10.25.2004



Who said it?


And now it's time to play the quiz game, "Who Said It!" Let's see how savvy of a political observer you are. See if you can identify what politicians said these quotes.
1. It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion.
2. We enter [Congress] in order to supply ourselves, in the arsenal of democracy, with its own weapons. If democracy is so stupid as to give us free tickets and salaries for this bear's work, that is its affair. We do not come as friends, nor even as neutrals. We come as enemies. As the wolf bursts into the flock, so we come.
3. The [terrorists] have deserved the catastrophe that has now overtaken them. Their destruction will go hand in hand with the destruction of our enemies. We must hasten this process with cold ruthlessness.
4. The most brilliant [spin] technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly . . . it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.
5. We must show them no mercy and no indulgence. This riffraff must be eliminated and destroyed.
6. You just cannot talk humanitarianism when dealing with [terrorists]. [Terrorists] must be defeated.
7. Why of course the people don't want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship ...Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.
8. Of course people don’t want war. Why should a poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best thing he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece?
9. I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.
10. Thus inwardly armed with confidence in God and the unshakable stupidity of the voting citizenry, the politicians can begin the fight for the 'remaking' of the [country] as they call it.
11. If you wish the sympathy of the broad masses, you must tell them the crudest and most stupid things.
12. The great masses of the people... will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one.
13. Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.
14. Any alliance whose purpose is not the intention to wage war is senseless and useless.
15. Strength lies not in defense but in attack.
16. How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.
17. Let us never forget the duty, which we have taken upon us.
18. The world will not help, the people must help themselves. Its own strength is the source of life. That strength the Almighty has given us to use; that in it and through it, we may wage the battle of our life The others in the past years have not had the blessing of the Almighty -- of Him who in the last resort, whatever man may do, holds in His hands the final decision. Lord God, let us never hesitate or play the coward.
19. The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belonged to one category.
Answers:

Quotes 1-6: Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda for the German NAZI Party.

Quotes 7-8, Hermann Goering, Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, President of the Reichstag, Prime Minister of Prussia and, as Hitler's designated successor, the second man in the Third Reich

Quotes 1-19: Adolf Hitler


If you got more than 10 right, you scare me.



Smelling a rat


From The New York Times -- The Billions: Top Army Official Calls for a Halliburton Inquiry:

he top civilian contracting official for the Army Corps of Engineers, charging that the Army granted the Halliburton Company large contracts for work in Iraq and the Balkans without following rules designed to ensure competition and fair prices to the government, has called for a high-level investigation of what she described as threats to the "integrity of the federal contracting program."

The official, Bunnatine H. Greenhouse, said that in at least one case she witnessed, Army officials inappropriately allowed representatives of Halliburton to sit in as they discussed the terms of a contract the company was set to receive.

Her accusations offer the first extended account of arguments that roiled inside the military bureaucracy over contracts with the company.

In an Oct. 21 letter to the acting Army secretary, Ms. Greenhouse said that after her repeated questions about the Halliburton contracts, she was excluded from major decisions to award money and that her job status was threatened.




380 tons


In case you missed it, here's the memo detailing the "loss."

comments:

OK, I can now say "I got the memo."

BTW I'm linking you on my blog. http://www.msgeek.org/ .
 





"Huge" dynamite cache missing in Iraq


This hit the wires a short while ago. The New York Times' James Glanz, William J. Broad and David E. Sanger write in their article, Tracking the Weapons: Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished From Site in Iraq:

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 24 - The Iraqi interim government has warned the United States and international nuclear inspectors that nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives - used to demolish buildings, make missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons - are missing from one of Iraq's most sensitive former military installations.

The huge facility, called Al Qaqaa, was supposed to be under American military control but is now a no man's land, still picked over by looters as recently as Sunday. United Nations weapons inspectors had monitored the explosives for many years, but White House and Pentagon officials acknowledge that the explosives vanished sometime after the American-led invasion last year.


Emphasis in these excerpts is mine....

American weapons experts say their immediate concern is that the explosives could be used in major bombing attacks against American or Iraqi forces: the explosives, mainly HMX and RDX, could produce bombs strong enough to shatter airplanes or tear apart buildings.

The bomb that brought down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 used less than a pound of the same type of material, and larger amounts were apparently used in the bombing of a housing complex in November 2003 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and the blasts in a Moscow apartment complex in September 1999 that killed nearly 300 people.

The explosives could also be used to trigger a nuclear weapon, which was why international nuclear inspectors had kept a watch on the material, and even sealed and locked some of it. The other components of an atom bomb - the design and the radioactive fuel - are more difficult to obtain.

"This is a high explosives risk, but not necessarily a proliferation risk," one senior Bush administration official said.


Let me get this straight. Here we go in to Iraq ostensibly to nab the weapons of mass destruction, and when we find none we don't even bother to secure conventional weapons? Not even weapons that could be used as components in WMD? Oh boy!



Learn the quirks of your voting machine


Verifiedvoting.org has The Verifier, a nifty tool where you drill down to your area to find out what kind of machine you will be voting on. You can get a sense of what to expect. If you're facing an electronic voting machine, the site provides linkes to government and corporate sites that explain how the machine works. It could be helpful. Check it out and see what you think.



You vote, the machine decides?


The Electronic Frontier Foundation's news blog, Deep Links, reports about malfunctioning machines in Texas and New Mexico:

We're hearing that voters in New Mexico and Texas are trying to cast ballots for one candidate but finding that the machine lights up for another. This is happening to people regardless of whom they're voting for; voters who want Bush are getting Kerry and vice versa. Predictably, election officials seem to be blaming voters, claiming that they must have accidentally touched the wrong part of the screen or brushed up against it with their sleeves. But we've witnessed demos of touchscreen e-voting machines, and the machines may have more to do with the problem than voting officials are willing to admit.


Deep Links links to local papers on this appalling story, but then rightly point out that, even if this proves to be voter error, "You shouldn't have to have a surgeon's touch to vote in America."

They urge people to Proof Your Vote. You're the only person who can proof your ballot. Make sure it's right.



The New York Times endorses open source voting machines


It's really quite staggering. Anyone who has lived in New York knows that the Times is quite the establishment rag -- not quite the liberal rag conservatives like to call it. But here they've caught me (and perhaps a few others) by surprise. In the 10.24.2004 Editorial, the editors said:

Mandatory safeguards, including a paper trail, for electronic voting. Election officials like to say that electronic voting is as secure as it can be, but that is false. Nevada regulators, for example, impose far more stringent checks on slot machines than any state does on electronic voting. Congress should impose much more rigorous safeguards, including a requirement that all computer code be made public. It should require that all electronic machines produce a voter-verified paper trail.


Quite a statement coming from establishment media. Do we dare hope? This issue was batted around on Slashdot just a day ago, and there was a lot of skepticism there expressed by code warriors who questioned how open source code even could be audited fairly, or whether that would do anything for sneaky uploads, wireless interference techniques and other potential problems. Still, I trust the public more than I trust Katherine Harris.

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