Brazil: 60-day Seal on Voting Machines

Urnas eletrônicas ficarão lacradas por 60 dias para preservar dados: I am not sure whether this is a new procedure or not. Maybe I can find an answer here (PDF) or, most importantly, here (DOC).

As urnas eletrônicas utilizadas durante as eleições do último domingo vão permanecer lacradas por 60 dias, contados a partir da proclamação formal dos resultados, que ainda não foi realizada.

The electronic voting machines used during last Sunday’s elections will remain sealed for 60 days, starting from the formal declaration of the results, which has not yet taken place.

O ministro Marco Aurélio Mello, presidente do TSE (Tribunal Superior eleitoral), deve proclamar em breve o resultado das eleições. Pelo calendário eleitoral deste ano, a divulgação oficial dos resultados deve ocorrer até o dia 14 de novembro.

Minister Marco Aurélio Mello, president of the TSE, is expected to announce the results shortly. According to this year’s electoral calendar, the official publication of the results must occur by November 14.

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John Dickie: Death In Mexico

More4 News Blog: Death In Mexico: Here is an on-the-spot observer who can be contacted, vetted and held accountable for his reporting — unlike Global Voice Online‘s constant go-to guy on the Oaxaca story — and whose story jibes with the bulk of the professional and amateur reporting out of the embattled southern Mexican city.

What you will not be told by most media, especially in Mexico, is that the three hitmen that attacked the barricade where Brad and other journalists were, have been identified as local policemen. They wielded AR-15 rifles and various pistols and fired indiscriminately into the crowd. Brad was probably not targeted (even though state radio (Radio Ciudadania: 99.1 FM – pirate government radio broadcasting from unknown location) is saying Brad “was an armed terrorist, and there is more to this than meets the eye” and “Indymedia is a branch of the APPO”), but he was the unlucky one, hit full in the chest, right in the solar plexus, by a 9-mm wide pellet of steel travelling at around 1000 meters per second.

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Why Lula?

From Conversa Afiada (IG)

  1. Because Alckmin was weak
  2. Because Cardoso tripped Alckmin up
  3. Thanks to his social programs
  4. Thanks to his economic policies
  5. Because Lula has charisma

I don’t disagree completely with that rough weighting of the different factors, although the question of the former PSDB president’s role is a bit more complex than that. I would assign those 12 points to Lula’s social and economic programs and lump the first two questions together as “because the PSDB is totally dsyfunctional right now.”
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Pentagon To Increase Use of PR ‘Surrogates’

Pentagon memo reveals launch of new PR war (SF Chron):

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is buttressing its public relations staff and starting an operation akin to a political campaign war room as Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld faces intensifying criticism over the Iraq war.

It is to be sold to the public as a “fact-checking” operation:

In a memo obtained by the Associated Press, Dorrance Smith, assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, said new teams of people will “develop messages” for the 24-hour news cycle and “correct the record.”

It is a marriage of information warfare and political marketing:

The memo describes an operation modeled after a political campaign — such as that made famous by Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential race — calling for a “Rapid Response” section for quickly answering opponents’ assertions.

It will involve a more intensive use of surrogates.

Another branch would coordinate “surrogates.” In political campaigns, surrogates are usually high-level politicians or key interest groups who speak or travel on behalf of a candidate or an issue.

It will leverage the “new journalism” of the “new media.”

The plan would focus more resources on so-called new media, such as the Internet and Weblogs. It would also include new workers to book civilian and military guests on television and radio shows.

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“Fair & Balanced”: Harvard Law Bloggers Give Equal Weight to Disinformation

Camera vs. firearm: “Equal violence on all sides.”

Attribution to another publication … cannot serve as license to print rumors that would not meet the test of The Times’s own reporting standards. Rumors must satisfy The Times’s standard of newsworthiness, taste and plausibility before publication, even when attributed. And when the need arises to attribute, that is a good cue to consult with the department head about whether publication is warranted at all.The New York Times, Guidelines on Integrity

Bill Keller obviously just doesn’t “get” the Internet.

Global Voices Online : The last moments of Bradley Roland Will:

But as one of the blogs David Sasaki quotes had it, there’s a balance to be struck between outrage at the killing of Brad Will, and at the mounting number of local deaths and injuries.

The blog, apparently, is Mark in Mexico, cited heavily in David Sasaki’s post titled Fear and Misinformation Abound — presumably for reasons of “balance.”

Fear, uncertainty and doubt abound. Global Voices Online in a nutshell.

The mysterious Mark’s confirmation bias is attributed by Sasaki to his “sardonic, anti-left attitudes.”

What I would like to know is who signs the guy’s paychecks.

Whoever this Mark in Mexico is — I tried fairly hard to track the guy down, and he appears to have no real life prior to popping up as the proprietor of this school, about which I can also find no information — I have to say that his main role has been to amplify disinformation.

Mark — whom I have tried repeatedly to reach by e-mail to ask him questions about his work — has worked especially hard to amplify the disinformation, for example, that there is equal violence on both sides of the Oaxaca conflict, that the strike was fomented by armed communist agitators for national political reasons, and that the federal police are independent third parties that are now intervening to calm a local conflict.

The Mexican federal police, I submit to you are a narcosyndicate-infiltrated nightmare beyond what you can imagine. Study the San Salvador de Atenco incident. Leave the questions of legality out of it and simply focus on the what happened to woman protestors after they were arrested, and the male prisoners forced to walk a gantlet of riot police armed with clubs.

Not the “stick ’em in a cell and let the system have ’em” professionalism you are used to at home, where an Abner Louima case, for example, is huge news because that kind of thing is, thank goodness, a shocking anomaly.

Anyway, Mark in Mexico consistently reports incidents that never happened, are reported nowhere else, and for which he offers no supporting evidence. His frequent sightings of “armed thugs” intimidating little old ladies in the Zócalo is a typical example.

In other words, Mark looks an awful lot like a shadowy, systematic liar.

Given that nothing that he says checks out, and no information is available to confirm his cover story, I, unlike Olavo de Carvalho, would not repeat a single word he says as fact, or recommend, as GVO does, that readers merely discount his apparent ideological bias, as though he were merely an overenthusiastic Red State blogger.

The real bias here appears to be against the outmoded values of the “reality-based community.”

See also Oaxaca Blog Wars.
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Civita is Civil with the Casa Civil

Mino Carta, gadfly of the Brazilian mass media, advises:

Engana-se quem aponta a edição de livros didáticos como o centro das pendências da Abril com o governo federal. Roberto Civita, boss da editora, mira em negócio muito mais fabuloso, a internet sem fio. Especialistas falam em centenas de milhões de reais. Outros, em bilhão.

If you think that textbooks are the focus of the Editora Abril’s pending business with the federal government, you’re wrong. Roberto Civita, the boss of the place, has in eye on a much more fabulous business: Wireless Internet. Some specialists talk about hundreds of millions. Others of billions.

Ao enredo: Civita tem tido conflitos recorrentes com os capatazes da revista Veja. Há alguns meses pede moderação em relação ao governo Lula. Reportagens contra o PT e a administração federal teriam sido engavetadas. Nos corredores da empresa, o boss arriscou-se a afirmar que contrataria Dilma Rousseff, ministra da Casa Civil, para administrar a Abril.

To our story: Civita has repeatedly clashed with his henchman at Veja magazine. Several months ago he asked for moderation in relation to the Lula government. Reports harmful to the PT and the federal administration were to be set aside. In the hallways of Abril, he even ventured to say that he would hire Dilma Rousseff, minister of the Casa Civil, to run Abril.

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