world vote

Have you ever wondered whether the world should be able to vote in this next election? Well, this site is taking a tally. I would be excited to see it gain momentum so we could look at some large numbers... not that there would be any doubt as to the outcome, but I have no doubt that interesting things lurk in the data.


no democracy for you!

The Christian Science Monitor has an Iraq status report article worth looking at (compiling reports from various papers), which contains this tasty tidbit:
The Los Angeles Times reports that Lt. Gen. Metz feels fair elections could be held without cities like Fallujah being included.

'We'd have elections before we let one place like Fallujah stop [national] elections,' said Metz, the number two US military official in Iraq. 'The rest of the country can go on about a process that heads right for an election.'

The Times says Metz's statements are the clearest indication yet by any US official of just how "perilious" the security situation in Iraq has become. Officials could stick to their timetables for an election if it bypassed cities like Fallujah and others, but it could "detract from the election's credibility, foment discontent in Iraq, and leave other countries reluctant to acknowledge any government chosen in the vote."

I can see the well received speeches now; "Iraq is not yet safe for democracy... This process takes time.... Insurgents insurgents insurgents!" I wonder if Metz will be upbraided for making this a hot news issue. Come to think of it though, I saw nothing in the nytimes about this.


dulce et decorum

The monthly combat toll in Iraq hit a high of 1,100 soldiers wounded in August, reports the Washington Post. Units are fighting the populace in Najaf, Baghdad, Fallujah, Ramadi and Sammara, often at close quarters in small streets. The end of the articfle is particularly telling:
More and more often, children are lobbing the grenades, Ford said. Insurgents offer boys of 10 or 12 years old $150 to toss a grenade at a U.S. patrol, the captain said.

"For the longest time, we've had a good relationship with the children," Ford said. "Now this. Who enjoys putting a bead on a kid?

"Nobody. That's why they paid them."


the kicker

TalkLeft has a post about a young republican kicking a female protester on the floor of the Garden. Have you seen this boy?


in the news

I was thrilled to read about the gay community using the internet to go on the offensive against bigoted congressmen. The nytimes writes today about the recent Schrock outing:
Representative Edward Schrock, Republican of Virginia, abandoned his bid for re-election, after a Web log claimed he had sought sex with other men through a phone service. Mr. Schrock, who is married, has co-sponsored a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and has advocated barring homosexuals from military service. (Mr. Schrock is a retired Navy officer.) The Web log, Blogactive.com, has vowed to reveal the identities of lawmakers who are gay and support anti-homosexual legislation. An aide said Mr. Schrock was not gay, but that he wouldn't run because the accusations had called into question his ability to represent his constituents.

Speaking of shaking things up, Bob Graham's new book may give Bushco some headaches. Reuters reports:
U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, intelligence committee chairman in the run-up to the Iraq war, said on Sunday the Bush administration had "taken every step" to shield Saudi Arabia from links to the Sept. 11 attacks...

The Florida Democrat in 2002 helped launch a joint inquiry with the House Intelligence Committee that produced a report on intelligence failures related to the Sept. 11 attacks...

He told NBC's "Meet the Press" that his new book, "Intelligence Matters," makes the case on "the extent to which Saudi Arabia was a key part of making 9/11 happen."...

Excerpts from Graham's book, which goes on sale on Tuesday, showed that at least two of the hijackers had support from Omar al-Bayoumi, whom the senator called a Saudi government spy and said was a "ghost employee" of a Saudi contracting firm, Erean. The owner of the firm, Graham said, was thought to be a supporter of Osama bin Laden.

The Bushies say that Graham is making baseless claims. I wonder how far the mainstream media will go after this one.


quick thoughts

Apologies for the silence. I bolted strait from jail support in new york to law school in boston, and have had a hectic three days of orientation.

Things on my mind....

- Out of 550 people in my first year class at Harvard, I have met only three who were in New York to protest the convention. Since a large marjority of Harvard law students call themselves politically active democrats, this seems strange to me.

- I've been closely watching the progress of hurricane Frances. I find it interesting that it's following so closely on the heels of Charley, which caused a lot of damage. A symptom of increasing global erratic weather patterns?

- The New York Post published a shocking article piece of nonsense regarding the school hostage crisis in Russia. The article asserted that terrorists kill children in order to please 'their god', that western militaries have committed no such atrocities, and that RNC protesters excuse killings by everyone but America. Here are some choice exerpts:
Those Muslims who preach Jihad against the West decided years ago that killing Jewish or Christian children is not only acceptable, but pleasing to their god when done by "martyrs."

imaginary atrocities supposedly committed by Western militaries.

A final thought: Did any of those protesters who came to Manhattan to denounce our liberation of 50 million Muslims stay an extra day to protest the massacre in Russia? Of course not.

The protesters no more care for dead Russian children than they care for dead Kurds or for the hundreds of thousands of Arabs that Saddam Hussein executed. Or for the ongoing Arab-Muslim slaughter of blacks in Sudan. Nothing's a crime to those protesters unless the deed was committed by America.

The butchery in Russia was a crime against humanity. In every respect. Was any war ever more necessary or just than the War on Terror?

I am at a loss to rationally confront these accusations. What scares me is that they may well have been made in good faith; the lack of communcation between different sections of the political spectrum is staggering.

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