Mumbai Attacked, Again

Another day, another attack.

Another mindless bombing, innocent people dying.

It’s become the circle of life in Mumbai. I wonder how much can that city take before the psychosis of living with the fear that a bomb could go off next to you drives people over the edge. Already there are statements appearing on the web that border on mob mentality where you go where ever your anger leads you. Here are what some of my close friends are posting on their wall on Facebook :

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Time to get up and take control. If you agree let’s make this a movement. Hang that Kasab (Pakistani Islamic terrorist who was involved in the 2008 Mumbai attacks) or I am not paying taxes to the government for them to sit and feed the man who injured the soul of Mumbai!! An appeal KILL THAT KASAB OR CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT!!

I understand you are angry and upset but I do not understand how killing Kasab will stop terrorism? Once Kasab is dead will the terrorists just stop? It did not happen when US go Osama Bin Laden so why would it work in this case?

And if the person is saying that we should hang Kasab because he is guilty and the government is just dithering by not hanging him right away, then I have to ask, do you want to be like the terrorists? In other words do you want to take Kasab in the back and shoot him just like the terrorists do or do you want to go through a process that are entrenched in a democratic society. Yes, they can be slow but that’s why it’s called a due process. Leave no stone unturned. That’s how you fight terrorism.

I have been very disappointed by the response to this later attack from fellow desis (some of them are my very friends). There have been shouts across the board for more security. What does that mean? Do you want an Orwellian police state? Do you want to be told what you can do each moment you step out?

If yes, then may I suggest you try North Korea.

I was also disappointed with the response to the bombing by the authourities. I mean, I do not expect them to have a police presence at every corner (I would hate that kind of society). My problem is that I saw pictures of injured being carried in the back of delivery vans, injured lying about with no professional help, no fire men, nothing. WTF! I thought after repeatedly being bombed, the authourities would have learned by now how to RESPOND to a bombing even if they cannot PREVENT one.

And the media. Oh my god! What is wrong with the desi media? The hyperventilating reportage from the scene of the blast with no concern for the privacy of the victims and their loved ones makes me want to puke.

I have no idea how to end this post on a positive note because there is nothing positive about this tragedy. It’s happened before and it will happen again.

Bill O’Reilly Is A Douchebag

Not only I do think that, Mike Conway, Assistant Professor at Indiana University says so after conducting a quantitative data based research to back up his and his partners’ claims.

The research team analyzed 105 segments of O’Reilly’s “Talking Points Memo,” a segment that opens his nightly show on Fox News Network. The segments were recorded from shows airing between the first week of January to the last week of June 2005.

In these segments, they looked for the seven elements of propaganda previously identified by the IPA: name calling, glittering generalities, transfer, testimonial, plain folks, card stacking and band wagon. Techniques were measured by the number of times they occurred in a minute, a strategy Conway said he thought would counteract the different lengths of the two men’s broadcasts.

The data shows that O’Reilly used all seven of these techniques. Most prominent in his verbiage is the use of name calling, occurring an average of 8.88 times per minute, or close to once every seven seconds.

A pattern also exists in the subjects of this name-calling. The “left-leaning media” led the pack, receiving 21.6 percent of the name calling during the studied time. Illegal aliens and terrorists also held prominence, receiving 26.8 percent and 21.4 percent respectively, with academics rounding out the top four, the study stated.

On the other hand, Americans, the U.S. military and the Bush administration were most commonly alluded to as victims in O’Reilly’s nightly commentary.

The Ultimate Right Wing Stupidity!!

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Following President Obama’s May 5 visit to Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington, Virginia, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Rush Limbaugh Show guest host Mark Steyn criticized Obama as an elitist because he ordered a burger with “spicy mustard” or “Dijon mustard.” Hannity claimed that Obama ordered a “fancy burger” with a “very special condiment,” while Steyn asserted Obama is trying “to enlighten us” through his order. Ingraham asked of Obama: “What kind of man orders a cheeseburger without ketchup but Dijon mustard? … The guy orders a cheeseburger without ketchup? What is that?” In their discussions of Obama’s burger order, Hannity, Ingraham, and Steyn all referenced a Grey Poupon commercial featuring actors portraying wealthy British men expressing desire for the mustard.

