Right Thinking From The Left Coast
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. - Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

by Lee

I don’t care what party you identify with, this is bullshit.

Optical scan voting devices slated to be used presidential primary elections in Florida next year are significantly flawed and could compromise the outcome of the contest, according to a report released Tuesday by Secretary of State Kurt Browning.

The report was compiled by researchers at Florida State University, who were hired by Browning in May to conduct an independent review of optical scan and touch-screen devices made by Diebold Election Systems, one of the largest voting machine vendors in the country and a major supplier of gear to Florida.

The report cited a number of security gaps in the Diebold systems.

For example, it said, Diebold’s Accuvote OS optical scan machine is vulnerable to vote manipulation by illicitly inserting a pre-programmed memory card into a voting terminal. The card, the report said, could be coded to flip votes from one candidate to another without detection.

I’d like to see a federal law stating that all software for voting machines has to be open source.  It will provide the most security for our electoral process.  There’s nothing so earth-shattering about software to power touch screens that this would be a significant infringement on the bottom line of a company like Diebold.  They still get the money from selling the voting machines, but everyone in the country gets to see how the guts work.  I think electronic voting machines are the way to go, but closed, proprietary systems are not the way to go about it.

Posted by Lee on 08/01/07 at 09:31 PM in Election 2008  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Dr. Klahn’s Punishment
by Lee

Oh the delicious irony.

Ismaail Ahmed Hamed’s relatives remain on the other side of the globe after fleeing their native Iraq, but the 25-year-old was welcomed like family Wednesday to his new home of Michigan.

Hamed, who left Iraq for Turkey in 2005, is among the first of an influx of Iraqi refugees expected to resettle in the Detroit area after escaping the continued turmoil in their home country.

``We hope the future there will be different,’’ Hamed said after getting off a plane at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

They escape from a city controlled by thugs and armed gangs and are relocated to a city controlled by thugs and armed gangs.  “Let us help you.  Here, we’ll put you in the most crime-infested city in America.  It’ll seem just like home, except for the snow.”

Update: Wow, I didn’t realize that Detroit’s Bleeding Pussy Patrol was going to get so offended that I made a joke about their city.  I would have thought that a post called “Dr. Klahn’s Punishment” wouldn’t be taken as a serious critique of Detroit crime issues but…

Posted by Lee on 08/01/07 at 09:25 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Spending Your Own Money
by Lee

Now this is a conservative.


Statement of

[Page: H1655]

Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 3591. At the same time, I am very supportive of President Reagan’s publicly stated view of limiting the federal government to it’s proper and constitutional role. In fact, I was one of only four sitting members of the United States House of Representatives who endorsed Ronald Reagan’s candidacy for President in 1976. The United States enjoyed sustained economic prosperity and employment growth during Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

I must, however, oppose the Gold Medal for Ronald and Nancy Reagan because appropriating $30,000 of taxpayer money is neither constitutional nor, in the spirit of Ronald Reagan’s notion of the proper, limited role for the federal government.

Because of my continuing and uncompromising opposition to appropriations not authorized within the enumerated powers of the Constitution, I would maintain my resolve and commitment to the Constitution--a Constitution, which only last year, each Member of Congress, swore to uphold. In each of these instances, I offered to do a little more than uphold my constitutional oath.

In fact, as a means of demonstrating my personal regard and enthusiasm for Ronald Reagan’s advocacy for limited government, I invited each of these colleagues to match my private, personal contribution of $100 which, if accepted by the 435 Members of the House of Representatives, would more than satisfy the $30,000 cost necessary to mint and award a gold medal to Ronald and Nancy Reagan. To me, it seemed a particularly good opportunity to demonstrate one’s genuine convictions by spending one’s own money rather that of the taxpayers who remain free to contribute, at their own discretion, to commemorate the work of the Reagans. For the record, not a single Representative who solicited my support for spending taxpayer’s money, was willing to contribute their own money to demonstrate their generosity and allegiance to the Reagan’s stated convictions.

It is, of course, very easy to be generous with the people’s money.

Yes, but this isn’t what conservatism is about.  It’s all about homosexuals and retarded vegetables and the Mexican menace.  Spending money?  That’s the fun part of the job.

Posted by Lee on 08/01/07 at 07:57 PM in Election 2008  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Donny and Pat
by Lee

Rumsfeld testified about the Tillman incident today.

