aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, September 30, 2006
YouTube’s no Napster
Mark said YouTube will be "sued into oblivion", and isn’t worth anything. He is wrong, but it does make for a lively conference speech, and good headlines. I was a VP at Napster when we were being sued by the record labels, so I know a little about copyright infringement. YouTube has "significant non-infringing use" which is a proven legal defense against copyright lawsuits. The Sony BetaMax case was won on the basis that video recorders were used for many other legal purposes that demonstrated significant non-infringing use. Sony could not be held liable for the misdeeds of some of its users. It is the responsibility of the copyright owner to identify infringing material and take action to protect it.
I’m not so confident as Don about that “proven legal defense.” Part of me fears that the Grokster decision was just a rest stop for the court on the road to overturning the Betamax decision. But I am profoundly optimistic that one way or another the copyright cartel that has only taken on its potency in recent decades cannot be sustained. These guys or their successor corporations are going to see that it is in their economic interest to do it differently.
I thought Cuban would be among the first; instead it looks to me like he can’t see the forest for the trees:
What is it about youtube.com that has made it so successful so quickly? Is it the amazing quality of user generated content ? Is it a broadband fueled obsession with watching short videos?
No & No.
I don’t know what percentage of YouTube content is user generated, but to dismiss it so blithely is to miss something big. Downloading a song from Napster was never you and me sharing the way YouTube is just exactly that. MySpace gets all the credit but email and embedding is the kind sharing that everyone wants and the reason for YouTube’s meteoric rise. If the court - or some corporate deal - shuts that down, those users will be very angry.
Just like with the VCR they fought so viciously (anyone remember Jack Valenti’s “the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone."), they’ll make money from users using that copyrighted content in their remixes.
Cuban sees the Warner deal as Bertelsman and Napster and says it’s too complex and their are too many parties involved. I like to think it might work. I’ve been dreaming of micro-payments since, well, since I signed up for AdSense.
Google had no business model and was unprofitable for how long? Theirs became the model that revolutionized web advertising. Me, I want YouTube’s - whatever it may turn out to be - to be the next revolution. I’m guessing the time is right and Cuban is wrong.
P.S. - Mark has nothing against YouTube.
On the closet
There but for the grace of God go I. I came out at 18, in 1973. I got lucky. And now I have a happy healthy committed relationship. The kind of relationship that would not have been possible from behind a closet door. Had I not come out, God only knows how that proclivity might have been made manifest.
I sincerely believe that the closet is a dangerous and unhealthy place - for the individual and for all of us - and perpetuating it in any way is damaging to society.
Today Andrew Sullivan writes:
Maybe we should feel anger at these people. I don’t. I feel sadness. Sadness at the compromises they made and the misery they fueled for themselves… We are all human, and my own life has its own share of emotional and sexual mistakes. Equally, the news about Mark Foley has a kind of grim inevitability to it. I don’t know Foley, although, like any other gay man in D.C., I was told he was gay, closeted, afraid and therefore also screwed up. What the closet does to people - the hypocrisies it fosters, the pathologies it breeds - is brutal. There are many still-closeted gay men in D.C., many of them working for a Republican party that has sadly deeply hostile to gay dignity. How they live with themselves I do not fully understand. But I have learned you cannot judge someone’s soul from outside. That I leave to them and their God, and some I count as good friends and good people.
What I do know is that the closet corrupts. The lies it requires and the compartmentalization it demands can lead people to places they never truly wanted to go, and for which they have to take ultimate responsibility. From what I’ve read, Foley is another example of this destructive and self-destructive pattern for which the only cure is courage and honesty. While gays were fighting for thir basic equality, Foley voted for the “Defense of Marriage Act”. If his resignation means the end of the closet for him, and if there is no more to this than we now know, then it may even be for the good. Better to find integrity and lose a Congressional seat than never live with integrity at all.
If we know the “the hypocrisies it fosters, the pathologies it breeds,” the “lies it requires” and that it “corrupts,” how is it that we can stand by “good friends and good people” and do nothing?
If I have an alcoholic friend I will try to do something. I may fail, but I will try. The analogy isn’t perfect, and their are degrees of friendship (especially in Washington), but if I had a friend in the closet I would try. If I failed, I expect that friend and I would drift apart.
I live in a place far different from Washington but just as deeply closeted. I may yet be tested.
Facebook is open
Sitting with a group of faculty and staff colleagues, we all agree with danah:
*Major* le sigh. I do not believe that social network sites are able to sustain lots of conflicting social contexts. Or, rather, i don’t believe that they can continue as a hang-out space. I know that Facebook will continue to grow but i believe that the core value of it will be lost for the sake of growth. MySpace is already struggling to cope with what happens when teens and parents/authorities are in the same place. At least most professors have had the curtesy to keep distance. Unfortunately, this opening will not simply allow college students without .edus and high schools students to join. It will also open the doors for every adult who is obsessed with youth - parents, authorities, pedophiles, commercial enterprises…
Friday, September 29, 2006
I can only say again that closet cases are dangerous. It’s not that an out proud gay man would never do it, but he’d certainly be less likely. And he wouldn’t get away with passing bad laws to cover his own tracks.
If Hastert knew a year ago, he should most certainly pay too.
LATER: See also, On the Closet.
Broadcasting, podcasting, TV & Video blogging
In the tussle over “podcasting,” I vote “broadcasting.”
And if the definition of TV is up for grabs, I vote take it.
Demand a Green Apple
We love Apple. Apple knows more about “clean” design than anybody, right? So why do Macs, iPods, iBooks and the rest of their product range contain hazardous substances that other companies have abandoned? A cutting edge company shouldn’t be cutting lives short by exposing children in China and India to dangerous chemicals. That’s why we Apple fans need to demand a new, cool product: a greener Apple
Sonny done it
The newest member of the state Board of Natural Resources, which oversees enforcement of the Clean Air Act and other environmental laws, is a paid consultant for Georgia Power, the state’s single largest polluter and water user.
William “Bill” Archer III said this week he sees no conflict between his $200,000-a-year consultant’s fee for the power company and his service on the board that sets environmental policies and votes on air and water regulations. Neither does Gov. Sonny Perdue, who appointed Archer to the board in June. But others say it’s inappropriate.
Archer’s three-year consulting contract with Georgia Power requires its former executive vice president to “promote the best interests of the Company.” Archer had worked for the utility for 35 years and was a top officer when he retired in March.
Given how much Sonny likes land, this comes as no suprise.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
What’s in a (middle) name (Wayne)?
Ms. Stewart has an unusual hobby: clipping newspaper articles of a particular ilk. She sent me xeroxs of her most recent finds. All of these clippings were from The Dallas News, from February 2006 to the present. The articles had two things in common: (1) all of them were stories reporting on crimes, and (2) the perpetrator’s middle name was “Wayne.”
I have to say I was stunned by the number of examples she sent me:
Eric Wayne Kelley—sex charges
Nathan Wayne Green—kidnapping and beating, homicide
Ronald Wayne Spencer, Jr.—triple homicide
David Wayne Rhodes—10 years for practicing nursing without a license
Larry Wayne King—homicide
Paul Wayne Mitchell—Theft
Michael Wayne Hills—theft
Jeremy Wayne Hopkins—homicide
Garry Wayne Carriker—knowingly having unprotected sex when HIV positive
Bruce Wayne Potts—homicide
Joshua Wayne Jones—assault of officer
Billy Wayne Sinclair—homicide
Billy Wayne Boyer—assault
Billy Wayne Miller—attempted murder and robbery
Kenneth Wayne Downs —sex assault
Jerry Wayne Lucas—attempted homicide
Tony Wayne Swinnie—aggravated assault of grandmother in front of her grandchildren, robbery
Larry Wayne Dacy—home invasion
Richard Wayne Miles—police standoff
Charles Wayne Thomas—homicide
Maybe you could assemble a list this impressive for some other middle name, but I doubt it. Of course, these folks are following the path set for them by the notorious Chicago serial killer John Wayne Gacy, Jr.
Relics of a gay ol’ time that should be long gone
Richard Kim on the passion of Jim McGreevey in Salon:
This is stomach-turning stuff, not in the least because McGreevey clearly still gets off on how far he was able to push the boundaries of the closet. At the height of his career it spanned the whole state. Openly gay aides (including his chief of staff and his communications director), Republican opponents, radio shock jocks, state troopers assigned to his protection and snoopy newspaper reporters, who cheekily took to describing Cipel as a “sailor” and a “poet” (he was in the Israeli Defense Forces and had written a few verses as a child), all knew or suspected. If he did not deceive them all, he at least beguiled and intimidated them into silence for almost the entirety of his first and only term.
Throughout his account McGreevey forces an analogy between life in the closet and life in politics. But because the inevitable conclusion—that he was a closeted homosexual because he coveted power—is both contemptible and predictable, he effects a curious reversal: He took refuge in power because he was a closeted homosexual.
The closet is a poisonous destructive place; a damaging shame-based relic that can only lead to bad things. It is not a benign place; it’s an unhealthy place that fosters unhealthy behavior. It should be eliminated and gay leaders should understand that and say so.
Speaking of which, last week in SoVo, Wayne Beson looked at the big lie about gay men and sex. I’m right there with him in his description of a “gulf between the men who oink and boink and those who bed and wed.” George Michael puts in an appearance as the former:
THIS BATTLE OF the male brain is now playing itself out in gay society after paparazzi ambushed pop star George Michael coming out of the bushes following a supposed sexcapade with a pot-bellied peasant.
Michael, for his part, implied that his behavior was a result of entrenched gay customs. “Are you gay?” he asked the paparazzi, “No? Then fuck off. This is my culture.”
That may have been true in the 1970s, when gay culture had been set up to accommodate married men on the sly. Back in those days, bathhouses were hugely popular and the gay bars had blackened out windows, creating a virtual cocktail-serving closet. Many of the patrons had to have sex away from home to keep the secret from an unsuspecting wife and kids.
Of course, there was a portion of men who did have options - just as Michael does today - but who enjoyed unfettered promiscuity for the thrill.
With time, the ease with which people could come out, combined with the fear of contracting HIV, sharply curtailed the carnal carnival the gay subculture once represented.
The whole notion that gay men are more libidinous than straight men is a canard pushed by right wing fanatics in an effort to deny homosexuals basic rights. Indeed, one of the most guarded secrets of gay life is that a good portion of homosexuals are as undersexed as their straight counterparts.
LATER: McGreevey on The Daily Show, unintersting. Jason Jones on the hack local TV reporter in Ohio, brilliant satire. I’ll post it as soon as it’s available.
Don’t pinch me!
When I read the Slate piece on idiotic examples of corporate cost cutting, I thought that the same dynamic applies to government cost-cutting:
Frequently, managers looking for low-hanging fruit impose symbolic cost-cutting measures that take away some of the few pleasures their fellow employees enjoy. James Dimon, the legendary cost-cutter who is now the chief executive at J.P. Morgan Chase, has won kudos for his merciless efforts to slash expenses at the bank. Among his triumphs: shutting down employee gyms and cutting off cell phones provided to employees.
What ends up infuriating employees is that the scrimping on minor employee perks co-exists with a pay-any-price attitude for so much else. Credit Suisse, for example, pays seven-figure bonuses to hundreds of bankers every year. Telling associates who prepare deal books that they can’t print out color PowerPoint slides because the bank needs to pinch pennies seems an exercise in futility. Yahoo!’s cutback seems even more likely to infuriate. On the heels of a warning on revenues that caused its stock to plummet about 10 percent, Yahoo! told its 10,500 employees to take off the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Offices will be closed, allowing workers “to enjoy guilt-free time off while helping Yahoo! reduce unused vacation time,” wrote Libby Sartain, Yahoo!’s human resources boss. Assuming average weekly wages of $2,000, that would save the company only $21 million-or about the combined earnings of CEO Terry Semel, CFO Susan Decker, and COO Dan Rosensweig last year. (See Page 26 of Yahoo!’s proxy statement.) Meanwhile, Yahoo! is rumored to be contemplating a $1 billion acquisition of Facebook.
your my nose to spite your face. And give yourself a fat congressional pay raise.
