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Does a duck’s quack echo?

It does if the press corp is busy with the duck’s successor.

While Obama and McCain’s speeches almost wrote themselves on the basis of the election outcome – lame duck President George W. Bush had to weigh in with a speech of his own. Formality dictated it. The stupid American system where Bush is President until January means America is faced with two months of essentially confused leadership. Obama’s attention turns to picking a cabinet (and other furniture for the Whitehouse – hopefully child and puppy proof). While George W Bush – America’s least popular president ever barring criminal behaviour (I think he actually beats Nixon’s disapproval rating – but I can’t be bothered checking) – has to “hold the fort” and was called on to provide his commentary on election day, the campaign and the future.

The President’s speech (and his congratulatory phone call last night) included an invitation to dinner at the presidential mansion. I can imagine that after a campaign based solely on tying his opponent’s shortcomings solely to Bush and his policies – and after Bush compared Obama to Nazi appeasers during WWII – that’s not an invitation that will be accepted any time soon.

Just Cause

Activism is a funny thing. There are plenty of worthy causes out there to choose from – and I suspect they’re something people hold to with vehement passion. One such activist once told me that the dying pandas were of more inherent value than the child I sponsor – it takes a particular type of person to be that misdirected. I met a guy in the Queen Street Mall in Brisbane who argued passionately that the Australian dollar should be valued based on our gold stocks (this system), I signed his petition so I could read the “free” newspaper he was handing out describing the system – and he rang me about a year later seeking my support – a request I duly turned down. Joe has many causes he believes are worth fighting for – mostly the legacy of George W Bush.

In the last few weeks “pirate” anti-whaling ships have been hassling a sanctioned whale (cuisine) research vessel. I’m not anti-whaling – I think if you can manage to bring in a massive fish you deserve to be able to eat it as is your right in the food chain. During the initial stages of the piracy the Sea Shepherd organisation’s leader President Paul Watson said he’d be prepared to “die for these whales if need be.” And he tried – his pirate ships repeatedly rammed the first Japanese whaling tanker – the Kaiko Maru causing the ship to put out a distress signal and cutting short its valuable “scientific” mission. What made Mr Watson wake up one day and decide to save the whales? Did he read Moby Dick at a particularly influential time in his life? Did he have a bad experience giving a past flame some perfume? What is it that makes people take on a cause with such do or die enthusiasm. Maybe he saw this video…

There is something refreshing about the idealism of these sometimes misguided activists. But really there are just so many causes out there to fight for – the whales, a trial for Australian terrorist David Hicks (ala Dick Smith), climate change, the future of the Liberal Party… there are things that need saving on every corner. How do you split such worthy causes? Is it just a matter of finding a subject that makes your blood boil? Or makes your heart sing? Some time ago Phil and myself offered our services as mercenary protesters (I actually suspect the term “freelance” writing is derived from such a concept). I’m looking to go one better – suggest a topic and I’ll get active for an appropriately proportional amount of my time.

There are some people out there who have chosen to take on the cause of scamming the Nigerian scammers – a story in today’s SMH caught my attention – you can read about it here, or just watch the video below…

I’m not at work today – Robyn had a nasty fall on the indoor soccer field last night and I’m helping her with the first part of the rehabilitation process having sat through a few hours with my intoxicated indigenous friends in the casualty ward of the local hospital. That’s the last time I let her play soccer – she’s thrilled that her swollen ankle now looks just like one of my cankles.