31 October 2008
Who's Nailin' Paylin? Second Part Now Available
The second part of Who's Nailin' Paylin? has now been uploaded to the Hustler website. The third part will not see the light of day until the 3rd November, so the company is clearly trying to prevent everybody downloading the full video from the filesharers, as happened with part one.
On the subject of the filesharers, none of the usual suspects have the second part yet, but we can expect that they will either tomorrow or the day after.
More news when we have it.
Is this the "sleaziest political ad" of all time?
The Guardian's Michael Tomasky has called this "the single sleaziest political ad in all of human history." I think that's going a bit far, but the advert certainly marks a new level in American political attack adverts:
If you want some background, then you need to know that Elizabeth Dole is the Republican Senator for North Carolina who is up for re-election and is trailing in the polls. Kay Hagan is the challenger, and she held a fund-raiser for all and sundry, and that all and sundry included an atheist group - hence the attack advert. The really idiotic thing about all this is that Kay has produced an advert of her own in which she waves the flag of her Presbyterian faith by way of reply.
Why is that idiotic? Basically because only in the USA of all the developed countries do you still find large numbers of people who believe in the supernatural.
What on earth do we have in common with that country?
30 October 2008
Day of the Dead: the street market
This is the first in a short series of videos, most of which were shot by me in Mexico City. I plan to run one a week during the month of November.
Back in 2005 when this blog was just a baby I published some photographs of the Day of the Dead festival. Rather than repeat what I wrote then, just click on this link to read an explanation.
Three years ago it wasn't possible to publish video to the blog, but now that it is I went out and shot some scenes of the street market where people buy all their paraphernalia.
I hope that you like it, and the music of Amparo Ochoa and Oscar Chavez that I have used as a soundtrack. The song is Mexico Lindo y Querido.
Pollsters give up the ghost:: White House race is anyone's to win
Probably one of the most prestigious polling outfits around is Gallup and the company's polls are taken seriously be everyone. When Gallup basically admits that it has no idea what is going on with an election then the rest of us should take note of that fact before we start jumping on bandwagons and calling the results.
Gallup has decided to produce not one but three models for the outcome of the American election. All show Barack Obama ahead of John McCain, but by differing amounts. The traditional likely voters model has the race at 49% to 47%, whereas the expanded version calls it at 51% to 44%. Finally, the registered voters model gives a 50% to 43% outcome.
Does that make any sense to you? It certainly doesn't to me. What it tends to confirm is something that this blog reported yesterday - people are no longer talking to the pollsters and an awful lot of guesswork is having to be done.
Secondly, that expanded Gallup poll is based on current voting intentions only - it does not take into account past voting activity as the standard model does. That is because the pollsters were talking to any number of teenagers who obviously did not vote four years ago. Many of them are committed Obama voters, but the majority are probably like young scrotes everywhere and not committed to very much at all. They will vote for Obama - if they vote - but maybe they will be too busy watching television or playing around on their computers that day?
Thirdly, that expanded poll also takes into account the replies of the Walmart Women, the very voters that Sarah Palin was brought on onside to appeal to. She is cheerfully writing her own script at the moment and all the talking heads are assuming that this is to prepare for a run in 2012. However, what if she is connecting to her people right now, and what if they turn out next week in large numbers to vote?
Finally, all the polls show that the race is tightening up with an average lead for Obama now at about 5%. However, those same polls show that the number of undecided voters is still at around the 7% mark. That does not ring true to me - I think that figure is the Bradley Effect writ large.
If we put everything together then what we have here is the possibility - let's not put it any higher than that - of a major upset when the votes are all tallied next week.
29 October 2008
John McCain's last hope - the low information voters
Most American states now allow voters to cast their ballots before the official voting day and Obama is leading McCain by 53% to 34% amongst those early voters, according to the Pew Research Centre. Does that mean that it is all done and dusted? No, it doesn't, and to understand why we need to get to grips with the phenomenon of the low-information voter or LIV.
The LIVs are the 60% of the electorate who may vote every four years, but other than that take no interest in politics. They don't watch television news or read newspapers. They get their information from conversations with people whom they trust or, increasingly, via e-mails that arrive in their in-boxes and whose content they broadly agree with in the first place.
Crucially, this 60% of the electorate - and that is over a 100 million Americans - are also the ones most likely to refuse to respond to the opinion pollsters who ring them up. According to this Newsweek account, fully 90% of the population actually come into that category at the moment, so an awful lot of weighting of opinions is going on. This writer suspects that the concept of weighting with such a low sample actually means taking the best guess.
The Republicans will start trying to get these LIVs out later on in the week. They know that the early voters are the committed voters, whereas their strength lies with the people who are not political anoraks, or who fall into the category of low-information voters.
It is not over yet by any means.
28 October 2008
Why do people accept Obama & Wright, but not Sarah Palin & creationism?
Here's a thought: the reason why the Republicans tend to win American presidential elections is that they treat the Democrats as a force to be feared, respected and defeated. The Democrats treat the Republicans as if they are knuckle-dragging idiots that nobody could conceivably take seriously.
Let's take the matter of Sarah Palin and religion as a case in point. Democrat supporting writers such as Christopher Hitchens are cheerfully sticking the boot into Sarah, with the airy comment that "she is known to favor (sic) the teaching of creationism in schools. . ." Now the problem with this argument is that during her time as governor of Alaska, not once did Sarah Palin promote creationism with the state's school system. As the Americans say, she talked the talk, but never walked the walk.
In that sense she is probably closer to Barak Obama than she is to her grassroots supporters. Obama was a member of a rather hysterical Mickey Mouse church for over twenty years, and as this recently released GOP attack advert shows, the pastor of the church, Jeremiah Wright, is rather an excitable old cove:
Why did Obama put up with this ear-splitting racket for two long decades? The most logical answer is that he was marking his card as a Chicago based ghetto politician and religion just happens to be as important to poor Blacks in the cities as it is to poor Whites elsewhere.
The fact that Obama dumped Wright when the latter became an embarrassment is neither here nor there. Nobody can accuse Obama of not being an astute politician and astute politicians from the south have been meeting Black leaders for years with a view to harvesting votes. At the same time, somebody from the campaign will amble over to the bar where all the good old boys hang out, and tell them not to worry. The chances are that Obama pulled the same stunt with Wright: certainly the good reverend has been very quiet, which doesn't suggest that he is a man who feels slighted in any way.
Now, if all this reads as a logical explanation for Obama's behaviour, why should we not reach the same conclusion about Sarah Palin?
The logical answer is that secular, Democrat minded people give Obama a pass because they realise that he had to mouth off to keep in with his early knuckle-dragging followers. Sarah, they conclude, on the basis of no evidence whatsoever, is a knuckle-dragger herself.
