These are links that go to the heart of the right wing's efforts to destroy democracy in this country. Counting votes, everyone's votes, is the basis of democracy. There seems to be an effort, using computerized voting machines, to be creative in the final vote tally. And don't forget that the last Presidential election was rife with fraud. Greg Palast has been serializing the first chapter of his book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. (Just in case you might have forgotten.)
Yolanda Flanagan sent me this audio interview with Bev Harris. Bev has been at the forefront in bringing this travesty to light. The interview is a good overview of the problem. This page also has links to articles by Bev and links to her sites. A must listen.
Bev Harris talks with Dennis Bernstein about her discovery of rigable voting machines and questionable software code, including software code that might be used to associate votes with the personally identifiable information of voters. The latter is something she is still investigating, but the main thrust of her story is beginning to be picked up by the alternative media.
Here are some more articles:
Some hardcore cryptography and computer security folks at John Hopkins have analyzed the source code for Diebold voting machines.
They found gaping security holes, impossibly stupid procedures, and voting machines that were trivial to break into.
Am I exaggerating? No, unfortunately, I'm no. Some of the following is quite technical, however I'll attempt to explain it in non-geek terms for you earth people out there.
The folks who put the voodoo back in economics keep telling us that prosperity is just around the corner. For the unemployed, that would mean more jobs. Are there more jobs just around the corner?
This alleged economic upturn is not just a jobless recovery, it's a job loss recovery. The hemorrhaging of jobs in the aftermath of the recent "mild" recession is like nothing the U.S. has seen in more than half a century. Millions continue to look desperately for work, and millions more have given up in despair.
The stories have been rolling in for some time about the stresses and misfortunes that are inevitably associated with long-term joblessness: the bankruptcies, foreclosures and evictions, the dreams deferred, the mental difficulties — anxiety, depression — the excessive drinking and abuse of drugs, the family violence. There are few things more miserable than to need a job and be unable to find one.
Working Americans need jobs just to survive. But the Bush administration equates the national interest with corporate interests, and in that equation workers can only lose.
There are ways to spark the creation of good jobs on a large scale in the U.S. (I will explore some of them in a future column.) But that would require vision, a long-term financial investment and, most important, a commitment at the federal level to the idea that it is truly in the nation's interest to keep as many Americans as possible gainfully employed.
Akerlof: There is a systematic reason. The government is not really telling the truth to the American people. Past administrations from the time of Alexander Hamilton have on the average run responsible budgetary policies. What we have here is a form of looting.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: If so, why's the President still popular?
Akerlof: For some reason the American people does not yet recognize the dire consequences of our government budgets. It's my hope that voters are going to see how irresponsible this policy is and are going to respond in 2004 and we're going to see a reversal.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: What if that doesn't happen?
Akerlof: Future generations and even people in ten years are going to face massive public deficits and huge government debt. Then we have a choice. We can be like a very poor country with problems of threatening bankruptcy. Or we're going to have to cut back seriously on Medicare and Social Security. So the money that is going overwhelmingly to the wealthy is going to be paid by cutting services for the elderly. And people depend on those. It's only among the richest 40 percent that you begin to get households who have sizeable fractions of their own retirement income.
thanks to wood s lot
And this is why, ultimately, history is against the current economic regime and the Republican Party that hopes to enact it. In the end money is based on promises, and the Republican government in power now is making promises that the next generation will not feel particularly obliged to keep, because the cost of general economic collapse is far higher now, and events will not be allowed to get anywhere near the level of tension that had Frenchmen happily marching off to war in a naive spring of 1913. By far the most likely scenario is the ending of the supply of credit, coupled with increasing tension in the "middle sphere" of countries that have developed industrialized bases, but not sufficient liquidity - Argentina, Taiwan, Korea, Brazil, Venezuela, Indonesia all have capital assets in their urban cores which are at world standards, but not enough of an internal market to sustain the growth of those assets.
And it is thinking ahead which is what people in the internet blog space should be doing. We have limited impact on immediate events, though more and more every day, instead it is the long term where the intellectual power of the internet space is most important - taking arcane predictions from economics papers, and explaining in clear detail what projects mean.
