Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Update from the NASHVILLE conference / and bradblog suggestion

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Election Reform Donate to DU
 
keepthemhonest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 06:18 PM
Original message
Update from the NASHVILLE conference / and bradblog suggestion
Edited on Sun Apr-10-05 06:33 PM by keepthemhonest
Let me just start by saying i went to the conference with the idea that if it was just a bunch of flakes there i was going to give up on my part in the Georgia citizen's audit but if there were smart people there with really great ideas then i would be inspired to contue my work on it. Let me just say I am inspired!Brilliant minds showed up and so I will continue my work.


I have just returned a few hours ago from the Nashville conference with renewed hope that the people working on us with these problems are brilliant and their talents diverse.We have some really good smart people on our side so if the truth can be uncovered they can help.

As I looked around the room I noticed about 100 people throughout friday evening to saturday AM but saturday PM though I would say it was about 150 ,probably because Congresswomen Mckinney from Georgia was there, she was I amazing. She told us here story about the 911 hearings and some of the questions she asked about it put her in the hotseat,so much that republicans did everything they could to see that she did not get relected and they succeeded! Yikes! However this amazing woman did not give up she ran again and got relected.Phew!She is energized aobut this election reform/ fraud business and has experienced the wrath of republicans first hand.Another story of hers that I had not heard, there was a company that had what we would all consider to be the ideal EVS system with an open source code and a way for voters to check how they voted. The company was not allowed to bid for Georgia's EVS contract.Another interesting thing is that when the Gentleman was going to go to OHIO give them a bid and demonstrate he was "in an accident" and died.Holy crap.
Some of other highlights:

Brad Friedman was there and had already started a pressure cooker of his own. He wrote a letter to all of the EVS owner's that basically said DO the RIGHT THING and reveal you source code so that we the people can have open fair elections,you have 60 days to reveal it and if you do not
we will boycott you machines. He has this letter availabe on his website so that you can go there and send it to the companies yourself so that they see ho
w many people they are dealing with. I am going to do it after I am done here at DU.( this idea is so important that it probably needs it own thread and link and to be nominated for the homepage so everyone will see it.)
Here is the link http://www.velvetrevolution.us/mailing.php?Mailing=05FC...
edited to change link to tired to fix spelling and typing errors.


David Lytel says we need a unified movement and suggested some things and then asked our opinions.

There were people
there with PHD's doing citizen's audits in their states much like our Georgia group here but unfortunately we don't have PHD's but now we have made some contacts that are willing to offer advice to us and help us see what we should be looking for. Some of the strange things that I had uncovered in several of my precinct audits they confirmed that it probably not likely to have happened by chance alone( sorry I can't give you more details than that at this time.)Other groups like uscountsvotes.org talking about their study.

Someone pointed out again that we all need to be the media, stop talking to eachother about this stuff and start talking to someone who doesn't know about it yet. So many more things and I will try to jot down from some of the notes that I took tomorrow if you seem interested.

Please keep this kicked and go to the Bradblog site once a day and send that letter and encourage others to do the same.

I am inspired guys!

So if some of the things are repeated ,I am exhausted from no sleep.





Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 06:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. First report I've read so far!
So thanks! And keep up the good work in GA!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
keepthemhonest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. thanks and I just updated the link
I was so disappointed that no one had blogged live ,I am sorry I don't have a laptop to have been able to do that for you.I guess people may still be enroute so they have not had access to their emails yet.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. Thank you so much!
I've been waiting patiently to hear about the conference.
:hug:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
keepthemhonest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. No problem
MelissaB glad to help, I am sure that others will come along and tell us how they felt and what their highlights were as well.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. thank you Kick for keepthemhonest! and all the folks at
The Nashville conference! Thanks Everyone!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 08:09 PM
Response to Original message
6. Thank you! Recommended for "Greatest" and kicked.
:kick:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
keepthemhonest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Thanks you are so sweet and also thanks to melissa G above n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. You made the Greatest page!
:hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
keepthemhonest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. you did it thanks girl
thanks to all now everyone will get access to this info.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
tommcintyre Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
8. Thanks for the update!
I wish I could've been there.

