Archive for September, 2008

The killer punch that sinks the McCain carnival

Monday, September 29, 2008

The treehugging petrolhead, Dale Vince

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A windpowered, 0-60mph in four seconds car… See Zerocarbonista for more info.

The biggest joke in US politics

Monday, September 15, 2008

From the Sunday Times -

[…] we have the now mountain of lies that follow Palin everywhere she goes, lies she keeps repeating as if they are not subject to factual scrutiny. In her first interview she said it was common for vice-presidential candidates never to have met a single foreign leader. Untrue. Every living vice-presidential candidate has met some foreign leaders before being picked.

She said she did not deny that climate change was man-made. But she has clearly stated that on the record. A year ago she said: “I’m not an Al Gore, doom-and-gloom environmentalist, blaming the changes in our climate on human activity.”

She keeps repeating as a defining political motif that she said: “Thanks, but no thanks for the Bridge to Nowhere.” But we now know that she originally lobbied for the bridge in Alaska paid for by federal funds. And she never returned the money. And she even wore a “Nowhere, Alaska” sweatshirt to push back against the McCains of this world who derided the bridge as a pointless boondoggle.

She says she’s against pork-barrel spending, and this was partly why McCain picked her. McCain’s signature issue, after all, is his disdain of pork. Here’s one of McCain’s oldest jokes: “We’re not going to spend $3m of your tax dollars to study the DNA of bears in Montana,” he said earlier this year, citing Montana’s request for federal money to study the endangered grizzly bear. “I don’t know if it was a paternity issue or criminal, but it was a waste of money.”

Here’s what Politico.com revealed about Palin’s time as Alaska governor: “According to a ‘summary of requests for federal appropriations’ posted to her budget office’s website earlier this year, Palin requested millions of federal dollars for everything from improving recreational halibut fishing to studying the mating habits of crabs and the DNA of harbour seals.”

She boasts that she secured a new oil pipeline for Alaska, but closer inspection finds that nothing has even begun to be built, and that the state may end up owing billions if the pipeline is never constructed.

She says she’s a fiscal conservative, but as mayor she increased her tiny town’s debt service by 69%. When she took office, the town of Wasilla had no long-term debt. By the time her term was over, the debt amounted to $3,000 per citizen.

She is the biggest joke to be put on a ticket in national politics. The most accurate thing said about her in the past two weeks was said on the day she was picked. It was said by Alaska’s Republican state senate president, Lyda Green: “She’s not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice-president or president? Look at what she’s done to this state. What would she do to the nation?”

If America won’t see raw talent, Barack, then… what?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I challenge you to watch the clip below and make a persuasive case as to why that guy is not the best candidate for the presidency in American politics today.  His fire is rising – unsurprising given the excrement that’s being gathered and flung his way.

Maybe his whole enterprise is equivalent to casting pearls before swine. In which case, what are his options?  Maybe he should stop wasting his time, leave America to the dogs, and head up the one consituency that is positively gasping for his leadership – namely, everywhere else.  Next stop, the UN?  I would be intrigued as to what he would do next – should, God forbid, he lose this election.

Curiosity of the month: cattle align north-south

Saturday, September 13, 2008

From the BBC -

Images from Google Earth have confirmed that cattle tend to align their bodies in a north-south direction.

Wild deer also display this behaviour – a phenomenon that has apparently gone unnoticed by herdsmen and hunters for thousands of years.

In the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences, scientists say the Earth’s magnetic fields may influence the behaviour of these animals.

The Earth can be viewed as a huge magnet, with magnetic north and south situated close to the geographical poles.

Many species – including birds and salmon – are known to use the Earth’s magnetic fields in migration, rather like a natural GPS.

McCain’s politics of personality

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

John McCain saluting at an audience member during a campaign rally in Lebanon, Ohio, 9 September 2008Via the BBC

Analysis from the Daily Dish -

So far, he has let us all down. My guess is he will continue to do so. And that decision, for my part, ends whatever respect I once had for him. On core moral issues, where this man knew what the right thing was, and had to pick between good and evil, he chose evil. When he knew that George W. Bush’s war in Iraq was a fiasco and catastrophe, and before Donald Rumsfeld quit, McCain endorsed George W. Bush against his fellow Vietnam vet, John Kerry in 2004. By that decision, McCain lost any credibility that he can ever put country first. He put party first and his own career first ahead of what he knew was best for the country.

And when the Senate and House voted overwhelmingly to condemn and end the torture regime of Bush and Cheney in 2006, McCain again had a clear choice between good and evil, and chose evil.

He capitulated and enshrined torture as the policy of the United States, by allowing the CIA to use techniques as bad as and worse than the torture inflicted on him in Vietnam. He gave the war criminals in the White House retroactive immunity against the prosecution they so richly deserve. The enormity of this moral betrayal, this betrayal of his country’s honor, has yet to sink in. But for my part, it now makes much more sense. He is not the man I thought he was.

And when he had the chance to engage in a real and substantive debate against the most talented politician of the next generation in a fall campaign where vital issues are at stake, what did McCain do? He began his general campaign with a series of grotesque, trivial and absurd MTV-style attacks on Obama’s virtues and implied disgusting things about his opponent’s patriotism.

And then, because he could see he was going to lose, ten days ago, he threw caution to the wind and with no vetting whatsoever, picked a woman who, by her decision to endure her own eight-month pregnancy of a Down Syndrome child in public, that he was going to reignite the culture war as a last stand against Obama. That’s all that is happening right now: a massive bump in the enthusiasm of the Christianist base. This is pure Rove.

Yes, McCain made a decision that revealed many appalling things about him. In the end, his final concern is not national security. No one who cares about national security would pick as vice-president someone who knows nothing about it as his replacement. No one who cares about this country’s safety would gamble the security of the world on a total unknown because she polled well with the Christianist base. No person who truly believed that the surge was integral to this country’s national security would pick as his veep candidate a woman who, so far as we can tell anything, opposed it at the time.

McCain has demonstrated in the last two months that he does not have the character to be president of the United States. And that is why it is more important than ever to ensure that Barack Obama is the next president. The alternative is now unthinkable. And McCain – no one else – has proved it.

A beautiful political campaign video

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

There’s no question this is a defining moment in American history: more of the same, but worse vs. change for the better.

Brilliant – Barack get’s rolled in the right place

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

- the Replubican Convention. Enjoy!

See for yourself: a nice, genuinely smiling Hillary Clinton

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

…and a more relaxed, self-assured campaigning style. Reminds me of good ol’ Julian of Norwich: ‘All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.’


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