Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In The News

I don't have a lot to say these days, so I'll let others say it for me:
Afghan Detainee's Confession Excluded on Torture Grounds at Guantánamo Trial

In a first, a military judge ruled yesterday that a Guantánamo detainee's confession was extracted through torture, and excluded it from the trial of a young Afghan detainee at the war court.
Henley found in the ruling that there was reason to believe Jawad was under the influence of drugs at the time of his capture and forced confession.

He also accepted the accused's account of how he was threatened, while armed senior Afghan officials allied with US forces watched his interrogation.

"You will be killed if you do not confess to the grenade attack," the detainee quoted an interrogator as saying. "We will arrest your family and kill them if you do not confess."

Jawad confessed, was turned over to US forces and was transferred to Guantánamo two months later.

The judge said he was accepting Jawad's account of what happened to him because the government had been unable to provide timely disclosure of evidence for the coming war crimes trial, scheduled for January 5. A Jawad case prosecutor recently quit the war court to protest over his inability to provide potentially exculpatory evidence.
Said major David JR Frakt, Jawad's defense attorney, who is seeking dismissal of the case and his client's return to his family: "He the judge is adopting a traditional legal definition of torture, rather than making one up."
The Vote Grab: Voting Machines Are Unreliable and Inaccurate

As early voting in the US presidential elections gets underway, ES&S iVotronics touch-screen electronic voting machines have been observed in four separate states flipping the votes - mostly from Barack Obama to John McCain but sometimes to third party candidates too. This has already occurred during early voting in the states of West Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri and Texas.

A county clerk in West Virginia invited a video crew to watch his demonstration of the reliability of the disputed voting machines but instead he saw the machine flipping the votes, as critics claimed. He put this down to the faulty calibration of the voting machine. However, even after he recalibrated the machine it continued to flip votes. Watch the video here:
Dozens Of Call Center Workers Walk Off Job In Protest Rather Than Read McCain Script Attacking Obama

Some three dozen workers at a telemarketing call center in Indiana walked off the job rather than read an incendiary McCain campaign script attacking Barack Obama, according to two workers at the center and one of their parents.

Nina Williams, a stay-at-home mom in Lake County, Indiana, tells us that her daughter recently called her from her job at the center, upset that she had been asked to read a script attacking Obama for being "dangerously weak on crime," "coddling criminals," and for voting against "protecting children from danger."
Sen. Elizabeth Dole's latest advertisement suggests her Democratic opponent, Kay Hagan, is a godless heathen.
"A leader of the Godless Americans PAC recently held a secret fundraiser for Kay Hagan," the 30-second spot says, showing footage of the group's members talking about their atheist beliefs on cable news.

"Godless Americans and Kay Hagan. She hid from cameras. Took godless money," the ad concludes. "What did Kay Hagan promise in return?"

At the very end of the ad, a voice sounding like Hagan's says: "There is no God."
Seriously, Dole used a Hagan impersonator to make voters think she's an atheist.

It's hard to know where to start with an ad this deplorable. First, Hagan is actually a Sunday school teacher and an elder in her church. Second, the fundraiser in question was co-hosted by 40 people, one of whom is on the board of an atheist political action committee. Third, there's nothing scandalous about non-believers.
NASCAR legend Junior Johnson supports Barack Obama
“Every day I talk to someone else who’s never voted for a Democrat, but now....
“When I talk to folks about why I support Barack, I just tell it like I see it. There’s been a lot thrown at him this election, and he’s stayed calm, positive, and focused. I know a little something about how important it is to stay cool under pressure.
“These days, I run a small country ham and pork skins business. Barack Obama will fight for a fair economy where small businesses like mine have the freedom to grow, and he’ll defend the Second Amendment to protect the hunter’s way of life.”
Dustin Long of Landmark Newspapers printed what appears to be a different portion of the same e-mail:
"My family and I have given this election a lot of thought. ...Every day I talk to someone else who's never voted for a Democrat, but now they're voting for Barack Obama. They realize that Barack understands what we're going through here in North Carolina. And they're ready for change. ...So I've made up my mind, and I'm ready to get involved. I know that I could never have won a race without my pit crew, and I know Barack can't win this one without us. ... When I talk to folks about why I support Barack, I just tell it like I see it."
Junior Johnson is a legend in racing, he's an icon in NASCAR, he's had books written about him and movies made about him. I feel bad about the tsunami of hate that's coming his way, but I think he'll handle it just fine. And from what I've read, seen and heard, you don't want to get on JJ's bad side. (And that side included being in front, behind or next to him during a race;-)

FWIW, I'm hearing the same thing from folks in my community that have peculiar thoughts about folks with more melanin than them.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak