August 27, 2003

Don't Drink The Kool-Aid

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I See Dean People

Last night, I happened to go outdoors just as a trainload of people from the Dean rally disgorged on the street. All I can say is "" To be honest, my expectations were not high to begin with, but this admittedly random sample didn't raise my hopes.

Maybe these were supporters trucked in from Vermont and just staying with local people. But they sure all looked like Vermonters ‒ in every shade and color, from white to ecru to bone. I didn't notice any Vermont cars, so perhaps these people actually walk amongst us. [Shudder.]

Anyway, the GOP vultures are circling. There is a distinct smell of 1972 in the Dean ranks, in their demeanor and their "true believer" vision for how this election will go down.

Their statements and blogs speak of "taking back" the Democratic Party, and wanting to "bring people back into the political process". Sure. This is classic insurgency rhetoric ‒ the most annoying being the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" slogan (not even an original for Dean). Worked for the Bolsheviks in 1917 and look how well that turned out.

The conventional wisdom is that you have to run more to the party extreme in the primaries, moving to the center for the general election. In fact, on the evidence, this entire Dean thing seems to be a fringe of a fringe, left of the left-of-center. Sort of the way Vermont is a kind of smugly self-righteous neo-utopia that can only exist parasitically on money spun out of New York and Massachusetts, but still remains too holy to admit it.

We're witnessing the political form of binge-and-purge, the binge being the Clinton-Gore years. Given the poor quality of the current roster of Democratic candidates, given the current disarray among Democrats, and barring the entry of Wesley Clark, I'd give Dean a better than even shot at nomination. Should that happen, Bush wins with a landslide, with maybe Vermont and Washington going for Dean.

Then all the Dean people go away.

Posted by campbell at 09:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

RCMP Must Have Known It Was My Birthday

Missed this as I was travelling Friday, but they rolled up a nice big "suspected" [snicker] terror cell in Toronto. Nice birthday present for me.

Lots of circumstantial evidence that one ambition was to fly a jet into Pickering nuclear power plant.

Funniest accusation:

Although the majority of the group entered Canada as students they are not studying or "engaging in them in what can only be called a dilatory manner."

I don't know, in my time that covered about half of the students in Canada.

Posted by campbell at 12:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 26, 2003

A New Twist on a Classic Theme

Here in NYC, it's not popcorn, but pretzels:

Graphic is available as T-shirts and mousepads. Buying one keeps us in pretzels.

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Charlie Does Popcorn

Former McGill Daily hack colleague Charlie Clark has some popcorn insights at the Northern Virginia Journal.

The modern era was inaugurated in 1885, when Charlie Cretors invented the first gas- and steam-powered popcorn machine. Home poppers emerged in 1925.
The best you can make at home is done in the Whirley-Pop, an aluminum cooker (made in Monon, Indiana) whose handle you turn to keep hot kernels in motion.

The Cretors company still exists. Here's their photo of a 1900 popcorn cart:

Here's the Whirley-Pop:

Popcorn would be a nice street amenity in New York.

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Today's Feel-Good Headline

From Reuters: "Murdered Boston Pedophile Priest Strangled, Beaten"

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August 25, 2003

Another Major Health Controversy

Apparently, there are rumors that bagpipes are injurious to health (for the players, not the listeners).

Now the head of the College of Piping has weighed in: "Nonsense" says he.

As to the drinking: "Mr Wallace said after-piping drinking was no worse than that associated with golf or other sports." Comforting.

But the main question remains: "Are ye a piper or a drummer?"

Posted by campbell at 04:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fascism in America

I keep hearing twaddle about fascism on the rise in America. Now I guess I can believe it.

Can someone tell me what the difference is between the people who set fire to the Hummers at this GM dealership and the thugs who burned out Jewish businesses in Germany and wrote "Juden" on the storefronts?

Update: Added link to article which I neglected to included the first time I posted (and was roundly slapped on the wrist for). Mea culpa.

Posted by campbell at 02:17 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack