Stephen's Statements A little bit of everything from Stephen Duncan Jr, a Programmer/Web Geek working in the defense industry

Thursday, October 28, 2004

On Not Voting for Badnarik

"Jane Galt" on why she's not voting for the Libertarian candidate. She basically says exactly what I said to my wife yesterday afternoon: with the current state of the LP, now is not a good time for the LP to get publicity.

This is how he does when he's being interviewed by a libertarian. As Mr Balko says, "Given how close this election is, even if Badnarik does worse than Harry Browne did in 2000, there's a small chance that the LP could draw enough votes in a few states to tilt the outcome one way or the other. Should that happen, both Badnarik and the LP could get more media exposure than the LP's gotten in years. I'm sorry, but I'm just not convinced that either Badnarik or the LP speaking on behalf of libertarianism to a national audience with limited exposure to the ideology would ultimately be good for libertarianism, the philosophy."

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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

FMA Wording

Michael Totten on Instapundit and Eugene Volokh disagree over the implications of the Federal Marriage Amendment and whether Bush's acceptance/support of civil unions is in conflict with supporting the FMA. Is this a matter of reading comprehension? No. It's a matter of which version of the text we're looking at. Totten is using this version (emphasis added by me):

Neither this constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.

Volokh, on the other hand, is using this version:

Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.

Volokh mentions that he quotes from the Mar. 22, 2004 version. I believe that Totten's version is the original, older version. Anybody know when the text was changed, or where to look for the latest version? Both interpretations I believe to be correct, based upon the text each was using.

Update: After I sent an e-mail to Mr. Volokh, he updated his post to mention that he got his version from thomas.loc.gov. A search for marriage amendment will reveal that S. J. RES. 40 is the current version, and has been placed on the calendar. That version is the version quoted on Volokh Conspiracy. So, good to see that at a minimum, some of the worst of the original wording has been taken out, though I doubt such a rediculous amendment to the constitution, even still, could pass.

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Sunday, October 24, 2004

Districting is Screwed Up

Well, it is for where I live. Virginia was redistricted in 2001. This was controversial due to state Republicans being accused of attempting to pack black voters into the 3rd District. What district am I in? Well, as of 2001, the 3rd District. According to the 1999 district lines, which the Virginia state government web site still shows as current, I would have been in the 2nd District. The 3rd District would have started exactly a block over from me.

According to the bill setting the districts from 2001, my precinct (the St. Andrews precinct) is the only one in Norfolk that is split: part of it is in the 2nd District, part in the 3rd.

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Friday, October 22, 2004

Kerry's Future Policies?

Charles Krauthammer - Sacrificing Israel

John Kerry says he wants to "rejoin the community of nations." There is no issue on which the United States more consistently fails the global test of international consensus than Israel. In July, the U.N. General Assembly declared Israel's defensive fence illegal by a vote of 150 to 6. In defending Israel, America stood almost alone.

You want to appease the "international community"? Sacrifice Israel. Gradually, of course, and always under the guise of "peace." Apply relentless pressure on Israel to make concessions to a Palestinian leadership that has proved (at Camp David in 2000) it will never make peace.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

FarenHYPE 9/11

Review of Farenhype 9/11

Case in point: Oregon State Trooper Andy Kenyon. Moore sent a crew to interview him under the guise of making a documentary about cutbacks in some state police programs. Moore did not attend the filming himself and his name never came up, for obvious reasons. The film crew led Kenyon to believe that the documentary was probably bound for public television, if it made broadcast at all. So Kenyon consented to the interview and answered questions related to those cutbacks. The day before Fahrenheit 9/11 opened, someone from Moore's production company called Kenyon to tell him he was in that film. Shocked, Kenyon went to see the film, only to see his answers about state-level cutbacks blamed on the Bush administration, and twisted to insinuate that in cutting Oregon's state police budget (something no president has the authority to do, since state-police budgets are a state matter), President Bush had left the Oregon coastline without police protection. But it was never the Oregon state-police force's job to patrol the coast in the first place. That responsibility belongs to the Coast Guard. In researching the story of Oregon's state-police cutbacks, it is impossible for Moore not to have learned these salient facts. Yet he left them all out to create a false impression that the Bush administration's tax cuts directly took needed police off the streets.