Oh my dear god.

As has been discussed over and over again in the last 5 months or so, this is a prime example of the stupidity of the conservatives/right wingers. Picking over the fact that guy ordered a cheeseburger without ketchup and with DIJON mustard – which means he is an elitist. Holy fuck. That is by far the dumbest thing I have heard.

And if you ever say Canadians are not that stupid, our very own Mark Steyn displays his utter lack of intelligence in the accompanying video clip.

The relevant question is, why is the right acting this way? Is it because they know they have lost the fight (for the moment) and the way they can maintain their dignity is to fight back at everything and anything? It will be interesting to see what happens to the conservatives/republicans. Will fresh new blood bring in about sanity to the conservative movement? Or will the right wing implode and some new movement/philosophy arise out of the ashes?

BTW, I will donate $5 to a charity for every person who can sit through the video! You have to tell me what Mark Steyn said in the end that sounded so deranged that any doubts about Mark’s insanity can now be put to rest.

UPDATE : I was going ignore this (via CC) as a comment by some run of the mill blogger like me but :

About Me
Associate Clinical Professor of Law, Cornell Law School, Ithaca, NY

Mother of god, professor you are stupid!!

Here Are Some Things I Have Learned In The Past 24 Hours (Updated 1st Dec. 2008) (Updated 2nd Dec. 2008)

  1. Terrorism is now a fact of life in India no matter how much India prospers.
  2. Terrorism in India will always, ALWAYS, be supported by countries surrounding India which includes Pakistan, China, Sri Lanka to name a few. But nothing will be done about it because reprecussions of any military action will be met with force from not only the offending country but also but the world at large. And political action is not possible because our politicians lack the imagination. India will continue to take blows.
  3. Twitter is the best place to go if you want up to minute updates of the situation on the ground. I think today the number one traffic generator on Twitter was #Mumbai.
  4. Politicians of the current Congress party are uninspiring and verbal fumblers.
  5. Politicians from the RSS are demagogues and dangerous. I think they are going to use this terrorism act to their advantage in the up coming 2009 election. Look out for Thakeray and co. to completely exploit this day.
  6. Politicians blame everything on Pakistan from the word go. Getting the facts and then starting the blame game is something these idiots are not really familiar with.
  7. Sara Snider of CNN who is in Mumbai covering the Mumbai terrorism, is a fucking moron. See this clip (http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/world/2008/11/27/sidner.bpr.live.shot.chaos.cnn). Her comment on people “celebrating” outside police lines because they are just curious on lookers was outrageously insensitive. I was really happy to see a brave gentleman interrupt her bullshit on live TV. Kudos to you sir.

Updates to follow.

> The blame game has started. There is no doubt that there was involvement of Pakistan citizens on the attack. I think the question is, is the State of Pakistan involved?

> Will there be a intelligence overhaul? No idea and I don’t think the public will be informed either way. Anyway, if this attack was, as is being reported in the media, from Pakistan, there was no way to prepare for it or avoid it.

> It is important for everyone to understand that the attack hit home for many elite and upper middle class people which changes the whole dimension of this episode and it has the potential to have far reaching effects on how terrorism will be treated in India.

It was easy for the ruling class and the bureaucratic class of India to ignore bomb attacks that took lives of mainly poor people over the last few months but this attack has hit the rulers. And that is pathetic on so many levels. This incident will confirm that a “rich/richer” life in India is worth MORE than a “poor/common man” life. And that will never ever change.

Updated on 2nd Dec. 2008

> So far the best analysis that I have read, regarding the Mumbai attacks is here.

Obama And Biden

Congratulations to Sen. Obama and Sen. Biden on winning the US elections. Great victory for these two condidates. And also congrats to democrates on winning not only the senate but also the house (although there are a couple or races still up in the air).

What I find a little odd is the fact that everyone is referring to Barrack Obama as african-american. But is he not also half white? Why is everyone so focussed on on his “black side”?

Oh Please!!

