Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Privacy

So I was over at Wired and stumbled across an article that discusses the NSA IP tapping. As a matter of disclosure you can find out if your traffic is going over an At&T network and therefore is subject to NSA snooping. Read below:

If you're a Windows user, fire up an MS-DOS command prompt. Now type tracert followed by the domain name of the website, e-mail host, VoIP switch, or whatever destination you're interested in. Watch as the program spits out your route, line by line.

C:\> tracert nsa.gov



1 2 ms 2 ms 2 ms 12.110.110.204

[...]

7 11 ms 14 ms 10 ms as-0-0.bbr2.SanJose1.Level3.net [64.159.0.218]

8 13 12 19 ms ae-23-56.car3.SanJose1.Level3.net [4.68.123.173]

9 18 ms 16 ms 16 ms 192.205.33.17

10 88 ms 92 ms 91 ms tbr2-p012201.sffca.ip.att.net [12.123.13.186]

11 88 ms 90 ms 88 ms tbr1-cl2.sl9mo.ip.att.net [12.122.10.41]

12 89 ms 97 ms 89 ms tbr1-cl4.wswdc.ip.att.net [12.122.10.29]

13 89 ms 88 ms 88 ms ar2-a3120s6.wswdc.ip.att.net [12.123.8.65]

14 102 ms 93 ms 112 ms 12.127.209.214

15 94 ms 94 ms 93 ms 12.110.110.13

16 * * *

17 * * *

18 * *


In the above example, my traffic is jumping from Level 3 Communications to AT&T's network in San Francisco, presumably over the OC-48 circuit that AT&T tapped on February 20th, 2003, according to the Klein docs.

The magic string you're looking for is sffca.ip.att.net. If it's present immediately above or below a non-att.net entry, then -- by Klein's allegations -- your packets are being copied into room 641A, and from there, illegally, to the NSA.

Of course, if Marcus is correct and AT&T has installed these secret rooms all around the country, then any att.net entry in your route is a bad sign.


if you are on a Mac you can open the terminal.app and type the same thing as above.

The bolded entry is the AT&T "tap room".

If you see that entry you have just had your privacy invaded by the US government. If you are a US citizen then the tapping of your communication without a warrant is against the law as:

a) you have not committed a crime.
b) you are making a domestic communique which cannot by law be intercepted without a warrant.

You may want to consider hiring a lawyer.

original Wired posting:
http://blog.wired.com/27BStroke6/#1510938

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The Hypocracy of the Israelis

Today after a massive build up, the Israelis have started their own little "Desert Storm" operation in the Gaza Strip. Let us be very clear here that this is in fact a war. The Israelis have bombed three bridges and have outed electricity and possibly water in the Gaza Strip. All of this because a group supposedly affiliated with Hamas "kidnapped" an Israeli soldier. In what alternate universe is the leadership in Israel in that it thinks that going to [official] war with the Palestinians will actually result in the release of the soldier? If I were one of the people that kidnapped the soldier, I would have killed him already. Since I think that the Israeli leadership knows quite well that this is a likely scenario why are they waging war and foolishly buzzing over the president of Syria's home?

This is nothing but a cover for what the Israelis have wanted to do since Hamas was brought to power. All efforts to provoke Hamas has been made from the witholding of monies (which is an entirely OTHER issue altogether) to the bombing of the palestinian beach (regardless of what the Israeli military says). Israel is using it's clear military superiority (thanks to the US) to provoke an all out war with Hamas which Hamas cannot win militarily.

What is worse is that had this been in reverse, the Palestinians taking military revenge on Israelis for a captured or killed Palestinian soldier, there would be all kinds of charges of terrorism. If that is the case then where is the cry of terrorism here? It is not to be found in the Times, LA Times, CNN or other news outlets because apparently only Arab states (and a few Asian ones) are capable of "state sponsored terrorism".

So when next we have a threat against the US, don't act all surprised.

[edit 10:24 P.M.]

I have just read on the BBC website that Israel is holding members of the Palestinian government. 4 cabinet members and a deputy Prime Minister. Also the Mayor of Qalqiliya (a Hamas party member) has been "detained".

There is simply no excuse for the inaction of the UN. Can you imagine members of Hamas or Korea kidnapping, oh sorry, detaining members of another government and NOT having to deal with immediate Security Council action?

Israel has warned of serious military action should the kidnapped soldier not be returned. Exactly how serious are they talking? And given the number of Palestinians killed by Israel how can the media claim this to be anything other than state terrorism as it would if the tables were reversed?

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Say What?

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS SOME BAD LANGUAGE

*Start Rant*

Why hasn't anyone told President George W. Bush to SHUT
Tha
FUCK
UP?

Why?

This fool stood up on national television and admitted to breaking the law. Which law? The FISA statute that requires warrants to spy on American Citizens. By doing so he also broke his oath of Office to uphold the constitution. It is so clear that he broke the law that Republicans are trying to change the law after the fact. So where DA FUCK does George Bush get off telling anyone that the reporting done by the NY Times is "Disgracefull"?

FUCK YOU!

Where are the reporters with actual back bones and things called testicles (or ovaries) to point out the CLEAR ASS CONTRADICTION of the law breaking president attempting to scold the NY Times over reporting on government spying by a government already caught illegally spying on US citizens?

SHUT
THA
FUCK
UP

Oh and representative Peter King of New York:

SHUT
THA
FUCK
UP

WHere was your big ass mouth when Bush was on national TV admitting to breaking the law?

SHUT
THA
FUCK
UP!

If the NY Times committed treason as Mr. King suggests then what about George Bush who admitted to doing so on national televisions and who YOUR PARTY is attempting to rewrite law for?

SHUT
THA
FUCK
UP!

Where is your call for an investigation of all parties involved?

SHUT
THA
FUCK
UP!

*End Rant*
OK I'm done.

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Seas Of David?

So we have reports of a "black terrorist" group called the "Seas of David". They were immediately labeled Muslims though I doubt that. this link:

CAIR: Miami Cult not Muslims has a good report on why this is doubtful:

It seems pretty obvious that they are just a local African-American cult which mixed Judaism, Christianity and (a little bit of) Islam. It seems to be a of vague offshoot of the Moors group founded by Dwight York. I heard on CNN that one of them talked of being Moors. And Batiste, the leader, called whites "devils" in the tradition of the original Nation of Islam and York's Moors. Now CNN is saying one member said they practiced witchcraft [likely meaning Haitian voodoo or perhaps Santeria-like rituals]. One former member is called Levi-El, suggesting he might be associated with the Black Hebrew movement or an offshoot. Now a relative of one of the members, Phanor, said that they wore black uniforms with a star of David arm patch and considered themselves of the Order of Melchizadek. I wonder if it is "Seas of David" or "C's of David", with "c" meaning commando or some such?

but this is really not the biggest of the problems with this particular arrest. The problem, to me, is that they had in fact committed no crime. The informant represented himself as a member of A-Q and the "main man" of the Seas of David apparently took him at his word and proceeded to ask for guns and such.

note: just how dumb are you to believe someone is A-Q just because they said so? Dumb enough to think they were going to take down the Sears tower among other buildings. It would seem that the "Seas" would have had a better time had they gone to the local gun runner and bought some guns as apparently the FBI and Justice Department can spot and take down "threats" to national security but apparently can't stop guns from being sold and used in poor black neighborhoods.

It appears that the members wanted to "kill as many devils as possible". I can understand that sentiment. I have sentiments like that from time to time. In fact I had one not too long ago. But such sentiments are not crimes and people should not be jailed for being outraged at the actions (or inactions) of Europeans. On the other hand, there are quite a few so-called "Black revolutionaries" who are so fixated on "the man" that they lose all sense. For example, did any of the members of the "kill the devils" movement even ask what exactly that would do to change the day to day situation in their neighborhoods? No? Thought not. Or perhaps they never actually thought of all those black "devils" that have heaped much misery on other blacks. Are they gunning for them too? To quote Amiri Baraka:

The devil is the one that does the evil.

Of course, like those persons who flew into the Twin Towers, I'm sure the "Seas" didn't think too much about the black folk that would die in the building from their attack. Bad enough black lives aren't worth to much to "devils" so sad that so called "revolutionary" brothers also view black lives that way.

But all this presumes that the "Seas" were actually going to do anything. And that is a huge assumption given that the only person who really committed a crime was the informant who offered to procure weapons. That is gun running an illegal activity if I recall. I have long said that one should not be arrested and detained for things you said you may do rather you should be arrested for actively trying to do what you say. In this case the group, if it was serious should have been watched until they had procured some bomb making material (which they would have had to do) and then such material would have been probable cause for a warrant and perhaps a tap on phones, etc. Having an informant meant that as soon as the bomb was being built the police could have come in and arrested the group for committing an actual crime. That is law enforcement. What we got from Alberto was grandstanding.

But let us be clear, I do not believe for one minute that this has anything to do with "terrorism". Rather it is a clear signal for those who have not been paying attention that the 'new era" in "law enforcement" is upon us. Those tactics used on so called "enemy combatants" are going to become a staple of domestic "law enforcement". Citizens are now subject to be arrested for things that the govvernment deems "dangerous" or indicative of intent. This should be cause for concern by people in the face of a government willing to break the law to do "law enforcement".

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Bill Gates' Philanthropy: So What.

Last week we got news that Bill and Melinda Gates would be working full time on their foundation. The media fawned over Mr. Gates, worth billions, for his getting medicine to disease racked Africans (and others). Hooray for Gates.

I don't care.

Let me tell you why I don't care. Africans have been living in Africa since humans have been on the planet. None of the diseases killing them now are new with the possible exception of the HIV virus. How on earth did all these Africans survive all this time without nary a white man in sight much less philanthropic organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation or Doctors without Borders? The answer to that question is the same answer as this one:

What is missing in most places where disease is killing off people: Government. Good government.

The only thing Doctor with Borders or other groups do when they "cure" preventable diseases in Africa is address the symptom of a bigger problem. So long as the bigger problem is not dealt with, there will always be sick Africans for white people to make themselves feel good about helping. I'm not saying that the people are not sincere but it is a waste of donor's money to constantly deal with problems that are not only preventable but also recurrent.

In a post on Niger I noted that the government of Niger actually has a policy that the UN and other NGO's will take care of the poor and destitute. It's actually a national plan to have outsiders do the governments job. This is what needs to be addressed. Bill Gates could have say paid off the debt of a country that is "doing the right thing". Mr. Gates could fund the African Union so that they can be more effective. Mr. Gates could fund organizations the promote good governance. These things aren't as glamorous as starving children and emaciated adults but in the long term the aforementioned ideas would do more to prevent preventable and treatable diseases than Doctors Without Borders.

But there is another issue. Europe ad America are sucking the continent dry of trained medical staff. Mr. Gates could fund hospitals in Africa that could provide doctors with a financial incentive to stay in Africa. This lack of adequate medical personnel is possibly as great a problem as the issue of good governance. Even if the government was running adequately, it would be a very very long time before most countries in Africa would have the economic clout to match wages and quality of life desired by the 'educated', so there would have to be some sort of incentive to keep these individuals even with good governance.

So yeah, I'm not really impressed by Gates' work in Africa because it keeps Africa as the object of pity and dependence.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

String Theory

So I was watching PBS last night and they had a re-run of the Nova program on string theory. For those unfamiliar with it, it is the idea of the unifying theory of "everything". That is, the one equation that combines quantum and mechanical physics. In essence we have gravitation, electromagnetism, atomic energy and weak forces. String theory unifies theses energies by being the root of all of them.

The issues with combining these forces was illustrated in the following manner:

Gravitational forces is that which we see all over. It is "orderly". At the subatomic level though, there is a lot of uncertainty and apparent chaos. Hence the rules governing the macro level appear to conflict with those on the micro level. String theory suggests that these "strings." are at the core of all things and act to make both the quantum scale and the macro scale "orderly". What I found interesting about the theory is that these strings are claimed to exist in multiple dimensions and have various shapes or frequencies.

This idea struck me as very familiar.

A long while back I wrote a poem in which I stated:
Biology is Chemistry is Physics and is describable my Mathematics
and that right there is what confused pythagorus...


Indeed this whole discussion of strings reminded me of biology. Think of it this way: Muscles appear as smooth and striated. however, the proteins that make up muscles don't look anything like the smooth muscle we see at the macro level. The same is true for most of our body parts, what we see at the macro level looks nothing like or even behaves like that which is seen on the micro level. This is much like the differences discussed between gravitation and the small forces.

However; this wasn't what really struck me, what did strike me was the descriptions of strings: strands, sometimes looped, bends in different directions and vibrates at different frequencies, much like the proteins that make up our bodies. It was said that the way strings are bent and the way they vibrate determines what kind of force they will be come and on a macro level, what kind of matter they will become. Similarly, the shape that a protein takes (which is very convoluted) determines it's final function or if it will function at all. Hence the human body, indeed the bodies of all living things may be macro sized representations of string theory.

If that is the case then looking back on Khemetic religious systems, we can see that they were perhaps on the path to some cosmic discoveries. For example, the Khemites had a habit of representing the Neters as humans with animal heads. These heads represented the various natures of humanity and therefore by extension the various natures of creation. In other words, nature was a representation of the cosmic forces we wish to understand. We can understand the universe if we understand the various representations of the universe that exist all around us.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Ghana Commentary

For those of you who do not keep up with Black Electorate you should check the June 20th article on Ghana's trade pact with China by Kwaku A. Danso which applies equally to other areas in Africa as well as the diaspora.

Sample:
"Additionally they agreed to work together to tap the potential in their economic and trade relations and to set up co-operation in infrastructure, construction, telecommunications and human resource development."

What does this imply? Questions: Does Ghana have any major companies that can go to China and help them in infrastructural development, such as building telecommunications and HR development? Does Ghana have anything that can benefit the Chinese economically? In construction?

Read further:

"In line with this, the two Governments would encourage their companies to expand business ties and cooperation to create favourable conditions for boosting bilateral trade and investment. The Communique said China promised to provide assistance to Ghana to the best of its ability and to contribute to its economic and social development."

What do these words imply? Questions: Is Ghana shipping some more goods to China that we may not be aware of? What does "favorable conditions" in international talk mean? Anybody who knows about globalization should be familiar with such words. It simply means "make it easy for me to sell my goods in your country." Despite America's flowery language to third world countries, have they agreed to stop subsidies on their agricultural products and have they given our products an equal chance on their markets? Have you seen Ghana Pineapple lately at an American shop? And if you were to go beyond raw material, have you seen any American company looking at Ghana to set up their next expanded electronic assembly line or software development factory? Has America agreed to some of the treaties that are not favorable to their interests?


I see no real need to comment since I believe the author to be on point.

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Dear Mr. Cosby

Hello sir.

You don't know me which is a bad thing. Why? Well because I'm the kind of person who would give you excellent advice in the execution of your "Call Out" tour. First let me say that since it's inception at the NAACP Brown V. Board celebration dinner, I have been an ardent supporter. Unlike many of your critics who were judging you based on hearsay rather than the actual speech, I stood by most of your comments, except the "name" thing. When I got a hold of a transcript of your speech I discovered that you were improperly quoted on the issue of names and recanted my critique of that issue. I watched you on Like It Is with Gil Noble. I downloaded and listened to your defense your positions on NPR. I watched video of a presentation you gave in Newark, NJ. Overall, I knew that those who said that you were being vicious and unkind were simply mad because this material was being put out in public and that unlike many of our leaders it spoke out on a culture of mental poverty and slavery that permeates many black people who find themselves in economic poverty. I recognized this difference and I heard many people who at first had problems with you come around to understand what you were talking about.

However, I was very, very, very disappointed when I read the following at The Black Commentator which was a reprint of a piece that showed up at Playahata.com:

The day that I published the piece, Dr. Cosby made a call to the dean of my college. To be fair, the Coz explicitly stated that he didn’t want the dean to do anything to me. Instead, he wanted to express his concern that I was undermining his project. Still, I’m sure that he understood the significance of the school’s most famous and coveted alumnus/donor making a call about a young, untenured professor.



and

I didn’t bother to ask how Bill Cosby, who I was sure wasn’t in Atlanta, knew that I was on the radio discussing him. Instead, I asked what he was saying about me. He replied, “He’s calling you a liar and a hustler. He’s saying that you have a ‘hip-hop website’ and that you can’t be trying to help Black people with a ‘hip-hop website.’”

and
Me: Hello. Dr. Cosby this isn’t [my friend]. This is actually Marc Lamont Hill. You were talking about me so I figured I’d call back so that we could talk.

Cosby [clearly shocked and uncomfortable]: Yes?

Me: I don’t understand why you have to call me a liar and a hustler. Why can’t my response be just as sincere and principled as yours?

Cosby never answered my question. Instead, he proceeded to grill me about my job, my affiliations, and my “hip-hop web site.” I attempted to explain the nature of my work–although he referenced the site, I doubt that he actually read anything – and the substance of my critique. Unfortunately, he insisted on talking over me and trying to “son” me. Unintimidated, I continued to attempt to offer my side of the story.

After 10 minutes or so, Cosby says “Mr. Hill. You’re a smart man. You’re a good writer. You’ve called here twice. You’ve had enough to say.”



Sir, if this is true and I have every reason to believe it to be, then you were out of order, rude and served a great disservice to your tour. Though I support your message I am not a blind supporter nor am I a "yes person" which is what you apparently have as your major advisors. If you go to my posting entitledNotes To So Called POC Revolutionaries you will find a list of pitfalls which you have apparently fallen into. Let me point out the most relevant ones to you:

4) Name calling: Oh I think a lot of people fall down here. Most times conscious people are seen as being mad all the time. They are probably right. Often times I notice that persons who cannot defend their positions (even when they have the right one), end up name calling. Oh yes, your buddies will probably love you for “telling that cracker off” or whatever the opposition happens to be. Problem is, a lot of people who may have been with you may be turned off by your mouth (pen or keyboard). You simply never know who is in the audience and what they will respond too. Since even the most sailor mouthed person can understand to an intelligent and coherent argument, there is no need for the name calling. Worst yet, your opposition will use your sudden lack of vocabulary to smear you in the eyes of the audience. People will look at you and think that the foulness coming out of your mouth is indicative of what you stand for. Hey, I understand how easy it is. On occasion I’ve even fallen off that wagon. But be sure, you are being watched and listened to. Watch. Your. Mouth.