I will definitely check out Brad's letter and see if it's something that would benefit from being hooked up to a blaster? Either way, I will send it out myself.

Thanks again for your dedication, it is very much appreciated. :D
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
keepthemhonest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. It certainly would have been nice to meet you
you haved made it so easy for us over the months with your mediablaster and you are a hero to the cause in my book.Keep it up.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
understandinglife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 08:41 PM
Response to Original message
11. Thank you. (nt)
www.missionnotaccomplished.us (a day to reflect on, among other things, the horrendous costs of cheating)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
13. Thanks for the report, KTH!
Much appreciated, along with your continued work and belief.

:thumbsup:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
keepthemhonest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. hey thanks to you and understandinglife
for your support.

I forgot to mention our wesite here in georgia is

http://countpaperballots.com / it is still a work in progress aren't we all. One of the people I am working with has used over $10,000 of her own money to fund the open records request here in georgia so anyone interested in this particular Georgia citizens Audit , any financial help or other auditor volunteers would be helpful and you don't have to be here in georgia to help because we are going to scan in the open records for all to see.

We have not done any fundraising yet but need to right away.Again thanks fellow believer.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
keepthemhonest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-12-05 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #14
34. for get about the above link
the person who started it who I was working very hard to get ALONG with , is going it alone. So I will continue my work alone at this time.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 09:41 PM
Response to Original message
15. Amazing report, thanks! And ANOTHER convenient "suicide"/accident?
Another story of hers that I had not heard, there was a company that had what we would all consider to be the ideal EVS system with an open source code and a way for voters to check how they voted. The company was not allowed to bid for Georgia's EVS contract.Another interesting thing is that when the Gentleman was going to go to OHIO give them a bid and demonstrate he was "in an accident" and died.Holy crap.

ANOTHER convenient "suicide"/accident????? I hope to hear more about this!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
keepthemhonest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. here is a link to the story and his voting system


http://www.commonground.ca/iss/0410159/cg159_USvote.sht...

one other thing I forgot to say in my original post. There were about 7 pro camera crews documenting and several amatuers as well.the interesting thing is this, the news station said that they were going to come out on saturday afternoon but then a funny thing happened there was a hostage situation in Nashville so they did not come. We were disappointed and made Karl Rove special jokes.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
FreedomAngel82 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Oh wow
This is something. So the republicans are very nervous and killing people off. Disgusting! These people never cease to amaze me how sick they are. Thanks for the report. I'm in TN and wish I could've gone (even just to hear rep McKinney speak) but wasn't able to drive up to Nashville. :( Are there any video's online? I know that's a bit stretch but never hurts to ask. :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SophieZ Donating Member (254 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. Here's another story about him - Athan Gibbs. Well, two stories.
Published on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 by the Free Press
Columbus, Ohio

Death of a Patriot: No More 'Blind Faith Voting'
by Bob Fitrakis
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0318-02.htm

The subject line on yesterday's email read: "Another mysterious accident solves a Bush problem. Athan Gibbs dead, Diebold lives." The attached news story <http://www.tennessean.com/obits/archives/04/03/48330576... > briefly described the untimely Friday, March 12th death of perhaps America's most influential advocate of a verified voting paper trail in the era of touch screen computer voting. Gibbs, an accountant for more than 30 years and the inventor of the TruVote system, died when his vehicle collided with an 18-wheeled truck which rolled his Chevy Blazer several times and forced it over the highway retaining wall where it came to rest on its roof. MORE


Black Voting Machine Inventor Dies

By Hazel Trice Edney
The Call
NNPA Washington
Correspondent
March 26, 2004
http://www.kccall.com/News/2004/0326/Community/081.html

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NNPA) - The African American who invented a voting machine that he believed would remedy the problems that occurred during the 2000 presidential election has died only eight months before the next contest between George W. Bush and John Kerry.
Athan Gibbs Sr. of Nashville, who unveiled his invention of a computerized voting machine with paper receipts at the summer conference of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) in Atlanta three years ago, was killed when the SUV he was driving was hit from behind by a tractor trailer as he changed lanes in the morning of March 12. He was 57 years old.

