Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Even prominent Republicans now concede that George W. Bush presided over the destruction of America, the subversion of the Constitution, defiance of the rule of law. Bush did this by way of two stolen elections. This article reveals how they did it and proposes a ‘fool proof’ method by which elections can be made theft proof! Princeton University has demonstrated how easily the GOP may ‘hack’ voting machines in key precincts, how simple it is to upload malicious code that turns votes for Democrats into votes for the GOP! It not enough to simply make this conduct punishable as ‘high treason’. It can be prevented –thus sparing a guilty gopper hard time in a GOP ‘corporate’ prison guarded by Blackwater.
A team from Princeton University set out to prove once and for all the Diebold voting machines could be hacked easily. Not only did they prove this to be a fact, they created a Diebold specific virus that spreads from voting machine to voting machine.
You can find out more information about the work they did and download a full PDF report on the security vulnerability at this link http://itpolicy.princeton.edu/voting/ This video just reinforces exactly how vulnerable these machines are, and once you take into consideration the fact that these machines are effectively controlling the American Election, it looks even more scary! As always, for the latest news from the world of technology, gadgets, electronics and hacking visit: HACK
With eight days to go before the presidential election, a report has been released by Princeton University and other groups that sharply criticizes the e-voting machines used in New Jersey and elsewhere as unreliable and potentially prone to hacking.The 158-page report, which was ordered by a New Jersey judge as part of an ongoing four-year legal fight over the machines, says the e-voting machines can be “easily hacked” in about seven minutes by anyone with basic computer knowledge. Such hacking activity could enable fraudulent firmware to steal votes from one candidate and give them to another, the report said.The controversy involves the Sequoia AVC Advantage 9.00H direct-recording electronic (DRE) touch-screen voting machines made by Oakland, Calif.-based Sequoia Voting Systems.The report comes amid news stories in at least three states — West Virginia, Texas and Tennessee — where voters have told local election officials that they believe the e-voting machines they used tried to “flip” their votes to other candidates.The AVC machines can be hacked by installing fraudulent software contained in a replacement chip that can be installed on the main circuit board, according to the report. Such a part replacement is very difficult to detect, it noted.Andrew Appel, a Princeton University computer science professor who is one of the authors of the report, said that such security vulnerabilities cause doubts about the accuracy and reliability of the machines.
A permanent fix must be written into US Federal law. Such a law would not merely establish penalties for the guilty GOPPERS who have indulged this practice to the utter destruction of Democracy itself. Federal law should prescribe a ‘hack’ proof system with checks and balances. In other words, we must run ‘hack proof’ elections. Here’s how it works:
- When a citizen records a vote, the machine spits out TWO identical paper receipts indicating how the citizen voted.
- The citizen looks over the receipt while STILL in the booth; if everything is OK, he presses the final SUBMIT key/button on the voting machine itself! If everything is NOT ok, he protests the result and threatens to call the ‘election cops’ if nothing is done.
- The voter now has TWO IDENTICAL RECEIPTS! He/she leaves one behind in a big ‘lock box’ designed to receive all paper ballots, i.e, one of the two identical receipts.
- The VOTER retains the second receipt against the eventuality that the election is challenged.
- If the election is contested, a hand count is conducted of all deposited ‘receipts’ left behind in the big lock box.
It is unlikely, that the voter would be required to supply the final receipt. Any discrepancy between the paper ballots and the machine means one thing and one thing only: the machine was ‘hacked’.
It is conceivable that the ‘receipt’ be machine readable. In that case, a hand count of all receipts would be mandatory if the results of the machine do not match the count of deposited receipts left in a ‘lock box’.
A final point: a new federal law should prescribe the above remedy as a standard in all federal elections. US Codes should create the crime of ‘election fraud’ to be defined in numerous clauses and specifically mandating the above procedure. The ‘hacking’ of any machine utilized in a national election should be addressed in the law which would make such ‘hacking’ a federal offense with severe mandatory hard jail time!
In the meantime, John McCain is predicting he will win the election by winning Pennsylvania! This tells me that McCain is planning to steal the election just as Bush stole Ohio.
Did Tom Brokaw accidentally spill the beans about the vote-rigging in 2004 in Ohio?
