Saturday, December 30, 2006


I agree with Talking Points Memo on the whole Saddam thing. It appears that we've managed to create a martyr:
"The president, the leader Saddam Hussein is a martyr and God will put him along with other martyrs. Do not be sad nor complain because he has died the death of a holy warrior," said Sheik Yahya al-Attawi, a cleric at the Saddam Big Mosque.

Police blocked the entrances to Tikrit and said nobody was allowed to leave or enter the city for four days. Despite the security precaution, gunmen took to the streets of Tikrit, carrying pictures of Saddam, shooting into the air, and calling for vengeance.
As if Bush hadn't messed up the whole "war on terror" thing enough, now he's just managed to make it a little bit worse. Heckuva job, Shrubya.

But enough from me, how about some Iraqi reactions: A round-up at Asterism, A star from Mosul, and Baghdad Burning.

Moving on to other stupid things, man arrested because of his own and his son's allergies. I'm opposed to wanton drug use, but the drug war is insane and useless and is killing far more people than it is saving. And if you can't even get needed medicine without risking arrest, there is something really wrong.

Friday, December 22, 2006


The NY Times was censored by the Bush Administration, despite the article in question not containing any sensitive material. Here's the op-ed piece, complete with blacked out lines. May require login.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Canadian Women Challenge Olympic Ski Jumping Ban

Canadian Women Ski Jumpers are really peeved at the IOC and the international ski jumping officials who have decided that women can't compete in the sport in the 2010 Olympics.

Even worse is one of the reasons given for the exclusion: "it's medically unfit for women to be ski jumpers, which is a great one that didn't go over well with everyone, that it's just too dangerous for women — even though you have women aerials, women skeleton, luge, bobsled."

Yeah, um. Hello? That attitude went out years ago. Give women the chance to compete in the Olympic games. There is no good reason to exclude women ski jumpers from competition.

Utah Gets Smart

Brad Blog reports that election officials in Utah are finally seeing the light of just how bad voting machines are... but only because they are seeing how much more the machines cost for storage, back-up batteries, and training of workers. Hit 'em in the pocketbook and they finally listen?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Storm Damage

We got a nice big storm through Seattle, and a tree fell on our car and blocked our driveway. Luckily, the damage was minimal. For pictures, see Bloggity.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Couple of Links

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Mallard Fillmore strip actually slightly funny due to related events.

America's health care system is screwed up beyond belief.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas Trees At Sea-Tac

If you haven't heard the news... a rabbi threatened to sue the Sea-Tac airport if they didn't add a menorah to the holiday decorations at the airport. He didn't just say, "could you please add a menorah?", no, he threatened a lawsuit. The airport, understandably concerned, reacted by removing all holiday decorations... more than a dozen plastic trees with lights and ribbons. They did so because 1) they didn't have the staff or time to add a menorah and whatever else anybody requested this year and 2) the rabbi THREATENED TO SUE THEM.

This caused a sensation. People blamed liberal Seattle. People claimed the airport officials overreacted. The lawsuit-happy rabbi and his lawsuit happy attorney said, "no, no, this isn't what we wanted!" Well, no kidding. But what do you expect when you use a sledgehammer when a thumbtack would do?

In my view, the Port Authority took the right action with the information they had. The rabbi was at fault for waiting until the last minute to make his request, then threatening the airport. You can't expect a massive bureaucracy to move with such agility, nor can you expect them to not take the easiest action when threatened.

At least the story has a happy ending. The rabbi went back, explained himself better without threats, and the Port Authority put the trees back up. Next year's holiday display at Sea-Tac will attempt to reflect the cultures of all people who live in the area. Which is what should've happened, quietly and behind the scenes, in the first place. But you just can't expect a reasonable response if you start with an unreasonable attack ("do this or I sue!").

Monday, December 04, 2006

Making Light

Teresa explains why she blogs. Very good information on the corporate-owned media.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


The Bad Astronomer on the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) rejecting a gift of 50,000 DVDs of "An Inconvenient Truth" for its members.

Bad soldiers reported on Boing Boing, but Boing Boing also reports that they are being investigated for their cruelty.

Let's make this really clear: If trained election officials cannot get a voting machine to work properly, then the machine is broken. Doesn't matter if it's "human error", the frickin' machines DON'T WORK. If trained officials have problems, the general public won't be able to use the things either.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I Couldn't Put It Better

AmericaBlog responds to Newt Gingrich's call to destroy our freedoms to appease the terrorists.

Voting Machines Flip Votes

Mayor watches as his own vote is flipped. Along with the County Clerk, who told the Mayor that it was impossible and wouldn't happen. Time to ban voting machines that don't provide a voter verified paper trail, and don't allow their code to be examined by experts.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Fox Propaganda Channel Wants to do Comedy

MetaFilter reports. Best Comment:
"Wait - So FOX is going to start airing a fake news show that mocks liberals? How are we supposed to tell the difference?
- posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:45 PM PST on November 22

Diebold Punishes Whistleblower

Diebold has managed to punish a whistleblower who found evidence that the company had changed the software illegally right before an election, then intended to lie about it. More on Undernews and The Brad Blog.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

From The Votemaster

Quoted from
The problems with the vote in FL-13 are not over. In Sarasota County, one of the counties in FL-13 , over 18,000 people failed to vote for Congress, yet voted for other offices. Many of the voters complained that they did vote for Congress but the review screen at the end did not show their vote for Congress. The electronic equipment used does not allow recounts, as required by Florida law. This is going to court shortly. See this article for more. Another option would be for the House to seat Vern Buchanan (R) who won by 368 votes and then expel him, forcing a special election.

Even better would be for Congress to pass a resolution stating that it will not count the electoral votes in 2008 of states whose voting equipment does not have a paper trail. That would cause an uproar, but might solve the problem once and for all by forcing states to use only voting machines with a paper trail. ATM machines provide a paper trail. It would not be hard for voting machines to print a voter-verifiable paper receipt that could be deposited in a locked ballot box in case a recount was needed.
I'm for the "even better" option. If there's no paper trail, there is no vote. So let's punish states that don't require a paper trail.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Environmental Disaster

FilkerTom gets Peeved, for good reason, and somebody pointed him to this cartoon which pretty much sums the situation up for me. Anyone who thinks we shouldn't take care of the Earth because God will clean up after us really doesn't understand God, do they?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Midst all the Pain...

...good news from Iraq. A solid little story about teaching first aid despite cultural differences.

McCain on Republicans

I think McCain sold out long ago, but he gets this right:
"Hypocrisy, my friends, is the most obvious of political sins — and the people will punish it," said Mr. McCain, Republican of Arizona. "We were elected to reduce the size of government and enlarge the sphere of free and private initiative. We increased the size of government in the false hope that we could bribe the public into keeping us in office.

"We lost our principles and our majority," he said. "And there is no way to recover our majority without recovering our principles first."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Freakin' Idiots!

More absentee ballot problems in King County.

Any moron could have predicted this was going to happen. See, the absentee ballots required higher than normal postage. This meant that more ballots would be dropped off at polling places instead of mailed. Which meant that a smart and on-top-of-things King County would have made sure there were enough secure bags for all the absentee ballots being dropped off. Instead, they apparently sent out the usual number, leading to overstuffed bags that couldn't be properly sealed and bags that should not be used to store absentee ballots being used to, you guessed it, store absentee ballots.

ARGH. King County Elections needs some MAJOR overhaulin' and FAST, before the next major election. To many ballots are being "misplaced" too much of the time.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Ok, so it looks like the House goes to the Democrats. That was predicted, despite Shrubya's assurances of "that's not gonna happen." (as an aside, why was he so sure it wasn't going to happen? Did he really not notice how unpopular he is? Or did he think Diebold would come through for him again?)

The Senate is much more interesting. For one thing, the pundits are saying that if the Democrats win in Montana and Virginia, then the Dems will control the Senate 51-49. But that's not true. There are two independents in the race, one who is very Dem and will no doubt work with them fine... and Lieberman. And both the independents are being counted as Dems by the pundits

Lieberman is NOT a Democrat anymore. Oh, he'll pretend to work with them so he can keep his seniority and such, but when it really counts, he'll vote with the Republicans. He's more Republican than half the Republicans in the Senate!

So what we have, if the Dems win in Montana and Virginia, is a split Senate, 50-50. This isn't going to be pretty.

Rummy Gone

Rumsfeld is stepping down. The military called for his removal just a few days ago, so this is a victory for our troops. I hope. Unless Shrubya finds someone even more useless to replace him, like some "close friend of the Bush family" who may not have the experience necessary to help our troops.

Election Pet Peeve

I hate it when races are announced as "won" before enough votes have been counted. Would it kill the media to wait until a race was certain before declaring a winner? Yes? Then death to the media!

I'm a bit of a radical as far as voting is concerned. I think all the votes ought to be counted before any results at all are announced.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


...a voting glich that goes towards the Dems. Boing Boing reports:
In New Jersey, a problem cropped up when the name of Democratic Senator Robert Menendez was automatically highlighted on some machines. That caused some two dozen voters to complain that the only way to de-select it was to press it again, which Republican Party officials said led to some people inadvertently voting for Menendez.
There should never be a default selection in a voting machine, so either the manufacturer of the machine screwed up, or someone tried to alter the vote. At least it was an obvious flaw, and hopefully nobody voted for the wrong person.


What, do you think I have a crystal ball? I completely and utterly failed to predict anything during the last elections, so I'm not even going to dream of making any detailed predictions about this one. So I'll tell you what the polls say, if I'm reading them right (and I'm probably not). And if I make any predictions in the following, I'm probably wrong.

The Dems should take the House. Some polls indicate a tiny margin, most indicate that the Dems will have a solid hold on the House. I'm a pessimist, so I'll go with "tiny margin". That will hopefully be enough to get some investigations going and to temper the Neocons lust for death and spending, but I'm not counting on it.

The Senate is uncallable. It might go either way. Nobody knows. I say the GOPs will just barely hold on, or it'll be split down the middle (which keeps the real power with the GOPs). I doubt anything useful will come out of the Senate in the next two years.

Tomorrow both the Republicans and the Democrats will be touting the results, whatever they are, as a win. They will both be wrong. Our nation is so incredibly divided right now that everything is a loss. And I just don't foresee that changing soon. At the very least, Shrubya will have to be out of office before this nation can start to heal, and that's two years down the road minimum. So, no matter the results, we all lose in this election.

Flooded Polls

The Seattle Times has an update on where to vote if your poll is closed due to flooding.

Vote Today! If you can...

My aunt, who lives in Utah and is very conservative (in the traditional sense), had some news about the polling places down there. When she got to the polls at 7am, she couldn't vote because the voting machines just wouldn't work. Calls from frantic poll workers to the help lines weren't getting through because the problems were widespread. After waiting in line for 45 minutes, she was turned away from the polls.

She plans to go back and try again after work, but how many folks will just give up?

It's not a proper election. It's a farce. These crappy voting machines need to be tossed out, their makers sued for lying and providing crap to the counties, and paper ballots restored.


Of course, human stupidity and greed aren't the only things that are stopping folks from voting. Up here in the Pacific Northwet (not a typo), we finally got all the rain we've been missing over the summer in the last two days. The results have been flooding. Lots of schools, traditional polling places, have been shut down in several counties.

I voted a week ago via mail.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Robocall Fun

The GOP, knowing that people don't like being called by robots, has started calling people and pretending to be Democrats. Worse, they are calling late at night. In at least one area, they keep calling until you listen to their whole message. And others just say the name of the Democrat to trick people into thinking the call was sponsored by the Democrats.

More dirty tricks by the thugs who lied us into the illegal and immoral Iraq war. If you vote Republican, these are the actions you support.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Thursday, November 02, 2006

US Soldier Killed Herself Rather Than Participate In Torture

Alyssa Peterson deserves a moment of silence. And the apologies of all the gung-ho idiots who allowed torture to happen.

More Voting Machine Errors

This time in Texas. Why are all the reports of voting machine errors complaining that Republicans are falsely showing when voters vote for Democrats? Why aren't we seeing the opposite behavior as well?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Handful of Links

Wow, I missed this one. A site that lists the Top Ten Conservative Idiots each week, along with what they did to deserve being on the list and why their act was so idiotic.

Speaking of idiots, Death of a President is apparently an incredibly boring movie, not at all worth watching. The highlights are the technical skills in creating it, and you can see all that showcased without having to sit through the movie. I don't have any desire to see it, personally.

Voting problems in Florida already, in early voting. When people vote for Democrats, the machines register the votes as Republican. I say dump the machines.


I just got back from the post office, where I went to send Eric and my votes off. We've voted, and now we're going to completely ignore political ads for the rest of the week. Not that we weren't ignoring them, mostly, anyway.

In the Polls

Click for Click for

If this works, you should see two boxes above with the current prediction from These predictions will update as new polls come in.

Also check out and their flash map showing their own current predictions, which are often different from's.

At this point, based on the polls alone and ignoring any "problems" with voting machines, it looks like the Democrats will probably just take the House, but not the Senate.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I H8 Robocalls

Note: I don't care if you are left or right, if you have a robot call me, I will not vote for you. If you want to get my vote, you have a person on the other end of the phone. I will listen to a political recording only long enough to find out who you are so I won't vote for you.

A Few...

William Saletan has a very good article on Rush Limbaugh's moronic insults of Michael J Fox.

Today's Foxtrot is a must-read.

Martial Law. Yep, America died on October 17th. More at Slashdot.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Sending troops back with traumatic disorders. If you are voting Republican, you are voting for this.

Friday, October 27, 2006

NBC Refuses to Air Ad for Dixie Chicks Movie

NBC refuses to air ads for the Dixie Chicks' Movie, "Shut Up & Sing", because the ads "are disparaging to President Bush."

Decide for yourself: Here's the Ad.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Quebec bans electronic voting. Until the problems are fixed, this is the best solution.

Slashdot debates an article on how to hack the election.

Cheney approves the use of waterboarding, a torture technique that the Japanese used on Americans in WWII, and for which we sentenced the torturers to prison and hard labor. Cheney should be in prison.

Animated Editoral Cartoon on our loss of Rights.

We're losing Freedom of the Press, and Reporters Without Borders lets us know the score.

Hush Money. Republicans once again try to buy the silence of their victim.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Who Supports The Troops?

Who Supports The Troops? According to IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America), the Democrats support the troops far more than any Republican, by their actions in Congress. Check out the handy chart:

Who Supports The Troops?

Links for Politicians

(AZ-01): Rick Renzi
(AZ-05): J.D. Hayworth
(AZ-08): Gabrielle Giffords
(AZ-Sen): Jon Kyl
(CA-04): John Doolittle
(CA-11): Richard Pombo
(CA-50): Brian Bilbray
(CO-03): John Salazar
(CO-04): Marilyn Musgrave
(CO-05): Doug Lamborn
(CO-07): Ed Perlmutter
(CO-07): Rick O'Donnell
(CT-04): Christopher Shays
(CT-04): Diane Farrell
(CT-05): Chris Murphy
(CT-Sen): Ned Lamont
(FL-13): Vernon Buchanan
(FL-13): Christine Jennings
(FL-16): Joe Negron
(FL-16): Tim Mahoney
(FL-22): Ron Klein
(FL-22): Clay Shaw
(GA-03): Jim Marshall
(GA-12): John Barrow
(IA-01): Bruce Braley
(IA-01): Mike Whalen
(IA-03): Leonard Boswell
(ID-01): Bill Sali
(IL-06): Peter Roskam
(IL-06): Tammy Duckworth
(IL-08): Melissa Bean
(IL-10): Mark Kirk
(IL-14): Dennis Hastert
(IL-17): Phil Hare
(IN-02): Joe Donnelly
(IN-02): Chris Chocola
(IN-07): Julia Carson
(IN-08): John Hostettler
(IN-08): Brad Ellsworth
(IN-09): Baron Hill
(KS-02): Jim Ryun
(KY-03): Anne Northup
(KY-03): John Yarmuth
(KY-04): Geoff Davis
(MD-Sen): Ben Cardin
(MD-Sen): Michael Steele
(MI-Sen): Debbie Stabenow
(MN-01): Gil Gutknecht
(MN-06): Michele Bachmann
(MN-06): Patty Wetterling
(MO-Sen): Claire McCaskill
(MO-Sen): Jim Talent
(MT-Sen): Conrad Burns
(MT-Sen): Jon Tester
(NC-01): Heath Shuler
(NC-08): Robin Hayes
(NC-11): Charles Taylor
(NC-13): Brad Miller
(NH-02): Charlie Bass
(NJ-07): Mike Ferguson
(NJ-Sen): Bob Menendez
(NM-01): Patricia Madrid
(NM-01): Heather Wilson
(NV-03): Jon Porter
(NY-03): Peter King
(NY-20): John Sweeney
(NY-20): Kirsten Gillibrand
(NY-24): Michael Arcuri
(NY-26): Tom Reynolds
(NY-26): Jack Davis
(NY-29): Randy Kuhl
(OH-01): Steve Chabot
(OH-02): Jean Schmidt
(OH-15): Deborah Pryce
(OH-15): Mary Jo Kilroy
(OH-18): Joy Padgett
(OH-18): Zack Space
(PA-04): Melissa Hart
(PA-06): Lois Murphy
(PA-07): Curt Weldon
(PA-07): Joe Sestak
(PA-08): Patrick Murphy
(PA-08): Mike Fitzpatrick
(PA-10): Chris Carney
(PA-10): Don Sherwood
(PA-12): John Murtha
(RI-Sen): Lincoln Chafee
(TN-Sen): Harold Ford
(TN-Sen): Bob Corker
(VA-02): Phil Kellam
(VA-10): Frank Wolf
(VA-Sen): George Allen
(VA-Sen): James Webb
(WA-08): Dave Reichert
(WA-Sen): Mike McGavick
(WI-08): Steve Kagen
(WV-01): Alan Mollohan

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Lancet Study

I didn't want to believe it, and finally somebody has looked at the stats and the methods used to gather the data, and found problems with it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Angry Rants with lots of Links

Will the Democrats take Congress? I doubt it very much. Electoral Vote shows the polls would give us an even Senate, but a Democrat House. CQ Politics is less certain about the House.

Bill "Falafel" O'Reilly wants to kill me with a hand grenade. And people wonder why bloggers think the guy is a moron and a propagandist? He also doesn't realize that most of the blogosphere isn't paid for what they write. I suppose he's so used to getting bribed by Republicans that he can't believe everybody isn't on the take.

Speaking of which, who pays? The Corporate Owned Media controls exactly what you see and hear and read, and the folks running the media are birds of a feather. Six companies control 90% of the media holdings in the United States. Six white male billionaires shape the media.

Another terrorist. But no Republican seems inclined to stop this guy or his ilk, and I've seen Republicans cheer him on and encourage his behavior.

The value of local businesses:
  • 6 cents of every dollar spent with a big box retailer is retained or recirculated in a community. [Rocky Mountain Institute]
  • 20 cents of every dollar spent with a chain store is retained or recirculated in a community. [Small Business Administration]
  • 60 cents of every dollar spent with a sole proprietorship is retained or recirculated in a community. [Small Business Administration]
Buying local is 10 times more useful to your community than going down to buy the cheap and shoddy goods at your local Generic-Mart.

Arizona is stealing money from wire transfers, if either name is vaguely Hispanic. They've stole $17 million dollars from average citizens so far with a "guilty until proven innocent" attitude.

A Republican candidate for state superintendent of schools in Oklahoma has proposed using textbooks as shields against bullets in school shootings. To promote his idea, he got together a group of like-minded friends and they shot up a bunch of textbooks to show that the books might stop a pistol bullet (but not much else). That's the Republican way... shoot up books instead of reading them.

Medical help is rare in Iraq. Why are so many Iraqis dying needlessly? Maybe it's because they have no health care. At all.

Iraqi bloggers discuss the current situation in Iraq and whether or not the war was worth it.

And on the home front, WHY ARE FAMILIES OF AMERICAN SERVICEMEN HAVING TO BEG FOR FOOD?!???!???? We can spend billions of dollars on Halliburton giving our troops dirty water, but we can't pay our soldiers enough to support their families? This is compassionate conservatism? Support the troops by saying you support the troops, but if they need any real help, just let them starve?