Determined to win full federal certification for the TruVote System, Gibbs, an accountant, never saw his dream come true. However, his family and associates say they will pick up where he left off. "Its going to go into full throttle," says his son, Jonathan Gibbs, executive director of a marketing firm and graduate of the University of Memphis. "Ill be one of the ball carriers."

Jonathan, 25, recalls his father being so disheartened by the developments during the loss of more than 200,000 votes in Florida and an estimated four to six million votes nationwide during in 2000 that he repeatedly sent him to Wal-Mart for at least 20 video cassette tapes to record the daily television coverage until the U. S. Supreme Court stopped the recounting of votes in Florida.

<SNIP> An entrepreneur with 29 years of accounting and audit experience, including positions with the state of Tennessee, his own tax firm, and a consultant to the U. S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Center in Nashville, Gibbs was tenacious.

MORE

(His daughter said he had said this: "And thats why he does what he does, because a lot of people fought to get the right to vote. And then it really upset him that even though they did get the right to vote, that their votes were more likely not to count.")

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-05 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. Athan Gibbs - this is the first time I've heard of his life and death
Let's all make sure his work and his suspicious death become much more widely known.
The subject line on yesterday's email read: "Another mysterious accident solves a Bush problem. Athan Gibbs dead, Diebold lives."

He died 8 months before the stolen Nov 2004 elections.

He was tenacious. His daughter said, "And thats why he does what he does, because a lot of people fought to get the right to vote. And then it really upset him that even though they did get the right to vote, that their votes were more likely not to count."

Sounds to me like they killed another hero that got in the way.

Athan Gibbs. I'd like to see his name used - with the permission of his family - in association with efforts to fight election fraud and assure voter-verified paper ballots and counting machines with open code, just as he was struggling to bring about

Yes, I'd like to see his name associated with the fight to cleanse the electoral process.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
abbiehoff Donating Member (356 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-12-05 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #15
35. More about Athan Gibbs
Here's a really interesting article about the TruVote machine.

Microsoft and TruVote Form A Strategic Alliance

http://www.thetennesseetribune.com/news/Article/Article...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 11:05 PM
Response to Original message
18. Thanks for your report!
Looking forward to hearing more.

B.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hapameli Donating Member (449 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 11:26 PM
Response to Original message
19. Election Reform Forum in So Cal yesterday - around 75-90 attended!
I posted this in response to someone's question in a dead thread (http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... ) since I typed it all up once, here is my report again (and this one is spell-checked, thankfully):

This is the action we received during the Election Reform Community Forum, which was awesome, btw! It was hosted by a Grassroots for Change group and Open Voting Consortium.

Robert Cohen, producer of "VoterGate" spoke on "Uncovering the Truth About New Computer Voting Systems". Please publicize his film, which is on his website, www.votergate.tv

The Freeway Blogger was there too! He was awesome and inspiring, it was a total highlight. His site is freewayblogger.com (currently having difficulties).

Jim March, a libertarian/republican from www.BlackBoxVoting.org spoke on "Existing Voter Systems and the Evils of Diebold"

Alan Deshert, President and founder of Open Voting Consortium (www.openvoting.org ), explained "What is Open Voting?" and "Deprivitizing the Voting System in America: From Invisible Ballots to Open Voting"

"Electile Dysfunction" (www.electile-dysfunctionmovie.com ) director/producer Penny Little spoke on "Electile Dysfunction in Ohio and How Ordinary Citizens Can Effect Change"

The city clerk also attended and spoke.

