Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Department of Election Result Irony

In a true Detroit moment, as reported in the Detroit Free Press ousted Detroit City Clerk ultimately responsible for the conduct of the recent Detroit City election, is demanding a recount as she believes that
the process was so riddled with mistakes that she wants a recount of her own.

The reaction to this request is unsurprising:
"It's sort of funny that she's hoping to get back into office on the basis that she made so many mistakes that you can't count on the results she released," said Mark Grebner of East Lansing-based Practical Political Consulting, a leading voter list company in the state. "This is a woman who is reluctant to eat her own cooking and probably for good reason."

In other words Currie is alleging she was so incompetent in running the elcetion process that the mistakes she made cost Currie her reelection to the City Clerk's Office, where she would have an opportunity to preside over even more mistakes.

Or in other words, her potential argument is she made so many mistakes she even mis-rigged her own election?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

in her statement, the Secretary of State makes an important historical error

In announcing the deal that she brokered between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Secretary of State Rice makes an error that mischaracterizes the actual history of the region. The deal gives the PA control of the border crossings into Gaza and a sea port. Of the deal, Secretary Rice states:

SECRETARY RICE: Good morning. Two months ago, Israel and the Palestinian Authority took an unprecedented step on the road to peace with the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, returning control of that territory to the Palestinian people. Israeli and Palestinian leaders have been hammering out practical arrangements to gain the benefits of that withdrawal and improve conditions in the rest of the Palestinian territories.

. . .

First, for the first time since 1967, Palestinians will gain control over entry and exit from their territory. This will be through an international crossing at Rafah, whose target opening date is November 25th.

This mischaracterizes the history of the region. The Palestinians did not have "control over entry and exit from their territory" before 1967. In fact, in 1948 Egypt annexed the Gaza Strip and controlled its ingress and egress, not the "Palestinians".

Indeed, Palestinian Arabs never had control over the territory. Before 1948 the area was under the control of the British through their mandate, before that it was under the control of the Ottoman Empire, and before the Ottomans it was under the control of various foreign rulers.

Now it is likely this was simply a mistake by the State Department Speechwriter. At worst it is a continuation of the Arabist point of view that Israel is the source of all problems in the area and nothing bad happened until 1967 when Israel occupied the Gaza Strip after the Six Day War and its defeat of the Egyptian forces controlling the strip. The statement distorts history by asserting that the Palestinians had a state or even control over the area before the 1967 war. They did not.

How successful the deal will be is also hard to determine. Giving the PA border control with European monitor supervision will likely increase the flow of heavy weaponry into the region. The opening of the Gaza port will provide an easy location for ships loaded with weapons from Iran and other terrorist supporters to land. As we saw in the Karin-A incident, a freighter can carry massive quantities of heavy weapons such as missiles, mortars, anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons and tons of small arms, explosives and ammunition.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Deaborn Imam praises Iranian wipe out Israel comments, states need for "context"

The worm-tongued Imam Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights, in his column in the Detroit News "explains" that the Iranian President's recent "wipe Israel off the map" comment was just a reference to Israel's political system, not antisemitic, and In fact he then states,
the Iranian president's quip can best be understood in the American context of the Declaration of Independence.

Ah, so a Muslim theocracy's calling for the destruction of the Jewish state is just like the Declaration of Independence. Impressivle moral equivalency and indeed moral blindness from a spiritual leader.

Hmm, isn't the Declaration of Independence comparison particularly inept as Iran is constantly accusing America of being the Great Satan?

Taqiya, shabbily done, and so much for your guise of being the "moderate" Muslim Imam, Imam Elahi.

Canadians On Strike for the Right to Bear Arms in Canada?

Not exactly.

The Canadian Border Guard personnel walked off the job yesterday protesting the fact that they are not allowed to be armed at the border checkpoints. I can find no written articles on this, my source was solely a radio report.

Yes, the Border Guards you interact wiuth at the Canadian Border are not allowed to carry guns, they have to call for police backup if threatened. However, the border guard personnel is allowed to refuse "dangerous work" so they walked off the job yesterday for at least some time.

The Border guards have likewise walked off on 5 other occaisions this year, typically when warned that a dangerous and armed fugitive was heading their way.

Oh, Canada, you're not taking border security, or the security of your border guard personnel seriously, are you?

Note: The only printed reference I can find relating to this issue is this older Canada Press Report:
Major delays at border
By JONATHAN MONTPETIT November 7, 2005

MONTREAL (CP) - American tourists and Canadian residents had a tough time entering Canada through Quebec on Saturday after a New York state trooper was shot and the suspect was believed to be headed for Canada. Following word of Friday night's shooting near Plattsburgh, N.Y., Canadian customs agents working along the Quebec-U.S. border left their positions, said a spokesperson for the Canada Customs Excise Union, which represents border guards across Canada.

