This Election Cycle

November 13, 2008

inspector121This election cycle, more than any other before, has been influenced by New Media – the internet, blogs, social networking, and other things that have only become wide-spread in use and access. With how new these things are, anyone has been able to comment on anything and everything, and many more people are getting attention from people around the world.

Many events have influenced this election, but I’d like to highlight a few that showed how the internet and new media have changed the election process.

3. Bridge to Nowhere/Alaska and Russia

Palin’s statements have been a dominate meme since the Republican National Convention – especially these two. Even after the election is over (albeit for just more a week), jokes are still made about bridges and “I can see [insert country] from my house!” We’ll have to wait and see how long they will last, but I doubt that they will fade quickly.

2. “The fundamentals of our economy are strong”

While not as prevalent a meme, this phrase made its own circuit of the internet and the blogs and eventually moved to the more traditional media outlets. It continued to be pulled back out during debates and the worst part of the economic crisis – beit an economic or a political “worst”, however you personally interpret it.

[A related cirulation was the idea of suspending a campaign (or, for joke purposes, homework, assignments, break times, or any number of things), but this was not a new media centered event, it deserves only a mention, but not its own entry.]

1. “That One”

round-sticker

In one of the greatest moments of new media and this election, mere hours – between the end of the debate and the next morning, easily – www.thatone08.com was up and running, selling T-shirts and showing videos using the phrase – and making fun of it, of course. While, in the end, it might not have played that large of a role in the result of the election, it was a perfect example of new media commenting on and affecting the political process, specifically media made of people working from home – people who were perhaps not professional bloggers or writers and were just politically active and aware, and had the tools and put in the time to do what they could.

As a student, a writer, and a blogger, this has been an amazing experience – both to watch the amazing things that people like myself have done, and to do a small part myself in working within the democratic process.

But, to end on a different note, I would like to send a thank you to Rachel Maddow for sticking up for those of us who blog in our pajamas from home – though I must say that not everyone has basements. They are a little impossible in coastal areas when I lived until college. 

Thank you all for an amazing election cycle, and goodnight!

-Inspector 121


Coming to a Close: We Are All One Nation

October 28, 2008

You’ve gotta hand it to the man, he knows how to present a speech.

With this race coming to close, each candidate is throwing (or not throwing) their final punches, hoping to come out on top. As the nation looks forward to a week from now, I’d like to take a moment to look back, and see when Barack Obama first appeared nationally, when the senator from Illinois captured the attention of many, and first began the path that has led to today – a day when we wait to see if we are going to elect the first black President, not because he’s black, but because he has given the people hope for change and faith in our own power.

I remember Obama’s speech at the 2004 DNC, and his message hasn’t changed in the four years since.

I remember the beginning. Do you?


McCain/Palin – Nearing the End

October 28, 2008

The race is coming down to its last few days of early voting, and is only a week away from the climax of November fourth, and I felt the need to take a look at the latest statements from the GOP candidates, kupo.

First, after learning about the $150,000 spent on clothes and accessories for the Palin family, McCain says that Palin is “frugal”, kupo, and that a third of the money was given back and the clothes will be auctioned for charity. Now, even if they gave back $50,000, that is still a huge amount of money, kupo. Enough for my guild to pay for supplies for years, so imagine what it could buy for the regular citizens – the soccer moms and “Joe Six Pack”, if you will, kupo.

And it’s very different to say such things when you talk about where you shop, kupo. Some places are insanely expensive, while others are more reasonably priced for the exact same thing – or at least something comprable. Frugal is defined as “economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful” by dictionary.com. If we’re determined to not “waste money” on grizzly bears and other earmarks, let’s not waste money on clothes and accessories either, okay, kupo?

Secondly, two big, important words, kupo. International crisis. I’m not sure if I’d call it a complete gaffe, kupo, but Sen. Biden’s rather unpolished phrasing was at one point the McCain camp’s new message, kupo. McCain came up with a retaliation that potentially could have worked, but unfortunately hasn’t been able to control how the new message has been used, kupo – and, taken out of context (like Sen. Biden’s comment) – sounds a lot worse for the person speaking than they would normally expect. And it really doesn’t help that National Security experts agree with your opponent. Kupo!

And lastly, it also really hurts when the people you thought you could depend on desert your cause, kupo. It’s not just a few either, kupo! It’s people who are at the top of the party, have most of the information, and those with political power who are jumping ship quickly. I hope that my guild never ends up like that, kupo.

