Can they convince us that it's WORTH moving forward at all, in life? We'll see.
"Yes it does, yes it does! Wonderful, beautiful. If veteran feminists didn't scare me, I might even be mildly attracted."
(Hahahahaha! It took me a few minutes to recover from hearty appreciative laughter to try and get back on tangent :)
It turns out that at least one prominent feminist -- Canadian Quebecoise Diane Guilbault -- takes her fellow feminists to task in a new book, "Démocratie et égalité des sexes," for willfully turning a blind eye to the oppression of women that headscarves ultimately represent.
"In an unusual act of non-solidarity, a veteran Quebec feminist has publicly attacked her peers on the political left who, she says, undermine women's rights by supporting religious accommodations like the Muslim headscarf."
(Why it should be "an unusual act of non-solidarity" is, perhaps, a topic for another discussion.)
Hip, hip, hooray! Now, girls -- can we please ALL start seeing reason, now?
anonymous commented thusly at my All That Glitters Is NOT Gold post:
"maybe you will always be a self-obsessed adolescent crank, eowyn, but thankfully you no longer represent the majority in the u.s. your country has matured in this election in ways you personally might never achieve. but there is always hope, and always the ability to learn. here's an opportunity for you to grow up, and learn more about obama:
Okay, point one: Guessing you're British, or at least not a U.S. national, I'm not so sure asserting yourself as more knowledgeable or authorative than a U.S. national to make assumptions about U.S. politics is either wise or productive. (I sometimes have plenty to say about British politics, but you will notice that I back up my observations with British sources.)
Point two: Invective like "adolescent crank" not only is discourteous, but also unproductive. It's an instant guarantee that, were I really an "adolescent crank," I'd hurl back more invective, and true discourse would grind to a halt. And if I weren't, I'd make the assumption that you can't argue WITHOUT resorting to invective, and I'd have to ask myself whether I want to make the effort to go further.
As an illustrating example, my friend E.D. Kain, of Neoconstant and Indiepundit, once said to me that he considers posting under the moniker "anonymous" craven, if not cowardly. I replied that there are some isolated incidences in which it's necessary to post so; but we both agreed (as does the blogosphere at large) that a good reason notwithstanding, most people's credibility meter plunges when an anonymous makes an assertion about something. But you notice I'm not accusing you of cowardice. I'm even making the effort to assign you equal credibility with more openly named posters, so we can move the discourse forward.
Now. Having said that, I watched the video at the link you shared. It was quite well done, as is everything produced in Britain, by and large -- (and I lived there three years, so I feel confident in making that assertion) -- and factual, insofar as some aspects of Obama's life history go. But here's one rub:
I searched guardian.co.uk for John McCain Road White House after watching the video, to see whether the Guardian had sponsored a similar (and complimentary) documentary on Obama's opponent. After four pages of links to mostly Obama stories, I gave up.
Now, if these observations make me an "adolescent crank," I can only say this: Adolescent? Being on the wrong side of teenage, don't I wish! Crank? Guilty as charged, on some days. Send the constabulary right over. I'll meekly surrender.
Add to that the charge of First Degree Wishing Not Only To Make An Observation, But Also Learn Something Without Having To Sift Through The Invective Filter First.
"I would have enjoyed watching lefty heads explode if McCain had won. But we're going to see lefty heads exploding anyway; it's just going to take longer.
"In the mean time [sic], those of us who didn't want Obama to be president have to accept that he is. And let's not give in to the kind of paranoid fever dreams that have consumed the left for the last 8 years. Let us collectively take a vow tonight: no 'Obama derangement syndrome'. Obama is a politician. He isn't the devil incarnate."
I disagree only somewhat. Eternal optimist that I am (despite having been a journalist), I'm willing to give the new Democratic rulership a chance. They'll not have too big a window, however. The minute some flagrant abuse takes place, a-la Bill Clinton lying under oath, and the press glosses over it (again), I'm gone.
But as Den Beste said: "It is no longer possible for anyone to deny that the MSM is heavily biased. The MSM have been biased for decades but managed an illusion of fairness. That is no longer possible; the MSM have squandered their credibility during this campaign. They'll never get that credibility back again." (And how, brother.)
So, we'll see.
UPDATE: Here's a statement from fellow conservative IndiePundit: Warning! Inflammatory! Guaranteed to fuel OSD! (//sarcasm on)
"I think this election is as much a referendum on George W. Bush and the failed policies of his administration as anything else.
"It's also, as many pundits have put it, a transformational election. Nobody, regardless of political affiliation, can deny that. America has just elected the first Black President in its history. For the first time ever we have someone other than an old white guy at the helm--and that, in and of itself, is pretty damn cool.
"So while I may not agree with Senator Obama on many things, I'm still filled with pride that America has come as far as it has."
Yup. Pretty nasty. Right on a par with Chimpy McHitlerBurton.
Thanks, Erik, for the REAL assessment. You're absolutely right. Let's celebrate history.
... And all you who look to America to solve your Oedipal, or whatever, problems, you will NOT find resolution.
(Why, oh, WHY, are WE suddenly the answer to why anyone wakes up pissed off today.)
As an American,I know our election is important.
Furthermore, I know why any thinking person, folllowing these curls, care.
I cannot give you gurantees. What I CAN give you is why I, as an American, can guarantee that you, as an observer, can count on what I have to say, as an American, that will guarantee what you hope for (or whomever), as a basis of where America will go tomorrow.
Your best hope?
Depends on what you want, my friend. Do you need a guarantee the Al-Qaida won't kill your cousin in Afghanistan tomorrow? I caan't give you that. But I can guarantee you that if someone is threatening him there right now, he will have advance warning.
For decades now, America has been sort of the insurance agency that the rest of the world can count on that, basically, some thug can't hack your arms off if you disagree.
If we can't make sure that happens in your country, you can at least count on us to try and make sure that doesn't happen.
Well ... that kind of guarantee doesn't come automatically. It takes conviction -- it takes muscle -- and it takes evolution.
We here in America know we're still adolescents on the world stage. We HAVEN'T learned the lessons of Machiavelli, Adam Smith, Rousseau, and the rest. The whole POINT of our country is we ARE adolescents on the learning curve.
By and large, we've tried to do the right thing. Of course, we don't, all the time. But all the while, we've tried to keep the over-riding principle in mind:
WE WANT TO DO THE RIGHT THING.
And that principle, even in this election, in the climate of insecurity, guides us.
Will we do the right thing? In days of yore, I would have said yes, absolutely, we'll fix the immediate problem and deal with the fallout ASAP. But now? We're experiencing a crisis of confidence.
I would like to tell all of any readers that yes, ALL Americans will stand behind you, if you choose the right path for your particular situation. Do you live in India? We will stand behind democratic elections. Give us the names of your candidates, and we will research them, and give you our advice. But we will encourage you to be aware that certain paths lead to certain ends, democracy-wise.
But history, and current politics, are more complicated. Americans do NOT want to be associated, any more, with "nation building." (Give me a @#$ break.)
What we want is everyone working together.
~paraphrasing from The Police~ .... ~Sending Out An SOS~
... and who'da thunk it. I live in an extremely rural area -- but they were coming out of the woodwork tonight. Last election, we were in and out in a matter of minutes -- it took an hour this time around.
I expect Pennsylvania will go for Obama; not so sure about my area. There seemed to be a lot of McCain fans there tonight.
And, as we don't have TV, and I don't want to wait until the wee sma's to find out the winner, I will wait till tomorrow.
The Daughters of the American Revolution teaming up with Harley-Davidson bikers? Nope, not a sign of the End Of Times -- but an effort to help our troops, specifically the severely wounded ones, for the holidays. (via Instapundit)
I collected stuff from my old job at The News-Item in Shamokin, PA, to send to the troops, and what a satisfying "chore" it was. Here's me, a cynical and selfish journalist, trying to talk even more cynical and selfish fellow journalists into parting with their (meager) cash. But they did it, even though most of them were against the war. We took a picture of ourselves and sent it in the box, along with a personal letter. It made us all feel, if only for a short while, that, yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus.
We never got an acknowledgement, and that led to a bit of griping. But the way I see it, it's enough to know that our effort did, in fact, make life just a bit easier for the guys and gals doing such a monumental job.
So here I am at a new job, with potentially great resources at my command to do the same thing. The Boss is committed to giving our Iraq veterans who work here lots of recognition. The pockets are potentially a LOT deeper than at the poor little local newspaper.