04 Elections Still Under Fire 2 Years Later
An examination of Palm Beach County's electronic voting machine records from the 2004 election found possible tampering and tens of thousands of malfunctions and errors, a watchdog group said Thursday
They just don't give up do they. How about Maryland? How bout Ohio? How about accepting the fact that the supreme court ruled its all over. There's a time limit on elections: jerks. Either move forward or get over it.
BlackBoxVoting.org describes itself as a nonpartisan but only challenges red states. How does that work?
"It was impossible to determine what information was altered or if votes were shifted among candidates." So why are you still bitching years later? Either replace the system or quit your bitching. Maybe if the vote tabulation machine wern't made by heavy democrat donors someone would care.
Maybe if democrats didn't describe any change in the voting machines as "catastrophic." "Democratic leadership continued to criticize Ehrlich yesterday,... calling the governor's demand for voting paper trails last-minute and inconsistent with his previous opinions."So they'll bitch about the vote being innacurate
but when the fat hits the fire:
"We've already spent a lot of money on the system," . "We would literally be throwing it away." OH NO....
"unjustifiably undermine public confidence in the integrity of the state election process."
"Ehrlich also called on lawmakers to postpone plans to offer early voting because he was concerned that having the polls open days before Election Day would leave the systems susceptible to fraud. Democrats said they didn't agree and planned to move forward."
When the illegal votes favor dems it all 'good enough' but when the votes favor republicans: "I actually think there's enough votes in play in Florida that it's anybody's guess who actually won the presidential race."
State Department Bitter They Have To Follow Policy Of The Elected Government
The Washington Post runs a report that should shock no one. The effort by Condoleezza Rice at the State Department to consolidate the bureaucracy and bring it into line with the policy of the elected government has created hard feelings
among some of the rank and file careerists, who apparently liked their ability to ignore the chain of command and undermine appointees. Some of them have run to the Post and Glenn Kessler to complain about their treatment in the Rice regime:
A State Department reorganization of analysts involved in preventing the spread of deadly weapons has spawned internal turmoil, with more than half a dozen career employees alleging in interviews that political appointees sought to punish long-term employees whose views they considered suspect.
Senior State Department officials deny that and say an investigation has found that the proper personnel practices were followed. But three officials involved in the reorganization, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly, acknowledge that a merger of two bureaus reduced the influence of employees who were viewed by some political appointees as disloyal to the administration's policies.
"There are a number of disgruntled employees who feel they have been shoved aside for political purposes. That's true," said one of these officials. "But there was rank insubordination on the part of these officers."
How rank was that insubordination? Previous management encouraged the careerists to bypass key political appointees designated to ensuring that the elected government's policies were carried out, allowing State to thumb their nose at the White House. Since the Administration has the ultimate responsibility for the performance of State, this situation was untenable. Even Kessler reports that the insubordination was reality:
"The suspicion is we would undermine the policy," said one of the officials who have felt sidelined. "That is what all of us find most offensive. We are here to serve any administration." ...
The employees who say that they have been targeted once had a back channel to then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and his deputy, Richard L. Armitage, who they said would on occasion ask them to bypass their superior, John R. Bolton, now the ambassador to the United Nations. Bolton, with backing from allies in the Pentagon and the vice president's office, frequently battled the rest of the State Department on policy issues.
State has always had its cadre of careerists whose outlook is that they run American foreign policy and not the elected President. It's been an example of the Washington bureaucracy for ages, and the Bush administration decided that it has gone on long enough. The President has a right to expect that his foreign-policy initiatives get implemented once so directed at State, and that the legitimate check on that authority resides with Congress and the American electorate, not a few self-important unaccountable apparatchiks at Foggy Bottom.
Al Gore Jockeying For '08 Presidential Run
The former vice president’s slashing attacks on the administration and his stalwart, if misguided, opposition to the Iraq war leave him without the complications and complexes that will devil Clinton as she seeks to appeal to the unforgiving left of the Democratic Party
And Gore may be a man whose time has come in his party. It was he who warned of climate change and predicted its consequences. Hurricane Katrina was just a fulfillment of the prophesies Gore wrote about in his late-1980s book Earth in the Balance. He has been an energy-conservation nut for years, and his obsessions with alternatives to oil will play better and better as we come to realize how our addiction to oil has led us to dependency on the dealers of this particular drug — Iran, the Saudi royal family and Hugo Chavez.
