Saturday, January 15, 2005

All the more reason to be upset with the right wing. Can't these people ever be honest? At Dailykos the comments from the usual liars - about how they didn't know about the fact that Markos was consulting for the Dean campaign. Ok, so maybe it is totally possible that these ultra right-wingers didn't know - after all, if they ever stepped outside of their carefully insulated worlds they might be forced to face the truth about what's going on in the world. Is it any surprise that they didn't know what was posted at Dailykos if they never visited the site? Does it even matter what they knew or didn't know about matters that almost certainly didn't interest them in the least?

It's a little like the Lewinsky scandal - the people who were most upset at the "lies" were people like my roommate who hated Clinton's guts to begin with. Yeah, sure, you were so shocked and hurt...but you believed that he was responsible for the death of Vince Foster! Whatever...

Anyway, all this crap about nothing. The right wing led by the WSJ spews lies. We should be used to that. From the deserter on down...

Friday, January 14, 2005

Always something hopeful - He's Running. Dean is running for DNC Chair. Now, if only he had gotten the nod for a Presdential campaign. On the other hand, he couldn't have done worse that Kerry did - losing is losing, at least in an election. It doesn't matter than Gore won, he still lost.

I grew up on elections that were less than fair. The PNM government in Trinidad probably rigged the elections to some extent, and also gerrymandered their way into a permanent majority. It took a total meltdown to get rid of them (and even now they keep coming back, up to their old tricks - or new ones, like using Islamist extremists for voter suppression). How long will the right-wing extremists dominate the US elections?
While little upsets me more than the right-wing noise machine, the internecine fighting by the Democrats is pretty up there too. Sure, the party establishment has every reason to fear the Reform movement in the party, but why give ammunition to the other side?

Over at Daily Kos, this piece by Markos, Zephyr's miscalculation makes a very interesting read. I my not like everyone over there, but I feel a real sense of admiration for Markos himself. Odd for someone you know only by his writing - it almost seems that you should have news coverage on a person, some sense of their persona. But reading their posts gives a lot of insight into character.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

So I figured out how the whole AdSense thing works. Interesting. It turns out that I am not supposed to click on ads on my own page, but they didn't acknowledge my own clicks anyway. Which is unfortunate, since I did click through with good intentions and spent a lot of time at the Foreign Policy journal website. I didn't subscribe, I only read the free content, but still - I have always been tempted by that Journal...was looking at it just a few days ago at Borders.
So the ads keep changing. Ok, that makes sense.

I had an ad for a "ribbon" site. "Support the Troops" magnets, that kinda site. Reminds me of the thing that irks me these days. Every time I see an SUV with one of those magnets I think "liar!" If you actually did support them, you wouldn't have bought an SUV. Pick-up trucks are marginal - they are actual working vehicles for some can't judge just on a glance. But SUVs are different. The majority of them are not working vehicles, especially in urban areas.

One of the major sources of funding for Islamists is donations from Saudis and other wealthy Arab countries. I think that idea is pretty well established. Income in these countries is tightly linked to oil prices. High consumption means high prices, so SUVs put money directly into the pockets of people who financially support those who wage war against the US. I'm not saying it only supports them - after all, Trinidad benefits a lot too. Nonetheless, if you "Support the Troops", then you should oppose high oil prices. If you drive an SUV your actions actually "Oppose the Troops". Hence, these people are liars. It makes matters even worse when you see them speed past you on the highway, doing 80-90 mph. Someone might be in the position where they bought this vehicle before the war, or they need their pick-up for work. But then they should keep their speed down. It isn't that difficult to keep within the speed limit - though frankly, if they really cared they would never get close to the speed limit.
So I tried Google AdSense. I was amazed at the ads I got though - pro-military. Amazing. I suppose the longest post here was dedicated to Remembrance Day. It's funny how a little thing like that can bias the way the engine reads the blog. Anyway, now all I need is some readers, right? I am a little ambivalent about the idea of being read though - I have posted things that are remarkably personal here. But that's what blogging is all about - publicly posting the minutiae of your life, often under a psuedonym, with the assumption that either no-one you know will read it, or that only people you know will read it. And then it gets you fired like that woman from Washington who posted here sexual conquests.

I wonder if I am going to sustain this. I wonder if anyone will read it. I shall see, I suppose. Google says they'll drop your ads after two months if no-one clicks through. I don't understand the whole idea of paying per click - it seems like it would be worth your while simply to clip through on your own site, over and over. Do they rule out multiple clicks in a single session? They should, I would guess. Maybe I will bother to find out sometime. But isn't the point of blogging to make random prouncements which you never follow up? Isn't all punditry about speculation instead of data collection?
So I'll actually try using this the way it's supposed to be used. Gotta give it a try some day.

Semester is about to start. Just a few more days and then it's back to teaching. I'm looking forward to the new semester, but I am not sure if my heart is really in it at this moment. Too much has happened over this Christmas break.

Things got off to a great start with the tsunami, of course. Unspeakable, but also incomprehensible. I can't fathom destruction on that scale - 160,000 people is just too big a number for me to wrap my mind around. On one hand you wonder why the media keeps showing the pictures, day after day, and then you realise that things are anything but "over". This is just the start, the dead are the ones who don't have to worry any more. It's not just a matter of feeding people for a while, it's a matter of re-building towns and cities, re-building lives. So much gone so quickly. I keep trying to put it in perspective - what would it mean if it had happened in Trinidad - but the truth is, the settlement patterns in Trinidad wouild mean that the bulk of the population would not have been exposed to the worst of the waves. Of course there is always Tobago - if you think about what it would have done to Tobago...I suppose there would be very little left there.

And then Shah died. A death in the family is always a big deal, but all the more so when it's someone you know pretty well, someone you like. And I suppose it matters when he is the senior person on both sides of the family. Well, both of my father's sides of the family, anyway. He was 85, but was doing well, last I saw him. There was something indestructible about him. I always admired that he got married for the first time after age 60 and yet he still lived to see his children grown and into (if not out of) university. He was not everyone's favourite in the family, but I did admire him, and he will be missed.

Now the latest jolt is that Winston was shot. I don't know how to wrap my mind around that one. It isn't a surprise - the way crime is in Trinidad it's only a matter of time before a business is robbed. But it's far too close to home. I have been there, in the store, many times. He's ok, apparently. It just leaves me speechless. Not good if you are trying to write about something. But speechless I am.