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    Overheard on the Web, and other Web links
    From The Herald's Research Editor

    Tuesday, November 30, 2004

    It's not our freedom? 

    Apparently a Pentagon study has discovered that Muslims do not 'hate our freedom'. This breakthrough revelation came in this: Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication, a 111-page PDF. Since the report is so long, here's a Christian Science Monitor story summarizing it. From the Monitor's story, the conclusion of the report:
      'Muslims do not hate our freedom, but rather they hate our policies [the report says]. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the long-standing, even increasing, support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan and the Gulf states. Thus, when American public diplomacy talks about bringing democracy to Islamic societies, this is seen as no more than self-serving hypocrisy.'

    The report is from an independent panel set up to advise the Secretary of Defense.

    And what about the election?
    The best indicator of our freedom is knowing our elections are working. So it's good that so many people are worried. is still monitoring the results, and has a long list of prominent supporters including Rev. Jesse Jackson. Green candidate David Cobb is also monitoring the vote questions around the country.
    And for an extreme analysis of the election, there's this in Online Journal by Wayne Madsen: Saudis, Enron money helped pay for US rigged election. In this one, 'informed sources' say the election was deliberately rigged by the Bush campaign. There's a followup story, too: More on the buying of electoral fraud by the Bush campaign.
    Meanwhile, Keith Olbermann remains locked on the voting questions story, too.
    (Some of these links via Sivacracy.)

    A personal tribute:
    By the way, Olbermann has also written a touching reminiscence about Dick Ebersol, his one-time boss at NBC Sports, who survived that Colorado plane crash this weekend.

    posted by liz at 9:39 AM
    (0) comments

    Monday, November 29, 2004

    Exploiting the sandwich 

    OK, this is getting ridiculous. But when you spend $28,000 for a grilled cheese sandwich, you've got to take advantage of it. Sandwich buyer Golden has set up a new site: Make your own grilled cheese sandwich. Put your picture on a sandwich, too. Upload your own photo or browse the Web for something fun to use.

    Jim DeFede's epic journey continues.

    In other news:
    In reaction to the stories about new security measures requiring intimate patdowns of women in airports, MSNBC is recruiting 'citizen reporters' to tell their stories. Other topics MSNBC wants comments on: Fallujah and the war in Iraq, and 'Your Thanksgiving trip home'. Here are some of the submissions
    The Providence Journal is also providing a place for people to report their experiences in airports (registration required).
    (Via Sheila Lennon.)

    posted by liz at 1:41 PM
    (0) comments

    Sunday, November 28, 2004

    Checking the Florida Vote 

    The Herald checked the votes in three North Florida counties and found that the vote irregularity was not based on any fraud or conspiracy:
      "Wrinkles aside, The Herald count confirmed that Bush's message sold in a part of the state where many voters may be Democrats by registration only.
      'They're not going to vote for a Northeast liberal,' said Lafayette County Judge Harlow Land, director of the county canvassing board."

    And, on a lighter note: Blogging the cheese:
    Check out The Herald's Jim DeFede, who's delivering the Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwich to Las Vegas.

    posted by liz at 8:24 PM
    (0) comments

    Wednesday, November 24, 2004

    Remember the Founders 

    Fighting Words for a Secular America: this MS Magazine article by Robin Morgan reminds us what the founding fathers believed about religion in America, and why church and state were separated in the Constitution. John Adams:
      It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service [forming the U.S. government] had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

    (Via Metafilter.)

    posted by liz at 11:14 AM
    (0) comments

    Our Leader 

    Lots of reaction in the blogs to notice of a couple new Florida billboards. This link is to Blue Lemur's posting, with over 200 comments....
    (via Florida Blog.)

    posted by liz at 11:08 AM
    (0) comments

    Tuesday, November 23, 2004


    For those wondering what to do to get the party back on track, Oliver Willis offers Brand Democrat with lots of graphics and logos you can download and use (as well as buy on T-shirts, etc.) They include slogans such as: National Security First, Presidential Yachts Later (Much Later). Presidential yacht?
    (Via Michael Froomkin.)

    posted by liz at 1:36 PM
    (0) comments


    First the NBA, then South Carolina college football, then President Bush in Chile....all this fighting. What's going on? Knoxville News blogger Michael Silence has pictures, first place I've seen them mentioned all together. But there seems to be a pattern. With the combativeness of the last election, has a new cultural phenomenon entered the American scene? Fighting is OK?
    And what about this book, Born Fighting, How the Scots-Irish Shaped America, by former Secretary of the Navy James Webb?From a review on
      Webb maintains that Scots-Irish attitudes form the bedrock of American society, especially among the working class. Scots-Irish culture has produced American presidents from Andrew Jackson to Bill Clinton, soldiers from Ulysses S. Grant to George Patton, pioneers, preachers, and others whose most common characteristics may be described as fierce individualism, persistent egalitarianism, and a strong sense of personal honor. Perhaps the most visible examples of broad and ongoing Scots-Irish legacy are the fundamentalist Christianity (a potent combination of Scottish Calvinism and headstrong populism) of America's Bible Belt and country music.

