New Civilization News: Are The Democrats Poised For Victory?    
 Are The Democrats Poised For Victory?47 comments
picture16 May 2006 @ 10:05, by Richard Carlson

Bring yourself back to the point quite gently. And even if you do nothing during the whole of your hour but bring your heart back a thousand times, though it went away every you brought it back, your hour would be very well employed.

---St. Francis De Sales, On Meditation

It is important to see that the main point of any spiritual practice is to step out of the bureaucracy of ego. This means stepping out of ego's constant desire for a higher, more spiritual, more transcendental version of knowledge, religion, virtue, judgment, comfort or whatever it is that the particular ego is seeking.

---Chogyam Trungpa

To find perfect composure in the midst of change is to find nirvana.

---Shunryu Suzuki

"County Election" by George Caleb Bingham 1851

At my workplace the other day, a retired social studies teacher, in to substitute and an astute Republican, challenged us assembled Democrats in the lunchroom. We're in Ohio remember, where the gubernatorial election in November will decide between Democrat Ted Strickland, a sensible and friendly man, and Republican Kenneth Blackwell, deranged and perhaps crooked evangelist. Our Republican friend said, "If you guys can't win this time, you'll never win!"

Not counting the distinct possibility that both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections were rigged, it would seem the Democrats have issues galore and an increasing advantage as the campaign season begins. But what do we see, what do we hear? I see business-as-usual, I hear snoring. Where is thundering oratory about corruption and injustice? I am not alone on the brink of dismissing the Democrats as out to lunch. What follows is a review of Ted Kennedy's new book, written by the publisher of Harper's Magazine.

Edward Kennedy's Bland, Tepid Book

Posted on Sunday, May 14, 2006. Edward Kennedy and the Democrats' dwindling hopes. Originally from The Providence Journal, Tuesday, May 2, 2006. By John R. MacArthur.

If you want to know why the Democrats are unlikely to retake the majority in either house of Congress this November, you need look no further than the boilerplate party platform, just published, entitled America Back on Track and allegedly written by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D., Mass.). Already, that Kennedy claims to be the actual author of this "book" reveals an unbecoming vanity—common to his father and late brothers—that weakens the cause of defeating President Bush's right-wing hordes. But worse is that one of the last, semi-authentic liberals in the upper house would let his name be used by a party machine that seems determined to maintain its minority status in Washington.

With Bush way down in the polls, Tom Delay in disgrace and Iraq a growing disaster, you would think that the Democrats, including Kennedy, might sense an opportunity. Read this committee-written tract and witness the opportunity squandered, just as it was squandered in 2004 by the junior senator from Massachusetts, the “Kennedyesque” John Kerry.

To be fair, Ted Kennedy does acknowledge a “collaborator” for America Back on Track named Jeffrey Madrick, the editor of Challenge Magazine. But it's not fair to poor Madrick to be saddled with such a task, or blamed for the result, even if he was well paid.

Turgid, often self-contradictory, and always predictable, this book—if it had to be published—should have been ghosted by somebody with the courage to reject at least some of the bromides mandated by a party leadership in rapid decay.

Which isn't to say that America Back on Track is useless. Viewed as the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee platform for the 2006 campaign, it has value as a summary. Kennedy/Madrick marshal lots of alarming facts and statistics to buttress their criticisms—overly polite—of Bush and the belligerent Republican majority in Congress. For example, in the realm of Bush administration secrecy, I didn't know that Congress's nonpartisan General Accounting Office had to resort to a lawsuit (unsuccessful) for the first time in its 80-year history to try to pry loose the membership of Vice President Dick Cheney's notoriously secret energy task force.

Regarding America's class, race and market-distorted education system, it's interesting to learn that France and Germany, on a percentage basis, graduate twice as many students with bachelor's degrees in science, math, computer technology and engineering as the U.S. does—this, in part, because U.S. pharmaceutical companies pay their MBAs so much more than their PhDs. On average, say the authors, U.S. “teachers earn . . . almost $8,000 less than comparable graduates in other fields, and the gap almost triples to $23,000 after fifteen years.”

Conventional liberals, Kennedy/Madrick want the federal government to increase its paltry contribution to public schools, still too reliant on the class-biased, locally levied property tax. Washington now provides only 8 percent of K-12 funding, ensuring that Bush's “No Child Left Behind” program will remain a cruel fraud (Howard Dean called it “No Child Left Untested”).

Addressing America's increasingly sordid labor market, Kennedy/Madrick note the obvious: that workers can't live decently on the minimum wage—frozen since 1997 at $5.15 an hour—particularly since there's no national health insurance. Disgusting enough, but worse when you learn that 86 percent of low-wage food-service workers receive not one day of paid sick leave.

