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It’s Just An Election… Relax

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Fear, anxiety, and, dare I say it, panic abound in the election-o-sphere these days, as captured in an article in today's Washington Post. The good voters of America are anxiously awaiting the ten plagues of Egypt, Arab hordes swarming over our shores, economic meltdown a la Chernobyl, and really bad acne attacks… regardless of who they support and regardless of who wins.

I personally have experienced this effect as recently as last Saturday night. Two of our best friends — bright, articulate conservatives — sat in our liberal living room, and one erupted in an over-the-top attack on Obama and the mainstream media's playing of the race card. (He later apologized.) And this from a man who thinks McCain has run perhaps the worst campaign since Nero tried to defend Rome with a fiddle and a broken bow.

My friends, relax. Whoever wins — Barack "My, What Big Ears You Have, Grannie" Obama or John "No, She's Really, Really Qualified" McCain — the world will neither come to an end nor be suddenly a brighter, happier place. We may indeed be facing the end of the world as we know it. Retirement will stretch further and further into the distance until it resembles the kind of dreams we had as kids — you know, of becoming superheros or policemen or nurses or serial killers; new diseases will spring as prolific as wildflowers or weeds from our faucets thanks to global warming; America will deteriorate into a third world power as Lithuania, Kurdzbachimysterystan, and a host of other degenerate nations attain global dominance… oh well, you get the picture.

But — and this is an important but so pay attention — none of this will come about because of the new president.

Relax, fellow prisoners, neither McCain nor Obama is evil incarnate out to undermine our precious values and bodily fluids. Neither seeks to undermine our way of life — beyond what we've already done to ourselves. Both will struggle mightily and with expert help to fix our economy (lots o' luck), our environment (just in time for West Virginia to become part of the new coastal America), our health care system (ow, that hurts), and everything else. And both will achieve minimal success because the Founding Fathers ensured through the arcane complexity of the Constitution that precious little can be accomplished in Washington.

We have so much for which to be thankful. So much about which to be proud. So much with which to completely screw ourselves royally.

Yes, the future looks bleak, even dire. So, my friends, worry, fret, and fear. But at least take heart that the election in two weeks ain't one of them. Stop demonizing your opponents and start hugging them. It may be the only solace we get for a long time. After dinner Saturday night, we hugged our conservative friends… and it felt great. One of them lifted my wallet, but what can you expect from them?

In Jameson Veritas

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About Mark Schannon

Retired crisis & risk manager/communications expert; extensive public relations experience in most areas over 30 years. Still available for extraordinary opportunities of mind-numbing complexity. Life-long liberal agnostic...or is that agnostic liberal.
  • Clavos

    A real breath of fresh air, Mark, thanks.

    Did you check for your watch?

  • moon

    Take out your fiddles, everyone, and look for the closest fire.

    When it’s out of your hands, it’s





  • Clavos, omigosh, so that’s where it went. Liberals don’t steal watches…we’re (wait for it) timeless.

    Moon, couldn’t have said it better.

  • Baronius

    Mark, I disagree with half your message (the part about the election’s unimportance), but hats off to your defense of fraternity.

  • troll

    politicians must be driven back into the abysmal swamp from which they emerged dragging their rotting professional self-interested government along with them

    …either that or they need to find honest work

  • Baronius, so I exaggerate. Satirist’s license. Sure the election’s important but not as important as the more hysterical of us fear. Despite all the mud being slung on our shoes, both these guys are decent, honorable people who’ll try to deal with the mess we’re in.

    Troll, come on. We elect them, we refuse to let a pol speak the truth about anything, we hide from reality. Social security the third rail, right? Even suggest modifications to SS or medicare & you’re toast. Speak out against a war & you’re unpatriotic.

    We get the government & pols we deserve.

    I’ve met a lot of pols and, to my amazement, liberal or conservative, they’re mostly decent people who want to do something good. We have to change the system, maybe even, gasp, the Constitution (an article I’ve got to write when my brain can approach it without exploding), and we have to admit that we, the people, are a significant part of the problem.

    And that’s the truth, for, as you’ll remember.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • Baronius

    Mark, I meant that comment as a compliment.

  • troll

    bah – a pox on all their parties…underneath their do-gooder shells are universally reptilian souls

    …but I’ve been known to exaggerate

  • moon

    I don’t see any do-gooder shells, troll. Never have–probably because I am not so stupid as to expect to see them?

    You need (new) glasses.

  • Baronius, I understood, but I also agree that I overdid the election not being important. & I appreciate the applaud for fraternity.

    Troll, well done exaggeration is at the heart of satire. And you got something against reptiles? Some of my best pets have been…forget it.

    Moon, I don’t disagree that the more you look at politics–everywhere, not just in the U.S., the more your gorge distends (if that makes sense) but one can exaggerate to the point that the exaggeration becomes truth. If we can’t find the decent, the honest, the good among the trash, we’ll never find a way out of this mess.

    I’m almost an old fart…well, maybe already one…and I’ve been a 60s liberal forever. But my career in business forced me into close association with them ultra-conservatives. I found, to my amazement, that, despite our disagreements, there were lots of decent, honorable people among them.

    Of course, there were a lot of scum bags, but haven’t you ever met a liberal or ultra-lefty scum bag?

    The more we demonize, the more we fantasize. (Stupid, but I couldn’t think of another rhyme.)

    But that’s the truth…because…

    In Jameson Veritas

  • AXJ

    AXJ would agree with you only if Mr. Obama proves to the American People he was indeed born in the USA…from the evidence so far it does not appear to be so…no birth certificate NO PRESIDENCY.

