Il mio albero di NATALE   
                                                         TU CHE NE DICI O SIGNORE SE  IN QUESTO NATALE FACCIO UN BELL’ALBERO DENTRO  IL MIO CUORE, E CI APPENDO, … Continua a leggere
          igra istine   
meni ne....vani vetar duva za sve pare... Unhappy


Jel Vas smara ova jesen....kao i mene?
          Adoption rate "needs to quadruple over the next few years"   
This article from The Guardian contains an impressive mix of information and views on transracial adoption. The article appeared more than two and a half years ago, though it's the best thing I've found on the matter since I saw The Guardian's interview with Barnado's outgoing chief exec, Martin Narey, this week.

Narey criticised local authorities and adoption agencies for preventing adoptions on the grounds that potential parents' ethnicities don't match the child's. The ensuing delays -- and in some cases even relocations -- has led many willing parents to give up, while the children -- predominantly black, Asian or mixed race -- remain in care. Meanwhile adoption is at an all-time low: according to the interview, "[o]nly 70 babies were adopted last year compared with 4,000 in 1976."
          Oh. *That* argument again.   
Two reasons to listen to today's Radio 4 PM programme:
  • You can hear LPMG hero Dave King arguing against recent proposals to pay sperm and egg donors.  Hurray!
  • You can hear supercilious very-much-non-expert Toby Young arguing against Fatherhood Institute Chief Exec Rob Williams, for not giving fathers the chance to have substantial parental leave.  Boo.
Young's argument?  That women are just naturally better at it (palm on forehead), and that the experience of the dozy bloke drowning in nappies and loving care or whatever is detrimental to the mother-father relationship.  Gah!

It would be all too easy to criticize Toby Young for regurgitating clichéd, unreconstructed essentialist claims as if they were established fact.  And if it is true (which I imagine it is) that, statistically, men are more likely to express anxieties about their parenting skills, you don't have to be a sociologist of great esteem (like Toby's dad) to wonder whether prevalent gender norms might not play a significant role in ensuring that men are less well initiated for parenting, and more comfortable admitting to their unwillingness and feelings of inadequacy as a parent.  Nor does it take a great cognitive leap to think that all this might actually justify an equal system of parental leave, which would give fathers the opportunity to do their share, which is not even available (never mind attractive or not) to the vast majority of fathers.  And what a cinch it would be to offer the obvious observation that fathers might actually have an obligation to their children to be better at parenting and helping around the house, and that it's about time the rest of us stopped letting them get away with it.

Yup.  It would be all too easy to make these basic points.  So how come no-one at the BBC did?
          Noteworthy ETF Outflows: VGT, PYPL, CRM, ADP   
Looking today at week over week shares outstanding changes among the universe of ETFs covered at ETF Channel one standout is the Vanguard Information Technology ETF Symbol VGT where we have detected an approximate 100 9 million dollar outflow that s a 0 7 decrease week over week
          Happy New Year from the London Pro-feminist Men's Group!   
You might have noticed that the blog is looking a bit different these days. Following the departure of two key members, who we can't thank enough for all their efforts (love to Dan and Jon!), we have taken the opportunity to reinvent the group somewhat. So welcome!

The group has always been about consciousness-raising, and we want to keep that aspect of the group. But now we want to direct our attentions outwards somewhat, and make more the opportunity of so many pro-feminist men being in the same place, so we are gearing up for some more focussed activism (as well as the day-to-day stuff we have always done!).

We each have our own take on our feminism or pro-feminism, and the group will be a great way to meet like-minded men to get involved in some actions. But our main concentration as a group is the campaign for equal parental leave, as well as surrounding issues of work/life balance and better working conditions for women and men with dependents.

To get things rolling, we are all reading the recent report by the Fatherhood Institute into a variety of gender inequalities and injustices in current government legislation about parenting and more besides. You can download the report here. The UK is a pathetic *18th* out of 21 countries considered. If you want to do something about it too, consider joining us for our next meeting, on the 23rd January. (Email us for more details.)

More New Year feminist and pro-feminist things of interest:

bill's profeminist blog has this great post suggesting some Pro-feminist New Year's resolutions for straight guys. (I think plenty also apply to gay men!) Thanks, Bill!

The Feminist Library is celebrating 35 years of archiving and activism on the 19th February, at the Round Chapel, Powerscroft Road, London E5 0PU. (For FB-lovers, the event page is here.) It's going to be a good one, and volunteers are still wanted!

We will also be updating the blog much more often, so bookmark us, or sign up to our RSS feed, and get involved!
          "Feminist" or "Profeminist"   
  • Taken from our Facebook page...

    Richard Twine
    Not a Profeminist but a feminist...

    what do you think of the distinction?

    i think the argument that men should identify as pro-feminist rather than feminist stems from the notion of what academics call epistemic privilege i.e. in this case, men ought not identify as feminists as they cannot know how it is to experience oppression 'as a woman'.

    however i think this is problematic because it
    a) ignores the way in which patriarchy is also a system that includes relations of power between men, most obviously in the oppression of 'feminised' men.
    b) overstates the assumption that 'men' cannot empathise and learn about the experiential knowledge of 'women' (even though to homogenise this would be to ignore 30 years of feminist scholarship)
    c) overstates the value of separatism as a means to radical coalition building
    d) risks homogenising 'men'
    March 23 at 2:43pm · Mark as Irrelevant · Report · Delete Post
  • London Profeminist Hi! As you may already know there are many and different opinions on the issue of this distinction. If we wanted to give a reason for our choice, we would say that the LPMG chooses to identify itself as ‘pro-feminist’ instead of ‘feminist’ cause ‘we don’t need and we don’t want to steal the word from the feminist movement’. This is the opinion of many feminists also and we respect that. Of course, the feminist (or anti-sexist, anti-patriarchist) struggle aims to liberate men also from patriarchy and this is very much where our words and actions tend to contribute. However, it is always good to remind people that the structural inequalities and hierarchies still exist and that being a man in a patriarchal society is in no way the same with being a woman (most of all, in terms of experiences). Men can empathize with let’s say the victims of patriarchy, however we should not ever forget that this empathy is a choice (while oppression isn’t) that is made by men who nevertheless still preserve their privileges in this society.

    Truly, you see a methodological problem there (eg. homogenizing men) since 30 years of feminist scholarship (and most importantly feminist struggles) were enough to change the way some men think about their masculinities. However let’s not forget the previous 2,000 years or so of massive gender oppression… To empathize, after all, does not mean to say that we have the same experiences as women have. It does not mean to try to eliminate the difference among us and women. It is not a matter of competition of victimhood; it is a matter of respect and giving space to the ‘other’.

    And a last thing: the risk of homogenizing all (wo)men is visible in all kinds of gender politics, however many times this is a risk someone must take in order to ‘do politics’ and – let’s say – make a specific demand, no matter how much the academics dislike it. Generalization and homogenization are often strategic steps of this kind of politics and as far as I am concerned they are not false since patriarchy itself is a great, big, awful and violent generalization.

    From LPMG
    4 minutes ago · Edit Post · Delete Post
  • London Profeminist FROM DAVE in the LPMG (but not necessarily representing the views of LPMG!!!)...

    "We are certainly not a 'separatist' group: in the context of gender politics, separatism means primarily women's groups who literally try to have nothing whatever to do with men in their lives. That would make no sense whatever for a pro-feminist men's group.

    Although there is nowadays a greater emphasis in gender politics on men and women working together and on try to abolish gender roles, collapsing the distinctions too quickly is not helpful, and any decision to do so must rest with women. In my view the postmodern and queer emphasis on dismantling gender identities runs many risks. One is that if the people concerned have not done the work on themselves (and that work is big) it all becomes a pretence. A second risk, which I have often observed happening is that these politics collapse into well-meaning (radical) liberalism."

    Dave



    Please feel free to join in the discussion here or on our Facebook page, or both!

          PayPal Isn't Worried About P2P Apple Pay   
In theory PayPal NASDAQ PYPL is one of the companies with potentially the most to lose from Apple s NASDAQ AAPL forthcoming entry into peer to peer P2P payments considering the strong growth in total payment volumes TPV that its Venmo P2P service is enjoying
          The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Apple, Procter & Gamble, Celgene, PayPal and Southern   
For Immediate Release Chicago IL June 19 2017 Zacks com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets Stocks recently featured in the blog include
          Interview for York University Women's Society Zine   
Hannah Cann Interviews Jon Waters for York Uni Women's Society Zine

Jon Waters set up the London Profeminist Men’s Group 2 years ago and they’ve been meeting every 2 weeks ever since.


Why Pro-Feminist?

“Well, we discuss it now and again... Not everyone agrees with the name. Some think that we should be called an ‘anti-sexist men’s group’. There’s the idea that we don’t want to colonize a term for a movement set up by women for the liberation of women, and that calling ourselves male feminists or something similar would suggest we don’t understand and aren’t sensitive to the issues. However, plenty of feminists argue that feminism is for all people who want equality, and that men ought to call themselves feminists as they are fighting the same fight as female feminists. I think we’re happy calling ourselves pro-feminists and helping to define what exactly that term means by simply existing under that title!


How do you think Feminism has affected the lives of men?

Feminism definitely has affected the lives of men... in loads of ways. It has forced men in some circumstances to treat women better, or as equals. In certain areas the level of sexism has been reduced a lot...It’s changed attitudes. It was a bit different for my mum and her generation...It was fine for her not to wear dresses and skirts, and ride a motorbike [laughs]. For me growing up, I got to see a much wider range of gender roles. And in some ways, it’s [Feminism] made it more acceptable for men to talk about their emotions more; which has a bit of a backlash because the ‘macho’ thing still weighs heavily on men and boys. But it’s easier than it was for men to be “in touch with their feminine side”, because Feminism’s changed gender roles. Men also benefit from reduced violence to women. Women are their sisters, mums, lovers. Men aren’t purely selfish individuals [laughs]...and obviously they don’t want the women they love to be the victims of violence.


Why do you think it has taken Feminism to promote certain improvements in men’s lives, such as better attitudes towards fatherhood?

I think it’s fantastic that we are starting to see a lot more men pushing buggies down the road, and there’s more talk about equal paternity leave.
I don’t think there’s an a priori reason why it needed to be a women’s movement. It’s conceivable that it could have been groups of men fighting for their rights to care for their own kids more. However, I think that men are not generally socialised to be particularly caring, to be blunt! [laughs]. It’s often not high on a man’s list of priorities to be a loving father, but rather a breadwinner and procreator. Being a good dad is in the list of “what a perfect man ought to do”, but particularly in the world of work, which is often male-dominated, there’s a lot of resistance to men taking time off work to look after kids. The more macho the work place, the harder it is.
Generally I think it’s a great example of an area where feminists have led the way, and men’s groups can take on the challenge of fighting for men to do more childcare in the home and outside it. As a men’s group we have run several crèches at feminist conferences, and I’m a part of another mixed gender group that focuses on the issue of improving access to activism for parents and carers as well as their kids.


What advice would you give to men who want to take more proactive steps in or for Feminism?

In certain circumstances it might be easier for men to get involved in feminism [than women], because it’s unusual. In some groups men might be welcomed almost as a hero! Similarly, in terms of talking about feminism, people have a lot of preconceptions about feminist women. They switch off, because they think “here we go...” as if they already know what she thinks. With a guy, people are often more intrigued. *Pauses* sorry, what was the question again?!! Oh yeah…
I suppose in a university context there are usually gender courses, and there are loads of academic books and “Brief Introductions to Feminism” out there. I would recommend a website called www.xyonline.net, which has tons of stuff written by pro-feminist men about their lives and their activism. It’s also good to know you’re not the only man in the world who cares! Obviously, if you’re in London, come to the Pro-Feminist Men’s Group [laughs] or check out our blog at londonprofeministmensgroup.blogspot.com/.
If you’re in York, go to Women’s Committee, or any groups that open doors to men. You also need to be receptive to the issues, and be sensitive about why some groups don’t want men, or at least not all the time. It’s important for men to come to terms with the importance of women only spaces. If you don’t get that, it’s easy to think it’s sexist to exclude men, which is what you’re fighting against! You can end up getting a bit stuck. If you find a group that says it doesn’t allow men at meetings, for example, ask them why and listen carefully guys! It’s really not that hard to understand, honest!
If possible, find other men who are interested in feminism. Best by far is to meet face-to-face with other men, but online communities can be a decent substitute if you can’t find anyone. A common theme in the men’s group is that we’ve all had a friend, lover or ex-lover who’s a strong feminist woman and has influenced us, our lives and behaviour. Ideally there’d be enough pro-feminist men out there that it didn’t always have to fall on women to “convert men” but learning lots from feminist friends is generally a great way to start out if you’re interested in gender issues.


What sort of feedback do you get from men and women? Does it vary from men to women?

Personally, I am not a very good advocate for the group. I don’t tend to put the group out there. It’s quite a cowardly approach I suppose. I tend to only tell people I think will be positive about it!
When I’m brave enough to tell men about the group it often feels like I’ve just said I’m part of a Jewish Pro-Nazi group. They get a “does not compute” face. ‘Consternation’ would be a good word for it! It’s a difficult job explaining what we do. We don’t have a narrow focus you can sum up in a few words, which makes it hard to talk about sometimes. Generally speaking, women are more interested and sometimes almost congratulatory. Some say they want their boyfriends to go along!


Why is it important for men to think about feminist issues today?

I think a lot of men want to live in a more equal and fair society, and don’t want to see women getting paid less on average, having to deal with loads more domestic violence than men, and generally having less power and privilege than men in most situations. Feminism also gives men the tools to radically alter the gender roles that cause them so much damage, even whilst they confer privilege on them. Boys are taught to become “real men” and face all sorts of bullying if they don’t conform. Changing masculinity and the expectations we have of what “being a real man” means would give men more freedom to be themselves and to express their feelings, hopefully leading to less pent up anger, depression, suicide and violence. A radically different masculinity would mean not having to live in fear of other men’s violence and fear of being seen as weak or not having all the answers all the time. Ultimately, men should get involved in feminist politics because FHM – Feminism Helps Men!
Jon Waters recommends www.xyonline.net and Slow Motion – changing masculinities, changing men by Lynne Segal to learn more about the male role in feminism. Contact him directly at londonprofeministmensgroup@gmail.com.
          Apple P2P Payments Aren't a Threat to PayPal or Square   
Apple NASDAQ AAPL has a knack for coming into markets a bit late but offering something innovative to drive user adoption Unfortunately such is not the case with its peer to peer P2P 160 payments service announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month
          Top Analyst Reports for Apple, Procter & Gamble, and Celgene   
Friday June 16 2017 The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team Today s Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks including Apple AAPL Procter amp Gamble PG and Celgene CELG These research reports have been hand picked from
          Feminism In London Crèche   
Over a year ago in the run up to the first Feminism In London Conference we asked LFN about childcare for their conference and whether they needed any volunteers. Although we were too late and no crèche had been arranged we agreed to run the crèche for FiL 09 and true to our word a year later we’ve finally done it!

We were very busy in the run up to the conference with some guys taking responsibility for the workshop and me organising the crèche. On the day a total of 4 members of the group and 5 women from LFN volunteered at various times and we had 7 kids come and visit for various lengths of time throughout the day. We had a couple of babies visit with their parents and the rest stayed happily playing whilst their parents/carers enjoyed the rest of the conference, and most didn’t want to leave at the end!

We had great fun making sticking pictures, doing colouring, building and knocking over towers, reading stories, playing catch, making a giant space ship out of chairs and couloured material, playing with balloons, creating a small farm with toy animals and playing with cars.

As well as the kids having fun and their respective adults getting to enjoy the conference the volunteers mostly seemed to get a lot out of it too, one saying that they “should do this more often”.

The quote below is from the parent of a child who stayed the whole day in the crèche and it sums up why I feel it was such a success:

“I would like to thank you for the good care Konrad received yesterday in crèche. He enjoyed it and asked if he can come back tomorrow.
It is very good for him to be around pro-feminist men as he does not have many occasions in every day life.
Your support means that mothers can with confidence take part in events like FiL and not worry about childcare.
Thanks to everyone involved.”


Until next year (or the next crèche anyway), bye for now!

Posted by Jon
          Feminism in London 2009   
The second Feminism in London conference held last Saturday (October 10th) at Conway Hall was a great success. As the London Pro-feminist Men's Group we felt very privileged to be able to take part, contribute and support the second LFN conference this year.

We took part in the conference in two main ways as a group. Firstly we supported the LFN conference, by providing childcare and secondly we contributed to the conference by facilitating a workshop entitled "What are the issues for pro-feminist men?".

We had two aims whilst we created the workshop, which were (1) to give a practical introduction to what we do in the London Pro-feminist Men's Group and (2) to get feedback from both men and women on issues for pro-feminist men and what we should / should not do.

By this we hoped to start answering the question posed in the workshop about the connection between men's life issues and the struggle for feminism. In the next part I will outline our aims for the workshop in more detail.

Ad 1.) In the introduction of the workshop we focused on what we do in our group, the essence of which is the traditional feminist practice of consciousness-raising, based on the idea that the personal is political. With men – since we are part of the oppressor group - this is a tricky process. We have to keep our attention on the ways that we are sexist, but making us feel bad about ourselves will not be helpful. Also, it is fairly easy to deal with the ways in which we are consciously sexist, but there are many unconscious ways in which we are sexist. These are often ways of being into which men are socialised from very early age. To change this conscious and unconscious sexism requires sustained work on oneself.

Obviously being a man comes with lots of advantages. We as men generally get what we want and can get away with pretty much everything, We have the luxury to be selfish, we earn more money, we are not expected to bother about our appearance or bother about childcare. At some point, when one looks at oneself and wider society though, it has to become clear that the way we traditionally act as men is not good for society on the whole and that in the long run it is also not good for us. In the end, one has to come to the conclusion that the ways we are treated as boys and the roles we are taught to play as men are not good and that if we continue to act, think and behave in sexist ways, they will cause us major difficulties in our lives - even as they give us dominant positions in society and power over women.

WHY IS IT USEFUL TO MEET AS MEN SEPERATELY?

With that background, we felt it should be fairly clear why it is useful for men to meet separately: (i) in order to understand how we have been socialised as men, we need to share common life experiences; (ii) meeting without women is important in order to create the safety to be able to admit sexist behaviors (iii) men need to learn to create a real relationships with and get support from each other, rather than relying on women for emotional support.

Ad 2.) In the second part of the workshop we split into two groups - one female and one male. During the preparations for the workshop we had decided that we would facilitate the discussion in the men’s group and would not prescribe what the women would discuss. We had decided to do it like that, because we – as men – did not want to prescribe women what they should or should not talk about in a feminist environment. We did however encourage the women to talk about what it is they would / would not want from pro-feminist men.

In the end, two of us from the LPMG (London Pro-feminist Men’s Group) facilitated the men’s discussion, whilst LFN volunteer Jan volunteered on the spot to lead the women’s group discussion.



MEN’S GROUP DISCUSSION

We started our discussion with a round in which we gave our names and an example of being sexist recently. Issues that came up were issues such as:

- interrupting women when they’re talking
- not challenging sexist jokes and comments in a group setting
- not listening to women when they give us feedback – perceiving it as nagging
- stereotyping women
- seeing women as objects

We then talked about how often one of us had organized childcare in the past year, if we had noticed how often man / women had talked in group settings or how often we’d felt fearful when we’d approached a stranger of the opposite sex in the street.

Not surprisingly none of us had organized childcare or felt fearful when approaching a stranger of the opposite sex in the street. We did feel however that men tend to speak more in mixed groups when compared to women. We used this exercise to underline the fact that women’s and men’s lives are very different and how different our positions in life are. Maybe in a way how harder and less safe it must feel to be a woman and how privileged we men are in our daily lives.

Due to time constraints we unfortunately did not get much chance to discuss how socialisation into boyhood / manhood had felt for us, which was what we’d originally planned to do. We did however shortly touch on the subject of pornography within our culture and the effects it has on men and our relationships to women.

WOMEN’S GROUP DISCUSSION / FEEDBACK:

At the end of the workshop the women that took part in the workshop gave us the following feedback.

the women wanted us (the men) to:

CAMPAIGN
BE ENCOURAGING
STAND UP AS FEMINISTS AMONGST MEN
CHANGE THE IMAGE OF FEMINISM
CONFRONT AND CHANGE OUR OWN BEHAVIOUR (e.g. NOT INTERRUPTING)
REJECT INDUSTRIES THAT HARM WOMEN (e.g. PORNOGRAPHY)
TAKE EQUAL DOMESTIC RESPONSIBILITY, ESPECIALLY AS DADS
BE ROLE MODELS
LOOK OUTWARD
NOT BLAME OURSELVES PERSONALLY / INDIVIDUALLY FOR WOMEN’S OPPRESSION
SPEAK UP FOR PATERNITY LEAVE ETC., EVEN IF WE’RE NOT FATHERS
DO GIVE THE FACTS
CHALLENGE STEREOTYPES (e.g. AGGRESSIVE, VIOLENT, ANGRY, ADAPTED TO WAR)



the women did not want us (the men) to:

PATRONISE
TAKE OVER
LEAD – WOMEN MUST TAKE THE LEAD



Luckily, we had time to go through these, as we felt it was important that we get direct feedback from the women’s group. It was helpful to see that some of the issues we had discussed as men also had been talked about in the women’s group. Unfortunately there was not enough tome to think together about how we could practically work on these issues and what men can do to become more of a part in the struggle for feminism. In a sense though, I feel that some ideas about this came up in the initial discussion at the start of the workshop. The senses of what we – as men – can do in the struggle for feminism is (1) to get more involved in feminism and expose ourselves to feminism by attending events, conferences, fundraisers, marches and protests, (2) get involved or support in all-gender groups that support equality and struggle for feminism (e.g. OBJECT - http://www.object.org.uk/ or the FAWCETT SOCIETY - http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/)(3) talk openly about our feminism with our friends and spread our thoughts and ideas in our circle of friends and acquaintances. Only if we as men do these important things, as well as keep in mind the "dos & donts" the women in our workshop presented us with, will we as men be able to make a practical contribution to the struggle for feminism.

A big thank you to everyone who came to the Feminism in London conference and a special thank you to everyone who came to our workshop. It was great working with you and we thought it was very valuable to hear all your thoughts and ideas! We were very pleased with the outcome of the workshop. Thank you also for your feedback on our workshop. If you have any further comments or questions with regards to our workshop, please send us an email.
          Why Would Snap Integrate PayPal Into Snapchat?   
Earlier this month Snap NYSE SNAP decided to integrate PayPal NASDAQ PYPL directly into its core Snapchat app by installing the payment processor s software development kit SDK The move which includes both iOS and Android versions of the app was done quietly with
          Artificial sperm and the end of men??   
Publication of a research paper on creating sperm cells from embryonic stem cells has created the usual media furore, complete with mostly uncritical hype about what this technology can actually achieve and a failure to ask scientists the really hard questions. Not being a pro-lifer I have no problem with the use of embryonic stem cells in basic research. However, the idea that sperm cells produced from embryonic stem cells in a laboratory could be used in fertility treatment is a dangerous and unethical technological fantasy. Like the idea of “therapeutic cloning”, what seems simple in theory will in practice prove practically impossible, precisely because it is so unnatural.

Much of the media discussion has focused on the idea that this might lead to 'men becoming redundant'. As with cloning, and the fears of armies of cloned soldiers, the point is not to take such scenarios literally, but to look beneath the surface at what the fears are really about. The scientific drive to abstract the whole of the human reproductive life cycle from its context of actual human bodies is just an example of the deep dynamic of science in our society. Since the Scientific Revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries, the function of science has been to control nature and to impose order upon its random messiness, eventually to improve upon it, and ultimately to replace the need for it. What reproductive and biotechnology are now bringing home to us is that nature includes us. Thus, for the last 25 years we have seen the emergence of transhumanist/posthumanist movements, which look forward to the evolution through technology (including bio-, nano- and information technology) of posthuman beings (entities?). Feminists have been arguing since the 1970s that reproductive technology is an attempt to control and appropriate women's fertility, which aims ultimately to end the reliance on the female body for production of children, through artificial wombs. Now, it seems it is men's turn to feel this anxiety.

Of course, the capitalist-scientific drive to dominate nature is very male, (nature is gendered as female in nearly all cultures), and is one of the key features of patriarchy in our societies. What is interesting is that, by its own logic, it must also move to dispense with men's bodies, testes, penises.

There are feminist theories that argue that a major part of men's tendency to try to dominate women comes from a psychological insecurity which arises from the fact that men do not carry and give birth to children, which is, after all, a central part of human life. In that process, men feel like lightweights, and I think this latest research presses exactly on that nerve. That may be why, although the idea that men will become redundant is very unlikely, there has been so much interest in this bit of research.

David King
A fuller version of this blog can be found at www.hgalert.org/artiifcial_sperm_blog.htm
             
Here is an earlier comment by Mike Hurford and my response:

I have read your blogger with interest, but I appear to view our society in a way that none of you do. There are some very sexist and offensive men in our society. I agree. You seem to treat these men as an enemy, challenging their behaviour, and if you find yourselves acting in this way, you attempt to change your behaviour. My problem with your comments is this. Don’t think that a lot of women are equally sexist and offensive to men? There are many sexist women around today. Why don’t you challenge their behaviour in the same way? Feminism would be acceptable to me if it wasn’t so sexist, and didn’t keep generalising about the entire male sex.( Something that they claim to be fighting against, only about women). It seems to me that they, like you, are hypocrites. I have met many sexist people, men and women, but it is only the men who are challenged. The women are supported in their behaviour, by groups such as yours, and society in general. This is my view on feminism, and I would like one of you to discuss with me in an adult way where I’m going wrong. I look forward to a chat with you re the above. Regards M Hurford


Dear Mike,

Thanks for your post, and for raising an issue which seems to confuse a lot of people.

In my view, and I would guess most feminists would agree with me, the issue is not about making wrong generalisations. The feminist claim is there exists a system of oppression of women by men, called patriarchy. This system has existed in all societies we know about for the last few thousand years. In patriarchal societies women, women’s work, women’s values etc are systematically undervalued. Women are forced into a very narrow set of roles and possibilities for their lives. Women’s lives are ruled by men. Men abuse women sexually and with violence. There are too many examples to list, because patriarchy and sexism pervade everything in society. Although in Western liberal democracies some of the rough edges of this system have been knocked off in the last 40 years it is still very much in operation.

What this means is that contrary to what you seem to be assuming, there is no parity between men’s negative ideas about women, and women’s negative ideas about men. Men’s negative ideas about women are part of the system of oppression, and have a great deal of power associated with them. By contrast, women are comparatively much less powerful, and much of their hostility towards men is an understandable reaction to oppression. That does not excuse a general hostility to men, but we should be putting much more attention and energy into trying to deal with the oppression of women. Actually, I do not think that it is appropriate to use the term “sexism” to describe women’s hostility to men, because that word denotes not just a set of attitudes, but the fact that they occur within a system of massive inequality of power in favour of men. I don’t know what word we should use, there doesn’t seems to be one in English, but the key point is that sexism is not just about attitudes.

By the way, just in case you’re getting the wrong idea about where the group and I are coming from, the point of our group is not to beat ourselves up as bad guys. In agreeing with the feminist claim that women are oppressed under the system of patriarchy, we are also claiming that although men benefit from that, there are many aspects of the roles that men are forced into in that system that are harmful to men as well as women. Just one example would be the fact that men are supposed to be invulnerable and never seek support if they are feeling hurt or weak. So, in supporting feminism, we are working for the liberation of men as well.

Best Wishes
David King
          Iskreno (i neiskreno) sta mislite o osobi iznad   
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          Sleeping Busty Sister In Law Gets Inappropriate Awakening   
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          Phobius post-mortem   
Hey there jammers! It took a while but we finally found some time to sit down a bit and reflect on all that went down during the LD jam. It was our very first attempt. We had no idea what to expect from ourselves or the community and we couldn’t be happier with the experience. […]
          Can men be feminists?   
Jon and I went to a discussion group at the Feminist Library today on the question of whether men can be feminists. Below is some of what was said and a couple of further thoughts by Jon and me on the topic.

Some ideas of today's talk:

  • Defining feminism as women-only means putting up gender barriers instead of destroying them
  • Feminism is a way of thinking - the gender of the person thinking it shouldn't matter
  • There should be another word than feminist to describe men who support feminism
  • Men shouldn't call themselves "pro-feminist" instead of "feminist" because it reinforces exclusive gender divisions
  • In some social situations, men have more to lose from standing up against sexism - because they can lose their position of privilege which women don't have in the first place. But is this an excuse for failing to do so?

Other issues and arguments

  • If feminism is women's liberation movement, then it must be women only. Men involved in women's liberation movement would be problematic because it would be very patronizing ("we'll liberate you").
  • Also, by calling what they are doing "feminist", men appropriate what belongs to women. It is argued that "feminist" is a term that ought to be reserved for those who have lived the embodied experience of growing up female and choose to resist the oppression that they experience as a result of this fact. Those who support that struggle should not colonise the term feminist but instead call themselves "pro-feminist" as their struggle is not the same as that of "feminists".
  • Alternatively, men can be feminists if feminism means being anti-patriarchy (bell hooks). Patriarchy is seen as the system of binary gender that oppresses everyone, albeit to very different extents, and anyone who resists this system of oppression can legitimately call themselves a feminist.
  • Seen more pragmatically, men need to be somehow involved in feminism for it to achieve its goals, because men are the ones who need to change the most.

Remaining open questions

Should we call ourselves pro-feminist or feminist men (or something else)?
And, to open another can of worms: If feminism is a way of thinking, and if it means destroying gender categories, isn't a "men's group" reinforcing those categories and thus sexist?

Comments welcome.
          Minutes of meeting: 30-03-2009   
Attending: Dan, Dave, Jon, Filip & Björn

At the start of the meeting we discussed the new Facebook group Björn had created and together we had a look at the group's description. We discussed the text and made a few amendments to the description. We then opened the group to the whole of Facebook.

We started our discussions at about 12:20 and talked about various issues concerning masculinity. One of these was the fact that there seems to be a need in many men to be the “alpha male” and to compete with other men. We mainly talked about this in the context of anarchists, where it seems that male's (and females to some extent) compete on who is being the most radical / extreme or violent. A main focus of the discussion regarded the difficulty of ridding oneself of “masculinity” and that even as pro-feminist men one finds oneself competing in macho behaviors like these at times. This despite often feeling different from “those men”. When one realized though, how hard it is to escape one's own and society's masculinity, this results in a feeling of disappointment and / or annoyance with oneself.

Related to that, we talked about the G20 summit and the coming protests this week and how the potential for violence is scaring off people who might otherwise consider going. We discussed how this potential for violence is the backbone of a power struggle between the police and radical protesters. The police wants to deter as many people as possible from attending the protests, making use of their power and the potential violence. This might result in only the “hard core” of protesters going, which results in a very masculine struggle, consisting of violence and power.

We further discussed to what extent men are scared of other men in similar ways as women and how this at times prevents men from challenging sexist and misogynist behavior in other men. An example was a group of men with beer cans shouting something at a woman at a tube stop. The potential for violence and the strength of the group is scary to men as well and deters them from taking any action.

A reason we proposed for this was that when a man shows very masculine behavior (making sexist jokes in a pub or a sexist comment in the street) a challenge to this man will probably entice a more radical masculine response so that the male in question can retain their masculinity. This then might result in more verbal, or possibly physical abuse.In relation to this we talked about the question whether there were such things as “good” or “bad” moments when one can challenge strangers or people one knows and how difficult it can be when one feels one is fighting a fight against misogyny alone.

Our conclusion to this discussion was, that in a public place, a response to unacceptable behavior would probably not make an immediate change but would at least be exemplary to others who felt similar about the unacceptable behavior that occurred. It was also agreed that challenging the sexist behaviour of people we don't know is probably less likely to be effective than challenging the people we do know, and who are more likely to take our opinions on board.

Another point that was made later on was how important it is to do things collectively. This discussion led us to talk about the future of the group and we had the following ideas for the next few months:

- making more links with feminist groups and getting involved in more feminist events
- group reading of feminist / pro-feminist literature
- organizing crèches for feminist events in London
- doing more workshops and having a completed workshop “on file” that can be done by various members of the group
- keep the focus on the personal experience of “life as a man” in a patriarchal culture
- working more on accountability towards one another and challenging each other within the group with regards to own sexist/misogynist attitudes
- making a zine / e-zine
          Men Running Child Care   
Some of us in the Profeminist Men's group work with children in various capacities already and we all share the conviction that profeminist men doing child care is a great idea. It’s one way we can support mothers and other carers (usually also women) and to facilitate feminist organising by giving parents and carers some free time to attend workshops, planning meetings etc. It also shows that men can provide loving child care and that raising kids isn’t “women’s work”. It's also something that men's groups in the 70s and 80s used to do to support the Women's Liberation movement and childcare at political events continues to be under provided today. Those of us that do work with kids also love it, and have really enjoyed doing childcare in a political context.

For example, one member of the group recently helped run a kidspace on Raven’s Ait (an island in the Thames near Surbiton) during the G20 protests. A few of us ran the crèche/playroom thing at the Gender, Race and Class conference at SOAS in February and a couple of us also ran a smaller crèche during a feminist planning meeting back in the summer. We’re planning to continue this work in various forms (Feminism in London Conference next year for one) and aim to work closely with the CRAP! Collective (Child Rearing Against Patriarchy) to develop further links with parents and carers who want to make sure that they and their kids are not excluded from political events.

Below is a report about the recent kidspace on the island, written by one of the organisers.



The kidspace and childcare cooperative was organised by the CRAP! Collective (Child Rearers Against Petriarchy), London Pro-feminist Mens Group, the Global Mutiny Network and the community of Ravens Ait island.
Raven's Ait is a squatted island on the River Thames near Surbiton, South London. This artificially made island, which is actually still common land, is steeped in political history, although more recently has been used for weddings and corporate events. The present occupants are creating an amazing peaceful space for community, an eco-conference centre, permaculture gardens and workshops on sustainability and environmental issues.
Raven's Ait was the perfect place for the kidspace. We had a large indoor playroom with views of the river and passing boats, and a stunning grass lawn for the kids to run around on on and climb trees. We had loads of fun playing games and doing forest-school inspired crafts, such as: making dreamcatchers/ spiders webs, nature crowns, tipis, parachute games, football, twister, a mini rock concert, lots of drawing and painting, Spanish singing, picnics and even played croquet on the lawn, dahling! Being at Raven's Ait also gave the children a chance to experience communal living and working, in a safe space, away from the noise of the city and the police brutality during the G20 protests.
Many actions and demos can easily be made more welcoming for children and their carers to participate in, and we would encourage this. However in respect to this weeks G20 protests, we made the decision that it was too unpredictable and heavy for our children to attend, and looking back on it we feel we made the right decision organising the kidspace away from the action.
Mainstream society is not very welcoming to parents, carers and children, and personally I feel that often activism isnt either. Capitalism places no value, monetary or otherwise, on the work parents do, and patriarchy designates it as women's work. As activists we need to challenging these notions. We need to ensure that as much value is placed on the role of childcare, as is placed on all other aspects of organising actions, demos, meetings, workshops, etc. We also need to be challenging the sexist notion that women should be looking after the children, by ensuring that more men are given childcare roles. Paid childcare is very expensive, and most of us cant afford to pay for it to go to meetings or do actions, so if childare isnt provided, or children aren't welcome at meetings etc than we just cant go. Even if childcare cant be arranged, than we should at least think about enabling children attend with their parents/ carers.
This is an appeal for all those organising in the UK at the moment to ensure that your organising facilitates parents, carers and children attending and getting involved.
Dont leave your friends behind!
To get involved: http://www.ravensait.org.uk/, http://www.feministchildrearing.blogspot.com/, http://www.londonprofeministmensgroup.blogspot.com/, http://www.global-mutiny.webs.com/

To listen to our radio interview on dissident island from the kidspace, visit http://www.dissidentisland.org/ and listen to G20 part 1, we're about 30 minutes into the show.

FOR LOTS OF AWESOME PICTURES OF THE KIDSPACE GO TO: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/southcoast/2009/04/426666.html?c=on#c219804
          T-Rex at the Sports Club   
If you’re already fed up with the lack of daylight, and think xmas is just too far away to wait fro a decent night out  – get yourself down to Ulverston Sports Club on Sunday 17th November and remember that you were born to boogie. Appearing Live t Ulverston Sports Ulverston Sports and Recreation Club […]
          Men and Feminism Workshop @ Ladyfest, 10/5/08   
Men and Feminism Workshop @ Ladyfest, 10/5/08
Notes from discussions

This workshop was run by Dan and Jon from the London profeminist men’s group. It was held on Saturday afternoon and lasted 1.5 hours. It took place in a fairly small room with between 18 and 25 people present throughout (as people came and left).

We went round and introduced ourselves saying a little something about why we were at the workshop.


FIRST DISCUSSION – in three small groups

How are boys and men socialized to become dominant?

Points made:
- The fear of the consequences of being different.
- Families, especially parents, treating children differently. Giving them different toys to play with, dressing them differently, etc.
- Stereotypes portrayed in the media of a certain type of dominant masculinity
- The potential threat of violence gives men power/dominance
- Men are expected to “stand up for themselves” which means carrying yourself in a certain way in the street. Putting up a front of bravado.
- Men are taught to be more goal oriented which leads to them being more straightforward in their demands. This in turn leads to them getting more when they do demand stuff, such as higher wages, and this increases their dominance further.
- Social expectations in general and peer pressure at school in specific – also from looking up to and copying older boys’ ways of interacting and ways of acting out a dominant masculinity.
- Control
- The question is kind of about nature vs nurture.
- In school boys tend to be noisy and get more attention because of this. This reinforces their self-importance
- Girls and boys are praised for different things and this reinforces certain dominant behaviours in boys.
- Boys and girls are encouraged to do different subjects at school.
- Competitive sport might be another way in which boys are taught to be dominant.
- Boys and girls bully in different ways


The links between competitive masculinity and capitalism were noted and it was suggested that men become more dominant because they’re taught to be behave in a way that increases their power in a capitalist society – being goal oriented, competitive, aggressive etc.

Are men really dominant? Obviously females can also fit within the dominant role.



SECOND DISCUSSION – in three small groups

It’s possible to see there being two moments profeminist groups are going through,

1) a moment where men identify and give up their privileges.
2) a consciousness raising moment, where men think about how we got to be this way, work on ourselves and talk about our negative life experiences

How should a profeminist group deal with these two issues:

Should they give up on the second one? Men’s negative experiences of gender should not be discussed in profeminist groups because they are very limited when compared to how other groups suffer under patriarchy.
Is the second issue even a "profeminist" issue? How is it supporting the feminist struggle to discuss men's problems?
Should these two issues be treated separately, making it clear that they are two different moments, or should we talk about them together?
Could the second issue be used as a "marketing strategy" to attract men to the group? Wouldn't that be politically dangerous?


Points made:
- Everyone is gendered: all forms and degrees of oppression can be fought
- Have an open group focussing on male experiences of (pro)feminism and patriarchy. Maybe call it a “gender discussion group” rather than a feminist group.
- Would men feel more comfortable in a men only space? Is most of the world already a men only space?
- The second moment is valid as a starting point for men arriving at feminism … but not as a marketing strategy?
- Challenge the understanding of the word “feminism/profeminism” and make people understand what it really is, not the cultural clichés that have grown from it.
- Moment 1) is very individualistic and assumes very altruistic men. But it’s in men’s self-interest to fight patriarchy too.
- While some men do come to feminism through altruism or a sense of injustice this might be unsustainable.
- Men “giving up power” is far too simplistic. Profeminism is not an act of charity or pity.
- Consciousness raising is very important, but we must remember the political dimension.
- Foucault said something about how the oppressions of society are inside us and we all know the personal is political so… maybe sharing feelings/being unmasculine together is political.
- Is this really feminist though? Is there a difference between challenging patriarchy (through developing a new form of (un)masculinity) and feminism? Maybe it’s not feminist but is profeminist?
- Remember, just talking about it might not lead to real changes in our lives.
- Men overthrowing their gender roles is a very important step towards ending patriarchy.


THIRD DISCUSSION – all together

What do we think profeminist groups should look like, do, talk about etc?

· should there be men only profeminist groups / Are men only profeminist groups useful for feminist struggles? Couldn't we compare this to bosses gathering together to think about freeing the workers... or white only groups working on black liberation.
· what do you think are the main dangers a profeminist group should avoid?
· what topics do you think the group should discuss?
· what actions should the group be doing other than meeting and talking with each other?
· what kind of support are feminist groups expecting from a Men's profeminist group? theoretical, practical, financial?
· what should be the goals of a profeminist men’s group?
· should a men's only group be "monitored" by women’s feminist groups?
· should a men's only group always be "attached" to a women’s feminist group?

On the first question, “should there be men only profeminist groups?”
- They are a good was to focus on men becoming feminist
- But men already have their own spaces in society and isn’t this just reproducing that?
- Depends on why the group exists, what role that group takes
- Important for the group not to take over women’s struggles and for men to take a back seat in mixed feminist organisations
- We need mixed spaces so maybe the group could link with a women’s group
- A non-judgmental space where men can express masculinity
- The group should protest outside strip clubs. A men only protest would cause a greater media stir than a mixed or women’s group doing the same. This would (rightly) piss off a lot of women who have been already doing this for years!

On the second question, “what are the main dangers a profeminist group should avoid?”
- Reconstructing (reproducing?) the fixed identity of “man”
- Getting too hung up on “men’s rights” issues
- Mainstream approach
- Condemning men who are violent/macho when they have no choice – e.g. men on a working class estate who believe they might sometimes need to fight to survive. [question: does being violent = being macho?]
- Being inactive for fear of a (real) feminist backlash from women! In other words fearing to undertake certain types of activity for fear of being told we’re doing the wrong thing by certain groups of feminists. But remember there’s plenty we can do which doesn’t involve stepping on any feminist toes.


Apparently at least one small group came to a rough consensus that a men’s only group was ok but that a mixed group would probably be better in lots of ways.

The group intends to take these comments on board, discuss them at the next meeting and decide how to change the group based on those discussions.
          Interesting article   
Below is an interesting article about men and feminism which some of you might be interested in. Thanks to Sarah for sending this in our direction.




Men and gender justice: old debate, new perspective

Emily Esplen

The expanding intellectual interest in "masculinities" is welcome but needs greater involvement by gender-justice and women's-rights specialists if it is to be the vehicle of progress, says Emily Esplen.

28 - 02 - 2008

The nature of men's involvement in the struggle for gender justice has long fiercely divided gender-equality advocates. After nearly three decades of disagreement this seam of tension doggedly persists, little engaged with and largely unresolved.

Even as the women's movement remains hesitant, often bordering on hostile, to the idea of men's involvement, the "masculinities agenda" is striding forwards with innovative work on men and masculinities - even though it is at times often flawed in its understanding of power and in the way it merely counterposes to the idea of women's empowerment a focus on working with men "for their sake".

The most promising work in this field is happening at the level of the personal: it concentrates on transforming men's sexual behaviour, challenging violence against women and relations of fatherhood. The pioneering work of organisations like the Instituto Promundo in Brazil, which supports young men to question traditional gender norms and promote gender-equitable behaviours and attitudes, has shown that, yes, men can change. Other organisations, like the Sonke Gender Justice Network in South Africa are taking work with men in exciting new directions, reorienting existing projects aimed at individual men and politicising it in order to promote men's broader mobilisation around structural inequities and injustices. Futhermore, organisations working with men are themselves coming together to facilitate sharing and learning, enabling a stronger, more coherent struggle, as with the recently established "Men Engage" global alliance which seeks to involve men and boys in reducing gender inequalities.

A unique opportunity

This current momentum offers a unique opportunity to advance the common goal of realising gender equality. But while the proliferation of organisations working with men for gender justice is welcome, it is notable that very few of them have close and direct relationships with the women's movement. True, some do have looser connections or networks that include people active in the women's movement in individual countries, but even these are rare. This creates a discernible danger that "masculinities" will become - or has become already - a discrete field of thinking and practice, somehow disconnected from the women's movement and from gender and development more broadly.

Indeed, a depressing reality is coming into view whereby "gender" seems - even among those most committed to the gender agenda - repeatedly to be conflated with women. As long as connections between the women's movement and those working with men remain fragile (at best) to non-existent (at worst), femininities are likely to be rendered invisible in evolving masculinities discourses. The result is that - once again - the fundamental interconnectedness of men and women and the relational nature of gendered power will be lost.

Indeed, I've been repeatedly struck at recent seminars and conferences on "engaging men in gender equality" by the meagre representation from the gender and development field: a couple of us at most, in an audience comprised overwhelmingly of specialists in sexual and reproductive health and rights. In part, this points to one of the weaknesses of the current masculinities field: the overwhelming focus on sexual health and violence, and the corresponding failure to engage sufficiently with equity issues: among them equal pay and leave entitlements, representation in politics, parental rights and benefits, and domestic work/housework. The lack of attention to such issues results in the waste of opportunities to advance shared concerns.

A false equivalence

There are other dangers in refusing to engage constructively with the evolving men and masculinities discourse. While many organisations working with men are deeply informed by feminist thinking and practice, others are less grounded in a pro-feminist framework. As the masculinities bandwagon gathers momentum, there is a temptation to slip into modes of thinking and language that (for example) regard women and men as equivalently vulnerable (i.e. women are harmed by femininity and men are harmed by masculinity), or even describe men as "worse off" than women.

This is reflected in the way that much of the discourse of men and masculinities has been expressed in terms of a "crisis in masculinity". It's certainly the case that many men share with the women in their lives similar experiences of indignity as a result of social and economic oppression. Yet it is important to recognise the real differences in power and privilege experienced by women and men on the basis of gender, and to avoid glossing over men's accountability for the ways in which they choose to act out their privilege. While it's important to engage with poor men's realities, this should be done without positing men as the "new victims".

At a symposium in October 2007 on "Politicising Masculinities", organised by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), it was noted that this issue of false equivalence surfaces frequently in discussions of men's own experience of violence. It is not uncommon to hear the statement that "men are also victims of violence at the hands of women". Such comments can be profoundly unhelpful, not least because this violence is nothing like on the same scale as the many forms of violence experienced by women from men. Alan Greig made clear at the IDS symposium that the mere counterposing of women's and men's experience and perpetration of violence is a trap; the challenge is rather to help illuminate the workings and functions of violence within the systems of oppression that organise our different societies, while holding accountable the individuals and institutions (mostly men and male-dominated) that are responsible for enacting this violence.

But to have some influence over the evolving masculinities discourse and practice in a way that avoids positing men as the "new victims" requires working in solidarity with those in the masculinities field who do understand power and the core issues of gender equality and justice. Now is an opportune time to open up the debate and advance thinking on what it would take to build bridges between the feminist/women's movement and those working with men. The eleventh Association for Women's Rights in Development (Awid) forum in November 2008 is on the horizon, with a timely focus on the power of movements; Men Engage are hosting their first global conference in early 2009 on engaging men and boys in gender equality; and the fifty-third United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will focus on engaging men in caring for people living with HIV.

These spaces offer a much-overdue opportunity for open, constructive dialogue between the feminist/women's movement and organisations working with men for gender justice. It's high time we started to have these conversations - to ask some of the questions people don't like to talk about. It's striking how little we really know or understand about women's hostility towards working with men, or indeed about men's experiences of trying to work with feminist and women's organisations. What will it take to build bridges? How can we promote dialogue and foster greater solidarity? How can we reframe our engagement with questions of masculinities and power so that new alliances can be created, bringing work on masculinities into the heart of movements for social and gender justice?

I don't have the answers - in fact, I doubt that straightforward or singular answers exist. But I do believe these are questions that badly need to be asked if we are to progress beyond the current polarisation of issues that ought to be everyone's concern. The inadequacies of focusing on women in isolation have long been recognised; if we are really serious about achieving a gender-just world, it's time for a more open debate to begin.

Emily Esplen is research and communications officer at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex


          Minutes from 24/2/08   

>>Women acting dumb<<

We discussed our experience of women tending to “act dumb” in conversations with us as men, when we know that they are more intelligent. We thought that this was a learnt behaviour which, among other things, played the role of bolstering men’s ego’s by making them seem like the clever one in the conversation. One gay man present said that he’d never experienced women “dumbing down” in conversations with him which made us think that about it might have to do with more than just boosting male egos.

One thing we didn’t discuss (but should have!) was how we could react positively if we’re ever aware of a woman pandering to our ego by pretending to be stupider than they are.


>>Men and emotions<<

We thought about the questions, what do we do with our feelings, both positive and negative? What is our first reaction? Is it to share them with people around us? Keep them to ourselves? We agreed that often when we don’t talk about our feelings but kind of want to it’s as if we’re waiting for someone to ask us how we’re feeling. For most of us it’s normally a woman we’re waiting for to ask us that question. We’re not used to men using emotional language, asking us how we’re doing etc. Most of us are also not good at asking those emotional questions ourselves.

We talked about the phenomenon of men hiding themselves away from the world, deliberately isolating themselves. This is something that some of us had experienced to different levels of intensity. This isolation can become a kind of comfort zone that it’s hard to escape from, and can also be very lonely. Is this about mental health, or being male? Probably both, we thought.

We mentioned how sometimes we just don’t know how we’re feeling or don’t even realise when we’re having a feeling. We’ve all been taught in different ways to become boys and then men and a key element of this is learning not to show any of our emotions. We all recognised how this happened at school and was probably mot intense in single sex schools. We also talked about how we can unlearn this behaviour and start to reveal more of ourselves to the world, be more open about our feelings and learn to feel more.


We talked about doing a radio interview for Dissident Island Radio.

Two future topics for discussion were also suggested.

1) Are all people raised as men sexist?

2) Our friendships with women.


          Recent discussion on homophobia and other issues   
Minutes from 20/1/08


We talked about how we were feeling and tried to answer the question “how have we experienced life as a man in the last 2 weeks?”

>>Men and Emotions<<

We talked about how the majority of men we come in contact with just don’t talk about their emotions. We agreed it’s very hard to “reach out to” these men sometimes and there was some disagreement over how important it is to try to “convert” other men to be more profeminist.

>>Learning from Women’s Groups<<

We discussed how (probably due to socialisation into a more caring and thoughtful role) women’s way of doing politics is often much more inclusive in terms of making new people to a group feel at ease and welcomed and that as men we feel we’re not taught to be good at this! This led us to thinking about whether we want to emulate women’s “way of doing politics”, following a kind of women’s lib model, raising consciousness etc. and to what extent that just wasn’t possible (or desirable) as a men’s group. We didn’t get very far on this but agreed it should be a topic for further discussion another week.

>>On Homophobia<<

We talked about our own understandings of homophobia from an early age and how we’d all been called “gay” as an insult at school. We mentioned our various sexual experiences and fantasies about other men, and also discussed our own homophobic attitudes that we wished we didn’t have. One of these attitudes was finding overtly camp and flamboyant gay men intimidating and having some unconscious desire for other men to be “sensible”. Another was about feeling insulted when called gay.
We also mentioned (although didn’t really develop) the idea of how homophobia is a key ingredient in dominant masculinity and how homophobia supports patriarchy.

More positively we also talked about the feeling of loving to be surrounded by queer people, trans, or overtly camp gays or butch lesbians. How exciting it is being with people breaking norms. But then we questioned whether this could be a sort of “politically correct” form of solidarity, that you HAVE to like this or else you’re not a real tolerant left wing profeminist! We even questioned whether it is not a form of homophobia to even feel that we have to react or have to have an opinion about camp flamboyant gay guys, trans people etc. In response to this idea we discussed how enjoying a certain culture/atmosphere normally doesn’t represent a form of discrimination but is most probably a celebration of that culture. However, we never really know what’s going on in our subconscious, so who can really say!

This led us to talk about …

>>Self Criticism<<

We agreed that self criticism and reflection are fundamental to recognising and starting to deal with our own sexism and that this group should foster such self criticism.
We discussed how self critical it was appropriate to be, particularly in the light of some men’s habit of being overly self critical in front of others in order to elicit pity and reassurance. We agreed that this ought to be a safe place to be as self critical as possible and that the other men could be supportive in correcting someone who was being too harsh on themselves. We then wondered if this might become a form of male solidarity with us all letting each other off the hook for being sexist or using porn or whatever, and that this might not be very helpful. Someone knew a guy who’d been in profeminist groups before who felt that the biggest pressure to change his behaviour came from feminist women telling him off quite violently(!), not from the other men in the group. This reminded us of the importance of keeping close friendships with feminists and the importance of also being in mixed gender groups. We also questioned, from personal experience, whether this “being told off” by feminist women would change attitudes and feelings as well as behaviour.


Minutes from 3/2/08

We talked about how we were feeling and tried to answer the question “how have we experienced life as a man in the last 2 weeks?”

>>On Homophobia<<

- We discussed how the “flamboyant camp gay man” was an unhelpful stereotype to keep bringing up. It was suggested that this behaviour could, on some level, be a kind of “I’m proud of being gay so deal with it” to all the homophobes out there. We questioned why we’d focussed on it at all. We decided it’s because for some of us it was an important part of our homophobia; that we tended to focus on this particular stereotype.
- Men shaking hands with other men but kissing a woman in a social situation, this reinforces gendered behaviour (obviously) but also keeps men’s bodies apart and could be related to homophobia between men.
- We wondered whether men in activist groups could be crudely characterised by saying the more direct action focussed they are the more likely they are to be masculinist and homophobic because of it being a macho type activity.
- Male homophobia keeps men apart and they lose out on tenderness and affection. One thing suggested by Basil Elias in his article “Starting your own group for men against sexism” which Jon read on XY.com, was for the men in the group to try walking round the block holding hands together to start to break down some of these homophobic barriers. He also says (rather hilariously) “How many guys, when hugging, look like we’re burping each other?”!
          Iskreno (i neiskreno) sta mislite o osobi iznad   
Zver! lol lol upsssss...ovo je bilo za plavkicu...al ova lepotica uskocila, sad ce o5 da me napadne... oops Unhappy
          Path O’ Invasion Timelapse   
After about a week dealing with Avidemux unsuccessfully I’ve decided just to release the rough timelapse as is. If anybody could help me with either a better video editor or explain why camstudio can’t import into Avidemux, I would greatly appreciate it. Anyway, play the game here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=preview&uid=5162 Post Mortem to come shortly.
          Angle Isle Postmortem   
Angle Isle is my second Ludum Dare game. Here’s how it happened. Friday The theme arrived at 6pm PST. After throwing out the first 60 minutes of work on a bad idea, I started sketching in Photoshop for inspiration. Soon after I developed a 45 degree angled art style. It seemed interesting enough, so I […]
           | Ministry Of Sound - I Love Reggae 2017   
Disc: 1 1. Boombastic - Shaggy 2. Turn Me On - Kevin Lyttle 3. No Letting Go - Wayne Wonder 4. I'm Still In Love with You - Sean Paul feat. Sasha 5. You Don't Love Me (No No No) - Dawn Penn 6. Dat Sexy Body - Sasha 7. Dude - Beenie Man feat. Ms. Thing 8. Boom Shack-a-Lak - Apache Indian 9. Here Comes the Hotstepper - Ini Kamoze 10. Murder She Wrote - Chaka Demus & Pliers 11. Pon Di River - Elephant Man 12. Heads High - Mr. Vegas 13. Ting-A-Ling - Shabba Ranks 14. Everyone Falls In Love - Tanto Metro & Devonte 15. Mamacita - Collie Buddz 16. Tempted to Touch - Rupee 17. Taboo - Glamma Kid feat. Shola Ama 18. Hold You - Gyptian 19. No Games - Serani 20. Flex - Mad Cobra Disc: 2 1. Shy Guy - Diana King 2. Baby, I Love Your Way - Big Mountain 3. Shine - Aswad 4. Oh Carolina - Shaggy 5. Tease Me - Chaka Demus & Pliers 6. Who Am I - Beenie Man 7. Run Up - Major Lazer feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR & Nicki Minaj 8. Cheerleader - OMI 9. Rude - MAGIC! 10. Searching - China Black 11. Now That We've Found Love - Third World 12. Mr. Loverman - Shabba Ranks feat. Chevelle Franklin 13. Close to You - Maxi Priest 14. Sweets for My Sweet - C.J. Lewis 15. Compliments on Your Kiss - Red Dragon with Brian & Tony Gold 16. Red Red Wine - UB40 17. Pass the Dutchie - Musical Youth 18. Don't Turn Around - Aswad 19. Baby Come Back - Pato Banton & The Reggae Revolution feat. Ali & Robin Campbell 20. Break My Stride - Blue Lagoon Disc: 3 1. No Woman, No Cry - Fugees 2. Night Nurse - Gregory Isaacs 3. Don't Worry Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin 4. Wonderful World, Beautiful People - Jimmy Cliff 5. You Can Get It If You Really Want - Desmond Dekker 6. Uptown Top Ranking - Althea & Donna 7. I Can See Clearly Now - Johnny Nash 8. Money In My Pocket - Dennis Brown 9. Get Up Stand Up - Peter Tosh 10. Good Thing Going (We've Got a Good Thing Going) - Sugar Minott 11. Stir It Up - Johnny Nash 12. Dreadlock Holiday - 10cc 13. Double Barrel - Dave & Ansel Collins 14. The Harder They Come - Jimmy Cliff 15. Girlie Girlie - Sophia George 16. 54-46 That's My Number - Toots & The Maytals 17. Kingston Town - UB40 18. Silly Games - Janet Kay 19. Let Your Yeah Be Yeah - The Pioneers 20. Love of the Common People - Nicky Thomas

          Awas, Dadah "Zombie" Flakka Mula Menular Ke Asia..   

Sejenis dadah sintetik baru yang dinamakan FLAKKA kini telah menggemparkan negara Amerika.

Effek individu yang mengambil dadah ini dikatakan akan menjadi "zombie", dan yang menyedihkan mereka TIDAK AKAN KEMBALI NORMAL.

Kesan kerosakan kimia terhadap otak sesiapa yang mengambilnya akan menjadi KEKAL SELAMAnya.

Difahamkan, dadah FLAKKA ini sebenarnya masih lagi dalam fasa eksperimen namun ianya telah dicuba di pasaran untuk melihat reaksi dan effek terhadap penagih agar ianya boleh diperbaiki lagi.

Difahamkan juga, pembuat dadah ini telah mencuba untuk masuk ke pasaran Asia, terutamanya Asia Tenggara kerana ramai pengguna dadah sintetik murah di sini.

Bentuk fisikal kristal FLAKKA, yang lebih mirip seperti BATU @ SYABU @ METAPHAMINE @ KETAMINE, dan juga pil ekstasi, yang banyak digunakan di Malaysia, namun ia dikatakan jauh lebih murah harganya maka dikhuatiri ianya akan dicampur oleh pengedar dadah dengan dadah yang disebut di atas demi untuk keuntungan berlipat ganda.

Kaedah pengambilan dadah FLAKKA juga adalah seperti dadah sintetik yang lain, samada menggunakan suntikan atau dihisap, ianya jua sering dihisap menggunakan rokok elektronik atau VAPE. 

Jadi, berhentilah mengambil dadah.. jangan terjadi mangsa seperti didalam video di bawah ini.-UnReportedNews™®




          New Team Associated Garage app now available for free download   
The Team Associated Garage is a free app for iOS and Android devices loaded with 360-degree product views, vehicle specs, interviews with Area 51 engineers and more.
          WHERES WALDO: Smashing records and radios: reflecting on the ROAR Nationals   
There was a lot that happened this past weekend - history-making victories, rule-breaking controversies and flaring tempers. Where should we start?
          Busty Japanese maid Should Of Worn A Bra And None Of This Would Happen   
Watch Busty Japanese maid Should Of Worn A Bra And None Of This Would Happen at Sex2016.net - best free sex video tube updated daily with new porn videos!
          Comment on State of New Jersey’s Health: Healthcare Hotspots by Tweetybird0   
I watched this program about health care and it was very informative but I still am very worried I had no choice but to retire on disability I pay out of my fix income pension for my health insurance I have alot of heath problems and am unable to afford my co pays, I feel terrible I can not being able to pay most times for procedures, I also wait until the last min to go get examine, I applied for Affordable heath and its been very confusing. Its terrible I cant even see a dentist I have dental insurance but once again unable to afford co pay I need 4 root canals and my co pay is out rages. This is American
          Comment on This Is South Jersey by CJAS   
I appreciate the episode on Camden. It would be great to see a follow-up where you showcase some of the city’s amenities: Adventure Aquarium/New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences, Wiggins Park Marina/ Camden Riversharks, Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts, Camden Children's Garden, Haddon Farmer’s Market, South Camden Theater Company, Susquehanna Bank Center come to mind. And the Camden County Historical Society, USS “Battleship” New Jersey, and the Walt Whitman House.
          Comment on A Conversation with Gov. Christie and Steve Adubato by James Hofmann   
Please ask what happened with his open letter he sent all of the New Jersey educators back one week before his first election. He lied and did everything completely contrary to what he told us in that letter that was sent out one week prior to his election. That spells a liar in my book. Anyone who dupes people into voting them in on a lie is complete trickery. I do not trust him. Ask him about that letter that was never published in any media? Hum, funny, I wonder why?
          Selene 2014 Wine Releases   
Hello & Happy Spring from Selene! The past winter’s rain has brought us out of the drought, the daylight is becoming noticeably longer, and the vines are beginning to awaken from their dormancy. Much to look forward to this season. 2017 marks Mia’s 35th harvest in Napa Valley and her 27th harvest for Selene. She [...]
          Comment on A Conversation with Gov. Christie and Steve Adubato by Bill Brennan   
It's criminalized because it's a crime? Apply that logic to sports betting.
          Classics from the Library!   
Hello from Selene! Happy Spring! Everything in Napa is blooming, and the weather has been perfect for shorts and motorcycle riding. So before it gets too hot to ship wine, we thought we would dig through the cellar and find some library wines that you’d enjoy. We have tasted these and they are all showing [...]
          Selene 2013 Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc Release!   
Hello from Selene! We are happy to report that 2015 Harvest is now in the books! Mia has been spending her time tasting fermenters and pressing off the reds, but everything is in (including some 2015 Cabernet Franc!), and the Sauvignon Blanc is in barrels. This is the earliest Mia has been done with harvest [...]
          Selene 2012 Vintage Release!   
We are releasing our 2012’s!! Yay for 2012! Spring started with warm days leading to a quick bloom that set the stage for even crop load and ripening. Weather in summer and fall did not disappoint and provided the harvest with a rich and appealing profile. 2012 Selene Sauvignon Blanc Hyde Vineyards (100% Sauvignon Blanc [...]
          mapping around Acharacle by mountainmonkey   
none
          Napa and Sonoma – Winetasting   
You have two chances to join Tracy and Mia for a Selene Wines tasting in March! On Thursday March 7th, 2013 – 5:30pm to 7:00pm. Join Mia and Tracy at Fatted Calf in Napa, California for their Butcher’s Happy Hour featuring Selene Wines! Everyone likes happy hour, and in wine country it’s even better. The [...]
          Leggi Keplero che ti fa bene   
In questi giorni stiamo seguendo tutti con il fiato sospeso le notizie nucleari provenienti dal Giappone. E' particolarmente difficile trovare fonti di informazione se non corrette almeno ragionevoli. I quotidiani online al solito si distinguono per un'approssimazione quasi criminale (in particolare Repubblica che tiene la linea "AAAAAAH MORIREMO TUTTI!!"). Fortunatamente oggi abbiamo internet e la possibilità di sapere molto di più che ai tempi di Chernobyl.

Purtroppo chi governa le centrali tende a non essere molto trasparente, e ci sono forti dubbi che conosciamo tutto quello che succede. Qualcosa però sappiamo. Amedeo Balbi ha riassunto in maniera ammirabilmente asettica alcune cose nel suo post "Un po' di cose che so sulle centrali nucleari", di cui sottoscrivo anche le virgole.

Se sai l'inglese hai più opzioni. Non è per niente male l'articolo apparso oggi su Ars Technica (che è capace di trattare in maniera imparziale cose persino più controverse, come i prodotti Apple).  Particolarmente sensata mi sembra la conclusione:

This latter set of issues mean that the surest way to build a safe nuclear plant is to ensure that nothing goes wrong in the first place. There are ways to reduce the risk by adding more safety and monitoring features while tailoring the design to some of the most extreme local events. But these will add to the cost of a nuclear plant, and won't ever be able to ensure that nothing goes wrong. So, deciding on if and how to pursue expanded nuclear power will require a careful risk analysis, something the public is generally ill-equipped for. (grassetto mio)

Io continuo ad essere contrario alla costruzione di centrali nucleari in Italia, sostanzialmente per motivi di costo e (naturalmente) di sfiducia. Niente mi toglie dalla testa che chi le vuole sa benissimo che non saranno mai effettivamente costruite e che si tratta di stipulare contratti, distribuire soldi e pagare penali a industrie bustarellanti.