But as Kennedy systematically kneels at each station of the cross of liberalism—racial equality, environmental protection, universal health care and international cooperation among others—I can't help being struck by the timidity of someone supposedly so far to the left of the American spectrum and so politically secure in his position.

If you can wade through the sea of blandness, all the way to the end, you might conclude that the country is in dreadful shape—steered by a reckless and tyrannical president; mired in an utterly unjustified foreign bloodbath; dominated by jeering plutocrats and shyster corporations—and that something radical needs to be done. In the face of this crisis, Kennedy et al. offer clichés, sometimes contradictory, in the voice of an advertising agency: “Terrorism is our greatest threat . . . ”; “among our most tragic errors is that we have not clearly defined our new enemy”; then, apparently thinking better of the first statement, “terrorism is our newest enemy, but the spread of nuclear weapons remains our greatest threat.”

Meanwhile, Kennedy can't get the economic threats straight either. He wants a “job-creation tax credit” in the U.S. to combat job losses and wage declines caused by “offshoring.” But he evidently hasn't considered the vast wage differential between Springfield and Shanghai. Like other Democratic “free-traders,” and “pro-immigrant” politicians, Kennedy can't reconcile his supposed love of the American working stiff with his distaste for protective tariffs.

Absent high tariffs on cheap Chinese imports, and without a substantial, government-driven transfer of wealth from the top (where Kennedy lives) to the bottom (where the stiffs reside), all the “job training” in the world won't do much to ease the pain. Raising the minimum wage would help, but unless there's a limit on the flood of desperate immigrants—“guest workers” or illegals—you can't expect the free market to force wages up “naturally” to a humane level. You can't have it every which way. So Kennedy ducks and proposes “community-impact statements” when a corporation ships its assembly line to Mexico or China. Thanks, Ted.

He also ducks on energy. The market (and higher taxes) can promote conservation and fight pollution—indeed, we should welcome higher oil prices to discourage consumption and increase fuel efficiency. But Kennedy only suggests more stringent government mileage standards for cars and trucks because he's afraid of opposing cheap gasoline. At the same time, his call for greater investment in “alternative . . . energy, especially renewable sources such as solar, biomass, and wind energy” is hypocritical given his steadfast opposition to the proposed Nantucket Sound wind-energy project.

As for Iraq, “it's hard to maintain with a straight face that the war was justified” but Kennedy the party man dares not fall out with Democratic hawks and declares that “success in Iraq is essential . . . ” This is both asinine and cynical. Imagine reading these two phrases together at the funeral of your son or daughter killed in the Sunni Triangle.

I wonder what would have happened if Ted Kennedy had really written his own book, free of party dogma and the ghosts of his brothers. A radical notion, but I've heard from mutual friends that he has an authentically generous heart. And even the professional Kennedy hater Howie Carr admits that Ted Kennedy has a sense of humor, a commodity sorely lacking in America Back on Track. In his book, The Brothers Bulger, Carr quotes Teddy's response to a restaurant meeting with the scary and obdurate Billy Bulger, the longtime Massachusetts Senate president. Bulger had insisted on ordering the most expensive items on the menu, all the while refusing to compromise with Kennedy. “I don't know whether we should try to persuade him,” Kennedy remarked to an associate. “I know we can't afford to keep feeding him.”

It's never too late to get back on track. Just ask the former drunk driver George Bush.

About the Author
John R. MacArthur is the publisher of Harper's Magazine.

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16 May 2006 @ 15:52 by rayon : Guess it is about
finding out the real news on one's own. The scope of the problem seems to be vastness in every quarter, each like a runaway train. Where are the hills? How will American turn back the tide it has so efficiently established for itself to the core. A mixing of the metaphors here not good. But how else to touch briefly from across the pond. The people placed so who do hold back the tide, I have found them, depend on a living from the very organisations reving the engines of Post Modernity for its own sake. They temporarily have a quorum of support to bulwark the tide. How long can this continue?

Eradicating all those systems and communication structures that represent linear time is one way to slow down the consumer/production/profit train so long as it is coupled with learning to appreciate the effects of constant time and put these to good use, creating ease on the individual body, reducing stress directly on celular turnover in the body physic. Out of this greater awareness of surroundings comes an affection/realisation and maybe some love for surrounding family and friends and even outsiders. And a recognition of other types of contribution that such awareness carries.

In the Levant when the Goths/or Vandals finally struck the ancient and marbled city of Antioch. They set up camp outside the City. Needing water they scaled the viaduct broke open the top on the side so that the w ater cascaded down for them in their temporary camp. One of the greatest and most beautiful cities of the world, all made of white marble, fell quite quickly.

