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Showing posts from 2019

debate-a-thon 2019: the very last democratic debate of the decade!

yes, i took a debate off. there was a democratic candidates' meeting in november and not only did i watch it but i made notes about it. i still have the notes. but i never did get around to writing up a post because stuff happens and while there were some interesting political points discussed, the november debate never felt terribly consequential; everyone on the stage did fine, no one really did a lot better than that. was last night's debate more earth-shaking? i wouldn't say so. but it was notable for having only seven people on the stage, meaning that everyone got to talk more. how much more varies by candidate but every candidate who made it onto the stage got to speak for longer than they had in any previous debate.

i'll say off the top that i don't think anyone had a bad night. no one got caught floundering for an answer, losing their temper or misstating something they or another candidate had said. i thought that the questions were substantive and issues…

too many cooks

ok, i missed commenting on the last democratic debate by some length. part of that is actually because i started another post related to the american election and was focused on that during the time that i had free for the blog. another reason is that last week we had a federal election in canada and that took a fair bit of my attention even though i didn't write about it. it's become a sort of a thing that i don't have time to write about the things that i'm following because i'm too busy following them. and no, i'm not just talking about politics, as any skimming through the past of this blog when i actually wrote more on it will reveal, but it's hard to deny that the political world has morphed into some sort of warp-speed nightmare. it's getting so that no one writing for anything other than a daily newspaper has any hope of being able to keep up with everything that's going on unless they want to limit commentary to twitter length or shorter. …

imperfect ten

whatever you've heard about the democratic contenders' debate that happened thursday, i would hereby like to tell you to ignore it and, if you have the time, go and watch as much of it as you can [stand]. the biggest story coming out of the debate should really be the appalling talking points that the mainstream media have latched onto, especially the ten-second battle between julian castro and joe biden over healthcare. that literally might have been the least consequential thing that happened all night and i'm including the ad breaks.

ten candidates is still too many a lot but this is the first time that we've had the heaviest hitters all hitting each other. at the same time, they also took somewhat stronger shots at donald trump than they had before [some more than others]. the debate was a full three hours but, unlike the cnn debates where i spent the last half hour or so throwing money at my television in a desperate bid to bribe the moderators to wrap it up quic…

worldwide wednesdays :: peace and prosperity through... socialism?

every year an organization called the institute for economics and peace produce a highly regarded report that rates 163 countries on their relative level of peacefulness: the global peace index. i happened across an online post about this year's report that made me do a double-take. although i'm a frequent critic of the united states, i am aware that they are one of the most developed countries in the world; nearly all americans of all are functionally literate, most have access to healthcare, most have access to potable water, freedom of speech is enshrined in the constitution, etc. many, many countries can't boast these things. so imagine my shock when i saw in the summary of the report that the united states ranked 118th of 163 countries. i couldn't imagine how that was true and, indeed, it was wrong.

they rank 128th.

how the hell is it possible that the united states is less peaceful than countries like honduras [consistently one of the most violent places in the …

it continues... [part two]

i'm a day late on my latest review of liberal-con 2020 because i fell asleep at four o'clock yesterday afternoon and woke up at seven this morning. yes, folks, if you've ever wondered how i deal with chronic insomnia without going [more] insane, the answer is that every now and again, i sleep for basically an entire fucking day. poof. now i'm good for another six months of lying in the dark staring at my ceiling misery.

of course, now i'm back and [i think] conscious and, of course, i have things to say about part two of debate two: the moderatathon.

the key word i had in mind after watching the proceedings on wednesday night was: surprising. i felt that, for all the hype about biden vs. harris two, the spotlight very much shifted to other parts of the stage. the other surprising thing was that i felt like the overall performances were strong with most people doing no harm to their aspirations. but, as is my custom, let me start with a few overall points.

peanut ga…