Bashing Greens Won't Help. Enough of chads, butterfly ballots and the whole lot. Let's say that we should have a democracy, and that it should work. After all, people died for the right to vote, and everyone's vote should count. I also happen to think that people should be able to vote their conscience, and vote for what they believe in. I'd like to work on making a democracy that lives up to that potential, which means that even third parties should be able to participate (remember that the Greens had to litigate to get on the ballot in nine states, which is somewhat of a challenge to democracy in itself).
I believe in making America better, and refuse to be called unpatriotic, or have it suggested that "Nader not only elects Republicans, he's starting to sound like them." (I would assume that some of this flak is supposed to carry over to me.) While Ralph may run, I don't plan on it, at least this election.
But here's a bit of advice for those who don't support Nader or other Greens. If you don't like the Green candidates, don't vote for them. And if you want to win an election, go out and get some folks to vote for you -- like that 50 percent of the American voters who represent the largest party in America, the nonvoters. On the way, you might build a party and a platform with some integrity, not just insults. (link)
There's a lot of Democratic partisans that need to listen to this. If you want the Green vote, go out and win it, don't try to intimidate Greens to vote Democratic by blaming them for Bush. This is a democracy not a playground. [Al-Muhajabah's Islamic Blogs]
The same applies to libertarians. What's the point of voting if you don't vote for people who will actually represent you?
Emancipating Hard Drives. Eric Canuteson, whose real estate investment company is registered as a Los Angeles County vendor, reports receiving the following notice the other day from Joe Sandoval, manager of purchasing and contract services at the county's Internal Services Department:
The County of Los Angeles actively promotes and is committed to ensure a work environment that is free from any discriminatory influence be it actual or perceived. As such, it is the County's expectation that our manufacturers, suppliers and contractors make a concentrated effort to ensure that any equipment, supplies or services that are provided to County departments do not possess or portray an image that may be construed as offensive or defamatory in nature.
One such recent example included the manufacturer's labeling of equipment where the words ''Master/Slave'' appeared to identify the primary and secondary sources. Based on the cultural diversity and sensitivity of Los Angeles County, this is not an acceptable identification label.
We would request that each manufacturer, supplier and contractor review, identify and remove/change any identification or labeling of equipment or components thereof that could be interpreted as discriminatory or offensive in nature before such equipment is sold or otherwise provided to any County department. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and assistance.
As Canuteson notes, Master/Slave is a standard designation not only for involuntary servitude (and kinky sexual relationships) but also for computer components. L.A. County presumably also frowns on references to "male" and "female" plumbing and electrical parts. [Hit & Run]
Wouldn't this silly directive constitute a "discriminatory influence" against electrical engineers?
Difficult Days…. They’ve been bombing houses in Tikrit and other areas! Unbelievable
Does Not Compute!. Danger, John Derbyshire! Danger! Danger! The recent Massachusetts decision on gay marriage appears to have caused the equivalent of a divide-by-zero error in the circuitry of conservative brains, which are short circuiting en masse. The spate of frantic comments seen in the last twenty four hours may collectively make less sense than everything conservatives have said on the topic up to this point… which is pretty impressive.
It takes a special kind of hostility to equal rights, for example, to descend to the point where the following inane arguments count as “thoughtful”:
bq. Under the traditional restrictions, a man cannot marry his daughter, or, a fortiori, is son, and so if he leaves them a very large inheritance, it is taxed, although what he leaves his wife is not taxed. But under a general license to ‘marry’ another man, a man could marry his son, and thus pass his property to the son tax-free. […]
[W]hat if two men who are partners in crime take the precaution of marrying, so that they can each be sure that the other one won’t turn state’s evidence at trial, should they be caught?
So, despite the fact that a general right to marry someone of the opposite sex hasn’t compelled us to allow father/daughter marriages, a general right to marry someone of your own sex is (apparently) going to require us to license father/son marriage. And while the spousal privilege loophole is apparently not cause for concern when it comes to mixed-gender partners-in-crime, so many male criminal partnerships will “take the precaution” of marrying first that we’ll have to dispense with it.
