Sunday, October 31, 2004
1 Million Black Votes 'Lost' in 2000
In a BuzzFlash
interview with Greg Palast (via Working for Change
via ratboy's anvil
), he talks about his documentation of the disenfranchisement efforts by the GOP in 2000 that resulted in almost 2 million
votes going uncounted, half of which were minority
I've been working with the statisticians from the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and Harvard Law School. In the year 2000, 1.9 million votes were cast and not counted across this country –- 1.9 million votes. And of those 1.9 million votes, about a million were cast by African-Americans. This investigation was conducted by Harvard and the Civil Rights Commission, and I grabbed the material. There's a 1965 Voting Rights Act that gave black people the right to vote, but not the right to have their votes counted.
All this came out of my first investigation in Florida. I brought it to the attention of the Civil Rights Commission that the so-called "spoilage rate" seemed to be different among black people than with white people. What that means is that, if you make a mistake on a ballot, or if there's some problem with reading your ballot, your vote doesn't count.
In Florida, the researchers went precinct by precinct and determined that if you are a black person, you are 10 times more likely to have your vote marked spoiled and voided than if you're a white voter –- 10 times! And what's disgusting is that that is the national average. So we basically have a big black thumbprint on the electoral scale in our election, and it's going to be worse in 2004.
As it turns out in Florida, 90,000 mostly African-American voters -- which is the latest official number from the courts -- were illegally targeted for removal from the voter rolls. Those people were not allowed to even register to vote and therefore didn't cast a ballot in the election.
But for those African-Americans who did get to vote, their votes were far more likely not to be counted than other votes. I saw this in Florida, and it is deliberate. When it's 10 to 1, as any statistician told me, unless lightning strikes seven times in one spot, how can it not be deliberate?
For example, in black counties in Florida where paper ballots were used, if you made a mistake on a ballot -– a single wrong mark –- your ballot was thrown out and your vote wasn't counted. If you voted in predominantly white counties, and you made a wrong mark, your ballot was handed back to you. You were given a fresh ballot, and told to vote again and told how to correct your mistake. How about that?
What we're seeing this year is worse, a ratcheting up with the bold use of political operatives in positions of power (state Secs of State, Atty's Gen, county election officials, Govs) changing the rules to, as that Detroit Republican put it, 'suppress the vote.' Palast says changing the rules is SOP for the GOP.
[T]he trick of this apartheid "spoilage rate" -- that's the technical term -- the trick to lose a million votes or make them disappear is to keep radically changing the system. Because what happens is that technicians fix the systems. In Florida, they fixed the problem with the paper ballots, and, therefore, they had to throw out the paper ballots. For example, the blackest county in Florida is Gadston. One in eight voters -– one in eight voters! -– had their ballots thrown out in the blackest county in Florida. It had the worst spoilage rating, and they knew it. They knew that there was going to be this problem with their ballots in advance.
Democrats had warned election officials and warned Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush that this was going to happen, in advance of the election, and nothing was done. After the election, it was fixed. And in 2002, there were basically no spoiled ballots in Gadston. So now that black people have their votes counted in Gadston, they've now been ordered to switch them over to computers. Because the system currently works -– it's been fixed -– and that can't stand.
And as we reported
, e-voting machines are already showing signs of tampering in Texas and New Mexico that turn a choice for Kerry into a vote for Bush--'accidentally', or because of 'voter error'. As usual, none of this is being reported by the mainstream press. Palast has given up thinking it ever will be.
I can't tell you how many progressive reporters say, well, in Florida, all these thousands of black people -– the state said that it's all fixed now, and they've all been returned to the polls and are eligible. I said, "Name five people who have been returned to the polls out of the 90,000 who lost their vote." I just went down to Florida and I found the missing voters. And I asked, "Can you vote now?" "No." "Have you tried to register?" "No, can't do it." It's still the same game and the same con. And the last thing that the media chieftains are going to do is say that the American elections are fixed.
