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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

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Listening to the CBC yesterday in one of the reports on the impending demise of the Troll of RamallahTM the announcer in that "security factions" were meeting....Sometimes the truth slips through.


Best "I'm not gloating" Blog

Ah, delightful. I'm as happy as Bill Clinton in a sorority house.
hog on ice
Warning to my lefty friends....don't go there, if your head has not already will.
(Thanks Paul.)


Troll of RamallahTM Watch

The NYT is reporting that the Troll's health has declined.
The two officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Mr. Arafat's condition had seriously deteriorated over the past day. But Mr. Arafat's top aides denied that, accusing Israel of spreading rumors.
The not always reliable Debka File has the Troll in ICU. [ed. Not always reliable compared to,say, the New York Times?]

The point being that if the Troll really is dying there are only a few days left for moderate Palestinians to attempt to assert control over the Palestinian Authority. The current PM, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen - ya gotta have a nickname for street cred in Ramallah), would be a possible successor but he is not loved by the various terrorist factions. Indeed, no moderate, is going to be acceptable to those factions.

Herein a modest proposal. With Israel's full co-operation it may be time for the Jordians to send troops to the West Bank and the Egyptians to take over Gaza. Without a strong and unattached military force in place the death of the Troll could be the signal for intra-Palestinian bloodletting of African proportions.

Moving now, by which I mean the next week or two, in really significant force, would allow the Troll to join Franco with a minimum of death and set up the conditions for a UN supervised election, security provided by Jordon and Egypt, for his successor.

The Troll's disappearence from the picture, though he will live on in bloody memory, is the last best chance the Palestinians have of reaching statehood rather than remaining in a thug controlled limbo.

Having Jordian and Egyptian troops would mean that you had people on the ground with a long intelligence history in the area, a clear knowledge of the language and the personalities and an interest in genuinely helping the vast majority of Palestinians who simply want to get on with their lives.

You would also have troops rather less constrained than Western troops when it comes to the question of obtaining information or dealing with trouble makers.

It would not, I'm afraid, be a particularily edifying or pretty sight for the first couple of months. But it would have the virtue of reducing the carnage an all out civil war would bring in its wake.

At the moment, and I must admit I have not checked these figures, the United States provides about 3 billion a year to Eygpt in assistance. I do not know if it provides any money to Jordan. That should be a fairly significant stick to get the Egyptians moving a couple of hundred kilometers down the road.


Your morning newspaper, and certainly not the CBC will not tell you this; but President Bush has been convincingly re-elected. Unctous talking heads, fresh from melting down as they discovered that the exit polls were not, in fact God's word, (and I am told Dan Rather and Judy Woodruff were a scream) will be piously intoning that despite having won the popular vote by 4 million votes, W's fate is hanging in Ohio.

This is not true. With 99% of the vote counted Bush has a lead of 135,000 votes. But what about the provisionals? The yammerheads are all saying that a flock of lawyers are landing and they are going to make every provisional, which all went to Kerry of course, stick and be counted.

Well, here's why the fat lady is singing, the Secretary of State in Ohio put up a list of the provisional ballots issued: at the moment (1:04 AM) it lists 95,355. Soooo. Even if they all broke for Kerry, he'd still lose. In fact, the best guess is that they will break 70/30 and, for fun, let's say the final count is 100,000. Johnny Cambodia loses.

And remember, the flock of high priced legal help flying in for Kerry will be vieing for airspace with the flock of legal help flying in for remember, the guy who won the election by 4 million votes.

When you read blogs you get information which is up to the minute. but you miss the sight of heads exploding...or do you...There is always Daily Kos. Here's a mild sample, it goes on and on...
Why is it that New York, the state that was attacked on 9/11 (and is probably the most in danger of being attacked again) is so decidedly
pro-Kerry, but the stupid idiot hick states like Texas and Oklahoma,
where there is no chance of a terrorist attack, is so pro bush because
of fear of terrorism??


Popular vote

At this point, 10:40 PST, Johnny Cambodia has a mathmatical chance of winning and, of course, may try to litigate his way into the White House. But, critically, this is not even close as a referendum on Bush's administration. He will win the popular vote by 3% and about 3 million votes.

Last time out, gore won the popular vote, though not by nearly as much. If the Kerry camp decides to contest the election, they will be starting from the moral low ground of having to argue that the popular vote of the people should be overturned. I don't like their chances.

A wise man or a wise party would call it a night if Bush hits 270 and get ready to fight the next battle.

