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  • vergniaud commented on the diary post VIDEO: Student Patriots Walk-Out On Darth Cheney by jbade.

    2014-04-02 04:07:04View | Delete

    bluewombat, you’re touching on something that’s been driving me nuts since 2001: the bizzaro way international law has been used to justify the “War on Terror”. The key term has always been “unlawful combatant.” With that label, the designated enemy is placed into international law in order to be declared to fall into an exception [...]

  • vergniaud commented on the diary post FL Legislature Erases Key Item in History of Bush v. Gore by Quasit.

    2012-11-04 13:20:20View | Delete

    You heard so much about hanging chads because one side (the one with the most control over the media) wanted to discredit and then stop the recount. From the media consortium report we learned that Gore’s margin of victory actually came from the “overvotes.” That is, the ballots that were erroneously rejected by the scanners. [...]

  • vergniaud commented on the diary post FL Legislature Erases Key Item in History of Bush v. Gore by Quasit.

    2012-11-04 10:50:01View | Delete

    Actually, it looks to me like stealing Pa and Wisconsin still wouldn’t quite assure a Rmoney victory. With Ohio, NH, Va and Co, Obama could still get to 270. They’d have to steal Va, or at least NH, too. Plus, a blatant steal of PA is not gonna be accepted by the nation.

  • vergniaud commented on the diary post FL Legislature Erases Key Item in History of Bush v. Gore by Quasit.

    2012-11-04 10:11:33View | Delete

    I just looked up the current Florida law on counting ballots in a “manual recount.” Title IX section 102.166 (4)(a) says, “A vote for a candidate or ballot measure shall be counted if there is a clear indication on the ballot that the voter has made a definite choice.” Section (4)(b) then gives it to the [...]

  • vergniaud commented on the diary post FL Legislature Erases Key Item in History of Bush v. Gore by Quasit.

    2012-11-04 09:26:53View | Delete

    Quasit, I enjoyed your post, but I’m curious to know now if the Fla leg has actually repealed the “intent of the voter” standard, or if they’ve just moved it to a new numbered statute. Also, I think you’ve been lured a little bit into the historical rewriting. The newspaper consortium had only one question [...]

  • I just can’t get past the first few paragraphs because there’s simply no factual basis for saying Nader made Gore lose Florida. That’s because Gore won Florida! Bush only “won” after Fat Tony the Fixer stopped the count of both “over votes” and “under votes” going on in Tallahassee on December 10, 2000.

    The newspaper consortium examination of the ballots showed as conclusively as it possibly could be shown that Gore got more in Florida by all recognized standards for legally cast votes — the newspapers just brutally buried their lede when they all finally got around to publishing their stories. (To protect our “wartime” leader, I suppose.) Anyway, any discussion of the effect of Nader on the 2000 election needs to start with that little fact.

  • vergniaud commented on the blog post Late Night: Thinking Through the Consequences

    2011-05-07 06:24:39View | Delete

    Since we’re talking about torture — what’s behind the door to room 101 in 1984 is “the worst thing in the world” — I think you have to state the proposition more forcefully:

    a government based on rationality, as opposed to irrational sado/masochism, must be prevented at all costs!

    Put this way, perhaps it’s not quite correct to say that “the-powers-that- be on the right see the theoretical consequences of their political stances” because there’s nothing particularly theoretical about it. Rather the stances and rhetoric never make much rational sense. They merely serve to dress up a very primitive us-vs-them construct.

    Which is why a republican voter can be for strong constitutionalism for gun ownership, but support unrestricted wiretapping because “we” have nothing to hide. It’s why they can be staunchly behind “small government” in the context of a social safety net for everyone — which must inevitable include those with a darker skin complexion than the white republican “us” — but see no problem with an endlessly expanding national security state. Etc.

    And, of course, when the logical consequences of their positions are followed to the points where they begin to contradict each other — say, if it is suggested that members of pro-life organizations that support the murder of abortion doctors should be classed as terrorists — they scream, “that’s ridiculous! Can’t you see the difference!” That is, the shifting, and never rational, difference between us and them to the mind of the right winger.

  • The core principle of non-violence is not just to turn the other cheek, but to love your enemy! Even as s/he strikes you. For most of us this is difficult even to imagine, let alone to practice, but it has to be possible or there is no end to the spiral of violence in human history. That’s the idea of non-violence.

    So, I guess according to Johnson we’re just showing our love to those Afghans with cluster bombs and hellfire missiles, how`could King or Gandhi complain about that? I’m sure they’d be all for it.

    Just absurd.