You know what's amazing to me? The Los Angeles Times ran a profile of Greg Palast -– you know, the great international investigative reporter born in Los Angeles yada yada -- a nice profile, right? So I went to the editor, and I said, "If I'm the great international investigative reporter, why don't you actually run one of my reports?" I said, "You know, there's a million black votes missing in America."
They weren't interested.
Posted at 06:06 pm by Ethel, the Early-Warning Frog
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Posted at 05:04 pm by Ethel, the Early-Warning Frog
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Ohio seems to be the central battleground for Republican dirty tricks. Jerome Armstrong at My DD
reports that the latest scam involves sending registered mail to voters and then challenging any that don't respond by picking it up.
The details about "Caging" and what the Republicans have planned to do are coming into view. The Republicans have been compiling lists (probably in the tens of thousands) of voters whom they have culled from lists of those newly registered, mailing registered mail to them, preparing lists of those who did not accept the Republican Party mailing, and then challenging their right to vote.
ELECTION BOARD THROWS OUT 976 CHALLENGES BY REPUBLICAN PARTY
GOP Challenger Barbara Miller Could be Indicted on Felony Charges
AKRON, Ohio - The Summit County Board of Elections abruptly threw out 976 challenges of voter eligibility by the Republican Party today after Barbara Miller, the challenger, revealed that she did not have any personal information about the eligibility of any of the challenged voters.
Instead, Miller said that her challenges were based on a list of "undeliverable mail" given to her by the Republican Party. The list was based on a GOP mailing sent to registered voters throughout the state of Ohio.
After Miller presented this as her evidence, Russell Pry, Summit County Election Board member, told her that she could be indicted for signing a sworn challenge without any personal knowledge about the eligibility of the voters. Miller's reaction was to plead the Fifth Amendment.
Catherine Herold, the first voter challenged at the hearing, told the board that she believes that she was on the undeliverable list because she "refused the letter when she saw that it came from the Republican Party." She and many others expressed anger that their eligibility had been challenged - which could force them to vote by provisional ballot on Nov. 2.
"This is an outrage," Herold said. "I feel as if I am being called a liar for claiming to live at my address."
The Summit County Board of Elections has indicated that they plan to call in the Department of Justice to conduct a criminal investigation of the challenges.
John Williams at Thudfactor
, which is where I found the link, lays out the beauty of the way this slimy, undemocratic, sleazeball attempt at fraud works.
Registered mail must be signed for. If you are not home when registered mail arrives, you have to go to the Post Office and pick it up. If you do not it gets sent back as “undeliverable.”
Now, imagine you don’t like the Republican party and you get a notice that mail from the RNC is waiting for you at the post office and you have to come in and stand in line to pick it up. If you’re like me, you say “I’m not voting for their man, and I’m certainly not going to the Post Office to pick up more campaign junk mail.” Hell. If the DNC sent me something registered mail without warning me, I probably wouldn’t pick it up.
Almost sounds like this mail test was designed in bad faith, doesn’t it? Almost as though they wanted false positives.
'Almost'. A short round-up
of some of these illegal and/or unethical scams made its way into the NYT today but with one crucial detail missing. See if you can guess what it is.
Reckless voting-roll purges are still throwing eligible voters off the rolls. And this year has produced new outrages, such as Glenda Hood, the Florida secretary of state, ordering election officials to throw out voter registrations when applicants fail to check a box saying they are citizens - even though they swear they are elsewhere on the form.
[I]t's hard to avoid the conclusion that at least some of these officials are intentionally trying to stop eligible people from voting. Ohio's secretary of state recently issued an order, which he rescinded in the face of loud protests, that voter registrations submitted on insufficiently thick paper would be thrown out. Last week, Missouri's secretary of state said there was nothing wrong with groups that run registration drives throwing out registrations that they promised to hand in.
Did you catch the glaring omission? Yes, that's right, boys and girls, he didn't mention the party these three officials belong to.