This brings us in a nice fashion back to the thought that began this posting. This election will most likely be lost by the Republicans on the basis of an economy that is in free-fall. However, four years from now when Sarah Palin probably heads the Republican ticket, the Democrats will go back to treating the GOP as a bunch of idiots.
Instead of pointing out the inconsistencies inherent in Sarah's position of saying one thing and doing another, what they are almost certain to do is mock her for those positions. In other words, instead of encouraging her voters to stay at home - because she is not really one of them - what they will do is actually encourage them to turn out and vote for her and the GOP. By mocking Sarah's positions what they do is mock the people who hold those positions.
As we said, treating your opponents as idiots is not a good idea.
27 October 2008
Barak Obama: is this a photo of Vera Baker and is she his lover?
Is this a photograph of Vera Baker, the 33 year old who may have had an affair with Barak Obama? That's the amazing allegation that arrived this morning via e-mail along with the photo.
Earlier this month the Daily Mail ran a story which denied the rumour that Barak Obama had engaged in a spot of horizontal jogging with the campaign aide. The story did not give the girl's name, and her face was blurred out in the photo that the Daily Mail used. When asked if she had polished Obama's knob, the then unnamed girl replied "I have no comment on anything."
The story goes that Vera was paid as the Obama finance directrix, even though a certain Claire Serdiuk actually held that post throughout the primary campaign season.
She was packed off to New York at about the same time as Michelle Obama threw an almighty wobbler about something of other. Now Michelle is reported to have diva moments like this all the time, so the two events may not even be connected - we just don't know yet.
Shortly thereafter she went to live in Martinique and amazingly found the funds to start Cape Carribean, a finance outfit based on the island. Funnily enough the company's website is now down, but a screen shot giving Vera's background details has been saved by one on the ball blogger.
According to the Mail's account, Vera has hired a British legal firm to ensure that the rumours don't see much light in the UK, but the bloggers can be expected to start digging around now that this photo of what is believed to be Vera Baker is in the public domain.
More when we get it!
America attacks Syrian installation: four children dead
The American raid on Eastern Syria strikes your friendly old Exile as being a bit curious. The target seems to have been a half-finished building and the casualties involved eight people, four of them children.
If this is an attempt to create an October Surprise it comes over as remarkably low-key, yet it is inconceivable that the raid was mounted without Washington's approval. It could be part of a strategy that will involve winding up the tension with Syria over the next few days, but given that we now only have a week to go until election day, there doesn't seem to be time to make such a strategy work.
So why did America raid a Syrian building and kill four children?
I have no idea.
26 October 2008
How Republican attack e-mails work, part two
Let's stay on the theme of Republican attack e-mails and look at what has probably been the best of the bunch so far. It started life back in October 2007 and in spite of the fact that it has been thoroughly discredited many times over it still manages to keep going.
The smear has its origins in this September 2007 photograph of Barack Obama declining to place his right hand over his left tit when the American national anthem was played. The photograph, which is genuine, caused outrage in the knuckle-dragging section of the American population.
The following month an American political satirist named John Semmens published this very short piece which ridiculed Obama's stance:
People began to forward this around by e-mail, but without telling the recipients that it was actually a piece of satire.
By September of this year the article was being forwarded as a Washington Post story, written by the fictitious Dale Lindsborg which claimed to be a report of a 7th September television interview on CNN's Meet The Press. Not only was Obama not on the show that day, but Lindsborg isn't even a Scandinavian surname, however that hasn't stopped the mail from going the rounds.
Why are people still circulating it? Partly because it meets the Exile's three requirements for a good, effective smear: it is simple, plausible and interesting. However, there is another factor at work in all these smears that we didn't realise until investigations began to analyse this one: they are not being placed exclusively on political websites.
How these e-mails go viral seems to be due to the fact that they are being posted on discussion boards that have nothing whatsoever to do with politics. Discussion boards that ordinary people read, in other words.
Take the Fishing Buddy website as a case in point. It is a site for fishing enthusiasts, and offers rather nice calenders like this one to its readers. It also has a forum where the fake Lindsborg mail has been posted.
If you search the web, paying particular attention to the sporting sites, then you will find this bit of GOP agitprop, and an awful lot of others to boot.
The Democrats tend to post their versions on political websites where they are only read by people who are interested in politics. The Republicans know that real people have to be influenced, so they target the sites where they congregate.
That also helps to explain why the smears are so difficult to combat. The people who hit these sites tend not to be the types who even know about Snopes.com and its smear debunking activities. They are the people who will read something like this and accept it because it will tie in with their already existing political values, and it meets the simple, plausible and interesting test.
Barack Obama really should count his lucky stars that the economy is tanking because otherwise these smears would be helping to win the election for John McCain.
25 October 2008
Happy Blogday To Me!
Today is The Exile's third birthday. In the course of the last three years we have had 64,500 hits, 8,000 of them coming this month alone up to now.
The blog has had its ups and downs especially during the times when I have had to suspend it owing to prolonged stays in hospital or when I was travelling. Still, and for all that, almost 65,000 hits isn't half bad when you think about it.
Thanks to all of you for visiting, please stick around, and let's head off together towards our fourth birthday.
How Republican attack e-mails work
Rather amusing in its way, this photograph and caption have been going the rounds in the USA for quite some time. Investigating Republican e-mails for this posting the first thing that became obvious was just how pithy and often very funny the GOP's attack e-mails are:
Most attack mails don't carry a photo, but their pithiness remains. This is fairly typical of the genre:
Question: What is America's first line of missile interceptor defense that protects the entire United States ?
Answer: 49th Missile Defense Battalion of Alaska National Guard.
Question: What is the ONLY National Guard unit on permanent active duty?
Answer: 49th Missile Defense Battalion of Alaska National Guard
Question: Who is the Commander in Chief of the 49th Missile Defense Battalion of Alaska National Guard?
Answer: Governor Sarah Palin, Alaska
Question: What U.S. governor is routinely briefed on highly classified military issues, homeland security, and counter terrorism?
Answer: Governor Sarah Palin, Alaska
Question: What U.S. governor has a higher classified security rating than either candidate of the Democrat Party?
Answer: Governor Sarah Palin, Alaska
According to the Washington Post, she first met with McCain in February, but nobody ever found out. This is a woman used to keeping secrets. She can be entrusted with our national security, because she already is.
Now You Know!
Tracing the origins of an e-mail that has been forwarded to you via countless other in-boxes is next to impossible. However, from the few that have been traced it is possible to conclude that they were professionally created and then seeded via the GOP network. Take the Obama as a Muslim smear as a case in point. This began as a press release issued by a certain Andy Martin back in August 2004.
