Friday, November 21, 2008

Proof positive that nobody much likes Bush any more

( if you didn't already know that...)

Bush at a photo-op for the G20 summit, shaking hands with no-one, having no-one offering to shake his hand - looking for all the world like the mot unpopular kid in school (or, as CNN says, "the one with the cooties").

Almost makes you feel sorry for the guy...


It's the karma, George - it'll get you every time - and I have a feeling yours is only just beginning.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

All blogged out

I think I'm all blogged out right now. I haven't written a post for over a week. Eek! Must be something to do with my marathon effort throughout October and early November.

I'll get back into it soon enough, I'm sure. I'll have to, there's so much to talk about - not least is the fact that I'm going to DC for Obama's inauguration!

Go me!

Well actually - that should be Go me and 4 million other people

Holy shit! That's the entire population of New Zealand! In the Mall!

Good job I like crowds! Oh wait - I don't.


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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on Proposition 8

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Obama's election - things that moved me

President Barack Obama's election has meant so many things to so many people, and what I find most interesting is our individual reaction - how each of us feel on a personal level. Here are some of the stories that have moved me over the past few days.

This story made me cry:

The butler sees a new White House (Los Angeles Times, November 7):

President Truman called him Gene. President Ford liked to talk golf with him. He saw eight presidential administrations come and go, often working six days a week.

"I never missed a day of work," Allen said.

He was there while racial history was made: Brown vs. Board of Education, the Little Rock school crisis, the 1963 March on Washington, the cities burning, the civil rights bills, the assassinations.

When he started at the White House in 1952, he couldn't even use the public restrooms when he ventured back to his native Virginia. "We had never had anything," Allen, 89, recalled of black America at the time. "I was always hoping things would get better."

This set of images made me gasp at the perfection of it all (Manassas, VA rally):

Oooh that kid has an Obama sign. Wish I had one...

Hey dude! You wanna borrow my Obama sign?

Yaaay! Now I'm waving the Obama sign in the air! This is cool!

Victory to Obama! Hey - you wanna come and play at my house after the rally? Quick - get your dad to ask my dad if it's OK...

Charles Blow's piece - And Then They Wept - is pretty amazing - as are the comments (New York Times, November 4):

Vonda Jackson reacts in Baltimore after hearing that Barack Obama had been elected President of the United States.
History will record this as the night the souls of black folk, living and dead, wept - and laughed, screamed and danced - releasing 400 years of pent up emotion.

They were the souls of those whose bodies littered the bottom of the Atlantic, whose families were torn asunder, whose names were erased.

They were those who knew the terror of being set upon by men with clubs, of being trapped in a torched house, of dangling at the end of a rough rope.

They were the souls of those who knew the humiliation of another person's spit trailing down their faces, of being treated like children well into their twilight years, of being derided and despised for the beauty God gave them.

They were also the tears of those for whom "Yes We Can", Obama's campaign slogan, took on a broader, more profound meaning.

And I wept along with Sherri Shepherd as she tried to explain what Obama's win meant to her as an African-American and mother to a special-needs child:

This Obama ad still brings me to tears when I watch it:

And I'm not ashamed to say that I *sobbed* while watching this live on TV. Awesome.

What has moved you most over this past week?

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Would you like to be a Follower of my blog?

Pretty please...

From my SiteMeter stats I know I get a decent number of hits for such a little blog on the far side of the world. I know about half my visitors come from the US. I hope my American political blogging has been of interest to you over the past couple of years.

Rest assured I won't be stopping any time soon - although now we have our very own President Obama I might be able to fit in some more personal blog posts once in a while as well! I haven't written about Clay Aiken, my teevy boyfriend, nearly often enough recently - and I know there's a heck of a lot of you that read those posts too!

As you can see, I've just added the Followers widget to my sidebar, and so far I have a rather sad total of one follower. Thanks LadyinRed! I *heart* you!