  • AXJ, now see, this is what I’m talking about.

    Relax…his birth certificate has been displayed and verified. He’s American. He’s Christian. He’s a helluva basketball player & a lousy bowler. He smokes! He probably even drinks Jameson Irish Whiskey.

  • moon


    Show me just ONE do-gooder among the pols–who is NOT Jimmy Carter–and I will eat my words.

    Until then, as I am happily a member of Slow Food I am going home now to cook up yet another fabulous feast from fresh local ingredients selected at their peak.

    No rotten propaganda on MY plate.

  • Moon, I hope thy knife is sharp & thy fork is clean. Prepare to dine on thy words…

    Wait a minute, thou trickster, oh ye American in a serape, we never defined do gooder. If James Earl Carter is your sine qua non, then we’re probably in trouble. I you mean someone with a Miss Lilian White Past, then even Jesus of Nazareth would have a tough time qualifying.

    If you mean someone who doesn’t play political games, then it’s a trick question because that person would never have been elected. Show me one country in the world (that isn’t a dictatorship) where do-gooders get elected without being skillful pols & forget eating my words, I’ll move there.

    But, fool that I be, I shall take the challenge, even in this weakened state, bedeviled by cruel brain cloud and ignominious, ignos, igno…see how my rhetoric machine doth forsake me. Shit.

    O.k., Ted Kennedy. If you mention Chappawhatsis or any of his personal quirks, all bets are off. The man has fought the good fight for liberal causes all his life.

    Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D, 3rd district, CT. A daughter, literally, of the old Democratic machine in New Haven, she’s been a tireless fighter for causes you’d approve of.

    Sen. Chris Dodd, D, CT (my home state, so forgive me for focusing on what I know best.) Another good liberal who’s been a great friend and ally for fair and respectful treatment to South America.

    Barney Frank–come on, you gotta give me this one. Early out-of-the closet, powerful advocate for economic equality of opportunity, education, etc., etc.

    Rep. Chris Shays, R-CT: This guy’s so good, voters from all sides elect him over and over again. You can’t find a sentient Democrat who’ll run against him.

    I could list a lot more had I the brain power, but these are people I admire, respect, and, yes, trust…as do gooders…if you mean folks who actively seek to help average citizens, who aren’t totally beholden to corporate influence, who fight the good fight.

    In the last analysis, pols are simply us distorted large. They have the same faults, idiotsyncrasies, and evil demons that plague us all. If you expect pols to be pure, of course you’ll be disappointed, but are you pure?

    And, pardon the dig, but as for your dinner, hand picked from all the fresh local produce, what, you think we ain’t got organic farmers’ markets littering the countryside here in the US of A? We can get all the fresh produce we want. As for me, I’d rather have a hamburger.

    So there?

    In Jameson Veritas

  • moon

    Considering that you consider good food to be McDonald’s garbage mystery meat, I am not surprised that you couldn’t come up with a single do-gooder in the political sphere.

    Guess I will continue my extremely healthy diet of Slow Food.

    I am off to buy chile ancho, chile guajillo and comino for tomorrow’s slow-cooked brisket with carmelized onions and butternut squash.

    Eat your heart into the Intensive Care Unit.

  • Ah moon, I’m disappointed. Not a single do gooder in my list? Spend less time assuming I go to McDs (I don’t) and more time evaluating what you mean by “do-gooder” and whether any of my picks fit that category…or could anyone fit that category.

    I suggest…and wait for your rebuttal…that your argument is circular. Define a do-gooder politician in impossible terms and then condemn US pols for being jerks.

    By the way, you continue to avoid my suggestion that politicians in, say, Mexico or other countries, are no better than ours, and in some cases, just as bad or worse than our most corrupt.

    So there…and remember,

    In Jameson Veritas

  • moon

    1. You mentioned the burger, not this poster.

    2. I have never confined my contempt for pols to the US. There are many classic candidates for the title of Most Corrupt Cynical Pol of All Time here in Mexico.

    3. A do-gooder is one who actually does good, without having the agenda of personal power. Carter was not a do-gooder while in office, but became a do-gooder later. Nothing circular about it.

    4. It appears that YOU are, in fact, the one making assumptions. In this case, about the amount of time I have dedicated to thinking about pols.

    I haven’t heard “so there” as a debate point since second grade. Thanks for reminding me how singularly skilled at debate grade school kids were and are….

  • Hey Mark I just invoked the plague and Moses before I read this, coincidence? You must be for Obama…smart move.


  • Mark you forgot to mention that millions of Chinese are going hungry and plants shutting down as Americans wean themselves off of spending money they don’t have. What or who will the Chinese eat if they have no resources?


  • Cindy D


    What would you think of a teacher who told a student that the job of Vice President is to be in charge of the Senate?

  • I was about to read that, but didn’t, I was about to laugh at Palin but didn’t, I was wondering where she got that from: not this teacher. I think it should be that the VP presides over the senate, that’s without looking it up.

    Listen, teachers are stupid…I didn’t say that. I can barely talk to them because they’re not too bright. For example I mentioned something about Hillary Clinton during the primaries and a long time social studies teacher said “I don’t give a care what the Dems think or do?” Huh? Aren’t you a social studies teacher? I asked and as a SS teacher it’s her job to keep up with Dems and GOPs.

    She was white, a Republigrim. I told her “they won’t care what you do either when they win the WH.” We used to be friends but that comment made me realize she was just another stupid redneck blinded by her whiteness.


    Sorry, no offense to white people. Some of my best friends ARE white…not kidding.

