If you notice any minor strangeness about this site, it’s probably due to a very hasty upgrade to a new version of the Geeklog software, without taking the time to track down and redo all the little tweaks I’d made to the old installation. The reason for the haste is that I was hit by a couple of link-spam attacks over the weekend. I’d heard about this recent addition to the spammers’ bag o’ tricks, but I thought I was safe. I wasn’t. Now I think I am.
There was some exciting weather in these parts Thursday night. I haven’t really gotten a full picture of what went on, but it included major winds and possible tornadoes that did a lot of damage in some residential areas, mainly in the Northwest part of Fayette County. I’ve seen reports of some houses being total losses. I just wanted to post a quick note here that I’m alive, well, and unharmed, in case any of my faithful readers have been alarmed by news reports or internet gossip about the storms.
I’m sure many people, with tongue partially in cheek, might suggest the two are equivalent, but the Army is serious about it. Using a loose definition, I suppose torture is a form of “technology” used to extract “information”. And in the miiitary world of doublespeak, it’s probably not any more outrageous than many other common euphemisms and obfuscations. But it’s still a little disturbing to read stories like this one about the Army hiring “interrogators” under IT services contracts, especially considering reports that some of these contractors have been involved in some of the worst cases of abuse, and not subject to prosecution because of their non-military status, including a contractor accused of raping a teenage prisoner but facing no criminal charges.
Kentucky held its primary election today (as did Oregon and Arkansas). Not surprisingly, with the presidential nominations for both parties already a done deal, and few local races with any primary competition, turnout was low. Approximately 13% of registered voters felt compelled to exercise that right that supposedly makes us so much better than other countries that we’re justified in destroying them to make them more like us. Unfortunately, I was a little surprised at some of the “also-ran” results. I had expected a low turnout to give more weight to the candidates who appeal to the few but dedicated, giving them more of a chance to challenge the status-quo candidates favored by the dumb and lazy majority. Things didn’t turn out that way.
I went to a fundraiser tonight for Congressman Ben Chandler, who’s running for re-election after being elected in February to the unexpired seat vacated by our sleazy current governor. It was quite a different experience than Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s recent appearance in his presidential campaign. It’s really ironic that a candidate who’s certain to lose can arouse feelings of hope and optimism, while one who has a pretty good chance of winning can leave you depressed and almost sick.
I’ve got mixed feelings about James Carville, aka the Ragin Cajun. It’s hard to forgive him for helping elect one of the worst governors Kentucky has ever had (althought that title is being seriously challenged by our current one). But the guy’s good at his job, even when the job is getting sleazeballs elected. Here’s a recent example of his wit:
You know, back in 2000 a Republican friend of mine warned me that if
I voted for Al Gore and he won, the stock market would tank, we’d lose
millions of jobs, and our military would be totally overstretched. You know
what? I did vote for Al Gore, he did win, and I’ll be damned if all those things
didn’t come true
Congressman and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich was in town Tuesday, campaigning for the upcoming Kentucky primary. He gave an extremely energetic speech at the Kentucky Theater. I’ve been to a lot of political rallies in my rabble-rousing lifetime, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a politician fire up a crowd the way Dennis did. Unfortunately, the local newspaper reporter was working on deadline, so his story was based only on an interview with Dennis on the way to the theater, and he didn’t hang around to capture the enthusiasm.
Died May 6, 2004.
When I came home Thursday afternoon and looked out in the pasture, I saw two horses. That wasn’t unusual; Little would often be some distance away from the others. I looked around a little more and didn’t spot him. As it was a fairly warm day, I thought he might be under the shed by the barn, but he wasn’t.
If you find yourself as confused as I am about just how the mind of the average Republican works (rumor has it some of them actually do have minds, although probably not hearts), this might be helpful. A friend forwarded me this list of Republican beliefs that makes it all much clearer.
At a time when questions are being raised about how widespread the American abuse of Iraqi prisoners is, I received this report from an organization which has some good information and no political axe to grind (other than a desire for compassion and humanity). The Christian Peacemaker Team, an ecumenical international group committed to nonviolence, based in Iraq, has for some time been focusing on the problems associated with the detention of Iraqis, including those in Abu Ghraib Prison, by coalition forces, especially American. Below is a release from them with examples and reflection; I’m posting it here in its entirety because you might not see it anywhere else.