succumbing to peer pressure

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Rationally, I know it hasn't been that long since the last time I just hung out with friends and didn't do much of anything, certainly nothing productive. But that's just what I did tonight, and it felt like forever since the last time I had a night like this. Nothing particularly remarkable happened. But I had homework to do and should have made an early night of it, and instead I stayed too late at a grad student mixer and drank about one more beer than I should have and went out to dinner with friends afterwards. Spent time with people I care about. And it felt good. Better than a lot of other things have lately. Maybe that's what I've been missing.

Salman Rushdie

is giving a lecture series on our campus next week! I e-mailed Dad to tell him and ask if he recommended a specific book to pick up for the signing. Here's his reply:

The obvious choice is Satanic Verses, but he's got newer stuff out.
Hope you enjoy it - and that they use metal detectors.

Yeah, pesky Fatwa and all...

Monday, September 27, 2004

With the good must come the bad (copied completely from here)

Holy Fucking Jim Crow
by Chris Bowers

that story over the weekend on how Democrats are crushing Republicans in new voter registration in Florida and Ohio? Well, in a move that would make a Mississippi election board from the 1950's proud, Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell is attempting to block thousands of those new registrations because of paper stock (PDF):

Voters-rights advocates are criticizing two recent decisions by Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell that they say will unfairly limit some people's ability to vote Nov. 2. Blackwell's office has told county boards of elections to follow strictly two provisions in Ohio election law:
  • One requires Ohio voter registration cards be printed on thick, 80-pound
    stock paper.
  • The other ordered boards to strictly interpret the rules regarding provisional ballots, the ones cast by voters who move before the election but are still registered in Ohio.

The paper-stock issue is frustrating Montgomery County Board of Elections officials, who have a backlog of registrations to complete. If they get an Ohio voter egistration card on paper thinner than required, they are mailing a new card out to the voter. But if they still have the backlog by the registration deadline, Oct. 4, voters will not have another chance to get their correct paperwork in, said Steve Harsman, deputy director of the Montgomery County board. In Montgomery County there is a backlog of around 4,000 registrations, Harsman said. A few hundred could be affected by this provision, he said.

This is utterly despicable and un-American. This is an obvious, partisan attempt to disenfranchise new voters and deny them their civil rights in a state where new voters tend to be minorities and working class. Notify your local news media about this travesty. Drop Blackwell a line, or ten, as well.

J. Kenneth Blackwell-R
180 E. Broad St., 15th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Update: Jimmy Carter
says things ain't much better in Florida.

What he said (copied entirely from Tom Tomorrow)


COLUMBUS, Ohio - A sweeping voter registration campaign in heavily Democratic areas has added tens of thousands of new voters to the rolls in the swing states of Ohio and Florida, a surge that has far exceeded the efforts of Republicans in both states, a review of registration data shows.

The analysis by The New York Times of county-by-county data shows that in Democratic areas of Ohio - primarily low-income and minority neighborhoods - new registrations since January have risen 250 percent over the same period in 2000. In comparison, new registrations have increased just 25 percent in Republican areas. A similar pattern is apparent in Florida: in the strongest Democratic areas, the pace of new registration is 60 percent higher than in 2000, while it has risen just 12 percent in the heaviest Republican areas.

Republicans want to psyche you out, make you think that this election is already over, that a Bush victory is inevitable. Nothing could be further from the truth.