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September 16, 2002

Three words, three errors, one title
Posted by Teresa at 01:52 PM *

It’s hard to find a genuine non-ironic specimen of blasphemy these days, but for the next 33 hours there’s one for sale on eBay. It’s a colored print in which innumerable little photo-reduced squares containing images of Jesus have been used to create an image of George W. Bush.

This is iconographically appalling—goodbye “Christians united in Christ”, hello “Christs united in an unrepentant unforgiving uncharitable lying draft-dodging coke-sniffing piss-ant of a frat boy.” (Also, a lesser sin: They cheated when they created the image mosaic.) The finished product might not have looked much different if all those depictions of Christ had been subsumed into an image of Alfred E. Neuman, but I’d have found it less offensive.

The caption, “Our Christian President”, clocks in with an impressive error rate of one error per word. The rest of the sales copy doesn’t maintain that same high level, but it’s still noteworthy. Feel free to tot up your own error counts:

JesusMosaics are a NEW and UNIQUE expression of classic mosaic art. They are the first truly new form of religious art in decades.

“OPEN EDITION” SIGNED FINE ART PRINT

They don’t say whether it was Jesus or Dubya that signed the print.

Further words fail me, except to note that Mark Frauenfelder picked it up from Stefan Jones and posted it to BoingBoing, which was where I found it.

Comments on Three words, three errors, one title:
#1 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2002, 03:01 PM:

To give credit where it's due, I found it on:

http://bodyandsoul.blogspot.com/

Check one:

[] Disbelieving laughter.
[] Clean taint of failed civilization from self with Twenty-Mule-Train Borax, hot water, Chore Boy; live as a wild creature as far as possible from any person likely to buy one of these things.
[] Order copies for friends who voted for the Shrub.

#2 ::: Kip ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2002, 03:15 PM:

But I thought a mosaic image was composed of little pictures of Moses...

#3 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2002, 03:24 PM:

I'll note another error -- the idea that using images of Jesus in moasics is in any way new -- it was one of the first images generated after the software crawled out of the MIT media lab.

#4 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2002, 03:26 PM:

It's not even a proper mosaic, just a bad digital rendition of a palimpsest. I expect they scanned Jesus's signature of the autographed piece of the True Cross they themselves bought on eBay a year ago.

I have a friend who makes "open edition" prints like that, except his are the cumulative baseball statistics over the entire history of a particular team. He uses an HP DesignJet inkjet plotter to print 30 inches wide by however-long posters.

At the price they charge for the "first truly new form of religious art in decades," they ought to recoup their cost of equipment after a hundred or so sales. These guys are comparatively pikers: only 11"x14", nowhere nearly big enough to hide you from the Vengeful Wrath one would seem to ask for by breaking the rules about idolatry and graven images, having another god between you and the Christian one.

#5 ::: Cassandra Phillips-Sears ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2002, 03:28 PM:

..."'Our Christian President' is a pictorial representation of the ultimate goal of every Christian."

Er, I think we've got some definition problems here.

It also says it makes an "inspiring gift". It's certainly inspiring me, but I doubt it's in the ways that the seller intended.

#6 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2002, 04:36 PM:

The finished product might not have looked much different if all those depictions of Christ had been subsumed into an image of Alfred E. Neuman [...]

"What, me forsaken?"

#7 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2002, 04:50 PM:

What I mean about them fudging the image mosaic is more easily seen here, in a blown-up detail of JesusMosaic's picture of St. Therese of Lisieux.

The background collage of low-contrast thumbnail pictures is being used like one of those weird image filters you get in the Kai's Power Tools add-on modules for Photoshop. The overall image isn't created from the mosaic of constituent images. Instead, the picture that's going to be used for the final overall image is digitized -- broken down into little squares -- and the colors, light/dark balance, and contrast levels of those little squares are then imposed on the matching thumbnail-squares in the collage.

Basically, what you have here is Christ as patterned fill.