As someone who has fallen into this pit now and again I know how easy it is, but for real, you have a whole lot more attention than I do so you need to be a whole lot more careful of what you say. Furthermore:

4) Lose the “Yes Friends”: Boy are these people a drag on your development. “Yes friends” are like crack or worse, chocolate chip cookies. Like said cookies, these people exist simply to comiserate and/or inflate your ego. They often have self-esteem issues and need for you to park where they are mentally locate so that they don’t feel so alone having long been left alone by those who have matured in their views. President Bush is surrounded by “Yes People.” Much of the Republican Party in America is a big “Yes people club.” Many of the corrupt leaders in various African countries are still around because of “Yes People.” How do you know when you are surrounded by “yes people.” I’ll admit that it’s a whole lot easier to spot yes people from the outside then it is to spot them from the inside. Let me offer this test. Are you God (5 Percenter ideologies aside)? OK having established that, you are not infalible. If you are in fact falible then you have no doubt made a mistake. I’ll venture to guess you’ve made many mistakes. Now think of a point where you made a particular mistake that was pretty obvious after the fact. Was it pointed out to you? If so, was it pointed out to you by your “buddies” or by an “outsider” If it was pointed out by an outsider, your buddies are likely “yes friends.” They may be “I don’t want to hurt your feelings” friends. These are the ones that did know you goofed but didn’t want to hurt your feelings by saying so so they said nothing. They are just about as bad as the yes people. What you choose to do with these people are up to you but my suggestion is to cut ‘em loose.

What is perhaps the worst thing about this event was that you lost an opportunity to perhaps win over a potential ally. Why burn a bridge unnecessarily? We need allies and we need not make our own adversaries when outsiders will make plenty for us.


Lastly, I'd like to point out that many of the people who agree with you grew up on Hip Hop and while we abhor much of what has happened to it, we love the artform like you love Jazz. You should be more considerate of the music of our generation. Playahata.com among other websites are places where a lot of what you discuss are discussed among members. You would be surprised at the level of some of the discussions that go on there. I can't vouch for every Hip Hop site out there but you'd be better served by being careful about blanket statements about websites you probably don't read. It's really bad form.

I hope this note has found you in good health and I hope that the tour is a success by whatever measure that you are using. Please be careful of the motives of those that both critique and support you and use your power and celebrity with a little more discretion (IE: calling a dean of a university about a professor is a bad idea).

Yours in struggle

Sondjata
Garvey's Ghost
garveys-ghost.blogspot.com



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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bad Talking Black Power

Black America Web has an article that highlights the recent mangling of Black Power ideology by George Will with the aid of Shelby Steele. George Will's article can be found here As pointed out by Gregory Kane Mr. Will bases is comments on Black Power not on the seminal work by Kwame Toure. Nor does Mr. Will look at the writings of Marcus or Amy Garvey. Instead he bases his point on a recent book by Shelby Steele entitled "White Guilt". Mr. Will focuses in on this particular passage:


“By the mid-60s, white guilt was eliciting an entirely new kind of black leadership, not selfless men like King who appealed to the nation’s moral character but smaller men, bargainers, bluffers and haranguers -- not moralists but specialists in moral indignation -- who could set up a trade in white guilt.”


What exactly does the above have to do with "Black Power"? I mean, in the very definitive sense of the word power, Black Power would have to be an idea that promotes the ability to determine outcome for Black people or Black peoples ability to determine the outcome or in Kwanzaa Kujichagulia. Given this, the above quotation cannot even be referring to Black Power or those who advocate black power. Since the above quotation cannot be about black power or it's advocates then who exactly does this quote refer to?

If we look further into Will's reading of Steele we find this:

The big invention by these small men was what Steele calls "globalized racism." That idea presumes that "racism is not so much an event in black lives as a condition of black life," a product of "impersonal" and "structural" forces. The very invisibility of those forces proved their sinister pervasiveness.

Say what? Where does Steele pull this definition from? That is how did the phenomenon of "globalized racism" better referred to as The White Supremacy System and Culture become defined as "a condition of black life? Those who study white supremacy understand it to be a system and culture that generally describes the actions and thoughts of white people vis-a-vis non-white people. it is these actions and thoughts that whites ought to feel shame and guilt. That persons such as George Will, fail to recognize this is an inherent part of the "globalized" racial system. We also ought to remind Mr. Will that it was the English with their visions of global conquest that pronounced to the world the ideology of worldwide white domination as "The White Man's Burden". Clearly then, if George Will has an issue with "Global racism" as an ideology he ought to go back and question the British on the matter and no so-called "small men", "bluffers", and "haranguers".

Indeed our critical examination of Dr. Welsing's important book, demonstrates that as exists in the laws of physics, there are effects to the cause of global racism. Through Dr. Welsing's Etiology we find the numerous ways that many black people act in self destructive ways in reaction to the White Supremacy System. In fact, had George Will done any sort of research rather than picking at the brown nose near his anus, he would find that black power advocates, who existed before the 60's and 70's, have always had a critical word for those blacks who act in ways contrary to their best interests irrespective of Global White Supremacy.


Hence when Mr. Will writes:

The theory makes the absence of identifiable adverse events in the lives of individual blacks irrelevant to blacks' claims to victimhood.

We know he is full of feces. Of course the feces with which he is full of has a name in Shelby Steele who writes:

Black students who have never suffered discrimination can, Steele says, enjoy affirmative action "with a new sense of entitlement." As a result, Steele says, "We blacks always experience white guilt as an incentive, almost a command, to somehow exhibit racial woundedness and animus." The result for blacks is "a political identity with no real purpose beyond the manipulation of white guilt."

Interestingly, for him black as an identity is merely a political tool, never mind the very real general cultural differences between whites, blacks, Asians, etc. Secondly, where does Steele get the fact that students have never suffered discrimination? What study did he conduct to determine this? OF course he has none other than anecdotal evidence, but his real bugaboo is Affirmative Action. I have my issues with the program as it is implementedbut understand that since AA was meant to reverse long standing effects of past discrimination, even if not a single student ever was discriminated against in his or her lifetime, the program would still be justifiable. It is only blacks with severe inferiority complexes who have problems with AA. They spend all their time trashing AA while not addressing the other means that white students get into universities and jobs. It is the pernicious racism of white persons that assumes that Affirmative Action is a sign of "less able" rather than "remedy". I simply refuse to engage in the therapy of white persons afflicted with this ailment. it is too bad that such persons have dingleberries at the ready for picking.

Mr. Will continues in Steele blackface:

Black "militants" are actually preaching militant dependency. They have defined justice as making whites feel so guilty that they will take responsibility for black advancement. One casualty of this, Steele says, has been education: "We got remedies pitched at injustices rather than at black academic excellence—school busing, black role models as teachers, black history courses, 'diverse' reading lists, 'Ebonics,' multiculturalism, culturally 'inclusive' classes, standardized tests corrected for racial bias, and so on." Reading, writing and arithmetic? Later. Maybe.

Really? I will place a bet that neither Will or Steele know any actual "black militants". By "black militant" I'm not talking about the loud mouth on the Mic at a poetry slam. Granted there are persons ad groups who's entire program is based on the hoped eventual mass benevolence of white people and the corporate power structure. Unfortunately for Mr. Will and Steele, they are not "Black Power" organizations. Those organizations are what are referred to in true "Black Power" circles as Integrationist. True Black Power advocates have independent schools; they have philanthropic organizations and Businesses.

Real, actual-factual, Black Power advocates had no hand in bussing. Black Power advocates did not create the corporate friendly "multiculturalism" either. Of course Both Will and Steele have no respect for and therefore see no point to black history or corrections to tests. Also Garveyites are against such things as "Ebonics" as a teaching tool. Garveyites teach the importance of mastery of the language of the country in which one resides (even if we fall short..ha!). Therefore Mr. Will and Mr. Steele are wrong in saddling Black Power advocates with these things.

I could go on picking Mr Steele and Mr. Wills weak argument but it would be a waste of my time. Anyone who reads Mr. Will's article and takes it as truth, doesn't know anything about Black Power advocates or ideology. It's just the blind leading the blind.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

American Big Man IX

Previous "Big Man" posts:

American Big Man
American Big Man II
American Big Man III
Big Man Questions
American Big Man Continues
American Big Man IV
American Big Man V
American Big Man VI: One Party State
American Big Man VII: Big Man Grows a whole size
American Big Man VIII: The Higher The Monkey Climb

Today the Justice Department, representing the NSA, has asked that the NSA wiretap case be thrown out because:

"the evidence we need to demonstrate to you that it lawful cannot be disclosed without that process itself causing grave harm to United States national security."

The [so called]Justice Department is basically saying that national security "concerns" puts the president and the NSA and whomever else he deems worthy, outside the purview of the legal system or other branches of government. Never mind that the FISA court itself was created in order to maintain state security needs while addressing the constitutional requirements regarding search and seizure. As we have posted before (see the extensive postings listed above). It is already known and agreed upon that the president has violated the FISA statute.

The Bush administration has acknowledged that it has not complied with the law but has said that a Congressional authorization in 2001 to use military force against Al Qaeda and the president's inherent constitutional powers allowed him to violate it.

We have demonstrated how the language of the AUMF does not give the president any powers above that granted by either the constitution or the War Powers Resolution. I bring up the War Powers resolution because it was used as an argument by the Justice Department in their brief discussed at length in American Big Man and American Big man IV.

Even more odius was this argument:
Calling the plaintiffs' position extreme, Mr. Coppolino said the 1978 law cannot constitutionally constrain the president when the nation's safety is at risk.

"The president's constitutional power doesn't simply disappear when Congress enacts a statute," Mr. Coppolino said. "Surveillance of an enemy is indeed a necessary incident of war."


The 1978 law does not constitutionally restrain the president the 1978 law prevents the president from using extra-constitutional actions under the cover of "national security".

The Justice department has also revealed it's back up plan in the form of the following argument:

Mr. Coppolino also argued that the plaintiffs were not entitled to sue in the first place because they cannot show they have been injured. "You don't get standing," he said, "simply because you say the president has a program and I think it might cover me."



I believe that this argument is just as specious. Let us take the example of Martha Stewarts supposed insider trading "crime". Who exactly was injured by Martha Stewart's actions? Were there any lawsuits by shareholders that precipitated the investigation into her trade? No, it was in the process of a norma investigation into the company after the fall of it's stock price after the annoncement of the denial of FDA approval that the "scam" was discovered. If the SEC could go after Martha Stewart without an individual person showing "injury" then why can't the President of the United States be held accountable for a crime he admits to committing?

The answer to the question is that there is a collective injury when a person acts on insider trading. Shareholders, unable to act in an informed manner via a transparent marketplace where everyone has access to the same information (should the seek it), lose money and the market system is threatened. Equally the president by violating the FISA statute and by extension the, 4th Amendment threatens the very basis of the United States government and therefore he injures the entire citizenry by his actions. What the Justice Department hopes to do is to use the terrorism boogyman in order to scare this judge and the congress from doing their constitutional duty and impeach the president for the high crime of treason and to throw his behind in jail.

President Bush and his republican cohorts like to go on and on about how they despise "activist" judges who fail to follow the law. I hope that the judge in this case is just the kind of judge that Bush likes. Sometimes you get what you ask for.

To be continued.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Zimbabwe Update

We've been watching the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe for some time. We went so far as to write an open letter to Mugabeexpressing concern over the razing of housing and buildings in Zimbabwe whilst larger more important issues were at hand. Today we note that the economic situation in Zimbabwe is even worse :

Zimbabwe's inflation rate has continued its upward trend, reaching 1,193.5% in May, and putting an ever greater strain on the country's struggling economy.

The latest rise represents a climb of 150.6% on April's figure which was just above 1000%, the Central Statistics Office said.

It means goods cost about 13 times what they did a year ago, compounding the hardship many Zimbabweans experience...

Last week the Reserve Bank issued a new 100,000 Zimbabwean dollar note (equivalent to just under $1), to accommodate rocketing prices.