Blogger says:

Do you have a favorite blog and want to let the author and readers know that you are a fan? Well now you can do that and more with the Blogger Following feature! You can even keep track of the blogs you follow via your Reading List on the Blogger dashboard.

More info about Following

It's easy to become a Follower of this or any other Blogger blog. On this blog all you have to do is locate the Followers widget at the top of the sidebar, and click on the "Follow this blog" link. You'll get a popup window which will give you the option of following publicly or anonymously.

Whether you subscribe publicly or anonymously, being a Follower of my blog means that:
  • You will be subscribed to updates for my blog which will appear in your Reading List on your Dashboard

  • You will also get a subscription to my blog in your Google Reader account.

If you follow publicly, your profile image and a link to your Blogger profile will also appear in my Followers widget.

If you follow my blog anonymously, your profile image and link to your profile will NOT be displayed in my Followers widget.

More info about public and anonymous Following.

Once you've decided whether you'd like to be a public or anonymous follower, click the orange "Follow" button which will appear in the popup. It is that simple, you are now a follower of my blog!

I'd love it if you decided to become a follower of WebWeaver's World. At the moment I feel the same way I did when I first joined Facebook and I had only two friends - and they were my cats...

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Vote Green!

Green Party sticker - 'I only date boys who vote Green'. Haha yeah I know I'm a little late posting this Vote Green! message now :)

I was busy!

I spent yesterday afternoon scrutineering at a polling station on behalf of the Green Party. It was fun! I tried to smile nicely at as many people as I could, just in case they hadn't made up their minds yet and the sight of my nice green rosette and happy grin might encourage them to vote our way. I'm kinda joking here, but on the other hand, I'm kinda not.

In the evening I went over to Lou and Jason's place for our now-traditional election night get-together. It wasn't quite as happy an occasion as it has been for the past few years, but I have to say that the results didn't really come as much of a surprise.

Except for Helen retiring, of course. I hadn't expected that. You'll be missed, Helen! I think you've done a (mostly) excellent job over the past nine years and I'll be sorry to see you go.

I had high hopes for a decent Green Party vote, as the polls had us up to around 10% in the closing days, so I was rather disappointed with the 6.4% that we ended up getting. I'd been quite amazed by the number of friends who spoke to me on Friday and confided that they'd decided to vote Green - way more than I had expected - so I was feeling quite confident about the result (for us, anyway).

One of the arguments I had used in discussions with friends who were in the process of making up their minds was this:

Let's assume that you are of a left-wing persuasion. Let's also assume that you have reviewed the policy positions of both Labour and the Greens, and find significant areas of agreement between the policies of each party and your own beliefs. Who should you vote for?

Putting aside any detailed ideological fit/differences for the sake of this argument, let's look at your vote in purely practical and strategic terms.

If your vote enables the Greens to reach the 5% mark in the Party vote, they will automatically win six seats in Parliament. If you don't vote Green and they get only 4.9%, they will get no seats.

If the Greens win no seats, those six seats will be distributed amongst the larger parties, in proportion to their vote. This means that, depending on the overall National/Labour share of the party vote this year, National would end up getting three or four of those seats, and Labour would get two or three of them.

In terms of a Labour/Green alliance you therefore get more bang for your buck by voting Green because of the 5% threshold rule. A Labour/Green alliance would get the Labour seats + six Green seats in the first scenario, and the Labour seats + two or three distributed seats in the second scenario (with National getting the other three or four).

The added benefit that Labour would get from your vote (if you voted Labour rather than Green) would not be as great as the benefit the Greens would get if you voted for them - because of the leap from zero to six seats once the 5% threshold is reached.

Make sense?

Green Party sticker - 'I only date girls who vote Green'. Well, it obviously made sense to a bunch of my friends, considering how many decided to vote Green this year.

So I wonder... why such a big difference between the polling numbers and the actual results for the Greens in this election?

Maybe it was such a beautiful day that some greenies were out doing outdoorsy things and didn't get around to voting. Maybe the very good poll numbers led some soft Green voters to conclude that the urgency to vote Green wasn't so strong this year, so they voted Labour instead, concerned that Labour needed help to win.