On Meet the Press, Brokaw interviewed McCain, and shared this rather suspicious memory:
Brokaw: “Four years ago, I interviewed President Bush at a time when it looked like he may be in trouble against John Kerry — the final weekend of the campaign. I showed him a map. He said, ‘Oh, I just don’t do that. Karl Rove does that.’ As soon as the interview was over, he said, ‘I’ll win here,’ and pointed to southeastern Ohio. Where will you win, if you win?
Why was Bush so convinced he was going to win Ohio? Even though he was down in all the polls, and was way down in all the exit polling on Election Day?And, more to the point, why is McCain still pouring so many resources and so much time into Pennsylvania? —Daily Kos
With any luck, McCain will be sorely disappointed. It may no longer be possible to win the White House by winning –or stealing –a couple of the so-called ‘battleground’ states –Ohio, Pennsylvania or Florida. Because Obama has many more ways than Kerry to get to 270, the outright theft of the election also becomes increasingly problematic for the GOP.
We can only hope that Obama will have his ‘detectives’ out in force. Support efforts to round up and imprison GOP vote cheats, frauds and other criminals! Take back America!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
It’s brilliant and stupid at the same time. It’s so practical, it’s practically perfect; but it’s also ludicrous, and it’s impossible to imagine that it could ever be implemented. Welcome to my one and only post about electoral reform.
Electoral reform is, of course, a chicken-and-egg problem. In order for us — We The People, remember us? — to reform the system, we would have to control it. But in order to control it, we would have to reform it.
And it’s not only a chicken-and-egg problem, but it’s also an impossible one, because we don’t have any chickens or any eggs.
But who cares? We’re knee-deep in campaign propaganda anyway, so we might as well fantasize about something else for a minute. And as I’ve promised, this will be my only post on the subject.
IF — and that’s a huge IF — it were my job to reform the electoral system, I would reinstate some of the time-honored details of democracy which we have lost. We would have paper ballots; they would be counted by hand in public; and anyone who wanted to watch could do so.
But I would discard one principle of ancient democracy which seems very dangerous to me in these modern times. Perhaps there was a reason for it in the old days, when the citizens were a privileged few, and all of them were active in politics. But today, as I see it, there is no justification for the notion that all the votes should be counted equally.
If you don’t believe me, consider the exit polls from the 2004 presidential election. Huge numbers of the people who voted for George Bush thought that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and that Saddam Hussein had been responsible for the attacks of 9/11.
If they didn’t know the difference between the accelerator and the brake, they wouldn’t be allowed to drive a car. So why should they be allowed to drive our country?
If it were up to me, your ballot would start with a quiz. There would be questions about how the government is structured and how it is supposed to function. There would also be questions about recent history and current events. And the more questions you answered correctly, the more your vote would count.
I have no problem with voters expressing their opinions, as long as those opinions are based on knowledge. Under my system, if you knew what was going on, your vote would be fully counted. But if you knew nothing, your vote would count for nothing.
Some critics may charge that my idea for reform is too complicated. I agree. If punching a hole in a machine-readable card is too complicated, all thoughts of reform are ludicrous. And I’ve already said this was a ludicrous idea.
Some may say my plan is elitist and anti-democratic. I agree that it’s elitist. But under my system, the “elite” would not be the few whose families have too much money, but the many voters who make an effort to educate themselves. So anyone who wanted to join the “elite” could do so. And that’s not so anti-democratic after all, is it?
So much for the critics. The benefits would start flowing immediately, in incentives working on the politicians, the media, and the voters themselves.
If deluding supporters meant their votes would become worthless, there would be no reason for any party or any politician to do it — and those who did so would lose.
Any news provider that persisted in lying about the government and the world would effectively be disenfranchising its subscribers. So deceit would be counterproductive to the media as well.
If learning about the basics of government and keeping an eye on the news of the world meant that their votes would become relatively more valuable, some people would certainly start paying more attention. And those who prefer to sit back and slurp the propaganda would become irrelevant.
Does it sound too good to be true? That’s because it is. We don’t have any chickens, and we don’t have any eggs, either. We can’t reform the system without controlling it. And we can’t control the system without reforming it. So I won’t say anything more about reforming this broken system…
But I might suggest that this post be viewed not as a ludicrous proposal for reform, but as a serious comment on why our country’s experiment with democratic government has failed so dismally: for decade after decade, the world’s most powerful democracy has been driven by people who didn’t know the gas from the brakes. And every one of their votes counted just as much as yours.
