Mayor Bloomberg doesn't get it. (Or perhaps he does.)

Let’s all try to help him get it, shall we?

From Kat L’Estrange:

All I can say to Mayor Bloomberg is: So are casinos, and we know they’re rigged for the house. What makes anybody wake up in the morning with the conclusion that electronic voting machines are just fine without verifiable paper ballots? Since when are checks and balances a waste of time?

Kat

Mayor Bloomberg Says No Paper Trail Is Necessary With Electronic Voting – May 21, 2005

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says when the city buys new electronic voting machines, he doesn’t think it will be necessary for them leave a paper trail.

On his radio show Friday, the mayor said technology is advanced enough these days that paper backups aren’t needed.

Read more.

How to contact Mayor Bloomberg:

Office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007
Phone: (212) 788-3000 (ask for the comment line)
Fax: (212) 788-2460

To email the Mayor go to: http://nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mayor.html

Owen is Texas' worst Supreme Court Justice!

Via Dr. Bombay:

from off the kuff blog:

Judging the judges
posted, May 21, 2005

The Houston Bar Association has published its annual poll (PDF) in which judges’ performances are rated by HBA members. From the press release:

Every two years, the HBA asks its members to evaluate all members of the judiciary that serve in Harris County, as well as the Supreme Court of Texas and the Court of Criminal Appeals. The judges are evaluated in categories that include knowledge of the law, impartiality, efficiency, courtesy, written opinions, appropriate use of visiting judges, and an overall rating.

Each person evaluating a judge is asked to base his or her opinions on firsthand knowledge only. The Judicial Evaluation Poll is not an endorsement by the HBA of any judge.

There were 1,223 polls returned, representing 11 percent of the HBA’s membership at the time of mailing.

The Judicial Evaluation Poll includes federal judges; magistrate judges; state and local appellate judges; civil, criminal, family, juvenile and probate judges; associate judges in the family and juvenile courts; IV-D masters; civil and criminal county court-at-law judges; municipal judges; justices of the peace; and visiting judges that sit frequently in Harris County courts.

The Chron story focuses on the Harris County judges who did best and worst…. finishing last as the Worst Supreme Court Justice in Texas as ranked by the HBA, Priscilla R. Owen, with 39.5% Outstanding and 45.3% Poor.


Read more.

"We're all for preventing cancer, but…."

From Catherine Root:

“Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful, because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex,” said Bridget Maher, a policy analyst at the Family Research Council. Some even oppose the vaccine for young people who are already having sex. “Would this vaccine not enable or encourage them to continue to be sexually active?” asked Scott Phelps of the Abstinence and Marriage Education Partnership. “We’re all for preventing cancer,” he said, mploying a phrase sane people seldom follow with the word but, “but is this really the way to do it?”

Read more.

Newsweek's Afghan readership does not exist

Afghan Riots Not Tied to Report on Quran Handling, General Says (Army investigating allegations of mishandling at Guantanamo Bay facility)
By Jacquelyn S. Porth
Washington File Staff Writer
May 13, 2005

Washington – The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff says a report from Afghanistan suggests that rioting in Jalalabad on May 11 was not necessarily connected to press reports that the Quran might have been desecrated in the presence of Muslim prisoners held in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Read more.

In the latest issue, Newsweek gives a plausible explanation of why it printed the information.

How a Fire Broke Out
The story of a sensitive NEWSWEEK report about alleged abuses at Guantánamo Bay and a surge of deadly unrest in the Islamic world.
By Evan Thomas

May 23 issue – By the end of the week, the rioting had spread from Afghanistan throughout much of the Muslim world, from Gaza to Indonesia. Mobs shouting “Protect our Holy Book!” burned down government buildings and ransacked the offices of relief organizations in several Afghan provinces. The violence cost at least 15 lives, injured scores of people and sent a shudder through Washington, where officials worried about the stability of moderate regimes in the region.

Read more.

buckfush.com

buckfush.jpg

Keith Olberman nails the administration’s culpability in this mess:

MSNBC Countdown
May 16, 2005
The resignation of Scott McClellan (Keith Olbermann)

SECAUCUS — I smell something – and it ain’t a copy of the Qu’ran sopping wet from being stuck in a toilet in Guantanamo Bay. It’s the ink drying on Scott McClellan’s resignation, and in an only partly imperfect world, it would be drifting out over Washington, and imminently.

Read more.

The Light of Reason
Arthur Silber
LIVING IN THE TWILIGHT ZONE: THE TERRIBLE PRICE OF FANTASY

So now Newsweek has retracted its story about religious desecration at Guantanamo

The speed and the depth of Newsweek’s climbdown on this story is deeply disheartening. And it shows that there is a danger that is perhaps even greater than the profound danger that outright censorship represents: self-censorship by the media, on every story of importance and across the board. In fact, it is this kind of self-censorship that we have been seeing during most of the Bush administration’s time in office: a reluctance to question authority too much, and beyond a certain point.

Read more.

humorink.com

humorlink.jpg

The New York Times
Staying What Course?
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: May 16, 2005

Is there any point, now that November’s election is behind us, in revisiting the history of the Iraq war? Yes: any path out of the quagmire will be blocked by people who call their opponents weak on national security, and portray themselves as tough guys who will keep America safe. So it’s important to understand how the tough guys made America weak.

Read more.

The Chicago Tribune finally deigns to mention “The Memo”:

British memo reopens war claim
Leaked briefing says U.S. intelligence facts `fixed’ around policy
By Stephen J. Hedges and Mark Silva
Washington Bureau
Published May 17, 2005

WASHINGTON — A British official’s report that the Bush administration appeared intent on invading Iraq long before it acknowledged as much or sought Congress’ approval–and that it “fixed” intelligence to fit its intention–has caused a stir in Britain.

Read more.

The Bush administration doesn’t hold itself to the same standard it wants CBS, Newsweek, and The New York Times to follow.

Big Time Patriot
Will George Bush issue apology for poorly sourced reporting?

”I applaud the Pakistani government for their strong cooperation in the war on terror. I applaud them for acting on solid intelligence and bringing this man to justice,” Bush said.

Read more.

Media Matters for America
An open letter to The New York Times

As a media watchdog, we believe self-examination by news organizations is always useful, so we welcomed the arrival of The New York Times’ recent report, “Preserving Our Readers’ Trust.” Because a democracy cannot operate without an independent, critical, and responsible press, it is incumbent on news organizations to continually assess their own performance to see if they are fulfilling their obligations to the public.

Read more.

Posted to the web on Monday May 16, 2005 at 2:11 PM EST

Do not publish anything critical of the Supreme Leader or any of his minions!

Washington Post
Report Critical of Rumsfeld Is Pulled After DOD Protest
By Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 16, 2005; Page A05

A government commission studying overseas military bases sent Congress a report that included criticism of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s strategy, then removed the document from the commission Web site after the Pentagon complained that it divulged classified information.

Read more.

Steve Freeman's troubles with TomPaine.com

Steve Freeman wrote the following to Oliver Dawshed, Barry at barry@comedyusa.com, and me:

Oliver: This is a terrific letter. Thanks for writing it. (I’m not sure what is going on at USVotes; i’ve been on a trip the past week, and am just now sorting through 600 emails.

Mark, Barry: Thanks for spreading the word. A couple other points you might want to know about TomPaine.com on this issue:

* They delayed by a full week publication of my response to Baker’s first article, which directly criticized me. Their reason: “Because of the assertions Freeman makes we needed to do some research before deciding to publish it.”

* I inquired, through my agent, about the ethics involved in Baker not even contacting me before publishing the article: “As for Baker contacting Freeman first, his unnamed source is highly credible.”

* After Baker issued his “rebuttal” of my response, Congressman John Conyers, who was also criticized in Baker’s two articles, wrote a response. Tom Paine refused to print it.

Ironic that we need Tom Paine-style methods to combat TomPaine.com misinformation.

— Steve

Antonia Zerbisias' new blog

Dear Friends and Family and Enemies whom I like anyway …

Apologies for the group email but … Well, it looks like the [Toronto] Star is taking a chance, on me! It’s giving me it’s very first real-ish blog — short for weblog, or online diary — starting on Monday. It will be about the media, but you know me. Media is just a point of departure.

Here’s the URL: www.thestar.blogs.com I hope you all click on it, lots. I also hope you find reason to hang around. If you plan to publicly flame me, forget about it. The comments will be turned off, but not because I wanted it that way. The Star just can’t deal with the 24/7 moderating and the likely lawsuits. After all, Canada has very onerous libel laws.

Antonia

P.S. This comes from my regular work email at azerbis@thestar.ca. Comments on the blog will be addressed to az@thestar.ca

P.P.S. For all you bloggers, I will be setting up a blogroll as soon as I figure out how.

Now Tom Ridge better check his bed for horses' heads

New from DIRELAND, May 11, 2005

TOM RIDGE’S BOMBSHELL: HOW THE BUSHIES ISSUED UNJUSTIFIED TERROR ALERTS
Tom Ridge, Bush’s former Homeland Security czar, let the cat out of thebag — he opposed many of the heightened terrorism alerts, but was over-ruled by the Bushies, USA Today reports today. It’s clear what this means (as if we didn’t know it already): the Bush White House ratcheted up the terrorism warnings — on evidence Ridge considered incredibly flimsy — to create a climate of fear in preparation for Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign.

Read more.