Zimbabwe simply cannot print it's way out of this problem. Nor can so called high profile deals with China help either. It is clear that Mugabe, who gets to fly to the Vatican in order to "pay respects" to the dead pope, does not have to deal with the consequences of his actions. While we are in complete agreement with the land reclamation, there is no way we should be silent on the complete lack of planning, coordination and rank nepotism that has plagued this so called program. The Christian Science Monitor reports that government troops have been taking over the farmland:

They told us, 'We are taking away your fields from you'," says Mr. Dube, who farms a 10-acre plot south of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second biggest city. The soldiers, who arrived last November, proceeded to plow under his tomatoes, onions, and sweet potatoes. Since 1982, these were the crops Dube had grown to pay for his children's food and school fees. Now, for the good of the nation, he was ordered to plant maize...

Zimbabwe's economy has been shrinking for the past six years and has been dependent on food aid since 2002. Eighty percent of Zimbabweans are unemployed, and food and fuel are scarcer than ever. Last month, the UN distributed emergency food aid to about one-fourth of the 12.5 million population, and said many people were surviving on one meal or less a day. This year, despite the best rains in 20 years, the government predicts the grain harvest of a country that was known as the breadbasket of southern Africa will be only half as large as in 2000, when the eviction of white commercial farmers began.


It is clear that Mugabe is simply incapable of proper leadership and needs to be replaced. Zimbabwe is a classic example of what happens when loyalty to the person rather than the people is "most important". We can only hope that the situation in Zimbabwe improves sooner rather than later.

Loyalty to Who?

All Africa is reporting that the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) of Nigeria is requireing Loyalty to Obasanjo as a prerequisite for receiving it's backing for succeeding Obasanjo.

PEOPLES Democratic Party (PDP)'s Governor Ayodele Fayose-led special committee shopping for President Olusegun Obasanjo's successor yesterday said loyalty to the president is a precondition that aspirants eyeing the plum office must meet before getting its backing.

It also resolved to screen non-governors for the Presidency in 2007.

These were part of decisions reached by the committee which met for several hours at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. It was presided over by Governor Fayose of Ekiti State.

Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Saminu Turaki who recently joined the PDP from All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and attended the meeting told newsmen that "apart from being in the PDP, loyalty to the president is the first and important issue".

"This thing is part of the President also. Like I said the most important thing is loyalty to the President," he said.


This is no doubt in response to the Split that occurred in the party:

The division occurred as prominent party members opposed efforts to amend the constitution to allow the president a third term in office.

Vice-president Atiku Abubakar, who was against the change, says he will run for president in next year's elections.

Nigeria's Senate last month threw out the amendment.


Sadly the "Peoples" party should be renamed the "Obasanjo Democratic Party". Why would loyalty to the president be a prerequitite for anything. Rather, it would be loyalty to the Nigerian people that should be the "most important". Or perhaps abilty, leadership and things like that would be "most important". Much like the Republican party in the United States, politics of loyalty to a transient figure rather than to the people seems to be the rage. It would even be more understandable if they said something like loyalty to the political party, even though that would be far less than ideal but it would put less power in the hands of charismatic and potentially deeply flawed individuals.

In the end, the problem that Fanon described, the inability to create a national consciousness, is in plain view in Nigeria.


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Lessons Not Learned

back when the US wanted to fight the Russians via the Cold War, they funded a little outfit called the Mujahhadeen, the Holy Warriors. They enjoyed a great laugh while the Soviets were stuck fighting in Afghanistan against "rebels" who had access to "modern" arms courtesy of the CIA. And what happened next? Ahh well Osama Bin Ladin, The Kenya Bombing (more Kenyans than Americans were killed). Tanzania bombings and of course, 9-11. You would think that these folks in the CIA would have learned not to fund "rebel" groups. But that is not the case.
We have reports that the CIA was giving financial backing to the "Warlords" in Somalia:

WASHINGTON, June 7 — A covert effort by the Central Intelligence Agency to finance Somali warlords has drawn sharp criticism from American government officials who say the campaign has thwarted counterterrorism efforts inside Somalia and empowered the same Islamic groups it was intended to marginalize...Officials say the decision to use warlords as proxies was born in part from fears of committing large numbers of American personnel to counterterrorism efforts in Somalia, a country that the United States hastily left in 1994 after attempts to capture the warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid and his aides ended in disaster and the death of 18 American troops.

The American effort of the last year has occasionally included trips to Somalia by Nairobi-based C.I.A. case officers, who landed on warlord-controlled airstrips in Mogadishu with large amounts of money for distribution to Somali militias, according to American officials involved in Africa policy making and to outside experts.


Let's think of all the problems here.

1) You funded a man named Mohammed Farah Aidid. Not saying that he would be another Bin Ladin but damn if you have a history of ex- CIA paid Muslims turning on you, why would you be so dumb as to supply arms and money to another one?

2) Supposing that Mr. Aidid was going to set up some sort of secular government, after the debacle that was Iran during the Carter administration, why set yourself up with a so called "moderate Muslim" who could then be seen as a puppet of the US and therefore be a living and breathing advertisement for Jihad?

And here's the thing anyone who's thinking knows that the money for the "Islamic" front are Muslim countries or at least Muslim organizations therefore this was not simply a war between Warlords and Islamists, this is a front of a proxy war between supporters of Jihad and those of American imperialism. By losing this particular battle the US has put itself in a bad position.

On a side note on the death of Al Zarqawi: Yaaaaawn. Nothing has changed.

Assuming he really isn't dead: Nothing changes in terms of activity on the ground.
Assuming he is actually dead: Nothing changes because there is no doubt another person(s) willing and able to take his place since this is not a "charismatic" movement dependent on high profile "celebrity" leaders. Rather this is an ideologically driven conflict. This should have been known since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Assuming he has been dead for a long time: Nothing changes: Clearly the violence was not dependent on him. From other sources we have this:


Moreover, the Pentagon and the White House will have lost the personification of evil that Zarqawi represented to justify the war. As Scott McClellan — before his ticket was punched — said hundreds of times, like one of those dolls with a string on its back, "Iraq is the front line in the global war on terror." Zarqawi was the ultimate "foreign fighter," one who willingly adopted the name "al Qaeda in Iraq," feeding the mistaken notion that there is actually an organization called al Qaeda, an official enemy that is global and eternal, and now manifest on this particular part of the oil patch.

Just this year, the Washington Post published a documents showing that the Pentagon had an active program to legendize Zarqawi.