The release sat around headbanger circles, but without having much effect until late 2006 when Obama began his campaign for the Democratic Party's nomination for president. In December of that year Ted Sampley, who is a well-known headbanger, used the Martin press release as the basis of a column that repeated the allegations. Within 24 hours of that Sampley piece being written, the first e-mails began to circulate.
What seems to help the right mount these highly effective campaigns is the fact that the mails tie-in with what an awful lot of ordinary Americans actually believe. They operate within a narrow ideological framework where leftists, welfare and big cities are bad, and the armed forces and the white heartland of America are good.
Democrat versions tend to be far more heterogeneous as far as their subject matter is concerned, and therefore they appeal to proportionally fewer people than the Republican mails. For instance a Latino who wants to get his cousin into the USA may not be all that interested in an anti-war e-mail, and could be positively hostile to a pro-abortion one.
These e-mails are probably here to stay as part of the political process, and on the basis of performance up to now, it is the right who will continue to make the better use of them.
24 October 2008
Who's Nailin' Paylin? Latest download news
The latest download news about Who's Nailin' Paylin? the Hustler produced shagathon that stars Lisa Ann as Serra Paylin is that there is no news. Sorry folks, but there is hardly anything to report.
The second part of the video has not yet been uploaded to the Hustler website and the company hasn't released any new stills from the video since last week.
The only new item is that Lisa Ann has been interviewed by Marie Claire magazine, but aside from that I have nothing to report. The Hustler press office has gone quiet and e-mails are not being answered and press releases not being issued.
There is a rumour that part two of Who's Naylin Paylin? will be released this weekend, but the silence from Hustler might also suggest that they are holding off until closer to the election.
The way in which the filesharers got hold of the first part within 24 hours of its release could have something to do with this. It's possible that Hustler will release another section of the video closer to the election and then wait to use the DVD sales to recoup their investment in the production.
More when we have it.
The Mandelson-Osborne Feud
The Mandelson-Osborne feud is not something that your friendly old Exile finds all that interesting. If anything all it does is confirm what those of us who are on the left always knew, namely that political hacks and rich filth cosy up together to cut deals that benefit them and screw the rest of us.
However, there is one aspect to this sorry tale that Neil Clark has discovered which makes it slightly more interesting. The story was broken by The Times, and the news department has been running with it for some days. At the same time the Comment Central part of the Murdoch owned scab sheet's website has been rubbishing the tale for all its worth.
According to Neil what is going on is a fight between the neo-conservative headbangers who run the comments page and the rest of the rag. Osborne is a neocon and is getting their support because he belongs to the if it moves, bomb the shit out of it school of political thought.
So far so good, but then Guido Fawkes jumped in with an account which states that The Times is push-polling to try and force Osborne's resignation.
It does appear as if Neil may be onto something here. A fight seems to have broken out between what we might call traditional Conservatives and the neocon loonies.
What's a bloke to do? Sit back and enjoy the show is my advice
23 October 2008
Exile gets a beat on the MSM
It's nice to get a beat over the mainstream media and leave them trailing in our wakes. One such beat came on the 21st of this month when this blog argued that in the event of a GOP defeat next month Sarah Palin would be perfectly placed to run for the Republican nomination for president in 2012. Yesterday the mainstream caught up with your friendly old Exile with an article in Newsweek that said pretty much the same thing. Today the Daily Telegraph joined in and agreed wholeheartedly.
Now, neither article went into the depths that we did by looking at her backers, but you can't have everything unless you read The Exile. The hacks who work for both the American and British versions of Grub Street are paid no matter how half-finished their stories are. . .
Blaming the victims for the Republican Party's dominance
Have the Republicans managed to create a sort of altered reality, which they then sold to the voters as being the true reality? Thomas Frank over at the Wall Street Journal thinks that they have, and quotes from a Reagan strategy document from 1980 to bolster his case. This document argued: "People act on the basis of their perception of reality; there is, in fact, no political reality beyond what is perceived by the voters." As Frank then goes on to say, all this is great if "you're reaching out to workers while simultaneously cracking down on unions and scheming to privatize Social Security." So was it just "the perception of reality" that the GOP managed to tie itself into or were other factors at work?
However, as we have already pointed out on this blog, a very good case can be made for saying that the Democrats abandoned the American working class first, with their adoption of neo-liberal policies in the 1970s. They then added insult to injury by saying that they didn't even need working class votes to win elections with: all the party needed, ran the Emerging Democratic Majority argument was the votes of professionals, minorities and women. What the Democrats did was later copied by Nu-Labour in Britain, and with similar results. First you treat the working class like scum, then you blame them for abandoning a party that has already dumped them.
Secondly, and again as this blog has argued time and time again, when the two main parties - be they in Britain or the USA - are so close as to be touching on economic matters, then social issues become very important.
What Thomas Frank argued basically ignored all the changes that Democrat supported globalisation has brought in its wake and then blamed the victims for their failure to continue supporting the party that betrayed them. He also ignores the fact that many American working class people were making a quite rational choice when they started supporting the Republicans because at least the GOP agreed with their social agenda. By ignoring those two factors Thomas Frank is helping to create exactly the type of altered reality that his piece was obviously written to condemn. In this case the narrative involves stupid workers who could not tell under which party they were better off and fell for a line.
The point is that they didn't, did they?
22 October 2008
Obama to his media friends and small contributors: thanks suckers
Those people who contributed thousands of dollars to Barack Obama's campaign were notified last week that they should prepare to head for Chicago on the evening of the 4th November to attend the celebratory bash that will be held in the city's Grant Park. The millions who shelled out a few dollars each and who the campaign has praised as the heroes and heroines without whom Obama could not have run can presumably go and fuck themselves.
At the same time, the media has been notified that they will have to shell out an arm and a leg for access to the site, especially to those areas that are heated, come with access to the outside world and where there is a chance of speaking to the campaign's senior figures. There is a free press area, but according to the memorandum that has been sent out to the media, it will be "outdoors, unassigned and may have obstructed views. General Media Area credentials do not include access to riser positions, satellite truck parking or the press filing centre." Translated into simple English that means freeze your balls off, speak to nobody and see nothing. If you want to file better make sure that your mobile 'phone is fully charged and has lots of credit.
Your friendly old Exile is inclined to wonder if the Obama camp have ever heard of hubris? They certainly seem to be suffering from a bout of that sense of invincibility that the Gods gave to men just before the rug was pulled out from under them.
It is one thing leaving the small fry out in the cold, without even having a lottery to select a few of them to mingle with their betters. However treating the hacks as if they were a source of campaign finance when there are still two weeks left in the campaign strikes me as just plain idiotic.
Demonising Sarah Palin
Frightening Prospect is a great website for all you Sarah haters out there. Go along and download a poster and then stick them up around your local area. They even give you the recipe for glue.