Pat Tillman's Birthday.
He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice... until we get out.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Political Links

Reward offered for proof of fraud in the last election. At least one person has already testified under oath that he was asked to hack voting machines, but that's not proof that the machines were actually hacked.

On the same topic, Wired news has an article on building a better voting machine. I'm for it. The machine they describe sounds reasonable.

Iraqi Bloggers have a Dust-Up. And RiverBend Returns.

And if you aren't reading The Sandbox, start reading it now. These are the people who are fighting and dying for us, you can at least pay attention to what they have to say.

Mercury News reports that 14,000 Hispanics in Orange County were sent a letter that claimed that immigrants cannot vote, and would be arrested if they did. The irony? The Republican campaign that sent the letter is for an immigrant candidate.

An idiot makes a terror threat.

A Washington state Supreme Court candidate told 5th-graders that he would get rid of all the Democrats when asked what he'd change about Washington.

Another view on the death of American Freedom.

Olbermann on the Death of America

Another special comment.
We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who has said it is unacceptable to compare anything this country has ever done to anything the terrorists have ever done.

We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who has insisted again that "the United States does not torture. It's against our laws and it's against our values" and who has said it with a straight face while the pictures from Abu Ghraib Prison and the stories of Waterboarding figuratively fade in and out around him.

We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who may now, if he so decides, declare not merely any non-American citizens "Unlawful Enemy Combatants" and ship them somewhere — anywhere — but may now, if he so decides, declare you an "Unlawful Enemy Combatant" and ship you somewhere - anywhere.

And if you think this hyperbole or hysteria... ask the newspaper editors when John Adams was President, or the pacifists when Woodrow Wilson was President, or the Japanese at Manzanar when Franklin Roosevelt was President.

And if you somehow think Habeas Corpus has not been suspended for American citizens but only for everybody else, ask yourself this: If you are pulled off the street tomorrow, and they call you an alien or an undocumented immigrant or an "unlawful enemy combatant" — exactly how are you going to convince them to give you a court hearing to prove you are not? Do you think this Attorney General is going to help you?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

America Is Dead

List of Republican Corruption.

We no longer live in the American Republic. I don't know what it is, now, but as long as habeas corpus is gone, the country I grew up in is gone. God bless the memory of America. Let's hope we can someday get it back.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Some Links

More on McGavick's Inability to tell the whole truth.

A Soldier's Peace - Walking Across Utah.

Kenneth Blackwell, the Ohio Secretary of State, is trying (through his supporters) to get his opponent eliminated from the governor's race by using a false technicality.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Shrubya's SS Thugs

Here's a scary story.

A girl stupidly posts a threat against the President on her MySpace account. As soon as she realizes it's a crime, she takes it down. That was LAST SPRING. On Wednesday, the SS (Secret Service) finally got around to questioning her about it.

Fine so far, right? She was stupid, posted a threat, makes sense she should be questioned to make certain she isn't going to act on it, right?

Here's the kicker. The agents went to her home first and talked with her mother, and told her mother they would wait until the girl came home from school. Then they promptly went to the girl's school and pulled her out of class to question her. They lied to the mother and needlessly caused the child and the school extra stress.

They waited MONTHS to question the kid. And they couldn't be bothered to wait a few hours for the child to get out of school before harrassing her, not even after they told the mother they would wait?!?? The thugs LIED.

Shrubya's SS agents abused their power. They should be punished, perhaps even fired. Of course, Shrubya will probably give them medals for stopping the severe threat against his holy person.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Missed this one on the first go through: The Secret Letter from Iraq. A ground's eye view of what's really happening over there. That includes good as well as the bad.

I have to disagree with Kos on this one. My standard for things like this is to ask myself if I would support it if whatever my favorite party of the moment was doing it... and in this case I think it's just informing voters. I don't like it, and perhaps it should be accomplished through a mass mailing and not signs at polls, but I can't call it electioneering. I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise, though.

The Dutch attempt to fix their voting machines.

Friday, October 13, 2006

More Links

The Worsening Situation for Women in Iraq.

Foleygate: As far as Denny Hastert is concerned, there are two possibilities. One is that he ignored or intentionally hid the evidence that Foley was a pedophile preying on the House pages for years after people told him about it. The other is that his staff was so incompetent that the news of Foley never actually reached him. In either case, the guy should NOT be Speaker of the House. The fact that he refuses to resign is telling. Corruption and incompetence don't matter to the Republicans.

Neocons actually hate the truly religious. Not that that's a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to their actions. I mean, forget fighting poverty or acting even slightly Christian... shift the taxes from the rich to the poor, start a war for oil, ignore the deaths of 9/11 except to use them politically, let the mastermind of 9/11 wander free, pass laws that hurt charities... that's the Neocon way, and that's what we'll have as long as the Republicans stay in power.

The five scandals that should be investigated, but probably won't.

The Lancet Study (PDF file) claims that 600,000 more Iraqis are dead since the US invaded than would have died without the invasion. I've seen plenty of negative response to the study, but no debunking of the scientific method they used to come up with the estimate. I want to not believe it, so if anyone runs across an article that gives it a solid logical debunking, please let me know.

More on Voting Machines. I've reported this one before, but this article has more content that I think people ought to check out.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


FilkerTom explains what taxes are for, and why Pelosi's pandering doesn't hold up.

Mandatory drug tests drive away library volunteers in Florida.

Immigration Cartoon at Reason.

One in Five Soldiers Disabled after serving. That's horrendous.

No October Surprise: the Foley scandal has been quietly gaining steam for months, according to Harpers Magazine, who were set to run a story in June but didn't have enough evidence.

Will the Democrats control Congress after the election? Extremely unlikely. has the Democrats getting 50 seats in the Senate, they need at least 51. And in the House (scroll to the bottom of the page) only 217 seats, they need at least 218. And this is at the height of Foleygate. And Republicans control the election machinery in many of the battleground states using Diebold Fraud Machines. CQPolitics has an even grimmer outlook, with Republicans favored in both the House and Senate. Even after all the lies, the illegal war, the lack of effort in hunting down actual terrorists, the huge deficit, the tax increases for everyone but the rich, even after all that people are still stupid enough to vote Republican.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Some Links

Doonesbury's Sandbox is up and running.

The Yakima School district and The Laramie Project. God forbid we teach tolerance in schools.

Colbert on Arming Teachers.

Why does Habeas Corpus Hate America?

Monday, October 09, 2006

More Links

Undernews has a link to a guide to Republican Pedophilia. Thought Foley was it? Think again.

Undernews also tells us that it's very unlikely the Democrats will gain control of Congress.

Healing Iraq posts a number of warning messages left around Baghdad. If nothing else, it shows how similar the thought processes of the different sides in the civil war are. How can we possibly clean up this mess?

