Thursday, December 30, 2004

Patriotic? Or Just Pathetic?

This from a NY Times Opinion Peice that puts it in perspective:
"We hope Secretary of State Colin Powell was privately embarrassed when, two days into a catastrophic disaster that hit 12 of the world's poorer countries and will cost billions of dollars to meliorate, he held a press conference to say that America, the world's richest nation, would contribute $15 million. That's less than half of what Republicans plan to spend on the Bush inaugural festivities.

The American aid figure for the current disaster is now $35 million, and we applaud Mr. Bush's turnaround. But $35 million remains a miserly drop in the bucket, and is in keeping with the pitiful amount of the United States budget that we allocate for nonmilitary foreign aid. According to a poll, most Americans believe the United States spends 24 percent of its budget on aid to poor countries; it actually spends well under a quarter of 1 percent."

Are We Stingy? Yes

I think the clear issue here is where it states what most Americans believe. Even $15 million sounds like an awful lot to most Americans . . . but put into context against other countries, etc, the truth about our unwillingness to share the wealth becomes pretty clear.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Help If You Can

In his first remarks since the weekend disaster that so far has killed more than 76,000, Bush — like some in his administration previously — took umbrage at a U.N. official's suggestion that the world's richest nations were "stingy," and indicated much more is expected to be spent to help the victims.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

20 Amazing Facts About Voting in the USA

-By John Bray of D'Youville College and Paul Zarembka, UB
professor of economics.

  1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.

  2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight

    of the U.S. voting machine industry.

  3. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.

  4. The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer

    and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio

    deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

  5. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He

    became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines.
  6. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush

    family, was recently caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the

    Senate Ethics Committee.
  7. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's

    vice-presidential candidates.

  8. ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and

    counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes.

  9. Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of

    any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data

    coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in

    by voters.
  10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines,

    all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.

  11. Diebold is based in Ohio.
  12. Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as senior managers and

    developers to help write the central compiler computer code that

    counted 50% of the votes in 30 states.

  13. Jeff Dean, Diebold's Senior Vice-President and senior programmer

    on Diebold's central compiler code, was convicted of 23 counts of

    felony theft in the first degree.

  14. Diebold Senior Vice-President Jeff Dean was convicted of planting

    back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication"

    to evade detection over a period of 2 years.
  15. None of the international election observers were allowed in the

    polls in Ohio.

  16. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security

    was so bad. Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be

    hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it!
    (See the movie here

  17. 30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen

    voting machines with no paper trail. 18. All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and

    reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.
  18. All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and

    reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.
  19. The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President's

    brother. Does someone not know this?

  20. Serious voting anomalies in Florida -- again always favoring Bush

    -- have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending

    further investigation.

Relevant Links:

American Free Press

Common Dreams
Online Journal - Voting

CBS News story

Mother Jones

Business Week

The Independant

ESS Vote

Wikipedia - Diebold

Hack the Vote - Election Aftermath


Monday, December 06, 2004

Warning - new STD- It'll make you blue!

This is serious, and not only for the single folks, either.

Play safe, and beware of STD's...

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning about a new virulent strain of sexually transmitted disease. This disease is contracted through dangerous and high risk behavior. The disease is called Gonorrhea Lectim (pronounced "gonna re-elect him").

Many victims have contracted it after having been screwed for the past 4 years, in spite of having taken measures to protect themselves from this especially troublesome disease.

Cognitive sequellae of individuals infected with Gonorrhea Lectim include, but are not limited to: Anti-social personality disorder traits; delusions of grandeur with a distinct messianic flavor; chronic mangling of the English language; extreme cognitive dissonance; inability to incorporate new information; pronounced xenophobia; inability to accept responsibility for actions; exceptional cowardice masked by acts of misplaced bravado; uncontrolled facial smirking; ignorance of geography and history; tendencies toward creating evangelical theocracies; and a strong propensity for categorical, all-or nothing behavior.

The disease is sweeping Washington. Naturalists and epidemiologists are amazed and baffled that this malignant disease originated only a few years ago in a Texas Bush.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

U.S. Troop Numbers in Iraq to Hit Record 150,000

George Bush: Awesome! Let's kill more stuff. I mean, who needs people, right? You want peace on earth and goodwill towards man? One word for you: Bite me.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Bush to dramatically reduce areas protected for salmon

George Bush: Awesome! Let's kill more stuff. I mean, who needs wildlife, right? You want to get back to nature? One word for you: Bite me.