It's funny but nobody seems to be doing this to John McCain. I can remember Reagan presented with horns and that chimp who currently occupies the White House has come in for all sorts of stick, but McCain seems to be getting an easy ride.
iJustine and the future of information
This is Justine Ezarik, otherwise known as iJustine. As you can see she's a pretty blonde who is famous for being famous.
She gets thousands of hits a month to her YouTube page where she uploads her one minute videos that deal with, well, not a lot really. Blokes like to watch her because blokes always like looking at pretty girls, and I suppose that there is always the hope that they will get to see iJustine naked in one of those videos - or at least remove her top, which is what this writer's boyfriend hoped for.
The guys made iJustine popular so then the girls began to watch her videos because it seems as if every teenage girl around wants to know what makes other girls a hit with the guys. The girls then chat about her with their friends and iJustine's popularity just seems to grow and grow.
This is her most popular video - one that has been watched by almost a million and a half people since it was uploaded in August 2007. All it shows is iJustine leafing through her 300 page mobile 'phone bill. This is self-produced reality TV, folks, and it is as vapid as anything that goes on on the main television channels during the afternoon.
You may think that you have just wasted a couple of minutes out of your life reading this shit, but if you think about it for a moment, this is how people get their information these days. These short videos get made, uploaded and then passed around either via e-mail links or on mobile 'phones.
It's also one of the reasons why the young in particular are disengaging from politics. The parties and groups still try to talk to them using the old media of broadcast television and newspapers. Sorry, but the world has moved on, and it really is time that the politicos of whatever persuasion got with the new programmes.
21 October 2008
If McCain loses what will Sarah Palin do?
If John McCain loses the election in two weeks time it is quite likely that Sarah Palin will return to Alaska and start preparing herself for a run at the presidency in 2012. If she does decide to make a run then she already has three factors that will stand her in good stead and might just be enough to ensure that she gets the Republican nomination for 2012.
The first is that she has a network of very powerful and influential friends in Washington DC. Sarah may present herself as the outsider, but most of those people are very much in the inside when it comes to the Beltway. The Weekly Standard is the conservative movement's house journal and Sarah has been in contact with such senior figures from it as William Kristol and Fred Barnes ever since they visited her in Alaska in 2007. Shortly after that visit, a senior group of National Review writers arrived in Juneau, the Alaskan state capital, and went away as bowled over by her as the Weekly Standard's men had been.
It was thanks to their influence that Sarah got McCain's nod for the vice-presidential spot on the ticket. He had originally wanted Joe Lieberman, but Lieberman is pro-abortion and it was made plain to McCain that choosing him would almost certainly have led to a revolt by the party's rank and file on the convention floor. Sarah was then put forward by her insider friends as the perfect compromise who could energise the socially conservative heartland base.
Secondly Sarah has already begun to distance herself from the McCain campaign by taking up policy positions of her own. Yesterday she disagreed with the McCain line on homosexual marriages by supporting the idea of a constitutional amendment that would outlaw them. The fact that she did that in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network was just an added touch to connect with her base. She also differs with Mccain on such conservative touchstones as stem-cell research and drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve.
She started staking out her own positions as early as the 4th October when she pleaded to be allowed to campaign in Michigan. At the time we thought that this was all part of a clever election ploy by McCain; instead it was the first sign that his campaign was going off the rails. However, because of this and other differences, Sarah is now well placed to distance herself from any defeat. She knew what to do and it is not her fault that the campaign did not listen to her.
Thirdly, it is her support for drilling in Alaska that should make her very popular with the oil and natural gas companies that will be expected to dig deep to finance any campaign she mounts for the Republican Party's nomination for president. At the same time, her support for conservative social policy will make her very popular with just the type of small town conservative who votes in Republican primary elections.
All of this will become moot if McCain wins the election. However, if he doesn't, then what we are seeing at the moment is a very astute politician who is positioning herself to take her party's nomination for 2012.
Say what you like about Sarah Palin, but stupid she isn't.
Meghan McCain: the blonde blogette
This is Meghan, John McCain's seriously blonde 24 year old daughter. She is blogging her father's campaign in her own way, which is to say she looks at the things that she and her friends find interesting, rather than following the party line on these matters. Actually Meghan comes over as her own girl in many respects, for instance she voted for John Kerry in 2004.
Both Meghan and her blog have come under attack from Democrat supporters, many of whom enjoy comparing her to Paris Hilton on the basis of a shared blondness. Some of the attacks are ferocious, such as this obscene animated GIF that is going the rounds, or the comments to this Wonkette posting, and rather tell against the notion that the Democrats are the decent party in all of this.
McCain Blogette is not going to become a part of my daily reading - it's a bit too bubbly for my tastes - but if you want a different perspective on the McCain campaign then you should give it a whirl. Both it and Meghan are certainly a refreshing change from the identikit candidate's families, and their blogs, that get trotted out at every American election.
20 October 2008
The strange world of Tamar and their blog advertising
Work this out if you can because it has left me stumped.
Let us set the scene - the month of October which is still nowhere near its end has seen a record number of hits for The Exile. As of midnight we had reached the magnificent total of 5,257 hits for the month. The previous record of 5,272 which was set in February this year was then knocked into a cocked hat just after midnight today, the 20th October. February's totals were due to the quite magnificent Stephanie and this month's tally is due to the lovely Sarah, so thanks are due to both girls for giving the blog some serious stat-porn in their respective ways.
Here's the thing that we can't figure out. Back on the 26th September an e-mail was received from a bloke named James who is a search executive, whatever that is, for a company called Tamar. James wanted to rent advertising space on The Exile and following a brief e-mail exchange two text links were accepted for the blog's left sidebar at an annual fee of £60 each.
Those links went live on the 30th September and by the 13th October your friendly old Exile was beginning to worry that something was wrong because he had neither been paid nor told when payment would be made. Thus a businesslike e-mail was sent out on that date and the following day an apology was received with a promise to chase up the payment.
Later that same day another e-mail arrived from a fellow named Myles at Tamar. Myles explained that there were "compliancy issues" with the blog and asked for the adverts to be removed. He also said that the payment had been made, which was true, so the ever friendly Exile did as he was bid and stripped the two text links from the blog.
An e-mail then winged its way to Myles asking him to explain the compliancy issues bit, because it read like meaningless corporate speak to the recipient at Exile Hall: plain English is what this blog requests and requires. Besides, we had complied with all Tamar's instructions, so what were they moaning about? The bulk of that mail was taken up with some ideas that we had for text link advertising in general, and a reply was eagerly anticipated.