Voting Machine Whistleblower now running against the man who asked him to alter the programming of a voting machine.

Should churches be tax exempt and their public business (like day care) unregulated?

Sunday, October 08, 2006


The Foley case was missing actual sex, until now. Yes, Foley was "grooming" the pages, and it seems that in at least one case he succeeded.

And the Republicans HID this for a decade.

Friday, October 06, 2006

More "Mike!" Lies

Talking Points Memo has the scoop.


Dave Ex Machine passes along a word or two about torture.

Another Olbermann Commentary. Some folks are concerned for Olbermann, the former sportscaster who is now one of the only real journalists on TV.

Election Forecast Map. It still doesn't look good for the Democrats. I'll be very surprised if they take Congress in November.

FilkerTom talks about Shrubya's use of signing statements to declare that he doesn't have to obey laws that he doesn't like. He also links (in the comments) to this list of Shrubya's signing statements.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Big Linkdump

There's an effort to Googlebomb Joe Lieberman and Ned Lamont. What can I say, I'm a sucker for a good Googlebombing.

Boing Boing on torture. Sort of.

Mark Evanier on Shrubya's lies about warrentless wiretapping.

I love The Word on Stephen Colbert's snarky show, and this one was a real winner.

Speaking of snarky comedians, The Daily Show has as much news content as regular broadcast news. Only it's actually fun to watch. And the only spin is to make fun of whoever the newsmaker is.

Arrested for smiling. How soon before the US does something similar?

The Dutch have voting machine problems, just like Diebold in the United States. Unlike most of the US, though, they Dutch are fighting mad over the problem.

Building a wall. Yeah, let's spend $1.2 BILLION to build a worthless wall along the Mexican border. There's your Republican values, right there. They'd fit right in with the folks who built the Berlin wall.

TalkLeft on Gay Republicans (no, that's not a contradiction in terms, oddly enough).

FoleyGate: The Whistleblower was Republican.

FoleyGate: Republicans Pointing Fingers. For folks who don't "play the blame game", they sure are busy blaming each other.

FoleyGate: Olbermann on the scandal. From Crooks and Liars:
There are now reports that Republican members of Congress knew about this 11 years ago. That would put this in 1995. Now what other "sex scandal" has happened in Washington since then? Oh yeah - Monica Lewinsky (note: who was 22 at the time). So the Lewinsky incident was so severe to merit a multi-million dollar investigation and the attention of both halls of Congress, yet a Republican congressman having possible illicit contact with pages under the age of 18 doesn't get any attention by the GOP? There you have it - the perfect definition of hypocrisy.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Political Links Never End

213 Things Skippy Can't Do In the Army.

Debunking Wal-Mart Myths.

FilkerTom links to a desperate montage.

Speaking of desperate: Fox news falsely labels Republican Mark Foley as a Democrat. Multiple times. Update: Boing Boing also noticed.

The Washington Post claims that Republican leaders knew Florida Republican Foley was a predator and warned pages about him back in 1995. And yet they still made him chair for missing and exploited children?!?????

The Wall Street Journal Free Online explains how IMs aren't very private, and are easy to save.

If you support Bush's war, you must read this blog every day for the remainder of the war. If you support the war and don't read this blog, you are less than human.

Cheney's Thugs: violating the first and fourth amendments.

Speaking of rights being taken away: Torture and Fascism.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Daily Show

This is just too good to not post...

It's about 11 minutes long. Watch at least the first two and half minutes.

Using Children

Don't you think that using children as props at a press conference about covering up for a pedophile is a bit over-the-top?

Another Linkdump

Just How Bad Is Iraq?

Maps of War shows a flash presentation of the Middle East compressed and distorted, but enough to give an idea of who controlled the area through the last 5000 years.

What Republicans think the Constitution says.

The Foley incident was a dream come true for comedians (aside: just like Clinton's problems were back in his day). The Daily Show for October 2nd had a field day with it.

GOP = Gang of Pedophiles? They've been covering for a pedophile for at least five years... they even warned the pages about Foley in 2001. And yet they left him to harass the kids and even let him chair the Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus. Sickos, all of them.

Expand Your Horizons

Monday, October 02, 2006


Speaking in a foreign language while in an airport is now cause for concern.

Torture Bill as C Code. There's a fatal bug in the program.

Torture bill: Non-allegiance to president = terrorism. I think I ought to get those t-shirts.

The Bad Astronomer responds to criticism about his political blogging.

A sermon on pedophiles in congress.

The Modulator thinks that conservatives will have a hard time voting for the name of a pedophile. Considering how long the Republican leadership hid the fact that they had a pedophile in their ranks, I wouldn't be surprised if conservatives have no problem whatsoever voting for a pedophile.

Speaking of nutcases, Bill Frist thinks we should surrender to the Taliban. Remember them? The ones who helped Al Qaeda so much that they might as well BE Al Qaeda? And now the Republicans think we should appease them... the ones who attacked us on 9/11.

It's going to be a L-O-O-O-O-N-G time before I vote Republican again, if I ever do. Torturers, Pedophiles, and Cowards. That's the modern Republican Party.

Republican House Leadership Blocking Investigation

Why is the Republican House leadership blocking investigations into the pedophile discovered in their ranks? What do they have to hide now that we know they were covering for a known predator for several years?

Torture Does Not Work

Canadian deported to Syria for torture is cleared. Syria tortured a confession out of him, but it was false. And this is an example of how an innocent person can be accused wrongly then tortured.

If you aren't frightened of Shrubya's new powers, you aren't paying attention.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


The following was written by Jim Macdonald. Please post it on your livejournal or weblog.

You are not required to obey an unlawful order.

You are required to disobey an unlawful order.

You swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

The Constitution states (Article VI):
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
Here is article 3, the common article, to the Geneva Conventions, a duly ratified treaty made under the authority of the United States:
Article 3

In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(b) Taking of hostages;

(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;

(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

2. The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.

An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.

The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of the present Convention.

The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict.
Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions is straightforward and clear. Under Article VI of the Constitution, it forms part of the supreme law of the land.

You personally will be held responsible for all of your actions, in all countries, at all times and places, for the rest of your life. "I was only following orders" is not a defense.

What all this is leading to:

If you are ordered to violate Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, it is your duty to disobey that order. No "clarification," whether passed by Congress or signed by the president, relieves you of that duty.

If you are ordered to violate Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, this is what to do:

1. Request that your superior put the order in writing.

2. If your superior puts the order in writing, inform your superior that you intend to disobey that order.

3. Request trial by courtmartial.

You will almost certainly face disciplinary action, harassment of various kinds, loss of pay, loss of liberty, discomfort and indignity. America relies on you and your courage to face those challenges.

We, the people, need you to support and defend the Constitution. I am certain that your honor and patriotism are equal to the task.

This post may be quoted in full. A linkback would be appreciated. Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives.

Situation in Oaxaca

Why is it that this is the first I've heard of this?
It is hard to describe briefly what is happening in Oaxaca. There have been a very good series of articles on, if you are interested in depth and detail.

I am going to post here a letter I sent out his morning. It is a synopsis, and simplified, but will communicate basic information.

*For those of you who don't know ( and no has been hardly covered in the American press),

what is happening in Oaxaca, I will give a brief rundown..

In a long series of corrupt Governors, the current appointed ( not legally elected) Governor of Oaxaca, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, has been the worst. I won't even try to detail all the abuses committed under his regime, but there have been many.

One of the most public was the bulldozing of the old Zocalo of Oaxaca ( designated Patrimonio de

Humanidad, by UNESCO), without the consent of the people ( the bulldozers showed up in the night).

This was, to my mind, the most perfect, beautiful, constantly used zocalo in Mexico.

The Gov. said he was "renovating"; his brother got the expensive contract for the "renovation".

Oaxacans protested in the hundreds, but there was nothing they could do.

There has been an annual teacher's strike in Oaxaca, and with good reason. Underpaid, and under funded, the teachers of Oaxaca are highly dedicated, and of course absolutely essential. Without the strikes, they would not have been able to teach. ( As it is, most teachers have another job, or two..what is it with cultures that DO NOT value teachers???!!!).

This summer, during the strike, U.R. ( the Gov.), sent troops against the teachers who were occupying the person was killed, many injured. Fortunately, many people filmed it...

At that point - it turned into a popular uprising. to get rid of the Governor. It is very long and complicated to describe ( for those who want excellent reportage, and are interested in the details, I refer you to

It has been going on for some month now. Oaxaca is pretty shut down...virtually no tourists . The American press, when it DOES report, would have us believe that it is an anti-American movement. ( The State

Department has issued a Travelers Advisory for Oaxaca) .But it is not about is about the people of Oaxaca DEMANDING the resignation of the corrupt Governor of Oaxaca. They have seized state-owned radio stations to try and get the truth out. There is a big delegation walking to Mexico City right now, to let all of Mexico know what is really going on.

The Fox government is standing behind U.R., the Gov., of course. The president-elect ( I am not going to get into THAT right now), Calderon', is demanding that Fox do something, because he doesn't want this hot potato.

Which brings us to now...helicopter over Oaxaca, and troops sighted in many locations outside the City.

It is a very dangerous situation. What has been happening to Oaxaca is bad...removal of U.R. is very justified.

Fox offered to U.R. to kick him upstairs..U.R. refused.

What we are all afraid of now, is Federal government violence against the strikers of Oaxaca.

It is important that this not be hidden from view. Please TALK to people about it, if you have any Mexico

contacts, or political contacts, or news contacts , CALL or EMAIL them PLEASE.

We hope for a resolution "ni una gota de sangre", without one drop of blood.


y un abrazo fuerte.

by la urracca on Sun Oct 01, 2006 at 11:03:22 AM PDT
Why is the United States media so incredibly crappy? This is an important story no matter how they spin it, and I haven't seen anything about this before.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Republican House Member's Cybersex Adventures

To sum up the story, Republican Representative Mark Foley of Florida spent some time last year sending sexually explicit text messages and internet messages to male pages in the House. At least one of the pages came forward and told his representative about it (also a Republican) who then told the House leadership, all Republican. Who then ignored the problem for almost a year, and failed to tell the single Democrat member of the Pages Board about it.

Political Wire has a bit on it.

What's truly sick is that Foley was the chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, and had written laws against the very behavior he was indulging in.

So the Republican House not only knew that a pedophile was in their ranks, they let him chair the caucus against that behavior... for almost a year after they knew that he was a pedophile. Tell me why any sane person would vote for those Republicans ("Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds (N.Y.) and Reps. Rodney Alexander (R-La.) and John Shimkus (R-Ill.), as well as a senior aide to Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and former Clerk of the House Jeff Trandahl.").

Update: Talking Points Memo has a LOT on this cover-up. It's bad enough to have a pedophile in the ranks, but then to HIDE that fact... those men are all sick.


In Case I Disappear. An editorial which points out that Shrubya can designate anyone as an enemy combatant:
Underneath all this is the definition of "enemy combatant" that has been established by this legislation. An "enemy combatant" is now no longer just someone captured "during an armed conflict" against our forces. Thanks to this legislation, George W. Bush is now able to designate as an "enemy combatant" anyone who has "purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States."

Consider that language a moment. "Purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States" is in the eye of the beholder, and this administration has proven itself to be astonishingly impatient with criticism of any kind. The broad powers given to Bush by this legislation allow him to capture, indefinitely detain, and refuse a hearing to any American citizen who speaks out against Iraq or any other part of the so-called "War on Terror."

If you write a letter to the editor attacking Bush, you could be deemed as purposefully and materially supporting hostilities against the United States. If you organize or join a public demonstration against Iraq, or against the administration, the same designation could befall you. One dark-comedy aspect of the legislation is that senators or House members who publicly disagree with Bush, criticize him, or organize investigations into his dealings could be placed under the same designation. In effect, Congress just gave Bush the power to lock them up.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

RIP Habeas Corpus

Habeas Corpus protect innocent people from unlawful imprisonment. Bush and Congress are now trying to get rid of it so they can hold anyone for as long as they want.

Slowly the neocons chip away at America, soon there will be nothing left of the country I love.

NY Post Interferes with FBI Investigation

All in order to make fun of Keith Olbermann. The NY Post is an example of the worst kind of propaganda machines, churning out tons of garbage for the right-wing smear merchants. And now their insult piece has actually interfered in a federal investigation.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Raise a Glass

Today, we should all raise a glass to Stanislav Petrov, who saved the world in 1983 by thinking instead of simply reacting. Sometimes blindly striking out isn't the best response, and Colonel Petrov proved that on a tense September day.

Thanks to Garrett for the link.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The torturer is the enemy of all mankind

Olbermann Tells The Truth Once Again

Olbermann's Special Comment on FOX vs Clinton. Watch the vid or read the transcript. Too bad the people who most need to understand it won't even bother to hear it.

This is Not A Political Blog

I've noticed that the entries in this blog have been picked up by a few news websites that presumably collect posts from political blogs.

While I'm flattered that anyone thinks my rants are worth reading, I'd like to point out that this isn't a political blog, although the majority of posts lately have been politics-related. This is a dumping-place blog for all my thoughts that don't belong elsewhere. When I feel like talking about non-political subjects, I will, and then presumably my extremely non-political posts will end up in lists of very political posts and the readers of those news websites will be left scratching their heads as to why my nonsense has been included.

In addition, there are two contributors to this blog, and the other contributor often prefers to post silly stuff here, not political stuff.

