Tuesday, November 23, 2004

This subject of a stolen election is not going away. Here's a brief summary of the most salient points and a chance to contribute to challenge the results if you're so moved. Let me just point out that exit polls are extremely accurate because they don't poll likely voters; they poll actual voters.
This second link takes you to an article written by a Republican IT auditor (someone who hacks sytems to verify how secure they are). He has looked into this election and concluded what many lefties have, that it was stolen. He explains what was probably hacked and why, and it's not the touch screen machines, but the central vote tabulation systems. Here's the heart of that information:
I feel that it is unlikely that these individual touch screen machines would be targeted. At greater risk than the individual touch screens are the Central Voting Tabulation computers, which compile the results from many other systems, such as touch screens and optically scanned cards. From a hacker’s standpoint, there are a couple of reasons why these central computers are better targets:
a. It is extremely labor intensive to compromise a large number of systems, and the chance of failure or being detected increases every time an attack is attempted. Also, the controversy surrounding the touch screen terminals ensures that their results will be closely watched, and this theory has been born out in recent days.
b. If one were to compromise the individual terminals, they would only be able to influence a few hundred to maybe a couple of thousand votes. These factors create a very poor risk/reward ratio, which is a key factor in determining which systems it makes sense to attack.
c. On the other hand, the Central Vote Tabulation systems are a very inviting target – by simply compromising one Windows desktop, you could potentially influence tens or hundreds of thousands of votes, with only one attack to execute and only one attack to erase your tracks after. This makes for an extremely attractive target, particularly when one realizes that by compromising these machines you can affect the votes that people cast not only by the new touch screen systems, but also voters using traditional methods, such as optical scanning systems, since the tallies from all of these systems are brought together for Centralized Tabulation. This further helps an attacker stay under the radar and avoid detection, since scrutiny will not be as focused on the older systems....

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Thomas Frank, in What's the Matter with Kansas?, points out that it is deranged for people to vote with increasingly fierce commitment for politicians who promise cultural change but fail to deliver it, especially when those same politicians do great economic harm to the middle and lower class. Backlash leaders simply "downplay the politics of economics" and concentrate (watch the shiny object!) on making ordinary Americans feel unfairly persecuted by the liberals. They want old-fashioned values restored.
But once conservatives are in office the only old-fashioned situation they care toBut the only thing right wing power brokers want to revive is an economic regimen of low wages and lax regulations. . . . The leaders of the backlash may talk Christ, but they walk corporate. Values may "matter most" to voters, but they always take a backseat to the needs of money once the elections are won.
But once conservatives are in office, the only old-fashioned situation they care to revive is an economic regimen of low wages and lax regulations. . . . The leaders of the backlash may talk Christ, but they walk corporate. Values may "matter most" to voters, but they always take a backseat to the needs of money once the elections are won.
The trick never ages. The illusion never wears off. Vote to stop abortion; receive a rollback in capital gains taxes. Vote to make our country strong again; receive deindustrialization. Vote to screw those politically correct college professors; receive conglomeration and monopoly everywhere from media to meatpacking. Vote to stand tall against terrorists; receive Social Security privatization. Vote to strike a blow against elitism; receive a social order in which wealth is more concentrated than ever before in our lifetimes, in which workers have been stripped of power and CEOs are rewarded in a manner beyond imagining.
As a formula for holding together a dominant political coalition, the backlash seems so improbable and self-contradictory that liberal observers often have trouble believing it is actually happening. By all rights, they figure, these two groups--business and blue-collar--should be at each other's throats. For the Republican Party to present itself as the champion of working-class America strikes liberals as such an egregious denial of political reality that they dismiss the whole phenomenon, refusing to take it seriously. The Great Backlash, they believe, is nothing but crypto-racism, or a disease of the elderly, or the random gripings of religious rednecks, or the protests of "angry white men" feeling left behind by history.


We've misunderstood the phenomenon long enough, at great cost to ourselves and to this country as a whole--at great cost, indeed, to the very people who espouse it. Understanding it may help us change the dynamic. So, from time to time, I will be summarizing what Frank has to tell us about the details of what he calls "this derangement." Of course, you could beat me to the punch by just buying the book.