Kenyon's story is but one of several that Moore misuses to create false impressions and to willingly fool gullible or simply uninformed viewers. In exposing Moore's rampant dishonesty, FahrenHYPE 9/11 amounts a prosecutor's dossier against him.

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Online Encylopedia on Harsh Mistress

Encyclopedia Article on The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. A good summary of several aspects of this tremendous novel that managed to be important in so many different ways. It should really get more credit from academics. However, the article doesn't seem to really mention that the novel is also analagous to the American Revolution. By the way, is there a literary term for that? Nothing is coming to mind...

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Libertarian "Looneys"

Jeff Jarvis on "Loonitarians

But this morning, I hear an NPR story about Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik and it consigns libertarians right back into the looney bin: Their candidate thinks driver's licenses are unconstitutional, the report says, and so Badnarik makes it a point to get arrested for driving without a license whenever he can to prove his alleged point. This is exactly the image libertarians had for years: impractical, obnoxious loons.

I agree. It's why it's that other B* candidate that's getting my vote for President this year, not Badnarik. We need a Libertarian Party that is pragmatic and moderate. We need a libertarian approach to government, not an attempted libertarian revolution. Plus we need to get rid of the isolationist wing of the party, no matter how big they are. That's negligent naivete. How do we get there? Hell if I know.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Jon Stewart: Caught in the Crossfire

Summary on the Jon Stewart Crossfire thing. I thought I'd have to summarize my thought on it, but Jim Treacher does it well enough for me.

Stewart's been bugging me... I've been getting more and more annoyed with him trying to have it both ways, being an increasingly self-righteous advocate and yet deflecting criticism with "It's just a comedy show!" Which is pretty much perfectly encapsulated in his 15-odd minutes on Crossfire. I remember when he was a lot more convincing about being a moderate, not that long ago. And I think his interview with Kerry is certainly fair game for criticism. But then again, calling Tucker Carlson a dick? Right to his face? That is a Golden TV Moment.

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Monday, October 18, 2004

Voting For Bush From The Left

I'm a Democrat for Bush - Sarah Baxter

Can it be that I am politically to the right of all those millionaire arts patrons? If so, I don’t accept that label. On foreign policy, Bush is the idealist and Kerry the conservative, afraid to disturb the status quo. I’ve never abandoned my belief in human rights and democracy.

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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Blogger Archive Index?

You'll notice that the archive link for the new political blog is broken. It turns out, Blogger is no longer supporting an archive index (see the bottom of that page). That, instead, I should use the template tags to include the archives index on my main blog page.

Does this make sense to anyone else? I don't want to clutter my front page. Sure, I could put the links into the sidebar like some people do, but I'd rather the archives be on their own page. Am I missing something? Is that my only option now for a new blog? How should I handle this in my template for the politcs blog?

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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Political Blog

I've started to read a lot of political blogs, and I wanted a way to share the best stuff I see out there. I also want to discuss politics every once in a while. But, I definitely don't want to bombard my normal audience (interested in my personal life, or technical posts) with poltical stuff. I don't much like reading other techies politics stuff in their normal blog, so I do you do either.

So, I took advantage of the fact that Blogger let's you create multiple blogs. So, now I have a Political Blog. If you're interested, check it out, or subscribe with Bloglines to keep up with all the best commentary I find on the web on politics, or, occasionally, my own commentary.

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How to play with XUL

I just stumbled across this. It seems like a great way to start playing with XUL. It lets you type XUL in the top frame area, and then shows the results as you type in the bottom frame area.

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