They are, needless to say, all three of them, Republicans. In its ever-increasing determination not to piss off the party in power, the NYT is loading its coverage of GOP dirty tricks with language meant to make it sound like 'everybody's doing it'. Except 'everybody' isn't
doing it. The Republicans are doing it, exclusively and everywhere there's a chance it could make a difference.
They're not even bothering to hide it effectively; it's as if they don't really care whether they get caught or not. And why should they? Their core constituency has been so brainwashed and is so inured at this point to degradation and slime that they actually defend these tactics using the excuse that the Dems are setting up phony voter drives. That there is ZERO evidence of this doesn't phase them a bit. They know
it's happening and therefore they're simply acting in self-defense.
But of course
the Dems are rigging votes. They're traitors, scum, liars, and thieves. They don't have ethics and scruples like the GOP. They would do anything
to win whereas the poor Republicans are always at a disadvantage because they're trying to play by the rules. And the SCLM in the person of the NYT obligingly gives them cover by pretending that 'everybody does it.'
Go to the My DD
link and read the transcript of the hearing. Ms. Miller may wind up going to jail for being the GOP's down-home patsy on this. And remember--they're challenging 35,000 votes. As of today, only a thousand of them are safe.
Posted at 06:33 am by Ethel, the Early-Warning Frog
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Saturday, October 30, 2004
The Election From Baghdad
River at Baghdad Burning
has a few words to say about how our election looks from there.
American Elections 2004...
Warning- the following post is an open letter of sorts to Americans.
So elections are being held in America. We’re watching curiously here. Previously, Iraqis didn’t really take a very active interest in elections. We knew when they were being held and quite a few Iraqis could give an opinion about either of the candidates. I think many of us realized long ago that American foreign policy really had nothing to do with this Democrat or that Republican.
It sometimes seems, from this part of the world, that democracy in America revolves around the presidential elections- not the major decisions. War and peace in America are in the average American’s hands about as much as they are in mine. Sure, you can vote for this man or that one, but in the end, there’s something bigger, more intricate and quite sinister behind the decisions. Like in that board game Monopoly, you can choose the game pieces- the little shoe, the car, the top hat… but you can’t choose the way the game is played. The faces change but the intentions and the policy remain the same.
Many, many people have asked me about the elections and what we think of them. Before, I would have said that I really don’t think much about it. Up until four years ago, I always thought the American elections were a pretty straightforward process: two white males up for the same position (face it people- it really is only two- Nader doesn’t count), people voting and the person with more votes wins. After the debacle of four years ago, where Bush Jr. was *assigned* president, things are looking more complicated and a little bit more sordid.
I wouldn’t normally involve myself in debates or arguments about who should be American president. All I know is that four years ago, we prayed it wouldn’t be Bush. It was like people could foresee the calamity we’re living now and he embodied it. (Then, there’s that little issue of his being completely ridiculous…)
After a fairly tame beginning, she really gets rolling.
Someone once wrote to me, after a blog barrage against Bush, that I should tone down my insults against the president because I would lose readers who actually supported him. I lost those readers the moment I spoke out against the war and occupation because that is what Bush is all about. He’s not about securing America or Iraq or ‘the region’- he’s about covering up just how inadequate he is as a person and as a leader with war, nonexistent WMD, fabled terrorists and bogeymen.Go read the rest
Some people associate the decision to go to war as a ‘strength’. How strong do you need to be to commit thousands of your countrymen and women to death on foreign soil? Especially while you and your loved ones sit safely watching at home. How strong do you need to be to give orders to bomb cities to rubble and use the most advanced military technology available against a country with a weak army and crumbling infrastructure? You don’t need to be strong- you need to be mad.
Americans- can things be worse for you? Can things be worse for us in Iraq? Of course they can… only imagine- four more years of Bush.
Posted at 06:51 pm by Ethel, the Early-Warning Frog
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Friday, October 29, 2004
Taking Good News Where You Can Find It
Sondra Kornblatt's Dad is never wrong about who wins.
Since he turned 21 in time to vote for Truman, Mr Kornblatt has voted for the winner in every Presidential election. This year, he's voting for Kerry.
He supported Bush's invasion of Iraq, his focus on business, and the concerns against terrorism. He doesn't love Kerry. But that's who he's voting for. Bush, says my dad, surrounds himself with mean people and a president is only as good as his Cabinet.
I type my father's decision with my Kerry-Edwards button on my chest. I hope my bellwether-dad rings true another election.
Yeah, Sondra. Us too.
Posted at 06:35 pm by Ethel, the Early-Warning Frog
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The Beat Goes On: IRS Threatens NAACP
Well, everybody knew it was going to get nastier the closer the election got, and we knew the Bushies have no scruples, they've proved that time and again. So actually, I suppose, it shouldn't really shock anybody that the same IRS that ignored Jerry Falwell's blatant politicking on behalf of Bush despite numerous vocal objections is threatening to revoke the NAACP's tax-exempt status because Chairman Julian Bond dared to criticize Dear Leader in a speech
WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 - The Internal Revenue Service has begun reviewing the tax-exempt status of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, citing concerns over a speech given by its chairman, Julian Bond, at its annual convention last July in Philadelphia.
In a letter dated Oct. 8 and released Thursday, the I.R.S. told the association it had received information that Mr. Bond conveyed "statements in opposition of George W. Bush for the office of presidency" and specifically that he had "condemned the administration policies of George W. Bush in education, the economy and the war in Iraq."
The letter reminded the association that tax-exempt organizations are legally barred from supporting or opposing any candidate for elective office.
Mr. Bond's speech on July 11 included a long section that sharply criticized the Republican Party, Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for their positions on an array of issues important to black Americans.
In an interview Thursday, Mr. Bond defended his remarks, saying they focused on policy, not politics.
"This is an attempt to silence the N.A.A.C.P. on the very eve of a presidential election," he said. "We are best known for registering and turning out large numbers of African-American voters. Clearly, someone in the I.R.S. doesn't want that to happen."
He added, "It's Orwellian to believe that criticism of the president is not allowed or that the president is somehow immune from criticism."
This action is less Orwellian than Tammany Hall-ian. Or Richard Nixonian. It's the pure exercise of unrestrained power trying to hang on. The Bushies are leaving no base uncovered, no stone unturned, no election law unbroken in their manic effort to put Dear Leader back in the driver's seat so they can end this irrelevant, annoying 'democracy thing', throw it on the Trash Heap of History where it belongs, and replace it with a time-honored system that has been the rule for most of civilized mankind's time on the planet: the Imperial Oligarchy.
Back to the Future we go.
Posted at 06:16 pm by Ethel, the Early-Warning Frog
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Don't Worry--Ashcroft Will Vote For You
In yet another bold bid to move Constitutionally-mandated powers from the judiciary to the executive branch, Ashcroft's Dept of Injustice is arguing that courts have no right to accept legal challenges brought by voters
. That's right, campers: the DoI is reserving that right
to itself and itself alone.
WASHINGTON — Bush administration lawyers argued in three closely contested states last week that only the Justice Department, and not voters themselves, may sue to enforce the voting rights set out in the Help America Vote Act, which was passed in the aftermath of the disputed 2000 election.
Veteran voting-rights lawyers expressed surprise at the government's action, saying that closing the courthouse door to aspiring voters would reverse decades of precedent.
Since the civil rights era of the 1960s, individuals have gone to federal court to enforce their right to vote, often with the support of groups such as the NAACP, the AFL-CIO, the League of Women Voters or the state parties. And until now, the Justice Department and the Supreme Court had taken the view that individual voters could sue to enforce federal election law.
