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Bernie Ellis, DU's own 'Fly by night', makes it to the front page of my local paper (Athens, Tn)

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Ghost in the Machine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 05:48 AM
Original message
Bernie Ellis, DU's own 'Fly by night', makes it to the front page of my local paper (Athens, Tn)
for his invocation of the 'Battle of Athens'... here's the online version

'Battle of Athens' reference leads to TBI investigation
Friday, July 3, 2009

For those unfamiliar with local history, the Battle of Athens occurred in August 1946 when local citizens, including many military veterans who had recently returned home from World War II, took up arms against local officials accused of voter intimidation and corruption. A pitched gun battle between the G.I.s and their supporters and the McMinn County Sheriff's Department (including many deputies who had been brought in from elsewhere) took place outside the jail until dynamite was used to set off an explosion, causing the deputies inside the jail to surrender. No one was killed in the "Battle," but it did change the political face of the county for years to come. The investigation of Ellis was quickly dropped, but he resents that the TBI was sent out in the first place. He is accusing Hargett of using the TBI in an attempt to intimidate Ellis and others who share his views.

Ellis said he referenced the Battle of Athens because it is an example of what lengths people might have to go to if the government ever becomes corrupt. "There aren't too many options available to us when votes are not being counted the way they are cast," he said.

Ellis said he has invoked the Battle of Athens many times in the past along with other events in state history that promoted voting rights such as Niota native Harry T. Burn's famous swing vote for women's suffrage and the case of Baker vs. Carr, a U.S. Supreme Court case that decided federal courts had jurisdiction when it came to reapportioning a state's voting districts.

"Tennessee has a proud history of expanding the franchise," Ellis said, adding he would sing the praises of the ancestors of McMinn County until the day he died.
http://www.dailypostathenian.com/dynamic/News/Story/156...


Here's to you, Bernie... thanks for all you do.


Peace,

Ghost

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druidity33 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 06:37 AM
Response to Original message
1. excellent
Edited on Sat Jul-04-09 06:38 AM by druidity33
FBNs link to the Battle of Athens story was fascinating. I wish i had it handy to re-post. Everyone should read it, though. A gripping story, which quite frankly would likely make an excellent movie.

To outspoken folk!
:toast:


K&R


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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. AN AMERICAN STORY (Hallmark TV movie, 1992)
"A story of honor lost, courage found ... and heroes born"

Plot summary: Six soldiers returning from WWII come back to find a government that operates on kickbacks, extortion, and a mayor who profited from the very war they were fighting. They organize their own political party and campaign to overthrow the government. They have no idea how far the mayor will go to keep his power and find themselves fighting their greatest battle for freedom where they least expected it--at home.


Here's a link for you to get the VHS/DVD from Blockbuster:

http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1800187062/dvdinfo/upc/70...

The film stars Brad Johnson, Kathleen Quinlan and Tom Sizemore.

BTW: The Blockbuster site indicated that interest in this movie (which is 17 years old!!) went up 12% this week. (Woah!)

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druidity33 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. hey thanks!
putting it on my Netflix queue.

hope it's not too cheesy...

btw, good on you! This story will hopefully become more well known as a result of your efforts.


:toast:

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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 06:43 AM
Response to Original message
2. k+r, n/t
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 06:48 AM
Response to Original message
3. Great
K & R
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 07:33 AM
Response to Original message
4. Thanks, Ghost, for posting sections of the Athens Daily Post-Athenian article
Edited on Sat Jul-04-09 07:35 AM by Fly by night
The reporter, Jacob Wall, did an excellent job. I particularly appreciate how he ended the article:

"A clutch of Internet bloggers reacted vehemently toward Hargett after
the word of Ellis' visit by the TBI got out. Many of them are accusing
the secretary of state of trying to delay the TVCA for partisan reasons.

"Ellis went as far as to say that if Hargett and Goins did not want to
implement the TVCA then they should resign from their offices."

This story of a failed attempt at political intimidation by our Secretary of State, who sent the TN Bureau of Investigation to my farm to investigate a "terrorist threat against a government official", is really backfiring and bringing attention to the SoS efforts to keep our elections unsafe in Tennessee. The TBI definitely resented his attempt to turn them into the KGB and all but said so in their public statements. The TBI are pissed at the POS/SoS, and that is definitely a good thing.

In addition, this dust-up has also reinterested the mainstream media in the efforts by Republicans to delay and weaken the Voter Confidence Act, which will ban DREs in favor of paper ballots (counted by optical scan machines) and hand-counted audits in randomly selected precincts to check the accuracy of the opscans. Channel 5 (the Nashville CBS affiliate) ran an excellent set of stories Thursday night and they have much more "in the can" on this story. Here's a link: http://www.newschannel5.com/Global/story.asp?S=10639048

My favorite lines from their on-line story:

"'The bottom line is Tennesseans want elections we can trust and verify - for some reason they don't,' says Bernie Ellis, an advocate of voter reform.