That reply arrived the next day and completely ignored the damned question - and it then went on to argue that Tamar wanted to deal only with UK blogs. That rather begs the question why they contacted us in the first place, but it also completely ignores the fact that the blog is run by an Englishman and has an overwhelmingly UK readership.
Feeling somewhat cheesed off, we got in touch with a friend who runs a translation service and offered her a free advert until the end of the year if she would let us know how many hits she gets on her site every day via that advert. People, the hits are averaging about a dozen a day!
Now then - can someone please explain what the hell is going on? Firstly Tamar wrote to us and we not only agreed to all their instructions, but we damn well complied with them to boot. Then we are told that we haven't complied, but are refused an explanation. Then the ground shifts and the excuse is tossed out that this blog is not British when it so obviously is, as are the bulk of the readers. To make matters even more risible the blog is a-hopping and people are a-clicking on the new text link advert that sits on the left sidebar.
Given this situation we are forced to conclude that someone is completely out of his tree, and that someone does not dwell in Exile Hall.
Still, thanks for the 120 quid, Myles, and good luck with the recession. Given the cack-handed way that you behave, you are going to need all the luck that you can get.
How the Kohut Lacuna may help McCain
Just when even your friendly old Exile had begun to think that the American election was a done deal with Barrack Obama cruising towards the White House, the whole damned thing opened up again. The opinion polls show a narrowing of the gap between Obama and John McCain, with an average lead for the frontrunner now standing at a six percent average.
That sounds like a commanding lead until we remember that in the primaries Obama had an average eight percent lead over Hillary Clinton in places like New Hampshire and still managed to lose that race. The polls got it bang to rights for the Republican primaries, but throughout the primary elections they managed to overestimate Barrack Obama's level of support.
There are two issues that tell against Obama. The first is the Bradley Effect which we have discussed in an earlier posting, but to summarise here, involves white people lying to the pollsters about which candidate they intend to vote for.
The second factor is what is known as the Kohut Lacuna and is named after Andrew Kohut, the head of the Pew Research Centre who came up with the idea back in January of this year. A lacuna is just the Latin word for a gap, and the Kohut Lacuna is summed up best in the man's own words:
Poorer, less well-educated white people refuse surveys more often than affluent, better-educated whites. Polls generally adjust their samples for this tendency. But here’s the problem: these whites who do not respond to surveys tend to have more unfavorable views of blacks than respondents who do the interviews.So this is different from the Bradley Effect which involves out and out lying about one's voting intentions, but it is closely related to it in its outcome. Thanks to both of them the polls overestimate the level of support that Obama actually has.
As Obama's lead narrows then both Bradley and Kohut may come into play. Obama led by eight percent in New Hampshire and still lost that election. Given that his lead is now just six percent the same thing could quite conceivably happen again.
19 October 2008
Who's Nailin' Paylin: let's review the video
Now that just about everybody has downloaded the first part of Who's Nailin' Paylin, it's time to ask what did you think of it? I'll be honest and say that it was better than I expected, but not as good as I had hoped.
Lisa Ann was excellent as Serra Paylin, even though she didn't manage to carry off the real Sarah's grating accent very well. On the other hand she did manage to capture the image that exists in many people's minds of Sarah as the brainless bimbo who is good to fuck, but good for fuck all else.
The one liners are also quite good, my favourite being when Lisa Ann was on her knees with the hard cocks of the two Russian soldiers in each of her hands and she looked at the weapons and said: "They look German".
I think that I was hoping for a bit more dialogue like that, and a few more wisecracks at the expense of the Republicans. Alas, it was not to be.
To be fair you don't watch a Hustler porno flick for the acting, and this one didn't disappoint in the hardcore department: within two minutes of the 20 minute video beginning, Lisa Ann and her two male studs were stripped down and the sucking had commenced.
Give this lady credit as the expert provider of blow jobs that she is; an ability that is only surpassed by her powers in the fucking department. I kid you not when I say that I was amazed that her two co-stars managed to prevent their weapons from accidentally discharging.
When finally they were allowed to shoot their wads they provided us with a fairly standard pop shot, but this one was made a bit out of the ordinary by the fact that Lisa Ann kept her Sarah glasses on throughout the action. That's right - they spunked all over her specs. Now that is one of those moments that will live in porno history because those glasses are what makes the real Sarah so delectable - and there they were, covered in what our American cousins call jizm - just as they probably were after Brad Hanson had finished shooting his load.
So is the DVD worth buying when it comes out next month? On the basis of the first part, you betcha, as the real Sarah would say. Not so much to watch alone, but so that you can invite your mates around. This is a video for after the pubs shut, and you fancy having a laugh at the 2008 American Election.
18 October 2008
Fox News criticises Who's Nailin' Paylin yet again
Here's another clip from Who's Nailin' Paylin? This one features Bill O'Reilly, and then a scene where Sarah Palin makes a speech whilst Hillary Clinton is, well, never mind - just watch it for yourself.
Faux News are still complaining about the flick - take this clip which features Bill Orally at his sanctimonious, self-righteous best.
What would happen is someone made a porno flick featuring a Michelle Obama lookalike? That is the question that Bill Orally asks of one of those whiny voiced birds that Fox seems to love employing. The liberals - whoever the fuck they are - would be outraged, is the conclusion.
Your friendly old Exile can't speak for liberals, being a socialist after all, but the problem with that line is that Michelle Obama isn't a politician and isn't running for office. Sarah is and that makes her fair game - along with Hillary Clinton who also features in the video.
Just who is Joe the plumber?
Joe the plumber doesn't really exist. The man who does exist is a bovine slaphead named Sam who was put up to confront Barrack Obama over his plans to raise taxes on parasites earning over $250,000 a year.
You can sort of understand the Republican idea: create a Joe Sixpack bloke and turn him loose to damage the Democrats. The problem is that Joe Sixpack is the American version of the British man on the Clapham omnibus, the Everyman who has basically been battered down by life and who knows that nobody in power gives a shit about him.
Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher is a far cry from that, but this wasn't about abortion or guns, so a genuine Joe Sixpack wouldn't fit the bill. Besides, time was pressing, and he was all the GOP could find at short notice, so they ran with him.
John McCain mentioned him about twenty times in last Wednesday's presidential debate, and then the GOP created an attack advert featuring their new celebrity - and that's when it all started to go horribly wrong for them.
The day after McCain made Wurzelbacher famous, he learned that his new pal: "owes back taxes. He is not a licensed plumber. And it turns out that Wurzelbacher makes less than $250,000 a year, which means he would receive a tax cut if Obama were elected president."
So who is this bloke? In his own words he emerges as a fantasist who doesn't make "even close" to $250,000. So why does he oppose Obama's plan to make the rich pay? “Why should they be penalized for being successful? That's a very socialist view,” replied this prime specimen of ragged trousered philanthropy.
