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The price of liberty remains the same -- help keep the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act intact

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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:52 AM
Original message
The price of liberty remains the same -- help keep the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act intact
Edited on Sat Mar-21-09 09:53 AM by Fly by night
(Preface: Ever since I was locked up for eighteen months in a federal Bureau of Prisons facility in Nashville, I have sent out periodic messages to a group of my 500+ closest friends. This morning's message asked all of them to pitch in to help us save the TN Voter Confidence Act, a law we enacted last year to replace our DREs before the 2010 elections with paper ballots (read by opscans) AND mandatory random manual audits to ensure the accuracy of the opscans. We could really use the help of DUers all around the country with this effort. Please read and help us save our little piece of democracy in this year's red-bud winter.)

Good morning all and a belated Happy Vernal Equinox:

Ah, yes. Cool mornings and warm days -- perfect weather to be out and about. But this morning, I must make another eternal vigilance payment to maintain (or keep within striking distance) the look and feel of freedom in this country. This note will be short, as any request for help should be to all of you who have helped keep my head above water in the government's cesspool for so long now.

There were three things that helped me keep my focus during my days in the federal Bureau of Prisons "house" -- the knowledge that all of you were out there doing what you could to make this planet a better place (some close enough to feed my dogs, some so far away that our only contact may always be the touch of my fingers on this keyboard and the touch of yours on yours); the warmth that friendship and faux flirtation always brings (it is springtime after all, so an old man's fancy must remember that); and, finally, the pressing need to save our democracy. All those things still surround me, and still impel me to action. I hope they will you too, regardless of where you are.

In the great Blue tidal wave that swept across this country last November, Tennessee stood out for its contrariness. For months now, seemingly intelligent people have tried to parse our election results, have tried to decipher the signs of our political mind-set even though it was written in the invisible ink of non-verifiable voting machines. Some can (and have) argued that we are the last bastion of a dying world-view -- a blood-Red nest of radical right-wingivores. Others have speculated that the delay in replacing our "faith-based" voting systems with paper ballots and the scrutiny of human eyes and hands in measuring the "consent of the governed" was solely to accomplish one more tampered-with election that, after all, brought Republican control of our state legislature for the first time since Reconstruction and -- with it -- control over our state and county election commissions. There is no way to know the truth -- and that is the point. The only thing I know for sure after last fall's election in Tennessee is that our voting machines surely vote Republican, even as the well-measured (and true) will of our people remains clouded behind a made-for-revolution shroud.

As we should know by now, the price of liberty (and a good Garden) is eternal vigilance. There is nothing we can do to make our Gardens (and our political life) safer, more productive, more fair that cannot be undone by neglect. And just like our Gardens, political preventive maintenance (pulling undemocratic weeds when they're not yet tenaciously established) is always the best practice. So it is with our body politic.

Last year, we celebrated a near unanimous vote in our legislature in support of the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act which would replace our unverifiable voting machines by the 2010 election with paper ballots and manual audits. This year, like seed-ticks burrowing inside our britches to suck our essence dry, a gaggle of GOPers have proposed legislation that would kill (or drain the life-blood) out of that law before it is implemented. We have to nip this un-American effort in the bud. Regardless of where you live, regardless of your world-view, you can help. Regardless of your politics, we are all in this together.

This coming Tuesday, two legislative committees will discuss the bills to kill or drain the life-blood out of our democracy by repealing or weakening the TN Voter Confidence Act. A small hand-ful of legislators have the power right now to keep this contagion contained, to kill these anti-democratic measures in committee, before they spread their pestilence further. These committees need to hear from all y'all, whether you live in Tennessee or not.

Please cut-and-paste the following addresses into an email to these committees, and tell them that you want Tennessee's votes to count exactly as they were cast. Tell them that regardless of where you live (be it Clarksville or Cameroon, Winchester or Windy Croft castle in England, Davidson county or Darwin, Northern Australia), a democracy survives when the consent of the governed is measured right, is measured well. Tell these committees to "KEEP THE TN VOTER CONFIDENCE ACT INTACT." If you do that, we might just prevail.