    The readers' reviews are revealing, too. Here's part of one:
      "Born Fighting is going to terrify many people in academia, journalism, and book publishing: those Leftist 'elites' who also hated and feared Mel Gibson's films Braveheart, The Patriot, and The Passion of the Christ. Many of them will become hysterical in their attempts to smear this book and its author."

    The book certainly seems relevant to current events. But, what about the 'fighting' part? Is this our future?
    Oh, yes, and then we have 6 people killed in Minnesota...over a tree stand.

    posted by liz at 11:20 AM
    (0) comments

    Long awaited 

    Dan Ricker's Watchdog Report, distributed by email to movers and shakers in South Florida for a few years now, (and also running on is now (finally) a Website,
    Dan Ricker is a citizen who believes in open government, and who has taken on the job of trying to find the stories that go unreported in the daily grind of commission meetings and back-door politics. He's had to solicit contributions to keep the email newsletter going, so the Website will be by subscription too. But there's a free trial on now.
    There's even a T-shirt for sale, benefiting Miami High's Moviemakers program.
    Every city needs a citizen reporter like Dan Ricker.

    posted by liz at 10:45 AM
    (0) comments

    Monday, November 22, 2004

    Leftover weekend silliness 

    Sheila Lennon has a great idea on how to keep cats off your keyboard.

    For true geeks, especially Web site creators, an HTML tattoo, via Boing Boing.

    posted by liz at 4:17 PM
    (0) comments

    Sites responds 

    If you've been following the postings here about the reporting of NBC's Kevin Sites from Iraq, read his latest posting, "Open Letter to Devil Dogs of the 3." for his explanation of how the story of the mosque shooting happened and how he feels about it:
      Making sure you know the basis for my choices after the incident is as important to me as knowing how the incident went down. I did not in any way feel like I had captured some kind of "prize" video. In fact, I was heartsick. Immediately after the mosque incident, I told the unit's commanding officer what had happened. I shared the video with him, and its impact rippled all the way up the chain of command. Marine commanders immediately pledged their cooperation.
      ...For those who don't practice journalism as a profession, it may be difficult to understand why we must report stories like this at all -- especially if they seem to be aberrations, and not representative of the behavior or character of an organization as a whole.
      ...So here, ultimately, is how it all plays out: when the Iraqi man in the mosque posed a threat, he was your enemy; when he was subdued he was your responsibility; when he was killed in front of my eyes and my camera -- the story of his death became my responsibility.

    posted by liz at 3:06 PM
    (0) comments

    Friday, November 19, 2004

    Death threats 

    Think the story about death threats on Kevin Sites' blog was exaggerated? Anti War Blog has been reading conservative blogs like Little Green Footballs and FreeRepublic, and lists some of the obnoxious comments made there. Like, "Journalists should wear bright orange clothes so the murdering terrorists can see who they don't need to shoot at but can if they want." and "[Beneath a photo of Sites] Kevin Sites - - Next Friendly-Fire Victim"
    Harsh words, and a sad state of affairs in America when a journalist doing his job -- reporting what he sees -- can be threatened.

    posted by liz at 9:46 AM
    (0) comments

    On that vote 

    The question of voting discrepencies in the last electon is not going away. Latest salvo: a report by some University of California researchers that finds Florida voting machine irregularities may have given George W. Bush an extra 130,000 votes or more. There's a summary and a full report available at this site, as well as the raw data for doing your own analysis.
    Sheila Lennon is linking to this story and more, and Keith Olbermann is reporting this too, along with many other voting irregularities.

    posted by liz at 9:28 AM
    (0) comments

    What's new 

    Amid all the war and other news, some useful new things happening on the Web:
    Google Scholar is a new search engine from Google that just finds scholarly reports. Many of them will be available online, although in some cases you will just get a bibliographic record and will have to find a library holding the issue.
    The Library of Congress has announced they are starting a project to create a huge digital archive of American newspapers. For a start, they have World War I issues of the Stars and Stripes newspaper. It's easy to search for a name, or browse a particular issue. The search results show the entire page with the story your search terms are in magnified. Want to know more about this project? Here's a speech to the National Press Club by the chairmain of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which is supporting the newspaper project.
    Note if you're interested in find more of this sort of research tool, I often highlight them on my other blog, Behind the News; for daily updates on latest research resources, though, I always check Gary Price's ResourceShelf and another of Gary's projects, Docuticker.

    posted by liz at 9:17 AM
    (0) comments

    Thursday, November 18, 2004


    Interesting that the comments section of Falluja in Pictures has gathered at least as many comments as a posting on Dave Barry's blog. As one reader says, it proves people want to see what's happening: things they can't find in the major media. The comments are what would be expected, ranging from those reacting to the author's explanation: "a lot of people have sent me pictures of september 11th. please stop. i lived in lower manhattan on 9/11. saddam hussein had nothing to do with what happened that day."; those who hope everyone looks; to those asking why it doesn't show the violence committed by insurgents. One response:
      You see photos of the violence committed by the insurgents on the news already, and there is no need to post them here. This website exists to balance things by presenting photos that don't make it onto the news. The point is that there is loss on both sides. But if you insist that the two-year old with his leg blown off is one of the bad guys, then there is no arguing with you.

