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2004 (old posts, page 2)

Arafat not dead

Mixed messages on this one. The Reuters article is still active but the general consensus seems to be that his condition is critical. Either way, with some powers handed over to the Palestinian PM there are bound to be changes in the region. Things are going to be very uncertain for some time ahead.

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Winding down on the training

The big race day is fast approaching. I'm flying out to Philadelphia on Friday ahead of Sunday's jog through the streets of New York. I'm not sure what percentage of the 26.2 miles is going to be unpleasant but I'm feeling really excited nonetheless. Bob called this evening and we're all ready to go. He even mentioned that there might be a certain Guy Fawkes night bonfire in Philly on Friday as it will be the fifth of November (remember, remember). Coincidentally, it happens to be that day three years ago that I got on a plane in Manchester and first set foot in the city which I've taken to calling home.

It was this time last year that I was visiting Bob when we decided to run the marathon. On returning to Seattle I set to training at once and brimming with enthusiasm headed to the fitness room. Some twenty minutes and 2.5 miles later�I was wondering what the hell I'd done. That was it, about as much as I had in me and it was falling a long way short of what I needed. Fortunately, persistance and training can solve these things. Over the last couple of months I've really ramped up with a long 17 mile run (Bothell-Seattle), a twelve mile (over the I-90 bridge into Bellevue) and regular 7 mile post-work exercise. This is a very light week and the three miles this evening seemed positively calm. I've come a long way but still have quite a distance to go.

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Watching the reactions come in

Mefi: Enjoy your tax cut, America. You're going to need it.

Boing Boing: Four more years of a nation led by criminals. I was making coffee with one eye on CNN when the news broke, and I called my dad, a man who's spent many years fighting for good things, sometimes at great personal cost. "Get over it," he said, "The way you feel now is exactly how I felt when Nixon won a second term -- crushed. I couldn't believe America was that stupid. But remember what happened to Nixon that term."

"As a British citizen, I just can't understand why. Does the British media unfairly portray Bush, or are more than half of American voters just fucking stupid?"

When told, "well, if you don't like it then move somewhere else" the friend's reply would be, "What? And become a victim of our foreign policy?"

Dan Gillmor: We will not recognize America in four more years. That will make half of America giddy. It will terrify the other half.

Sorry Everybody�[picture]

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Political dictionary

Liberal: scary intellectual
Moral values: opposed to gay union/marriage and stem cell research
Caucus: ineffective way of selecting a presidential candidate
Security:

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A third party

Kerry calls Bush to congratulate him and then implores him to unify as�this country is fundamentally divided.�The two-party system asks individuals to categorize themselves as A or B, nothing else. While Nader doesn't get the blame this time around, he's still not the right person to represent the significant middle ground. It's not another candidate that's needed here, it's another party.

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A nation divided

CNN: "It would make for a great reality TV show. People in the red states should go and live in the blue states, people in the blue states should go and live in the red states".

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The Poor Voter on Election Day

Heard on NPR this morning, a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier.

The Poor Voter on Election Day

To-day, of all the weary year,
A king of men am I.
To-day, alike are great and small,
The nameless and the known;
My palace is the people's hall,
The ballot-box my throne!
The rich is level with the poor,
The weak is strong to-day;
And sleekest broadcloth counts no more
Than homespun frock of gray.
To-day let pomp and vain pretence
My stubborn right abide;
I set a plain man's common sense
Against the pedant's pride.
The wide world has not wealth to buy
The power in my right hand!

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Kerry concedes

Even with a number of outstanding provisional ballots in Ohio, the Kerry campaign has decided to not force a count of all votes given the current margin in that state. It's over. I've watched this race from early on, following the caucuses, the campaigns, the pollsters, the negative advertising (quite a novelty for an Englishman), the debates and the final hours. When it's all said and done, not only does the GOP remain in the White House, they also picked up seats in the House and Senate. This doesn't seem to reflect the world in which I've been living. I like Seattle just the way it is, comfortable yet reasonably liberal and while I don't expect that to change, it's clearly pretty different from the feeling in many other parts of the country.

What's in store for the next four years?

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Filler

It's nearly five Pacific and polls on the East Coast are starting to close. Not wanting to be burned again, the media is being very careful about calling states based on exit polls alone. Net result - they're standing in front of huge screens covered in zeroes talking about nothing�and even still it's strangely addictive to watch.

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Election update

Spent the evening in O'Sheas watching the news with a gradual sinking feeling. CNN is currently calling Bush 249 Kerry 211 with Florida already gone to Bush and Ohio 51/49 to Bush at 91% precincts in. Larry King: 'it's a real crapshoot'. With outstanding provisional ballots in the 'Florida of 04' it looks as though this is going to drag on for a few weeks.

No landslide then.