Squirrel Pumpkin Carver

I’ve had these pictures for two years, but forget how I got them.  Perhaps my father or my brother e-mailed them.  Anyway, the whole family likes to see critters in action, so I thought this would be a good time to post them.

I carved my first pumpkin when I was six.  Thus, it’s not hard to do, but the next time I want to carve one, I may want to hire a squirrel to do it:

There are just two drawbacks to letting a squirrel make your Halloween decorations.  First, the design has to be kept simple, inasmuch as the squirrel doesn’t use a carving knife.  Second, your bushy-tailed friend is going to want the seeds as payment for his/her services.  So if you like pepitas, you’re better off doing it yourself.

Slapped Any Martians Lately?

Or maybe coughed on them, since according to the story, they have no immunity to our bacteria.  The story I’m talking about is the classic alien invasion novel, “The War of the Worlds” by H. G. Wells.  This year marks 110 years since it was published, and today marks seventy years since the Mercury Theater caused a nationwide panic, by doing a radio version of the story without adequately warning everyone that it was a dramatization, not a live broadcast of Martians attacking in New Jersey.  If you haven’t heard the broadcast yourself, you can catch it at the link below.  Sometimes I wonder if Orson Welles, the famous actor, would have preferred another way to first get national attention (he was 23 when he played the lead role in this drama).

Internet Archive:  War Of The Worlds

I have been told that a radio program like that won’t scare the American public today, but a TV program might.  Nah, maybe it would have in the 1960s, when we had only three major networks, but today no program or broadcast can control the airwaves, the way the Kennedy Assassination or the Pueblo Incident did.  We had an example last night, when Barack Obama ran his 30-minute campaign infomercial on seven networks.  If you didn’t want to watch, you could still switch channels to something non-political, like the World Series or Animal Planet.  Or you could play a video game or surf the Internet.  If you don’t believe me and you have a TV station, try showing a movie version of “The War of the Worlds” (maybe the recent one starring Tom Cruise) and see if anyone calls to complain.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas — Or Is It Halloween?

Before I begin, an update from last week.  We’re not talking as much about sports in Lexington as we usually do, except for the World Series.  I wonder if Philadelphia will be ready to handle two riots, one if they win the World Series, and one after the election results are known?

Anyway, we’re not talking as much because of embarrassment over last Saturday’s game between the University of Kentucky and the University of Florida.  The UK Wildcats lost, 63-5.  What a blowout.

On Monday, I heard Jack Pattie, the city’s leading morning DJ, make the annual complaint about the Christmas decorations and hype coming too early.  And this is from a guy who moonlights as Santa Claus every December!  He pointed out that it’s not even Halloween yet, and some stores are full of Christmas decorations already.  Last Sunday, for instance, I dropped in the local Big Lots store to see what was new, and they had at least as much Christmas stuff as Halloween stuff.  I agree; we shouldn’t give Christmas much attention until Santa appears at the end of the Thanksgiving Day parade.  However, I’ve been wondering about a couple of things.

First, Jack Pattie suggested that moving the beginning of the Christmas season earlier each year (what he calls “Christmas Creep”) might be a response to expected poor sales, because the economy is doing so bad right now.  Well, couldn’t it work the other way, too?  Every year I hear news stories declaring that Christmas sales are slower than expected, that this is the worst Christmas the retailers can remember, or that some businesses will close next year if they don’t sell enough this holiday season.  Even in prosperous years, I never hear anybody saying it was a good Christmas for Madison Avenue.  If the merchants are really doing that badly every year, don’t you think that some of them would say something like, “Due to lack of interest, Christmas has been canceled?”

Second, there seems to a blurring of the line between Halloween and Christmas; I’m starting to have trouble telling them apart.  I don’t know what caused it, but I’m guessing that it started twenty years ago, with a delightful movie about both holidays:  “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”  And I probably ought to confess that I contributed toward the trend, by telling my family and friends about CthulhuLives.org, a website that promotes spooky Christmas carols.