Ready for the whine

1) Kerry was a terrible candidate. 2) You can't beat a wartime president. 3) Bush stole it. 3b). Even if he didn't steal it, he stole the last one and Republicans wouldn't have won otherwise.
the corner

On the Murder of Theo van Gogh

Irshad Manji knows what she is writing about. She has challenged Muslim orthodoxy and recieved the death threats which go with that position. But she is her piece.

Most of Life is About Showing Up

Despite the Fat Bastard,
MSNBC exit poll indicates that the youth did not vote. The 18-29 bracket voted the same this year as in 2000, while 30-44 group was down.

That's what's killing us.
daily kos

Back from Dinner and Babies

Seems to be breaking about the way I thought it would. Florida seems to be holding...The left are looking for rays of hope.


Bush is holding his lead in Florida and is close in a slow counting Ohio. CNN, burnt last time with calling states too early has invented a new category "Processing". Now there are winners, too close to call, and processing.

The exit polls seem to have been plain wrong. Though, in fact, there is an argument that they systematically underestimated Bush strength.

This election, if nothing else, is going to put mainstream media under a microscope.


Interesting to note that with 33% of the precients report Florida has Bush leading 56/43. That will not hold but it is a healthy lead at this stage.


4% of the precients in in New Jersy and it's a dead tie...50/50. NJ, home after all of Bruce Springsteen, should not be this close. Might have something to do with the altered skyline across the river.

Election Chat

there is a good, if leftish conversation over at The Tyee.I'm not saying it is right to bait lefties...but it's fun. Of course if Bush loses the crowing and self-rightousness will be unbearable. So have your fun now.


Instapundit was brought down by lack of bandwidth. Drudge's early exits scared the hell out of Bushies and off they went to Instapundit for reassurance. Better to go to Hugh Hewitt who is full of sunny optimism. Good conversation starting up over at Tyee.


No, not Bush's or Kerry's support....the internet. Instapundit, LGF and Josh Marshall Talking Points Memo all seem unreachable as at 1:54 PST. Sully's up with Exit Poll results.

Exit Polls

At this point the web traffic is so heavy to site which may, or may not, have leaked exit polls that you are not going to get through. While you are waiting Mystery Pollster's corrective on exits and margins of error is well worth reading. And, hey, some of the track backs have exit poll data....

2000th Post

It is interesting to me at least that this is the 2000th post I’ve made to this blog.

I started it, back in 2002, largely as a notebook into which I could put the bits of research and links which I thought might be interesting. For quite a long time I has next to no links and virtually never promote it except by my writing.

This blog started at blogspot, moved to a domain of my own, and is now back at the much improved blogspot. It has made me some very good friends, a couple of enemies, and prompted my friend Bob to look me straight in the eye and say, “have you gone insane?”

People blog for a variety of reasons. Vanity, solidarity, a sense of being more intimately involved with the news.Some of my favorite blogs Mirabilis, Ratty’s Ghost, are entirely unpolitical. But if you look at my blogroll you’ll see a fair number of rightish Canadians. Mostly libertarian, a few socons.

These bloggers and the contributors to the Blogs Canada Politics e-Group, the Tyee and the Shotgun are the people I read to get a fix on Canada.

I find, as I blog, that I am not nearly so interested in the nuts and bolts of policy – I get enough of that in the articles which I write – but rather my interest lies in the culture which surround policy debate in Canada, the United States, Great Brittan and the rest of the world.

The norms of that culture were once well understood and accepted – arguments required facts, saying one thing and doing another was unacceptable, calling a man a liar meant you found something objectively incorect in his position which he was misleading people about. Lie was not a synonym for disagree.

Reasonable people took language seriously. Seriously enough that they would read into the phrase “calling a man a liar” the words, “or woman”, without having to belabour the point. Taking language seriously meant people rarely insulted rather than argued, avoided the personal, and took some pains to treat their opponent’s position with respect while disagreeing with it.

At some point this began to change. The hard coin of lauguage was seen as “privileging” logic over feelings, fact over intuition. The culture of political debate became increasingly driven by appeals to emotion and gut instincts, while reason and facts gently slipped behind a screen.

Now we have a public debate which seems to consist of intimations of hidden agendas, dirty tricks, appeals to what ever viscrea happen to be exposed and thirty second ads with the specific intent of scaring the hell out of voters.

However, privately, politicians, their advisors, the think tank mavens, practitioners of the higher journalism, businessmen, bankers, lawyers and the rest of the clerisy have never abandoned reason or the importance of language. Nuance, sounds like nuisance, is the hard coin of a thoudand policy debates around the world. Debates whose outcomes will actually shape our future.

