Bashing Greens Won’t Help .
Nov 25th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

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 .
Nov 19th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

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… .
Nov 19th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Dif­fi­cult Days…. They’ve been bomb­ing hous­es in Tikrit and oth­er areas! Unbe­liev­able

Does Not Compute! .
Nov 19th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

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 — Strip search that spares your blushes — millimeter wave technology that replaces the declothed body with a computer-generated mannequin.
Nov 19th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

Christi­na Stokes at -

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 .
Nov 18th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

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.

Article here.

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 regime after Iran?  Will we

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 .
Nov 12th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

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. [ 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.
Nov 7th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

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. []

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 on this sub­ject.

Nov 6th, 2003 by Ken Hagler

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.

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