Friday, December 30, 2005

Boing Boing on Torture Story

Boing Boing has more on the Craig Murray story. Murray's website is back up now.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Uk Torture Memos

Craig Murray, Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, wanted to tell the world that the US and UK were sending prisoners to Uzbekistan to be tortured. His government attempted to shut him up. He sent the documents to a whole bunch of British bloggers, who posted them on their websites, even as his own website was taken down by a "server error".

Daily Kos has the story and the documents.

Monday, December 26, 2005


If you ever wanted to see what's wrong with the Left Behind books without having to wade through them, Slacktivist really sums the whole thing up.
Jesus was always saying this kind of thing: You want to live? Die to yourself. You want to be first? Be last. Want to come out on top? Head for the bottom. Want to win? Surrender.

You want to get saved? Get lost.

Which brings us to what is, for my money, the greatest scene of salvation and redemption in literature:
It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself:

"All right, then, I'll go to Hell" -- and tore it up.

It was awful thoughts and awful words, but they was said. And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming. ... And for a starter I would go to work and steal Jim out of slavery again; and if I could think up anything worse, I would do that, too; because as long as I was in, and in for good, I might as well go the whole hog.
This is, of course, from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The piece of paper that poor Huck tore up was the letter he had written to turn in his friend, the escaped slave Jim. Huck had been taught, and he sincerely believed, that doing so was his duty as a good Christian (and as a good, law-abiding American). He had been taught, and he sincerely believed, that failing to do so would damn his soul to Hell.

Study that a minute. Turning in Jim would condemn his friend to years of misery in this world, but his own immortal soul would be damned for eternity -- and what are a few mortal years compared with that? Weigh such a choice on the scales that L&J use in Left Behind and Huck's choice is clear. But that is not the choice he makes.

"All right, then, I'll go to Hell!" he says. And the angels in heaven rejoice.

Huck may just be talking to himself there, but I think of that declaration as a prayer -- as, in fact, a prayer pleasing to God.
Go and read the whole article. Many thanks to Pacific Views for pointing this post out to me.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Christmas That Was

We didn't plan on having Christmas this year. No gifts, no plans that involved spending too much money... no nothing. But of course, the family can't quite give up the giving. From Eric's side of the family I got the gift of a (mostly) pain-free Christmas from my sister-in-law, and a gift from Eric's parents AND a book I've been meaning to read (Longitude), and Eric's grandmother gave us a history of the family an autobiography that I'm looking forward to reading. On my side of the family, an older sister couldn't resist getting me (the notorious penguin collector) a candy-pooping penguin to add to the collection. My little sister gave me her first season of MacGyver DVD set. Another sister gave me a foot care set, knowing that I'll be doing more walking this year. And the traditional Frangos made an appearance from my parents.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

My Christmas Elf Name

According to the Christmas Elf Name Generator:

Christmas Elf Name

My Christmas Elf Name is
Get your Christmas Elf Name at

Thank Goodness For My Sister-In-Law!

I won't bore you with details, but THANK GOODNESS that my sister-in-law is a nurse and I felt comfortable enough to talk to her today. I'm still in pain, but I can only imagine how much pain I'd be in if I hadn't heeded her expert advice.

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Most Outrageous Statements of 2005

Media Matters has the goods. Don't read if you have a weak stomach.

FEMA Turf Wars

This is unbelievable. Is anyone stupid enough to think that a gutted FEMA and a Department of Homeland Security entirely concerned with playing petty political games can protect us? We're less safe now than ever before.

More Wal-Mart Bashing

Stuart Hughes on Wal-Mart.
Average hourly wages at Wal-Mart are $9.68 -- $2.60 below the average for American retail workers.

In 2004, Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott earned $17.5 million in total compensation -- double the average for leading American CEOs.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Political Linkdump

The Seattle Times profiles life of a soldier in Iraq.

King County, Washington, is considering vote-by-mail. I already vote absentee, so I'm for it.

The power of blogs is overstated, as seen in the case of Cory Maye.