  • Cindy D

    LOL Heloise,

    Sorry, no offense to white people. Some of my best friends ARE white…not kidding


    So…presides over the senate.

    In practice, freshman senators are traditionally assigned the role of presiding over the Senate in order to learn Senate procedure.

    I think why she said it is she heard she would be “President” of the senate and figured she would be in charge. But her natural lack of curiosity didn’t propel her to actually find out (or maybe pay attention) after that.

    I seriously believe that she has that little understanding of government.

  • I know they break ties during a vote. But that would mean that they would have to attend senate meeting or be abreast of what’s going on. So, I am surprised that “presides” is not one of their duties. I warned you I didn’t look it up. When I was president I didn’t give a crap what the VP did as long as he was out of my hair.

    Basically a VP is a lame duck or a good fuck, whichever comes first…:O…they truly serve @ the president’s pleasure. That means that W had Cheney do all the damn work! No. W was “The decider.”

    I am surprised that means they have virtually NO DUTIES if they are merely tie breakers.

    Anyway, in my article “I Know Why McCain Picked Palin” that Palin’s “What exactly does a VP do?” Line will go down in history. And it did. She said today, look it up on Huffpo, and elsewhere, that she said that the VP actually RUNS the senate! And can make changes. I thought that “presides” was inocuous enough but damn, she said they make policy and RUN IT…

    You ROCK Sarah, now go run…three miles.


  • “…Senate and does not usually preside over the Senate” from Wiki…

    It actually says “not usually” preside…It does not say that they absolutely DO NOT preside. So, it means that if they call the VP out of the VP water closet and say “get your arse down here!” Then he/she “presides” over the Senate and is also the President of the senate. As everyone knows presidents have no power…just kidding.

    Oh, yes they do “preside” over Ta Da: “As President of the Senate, the Vice President has two primary duties: to cast a vote in the event of a Senate deadlock and to preside over and certify the official vote count of the U.S. Electoral College.” They freakin preside over the electoral college–to certify the official vote count.

    So, why isn’t Gore president? Only God knows.

    I think it is all a fancy way of saying that VPs are naked senators! More Heloispeak…


  • Cindy D


    You need to teach those kids at your school (like all schools should) to stop asking Vice Presidential Candidates “gotcha” questions.

    Who the hell does that 3rd grader think he is?

  • Clavos

    So, why isn’t Gore president?

    Because he’s a smarmy, self-aggrandizing and patronizing snake oil salesman?

  • Clavos, Gore’s just NOT a good salesman. He didn’t prime his political pitching arm until his wife told him to dust off his powerpoint. And the rest is history. He is obviously zen-like in his inferiority complex. So you got it wrong. Next.

    The resident political psychologist.

    I predicted that we would all need mental health care when the election was over…how true.

  • “he’s a smarmy, self-aggrandizing and patronizing snake oil salesman?”

    You are thinking of the guy who beat Gore.

  • Clavos

    his wife told him to dust off his powerpoint. And the rest is history.

    Exactly. And his history shows he’s a smarmy, self-aggrandizing and patronizing snake oil salesman.

    Clavos is right about Gore, Heloise.

    There’s no there there.

  • Clavos

    You are thinking of the guy who beat Gore.

    Nope. I’m describing Gore – and I’m being kind.

  • moon

    I think you are showing us how envious of Gore you are.

    The only explanation for making infantile criticisms of someone who isn’t even RUNNING.

  • Ah, Moon, I assumed you were capable of understanding self-referential sarcasm. Alas, I was wrong. And you still haven’t commented on my selections, so I guess that’s not relevant.

    A do-gooder is one who actually does good, without having the agenda of personal power.

    Sorry, I can’t accept this definition. It’s too vague as well as circular. A do-gooder is one who actually does good? That’s like saying a serial killer is one who kills serials.

    And no agenda for personal power? Yeah, when human beings advance in evolutionary terms beyond the caves we left just a few days ago.

    Oh well…it was worth the effort. I’ll go back to my sordid, venal life & you can return to your organic squash.

    Heloise, yes, I’m for Obama. The bride & I have actually voted three times for him already. But, until he revealed a sordid side I deeply regret, I wasn’t worried about McCain. I think when this is all over, he’ll deeply regret it as well.

    As for Sarah “I’m So Hot & You’re Not” Palin, as I said in an earlier post, I feel sorry for her. Ripped untimely from her state’s womb, she’s been thrust onto a political stage for which she’s completely unprepared.

    I can’t wait for 2012, assuming Obama wins in 2 weeks, when Palin runs again…this time for the presidency. Won’t we have fun, Bill Baily? Won’t we have fun? La di da.

    So, thanks for all the comments & thoughts. I’m off to vote again for Obama. And I’m not even connected to ACORN!

    In Jameson Veritas

  • moon

    Mark, You are making waaaaaay too many assumptions.

    That seems to be the Blogcritics site disease.

    If all you want to do is put your own words in someone else’s mouth, why do you need a public forum?

    If you can’t accept my definition, fine. Now I am going to make the assumption that you are advocating for a private language, and that general accepted denotations of words mean nothing to you.

    Have a nice day and do not engage me again on this topic, please. It’s a waste of our time.

  • Baronius

    Mark, doesn’t it make you feel great that people choose to beat each other up on this thread?

  • Baronius, it could be worse. Comments here have been pretty tame, LOL.

    I’ve been checking other political sites just to see if BC has more than the average amount of hot-tempered, bombastic, self-referential…commentors. To my relief, I’ve discovered that 1) commentors on the well-known sites post very short reactions–do not go into the kind of detail we do here, and 2)they can be even nastier than some of the BC folks.