Listening to the Earth
thanks to wood s lot
Global warming may be speeding up, fears scientist
One of Europe's leading scientists yesterday raised the possibility that the extreme heatwave now settled over at least 30 countries in the northern hemisphere could signal that man-made climate change is accelerating.
French forecasters yesterday warned there would be no imminent respite from the heatwave which has scorched the country for over a month.
Technicians were yesterday forced to spray water on the walls of a nuclear power plant in Fessenhiem, near Strasbourg, as temperatures at the building rose to 48.5C (119F), two degrees celsius below the point at which an emergency shutdown would be triggered.
The temperature in central London yesterday reached 35.4C (95.7F) - the hottest on record - with Gravesend in Kent even hotter, at 35.9C (96.6F). Even in Glasgow it was in the 80s Fahrenheit, and the UK record of 37.1C (98.8F) could be broken on Saturday, forecasters said, as all across Europe the merciless sun roasts citizens, sets forests ablaze and makes rivers run dry.
But this heatwave is nothing compared to what global warming has in store, United Nations scientists say - and the international agreement to counter it is now hanging by a thread. Its name is Putin.
thanks to DANGEROUSMETA!
The hand of war grabs the young woman as she shops for twin-size sheets with pictures of Dalmatians.
"Come home!" her boyfriend's brother says on the other end.
"I can't tell you."
"No. You can. Tell me now!"
thanks to daily KOS
Let Iraqis rebuild their own country
He's the Iraqi nuclear scientist who made headlines back in June when he turned over parts of a gas centrifuge for uranium enrichment and blueprints related to Iraq's pre-1991 nuclear weapons program. The parts of course were buried under a rosebush in his backyard.
More recently, Obeidi made more embarrassing headlines when the Associated Press revealed that he
The AP reported that Obeidi was in Kuwait. But it turns out there's a bit more to the story. Given that Obeidi was so quick to come clean about the history of Iraq's nuclear weapons program and Saddam's plans to reconstitute the program once sanctions were lifted, you might think that we were helping him restart his life in the US, Iraq or perhaps some other Arab country.
Well, not exactly.
A broadcaster who became known as "the voice of free Iraq" after the fall of Saddam Hussein has walked out of his job, saying the United States is losing the propaganda war.
Failure to invest in the new Iraqi broadcasting service means foreign channels are gaining popularity at the expense of the US, Ahmed al-Rikabi, the American-appointed director of TV and radio said yesterday.
The War On Truth
In Baghdad, the rise and folly of rapacious imperial power is commemorated in a forgotten cemetery called the North Gate. Dogs are its visitors; the rusted gates are padlocked, and skeins of traffic fumes hang over its parade of crumbling headstones and unchanging historical truth.
Lieutenant-General Sir Stanley Maude is buried here, in a mausoleum befitting his station, if not the cholera to which he succumbed. In 1917, he declared: "Our armies do not come...as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators." Within three years, 10,000 had died in an uprising against the British, who gassed and bombed those they called "miscreants". It was an adventure from which British imperialism in the Middle East never recovered.
Every day now, in the United States, the all-pervasive media tell Americans that their bloodletting in Iraq is well under way, although the true scale of the attacks is almost certainly concealed. Soon, more soldiers will have been killed since the "liberation" than during the invasion. Sustaining the myth of "mission" is becoming difficult, as in Vietnam. This is not to doubt the real achievement of the invaders' propaganda, which was the suppression of the truth that most Iraqis opposed both the regime of Saddam Hussein and the Anglo-American assault on their homeland. One reason the BBC's Andrew Gilligan angered Downing Street was that he reported that, for many Iraqis, the bloody invasion and occupation were at least as bad as the fallen dictatorship.