There is no law in Tennessee against taking into the polling place cameras, still or video, and using them. Encourage everyone you know who will vote to be very diligent in confirming their vote. Any problems should be documented and uploaded to the web. An important thing to consider is to be very nice to the poll workers as long as they are also nice and helpful. Many of these people are clueless to the blatant vote fraud that may occur with the electronic machines and have a very ‘trusting’ attitude toward the government voting process.
by Mary Mancini
This political season, more than any other in recent memory, is irony-filled. So why this incident involving my friend and the wife of UNCOUNTED filmmaker, David Earnhardt, surprises me, I can’t tell you.
My wife, Patricia Earnhardt, had an early voting experience here in Nashville, Tennessee, where she saw her vote momentarily flip from Barack Obama to Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney. She voted on a touch-screen paperless machine. Here is her story:
“A poll worker directed me to a touch screen voting machine & instructed me how to use it. I touched “Obama” for president & nothing lit up. I touched 2 or 3 more times & still nothing lit up. I called the poll worker back over to tell him I was having a problem. He said I just needed to touch it more lightly. I tried it 2 or 3 more times more lightly with the poll worker watching & still nothing lit up. The poll worker then touched it for me twice — nothing lit up. The third time he touched the Obama button, the Cynthia McKinney space lit up! The McKinney button was located five rows below the Obama button. The poll worker just kind of laughed and cancelled the vote. He hit the Obama button again & it finally lit up. I continued on to cast the rest of my votes. After completing the process & reviewing my votes, I went to the VOTE page, hit the VOTE button & nothing happened. Again after several tries, I called the poll worker over & he finally got the machine to register my votes.” Patricia Earnhardt – Friday, Oct. 17 – Howard School Building – Nashville, Tennessee
I also had similar problems with the machine I was voting on that same day, although no vote flipping. I would touch the screen numerous times before I could get my various candidate choices to light up. It was strange and very frustrating. When I finally got through my slate of candidate choices, I could not get the VOTE button to light up when I touched it. I finally called over a poll worker and he told me that I needed to touch lightly. I touched the VOTE button more lightly, but was only able to get it to work after several more failed attempts.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Please, if you experience anything unusual, stay at your polling place, ask to speak with the supervisor, call the election commission (they will have the number), and insist that the machine be quarantined until it can be examined.
By: Devvy Kidd
October 13, 2008
© 2008 – NewsWithViews.com
My last column on hold your nose and vote brought a ton of email. Americans are clearly going ballistic over McCain and Obama being their ‘only choices’. Some people sent mail accusing me of trying to get Obama elected by promoting a write in effort for Ron Paul, i.e.,: “Devvy, you write a good argument against McCain and Obama but your answer to vote for a write in does not cut it.”
What did I say about a write in which appeared at the very end of my column? “Americans who intend to vote for Chuck Baldwin or write in Ron Paul’s name are being called traitors by their fellow Americans.” Somehow in Linda’s mind, my answer to the hold your nose and vote trap is a write in campaign, which I never wrote. What I pointed out is that Americans who choose to vote their conscience are called traitors. How American is that? This is reminiscent of a blasting, thousand word email I received from a woman who accused me of being a bigot for “slamming” Sarah Palin’s religion. What have I written about Palin’s religion? One sentence: “This is a short video of Palin’s speech and those statements at her former church; I believe its called Pentecostal Fundamentalist.” This apparently constitutes bigotry.
Others were incensed and accused me of trying to split the vote by encouraging people to vote for a third party which would hand the election to Obama. For this, I was branded traitor in those emails. No where in my column did I encourage anyone to do anything with their vote. This reminds me of Rod Serling’s classic, You are now entering the Twilight Zone. I suppose I will be blamed for McCain’s bizarre behavior and his campaign sinking this past week faster than Wall Street.
The point of my column was that here we are again four years later singing the same refrain: hold your nose and vote. The question is: how did America end up with Obama and McCain? Top of the list is ignorant voters. These are Americans who have zero understanding of the issues, the constitution or the founding of this nation. If you watch this short video, you will see how ordinary Americans explain why they’re voting for a particular candidate. It goes without saying that I think Howard Stern is a a foul mouthed individual of the first order, but listen to this brief audio of interviews conducted in Harlem. Do sit down or you’re likely to fall down in shock.
If you think these examples are an anomaly, you would be dead wrong. How can the American people be so uninformed, so accepting of the propaganda being shoved down their throats by politicians and blindly begging for totalitarian government? The public indoctrination centers called schools. For forty years, America’s children have been so dumbed down and bred to cattle mentality, they know nothing about the issues, only sound bites and what their party “leadership” tells them. Point the herd in the desired direction, apply the prod and get the desired results.