    Okey dokey. Gotcha. You betcha. Bye.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • moon

    I see Mark chose NOT to attract my attention with Sarah P’s MAIN skill: PIcking up dollar bills without using her hands.

    But I ASSUME he is practising that one….

  • Baronius

    Mark, I do believe that we’re spoiled on this site. You don’t get postings like:

    UR a suck!!!!! DEMS!!!

    I’ve got this whole grand theory about American political discourse, by the way. While I respect the Electoral College, I think it’s led to too much calculation among campaigns. There’s no reason to visit Oklahoma or run ads in California, because we all know that the election will be decided in Florida and the stretch of land running from Michigan to New Jersey (maybe extending down as far as Virginia this time). There’s a feeling of impotence in a lot of states. I mean, you don’t have to rig voting machines here in Massachusetts, because demographics have already done so.

    I still think the Electoral College serves a purpose. Maybe there should be a “fairness doctrine” that campaigns have to spend equal time and money in each state, or proportional to their electoral votes or something. I know the idea is unworkable…but there’s got to be something to inspire Montanans and the like. There are too many frustrated Americans.

  • Cannonshop

    I dunno, Baronius, I think there’d be less of the all-or-nothing mentality of going after high-value states if every state was doing what Maine does with its electoral votes-and let them be decided by districts, instead of the all-or-nothing arrangement that is most common.

    Just a thought, mind.

  • Just to raise the level of discourse, every time I read the title of this piece it reminds me of the justifiably reviled saying that if rape is inevitable you should lie back and enjoy it.


  • moon

    It SHOULD remind you of that saying, Dave.

    The question is, why didn’t YOU do something to resist the One Party System and promote a CREDIBLE candidate?

    After all, you have to LIVE there under Big Oil and Big Guns and a small minority’s Big Bucks
    (OCDE released the inequality figures for the participating countries yesterday, and the US’s gap–gini coefficient as I may be so bold as to raise the bar of discourse and get technical–is only topped by those of Turkey and Mexico!

    Welcome to the Third World.

  • Dave…ouch! What the hell are you talking about??? Sheesh.

    Baronius & Cannonshop, the only thing worse than the Electoral College would be direct elections. Small states would be ignored…the large states would dominate everything. The logic behind the College was the same behind every state getting 2 Senators, regardless of population–to prevent large states from dominating their smaller brethren.

    A direct election (the only option I’m aware of) would leave Montanans feeling even more unloved.

    That said, I’m not sure what the effect would be of assigning electoral votes by Congressional district–someone really smart should do an analysis of that, LOL.

    I remain more concerned about the growing number of bizarre & outrageous statements being made by various pols which are just causing more divisions and fears. Sigh..can’t we all just get along?

    In Jameson Veritas

  • moon

    I fail to see the logic of how small states would be ignored if the Electoral College were given the boot and direct voting –like in the rest of the world–ocurred.

    Small states, population-wise, ARE ignored. And more to the point, candidates from those states which have electoral college numbers barely visible to the naked eye–such as New Mexico’s Bill Richardson–are never really in the game because they can’t bring a big batch of EC votes to the table.

    Direct voting would be far superior and would eliminate situations such as in 1960 and 2000 where the losing candidate won the popular vote.

  • Baronius

    I like the Electoral College. I think it’s an incredibly smart idea. Believe me, if Obama wins, I won’t start whining that the system is unfair. The fact is, it’s so fair that everyone knows exactly what you have to do to win. And that knowledge has made 50-state campaigns and national unity an impossibility. A landslide means that you didn’t target your spending well. Coat-tails and consensus become unnecessary, and to campaign pragmatists, there’s no sin worse than unnecessarity.

    As good as the system is, it does have the side effect of creating tension. The interesting thing is, to the Founding Fathers, that tension between states was a good thing. They’d hate to see Boston clam chowder on the menu in Atlanta.

    I don’t know where my musings are headed, so I’ll shut up now.

  • Plus the fact that a number of small states are polling within the margin of error – one way or the other – right now; and there are numerous possible permutations in which the electoral votes of one or more of those states become very important.

    The electoral college is a peculiar way to go about things, to be sure, but it seems to keep you folks happy, so why mess with it?

  • moon


    You might want to change your tune if you do an actual analysis of HOW the Electoral College came into being.

    Nothing like a little historical reading to uncover what was going on then–and why it should be eliminated now.

  • The question is, why didn’t YOU do something to resist the One Party System and promote a CREDIBLE candidate?

    I did. I did everything I could to push Fred Thompson and Bill Richardson. Imagine if that were our choice today. An election where I could be proud to have either candidate running the country. Fat chance of that, of course.

    (OCDE released the inequality figures for the participating countries yesterday, and the US’s gap–gini coefficient as I may be so bold as to raise the bar of discourse and get technical–is only topped by those of Turkey and Mexico!

    Well, that’s all over now. After the stock market decline the gini is going to be much more reasonable.

    Welcome to the Third World.

    Parts of Texas have been in the third world for centuries.


  • Maurice

    The Electoral College is in our Consitution thingy.

    Before you get rid of it you might want to consider its purpose. Being from a geograhically large state with a small population I like the idea of my vote NOT being homogenized in with CAs or NYs votes. Not that it can prevent things like the Clinton/Kanab debacle but it gives the western states a voice.

  • With VPs like this no presidential candidate needs terrorists:

    From “The Drag Queen” herself who is not only a drag on the Republigrim ticket but is wearing pieces that cost an average of $500.00. Just that trendy white trench she’s been sporting cost 500-1,000.

