Voodoo Chile

Actually, my magic powers may be stronger than I thought – I implored the Lords of the Netherworld to curse Sarah Palin with humiliating inarticulacy, and, judging by the Katie Couric interview, they granted my wish.

Seriously though, CBS News is primetime viewing right? Watched by millions of voters? You have to believe that Palin has sunk the ticket by giving an interview that wouldn’t get her a gig as a – well, insert your choice of menial job here, I don’t want to offend anyone by suggesting that their honest labour is on a par with something this woman would be qualified for.

Tina Fey was very funny on SNL this week, but really, Palin is beyond parody.

Virtual stability

I was perhaps a bit harsh in my condemnation of the Second Life banking system; it turns out that, compared with our real-life institutions, the virtual Wall Street was a model of financial rectitutde.

This is an old story, I know. Even George W Bush seems to have got his head around the details. I just wanted to put on record my admiration for all the erudite commentators who have filled the financial pages of the newspapers with explanations of the crisis, for the benefit of us poor rubes who would otherwise be completely unable to understand why borrowing money on the short term market, then lending it to people with poor credit histories so that they could buy houses at inflated prices, was a questionable business model. I am sure that there is some really good reason why they didn’t share this wisdom with us twelve months ago.

(In case that last link goes dead for some reason, I’ll note that it led to the “Awards and Recognition” page on the Lehman Brothers corporate website, wherein they boasted that Fortune magazine named Lehman Brothers the #1 “Most Admired Securities Firm” in its [2007] rankings of  ‘America’s Most Admired Companies.'”)

(No) Black Magic Woman

Apparently Sarah Palin has received a blessing that protects her from all forms of witchcraft.

Damn. That means that that chicken-sacrificing ritual I did was a complete waste of time.

Tag this

After about a year of blogging, I finally got round to reading the instructions, and discovered the difference between “categories” and “tags”. So from now on I’m going to tag all my posts. We’ll see if that increases my traffic much.


I don’t usually get too emotionally exercised about politics – though I have strong opinions, my engagement tends to be confined to ideas rather than passions. This is due in part to my generally phlegmatic personality, but also reflects the political temperament of my homeland, a country where change, even of the most profound nature, mostly presents itself as slow evolution rather than violent revolution. This is a decidedly mixed blessing; it bestows a reassuring stability on the polity, but allows our governments to get away with things that would provoke insurrection in more excitable nations.

It is rare then for me to feel anxiety, let alone twinges of fear, when I am considering some political question, especially one concerning a foreign country. Yet the more I read about Sarah Palin, the more I find myself worrying about John McCain’s health.

Faced with the prospect of a US president who believes that The Rapture will happen within her lifetime, all one can do is embrace the relatively comforting notion that the occupant of the White House has no real power anyway, since the world is actually controlled by a cabal of giant lizards.

All change

I’m not sure how I feel about the Republican ticket now; I swing between conviction that McCain/Palin have no hope of election, and a horrible, gnawing fear that they might just pull it off.

The GOP strategists have obviously figured out that “experience” and “continuity” are not themes that are going to win many votes at a time when the country looks as if it is headed straight to economic hell, so they have decided to vie with the Democratics for the mantle of “change”. Suddenly McCain is a “maverick” again, ready to storm Washington and kick out the special interests, gun-toting God-fearing Everywoman Palin by his side.

The gap between the Republican propaganda and reality is surely too wide for even the best advertising to bridge. McCain’s campaign is run by lobbyists. He has supported Bush on practically every issue of importance in the last eight years. Palin, supposed scourge of the earmark, hired teams of lobbyists to gouge Federal dollars for her small town when she was mayor, and as Governer has continued gorging in the Washington pork-barrel.

There can be no way that they will get away with this flagrant reinvention of history, can there? All Obama has to do is point out the facts, right? The US electorate knows when it’s being lied to, doesn’t it?

But Obama and McCain are neck and neck in the national polls, it’s too close to call in the swing states, and the Republican base is looking more energised than it has done in months. They’re beginning to believe that they can win this thing. I can only hope that their judgement on that is as poor as it is on everything else.

Palin into insignificance

On the other hand, the Presidential race is just heating up, and browsing Google News, looking for the latest on the car-wreck that is the Republican ticket may just consume all my online hours.

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