Aggiornamento: su segnalazione dello Zar metto il link al disegno di Randall Munroe con un confronto grafico fra le quantità di radiazioni assorbite in varie situazioni.


          igra istine   
ja sam pijana posle pola case a posle ne odgovaram za svoje postupke... i naravno, tri dana ( minimum ) sam bolesna Unhappy


koliko cesto pijete alkohol?
          Jawapan Wartawan Kepada Pengkritik Laporan Isu Kerja Ladang Di Australia   

Kepada : Akmar Abu Bakar

BAHAGIAN 1
----------
Terdapat beberapa kesalahan fakta asas dalam ulasan saudara Akmar.
1-Saya bukan wartawan Berita Harian tetapi Utusan Malaysia
2-Di Cutri, saya membuat kerja-kerja thinning, bukannya memetik buah
Maka saya tertanya-tanya sama ada saudara membaca sepenuhnya laporan saya atau sekadar membaca tajuk sahaja?
Sudahkan saudara membaca lapan muka surat laporan khas saya. Sudahkan saudara membaca sepenuhnya tulisan Nick McKenzie dan menonton 7.30 report?
Jika dibaca, pastinya jelas terpampang maklumat asas tadi. Takkan itu pun masih buat silap fakta.
Inilah penyakit orang kita. Dia baca tajuk, dia terus percaya. Dia tak kaji betul-betul tapi dia share di Facebook, WhatsApp.
Saya lihat saudara Akmar berada dalam kategori ini. Jenis suka baca tajuk, lepas tu terus melompat buat ulasan. Baca saudara, Allah dah kata, Iqra' (baca).
Macam tu jugalah kaitannya dengan iklan-iklan menawarkan kemewahan dengan kerja ladang buah di Australia. Ramai yang percaya bulat-bulat.
Memang duit jadi kelemahan manusia dan sebab tu lah iklan kerja Australia di Facebook ni semuanya tayang duit.
Mungkin ada yang plan nak pergi tiga bulan sahaja (selari dengan tempoh sah visa pelancong), maklumlah sebulan dapat RM9,000, tiga bulan dah berapa? Lumayan, boleh bayar hutang.
Tapi sedih, lepas tiga bulan pun tak boleh balik lagi.
Memang orang Melayu obses dengan duit segera. Tengoklah skim cepat kaya, MLM dan sebagainya, orang Melayu lah yang palig ramai kena tipu.
Saya pun tak faham sangat kenapa orang kita mudah sangat kena tipu. Gores dan menang pun kena tipu. Alahai...
BAHAGIAN 2
----------
Saya tidak berminat untuk menjawab serangan dan cercaan peribadi saudara ke atas saya. Pemikiran saya bukanlah serendah itu.
Saudara juga telah membuat tafsiran sendiri mengenai diri saya berdasarkan laporan yang dibuat walaupun tidak mengenali secara peribadi.
Maka, izinkan saya untuk membuat penilaian menggunakan methodology yang sama, siapakah diri saudara berdasarkan maklumat yang saya peroleh di laman Facebook saudara
Selepas disemak, saudara dilihat konsisten mempromosikan peluang pekerjaan ladang di Australia dan secara terbuka meminta rakan FB berhubung jika berminat.
Dan seperti biasa, yang indah-indah sahajalah diceritakan. Biasalah taktik FB marketing dan saya lihat saudara adalah orang yang mengkaji teknik FB marketing.
Maka, izinkanlah saya bertanya:
1- Apa yang dibuat saudara di Australia? Kerja ladang atau bawa orang masuk? Atau seorang pekerja ladang yang nampak peluang untuk buat duit dengan bawa masuk pekerja.
2- Berapa lama dah saudara di sana? Adakah visa membenarkan saudara bekerja di sana? Bagaimana dengan kawan-kawan yang mengikuti saudara, visa apa yang nak digunakan? Student visa?
3- Katakan saudara adalah jujur, tidak menganiayai kawan-kawan yang dibawa masuk, adakah saudara sedar apa yang dibuat adalah jenayah? Pernahkan saudara mendengar istilah human traficking?
BAHAGIAN 3
----------
Ramai menuduh saya menutup periuk nasi bangsa saya di Australia. Tunggu....saya jelaskan dulu okey.
Laporan saya bertujuan:
1-Mengelakkan rakyat Malaysia dan bangsa saya daripada terpedaya dengan janji manis ejen. Ramai dah orang terkena, orang dari kampung.
Saya pun berasal dari kampung dan tak sanggup tengok orang saya kena tipu.
Tak kena atas kepala saudara Alhamdulillah, tapi jangan nafikan ada kes macam ni dan jumlahnya besar.
Ada yang sanggup pinjam duit sebab fikir dia pergi sekejap je, dah dapat buat untung akan balik segera. Alih-alih hidup susah di farm dan berhutang lagi.
Apa yang saya tulis bukan rekaan. Bukan imiginasi. Semua makumat saya terima daripada pekerja farm juga. Saya bukan keyboard warrior, saya turun ke ground dan saya tengok dan rasa kehidupan orang kita di Swan Hill.
Cuma masalah dengan bangsa Melayu yang masuk farm ni, dia tak suka cerita kedukaan dia sangat. Dia bagitahu kawan-kawan di Malaysia kerja best padahal diri sendiri je lah yang tahu.
Yang di Malaysia percaya bulat-bulat dan terpengaruh ke sana.
Sebab apa? Sebab ego, orang kampung dengar tumpang bangga. Kerja di Australia beb, bunyi gah sangat, malulah kalau mengaku hidup susah.
Bagi yang berjaya, berjayalah, dan kita jangan lupa memang ada yang terjerat di Australia. Semoga yang berjaya itu tidak mencemari tangan mereka dengan memanipulasikan mana-mana pihak.
2- Disebabkan banyak sangat orang Malaysia salah guna visa pelancong dan langgar peraturan, Imigresen sana dah alert.
Kalau naik penerbangan tambang murah, lagilah Imigresen curios. Tengoklah apa soalan dia tanya masa nak masuk. Lebih-lebih lagi kalau Australia adalah negara asing pertama yang korang lawat.
Adil kah benda ni untuk kira-kira 30 juta rakyat Malaysia lain yang nak ke sana melancong, bekerja secara sah, buka bisness dan lain lain.
Disebabkan pekerja ladang Malaysia buat hal dengan imigresen, orang lain kena getah. Pekerja Malaysia di farm tuduh saya tutup periuk nasi, sedarkah yang korang juga tutup periuk nasi rakyat Malaysia yang lain.
Bagi lah apa pun alasan, kerja tanpa permit tetap salah. Hormatilah undang-undang negara orang, kita pun marah Bangla dan Indon masuk Malaysia kerja haram.
Setiap rumah orang ada peraturan, kena lah ikut. Bukan sesuka hati terjah dan bagi hujah kami cari rezeki halal (TAPI DENGAN CARA SALAH).
Kena ingat, apa yang berlaku di ladang-ladang akan menjejaskan 156,000 diaspora Malaysia yang berada di Australi secara sah tak termasuk pelajar dan pekerja haram lain
Untuk kefahaman, saya copy n paste petikan statement seorang peguam rakyat Malaysia yang memiliki law firm, Fides Lawyers di Melbourne sejak 8 tahun lalu, Vicknaraj Thanarajah dalam isu ini.
(HADAMKAN)
As of 30th March 2016 the percentage of Australian residents born overseas are one of its highest in Australian History. The latest statistics show that out of the current Australian Population 156,500 or 0.7 percent are from Malaysia.
These are the legitimate migrants on record till to-date.
The above figures do not include the students who come here yearly to study or the illegal migrants.
According to the statistics for the months of September 2016, there are approximately 35,000 thousand people from Malaysia who visit Australia between August and September of 2016.
The above figures shows us a few crucial facts;
1.The Malaysian Diaspora in Australia is about 156K, and we have a sizeable presence in Australia being the top 10 diaspora in Australia;
2.The Monthly Malaysian Entrants Australia is the top 5 in Australia;
Therefore, whatever happens to the Malaysian community in Australia, has an impact not only to Malaysia reputation but also to the rest of the diaspora that have migrated here or has legitimate business interest in Australia, this includes a series of investments by Malaysian GLC in Australia.
It is also commonly known that Malaysia is the only Southeast Asian country with access to the electronic travel authority system under which Malaysian citizens — and applicants from most of the Western world — can get a three-month tourist visa online.
This is probably the result of the excellent diplomatic relations that is shared between the two countries.
Common sense would dictate that should there be in surge in abuse of this privilege this efficient process is endangered in being scrapped.
BAHAGIAN 4
----------
Australia tak bodoh, dia bukan tak tahu apa yang pekerja ladang ni buat. Kalau tengok statistik protection visa pun dah kantoi sebab tiba-tiba mendadak naik. Ini kerja siapa sebenarnya?
Malaysia negara aman dan masih berungsi tetapi ramai rakyat kita minta visa perlindugan (refugee). Negara kita tak beperang pun. Untuk kepentingan dia, dia menipu dalam borang permohonan siap kondem Malaysia lagi.
Berdasarkan statitik laman web Imigresen Australia, didapati permohonan visa protection oleh rakyat Malaysia meningkat daripada 294 permohonan pada 2013-2014, 1,401 permohonan pada 2014-2015 dan meroket kepada 3,549 (2015-2016)
Dari 294 permohonan naik kepada 3,549 permohonan dalam masa hanya empat tahun? Kegilaan apa kah ini?
Berikut petikan kenyataan Vicknaraj Thanarajah:
According to the statistic published by the Department of Immigration in Australia, we can gather the following crucial facts;
•Asylum applications from Malaysians lodged while within Australia in the last financial year topped 3500, more than double the total for 2014-15 even though Malaysia is a stable and functioning state, new figures show.
•Immigration department figures show 87 per cent of these applications are refused. Of the reviews conducted by the Migration and Refugee Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, 88 per cent validate the original decision.
•The tribunal processed more than 2000 reviews last financial year — a fourfold increase on 2014-15 — representing almost half of its protection claim caseload.
•Details of the recent flood of onshore asylum applications from Malaysia, which totalled just 294 in 2013-4, are contained in documents published on the department’s website.
•In 2014-15, 1401 Malaysians applied for asylum from within Australia. That total surged to 3549 in the 2015-16 year.
BAHAGIAN 5
----------
Baca lagi petikan kenyataan Vicknaraj Thanarajah:
"Apart from the above financial and legal considerations, these workers need to be aware of the political considerations that are associated with the Horticulture industry in Australia specifically the Fruit Picking Jobs.
The truth is, this is not a new issue; the Malaysians are just a latest wave of workers that are being used by the syndicates as work-stock. Prior to in recent years this there was an uproar on the abuse of Pacific Islanders as illegal workforce and as a result of an inquiry, the illegal workforce have significantly reduce from the Pacific Island.
It is my personal opinion the Malaysians are merely filling in a temporary gap left by the prior inquiry in relation to the Pacific islanders. What the Malaysian migrants need to realise, that the labour dilemma is soon to be solve (at least in part); because a political solution has been reached recently.
The Immigration Department of Australia will be launching a special class of visa (416) to enable Pacific islanders to work in the horticulture industry seasonally. This is supposed to commence by the 19th of November 2016.
Unfortunately Malaysia is not on the list as that particular visa caters for Pacific Islanders.
The hypocrisy of politics are blinding, the blatant fact remains that there is a need for workers in the horticulture industry especially in rural Australia, and the industry and the syndicates are filling that gap and need.
The syndicates take advantage on this legal and economic arbitrage simply because workers are voiceless because of their legal status in Australia. 
Rhetorically, Corporations, Farmers and Authorities, at the Federal, State and Local Government manage the blame efficiently and seamlessly each respectively pleading ignorance of the existence of such syndicates and illegal workforce.
This plea of ignorance is laughable, especially with the example of the case of Swan Hill a rural town in regional Victoria is swarming with Malaysians Workforce.
The issue and the challenge now is whether the Australia Government specifically the Minister responsible for Immigration is going to provide an empty political retort by conveniently electing to enforce a pre-existing law or a sound policy resolution that is sustainable and future proof for all those affected by the labour shortage.
For the sake Human Dignity and Decency, I challenge the Minister to extend the same opportunity for Malaysians to enable them to apply as seasonal workers in the Horticultural Industry.
Alternative expand the quota of Sub Class 462 Work Holiday Visa which is currently fixed at 100 visa for Malaysian per annum.
BAHAGIAN 6
----------
Saya juga sependapat dengan Vicknaraj yang berharap ada sinar untuk rakyat Malaysia bekerja di ladang-ladang secara sah supaya nasib mereka lebih terjamin.
PM Najib pun dah jumpa dengan PM Australia, Malcom Turnbull di APEC, Lima, Peru, kelmarin.
Malaysia, Australia bincang isu kedatangan migran
LIMA, Peru 20 Nov. - Kerjasama berkaitan kedatangan migran secara tidak sekata adalah antara topik yang disentuh dalam perbincangan dua hala Malaysia dan Australia di luar persidangan Kerjasama Ekonomi Asia Pasifik (APEC) di ibu negara Peru semalam.
Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yang mengadakan pertemuan dengan Perdana Menteri Australia, Malcolm Turnbull berkata, Australia dalam pertemuan itu meminta kerjasama Malaysia untuk membendung isu pelarian, yang menghantui negara berkenaan ekoran kebanjiran migran itu.
"Beliau (Turnbull) mahu bendung masalah migran ini yang dikaitkan dengan permerdagangan manusia," katanya kepada wartawan Malaysia di sini selepas menghadiri program hari pertama Mesyuarat Pemimpin Ekonomi APEC.
Antara kerjasama itu adalah melalui pertukaran laporan risikan dan melakukan larangan rasmi iaitu dengan mengambil tindakan sekiranya migran berkenaan melalui perairan negara, katanya.
BAHAGIAN 7
---------------------------
Kita harap pertemuan ini dapat merintis jalan ke arah rundingan yang akan memberi manfaat kepada rakyat Malaysia yang mahu bekerja di Australia secara sah dalam sektor kemahiran rendah.
NOTA: Ada beberapa soalan Saudara Saharudin Jang yang perlu saya jawab.
1- Apakah keburukan yg ada pada rakyat malaysia bekerja di malaysia.
Keburukan? Saya dan jutaan rakyat Malaysia lain tetap kerja macam biasa. Memang ada kelemahan tertentu seperti gaji yang tak setara dengan kos sara hidup. Saya sebagai rakyat pun buat 2-3 kerja untuk survive. Dan buat masa ini saya belum terfikir perlu bekerja di negara orang secara haram untuk survive.
2- Adakah baik untuk kerajaan malaysia jika aliran wang tunai dari aussie masuk kemalaysia dan dihabiskan untuk membayar cukai & gst?
Betul tapi sepatutnya dilakukan secara sah. Pekerja haram tidak mebayar cukai kepada kerajaan Australia dan duit berkenaan mengalir ke Malaysia secara tak sah.
3- Ramai pekerja di aussie nie akan terdidik dgn cara hidup di aussie x boleh wat huru hara bising n sabagainya yg menganggu privasi org lain. Betul atau tidak?
Betul lah. Mematuhi undang-undang perkara yang mulia, begitulah juga undang-undang Imigresen di Australia. Kenapa tak hormat pula?
Kalau setakat nak didik supaya tak bising, kat Malaysia pun boleh. Hormati hak jiran tu kan ajaran Islam.
4- Pepatah orang dahulu jauh berjalan luas pengalaman.
Betul ke tidak.
1000 peratus saya sokong. Sebab saya sendiri suka berjalan. Sejak 2006 sampai sekarang, dah 24-25 negara saya dah pergi.
Pada 2010 saya berekspedisi dengan tiga lagi kawan naik motosikal dari KL ke London dalam masa 2 bulan. Di sepanjang perjalanan saya jumpa ramai rakyat Malaysia yang berjaya, tak ada seorang pun daripada mereka ni bekerja secara haram.
Bulan Ogos lepas, saya berada di Rio de Janeiro, Brazil selama tiga minggu untuk liputan sukan Olimpik Rio2016.
Saya pun kenal ramai lejen-lejen hardcore overlander yang dah pusing dunia, mereka tak der pula nak kutuk-kutu Malaysia. Jangan baru jejak kaki di satu negara, dah rasa Malaysia ni serba tak kena.
5- Berapakah komisyen yang bro saiful haizan terima daei egent egent pembuat bridging visa. Yg lebih membahayakan kedudukan malaysia pada PRU 14 nanti. Setiap pemegang visa a & c x boleh balik kemalaysia tau. Camner diorg nk undi BN namti. Heheheh.
Apa punya soalan ni. Apa kaitan dengan ejen buat bridging visa? Sepatutnya mereka yang marah dengan saya.
Kalau tak boleh balik, pergilah mengundi di kedutaan. Asalkan berdaftar dengan SPR.
Akmar pula ada cakap yang Imigresen Australia tangkap orang Malaysia sebab Najib nak rakyat balik undi dia.
Hahahaha...hal politik tak perlu masuk lah bro. Tak habis-habis dengan politik.
Terima kasih kerana membaca ke peringkat ini. Saya menghargainya kerana selepas ini saya tidak lagi mengulas isu ini secara detail di FB.
*Share jika bermanfaat*
Salam hormat,
Saiful Haizan
Besut, Terengganu


-UnReportedNews™®

          igra istine   
Ja nemam ali znam ko ima lol




A jel imas grozdje?


imam, al' je ove godine katastrofa Unhappy


Volis vino?


onako...

vise crveno a najvise frankovku...
i ova kisela blaga vina sa peska sto se mogu naci jos po nekim privatnim buradima... Smile

pila si nekad vino od meda?

:D :D :D
          How The iPhone Was Born: Inside Stories of Missteps and Triumphs   
On the iPhone’s 10th birthday, former Apple executives Scott Forstall, Tony Fadell and Greg Christie recount the arduous process of turning Steve Jobs’s vision into one of the best-selling products ever made.
          Our Words Are Windows   

The words I had written were windows to my soul.

The post Our Words Are Windows appeared first on Diane W. Bailey.


          How The Imperfect Becomes Perfect   

Divorce has a different effect on children than it does on adults.  Being a daughter of divorce changes your world differently than being the parent that divorces.  Part of your childhood is taken away from you.  I am not a daughter of divorce, but, I have listened to my daughter, and step-granddaughter about the effect […]

The post How The Imperfect Becomes Perfect appeared first on Diane W. Bailey.


          Because Good Leaders are Not Born   

Are you a leader?  Do you see the whole picture?  Can you tell others what to do and where to go and how to live – the right way?   Some say, leaders are born.  I was born as a leader, that doesn’t mean I was a born leader.  I was just the first born […]

The post Because Good Leaders are Not Born appeared first on Diane W. Bailey.


          Obamas wrap up five-day Bali trip   
FORMER US President Barack Obama and his family have wrapped up a five-day holiday on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali and headed to the historic city of Yogyakarta.
          For the Brokenhearted and Crushed in Spirit   

Praying for all who have lost loved ones, all who are brokenhearted, and all who are crushed in spirit.

The post For the Brokenhearted and Crushed in Spirit appeared first on Diane W. Bailey.


          No Match!   

And it is a frontal attack, bold and ugly, going straight for my mind.  Isn’t that the first target in all battles –the information center? Driving down the road my mind is wrestling with negative thoughts and insecurities about myself.  Age issues, ability to write, trying to find eloquence of speech, yet feeling like I […]

The post No Match! appeared first on Diane W. Bailey.


          How to Build a Budget: Part 2   

If you followed the steps in part 1 of this series, you should have a clear idea of how…

The post How to Build a Budget: Part 2 appeared first on LendingClub Blog.


          Combating Betrayal   

He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their sorrows. Psalms 147:3   Nothing is more devastating than being betrayed by an intimate friend. Someone who knows all our secrets. Someone who shares the same friends and church. Maybe it is something small, like your private business running through all those circles. You confided a prayer request […]

The post Combating Betrayal appeared first on Diane W. Bailey.


          Scott Sanborn Discusses the Future: On Demand Credit   

A decade ago we set out to re-imagine the banking industry. We started by making credit more attractive for…

The post Scott Sanborn Discusses the Future: On Demand Credit appeared first on LendingClub Blog.


          LendingClub: A History of How it Works   

As an online business in a relatively new industry called peer-to-peer lending (also known as marketplace lending), we receive…

The post LendingClub: A History of How it Works appeared first on LendingClub Blog.


          A Celebration of 10 Years   

LendingClub was founded in 2007 as an online marketplace powered by technology, transforming how people access affordable credit and…

The post A Celebration of 10 Years appeared first on LendingClub Blog.


          New Minimum Initial Deposit for Retail Investor Accounts   

To help investors towards a positive experience on the platform, we have implemented a minimum initial deposit of $1,000…

The post New Minimum Initial Deposit for Retail Investor Accounts appeared first on LendingClub Blog.


          How Can I Pay for Fertility Treatment?   

We understand figuring out what things cost and how to pay can be overwhelming. Don’t let that confusion or…

The post How Can I Pay for Fertility Treatment? appeared first on LendingClub Blog.


          igra istine   
Ja nemam ali znam ko ima lol




A jel imas grozdje?


imam, al' je ove godine katastrofa Unhappy


Volis vino?

aha. a ti? lol lol
          3 Easy Steps to Start a Successful Home Improvement   

Whether you want to update your kitchen or build a new deck, now is the time for home improvement…

The post 3 Easy Steps to Start a Successful Home Improvement appeared first on LendingClub Blog.


          Small Business Customer Success Stories   

At Lending Club, we love to support our small business customers and are proud to see them succeed. In…

The post Small Business Customer Success Stories appeared first on LendingClub Blog.


          The Reunion, Episode 6: The Mixer (Armond Rizzo, Snowy)   

The post The Reunion, Episode 6: The Mixer (Armond Rizzo, Snowy) appeared first on GayPornMasters.com.


          Japanese Teen Gets Kidnapped From Her Workplace And Roughly Fucked By A Bunch Of Men   
Watch Japanese Teen Gets Kidnapped From Her Workplace And Roughly Fucked By A Bunch Of Men at XXXPorn.rs - best free online XXXPorn videos for you to enjoy.
          igra istine   
Ja nemam ali znam ko ima lol




A jel imas grozdje?


imam, al' je ove godine katastrofa Unhappy


Volis vino?
          Quarterly Investor Update from Our CIO   

A core strength of LendingClub’s marketplace model is the ability to incorporate data insights to quickly and responsibly adapt…

The post Quarterly Investor Update from Our CIO appeared first on LendingClub Blog.


          How to Get a Small Business Loan   

Preparing Your Company to Apply for a Business Loan You’ve got plans to take your business to the next…

The post How to Get a Small Business Loan appeared first on LendingClub Blog.


          Le retour des Amazones   
Forlorn Hope Games réédite un vieux set de figurines d'Amazones en 25/28mm ce qui me rappelle que je n'ai toujours pas peint ce set depuis 1993...
===
Forlorn Hope Games recasts an old set of Amazons miniatures in 25/28mm which reminds me that I still have not painted this set since 1993 ...


          Dans les donjons Otherworld   
Grampas ?
Otherworld nous gratifie de quelques nouveautés avec des persos et de mauvaises rencontres de donjons comme cette jolie panthère en 28mm.
===
Otherworld gives us some new references with characters and bad encounters in dungeons like this pretty panther in 28mm.

          Una mujer crea una petición para pedir cárcel para las mujeres que utilicen la denuncia falsa de violencia de género   
Martes, 13 de Junio, 2017

Una mujer, Laura Vegas Romay, crea una petición donde pide que se castigue con pena de cárcel a las mujeres que utilizan la denuncia falsa de violencia de género.

FIRMAR

Me parece absolutamente vergonzoso que haya mujeres aprovechándose del sufrimiento que tienen que soportar las mujeres victimas de violencia de género . Está petición es para castigar a quien abusa y mienta a este respecto , que tenga pena de carcel y se considere delito interponer denuncias falsas para conseguir castigar , humillar y otros beneficios que nada tienen que ver con la violencia de género . Creo que si estuviera castigado no lo harían , y que las fuerzas de seguridad solo se ocupen de los casos reales y sus victimas . Hay muchos hombres sufriendo este abuso y es muy injusto que se acuse a inocentes. Gracias a todos y espero se pueda concienciar y solucionar este problema .



Fuente:
Carcel para denuncias falsas de violencia de género
https://www.change.org/p/el-congreso-carcel-para-denuncias-falsas-de-violencia-de-g%C3%A9nero?recruiter=199691396&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=whatsapp
          A MAIS PURA REALIDADE...   
  •            

Oieeeee...
Espero que todos estejam bem...
Eu estou ótima Graças a Deus!!!
Vi essa frase e quis dividir com vocês pois ela é a mais pura realidade...
Espero que gostem...
Fiquem com Deus!!!
Beijos iluminados

          Iskreno (i neiskreno) sta mislite o osobi iznad   
http://s19.rimg.info/1b4d79b4af494905442528be7a90d1e5.gif

Kod mene ne radi izgleda Unhappy
          Czech Hunter No. 300 (Bareback)   

The post Czech Hunter No. 300 (Bareback) appeared first on GayPornMasters.com.


          His First Time Happened In The Woods With Redhead MILF Nextdoor   
Watch His First Time Happened In The Woods With Redhead MILF Nextdoor at XXXPorn.rs - best free online XXXPorn videos for you to enjoy.
          Czech Hunter No. 302 (Bareback)   

The post Czech Hunter No. 302 (Bareback) appeared first on GayPornMasters.com.


          Big Dick Binge (Bareback)   

The post Big Dick Binge (Bareback) appeared first on GayPornMasters.com.


          Paris, always a good idea   

Paris, always a good idea

Paris, always a good idea by xoxojas on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iPhone


          Damian Brooks & JP Richards   

The post Damian Brooks & JP Richards appeared first on GayPornMasters.com.


          Roaming Italy   

Roaming Italy

Roaming Italy by xoxojas on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iPhone


          Commentaires sur Qu’est-ce que l’Asexualité? par annar   
Boonjout, Je découvre que je suis assesuuelle depuis.....toujours. Bien que je sois une "anormale" qui déçoit, la famill. En plus, je n ai aucune ou très très peu de communication avec celle-ci et suis dans un isolement extrême, dont j ai fini par m en arranger, je me gère de plus en plus finalement. J ai une forme d independance, par la force des chosrs. J ai déjà ressenti des pulsions sexuelles et eu du plaisir, mais sur d courtes durées. En fait, je ne ressens aucun désir, ni pulsion sexuelle, ça ne me manque absolument pas, mais alors pas du tout. Et ça, c est considéré comme une pathologie, plus que jamais par la société Puisque les mariages arrangés sont encore de mise, en France et dans le monde entier Une femme qui n est pas en couplr, qui n est pas attirée par le sexe cvest quasiment une folle, une criminelle, une maso, une égoïste, et cie ! Je suis une marginale De par mon vécu, mais aussi de par mon caractère et ma personnalité. Heueuse de découvrir que je ne suis pas la seule au monde a être "marginale", castratrice....^^ etc.... J ai vecu 30 ans, mariée par obligation, j ai eu deux enfants je suis grand-mère d une petite fille de 9 ans. Mon isolement est terrible, pas volontaire du tout. Je n ai pas le droit a la propriété. Et bezucoup d autres droits me sont retirés. Je suis pour une manifestation des assexuel-les, cela me semble primordiale d informer que tout ?existe en "matière" de sexualité, y compris de ne pas en avoir bedoun. J ajoute que je m epile, me fais des teinturees, j aime m habiller, mais pas en barbie, ^^, (on me l a rapproché) Chacun, chacune fait ce qu il-qu elle veut a condition de ne pas "bouffer" la vie d autrui. Avec mes remerciement s.
          Spring is in the air   

Spring is in the air

Spring is in the air by xoxojas on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iPhone


          Commentaires sur Découvrez avec « Camille » le continent noir du sexe par Kikichris   
Je découvre ce livre sous la plume de Bob HOWARD. Quel narrateur! Nonobstant, cette " littérature " n'est pas dans ma bibliothèque ! Je suis curieuse, surtout de lire ces pages uniquement par l'emploi de l'Imparfait du Subjonctif...peu courant mais tellement bien approprié au sujet. Allons voir si Camille...
          Hourly Paid Teacher in Software Applications Specialist - ACS/AEC - LEA.8F - Vanier College - Vanier, QC   
INTENSIVE DAY PROGRAM – MEQ 12 FOURTH SEMESTER In the following disciplines: 420 Computer Science 420-HSS-VA C++ Programming (90 hours) 420-HST-VA Visual...
From Vanier College - Tue, 27 Jun 2017 17:09:43 GMT - View all Vanier, QC jobs
          LordAbnevWorks from Twitter Massive Following Reviewing Obesity Statistics   
The most recent research statistics on growing obesity disclose a dangerously overweight world population. During the last 10 years, there was a dramatic increase in obesity in the world, especially in the United States, England, and Canada. Over the years, the occurrence of obesity has also steadily increased among all genders, ages, all education levels, and ethnic groups.



Obesity is a severe health condition where a person accumulates an abnormally high proportion of body fat. This condition can increase risk of diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, hypertension, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis. The body mass index (BMI) is the common method used to determine obesity and is based on the relation between height and weight.



Obesity statistics indicate that it is the biggest health threat that confronts America today. This warning comes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Obesity currently results in an estimated 400,000 deaths annually. It also costs the nation a crippling $122.9 billion.



This disease significantly reduces the quality of life among adults in our nation. This disease creeps right into the fabric of our lifestyle and can cause us to become a nation of social misfits. Other serious health diseases like hypertension and diabetes can result sooner or later when obesity is present.



People who become obesity statistics are usually affected in all areas of their life. But we can come to grips with this problem. We must begin to embrace the belief that we can do it. With consistent application, things will slowly begin to turn around for us.



In the year 2001 in the United States, the Surgeon General released a report outlining the crisis of obesity that the country had fallen into. The point of the report was to generate steps towards taking care of this health problem, which has reached epidemic proportions. The following year, the IOM (Institute of Medicine) was called upon to draw up a prevention plan to help decrease the rising numbers of obese and overweight children in the United States. The idea was to study the behavior and cultural and environmental factors that contribute to childhood obesity while trying to find ways of preventing this from occurring on such a large scale.



The problem of children being obese is a grave one, in that it can have lasting effects on one"??s emotional and physical health. In the year 2000, it was estimated that about a third of all children born in the United States are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes in their lifetimes.



In addition, there are the emotional and psychological repercussions that come with being overweight and obese. Young people are often stigmatized for their weight in a society that has little tolerance for this condition.



The key to combating obesity seems to lie in energy balance "?" that is controlling the amount of calories that are consumed versus the amount of calories that are expended. So in other words, when we talk about fighting obesity, we have to talk about both eating and physical activity. This might seem pretty simple, but the fact is eating and physical activity are caught up in a number of complex social and environmental forces. In the last three decades that have seen the epidemic of obesity balloon out of proportion, the society has undergone major changes.






Read About Weight Loss Diet Also Read About Obesity Statistics and Diet Nutrition

whole foods grocery: whole organic food

whole foods grocery: whole foods grocery

Article Source: www.articlesnatch.com


          Introduction of Numeracy Program for Children in Childcare Blacktown (Colleen Grenville)   
The importance of the numerals and the power of numeracy can be judged from the fact that the children in their pre-school stage are imparted the basic knowhow like the methods to approach and simplify the problems. The centres believe that a little introduction does no harm and help to bring in a logical decision making power in the child.
          Yard Coordinator - Williams Machinery - Okanagan, BC   
Excellent general computer skills and experience with Microsoft Office applications (Outlook, Word, Excel); Support parts counter and other departments....
From Indeed - Fri, 26 May 2017 23:30:50 GMT - View all Okanagan, BC jobs
          GSIS (Hong Kong) | Virtual World   
This video illustrates how Hong Kong schools can use a virtual world to continue teaching in the case of swine flu related school closings.

Hong Kong's virtual school - swine flu free

Note: Schools seems to be GSIS .. German Swiss International Schools in Hong Kong ... and the VW seems to be Second Life

          Star Wars Characters for MSH   

Rescued from Ty States old site.
For Boba Fett and the other Bounty Hunters, see the previous post, here.

LUKE SKYWALKER

Jedi Knight
F- RM (30)
A- RM (30)
S- GD (10)
E- RM (30)
R- EX (20)
I- UN (100)
P- UN (100)
H- 100
K- 220
R- GD
P- 20
Talents:
Resist Domination, Acrobatics, Tumbling, Medicine, Occult, Thief, Vehicles, Weaponry- Firearms, Weapons Specialist- Light Saber, Astrogation, Computers, Repair/Tinkering, First Aid, Pilot.

Contacts:
New Republic, Solo's family.

Equipment:
Light Saber- RM (30) material strength
Energy Touch- Heat MN (75)
Reflection MN (75)
Blaster: EX (20) damage; range 5 areas
Mechanical Hand: RM (30) material strength; EX (20) strength

The FORCE:

Control UN (100)
Absorb/Dissipate Energy
Accelerate Healing
Anger
Calm
Combat Trance
Concentration
Control Disease
Control Pain
Detoxify Poison
Emptiness
Enhance Attributes
Hibernation Trance
Reduce Injury
Remain Conscious
Resist Stun

Sense MN (75)
Blind Sense
Combat Sense
Danger Sense
Hyperspace Tracking
Instinctive Astrogration
Life Detection
Life Sense
Magnify Senses
Receptive Telepathy
Sense Disturbance
Sense Force
Sense Spirit
Time Sense
Truth Sense

Alter AM (50)
Haste
Injure/Kill
Telekinesis
Control/Sense
Blaster Combat
Farseeing
Lightsaber Combat Projective Telepathy
Control/Alter
Accelerate Other's Healing
Force Lights
Inflict Pain
Control/Sense/Alter
Affect Mind

HAN SOLO

F- EX (20)
A- EX (20)
S- GD (10)
E- EX (20)
R- GD (10)
I- EX (20)
P- EX (20)
H- 70
K- 50
R- EX
P- 15

Talents:
Acrobatics, Computers, Detective, Martial Arts B, E, Military, Thief, Vehicles, Guns, Gambling, Repair/Tinkering, Astrogation, Pilot.

Contacts:
Luke Skywalker, New Republic

Equipment:
Blaster EX (20) damage

MILLENIUM FALCON
CTRL: AM
SPEED: SH-X (Hyper-Space CL. 5000)
BODY: MN
PROT: IN
Equipment:
2 Quad Laser Cannons RM (30) Energy
Concussion Missles IN (40) Force
Sensor Dish IN (40)
Escape Pod  

LEIA ORGANA SOLO

F- GD (10)
A- GD (10)
S- TY (6)
E- EX (20)
R- IN (40)
I- IN (40)
P- AM (50)
H- 46
K- 130
R- AM
P- 25

Talents:
Diplomacy, Acrobatics, Engineering, Leadership, Law, Criminology, Guns, Law Enforcement, Detective/Espionage, Marksman, Pilot, Physics, Electronics, Martial Arts A, B, C, D, E, Military, Computers.

Equipment:
Lightsaber- RM (30) Material Strength
Energy Touch- Heat MN(75)
Reflection- MN(75)
Blaster Pistol- EX (20) force

The FORCE:

Control- AM (50)
Calm
Concentration

Sense- AM (50)
Danger Sense
Life Sense

By "MAD TITAN"

CHEWBACCA

F- EX (20)
A- GD (10)
S- RM (30)
E- RM (30)
R- GD (10)
I- RM (30)
P- RM (30)
H- 90
K- 70
R- GD
P- 10

Powers:
Hyper-Olfactory EX
Hyper-Hearing PR
Tracking EX
Claws RM (30)
Resist Cold FB (2)
Thermal Vision PR

Talents:
Computers, Repair/Tinkering, Engineering, Martial Arts B, C, Vehicles, Guns, Astrogation, Gambling, First Aid, Pilot.

Contacts:
Han Solo, New Republic.

Equipment:
Crossbow EX (20) damage

LANDO CALRISSIAN

F- EX (20)
A- EX (20)
S- TY (6)
E- GD (10)
R- EX (20)
I- EX (20)
P- GD (10)
H- 56
K- 50
R- EX
P- 20

Talents:
Acrobatics, Detective, Medicine, Military, Thief, Guns, Vehicles, Gambling, Mining, Business/Finance, Astrogation, Computers, Repair/Tinkering, Pilot.

Contacts:
Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, New Republic, Mining Industry.

Equipment:
Blaster EX (20) damage

R2D2

F- FB (2)
A- FB (2)
S- PR (4)
E- EX (20)
R- EX (20)
I- TY (6)
P- TY (6)
H- 28
K- 32
R- N/A
P- 0

Powers:
Claws GD (10)
Resist Cold GD (10)
Comprehend Languages TY (6)
Energy Sponge TY (6)
Heat Vision GD (10)
Circular Vision
Life Detection RM (30)
Radarsense IN (40)
Radio Communication MN (75)
Total Memory UN (100)
Body Resistance PR (4)
Communicate with Cybernetics MN (75)

Talents:
Computers, Detective, Thief, Vehicles, Languages, First Aid, Pilot.

Contacts:
C3PO, Luke Skywalker

Equipment:
Grappling Hook & Line- 3 area range
Fire Extinguisher

C3PO

F- FB (2)
A- PR (4)
S- TY (6)
E- EX (20)
R- EX (20)
I- TY (6)
P- TY (6)
H- 32
K- 32
R- N/A
P- 0

Powers:
Resist Cold GD (10)
Comprehend Languages UN (100)
Hyper-Hearing GD (10)
Microscopic Vision GD (10)
Total Memory UN (100)
Communicate with Cybernetics UN (100)
Telescopic Vision PR

Talents:
Computers, Languages, First Aid.

Contacts:
R2D2, Luke Skywalker, Ewoks

YODA

F- FB (2)
A- FB (2)
S- FB (2)
E- PR (4)
R- IN (40)
I- UN (100)
P- UN (100)
H- 10
K- 240
R- FB
P- 50

Talents:
Alien Species, Bureaucracy, Cultures, Languages, Planetary Systems, Astrogation, Bargain, Leadership, Gambling, Persuasion, First Aid, Jedi Lore.
 
Contacts:
Jedi Knights.

The FORCE:
Control SH-Y
Absorb/Dissipate Energy
Accelerate Healing
Concentration
Control Pain
Detoxify Poison
Emptiness
Enhance Attributes
Hibernation Trance
Reduce Injury
Remain Conscious
Resist Stun
Short-term Memory Enhancement

Sense SH-X
Combat Sense
Danger Sense
Instinctive Astrogration
Life Detection
Life Sense
Magnify Senses
Receptive Telepathy
Sense Disturbance
Sense Force
Sense Path

Alter UN
Injure/Kill
Telekinesis
Control/Sense
Farseeing
Lightsaber Combat Projective Telepathy
Control/Alter
Accelerate Other's Healing
Control Another's Pain
Return Another to Consciousness
Transfer Force
Sense/Alter
Dim Other's Senses
Control/Sense/Alter
Affect Mind
Control Mind
Force Harmony

DARTH VADER

Annakin Skywalker
F- IN (40)
A- RM (30)
S- RM (30)
E- IN (40)
R- EX (20)
I- UN (100)
P- UN (100)
H- 130
K- 220
R- UN
P- (-75)

Talents:
Leadership, Occult (the Force), Military, Space Pilot, Martial Arts D.

Contacts:
Emperor.

Equipment:
Light Saber Rem material strength
Energy Blade Psyche (UN-100) rank damage
Reflection Psyche (UN-100) energy reflection

The FORCE:

Control SH-X (150)
Absorb/Dissipate Energy
Accelerate Healing
Concentration
Control Pain
Detoxify Poison
Enhance Attributes
Hibernation Trance
Reduce Injury
Remain Conscious
Resist Stun

Sense UN (100)
Combat Sense
Danger Sense
Instinctive Astrogration
Life Detection
Life Sense
Magnify Senses
Receptive Telepathy
Sense Force

Alter MN (75)
Injure/Kill
Telekinesis
Control/Sense
Farseeing
Lightsaber Combat Projective Telepathy
Control/Alter
Feed on Dark Side
Inflict Pain
Control/Sense/Alter
Affect Mind
Telekinetic Kill

THE EMPEROR

F- TY (6)
A- TY (6)
S- PR (4)
E- TY (6)
R- IN (40)
I- UN (100)
P- UN (100)
H- 22
K- 240
R- MN
P- (-50)

Talents:
Alien Species, Bureaucracy, Cultures, Intimidation, Law Enforcement, Military History, Planetary Systems, Archaic Library Systems, Arcane Technologies, Clone Vat Systems, Dark Side Lore, Jedi Lore, Lightsaber Histories, Fleet Tactics, Ground Assault Tactics, Leadership, Bargain, Detective/Espionage, Lightsaber Repair.

Contacts:
Sith.

The FORCE:

Control SH-Y
Absorb/Dissipate Energy
Accelerate Healing
Concentration
Control Pain
Detoxify Poison
Enhance Attributes
Hibernation Trance
Reduce Injury
Remain Conscious
Resist Stun
Short-term Memory Enhancement

Sense SH-X
Combat Sense
Danger Sense
Instinctive Astrogration
Life Detection
Life Sense
Magnify Senses
Receptive Telepathy
Sense Force

Alter UN
Injure/Kill
Telekinesis
Control/Sense
Farseeing
Lightsaber Combat Projective Telepathy
Control/Alter
Accelerate Other's Healing
Control Another's Pain
Feed on Dark Side
Force Lightning
Inflict Pain
Return Another to Consciousness
Transfer Force
Control/Sense/Alter
Affect Mind
Control Mind
Doppelganger
Drain Life Essence
Enhanced Coordination
Telekinetic Kill
Transfer Life
Sense/Alter
Dim Other's Senses

GRAND ADMIRAL THRAWN

F- TY (6)
A- TY (6)
S- TY (6)
E- GD (10)
R- IN (40)
I- RM (30)
P- IN (40)
H- 28
K- 110
R- AM
P- 0

Talents:
Artist, Detective, Martial Arts E, Military, Vehicles, Guns, Leadership.

Contacts:
Empire.

ADMIRAL DAALA

F- EX (20)
A- GD (10)
S- TY (6)
E- GD (10)
R- RM (30)
I- IN (40)
P- IN (40)
H- 446
K- 110
R- IN
P- 0

Talents:
Guns, Martial Arts E, Acrobatics, Law, Law Enforcement, Pilot, Military, Criminology, Computers, Electronics, Leadership.

Equipment:
Blaster Pistol- EX (20) Force

By "MAD TITAN"

STORMTROOPERS

F- EX
A- EX
S- GD
E- EX
R- TY
I- GD
P- EX
H- 70
K- 36 Equipment: Blaster Rifle EX Energy damage or intensity stun
Armor GD vs. Physical; TY vs. Energy 

JABBA THE HUTT

F- GD (10)
A- PR (4)
S- PR (4)
E- EX (20)
R- EX (20)
I- RM (30)
P- RM (30)
H- 38
K- 80
R- RM
P- (-30)

Special Abilities:
Force Resistance
Hutts have an innate defense against Force based mind-manipulation techniques. They receive a +2CS to resist.

Talents:
Resist Domination, Bereaucracy, Business/Finance, Cultures, Intimidation, Languages, Law Enforcement, Streetwise, Bargaining, Leadership, Gambling, Persuasion.

Contacts:
Galactic Underworld, Empire.

Limitations:
cannot move without assistance
          Purpose First: Matthew McCarthy, VP of Foods, Unilever North America   

Focusing on the customer and sustainability, Unilever aims to "create tremendous growth and really delight consumers"

The post Purpose First: Matthew McCarthy, VP of Foods, Unilever North America appeared first on brandchannel:.


          International Society for Technology in Education : ISTE Second Life   
Explore the world of possibilities as you go along on the journey of several educators working and learning in Second Life. With your host, Kittygloom Cassady, find out how ISTE Island created a powerful educator network and supports this ongoing collaboration within Second LIfe. . --- Knowclue Machinima

          Child Rights that enables Child Development (Sandy Rockz)   
Children discover their approaches to grab the attention of the people around them. Hence, they wouldn't bother taking mischievous activities that could disturb their gathering of people.
          Babel Project : Virtual Blogs   

http://babelproject.blip.tv/#1365172


          The Star Wars Bounty Hunters for MSH   

Here are the MSH stats for the bounty hunters from Star Wars.
These were originally hosted by Ty States and I resurrected them from his old site.


BOBA FETT

A- GD (10)
S- EX (20)
E- IN (40)
R- GD (10)
I- RM (30)
P- RM (30)
H- 100
K- 70
R- EX
P- (-50) Equipment: Battle Armor
personally modified Mandalorian battle armor that covers his head, torso, and arms with no Agility penalties.
* Body Armor: RM (30) Material Strength and EX (20) protection from Physical and Energy attacks.
* Wrist Lasers: RM (30) Energy damage with PR (1 area) range.
* Rocket Dart Launcher: Can pierce IN (40) Material Strength or less. Tip is coated with poison (Poison, Knock-Out, etc.) of RM (30) intensity. FB (1/2 area range).
* Turbo-projected Grappling Hook: 20 meter (1/2 area) lanyard (RM (30) Material Strength) with magnetic grappling "hook" (RM (30) Magnetism). FB (1/2 area) range.
* Flame Projector: RM (30) Fire Energy damage in 1 meter cone. FB (5 meter (5.45 yards) (1/8 of an area)
* Concussion Grenade Launcher: IN (40) Blunt damage to all in one area. Has firing range of AM. Magazine carries 20 grenades.
* Jet Pack: For every charge used, he can move at FB Airspeed (30 MPH / 0.5 MPM) either 3 areas horizontally, or 2 areas vertically. His jet pack only has enough fuel for 20 charges.
* Sensor Pod: AM (50) Tracking ability.
* Infra-red / Motion Sensor: Integrated infra-red and motion sensors in helmet gives EX (20) intensity and range Infra-red vision in darkness. It also allows him to detect motion in front of him and to his sides with EX (20) intensity and range.
* Macro binoculars: Enables him to see objects at up to IN (12 area) range. Scope-linked into blaster rifle, allowing him to fire it at +2CS to his Agility (in addition to Marksmanship).
* Sound Sensors: Makes out sound at up to EX (20) range. It can tell where the sound is coming from with AM (50) ability. This only works in quiet areas.
* Internal Comlink: Can be linked to Slave I's control system (with beckon call) to have it operate under remote control (come to his location, fire weapons, etc.), or it can be tuned into other standard frequencies. It also has an external speaker.
* Broadband Antenna: Can intercept and decode most communications made on standard frequencies. As a result, Boba Fett can patch into shipboard communications.
* Winch: This is capable of lifting TY (221 pounds) weight (Boba Fett and his equipment only).
* Sealed Enviro Filter: Filter system can block out harmful molecules, or in case of insufficient or deadly atmospheres, the suit can seal drawing upon a two hour (1,200 turn) supply of air.
Blaster Rifle: Range: AM, Price: (Gun) GD (1,000 credits), (Power Pack) FB (25 credits)
Damage: IN (40) Stunning or Energized Force
Rate: 1, Shots: 100 per power pack
Material: GD (See Macro binoculars in suit description for bonus to hit.)
Comlink: This is a personal communication device. It has a SH-X (150) range. It can broadcast over countless different frequencies. It can pick up normal Standard Clear Frequencies (SCF's) (non-restricted bands). It can monitor one specific frequency and SFC's simultaneously. It costs FB (25 credits).
Wookie Scalps: Several dangle from his belt. His Popularity with Rebels, Wookies, and the like drops by -10.


Slave I:


This is Boba Fett's personal ship. It has the following:
* CONTROL: TY (6).
* SPEED: (Atmosphere) UN (40 areas) A.S. / (Space) SH Z (200 areas) A.S. / (Hyperdrive) CL 5000/1 (5,000/1) (100 x light speed)
* BODY: RM (30) vs. Physical and Energy.
* PROTECTION: RM (30) vs. Physical and Energy. * Shields: GD (10) vs. Physical and Energy.
* Sensors: Passive: AM (50) range /// Scan: UN (100) range ///Search: SH X (150) range /// Focus: TY(06)
* Sensor Mask: -2CS to detect Slave I at ranges of MN(75) or greater.
* Sensor Jamming: -3CS to sensors to identify Slave I as a ship instead of an ion storm, -2CS to detect the ship's vapor trail.
* 2 Twin-mounted Blaster Cannons: Fire Arc: Turret, Fire Control: +1CS to Agility for firing; Range: SH X (74 areas), Damage: RM (30) Energized Force.
* Concussion Missile Tube Launcher: Fire Arc: Front, Fire Control: +2CS to Agility for firing; Range: AM (17 areas), Damage: EX (20) Blunt to all in 1 area.
* Ion Cannon: Fire Arc: Front, Fire Control: +1CS to Agility for firing; Range: MN (37 areas), Damage: RM (30) disruption of electrical and mechanical devices.
* Tractor Beam Projector: Fire Arc: Turret, Fire Control: +2CS to Agility for firing; Range: UN (50 areas), Damage: RM (30) Tractor beam.
* Two Proton Torpedo Launchers: Firing Arc: Turret, Fire Control: +1CS to Agility for firing; Range: SH X (74 areas), Damage: None; attaches homing beacon or S-thread tracker which is mounted on dummy proton torpedoes and which magnetically attach to a target ship's hull. They have short ranges of 15-20 light years, utilizing the same technology as subspace radio's. The S-thread trackers send frequencies on HoloNet reciever bands, allowing him to track a ship to the side of the galaxy provided the ship passed HoloNet S-threads.
* Craft: Kuat Systems Engineering's Firespray Class: Firespray-31.
* Type: Sublight Patrol and Attack Craft.
* Length: 21.5 meters.
* Crew: 1.
* Passengers: 6 (prisoners).
* Cargo Capacity: IN (40) weight (40 metric tons). (It is currently converted into a high security holding area with force cages and restraints to hold the prisoners).
* Consumables: 1 month (30 days = 414,000 turns).
* Type: Space.
* Cost: N/A.
Talents: Marksman, Thrown Weapons, Languages, Astrogation, Pilot, Jet Pack Operation, Leadership, Crime, Repair-Tinkering, Computers, Demolition, Electronics, Detective-Espionage, Weapons Specialist: Mandalorian battle armor weapons.
Contacts: None. (As per employer. When job is over, it is doubtful that the employer or those in his/her/its employment will remain contacts.)
By WLB (WMLEBG@webtv.net)

BOSSK

F- RM (30)
A- TY (6)S- EX (20)
E- IN (40)
R- EX (20)
I- RM (30)
P- GD (10)
H- 96
K- 60
R- GD
P- 0 Powers: Claws EX (20) edged damage
Armor- Natural Hide TY (6) vs. Blunt damage
Equipment: Blaster Rifle RM (30) force damage
Grenade Launcher IN (40) force damage
Flamethrower RM (30) energy damage
Binders RM (30) material strength
Talents: W.P. Blaster Rifle, Martial Arts A, B, Pilot, Engineering, Detective/Espionage, Computers, Electronics.

4-LOM

Bounty Hunter/Droid F- TY (6)
A- RM (30)
S- EX (20)
E- RM (30)
R- RM (30)
I- RM (30)
P- TY (6)
H- 86
K- 66
R- GD
P- 0
Powers: Analytical Mind- +2CS to Intuition rolls on guessing the next move of their bounties.
Body Armor GD (10)
Equipment:
Blaster Pistol- EX (20) Force damage
Stun Gas Blower- RM (30) intensity
Talents: Medicine, Law, Pilot, Buisness/Finance, Engineering, Criminology, Detective/Espionage, Computers, Electronics, Languages.
By "MAD TITAN"

DENGAR

F- EX (20)
A- EX (20)
S- GD (10)
E- RM (30)
R- EX (20)
I- RM (30)
P- TY (6)
H- 80
K- 56
R- GD
P- 0 Equipment: Blaster Rifle- RM (30) Force damage
Concussion Grenades- IN (40) Force damage
Vibroblade- RM (30) Edged Energy damage
Talents: Guns, W.P. Blaster Rifle, Marksman, Martial Arts A, B, E, Acrobatics, Pilot, Crimonology, Detective/Espionage.
By "MAD TITAN"

IG-88

F- TY (6)
A- TY (6)
S- EX (20)
E- AM (50)
R- IN (40)
I- MN (75)
P- GD (10)
H- 82
K- 125
R- GD
P- 0 Equipment: Blaster Rifle- RM (30) Force damage
Talents: Guns, Marksman, Weapons Master, Pilot, Engineering, Criminology, Detective/Espionage, Computers, Electronics.


SHIP IG-2000


CTRL: AM
SPEED: SH-Z (Hyper-Space CL. 5000)
BODY: AM
PROT: RM Weapons: Forward Laser Cannons- AM (50) Energy damage
Ion Cannon- IN (40) Shields do not effect this weapon.
2 Tractor Beams- MN (75) strength
By "MAD TITAN"

          London (SIMS) in Second Life   
Re: Virtual Words LondonNina allam(slavbrie janick) London Sims Director Rachael Smith (slav Cleopatra Charleville) SlLondon Marketing Director
          Mal Burns : S.L Reporter ... OpenSIM & 3D Desktop   
Re: Virtual Words LondonMal Burns - burns@talk.com - http://twitter.com/malburns
          No one In Family Will Ever Find Out What Happen Betwwen Mature Aunt And Boy   
Watch No one In Family Will Ever Find Out What Happen Betwwen Mature Aunt And Boy at Sex2016.net - best free sex video tube updated daily with new porn videos!
          Open SIM ... some education uses.   
Re: Virtual Words Londonhttp://www.secondplaces.net

          YouTube Videos "Shamblesguru VW Playlist"   

          Science Learning Opportunities in Second Life   

Science Learning Opportunities in Second Life
www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfsSGBraUhc

          Untitled #152   

Untitled #152

Untitled #152 by bella7112 on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. https://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          Second Life and Public Health   

Second Life and Public Health
Public Health simulations in Second Life
www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wDl5suE2Uo

          Untitled #151   

Untitled #151

Untitled #151 by bella7112 on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. https://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          2008 Metaverse Tour   

Over 50 virtual worlds in 7 minutes
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=0CijdlYOSPc


          Untitled #152   

Untitled #152

Untitled #152 by bella7112 on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. https://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          Furcadia - Good Memories   

          Untitled #166   

Untitled #166

Untitled #166 by bella7112 on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. https://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          World OF Warcraft   

          Untitled #170   

Untitled #170

Untitled #170 by bella7112 on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. https://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          MSH - Batman Family   
Here are cards with base stats for Batman, Robin and Batgirl for use with the Marvel Super-Heroes RPG.
I based these on the '60s TV show versions so they may appear a bit weaker than other stats floating about the 'net.

Their tokens-

And some villain tokens-
(Note: These are not all traditional Batman villains. I threw in some Golden Age DC villains that I thought would fit well with a Batman campaign.)


          Bad Day - Club Penguin   

          Untitled #172   

Untitled #172

Untitled #172 by bella7112 on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. https://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          There (Virtual World)   

          Kidnapped Guy Have To Satisfy Mobsters Cock Hungry Wife If He Wants His Freedom Back   
Watch Kidnapped Guy Have To Satisfy Mobsters Cock Hungry Wife If He Wants His Freedom Back at Sex2016.net - best free sex video tube updated daily with new porn videos!
          Untitled #171   

Untitled #171

Untitled #171 by bella7112 on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. https://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          Second Life - BRANDS IN SECOND LIFE   

A short compilation (using the cool joystick cam feature!) of some of the branded builds in Second Life (part of a 30minute longer video) - from the likes of Reuters, BMW, Sony BMG and Ericcson, BigPond, Reebok, Vodafone, IBM, ABC TV, Showtime, Pontiac, American Apparel, Virgin, Dell, NBC, Apple (unofficial), Sears, Circuit City and AOL.
          Marvel RPG- King Comics   
Celebrating the launch of King Comics next month, here's Flash Gordon, Mandrake, The Phantom, Prince Valiant and Jungle Jim.
I only made stats for their abilities. It shouldn't be too hard to get the appropriate skills and weapons for them.
To create their stats, I cross-referenced two or more similar characters and then adjusted the stats to what I thought would work best.


          Airport outfit   

Airport outfit

Airport outfit by bella7112 on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          Common Sense Media Forum webcast   

Panel discussion about students using virtual worlds
http://takeonedigital.blip.tv/file/488039/
          Metaverse Meetup: 3D data for real world virtual worlds   

Metaverse Meetup: 3D data for real world virtual worlds
Mike Liebhold speaking at Stanford University on: Abstract 3D data, maps, and software will change the way we compute and interact with ...
65 minutes on YouTube
          Untitled #169   

Untitled #169

Untitled #169 by bella7112 on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          A Child's War - a video made in Second Life by Global Kids   

This video was the year-end project for the Global Kids youth leaders in Queens, New York who spent the year working in Global Kids' Virtual Video Project, at the Museum of the Moving Image, funded by the MacArthur Foundation.
The video is based on research done by the youth about the situation of child soldiers in Uganda and the upcoming trial and the International Criminal Court.
http://www.holymeatballs.org/machinima/

          Untitled #167   

Untitled #167

Untitled #167 by bella7112 on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          Global Kids PSAs on Digital Media, in Second Life   

This collection of five 30 second Public Service Announcements were created in Teen Second Life by Global Kids after school program, the Virtual Video Project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation and developed with the support of the Museum of the Moving Image. These were the first videos created by the students, to learn the basic of creating machinima around social issues.
Their final project will focus on child soldiers. www.HolyMeatballs.org

          #inspo   

#inspo

#inspo by bella7112 on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          Edusim 3D in your class   

Edusim in a 3D virtual environment ... this example is being used by students with an interactive whiteboard.
It free and opensource (built on Croquet) here: http://edusim3d.com

          Untitled #164   

Untitled #164

Untitled #164 by bella7112 on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          Random Superhero Adventure Generation   
These are from a couple old DC Heroes books.
First we have a random generator for adventures from the 1st Edition Gamemaster book.
Worth noting is that it needs some modifying to be perfected.

First, the villain list. Obviously, you'll want to put villains in that are appropriate for your campaign. Whether Marvel, DC or others. And then of course, ones that are the right power level. However, you also may want to ditch that chart altogether and make your own.
Why?
Because it's 2D10. Which means the ones in the middle will be more recurring and #s 2 and 20 will hardly ever appear. It's best to use 1D20, a percentile (1D100) chart or a chart with multiple 1D6 or 1D10 sub-charts.

Second, you may want to change the locations.
I recommend using Adamant Entertainment's Modern Dispatch #42: Pulp Adventure Generator for businesses and/or crimes.
Also, Adamant put out several other random generators in the Modern Dispatch, including one for Superheroes. Constructive GMs can utilize it with this to make some exciting adventures.

Something else I prefer to do is on the villain power list, roll 1D10: on a roll of 1-9 randomly select from any powers, on a roll of 10 randomly select two powers. These would be the main powers. Then do it again for secondary powers. This opens up more powers to use.

If your using DC Heroes, just put higher APs in the first set of powers. If you're using Marvel Super-Heroes, you may want to use two separate charts to randomly determine power levels. For instance, for primary powers, use one that ranges up to Amazing or Monstrous. And for Secondary powers, you could use one that stops at Excellent or Remarkable.

Plus, this is a random chart for urban crimes that appeared in Night in Gotham. The book, itself, is quite useful as it has a treasure trove of adventure seeds. The chart is set up with each district of Gotham having its own percentages for certain crimes. This could easily be translated into any large city like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago. Or a fictional city from the comics or one you create, yourself.

And here's a random crime chart that appeared in an issue of Dragon Magazine. It can be inserted in to replace the DC Heroes crime list.


          Untitled #163   

Untitled #163

Untitled #163 by bella7112 on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          Untitled #162   

Untitled #162

Untitled #162 by bella7112 on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          Second Life in 3600 seconds   

          Croquet : Virtual Worlds Platform   

http://youtube.com/watch?v=oKi-fkyAtg8
Croquet Software Demo Movie (August 2007)
This is an edited screen capture from a Croquet demo given by Julian Lombardi in August 2007. It shows some of the capabilities of the open source Croquet software development environment. Croquet is designed for use in creating and deploying large-scale distributed multi-user virtual 3D applications and metaverses.
The Croquet architecture supports synchronous communication, collaboration, resource sharing and computation among large numbers of users on multiple platforms and multiple devices.
www.opencroquet.org

          Untitled #160   

Untitled #160

Untitled #160 by bella7112 on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          Untitled #158   

Untitled #158

Untitled #158 by bella7112 on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          Second Life : Health   


A virtual hospital campus in Second Life to illustrate what healthcare of the future could look like.
http://knowledgecast.wordpress.com/2007/09/01/health-campus
http://uk.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=SecondHealth

          🐩   

🐩

🐩 by bella7112 on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          Sci-Fi Gaming Resources -Updated   

Note: Sadly, the best resource, Solo Nexus, has been removed from solo players.

The Yahoo Groups appear to still be out there somewhere. I'm still getting e-mails from them. However, it looks like Yahoo's changed their links and I haven't gotten them updated, yet. Here's the updated list of links, with several new ones-

Traveller
Traveller at Mongoose Publishing
Mongoose Traveller resources at RPGNow
Spica Publishing Resources for Traveller at RPGNow
All Traveller resources at RPGNow
Mongoose's Signs & Portents Magazine at RPGNow
Freelance Traveller
Into the Deep
The Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society
Far Future Enterprises -has a nice guide to Understanding Traveller
Spica Publishing
SFRPG Message Board
Random Traveller System Generator
Traveller: Heaven & Earth -great world building software
Travelling Alone -nice optional solo Traveller flowchart
How to make a Traveller Sandbox

Other
Shadowrun resources at RPGNow
Elektra for Shadowrun
Sci-Fi resources at RPGNow
Alternity resources
Star Smuggler resources
Star Frontiersman
ClassicMarvelForever.com
Marvel-Phile & Other Marvel Dragon Magazine Articles
Seventh Sanctum -lots of random generators
Paper Friends -printable character standups for every genre

OpenD6
D6 Space
D6 Adventure
D6 Fantasy
Westward
Polgarus Games D6 Resources
Star Wars D6 Holcron
Random Star Wars D6 System Generator
Star Wars D6 Community on G+
Into the Shadows

Mythic/Solo Play
Mythic
Shaun's Solo Traveller

Broken/Abandoned
MGT-Aids · Fan Aids for Mongoose Pub's Traveller
Guide to Traveller UPP (Universal Planetary Profile)
DC Heroes - Blood of Heroes - M.E.G.S. Yahoo group
Doctor Who Solitaire Story Game
Mythic Fan Club/Resources
Solo Nexus

          Untitled #156   

Untitled #156

Untitled #156 by bella7112 on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          ootd.   

ootd.

ootd. by bella7112 on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          Untitled #154   

Untitled #154

Untitled #154 by bella7112 on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          Since I haven't posted anything in like forever 🙁   

Since I haven't posted anything in like forever 🙁

Since I haven't posted anything in like forever 🙁 by gloojass on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. https://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          igra istine   
Aha.

Sto kad si htjela da mi saopstis?


Ovih dana....pa sam htela da vidim kako ces da odreagujes.....

Al' jbg....nish ne saznah Unhappy


Nemoj jos koji dan ,da se malo podsisam i sredim
          Careless Blonde Was Easy Target For Sneaky Kidnappers   
Watch Careless Blonde Was Easy Target For Sneaky Kidnappers at XXXPorn.rs - best free online XXXPorn videos for you to enjoy.
          Untitled #191   

Untitled #191

Untitled #191 by gloojass on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          Untitled #190   

Untitled #190

Untitled #190 by gloojass on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          igra istine   
Aha.

Sto kad si htjela da mi saopstis?


Ovih dana....pa sam htela da vidim kako ces da odreagujes.....

Al' jbg....nish ne saznah Unhappy
          Apple Cinnamon Puff Pastry “Pop Tarts” with Cream Cheese Frosting   
I go through definite phases in my kitchen. Some weeks I bake cookies like no one’s business, other weeks I use my crockpot every day, some weeks I get overly obsessed with a certain ingredient. These days, the magical love in my life is puff pastry. Finn and I have a very well-documented love of...

Read More »


          Untitled #184   

Untitled #184

Untitled #184 by gloojass on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          Untitled #183   

Untitled #183

Untitled #183 by gloojass on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          Untitled #182   

Untitled #182

Untitled #182 by gloojass on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          Untitled #182   

Untitled #182

Untitled #182 by gloojass on Polyvore.com

Created in the Polyvore iPhone app. http://www.polyvore.com/iOS


          Potent Story Lacks Punch in The Innocents   
A Polish religious drama has a distinctive story but a less memorable visual approach.
          Desperate To Feel Younger Cock Busty Dads Wife Appeared On My Door Begging Me To Fuck Her   
Watch Desperate To Feel Younger Cock Busty Dads Wife Appeared On My Door Begging Me To Fuck Her at XXXPorn.rs - best free online XXXPorn videos for you to enjoy.
          Iskreno (i neiskreno) sta mislite o osobi iznad   
Kako da mislim o covjeku nesto kad nikog ne znam Unhappy lol



Mene da ne znash???? auuuu 8)
          igra istine   
znaci jos par godina samooo Unhappy




a ko je to reko?
          Iskreno (i neiskreno) sta mislite o osobi iznad   
Kako da mislim o covjeku nesto kad nikog ne znam Unhappy lol
          Legal Trainer, Asia/Africa (3-6 Months Short Term Assignment) - International Bridges to Justice - Geneva, QC   
Program activities will seek to:. Identify issues and risks related to program implementation in a timely manner, and suggest appropriate program adjustments....
From Indeed - Wed, 14 Jun 2017 14:18:17 GMT - View all Geneva, QC jobs
          Pro Bono Volunteer, Asia/Africa (Short Term Assignment) - International Bridges to Justice - Geneva, QC   
Program activities will seek to:. Identify issues and risks related to program implementation in a timely manner, and suggest appropriate program adjustments....
From Indeed - Wed, 14 Jun 2017 14:09:58 GMT - View all Geneva, QC jobs
          Randy & Evi Quaid Jailed    
It’s safe to say kooky Hollywood pair Randy and Evi Quaid won’t be missing any more court dates. The fugitive couple finally appeared in court over that unpaid hotel bill on Monday and were promptly tossed in the slammer!Santa Barbara District Attorney Arnie Tolks said: “The court was angry. Judge Ochoa told the Quaids [...]
          Tool & Die Maker - 3rd shift - Big Rapids, MI - Steel - Haworth - Steel, QC   
Eight years documented experience in trade OR certificate of completion of four-year apprentice program. Take your first steps towards an exciting career!...
From Haworth - Thu, 18 May 2017 17:41:16 GMT - View all Steel, QC jobs
          Comment on Soon Forget: The undead future of S.L.U.G. Zombies by JackDavid   
It appears Babydoll from Sucker Punch would have been a Hunter too.
          A study in human emotion: Father Kramarz thrills to music   
Thrill to the contrast between (1) the thrill of human emotion and (2) a highly-controlled absence of apparent emotion. In this video, Father Andreas Kramarz, LC, PhD. explains that music gives him emotional thrills: The Bibliolore blog celebrates Father Kramarz’s thrilling achievement. BONUS (distantly related): The fictional character Gus Fring exhibits emotional control, in this highlights video:
          HootSuite Goes Mobile – Preview   
Announcing HootSuite for iPhone. Everybody dance now. After months of hard work, HootSuite for iPhone is available in the iTunes store starting today. HootSuite for iPhone is the only Twitter app that lets you view statistics. It's also the only one that lets you schedule your tweets in advance. With HootSuite for iPhone, you can […]
          Comment on Rustin's Spoils of the Week #179 by Wolf   
It's recent. I think Game of Thrones and Suicide Squad have been the only others so far, though there's more on the way. Most are still shockingly overpriced, though. ReAction has apparently been handed back to Super7, which I think is a good thing -- the original Alien figures they did were cool, as were the Universal Monsters and Gremlins, but Funko tried to milk the format way too hard and with crappy figures.
          Trapped Asian Chick By Military Bondage And Hard Fucked Outdoor   
Watch Trapped Asian Chick By Military Bondage And Hard Fucked Outdoor at XXXPorn.rs - best free online XXXPorn videos for you to enjoy.
          Early Morning Stocker - PETSMART - Temecula, CA   
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, genetics, and...
From PetSmart - Sat, 04 Mar 2017 12:08:13 GMT - View all Temecula, CA jobs
          Front Desk Receptionist - JM Cobb and Associates, Certified Public Accountant - Murrieta, CA   
Daily tasks would include answering incoming calls, scheduling appointments, greeting clients, running errands, and scanning/filing confidential financial...
From Indeed - Wed, 14 Jun 2017 21:16:12 GMT - View all Murrieta, CA jobs
          Was jetzt anders ist   

Weil ich immer wieder lese, wie Leute ihre Verwunderung darüber äußern, dass Österreich 1956 und 1992 hunderttausende Flüchtlinge anstandslos aufgenommen hat und das kann doch nicht sein, dass das heute nicht mehr gehen soll, möchte ich dieser Argumentation kontern. Doch, das kann so sein. Die Situation ist eine komplett andere. Und zwar aus einer ganzen Reihe von Gründen, von denen ich mal exemplarisch sieben aufzählen will.

Damit kein Missverständnis entsteht: weder identifiziere ich mich mit diesen Begründungen, noch will ich damit irgendwessen Verhalten entschuldigen. Ich will nur aufzeigen, was seit 1992 geschehen ist, das dazu geführt hat, dass die Stimmung gegenüber Flüchtlingen in Teilen der Bevölkerung gekippt ist. Keiner braucht sich darüber zu wundern, denn die Stimmung sitzt nicht nur in wirren Köpfen, sondern sie ist Ergebnis und Ausdruck einer Ideologie, die unser Leben prägt.

1. Die Flüchtlinge 1956 und 1992 waren Nachbarn

Zu Beginn der banalste und sicher nicht ausschlaggebendste Grund: Die Herkunftsländer der Flüchtlinge 1956 und 1992 waren mehr oder weniger direkt angrenzende Länder und bis 1918 sogar Teil der österreichisch-ungarischen Monarchie. Man fühlte sich quasi dem selben Kulturkreis zugehörig, ein bisschen Monarchie-Nostalgie mag wohl auch mitgeschwungen sein. Die Flüchtlinge heute kommen aus anderen Ländern, die um einiges weiter weg sind, die man nicht kennt, weil man sie nicht einmal jemals im Urlaub besucht hat. Simpel gesagt: Damals gehörten die irgendwie zu uns und hatten einen Vertrauensvorschuss. Den gibt es heute nicht.

2. Wir leben im Schatten von 9/11 und IS

Naomi Klein hat in ihrem Buch Die Schock-Strategie sehr eindrucksvoll beschrieben, dass sich die Politik sehr gerne den Machterhalt sichert, indem sie feindliche Bedrohung von außen als Faktor benützt, um Konsens im Inneren zu erwirken. Spätestens seit 9/11 erzählen uns Politiker und Medien von der angeblichen stetigen Unterwanderung der westlichen Gesellschaft durch islamische Terroristen und rechtfertigen damit die Beschneidung von Bürgerrechten und die umfassende Überwachung der Bürger.

Bei der Massivität dieses Angst-Diskurses ist es nicht unverständlich, wenn angesichts der Tatsache, dass nun tausende Moslems aus den Kernländern der IS zu uns kommen, Menschen Angst- und Abwehrreaktionen zeigen, und zwar unabhängig davon, dass diese Menschen gerade vor den Terroristen flüchten. Die betroffenen Länder wurden jahrelang fast ausschließlich als Heimat von Terroristen dargestellt, sodass es vielen schon schwer fällt zu glauben, dass die Terroristen dort in der Minderheit sind.

3. Wir leben in keiner egalitären Gesellschaft mehr

1956 und 1992 war die Schere zwischen Arm und Reich in Österreich um einiges geringer als heute. 1956 war eine Mittelschicht gerade im Entstehen, 1992 war sie noch einigermaßen stabil. Momentan ist die Mittelschicht am Erodieren, und die Gesellschaft ist dabei, sich in einen Geldadel (der für seinen Reichtum nicht arbeiten muss, sondern sein Geld arbeiten lässt) und ein Prekariat (das trotz Arbeit an der Armutsgrenze kratzt) aufzuspalten. Es herrscht die Angst vor dem sozialen Abstieg.

In solchen Situationen, das zeigt die Geschichte, suchen sich Gesellschaften gerne Sündenbocke, die in der Hierarchie noch eine Stufe tiefer stehen. In den 1930er Jahren haben die Nationalsozialisten unter der verarmten, arbeitslosen Masse die Klasse der "Untermenschen"(Juden, "Asoziale", Roma, Slawen) eingeführt. Den Begriff würde man heute natürlich nicht verwenden, aber der Grundgedanke ist schon da, und die Ursache ist die selbe: wenn einer Gesellschaft das Gefühl verloren geht, dass alle Mitglieder dieser Gesellschaft gleich sind und gleich behandelt werden, dann geht mit der Zeit auch der Konsens verloren, dass alle Menschen grundsätzlich die gleichen Rechte haben sollen.

4. Wir haben das Prinzip der Kooperation gegen jenes der Konkurrenz getauscht

In der wirtschaftlich einigermaßen abgesicherten Welt des Österreich der Jahre 1956-1992 war Konkurrenz lange Zeit ein eher theoretischer Begriff. Regionale Firmen konnten einen regionalen Markt bedienen, die Transportkosten waren noch nicht lächerlich billig und die Globalisierung selbst 1992 erst am Beginnen. Das angloamerikanische Konkurrenzdenken war bei uns noch nicht wirklich verbreitet, es wollte nicht jeder besser sein als der andere, weil es auch nicht wirklich notwendig war. Das hat zwar die Wirtschaft nicht zu Höchstleistungen getrieben, aber in so einer Atmosphäre konnte man leicht kooperativ sein.

Diese gemächliche Schutzzone gibt es nicht mehr. Heimische Firmen kämpfen gegen Billigimporte, Arbeitssuchende gegen solche, die die selbe Arbeit für weniger Geld machen, Praktikumsplätze werden nicht nur an den Bestqualifizierten und Anspuchslosesten vergeben, sondern müssen zum Teil sogar bezahlt werden. Überall herrscht Konkurrenz und Konkurrenzdenken. In so einer Atmosphäre ist es wenig verwunderlich, wenn die Leute, die darunter am meisten leiden, keine zusätzliche Konkurrenz wollen.

5. Wir sind gefangen zwischen sinkenden Einkommen und steigenden Konsumansprüchen

1956-1992 stiegen die Löhne kontinuierlich an; in den letzten 15 Jahren sind die Reallöhne allerdings gesunken. Das wäre an sich noch nicht so problematisch, denn das Lohnniveau in Österreich ist international gesehen ganz gut. Das Problem ist, dass es die Wirtschaft in einigen Jahrzehnten geschafft hat, Identitätsfindung durch Konsumverhalten zu definieren: wer nicht weiß, wer er ist, schafft sich seine Identität dadurch, dass er bestimmte Produkte kauft. Damit schafft es die Wirtschaft, weiterhin Begehrlichkeiten und Ansprüche zu wecken, auch wenn diese mit den sinkenden Einkommen nicht mehr problemlos zu befriedigen sind.

Das erklärt wohl auch, warum trotz sinkender Einkommen in Österreich die Umsätze im Einzelhandel weiterhin steigen. Gerade die Menschen aus den finanziell prekärsten Schichten sind davon am meisten betroffen, sie haben aber nicht nur das Gefühl, vom erarbeiteten Geld immer weniger zu haben, es schwebt dabei auch die unbewusste Angst vor dem drohenden Identitätsverlust mit.

Natürlich steigt dann der Neid und der Hass auf die, die Geld bekommen sollen, ohne dafür zu arbeiten, egal wie niedrig die Beträge im Vergleich sind. Darum auch das Flüchtlings-Handy als Hassobjekt, denn es gibt dem Flüchtling ein Prestige und eine Identität, die jemand, der sich seine eigene Handy-Rechnung kaum leisten kann, ihm nicht zugestehen will.

6. Wir leben die Austeritäts-Politik

Bis 1983 war der österreichische Wohlfahrtsstaat die viel zitierte "Insel der Seligen". 1983 kam das erste große Sparpaket, es folgten weitere, massiv ab 1995 zur Erfüllung der Maastricht-Kriterien. Spätestens seit 2005 wird uns von der Politik ununterbrochen vorgebetet, wie wichtig es ist, zu sparen. Wohl gemerkt, nicht wir sollen sparen (das würde ja die Wirtschaft bremsen, und deshalb wurden auch die Sparzinsen de facto abgeschafft), nein, der Staat muss sparen, und zwar vor allem bei Bildungs- und Sozialausgaben.

Diverse Länder wurden harten Spardiktaten unterworfen, in Österreich hat man es eher mit der Salamitaktik (in kleinen Scheiben) gelöst, aber es hat keinen Schäuble gebraucht, um uns jahrelang einzutrichtern, dass Sozialausgaben vor allem arbeitsunwilligen "Sozialschmarotzern" nutzen und daher weiter gesenkt werden müssen. Es ist vermessen zu glauben, dass diese jahrelange Indoktrination nicht wirkt, dass die Zahl der Leute, die nicht bereit ist, zuzusehen, wie Fremde Geld aus eben jenen Sozialtöpfen bekommen sollen, rapide steigt. Oder ganz knapp zusammengefasst: Wir haben nichts zu verschenken, und überhaupt, Geiz ist geil.

7. Wir haben bald 30 Jahre Anti-Ausländerparolen der FPÖ

Die FPÖ hatte ihren Durchbruch mit der Machtübernahme von Jörg Haider im Jahr 1986. 1992 haben Haiders Äußerungen noch Aufsehen erregt. Noch 1991 musste er wegen seiner Äußerung über die "ordentliche Beschäftigungspolitik" im Dritten Reich zurücktreten. Heute, 24 Jahre später, ist die politische Sprache der FPÖ längst kein Aufreger mehr, es dürfen Sachen gesagt werden, die damals undenkbar gewesen wären, und natürlich haben sich diese Denkweisen in der Bevölkerung als völlig normal festgesetzt: "Daham statt Islam" ist kein Aufreger. Die FPÖ nimmt sogar direkt darauf Bezug und sagt, sie spreche "unsere Sprache". Damit legitimiert sie ihre politische Diktion sogar als die der (vermeintlichen) Mehrheit.

Waren früher manche politische Äußerungen von FPÖ-Politikern ein Rücktrittsgrund, sind sie also heute "unsere Sprache". Vermutlich gilt das dann eben auch für die Benutzerkommentare auf FPÖ-nahen Facebook-Seiten.

Fazit

Somit: Nein, unsere Situation ist nicht vergleichbar mit 1956 oder 1992. Wir leben heute in einer Gesellschaft, deren Grundideologie in Bezug auf Konsum, Konkurrenz und Gleichheit in den letzten 20 Jahren einem grundlegenden Wandel unterworfen war. Einige haben ihre Einstellung aus dieser Zeit in die Gegenwart herübergerettet, aber viele sind in der neuen Ideologie aufgewachsen oder haben sie aus anderen Gründen übernommen.

Man hat uns in dieser Zeit Angst vor den Moslems gemacht, wir fühlen uns sozial ungleich behandelt und wissen nicht, wie wir mit weniger Geld unsere ständig steigenden Bedürfnisse befriedigen sollen. Man hat uns 20 Jahre lang eingetrichtert, dass Konkurrenz toll und Geiz geil ist, und wir wurden 30 Jahre lang mit Anti-Ausländerparolen abgestumpft.

Politik und Wirtschaft haben uns zwar dazu gebracht, mit weniger Geld weiter einzukaufen und es zu akzeptieren, dass man uns Bürgerrechte und Sozialleistungen wegnimmt, die Menschlichkeit ist dabei aber irgendwo verloren gegangen. Die Mechanismen beschreiben Georg Seeßlen und Markus Metz sehr eindrücklich in den beiden Schlusskapiteln ihres Buches Blödmaschinen. Die zwei Möglichkeiten, die sie als Konsequenz dieser Entwicklung aufzeigen, sind beide nicht schön.