But in legal briefs filed in connection with cases in Ohio, Michigan and Florida, the administration's lawyers argue that the new law gives Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft the exclusive power to bring lawsuits to enforce its provisions. These include a requirement that states provide "uniform and nondiscriminatory" voting systems, and give provisional ballots to those who say they have registered but whose names do not appear on the rolls.
"Congress clearly did not intend to create a right enforceable" in court by individual voters, the Justice Department briefs said.
This statement is breath-taking in its legal assumptions. What the DoI is saying is that NO law is enforceable by the courts unless the Congress explicitly says it is
. This doesn't just trash 'decades of precedent', it trashes the whole notion of a judiciary independent of Congressional or Executive will. So much for the Constitutional separation-of-powers doctrine.
Some election-law experts believe the administration has set the stage for arguing that the federal courts may not second-guess decisions of state election officials in Ohio, Florida or elsewhere.
J. Gerald Hebert, a former chief of the department's voting-rights section, said he was dismayed that the government was seeking to weaken a measure designed to protect voters.
"This is the first time in history the Justice Department has gone to court to side against voters who are trying to enforce their right to vote. I think this law will mean very little if the rights of American voters have to depend on this Justice Department," said Hebert, who worked in the voting-rights section from 1973 to 1994.
Um, yeah. Tell it, J Gerald.
Posted at 05:19 pm by Ethel, the Early-Warning Frog
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Voting Machines Are All Republican?
Julie-Beth at il-sorted ephemera
has come up with one of the earliest examples of e-voting 'problems'. In Austin, Texas, the home of the eSlate voting machine, Democratic voters are finding their presidential choice 'accidentally' changed from Kerry to Bush. 'Accidentally'. Republican election officials concluded it was 'voter error'
Travis County election officials have responded to complaints that voters casting straight-party Democratic ballots are discovering, when performing a final check of their ballots, that their votes for president have been changed from Kerry/Edwards to Bush/Cheney. The officials say that, after trying and failing to replicate the problem on its eSlate voting machines, they have concluded the vote changes are due to voter error rather than mechanical failure.
Gail Fisher, manager of the county's Elections Division, theorizes that after selecting their straight party vote, some voters are going to the next page on the electronic ballot and pressing "enter," perhaps thinking they are pressing "cast ballot" or "next page." Since the Bush/Cheney ticket is the first thing on the page, it is highlighted when the page comes up – and thus, pressing "enter" at that moment causes the Kerry/Edwards vote to be changed to Bush/Cheney.
I don't know, but if it was me and I was used to using computers, I'd think that after making your selection you had to press 'enter', wouldn't you? But apparently you don't, and if you do, you change your vote. This is either deliberate fraud or inept design (funny how either of those somehow always leads to a Republican vote, isn't it? How come voting machines never screw up favoring the Democrats? Just luck, you think?).Fraud
# eSlate is manufactured by Hart InterCivic, an Austin-based company with heavy ties to Bush. CEO David E Hart
has raised over $100K for the Bush campaign.
# eSlate voting machines in New Mexico are doing exactly the same thing
Kim Griffith voted on Thursday— over and over and over.
She's among the people in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties who say they have had trouble with early voting equipment. When they have tried to vote for a particular candidate, the touch-screen system has said they voted for somebody else.
It's a problem that can be fixed by the voters themselves— people can alter the selections on their ballots, up to the point when they indicate they are finished and officially cast the ballot.
For Griffith, it took a lot of altering.
She went to Valle Del Norte Community Center in Albuquerque, planning to vote for John Kerry. "I pushed his name, but a green check mark appeared before President Bush's name," she said.
Griffith erased the vote by touching the check mark at Bush's name. That's how a voter can alter a touch-screen ballot.
She again tried to vote for Kerry, but the screen again said she had voted for Bush. The third time, the screen agreed that her vote should go to Kerry.
She faced the same problem repeatedly as she filled out the rest of the ballot. On one item, "I had to vote five or six times," she said.
Michael Cadigan, president of the Albuquerque City Council, had a similar experience when he voted at City Hall.
