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December 17, 2003
Real news

Read about our coalition allies

I doubt if most of you waded through yesterday's aimless rambling, so let me say again that this country really needs to stop making allies of evil regimes for short-term gain.

I believe in giving people a second chance, but you have to be sensible. Hiring people previously convicted of drug trafficking, white-collar fraud, and creating/maintaining false computer records doesn't look good if you're the proprietor of an electronic voting machine manufacturer. It's no wonder there are suspicions that all is not on the up-and-up in that field. (I mean, I can see hiring an expert on computer hacking to help with your system security, but I don't see anyone at Diebold or GES claiming that's what the guy's job is.) (Via Buzzflash.)

I was going to write about the Dallas police department and the years' long scam they ran to convict immigrants of drug smuggling in a scheme, as nearly as I can tell, devised to bilk the police department out of money, but I see Kevin beat me to it.

I first heard the story on NPR last night. Apparently around 80 Mexicans immigrants were turned in (in a "nark for pay" scheme) by department informants, subsequently convicted of drug smuggling, and jailed.

The problem is that the informants, who were paid a percentage of the street value of the drugs "discovered" on any such smugglers, were in the habit of bailing up huge amounts of powdered billiard chalk and planting it in the immigrants' cars. Once "field tests" were done to "prove" that the powder was "illegal drugs" the immigrants went down.

In what's equally as bizarre and almost more distasteful, the DoJ, that's the Department of Justice investigated one Dallas police officer, cleared him of any wrongdoing, and declined to investigate or prosecute anyone else in connection with the scheme.

(It might help the Dallas investigators that the informants are in a huff because they didn't get all of the money they think was due to them under the scheme, so one or more of them might decide to squeal.)

Liberty and justice for all. If you're a citizen and you've got the right skin color and you don't live in Texas. You know. If you're "one of us."

Anyhow, here's the one link Kevin's source, Mark Kleiman was able to find on-line.

I've checked NPR's site and you can listen to the audio here under, Tuesday, December 16.

(By the way, you can also listen to the coverage of the story where the courts found the Bush Administration's desire to overturn the snowmobile ban in Yellowstone indefensible and overturned Bush's overturn. Hee. Hee.)

If you check out Cliopatria today, you'll see a conservative bemoaning the degradation (my word, not his) of political conservatism in USofA politics today.

He's also written about today's liberalism and that's well-worth reading (If the links mess up, scroll down to "The Dilemma Of Liberalism's Metaphor") by anyone who didn't read my earlier post whining that conservatives really don't understand what we mean by "equality" if they think we're trying to force everyone to finish the race at the same time.

How paranoid, or unpopular, do you have to be if you're the commander-in-chief and you're afraid to let unvetted soldiers too close to you?

Wow. This may be the best thing I've read this week. (Elayne? If you're reading, this explains me trying to rationalize those obnoxious "free speech zones," maybe? I have "an opinion" that all of my cynicism doesn't seem to dent that the federal government is essentially well-meaning, or at least benign.)

Over at Mother Jones they're talking about the worrying retirement of so many Southern Democrats.

To anyone who thinks the Bush Administration isn't obsessed with (over) controlling their message, consider that they delayed the announcement of Hussein's capture until press kits were prepared. (Via Elayne.) And that's not the most interesting thing about the article. Read it and wonder about that DNA thing.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:21 PM


Ohhh yeah, I'm reading. :) Good link about confirmation bias, I've been running up against that in a couple mailing lists today...

Posted by: Elayne Riggs at December 18, 2003 08:34 AM

A lot of the articles I've found are leading me to wonder how, or even if it's possible to change anyone's mind about anything!

I mean, clearly, the willingness to be open to new ideas has to be there, which seems to be the case in only about 1 out of 1000 people, but even aside from that, how do you "re-educate" someone who is carrying false or even dangerous beliefs and why does the very thought of "re-education" give me a moment of Orwellian disonance?

Posted by: Anne at December 18, 2003 08:54 AM