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Sunday, August 29, 2004

Laura Branigan

gloria (it was something in her head)

posted by roj at 1:21 am  

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Enzo Baldoni


posted by roj at 1:56 am  

Friday, August 27, 2004

the trouble with no-fly

joi mentions that capps ii is back – and as someone who seems to spend most of is life at 30, 000 feet, it make sense that he pay attention to these things. this time around it’s called “secure flight” because america. is. safer.

i don’t get to fly very much, but i’m sure i’m on a list somewhere.

so for a perspective on the issue, i direct your attention to bruce.

U.S. ‘No-Fly’ List Curtails Liberties [bruce schneier, newsday, august 25, 2004]

Imagine a list of suspected terrorists so dangerous that we can’t ever let them fly, yet so innocent that we can’t arrest them – even under the draconian provisions of the Patriot Act.

It also has been a complete failure, and has not been responsible for a single terrorist arrest anywhere.

posted by roj at 8:05 pm  

Friday, August 27, 2004

frat house burns

Three Dead in Miss. Fraternity House Fire [ap via abc news, august 27, 2004]

A fire swept through a fraternity house at the University of Mississippi early Friday, killing three students during the first week of classes, school officials said.

Twenty other students and a house mother escaped the two-story, brick- and wood-frame Alpha Tau Omega house, school spokesman Mitchell Diggs said. There were no reports of injuries. The cause was not immediately known.

i saw this movie already. the cause, of course, was “fireball” too close to the curtains. the frat brothers will be relocate into the freshman dorm, the freshmen will be relocated to the gym, and the nerd gets the girl.

posted by roj at 5:13 pm  

Friday, August 27, 2004

selling a vote is illegal, but selling a policy is not

i’ve been waiting for a hook to hang this on, and it had to come from ebay… of course. what else could it possibly be?

it all depends on how far up the food chain your vote is – selling votes at the bottom of the pyramid is illegal. selling votes at the top is just business as usual.

“Simply tell me who to vote for, after paying the auction, and it will be so,” his listing said. “If you care, buy my vote and you will have twice the power in the upcoming election!!!!”

Pengov said he didn’t know that selling a vote was illegal.

The fraud unit of the California secretary of state’s office, which has been alerted to votes for sale on eBay in previous elections, came across the posting and notified Ohio authorities.

offer a presidential vote for $50 and the authorities come knocking. how much do senate votes go for these days? i don’t understand. if it’s good enough for politicians, then why isn’t it for the rest of us?

i need to quit blogging and do some real writing about saving democracy from ourselves.

posted by roj at 11:42 am  

Friday, August 27, 2004

president bush on 527s and billionaires

“Five twenty-sevens – I think these ought to be outlawed, ” he said. “I think they should have been outlawed a year ago. We have billionaires writing checks, large checks, to influence the outcome of the election.”

they might’ve been outlawed a year ago, mister bush, except that you opposed that approach back when you signed the campaign finance reform act…. remember?

However, the bill does have flaws. Certain provisions present serious constitutional concerns. In particular, H.R. 2356 goes farther than I originally proposed by preventing all individuals, not just unions and corporations, from making donations to political parties in connection with Federal elections.

I believe individual freedom to participate in elections should be expanded, not diminished; and when individual freedoms are restricted, questions arise under the First Amendment.

I also have reservations about the constitutionality of the broad ban on issue advertising, which restrains the speech of a wide variety of groups on issues of public import in the months closest to an election. I expect that the courts will resolve these legitimate legal questions as appropriate under the law.

there aren’t any constitutional reservations anymore? did we just see a flip?

posted by roj at 11:28 am  

Friday, August 27, 2004

bush miscalculated on iraq

Mr. Bush also acknowledged for the first time that he made a “miscalculation of what the conditions would be” in postwar Iraq. But he insisted that the 17-month-long insurgency that has upended the administration’s plans for the country was the unintended by-product of a “swift victory” against Saddam Hussein’s military, which fled and then disappeared into the cities, enabling them to mount a rebellion against the American forces far faster than Mr. Bush and his aides had anticipated.

there seems to be a pattern of miscalculation and counting trouble with the american executive branch. it’s affecting our ability to plan things.

posted by roj at 11:20 am  

Friday, August 27, 2004

diebold admits their machines go unpatched

during the proceedings of the voting machine lawsuit in maryland, i have reliable sources indicating that diebold has admitted that their machines go without security patches from microsoft, because installing the patches makes the machines crash.

so the option for my “flawless” electronic voting machines is a) crashing or b) unpatched? yeah, i’m confident that my vote counts.

i’ll probably have more on this once the trial is wrapped up, but i wanted to mention it before i forgot.

posted by roj at 11:12 am  

Friday, August 27, 2004

context for the swift boat veterans

back on august 23rd, i left this as a draft, but with the recent blogspam for swift vets, i felt an urgency to go ahead and get this out too.

the swift vets are running an ad based largely on kerry’s 1971 testimony before congress. it opens with this quote: “They had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads” which, i would like to take a moment to put into context. what i’m going to do is copy a big chunk of kerry’s testimony, link the whole thing for you, and highlight the bits that the swift vets pulled out to create their ad.

I would simply like to speak in very general terms. I apologize if my statement is general because I received notification yesterday you would hear me and I am afraid because of the injunction I was up most of the night and haven’t had a great deal of chance to prepare.

Winter soldier Investigation
I would like to talk, representing all those veterans, and say that several months ago in Detroit, we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.

It is impossible to describe to you exactly what did happen in Detroit, the emotions in the room, the feelings of the men who were reliving their experiences in Vietnam, but they did. They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do.

They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.

We call this investigation the “Winter Soldier Investigation.” The term “Winter Soldier” is a play on words of Thomas Paine in 1776 when he spoke of the Sunshine Patriot and summertime soldiers who deserted at Valley Forge because the going was rough.

We who have come here to Washington have come here because we feel we have to be winter soldiers now. We could come back to this country; we could be quiet; we could hold our silence; we could not tell what went on in Vietnam, but we feel because of what threatens this country, the fact that the crimes threaten it, no reds, and not redcoats but the crimes which we are committing that threaten it, that we have to speak out.

when you read the quotes in context, it does change the story just a little bit. when you read the whole thing, it changes a lot.

posted by roj at 8:51 am  

Friday, August 27, 2004

Edson Zvobgo

independence in zimbabwe

posted by roj at 8:28 am  
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