But if true, how in the hell, can Barack Hussein Obama, lead this country?
But if true, how in the hell, can Barack Hussein Obama, lead this country?
Nearly half of Democrats (48 percent) think Hillary Clinton has a better chance of beating John McCain in November — 10 percentage points higher than the 38 percent who think Barack Obama can win, according to a FOX News poll released Wednesday. This represents a significant shift from March, when Democrats said Obama was the candidate more likely to beat McCain.
Democrats continue to favor Clinton as their party’s leader, albeit narrowly: 44 percent want her to win the nomination and 41 percent want Obama. Last month Clinton was preferred by 2 percentage points.
Further, for the second month in a row Clinton does slightly better than Obama in head-to-head matchups against the Republican senator. Clinton tops McCain by just 1 point (45 percent to 44 percent), down from a 3-point advantage last month. McCain edges Obama by a narrow 3-point margin (46 percent to 43 percent), up from a 1-point lead.
For those who do NOT want Obama in the finals…This is OK news…Just don’t sit on your asses. If nothing else..Barack Hussein Obama, is an eloquent and gifted speaker.
Al Sharpton criticizing Barack Obama for urging non-violence in the Sean Bell verdict protest puts into dramatic relief the major racial conflict of our time – and it is inside the African-American community, not outside. Outdated racial profiteers like Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and now the formerly obscure Reverend Jeremiah Wright are clinging for dear life to their reactionary views that have impeded progress in their own community for years.
Unfortunately for all of us, Obama — whose instincts should have been better on this matter — has found himself trapped between appeasing these race baiters (and their constituencies) and taking what is truly a progressive (note the use of the word) stand against them because of his twenty year association with Reverend Wright. The candidate’s speech on racism, so lauded in the press, actually worsened the situation by implying an equivalency between the reverend’s excrescences and his own grandmother’s fear of being mugged. That Obama could even think this way makes us wonder about his ability to lead us out of these particular woods.
And woods they are indeed. The situation is close to tragic and this election year shows a real chance of running off the rails in a way few of us would have predicted. It has a potential for pushing race relations seriously backwards in a society that was already relatively open handed. People do not like being accused of racism when it is not there. The original attraction of the Obama campaign is that it was post-racial and now it is anything but.
The scene is England. The date is August 31, 1759 and it’s dark outside. It’s a quarter past nine in the evening, and two men are fighting.
They are both skilled fighters. Their dispute started in an ale-house, when the landlady attempted to send one of the men and another who was with him away. The second man assisted her, and he and the first man started fighting.
Out in the street, one of the men stabbed the other in the abdomen, and was then taken to the hospital. The other was arrested. The man who was stabbed died at 2pm the following day.
The case of the murder of William Kendal was heard in the Old Bailey in England on 12 September 1759, and the sentence was immediately given.
The sentence was swift, with no appeal process:
Now, for the plug:
This all comes from the Old Bailey Online, which has just released transcripts of criminal trials from back to 1674. It makes for rather fascinating reading. Those of us interested in history, particularly that of criminal matters, will enjoy this.
Three observations though:
1. 11 days to prepare a criminal trial and have a sentence handed down? Brilliant! Now it’s lucky to take less than 11 months.
2. Two and a little bit days to carry out a sentence for almost nothing (monetary wise)? Equally good, as long as guilt is established. In this case, it seems to have been pretty conclusive.
3. We’ve advanced far in medicine, because this kind of injury is often overcome these days. Of course, I say that just going off the information read in the transcript.
One last thing, if anyone likes reading about true crime and the like, I have plenty of links if you’re interested.
While we may never know what it looks like inside a black hole, astronomers recently obtained one of the closest views yet. The sighting allowed scientists to confirm theories about how these giant cosmic sinkholes spew out jets of particles travelling at nearly the speed of light.
“While another referendum will probably be held in the first decade of the 21st century, the history of referenda suggests that the republican victory is far from certain. And yet by some definitions Australia has virtually been a republic for decades” – Geoffrey Blainey, A Shorter History of Australia.