Friday, November 19, 2004

This is great stuff from the Sierra club website. Apparently, they spray-adhesived it to the glass door of the DNC. I hope someone there actually read it:

Martin Luther at the DNC
Adam Werbach, former President of the Sierra Club and co-founder of the Apollo Alliance, will be posting "November 3 Theses" on the door of the Democratic National Committee Headquarters on Monday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 am. All who can make it are invited to attend the event. The DNC is located at 430 S. Capitol St, SE in Washington, DC.

Here is the text of Werbach's November 3 Theses:

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."
-- Benjamin Franklin

I.
The 2004 presidential election was lost not by John Kerry over the last several months but by the Democratic Party over the last several decades. Democrats have lost control of all three branches of government for the foreseeable future. We are now a minority party.

II.
When the Senate Democratic leader is defeated while spending $16 million attempting to get the majority of 500,000 votes, the problem is not a lack of funding or effort.

III.
The failure of the Democratic Party to connect with America's desire for fulfillment is political death.

IV.
Democrats are now history's spectators, Republicans its actors.

V.
The obsession with denouncing the radical conservative project as a "lie" has become a useful substitute for vision.

VI.
Renovating Democratic politics is not a question of moving to the right or talking more about religion. It is about creating a framework that once again communicates to the core needs of the American people.

VII.
America is not now, and never was, simply "the economy, stupid." What the American people want is a deeper sense of personal meaning, a national mission, and passion in times of fear.

VIII.
Returning the Democratic Party to majority status will require a political realignment no less sweeping than that which was accomplished by conservatives over the last 40 years.

IX.
Only the breath of a serious and new moral-intellectual vision will be sufficient to resuscitate the Democratic Party.

X.
Democratic candidates will continue to lose as long as they treat Americans as rational actors who vote their "self-interest" after weighing competing offers for health care, jobs, and security.

XI.
Conservatives have spent the last 40 years getting clear about the values they represent. They have even developed a "family values" brand to represent a framework that coheres traditional prejudices around prayer in school, gun rights, restricting abortion, and restricting gay rights.

XII.
By contrast, liberal or "progressive" groups and Democrats have spent the same period of time defining themselves against conservative values, even "morality" in general.

XIII.
If resources continue to flow to the same leaders who have failed to construct a new vision and have thus left the Democratic Party in ruins then we can expect more of the same. And worse. XIV.
Those who resist the process to create a new vision will be left behind.

XV.
Candidates who intend to win should no longer hire consultants who repeatedly lose. Those who counsel caution when dealing with the indifferent, the disaffected, and the undecided do not understand American history. Consultants who advise their clients against offering a clear and compelling vision in fear that it will be attacked should find themselves without a home in the Democratic Party. The sooner they retire, the better.

XVI.
Unconnected at a values level, the Democratic Party's laundry list of policy proposals is a confusing and alienating hodgepodge of special interests bound together by a vague sense that "we're all on the same side." Such a conflation demands no critical self-examination of the interest groups whose turf, and very identities, are treated as inviolable by Party chieftains.

XVII.
The progressive vision must be a direct challenge to fundamentalism in all of its forms: political, religious and economic. It must match fundamentalism's power without replicating its authoritarianism. It must appeal to the values of liberty, equality, community, justice, unconditional love, shared prosperity, and ecological restoration, among many others.

XVIII.
Democrats serious about returning to majority status must:
Retire any leader who believes that we are currently on a winning path that simply needs more money and effort.
Define and articulate a coherent set of values of our base, and be willing to lose those allies who do not share these values.
Fight battles, win or lose, that define and advance our values and expand our political base.
XIX.
In despair and defeat lie the seeds of triumph and victory. In that loss lies the opportunity to define a new progressive politics for the new century.
Posted by Jan on November 12, 2004 @ 9:58AM.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

