Sunday, February 19, 2006

Should votes be counted? (if no, skip this post)

Sun Feb 26 updates:
See Michael Hiltzik's LA Times blog post on The Electronic Threat to Democracy:
...The question is whether a determined hacker can get into the system, compromise the results, and get out without detection, and it has been shown again and again that the answer is yes....
And here's a helpful tip from Kevin Drum:
Are you dying to know how to hack into a Diebold machine? Unless your local registrar has bothered to change it, here's the key: F2654hD4. And the 8-byte password used for Diebold’s voter, administrator, and ender cards is ED 0A ED 0A ED 0A ED 0A.

So, where's the rest of the press on this issue? Or are car crashes more important.

Something for you to do now, that might keep you from having to give your children and grandchildren some uncomfortable answers later:

Read this call to action on hackable voting software certification, and act.
Call [or email] 5 senators on CA Senate Rules Committee...requesting subpoenas on ... election industry and certification insiders who did not come testify under oath.

The Goal: Subpoena-induced sworn testimony from voting machine vendors and errant testing labs, voting machine examiners.
No, it won't take a lot of your time. Yes the call to action comes from Daily Kos, which is leftist. But if you have half a brain in your head, regardless of which half, you know that sometimes one eye perceives a danger that the other doesn't. This is a danger.
"Just because you're on their side, doesn't mean they're on your side."*
and in future, when there's no need for them to even seem to be on your side...?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Updates - proprietor, Nevada City house beverage, bloggers in meetspace, Fortress Union

Apr 21: added circumscription(?)* re Harris and Rosen.
Feb 21 update: added links and updates to the Fortress Union section of this post.

(And cursed Blogger, once again, for interpreting "Save" as "Publish")

It is late. The proprietor is tired and has nothing to say, or at least nothing that doesn't deserve to be composed in a more alert frame of mind.


Nevada City's drinking water for the last month or so has been delectable, a veritable fount of nectar, stunningly palatable and anodoriferous.

[the proprietor assumes that "anodoriferous" is a word, and if it isn't, it should be.]

Many thanks to those whose efforts brought about the change; your karma is riding high.

[wildflower photo: Indian Warrior] [wildflower photo: Shooting Star]

Through the auspices of that archaic device the 'telephone', a rapprochement of Right and Left babe* bloggers was plotted and executed; and once again the blogging world turns out to be absurdly small, with Sadie being practically within rock-throwing distance of No Man's Land. Memo to self: do not rile Sadie. Ever.

The manzanita's blooming, and the wildflowers* have just begun.

Fortress Union

Over at The Union, reporter Britt Retherford has been doing a bang-up job lately, with no-holds-barred coverage of Abramoff-related Doolittle contributions and of the cost of housing locally (insane; stratospheric). As I told editor Pat Butler in one of a number of unanswered emails to reporter, copy editors, and editor of The Union, we need to clone her.
Update, reported by PB on Feb. 15: she's leaving.*

One unanswered email went to reporter Dave Moller, asking who had taken his Jan. 23 "Climate in the Sierras is changing and boy are we screwed unless we change our ways now" story and titled it "Mixed message on Sierra climate change". Three unanswered emails to the three copy editors, asking if they could tell me who had given the story its headline. One unanswered email to new city editor on a different topic, to be blogged another day. One unanswered email to the editor, pointing out the deafening silence from his staff*.
(and yes, there is good reason to assume that the emails went through)

And one amusing editorial from The Union a few days ago, castigating the new owners of The Casino in Grass Valley for their policy of not talking to the press.

Feb 21 update:
Apparently I'm not the only blogger unworthy of answers - Roch of is having trouble getting answers from the News and Record, John Harris of the Washington Post has dissed Jay Rosen of PressThink*, and WaPo ombudshumanoid Deborah Howell presumably continues to stonewall UC Berkeley econ prof. Brad DeLong.
And here's Daniel Ellsberg weighing in:
It seems to me there's an opportunity that didn't exist before because of the internet for local people to be going into their local newspapers and networks and saying, Here's what was on the internet, here's the coverage, how come you didn't have anything on this?
...There's a tremendous lack of self-examination by the press. Put real public pressure on them right now, to get them to do a hell of a lot better than they did last year or the year before.
It's an interesting interview, as is this piece by Carl Bernstein that it links to.

And, on the weather front: we're not in springtime anymore.[photo of snow in Nevada City last weekend]

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Reflections on reading

Today's theme: the re-emergence of characters from classic children's literature, more specifically from The Adventures of Pinocchio.

From Jim Kunstler's speech in Hudson, NY on peak oil last year:
I am compelled to inform you that the prospects for alternative fuels are poor. We suffer from a kind of Jiminy Cricket syndrome in this country. We believe that if you wish for something, it will come true. Right now a lot of people - including people who ought to know better - are wishing for some miracle technology to save our collective ass...

And the story's wood-based hero:

Today's State of The Union article in the San Francisco Chronicle:
ANALYSIS: New note sounded -- an appeal for harmony
- Marc Sandalow, Washington Bureau Chief

Mid-day online update at the
San Jose Mercury News:
Administration backs off Bush's vow to reduce Mideast oil imports
by Kevin G. Hall
Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally.

one rhinoplasty (by chainsaw?) coming up...