Here are the committees:

House Elections sub-committee:,,,,,,

Senate State and Local Government committee:,,,,,,,,,

This is the time of year for all of us to be basking in the warmth and the promise of our own Gardens. I would spend all my time there myself, but the threats to our democracy have instead impelled me to travel to Nashville several times a week to lobby our legislators to protect our franchise. It is fun to be the only lobbyist there in blue-jeans and a dirt-stained work jacket. I like the looks of fear and confusion that drain from the well-funded faces of the corporate leeches who line our legislators' offices, fighting for prime real estate on our government's fast-drying-up hind-teat.

Help me out, help me get back to my Garden, help me save our democracy, here in the greening hills of Tennessee as the last killing frosts of winter give way to red-bud spring. Thanks in advance for taking a few minutes to remind these legislators what a real democracy sounds like. And thanks, as always, for being there for me.

This will be my one and only political appeal to you, my 500+ closest friends, this year. I am working on another piece now that I think you'll enjoy (if that is the right word) -- a piece entitled "The times I could have died". Look for it soon and keep celebrating the lives we are allowed to live, in our own small and greening pieces of heaven or the lands that lay close by.

Take good care. Fly by night
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. <<<<< crickets >>>>> ((((( hoot owls))))) 00000 treefrogs 00000
Edited on Sat Mar-21-09 04:02 PM by Fly by night
Hello? Anybody home?
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 06:19 PM
Response to Original message
2. Testing... testing... 1,2,3... Hey, is this on?
Edited on Sat Mar-21-09 06:19 PM by Fly by night
Wow, I've never seen this place this quiet. March madness consumes us. Seriously, it's not just that this thread hasn't gotten anything except my own snarky remarks but that no other thread here has gotten a single comment posted all day.

Spring break, 'eh?

OK, I can dig it. Back to the Garden.
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Stevepol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
3. Now that Obama is in, this forum is slowly rusting away,
this despite the fact that this issue remains the most critical one in the country IMO. Even if Obama should find solutions to the depression, the bank crisis, the two wars, etc., these problems will just recur in more intractable form in the future if we still can't elect our own leaders, fairly and freely.
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I would be happy to resume my day of collecting ER news
if I could get six other people to go in with me.
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-24-09 06:24 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. I would love for you to do that. This issue NEVER goes away folks.
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-24-09 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Well, I would love for me to do that too, but
I tried it weekly by myself for a while, and simply could not physically put in the time necessary to dig to the level I felt reasonable on a once-a-week basis. I'm talking about more than eight hours, variable depending on the amount of news. When I was doing it daily, and others were taking their days, it took me 3-4 hours (probably would take less for people with a better connection than I), which I could do.

I don't see any sense in doing it weekly and skimming the surface, as there are other places that do that.

So that's why I said I'd like to do it if I could get six other people, or at least enough for every other day.

My previous statements on the matter:
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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Also, you would think that, "the DU Election Reform" community would be on THE SAME PAGE
Edited on Sun Mar-22-09 11:46 PM by kster
when it comes to the counting of OUR ballots, some think mechanical lever machine counting is best. Some think Diebold/Sequoia electronic vote counting is best.

We are all adults and we all know whats is best, but yet the silliness continues at the
"DU Election Reform". Hand Count the Ballots at the PRECINCT! Its the only way to bring back sanity to our democracy.

This may be why people are losing interest in this community, facts are facts.


K& (To late to R)
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-23-09 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. It's a big page, kster -- not a small one. Our Voter Confidence Act is a step in the right direction
For most of us, it's not a leap to the gold standard -- it a trudge along the never-ending road to secure our elections. If you're not working for change where you are, and aren't putting the time and energy there that you do here (we hear you, kster, we've heard you (over and over again) for four years now.)

Thanks to anyone who said anything here. Good to know there are still a few sentries out on the election integrity trail.
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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-24-09 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. We have a big microphone called the INTERNET. There is no reason to compromise
with these crooks or beg them for anything, Hand Count the Paper Ballots at the precinct.

We are in the DU election Reform and we know right from wrong when it comes to the counting of our ballots.

Dancing with the devil will not make him do the right thing.

Fighting to get rid of one type of secret vote counting machine only to keep one of the other machines is Dancing with the devil.....

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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
5. Love to you, Fly, At least, I can send a wee flirt your way
since it is too late for a rec.
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