"The Zarqawi campaign is discussed in several of the internal military documents. 'Villainize Zarqawi/leverage xenophobia response,’ one U.S. military briefing from 2004 stated. It listed three methods: 'Media operations,’ 'Special Ops (626)’ (a reference to Task Force 626, an elite U.S. military unit assigned primarily to hunt in Iraq for senior officials in Hussein’s government) and 'PSYOP,’ the U.S. military term for propaganda work…" (Washington Post, 10 April 2006)


So it is more of the same. lessons not learned.

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Profiling

So Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) has come out for racial and ethnic profiling to "protect" NY residents from terrorism. He says:

e doesn't want cops hesitating to stop potential terror suspects, especially younger Muslim men with Middle Eastern or South Asian backgrounds, out of fear of reprimands or civil lawsuits.

"We have to use whatever tools that we would not ordinarily use. In a time of war, we do things that we would not,"


Ahh yes ye olde "In time of war" argument. Of course Mr. Hikind failed to mention that there are potential terror suspects who are not Middle Eastern or South Asian but we'll give the ones from the Caucasus mountains a pass. And of course though he didn't mention it, we know African Muslims are on the menu as well, though we already know the NYPD doesn't need a terrorist angle in order to "apprehend" African suspects. Usually a wallet is enough "probable cause".

What is perhaps the worst part of this report is that the proposed legislation has the backing of Assemblywoman Vivian Cook

You would think "sista girl" would have more sense, but I guess not. Since the "war on terrorism" is projected to be a "long" effort, then such legislation would be permanent. Furthermore, if passed, and if it survives court challenges, then it sets a precedent for legalized profiling for other "crimes" and so called "crime prone" ethnic and racial groups.

Ultimately profiling is a sign of weak investigative work and is simply unconstitutional.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Reasonable Doubt

No, this is not a review of Jay Z's album. This is a rundown of the Duke Rape case. I have resisted posting here on the subject largely because there was little information out there and personal experience has taught me not to assume an accuser to be any more believable than the person who has ben accused. I am about to break this silence on the subject due to a couple of factors most important among them is the pronouncement by the currently presiding judge that the case will not be heard until next year and the release of 1300 pages on information from the DA to the defense attorneys. The information I have seen, if not refuted at trial, would be the basis for reasonable doubt and therefore I believe will result in an acquital on at least the rape charge.

Early in the case, in my discussion of the case over at Blackademic, there was a lot of supposition about what "proved" rape. The women (and some men) over there had decided that the still unidentified boys were in fact guilty of rape because the young lady in question had said so. When I pointed out that such an attitude was antithetical to the premise of innocent until proven guilty, I was told that I had high faith in a corrupt judicial system that was basically, and I'm paraphrasing here, out to screw women, specifically women of color. In some regards I agree with that statement though I would put it that the judicial system as currently run screws the poor and the ignorant (oft-times one and the same) and that race runs a close third place. This has not always been the historical situation, but this isn't 1960,1950 or times before then. This is now, when black men and women with enough money and clout can get "white people justice (tm)".

The corollary argument to the "justice screws women" argument is that since it screws women, tough titty if the screws are turned on white males. This flaccid argument imperils everyone who would come into contact with the justice system. If one can "bend the rules" for your particular political ends, then so can everyone else. In that case there is no intellectual or moral ground to argue against things such as police corruption or racial profiling as they are the results of someones ideological or political bent. Thus it is my position, much as I took with the Cynthia McKinney incident is that we are better served by upholding the law and proper procedure in all cases lest we allow our communities to be the victims of arbitrary and capricious "enforcement" when it is persons in our group that are in the cross hairs.

So getting to the actual case lets recall the statement seen on the search warrant. The victim went to the house to dance. The men waved a broomstick at them saying they would stick it in them. The women leave the premises but return after an apology is given. Upon re-entering the house the victim is pulled into a bathroom, told she can't leave and then assaulted, anally, orally and vaginally for 30 minutes by three men.

The search of the premises shows an apparent incriminating e-mail in which a member of the Lacrosse team writes:
The e-mail from McFadyen's account notes that, after the strippers were killed, they would be skinned while the author was "cumming in my duke issue spandex." The e-mail is signed "41," which is McFadyen's jersey number.

There was also a paper in the car saying "suckie suckie, $5.00"

We should note that even with this "incriminating" evidence, this individual, McFadyen, has not been indicted for anything. This underscores the sheer idiocy of those that presumed people to be guilty of anything with the information that first came out.

The next thing that went down was the DNA evidence or lack thereof. I was pretty much certain, as I'm sure the DA was, that when the DNA evidence came back the boys involved would be on the hook. Well the DNA evidence did no such thing. Instead we found out on or about April 11 that the DNA recovered did not match any of the Lacrosse players:

Appearing today on the alleged victim's campus, Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong acknowledged that DNA tests failed to link any of 46 white lacrosse team members to the victim. The team's one black member was not tested.

Interestingly, we note that the report wasn't that no DNA evidence was found but that the DNA evidence found did not match any of the white players. They did not test the black player. Maybe they should have. I'll explain later.

When this point came up and was discussed at blackademic, the people there said that the boys could have used condoms which would have prevented semen and epithelials from being deposited in the victim. I argued that the use of condoms would have been detected but was never discussed in the case. Many lawyers claimed that DNA is often not used to prosecute or secure guilty verdicts in rape cases. So I got to thinking, if DNA can be used to exonerate persons previously found to be guilty beyond reasonable doubt in rape cases, then perhaps there is a problem with how rape cases are prosecuted. Indeed since N. Carolina law defined rape as requiring intercourse, it would seem that DNA evidence would be the key for determining innocence or guilt, in the absence of some other evidence. So how do people get found guilty of rape without DNA evidence? or specifically, DNA?

As with any other crime one must place the victim and the assailant in the same space and time. Often rapists use physical force to subdue their victims and that physical abuse is what provides the evidence needed to convict someone of rape. If you can place the victim and the assailant in the same place and time as the physical abuse, and you can determine that the victim was raped then it is reasonable to convict someone of rape as well.