There is much much more on Bush's violation of the Constitution of the United States of America, and the breaking of his oath of office. Here's some selected links:As stated on Making Light, there is only one choice left to us if we want to preserve the Constitution and our freedom:
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. - The Constitution

The Media Is Broken

A fascinating post on just how the mainstream media has failed to do their job, and what the result has been.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Ripping on The Creationists

Danny Westneat of the Seattle Times reacts to the anti-Creationist ruling from a conservative judge in Dover PA.

Got this one via Garrett as well as Eric, who read it in the paper version of the paper.

Ug, the Order of Presidential Succession...

The Order of Presidential Succession doesn't make impeachment very appealling, but it would be worse to let Bush get away with high crimes against the Constitution he is sworn to uphold.

Judge Quits In Protest?

A judge on the court that should have been allowed to review Bush's wiretapping requests has quit, apparently in protest that Bush refused to allow the court, which works in absolute secrecy, to review the spying requests as required by the constitution.

Bush has violated the Constitution of the United States, and he did so unneccessarily, as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court almost always grants requests. Unless, of course, Bush wasn't actually spying to protect the nation... in which case, he's even worse scum and needs to spend even more time in prison.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Don't Shop At Urban Outfitters

Because if you do, you may be accused of shoplifting.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

More on Unconstitutional Wiretaps

As usual, Mark Evanier nails it with one statement:
I think every Republican who wants to defend Bush on this one should be forced to utter the sentence, "I would not hesitate to see President Hillary Clinton have the same authority."
The rest of his comment is worth reading too, but that bit really sums it all up.

Another good statement appears on Huffington Post, in an article by David Sirota:
[T]his isn't a question of whether America supports domestic surveillance operations against terrorists or not. This is a question of whether America supports those operations without requiring a warrant.

The truth is, domestic surveillance operations happen all the time. They are such a part of our culture, they are a regular topic of television shows and movies (think Serpico or Stakeout). But they are also governed by the U.S. Constitution's 4th Amendment, which explicitly protects citizens against "unreasonable search and seizures" and requires the executive branch to obtain a warrant from the objective judiciary branch in order to do surveillance operations.

So the question reporters should be asking the White House isn't why the president thinks there should be domestic efforts to track and stop terrorists. The vast majority of Americans think that. The question reporters should be asking is "Why did the President order domestic surveillance operations without obtaining constitutionally-required warrants?" That is behavior that most Americans who believe in the Constitution likely do not support at all.
Exactly. There are perfectly legal, constitutional ways to spy on people who might really be a danger to the nation. The only reason a president would have to get rid of those requirements, to allow wiretaps and spying contrary to the law of the land, is to spy on people who aren't really a danger to the nation, only a danger to his own political goals.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Don't Do Research

Do ever do research using primary sources, because it might land you in trouble with Homeland Security.

Update: This story may be a hoax or misrepresentation, thank goodness. Follow the debate at Boing Boing.

Bush Confesses to Unconstitutional Act

Bush admitted it, that he committed an unconstitutional act. This amounts to treason.

The question now is whether or not we, as a people, are going to allow our government to move yet closer to the dictatorship that Bush stated he wanted five years ago (George Bush: "If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier - just so long I'm the dictator." December 18, 2000), or if we'll impeach the traitor and send him to prison where he belongs.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Just Do It?

Crooks and Liars has video of Jack Cafferty on CNN running down a list of the crimes of the Bush Administration, finishing with the unconstitutional acts of spying on American citizens that Bush secretly authorized after 9/11.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Oh Man

This story makes me ill. I can't help but hope that the story turns out to be false, that the officers really didn't accept bribes. I don't want to believe that our soldiers, any of our soldiers, could possibly commit these kind of crimes. I just hope that the companies who bribed them are punished even more severely.

Miami Herald Reports Diebold Tests

The Miami Herald reports on the Diebold tests done in Florida the other day. The ones that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's easy to change tallies on Diebold machines, like the ones used in Ohio, the state that Diebold was committed to delivering to Bush.

Bill O'Reilly Makes Up Another Outrage

Think Progress reports that good ol' Falafel is at it again, making up more "attacks" from non-existent Christmas haters in his mythical "War on Christmas". In this case, the flap is over a song in a play about Christmas that uses the tune of Silent Night to tell the sad tale of a lonely Christmas tree.

Now, I'm wondering how exactly a play ABOUT CHRISTMAS can possibly be an attack on Christmas? Apparently, Falafel is so desperate for evidence of his made-up war that he'll take anything, even when it goes against all sense, common or not.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

CEO Quits Diebold

CEO Quits Diebold. Maybe they'll admit that their voting machines are crap and start fixing the problems now. And maybe pigs will fly.

Update: Yes, this is the same guy that promised (and succeeded) to deliver Ohio's electoral votes to Bush.

In addition, Black Box Voting has an article about how easy it is to hack Diebold voting machines.
Finnish security expert Harri Hursti, together with Black Box Voting, demonstrated that Diebold made misrepresentations to Secretaries of State across the nation when Diebold claimed votes could not be changed on the "memory card" (the credit-card-sized ballot box used by computerized voting machines).

A test election was run in Leon County [Florida] on Tuesday with a total of eight ballots. Six ballots voted "no" on a ballot question as to whether Diebold voting machines can be hacked or not. Two ballots, cast by Dr. Herbert Thompson and by Harri Hursti voted "yes" indicating a belief that the Diebold machines could be hacked.

At the beginning of the test election the memory card programmed by Harri Hursti was inserted into an Optical Scan Diebold voting machine. A "zero report" was run indicating zero votes on the memory card. In fact, however, Hursti had pre-loaded the memory card with plus and minus votes.

The eight ballots were run through the optical scan machine. The standard Diebold-supplied "ender card" was run through as is normal procedure ending the election. A results tape was run from the voting machine.

Correct results should have been: Yes:2 ; No:6

However, just as Hursti had planned, the results tape read: Yes:7 ; No:1

The results were then uploaded from the optical scan voting machine into the GEMS central tabulator, a step cited by Diebold as a protection against memory card hacking. The central tabulator is the "mother ship" that pulls in all votes from voting machines. However, the GEMS central tabulator failed to notice that the voting machines had been hacked.

The results in the central tabulator read:

Yes:7 ; No:1


The Hursti Hack requires a moderate level of inside access. It is, however, accomplished without being given any password and with the same level of access given thousands of poll workers across the USA.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Another Bush Lie

Bush swore he would do everything to help the victims of Katrina. Well, they are so desperate for the promised help that they are taking out ads to remind Congress that they still need help.

More compassionate conservatism for you. Let's spend billions on Iraq and ignore our own people.

Bill O'Reilly Justs Makes Stuff Up

According to Wonkette, Bill O'Reilly made a claim that students at a school weren't even allowed to wear red or green because of the "War on Christmas". But, like the war itself, it was just a story fabricated to convince people that Bill isn't lying about the "War on Christmas". Which, come to think of it, is ever so slightly ironic.

According to Media Matters, Falafel also lied about Christmas stamps and a whole town that he claimed didn't allow red and green clothing. Wow, I'm beginning to see a pattern here! Falafel O'Reilly pretends there is a "War on Christmas", then makes up evidence to support his position. Pretty much describes his regular methods.

Monday, December 12, 2005

One Sane Man

An Eloquent Argument against the Death Penalty.
"The death penalty does not deter and it does not cure...
...Even if I were positive that we were executing only guilty people, I'd be against the death penalty."
Go read it. And think about it.


Via Gallimaufry, Tell Everyone.

