Archive for September, 2008

McCain jumps the shark?

There’s sometimes a definite point at which a candidate becomes a joke, loses all credibility, and might as well terminate his campaign. Michael Foot, who might have been an outstanding Labour Prime Minister, was ridiculed for appearing at the Cenotaph in what people called a “donkey jacket” (there’s no US equivalent, but think of it as a road-worker’s overcoat made from a coarse, still, black fabric, and with vinyl or leather shoulder patches). Michael Dukakis just looked silly in a tank and helmet. Al Gore was ridiculed for claiming to have invented the internet. McCain may have reached this point. It depends on how far the memes that evolved on Letterman’s show spread into the wider culture. Letterman’s very popular, so I don’t hold out much for McCain’s chances.

Precious moments:

“This doesn’t smell right. This just doesn’t smell right.”

“Here’s …

Posted at 8am on Sep 25, 2008 | no comments
Filed Under: Politics

Twitter Updates for 2008-09-24

  • Stating up too late. Have to leave early tomorrow for a class in prison. I’m gonna be bleary-eyed. #
  • @Sadara Welcome to Twitter. #
  • Heading out for Chinese food. #
Posted at 11pm on Sep 24, 2008 | no comments
Filed Under: Apropos of nothing

Yet more Buddhism and politics

Auntie at Buddhajones explains why she’s an undecided voter (not enamored with McCain but not confident in Obama’s ability to deliver) and asks: “Am I a Buddhist heretic because I’m not on the Obama bandwagon?”

Tinythinker at peacefulturmoil invites Buddhist conservatives (or at least non-liberals) to come out of the political closet. He or she raises an interesting point that I’ve also been dwelling on, which is that conservatism doesn’t per se have to be about being for the wealthy and against the poor, or anti-equality. I’m starting to think of American conservatism as being an anomaly, although perhaps I have in mind a non-anomalous conservatism that doesn’t exist.

Terence at Republic of T expresses some heartfelt outrage at John McCain’s asking for a time-out from the presidential campaign and from the first presidential debate. Like him, I (cynic as I sometimes am) started wondering whether McCain was avoiding …

Posted at 10pm on Sep 24, 2008 | 5 comments
Filed Under: Religion & Society

Training camps for liars

I’m troubled when Obama distorts the truth, but more troubled by McCain’s distortions, simply because they’re more common and often more serious.

But I’m really troubled that a major part of the McCain campaign is apparently based on a) getting ghostwriters to lie by writing fictional letters, and b) getting ordinary members of the public to lie by claiming that the letters are their own and putting their names to them. News of this comes from a Salon article, which is a translation of a piece written for a Dutch newspaper. I’ve reproduced the entire article below.

I guess this is disturbing to me because it’s not just a question of a politician bending the truth, or of a politician’s campaign team bending the truth, but because it’s the encouragement of lying as a social norm. “If you’re with us, then the truth doesn’t matter,” is what the message seems to …

Posted at 12pm on Sep 24, 2008 | no comments
Filed Under: Politics, Religion & Society

Free Sarah Palin!

Campbell Brown Rips McCain Camp’s “Sexist” Treatment Of Palin

“Tonight I call on the McCain campaign to stop treating Sarah Palin like she is a delicate flower that will wilt at any moment,” said Brown. “This woman is from Alaska for crying out loud. She is strong. She is tough. She is confident. And you claim she is ready to be one heart beat away form the presidency. If that is the case, then end this chauvinistic treatment of her now. Allow her to show her stuff. Allow her to face down those pesky reporters… Let her have a real news conference with real questions. By treating Sarah Palin different from the other candidates in this race, you are not showing her the respect she deserves. Free Sarah Palin. Free her from the chauvinistic chain you are binding her with. Sexism in this campaign must come to an end. Sarah …

Posted at 7am on Sep 24, 2008 | no comments
Filed Under: Apropos of nothing

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