#8 ::: Jordin Kare ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2002, 06:44 PM:

Lends a whole new meaning to "Render unto Caesar..."

#9 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2002, 08:13 PM:

Teresa, as I said, a bad digital rendition of a palimpsest.

It's like somebody gave up scrubbing the little Christ-face images off the Bumwad for its re-use before they were properly done. Then somebody else printed a picture of W. on the used Bumwad 'cause they ran out of fresh.

#10 ::: Berni Phillips Bratman ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2002, 08:42 PM:

Hey, I like the one of St. Therese. I like the one of Padre Pio (now St. Pio of Pietrelcina) too. This would be a great gift for my mother! And you can get them through EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network, the child of Mother Angelica, the nun with a network). My mother is crazy about Mother Angelica.


#11 ::: Mary Kay Kare ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2002, 09:49 PM:

Ewwww. My reaction was revulsion, and I'm not even really a Christian.

My favorite mistakes was that the mosaic was made with "...outcroppings of thousands of painting..." Wow, 3-D huh?

Ick, ick, ick. I want a shower.
MKK

#12 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2002, 12:22 AM:

My take on it is here.

#13 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2002, 08:11 AM:

I dunno, Berni; maybe it's my production background, but when I look at it, what I see is a standard holy-card image of St. Therese which has been run through a weird background filter. I doubt I'd ever be able to look at it without thinking more about how it was made than about the image itself. But you like it and it makes your mother happy, and those are both undeniable goods. Robert Lentz icons are more my speed; that's good too.

Stefan, come in off that ledge. It doesn't take much for an artifact like that to happen. It's primarily one guy who tinkers up these religious images on a composite background, and he thinks they're swell. (I'll bet he designed the JesusMosaics website, too. Go look.) This is an enthusiastic man. And see? Berni and her mother like his prints just fine.

I suspect what happened was that he already had the composite background of pictures of Jesus -- in fact, I'm fairly sure of it. Why he thinks Dubya is Our Christian President is a mystery I won't look into, but if he'd gotten that idea into his head, all it needed was that one further step -- superimposing Dubya's face on a composite background he already had to hand -- to bring that bizarre artifact into existence.

#14 ::: Kip ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2002, 08:37 AM:

Now that we all know how to do it, I look forward to seeing composite portraits of Woody Bush made out of all sorts of (slightly less nasty) substances and sexual acts. And vice versa.

#15 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2002, 10:27 AM:

I wonder if these people are working on "Magic" dot stereogram versions of this. Stare blankly at the field of little dots of "outcroppings" of the Christ's face from famous religious paintings, and eventually any True Believer will see "Jesus at 33" in 3-D.

#16 ::: Alison Scott ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2002, 12:41 PM:

I think it's a little more subtle than just 'Dubya superimposed on a composite background'. I think what has happened with these images is that the artist has produced his range of composite pictures using one of several available pieces of software. I remember having a splendid time playing with one we got free on a PC magazine cover disk, for example. No doubt he painstakingly input all the source pictures (not nearly enough -- the same photo appears time and time again in the composite).

However, the problem with pure composites, as I discovered, is that either the mosaic bits are too small to see, or the overall picture is huge and hence too expensive to print off on an inkjet, or the resulting picture isn't well-defined enough, so you have to squint and stand well back to work out what the picture was supposed to be. (For a squinty type example, see
http://www.photomosaic.com/rt/examples/christscrollsbig.jpg )

Faced with this quandary, he's worked out that he can make the picture more defined by adding a further layer, in which the original source photo of Dubya/saint/embodiment of the lord amongst us/whatever is tinted back in with a partial opacity. But the background is definitely a specific photomosaic for this picture. You can see this both in the sample, where the light and shade pattern is reflected in the individual little pieces (this is particularly noticable in the eye), and in the main picture, where the black background is made up of a quite different set of tiles to the flesh tones.