Maybe our ground game wasn't as good this year due to the high level of interest amongst many political activists in the US elections, possibly resulting in a drop-off in volunteers for the Green campaign.

Now I have no clue whether this last possibility is even accurate - was there less volunteering this year? I have no idea. But I do know it was true for me, much as it embarrasses me to say it.

Last election I delivered targeted Green literature all across my local area. I went to a candidate's meeting. I watched all the debates on telly. I talked Green politics to all and sundry. I scrutineered on election day. If I had had my blog back then I am sure I would have written heaps about the election.

This year I managed a single solitary blog post about our election (in amongst the dozens and dozens on the US Presidential race), spent the afternoon scrutineering, didn't deliver any campaign literature, didn't go to a candidate's meeting and watched not a single moment of a single debate on teevee.

Oh - and I didn't manage to get the "how to strategically vote Green" portion of this post up until AFTER the election. Brilliant.

Bad webweaver! Sowwy Greens! I hope I was the only one. I did manage to give away a bunch of your very cool stickers on Friday, though...

Oh - one last thing.

Ironically enough, the exact same strategic argument I'd been using to encourage people to vote Green, would also have helped a Labour-led coalition that included Winston Peters and New Zealand First.

Assuming that he'd have wanted to team up with Labour and the Greens (and maybe the Maori Party), if NZ First had got over 5%, it would actually have been a much closer race, and Labour potentially could have challenged National in terms of which party would be able to form a government.


I'm sorry to say that my extreme dislike of Winston is so strong that it trumps my need to win (or to be on the winning side). I just couldn't bring myself to cheer on NZ First, willing them to break through the 5% mark. I couldn't do it, even thought I knew logically I should.

Sorry Winston - I think you're a liar and a cheat, a narcissistic egotistical snake in the grass. I wouldn't trust you further than I could throw you, and I'm glad to see the back of you.

I believe that those we choose to represent us in Parliament owe us at least the decency of telling us the truth, and as you are the most egregious liar of them all, I'm not at all sorry to say goodbye.

Actually two last things - here's the second one:

Minutes before John Key came in to do his victory speech, the TV3 coverage at the National Party HQ showed what appeared to be two drunken, rich, rather obnoxious-looking male National Party supporters, waving their glasses of wine around and mugging for the camera.

A minute later one of them came into camera-view again, this time dragging an equally pissed-looking and jewellery-dripping female supporter with him.

I wailed to Jason "Oh noes! I don't want rich fat white men ruling my country for the next three years!" to which Jason replied "I hope a few people who voted for National this time around saw that and regretted what they'd done today". Meh :)

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Friday, November 07, 2008

President Obama cartoons

I just love these. A collection of 26 30 newspaper cartoons marking the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States. Click on any cartoon to see a large version:

A caption reading 'Most powerful person in the free world...' points towards a man who is smiling and waving, and wearing a 'Voter' sticker.

President Obama cartoon: Obama stands with his arms folder, grinning from ear to ear. The caption above him reads 'Yes we did'.

President Obama cartoon: A view across America. In the sky, next to a ticked box, the caption reads 'That he be judged not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character'.

President Obama cartoon: Obama stands within the gates looking towards the White House, bag over his shoulder sporting the Obama 'O'. The caption in the sky written in old-fashioned script reads 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.' At the bottom of the page is written the words 'Ratified November 4, 2008'.

President Obama cartoon: A bottle of Old Mac liquor lies empty on the sidewalk as a drunken elephant stumbles away down the street, bouncing off a lamppost as he goes.

President Obama cartoon: The Lincoln Memorial statue gives two thumbs up to the tiny figure of Barack Obama standing in front of it.

President Obama cartoon: The bruised, battered and bandaged eagle in the centre of the Presidential Seal asks: 'Can you swear him in today?'

President Obama cartoon: Head and shoulders sketches of the first 43 US Presidents - white men all - contrasting with the smiling brown face of the 44th. The caption reads 'November 4, 2008'.

