Tuesday, November 30, 2004

i'm back!

and yes, i went to london for thanksgiving. here's proof, in the image of the one photo i snapped of westminster abbey:

also, the thanksgiving dinner i concocted, right there, in a west end flat, had remarkable yet predictable results:

more photos/stories to come, once i get over the jet lag/figure out how to get the photos from the hard drive to the internet.

Monday, November 15, 2004

everything you ever wanted to know about the battle in/over Fallujah but were afraid to ask...

me, i'm confused by the whole thing. so this is sorta just a bookmark for my own use. but you, too, can learn...Winds of Change has a more than exhaustive account of everything going on right now in the city.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

RIP sweet, sweet molly. one of the bestest doggies EVER.

and much love and condolences to hayden and mrs. hayden.

Friday, November 12, 2004

whoo-hoo! check it out: as if by magic (well, it is to *me*), the casting couch home page has been updated with not only our upcoming gigs, but a photo section full of images from our big about-town (okay, denny's and the UT campus) shoot last month! sweet.

and not only that, but i have my VERY own page! how utterly charming.

go check it out!

and mark Decembers 15th and 17th into your filofax, as we've procured gigs those very nights, and they're bound to astound...

(ghod, i need outta here, meaning the office. the friday after a holiday is always incredibly sucky.)

Thursday, November 11, 2004

molly ivins says: it's back-to-work time, folks. we've only got four years!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Nice. Matthew Yglesias' latest in TNR: Stiffing the Base - It's not the Democrats who disrespect faith-based voters. It's the Republicans.

(adding matthew to the sidebar. he's just too good to not read everyday.)

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

bookmark this

zarq's list of volunteer opportunities: Weird is Relative - How Can We Change the World?

peruse, reflect, think on what you're able/willing to do. they're not all political, they don't all require massive amounts of money or time. if you're sick of being sick of it all, by all means...do something about it!

this is sad. Pravda's Eulogy for America.

from Deborah Grabien over at PeoplesForum, a very important message (and bit of activism on your part, if you accept the challenge):

"Last night, Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's 'Countdown' did a 15-minute piece on the increasingly obvious and massive election fraud of last Tuesday. If you didn't see it last night, here's a link to the show. It runs about 15 minutes.

This is the first major story on the theft of the election to hit the 'mainstream media' - there will be more.

Speaking for myself, I find that I am unwilling to sit back and assume the part of the citizens of Germany in the late 1930's. If 97,000 people who either don't live in Cuyahoga County, Ohio or who flat-out don't exist cast votes there last Tuesday, I want it investigated. I will not play the part of appeasement.

People are very fond of saying that, if you don't vote, you should shut up. I agree. But I feel, very strongly, that shutting up and doing nothing when you've watched a blatant hijacking of your right to have that vote counted is even worse. It translates to appeasement.

So here's what I'm doing, and what I'm asking.

I'm asking everyone to write to David Walker. He's already been officially requested by Representative Conyers (D-MI) to investigate this fraud. Don't write an e-mail. Yes, they're easy to do and require no work, but they're also easy to ignore and to lose. Write a letter, a real live letter. Stamp it. Send it. Make the USPS have to hire extra trucks to deliver millions of letters to Walker's office. Make this impossible to brush off or 'lose'. Have it be an image on the local nightly news: vox populi.

Then post the letter you write in email, to your entire address list. Ask them to do the same.

Make this a movement. We have until January 6. This is our best shot.

This is the letter I'm sending out today:

'The Honorable David M. Walker Comptroller General of the United States
U.S. General Accountability Office
441 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20548

Dear Mr. Walker:

I am writing as a registered voter and a taxpaying citizen of the United States, to request that you launch a fully public and visible investigation into the fast-growing allegations of massive and wide-spread election fraud perpetrated against the American voting public on Tuesday, November 2nd.

The freedom to vote, and the right to have your vote properly counted, is perhaps the single most basic and hard-fought right we have. The citizens of our country, Democrat and Republican alike, watched in horror as the shenanigans of Kathleen Harris in Florida during the 2000 election came to light. We now learn of severe discrepancies all across the country on November 2nd, but most startlingly in Ohio and Florida, the two states that both sides considered to be pivotal before the election.

We are at present trying to convince Iraq that democracy is better than the system they had. If we can offer no credibility for our own democratic process, how can we expect peace there, or anywhere else?

