27.2.05

Ohio

t r u t h o u t:
Kerry-Edwards 2004 has just made two filings in the Ohio recount case currently pending before Federal Judge Edmund Sargus in Columbus, Ohio.

Kerry-Edwards 2004 has been relatively quiet in this case for the past several weeks and its filings today indicate its continued interest and involvement in this litigation.

In December 2004, presidential candidates David Cobb and Michael Badnarik filed extensive documentation with the court demonstrating that the recount they had requested in Ohio of the 2004 presidential vote had been conducted with inconsistent standards throughout the state, in violation of the equal protection and due process guarantees under the US Constitution (see Bush v. Gore).

Cobb and Badnarik filed amended counterclaims seeking a new recount to be conducted with uniform standards, in accordance with the US Constitution. (As an example, 97% of the ballots have yet to be counted by hand in Ohio and, more than often, the 3% of the vote that each county counted by hand was not randomly selected, as required by Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell's own guidelines) To access the amended counterclaims, see this document (Adobe required).

In addition, in December, Cobb and Badnarik filed a motion to preserve all ballots and machinery connected to the 2004 presidential election and to take limited expedited discovery to investigate the Triad voting machine company's tampering with the recount. To access the memorandum in support of this motion, see this document (Adobe required).

The amended counterclaims and these motions are pending before Judge Sargus.

On February 11, 2005, Cobb and Badnarik filed a motion for a hearing before Judge Sargus on these pending matters.

On February 14, Judge Sargus issued an order granting the motion to dismiss the Delaware County Board of Elections' complaint (which had sought to prevent the recount in that county) and asking for briefing in 15 days on the question of whether the case should be transferred to Judge Carr in Toledo (for the Northern District of Ohio) where a prior case seeking to expedite the recount had been filed in November 2004.

Yesterday, Cobb and Badnarik filed a statement on the transfer question.

Today, Kerry-Edwards filed a document in support of that statement. Most significant, Kerry-Edwards also filed today a separate document in support of the motion for hearing with two critical attachments: 1) a declaration from Kerry-Edwards attorney Don McTigue regarding a survey he conducted of Kerry-Edwards county recount coordinators; 2) a summary chart of the results of that survey (which highlight the inconsistent standards applied during the recount).

26.2.05

Freedom is a Choice

In These Times:
With the global American ideological offensive, the fundamental insight of Graham Greene’s The Quiet American is more relevant than ever: We witness the resurgence of the figure of the “quiet American,” a naive, benevolent agent who sincerely wants to bring democracy and Western freedom. It is just that his intentions totally misfire, or, as Greene put it: “I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused.”

The underlying presupposition is that under our skin, if we scratch the surface, we are all Americans. That is our true desire—all that is needed is just to give people a chance, liberate them from their imposed constraints and they will join us in our ideological dream.

Nice essay by Slavoj Zizek. This is exactly why the neoconservative dream of worldwide democracy will not function- because people do not want it to.

24.2.05

Hunter S. Thompson

from the ITT List.

Guckert involved in Rathergate?

This Modern World might be on to a hot lead here.

Iran

CNN:
"This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. Having said that, all options are on the table," Bush said.
Brilliant.

21.2.05

Syria Comment blog gets censored

Self-censored, that is. Syria Comment.

20.2.05

Bush did pot

CNN reports.
All the more reason not to do drugs.

18.2.05

the Gates

Fine, have your blog attention. National Geographic.

17.2.05

antiquity robots oblivious banquets

...are rankings 13,835 through 13,838. Cool. Wordcount / Tracking the Way We Use Language

15.2.05

The Day After Tomorrow redux

CNN.com - Twin cyclones menace Sth Pacific
Heh. Without the wolves, please.

Election, still

In These Times:
The reliability of exit polls is so generally accepted that the Bush administration helped pay for them during recent elections in Georgia, Belarus and Ukraine. Testifying before the House Committee on International Relations Dec. 7, John Tefft, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, explained that the Bush administration funded exit polls because they were one of the 'ways that would help to expose large-scale fraud.' Tefft pointed to the discrepancy between exit polls and the official vote count to argue that the Nov. 22 Ukraine election was stolen.
Uninformative, provocative article. Go read it.

Doonesbury

NYT:
Skiing Accident Takes Out 'Doonesbury'

Don't look for new installments of 'Doonesbury' next week. Garry Trudeau, the creative force behind the comic strip, broke his right collarbone in a skiing accident on Thursday, The Associated Press reported. Mr. Trudeau hit the slopes in Aspen, Colo., the day before he was to accept an award at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. But he did not allow the injury to his drawing arm to deter him. He attended the ceremony, strapped to a gurney and arm in a sling, and accepted the freedom of speech award. He will need six to eight weeks for recuperation. A spokeswoman at Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes 'Doonesbury,' said at least a week of reprints was planned.

Get well soon, Garry.

UN: Cloning

Wired:
UNITED NATIONS -- U.N. diplomats, deadlocked for years over the drafting of treaty to ban the cloning of human beings worldwide, open negotiations on Monday on an alternative that would instead urge each government to adopt its own laws on human cloning.

At the heart of the debate are stem cell studies and other research that rely on so-called therapeutic cloning, in which human embryos are cloned to obtain the cells used in the studies and are later discarded. Many governments, particularly those with large Catholic populations, have argued they view this type of research, for whatever purpose, as the taking of human life.
Poor backwards chillins...

14.2.05

Boondocks 9 Jan


Boondocks 9 Jan
Originally uploaded by myth.

Always pertinent.

Greenpeace

Grist Magazine | Greenpeace shifts tactics as it looks ahead to four more years of Bush:
At a time when environmental groups are facing questions about their own mortality and rethinking strategies for surviving Dubyah's second term, Greenpeace USA -- the environmental group best known for in-your-face, laws-be-damned direct action -- is getting in touch with its inner Gandhi.
Could also be due to the law cracking down- recently, the Smokestack Six.
Actually, everybody's less militant these days.

Lebanon

Big bomb kills Lebanese ex-PM, a proponent of reforms according to the US. Responsibility claimed by unknown Arabic militant group; Iran says Shin Bet.
CNN:
Iran, which along with Syria backs Hezbollah, a militant group designated a terrorist organization by the United States that operates out of Lebanon, also condemned the attack.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi called it a 'savage act' and accused Israel.

'A well-organized terrorist organization such as the Zionist regime has the capability of such an operation,' he said. 'The aim or the objective of this terrorist act was to damage the unity of Lebanon.'"

Anti-Syrian billionaire; motorcade was blown up, even through armor plating.

Good call

The Brad Blog: CNN's Nuke Plant Photos Identical for Both Iran and N. Korea!
We always thought that nuclear plants came pre-made in a large cardboard box.

13.2.05

Wolcott gives us hope in humor

Sort of.
James Wolcott: From Some Lemons No Lemonade Can Be Made

More Bad News

In These Times:
One-third of the American electorate, if a recent Gallup Poll is accurate, believes the Bible is literally true. This past November, several million good and decent citizens went to the polls believing in what is known as the 'rapture index.'

These true believers subscribe to a fantastical theology concocted in the 19th century by a couple of immigrant preachers who took disparate passages from the Bible and wove them into a narrative that has captivated the imagination of millions of Americans. Its outline is rather simple, if bizarre: Once Israel has occupied the rest of its 'bibli-cal lands,' legions of the Antichrist will attack it, triggering a final showdown in the valley of Armageddon. As the Jews who have not been converted are burned, the messiah will return for the rapture. True believers will be lifted out of their clothes and transported to heaven, where, seated next to the right hand of God, they will watch their political and religious opponents suffer plagues of boils, sores, locusts and frogs during the several years of tribulation that follow.

Bill Moyers has a rather disturbing thing on ignorant people.
Interesting point fron NPR: Lincoln won election with 38% the first time.

Obama

In These Times, newly discovered by us, has a nice thing on Obama's "spiritual adviser."

Venezuela

Aljazeera:
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has branded the United States a terrorist state while rejecting Washington's criticism of Caracas for its arms purchase from Russia.

Chavez, a fierce critic of US President George Bush and the US-led war in Iraq, on Saturday brushed aside US opposition to the agreement to buy 100,000 automatic rifles and about 40 military helicopters from Moscow.

'One has to ask whether there was transparency in the invasion of Iraq. The world knows President Bush lied openly about Iraq having chemical weapons,' Chavez said.

'They keep on bombing cities, killing children, they have become a terrorist state,' he said.

Good call, Hugo. Remember the whole elction thing there a while back? We didn't really follow it, but sounds typical of US ties with the rest of the Americas.

Ward Churchill

Aljazeera:
A University of Colorado professor under fire for comparing World Trade Centre victims to a Nazi war criminal has refused to apologise for his remarks.

'I am not backing off an inch,' said Ward Churchill on Tuesday, drawing an ovation from a standing-room-only crowd of about 1200 students and backers gathered in a ballroom.

'I owe no one an apology.'

Churchill, who filed a lawsuit earlier in the day after officials at the state-funded university had threatened to cancel his speech, said his central message was that the 11 September 2001 attacks had been provoked by US foreign policy.