Cory Maye is on death row, despite the fact that his was a clear case of self-defense.
Let's summarize: Cops mistakenly break down the door of a sleeping man, late at night, as part of drug raid. Turns out, the man wasn't named in the warrant, and wasn't a suspect. The man, frigthened for himself and his 18-month old daughter, fires at an intruder who jumps into his bedroom after the door's been kicked in. Turns out that the man, who is black, has killed the white son of the town's police chief. He's later convicted and sentenced to death by a white jury. The man has no criminal record, and police rather tellingly changed their story about drugs (rather, traces of drugs) in his possession at the time of the raid.
When the righty-leaning site Instapundit and a left-leaning site like Pandagon both agree on something, it's worth shouting it out. DON'T LET MISSISSIPPI KILL CORY MAYE FOR LEGALLY DEFENDING HIMSELF!!!


Planespotters keeping tabs on the CIA, entirely by accident.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

More Smoke

Bus shelters and smoking. Ah, another pet peeve of mine. I used to wait at bus shelters, and there would always be somebody smoking in them, leaving me to stand out in the rain if I wanted to be able to breathe. I also had trouble with one guy who noticed that I was standing away from the smoke and thought it was funny to blow smoke in my face. This was in downtown Seattle, and it made me change my bus stop. Before I did that, I nearly decked the guy a couple of times, and wondered if the courts would accept "he blew smoke in my face" as a justifiable reason for hitting him. I didn't think they would, although I felt like I was being assaulted every time he did it.

Again, I want to emphasize that most smokers aren't like that idiot. For every nasty in-your-face smoker, there were a dozen in the background peacefully trying to keep to themselves. As usual, it's the few idiots who ruin everything for the smart folks.

Of course, in the meantime, there's an area burn ban because of stagnant air. We're in one of those rare winter holding patterns... it's cold, but the sun is out.

Friday, December 09, 2005

More on Smoking Ban

More smoker stories from the Seattle Times and the Seattle P.I. In short, most folks are taking it well, and common sense is mostly the rule. Eric has said that after a couple of months, once we know bowling alleys are cleaned out a bit, maybe we'll go bowling, a sport both of us enjoy except for the fact that you couldn't find a bowling alley that didn't smell like an ashtray.

Some Give Their All

After reading this, the chickenhawks whiny excuses as to why they won't go fight in a war they support ring even more hollow. A single mother, 20 years out of the military, is giving up a good job, leaving her son alone, to fight for our country... while the sickening republican cowards who support the war sit in their cozy computer rooms cheerleading our troops to their deaths.

Political Joke

"Polls show if the election was held today, DeLay would lose to any unnamed Democrat... See that's the problem with Democrats: they do great until they name a candidate." -Jay Leno

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Statements on the War

A US Army major on the war: "Well, I think here, lately, the... it's going a lot better; I think we're beginning to win the people over; our operations are going better."

The US President on the war: "In some phases the military program has been quite successful. There is great difficulty, however, in fighting a guerrilla war... we don't see the end of the tunnel; but, I must say, I don't think it's darker than it was a year ago -- in some ways, lighter."

A US General on the war: "We are here to emphasize that the United States will maintain its interest and its presence in your country. There is no question whatsoever of our abandoning that interest. We'll stay for as long as it takes."

The Vice President on the war: "And may I say that despite public opinion polls -- none of which may I say have ever been friendly toward a nation's commitment in battle -- despite criticism, despite understandable impatience, we mean to stick it out, until aggression is turned back and until a just and honorable peace can be achieved, until the job is done. That is the policy of the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States and the Congress of the United States. So let people understand that."

More here.

Republican Leader Defends Forced Abortions

What a headline, eh? Well, it's apparently true. DeLay supported and defended a sweatshop in the Marianas islands that, along with 90 hour work-weeks and third world wages, supplied beatings and forced abortions to its workers. But DeLay got a bunch of money and a nice trip from Jack Abramoff, a lobbyist and apparently close friend, to say that everything was peachy-keen in the Marianas and in that sweatshop in particular. And to stop a law that would have forced the sweatshop to treat its workers like humans instead of slaves. DeLay took the money.

Smoke-Filled Entry

The state smoking ban went into effect at midnight last night. The Seattle Times and The Seattle P.I. both cover the story.

