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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. …
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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…

it continues... [part one]

so we're back at it with the democratic debates. last night saw cnn take their first crack at presenting ten candidates on one stage after msnbc led the charge last month. a lot of people were critical of the first debate because it seemed there were moments when moderators got such tunnel vision about keeping things moving that they stopped thinking about what was happening on stage. [the prime example being kamala harris having to insist that she be allowed to speak on the issue of racism, being the only person of colour on stage.] the other problem that many identified was that the time given to candidates wasn't even close to equal. i feel like cnn wasn't a lot better with the former, although they avoided any serious gaffes, and that they did an excellent job of fixing the latter. [that said, some of the outlying candidates might be wishing they hadn't had as much time as they did.] as with last time, i'll start off with a few general observations.

how importa…

it begins [part two]

it seems that most people have decided that last night's second installment of the great democratic debate was the empire strikes back of political debate sequels: still in the same established universe but more complex, more engaging, and overall better than what preceded it. [don't @ me. i'm right about empire.] the first night was lacking a true focal point or major fireworks. the moment between julian castro and beto o'rourke was the high tension point of the night but it was highly technical, having to do with which sections of the law needed to be repealed or removed and which sections protected which people. made castro look great and, of course, the subject is meaningful to him as the grandson of mexican immigrants and the sole latinx vying for a presidential nomination, but it wasn't the sort of thing that resonates with people on a gut level. last night, shall we say, had one of those moments.

the decision of which candidates would appear on which night …