Daily Archives: October 17, 2008

Presidential Endorsement Race

Yesterday, it was the Washington Post. That was to be expected. As was the endorsement from the L.A. Times today. But most amazingly, the Chicago Tribune also weighed in today with its endorsement for Obama.

To understand the significance of this, you should know that the paper’s editorial board is decidedly and unabashedly conservative in nature and that this is the very first time the newspaper has endorsed a Democrat for president since the paper was founded in 1847.

“We have tremendous confidence in his intellectual rigor, his moral compass and his ability to make sound, thoughtful, careful decisions,” the Trib Board writes, adding that, based on having “watched him, worked with him, argued with him as he rose from an effective state senator to an inspiring U.S. senator to the Democratic Party’s nominee for president,” in their reassuring estimation: “He is ready.”

The Trib somewhat grandly concludes: “We are proud to add Barack Obama’s name to Lincoln’s in the list of people the Tribune has endorsed for president of the United States.” Ouch! The perfect circle from the launch of the campaign in Springfield to an unqualified endorsement and direct linkage from a newspaper that gave Lincoln the nod. So there you have it — yet another giant nail convincingly pounded into the coffin of the doomed McCain campaign.

If you care, the folks at Editor & Publisher have a running tally of endorsements. The current score stands at Obama with 57 newspapers (approx. 7 million circulation) and McCain with 16 newspapers (1.5 million circulation).

Update: The other Chicago daily, the Sun Times came out this morning with their endorsement for the that city’s “adopted son” saying that: “He has the unique background, superior intellect, sound judgment and first-rate temperament to lead our nation in difficult times.”

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Filed under 2008 US Election

The Great Dictator, etc.

A thread for ranting… should you feel the need for whatever reason.

Chaplin’s stirring speech from The Great Dictator set to music.

“I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible — Jew, Gentile — black man — white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness — not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there’s room for everyone and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls — has barricaded the world with hate — has goose—stepped us into misery and bloodshed.

We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man — cries for universal brotherhood — for the unity of us all.

Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world — millions of despairing men, women, and little children — victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say: ‘Do not despair.’ The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed — the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes — men who despise you and enslave you — who regiment your lives — tell you what to do — what to think and what to feel! Who drill you — diet you — treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men — machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don’t hate, only the unloved hate.

Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! You, the people, have the power — The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful — to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy — let us use that power — let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world — a decent world that will give men a chance to work — that will give youth a future and old age a security.

By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world — to do away with national barriers — to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason — a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us unite!

Maybe it’s just me, but I always find this very affecting, stirring, etc.

An here’s a couple more of my fave videos…

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Filed under Activism

“Non-Stop Hilarity”

McCain and Obama took time out of their campaign schedules to attend the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner in New York. They should have broadcast this on television instead of that insufferable so-called debate featuring “Joe the Plumber” and other such nonsense.

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Filed under 2008 US Election, Humour

Palin Loves the “Energy” at Rallies!

Sarah Palin interviewed on WRAL TV in North Carolina, October 16, 2008:

From the Washington Post’s campaign diary wherein we learn that her staff shield her from watching the news because it can be “depressing” gosh darn it:

“But yeah, sometimes you do get depressed watching what it is that they’re reporting and the spin and some of the distortion of what our message is and what we stand for. Sometimes that, that gets draining,” she continued. “But it’s at events like these and our rallies that we are so energized and inspired and we know that we are not alone. We feel your strength and we feel the power of prayer, so many of you tell us that you are praying for us and praying for our country and that’s why we so appreciate you being here.”

Hmmm. Maybe they can pray for the elimination of the $56 trillion national debt while they’re at it.

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Filed under 2008 US Election

Why Young People Don’t Vote

I’ve been following Dan Speerin’s caustic observations on the election and they were one of the brighter things about the whole dreary affair. Here, he talks about the perennial difficulty that politicians and the media seem to have with the supposedly feckless “youth vote”…

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Filed under 2008 Canadian Election

Meanwhile… in Afghanistan

Hey “Blogging Tories”… how’s that whole deal going? Still keen on it, are you? It’s been a while since Peter Mackay or the former “special advisor” to the PM from Mississauga-Streetsville with his mysterious coloring briefing book told us about the amazing “progress” being achieved at the cost of $20 billion or so.

Funny, but I don’t hear much dire talk about “fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here” etc. any more these days. Not much vigor for rah-rah “Red Day” posturing in support of the troops. Where’s all the gung-ho enthusiasm and eager willingness to sink the Canadian military into the quicksand of a futile commitment half way around the world, lasting ten, twenty, or thirty years in the service of some great interventionist, ideologically-driven cause; spreading democracy, nation-building, bolstering NATO, and so on… Gosh, if only someone could have seen this coming!

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Filed under Afghanistan War

On Track… For Deficits!

Colour me surprised. Not.

According to this article in the Globe & Mail this morning, TD’s chief economist Don Drummond forecasts a balanced budget for the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2009, but projects a deficit of $10.4-billion in the next fiscal year and… well, he has some figures beyond that for subsequent years, but I wouldn’t put too much stock in those because that’s just abstruse financial fortune-telling more than anything else.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone in the least and it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it underlines a fundamental problem that we really need to come to terms with; and that is dealing realistically with issues rather than always framing them in a purely “political” context of what’s most saleable to voters. Perhaps that’s a good deal of my resentment about this last election call by Harper. Rather than confronting the issues head on in a realistic way and steering the country through it for the duration of his legally mandated term (by his own rules!), instead, he tried to opportunistically beat out the imminent crisis and impending recession to make a power grab, got clipped by its highly dramatic leading edge and… basically LIED throughout the campaign with respect to the economy. As did the other leaders, it should also be said.

As noted here before, either the government runs deficits or makes cuts (and it could be that both occur), but simply promising that everything will carry on as per usual in a la-di-dah status quo fashion based on projections of some incremental degree of growth in GDP is, quite frankly, bullshit. I don’t know what the Conference Board of Canada is smoking, but I want some of it. Letters of credit and the credit lines for trade currently are frozen and all of the leading indices of trade rippling through the global supply chain are just abysmal. And such logistical things are, I’m sorry to say, disturbing signs of things to come…

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Filed under Global Economy