Archive for August, 2004

spies like us

August 28, 2004

israeli spies in the us. hmmm, where have i heard that before?

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moving on

August 27, 2004

I guess since we can’t bomb Najaf right now, we went back to pummeling this town.

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follow up

August 27, 2004

Some more interesting info (at least to me) from the Venezuelan referendum vote. Seems 2 out of the 3 partners in Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates worked for Bill Clinton in 1996. I guess they get around. Too bad the clients page is broken, or we could find out with who. oh wait, this works.

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more war, oh boy!

August 26, 2004

so now our wonderful government is trying to pressure the japanese government to amend their constitution so they can participate in the game of war. just what the world needs, another military. and since japan is the second largest economic power, i am sure they can afford lots of military hardware.

At the root of the controversy is Article Nine of Japan’s constitution and whether the country can exercise the right to collective self-defense. The government’s constitutional interpretation is that the nation has the right, but it cannot be exercised. Article Nine prohibits Japan from taking part in combat operations.


A big question for Japan is how to define the SDF’s existence and its activities within the restrictive ambit of Article Nine, especially at the time when it is seeking a permanent seat on the 15-member UN Security Council, presumably joining Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States as veto-wielding members.

This was brought up recently by US Secretary of State Colin Powell. He said that while the United States supports Japan’s drive for a seat on the UN Security Council, its effectiveness as a permanent member might be questioned if its pacifist constitution is not amended.

“We understand the importance of Article Nine to the Japanese people and why it’s in your constitution,” Powell told a group of Japanese journalists visiting Washington.

“But at the same time, if Japan is going to play a full role on the world stage and become a full, active, participating member of the Security Council and have the kinds of obligations that it would pick up as a member of the Security Council, then Article Nine would have to be examined in that light,” Powell added.

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it can print!

August 26, 2004

and how come they found machines that give paper receipts with info on your vote and we can’t.

Step 6: Once the voter has settled on an option, he must push the square labeled “Vote” to register his decision. Upon pressing “Vote,” a sound will be emitted, telling the people at the voting table that the voter has finished the process. At this point, a physical record of the vote is printed out.

Mujica explains, “The physical vote is a paper that records all of the data of the event: CNE, 2004 Referendum. It also has a code for the voting center location, the table, and the volume (electoral notebook). It has a security code, which is very important to avoid falsification. This is all printed on security paper along with the question, and the voter’s response.”

Step 7: The voter takes the paper and- confirms that the question and the vote registered are correct. He folds the paper in half to guarantee privacy, returns to the voting table, and puts the paper ballot in the ballot box in front of the table members and witnesses.

wow. can we borrow those?

ok, what the fuck

August 26, 2004

so venezuela had their referendum vote and chavez is still in. but it seems there was some controversy.

U.S. firm at center of Venezuelan voting controversy

Associated Press
August 20, 2004

CARACAS, Venezuela — A U.S. firm’s exit poll that said President Hugo Chavez would lose a recall referendum has landed in the center of a controversy after his resounding win.

The survey, conducted by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, forecast as Sunday’s voting was still taking place that Chavez would suffer a major defeat. But the opposite was true — Chavez trounced his enemies and received 59 percent of the vote.


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other shit not in our news

August 25, 2004

not good news.

Iraqi conference widens political divide
By Michael A Weinstein

The Iraqi National Conference, which concluded last week, was meant to bestow legitimacy on the transitional regime by providing broader representation in state institutions and a check on the power of the executive. It did not achieve its objectives and has, instead, widened and deepened the crazy quilt of political fractures in Iraqi society, sharpening divisions, increasing the probability of intensified conflict and drawing the country closer to the stark alternatives of Middle Eastern-style dictatorship and separation into mini-states….

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still going…

August 25, 2004

yep, we are still fucking up.

Najaf bombed, Al-Sistani calls for march

Thursday 26 August 2004, 1:51 Makka Time, 22:51 GMT

As US AC-130s continued their sixth day of bombing runs on al-Mahdi Army positions in Najaf, Grand Ayat Allah Ali al-Sistani has issued a call for Iraqis to march to the city to “save it from destruction”.

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in case you weren’t paying attention

August 22, 2004

we are still fucking up in iraq. and others have noticed.

Egyptian cleric warns US of Najaf fallout

Sunday 22 August 2004, 0:23 Makka Time, 21:23 GMT

US-led forces have pounded Najaf to quell Shia resistance.

A leading Egyptian Islamic leader has warned that a “volcano of anger” could explode in response to US-led military action in Najaf and Falluja.

In a statement on Saturday, Ali Gumaa, the mufti of Egypt and the country’s highest authority on Islamic law, condemned the “continuing aggression by US-led forces on the Imam Ali shrine and Islamic holy places” in Iraq.

“After the attack on the shrines of the Prophet’s noble companions, after the humiliations and the terrorizing and killing of civilians, the world cannot expect… that a volcano of anger and indignation will not explode,” Gumaa said.

Gumaa is second in the Islamic hierarchy only to the shaikh of al-Azhar, Cairo’s ancient university and institute of religious learning.
institute of religious learning.

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From the Book of Beaks

August 21, 2004

An excerpt from The Boomer Bible that fits today’s news.

Chapter 10

What with sand and other
very important issues like
that, the people of the near east
decided the only thing to do was
kill each other,
2 As much as possible,
3 Forever,
4 And so they did.
5 Some of the killing was for
religious reasons,
6 And some of it was for eco-
nomic reasons,
7 But mostly it was for irrecon-
cilable differences,
8 Since they were all completely
and utterly different from each
9 Except for their noses,
10 And their love of sand,
11 And their fanatical devotion
to their religion,
12 And their consuming desire
to annihilate their enemies,
13 Which were usually every-
body else,
14 Including the Iranians,
15 And the Iraqis,
16 And the Saudis,
17 And the Syrians,
18 And the Jordanians,
19 And the Lebanese,
20 And the Israelis,
21 And the Palestinians,
22 And the Kuwaitis,
23 And the Turks,
24 And a bunch of others too,
25 Except the Indians,
26 Who are too busy hating the
Pakistanis to fight about sand,
27 Ever since Mahatma Gan-
dhi pushed the Brits out of
28 By pretending that Indians
were too peace-loving to hate
29 Which is only the second or
third joke ever pulled off in the
middle east.

Chapter 11

And eventually, when the end
of the world comes,
2 It will probably start in the
middle east,
3 Where nobody ever learns,
4 For thousands and thousands
and thousands of years,
5 Which is probably ok,
6 Because when the end of the
world comes,
7 There will finally be peace,
8 For billions and billions and
billions of years,
9 Unless God is crazy enough to
start another creation in the mid-
dle east,
10 Which would exactly double
His current total of middle east