I'm still of two minds about the ban, as I don't think it's really fair to make it impossible for smokers to go out and enjoy themselves at all, but as a non-smoker who gets really sick with just a bit of cigarette smoke I'm glad I won't have to worry about it much longer. Even when I went out of my way to avoid places that allowed smoking, there were always a few exceptions that made it a problem.

I've known a lot of smokers who were great about keeping their smoke away from non-smokers... in fact, considerate smokers make up the vast majority of smokers I've known. It was always the few that didn't care, the ones who had the "it's legal, so just deal with it" attitude, that caused all the problems. Like the dopes who decided that smoking outside my dorm room, the one that had vents in the door that couldn't be closed all the way, was a great idea even after I told them it was a problem (my roommate reportedly solved the problem with a bucket of water, but I wasn't there). Or the complete morons who sucked in a big cloud of smoke just before they got on the city bus, then exhaled it as soon as they sat down, making sure that all the other riders had to endure the stink for most of the trip. Of course, if you could get rid of the inconsiderate portion of the population, not just the smokers, the world would be a much nicer place. But since smoking creates serious health problems, I guess I support laws to keep the handful of morons from harming the rest of us. I just wish it didn't punish all the smart folks too.

In another story, The Westin has gone smoke-free in all hotels in its chain. I'll keep that in mind, because I'd rather spend a night in a smoke-free room anytime, and if the whole hotel is smoke-free, then the chances are much better of getting a room that doesn't have that distinctive stench.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Falafel O'Lielly is at it Again

"They try to silence me. They want me fired -- because I said that San Francisco's vote was a disgrace to ban military recruiting. I was supposed to get fired for that opinion." - Bill "Falafel" O'Reilly

No, Bill, we want you fired because you INVITED TERRORISTS TO ATTACK SAN FRANCISCO. You said, to Al Qaeda, and I quote: "You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead." THAT is why we think you should be fired from your job and shunned by every decent human being for the rest of your life. Go hang out with your Al Qaeda buddies. The ones you invited to attack San Francisco on a national TV show.

What a complete and utter scumbag. I really hope he someday gets his comeuppance.

In Memory

FilkerTom Reminds Us.

Poor Writing

Sometimes we rush into writing a blog entry, excited by the thoughts bouncing around in our heads. Back before the 'net, those bouncy thoughts would have been restricted to either personal letters or notes that would be reread and edited before being seen by many eyes. Nowadays, incomplete thoughts can make national headlines, as seen by the sudden blooming of political blogging and its use (and misuse by plagiarism) by the mainstream media.

Yesterday I had a bouncy thought that made it to this blog, and because it was incomplete, I miswrote it. I didn't make the distinction between what triggered the thought and what I was really talking about clear enough. To my immense surprise, the author of the book that triggered the thought read the entry (and I thought nobody actually read this blog) and took offense. It was my mistake. I didn't make myself clear enough.

More than half the reason I blog at all is to improve my writing and communication skills. I'm sorry I screwed up this time, and I'll try harder to avoid the problem next time. I already see two or three ways I could've written the note to make it clear, I just wish they'd occurred to me at the time of writing and not after I'd irritated another writer with my carelessness. As I said in the comment response to the author, the immediacy of blogs are both the fun and the danger of blogging.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


I've just started reading 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus and I'm well and truly hooked by the narrative. The book jumps around a lot, but I think it holds together well for the purposes of the author. This is less a book about what America was like than a book about how we came to the new conclusions and why they differ from what we've been taught.

Anyway, while reading it I naturally started thinking about my own upbringing and The Book of Mormon. Having been raised with a particular viewpoint of the Americas, one that said they were a cultured people with massive empires, makes the "revelations" in 1491 less of a shock than they might be to some. I don't know. But I was amused when I hit the section of the book in which the author, Mann, discusses theories of where the Native Americans originally came from and he listed the Book of Mormon in the "Lost Tribes of Israel" section. I'm less than a third into the book, so I don't know if it'll come up again. But I thought I would clear up a very common misconception.