So if you run one of these websites that aggregates political posts, please be aware that this is not a political blog, and will eventually go back to non-political topics. I have no problem with someone sharing links to my posts, but please be aware that I might start talking about anything else at any moment.

An Illustration of How Crappy The US Media Is

Alternate Newsweek Covers

Apparently it's far less important for Americans to see at a glance that we are losing/have lost the war in Afghanistan than for the rest of the world. And Annie Leibovitz is far more important than anything about the haven of our bitterest enemies. You know, the ones actually responsible for 9/11. The ones that Shrubya has completely ignored in favor of his war profiteering adventure in Iraq.

I used to think that Korea was the forgotten war. Now I know for sure, Afghanistan is the forgotten war, and most Americans don't even realize we're still over there trying to fight the real terrorists (the ones who actually hurt us, not the ones with imaginary WMD) with a gutted military force. And Newsweek is such a crappy magazine that they aren't even willing to put that very important war on the cover of their American editions. The media in this country should be ashamed.

Delayed Homecoming for 4000 Troops

Homecoming delayed for 4,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. We're stretched so thin over there that the troops get no time off. If you are one of the people who believes this war was needed, it's your duty to sign up and ship out to Iraq.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


On Bush and torture.

Ah, a reporter actually doing research. YAY!

Being comfortable in your own skin before running for public office.

Iraq for Sale is a movie about the shameless war profiteering done by Bush's buddies.

Iraq War Worsens Terror Threat. As liberals knew all along, going to Iraq before finishing the job in Afghanistan only made the threat of terrorism far worse. Why did Bush and his cronies lie to get us into this insane situation? Well, I suppose the previous link probably explains it. Republicans don't care how many American soldiers die as long as the corporations make huge profits. That's what Republicans value.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Quick Links

Support Our Troops.

The Royal Society takes on Exxon.

Why it's called pro-"choice".

Worried about voting on easily hacked machines? Visit

Diebold Machines

Mark Evanier links to a video which shows just how easy it is to break Diebold Voting Machines. It's nine and a half minutes long, and I've already linked to the site it originated at, but this is too important to ignore.

As long as these machines are used in elections, those elections may as well not take place.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The 4th Annual World Stupidity Awards

Okay, how come I've never heard of these before this year's edition? Well, here are the big winners losers. Needless to say, a certain Chief Executive and Commander in Chief and many of his colleagues won many of these.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

It Can Happen Here

A Leash That Slowly Tightens:
Florin was born and raised in Communist Romania and fought his corrupt government tooth and nail just to be free. They imprisoned him, took him outside the purview of any lawyers, any embassies, any churches or otherwise any place he could find representation.

Then they tortured him.

Some nun brought his case to some university students in Hungary and next thing you know, he became a minor cause celebre for Amnesty International.

Letters like mine freed him.


"I have seen all this before."

"OK, give me your prediction."

Another long silence.

"I think the same thing will happen as in Romania when I grew up there. It starts with fixed elections. First the 2000 election was fixed and then the 2004 election was fixed. It happened in Communist elections just like it happened here. The people who count the votes are all in the government that's in power. And even when it seems like people have had enough, the tyrant will always somehow come out winning just enough to make your conspiracy theories seem ridiculous. Just like in Romania and Bulgaria of the sixties and seventies, the press may even report problems with elections, but Bush knows that Americans are lazy. I am sorry my friend. Maybe not you. But Americans are lazy and they will not seek their freedoms. Because it is always frightening to fight the government. But you are mistaken if you think you will avoid trouble by going along with the government. One day you will write a letter to the editor and sign your name, and then the next time you are at a train station, they will tell you `you cannot ride'. Or at the airport they will say you cannot get on a plane. Or they will stop you are the border, and just like Romania and the other Communist countries, America will become your prison. When the 2000 elections happened, my 89 year grandmother-in-law asked if we could go back to Bucharest. You see, this smells just like the communists in Europe to her. Corrupt. Incompetent. Totally controlling the media, the elections. Once they have that, and a lazy press, that's it. I mean that's it. They will continue to install an overbearing government where idiots who wear white gloves and badges, low-level-small-paycheck bureaucrats get to stop you at airports and demand to know where you are from and where you are going and what your business is. They will ask if you support the Party, or "who did you vote for?' It will come down to the day when you will see the police jump on someone for no reason and you will turn your heads and act like you have seen nothing. Your neighbor's wife will knock on your door desperately at 3 in the morning and tell you her husband was arrested out of his sleep last night. And she will cry and ask where he is. And you will make her coffee and call the local police and they local gendarme or sheriff or whatever will come by and pat her on the shoulder and will say he was taken by the Feds and they have no idea where he is going."

"You will notice more and more changes. The leash will get shorter, little at a time. And so slowly even you will not protest because you will hardly notice. You will lose your freedoms little at a time. One day you will speak out against the president in hushed tones even at a party. Then you will drive home from the party and steam at yourself for being so much like a little pussy cat. Then you will wonder who heard you."
Read the rest.


Just the impact: Office of Financial Management. I-933, which will go up before Washington State voters in November, is a poorly written and badly designed initiative that would cost the state billions of dollars to just implement it.

The goal of the initiative, if I'm clear on it (and I'm not at all sure I am because it's so badly written) is to make sure that land owners are not adversely impacted by government regulations. But that's not what the thing will do. If Oregon's experience with a similar badly written citizens' law is any indication, this thing will only result in another level of bureaucracy and a whole bunch of lawsuits, costing the taxpayers millions, if not billions, of dollars.

I guess I'm voting "no" on it. As much as I support property rights, we need laws written by people with brains.

I'm slowly but surely moving towards the opinion of my father-in-law, who refuses to vote for any initiatives because writing laws is what we hire lawmakers to do.

Conservatives Don't Understand Irony

Glenn Greenwald points out that Michelle Malkin supports fair trials for terrorists... but has claimed in the past that fair trials for the prisoners in Gitmo is "coddling" terrorists. Strange how her attitude changes when the religion of the terrorists changes. Hypocrisy and Irony, that's the Neocon way.

Political Parties Owe State Money

People in Washington state rightly believe that it is unconstitutional to require voters to declare a party in order to vote. This has led to problems.

I personally refuse to declare a party, which means any votes I make in the partisan races don't count. I figure the political parties should pay for any elections in which only party members are expected to vote, so in my opinion, the parties owe Washington voters a LOT of money for the last few elections, which have required party declaration due to political parties whining.

Update: I got a strange e-mail that asked if that meant I don't vote at all. I should clarify. Washington state voters are only required to declare a party in the primary, and only for partisan races. Those are the items I don't vote on. I vote on everything else, and I vote on everything in the general election. If the voters get their way, I'll soon be able to vote on all races in the primary again.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Should We Outlaw E-Voting Machines?