We had to listen to mongs like this in Britain, over the past few years haven't we? They bought into the low-tax, easy credit life that Blatcherism offered them and now they are shitting their loads at the thought of losing it all.
Let's hope that they do - and let's hope that this goon joins them in the poorhouse.
Oh, and make the fucker pay his back taxes.
Who's Nailin' Paylin is now available to download
The filesharers have the first part of Who's Nailin' Paylin, and it is available to download via the torrent software of your choice. Just Google on Who's Nailin' Paylin? torrents to find the links.
Now for the bad news - everybody and his brother is trying to download it and there are only a few computers that are seeding the 123 meg WMV file compared to the thousands that are already trying to grab the video.
Sorry, but you are in for a long wait.
Unless you click on this link which takes you to a free storage server where some kind person has uploaded the file. Just put in the three letters that you are given into the box and wait 45 seconds for the free download to start. It takes less than an hour to complete.
17 October 2008
Latest news on Who's Nailin' Paylin?
You lot are straining at the leash for some Who's Nailin' Paylin? download information, I can tell. That's why you are filling my in-box with demands for link, isn't it? Well, I'm sorry folks, but you are just going to have a wait a while longer. It's not as if I would keep any information secret and as soon as I know something then so will you.
While you are waiting here's another picture of the shagtastic Lisa Ann as photographed on the set of Who's Nailin' Paylin?
Once you can drag your eyes away, click on over to PalinAsPresident.us and amuse yourself by clicking around the site. Here's a tip, you might want to click on the door a few times as what's behind it changes.
The right is just better at the agitprop wars than the left
This is one of the few bits of Democrat attack humour that has managed to go viral around the web. By that I don't mean that other stuff hasn't been passed around between Democrat supporters; what I mean is that this is one of the few items that has originated with them and then spread to the mainstream.
The only other attack image that I can think of is the Obama in Muslim dress photo that seems to arrive in my in-box almost every day, usually accompanied by an e-mail message that has been forwarded to heaven knows how many thousand people before I get to see it. Now this photo is genuine and seems to have been grabbed from this website back in 2006. The Hillary Clinton campaign then began to circulate it as part of their smear attacks on Obama during the Democratic primaries.
These two bits of Democrat inspired agitprop are about the only examples of the genre that I can think of - and the Obama picture began life as part of an intra-Democrat fight, before hitting everyone's in-box courtesy of Republican activists.
The right is quite happy to grab a photo and send it around the web with a nasty comment or two attached to it. When the rightists send these messages out they end up in the in-boxes of people who are not political activists, and those people then forward the messages onwards to their friends.
The left seems to enjoy talking to itself, whereas the right knows that real people have to be engaged. As far as the American left is concerned, only the Clintons and the bloke who created that very witty Sarah-Biden montage really gets how this all works.
16 October 2008
Who's Nailin' Paylin: release dates available
The DVD of Who's Nailin' Paylin will be released on the 4th of November, which just happens to be the American election day, with a price tag of $26.00. The bad news for anyone outside the USA is that Hustler does not ship internationally. Come to think of it, the company has a list of areas within the USA that they can't ship to, either, but if you can get to one of their shops then the DVD should be on the shelf that day.
What about downloading this MILF-tastic shagathon which stars Lisa Ann as Serra Paylin? According to the Hustler shop in Hollywood - see link above - the video is available to download right now at the main Hustler members' site. A quick trip over there led to this sub-section of the site which confirmed that the first part of Who's Nailin' Paylin is indeed on-line.
An e-mail that came in today told The Exile that the members' site offers the Hustler videos in sections, the idea being to get the punters to keep signing up at $34.95 a month in the hope that they will complete their collections. They never will, of course, because more and more new video sections keep getting released.
The same e-mail mentioned a Hustler site that allows for individual complete videos to be downloaded in various formats, but no URL was provided. A search turned up a video on demand page where some of the videos can be downloaded permanently to the hard drive. Most, however, are either streaming videos or have a code installed into the file that renders them unusable after a number of days. Who's Nailin' Paylin hasn't been uploaded to that site yet, but it does look like the best bet for the future.
Finally, the file sharers don't seem to have the video yet, but your friendly old Exile reckons that they will, probably tomorrow, or at least the first part of it.
Update, 17th October 2008, 7.50pm:
Part one is now available - see this posting.
Fast, Expert Translations: Tax Free!
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The third presidential debate was a waste of time
The third and final American presidential debate was a waste of time, no matter what the pundits say. John McCain probably lost the election yesterday not because he did badly in the debate, but because the Dow-Jones tanked 733 points to close at 8,577 on the day.
That is what has killed off his chances; that and an economy that is sliding into a depression that most Americans only know about from stories their grandparents told them. Two years ago a house in Dearborne Heights, Michigan, that sold for $106,000 today cannot find a buyer who will stump up even $4,000, and may be sold for just $2,500. Stories such as this one about a university don who ended up homeless are becoming more and more common, and the last thing that anyone wants to think about is another wasteful exercise in throwing money away that yet another war of aggression would mean. It is one thing to cheer on the American way when you have a full stomach and can pay all your bills, but quite another when that very American system has failed you, your family and everyone around you.
15 October 2008
Lisa Ann gives an interview from the Who's Nailin' Paylin set
The Hustler publicity machine is rolling right along with yet more releases from the set of Who's Nailin' Paylin, the soon to be released porno satire on Sarah Palin. Are we at The Exile falling for these cheap publicity stunts?
You can bet your left bollock that we are! Here's an on-set interview with Lisa Ann who plays the wonderfully named Serra Paylin in the video just to prove it.
As you can see from the still below, the Americans use a full professional crew to shoot their porn. How very different it all is from their British counterparts who borrow a video camera and then shoot in someone's living room with the curtains closed.
You want another shot of Lisa Ann, don't you? Just for you here she is, flashing a very nice upskirt indeed. We have so far failed to get any genuine Sarah Palin upskirt or nipslip photos, but at least we have Lisa Ann to remind us of how things might have been...
If only there was some justice in the world.
Expert Translations: Tax Free!
The American working class did not desert the Democrats: it was the other way around
It is often said that American working class people vote Republican because they have been seduced by a GOP that panders to their social concerns. That pandering may very well take place, but a study done by the University of Arizona which is quoted in an interesting New Yorker essay lends weight to the argument that American workers were first abandoned by the Democratic Party before they fell for the Republicans' social blandishments. The study looked at white working class voting patterns in the USA and concluded that the decline in the Democrats' fortunes in the 15 years after the mid-1970s was not due to race, guns or abortion. It came about because working class jobs were exported, unions weakened and living standards declined. Faced with this, “there was increasing reason for working-class whites to question whether the Democrats were still better than the Republicans at promoting their material well-being,” the authors concluded.