An ATM for Jesus
The LATimes has a story on a church in Augusta that has ATM-like kiosks that will take in between $200,000 and $240,000 in donations this year. Last summer the pastor, Marty Baker, and his wife, Patty, began selling the devices to other churches through their for-profit company, SecureGive:
The Bakers charge between $2,000 and $5,000 for the kiosks, which come in a variety of configurations. They also collect a monthly subscription fee of up to $49.95 for licensing and support. And a card-processing company gets 1.9% of each transaction; a small cut of that fee goes to SecureGive.
So far, seven other congregations have installed or ordered the machines. All of them are Protestant, and most are in the South. If the idea takes off and makes the Bakers rich, Patty says they will thank the Lord - and give a significant sum to their church.
That seems like a perfectly obvious Christian-capitalist idea to me. Apparently the LATimes found it newsworthy and some churches find it objectionable.
Me, I had a kind of visceral objection to how a different Augusta church chose to give back to the community. On a recent trip to there, in a Panera Bread Company men’s room, I found this:
I was dumbfounded. Am I the only person to be reminded of this?
LATER: David Pescovitz at Boing Boing has a photo of the ATM.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Opens Friday in Atlanta: Don’t miss it!
Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore? follows the 2004 Missouri Democratic primary to replace retiring 28-year veteran and former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt. Told from inside the campaign of Jeff Smith, a 29-year old adjunct political science professor, the documentary begins a one week run Friday at The Plaza in Atlanta. Today it’s reviewed in Creative Loafing:
The absolutely engaging, edge-of-your-seat political documentary Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore? wonders whether things like integrity and underdog chutzpah aren’t automatic liabilities in the dynasty- and money-oriented playing field of contemporary politics.
With his unpretentious, lisping delivery and clean-cut looks, Smith is a lamb in a wolf’s game. But the 29-year-old Missouri teacher and congressional candidate also has an idealist’s energy and an all-volunteer staff of apple-cheeked kids in their early 20s with no campaign experience but an impressive belief in the ideals that Smith represents.
There has been a lot of bad news in American political documentaries as of late, but Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore? is a rare breed—restoring faith against all odds—in a deeply flawed political system dominated by generic gray men coasting on a tailwind of false promises and insincere beliefs. At its most discouraging, Can Mr. Smith reveals an entrenched cynicism about the American political system. No longer voting for idealistic underdogs and people who share their beliefs, voters have begun to bank on the sure thing, supporting who they think will win.
And by the pins-and-needles climax of Frank Popper’s exceedingly well-crafted film, the very future of America seems to ride on the symbolic victory or defeat of Jeff Smith.
Youtube, we hardly knew you.
By the end of the year, professional content creators, including record labels, TV networks and movie studios, will have the opportunity to authorize the use of their content within the YouTube community by taking advantage of YouTube’s new tools and architecture. YouTube has been actively working on the operational details and building the infrastructure for this innovative new framework, which will offer media companies the following:
-- Sophisticated tools to help content owners identify their content on the site;
-- Automated audio identification technology to help prevent works previously removed from the site at the request of the copyright owner from reappearing on the site;
-- The opportunity to authorize and monetize the use of their works within the user-generated content on the site;
-- Reporting and tracking systems for royalties, etc.
I’m still hoping Mark Cuban’s wrong about the coming dramatic decline of YouTube.
LATER: Cuban’s at it again.
We turned down a position at Ohio U and chose instead to come here:
When the fall quarter began at Ohio University here, university officials hoped to put the troubles of last year behind them. Those troubles included accusations that more than 20 mechanical engineering students, some of whom had graduated nearly 20 years ago, had plagiarized their theses; a series of computer security breaches; faculty layoffs; and a no-confidence vote in the university’s president, Roderick J. McDavis.
“It’s unfortunate that all these problems happened at the same time,” Dr. McDavis said in a recent interview. “But now our university is presented with great opportunities for positive change.”