    Chilling news about some of the things mentioned here recently, from the Romenesko blog at the Poynter Institute: Kevin Sites has been getting death threats on his blog, according to this New York Times story, so he's shut down comments. This in reaction to his reporting of the killing of a wounded civilian in Fallujah.
    And, Knight Ridder reporter Hannah Allam talks about working in the midst of violence in Iraq, including death threats and body parts.

    Baltimore's City Paper does a story on the Johns Hopkins reseachers who did a study released in The Lancet recently claiming that 100,000 Iraqis have died in the war. There's been mixed reaction to the study, ranging from doubt to questions why it's not been reported much in the media. This story goes into details, for example clarifying that of the 100,000, many deaths were not from U.S. attacks but from malnutrition, lack of sanitation, and crime; but all of them a direct result of the effects of the war. However, one of the researchers states that at least half -- 50,000 deaths -- did result from violence, especially U.S. air strikes involving cluster bombs. And in Fallujah:
      So many civilian deaths were reported in Fallujah that the researchers threw out the data, reasoning that the tremendous mortality rate in that city could not be extrapolated to the rest of Iraq. If the Fallujah data were included, the group's estimate of Iraqi casualties would have tripled, to 300,000.

    posted by liz at 9:40 AM
    (0) comments

    Wednesday, November 17, 2004

    Green Tea 

    There's buzz about a Palm Beach Post story that says CNN's Candy Crowley was shocked that John Kerry ordered green tea for breakfast. Crowley thought it showed how out of touch Kerry is. Media Matters for America says it proves Crowley's out of touch: most Americans aren't as out of it as she thinks.

    posted by liz at 5:37 PM
    (0) comments

    The mission continues 

    Since John Kerry conceded the election, it's interesting to see that one of his missions (as one-time spokesman for Vietnam Veterans Against the War) is being reflected in a new organization, Iraq Veterans Against the War. The group is profiled, along with a photo of founder Mike Hoffman, in this article in Mother Jones magazine.

    In Fallujah:
    Here's a history of Fallujah, from In These Times. Seems like if we're going to destroy a place, we ought to know what it was like.
    To know what it's like now, there's a new blog called Fallujah in Pictures. It shows what's going on there in photos supplied by readers. Apparently the photos are graphic and shocking. I didn't want to look, but when I did click I couldn't get in. Maybe lots of people have heard of this site already...
    For an Iraqi view on the Fallujah attack, see Riverbend or The Mesopotamian.
    (Via Cursor, Guardian blog, and Doc Searls.)

    posted by liz at 2:11 PM
    (0) comments

    Tuesday, November 16, 2004

    News from the front 

    NBC's Kevin Sites is often cited as an example of a professional journalist who 'gets' blogging. Sites had a blog which was shut down last year when he was working for CNN. Now Sites, with NBC News and seen often lately on the evening news, has the biggest story out of the Fallujah attacks: The story and pictures of a U.S. soldier shooting a wounded man in the head.
    With the story, last night anchor Brian Williams mentioned Sites' blog and said you could get to it from the MSNBC Website. At least one blogger this morning mentioned it and said the link was prominent. I can't find it there now, either on the MSNBC main page or linked from the story. There are links to MSNBC's sanctioned blogs, like Keith Olbermann's, but not to Sites', which is his personal blog. Did someone at the network decide linking to it wasn't cool?
    It's interesting that Sites' blog doesn't normally discuss military operations, but often has stories of Sites' encounters with soldiers, including photographs, some of soldiers with a little Hawaiian dancer statue named 'Layla'. Today, though, it does have some outstanding pictures of U.S. military in thick of battle in the streets of Fajullah.

    posted by liz at 9:51 AM
    (0) comments

    Monday, November 15, 2004

    One more map 

    Can't resist this one. This map, from the Mass. Institute for a New Commonwealth, shows the U.S. broken down into 10 equal voting regions. It's fascinating that Maine is lumped in with the mid-to-western states (Sagebrush) and that southeast Florida joins the western borders (El Norte) and not the Southern Lowlands or Southern Comfort areas. It's part of a larger report called Beyond Red and Blue. There's also an article in the Boston Globe by the author of the report. (Via Daily Kos.)

