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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-13-05 10:56 PM
Original message
The Silent Scream of Numbers -- Robert Koehler's "Nash-ional" column
This syndicated column is available now from the (Chicago) Tribune Media Services syndicate. It will be made available automatically this morning to 200+ newspapers that use this syndicate nationwide. However, any newspaper in the country can obtain this column from the Tribune syndicate and reprint it. Please encourage your hometown paper to do so.

We all owe Bob Koehler a great deal of gratitude for this hard-hitting piece. He doesn't mince words -- the election was stolen and it is up to us as citizens to do something about it. We were honored to have him in Nashville with us.

This column is reprinted here in its entirety with the permission of the author. I will post a web-link as soon as one is available in the morning.
------------------------

THE SILENT SCREAM OF NUMBERS

By Robert C. Koehler

Tribune Media Services

As they slowly hack democracy to death, we're as alone - we citizens - as we've ever been, protected only by the dust-covered cliches of the nation's founding: "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

It's time to blow off the dust and start paying the price.

The media are not on our side. The politicians are not on our side. It's just us, connecting the dots, fitting the fragments together, crunching the numbers, wanting to know why there were so many irregularities in the last election and why these glitches and dirty tricks and wacko numbers had not just an anti-Kerry but a racist tinge. This is not about partisan politics. It's more like: "Oh no, this can't be true."

I just got back from what was officially called the National Election Reform Conference, in Nashville, Tenn., an extraordinary pulling together of disparate voting-rights activists - 30 states were represented, 15 red and 15 blue - sponsored by a Nashville group called Gathering To Save Our Democracy. It had the feel of 1775: citizen patriots taking matters into their own hands to reclaim the republic. This was the level of its urgency.

Was the election of 2004 stolen? Thus is the question framed by those who don't want to know the answer. Anyone who says yes is immediately a conspiracy nut, and the listener's eyeballs roll. So let's not ask that question.

Let's simply ask why the lines were so long and the voting machines so few in Columbus and Cleveland and inner-city and college precincts across the country, especially in the swing states, causing an estimated one-third of the voters in these precincts to drop out of line without casting a ballot; why so many otherwise Democratic ballots, thousands and thousands in Ohio alone, but by no means only in Ohio, recorded no vote for president (as though people with no opinion on the presidential race waited in line for three or six or eight hours out of a fervor to have their say in the race for county commissioner); and why virtually every voter complaint about electronic voting machine malfunction indicated an unauthorized vote switch from Kerry to Bush.

This, mind you, is just for starters. We might also ask why so many Ph.D.-level mathematicians and computer programmers and other numbers-savvy scientists are saying that the numbers don't make sense (see, for instance, www.northnet.org/minstrel, the Web site of Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips, lead statistician in the Moss vs. Bush lawsuit challenging the Ohio election results). Indeed, the movement to investigate the 2004 election is led by such people, because the numbers are screaming at them that something is wrong.

And we might, no, we must, ask - with more seriousness than the media have asked - about those exit polls, which in years past were extraordinarily accurate but last November went haywire, predicting Kerry by roughly the margin by which he ultimately lost to Bush. This swing is out of the realm of random chance, forcing chagrined pollsters to hypothesize a "shy Republican" factor as the explanation; and the media have bought this evidence-free absurdity because it spares them the need to think about the F-word: fraud.

And the numbers are still haywire. A few days ago, Terry Neal wrote in the Washington Post about Bush's inexplicably low approval rating in the latest Gallup poll, 45 percent, vs. a 49 percent disapproval rating. This is, by a huge margin, the worst rating at this point in a president's second term ever recorded by Gallup, dating back to Truman.

"What's wrong with this picture?" asks exit polling expert Jonathan Simon, who pointed these latest numbers out to me. Bush mustered low approval ratings immediately before the election, surged on Election Day, then saw his ratings plunge immediately afterward. Yet Big Media has no curiosity about this anomaly.

Simon, who spoke at the Nashville conference - one of dozens of speakers to give highly detailed testimony on evidence of fraud and dirty tricks from sea to shining sea - said, "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."

In contrast to the deathly silence of the media is the silent scream of the numbers. The more you ponder these numbers, and all the accompanying data, the louder that scream grows. Did the people's choice get thwarted? Were thousands disenfranchised by chaos in the precincts, spurious challenges and uncounted provisional ballots? Were millions disenfranchised by electronic voting fraud on insecure, easily hacked computers? And who is authorized to act if this is so? Who is authorized to care?

No one, apparently, except average Americans, who want to be able to trust the voting process again, and who want their country back.

- - -

Robert Koehler, an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist, is an editor at Tribune Media Services and nationally syndicated writer. You can respond to this column at bkoehler@tribune.com or visit his Web site at commonwonders.com.

2005 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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tommcintyre Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-13-05 11:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. WOW! This is the third MSM story in the last few days!
Edited on Wed Apr-13-05 11:14 PM by tommcintyre
Are we "breaking through?"