Also saw a very effective new 2 1/2 minute commercial from Common Cause that will be going out to 3 million people soon. A new forum, www.CommonForum.org, was also announced.

They also told us that we need to pressure Congress for the Holt Bill (HR 550, The Voter Confidence and increased Accessibility Act of 2005), which Verified Voting calls "The gold standard" for voting reform.

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear Representative X:

I am very concerned about electronic voting, and wish to see reforms enacted that guarantee the following:

-Electronic voting machines will generate a paper ballot that voters can privately and independently verify.

-Mandatory surprise percentage recounts of these ballots are required as a check against the machine counts.

- Election officials are properly trained in the use of the machines.

- All software and hardware is vigorously audited and monitored before the voters cast their votes.

Please support HR 550, the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2005, which the non-profit organization Verified Voting calls "the gold standard" for voting reform.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
berniew1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
21. I also just got back from the conference. Evidence strong of stolen electi
Edited on Sun Apr-10-05 11:38 PM by berniew1
on.

There were lots of knowledgable people at the confernce with a lot of good information I wasn't aware of from states all over the U.S. Its clear there were significant problems in most states and major problems in some states. Several states appear to have been swung by the fraud and manipulation, and the evidence for it is strong and growing. Lots of people still working on audits and making the case; some just starting major audit functions, such as in California. Lots of work going on in Georgia, N. Carolina, Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, and other states. There are people with documentation from different perspectives and there will be an effort to bring these together since they are mutually supportive. Much plans for followup based on suggestions at the conference.

There is something everyone can do in their area to further the effort.
Do an audit comparing signatures on log books in your precinct or other precincts with indications of prolbem to the official counts. Get a breakout from the SOE or votes for your county or state or precincts by early voting, absentee, election day, and provisional and look for irregularities, undervotes, indications of fraud or misvotes.
Someone needs to followup on audits of precincts where the exit polls showed major difference from official votes; likely indicates stuffing the ballot bo x(phantom votes) or other fraud.
Most county SOEs received large numbers of complaints, calls, etc. after the election. Get a copy of county SOE complaints for counties in your area, and compile a summory of what you find and post it.
These are things that can't be done by a few individuals, but can be done collectively by many in their local areas. Several at the conference have already started such efforts, and the audit group there has instructions on how to carry out various kinds of audits of you local precincts or county.



Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-05 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Thanks, Bernie! Where can we get those audit instructions?
Rest well. Then write and tell us.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AtLiberty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-05 06:57 AM
Response to Reply #21
25. SOE? What's that?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
rigel99 Donating Member (621 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-05 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #25
31. probably Superintendent of Elections....
Superintendent of Elections (county person)
that's what Georgia calls them anyway..
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
fooj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-05 02:44 AM
Response to Original message
24. Hey Lady! An eventful trip can get those juices flowin...
Thanks for the update! "WORD OF MOUTH" is the name of the game! I'm on it! Get some rest, will ya? Feel free to pm if there's anything I can help you with...

Peace! :patriot:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
keepthemhonest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-05 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #24
26. hey there !
It's monday morning I am still recovering but I just got an email


from "Dwayne A. Rapp" <Dwayne@triadgsi.com >
Date: 2005/04/11 Mon AM 08:11:10 EDT
To: me
Subject: RE: I support VR's Divestiture for Democracy!
That was all it said,
so I guess Triad is with us on this so we'll see sho is next. Did anyone else get a response like this one
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-12-05 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #26
32. Are you sure it didn't say...
it was caught by their spam filter and deleted? That's what mine said when I sent it from the VR site a few weeks ago.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
keepthemhonest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-12-05 06:17 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. no it did not say that
but I sent the message to Brad friedman and he said it probably was some type of spam filter. Bummer.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
keepthemhonest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-05 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
27. Bernie Ellis
who headed the Nashville conference ended with this inspirational /I am not the religious type but found it very moving.