At any rate, an interesting artefact and I hope you'll be snapping it up. I am now inspired by the notion of producing a photomosaic of the Holy Trinity made up of tiny pictures of George Bushes Sr & Jr & Jeb.

#17 ::: Bill Woods ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2002, 01:04 PM:

'The caption, "Our Christian President", clocks in with an impressive error rate of one error per word.'

I've looked at this statement for a minute, but I'm still not seeing the errors. The spelling and grammar seem okay...

The close-up clearly shows that it's not a proper photomosaic.

#18 ::: Christopher Hatton ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2002, 01:49 PM:

Bill,

He's not ours.
He's not Christian in any meaningful way.
He's not President (Florida manipulations).

Disagree if you want. But that's what she meant.

I agree with her.

#19 ::: Jack Womack ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2002, 02:13 PM:

The possibilities of this form are fascinating. Bush's face, for example, could also be composed entirely out of photographs of, say, rectal tumors.

#20 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2002, 02:48 PM:

"Stefan, come in off that ledge."

Awww, don't take me that seriously. I checked the "disbelieving laughter" box on my list.

I fully expect a fair number of these to be purchased by ironically trending persons and repurposed in interesting ways.

#21 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2002, 08:19 PM:

Christopher,

He's not ours.
He's not Christian in any meaningful way.
He's not President (Florida manipulations).

Well, of course he's ours. He's ours as much as Bill Clinton was ours. And by that I mean where else outside of the US would you ever find such characters? Uniquely ours. (Doesn't mean it's a good thing...)

I won't really quibble with your other two points. Except to say that JFK wasn't president, either (manipulations). But I doubt looking back at his term that occurs to people now. And if W gets rid of Saddam before Saddam nukes Israel, Florida won't bother me much.

I say this, admittedly, not being a Democrat and not meaning to start a whole new thread.

Best,

John F

#22 ::: Bill Woods ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2002, 01:58 AM:

"He's not ours.
He's not Christian in any meaningful way.
He's not President (Florida manipulations)."

That arguement occurred to me later but I hoped for better. It's so lame. Something I'd expect to find on Ms. Neisen Hayden's evil twin's blog, "Making Heat".

At a minimum, if you're not a foreigner, you're double-counting 'president'.

#23 ::: Kip ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2002, 10:07 AM:

Why does someone have to be "not our president" in order to be "not ours?" He's not one of us; he's against us, and pretends to be several things he's not--one of them is "president," but it's not the only thing. He pretends to be fair and "just folks," for instance, while living a privileged life exempt from the consequences of his own actions. He's someone else's, bought and paid for several times over.

To borrow a trope, your argument isn't "Making Sense."

#24 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2002, 02:22 PM:

If you don't think there are implausible political characters outside the US, you might try to google on 'Amour de Cosmos'. You want the first Premier of British Columbia one, I have no idea how many Google will provide.

My own take on it is that no elected offical who publically argues against counting the votes can legitimately hold office. It is completely irrelevant whether or not the votes obtained were legitimate, or who had more, or any such thing; making that argument -- in a court of law! -- removes any possible legitimacy from that offical's taking office.

The lying, cheating, disdain for the rule of law, idiocy, and so forth are fripperies of character, lost in the great muddle of a culture that does not want to change into something that knows it is living in a world not made by God, and must then find practical, rather than moral, answers to its problems.

The public, sincere, thoughtful disdain for the need to count votes, that is the essential thing.

In some quiet, private, contemplative moment, call up the shades of Jefferson, of Madison, of Washington; of Lincoln, and of Jefferson Davis; of Cromwell and of Long Edward; of Aethelraed and Alfred and Harold the son of Godwin,and ask them all in what tradition and use and propriety it comes, that it is right and just and proper to not count the votes, it being known already in whose favour the question has been decided.

They, they and the ghosts of your fathers that were, they will spit on your shadows and turn their faces away, that you endure this thing.

#25 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2002, 10:14 PM:

They, and the ghosts of your fathers that were, they will spit on your shadows and turn their faces away, that you endure this thing.

