Can't take anymore

It's 3.30am, it's 197 to 112 in favour of Bush, Florida and Ohio and Pennsylvania are all still to declare hours after the polls have closed. It's down to the wire but it's not looking good for Kerry in Ohio or Florida. Come on, America. You can do this. Get it right this time. I don't want to wake up tomorrow to discover all my friends have to move to Canada. The weather sucks there. Off to bed now. I'll find out in the morning.
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Oh, Canada...

Well done, idiots. You picked the idiot*, the Great Satan** and their league of demonic clowns***. AGAIN. I hope you're proud of yourselves. I'm expecting a flood across the border to Canada, people. Don't renege on those promises now. * Bush ** Cheney *** Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Rove, et al.
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No More Mr. Nice Guy

The most worrying outcome of the 2004 presidential election is it means that we can no longer pretend that Americans are our friends. Four the past four years, the excesses of the Bush administration have always been accompanied by vocal protests from the liberal segments of America. Believing (and still believing) that George W Bush stole the election and lost the popular vote in 2000, it was easy to regard American foreign policy as the irresponsible actions of a renegade president, acting in opposition to the wishes of the majority of US citizens. We can no longer cling to this comfortable illusion. Regardless of shenanigans in Ohio and continuing odd results in Florida, Bush won the popular vote across the nation by more than four million votes. You have to believe that nobody could falsify that many votes. Therefore, the only conclusion is that Bush's agenda and his actions have been validated: America, for better or worse, supports this president. Of course, it may be that Americans...
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A thought shared

We take a break now from relentlessly obsessing about the election. The preceding post to this one has spawned a lot of email, and I shall be editing a bunch of it into a followup post sometime later this week. But as an interlude, let me tell you about a tube ride I had on the 29th that I've been meaning to blog about for ages. (Dear god, it's the 7th already) This entry is going to be significantly slower-paced than usual, contain lots of unnecessary detail, and doesn't have a funny ending. This is the art house cinema version of my blog; the usual blockbusters with explosions will be along again later. People with MTV attention spans should kick off to another site now. The 29th is significant is because it was the day my number was porting from Orange to O2, my new mobile network. My number didn't change but, importantly, the SIM card in the phone needed to. Unfortunately, I received the O2 SIM card at work and tucked it in my desk. So at 6pm on Friday, when I emerged from the tube near home to...
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Goodbye, Ashcroft!

See, on first seeing this article, I thought "yay! No more Ashcroft!". Then I read the article. Sometimes I want to be one of the characters from Get Your War On. "The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved," Ashcroft wrote in a five-page, handwritten letter to Bush. WHAT?! The objective has been achieved? Then what the fuck did you run for re-election on a platform of homeland security for, Mr. War President? ARE WE EVEN TALKING ABOUT THE SAME AMERICA? Isn't that declaration kind of premature while you're still in the middle of two wars? We've heard this "Mission Accomplished" bullshit from you people before, and it didn't work out too well the last time either! Oh my god. I'm so glad this crazy, crazy man has gone. Maybe now he'll concentrate on his singing career.
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Um, why is there a tank in this picture?

The shrill but nevertheless interesting new AmericaBlog is covering a truly unbelievable event in LA, in which it seems the military drove two actual tanks into the middle of Los Angeles, and used them to intimidate a bunch of anti-war protesters. Did this really happen? Tanks in LA? I dunno. AlterNet, which I consider quite reputable, is reporting it, but it appears they're sourcing from IndyMedia, who I consider less so. And then of course there's video of the event itself. I've watched it all the way through and it is definitely a bunch of anti-war protesters being intimidated by what is clearly a tank, with uniformed soldiers inside who poke their heads out at points. The video is shot at night and there's not much context, although Ed pointed out that at one point a bus drives by with the destination "UCLA", so it's believably LA. I suppose it could be a hoax, but it doesn't look it. Where would they find footage of protesters with a moving tank? Also, as soon as the tank parks up about...
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War Zone