    She said that Jo-lo(quacious) made the worse mistake ever by saying that Obama “mark my words” will be tested. The queen was remiss in mentioning her gaffes.

    I vote that Joe Biden aka Jo-Lo and Drag Queen go on a terminal date together…that lasts until November 5th…LOL.


  • Vote Obama, vote often. My daughter just called me because in Illinois she just voted early for Obama. And want to hear something funny? When I got home on yesterday some prankster had put a McPain/Pick-in sign on my lawn.

    I am a true independent and not a Republigrim so I tore it out of the grass and threw it to the curb. The Mexicans working on a flip house across the street saw me, they may have done it, and started laughing because I turned into the driveway and jumped out of the car with the motor still running and pulled the sign out.

    Today the sign was gone but the stick was still there.


    PS: BC has longer comments and more erudite comments as well. But I must admit I learn stuff on the major sites. Arianna on Hufpo was touting how the bloggers have helped keep the Republigrims from doing so much dirty stuff. Why because the GOP forgot that it’s 2008 and not 1908!

  • Heloise,

    Amazing what a few lawn signs can do to one’s equilibrium!


    Excellent point about the confutation and conflagration of cuisines! I like almost all food, but fusion food is the devil’s stepchild. Keep French food French, Mexican food Mexican, Japanese food Japanese, Lithuanian food…never mind, Lithuanians are cannibals…where was I.

    Hmm…your musings must be contagious.

    Oh well, at least we can rely on one unpolluted standard…

    In Jameson Veritas

  • You virtually don’t see McCain bumper sticker or signs in Austin or the surrounding area. People are genuinely scared. The bitterness and anger from the left in their strongholds is palpable and intimidating. People are afraid to even mention that they might vote Republican.

    I hear the same story from other parts of the country as well. If you put a McCain/Palin sign in your yard someone will drive through your hedge or tear up your lawn. A bumper sticker guarantees a keying or a flat tire.

    This kind of irrational rage isn’t supposed to be part of American politics and I think a backlash is inevitable.

    I’m not at all surprised that police nationwide are preparing for rioting whether Obama wins or loses.


  • Just for an example see this report from Maryland. To be fair, a look around the web turned up a lot of similar reprisals against Obama supporters. I tracked this some in 2004 and the level of vandalism seems a lot higher this election on both sides.


  • Cannonshop

    #42 The immediate result I’d expect, is an end to this rather nasty “Redstate/Bluestate” nonsense, and it would make states that don’t see ANY campaigning after the Primaries actually worth campaigning in.

  • troll
  • Thanks troll, I just heard it on my local news.


  • moon


    If the Electoral College system were not a sacred cow in Gringolandia, Bill Richardson would very likely have had a chance.

    It was the lack of NM’s Electoral College profile that stopped him dead from the start.

  • Thanks Dave, all this hysteria from extremes on both sides simply reinforces my call for people to stop treating this election as if it were a battle between God & the Devil (does one capitalize Devil? Seems only fair, LOL.)

    Exaggerating the virtues of one’s candidate AND the flaws of the other virtually ensures that whoever wins is going to have a much more difficult job.

    Given that we’re all in a state of emotional, economic, and foreign affairs free fall, shouldn’t we be doing just the opposite?

    Again, hug your opponent. Not only do hugs feel good, it may be the only solace we get whoever wins. If you really want to calm these stormy waters, offer your opponent a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey. That will also improve the debate because, as everyone knows,

    In Jameson Veritas

  • moon

    Irish whiskey just brings out more belligerance.

    The appropriate choice is Mescal.

    Mescal–por todo mal,

    Por todo bien, también.

  • O.k., Moon, them’s fightin’ words! Have you ever been to a pub in Ireland? There’s singing, laughing, dancing, immediate intimate longlasting friendship…and world peace.

    Well, maybe there are occasional fights, but when you’ve been drinking shots of Jameson and real Guiness, no body ever gets hurt.

    You’re attacking the nectar of the gods, so I’d be very worried if I were you. Offend the Irish Whiskey gods & there’s no telling how their wrath will descend upon you.

    Mescal? Hah. (Do you have to eat the worm?)

    I’ll try some, but don’t expect me to elevate to the status of Jameson. (I don’t speak Spanish, so I’ll “assume” everything you wrote was complimentary.

    Remember…for your own safety…

    In Jameson Veritas

  • Irish pubs are unique in that they contain wormholes in space/time.

    From the outside they look like a tiny storefront. You go inside and there’s a bar which at first looks small, then you realize it stretches back and back inside the pub. You follow the bar as far as it goes and suddenly the pub opens out into a big bright lounge full of people and conversation and music. You notice that there are two more bars at right angles to the original one; they too stretch off into the distance. Then you glance up and see the big old oak staircase, and you realize that there’s a whole nother floor to the place, and that there are yet more bars up there!

    The pub that seemed like such a modest, quiet little place turns out to occupy the entire block, and to contain more alcohol than the entire annual output of the Guinness Brewing Company.

    And it’s open 24/7.

    I love Irish pubs.

  • Mark,

    Near as I can make out (and I won’t try to replicate the rhyme), what Moon wrote means, loosely translated, this:

    “Mescal – for every ill,
    and for every good as well.”

    Whatever you may think of its relative merits, it does make a nice counterpoint to your signoff slogan.

  • Doc,

    Rats…it may be better than my sign off.


    (Great description of Irish pubs. Ah, such fond memories.)