President Obama cartoon: A view of the front gates at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue - with the two zeros having been replaced with the circular Obama logo.

Smiling faces fill the page, with people of every age and colour represented. The caption reads 'Yes, we did'.

As Obama is sworn in, hand on the Bible, a small and grumpy-looking McCain asks 'Hey! Would it be too much to ask you to wait for the results?'

President Obama cartoon: Obama and Uncle Sam do a fist-bump.

The statue of Lincoln, eyes closed, head down in relief, arms raised in fists above his head, says 'Yesssssss...'. A guide explains to a group of tourists 'He's been like that ever since Election Day 2008'.

The statue of Abraham Lincoln looks right at you, giving you the 'thumbs-up' signal.

The giant figure of Martin Luther King, Jr, holding a copy of his 'I have a dream' speech, reaches out his hand to help Barack Obama up onto a plinth labelled 'History'.

Barack Obama, dressed as a knight in armour resting his helmet on his knee, sits on top of a dead dinosaur with John McCain's face, a sword sticking out of its neck with blood pooling onto the ground below.

A noughts and crosses game featuring the faces of Obama and McCain. Each has three squares covered. A very angry-looking McCain has his squares randomly positioned around the board, whereas Obama's are in a neat diagonal, with a blue line drawn through them to signify that the game has been won.

The mother of a mixed-race family says 'I really feel a part of Obama's election...'. To their right is a profile drawing of Obama created out of hundreds of people all standing together. They are saying 'Me too', 'Amen', 'Yep', 'Ditto', 'Exactamente', 'Si', 'Agreed', 'Totally'. The mixed-race family is also drawn as part of the Obama mosaic.

Obama walks past a statue of Martin Luther King, Jr, who is positioned atop a plinth that reads 'I have a dream'. As Obama walks by, King reaches out a hand to high-five him.

Obama stands in the open right hand of the giant Lincoln statue, his hands on his hips, facing Lincoln. Lincoln smiles back at him with a peaceful, satisfied expression on his face.

A smiling portrait of Obama, with the Stars and Stripes as a backdrop. The caption reads 'I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. Martin Luther King, Jr.'

The statue of Abraham Lincoln sits with its left thumb raised in a 'thumbs-up' signal. A grinning Barack Obama stands in front of Lincoln, waving at the viewer.

A joyful Obama and Lady Liberty dance up a zig-zag set of fire-escape stairs.

A widely grinning Obama is depicted as George Washington, first President of the United States.

Obama waves to a black family hiding amongst the trees as he walks across the lawn to the White House. Signposts point backwards towards 'Jim Crow', 'Segregation', and 'Slavery'. The caption reads 'The final destination on the Freedom Road...'

Beneath the caption ' Day One', Obama sits at his desk in the Oval Office, repairing a ripped-up copy of the Constitution.

UPDATE 20/11/08:

I added a few more...

Obama stands on top of a pile of beaten-up elephants and says '...not bad for a skinny guy...'

Barack Obama stands between the much larger figures of Martin Luther King, Jr and Abraham Lincoln, each of whom is looking proudly down at him and resting a hand protectively on Obama's shoulder.

Obama does the fist bump (known on Faux News as the 'terrorist fist jab') with the smiling statue of Abraham Lincoln.

A hole cut out of the black background takes on the shape of America. Through it shines the red, white and blue of the Obama logo. The caption below reads 'Yes we did'.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Obama, the World's President - newspaper front page headlines from around the globe

Courtesy of Newseum (and a few other places), here are 97 of President Barack Obama's first newspaper front page headlines from around the world. Click on any image to see a larger version:

Clarin, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

mX, Brisbane, Australia.

Kurier, Vienna, Austria.

De Morgen, Brussels, Belgium.

Le Soir, Belgium.

Diario do Comercio, Recife, Brazil.

O Globo, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Diario de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil.

Calgary Herald, Calgary, Canada.