Nowhere in the entire Book of Mormon does it say that all the people living in America were descended from the single group that the book starts off with. In fact, at least two other groups are mentioned, who arrived in the Americas at different times and through different routes. Other groups may have been around that the narrators never ran into. In addition, all the action in the Book of Mormon takes place in a historically short amount of time well before the cultures that most folks think about (Inca, Aztec) even existed, and most of it in a fairly limited geographical area. Dismissing the whole book as historically inaccurate because it doesn't paint a full picture of the Americas would be a bit like dismissing the account of some small germanic tribe because they didn't paint a full picture of Europe.

That said, the Book of Mormon is not a history book, it's a piece of scripture and is meant to be taken as such. But I've read nothing in 1491 that makes the stories in the Book of Mormon any less likely. If anything, 1491 so far seems to make them more likely. Your mileage will no doubt vary on the issue... but it does irritate me when people make sweeping generalizations about a book, in this case the Book of Mormon, that they probably have never bothered to read.

Update: I just want to make it absolutely clear that I don't think that 1491 is making any generalizations about the Book of Mormon. Reading 1491 triggered thoughts of those generalizations, but was not the source. Charles Mann was absolutely correct in his mention of the Book of Mormon, and referenced it correctly. He was not the person I was referring to when I mentioned being irritated. Quite the opposite. 1491 is a great read, and has made me think a lot. It's one of those rare books that triggers thoughts and makes connections while you read it. The mention sparked this post, and the book so far has helped crystalize my thoughts on the Book of Mormon. As far as I'm concerned, that's a good thing.

Happy Birthday Grandpa Paul!

Ninety-One years young!

Monday, December 05, 2005

A Beautiful Article

From the mother of a soldier serving in Iraq. There isn't a whiff of politics in this one, so just go read it.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Political Thoughts

FilkerTom links to a frightening opinion by Samuel Alito. See, Alito believes that if a kid is fleeing the scene of a crime, then it's ok to shoot the kid in the head without finding out first if the kid was the criminal. Shoot first, ask questions later? Is this really what we want in a Supreme Court Justice?

Government Accountability Office indicates that elections were tainted. The "GAO study makes it clear that no bank, grocery store or mom & pop chop shop would dare operate its business on a computer system as flimsy, fragile and easily manipulated as the one on which the 2004 election turned." Our votes are less important to us than our groceries. You might disagree with the Government Accountability Office's report, but at least read it before you dismiss it.

Very strange opinion column in the Seattle Times from former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, who favors the legalization of all drugs for the same reason I favor keeping abortion legal: criminalizing it doesn't stop the problem, it just makes it worse. I've never considered putting my opinion on abortion into another context, but Stamper just did it for me. I have a lot to think about.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Political Linkdump

I started reading this article because of the link to hybrid cars, and found it fascinating enough to read to the end.

"Christian" textbooks call Thomas Jefferson an AntiChrist... And they wonder why they don't get credits for the courses at any normal school? If you haven't been taught history, literature, or science, don't expect to get into college.

Another fascinating article that goes into mail delivery on Sunday.

This particular Silver Lining makes me sick to my stomach. Start a war, win medals in the Paralympics.

As If I Needed Another Reason To Hate Wal-Mart...

Because he was black.

Snow in the Morning

Wow. I got up this morning, could hear what sounded like rain on the roof, and expected to look out and see our usual grey and green. But when I came out into the living room, Eric said it was snowing. And wow, did it snow.

Doesn't look like the roads are bad, it's the slush type of snow, not the frozen type. But it's very pretty in the trees lawns.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Snow Away

Very little, if any, snow fell during the night here. And it didn't freeze, either, which was a worry. The result was a morning with bare and wet streets and a light dusting of snow on the trees and lawns. It's been melting ever since, to the point where there's just not much left.

The clouds continue to threaten, but we haven't had any actual rain or snow yet today. The weather reports I look at all have completely different outlooks, so it's safe to say that nobody knows what's going to happen next, and predictions are almost useless.

I predict rain. That's the safest prediction in Seattle.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Political Linkdump

Ah, Pal Dorian on personal responsibility

FilkerTom on a response to Shrubya's speech. Another view here.

