1. One of the central problems of the democratic process is that very often, if you give people an opportunity to choose their own leadership, they'll install a theocracy...sometimes a fairly totalitarian one.
2. Tinfoil-hattery? Perhaps. But it has been pointed out that in precincts where paper elections took place, the exit polls matched the results. In precincts where Diebold electronic voting machines were used, Bush seems to have gained about 5 percentage points over the exit polls.
3. In all the hubbub, American news has been too busy to report a major world event: The president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed, has died. My friend who lives in the UAE forwarded me this excellent link that tells a little bit about him. She says the entire country is in mourning, that the outpouring of love and sadness is overwhelming, and, on a practical level, she is unlikely to be able to get her clothes dryer fixed for quite some time.
4. Buying fried chicken from a gas-station food counter is a good idea only in the extremely short term.
5. Something ate my jasmine down to bare sticks! Grrrrrr.