Friday, November 05, 2004

alarm clocks

You know what I discovered this morning?

I discovered that a bunch of guys ripping the balcony off the next-door apartment with sledge-hammers and crowbars is a great alarm clock. There's no sleeping through that, no matter how late you got to bed.

'scuse me, I need to go get another caffeine boost.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


I really expected to wake up this morning to news of a major assault on Falluja. Bush has a habit of surprise moves and figured this would be another one. Everyone else expected Bush to wait for the election fallout to be over before risking another military maneuver. So to surprise them, he would start it in the middle of the election.

But hah! Bush knew that's exactly what Zarqawi was thinking, so he delayed it. Then, just as Zarqawi starts to think the danger of action is over, that's when he'll strike.

I should have been a general. I could do this stuff, easy.

reaping what you sow

I wrote the following in a comment to this post. Then I decided that it really didn't fit my own advice about being sympathetic. Well it does, in the sense that I would like it to be helpful to the people it is written to, but I'm reasonably certain that it won't be taken that way. Yet I think it is an important point, so I'm posting it here on my blog where it is unlikely to be read by the people who most need to understand it because they won't buy it.

Oh well. They don't really want to be happy as much as they want to be angry.
I really am sorry about what you and like-minded people are going through right now. As I said on my blog, I experienced a little of it last night, so I can empathize.

But I think the large majority of your suffering is self-inflicted. You took a few serious but limited disagreements and turned it into a war against Sauron. You are the ones who built Bush up into an evil that was too great to tolerate.

If you had been willing to acknowledge that George Bush was doing what he believed was right, and saying what he believed was true, if you had been willing to recognize that George Bush's religious convictions were similar to those of most of the great people of Western history rather than some dangerous aberration, if you had been willing to leave your disagreements as disagreements rather than evil plots, then you could sit back now and say, "Well, America will learn that they made a bad choice and in four years they will be willing to come back to us."

But you couldn't just have disagreements. You had to hate. And you had to create a myth to sustain and explain your hatred.

So although I regret that you are going through this, the truth is that you are reaping what you sowed.

be nice

Well, it looks like Bush won.

Kerry supporters are really hurting today. And they are suffering some unpleasant shock too, because the exit-polling was so off-kilter. Try to be nice. Don't gloat. Give them some time to come to terms with it.

I know how they feel, because I went to bed last night convinced that Bush had lost. It felt pretty crummy. In fact it was the worst I've ever felt about something that didn't directly involve me or a relative.

I felt so bad for two reasons: first because I was horrified that an American presidential election could be controlled by a billionaire, a propagandist, and a dishonest press. It shook my faith in our democracy. And second, I was horrified that America could vote for an unrepentant traitor to his country to be Commander in Chief of the armed forces.

But Kerry supporters have contrasting beliefs about Bush that are nearly as frightening. They believe Bush was "selected not elected" in the first place and that the election was swung by a conspiracy of Swift Boat Vets and Karl Rove using dirty tricks to defeat Kerry. And they believe that Bush "lied us into" an unnecessary war that has been a disaster, that led to the unnecessary deaths of tens of thousands. If I believed those things, I would be pretty upset too.

I'm hopeful that the Bush hatred will subside now that it's over. Bush has one more term and cannot have third. There is little incentive to continue all the anti-Bush propaganda. Hopefully, people will calm down over the next few months and will view things with a bit more perspective. Without the constant hammering the conspiracy theories will fade away and people will start to realize that the actions of the Swift Boaters are very hard to understand if they are lying, but very easy to understand if they are telling the truth. Iraq will hold elections and it will become clear that a good thing is happening there. And someone will point out that it was Al Gore who made the previous election a matter for the courts and the Democrats who have always celebrated Supreme Court activism.

But for now, give them some room to grieve.

Next week, you can gloat.

Monday, November 01, 2004


Donald Crankshaw has announced Storyblogging Carnival 000001 (that's Turing-machine notation for five). Go check it out. Write a story! Write something about elves and dwarves, or maybe about space marines with blasters.

Or whatever. But all really good stories either have elves and dwarves or space marines with blasters.

Or sometimes, guys that wear dramatic costumes and fight for Truth and Justice.

the OBL tape

Part of the reason I'm not blogging today is that I'm having an interesting discussion with people over at Pharyngula about the OBL tape. You might want to go check it out, but keep in mind that I was working without a net (that is, without a spellchecker).