Observations on the world today.

Friday, May 28, 2004

This Looks Interesting 

Main Page - dKosopedia

This could be cool. It's an online encyclopedia for liberal politicos which will be built by submission from the populi.



Thursday, May 27, 2004

Conspiracy Theory 101 

I have been working on a theory. I admit that it’s far-fetched, and I hope it’s wrong, but I want to put it out there just in case.

There has been a lot of speculation about the threat of paperless voting machines. Much of the concern is that there is no way to recheck the vote. Some has to do with security risks in the system. Some has to do with the threat of power-outages or bad code. And all of it was fueled by the statement by the Diebold company head that he is, "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

But I recently learned that there are only seven counties in the entire state that will definitely have the machines in place for the November election.

I’ve manipulated this map from the original so that counties which are only considering getting the machines after the November election are now shown as considering Diebold. My reason for this will become clear.

Once I learned that only seven counties statewide were going to have the machines, it got me to wondering if these counties were entrenched GOP or democrat strongholds. I looked up the results for the 2000 election and the results were surprising.

Five of the counties are GOP counties, one (Franklin county, home of the state capital) is moderate, and one (Mahoning) is extremely democratic. My next step was to overlay the two maps to see if any patterns emerged.

Those purple counties are considering using Diebold machines in this election, and they are all republican strongholds. I suspect many of them will decide to use the machines for certain by November. There red counties on this map are counties which vote democratic and which are considering the machines, but I doubt that they will.

Now, here is the thing about Mahoning County. It’s Jim Traficant territory. These people are died-in-the-wool democrats AND paranoid about the feds.

So, what do I think is going to happen? Well, I’m not sure exactly. But I would not be surprised if the republicans don’t somehow use Mahoning county to stage the next Miami-Dade-style election theft.

The theory I’m leaning toward is that they will give the county to Kerry but only by a very slim margin. Franklin County will go to Bush by about 15%, and the remaining counties will be Bush landslides. (All accomplished through software manipulation at Diebold HQ.) Then THEY will demand a recount in Mahoning County. Only no recount will be possible. The democrats will then be forced to defend the vote (and the Diebold machines) in that one county. Their argument will have to be that it is not surprising that Mahoning went democratic, and meanwhile the state will have been easily won by W.

I hope I’m wrong, but if the vote DOES go this way, at least somebody will be able to point to this entry and say, "J’accuse!"



Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Sign It Now 

If you have not yet signed Howard Dean's petition to have any electronic voting machines have a mandatory paper trail. DO IT NOW!

Democracy For America



The Spy Who Shagged Bush 

Press Briefing by Scott McClellan:
Q Second question. Has the President seen or heard the statement Mr. Ahmed Chalabi said yesterday, on various television programs, about his offer to come to Congress to clear his name of the accusation? He's charged George Tenet directly with the charges.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, obviously, that's up to members of Congress to decide.

Q Yes, but has the President been made aware --

MR. McCLELLAN: I think the President is focused on moving forward on the mission at hand and implementing the clear strategy we have for building a free, democratic and peaceful Iraq. He is looking forward and, you know, if others want to look back to the past, that's fine, but he's going to continue looking forward.

Scotty, no!



I Tell Ya, Sibel is the Key 

The Village Voice: Nation: Mondo Washington: This Made Ashcroft Gag by James Ridgeway

I have been on a personal campaign to get someone in the mainstream media to talk with Sibel Edmonds. The Village Voice is nice, but it ain't CNN, ABC, NBC or even Fox. Come on people, this shit is important!
Among the Farsi translators working for the FBI, she said, it was common knowledge that a longtime, highly regarded FBI "asset" placed in Afghanistan told the agency in April 2001 that he had information from his contacts there that bin Laden was planning a major attack, involving the use of planes, in one or another of big American cities—Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York among them. The agents who took down the information from the spy wrote up reports and sent them to their superiors. That was the last the agents heard of the matter.

Edmonds said she had heard the details of the Afghan asset story in an unclassified meeting at the Capitol, but she cannot talk about the specifics because of a Justice Department gag order that classifies as secret what she has to say.

