30 November 2005

Support HR 550

    The people who cast the votes don't decide an election, the people who count the votes do.
      Joseph Stalin
    Anything of value should be auditable. Votes are valuable, and each voter should have the knowledge-and the confidence-that his or her vote was recorded and counted as intended.
      Rep. Rush Holt

All ATMs have a paper trail. Most electronic voting machines don't. Is your vote less important than a bank's money? I don't think so.

House Resolution 550 is the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act and it needs your support.

Much more info here.

22 November 2005

Padilla Charged

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
      5th Amendment to U.S. Constitution

MSNBC reports that Jose Padilla has finally been charged. This after he was held without charge for over three years as an "enemy combatant". It is interesting to note that the charges, conspiring to “murder, maim and kidnap” people overseas, have nothing to do with the alleged "dirty bomb" plot that was the much touted basis for holding him in the first place.

All inidications are that the Bush Administration did not want to see the case go to the Supreme Court. Gee, I wonder why.

Mmmmm. Beer.

    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
      Benjamin Franklin

Another year, another Holiday Ale. This past Saturday we brewed the latest in a distinguished series of holiday beers (and one holiday cyser). This year's offering has amber malts and honey flavored with ginger, orange peel, and French Strisselspalt hops and fermented with Belgian Wit Ale yeast. The yeast is an odd choice, seeing as we have not wheat malt. The hops are also a first for us.

It occurs to me that this beer would probably piss off the radical right on several levels. To begin with, we're using French hops. That alone qualifies us as enemy sympathizers. Then there's the name. In their usual if-your-not-with-us-you're-against-us manner, the RRR will attack you if you don't say "Merry Christmas." Here is but one example. Well, screw you guys. We celebrate Christmas, but this is our Holiday Ale. Don't worry though, we won't offer you a glass.

In any event, I'm looking forward to the final product. We've also got a Pilsner that'll be in bottle soon too. There's nothing quite like popping the cap of a bottle of beer you made yourself. Mmmmm. Beer.

11 November 2005

Vengeance is ours, saith the Right

    Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
      Romans 12:19 (King James Version)

Two prominent Republicans are looking for some post-election payback.

Pat Robertson wants Dover, PA voters to know they're on God's shitlist. According to Robertson:

[If] there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected him from your city. The 700 Club.

And don't wonder why hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for his help because he might not be there.

Meanwhile, Bill O'Reilly gave terrorists the okay to bomb San Fancisco. In response to a ballot measure urging local high schools and colleges to bar military recruiters, O'Reilly said:

And if al-Qaida comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.

Don't go looking for these quotes on O'Reilly's site, of course. They're conspicuously absent.

09 November 2005

More good news

      Homer Simpson

More good news: the House GOP leaders dropped ANWR drilling from the Omnibus budget bill.


    Are there Democrats in the house tonight?!!
      Governor Elect Jon Corzine
      And the crowd goes wild....

    I'm psyched! It was a great election day. I feel really good about this win. And this morning, when I was just getting about of bed, the Governor Elect was at Metropark meeting commuters.

    As reported by Lauging at the Pieces, Corzine wasn't the only winner. Tim Kaine won in Virginia, and, closer to home, Jun Choi squeaked it out in Edison. And I just found out from Sharon that our 12th district managed to hang on to Michael J. Panter, though we lost Dr. Robert Morgan.

    Rob also cheered the defeat of eight Dover school board creationists by Democrats in favor of teaching science. The Center of NJ Life reports that, although there's good news in Dover, another creationism vote didn't go so well. The Kansas State Board of Ed. thinks science shouldn't be limited to natural explanations. Insert you Wizard of Oz jokes here.

    Xpatriated Texan reports on passage of Lt. Gov. amendment in NJ and a gay-bashing proposition in Texas. No wonder he's expatriated. And by the way, it looks like Enlighten never answered his letter.

    In California, voters rejected Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger propositions to limit the use of their member dues for political purposes, cap state spending, redraw legislative districts and restrict public school teacher tenure.

    Where was George Bush during all this? In Virginia, his last minute campaign stop for Jerry Killgore did nothing to prevent a solid win Kaine. In new Jersey, he was last person the Forrester campaign wanted to see. Forrester was repeatedly hammered for his support of Bush. Those coattails are looking a little frayed.

    We needed this win. I'm savoring the moment, but I'm looking ahead. We need to be energized for 2006. It will be a tough fight, and we'll need to work hard. For the sake of our country, we need to take back the House and take back the Senate.

    The trend starts now!

    08 November 2005

    Vote with pride!

      Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.
        John Quincy Adams

    Get out and vote. That's what I have to say here. Get out and vote. The only people responsible for voter apathy and low turnout are the ones who don't vote. Short of a medical emergency, there is no excuse for not voting. I don't care who you vote for, just vote.

    I traded comments with Rob, debating his reasons for choosing Matt Thieke. Liberal as I may be, I cannot support Matt Thieke because his platform lacks detail, and I don't think he ever explained how he'll accomplish what he proposes. Rob felt that Corzine didn't need to attack Forrester as much as he did. I thought Corzine attacks were justified as they stuck to the issues. But I support Rob's choice because he made it.

    I think Sluggo is misguided when he says he is willing to let pass the personal attacks by the Forrester campaign. In comments to Rob's post, he said he would be casting his vote "holding their nose." I cannot disagree more with his choice and rationale. I think Forrester will be bad for New Jersey in more ways than I have room explain here. But Sluggo has made one decision I support wholeheartedly: he is voting.

    Over at BlueJersey, DBK makes his case. If I had any doubts about Corzine, they'd be gone after reading his. I was at his house when Rush Holt explained why Corzine is the right choice. I believe in Corzine too. He also voted for Whitman, an admission he notes might make his fellow Democrats angry. I, for one, am not. Why? He voted.

    I voted today, and I did so with pride. I chose Jon Corzine for governor, a candidate I for whom I have great confidence and high hopes. I think he's going to win, and I will be really bitter if he doesn't. But I'll have fulfilled the most important obligations of every citizen. I will have voted.

    Addendum: Xpatriated Texan posted a comment I wanted to put here. Of voting he said, "it isn't just your duty - it should be your pleasure and your honor." He couldn't be more right, and it was indeed an honor. It always is.

    04 November 2005

    Candidate responses to Joanne Corzine are revealing

      Without an acquaintance with the rules of propriety, it is impossible for the character to be established.

    Let's consider how the candidates have reacted to comments made by Joanne Corzine about her former spouse. I read the following three articles:

    Here are some snippets:

    John Corzine:

    Corzine yesterday would not discuss the breakdown of his marriage, news the couple's three children will undoubtedly be glad to hear.
    "I don't really think I can say much beyond the breakup of a marriage," Corzine said. "It involves two parties and children are involved and obviously it is filled with pain for everyone, including, by the way, my former wife."
    [Corzine] said the "breakup of a marriage can ... sometimes color how people might speak to issues. I totally disagree with the premises of them. That's the opinion that my former wife holds and she has a right to speak up."
      -Whelan and Margolin

    Doug Forrester:

    But Forrester distinguished between those sentiments and the comments about Corzine letting his family down. Asked directly about that quote by a reporter, Forrester said, "I think that's private life."

    He also ruled out using it in a television ad, saying: "Private life is just too complicated and I don't believe that it is appropriate to be brought into the political domain."
      -Whelan and Margolin
    The 15-second ad features a quote published in Wednesday's New York Times from Joanne Corzine, who divorced U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine two years ago after he had an affair with the president of the largest state employees union chapter.

    "When I saw the ad where (Forrester's wife, Andrea) said, `Doug never let his family down, and he won't let New Jersey down,' all I could think was that Jon did let his family down, and he'll probably let New Jersey down too," the New York Times reported.
    That afternoon, Forrester stood on the Morristown green and made it official -- he promised he would not use that quote.

    But strange things happen to candidates who are staring at defeat. What was a bright moral line suddenly become hazy.

    Within 24 hours, Forrester broke his word. The campaign released a TV commercial that featured the very quote he promised not to use.

      Doug Forrester is trying to use Joanne Corzine's quotes to call into question Jon Corzine's character. In doing so, he as sunk to a new low, breaking his own promises along the way.

      I think it's clear who the more trustworthy candidate is.

      For more on this issue:

      03 November 2005

      An ex-wife and an 8-year-old

        It's a sign of a desperate and failing campaign that he would inject family matters into a political context.
          Ivette Mendez
          Corzine campaign spokeswoman

      Joanne Corzine had some unflattering remarks about her ex-husband that were published in the today's Star Ledger. No surprisingly, the Forrester campaign quickly latched on to her comments. It seems more than a little desparate to me

      Is a candidate's ex-wife really a source you should be touting? Is anyone surprised that Joanne Corzine has a negative opinion of her ex-husband? In a 2003 statement she blamed politics in part for their break-up. Why wouldn't she say he compromised his political ideals? She's been hearing about his ex-girlfriend and the loan he forgave couldn't have helped. She specifically mentions the ad Andrea Forrester praising her husband. Of course she thinks Jon Corzine let his family down.

      For the record, in Corzine has always said the divorce was his fault, but the Republicans don't like to mention that because it demostrates honesty and personal responsibility. Forrester went on record holding her comments up as more proof, "that Jon Corzine is wedded to the political bosses." (Clever little play on words there, Doug.)

      Why would I expect anything else from Forrester. After all, his is the same campaign proclaiming that "Even Kids Don't Trust Corzine." I guess they've decided eight-year-old Gavin Rozzi speaks for every kid in NJ. That's one of the front-page items on the Forrester web site, by the way. Man, they really are desperate.

      Ookla the Mok

        The year: 1994. From out of space comes a runaway planet, hurtling between the Earth and the Moon, unleashing cosmic destruction! Man's civilization is cast in ruin!
        Two thousand years later, Earth is reborn. A strange new world rises from the old: a world of savagery, super science, and sorcery. But one man bursts his bonds to fight for justice! With his companions Ookla the Mok and Princess Ariel, he pits his strength, his courage, and his fabulous Sunsword against the forces of evil.
        He is Thundarr, the Barbarian!
          Openning narration from Thundarr the Barbarian

      Several years ago I was at a friends holiday party playing Celebrities. For those who are unfamiliar, it is a game where everyone writes down names of celebrities on slips of paper which are then drawn at random by teams of two, with one player giving hints so that the other says the celebrity's name. The celebrity can be anyone famous, real of fictional.

      One celebrity that showed up was Ookla the Mok. Do you know who that is? Ookla was the traveling companion of Thundarr the Barbarian, an early-80s Saturday morning sci-fi cartoon. The show ran only two seasons, and was one of my favorites. The Ookla entry wasn't mine, though I was one of only two people that even knew who Ookla was. There was some question as to whether he was really a celebrity.

      Well, the guys at HomestarRunner.com know who Ookla is. Check out this year's Halloween Toon. Each year, the characters costumes are a collection pop-culture references, famous and obscure. And Ookla is there.