This is unmentionable here in America. The tens of thousands of Iraqi dead and maimed do not exist. When I interviewed Douglas Feith, number three to Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon, he shook his head and lectured me on the "precision" of American weapons. His message was that war had become a bloodless science in the service of America's unique divinity. It was like interviewing a priest. Only American "boys" and "girls" suffer, and at the hands of "Ba'athist remnants", a self-deluding term in the spirit of General Maude's "miscreants". The media echo this, barely gesturing at the truth of a popular resistance and publishing galleries of GI amputees, who are described with a maudlin, down-home chauvinism which celebrates the victimhood of the invader while casting the vicious imperialism that they served as benign. At the State Department, the under-secretary for international security, John Bolton, suggested to me that, for questioning the fundamentalism of American policy, I was surely a heretic, "a Communist Party member", as he put it.
In other words, if ExxonMobil or ChevronTexaco touch Iraqi oil, it will be immune from legal proceedings in the United States. Anything that could go, and elsewhere has gone, awry with U.S. corporate oil operations will be immune to judgment: a massive tanker accident; an explosion at an oil refinery; the employment of slave labor to build a pipeline; murder of locals by corporate security; the release of billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The president, with a stroke of the pen, signed away the rights of Saddam's victims, creditors and of the next true Iraqi government to be compensated through legal action. Bush's order unilaterally declares Iraqi oil to be the unassailable province of U.S. corporations.
In the short term, through the Development Fund and the Export-Import Bank programs, the Iraqi people's oil will finance U.S. corporate entrees into Iraq. In the long term, Executive Order 13303 protects anything those corporations do to seize control of Iraq's oil, from the point of production to the gas pump -- and places oil companies above the rule of law.
thanks to Yolanda Flanagan
thanks to Whiskey Bar
print your own
In 1936 Walker Evans photographed the Burroughs, a family of sharecroppers in Depression era Alabama. In 1979 in Sherrie Levine rephotographed Walker Evans' photographs from the exhibition catalog "First and Last." In 2001 Michael Mandiberg scanned these same photographs, and created AfterWalkerEvans.com and AfterSherrieLevine.com to facilitate their dissemination as a comment on how we come to know information in this burgeoning digital age.
Here on AfterWalkerEvans.com you will find a browsable selection of these images. Links to the high-resolution exhibition-quality images to download and print out. Along with a certificate of authenticity for each image, which you print out and sign yourself, as well as directions on how to frame the image so that it will fulfill the requirements of the certificate.
thanks to The J-Walk Weblog
As BushCo tries to demonize Iran and call for regime change, we might remember that the US has done this before. Why aren't there democracies in the Middle East? There was one in Iran in 1953 and the CIA made sure it was replaced by a friendly dictator. A dictator friendly to the U.S., not friendly to the Iranians.
In Washington, the hawks and vultures are beginning to gaze at Iran with greed-filled eyes. The British attack dog is barking and straining at the leash. And the Israeli ambassador to the United States has helpfully suggested that the onward march of the American Empire should not be brought to a premature halt in Baghdad. Teheran beckons, and then there is always Damascus. The only argument summoned by the blood-mottled "doves" is that the occupation of Iraq should be sufficient to bring the Iranian mullahs to heel. Naturally, this latter view does not satisfy the would-be Shah or his followers in Los Angeles. The Young Pretender is appearing regularly on the BBC and CNN these days, desperate to please and a bit too eager to mimic his father and grandfather. Might the empire put him back on the Peacock Throne? And, if so, how long would he last?
Neither party appears to be aware of all the recent traumas suffered by Iran or the fact that this is a nation and a people with a historical memory, something its poets have helped to preserve. But Iran has not forgotten that it was the United States and Britain that utilized king and cleric to bring about the regime change fifty years ago that destroyed Iran's fledgling democracy.
Check out the flash animations that show what these amazing pieces of kinetic sculpture do.
Wood that Works
I built my first kinetic sculpture back in 1975. It was inspired by a sculpture built by my wife, Marji, while she was in college. Since then I have been fortunate enough to work full time at developing my art and craft into what you see today. Over the years I have explored many aspects of motion, sound and wood. I have blended these explorations with a healthy dose of computer design and animation to arrive at my current series of kinetic sculptures.
thanks to MetaFilter
A nuclear Pandora's box
Okay, we all know about North Korea -- and it only gets nastier all the time. Here's former Secretary of Defense William Perry on the subject (It's Either Nukes or Negotiation, the Washington Post,):
"If it keeps on its present course, North Korea will probably have six to eight nuclear weapons by the end of the year, will possibly have conducted a nuclear test and may have begun deployment of some of these weapons, targeted against Japan and South Korea. By next year, it could be in serial production of nuclear weapons, building perhaps five to 10 per year. This is a nightmare scenario, but it is a reasonable extrapolation from what we know and from what the North Koreans have announced."
