"Britain to install early warning bases in Oregon." These will be sited on US air bases in areas of protected wilderness, but will be leased out to the UK and solely answerable to HM Govt, with no state or Congressional accountability. If you protest outside, you'll be prosecuted on trumped-up charges. Oh, and they'll be tapping your phones and emails as well. (more inside...)
"You don't have to burn books now," says Thomas. "You just press the delete key." Two unabashedly partisan reports of the Bush administration's clandestine campaign to "tighten up" anything from online government sources dealing with the development of Alaskan mineral resources. We've done the debate on Alaska, but what about the ability to amend online records? The old administration's sites are meant to be preserved by law, but plenty appears to have been deleted in the name of "polishing": "We changed value-laden words like 'destroy' to 'impact.'" Newspeak in action? Should government-run sites be required to carry a Changelog?
Pot criticises kettles for chromatic similitude. Now, on the one hand, it's refreshing that the US State Department acknowledges the human rights abuses of allies such as Israel; but this annual catalogue of the world's foibles smacks just a little of sanctimonious short-sightedness. But I'm torn on this one: are such state-sponsored surveys a useful basis on which to judge the "ethical" basis of foreign policy, or are they propaganda exercises, designed to direct attention away from domestic failures and to paper over the hypocrisies of policy?
Through rose-tinted spectacles? It's media waffle for a quiet news day, and comes on the back of a wave of nostalgia, but Reagan's "victory" in this latest poll feels like the triumph of selective memory, and of the desire to reassociate the presidency with jelly-bean eating. (FDR trails in fifth, and there's no mention of Woodrow Wilson, though Carter and Nixon get a look-in.) Which makes me wonder: does the US have a clear sense of its history, as far as Presidents are concerned?
"the new director of the Environment Protection Agency, Christine Todd Whitman, has proposed that the Florida ballots be sealed for 10 years. "
"the new director of the Environment Protection Agency, Christine Todd Whitman, has proposed that the Florida ballots be sealed for 10 years. " Fuck the Christmas ceasefire. While the Anglo-Saxon world stuffs itself comatose, the forces of conservatism are busy mobilising. Yum.
Bush, by a technicality. They've run out the clock. Oh dear. This could be messy.
Choose your own election. Worth reading, just for a bit of 80s nostalgia.
Next, they cheat death. Looks like those spam emails about US income taxes being illegal are actually getting results. [NYTimes: blah registration blah]
Not very clever. Florida's Secretary of State (the BBC reports her being described as "a bit of an airhead") manages to make her position look even more ridiculous. Anyone get the disturbing feeling that this may be resolved, not in the courts, but on the streets?
"If Dubya steals the White House, American democracy will be a joke." A vehemently liberal polemic from the UK, which I don't necessarily agree with, but still: "President Dubya will be barren of legitimacy at home and devoid of moral authority abroad. The Saddam Husseins of the planet, every petty, vicious dictator around the world, will scoff in the face of America."