Along that line, we have more Halloween decorations appearing outside peoples’ houses every year.  Besides the usual fake tombstones and monsters, we have candles in the windows, as if they’re trying to draw Hanukkah into this, too.  Also Halloween lights, and trees with little pumpkins hanging off them, like Christmas balls.  And the sales of candy, costumes and pumpkins increase every year.

Speaking of pumpkins, when I lived in Florida, the best place to get a pumpkin in October was in front of a church.  I haven’t seen as much of that here; most people seem to prefer shopping for pumpkins at the grocery store, presumably because October nights in Kentucky aren’t as mild as they are in Florida.  Still, for years I have asked the question, “What do pumpkin sales have to do with Christianity?” and nobody has given me a straight answer yet.  Typically it’s the Methodists and Catholics who have the biggest sales, though once I even saw a Baptist church selling pumpkins.  The Methodist church my parents attended had a particularly big sale.  My pastor lived next door to that church, and once he had an Israeli friend, Gershon Salomon of the Temple Mount Faithful Movement, staying in his house.  The pumpkin sale was going on at the time, and I think he was too embarrassed to explain it.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Gershon got the idea that Halloween is just another Christian holiday.

All that we need is for some druid to come along, complain that Halloween has gotten too commercial, and call for going back to the original meaning of the holiday.  In the meantime, I’m getting concerned for Thanksgiving.  Whereas Leive and I ignore Halloween and Christmas almost completely, Leive still fixes a nice Thanksgiving feast, and that poor day is stuck in-between the other two!

A Redneck Pumpkin

Sarah Palin’s in My Old Stomping Ground Again

One week to go until Election Day.  I’ve got a co-worker who is getting increasingly depressed, in part because he doesn’t expect McCain to win.  Myself, I’m in an upbeat mood, and will probably be relieved when it’s all over, regardless of the results.

Yesterday I learned that Sarah Palin made another swing through central Florida last Sunday.  This time she stopped at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, where they have a big rodeo every February & July, and at the Tampa Convention Center.  I’ve been to both places, so this is familiar territory to me.  Elizabeth Hasselbeck, the token conservative on “The View,” gave the introduction; Todd Palin, Sean Hannity and Governor Charlie Crist were there, too.

Here’s a picture from Kissimmee.  Don’t Elizabeth and Sarah make a fine-looking pair?  No wonder the Left is so mad.  Along that line, here’s a picture from 2004 that echoes the same sentiments:

And apparently Craig Ferguson, the late-night talk show host, was the one who first said Sarah looks like a “naughty librarian.”  Here’s a video I discovered this morning of an appearance Sarah made on his show, in 2007 or early 2008 (before the rest of the country had heard of her):

By the way, if you get any trick-or-treaters this Halloween and one of them is dressed like Barack Obama, do me a favor.  Take his candy and re-distribute it among the kids who have less than he does.  It’ll teach him what’s going to happen to us, should the Democrats win.

Did King Solomon See Barack Obama Coming?

No, I’m not talking about the legend that makes him father of the first king of Ethiopia.  I’m talking about two verses I was alerted to this morning in the 24th chapter of the Book of Proverbs, which tell us what to do if Obama wins the election next week:

24:21 My son, fear thou the LORD and the king:
and meddle not with them that are given to change:
24:22 for their calamity shall rise suddenly;
and who knoweth the ruin of them both?

Yes, we know how Obama promises “change” more than anything else.  I just hope I have more than just change left, by the time he’s done.  Of course, with the polls being what they are, McCain could still pull an upset, like Harry Truman did in 1948.  If that happens, kindly disregard this message.

Confused Clocks and Broken Pots

The balikbayan boxes that we sent to the folks in the Philippines (see the August 1 and August 18 entries) arrived on Saturday morning, Friday night our time.  All the contents seem to have survived the slow boat all right, so for the in-laws, Christmas came exactly two months early.  Good show for the deliverymen!  The youngest boy, Japhet, tried to claim all the candy for himself, but I think they persuaded him it’s for everybody (LOL).