Sometimes the assailant will get scratched and the good old blood type matching will be used. You also have the case of fingerprints that place an assailant at the scene. These are means to secure a conviction without the use of DNA. The problem in this case is that most if not all of these items are irrelevant to this case. The boys would have fingerprints all over the house since they either lived there or visited often. Furthermore, none have denied being in the general location that night so those items are not in dispute. Thus it comes down to ID-ing which of the 23 team members where allegedly involved in the rape case. But we have a problem. The evidence, as discussed has indicated that at least one of the accused was not on the premises at the time of the alleged rape. He has camera footage showing him to be at a bank. He has a cab driver that identifies him as well as swipe card records. Well what does this mean. It means that the alleged victim has apparently miss-identified at least one person. So now we have a credibility problem.

The credibility problem gets much much worse as we go back to the DNA evidence. The DNA evidence that didn't match any of the players, does match someone. Her boyfriend. Now ordinarily I wouldn't be too swayed by this except that we have the following statement:

efense attorney Joe Cheshire declined to identify the mystery man or his connection to the alleged victim, but ABC News' Law and Justice Unit has learned that the unnamed source of the DNA is the alleged victim's "boyfriend," according to her mother.

On May 23, it was further reported in the Herald Sun:
For example, three defense sources, who asked not to be identified, said a forensic examination of the alleged victim found no tearing, bleeding or other injury associated with a sexual assault. Instead, the exam detected only swelling in the accuser's vagina and tenderness in her breasts and lower right body, the sources said.

Citing nearly 1,300 pages of documents given them last week by the prosecution, the defense sources also said Tuesday that the woman told police she had sex with three men around the time of the alleged rape, which she said occurred at a Duke lacrosse team party at which she had been hired as an exotic dancer. The men were identified as her boyfriend and two drivers for the escort service for which she worked.


Now this presents a peculiar problem for the prosecution and if not explained away, will be the biggest part of "reasonable doubt". Why was the alleged victim having sex with two drivers for the escort service? Was this voluntary? was this expected? Does the boyfriend know that the alleged victim is having sex with the drivers? If the drivers are coercing this woman to have sex with them (at the same time?) is it possible they coerced her to have sex with the boys at the house? Oh but it gets worse:

In other new information, the accuser told police her alleged attackers did not use condoms, the defense sources said.

If that is the case then the whole, "Aha they used condoms!" explanation goes flying out the window and the lack of DNA evidence becomes more damning to the prosecution. NC law clearly requires penetration by a male for their to be rape if the DNA evidence does not prove penetration the case for rape cannot be made. Period. Hence, reasonable doubt.

It is entirely possible that some of the boys in question actually sodomized her or assaulted her with the broom as they suggested previously (and has not been denied). But that's not, legally, rape.

There are other possibilities here as well. Given that the alleged victim is willing to have sex with the drivers of the company she works for, is it unreasonable to believe that she may have sex with these men at the party? Honestly now, is it unreasonable? Is it unreasonable that she was in fact propositioned but the agreed upon "arrangement" was violated by perhaps having to many participants or perhaps some racial language that the alleged victim did not care for at which point she resisted and the violence ensued and the victim having managed to get free ran out the premises without her pocketbook, shoes, etc.? Is it an unreasonable scenario? Maybe there are men and women out there who think no way. Are they speaking from their own moral center or political center or are they taking the evidence at face value? You don't have to hate women to see the reasonableness of the scenario given the evidence so far. Nor do you need to be a racial sell-out to admit the reasonableness of the scenario. What else makes the scenario plausible? The Sucki Sucki $5.00 note. Perhaps it is McFadyen's experience that escorts from that particular service "suckie, suckie". Doesn't mean the boys have an excuse if she refused, but then again it puts into doubt whether or not she would have.

Me, I'm not taking sides. I'm simply at a point now where I can see that there is reasonable doubt for any rape charge and perhaps the one boy who can show he wasn't at the scene at the time of the events in question.



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Monday, June 05, 2006

The 2004 Vote revisited

For those of you who follow this blog you know that I am on the side of folks who say that Bush won Ohio. Not necessarily without shenanigans, but he won it. This was in opposition to many of my peers. However I laid out me case pretty damn clearly. You can find my argument here:

Greg Palast: Liberal Whites Blinded
Palast, Ohio, and the Real Court Case
Palast, Ohio and the Real Court Case Part II
Ohio Certifies

Over at Salon.com there is an article entitled Was the 2004 election stolen? No. Where the author, critiquing a book by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., makes the same exact points I made. The one thing that he added, which debunks a charge I made in Palast, Ohio and the Real Court Case, regards Matt Damschroder:

As to Kennedy's argument that Republicans deliberately engineered the long lines, he's on pretty shaky ground. To be sure, there is ample evidence that election officials throughout the state failed to respond to the surge in voter registration seen in the 2004 race. But it is far more accurate to see their actions as part of a larger picture of incompetence in the midst of massive changes in election procedures -- especially changes in voting technology -- than as part of a GOP plot. Kennedy elides the fact that in Ohio, decisions about voting-machine allocation and precinct location are determined by local boards of elections, which are bipartisan; any Republican effort to allocate machines in a way meant to harm Democrats would have necessarily involved Democratic officials.

The case of Matt Damschroder, the Republican chair of elections in Franklin County whom Kennedy cites, is instructive. As Cornell's Walter Mebane determined, Franklin County's allocation of voting machines was clearly biased against African-Americans. But Mebane's report (PDF) contains some important caveats. Franklin County's allocation of voting machines can be seen as biased if you look at the number of black voters who were registered by Election Day, but decisions about how to allocate voting machines are made months before then. That's why Mebane also notes that "if the allocation of voting machines is compared to information about the size of the active electorate that was available to Franklin County election officials at the end of April, 2004, then the allocation of machines is not biased against voters who were active at that time in precincts having high proportions of African Americans."

The difference reflects the reality that in the last few months of election season, registration surged in Ohio. That Franklin County's voting-machine allocation was considered unbiased in the spring and biased in the fall arises from the fact that the county failed to respond to these electoral changes.

Mebane doesn't let Damschroder off the hook. He says county officials "ignored information during the late summer and fall that should have showed them that the November electorate would be substantially larger. Between April and November, the active voter population in the county increased by more than 15 percent. If nothing else, the surge of new registrants should have indicated that their plans made in mid-summer would prove woefully insufficient."



The article is a good read though if you read my blog, most of the arguments presented there would be old news to you.