Today these products of the dumbing down system are voting along with huge numbers of illegal aliens. Millions of Americans listen to talk show hosts who don’t know what they’re talking about; left or right, they simply shill for their party. People like shallow Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Rachel Maddow are dangerous because their agenda is party driven while the law of the land is completely ignored.
It will be a great tragedy beyond measure for this country if Obama is put in the White House. It will only be slightly less tragic if it’s Juan McCain. With voter registration fraud, illegals voting and high tech fraud, no one really knows who won the primaries or who the shadow government will pick next month.
Besides the ignorance of voters who represent the mob with their hands out to mother government, and voting based on skin color, the number one problem is vote fraud, an issue I have been writing and speaking about since 1993. For the past week, the airwaves and radio talk shows have been charged with all the information coming out about ACORN and voter registration. In my last column, I provided links to many of them; the new ones are below. There can be no question that voter registration fraud played a major role in the primaries as well as electronic voting machines and scanners.
Obama came out of nowhere to suddenly become the front runner for the Democrats along side Hillary Clinton. The field started out with many like Biden, Byah, Edwards and others; the puppet masters ultimately decided on two candidates who promote the same agenda and non solutions. Hillary for the women and sissy men’s vote, Obama for the Negro vote and caucasians who suffer from “white guilt.” Allegedly, those two garnered almost 35 million votes, split almost even.
On the Republican side, the mix was something for everyone: Brother Huckabee, Flip Romney, the laid back, Fred Thompson, gangster money man, Rudy Julie Annie and a few others. Ron Paul, of course, was never considered a candidate by his own party. Then we have Juan McCain who was written off as comatose and no chance in Hell of winning anything more than one or two primaries much less the nomination. By July 2007, McCain’s campaign manager was working without pay and McCain’s campaign was cash broke. April 15, 2008, his campaign was still running on empty, even though Super Tuesday and most primaries were over, McCain’s “popularity” didn’t open wallets.
Out of no where, McCain became the easiest fake conservative to sell even though the Republican base clearly did not want him. Go look at all the press coverage about his campaign from summer 2007 right through the primaries. No one wanted McCain, primarily because of his relentless support of the illegals invasion and advocating endless “wars for peace and democracy.” He couldn’t beg a dime on a street corner, but he supposedly got the majority of the votes:
Clinton and Obama allegedly received 35 million votes between them; the three establishment favorites for the Republicans about 18 1/2 million votes. Republicans were so excited about the choice of candidates, they stayed away from the primaries by the millions.
We know for a fact at this point that ACORN (unconstitutionally funded by the sweat of your labor thanks to the incumbents in Congress) was hired by Obama’s campaign to the tune of $800,000 to do voter registration. To sweeten the pot, in 2007, Obama promises to give ACORN a role in shaping his presidential agenda (2:36 video) He’s also indicated he would throw McCain a job in his administration – a position that would be the biggest slap in the face to vets since McCain sold out our POW/MIAs.
Ohio has been allowing people to register and vote without “meeting the state’s minimum registration requirements.” What a sickening joke. With “quickie” voter registration, the potential for fraud is unlimited, never mind the ignorance of the voters. This one I caught on a boob tube interview from a female college student: “I’ve never voted before. I mean, this is cool. If we can get Obama to win in Ohio, that will be awesome.” Last week, a federal judge stepped in and told the Democrat Secretary of State of Ohio, Jennifer Brunner, that she had to comply with federal law verifying voter registrations.
Too little, too late. ACORN has registered about one million “voters.” Eleven states started voting more than a week before the ACORN blow out. It appears the FBI is now investigating ACORN under the RICO statutes, but it won’t stop the votes already cast from these phony registrations from being counted. Notice the ACORN cheats are in all the big “swing states.”
Those following the primaries closely know vote fraud via electronic machines and/or scanners used in 24 states (proof – short video) and corrupt state officials (New Hampshire) understand why we have no idea who legally won these primaries for Congress, president, state legislatures. It is why we will have no idea who legally wins the White House next month; the same applies to Congress and the state houses. If the electoral college comes out a tie, it goes to the House of Representatives: “As directed by the 12th Amendment, the 435 — many of them brand new — members of the House of Representatives would find as their first official duty the selection of the next President of the United States.”
There’s also the matter of Obama not being eligible because of citizenship requirements. The lawsuit filed by Phil Berg is so hot, the DNC and FEC are doing everything in their power with big money and big gun attorneys to get it thrown out of court instead of supplying a verifiable birth certificate.
There is no time left to purge the voter rolls in the 50 states, verify that voter registrations are valid, and as long as the machines and scanners count the votes in half the states, the upcoming election is nothing but one big fraud.
2008 Presidential Election: Macabre
How the American people have been played:
1 – Planned disintegration (Note the date)
2 – Behind the panic: Financial warfare over the future of global bank power: (“..have deliberately triggered bank panics behind the scenes in order to consolidate their grip on US banking)
1 – Phil Berg: The October Surprise (11 minutes that could change the election if not for vote fraud and a corrupt media monopoly)
2 – Princeton scientists Hack Diebold (short video shows how votes stolen)
3 – Lou Dobbs, short video, chaos on election day
4 – UNCOUNTED: The movie
5 – How To Rig An Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative
Stolen primaries, stolen election
1 – UC Computer Scientists Release Video on How to Hack a Sequoia Touch-Screen Voting Machine Experts from CA’s ‘Top-to-Bottom Review’ of E-Voting Systems Demonstrate How to Insert Virus, Access Machines Without Disturbing ‘Security Seals’ in Hack Which Would Not Be Discovered Even in 100% Audit of ‘Paper Trails’ Single Malicious Individual Shown
Flipping Entire ‘Touch-Screen w/ Paper-Trail’ Election in Seconds
2 – Fraud Potential Impacted by Early Voting
3 – Cyber Security Expert: Hackers Planning To Steal Election For McCain
4 – Over 1/2 of ACORN applications in Indiana county ‘no good
5 – Connecticut looking into voter cards submitted by ACORN
6 – Missouri officials suspect fraud
7 – Alleging fraud, authorities raid ACORN in Vegas; canvassers filled out forms with fake names
8 – Voter Registration Fraud In Florida
9 – Democrats hunt for voters among bars, homeless
10 – Thousands Of Dead People On Connecticut’s Voter Rolls
11 – Dead voters casting ballots from the grave in New York
12 – ACORN in Ohio: Voter registration can’t be totally fraud free
13 – OH Secretary of State fooling around with GOP absentee ballots
14 – Hijacked election
15 – Employing convicts to register voters!
16 – Voter Database Glitches Could Disenfranchise Thousands
17 – Obama campaign voter fraud, Obama delegate fraudulent,
Nazi Brownshirt tactics, Obama thugs, Obama voter fraud, Texas voter fraud.
© 2008 – NewsWithViews.com – All Rights Reserved
| Artist: laurenrabbit
Written by Chris Floyd
|The idea of “victimless crimes” has been around for a long time, but the ultra-modern 21st century has given us a bold new concept: perpetratorless crimes.
This is by now a familiar dynamic: Outright, undeniable crimes are committed, often very heinous ones — mass murder, military aggression, torture, vast financial corruption and fraud, warrantless spying, egregious violations of the Constitution — but somehow, no one is actually responsible for them. They just sort of, you know, happened, all by themselves.
The most we can possibly do about these crimes is to conduct a non-binding “investigation” — preferably by a committee of “serious” Establishment figures — who will then offer suggestions on how to avoid such unseemly situations in the future. Of course, most of the time it would be too “divisive,” too “partisan,” to do even that much. But in any case, you certainly can’t prosecute anyone for these crimes.
(This innovative concept only covers crimes in which powerful people might be involved, of course. Any ordinary person remains subject to the full weight of the increasingly draconian law — although, if said ordinary person was commiting crimes at the behest of powerful people, the application of the law can suddenly become miraculously light, or even non-existent.)
The New York Times points us to yet another of these perpetratorless crimes. In fact, the venerable Gray Goose — sorry, Gray Lady — of American journalism acts as close accomplice of a crime wave that seems to strike nationwide every two to four years: the deliberate and illegal disenfranchisement of millions of citizens, almost all of them the poorest and most marginalized in American society.
After eight years of a veritable Ossa of evidence of gamed, thrown, fixed and finagled elections, this week the NY Times bestirred itself to notice that something might possibly be amiss in the nation’s electoral process. A headline writer topped the story with weakest possible statement of the undeniable truth: “States’ Actions to Block Voters Appear Illegal.” And you can bet your bottom dollar (as it falls through the bottomless pit of the Beltway bailout banditry) that if the New York Times deigns to acknowledge even the “appearance” of some mischance in the divinely ordained machinery of the Establishment, the actual rot is very far gone indeed.