From the Hopi Elders

You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
Now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour.

Here are the things that must be considered:
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?

Know our garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.

Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.

This could be a good time!

There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.
They will try to hold on to the shore.
They will feel like they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.

Know the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off toward the middle of the river,
keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.
See who is there with you and celebrate.

At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves!
For the moment we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

The time of the lonely wolf is over. Gather yourselves!
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we have been waiting for.

The Elders, Oraibi, Arizona, Hopi Nation

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-05 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. I love that prayer. They zero in on our deepest vulnerability, our...
...desire for a leader, a Man (or Woman) on a White Horse, a Knight in Shining Armor, who will battle the Dark Lords and save us, or, barring that, an amazing event--such as an election fraud whistleblower coming forward--that will change everything ("proof!"); or, a major newspaper actually doing its job and investigating and exposing the election; or, or, or...

...something or someone other than ourselves rescuing us.

-----

"And do not look outside yourself for the leader."

-----

How many posts have we seen here, trashing John Kerry because he WASN'T a White Knight, hoping that John Conyers or Barbara Boxer WILL BE our White Knight; fussing and whining over our corrupt, collusive or clueless leaders in every jurisdiction (I'm guilty of it, too); or wanting great drama and headlines and court convictions to somehow solve the problem that we have lost control of OUR democracy.

Not that we shouldn't criticize our leaders. Of course we should. But execrating them as cowardly and/or as having "abandoned" us means that we are mistakenly relying on THEIR courage, and THEIR patriarchal protection, to make things right for us all.

It's OUR democracy. We must own it. We must see that it works for the benefit of all. If the last four and half years (or indeed the last several decades) have shown us nothing else, it is that we cannot take our democracy for granted any longer. No one can BE our democracy for us. We must BE the democracy that we desire to have. We must live it every day. It is up to us to CREATE it. No one in power will do that for us.

Part of the problem of this election fraud is that Americans HAVE taken democracy for granted, have not participated, and have relied on leaders to do the right thing. (Thomas Jefferson would be aghast! Leaders doing the right thing? Ha! Be vigilant, citizens! Be ever on your guard against tyranny!). Thus, we ALLOWED our government to install a wholly non-transparent election system that cannot verify who was elected president--and that is easily manipulable, and controlled by Bush Republicans!

Democracy is a collective effort, grounded in a collective consciousness, each of us doing our part, and each of us vitally important to the whole. That is its premise. We are in the process of rediscovering what democracy really means, that leaders are the expressions of the collective will, not its dictators (nor White Knights), and that the foundation of every power and every decision is the SOVEREIGN CITIZENRY, not the leaders.

This is a hard thing to grasp hold of, in our current situation--our leaders have gotten so out of control. But it is not a matter of having better leaders. It's a matter of restoring the rightful premise of our democracy: citizen education, citizen action, citizen control, and our collective exercise of our sovereignty.

Each one important. Each one doing their part. And no great burden of power or decision or action falling on any one person (and thus no great temptation to abuse of power).

That process of recovering our democracy started before the election, in a wondrous, new grass roots democracy movement that elected John Kerry president. The election fraud was a severe blow to that movement, as it was meant to be. But there are signs that that movement is putting itself back together.

Those of us in the older age brackets (and those who study history) can see the erosion of our democracy occurring over time. It didn't happen overnight. And it's not going to be restored by us overnight. But it is indeed a "river"--the Hopis metaphor--a natural force within human consciousness, a deep hunger for fairness and justice, that cannot be stopped. And it is rippling throughout the whole world right now. We are the anomaly--the U.S.--we are the people clinging to the shore of old institutions and power arrangements that are simply not working any more, and also clinging (some of us) to our economic and weapons powers, as if they could protect us and our democracy from a trashed and a chaotic planet that those very economic and weapons powers are creating.