Thanks for all your hard work Bernie. :D

EDIT:
<The other two:>
MSNBC/REUTERS on lawsuit to terminate Sequoia
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

BRADBLOG: Miami Herald discusses Clint Curtis! Calls for Paper Ballots
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
"Can it be that we are breaking through the curtain of silence? Are our newspaper people getting their spines back??"

Maybe the infamous "lockdown memo" is being repealed? Well... let's assume it is, and keep peppering them with information.
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-13-05 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
2. Nominated, baby. :) And I wrote a thank you letter.
Mama tried to raise me right.


:)
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tommcintyre Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-13-05 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Good Idea! I will do the same and make a blaster to promote...
this article, the other two above and the Carter Election Reform Commission (using the Conyers blog.) It will be an update/education for them, and encourage them to cover these developments also.
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berniew1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-13-05 11:27 PM
Response to Original message
4. It would have been nice if he had referenced more study URLs
like Jonathan Simons and the USCountvotes site/paper, and the EIRS data, etc.

all are referenced in this Ohio summary, including Dr. Phillips and the green recount team

http://www.flcv.com/ohiosum.html

But its a good start
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-13-05 11:31 PM
Response to Original message
5. well, we'll see if it
appears in the flagship paper. the tribune editors are probably coughing up blood at the thought.
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tommcintyre Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. LOL!
I was born 'n raised in Chi town. Maybe they oughta send it over to the Sun Times instead? ;)
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Rex_Goodheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-13-05 11:41 PM
Response to Original message
6. To what is Mr, Koehler referring when
he says:

"so many otherwise Democratic ballots, thousands and thousands in Ohio alone, but by no means only in Ohio, recorded no vote for president (as though people with no opinion on the presidential race waited in line for three or six or eight hours out of a fervor to have their say in the race for county commissioner)" ??

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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #6
23. on the crooked boxes a straight party line vote
voted for every member of every race for that that party
except the President :eyes:
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Helga Scow Stern Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 01:37 AM
Response to Original message
8. Wow. n/t
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 02:13 AM
Response to Original message
9. Link to GNN posting of column
The Silent Scream

What is GNN?

Guerrilla News Network is an independent news organization with headquarters in New York City and production facilities in Berkeley, California. Our mission is to expose people to important global issues through cross-platform guerrilla programming.

GNN.tv is a free web site. We accept no ads and charge no subscription fees for our users.
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. I just added you link to my favorties.
Thanks!
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liberalla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 06:19 AM
Response to Original message
10. Thank you!
Thank you for posting this great piece! This needs to be sent around to everyone!
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AtLiberty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 06:57 AM
Response to Original message
11. Has this piece shown up on a major newspaper yet?
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 07:00 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. It was just released this morning (Thursday).
It may take a day or two. However, you can work to get it in your local paper by contacting your local editors and telling them to contact the (Chicago) Tribune Media Services to pick up the piece. I do hope that everyone who attended the conference will do this.
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Kip Humphrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
14. Cracks in the "Wall of Silence" - A tribute to the Nash-ional conference
Bernie,
And they said it couldn't be done! You cracked the wall of silence with the Nash-ional conference, WELL DONE! Your diligent, tireless work and brilliant stroke inviting Bob Koehler paid off by "waking up" and stirring patriotism and the "courage of words" within our first mass media national columnist (he is the first national major media columnist isn't he?). Robert's confession of being swayed by the silence was revealing and a further testament to your efforts. His commitment to publishing further articles about the conference reassures me we have another Barbara Boxer in our midst, another true patriot warrior in our fight to regain our democracy. It brings hope that other national press people will "see the light" and tear down the wall of silence around our stolen elections. The addition of Robert Steinback of the Miami Herald raising the questions of a stolen election and the need for paper ballots almost feels like an avalanche of exposure and light.

I urge everyone on DU to circulate these articles to your local papers and news outlets: build this snowball until it barrels downhill of its own weight! Also, please send emails of thanks, appreciation, and encouragement to both Roberts for their courage.

Robert Koehler: mailto:bkoehler@tribune.com

Robert Steinback: (can someone please supply?)

Thanks again, Bernie.

Kip
51 Capital March
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SophieZ Donating Member (254 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-05 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #14
35. Major columnists -- don't forget economist Paul Krugman, NYT
Krugman hit this hard very early, and often.

The NY Times did a number of editorials in the right direction, although not nearly far enough for my taste.

Andrew Gumbel, writing for a major paper in the UK, and also in Los Angeles, has done several in-depth pieces, including one of the best following the 2002 Mid-Terms:
"All the President's Votes?"
October 13, 2003
Independent/UK
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/1013-01.htm
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cybildisobedience Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
15. wrote a thank you note, too
Let's let brave journalists know they're supported from people who want to get at the truth, because you KNOW he'll be bombarded by the other side.
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lady lib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #15
25. Good idea. I'll send a thank you note also.
n/t
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lady lib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. Ooh, personal reply back from him. Yeah!
n/t
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 08:30 AM
Response to Original message
16. not in the chgo trib today
will look for it tomorrow, but i doubt it. i think they syndicate a lot of things that do not go in the flagship paper.
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Once again, it was just released this morning. But if you live in Chicago
by all means, ask them to run this article in the Tribune. I have asked conference attendees from around the country to make a similar request to their editors -- any newspaper can pick up the column from the (Chicago) Tribune Media Services syndicate. It would be great if Windy City DUers would do that also.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. i'll put a link in the ill. forum nt
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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #17
30. Great article--thanks for posting n/t
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meganmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
19. OMG - This is great!
I just feel this momentum picking back up - maybe just on a personal level, but it sure helps to read this! Maybe it is because the election was long enough ago that this won't get dismissed as sore-loser-ness.