But it seems that as soon as Dr. McDavis reacts to one scandal, a new one emerges. Last week, as university officials prepared for tomorrow’s “Day of Discourse” to address ways to prevent plagiarism, new accusations were made in the student newspaper against its business school.
The perfect storm of biased samples
The name of that game is image management, and many professors are playing it.
“The main form of capital that a professor has is his or her reputation, his or her credibility as a knowledgeable, truthful person,” says Kenneth Westhues, a professor of sociology at the University of Waterloo, in Canada, who has studied RateMyProfessors. “And so professors very attentively guard their reputations. That’s why they are so interested in RateMyProfessors.com.”
He says the practice of padding one’s ratings is rampant among professors. While conducting research for his 2004 study on the site, he found numerous instances of professors at his own institution trying to manipulate their ratings. He says he has never done that himself because he believes it’s unethical. He declined to “out” his colleagues but said it was funny to see how some described themselves.
Patrick Nagel, president of RateMyProfessors.com, says that a recent statistical analysis suggests as many as a quarter of its 2-million visitors each month are professors.
The Daily Mail called it “ill-advised” and “grotesque.” Rolling Stone called it “hilarious” and said it was “the kind of thing anyone might think of doing while stoned and watching VH1 Classic with your friends.”
Hm. I don’t even know if I get VH1.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Gay marriage? Yawn.
A couple years ago-say after the Massachusetts marriage debates-anti-gay marriage sentiment reached an all-time high, as much as 63 percent. People were furious, and they were fighting.
But in this most recent poll, what percentage thought gay marriage was extremely important?
Only 22 percent, or about one in five.
Thirty-six percent said that gay marriage wasn’t an important issue at all, and 11 percent called it only “slightly important.” Fifteen percent thought it was “moderately important”; 5 percent called it “very important.” One percent of respondents weren’t sure. [...]
These adults weren’t all Northeastern liberals, either, or secular city Dems. Most of them described themselves as conservative or moderate; slightly more respondents came from the South than from other areas of the United States; more of them were from the suburbs or rural areas than from cities; the large majority identified as Christian.
I’m on her side
But I wouldn’t have minded if he had been the one who quit:
Marital sniping may have led to the departure of Brit Hume’s wife, Kim, from Fox News last week.
Kim Hume’s imminent exit as Fox’s D.C. bureau chief was announced Thursday. The buzz out of Washington is that she and the anchorman had been tattletaling on each other to the chairman and CEO of Fox Television Stations.
“They’d been calling Roger [Ailes] in New York separately,” reports our source. “They’d complain to him about each other.”
The dumbest non-believable use of an iPod
Harrison Ford plays a security expert at a bank. He falls prey to a scheme to steal money for a gang that has taken hostage of his family. The film tried very hard to keep it a rollercoaster ride of thrills. From the beginning, you have Harrison Ford typing furiously to stop a hacker by writing new firewall rules. At least this time, these rules didn’t float around in a rainbow of colors ala Hackers.
What really puts Firewall at the top of the list, is the dumbest and non-believable use of an iPod to date. This is 2006, not 1995, you can’t just make stuff up like this anymore. In the middle of the film, Harrison Ford happens to not only be a security expert, but an Apple hardware developer too. He takes his daughters iPod and hooks up a scanner to it. This contraption is supposed to get taped onto a computer monitor in the server room and take ‘images’ of bank account records. The scene is sealed with the awesome line: “10000 songs, 10000 accounts, it won’t know the difference.”. Amazingly, iPods have the ability to interface with a scanner and be recognized by the bank’s computer instantly. Steve Jobs, please hire Harrison Ford.
I was sorry to see 1983’s WarGames at #10, “it is laughable in this day and age.” Well, I loved it then. And its use of the tech-savvy no-space-capitalization still holds up today.
At 1 a.m.
There’s only one difference I see in this story from what I knew to be true 10, 20, 30 years ago:
The crowd strolls toward the Hudson River and Pier 45, where the gay teenage crowd practices vogue moves (runway poses immortalized by Madonna), flirts, and gossips. But at 1 a.m., when the pier closes, the crowd strolls back up Christopher Street. Its screaming and music drive the locals nuts.
