The Black Hills, Part IV: Mount Rushmore

I saw (but did not take pictures of) Mount Rushmore in Beijing. I captured Meguode Guofu, though!:

CIMG1207_md

so in our trip to the Black Hills Lady of tdaxp got to see him in South Dakota:

Keep reading for the story of a side-trip to the northern Black Hills, including Mount Rushmore and beautiful Sylvan Lake Lodge


We began our day with a breakfast at Sylvan Lake Lodge. The historical original lodge (which actually was on Sylvan Lake) burned down in 1935, and the rebuilt lodge looks down at the the lake from a medium-sized hill. However, the staff at Sylvan Lake has not been as good at keeping traditional atmospherics as the staff at the State Game Lodge. Though the hotel wings of Sylvan are nicer, these distract from the ambiance. Likewise, the foyer (which for the Game Lodge is quiet and sedate) is crowded and full of visiting artists and other distractions.

The Old Patio

Breakfast eaten, it was time to drive to Rushmore. The roads are well designed to give you teasing glimpses of the faces, and there are numerous places to park your car and marvel.

Pater Partriae

As one approaches the Mountain the view is purposefully obscured by a series of square arches and flags. Every state’s flag is there, including those that reference formerly independent countries (California, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, and Texas) — as well as more loyal states, such as South Dakota.

Symbols of Our Multinational Economic & Political Union of 50 Member States

When we finally arrived, we joined others in staring at Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt (the good one), and Lincoln. A theatre in the roman style is below.

Good bye, Mount Rushmore!


The Black Hills, a tdaxp series
0. Pierre
1. Crazy Horse
2. Custer State Game Lodge
3. Blue Bell Lodge
4. Mount Rushmore
5. Goofy Custer
6. The Badlands

Democrats for Voter Fraud

Verdict is in: Fulton judge way over the line,” by Bob Barr, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 26 April 2006, http://www.bobbarr.org/default.asp?pt=newsdescr&RI=739 (from nowcobbblog).

State Judge Voids Georgia Law Requiring a Photo ID of Voters,” by Brenda Goodman, New York Times, 20 September 2006, A24, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/20/us/20georgia.html (also at Digital DJs, Election Law, Webloggin).

In a completely unsurprising move for a political party that has failed to win two Presidential cycles (2000,2004) — and six Congressional cycles (1994,1996,1998,2000,2002,2004) — in a row, the Georgia-state Democrats are trying to keep the hope of voting fraud alive.

A state judge ruled [T. Jackson Bedford Jr.] ruled Tuesday that a Georgia law requiring voters to present government-issued photo identification violates the State Constitution and could not be enforced.

Judge Bedford wrote he was particularly troubled by a provision in the law that allows a registered voter without an approved photo ID to cast a ballot on Election Day but says that vote would not be counted unless the voter returned with an ID within two days..


Judge T. Jackson Belford, Jr.

Legislators [had already rewritten] the measure to make ID cards free. Supporters of the law say the cards are necessary to prevent voter fraud.

..

“Yet again, an activist judge is thwarting the will of a majority of Georgia citizens and their elected officials, Speaker Glenn Richardson said.

The suit challenging the ID requirements was filed in state court by former Gov. Roy E. Barnes, a Democrat, on half of two registered voters who said they lacked the kind of photo ID’s required by the law.

The article ends hilariously, with a claim that a voting process which makes it very difficult to find cheaters has found few cheaters. One may as well say rape does not exist in Islamic countries, because it is nearly impossible to process criminally.

This is not the first time that Judge Bedford has made questionable decisions:

The recent incident in Fulton County Superior Court when Judge T. Jackson Bedford ordered District Attorney Paul Howard handcuffed and detained in a holding cell is not only unseemly and bordering on bizarre, but also highly corrosive of the respect for the law and for our judicial process that is essential to the proper functioning of civil society.

Judge Bedford may have set-back efforts to bring elections in the US up to at least Mexican levels of seriousness. So have the Georgia-state Democrats. Shame.

Update The Republicans prove themselves to be the party of voter integrity (hat-tip to the corner), the Democratic National Committee proves itself to be the party of voter fraud, and more works remains to be done. And don’t forget to join the conversation at digg.com.

Corporate Espionage

“Some at H.P. Knew Early of Tactics,” by Damon Darlin and Matt Richel, New York Times, 20 September 2006, C1.

Long-time tdaxp readers will note that I was an early nemesis of the executive staff of H.P. Among other things I’ve accused them of

and other ills. Like all lovers of sanity, I was delighted when former CEO Carly Fiorina was fired. Yet the epic H.P. spying debacle has shown that Fiorina was just the tip of the ice-berg… and that H.P. wickedness extends all the way to my temporary home of Nebraska.

The disclosure came Tuesday as investigators examined the role of a man in the Omaha area who may have obtained private phone records on Hewlett-Packard’s behalf, according to people briefed on the company’s review of the operation.

California and federal prosecutors are exploring whether laws were broken in the investigation, particularly in the use of pretexting – a technique in which an investigator masquerades as someone else to obtain that person’s calling records from a phone company. The prosecutors are also trying to determine who in the company knew of the possibly illegal activity.

The Hewlett-Packard investigations were initiated early in 2005, around the time of Carleton S. Fiorina’s ouster as chairwoman and chief executive, and then resumed in January 2006. The two phases — each initiated after accounts of board members’ discussions appeared in news articles — were code-named Kona I and Kona II, according to several people who saw the company’s investigative records. The names are intriguing: Ms. Dunn’s vacation home is in Kona, Hawaii.

In addition to Hewlett-Packard directors, nine journalists and two employees, those whose phone records were obtained in the investigation included Larry W. Sonsini, the company’s outside counsel, a spokeswoman for his law firm, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, said Tuesday, confirming a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The San Jose Mercury News reported Tuesday that the records of Ms. Fiorina were also scrutinized.

At this is just one of several recent scandals involving Corporate Spying (remember the Sony/EMG’s espionage on the Department of Homeland Security?), I wonder what corporate resiliency planners think of this.

And as the HP scandal keeps getting weirder — they also wanted to subvert newsrooms — this has implications for political theorists such as Purpleslog and Curtis Gale Weeks.

Bush’s Anti-Geogreen Gas Tax

“Dumb as We Wanna Be,” by Thomas Friedman, New York Times, 20 September 2006, A27.

I’ve written before on the need for a geogreen gas tax. Raising the effective cost of petroleum to something like five-dollars-per-galloon. A geogreen gas tax supports freedom and frees us from propping up Middle East tyrants.

Stupidly, very stupidly, America taxes foreign sugar-ethanol. This hurts our New Core allies, props up Saudi terror-financiers, and takes in exactly the wrong direction.

Tom Friedman writes:

Thanks to pressure from Midwest farmers and agribusinesses, who want to protect the U.S. corn ethanol industry from competition from Brazilian sugar ethanol, we have imposed a stiff tariff to keep it out. We do this even though Brazilian sugar ethanol provides eight times the energy of the fossil fuel used to make it, while American corn ethanol provides only 1.3 times the energy of the fossil fuel used to make it. We do this even though sugar ethanol reduces greenhouse gases more than corn ethanol. And we do this even though sugar cane ethanol can easily be grown in poor tropical countries in Africa or the Caribbean, and could actually help alleviate their poverty.

Yes, you read all this right. We tax imported sugar ethanol, which could finance our poor friends, but we don’t tax imported crude oil, which definitely finances our rich enemies. We’d rather power anti-Americans with our energy purchases than promote anti-poverty.

Hopefully Bush will flip-flop on this soon. Otherwise, his second term will be as wasteful as the Republican House is harmful.