          Bank of America shares rise in after-hours trade after passing Fed test   

Bank of America shares climbed more than 1.3% in after-hours trading on Wednesday, following the Charlotte, N.C. lender's passing of a broad test of the banking systems' ability to withstand a big market shock. The bank's passage on Wednesday garnered it approval from the the Federal Reserve to lift its dividend 60% to 12 cents and announce a $12 billion share repurchase plan. All 34 of the financial-service firms tested passed their so-called stress test and received green lights for plans to return capital to shareholders. The exchange-traded Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF , a popular way to invest in the biggest U.S. banks, rose 1.1% in after-hours trade. Check out a live blog of the results from the stress test.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


          ส่องหุ้น IPO BIZ   

หุ้น ฺBIZ ทำธุรกิจขายเครื่งอมือแพทย์ ช่วงนี้กระแสหุ้นการแพทย์กำลังมาพอดี มาดูกันครับว่าจะหมู่หรือจ่า เชิญเข้าไปอ่านโดยพลัน


สินค้าและบริการ


ผลิตภัณฑ์หลักที่บริษัทจ าหน่ายได้แก่ ผลิตภัณฑ์ประเภทชุดเครื่องฉายรังสี(Treatment   Delivery) โดยเฉพาะเครื่องเร่งอนุภาคอิเลคตรอน (Linear  Accelerator) ซึ่งเป็นผลิตภัณฑ์หลักที่ใช้ในการรักษาโรคมะเร็งด้วยวิธีรังสีรักษาด้วยการฉายรังสีระยะไกล (Teletherapy) และเป็นผลิตภัณฑ์ที่มีความส าคัญและมีมูลค่าต่อโครงการสูง นอกจากนี้บริษัทยังท าหน้าที่เป็น Solution Provider ทำงานทุกอย่าที่เกี่ยวข้าง

สินค้าของ BIZ เครื่องเร่งอนุภาค
ดูจากสินค้าและบริษัท ต้องมองเป็นบริษัทซื้อมาขายไป เพราะไม่ได้เป็นผู้ผลิตเอง ระยาวต้องวัดใจกันเรื่อยๆว่าสามารถนำเสนอสินค้าและบริการได้ต่อเนื่องหรือไม่ วัดใจกันไป

ผลประกอบการ


โครงสร้างรายได้ แยกตามกลุ่มลูกค้า
กดที่รูปเพื่อดูขนาดใหญ่

ดูตามโครงสร้างรายได้แล้ว กลุ่มลูกค้าส่วนใหญ่จะเป็นโรงพญาบาลสังกัดมหาวิทยาลัยแพทย์ แสดงว่าตลาดเล็กลงไปอีก แต่โรงพยาแพทย์ก็เป็นที่ขึ้นชื่อลือชาว่าต้องมีเครื่องมือที่ พิเศษให้นักเรียนแพทย์ได้ใช้งาน ปี 2558 รายได้หายไป เพราะไม่มีงานส่งมอบ

ดังนั้นใครกะว่าจะถือหุ้นตัวนี้ยาวๆ กะถือกินปันผล ก็ต้องทำใจบางปีได้เยอะ บางปีได้นอย แต่ถ้ารายได้กระโดดแบบนี้ เหมาะเก็งกำไรเป็นรอบๆน่าจะได้คำใหญ่อยู่

สินค้าคงเหลือ
กดที่รูปเพื่อดูขนาดใหญ่
เนื่องจากรายได้จะรับรู้เมื่อส่งมอบ ก็ต้องมูดูที่สินค้าคงเหลือว่ามีอะไรบ้าง ที่น่าสนใจคือ

  • สินค้าระหว่างติดตั้งเพิ่มขึ้นจาก 0.9 ล้านเป็น 51.93 ล้านบาท
  • สินค้าระหว่างทางเพิ่มขึ้นจาก 42.90 ล้าน เป็น 137.97 ล้านบาท

แสดงว่า เอาเข้าตลาดมาช่วงที่ใกล้ๆส่งมอบงานพอดี ในคำอธิบายเขาบอกว่า

ณ วันที่ 31 ธันวาคม 2558 และ ณ วันที่ 31 มีนาคม 2559 รายการสินค้าคงเหลือส่วนใหญ่เป็นสินค้าระหว่างทางซึ่งมีมูลค่าเท่ากับ 42.90 ล้านบาทและ 137.97 ล้านบาทซึ่งเป็นสินค้าที่บริษัทสั่งซื้อและอยู่ระหว่างการจัดส่งจากบริษัทผู้ผลิตในต่างประเทศ เพื่อรอติดตั้งและส่งมอบงานในปีถัดไปของงานศูนย์วิจัยและรักษามะเร็งกรุงเทพและงานของโรงพยาบาลมะเร็งอุบลราชธานี

ใครอยู่แถวนั้นก็แว้บๆไปดูได้ว่าสูนย์มะเร็งเครื่งอเปิดใช้งานเมื่อไร


อัตราส่วนทางการเงิน




จากอัตราส่วนทางการเงินจะเห็นว่า หุ้น biz มีวงจรเงินสดค่อนข้างยาว แบบนี้ถ้าจัดการไม่ดีจะมีปัญหากับกระแสเงินสดได้

การทำกำไร ผมว่าอัตรากำไรต่ำไปหน่อย และผันผวน ช่วงดีๆก็กำไ 9 % ช่วงแย่ๆก็กำหาย

มาดูที่อัตราการจ่ายเงินปันผล ปันผลกำไรสะสมออกไปทั้งหมดเรียบร้อย ในปี 2558 อัตราปันผลจากกำไร 1000% กันเลยทีเดียว


สรุปแล้วหุ้นตัวนี้ก็เหมาะสำหรับสายที่ชอบเล่นรอบ กำไรจะผันผวนเพราะรับรู้รายได้เมื่อส่งมอบงาน และงานพวกนี้ก็ไม่ได้มีบ่อยๆซะด้วย





ที่มา
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          Nasdaq 100 bounces back above 50-day MA one-day after snapping long losing streak above it   

The Nasdaq 100 Index bounced sharply back above a key technical level, just one-day after an apparent breakdown, but history suggests it's still too early to assume the short-term uptrend remains intact. The index rallied 1.4% to 5,753.03, while the 50-day moving average (MA), which many chart watchers use as a dividing line between shorter-term uptrends and downtrends, extended to 5,694.58, according to FactSet. On Tuesday, the tech-heavy index closed below its 50-day MA for the first time since Dec, 6, 2016. The 138-session streak above the 50-day MA was the longest such stretch since it closed above it for 166-straight sessions through Sept. 26, 1995. Back then, after the Nasdaq 100 snapped that streak on Sept. 27, it surged 3.3% to close back above the line on Sept. 28. It then fell 8.1% over the next six sessions before hitting a short-term bottom. The Nasdaq 100 has now rallied 18.3% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 9.0%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


          Early Morning Stocker - PETSMART - Murrieta, CA   
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, genetics, and...
From PetSmart - Sat, 04 Mar 2017 12:08:16 GMT - View all Murrieta, CA jobs
          แก่นแท้ประเมินมูลค่าหหุ้น   
จะซื้อของทั้งทีคงไม่มีใครอยากได้ของดีราคาแพง ในการวัดความถูกแพง ถ้าเข้าใจแก่นก็สามารถต่อยอดไปได้อีกเยอะครับ โดยการประเมินมูลคาแท้จริงเป็นเรื่องเปรียบเทียบ หลักๆจะดูอยู่ 3 เรื่อง

1.ได้อะไรมา


การลงทุนซื้อหุ้นเราได้ตัวบริษัทและกระแสเงินสดที่ผลิตได้ในอนาคต ถ้าเรามองว่าเราซื้อหุ้นแล้วได้กำไรแต่และปีมาเป็นของเรา การอ่านงบเพื่อให้รู้ว่าลักษณะกำไรของบริษัทเป็นอย่างไร เราอาจแบ่งลักษณะกำไรของหุ้นเป็น 6 ประเภทตามแนวของปีเตอร์ลินซ์ มีดังนี้


  • กำไรโตแข็งแกร่ง โตเรื่อยๆตามอุตสาหกรรม รายได้กำไรโตสม่ำเสมอ มีการลงทุนเรื่อยๆ ROE ROA สม่ำเสมอ
  • กำไรโตเร็ว อุตสาหกรรมกำลังเติบโต ลงทุนสูง จะโตได้ไกล กระแสเงินสดควรเป็นบวก ROE ROA สม่ำเสมอ
  • กำไรโตช้า อุตสาหกรรมเริ่มอิ่มตัว คู่แข่งบาน รายได้เริ่มโตช้าลง ลงทุนเยอะกำไรโตน้อย ROA ROE ลดลงเรื่อยๆ 
  • หุ้นวงจรกำไรโตเป็นรอบๆ 
  • หุ้นเทรินอราวด์ พลิกจากขาดทุนมาเป็นกำไร
  • หุ้นสินทรัพย์แฝง ซื้อๆไว้เดี๋ยววันดีคืนดีก็เอาสินทรัพย์ไปขายก็ได้กำไรมาเป็นก้อน


2.จ่ายไปเท่าไร


เราจ่ายเงินซื้อหุ้นที่ราคาตลาด ณ วันนั้น ถ้าไม่เอาราคาตลาดก็ไปต่อรองกันเอง


3.คุ้มหรือไม่


ผลตอบแทนที่ได้คุ้มกับที่เราจ่ายหรือไม่ ถ้าอยู่ตัวคนเดียวไม่สามารถบอกได้ว่าถูกแพงต้องมีตัวเปรียบเทียบ

3.1ประเมินมูลค่าด้วยอัตราส่วน PE PBV PS 

เป็นการเปรียบเทียบเหมือน Apple to Apple
pe pbv ps pcfo เป็นการเอาสิ่งที่จ่ายpเทียบกับสิ่งที้ได้ เช่น eกำไร bv cfo .........
ถ้าสิ่งที่ได้เหมือนๆกัน บริษัทที่จ่ายซื้อน้อยกว่าแสดงว่าจะถูกกว่า

3.1คิดลดกระแสเงินสด DDM 


ตัวเปรียบเทียบคือ ตัวคิดลดที่เอามาหาร
ยกตัวอย่าง คิดลดเงินปันผล p=d/k-gค่าที่ได้บอกว่า
ถ้ากระแสเงินสดในอนาคตที่เราคาดการณ์เท่ากับ เงินปันผลในอนาคตเท่า d ที่โตเรื่อยๆเท่ากับg (ย้ำว่าคาดการณ์)
ตัวเปรียบเทียบถูกแพงคือ ผลตอบแทนที่คาดหวัง(ผลตอบแทนทางเลือกถ้าไม่ซื้อหุ้นตัวนั้น)เท่ากับk
pคือ ใช้เงินลงทุนในปัจจุบัน ที่ทำให้ได้ผลตอบแทนจากการลงทุนเท่ากับk
เอาค่าที่ได้มาเทียบราคาปัจจุบัน

1.ถ้าราคาหุ้นปัจจุบันต่ำกว่าราคาที่คำณวณได้ แสดงว่า เราซื้อของ"ถูก" เพราะได้ผมตอบแทนจากการลงทุนมากกว่า k
2.ราคาปัจจุบัน เท่ากับราคาที่คำนวณได้ แสดงว่า "ไม่ถูกไม่แพง" เพราะได้ผลตอบแทนจากการลงทุนเท่ากับk
3.ถ้าราคาหุ้นปัจจุบันสูงกว่าราคาที่คำณวณได้ แสดงว่า เราซื้อของ"แพง" เพราะได้ผมตอบแทนจากการลงทุนน้อยกว่า k

ส่วนdcfแค่เปลี่ยนรูปแบบกระแสเงินสดกับตัวคิดลด

โดยสรุป การประเมินมูลค่าก็เหมือนการบอกว่า ท่อนไม่สั้นหรือยาว ถ้าเอาไปเทียบกับไม่ที่สั้นกว่ามันก็ยาว เอาไปเทียบกับไม้ที่ยาวกว่ามันก็สั้น นั่นเอง


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สัมมนาวิเคราะห์หุ้นด้วยปัจจัยพื้นฐาน ดูรายละเอียดและตารางอบรมได้ที่http://www.investidea.in.th/p/value-investor.html
หรือสอบถามราบละเอียดและลงทะเบียนได้ที่ Line; pat4310, หรือโทร 086-503-5023
          igra istine   
Znala sam nekad , sad vise ne znam Unhappy , izgubilo se :?
          ปัจจัยกำหนด PBV และการหาราคาเหมาะสม   

PBV หรืออัตราส่วน ราคาต่อมูลค่าทางบัญชี เป็นอัตราส่วนที่นิยมในการประเมินมูลค่าหุ้น บทความนี้ก็จะมาหาปัจจัยที่มีนัยยะสำคัญในการกำหนด PBV และการประมาณค่า PBV ที่เหมาะสมจากตัวเลขทางการเงินครับ

ปัจจัยกำหนด PBV ทางทฤษฎี


เรารู้ว่า PBV = PE x ROE

PE = b / (k-g)
PBV = b / (k-g) x ROE

b คืออัตราการจ่ายเงินปันผลจากกำไร

k-g มันประเมินยาก ดังนั้นจึงประมาณการ k-g จาก DDM
p = d/k-g
k-g = d/p = Yield% ผลตอบแทนเงินปันผล

ROE = ROA x (1+DE)

จากการย้ายข้างสมการไปๆมา ทำให้เลือกตัวแปรมา 4 ตัวคือ

  1. อัตราการจ่ายเงินปันผลจากกำไร b ถ้าเพิ่มขึ้น PBV จะเพิ่ม
  2. อัตราผลตอบแทนเงินปันผล ถ้าเพิ่มขึ้น PBV จะลดลง
  3. ROA เพิ่มขึ้น PBV จะเพิ่ม
  4. DE เพิ่ม PBV เพิ่ม



ผลการประมาณการ PBV ด้วยวิธี Regression


ข้อมูลที่ใช้เป็นข้อมูลภาคตัดขวางจาก web siamchart.com/stock ก็อบข้อมูลมาวันที่ 2 พค จากการประมาณการได้ผลดังภาพ

สมการคือ PBV = 2.55 + 0.121 DE + 0.063 ROA -0.226Yield

มีความสัมพันธ์กันอย่างมีนัยสำคัญ ยกเว้น DE ที่มีนัยสำคัญที่ 90

ทิศทางความสัมพันธ์ตามคาดคือ

  1. DE เพิ่ม PBV เพิ่ม
  2. ROA เพิ่ม PBV เพิ่ม
  3. Yield เพิ่ม PBV ลด

ผ่านมา 1 ปีวันที่ 4 พค 2560 ได้สมการดังภาพ
    ผลสมการของปี 2560 ข้อมูลวันที่ 4 พค
    สมการเปลี่ยนแปลงนิดหน่อยเป็น

    PBV = 1.38 + 0.32DE + 0.23ROA - 0.4Yield

    การประยุกต์หาราคาที่เหมาะสม


    ถ้าเรารู้ ค่า PBV ที่เหมาะสมก็สามารถหาราคาเป้าหมายได้เลย 

    PBV = P / BV

    p = PBV x BV

    ตัวอย่างหุ้น MINT 


    อัตราส่วนหนี้สินต่อส่วนของผู้ถือหุ้น 1.82 เท่า
    อัตราผลตอบแทนจากสินทรัพย์ 10.41 %

    อัตราเงินปันผลตอบแทน 0.94 %

    PBV = 2.55 + 0.121 (1.82) + 0.063 (10.41) -0.226(0.94 )
    = 3.21 เท่า

    มูลค่าหุ้นทางบัญชีต่อหุ้น (บาท/หุ้น) 7.45

    ราคาหุ้นเท่ากับ 7.45 x 3.21 = 23.94 บาท

    แสดงว่าวันนี้เทรดกันที่ราคาแพงไปหน่อย

    มูลค่าเหมาะสม MINT


    ราคาวันนี้แพงไปหน่อย แต่กิจการเขาดีมูลค่ากิจการก็สูงขึ้นเรื่อยๆ ถ้าเจอแบบนี้ก็ต้องถือยาวๆ
    มูลค่าเหมาะสม AS
    เมื่อทดลองนำไปประมาณการมูลค่าของหุ้น AS จะเห็นว่าเมื่อผลประกอบการแย่งลง มูลค่าของกิจการที่จะแย่งลงตามไปด้วย

    ดังนั้นการลงทุน หัวใจอันแรกคือหาหุ้นที่มูลค่ากำลังสูงขึ้น

    การหา PE ที่เหมาะสม


    หรือจะประยุกต์มาหาค่า PE เหมาะสมก็ได้
    PE = PBV / ROE

    ROE = 23.14%

    จะเอามาใส่สมการก็ต้องหาร 100 ก่อนได้ 0.2314
    จะได้ PE เท่ากับ 13.88 เท่า


    สรุปว่าตัวแปรกำหนด PBV ทฤษฎี มีนัยสำคัญทางสถิติกับข้อมูลในตลาดหลักทรัพย์



    ติดตามเราได้ที่ Website : http://www.investidea.in.th
    Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/investidea.in.th
    Line ID : @investidea.in.th ใส่@นำหน้าด้วย
    สัมมนาวิเคราะห์หุ้นด้วยปัจจัยพื้นฐาน ดูรายละเอียดและตารางอบรมได้ที่http://www.investidea.in.th/p/value-investor.html
    หรือสอบถามราบละเอียดและลงทะเบียนได้ที่ Line; pat4310, หรือโทร 086-503-5023
              Extra insatt Öppen Utbildning – Dimensions & Elements 6-7 september   

    Då vår Öppen utbildning Dimensions & Elements är fullbokade i augusti och september har vi lagt till ett extra tillfälle i september. 6-7 september håller vi extra insatt utbildningstillfälle i våra mycket populära verktyg. Kontakta din kundansvarige eller Laila Helin på 070-758 85 95 alternativt  laila.helin@talentq.se  

    The post Extra insatt Öppen Utbildning – Dimensions & Elements 6-7 september appeared first on TalentQ.


              Extra insatt Drives utbildning   

    By popular demand…… har vi satt in extra Drives utbildning 13:e juni. Vad är DRIVES? TalentQ motivationsformulär Drives är det första och helt unika testet som mäter motivation/engagemang kopplat mot värderingar på arbetet.  Med starkt engagemang menas bland annat att en person motiveras av att prestera, bidrar till utveckling av företaget och kollegor utan att […]

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              Mental träning ger starka resultat   

    Det viktigaste telefonsamtal Sara Hector gör timmar innan start går till mentala tränaren Carl-Magnus Helin. – Jag har blivit säkrare, och bättre på att hantera mina känslor, säger Hector till SVT Sport. Läs hela artikeln nedan http://www.svt.se/sport/vintersport/sara-hector-5/

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              igra istine   
    cry cry , kazu da treba traziti pa ces pronaci Unhappy

    El kolega, koje je ovdje moje magare? roll
    Aj, kazuj !!!
              Seminarium: personlighet, drivkrafter och motkrafter vid förändringar   

    Det kan vara svårt att genomföra både små och stora förändringar i arbetsuppgifter, mål eller om det är på organisatorisk nivå. Speciellt om man efteråt vill uppleva att enskilda medarbetare och organisationen som helhet är mer engagerade eller har möjlighet att använda sin potential fullt ut för att företaget ska nå sina mål. Hur spelar […]

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              Extrainsatt öppen utbildning – 360 verktyg (MultiView)   

    Missa inte vår extrainsatta utbildning om MultiView, vårt 360 verktyg.

    The post Extrainsatt öppen utbildning – 360 verktyg (MultiView) appeared first on TalentQ.


              Utbildningar 2015   

    Årets utbildningskalender är uppdaterad med våra reguljära öppna utbildningar och även lite spännande nya workshops. Vänligen låt oss veta om du har några frågor.  

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              Planerad driftstörning lördag 27:e september   

    Vänligen observera att vårt administrativa system kommer vara nere lördag den 27:e september mellan klockan 19.00-23.00 Under denna tid kan inga nya test påbörjas . Påbörjade test kan däremot avslutas. Tack

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              Comment on Getting Started with note-taking apps by Michael Archer   
    From this article, I was fascinated by Google Keep where with its amazing note generation feature and its integration of videos, audio files and images serve to boost the user experience. Can't wait to avail the app!
              Planerad driftstörning söndag 1:a juni   

    Vänligen observera att vårt administrativa system kommer vara nere söndag den 1:a juni mellan klockan 19.00-23.00 Under denna tid kan inga nya test påbörjas . Påbörjade test kan däremot avslutas. Tack

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              Comment on Getting Started with note-taking apps by Pyramidion Solutions   
    Google Keep, Apple Notes, Evernote and OneNote, the note-taking app market is crammed with such apps which are there to serve the user base amidst the intense competition that has been generated.
              Välkommen till frukostföreläsning den 25:e april!   

    Vi hälsar dig varmt välkommen till en inspirerande morgonstund! TalentQ Multiview är vårt unika online 360° utvärderingsverktyg som på ett enkelt och effektivt sätt hjälper dig att identifiera individers styrkor och utvecklingsområden. Individen får feedback utifrån fler perspektiv: Sin egen, chefs, kollegor och ev. underställda. Multiview används i utvecklingssyften eller prestationsvärderingar. TalentQs MultiView består av […]

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              Öppen basutbildning Dimensions & Elements 11-12 februari   

    Möjlighet att delta i vår basutbildning för några av våra mest använda tester, Dimensions & Elements. Mer information om testerna finns under ”Våra produkter”. Utbildningen hålls i våra lokaler och pågår i 2 dagar med en halvdags uppföljning en månad efter första utbildningsdagen. Kaffe och frukt ingår i utbildningskostnaden. Tid: 09.00-17.00 Har du några frågor […]

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              igra istine   
    Da skacem padobranom......za sada neispunjena...




    ne znam sta da te pitam....manjak maste Unhappy

    Osh ti mene da pitas?
              Comment on Slack vs Microsoft Teams by John Smith   
    Both Microsoft Teams and Slack provide a great worth of adaptability where they can be used across the desktop apps, mobile operating systems and also via the web as well displaying their flexibility.
              Comment on Slack vs Microsoft Teams by Michael Archer   
    A good article outlining the traits and properties of both the productivity apps Slack and Microsoft Team. Each has its advantages and shortcomings. Yet, it depends upon the end user base regarding the decision of choice.
              Comment on Mobile technology is making our life more complicated by rivera46554   
    It is true that this mobile technology makes our life like a machine. We take our mobiles wherever we go. It may have some problem but this mobile technology helps us lot which we should appreciate.
              Trucos para el juego | Sims 3   


    Los Sims 3 tiene una serie de códigos que permiten saltarse las reglas del juego y que facilita a mucha gente cumplir sus objetivos con el juego de una forma rápida. Hay trucos para añadir dinero al instante a los fondos de una familia, para poder colocar objetos en el solar sin ninguna limitación, y muchos otros. En esta página los hemos reunido todos y te explicamos cómo usarlos:
    Para usar un código y beneficiarnos de su función debemos insertarlo en la consola de trucos de Los Sims 3. Para abrirla debemos de pulsar en este orden y sin soltar las teclas Control + Shift + C (la tecla shift es la que se encuentra arriba de la tecla control). Entonces aparecerá un cuadro de texto azul en la parte superior de la pantalla. Allí escribimos el truco que queremos usar y pulsamos la tecla Intro.
     
    Si el código del truco es correcto el cuadro desaparecerá.. Si nos hemos equivocado al introducirlo nos indicará el error. Para cerrar la consola de trucos sin introducir ninguno debemos pulsar Escape.

    Aquí tienes la lista de trucos disponibles para el juego:

    help – Muestra una lista con todos los trucos disponibles.
    help <nombre del truco> – Muestra información concreta del truco indicado.
    quit – Cierra el juego (te preguntará si deseas guardar la partida).
    [flecha arriba] – Recupera el último truco introducido en esta ventana para esta instancia de la partida.
    resetSim <nombre completo del Sim> – En el extraño caso de que un Sim se quede “bloqueado” en una interacción o en algún lugar de la ciudad, o se le quede pegado algo, usa este truco.  Puede que el Sim tarde un poco en reaparecer porque se está recomponiendo por completo. Ejemplo de uso: resetSim Homero Lápida

    fps [on/off]
    – Activa y desactiva el visor de la velocidad de imagen en la esquina superior derecha.

    moveObjects [on/off]
    – Anula la limitación de espacio asignado para colocar cualquier objeto en los modos Comprar y Construir. Anula los límites de la herramienta de Mano para los objetos en uso o que habitualmente nopueden ser movidos. Es causa de problemas con los elementos del juego, las rutas, la generación de objetos ocultos y su manipulación, etc. Ten en cuenta que este truco permite mover y borrar objetos que normalmente no admiten estas acciones, como los Sims. Si borras estos objetos, no hay forma de recuperarlos, ¡así que ten cuidado!

    constrainFloorElevation [true/false]
    – Permite todos los ajustes de terreno con independencia de los objetos, Sims y edificios que haya sobre ellos.  Las paredes, suelos y objetos se moverán con el terreno, lo que te permitirá crear paredes sobre cuestas y colinas planas.  No obstante, colocar nuevas paredes o suelos seguirá alisando el terreno, y colocar los objetos seguirá requiriendo que el terreno sea plano inicialmente si el objeto así lo exige.
    disableSnappingToSlotsOnAlt [on/off] – Si está en “on”, los objetos no se ajustarán a los espacios mientras pulses ALT.  Es útil para poner objetos sin tener que ajustarlos, como las sillas al lado de las mesas o unas encimeras al lado de otras, etc.
    hideHeadlineEffects [on/off] – Oculta todos los efectos mostrados sobre las cabezas de los Sims, como los bocadillos de pensamiento o de voz.
    fadeObjects [on/off]Activa o desactiva el desvanecimiento de objetos cuando la cámara se acerca a ellos. No se aplica a los Sims.

    slowMotionViz <nivel>
    – La parte visual del juego se ejecuta a cámara lenta. El valor “nivel” es opcional.  Los valores van desde 0 = velocidad normal hasta 8 = velocidad más lenta.

    unlockOutfits [on/off]
    – Incluye los atuendos de profesión y de servicio de los Sims como opciones en Crear un Sim.  El truco debe introducirse antes de entrar en dicho modo.
    jokePlease – El juego te muestra un pequeño chiste en la consola de trucos.



              Cómo instalar contenido personalizado | Sims 3   

    Instalar descargas en Los Sims 3

    En Los Sims 3 es un poco más pesado instalar descargas pero no es imposible. Hay varias formas de hacerlo dependiendo del tipo de archivo hayamos descargado o obtenido una vez descomprimido.

    Archivos Sims3pack:

    Si es un archivo sims3pack, haciendo doble clic en él se abrirá el lanzador de Los Sims 3 y se instalará automáticamente en el juego(PERO PUEDE SER QUE TE PIDA UNA ACTUALIZACION PARA USAR EL ARCHIVO). Desde el lanzador podes ver qué contenido has instalado o cual tienes copiado al ordenador pero sin instalar. También puedes activar y desactivar determinadas descargas, borrarlas, y muchas más cosas.

    Archivos Sim:
    Si se trata de un archivo .sim, hay que copiarlo en Mis Documentos\Electronic Arts\Los Sims 3\SavedSims. Encontrarás al sim indicado dentro del cajón de Sims prefabricados en la pantalla “Crea un Sim” del juego. Hay algunos archivos como pelos, ojos, ect, que pueden llegar a venir en un archivo .sims3pack .

    Archivos Packages:

    Si se trata de un archivo .packgage, hay dos métodos de hacerlo: manualmente o con ayuda de un programa llamado TS3 Install Helper Monkey, que hace la misma tarea, pero automáticamente.

    Instalación manual 

    Primero de todo necesitarás un archivo llamado Resource.cfg. Es un archivo que le indica al juego donde se encuentran las descargas y que es necesario que tengas siempre copiado en: C:\Archivos de Programa\Electronic Arts\Los Sims 3 (o la carpeta donde instalaste el juego, recuerda que no estamos hablando de la carpeta que se encuentra en Mis Documentos, sino donde se instaló el juego), si usas Windows.  Si usas Mac debes de copiarlo a este directorio: Los Sims 3.app > Contents > Resources > transgaming > c_drive > Program Files > Electronic Arts > The Sims 3. El archivo lo puedes descargar aca y simplemente copiarlo al lugar que hemos indicado.
    Una vez hecho esto debes crear en el mismo directorio donde hemos copiado el archivo, una carpeta llamada Mods y dentro de ella otra llamada Packgages. Allí es donde debes de copiar los archivos package para que el juego los detecte y puedas jugar con ellos. Si quieres, también puedes crear hasta cuatro nieveles de subcarpetas dentro para tener ordenadas las descargas según sea cabellos, objetos, prendas de vestir, etc. Aunque también puedes tenerlas todas en la misma.

    Ahora arranca el juego y ya podrás ver y usar el contenido que deseabas. Si algún día quieres eliminar alguna de ellas tan sólo tienes que borrarla de la carpeta Packages. Ten en cuenta que las descargas que instales de esta manera no aparecerán en la lista del lanzador de Los Sims 3, pero sí que podrás verlas y usar en el juego.
    Instalación automática mediante TS3 Install Helper Monkey
    La forma más rápida y cómoda para instalar las descargas ahorrándonos todo este proceso de arriba es usando un programa llamado TS3 Install Helper Monkey creado por Delphy, que en realidad hace lo mismo que hemos explicado arriba, pero de forma automática. Descárgalo desde aquí e instálalo asegurandote que no tienes el juego en marcha. Él directamente creará el archivo Resource.cfg y las correspondientes carpetas. Una vez instalado en nuestro ordenador, para añadir descargas en formato packgage al juego deberemos hacer clic con el botón derecho del ratón sobre el archivo y nos aparecerá un menú con diversas opciones. Dependiendo de cual escojamos la descarga se instalará en una de las subcarpetas que el programa creó automáticamente para tener un mejor orden, aunque en cualquiera de ellas nos vale, no hace falta seguir la norma (aunque es recomendable).


              Comment on dokiWatch: a promising smartwatch for children by Riochat   
    Thank you. Honest reviews are seriously helping me to pick which product is right for my 2 boys. As a mom I greatly appreciate people who take the time and give specific issues with products so future consumers can make educated decisions on if those issues are problems that affect them
              Comment on AI, chat fiction, and apps for different ages by Laura Cavanagh   
    Glitterbug chat stories is slick chat fiction app with original storied written by Glitterbug writers. The stories are aimed at adults and deal with themes such as drama, thrillers, psychological stories, romance and mild erotica as well as comedy. The app is free with no long wait times, available on Android (ios version pending) and has several new stories added each week
              Perverted Stepdad Carefully Approach To His Stepdaughters Pussy While She Was In A Deep Sleep   
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              Must-Have Fashionable Ties   
    Neckties are famous men's accessories. They are considered to be staple must-haves for any corporate attire and while they are very subtle accessories, they have the capacity to finish off an entire wardrobe or ensemble. Your neckties can be added apparel for special events and if you need to go to two different occasions one after the other, all you need is to bring two new ties and you're off to attending your affairs without making you look drab or inappropriate.
              Comment on Getting Started with note-taking apps by Allece Lee   
    Hi, I prefer MixNote Notepad Notes for android,I can take note with text, picture, to-do and voice. Hide private notes. Shake phone to record voice during a call. Stay organized....
              Comment on Getting Started with note-taking apps by mgilady   
    I prefer the "NotesApp simple yet powerful" app at google play
              Comment on What Happened To Venezuela? by Mark   
    So what happened to the economy?
              On Matching Neckties With Shirts   
    If you want to project your integrity, you should appropriately match your neckties and your shirt. This pairing up is very significant although very few men acknowledge this fact.
              Comment on Product Review: SafeSleeve – the world’s first anti-radiation phone wallet by Pippa   
    I bought a few of these for me and the rest as gifts, paid high import taxes to the UK as wanted a good quality product...that's NOT what I got! The phone cover material absorbs any sweat from your hands leaving a stained patchy, dirty look and IT DOESNT WIPE CLEAN! So you are left with a permanently grubby looking phone case. Safesleeve customer service is very poor, I was in communications with them for 3 months before I ordered, making sure I ordered from the right company and waiting for the correct size phone cases to be in stock..Yes, this took 3 months! As soon as I realised the problem with the phone covers I requested a refund....they will only refund 50% of some of the phone covers if I send them back, not the others! How does that rectify my problem or compensate me for them providing a poor product? Let alone waiting 3 months! They were happy to respond and be helpful when I was looking to purchase from them but now they won't respond even to my request as to a link where I can provide feedback. I wouldn't order from them again. I gave them weeks to rectify this but they chose not to - POOR QUALITY PHONE COVER AND POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE.
              Start A Website   
    Stuart Tan is conducting workshop on web business planning. I believe those who are subscribers would have already found out at www.InternetMarketingSingapore.com. It's happening tonight. Aargh... I can't make it! I hope there is another program...
              Republican Senator on DC Madam List!   
    Ha! Wonderful! Senator’s Number on Escort Service List Jul 9, 10:31 PM (ET) WASHINGTON (AP) – Sen. David Vitter, R-La., apologized Monday night for “a very serious sin in my past” after his telephone number appeared among those associated with an escort service operated by the so-called “D.C. Madam.” Vitter’s spokesman, Joel Digrado, confirmed the […]
              Comment on Priesthood in the New Testament Era Church, 5. by Clark Goble   
    The Didiche is 1st century though although it too describes a fragmentary authority. Also it's not quite clear what to make of its "prophets." Apostle likely is meant in a loose sense rather than the 12. There's also that weird "don't let them stay more than 2 days" bit. There's also the question in the text of who appoints deacons and bishops. It can be read that the people do.
              Fashionable Ways to Coordinate Shirts and Suits   
    Contrary to popular belief, dark suits can be worn everywhere and not just in the office. These pieces can also be perfect for other occasions like a casual party or affair. The only rule for you to pull it off is to match it with an appropriate necktie. You can create a very confident and pleasant image by wearing a smart tie or shirt in a bold color. Read on so you can equip yourself with the proper knowledge on how to match your tie and suit to make it work for you all the time.
              Accident With Popped Out Boobs At Pool Made Guy With Boner Happiest Man On Earth   
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              Comment on Priesthood in the New Testament Era Church, 5. by Clark Goble   
    It's worth noting that we tend to view the apostles through more of a post-Brigham Young conception of the church when succession was largely set in stone. It's interesting we don't hear of a succession crisis in the NT, although some like Nibley argue the apostasy was early and largely consisted of not passing on that authority. As I recall he appeals to 1 Clement for that. Regardless if one buys Nibley certainly by the time of Clement's writings he speaks as if the days of the apostles is over. Which is pretty interesting. (Particularly 1 Clement 44:2 where they have succession for the bishops and deacons for after they - the apostles - die) While it's bringing in an arguably highly biased view, I sometimes wonder if the succession crisis and how the inner circle in Nauvoo perceived things ought inform how we look at the NT apostles.
              Neckties As a Valentine Gift   
    Neckties have always been popular gifts for men. They have been given out as gifts for different occasions. They are great gifts because although they are pieces that men usually purchase for themselves, giving them out as gifts is always appreciated.
              Anxiety - Treatment of it with the Radio   
    I had a close friend who had a sound system in her car. If she felt any anxiety - treatment of it began with good music- and it had to be loud! In fact, she used it two ways. If the problem was anxiety - treatment of it meant so loud that she couldn't think straight. Maybe that's why her hair was so curly. The second way she used it was when the engine made any unusual noises. Why visit a mechanic when she could turn up the volume? Good plan?

    Maybe not….

    Eventually, the noise would get worse, and lead to expensive repairs, right? Eventually, the anxiety would get to be unbearable? It certainly did – now, get this - she graduated as a psychotherapist. Go figure that out! I guess she needed 24/7 counseling! Anyways .....

    Anxiety can't be treated by ignoring it and it can't be treated by ignorance. If we want a healthy and happy life, we have to keep life balanced. And balance starts with a balanced emotional state.

    We can balance our emotions many, many ways - good food, good music (not too loud now), fresh air, exercise, time off, or change of scenery - lots of ways.

    Sometimes we need a jump start, though, and that can be done safely with natural supplements. The word, natural, is important. We all know that nature's way is best. But, oftentimes, we don’t eat all the natural foods that our brain needs to work well. Nature is FULL of herbs that help balance our bodies.

    Don’t you love those TV ads that say, "our remedy is the best, but it might kill you". Listen up and pay attention to what these ads say.

    But nature doesn’t do that. With nature, there are NO disclaimers!

    So, if you have a little anxiety – treatment of it can be as simple as a natural supplement.


              Anxiety – Treatment of it the Holistic Way   
    At some time in our lives, all of us suffer some degree of anxiety. Treatment of it can be a minor or major process. It depends on the severity. All too often, we resort to some anti-depressant and leave it at that. The problem with that approach is that it hides the symptoms, but does nothing to resolve the cause of the problem.

    This is the issue with so many professional interventions that camouflage symptoms but ignore the cause. A good example is the spine. The spine is a powerhouse of nerves that control major areas of the body. The spine does more than just hold us together. It relays the brain's messages to make our legs move; it sends and receives messages from the heart and lungs. It relays the message that our toes are still there! It is our own personal internet that connects us into one functioning body.

    It is our own personal internet that connects us into one functioning body.

    What happens if there's a glitch in the web server? You can't access information, or maybe it's so slow you can't use it. What happens if you "feel" the toe is hurting, but really it's a spine "server" problem. You get the idea?

    Our body is far more complex, and our "internal internet" needs the best to do its best.

    Giving your spine the best - means taking care that it is in good health – before it breaks down and causes issues in other areas of the body. Ask your chiropractor, if the spine can't cause symptoms in other parts of the body.

    So, would it help to hide the symptoms?

    Would it be better to find the cause of the symptoms - and remove the cause?You can reduce anxiety - treatment of it may be as easy as a visit to your local chiropractor. Believe me, it's a lot cheaper than brain surgery.


              Front Desk Associate/Receptionist - Maricamp Animal Hospital - Ocala, FL   
    Happy? Excited for life on a daily basis? Helpful? Love people and animals? Flexible? Outgoing? Do you LOVE to to make people smile? If so, then it's YOU...
    From Indeed - Mon, 19 Jun 2017 20:36:08 GMT - View all Ocala, FL jobs
              Anxiety - Treatment of It with Passion!   
    Our modern lifestyle has a major downside, including extreme anxiety; treatment of which can be just as stressful! Exhausting activities like deadlines, exams, interviews, performance targets, layoffs, salary cuts, unfair competition, peer pressure, time away from family and loved ones – the list goes on forever - and – and – and - it doesn’t get any easier, does it?

    Oftentimes the demands may be so overwhelming that it seems almost impossible to slow down and take a deep breath. The result - we worry and lose sleep about pretty much anything and everything. This can spiral down into symptoms of anxiety and panic.

    A lot can be done to relax and just slow down. One way is to help our brain produce its own natural feel-good chemicals by eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grain foods; getting plenty of fresh air and sunshine, and exercising regularly.

    Practicing relaxation techniques, meditation or taking time for a walk can all help to reduce stress levels and facilitate a feeling of calm – helping us to wind down and relax.

    Many artificial remedies can produce side effects that create more problems than they resolve. The reason often is that they treat the symptoms but do not help to alleviate the cause. They can fix the pain, but hurt our stomach, or whatever.

    However, natural remedies are made 100% from natural ingredients that can help to refresh our nervous system and keep our nerves settled and soothedto enable us to cope more easily with the everyday stresses of rush.

    Natural remedies can help relieve anxiety; depression can be conquered – naturally.

    In fact, natural remedies have been used routinely in medicine for thousands of years to support the healthy functioning of the brain and nervous system. Our grandparents knew a lot more about plants and remedies than we do! If you travel overseas you will see many countries and cultures which use daily all sorts of teas and potions made from natural substances. Are these remedies some hocus pocus? No way!

    They work to relieve anxiety, stress, and all their symptoms!

    There are many published clinical studies demonstrating the ability of a wide range of herbs to support the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system and maintain a healthy balance - which will always assist with staying calm under pressure.

    One of them is the curiously named, “Passion Flower" which is used in the treatment of generalized anxiety. In Brazil, the fruit from this beautiful flower is ground and taken as a delicious soothing juice. They don't take is as a remedy - it's a common refreshing drink at any time of day. Ask Brazilians if they are anxious! You guessed right - they are happy people!

    This is the natural way to calm down. We don't have to be bound to anxiety. Treatment of anxiety can be much easier than we think. This may involve professional intervention, and of course, if in any doubt, always consult your physician. Treatment may be as simple as a natural boost of naturally occurring elements which a healthy body needs for optimum performance.


              Appropriate Ways to Be Handsome   
    President Barack Obama is always seen wearing a stylish necktie over a dark suit in big events that he attends. For this reason, the President is slowly becoming a fashion icon in the political world. If you want to be seen in your office and make people notice you with your fashion statements, then you should look at the President as an example. Upgrading your wardrobe does not necessitate that you buy new pieces. If you can choose a perfect tie with a different texture and color and tie the knot that is appropriate for the occasion, then its taking your clothes to a different level. Wearing the appropriate tie to meet the occasion can definitely bring salutes from your colleagues.
              Men's Dress Shirts - For Office Or Outdoor Wear?   
    Men's dress shirts are emblems of men's apparel with respect to formality. They do not only make men look good but also make them look more trustworthy as they replicate an image of professionalism not just of themselves, but also of the company that they are representing in a particular event. French cuff shirts particularly, are very suitable on certain occasion especially formal ones.
              Applying Lean Principles to the Engineering Process   
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              Alternatives to Cufflinks   
    A dress or wardrobe, no matter how plush or chic, can look drab without matching accessories. Each accessory, of course, would depend on how much one is willing to spend. This is the practical truth: not everyone has the capacity to purchase all the things that we want and the same truth applies to accessories. Accessories, even those that are very tiny, can be very expensive like tie pins and trendy cufflinks.
              Christmas Gifts For Men   
    Women are fond of giving gifts to their special men. Selecting the perfect gift for your beloved doesn't have to be tedious. In fact, there are a variety of gifts that you can choose. It can get very confusing since there are a lot of options that you can choose from. Price wise, similar objects have different prices depending on their quality so if you're seriously considering your budget, you can pick one that best suits your resources. Common gifts for men include neckties since there you have a lot of options and they can be easily appreciated as they are essential to every man's wardrobe. So if you have a lot of male friends or a special man in your life, you can give neckties as a gift. It can be your best choice and you'll never go wrong with it. Silk ties are more expensive than silk ties from China without compromising quality. If you want, you can opt for a fancy brand but be ready to spend the extra cash.
              Front Desk Receptionist - Florida Women Care - Ocala, FL   
    Busy medical office needs experienced front desk clerk to answer phone calls, schedule appointments, check patients in and out, prepare new patient charts, post...
    From Indeed - Thu, 11 May 2017 20:26:08 GMT - View all Ocala, FL jobs
              American Gods Surges For Its Finale   

    Already renewed for a second season, Starz’s epic new drama American Gods closed its eight-episode first season with a bang, climbing up 5 spots to #4 in the XFINITY Weekly Top 20 On Demand Episodes list. The finale saw Mr. Wednesday and Shadow Moon finally put their plan in action as the war of the […]

    The post American Gods Surges For Its Finale appeared first on Xfinity TV Blog.


              Hochzeit auf Burg Pyrmont – kirchliche Trauung in Kaifenheim   

    Wechselhaft mit Aussicht auf Liebe Theresa und Michael hatten sich wie alle Hochzeitspaare für Ihre Hochzeit gutes Wetter gewünscht. Ganz sollte das allerdings an diesem Tag nicht klappen. Gefeiert wurde auf der ehrwürdigen Burg Pyrmont. Alles war wunderschön dekoriert und der Sektempfang fand unter freiem Himmel bei bestem Wetter statt. Auch die Fotos vom Brautpaar […]

    Der Beitrag Hochzeit auf Burg Pyrmont – kirchliche Trauung in Kaifenheim erschien zuerst auf Hochzeitsfotografin, Koblenz - Bonn -Köln- Bad-Neuenahr - Mayen - Andernach - Burgbrohl - deutschlandweit >> Hochzeitsfotografie, Babyfotografie <<.


              New Redline Flight Cranks Chrome 175 with RL BB American   

    Redline Flight Tubular Chromo Crank Arm Set 175mm Chrome
    The original tubular chromoly cranks! 100 heat-treated tubular chromoly dual pinch bolts wrapped and welded at the pedal bosses. Set includes 19mm x 6-tooth heat-treated chromoly spindle spindle bolts and sprocket bolt.  they weigh 325g witout the bb
    Everything pictured is included  i have 180's also

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              Q & A: Peyton Elizabeth Lee of Disney’s ‘Andi Mack’   

    By Grace Hwang Lynch for CAAM This interview has been edited for length and clarity by XFINITY. Could 13-year-old Peyton Elizabeth Lee be the next “Lizzie McGuire?” Lee stars in the Disney Channel’s newest hit show “Andi Mack,” this spring’s breakout comedy, which is the number-one TV series to date in 2017 among girls aged 6-14. The […]

    The post Q & A: Peyton Elizabeth Lee of Disney’s ‘Andi Mack’ appeared first on Xfinity TV Blog.


              How to Appreciate Performing Employees   
    The best way to recognize and keep performing employees is by empowering them. While they may be aware of their skills and abilities as a member of a company, they need to feel that they are important and indispensable.
              Things to Remember When Giving Gifts to Coworkers   
    Everyone loves gifts. It allows one to express gratitude, appreciation or sincerity. Giving gifts doesn't necessitate an occasion. Sometimes, a gift that is deeply appreciated is one that is done spontaneously-done at the spur of the moment-without any particular reason. Gifts also help to sustain relationships, even in the corporate world.
              PRESENTAZIONE NUOVE COLLEZIONI BOMBONIERE 2017   

    Vi invitiamo a scoprire le nuove collezioni di bomboniere per il 2017 , sabato 12 novembre dalle 9,30 alle 12,30 e dalle 15,00 alle 19,00 . Per l’occasione è richiesto un appuntamento , da fissare tramite email a info@fabarporcellane.it oppure telefonando allo 035 4376649 . Per tutta la giornata ci saranno scontistiche e promozioni speciali , […]

    L'articolo PRESENTAZIONE NUOVE COLLEZIONI BOMBONIERE 2017 sembra essere il primo su Fabar.


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              Blame the Electoral College   

    BOSTON—There's no reason to start crying that American democracy has been sullied, or that the system doesn't work, or that a constitutional crisis is looming. The Constitution does not enshrine the right to know the winner of a presidential election before bedtime. The one certainty at the end of this long Election Night: There's something really, really wrong with exit polling. The near-certainty: John Kerry is going to lose this election relatively quickly.

    How long can Kerry contest an election in which a wartime incumbent beat him by 3.7 million votes? This isn't the same as losing the Electoral College by 537 votes when you won the overall popular vote by more than 500,000. Granted, Kerry isn't contesting anything yet. He's just waiting until the vote totals show that he's been mathematically eliminated, and he shouldn't be begrudged that right.

    The real takeaway from this election is that the Electoral College needs to be abolished immediately. If the American public doesn't want to shutter the Electoral College after tonight, we never will. The 2000 election didn't persuade me that the system needed to be junked, but this election provides a far better example of the system's flaws. Under a popular-vote system, President Bush would probably have been declared the winner by the time the polls closed on the West Coast. Only the fact that states, rather than people, elect the American president allowed Kerry to get within striking distance in an election he lost by 3 percentage points. You could argue that the 2000 election was a tie, that it was so close that the winner couldn't be discerned. That's not the case this time around. A majority of Americans clearly went to the polls and voted for the re-election of President Bush. John Kerry lost this election. The Electoral College is just going to make him suffer a slow and painful death instead of a swift and decisive one.

    By 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday night—or Wednesday morning—when reporters shuttled outside to watch John Edwards deliver one of the most disappointing political speeches in American history, everyone, including what was left of Kerry's hometown crowd, knew the Democratic ticket had been defeated. When Edwards walked out to explain why he and Kerry were not ready to concede, his statement had all the eloquence of a statement made on an airport tarmac. He spoke for less than a minute. Here's what he said, in its entirety: "It's been a long night, but we've waited four years for this victory. We can wait one more night. Tonight, John and I are so proud of all of you who are here with us, and all of you across the country who have stood with us in this campaign. John Kerry and I made a promise to the American people, that in this election, every vote would count, and every vote would be counted. Tonight, we are keeping our word, and we will fight for every vote. You deserve no less. Thank you!" The speech's redeeming element was Edwards' suggestion that this will all be over by Wednesday night.

    But even if the election continues into next week (an unlikely scenario), it's worth remembering that so far, no one's suing, no one's litigating, and no one's contesting anything. We're just waiting for the outcome of a close election to be determined. Kerry and Edwards are losing, but that's no reason for them to walk off the field before the clock runs out.


              Lockhart Ranks the States   

    BOSTON—Just after 10 p.m., Joe Lockhart updated the press at the Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel on the Kerry campaign's view of the unfolding election. He appeared to list states in descending order, as related to the campaign's confidence that Kerry would win them:

    "Let me talk a little bit about where we think things are. We are in, I think, a remarkably strong position as we stand here tonight. We think—Let me try to do this in some semblance of order. The first state that will flip, we believe, is New Hampshire. We've had a very aggressive campaign out there, a very aggressive ground game, and we expect to win that state.

    "Ohio was a state that stayed close throughout the campaign, but we are very bullish based on the turnout in the state. We had very positive turnout within, as I was saying earlier, the Democratic precincts particularly in African-American communities. We had our precincts, the Democratic precincts, performing at 115 percent of our expectations, and we had the Republican precincts reporting at 94.3 percent of expectations. …  We had African-American precincts reporting in very high, at about 115 percent of what we expected, and Hispanic precincts were reporting at 150 percent of what we expected.

    "I think if you look at the vote that's coming in, what you have to keep in mind is there's a series of Democratic counties that we only have very limited reporting in now. I give you those counties and with that [the] margin that Gore had in 2000: Cuyahoga, obviously Cleveland, strong Democratic area, Gore won by 160,000; Lucas County, Toledo area, Gore won by 35,000; Montgomery County, the Dayton area, Gore won by 5,000; Summit, which is Warren, which is where we had the rally over the weekend, Gore won by 25,000, and Mahoney County, which Gore won by 30,000. If you look at the numbers now, these are very underreported, and these are the ones that are coming in late.

    "On Florida, we think we, as I said earlier today, we started with a very strong advantage based on the early voting, almost 30 percent of the state voted before today. And we've had absolutely outstanding turnout in the southern part of the state, in Miami-Dade, Broward, and West Palm. If you look at 2000, Gore won Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach by 350,000, and we think we're going to do better than that. We have very limited reporting in those counties in Florida now. But we think that, based on the limited information, we have a 42,000-vote lead in Palm Beach County, with less than half the vote in. Broward County, we have a more than 200,000-vote lead, with still more than a quarter of the vote left to be counted, with still over a quarter left to be counted.

    "I think in both of these states, Ohio and Florida, the turnout, the incredible turnout, an unprecedented turnout, I think you've seen in the long lines, in the fact that they're still voting. We have reports from Columbus, Ohio, of a polling place that will be open until midnight based on the line when the polls closed. There's still voting going on in Florida. So we feel very strongly about both of these states as states that will come into our column once the votes are counted.

    "I'll do two areas before we get to questions. The first is the Upper Midwest. We feel very strongly about, we'll have a comfortable win in Minnesota. Wisconsin, based on the turnout that we've looked at and analyzed over this afternoon and this evening, we think we'll also hold. I think, Iowa, with a late surge in the last four or five days, and with a very aggressive ground game, we think we'll also be able to hold the state of Iowa.

    "In the Southwest, New Mexico and Nevada, one red state, one blue state, we feel very strongly that we've done well there, we've done enough and that when the votes are counted there we'll win those states. So, overall we feel like we're in a strong position."

    Q: What's surprised you tonight?

    "We expected a very large turnout. I don't know that we expected this, something this large. And I think we've always believed that turnout, and the size of it as it grew over by the millions and maybe even 10 million more than what we saw in 2000, that would advantage us, and I think that's what we're seeing.

    "You know, I think the turnout in a number of Democratic communities has been strong. I think if you look at the data that's out now, probably the biggest surprise is how the 18- to 25-year-olds, how many of them came out, and think how strongly they've come out for Kerry. I think if you're looking for one thing to put your finger on right now that's making a difference in this race after many cycles of there being hype about getting young people re-engaged and getting involved in voting again, this is the year that it actually happened."


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              The Other Incumbent Rule   

    LA CROSSE, Wis.—The past six years have not been kind to political rules of thumb. During the primary season, a candidate who leads in both the polls and in fund raising on Jan. 1 is supposed to be guaranteed the nomination. Ask Howard Dean about that one. In the general election, the national popular vote is supposed to coincide with the vote in the Electoral College. Ask Al Gore how that went. And during midterm congressional elections, the president's party is supposed to lose seats in the House. About that one, ask Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

    The next political axiom to be tested will be polling's "incumbent rule," which dictates that undecided voters break overwhelmingly for the challenger on Election Day. (Another way to put it is that an incumbent president's polling number typically equals or exceeds the percentage share of the vote he'll receive.) Because most final state polls show President Bush polling below 50 percent in nearly every swing state, history is on John Kerry's side Tuesday. But recent elections have shown that past performance is no guarantee of future results.

    What's more, if the election turns out to be close, there's another way incumbency could be the determining factor in the election, as Randy Broz, a Democratic strategist and fund-raiser for House candidates, pointed out to me last week. This rule, call it the "other incumbent rule," favors President Bush. In the unlikely scenario of "another Florida"—litigation or just a long recount in a decisive state—the president, by virtue of his incumbency, will hold a decisive public-relations advantage. During the 2000 recount, Republicans cried that Al Gore was trying to "steal the election" from Bush based on nothing more than the fact that the TV networks had declared Bush the winner on Election Night. Had Bush been a sitting president, the outcry would have been more persuasive. Trying to oust a wartime incumbent through litigation would be nearly impossible.

    Kerry will need to win clearly and convincingly at the ballot box in order to unseat Bush, and for what it's worth, most reporters seem to think that he's going to do it. The Kerry campaign staff is confident, and it appears to be genuine, rather than bluster. "I never told anyone in 2000 that Al Gore was going to win by 6 points," Bob Shrum—taking a shot at Karl Rove's record in election forecasting—told reporters on the campaign plane. For the past week or two, the campaign has spoken confidently of winning "big states"—presumably Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania—that would assure Kerry the presidency.

    By Monday evening, reporters from news organizations that have colleagues traveling with Bush started saying that the Bush folks have clammed up, or that they seem unusually tight. Kerry's final events had a giddy air. The traveling press credentials for the night's last "major rally" in Cleveland featured a head shot of longtime Kerry spokesman David Wade, who gladly autographed a few. To the New York Daily News reporter, he wrote, "At least you're not the Post." And to the New York Post, he tweaked the paper's veep "scoop" by writing, "Go Kerry-Gephardt!" I heard rumors of, but did not witness, a dancing Mike McCurry. I even read it as a sign of confidence that traveling press secretary Allison Dobson was eager to join a proposed Electoral College betting pool. Teresa Heinz Kerry's slightly unusual political talk in Cleveland—about an America that is "young" and "imperfect" but "growing," and how Kerry knows America's "thorny parts" as well its idealism—came across as charming rather than ludicrous.

    In Toledo, at a midnight rally that Kerry dubbed "the first stop of Election Day," Gen. Tony McPeak criticized the Bush administration for wrapping itself in the flag to hide its "incompetence." "You wanna shoot 'em, you gotta put a hole in the flag," McPeak said. "We got a guy in John Kerry who stands in front the flag. He says, you gonna hurt that flag, you're gonna have to run through me."

    When Kerry arrived here in La Crosse for a photo op at 1:25 a.m. Central time, a man in the crowd held aloft a scrawled sign reading, "Tomorrow Is Here, President Kerry." Kerry leapt into the crowd of a couple hundred people, clutching and grabbing and high-fiving hands. He seemed to realize that this was it, his last full day as a presidential campaigner. Just a couple weeks ago in Des Moines during a joint appearance with John Edwards, Kerry had walked down a catwalk next to his running mate, who was reaching down into the crowd enthusiastically with both hands. Kerry, by comparison, touched a voter's hand only occasionally, and only at the end of the walk did he extend both arms to clasp hands with anyone. This time, Kerry eagerly embraced the throng for 20 minutes, perhaps not ready for this day to end.

    Predictions are dangerous, but I'll make one: Tuesday night, the incumbent rule holds, and on Jan. 20, we'll have a new incumbent.


              The Bush Victory Party   

    George W. Bush's last victory party, which took place four years ago in Austin, Texas, never quite got underway. There was some annoying business about a withdrawn concession phone call and a steady downpour of rain. This year's party, held inside the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., was in one respect an improvement. There was no rain.

    The evening began in the Reagan Building's giant, sloping atrium. The GOP herded its youngish volunteers into a mosh pit, jammed between the stage and the TV cameras. Vodka tonics were consumed, and the twentysomethings seemed poised for giddy celebration. Just after 12:30 a.m., Fox News awarded Ohio to Bush, bringing the president's electoral tally, by the network's count, to 266. Four more years! Alaska followed 20 minutes later, nudging Bush to 269. Four more years! At that point, a portly man wearing a blue suit and pin-striped shirt removed his "W Is Still President" lapel pin, held it aloft like a cigarette lighter, and began to lurch toward the stage.

    But as soon as the crowd began to rock, Bush's glorious night ground to a halt. More than three hours passed without Fox awarding Bush a single electoral vote. Some of the other networks refused to give him Ohio. It wasn't that the remaining states were breaking for Kerry; they simply weren't breaking at all. The country band playing at the victory celebration exhausted its playlist and began glancing up nervously at the TV monitors. A producer with a ponytail and "W" hat waddled onstage and told them to keep playing. Reporters in the press row reached for their cell phones: The news from Boston was that John Edwards would take the stage and extend the election.

    Ed Gillespie, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, dashed to the podium and, in a speech that lasted for the exact duration of Edwards', declared that Kerry couldn't possibly unearth 100,000 more votes in Ohio. The crowd whooped, but malaise was setting in. Wouldn't the president just get over here and declare victory already? Better yet, wouldn't Kerry just give up?

    The heavy eyes were a marked shift from the evening's start, which was brimming with cautious optimism. As Bush swept the early states, Jeremy Bouma, a member of something called the Center for Christian Statesmanship, told me the expected surge in Democratic turnout would be offset by new evangelical voters. "My prayer going into this was that the evangelical vote was the X Factor," he said. Rosario Marin, a former U.S. treasurer, thought that Bush had succeeded in increasing his support among Hispanic voters. She was telling me why Latinos did not, in fact, oppose to the Iraq war when Gillespie announced that ABC had called Florida for Bush.

    Aaaaaaaaah! she screamed, into my right ear."Oh, sorry." Then: Aaaaaaaaaah! "Oh, sorry." Aaaaaaaaaaaah! I told her she should go ahead and scream. After she caught her breath, Marin said: "I'm so happy. I'm so excited. My heart is pumping. I've got to call my husband." And then she was gone.

    Bush never appeared at his 2000 victory party. Around 3 a.m. Wednesday, a question arose as to whether, in fact, he would appear at this one. CNN's John King reported that Bush had stormed into Karl Rove's office and asked the guru to let him declare victory. The reporters in the press room that weren't asleep let out a whoop. King later reported that Rove told the networks that if they would just call New Mexico for Bush, the president would make his way to the Reagan Building. The message was clear: I know you're tired. So give me the damn state.

    At 5:05 a.m., an end—sort of. CNN reported that Bush wouldn't appear in person Wednesday morning; Andy Card, his chief of staff, would speak in his place. Card arrived in a room with a few dozen listless Republicans and said nothing memorable. Mario H. Lopez, one of the listless, declared, "I don't know how I cannot describe this night as historic." Then he glanced at someone's watch and said, "I think we're gonna get some breakfast and then get ready to go to work."  ... 3:17 a.m.

    Party Monster: Welcome to George W. Bush's "victory" party in Washington, D.C. Sorta. Us news reporters have been herded into a giant white tent, yards away from the actual party, and contact with revelers looks unlikely. This is what the mob outside Studio 54 must have looked like, if only you upped the dweeb factor.

    As the Washington Post's "Reliable Source" column notedthis morning: "Reporters wishing to cover the president's election night party will have to pay $300 for the privilege of a 3-by-2-foot work space and a padded seat in a tent nearby to watch the proceedings on television. … Small groups of media will be escorted into the atrium of the Ronald Reagan Building to look around—but they won't be allowed to talk to participants." For a White House that hates the press, handcuffing reporters on Victory Night seems appropriate.

    Last-minute indicators of victory: The handful of people I saw shuffling out of the White House grounds looked grim. Someone who identified himself as a Homeland Security apparatchik looked ebullient. On Fox News, Bill Kristol and Mort Kondracke are wearing prepared smiles. ... 4:05 p.m.

    Recriminations Watch—Hispanic-Vote Edition: In the category of what my friend Noam Scheiber calls "possibly meaningless anecdotal evidence," my relatives in Northern New Mexico report an inordinate number of Bush signs in the poor Hispanic colonias—communities that figured to go overwhelmingly to Kerry. The same relatives report that Hispanic men profess to have a cultural affinity with Bush, who they see as a tough, macho sort of guy. Again, meaningless, but it underscores a point: That's about the only thing Bush has going for him with the Hispanic community. The Bushies, who heralded their leader's minority-outreach miracles as Texas governor, have done a shoddy job of courting Hispanics since entering the White House.

    A few months back, Antonio Gonzalez of the William C. Velasquez Institute told me that Kerry staffers had whiffed at the Democratic Convention. They featured too few Hispanic speakers; and the preoccupation with Iraq drew attention away from domestic issues affecting the poor. All Karl Rove had to do, Gonzalez said, was goad his keynote speakers into mumbling a few "qué pasas" and the Hispanic vote might tilt slightly to Bush. Well, it didn't happen and it hasn't happened. Most surveys show Bush polling around 30 percent to 35 percent of the Hispanic vote, about what he did in 2000. Even GOP apparatchiks, wishing for miracles, don't put Bush much above 40 percent.

    If Bush loses tight races in Florida and New Mexico (and, God forbid, Nevada and Colorado), an early recrimination theory might be that Bush spent too little time chasing Hispanic voters. Then again, perhaps he didn't have a chance. The sour economy disproportionately affects Hispanic and black communities; so does the Iraq War, which draws foot soldiers from the poorest segments of the population. Though both candidates ran Spanish-language ads in the Southwest, the campaigns seemed, at times, to forget about Hispanic voters entirely. Remember the fixation on the gringo Spanish spoken (haltingly) by Al Gore and Bush in 2000? Did Bush and Kerry ignore Hispanic voters, or has the media processed them as stable members of the electorate?

    Even if Bush should lose, the GOP would be wise to thank him for ratcheting up their Hispanic numbers to Ronald Reagan levels—and up from depths plumbed by the Bob Dole and George H.W. Bush campaigns. But for a man who wonEl Paso County in his 1998 gubernatorial race, 35 percent doesn't seem like much of a miracle. ... 1:11 p.m.

    Tom DeLay's Poetic Justice: Tom DeLay's push to rejigger Texas' congressional districts, an effort that caused such a kerfuffle last year, has faded under the onslaught of Swift Boat Veterans, the Osama tape, and Al Qaqaa. But DeLay's gambit has been no less effective. Five Texas Democrats face re-election Tuesday in GOP-friendly districts, and even the most optimistic Dems predict that only one or two of them (probably Martin Frost or Chet Edwards) can survive. There's a better-than-even shot that allfive Democrats will lose, giving the House GOP majority an enormous boost.

    But it's not all sad news. With an influx of new Republicans comes an infusion of unwitting comic genius. Most of this can be seen in the personage of Ted Poe. Poe, a former Houston felony court judge, kicked off his national political career in August by boldly proclaiming, "Now is not the time to be a French Republican."

    On the bench in Houston, Poe styled himself as a remorseless, Wild West, hangin' judge in the tradition of Roy Bean. His brainchild was something he called "Poetic Justice." With "Poetic Justice," Poe sentenced criminals to public humiliations to teach them a lesson. Shoplifters who found themselves in front of Poe, for instance, had to stand outside the stores they pinched from carrying signs identifying themselves as criminals.

    When a man robbed legendary Lone Ranger star Clayton Moore, Poe made the perp shovel manure 20 hours a month at the Houston police department's horse pens. The sentence was to last for 10 years.

    The Club for Growth's Stephen Moore reports that Poe made convicted car thieves hand over their own cars to their victims. Convicted murderers were forced to visit their victims' grave sites; others felons had to hang their victims' pictures in their cells and, upon release, carry them in their wallets. According to the Houston Press, Poe slapped one homicidal drunken driver with the following the rap:

    … boot camp; erecting and maintaining a cross and Star of David at the accident site; carrying pictures of the victims in his wallet for ten years; observing the autopsy of a drunk-driving victim; placing flowers on the graves of the two victims on their birthdays for the next ten years; and carrying a sign outside a bar that reads, "I killed two people while driving drunk."

    This article describes the ambiance of Poe's Houston office: "a poster of Alcatraz, a painting of a scene from the battle of Gettysburg and a sign proclaiming, 'I really don't care how you did it up north.' "

    As the Houston Chronicle reports, victims' relatives have charged that Poe would often fail to follow through on the harsh sentences—a revelation which comes as something of a relief. Slate eagerly awaits the punishments Poe metes out on congressional Democrats. ... 11:12 a.m.

    A Snowball's Chance: If the election drifts into Mountain Time Tuesday, will John Kerry regret stiffing New Mexico? That's one theory being floated on Joe Monahan's superb New Mexico political blog tonight. George W. Bush visited the state Monday, Dick Cheney over the weekend. So, New Mexicans will wake up Tuesday to read triumphant Bush headlines like this and this, while they'll see news pictures of Kerry overnighting in Wisconsin.

    Bill Richardson pulls all the puppet-strings in New Mexico, but there's mounting evidence that Kerry may be in trouble. The polls have looked limp. And there's a theory that Al Gore's slim margin in 2000—366 votes, all found days after the election—may be attributable to one thing: snow.

    On Election Day 2000, a freak snowstorm blanketed "Little Texas," the swath of southeastern New Mexico known for its cultural and political kinship with its neighbor. Conservative voters in three counties stayed home in droves. With Gore running strong in northern New Mexico and narrowly winning Albuquerque, the snowed-in voters may have cost Bush the state.

    Tuesday's weather report: This site says "rain and snow showers will linger" near the region. Kerry may need every flake and drop.  … 12:01 a.m.

    Monday, Nov. 1 2004

    The ESPN Primary: "Mr. President, I am wondering how you feel about taxpayers having to have a financial burden placed on them for building new stadiums and new facilities for existing teams?" So went The Candidates: Election 2004,ESPN's special last night that valiantly tried to make Tuesday's contest into a referendum on professional sports. Jim Gray, the thinking man's Ahmad Rashad, the guy who hones his interview technique on coaches trying to sneak off the court before halftime ("So, uh, how do you prepare for the second half?"), landed interviews with both candidates. With its modus operandi inching ever closer to that of Sabado Gigante, it's groovy to see ESPN put on its serious face once in a while—for the shtick to give way to grave pronouncements about THE WORLD BEYOND SPORTS. Except that Gray never acknowledged that such a thing existed.

    In response to a question about ticket prices, Bush replied, "I was always concerned when I was with the Rangers that our ticket prices would become so high that the family would be priced out of baseball." Perhaps this is why Bush helped build the Ballpark at Arlington, one of the most expensive venues in baseball and one of its most soulless. For his part, Kerry repeated his I-stand-with-the-working-man pabulum, suggesting that fathers were looting their children's college funds to sit at club level.

    Asked to name his favorite athlete, Kerry, of course, straddled, ticking off a fair slice of the Boston Bruins' first line and, for swing-state mojo, a handful of Detroit Red Wings. Bush got another chance to coo about his clutch performance during the 2001 World Series. And that's about as deep as our man Gray got. There are some reasonably interesting questions to ask about sports, such as why it remains one of the viciously anti-gay segments of public life, a black mark that is ignored when it isn't celebrated.

    But why get huffy when you can ask both candidates, as Gray did, what should be done about Pete Rose, who after his selfless act of contrition last winter finds himself no closer to baseball's Hall of Fame? This is the kind of spitball that will get you hooted off most respectable sports radio shows, but the candidates tried their level best. Bush said Rose had never really apologized to baseball. Kerry straddled, then agreed. You could see the nervous flicker in both men's eyes—Bush: Christian values!; Kerry: Cincinnati values!—as they tried outflank one another on Charlie Hustle's quagmire.  ... 10:02 p.m.


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              The GOP's 'Heidi Game'   

    ORLANDO—The South Florida Sun-Sentinel buried this nugget Sunday in a story about the late delivery of 2,500 absentee ballots in Broward County: WPLG-Channel 10, an ABC affiliate in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, aired a half-hour chunk of Stolen Honor, the 43-minute anti-Kerry documentary, on Saturday. The time was purchased by Newton Media, a Virginia-based media placement company that says it was founded "on biblical principles" and that includes a number of "media ministries" among its clients.

    Angry callers "flooded the customer service phone lines" at the station for airing the program, the Sun-Sentinel reported. A liberal backlash? No, just sports fans upset that the Michigan-Michigan State football game, "tied, 37-37, and about to go into overtime," was pre-empted. Doesn't anyone at Newton Media know the story of the "Heidi game"? Could this be the Republicans' "Lambert Field moment"?

    Will the election really be close? On the eve of the Iowa caucuses, journalists and campaign staffers sat in the bar at the Hotel Fort Des Moines and talked about what an exciting, unpredictable, four-way race for the Democratic nomination was about to unfold. The polls were tied. No one professed to have any idea what was about to happen. The unknown factor was an influx of new caucus participants. Many experts predicted that we would be up all night before we could discern the winner. But John Kerry was pronounced the decisive winner as soon as the caucuses ended. (Likewise, few expected a nail-biter in the 2000 general election.)

    Florida3: If Kerry loses in Florida and the rest of the map goes as expected (meaning no upsets in Arkansas, New Jersey, or elsewhere), he'll need to carry Hawaii, Michigan, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Ohio, and two of the "Little Three": Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, to get to 270 electoral votes. With Florida, Kerry coasts to victory. Without Florida, he pretty much needs to run the table to win.

    At least he's not traveling with Maurice Chevalier. Bruce Springsteen and John Kerry will appear together again on Monday. But is Springsteen the wrong symbol for a Democratic candidate? The Boss and his fan base, after all, are reminiscent of the caricature of limousine liberals: aging yuppies in BMWs who are either hopelessly trying to recapture their past glory or desperately trying to show that they're in touch with the working man. It's akin to Bush traveling with Hank Williams Jr. But in the unlikely event that the Springsteen does resonate politically, Kerry will owe another debt to his former campaign manager Jim Jordan, who chose "No Surrender" as Kerry's theme song. (Jordan also lobbied for Kerry to use his successful "Bring it on" mantra early in the primaries, but the idea was nixed by Bob Shrum.)

    For those scoring at home: Here's where the candidates and their wives will be on the last day of campaigning before Election Day. Both Bush and Kerry have abandoned their typically lightly scheduled campaign days for a last-day whirlwind:

    Kerry begins the day here in Orlando, then heads to Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio (twice), then back to Wisconsin. On Tuesday, he'll do a morning event in Wisconsin—"Because Wisconsin is a same-day registration state, we'll be doing a turnout event," Mike McCurry told reporters—then head home to Massachusetts.

    Edwards visits Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio, and Florida, then spends all day Tuesday in Florida before heading to Massachusetts for Kerry's Election Night rally.

    President Bush spends Monday in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa (twice), New Mexico, and Texas, while the Cheneys take the red-eye back from Hawaii and do events in Colorado, Nevada (twice), then head home to Wyoming.

    Teresa Heinz Kerry stays in her home state of Pennylvania, while Elizabeth Edwards travels to Wisconsin, Ohio (twice), and Iowa. Laura Bush starts the day with the president in Ohio, then she has separate events in Ohio and Michigan before joining up again with the president in Iowa.

    The best news of the weekend: The Packers-Redskins game could have ended in a tie. It didn't.


              The Vanishing Nonvoter   

    FORT LAUDERDALE—Republicans love to criticize Democrats for failing to use "dynamic scoring" when assessing the impact of tax cuts on budget revenues. But if President Bush loses the 2004 presidential election, it may be because Karl Rove failed to use dynamic scoring when assessing the impact of his political strategy on the electorate.

    In budgetary matters, dynamic scoring means including the effect that cutting taxes will have on economic growth when determining how a tax cut will affect federal revenues. A static analysis, on the other hand, would just decrease the government's inflows by the amount that taxes were cut (or increase revenues by the amount taxes were raised), without calculating the ways a change in tax policy can change people's economic decisions.

    For the 2004 election, Rove's static political analysis was that appealing to the 4 million evangelicals who didn't vote in 2000 would bring President Bush a decisive re-election victory. Bush's campaign—and his presidency—have appealed almost entirely to the base of the Republican Party. In a static world, that strategy makes sense: Consolidate the support you received last time, and then find new conservative voters who weren't motivated to turn out four years ago, whether because of the late-breaking news of Bush's DUI arrest or because they weren't convinced of Bush's conservative bona fides. But Rove may have missed the dynamic analysis: the effect that such a strategy would have on the rest of the nonvoting public.