What I see is that democracy did not really succeed in the United States over the long haul. Part of why it did not succeed was the development of atomic weapons, which gave the president the power of life and death over billions of people, at the touch of a button. The president thereafter became not just a king, not just an emperor, but a God--and we surround him with protection and pomp and untouchability and reverence, just as if he were a God.

JFK's assassination back in 1964, was a blow to our belief in our God's immortality, more even than a political event--a blow from which many of us have not yet recovered, emotionally. We are repeating some old human patterns here. Now the rightwing worships Bush in the same way (if not with the same justification--I mean, Kennedy was more worthy by far). But why should that have been such a blow--in a democracy?

Cause for sadness, yes (and certainly for investigation!--don't get me started). But a blow of such great magnitude that most Americans who lived through it can still remember every detail of where they were, and what they were doing, at that moment? A blow so great that many feel that our democracy ended that day?

I mean, JFK almost didn't win the 1960 election (and some say he won it by election fraud!). He was quite popular and refreshing and new, and had a great many rivetting things to say (and did some great things). But he was just a president, just a man filling an office. Our government went on--the office was filled again--but the heart of our democracy stopped beating that day, many feel.

It was a huge trauma. Why? Because many loved him? Because he was admirable? Because he was so young, and especially loved by the young? Nope. I think it was because that shouldn't happen to the God of our Nation, the man who could annihilate us all, and the entire planet, on a whim, at the push of a button, and by whose grace --wisdom, beneficence, magnanimity--we are all allowed to live.

(I suppose there is another way to look at this: That democracy was foiled by the assassins--and THAT'S why people were so traumatized by it. We weren't a country where that kind of thing happened very often. We were a stable, prosperous democracy. We didn't have serial killers, and random mass murders, and unglued CIA assets back then--not within country anyway. It was a very uncommon event in the U.S. But I don't think the magnitude of that shock can be accounted for on such reasonable grounds. Something more was at work. Worship of a young monarch, at the very least. Maybe I go too far by saying it was an assassination of a God. Still, you can't deny the power of that individual, the president, over all mankind--the power of a God--and it shook us to our foundation that the individual in whom we had invested this Godlike power could be so vulnerable. And we have since surrounded the president with protection far beyond the protection that any emperor has ever received.)

Leader worship has always been a snag in our democracy. (Ask George Washington, whom some people wanted to crown as a king.) But not until the mid-20th Century, and 1945 to be exact, did it become a major problem, eating away at the heart of democracy.

Now we have people who think that the government is innocent until proven guilty (of election fraud, for instance). (Our Founders would be appalled--they all knew that government is guilty until proven innocent--that's why they hacked up its powers into different branches, and tried to insure a free press.)

In any case, we do not have a democracy any more, in my opinion, and we have a long way to go to get it back. It's been a long time in the losing. This totally non-transparent election was the coup de grace. (Wally O'Dell counting all our votes with secret, proprietary programming code--I mean, come on.)

And it's up to us--all living Americans--to recover this great legacy that was ours, and pass it along to the future.

------

"We are the ones we have been waiting for."

-----



Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
keepthemhonest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-05 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Peace Patriot
that was very deep and sounds like a pretty accurate depiction of history. I guess this is a good message to us from Bernie. What a gift, we need to go out and pass it on. Thank you for reminding me of our history and why our government was set up the way it was. It is people like you on our side that make me feel like we have a chance of turning this around and getting our democracy back, but it isn't going to happen by sitting around and waiting for others like John Kerry or John cconyers to save us all.

What I am going to call my No Cheating Tolerance Law:
I like JFK and i like Bill Clinton but I would not want to know that they got into office because they cheated. I do not think that any amount of cheating should be tolerated and that any amount of disenfranchisement of any certain population should be tolerated.

Thanks again Peace Patriot , talk to you soon.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-05 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
29. keepthemhonest, thank you very much for your post. I've been...
...hungering for reports from the conference! Your report is very detailed, and it helped put me right in the midst of it (in my imagination). It was very, very kind and thoughtful of you to write all this and get it posted!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
keepthemhonest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-13-05 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #29
36. Peace patriot I just wanted to clarify because there are a
real derelict( rhymes with giggle) out there who poses to not understand what I said.