“I know that I would not engage in a cover-up. I know that no one in the White House suggested such a thing to me. I know that the gentlemen sitting next to me are men of enormous integrity and would not participate in something like that,” Rumsfeld said, adding he didn’t recall discussing the Tillman matter with the White House until the fratricide became public knowledge.

The family was there, too.

Tillman’s mother, Mary Tillman, his brother Kevin and other family members watched silently from the back row of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing room. They’ve long maintained that Rumsfeld and others must have known more, sooner than they’ve acknowledged, and have alleged a cover-up leading to the White House.

Mary Tillman occasionally shook her head at Rumsfeld’s testimony, but after the hearing the family left without commenting.

And, once again, I find myself in the unfortunate position of having to agree with a douchebag like Henry Waxman.

Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., aired his frustration at the repeated denials of responsibility from Rumsfeld, Myers, retired Gen. John P. Abizaid, the former commander of the U.S. Central Command, and retired Gen. Bryan Douglas Brown, former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command.

“You’ve all admitted that the system failed. The public should have known, the family should have known earlier,” Waxman said as the hearing ended. “None of you feel you personally were responsible, but the system itself didn’t work.”

“‘The system didn’t work, errors were made’ - that’s too passive. Somebody should be responsible,” Waxman said.

Look, here’s how I think it all went down.  Tillman enlists, becomes the epitome of a national hero.  The Army loved it, the Pentagon loved it, and the White House loved it.  Very rarely does someone make the kind of sacrifice Tillman made, and it was a big deal that he did it.

Then he gets killed.  A fucking tragedy.  Then it turns out it was friendly fire.  Now you’re looking at a PR disaster.  As it begins to wind its way up the chain of command everyone gets a sense of what this could do to the national spirit and mood.  If Tillman had been killed by the Taliban, let’s say, then he’d be lionized for giving his life for his country.  But he wasn’t, he was killed by his own people.  While friendly fire incidents are an inevitable part of warfare, this makes his sacrifice look like it was all for nothing.  It makes the Army look incompetent, and it could have a crushing effect on the national psyche.  His enlistment was a source of national pride, and a death by friendly fire would be an equally large source of national anguish.

So do I think there was a reticence to tell the truth?  Definitely.  But do I think there was an organized cover-up, where men with rolled-up sleeves sit in smoke-filled rooms mapping out the master strategy?  No, nothing of the sort.  That being said, I don’t think we know all there is to know about what happened.  As I said the other day, I think the Delta theory is plausible precisely because the government wouldn’t acknowledge that there was Delta in the area.  And I think there are enough inconsistencies in the stories we’re hearing to warrant a full Congressional investigation. 

Let me put it this way.  If there were this many inconsistencies in a regular old homicide the case would be reopened.  This is Pat Tillman, a national hero.  I think the country deserves to know what happened, especially his family.  If he was killed in a regular friendly fire incident then so be it.  If he was murdered by someone then that person deserves to be brought to justice.  But given the number of cover-ups and half-truths that we’ve seen coming from the military, the DoD, and the White House the past few years, I think you’d have to be one gullible son of a bitch to actually buy their story on what happened to Pat Tillman the way it stands now.

Posted by Lee on 08/01/07 at 07:32 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

A Stone and a Hard Place
by Lee

Well, the surgery was successful.  However, there’s been a complication.  (The specifics are pretty disgusting, so use your imagination.) He wants me to come in to his office ASAP and get checked out, so I’m heading back over there.  Details to come as they emerge.

Update: Okay, here’s the scoop.  The nurse called me today to check in and see how I was.  I said I felt fine, I wasn’t in any real pain, but that I was still pissing blood.  Not just a little, I’m talking cherry Kool-Aid.  She said that that shouldn’t be happening, and that I should come in right away. 

So I met the doc, and he told me that the lithotripsy was a complete success.  He showed me before and after images of the inside of my kidney.  The stone was bigger than he originally thought, a little over 2cm, but it was easier to smash up than he thought, too.  He decided to leave a stent inside me to assist in expelling the debris from the stone.  So far a few little chips have come out but nothing major.  He thinks that the stent is irritating my bladder, which is what is causing the bleeding.  So I have to give it a few days, then go in for another CT scan on Monday.

Ugh.  Fuck this shit sucks. 

Update 2: Since so many MOOREWATCH readers are Europeans, whose only experience with the US healthcare system is what they saw in Sicko, I’ve written a post detailing the experience, the amount of time it took to receive treatment, and the estimated costs involved.

Posted by Lee on 08/01/07 at 01:56 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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