Derbyshire earlier wondered whether cellmates might now marry (the point? your guess is as good as mine), while fellow Cornerite Stan Kurtz linked an only barely more coherent piece that pushes the limits of even Maggie Gallagher’s prodigious powers of vacuity. Apparently, the notion that you should be allowed to marry the person you love, whether or not you intend to have children, is equivalent to the claim “that children don’t need mothers and fathers.” Permitting childless couples also, it seems, amounts to “conduct[ing] a great social experiment on children.” Because, you see… err, no, I can’t even come up with a facetious line of argument on which that follows. [Hit & Run]
Christina Stokes at Scotsman.com -
Strip search that spares your blushes — millimeter wave technology
that replaces the declothed body with a computer-generated
mannequin. This somehow makes it “OK” to search you without your
consent and without a warrant. It’s fighting terrorism, don’t you
know. For the children. Not yet ready for prime time, but the
jackboots are working furiously. [claire]
The powerful scanner, which was developed by American scientists, uses
millimetre waves to see through clothes. It works because the fibres
in clothes are less than a millimetre across, allowing the light waves
to pass right through them.
A special camera using the waves can see through clothes as easily as
we can see through glass. And the picture it creates can be seen on a
screen so operators can see not just if a person is carrying arms, but
also drugs and plastic explosives. Non-metallic illegal substances
like these are not picked up by normal airport scanners.
The scanner could eventually be used not just in airports and train
stations but in all public places.
Petillot explained: “At the moment there is no real way of checking
fans coming into a football stadium or pupils going into a school to
see if they are carrying knives.
“The millimetre wave technology needs people to pause for a second at
the moment. But it’s possible that when the scanning software is
developed it could get quick enough to scan crowds passing through
turnstiles into a football match.”
Another advantage of millimetre wave scanners over current technology
is they do not interfere with pacemakers.
Petillot said: “The camera just receives the rays a person emits,
rather than sending out waves itself. So it doesn’t interfere with
pacemakers and there are no risks involved in people going through the
And Petillot believes similar technology could be used to scan lorries
and trains crossing borders for illegal immigrants.
[End the War on Freedom]
Gay Marriage OK in Bay State. bq. Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday opened the door for marriage licenses to be issued to same-sex couples, ruling that the state may not deny them licenses.
Update: decision here.
[Hit & Run]
It's a pleasant surprise to read of a pro-freedom decision coming from the People's Republic of Massachusetts.
Now that we are committed to rapid elections in Iraq — without constitutional safeguards — what will we do if the country goes Islamist and wants to pattern the régime after Iran? Will we annul the elections? [John Robb’s Weblog]
More likely the Feds will simply refuse to allow any candidates who won’t do what they’re told. That’s the way the UN operates in the Balkans, there’s no reason to think Iraq will be any different.
In Case You Missed This. This deep in today’s Washington Post article about the bomb that killed at least 23 people at the Italian base in Nasiriyah, Iraq: “And at a roadblock in Fallujah, a restive city west of the capital, U.S. troops fired on a truck carrying live chickens Tuesday night, killing five civilians.
“They went to bring chickens … and they came back at 9 or 10 at night and we were waiting for them,” Khalid Khalifa Jumaily, whose two nephews were killed on the truck, told the news service. “The Americans fired on them.”
The U.S. military said it no [sic] immediate information on the shootings.”
There’s no attempt at linkage, and Fallujah is far from Nasiriyah; the Post is just using the Italian bomb article as a catch-all for other war violence not worth highlighting or reporting in any more detailed fashion. [LewRockwell.com Blog]
The government seems determined to make sure that the Iraqis don’t get any ideas about actually being free now.
Iraq offered U.S. deal to avert war. Just days before U.S.-led forces invaded Iraq, officials claiming to speak for a frantic Iraqi régime made a last-ditch effort to avert the war, but U.S. officials rebuffed the overture, the intermediary and U.S. officials said Thursday. [PittsburghLive.com]
As I pointed out back in March, the Feds came right out and said that they intended to conquer Iraq no matter what the Iraqis did. Here’s an article from LewRockwell.com on this subject.
FRIEDMAN VS. FRIEDMAN. The boxing match of the year…no, month…no, day…well, whatever…is explained here.
More and more, I’m convinced that one of the major reasons the Bush Administration and its supporters continue to get away with so much is because almost no one remembers anything. Thus, many of them can maintain their insufferable sense of moral superiority endlessly — even when they contradict what they themselves have said in the past, and even when countless facts undermine their most basic… [The Light of Reason]
I’ve noticed this myself. All of the Crusaders seem to be generally either unable or unwilling to remember anything that happened in the past–even the recent past. The exceptions are when one of them makes a historical reference which refutes whatever he’s trying to say, as in the case of Bush’s recent comparison of Iraq to the Phillipine War.