I said"I like JFK and I like Bill Clinton but I would not want to know that they got into office because they cheated. I do not think that any amount of cheating should be tolerated and that any amount of disenfranchisement of any certain population should be tolerated." but I was referring to cheating their way into office. Is that clear to the normal people?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-13-05 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. Yeah, it's clear, keepthemhonest. There have been a lot of shenanigans...
...in U.S. elections over the decades and centuries. Democrats were accused of it in the 1960 election. Nixon's people certainly get the prize for dirty tricks during elections. (I believe that's how Karl Rove got his start. And Watergate was a Nixon re-election committee burglary of the Democratic campaign headquarters.)

But I have never, ever, ever seen anything like this 2004 election, with the use of Republican-owned private, secret programming code running all the electronic voting machines. Prior to this, if there was cheating, it was possible to discover it. It occurred at human speed, and was something the human eye could see. But voting on electronic machines with no paper trail is as good as throwing your ballot into a river. And permitting PARTISAN private parties to have control over it is insane.

Before it was a contest. As in Florida, in '00, you could have a big fight about it, with both sides as observers and both sides arguing their points. You might lose. But you had a chance. Things had already gone seriously awry at that time, with the disenfranchisement of black voters in particular, and with a Bush-controlled Supreme Court that made a very bad and unprecedented decision. But it was still mostly visible. Everybody KNEW Bush and his operative (and his brother) stole it.

This is far different. There is not even a modicum of democracy about what happened on November 2, 2004. The 2004 election was fraudulent before anybody cast a vote (or tried to). The election SYSTEM was fraudulent.

That's the point I keep trying to make with these election fraud naysayers who show up at DU, from time to time, and say, "where's the proof?".

Right. Prove Bush won. THAT's "the proof." It cannot be proven that Bush won. The election was non-transparent and unverifiable. The official tally was controlled by two companies, both run by major Bush supporters, and which produced the official tally from central electronic vote tabulators using secret source code. These numbers were then fed to the TV networks, who used them to CHANGE the exit poll data on everybody's TV screens that said Kerry won (thus depriving the American people of strong evidence of fraud).

There is strong evidence of a wrong outcome (not just Kerry winning the exit polls, but the way the official tally is skewed to Bush, vs. the exit polls--experts have put the odds at ten million to won, that that skew to Bush could occur). AND Republican election officials committed egregious violations of the Voting Rights Act in at least two critical states (Ohio and Florida).

A non-transparent election is INVALID. It's not a matter of proof. It's a matter of legitimacy.

It's one thing to have Mayor Daley's political machine fiddling the vote in Chicago, or Nixon's people trying to find dirt on Democrats (if that's what they were doing in the Watergate). It's quite another to have no way to prove who won, and no checks and balances on cheating.

And, in addition to no checks and balances, to have partisan operatives like Kenneth Blackwell breaking the law with impunity.

We are so far beyond the kinds of cheating that used to occur that we are, in effect, no longer a democracy.

So, before we can deal with anything else, we have to get back to square one: a democracy. The right to vote, and the right to have our vote counted in a transparent process.

If cheating can occur--not DID occur, CAN occur--at the speed of light, on a massive scale, invisible to the human eye, controlled by one side, then we do not have the right to vote. It's gone.




Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
keepthemhonest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-05 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #37
38. You have a good argument
and while I already was aware of most of the things you mentioned, the way the last line was written, it became even more black and white to me.

"If cheating can occur--not DID occur, CAN occur--at the speed of light, on a massive scale, invisible to the human eye, controlled by one side, then we do not have the right to vote. It's gone"

That line scared me and made me realise I need to fight even harder.Thank you for that.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu May 23rd 2019, 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Election Reform Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC