Friday, July 30, 2004

Convention afterthoughts

I think Kerry's speaking style has improved a lot, sounding much more like a human being. Six months ago I listened to him and Lieberman sound so artificial in comparison to Edwards. Now he's okay.

I turned on the radio on Tuesday and listened to Barack without knowing who he was. He started slow but really built it up. Definitely the best speaker I heard (haven't listened to Clinton's speech yet). I hope he lives up to expectations. I've thought that if the Republicans are ever smart enough put an African-American on either spot on the ticket, they're guaranteed the White House. There is one exception that prevents that guarantee though - if the Democrats do the same thing.

No indication that the Democrats adopted Edward's idea of hiring 100,000 probation officers. The Democrats are not making it easy to find their party platform, but here it is, I think. I thought platforms were huge; this is just 41 pages. Oh well.

Monday, July 26, 2004

 Fahrenheit 9/11
Finally got to see it – a tough movie for a middle-of-the-road-on-Iraq type like myself.  It’s hard to balance the chance that Iraq has for a better future (especially if we can get rid of Bush) against the Iraqi and American mothers crying over deaths in their families.  The simplest answer is to become a pacifist.  Too bad that doesn’t work either. has its own review of the movie – something of a hatchet job against the movie, but some legitimate criticisms too.  I take everything Spinsanity says with a grain of salt – they’re often reaching hard to find things to criticize – but their site can also be a useful counterweight to whatever they're reviewing.

I'm glad the movie is out there, in any event.  It shows Bush is an idiot, again, and that's enough to make it worthwhile.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

And now out of Africa
We’re back from Kenya, and had a great time.  Highlights (other than filling 7000 plastic tubes with soil for tree planting, along with 5 other volunteers) included a trip to the Masai Mara, the Kenyan extension of the Serengeti plain, where we watched lions kill two wildebeests (spelling?) and try and kill a third, only to have the third wildebeest chase them around a hillside before it ran off.
While it was beautiful, it was also more expensive to be there than we anticipated, and the flights were very expensive.  My top recommendations for travel remain Indonesia first, Bolivia second, Nepal third.

So, back to politics!  How about that John Edwards?  I had been meaning to blog long ago about how Kerry should borrow policies from other candidates, and at the top of my list, at least as an example, is Edward’s idea of funding 100,000 additional parole officers.  This seems to me to be a great, politically viable way to get funding for rehabilitation, as opposed to putting people away in prison for ever-longer periods.  We’ll see when the convention comes through if Kerry adopts some useful ideas, like this one.
I would love to hotlink to Edwards-the-presidential-candidate policy positions, but it's gone down the memory hole.