Um, the prose is getting a little purple here. Not to mention contradictory. What do you mean by shades? As in, supernatural? A few lines previously you were denigrating a culture that won't adapt to a world "not made by God" and give up seeking moral answers to its problems. Where do shades suddenly come into this?

#26 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2002, 12:39 PM:

You're nitpicking to avoid addressing the main point, which is not that practicality must include addressing history, whether that address is phrased poetically or no.

You yourself are adovcating the widespread acceptance a view where it is better not to count the votes in an election.

To do that is to throw away the entirety of the ideals of freedom and democracy which the United States claims to stand for, embody, and represent.

#27 ::: beej ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2002, 01:06 PM:

Amen.

#28 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2002, 01:09 PM:

You yourself are adovcating the widespread acceptance (of) a view where it is better not to count the votes in an election.

I said no such thing. It's clear this means a lot to you from an emotional point. But please, don't start accusing me of being anti-democratic (and therefore evil?) because I'm not still up at night fretting about the miserable farce of 2000--during which, by the way, Al Gore and his lawyers tried to get the votes of our American service men and women from Florida thrown out. Don't they count, too? There are two sides to the argument. Neither of which should be demonized in my opinion. There will be another election in 2004. And Al Gore is free to run again. And I haven't decided whom I'm going to vote for—especially if the current guy doesn't do something about Islamofascists with access to nukes.

#29 ::: Kip ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2002, 02:35 PM:

"Al Gore and his lawyers tried to get the votes of our American service men and women from Florida thrown out. Don't they count, too?"

Only if they were from counties that favored Bush. Four-fifths of the 2,490 absentee ballots allowed by judges were from counties carried by Bush.

Of these 2,490, 680 were illegal for various reasons, including lack of postmark, lack of witness signature, being sent after Election Day, being sent by voters who voted twice, and being sent from somewhere in the US. (Thanks, Avram, for pointing out the Washington Post article that detailed this.) But they were counted, and the majority of ones from counties Gore carried were ignored. "Don't they count?"

Hey, that's funny! The violin music stopped dead, and has been replaced by yet another chorus of "Get Over It."

"Christian" "President," my "ass."

#30 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2002, 04:16 PM:

If you accept as legitimate a public offical who has argued for the irrelvance of counting votes to the legitimacy of their holding office, you certainly *are* advocating something anti-democratic.

Noting that someone petitioned a court for the application of an existing law is also different from noting that someone petitioned a court for an exception to existing law; these are not at all the same thing.

('emotional' is not appropriately a perjorative, either; there are things well worth becoming exercised about.)

It took a lot of blood and effort to get rid of aristocratic social forms; the relative success in this effort has much to do with the degree of prosperity various regions of the world currently enjoy. The pretense that another election will of course be admistered in a fair and impartial manner, allowing any necessary correction to past errors, when the problems known to have existed have been made worse, is also something of deeply dubious utility.

#31 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2002, 06:18 PM:

Well, the photomosaic of Dubya is just
like the '70s black-velvet Jesus - tacky.

#32 ::: Berni Phillips Bratman ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2002, 08:53 PM:

Pardon me for interrupting, but I wonder why people doubt that Bush is Christian. Perhaps he's not your idea of what a Christian should be, but if he feels he is a Christian, shouldn't he be allowed to be called one? He attends a Christian church. He prays to the Christian God. Christians aren't perfect. Shouldn't this flawed human being be allowed to be identified as Christian if that is his desire?

#33 ::: spacewaitress ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2002, 10:25 PM:

"Shouldn't this flawed human being be allowed to be identified as Christian if that is his desire?"

Well, sure, but the whole thing just seems so cynical to me. Like he's flaunting his "Christianity" mainly in order to appeal to a certain demographic.

