Thursday, November 25, 2004


Irony did not die after 9/11, it just became more brazen and incredible. At some point, does irony pass over into its opposite? I quote Chris Bertram of Crooked Timber to illustrate the point:
I linked last week to an op-ed by John Allen Paulos about the conclusions that might (or might not) be drawn from the recent Presidential election. Now he’s written a piece about the possibility of election fraud , which draws on work by Steve Freeman of the University of Pennsylvania. His conclusion in part:
The election has prompted extensive allegations of fraud, some of which have been debunked, but many of which have not. In several cases non-trivial errors have been established and official tallies changed. And there is one more scenario that doesn’t require many conspirators: the tabulating machines and the software they run conceivably could have been dragooned into malevolent service by relatively few operatives. Without paper trails, this would be difficult, but probably not impossible, to establish. Hard evidence? Definitely not. Nevertheless, the present system is such a creaky patchwork and angry suspicions are so prevalent that there is, despite the popular vote differential, a fear that the election was tainted and possibly stolen.
In completely unrelated news US Secretary of State Colin Powell declared of the Ukrainian elections :
We cannot accept this result as legitimate because it does not meet international standards and because there has not been an investigation of the numerous and credible reports of fraud and abuse. We have been following developments very closely and are deeply disturbed by the extensive and credible reports of fraud in the election. We call for a full review of the conduct of the election and the tallying of election results.


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