I hope this article gets everywhere - I am going to contact my local papers for sure and urge them to run this.

:D
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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 09:37 AM
Response to Original message
20. This is GREAT news! I'll be calling the papers here
This article HAS TO GET OUT TO THE PUBLIC!!

:woohoo: Way to go DU researchers and Nash-ional Patriots! :applause:

:kick: :kick: :kick:
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bear425 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
21. I want to refer the editor of the Sun Sentinel (Fort Laud) to this article
Can I reprint it in my email, or do you have a weblink, yet? Please let me know as soon as possible. Thanks in advance.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
22. my ltte
here's the e-mail of the chgo tribune public editor, so you can send yours.
dwycliff@tribune.com

dear mr wycliff,
an op-ed column by robert c koehler, entitled "the silent scream of numbers", has come to my attention. i had hoped to see it in my paper today, although i was not surprised that it was not there. i hope that that is simply a function of logistics, and it will appear in the next day or two.
this is the central issue of our democracy. if the transparency of our elections is so poor that they do not stand up to scrutiny, are we still a democracy? i found it ironic that your column today dealt, in part, with people's dissatisfaction with the MSM. we are dissatisfied, sir, because the truth and the whole truth is no where in evidence today.
fortunately, the internet exists, and the truth is in evidence there. i read news from place like the UK, where journalism remains alive and well. i keep my subscription to the trib mostly to see what isn't in it. but it gets harder every day to accept this sorry excuse for the fourth estate.
please run this column. our democracy depends on it.
yours,
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. kick
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berniew1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
26. Is anyone aware of Newspapers who carried the article??
I haven't seen any here that did in Florida, when I did a search.
I emailed the editiors of the Tallahassee paper, but they don't seem to have run it.
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. Since it was just released today (Thursday), I'm not sure how fast ...
... it will begin to appear. But if everyone contacts their local papers and urges them to pick up Bob's column, we may get some traction. We are bombarding the Nashville paper with requests to run it. Since they sent a reporter to cover the "Nash-ional" conference for two full days (who wrote two good stories about it), I am hopeful that the Nashville Tennessean will run Bob's piece, as well as Josh Mitteldorf's "letter to the editor" that Josh sent to the Philadelphia Inquirer. (I have copied Josh's letter in the "I Showed Up ..." thread.)

Thanks again, berniew1, for coming and giving three separate presentations. You were a strong, knowledgable and very pleasant addition to the conference.
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Blue Shark Donating Member (225 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 07:05 PM
Response to Original message
27. I notified...
...The Honolulu StarBulletin and the Honolulu Advertiser...we will see.
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-05 06:42 AM
Response to Reply #27
31. kick
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-05 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
32. not in chicago trib today, either
imagine my surprise.
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-05 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. The Chicago Tribune editor refused to run it, I'm told.
Something to the effect that the 2004 election is over, just move on, nothing to see here. (I might be paraphrasing a bit.)

Of course, that doesn't mean that all the progressives in Chicago shouldn't write the Trib editor, and keep writing him, until they print the most important column ever experienced, conceived, documented and chronicled while on a Chicago Tribune expense account.

Thanks again, Bob. We will remain eternally grateful. And when we take our country back, we'll make you our first Columnist Laureate.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-05 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. has it appeared anywhere?
geez, what more proof do we need of a wide spread conspiracy?
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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-05 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
36. I wrote to Bob Koehler and...
thanked him. Then I asked if he needed help knowing how to answer questions from readers about how they could get involved. He wrote back and said he did, that people are writing to ask him what they can do and he doesn't know what to tell them. So I gave him a list of very specific ways people can get involved.

Clearly his article is being circulated, even if not in print. I hope some papers will have the guts to print it.
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-05 11:59 PM
Response to Original message
37. I sent it to the media through the DNC's website.
They let you pick 5 major news sources in your area code.

www.democrats.org
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lady lib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-16-05 12:44 AM
Response to Original message
38. I emailed the editor at The Chicago Tribune
and politely but firmly suggested that they publish this piece and start addressing the fraud questions surrounding the election. Who knows if they'll listen, but maybe if enough of us write...

Public Editor
http://www.chicagotribune.com/services/site/chi-printfo...

OR

R. Bruce Dold
bdold@tribune.com
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demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-16-05 03:46 AM
Response to Reply #38
39. I Did this too... and kick!
:kick:
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-16-05 07:31 AM
Response to Reply #38
40. Great idea. Kick.
Edited on Sat Apr-16-05 07:32 AM by Fly by night
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