Managers took over from the guards at 15 border stations but travellers faced delays of two to three hours Saturday. At certain stations, traffic cones were put in place to block access, according to all-news channel RDI. New York State Police, who described the shooting suspect as armed and dangerous, captured Vladimir Kulakov, 48, early Saturday afternoon.

Border guards returned to work soon after. Kulakov was allegedly driving a stolen pickup truck when he was stopped by New York state Trooper Sean Finn, 34. Police allege Kulakov ran into a wooden area fired at Finn, hitting the officer's hands and the side of his head. Finn is in stable condition in a New York hospital. Kulakov, who has been living in the U.S. for more than 10 years, is said to have been is a highly trained weapons expert with the Russian army.

The union says its workers were exercising their right to refuse dangerous work when they walked off the job. The union is an ongoing dispute with the Canadian Border Services Agency. Unlike their American counterparts, Canadian border guards do not carry guns but they have been pressing the agency for the right to arm themselves.

The agency maintains that border guards don't need to be armed. "In light of the fact that this individual... shot at a law enforcement officer, once again border agents are saying we're not putting our lives at risk in these kinds of situations," said Ron Moran, national president of the border guards union.

Late last month, union members at the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie, Ont., walked off the job after being asked to watch out for an armed and dangerous criminal police thought might attempt to enter Canada. Under the Canadian Labour Code, workers are allowed to refuse to work if they believe it's too dangerous. Moran said despite Kulakov's capture, the union will still seek a ruling from Labour Canada on whether border guards faced a risk.

A spokesperson for the Canadian Border Services Agency said they are not considering Saturday's walkout a pressure tactic. "The employees refused to work because they felt it was dangerous. That's their right," said Dominique McNeely. "It was a decision taken by the employees." However, Moran is using the walkout to raise the issue of unarmed border guards. Moran called the guards' inability to carry a gun a "tragedy waiting to happen."

"They get issued bullet-proof vests, so obviously there's a danger," said Moran. "They're dealing with individuals with nothing to lose." Moran cites a recent report by the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence that recognizes the union's safety concerns and the need for an armed presence at the border.

This is the fifth time since last year that border guards have walked off the job over the firearms issue.

Oh Canada indeed.

Update: Just found a mention of the walkout in the Detroit Free Press:
Following a disastrous evening commute Thursday, drivers should find crossing the Canadian border much smoother this morning after Canada Border Services Agency officers who walked off the job Thursday morning were ordered back to work late that night.....the result of a bid to pressure the government to allow armed border officers.
Late Thursday, Canadian labor affairs officials settled the dispute, improving traffic flow around 10 p.m. The labor officers ordered the border officers back to work, ruling that there was no danger....The officers said they should be armed because of dangers at the border , but Danny Yen, spokesman for the Canada Border Services Agency's Windsor office, said the Canadian government believed the workers are adequately trained and equipped. They are armed with batons and pepper spray.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Separation of Church and State? Political endorsements from Detroits Churches

An Interesting post at Assymetrical Information entitled Political prosecution concerns the IRS investigation of a Church's pre-election speech that was in support of the Kerry Campaign in the last Presidential election.
That Churchman's speech has nothing on the clear political endoirsements and campaigning that occur in at least some of Detroit's Black Churches.

From the Detroit Free Press Article After nasty race, mayor seeks city, regional unity:

During a get-out-the-vote rally Sunday night at Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ, Kilpatrick told hundreds of supporters: "This is our town, and our town is coming back. And the question is: Will Detroiters be involved in the comeback?"


"If you're going to go after one candidate, be fair; we're not going to stand by and let you knock one candidate and let the other off scot-free," Bishop Andrew Merritt of Straight Gate International Church said in his Sunday sermon. "We're not dumb and ignorant."

Merritt also said most reporters live outside Detroit and urged his congregation to ignore them.

"We cannot be intimidated by other folk who tell us how to run our community," he said. "I personally believe there's a major plan to discredit leadership."

And even more on point with clear unequivocal endorsements:
At Great Faith Ministries International on Sunday, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson told his congregation the mayor needed a second term.

"I believe that God put this man upon us, not just to start, but to finish," he said.

The Rev. Wendell Anthony of Fellowship Chapel used Parks' death to rally support for Kilpatrick last Sunday.

"If you stood in line for Rosa Parks, you can stand in line for Kwame Kilpatrick," he said. "The two go together."

So much for the Democrat's mantra of Separation of Church and State.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

MSU Student paper - Our Riot was not as bad as France's Riot.

So that must mean the East Lansing mini-riot was excusable, as it had not spread to multiple cities. In the Article Paris burning: April 2-3 disturbances nothing like massive riots in France, E.L. crowd wouldn't have grown close, the editorial opines that because the samll East lansing riot was nothing like the riots currently engulfing France, it was a no-big-deal spontaneous outburst where
those who participate aren't filled with anarchy but just want to rattle cages. We can attribute their actions to one too many drinks or a wish to celebrate.
So that apparently excuses rioting in the streets.

The writer than compares this "rattle cages" exuberance to the Paris riots:
Rioters in France, however, are full of tension and unrest.
The French working class, fed up with unemployment, racial tension and other societal issues, finally exploded.

The MSU student paper, in its student marxist-chic mode, as most University Student papers are wont to do, injects some leftist-speak into the rationale for the riots -- erroneously of course. The Statenews reports that
The French working class, fed up with unemployment, racial tension and other societal issues, finally exploded.
glossing over the fact that the rioters are Muslim and in between merily burning cars belonging to non-Muslims are shouting Allah Akbar, not singing the Internationale.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Michigan July 2005 Bar Results are Out!

The list of certified passers for the July 2005 Bar Exam in michigan has been released today. The results can be found At the State of Michigan Bar Website.

Congrats to all who passed!

All 4 members of the firm where I work who took the Bar in July passed. They're all very relieved and leaving the office early to celebrate and imbibe some adult beverages in excitement and relief.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Judge rules Detroit City Clerk violated elections laws

Detroit News: Judge says Currie violated election laws
City Clerk Jackie Currie is violating state law in the way she handles absentee ballots and supervises a team of election assistants who aid seniors and the infirm in voting, Wayne County Circuit Chief Judge Mary Beth Kelly ruled Thursday.

Kelly made those findings and others before barring Currie from using her election "ambassador" program in preparation for Tuesday's citywide vote for mayor, city council and clerk.

"Insufficient oversight presently exists," Kelly said, and "irregularities can and have occurred."
Currie's answer to this ruling?
Currie's attorney said her legal team will "up the ante" in federal court. "We feel all this is a violation of civil rights and the ability of black people to vote," said attorney Steve Reifman.
Predictable yet extremely sad. Stopping fraud and illegal voting proceedures is not "a violation of civil rights and the ability of black people to vote". Instead, it is safeguarding the right to vote and the value of those votes cast by blacks in Detroit, otherwise their right to vote is meaningless if their votes can be negated by fraud, ineptness or other wrongdoing at the Clerk's office.

One Question: Is anyone looking back to see if these same shannnigans and electoral fraud were going on during the last Presidential election? Were there enough votes fraudulently cast in Detroit against Bush that caused Michigan to "go" for Kerry? The difference in the election was 165,437 votes statewide. Note that
More than 300,000 names and addresses on Currie's qualified voter list are incorrect and include the deceased, people who no longer live in Detroit and abandoned and vacant properties...[and] Currie mails out 130,000 to 150,000 absentee ballot applications before every election.
The margin of deciding votes between Kerry and Bush in 2004 in Michigan is LESS than the number of ineligible voters on the list and slighlty above the number of absentee ballots Currie alone mailed out.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Blog causes Sony to issue patch to reveal its hidden files

Mark Russinovich's Blog Sysinternals posted a discovery that certain Sony CD's with copy protection schemes install a rootkit that hides its existence on your computer, and pointed out that the copy protection scheme was thus hidden from the user, continued to use system resources even while not in use, and could not be (essentially) uninstalled without disabling the CD drive and a lot of tweaking.

Sony, after this was posted has now announced that they offer a patch to reveal hidden copy-protection software. How aware users will be as to the existence of this patch is questionable, ad at least users will be able to see that the process exists.

Oh, and to uninstall the software, you still have to contact Sony's customer service (or if you're advanced enough, follow the process created by Mr. Russinovich).

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

UN Security Council Punts on Syria

Instead of imposing sanctions if Syria fails to comply with the investigation into the assasination of Lebanon's former prime minister Hariri, accoring to the report Syria seeks summit to build support in the Detroit Free Press.

Unsurprisingly, the two members of the security council to refuse the imposition of sanctions were Russia and China. Given Syria is an old client of the former USSR and that China is interested in oil in the region, their refusal to impose sanctions was not surprising.
The resolution's prime sponsors [were] the United States, France and Britain.

To win unanimous approval, the three sponsors dropped a reference to sanctions should Syria not cooperate. China and Russia had refused to accept that language. . ..
The Security Council vote requires Syria to detain anyone the UN investigators consider a suspect and allow investigators to determine the location and conditions for questioning. It would freeze assets and impose a travel ban on suspects named by the investigative commission.

Syria is now trying to convene a meeting of the Arab League to provide it cover from the storm of its own making.