Should We Outlaw E-Voting Machines? Until a company can come up with a system that actually WORKS, yes. Even Fox Propaganda Channel is beginning to wonder, as this MetaFilter link shows. And Diebold isn't the only corrupt e-voting machine company.

I think we should just go to paper ballots that are readable by both humans and machines. I think election day should be a national holiday, not a work day. I think we need to fix our system, instead of letting it get worse and worse.


California Energy: what they are doing right, and why it works.

Halliburton: You can have a medal if you don't sue us.

Never has someone parking in a handicapped spot amused so many people.

Dave reminds us of forgotten terror, and links to a number of other political posts.

Pirate jokes.

Talk about dysfunctional families, this one takes the cake.

Who Are The Prisoners?

MetaFilter on the Gitmo situation. In short, we were told that the people in Gitmo were "enemy combatants", but that was a complete lie. Most of them weren't captured on a battlefield, they were picked up because a neighbor or other informant claimed they were part of the terrorist network. Without any proof or charges, the United States has been holding these people for YEARS. In violation of everything that the US stands for. In direct violation of the US constitution and the foundation of our legal system. Illegally and Immorally. Did I mention that we not only have no proof that any of these people are at all connected to terrorists, but that they've NEVER BEEN CHARGED WITH ANY CRIME?

Why, again, does anyone still support Bush? Why isn't he in prison for his blatantly illegal activities?

The Torture President

The president's tortured response, an editorial on the mere fact that civilized people shouldn't be debating torture, yet our "President" is not only debating it, but trying to justify it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bush Owes Us An Apology

Olbermann again nails it:
The President revealed this last Friday, as he fairly spat through his teeth, words of unrestrained fury directed at the man who was once the very symbol of his administration, who was once an ambassador from this administration to its critics, as he had once been an ambassador from the military to its critics.

The former Secretary of State, Mr. Powell, had written, simply and candidly and without anger, that "the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism."

This President's response included not merely what is apparently the Presidential equivalent of threatening to hold one's breath, but within it contained one particularly chilling phrase.

"Mr. President, former Secretary of State Colin Powell says the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism," he was asked by a reporter. "If a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former secretary of state feels this way, don't you think that Americans and the rest of the world are beginning to wonder whether you're following a flawed strategy?"

“If there's any comparison between the compassion and decency of the American people and the terrorist tactics of extremists, it's flawed logic,” Bush said. “It's just -- I simply can't accept that. It's unacceptable to think that there's any kind of comparison between the behavior of the United States of America and the action of Islamic extremists who kill innocent women and children to achieve an objective.

Of course it's acceptable to think that there's "any kind of comparison."

And in this particular debate, it is not only acceptable, it is obviously necessary, even if Mr. Powell never made the comparison in his letter.

Some will think that our actions at Abu Ghraib, or in Guantanamo, or in secret prisons in Eastern Europe, are all too comparable to the actions of the extremists.

Some will think that there is no similarity, or, if there is one, it is to the slightest and most unavoidable of degrees.

What all of us will agree on, is that we have the right -- we have the duty -- to think about the comparison.

And, most importantly, that the other guy, whose opinion about this we cannot fathom, has exactly the same right as we do: to think -- and say -- what his mind and his heart and his conscience tell him, is right.

All of us agree about that.

Except, it seems, this President.

With increasing rage, he and his administration have begun to tell us, we are not permitted to disagree with them, that we cannot be right, that Colin Powell cannot be right.

And then there was that one, most awful phrase.

In four simple words last Friday, the President brought into sharp focus what has been only vaguely clear these past five-and-a-half years - the way the terrain at night is perceptible only during an angry flash of lightning, and then, a second later, all again is dark.

“It's unacceptable to think," he said.

It is never unacceptable to think.
Read the rest, or watch the video available on the site. Also available at Crooks and Liars.

Here's A Silly Story

What would you think if there was a camp devoted to teaching children to love their religion and their leader so much that they are willing to die for said religion and leader? Complete with a cardboard cut-out of said leader to worship?

What if I said the camp was in the United States, and the camp is grooming children to be part of a "Christian" God's Army? And Bush is the leader they worship?

It's sick, and it's true. "I want to see them as radically laying down their lives for the gospel as they are in Palestine, Pakistan and all those different places," Pastor Fisher said.

Can "Christian" suicide bombers be far behind? Are they going to make "Christian" girls wear burkas to protect "Christian" boys from impure thoughts? Maybe segregate the schools to protect the boys from girls' evil influence? Oh hey, why educate the girls at all? They should just pump out babies, right? Why don't these "Christians" call themselves what they really are: "Christian" Taliban.

Diebold Machines Not Physically Secure, Either

Boing Boing links to a report on just how easy it is to open a Diebold Voting Machine. Add that fact into the previous facts: Security tape easy to replace, and difficult to see if the "void" shows up, and the machines can been falsified in less than a minute, and you have, once again, a voting machine that isn't a voting machine... it's a tool for whoever controls the voting machines to falsify an election.

Ask for paper. If you "vote" on a Diebold machine, it's worse than not bothering to vote at all.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Geneva Convention

The Geneva Convention, and here's Article 3, which Shrubya is pretending isn't very clear:
Article 3

In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(b) Taking of hostages;

(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;

(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
Emphasis mine.

In short: if you can't understand that torture is not allowed under the Geneva convention, you are so stupid that you probably believe torture actually works (it doesn't). There is nothing unclear at all about that section. Only someone completely idiotic or completely evil would think that section isn't crystal clear.

Torture doesn't work. It has never been reliable, and all the "successes" that Shrubya has reported from his torture program have turned out to be false. Each and every one turned out to be people who didn't know anything or who were mentally unstable. Every piece of "evidence" the Shrubya Administration has gotten from torture has led to dead ends and wasted the time of our intelligence agents. Every single time a plot was stopped, it resulted not from torture, but from solid detective work by dedicated agents.

Torture doesn't work. It degrades the tortured and the torturer. It wastes the time of agents who could be doing real work. It turns soldiers into war criminals. It gives the bad guys solid reasons to get more people to hate us. It destroys our standing as a true nation and turns us into a rogue state. And it's plainly EVIL.

George W Bush has stated that he believes in torture. I think that tells us exactly what kind of person he is. He belongs in prison, not in the presidency.

Censored by the "Liberal" Media

Top 25 Censored News Stories of 2006.

Evil is As Evil Does

FilkerTom on the Pope and the President, both of whom seem to not understand reality.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Why Are Republicans Trying to Take Credit for Democrat Works?

Kos has the details. First Republican Allen submitted an amendment written by Senator Dick Durbin, with only a single word changed, as his own. Now Republican Burns claims to have co-sponsored an amendment that was sponsored solely by Democrat Senator Max Baucus.

Are Republicans really so desperate to prove that they've done something that they'll lie about stuff that is clearly part of the record?

Why don't the Republicans, WHO CONTROL CONGRESS, just start passing intelligent legislation on their own??!??