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Flag Amendment Follow-Up / Diebold Still Clueless

Wednesday, Jun. 28, 2006 2:48 AM

Congratulations to the Senate for rejecting a call for a flag desecration amendment after two days of debate.

Senator Dianne Feinstein still doesn't get it, siding with the folks who want to outlaw such behavior, drawing a distinction between 'conduct' and 'speech.' She describes the flag as a, "... symbol of our democracy, our shared values, our commitment to justice, our rememberance to those who have suffered to defend these principles."

And just how does banning the physical desecration of the flag uphold those? I suppose Dianne has reasoned it out somehow, but she also thinks confirming General Michael Hayden as CIA Director upholds the Fourth Amendment, and that a failed National Security Advisor (Rice) is a good choice for Secretary of State.

Senator Hillary Clinton added some more splinters to her ass by endorsing a statute, rather than supporting a constitutional amendment.

Pay attention, folks. It's the idea of protecting a national symbol that is misguided. I certainly would look askance upon anyone who feels their grievances with the government merit burning the flag, but the proper response is to engage these people in dialogue. Slapping them down with fines and possible prison time only justifies their views.

And what would happen to a building if someone painted an American flag on the wall just before it was slated to be demolished? Would that count as physical desecration of the flag?

Back in May, a spokesman for Diebold Election Systems tried to explain away a vulnerability � cited by security experts as a potentially serious flaw � as being necessary for election officials to update their systems.

"For there to be a problem here, you're basically assuming a premise where you have some evil and nefarious election officials who would sneak in and introduce a piece of software. I don't believe these evil elections people exist," said Diebold's David Bear.

But a report issued today by New York University's Brennan Center for Justice maintains that the three major electronic voting systems in use have significant security and reliability vulnerabilities.

Bear still doesn't believe it. "It just isn't the piece of equipment. It's all the elements of an election environment that make for a secure election."

Well, certainly, if your neighbors are observant and take note of unusual activity, if you have an alarm system, and a capable police force, one could say you're in a secure environment.

But leaving your front door open, or never setting the alarm, can have serious implications. Your security is only as good as its weakest link, and if one person can compromise the system through software, then it's worthless.

The White House is beginning to spin a defense of President Bush's signing statements as lawmakers question Mr. Bush's actions.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D � Vermont) called Bush's specific use of the signing statement as, "... a grave threat to our constitutional system of checks and balances."

Well, gosh, it's because of 9/11, suggested a Justice Department spokesweasel. A nice idea, but it certainly doesn't answer the question.

And FOX News Commentator White House Spokesman Tony Snow said, "There's this notion that the president is committing acts of civil disobedience, and he's not."

Snow is absolutely right. Bush isn't committing civil disobedience at all.

He's breaking the law, period.

Senator Pat Roberts (R - Kansas), has asked Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte for a formal report on the damage to intelligence collection resulting from the New York Times' disclosure of cover financial monitoring as well as the NSA's warrantless surveillance program.

Right. Like that's ever going to see the light of day.

For that matter, how does one prove intelligence collection has been harmed? If a target, learning of the program by reading the paper, suddenly changes his banking habits, or empties accounts, haven't we identified a significant part of the chain?

Time to trot out the 'magic intercept' lecture again. We've got to set up our security to function whether or not we catch the magic phone call, or the magic deposit of funds. Homeland Security admits it is woefully unprepared for a major disaster; President Bush calls for communications upgrades and standardization that should have been one of the first things to be addressed after 9/11 � and we're still trying to fool ourselves that secret spying programs are a valid substitute.

And I'd have passed all my high school classes with A's if I'd known the answers in advance. The functional equivalent of cheating on an exam is not a responsible or effective substitute for actually studying and mastering the course material.

In a sermon castigating the Hollywood scene, Falwell noted that, "You know, you almost got to be a homosexual to be recognized in the entertainment industry anymore. Ellen (DeGeneres) and all the rest." (Note: the source material provides Ellen DeGeneres' last name in parentheses, either meaning that Falwell simply said, "Ellen," and every last, kind, loving, Christian soul knew immediately who he was talking about ... or Falwell used his personal epithet for her, DeGenerate. I'm betting on the second one.)

One has to wonder how much hate the man's soul is tainted by when he sees nothing but evil, illicit sex, and moral perverts, and when an openly lesbian woman is his personal nemesis after close to a decade. (Falwell's original comment was made back in 1997.)

The Ministry has received 1 comment(s) on this topic.

Brin - 2006-06-28 03:48:13
My father was a Marine, and for his entire life, one of the things he always said was that if people were ever prevented from burning the flag, then his service, in the name of that same flag, would have been all for nothing.