Dear Residents of Tooting, Happy: Halloween Guy Fawkes' day Eid-ul-fitr Divali* Early Christmas Even earlier New Year Ludicrously late 4th of July Birthday I appreciate that this is a joyous time and you wish to celebrate it. However, do you think there's some way you could consolidate all your religious, political and/or pagan festivals into a single, large fireworks display, rather than the current strategy of letting off fireworks continuously from late October until early January? I'm sure this arrangement would make for a much more impressive display and also, importantly, allow me to get to sleep before 3am any night before February 2005. * NB: I know it's pronounced Diwali; this is the Trinidadian spelling.
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I haven't blogged in ages

I have a few deep and meaningful things to write about, but in the meantime you should just pay attention to the bloody linklog, which none of you pay enough attention to. Look, it's on the right.
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Point. Click. Kill.

Online hunting may be the dumbest/scariest idea I've heard of in a while. Underwood ... has invested $10,000 to build a platform for a rifle and camera that can be remotely aimed on his 330-acre (133-hectare) southwest Texas ranch by anyone on the Internet anywhere in the world. So hunting is all about the thrill of the chase? Except you're sitting on your ass. But it's healthy outdoor activity! Except you're indoors. And it's a contest between man and beast! Except man is clicking a mouse, and beast is wandering too close to a camoflaged gun-firing robot. So, basically, this is all about the fun of killing defenceless animals. A wonderful insight into the mind of this "hunter" comes in this quote: "We were looking at a beautiful white-tail buck and my friend said 'If you just had a gun for that.' A little light bulb went off in my head," he said. The first thing that pops into your head when you see a beautiful deer is that you should kill it? What kind of crazed psychopath are you? Further...
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Poetic justice

Hot on the heels of my last post (well, as hot-on-the-heels as is possible after a several-day break) about online hunting comes the news of two groups of hunters in Wisconsin who got into a dispute over a "deer stand", an elevated platform from which they shoot deer, which one group had apparently trespassed upon. Refusing to back down, the groups got into a gun battle, killing five of them (and zero deer). This would have been better if the deer had then eaten the carcasses of the hunters, but the damn things are vegetarian, apparently. Damn hippies.
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Blithe Spirit

This is blogged very late because I've had a very busy week. Ed has been visiting all this week, and he's just gone home, so I have some time to myself today. I should go to the gym really to burn off all the rather nice food I've been consuming recently, but... naah. My current strategy is to stay indoors for as long as possible for the next two months, in order to save money. On Wednesday Ed, M, A and I saw Blithe Spirit, an old Noel Coward comedy that's been revived, to much critical acclaim. It was quite amusing, although I think a bit dated and extremely Anglocentric. So the play started, then there was an intermission, then the play started again, then there was a dramatic moment, the lights went down, and people got up and started to leave. Slightly puzzled, we thought "well, that was a bit of a funny ending...", and then noticed that not everybody was leaving. So I asked a very amused usher, who told us there was another act to come, and that this confused people every night, although the...
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Why I love my iPod

Here are the reasons I like a hard-drive based portable MP3 player: I like music I possess a lot of music, overwhelmingly in electronic form only I am not good at forward planning I am ordinarily too busy to spend long periods listening to music I have long periods of "downtime" when travelling A portable player mean I can make use of this down time The large capacity of a hard-drive player means I don't have to think about what music I want to listen to in advance and burn it to CD; I can select it on the go, and as a bonus, I can listen to all my music at once. I also don't have to carry a load of CDs around, and I don't have to change discs all the time Listening to music, in general, makes me happy. Thus, my iPod has turned more than 2 hours of every weekday that were previously mood-neutral at best into mood-positive hours. That's a significant improvement in my quality of life, and it is available only from a high-capacity portable music playing device. Why I prefer my iPod...
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Other people's words

Ah, to build, to build! That is the noblest art of all the arts. Painting and sculpture are but images, Are merely shadows cast by outward things On stone or canvas, having in themselves No separate existence. Architecture, Existing in itself, and not in seeming A something it is not, surpasses them As substance shadow. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Which is why I prefer coding to consultancy. Powerpoint is merely the painting on the roof; the code is the cathedral.
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