This morning when we got up, the clock in the bedroom said 6:45.  On a weekday morning, I’d be on the road to work by then, but today it was brighter outside than I expected.  Then when I looked at another clock, it said 7:45!  The bedroom clock is one of those “smart clocks” that sets itself when you plug it in, and it thought Daylight Savings Time had ended, like it used to on the last Sunday of October.  Thus, it moved itself back an hour.  I guess I’ll have to reset it next month; when does DST end, anyway?

In previous messages I let everybody know I’ve never liked Daylight Savings Time.  Recently I heard somebody say that trying to get a longer day by moving the clocks an hour is like trying to get a longer carpet by cutting off one end of it, and sewing that piece to the other end!

Meanwhile in the Philippines, some smugglers on Mindanao were caught with a collection of broken pots, in an unusual style featuring human faces and arms.  The local archaeologists say they are at least 2,000 years old, and come from a tribe that no longer exists.  Unfortunately, the pieces are from Sarangani, a province infested with Moslem rebels as well as smugglers, so it will be a challenge to find more pots, or to learn about the people who made them.

Artifacts Discovery Might Lead to Lost Tribe

And this may sound familiar.  Remember how back in the bad old days of the Soviet Union, the Russians claimed they were the first to invent everything?  Well, they’re doing it again.  A neolithic campsite has been found at Khabarovsk, in east Siberia, with stone knives, axes, scrapers, arrowheads and simple earthenware.  Because it has been dated as 15,000 years old, Russian archaeologists are using it to claim that their country was the first to cultivate land, herd cattle and make pottery.  That’s a lot to claim from just one site, especially one so far away from other interesting sites.  Russian pride was an ongoing joke when Walter Koenig, as Ensign Pavel Chekhov, was a character on Star Trek (“This looks like the Garden of Eden, Mr. Chekhov.” “I know, Captain, it’s just outside Moscow.”).  The fictional Chekhov hasn’t been born yet, has he?  I know there are towns in Iowa and Scotland, claiming to be the future birthplaces of Captain Kirk and Scotty.

Russians the First Potters on Earth?

DO NOT Eat This More Than Once

I think we all know by now that most of the fast food out there isn’t very good for us.  I ate out quite a bit during the six and a half months when I was in Kentucky and Leive was in Florida, because I’m not a very good cook, but not since she arrived in the Bluegrass State.  These days, if we do go out for a meal, we’ll first consider the healthier restaurant chains, like Subway and Chipotle, and only occassionally go to a burger or fried chicken joint.  That may change after we adopt the kids we’ve been supporting in the Philippines; I suspect they’ll like Captain D’s, because they’re used to having seafood already.

I also thought it was funny when I read in 2005, that for its Japanese advertisements, McDonald’s replaced their famous clown with a sexy redhead (Ronald Becomes a McHottie!), and claimed that if you eat enough of their food, a thousand years from now your descendants will grow up big and white like the Americans.  Yeah, right.  Big, white — and wide.

Now Frank Sodolak, a restaurant owner in Snook, TX, has invented a dish that seems designed for those who want to commit suicide by clogging their arteries.  It’s called chicken-fried bacon.  Bacon strips fried in the same batter and grease used to make fried chicken.  Whew, I think I gained a pound just from looking at it!

Mr. Sodolak claims this recipe is a way for his customers to test their self-control, and that it could make him the next Colonel Sanders.  Well, chicken-fried bacon may have put his restaurant on the map, but I don’t think he’ll live to be 90, the way the Colonel did, if he eats his product.

WFTV, a Station That’s Not in the Tank for Obama

If you’re a conservative, you’ve probably noticed how most of the TV networks (except FOX News) are doing all that they can to make sure Barack Obama gets elected.  Last July, for example, we saw NBC, CBS and ABC send their news anchors with Obama to the Middle East and Europe, acting for all the world like groupies following a rock star.  By contrast, I didn’t know until then that John McCain had been to the Middle East more than once already, because his trips hadn’t attracted any attention.

Thanks to teams of reporters running off to scoop up whatever dirt they can find on the other side, we know more about Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber than we do about the questionable characters in Obama’s past (Rev. Wright, William Ayers, Tony Rezco, etc.).  (P)MSNBC is the worst offender, with Chris Matthews claiming that Obama caused a “tingly feeling” to run up his leg, and Keith Olbermann afraid to go to the Republican convention because he feared somebody would kill him.  If I knew him personally, my response to that would have been, “Relax, Keith.  Hardly any of us watch you, so you’re not likely to be recognized.”  You have to wonder how (P)MSNBC can keep any advertisers, with ratings so bad.  In my case, the only time I even tried to watch that network was during the brief period in 2003, when Michael Savage had a show on it.  I guess they’re like Air America Radio and the New York Times; they’re going to stay around, no matter how few people care what they say.  You could call their audience “superviewers”, “superlisteners” or “superreaders”, just as the conventions have superdelegates.

Anyway, yesterday I learned that one of the stations in my former home town, WFTV (channel 9), finally asked the tough questions that have largely evaded Obama and Joe Biden.  Even the Orlando Sentinel, which endorsed Obama last week, couldn’t keep quiet about this one, and one of their bloggers wrote this about it.  Quote:

WFTV-Channel 9’s Barbara West conducted a satellite interview with Sen. Joe Biden on Thursday. A friend says it’s some of the best entertainment he’s seen recently. What do you think?

West wondered about Sen. Barack Obama’s comment, to Joe the Plumber, about spreading the wealth. She quoted Karl Marx and asked how Obama isn’t being a Marxist with the “spreading the wealth” comment.

“Are you joking?” said Biden, who is Obama’s running mate. “No,” West said.

West later asked Biden about his comments that Obama could be tested early on as president. She wondered if the Delaware senator was saying America’s days as the world’s leading power were over.

“I don’t know who’s writing your questions,” Biden shot back.

Biden so disliked West’s line of questioning that the Obama campaign canceled a WFTV interview with Jill Biden, the candidate’s wife.

“This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election,” wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign.

McGinnis said the Biden cancellation was “a result of her husband’s experience yesterday during the satellite interview with Barbara West.”

WFTV news director Bob Jordan said, “When you get a shot to ask these candidates, you want to make the most of it. They usually give you five minutes.”

Jordan said political campaigns in general pick and choose the stations they like. And stations often pose softball questions during the satellite interviews.

“Mr. Biden didn’t like the questions,” Jordan said. “We choose not to ask softball questions.”

Jordan added, “I’m crying foul on this one.”

Unquote:  Best of all, WFTV isn’t affiliated with Fox News, it’s an ABC station.  Now that they’ve been blacklisted, I see it as a sample of what’s to come over the next four years, should Obama and Biden get elected.  Here’s a video of the interview:

To family, friends, and anybody else in central Florida reading this, say thanks to WFTV for me.

In the first paragraph I mentioned Joe the Plumber.  Yesterday I also heard that because of the fame he got from the last presidential debate, he’s now thinking of running for Congress in 2010, going for the seat representing Toledo, OH.

The American Darvaza

And in the same forum where I posted the previous message, I also posted a summary of my views concerning Joe Biden:

Here is this forum we’ve scrutinized the character and background of Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. Meanwhile, out in the real world, the Left has expressed first Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS), then Palin Derangement Syndrome (PDS), and most recently Joe the Plumber Derangement Syndrome (JTPDS?). However, so far the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, hasn’t gotten as much attention, either from the media or from us. Well, I don’t blame the Democrats for keeping him under wraps as much as possible; if they win, I expect to find a calendar of “Bidenisms” for sale in the stores next year. This thread will serve the purpose of giving him equal time.

To those who support the Democratic ticket: honestly, are any of you happy that Barack Obama passed over Hillary Clinton and chose Biden as his running mate? I haven’t heard anyone on the left side of the aisle get excited over him. In fact, I’ve heard of many Hillary supporters saying they will cross over to vote for McCain/Palin, because their candidate wasn’t chosen, despite winning 18 million votes in the primaries. It’s only right-wing conspiracy theorists who believe having the Clintons around will lead to “Arkancide,” right?

I have also heard that Biden was chosen because of his experience. Well, it turns out it’s experience at making mistakes. To give just one example, when Congress voted to permit construction of the Alaska Pipeline in 1973, Biden was one of the five senators who voted against it. Any surprise that Biden was against drilling for more oil last summer, when we were paying $4+ a gallon for gas, and the public favored more drilling by 3 to 1?

And I have heard that he was chosen to appeal to blue-collar voters, who may be put off by the elitist attitude of Obama and other leading Democrats. After all, here in what they call “Flyover Country,” we have plenty of “bitter Americans,” clinging to their guns and religion. More, in fact, than those folks in New York and California probably think are here.

But really, is Biden the best you can do? Long before he was picked, we knew of his tendency to talk without thinking. Remember how he sank his own campaign in 1988, by plagiarizing British Labour leader Neil Kinnock, and the comments he made earlier in this campaign about Indian store owners and Obama being “articulate” and “clean?” Or how during the last Supreme Court confirmation hearings, each senator was given ten minutes to ask questions, and Biden rambled on for half an hour without getting to his first question? Heck, the windbag generates so much hot air that he reminds me of Darvaza, the gas crater that has been burning in the Kara Kum Desert for decades. I have also suggested in other forums that the state of Delaware could do its part to fight global warming by retiring Biden.

“Doesn’t he ever shut up?”

And then there are the gaffes! For us on the right, Biden is the gift that keeps on giving. Finding stupid quotes from him is easier than shooting fish in a barrel. He puts his feet in his mouth so often that I wonder how he can walk! He also gives plenty of material to conservative columnists; Ann Coulter, for instance, during the last two months, has written as much about Biden as she has about Palin and Obama. Consider these:

  1. At his first campaign rally with Obama, Biden gave this introduction: “A man I’m proud to call my friend. A man who will be the next President of the United States — Barack America!”
  2. On the campaign trial he said, “Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice-president of the United States of America. Quite frankly it might have been a better pick than me.” Yes, Joe, we’re scratching our heads about that choice, too.
  3. He told a wheelchair-bound state senator from Missouri to stand up, before realizing what he was doing. Perhaps he should leave the miracles to Obama.
  4. Whereas Obama said that he supports clean-coal technology, Biden said that no new coal-burning power plants will be built under an Obama administration. That flip-flop probably guaranteed that the Democrats would lose in Kentucky. Despite being next to five battleground states, the latest Kentucky poll gives McCain a 55-39 lead.
  5. When the economy ran into trouble last month, Biden said: “When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.'” There he managed to squeeze two historical errors into one statement. First, having a TV set before the late 1940s was like being on the Internet in the 1970s and 1980s. Second, the Depression began three years before FDR became president. As one blogger put it: “And if you owned an experimental TV set in 1929, you would have seen him. And you would have said to yourself, ‘Who is that guy? What happened to President Hoover?’”
  6. He claimed he is qualified to run with Obama because he comes from a former slave state. Big deal, the Clintons, Al Gore, and George W. Bush come from former slave states, too.
  7. Biden defines patriotism as paying taxes. Tell that to Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams.
  8. Watchers of the vice-presidential debate counted 14 whoppers from Biden. The worst was this one: “When we kicked — along with France — we kicked Hezbollah out of
    Lebanon. I said and Barack said, ‘Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don’t, Hezbollah will control it.'” Somebody needs to tell the Lebanese that they’re a NATO country now, and that they don’t have to worry about the Hezbos anymore. Obviously Biden wasn’t picked for his knowledge of foreign policy.
  9. At the debate, Biden also denied that Vice President Dick Cheney is part of the legislative branch, claiming that Article I of the Constitution strictly assigns him to the executive branch, and that he has “no authority relative to the Congress.” Actually, the part of the Constitution dealing with the executive branch is Article II, not Article I, and it says that the vice president’s job is to preside over the Senate. I guess Biden won’t be doing that job, should he get elected.
  10. “Look, John’s last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the number one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S.” If Biden gets away with saying that “jobs” is a three-letter word, we owe an apology to Dan Quayle.
  11. And this one may be the most dangerous, where this week he predicted a crisis within the first six months of the next administration: “Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. Remember I said it standing here. if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. And he’s gonna have to make some really tough — I don’t know what the decision’s gonna be, but I promise you it will occur. As a student of history and having served with seven presidents, I guarantee you it’s gonna happen.” Unquote: Maybe Clinton and Dubya were both “tested” with attacks on the World Trade Center in the first years of their administrations, but why encourage the world’s madmen to do it again? He’s basically saying that electing Obama is asking for trouble. Great, Joe, you just switched the topic from the economy back to national security, where the Republicans are usually strongest.