These are private conversations beween men and women who are well read, exquisitely educated, extremely able and, for the most part, content to do their work without the media, and therefore the public, any the wiser.

Implicit in these closed door conversations is the reluctant acceptence of the fact the general public has ceased to be capable of following an argument of more than two propositions. A fact brough home hourly as E-television and the antics of the underwear challenged Miss Hilton, suck the oxygen from the real issues and dilemmas which politicians have to deal with.

As I blogged I realized that this was a medium half way between the dumbed down, disheartened mainstream and the soma of celebrity news and professional sports.

At one level, a blog like mine which is delighted to welcome 5000 readers in a good month, looks a bit like a waste of time. However, many of those readers are bloggers and many who are not are people with a deeply informed interest in politics. Some of the yeast in the Canadian loaf.

2000 posts later many of you are still here.

I have no doubt that there will be another 2000 posts here. But I also have no doubt that the real action will be at Billy Magazine when I kick my low grade flu and Sean is back from his course.

Blogging really is a solitary activity. In your PJs, in a darkened office, having a glass of wine or six, reading what other people are writing and going, a) “Hey, that can’t possibly be true, b) is the cleverest thing I have read in an couple of days, c) Damn, why didn’t I write that. It is a solitary conversation broadcast to an indifferent world.

But what bloggers, left, right and deeply a political have in common is a deep belief that words, language, ideas matter. We retain our right to be outraged, our capacity to be embarassed on behalf of the poor politicians who have to cater to nitwits on both the right and the left: most of all we retain our right to hold opinions and fight our corner.

Tom Wolfe on John Kerry

"He is a man no one should worry about, because he has no beliefs at all. He is not going to introduce some manic radical plan, because he is poll-driven, and it is therefore impossible to know where or for what he stands."
the guardian
Apparently, when the OBL video surfaced, Kerry put the tape "in the field" for a quick poll before making any statement.

Kerry pollster calls it....for Bush

First, we simply do not defeat an incumbent president in wartime. After wars surely, but never in their midst. Republicans have been spinning this fact for months, and they are correct.

Democrats have spoken often and powerfully about the nation’s economic problems. But by historical standards, they are not that bad. The “misery index” is 7.8 today but was 20.5 when Jimmy Carter was defeated. Economic models of elections show Bush winning 52-58 percent of the vote....

Taking all that and more into account, an expert forecasting model suggests that Bush will get 51.6 percent of the two-party vote.
the hillvia the corner
Interesting. The OBL tape had the effect of reminding people that this really is a nation at war and, I think, put the final couple of points on a Bush victory.

In fact, that tape may have ensure that there will be a clear winner tonight rather than in January after the Dem's 2000 lawyers have had their whack at every irregularity, real and imagined, they can find.

I wonder what the actual number is that will deter election by litigation 3%, 5%?

Decriminalization and the Tories are still clueless

The Liberals have introduced a bill to decriminalize pot possession.
The bill decriminalizes possession of less than 15 grams of pot or fewer than four plants, making the offences punishable with fines rather than criminal charges, while calling for harsher penalties against marijuana grow-ops by doubling maximum prison terms to 14 years from the current seven.
national post
I am inclined to think the 4 plant rule is a bit low, ten would make more sense. I am also inclined to think raising the maximum jail time for grow ops will have zero deterrent effect as no judge will impose that penalty for growing a drug which has been made essentially legal.

However, what is really astonishing is just how dumb the Conservative Justice critic sounds on the issue,
"How does this government guarantee us there won't be retaliatory action by the Americans?" asked Conservative justice critic Vic Toews. "I'm very concerned they are going ahead on this without taking into concern the real impact that this will have on trade."
national post
If you had to take a position designed to alienate as many Canadians as possible, this is it. It is none of the American's business if we reject their drug warrior stance on pot. If the Americans want to keep throwing their kids in jail for smoking pot that is their problem. But if they want to export those policies to Canada they should be told, firmly, to suck rocks.

Vic Toews' remarks leave the Tories looking like they want to keep jailing pot smokers in Canada to keep our trade with the US up to snuff. Problem is that the Americans, on BSE, softwood and a host of other issues do not seem to take our drug laws into consideration.

Toews just looks like he, and his party, are pandering to the looney anti-drug lobby in the States. A position which has literally no political support in Canada. Dumb.

