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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Leeroy Jenkins

This is the subject of an interesting internet meme and a(n) (in)famous topic or even a celebrity among gamers. Even PvP had a link to it, if I recall correctly. Leeroy Jenkins led his gamer team to slaughter in a raid played in World of Warcraft. The video is here.

Monitor Duty covered this awhile ago and had the link to the video, the then-new Wikipedia entry, and a link to something about gamer slang.

A lot has happened since then, and I have devoted a lot of time to something that's irrelevent to normal humans, so I hope someone is grateful for the peek into a subculture of gaming that even I do not belong among.

It turns out that in the end an entry devoted to an internet meme is not good enough for the Wikipedia tyranny-of-the-elitist-mob establishment and the entry was deleted with the URL used to redirect browsers to the World of Warcraft regular entry, as one would notice by clicking the link. Information regarding Leeroy Jenkins was inserted into that entry, insuring some relevence. The compromise seems just; the volume of information on Jenkins is less, but what's found has a telling effect. If Wikipedia is credible (and from my experience and knowledge, it usually and generally isn't) then the whole failed raid was staged in order to promote the player's guild. The event that made Leeroy Jenkins such a hot topic among darkened-room-dwelling virgins and other net-addicts was phony and an act of vanity. This makes sense, of course, since the battle was video-taped. How much mass-role-playing action is video-taped, and how many players do it?

Another interesting thing is that even though the Monitor Duty post and link were created on May 25, 2005, the only existing Wiki entry on the topic is dated and time-stamped for 08:53, 30 May 2005. The final revision made to the article before it was deleted and the data folded into the World of Warcraft topic is different than the one I remember reading from the link I originally used on Monitor Duty back on May 25. The words are different and there's less information. The entry as it last was reads
"Leeroy Jenkins" is a person from the PC game "World of Warcraft." His notable action was being AFK while a raid was being planned, and then returning and saying "Alright chums I'm back. Let's do this! LEEROY JENKINS!" He then runs in, and is followed by his entire party. The planned raid failed horribly because of his actions, and everyone died. After quite a bit of swearing at Leeroy, there is brief silence; Followed by Leeroy saying "At least I got chicken." No one understands the last line, though it's possible he is actually saying "At least I'm not chicken." Leeroy is a very intelligent, masculine fellow, who only seeks the best for him and his "guild". "One day," Leeroy exclaims, "I want to be the very best, like no one ever was."
It's fascinating that this is the only version/revision in the Wikipedia records, especially since there should be more. If nothing else it's illogical that the item Monitor Duty references was created five days after the words that referenced it. Wikipedia doesn't acknowledge any other copy. The original, I believe, also had links.

It's likely that Leeroy Jenkins and company did stage the whole thing but it did create a slight ripple amongst his intended audience and the video (this link is cribbed from the Wikipedia World of Warcraft entry) is good for a few laughs. The genuinity of the Leeroy Jenkins incident is irrelevent and unimportant in the long run but it is is a good thing to affirm the importance of truth in general. As it is the Wikipedia community readers, and others looking for knowledge on the incident regardless of source credibility, truth, and bias can find the stuff here. The Leeroy Jenkins URL redirects the browser to the general entry, which is inconvenient for the searcher; a more apropriate redirect would take the reader directly to the Community subtopic where it would be easier to find the information, have less irrelevent data in the way, and serve the link (as well as users) better.

Wikipedia is not actually a place for good information and service. Using it is always at one's own risk and when listening to the ballad of Leeroy Jenkins one should take it with a grain of salt.

Monday, July 18, 2005

A Doctorate For a Mass-Killing

Most people, myself especially, work really hard for a good deal of time for their puny four-year degrees. Many work for more than four years. With absolute no time under his belt at Michigan State University Robert Mugabe, murderous dictator, has received an honorary doctorate from my school.

Putting it another way, regardless of what he did in the field that he got honored for, MSU is still honoring a dictator who kills innocents. This should be embarrassing.

Mugabe.org is the official website for the campaign to get his honorary doctorate revoked.