And this list by no means exhausts the supply. Now really, if McCain or Palin were goofing it this often, would the election be even close?

Political Remix

In another forum, I just posted my most recent observations on the presidential election, which summarize what I’ve been saying here:

You’re not that alone, ****. Remember, I’m also supporting Sarah Palin and the white-haired guy. If **** was here I would expect him to support that ticket, too. And here in Kentucky, the state is getting “redder” while the states around us are getting “bluer.” I give Joe Biden credit for that, with his prediction last month that no new coal-burning power plants will be built under an Obama administration. A large part of our economy depends on coal, especially in the mountains, and coal has given us the cheapest electricity in America. I compared electric bills, and whereas I paid 18 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity in Florida, I’m only paying 5.9 cents here. Yesterday I read that the latest statewide poll gives the Republicans a 55-39 lead.

Last year Victor Davis Hanson wrote a book on the Peloponnesian War entitled “A War Like No Other.” Well, I think we can all agree that 2008 will be “an election year like no other.” For a start, this is the first time since 1928 that neither a president or vice-president tried running for the White House. I also commented earlier on the insanity of moving primary dates a month earlier and convention dates a month later; was that done to increase the entertainment value of the election for folks like me? When Clinton and Obama were fighting for the nomination, I joked about how I might have to fight with my parrot for his dried pellets, if I ran out of popcorn before it was over!

Brin-Brin says, “NOOOOO!!!”

And for the first time, several states are voting early, including Florida. I haven’t checked yet, but I think my mother has voted already. Here in Kentucky, we’re only voting on November 4, to keep it limited to electronic machines and to minimize the potential for voter fraud. Absentee ballots are only going to those who declare they will be out of their precincts on that day.

The last time I wrote you, I pointed out that of the formulas I have used in the past to calculate who will win, two point to a Democratic victory, and one predicts a Republican victory. Therefore I’m going to have to revise or throw out those formulas, whichever way this turns out.

Currently, most polls show that we are about to elect a president who is either the most liberal candidate nominated by any major party, or the most mysterious. For instance, he will be the first president who intentionally uses taxation for the purpose of social engineering. We learned that when Obama told Joe the Plumber that “wealth redistribution” would be good for everybody. By contrast, every other president saw taxes as a tool for funding the government, no more. That is a huge change, a paradigm shift comparable to what we saw in the federal government when FDR introduced the New Deal.

I am also hoping that if elected, Obama will have a change of heart regarding the military and our foreign policy. Once the armed forces are his, I’d like to see him look at the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq, ignore the barking moonbat wing of his own party, and say, “Perhaps it would be better to keep the troops there until they complete their mission, so they won’t have to be sent in a third time at a later date.” After all, in the twentieth century we had five Democrats who were wartime presidents (Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Johnson). You probably also remember that most of the peace activists who opposed us going into Iraq in 2003 were veritable bloodhawks a few years earlier, when Bill Clinton was bombing Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo. Once of these days (hopefully not too late), the American Left needs to learn that our opponents in the War on Terror are anti-“choice,” anti-gay, anti-women, haters of bacon and beer, and motivated by an extremist interpretation of a religion that pre-dates Karl Marx.

Last month, I found a 2-part YouTube video called “American Contrarian,” in which a Japanese girl, as part of a school project, travels back in time to the year 2008, and interviews an American soldier to find out why we lost the War on Terror. Somebody reassure me that’s not how future history books will describe the outcome of our current events!

Speaking of history, since 2006 I have been writing papers on North American history for my website. So far I have completed four, covering the USA up to 1933 and Canada up to 1867. I was planning to write one more paper on each country, but it’s starting to look like I’ll have to break off at 2008 for the American narrative, and write a third paper for events after that, regardless of the final election results.