The Democratic base’s anger at Gore’s defeat in 2000 was assuaged by the worse Kerry defeat of 2004. The idea that he was an incompetent candidate has been replaced in Democratic iconography by the idea that he was cheated out of the presidency. The hiatus has healed his reputation with the base in much the same way that the negative rap on Nixon for losing in 1960 was ameliorated by the Goldwater wipeout of 1964.
It only shows how radical and out of touch the Democratic Party has become. If their base prefers a bitter old man that panders to radical Islamist propaganda while we are at war against Islamofascist terrorism, then the Democrats had better consider jettisoning their base and starting fresh. No one in their right mind would nominate Al Gore for President after that speech in Saudi Arabia, and if that's what gets the leftist base involved, the Democrats will be better off in the long run without them
Bin-Laden Not Stuck Prior To 9/11 For Fear Of Hitting UAE Prince
During the winter of 1998-99, intelligence reported that Bin Ladin frequently visited a camp in the desert, adjacent to a larger hunting camp in Helmand Province of Afghanistan, used by visitors from a Gulf state
. Public sources have stated that these visitors were from the United Arab Emirates. At the beginning of February, Bin Ladin was reportedly located there, and apparently remained for more than a week. This was not in an urban area, so the risk of collateral damage was minimal. Intelligence provided a detailed description of the camps. National technical intelligence confirmed the description of the larger camp, and showed the nearby presence of an official aircraft of the UAE. The CIA received reports that Bin Ladin regularly went from his adjacent camp to the larger camp where he visited with Emiratis. The location of this larger camp was confirmed by February 9, but the location of Bin Ladin's quarters could not be pinned down so precisely.
Preparations were made for a possible strike, against the larger camp, perhaps to target Bin Ladin during one of his visits. No strike was launched.
According to CIA officials, policymakers were concerned about the danger that a strike might kill an Emirati prince or other senior officials who might be with Bin Ladin or close by. The lead CIA official in the field felt the intelligence reporting in this case was very reliable. The UBL unit chief at the time agrees. The field official believes today that this was a lost opportunity to kill Bin Ladin before 9/11.
On February 10th, Clarke reported that a top UAE official had vehemently denied that high-level UAE officials were in Afghanistan. Evidence subsequently confirmed that high-level UAE officials had been there.
The indispensible Middle East Media Research Institute reported
in a two-part series
in 2003 on the Zayed International Centre for Coordination and Follow-up, a UAE think tank whose patron was the second son of the President of the UAE, and which was a source of vile anti-American, pro-Hitler, anti-Jewish propaganda. The introduction to the MEMRI report explains that UAE officials privately acknowledged that the government-funded Zayed Center was a problem, but reining it in was difficult. The think tank was later closed.
Although many of the leaders of the UAE dictatorship may indeed support the U.S. in the war on terror, it seems clear that, at the least, there is a notable portion of the UAE, including some powerful and/or influential people, who do not. As James Lileks points out (in an article which Eugene linked to earlier today), the risks of a bin Laden sympathizer from the UAE supplying critical US port information to terrorists seems unacceptably high.
The United Nations Security Council today tabled discussion about how to react to Iran’s ongoing nuclear
weapons development in order to take up debate on what to do about U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s recently disclosed
“We don’t really know whether Iran is making a bomb, or just making cheap abundant electricity,” said an unnamed Security Council spokesman. “But we have hard evidence that Dick Cheney is armed and dangerous.”
The council will consider a variety of responses, from economic sanctions against Mr. Cheney, to a stringent inspection protocol with all weapons placed under U.N. seal, and 24/7 video monitoring.
“Of course, we cannot rule out a military response,” the source said. “We must keep our options open in dealing with what has quickly become the biggest weapons issue of our time.”