“The young people… are raising holy hell,” said David Poster, 68, president of the Christopher Street Patrol, a neighborhood watch group. “We pray for rain and snow.”
Forget the image of the Village as a gay haven; forget the gay-liberation movement that rose from its cobblestone streets. The scene has moved north to Chelsea, and the Village is a gay neighborhood grown older, wealthier and stodgier. Some in the area of $4 million townhouses and lofts say it is under siege by gay kids of color who bring loud talk, drug dealing and prostitution.
When I was young, the pier didn’t close. New York never sleeps. But the parks close at 1.
Darshak Sanghavi on the “number needed to treat.” Here he parses the 31% reduction in the risk of heart attacks among men treated with the statin pravastatin:
Suppose that 100 people with high cholesterol levels took statins. Of them, 93 wouldn’t have had heart attacks anyway. Five people have heart attacks despite taking Pravachol. Only the remaining two out of the original 100 avoided a heart attack by taking the daily pills. In the end, 100 people needed to be treated to avoid two heart attacks during the study period-so, the number of people who must get the treatment for a single person to benefit is 50. This is known as the “number needed to treat.”
Developed by epidemiologists in 1988, the NNT was heralded as a new and objective tool to help patients make informed decisions. It avoids the confusing distinction between “relative” and “absolute” reduction of risk. The NNT is intuitive: To a savvy, healthy person with high cholesterol that didn’t decrease with diet and exercise, a doctor could say, “A statin might help you, or it might not. Out of every 50 people who take them, one avoids getting a heart attack. On the other hand, that means 49 out of 50 people don’t get much benefit.” [...]
When a therapy is extremely effective-like surgery for acute appendicitis or insulin for juvenile diabetes-no one worries about NNTs. But most interventions aren’t home runs, and so NNTs are often the only way to tell if they may be worthwhile, medically and economically. Is your shoulder painful and stiff? The NNT for a cortisone shot is three, which is pretty good, but that also means two out of three patients won’t feel any better after the needles. Does your child have an ear infection? Your pediatrician obliges with a bottle of amoxicillin, but the NNT for antibiotics to shorten the duration of fever is more than 20; thus, at least 19 out of 20 parents force the stuff down their toddlers’ throats for no reason. Is your prostate enlarged? The NNT to avoid surgery is 18 if you take Proscar for four years. The drug costs $100 per month per person, so an insurer spends $86,400 to prevent a single surgery for enlarged prostate. Are you thinking of taking aspirin to help avoid a heart attack? The NNT is a lousy 208. Keep in mind that none of these figures include the risks of side effects.
Imagine if this were on every drug container, like the unit price on food. Now that’s a recipe for controlling prescription drug spending!
Monday, September 25, 2006
Gregg Dobbs in the AJC today:
A young man who shouldn’t be behind bars is serving 10 years in a Georgia prison cell.
Your Legislature has even changed the statute that put him there, basically proving he isn’t the kind of person the law was meant to confine. But because he was convicted before the change, he’s still there, facing a lifetime of disgrace as a registered sex offender.
He is Genarlow Wilson, and his offense was having oral sex on New Year’s Eve a couple of years ago when he was 17, with a willing female classmate from Douglasville who was just shy of 16. [...]
While producing a documentary for HDNet Television, I interviewed Wilson at the prison in Forsyth. He doesn’t claim he didn’t have oral sex. As another sign of irresponsibility, not to mention immaturity, another boy at the New Year’s Eve party videotaped it. But Wilson says without shame, “Having sex with someone you go to school with and classes with, you really don’t know that’s a crime.” [...]
The Legislature’s true intent became crystal clear when it amended the law - making things tougher for real predators, but listing an act such as Wilson’s a misdemeanor.
Wilson and his lawyer aren’t asking to excuse sexual perverts from society’s sanctions, or to reduce the mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, followed by perpetual placement on the sexual offender registry. They’re asking to excuse a student who committed a crime unknowingly ... a crime that the Legislature decided is no longer a crime.