The good professor’s prediction may yet be fulfilled. There’s time enough yet for the Rudd government to organise a fresh referendum on the question. And that referendum would almost certainly fail like the last.
As an event intended to bring forth new ideas about Australia’s future, Kevin Rudd’s 2020 summit was a famine in search of a drought. Our ‘best and brightest’ handed in a wish list notable only for its lack of surprises. Was anyone really startled that the gathering felt a crying need for a republic by 2010? The participants themselves could barely stir a cheer of excitement, provoking a schoolmarmish scolding from Auntie Maxine.
Perhaps their earlier trouncing was still fresh in the memory. I can’t recall now how I voted at the referendum in 1999; I suspect I opted for None Of The Above. My preferences lay with the republican option for a non-elected head of state. My problem lay with the people promoting it. Not too far beneath the rhetoric about independence and standing tall in Asia there simmered an unhealthy anti-royalist resentment. For a lot of its supporters the republic was less about setting a new course for a new millennium, and more about sending a two-fingered salute to Buck House.
In the end the pro-republicans were undone by their own vanity. They wanted their place in the history books. Future generations had to know it was they who had engineered this monumental change, and when it all turned out too hard they let the idea drop. Would a new campaign be more successful today? If the republicans insist on a sprint, they’ll most likely be humiliated anew.
The transformation is far more complex than they admit – more complex, indeed, than they apparently understand. True, as Blainey admits, Australia operates as a republic in many ways. The Governor-General is chosen by the Prime Minister of the day; the Queen’s approval of the PM’s candidate is not much more than a formality. Has Her Royal Highness ever raised an eyebrow over a name? Has she ever paused to wonder about the drinking habits of the various men in the Lodge, and whether they were entirely sober when they chose? Alas, we shall probably never know. But this is the system Australia has worked with for a century and more. With a few exceptions the vice-regal representatives have conducted themselves creditably.
Under the proposal of 1999 the vote for a new president would be conducted among members of both Houses of federal parliament, a two-thirds majority being the requirement to approve a candidate. Ironically, while Australian voters are content to allow one man essentially to choose a Governor-General, they are far more reluctant to allow the collective to decide. Politicians, they fear, would turn the presidency into a private club, voting only for each other. The highest office in the land should be kept remote from grubby politicians. The voice of the people should be heard! Let it be put to a popular vote! But there’s a doublethink scrambling the logic here. There is, after all, a name for those who campaign for public office. And that name is… oh hell, why state the obvious?
Let the MP’s bicker. Every now and then some worthwhile legislation comes out of it. (Not enough; merely some.) The president should stand above the political process. They represent the unity that emerges when debate is done.
All of this is hypothetical in any case. Well before change is implemented in Canberra the Australian states must undertake their own reforms. For those unfamiliar with the Australian federal system, a brief history lesson. Australia is not a Union in the American sense; imagine a smaller – but scarcely less bureaucratic – European Union, and you have a fairly accurate picture. Prior to Federation in 1901 the six states of Australia were loyal Colonies of the Empire. Each had its own Governor, with all the reserve powers of the British Crown, and the Governors retain those powers to this day. Are there moves afoot to abolish these Imperial connections? With the ALP holding power in every State and Territory there will never be a better chance. And yet the issue remains well below the radar.
The republican froth will dissipate again. The citizens are not yet so discontented with what they have that they seek an alternative. The time frame for transition from constitutional monarchy to republic should be ten, fifteen, or even twenty years. The republicans seem unwilling or unable to find the stamina for such a program. Their sporadic campaigns will founder so long as they covet the glory of crossing the line themselves; ego resists the necessity of passing the baton. Elizabeth’s successor, whoever that may be, has a very good chance of seeing their profile on Australian coins.
So, I woke up a few ago and was stumbling around in the kitchen in semi-torpor making coffee (My schedule has been totally bizarre since the new guitar: Play until pass-out point, eat, sleep, rinse, repeat). As I was running the water for the pot, it happened…
“Badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, Mushroom, mushroom!”
Back to the shed, sample recordings next week sometime.