"If you understood everything I said, you'd be me" - Miles Davis
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." - Bertrand Russell
"Take away the right to say fuck and you take away the right to say fuck the government." - Lenny Bruce
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson

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Still Going
"NATURE OF THE ACTION On December 13, 2004, numerous Ohio citizens contested "the certification of the election of the electors pledged to George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney for the offices, respectively, of President of the United States and Vice President of the United Sates for the terms commencing January 20, 2005.." and "..the certification of the election of Thomas Moyer for the office of Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court for the term commencing in 2005."

LAWSUIT REFILED On December 16, 2004, Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer threw out the complaint because it had two election challenges. The following day, on December 17, thirty-seven voters and their lawyers refiled the election challenge for President and Vice President of the United States. The other case for the office of Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court was refiled on December 20, 2004.

DEFENDANT-CONTESTEES are George W. Bush (candidate for the office of President of the United States of America), Richard B. Cheney (candidate for the office of Vice President of the United States of America), Karl Rove (chief election strategist and tactician for the Bush-Cheney campaign), the Bush-Cheney 2004 Committee, Thomas J. Moyer (Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice candidate), J. Kenneth Blackwell (Ohio Secretary of State), and the 20 Ohio Bush electors."

No Holiday for Vote Thieves

Wait Just A Minute
Why can't Snoop Dogg just read the goddamn directions on the fabric softener bottle?

Chow Yun-fat Is God
"Bulletproof Monk" is a crappy movie with one saving grace: Chow Yun-fat (OK, 1 1/2-the nazi villian was pretty good). So I note with pleasure that Chow Yun-fat will be in at least one and maybe two of the sequels to "Pirates of the Caribbean".
Via Boing Boing

"FOXBlocker is an innovative new product that filters out the FOX News network. Simply screw the filter into the back of your TV and never be exposed to right wing propaganda again (at least through FOX News). Using a proprietary technology, the FOXBlocker works to filter out FOX News from your cable lineup. "
Via Linkfilter

NY Street Posters By Nutjobs
ling ling's head
Via Kung Fu Mpnkey

November Surprise
"If the United States were a Third World country, our Nov. 2 election would not pass certification by international monitors. As former President Carter has explained on National Public Radio, we lack a central, nonpartisan election commission to guarantee fair and equal treatment of all voters nationwide, our candidates do not receive free and equal access to the media to deliver their message, voting procedures are not uniform throughout the county, and there is not a "paper trail" available in all cases to guarantee an honest recount where called for.
As officials testified this week at a forum called by Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., and for an investigation by Congress' General Accounting Office, electronic voting theft is incredibly easy. There have also been widespread reports of election irregularities -- more than 38,000 nationwide at last count, according to Verified Voting Foundation's election-incident reporting system. Most of those irregularities appear to favor Republicans.

If this were an election taking place in a Third World dictatorship, or a former part of the Soviet Union (Georgia and Ukraine, for recent examples) people would be in the streets screaming "fraud" and demanding the president's resignation.

Democratic pundits have been wringing their hands, trying to figure out the best tactics for future victory. The answer is simple: Make sure every eligible voter gets a chance to vote, and that every vote gets recorded, counted and accurately reported -- and that a secure paper trail exists to ensure the validity of any required recount.

Suspicions of election fraud undermine the very foundation of our democracy and need to be addressed. "

Cool And Creepy
Skeletons of Cartoon Characters
Via Metafilter

It's The Little Things That Bug Me
Today I'll consider "Kill Bill, volumes 1 & 2". While I have nothing but respect for Uma Thurman, and I would surely think twice before pissing her off (with or without a sword), I can't help but notice that her character (The Bride/Beatrix Kiddo, hereafter refered to as Uma for brevity) is, for a professional assassin of skill and experience, pretty damn stupid:

1: Upon waking from a 4-year coma Uma kills the two scumbags who are about to rape her. She then hides out in one of their cars for a long time until she can get her legs working. Don't you think that the police, after finding 2 bloody, murdered bodies in a hospital, are going to check on the victim's car?

2: Uma goes after the first of the people who put her in a coma and murdered her entire wedding party. She is still in the rapist's car-a rather colorful pickup truck with "pussy wagon" painted on it in big letters. I don't suppose there's anyone on the lookout for this murder victim's stolen car? And as far as I could tell she doesn't do any reconnaissance of Vernita's house-she just walks up with a knife. For all she knows the house is actually a heavily-armed suburban meth lab.