So, let's see... Sotelo swore, under penalty of perjury, that the voters she challenged were illegally registered AND that she had personal knowledge of that fact for each and every challenged voter. Of the 190 challenged voters who actually voted, 133 of those challenges, that Sotelo SWORE UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY she was certain were legit challenges, were tossed out. That's a really bad percentage for a person who SWORE UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY. In fact, apparently she has no knowledge at all if her personal knowledge is so bad. Sotelo deserves a jail sentence for her perjury.

Unfortunately, her fellow Republican also has no respect for the law. Norm Maleng says he won't press charges, despite plenty of evidence of perjury and voter intimidation. The rot in the Republican party runs deep.

A bit about Diebold, the voter fraud machine company, at Slashdot.

If your school refuses to teach science, history, or literature, don't expect to get into college. Sheesh. Why would a Creationist idiot want to go the University of California, anyway? Go to Bob Jones, where you will continue to not learn anything.

Walgreens has just become a good place to shop in my book. Finally a company that actually punishes someone for not doing their job.

Your tax dollars are paying for Christian Evangelicalizing on high school campuses, in the guise of anti-drug funding.

Bill "Falafel" O'Reilly tells his viewer the real meaning of Christmas: "Without Christmas, most American businesses would be far less profitable." He knows this full well, as he is selling Christmas Ornaments on his website (formerly called holiday ornaments, until bloggers pointed out the hypocrisy).

Speaking of Falafel O'Reilly, he has unveiled his enemies list. Pathetic. He can't even do an enemies list right.

Shrubya says no pullout from Iraq without victory. Uh. Right. What is the definition of "victory"? His latest plan is as vague and useless as... well, whatever vague and useless plan his handlers concocted to invade Iraq in the first place. In the meantime, the war against terrorism is neglected and the murderer responsible for 9/11 is still alive and laughing at us. Yeah, you're doing a heck of a job, Shrubya.

Wonkette gives us Midshipmen waiting for Shrubya. *yawn*

Weather or Not...

It's snowing. Half-hearted flakes coming down as if they are uncertain. Just enough to see, but so little that it's utterly unimpressive. I suspect it will turn into rain soon enough.

Update: half an hour later it's really coming down. It looks like a real snowfall. I'm enjoying the view. It's not yet sticking to the grass, much less the roads.

Update: Noon, and the snow is beginning to just stick to the front lawn. The temperature has dropped since I last went out, too, it's noticable. No sign that the streets are going to get covered. I hope it doesn't get any worse than this.

Update: About 1:20pm, the snow is sticking to everything except the road, and is coming down very prettily. I went out to get the mail and slid down the lawn, barely keeping on my feet. The mailman was still at our box and when I looked up after making it to the street still on my feet, his mouth was open in surprise. Going back to the house, I went up the relatively safe driveway instead of risking the lawn again.

Update: 2pm, it's sticking to the roads now, and has shown no sign of letting up so far. The weather dude on NWCN keeps saying it's only raining up here... hmmm. The road outside our house is covered in a thin layer of snow, and I'm worried about what will happen when Eric tries to come home over Nike hill, the biggest hill in Bothell. Today it one of those days when it's better to just use the freeway and deal with getting in the middle of the traffic.

For the heckuvit, I downloaded WinSnow and put it on my desktop. There's also Mac and Linux versions, if you feel like having a little snow on your computer. The snow works just fine, if a bit slowly, without registering.

Snow no Snow?

This article made me laugh aloud. Well, the headline, at least. After the city prepares for the first significant snowfall and it doesn't hit, the whole city does this sort of "oh, we were bamboozled by the weathermen" thing and laughs it off. If we'd really had a major snowfall, the same folks would be complaining that there wasn't enough warning. Heh.

I just went outside to smell the air, and it smells a bit like snow but mostly rain. I suspect if we get any snow up here, it'll be the pretty flakes that melt as soon as they hit the ground. More likely, we'll get rain. But then, I'm really bad at predicting the weather, so don't listen to me.