Please fulfill your duties and begin this investigation. Don't hide it from America, Mr. Walker. It's time the fraud and chicanery were brought to light, the perpetrators held accountable, and our democracy restored.

Sincerely, Deborah Grabien' "

Monday, November 08, 2004

oh no, politics again

sweet. remember how i was happily going on about the high voter turnout and the return to american life of civic duty? looks like some precincts in Ohio actually had greater than 100% turnout!! isn't that special? what a great country we have here! you can just FEEL the love!

awww.... (and, refreshingly, not about politics! at least not human politics)

proof that philip is FINALLY starting to love on us humans EVEN when the dog is around! (she's reclining on the floor, just out of the frame)

and philip's new favorite place to snooze:

nope, the dog can NOT get into the car. heh.

more on voting irregularities across the nation.

jees-UHS christ, why the hell is everyone so excited about touch-screen voting? e-voting? it's so easily questioned because it's so easily hacked, manipulated, and/or screwy. what's wrong with the good ol' lever-voting machine? chads, schmads, at least they leave a paper trail that is countable after the fact.


Dep't. of Don't Get Your Hopes Up

Evidence Mounts That The Vote May Have Been Hacked

"When I spoke with Jeff Fisher this morning (Saturday, ovember 06, 2004), the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida's 16th District said he was waiting for the FBI to show up. Fisher has evidence, he says, not only that the Florida election was hacked, but of who hacked it and how. And not just this year, he said, but that these same people had previously hacked the Democratic primary race in 2002 so that Jeb Bush would not have to run against Janet Reno, who presented a real threat to Jeb, but instead against Bill McBride, who Jeb beat.

"It was practice for a national effort," Fisher told me.

And some believe evidence is accumulating that the national effort happened on November 2, 2004.

The State of Florida, for example, publishes a county-by-county record of votes cast and people registered to vote by party affiliation. Net denizen Kathy Dopp compiled the official state information into a table, available at http://ustogether.org/Florida_Election.htm, and noticed something startling.

While the heavily scrutinized touch-screen voting machines seemed to produce results in which the registered Democrat/Republican ratios largely matched the Kerry/Bush vote, in Florida's counties using results from optically scanned paper ballots - fed into a central tabulator PC and thus vulnerable to hacking – the results seem to contain substantial anomalies.


Others offer similar insights, based on other data. A professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, noted that in Florida the vote to raise the minimum wage was approved by 72%, although Kerry got 48%. "The correlation between voting for the minimum wage increase and voting for Kerry isn't likely to be perfect," he noted, "but one would normally expect that the gap - of 1.5 million votes - to be far smaller than it was."

While all of this may or may not be evidence of vote tampering, it again brings the nation back to the question of why several states using electronic voting machines or scanners programmed by private, for-profit corporations and often connected to modems produced votes inconsistent with exit poll numbers."

hmmm...if this piques your interest, read the article. some really thought-provoking stuff, including an example of how easy and simple it is to hack into a machine to change results.

again, hmmm....

Friday, November 05, 2004

last 20 queries that led browsers to this site:

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huh. all i wanna know is, what is Atticus Finch Music? i'm all about that.

a little civics lesson, subject: Majority Rule, Minority Rights.
I’d like to take a quick moment out of your busy day to remind y’all and your patriotic selves of one of the most important Democratic Ideals we’ve got. People go on and on about Majority Rule, but let us not forget the protection of
Minority Rights.

This document is pulled from the State Department’s website, from a publication intended for outreach to emerging democracies. This the United States Government reminding us how this awesome thing called Democracy works in this country. Let’s not forget...or let anyone else forget. Let’s see what the US State Department has to say about the rule of the majority vs. the rights of the minority:

"On the surface, the principles of majority rule and the protection of individual and minority rights would seem contradictory. In fact, however, these principles are twin pillars holding up the very foundation of what we mean by democratic government.

Majority rule is a means for organizing government and deciding public issues; it is not another road to oppression. Just as no self-appointed group has the right to oppress others, so no majority, even in a democracy, should take away the basic rights and freedoms of a minority group or individual.

Minorities -- whether as a result of ethnic background, religious belief, geographic location, income level, or simply as the losers in elections or political debate -- enjoy guaranteed basic human rights that no government, and no majority, elected or not, should remove.

Minorities need to trust that the government will protect their rights and self-identity. Once this is accomplished, such groups can participate in, and contribute to their country's democratic institutions.

Among the basic human rights that any democratic government must protect are freedom of speech and expression; freedom of religion and belief; due process and equal protection under the law; and freedom to organize, speak out, dissent, and participate fully in the public life of their society.

Democracies understand that protecting the rights of minorities to uphold cultural identity, social practices, individual consciences, and religious activities is one of their primary tasks.

Acceptance of ethnic and cultural groups that seem strange if not alien to the majority can represent one of the greatest challenges that any democratic government can face. But democracies recognize that diversity can be an enormous asset. They treat these differences in identity, culture, and values as a challenge that can strengthen and enrich them, not as a threat.

There can be no single answer to how minority-group differences in views and values are resolved -- only the sure knowledge that only through the democratic process of tolerance, debate, and willingness to compromise can free societies reach agreements that embrace the twin pillars of majority rule and minority rights."

okay, i have to admit that last post was a little morose and cranky.

although i'm not sure what's wrong with that since i'm a little morose and cranky.

anyhow, this made me feel a bit better...(that and looking forward to going to live under a rock for the forseeable future. well, okay, at least over the weekend)...

17 reasons not to slit your wrists...by Michael Moore.

look! voting machines making massive vote-recording errors! in OHIO! and florida. wow, i'm shocked!

i have no words. and what are they NOT finding evidence of? how much of this BS is NOT found (or better-hidden)?

i just wanna go live under a rock for the next four years.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

maureen dowd just about sums it all up.

"...The president got re-elected by dividing the country along fault lines of fear, intolerance, ignorance and religious rule. He doesn't want to heal rifts; he wants to bring any riffraff who disagree to heel.

W. ran a jihad in America so he can fight one in Iraq - drawing a devoted flock of evangelicals, or "values voters," as they call themselves, to the polls by opposing abortion, suffocating stem cell research and supporting a constitutional amendment against gay marriage.

Mr. Bush, whose administration drummed up fake evidence to trick us into war with Iraq, sticking our troops in an immoral position with no exit strategy, won on "moral issues."

The president says he's "humbled" and wants to reach out to the whole country. What humbug. The Bushes are always gracious until they don't get their way. If W. didn't reach out after the last election, which he barely grabbed, why would he reach out now that he has what Dick Cheney calls a "broad, nationwide victory"?

While Mr. Bush was making his little speech about reaching out, Republicans said they had "the green light" to pursue their conservative agenda, like drilling in Alaska's wilderness and rewriting the tax code.

"He'll be a lot more aggressive in Iraq now," one Bush insider predicts. "He'll raze Falluja if he has to. He feels that the election results endorsed his version of the war." Never mind that the more insurgents American troops kill, the more they create.


Meanwhile, the [left] is comforting itself with the expectation that this loony bunch will fatally overreach, just as Newt Gingrich did in the 90's.

But with this crowd, it's hard to imagine what would constitute overreaching.

Invading France?"

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

more good news: "The big melt has begun."

"Global warming is causing the Arctic ice-cap to melt at such an unprecedented rate that by the summer of 2070 it may have no ice at all, according to the most comprehensive study carried out on global climate change in the region.

The icecap has shrunk by 15% to 20% in the past 30 years and the trend is set to accelerate, with the Arctic warming almost twice as fast as the rest of the planet, due to a build-up of heat-trapping gases.


George Bush pulled out of the UN's Kyoto protocol on global warming in 2001, arguing it was too expensive."

but of course, it's important that we revive state-sponsored bigotry and fascism in this country. i'm so glad we have such Moral Values, here in America.

people are having problems with blogger? hmmm. let's see if i can blog this:

Mark Morford speaks for me this morning:

"...You want to block it out. You want to rend your flesh and yank your hair and say no way in hell and lean out your window and scream into the Void and pray it will all be over soon, even though you know you're an atheist Buddhist Taoist Rosicrucian Zen Orgasmican and you don't normally pray to anything except maybe the gods of really exceptional sake and skin-tingling sex and maybe a few luminous transcendental deities that look remarkably like Jenna Jameson.

It simply boggles the mind: We've already had four years of some of the most appalling and abusive foreign and domestic policy in American history, some of the most well-documented atrocities ever wrought on the American populace and it's all combined with the biggest and most violently botched and grossly mismanaged war since Vietnam, and still much of the nation still insists in living in a giant vat of utter blind faith, still insists on believing the man in the White House couldn't possibly be treating them like a dog treats a fire hydrant.


