Thursday, November 18, 2004

Unanswered questions

I was away from the Internet for the U.S. election, and though initially relieved to not be part of any virtual frenzy over the results, it turns out there's some political debris I need to shake out of my head. Bear with me.

Why have I not heard anything in the mainstream media about voting irregularites? For example:

Some voting machines in Broward County, Florida, started counting backward once they reached 32,000. An electronic voting machine in Ohio added 3,893 votes to President Bush's tally in a district that had only 800 voters. Four thousand five hundred and thirty early electronic votes in Carteret County, North Carolina, were lost. Votes were also lost in Palm Beach County, Florida, and in Tampa. . . It was noted that anomalous voting patterns in Florida (where a disproportionate number of Democrats apparently voted for George W. Bush) were all confined to counties where optical-scanning machines are used to read paper ballots. Such votes are tabulated by Windows-based PCs that are vulnerable to tampering.


Why does any of this even bother me so much — I'm Canadian!?!

So what was that bulge?

Why did the media not make a big fuss over the weird reference to Dred Scott?

Just because the election's over doesn't mean we no longer want answers.

Do Amish people vote? or is the concept in conflict with their way of life? What if their county has instituted electronic voting? Check out the official Amish website.

On (loosely) related matters:

Howard Dean has a bone to pick with the news media:

"The media is a failing institution in this country," Dean said. "They are not maintaining their responsibility to maintain democracy."

The solution to restoring an ethical media, Dean said, is to ensure diversity and cap corporate ownership of media outlets. He said he supports government regulation of media ownership.

"[The media] are incapable of regulating themselves," Dean said. "What's at stake is our democracy. If you think that American democracy can survive without an ethical media, then you are wrong."


Hunter S Thompson talks about George W Bush (link via Splinters):

"I remember Bush as a kind of a butt-boy for the smart people. This was in the late 1970s, when he was in his drunken-fool period. He couldn't handle
liquor. He knew who I was, at that time, because I had a reputation as a writer. I knew he was part of the Bush dynasty. But he was nothing, he offered nothing, and he promised nothing. He had no humour. He was insignificant in every way and consequently I didn't pay much attention to him. But when he passed out in my bathtub," Thompson adds, "then I noticed him. I'd been in another room, talking to the bright people. I had to have him taken away."


Maud Newton's all in an articulate lather about science textbooks and how the politics of the powers that be skew the facts, prime examples being regarding evolution and birth control.

Through Blog Explosion I've encountered many blogs by people who voted for Bush. Though in theory I agree with their admonishments to the reading public to rate their blogs objectively and not give a poor rating simply for disagreeing with their views, I am really sick of hearing the why-can't-we-all-be-nice-to-each-other I'm-entitled-my-opinion non-argument. We're not looking at fabric swatches here. Do they not realize something a little more fundamental is at stake? I have deleted blogs from my bookmarks based on how they voted. This scares me a little, cuz I've learned things about bloggers that I realize I don't know about some of my closest friends — what if I were to find out they thought differently than I? What kind of monster have I turned into?

It just makes me so mad.

The biggest question of all:

Hugh Grant or Colin Firth?
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