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Everything's grist

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The fax rolled out in the late afternoon, part of the usual batch of club date announcements, advertisements and protest alerts we receive at the Indy.

This one was particularly eye-catching, marked by a solid black band at the top and a screaming headline, "Should Timothy McVeigh's Execution be Televised?" Underneath the headline were two boxes, one marked "YES" and the other, "NO." The one-page missive urged readers to dial the 900 numbers listed under each box to register their "votes," which would then be "presented to President Bush, the Justice Department and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons." In smaller print toward the bottom of the page was a note that calls to these numbers would cost $2.95 per minute, "a small price for greater democracy," the fax said.

Attempts to reach 21st Century Faxes Ltd.--the New York outfit responsible for the fax--were futile. The company isn't listed in Directory Assistance, and calls to the phone number listed on the fax led to a message recorded by a man with a questionable British accent, who merely offered directions on how to be dropped from the mailing list.

Finally, a visit to the Web site where results of the McVeigh "poll" are supposed to be listed (http:www/poll-results.com) turned up a new company moniker, PollResults.co.uk, and a series of past poll "results" on gun laws, gay adoption, Microsoft's monopoly and Jerry Springer.

If this is voting, we'll take a dimpled chad.

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