Blog of Mass Distraction

Friday, July 16, 2004

Watching just bits of the US election coverage is like watching some circus sideshow. The way utterly banal issues are discussed, and real issues aren't given anything more than typical, superficial mentioning, it simply makes a joke of what they claim is the 'bastion of democracy'. Kerry and Edwards have been referred to, in a disparaging way, as the most liberal senators in office. Now there has to be something wrong when 'liberal' is an insult in the US, and just north of there in Canada, Liberal is the name of the governing party.

A big deal is also being made of the 9/11 report condemning the CIA for its massive intelligence failures in terms of 9/11 and the Iraq war. Aside from the obvious puns about Bush being the intelligence failure, the real failures have been from the media (though this is expected). The American media (and this generally includes Canadian media as well) didn't give any coverage the and overwhelmingly obvious evidence against the US claims about the threat of Saddam. The evidence from the weapons inspectors, even from vocal American Scott Ritter, the duplicitious claims about war crimes and weapons of mass destruction, and the vast gaping holes in the stories from the Bushites.

The worst of it all are the republicans that try to rationalize their far right views with some hogwash about being better for everyone, and they had it so hard. People who can start their own business in America probably don't have the slightest concept of what a hard life is like. They haven't seen people in third world conditions, of course they come up with some pointless explanation to dismiss that too. At least the republicans that are up front about their views don't try any phoney 'compassionate conservatism'. They make it plain that they are heartless and elitist, so you don't have to worry about them...

Friday, July 09, 2004

John Kerry announced a couple of days ago his running mate. There's been quite a bit of excitement to the announcement because Kerry hadn't made much noise about his decision until shortly before he announced it. There was also the looming notion that whomever he chose would actually be his second choice since he was originally thought to have asked widely respected Republican senator John McCain.
McCain said no, but Edwards is thought to bring a lot of popularity to the ticket, and Edwards is supposed to be pretty left leaning as well. Still, I'm not really sure how much of a difference it will make to the rest of the world if Kerry wins. Everyone is saying that the biggest thing driving Kerry right now is that he the non-Bush option, and Bush is really being hated on. But Kerry likely won't change the situation in Iraq at all. And the growing problem in Colombia and Venezuela likely will still boil over whether Kerry wins or not.
Ironically, in all the anti-Bush revery and the success of Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, some fat loser is making anti-Moore movie. They did a piece on The Daily Show about him and, as usual, made him look like a dumbass (though I doubt they had to try very hard).
Finally, Iyad Allawi, the new comptroller of Iraq, has just passed a bill allowing the government to declare martial law when needed. The paper I read said that Iraqis supported this decision because they want the terror stopped in the country; though I don't think the Iraqi people will be very happy if their new government goes right back to the draconian measures that Saddam used.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 last weekend. I enjoyed the movie, which follows in the tradition of Moore's Oscar winning "Bowling for Columbine". Of course the movie has received scathing criticism from the republican right wing for its attack on Bush and his actions as President.
The film, however, has also received some serious criticism from the far left because of many things it doesn't say. Moore designed the film to get Bush out of office, but many of the left (the real left I mean, not the Democrats that are left-of-Bush-and-right-of-center) have said that Kerry and the democrats aren't much, if any, better than Bush and his cronies.
Now I know that democrats in general aren't much different from republicans (mildly in internal policy, not at all in international policy), but Bush in particular is quite bad. Now things may not get much better under Kerry. After all, he did vote to give Bush the power to attack Iraq, his wife is a billionaire heirress, and he supports 'war as policy' for international affairs. But with a $500B deficit, rampant war crimes (well, those were always there, but...), international hatred, and an increasing shift to the right in many countries, we can always hope that things will get better.
My favourite part of the movie is a clip from Bush II in 2000 at a Republican fundraiser during the presidential campaign:
This is an impressive crowd; the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite, I call you my base.
~George W. Bush