Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Connecting the Dots

If you watched Patrick Fitzgerald's press conference on friday, you probably missed a very important information coming out of that press conference.

He used the "baseball" analogy to describe the lack of evidence to indict on the original crime of "the outing of a CIA agent with covert status". "If someone throws sand in the umpire's eye, or blocks his view from seeing the facts, the umpire can't determine whether it was intentional or not"

What was more important his statement regarding the fact that Scooter Libby lied to him and the Grand Jury. Had Libby told him the truth, "we would have been here in October 2004 instead of October 2005."

That means, if we'd knew this in october 2004 Bush would not have been elected as President.

For all those pundits, showing puzzlement about the stupidity of Libby for not telling the truth, think again. Libby deliberately lied to postpone the outcome of the Special Counsel's investigation to after the presidential election.

Read E.J. Dionne at Washington Post connecting the dots

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Emperor's Nakedness.

With all the bad rap the New York Times got, thanks to one reporter, named Judith Miller, the New York Times encompasses the most serious political commentators. Experienced journalism that can sort through the events overwhelming the populace.

One of the distinguished op-ed writers at NYT is Paul Krugman.

I came across a NYT column written by Paul Krugman dissecting the clothing of the Emperor.

The Rove political machine created the image of Chimpy as tough, decisive leader, a wartime president unleashing the shills and war enthusiastic crowd to portray him as an inspiring patriot. Also at the first Inauguration, by promising the restoration of morals and ethics to the "Clinton blemished" image of the White House. That set the bar high as a highly ethical and moral leader

Paul Krugman deconstructs all the myths surrounding this president.

•Katrina took away the tough, decisive leader, a wartime president image.
•The Plamegate unmasked the fact that he is not an an inspiring patriot
•The Libby indictments and the gray surrounding the case dispelled the myth of highly ethical and moral leader

That leaves the our leader naked, for who he is, a bumbling, awkward, ignorant, less than average human being, but you should read for yourself how eloquently Paul Krugman deconstructs our sorry ass president.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

News that fall through the cracks. Thanks MSM

This past monday, Oct. 17, in New York City, there was a civil disobedience, conducted by " Grandmothers Against War" They are the same old ladies called "Grandmothers for Peace" prior to the launching of the War in Iraq.

This courageous group of grandmothers ages 49 to 90, went to the Recruiting Office in Times Square, to enlist in the Armed Forces under the rationale that "we lived a long, prosperous life and by enlisting we can relieve some of our young soldiers from Iraq and give them a chance to live just as we lived".

As they arrived to the Recruiting Office, the recruiters didn't want to enlist old ladies in the Armed Forces, so they locked the entrance door and hid behind their desks.
The grandmothers rang the doorbell repeatedly, but the marines were too scared to show their faces.

The old ladies thought: "if they are so scared of us, can you imagine how scared the insurgents would be in Iraq?"

The recruiters don't want to face gays and grandmothers at their office. The protesters set down on the sidewalk blocking the entrance to the Recruiting Office; the hardest thing they had to do with their worn joints.

Eighteen of them were arrested, jailed and booked and to the credit of Mayor Bloomberg (who is due for re-election) the cops were very nice to the grandmothers. They even help them up from the pavement, gingerly.

They were released from jail after four hours. They promised to return every wednesday to Rockefeller Plaza in protest of the War, until the troops come home.

You go ladies!

PS. Next week if indictments are handed out, regardless how many senior administration officials are indicted, it will throw this country in turmoil and constitutional crises. Lets celebrate putting the American Flag out. It can't be worst than three more years of this administration. After all it's Fitzmas season.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

American Fascism

The American Heritage Dictionary defines fascism as "a system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism." Fascism is synonymous with corporatism.

Corporatism is government run by and for corporations in the belief that it is the most "efficient" model of national management. It is the model that has been used by ultra-conservative totalitarian regimes in the past century. It is also the model by which corporations run themselves. The government enables the supremacy of a few over the majority of it's citizens.

A version of corporatism or economic fascism was adopted in the United States in the 1930s and survives to this day. In the United States these policies were not called "fascist" but "planned capitalism." The word fascism may no longer be politically acceptable, but its synonym "industrial policy" is as popular as ever. Economic fascism intensifies "national spirit" and is the antithesis of democracy. Fascism combats the whole complex system of democratic ideology, and repudiates it in its theoretical premises or in its practical application. Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute, in comparison with which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived of in their relation to the State.

Corporatism views human rights of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population is brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. The tactic is to use secrecy, denial and disinformation.