Regardless, what do you think of the building party-desertion, and the early voting exit polls, kupo? Too bad no one cares to do exit polls in Texas, kupo.

– Moogle


A Rectangle is Not Always a Square

October 23, 2008

So there’s been a lot of recent news about Rep. Mahoney (D-FL) and Rep. Murtha (D-PA) and their related scandals circling the blogs, but, while they are possibly running for re-election in their respective states, they are two people, not the entire Democratic party.

Now, the same could be said of (members of the GOP) who have also been involved in similar scandals and other things that have gotten them removed from office – or at least not re-elected, but I believe that the difference between how the parties characterize themselves affects the perception of the people.

When a person attests to high moral standards and to religious tenants, they are held to those high-set bars, and falling so far below them – as these people have done – looks even worse than it would otherwise. The person who comes out and says, “I am not perfect, but I’m going to do the best that I can, and strive for these standards, though I may fail at times” is not held as accountable to those high standards and tenants.

It is similar to the difference between stretching the truth and outright lying – and this matter is made even more complicated by those same statements about standards.

I know that people on both sides have done awful things that should get them removed from office at the soonest possible moment, but really, who would you want representing you in government: people who set high standards – only to either succeed somewhat or fail horribly, or those who admit they’re not perfect, but try to meet the high standards anyway – come success or failure?

– The Laughing Man


Insanity Alert! Changing which team you support is bad!

October 22, 2008

What is this insanity? Is this really something that BBC should be reporting on in their Election 2008 section?

No matter what people say about this not being a battle about the issues, but it really is, and the evidence sways us to vote one way or another. Which team you cheer for – or don’t cheer for, or just show some support for – doesn’t matter, truly.

– Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown


The Final Debate

October 16, 2008

So, in order for McCain to have more than a snowball’s chance on Tatooine, he was going to have to pull out the Ultimate Trump Card. Seems like it really doesn’t exist (not surprised, personally). Can’t say that I wasn’t thinking that it was possible that McCain had been sitting on something this whole time, but it seems, if Nate Silver is to be believed, it will take some kind of miracle for the vote to swing back his way.

Now, I’m often one for betting on high risk, high payoff situations, but while the odds are against McCain, and, if I were to bet on him, the payout could be good, I don’t think this is an overall “high payoff” situation. While I’m all one for deregulation of certain things – you know, perhaps gambling or bans and such things – that isn’t what we need right now. Even out here in the Outer Rim, we’ve felt the financial troubles that are affecting everyone.

Regulation is what we need, and it looks like I’m going to have to stick with the pirate title.

-Han Solo


Post-debate reaction

October 7, 2008

Obama’s been my guy since the beginning of this election process, kupo, and nothing that I’ve heard so far has given me the urge to change my mind. Now, that being said, I have to add that I hope that tonight may have swayed more voters minds, specifically towards Obama, kupo. It seems that the general Election2008 Twitter reaction was that Obama won, as well as the CNN initial polls and other similar things, kupo.
That being said, I’d like to address a couple of the key things I noticed during the debate.

First, McCain might have needed a few more pointers on how to act during this debate. While the media hype was that he was very good at town hall format situations, he didn’t quitelive up to that, kupo. He freaked some of the online population out by standing too close to the audience (at least to our perceptions), and really had a problem with looking stiff, kupo, and eventually pacing (this being interpreted as rude to Senator Obama by some).

Second note, I liked how Obama didn’t make himself out to be perfect, kupo. He could have addressed that the financial crisis is the fault of many rather than just of one side or the other, but he did admit to his lack of experience in foreign affairs and other areas (which have been left out of my notes, unfortunately, kupo). I think he could have brought in his choice of Joe Biden as a complement to that lack of knowledge, but alas, the opportunity has come and gone. Perhaps next time, or maybe he will use it in the media, that would help, kupo.

All in all, kupo, I noticed that both candidates tried to address the people, but Obama seemed to score much higher with the uncommitted voters in Ohio, and did much better with being inspirational as opposed to condescending. Seeing as Obama is still ahead in the polls, Senator McCain would have had to pull off an amazingperformance today, kupo, in order to take the lead, and that just did not happen.

It was really nice to see both candidates in this more informal kind of arena, and both candidates had good and bad moments, but in the end, the result has remained the same, kupo. Senator Obama comes out on top.

-Moogle