Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Dilbert Loves Voting Machines!

Scott Adams has a pretty amazing post on his blog. I don't read it regularly, so I don't know if it's typical, or if he was just drunk, but I can't say I wholly disagree with the sentiment. Here's a snippet:
Now don't get me wrong - there's a 100% chance that the voting machines will get hacked and all future elections will be rigged. But that doesn't mean we'll get a worse government. It probably means that the choice of the next American president will be taken out of the hands of deep-pocket, autofellating, corporate shitbags and put it into the hands of some teenager in Finland. How is that not an improvement?

via Wonkette

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Monitoring Peace Activists' Emails

The ACLU has released more information about the U.S. government's monitoring of peace activists, including reading emails. While the Department of Homeland Security says the monitoring is "only to alert commanders and staff to potential terrorist activity", it seems that expressions of dissent are being characterized as "subversive propaganda" and a threat to national security. Once collected, the information is shared, not only with Federal agencies, but also with state and local law enforcement.

Among the groups being monitored are the Quakers.
The planned activity of the Quakers that so concerned the Pentagon, Homeland Security, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force was this: "On 19 Mar 05, there will be a 'Stop the War NOW!' rally in commemoration of the second anniversary of the U.S. Invasion/Occupation of Iraq. The Akron rally will have a march and reading of names of war dead. ... The Akron march begins at noon and goes past a local military recruiting station and the FBI office. The march will end at the Federal Building in Akron, for a rally, followed by reading of names of U.S. and Iraqi war dead."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Drudge: "16 and 17 Year Old Beasts"

Matt Drudge is now referring to the pages caught up in the Mark Foley scandel as "these 16 and 17 year-old beasts". Crooks and Liars has some audio clips here, and Firedoglake has some written transcripts here, including this nugget:
And if anything, these kids are less innocent — these 16 and 17 year-old beasts...and I've seen what they're doing on YouTube and I've seen what they're doing all over the internet — oh yeah — you just have to tune into any part of their pop culture. You're not going to tell me these are innocent babies.

via HuffPost

Monday, October 02, 2006

Speak English in Airports!!

A man preparing to board an American Airlines flight from Seattle to Fort Worth was questioned by police, forcing him to miss his flight because he was speaking Tamil, a language spoken by an estimated 80 million people, instead of English while talking on his phone. An off-duty airline employee overheard the man talking and reported him to the flight crew.

Airport spokesman Bob Parker said it was a "big misunderstanding", but also that airport officials must investigate reports of suspicious activity.
But Parker had no explanation as to why a man speaking Tamil, which is spoken worldwide, would be considered suspicious. The person who contacted airport officials could give an answer to that question, he added.
The man was allowed to board a later flight.

via BoingBoing

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Congressional Pages Warned 5 Years Ago

According to ABC, former page Matthew Loraditch says a Republican staff member was warning congressional pages in 2001 about former congressman Mark Foley.
Loraditch, the president of the Page Alumni Association, said the pages were told "don't get too wrapped up in him being too nice to you and all that kind of stuff."

Judge Hindering Abramoff Investigation?

The AP is reporting that U.S. District Judge Paul Huck is refusing to delay Jack Abramoff's prison sentence, even though federal prosecutors say he is "providing information about officials whose names hadn't yet surfaced in the case." The Judge indicates delaying the sentencing would be giving Mr. Abramoff special treatment.
During Thursday's court hearing in Miami, Ed Nucci, acting chief of the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section, did not mention any targets of the Abramoff case. He told the judge, however, that with the disgraced former lobbyist behind bars, "what we need from Mr. Abramoff will be impossible to get."

The AP's Confusion Over Reality

I come across this headline today:

"FBI Worries About an Osama-Sopranos Link"

I wondered what this link could be. Was the Al-Qaeda leader getting ideas from HBO? Perhaps he was somehow using the show to deliver secret messages to his minions.

No, what the AP headline writer really meant was that the FBI is worried about a connection between bin Laden's possible connection with the Mafia.

Have we really gotten to the point where one of the world's largest news organizations equates a cable television program with La Cosa Nostra. Yes we have. And you know, I'm not even surprised.

UPDATE: Seems they changed the headline. Now it's a Osama-Mobsters link. No mention of the change in wording is made.