If you can’t steal it, cancel it?

With Dubya’s approval rates sinking to record lows, and polls showing him behind Kerry, is there any doubt that his gang will pull the same kind of vote-stealing shenanigans they did four years ago? Well, maybe they won’t. Apparently they have a fallback plan in case he gets so far behind it doesn’t even look stealable. According to an Associated Press story, the head of the Federal Election Assistance Commission (appointed by Bush, which gives that title a real Orwellian sound), the government needs to establish guidelines for canceling or rescheduling elections if terrorists strike the United States again. What would constitute an attack serious enough to cancel elections? I guess that depends on how bad the poll numbers are.

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Short Course?

I received email from one of the security geeks at work that began:

Microsoft and UK have arranged a two-day (no-cost) training session that will provide information about what we can do to better protect our IT infrastructure and applications against security threats — both today and in the future.

So, after they tell us to abandon Microsoft, what’s left to talk about?

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It’s 9:30 PM; Do you know where your horses are?

I’d just finished supper tonight, and had almost gotten to the comics section of the newspaper, when the dawgs started raisin’ a ruckus. They’re never at a loss for things to bark at, so I ignored it for a while. When they seemed a little more agitated than usual, I wandered out to see if there was really a reason for concern. I saw headlights and heard voices, and wandered around the corner of the house to find a car full of people. The first thing they said to me was “Do y’all have horses?” With astonishing clairvoyance, I instantly surmised they didn’t just pull in to make idle conversation.

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Lessons for the week

It’s finally June in Kentucky. After a couple of weeks with April rainfall and August temperatures, we finally had a pleasant weekend that wasn’t sweltering or soaking. Of course, any such lucky break in the weather is largely devoted to serious defoliation of the jungle which has sprung up as a result of the rainfall which both feeds its growth and impedes any effort to control it. But, among all the toil with an array of mutilating devices ranging from weedeaters to bushhogs, I managed to set aside some time Sunday morning to spend quality time with Arthur, for the first time since a trail ride two weeks ago. And, as proof that life is a constant opportunity for continuing education, I learned a couple of important lessons.

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Yay, Teddy!

I knew there was a reason why I liked Ted Kennedy. From a Wired article:

Ngozi Pole is systems administrator for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts), whose office runs the only Mac operation on Capitol Hill. Pole administers about 60 Macs and a couple of PCs. “(The Senate) got hit pretty hard by a worm recently,” he said. “When that happened they had to shut a lot of computers down to isolate the problem. Kennedy’s office was functioning normally during that time.… OS X is just not as vulnerable as Windows.” Pole said Kennedy’s office is moving to a new, centralized OS X file server, and he is impressed with all the Unix security tools he will be able to use.

Cronkite at Pomona

This is powerful stuff. Somebody emailed me a copy of Walter Cronkite’s 2004 commencement address at Pomona University. It contained some pretty blunt observations, such as:

We are plagued with the Iraq war — a possibly improving economy — but still a tragically large population of unemployed or under-employed — and an environmental crisis that threatens the Earth…
We have an administration in Washington that has brought us to this condition — and we have a Democratic candidate presumptive who so far has proposed few remedies that offer any specifics that, to this observer at least, promise the necessary new deal in Washington…
But the Kerry camp may well have been buffaloed by President Bush’s oft-repeated pledge that we won’t “cut and run” from Iraq…
Is it possible that the “cut and run” stigma has so intimidated the Democratic candidate that he can’t muster the courage to acknowledge that we must leave Iraq and to offer a plan to expedite the departure with honor?

My urban legend alarm rang immediately. The internet is full of bogus commencement speeches that were never made. But I did a quick search and found the full text of the speech on Pomona College’s website, among other places. That’s proof enough for me. It’s real. And it’s worth reading.

A Good Constitutional Amendment

In the March 21, 2004 Washington Post, Gene Weingarten wrote a very good column, with his tongue firmly in his cheek, explaining why we need a Constitutional amendment against gay marriage. It’s amusing and worth reading. I’ll respect the Post‘s copyright and not copy it here, but I can’t resist repeating the additional amendment Weingarten recommends:

But if we do follow this path, we really ought to consider another constitutional amendment, drawing not only from this same intense desire to improve our society, but from our increasing willingness to invoke the deity to do so:

Proposed Amendment XXVIII:

“It shall be unlawful to use the U.S. Constitution as a plaything for the politically self-righteous. Violators should all go to Hell.”

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Beer Good, Condoms Bad

My boss frequently passes along valuable advice that he finds. Today, I got email from him that said

Beer can be good for you

MODERATE consumption of beer helped protect the liver from cirrhosis and other diseases, a Spanish researcher said yesterday.

When I followed the enclosed link for more information, it turned out to be an article with several interesting short health-related items. I guess he knows I don’t smoke, so he saw no need to mention that item.

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