Corporatism was present in the Unites States since it's inception in a less obvious appearance through lobbyists and corporate political contributions. Certain administrations tried to enact it with different degree of aggressivity. The most remarkable were the Reagan and Bush administrations.

The philosophy is simple: shift national wealth to the right leaving few resources available for social programs. They both started their administrations by giving tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations and squandering the US Treasury. Then fat political contributions by the wealthy towards the ruling party financed their re-election campaigns. They both appointed lobbyists or former corporate CEOs in key cabinet positions or advisory bodies. The Bush administration came into power with full control of the congress enabling it to be more aggressive in implementing "the plan":
- Discouraged competition by deregulating all industries to enable corporate takeovers and monopolize all wealth and power in the country. Relaxed environmental regulations to increase profits for the corporations. Disguised every measure with patriotic and political slogans like "patriot act", "clean air or clean water act", "save our forest act".

- Ridiculed labor organizations, by marginalizing their impact on society, or outright vilifying them or their actions. It is destroying the working class by subsidizing the outsourcing of jobs, to help big business fill their pockets with profits.

- Started a war to distract attention from domestic shortcomings. Demonizes and vilifies a country, a social group, religion or political party to excite the misinformed masses and intensify national spirit. Crushes opposition or criticism of governing policy by acquiring all media corporations that will report only the good news from the war. Employs hordes of war cheerleaders to intimidate and silence dissent.

- Privatized the war by hiring mercenaries ("private contractors"). Working feverishly to privatize social security, medicare, the public school system, and the prison system. Uses terrorism as reason for all misdeeds; reason to invade a foreign country, high gasoline prices, shortage of jobs etc. Disguises the invasion as "liberation". Uses the war to excite nationalism. Uses nationalism to build consensus. The effect is to render the citizenry more dependent on government, and to empty the cash-box in case a reformist administration comes to power.

- Allies itself with the religious right to legitimize it's actions. The religious right recruits and profits more from citizens pushed into poverty than a prosperous middle class.

- Transforms the country into a corporate welfare system by allowing them to rape and pillage all the wealth or national resources. Those in business circles and close to the power elite use their position to enrich themselves. The power elite receives financial gifts and property from the economic elite, obtains vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources.
This is the antithesis of capitalism and democracy.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

"The Quiet American"

There are a lot of conspiracy theories polluting the Internet. I, myself, am not a "conspiracy theorist", nor do I give a lot of credence to various implications of high crimes and misdemeanors. Yet there are many inconsistencies surrounding events of the New Millennium, terrorism, war and political actions taken all around the world.

The USA was founded on most liberal and progressive philosophy of it's time. It's inception had inspired the whole human race to pursue freedom, liberty and happiness of each individual of the human community. The words "equality" and "opportunity" were born.

The American democracy exemplified a social model of coming out of an outmoded, cruel, bloodsucking, feudalistic system. It even inspired The French Revolution.

Determined by it's Constitution the USA had never attempted to colonize foreign land or people. Rather it had adopted a policy of "commonwealth" with the acceptance of the subjects of the foreign land.

That certainly hadn't stopped the USA from attempting a World Dominance. Unfortunately, government is made up of individuals and self serving people. It is human nature that compromises the perfect social system, no matter how hard our forefathers worked to write a Constitution with checks and balances, and amendments to assure liberty for individuals within society and withstand time, the social system will be compromised.

Even if you don't believe in conspiracy theories, the abundance of them points to the lack of trust in our government. That is an alarming sign, and the reasons are scattered throughout history.

Recently I watched a shocking movie: "The Quiet American". I don't know how much fact and how much fiction is portrayed in this movie. It is about Vietnam and the chaos premerging our ill fated war. Vietnam was a French Colony. With the help of the USSR and The People's Republic of China, North Vietnam was founded in 1950, and after losing the battle of Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 the French had recognized North Vietnam. After that it was all downhill for the French. North Vietnamese forces constantly attacking the South, anti-french forces emerging in the South lead by reactionary generals hungry for power. It was obvious that the weak French could not hold on to power for much longer. In the midst of this turmoil, the Quiet American emerged. A civilian Import-Export businessman (CIA Agent) provided the bad generals with plastic explosives (under a fertilizer name) to blow up innocent bystanders on the streets of Saigon and blame it on the communists from North Vietnam.

After applying this street terror against their own people and the weakening of the french rule, the US helped emerge Ngo Dinh Diem as president of South Vietnam. The French drew out of Vietnam tempting the North to go for the whole pie. There was a power vacuum. The North Vietnamese backed by PRC and USSR would have swept the South in a heartbeat. The Quiet American (i.e. CIA) with it's government hungry for world domination had helped weaken the French's power (no sympathy for the french) provided arms and money facilitating the ill fated Vietnam War.