The Calgary Sun, Calgary, Canada.

The Hamilton Spectator, Hamilton, Canada. <br />

Le Journal de Montréal, Montreal, Canada.

La Presse, Montreal, Canada.

Le Soleil, Québec, Canada.

Nanaimo Daily News, Nanaimo, Canada.

The Review, Niagara Falls, Canada.

National Post, Toronto, Canada.

Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa, Canada.

Toronto Sun, Toronto, Canada.

The Sudbury Star, Sudbury, Canada.

The Globe and Mail, Toronto, Canada.

The Province, Vancouver, Canada.

Toronto Star, Toronto, Canada.

Toronto Sun, Toronto, Canada

The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, Canada.

Winnipeg Free Press, Winnipeg, Canada.

Waterloo Region Record, Kitchener, Canada.

The Winnipeg Sun, Winnipeg, Canada.

Oriental Morning Post, Shanghai, China.

El Colombiano, Medellin, Colombia.

El Tiempo, Bogota, Colombia.

Czech Republic:
Hospodarske Noviny, Prague, Czech Republic.

Mladá Fronta DNES, Prague, Czech Republic.

Politiken, Copenhagen, Denmark.

La Hora, Quito, Ecuador.

La Tribune, Paris, France.

Hamburger Morgenpost, Hamburg, Germany.

To Vima, Athens, Greece.

Hong Kong:
South China Morning Post, Hong Kong, China.

The Telegraph, Calcutta, India. <br />

Media Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Irish Examiner, Cork, Ireland.

Irish Independent, Dublin, Ireland. <br />

Israel Hayom, Jerusalem, Israel.

Yedioth Ahronoth, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Corriere Della Sera, Milano, Italy.

Il Gazzettino, Venezia, Italy. <br />

Il Piccolo, Trieste, Italy.

Il Tirreno, Livorno, Italy. <br />

La Repubblica, Rome, Italy. <br />

La Stampa, Torino, Italy.

The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica.

Daily Nation, Kenya.

Het Parool, Amsterdam, Netherlands. <br />

Trouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Crítica, Panama, Panama.

Panamá América, Panama, Panama.

Correo - Piura, Piura, Peru. <br />

Peru.21, Lima, Peru.

Dziennik Polski, Krakow, Poland. <br />

Gazeta Wyborcza, Warszawa, Poland.

Diário de Notícias, Lisbon, Portugal.

Jornal de Notícias, Porto, Portugal.

South Africa:
Beeld, South Africa.

Die Burger, South Africa.

The Times, Johannesburg, South Africa. <br />

South Korea:
The Maeil Business Newspaper, Seoul, South Korea.

Avui, Barcelona, Spain.

El Periódico de Catalunya - Catalan Edition, Barcelona, Spain.

Granada Hoy, Granada, Spain.

La Vanguardia, Barcelona, Spain.

El Pais, Madrid, Spain.

Público, Madrid, Spain.

Aftonbladet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Sundsvalls Tidning, Sundsvall, Sweden.

Al Watan, Damascus, Syria.

United Evening News, Taipei, Taiwan.

Sabah, Istanbul, Turkey.

United Arab Emirates:
The Daily Al Bayan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Gulf News, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Daily Express, London, UK.

The Guardian, London, UK.

The Independent, London, UK.

The Independent (Special Edition), London, UK.

Daily Mail, London, UK.

Daily Mail, London, UK.

Metro, London, UK.

Daily Mirror, London, UK.

The Sun, London, UK.

The Sun, London, UK.

The Daily Telegraph, London, UK.

The Daily Telegraph, London, UK.

The Times, London.

The Times, London.

El Pais, Montevideo, Uruguay.

El Universal, Caracas, Venezuela.

Ultimas Noticias, Caracas, Venezuela.

Seems like the world was a) paying close attention to the US Presidential election and b) is pretty pleased with the result.

It's all a bit different from four years ago, isn't it?

Daily Mirror Bush dumb people front page 2004.

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