    In most states, the Democratic voter-registration program has outpaced the Republican one. Here in Florida, that hasn't been the case, as the GOP has turned up more new registrants across the state than the Democrats. But evidence that Rove's unconventional strategy inflamed the Democratic base can be seen in the early-voting turnout, which seems to be favoring the Democrats. Friday's South Florida Sun-Sentinel featured this headline on the front page: "Early Vote Turnout Boosts Democrats." Calling the turnout in heavily Democratic Broward County a "bad sign for President Bush's chances to win the state," the Sun-Sentinel noted that "twice as many Democrats as Republicans had either voted at early voting sites or returned absentee ballots in the county." In Miami-Dade, another heavily Democratic county, Kerry stands to beat Bush by 90,000 votes if a Miami Herald poll conducted by John Zogby is accurate, Herald columnist Jim DeFede wrote on Thursday. Al Gore won the county by less than 40,000 votes.

    "By our count, John Kerry already has a significant lead with the people who have already voted in Florida," Tad Devine said in a conference call with reporters Saturday. The voters who are waiting in line for 2 1/2 hours to vote—almost exactly how long the line was Saturday at the downtown Fort Lauderdale public library—aren't doing that to register their support for "more of the same," he said. Interestingly, Devine sounded more confident about Kerry's chances in Florida than in Ohio, a state in which most people think Kerry has a slight edge. He said that Kerry had a "small but important advantage" in Florida (as well as Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania) but only that the race was "very close" with Kerry "positioned to win" in Ohio, putting that the Buckeye State in the same category as Bush-leaning (by most accounts) states Iowa, Nevada, and New Mexico.

    It's possible that Rove and the Bush campaign have turned up a huge trove of conservative nonvoters who were registered to vote four years ago and who therefore aren't showing up in the numbers of new registered voters. Unless that's true, however, the early indications are that Rove's repudiation of centrist politics will backfire. The secret of Bill Clinton's campaigns and of George W. Bush's election in 2000 was the much-maligned politics of small differences: Find the smallest possible majority (well, of electoral votes, for both men) that gets you to the White House. In political science, something called the "median voter theorem" dictates that in a two-party system, both parties will rush to the center looking for that lone voter—the median voter—who has 50.1 percent of the public to the right (or left) of him. Win that person's vote, and you've won the election.

    Rove has tried to use the Bush campaign to disprove the politics of the median voter. It was as big a gamble as any of the big bets President Bush has placed over the past four years. It has the potential to pay off spectacularly. After all, everyone always talks about how there are as many people who don't vote in this country as people who do vote. Rove decided to try to get the president to excite those people. Whether Bush wins or loses, it looks like he succeeded.


              Know the Right Tie For the Right Occasion   
    Being caught wearing the wrong tie isn't any fun. This accessory holds more power in itself than it looks like. More than telling people, about your fashion sense (if you have one), it also gives away a chip of your personality. Ties give an impression, that's why it's essential to wear them appropriately.
              Show Your Love For the Simpsons Family   
    The Simpsons has been running for approximately twenty years and admit it, you've seen almost every episode. With over 441 episodes and a feature length film the Simpsons portrays a satirical view of American culture and human nature that we have all grown to love.
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              Sticks Nix Veep Pick   

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.—By most standards, John Edwards has been a solid running mate for John Kerry. He throttled Dick Cheney in the vice presidential debate (less sympathetic observers thought he at least held his own), he draws big and enthusiastic crowds, he gave a decent if not spectacular acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention, he's always on message, and he's committed no memorable gaffes or otherwise violated the Hippocratic oath of vice presidential nominees. He wasn't selected to win his home state of North Carolina, so it isn't fair for Democrats to be disappointed when the Tar Heel State stays in the Bush column, as it almost certainly will, a week from tonight. But Edwards partisans did expect him to help the Democratic ticket to appeal more to rural voters, and there's no evidence that he's managed to pull off that admittedly difficult feat. If Kerry loses a close election next week, the first second-guessing question has to be, Was John Edwards the right choice?

    According to a poll released on Saturday by the Center for Rural Strategies, Kerry trails President Bush by 12 points, 53 to 41 (with a 4.4 percent margin of error), among rural voters in 17 battleground states. Four years ago, Al Gore lost those voters to Bush by a nearly identical margin, 11 points. No reasonable person expected Edwards to help Kerry actually win among rural voters, but it was hoped that he would help the ticket outperform Gore's number and reduce the margin to single digits. When Edwards was criticized for "disappearing" after the convention, the Kerry campaign explained that he had been dispatched to rural areas that were being ignored by the national media, and they assured everyone that he was wowing local media. Local voters seem to be another matter.

    During a Tuesday conference call that was set up to discuss how good the Kerry campaign feels about its chances to win the election, the one disappointment expressed by Joe Lockhart and Stan Greenberg was Kerry's performance in rural areas. "I think we recognize that rural voters have not come to us in the way that we had hoped for in this election," Lockhart said. Greenberg said the fact that rural voters were "stuck" was a big factor in why Iowa and New Mexico, states that were won by Gore, remain tossups.

    A less exciting but more traditional vice-presidential pick might have served Kerry better by putting one of those states safely in his column. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson or Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack could have guaranteed their states' electoral votes for the Democrats. Perhaps even Arkansas' Wes Clark or one of Florida's two senators, Bob Graham and Bill Nelson, could have put their states away for Kerry.

    None of those candidates would have generated the buzz that selecting Edwards did, and there are reasons to believe that each of them would have been truly bad choices. Maybe they all would have been crucified by Dick Cheney. But Vilsack, in particular, made Kerry's shortlist, along with Edwards and Dick Gephardt. If you're a Democrat looking at the electoral map, which would you rather have right now, a veep debate win or Iowa's seven electoral votes?

    How I Voted: I didn't mean to abstain from Slate's "Show Us Your Ballots" exercise, but I missed the deadline. Here's my candidate: Kerry. I was ambivalent about the Iraq war before the invasion, and I ultimately decided that if you're ambivalent about war you should be against it. The president and this administration apparently feel otherwise. They've put the burden of proof on peace rather than war. Their disdain for the global institutions that have projected American power overseas for 60 years has undermined not just our country's hard-earned reputation and moral authority but our hard-earned might. Their disregard for the Geneva Conventions is shameful and a dangerous international precedent. On the domestic side, Kerry seems a little too eager to spend taxpayer dollars, but I take his pledges of—if not his instincts for—restraint as a reason for guarded optimism. More important, on that score, he can't be any worse than Bush. Besides, this is a one-issue election for me. I don't hate President Bush. I think he's well-intentioned and a good man. He's just not a good president.


              Persisting Settings in Delphi iOS Applications   
    none
              Show Your Love For Basketball   
    So, you love basketball? You are an avid basketball fan who tries to catch all your favorite team games and enjoy having a dribble every once in a while. But what happens when shooting a few hoops just isn't enough? How else can you let people know how passionately you feel about basketball?
              San Fermo Trail 2017: Tracciato pronto   

    A meno due mesi dalla San Fermo trail, il percorso è interamente tracciato e disponibile con Gps sul sito www.sanfermotrail.it. Gli atleti che vogliono testare il percorso lo possono fare, quando vogliono e in totale sicurezza grazie alla pulizia messa in calendario ed eseguita dai tanti volontari che ruotano attorno alla gara e al Cai […]

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              23 Luglio 2017: L’ottava edizione della Bagolino Alpin Run assegna il titolo di campione/campionessa regionale individuale lunghe distanze di corsa in montagna categorie promesse e assoluti   

    28 giugno 2017 – Sale l’attesa, a un mese da uno degli eventi centrali dell’attività della Società Sportiva Dilettantistica e dell’Avis di Bagolino, momento di aggregazione dell’intera estate bagossa. Per l’organizzazione, mancano ormai solo pochi dettagli e siamo ormai praticamente in dirittura d’arrivo. Attesa anche per i podisti, che anno dopo anno hanno dimostrato con […]

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              What Would John Paul Do?   

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Al Gore couldn't carry Tennessee. But will John Kerry lose his home faith? Among Catholic voters in this state, a recent poll done by Ohio University showed Kerry trailing Bush 50 percent to 44 percent, while the race among Protestants was closer, with 50 percent backing Kerry and 49 percent behind Bush. (Though both results are within the margin of error.) The question isn't just a matter of trivia: In Sunday's New York Times, Adam Nagourney raised the question of whether a Kerry defeat would "make it more difficult for another Catholic to capture the Democratic nomination any time soon." Kerry's opposition to Church teaching on abortion (at least in public policy) led to several controversies, including the one where some bishops announced they would not give Kerry Communion if he were in their congregations. Losing a bishop or two is one thing; if Kerry can't carry the Catholic vote comfortably in swing states, electability-driven primary voters may look more skeptically at future Catholic candidates.

    Nationally, the polls have been mixed, and some recent polls have shown Kerry gaining ground among the flock. Last week's Zogby Poll showed Kerry leading among Catholics, and at Beliefnet, Slate's "Faith-Based" columnist Steven Waldman noted that undecided white Catholics broke for Kerry in two polls after the first debate. But despite that support, the debates over whether Kerry is a "real Catholic" have put liberal Catholics on the defensive and made them feel like an embattled minority. A convention of political journalism has added to the feeling: the unfortunate tendency to pronounce that "white men" or "married women with children" or "churchgoers" believe certain things, even when as many as 45 percent of the members of the demographic disagree. Journalism has no reservations about the tyranny of the majority.

    So, when several hundred Columbus-area Catholics, including a nun and several priests, gathered Sunday afternoon for a "Catholics for Kerry" rally, the event had the air of a coming-out party. The speakers on stage embraced each other as each one finished addressing the audience. "It feels good, doesn't it?" said Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois. A member of the Columbus City Council, Maryellen O'Shaughnessy, sounded a we're-here-get-used-to-it note. "We won't be afraid to speak out on whom we support," she said. "We will not be cowed by some extremists who would have us be quiet."

    At times, the speakers at the event seemed more interested in rebuking the leaders of the Church who have criticized Kerry than in praising the candidate himself. It wasn't a sober gathering filled with theological and canonical explanations of where Kerry's politics fit in with Church teaching. Too often, the rally was an angry, if understandable, rant. Father James Colopy read a letter written by his aunt to the New York Times and a local newspaper after the Republican convention. Her brother was burned to death in Vietnam, and she was outraged at the Purple Heart band-aids worn by delegates. The Purple Heart "should be honored as the flag is honored," she wrote. "And [Bush] calls himself a pro-life president," Colopy said. "Lies, all lies." Father Greg Jones agreed that Bush was not pro-life in the Catholic sense—because he prosecuted an unjust war, because he executed more than 150 people as Texas governor, because his abortion policy "is full of asterisks"—and alluded to the Church's pedophilia scandal when he said, "Tainted leadership has promoted the lie." The pope and the Catholic Church demand respect for all life, "from conception to natural death, not death in the Texas deathhouse," Jones said. "You see, life doesn't end at birth." And minority groups are alive, too, Jones said. You're supposed to nurture the lives of all of them, "not just one lesbian in the White House." (Jones did have a funny riff on Lynne Cheney's outrage over her daughter's "outing": "Hello? She's a professional lesbian," who worked for Coors doing gay outreach. "She actually traveled the country with Mr. International Leather. That's pretty lesbian.")

    The speakers were smart men and women of faith, but they sometimes came across as imbued with the same self-righteousness as their political opponents. Eric McFadden, the man who organized the event through his Web site (and who was interviewed by Nightline beforehand), said he doesn't like it when the Bush campaign shows photos of the president with members of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization. As a fourth degree Knight, "That's an affront to me, because he does not walk with Christ," McFadden said. Father John Ardis, Kerry's pastor from the Paulist Center in Boston, explained that Kerry's Catholic faith dictated his support for Democratic slogans like "closing the gun show loophole" and "extending the assault weapons ban."

    The quieter, less political moments were more effective. "God is real in John and Teresa's lives," Ardis said. "While they could undoubtedly choose to sit back and enjoy lives of relaxed leisure, they do not." By the time Sen. Durbin mentioned the Gospel story of the self-righteous prayer of the Pharisee and the humble prayer of the tax collector, his question—"How can those on the other side be so convinced of their righteousness?"—came as a rebuke not just to the religious right but, unintentionally, to the assembled religious left.

    On Monday, I went to McFadden's house to talk about the rally with him. He agreed that parts of the rally may have come across as self-righteous, but added, "What was said yesterday had to be said. My organization shouldn't have to exist." They started it, he said. "They drug my religion into it, my faith. We didn't ask for this." For example, the Bush campaign shows pictures of the president meeting with the pope. "At that meeting, Pope John Paul II scolded him and condemned his war." The pope supports a multilateral approach to fighting terrorism, he continued. "Pope John Paul hasn't said a word in these last two months about abortion. But Pope John Paul has condemned the war twice. … To me, the pope has endorsed the platform that John Kerry is running on with regards to the war on terror."

    McFadden, who is anti-abortion, concedes that some of Kerry's positions, such as his support for federal funding for abortion, are "tough," but says Catholics shouldn't be single-issue voters. And rallies like the one here on Sunday make him feel better. "I kind of felt like I was alone at the beginning."

    If John Kerry becomes president, the long-simmering divide between conservative and liberal Catholics will probably widen. But whether Kerry becomes president—and whether the Democrats wait four more decades before nominating another Catholic—may depend on just how not-alone McFadden is.


              Corteno Golgi – Maratona del Cielo : Marco De Gasperi & Tadei Pivk… Campioni a caccia di record   

    Tutto pronto a Corteno Golgi per la 22ª Maratona del Cielo. Quella di domenica sarà un’edizione da record? Difficile dirlo, ma le premesse vi sono tutte. Quando mancano pochi giorni al via e ancora pochissimi pettorali da assegnare, presso la segreteria camuna sono giunte due iscrizioni doc: nella starting list figurano il più volte trionfatore […]

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              Kommentarer till Den närmaste tiden. av Emm   
    Lycka till och japp, instämmer helt med föregående inlägg att jag ser fram emot att du kommer igen när du har tid och lust. Gillar verkligen dina stiltips! Darling G, welcome back anytime! Håll-ut-och-kämpa-på-kramar
              Snowdon Race: quattro azzurri per Llanberis   

    27 giugno 2017 – La Direzione Tecnica federale ha ufficializzato l’elenco degli atleti selezionati per la Snowdon Race, in programma a Llanberis (Galles) sabato 15 luglio. La tradizionale gara di corsa in  montagna, giunta alla sua quarantaduesima edizione, prevede infatti un incontro internazionale, allestito nell’ambito del gemellaggio tra le cittadine di Llanberis e di Morbegno, sede del […]

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              What, Where, and When (Finding the Right Clothes For the Occasion)   
    Dressing up appropriately for an occasion has always been a challenge to many. Have you ever attended a barbecue party and met people with their suit and necktie on? Or saw someone in a gala dinner on her summer dress?
              Second Best   

    CLEVELAND—Is John Kerry finally winning? His campaign, which only a week ago was defensive about the candidate's standing in the polls, is now more confidently asserting that he's pulled ahead. Before Friday, the Kerry campaign hadn't been willing to make that claim. Typically, the Bush campaign would argue that the president was leading in the race, and the Kerry campaign would respond by saying, no, it's a tie. But in a Friday afternoon conference call, Kerry's people finally started pointing to the scoreboard.

    Here are the numbers outlined by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg on the latest Democracy Corps poll. The numbers are consistent with the latest polls from news organizations, most of which are in keeping with what the Kerry people have been saying all along, that the race is a toss-up. In Greenberg's poll, the horse race is a statistical tie, with Kerry at 49 and Bush at 47. The president's approval rating is 48 percent, "which is just at the edge of electability," Greenberg noted.

    So why the confidence? Greenberg cited two internal numbers from the part of the poll that focused on "persuadable" voters. That group includes undecided voters, Bush and Kerry supporters who say their minds remain open, and a third group, Bush voters who say they want the country to go in a significantly different direction. The first number Greenberg cited was this: Fifty-seven percent of the persuadable voters in the Democracy Corps poll said they want to know how a candidate will "make the economy and health care better for people," while only 32 percent want to know "how you'll make us safe." The other number Greenberg highlighted: Given a choice between "I'm comfortable with changing to a new person if he has the right priorities" and "Bush has made us safer and I'm reluctant to change," 54 percent of persuadable voters said they were comfortable with changing, and 45 percent said they were reluctant. The responses to those two questions, Greenberg said, show that Kerry has "an audience" ready to listen to his message. He just has to "seal the deal."

    With 11 days to go, that puts Kerry in the exact same place he was with more than three months to go, before the Democratic convention. He had a willing and persuadable audience then, and he proved unable to win them over. People preferred the "generic Democrat" to Bush, but they soured on the specific Democrat. Fortunately for Kerry, in the first debate, Bush reminded voters of what they don't like about him, and now we're back to square one again.

    That dynamic is in keeping with the "spotlight" theory of the election being peddled by Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times. The theory goes something like this: Given that a slight majority of the electorate doesn't want Bush, and that a different but similarly slight majority doesn't want Kerry, the winning candidate will be the one who manages to keep the spotlight on his opponent's flaws, rather than his own.

    Up to now, I've rejected Brownstein's theory and argued that Kerry has to do more than just watch Bush lose. He has to win the separate "referendum on the challenger" by persuading Americans that he's an acceptable replacement for the president. But if Brownstein is right, neither candidate should get too optimistic by polling data that shows him ahead. Because every time for the past few months that this race has been one man's race to lose, that man hasn't had any trouble finding a way to lose it.


              How-to Guides>> Cross-Post: Practitioner Guidelines on Conducting Knowledge Audits   
    These guidelines were compiled by the participants in the Kuala Lumpur Knowledge Management Roundtable, May 3 2017, hosted by Securities Commission Malaysia. 1. BEFORE THE KNOWLEDGE AUDIT a)Framing: Examine the organisation’s structure, and the distinct functions of each department. Get hold of the department business process workflows. Have preliminary conversations with management to sound them out informally on the idea, identify the pain points and business issues they are concerned about. Make informal observations of the current culture, business processes, and knowledge types being used in the business. Make sure you understand the culture of the organisation, the business environment and ecosystem, as well as current organisational change initiatives under way. Consider the best model of audit, and audit methods to use for that culture and situation. Identify key potential influencers, supporters, partners, naysayers. Speak with potential allies first (e.g. HODs of friendly departments) and socialize them on the knowledge audit concept, seeking their feedback on how it could be made most useful to them. Be clear on the objective of the audit, i.e. what we want to achieve, the potential ROI of the audit, the main issues to address, how it connects to and supports business objectives, who are our stakeholders, who are our sponsors, who are our target audiences and respondents. Consider what label you are going to use for the knowledge audit, appropriate to the organisational culture – (e.g. KM assessment, KM evaluation, knowledge audit, KM audit, knowledge mapping, KM needs analysis, KM planning exercise, etc.). Make sure you have sufficient resources to conduct the audit, scale the audit to your resources. If it is a discovery audit, be sure you have sufficient resources to pursue additional lines of enquiry if new issues come up during the audit. Determine the audit type, and the appropriate audit methods considering your objectives, your capabilities and resources and your organisation culture. Get formal support and buy-in for the audit scoping from senior management – be clear about the level of resources, participation and time required, from them, and from their people. Be clear about the need and benefits of a knowledge audit, the intended goals, desired outcomes, and guiding principles, and be clear about the importance of their role in implementing the recommendations when the audit is complete. Connect the audit to your understanding of the business strategy to show how KM assists the business strategy. Share examples of how similar organisations have used knowledge audits to produce business benefits. Ask them for a clear mandate and for their assistance in nominating the right participants in the audit. If it is a discovery audit, let them know that the activities may change based on issues discovered as the audit progresses. b)Planning: Define what outcomes you want from each step in the knowledge audit process, and identify risks to the outcomes, and mitigation strategies for those risks. Identify constraints that could impact the project plan – e.g. other organisational initiatives, annual cycles of events, holiday periods etc. If you are using an external consultant, identify potential candidates, and scope their work and role in the project. Define the requirements and deliverables. Make sure you have the resources and budget required. Identify the roles and resources required from your own team, and ensure they have the time and capacity to perform their roles. Identify the right respondents for your knowledge audit (based on audit type, and audit goals) – e.g. subject matter experts, department representatives, representatives of different types of staff (functions, levels, years of service). Come up with a detailed project plan and timeline, with major deliverables, completion criteria, all the way from initial communications and preparation to the implementation of audit recommendations. c)Preparing: Identify the major focus areas to explore for surveys, interviews, focus groups. Design the data collection instruments and the workshops, as relevant. Invite the right level of staff – preferably 2-5 years of experience doing the job. Make sure their managers are informed of the invitations, or that the invitations are routed via their managers. If you can, get the main (senior) project sponsor to send out the invitations. Develop a communications package for all the knowledge audit respondents on their required involvement, any preparation, assurances of confidentiality (if relevant), what will be done with their inputs, etc. Communicate to all stakeholders and participants what the audit’s purpose is, what their involvement will be, and what the desired outcomes are. Provide briefing documents for each stakeholder/participant type and each major activity they are involved in – e.g. senior leadership, heads of department, subject matter experts, etc. Run briefing and awareness sessions for stakeholders and participants, on the plan. Prepare the logistics, materials and tools for the audit data collection activities. Consider the venues, and method of collecting data – e.g. recording, transcription, mapping tools, post-its and flip charts. For workshops think about well-lighted rooms, with plenty of wall-space, refreshments, and away from work emails and distractions. For interviews, think about the value of having interviews at the workplace where work artefacts can be pointed out or observed. Learn as much as you can about the participants’ job roles, major functions and work processes in advance of the audit commencement. 2. DURING THE KNOWLEDGE AUDIT Be open to using a variety of methods for collective sensemaking and data gathering: e.g. World Café, anecdote circles. Make sure the people who turn up are properly qualified to give you the data you need – if less experienced or more junior people turn up, go back to their bosses and your original mandate to ask for the right people. Be prepared to keep communicating the purpose, activities and desired outcomes, and to remind participants at every stage in the activity. They will not remember the big picture from one point in the project to the next. Provide handholding and coaching where required on things like mapping activities. For workshops, think of having a main facilitator to drive the whole workshop, and co-facilitators to coach and guide individuals or groups within the workshop activities. Have an experienced facilitator who knows how to deal with cases where participants give push-back and do not want to cooperate. Consider whether you might need an external facilitator/ consultant. Anticipate potential push-back (your initial sensing in the Framing phase will help) and prepare your responses. Document the issues raised by participants during the exercise. Maintain and open mind, and document issues they raise even if you disagree with them or think them unimportant. Use, video, audio, photos, note-taking, maps, mind-maps, transcriptions, etc. Be prepared to go back to them for clarifications on any feedback that is unclear. If creating knowledge asset maps, make sure the business activity and knowledge asset descriptions are documented clearly and as completely as possible. Make sure you validate their contributions back with them once it has been documented. Anticipate potential confusions or errors – e.g. assuming that business activities in a knowledge map are the same as process flows. Try to provide for something of value in the audit activities that they can take back with them and use immediately – e.g. facilitating them towards an awareness of things they can address immediately before waiting for the audit close. This creates buy-in and will support the change management effort later when the post-audit implementation plan is ready. Try to include some elements of fun in workshop activities, as well as food and a pleasant environment. Be clear about what will be documented, how confidentiality will be handled, and make sure you maintain their trust by demonstrating your knowledge of their roles and work areas, and by sticking to the guiding principles and assurances given at the start. Be prepared to deal with sensitivities and doubts about how their input will be used, and what it is for, e.g. if participants do not like to acknowledge risks or gaps, explain the purpose, and adjust the terminology as necessary. Maintain a balance between being knowledgeable about their work (to identify pain points, focus areas and prepare probing questions, and to establish trust and common ground) and being naïve about their work so that you can ask naïve questions. Naïve questions often provide rich insights. Provide regular updates on the progress of the exercise. Be prepared to adjust your audit plan, to add or change audit activities and/or audit methods, to investigate new issues, based on the findings and observations during the audit. 3. AFTER THE KNOWLEDGE AUDIT Analyse the data and prepare the audit report with observations and recommendations. Summarise the key messages and validate if necessary with key respondents. Substantiate findings with verbatim examples and participant inputs in their own words, anonymised if necessary. In your report, focus on the original audit objectives. However, make sure you document and maintain any findings or data discovered in the audit that may be of relevance in the future. Be prepared to produce supplementary reports in the future based on this data to address specific issues that may arise. Review the report with your own internal team first to make sure their insights into the audit process and findings are considered. Be clear about what you want to use the report to achieve. Determine the most important actions to be taken as a result of the audit, focusing on the most important risks, gaps and opportunities, seek senior management endorsement, and develop a detailed implementation plan, with a means of tracking and measuring progress and impact against the plan. Define tangible benefits that you can identify as positive outcomes from the audit. If possible, embed the action plan into the organisation’s annual strategic plan and workplans. Determine the best ways to present and communicate the knowledge audit findings promptly (a) to the participants (b) to the sponsor and stakeholders© to the people responsible for follow up actions and (d) to the organisation at large. Prepare a communications package for each audience and purpose. Consider a range of formats to communicate key points: written report, presentation slides, infographics, video summaries, promotional collateral such as calendars, mousepads, etc. If you have created knowledge maps, make sure you revisit them, refresh them and repurpose them continuously e.g. to track risks, opportunities and gaps addressed, identify and track new activities, as input to taxonomy, as inputs to departments on department level KM activities, etc. Don’t be afraid to keep going back to your data and redeploying it for new purposes. Let people see that it can be a constant reference tool. Do change management. Be prepared to provide continuous support and networking on the follow up activities. Provide tools and automation as necessary, with reasonable maintenance and support costs. For the inputs in this post, our thanks to participants from: •CyberSecurity Malaysia •INCEIF •JKR •MTDC •PETRONAS •Securities Commission Malaysia •Straits Knowledge and Ghazali Mohamed Fadzil. Do please feel free to comment if you would like to add or modify any guidelines.
              Kerry Isn't Al Gore   

    MILWAUKEE—Here's a complaint you won't hear very often: Some Democrats wish John Kerry's campaign was just a tiny bit more like Al Gore's. They may be happy to do without the sighing, the man-tan, the public displays of affection, the ill-fitting populist message, Joe Lieberman, Mark Fabiani, and the weird New Yorker interview. But there's one thing they do miss: Gore's post-convention riverboat trip down the Mississippi River.

    Karl Rove has attributed the narrow Democratic victory in Iowa four years ago to the riverboat trip, which allowed Gore to reach rural river counties that Bush couldn't reach by plane (for want of a suitable runway). The congressional newspaper The Hill noted earlier this month that Gore won nine of the 10 Iowa counties along the Mississippi River. That feat is even more impressive in light of Gore's miserable performance nationally in rural areas.

    Kerry is doing all he can to appeal to rural voters, particularly in Ohio. In addition to Thursday's hunting trip, he attended Mass on a Saturday afternoon during his bus trip this past weekend, and he accepted a shotgun as a gift during a political rally at the end of that trip. (That was the second time I've seen Kerry receive a gun at a rally. He was also given one during a September rally in West Virginia's coal country. He refrained this time, however, from mourning the fact that he could not use it to shoot the president.) But if Kerry wins Ohio and ends up losing Iowa and Wisconsin (and thereby the presidency), some fingers will immediately point at Kerry's failure to imitate Gore's successful, and nearly decisive, boat ride.

    Would President Gore Have Prevented 9/11? In Reason's poll  of notables from the "reason universe," Camille Paglia explains that she's voting for John Kerry this time and that she voted for Ralph Nader four years ago because she detests "the arrogant, corrupt superstructure of the Democratic Party." But even though Paglia thought Gore would be such a bad president that she was driven to vote for Nader, she also claims that if he had become president he would have prevented 9/11.

    Paglia doesn't put it that way, but the logic is inescapable from her explanation of her "most embarrassing vote": "Bill Clinton the second time around. Because he did not honorably resign when the Lewinsky scandal broke and instead tied up the country and paralyzed the government for two years, leading directly to our blindsiding by 9/11."

    Campaign Reporters for Truth: I wasn't one of the members of the traveling press that went on the hunting trip with Kerry. I am, however, a member of the traveling press. And I can tell you that the goose that Kerry shot was a mere gosling, wearing only a loincloth, fleeing the scene, and that Kerry chased it down and shot it in the back.


              Blog>> Practitioner Guidelines for Knowledge Audits   
    These guidelines were compiled by the participants in the Kuala Lumpur Knowledge Management Roundtable, May 3 2017, hosted by Securities Commission Malaysia. 1. BEFORE THE KNOWLEDGE AUDIT a)Framing: Examine the organisation’s structure, and the distinct functions of each department. Get hold of the department business process workflows. Have preliminary conversations with management to sound them out informally on the idea, identify the pain points and business issues they are concerned about. Make informal observations of the current culture, business processes, and knowledge types being used in the business. Make sure you understand the culture of the organisation, the business environment and ecosystem, as well as current organisational change initiatives under way. Consider the best model of audit, and audit methods to use for that culture and situation. Identify key potential influencers, supporters, partners, naysayers. Speak with potential allies first (e.g. HODs of friendly departments) and socialize them on the knowledge audit concept, seeking their feedback on how it could be made most useful to them. Be clear on the objective of the audit, i.e. what we want to achieve, the potential ROI of the audit, the main issues to address, how it connects to and supports business objectives, who are our stakeholders, who are our sponsors, who are our target audiences and respondents. Consider what label you are going to use for the knowledge audit, appropriate to the organisational culture – (e.g. KM assessment, KM evaluation, knowledge audit, KM audit, knowledge mapping, KM needs analysis, KM planning exercise, etc.). Make sure you have sufficient resources to conduct the audit, scale the audit to your resources. If it is a discovery audit, be sure you have sufficient resources to pursue additional lines of enquiry if new issues come up during the audit. Determine the audit type, and the appropriate audit methods considering your objectives, your capabilities and resources and your organisation culture. Get formal support and buy-in for the audit scoping from senior management – be clear about the level of resources, participation and time required, from them, and from their people. Be clear about the need and benefits of a knowledge audit, the intended goals, desired outcomes, and guiding principles, and be clear about the importance of their role in implementing the recommendations when the audit is complete. Connect the audit to your understanding of the business strategy to show how KM assists the business strategy. Share examples of how similar organisations have used knowledge audits to produce business benefits. Ask them for a clear mandate and for their assistance in nominating the right participants in the audit. If it is a discovery audit, let them know that the activities may change based on issues discovered as the audit progresses. b)Planning: Define what outcomes you want from each step in the knowledge audit process, and identify risks to the outcomes, and mitigation strategies for those risks. Identify constraints that could impact the project plan – e.g. other organisational initiatives, annual cycles of events, holiday periods etc. If you are using an external consultant, identify potential candidates, and scope their work and role in the project. Define the requirements and deliverables. Make sure you have the resources and budget required. Identify the roles and resources required from your own team, and ensure they have the time and capacity to perform their roles. Identify the right respondents for your knowledge audit (based on audit type, and audit goals) – e.g. subject matter experts, department representatives, representatives of different types of staff (functions, levels, years of service). Come up with a detailed project plan and timeline, with major deliverables, completion criteria, all the way from initial communications and preparation to the implementation of audit recommendations. c)Preparing: Identify the major focus areas to explore for surveys, interviews, focus groups. Design the data collection instruments and the workshops, as relevant. Invite the right level of staff – preferably 2-5 years of experience doing the job. Make sure their managers are informed of the invitations, or that the invitations are routed via their managers. If you can, get the main (senior) project sponsor to send out the invitations. Develop a communications package for all the knowledge audit respondents on their required involvement, any preparation, assurances of confidentiality (if relevant), what will be done with their inputs, etc. Communicate to all stakeholders and participants what the audit’s purpose is, what their involvement will be, and what the desired outcomes are. Provide briefing documents for each stakeholder/participant type and each major activity they are involved in – e.g. senior leadership, heads of department, subject matter experts, etc. Run briefing and awareness sessions for stakeholders and participants, on the plan. Prepare the logistics, materials and tools for the audit data collection activities. Consider the venues, and method of collecting data – e.g. recording, transcription, mapping tools, post-its and flip charts. For workshops think about well-lighted rooms, with plenty of wall-space, refreshments, and away from work emails and distractions. For interviews, think about the value of having interviews at the workplace where work artefacts can be pointed out or observed. Learn as much as you can about the participants’ job roles, major functions and work processes in advance of the audit commencement. 2. DURING THE KNOWLEDGE AUDIT Be open to using a variety of methods for collective sensemaking and data gathering: e.g. World Café, anecdote circles. Make sure the people who turn up are properly qualified to give you the data you need – if less experienced or more junior people turn up, go back to their bosses and your original mandate to ask for the right people. Be prepared to keep communicating the purpose, activities and desired outcomes, and to remind participants at every stage in the activity. They will not remember the big picture from one point in the project to the next. Provide handholding and coaching where required on things like mapping activities. For workshops, think of having a main facilitator to drive the whole workshop, and co-facilitators to coach and guide individuals or groups within the workshop activities. Have an experienced facilitator who knows how to deal with cases where participants give push-back and do not want to cooperate. Consider whether you might need an external facilitator/ consultant. Anticipate potential push-back (your initial sensing in the Framing phase will help) and prepare your responses. Document the issues raised by participants during the exercise. Maintain and open mind, and document issues they raise even if you disagree with them or think them unimportant. Use, video, audio, photos, note-taking, maps, mind-maps, transcriptions, etc. Be prepared to go back to them for clarifications on any feedback that is unclear. If creating knowledge asset maps, make sure the business activity and knowledge asset descriptions are documented clearly and as completely as possible. Make sure you validate their contributions back with them once it has been documented. Anticipate potential confusions or errors – e.g. assuming that business activities in a knowledge map are the same as process flows. Try to provide for something of value in the audit activities that they can take back with them and use immediately – e.g. facilitating them towards an awareness of things they can address immediately before waiting for the audit close. This creates buy-in and will support the change management effort later when the post-audit implementation plan is ready. Try to include some elements of fun in workshop activities, as well as food and a pleasant environment. Be clear about what will be documented, how confidentiality will be handled, and make sure you maintain their trust by demonstrating your knowledge of their roles and work areas, and by sticking to the guiding principles and assurances given at the start. Be prepared to deal with sensitivities and doubts about how their input will be used, and what it is for, e.g. if participants do not like to acknowledge risks or gaps, explain the purpose, and adjust the terminology as necessary. Maintain a balance between being knowledgeable about their work (to identify pain points, focus areas and prepare probing questions, and to establish trust and common ground) and being naïve about their work so that you can ask naïve questions. Naïve questions often provide rich insights. Provide regular updates on the progress of the exercise. Be prepared to adjust your audit plan, to add or change audit activities and/or audit methods, to investigate new issues, based on the findings and observations during the audit. 3. AFTER THE KNOWLEDGE AUDIT Analyse the data and prepare the audit report with observations and recommendations. Summarise the key messages and validate if necessary with key respondents. Substantiate findings with verbatim examples and participant inputs in their own words, anonymised if necessary. In your report, focus on the original audit objectives. However, make sure you document and maintain any findings or data discovered in the audit that may be of relevance in the future. Be prepared to produce supplementary reports in the future based on this data to address specific issues that may arise. Review the report with your own internal team first to make sure their insights into the audit process and findings are considered. Be clear about what you want to use the report to achieve. Determine the most important actions to be taken as a result of the audit, focusing on the most important risks, gaps and opportunities, seek senior management endorsement, and develop a detailed implementation plan, with a means of tracking and measuring progress and impact against the plan. Define tangible benefits that you can identify as positive outcomes from the audit. If possible, embed the action plan into the organisation’s annual strategic plan and workplans. Determine the best ways to present and communicate the knowledge audit findings promptly (a) to the participants (b) to the sponsor and stakeholders© to the people responsible for follow up actions and (d) to the organisation at large. Prepare a communications package for each audience and purpose. Consider a range of formats to communicate key points: written report, presentation slides, infographics, video summaries, promotional collateral such as calendars, mousepads, etc. If you have created knowledge maps, make sure you revisit them, refresh them and repurpose them continuously e.g. to track risks, opportunities and gaps addressed, identify and track new activities, as input to taxonomy, as inputs to departments on department level KM activities, etc. Don’t be afraid to keep going back to your data and redeploying it for new purposes. Let people see that it can be a constant reference tool. Do change management. Be prepared to provide continuous support and networking on the follow up activities. Provide tools and automation as necessary, with reasonable maintenance and support costs. For the inputs in this post, our thanks to participants from: •CyberSecurity Malaysia •INCEIF •JKR •MTDC •PETRONAS •Securities Commission Malaysia •Straits Knowledge and Ghazali Mohamed Fadzil. Do please feel free to comment if you would like to add or modify any guidelines.
              Removing Necktie Stains   
    Neckties come in different fabrics - there's silk, cotton, polyester or a combination of the last two. Each fabric needs a different attention when it comes to washing - the same also applies when it comes to removing stains.
              Comment on 6 Ways to Love Your Body (That Lead to Better Sex!) by Brian Steere   
    Anything you believe will make you happy becomes an idol to which you sacrifice happiness to. The nature of relationship is not getting from - but giving to and receiving in like kind. If you withhold and withdraw your presence to a set of conditions that must be met or sought in order to then 'come out to share and play' - then you set the conditions of your own loss of worth and connection by what you then extend to others. Everything has all of the meaning you give it. But in fear we gave meanings that protected or hid the fear so as to 'survive' an intolerable situation. But you are free to look on what fear made and release it to let love in - instead of trying to overcome, mask or impose over an unlovely world, body or relationship FROM a point of separation and control - that is the condition in which love's honesty is denied while making gratification upon fantasy associations. "Behold I make all things new!" is the Nature of a truly shared existence. The recognition of Self in the Other is natural to the release of what you are NOT. Meeting what we are NOT without being triggered into shame or blame is of a genuine desire for true being - and not any self-driven sense of 'better' - though of course there is always an expansion of discovery of the More of Who You Truly Are - but this is not a devaluation of who you believed and experienced yourself to be. Intimacy of a true fulfilment cometh when ye thinketh NOT - so take NO thought for yourself - but behold the lover in whom is your delight. Can you let love in? Not if you are seeking gratifications for a fantasy - but we can only ever accept or love ourself as we are - by no longer rejecting or denying who we fear or hate to be. All communication is aligned true in a real relationship - but of course all blocks to such a relational intimacy arise to be recognized and released. The movement of love is a wholeness of being - that is 'being with'. You are never truly in anything or anywhere else - but the mind of fear is associated with the persistence of a fantasy given power over true - and thus afraid of, and blind to the true of others and of self. Put first things first and everything else aligns. If there was a 'how to love' there would be a condition that love cannot embrace that some process must transform to then become worthy. I hold this is BACKWARDS - and its thinking is a world in which everything is backwards! Feel and know within instead of imposing thought from a sense of 'without'. You are love - but must extend this to remember. The 'best sex' is completely free of any idea of 'sex' - for no thought comes between that which moves you both as one. The body in that sense, falls away and ... words cannot say. Even "I love you!" will generate a separation if the mind identifies in saying it - and yet when nothing is given the power to interrupt - everything is accepted as of the same purpose or movement of being. Share life and know its worth. Let love move as it will - given freedom to be. Connection is never gotten outside - but can be extended and reflected and shared as thought, word and deed. Such is the wonder of any relationship re-cognized.
              Bush's Ohio Valley   

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—White House press secretary Scott McClellan wandered into the press cabin on Air Force One this week to let the media know where President Bush would be campaigning. On Thursday, Pennsylvania. On Friday, Pennsylvania and Florida. On Saturday, Florida. Those are two of the presidential campaign's "Big Three" states, which nearly everyone assumes will decide the election. The glaring omission: Ohio.

    "Why aren't we going to Ohio? The president hasn't been there in several weeks," a reporter asked McClellan after the plane landed. Oops, the president will head to Canton on Friday, McClellan said. "I think I forgot to mention Ohio."

    McClellan's lapse is understandable. Bush seems to have forgotten about Ohio, too. "The Bush campaign is confident it can win the state; as if to prove its comfort level, today marks 14 days since the Republican president last set foot in Ohio," Cleveland's Plain Dealer wrote this past Saturday. By the time Bush arrives in Canton tomorrow, he'll have gone 19 days without campaigning in the Buckeye State. His last stop here was in Cuyahoga Falls on Oct. 2.

    Since then, John Kerry has held a town hall in Austintown on Oct. 3, a rally and a roundtable discussion in Elyria on Oct. 9, and a bus trip through Ohio's Appalachia on Saturday, Oct. 16. This week alone, he went to a Baptist church in Columbus, spoke at a minor-league ballpark in Dayton, went goose hunting near Youngstown, and delivered a speech on science in Columbus. According to the "Ohio pool" being held by members of Kerry's traveling press and staff (they're wagering on how many days the campaign will spend in Ohio between March 17 and Nov. 2), Kerry spent eight of the first 21 days of October in Ohio. He'd spent only 14 days in the state before this month.

    Ohio and Florida remain central to Kerry's Electoral College strategy. But for Bush, has Ohio been demoted? He's not going to start spending a lot of time in Ohio over the next few days after his Canton toe-touch. Here's his schedule after the Saturday trip to Florida: New Mexico on Sunday, Colorado and Iowa on Monday, and Wisconsin and Iowa on Tuesday. (Sunday's Alamogordo, N.M., rally is a change from the schedule issued two days ago, which showed President Bush spending the day at his Crawford ranch, with no public events. The late-inning vacation is one mistake from 2000 that Bush has apparently decided not to repeat.)

    Bush hasn't quite ceded Ohio. Vice President Cheney spent some time here this week, as did Condoleezza Rice and the Bush daughters. But Cheney's also been to Michigan, a state that's not exactly on the A-list of battleground states. For Bush's victory strategy, Ohio may be a state more like Michigan and Pennsylvania than a state like Florida: Winning it would kill Kerry, but losing it wouldn't kill Bush.

    ABC's The Note drew up this scenario earlier in the week: Kerry wins Ohio and Pennsylvania, but Bush wins the presidency by carrying Florida, Wisconsin, and two out of three from Iowa, Nevada, and New Mexico. Maybe we should start calling Wisconsin, Iowa, Nevada, and New Mexico the "Little Four." Or maybe the Big Three should annex Iowa and Wisconsin and become the Big Five. The electoral scorecard from Slate's William Saletan estimates that if the election were held today, Bush would win the presidency while losing Ohio by picking up both Iowa and Wisconsin (and holding Nevada).

    Lots of Democrats took heart when the blogger Mystery Pollster declared that Bush was losing Ohio. But Ohio isn't this year's Florida, the one state Bush can't do without. It looks like Florida still is.


              Blog>> Knowledge Audits in Practice - Report on Global Survey   
    Let me thank the 150 respondents from all over who generously responded to my survey on knowledge audit perceptions and experiences. Some very useful insights from the responses, which I summarise below. The detailed report can be found in the attached pdf. Many of you expressed willingness to be contacted – I will be working on the interview plan over the coming weeks.Thanks again for all your help! Main Insights: 1. There is a wide array of understandings of what a knowledge audit is (both in the research literature and in practice). 2. People experienced in knowledge audits focus less on audits for compliance, quality or benchmarking – more general perceptions of knowledge audits amplify the importance of those types. 3. Knowledge audits are composite activities, combining several audit types, most usually an Inventory of knowledge stocks and flows, combined with an internal or external review of KM practices. 4. People experienced in knowledge audits tend to narrow the range of audit types used in combination, compared with general perceptions. 5. If an Inventory Audit is not conducted, the most common types used are internal or external reviews of KM practices, and audits of the quality of KM. 6. Knowledge audits most commonly focus on knowledge stocks and flows, KM processes, strategic knowledge needs and KM capabilities. 7. Knowledge audits are most commonly used to understand organisational knowledge needs, as input to a KM strategy, and to improve operational-level KM. 8. Knowledge audits use a very wide array of methods, with interviews, workshops and surveys being most favoured. The most effective methods are considered to be interviews for their depth and richness, and workshops for building knowledge maps and building consensus. 9. The biggest challenges in conducting knowledge audits relate to getting reliable, comprehensive and accurate data covering non-obvious knowledge sources as well as the obvious ones. This is partially connected to how the audit is scoped, the engagement methods deployed, and how communications are managed, particularly in getting consistent understandings of the goals. The second major cluster of challenges relates to the time required for an audit, getting management buy-in, and getting participation from the right people. 10. The most cited benefit from a knowledge audit is its ability to build consensus and provide underpinning evidence for KM planning, and for a KM strategy and roadmap. A second major benefit (particularly relating to Inventory Audits) is its value in locating important knowledge and ensuring effective knowledge access and use. Download the detailed report here If you are in Europe in May, don’t forget to check out the Social Now Conference in Lisbon, May 10-12 – it will be packed with KM thinkers and practitioners, with some excellent masterclasses and a very practical, case-based approach. I’ll be leading a Masterclass on Knowledge Audits at that event. For more resources on knowledge audits, click here
              Kerry vs. His Script   

    WATERLOO, Iowa—Since the final presidential debate, John Kerry has traveled around the country delivering a series of speeches that his campaign calls his "closing argument." The topics vary, but the theme is always the same, the "Fresh Start for America": Friday in Milwaukee, a "fresh start" for jobs; Monday in Tampa, a "fresh start" for health care; Tuesday in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., a "fresh start" for fiscal responsibility and Social Security. The speeches are supposed to convince Americans of Kerry's fitness for the presidency, but a side effect has been to demonstrate how inept he is at delivering prepared remarks.

    The campaign gives reporters the text of each of Kerry's speeches "as prepared for delivery," apparently to show how much Kerry diverges from them. During his stump speeches and town halls, Kerry makes the occasional Bush-style error, such as the time I saw him tell a blind man in St. Louis that he would "look you in the eye." Tuesday night in Dayton, Ohio, Kerry tried to thank teachers for spending money out of their own pockets on students, but instead it came out as a thank-you to Mary Kay Letourneau as he said, "And they're putting out for our kids." His pronunciation of "idear" grates on my ears far more than Bush's "nucular." But the authentic Kerryism emerges only when he gives a formal address.

    Kerry proves incapable of reading simple declarative sentences. He inserts dependent clauses and prepositional phrases until every sentence is a watery mess. Kerry couldn't read a Dick and Jane book to schoolchildren without transforming its sentences into complex run-ons worthy of David Foster Wallace. Kerry's speechwriters routinely insert the line "We can bring back that mighty dream," near the conclusion of his speeches, presumably as an echo of Ted Kennedy's Shrum-penned "the dream will never die" speech from the 1980 Democratic convention. Kerry saps the line of its power. Here's his version from Monday's speech in Tampa: "We can bring back the mighty dream of this country, that's what's at stake in these next two weeks."

    Kerry flubs his punch lines, sprinkles in irrelevant anecdotes, and talks himself into holes that he has trouble improvising his way out of. He steps on his applause lines by uttering them prematurely, and then when they roll up on his TelePrompTer later, he's forced to pirouette and throat-clear until he figures out how not to repeat himself. He piles adjective upon adjective until it's like listening to a speech delivered by Roget.

    Kerry's health-care speech Monday in Tampa was a classic of the form. The written text contained a little more than 2,500 words. By the time he was finished, Kerry had spoken nearly 5,300 words—not including his introductory remarks and thank-yous to local politicians—more than doubling the verbiage. Pity his speechwriters when you read the highlights below. It's not their fault.

    Kerry's Script: Most of all, I will always level with the American people. 

    Actual Kerry: Most of all, my fellow Americans, I pledge to you that I will always level with the American people, because it's only by leveling and telling the truth that you build the legitimacy and gain the consent of the people who ultimately we are accountable to. I will level with the American people.

    Kerry's Script: I will work with Republicans and Democrats on this health care plan, and we will pass it.

    Actual Kerry: I will work with Republicans and Democrats across the aisle, openly, not with an ideological, driven, fixed, rigid concept, but much like Franklin Roosevelt said, I don't care whether a good idea is a Republican idea or a Democrat idea. I just care whether or not it's gonna work for Americans and help make our country stronger. And we will pass this bill. I'll tell you a little bit about it in a minute, and I'll tell you why we'll pass it, because it's different from anything we've ever done before, despite what the Republicans want to try to tell you.

    Kerry's Script: These worries are real, and they're happening all across America.

    Actual Kerry: These worries are real. They're not made up. These stories aren't something that's part of a Democrat plan or a Republican plan. These are American stories. These are the stories of American citizens. And it's not just individual citizens who are feeling the pressure of health care costs. It's businesses across America. It's CEOs all across America. This is an American problem.

    Kerry's Script: That's wrong, and we have to change it.

    Actual Kerry: Well, that's wrong, my friends. We shouldn't be just hoping and praying. We need leadership that acts and responds and leads and makes things happen.     

    Kerry's Script: That's wrong, and we have to change it.

    Actual Kerry: Well, that's wrong. We had a chance to change it in the Congress of the United States. They chose otherwise. And I'll talk about that in a minute.

    Kerry's Script: It's wrong to make it illegal for Medicare to negotiate with the drug companies for lower prices.

    Actual Kerry: But not satisfied to hold onto the drug company's profit there, they went further. Medicare belongs to you. Medicare is paid by the taxpayer. Medicare is a taxpayer-funded program to keep seniors out of poverty. And we want to lower the cost to seniors, right? It's common sense. But when given the opportunity to do that, this president made it illegal for Medicare to do what the VA does, which is go out and bulk purchase drugs so we could lower the taxpayers' bill and lower the cost to seniors. It is wrong to make it illegal to lower the cost of tax and lower the cost to seniors. 

    Kerry's Script: And if there was any doubt before, his response to the shortage of flu vaccines put it to rest.

    Actual Kerry: Now, if you had any doubts at all about anything that I've just said to you, anybody who's listening can go to johnkerry.com or you can go to other independent sources and you can track down the truth of what I've just said. But if you had any doubts about it at all, his response to the shortage of the flu vaccine ought to put them all to rest.

    Kerry's Script: I believe we need a fresh start on health care in America. I believe we need a President who will fight for the great middle class and those struggling to join it. And with your help, I will be that kind of President.

    Actual Kerry: I believe so deeply—and as I go around, Bob and Bill and I were talking about this coming over here from other places—that the hope that we're seeing in the eyes of our fellow Americans, folks like you who have come here today who know what's at stake in this race. This isn't about Democrat and Republican or ideology. This is about solving problems, real problems that make our country strong and help build community and take care of other human beings. I believe we need a fresh start on health care in America. I believe we need a President who's going to fight for the great middle class and those who really are struggling, even below minimum wage now. And they won't even raise it. With your help, ladies and gentlemen, I intend to be that kind of President who stands up and fights for the people who need the help.

    Kerry's Script: Families will be able to choose from dozens of different private insurance plans.

    Actual Kerry: Now George Bush is trying to scare America. And he's running around telling everybody—I saw this ad the other night. I said, "What is that about? That's not my plan. That may be some 20 years ago they pulled out of the old thing." But here's what they do, they are trying to tell you that there is some big government deal. Ladies and gentlemen, we choose. I happen to choose Blue Cross/Blue Shield. I could choose Kaiser. I could choose Pilgrim. I could choose Phelan. I could choose any number of different choices. That's what we get. And we look through all the different choices and make our choice. You ought to have that same choice. The government doesn't tell what you to do. The government doesn't run it. It gives you the choice.

    Kerry's Script: Ladies and Gentlemen, here's the Bush Health Care Plan: Don't get a flu shot, don't import less-expensive drugs, don't negotiate for lower prices, and most of all, don't get sick.

    Actual Kerry: So, Ladies and Gentlemen, if you had doubts about it at all, here's the Bush Health Care Plan: Don't get a flu shot, don't import less-expensive drugs from Canada, don't negotiate for lower prices on prescription drugs. And don't get sick. Just pray, stand up and hope, wait—whatever. We are all left wondering and hoping. That's it.


              Comment on The Extraterrestrial Messages of Nikola Tesla by Brian Steere   
    In 'The book Wizard, the Life and Times of Nikola Tesla', a biography by Marc J. Seifer, it is clearly shown that when Tesla was first 'listening in' to radio signals relating to natural phenomena, he picked up an 'intelligent' repeated ordered signal. Because he thought himself the very first, he was unaware and unable to take into account that Marconi was running trials with the British Navy - and that that was what he picked up. And so it is also noteworthy that the very first wireless transmissions were in a sense eavesdropped - and that two rivals were invisibly entangled in such a way. It was also shown how at that time it was believed and expected that there was life on other planets - especially Mars - by many learned and respected people. There are many interesting details in the book on Tesla's personality and the times and society in which he lived - and which he played such a major role in changing - often without due acknowledgement. Although there was a cartel of corporate investment that used him and refused him - there were also aspects to his character that invited or played into this. While Tesla was a forerunner and pioneer of wireless or 'at a distance' communications and forces - he was not consciously at ease with a psychic-emotional intimacy as a direct participant in such communications, so his belief in life 'out there' and the means to communicate and travel beyond Earth's plane was normal to his thinking, his thinking recoiled from the recognition if 'incoming' intelligence THROUGH the vehicles or instruments of our physicality - even though his mental and imaginative capacities far exceeded most anyone else known in terms of uncovering, designing and testing new technological instruments without recourse to paper and plans. And so in his unique way he was an example of an incoming intelligence to the era of scientific change and technological application - wherever one ascribes that inspiration to. Some of what he invented was extremely dangerous to our level of responsibility - and some was seen as threat to the revenue streams of corporate investment and cartel power. My sense is that such power froze the development of science ever since and so what we have is a corporate capture or scientism that operates not unlike the corrupt Vatican of the previous version of abusing truths for private gratification and gain. The desire to mythologize Tesla is evident as fitting facets of his story to one the teller WANTS to be true. IE The demonisation of Edison and a good v evil narrative as a subtext for a sense of being denied or deprived by 'Them' whoever 'They' are seen to be now. Personalized blame narratives are THE device by which false ideas are protected from exposure - and correction. Yet in a sense I indicate that an ET connection is implicit to the Field of our true mental capacity - but that ET does not mean an 'alien will' but rather that a false set of ideas has alienated us from Our Self and that the physical existence is one in which all else is seen as conflicting or oppositional polarities - within which we seem to have a limited choice of pathways between birth and death by which to develop abilities of manipulation, adaptation and identification as our experience of Existence in, or rather through, form. Rewakening to the Electric Universe is re-opening to a terrain in which ancient catastrophe imprinted trauma on our species and provided the framework for such a profound experience of isolation, vulnerability and the need to mask power as well as mask to hide from it. Your thought is a vibrational attunement to your unique focus within Infinite Idea - and yet for the most part - what we take to be our thought, operates as a blocking or jamming signal. The 'matrix' of a mask or personified sense of fragmentation passes of as 'waking conscious', but as Jesus said 'My Kingdom is not of this world' - for sin, fear and guilt operate 'mind-control' and not a true sovereignty of will. Science needs to serve and align under true will and not mask itself in trojan disguise of 'serving humanity' when really fitted to the same old private agenda of self-specialness and self-blindness of presuming to assert or align in power OVER the will.
              Blog>> Survey on Knowledge Audits   
    I’m currently working on a book about knowledge audits and knowledge mapping. I’d like to get a better sense of the variety of understandings of knowledge audits that exists out in the professional community. Here’s a short survey that should take between 10 and 20 minutes of your time – do take it, and recommend it to others. Responses are anonymous, but if you leave your email address, I will share the survey results when completed. Thank you! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XKNL276
              Kerry Speaks French   

    ORLANDO—Let's see: Your opponent is characterizing you as an effete internationalist willing to "turn America's national security decisions over to international bodies or leaders of other countries." In particular, he suggests, in all seriousness, that you want to call up Jacques Chirac for permission before deploying the military. At the Republican National Convention, you were portrayed as a beret-wearing poodle named "Fifi Kerry." How should you defend yourself against these slanders?

    By speaking French on the stump, of course. Click here to hear John Kerry's foray into the language of Paris during a Monday rally here. I wasn't watching Kerry on stage when he made his remarks, but from the context he appears to have seen someone from Haiti and decided to acknowledge the person in his or her native tongue.

    What does Kerry say? My knowledge of French is limited to the lyrics to "Lady Marmalade," so I consulted my friend John Wilkerson, a Washington journalist and French speaker. He translates the first part as, "You're Haitian? OK," but says the rest sounded like gibberish. "I think at that point he was just a character on Saturday Night Live," Wilkerson says.

    Readers? Can anyone make it out? Post your explanations, serious or otherwise, in the Fray. Slug them "Kerry's French translation."

    Scotland's Sunday Herald called Kerry's French fluency a "campaign secret" yesterday. Looks like the secret is out. Here's some suggested spin for the Kerry campaign: He wasn't speaking French. He was speaking Freedom.

    Update, 10/19/04: According to the New York Times, Agence France-Presse, and bazillions of readers, Kerry said, "Je vais aider les Haitiens," which means, "I will help the Haitians." Sticklers say Kerry mispronounced both "Haiti" and "Haitians," which caused several people to think he said, "I will help the states." Canadians said they had the easiest time understanding Kerry, since they're used to listening to American-accented French.

    Assessments of Kerry's accent ranged from "impeccable" to "good" to "mediocre" to "abominable" to "better than Bush's Texas-twinged Spanglish." One correspondent wrote, "It sounds more like, 'I'm going to help the Chechens!' "

    My favorite fanciful translation: "I have a plan to learn French."


              Receptions - Expecting the Unexpected   
    As the wedding reception organizer you've made your list and checked it umpteen times, you've called the cake maker twice today and are thinking about doing it just one more time to be sure, but is there something that you might have forgotten? The most important thing to remember when organizing your own or someone else's wedding reception is that you should be prepared to expect the unexpected and not lose the plot when the inevitable happens!
              Kerry's Poll Position   

    PALM BEACH, Fla.—John Kerry's campaign professes to be unconcerned about the multiple national polls that have shown a small but discernible downward movement for the Democratic nominee since the third presidential debate. But the campaign's studied nonchalance doesn't extend to how the press covers the polls. During Sunday's flight from Columbus, Ohio, to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., reporters on the Kerry plane receive a "Polling Update," a two-page explanation of how the campaign would like us to view the latest public polls. The very first sentence: "The race is tied."

    The abbreviated Kerry spin: 1) Bush pollster Matthew Dowd told the Austin American-Statesman on March 21 that "presidents finish roughly the same as their job approval rating." Zogby has Bush's job approval at 47, Newsweek has it at 47, and Time has it at 49. 2) Among registered voters, the Zogby, Newsweek, and Time polls show a statistical tie. (The release doesn't mention it, but the same is true for the just-released Gallup Poll. President Bush leads Kerry among likely voters by 8 points, 52-44, but among registered voters it's Bush 49, Kerry 46, with a 3 percent margin of error.) 3) Kerry's ahead in the battleground states, which is what really matters.

    The release isn't internally consistent. It treats Kerry's narrow deficit in national polls differently than his narrow lead in state polls: Kerry's one-point shortfall among registered voters in the Newsweek poll is called a tie, but Kerry's two-point leads in Minnesota and Pennsylvania are "consistent with repeated polls showing a Kerry edge." That, of course, is the Bush campaign's argument at the national level: Every poll released since the third debate has shown a Bush lead of between two points and eight points.

    Until Sunday, that is. A new Democracy Corps poll conducted by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg shows the race as a statistical tie, but this time it's Kerry who has the higher horse-race number, 50 to Bush's 47, with a three-point margin of error. Greenberg and Joe Lockhart held a conference call to trumpet the results. The Kerry plane was in the air at the time, but the campaign released a transcript of the call. The message: At the third debate, Kerry consolidated his base. He gained among African Americans and union households. Greenberg calls this a "one-time consolidation of Democrats that is not going to be easily eroded."

    Lockhart dismisses the Newsweek poll's fluctuations over the course of the past two months: "It's just not credible. The electorate has not swung 20 percent, from 13 down to one up to eight down. It's just not what's happening in the electorate, so it's just not something we take very seriously." Lockhart also emphasizes that in the 2000 election, polls of registered voters were more accurate than polls of likely voters. That echoes Ruy Texeira's Emerging Democratic Majority Weblog, which lately exists to argue that Kerry isn't doing as badly in the polls as he seems. And Lockhart emphasizes what Al Gore discovered: "This election is not going to take place nationally. It's going to take place in the battleground states."

    Which raises the obvious question: Could Kerry win the presidency but lose the popular vote? At Daily Kos, political scientist Tom Schaller says it's unlikely but possible, particularly because Kerry is underperforming Gore's numbers in blue states, including Massachusetts and New Jersey. If that's not far-fetched enough for you, here's a scenario I discovered while playing with the Los Angeles Times' electoral map: Bush wins Ohio, Florida, and Colorado. Kerry sweeps the rest of the battleground: Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The result: a 269-269 tie. Democrats cry that Bush gets "selected" again, this time by the House of Representatives. Maybe that's the kind of trick fate plays when you nominate a fan of the Boston Red Sox.


              Kerry's Wrong Track   

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—Is it time for Democrats to panic? If you're a John Kerry supporter, here's some bad news to chew on: Despite winning all three debates according to opinion polls, Kerry hasn't taken the horse-race lead in a single poll that's been released since the third debate, and he seems to be trending the wrong way. Time polled voters on Thursday and Friday and turned up a statistical tie among likely voters, 48 percent for President Bush, 46 percent for Kerry, with a 4 point margin of error. Newsweek's poll, taken over the same period with a 4 point margin of error, shows Kerry with only 44 percent among likely voters. Bush gets 50 percent. When the Zogby tracking poll added the day after the debate to its sample, Bush's lead over Kerry increased from 46-45 to 48-44, with a 2.9 point margin of error. The Washington Post daily tracking poll for Friday, Oct. 15, shows Bush opening a 50 to 47 lead over Kerry; the 3 point margin is equal to the poll's margin of error.

    Oh, and there's one more poll to report. The Post asked voters on Thursday night whether Kerry's comment during the debate about Mary Cheney was "inappropriate." Not many undecideds here: 64 percent said inappropriate, while 33 percent said appropriate. With a 6 point margin of error, the best statistical case for Kerry is that he offended only 58 percent of the electorate. Of course, just because Kerry offended people doesn't mean he changed anybody's vote, just as winning a debate doesn't necessarily translate into ballots. But if you're searching for the Occam's Razor explanation for Kerry's small but noticeable slide in the polls since Wednesday, his comment about Mary Cheney is probably it.

    There is some good news for Democrats, beyond the usual caveats about polls and statistics: The Post poll, taken Wednesday through Friday, shows Kerry with a 10 point lead, 53 to 43, over Bush among likely voters in 13 battleground states. That's consistent with what the Kerry campaign was saying before the third debate, when advisers would acknowledge trailing Bush nationally by about 2 points, but at the same time they said Kerry was much stronger than that in the battlegrounds.

    The election's key states have narrowed dramatically in the past week or so, and most people believe the most important states will be Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and maybe Minnesota and New Hampshire. There's Pennsylvania, too, but if Kerry can't win there, he might as well give up now. Twice since the third debate—Thursday morning in Las Vegas and again Saturday in Jeffersonville, Ohio—Mike McCurry has said the Kerry campaign wants to wait as much as 48 hours to see how the battleground is shaping up. For now, Kerry is spending the next three days in Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Iowa. John Edwards is scheduled for Florida, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ohio.

    The most interesting item on Bush's schedule is a Monday event in Marlton, New Jersey. Is the Garden State seriously up for grabs, or is Karl Rove repeating the error he made four years ago when he sent Bush to campaign in California late in the election, when time would have been better spent increasing the Republican margin in Florida? McCurry says neither: "We don't believe they're going into New Jersey. We think they're going into eastern Pennsylvania," he said in Jeffersonville. (Marlton is about 15 miles east of Philadelphia, and the trip will be covered by the Philly media.) "We'll take it seriously when they buy in the New York media market." The national political press will take the idea of a Kerry slide in the polls seriously if the next Gallup Poll confirms it.


              Kerry Puts the Gloves On   

    SHEBOYGAN, Wisc.—If John Kerry loses the election, a reporter once told me, we'll probably be able to blame it on the mistakes he makes while trying to sprinkle local color into his speeches. The Badger State boasts Kerry's most famous slip of the tongue: the time he declared his love for "Lambert Field," suggesting that the state's beloved Green Bay Packers play their home games on the frozen tundra of the St. Louis airport. But there have been others: his shout-out to the "Buckeyes" while campaigning in Michigan, or his announcement in Canonsburg, Pa., that he would like to go to a local restaurant that doesn't let its customers choose their entrees, because he has a hard time making up his mind about what to eat. In a slightly different category, but in the same vein, was Kerry's request in Philadelphia for Swiss, rather than cheese whiz, on his Philly cheesesteak.

    Here in Sheboygan, during a "Kerry-Edwards '04 Brat Fry," Kerry adds to the litany Friday by referring to the local food as a short-A "brat," the way you would refer to a spoiled child. "Brot!" yell members of the crowd. For good measure, Kerry makes the mistake at the end of his speech, too. "Before I get a chance to have some braaats ..." "Brots!!" some women near me shout in frustration.

    OK, it's unlikely to have much resonance beyond Sheboygan, and neither will Kerry's reference to the women's soccer star "Brady" Chastain, beyond providing more fodder for Football Fans for Truth. But the press on one of the buses in Kerry's caravan through Wisconsin has fun with it anyway, imagining a new Kerryism at our next stop, Appleton: "Hello, Applebee's!" or, even better, "Who among us does not like Applebee's?"

    Besides, things are looking up for Kerry, despite his miscue. The polls in the upper Midwest battlegrounds are trending his direction, and there's a positive spin that can be put on the fact that many of the most important swing states are ones that Al Gore won in 2000. Yes, it means that Kerry is playing defense on what is supposed to be his party's home turf, but on the other hand, surely Democrats would prefer the election hinge on their chances of winning Wisconsin and Iowa rather than, say, Colorado and Nevada.

    The Democratic worries that filled the month of August and much of September have been replaced by Republican fretting. "If you don't have some anxiety you are not in touch with reality," Newt Gingrich told the Los Angeles Times. It wasn't a sign of confidence when President Bush decided Thursday to visit with the press on Air Force One for only the third time of his presidency. And although this election has been marked by an upending of all the normal political rules, a factoid identified by USA Today's Susan Page has to add to Republican unease: "In three elections—in 1960, 1980 and 2000—a presidential candidate has gone into the first debate trailing his opponent in the Gallup Poll and come out of the last debate ahead of him. Each went on to win." Kerry entered the first debate trailing Bush by 8 points. By the second debate, he'd tied the president. The first post-debate Gallup Poll will come out this week.

    But what if Kerry isn't ahead? How dispirited will his supporters be if he can't pass Bush after winning all three debates? Next week's polls won't decide the election, obviously, but they'll go a long way toward measuring the effectiveness of Kerry's turn-it-on-late, Mayday Malone campaign strategy. During the summer months, when Kerry pretty much went into hiding while the Bush campaign was trying to bury him with millions of dollars in negative advertising, the strategy was dubbed the "rope-a-dope," after Muhammad Ali's strategy in the "Rumble in the Jungle" against George Foreman. Now, as if it were planned for the finale all along, Kerry has adopted Ali's query to Foreman in the seventh round: "George, is that all you've got?"

    The other thing Kerry has been telling crowds for the past two days is that the eyes of the world will be on America on Nov. 2, that the world is "waiting for the United States to be the country they know us to be." This election isn't just about one country, Kerry says; it's about the fate of the entire world. It's a global test, in other words, though he's not stupid enough to phrase it that way. Bush says he doesn't like global tests, but even he wouldn't deny that no matter which man wins, he'll have the right to think, at least privately, that he's something else Muhammad Ali proclaimed: king of the world.


              Creating Compact Framework Applications in RAD Studio 2007   
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              Bush's Big Mistake   

    TEMPE, Ariz.—"The president is an alien. There's your quote of the day," Ken Mehlman said before the final presidential debate to reporters who were peppering him with questions about the rectangular shape underneath the president's jacket during the first debate. "He's been getting information from Mars," said Bush's campaign manager, and at the debate, "his alien past will be exposed."

    Well, at least it wasn't that bad. Indisputably, this was the president's best debate. Just as it took Al Gore three debates to settle on the right tone during the 2000 campaign, President Bush figured out in his third face-off with John Kerry how to be neither too hot nor too cold. But Kerry was as good as he can be, too, and more important, what good the president did with his performance will be overshadowed Thursday when the TV networks spend the entire day running video clips of him saying of Osama Bin Laden on March 13, 2002, "I truly am not that concerned about him."

    By denying that he had ever minimized the threat posed by Bin Laden, Bush handed Kerry, during the very first question, the victory in the post-debate spin. The Kerry campaign's critique of the president is that he doesn't tell the truth, that he won't admit mistakes, and that he refuses to acknowledge reality. Bush's answer played into all three claims. Within minutes, the Kerry-Edwards campaign e-mailed reporters the first of its "Bush vs. Reality" e-mails, complete with a link to the official White House transcript. A half-hour later, the Democratic National Committee circulated the video.

    If the president had ignored Kerry's charge, everyone would have forgotten about it. By contesting it, Bush handed Kerry two gifts: As delighted as the Kerry people must be by yet another untruthful statement from the president, the substance of this particular statement is even more important. Dick Cheney's false declaration that he had never met John Edwards didn't help the Bush campaign, but this error will be orders of magnitude more damaging. Video of the vice president standing next to Edwards at a prayer breakfast is embarrassing. Video of the president saying he isn't concerned about the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks is devastating.

    The president's blunder also provided at least a glimpse of the foreign-policy debate I hoped to see. Here's a more complete version of the president's 2002 comment: "I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him, when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban." The president's philosophy toward the war on terror could not be clearer: It is a war against nation-states, not against "nonstate actors" like al-Qaida. Bin Laden was dangerous because he controlled a state, not because he controls a terrorist network. When the Bush campaign talks about "going on the offense," this is what they mean. Kerry, after all, talks about hunting down the terrorists where they live. To Bush, that's not good enough. The subtext of the initial exchange between Bush and Kerry was more illuminating than the entire first debate.

    The Bush counteroffensive to the president's mistake was to try to find a Kerry misstatement to fill in the "on the other hand" section in fact-checking news stories. During the debate, Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt sent out an "Urgent Alert" to reporters that read, complete with weird capitalization: "John Kerry's statement that he passed 56 bills during his 20 years in the senate is a complete and utter falsehood. Kerry passed five bills and Four resolutions." In Spin Alley after the debate was over, Bush campaign communications director Nicolle Devenish called Kerry's comment about the number of bills he authored his "Al Gore moment." But when Schmidt asserts that Kerry passed only five bills and four resolutions, he means bills that passed both houses of Congress and were signed into law. The Bush campaign's own "Breaking Debate Fact" e-mailed during the debate says that Kerry was the lead sponsor of 31 bills, 122 amendments, and 28 resolutions that passed the Senate.

    Kerry did make some misstatements of his own, of course. He repeatedly said his health-care plan covers all Americans, which isn't true, and his assertion that the Bush campaign hasn't met with the Congressional Black Caucus isn't true, either. After the debate, Joe Lockhart admitted that Bush had a "ceremonial" meeting with the black caucus. But Kerry's minor inaccuracies will be overshadowed by the video of Bush saying, "I truly am not that concerned about him."

    The most telling pre-debate quote came from Tony Fabrizio, a Republican pollster who told the New York Times that the first debate "was a chance for the president to lay [Kerry] out and just lock it. In the past two weeks, that's been turned on its head." That was my sense going into this debate: The situation was precisely the reverse of where the campaign stood before the first debate. Another decisive win for Kerry could have ended the race, as the campaign dominoes would have begun to fall his way. That didn't happen, and the debate was much closer than Kerry would have liked.

    But as with previous debates, Kerry won the post-debate instant polls. After the last two, Kerry's margin of victory grew substantially beyond the margins in the snap polls. Bush's Bin Laden goof will give Kerry his best opportunity to score a post-debate knockout.


              The Chemistry of Men (How Hormones Define Your Preferences in Clothing)   
    Many people say that men have it easy when it comes to picking out clothes, with women being more emotional and prone to making a fashion faux pas on an impulse buy but how do hormones define men's choices in apparel? Beginning with shopping habits women and men differ greatly with several studies stating that men buy and women shop.
              Unanswered Questions   

    SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.—There are lots of questions going into the third and final presidential debate of the 2004 campaign: Will President Bush find his inside voice? After two debate victories, will the overconfident, coasting "Bad Kerry" return? Will Bush wire himself with an earpiece so he can listen to the baseball playoffs? What bad Red Sox joke will Kerry make? Most important, wouldn't the nation be better off if this were another foreign-policy debate?

    If you've paid any attention at all to the presidential campaign for the past seven months, you know the basic differences between Bush and Kerry on taxes, health care, education, abortion, same-sex marriage, Social Security, outsourcing, or whatever your favorite domestic issue is. There are no unanswered questions for the two men that I can think of. Instead, Wednesday night's debate will be a shallow exercise in political point-scoring, with each candidate trying to highlight the embarrassing parts of his opponent's record.