    Oh well, I’d rather have truth than…whatever…so

    In Jameson Veritas

  • moon

    The difference here is that: Yes, I have drunk several kinds of Irish whiskey and Yes, have been in an Irish pub,


    Mark, apparently has not drunk mescal.

    The best mescal has to be purchased directly from the producer in rural areas of Oaxaca.

    One Christmas vacation (I think it was 1994) my friend Gregorio and I took his two sons out to one of the ranchos where they produce mescal. I made an entire roll of black and white images a la Que Viva Mexico for an upcoming museum show here while Greg and I sampled from several different batches and filled a 5-gallon can to bring back.

    Needless to say, neither of us could see straight when we tried to back an early 70s Rambler out of the winding dirt road to the rancho, and we quickly got stuck up to the axles.

    Fortunately, the producers were prepared for such antics, and dug us out with shovels.

    Then there was that Christmas Eve in Santa Maria Petapa, in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec….

  • zingzing

    whiskey is for suckers.

    drink scotch.

  • moon


    It is called Scotch WHISKEY.

    Back in my Johnny Walker Black days I knew it intimately….

  • Clavos


    It’s mezcal, not mescal.

    From the Dictionary of the Royal Academy of Spain, which as you know, is the OED of Spanish:

    La palabra mescal no está registrada en el Diccionario. Las que se muestran a continuación tienen una escritura cercana.

    * mezcal
    * muescar

    Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados

    And, the same dictionary notes:


    (Del nahua mexcalli).

    1. m. Variedad de agave.

    2. m. Aguardiente que se obtiene por fermentación y destilación de las cabezas de esta planta.

    Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados

  • zingzing

    actually, moon, it’s scotch WHISKY. but whatever. i’m turning into clavos.

  • moon

    Actually, rancorous poster, EITHER usage is now accepted.

    Perhaps, rather than biting MY ankles on blogcritics because you made yourself look foolish by calling me a liar, you would like to demand that:

    the site Oaxacanstuff.com be closed down, since this is what their home page says:

    “Producing quality aged Oaxacan mescal
    The process starts in the agave fields where the agave (or maguey) plant takes 7 to 9 years to grow to maturity. When the individual plant is mature the spiny leaves are cut off to harvest the heart of the succulent. The hearts are taken to the distillery where they are cooked either in an underground pit with oak logs or steamed in a brick oven. The cooking takes 3 to 6 days and converts the starches into sugar. The now sweetened hearts are mashed and pressed and are then ready to be fermented. Once fermented the juice is distilled in small artisanal stills. Then a slow cooking in the second distillation ensures the best-flavored mescal. There is nothing else needed in making pure mescal. Each batch of maguey is individually processed. The mescal is then bottled and aged for 6 months, 1 year or 3 years.”

  • moon

    I think it’s time for both of you guys to find something else to do.

    I am not going to engage in further arguments or nit-picking with either of you, as I just do not have time for this silliness.

  • Silliness??? You guys are now getting the point of the article, although I don’t know why we can’t argue the various benefits of alcohols without getting personal.

    I was just worried that Moon was going to be the victim of some dastardly deed by the Irish Whiskey gods, who are not known for being a forgiving lot.

    But more to the point, Mezcal/Mescal: No I haven’t had it…I think. Don’t chew my head off, but given that it seems to be made from agave, is it similar to Tequilla?

    And yet and forever,

    In Jameson Veritas

  • moon

    Pulque is also made from the agave plant.

    Neither pulque nor MEZCAL/MESCAL (BTW the second version is its spelling in ENGLISH, which I believe I am allowed to use on this English-language blogsite) is similar to tequila.

    I am allergic to pulque (as it is fermented rather than distilled) and tequila gives me a headache.

    As for the Gods of Irish Whiskey and their dastardly deeds, I believe I will be quoting the hero of many regular posters when I say:

    Bring it on!

    Or perhaps a rancorous swamprat would like to make us write HUISQUI–which is the most common spelling in Spanish, at least here in Mexico.

  • I’m not a huge whisk(e)y fan, but I do much prefer the Irish version over its Scotch and bourbon cousins.

    Much smoother, less acrid and, as Mr Schannon notes, goes down a treat after a few beers – be they Guinness or the far superior (but harder to come by) Kilkenny.

  • moon

    I wouldn’t know about the beer part, as I am allergic to beer.

    One of the worst hangovers I ever had, though, came from drinking 6 double shots of Irish whiskey in succession when one of my grandfathers died.

    When the other one died, I saw him off with chocolates (HIS favorite).

  • Cannonshop

    Funny thing… back when I wasn’t a recovering alcoholic (that is, back when I drank a lot), Tequila was about the only distilled spirit that didn’t turn me into an even bigger asshole than I already was. everyone has different reactions, I guess.

  • Cindy D


    You didn’t even discuss peaty, smokey and all those other whiskey traits that one learns about whilst roaming the land of the Scots.

    Am I to believe I could have tossed out everything I was told? Chuck the whole lot and just go with Irish Whiskey?

    Alas, I never visited Ireland. I always wanted to. I guess I missed out on some crucial whiskey information.

  • bliffle

    There’s nothing like a good Islay malt. Sipping Laphroig is like sucking on an old tarry rope that’s been around the world 9 times. Delicious. I can still taste the last sip I had, and that was 25 years ago.

  • bliffle

    To some of us it may be JUST an election, but regard this essay by Scott Simon which was on NPR this morning:

    Scott Simon

    Weekend Edition Saturday, October 25, 2008 · Late last year, when much of the international press was focused on Pakistan, more than 20 Chinese state security police stormed into the apartment that Hu Jia shares with his wife, Zeng Jinyan, and their 6-week-old daughter. They took Hu Jia away.

