Crackin stories and I am tired of this semester

I'm feelin pretty bleary eyed. It's been a pretty weird semester, I think you'd all agree. Nonetheless I am not as angry as I might have expected to be... The feeling I get these days is "Oh, here we go for another round of the nonsense," but for some reason, at times I feel less terrified than usual. There is a large degree of uncertainty, as usual, but things could shake out in a good way, or else catastrophically fall apart.

I am still not done with Macalester this semester, and still have not had as much time as usual to follow things, but I will lay out some things about both the voting irregularity complex and the usual war madness. Then I am going to drink.

Then I will finish things tomorrow and Tuesday. Then it will be done. Don't expect more posts till late Tuesday at the earliest, more likely Wednesday.

It seems clear that the story about the Florida programmer Clint Curtis being asked by Republican Congressman Feeney actually has some legs, although it's hard to say how conspiratorial we should view this. It still sounds like a classic case of wildly unscrupulous bastards in Florida doing horrible things. Once again, Florida didn't let us down.

THE BRAD BLOG following the election mystery has returned to its former web address, now that they have gotten a better server setup. Brad Friedman just posted a whole batch of stuff about this guy Curtis, and the coverage he has gotten. Friedman says that a major news network is snooping around the story, and there was a good story in a local Florida paper (brad's comment) as well. The Raw Story is also all over some stuff in Ohio, including the Kerry campaign, who have filed a lawsuit alleging vote tampering in an Ohio county. Also some Diebold people were recently 'calibrating' a machine before the incremental recounts were to be held in Ohio, a county official testified.

From six days ago, Bob Fitrakis on what the special hearings in Ohio... heard. Brad Blog on candidate David Cobb's Judiciary Committee Testimony which was apparently pretty dramatic. Several Factors Contributed to 'Lost' Voters in Ohio. Thanks, guys. The Official Kerry-Edwards Position on How to Handle the Ohio Recount, Sent to the Individual Boards of Election in the State.

The NY Times reports on it, hurray: Lawmaker Seeks Inquiry Into Ohio Vote."See also the exciting "Ohio presidential vote challenged" The AP report which first cited "dissident groups" (via MSNBC). Sweet.

So where's the big picture? I don't really know, it seems like the electoral manipulation that could have very well occurred has been legitimized by the media pretty thoroughly now, yet finally we're getting some stories that are cracking the surface.

But then, back to the regularly scheduled program, i.e. the circus of idiocy known as 'the Beltway.' One thing we have working is the purge throughout the government, which might get rid of the more incompetent neo-cons, but also will likely gut the CIA and other pockets of sane people. Either way, people are getting fired, so we will get more dirt about the internal workings of the place, and some of the really bad ones might get fired.

There is a fairly good chance that things might straighten out on the international stage before February or March. If the Iraqi elections get some kind of assembly going, they aren't all killed, and the U.S. gets the hell out of the Sunni areas, then things might simmer down before the emerging civil war cracks all the way open.

Meanwhile the Israelis see an opportunity to lock in their stolen territory right now, but they also seem reluctant to attack militarily until things shake out with Arafat's successor and the Palestinian Authority. I haven't written too much about this because it is damn hard to tell where things are shifting, and everyone is in 'wait and see' mode.

I have noticed there is a major Public Relations offensive gearing up against Syria now via that instrument of doom, the U.S. cable TV network. Besides allegations on CNN about Syrians doing things in a segment about "Inside the Insurgency," we have Dore Gold. Former Israeli ambassador to the UN Mr. Gold was on the Daily Show pimping his book "Tower of Babble," critical of the United Nations. He kept arguing that the organization has a lack of moral standards etc. etc.

Jon Stewart did his best under the circumstances (Of course, Gold's statement is ironic because of the sheer number of times that his country has been singled out by the UN, and all those times that the United States has blocked Security Council resolutions against them).

Anyhow Gold insinuated that Syria was orchestrating the insurgency and Baathists were running stuff from there... He said this retroactively proved they could not be trusted to be on the UN Security Council and uphold world peace etc. His rhetorical strategy was really good here and he managed to reverse the times of cause and effect.

On the one hand, I think it is quite probable that people and arms are going from Syria to Iraq. There are plenty of Sunni tribes that span the Levant region into Syria, and these are the people that the U.S. has decided are Morally Incorrect Terrorists to Wipe Out from the Sunni Triangle.

I think it is worth noting that the Syrians used their time at the Security Council to attempt to prevent the invasion of Iraq, even while they trafficked arms up to the last minute into Iraq. That would qualify them as fairly interested in world peace, at least in this instance. As for terrorism, after 9/11 the Syrians have supplied the CIA with crucial intelligence against Al-Qaeda, which has directly saved us from terrorist attacks. We didn't lose that intel source until the Bush folks, cajoled by the neo-con crew of the Administration (probably on the basis of false intel, as usual) turned against Syria.

I've long expected a big anti-Syria thing to happen, and it seems like the time is probably at hand. The Syrian ruling clique has long opposed political groups like the Muslim Brotherhood that support elements of Al-Qaeda's ideology. If Prez. Assad gets taken out then then the fundamentalist folks will be in a very strong position. If the U.S. keeps blowing away their cousins, then the war will spread.

One tiny thing... an old BradBlog post about the weirdness of Warren County, which had the mysterious Nov. 2 lockdown and a really really high turnout for Bush. Warren County, OH anomalous count. I'll add this to the Wiki, and the other stuff, once I finish my papers.

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