Now we all know the outcome of that war.

Suddenly I remembered the history lesson from high school. Every war had pretext and reason. They are very different from one another. (i.e. WMD, Al-Qaida Connection against Oil and Mid-East domination)

Governments have a curious way to conduct business. You should check out this document, released by the DOD to president Kennedy in the 60's. Operation Northwoods Obviously, Kennedy never considered it. We know this by now.

The introductory text entry point for this document is at Pentagon Proposed Pretexts for Cuba Invasion in 1962 () and is reproduced here:
"In his new exposé of the National Security Agency entitled Body of Secrets, author James Bamford highlights a set of proposals on Cuba by the Joint Chiefs of Staff codenamed OPERATION NORTHWOODS. This document, titled "Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba" was provided by the JCS to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara on March 13, 1962, as the key component of Northwoods. Written in response to a request from the Chief of the Cuba Project, Col. Edward Lansdale, the Top Secret memorandum describes U.S. plans to covertly engineer various pretexts that would justify a U.S. invasion of Cuba. These proposals -- part of a secret anti-Castro program known as Operation Mongoose -- included staging the assassinations of Cubans living in the United States, developing a fake "Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington," including "sink[ing] a boatload of Cuban refugees (real or simulated)," faking a Cuban airforce attack on a civilian jetliner, and concocting a "Remember the Maine" incident by blowing up a U.S. ship in Cuban waters and then blaming the incident on Cuban sabotage. Bamford himself writes that Operation Northwoods "may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government."

I am not a conspiracy theorist, yet, when Karl Rove is in hot water for a week, getting worse by day, Bush is standing alone at the G8 Summit, without his favorite topic "terrorism" at forefront, having to agree to the majority to help the African people, and do something about global warming, his popularity at historic low, the terrorist attack on London makes me wonder...

Friday, February 11, 2005

You Go, Dr Dean !

Sunday, January 30, 2005

21st Century Values

Before my arrival in the USA, I resided in Rome, Italy for a few months. I befriended in Rome an old gentleman who had a family restaurant. We used to sit in his restaurant and debate political and social issues.

His opinion about America I could sum up in his own words:

"Americani, grande bambini".

I don't think I need to translate that. It speaks loudly what America is all about from a European view.

The more I see, I am more convinced how true it is. The lack of social and political maturity of the American people is mind boggling. More distressing is the deterioration of moral values. And I am not talking about gay marriage, or indecency on the air waves.

I am talking about lies and deceit which have become the norm of surviving in this society.

You see lies as an acceptable way of dealing with social issues and common interaction in society, in sit-coms, TV Commercials, in reality shows, in the news coverage, political debates, government policies. If you turn on your TV and flip through channels they all scream at you: "It is OK to lie".

In my view, this syndrome is more dangerous than gay marriage, or occasional nudity shown on our television screens, or the lack of attending the sunday mass.

Everything is the result of a horse race mentality, competition pushed to the limits, beyond rationality. Winning is more important than principle, moral value, justice in society and in the name of winning anything goes:
If you look at reality shows, they are peppered with lies, deceit, conniving, elbowing, stopping short of murder. In TV commercials, lying is a cute way out of an impossible situation. In news coverage, giving forum to liars is a common practice. In political debates it's called either flip-flopping, or blatant denial of truth. Government reasons of invading another country are embarrassing, proven to contrary outright lies. Manipulation of wording and facts is confusing a whole nation.

It is all about winning!! Mothers of prospective child beauty pageant contestants are conspiring to murder the competition, fathers of child sports events fist-fight over winning, disgruntled employees spill blood of their colleagues with high powered killing weapons to revenge misdeeds done by their employers.

Fairness and value is a thing of the past. In political debates, they used to call each other as "my distinguished opponent". Conceding defeat used to be gentlemanly, for the good of the country

Now it is about the "horse race". No matter how ugly or how handicapped my horse is, anything goes to WIN.

Football mentality has penetrated our everyday life. We want our team to win, and if the referee penalizes our team for a flagrant fault committed by one of our team players, 80,000 boo's will fill the stadium disapproving that decision despite the facts replayed over and over on the Big Screen on the stadium. Does that mean that 80,000 people lost their sense of justice, fairness or value? I don't think so. They're just blinded by the desire to win. Our team has to win, no matter what.
This syndrome has penetrated even the presidential election. People have turned a deaf ear to the truth, and voted for the TEAM. You could draw that conclusion from the pundits, arguing against the truth with the most undisturbed facial expressions.

