Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for April 3rd, 2009

Election theft in Kentucky

Posted by Charles II on April 3, 2009

Via Avedon, Channel 18 in Lexington reports a case of electoral fraud:

Five Clay County officials, including the circuit court judge, the county clerk, and election officers were arrested Thursday after they were indicted on federal charges accusing them of using corrupt tactics to obtain political power and personal gain.

The 10-count indictment, unsealed Thursday, accused the defendants of a conspiracy from March 2002 until November 2006 that violated the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). RICO is a federal statute that prosecutors use to combat organized crime. The defendants were also indicted for extortion, mail fraud, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to injure voters’ rights and conspiracy to commit voter

According to the indictment, these alleged criminal actions affected the outcome of federal, local, and state primary and general elections in 2002, 2004, and 2006.

Criminal actions included changing votes on the iVotronic touchscreen system.

According to comments at Bradblog, the county is heavily Republican, but many of the people arrested were nominally Democrats. Registration is 12862 R vs. 2143 D. McCain got 77% of the vote.

Brad says that it doesn’t matter if it’s a Democratic or a Republican scandal. I think it does matter and that it would be impossible for Democrats to conduct any significant fraud in a county that conservative.

I wonder whether Mitch McConnell won his seat. It would be very fitting if his seat became the 60th Democratic seat in the present Congress.

Posted in election theft, Republicans as cancer | Comments Off on Election theft in Kentucky

Help Support Authentic Journalism

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 3, 2009

Don’t do it for me, do it for James Wolcott:

Al Giordano is holding a fundraiser at and for The Field, a site has kept its cool head while others were running in crazed circles around the chicken coop. Donors of $100 or more will be invited to attend the Narco News Ninth Anniversary Celebration in New York City on April 22, which promises to be quite a to-do, featuring a cameo appearance by yours truly, barring a dance injury (as many of you know, I’ve been “studying with Merce” for th e last few weeks, mastering the art of hopping).

Of course, smaller donations are welcome too, and I’m sure much appreciated in our season of tax sorrows…

Narco News has been one of the few news outfits that has the interests and the skills needed to get to the heart of how our actions here in El Norte affect our neighbors to the south — and vice versa.

Posted in distributed reporting and research, media, Mexico, War On Some Drugs | Comments Off on Help Support Authentic Journalism

The principle of tenure upheld

Posted by Charles II on April 3, 2009

You gotta love American juries. They often seem to find a way to do exactly the right thing. Ward Churchill was vindicated in his suit alleging wrongful dismissal by the University of Colorado.. but they only gave him $1 in damages. Governor Bill Owens said, probably correctly, that: “I think the $1 in damages accurately reflects the jury’s appreciation for Ward Churchill’s warm and endearing personality.” A later hearing will decide whether he gets damages for future salary lost.

As I understood it from DemocracyNow, CU will also pay his attorney’s fees.

* The principle of tenure was upheld
* The kangaroo process by which Churchill’s tenure was abrogated was repudiated
* Ward Churchill’s obnoxious views were given no quarter.
Well, four quarters, but no more.

Today is a good day.
Added: Conservative professor David Deming had an excellent take on this:

The pretext given for his dismissal was academic misconduct. But the real reason was that Professor Churchill wrote some things that offended people.

His termination was a violation of the academic freedom guaranteed to faculty by CU and the U.S. Constitution.

We embrace free speech for pragmatic reasons. Without criticism, human knowledge cannot increase…

I doubt if many CU faculty members could withstand having their entire body of work scrutinized by a Star Chamber with a magnifying lens.

Suppose I publicly criticize the local police department, and their officers subsequently start following me all over town, ticketing me for minor violations that they normally would ignore.

Am I being punished for breaking the law — or for exercising my right of free speech?

Also, since this may not be clear to some, academic freedom derives its substance really only from tenure. The contract of an untenured professor may not be renewed with no explanation given. But when someone has tenure, there has to be due process for depriving someone of employment. Due process alone is a powerful deterrent to those who want to do wrong.

Which is why the right hates it so much.
Added: Apparently the jury was not trying to punish Churchill by the small award. A juror spoke out:

As for the $1 damage award, Newell said jurors simply listened to Churchill and his attorney.

“They made a strong point they didn’t want any money from it and so we just went with that so we just took them on their word for it,” Newell said.

Also, the trial made it clear that the firing was occasioned not because of Churchill’s dodgy scholarship but because Governor Owens didn’t like Churchill’s opinions:

Betsy Hoffman, who was president of the university at the time, had testified that Owens pressured her to fire Churchill and said he would “unleash my plan” when she told him she couldn’t.

In his testimony, Owens denied threatening the university.

(via Praeter Necessitatum)

Posted in First Amendment | 3 Comments »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on April 3, 2009



Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging | 2 Comments »

Science Deals Another Blow To Man-Made Climate-Change Denialists

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 3, 2009

From New Scientist, it looks like a natural mechanism for the warm period enjoyed by medieval Europe has been discovered — and the mechanism has been shown to not be anywhere near strong enough to produce warming of the sort we’re currently experiencing, which holes a favorite argument of climate-change deniers (that natural processes alone would suffice to create our current decades-long heat wave) well below the waterline. Not that this will bother the denialists one bit.

Posted in climate change, environment | Comments Off on Science Deals Another Blow To Man-Made Climate-Change Denialists

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