Thursday, November 27, 2008

OK, Now I Get Why We Still Have Queens

If your mental image of "Muslim" is that of some grimy wacko in the Pakistan Federated Areas (unlikely, if you read this blog), or if your idea of "queen" is some teddibly plucky, frighteningly ancient Britisher...have I got a mind-bender for you.

It's Queen Rania of Jordan, accepting an award for her YouTube channel (told you!), and riffing on Letterman's Top Ten list as she does so.

Tip o' the hat to Juan Cole for this one.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Obama Administration: As Centrist as His Cabinet Implies?

Here's an interesting bit from Nate Silver, he of, where he analyzes the implications of Obama's Cabinet appointments -- many of which have made the left wing howl in protest -- against his declared policy goals. He classifies those latter into three groups (domestic policy, economics, and foreign/military) and cross-classifies them on a progressive to center-right scale.

Interestingly, just about everything winds up in "progressive", except for areas explicitly related to national defense. But go read the article.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

"Morning In America" Shirts and Stickers Available

I liked the "morning in America" meme so much I decided to exploit it for cash.

(Well, not very much cash.)

Anyway, if you'd like a T-shirt or bumper sticker that proclaims it, see

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Reagan Was Right, You Know

(Bet you never thought you'd see that headline out of me!)

Reagan was right, but he was twenty-eight years too early.

Today is when it's morning in America, baby.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Rebels Win! Empire Defeated! Vader Pissed Off About Wasting His Endorsement!

Well, not really that last one. If Cheney really gave a rat's patootie about McCain, he would have either endorsed him much earlier and more publicly, or shut the **** up.

Anyway, I don't want to be petty, not after that glorious speech. Just three moments I want to share with you:

  1. When McCain mentioned Obama, his crowd booed. When Obama mentioned McCain, his crowd applauded. Listlessly, true, but they were polite.
  2. McCain was interrupted by jingoist chants of "USA! USA!". Obama's crowd -- even before he started hammering the phrase in his speech -- kept affirming "Yes we can!"
  3. Jesse Jackson, in the crowd at Grant Park, with tears running down his face. From that hotel balcony in Memphis this.

Whoa. Democracy Actually In Action

Wish I'd taken a photo, but I didn't want the pollwatchers to come down on me. I dropped the kid off at elementary school this morning and went straight to the polls, which had been open for all of 40 minutes.

We vote at a high school, and the usual setup is a tiny little arts room with all of five little marking booths, four little old ladies, and a scanning machine. I've had to wait for three or four people ahead of me perhaps three times in the 12 years I've lived here, and I vote in every single election.

Not a trace of that cozy familiar scene this morning! An entire gymnasium, one entire wall lined with booths, a veritable herd of poll workers of all ages, and...a...a LINE?

There had to have been 120 people waiting -- maybe more like 150. I never stood in one place longer than 30 seconds, though, that line was moving. And ebullient, too, the whole atmosphere was one of folks barely restraining themselves from high-fiving the poll workers, their fellow voters, even the sullen teenagers stalking past on their way to class.

This could be huge. I blush to admit that I puddled up the other night talking about it with my kids. See, I remember growing up among overt racists, and the civil rights movement. I remember George Wallace being treated as a serious presidential contender instead of as a race-baiting nutball on the lunatic fringe. And I remember Dr. King's murder, and the resulting riots.

Remember, I said. This is history, I told them, and you were there. Always remember this day -- you watched your mom vote for the first black man ever to head a major-party ticket in this country.

We are better than the racists. Better than the haters. Better than the bombers, the torturers, the plunderers. We are America, and today we threw down the gauntlet to Washington: Are you as good as the people you would lead?

Monday, November 03, 2008

BASE Jumping Is For...

...people who want company when they go to meet the devil? Sheesh!

This photo is from a series on the Sports Illustrated site, and was taken by Jessica Klutemeier for SI. Once a year the New River Gorge bridge -- some 800-plus feet above the river -- is opened for these, um, courageous souls. I've actually rafted under that bridge, though not when this was going on.

Other exciting things were, though; that trip is when I made the decision to get married. See, the raft flipped on the very first rapid and my girlfriend neglected to surface for quite some time. I realized that I felt rather put out about that, and resolved then and there that if she did in fact ever pop back up, I'd be marrying her, because even 45 seconds of life without her seemed like a really crappy idea.

Right on cue, up she came, the most beautiful drowned rat I've ever laid eyes on.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Do What the Pumpkin Says

OurĀ  neighborhood: Political much?