Worth a Read

While our American friends are voting, it is worth a visit to Gulf News to read Amir Taheri on the OBL tape,
Finally and here is the most surprising theme of the message, Bin Laden is offering the Americans a deal. To cast himself as an honest deal-maker he takes up some of Michael Moore's themes, especially about President George W Bush not reacting to the 9/11 attacks fast enough.

The deal is simple, and Bin Laden hammers it in more specifically: "Do not play with our security, and spontaneously you will secure yourself."

What does this mean? Translated into practical terms it means that Bin Laden would call off his hounds, if he has any left, provided the US and its allies halt hunting him down.
gulf news
As if....however, the danger of a Kerry win is that it would bring precisely this sort of deal into the realm of consideration.


Go Grapes Go

If only because the dullards at the CBC could not find a single woman for their Great Canadians contest, and because they thing Alexander Graham Bell is Canadian rather than Scots, you need to go and vote for Don Cherry.

Grapes is in second place at the moment. There are no less than 18 voting periods left and you can vote in each's the schedule.

This is all about consistency...register, vote, vote again. Dig in around the boards.

Remember how wonderful the sight of CBC exec's heads exploding will be. First Bush, then grapes....they'll have to move to France.

Wither the Left when Bush Wins

I posted this comment in the extended comments on Michael Fellman's prediction (forelorn hope) of a Kerry victory tomorrow. over at Tyee....

Leaving aside the speculative paranoia about the vote being stolen...and there are 2000 Democratic lawyers locked and loaded to file writs and petitions on every conceivable irregularity...what are people on the Left going to do if Bush, er, wins.

Now I realize that people at Indymedia and the DU will simply have their heads explode. But what about the rest of the left.

A couple of thoughts. It might be a good idea for the American left to re-examine how effective their politics have been. Why was Howard Dean defeated. How did the Dems get such a donkey for a candidate? These are pretty key questions because, lets face it, if Bush wins it will almost certainly have been the result of the Dems picking the worst possible candidate.

Second, if Bush wins, it might be a good idea for the left to re-examine its rhetoric. It may well be that further co-opting the writings of noted Pol Pot support Noam Chomsky will help; but I doubt it. It may well be that the Michael Moore trope of "Americans are the stupidist, most ignorant people on Earth" will help; but I doubt it.

There is absolutely no reason for Bush to win this election - except for all of the reasons that John Kerry has given American voters and all the reasons that the hard left, activist base in the Democratic party have given the voters.

Of course, the traditional tactic is to blame the media. But, again, this is a bastion of boomer leftism second only to American universities. From Dan Rather on down, the American media have gone out of their way to vilfy Bush and do the best job they can with the patrician sow's ear the Dems nominated as their candidate. No, the press has pulled its weight.

Ultimately, the left has to make a choice if Bush wins. It can spend four more years crying that the election was stolen or it can get on with the hard work of finding and supporting attractive, competent, canidates. If it opts for the former, Bush will either be succeeded by a Republican or Hilary Clinton. (It is by no means clear which would be worse.) But, by actually dealing with reality, it is possible that the American left will create a Democratic party which really does appeal to the majority coalition which has elected Democratic Presidents.

Left unsaid

Osama bin Laden doesn't seem nearly so cocky in the unedited version of a videotape aired on al-Jazeera, complaining that the manhunt against him has hampered al Qaeda. AFP/Getty ImagesBin Laden the impotent / Opinion: Page 27 Osama bin Laden's newest tape may have thrust him to the forefront of the presidential election, but what was not seen was the cave-dwelling terror lord talking about the setbacks al Qaeda has faced in recent months.

Officials said that in the 18-minute long tape — of which only six minutes were aired on the al-Jazeera Arab television network in the Middle East on Friday — bin Laden bemoans the recent democratic elections in Afghanistan and the lack of violence involved with it.

On the tape, bin Laden also says his terror organization has been hurt by the U.S. military's unrelenting manhunt for him and his cohorts on the Afghan-Pakistani border.

A portion of the left-out footage includes a tirade aimed at President Bush and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, claiming the war in Iraq is purely over oil.
new york post
Maybe Al Jazeera has been taking editing lessons from the Fat Bastard.

Things have not been going so terribly wonderfully for OBL lately. The Afghanis seemed to rather enjoy elections. Fallujah is encircled by Marines. Yasser is ill. Johnny Cambodia thinks he's a nuisance.

Makes the cave look a little gloomy and OBL sounding distinctly Eeyorish. Which, I suppose, is better than being dead. But that will come.