I ran; an election in Iran

How do you count almost 40 million handwritten paper ballots in a matter of hours and declare a winner?

It’s actually quite simple:

1 ) 4 million people count 10 ballots each and report the results.
2 ) handwritten ballots across the world are fed into a Diebold machine pre-programed with the results.
3 ) Arthur Aanderson does the counting.
4 ) ballots? we don’ need no stinkin’ ballots!
5 ) Random sampling – pick one….
6 ) ask Katherine Harris
7 ) ask Ken Blackwell
8 ) Allah Akbar!
9 ) what? we have to count them all?

and….

10 ) see Bush v. Gore.

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“Torture Works” vs. “I Make Up Stories”

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Dick Cheney has been trying to tell us that torture works (okay, he still refuses to use the word “torture”, but in the interests of accuracy and clarity, I will substitute the word “torture” for any other euphemism they may utilize), that we gained valuable intelligence from its use, and that “it saved lives.” Did it, Dick? Did it really save lives? Or did it cost lives? American lives? Americans in uniform? Did your insistence on the use, and staunch defense, of a series of illegally-authorized interrogation techniques, which were based on methods known to elicit false confessions, actually end up getting one or more of our soldiers killed?

Thanks to the ACLU, we now know that Dick Cheney was lying through his gritting teeth when he said we received valuable intelligence through the use of torture, particularly in the case of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad (also, and more conveniently, known as “KSM”.) He claimed that intel “saved lives.” Given Dick’s well-documented history of spreading falsehoods, I have every reason in the world to believe that not only was this statement a lie, it was actually the opposite of the truth. I have reason to believe that people died because of the information we gained through torture. And the reason is a very simple one. KSM himself said, in his statement at his “Combatant Status Review Tribunal Hearing” (Pg 15):

I ah cannot remember now…I be under questioning so-many statement which been some them l make up stories just location UBL. Continue reading

Dr Tiller, The Law, and the “Fear of God”

The 5th Estate 2009

Last weekend, after years of attacks by religious anti-abortion groups against himself his property and his staff, lawful abortion specialist Dr. Tiller was finally killed in the foyer of his church; long-time religious militant abortion opponent Scott Roeder is now charged with his murder.

Two years ago in Denver, Colorado, another abortion protest incident occurred in the foyer of a place of worship which also involved militant abortion opponents. In that particular case the local police responded immediately and no-one was killed.

In the subsequent trial of the accused, the litigant’s spokeswoman asked the judge to “consider the safety of ministry employees and visitors” when handing down the sentences.

Did you catch that?

The incident that the police so efficaciously reacted-to did not involve a confrontation between legal abortion providers and abortion opponents, but rather between two factions of the anti-abortion movement and with the aggrieved party asking for future protection from harassment and possible violence.

WTF?!!

After years of vandalism, fire-bombing, death threats and an assault with a deadly weapon by members of religious groups, Scott Roeder was observed by eye-witnesses and recorded on videotape in felony acts by attempting to sabotage the locks on Dr Tiller’s clinic—a federal offense under the FACE act.

The clinic provided the local police with the evidence of Roeder’s felony and the police did absolutely nothing.

That left Roeder free to take his anti-abortion crusade to the next level in which he “allegedly” murdered Dr Tiller in a church foyer a few days later.

Wichita police were provided with all the evidence they needed to arrest Scott Roeder immediately and charge him with a federal crime. They could have involved the FBI. Roeder could have been held on bail and if he made bail he could have been monitored by the FBI whilst awaiting trial.

Instead, nothing was done.

Dr Tiller is now dead, his clinic now closed, his employees now unemployed and women are further denied their legal and medical rights.

Meanwhile radical officially ‘religious’ groups use the particulars and principles of secular law for their own convenience and benefit even as they refuse to abide by them and seek to overthrow them, actively or passively abetted by supposedly secular authorities.

Scott Roeder was encouraged by religious leaders, his actions given justification by certain media authorities, his act enabled by the criminal negligence of the Wichita police and culpable Federal authorities.

When a religious organization in Colorado felt threatened by another more militant religious group, secular authority acted on mere trespass, but when a secular organization in Kansas had been attacked multiple times with vandalism, fire-bombings and assaults with deadly weapons and given clear evidence to act, Wichita authorities did nothing.

Read the rest of 5th Estate’s post on his blog here.

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Monday Open Thread – Dan Quayle’s 15 Minutes of Fame

On June 15, 1992 US Vice President Dan Quayle persuaded a Trenton, N.J., elementary school student to spell potato as “potatoe” during a class spelling bee. This incident speaks volumes about George H. W. Bush’s decision to let Dan  Quayle act again as his running mate in the 1992 campaign.

This incident even provided a spot of humor during the 2008 campaign, abetted of course, by Sarah Palin:

 

Those Republicans certainly know how to pick a winning candidate or running mate! Both of these people are fully capable of character suicide which is a self-inflicted form of character assassination. But Dan Quayle can certainly put his own case forward as he does during this clip: