Vote for the spammer: I

Vote for the spammer
: I hadn’t seen this yet: Political spam. I got two emails right in a row pushing Bill Jones as a Republican candidate for California governor. Says the candidate:

This is a new and unique experiment. For the first time in history I am trying to make the Internet the vehicle to provide information to the people of California – NOT 30 second TV ads.

I believe that Democracy is enhanced when the voter has factual information instead of propaganda and that the Internet has the power to transform politics and political campaigning.

So while other candidates for Governor are spending over $10,000,000 dollars on 30 second TV ads, I am trying something new.

The good news is that this was sent to the email address I use only on this blog — which means that whoever engineered this for the pol is paying attention and respect to blogdom.

The bad news is that THIS IS SPAM and we hate spam as much as we hate annoying 30-second commercials and annoying phone calls from political groupies and politicians themselves.

And by the way, I don’t live in California.

But I give the guy a point for getting to this before every other damned politician in the world.

The pause the refreshes: 30 to life
: Good post on More Than Zero on infamous product placements for Coke cans: on Skilling’s Enron testimony and more. Says a commenter there: “Tastes Great, Less Skilling.”

Bad meets worse
: The Times of London says American tobacco companies are accused of breaking the trade embargo with Iraq to smuggle cigarettes in. That is either an unpatriotic act or an act of clever terrorism: If Bush doesn’t get ’em, the tar and nicotine will.

And I was too chicken to go to DisneyWorld
:A new Rossi Rant:

My brother is going to Israel.

We’ve been talking about this for years: me meeting him and his family, in Israel on Passover.

The reason he e-mailed me to tell me about his spontaneous trip to the holy land was not to invite me, however, but to ask when he could fax me a copy of his will.

Nice times we live in.

Now I find myself torn.

Do I squish a last-minute trip to Israel this month, or do I stay home safe and sound in … hmm … ummm … Manhattan??!

Terror tourism
: The Washington Post tags along with tourists coming to New York to see Ground Zero.

For better or worse, it’s now what defines New York tourism. For months, city officials have been groping for the right way to handle the prickly issues of etiquette, decency and morality as thousands come to bear witness to the devastation of Sept. 11.

Given the high demand, it was only a matter of time before the private sector jumped in….

It’s the filming and the photographing that can upset some family members the most.

“You wouldn’t go to a cemetery and start filming somebody’s tombstone,” Michael Cartier, 24, says.

President of the family support group Give Your Voice, Cartier lost an older brother, James Marcel Cartier, an electrician, in the twin towers collapse. His remains haven’t been recovered.

“There’s a certain etiquette and reverence that’s involved when you go to a cemetery,” Cartier says by phone. “I think this is part of history. I think that people need to be there, people need to see it. But there also has to be an understanding that there are people around you who are grieving and facing the harsh reality that this very well may be a final resting place.”…

Around the corner and up a ramp is the viewing platform.

The Baltimore group waits its turn at the wooden ramp, as the clamor of jackhammers echoes.

Finally, Elkins, Stevens, the Russells and the rest reach the platform, standing alongside other visitors. Here, everyone vies for an unobstructed view, for a good camera angle, a glimpse of something meaningful amid the workers and their cranes.

The visitors look confused, maybe a little stunned. They are not sure what they are seeing and what they are to feel about it. It’s a common reaction now. There are no huge mounds of debris, no clouds of dust and smoke. It looks, basically, like an orderly excavation project….

Becky Russell seems in a hurry to leave. She started out as a skeptic about this visit and ends as one.

“I don’t know. I don’t know” is almost all she can muster in response to a question about her reactions to ground zero.

Finally, she adds, “I can’t say I feel any better.”

Prisoners of uncertainty
: Two very different views of the fate of our 500 Afghan prisoners. The NY Times says their fate is uncertain and they may be held just so they don’t pick up arms again. But the Times of London says that the Pentagon admits it has insufficient evidence to send any of the prisoners to a tribunal and that it has failed to capture bin Laden’s key cronies.

America has failed to compile evidence identifying any of the 500 prisoners it is holding from the Afghanistan war as suitable candidates for a military tribunal, the Pentagon conceded yesterday.

The admission is a major setback for the United States, which claimed that it had detained senior members of Osama bin Ladenís al-Qaeda network and the Taleban regime.

Despite holding the prisoners for weeks, and in some cases months, interrogators lack enough details to build a case against them that could be put before a specially-convened hearing, the officials said….

Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, described the prisoners last month as ìvery hard casesî who had ìdemonstrated their determination to kill themselves, kill others, and/or escapeî.

But yesterday, addressing the prospect of putting any of them before military tribunals, Victoria Clarke, the Pentagon spokeswoman, said: ìThereís not a sense that weíve got a person or two people that we feel are really likely candidates.î