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30 years ago, two Harvard Business School professors had a plan. They wanted to change the world. Start filling the pipeline with female managers, they predicted, and in 10 or 20 years at most, those women would shift into senior positions. Once that took place, could an end to sexism in the workplace (and maybe everywhere else too) be far off? Anne Jardim and her partner, Margaret Hennig, wrote one of the first books of career advice for pigeonholed secretaries and ambitious assistants:

When it was published, in 1977, just 2.3 percent of the executives in U.S. firms were women. The book—a “groundbreaking” bestseller, according to the New York Times—was onto something big. Now, three decades later, 52 percent of all middle managers are women.

Poof! Sexism in corporate America—gone.

A very interesting start. I have worked with women in all capacities, as colleagues, as my bosses and as someone who reported to me and even though I think I have handled my professional relationships quite well, I have never had any inclination of any sort that there was sexisim in the companies I worked. I cannot say the same for executives positions in the companies I worked in, which is why I found this article really interesting. I was curious to know what the status of women is in the executives positions.

But by the 4th para this authour lost me. I mean, what kind of hog-wash is this :

But sexism didn’t end. Now we dread having to bring it up again. Why? Maybe because our failure stirs up fear and embarrassment at the idea that it will never go away. These thoughts are always with us but never more so than today, thanks to Senator Hillary Clinton’s tumultuous presidential campaign. She was the “inevitable” Democratic candidate—until she wasn’t. Once there was a charismatic male contender, we as a nation had to once again face our true feelings about gender and power. Suddenly the question is whether we are more gender-blind or color-blind.

Absolute and utter bullshit. This is the kind of garbage that puts me off from “mainstream” writers. No checking of facts just spitting out shit as reported to them.

Hillary did “lose” but more people voted for her than they did for Obama. She lost the electoral college but not the popular vote. Does that not fly in the face of “sexism” against Hillary? It is the wonky electoral college system used in the US that pushed Hillary off the democratic race and not because everyone woke up one day and said that they’d rather vote for a black MAN than a white WOMAN.

And the reason why her jauggernaut stalled was because her message reeked of someone who has lost touch of why she was running in the first place. She was kind of the John McCain of the democratic party i.e. she should win the democratic nomination because it was her due. It was nothing to do with the fact that she was a woman.

Oh Dear God!!!

Wingnuts of the world will find any stupid shitty little molehill and make a mountain out of it. Here is a prime example :

What did Hillary Clinton’s body language give away at the Democratic National Convention?

Dan Hill, a body language expert and author of “Face Time,” told CNN that even while the words Clinton delivered offered an unequivocal endorsement of Barack Obama, her body language was much less affirmative.

“When she spoke about Obama, she really did not emote very much,” Hill said. “The only thing she showed was a very weak smile, the cheeks didn’t tend to lift very much, it was really almost what I would call a ‘crocodile smile’ where even the slight corners of the lips sometimes raise into a little bit of a smirk.”

“I don’t think that helped move the 30 percent of her supporters who say they won’t vote for Obama,” Hill added. “What she did do was appeal to voters at large, that she did more emotionally.”

Disregard the fact that she unequivocally endorsed Obama. No. According to the wingnuts, her mouth said one thing and her body said entirely another thing.

And Here Come The Stupid

One has to wonder how a seemingly smart intelligent person can say something so fantastically stupid and dumb that all you can do is shrug your shoulders. The latest being the “Obama Tyre Gauges” scrap. Here is Obama saying something smart, something honest, something my mechanic tells me everytime I get my car serviced and something that all the experts say “keep the car engine serviced and keep your tyres at optimum pressure, you will see your fuel usage go down”.

And what happens next is something that has been seen over and over again from the Right. Just like Howard Dean’s “BOOYAAAAAAH”; Just like John Kerry’s “Flip Flop”, the Right has picked on an absolute nonsence point and run away with it. No one talks of issues, foreign policies, economic policies etc. Nope. They all want to talk of “Tyre Pressure Gauges”.

I am hoping against hope that the citizens of US are not too stupid to fall for this crap again.

UPDATE : I love Wolcott’s assessment of McCain’s ad.

5) The real message of the McCain ad is that they’re envious of Obama’s elan vital, and are reduced to mocking what they covet, Envy makes a person look petty, and a petty, peevish John McCain will be indistinguishable from the Bob Dole of 1996 if he doesn’t “big up.” Right now his campaign is making Obama look like the mature one, which may explain why at least one longtime McCain loyalist is barking from the shadows.