I'm on semi-sabbatical, so this is a good chance to republish blogs I wrote last summer summarizing the key points from Thomas Frank's book, What's the Matter with Kansas? Frank understands what beguiles ordinary Republicans to vote against their own best interests, and we're going to need that understanding as we work to build the progressive movement. Here is the first in the series.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Anybody that pulls in less than 200K a year and votes Republican has been played, had, scammed. But for this scam to be successful, it must continue to fleece Americans, year after year, all the while convincing them that it's the other guy's fault--the liberal. That's quite a parlor trick, and Republicans have been playing it on people for the last several decades. Thomas Frank's new book What's the Matter with Kansas? details how Conservatives have persuaded much of the American public to vote for its own destruction. The heart of the con is creating a backlash among people who resent feeling one down.
Maybe you were one of those who stood up for America way back in 1968, sick of hearing those rich kids in beads bad-mouth the country every night on TV. Maybe you knew exactly what Richard Nixon meant when he talked about the "silent majority," the people whose hard work was rewarded with constant insults from the network news, the Hollywood movies, and the know-it-all college professors, none of them interested in anything you had to say. Or maybe it was the liberal judges who got you mad as hell, casually rewriting the laws of your state according to some daft idea they had picked up at a cocktail party, or ordering your town to shoulder some billion-dollar desegregation scheme that they had dreamed up on their own, or turning criminals loose to prey on the hardworking and the industrious. Or perhaps it was the drive for gun control, which was obviously directed toward the same end of disarming and ultimately disempowering people like you. Or maybe abortion changed your political sympathies, like the man who was persuaded . . . that the sanctity of the fetus outweighed all of his other concerns, and from there he gradually accepted the whole pantheon of conservative devil-figures: the elite media and the American Civil Liberties Union, contemptuous of our values; the la-di-da feminists; the idea that Christians are vilely persecuted--right here in the U.S. of A.
Well, okay, so these folks want abortion halted and raunchy behavior in films, hip hop and MTV reined in. Fair enough, then, to vote Republican--IF the Republicans ever delivered on their promises to change the American scene. But they don't.
The culture industry is never forced to clean up its act. Even the greatest culture warrior of them all was a notorious cop-out once it came time to deliver. "Reagan made himself the champion of 'traditional values,' but there is no evidence he regarded their restoration as a high priority," wrote Christopher Lasch . . . . "What he really cared about was the revival of the unregulated capitalism of the twenties: the repeal of the New Deal."
Members of this Backlash have hurt themselves most of all, yet they continue to vote for their leaders with increasingly fierce commitment. What is this derangement? More on that subject later.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Since I read What's the Matter with Kansas?, I've come to consider its author, Thomas Frank, the most perceptive Democratic political observer on the scene, running a nose ahead of George Lakoff. And Frank disdains the mealy mouthed DLC, which--as Jeannette Ward pointed out on the ListServ last week--wants to go still more toward the center. What center? The center of the conservative movement? We're already in the center. Frank wants, instead, a new populist revolution:
When beaten [in 1964, did Republicans] surrender their principles and flee for the center? No. They organized. They built institutions. They dreamed up hand-grenade issues designed to shatter their enemies’ coalition.
Reagan was the first GOP leader to bring in the Evangelical conservatives as a major Republican bloc, and this year we have again been forced to admire his wretched handiwork. Another thing that Democrats will notice if they care to look is that this constituency, made up mostly of middle- and working-class voters, is the very group that the Establishment right takes most for granted once it’s in power.
The reason for this is simple: GOP leaders know that Democrats have left this huge part of the electorate with nowhere else to go. The challenge for Democrats is to provide them that place. They need to counter the sham populist themes of Republican culture warfare with real populism—and, yes, with “villainization” of this country’s real elite.

Click here to read Frank's analysis of how the DLC is tugging us toward still another electoral cliff.
What, if anything, can we do to emasculate or circumvent the Democratic party's cynical power brokers? Terry McAuliffe is history. Now can we do something about Al From?

Friday, November 12, 2004

From the Seattle Times:
"At this point the number of irregularities brought to our attention is not going to change the outcome of the election," said DNC spokesman Jano Cabrera. "The simple fact of the matter is that Republicans received more votes than Democrats, and we're not contesting this election."
What could be clearer than that statement? And yet Betsy Vasquez of the Moderate Independent believes the Dems are just lying low and biding their time. Actually, she presents some intriguing support for that possibility, and I'd love to believe her, but ... well, judge for yourself:
INSIDE THE ELECTION FRAUD BATTLE
Think Kerry Is Not Involved In This Fight? Think Again. Also: Fallujah = Operation
Distract From Fixed Election.
by Betsy R. Vasquez
The Moderate Independent

NOVEMBER 10, 2004 - When Senator John Kerry (D-MA) talked about how his policy would be different in Iraq, he kept saying, in effect, 'It's the how, stupid.' He said repeatedly he would fight a "smarter" war.
Flash forward to today. Following the election, there was a problem apparent. The exit polling didn't match the ballot count, and many reasons for that began to become apparent.
John Kerry was faced with three options. One, fight on publicly rather than conceding and put the nation into a media frenzied limbo. Two, concede and go on with his life, turning his back on his promise to his supporters to ensure that "every vote will be counted."
Most people are assuming that John Kerry opted for the second of these while John Edwards, his runningmate, opted for the first, and since Kerry was the big dog, he won out. But people who think this are thinking in Bush terms, all or nothing, either you are for the war or against it, that either Senator Kerry was for recounting the votes or he was against it.
The reality is, John Kerry has chosen a third, much smarter course - just as he said he would all along.
John Kerry realized that to launch a public campaign calling the vote into question would be disastrous. In fact, he likely realized he would be walking right into a Bush-set booby trap.
In particular, during our election coverage we talked about the pending battle of Fallujah, about the timing of it being an election ploy, about how it was following in the constant Bush pattern of creating a media event to sway the election, as he did last time by making the run up to the Iraq invasion come to a head exactly on election week.
Well, the battle in Fallujah began hitting the media hard in the week before the election, right on cue. Of course it was billed as the solution, the battle that - if you just keep Bush in office -will wipe out those insurgents and solve the problems over there. This was yet another obvious use of our nation's troops by President Bush as if they were campaign volunteers rather than non-partisan volunteers to defend our nation.

To read the rest, click here.
Now understand that the question isn't whether Kerry really won or not. The exit polls leave me little doubt on that score. For a fine summary of that evidence, click here. No, the question is whether or not Kerry can prove we were cheated--whether, indeed, he would try even if enough evidence were available. Those are two good questions.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

This was posted on the Thus Blogged Anderson blog. Oh heck, it's short so I'll post the whole thing:

Arkansas Woman Killed in Mistaken Rapture

by Elroy Willis

ARKANSAS CITY (EAP) -- A Little Rock woman was killed yesterday after leaping through her moving car's sunroof during an incident best described as a "mistaken rapture" by dozens of eye-witnesses.

Thirteen other people were injured after a twenty-car pile-up resulted from people trying to avoid hitting the woman, who was apparently convinced that the rapture was occurring when she saw twelve people floating up into the air, and then passed a man on the side of the road who she believed was Jesus.

"She started screaming `He's back! He's back!' and climbed out through the sunroof and jumped off the roof of the car," said Everet Williams, husband of 28-year-old Georgann Williams who was pronounced dead at the scene.

"I was slowing down but she wouldn't wait till I stopped," Williams said. She thought the rapture was happening and was convinced that Jesus was gonna lift her up into the sky," he went on to say.

"This is the strangest thing I've seen since I've been on the force," said Paul Madison, first officer on the scene.

Madison questioned the man who looked like Jesus and discovered that he was on his way to a toga costume party, when the tarp covering the bed of his pickup truck came loose and released twelve blow-up sex dolls filled with helium, which then floated up into the sky.

Ernie Jenkins, 32, of Fort Smith, who's been told by several of his friends that he looks like Jesus, pulled over and lifted his arms into the air in frustration and said "Come back," just as the Williams' car passed him, and Mrs. Williams was sure that it was Jesus lifting people up into heaven as they drove by him.

"I think my wife loved Jesus more than she loved me," the widower said when asked why his wife would do such a thing.

When asked for comments about the twelve sex dolls, Jenkins replied "This is all just too weird for me. I never expected anything like this to happen."

WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE?
by Dan Duncan

Despite narrowly squeaking out a victory in the election, George W. Bush chose to view this as a mandate, saying “I earned capital in this campaign…and now I intend to spend it.” This brings to mind the expressions “be careful what you ask for because you might get it” and “those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.” Get ready America. The seeds of a social revolution are being sown with this election and all that comes from it. I find myself feeling much as I did as a young man when my generation felt it necessary to speak out and protest when we saw America heading in the wrong direction. At that time, like many baby boomers, I found myself gradually losing my pride of America and of being an American. I remember feeling disheartened, discouraged and disgusted as the Vietnam war went on and on, and more and more of my generation came home in body bags. Our protests were necessary and ultimately instrumental in impacting the nation’s conscience. We spoke out against that which we felt was wrong and through a largely non-violent and peaceful revolution, effectively silenced the old-guard conservatives who demanded we either love or leave the country. What they failed to understand is we did love the country. Young though we may have been, much of my generation saw that one of the strengths of America was the allowance of dissent and civil disobedience as part of what made it strong, unique and self-correcting; humble enough to face it’s mistakes, resilient enough to become stronger as a result.