#34 ::: Lydia Nickerson ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2002, 10:28 PM:

Berni, you ask, "Perhaps he's not your idea of what a Christian should be, but if he feels he is a Christian, shouldn't he be allowed to be called one?" All I can say is, "By their fruits shall you know them."

#35 ::: Kip ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2002, 10:23 AM:

There's also those commandments, like "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness," and stuff about adultery and whatnot. Yea, the bumper sticker saith, "Christians aren't perfect; Only forgiven" -- but aren't they supposed to stop doing those things? Not for fear of being caught, but because it's what their religion says to do?

If you get a free pass on lying and stealing in order to put a "Christian" in the White House, I feel that you end up with something that's not "Christian" at all. Something lukewarm that should be spat out; too sinful to be an example, yet too self-righteous to shut up about it.

#36 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2002, 11:19 AM:

If you accept as legitimate a public official who has argued for the irrelevance of counting votes to the legitimacy of their holding office, you certainly are advocating something anti-democratic.

This was not about counting votes--it was about re-counting. There is a difference.

#37 ::: Janet Lafler ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2002, 11:22 AM:

Years ago, after Matthew Shepard was murdered, I was at work reading online about the vicious antigay demonstrators at his funeral. I must have gasped or exclaimed, because one of my co-workers (my best friend at that job), walked into my cubicle and asked me what was wrong. I explained. Shocked, he asked "who would do a thing like that?" After a pause to choose my words, I said, "Well, they call themselves Christians." My friend, who is a devout Christian, thanked me for putting it that way -- because those people's behavior was to him monstrously un-Christian, and he was glad that I knew that.

In general, I tend to accept people's labels for themselves. Sometimes, though, the label just doesn't fit.

#38 ::: Christopher Hatton ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2002, 12:54 PM:

Sometimes, people label themselves in a way we just disagree with; other times, they're just lying or hypocrites. Who knows; maybe they're flagellating themselves behind closed doors.

By the way, the Phelpsians are going back to Wyoming to picket again this year - on the anniversary of Matthew's funeral. This despite a broad coalition of Wyoming clergy writing them and asking them not to.

I tell you, when Fred Phelps dies, it's going to be awfully tempting to send his rotten son (who's organizing this year's outrage) a "condolence card" with "YOUR SCUMBAG FATHER IS EATING SHIT IN HELL" on the inside. I probably won't. But I'll want to.

#39 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2002, 12:59 PM:

All the accounts of the matter I have seen have made it clear that large numbers of votes were not counted at all, not the first time, not any time.

Leaving aside entirely that recounts in close races are, in places where the voting system actually works, automatic and unremarkable.

#40 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2002, 12:11 AM:

In re my original intent: Kip's right. By "not ours", I meant he doesn't think the rest of us are part of the same game he plays in. I've been on record as thinking this about him since before he was elected.

It would of course be the sin of presumption for me to think I know whether or not George W. Bush is a Christian. I don't know that. I also don't know his current state of grace.

What I do know is that we don't have Christian Presidents. That's as in "Congress shall make no law," etc.

We've had Presidents who happened to be Christians, or at any rate Presidents who said they were; I don't know their state of grace either. If Mr. Bush were President, you could say the same of him; and so there would be no grounds for giving him that distinguishing title.

I do find myself wondering whether the obviously Catholic creator of that art print is aware of Dubya's long and cozy association with Bob Jones University -- an institution which believes that both sides of my family don't qualify as Christians.

(...)

John, when you feed a dollar bill into a change machine and it spits it out again, do you throw the dollar bill away? More to the point, does James Baker throw it away?

I remember my sense of blank horror when Baker stood up in fron of the nation and asserted that of course everyone knows that machine counts are more accurate than hand counts. Everyone knew nothing of the sort; it's axiomatic that hand counts are more accurate, and Baker knew that perfectly well. But he stood up and lied about it: did the Big Lie trick, boldly and confidently and with full consent of the will.