It is scary. It signals anarchy, and breakdown of reason for social coexistence.

That is very sad for the future of this country. The political and social immaturity of the members of this society is alarming to me. People act in a manner that reminds me of my days in kindergarten. Immature, spoiled, self-righteous, beyond reason spoiled brats.

Are we too spoiled? Have we lost our dignity ? Are we teaching our children, that winning is more important than principle ?

Are we denying "Liberty and justice for all" ?

If we do, we're DOOMED my friends.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Democracy and the Media

In recent history we have seen that in case of all revolutions, uprisings, coup d'etat's, regime overturns, the first thing that happened was always the take over of the national television stations, major newspapers and radio stations. Controlling the flow of news and information brings success to your cause. People need to know what's happening in order to side or oppose the events.

Democracy could not have been achieved without the help of the Media. The Media has a duty to defend Democracy. The Media is the watchdog of events unfolding and protector of democracy. It is the duty of the Media to inform the masses with fact based news and authentic stories.

I don't expect the media to join the conspiracy theories over the internet. That would be wrong and misleading, and would make people lose confidence in the system. But it is the Media's duty to investigate and dispel doubts about conspiracies. I believe that the conspiracy syndrome is a result of the failures of the Media to investigate, discuss and digress the anomalies of the political and physical events.

What really concerns me, that the Media fails to prevent disaster. Just like in law enforcement, preventing crime is more important than investigating a crime committed.

If the party in power, under the watchful eyes of the Media, purposely ignored the faults of the system before this election, and collaborated with the weaknesses of the law regarding elections, to consolidate it's power, how you fix it now?

The Media among a million other anomalies, failed to bring the stories about all those law-suits and legislative proposals (never brought up in Congress, because Tom DeLay didn't want them acted upon) to get a law voted on, requiring paper trail to the electronic touch-screen machines.

I may sound a doomsday prophet, but I see how the moral fiber of the society is eroding. And I mean the real moral fiber, not the fake one, so much attention given to it by the Media. They never talk about the loss of honor on a great scale in this society. Looking back at the election campaign, where the motto was "anything goes", when a whole mass of population accepts lies, deceits, and dishonest insinuations, and the Media gives them a forum (swift boat liars) to spew hatred to the masses, it horrifies me, you, and other people like Walter Cronkite, Carl Bernstein, or Bob Woodward, who established the norms of investigative journalism.

My concerns about the country turning fascist are real and based on previous experience. You may not see it, but I lived 33 years under totalitarian regime, and I see the writing on the wall.

Every time I bring up the subject, I am dismissed condescendingly, that it could not happen here since we're "thee democracy" we have the longest standing Constitution on earth. Well, I studied the "The rise and fall of Adolf Hitler" and experienced on my skin how totalitarianism evolves.

Fascism will sneak up on you. They can't change the laws and the Constitution by radical means. If you study Mussolini, you will see that first, you move consensus, then rewrite the laws. Hitler came to power in 1933 as Chancellor. They had also 2x4 years term limit; that would end his reign in eight years. Just before that date, in 1938 ( by then, he moved and intimidated the consensus ) they passed a resolution changing the tenure of the Chancellor "for life".

Moving consensus. Let me give you examples from our era.
Before Howard Dean, the consensus for war was so great (if you remember) that you would not dare to bring up a counter opinion in a discussion without being a fist shoved down your throat. (remember all those SUVs decorated with the American flag?) Dean came out and reminded us that it is O.K. to dissent. So, we have overcome (kinda) that danger.

How you move the consensus? You create an appearance of majority opinion in your favor with the help of favorable Media propaganda, dispatch foot-soldiers into social communities to intimidate dissent from your agenda, slowly reducing some of the timid dissenters to silence. Then marginalize the remaining dissenters "as enemy of the state" using the argument "if you're against our policy, you're against the country, or the military etc."

Steal an election, then use the defeat of the opposition as a tool to intimidate their psyche and move their position closer to yours. Now, I see this so called "moral-value" issue that came out of this election, plaguing the country. (i.e. Saving Private Ryan broadcasting controversy, the Monday Night Football fiasco)

Are we turning into a puritan society??? No, it is a ploy to send the Democratic Party into disarray, and soul searching. While they'll do that, and their defense is low, you'll crush them for good.

Then, one day you wake up and wonder: where is my country?

I truly love this country, and am concerned by everything happening to democracy and if I can in any way influence events or people for the good of this great country, I will do so. Perhaps my opinion can make the Media more vigilant and help them become true protectors of democracy.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

What ever happened to Capitalism ?