Now I find myself feeling much as I did back then. I don’t like what I see happening in America. Once again, disheartened, discouraged and disgusted. Once again not proud of America or being an American, and I wonder about the promise of my generation? Sadly, I see us failing to live up to our potential or self-intent. We were to be the generation that would address unbridled materialism, foster a non-judgmental and more loving spirituality, conquer the disgrace of racism and above all, no longer use our young people as fodder for old men’s unnecessary and macho wars of will and ideology. Instead, much of my generation has evolved into a generation of dittoheads, who embrace not the best of what our potential might have been but the worst of what Rush Limbaugh and his clones now spew out daily throughout the media. What a shame. The Flower Power Generation, for all its foibles and failings, had at its roots the ideals of peace and love, perhaps the most intelligent and noble of all human aspirations. Intelligence, however, can be held hostage by human emotions. Case in point is 9-11. 9-11 created a situation to which we must respond in the interest of protecting ourselves, but if that response is purely visceral and retaliatory, we lose the wisdom necessary to recognize the difference between a politically based opportunity and an appropriate course of action. With this loss of wisdom we lose much more than we can afford to lose, we lose our integrity. Proof positive that when emotions take over, logic flies out the window.

I can already hear the response of the neo conservatives. With all their holier-than-thou piety, they would declare me to be naïve, stupid or unpatriotic. I am none of those. What I am is not unique. What I am is one of many who see compassionate conservatism as an oxymoron and feel disgusted with the nauseating religious extremism that has imposed itself into America’s government, so ironically making us more and more like those very countries we have disdain for (and go to war with). It is evident that the neo-conservative ideologues would have us believe they have all the answers, they know best, their actions purely patriotic and if you disagree with them, well…you know the rest. Intelligent Christians in America understand the wisdom of keeping church and state separate. What concerns me however, is the evangelical Christians. Their type of religious extremism can be found in other religions and in other countries, always with the same results of division, acrimony and ultimately, wars that kill people in the name of God. So, I have this to say. If you don’t like what is going on in this country you’d better be prepared to speak out, and do not allow yourself to be intimidated. If you love America but see it becoming an America you are concerned about, or worse yet, ashamed of, you’d better be prepared to act out. I bang the gong of the new generation. Shake off your apathy, vote, get active and get involved in the mechanics of your country. After all, it is your friends and peers that will arrive home in the body bags now and it is your generation that will benefit, or not, from the decisions of the Bush administration. I must also speak to my own generation. Don’t let the ideals we stood for as young people die. Wake up and remember yet another expression we were known for…either you’re part of the problem or you’re part of the solution.

Dan Duncan
St. Louis


Wednesday, November 10, 2004

On Tuesday, Ruth Ortbal posted an article on the ListServ that summarized a book on voting fraud in this country since 1970. Ver-r-r-y interesting.
Another article from K4P

"The Problem Goes Deeper. Below are excerpts from a riveting article which goes to the very core of the problem. The author's father and uncle uncovered serious elections fraud years ago and suffered severely for trying to reveal the truth. In 1992, they published the book Votescam which exposed major elections fraud, only to have it effectively banned. They both died young in the 1990s. Please pass on this powerful information which is so vital to the future of democracy. Invite all of your friends and colleagues to forward this message, and to join together in calling for election reform.

For the full original article,
click here.
A Brief History of Computerized Election Fraud in America (Excerpts)
By Victoria Collier

Squadrons of shiny new touch screen Trojan horses are being rolled into precincts across America. Not, as we are told, to make voting easier or more accurate. The real reason America is being flooded with billi ons of dollars worth of paperless computerized voting machines is so that no one will be able to prove vote fraud. These machines are not just unverifiable, they are secretly programmed. Their software is not open to scrutiny by election officials or computer experts. They are also equipped with modems accessible by computer, telephone, and satellite.

We the People are responsible for taking back the control of our democratic process. No one else will do it for us. We cannot afford to be naive, or uneducated at this time in history. In order to fully understand the extent of the corruption we are dealing with, and to avoid making dangerous mistakes based on ignorance, we must understand the history, and the power structure, behind vote fraud in America.

I grew up with two men who spent twenty-five years investigating vote fraud in America: James and Kenneth Collier, my father and uncle. Their book, Votescam: The Stealing of America was published in 1992 and immediat ely banned by the major book chains, which listed the book as "out of print" and actively worked to prevent its sale. Votescam chronicles the Collier brother's groundbreaking investigation into America's multi-billion dollar election rigging industry, and the corporate government and media officials who control it. [First five
chapters available free online]

The Votescam investigation began in 1970, in -- surprise! -- Dade County, Florida, where Ken ran for Congress (with Jim as his campaign manager). Ken was rigged out of the election through a vote scam, which the Colliers later discovered was used throughout the country for decades. It went like this: The local newscaster would announce during the broadcast of election returns that the election "computer has broken down." Instead of giving official returns from the county courthouse, the networks would be running vote "projections" for the rest of the night.

Jim and Ken, who had garnered 30 percent of the vote , noticed that when the vote totals came back on the screen after the announcement, they had mysteriously lost 15 percentage points. They didn't get another vote for the rest of the night. When they examined the "official" election results from for the September primary, October run-off and November final election in Dade County, the record listed a total of 141,000 votes cast for the governors race in each election. The exact same number of total votes were cast for three elections with a different number of candidates running each time. The same identical
figures were listed for the Senate race in the primary, run-off and final election.
This, of course, is a statistical impossibility.

When they compared the "official" vote results with a print-out of the vote "projections" broadcast by the TV networks on the final election night, they found that channel 4 had "projected" with near perfect accuracy the results of 40 races with 250 candidates only 4 minutes after the polls closed. Channel 7 came even closer; at 9:31 pm, they "projected" the final vote total for a race at 96,499 votes. When the Colliers checked the "official" number . . . it was also 96,499.

The networks then made the astonishing claim that the results from a single voting machine somewhere in Dade County were run through a computer program in order to get these vote projections. Elton Davis was the computer programmer responsible for the magic formula that could convert one machine's vote results into near perfect projected vote totals for 40 races and 250 candidates. When Jim and Ken confronted Davis in his office at the University of Miami, he responded: "You'll never prove it, now get out."

Finally the networks claimed that members of the League of Women Voters were out in the field on election night, calling in vote totals to channels 4 and 7. When the Colliers confronted the head of the League, Joyce Deiffenderfer, she admitted that there were no LWV membe rs out in the field that night. She broke down crying, saying "I don't want to get caught up in this thing. When the TV networks claimed that the courthouse computer had broken down, and they would no longer be reporting actual vote totals, they were lying. They had never been reporting actual vote totals. The final shoe dropped months later when an official press release appeared from Dade data processing chief, Leonard White, which stated emphatically: The county computer at the courthouse was never down, and it was never slow.

This was the beginning. The Collier brothers had slammed their boat into the tip of a giant iceberg. As they continued to investigate, they were horrified to discover vote fraud collusion among key individuals in every branch and on every level of the American political system. Those who were not benefiting from the fraud were too afraid to fight it. Their search for justice led to dead-ends. Their lives were threatened. They were vilified as conspiracy theorists by the mainstream press . . . and yet they persevered.

The next quarter century was spent compiling a wealth of FBI documented evidence proving that elections in the United States have come under the tight control of a handful of powerful and corrupt people. Jim and Ken both died young during the 90's, as heroes to many thousands who heard them speak on the radio and at political meetings across the country. They helped to guide individuals and groups working for clean elections in their ommunities. The Collier's last hope was that Votescam would be used as evidence in a serious Congressional investigation into election fraud.

Many people still in power have yet to be held accountable for their role in aiding and abetting vote fraud. I'll give you two important examples. Famous Miami lawyer Ellis Rubin brought the original Votescam evidence to the Florida assistant State Attorney at the time, Janet Reno. The evidence included the shaved wheels of lever voting machines, forged canvass sheets, and pre-printed vote tally sheets. Reno refused to prosecute, claiming falsely that the statue of limitations had run out on the crime. Years later, Rubin would tell my father that behind closed doors Reno had stated that she could not prosecute. Why?
Because she would bring down many of the most powerful people in the state.

Another notable Votescam criminal can now be found sitting on the bench of the highest court in the nation. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, while still a Federal Appeals Judge, single handedly destroyed what would have been an historic lawsuit filed against Justice Department lawyer Craig Donsanto, who had refused to prosecute the extensive vote fraud evidence brought to him by the Colliers. The evidence included videotape of the League of Women voters tampering with ballots in a close door vote "counting" session. The women were illegally punching holes in already cast ballots.