She said, however, that "there are a lot of activities in the U.S. A lot of money . . . and these activities involve money laundering, drugs, a support network for terrorism . . . people in high places . . . [people] in the political arena."
Between this, Chalabi, Plame and Abu Ghraib, there is enough scandal to impeach a dozen presidents. Why is Bush still f**king up my country?



Honesty Is Such a Lonely Word 

Bush bid to keep Iraq abuse secret:
The US government is trying its best to keep secret the policies it has developed for the interrogation of the detainees in Iraq and elsewhere, also shielding the intelligence officials responsible for the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib, a media report said Sunday.

"The Bush Administration is doing its best to keep secret the policies it has developed for handling foreign prisoners and to stifle Congressional examination of the issue," The Washington Post writes in an editorial on the Prisoners' abuse. Rules for the interrogation of detainees, said the paper, used to be published in widely available Army manuals.

But the Bush Administration has classified the procedures it has approved for the Guantanamo Bay prison, Afghanistan and Iraq-even though it claims that they are in compliance with the Geneva Conventions.
But, umm, the Geneva conventions AREN'T freakin' classified. If you're in compliance with something that's transparent, why make your actions opaque? Unless maybe you're lying about being in compliance.



Canada is Just a Little Bit North of Youngstown 

Yahoo! News - Bush Talks Health Care in Youngstown:
Locked in a tight race with John Kerry in Ohio, President Bush on Tuesday promoted his administration's record on health care for the low-income and uninsured in a Democratic stronghold.
"This is part of the safety net, a wise expenditure of taxpayers' money," the president said. "We're trying to get up to serving 16 million people." The president said the health centers are cost-efficient alternatives to unnecessary visits to hospital emergency rooms.
You know what is even more cost effective? PREMPTIVE healthcare. Something that governments which offer universal healthcare often if not always realize. But Bush and the republicans don't want to get that point. And why would that be? Oh, yeah, I remember.

Because they are boobs!



Thanks Mom 

My mother cracks me up sometimes. She handed me the paper tonight, and said that I should read this article by Robert Novak. Her actual words were, "You know, sometimes I think Bob Novak is a republican." I - of course - laughed, but then I read the article and realized why she'd said it. The concluding paragraph about sums it up.
Will Bush ask uncomfortable questions about how this man (Chalabi) ended up wielding authority over Iraq? Republican senators, who do not yet want to be quoted by name, feel there must be some accountability for this massive blunder, as there must be for the prisoner abuse scandal. They want the president at least to consider whether Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and others should pay with their jobs for putting Chalabi in power.
If I didn't know better, I'd swear Novak gets it. Do ya think ... maybe...?




Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Oh, For Screen Capture 

This is one of those times when I truly wish I had the ability to capture a screen image. At this moment on Yahoo's mainpage there are six news headlines. Four of the first five are:
AP: Terrorists planning summer attack
U.S., Britain differ on Iraq operations
Report: al-Qaida ranks swelling worldwide
U.S. airlines roll back fare increases
The last one is about a potential Hockey strike, and another is about the Terry Nichols case; but seriously, those are four really bad headlines for the administration. Thank you, Yahoo. Or maybe I should say, thank you, fate.



The "Cowardly Liberals" Meme 

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette would place this "story" by Jack Kelly (the most right-wing member of the liberal paper's staff) on the front page as if it was actual news. Rumor aside, draft's return most unlikely

Here's my favorite quote from the piece:
"Conservatives don't like [the draft] because they say it's a restriction on their freedom. Liberals don't like it because they don't want to serve in the military," Moskos said.
Ahh, I see. Conservatives are lovers of freedom, while liberals are yellow cowards. It's all so clear to me now. Give me a break.

And won't Kelly be surprised when the draft actually does happen. Well, actually, these are words he will never have to eat; since Bush is NOT getting a second term.



Sunday, May 23, 2004

Your Opinion Please 

Designs on the White House

I have done up a T-shirt design in the "Best Anti-Bush Shirt (negative spin, must mention Bush)" category for the Designs on the White House Campaign T-shirt Design Contest. I would appreciate any comments before I submit it.

To see a full sized image, click here.



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