Plame security breach? It just ain't so, Joe

The following is an article written by Mark Steyn that I have reprinted here without permission, only because the Chicago Sun-Times apparently does not keep archives of such material as regular policy. Therefore I am archiving it here. My opinions reflect Mr. Steyn's almost exactly. Original URL:
http://www.suntimes.com/output/steyn/cst-edt-steyn17.html

July 17, 2005

BY MARK STEYN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

Karl Rove? Please. I couldn't care less. This week finds me thousands of miles from the Beltway in what I believe the ABC World News Tonight map designates as the Rest Of The Planet, an obscure beat the media can't seem to spare a correspondent for. But even if I was with the rest of the navel-gazers inside the Beltway I wouldn't be interested in who ''leaked'' the name of CIA employee Valerie Plame to the press. As her weirdly self-obsesssed husband Joseph C. Wilson IV conceded on CNN the other day, she wasn't a ''clandestine officer'' and, indeed, hadn't been one for six years. So one can only ''leak'' her name in the sense that one can ''leak'' the name of the checkout clerk at Home Depot.

Back when Woodrow Wilson was running for president, he had a campaign song called ''Wilson, That's All.'' If only. With Joe Wilson, it's never all. He keeps coming back like a song. But in the real world there's only one scandal in this whole wretched business -- that the CIA, as part of its institutional obstruction of the administration, set up a pathetic ''fact-finding mission'' that would be considered a joke by any serious intelligence agency and compounded it by sending, at the behest of his wife, a shrill politically motivated poseur who, for the sake of 15 minutes' celebrity on the cable gabfest circuit, misled the nation about what he found.

This controversy began, you'll recall, because Wilson objected to a line in the president's State of the Union speech that British intelligence had discovered that Iraq had been trying to acquire ''yellowcake'' -- i.e., weaponized uranium -- from Africa. This assertion made Bush, in Wilson's incisive analysis, a ''liar'' and Cheney a ''lying sonofabitch.''

In fact, the only lying sonafabitch turned out to be Yellowcake Joe. Just about everybody on the face of the earth except Wilson, the White House press corps and the moveon.org crowd accepts that Saddam was indeed trying to acquire uranium from Africa. Don't take my word for it; it's the conclusion of the Senate intelligence report, Lord Butler's report in the United Kingdom, MI6, French intelligence, other European services -- and, come to that, the original CIA report based on Joe Wilson's own briefing to them. Why Yellowcake Joe then wrote an article for the New York Times misrepresenting what he'd been told by senior figures from Major Wanke's regime in Niger is known only to him.

As I wrote in this space a year ago, an ambassador, in Sir Henry Wootton's famous dictum, is a good man sent abroad to lie for his country; this ambassador came home to lie to his. What we have here is, in effect, the old standby plot of lame Hollywood conspiracy thrillers: rogue elements within the CIA attempting to destabilize the elected government. If the left's view of the world is now so insanely upside-down that that's the side they want to be on, good for them. But ''leaking'' the name of Wilson's wife and promoter within the CIA didn't ''endanger her life'' or ''compromise her mission.'' Au contraire, exposing the nature of this fraudulent, compromised mission might conceivably prevent the American people having their lives endangered.

Here's the thing: They're still pulling body parts from London's Tube tunnels. Too far away for you? No local angle? OK, how about this? Magdy el-Nashar. He's a 33-year old Egyptian arrested Friday morning in Cairo, and thought to be what they call a ''little emir'' -- i.e., the head honcho in the local terrorist cell, the one who fires up the suicide bombers. Until his timely disappearance, he was a biochemist studying at Leeds University and it's in his apartment the London bombs were made. Previously he was at North Carolina State University.

So this time round he blew up London rather than Washington. Next time, who knows? Who cares? Here's another fellow you don't read much about in America: Kamel Bourgass. He had a plan to unleash ricin in London. Fortunately, the cops got wind of that one and three months ago he was convicted and jailed. Just suppose, instead of the British police raiding Bourgass' apartment but missing el-Nashar's, it had been the other way around, and ricin had been released in aerosol form on the Tube.

Kamel Bourgass and Magdy el-Nashar are real people, not phantoms conjured by those lyin' sonsofbitches Bush and Cheney. And to those who say, "but that's why Iraq is a distraction from the war on terror," sorry, it doesn't work like that. It's not either/or; it's a string of connections: unlimited Saudi money, Westernized Islamist fanatics, supportive terrorist states, proliferating nuclear technology. One day it all comes together and there goes the neighborhood. Here's another story you may have missed this week:

''Iran will resume uranium enrichment if the European Union does not recognize its right to do so, two Iranian nuclear negotiators said in an interview published Tuesday.''

