The Null Device
Post-election digest (1)
A few stories from the US elections:
- Barack Obama's acceptance speech. And here is McCain's concession speech; and a gracious and dignified one it is too.
- It seems that prejudice against less-religious folks no longer cuts it in the US; North Carolina Republican senator Elizabeth Dole lost to a relatively unknown Democrat challenger, Kay Hagan, after an attack ad accusing Hagan of being the choice of the "Godless" backfired spectacularly.
- Prejudice against gays, alas, is alive and well in California, with a ballot proposition amending the constitution to ban non-heterosexual marriage looking set to pass narrowly. I wouldn't have a problem with this, as long as couples civil unions had exactly the same rights and responsibilities as married™ ones—and such civil unions were available to heterosexuals. If religious traditionalists want to claim marriage as a trademark, that would be fine as long as those who don't agree with their agendas can opt out. At present, though, this discriminates against not only against gays but also against heterosexuals who don't wish to be lumped in with the bigots.
- It's not all doom and gloom in California, though, with the proposed high-speed rail link between LA and San Francisco looking set to win approval. The proposal to rename a San Francisco sewage plant after George W. Bush, however, didn't pass.
Also, last night's BBC coverage of the election count was pretty gripping. Especially when they got neoconservative hawk John Bolton in. Bolton, a gentleman with the appearance of a retired British Army colonel and the persona of an pugnacious cowboy, seemed to gradually fall apart as the bad news came in, and started lashing out at people (at one point calling on the BBC to sack one of its reporters for not knowing enough about the electoral history of Colorado). Then, fellow panelist and historian Simon Schama pointed out that the Republican Party had shrunk to the old Confederacy, and Bolton looked as if he might have a fit. I wonder whether the BBC chose him precisely for his amusement value.
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