Thus the thoroughgoing disenfranchisement of eligible voters — as many as three million in 2004, as Greg Palast has noted — has finally spilled into the paper’s sacred precincts. The first paragraph puts in plainly:
Wow! Wonder who could be behind such a brazen and dastardly crime — a crime that benefits very powerful people seeking even greater power? Why, no one, of course! Here’s the very next paragraph of the story:
The paper traces the crimes to the “Help America Vote Act” of 2002. The Times, along with the rest of the corporate media, continues to treat this bill as if it were a serious attempt to address the ludicrously inept and decrepit U.S. electoral process, instead of what it transparently was: an attempt to codify into law the vote-suppression machinery that threw the bollixed 2000 Florida vote into the hands of the partisan extremist faction on the Supreme Court, two of whom had family members pocketing wads of cash from the Bush campaign. HAVA was meant to spread this deliberate chaos throughout the entire country — and it has done so.
But the tender eyes of Times readers must be shielded from such ugly truth. Instead, we get yards and yards of carefully hedged, bled-dry prose, obscurely outlining a pattern of systematic vote suppression in key states but ensuring that, once again, no one can possibly blamed for it — and certainly no one can possibly be charged for it. It’s just some kind of rare and unpleasant natural phenomenon, like, say, a boll weevil infestation. Or the war crime in Iraq. Or the American torture program. Or the destruction of the American economy. And so on.
At the moment, with the McCain campaign cratering like a merchant bank, the disenfranchisement crime wave will probably not be enough to skew the election. Even with a few million voters blocked from the polls, the widespread revulsion toward the ruling party will probably swamp the polls and put the Democrats back in the White House. Whether this result will be an unmitigated joy and genuine change in the nation’s headlong degradation is another matter, one which we’ll be taking up in a later column. The merits, or lack of same, of the contending candidates are not the issue here. The point is that millions of the poorest, most marginalized Americans are being denied their right to vote for whomever they please. This is, as even the New York Times acknowledges, a federal crime. But it is not, however much the Times tries to obsfuscate the issue, a perpetratorless one.
Kurita’s win officially voided
Democratic leaders in state Senate district nominate Barnes
Tim Barnes speaks to the crowd Wednesday after being selected as the Democratic nominee for the 22nd District of the state Senate.
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Democratic Party officials from Montgomery, Cheatham and Houston counties overwhelmingly handed a primary victory to attorney Tim Barnes on Wednesday evening, overturning Sen. Rosalind Kurita’s 19-vote primary victory for the contested Senate District 22 seat.
The crowd packed into a Clarksville hotel meeting room erupted into applause and cheers as party officials tallied the 61-4 vote of executive committee members from the three counties, making Barnes the nominee for the seat.
Afterward, supporters chanted “Time for Tim!” as they crowded around a podium, waiting for him to make a statement. With an enormous campaign sign behind him, Barnes said the vote was a vindication for his campaign.
“I’m proud of the fact that I’m standing here today because I think this is proof that you can avoid the negative political mudslinging, the political dirty tricks, and you can take the political high road and still succeed, and I think that’s what my being here shows,” he said.
The fight for the seat has seized the state’s political spotlight in large part because of Barnes’ challenge to the nail-biting margin, but also because Kurita played a key role in electing the Republican Senate leadership. Whichever candidate gains the seat could determine that again.
Kurita’s vote last year to hand the speaker’s gavel to Ron Ramsey, a Blountville Republican, earned her deep enmity from Democrats in her district, and that anger was widely seen as fueling Barnes’ run.
Although Kurita was nominated at the Wednesday party gathering, she was not present at the hotel, choosing instead to huddle with supporters at her home. She said she chose not to be at the meeting because “I knew that my being there or not would not make any difference.”
“It is an injustice, and in America, we expect that our elections will not be stolen. I think most people are still in disbelief that this has happened,” she said. “Tonight is chapter two in a sad story.”
Next step pondered
Kurita, who was expecting a lopsided vote by the executive committee members, has refused to give in. On Monday, she declared herself a write-in candidate in the three counties, and is also considering challenging the outcome in federal court, her only legal recourse.
There is no Republican candidate for the seat.