Got that? If you don't let us go nuclear, we'll go nuclear. Negotiate that, John Kerry. As with Bourgass and el-Nashar, Hossein Moussavian and Cyrus Nasseri are real Iranian negotiators, not merely the deranged war fantasies of Bush and Cheney.

The British suicide bombers and the Iranian nuke demands are genuine crises. The Valerie Plame game is a pseudo-crisis. If you want to talk about Niger or CIA reform, fine. But if you seriously think the only important aspect of a politically motivated narcissist kook's drive-thru intelligence mission to a critical part of the world is the precise sequence of events by which some White House guy came to mention the kook's wife to some reporter, then you've departed the real world and you're frolicking on the wilder shores of Planet Zongo.

What's this really about? It's not difficult. A big chunk of the American elites have decided there is no war; it's all a racket got up by Bush and Cheney. And, even if there is a war somewhere or other, wherever it is, it's not where Bush says it is. Iraq is a ''distraction'' from Afghanistan -- and, if there were no Iraq, Afghanistan would be a distraction from Niger, and Niger's a distraction from Valerie Plame's next photo shoot for Vanity Fair.

The police have found the suicide bomber's head in the rubble of the London bus, and Iran is enriching uranium. The only distraction here is the pitiful parochialism of our political culture.

Friday, July 15, 2005

I'm Going to Need a Shower After This.... (Joseph Edward Duncan)

One step at a time. Joseph Edward Duncan III murdered a family, kidnapped two children, raped them, and murdered one of them.

This is public knowledge; I won't say any of this alleged. This sort of news also falls out of the general themes of this weblog so I wasn't sharp to jump to it. This injustice was and is disgusting and this so-called man deserves worse than painful death, however I have very little interest in talking about the crimes.

It passed into my perspective when it was revealed to me an AP story that the evil bastard had a weblog. At that point I looked for it, found it, and started reading the thoughts and feelings of this pathetic freak.

I did some more looking and any and all reasons to feel sorry for this wretched deviant vanished as it turns out that the weblog is most likely not some emotion-adjustment diary but a calculated alibi machine.

The weblog is Blogging the Fifth Nail and it's named after some obscure wierd notions about Jesus Christ and crucifixion. This is maddening.

A news rundown is apparently at this message board. Coincidentily, perhaps not, Duncan was registered there under the name "bas".

This isn't the entirety of it. I'm having trouble with this.

Steve at The Dark Side has an entire category dedicated to the serial killer and rapist.

The dedicated theme, purportedly, of Duncan's blog is the tribulations of a registered sex offender. He iwshed that the sex offenders wouldn't be registered or tracked or cornered in any such way and created a large cause of that, which was centered at the official Fifth Nail website, which was taken down by the government after his arrest and is being examined, I assume. Portions of the website still exist and have been stored at the Internet Archive servers, so you if you want to see it, look here. The Google cache of the mission page is here. The so-called innocent cause is listed as such:
The mission of The Fifth Nail is to help in the fight against official propaganda that supports discrimination against classes of people defined by mistakes they made in the past, or might make in the future. It is our position that State Sanctioned Discrimination serves no public interest and in fact creates an even more dangerous class of criminals by denying x-convicts a place in our society, forcing them to feel like outcasts with little to loose.

To this end we strive to educate individuals of their roles in a dynamic and intertwined society and to accept responsiblity for that society.
His judgements mirror that of the ACLU, as we can see here. We can draw the conclusion here that both a serial killer and rapist and the American Civil Liberties Union both demand greater freedom for child rapists; now that we can see what (at least) one of the child molesters does with his freedom do we really think the the ACLU's viewpoint should universally satisfied?

Steve reviews and profiles the lives of three different serial rapists/murderers, including Duncan. The man was smart or clever or whatever but more importantly he ducked suspicion and kept moving on. The important thing is that there is an amount of selfishness. As excerpted from a post on Duncan's blog
In Blogging the Fifth Nail Joseph Duncan was bemoaning his fate, giving voice to his endless reserves of self-pity. He mentions little Leanna missing, but isn't smart enough to sound sympathetic or worried -- he just cares about whether somehow the disappearance will be blamed on him. Like a kid. Like a self-absorbed teen. One so deeply selfish and unconcerned about anything but himself that he views what was in reality a very light punishment for his astonishingly cruel and violent crime as the equivalent of a crucifixion.
"Leanna" is Leanna Warner, a five-year-old girl who lived within 200 miles of Duncan's then-current residence. Ideas abound that he likely is the perpetrator.