'Naturally and inevitably, what you put out will blow back on you and that's what happened,' Churchill said.

In his essay, Some People Push Back, written shortly after 9/11, Churchill said the hijackers had mounted 'counter attacks' in the face of hostile US policy in the Middle East and a campaign of 'genocide' against Iraq through the trade sanctions imposed after the first Gulf war."

Interesting.
It seems to be Al-Jazeera day, folks. Don't worry about the thing that tries to download when you go to their site- heh.

Budget

International Action Center gives one of those really depressing rundowns of the budget:
The War on Working People Continues

On Monday, George W. Bush launched an unprecedented attack
on poor and working people in the U.S. His proposed a
$2.57-trillion budget will cut domestic programs to
seniors, veterans, children, and the poor by $20 billion
dollars next year.
...
The Pentagon budget will be increased to $419 billion,
plus an additional $80 billion for the occupation of Iraq
and Afghanistan--nearly half a trillion dollars. The U.S.
will spend about as much money on its military as the rest
of the world combined. The Pentagon budget will be larger
than the rest of the planet's combined.

Bush also wants to make his tax cuts for the wealthy
permanent, which carry a price tag of $1.1 trillion
through 2014.
...
These cuts include:

Food stamps will be cut by over $1 billion over the next
five years.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs budget will be cut by $100
million.

About one-third of the programs being targeted for
elimination are in the Education Department, including
federal grant programs for local schools in such areas as
vocational education, supporting drug-free schools and
Even Start, a $225 million literacy program.

The proposed budget eliminates 7 programs providing $16
billion in grants for low-income urban areas and replaces
them with one program funded at $3.7 Billion. The new
program, which replaces programs in HUD, Education and
other areas is to be run by the Commerce Department. Why
Commerce? The stated purpose is to direct these grants
away from public organizations and toward faith-based
(religious) organizations and private businesses.

Medicaid - medical care for the poor, the disabled, the
elderly and children - will be cut by $45 billion.
...
Bush's budget demands that the poorest and most oppressed
pay for the costs of his tax breaks to the wealthy and for
his program of endless war.

The American people might never even know.

Aljazeera interviews Chomsky

Aljazeera:
If you were poor, a Native American, a small farmer or an ecologist, you probably did not vote for George Bush.

It is therefore not so surprising to find that all these sectors of society have come under attack, from the Republican administration's new fiscal budget.

However, if you were an army veteran you may have expected to escape spending cuts. But even this slice of American society, one that largely voted for Bush, finds itself the subject of financial 'rollback'.

Versatile American scholar Noam Chomsky, speaking exclusively to Aljazeera, put it like this.

'There is a very simple principle that goes a long way towards explaining decisions of the Bush administration. If some policy is beneficial to wealth, privilege and power, it should be promoted.

'If some policy is beneficial to the large majority of the population but of no particular concern (or even marginally costly) to wealth, privilege and power, it should be undermined.'

Actually, I'm fairly certain that a good number of small farmers and impoverished white people voted for Bush. Democracy isn't always the answer.

Freedom

Aljazeera:
Al-Qaida's deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has condemned the American concept of freedom in a taped speech broadcast by Aljazeera.

Aired on Thursday, the audiotape message said the freedom sought by millions in the Islamic world was 'not the freedom to destroy others ... it is not the freedom that allows [America] to support oppressive regimes'.

Al-Zawahiri said he could not accept Washington's continued promotion of 'Israel's freedom to annihilate Muslims'.

The comments were first issued on 2 February on the internet, but were aired for the first time on Thursday.

Al-Zawahiri also slammed what he called 'fraudulent elections held under occupation', in a reference to last month's polls in Iraq.

10.2.05

Linking Rules of Deportment

Using links politely on MetaFilter seems a bit overly difficult. I think I like tagging better.

"Nuclear Proliferation is the Greatest Threat We Face"

Pat Oliphant says it quite well.

8.2.05

Bogus Sesame

CNN: "Senior military official" says 13,000-17,000 insurgents in Iraq.
Not counting the ones who just hate us.

WIlco

Wired: Wilco speaks on how the fans make the music.
I steal music off of the internets.

Tagging

Guardian reports on more interconnectedness. We are coming back together.

7.2.05

Halo Movie

Writer hired for adaptation of game. I will put money on this not making it.

RAID

from the Cult of Mac Blog: the world's slowest RAID.

1.2.05

Vietnam Headline: 1967

Liberal uberlink of the day.

High schoolers

CNN has the latest depressing poll of high school knowledge. What else is new?