It was worse when the mob attacked the building where the recounting was happening and forced it to stop. Here are things that are known, not opined nor conjectured, but known, about that attack: Many of the rioters were known Republican aides and campaign workers, some of them of long standing. Many of them had come in from out of state. The "riot" was not spontaneous. It was intended to stop the voting recount, and it did. And the trail of the money that paid for their work and upkeep and other expenses while they were in Florida traces straight back into the Republican organization proper.

Repeat: All this is thoroughly known.

When I learned about that, I started thinking about how many laws had been violated: An attack on a government building. An attack specifically intended to stop a voting count so that the true results could not be known. Voting fraud. Election finance abuse. Riot. Denying the basic civil rights of the voters whose votes went uncounted. Conspiracy to commit same. Crossing state lines to commit same. Hell, I'm not sure you couldn't invoke RICO on this one.

Then I looked again at how little they'd done to cover their tracks: Known faces. Known financing, tracing straight back to where it shouldn't oughter. And they weren't worried.

At that point I got scared, as I've never before been scared by or on behalf of my government; and that fear has never gone away.

Graydon's right. Refusing to count the votes breaks the basic protocol of democracy. I am still furious at all the idiots -- some of whom, I regret to say, are closely related to me -- who think that's okay because it meant their guy won.

I keep thinking of this as a variant of the problem of the commons. Let's say everybody in your valley is a peasant freeholder, and until recently the same went for everyone in the next valley over. But now you've heard a rumor that they've got themselves a bunch of guys in armor who fight from horseback. Your bunch can't beat that. What do you do?

There are two answers. One is to get your own guys in armor who fight from horseback. Seems straightforward enough at the time, right? Only what's going to happen is that your guys and their guys will have some inconclusive fights, decide to make peace, and settle down to a celebratory feast involving a bunch of your young livestock. After all, they have a lot more in common with each other than they do with either batch of peasants. And they won't go away, either. Five hundred years from now, there'll still be a bunch of guys in your valley who fight in armor from horseback. They'll still be eating your young livestock, and seducing your womenfolk but marrying the daughters of the nobility in the next valley over. And they'll expect you to be properly grateful for all the protection they give you from other guys like them.

The other answer is that your bunch of freeholders and the freeholders in the next valley over should band together and drive these guys out. You'll still have differences with the people in the next valley over, but they'll be your differences, and you'll settle them yourselves. You won't be someone else's chattel.

I don't give up vote-counting for nobody.

#41 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2002, 10:26 AM:

Teresa,

I don't disagree at all with the principle of everyone's vote being counted. This sub-thread started because I unguardedly opined that if Bush took out Saddam before Saddam nukes Israel the Florida manipulations wouldn't bother me much. I know better now. But I wonder why, given the principle, then the entire state was not recounted by hand. My understanding is a statewide recount was offered to the Gore team and they turned it down. To me, admittedly not an expert on the whole saga, that sounds like they weren't particularly gung ho for the 'every vote being counted' principle either. And surely Miami Dade etc. were not the only counties whose dollar bills were spat out because chads were not impressed hard enough or dangled. In an election that close why not recount the whole shebang?

No apologies or excuses for the mobs from this quarter.

BTW, I ain't a Republican. I'm an independent. In Massachusetts the GOP is basically brain dead and the Dems are still wholly owned by an aging generation of Irish Catholic hacks and their kids.

#42 ::: Kevin J. Maroney ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2002, 11:38 AM:

John: You say "My understanding is a statewide recount was offered to the Gore team and they turned it down."

My understanding is that, in fact, no such thing was offered. My further understanding is that there is no specific mechanism in Florida state electoral law to implement a statewide hand recount beyond that which was required and, generally speaking, not done. Gore's county-by-county challenges were attempts to force the hand recounts which were supposed to be mandatory but which had not been done.

However, under Florida state law, the judiciary has sweeping power to address errors in elections, and a statewide hand recount could have been ordered by the state Supreme Court. The Gore team proposed such a recount but was rebuffed by the Bush team, and the US Supreme Court decision took the state Supreme Court's power out of its hands.