Evidence that Duncan used his blog to create an alibi is found as Steve determined through copies at the Internet Archive that Duncan was altering and editing his weblog. That is Duncan was altering entries far enough in the past so as to deliberate shape what sort of person that he presented to the world. While he could alter the old posts at on the blogspot servers, the Internet Archive kept old copies of old posts as they originally were, and some seem self-incriminating. Most importantly the discrepancies' presence suggest that the weblog was less than innocent and the rapists' sickness might not have included an actual conscience... and that's just an invention for the audience.

A scary and interesting point is that while evil, Duncan had a solid Modus Operandi as a serial killer and likely legally sane.

Another weblog, The Jawa Report, briefly reviews some of the posts in Duncan's weblog. It scratches the surface. One of the commenters has the insight that perhaps Duncan was just shaping a drama for his audience. There's also a timeline correlating crimes and specific posts.

A gross and disgusting angle is that Duncan was not only a serial killer and rapist but is also in fact a transvestite, a cross-dresser. Steve also suspects, from the weblog, and based on the photos, that Duncan's a homosexual. I'd suspect a connection.

Steve Huff's weblog, the Dark Side, apparently covers monsters such as serial killers, child molesters, and other dark semi-human creatures that frighteningly are in today's news! Thank God he does it so other people, myself included, do not have to.

My head hurts.

Reforming Elections for the Preservation of Liberty

from Imprimis July 2005

Bob Williams
President, Evergreen Freedom Foundation


Bob Williams, the president of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation in Olympia, Washington, holds a degree from Pennsylvania State University . He worked as a General Accounting Office auditor of the Pentagon and Post Office before moving to Washington state, where he served five terms in the state legislature and earned the 1988 Republican nomination for governor.

The following is adapted from a speech delivered at a luncheon co-sponsored by Hillsdale College and the Evergreen Freedom Foundation on June 22, 2005, at the Rainier Club in Seattle, Washington.


Joseph Stalin once said, “The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.” In the former Soviet Union , the dictator’s minions counted the votes and the totals added up according to his wishes. One expects such things in a communist country. But here in , where free and fair elections are an indispensable cornerstone of our republic, sloppy or politically-oriented vote counting is not acceptable. Our founders established the principle of “ballots not bullets,” based on the belief that political decisions should be freely made at the ballot box by eligible voters whose votes would be properly counted. It is up to us to preserve that principle today through election reform.

Through constitutional amendment, we have rightly expanded the franchise since our nation’s founding. All citizens of voting age can cast a ballot, if they have not lost their voting rights by committing a felony, if they are mentally competent and if they still have a pulse. Yet in many places around the country, felons, dead people and non-U.S. residents vote. Sometimes people vote twice. The laws that protect the integrity of our elections have been eroding for years, but it took a few whisker-thin elections to bring attention to the problem. Now is the opportunity to act.

How and why has our election system become so compromised? Some claim incompetency or human error is at the root of the problem. Others point to fraud. In fact it is both—and neither is acceptable. Until this past year, I myself had no idea how bad the problem had become. According to University of Virginia Professor Larry Sabato, in his book Dirty Little Secrets, ignorance is precisely how election systems are compromised: “The fact that voter fraud is generally not recognized as a serious problem by the press, public and law enforcement creates the perfect environment for it to flourish.” And flourish it has. Following the 2004 election, serious questions of various sorts were raised in Ohio, New Mexico, Wisconsin, South Dakota , and elsewhere concerning the integrity of vote counts in close races. Perhaps the largest controversy has been in my own state of Washington , with respect to its gubernatorial election.

The Washington Debacle

Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund, author of Stealing Elections, writes that the has a “haphazard, fraud-prone election system befitting an emerging Third World country rather than the world’s leading democracy.” I am forced to concur with his conclusion, based on what we have seen here in Washington .