This much is clear: We are not, should Bush finally be declared the victor, headed for buoyancy and friendship and sincere hope for something new and refreshing. We are not, with another four years of what we just endured, headed toward any sort of easing of bitter tension, a sense of levity, or sexual openness, or true education, or gender respect, or a lightness of spirit and of step.

Maybe the best we can hope for, at this ominous and slightly sickening moment, is one hell of a lot more patience."

and then of course, as Mark points out, the rest of the world wonders what the hell we're thinking over here. like him, i'd like to apologize to all ya's out there. this isn't my choice. and i'll do everything i can to make sure sanity and humanity return to the united states of america, as soon as possible.

well, travis county went for kerry 56-42.

and we got the commuter rail passed.

and doggett beat becky klein 78-19.

so, at least i live in fucking austin. i guess.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

slate sez it's impossible for bush to win?

hmmm. we shall see.

damn. i don't have any fingernails left. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO NERVOUSLY GNAW ON NOW?!?!?

OH and via atrios, Zogby's last poll prediction...

BUSH 213

(too close to call, Nevada with 5EV and Colorado with 9)

ghod. i'm hesitantly feeling good about this. but damn if i'm not nervous as all get-out.

*cracking open a beer for moral support*

so slate's got some exit polling numbers, which, of course, i will take with a grain of salt...although i'm quite enjoying this salt...Updated Late Afternoon Numbers - Mucho flattering to Kerry; plus Nader makes an appearance.

Kerry 51
Bush 49

Kerry 51
Bush 49

Kerry 52
Bush 46
Nader 1

Kerry 53
Bush 46

Kerry 50
Bush 49

Kerry 51
Bush 48
Nader 1

Kerry 52
Bush 46
Nader 2

New Hampshire
Kerry 54
Bush 44
Nader 1

New Mexico
Kerry 50
Bush 48
Nader 1

Kerry 49
Bush 50
Nader 1

Kerry 45
Bush 54
Nader 1

Kerry 47
Bush 52

New York
Kerry 62
Bush 36
Nader 2

Kerry 49
Bush 48
Nader 1

New Jersey
Kerry 54
Bush 44
Nader 1

West Virginia
Kerry 45
Bush 54
Nader 1

(stupid nader.)

today is driving me NUTS. first off, meeting this morning, a surprise meeting this afternoon, and it's ELECTION DAY and i can't just sit at the computer and read the blogs and follow the polls...gah! well, here's a little bit of optimism that just made my lunch hour a happier time (since the "chicken parmesan" from the ersatz "deli" downstairs sure wasn't doing the trick)...

Jimmy Breslin on Why Kerry Will Win!!!!

and of course, Krugman's tuesday column, this time an optimistic paeon to voting. today.

ah yes, american civil liberties. have you voted yet?

dutcher posts, in comments below, a coherent explanation for what was going on with crazy strange apparent voting machine snafu-fraud in travis county (and other places using the e-vote machines):

On this particular machine, when you select a "straight ticket" vote, it causes all races that have a candidate for the selected party to be highlighted with a red dot. Other candidates are dimmed into a grey color with lower contrast than you have before you make a selection. How could a voter get confused? The "straight ticket" selection appears as the top "race" on the ballot. You turn the "select" wheel to scroll to the party you want and press the big "Center" button. After this, the machine helpfully advances the current selection to the next race, the presidential race. If a voter were to think that the "Center" button had not done anything yet (perhaps because there is a noticable delay while it is performing the selection) and were to then press the button again, they might indeed end up selecting the top candidate on the list of presidential candidates, who just happens to be George W. Bush."


How can the vendor engineer their system to avoid the problem next time around? For starters, they could reduce the latency after selecting a straight ticket with some performance tuning of their software. They could also use a “Just a minute…” popup window of some kind to make it clear that the machine got the command and is working on processing it. They could even consider ignoring button presses that occured while the machine was busy. However, whatever they try, they need to evaluate it. It’s called the scientific method. You get a bunch of test subject voters, with demographics representing people in the real world rather than just college students, and you can experimentally compare the “control” group with the old system to the “experimental” group with the modified system. If the control group is more accurate, then you go back to the drawing board."


Monday, November 01, 2004

aw yeah. cinematic perfection.

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