Christie Blatchford

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It was at that point that the Air Canada clerk at Gate 27 approached me.

“Excuse me,” he said, “you can’t say those words. Those words are illegal.”

“What words?” I asked, bewildered, given that by then I’d said probably 2,000 words.

“Suicide bombing,” he whispered.

Now, I know of course one is not to make jokes or threats about bombs at airports, and properly so. But I hadn’t been doing that, rather recounting some of the public evidence heard that day at a public trial in the nation’s capital.

“That’s not illegal,” I snapped, barely restraining myself from adding “You ninny.” Besides, I told him, I was a reporter telling another reporter about my work day, which was true enough.

“Do you want me to call security?” he asked primly. “I’m supposed to call security in these situations.”

“You do what you like,” I said, talked to Rose a bit longer, then sat down and resumed reading my book.

About 10 minutes later, a fellow passenger warned me that she thought the clerk had called security. I couldn’t believe it, and kept reading, and sure enough, within a few minutes, a young woman with a walkie-talkie in her hands (I guess so if I suddenly turned into a human missile she could call for help) asked to speak to me. She’d had a report about “an incident,” she said. So I told her through gritted teeth what had happened, she magnanimously agreed it was “not illegal” to say what I’d said, apologized and went on her way.

When we boarded a little later, I asked for the ninny’s name. He refused and hissed, “If you make a scene, I’ll call the pilot and you won’t be flying tonight.”

I was so very tempted to tell him to go ahead, but I knew he probably would do it and I wanted badly to get home, so held my tongue. I was quietly praising myself for my steely calm when another passenger remarked, “I didn’t know you were an anarchist, Christie.”

Here is the comment I left :

I despise Chritie’s comments, I think DiManno is a douche bag and Steyn is a racist. However, we need these voices. We need them to remind us that there are people out there who still think that racism is ok and being one is very, very “brave”.

I would, however, prefer that these commentators be a little more consistent. The other day Chritie wanted Canadians to be less polite and now she is complaining about a `less polite`Canadian. The other day DiManno said that everything is going fine in Afghanistan and a week later soldiers are being killed, Taliban breaks out of jail and Dimanno bemoans lack of security in her next column. And Steyn. Oh boy, some are racists subtly, but this guy wears it on his sleeve.

I am brown and I would gladly (and have) submit to racial profiling at the airport. It is annoying, humiliating and embarrassing esp. when my daughter is with me. And all because I worked in the UAE for 3 years. I don`t like it but it`s the sign of the times. And I am not even a muslim.

So for all the times that you white folk have been stepped on lightly by airport security, we brown folks have had to endure much worse. So stop whinning and get back to your lattes and newspaper at the airport while we are subjected to intimidating interviews. we will try not to delay your flights.

Rosie Dimanno : Wilful Ignorance

So Rosie Dimanno has another article on The Star.

The article is basically a “history” lesson on what happened in Afghanistan since 2001. She explains how Taliban has been routed and since they do not hold any territory, they are finished and the insurgency is looking for a way out.

Ms Dimanno, if the insurgency is finished, can you explain this?

Eight people have been killed and nine injured in two terrorist attacks in Afghanistan.

Taliban militants on Saturday released Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan

Afghan Female journalist stabbed

Eighty-three Canadian soldiers and one diplomat have been killed since the Canadian military deployed to Afghanistan in early 2002

I do not understand this incessant need for reporters to bring `good news` from Afghanistan and how our `glorious` NATO is doing everything right. The truth is that the mission in Afghanistan is floundering. Insurgents by the very definition of the word are not a body or an organisation. If one insurgent wants to talk to NATO on `giving up`, is that person speaking for all the insurgents? Of course not. Insurgency is not going to end with technical terms like `we are beating them in the battle field` or `they don`t control any territory therefore they are losing`. Insurgency will be defeated through politics. And with the corrupt government and the corrupt warlords (bought by NATO), I do not see insurgency ending soon.

The troops should have been back by Feb 2009 and yet they continue to pay the price because politicians are too timid to fight the real fight. And that`s the story. Not that Taliban is losing.

The “Glorious” Indian Main Stream Media

I wonder how the western media would have handled a story of a young officer who laid down his/her life while trying to capture a dreaded and wanted terrorist? I think they would have extolled, over and over again, the bravery and courage that it took to face one’s adversary, eliminate the enemy and die in the process, all in the name of serving the country. And what does the esteemed “Up-To-Date” Indian media does?

On Tuesday (Nov 28th ‘06) news swept across all the news channels ‘Sanjay Datt relieved by the court’. ‘Sirf Munna Not a bhai’ ‘13 saal ka vanvaas khatam’ ‘alhough found guilty for possession of armory, Sanjay can breathe a sigh of relief as all the TADA charges against him are withdrawn’.

In another news: Parliament was mad at Indian team for performing badly; Greg chapel said something …..; Bomb scare in Gorakhpoor express; and Shah Rukh Khan replaces Big B in KBC and Sonia asked PM to consider reducing petroleum prices (I wonder who’s the PM …anyways that is not the topic so leave it…) But most of the emphasis was given on Sanjay Datt’s “phoenix like” comeback from the ashes of terrorist charges.

Surfing through the channels, one news on BBC startled me, it read, Hisbul Mujahidin’s Most wanted terrorist ‘Sohel Faisal’ killed in Anantnag, India. Indian Major leading the operation lost his life in the process. Four others are injured.

Major Manish H Pitambare got the information from his sources about the terrorists’ whereabouts. Wasting no time he attacked the camp killed the Hisbul Mujahidin’s supremo and in the process lost his life….. To the bullets fired from an AK47…… He has a wife and a daughter (just like Sanjubaba), age …8 months.

Major Manish never said ‘I have a daughter’ …before he took the decision to attack the terrorist hide out on the darkest of nights? He never thought about having a family and he being the sole bread earner.

No news channel covered this since they were too busy hyping a former drug addict, an actor in real and reel life, a suspect who’s linked to bomb blasts which killed hundreds. Their aim was to show how he defied the TADA charges and they were so successful that his conviction in possession of armory had no meaning. They also concluded that his parents in heaven must be happy and proud of him……

Parents of Major Pitambare are still on this earth and they have to live rest of their lives without their beloved son. His daughter won’t ever see her papa again.

Definition of a Star has changed Major… it really has. So Sanjubaba always has a gun in every one of his movies then in real life if he has an AK47 then what’s the big deal we are used to see him with some ammunition without it he’s just a 49 year old hero so he did it for us…..so that we feel normal; Even if one of the bullets from one of such AK47’s took a Real Star’s life…….

Pitiful. Why are the real heroes relegated to the sidelines and the phony ones always put on pedestal.

Anthony Westell

God, if such an entity exists, really must have a lousy sense of humour. Why else would he create a human being like Anthony Westell who “…..served without distinction in the second world war” but still had the temerity to ask “…..aren’t the news media, including this one (Globe & Mail), making far too much of a few deaths in Afghanistan?”

The local village idiot I am talking of has an article on http://www.globeandmail.com (ed: will provide the actual link later <Link>) where he asks the above eternally stupid question.

To even begin to answer this question is to slap the face of each young soldier who died in Afghanistan. But idiots like Anthony Westell and Coyne and the entire editorial team of The National Post keep tooting their trumpets like little kids in the playground hoping to catch attention. Invariably, one of them is too loud and needs to be told to keep it down.

The biggest beef I have with the pro-war cheering squad is how they compare this war with the world wars I & II. That comparison is wrong on so many levels that the integrity of the pro-war cheering squad breaks down right from the word go. And that’s exactly what the new buffoon on the block has done. Here’s what Westell had to say in

“……..Three months ago, we celebrated the victory at Vimy Ridge. About 3,500 Canadians died there in the span of a few days, among 60,000 who perished during the First World War. Another 42,000 died in the Second World War – and several hundred in the Korean War.”

In 2001, I created a drinking game. Each time an Armchair Warrior compares WOT (War On Terror) with the other wars, have a drink. Unfortunately, that comparison has been made so many times that I have had to join AA.

Armchair Warriors, can we sit down and please try and understand that the WOT is NOT like the wars against Germany, Korea or Japan. Those countries were the Aggressors. They wanted to gain land and resources from the opposite side and used whatever resources they had to try and achieve their goals. These goals are commonly known as Imperialist goals something the Romans did, the Tsars did, the Persians did, the Greeks did, the British did, the French did and yes what the Americans are doing right now. On each occasion the world stood up to these aggressors and were victorious. Go back to re-read history if you don’t believe it. In some cases the aggressors were beaten in a battle and in others, the aggressors lost to a culture. No matter how and when, the aggressors ALWAYS lost.

The terrorists (it’s such a loose term and I use it only in reference to the suicide bombers and religious dolts) do not have any Imperialistic goals. The terrorists have a Cause. Their cause is overtly religious and the belief that They Are Right. They cannot be aggressors in the conventional sense. They do not have armies, planes, tanks, infantry etc. to fight the western society. So they use the next best weapon. Fear. Fear is such a potent weapon. Put the fear of loss of life into a person, and that person is liable to do anything to prevent it.

They do not want to rule western society, they do not want to come and live on the Harbourfront. They do not want to ride the TTC. They do not want to study in our universities. They want to DESTROY the western civilization and turn it into their own image.

Only the dumbest of the dumbest of the dumb would actually believe what the terrorists are saying. No matter how hard they try, the CANNOT destroy western civilization. No one can. USSR tried and failed miserably so go ask them if you want to continue that discussion.

The only people who can destroy the western civilization are people LIVING in western civilization.

Why is the western society so much envied? Because of the rich mix of individual rights, freedom of expression and the clear separation of religion and government. There is accountability and transparency from the government. Which is not to say that the people running the country are not corrupt. This means that if they are caught in the act, they face the full might of the judicial system (inspire of President’s power to pardon criminals). The judicial system is the best in the world. The news media is the best in the world.

Therefore, when a news media stops repeating the government line and asks “what exactly are our young men and women dying in Afghanistan for?” the government has a responsibility in replying honestly. Instead what we get are inane lines like “….fighting for our freedoms….” or “….if we don’t fight them there then we have to fight them here….” or “…..soldiers choose to fight…..”.

Can someone from the government please explain to us why are we in Afghanistan so that our brave soldiers can feel their “sacrifices” are justified? Anyone? Hello?

I’d like to think that soldiers are not mindless robots. Yes, they do exactly what they are told but in their military minds there must be some independent thought that told then that what Hitler did was wrong hence the sacrifices at Normandy, Vimy etc. are justified. Similarly today’s soldier in Afghanistan must be wondering why exactly are we in Afghanistan? Is there some military purpose for their presence? Soldiers rarely will ask such a question aloud so it’s left up to the news media and the internet to ask these questions. And that’s exactly what a prick like Anthony Westell cannot comprehend.

Mr. Anthony Westell this is a democracy. You can ask your stupid questions all you want but be ready for honest replies which might make your simple brain explode.

So, to answer your question Mr. Anthony Weasel……each dead soldier represents the complete failure of the previous and current government’s policy of keeping our soldiers in a mission which has no clear definition and no clear end. And no, pulling out at a specified date is not “the end” as the soldiers are going to continue to die until the pullout. Without holding the government to accountability how exactly are we different from the more repressive regimes of the world. The job of us “anti-war lefties” is to demand a clear and unambiguous answer from the government and apparently your job is to toe the government line. Best of luck with it.

By the way, your bio at the end says “….served without distinction at the second world war”. Maybe we should hand you a rifle and ship you to Afghanistan to earn that distinction…..

Moronic Mainstream

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Canadians appear to be a fickle bunch when it comes to deciding what federal political party to support — cool comfort for leaders trying to gauge their chances.

A new Decima poll, provided to The Canadian Press, suggests that a whopping 57 per cent of voters have changed their political allegiances over the past few months. That’s up from 48 per cent of wavering voters two years ago.

The highest volatility was among women and middle-income earners, and in Atlantic Canada.

I have a really hard time understanding why the mainstream media like the “esteemed” Globe And Mail have a hard time about people changing their minds. It happens to me all the time. Yesterday I thought blonds were hot….now I think all women regardless of their hair colour are hot. This is what comes with LEARNING.

And that’s the case with politics. E.g. climate change because of human activity is a growing concern, everyone is looking for a party that puts emphasis on better climate controls. And if the party that they had been supporting all along gives not a shit about the climate, fine then let’s look elsewhere. That called a smart decision NOT fickleness.