    Normally, I'd think such an event would be both great fun and worthwhile. But on foreign policy, the central issue of this election, there's still a great deal of confusion as to where each candidate stands, despite a presidential debate and a half, and a vice presidential debate, on the subject. Do you know, for example, what John Kerry's position is on how the nation should deal with state sponsors of terrorism? Does he agree with Bush that those who harbor terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves? What's his opinion of the Bush Doctrine? Would he amend it? If so, how? Does he think the nation should adhere to a foreign-policy doctrine, or should we just take an ad hoc approach to terrorism and other global problems?

    None of those questions were addressed in the first three debates. The campaign's focus on unilateralism vs. internationalism has obscured the more fundamental foreign-policy difference between Bush and Kerry: their views on the role of states, and state sponsors, in the war on terror. Matt Bai's New York Times Magazine piece on John Kerry's view of the war on terror elucidates this difference between the two men more clearly than any article yet written on Kerry's foreign policy, including manful attempts by the Atlantic and TheNew Yorker.

    Bush's war on terror assumes that states are the main actors in international affairs. After 9/11, Bush expressed skepticism that a mere "network" could have pulled off such a feat. Bush, Bai writes, does not believe that terrorists "can ultimately survive and operate independently of states." The Bush National Security Strategy calls terrorists "clients" of rogue states. The Bush war on terror is remarkably state-centric. After the fall of Afghanistan, the administration immediately began looking for the next state to topple.

    Kerry focuses on nonstate actors, international networks that operate outside of state control. "Kerry's view, on the other hand, suggests that it is the very premise of civilized states ... that is under attack," Bai writes. Kerry's internationalism stems from his view of the war on terror, rather than vice versa: "And no one state, acting alone, can possibly have much impact on the threat, because terrorists will always be able to move around, shelter their money and connect in cyberspace; there are no capitals for a superpower like the United States to bomb, no ambassadors to recall, no economies to sanction."

    The clear implication of Bai's article is not, as the Bush campaign would have it, that Kerry wants only to reduce terrorism to a "nuisance" while Bush wants to eliminate it. It's that Bush would seek to topple more regimes in his second term, while Kerry wouldn't. Perhaps everyone already knew that. But don't you want to know more about it? I've already proposed several questions for Kerry. Here are some for Bush: Mr. President, you say John Kerry has a "fundamental misunderstanding" of the war on terror when he says it is only a war against al-Qaida. Does this mean that you are likely to try to change other regimes by force in the Middle East in your second term—those that harbor, say, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad? You say those who harbor terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves. What countries in the world are harboring terrorists, and how do you plan to punish them for their guilt? When you mock Sen. Kerry for saying the war on terror is in large part a "law enforcement operation," are you saying that breaking up terrorist cells is insufficient for victory in the war? What is sufficient for victory? Other than Iraq and Afghanistan, where do you see the next battleground in the war on terror?

    If you want to know about the candidates' health-care plans, you can read about them on their Web sites and in newspaper articles. We're a nation at war. Don't you wish the two candidates had to answer some more questions about who exactly we're at war with?


              Blog>> Presentations at KM World and Taxonomy Bootcamp Washington DC 2016   
    Here are the slides for a bunch of presentations at KM World and Taxonomy Bootcamp Washington DC 2016: Dave Clarke and Maish Nichani (keynote): Searching outside the box Dave Clarke and Gene Loh: Linked Data: the world is your database Patrick Lambe (workshop): Taxonomies and facet analysis for beginners Patrick Lambe (workshop): Knowledge mapping: identifying and mitigating knowledge risks
              Bush's Bulge   

    DENVER—An exchange Monday morning between two reporters on the Bush press bus: Q: "What do you think about the lump on his back?" A: "Probably benign."

    Da-dum-crash. The reporter's response was meant as a joke, but it's a fair assessment of the attitude of the White House press corps toward the run of stories on the strange rectangular shape seen beneath Bush's suit jacket during the first presidential debate. Some reporters argue that the rectangle is an optical illusion, while others think there just isn't enough evidence of anything for a story. My take: Lefty bloggers are undermining their case by making the huge, completely unsupported leap that Bush was wearing an earpiece wired into an audio box on his back. If Bush is Karl Rove's Rupert Jee, why was his debate performance so miserable? White House communications director Dan Bartlett insinuated as much in Spin Alley after the second debate. A reporter said to him, Bush didn't repeat himself as much as he did last week. What changed? Bartlett's tongue-in-cheek reply: "The guy who was speaking into the audio box—did you hear? He had an audio box in the first one—kept repeating the things to tell him to say, so he kept repeating them."

    But just because some conspiracy theorists—some of whom were peddling the same theory four years ago—are making assertions that aren't supported by the evidence doesn't mean that the weird rectangular shape under Bush's coat doesn't exist. If you suspect the still images from the debate have been doctored, watching the video will erase your doubts. Let's go to the tape: Click here to open the video of the debate posted on the Web site of the Washington Post. Right-click on the video to open it in a separate RealPlayer window. Fast-forward to the 14:55 mark, and you'll see the mysterious rectangle.

    What is it? I haven't the faintest clue. But I do think it's a legitimate topic of discussion. Umbrella Man didn't shoot John F. Kennedy, but that doesn't mean there wasn't an Umbrella Man. And just because conspiracy theorists are wrong about JFK doesn't mean his assassination isn't worthy of inquiry.

    How many electoral votes does the AFC West get? Denver Broncos football coach Mike Shanahan appeared with Bush and Gen. Tommy Franks at a rally Monday at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Morrison, Colo. Earlier this year, Bush visited the Wisconsin training camp of the Kansas City Chiefs, a divisional rival of the Broncos. Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil was asked whether he would welcome Kerry to visit his training camp, too. Vermeil's answer: "Not necessarily." The two other coaches in the division, Marty Schottenheimer and Norv Turner, coach in the safe Democratic state of California, so maybe Bush doesn't care about their votes.

    Which Terrorist Is Kerry? Part 2: Mike Pesca of Day to Day dug up a "run but can't hide" quote by President Bush that I missed during my weekend search of White House transcripts. Here's the president on Feb. 5, 2002, in Pittsburgh, on the subject of Osama Bin Laden: "There's no cave deep enough for him to hide. He can run and he thinks he can hide, but we're not going to give up."


              Which Terrorist Is Kerry?   

    WACO, Texas—How long until President Bush pledges to smoke John Kerry out of his hole? Or to "bring him to justice"? The president's new campaign refrain about Kerry—"He can run, but he cannot hide"—signaled the return of Bush the Old West sheriff who pledged to hunt down Osama Bin Laden, "Dead or Alive." The president has always affected a bit of a gunslinger pose on the stump, his shoulders hunched, his arms jutted out at his sides. But his campaign decided to throw in a little Texas lawman talk into the president's stump speech after becoming enamored of Bush's use of the "run, but he cannot hide" line in Friday's debate.

    The line sounded so familiar that reporters assumed immediately that Bush had used it in reference to Bin Laden at some point. (The boxer Joe Louis is credited as the originator of the phrase. But it's had a new context since Sept. 11, 2001.) When Joe Lockhart was asked about the new Bush mantra on a conference call Saturday morning, the reporter said, "He used it with Bin Laden of course." But a search of White House transcripts doesn't turn up the phrase.

    It's certainly true that people think the president said of Bin Laden, "He can run, but he can't hide." One of the most frequent descriptions of a defeated al-Qaida is an al-Qaida that is "on the run." More important, on the Nov. 9, 2001, edition of Crossfire, Bill Press said, "Well, when you think of presidents or leaders leading a nation during a time of war, you think of Franklin Roosevelt, you think of Winston Churchill, you think of statesmanship. And what do you hear from the lips of George Bush? It's 'Let's roll.' Bring them back dead or alive. They can run, but they can't hide." So, "You can run, but you can't hide" isn't just associated with Bin Laden in the fuzzy memories of reporters more than three years after the fact. Less than two months after 9/11, Bill Press was under the impression that Bush had said something like it about al-Qaida.

    But the closest the president came to saying something like "He can run, but he cannot hide" after 9/11 appears to be this statement, uttered on the morning of Sept. 13, 2001: "This is an enemy who preys on innocent and unsuspecting people, then runs for cover. But it won't be able to run for cover forever. This is an enemy that tries to hide. But it won't be able to hide forever." Here's the closest example that I could find of anyone in the administration saying something like "You can run but you can't hide": During a press gaggle on Air Force One last April, Scott McClellan said, "But this is a clear reminder that terroristscan run, but they cannot hide. We will find them and bring them to justice."

    What was McClellan talking about when he made that statement? The capture of Abu Abbas, a Palestinian terrorist who was convicted of the 1985 hijacking of an Italian cruise ship, the Achille Lauro. After that hijacking, President Reagan declared to the terrorists, "You can run, but you can't hide." So Bush's use of the phrase is a twofer: It reminds voters of the post-9/11 Bush, the popular president on the hunt for the enemy, and the phrase also evokes the perpetually popular Reagan. Just this spring, the New York Times referred to Reagan's 1986 bombing of Libya, carried out in retaliation for terrorist acts,  as "the 'you can run but you can't hide' airstrikes."

    There you have it: The president is definitively not comparing John Kerry to Osama Bin Laden. He's comparing him to Abu Abbas. Or maybe Muammar Qaddafi. Mystery solved.


              The $84 Question   

    ST. LOUIS—Mike McCurry may have set a new standard in expectations-lowering when he predicted before Friday's debate that his candidate would actually lose in his face-off with President Bush. About a half-hour before Bush and John Kerry walked on stage at Washington University, McCurry made this prediction to a group of reporters in the media filing center: "I guarantee you the story will be"—putting on his best "Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!" announcer voice—"'Bush bounced back from a dismal performance and sets up the exciting showdown in Arizona ...' "

    It sounded good, and in a sense it's true. Bush did bounce back. This wasn't "the Old Testament version of Bush," as McCurry called the bumbling caricature who showed up for the first debate. But it wasn't the return of the charmer of 2000, either. The consensus on the Bush press bus—I'll be traveling with the president between this debate and the finale Wednesday in Tempe—on the way back to our hotel was that Kerry had bested the president once again. Or perhaps it was a tie, but most reporters thought that a draw favors Kerry, because he's got the momentum, and he just has to convince people that he's not a vacillating weakling to get their votes.

    Here's my predicted storyline: Before last week's debate, the speculation was whether Bush could knock Kerry out of the race with a decisive win. Heading into next week's debate, my guess is that the speculation will be about whether Kerry can put Bush away and end the campaign before the final three-week stretch begins. In particular, there will be a lot of focus on how the debate favors Kerry because the subject will be domestic policy.

    But based on this debate, Bush may have the upper hand next week. Kerry had his foreign-policy answers nailed. He dominated the early portions that dealt with Iraq. But when the questions turned homeward it was Kerry, not Bush, who was on the defensive. A little of the meandering, incoherent Kerry returned, particularly in his answers to the questions on tort reform, stem-cell research, and federal funding for abortions. (But at least Kerry didn't bring up the Dred Scott decision. President Bush: Against chattel slavery.) Kerry may also just be easier to caricature, despite what the polls say, on domestic issues. Surely people are more apt to believe that Kerry will tax them to death than to believe the "global test" nonsense being peddled by the Bush campaign.

    Though that wasn't the Bush spin Friday night. The Bush surrogates came into Spin Alley ready to sell the idea that Kerry failed to distance himself during the debate from the "global test" they call the "Kerry doctrine." Unfortunately, their decision highlighted one of the central flaws in Spin Alley: The spinners don't watch the end of the debates. By the time the candidates get to their closing remarks, the campaign staffers and surrogates have positioned themselves near the assembled press, and they're readying themselves for questions and TV appearances. So, maybe Bush campaign communications director Nicolle Devenish didn't hear Kerry say in his closing statement, "I will never cede the authority of our country or our security to any other nation. I'll never give a veto over American security to any other entity—not a nation, not a country, not an institution." Despite Kerry's clear renunciation of a foreign "permission slip," here was Devenish's spin as soon as the debate ended: "What was striking to me was that Kerry didn't even try to retract the global test. He has now accepted the Kerry doctrine as his own." Bush deputy campaign manager Mark Wallace said something similarly erroneous: "He affirmed the global test today, that would say there has to be permission from the world before you can take action." Actually, Kerry did the exact opposite.

    Still, Devenish was the only Bush spinner I spoke to after the debate who didn't try to defend the president's strange assertion about the Duelfer report, that it shows that sanctions weren't working in Iraq. "I have to confess to being a campaign official and not an NSC spokesgal," she said. By contrast, here was Dan Bartlett: "Charlie Duelfer said both in the report and in his testimony that sanctions were unraveling, that the gaming of the system that Saddam Hussein was doing was doing just that. He was trying to game it by bribing people." But Saddam was trying to bribe people to get the sanctions lifted, and he wanted them lifted because they worked, because they prevented him from reconstituting his weapons programs. Here's Wallace: Saddam "was making a concerted effort to avoid sanctions," and "he had the means and the ability to reconstitute his WMD program." But, wait—the sanctions were precisely what were keeping Saddam from doing that. He had "the means and the ability" only if the sanctions had been lifted, and a Bush veto in the United Nations could have kept the sanctions in effect permanently. Ed Gillespie and Ken Mehlman cited the oil-for-food program as evidence that the sanctions didn't work. But again, Saddam's bribes were an attempt to get out of the sanctions that had stripped him of his chemical weapons, his biological weapons, and his nuclear program.

    The defensible position for Bush would have been to argue that we had no way of knowing whether sanctions were working before we invaded. But instead he's resorted to this preposterous idea that because Saddam was trying to evade the sanctions, somehow that was evidence that the sanctions weren't working. Somehow the fact that Saddam has no weapons and no stockpiles was evidence that sanctions weren't working.

    After Vice President Cheney's frequent difficulties with the truth on Tuesday, President Bush's veracity was under increased scrutiny in this debate. But that didn't stop his campaign from peddling another "global test" lie, nor did it stop Bush from misconstruing Kerry's health-care plan and willfully distorting the conclusions of the Duelfer report. (Let's call Bush's unwillingness to admit a mistake a self-deception, rather than a deception foisted upon the public.) If President Bush weren't running such a truth-stretching campaign, his strangest untruth of the night, denying that he received $84 in income from a timber company, wouldn't be a big deal. After all, it's only $84. Then again, maybe the president voted for the truth about the $84 before he decided against it.


              Ambulant hulpverlener jeugd - Mast Nederland - Zuid-Holland   
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              Evans Data survey on development tools and technologies for wireless application development   
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              Kidnappers Fucked And Forced Japanese Teen To Have Sex With Father   
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              Cheney Drops the Ball   

    CLEVELAND—Does Dick Cheney know that he told voters watching the vice presidential debate to go to GeorgeSoros.com? In response to a series of attacks from John Edwards on Cheney's tenure as CEO of Halliburton, the vice president said that Kerry and Edwards "know the charges are false. They know that if you go, for example, to factcheck.com, an independent Web site sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania, you can get the specific details with respect to Halliburton." One problem with Cheney's rebuttal: He misspoke. He meant to say "factcheck.org," rather than ".com." According to the Wall Street Journal, the company that owns factcheck.com, Name Administration Inc., took advantage of Cheney's error to redirect traffic to a page titled, "Why we must not re-elect President Bush: a personal message from George Soros."*

    But maybe Cheney was lucky to have misspoken, because there was a larger problem with his response: It isn't true. Well, it is true that factcheck.org provides "specific details with respect to Halliburton," but those details have nothing to do with the charges Edwards made. The Democratic running mate said that Halliburton, while Cheney was CEO, "did business with sworn enemies of the United States, paid millions of dollars in fines for providing false financial information, it's under investigation for bribing foreign officials." All factcheck.org rebuts is a different charge, that Cheney collected $2 million from Halliburton "as vice president." It turns out that Cheney collected a good chunk of that money as vice president-elect, including nearly $1.5 million on Jan. 18, 2001, two days before his inauguration.

    After the debate, Bush campaign communications director Nicole Devenish repeats Cheney's statement and directs reporters to factcheck.org for the details. I've already been to factcheck.org, I tell her, and it says nothing about what Edwards said, about trading with the enemy, about bribing foreign officials, about providing false financial information. She tells me to go to debatefacts.com, the Bush-Cheney rapid-response Web site. The answers are all there.

    Except they're not. "The Facts" page at the Bush-Cheney debate site doesn't get Edwards' claims correctly either: "Edwards' Claim: The Department Of Defense's Contracting Process In Iraq Is Rife With Cronyism And Secrecy," it says. Did Edwards claim that? I thought he said Cheney traded with the enemy, bribed foreign officials, and provided false financial information. On those charges, the Bush-Cheney campaign has no answers, at least not tonight.

    The exchange on "factcheck.com" was the debate writ small in many ways: Edwards would make a charge, and Cheney would have no answer for it. In debate, that's called a "dropped argument." Cheney left arguments all over the floor. Three times, when offered a chance to respond to something Edwards had said, Cheney declined, leaving Edwards' critique to stand on its own. Edwards went through a long list of votes that Cheney made as a congressman: against Head Start, against banning plastic weapons that can pass through metal detectors, against Meals on Wheels, against the Department of Education, against Martin Luther King Day, against the release of Nelson Mandela. What else was he against, longer recess? Cheney declined to defend or explain a single one of his votes. On gay marriage, Edwards said the constitutional amendment proposed by the president was unnecessary, divisive, and an attempt to distract the country from important issues such as health care, jobs, and Iraq. Cheney declined to refute any of Edwards' points, and instead thanked him for his kind words about his family. On homeland security, Edwards said the administration has failed to create a unified terrorist watch list, and it foolishly screens the passengers on airplanes but not their cargo. We need to be not just "strong and aggressive" but also "smart," he said. Cheney's response: to decline a chance to respond, which is the same as ceding the point.

    When Cheney did have an answer, it was often a misleading one, just like factcheck.com. On one occasion, Cheney said the Kerry-Edwards tax plan would raise taxes on 900,000 small businesses, and he said that was a bad idea because small businesses create 7 out of 10 jobs in America. But the two statements have nothing to do with each other. Those 900,000 small businesses—double the real number that would be affected, according to CNN—don't create 70 percent of the nation's jobs. On another occasion, Cheney criticized Kerry for supporting defense cuts that Cheney supported as secretary of defense during the first Bush administration. Other statements were simply false, rather than merely deceptive or misleading. For example, Cheney said he had never asserted a connection between 9/11 and Iraq. That's not true. Cheney said he had never met Edwards before. That's not true.

    Edwards didn't have a perfect debate. Cheney defended himself and the administration capably during the opening questions about Iraq and the war on terror, and I was disappointed when Edwards failed to give an answer to Cheney's criticism that he and Kerry have no plan to deal with state sponsors of terror. And Edwards got mauled when Cheney said Edwards, by saying that 90 percent of the casualties in Iraq were American, was saying that the deaths of Iraqi soldiers fighting with the U.S. "shouldn't count."

    We're halfway through the debates, and I think that each side still has one big question that it hasn't answered. Kerry and Edwards haven't given an adequate explanation of how they would approach states that sponsor terrorism and harbor terrorism. If Iraq was the wrong country to focus on, what was the right country? Just Afghanistan? Or do they support a broader Bob Graham-style war against Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations? If regime change isn't the right policy for dealing with state sponsors of terror, what is? Would a Kerry-Edwards administration wage a "war on terror," or just a war on al-Qaida?

    The question for Bush and Cheney is the same, but from the opposite side. Where does their war stop? When does it end? How do we measure victory? Most important, what is their answer to a question that Edwards posed and Cheney ignored: "There are 60 countries who have members of al-Qaida in them. How many of those countries are we going to invade?"

    Correction, Oct. 7, 2004: The article originally claimed that George Soros bought the factcheck.com URL after Cheney referred to it and redirected its traffic to GeorgeSoros.com. In fact, the company that already owned the URL, Name Administration Inc., redirected the traffic to the Soros page. (Return to corrected sentence.)


              Developing Pocket PC applications with Delphi 2006   
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    Firstly, I've not been able to post any updates on my dear little felt bag, because I've not been able to finish it.  Just after my last post, I caught my finger around one of the dog's leads, and it wrenched.  Subsequently, it's been painful and I've not been able to hand sew or cross stitch, and writing with a pen has also been painful and difficult.  In the first week or so, even holding a knife was hard.  It's finally getting better, so I think I should finish it very soon and will then post pics - it really is adorable.  






    Since then there's been quite a bit to share.  I've just finished a quilt but haven't yet photographed it, so will save that for another post.  Some birthday cards - first up.  The first card shown is one I made for Andrew's 40th birthday which was on the weekend.  I started with a plain white card blank, then added some dark blue linen textured card.  Layered on top of this was a turquoise card which I had embossed through the Sizzix Bigshot machine, giving it a nice texture.  Then I added another panel, which I had previously decorated using alchohol inks in a random splodgy, swirly pattern, with silver metallic bits randomly added too.  On this card, I used some Tim Holtz rubber stamps, added in black ink, and finally I added some adhesive blue butterflies.  Unfortunately the metallic splodges haven't photographed very well - the effect in real life is gorgeous.  Importantly, the recipient was very pleased with it.  

    The second card was for Roger, Andrew's dad, whose birthday is the day after Andrew's.  I started with a plain gold square card, and layered on a piece of K & Co patterned paper.  Then I took a piece of paper and ran it through the Sizzix using a new die, giving the square with the bobbly edges.  Once I had the basic shape, I gently sponged the paper with green ink and sprayed it with the Glitz spritz using the silver and emerald colours. These were dried with a heat gun and finally I stamped it, using the pear stamp I got from Blade Rubber up in London, back in March and a small message saying Happy Birthday. Immediately after stamping, I brushed some gold Perfect Pearls over the pears which gave it a gorgeous shimmer.  The last step was to add some leaf shaped brads to the corner holes of the square. Unfortunately the photo didn't come out very well, and I only realised this after I had posted the card, so was unable to redo it.  

    The third card was a thank you card for the tutor on the Kennel Club course I have recently done with Boola (full details on my other blog).  I started with a plain white card, then added a layer of green linen textured card.  On a piece of plain white card, I gently sponged some distress inks over the background then stamped it using several botanical images in different colours, mainly in an autumnal palette.  Finally, using a brad, I attached a Tim Holtz Adage Ticket, in this case saying "Soar" which seemed appropriate for a teacher.     Lastly, I gave the whole card a gentle spritz with a glitz spritz which added a subtle shimmer. 

    Finally, I have just finished making the place cards for the family party we are hosting this coming weekend.  There will be nine of us round the table in a joint birthday celebration for Andrew, Roger and Booty.  Given Booty's fondness for squirrels, we decided that would be a great theme, so I spent ages scouring the net for squirrel themed craft goodies.  Eventually I was able to find some squirrel dies that could be used in my machine so I ordered them.  For each card, I started with a folded base card of a pewter wood effect  card (this seemed entirely appropriate!).  Next, I added a cream card that was embossed and then brushed with a distress ink gently, this had the effect of picking up the raised embossing.  On top of this I layered up a piece of patterned K & Co card from the Wild Saffron range, then on top of that I added a printed name which I had printed out on the computer. On the right side of each name, I added a couple of die cut leaves or nuts, in autumnal shades of brown and green.  On the left hand side was the squirrrel.  Each squirrel had to be diecut in two parts, body and tail and this was done on orange paper, which I then gently shaded using a brown ink. The squirrel's eye was a black adhesive pearl and the final touch was to add a little orange glitter glue.  I'm very happy with the finished article and they should add a nice festive touch to the party. 

     
              Edwards' Table Manners   

    CLEVELAND—Democrats who wanted John Kerry to select John Edwards as his running mate always cited the 90 minutes that will come Tuesday night as one of the most important reasons. The party faithful are still irked by Joe Lieberman's chummy disposition four years ago as Dick Cheney amiably disemboweled him during the vice-presidential debate. Edwards supporters believed that putting one of the nation's most effective trial lawyers on the ticket would stop Cheney from killing again.

    But Edwards' performances were uneven in the debates held during the Democratic primaries in 2003 and 2004. Twice—in Iowa just before the caucuses and in Wisconsin—he won so decisively that he probably helped himself at the polls as a result. He also performed impressively in the youth debate held in Boston, when he marched toward Howard Dean and confronted him for saying he wanted the votes of people with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks. But on other occasions Edwards disappeared, or stumbled when forced to speak outside of his scripted talking points. Particularly worrisome for those rooting for him in the veep debate, two of Edwards' worst primary debates—the Larry King-moderated debate in Los Angeles and the Dan Rather-moderated debate in New York City—occurred when the participants were seated at a table with the moderator, just as Cheney, Edwards, and PBS's Gwen Ifill will be here on Tuesday night.

    Here's a speculative explanation of why Edwards did poorly in those debates: Edwards is a highly theatrical performer on the stump. He is, at heart, an actor. That's how one member of the media who has followed Edwards this campaign described him to me. Bill Clinton, this person said, was no different in front of a crowd than he was on the campaign plane. But for Edwards, this reporter said, "It's acting." He's a different guy backstage. Maybe Edwards has a tough time "getting into character" when he is seated at a table with his opponent, instead of roaming free onstage as he would in a courtroom. He's one of those actors who looks great on a proscenium, but who doesn't translate to the quieter media of film and television.

    Or maybe Table Edwards is closer to the private Edwards than Stage Edwards, his public persona. What little personal contact I've had with Edwards during the campaign has always led me to think that he's an intensely private man. His chosen sport is running, an activity that appeals to the solitary and the introspective. I was struck by how Edwards, during an interview with Fox News Sunday a few months ago, refused to discuss his consumption of copious amounts of Diet Coke, repeatedly smiling and saying, "We're not going to talk about that." An unimportant moment? Sure, but not a meaningless one.

    In many ways, Edwards' desire to not give himself fully to the public is laudable, such as his refusal to discuss the death of his son Wade, "in the context of politics," as he put it in a profile in the October issue of Vogue. But the contradiction between Edwards' public persona and his private self always surprises people when I tell them about it, because he's so charismatic on the stump. That Vogue profile also noticed the differences between the public and the private man: "Edwards does not joke; despite his easy grin, he is described by close friends as 'serious,' 'solid,' 'quiet,' " wrote Julia Reed. "When I ask his best friend and former law partner David Kirby if Edwards is ever loose, he says, 'No, he is not. He runs an hour every day—that's what he considers relaxation.' "

    Serious, solid, quiet: Those are words that most voters would apply to Dick Cheney, not John Edwards. Television fools us into thinking we know someone, when we really don't. The best politicians of the TV age have used that trick of the small screen to their advantage. Edwards, so far in his short political career, has impressed many observers with his ability to impress voters in courtroom-like settings, in small gatherings and one-on-one encounters. But he hasn't mastered television yet. Two of his biggest TV moments so far, his appearance on Meet the Press last year and his acceptance speech at the Democratic convention, were both criticized.

    But another great skill of plaintiffs' lawyers, and of John Edwards, is the ability to cram, to immerse themselves in a subject on deadline. Tuesday night, when Edwards sits down at that table, we'll learn how quick a study he really is.


              The Post-Debate Debate   

    ORLANDO—Sen. John Kerry, you just walloped President Bush in the first 2004 debate. What are you going to do now? Go to Disney World, apparently: The Kerry campaign and his traveling press spent Friday night at the Swan & Dolphin Hotel at Walt Disney World, possibly the only place more unreal than the presidential campaign bubble. There couldn't be a more appropriate place for Kerry to stay the night after the debate, because right now, Democrats think they're in the happiest place on earth.

    As the press bus arrived at the Fort Lauderdale airport Friday morning, a reporter jokingly pronounced a crowd of Kerry supporters to be "30 percent more excited" than they would have been before Thursday's debate. But he underestimated the enthusiasm among Democrats for Kerry's performance. In 90 minutes, Kerry erased the nagging complaints within his party about the effectiveness of his campaign, and he crushed any incipient Dean nostalgia.

    On the stump, Kerry has discovered a new applause line, simply uttering the word "debate." At the University of South Florida in Tampa on Friday, Kerry walked out to the loudest and longest ovation I've seen in more than a year on the campaign. Kerry's still a 40-minute rambler at his campaign events—he should consider traveling with a podium equipped with green, yellow, and red lights that tell him when to stop—but he didn't have to do anything more than ask the crowd, "So, did you watch that debate last night?" to get the rumbling foot-stomping and cheering started again. In Orlando later that night, Kerry uses his new line—"Did you watch that little debate last night?"—as his opener, and again its gets the crowd roaring.

    Kerry has even taken to ridiculing the president for his underwhelming showing. On Friday night, he mockingly impersonated Bush as a stammering Porky Pig. (Not Elmer Fudd, as the New York Times claims. Get your cartoon references right, Gray Lady!) The next day, Kerry was at it again, poking fun of Bush's repetition of the phrase "hard work" at the debate: "He confuses staying in place, just kind of saying, 'It's tough, it's hard work, you gotta make a decision,' "—laughter—"he considers that, and confuses that, with leadership."

    Those Democrats who aren't already buoyed by the debate will take heart in Saturday's Newsweek poll, which shows the race in a statistical tie: Kerry at 47 percent and Bush at 45 percent, with a 4-point margin of error. Kerry adviser Joel Johnson dismissed the poll's significance during a conference call with reporters, saying, "It's probably a poll that we took issue with in the past," such as when Newsweek showed the president leading by 11 points coming out of the Republican convention.

    In the wake of all these good signs for Kerry, the Bush campaign is busy trying to Gore him, to kill the Democratic buzz by turning Kerry's debate victory into a defeat. A White House pool report Saturday from the Baltimore Sun's David Greene reported that Bush communications director Nicolle Devenish said, "Nobody is going to look back on November 3 and remember that first debate for anything other than a night when Kerry made four serious strategic mistakes." Here's how Greene summarized the mistakes: "1) Kerry spoke of a 'global test.' 2) Kerry called the war in Iraq a mistake then later said Americans were not dying for a mistake. 3) Kerry spoke of the troops deserving better after saying in an interview before the debate that his vote on funding was made in protest. 4) Kerry offered what Nicolle called a 'new insult' for allies when he said the coalition is not 'genuine.' "

    Thursday night after the debate, the Bush surrogates emphasized Devenish's second point, to reinforce its caricature of the Democratic nominee as a habitual flip-flopper. By Friday and Saturday, however, the Bush campaign had seized upon Kerry's mention—a virtual aside—of a "global test" for pre-emptive war as their chance to reverse the perception that Kerry won the debate. (Based on Devenish's comments, they've also dropped their initial nobody-won spin in which they sounded like Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda: "We didn't lose Vietnam! It was a tie!")

    On Friday afternoon, the Bush campaign e-mailed excerpts of remarks the president made in Allentown, Pa., including this quote: "Senator Kerry last night said that America has to pass some sort of global test before we can use American troops to defend ourselves. He wants our national security decisions subject to the approval of a foreign government. Listen, I'll continue to work with our allies and the international community, but I will never submit America's national security to an international test. The use of troops to defend America must never be subject to a veto by countries like France." Scott McClellan piled on, as distilled by another White House pool report, saying that Kerry's comment "showed a fundamental misunderstanding of the war on terrorism," and that the remark "shows something that is very disturbing."

    By Saturday, Bush himself had taken to calling the "global test" the "Kerry doctrine," which would "give foreign governments veto power over our own national security decisions." In the afternoon, the Kerry campaign dispatched Richard Holbrooke to rebut "Bush's misleading rhetoric on the stump" in a conference call. Nearly every question was about what Kerry meant during the debate by "global test," and about the Bush's campaign's rhetoric of a "global permission slip" and the "Kerry doctrine." Holbrooke read Kerry's debate statement in full: "No president, through all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America. But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons."

    Holbrooke said the "Bush attack" was "another flagrant misrepresentation by the administration of what Sen. Kerry said," and added, "Who in their right mind would not wish to be sure that the use of force preemptively, or for that matter, any use of force, gets support and understanding from the rest of the world and from the American people and is fully justified?" He called it "longstanding American doctrine" and "a standard position, all presidents have taken it since at least 1945." Sounding irritated about the repeated mentions of the "Kerry doctrine" by reporters, Holbrooke said, "Don't call it a Kerry doctrine. That would suggest that John Kerry has enunciated something new, and he didn't."

    An hour later, at 2:30 p.m., Kerry adviser Joel Johnson and Democratic National Committee adviser Howard Wolfson held a conference call to "discuss the results" of the presidential debate. The first question, from a Knight Ridder reporter, was about "this alleged Kerry doctrine." Would the campaign make any "paid media response"? No, Johnson said, we're going to focus on the economy in our TV ads, as planned. "We don't feel like this one is one we're going to have to respond in any way" in paid media.

    The Republicans are "trying to take away the medal from the Olympic gymnast after the contest is over," Wolfson said. ABC's Dan Harris asked, "Aren't you opening yourself up to the charge that you've failed to learn the lessons of August?" referring to the Swift Boat ads and the Kerry campaign's belated response. "We're focusing on the failed economy," Johnson said. But you should know, "He'll never give a veto to any other country, period." Harris replied, "But boy, it really sounds like you're letting that charge hang out there." Johnson: "Well, we'll take that under advisement."

    Shortly after that conference call ended, the Bush campaign e-mailed its script for a new TV ad, called—surprise—"Global Test." The ad says in part, "The Kerry doctrine: A global test. So we must seek permission from foreign governments before protecting America? A global test? So America will be forced to wait while threats gather? President Bush believes decisions about protecting America should be made in the Oval Office, not foreign capitals." Within a couple of hours, the Kerry campaign had changed its mind about whether to release its own ad. Their script begins, "George Bush lost the debate.  Now he's lying about it." The Kerry ad also tries to change the subject, to a New York Times story that comes out Sunday. That day's conference call is billed as, "What President Bush Really Knew About Iraq's WMD Programs Before the War."

    During his conference call, Joel Johnson complained, "The Bush campaign is trying to concoct arguments that the president couldn't make the other night in the debate." That's exactly right. The mystery is why Johnson didn't think his campaign would have to do the same for Kerry.


              Daydreaming About Dean   

    MIAMI—Can we change horses in midstream? Democrats wanted Republicans and independent voters to be asking themselves that question at this stage in the presidential campaign, but with little more than a month to go before Election Day, some Democrats are asking it of themselves. It's the seven-month itch: The long general-election campaign has led the voters who settled down with Mr. Stability to wonder what would have happened if they had pursued their crushes on riskier but more exciting candidates. What if dreamy John Edwards were the nominee instead of John Kerry? Would he be better able to explain his votes for war and against the $87 billion to fund the war? Would his campaign have been leaner and more effective than Kerry's multitudes? Or what about Democrats' first love, Howard Dean? Remember him? Would his straightforward opposition to the war in Iraq look more prescient now than it did during the Iowa caucuses, which were held shortly after Saddam Hussein was captured?

    The most surprising Democrat to engage in this daydreaming is one who never dated Dean in the first place: Peter Beinart, editor of the New Republic. Writing in Time, Beinart says, "[T]here's reason to believe [Democratic primary voters] guessed wrong—that Dean would be doing better against Bush than Kerry is." Deaniacs can be forgiven for being a little bit piqued at the timing of Beinart's conversion. After all, most Dean supporters thought Beinart's magazine did its best to torpedo the Dean candidacy for much of 2003, including an online "Diary of a Dean-o-Phobe." But TNR also ran glowing profiles of Dean and his campaign manager, Joe Trippi, and it never married Kerry, either. Although the magazine ultimately endorsed Joe Lieberman, its endorsement issue contained an article praising every other major Democratic contender—Dean, Edwards, Dick Gephardt—except John Kerry. So, it's understandable why Beinart would be one of the first to fantasize about divorce.

    Beinart argues that Dean's clarity on the war, his straight-talking authenticity, and his lack of a Senate voting record would have forced President Bush to focus on the issue of Iraq, rather than the character of John Kerry. Not everyone who worked for Howard Dean during the primaries agrees that the Vermont governor would have been a stronger nominee—in fact, some say just the opposite or even burst into laughter at the notion—but one senior Dean adviser that I talked to Wednesday agrees strongly. "If Howard Dean were the nominee right now, nobody would be wondering where he stands on Iraq, nobody would be accusing us of not fighting back, and we wouldn't be fighting to hold on to our base," said the adviser, who asked that his name not be used. Kerry's "thoughtful and nuanced positions" might be an admirable quality in a president, but they're difficult to defend during a campaign.

    A Dean general-election campaign would have contrasted Dean's record with Bush's in three ways: Dean being against the war versus Bush being for it; Dean's record of balancing the Vermont budget while providing health care versus Bush's largest deficits in history with no health care; and a new wrinkle that was only hinted at during the primaries, Dean's mysterious, infrequently mentioned "tax reform" vs. Bush's irresponsible tax cuts. Yes, Dean would have repealed the entire Bush tax cut, the senior adviser said, but he would have proposed replacing it with some Dean tax cuts, including the elimination of payroll taxes on the first $20,000 of income. The message: Bush cuts taxes from the top down, but Dean cuts them from the bottom up. Why didn't Dean introduce this during the primaries, when his tax-hiking ways made some Democrats think he would be an electoral disaster, the second coming of Walter Mondale, in the fall? He wanted to wait until after the Feb. 3 primaries because "he didn't want people to think he was pandering," the adviser said.

    The Dean adviser did go out of his way to insist that he was not criticizing the Kerry campaign. The Republicans "might have destroyed Howard Dean," too, he said, but "I just think Howard would have matched up differently and better." The Dean adviser praised Kerry's maligned convention, which made voters believe that Kerry was a viable commander in chief who was as good as Bush or better on the issues of terrorism and homeland security. "They were in perfect position after the convention to win this thing," he said, quickly adding that he's not saying they've lost it. But then he added, "They basically are hoping that Bush shits the bed in the debates."

    Of course, it's pretty obvious that the Republicans would have run a different campaign against Howard Dean than they did against John Kerry. But that doesn't mean it would have been any less effective. And if Dean couldn't beat Kerry, what exactly would have made him so formidable against President Bush? Would Dean's support for civil unions in Vermont have made gay marriage a much bigger issue in the fall? Was there something in his past that we didn't learn about? Would the aggressive campaign he would have waged in the spring and summer—leaping instantly on every bit of bad news from Iraq, from Abu Ghraib to Fallujah—have backfired? Would Dean have been able to build a campaign that brought together his divided Vermont and D.C. factions? It's impossible to know, though divining that impossibility is exactly what Democratic primary voters charged themselves with this time around.

    Falling in love with Dean all over again ignores what made Democrats fall out of love with him in the first place. An incomplete list: his infuriating stubbornness and refusal to admit mistakes; his lousy white-background TV ad in Iowa; and his shift from a straight-talking, budget-balancing, health-care-providing Vermont governor to the shrieking leader of a cult movement. In Iowa, Dean's poor showing was exacerbated by the fact that he was the second choice of no one. He and Kerry found out that in American democracy, it's better to have a large number of people barely tolerate you than to have a smaller number like you a lot. By the weekend, it will be clear whether Kerry managed to rally a nose-holding majority to his side at Thursday's debate. If not, expect to hear a lot more conversations like this over the next 33 days.


              Teens 'explore' career in law enforcement through hands-on training   

    As Seins Burdt took his turn shooting a simulation gun during the county's first Law Enforcement Explorer program, one of the instructors walked over, phone out with camera at the ready, joking that Burdt's mother wouldn't be happy if he didn't take a picture.

    Burdt, 16, of Mount Airy, was part...


              Bush's Aura Returns   

    When the Bush campaign released its TV ad last week featuring footage of John Kerry windsurfing, Kerry spokesman Mike McCurry told me it was a good sign for his candidate. The windsurfing footage was a bullet that he knew the Bush campaign would use in an ad eventually, McCurry said, and the fact that they fired it now shows that they're worried, that they think Kerry is narrowing the gap with Bush. I wasn't sure whether McCurry actually believed this or if he just wanted to put the ad in the best possible light for the Democrats. But Sunday's Washington Post made me suspect that the Bush campaign really does think things are going poorly right now. Why? Because Republicans are starting to make preposterously overconfident predictions of a Bush landslide.

    National polls show that the presidential race has gotten closer since the Republican Convention. A Bloomberg News report Monday noted that five national polls have Bush up by 4 points or less. The Republican reaction to this tightening was to announce to the Post that Bush is thinking about campaigning in Washington state and New Jersey—states that any winning Democrat should carry handily—to "expand a potential victory well beyond the states he won in 2000."

    It's well-known that Karl Rove believes that swing voters like to vote for the winner. Therefore, one of the central political strategies for Bush has been to create an "aura of inevitability" that, theoretically, will bring people to his side. If everyone believes you're a political juggernaut, the theory goes, then you will become a political juggernaut.

    The worse things get for Bush, the more likely his aides are to declare that he is invincible. The Bushies are starting to sound like Baghdad Bob, trumpeting a decisive victory for Saddam Hussein as the American military zooms into Iraq's capital city. Whenever Bush is in trouble, someone—usually Rove—declares that things are going just swimmingly. The most memorable example of this was Bush's 2000 campaign trip to California to make it look like his election was going to be a walk even though polls showed that the race was a toss-up. Bush also took a day off from campaigning as a sign of confidence in his impending landslide. On Election Day, of course, Al Gore won more votes than Bush did, and eventually Bush won the presidency with only one more electoral vote than he needed to take office.

    But there are other, less notable examples. Bush stuck with the same strategy during the 2000 primaries. In January of that year, as John McCain looked to be mounting a serious challenge to Bush's nomination, Rove told the Austin American-Statesman that "Bush is entering the 2000 election season in a stronger position than any candidate in the history of an open presidential race on the Republican side." A month later, Bush lost by 18 points to McCain in New Hampshire. The concept of "inevitability" was so central to Bush's campaign strategy that Dana Milbank wrote a piece in the Washington Post after New Hampshire that was titled, "If Bush Is No Longer Inevitable, What Is He?"

    In September 2000, a little more than four years ago, Rove told Ken Herman of the Austin American-Statesman the same thing that the Bush campaign is telling reporters now: "The neat thing is we are fighting on [Gore's] territory rather than him fighting on ours." Rove told Herman that Bush had a shot in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa, too, just as the Bush campaign is declaring now. Granted, Bush did have a shot, and the races were close, but Gore took all three of those states. (Rove did predict to Herman that Bush would take West Virginia and Missouri.)

    During a conference call earlier this month, senior Kerry adviser Joe Lockhart told campaign reporters that with regard to states like Illinois, New Jersey, and New York, "what we do will indicate our level of concern." And until now, the Kerry campaign has not done much in those states. But John Edwards is holding a rally Tuesday in Newark, N.J. That doesn't mean Democrats should start panicking, but it's worth remembering that although Bush's victories in the 2000 primaries and general election weren't inevitable, it's still true that he did win them.


                 







    A few things to post about. Firstly, I made a card for Andrew's dad for Father's Day. I started with a plain pearlescent gold card then added a base layer. This was coloured by using a whole range of inks swirled about on the card then I added sprays of Glitz Spritz, which dry to a wonderful coloured metallic sheen. Then on top I layered another image, a stamp which i bought up in London of an old doorway, surrounded by ancient script - this was stamped in a Distress Ink and then covered in Sepia Accents and allowed to dry before trimming and mounting. Finally, I added some organza ribbon, which I coloured using an ink pad, then tied the knot while incorporating a beautiful chipboard key, in keeping with the medieval theme.
    For Basil's birthday, next week (Basil is married to Claire, Andrew's sister), I started with a deep brown square card. I layered a smaller piece of K & Co patterned brown paper, then got to work on a smaller square piece of white card. Basil is a keen bird watcher, so I used a bird/branch mask (again,bought in London recently) and then worked various soft green and amber inks in random swooshy patterns. I sprayed with Glitz Spritz then removed the masks before applying the heat gun to dry the card. Once dry, I stamped various botanical stamps across the base using assorted Distress inks - I wanted to give the effect of viewing the bird on the branch through fronds of vegetation. Finally I added a birthday greeting.
    Basil and Claire's wedding anniversary is just before Basil's birthday so I made a card for them. I took an A5 card (landscape format) and applied some beautiful glittered paper from the last Docrafts goody bag, featuring roses and butterflies. Then I used my diecutter to cut some squares of co-ordinating papers and layered these on the card. Then I stamped an image of roses (the stamp courtesy of the goody bag) twice using Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink. On the base image, I cut round the stamped card and coloured in the leaves using metallic pencils, then cut the roses from the second stamped image and coloured these, before layering them up on the first image. Then I applied Sepia Accents to the roses, this strengthening the colour and transparent Glossy Accents to the leaves. Once dry, I added a small message on the left of the image - I am really pleased with this and thinks it looks lovely and hope the recipients like it.
    Finally, one of Claire and Basil's sons was born on their wedding anniversary! So it's always a busy week for them with three celebrations going on. I made a card for Alex, starting with a sunny yellow square base card with an attractive zig zag edging. This was layered with an orange paper, then on a piece of white card I added a gorgeous stamped image of four adorable little hedgehogs. I coloured these using a combination of gel pens, pencils and some Stickles and edged the card with some Distress Inks. Finally I added a bow at the bottom and a birthday message. All in all, I was very pleased with the way all the cards turned out.

              Re: What happened to the Fozioli black-key thread?   
    I occasionally encounter deleted posts on other sites I visit that tend to be more contentious, and consequently the moderating more (...)


              Kevin Durant Responds to Chris Paul Trade to Rockets with Emojis on Twitter   

    Kevin Durant apparently doesn't think much about his newest competition in the Western Conference.

    As Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey announced on Twitter, the franchise acquired perennial All-Star point guard Chris Paul on Wednesday, making last season's No. 3 seed a legitimate contender to beat the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors.                 

    Based on this response on Twitter, Durant doesn't seem to take the threat seriously:

    Considering the Warriors went 16-1 in the 2017 postseason, it will take a lot for any team to beat this group.

                         

    This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

    Get the best sports content from the web and social in the new B/R app. Get the app and get the game.

    Read more NBA Pacific news on BleacherReport.com


              Medewerker Bediening (PT) - Europa Hotel Scheveningen - Zuid-Holland   
    Je rapporteert aan de 1e Medewerker Bediening en wordt in verschillende diensten ingedeeld. Werken in een fantastisch restaurant met een fantastisch product....
    Van Bilderberg - Wed, 21 Jun 2017 10:26:49 GMT - Toon alle vacatures in Zuid-Holland
              Great Expectations   

    PHILADELPHIA—On the Kerry plane Thursday, reporters asked Mike McCurry why the campaign agreed to make the foreign-policy debate first, as the Bush campaign wanted, instead of third, as the Commission on Presidential Debates had scheduled it. "You know, we have to take anything like that and turn it into an opportunity," McCurry said. So, you see it as an opportunity? Not quite: "I'm supposed to lower expectations, not raise them."

    Maybe McCurry should tell the candidate. I counted six times this week that Kerry raised his debate expectations by disparaging President Bush's intelligence or knowledge, seven if you count a comment made by Sen. Joe Biden during a Friday rally here. During his Monday night appearance on David Letterman, Kerry said that during the debates, "George Bush is gonna sit on Dick Cheney's lap," an apparent reference to the widespread Democratic belief that the vice president is the ventriloquist/puppeteer and Bush is the dummy. (At least, I hope that was the reference.) On Tuesday's Live With Regis & Kelly, Kerry said of the just-concluded debate negotiations, "The big hang-up was George Bush wanted a lifeline where he could call," an allusion to Regis Philbin's Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? game show. That night in Orlando, Kerry said that President Bush says he would have gone to war "even if he knew there was no connection of al-Qaida and Sept. 11 and Iraq—which we knew, but even if he knew that." In Columbus on Thursday, Kerry mocked Bush's claim that the CIA was "just guessing" about Iraq in its National Intelligence Estimate by implying that the president didn't understand the nature of the report and hadn't looked at it: "It's called an analysis. And the president ought to read it, and he ought to study it, and he ought to respond to it." On Friday on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania *, Biden compared the two candidates for president by saying, "John Kerry understands and has actually read history." Earlier that morning, during Kerry's war-on-terror speech at Temple University, Kerry noted that the president agreed to testify before the 9/11 commission "only with Vice President Cheney at his side," and he ridiculed Republican claims that a new president wouldn't be able to get more allies involved in Iraq and the war on terror by saying, "I have news for President Bush: Just because you can't do something doesn't mean it can't be done."

    Good lines all—well, except the sitting-in-Cheney's lap one. But was this the week to trot out the Bush-is-an-idiot-controlled-by-Cheney meme? I thought the campaigns were supposed to talk up their opponents before the debates, not deride them. Kerry is Cicero and Bush is Rocky Marciano, the man who has never lost.

    Other than this minor misstep in the expectations game, however, Kerry set himself up well this week for Thursday's debate, which will be the most decisive event in the presidential campaign so far. The foreign-policy debate deserves to go first, because this is a foreign-policy election. At Kerry's town halls, even the ones that are supposed to be about health care or Social Security or the economy, the majority of voters ask him questions about Iraq. Here's one way to think about next week's face-off: Bush and Kerry are running for leader of the free world, not just president of the United States, and both candidates want to cast themselves as a global Abraham Lincoln while defining their opponent as an international version of John C. Calhoun.

    Bush lays claim to the mantle of Lincoln the Emancipator: Like the 16th president, Bush believes that individual liberty trumps state sovereignty (the international version of states' rights). Sure, Saddam Hussein was sovereign, but he was a tyrant and a menace to his people, Bush says, so America's invasion was a just one. Kofi Annan says Bush's invasion of Iraq was a violation of international law, but Bush appeals to a higher law that says that some laws and some rulers are illegitimate. Bush laid out his Lincolnesque doctrine of liberty over sovereignty in his acceptance speech at the Republican convention: "Our nation's founding commitment is still our deepest commitment: In our world, and here at home, we will extend the frontiers of freedom." Bush wants to paint Kerry as a global Calhoun, a man who prefers French sovereignty to Iraqi freedom.

    Kerry, on the other hand, casts himself as Lincoln the preserver of the Union (while at the same time questioning Bush's competence and highlighting the disparity between the president's "fantasy world" ideals and the "world of reality" on the ground). I don't want to overstate this, because the Republican caricature of Kerry as a one-worlder who would let France exert a veto over American security is inaccurate. But Kerry clearly believes in the international structures and institutions that have been created since World War II, and he sees Bush, shall we say, nullifying them. In this version of the story, it's Bush who is Calhoun, the man who would elevate the shortsighted rights of his state over the compact that every state has entered to promote the greater good.

    This analogy, like all historical analogies, is flawed in many ways. It may be particularly unfair to Kerry, who on the stump talks about relying on allies out of pragmatism rather than idealism. But it gets at the factor that I think will determine the winner of next week's debate: Which candidate will be able to present himself as the internationalist and his opponent as the isolationist? Bush says Kerry would turn his back on the people of the world who suffer under tyranny. Kerry says Bush has already turned his back on the world and has replaced dictatorship in Iraq with chaos, not the freedom he claims.

    It will be an uphill battle for Kerry. So far, he's been successful at pointing out the flaws in Bush's policies, but he hasn't convinced enough people that President Kerry's policies would be any better. And Bush's bounce out of the Republican convention showed how attractive the president's principles, if not his policies, are.

    In July, voters seemed to have decided that they'd like to get rid of Bush. But when they turned their attention to his potential replacement, they were disappointed by what they discovered. The Republican convention exploited that disappointment, and now there are more undecided voters than ever—because voters found out they don't like either guy.

    Bush lost the incumbent's referendum, then Kerry lost the one on the challenger. Now we don't know what we want. That's why Thursday will be so critical. For Kerry to win, he needs to argue successfully that liberty and the international order, like strength and wisdom, are not opposing values.

    Correction, Sept. 27, 2004: This article originally said that Biden spoke at the University of Philadelphia. He spoke at the University of Pennsylvania. (Return to corrected sentence.)


                 










    It's a friend's birthday tomorrow, and we went down to see her today and have a joint hound walk, followed by a relaxing pub lunch. I made her a birthday card. I took an A5 base card in plain white, and topped it off with a pretty design from a recent Docrafts goody bag, then that in turn was topped with a delicate lacey felt butterfly. I added a row of self adhesive flowers in a co-ordinating shade of purple and some paper flowers, then applied copious quantities of glitter glue in various shades to the butterfly and the layered flowers. Finally, a sparkly gem in the centre of the flower, then it just needed to dry. Quite simple, but very attractive none the less.








    As a present, I had a little kit from K & Co, from their K-Ology range, which is a pretty little box, and inside you have an accordion book which is stuck down to the base of the box. The pictures show what I did, which was to fill the little pages with various pics of her beloved dogs, and out on assorted walks. I varied the shape and size of the pics, in some cases by chopping ruthlessly, in others by die-cutting into shapes. Various embellishments, stickers and so on were added where appropriate. I had fun making the little book, and I think she'll like it.

              Paul Pierce Reportedly Waived by Clippers After Previously Announcing Retirement   

    The Los Angeles Clippers reportedly waived longtime NBA forward Paul Pierce on Wednesday following his retirement after the 2016-17 season. 

    Shams Charania of The Vertical passed along the news. Brian Windhorst of ESPN previously reported Pierce was willing to extend his contract deadline if the Clippers wanted an opportunity to move his salary as part of a potential trade.

     

    This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

    Get the best sports content from the web and social in the new B/R app. Get the app and get the game.

    Read more NBA Pacific news on BleacherReport.com


              Long Live McCurry!   

    PHILADELPHIA—"Long live McCurry," wrote the Boston Globe's Glen Johnson in a Tuesday pool report, distributed to the members of the traveling press corps who hunt the elusive Senatorus massachusetts. The occasion for this joyous outburst: John Kerry responded to a question, and the press credits Mike McCurry, the former Clinton press secretary and now the "adult on the plane" for the Kerry campaign, with making the Democratic nominee more accessible. "Will transcribe, but nothing earth-shaking," Johnson wrote. "At least he stopped to answer, though. Long live McCurry …"

    McCurry denies that he's responsible for the shift and credits communications director Stephanie Cutter for pushing for more accessibility long before he arrived last week. Either way, the reporters don't care. We were just happy Thursday that Kerry was answering questions again. He did it twice this time, very quickly on the tarmac here with unified middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins and earlier in a more formal environment in Columbus, Ohio. Of Hopkins, Kerry said, "He was giving me tips. He told me exactly how to do it over the next days." Hopkins said, "Exactly, the left hands, the jabs, the whole nine yards." The Globe's Johnson asked, "So you're coming from the left, sir?" Kerry: "I'm not telling you where I'm coming from. That's the secret, right?" Hopkins: "That's right. You don't tell everyone, especially the opponent." For the record, Hopkins has successfully defended his title 19 times, which beats Bob Shrum's 0-7 mark.

    In Columbus, Kerry took only three questions, but again, we're not complaining. ABC's Dan Harris asked: "You criticized, to the AP, the president for 'retreating,' I believe was your word, from Fallujah. Given the situation on the ground in Fallujah when there was an offensive there, when there was a rising civilian death toll, a rising criticism among Arab media for our actions there, what would you have done differently?"

    Kerry responded in what was almost a reproachful tone, complaining about how "you people judge me" and how his policies "would have prevented Fallujah." Here's his response in full: "Let me tell you, I've said many times, I wouldn't have just done one thing differently in Iraq, I would have done almost everything differently. And when you people judge me, and the American people judge me on this, I want you to judge me on the full record. I stood in Fulton, Mo., and I gave the president advice about what he needed to do. He didn't take it. I stood at Georgetown University a year and a half ago, and I gave the president advice about what he needed to do. He didn't take it. I stood on the floor of the Senate and gave him advice about what he needed to do. He didn't take it. I've laid out a whole series of things I would have done that would have prevented Fallujah. Let me tell you, if the 4th Infantry Division and the diplomacy had been done with Turkey, you wouldn't have had a Fallujah. This president rushed to war, without a plan to win the peace. And ask the military leaders. Go ask the military leaders. General Shinseki told this country how many troops we'd need. The president retired him early for telling the truth. That's why you have Fallujah. That's why you have a mess in Iraq. And that's not the kind of leadership this nation deserves."

    As for McCurry, I had dinner with him Thursday night. Here are some quick takeaways from our conversation:

    —He's concerned that the message-masters at the Bush campaign, such as Nicolle Devenish and Mark McKinnon, have a better understanding of the Internet and nontraditional media than the Kerry campaign. The slow response to the Swift boat ads was a sign of that, a lack of awareness that voters can acquire information from places other than newspapers and the nightly news.

    —John Glenn told Kerry Thursday not to worry about the polls that show Bush opening a big lead in Ohio, McCurry said. That always happens around this time, Glenn said, and the mistake people make is to write off the state because of it, as Gore did. McCurry said Glenn persuaded Clinton to remain in Ohio after a similar spike in the polls in 1992, and Clinton carried the state.

    —Why are the polls showing an increase in undecided voters? One theory: Soft Republican supporters and soft Democratic supporters are highly volatile this campaign, and the conventions made them "more inchoate." The Republicans are mostly pro-choice moderates who are wondering whether Bush is really compassionate, and the Democrats are moderates who are wondering whether Kerry is really a New Democrat.

    —The windsurfing ad that the Bush campaign is running against Kerry is an attempt to be this year's "Dukakis in the tank" spot. McCurry thinks the Kerry campaign neutralized it with their quickly assembled response ad, though it's not over yet.

    —McCurry would like Kerry to talk more about abortion, about how he struggles with it because of his Catholic faith. He thinks Kerry needs to come up with a "safe, legal, and rare"-type formula that assures anti-abortion swing voters that he understands their moral concerns and isn't dismissive of them.

    —McCurry has never been a big believer in the role of advertising or get-out-the-vote drives in presidential campaigns, though he's acquired a new respect for GOTV after 2000 and 2002. He thinks presidential races come down to whether the candidate can make the sale on the stump. You can't, after all, run TV ads that are completely different from what voters are seeing on the news.

    Which leaves the obvious question: Can Kerry make the sale? That was where the race stood before the Democratic Convention in July, and that's where it remains two months later. Kerry hasn't shown he can do it yet. He's got 40 days.


              Lakers News: David Nwaba's $1.3 Million Contract Exercised by LA   

    The Los Angeles Lakers announced Wednesday they exercised their 2017-18 option for David Nwaba.

    According to SpotracNwaba will earn a little over $1.3 million next year.

    In 20 games for the Lakers last season, he averaged 6.0 points and 3.2 rebounds. The 24-year-old spent most of his season with the Los Angeles D-Fenders in what is now the NBA G League. He appeared in 40 games, averaging 14.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks.

    Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus thought picking up Nwaba's option was the smart option for Los Angeles:

    Nick Young declined his player option with the Lakers earlier this month. Assuming Young isn't a part of the Lakers in 2017-18, Nwaba will provide nice depth at shooting guard behind Jordan Clarkson, and given his age, he can position himself as part of the franchise's long-term plans.

    Read more NBA Pacific news on BleacherReport.com


                 







    Today, I finished a scrapbook project and an accompanying card. The scrapbook is a 12 x 12 size, and was part of a kit I ordered at a substantial discount from the Docrafts website some time ago. It came with the album, a paper pad, some letters, some diecut printed squares and some pretty chipboard message shapes. Last autumn, one of our very good friends came up from Plymouth and we had a fabulous weekend. I took loads of photos and decided to use the album as a reminder of a wonderful few days.

    You can see the album cover, and a few sample pages. I love these bright cheerful florals, spots and stripes - very zingy and uplifting. Of course, with the letters, I very quickly found that I had used up all the vowels and was left with a pile of Z's, Q's and so - it was a bit like playing Scrabble. As usual, I had ordered the prints used from Photobox - I know I keep praising them, but in fairness, I never cease to be impressed by their service, which is very cheap, incredibly fast and good quality.
    To go with it, I made a pretty card from a Kanban kit I ordered from QVC about a month ago. One of the reasons I haven't posted much lately is that I've been very busy making lots of cards for the greyhound charity - they have opened a new shop down in Burry Port and I wanted to make sure they had a good stock to get them under way. As part of that exercise I bought this little kit which has been a delight to work with, with lots of really gorgeous shapes and papers to make very simple but attractive cards very quickly, which is just what you want when making in bulk for the shop. I loved the message - "Happiness is Handmade" seemed so appropriate and perfect on a card to accompany this type of gift. After putting some background paper on the blank card, I added and layered the die cut hearts and butterfly, then finished with an organza ribbon and some little adhesive gems.
    I photographed the scrapbook on our stripped and not yet made bed and as you can see I was joined by a hound who, as usual, was determined to ensure he was at the heart of any action. I've lost count of the number of photos I have taken which have bits of tail, ear, or furry rump in the corner. So, for your delectation and delight, Andy is included in what should be a strictly crafting blog. But, hey, it's my blog, and I'm going to break the rules!! Lots more greyhound stuff over on my other blog.
    Now that the big run of card making is done, I should be able to resume normal service with posts coming a lot more frequently.

              Building CORBA applications with Delphi 2005 and Janeva 6.5 - Part 2 - by Pawe&#322 G&#322owacki   
    none
              Ill Communication   

    WEST PALM BEACH, FLA.—"It's actually getting better," John Kerry says, but his voice cracks like an adolescent on "better," making the Democratic nominee for president of the United States sound like Peter Brady in the episode where his voice changes. The timing provokes good-natured laughter from the crowd. "Do you want some Tylenol?" a woman had called out, just moments before. Kerry's sick, and he's losing his voice. At times, he sounds like he can hardly get his words out. 

    He gamely soldiers through the town hall, his only event on Wednesday's schedule, but not long after it's over, his campaign announces that he's taking most of Thursday off. John Edwards is called in from the bullpen to attend two events Kerry had scheduled in Iowa, one in Davenport and one in Cedar Rapids, and Kerry cancels an event he had planned to hold in Columbus, Ohio. The press is getting ready to shift from its "Kerry is staggering" storyline to a "Kerry is surging" one, and the last thing his increasingly competent campaign needs is for the candidate to show up with laryngitis at the first presidential debate next week in Miami.

    The Sept. 30 face-off is so important that Kerry plans to be "down," as campaign lingo has it, all next week, practicing and preparing for his showdown with President Bush. But before disappearing, Kerry tried out some new rhetoric late Tuesday night in Orlando and then Wednesday here. Perhaps the funniest line Kerry trots out is one about Bush's promise of middle-class "tax relief." "He gave you relief," Kerry says, "kind of like the sort of relief you get when someone comes into your home and relieves you of your TV set. You know, we've been relieved of 1.6 million jobs. Half a million kids have been relieved of child care." He concludes, "And I think it's time we relieve George Bush of his responsibilities." The crowd inside the TD Waterhouse Center—the home of the Orlando Predators, winners of Arena Bowl XIV, according to a banner in the rafters—goes nuts.

    But the line that Kerry wants to emphasize, and that he returns to the next day, is one of the president's. Kerry introduces this ersatz Bushism in Orlando by saying, "This is the president of the United States today, standing in New York City, where he was answering questions about Iraq and about his speech to the United Nations." Kerry pulls out a piece of paper to read and says, "Quote, 'The CIA laid out, ah'"—pause here for laughter and a huge, screaming ovation—"I just want you to know, I'm quotin'," Kerry says. "'The CIA laid out, a—several scenarios and said, life could be lousy, life could be OK, life could be better. And they were just guessing"—pause, and more laughter—"as to what the conditions might be like.'" Kerry then asks, "Ladies and gentleman, does that make you feel safer? Does that give you confidence in this president, knows what he's talking about? The CIA was 'just guessing.' This president ought to be turning that CIA over, upside down, if that's all they were doing."

    Kerry returns to this theme Wednesday. He drops the "tax relief" line—in fact, the best one-liner comes from the crowd, from a man who shouts of President Bush after hearing Kerry's riff on Social Security, "We ought to privatize him!"—but he goes back to "just guessing." Kerry alters the meaning of Bush's statement slightly, but the gist is the same: "Yesterday, George Bush said he was just guessing on the intelligence estimates about conditions in Iraq. Now, George Bush's guesswork on privatizing Social Security is gonna cost $2 trillion. The president should stop guessing about Iraq, about Social Security."

    Was this "guesswork" line going to be Thursday's message, too? Would Kerry have succeeded at connecting Bush's own words to the Kerry campaign's new "fantasy" vs. "reality" critique? (On Wednesday, Kerry says, "Yesterday, I was in Orlando, next to Fantasyland. The difference between me and George Bush is I drove by it. He lives in it.") The world may never know. Instead, in Columbus, Ohio, where Kerry spent the night, reporters joked about their stories for Thursday's empty day: "Today, John Kerry nurses a cold in the battleground state of Ohio…"


                 
    As the previous post was quite long, I decided to do a fresh post. On Tuesday, QVC had one of their regular Craft Days. Sometimes these are good value (like the aforementioned BP kit) and sometimes they are just fun to dip into and get ideas. This time though I was committed to watching quite avidly as Tim Holtz was appearing, having travelled over from the USA. Tim is an inspirational crafter and with Ranger, is responsible for a range of goodies including alcohol inks, distress inks and all sorts of other great kit, in fabulous colours. He's particularly well known for his "grunge" look but to be fair, many of his techniques and products can be used/enjoyed by any crafter who enjoys messy play. During the craft day they had a selection of goodies from Ranger that were tempting, and as the prices were good, I succumbed. I ordered a selection of 12 Stickles, a fabulous glitter glue in amazing colours which never clogs, drips or spurts. I also ordered a pack which included 3 different Distress Metallic Crackle Paint and matching Distress Stickles. Plus the TSV, which was Tim's new book, bundled with an assortment of goodies, including several products that I had seen before but never actually tried, so figured that now was the time to take the plunge. Previously, when Ranger stuff has been stocked, they've sold out very quickly, so I waited up until midnight on Monday, then ordered via the web, to be sure of getting what I wanted.
    The rest of the craft day went well, as I was relaxed about having my purchases safely bagged, and could enjoy the various demos including lots with Tim and his new book. Fast forward, and on Thursday morning, the first of my parcels arrived. QVC do not bag up separate items - they always deliver them in separate packages - I was very impressed with the speed of delivery and sure enough when I opened it, it was a stack of goodies. The new book is brilliant - loads of tips, techniques and ideas, all very inspiring, both for browsing and for detailed technique following. For instance, I didn't know you could use alcohol inks to colour metal charms, so tried out this on a butterfly charm and it seems to have worked brilliantly.
    On Saturday, we went out for lunch with my great aunt, leaving the dogs in the house. The postman pushed through the letterbox, two Jiffy Bags with the remaining items while we were out, and Andy decided to do what he does sometimes, and attack the post. We are actually in the process of sourcing a mailbox to affix to the side of the house, as we quite often have letters with teeth marks, rips and so on. Anyway, his teeth punctured a pot of Antique Silver Distress Crackle Paint, so when we came home, the hall was a picture. Piles of ripped and munched post, with paint everywhere, including all over the criminal, and a selection of doggy footprints in Antique Silver on the wooden floor, paint all over the hall rug, and worse of all, paint all over the sofa in the living room, which has loose covers. Clearly, having had a good munch, he decided to go and have a lie down on the sofa and rest after all the excitement.
    My feelings were very mixed, to say the least. A combination of laughter (it really did look ridicolous), annoyance at my paint being wasted, and worry over the dog being poisoned by the paint, plus concern over clearing up the mess. We managed to find the pot, and reassuringly it had NON TOXIC written boldly in big letters - did this apply to greyhounds, we wondered? The criminal was bouncing round quite happily when we got home, so it obviously was not a fast acting poison (if at all) so we decided to focus on cleaning up. The hall rug is a complete write off but as it was a very cheap one from Ikea, we are not too worried about that. We stripped off the loose covers from the sofa, and immediately washed them, and worked on the floor - fortunately that came clean immediately. The guilty dog was covered in dried paint on his legs - we've now started calling him Twinkletoes since there have been no ill effects. Unfortunately, however, the paint has not come out from the sofa fabric, so we now need to check our insurance policy to see if it is worth making a claim.
    Today, I've been playing with my new purchases, very happily. Andrew and Twinkletoes went for a run together this afternoon, and enjoyed themselves. I'll probably post more pics as projects get finished. All I can say is that I've started work on a little chipboard book, and am having lots of fun, involving paints, squirts, sprays, rubs, stamps and general fun.

              Kerry Answers Questions!   

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—John Kerry emitted an exasperated sigh. The last time he held a press conference, on Aug. 9, he confused everyone by saying he would have voted for the congressional resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq even if he had known that Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction. Now, six weeks later, the press still doesn't understand his position on the war. At least, they keep asking about it.

    Kerry took 11 questions Tuesday. Ten were about Iraq, and eight of those 10 were requests for Kerry to clarify his position. Question No. 1: President Bush says you think the world would be better off if Saddam Hussein were still in power. Is that right? No. 3: Are you responsible for the fact that many people are confused about your position on the war? No. 4: Can you explain your support for the congressional resolution on the use of force? No. 5: How do you square the fact that you believe the world is better off with Saddam out of power with your statement to David Letterman that you wouldn't have gone to war with Iraq? No. 6: You didn't answer the earlier question. Are you responsible for the fact that people can't figure out your position? No. 8, the one that led to the frustrated noise: The president appealed to the United Nations today. How is what you're suggesting any different from what the president is doing? No. 9: If presidents deserve to be able to go to the United Nations with the leverage of congressional authority to use force, why did you vote against the 1991 war with Iraq?

    Maybe Kerry wished he was back on Live with Regis & Kelly that morning, when the questions had been easier: You're very handsome, Senator. How do you stay in shape? Do you have a routine? Don't you think that Tom Cruise could play John Edwards in the movie? Who would play you? (Kerry's answer: "I don't have any idea." Kelly Ripa interjected, "Harrison Ford.")

    But this time during the press conference, unlike the one in August, Kerry's doesn't let himself get sucked into the Green Eggs & Iraq (Do you like it on a train? Would you like it on a plane?) discussion that the Bush campaign loves to goad him into. Instead, he sticks to his change vs. more-of-the-same script: "The president wants to shift the topic, and I'm not going to let him shift the topic," Kerry says. "This is about President Bush, and his decisions, and his choices, and his unwillingness as I said in my speech yesterday to live in a world of reality." Kerry uses that phrase, "world of reality," four times. In all, he uses the world "reality" or "realities" (as in, the "realities on the ground") 10 times. "The president keeps wanting to debate fiction, or hypotheticals, rather than debate the reality of what's on the ground," Kerry says. "The president has not denied one of the facts that I laid out yesterday" in a speech in New York.

    The reason so many people are confused about his position, Kerry says, is because they interpret his vote, incorrectly, as "a vote to go to war." "It wasn't a vote to go that day. It was a vote to go through a process," to give the president leverage at the United Nations and to get the inspectors back into Iraq. Kerry emphasizes on several occasions that he's been consistent on this point. "I said so all along," he says, sounding irritated. "Every one of you throughout this knows I have said there's a right way to do this and a wrong way to do this, and the president every step of the way has chosen the wrong way."

    Kerry's right on this one. From the beginning, he's been consistent, if complicated, on the meaning of his 2002 vote. The Boston Globe's Kerry book quotes his mouthful from the Senate floor: "The vote that I will give to the president is for one reason and one reason only, to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction if we cannot accomplish that objective through new, tough weapons inspections in joint conference with our allies." Kerry added of President Bush, "I expect him to fulfill the commitments he has made to the American people in recent days—to work with the United Nations Security Council ... and to 'act with our allies at our side' if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force.' " Four days later, Kerry said, "What's happened is every single member of the United States Senate moved to take it to the U.N. with a willingness to enforce through the United Nations if that is the will of the international community. ... There is no justification whatsoever for sending Americans for the first time in American history as the belligerent, as the initiator of it, as a matter of first instance, without a showing of an imminent threat to our country." Walter Shapiro's chronicle of the early stages of the 2004 campaign, One-Car Caravan, confirms this point. Shapiro hears Kerry say in October 2002, "My vote was cast in a way that made it very clear, Mr. President, I'm voting for you to do what you said you're going to do, which is to go through the U.N. and do this through an international process. If you go unilaterally, without having exhausted these remedies, I'm not supporting you. And if you decide that this is just a matter of straight pre-emptive doctrine for regime-change purposes without regard to the imminence of the threat, I'm not going to support you."

    Disagree with Kerry's reasoning if you want, call him ambivalent or even unclear, but you can't say that he's been inconsistent or that he flip-flopped. Kerry is wrong, however, that his 2002 vote doesn't contradict his 1991 vote. The first time around, Kerry expressly criticized the justification he would use 12 years later, calling it "dangerous" and "flawed." In 1991, Kerry said, taking the quote again from the Globe book, "This is not a vote about sending a message. It is a vote about war." Kerry could explain his change of heart fairly easily (for example, 9/11 changed everything, didn't it?), but instead he takes the Bushian stance of denying the "world of reality." During a long, confusing, and unconvincing explanation of how the rationale for his 1991 vote is consistent with the rationale for his 2002 vote, Kerry eventually stops himself and remembers his script: "That's not the debate. That's the debate the president wants to have now. The debate now is whether or not you have a plan to win, and whether or not you are facing the realities on the ground in Iraq." Back on message.

    Kerry has emerged with a message that makes sense before. His problem is his inability to just pick one and stick with it. If he can hang on to this one for nine days, he might get out of the first debate alive.


                 







    Quite a bit to update on, some of it overlapping with my other blog. Firstly, I've completed a scrapbook of our trip over to Germany just before Christmas. I had wanted to go for a long time and we had a great time, just doing a long weekend. I took pics and wrote about it in my main blog, but had decided it would make a lovely subject for a scrapbook. I ordered prints using my credits from Photobox (they are an excellent company), they arrived in the New Year, and I've been waiting for the right moment to get started.


    I may have previously mentioned two bottomless Brenda Pinnick kits I bought from QVC about two or three years ago, one Christmas themed, the other more general. Using the general box, I decided to use the 12 x 12 scrapbook. There were lots and lots of matching papers, in various sizes, plus a panoply of brads, ribbons, chipboard shapes and letters, stickers, alphabets and die cut cardboard shapes. Getting it all out meant making a huge mess in the craft room, so once I started on it, I kept going rather than swapping between different activities as I do more often. Having been lavish with the papers and embellishments, I appear to have made no identifiable difference to the box, and in fact when finished, struggled to get it all back in. I also used some papers that I bought a while back for Sarah's 18th - a DCWV stack called "Once upon a Time". The fairytale castles were actually very much like the ones on the Rhine, along with the medieval buildings and general feel, so in some cases these papers were used instead. Along with the photos, I included other mementoes such as our tickets, luggage labels, itinerary, beer mats and so on. I attach some pics of the scrapbook, and a couple of the pages.


    Boola, our recently adopted greyhound, celebrated his 10th birthday a couple of weeks ago. He got sent a fabulous card by our nephews (aged 10,8 and 6) featuring popup rabbits they had drawn. I made a card to send them to say thanks, featuring a photo of Boola, with a thought bubble coming out of the side. I layered it up on some paper scraps, added the photo and bubble with foam tape, then rubbed over the top with Rock Candy Stickles. Next, I punched a hole and added a grommet, then threaded through some blue ribbon, with a chipboard star attached that I'd inked and glittered. Photo attached.

              日本ってどうあがいてもGoogle、Apple、Microsoft、Amazonに勝てなくね?   
    今のところ無理そう 1: 以下、\(^o^)/でVIPがお送りします 2017/06/28(水) 11:31:50.194 ID:HUgC3FzD0.net 日本が誇る日本企業ってなんだよ 9: 以下、\(^o^)/でV...
                 







    A combination of things to write about today. A little while ago, I ordered some papercrafting goodies from Cardcraft Plus, in particular some cardmaking supplies for the GRW shop. In their most recent catalogue there were two very pretty sets, one of a Oriental theme (lots of cherry blossom, pretty turquoise and delicate pinks, all with gold foiling) and the other was a very versatile set of butterfly themed papers and cards with a palette of chocolate browns, russets and caramels. Both included lots of die-cut, foiled toppers and labels - so plenty to make quick cards for the shop, but also enough to use as a base for a more creative afternoon.

    Anyway, this week I passed my ECDL and I'll be popping back in next week to say Thank you to my lovely tutor and to return the workbooks I was using. I'll probably also get her either a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates. So, I decided to make her a card using the new sets. After a bit of dithering over which set to use, I plumped for the chocolate butterflies and spread the cardstock over the bed to look at it and choose, before working here in the spare bedroom. Big mistake. While I was working away happily, Andy the greyhound decided to enter the bedroom at high speed, take a flying leap onto the bed and start chewing at the cardstock with great interest and curiosity. I quickly realised what he was doing, dashed in there and we had words. Much chastised, he skulked off in disgrace and I have been considering the damage. I won't now be able to make any A4 cards from the cardstock (unless teethmarks suddenly become an accessory) but with some trimming I'll be able to salvage most of the cards from the wreckage. After that excitement, here's the card pictured above.

    I started with a cream landscape A5 card, and covered it with a piece of the printed background paper in a a lovely chocolate brown. I affixed a Thank you message with foam pads and then pressed out and layered up a pretty decoupage series that came with the kit in a lovely russet brown. Next to this, I attached some more die cut butterflies and finished off with some adhesive gems on the butterflies and a pretty chocolate organza ribbon around the side of the card. And of course the moral of this story is that greyhounds and craft do not mix!

    On the fabric front, I have still not photographed my little bag, but will do so during the week. In the living room, we have a quilt over one of the sofas that I use for snuggling while watching TV or reading or stitching. You may remember I made it from a lovely Moda charm pack from the "At Water's Edge" range. Just after Christmas, Andrew announced (much to my surprise) that he wished to commission a similar quilt for his sofa and that I should proceed with its manufacture. So, at a recent visit to Busy Bees, I purchased a charm pack from Moda, this time in the Mill House Inn range - really pretty florals, in soft dusty pinks, spring greens, tan and some berry colours. My thinking was to make a similar quilt to the one I made for my friend Penny for Christmas, based on a nine patch square with sashing between. Anyway, yesterday afternoon I made up my nine patch blocks and summoned dear husband for an inspection. After looking at them for a bit, he has decided that the square is not going to be big enough and the quilt should be larger. So, I am going to get another charm pack of the same fabric and have an eight block quilt rather than a four block. Deep down I suspec this is so he can wrap up not only himself but any passing greyhound who happens to be sharing the sofa with him..

    I attach some pics of the made-up nine patch blocks completed so far - the colours are really pretty. What I haven't yet decided is whether to leave the blocks as they are or do what I did at Christmas and do the cutting and turning into quarters, making a more complex looking block. Decisions, decisions......

              Cheney's Burden   

    CORNWALL, PA.—Dick Cheney delivers a lecture, not a stump speech. He squats on a stool, buttons his too-tight jacket, and speaks for 10 minutes without drawing applause. During his entire discourse, which lasts nearly half an hour, the audience claps six times. Only once does Cheney pause ostentatiously, as politicians do, to signal to his listeners that a particular utterance merits their enthusiasm. George W. Bush, John Edwards, and John Kerry all say that this election is the most important in history, but only Cheney dares to make you believe it.

    Theoretically, Monday's town hall is about manufacturing, small businesses, and the economy. That's what all the introductory speakers talk about. But Cheney doesn't say a word on the subject. He talks terrorism, he talks Afghanistan, and he talks Iraq. After World War II, Cheney says, a bipartisan consensus created the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and other institutions, and those structures served the United States well for more than 40 years, until the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Now, the nation stands at "another of those moments in history," when policies and institutions will be crafted to deal with the national security issues of the next 30 to 50 years. And that, he says, is what this election is about: not four years but four decades.

    He makes the most compelling case possible for continuing with a flawed policy. Before 9/11, he says, the terrorists learned two lessons from how the United States responded to their multiple strikes: "They could strike the United States with relative impunity," and, "If they hit us hard enough, they could change our policy," as happened after the 1983 attack in Beirut and again in Mogadishu. That's why, Cheney insists, the nation must stay the course in Iraq. The strategy of terrorists is to use violence to force a change in U.S. policy. If that happens, "that's a victory for the terrorists."

    Kerry hasn't argued for a complete withdrawal from Iraq, of course, though Cheney certainly implies it. What really differentiates Cheney's position from Kerry's is how the two men approach the burden of proof for war: The Bush administration has shifted it from war to peace.

    That's what Cheney is saying, that the administration's current Iraq policies are the proper default position. Any change in policy—not just a complete withdrawal, but any "change"—must be weighed against the fear of emboldening al-Qaida. And at its heart, that's what the debate over going to war with Iraq has been about for two years. Those, like Kerry, who wanted to give the inspectors more time, or who wanted to bring more allies aboard before invading, believed that the burden of proof was on war, that an attacking nation must provide evidence of the justness of its decision. The administration argued the opposite, that Iraq needed to prove to the world that it didn't deserve to be invaded. The job of the inspectors, in this view, wasn't to find weapons of mass destruction but to prove a virtual impossibility, that Iraq didn't possess WMD. That was the lesson of 9/11, the administration said. We couldn't wait to find out whether Iraq had WMD. If we did, it might be too late.

    Based on his speech in New York on Monday, Kerry doesn't agree with that lesson. He says he voted for the war to give the president leverage in the United Nations. That way the inspectors could verify whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. But Kerry misunderstands the administration's position. They didn't want to prove the case for war. The only way to dissuade them would be if someone had proven the case for peace.

    Kerry did agree with one thing Cheney said: This debate isn't just about Iraq. Bush's policies are a "warning," Kerry said. If Bush is re-elected, "he will repeat, somewhere else, the same reckless mistakes."

    The question in front of voters in November: Do you think, for the next 30 to 50 years, that the nation needs to prove its case when it goes to war? Or do you think the world has changed so much that we should have to prove the case for peace?


              Why is a Necktie a Must-Buy Gift For Father's Day?   
    It is the time of the year when we express our deep love and high appreciation for all the things our fathers have done for us. What best way to express such recognition than to give a classic gift? Read on and see how neckties have been more than just a piece of clothing.
              Country Feedback   

    Although Democrats are complaining (still) about John Edwards' lack of bark, maybe it's too much to ask John Kerry's running mate to transform himself into Cujo for the next month and a half. It's not what he was hired to do. Dick Cheney is an attack dog, the kind whose growl frightens schoolchildren into crossing the street. Edwards is the smiling tail-wagger you take to the park so you can pick up members of the opposite sex (or the same sex, as the case may be). Kerry didn't select Edwards with the expectation that he would scare voters away from President Bush. He picked him to attract them to him.

    And not just any voters: Edwards is supposed to appeal to the rural voters that Al Gore lost overwhelmingly four years ago. Kerry's selection of Edwards as his vice presidential nominee will not be judged by whether the ticket carries Edwards' home state of North Carolina. Instead, the verdict will be determined by whether Edwards can bring at least some of the voters from the place that Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., calls " 'Merica."

    Kerry and Edwards don't need the support of the majority of the people in this Second America. They just need to close the gap, to not lose in Gore-like fashion. Before settling on Edwards, Kerry already had enough of the Democratic base, the city dwellers who will likely turn out in even greater numbers this year than they did in 2000. Picking Edwards was, in part, an attempt to offset the huge get-out-the-vote effort that Karl Rove and the Republicans plan in rural America. If Bush really is doing so well in the countryside that he has a shot at winning states like Minnesota and Wisconsin, then right now the Kerry-Edwards strategy isn't working.

    Far more frequently than Kerry, Edwards travels to rural regions and to parts of the country that Bush carried four years ago. On Thursday, Edwards was in Portsmouth, Ohio, in a county that Bush carried by 7 points. On Wednesday, he was in Parkersburg, W.Va., in a county that Bush carried by 22 points. The Saturday after the Republican Convention ended, he was in Waukesha, Wis., in a county that Bush carried by 33 points. Again, Kerry doesn't expect Edwards to win these counties. But he wants him to reduce those margins.

    Kerry, on the other hand, is far more likely to hold events in urban Democratic strongholds. On Tuesday and Wednesday, he held four events: one in Toledo, Ohio, in a county that Gore carried by 19 points; one in Madison, Wis., in a county that Gore carried by 28 points; one in Milwaukee, a city that went for Gore by 40 points; and one in Detroit, a city that Gore carried by 89 points.

    The normal order has been reversed. The Democratic nominee is the candidate expected to satisfy the base, while the running mate appeals to swing voters and independents. From Monday through Friday of this past week, Kerry went only once to a county that Bush won four years ago. During the same period, Edwards went to three counties won by Gore and four won by Bush.

    It's a strategy that makes sense, particularly in light of the appeal to moderates and independents that Edwards displayed during the primaries. That doesn't mean it will work. But on Nov. 3, Edwards will be judged not by how many places he turned blue but how many he made a paler red.


              elinbjorndahl on kommentoinut artikkelia Sunnuntai Korsholmin kansallisissa   
    Tällä hetkellä käytän Königs Sir-mallia ja Petrien Anky-mallia rinnakkain ja minun jalalle Königs sopii paremmin. Pidän myös erityisen paljon Sir mallista. Mountain horsen high rider saappaita käytin paljon kun ratsastin sisään Derechon ja Romanesque P:n ja silloin kun he olivat nuoria, koska pehmeämmillä saappailla saa pehmeämmän otteen nuorista hevosista.
              No, Really, It's About Vietnam   

    TORONTO—At its simplest, George Butler's pro-Kerry documentary Going Upriver is a powerful rebuttal of the errors—factual and moral—made by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. But the movie also tries, with limited success, to do something more ambitious: to argue implicitly that the current war in Iraq is directly analogous to the war in Vietnam, and that John Kerry's actions of 30-odd years ago really are the most important issue facing Americans in this election. Kerry was right then, the movie implies, which makes him right now.

    "You can't understand John unless you understand what Vietnam is to him," a voice—I think it's Max Cleland—declares during Going Upriver's opening moments. The answer to that mystery isn't entirely clear by the end of the film, but it's obvious what Vietnam symbolizes to George Butler: Iraq. Neil Sheehan, an author and historian (and former Vietnam correspondent) who gets a lot of screen time in the movie, is one of the first to make the implicit comparison between the mistakes of Vietnam and the mistakes in Iraq. "Everyone believed in the war at first," he says. Next, we see LBJ making the moral and humanitarian case for war, to "help the little nations" against the tyranny of larger aggressors. Butler doesn't connect the dots for the audience, but it's impossible to miss his drift.

    In another scene, we see video of a dead Vietnamese man while listening to Kerry's words about how the orders he is following are supposedly for the benefit of dead men like this one. Sheehan, the historian, makes the obvious parallel: "They were coming as liberators," but the Vietnamese resisted, no matter the cost, no matter how long it took. A veteran debating John O'Neill on the Dick Cavett Show says that opposing your government isn't the same as opposing your country, and that the war in Vietnam has nothing to do with democracy or freedom. "We're destroying ourselves as a nation," he says, instead of being the country that others want to emulate. Sound familiar?

    After Sheehan's "liberators" comment, the moment in the film with the most contemporary resonance is at the Winter Soldier hearings, when a soldier displays a photo of himself, grinning ear to ear, over a dead body. Other soldiers tell how they weren't given instructions in the Geneva Conventions or taught how to treat prisoners of war. One soldier says he was told to count POWs only after unloading them from a boat, never when boarding them, in case one or two didn't make it.

    There are reminders, at times, of how different the two wars are: The casualties in Vietnam were much higher, 1,500 dead and 8,000 wounded in the Tet Offensive alone. And Max Cleland says he felt betrayed by the occupant in the Oval Office, something I doubt many troops feel today (though active-duty military support for Bush isn't as high as it has been in recent years for Republicans). "Here we are, mid-assault, and the commander-in-chief turns his back on us," Cleland says of LBJ's decision not to run for re-election.

    But the film repeatedly emphasizes the youthful Kerry's statements about his lifetime opposition to war. We hear his letter to Julia Thorne after the death of his friend Dick Pershing, in which Kerry writes that if "I do nothing else in life," he will work to convince people that war (this war, or all war?) is a "wasteful expenditure." During the Vietnam Veterans Against the War march on Washington, Kerry declares that his protest is "not the struggle of one day" but of a lifetime, and that admitting a mistaken policy doesn't mean that America is a "craven, hollow place."

    What lessons has Kerry learned, though? When will he explain them to us? It's become a cliché to wonder what happened to the youthful Kerry, to the eloquent young man who risked his political viability to oppose a war out of principle. Just because Kerry opposed Vietnam doesn't mean he has to oppose the war in Iraq, of course, but the largely antiwar crowd at the premiere was stoked by Going Upriver into believing that. During the Q&A after the movie, one man stood and asked, if Kerry he opposed the war in Vietnam out of patriotism and love of country, why doesn't he do the same today? Chris Gregory, a former Army medic and VVAW member who appears in the movie and attended the premiere, objected and said, "It's a little too broad a brush" to say that Vietnam and Iraq are one and the same. "John is very focused on winning this job," Gregory said. "He wants to be right. But he wants to win more than he wants to be right."


              Reusing Win32 data modules in pure .NET applications   
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              Save on BYS 48 Shade Large Eyeshadow Palette with 2 double ended applicators   
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              Ansa on kommentoinut artikkelia Sunnuntai Korsholmin kansallisissa   
    Minkä merkkisiä nahkasaappaita käytät? Vuosien varrella olet varmaan kokeillut eri merkkejä, mistä on tullut suosikkisi? Itselläni on Königsit, mutta nyt on edessä uusien kisasaappaiden hankinta ja Petriet ovat alkaneet kiinnostaa.
              Kerry's New Movie   

    TORONTO—We're at the point in the campaign when we're supposed to wring our hands over the decline of politics, mourn the lack of coverage of "the issues," and decry the media's focus on personality and the horse race. But my guess is we're about to get mired in the muck of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth all over again. Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry, a new documentary by George Butler, hits theaters in the United States on Oct. 1. The film, which had its world premiere here Tuesday evening, is sure to land the Swifties in the news again. For one, the movie is based on Tour of Duty, the Douglas Brinkley hagiography that the Swift Boat vets say incited them to action in the first place.

    More important, Going Upriver seems designed to rebut, one by one, the three campaign ads put out by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth: one questioning Kerry's heroism during the war, one criticizing his antiwar testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and one condemning his decision to throw his ribbons over a fence in front of the Capitol during an antiwar demonstration. Butler re-edited his film in response to the Swift Boat ads, and he said after the premiere that the movie wasn't finished until Tuesday morning. On the matter of Kerry's conduct during the war itself, Butler has Kerry's "band of brothers" describe his actions on "Silver Star day," and Jim Rassman tells the story of how Kerry saved his life and won the Bronze Star in the process. In addition, numerous speakers talk about how dangerous commanding a Swift Boat was, and how deadly.

    On Kerry's Senate testimony, Butler shows the statements made by veterans at the "Winter Soldier" hearings in Detroit, where veterans confessed to committing atrocities during the war. Some of those claims have been disputed, but the Winter Soldier hearings were the basis for Kerry's statements about atrocities before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Butler shows veterans talking about shooting children and gang raping a woman in public. In the film, Kerry protests that he didn't personally see anyone chop off someone's head, but he believes that the U.S. government's policies in Vietnam—such as burning the homes of noncombatants, or creating "free-fire zones" in which all Vietnamese were deemed to be the enemy—were in violation of the laws of war.

    As for Kerry's tossing of his ribbons, Butler spends a long section of the film showing veterans angrily and defiantly hurling their medals toward the Capitol. The sources interviewed for Going Upriver discuss how "painful" the protest was, how it was "terribly difficult," "extremely hard," etc. Perhaps to dismiss the charge that Kerry's protest was somehow phony because he tossed his ribbons instead of his medals, a speaker points out that some veterans threw their medals, others threw their ribbons, and others tossed their citations or even the boxes that their medals came in. Kerry was almost the last man to stand before the microphone during the protest, and according to Tom Oliphant, he "kind of lobbed" his contribution over the fence and walked away.

    During this scene, Butler includes a photograph of Kerry shoving his ribbons through the fence that he left out of the film's companion book. The next shot is the one of a crumpled Kerry, being consoled by Julia Thorne. The demonstration was designed to illustrate that "the sacrifices that we went through were for nothing," says Bobby Muller, one of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. "That's the bitter pill, and I think that's the harder pill to take, frankly," than coming back and saying their service was necessary for the continuation of freedom and the American way. Throughout the film, Muller is Kerry's most effective advocate, the man who most persuasively argues that what Kerry did when he returned from the war was not just defensible but morally correct.

    Swift Boat Vet obsessives will note that there's nothing about the (unfair) criticism of Kerry's Purple Hearts or the fact that Kerry was likely in Cambodia in January or February instead of the previous Christmas. More important than those details, however, are Butler's other omissions. For example, in Tour of Duty Brinkley quotes some of Kerry's crewmates talking about their initial anger at Kerry when they learned he was leading antiwar demonstrations. Though they later came to understand his decision—and believe that he was right—at first they felt betrayed. Butler, however, shows only David Alston, who says he was glad to see Kerry speak out. On the other hand, Going Upriver is honest about something the Kerry campaign isn't: The film bothers to point out that when Kerry volunteered for Swift boat duty, he wasn't asking for one of the war's most dangerous jobs. At the time, the boats were engaged in coastal patrols, checking the papers of commercial fisherman.

    One more Swift Boat-related bit of news from the premiere: During the Q&A with Butler after the film was over, a member of the audience asked him why he didn't include anything about Christmas in Cambodia. Butler explained that it's very difficult to know whether Kerry was in Cambodia, then changed the subject to the lack of credibility of John O'Neill, the co-author of Unfit for Command. (O'Neill appears in Going Upriver when he is dredged up by Richard Nixon and Charles Colson to be a public-relations counterweight to Kerry and the VVAW.) O'Neill, Butler pointed out, denied ever being in Cambodia despite telling Nixon otherwise. But in the course of telling the story, Butler seemed to imply that he, or someone on his crew, leaked the tape of O'Neill's comment to the news media. "We found a Nixon White House tape," Butler began, before stopping himself. "Or, there is in existence a White House tape ..."


              The Foreign Wives Club   

    WASHINGTON—Teresa Heinz Kerry acknowledged Monday that she understands at least one of the reasons that many Americans aren't comfortable with the idea of her as first lady, or at least she came very close to acknowledging it: Many Americans are wary of her because they suspect she's not quite American—not un-American, just not exactly American either—and certainly not American enough to be first lady. In front of a luncheon sponsored by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Heinz Kerry said that some critics—she called them "my husband's critics"—have challenged her for talking about her experience as an immigrant who came to America from Africa "via Europe, where I studied." Critics say "my immigrant experience isn't representative," Heinz Kerry said. "That is such a revealing comment, because what it suggests is that they should get to decide who shares in the American dream and who doesn't. What it suggests is that the American dream doesn't belong to all of us, but only to some of us."

    Heinz Kerry ought to repeat that message everywhere she goes. She's one-fourth of what may be the most heavily accented ticket in American history (though Kennedy-Johnson could give them a run for their money), and fair or not, accents matter, especially in the mass-media age. George W. Bush speaks Spanish like an American, like Peggy Hill in King of the Hill. Teresa Heinz Kerry speaks English like a foreigner. Even her admirers are influenced by her accent. In the New York Observer last week, a Manhattan writer said Heinz Kerry was "a bit Zsa Zsa—you could see her slapping a cop." More important, you could hear her doing it, dahling.

    I've always thought that John Edwards' thick Southern accent was one reason he did so poorly in New Hampshire. Northeastern liberals are predisposed to believe that anyone with a drawl is an uneducated rube, and some will even confess their prejudice. Sure, Bill Clinton was Southern, too, but he was also familiar with Northern culture. He attended Georgetown and went to Oxford. Clinton could navigate between the two worlds, and he spoke differently below the Mason-Dixon line than he did above it (or on television). Edwards sounds the same way all the time.

    Heinz Kerry's accent isn't likely to put off Northern liberals, and even the ones that don't like it are likely to vote for her husband anyway. The problem could come in the rural areas of Ohio and Florida that are likely to determine the outcome of the election. President Bush slaughtered Al Gore in rural areas across the country four years ago. Kerry hopes to narrow that margin, which is why he rarely mentions abortion rights, emphasizes his status as a veteran, and distributes photos of himself hunting.

    Those attributes may help Kerry some, but are they enough to offset a funny-talking wife? Even the pronunciation of her name—ter-AY-za—seems strange to people from certain parts of the country (not goofier than young John Kerry's pronunciation of "Genghis Khan," though). That's why it was so foolish of her to open her speech at the Democratic convention by speaking all five of her languages: Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and English. To a certain brand of American, the stunt seemed either show-offy or vaguely seditious.

    Everywhere he goes, President Bush says that "perhaps the most important reason to give us four more years is so that Laura will be first lady for four more years." In most presidential races, the remark would be interpreted as the self-deprecating affection of a doting husband. But in 2004, it comes across as a subtle shot at Teresa Heinz Kerry's fitness for (unofficial) office. Bill Clinton likes to say that people have to be able to imagine a candidate as the president before they can cast a ballot for him (or someday her). Right now, a lot of Americans have trouble imagining a world in which Teresa Heinz Kerry is first lady. It's not because she's opinionated, or a loose cannon, or perceived as an ice queen. It's because they haven't been convinced she's authentically American.

    Outrageous? Nativist? Fine. That doesn't make it false. The best way for Teresa Heinz Kerry to overcome the prejudice against her is to recognize the doubts about her and confront them persuasively, like she did today. Her husband has already learned that ignoring something unfair, or pretending that it doesn't exist, doesn't make it go away.


              Sputnikmusic News Wk 06.09.2017   
    Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 9, 2017.  Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.  As our staff post reviews of these albums, links will appear below the art work so that you can read about the release, see how […]
              Anniversary Edition   

    BOSTON—John Kerry's words were inadequate Saturday morning, but whose wouldn't be? Kerry spoke during a commemoration of the third anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, and he couldn't help but be overshadowed by the simple eloquence of the relatives of 9/11 victims in attendance. "This is not about politics," Kerry says often on the stump. He didn't say it today, but for once, the statement would have actually been true.

    Flight 11 and Flight 197, the planes that struck the World Trade Center, took off from Boston's Logan Airport. The Massachusetts 9/11 Fund honored the dead with a brief ceremony at the Boston Opera House. A speaker read from an e-mail written by a girl who was 7 years old when her father died; she said she missed hearing his laugh in their house. The daughter of another woman spoke of how her mother's wedding ring was found in the rubble, months after the tragedy, on her mom's birthday. A son talked of how he relives the murder of his father every day, on TV news and in campaign ads.

    There were brief mentions, like that one, of politics, but they came from the relatives, not from Kerry. Sonia Puopolo, the daughter who held aloft her mother's wedding ring during the ceremony, said she spoke for her mother by "asking and praying for a president, a president named John Kerry, to bring peace to a terribly troubled world." Others were more oblique. One of two 9/11 widows who are raising money to help widows in Afghanistan—to "help widows who have been affected by war and terrorism in other parts of the world" and to try to provide them with the financial and emotional support that 9/11 families have received—said in videotaped remarks, "We strongly believe that the only way to fight terrorism is through education." Franklin Ross, the son who spoke, was the only one who mentioned the attackers, but even he expressed sympathy for their loved ones. "The people who did this will pay, and so will their families, and I feel sorry for that," he said.

    Kerry paid tribute to the victims and the heroes and the survivors and the families, but he did not draw attention to the criticisms made by some of the speakers before him. The day before had been different. At a rally on Friday in Allentown, Pa., Kerry said that he met with some 9/11 widows beforehand. "And they looked at me, and every single of them said, our husbands didn't die on Sept. 11 because of what happened with Iraq. [It was] what happened with al-Qaida, with Osama Bin Laden, in Afghanistan," he said. "And what George W. Bush has done is try to scare Americans, and make you believe that one is the other, and the other is the same."

    There is a place for the candidates to talk about Sept. 11 in this election. For most Americans, the race is about nothing except what happened on one day three years ago and how the Bush administration responded. Just not today.


                 






    I had so much fun making the little log cabin table topper that I decided almost immediately to have a go at the other little Honey Bun from the box. This is the "brights" roll and I love the zingy colours and happy prints. I decided as I was making it to give it to a friend of mine as a birthday present - I don't think she reads this blog, so I should be safe in posting details. As before, the little log cabins were great fun to put together. This time, I assembled and finished the whole thing in one afternoon - lovely. I have so enjoyed making these two - just the thing to get my mojo back after a hectic Christmas time. I attach some pics.






    I have also been cross stitching two little motifs to go into cards, these will be mounted up tomorrow and I'll photograph them then. And tonight, I have started cross stitching a pretty sampler featuring handbags that I am going to make to give to the friend I made the table topper for. The sampler was always going to be the main present, but as she is such a good friend, I decided that an extra gift wouldn't be a problem. The design is one taken from The World of Cross Stitching - I will photograph it as it progresses and of course when it is finished.

              Shrum Strikes Back?   

    ALLENTOWN, PA.—The Washington Post's Mark Leibovich profiled Kerry adviser Bob Shrum in a piece Friday that focused on the so-called "Shrum Curse," the idea that Shrum is the losingest great political strategist of modern times. Leibovich didn't bring up William Jennings Bryan or the Buffalo Bills, but he does compare Shrum to Kerry's favorite baseball team, the Boston Red Sox. Ten speechwriters at the Democratic convention, Leibovich writes, considered wearing "Reverse the Curse" T-shirts emblazoned with a picture of Shrum. The article's headline: "Loss Leader: At 0-7, Adviser Bob Shrum Is Well Acquainted With the Concession Speech."

    Ouch. It gets worse. Here are some of the piece's highlights: "Shrum's career-long slump in presidential campaigns, a well-catalogued losing streak that runs from George McGovern to Al Gore. … the ["Reverse the Curse"] slogan endures as a joke among Kerry staffers. … Shrum's 0-7 win-loss record in presidential elections has become ensconced in the psyches of the campaigns he orchestrates. …. Kerry is sputtering … His campaign has been called listless and unfocused, words that were also applied to Shrum's last presidential enterprise, the Gore campaign (a forbidden comparison within Kerry headquarters). … But curses sometimes have prosaic explanations. … critics started to rehash old complaints about Shrum. They say he relies too heavily on populist rhetoric, … that his aggressiveness led to backbiting within the campaign. ... James Carville harpooned Shrum relentlessly to reporters at the Republican convention last week. Clinton himself was critical of the campaign's reluctance to attack Bush—a position Shrum had advocated—in a phone call to Kerry … Shrum's brand of old-style liberalism—steeped in the tradition of his political patron, Ted Kennedy—is anathema to the centrist, New Democrat ethic that got Clinton elected twice. … 'You tend to listen extra hard to Clinton people,' says a mid-level Kerry aide who didn't want to be identified because he's not an official spokesman. 'They've actually won one of these.' "

    The one thing Leibovich couldn't nail down was Shrum's role in the Kerry campaign after the elevation of John Sasso and Michael Whouley and the infusion of Clinton operatives like Joe Lockhart. How much power does Shrum have now? Does he still have the candidate's ear? "Shrum is either in Kerry's doghouse, or his influence has been diffused by the high-level additions. Ultimately, though, campaign sources say, Shrum is a survivor" who has "worked strenuously to cultivate Lockhart." Leibovich also writes that Kerry feels loyal to Shrum for helping him to defeat William Weld in 1996.

    So, Shrumologists take note: During a rally here on Friday, the same day Leibovich's critical profile appeared, Kerry inserted a Shrumian flourish into his standard stump speech. For a few minutes, Kerry sounded an awful lot like Al Gore during his much-criticized—and Shrum-penned—"people vs. the powerful" acceptance speech at the 2000 Democratic convention. The business-friendly Kerry  of Labor Day vanished, replaced by a Wall Street-bashing economic populist.

    Kerry spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said Kerry's remarks weren't significant. "It didn't strike me as anything unusual," she said. "It's not a 'people vs. the powerful.' " Judge for yourself: There's a theme that runs through "everything I just talked about," Kerry explained. "Why aren't we importing drugs from Canada? Why did they take that out? Why did we refuse to allow Medicare to be able to negotiate [bulk drug prices] so you would lower your taxes? Why has the tax burden of the average American family gone up while the tax burden of the richest people in America has gone down? Why is it that when we're fighting to have alternative and renewable energy, we wind up with an energy bill that's written for the oil and gas companies? Why is it that when American citizens are losing their health care by the millions, it's the HMOs and the companies that keep getting fed?" Kerry mentions all of these things frequently on the stump, but this time he punctuated his critique with an allusion to the rhetoric of Al Gore's "forbidden" campaign: "I'll tell you why: because this administration exists for the purpose of serving the powerful and the moneyed, and we need to restore … the voices of America, the real Americans who built this country and make it strong. We need to step up and fight."

    Was Kerry paying a final tribute to the dear, departed Shrum? Or was Shrum serving notice to the Clinton faction that he won't disappear without a fight? Both? Neither? Was it just a coincidence? What is the sound of one hand clapping? If a Shrum falls in the forest, does it make a sound?


                 



    Yes, it has been a long time. And no, it doesn't mean I haven't been crafting - quite the reverse! Somehow, running my other blog over at Hound Mistress, my Twitter feed, Facebook, PLUS life - all the stuff that happens before we write/blog/tweet about it - just meant something gave, and this was it. Anyway, as part of my New Year's resolutions, I've decided to restart this blog for craft related activities.
    So, here is what I have been doing over the past couple of days. Some time before Christmas, I picked up a gorgeous little box of loveliness over at Busy Bees (my local quilting shop). It's a Moda box of little Honey Bun rolls - essentially like a jelly roll but the strips are 1.5" rather than 2.5". The little box is a sweet thing, and I loved the pretty fabrics. So, home it came. Then of course the tsunami of Christmas related activity overcame me and every time I went into the spare bedroom the little box would look at me, I'd look at it, and I'd say to myself - not yet.

    Now that Christmas is over, I was in the mood to have fun and make something pretty for me/the house, not for anyone else. I'd also been looking again at log cabin quilt blocks as I had thought about maybe making another log cabin chicken. Anyway, I ended up making three little log cabin blocks from one little roll of fabric. For the traditional red hearth centre, I found a charm square I hadn't previously used that was a bright cherry red - perfect. For a novice quilter like me, log cabin blocks are great. They are not complicated, and also they are very good practice for sewing straight and ensuring nice, square blocks.

    So yesterday, I made the blocks and today I used some of the strips for sashing. A dig around in my stash found a very pretty fabric for the backing. I quilted it in the ditch, then used the last few strips to make the binding. With these little boxes - you get two sets of fabric, usually one pastel and one bright. This one was a soft pastel - the "Aviary" range from Moda. I think that over the weekend, I might make up a similar runner in the bright fabrics as a birthday present for a friend - I think she'd like it. The pastel fabrics I used with soft blues and pinks work wonderfully in our guest bedroom - the walls are a sky blue, and we usually have white and blue (or white and lilac) bedding in there for guests. It has also become a bit of a repository for various craft items - there's a cross stitched coaster beside the bed for drinks, a pretty cushion I stitched then had made up sits on the bed and a stitched, framed sampler on the wall. This now joins them. Guest bedrooms don't tend to get as much wear and tear as other rooms, and I think having home made items in the room adds a welcoming feel.

                 










    August seems to have been one of those months with a non-stop succession of visitors! All very welcome, but there has been a slow down in craft progress. However, I've managed to complete a number of things, so here's an update. Firstly, you remember the baby sampler I wanted to take to the show? Well, the weather meant the show was cancelled, about five days before the big day, as the ground was so wet it would have turned into a quagmire. Naturally, I was very disappointed, especially as the framer has done a really wonderful job (I went with the framer rather than simply putting it into a bought frame, at Andrew's suggestion ). From the same little book as the sampler design, I stitched a card to welcome the new baby. As you can see from the attached pic, I added a few green seed beads to the border, and mounted it into a little aperture card, with some adorable "girly" ribbon attached. Since I started the card, the baby arrived, and is a healthy little girl called Amelie. The sampler and card are being dispatched tomorrow after Andrew has carefully packed them.

    Secondly, my dear great-aunt (92) has been in hospital with a foot problem, so I attach a get well card I made for her. A narrow pink base card,with pink and green papers layered above. Then some of the new die cuts added and a little bit of glitter added via some Stickles (glitter glue). Very simple but very pretty.

    Thirdly, I have started out on Christmas cards for the greyhound shop. First batch, made and bagged up are pictured. There are about 20 here. I usually aim to make a couple of hundred.
    Fourthly, I attach a pretty anniversary design (which would also work for a wedding) by Joan Elliott, that I stitched for Andrew's parents. Not surprisingly, I added some clear seed beads to the design, and it looks lovely mounted up in its card.

    Finally, my auntie has been staying with us this past week, so we had a nice bit of "crafty" shopping. Went again to the new Hobbycraft and a visit to Inkspot, our local favourite craft store.

              Sputnikmusic News Wk 06.02.2017   
    Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 2, 2017.  Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.  As our staff post reviews of these albums, links will appear below the art work so that you can read about the release, see how […]
              Kerry Returns to Form   

    DES MOINES—The most interesting thing to happen with the Kerry campaign Wednesday was an exchange between Stephanie Cutter, a Kerry spokeswoman, and CNN's Candy Crowley. Disgruntled reporters gathered around Cutter after Kerry's anticipated but disappointing speech in Cincinnati that criticized President Bush's handling of the war in Iraq. The speech had two memorable moments, both of which occurred before it really began: the announcement beforehand that Peter Frampton was on hand, and the shouts of a protester—"You said you committed atrocities. You said you burned villages"—who was silenced when the man standing next to him put him in a headlock. After the speech, Kerry spokesman David Wade said the protester was a man named Mike Russell, who Wade said was the Bush-Cheney chairman in Bracken County, Ky., during the 2000 election. "He is now, coincidentally, with the Swift Boat Veterans," Wade added.

    Nothing Kerry said in Cincinnati could compensate for the blunder he made the day before when he stood before cameras on the tarmac of the Cincinnati airport and expressed his sorrow for the 1,000th American casualty in Iraq. "More than 1,000 of America's sons and daughters have now given their lives on behalf of their country, on behalf of freedom, in the war on terror," Kerry said. The war on terror? Oops. The mistake was part of the natural reversion to the mean of the Kerry candidacy. After the successful day and a half of campaigning that followed his conversation with President Clinton, the usual Kerry—the New Old Kerry—was back. Kerry took no questions after making his mystifying "war on terror" comment. Crowley called out, "Senator, you've been saying that it's 'wrong war, wrong place, wrong time.' What does that mean about these deaths?" but Kerry, in a typical maneuver, just walked away. It's been more than five weeks since Kerry last took questions at a press conference, or an "avail," as it's called.

    So, Crowley asked Cutter if she could explain what Kerry meant. Short answer: No. Long answer: Cutter said Kerry was referring to something Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday about the increase in terrorists in Iraq after the war. "There were not terrorists in Iraq before we went," Cutter explained (incorrectly), but there are now. Kerry was just "repeating what Rumsfeld said," Cutter continued. So, Crowley asked, Iraq is now part of the war on terror? "No. That's not what I'm saying," Cutter said. "Should he have clarified it, said it differently? Maybe. But the point remains the same. There was no terrorism before we went to war. There is now terrorism there." But Democratic orthodoxy is that the war on terror and the war in Iraq are distinct, Crowley said. Cutter replied, "And he agrees with that." Crowley: "Had he stayed for questions, we could have clarified that."

    Kerry should have said, hey, I misspoke, I was trying to express my sympathy for all the Americans who have lost their lives in the broader war on terror, not just the 1,000-plus who have died in the war in Iraq. But instead the campaign has concocted this preposterously complicated explanation, saying yes he meant to say it, but no, he thinks Iraq is not part of the war on terror. What?

    The other head-scratcher uttered by Kerry in the past two days came Wednesday in Greensboro, N.C. There, in response to a question from a woman about the health problems caused by mold and indoor air contamination—and her complaint, "There's not one agency in this government that has come forward" to deal with the problem—Kerry endorsed the creation of a new federal department. "What I want to do, what I'm determined to do, and it's in my health-care plan, is refocus America on something that can reduce the cost of health care significantly for all Americans, which is wellness and prevention," Kerry said. So far, so good. But then, "And I intend to have not just a Department of Health and Human Services, but a Department of Wellness." Again, what? Apparently this idea comes from Teresa Heinz Kerry, who told the Boston Herald in January 2003 that she would, in the Herald's words, "be an activist first lady, lobbying for a Department of Wellness that would stress preventive health." Oh, boy. Preventive health is a fine idea, but do we need a new agency—I assume it's not Cabinet-level—to handle it?

    Kerry ended his day in Iowa, the state that launched him to the nomination of the Democratic Party. The traveling press headed to the Hotel Fort Des Moines to spend the night. At the hotel, I came across an inauspicious if ultimately meaningless piece of trivia on an information sheet given to hotel guests. Three presidential candidates, according to the hotel, celebrated their victories in the Iowa caucuses at the Hotel Fort Des Moines. Two of them, Walter Mondale in 1984 and Bob Dole in 1996, went on to win the nominations of their parties (the third was George Bush in 1980). In their general-election match-ups, Mondale won one state and the District of Columbia, while Dole won 41 percent of the popular vote. John Kerry? He too celebrated caucus night at the Hotel Fort Des Moines this January, but the hotel hasn't added him to its list yet. Maybe it's afraid of being a three-time loser.


                 



    A few things to update on. July of course is when I disappear from the planet to immerse myself in Tour World - all other things become secondary to that. This year's Tour finishes this Saturday so I will begin to re-emerge from my hibernation then. I'll start with some cross-stitch. One of Andrew's colleagues is expecting her first baby very shortly (approximately three weeks) so I decided to stitch a small sampler for her and her husband and the new arrival (sex unknown). This is a very pretty Joan Elliott design from a small supplement that came with the World of Cross Stitch some time ago - I like Joan Elliott's designs very much. As you can see I am stitching it on a pretty pale blue aida which has been dyed in a way to appear like clouds with little swirls of lighter and darker colours - very attractive. The design is predominantly in soft pastels and won't become distinctive until I add the backstitch at the end. There will also be beads to add which should add a very nice finishing touch. The sampler is small enough for me to feel as though I am making good progress and I am enjoying stitching it. Keeping my fingers crossed, I should have it finished, pressed, framed and a matching card stitched and made up by the time the baby arrives. I will probably pop down to Ikea for a simple frame, likely plain white wood.
    Also pictured are some ATCs that I made recently for a Docrafts colour swap in pale blue. Following the wonderful day in May over at Barry, I have fallen in love with the technique of blending inks using cotton wool and in this case I started with two plain white cards. Both were coloured using pale blue ink and then a little bit of darker blue added round the edges to give an attractive shaded effect. On one, I stamped and glittered some birds, the word "Love" and some swirly motifs. On the other, I used some butterfly stickers, glitter glue, ribbon and a rose bud bow to finish the decoration. These were posted a couple of days ago, and I now have a list of other swaps waiting for me to get stuck into.

              Kerry in Black and White   

    CINCINNATI—John Kerry is so concerned about the plight of American manufacturers that he's taken to doing short advertisements during his campaign events. "Go to a Web site," Kerry exhorted his audience Tuesday in Greensboro, N.C. "It could be johnkerry.com, or go some other place. Go to truth.com, if there is one. And find out what's really happening." So I went to truth.com, and I found out what was happening: "Truth Hardware designs and manufactures a complete line of hinges, locks, operators, and even remote controlled power window systems used on wood, vinyl, metal and fiberglass windows, skylights, and patio doors."

    I'm hesitant to criticize Kerry for his extemporizing, because his Kerrymeandering (a word invented by my colleague Will Saletan) makes the repetition of campaigning more endurable. More important, overdisciplined Robopols who never say anything interesting are one of the many reasons to hate politics. And this Kerrymeander was merely amusing, not harmful, though a good rule of 21st-century campaigning should be, don't refer to Web sites that you haven't visited. Kerry even had the good fortune to refer to the Web site of a company that manufactures its products in Owatonna, Minn.—a swing state!

    But Monday's impromptu comments were more damaging. In addition to making a joke in West Virginia about taking a shotgun with him to the presidential debates, Kerry decided it would be a good idea in Pennsylvania to talk about how he has difficulty deciding what to eat at restaurants. "You know when they give you the menu, I'm always struggling, what do you want?" he said. A cook at a local restaurant, though, solves Kerry's dilemma by serving "whatever he's cooked up that day. I think that's the way it ought to work for confused people like me who can't make up our minds what we're going to eat." Kerry has yet to mourn the fact that fewer and fewer gynecologists are able to "practice their love" with American women, but his handlers have so much confidence in him that on Tuesday they banned the national press pool from observing his satellite interviews with local TV stations.

    Still, even Kerry wasn't as off-message as one of the local politicians who introduced him at the Greensboro town hall. Sure, Republicans say Kerry is a flip-flopper, the politician said, but so-called "flip-flopping" is a sign of skepticism, of being open to learning new things. "We call it thinking," he said to huge applause from the crowd. The guy must not have gotten the memo: Kerry no longer wants to be the thoughtful candidate of nuance. Like President Bush, he's discovered the virtues of moral clarity.

    Bush describes the world in terms of black and white, good vs. evil. Kerry now describes the world in terms of right vs. wrong. "As the president likes to say, there's nothing complicated about this," Kerry says every time he begins his new "W. stands for wrong" speech. Kerry no longer brags about being complicated, as he did in his acceptance speech at the Democratic convention. He's now as simple as Bush. As Kerry said in Greensboro, "John Edwards and I believe, deep to the core of our being, that there's an easy distinction between what's right and what's wrong."

    You won't be shocked to learn which side of the line Kerry thinks Bush falls on. Bush on the war: wrong. Bush on government spending: wrong. Bush on Medicare: wrong. Bush on Social Security: wrong. Bush on outsourcing: wrong. Bush on the environment: wrong. (Kerry also referred to mankind's "spiritual, God-given responsibilities" to be stewards of the Earth.) And in Greensboro, Kerry added a new element to his "That's W., wrong choice, wrong direction," refrain. Each time, he concluded with, "And we want to make it right." Kerry did get a little overzealous about his new theme when he referred to the treasury secretary as "John W. Snow—John Snow, excuse me." After some laughter from the audience, Kerry added, "Well, he's wrong, too."

    Kerry has also begun to criticize Bush for breaking promises, for not being as unwavering as he pretends to be. In West Virginia on Monday, Kerry said Bush promised in 2000 to spend more money on clean coal technology, but the money never came. In North Carolina on Tuesday, Kerry mentioned the administration's overconfident estimates of war on the cheap: "He promised that this war would cost $1 billion, and that oil from Iraq would pay for it."

    The audience liked the new black-and-white, with-us-or-against-us Kerry. He was doing so well that during the question-and-answer session he felt liberated to engage in some more improvisation. A woman stood up and announced, "I'm so excited to see you. I think you're hot." Referring to his 27-year-old daughter, Vanessa, who was in the audience, Kerry said, "My daughter just buried her head. That is not the way she thinks about her father. But at my age, that sounds good." While he was talking, Vanessa Kerry looked down and stuck her fingers in her ears.


              Sputnikmusic News Wk 05.26.2017   
    Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of May 26, 2017.  Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.  As our staff post reviews of these albums, links will appear below the art work so that you can read about the release, see how […]
                 




    It's taken me a while to post this item, as the recipient's birthday was the week before last, but for a variety of reasons, I didn't give her the gift until the weekend. As usual I was originally stuck with the problem of what to buy for the woman who has everything and is celebrating a landmark birthday? I dithered about a quilt (and this is a reserve option for future birthdays and Christmas). However, I remembered that I often end up taking photos when we are out (as this is often with our respective loved ones and dogs). So, the idea of a personalised little scrapbook was born.

    The little minibook was a set from K& Co that I bought way back just after Christmas - for just such an occasion. It's very attractive, in vintage colours of olive, dusty khaki and purple with a green buckled ribbon round it. The hardest part was selecting the photos to go in - I found I had lots of nice ones and it was difficult to narrow down the choice. Anyway, I eventually got my shortlist and then it was just a case of making up the pages with little labels and mounts - a lot of fun, and doing it brought back happy memories attached to each picture.

    When it was finished, I photographed it, and then gift-wrapped it using some lovely paper from Ikea, some pretty purple ribbons, and a tag from K & Co that just seemed to work really well. Fortunately, when she opened it on Saturday, she really loved it, and I am very happy about that - it means a lot when a handmade gift is appreciated. Some photos attached.

              Sputnikmusic News Wk 05.19.2017   
    Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of May 19, 2017.  Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.  As our staff post reviews of these albums, links will appear below the art work so that you can read about the release, see how […]
              Kerry's Deathbed Conversion   

    CLEVELAND—Everything you need to know about Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential run—and therefore, everything a Democrat needs to know about taking the White House from an incumbent—is supposed to have been scrawled on a wipeboard in Little Rock 12 years ago by James Carville. "It's the economy, stupid," the phrase that has become holy writ, was only one-third of Carville's message. The other two tenets of the Clinton war room were "Change vs. more of the same" and "Don't forget health care." John Kerry has been running on two of those three planks, the economy and health care. But one day after talking with President Clinton on his deathbed—Kerry's, not Clinton's—the candidate has finally embraced the third: change.

    Kerry offered a taste of his new message Monday morning at one of his "front porch" campaign stops in Canonsburg, Penn., but he waited until the afternoon in Racine, W.V., to unveil his new stump speech in full. The new message: Go vote for Bush if you want four more years of falling wages, of Social Security surpluses being transferred to wealthy Americans in the form of tax cuts, of underfunded schools and lost jobs. But if you want a new direction, he said, vote for Kerry and Edwards.

    It's a simple and obvious message, but Kerry hasn't used it before. There were other new, even more Clintonesque wrinkles, too. Kerry talked about the same issues—jobs, health care, Social Security, education—that he's talked about in the past, but he had a new context for them: how Bush's policies were taking money out of taxpayers' pockets. The deficit, the Medicare prescription drug plan that forbids bulk-price negotiation and the importation of drugs from Canada, and the "$200 billion and counting" Iraq war all "cost you money," Kerry said, by increasing the cost of government. Kerry even pushed his health-care plan as a selfish device to put more money in voters' wallets (rather than an altruistic plan to cover the uninsured), in the form of lower health-insurance premiums ($1,000, he says). He also talked about a Clinton favorite, putting 100,000 new cops on the street during the 1990s, and he said he wanted to cut taxes for corporations by 5 percent to lower the cost of doing business in the United States. Talking about corporate tax cuts on Labor Day—if that's not a New Democrat, I don't know what is.

    In West Virginia and later Cleveland, Kerry framed most of the new message around a mantra: "W stands for wrong. Wrong choices, wrong judgment, wrong priorities, wrong direction for our country." If you like those wrong choices, the lost jobs, "raiding Social Security," rising health-care costs, and "a go-it-alone foreign policy that abandons America," then vote for George W. Bush, Kerry said. If not, vote for me. The cost of the Iraq war is coming out of your pocket, he said, and it's taking away from money that could be used for homeland security. "That's W.; that's wrong," he said. With each issue Kerry raised—from Iraq to rising Medicare premiums to Social Security to jobs—he concluded his criticism of the president's policy by repeating, "That's W.; that's wrong."

    It's not a perfect speech, nor is it delivered all that well. Kerry will never win an oratory contest with Bush, and he is fond of bizarre extemporizing. For example, he said, after being given a shotgun by a union leader to emphasize his support for hunting, "I'm thankful for the gift, but I can't take it to the debate with me." Still, even with Kerry's shaggy delivery, the speech—and more important, the message, if he sticks with it—should be good enough to get his campaign out of its latest sinkhole.

    Sometimes, Kerry even improvises well. During the event in Canonsburg, Kerry was heckled by a small but noisy group of Bush supporters. But he managed to pull something out of Clinton's bag of tricks. When Kerry began talking about how the average family's tax burden has risen during the past four years, a man shouted, "Yeah, you're average, Kerry!" In response, Kerry adopted the tactic that Clinton used at the Democratic Convention in Boston: He embraced his affluence. "Just to answer that guy, 'cause he's right," Kerry said. "I'm privileged," just like President Bush. As a result, "My tax burden went down," Kerry said. "And I don't think that's right. I think your tax burden ought to go down."

    Before today, Kerry's public image was starting to resemble that of a different Democratic candidate of recent vintage: the Republican caricature of Al Gore, a self-promoting braggart with a weakness for resume-inflating exaggerations. When Kerry was so angered by a Washington Post headline last week that he decided to speak directly after Bush's acceptance speech at the Republican Convention, he appeared to be imitating Gore's unfortunate tendency to let his campaign strategy be driven by the whims of the political media. Some Democrats feared that, by shaking up his campaign over the weekend and bringing in John Sasso and Michael Whouley, Kerry was overreacting in Gore-like fashion to some bad August press. On Monday, anyway, those fears seem overstated. The revamped Kerry campaign looks more like the Democrat who beat a president named Bush than the Democrat who lost to one.


                 




    A nice assortment of projects in this post.
    First up, another colour swap on the Do crafts ATC forum. The theme was amber/tangerine/orange. For the first card, I covered it in a pretty orange floral print paper that was a part of my goody bag from the recent ATC day in Barry. Then I added a strip of yellow self adhesive ribbons covered in orange flowers, and then added some orange toned die cut flower shapes. Finally, I finished off with a couple of orange butterfly gems that I carefully glued on. For the other two, I took two ATC base cards, that I coloured using shaving foam at the Barry ATC event, in shades of yellow, orange and red. Thed edges were coloured with a red ink pad, then I stamped both with an Anna Griffin paisley stamp in red ink. Finally I added some pretty K & Co adhesive butterfly and bird stickers - in gorgeous rich colours. And off they went! Will be receiving my swapped cards early next week.
    Secondly, a 30th birthday card for my friend Rebecca in Cardiff. I took two pieces of card from a DCWV box, one scalloped and turquoise, the other plain yellow and layered them up. On the card, I added a piece of Laura Ashley printed paper, with lots of bright turquoise and yellow in the mix. I then put a yellow ribbon across the card, and used my pokey tool to punch a hole, allowing me to add a yellow flower with blue brad. Finally, I used a bright blue ink to stamp Happy Birthday on a piece of yellow card and added that with 3d foam pads to the front of the card. It was Rebecca's birthday yesterday and she loved the card. We are going out with her to celebrate on Saturday night - about 25 friends all going for pizza.
    Finally, a cross-stitched design for Father's Day, for my FIL. This is a Joan Elliott design, and is great. It came with a CD of designs that was a giveaway about two years ago with a copy of Cross Stitcher magazine, and is a reliable source of attractive designs for all sorts of occasions. I liked this cockerel - something so cheerful about the colours. It was a pleasure to stitch, the design coming together very nicely and with only a few fractional stitches. It was mounted in the card tonight and will be hitting the post first thing tomorrow morning.

              I Love 9/11   

    NEW YORK—If it's true that the better speech-giver wins in presidential elections, then it's going to be Bush in a landslide. In his speech accepting the Republican nomination for the presidency—particularly the powerful final third—the president provided the eloquence that the times demand. It's too bad he doesn't have the presidency to match his (or Michael Gerson's) rhetoric.

    The inspiration the president provided, however, was overshadowed by the disturbing nostalgia for Sept. 11 that preceded it. The phenomenon of "faster nostalgia" keeps accelerating, and the decades we reminisce about grow closer and closer to the present with each passing year. But the two political conventions this August must be the first recorded instances of nostalgia for the 21st century.

    During the Democratic convention, too many speakers looked back to 9/11 with fondness. They didn't recall the months after the worst foreign attack in American history as a sad and tragic time. Instead, they appeared to remember those days as a warm-and-fuzzy time of national unity, now lost because of Republican partisanship. But the GOP's wistful look back at the tragedy as a marvelous occasion that somehow justifies the re-election of President Bush was even more stomach-turning. The convention's final night had the air of a VH-1 special: I Love Sept. 11.

    Before President Bush came out to speak, the convention's image-masters aired a hagiographic video, a 9/11 retrospective that was Field of Dreams as told by the narrator of The Big Lebowski, with a dash of the David McCullough sections of Seabiscuit. (Like The Dude's rug in Lebowski, 9/11 really tied Bush's presidency together.) The reason to re-elect Bush, actual narrator Fred Thompson implied, is not the foreign-policy actions he took after being saddled with a historic tragedy. No, Bush merits re-election because of his performance as an Oprah-like healer in chief. He placed a deceased New York cop's badge in his pocket. He jogged with a wounded soldier. And most of all, he went to a baseball game.

    "What do a bullhorn and a baseball have in common?" Thompson asked, and soon we were told: The defining moment of the Bush presidency came not only on Sept. 14, as previously thought, when Bush stood at Ground Zero and proclaimed that the terrorists who struck New York and Washington would "hear from us." It also came a month later, when Bush marched to the mound of Yankee Stadium and boldly, decisively, resolutely tossed out the first pitch of the World Series. "What he did that night, that man in the arena, he helped us come back.That's the story of this presidency," Thompson said, as I wondered how many takes it took Thompson to do this without giggling. You keep pitching, no matter what, Thompson said. You go to the game, no matter what. "You throw, and you become who you are." The delegates went nuts. Remember that time Osama chased Bush's slider in the dirt?

    The absurd film was actually Bush's second introduction. The first had come five minutes earlier, when New York Gov. George Pataki finished his speech, a repugnant politicization of Sept. 11. At first, like the video, Pataki's use of 9/11 was just laughable, such as when he took a moment to thank the good people of the swing states Oregon, Iowa, and Pennsylvania for their generosity in New York's hour of need. The despicable moment came later, when he blamed the Clinton administration for the terrorist attacks.

    After 9/11, "The president took strong action to protect our country," Pataki said. "That sounds like something any president would do. How I wish that were so." Instead, Bill Clinton shamefully ignored the attacks on the World Trade Center, the embassies, and the U.S.S. Cole. "How I wish the administration at that time, in those years, had done something," Pataki said. "How I wish they had moved to protect us. But they didn't do it."

    But, wait—didn't President Clinton strike at Osama Bin Laden's training camps in 1998? And didn't Republicans criticize him for doing it? I think it's misguided and pointless to discuss whether 9/11 was preventable, and it's a waste of time to ponder who is more blameworthy, Bush or Clinton. But since Pataki brought it up, isn't the fact that President Bush presided over the most catastrophic attack on the U.S. mainland in American history a strike against him, not a point in his favor? If it was so obvious that the nation needed to attack al-Qaida more forcefully in the 1990s, why did President Bush take nine months to pay attention to the threat? And didn't the Clinton administration disrupt the planned millennium bombing of Los Angeles International Airport? Wasn't that a move to protect us? Nothing Zell Miller said Wednesday was as loathsome as Pataki's speech.

    There was an honest case to be made for war with Iraq: Saddam Hussein did not possess nuclear weapons, but he was pursuing them and needed to be toppled before he acquired them. President Bush never made that case, preferring instead to exaggerate the nature and immediacy of the threat and to link al-Qaida with Iraq in the public mind. This convention continued that disgraceful record, muddying the distinction between 9/11 and Iraq, conflating the war of necessity the nation faced after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon with the war of choice in Iraq, and repeatedly telling the lie that John Kerry wants to wait until the nation is struck again before crushing al-Qaida.

    The president's defenders say he invaded Iraq with good intentions, and I believe them. But if President Bush didn't mislead us into war, he's misleading us during one, and he deserves to be defeated for it.


              Running Scared   

    NEW YORK—One of the most striking things about watching the Republican National Convention from inside Madison Square Garden has been the lack of enthusiasm among the delegates on the floor. When they formally, and unanimously, nominated George W. Bush as their party's presidential nominee Wednesday at the conclusion of the roll call of the states, the delegates failed to muster much applause for their action. "We can do better than that," complained Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele from the podium. "Come on now, bring it on for the president." The delegates dutifully applauded some more, but they still weren't very loud, and Steele still seemed disappointed.

    But by the end of Wednesday night, the delegates were fired up. What got them going? Speeches by Zell Miller and Dick Cheney arguing that John Kerry can't be trusted on matters of national security, that he's weak, indecisive, and open to influence from foreign leaders. "Kerry would let Paris decide when America needs defending," Miller scoffed, and the delegates booed. During Cheney's speech, delegates joyously mocked Kerry by chanting "flip flop, flip flop," and they booed the idea that Kerry even aspired to be the country's commander in chief. The knock on Democrats this year is supposed to be that they hate the other guy more than they love their own. Based on this convention, it sure looks like the same is true of Republicans.

    Tonight confirmed what I suspected before the Democratic convention began: In violation of the normal rules of politics, this year's election is a referendum on the challenger rather than a referendum on the incumbent. There's a general sense that a change in presidents would be a good thing, but the country is taking that decision more seriously than it would in peacetime, and voters aren't certain, despite their disapproval of President Bush, that a President Kerry would be an improvement.

    That's why this was the night the Republicans did their convention right. During the first two days of this convention, the prime-time speakers gave eloquent speeches, but they didn't hammer Kerry enough, with the exception of Rudy Giuliani's effective pummeling of Kerry's reputation for inconsistency. Tonight, Miller and Cheney more than made up for the oversight. My guess is that Republicans won't be able to convince voters that Bush has been a wonderful president, but they just might be able to convince voters that Kerry would be a terrible one.

    There is the question, though, of whether anything that happens at this convention will make much of a difference in the race. As a rule, political conventions are aimed at the great mass of undecided voters who typically determine the outcome of elections, and this convention has been no different. But what's interesting about the Republicans' decision to follow those rules and hold a convention that appeals to swing voters is that Karl Rove has already announced that 2004 is a year that the normal rules don't apply.

    This is supposed to be a "base" election, not a "swing" one. Rove believes that there are more votes to be found among the conservatives who didn't turn out to vote in 2000 than among the minuscule pool of undecided voters. In search of those stay-at-home voters, President Bush and Vice President Cheney almost exclusively visit heavily Republican areas in swing states.

    Democrats fear that the Bush-Cheney campaign may be able to pull off a national version of what Ralph Reed did for Saxby Chambliss in Georgia two years ago, when Reed turned out droves of new evangelical voters who made the difference against Max Cleland. The race in Missouri provides a good example of what Republicans are trying to do. Earlier this year I spoke to Lloyd Smith, who is advising the Bush-Cheney campaign in the Show-Me State this year. Smith said the Bush-Cheney campaign will win the state by going to precincts that had as few as 500 or 600 voters in them four years ago and finding another 100 voters in each one to vote for the president.

    In 2000, those stay-at-home voters didn't like George W. Bush enough (or hate Al Gore enough) to be motivated to get out to the polls and vote. Based on Bush's record, my guess is that they don't like him any more now. Love of Bush won't win the Republicans the presidency. Fear of Kerry might.


              Sputnikmusic News Wk 05.12.2017   
    Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of May 12, 2017.  Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.  As our staff post reviews of these albums, links will appear below the art work so that you can read about the release, see how […]
              Another networking puzzle   

    After all the michegas about AT&T last week, I decided to order a second Internet connection. I was pretty happy with their high speed DSL, but if they're going to gang up on customers with the record industry, I want to be sure I have an exit planned out.

    So I ordered a Comcast network interface. It should arrive in a few days.

    The question is can I have both network interfaces running on the same LAN?

    I was thinking if I plug the Comcast box into a G4 desktop that has two Ethernet jacks, while the other is plugged into the big switch I bought a few weeks ago (and it's working great, btw) that's connected into the DSL line, that somehow all my computers would be on both nets at the same time?

    I figured some of the network gods tuned into this station may have some ideas.

    Is there any way to make use of two net connections on one LAN? Or does it necessarily mean two separate local nets?

    Comment here, please.

    And sorry for destroying our culture, Andrew. smile


                 

    In 1984, George Orwell referred to a characteristic called Doublethink - where a person could hold two contradictory ideas but not object. I feel rather like this about Christmas. Don't get me wrong - I absolutely adore the festive season. My already tenuous hold on taste is abandoned gleefully and I enjoy going wild with decorations, gifts, crafts, cooking, entertaining and general merrymaking. However, and this is the sticker, I loathe going into shops in August and finding the shelves filling up with Christmas puddings and cards. To me Christmas should be celebrated and anticipated at the end of the year - shopping and posting should be in darkness and cold, not sunshine. Now here's the doublethink - as a crafter, you simply cannot start too early. All that merrymaking means that it is without doubt the busiest time of the year yet it is also the time when you need to create things like cards and gifts. So to sum up, I am happy to start early for my own crafting but throw a major hissy fit if I so much as sniff something festive in a shop before the end of October.
    In this Orwellian spirit, I illustrate the point with two little cross-stitched designs, just completed that will be mounted into cards. They are both by Margaret Sherry who designs frequently for magazines. For the little robin, I used a blending filament along with the dark thread for the backstitch - this gives it a nice twinkle. For the hedgehog, I used a rayon thread for the star - this gives a luxurious finish. On both, I used Thread Heaven for the first time. I have often seen it advertised in magazines as an aid to using metallics, rayons and so on. Having bought some, I tried it out on these small projects and I was completely blown away. It makes using these threads a breeze - normally the air would be blue as they got knotted, tangled, wouldn't thread and so on. Instead, I glided smoothly through - if you haven't tried it, I can recommend it.
    I am hoping to build up a small stash of these little Christmas designs for mounting into cards throughout the year, thus avoiding too much late panic by the end of November! Well, that's the plan, anyway. I'll keep this updated as more are added.

              1st Year apprenticeship - Carpentry   
    NSW-Sydney Region, Looking for a 1st year apprentice who is reliable and keen to learn. We mainly do frames and eaves for project builders in Western sydney (from Oran Park to Rouse Hill). All apprentices in the past who have completing there time with All Pyne Carpentry have gone on to either start there own company or have become leading hands. We pride ourselves in producing quality tradesman. Apprentice will req
              Playing to Strength   

    NEW YORK—Inside Madison Square Garden, Tuesday's schedule promised another day of moderation, with Laura Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger following Monday's tag-team of John McCain and Rudy Giuliani. But outside the hall, among the protesters, Tuesday is the day marked off for the hard-core left, for the anarchists and communists and the man at Union Square who is calling for American soldiers to rise up in mutiny and frag their commanding officers. Except at this convention, even the anarchists are moderates.

    At Union Square, where Tuesday's "day of action" begins at 4 p.m., a small crowd gathers to block off the entrance to the park in defiance of police orders. "Ladies and gentlemen, you have to remove yourselves from the entrance," says a cop in front of a phalanx of shield-bearing officers. The crowd, which had been chanting, "Go arrest Bush! Go arrest Bush!" decides to adjust its message. The new chant: "The police deserve a raise! The police deserve a raise!" Who says anarchists aren't politically savvy? When trying to win over an audience, abandon the red-meat rhetoric and instead reach out to independent swing cops.

    The protesters and convention speakers have a lot in common, in fact, including a preference for empty slogans and false choices. But more important, they both believe that showing resolve is the most important political act. The protesters believe that if enough of them are willing to lie down in the streets and get arrested—and if they do it over and over and over again—the American people will be persuaded to consider their point of view. The convention speakers agree that doing something over and over and over again, being unwavering and unchangeable, is the best way to pull Americans to your side.

    California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Tuesday speaker with the most, er, movie-star appeal, says that "perseverance" is the quality he admires most about President Bush: "He's a man of inner strength. He is a leader who doesn't flinch, doesn't waver, and does not back down." Sure, the president led the country into an unpopular war, Schwarzenegger says, but that's a good thing! "The president didn't go into Iraq because the polls told him it was popular. In fact, the polls said just the opposite. But leadership isn't about polls. It's about making decisions you think are right and then standing behind those decisions." Schwarzenegger echoes what Monday night's final speaker, Rudy Giuliani, said: "There are many qualities that make a great leader but having strong beliefs, being able to stick with them through popular and unpopular times, is the most important characteristic of a great leader."

    Now, that can't possibly be right. Surely Giuliani and Schwarzenegger believe that having the correct beliefs is more important than sticking by your beliefs, no matter how wrong you are. Sticking by your beliefs is probably the most overrated leadership trait. All great politicians are flip-floppers, including President Bush.

    The biggest fib the president says on the stump is, "When I say something, I mean it." Did he mean it when he said that no matter what the whip count, he would ask for a second vote at the Security Council before going to war with Iraq? Did he mean it when he was against a Department of Homeland Security? Did he mean it when he opposed the creation of a 9/11 commission? Did he mean it when he opposed McCain-Feingold? Did he mean it when he said troops shouldn't be used for nation-building? Did he mean it when he said he planned to use his presidency to strengthen international alliances? Does he mean it when he says, "It's the people's money, not the government's money"? If so, then why does he spend so much of it?

    Up to now, the Kerry campaign has elected not to use this inconsistent record to undermine the Republican claim that President Bush is a man of great resolve. Instead, they've decided to buttress the idea. The president is stubborn, unyielding, Kerry says. He's not flexible enough.

    Kerry's approach plays into liberals' fantasies about themselves. Liberals think they're smarter, more thoughtful, more nuanced than conservatives. They think they're more aware of the complexities and ambiguities in life. They're not inconsistent; they're Emersonian. Kerry tried to take advantage of this at the Democratic Convention when he said that he understands that some things are complicated. Bush's response has been to say, as he does often, "There is nothing complicated about supporting our troops."

    Howard Dean got it right when he said that people don't like President Bush because they agree with his policies. They like him because they think he's a strong leader. Unless Democrats can undermine that belief, they don't have a chance of regaining the presidency. The Kerry campaign may finally be learning this. When Bush said that he now believes the nation actually can win the war on terror (despite saying otherwise previously), the Kerry campaign e-mailed a press release with the headline, "Bush: Against Winning the War on Terror Before He Was for It." Maybe they've learned that Kerry can't blunt Bush's strength on national security without making at least some people think the president is a flip-flopping "politician." You don't beat your opponent by listening to his message, nodding, and saying, I agree.


              Sputnikmusic News Wk 05.05.2017   
    Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of May 5, 2017.  Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.  As our staff post reviews of these albums, links will appear below the art work so that you can read about the release, see how […]
              Social Media Intern (Sport And Fitness)   
    NSW-Sydney, Our performance sportswear business is looking for a Social Media Intern to join our growing team. The ideal applicant will possess strong knowledge of the digital media landscape, including various social media sites, particularly Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. The successful candidate will be responsible for contributing monitoring and posting on blogs and social networks, engaging in online
              Their Kind of Town   

    NEW YORK—Zell Miller will be the most notable apostate at the Republican National Convention, but Ed Koch gets to be the first. At the first GOP convention ever held in New York City, the first speaker after the opening remarks by Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie and RNC Co-Chair Ann Wagner is the former mayor, a Democrat. "Why am I here?" the jovial Koch asks the smattering of assembled delegates at the sparsely attended Monday morning session. "I'm here to convert you. But that's for the next election. This year, I'm voting for the re-election of President George W. Bush." The small crowd gives Koch a huge cheer.

    Koch is followed by another New York mayor, the current one. At the first GOP convention ever held in New York City, Republican Michael Bloomberg declares, "Welcome to America's New York." It's a strange choice of words, one that makes it sound as if the Republican delegates suspect they somehow landed in Russia's New York. (Perhaps that was the New York that Koch presided over.) But Bloomberg's choice of words is telling. The picture of New York painted during the convention's morning session is a city in tune with the rest of the country, the South, Middle, and West that most Republicans hail from. Maybe Bloomberg should have said, "Welcome to Red America's New York."

    After Bloomberg speaks, a video produced by the History Channel tells the political history of the capital of Blue America, but it's really the history of the Republican Party in New York. We hear about the birth of Teddy Roosevelt, for example, but not, say, the Stonewall riots. (The video also contains the first bit of disinformation at the convention: It calls TR "our second-youngest president" when in fact he was the youngest president, taking office as a 42-year-old after the assassination of President McKinley. JFK, at 43, was the youngest man elected to the presidency.) "America's New York" is where the Bill of Rights was written, not where the gay rights movement began. It's where Abraham Lincoln, the most beloved Republican, denounced the spread of slavery at Cooper Union. It's also home to the machinery of global capitalism: the New York Stock Exchange and the headquarters of more major corporations than any other city.

    Long before we get to Rudy Giuliani, New York Mayor No. 3 of the day, the message of Day 1 couldn't be clearer: Don't worry, nervous visitors. Despite what you may have heard from your friends (or seen from the protestors), this is your town!

    But the Big Apple love-in doesn't last all that long. No one denounces the city, of course, but the disconnect between the majority of New Yorkers and the majority of Republicans comes across during the succession of speeches by GOP congressional candidates. In the most Jewish city in America, Mississippi congressional candidate Clinton LeSueur strays from President Bush's carefully inclusive religious rhetoric. Instead of making the nonsectarian statement in his prepared text—"The very foundation of this country is faith"—LeSueur says, "The very foundation of this country is Christianity and faith in Jesus Christ."

    Ted Poe, a congressional candidate from Texas, goes even further. He compares Upper West Side liberals, at least implicitly, to the nation's enemies in the war on terror. The country is currently fighting for freedom abroad in Iraq, Poe says. But it's also fighting for "basic American principles" at home. "This threat is real," he continues. Don't "complain and criticize as the French did in the war in Iraq." No, this dangerous "threat" must be stopped with a fierce barrage of smaller government and lower taxes. "Sitting on the sidelines is not an option," says Poe, sticking with his hilariously inappropriate analogy. "Now is not the time to be a French Republican" (or, as the official transcript of his piece has it, an all-caps "FRENCH REPUBLICAN").

    Who screened Poe's speech? Sure, it's not prime time, but certainly someone pointed out (or someone should have pointed out) that it wasn't a good idea to compare Democrats, by far the majority in New York, to Baathists.