My consternation about what is happening these days with giveaways to the super-rich, the manipulation of wealth of this country toward the right, deregulation of industries to favor big business and destruction of the middle class created by virtue of capitalism, led me to this question;

What ever happened to Capitalism ?

Capitalism is an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market. Economic system in which most of the means of production are privately owned, and production is guided and income distributed largely through the operation of markets.

Capitalism as a way of thinking is fundamentally individualistic, that is, that the individual is the center of capitalist endeavor. Translation is that all men are not equal. The meaning is that each man is individual and particular to the best of his ability to adopt and survive. This idea draws on all concepts of individuality: that all individuals are different, that society is composed of individuals who pursue their own interests, that individuals should be free to pursue their own interests ( this, in capitalism, is called "economic freedom"), and that, in a democratic sense, individuals pursuing their own interests will guarantee the interests of society as a whole.

Capitalism as a way of thinking is fundamentally based on the large-scale social goal of capitalism is to produce wealth, that is, to make the national economy wealthier and more affluent than it normally would be. Therefore, in a concept derived from the idea of progress, the entire structure of capitalism as a way of thinking is built on the idea of "economic growth." This economic growth has no prescribed end; the purpose is for nations to grow steadily wealthier

Economics, the analysis of the production and distribution of goods, has to be abstracted out of other areas of knowledge. In other words, capitalism as a way of thinking divorces the production and distribution of goods from other concerns, such as politics, religion, ethics, etc., and treats production and distribution as independent human endeavors. In this view, the fundamental purpose and meaning of human life is productive labor.

The economic world view treats the economy as if it were mechanical, that is, subject to certain predictable laws. This means that economic behavior can be rationally calculated , and these rational calculations are always future-directed . So, the mechanistic view of the economy leads to an exclusively teleological world picture; capitalism as a manipulation of the "machine" of the economy is always directed to the future and intentionally regards the past as of no concern. This, in part, is one of the fundamental origins of modernity, the sense that the cultural present is discontinuous with the past.

The fundamental unit of meaning in capitalist and economic thought is the object , that is, capitalism relies on the creation of a consumer culture, a large segment of the population that is not producing most of what it is consuming. Since capitalism, like mercantilism, is fundamentally based on distributing goods-moving goods from one place to another-consumers have no social relation to the people who produce the goods they consume. In non-capitalist societies, such as tribal societies, people have real social relations to the producers of the goods they consume. But when people no longer have social relations with others who make the objects they consume, that means that the only relation they have is with the object itself. So part of capitalism as a way of thinking is that people become "consumers," that is, they define themselves by the objects they purchase rather than the objects they produce.

Social-democratic system is to regard state regulation ( without state ownership) as sufficient to ensure economic growth and a fair distribution of income. System of social organization in which private property and the distribution of income are subject to social control; also, the political movements aimed at putting that system into practice. The philosophy of socialism is that all participating members of that society deserve a fair share of wealth or at least minimum staples of society as health care, job, or living corders. There are very successful social-democratic system throughout the world, but it can also degenerate fast into a corrupt government that would control it's citizens through dictatorship.

Capitalism is a natural evolution of society based on individuals desire to be free in their decision to work and pursue happiness. It regards the best capability of each individual, and moves society as a whole. The reinvesting of capital into the future assures prosperity to future generations, moving the national product forward. It builds infrastructure in it's desire to distribute goods and build new markets. By excellence of improving production by organization and application of technology, product per capita increases and the need for development of new markets spurs entrepreneurship. Capitalism by virtue is so successful in building wealth that there is the danger to evolve into a more drastic form as dictatorships through monopolization of wealth and power by a single individual or a group of people that control wealth and national resources. For that reason government intervention is imperiously necessary to regulate certain capitalistic behavior and write anti-trust laws to prevent deterioration of economic conditions, take-overs and creation of super monopoly as an oligarchy.

"The moral justification of capitalism, does not lie in the altruist claim that it represents the best way to achieve the "common good" It is true that capitalism does - if that catch-fraze has any meaning - but this is merely a secondary consequence. The moral justification of capitalism lies in the fact that it is the only system consonant with man's rational nature, that it protects man's survival qua man and that it's ruling principle" - Ayn Rand

Capitalism by virtue of it's philosophy has created democracy, intrinsically to level the field for business endeavor. To enable entrepreneurship society has to be legislated free, since free enterprise is not possible under restriction. Men are not equal, but opportunities should be equally enabled for each member of the society.