The New Yorker piece then goes on to lay out another factor that is behind the Democrats long-term secular decline. It is "The Emerging Democratic Majority" thesis that was propounded in a 2004 book by John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira. The argument in the book runs that the Democrats don't need the old working class to win elections, what they need are the votes of professionals, minorities, and women. It is horribly like the Nu-Labour strategies that have led to a collapse in working class turnout for Labour at British elections.
In other words the Democrats lost the working class vote because they no longer advocated the economic policies that working class people expected of their party. Then, to add insult to injury, the Democrats basically told the working class to take their hooks because their votes were no longer needed.
Now the party wants those votes back, and the economic crisis may just turn out to be the factor that brings back the lost millions, but that leads to an important question: have the Democrats learned their lesson from this near debacle? If they have then a President Obama will put forward the polices that working class people want. If they haven't, then he will serve for one term and then the Republicans will take over the White House possibly for at least another generation.
14 October 2008
Fox News reacts to Who's Nailin' Paylin?
Say what you like about Larry Flynt and his Hustler empire, but he sure knows how to please the punters. Say what you like about your dear old Exile, but he does too - so here's another still from the forthcoming porno epic Who's Nailin' Paylin, that is scheduled for release this coming weekend. If this one photo of the firm buttocked Lisa Ann who stars in the video isn't enough for you, then click on this link and feast your eyes on a shed-load more.
The bad news for all you anal fans out there is that the video doesn't have any back door action, but looking at the stills that have so far emerged - to say nothing of the full script - then there should be enough regular sucking and shagging to please all but the most jaded of tastes.
Fox News has even got in on the act with this unintentionally hilarious report. The best laughs come at 2.10 when the announcer asks in a grating, whiny, extra from Deliverance sort of way: "Might there be some actual confusion to the non-educated mind out there, that Governor Palin had something to do with this ridiculous video?" Presumably she was referring to her own punters.
Then, at 2.55, another brainless bimbo says that the video "even pokes fun at our network. It's called Fox News, F-A-U-X." Do you think that someone should tell this airhead that faux is pronounced as foe?
The hits that this blog is getting from people doing searches on Lisa Ann, Serra Paylin and Who's Nailin' Paylin have to be seen to be believed. Yesterday we had 200 hits just on Lisa Ann alone. Given this interest, your friendly old Exile reckons that this video will be the hit of the year when it emerges from the editing suite later on this week.
Stay tuned folks!
5-January-2009: Please click on this link and vote for Neil Clark's Blog in the Blog Awards Each computer can vote once every day until the voting ends next Tuesday. Vote early and vote often folks, as Neil is a mate of mine!
Defeat in Iraq is "all Gordon Brown's fault" says warmonger
We haven't had a good laugh at the plight of imperialism in Iraq for quite some time. Largely that is down to the fact that what is left of the British occupation forces were kicking their heels at Basra airport, waiting for the order to leave, and the Americans were just handing out dollars to Sunni fighters in the hope that everything would stay quiet until after the November elections.
Then up pops some British hack who cheered on the aggression from the start to moan about how terrible it is that the gunmen in charge of Baghdad have told the British to take their hook as soon as possible. "It's all Gordon Brown's fault," that the army doesn't have a victory to gloat over, whinges Con Coughland. Of course he means that he and his friends don't have such a victory, but never mind.
It may be that the order to leave was coordinated with Whitehall as a way to make the regime in Baghdad look slightly more legitimate - you can't really be the leader of any self respecting third world shithole unless you cock a snook at the old colonial rulers from time to time. However, what puzzles this writer is that nowhere in the piece does Coughlin actually state what Britain's alternatives are. Should the British Government have ignored the Iraqi demand, always assuming that it wasn't cobbled together with them in the first place that is?
It is hard to know what is being argued in this sub-undergraduate piece. The most charitable conclusion is that it is the dying cry of a warmonger who wants to pass the blame around for the defeat of British imperial aims in Iraq.
13 October 2008
Lisa Ann as Sarah Palin: shooting completed
Following on from our earlier reports, the production of Who's Nailin' Paylin is proceeding at a fantastic rate and the first stills of luscious Lisa Ann as she appears in the Hustler video are starting to arrive - just click here to see more.
Lisa Ann plays Sarah Palin, or Serra Paylin as she is called in the video, and shooting ended yesterday - having started the day before. Say what you like about these porn productions, they don't take long to make.
The video will now be edited and the best guess is that it will be available to buy this coming weekend.
A closer look at McCain's base
Following right along from our last posting, maybe if we are really lucky even an Obama victory could turn out to our advantage? Just take a look at these McCain-Palin supporters if you are wondering what I mean. Do you see how outraged they are and how all fired up they have become? These are angry people who are genuinely afraid of what Obama might do if he takes the White House.
Following the 1860 election the South precipitated a civil war by seceding from the union during the winter of 1860-61. They had no rational grounds for doing that, but they had convinced themselves that Lincoln would tear up the constitution and lead an army south to destroy them. They decided to get the retaliation in first, in other words.
So, is it possible that the Americans could start fighting each other once again? That's a long shot, but they might start fighting politically and bog themselves down in political strife that could take years to resolve.
If the Americans are quarrelling amongst themselves, then they aren't disturbing anyone else, are they?
Why the British left might want to cheer on McCain
Should the British left be hoping that John McCain wins the American presidential election next month?
One of the giants of British socialism, the late Ian Mikardo, once said that you can't make a socialist omelet without cracking a fair few capitalist eggs. One of those eggs that is going to have to be cracked sooner of later is the NATO alliance, and there is more chance of that happening with a McCain presidency than with the version that Obama will offer.
Cast your minds back to the aftermath of the 11th September 2001 attacks on the USA. Support for the USA rose to an all-time high across the country and it looked as if Blair's Nu-Labour wet dream would sweep the board for at least another generation. The only thing that the left could do faced with circumstances like that was batten down the hatches and pray for a miracle.
The miracle arrived in the form of Chimp Bush and his war against Iraq. Let's be honest, if the chimp had stuck with Afghanistan then we would have continued to be outflanked by a Nu-Labour regime that would probably have continued to ride high in public esteem. Not only that, but it is also highly likely that the current financial meltdown would have been postponed for a few more years. It was the chimp's preference for paying for his wars on credit, rather than raising taxes, that is one of the factors responsible for the meltdown that working class people are sitting back and enjoying at the moment.
Wouldn't it be nice to have a president who also believes in basically the same nonsense as the chimp, and who would continue his policies until the American economy just cracks under the strain? By then people in Britain, who seem to be keen Obama supporters, might just be demanding an end to the American presence in Britain. You never know your luck...