    Mr. Hu was executive director of the Beijing Institute of Health Education, and became an AIDS activist when he thought the Chinese government was harsh in its treatment of AIDS patients.

    When the government squelched him, he became an advocate for freedom of speech, religion, and democracy. He said that being stifled by the state made him realize that only a government installed by the votes of people can be expected to act in their interest.

    Mr. Hu was sentenced to three and a half years in jail for “inciting subversion of state power.” He had written a long account, widely circulated on the Internet, that detailed the the jailing of journalists, the suppression of dissidents and the mass evictions the Chinese carried out to make way for the Olympics.

    His trial lasted one day.

    Hu Jia is 35 years old, and has hepatitis B. His wife and daughter are under house arrest. Ms. Zeng is not permitted to so much as take their young daughter, who is now a year old, outside to play.

    In fact, mother and daughter were removed from Beijing the day before the 2008 Olympics opened. Chinese officials were apparently worried that foreign reporters would try to find them.

    Ms. Zeng says her husband has told her he is in solitary confinement, shackled at the hands and feet. She says prison officials have suggested that she, quote, “write about more felicitous aspects of society in my letters to my husband, so as to expedite his return to a normal life in society.”

    This week, the European Parliament conferred its Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought on Hu Jia. The Chinese government called the prize “a gross interference in China’s domestic affairs.”

    Mr. Hu had also been mentioned for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. The Chinese government complained in advance that the prize should go to the “right person.” The Nobel committee gave it to Finland’s ex-President Martti Ahtisaari, a career diplomat and a worthy man. But you might wonder if that threat from such a rich power persuaded the Nobel committee to make a safe choice, rather than an important one.

    Hu Jia is in poor health. It is not clear that he is receiving medical care in prison. In these last weeks of an American political campaign that has been variously marked by talk about bailouts, Lipstick, and Joe the Plumber, Hu Jia’s life, not just his imprisonment, may remind us of the blessing it is to be able to vote and speak freely. When you cast a vote a week from Tuesday, you might hold a thought for Hu Jia and his sacrifice in your heart and mind.

  • Alright Moon! 6 double shots of Irish whiskey? Ne’er fear the gods nomore…Thou hast done thy service & shall be rewarded in the after life. (Also, great chocolate is very dear to the gods of all faiths, so you’re in good standing there too.)

    Dr. D, never had Kilkenny…thanks for the tip. On our next trip to the Emerald Isles (assuming we don’t move to a shoddy trailer park in northern FL first), I’ll check that out. (We are referring to Guiness properly pulled & not in a bottle, right?)

    Cindy D, I never meant to cast aspersions on fine single-malt scotches. Of all the whiskeys, each one seems radically different than the other. I tend to prefer the less peaty ones. And, of course, these days I’m lucky to be able to afford any, sigh. But you should try Ireland if, for no other reason, the truly remarkable colors of nature. And the “dry rain.”

    What’s “dry rain,” you ask? Raindrops the size of golf balls scattered so widely you can almost race between them. Very weird but funny as hell. One’s coat winds up looking like it had been hit by paintball guns loaded with small water balloons.

    Finally, alas, bliffle, I never meant to say elections weren’t important. This one most be the most important in my somewhat long life, but, emotional invest carried to extremes leads inevitably to lost perspective, unreasonable hopes & fears, and psoriasis.


    And, just to thank those who’ve turned these comments into something truly useful,

    In Whiskey Veritas

  • bliffle

    No more whiskey for this pilgrim. Last I had was that Islay malt that I can still taste.

    Better is the occasional Petrus or Sancerre or Margaux or Beaucastel.

  • Ah, Moon, you’re missing out… much as I know you prefer missing out on the hives and suchlike!

    Kilkenny is for me the world’s best beer (and I’ve had a few). It’s very hard to find outside its homeland, alas. The closest approximation is a tolerable but pale imitation called Caffrey’s, which is widely available in European pubs and bars, and which despite its name I suspect is brewed in England.

    And no, Mark, it’s absolutely not Guinness, which is a stout. Kilkenny is a cream ale: much lighter in color and with a smoother, more resilient head.

    (The problem, BTW, with Guinness is that because it’s such a large company it’s brewed in many different locations throughout the world, and therefore tastes different depending on where you are. I can tell you from first-hand experience that the Guinness you can get in Dublin – its birthplace – is by no means necessarily the best.)

    The last time I ‘kissed the Kilkenny’ (as their advertising slogan goes) was in November 2006 in, of all places, Buenos Aires. I spotted in the guidebook a recommendation for an Irish pub called The Kilkenny, and thought, “I wonder…”

    To my delight, they had it. To be sure, that was a happy evening.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Kilkenny is for me the world’s best beer (and I’ve had a few).

    Kilkenny is available just about everywhere here, canned or on tap. Never really been a big fan. There’s a delicious Maple Cream Ale up here from Granville Island Brewery, but it’s not quite the same thing. Rogue Brewing from Oregon makes a nice one too, it’s a honey cream ale. Delicious.

    I still contend that the Belgians make the best beer in the world. Orval, Rochefort, and Westmalle are the best beers I have ever tasted and I’ve had beers from just about everywhere. Of course, that all depends on what you’re looking for. The trappists really know their beer.

    In terms of stout, Murphy’s >>> Guinness. And a good Russian Imperial stout saves the day any time. Plus chocolate stout can’t be beat. Oatmeal stouts are nice too.

    Mmmm…now this is the way to discuss politics.

  • moon



    Try anaphylactic (I will let the Carl Hiassen villian spellcheck that one) shock.