All of these understandings could be in error, and I would welcome specific, documented correction.

#43 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2002, 01:08 PM:

Kevin, my recollection is that the statewide hand recount was started under the auspices of the Florida Supreme Court, then halted by writ of the US Supreme Court on an interim basis in response to Bush's suit to stop it as damaging to him. This helped run down the clock and prevented there being a set of actual results that had to be set aside, so that there would be no "factual" count to serve as a focal point for further opposition to Bush being awarded the presidency.

A second US Supreme Court ruling in favour of Bush held that the Florida Supreme Court's recount method as given in its ruling did not pass muster under the US constitution.

#44 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2002, 01:03 AM:

John, I'm pleased to find we're in agreement. My first reaction to the news of the voting irregularities was that they should recount the entire state by hand. It seemed obvious. It still does; only I know more about Florida than I did back then.

I can sympathize with an independent in Massachusetts. I find some of your political figures admirable, but your Republican party is dimwitted, and your Dems can be infuriating.

I refuse to complain about my local politicians on the grounds that doing so is a cliche. It's like following the Mets: Year in, year out, they're always there, usually doing something awful.

#45 ::: Soren deSelby ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2002, 05:32 PM:

I'm late coming to this thread, but a common piece of political folklore was posted and went unrefuted:

>JFK wasn't president, either (manipulations).

This has been persistently repeated to the point of widespread acceptance, despite the fact that the evidence for it doesn't exist. The usual casual assertion is that Daley's political machine swung Chicago, which swung Illinois, which swung the election. The biggest problem with this is that winning Illinois would not have won Nixon the election. The second-biggest problem is that a recount found that the overcount for Kennedy in the cities was balanced by overcounting for Nixon in the counties; the recount didn't come close to giving Illinois to Nixon, and the disputed votes were a small fraction of the number disputed in Florida in 2000. In any case, the Illinois state electoral board, 4-1 Republican, voted unanimously to certify the Illinois electors.

More educated, if more desperate, conspiracy theorists sometimes insist that Texas was fixed as well, and a combination of Texas and Illinois would indeed have given Nixon the election. The actual evidence for fraud on a large enough scale in Texas to turn the election is that, well, Lyndon Johnson could have.

In short, the idea that the 1960 Presidential election was stolen is a comforting myth to cynics and those who have an interest in pretending that corruption in national elections is routine.

The Guardian addressed this in the early aftermath of the Florida debacle:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Print/0,3858,4090069,00.html


#46 ::: Harold Lawson ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2003, 03:05 PM:

Sheesh, the only "error" I found was in myself. I should never have wasted the time it took to read all these silly comments.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people try to make themselves look "big" by trying to make someone else look small.

Get a life.

#47 ::: Norman Wells ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2003, 12:17 PM:

Interesting,

Mainly, what I see here is a lot of small minded people exercising their God given right to ridicule others while doing nothing constructive themselves.

As the last guy to post Harold Lawson said: "It never ceases to amaze me how many people try to make themselves look "big" by trying to make someone else look small."

It never works guys. The only thing that looks big is your mouth, not your intellect.

You don't like the guys picture? Big deal. Don't buy it. You don't like Pres. Bush? So what. Next time work to elect the other guy instead of just working your mouth.

Only idiots agree with other idiots. Guess that's why this ridiculous post has attracted so many comments. Humm. Including mine, come to think of it. Guess it's time to move on.

#48 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2003, 02:37 PM:

Interesting how quantified, substantial argument cannot be taken seriously, because, well, it just can't. Someone might not have a good social opinion of you.

Whether the individual reader's greatest concern ought to be the abstract social opinions of those persons apparently indifferent to the reduction of the people of the United States to some unfree state, in which their votes are not counted nor their opinions sought, might concievably be left to the decision of that reader.

What with the mechanisms of democracy requiring differences of opinion and all.

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