"I cast my vote for president. I voted for Kerry and a check mark for Bush appeared," he said.
He reported the problem immediately and was shown how to alter the ballot.
Cadigan said he doesn't think he made a mistake the first time. "I was extremely careful to accurately touch the button for my choice for president," but the check mark appeared by the wrong name, he said.
Bernalillo County Clerk Mary Herrera said she doesn't believe the touch-screen system has been making mistakes. It's the fault of voters, she said Thursday.
'Voter error.' That's something when the goddam President of the City Council doesn't know how to use the machine he probably chose for the city to buy.
# From David at Black Box Voting
comes another story from Alamagordo, NM, about a man who tried to vote for a Democrat for County Clerk and saw that his vote had been switched to the Republican candidate.
He reported it as a problem to the election official present at the time. When that official was asked about it later, he said he had a statement from the man that he 'was satisfied'. The voter, contacted later, was anything but, and his statement of 'satisfaction' wound up in the County Attorney's office. (eSlate not responsible for election-official ass-covering, I'm just saying: it's all part of the GOP Grand Plan. Maybe. Incompetence
Again from Black Box Voting
, we have the report from last Friday about difficulties with eSlate. It seems that in early voting in Austin, half their voting machines didn't work
I arrived at Highland Mall at approximately 6:15 and arrived at my early voting place, I was astounded at the fact that there was a line to vote. I thought to myself that this was great, record turnout! No, the line was there because 6 out of 11 (Voting Booths #6 through #11 which was one specific side of the voting half circle) Hart eSlate machines were down.
While I was still waiting in line the person who was supposed to look at the machines showed up, he examined the eSlate in booth #6 or #7 and walked off talking on his cell phone. As I was in the voting booth (Booth #1 to be specific) at 6:34 casting my ballot the person who had shown up to examine the machines came back and had a conversation with David Fitzgerald and explained that he couldn't do anything to fix them and he would have someone come out in the morning to look at them.
I interpreted this to mean that the "technician" they sent out to fix the machines was incompetent himself, or unequipped by his employer to do anything because he didn't appear to be carrying any equipment or tools with him.
Shortly after that someone waiting in line to vote struck up a conversation with David Fitzgerald about the problem with the machines, and he further explained and I heard clearly being in Booth #1 which is closest to the machine where they hand you the slip of paper with the confirmation number on it (The post that David Fitzgerald was manning) that the voting machines which presumably worked yesterday went down today because they started pulling up the ballot for the LAST election instead of the current one. David Fitzgerald then lamented that he wished they (Hart) would give them some sort of diagnostic device/software to allow them to troubleshoot the machines without having to wait for someone to come out.
Ah. Well...Yes. Be nice, ay?
So is it deliberate fraud, manufacturing screw-ups, or a combination of both? BBV's suggestion for a tech support answering machine message on voting day (good for Diebold, ESE, eSlate--everybody
):Thank you for calling Acme Voting Machine tech support. Your call is important to us, so please choose from the following menu:
If your voting machine has frozen, press "1".
If your voting machine will only vote for Wally O'Dell press "2".
If your voting machine only lets voters play "Democracy for Sims", press "3".
If angry voters are torching your voting machine...
Austin, we have a problem.....
Posted at 05:51 am by Ethel, the Early-Warning Frog
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Wednesday, October 27, 2004
The World Mourns the Loss of the Dream
There has been a good deal of evidence to show that Junior squandered the good will felt toward the US all over the world after 9/11 when he invaded Iraq, and that his imperialist 'my way or the highway' attitude ever since, aggravated by visits to the UN with demands--not even requests--that they clean up his mess for him, have soured relations everywhere. But Ian Buruma, British author of Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies
, says it goes deeper than that
The sexiness of American pop culture was not such a trivial thing. It had the ring of freedom, of a country with endless possibilities, where you could do things that would make the lace curtains of old Europe twitch. Much of this was a myth, of course, as the Beatles, Americophiles themselves, found out when they outraged Middle America as soon as they landed on "The Ed Sullivan Show." American conservatism, like everything else American, runs to extremes. But it was a potent myth, with some substance. What was beautiful was the idea of America, where man was free to pursue happiness in any way he liked, as long as it was lawful (or, perhaps, even when it was not).
