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The emperor has no clothes

I'm sure all are familiar with the original fable, but I'm referring to the recent ousting of Liberal Carolyn Parrish. She has referred to Bush as warlike, Americans as bastards, and the invasion of Iraq as the coalition of the idiots. There was concern that she would heckle Bush if he addresses Parliament later this month, as Sven Robinson and Les Benjamin did Reagan in 1987.

Reagan said that the missile systems at the core of Star Wars "threaten no one." They "would save human lives instead of targeting them." Les Benjamin from the NDP retorted "He’s mad". Robinson shouted, "No, no way. Stop Star Wars now!"

"I assured him that I would not be heckling (Bush), nor would I be making faces, nor would I be doing anything and he seemed pleased with that," Carolyn said.

She was recently seen on a promo for the comedy show This Hour Has 22 Minutes stomping a George Bush doll. Nothing personal though, they poke political fun at our politicians too.

More outspoken at times than a Western conservative,  she was tolerated until she criticized the PM, Martin, as being a weak leader and added "If he loses the next election and he has to resign, I wouldn't shed a tear over it." 

I agree with her, he seems pretty pathetic to me to, but that was the last straw apparently.

Evangelical Right

Well, that's both Bush's backing, and the fervour of his convictions.
Although whenever he speaks he seems to have that bewildered look on his face - like he's waiting for the voices to start again in his head so he can continue. He SEEMS to get impassioned, but it doesn't look real, just well rehearsed. Not a big deal, if he was an intelligent and reliable leader I'd cut him some slack on it.
Anyways, it looks like Bush didn't worry about winning part of the middle, but focused on winning ALL of the Evangelical Right - and did so. It's a very well organized, cohesive, rich, focused group - a massive machine that saw an opportunity and mobilized. So he owes his re-election to them - and the next 4 years will be pay-back time. His brief speech talked about family and faith values, and moving forward with confidence and faith. Every second sentence seemed to mention faith.
I'm an atheist myself, or more likely an agnostic, I don't feel any need for religion or god(s) in my life. Don't need it to explain how we got here, or what we're doing here. Or to tell me what is right and wrong, if I'm doing good in my life or not. Or to pass the hat for money or bang on my door shaking a bible in the air. I have developed my own set of values, they seem to work well for me, I am quite happy with my life and a positive influence (I hope) on those around me. I help others because I want to - not as an indulgence to get me out of purgatory faster. I raised my kids to be open minded about it, and helped them to also develop a good set of values - to make their own choices. They did go to various churches as they were learning - neither attend now. They may later - as long as it helps them, but is not a crutch, I wouldn't mind.
Religion seems to be spreading in the US, and it's an effective partner. It's an easy way to rally people, you can do things based on faith rather than facts, and if things are tough - well, there's always the hope of a happier afterlife.
Bush has promised to reunite a divided America. He said that 4 years ago, and for whatever reasons, it's divided even more - this was a vicious and polarizing campaign. But he only has two years to do so now.
This is because as we saw the campaign leading up to an election takes two years - when the party is focusing on defining themselves in a strong position, racking up all the brownie points they can, and dissing their opponent at every turn. Plus, he's not running again, so doesn't care as much to build those bridges, leaving the rest of the Republican party busy promoting the next wide eyed zealot.
As for the Democrats - might be Kerry, I doubt it. And they seem to have less of a definite platform, other than being anti whatever Bush was doing. So they make take more than 4 years to become a serious challenger.

Maybe there's hope - Nixon showed if you really screw up you're out. But the only way Bush could do that is for the American economy to go down the tubes, massive terrorist attacks within, and anarchy in the Middle East. Hmmm - maybe that's not as much hope as I thought.


To all my American readers - you have choices in life, and consequences of your choices. So please, get out and vote, and make a choice. What do you want your country to be, how do you see it relating to the rest of the world, and who do you think is the best choice to get you there? Or as sometimes in a close race, who is not the worse choice?
We've seen some of the ads up here, but not the barrage that has saturated the US. Which last minute emotional appeal will sway you? Which 'facts' from the last few years will you believe, which will you ignore?
Good luck.

Halloween was "choices" at my door Sunday night. I smiled, praised the costumes, but for a change, I held out the huge bowl of mini-bars and said "Help Yourself".
The reactions were interesting:
- some parents groaned in the background in (mock?) dismay and coached their kids to not take too much. Because they were worried their over-indulged offspring would embarrass them?
- almost all kids were surprised, some even hesitant at first, but I heard a lot calling out to their parents as they went down the driveway "he said I could help myself!"
- some very cautiously took one. I reminded them they could take another if they wanted - some did
- some grabbed a fistful of five. Two brothers showed up, the older was a fist of candy guy. His younger brother took two, and dropped one. Older brother picked it up for him, but kept it, and told him he didn't need two candies.
- almost all said thank you - a few coached first with a "you're welcome"
- no-one wanted them all. My sister (who was an excellent teacher for years, and an excellent aunt to my kids) is a choice and consequences person - when a kid asked her last year if he could take them all, she walked him through the consequences. She said he could (and she meant it), but then the bowl would be empty. She would then close the door and turn the lights off and no-one else would have any candy - did he think that was appropriate? He thought a bit, decided no, so helped himself to some and left.
I kept a tally, turned out average was slightly over two per kid - what I used to give out anyways.
I learned as a parent kids shouldn't always be told what to choose. You can't force them to your will forever, and it doesn't teach them that they are independent and valued people, capable of making choices. Let them make choices from an early age, starting with small non-life threatening decisions - do you want to wear your red mittens or your blue mittens? Next they might progress (as mine did) to the choice of whether they want to dye their hair blue or red. Then when faced with a decision like -do I want to join some of the other kids in a gang, and pick on some of the weaker kids because they are different, and have things we want - they make their own choice, based on their own values.

For some reason I seem to have wandered off topic.
Please get out there to the polls and make your choice, and encourage your friends and neighbours to make their own choices too.

Update - you can track the media election results via Media Matters for America