I'd like to offer a brief list of important lessons learned from twenty-five years of fighting vote fraud in the trenches.Secret vote counting is illegal. Counting faster is not a justification for
counting secretly.Lever machines were the first to appear, and they were riggable in a number of ways. One could rig the lever machine itself, or the electronic scanning machines that counted the ballots. (See the Votescam video for footage of ballot rigging).
Computerized voting machines are the easiest to rig. Their software is not open to public scrutiny, or the scrutiny of Election Supervisors. There are nearly infinite ways to program the machines to count votes fraudulently. Since they are accessible by modem, they can be controlled from a remote, centralized location. Voting machine companies operate with no federal oversight, certification process, standards or restrictions. Just two companies -- Election Systems and Software (ES&S) and Diebold Voting Systems -- now control about 80% of the vote count in the U.S.Both the Democratic and Republican parties have been complicit in vote rigging for decades, to their mutual benefit. Vote rigging is NOT a partisan issue.The corporate major media networks play a vital role in perpetrating and covering up vote fraud.
Election Day media polls are untrustworthy at best.
The gravest error of judgment these days comes from those vote reformers who honestly believe that the answer to the butterfly ballot and hanging chad problems in the 2000 election is to embrace the ballot-less computerized voting machine. With the ballot-less computer, there is no way to recount, no way to prove any discrepancy, inaccuracy or fraud. Just the fact that companies like ES&S and Diebold would even make a ballot-less machine should be cause for a Congressional investigation. (There are also many other reasons to investigate them. For a detailed examination of these sinister corporations, check out
http://www.blackboxvoting.org

A most grave error of judgment also comes from those who think that returning
to a hand-counted paper ballot system is somehow impossible. An MIT/Cal Tech
study done in 2001 shows that manually counted paper ballots are the most
accurate system out of the 5 systems used in the last 4 presidential elections.
They are totally verifiable, and first-world nations across the globe still use
them, including Canada which counted their last presidential election in four
hours.

The bottom line is that a computerized vote count is a secret vote count, and
that's illegal. Technology cannot supercede the constitutional and mandatory
provisions of election law, which require open and verifiable elections. There
is no way to do a public vote count with computers. The count must be done by
hand, in public, video-taped, aired live on television, and the results
posted on the precinct wall -- just like they used to be. Ballots should be counted
on the same day as the voting takes place, making it much more difficult to
alter ballots. Hand counted paper ballots and eternal vigilance are the only
hope left for us.

A long time writer and political activist, Victoria Collier continues to
educate the public on the subject of vote fraud in place of her father and uncle.
She is the editor of http://www.votescam.com Victoria is available for
interviews and can be reached at 1-866-280-9090 and at editor@votescam.com

For reliable, verifiable information on other major cover-ups which directly
affect our democracy, see www.WantToKnow.info
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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Progressive Thoughts for the Liberal Mindset
Dyan Ortbal-Avalos

Since black Tuesday I have been silent, collecting my thoughts about what has happened in our Country. I couldn’t watch the news, and I couldn’t read my e-mails. I had to repeatedly tell my mother who would call, “I can’t talk about it yet Mom.”

Today, I can talk about it, but I don’t particularly want to, well not in the “dwelling on it” sort of way. Do I think the election was stolen? There is an old African proverb that goes something like this… Until the lions have their own historians, tales of hunting will always glorify the hunter. We will probably never know the extent of what really happened with the likes of Sinclair Corp. and, the anti-Christ himself, Rupert Murdoch controlling our media. However, there are certain things that we do know for sure.

The established Democratic Party is not working for us as progressives. The DNC, the DLC, the state parties, it is time for a wake up call. Bye-bye Terry McAuliffe, we need some new blood. Even at the state party level, we must infuse new ideas, a new and better way to do things. I don’t blame these organizations for our current situation; I blame us, all of us who didn’t even know who was running our state Democratic Parties or the DNC before this election cycle. We took too much for granted for too long, and now we must pay the price. Unfortunately, our price is extremely high and particularly repressive.

I am sick of hearing how “brilliant” Karl Rove and the maniacal machine are. What they do is not brilliant, it is evil and thoroughly corrupt, and the fact that we could lose the so called “moral majority” to the likes of these immoral sleaze bags and their sheep herding antics just proves that we are not properly expressing and framing the issues.