3: It turns out that Uma belonged to a group of professional assassins with extremely silly snake-based "code names". She had left the firm, her lover (and group leader), gotten pregnant, and was set to be married-though not necessarily in that order. Now the thing about bands of assassins is-they kill people. And if you screw them over, or try to leave their happy little family I can see where violence will ensue. But that never occurs to Uma. And it would have been so easy to secure the chapel-just a pair of claymores pointed towards the front door.

4: Uma is surprised to find that O-Ren Ishii has a small army of swordsmen at her command. Smart assassins learn these sorts of things about their targets before attempting to kill them.

5: If you cut someone's arm off at the shoulder, I wouldn't count on them being alive later to give you information or carry messages to your enemies.

6: When Uma goes after Budd, she just kicks open his trailer door and runs in. She is greeted by a blast of rock-salt from a shotgun. Once again no preparation or research. I would have lit the trailer on fire and shot him full of arrows, then finished him off with the sword. A bulletproof vest would have been nice too.

P.S. If I were Chia Hui Liu, a cranky martial-arts master ("I kill at will!"), and I had plucked out the eye of my misbehaving student, I wouldn't let her keep cooking my meals. She might take the loss of her eye personally and try to kill me-say by poisoning my dinner of fish heads-a method that neatly makes all my bad-ass kung-fu irrelevent.

Color Me Orange
"But if the Ukraine standard were applied in Ohio -- as it should be -- then the late lamented U.S. election certainly was stolen. In Ohio, the secretary of state in charge of the elections process was co-chairman of the Bush campaign in the state. He obstructed the vote count systematically -- for instance, by demanding that provisional ballots without birth dates on their envelopes be thrown out, even though there is no requirement for that in state law. He also required that provisional ballots be cast in a voter's home precinct, ensuring that there would be no escape from long lines. Republicans fielded thousands of election challengers to Democratic precincts, mainly to try to intimidate black voters and to slow down the voting process. A recount, demanded and paid for by the Green and Libertarian parties, has been stalled in court, so that it won't possibly upset the certification of Ohio's electoral votes.

In Franklin County, Ohio, there was rampant abuse, with voting machines added in Republican precincts and taken away in Democratic ones, as documented by the Columbus Dispatch. The result was a crippling pileup at the polls; many thousands did not vote because they simply could not afford to wait. I witnessed this with my own eyes. And Sen. Lugar could have, too, for much less than the price of airfare to Kiev.

According to an article by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman: "The man running the show in Franklin County was Board of Elections Director Matt Damschroder, former head of the county's Republican Party ... Damschroder's official records also show that while desperate poll workers called his office throughout the day, at least 125 machines were held back at the opening of the polls and an additional 68 were never deployed. Thus while thousands of inner city voters stood in the rain, were told their cars would be towed, and were then forced to vote in five minutes or less, Damschroder sat on machines that could have significantly sped the process."

These are the established facts. Eyewitness reports of other forms of abuse include malfunctioning voting machines in Youngstown, a mysterious lockdown of the vote count in Warren County and lesser incidents that run into the thousands. And then there are allegations of irregularities in the count -- how solid these are, one does not know. Taken together, are these enough to change the outcome? No one can say. But the same is true in Kiev. And there, allegations by the defeated opposition are taken in good faith, and are quite enough to satisfy international observers and the government of the United States.

So where is the press? Why aren't there more stories on Ohio? Why is there no national pressure for a prompt statewide recount? Why no continuing outcry? Why no demand -- as our friends are making with strong American support in Ukraine -- that the election results in Ohio be set aside and a new vote held? Why has our election, with all its thuggery, been forgotten just three weeks after it occurred? "
Bypass Salon Ads
Via Follow Me Here

Alabama Fails Us Not
" An Alabama lawmaker who sought to ban gay marriages now wants to ban novels with gay characters from public libraries, including university libraries.

A bill by Rep. Gerald Allen, R-Cottondale, would prohibit the use of public funds for "the purchase of textbooks or library materials that recognize or promote homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle." Allen said he filed the bill to protect children from the "homosexual agenda."

"Our culture, how we know it today, is under attack from every angle," Allen said in a press conference Tuesday.
My culture certainly is, as long as chuckleheads like Allen keep getting elected

Allen said that if his bill passes, novels with gay protagonists and college textbooks that suggest homosexuality is natural would have to be removed from library shelves and destroyed."
Via William Gibson's Blog

Now Dear, They Are Our Allies
A man in Pakistan has been sentenced to life imprisonment for blasphamy. I'm always amazed at how all-powerful deities seem to require humans to defend them.