As for Iran, the Los Angeles Times' Douglas Frantz reports today on a three-month-long investigation into the Iranian bomb (Iran is seen moving close to producing nuclear bomb):
"After more than a decade of working behind layers of front companies and in hidden laboratories, Iran appears to be in the late stages of developing the capacity to build a nuclear bomb... Technology and scientists from Russia, China, North Korea, and Pakistan have propelled Iran's nuclear program much closer to producing a bomb than Iraq ever was... North Korean military scientists recently were monitored entering Iranian nuclear facilities. They are assisting in the design of a nuclear warhead, according to people inside Iran and foreign intelligence officials. So many North Koreans are working on nuclear and missile projects in Iran that a resort on the Caspian coast is set aside for their exclusive use."
But never fear our leaders have an infallible plan in response: "Foreign intelligence officers told the Times that the CIA, which has long contended that Iran is building a bomb, has briefed them on a contingency plan for US air and missile attacks against Iranian nuclear installations." If, of course, they even know where they are.
thanks to Cursor
A 24 sheet map, 26 inches to a mile, surveyed by John Rocque 1735 to 1746. Access the map by clicking on an image of the complete map, or by using the place name index, see the index on the left.
thanks to gmtPlus9
war against some drugs
The war on terror may be too new to declare victory or defeat. But this nation has been fighting a war on drugs for more than a quarter-century, ever since New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller mandated harsh drug sentencing in 1973--and it may be time to announce that this is one war we've lost. More than a million people are serving time in our prisons and jails for nonviolent offenses, most drug-related, at a cost to the public of some $9.4 billion a year. Many billions more are spent by the states and the federal government on drug interdiction, drug-law enforcement and drug prosecutions. Harsh laws that require lengthy minimum sentences for the possession of even small amounts of drugs have created a boom in the incarceration of women, tearing mothers away from their children. Much of the country's costly foreign-policy commitments--especially in Latin America and the Caribbean--are determined by drug-war priorities. And yet drug use has actually soared, with twice as many teenagers reporting illegal drug use in 2000 as in 1992.
Taking some time to explore the Mathematik und Kunst (Mathematics and Art) section of Prof. Dr. Udo Hebisch’s Mathematischen Café site (my source for the Lorenz Stoer images posted here last week), I discovered the graphic work of contemporary mathematical artist Anatoly Timofeevich Fomenko (1945-), from which I’ve picked out the following small selection:
i think i'm back, i think i'm back, i think i'm back...maybe not
Zoe will be recovering for awhile. I got some work done so here are some links, if anyone is still our there. Hello?
Zoe stayed another day at the hospital. She got the doctor's OK to go home this morning and is in the process of checking out of the hospital. She will need extra tending for the first 24 hours and then, I hope, things will start returning to normal. Whatever normal is.
it was a success
Zoe went into surgery a little after 3 this afternoon. It was close to 7 when they wheeled her back to her room, from recovery. All went well and Zoe now has a vial with a whole lot of gall stones. I stayed with her this evening as she did her impressions of Dopey and Sleepy. I should bring her back home tomorrow. I feel better now.
a trip to the er
At 2 o'clock Sunday morning, Zoe and I were headed for the Emergency Room at Whidbey General with Zoe sick and in pain. A few hours, and an x-ray and sonogram, later it was determined the Zoe needed her gall bladder removed. They are trying to squeeze her into the surgery schedule today. Her surgery may happen today or she may be home tonight, from the hospital, and then we go back Wednesday for the surgery. She is feeling much better. I'm afraid the links will be light to non-existant today as I try to catch up with work and also tend to Zoe. I'll be back.