    These maps are starting to remind me of Joel Garreau's 1981 book The Nine Nations of North America (the link leads to an excerpt/interview in PDF format) in which he declared Miami part of 'The Islands':
      "The Islands, which is hands down the strangest of the nine nations, is the entire Caribbean Rim and what some purists like to think of as the tip of South America, or Venezuela. Its center is in South Florida and Miami. The reason that it is so strange is that its No. 1 industry is drugs: $35 to $55 billion a year, pushing Exxon for No. 1 on the Fortune 500 list.
      ...In Miami this is affecting everything because these $100 bills are coming home and buying shopping centers and office buildings. It's affecting the entire economy."

    posted by liz at 2:08 PM
    (0) comments

    Friday, November 12, 2004

    Help is on the way 

    For all those who are still mourning, here's Mark Fiore's Depressed Democrats' Guide to Recovery. Another great animated work from this genius cartoonist. "You may not know it, but you have 'moral values' too!"

    posted by liz at 5:28 PM
    (0) comments

    Quieting the clamor 

    Here are a couple of articles that claim to put to rest some of the discussions about the results of the election: Vote Fraud Theories, Spread by Blogs, are Quickly Buried in the New York Times. And 'Moral Values' Myth, Charles Krauthammer's column in the Washington Post.

    posted by liz at 11:58 AM
    (0) comments

    Thursday, November 11, 2004


    Val at Politically Progressive, a new blog out of Lighthouse Point, Fl, reacts to the Open Letter from A Democrat I ran the other day. Val's got some interesting points to make, and this looks like a blog to watch.

    Oh, yes, and another new Florida blog to watch, suggested by Mark Lane at Florida Blog: Florida News. (But be aware that this blog definitely has a bias, evidenced by the email address of 'IHateRepublicans'.....)

    posted by liz at 3:29 PM
    (0) comments

    Honoring Veterans 

    Today, on Veterans' Day, what better thing to think about? Thank you Veterans is a site to help kids do just that. You can send an email greeting to a vet, learn about community projects, or just see what other kids have done. This site is from Paralyzed Veterans of America.
    (via Yahoo! Picks.)

    posted by liz at 1:52 PM
    (0) comments

    New Hampshire voting 

    Sheila Lennon at the Providence Journal is following the questions about voting discrepencies very carefully. Today she has information about a challenge to New Hampshire's results from Ralph Nader. Since the Black Box Voting book and Website came out, Sheila's been keeping up with this very important topic.

    posted by liz at 11:32 AM
    (0) comments

    Wednesday, November 10, 2004

    Explaining the election, cont. 

    Jeff Jarvis says it's obvious as you study the election maps that the divide is not red state/blue state but urban/suburban and rural. He says,
    The best thing the Democrats can do is move out to the 'burbs. You'll survive, believe me. I did.

    posted by liz at 11:29 AM
    (0) comments

    Florida problems? 

    The question of the difference between exit polls, voting results, and how new voting technologies may have influenced them, remains a topic of discussion in many areas. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann is discussing it, here in a transcript of his 'Countdown' program, and in his blog. Examples quoted by an interviewee:
    Baker County, Florida, on the Georgia border for instance. 69 percent of voter registered Democrats. 24 percent Republicans. Yet President Bush got 7,738. And Senator Kerry, just 2,180. In Holmes County, in the panhandle, seven Democrats for every two Republicans in the district. Bush beat Kerry 6,410 to 1,810. In Dixie County, 77.5 percent registered Democrats, Bush 4,433, Kerry 1,959. Lafayette County, 83 percent Democratic, Bush, 2,460. Kerry, 845. In Liberty County, Bristol, Florida, 88 percent of registered voters there are Democrat. 8 percent Republican. Bush, 1,927. Kerry, 1,070.
    Five examples in 29 counties with decided Democratic margins that suddenly voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Bush.

    (Added later:) Here's a discussion of the voting in Florida from two professors from Cornell and Stanford, which, they say, proves that the vote results seem to be normal based on previous voting patterns. Hard to imagine that a 60-to-70 percent change in some counties can be explainable, but.....
    Also, here's an article in the Boston Globe that discusses all the internet chatter about possible vote fraud/errors and dismisses most of it.

    posted by liz at 10:08 AM
    (0) comments

    Letter from a Democrat 

    This arrived by email and the writer asked not to be identified. But she makes some interesting points and, although I don't know who else she sent it to or whether it will show up anywhere else, it seems worth reproducing, at least part:
    ...If my party took the time to listen to me, here's what they would hear:

    I'm not for gun control. I think people should be responsible for their own actions if they own a gun. They should obey the law. If kids get guns and misbehave, they can die, injure or kill. Their parents know better. They know better.
    I don't want Affirmative Action any longer. I was very much for it in the past and it did its job. Two generations of people were given opportunities they deserved. That was good. It's time to end Affirmative Action. I worked for everything I have. It took education, determination and hard work. The government didn't affirm me. I did.
    I'm not for federally funded abortions. If someone wants to have an abortion, they should pay for it.
    I'm not for gay marriage. If a couple doesn't get the financial or legal benefits of a marriage, they can deal with it. Many people are not married--like me--and don't feel legally persecuted.