Anybody, in theory, and often in practice, could reinvent him- or herself as an American in a way that was impossible to imagine anywhere else. The fact that many Americans, especially if they lacked the advantage of a pale skin, came nowhere near to fulfilling the American dream did not destroy the beauty of the idea. It still held out hope to millions who were poor or persecuted, or just restless, that in America it might still be possible to find a better way of life. Europeans such as myself, born in the aftermath of World War II, also grew up with another, related myth, which had a great deal of substance: liberation from Nazi occupation to the beat of Glenn Miller, the sweet odor of Lucky Strikes and the broad smiles of guys from Memphis or Kansas City. As this summer's anniversary celebrations of the Allied landings in 1944 demonstrated, even the French never forgot that blessing.
But the aggressive disdain expressed by those same armchair liberators for people who disagree with their strategy, or who take a more skeptical view of violent revolution as a national policy, suggests Napoleonic hubris. And the odd insouciance displayed by the democratic warriors toward the systematic assaults on American liberties in the name of security or patriotism suggests a less than wholehearted commitment to democracy at home.
I am often reminded, in the U.S. today, of Britain during the twilight years of Margaret Thatcher's rule. Then, too, hard-line Tories talked a great deal about battling for freedom and the like, but usually in a snarling, spitting, fearful rage against "Europe." The Battle of Britain would be invoked against trade policies hashed out in Brussels. D-day would be remembered in fishery disputes. And Winston Churchill was regularly trotted out as the spirit incarnated by the first female Tory Party leader.
Going to war against states without any evidence that they are part of the terrorist threat, while invoking Munich, Chamberlain and Churchill, does not look like a sensible strategy. Turning the U.S. into an armed fortress, making it harder and harder for foreigners to enter the country, is the opposite of defending an open society. Legal sophistry in defense of torture casts a dark stain on the White House. Harassing harmless campaigners for causes not popular with the current administration damages not only the beauty but also the substance of the American idea of freedom.
What the rest of the world see is an America tossing its image as a bastion of actual freedom into the trash in order to replace it with jingoistic platitudes about a mythical freedom it is always promoting 'somewhere else' while it pursues imperialist policies across the globe and suppresses inconvenient freedoms at home, acts that make a sham of its promise and the rest of its history. The rest of the world is more aware of what we've lost than many of us are, and they mourn even as we 'celebrate' our new status as the Big Dog.
Posted at 04:57 pm by Ethel, the Early-Warning Frog
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Saw this on a comment post at Sisters Talk
Speaking of Repub. misconduct, I've had 3 K-E 04 bumper stickers stolen off my car and 2 signs stolen out of my yard. In Knoxville, TN, where I live, the city workers are taking down the K-E signs from public streets and leaving the B-C signs up. On my current yard sign, I put a little note that said, "Theft of this sign will result in a $100 donation to the Democrats." Thieving stopped.
Ingenious solution, but the bit about city employees being used as political operatives, in effect, is more than a little disturbing. Also massively illegal.
While we're on Kerry/Edwards (how was that for a segue?), I ganked this from the site of the comment-writer, Daliwood
Let's review: Bush gets the endorsement of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, the Knoxville News Sentinel (a sort-of print version of Ann Coulter), and the Islamic dictatorship of Iran.
Kerry garners the enthusiastic endorsement of 48 Nobel Prize winners.
Hmm. Tough choice. And he forgot about Vladimir 'I saw his soul' Putin's endorsement--that was a real
coup for Bushie.
Posted at 02:39 am by Ethel, the Early-Warning Frog
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