Often, democrats are accused of being socialists. That is a myth. Democrats are fighting and safeguarding democracy that is only possible in a capitalist society. Democrats are fighting for capitalism and democracy, the true natural social form.

(Some excerpts from Adam Smith, Richard Hooker, Ayn Rand, American Heritage Dictionary etc.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Tongue n' Cheek Election Thriller

I found this piece on Black Box Voting website;Bev Harris' heroic adventure for our democracy...
Please read!

TUESDAY NOV 16 2004: Volusia County on lockdown

County election records just got put on lockdown

Dueling lawyers, election officials gnashing teeth, film crew catching it all.

Here's what happened so far:

Friday Black Box Voting investigators Andy Stephenson and Kathleen Wynne popped in to ask for some records. They were rebuffed by an elections official named Denise. Bev Harris called on the cell phone from investigations in downstate Florida, and told Volusia County Elections Supervisor Deanie Lowe that Black Box Voting would be in to pick up the Nov. 2 Freedom of Information request, or would file for a hand recount. "No, Bev, please don't do that!" Lowe exclaimed. But this is the way it has to be, folks. Black Box Voting didn't back down.

Monday Bev, Andy and Kathleen came in with a film crew and asked for the FOIA request. Deanie Lowe gave it over with a smile, but Harris noticed that one item, the polling place tapes, were not copies of the real ones, but instead were new printouts, done on Nov. 15, and not signed by anyone.

Harris asked to see the real ones, and they said for "privacy" reasons they can't make copies of the signed ones. She insisted on at least viewing them (although refusing to give copies of the signatures is not legally defensible, according to Berkeley elections attorney, Lowell Finley). They said the real ones were in the County Elections warehouse. It was quittin' time and an arrangment was made to come back this morning to review them.

Lana Hires, a Volusia County employee who gained some notoriety in an election 2000 Diebold memo, where she asked for an explanation of minus 16,022 votes for Gore, so she wouldn't have to stand there "looking dumb" when the auditor came in, was particularly unhappy about seeing the Black Box Voting investigators in the office. She vigorously shook her head when Deanie Lowe suggested going to the warehouse.

Kathleen Wynne and Bev Harris showed up at the warehouse at 8:15 Tuesday morning, Nov. 16. There was Lana Hires looking especially gruff, yet surprised. She ordered them out. Well, they couldn't see why because there she was, with a couple other people, handling the original poll tapes. You know, the ones with the signatures on them. Harris and Wynne stepped out and Volusia County officials promptly shut the door.

There was a trash bag on the porch outside the door. Harris looked into it and what do you know, but there were poll tapes in there. They came out and glared at Harris and Wynne, who drove away a small bit, and then videotaped the license plates of the two vehicles marked 'City Council' member. Others came out to glare and soon all doors were slammed.

So, Harris and Wynne went and parked behind a bus to see what they would do next. They pulled out some large pylons, which blocked the door. Harris decided to go look at the garbage some more while Wynne videotaped. A man who identified himself as "Pete" came out and Harris immediately wrote a public records request for the contents of the garbage bag, which also contained ballots -- real ones, but not filled out.

A brief tug of war occurred, tearing the garbage bag open. Harris and Wynne then looked through it, as Pete looked on. He was quite friendly.

Black Box Voting collected various poll tapes and other information and asked if they could copy it, for the public records request. "You won't be going anywhere," said Pete. "The deputy is on his way."

Yes, not one but two police cars came up and then two county elections officials, and everyone stood around discussing the merits of the "black bag" public records request.

The police finally let Harris and Wynne go, about the time the film crew arrived, and everyone trooped off to the elections office. There, the plot thickened.

Black Box Voting began to compare the special printouts given in the FOIA request with the signed polling tapes from election night. Lo and behold, some were missing. By this time, Black Box Voting investigator Andy Stephenson had joined the group at Volusia County. Some polling place tapes didn't match. In fact, in one location, precinct 215, an African-American precinct, the votes were off by hundreds, in favor of George W. Bush and other Republicans.

Hmm. Which was right? The polling tape Volusia gave to Black Box Voting, specially printed on Nov. 15, without signatures, or the ones with signatures, printed on Nov. 2, with up to 8 signatures per tape?

Well, then it became even more interesting. A Volusia employee boxed up some items from an office containing Lana Hires' desk, which appeared to contain -- you guessed it -- polling place tapes. The employee took them to the back of the building and disappeared.

Then, Ellen B., a voting integrity advocate from Broward County, Florida, and Susan, from Volusia, decided now would be a good time to go through the trash at the elections office. Lo and behold, they found all kinds of memos and some polling place tapes, fresh from Volusia elections office.

So, Black Box Voting compared these with the Nov. 2 signed ones and the "special' ones from Nov. 15 given, unsigned, finding several of the MISSING poll tapes. There they were: In the garbage.

So, Wynne went to the car and got the polling place tapes she had pulled from the warehouse garbage. My my my. There were not only discrepancies, but a polling place tape that was signed by six officials.

This was a bit disturbing, since the employees there had said that bag was destined for the shredder.

By now, a county lawyer had appeared on the scene, suddenly threatening to charge Black Box Voting extra for the time spent looking at the real stuff Volusia had withheld earlier. Other lawyers appeared, phoned, people had meetings, Lana glowered at everyone, and someone shut the door in the office holding the GEMS server.

Black Box Voting investigator Andy Stephenson then went to get the Diebold "GEMS" central server locked down. He also got the memory cards locked down and secured, much to the dismay of Lana. They were scattered around unsecured in any way before that.

Everyone agreed to convene tomorrow morning, to further audit, discuss the hand count that Black Box Voting will require of Volusia County, and of course, it is time to talk about contesting the election in Volusia.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Media Says:Conspiracy is Only in the Bloggers Mind

Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Board of Elections Website - 29 precincts in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, reported votes cast above the number of registered voters - 93,136 extra votes total. And the numbers are on the official Cuyahoga County Board of Elections website below. To verify the discrepancies, first look at the number of registered voters for the below precincts, then scroll down to the number of ballots cast for the precinct. In particular, compare the numbers for the precincts listed below.

Bay Village - 13,710 registered voters / 18,663 ballots cast
Beachwood - 9,943 registered voters / 13,939 ballots cast
Bedford - 9,942 registered voters / 14,465 ballots cast
Bedford Heights - 8,142 registered voters / 13,512 ballots cast
Brooklyn - 8,016 registered voters / 12,303 ballots cast
Brooklyn Heights - 1,144 registered voters / 1,869 ballots cast
Chagrin Falls Village - 3,557 registered voters / 4,860 ballots cast
Cuyahoga Heights - 570 registered voters / 1,382 ballots cast
Fairview Park - 13,342 registered voters / 18,472 ballots cast
Highland Hills Village - 760 registered voters / 8,822 ballots cast
Independence - 5,735 registered voters / 6,226 ballots cast
Mayfield Village - 2,764 registered voters / 3,145 ballots cast
Middleburg Heights - 12,173 registered voters / 14,854 ballots cast
Moreland Hills Village - 2,990 registered voters / 4,616 ballots cast
North Olmstead - 25,794 registered voters / 25,887 ballots cast
Olmstead Falls - 6,538 registered voters / 7,328 ballots cast
Pepper Pike - 5,131 registered voters / 6,479 ballots cast
Rocky River - 16,600 registered voters / 20,070 ballots cast
Solon (WD6) - 2,292 registered voters / 4,300 ballots cast
South Euclid - 16,902 registered voters / 16,917 ballots cast
Strongsville (WD3) - 7,806 registered voters / 12,108 ballots cast
University Heights - 10,072 registered voters / 11,982 ballots cast
Valley View Village - 1,787 registered voters / 3,409 ballots cast
Warrensville Heights - 10,562 registered voters / 15,039 ballots cast
Woodmere Village - 558 registered voters / 8,854 ballots cast
Bedford (CSD) - 22,777 registered voters / 27,856 ballots cast
Independence (LSD) - 5,735 registered voters / 6,226 ballots cast
Orange (CSD) - 11,640 registered voters / 22,931 ballots cast
Warrensville (CSD) - 12,218 registered voters / 15,822 ballots cast

If there is no conspiracy, can anybody tell the People in who's favor those extra votes were cast ?!

Friday, November 12, 2004

Republican Dictionary

Katrina van den Heuvel over the Nation has put together this dictionary.
I swiped it for your eyes only!

BI-PARTISANSHIP, n. When conservative Republicans work together with moderate Republicans to pass legislation Democrats hate.

CLARIFY, v. Repeating the same lie over and over again.

CLEAN, adj. The word used to modify any aspect of the environment Republican legislation allows corporations to pollute, poison, or destroy.

FAIRER, adj. Regressive.

FAITH, n. The stubborn belief that God approves of Republican moral values despite the preponderance of textual evidence to the contrary.

FAITH COMMUNITY, n. Evangelicals, because they are saved, and hawkish conservative Jews, because they are useful. Israel is the bait-on-the-hook just waiting for God to take that Rapturous bite.