    So, what am I for?
    1) I'm for a fair tax structure that is based on responsible spending, building national infrastructure, and taking care of those who contribute to America, especially our elderly who have spent a lifetime working for this Nation.
    2) I'm for access to affordable, comprehensive and open-choice healthcare.
    3) I'm for quality education that demands high performance from teachers and students.

    It's that simple. I wish the Democratic Party cared about what I think.
    I know what I'm not. I'm not a Republican. I believe strongly in separation of church and state because governments cannot be based on belief systems. That is what the Taliban did. I don't trust Social Security to the private sector. I AM in the private sector - the goal is their own profit, not the well-being of the retired. And I think the disenfranchisement of Washington DC residents like myself who have no vote in Congress or the Senate is just as important as democracy in Iraq...or more. Republicans don't think so. That hurts. So, I cannot join the Republican Party.

    But I don't seem to be the kind of Democrat that the Democratic Party wants to be bothered with anymore.

    posted by liz at 10:01 AM
    (0) comments

    Tuesday, November 09, 2004

    Cool news tool: 

    Want a new interesting way to browse the news? 10 x 10 is a very cool visual summary of the day's top news by pictures. Just roll the cursor over the photos or the list on right; news is ranked by popularity; clicking on a photo or topic gets more photos and some headlines leading to stories.

    posted by liz at 6:28 PM
    (0) comments

    Another map, and more on the election 

    This map of election results is different from all the rest. Sheila Lennon at Subterranean Homepage Blues calls it "the coolest of them all". It's from mapping software company ESRI, and shows huge blue spikes on the map where the largest populations are.

    For more on the election, Newsweek gives us Face to Face, a summary of the entire election process in several ongoing chapters, along with several analyses of the results. If you're still fascinated with this election, this should make you happy.

    posted by liz at 6:08 PM
    (0) comments

    Monday, November 08, 2004

    Mapping it 

    Lots of new election results maps showing up. Some are trying to show that the results were not as skewed as they appear on the red/blue maps: although those show huge areas of the country going for Bush, the Kerry areas actually have lots more people in them, so appear almost equal if you draw the map proportionally. Here are some:
    • From three University of Michigan profs, changes the shape of the U.S. to reflect population.
    • This one, reproduced from the NY Times, shows colored spots for voters rather than shading in a whole state or county.
    • Another NY Times map changes the shape of the U.S.
    • From Princeton prof. Robert Vanderbei, this one shades the map by counties and proportion of the vote, but also by population.
    • This geography blog has links to more maps and discussion.
    • Tax Prof Blog shows that most of the states getting the most federal money are red (Bush) states....and blue states provide more of the money.
    • Via Blogging of the President, a fascinating map showing the U.S. divided into states that make much more sense for the electoral vote: it makes each state proportional so rural states don't have an advantage. (I like 'Everglades' for South Florida and 'Smokies' for mountainous NC, TN, GA and VA. Some of the names are strange and might require some discussion.)
    • Blogger Ken Layne points out that the results maps seem to echo this map.

    posted by liz at 3:31 PM
    (0) comments

    More reaction 

    Trying to explain:
    South Knox Bubba has had several posts over the last few days trying to tell Kerry supporters what they need to do and think about these election results:
      "...we lost because they are better at the game.
      We're the little mom and pop hardware stores, dress shops, and shoe stores on Main Street. We have a little merchant's association that meets once a month at the coffee shop to talk about the parking meter situation and maybe pitch in a few bucks for a co-op ad or two. We volunteer at the local charities and sponsor the Down Home Music and Crafts Festival every year.
      They are Wal-Mart. They operate out of taxpayer-funded mega-developments with lots of free parking. At their glass and steel corporate headquarters they have the worlds largest retail/consumer database and the most advanced technology ever devised for managing their worldwide operations with ruthless efficiency. They have the purchasing and marketing power to create or destroy entire industries and they rule their suppliers and employees with an iron fist to keep them in line."

    And, to the conservatives who've been leaving gloating comments on his blog:
      "Be sure to crow about Bush's "mandate", but be sure not to mention the fact that 55,592,568 (and counting) of us disagree. And when you're talking about Bush's "historic victory" be sure not to mention that Kerry, too, got more votes than any previous president in history. Idiots."

    Lots and lots of comments responding to these.....

    Jeff Jarvis (Buzz Machine) says Michael Moore lost the election for Kerry.