For instance, I am tired of hearing about patriotism. I love my country, but I will no longer consider myself to be patriotic. Patriotism is egotistical. Should we consider ourselves better, more righteous, more intelligent, more deserving than any other human being because of the country in which we inhabit and the values of our particular culture while discarding the rights of others to believe in their own cultures? This kind of arrogance leads to unnecessary war as an attempt to impose our superiority upon all others. Can’t we start promoting a new phrase for patriotism that encompasses our planet not just our country? Something like “I’m a Global Patriot, I love all of God’s Creations”, or “Patriotism is a Worldwide Value”, Well, I wasn’t a marketing major but you get the idea.

It is so obvious to many of us that we need to reframe the issues in this country to reshape the minds of the average churchgoer who votes based on one or two issues and clearly cannot see the big picture. From our views on preemptive war to the death penalty, the environment, as well as healthcare for our children, we do have morality on our side, and we must make others understand that. Yes, that’s right, I said it, we have morality on our side. If I didn’t believe that fully, I wouldn’t be who I am today. If there is one Supreme Being, put whatever title to him or her that you want, I know for sure that he loves my gay Uncle Victor and would never want him to feel like a second class citizen. Inclusion is love and love is everything.

Some of us have grumbled lately that although we agree with the rights of the GLBT community, we wish they had remained silent through this election so it could not be used against us by the Christian “ so wrong” Right. While I agree that this issue did mobilize the fear-mongers to seek out and exploit every last drop of prejudice, the cause was a worthy one, and silencing the worthy is just as untruthful as lying. Those who hate others based solely on race, religion, or sexuality, are a dying breed, and we should be proud to be ahead of the curve and on the right side of this issue. No backing down for political expediency, which would be cowardly and not at all progressive. You need only look back a few decades to realize that we are making huge strides in the plight to end discrimination, one step forward, two steps back, as they say. We can’t get anywhere if we don’t keep taking the bold steps forward, because they will be happy to start running backwards if we don’t.

So where do we go from here? What do we do next? I will quote Albert Einstein who said, “We cannot solve problems we have created with the same thinking that created them.” We need to change our party. We need to reshape the word Democrat, linking it to the term "progressive" rather than "liberal." The negative connotations placed on the word liberal are too much to surpass at this time. We are progressive, we are moving forward, advancing. We can reclaim "liberal" once we reshape our party. We must keep fighting for our beliefs, we must continue to seek out progressive candidates to fight for, and we must figure out the best way to pump a gallon or two of grassroots sensibility into our figurehead organizations. We can make a difference, after a few days of quiet reflection, which followed closely behind a few days of crying like an abandoned child, I have come to realize that all of our efforts are not in vain. We are progressives, and the slowest force in all of nature is progress, always moving forward with the quiet strength of perpetual motion.

One day soon, the lions will have their historians.

Dyan Ortbal-Avalos
DFA / Change for Missouri
http://www.changeformissouri.com

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Everyone with a lick of sense is in shock and mourning today. The other half of the country is bouncing blithely, blindly along, oblivious to the knowledge that they have just elected to ruin our country.

I won't be publishing for a few days. My machine needs repair, and besides, I can't listen to the news.

Monday, November 01, 2004

This election season's most underreported story is attempts at voter suppression by the truly repugnant party. Bob Herbert, in today's New York Times column, describes a couple of instances I hadn't heard about, one of them ludicrous, the other more disturbing, and both openly racist.
Also mind-boggling is the attempt by Republican Party elements to return the U.S. to the wretched days of the mid-20th century when many black Americans faced harassment, intimidation and worse for daring to exercise their fundamental right to vote. A flier circulating extensively in black neighborhoods in Wisconsin carries the heading "Milwaukee Black Voters League." It asserts that people are not eligible to vote if they have voted in any previous election this year; if they have ever been found guilty of anything, even a traffic violation; or if anyone in their family has ever been found guilty of anything.
"If you violate any of these laws," the flier says, "you can get ten years in prison and your children will get taken away from you."
In Philadelphia, where a large black vote is essential to a Kerry victory in the crucial state of Pennsylvania, the Republican speaker of the Pennsylvania House, John Perzel, is hard at work challenging Democratic voters. He makes no bones about his intent, telling U.S. News & World Report:
"The Kerry campaign needs to come out with humongous numbers here in Philadelphia. It's important for me to keep that number down."

They say charity begins at home. Well so does democracy, George. Please don't insult us with your platitudes about freedom in Iraq.
Here's the link in case you'd like to see the rest of Herbert's column.