Techcrunch, Pluggd to make podcasts chunkier, searchable:
Seattle based podcast discovery and management service Pluggd is unveiling a major new feature at DEMO this weekend that combines speech recognition and semantic analysis to let users search for and skip to parts of an audio file that are related to topics of interest to them. It’s more than just speech recognition.
This is one of the most compelling examples I’ve seen lately of a growing trend: making multimedia content more granular and letting users take even greater control over the media we consume. We don’t just want to consume what we wish, we want to consume it in the way we wish.
Read on for how they do it.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
My sympathy’s for the devil
The good reverend says his off-the-cuff remarks were not intended to demonize the Democratic senator from New York:
The Rev. Jerry Falwell says a White House run by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton would energize his base of religious conservatives even more than if the devil were the Democratic nominee.
“I certainly hope that Hillary is the candidate,’’ Falwell told a private prayer breakfast. “Because nothing will energize my (constituency) like Hillary Clinton.’’
“If Lucifer ran, he wouldn’t,’’ Falwell added, drawing a roomful of laughs and cheers.
They should just keep on making her out to be the devil and when people see her in action and find out she’s not, the Falwell crowd won’t know what hit them.
LATER: Falwell’s not sorry, “No, I’ll be saying it over and over again.” Video.
Diebold & Cox
I guess it’s good Cathy lost the gubernatorial primary. From Rolling Stone, Will the Next Election be Hacked?:
Chris Hood remembers the day in August 2002 that he began to question what was really going on in Georgia. An African-American whose parents fought for voting rights in the South during the 1960s, Hood was proud to be working as a consultant for Diebold Election Systems, helping the company promote its new electronic voting machines. During the presidential election two years earlier, more than 94,000 paper ballots had gone uncounted in Georgia - almost double the national average - and Secretary of State Cathy Cox was under pressure to make sure every vote was recorded properly.
Hood had been present in May 2002, when officials with Cox’s office signed a contract with Diebold - paying the company a record $54 million to install 19,000 electronic voting machines across the state. At a restaurant inside Atlanta’s Marriott Hotel, he noticed the firm’s CEO, Walden O’Dell, checking Diebold’s stock price on a laptop computer every five minutes, waiting for a bounce from the announcement.
Hood wondered why Diebold, the world’s third-largest seller of ATMs, had been awarded the contract. The company had barely completed its acquisition of Global Election Systems, a voting-machine firm that owned the technology Diebold was promising to sell Georgia. And its bid was the highest among nine competing vendors. Whispers within the company hinted that a fix was in.
“The Diebold executives had a news conference planned on the day of the award,” Hood recalls, “and we were instructed to stay in our hotel rooms until just hours before the announcement. They didn’t want the competitors to know and possibly file a protest” about the lack of a fair bidding process. It certainly didn’t hurt that Diebold had political clout: Cox’s predecessor as secretary of state, Lewis Massey, was now a lobbyist for the company.
The problem was, Diebold had only five months to install the new machines - a “very narrow window of time to do such a big deployment,” Hood notes. The old systems stored in warehouses had to be replaced with new equipment; dozens of state officials and poll workers had to be trained in how to use the touch-screen machines. “It was pretty much an impossible task,” Hood recalls. There was only one way, he adds, that the job could be done in time - if “the vendor had control over the entire environment.” That is precisely what happened. In late July, to speed deployment of the new machines, Cox quietly signed an agreement with Diebold that effectively privatized Georgia’s entire electoral system. The company was authorized to put together ballots, program machines and train poll workers across the state - all without any official supervision. “We ran the election,” says Hood. “We had 356 people that Diebold brought into the state. Diebold opened and closed the polls and tabulated the votes. Diebold convinced Cox that it would be best if the company ran everything due to the time constraints, and in the interest of a trouble-free election, she let us do it.”
For more on why she shouldn’t have, Larry Lessig points to a demonstration by three Princeton researchers of how a Diebold machine could be hacked and the election results altered. Here‘s a video of the results; Here‘s their report.