    Who Voted:
    Kevin Drum at Political Animal looks at who voted for Bush and breaks down the demographics, finding some interesting things that contradict the assumptions:
      His support was up an astonishing 10 points among those with no high school education, a traditional Democratic stronghold.
      ...his support was up by 10 points in urban areas and down by 2 points in rural communities, including a surprising 9 point decrease from residents of small towns.
      ...the gun vote was a net negative for Bush this year compared to 2000.
      ...Religious belief doesn't seem to have made much difference in the election.
      ...Bush apparently has done a great job of persuading people who think the economy is doing well that his policies were responsible. tentative conclusion is that the "moral values" vote is a red herring. It played no bigger a role this year than in 2000.
      Terrorism played a bigger role, mostly by being a more important issue to a lot more people.
      And that good old mainstay the economy was the most important of all.

    Concern about Florida:
    There's lots of discussion on the Web on whether the results of the election are accurate, considering that new election technologies, put in place by companies that donate lots to the Republican Party, seem to not reflect the expected votes. Some question how exit polls and votes should have been so far apart. Discussion of possible Florida vote fraud in Common Dreams. This argument is backed up by statistics from the Florida Secretary of State: Florida votes for Bush/Kerry by county; Voter registration by party by county. USTogether finds unusual voting patterns in Florida; this Website is getting links from bloggers and other sites everywhere.

    (Added later:) Blogging of the President has lots of links to sites that discuss possible vote fraud, error or manipulation.

    On a conciliatory note:
    John Perry Barlow offers Magnanimous Defeat, an essay on how to get through the next four years. Barlow, once a Republican, is worried about the future:
      "...believing that 9/11 was a vast, right-wing conspiracy is as pointless at this stage as believing in the likelier possibility that the exit polls were actually as accurate in Ohio in Florida as they were everywhere else. Maybe it will all come out someday, but there's precious little we can do about it now. Who are we going to complain to? The authorities?
      ..."Saddam was killing them too." I doubted that even Saddam has ever killed as many Iraqis in a year and a half as we've just polished off, but I let that pass.
      ...I have a long history of pre-announcing The End of the World As We Know It. Clear back when I was a budding young libertarian, I believed that Barry Goldwater's crushing defeat by Lyndon Johnson was the end of conservatism in America. Boy, was I ever wrong about that.
      ...I will still believe that truly free societies maintain mechanisms to promote the even distribution of wealth. I will go on believing that liberty is worth living for and not to be sacrificed so readily to fear. I will go on believing that my daughters should not be forced to bear children they are not prepared to raise properly and I will not forget that people make mistakes.
      ...This will be a tricky four years. In addition to a sense of humor, which should have plenty of dark meat to feast on, we will need cunning, courage, clarity, and, as I say, forgiveness."

    posted by liz at 10:18 AM
    (0) comments

    Saturday, November 06, 2004

    Fondly remembered? 

    This is rather bizarre, but an interesting take on what the future may hold: Greil Marcus, in the City Pages of the Twin Cities, writes an Obituary of George W. Bush, dead of heart failure at 72 in 2018.
      " a result of the passage of the 28th Amendment in 2006 and its ratification by the states the next year, in 2008 Mr. Bush announced his candidacy for a third term. He was overwhelmingly defeated that November by former President Bill Clinton.
      ...President Bush led the United States into four wars, oversaw the dismantling of Social Security and Medicare, and enforced a drastic shrinking of elementary, secondary, and collegiate education.
      ...He is survived by his parents."

    posted by liz at 11:43 AM
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    Thinking about leaving the country since you don't like the election results? (Boy, does this remind me of the Nixon years.) You may have heard about this article in Harper's magazine, Electing To Leave, which tells you what it takes to get residency or citizenship in several other countries:
      "Canada, in particular, is no longer a paradise awaiting American dissidents: whereas in 1970 roughly 20,000 Americans became permanent residents of Canada, that number has dropped over the last decade to an average of just about 5,000."
      In France, "...Assimilation is reserved for persons of non-French descent who are able to prove that they are more French than American, having mastered the language as well as the philosophy of the French way of life. "

    Also, here's a story from Reuters saying Canada's immigration Website is hot these days.
    And then there's, where you might be able to find a Canadian citizen willing to help you get in (this is a satirical site, though).

    posted by liz at 11:31 AM
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    Thursday, November 04, 2004


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    What happened, cont. 

    I'm continuing to post election result analysis to this morning's post. Scroll down to see the latest additions.

    posted by liz at 11:30 AM
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    Feeling Blue? 

    That's what Dave Barry's associate, Judi, was feeling yesterday. Dave asked blog readers to cheer her up. Here's what they did.
    Are you feeling blue about what happened yesterday? Maybe you should read these comments. Some of them are bound to make you laugh. Especially the one that calls GWB "Goober Chickenshorts".

    posted by liz at 10:21 AM
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    What happened? 