    Try unconscious on arrival at emergency room and 6 shots of adrenalin plus benadryl to keep me from preparing for my next lifetime 35 years ago.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Mark, I am SO late to your column.

    Chet Edwards, do gooder. See my HuffPo piece about him.

    More later. I am getting behinder and behinder……

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Good reminder, bliffle.

  • Clavos

    Life in a socialist country…

  • Moon,



    You need a tastebuds transplant. But if Kilkenny grows on trees up there then that settles it – I’m moving to Canada.

    I’m familiar with Rogue – they make something called, gloriously, Dead Guy Ale, which is widely available here. Oregon grows good beer – much better than its wine, anyway (not the best climate for the grape). The Deschutes Brewery turns out some pretty good stuff, although only two of their brews – a pale ale and a porter – are available in California. I’m going to the Beaver State this Christmas, fortunately, so will be able to reacquaint myself with some of their other offerings.

    Belgium is, of course, famous for beer among other yummy things. I rank them number one in chocolate but only three or four in beer. British beer is, of course, the best, and you haven’t lived unless you’ve tried some of the Aussies’ best stuff.

    Not a huge stout fan, although some chocolate stouts are rather good – specifically an English one by the Young’s brewery, the name of which escapes me for now.

    Definitely. If I’m ever in Vancouver, Jordan, meet me in the best Irish pub you know and we’ll discuss politics over a few jars…

  • Clav #86:

    Are you talking about Ireland, Argentina, China, Canada, Belgium or Russia?

    Or just wishing longingly? 😉

  • Clavos

    Or just wishing longingly?

    Well, actually I was wishing, Doc, and feeling rather morose as well, BUT then I remembered! I don’t even have to move or anything. I only have to wait until January!

    I wonder if our unisex work coveralls will be in red, white ‘n blue?

    But seriously, folks…in reality, Doc, i was harking back to bliffle’s very pertinent quote from an eloquent essay by Scott Simon in #78.

    Apparently our Asian trading partners, the venerable Chinese, are a bunch of as…well, you get the picture.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Jordan, do you really live in Vancouver? That is my second favorite city in the world!

  • Xpressions

    We do need to put a lot of thought, because this is our lives that will be affected by the choice we make. Our freedom of speech, our safety, our homes and finances, our healthcare, taxes, the list could go on and on. The socialist illuminati want to spread the wealth and help those on welfare continue to sponge off of our tax dollars, so this is a serious choice we are making.

  • Xpressions, not only are you interfering with a great dialogue about beer & spirits, your post is contradictory.

    Put a lot of thought(sic) because the Satan-worshiping, Muslim, terrorist associator, African American is a socialist whose goal is to further the wild accumulation of wealth by those on welfare???

    Come on, laddie (or lassie,) there are legitimate questions one could raise about Obama…socialist isn’t one of them. Or are you a secret McCain operative sneaking onto BC to distort our weak & fragile minds?


    In Jameson Veritas

  • bliffle

    Clavos lays bare his penchant for distorting any fact into propaganda for his peculiar political precepts:

    #86 — October 25, 2008 @ 23:17PM — Clavos

    Life in a socialist country…

    The truth, of course, is that the oppression I cited is characteristic of all dictatorial societies and not restricted to the ChiComs.

    tsk, tsk.

  • bliffle

    People who love beer are also compelled to brew their own beer, wherein one discovers their pre-brewing tastes were corrupted by advertising and apocrypha.

    Real beer lovers would be exchanging brewing recipes, not the names of commercial (ick) beers and reciting their slogans.

  • Bliffle, it is very easy to acquire a home brewing kit and equally easy to fuck the process up royally. This is true whether you are a suburban Joe in his garage or the Budweiser Company.

    I’m from England and I know good beer when I taste it (that sentence has not for the last 30 years been an oxymoron). It’s not true that the home-brewed stuff is automatically superior, any more than home-made wine is. But also, it is true that the majority of what is produced by Budweiser, Coors, Miller, Pabst and the like is almost, but not entirely, unlike beer.

  • equally easy to fuck the process up royally

    totally disagree. it’s very easy to produce really nice porters and ipa’s. i did it for years.

    bud/coor/miller….one thing i’ll say about that is i do have to give ’em credit for amazing consistency. of course, home brewers don’t have the level of science involved.

  • moon


    It isn’t necessary to fuck up the beer-making process.

    My ex-husband brewed his own for many years and also made his own wine from local fruits wherever we were living.

    The only misfire occurred when he was away for an Army Reserve weekend gig and one of my colleagues in the English Department at Northern Illinois U–who was his apprentice in the beer-brewing biz–bottled it too soon.

    A few hours after he bottled it and left, I heard what sounded like a shooting gallery in the basement.

    When I crept down the stairs to check, I saw beer caps hitting the ceiling with great force and underbrewed beer spewing like a bunch of Old Faithfuls at Yellowstone.

    The casualty that was most painful was that one of the cats got drunk as a skunk (if you’ve never seen a drunk skunk, be on the alert for the combined smell of rancid beer breath and anal glands), and repeatedly ran up the service stairs to the second floor and rolled down the carpeted stairs to go SPLAT on all fours in the front hallway.

    The next day she had a terrible handover and the other cats avoided her as if she were….a skunk, maybe.

  • if you’ve never seen a drunk skunk, be on the alert for the combined smell of rancid beer breath and anal glands

    That’s pretty much what a skunk smells like anyway!

  • moon

    True, imagine it in stereosmell.

    Almost up there with decomposed skunk, the all time stinker.