Saturday, October 13, 2012

What the Hell are the rest of you thinking? (Directed only at those in the US)

The Obama campaign which keeps in regular contact with me in hopes that I will suddenly find myself overburdened with money instead of broke and thus be able to donate to them in addition to the... um, not totally sure but I'm going to say that it's probably less than ten dollars in the course of this entire campaign, which as you might recall started during the mostly uncontested primary, has just informed me that about one in 75 Americans have donated to the campaign.

Which means that about 74 in 75 Americans have not.  Now granted some of these people are less than one year old, and some of them have probably never been in a position to donate, and some of them are probably convinced that Obama is a lizard person sent to enslave us all.  But even so, I ask the 74 in 75 Americans who haven't ponied up the three dollars that seems to be the minimum donation, "What the Hell are you thinking?"

I know, I know, if Obama wins it won't be a massive change for the better, I wrote about that, but have you considered what will happen if he loses?

Is it the most election in history?  Probably not.  Would a loss be catastrophic for all our futures?  YES!  Good -hang on, the's a squirrel in my attic-

Ok, the squirrel is probably sill there, but I banged on the ceiling, made annoying noises and said, "You're not wanted there," so for the moment I consider the situation deal with.

Squirrel is an interesting word.  At first glance, from an American standpoint, one might assume that it was a word borrowed from one of the native tongues of this continent.  It is not.  As all Europeans are probably aware.

Instead the word originated in the Greek for shadow tail, so named because the tail was large enough to cast a shadow on the rest of the animal.  From there it traveled around a bit, probably did some backpacking, it doesn't really talk about the adventures it had during this period so they will likely remain the stuff of myth and legend.  What is known is that the word eventually made its way into the Latin, at which point the Latin speakers apparently said, "How can it have a name like that?  It's so damn small," and so it gained its L.  You see the L was part of the diminutive form of the word that was borrowed from the Greek.

Now after hanging out in Latin for a while the word decided that it was time to move on, and so it did.  Into French.  You know what they say: "What happens in French, stays in French," so the less said about that the better, and eventually it came to rest where it lives to this day, in English.

If not for that journey we'd probably still call the animal "aquerne" from the Old English "acweorna".

Now then, where was I?


Good God people, have you listened to what Romney and Ryan have said they intend to do to this country?  They have come out in favor of things that other candidates would only consider in the fevered dreams of paranoid doomsayers.  You don't need to believe that there's some evil hidden agenda, the evil agenda is public.

So, seriously, 74 out of 75 Americans, pay the three damn dollars to be counted.  Or, you know, ask your parents to if you're too young.


  1. Sadly, most of my liberal friends are refusing to donate because Guantanamo is still open, or the ACA wasn't single-payer, or he hasn't sued all the big banks into non-existence for fraud, or, well, you get the picture. They're very active in the Congressional races and the local and state levels, but they feel too disappointed in Obama for not being the perfect liberal President. Many of them openly talk about not voting on the Presidential race, to "send a message" - and many of them are in swing states.

    It makes me despair...

  2. The impression I get as an outsider is that Obama claimed to be someone who could make a real difference and undo some of the real problems from the previous few years, but turned out to be just another politician (many things can be explained away by Republican obstructionism, but the authorisation of assassination isn't one of those); meanwhile, Romney is claiming to be just another politician, but is clearly a swivel-eyed loon even by American standards.

    Incidentally, the local accent in Bristol (UK) tends to add a terminal L to words - the town was originally called "Brycgstow".

  3. Let me first say that I'm impressed anyone was able to read this as blogger had been somehow jammed in HTML mode resulting in nicely formatted code and a formatless post. At least that's how it read to me when I loaded this page, should be fixed now.

    Second, I too wish that Obama had been the socialist McCain promised me. *pause to angrily shake fist at that lying jerk McCain*

    But the idea that electing Romney by not voting will send any message other than, "Americans want Romney to be President," seems fairly incoherent to me.

    1. And I know that you were just communicating the position, not advocating it.

    2. Let me first say that I'm impressed anyone was able to read this as blogger had been somehow jammed in HTML mode resulting in nicely formatted code and a formatless post.

      I thought you'd done that on purpose to enhance the rambliness.

  4. I have US friends who have always been outwardly and have suddenly swung right. They insist Romney/Ryan are nothing like they are portrayed by progressive zealots, that both are actually caring individuals who aren't nearly as bigoted as is claimed, and they both sides can twist numbers to mean whatever they want, so I'm not sure there's any point in discussing economics. In the meantime, they think Biden was an arrogant jerk in the VP debate (and point out that he lied about not supporting the Iraq or Afghanistan wars), and are quick to point out things Obama has done like hugely step up drone strikes, authorise assassinations, and support horse slaughter. (They're big on horses, which seems entirely reasonable to me, and the horse slaughter industry itself has all sorts of problems.)

    More broadly, they're proving to be somewhat more conservative than they seemed before - offhand remarks about how the welfare system has problems because some people are getting support they don't deserve, or about how some restrictions on abortion are totally reasonable because I guess they think they have a right to judge other peoples' choices about bodily autonomy?

    I have no idea what to say to them at this point, and it's stressful as hell. They often have a point in the specifics (I would tend to agree there are lots of ways Obama has been a disappointment, but that doesn't make me trust Romney more) but I find it suspicious when people talk about shifting to an 'independent' standpoint and yet, unprompted, repeat the exact arguments made by Republican spokespeople.