    Here are a few explanations on why the election went the way it did. I expect the analyses will keep coming, but these struck me yesterday (couldn't post then because I couldn't get in to edit). I'll be adding to this list:
    • Open Secrets: Money Wins. The Center for Responsive Politics, which does such a great job of keeping track of campaign financing and its effect on government, looked at the races and determined that most winners were the ones who gathered and spent the most money.
    • Simple but Effective: Slate's political editor William Saletan says that's what George W. Bush is:
        Bush is a very simple man. You may think that makes him a bad president, as I do, but lots of people don't - and there are more of them than there are of us. If you don't believe me, take a look at those numbers on your TV screen.
        ...This is what so many people like about Bush's approach to terrorism. They forgive his marginal and not-so-marginal screw-ups, because they can see that fundamentally, he "gets it."

    • Mark Lane, at Florida Blog, discussing the Martinez-Castor Senate race, said: "...the guy who goes negative the hardest wins."
    • Moral values: it's what people cited most as their reason to vote for Bush. Beliefnet has the statistics.
    • The Maps: here are a couple maps that can help focus on exactly who voted how: USA Today shows vote by county. It makes the red/blue even more obvious...even in the states that went for Kerry the votes were mostly in the cities (and, maybe, some predominately black rural counties). Boing Boing has a map by a reader that changes the stark red/blue states to shades of purple, showing how close it really was....
    • Gary Wills, in the New York Times (The Day the Enlightenment Went Out), emphasizes the religious question:
        "This election confirms the brilliance of Karl Rove as a political strategist. He calculated that the religious conservatives, if they could be turned out, would be the deciding factor.
        ...America, the first real democracy in history, was a product of Enlightenment values - critical intelligence, tolerance, respect for evidence, a regard for the secular sciences. Though the founders differed on many things, they shared these values of what was then modernity."

        But, he says, the Enlightenment is over in this country. America is now a fundamentalist nation.
        "...Where else do we find fundamentalist zeal, a rage at secularity, religious intolerance, fear of and hatred for modernity? Not in France or Britain or Germany or Italy or Spain. We find it in the Muslim world, in Al Qaeda, in Saddam Hussein's Sunni loyalists."

    • Joel Achenbach, in the Washington Post ("A Victory for 'Values', but Whose?) says it's the Gay thing:
        " marriage now seems essential to any conversation about the 2004 election.
        ..Bush won 61 percent of the white male vote in a nation that, despite everything you hear in the progressive media, is still swarming with white guys."

      And quotes a minister who voted for Bush: ""The Democratic Party stands for, by and large, the dismantling of marriage as we've known it as a civilization," he said."
    • Bill Bennett, in the National Review, says pretty much the same thing.

    posted by liz at 9:30 AM
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    Wednesday, November 03, 2004

    The Pledge 

    Aaron Brown apparently read this on CNN last night, and everybody's linking to it or copying it. If you haven't seen it yet, here it is:
    After the election results are in, I promise to:

  • Support the President, even if I didn't vote for him.
  • Criticize the President, even if I did vote for him.
  • Uphold standards of civilized discourse in blogs and in media while pushing both to be better.
  • Unite as a nation, putting country over party, even as we work together to make America better.

  • The pledge was first posted on Jeff Jarvis's Buzz Machine blog, but it's one of the blogs that I haven't been able to get into with increased traffic the last day or so.
    (Added later:) Jarvis expands on the thoughts expressed here in a later posting:
    The alternative is to sit in a room and growl like the village nut. That won't get us anywhere. And, in fact, it will damage the party and the worldview; it will push us toward our fringe so we get an even more unelectable candidate next time; it will let the Republicans grow. It's a bad strategy.
    So suck it up and repeat after me: He's our President, too.

    Apologies for light posting today. Most times I've tried today I haven't been able to access this blog to edit it. I expect it's part of the huge traffic on blogs today. More later.

    posted by liz at 3:17 PM
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    Tuesday, November 02, 2004

    Blog silence 

    Apparently many people are having trouble reaching blogs today. I just tried a few and got timed out messages from Wonkette and Boing Boing; Michael Froomkin says he's had trouble, and there are lots of readers' comments saying the same thing. Kevin Drum says his blog has been slow to respond, although I got in quickly.
    This may just mean that blogs really have become important source for political information these days; readership is going up and on a day like this, everyone wants to read blogs. The fact that the New York Times has featured political bloggers several times in the last few weeks (including today's op-ed piece from several bloggers) may have something to do with it.
    (I just had a really slow response from the New York Times, too. There may be Internet overload everywhere tonight.)

    (Bonus feature: here's part of Wonkette's endorsement from the Times piece:
      I was all set to vote for George Bush even after finding out that he wouldn't let me marry Mary Cheney if I wanted to...But in the end, with the fate of the free world at stake and all, I've got to go with the guy who would admit that sending thousands of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians to their deaths to protect us from imaginary weapons was, in fact, a mistake.)

    posted by liz at 6:28 PM
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    Following the Count 

    Various places will be posting election results as they come in, mostly major news sources. The Miami Herald will be posting news as it comes in, including the Presidential race here. But for a place to go straight for results as they come in, two possibilities (we'll see how they work as the night goes on):

    Also, check your state elections department (here's Florida's, or a list of links to other states); or check your local county elections department (Here's a list of Florida counties' sites) for current totals on local races and local votes on national races throughout the night.

    posted by liz at 6:06 PM
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    Watching the Vote 

    The Miami Herald is blogging the election with several blogs with many Herald staffers contributing. Look for Election Day Watch at Here's The Miami-Dade vote blog. There is also one covering Broward, and Florida.

    posted by liz at 4:09 PM
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    Just one comment heard from the peaceful line of people waiting under threatening skies to get inside to vote: "I don't mind standing here. Lots of men died to give us the right to be voting today".
    Can't say it any better than that.

    posted by liz at 2:52 PM
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    Another prediction: has a slightly different take on the results of the election. Their prediction: Bush 289, Kerry 249.'s projection stays (so far) where it was yesterday: Kerry 298, Bush 231.

    And, veteran newspaperman Jimmy Breslin, in Newsday, says his prediction made last May will stand: it's Kerry by a landslide. Just one reason he's so sure:
      Oh, but these young people never vote, the tales read. They will this time, and because of a one-word issue.

    (Added later:) And another prediction, from Editor & Publisher magazine: based on newspapers' endorsements for president, E&P predicts Kerry 286 electoral votes to Bush 252. (Thanks to alert reader Michael Winograd.)

    posted by liz at 9:26 AM
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    Monday, November 01, 2004

    Problems in Florida 

    Election Incident Reporting system from shows more voting incidents in Florida than in any other state so far, more than 1000. Note the Majority are in Southeast Florida, (area of highest population). You can also get a count and description here of type of incident.

    posted by liz at 3:15 PM
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    Predicting the vote - and the war 

    If you were intrigued, as I was, by the item below about the Redskins loss presaging a Kerry victory, and want to know more, The Kerry-Edwards blog has the Redskins and presidential race results for every election since 1936.

    Also: check out the latest prediction from Kerry 298, Bush 231.

    And, just as a reminder how important this race is: The Lancet pubishes an article on a Johns Hopkins study that says maybe 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died in George Bush's war in Iraq. Worth it?
    In Newsweek, Hell to Pay: "And so the bloody battles of the Iraq war - which never quite ended - are about to start up again in full force.".
    Oh, and (added later:) Daily Kos notices that's latest U.S. military casualty figures shows that the rate of death of American soldiers and marines is now 2.33 a day...up from 1.86 a day during the period from the war until the 'turnover' to Iraqi authority.

    (Some links via Dave Winer and Metafilter.)

    posted by liz at 1:09 PM
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    Those wolves, again 

    The International Wolf Center says it's offended by the Bush ad campaign depicting wolves as predators. (Via Guardian blog.)

    posted by liz at 10:04 AM
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    The cost of Iraq 

    The Raleigh News & Observer looked at several contracts between the U.S. military and a North Carolina company and did this fascinating report on how independent contractors are adding to the cost of the war in Iraq. Here's how one contractor's $600/day was paid:
      Blackwater added a 36 percent markup, plus its overhead costs, and sent the bill to a Kuwaiti company that ordinarily runs hotels. That company, Regency Hotel, tacked on its costs for buying vehicles and weapons and a profit and sent an invoice to a German food services company called ESS that cooked meals for the troops.
      ESS added its costs and profit and sent its bill to Halliburton, which also added overhead and a profit and presented the final bill to the Pentagon.
      It's nearly impossible to say whether the cost for Zovko doubled, tripled or quadrupled. Congressional investigators and defense auditors have had to fight the primary contractor, Halliburton, for details of the spending. The companies say the subcontracts are confidential and won't discuss them.

    There's a lot more to this N&O report; they've been following the contractor story for several months. Links to all the stories here.
    (Via The Scoop.)

    Yet, 60 Minutes had a report last night on soldiers dying from lack of armoring and equipment. Something's off kilter. (The report was followed by a news blurb that said Americans spent $3 Billion! on Halloween this year. Is that what those tax cuts went for? Halloween junk?)

    posted by liz at 9:31 AM
    (1) comments

    Elisabeth Donovan

    Elisabeth (Liz) Donovan was a Herald librarian for 10 years, and Research Editor for 13 years. She came to The Herald in 1981, following several years at the Washington Post. She started blogging in 2000, with a news research blog, followed by the blog at in 2003. A frequent speaker and writer on news research, she was honored in 2004 by the News Division of the Special Libraries Association for her contributions to the field.

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