With Obama we are liable to receive a charm offensive that will aim at repairing the damage done to Anglo-American relations by the chimp, coupled with some solid Keynesian policies at home that could shore up the crumbling American economic system.
If you look at things in that light, McCain might very well turn out to be the man for us.
12 October 2008
Americans panic about "pro-Islamic" doll
This is too daft to miss: have you heard the one about the doll that says "Satan is king" and "Islam is the light"? Actually the Fisher-Price toy doesn't say anything of the sort, but thousands of really, really stupid people have convinced themselves that it does. You can hear the original soundtrack by clicking this link, and hear for yourself that it sounds just like a baby gurgling, and once it gets replayed through the doll's cheap speaker it sounds like nothing at all. Unless you are an inbred primitive who wants to believe, that is.
Fox News is playing this up for all it is worth, and what we have here is a genuine case of mass bovine hysteria. Notwithstanding the fact that Fox has cleverly found a black woman who believes that the doll is a wicked plot to subvert America, this is about playing on white fears of Barack the Boogeyman and all that he is perceived to stand for.
The Republican Party has to switch attention away from the economy by whatever means come to hand, otherwise the election is lost. The party seems to have done a good job with these Republican base voters, for that is what we are looking at here, because they seem to be totally out of what passes for their minds.
Sarah Palin has a hot body, says Paris Hilton
"My advice to Sarah Palin is, you've got a hot bod - don't keep it to yourself. Why wear a pantsuit when you can wear a swimsuit?" said Paris Hilton, a lady who knows a bit about showing off a hot body.
It looks to your friendly old Exile as if Sarah is doing fine as she is, at least if the expression of pure lechery on this young fellow's face is to be believed - just look at him copping an eyeful of Sarah's goodies.
On the other hand, maybe Paris has a point? Aren't we all still waiting for some hot Sarah Palin photos - something along the lines of this Paris Hilton upskirt picture that you can see on the right?
Sarah Palin Porn Video
Following on from these earlier postings about Larry Flynt's porno political satire, the Exile can report that it is nearing completion and should be available in a few days. The title is Who's Nailin' Paylin, and stars the super MILF Lisa Ann as Serra Paylin, and the ever foxy Nina Hartley as Hillary Clinton - she was brought in just to put the "bi" in bi-partisan. Jada Fire - yes, the girl who squirts when she cums - appears as Condaleeza Rice. Some bloke will play Bill Orally, a Fox News TV presenter and all-round nutter who introduces each of the five scorching shag scenes as they unfold.
The full script has now gone on-line, and the front cover of the DVD is on the left. Do we want to see this video? As the real Sarah Palin would say: You betcha!
11 October 2008
Sarah Palin blow up sex doll now on sale
The Sarah Palin blow-up sex doll has just gone on sale. Democrats are reported to be buying the doll so that they can do to it what Sarah will probably do to the country if she ever gets into the White House. The manufacturers are clearly politically neutral because they have given the Sarah doll three entrances: that's one each for Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
Reports that if the doll winks that means you are doing it right are unconfirmed, but punters are urged to shout "drill, baby, drill" with feeling.
Mara Carfagna: a job for a blow job?
Did Mara Carfagna, pictured left and below, the former model and all round decent bit of talent, get her Italian ministerial portfolio because she provided a blow job to Silvio Berlusconi? Transcripts of seamy telephone conversations may exist and people are suggesting that la Carfagna may have become the equal opportunities minister via an on her knees sort of way.
All of this has led to speculation in London about who, if anyone, is chomping on Gordon Brown's chopper. "Say what you like about Hazel Blears," reported one source to your friendly old Exile, "but at 4ft 10in tall she might have been genetically engineered for this - Gordon could almost stand his beer on her whilst she was sucking him off."
10 October 2008
The left is in danger of missing the boat
Your friendly old Exile spent most of yesterday cheerfully watching the Dow-Jones lose another few hundred points as it plummeted below the 9,000 mark for the first time in five years. Quite when it will stabilise is anyone's guess, but what is clear is that as Neil Clark pointed out, the days of what he calls turbo capitalism are now pretty much over.
Neil goes on to argue that "we need to turn the clock back to the collectivist days of 1945," but the problem is that you cannot have socialism without socialists, and the Labour Party has been pretty much taken over root and branch by the local government polyocracy. So the issue isn't that Nu-Labour is the creation of a nasty little junta that sits a-top a radical, working class membership. It is that the party is chock full of types who have done rather well out of the Blatcherite years, so before we can even start talking about renationalisation, the problem of those unproductive, parasitic cockroaches has to be addressed.
To a great extent that problem will be addressed when Nu-Labour has been destroyed at the polls, but it must be admitted that there is no serious group within either the party or the unions that is putting forward anything approaching the collectivist solutions that Neil Clark is arguing for. Until ordinary people start demanding solutions to the aching problems that have now plagued us for over a generation, then the only beneficiaries of the crisis will be the Tories.
09 October 2008
Anyone for tennis?
Librevox.org: changing the world with the spoken word
This is a guest posting by UKSecretCourts:
Can you imagine the change in the world a couple of mad geeks can make?
Back in April I started volunteering for Librivox.org. They're a group of 9,000 geeks, geekettes and audiophiles who decided, as people like that often do, that they wanted to do something extraordinary for the entire planet. Their mission is to record every book that has ever been written into mp3 format, and make it available free, on the internet, to anyone and everyone.
So far, the cute mad hatters, have recorded approx 3% of all those books. The numbers of volunteers are growing by the week, and now books in many different languages are offered - all for free.
Can you imagine the world this opens up for the blind? Now, the blind have the entire repository of authors works recorded and available, for free.
Who hosts all this data? Again, other geeks came to the rescue and the masses of audiobooks are held on servers around the world for free.
Today, a teacher of English as a Second Language contacted Librivox, and raised an interesting perspective, that no one had realised before. Librivox are a dream come true for ESL teachers around the world. Our accents range from American, Australian, Belgian, British, Canadian to Chinese. Of course, it's all English, but look at the breadth of pronunciation. We have Shakespeare's Monologues from MacBeth read by an amazing Scottish gentleman, who inspires fear, just listening to his renditions. English spoken in Scotland, is different to Wales, and indeed England. That's before we even start to mention Kentucky and Minnesota.
So how expensive is the software to produce mp3s? Well, thanks to some other geeks, there's Audacity, which is top notch open source software. The guys who wrote Audacity, wanted to give something back into the community, so they gave us this amazing, cross platform, free software.
So we have Sir Tim Berners Lee, free of licence internet, providing free audiobooks, recorded for free, using free software, and hosted for free and teaching ESL students the world over, for free. It's almost like wishing for world peace, and actually achieving it.