"Ellis fought to get the new law passed and says talk of delaying paper ballots is a way to eventually kill the law and keep touch screen voting.

"'It's time the state legislature instructed the Secretary of State to do his job,' says Ellis."

Here is a link to the best write-up on the Battle of Athens that I've seen. http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/ah/19...

This saga has been made into a movie, I'm told. I will try to track down the info on that movie to post later, after a little more time in the Garden.

If we never stop fighting (for democracy), we cannot lose. Thanks again, Ghost. No wonder you're so passionate about this country. You have the blood of the "ghosts" of the Battle of Athens in your veins.

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Ghost in the Machine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. I thought you might like to see it, my friend...
I'm headed out to the store here shortly.. I'll see if they have a copy or two left, since Friday's paper is the "weekend edition" (they don't print a Sat or Sun paper). If they have one, I'll save it for you and get it mailed to you as soon as I can scratch up a little cash for the postage...


Peace,

Ghost

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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Thanks kindly but I've got it covered.
The newspaper is mailing me two copies. Glad to hear it made it in the Friday paper so folks will have the weekend to read it.

I would be really curious to hear whether the article generates any "buzz" locally. It would also be nice to hear if any LTTE appear in the paper next week. PM me if anything of interest happens there.

This inquiring "suspected terrorist" wants to know.

Intel and all that, don'cha know ....
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Ghost in the Machine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-05-09 02:59 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. No problem...
I'll keep my ears open when I go grocery shopping monday.. that's where you hear all the good gossip in these small towns, but you already know that, huh?

I'll get the phone number to the "Sound Off" section of the paper and post it here... it's where people can call in and leave comments on an answering machine, then they print the comments in the paper....

I'll keep you up to date as much as I can, my friend...


Peace,

Doug

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pleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 07:53 AM
Response to Original message
5. K&R
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peekaloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 08:11 AM
Response to Original message
6. To Bernie
:patriot:
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asjr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 09:32 AM
Response to Original message
9. I was there when the Battle of Athens
happened. I am a native daughter.
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Since you're a native daughter, how do Athenians view the Battle of Athens?
The reporter said that there was some ambivalence about the incident locally. My take is that there may have been some reluctance (on his editor's part) to take on a Republican Secretary of State who is viewed as a "rising star" by what's left of the Rethugligan Party in Tennessee for his ass-hattish insults about the incident.

What's your take on all that? Are local Athenians proud of the Battle of Athens, or not?
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
10. Another ripple in the trustworthy elections pond ...
Edited on Sat Jul-04-09 10:08 AM by Fly by night
Last evening, I got a call from an elderly woman from Dayton, TN who has been trying to reach me for days. (The Chattanooga Times Free Press ran the Columbia Daily Herald story in its entirety, and she's tried to reach me ever since.) Here's that link:

http://www.columbiadailyherald.com/articles/2009/06/30/...

She said that Chattanooga talk shows are getting calls from citizens who are outraged at Secretary of State Tre Hargett's failed attempt at political intimidation of me. It was a very pleasant and sweet conversation as the shadows lengthened over my deep hollow home. She also said she would drive to Athens this evening to get that town's paper and its front-page article on the "Battle of Athens" revisited.

The last thing that this woman did before letting me go was to read to me Article 1, Section 2 of the Tennessee Declaration of Rights in our state constitution (page 54 of the Tennessee Blue Book), to whit:

"That government being instituted for the common benefit, the doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind."

She ended by saying, "Mr. Ellis, the press shouldn't single you out as a 'activist'. We should all be activists -- that's what has gotten us this far as a country."

So I left her with my favorite quote from the Hopi elders: "We are the ones we've been waiting for."

To which I got a hearty laugh from her and a promise that I would forever remain in her prayers.

My guess is that this elderly woman is filled with powerful, patriotic magic ...

... and has the ear of a loving God.

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conscious evolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. "We are the ones we've been waiting for."
You are one of the ones who are not waiting anymore.
My hats off to you,patriot.
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johnaries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. Once again, thank you for all you have done for our state.
You are a true patriot. And I love that line "We should all be activists -- that's what has gotten us this far as a country." Do you think she would mind if I used it?
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-05-09 05:14 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. Not one bit. In fact, she's working to get me on Chattanooga talk radio next week.
Hopefully that will happen, as well as a meeting with our local District Attorney to file three Class E felony charges against the secretary of state. We'll see just how far truth, justice and the American Way extends during that meeting. Hopefully far enough to run this POS out of office.
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