Democrat Christine Gregoire is Washington state’s current governor, having won by a mere 133 votes out of more than 2.8 million cast. Or did she? When the election was first over and the ballots were tallied, Gregoire’s challenger, Republican Dino Rossi, won by 261 votes. A mandatory recount under state law reduced Rossi’s margin of victory to just 42 votes, prompting a Democrat demand for a hand recount of more than 2.8 million ballots. Hand recounts are expensive and must be paid for by the challenging party. Presidential candidate John Kerry joined groups like MoveOn.org to help raise money for Gregoire and after the second recount, she was declared the winner by 129 votes. A judge later changed the total to 133.

But it wasn’t that simple. Immediately after the November election, reports started coming in about problems at polling locations. Ours and other organizations began independent investigations to determine if the complaints were justified. We were shocked by what we found. Here are just a few of the most egregious examples.

On at least 10 occasions after the election, King County (which accounted for one-third of the state’s votes last year) found unsecured ballots and, in nine of those cases, election officials added them to the ballot count.

King County election officials admitted in sworn depositions that they deliberately submitted misleading absentee ballot reconciliation reports—the reports that reconcile the number of voters with the number of ballots cast. With no system in place to track how many absentee ballots were sent out and returned, King County ended up with 875 more absentee votes counted than the number of people who voted by absentee ballot.

Also in King County , at least 785 provisional ballots—ballots used by voters whose identification or eligibility to vote is in question—were improperly tabulated without verification of voter eligibility. Around the state, an additional 1,033 provisional ballots were identified as improperly tabulated.

Evidence exists of voter registration drives in state mental institutions, among Alzheimer’s patients in extended care facilities, and with felons.

More than 1,400 felons whose voting rights had not been restored were allowed to vote—including one felon who voted absentee from his jail cell!

At least 55,175 ballots were “enhanced” in King County —meaning election workers decided for those voters how they meant to vote for governor, even if, in some cases, the voter did not select a gubernatorial candidate at all.

In five counties, the Secretary of State certified election results even though there were 8,500 more votes cast than voters credited with voting.

Despite this evidence and more, not one law enforcement official in King County has investigated the problems inside the elections department—not the U.S. Attorney, not the King County sheriff, and not the King County prosecutor. The prosecutor says he won’t do anything unless the King County elections director, who is the person at the center of this scandal, brings charges. The U.S. Attorney General won’t investigate unless someone can bring him proof of fraud. In his opinion, the items I just listed are insufficient.

The Republican Party challenged the election in court, arguing that a new election should be held. The judge in the case disagreed, citing Washington ’s stringent law regarding election contests. He concurred that at least 1,678 illegal votes were cast, but said fraud was not proven in those cases, since Republicans could not determine on whose behalf the illegal votes were cast. We are left scratching our heads about how it could legally be determined who people illegally voted for, since candidate selections are supposed to be confidential. Besides, if a voter knowingly cast an illegal ballot, and then testified about who he voted for, he would be admitting to a felony.

The judge did agree that witnesses for both the Democrats and Republicans had testified to significant errors in the election, including sloppy and misleading voting reports and ballots overlooked until months after the election was over. But because fraud was not argued in this case, he decided to throw out the illegal votes instead of ordering a new election.

After the decision, most elected officials were patting themselves on the back so loudly that they missed the judge’s startling opening lines. He noted that Washington state’s election system itself had been compromised, and then added:
This court is not in a position to fix the deficiencies in the election process that we heard about in this courtroom over the past nine days. However, the voters of this state are in a position to demand of their executive and legislative bodies that remedial measures be instituted immediately. And, clearly, the evidence here suggests that the problems require more than just constructing new buildings and hiring more staff.

The Problem of Unrestricted Absentee Voting


The judge, by inference, made another observation that underscores something that should be of concern for every state in the nation: the problem posed by the increased use of absentee ballots. “Extraordinary efforts are in place to make it easier to vote,” he said. “But unfortunately I fear it will be much more difficult to account for those votes in the future.”

The move to permit unrestricted voting by absentee ballot is sweeping the nation. This is a dangerous trend because it greatly expands the opportunity to commit fraud. The National Commission on Election Reform, chaired by former Presidents Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter, warned in 2001 that voter fraud schemes from the past are even more likely now. According to the commission’s report, “Opportunities to commit such frauds are actually growing because of the trend toward more permissive absentee voting.” And again: “Growing use of absentee voting has turned this area of voting into the most likely opportunity for election fraud . . . .”