FISCAL CONSERVATIVE, n. A Republican who is in the minority.

FREEDOM, n. What Arabs want but can't achieve on their own without Western military intervention. It bears a striking resemblance to chaos.

GROWTH, n. The justification for tax cuts for the rich. What happens to the deficits when Republicans cut taxes on the rich.

HONESTY, n. Lies told in simple declarative sentences: "Freedom is on the march."

HUMBLE FOREIGN POLICY, n. The invasion of any sovereign nation whose leadership Republicans don't like.

HUMBLED adj. What a Republican says right after a close election and right before he governs in an arrogant manner. 

MORAL VALUES, n. Hatred of homosexuals dressed up in Biblical language.

MANDATE, n. What a Republican claims to possess when only 49 percent of the voting public loathes him instead of 51 percent.

THE MEDIA, n. Immoral elitist liberally-biased traitors who should leave Republicans alone so they can complete God's work on Earth in peace and quiet, behind closed doors.

PHILOSOPHY, n. Religion.

SIMPLIFY, tr. v. To cut the taxes of Republican donors.

SLAVE, n. A person without legal rights, e,g. a fetus.

BONUS DEFINITION: NEOCONSERVATIVES, n. Nerds with Napoleonic complexes.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The People Have Decided

The 2004 Presidential Election Result

Sunday, October 24, 2004

The "Shadow Presidency of John Kerry 2001-2004"

Karl Rove, the neocons, George W. Bush, and Dick Cheney are trying to make you believe that when certain (negative) things happened during their reign, the principal culprit was John Kerry.

You would say that George W. Bush is the unluckiest president of modern time. Now all the bad news is not as random as you may think. Popular wisdom suggests that "we are the crafters of our own happiness", or you may say that our own actions may bring our downfall. Another wisdom saying spells "if you live by the sword, you die by the sword". The latter is more representative of the above "clique". Cockiness also spells trouble for most humans (i.e.: Bill O'Reilly)

The Bush administration went down a fantasy path ignoring facts, warnings, expert advice and common sense regarding the running of the country. Utopia, is the closest term to define their philosophy. Utopia is defined as a social philosophy that is not compatible with human nature and is not implementable in real life. Since their utopian vision and subsequently utopian actions, the coming of bad news were unavoidable. Results come based on the fallibility of the underlying philosophy.

While the Bush Administration was busy giving tax breaks to the wealthy, tax breaks to big corporations, deregulating industries to favor big business, privatizing public schools, prisons and the armed forces, giving no bid contracts to corporations which are political supporters, withdrawing from Global Warming Treaty, IBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) Treaty, ignoring all the national issues regarding it's citizens, ignoring all intelligence warnings about terrorist threats, invading the sovereign country of Iraq under false and manipulated pretenses, they could not stop the developments of failures as a result of it's policies.

Here comes "The Shadow Presidency of John Kerry" and the blame goes like this:
1. The failure to prevent 9/11 is John Kerry's, because in the 90's John Kerry proposed a $6 billion cut in the intelligence budget. (that bill has not passed in Congress, rather the Porter Guss' bill, supported by Dick Cheney, much larger than the bill proposed previously).

2. Invading Iraq is John Kerry's fault since he voted for the war resolution.

3. The high casualties of war due to the improperly armored troops happened due to John Kerry's vote against the $87 billion funding of the war. They don't mention that the bill passed regardless of Kerry's protest vote, yet the troops are not properly armored today.

4. The failed policy of the war in Iraq and the increase of the insurgency is a result of Kerry's pessimistic view of the war that aids the enemy.

5. The increase of the gasoline price is the result of Kerry's vote to increase the tax on gasoline.

6. The loss of jobs in this country by outsourcing is the result of Kerry's vote in favor of NAFTA, WTO etc.

7. The high cost of health care is due to Kerry's support of malpractice laws and his siding with the lawyers.

8. The flu-vaccine shortage is Kerry's fault since he sided with the litigators instead of the pharmaceutical corporations and failed to propose a bill in Congress to solve the supply and demand issues.

9. Kerry's failure to introduce a bill in favor of renewing the assault weapons ban makes our streets more dangerous.

10. The slide into poverty of about 4 million people is caused by Kerry's vote against tax relief for the wealthy, preventing any trickle down to the poor.

11. Kerry's protesting the war in Vietnam caused this country 58,000 casualties and the loss of that very war.

12. And finally Kerry bears the responsibility for at least three out of four hurricanes hitting Florida this year, because he is a flip-flopper.

So, on november 2nd make sure to vote and sentence Kerry to death.