Data Troll

Musings of a database designer, right-wing constitutional anarchist and overly idealistic schmuck.

My Photo
Location: Texas, United States

A middle-aged database designer, specializing in Oracle. I have a teen-aged son and Chinese wife.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

A little known threat to Democracy

I’m not sure how many people are aware of a threat to the democratic process going on in Africa this week. No, I’m not talking about the mess in Zimbabwe; there is no democratic process to threaten there. I’m talking about events in Uganda.

Why should Americans care about what is going on in Uganda? Because events there are magnified by Uganda’s location and the recent history of the area. Uganda, a country that has been relatively stable politically for 20 years, borders on nearly every country of recent atrocities in the region. Rwanda, The Congo, and Sudan all are adjacent to land-locked Uganda. Uganda has become a refugee and logistics center of sorts; if it falls into anarchy, there will be no place for many to flee to and various organizations to work from.

The political stability has been seriously disrupted in last few weeks. President Museveni, who has presided for nearly 20 years, is up for election in March of 2006. His chief rival is Colonel Kizza Besigye, who ran unsuccessfully in 2001, recently returned from self-imposed exile. After attending a number of large rallies, Col. Besigye and 23 others were placed under arrest and charged with number of crimes. The charges filed on November 14th primarily involve treason for plotting to take up arms against the government, supposedly beginning immediately after Besigye lost the 2001 election. In the intervening years, there has been no known armed conflict associated with this supposed group of rebels. There was also a rape charge included on Col. Besigye, related to some incident from 1997.

There were protests immediately following, some of which turned violent and had some arson and looting involved. The police and military put this down quickly with gunfire, killing at least one. (Side note; I do not condemn this police action outright. All moral high ground is lost when one torches and/or raids shops. What the French have been willing to tolerate in recent violence is ridiculous.)

I do not know the validity of the charges filed (though skepticism seems appropriate), nor the worthiness of Col. Besigye as a leader for Uganda. That would be for a fair, impartial judicial hearing and a fair and honest election to determine. But the signs are pretty clear that his arrest has little to do with traditional justice:

  • A heavily-armed militia unit associated with the government showed up November 16th at the courthouse to assure no one was granted bail or, if they did, they were there to meet them.

  • Gatherings of over four people that support the jailed politicians have been banned.

  • Two individuals have been jailed for merely putting up posters seeking donations for the legal defense fund of Besigye and the others.

  • Talk shows are not allowed to even discuss the situation.

Apparently, the government- starting to feel some heat- offered to grant Besigye ‘amnesty’, which would have essentially required him to admit guilt. This offer included dropping the rape charge, something amnesty cannot be given for. He refused to accept this (as he should, if he is innocent).

The silly thing is, this has likely done more to strengthen Besigye’s chances in a fair election than anything the candidate could have done for himself. Museveni probably could have had it in the bag with just a little campaigning himself.

With the current situation, the only way for democracy to progress, the whole group needs to be allowed to make reasonable bail (or have the charges dropped) and allow campaigning to continue unfettered. The election needs to be watched closely for fairness and let the Ugandan people make their decision. What would it take to bring this about? Continued pressure and publicity will help; heck, a phone call and some harsh words from Condi Rice would probably get it done quick.

For more information, the best source is the Monitor.
You can get the government position from the New Vision.


Saturday, November 19, 2005

House GOP relocate spine and political smarts the same day!

It was great fun, watching the antics tonight. The Dems thought they could propose 'cut & run' just before the recess, go home to talk it up and fill their coffers from extremist moonbats like Soros, not worrying about going on record for anything to kill them off in the '06 election cycle. Wrong! Thanks to some sharp-thinking Rank & File GOPers (the real heroes in this; I wish I knew their names!), the GOP came up with a 'Sense of the House' resolution. The brilliance of this is that just a resolution has no details that can be contested or delayed on technicalities (unlike Murtha's more detailed, but equally absurd resolution). The vote could easily go forward. The Democrats were forced to argue strenuously, behave badly, then vote against their own arguments, siding with the GOP! What a pack of buffoons! Only the 3 that voted 'Yea' had any guts (still treasonously wrong) and those were outnumbered 2-1 by the really gutless 'present' votes.

The result is a nearly unanimous backing of our troops in the field (with the troops still very much away who their real friends are), the anti-war political opportunists completely humiliated, and significant payback for recent Democrat shennanigans (e.g. Reid's 'secret' session). All accomplished in less than 36 hours and just in time for the Dems to go home to the laughter and ridicule of all but the moonbats. Great job for a change, GOP! Now; do something about that absurd pork you still are protecting like a pack of 70s tax-and-spenders!


Sunday, November 13, 2005

An Intercepted Al-Qaeda Communique!

I have located an internal Al-Qaeda communique; it has not been finished yet by the evil-doers, but it gives the rough idea.

Am I the only one who thinks it's time to put together a Onion-style site for these thugs? (Maybe ''?) They want to engender fear; laughing at them is definitely a form of psy-ops. It would have to be done pretty carefully to ensure it contains only humor with bite, not anything offensive to Muslims as a whole, or to make light of any of the specific barbarism they engage in. But I could see things like:
- 'Hygeine corner; Safe sex with your sheep'
- 'Safety Tip: Don't plant IEDs while you hear helicopters'
(Linked to that classic night-vision video of the chopper taking out the thugs)
- 'Recommended earplugs and paper bags for your 72 virgins"
(Nobody said they wouldn't be ugly and whiny; after all, you ARE going to Hell.)