In its report on voter fraud, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement agrees: “The lack of in-person, at-the-polls accountability makes absentee ballots the tool of choice for those inclined to commit voter fraud.” Former Alabama Secretary of State Jim Bennett summarized these concerns when he said, “We don’t use guns, tanks or bullets to put political leaders into power. We simply allow absentee ballot manipulators to undermine and possibly corrupt the system.”

This problem arises because of a basic disagreement among state and federal legislators and administrators over the definition of voter disenfranchisement. One view holds that voters are disenfranchised when the system is too demanding. Its proponents argue that voting should be simple and easy for as many people as possible; that voters are on an “honor” system; and that election officials must have broad discretionary power, including the ability to “discern voter intent.” The second view holds that legal voters are disenfranchised when illegal votes are cast and counted. This side argues that voters should have to prove they are eligible; that they should properly fill out their ballots, thus avoiding the issue of “discerning voter intent”; and that their votes should be counted accurately. Unfortunately, the first group has been winning the argument of late.

During the Clinton administration, for instance, Congress passed the Motor Voter Act, requiring employees at state driver’s licensing agencies to ask applicants if they wanted to register to vote. These same employees were forbidden, however, from asking applicants if they were citizens. This makes sense only if the goal is to increase the number of potential voters at the cost of ensuring that people who vote are eligible to do so.

In recent years, traditional safeguards at the polls, like requirements to show identification, have been eliminated. And with more people voting by absentee ballot, previous safeguards are increasingly not applicable. It should not be surprising, then, that corruption is on the rise. “We the people” have allowed it, whether by silence, inattention or misunderstanding. It is time now for us to demand that the problem be fixed.

Implementing Solutions

The ballot integrity issues faced by Washington state and many other jurisdictions present significant challenges, but solutions exist. They fall in three main categories:

First, criminal prosecution of voter fraud is necessary. More than 60 federal investigations have been launched in 28 states and one territory since 2001. People have gone to jail already, and others will.

Second, legislative reforms are needed. Voter rolls must be cleaned up. To do this, all citizens on those rolls should be required to show proof of citizenship and to register in their legal names. This would allow for the removal of names of ineligible felons, dead people and illegal aliens. Voter ID bills have passed legislatures in five states. The legislation was signed by the governors of Georgia and Indiana. Unbelievably, it was vetoed by governors in New Jersey, Arizona and Wisconsin (in the latter it has been vetoed twice).

Photo identification and a signature should be required of voters prior to casting a ballot, whether they are voting by absentee ballot or at the polls. Even Mexico, whose government spent $1 billion to clean up its voter rolls, requires this. It is a travesty that our great democracy does not.

Laws should be tightened regarding the use of provisional ballots. According to federal law, individuals cast provisional ballots if their names are not on the register in their own precincts, or if their voting eligibility is challenged by an election official. The ballot must be verified by the elections department before it is counted. Missouri has the best provisional ballot law on the books: A voter seeking to cast a ballot outside his own precinct is required to show identification, and the election judge will call headquarters to verify eligibility. If a voter insists on casting a ballot at the wrong location, he is given a special ballot allowing him to vote only in those races for which everybody in his state is voting. Also, provisional ballots should be designed to prevent illegal counting prior to verification. They can be a different color, have a different bar code identifier, or be a different size.

Laws should be tightened regarding “ballot enhancement.” Under what circumstances should anyone be allowed to determine a voter’s intent if it is not made it clear on a ballot? Most of us fill out our ballots entirely, but sometimes we purposely choose not to vote for something or somebody. That is our right, but under the laws that allow voter enhancement, election officials can look at our voting pattern and decide to fill in that missing vote for us. This is not right. It’s mostly illegal. And it certainly doesn’t represent our vote!

Widespread vote-by-mail should be rolled back. We have seen that it does not increase voter participation, which was the sole purpose behind it. Those of us who love its convenience have to face the fact that it has eroded electoral integrity. Voting by absentee ballot should be the chosen method only for those who truly cannot get to the polls on election day.

Third, we must insist that election officials do their jobs in a timely and law-abiding manner. Strong legislative oversight is necessary to implement the Help America Vote Act passed by Congress in 2002. Some provisions of that law are likely not to work, and they will need to be fixed. For the rest, stiff penalties must be in place for election officials who disregard the law.

Military ballots must be sent out in a timely manner. In Washington state, thousands of ballots were sent to overseas military too late to be counted in the 2004 election. Our state’s late primary election makes it difficult for county auditors to mail ballots in time to overseas troops. But the Pentagon has recommended excellent solutions, including the use of write-in ballots. Or, for the military, we may be able to develop and implement a completely secure Internet balloting procedure.

Untold numbers of Americans have given their lives to protect our precious freedom to vote. Permitting rampant and unchecked election irregularities makes a mockery of this sacrifice. As President Ronald Reagan once reminded us:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on to them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

The challenges we face in reforming our election system are daunting. But we must meet them and conquer them. If we don’t, who will?

Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, the national speech digest of Hillsdale College, www.hillsdale.edu

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Will Britain Break? (eyes and feet and arms)

I'm still due you something regarding the attacks on July 7th in London. Mostly it's a media thing. Honestly the attacks themselves, the numbers, the casualties and such are something insignificant in some scale. The number of deaths are relatively small, the target strategically insignifcant, and itself indicative of nothing special to Al Queda; disregard for human life is already known part of the movement's M.O.

Not the question. John Derbyshire runs along the English state's history or appeasement and not unreasonable actions along that. Theorizing that the attack was similar to the Madrid bombing it is an attempt to convince or induce a withdrawl of British forces from the Iraqi fronts. It's about the math and not the cowardice. He believes the math is wrong.

John Derbyshire has long believed that rather than pull back or withdraw from the War on Terror in any way on any front, it should be pursued more violently and more brutally.

On the other hand Glenn Reynolds notes about Panopticons, the methods of Orwell's Big Brother through which to watch, observe, and control the citizens (of Airstrip One), and how despite Great Britain genuinely having a massive system of obervation cameras horrifying libertarians, civil libertarians, and invading the innocent citizenry, the system of watchers could not prevent the atrocity. Notice the film footage obtained from inside the fear and at the place of terror. It came from camera phones. Public video may actually be more effective as something if it is indeed free and freely originated by the citizenry themselves. If it belong solely to public officers, the agents of the law and government and them alone it becomes another oppressive force. Always keep in mind that alert humans can respond to evil faster and better than any coffee-swilling vid jockey that sit connected to the action only by lifeless and armless fiber-optics.

Ron Reagan versus Christopher Hitchens

It should already be common knowledge that Ron Reagan, Jr is leftist scum, an apple fallen far from the tree and a little parasite trying to trade in on his father's honorable name for an ounce plus fifteen minutes of something resembling fame and influence within the DNC.

He often makes misguided and ill-informed arguments about current events and hot topics and lets his own ideology deflect his gaze from fact and truth. Christopher Hitchens is a man on the left, on the other hand, whom does not let blind allegiance to vision distract him from he perceives as a right course of action.

Basically despite Hitchens' many flaws and viewpoints that I disagree with in many cases he is right and is well-informed. Reagan knows little of the War on Terror yet speaks. He speaks with Hitchens, a proponent of the War. Hitchens has the rotten apple outclassed.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

so ********* hates America(ns)?

I'd rather be hated for my beliefs and my actions rather than loved for kissing the rearguard of someone else's beliefs.

A new aphorism.

Hypocrites for Africa

Live 8 is supposedly an "antipoverty musical event". The idea is "to fight poverty and hunger" and to pressure the eight countries in the upcoming G8 conference to forgive African debt. It was CBS, suprisingly enough, that revealed that the event isn't as pure as it might appear.
One sour note: The stars are all getting goody-bags worth about $12,000, in a concert that's supposed to be about eradicating poverty.
I'm not contributing to this sort of "charity". It's a load of crap. Twelve thousand dollars is enough money to feed a child or adult or a family in Africa for how long?

I could live on 12 grand a year, if I live conservatively and give up many of my loves.

So how many Africans could be provided for for how long with that kind of cash?

What costs $12,000 that you can fit in a goody-bag?

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Independence Day

Try to recall the nation's birthday, the American dreams, and the freedoms and values that this country represents and what its sons have sacrificed for that.

Freedom isn't free.