With the primary stretching into a general election fight leading up to Nov. 4, both sides pledged to campaign hard. Kurita, who sent out a fundraising letter this week, said she is “working on giving people in my district who voted for me the opportunity to vote for me again.”
Barnes, for his part, pledged a full-throttle race, saying “I’m going to take about 12 to 14 hours to rest, and then we’ll be back on the campaign trail.”
Many in Nashville’s political establishment saw Barnes’ run as an underdog campaign and expected a handy victory for Kurita. But that calculus apparently failed to account for the anger with Kurita, named speaker pro tem — the number two Senate post — by Ramsey after she threw her vote to him.
After losing by 19 votes, Barnes challenged the outcome, alleging that Kurita won her slim victory because of crossover voting by Republicans, which is legal under the state’s open primary system that allows any voter to cast a ballot in either party’s primary.
Barnes also alleged that Kurita broke state law by entering a polling place — which her attorneys acknowledged but derided as “pottygate” — and used dirty tricks to secure her victory.
Last Saturday, the executive committee of the state party met all day to hear arguments by attorneys on both sides. Executive committee members ended up invalidating the primary result 33-11 as “incurably uncertain” and sent it back to be decided by party officials in the three counties.
State party officials scrambled to set up Wednesday’s meeting, facing a tight deadline to get the nominee onto overseas absentee ballots the state Division of Elections must mail on Saturday under state law.
After the vote, Democratic Party spokesman Wade Munday said that, Kurita’s refusal to quit notwithstanding, “we will support our nominee.”
“We have our nominee, and we’re certainly unified with the overwhelming vote that was cast tonight on behalf of Tim Barnes.”
Meeting was festive
The meeting room began filling long before the start of the convention. In front of the hotel, enormous campaign signs for Barnes flanked the entrance where party executives entered the building. Inside, the atmosphere was more festive than combative in the convention room, where party members chatted and visited as executive committee members arrived.
Unlike last Saturday’s all-day meeting, Wednesday’s vote lasted only about 30 minutes.
When the meeting chairman asked for nominations, Linda Swindle jumped to her feet and nominated Kurita, saying “residents of the district were deprived of the right to have their vote heard.”
Barnes was nominated next. When the chairman called on Kurita to address party executives, he was met with silence, and a murmur swept through the crowd. Barnes then delivered a campaign-type speech.
One by one, the party executives cast their votes. Afterward, one of those who voted for Kurita, Cheatham County Executive Martha Wettemann, said the only way to decide the vote would have been a new primary.
“I don’t think it’s fair not to redo the election,” she said.
But Terry McMoore, a Barnes supporter, was pleased with the outcome. Milling in the crowd of Barnes supporters afterward, he said “never have I seen a process work so well as today.”
“I really think there shouldn’t be any sour grapes. I think she should come on board as a private citizen and support this ticket because that’s what this is all about if she’s the Democrat she claims to be.”
Contact Theo Emery at 615-726-4889 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diary Entry by Mark E. Smith
How do you get people who are opposed to war, to vote for war?
Easy! You just convince them that if they vote for war now, the war might end at some future date.
Imagine that a torturer has your hand in a vise and they’re squeezing it. It hurts really bad and you’re screaming for them to stop.
Now imagine that they are only doing it because they are employed by a government that lets them torture innocent people and that government is up for election. How can they convince you to use your free hand to vote for the government that is allowing them to torture you?
Easy! They just tell you that if you don’t vote for the government, they will never stop torturing you, but that if you vote for the government, they might stop torturing you at some future date.
Of course once you’ve voted for the government, they are authorized to keep torturing you — but you are allowed to keep screaming for them to stop. You are even allowed to believe that if you scream long and hard enough, they might risk their job and their paycheck by stopping, unlikely as that may be.
But if you don’t vote for the government, the government might be discredited, delegitimized, and no longer recognized as a democratically elected government. Unless people vote for it, a government has no claim to legitimacy. So if you don’t vote for the government, it could lose power, your torturer would lose their job, and you would no longer be tortured.
If you vote for the government, on the other hand, it retains power, can even claim that you yourself voted to give it the authority to torture you, and it can renege on its promise to stop torturing you at some future date because you have no way to hold them to that promise. They might never agree on a date. Or, being torturers, they can just laugh at you and admit that they lied in order to get you to vote for them, but since you’ve already voted for them, that’s just too bad.
Million Doors For Peace is going around asking people to sign a petition to their “elected” representatives to support and pass legislation to withdraw troops from Iraq within a year. They are fully aware that the Bush/Cheney plan for Iraq was to privatize the war by withdrawing American troops and using private mercenary companies like Blackwater, Triple Canopy, Aegis, etc., to maintain a permanent U.S. presence (and thus permanent war) in Iraq. They know that that both major party presidential candidates are committed to pursuing the Bush/Cheney plan to privatize the war, so it is actually very likely that the troops may be withdrawn, but since the war would continue to be fought using private military corporations (mercenaries), the war would not end. And they are perfectly aware that both candidates voted to fund the war until 2010, so that even if they wanted to end the war or Congress enacted legislation to end the war, the war could not end because the contracts for the war have already been signed, sealed, and delivered, and the money has already been allocated.
Moreover, those who are old enough to remember Iran-Contra, know that just because Congress declares a war to be illegal and prohibits funds for it, doesn’t mean that the government will stop that war. Besides, private military contractors don’t answer to Congress, or to anyone else but whoever is paying them, for that matter.
So what is the real purpose of Million Doors for Peace? Think of the torturer who has your hand in a vise, telling you that if you want them to stop hurting you, even though they won’t let up the pressure on the vise, you should use your free hand to vote for them in hopes that if you do, at some future date they might stop torturing you. Just give them the authorization to keep torturing you, and hope that even though they won’t stop torturing you now, they might someday. Millions Doors for Peace is focusing on newly registered and infrequent voters, trying to convince those who oppose the war, that there is some hope to end the war within the current system, so that they won’t boycott the election and refuse to vote for one of the two candidates committed to war.
The choice on the ballot is war or war. But both candidates want to privatize the war, so both are open to withdrawing U.S. troops (as long as they can replace them with mercenaries), even though neither one is open to stopping the war.
This is just another petition to Congress. Congress is a bureaucracy. It is a top-down, not a bottom-up system. Nothing happens in Congress without orders from above. Congress copes with constituents in the same way that any bureaucracy does, by avoiding them, stalling them, attempting to placate them, or with other time-honored bureaucratic tricks, but it doesn’t take orders from them because our Constitution did not give citizens any way in which to hold Congress accountable. You can try to vote them out AFTER the damage is done, but while they are doing the damage there is nothing you can do to stop them.
If you don’t like what Congress is doing, and right now it has a lower approval rating than Bush does, it isn’t really a good idea to vote in an election that Congress made sure could be easily rigged when it passed HAVA. Not only does Congress have the sole Constitutional right to remove Members of Congress for violating the Constitution or for other crimes, now Congress can make sure, through the easily hacked voting machines it foisted on the American public, that Congress itself will be the sole determiner of who becomes a Member of Congress. They hire and fire themselves these days, and your vote is likely to go uncounted, be miscounted, or simply be disregarded when one candidate concedes to the other or the Supreme Court intervenes. In both 2000 and 2004 the President of the United States was installed BEFORE the votes were counted. Since our Constitution does not grant citizens the right to vote for President and Vice-President, it really doesn’t matter how you vote or who you vote for. What matters is that you vote so that the government can continue to claim to be a democratically elected government with the consent of its citizens to pursue war crimes and torture. If you insist on having your vote counted, that might be permitted, but only AFTER the President has been sworn in and can no longer be removed from office except by Congress.
In circulating a petition to Congress, Million Doors for Peace is attempting to reinforce the lie that Members of Congress are our representatives. In a democracy or a republic that would be true. But this is not a democracy or a republic. Members of Congress are under no obligation whatsoever to represent their constituents. When Rep. John Olver was presented with petitions from 80% of his constituents asking him to support impeachment, he said, “Spare me! I’m fully aware that the overwhelming majority of my constituents support impeachment. I will not.” The fact is that when you vote, you are voting for which person you trust to rule over you, not for somebody who is obligated to represent you. And since politicians really have been known to lie in order to get elected, it isn’t easy to know if they should be trusted. Nor should free citizens of a free country be ruled by people who do not represent them and have no obligation to represent them. If they have no obligation to represent you, why do you think you have any obligation to vote for them?
I’m an anti-civilizationist and election boycott advocate in San Diego. For reasons not to vote in faith-based elections with secret vote counts for candidates you cannot hold accountable if they fail to represent you, check out the discussions, articles, and videos on my website http://noinnovember.ning.com/