Racial Profiling Un-American Unless Your Talking About Arabs
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on the introduction of the End Racial Profiling Act of 2004
"I am proud to join Congressman John Conyers, the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, as a cosponsor of the bipartisan End Racial Profiling Act of 2004 to end the shameful practice of racial profiling and to ensure that each of our citizens is treated with dignity and fairness.Fast forward to last night
"The unilateral decision of the Bush administration to allow the sale of port operations to a foreign government raises serious national security concerns," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
Activists Defeated, The Return Of Nuclear Power
Nuclear reactor builders are jostling for business as energy utilities take another look at nuclear power
. After years of suffering under the environmental activists heel, businesses are once again looking to the promises of nuclear energy.
About 16% of the world's electricity supply comes from nuclear power, and energy demand is increasing. Worldwide, nearly 80% of the 441 commercial nuclear reactors currently in operation are more than 15 years old.
The new interest in peaceful nuclear energy "results from some heavy lobbying(no bias there)
by groups involved in building reactors", said Edwin Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and from attempts to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions. EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs adds "there are also increasing concerns about energy security, particularly in light of the recent disruption of Russian gas supplies in Europe."
Nuclear-industry officials have long said that the majority of growth would come in Asia. Japan is building five new power plants by 2010, and China plans to build 30 nuclear reactors, based on domestic designs, by 2020. China also sees nuclear technology as a major export opportunity, say industry analysts, and is building its second of four power plants for Pakistan, which may lead to a larger order. India has nine power plants under construction, including a fast-breeder reactor that generates its own fuel.
Six countries—Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, the Czech Republic, and Turkey—may build two to five PWRs each, while Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland are now reevaluating plans to phase-out nuclear power.
The US nuclear power industry has been virtually frozen since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, but in the US Congress 2005 energy bill, tax credits worth $3.1 billion, along with liability protection and compensation for legislative delays, were added for the industry. On 30 December 2005, for the first time in years, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) certified the design of a new reactor.
According to representatives of the electric utilities involved, the US government and the reactor technology suppliers are paying for most of the $150 million the certification process costs. "The utilities are waiting to see if they can get any more subsidies out of the government," says Lyman, "so it's still premature to say if any of them will go ahead." A satisfactory means for disposal of their radioactive waste products has not yet been announced.
But the nuclear power industry believes the first new US order is only two years away. Says NuStart Energy president Marilyn Kray, "Our country needs these advanced nuclear plants."
Abortion Outlawed In South Dakota
I'm sure the left will be out in full force saying how millions of women will die because of this but I'm thinking the population of South Dakota will be rising soon.South Dakota's state senate voted on Wednesday for an abortion ban
aimed at giving the conservative-tilting Supreme Court an opening to overturn rulings granting women the right to the procedure.
Only an unlikely veto by Republican Gov. Michael Rounds could prevent the legislation from becoming law, people on both sides of the issue said.
"If he chooses to sign it, we will be filing a lawsuit in short order to block it,"said Kate Looby of Planned Parenthood.
Two years ago, Rounds vetoed a similar bill, saying it would wipe out existing restrictions on abortion while it was fought in the courts. A rewritten bill lost narrowly.
Some legislators opposed to abortion rights questioned whether it was premature to challenge Roe v. Wade, and said litigation would prove expensive for the sparsely populated state. An anonymous donor has offered $1 million to the state to defray the costs of litigation.
American's Left To Defend The Border, Without The Government
Chris Simcox, President of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (“MCDC”),
announced plans for the group’s nationwide “Secure Our Borders” campaign in April 2006. Simcox also announced a new operational structure for the original Minuteman Border Project to meet the growing needs of the continued expansion of Minuteman border security operations.
Thousands of MCDC volunteers, augmented by the new national support team, will hold border watch patrols in northern and southern states along an estimated 800 miles of international borders during the month of April. The Minutemen will observe and report suspected illegal border crossings to the proper authorities. As always, they will maintain a “no contact” policy with the exception of providing emergency water to those illegal aliens found in distress in the wilderness.
Last year, MCDC revolutionized the national debate about border security and illegal immigration by focusing the nation’s attention on the dangers of America’s wide-open borders in a post 9/11 world. The Minutemen have demonstrated that the borders can be secured with sufficient political will and dedication.
Since the MCDC 23-mile border watch in April, 2005, interest in joining and supporting the Minutemen has exploded nationwide. MCDC chapters have been formed in southern and northern border states, as well as interior states. To date, 6,500 men and women have passed the required background check and interviews to qualify to become official Minuteman Border Project volunteers – with more waiting in the queue for approval. Over 120,000 people have become friends of the Minutemen through their support and volunteer work.
