What Century is this?

Washington Post : Victoria Switzer, a retired social studies teacher, was on phone-bank duty one night during the Pennsylvania primary campaign. One night was all she could take: “It wasn’t pretty.” She made 60 calls to prospective voters in Susquehanna County, her home county, which is 98 percent white. The responses were dispiriting. One caller, Switzer remembers, said he couldn’t possibly vote for Obama and concluded: “Hang that darky from a tree!

Quote of the week

The role of the president of the United States is to support the decisions that are made by the people of Israel. It is not up to us to pick and choose from among the political parties.” —former White House official Ann Lewis, Senior Advisor for Hillary Clinton for President. [Washington Post]

Quote of the week

Further proof that satire is truly obsolete: Microsoft Corp. mogul Bill Gates and the leader of Ford Motor Co. outlined a future Friday in which software enables cars to fix themselves and never crash. […] Eventually, Gates said, there could be a car that wouldn’t let itself crash. —Washington Post Even ignoring the issue of who’s saying it, the scenario of cars that don’t allow themselves to crash is about as realistic as the scenario of fusion powered hover-bikes.

So about those weapons of mass destruction…

I know it’s churlish of me to keep harping on about this, but: …investigators have found no support for the two main fears expressed in London and Washington before the war: that Iraq had a hidden arsenal of old weapons and built advanced programs for new ones. In public statements and unauthorized interviews, investigators said they have discovered no work on former germ-warfare agents such as anthrax bacteria, and no work on a new designer pathogen—combining pox virus and snake venom—that led U.

Philip K. Dick

John Johnson has forwarded me a pointer to a Washington Post article on Philip K. Dick which explains why everyone—even people who don’t think of themselves as SF fans—should read his work.

Rapid spin cycle

The Presidential election results are finally in… If you count chads with at least one corner detached as votes, and incompletely-filled optical ovals—the prevailing standard—Gore won by 60 votes. If you require at least two corners of the chad to be detached, Gore won by 105 votes. If you require only dimpled chads, Gore won by 107 votes. If you take the county results instead, for the counties who completed a hand recount, Gore won by 171 votes.