    Maybe Poe was more shocked by the scale of the anti-Bush protests in the streets than he should have been. He expected the Republicans to be greeted in Manhattan as liberators.


                 



    Some more ATCs and a birthday card for our nephew. The ATCs are for a stitching theme on Do Crafts Forum. I cross-stitched two small pieces - one of a blue bunch of flowers with a creamy yellow bow, and the other of a poppy with seed beads added to represent the stamens. For the blue card, I took a textured card blank and gently rubbed two ink pads over it, Adirondack Juniper and Cool Peri, then spritzed it with a Sky Glitz so giving it a subtle sheen. I added the trimmed and backed stitching, then stamped a row of three flowers along the base in dark blue and coloured them in turquoise. These had a layer of glitter glue added to them for some sparkle. Finally, I went round the edge of the card with a dark blue Sakura pen in a faux stitch and added two ribbon roses to the top of the stitching. I am very pleased with the finished card, as the colour scheme is lovely, very fresh and pretty.
    I am much less happy with the other one and am thinking I am not likely to send it to the swap- at least not in its current form. I may have another go at it tomorrow morning.
    Finally, I made a birthday card for our nephew who will be eight this week. I used a K & Co card blank in shades of blue and green stripes. To this I added a colourful tag, featuring Chinese lanterns in a row, with some orange ric rac tied at the top. Then I added some K & Co stickers from the same family as the tag and finally an initial J for the birthday boy. This will be posted tomorrow.

              Dubya Dubya Two   

    NEW YORK—There's an old rule of thumb in high school and college debating: The first side that is forced to bring up Hitler to defend its case automatically loses. (Sorry, MoveOn.org.) Referring to Der Fuhrer is a desperate act, the crotch-kick of rhetorical devices. It may get you out of a streetfight, but it is cause for disqualification in more formal settings, like political conventions.

    But if you expand the Hitler rule to include all references to World War II, President Bush would have lost this election on a technicality several years ago. After all, if reflecting the glory of the Good War upon yourself is the only way you can make the case for combat, your case isn't very good. Whenever the president is backed into a corner, he relies on a specious historical analogy to defend his policies. Iran, North Korea, and Iraq = Axis. Reconstructing Iraq = Reconstructing Japan. The analogies made by the president and his allies aren't always clear—why is Saddam, for example, compared to Hitler instead of Tojo or Hirohito?—but no one seems to notice.

    This administration's embrace of Dubya Dubya Two to defend its foreign policy is as tiresome as the tendency among liberals to believe that the phrase "another Vietnam" is always sufficient proof that the antiwar side is right. So, I was going to challenge the Republican Party at this convention to make the case for its policies without referring to World War II, but it appears that I'm too late. On Sunday evening, excerpts of Rudy Giuliani's Monday night speech were e-mailed to the press. Here's Giuliani on why Bush is a good president: "There are many qualities that make a great leader, but having strong beliefs, being able to stick with them through popular and unpopular times, is the most important characteristic of a great leader." Rudy's first example: "Winston Churchill saw the dangers of Hitler when his opponents and much of the press characterized him as a war-mongering gadfly." Come on, guys. You lost the bet, and the convention hasn't even started yet.

    The hoariest cliché in politics (other than "hoariest cliché") is that elections are about the future. But it may be proven wrong this year. The Democrats held the all-Vietnam-all-the-time convention in Boston, and the Republicans look like they will flip the calendar back a few years further in New York. When the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth moved on to John Kerry's activities as an antiwar protester during Vietnam, the presidential campaign seemed to be creakily lurching toward the present, but with only two months to go, we may not have enough time to get there. And now that the GOP wants to talk about the '40s, we don't have a chance.

    "We have seen these kind of times in the past. We have seen a former enemy of America, Japan, become an ally in peace," President Bush told USA Today last week. The administration strenuously objected when people tried, on the eve of war in February 2003, to compare Iraq to postwar Japan. Before the war, the Bushies got into a tizzy when anyone suggested there would be a seven-year military occupation. More like 30 days, or six months, or at the absolute maximum two years, they insisted. Now the president trots out the MacArthur comparison every chance he gets.

    Earlier this month in Columbus, Ohio, I saw Bush talk about "having Kobe beef" with the prime minister of Japan. "And here we are talking about peace," he said. "Someday, an American President will be talking to a duly-elected leader of Iraq, talking about the peace, and America will be better for it." Here was Bush on Sunday in Wheeling, W.Va., combining two of the most-overused historical analogies in politics, World War II and Harry Truman: "We've done this kind of work before. One of my closest collaborators in peace is the Prime Minister of Japan. It wasn't all that long ago in the march of history that my dad and your dads were fighting the Japanese. And yet here we are, because we insisted upon the transforming qualities of liberty, we insisted that Japan be given a chance to self-govern and be a democratic nation.  We believe that even an enemy could accept liberty as a way of life. Fortunately, my predecessor, Harry Truman, stuck with that point of view." If Bush could have squeezed in a "party of Lincoln" reference and a Cold War riff, he would have hit the historical analogy Grand Slam. (For Democrats, replace "party of Lincoln" with Selma.)

    George W. Bush is not FDR, and war opponents are not Neville Chamberlains. I'm tempted to engage the GOP in the historical debate to point out, for example, that one of the lessons of World War II was that international institutions like the United Nations and NATO would help keep the peace in a dangerous world. (That's something Bush claimed to believe in 1999 when he was campaigning for the presidency for the first time. "My goal, should I become the president, is to keep the peace," Bush said in his first debate in New Hampshire, according to Frank Bruni's Ambling Into History. "I intend to do so by strengthening alliances, which says, 'America cannot go alone.' ") Or to point out that the reconstruction of Japan—no sovereignty, no flag, no national anthem, no diplomatic relations—was very different from the Bush policy in Iraq. Or, for those who prefer the Cold War analogy, that President Kennedy agreed during the Cuban Missile Crisis to remove missiles from Turkey in exchange for Khrushchev's removal of Soviet missiles from Cuba.

    But that makes it sound like we should be negotiating with Osama Bin Laden over Turkey, which obviously isn't the case. So let's just say that historical analogies are, on their own, insufficient to prove much of anything. I say Saddam, you say Hitler. Let's call the whole thing off.


                 



    A quick update on some recent ATCS. These are for a Distressed swap, on Do Crafts. Two were for the swap, and one was a RAK for the organiser. As her name begins with an N, I started with a plain white card which I coloured using an Adirondack Lemonade ink pad. I then spritzed it with a Glimmer spray. Then added some crumpled Coredinations card in beige, also spritzed, across the middle part of the card. On the right border I stamped a floral border in dark pink and added some mini brads at the bottom of the Coredination in cream, beige and dark grey. The letter N has stripes in pink, beige, grey and similar colours so was added along with a little butterfly sticker.
    For the two swap cards, the first was covered with a piece of distressed paper we made at the recent ATC day in Barry. Over this I applied some flowers, attached with brads and then alongside I stamped and embossed the words Lots of Love and a pretty heart.
    The second card was also one that started life in Barry - being one of the ones I coloured using shaving foam, in tones of coral, yellow and pink, like a tequila sunrise. Over this I applied some crumpled, torn Coredinations card, then spritzed with a pink glimmer spray. I worked round the edges of the card with a dark red ink pad. After drying the spray with a heat gun, I stamped on pretty dark pink flourishes at random and the word Friendship in black. Finally, I added a vintage metal butterfly embellishment, affixed with mini brads.

              Sputnikmusic News Wk 04.28.2017   
    Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of April 28, 2017.  Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.  As our staff post reviews of these albums, links will appear below the art work so that you can read about the release, see how […]
              Building CORBA applications with Delphi 8 and Janeva - Part 1 - by Pawe&#322 G&#322owacki   
    none
              Local Press Lede of the Week   

    From the front page of Wednesday's Las Cruces Sun-News, the local newspaper for Mesilla, N.M., where Edwards held a rally Thursday:

    "MESILLA—A political rally with vice presidential candidate John Edwards was personally approved Wednesday by the Mesilla board of trustees."


              The iPhone 7 is expected to be slimmer, have a better camera but no headphone jack   
    Apple, with iPhone sales slipping, is under pressure to generate excitement at its iPhone event this week in San Francisco, but users may wait for its next model, which is expected to coincide with the iPhone's 10th anniversary next year.
              Silicon Valley architecture: Apple, Google, Facebook lead the way   
    In a place known for out-of-the-box thinking and risk taking, some tech firms are no longer playing it safe when it comes to their work spaces.
              Reply to Fog IP Address change on Tue, 19 Jan 2016 16:03:34 GMT   

    Since most companies that have a proxy server in their environment restrict direct internet access we have to configure linux (and fog) to communicate with the internet over the company authorized proxy server(s).

    Most command line utilities will inspect the environment variables to check to see if they need to use the proxy protocol when attempting to access files and services on the internet.

    These environment variables are http_proxy, https_proxy, and ftp_proxy (I’ve also seen these variables referenced in all upper case like HTTP_PROXY, HTTPS_PROXY and so on. To date I’ve only use the lower case env variables so I can’t say if case is important for all linux distros)

    You could add these env variables to each command invocation, but typically system admins will add them to a common logon script so they are available to anyone who logs into the linux system. Most common is to add them to the bash shell logon script /etc/bashrc To make these variables persistent in the environment they must be defined with the export function as below.

    export http_proxy=http://<proxy_server_ip>:<proxy_server_port>
    export https_proxy=http://<proxy_server_ip>:<proxy_server_port>
    export ftp_proxy=http://<proxy_server_ip>:<proxy_server_port>

    In the case of the fog installer, we need to tell the fog installer to not use the proxy protocol when attempting to connect to the fog server directly. So we must also include this env variable.

    export no_proxy="<fog_server_ip>"

    During the fog installation the installer script makes wget calls back into the running fog server for specific actions. Without the no_proxy setting the installer script would make that request to the proxy server. Some proxy servers won’t proxy requests to internal networks. So this setting is required.

    There are some command line commands that don’t inspect the env variables but require specific settings in their config files. These include FOG, svn (I assume git too), cpan, and pear. For these you will need to update the appropriate config file. For FOG (proper) you need to update the proxy server settings in the fog management console. For SVN you need to create a file in /etc/subversion called servers and then populate it with the required settings.


              Dog Bites President   

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—For the past few days, John Edwards has been standing in the middle of a river in the middle of a war, watching as enemy soldiers shoot at his commanding officer. His response? To call the other side's general and ask him to get the soldiers to stop. The general said he condemns all war, it's hell you know, and he sure wishes that all soldiers would lay down their weapons. Perhaps Edwards' CO would join him in that condemnation? Meanwhile, the officer was dying. So on Tuesday, Edwards finally decided to start firing back.

    He's still pleading on the phone with President Bush, sure, but at least he's wielding a pistol in his other hand while he's doing it. Maybe it's because Edwards is in Ohio, one of the three states where the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads have actually aired, but his remarks to the state AFL-CIO convention are angrier, more forceful, and more effective than the ones he made Monday in Wisconsin. They're also different in a subtle way. In addition to saying the ads are lies and asking the president to condemn them, Edwards adds two components: He reiterates the most heroic components of Kerry's war record, and he describes the Swift boat veterans as a front group that aims to do more than obscure the person of President Bush. Its attacks are designed to obscure the record of his administration.

    It doesn't sound like much—in fact it's pretty obvious—but it makes a huge difference. Again, Edwards broaches the subject by saying that he wants to talk about "what's been happening" in the campaign, and everyone immediately knows what he means. Again, he says that "it's a lie" paid for by "George Bush's friends." If Bush had "backbone and courage and leadership," he would ask his friends to pull the ads from the air, Edwards says. "Yesterday he had a chance" to do that "because he spoke for the first time, instead of having a spokesperson speak on his behalf. Instead of standing behind a front group, he spoke on his own behalf for the first time on this subject. And what did we get? We got a typical politician's answer, a non-answer." Edwards says that "every day that this goes on," he will demand that Bush tell the group to pull its ads.

    Then Edwards takes advantage of the controversy to take a moment to restate Kerry's heroics. This is the big plus of the Swift ads for Kerry. Without them, the stories of how the Democratic nominee saved a man's life 30 years ago would have grown tiresome and induce eye-rolling by now. But with Kerry's service being slandered, the tale still has force. Kerry's crewmates "saw him save one of his crewmates, pull him out of a river," Edwards says. "Saw him turn his boat around in the middle of battle and drive it through enemy position in order to save his crew. Strong, decisive, courageous, is that not what we deserve in our commander in chief?"

    In response to this tactic, the Bush campaign has been reduced to comparing the president to Bill Clinton. Tuesday morning, the campaign e-mailed a statement from campaign chairman Marc Racicot to reporters that read, in part, that the Kerry campaign is trying "to divide America by who served and how—something that John Kerry said we should never do when he declared during the 1992 campaign, 'We do not need to divide America over who served and how.' " (This despite the fact that four years ago, Bush took affront when John McCain compared him to the 42nd president. "Do not compare me to Bill Clinton," Bush said, pronouncing the name "Clin-TAWN," as if it were a new species of evil Star Trek alien.)

    But the new line taken by Edwards is based on more than a comparison of the Vietnam records of Kerry and Bush. The reason the Swift boat veterans want to focus on the past, Edwards suggests, the reason they must resort to "a campaign based on fear and lies," is because the present is so miserable. "During the last three weeks or so that these ads have been running, that they've been focused on this personal, negative attack on John Kerry, what's happened here in the state of Ohio?" Edwards asks. "Forty-five-hundred people have filed for bankruptcy. Four proud military men and women" from Ohio have lost their lives in Iraq. "The price of a barrel of oil has gone up $5."

    It's not perfect, and it may not be enough. But when Edwards returns to his favored buzzwords of optimism and hope and positive campaigning, he sounds even phonier than usual. It's about time.


              Fashion Apparel Savings of 15%   
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    Fashion Apparel Savings of 15%
    Expires Jul 13, 2017

              Edwards Buries the Hatchet   

    RACINE, Wis.—"If you're looking for the candidate who does the best job of attacking other Democrats, I am not your guy," John Edwards told appreciative crowds during the Democratic primaries. But senator, what about attacking Republicans?

    Mr. Positive needs to prove that he can go negative, or he's in danger of turning into the second coming of Joe Lieberman. When I followed Wesley Clark's campaign in New Hampshire this past December, Clark strategistChris Lehane complained about Lieberman's high-minded refusal to go negative against Bush and Cheney in 2000. As a result, Lehane said, Al Gore had to be his own hatchet man, and Gore's unfavorability ratings soared. Lieberman's jaunty smile while Dick Cheney eviscerated him during the 2000 vice presidential debate didn't endear him to Democrats, either.

    Edwards isn't in Lieberman's class yet, but as the Democratic Party's vice presidential nominee, he needs to jettison his carefully crafted persona as the smiling man of optimism who disdains "tired old hateful politics." During a multicandidate primary, the smilestrategy made a lot of sense. But as John Kerry's running mate in a two-man race for the presidency, Edwards' job is to engage in tired old hateful politics so that Kerry doesn't have to. That's what veeps do. And so far, Edwards hasn't been up to the task.

    Edwards' day begins Monday morning in Racine, Wis., at a town hall designed to highlight upcoming changes in overtime regulations. He prefaces his remarks with a brief statement about the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth controversy that has dominated the last couple weeks of the presidential campaign. Edwards must know that, for better or worse, these words will air on the cable networks and appear in the next day's news stories. The Swift boat controversy has become such a pervasive feature of the campaign that Edwards doesn't even need to explain what he's talking about.

    Edwards launches into his speech with a Liebermanesque, more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger critique. He contrasts the Democratic campaign's "positive vision, optimistic vision, hopeful vision about what's possible in America" with the Republicans' "relentless negative attacks" against them. "And I want to say a word about those attacks," he says. "No. 1, the claim that John Kerry did not serve this country honorably in Vietnam is a lie," proven false by news organizations and Kerry's comrades in Vietnam. "The second thing that has become clearer is that those ads are being financed by and pushed by friends of George W. Bush," he continues. Third, Edwards points out that "this is the same kind of smear campaigning and tactics that we saw against John McCain back in the 2000 presidential primary."

    Edwards then gets to the heart of his complaint. He wants the president to say three little words: "Stop these ads." He says, "We're not asking the president to give us the same old rhetoric, that John Kerry's service was honorable, you know, that we're proud of his service in Vietnam. That's the same thing he was saying about John McCain when they were smearing him back in 2000." Then Edwards delivers his toughest line: "No, these ads were intended, and have been running now for about three weeks, they were intended to attack the character of John Kerry. In fact, they've shown us something about the character of George W. Bush."

    But instead of elaborating on what we've learned about the president's character over the past three weeks or, even better, instead of making a careful lawyerly rebuttal of the veterans' charges, Edwards meekly says that hope is on the way. "We hope the president finally steps to the plate and does what he ought to do. All of us hope that."

    I admit I'm not sure exactly what Edwards should say to respond to the veterans, but asking President Bush to condemn the Swift boat ads isn't sufficient. For one, Bush has shown that he isn't willing to do so. In fact, Bush is adroitly using the group's existence to criticize the Kerry-Edwards campaign's reliance on their own 527 groups. The line of attack that Edwards is currently taking against Bush is allowing the president to turn this into a pox-on-both-houses controversy. But if both sides are diseased, the Democrats are infecting the campaign with chicken pox while the Swift boat vets are spreading the political version of the stuff that settlers gave to Indians in blankets.

    But any tactic would be better than begging Bush for mercy. Stop asking Bush to condemn the ads. Take the fight to the Swift boat vets themselves. Point out that the burden of proof is on Kerry's critics to prove their claims true, not on Kerry to prove them false. Point out that the U.S. military agrees with Kerry. Attack the president for not contradicting the smears when they're repeated by voters at "Ask President Bush" forums. Stop asking and start telling.

    In the long run, the controversy could help Kerry by giving him a valid excuse to run Vietnam ads for the duration of the campaign. I still think it helps Kerry anytime the national conversation topic is John Kerry's service in Vietnam. But it has to be a conversation, not a monologue. And opening a second conversation with President Bush isn't helping. In fact, it seems to be hurting.

    Kerry and Edwards are responding to Bush in the exact same way that John McCain responded in 2000 during the South Carolina primary, by attempting to publicly shame Bush into apologizing. It's a mistake. The whole McCain complex that imbues the Edwards attack on Bush is a mistake. Yes, John McCain is a Vietnam veteran, and so is John Kerry. Yes, McCain's service was smeared by allies of George W. Bush, and now the same thing is happening to John Kerry. But it's worth remembering that John McCain lost a race to George W. Bush. And if this keeps up, so will John Kerry.


              Commenti su Amici 2015: la finale. Chi sono i finalisti? Chi i vincitori? (gallery) di Selene Pegoraro   
    Io tifo Briga, perchè anche se a volte ha un carattere di merda merita veramente tanto di vincere perchè.. è vero quello che ha detto Emma BRIGA NON E' UN RAPPER MA E' UN ARTISTA e lui merita veramente tanto ma tanto di vincere
              The Right Rev. George W. Bush   

    COLUMBUS, Ohio—"I feel like a talk-show host," President Bush says midway through Thursday's first campaign event. He's standing next to a stool and a lectern, and he paces in circles to address the audience seated on all sides around him. Even from a distance, I can see why Bush charmed the press corps during his 2000 campaign. He's likable, winning, and self-deprecating. He's also quick on his feet, not with an instant recall of statistics but with snappy retorts that break up the room. This event was billed as an "Ask President Bush" forum, and although there didn't turn out to be much time for questions, from the outset the intimate setting made it more interactive than a typical presidential visit.

    The president didn't get it quite right when he called himself a talk-show host. He opens more in the vein of a revival-tent preacher, albeit a subdued one, and he concludes as a standup comic. "I think you have to ask for the vote," Bush says near the beginning, as he always does. "You got it!" yells someone, the first of many call-and-response moments. Then Bush segues into something that sounds more like a sermon than a stump speech.

    "All of you are soldiers in the army of compassion," the clergyman-in-chief tells the crowd. "And one of the reasons I'm seeking the office for four more years is to call upon our citizens to love your neighbor just like you'd like to be loved yourself." After his usual endorsement of the Golden Rule, Bush speaks of souls, which also isn't unusual for him: "We can change America one soul at a time by encouraging people to spread something government cannot spread, which is love."

    Bush goes on to talk about his desire to have the government fund more faith-based initiatives. "If you're an addict, if you're hooked on drugs or alcohol, sometimes government counseling can work. But sometimes it requires a change of heart in order to change habit," he says. "There are people who are empowered to change hearts in our society. Not by government, by a higher calling, and therefore government ought to welcome these words of compassion and healing."

    Bush isn't a fire-and-brimstone preacher, talking about sinners in the hands of an angry God. He's a hippie priest, emphasizing the Christian message of brotherly love. I can almost hear the guitars and tambourines. He says, "I know we can change America for the better by calling on those who are change agents, those who are willing to put our arm around someone who needs love and say, 'I love you, brother. I love you, sister. What can I do to help you have a better life here in America?'"

    From there, Bush becomes a teacher, imparting "the lessons of September the 11th, 2001." "We'll never forget!" a man seated among the firefighters calls out. Bush's Lesson 1: "We're facing an enemy which has no heart, no compassion. And that puts them at an advantage in a way, because we're a country of heart and compassion." Lesson 2: "In order to defend the homeland, we got to be on the offense. We must deal with those people overseas, so we don't have to face them here at home." Lesson 3: "In order to be able to defend ourselves, we've got to say to people who are willing to harbor a terrorist or feed a terrorist, you're just as guilty as the terrorists." Lesson 4: "When we see threats, we must deal with them before they fully materialize." Lesson 5 is a corollary of Lesson 4: "We saw a threat in Iraq."

    Even while Bush is in his teaching mode, the whole event has a Sunday-morning air. Bush says of Saddam, "He had used weapons of mass destruction. Remember that? He had used them on his own people." The crowd murmurs back, "That's right, that's right." When Bush mentions that John Kerry and John Edwards were two of only 12 senators—whom Wednesday he called "a small, out-of-the-mainstream minority"—to vote against the $87 billion for the war in Iraq, someone else yells out, "Shame on them!"

    Bush almost gets weepy later, when he tells a story "that touched my heart," about seven Iraqi men who visited him in the Oval Office. The men's right hands were chopped off by order of Saddam Hussein, and they had X's burned into their foreheads. An American organization provided them with prostheses. "A guy took my Sharpie, wrapped his new fingers and wrote, 'God bless America,' in Arabic," Bush says, his voice choking up. "What a contrast," he says. In America, "We want to heal you, no matter who you are," his voice catching again.

    So, are we going to abandon Iraq? Bush asks the crowd. "Are we going to be a country of our word?" he asks. "Or are we going to go timid and weary and afraid of the barbaric behavior of a few?" The crowd shouts back: "No!"

    As the event winds down, Bush gets looser and funnier. He points to a member of the crowd, one of the hand-picked Ohioans intended to represent a particular Bush policy, and says that she can explain it better than he can. Then he turns to another audience member and says, "You didn't have to agree with her." When another of the Representative Americans tells Bush that she recently received her associate's degree, magna cum laude, Bush replies, "That's better than I did, I want you to know."

    Bush says a CEO in the audience has an interesting idea to share. The man doesn't say anything. "Flex time," Bush says. "I'm glad you told me what my interesting idea was," the CEO says appreciatively. Bush replies, "I'm not a lawyer, but it looks like I'm leading the witness." "I appreciate that," the CEO says, and Bush shoots back, "You appreciate the fact that I'm not a lawyer?"

    After last week's Democratic convention, I felt that John Kerry had become the favorite in the presidential race. Now, after only two days with President Bush, I'm not so sure. He's that good. Unlike many people, I'm not threatened by the president's religious rhetoric. It must be the Midwestern Catholic in me. Like the people in the audience, I find it familiar and comforting. I can see why so many people believe the president is "one of us," no matter how rich or how elite his background. And I can see that Kerry will have a tough time besting Bush in all three debates.

    Still, not everything goes perfectly. When Bush gets ready to leave, he announces, "I'm off to Saginaw, Michigan," forgetting what must be a central tenet of Buckeye State politics: Never mention the state that is Ohio State's biggest rival, especially in Columbus, home to the university. For the first time all day, two men near me boo.


              Reply to Fog IP Address change on Tue, 19 Jan 2016 16:00:49 GMT   

    @Wayne-Workman Sure

    The content of /etc/subversion/servers on my servers are like this:

    [global]
    http-proxy-host = 192.168.1.56
    http-proxy-port = 3128
    

    for git you can issue the following commands (from stackoverflow.com):
    git config --global http.proxy http://192.168.1.56:3128
    git config --global https.proxy https://192.168.1.56:3128

    If you really wanted to not use env variables, then wget has proxy settings in /etc/wgetrc just uncomment the proxy lines and add the appropriate values and save.


              Looking Backward   

    MANKATO, Minn.—After watching President Bush speak for only a couple of hours on the 2004 stump, it's easy to see the main tenets of his re-election campaign: My opponent is un-American, or at least less American than me and you. My opponent, much like Al Gore, doesn't know who he is. My opponent is a tax-hiking, big-government liberal. Worse, he wants to ask other countries for permission for America to defend itself against its enemies. Last, and most important, my wife is better than his wife.

    What you don't hear from President Bush's stump speech, or from his surrogates, is what he plans to do were he given another four years as president. The problem is particularly glaring on matters of foreign policy. There are glimmers of a domestic agenda in the president's two campaign events Wednesday: He wants to reform America's high schools, increase math and science education, and increase the use of the Internet in schools. He wants more ethanol subsidies. He wants to make health care more available and affordable. He wants less regulation. He likes community colleges. He wants workers to be able to acquire flex time and comp time in lieu of overtime pay.

    Bush also gives his audiences a rehash of the greatest hits from his 2000 campaign mantras. He likes tort reform and dislikes "frivolous lawsuits." (A favorite line of Bush crowds: "You cannot be pro-patient and pro-doctor and pro-trial lawyer at the same time. You have to choose. My opponent made his choice, and he put him on the ticket.") He wants private Social Security accounts for younger workers. He likes marriage and the family, which always gets him a big cheer, because what it really means is he's against gay marriage. He's for a "culture of life," "judges who faithfully interpret the law instead of legislating from the bench," and a "culture of responsibility." Not to mention the responsibility society and the ownership society. He's still against the soft bigotry of low expectations. And of course, he wants everyone to love their neighbor just like you'd like to be loved yourself.

    Bush doesn't talk much about the future. He talks about the past. The biggest portions of Bush's speech are spent mounting a vigorous defense of his presidency. When Bush's campaign foundered in New Hampshire four years ago, he retooled his strategy in response to John McCain and began billing himself as a "reformer with results." He's not using that slogan yet, but the rhetoric is similar. "It's not enough to advocate reform," he says. "You have to be able to get it done." The closing section of his speech ends with the mantra, "Results matter." On education, health care, the economy, farms, and security, Bush concludes by saying, "Results matter." Of his Medicare prescription drug benefit, Bush says, "Leaders in both political parties had promised prescription drug coverage for years. We got the job done."

    Bush spends the longest amount of time defending his policies after Sept. 11. He takes credit for the creation of the Homeland Security Department (one of those things that Bush voted against before he voted for it), and he takes pride in the Patriot Act. Afghanistan has gone from being the "home base of al-Qaida" to being a "rising democracy." Pakistan, once a "safe transit point for terrorists," is now an ally. Saudi Arabia, he says, "is taking the fight to al-Qaida." Libya has given up its quest for weapons of mass destruction.

    Most of all, Bush defends the war in Iraq. He repeats the litany of reasons for going to war: Saddam was defying the will of the United Nations, he harbored terrorists, he funded suicide bombers, he used weapons of mass destruction against his own people. "In other words, we saw a threat," Bush says. "Members of the United States Congress from both political parties, including my opponent, looked at the intelligence and came to the same conclusion."

    What Bush doesn't acknowledge is what went wrong: The WMD were never found. We weren't welcomed as liberators. Oil revenues haven't paid for the war. It wasn't a cakewalk. What went wrong? Why? Given four more years, what does Bush plan to do about it? He hasn't told us yet, other than suggesting "more of the same."

    "Every incumbent who asks for your vote has got to answer one central question, and that's 'Why?'" Bush says. "Why should the American people give me the high privilege of serving as your president for four more years?" The answer Bush gives to that question is his record. He says he deserves re-election because of what he has already done. At Wednesday's first event, in Davenport, Iowa, U.S. Rep. Jim Nussle embodies this attitude when he introduces Bush to the crowd. "There is no one I would have wanted to be at the helm of this country these last four years than you," Nussle says.

    Bush and Nussle are asking the wrong question. The real question an incumbent faces is, what now? What's next? So far, Bush isn't telling. A president's record matters, but the reason it matters is because it has predictive value. Bush's defenders say he is a transformational figure, that he's willing to take on big problems and challenges. Wouldn't you like to know what Bush believes those big problems and challenges would be in foreign policy over the next four years? Are there gathering threats that, like Iraq, he thinks need to be tackled "before they materialize"? The president says that is the lesson of Sept. 11, that the nation must confront its security problems pre-emptively. Where else does he plan to apply that lesson? Does he plan to tell us?

    After the 2002 midterm elections, when Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill objected to another round of tax cuts for the rich, Vice President Cheney told O'Neill to discard his worries. We won the midterm elections, Cheney said. "This is our due." As much as liberals dislike President Bush's record over the past four years, it's the prospect of another four years that terrifies them. What they want to know—what keeps them awake at night—is what President Bush hasn't answered yet: What are you going to do next? This time, what will be your due?


              The Composite Candidate   

    BOSTON—The early portions of John Kerry's speech accepting the Democratic nomination for president of the United States resembled a typical Kerry for President campaign event. It was variety hour, with Kerry as emcee, introducing and thanking his special guests: his running mate, John Edwards; his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry; his children and stepchildren, Alexandra and Vanessa Kerry and Andre, Chris, and John Heinz; and of course Max Cleland and Kerry's Vietnam "band of brothers." In a new twist, Kerry also took a moment to thank each of his primary opponents by name—Carol Moseley Braun, Wesley Clark, Howard Dean, Dick Gephardt, Bob Graham, Dennis Kucinich, Joe Lieberman, and Al Sharpton. He thanked them for "teaching me and testing me—but mostly, we say thank you for standing up for our country and for giving us the unity to move America forward." But Kerry forgot to thank them for one other thing: writing his acceptance speech.

    When he began his run for the presidency, Kerry possessed the biography, the résumé, the presence, and even the height required for a successful campaign. But initially he struggled to provide a compelling rationale, beyond those assets, for why he should assume the highest office in the land. Sure, he kind of looked like a president, and yes, he seemed to think he deserved it, but that wasn't enough to convince voters in 2003. Later, the rise of Howard Dean and John Edwards sharpened Kerry as a candidate—perhaps because he becomes more focused on deadline, but also because he co-opted their messages, sometimes verbatim.

    Kerry turned himself into the Democratic composite candidate, and with the addition of his biography, the one component no other candidate could borrow, he steamrolled the field. So, it was appropriate for him to thank the eight candidates who, in large or small part, provided the content that catapulted Kerry to the nomination and that now, he hopes, will carry him to the presidency.

    To be fair, there were healthy chunks of Kerry's message from the primaries in the address. His line that, after Vietnam, "every day is extra" was used in an Iowa TV commercial that helped power him to his surprise victory in the caucuses there. Kerry didn't talk a lot about cutting middle-class taxes during the primaries, but his message that Howard Dean was going to raise taxes on the middle class helped spike Dean's candidacy. The attacks on outsourcing and corporate welfare were familiar to anyone who's watched Kerry campaign, and so was the sense of entitlement—or for those who want to view it charitably, destiny—that came across when he told Americans that as a child in a Colorado hospital, "I was born in the West Wing."

    But Kerry also sounded a lot like his running mate, John Edwards. He talked to voters directly about their struggles to pay the bills: "You know what's happening. Your premiums, your co-payments, your deductibles have all gone through the roof." He mentioned the rise in the number of families living in poverty, a pet Edwards issue. His "we're the optimists" line was pure Edwards, and when he noted, "I don't want to claim that God is on our side. As Abraham Lincoln told us, I want to pray humbly that we are on God's side," he was pilfering the quote from the guy he chose for the ticket, who used it during their final primary debate.

    Kerry sprinkled some of the best stuff from the rest of the field into the speech, too. Dean loved to attack Republicans for trying to appropriate the American flag for their own private use, when in fact it was the flag of all Americans, even—gasp—Democrats. Tonight, Kerry added a similar riff to his repertoire. He also adapted Dean's line about a president's most solemn duty being to tell the truth before taking a nation to war, when he promised to "be a commander in chief who will never mislead us into war." There was also a dash of Wesley Clark's "new patriotism," Clark's affirmation of dissent as patriotism's highest form, when Kerry said, "We are here to affirm that when Americans stand up and speak their minds and say America can do better, that is not a challenge to patriotism; it is the heart and soul of patriotism." Clark also had a riff about family values that Kerry adapted tonight, saying, "It is time for those who talk about family values to start valuing families."

    And, could it be? Was that a tiny drop of Bob Graham I heard when Kerry criticized America's dependence on the Saudi royal family for oil? The speech even contained a hint of Carol Moseley Braun, who liked to say, "It doesn't matter if you came to this country on the Mayflower or a slave ship, through Ellis Island or across the Rio Grande, we're all in the same boat now." What kind of America did Kerry say he wanted to lead? "An America where we are all in the same boat." There were only the tiniest hints, if any at all, of the rhetoric of Gephardt, Kucinich, Lieberman, or Sharpton that I could discern (though I feared before the speech began that its delivery would be pure Joementum), but that was for the best. There's no use burglarizing the poorest houses in your neighborhood.

    Kerry shouldn't be criticized for adopting his competitors' rhetoric, especially now that the race is long over. Good politicians borrow, after all, while great politicians steal. And the candidate of a unified party might was well be the sum of all its candidates.

    There are two questions, though, about Kerry's use of this political strategy. For one, there's a limit to how much longer he can use it. The zeal of the Democrats to retake the White House grants Kerry a fair amount of leeway to co-opt Bush's message and appeal to the center for the next three months, but he can't exactly get up and declare himself the candidate of compassionate conservatism. (Or can he?)

    Perhaps more important is the extent to which Kerry's remarkable ability to be all things to all Democrats has convinced nearly every faction of the party, from paleoliberals to New Democrats, that he is their candidate. Should Kerry actually take office in January, won't his grand coalition splinter once he starts disappointing certain elements within it? My guess is yes, and that Kerry doesn't particularly care at the moment. It's a problem he'd be happy to grapple with for four more years.


              I'm a War Vice President   

    BOSTON—I admit it. I don't get it. John Edwards is a perfectly fine public speaker, and compared to the likes of Bob Graham, he's Cicero, but I've never understood the press corps' crush on him. Of all the Democratic presidential candidates with whom I shared a small one-on-one encounter—even a handshake and a quick question—I found Edwards the least personally charming. Wesley Clark was a stiff shouter in speeches, but he had a likable way of engaging in locker-room razzing with the media. Howard Dean, the candidate whose stump persona (at least until he began messianic chanting) most closely resembled the one he put forth to the press, had a regular-guy air. Even John Kerry was hands-on, a guy who would put his arm around you to bring you into his circle. The awkward forcedness of the moment was part of its A-for-effort appeal.

    Edwards, on the other hand, was guarded, bland, and impenetrable when I sat down for a 30-minute interview with him last September in a supporter's home in Sioux City, Iowa. He had nothing to say beyond the confines of his scripted talking points, even on the subject of his home state of North Carolina's recent pilfering of Roy Williams from my beloved Kansas Jayhawks (beyond conceding, "I wanted Roy baaaaad"). He showed no interest in small talk or idle conversation, just question, response, stop. Question, response, stop. The candidate Edwards most resembled was Dick Gephardt, who was similarly suspicious during my 10-minute encounter with him, but at least Gephardt displayed a deep knowledge of policy. And I didn't mind because, hey, you don't expect to be charmed by Dick Gephardt.

    But Edwards' great strength as a candidate is supposed to be his ability to melt people with his winning smile. I was initially impressed by his public charm, particularly the first time I saw him deliver his revamped "Two Americas" stump speech in January. But that quickly wore thin, too. His delivery appears artful at first, but with repetition I saw it as rote and mechanical, so practiced that it's a little bit creepy. I find him as inscrutable as I did in that Iowa living room 10 months ago. As the campaign continued and Edwards kept drawing rave reviews, even from Republicans, I started asking myself: What's wrong with me?

    With those doubts in mind, like everyone else I waited for Edwards' moment to arrive Wednesday night with anticipation. I wanted to see him deliver a new speech, a piece of oratory worthy of a presidential nominating convention. Edwards delivered that speech, a captivating declaration of the ways a Kerry-Edwards administration would wage the war on terror. Edwards was sure and forceful, and he outlined a powerful alternative to the Bush administration's war. Unfortunately, he took until the fifth page of the transcript of his seven-page speech to get to that play-within-the-play, and the minispeech was finished by the middle of the sixth page. The speech I wanted to see was bookended by disappointment.

    The opening wasn't awful, but it wasn't particularly good, either. I was touched to hear Edwards mention his son Wade, who died in a car accident eight years ago and whom he writes about with grace in his book Four Trials. I don't recall hearing Edwards ever say the word "Wade" in public before. I once saw him tell a voter that he had four children, and then he named only three: Cate, Emma Claire, and Jack.

    After that moving—perhaps only to me—moment, Edwards transitioned into the John-Kerry-served-in-Vietnam portion of his address. Maybe it's nitpicky, but some of the assertions he made, and has made before, aren't exactly accurate. He said that Kerry's decision to beach his Swift boat while under fire was made "in a split-second," which isn't right. It was a decision Kerry had talked about and hashed out with his crew in advance. That doesn't make it less brave or less brilliant, but the story ought to be told the right way.

    Likewise, Edwards implied that Kerry knew that captaining a Swift boat was a dangerous duty when he volunteered for it, which isn't true. When Kerry asked for Swift duty, he wasn't asking for a combat job. It was only later that the Swifts' role in the war changed. Again, that fact doesn't detract from John Kerry's valor. In fact, it makes Kerry more understandable, more human. It shows how Kerry, an opponent of the Vietnam War before he enlisted, ended up unhappily—but with distinction—participating in it. Without that element of his story, Kerry becomes a thoughtful and serious young man, skeptical about Vietnam, who enthusiastically asks to be allowed to ship out and kill people he thinks of as innocents. I prefer the story of a man who got put in a situation he didn't ask for but did his duty anyway.

    After Kerry-in-Vietnam, Edwards shifted into son-of-a-mill-worker mode, followed by Two Americas. He was, however, more substantive than usual, listing off specific policies a Kerry administration would seek to enact: tax credits for health care, child care, and college tuition, paid for by an increase in taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. I think rolling back the high end of the tax cuts is a good idea, but if a lot of Americans thought they were in the top 1 percent four years ago, how many think they are in the top 2 percent? He should have given us a salary figure.

    But whatever flaws marred the portions of the speech about domestic policy, they were erased by the masterful section on foreign policy and the war on terrorism. About 20 minutes into his speech, Edwards painted the images of Sept. 11—"the towers falling, the Pentagon in flames, and the smoldering field in Pennsylvania"—and he mourned the nearly 3,000 who died. Unlike many of the speakers during the convention's first three days, Edwards didn't refer to 9/11 as a lost opportunity or a nostalgic period of national unity. He noted it as a tragedy that plunged the nation into war.

    Edwards criticized the Bush administration for dragging its feet on intelligence reform, and he promised better homeland security, safer ports, and more money for first responders—firefighters, cops, and emergency medical technicians. He also promised more dead terrorists. "And we will have one clear unmistakable message for al-Qaida and the rest of these terrorists," he said. "You cannot run. You cannot hide. And we will destroy you." And on the subject of Iraq, Edwards declared that America would win. He promised more special forces, a modernized military, stronger alliances, and he even said the magic words I didn't expect to hear: "a democratic Iraq."

    Not long after that, he went back to heart-tugging and platitudes, and I was again wondering why I don't get it. But one moment moved me, though you had to have watched Edwards closely for the last year to catch it: He adapted the conclusion of Four Trials, the book in which he talks most freely about Wade, for the speech. The last lines of the book are nearly the same as the ones Edwards said, near the very end of the speech, when he talked about the lessons he has learned during his sometimes tragic life. One lesson, Edwards said, is that "there will always be heartache and struggle—you can't make it go away. But the other is that people of good and strong will can make a difference. One is a sad lesson and the other's inspiring. We are Americans and we choose to be inspired."

    I saw it as a second mention of his son, this one a more private one, to pay tribute to the one member of the family who couldn't share this night with his dad.


              The Deaniacs Live!   

    BOSTON—He won't garner many delegates during Wednesday night's roll call, but Howard Dean still leads in the hearts of at least one demographic: people with home-made signs. Even offline, here on the floor of the FleetCenter, his most ardent supporters possess a blogger's sensibility. They reject the lame "Doing Right for America" placards provided by the message-masters of the Democratic National Convention as props to wave during Dean's Tuesday night speech. How "mass media," how "broadcast," to print thousands of posters of unremitting sameness and then expect that one size to fit all.

    Instead, as Dean walks to the podium, his true believers hold aloft Dean for America T-shirts and signs, relics from the primary campaign. They carried them in themselves, so they could show their allegiance at this moment. One sign is so wrinkled and worn it looks like it was accidentally left in someone's shirt pocket and put in the wash. Like a longtime fan sporting a tattered T-shirt at a rock concert, the delegate refuses to part with it.

    But the true Deaniac spirit is carried on by the delegates who drew up signs using posterboard and magic marker, like a fourth-grade art project. There's a row of four hand-scrawled letters, D-E-A-N. Others say, "Thanks, Howard," "Vermont [Heart Sign] Dean," "XO Dean," and "I Screamed for Dean, Now I Scream for Kerry." In the same do-it-yourself spirit, the local Dean Meetup printed up stickers reading, "Another Dean Democrat for Kerry" and handed them out to the crowd filing into the convention. One woman in the Colorado delegation brandishes a gigantic black-and-white enlargement of Dean on the cover of Time magazine. She looks like the love child of a political activist and a crazed basketball fan trying to distract a free-throw shooter.

    Dean also seems to enjoy a disproportionate share of support among delegates in elaborate costume, the people with red-white-and-blue sequined top hats or plush-toy donkeys on their heads. Three women in sombreros from the Texas delegation can't get enough of him. Almost exactly a year ago, I described the Dean campaign as having a "low-rent allure," and here it all is, still on glorious display.

    The crowd roars and roars and roars, a neverending ovation. The most enthusiastic Deaniacs seem to be in the back, in the worst seats, in the red states where Democrats can't win. Dean calls out to these marginalized Democrats during the speech, saying: "We're going to be proud to call ourselves Democrats, not just here in Boston. We're going to be proud to call ourselves Democrats in Mississippi, proud to call ourselves Democrats in Utah and Idaho. And we're going to be proud to call ourselves Democrats in Texas." The Utah and Texas delegations behind me stand and—what else—scream.

    The Colorado woman with the humongous Time cover sits rapt during the entire speech. I can't quite tell, but I think she's on the verge of tears. Dean walked out to "Revolution," and—except for the two miniature pom-poms stuck in her hair—this woman's ecstasy comes straight out of an old Beatlemania newsreel.

    When the speech is over, I walk over and ask about her costume, which I now notice includes a "Deaniac for Kerry" pin. "It's retail politics, it's getting people excited about politics again," she enthuses. "You gotta have a gimmick." Her name tag says Leslie Robinson, 2nd Vice Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party. She was a Dean Meetup host. "Notice how he didn't say it was about me the candidate," she says. "He said it was about 'you.' "

    Unprompted, she volunteers a point that helps explain why the loudest cheering seems to come from red-state delegates. The Dean campaign was driven by "people who felt disenfranchised for a long, long time," Robinson says. I ask her what she means by that. "They didn't think that their vote counted," she explains. "They didn't think they could make a difference. And he showed them that we can."

    I ask if she's a Dean delegate. She shakes her head. "When Howard Dean decided to support Kerry, I'm a good soldier, and I said, 'Yes, sir,' " she says, standing up and snapping a stiff military salute.


              The Cheese Stands Alone   

    BOSTON—Throughout his presidential campaign, John Kerry has relied on a team of salesmen to make the case for why voters should elect him as the next man to occupy the Oval Office. Even before the arrival of John Edwards as his running mate, Kerry seemed to know that he needed a charismatic advocate by his side at all times. In Iowa, Christie Vilsack, the wife of Hawkeye State Gov. Tom Vilsack, charmed the crowds at Kerry events, and the surprise arrival of this-man-saved-my-life Jim Rassman cinched the caucuses for Kerry. In New Hampshire, it was Bay State neighbor Teddy Kennedy who entertained the audience, while Kerry was content to play master of ceremonies to a cavalcade of guest stars. In effect, the first three days of the Democratic convention take the conceit of the standard Kerry campaign event to its logical conclusion, by eliminating the candidate entirely.

    Unfortunately, it didn't work quite as well on Monday night as I expected. Al Gore and Jimmy Carter, the night's two main speakers not named Clinton, made powerful and persuasive critiques of George W. Bush's presidency, but they failed to advance much of a positive case for a President Kerry. Gore, the first major speaker to take the stage, gave the best speech it's possible for Al Gore to deliver, hitting that third gear he usually skips, the one in between robotic Gore and mental-patient Gore. It felt like Gore's turn to have a Bob Dole moment, to reinvent himself as an elder statesman who laughs at himself.

    But what the speech did for Gore is less important than what it did for Kerry: not enough. Gore's case against Bush was clear and convincing. He asked those who voted for his opponent four years ago, "Did you really get what you expected from the candidate that you voted for? Is our country more united today? Or more divided? Has the promise of compassionate conservatism been fulfilled? Or do those words now ring hollow? For that matter, are the economic policies really conservative at all? Did you expect, for example, the largest deficits in history?" Gore also reached out to Nader voters—and maybe even to capital-L Libertarians—asking, "Do you still believe that there was no difference between the candidates?" Gore even advanced what Mickey Kaus dubs the "Pedro Martinez" theory of the presidential campaign. He asked supporters of the Iraq war to consider the merits of a relief pitcher: "Wouldn't we be better off with a new President who hasn't burned his bridges to our allies, and who could rebuild respect for America in the world?"

    But if you're deciding whether to turn to the bullpen, it matters whether the guy warming up is Eric Gagne or Byung-Hyun Kim, and Gore doesn't do much to assure voters who aren't certain about Kerry's merits. Here's the entirety of his case for Kerry: He is loyal. He is honest. He is patriotic. He served in Vietnam. He protects the environment. He fights narcoterrorism. He's a deficit hawk. He picked John Edwards.

    It's not a bad list, but it feels insufficient. Carter's speech suffered from a similar problem. It was filled with reasons to vote against George Bush but not enough reasons to vote for John Kerry. Carter's critique of Bush was even more effective than Gore's, though, in part because it was so genially vicious. Alone of all the speakers Monday night, Carter alluded to Bush's service, or lack thereof, in the National Guard. He noted that Truman and Eisenhower, the two presidents Carter served under during his time in the Navy, "faced their active military responsibilities with honor." Kerry, likewise, "showed up when assigned to duty, and he served with honor and distinction." Carter also came the closest of any speaker to calling Bush a liar. He said that if Bush wins reelection, "the manipulation of truth will define America's role in the world," and he said that "in the world at large we cannot lead if our leaders mislead." Carter even made what to my ear sounds like a reference to the Abu Ghraib scandal, saying that "we cannot be true to ourselves if we mistreat others."

    Like Gore, however, Carter's embrace of Kerry wasn't as persuasive as his denunciation of Bush. This is nice, but it just isn't enough, I think to myself. Maybe Kerry can't rely on surrogates anymore. He's going to have to finally sell himself. Then Bill Clinton strode into the FleetCenter to worshipful applause.

    Clinton sold Kerry, rather than just tearing down the leading brand. And he managed to tie Kerry's Vietnam experience into a compelling thematic refrain, with Kerry declaring "send me," like a believer answering God's call, every time his nation needed him. Soon, the crowd began chanting Clinton's refrain with him. As usual, Clinton's familiarity with the language of religion added depth to his oratory. After Clinton said to remember the Scripture, "Be not afraid," I found myself singing the hymn in my head: "I will go, Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart." More concisely: Send me.

    The speech was everything Kerry could have wished for, an electric performance by the party's most charismatic salesman. Still, as the former president walked off the stage, I had to wonder how many people were thinking: Send Clinton. This man would beat President Bush—again—in a romp. Kerry, on the other hand, hasn't yet proved that he can close the deal.

    So, in the end, Clinton's speech was just like Gore's and Carter's. It was nice, but it isn't enough.


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              The Copycat Convention   

    BOSTON—John Kerry's victory jog through the Democratic primaries wasn't electrifying political drama, but it was fascinating to watch because Kerry's leisurely lapping of the field couldn't be explained by the conventional axioms of presidential politics. In the general election, Kerry has continued his rule-breaking ways. He's the same John Kerry—boring, craggy, and cringe-inducing—such as when, during his Sunday night, live-from-Fenway-Park interview on ESPN, he ducked the question of whether to induct Pete Rose into the Baseball Hall of Fame ("That's up to the writers. I think, probably, that's pretty difficult.") and tried to have it both ways on whether Roger Clemens should be inducted as a member of the Boston Red Sox ("Well, obviously, we think [Red Sox] but there are evenly divided opinions here."). But despite his limitations as a candidate, he's still engaged in a campaign that's suspending the normal laws of politics.

    Even a casual viewer of Hardball knows that the first rule of an election that involves a sitting president is that it's a referendum on the incumbent. This election, however, has turned out to be the opposite. It's a referendum on the challenger. Kerry probably isn't responsible for this turn of events, but he's benefiting from it: The referendum on the incumbent is over. President Bush already lost it. This presidential campaign isn't about whether the current president deserves a second term. It's about whether the challenger is a worthy replacement.

    So, even though there are supposed to be only five persuadable voters left in America, I'm inclined to think that the next four nights will be worth watching. Can the Democrats re-enact the successful 2000 Republican convention, a parade of moderation and diversity that convinced the nation that George W. Bush was a decent fellow who could be trusted with the levers of power? Four years ago, partisan Republicans were so consumed by Clinton hatred that they would shriek ecstatically every time Bush said he would "uphold the honor and dignity of the office." They channeled their rage into pragmatism: After eight years of Clinton, GOP primary voters wanted to beat Al Gore so badly that they rallied around Bush months before the primaries began, based on nothing more than the fact that he seemed electable. They made a calculated bet that Bush was a guy who would sell well, and they were right.

    Now it's the Democrats' turn to see if their similar gamble will have a similar payoff. But I wonder if this convention will be as restrained as the one Republicans held four years ago. There's a big-name loose cannon on the bill on each of the first three nights: On Monday it's Al Gore; on Tuesday it's Howard Dean; and on Wednesday it's Wesley Clark. Each one is smart, beloved by a portion of the party, and capable of rhetorical sobriety. They're also all capable of going off the deep end.

    Four years ago in Philadelphia, it took nearly two full days for a Republican speaker to even use the phrase "Clinton-Gore administration." On the eve of this convention, the Democrats were still sating their appetite for vitriol. A labor delegate caucus I attended Sunday was either an indication that the party isn't quite ready to tone down its rhetoric, or it was a Bush-bashing bachelor party, a final sowing of oats before the inevitable settling down. "This is where the first American revolution started, and the humiliating defeat of a king named George began," AFL-CIO president John Sweeney said. "And, brothers and sisters, it's where we're starting a new American revolution." Rep. John Lewis called George Bush the worst president of his lifetime. Dick Cheney was booed as a "calloused backroom operator."

    Then John Edwards was introduced to speak via satellite. He gave his standard speech, about leading the world rather than bullying it, about not going to war needlessly, and about John Kerry's heroism and service in Vietnam. He also delivered a line that is consistently his biggest applause-getter at the Kerry-Edwards events I've attended. It's Edwards' answer to "honor and dignity," Bush's subliminal catchphrase from the 2000 campaign.

    Every day, Edwards likes to say, every day John Kerry sits in that Oval Office, "he will always tell the American people the truth." The crowd erupted, as they always do. And during the entire speech, Edwards never said the president's name.


              John Kerry's Five-Star Campaign   

    NEW YORK—Never mind the arrival of John Edwards; I knew the general election had begun when I got my own butler. During the penny-pinching primary season, when the candidates were constantly on the brink of bankruptcy, I followed campaigns that stayed at discount hotels and even supporters' homes. Not John Kerry—at least, not anymore. In the past three days, we stayed at the Westin in Pittsburgh, the Sheraton Sand Key Beach Resort in Clearwater, Fla., and the St. Regis Hotel in midtown Manhattan, where each room comes equipped with a 24-hour on-call Jeeves and where the rate for my room, picked up by Slate, was $299 a night. (On hotels.com, it goes for $445.) Somewhere between March and July, the presidential campaign turned into an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that! "Say what you will about Kerry, at least he travels better than Gore," one reporter tells me. "Gore was all Super 8s and Econo Lodges." In Gore's defense (or Kerry's, depending on your perspective), the former vice president didn't have $180 million to burn.

    Flush with cash—and still raising it, with $2 million flowing into the campaign after Thursday night's Radio City Music Hall gala and another $1.2 million after two Friday morning fund-raisers—the Kerry campaign is engaged in a scheme not unlike the one Richard Pryor is tasked with in Brewster's Millions: seeing how much money it can spend on deadline. Unless Kerry takes the unprecedented step of opting out of the public-financing system for the general election, he has to spend his remaining millions in the next three weeks. Once he formally accepts the Democratic nomination on July 29, he's got only $75 million for the next three months. By mid-August, my reporter friend might start grumbling again.

    At least she'll still have the Kerry planes to enjoy. They're a long way from McFun, the Ford E-350 I rode in with Howard Dean nearly a year ago. I have yet to reach the hallowed ground of the real Kerry plane, which is reserved for the press pool, but the secondary press plane—paid for by its passenger-reporters—is a four-across, first-class affair, and the only restriction upon its travelers appears to be the assigned seating chart. Cell phones, Blackberries, and laptops whir throughout the flight. There are flight attendants, but they're there to lavish the press corps with food, not to take away our drinks during takeoff and landing or burden us with demands to wear our seatbelts, put away our tray tables, and place our seats in the upright position. Yet another media myth demolished: The national political press are alleged by some to be engaged in a devious scheme to force socialism upon an unwitting American public, but when we fly, we take Libertarian Airlines.

    (A few overhead compartments burst open during our landing Wednesday in Cleveland, prompting some frenzied journalists to leap to their feet to prevent their belongings from spilling onto colleagues' heads. That's the price of freedom, I guess.)

    The other big change from the primaries to the general election is the quality of the celebrities who support John Kerry. The Radio City Music Hall fund-raiser draws A-listers such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Wyclef Jean. In the lead-up to Kerry's surprising win in Iowa, by contrast, one press release heralded a "celebrity-studded RV tour" featuring—I am not making this up—Max Weinberg, some guy from Party of Five, and Kelly from The Real World: New Orleans.

    Did anything of substance occur this week? Not really. Just your normal, run-of-the-mill campaign stops, with voters wearing T-shirts of the president surrounded by the words "International Terrorist" and the candidate making homoerotic jokes about his running mate. "I said to [Edwards], we've got to stop hugging like this," Kerry told a women's fund-raiser Friday morning. He then described a Jay Leno bit in which photos of Kerry and Edwards hugging and gazing adoringly at each other were aired to the tune of "You Are So Beautiful." Kerry loved it. "I just want you to know," he told the assembled audience, "I thought we made a great couple."

    And I thought, you know what, John Kerry can be charming. When he's not irritating, that is, as he was Thursday night when he followed his boast that the Democratic ticket had "better hair" with, unbelievably, a pander to the bald vote. "My wife told me earlier, you just lost the bald vote," Kerry said. "Please don't. We're just having fun. You've gotta have fun."


              igra istine   
    Meni jeste..... Unhappy


    Planiras negde na zimovanje?
              And They're Off   

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—John Kerry and John Edwards still believe in a place called Hope. And its sister city, Optimism. They also swear by a town called Opportunity, a village called Values, a burgh called Responsibility, and a couple of lakes called Family and Faith. But really, it's mostly Hope and Optimism.

    What kind of places are Hope and Optimism? Strong. Strong and American. Strong and American and middle-class. They don't do a lot of fighting against powerful interests, which leads some to speculate that Bob Shrum doesn't live in either place. But the American people will live in one, if not both, if Kerry and Edwards are elected. They'll probably live in Optimism first because Hope apparently needs to be restored.

    That was pretty much the message during the first few hours of the germinal Kerry-Edwards campaign, which launched with a Wednesday morning photo-op at the Heinz farm near Pittsburgh and continued with an afternoon rally in Cleveland. It wasn't the entire message because this was also the Stronger Here at Home and Respected Around the World tour. But the emphasis on hope and optimism, or at least on using the words hope and optimism a lot, was noteworthy because Edwards, the new man on the ticket, made his name in the primaries as Mr. Optimism. His political action committee even bore the ridiculous name New American Optimists.

    In Cleveland, the running mate sums up the campaign's new message with a phrase so nonsensical I can't believe it when I hear him repeat it later in Dayton, Ohio, and again here in Florida. He and Kerry embrace "the politics of hope, the politics of what's possible because this is America, where everything is possible," he proclaims.

    Let's get this straight. This campaign is about what's possible. In America, everything is possible. Ergo, this campaign is about everything. Which means it's about nothing.

    For the first few hours of the Kerry-Edwards campaign, the two candidates do their best to make it seem like it, anyway. The Cleveland kickoff event is particularly inauspicious. Edwards, normally sure on the stump, stumbles on several occasions, declaring incoherently at one point: "With John Kerry as president of the United States, no young American will ever go to war needlessly because America has decided to go to war." At another moment, Edwards assures the crowd of Kerry: "He will lead this country to the place that it can go." Teresa Heinz-Kerry misfires, too, when she notes that she's from nearby Pittsburgh and gets booed. (Must be an AFC North thing.) Good-naturedly booed, but still—the only other boos from the crowds for the rest of the day are reserved for President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

    By the time we reach Dayton, around 5 p.m., things start to improve. Kerry and Edwards have worked out some of the kinks in their rally rituals, and they seem more energetic, more natural, and less tired. Kerry's jokes even start to seem funnier, at least within the confines of the quaint "dad humor" that Kerry practices. He draws guffaws with a joke he trots out at each stop: "We think this is a dream ticket. We've got better vision, we've got better ideas, we've got real plans, we've got a better sense of what's happening to America. And we've got better hair." Later, he declares that an 13th-century Ohio Indian tribe with a medicine man "had a better health-care plan than this administration." And at the day's last stop, Kerry runs though the similarities between him and Edwards: "He's a lawyer. I'm a lawyer. His name is John. My name is John. He was named People magazine's sexiest person of the year. I read People magazine."

    The evening's final event boasts the best anti-Kerry/Edwards sign of the day ("Flush the Johns"), but it's also the day's best event by far. The hall is packed with angry Florida Democrats, and Kerry kicks things off by stoking their fury: "Thank you, Florida, where this time not only does every vote count, but every vote's gonna be counted."

    More important, though, the event reveals a secret benefit—at least it was a secret to me—to Kerry's decision to select Edwards as his running mate: Elizabeth Edwards is from Florida. "I'm a native Floridian," born in Jacksonville, she tells the crowd, which cheers wildly. Her parents married in Pensacola and now live in Sarasota. Her sister lives in Bradenton. "My aunts and uncles live all over the state," she concludes. "Don't you embarrass me in front of my family."

    It's not the first time in the day that Edwards' family seems to be paying as many dividends as the man himself. In the morning and early afternoon, the only person who brings a jolt of boyish energy and youthful enthusiasm to the campaign is 4-year-old Jack Edwards, who captivates voters and press alike. Six-year-old Emma Claire, with her pink backpack, is a hit, too. The idea that Bill and Hillary Clinton were "two for the price of one" was controversial. But what about four for the price of two?


              The Pretender   

    ATLANTA—One of John Edwards' most effective bits on the trail was his description of how he overcame the soft bigotry of low expectations in the courtroom. On the stump, Edwards would paint himself as a lawyer who was a country rube facing impossible odds against high-priced, pinstriped corporate attorneys. They would look at him and sniff, who is this guy? What's he doing here? We're going to cream him. He doesn't belong with us. But despite being underestimated, "I beat 'em," Edwards would shout. "And I beat 'em again. And I beat 'em again."

    Pretty much the opposite happened during the presidential campaign. Edwards came into the race highly regarded by the pundits and insiders who evaluate political talent. As early as 2001, the New York Times'William Safire pronounced that Edwards was "the most likely challenger to Al Gore" for the 2004 Democratic nomination. We like this guy, journalists told their readers over and over. He belongs here. That judgment never wavered, despite the fact that as Edwards campaigned in the primaries and caucuses, he lost 'em. And he lost 'em again. And he lost 'em again.

    In truth, Edwards was never a serious contender for the Democratic nomination. Despite the media's best efforts to gin up a two-man race between Edwards and John Kerry after Howard Dean's departure, that contest never materialized. There was never compelling evidence that voters considered Edwards as Kerry's strongest competitor. As I wrote a month ago, this was a race between the front-runner, Kerry, and a bunch of people in third place. Nobody ever staked a valid claim for second.

    From Iowa until Wisconsin, the final primary before Dean dropped out of the race, Democrats had held primaries or caucuses in 17 states. Edwards placed a distant fourth in eight—nearly half—of them. His second-place finish in Wisconsin was his sixth time as first-runner-up, but before that, he had been tied with Dean, who finished second five times in the first 17 states. Dean was also a much more consistent vote-getter than Edwards. He finished third in seven of the first 17 states, while Edwards did that only three times. And after winning Vermont Tuesday, Dean has now racked up as many primary victories as Edwards (and, to be fair, Wesley Clark). I'm not saying that Dean was the real No. 2 of this race. I'm just saying that Edwards wasn't either. The whole Edwards-Kerry Super Tuesday face-off was a bunch of hooey. The presidential race was over at the end of the first week of February.

    Was it too fast? I'm not sure. It's true that the vote-casting stage was exceedingly short. Iowa conducted its first-in-the-nation caucuses a little more than six weeks ago, on Jan. 19. But the so-called "invisible primary" that leads up to Iowa was exceptionally long. And it got a lot of national news coverage. Dean landed on the covers of Time and Newsweek in early August 2003, nearly a full year before the Democratic national convention. When I spent a few days with Dick Gephardt's Iowa campaign this past October, 19 national reporters were there with me. So, yes, this campaign cycle was very, very short, but the prelude was also very, very long.

    Over the next few days, Edwards' flaws will be dissected. Most of them are well-known. He seemed young, even though he was 50. He never passed the threshold I'm-strong-on-national-security test. Voters liked him personally, but they wanted to hear more specifics on the issues. His above-the-fray campaign strategy worked OK during the multicandidate stage of the race, but in a head-to-head battle with Kerry he proved unwilling to be tough. (I always thought that Edwards' declaration that he wasn't the candidate who was best at attacking other Democrats actually hurt him, despite the applause, because it created the perception that he wouldn't be willing to wage a forceful campaign against President Bush.)

    By themselves, none of those reasons fully explain why Edwards didn't win. In the end, he lost because there really are two Americas. There's the one that votes for John Edwards, and then there's the one for everybody else.


              Trading Places   

    LOS ANGELES—John Kerry did something I thought was impossible tonight. He turned himself into John Edwards. This may be the secret of Kerry's success in the Democratic primaries: What Bill Clinton did to infuriate the Republican Congress during his presidency, Kerry does to his fellow candidates. He co-opts their issues, their message, even their language. When Howard Dean was the obstacle in Kerry's path, the Massachusetts senator talked about throwing the special interests out of Washington and putting the people back in charge. Now that Edwards is the lone serious contender, Kerry pitches himself as the positive, optimistic candidate with "real solutions."

    "I've offered a positive vision of what we ought to be doing in America," Kerry declared in the opening moments of Thursday's debate. "Once we have a nominee, this country will have an opportunity to hear a positive vision of how we can offer hope to Americans, optimism about the possibilities of the future, not divide America but bring it together to find real solutions. And that's what I'm offering: real solutions." Edwards must have felt like a sitcom character, the candidate for student council president watching his classmate deliver a stolen version of his speech. The "Real Solutions Express" is the name of Edwards' campaign bus. "Real Solutions for America" is the name of Edwards' 60-page policy booklet. It's also the phrase plastered across the top of Edwards' campaign Web site.

    But unlike the sitcom character, who takes the podium and falls flat on his face, Edwards dominated the early portion of the debate. He throttled Kerry—with an assist from an aggressive Ron Brownstein—after Kerry couldn't explain why he thought the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional in 1996 but that a constitutional amendment isn't needed now to ensure that states are not forced to recognize gay marriages from other states. After Kerry's long-winded and unsatisfactory answer to whether he would vote for the Defense of Marriage Act today, Edwards jabbed, "I'm not sure what he said about that. But I would not vote for it." Then Edwards deftly moved to Kerry's left on the issue, saying he believes the federal government ought to be required to recognize gay marriages if they are recognized by a state. Edwards also looked strong when he confronted Al Sharpton to defend his support of the death penalty.

    Despite the inclusion of Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich, they weren't much of a factor. They sat on the far end of the table away from the TV camera, and they were confined mostly to interjecting asides to the main debate between Kerry and Edwards. They seemed like the political debate version of the two grumpy old men who issue catcalls from the balcony during The Muppet Show.

    But despite Edwards' strong start, by the end of the debate a second impossible transformation had occurred. John Edwards turned into John Kerry. Kerry answered a difficult question from Larry King about his opposition to the death penalty—"A person who kills a 5-year-old should live?"—clearly and directly. "Larry, my instinct is to want to strangle that person with my own hands," he said. But the system is flawed, it's applied unjustly, and as a matter of principle, "the state should not engage in killing." That's the best answer you can give to that unpopular position. Edwards, by contrast, sounded like the Kerry of old when he tried to explain why he supports a system that King said "nearly executed over 100 people who didn't do it." He talked about how "serious" the issue was, and how "serious steps" need to be taken, such as "making the court system work." Finally, King bailed him out: But why do you favor capital punishment? Oh yeah, Edwards seemed to think, that's what I should be talking about, and he brought up some liberal red meat: "Those men who dragged James Byrd behind that truck in Texas, they deserve the death penalty."

    On another occasion, Brownstein had to repeatedly query Edwards to get him to explain whether there were any substantive differences between him and Kerry on the issue of reforming the way Washington works. "Do you view Sen. Kerry as part of the solution or part of the problem?" Brownstein asked. Edwards dodged the question. "Is there a difference in your commitment to this cause and what you see from Sen. Kerry?" Brownstein tried again. "Yes," Edwards said, because I'm an outsider. But that's not substantive, Brownstein objected. "He is saying many of the same things. Are you saying that he is less committed?" Edwards demurred.

    Then Kerry swooped in to damn Edwards with praise. "I don't think there fundamentally is a difference," he said. "I mean, John has raised almost 50 percent of his money from one group of people in the United States"—"Is that the trial lawyers?" King interrupted—"That's correct. And I don't ever suggest that he is beholden to them," Kerry continued magnanimously. "Because I know he stood up on the patients' bill of rights."

    The real Kerry returned a few moments later, with a preposterously unclear statement on his first executive order: "Reverse the Mexico City policy on the gag rule so that we take a responsible position globally on family planning." But then Edwards picked up the Kerry torch when Los Angeles Times editorial page editor Janet Clayton asked him how he can criticize the president for a war that he voted for. Edwards tried to appear thoughtful and serious, saying he gave "an awful lot of thought and study to it." Not only that, "I was worried about it. All of us were. I took this responsibility seriously." But why did you vote for it? "What we did is we voted on a resolution," Edwards stammered. And Bush didn't conduct the war properly. "So are you saying you were suckered?" Clayton asked.

    King asked Edwards if he regrets his vote for the war. "I did what I believed was right at the time," Edwards said. "Do you regret it?" King asked again. "I did what I believed was right at the time," Edwards repeated. "Do you regret it?" King asked again, this time to laughter. "We don't get to go back, Larry," Edwards insisted. "Well, you can regret something," King said.

    Kerry pounced on his chance to play Edwards to Edwards' Kerry. "Let me return a favor from the last debate to John," he said. "You asked a yes-or-no answer: 'Do you regret your vote?' The answer is: No. I do not regret my vote. I regret that we have a president of the United States who misled America and broke every promise he made the United States Congress." Substantively, this is the same answer Edwards gave, but it was clear instead of evasive and concise instead of tortuous.

    It couldn't have been clearer: Edwards had become Kerry and Kerry had become Edwards. Kerry's critics will likely see this as more evidence of flip-flopping opportunism. Kerry will likely see it as victory.


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              Dean Goes Offline   

    MADISON, WIS.—If the "Wisconsin or bust" primary began as the bargaining stage of the Dean campaign's death, as one staffer told me, then by Election Day, everyone had settled comfortably into acceptance. It's not quite right to say that those in attendance at Howard Dean's primary-night rally at the Madison Concourse hotel appeared resigned in the face of their candidate's defeat. It's fairer to say that Dean's impending withdrawal from the presidential campaign felt irrelevant to the entire affair, as if it had already happened. Staffers openly discussed future plans—What are you doing tomorrow? Wanna party with me in New York this weekend?—in the press filing center. Hardly anyone watched the returns come in on CNN. In contrast to the sober yet chaotic feel of Wesley Clark's campaign in its death throes, what was almost certainly Dean's final presidential campaign event (other than his withdrawal speech) had a celebratory, even self-congratulatory air. They came to praise Caesar, not to bury him.

    Dean knows how to give only one kind of speech, a victory speech, and that's what he delivered. You have "really worked hard to change this country and change this party," he told his assembled supporters. "And guess what? You have succeeded." It was a victory for a movement, not a campaign. "You have already written the platform of the Democratic Party for this election," Dean said. "A year ago, the Democrats were falling all over each other to vote for the war in Iraq. They sure don't talk like that now." Dean also claimed credit for getting the Democrats to stand up to "reckless budget deficits," "huge tax cuts," and "the president's education policies, which leave every child behind."

    But the change in the Democratic Party, Dean declared, would be illusory if he and his supporters did not continue to challenge the Democratic establishment. "We together have only begun our work," he said. In what sounded like a shot at John Kerry, he continued: "The transformation that we have wrought is a transformation of convenience, not of conviction, and we have to fight, and fight, and fight until it becomes a transformation of conviction."

    What does this mean, exactly? No one's certain. Other than Dean himself, "I don't think anyone but Roy Neel knows" what's going to happen next, an aide told me. But it's wrong to think that it means that Dean will continue campaigning. Instead, the smart money is that when Dean drops out of the presidential race, he will likely announce that he and his supporters will remain active in the campaign by transforming Dean for America into a political action committee or a 527 group, something that would allow him to try to become a power broker in Democratic politics.

    If Dean dislikes Kerry as much as he is reported to, and if he really thinks John Edwards would be a superior nominee, then he's right to get out of the race quickly. I'm not convinced that Edwards is more electable than Kerry—with apologies to my colleague Will Saletan, so far the evidence for Edwards' electability is that he keeps losing elections—but a two-man race is Edwards' only chance. CNN and the Los Angeles Times will do voters a disservice if they invite Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton to their Feb. 26 debate. Kerry cited the fact that Kucinich and Sharpton were still in the race to dodge a question from Anderson Cooper about the prospect of a head-to-head debate with Edwards. But CNN shouldn't be asking Kerry whether he's going to debate Edwards one-on-one. They should be telling him.

    One final thought about Tuesday's results: Isn't it possible that Matt Drudge, and not NAFTA, was the factor that led all those undecided voters to break for Edwards at the last minute? If a Wisconsin voter knew one thing about Kerry, a Dean staffer told me, it was that there was a rumor that the senator had an affair with a younger woman. It was all over local radio, not to mention the fact that Rush Limbaugh was flogging it for three hours each afternoon. Yes, the woman has denied it. Yes, there's no evidence for it. And yes, there is evidence that Drudge got the facts wrong in his report. But just because a rumor is unsubstantiated doesn't mean that voters aren't affected by it. Live by electability, die by electability. If the entire rationale of your campaign is that you can win in November, voters would be completely justified in rejecting you because of a rumor, even one that they believe is untrue, if they think that other voters might not vote for you because of it.

    I can't quantify Drudge's impact on the campaign, but his rumor-mongering is the simplest explanation for the closeness of the race. I find it hard to believe that the independents and Republicans casting ballots for Edwards harbor deep anti-NAFTA feelings, while the Democrats voting for Kerry are ardent free traders.

    The Internet couldn't win the presidency for Dean. But it's possible that the Internet almost lost Wisconsin for Kerry.


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              The Final Days   

    MILWAUKEE—We're at the point in the movie where you know how it's going to end, but you stay up late to watch anyway, no matter how painful it gets. The only reason we're here is to watch the beheading of Howard Dean, one reporter declares in the press room after Sunday night's debate. But didn't we see that part already? The end of Dean's quest for the Democratic presidential nomination is winding up with the leisurely pace of the interminable conclusion of The Return of the King. After New Hampshire, there's been nothing but denouement.

    Wisconsin was supposed to be Dean's dramatic last stand. Instead, it has all the excitement of the Missouri primary, but at least Missouri had the excuse that there weren't any candidates there. Members of the Dean campaign staff used Saturday to tour the Miller brewery—some are now sporting Miller High Life lapel pins—and I mentioned that I thought that was a pretty smart use of their free day, since Dean was in Vermont that night watching his son's final high-school hockey game. "They're pretty much all free days now," a campaign staffer replied.

    But Dean isn't the only candidate facing a death watch. I hear rumors before the debate that both John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich are dropping out. I don't believe either rumor, but I can't decide whether it's more shocking that people believe Edwards is leaving or that Kucinich is.

    Kucinich will never drop out. He's said so several times, and he's the one candidate who I believe means everything that comes out of his mouth. He really means it when he talks about the "militarization of thought," about being a "peace president," and about wanting to "change the metaphor of our society from war to peace." He was serious when he said in the spin room after Sunday's debate that unless we pull out of Iraq, "we're going to have a draft." Irony is not the long suit of the man who extended his wingspan Saturday night in front of a few hundred Democrats and helicoptered silently for several long seconds before shouting "No strings! No strings! No strings! No strings! I'll take you to the White House with no strings attached!" (Mean joke: Sure, he's got no strings to hold him down, but he still needs to be turned into a real candidate.) I feel bad about that joke—not bad enough not to print it—because, as Christopher Hitchens wrote last week, "Dennis Kucinich is the sort of guy who we need in politics." My wife thinks Kucinich is great, except for his crazy positions. I think that's about right.

    As for Edwards, what's the point of winning the battle to be the last man standing against Kerry if you're not going to follow through on your long-shot strategy? Edwards did better than expected in Iowa after being endorsed by the state's largest newspaper, followed by a superior performance in the state's final debate. Well, Edwards did pretty well Sunday night—it's fairer to say that Kerry did poorly—and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel just endorsed him.

    How bad was Kerry's night? It wasn't disastrous, but it's as bad as I've seen him. He sounded like the meandering, orotund Kerry of last summer. His answers to questions about diversity and gay marriage were muddled incoherence, and he claimed that it wasn't his fault that the Bush administration has abused the Patriot Act, the No Child Left Behind Act, and the congressional Iraq war resolution. But if you vote for broadly written laws that are abused by the administration in power when you passed them, aren't you at least partly to blame for the consequences? You wouldn't let your 6-year-old drive the family car and then blame him for the accident. And you can be certain that if the Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind, and the war were popular with Democratic voters, Kerry would be taking credit for them.

    Edwards fired off the night's best line in response to Kerry's tortuous answer to a question about whether he feels "any degree of responsibility for the war and its costs and casualties": "That's the longest answer I ever heard to a yes or no question. The answer to your question is: of course; we all accept responsibility for what we did." (The Dean campaign followed up with a press release stating only, "Memo to John Edwards: You are so right.")

    But I don't think that moment offsets the fact that Edwards is torching his centrist reputation with his antitrade rhetoric. Granted, it's not only him. Alleged liberal Howard Dean was the only candidate on stage willing to unabashedly defend the passage of free trade agreements such as NAFTA ("I think the free trade agreements were justified"), though he does want to change them now. Kerry seemed evasive when he defended his votes for NAFTA and permanent normal trade relations with China by citing side agreements that dealt with labor and environmental standards.

    But Edwards goes much further than Dean and Kerry. His campaign issued a press release trumpeting his votes against "fast track" and against trade agreements with Chile, Singapore, Africa, and the Caribbean. And on stage, he criticized Dean and Kerry for supporting "free trade, as they always have." The anti-NAFTA consensus was the most striking thing to me about Sunday's debate. Was it really more than 10 years ago that Al Gore handed that picture of Reed Smoot and Willis Hawley to Ross Perot on CNN?

    Later in the debate, Edwards toned down his rhetoric. "The truth is, some of these jobs are gone," he said. "We're not going to get them back." And I was grateful that no candidate elected to bash Greg Mankiw, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (as Kerry did in a speech Saturday night), for suggesting that the outsourcing of some jobs is good for the American economy in the long run. Bush administration economists have told enough lies—Mankiw's predecessor asserted that there was no connection between the deficit and interest rates, despite writing about the connection in his own textbook—that they deserve some applause when they tell an unpopular truth.


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              Dismissed   

    MEMPHIS—This is the way a campaign ends. It clings to flailing hopes that Rupert Murdoch and the National Enquirer will bring down the front-runner. The candidate's wife complains to a TV reporter about the media's coverage of her husband. The Washington Post beat reporter says his newspaper is pulling him from the campaign, whether the candidate keeps going or not. During a three-hour ride from Nashville to Memphis, the campaign doesn't provide a campaign spokesman on the press bus. Phone calls and pages go unanswered. The press bus joke is whether the new Clark campaign song should be Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" ("down, down down ..."), Frank Sinatra's "That's Life" ("I thought of quittin', baby, but my heart just ain't gonna buy it"), or Beck's "Loser." Asked about comments from the candidate's son that major changes could be happening in the campaign after the Virginia and Tennessee primaries, Ian Alberg, a campaign staffer says, laughing, "Fire me please," so he can collect unemployment. And, with the possible exception of Wes Clark Jr., anytime anyone says anything interesting, it's off the record.

    Exactly a week ago, everyone was certain that Wesley Clark was going to drop out of the presidential campaign after the Feb. 3 primaries until he pulled off a last-minute win in Oklahoma. On Tuesday morning, the Magic 8-Ball once again says that signs point to yes, but there's enough conflicting evidence to keep things muddled for much of the day. The campaign's primary-night party was going to be in Nashville, but it gets moved to Memphis—presumably because Memphis is three hours closer to Clark's home in Little Rock, where he would go after quitting the campaign. But Wes Clark Jr. tells reporters that his father will continue to Super Tuesday, no matter what, because his father told him so Monday night. At a polling place in Nashville, Clark sounds like Howard Dean, telling a voter that he's just waiting for voters to tire of John Kerry. "What's gonna happen is buyer's remorse," he says. "You know, the purpose of a campaign is to wring it out." The day before, to another voter, he said, "I've got a real shot in Wisconsin," and a lot of support in Hollywood.

    Still, no one really believes that Clark is staying in the race. At 1:55 p.m., Alberg says, "We're going to Wisconsin tomorrow," but within 20 minutes, reporters on the press bus are still calling sources to arrange interviews for post-mortem stories about the campaign. No one knows who to trust for news about the campaign. Does the staff know? Does Wes Jr. know? Does the general know?

    At a stop at Noshville, a Nashville deli, candidate Clark doesn't bother with talking to voters, despite his staff's admonitions. Instead, he sits down and eats lunch for an hour. On the bus to Memphis, he takes a nap. "It's been a pretty nice day, all told," he says once we arrive in Memphis. "It's one of the more restful days I've had on the campaign."

    At 5:30 p.m., we stop at a polling place in Memphis. "This is a hallelujah day," a voter calls out to the general. "We're gonna win this thing." Clark's staff urges him to talk to voters on their way in to the polls. "I don't want to be running, like I'm assaulting people," he objects. "You've got to be subtle about it." He tells a voter holding a piece of campaign literature, "My name's on that ballot. No, it isn't. That's a different ballot. Where's my sample ballot?" A staff member hands it to him. "That's my name, Wesley Clark. There's a lot of other people's names, but you don't pay attention to them." He's a four-star general and a major-party presidential candidate, handing out sample ballots. It should be an inspiring example of democracy in action. Instead, it's kind of sad.

    Clark, however, is having a blast. "This is pretty much fun, isn't it?" he says. When his staff tells him its time to go, he complains. "Do we have to go? Why can't we just stay?" At another point, he just bursts out giggling. "It just kind of tickles me to see it," he tells the assembled reporters. What's so funny? "You're looking at me. The election's not abut me. It's about all these people who are voting." Since that answer doesn't make any sense, I can only speculate that Clark was struck by the the absurdity of the entire day. In the latest sign of the campaign's impending demise, staffers begin taking pictures of each other like it's the last day of summer camp.

    Back on the press bus, we hear that CNN has reported that Clark canceled a fund-raiser in Houston. "Nothing's been canceled," Alberg says. Traveling press secretary Jamal Simmons says, "There is no plan to exit anything tonight except Tennessee." Later, Alberg adds, "He's going to make a speech tonight. He's not going to concede tonight."

    It sure sounds like a concession speech. Clark hits strange notes, such as "It just doesn't get any better than this." He congratulates Kerry and John Edwards, calling them "patriots." He doesn't talk about his future plans or where he's going next. Instead, he talks broadly and praises the Democratic Party. He may have lost this race, he says, but "we're not going to lose the battle for America's future." And the song they play at the end is the one that Clark lobbied to have as his campaign song, one that's disliked by his staff: Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'." Following his father on the way out of the room, Wes Jr's eyes are moist.

    Shortly after the speech, 19 journalists huddle outside Clark's room—the Danny Thomas Suite—at the downtown Marriott to demand information on what the campaign is going to do next. The person staying across the hall walks out, and I think he's going to complain about the noise. Instead, it turns out that he's a fellow reporter. He says he overheard some people—he was watching them through his room's peephole—say that Clark had already notified his staff that he was dropping out. But he didn't recognize the speaker.

    Just before 10 p.m., we're told that communications director Matt Bennett will come to the press filing center at 11:15 p.m. with an announcement. We pile in the elevator and go downstairs. At about 10:05, we're told that Bennett is coming now. Before he arrives, CNN flashes on the crawl: "AP: Wesley Clark abandons presidential campaign." Bennett shows up and confirms the report.

    Not that we really needed confirmation. The candidate had said as much in the ballroom after his speech. He was shaking hands and thanking his supporters. I wish you had competed in the Iowa caucuses, says a supporter. "I wish I had, too," Clark replies. "Everything might have been different if I had done that." Then he walked out.


              Go for Gold: Leveraging Social Media During the Winter Olympics   
    As everyone dissects the results of the Super Bowl and Seattle’s impressive win over the Denver Broncos, the next big social media sports event is fast approaching with the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. As we have said previously, the Olympics are an incredibly...
              Who's No. 2?   

    RICHMOND, VA.—Can this race be any closer? Not the race for the Democratic nomination, but the one for the runner-up.

    The nomination is all but wrapped up after John Kerry's trouncing of the field Saturday in Michigan and Washington. Not only has Kerry racked up wins in nine of the 11 states so far, but he's won a majority, not just a plurality, of the Democratic vote in four states: Delaware, Michigan, Missouri, and North Dakota. And according to CNN's numbers, Kerry held a slim majority of the state delegates racked up in Washington state, too, with 99 percent of the precincts reporting. Up to now, Kerry-haters could at least comfort themselves with the fact that more than 60 percent of the Democratic electorate in states such as Iowa and New Hampshire were picking a candidate other than John Kerry. They don't even have that thin reed to cling to anymore.

    A race that had political journalists salivating over its unpredictability in the days before the Iowa caucuses has instead unfolded exactly as it was designed. Terry McAuliffe drew this one up on the chalkboard during the pregame. The condensed primary schedule has worked just as intended, by anointing an early front-runner who is rolling through the nominating process without being forced to undergo a long, drawn-out fight with another candidate. (Howard Dean's boom and bust weren't in the McAuliffe plan, but since Dean's rise occurred before a single primary or caucus was held, it's not relevant to this analysis—except to the extent that the compressed schedule speeded his fall.)

    For those who didn't like McAuliffe's plan, its one redeeming characteristic was that it would let bigger, more populous states go earlier than usual, thereby giving them a larger say in the process. But the hope that a compressed schedule might give less power to Iowa and New Hampshire than in previous cycles has proven to be a fantasy. In fact, in this election cycle the pattern has been that the larger and more important a state is, the less campaigning goes on there. On Feb. 3, Missouri and its 74 delegates were basically ignored. Washington, with 76 delegates, was an even bigger prize than Missouri, but most candidates other than Kerry and Dean ignored it, too. With 128 delegates, Michigan is the biggest state on the schedule until March 2, but on election day, Kerry, John Edwards, and Wesley Clark were all in Tennessee and Virginia. (Virginia, granted, has 82 delegates, but it looks like Edwards and Clark are choosing to duke it out in the smaller state of Tennessee.)

    The marginal benefit of campaign expenditures and campaign appearances is increased in smaller states. The fewer voters there are in a state, the higher the percentage of them that can be swayed by a TV ad or a stump appearance. Plus smaller states are just cheaper to campaign in for cash-poor candidates. So, the upshot of the McAuliffe plan has been to increase the attention paid by presidential candidates to more small states than ever, beyond the usual first-in-the-nation duo.

    The one scenario that would muck up McAuliffe's plan would be a closely contested race between two or even three candidates, each of whom racked up wins in enough states to prolong the battle beyond March 2 or even March 9. Which brings me back to the close race I mentioned at the outset. So far, this campaign has been outstanding at anointing front-runners—Kerry, then Dean, then Kerry—but astonishingly poor at figuring out who the top-ranked challenger is.

    At long last, we found the anti-Dean—that's Kerry—but now there's a new problem. Who's the anti-Kerry? If delegate count is the critical factor, after his second-place showings in Michigan and Washington, Dean leads everyone but Kerry. But Clark and Edwards have a pretty good claim over Dean: They have each won a state, while Dean hasn't won any. If finishing as close to the top as possible when you come in second is the criterion, Edwards has the strongest claim. Clark, Dean, and Edwards have each placed second in three contests, but Edwards has two close second-place finishes—coming within single digits in both Iowa and Oklahoma—while Clark and Dean lost badly each time they were first runner-up.

    But Clark and Dean have ways that they can counter Edwards. Thanks to five third-place finishes, Dean has finished in the top three in eight of the 11 states so far. Clark has done that only six times, and Edwards has done it five times—less than half the time. Can a candidate who finished below third in six states make a straight-faced claim that he deserves a one-on-one shot against Kerry?

    But wait: Edwards has been one of the top four candidates in all 11 states. Dean placed fifth twice, in Oklahoma and South Carolina, while Clark finished fifth three times, in Delaware, Michigan, and Washington. And Clark finished sixth in Iowa, where he admittedly didn't compete, but sorry, you don't get to choose which states are in the union.

    Should Dean be disqualified because he lost to Al Sharpton in South Carolina? What about Clark, then? He's lost to Sharpton twice—in South Carolina and now in Michigan. Edwards has consistently beaten the reverend, but he lost to Dennis Kucinich Saturday in Washington. Clark, however, has lost to Kucinich twice—in Iowa (where Clark didn't run, but still) and in Washington. Dean has the ignominy of being beaten by Joe Lieberman twice, finishing behind him in Oklahoma as well as Delaware, where all three men—Clark, Dean, and Edwards—couldn't defeat Joementum.

    Right now, Edwards looks like the candidate most likely to survive and become Kerry's sacrificial lamb on March 2. Edwards hopes that Clark loses Tennessee on Tuesday and then bows out of the race, and that Dean quits after a loss in Wisconsin a week later. That would leave Edwards with two weeks before March 2—and the intervening Hawaii, Idaho, and Utah contests—to convince voters that he has a better chance of beating President Bush in November than Kerry does.

    I'm sure Edwards would like more than two weeks to make his case. But that's no reason to clear the race for him.


              ANJA FICHE   
    Anja Amber Strauss Qui suis je? Que caches tu?Anja est une femme de caractère, qui a toujours su ce qu'elle voulait. Une bonne situation, de l'argent et surtout un mari en vue. Elle a donc tout fait pour avoir ce qu'elle souhaitait, travaillant dur à l'école pour obtenir une maîtrise de langues étrangères et ensuite faire ce qui était nécessaire pour être à la hauteur des espérances de son époux. Elle est avide d'apprendre tout et n'importe quoi, a toujours vouloir pousser ses limites toujours ...
              Winning Isn't Everything   

    OKLAHOMA CITY—"Oh baby we got jobs tomorrow!" says one jubilant Wesley Clark campaign staffer to another. It's 10 minutes before 8 p.m., and the crowd gathered at the convention center here has erupted over CNN's report that Clark has unexpectedly surged into second place in South Carolina from a distant fourth. The information turns out to be flat wrong, and the room calms down. But the staffer's conclusion was right. She still has a job, and just a few hours ago it looked like she wouldn't.

    For much of the day Tuesday, it appeared that Clark was about to withdraw from the presidential campaign. The early exit polls in Oklahoma showed Clark in third place (though taking into account the presumed margin of error, it was a dead heat). His son, Wes Clark Jr., was speaking about the campaign in the past tense. Only 20 minutes or so before the Clark staffer's celebratory exclamation, Clark sounded like he was conceding that the Oklahoma primary, rather than marking his first-ever victory in a political campaign, could mark the end of his presidential run. "This could be over, [or] it could be a long way from over," he said.

    But as the returns flowed in and Clark threatened to overtake John Edwards as the first-place candidate on the Oklahoma results displayed on CNN's crawl, the crowd began sending up a huge cheer every time CNN rotated in the Sooner State numbers. (They watched CNN on a huge TV screen in the smallish room for Clark's primary night party.) "80 votes! 80 votes! Yeah!" calls out a man watching the election returns with the attentiveness of a football fan during the Super Bowl. With 74 percent of the precincts reporting, Clark goes up by seven votes.  "We're ahead! We're ahead! We're ahead!" a supporter screams. It's the political version of the Giants winning the pennant.

    Minutes later, Clark is down again, this time by 63 votes. Then it's 62 votes. With 80 percent of the precincts reporting, he goes in front of Edwards by 11 votes. Then Edwards takes over by 105 votes, then 62 votes again. But the late precincts break heavily for Clark. With 87 percent of the precincts reporting, Clark is up by 959 votes. "He's up by a thousand! Clark's up by a thousand!" With 99 percent of the precincts counted, and up by nearly 1,300 votes, Clark declares victory, even if CNN hasn't. And he heads to Tennessee to campaign before the Feb. 10 primary there (held on the same day as Virginia's), instead of going home to Little Rock, as some thought he might.

    A win's a win, and some Clark partisans argue that Clark's Feb. 3 showing trumps Edwards' decisive South Carolina victory because Clark placed second in three states, while Edwards finished in second place in only two. I don't buy that. Neither candidate had a particularly strong day. Edwards finished in fourth place in three states, and Clark finished fourth twice, and in Delaware he finished fifth. (For futility, neither compares to Joe Lieberman's failure to land even 100 votes in North Dakota.) It's hard to see how either man argues that he deserves to go mano a mano with John Kerry.

    At some point, either Clark or Edwards will have to prove that he can win the support of Democratic voters in states in which the Democratic nominee will actually have to campaign in the general election. Clark may be the choice of Oklahoma Democrats, but Oklahoma hasn't cast its electoral votes for a Democratic presidential candidate since LBJ's 1964 landslide. South Carolina has been a solid GOP bet for decades—it was one of the six * states to go for Goldwater in '64—though it did side with Jimmy Carter in 1976. Granted, Edwards demonstrated the ability to garner significant support in Iowa, but Iowa hasn't gone Republican since Ronald Reagan's 1984 rout of Walter Mondale.

    In the general-election swing states of New Hampshire, Arizona, Missouri, and New Mexico, the combined number of Clark and Edwards voters fell far short of the number of Kerry voters—by double-digit percentages in each state except Arizona, where Kerry still garnered 9 percent more voters than Clark and Edwards put together.

    As Howard Dean might tell the two men, we can do better than this. If not, their campaign staffers won't have jobs for much longer.

    Correction, Feb. 5, 2004: An earlier version of this article erroneously stated that Barry Goldwater carried five states in the 1964 presidential election. He carried six. (Return to the corrected sentence.)


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              From the Mouths of Babes   

    OKLAHOMA CITY—Maybe Wesley Clark Jr. saw the early exit polls. For whatever reason, he's standing in front of a crowd of reporters outside Clark's campaign headquarters in Oklahoma, looking bitter and sounding as if he thinks his father's campaign is over. "It's been a really disillusioning experience," the candidate's 34-year-old son says. "We sacrificed a hell of a lot for this country over 34 years. We lived in a damn trailer when I was a freshman in high school."

    I'm late to the party because I was inside the campaign office watching Clark Sr. make phone calls to voters. But apparently Clark Jr. said he was writing a screenplay about the campaign process, and it sounds like it won't be a positive treatment. Of politics, he says, "It's a dirty business, filled with a lot of people who are pretending to be a lot of things they're not." The press never looked at his father's record, he says. They didn't treat the other candidates fairly either. Howard Dean got unfair coverage, he says. So did John Edwards. So did John Kerry. So did everyone.

    What about the president? Does he get fair coverage from the press? "If the president had gotten fair coverage, he never would have gotten elected in the first place," Clark says. Has the media done a poor job of getting his father's message out? "It's not the media's job to get his message out. The media's job is to sell advertising."

    A reporter asks, do you think your father has been well served by his campaign? For once, Clark declines to offer an opinion. "Uh, I'm not going to comment on the campaign. I'll put it this way. I think he was the best candidate." Then he adds, "I wish they would have competed in Iowa, personally." Because elections don't matter, he says. The media's horse-race coverage is all that matters, and by skipping Iowa, Clark got left out of the horse race. "It's all horse-race questions," he says. "My favorite was Dad wearing a sweater in New Hampshire one day. Maybe he was wearing a sweater because he was cold."

    But why has the president gotten positive coverage while the Democrats have gotten negative coverage, in his opinion? "It's about access. You know that you'll be denied access if you actually cover things honestly." He follows this with a recommendation that we go work in Hollywood if we don't understand how the political press works, because they need good storytellers in Hollywood, too. (I hope to have a fuller transcript of Clark's comments later today, after reporters gather to watch the videotape. I'll update if there's anything worth adding.)

    At this point, Clark's traveling press secretary, Jamal Simmons, sees the crowd of reporters and breaks things up. Comparing notes with some reporters after the event, I scribble down a few quotes that Clark said before I showed up. Among them are "I'd like him to win today. If he doesn't win, I don't want him to stay out there," and "What did we get on the news for this weekend? A speeding ticket in Oklahoma. You gotta be fucking kidding me."

    The press corps gathers at the hotel and gets ready to file. Simmons tells us the general's take on his son's comments: "He loves him. He has his own opinions."


              Comment on Thank You – Black Tie Beach 2013 by Kevin Basarab   
    Photos from Jacksonville Beach, FL's Black Tie Beach. We had a small turnout but those that came had an awesome time. We played some frisbee, built a human pyramid, went surfing in the suits and took some walks down the beach. Brought plenty of stares and photos and we may have had a few tourists convinced that they were too overdressed in their swimwear. Overall a great event and looking forward to next year's. http://photos.904happyhour.com/August-2013/Black-Tie-Beach-Bash-81813
              Republican Campaign Preview   

    ST. LOUIS—Dick Gephardt's congressional district is Busch country, if not Bush country, so if you're going to hold a Republican presidential campaign rally in a Democratic stronghold, this one's as appropriate as any. Mary Matalin, who's on board the Bush-Cheney '04 team as a campaign adviser, is in town with a phalanx of Missouri Republicans. I'd say she's in town to distract media attention from the Democratic primary in the largest of the Feb. 3 states, except there's pretty much no Democratic campaign to speak of in Missouri. As a result, Missourians appear more interested in the Democratic primary for governor, between incumbent Gov. Bob Holden and State Auditor Claire McCaskill, than in presidential politics.

    The Bush rally does, however, provide some insight into the general-election campaign message that the Bush-Cheney campaign is trying out. If the Democratic primaries and caucuses over the next four or five weeks are a referendum on John Kerry's electability, it's worth knowing what he's expected to be electable against. Monday's rally is the second Republican event I've attended this campaign—the other was in Nashua, N.H., where John McCain stumped for the president—and the president's re-election argument, as advanced by his surrogates, couldn't be clearer. The Republicans want the threshold question of this election to be: On Sept. 11 and Sept. 12, 2001, would you rather have had George W. Bush as president or his Democratic opponent?

    Both Bush rallies that I've attended emphasize the idea that the president merits re-election as a reward for past performance, as much as—or even more than—any promise of future results. "On Sept. 11, when this nation faced in many respects the greatest threat to our security, President Bush stood forward, led this nation with clarity and with strength, which has earned him the admiration and appreciation of the overwhelming majority of Americans, and I believe has earned him another term as president of the United States of America," McCain said in Nashua. The speakers at Monday's event strike similar notes. "This is a man who has restored peace to the American homeland, after we suffered the worst attack we have suffered here since Pearl Harbor," U.S. Sen. Jim Talent says. U.S. Sen. Kit Bond puts it this way: "I'm most concerned about the war on terror. When Sept. 11, 2001, hit us, George Bush knew what to do."

    Al Gore tried to run on the Clinton record of peace and prosperity. The Bush campaign looks like it will run on arguable prosperity and war. Kerry's line that the war on terrorism is as much a law-enforcement and intelligence-gathering operation as it is a military one is derided. "There's only one person gonna be running for president in November of this year who believes that the war against terrorism is a war, against a transnational army that attacked and every day threatens the people of the United States, not a law enforcement action against a few stray criminals," Talent says. Matalin concurs. "This is not a law enforcement effort, as has been said. This is a war. This is a global war. This is a war between barbarism and civilization."

    Local boy John Ashcroft and the Patriot Act receive a heaping of praise. "John Ashcroft and the Bush administration have been successful," Bond says. "According to the FBI director, at least 100 planned terrorist attacks, underway for the United States, were disrupted because they used the Patriot Act. Thanks heavens we have the Patriot Act and we have somebody like John Ashcroft ..." I think Bond's concluding phrase is "who's going to use it," but I can't hear him over the crowd's applause. This is Bizarro World when compared to the Democratic campaign trail, where Ashcroft is deemed a supervillain second only to Karl Rove.

    "The polls show that one of our colleagues in the United States Senate is leading in the Democratic primary here," continues Bond, referring to Kerry. "He wants to get rid of the Patriot Act. He voted for it, now he doesn't like it." The effectiveness of that line is undercut by Bond's demagogic follow-up: "Personally, I like being free of terrorist attacks." The crowd laughs appreciatively. Later, Matalin says that John Ashcroft is more than a mere terrorist-fighting, cell-breaking, plot-disrupting attorney general. "John Ashcroft is a hero."

    Argument No. 3 is that the missing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq are irrelevant. Partly, because as McCain said back in New Hampshire, "Saddam Hussein acquired weapons of mass destruction, he used weapons of mass destruction against his own people and his enemies, and there is no expert that I know that doesn't believe that if Saddam Hussein was still in power he would be attempting to acquire weapons of mass destruction."

    But the humanitarian benefits of the Iraq war are emphasized more than the threat posed by Saddam. In Nashua, McCain cited a mass grave of 3,000 "men, women, and children," and added, "My friends, when those 8- and 9-year-old boys were let out of prison in Baghdad, our effort and our sacrifice was justified." Matalin compares Bush's hope for a democratic Iraq to the hopes of Islamic radicals. "There are forces that want to go backwards, that are for oppression, repressing women, there is no freedom, versus going forward into the modern world," she says.

    After the event is over, I tell Matalin that the Republican pitch sounds backward-looking. OK, people liked President Bush after 9/11. But that's not an agenda. What's the president's plan going forward? "This is a generational commitment to get this job done," she says. "It took 60 years of a policy of hypocrisy, turning the other way when there was oppression and tyranny in that region, to create this kind of terrorism against America. So, getting a whole region to bring in the hallmarks of a modern state, private property, human rights, rights for women, a judicial system, market principles, it takes more than a campaign cycle. So, he reversed a 60-year policy that wasn't working in the region, and he is putting in place, which is going to take more than one term or two terms, collective security arrangements for the 21st century."

    That's a mouthful. And it sets up what I think will be the most intriguing question of the general election. Which candidate will succeed in portraying himself as the internationalist in the race? The Democratic contenders push cooperation, alliances, and multilateral institutions, but they also use nationalist rhetoric to tar Bush for spending money abroad rather than spending it at home (say, "opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in the United States," a Kerry line). Taking off on some of that nationalist rhetoric, the Bush surrogates describe Democrats as isolationists who want the United States to abandon its leadership role in the world. The Democrats respond by describing President Bush as a unilateralist who abandoned the nation's role as a global leader. Who will succeed in defining himself as a broad-minded internationalist and his opponent as a narrow-minded nationalist? Our next president.


              Landslide Kerry   

    HAMPTON, N.H.—As Kerrymania sweeps the Granite State, the latest Zogby Poll notwithstanding, I'm still scratching my head over the phenomenon. Politics is full of truisms, one of which is that voters never elect a résumé, and another is that they don't vote strategically. But in John Kerry's case, voters appear to be doing both. They've decided, whether he's their favorite candidate or not, that he's the Democrat with the CV to go up against President Bush in November.

    A third political truism—that negative campaigning hurts both the attacker and the attacked—helped explain the results of the Iowa caucuses, as voters ran away from the Dean-Gephardt slugfest and toward Kerry and John Edwards and, to a lesser extent here in New Hampshire, Wesley Clark. But I'm straining for an iron law of politics that explains how Kerry went from presumptive embarrassment to presumptive nominee in less than a month (though the race isn't over by a long shot). He's not the best or most skilled speaker in the race. He hasn't raised the most money. He wasn't leading in the national polls on Jan. 1.

    Kerry is the Einstein of this race, upending the known Newtonian laws and replacing them with new ones. Perhaps the candidate who uses the most superlatives is now guaranteed victory. Kerry loves two expressions: "in all my time in public life" and "in the modern history of the country." For example, to take a Kerry favorite, President Bush has conducted "the most arrogant, inept, reckless, and ideological foreign policy in the modern history of the country." Similarly, Kerry said Sunday in Nashua, "This is the most antiscience administration in the modern history of the country." Or, during this month's National Public radio debate, "We're witnessing the greatest period of crony capitalism in the modern history of the country."

    "Never in all my time in public life have I seen the workplace so unfair," is another Kerry favorite on the stump. Or, here's Kerry last week on the PBS NewsHour: "This is the most say-one-thing do-another administration I've seen in all my time in public life." In last week's debate, it was, "This is the worst environmental administration that I've ever seen in all my time in public life." At a Friday event in Manchester, Kerry declared that the Republican campaign against former Georgia Sen. Max Cleland (who's been campaigning with Kerry) was "the most craven moment I have seen in American politics." Presumably it broke the record held by a 1996 William Weld ad that Kerry then called "the most duplicitous and brazen distortion I've ever seen."

    Or perhaps the candidate who receives the worst introduction speech of the campaign wins. At that Friday event in Manchester, Sen. Fritz Hollings, D-S.C., introduced Kerry with a long, rambling speech that included the word "Chinaman." As Hollings was explaining that "50 percent of the furniture in this country comes from China," a shockingly loud pop crackled through the speakers and startled most people in the room. "Some Chinaman got mad at that," Hollings said to laughter. (Later, when more noises popped through the speakers, Kerry politically corrected the joke to, "This Chinese guy is still around.") Hollings also declared that Dick Cheney "is the Jesse Jackson of the Republican Party. He wants it all, his time has come!" A few people applauded when Hollings said he was about to finish.

    Or perhaps the spoils go to the candidate who has the most difficulty reading his crowd. In Manchester, Kerry gave a touching speech about the importance of veterans and of "keeping faith with those who wore the uniform." As soon as it was over, a woman stood up and said, I'm not a veteran. What are you going to do for the average person? At a firehouse in Hampton yesterday, a man told Kerry that he thinks it's unfair that people say a New Englander can't connect with people from varying backgrounds. And to prove that you can do it, he says, explain the importance of the icon on my hat. Kerry is mystified. "The Latin? The Ten?" he asks. Malcolm X, the man explains.

    I don't want to overstate Kerry's flaws. He's not Al Gore. He comes across as good-humored, decent, and likable rather than phony. And he doesn't pander mindlessly on every subject. On offshore job losses, "The solution is not to sit there and pretend that you can stop every job from going overseas," he says in Hampton. On the subject of religion, he believes that presidents should "recognize the diversity of faiths and even of agnosticism and atheism," and he takes the politically risky stance of admitting to a "questioning, agnostic stage" after his experience in Vietnam.

    But Kerry also seems to keep a little intellectual distance from his public persona, unlike Dean or Edwards, who are pretty much "method politicians." The goofy grin that Kerry invariably breaks out at the end of his stump speech communicates the idea that he thinks this is a little, well, goofy. In a sense, that might be one more reason to like him, but it doesn't get me any closer to explaining his success. Going after Dean on taxes seems to be working—"I'm going to protect the middle class. I'm not touching your child care credit, like some candidates. I'm not going to put back in place the marriage penalty. I'm not going to take away your 10 percent bracket and raise it immediately to 15 percent, as some candidates are," Kerry says—but Democrats aren't supposed to vote on tax cuts in a primary. Military experience is part of it, too, but that brings me back to the résumé truism.

    I'm left with one answer: He's taller.


              Gabrielle fiche   
    Gabrielle  MacCailein Qui suis je? Que caches tu?L’être humain est complexe, inutile de revenir là-dessus, et inutile aussi de préciser que Gabrielle n’échappe pas à cette règle. Gabrielle est une jeune femme qui vous paraitra tout d'abord troublante. Tant par son physique que par sa personnalité. Elle paraît si mystérieuse qu'il semble impossible de la connaitre et de l'attraper. Enfin, pas tout à fait, sinon, elle ne se serait pas une humaine plus ou moins esclave au sein de l'harem. ...
              MP MAJ AVANT /PENDANT & APRES   
    AVANT MAJ AVANT a écrit:Et voilà le mp qui vous annonce la MAJ officiel de la version 3 du forum. Elle commencera le dimanche 21 à 20h et se terminera au plus tard mardi 23. Pensez donc à copier les rps que vous souhaitez avoir pour y répondre. Nous vous rappelons également, que cette nouvelle version aura un nouveau design et donc un nouveau code pour les fiches de présentation et vos fiches pour les scénarios. Il vous sera donc obligatoire d'ajuster vos fiches pour qu'elles correspondent ...
              Closing Arguments   

    NASHUA, N.H.—I'm feeling sorry for Dennis Kucinich. And the feeling just makes me feel even sorrier, because pity isn't the emotion he's trying to evoke. Kucinich is standing in front of more than 1,000 Democrats at a fund-raiser Saturday night for the New Hampshire Democratic Party, at which every candidate in the New Hampshire primary except Al Sharpton is scheduled to speak. Kucinich must know that he's not going to win Tuesday night, but at the same time he surely fantasizes that this is his moment, this is his chance to make a winning, last-ditch appeal for his unlikely candidacy.

    I am the only candidate who voted against the Iraq war and the Patriot Act, Kucinich proclaims to fervent applause. I am the only candidate "who insists on an immediate end to the occupation." Imagine a presidential debate between President Bush and my opponents (other than Al Sharpton), he says. They supported the war, they voted for the invasion, or they support the occupation. "Where's the debate with President Bush?" he asks.

    And it's not just the war. Kucinich wants not-for-profit single-payer health care, and his opponents don't. "This is the time," Kucinich is saying, but I can't hear the rest. He's being drowned out, at least in the back of the room where I stand, by cries of "How-ard! How-ard! How-ard! How-ard!" coming from the hallway, where Howard Dean must have just arrived. Nearly a year of campaigning by the Ohio congressman for the highest office in the land is summed up in this moment. What must it be like to imagine yourself as the leader of an incipient movement for progressivism and then to have that movement led by another man, one that you view as a charlatan?

    The night's other tragic figure is Joe Lieberman. He's begging for scraps of support by appealing to state pride, the last refuge of a second-tier candidate. "Hey, let me tell you this, I love New Hampshire," he says. "Did you see me at the debate the other day? I swore to God to fight to the death to protect the first-in-the-nation status of the New Hampshire Democratic primary." Lieberman knows he's not popular, but he's hoping against hope, too. "Looking around this room, I see there are some people supporting some other candidates for president, and I respect that diversity," he says.

    See, Lieberman's not a conservative Democrat. He's diverse! "I have never wavered for a moment" on the need to remove Saddam Hussein, he says, and it sounds like three people clap. I'm more electable than the others, he says, because there are "a surprising number of Republicans who are disappointed with George W. Bush and ready to go for an acceptable alternative." There's a winning Democratic primary message: The candidate whom Republicans kinda like!

    Lieberman can't get it right even when he's shoring up his liberal bona fides by talking about his plan to fight poverty. "Is it right for George W. Bush to have turned his back on 35 Americans in poverty?" he asks, omitting the crucial word, "million." But he's not discouraged. "I feel something happening in this campaign for me," he says. "My staff says that in New Hampshire today, there is an outbreak of 'Joe-mentum,' and I hope so." That's only the latest painful "Joe" pun in a Lieberman campaign list that includes the "Joe-vember to remember" and the campaign vehicle, the "WinnebaJoe."

    As he's wrapping up, thanking "the people of New Hampshire for the warmth and respect" they have given him, Lieberman's speech has the feeling of a farewell, very much like a speech I saw Dick Gephardt give the night before the Iowa caucuses. Miracles do happen, and the Lieberman campaign is circulating a poll that shows him in a fight for third place (most polls show him mired in fifth), but inside this room it feels as if Lieberman, like Kucinich, is clinging to a fantasy.

    Of the other candidates, Wesley Clark comes across the worst. "I haven't been a member of this party for very long," he says, and the crowd grumbles. "I know," shouts one man, while another calls out, "No shit!" Now that Dean has turned down his volume, Clark is the race's screamer, and he sounds a little unhinged. "We Democrats have got to take out that president," he says, in an unfortunate turn of phrase for one of the two candidates that has actually killed people. The crowd's applause is polite but tepid, and the race feels like it's slipping away from Clark, too.

    The chair of the Democratic Party, Kathy Sullivan, introduces Dean as if he's a figure from the distant past, praising him for energizing the party "at a time when we were tired and unsure of ourselves." Dean draws big cheers, but they mostly come from the people in the back rows and in standing-room-only. A woman calls out to him, "Howard, don't ever give up." A man yells, "Give 'em hope, Howard!" Dean's eyebrows rise as he smiles his wicked grin. "I'm going to resist the temptation," he says.

    Nearly a year ago, Dean appeared before the Democratic National Committee's winter meeting and declared, "What I want to know is why in the world the Democratic Party leadership is supporting the president's unilateral attack on Iraq." He pricked the post-9/11 bubble surrounding Bush and in the process transformed himself from a curiosity into a contender. But his speech Saturday barely touches on Iraq. He also says something I don't think I've ever heard him say before: "I ask for your vote."

    John Edwards captivates the crowd. Edwards doesn't transfix me the way he does other members of the press. His way of merely describing his message as "positive" and "optimistic" and "uplifting" rather than, you know, actually having a message that embodies those qualities grates on me. What's the difference between Edwards' rhetoric and the awkward "Message: I care" rhetoric of George H.W. Bush? Edwards also has this new gesture he's using, where he puts a finger to his lips to appear thoughtful, that makes him look like Austin Powers.

    But his message undoubtedly connects. He enters to enthusiastic applause, though it's not Dean-level. His speech about two Americas, about the importance of fighting poverty, and the borrowed Deanisms about restoring American democracy and taking it away from "that crowd of insiders in Washington, D.C.," and the "I believe in you" conclusion wins nearly everyone over. Edwards has become Howard Dean in the body of a good-looking, smooth-talking Southerner, and as he did in Iowa, he feels hot, hot, hot.

    Of course, they're all Dean now. (Or, as The Nation'sDavid Corn put it, they're "the Angry Populist, the Calm Populist, the Polite Populist, the Executive Populist, and the Radical Populist.") John Kerry, who I think has the support of the majority of the crowd, says he wants to "break the grip of the powerful interests in this country and put the people in charge."

    If Kerry, or whoever is the party's nominee, becomes president in 2005, he'll have Howard Dean to thank. Dean won. That's why he's losing.


              Is He Still Here?   

    MANCHESTER, N.H.—I knew John Kerry was the man of the hour, but what made the feeling more than an abstraction was the Baltimore-Washington airport bookstore. It stocked a display of Kerry's campaign book, A Call to Service, above the latest books by Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter. Yes, it's the Washington area, but still—it's an airport bookstore.

    Kerry continued his winning streak at tonight's debate, the final one among the seven remaining Democrats before the New Hampshire primary. Debates have been Kerry's best format during this campaign. He's a TV candidate, cool and authoritative, and the time-cramped medium comes to his aid by forcibly restricting his long-winded oratorical perambulations. But until tonight's context, Kerry's debate performances seemed as irrelevant as Al Sharpton's zingers.

    The moment when Kerry won the debate, I thought, was when he answered Manchester Union-Leader reporter John DiStaso's question about his decision to throw his medals (or was it his ribbons?) away in protest during the Vietnam War. "I could not be more proud of the fact that when I came back from that war, having learned what I learned, that I led thousands of veterans to Washington, we camped on the Mall underneath the Congress, underneath Richard Nixon's visibility," Kerry said. "He tried to kick us off. And we stood our ground and said to him, 'Mr. President, you sent us 8,000 miles away to fight, die and sleep in the jungles of Vietnam. We've earned the right to sleep on this Mall and talk to our senators and congressmen.'" Kerry used the occasion to cast himself as both pro-veteran and antiwar, surely the sweet spot he hoped to squeeze his candidacy into before he got bogged down over the meaning of his vote in favor of the Iraq war resolution.

    I'm beginning to suspect that Kerry's lack of clarity on the Iraq war actually benefits his candidacy. One, because voters from a wide spectrum can find ways to square his position with theirs, and two, because his muddled ambivalence best captures the way I suspect the great majority of Democrats feel. (Kerry may have best explained his stance in October 2002 when he said, "My vote was cast in a way that made it very clear, Mr. President, I'm voting for you to do what you said you're going to do, which is to go through the U.N. and do this through an international process. If you go unilaterally, without having exhausted these remedies, I'm not supporting you. And if you decide that this is just a matter of straight pre-emptive doctrine for regime-change purposes without regard to the imminence of the threat, I'm not going to support you." The quote is taken from Walter Shapiro's One-Car Caravan.)

    But wouldn't Kerry know it? Even during his rosy post-caucus glow, he can't escape the man he once exasperatedly referred to as "Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean." Whether the Vermont governor is riding high in the polls or flaming out, he's the candidate the media fixate on. The local ABC affiliate in Manchester trumpeted its Nightline broadcast of the debate by mentioning only one candidate, Dean, by name. And if Dean's last-ditch effort to save his candidacy wasn't already the story of the day, his campaign ensured that it would be by sending their candidate on a televised triple play: the debate, his (and his wife's) interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC's Primetime Live, and his appearance on the Late Show With David Letterman. I watched all three from the comfort of my hotel room.

    There are advantages to watching political events on television rather than attending them in person. For one, you get to see them as the viewers do. I was on the scene in Iowa during this campaign's defining moment, the Dean Scream, and I didn't even notice it. The crowd was so noisy during what appeared to be typical Dean behavior during a stump speech, not unlike his listing off of the industrialized countries with universal health care ("the British and the French and the Germans," on and on to "the Danes, the Swedes, the Japanese, even the Costa Ricans have health care!"), that no one in the room seemed to hear the "part growl, part yodel," as the Boston Globe put it. Second, when you attend a political debate, all you really do is watch it on TV anyway, except you watch it in on TV in a room filled with other journalists. Third, I had no idea that Ernie Hudson, aka "the fourth Ghostbuster," had his own show on ABC.

    A couple things struck me from the Primetime interview. Dean said he was "speaking to 3,500 kids" on caucus night. I didn't formally survey the demographics of Dean's volunteers in Iowa, obviously, but his reference to the "under-30 generation" during his post-caucus speech elicited mild boos from the crowd. When I followed three Dean volunteers as they canvassed for votes in Des Moines, one was 33, one was 55, and one was 58. They weren't atypical. From my experience, nothing tweaks Dean supporters more than the idea that they are angry children, and they're right that the widespread belief that Dean is the kiddie candidate gives voters a reason not to take him seriously.

    The second thing that occurred to me was something from Howard Dean: A Citizen's Guide to the Man Who Would Be President, the book by a team of Vermont reporters. In it, one journalist notes that as Vermont governor, Dean never quite grasped that he was something other than an ordinary person, and that his words had unusual power. Sure, he had an uncommon job, but other than that, Dean thought he was just a regular guy. To a great extent, Dean has behaved on the campaign trail as if he still feels the same way.

    Dean's regular-guy status is one of the most appealing things about his candidacy, and it's one of the most fun things about covering him. He's willing to let himself be a normal person to a reporter in a way that most politicians won't. But in another way, a presidential candidate, and especially a president, isn't a regular guy. Presidents can't do or say the things that even senators and governors can. Neither can first ladies. That may not be fair, but that's the way it is.

    It looks as if Howard and Judy Dean have decided that if they can't remain "just ordinary folks," they don't want to be president and first lady. That's admirable. But I also suspect that that decision, and not some pirate yell, is the biggest obstacle that would keep them from the White House.


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              Howard Dean's Very Bad Night   

    DES MOINES, Iowa—"Prove it or not," Howard Dean told his supporters at a rally Sunday in Davenport. "Now is the time to see if this works," to see if the unorthodox, Internet-fueled campaign assembled by Dean and his campaign manager, Joe Trippi, translates into votes. "Tomorrow, at 6:30 p.m., you can prove it or not." The answer Iowans gave him was a raspberry: Or not.

    I attended a West Des Moines caucus Monday night with Dean's Iowa press secretary, Sarah Leonard, and her feeling about the race was that it would be close, so close perhaps that they wouldn't be able to call it that night. She felt it was a three-way race, between Dean, Kerry, and Gephardt. "Edwards, I just don't think you can build an organization in 48 hours," she said. But it wasn't close. Momentum beat organization, both Dean's digital one and Gephardt's analog one. (Leonard did say before the caucus, however, that the rumor that Dean had a hard count of 50,000 was preposterous. "If we had a hard count of 50,000, I'd probably be at the Val Air," she joked, referring to the ballroom site of Dean's caucus night party.)

    The results from our caucus reflected the results of the 1,992 other caucuses in the state in one respect: Kerry got twice as many delegates as Howard Dean, four to two (with John Edwards picking up four as well). There were lots of new and first-time caucus participants, so many that the organizers ran out of forms to register them. But they weren't the new voters the Dean campaign wanted. George Davey, the precinct captain for the Dean campaign, said he was hoping for 25 to 50 Dean voters between the ages of 18 and 25, but only one showed up. "I think if we could blame [Dean's loss] on anyone, blame it on the 18- to 25-year-olds, because they were nonexistent," he said.

    Davey, who is 37, also said Dean needed to be less negative toward his opponents. And another Dean volunteer, Toby Sackton, a 57-year-old from Boston, complained that Dean's television ads weren't any good. "We saw three ads, one by Kerry, one by Edwards, and one by Dean. Dean's was by far the worst," he said. "It was an ad aimed at getting the supporters out," not appealing to voters who didn't already like Dean.

    I think there's something to Sackton's complaint. I heard four or five Dean radio ads on my drive to the caucus, all with the same message: Dean had the courage to stand up to President Bush on the war while the other major candidates folded. Dean's saturation TV ads focused on nefarious "corporations" and "special interests" and "Washington insiders," rather than the things I'd seen Dean use on the stump (in addition to his stance on the war) to appeal to voters who hadn't heard of him already: his Vermont record of balanced budgets, health care, and the state's "Success by Six" program for children.

    In his final days in Iowa, Dean's campaign was about his campaign. To the extent issues were at stake at all, Dean's message focused on the past—Do you want a candidate who was against the war, as Dean put it in Davenport, "not now, but then"?—while John Kerry focused on a future consideration—Do you want a candidate who will raise your taxes? Beyond the war, Dean hit three notes: What his opponents said and did in 2002 and 2001, the fact that he's raised lots of money in small donations over the Internet, and tiresome bromides about the special interests/corporations/Washington insiders. It's a high-tech version of Al Gore's "people vs. the powerful" campaign. That's not good enough.

    Four years ago, George W. Bush rebounded from a surprisingly large defeat in New Hampshire by co-opting his opponent's message and recasting himself as a "reformer with results." Dean might do the same. If he's got a tax cut in his back pocket, it's time to bring it out. And he needs to do a better job of introducing himself and his record to voters who haven't been paying attention to the campaign for six months or a year.

    The early signs of that happening aren't auspicious. Rather than reaching out to the unconverted, Dean fired up his base of supporters at the Val Air. He grinned, ripped off his jacket, rolled up his sleeves, and flung an orange "Perfect Storm" hat into the crowd. Then he started waving an American flag. Walter Shapiro's metaphor of Dean as an "aging rock star reduced to reprising his greatest hits in smaller and smaller clubs" never felt more apt.

    At the Hotel Fort Des Moines bar on Saturday night, the New Republic's Ryan Lizza told Dean strategist Steve McMahon that his campaign needed a new message. McMahon shook his head. You and I are in different businesses, he said. The press is bored with our message, but we need to dance with the girl that brung us. I think McMahon's wrong. I think Dean's campaign became much more anti-business and much less moderate than it was six months ago, and it became a campaign about a messianic figure and his movement rather than a blunt, moderate Democrat and his policies. But even if McMahon is right, he must know by now that it's time to find another girl.


              The Iowa Primary?   

    DES MOINES, IOWA—So, who's going to win? Believe it or not, the question hinges on whether Iowa Democrats are holding a caucus or a primary on Monday night. Yes, I know that New Hampshire, not Iowa, is supposed to hold the nation's first primary (at least the first primary that counts), while Iowa conducts the first-in-the-nation caucuses. But lock Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi and Gephardt campaign manager Steve Murphy in a room and ask them what they're worried about, and it's whether Iowa's caucuses are going to unexpectedly turn into a primary.

    That's what Trippi was saying late Saturday night outside the bar at the Hotel Fort Des Moines. What did he mean? If Iowans vote in numbers that would be unsurprising for the Iowa caucuses—say, 120,000 or 130,000 voters—then Trippi is confident that the Dean campaign will win. Caucuses are time-consuming, they take place at a specific time instead of throughout the day (and you can't vote early or use an absentee ballot), and they're more intimidating for new voters than going behind a curtain and casting a ballot. As a result, they have a lower participation rate than primaries do. But if Iowans shock everyone this year and turn out at a level that's closer to the participation rate of a primary than a caucus (say, 180,000 voters?), it's a good sign for the campaigns of John Kerry and John Edwards.

    That contradicts the judgment of many observers that the Dean campaign is banking on a high turnout. I saw Mort Kondracke say on Fox News that the Dean campaign is hoping for a turnout of 160,000. But that's not what Trippi said Saturday night (well, it was after 2 a.m., so maybe it was Sunday morning).

    Dick Gephardt's Iowa campaign manager, John Lapp, sounded just like Trippi on Sunday after Gephardt's evening rally at the Renaissance Savery Hotel. If there's a "primary-type turnout" of 180,000 people, Lapp said, one of the "momentum guys"— Edwards or Kerry—will win. But if there's a turnout in a more expected range, such as 115,000 or 120,000, the Gephardt people think they have a shot.

    The universe of expected caucus voters is so small that campaigns can tally up their "hard count," a list of the voters that they are certain will caucus for them. Once you know your hard count, you can make a rough calculation of the maximum number of voters that the other campaigns can turn out without beating you. And although campaigns won't disclose their hard-count number to prying reporters, Lapp said that John Norris, Kerry's Iowa campaign manager, said that 36,000 votes would be enough to win the caucuses. On Meet the Press, Gephardt said 35,000 to 40,000 votes would win.

    There's a rumor (cited in the Boston Globe) that Dean has a hard count of 50,000, but Lapp doesn't believe it. Nor does Shari Fitzgerald, one of Gephardt's two Iowa campaign chairs. "If they turn out 50,000, they deserve to win," she said. "But they're not going to." (Fitzgerald also said that the assertion by Dean's Iowa field director, Tim Connolly, that 65 percent of Dean's solid supporters are new caucus-goers was "ridiculous.") And I heard a different but pretty reliable rumor that Dean's hard count isn't nearly as high as people think.

    Trippi told a cautionary tale about hard counts from the 1980 caucuses, which he said had a higher turnout than 1988, the year that is usually cited for peak participation. That year, Trippi was working for the Kennedy campaign and was told to get a hard count of 1,000 voters in a certain area. Unbeknownst to Trippi, more than 600 voters had never participated in the caucuses in that area before. But Trippi busted his hump, found 1,200 names for Kennedy, and he was certain his man was going to win. Then the Carter people rolled in with 1,600 voters.

    The Dean campaign is hoping to supplement its hard count by sending its 3,500 out-of-state volunteers into precincts Monday and asking them to find five additional votes for Howard Dean. Trippi said they're going to look for votes on the street, at the grocery store, at Starbucks, wherever. The "Perfect Storm" volunteers probably won't find five votes apiece, but Trippi said that "Fritz's Blitzers," the 1,000 out-of-state volunteers for Walter Mondale in 1984, managed to pull in about 2½ additional votes each for Mondale. If that ratio holds up, that's nearly 9,000 extra votes for Dean.

    First-time caucus-goers like those are central to Dean's strategy for victory, and the hopes of the Dean campaign rest on a tremendous number of new voters turning out for the caucuses. Just not too many of them.


              Organization Man   

    DES MOINES, IOWA—Tim Connolly should be scared, maybe even terrified, that Howard Dean is going to lose and lose big. Not because of the much-touted polls that show Dean sinking to a four-way tie in Iowa with the caucuses less than 48 hours away, but because Connolly, the Dean campaign's Iowa state field director, has seen the campaign's internal numbers. And using traditional Iowa math, the numbers don't look good.

    "We did an analysis of our 'ones' "—the voters the campaign has determined are committed to caucusing for Dean (a "two" is a leaner, and a "three" is undecided), Connolly says. "Sixty-five percent of them have never caucused before, which is an extremely high number and would scare the shit out of most campaigns," because they'd be worried that the voters wouldn't show up Monday night. But Connolly's not scared. "Common sense would say I should be, but I'm not," he says. "We have the organizational strength to meet that challenge."

    Organization. It's the mantra of every pundit on television and every campaign on the ground two days before the caucuses. At most of the candidate events I've attended since arriving in Iowa Thursday, I had the feeling I was watching a sideshow from the real campaign that was taking place somewhere else: on the streets and in people's homes. The story of the final days of Dean's Iowa campaign isn't his bus trip or his stump speeches. It's his 3,500 out-of-state volunteers who've come from all over the country—and farther, including three expatriates from Tokyo—to canvass the state. Over the course of the campaign's final three days, they're knocking on more than 200,000 doors. If Dean wins Monday, Connolly and the campaign will have proved that the Internet's effect on politics isn't just about fund-raising or Meetup or blogging. The Internet can win the ground war.

    "We did an analysis of every precinct that is walkable, which is not a precise science," Connolly says. Those walkable precincts make up only about a third of the state's 1,993 precincts, but they include probably 85 percent to 90 percent of the delegate total. The Dean campaign mapped each one using computer software, and it determined the address of every registered Democrat and independent voter in the precincts. Suitably armed with the map, the addresses, and the right amount of Dean paraphernalia, the volunteers are swarming the state. Even if they don't convert a single voter, they return with important information—who's supporting Kerry or Edwards or Gephardt, who's undecided but going to the caucuses, who likes Dean but needs a babysitter to be able to caucus—that the campaign can use to fine-tune its strategy up to the final hours.

    What does this have to do with the Internet? The vast majority of the volunteers who make up this weekend's "Perfect Storm" for Dean signed up online, transmitting their names, their housing needs, their flight information, and more. "We could not do the Storm without the Internet," Connolly says. Nor could the campaign have been prepared well enough to have specific jobs ready for each volunteer as he or she arrived. "It's still just the Stormers knocking on a door. But the back end—they would not be here and effectively employed and utilized were it not for the Internet."

    The Net is the tool that's enabled the Dean campaign to capitalize on the grass-roots energy created by its candidate. In the past, an insurgent candidate like Dean would generate excitement, but he wouldn't be able to turn it into an organization. "This happened with Gary Hart," says Connolly, who worked for Hart's '84 campaign. "You got excited about the guy named Gary Hart, you liked what he was saying, but there was no local office to call, you couldn't go to a Meetup, etc."

    The Internet excels at just keeping people involved with the campaign. "A volunteer who has nothing to do will become discouraged and no longer volunteer," Connolly says. "You used to do things. You'd have cases of envelopes, and you'd have people address them. And when they're done, you'd throw them away." Or you'd have volunteers enter unnecessary data into computers. Just to keep people involved and interested in the campaign and the candidate. The Dean blog serves the same function, while also serving as a communications medium and a fund-raising tool. The role of the Internet and the blog in the campaign's ground organization is what Dean's skeptics haven't understood, Connolly says. "They think that the Dean campaign is simply a cybercampaign. They don't realize that each of those people also lives in the analog world."

    Just a couple of hours after I finished talking with Connolly, the Dean campaign was hit with its latest piece of bad news: the latest Des Moines Register poll, which shows Kerry in the lead with 26 percent, followed by Edwards at 23 percent, Dean at 20 percent, Gephardt at 18 percent, and a 4 percent margin of error. Connolly told me he doesn't "lose any sleep over the Zogby poll or any other poll," because he knows their strength on the ground.

    Of course, every campaign hails its organizational strength. Gephardt spokesman Bill Burton told the Des Moines Register of his candidate's campaign, "This has been an organizational force in the state that has never been seen before by anybody, Democrats or Republicans." I asked Connolly what he'd be banking on if he were Gephardt's field director. Organized labor, the fact that he's won Iowa before, "and just the general denial that goes on in campaigns," he said. Monday night, we'll see who's in denial.


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              Mystery Candidate   

    MASON CITY, IOWA—Whatever John Kerry is doing right in this campaign, he isn't doing it on the stump. At least, that's my impression after watching him last night. Granted, it was the end of a long day for the senator, who spent much of it flying around Iowa by helicopter, and Kerry is a notoriously erratic speaker. The speech I watched him give had the quality of a rambling answering-machine message—Where is he going? What is he talking about? Will it ever end? But Kerry is the candidate that I've seen the least of in person, so I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I've just never seen him on a good day. If his momentum in the polls is for real, he must be doing something right.

    There's a nugget of a theme in the middle of the speech, where Kerry uses President Bush's aircraft-carrier "Mission Accomplished" banner (derision of which is a surefire applause-getter in Iowa and New Hampshire alike) as a device to critique President Bush's domestic policy. "What mission?" Kerry asks. What about the mission to provide jobs for the unemployed, or to alleviate the high cost of prescription drugs, or to help family farmers, or to decrease the number of uninsured, or to clean up the environment? On those counts, "It's not even mission attempted," Kerry hollers. "It's mission deserted! Mission abandoned! Mission not even tried!" (Kerry returns to this theme at the conclusion, when he says Democrats will hang their own "Mission Accomplished" banner when they send President Bush back to Texas.)

    In his first 100 days as president, Kerry says, he would issue an executive order that prohibits government officials from working as lobbyists for five years after they leave public life. He vows that every meeting between an official and a lobbyist in his administration would be public record. He makes an eloquent case for providing health care for the uninsured, saying, "Health care is not a privilege for the powerful and the wealthy. It is a right for all Americans." And he gets the automatic cheers any Democratic candidate gets when he refers to John Ashcroft by promising to "appoint an attorney general who is outside politics" and who will "not pursue a political and a religious agenda."

    The audience doesn't seem wowed by Kerry, and he isn't bum-rushed by supporters the way I've seen crowds swarm around Howard Dean, Wesley Clark, and to a lesser extent on Thursday afternoon, John Edwards. What am I missing? I wonder. But driving between Dean events today, I hear a radio ad that might provide part of the answer. It supports Ryan Lizza's theory that Kerry is gaining ground by pushing an anti-tax message. Unlike unnamed other candidates, "John Kerry is not going to raise taxes on the middle class," the announcer says.

    Kerry didn't directly criticize Howard Dean or Dick Gephardt on Thursday (though the veteran who introduced him did criticize Dean when he compared Kerry's Vietnam experience to "another candidate" who "asked for a deferment" and then went skiing). But he emphasized tax reform, not just the repeal of the Bush tax cuts. "I'm not looking for some great redistribution" or a "confiscatory" tax scheme, he says. "I'm looking for fairness." He also promises to "scour" the tax code for provisions that benefit "Benedict Arnold" companies and CEOs who move their assets offshore to escape taxes. Fifteen years ago, Kerry says, U.S. businesses had $250 billion in offshore assets. Today, it's $5 trillion. "This system is rigged against the average American," he says. "America is losing its democracy to a dollar-ocracy."

    If Kerry's lead in the polls is accurate, and if it's attributable to his message on tax cuts (two pretty big ifs, in my opinion), Dean's decision to withhold his tax-reform plan until after the Iowa caucuses will be considered a major miscalculation. Instead of betting everything on Iowa and New Hampshire in an attempt to end the campaign before it began, Dean overconfidently decided to keep part of his platform in his quiver, presumably hoping it would have greater impact during a later stage of the campaign.

    But what's bad news for Dean could be good news for the rest of the country. For years, pundits have complained that Iowa and New Hampshire have too much control over the presidential nominating process. This year, most people thought Iowa and New Hampshire would be even more important, because the condensed primary schedule would create unstoppable momentum for the winning candidates. But it looks like Terry McAuliffe's plan is having the opposite effect: By cramming so many primaries and caucuses into a small part of the calendar, McAuliffe created something much closer to a national primary than ever existed before. Joe Lieberman and Wesley Clark are taking advantage of the new game by staking their candidacies on the states after Iowa and New Hampshire. And if John Zogby is right about John Kerry, Howard Dean may be forced to do the same thing.


              Who's No. 1?   

    DES MOINES, IOWA—To give you an idea of how crowded Iowa is with presidential candidates and those who follow them, here's what happened in the first hour and a half after I landed here Wednesday night: At baggage claim, I encountered two Kerry campaign workers in need of a lift, so I dropped them off at Kerry HQ, which is downtown in what used to be a car dealership. Moments later, when I pulled up in front of my hotel, the "Real Solutions Express"—the big, blue, star-spangled Edwards bus—was sitting outside. After I checked in, I rode up the elevator with Juan Williams. Ten minutes later, my next elevator ride was with Aaron Pickerel, the Iowa political director for the Edwards campaign. In 20 minutes of TV viewing, I saw ads for Dean, Kerry, Kucinich ("Did I approve this commercial? You bet"), Edwards, Dean again, and Kucinich again.

    Two days ago, the Iowa storyline seemed pretty clear: Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt would duke it out for first place, and John Kerry and John Edwards would compete for third. But now, if the latest Zogby poll is to be believed, it's a four-way run for the finish. No one seems to have any idea how things are going to go down on Monday, but at the moment, the race feels so close that the results won't winnow a single candidate from the race.

    Right now, the biggest mystery of the campaign to me is what's gotten into John Edwards? After his spectacular performance at the Des Moines Register debate earlier this month, I thought to myself, "Too little, too late." After the Register endorsed him, I yawned. But a campaign rally this afternoon at the Renaissance Savery Hotel is the first Edwards event I've witnessed where an enthusiastic crowd gave him the aura of a winner. Before today, I'd only seen Howard Dean and Wesley Clark perform this well. (I'll weigh in with a judgment on John Kerry after I see him tonight.)

    North Carolina Gov. Michael Easley introduces Edwards with the best introduction speech I've heard for any candidate this campaign. He praises Edwards' opponents, saying: "They've all served our country well. I don't have anything negative to say about any of them, and neither does Sen. Edwards." Then he says something artfully negative about them anyway. "I'm running [for re-election] this time, and I want to run with someone I can run with, not from." Easley prepares the crowd for Edwards' theme: The North Carolina senator has dropped his aw-shucks, son of a mill worker, I've-done-this-my-whole-life campaign, and now presents himself as a fighter who has defeated powerful interests and powerful Republicans. "When he decided to run [for U.S. senator], he took on the toughest Republican establishment in the history of this country," Easley says.

    Edwards has expanded one of the most effective portions of his stump speech, the part about "two school systems, one for the haves, and one for the have-nots," and turned it into the campaign theme. There are "two Americas," he says: two school systems, two tax systems, two economies, even "two governments in Washington, D.C." America also has "two images all around the world," the shining City on a Hill versus a new, less flattering image that's been created by President Bush.

    Edwards has always gone after lobbyists, but now he's more strident about it. "We ought to cut these lobbyists off at the knees," he says. "We ought to ban them from making political contributions." He rails against the "revolving door" between lobbying and government, and he condemns "war profiteering." "We ought to ban these companies from making political contributions at the same time they're bidding on Iraq."

    Of the corporate lawyers who underestimated him in the courtroom, Edwards yells: "I beat 'em. And I beat 'em again. And I beat 'em again." Ditto for "the Jesse Helms political machine," which underestimated him during his race for the U.S. Senate, he says. "And now I'm the senior senator from North Carolina, not Jesse Helms! And that is good for America!" (This fires up the crowd, but won't John Edwards not be the senior senator from North Carolina next year, because he decided to run for president instead of re-election? Is that bad for America?)

    By the end of his speech, Edwards is sounding more and more like the man he's been chasing, Howard Dean. Up to now, most of the non-Deans have been trying to copy Dean's message by mimicking his anger, but Edwards zeroes in on another part of Dean's pitch, the part about empowering "you." Edwards promises to take away Washington from "that crowd of insiders in Washington, D.C.," and restore it to you. He can't do it alone, he says: "You and I are going to do it together." And the last line of his speech is no longer about himself, about an America in which the son of a mill worker can beat the son of a president. Instead, the son of a mill worker sounds like the son of a stockbroker: "I believe in you."

    On the subject of speaking precisely: I've been inundated with complaints about my recent piece that listed six statements made by Wesley Clark in New Hampshire. Unfortunately, I lumped statements that are objectively inaccurate (there were no terrorists in Iraq before the war) with statements that are demagogic (we could find Osama Bin Laden "if we wanted to") with statements that are imprecise (the statement that Bush "never intended to put the resources in to get Osama Bin Laden" can be defended logically, but so can Howard Dean's statement about the "Saudi tip-off" conspiracy theory that a secretive administration breeds conspiracy theories; neither are smart politics) with statements that are merely provocative and controversial and could be used to tar Clark unfairly (for example, I think it's unwise for Clark to focus on whether 9/11 was preventable). And I didn't outline which statement I believe falls in which category.

    The point of the piece, which was admittedly not clear, was to suggest that Clark may not be the "electable Dean" that his supporters believe he is. Both candidates have a propensity to make statements that range from impolitic to provocative to simply inaccurate. If you like Clark or Dean, you're predisposed to excuse these statements or to see them as courageous truth-telling. If you don't like them, you have a different reaction. I wanted to highlight this similarity between the two candidates, which belies the consensus that Clark is supported by careful centrists and Dean by angry liberals. I wish I had been more precise.


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              Wesley Clark's Loose Lips   

    Whether it's true or not, Gen. Wesley Clark's rise in the polls in New Hampshire is being partly attributed to some voters having "cold feet" about former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, especially Dean's penchant for making statements that are quickly seized upon by Fox News or the Republican Party as evidence of unpatriotic disloyalty. But Clark has the same propensity for speaking imprecisely off the cuff. Here are some statements I heard him make last week during my trip with him in New Hampshire:

    Bush was "warned" about 9/11? "President Bush didn't do his job as commander in chief in the early months of his administration. He was warned that the greatest threat to the United States of America was Osama Bin Laden, yet on the 11th of September in 2001, the United States had no plan for dealing with the threat posed by Osama Bin Laden. The ship of state was on autopilot. There were good CIA officers and FBI officers and everybody doing what they'd been taught to do, but the essential leadership process of putting focus on the resources of the United States, and giving these agencies a real target and a mission, it wasn't done. At least, I think that's what the evidence will show if we ever get the results of this presidential commission, and if they've asked the right questions." (Jan. 6, McKelvieMiddle School, Bedford.)

    Bush "never intended" to get Osama Bin Laden? "We bombed Afghanistan, we missed Osama Bin Laden, partly because the president never intended to put the resources in to get Osama Bin Laden. All along, right after 9/11, they'd made their mind up, I guess, that we were going to go after Saddam Hussein. That's what people in the Pentagon told me. And they capped the resources, stopped the commitment to Afghanistan, and started shifting to prepare to go after Saddam Hussein." (Jan. 6, McKelvieMiddle School, Bedford.)

    There wasn't a single terrorist in Iraq before the war? "The president was not and has not been held accountable yet for misleading the American people. He is continuing to associate Saddam, Iraq, and the problem of terrorism. Yet the only terrorists that are in Iraq are the people that have come there to attack us." (Jan. 7, Town House, Peterborough.)

    Fifty-five million voters are "ill-informed" dupes of the Christian right? "Now, there's one party in America that's made the United Nations the enemy. And I don't know how many of you have ever read that series of books that's published by the Christian right that's called the "Left Behind" series? Probably nobody's read it up here. But don't feel bad, I'm not recommending it to you. I'm just telling you that according to the book cover that I saw in the airport, 55 million copies have been printed. And in it, the Antichrist is the United Nations. And so there's this huge, ill-informed body of sentiment out there that's just grinding away against the United Nations." (Jan. 7, FullerElementary School, Keene.)

    Does Islam need an Enlightenment or just Match.com? "Young men in an Islamic culture cannot get married until they can support a family. No job, no marriage. No marriage, unhappy young men. They get real angry, they feel real frustrated, they feel real powerless. And a certain number of them are being exploited in the mosques by this recruiting network." (Jan. 8, Havenwoods Heritage Heights senior center, Concord.)

    President Bush doesn't even want to find Bin Laden? "Newsweek magazine says he's in the mountains of western Pakistan. And I guess if Newsweek could find him there, we could, too, if we wanted to." (Jan. 8, Havenwoods Heritage Heights senior center, Concord.)

    [Update, 1/15/04: Click here and scroll to the bottom to read a more precise explanation of this article.]


              Wesley Clark Buys a Sweater   

    CONCORD, N.H.—"This is so unfair, really," Gen. Wesley Clark moans from behind the dressing-room door. He's at the L.L. Bean Factory Store, and all he wants to do is try on a sweater, a plain, green, wool crewneck sweater, in private. But such is the plight of the presidential candidate in the surveillance society. Eight reporters and three minicams wait outside.

    For better or worse, this is the most exciting event of the day. It's Thursday just after noon, and the press corps is getting antsy. Clark spent the morning doing interviews on television and radio, while the traveling press was shipped to a Panera sandwich shop to loll about. But after the tedium of watching a man deliver the same speech over and over and over again, watching him try on a sweater feels like entertainment.

    When Clark arrived at the store, he was the one doing the razzing. "You need a new jacket. That looks like an Arkansas jacket," he said to Paul Barton, a rumpled reporter from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, who doesn't look adequately dressed for the below-zero temperatures that are about to hit New Hampshire. (We're at L.L. Bean because several reporters wanted to stock up on winter clothing. "How do you pack for six weeks?" one reporter explains.) Clark gets a kick out of teasing Barton, who hails from Clark's hometown of Little Rock. "He used to be on the TV show Columbo," Clark says. "But now he's traveling with us." Later, Barton strikes back, calling out, "General, do you want this atlas of Vermont?"

    The rest of the press begins to join in. After Clark strategist Chris Lehane purchases a hunting cap, an Ignatius Reilly number with earflaps, several reporters urge the general to purchase a "Lehane hat" to go with the sweater he's shopping for. Clark demurs. "I'm not into hats. Nice try, guys."

    "What I want is exactly this sweater," he declares, holding up a forest green crewneck. "If I can't find it, I'm buying this one and shrinking it. Paul, do you need a sweater?" Clark heads toward the dressing room to change, and the three women from the networks who record the general's every move teasingly ask if they can tag along. "Do you want to come with me?" he asks. No, not really, they say. "Then don't ask," he says, smiling.

    Clark buys the sweater and wears it that night. But believe it or not, the episode isn't the last time the subject of the general's potential near-nakedness comes up. At the end of the day, some reporters plead with Clark to allow them to watch him go swimming the next morning. Clark's swimming prowess is heralded in the campaign film American Son, which is shown before some of the "Conversations with Clark" town halls. He swam two legs in a medley relay race for his state-championship swimming team in high school. (In a related subject, the 59-year-old Clark appears quite dashing to some women. One reporter says some older women told her he was "eye candy." Polls show that Howard Dean has much greater support among women than Clark does, but for sheer physical attractiveness, at least some women seem to think that it's