Given the success of the Minuteman Border Project efforts, and two successful month long 24/7 operations conducted in April and October of 2005, a new national volunteer operational structure has been launched to support the Minutemen. The new structure is necessary to respond to these thousands of volunteers and supporters asking what they can do to help.
MCDC has asked for and accepted the help of experienced border volunteers who have been on the front lines, some for as long as four years. With this expansion we will be ready for the thousands of volunteers who will participate in the “Secure Our Borders” operation in April 2006. This expansion further solidifies MCDC’s ability to continue the largest neighborhood watch effort in American history. The Minutemen will continue their civil defense operations assisting authorities in securing the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada until properly relieved.
Contact MCDC at (520)829-3112 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Oscar Committe: Ethics 'Issues' More Important Than Movie Quality
'Heavy' issues of ethics and morality dominate socially-conscious Oscars
Oscar has developed a social conscience this year, with weighty real-life themes, ranging from ethics in big business and media to racial tensions, dominating the movies vying for the big prizes.
US inner city tensions, terror in the Middle East, freedom of expression and the thorny subject of tolerance of gays complete the quiver of unusually serious issues inspired by world events that faces Oscar voters this year.
"A few years ago the serious film would have been the odd man out, but there is more bias to them by awards givers and more acceptance for weighty films, both fiction and documentary, by audiences," Marty Grove, columnist for the Hollywood Reporter.
All five of the best picture and best director nominees this year deal with issues that Hollywood once thought too serious and too dark for mainstream movie-goers, as do nominees in several of the other major categories.
"Capote," about the writing of author Truman Capote's seminal novel "In Cold Blood," takes a hard look at journalistic ethics, while George Clooney's "Good Night, and Good Luck" is the still-relevant story of a newsman's stand against US senator Joseph McCarthy's repressive 1950s communist witch-hunt.
Movie legend Steven Spielberg's "Munich" tells the story of Israel's tough response to the murder of its athletes by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Olympics, while "Brokeback Mountain," which leads the Oscar race with eight nods, is the aching story of two farm hands who fall in love in the conservative American West.
And the serious 'issue driven' movie pervade more than just the best picture and best director categories.
Fernando Meirelles's thriller "The Constant Gardner," nominated for four Oscars including best supporting actress for Rachael Weisz and best adapted screenplay, tells of the ruthless tactics of a multi-national pharmaceutical company in Africa.
The drama "Syriana" studies the shadowy machinations of US oil firms in the Middle East, and bagged two nominations, including one for Clooney as best supporting actor.
"In the post 9/11 world there are concerns with issues that we face, including morality of the media and of politicians or of global corporations. All of this is grist for the filmmakers' mill" Grove said.
The US-led war in Iraq, a string of high-profile corporate fraud cases including fallen energy giant Enron, US media failures to act as an effective watchdog of government and to check sources have exercised the minds of movie-goers, said popular culture expert Leo Braudy.
"I tend to see it as the dark side of James Bond, escapist movies in which the hero ... triumphs against the single megalomaniac, said the University of Southern California professor and author.
"Now you have a much more globalised world as we see in 'Syriania', when there is an interplay of multiple perspectives of global issues. The James Bond model is too easy now. Life isn't that simple any more," Braudy said. There is no good and evil anymore.
But while the Oscars have this year eschewed classic picturesque epics -- with the exception of "Memoirs of a Geisha," which won six nods, although none in the major categories -- they have forsaken entertainment value.
The nominated filmmakers may be tackling weighty issues, but to the common man, they are engaging in stodgy ideological diatribes that no-one cares about anymore. Films were supposed to be , at one time, about entertaining people. But todays Hollywood crop is more about lecturing the audience about the evils of their society while completely dismissing dissenting opinion.
The Hollywood agenda is clear. Making money is no longer the driving source behind Hollywood movies. Whomever can cast the most negative light on the society that created them is the seeming goal of Holloywood these days.
So long as the messages being sent out are of the appropriately, anti-american, anti-society, all ills in the world are, at the root, the US's fault, it no longer matters the entertainment value of the movie. So long as the propaganda message gets across, it doesn't matter if anyone actualy watches them.