So my money is on the notion of Linear Time. Interestingly the Imperial measures in paper size, feet and and inches, etc all relate to Constant time, like round clock, not liquid crystal numerical display. Metric standards relate to linear time. It is a fascinating exercise noting the differences of each and the extending of their effects into Other realms of quite different states and meaning. The more design relates to the individual, the more awareness he has and the more he will be able to make a judgement related to love and family and sustainability. The less relating to individual the more the corporate has a stranglehold on the mass emotion as their is little environmental relating to individual identity. Like drug it sleepens the mind into habiitual mode, depending totally for guidance on instant bodily gratification as primary source of trusted reality, lowest common denominator equals equality for all at that level only.

If consumption is controlled, the mind takes over with the minutest sense of harmony entering into the equation of mind/body individual function, and tries to build on this new found sense of delight which is FREE just for the knowing. It tries to get more of this free stuff of goodness which starts to produce of its own accord being in tune with natural things, but the goodwill has to be there in the first place and must never depart.

Not a happy tale Jazzolog of yours here. The giant consuming/producing machine is attracting all sorts from other countries who would like to function without mind but with body first dictating the needs, they are willing giving themselves to this machine. Why do we not enter into an agreement of swapping your place for theirs, if the train cannot be held up and slowed down? Is this an idea. I would be happy to live in Acapulco or somewhere, don't mind learning spanish.  

16 May 2006 @ 16:41 by jmarc : Assuming
that the dems win, and I am, I'm interested in how pundits such as yourself will reconcile that truth with the stated belief that the republicans are fixing the elections. I think I'll be dizzy watching the spin. Well anyway, good luck.
PS... funny you mentioned a kennedy and a drunk driver, and not a drunken Kennedy driver. I guess you're just going to let that whole Patrick thing slide eh?  

16 May 2006 @ 20:53 by Quinty @ : What should the Democrats do?

Continue to remind Americans that President Clinton reduced the deficit to a surplus. That the Democrats offered a far sounder and stable economic program. And that tax cuts for the rich are not a solution to our problems.

Repeat over and over again that the Bush administration lied to the American people in order to exploit their trust and uncertainties for an illegal, unnecessary, and terribly self-destructive war. While emphasizing (yes, it will lose the jingo vote) that criticizing the policy is not same as criticizing or not “backing” the troops. Nail the quagmire directly on Bush, admitting that many people, including Democrats, were fooled by his lies.

Hammer at the corruption, the waste, the selfish exploitation. Talk about Paul Bremmer’s economic policies in Iraq and about Halliburton, KBR, the missing Iraqi billions, as well as big pharma, the oil companies, monopolistic corporate power, and the degradation of basic government oversight and common protective services in the EPA, FDA, etc. Remind the voters of K Street and of Vice President Cheney’s secret summit with oil industry excec’s and other Republican scandals.

Offer a genuine national (world wide) alternative energy program. One which will wean us off foreign oil resources. This should not be that hard to do. After all, we are quite close to being there. Had we not squandered hundreds of billions on Iraq we might have been well on the way of surmounting this problem by now.

Remind the voters that the Bush administration’s base is the “haves and have mores,” as the president himself once said. And that this president does not really care about the problems of the American people. Remind the voters of the fraudulent tax cuts and who they really benefit, bringing out the statistics. And let’s not forget corporate perks, and how the Bush administration has allowed our infrastructure and many basic services to deteriorate.

Offer courage. Leadership in the face of incompetence and lies. The American people are yearning for it. Leadership will require the novelty of speaking truth to the American people. And at first it will be greatly resisted. Many Americans have been conditioned into believing a fantasy world of self-serving neocon, rightwing, and corporate lies. A decent candidate will overcome this hurdle, and will be bold enough to attempt to awaken millions of Americans who still cling to the Bush administration’s perversions of truth. What’s more, why vote for an alternative if that new candidate doesn’t offer an alternative after all? Why offer our votes on the basis of another empty hope? By hoping the hints in that candidate’s rhetoric will be true once he or she is president?

If the Democrats repeat over and over again these fundamental facts they will eventually enter into the mainstream. And those Americans who are shocked today by these simple truths will eventually accept them. The Bushies, after all, lied and lied and lied: until their lies were finally accepted as truth and reality. Can’t an opposition party do the same to bring out and establish the truth? In order to make unpleasant realities acceptable? For without first facing them nothing will ever change.

Me? I’m for Feingold at this moment. Fat chance, though, his getting the nod. But I think some of us here are accustomed to that.  

16 May 2006 @ 21:53 by jerryvest : Right on, Quinty...I am also for
Feingold as he has opposed the Iraq debacle from the beginning. He is also bright, skillful and articulate. I think he has as much of a chance as winning the election as other democrats. I also think that the "D's" should work with the states in developing a universal health plan and reverse the drug bill for seniors that only helps the pharmaceutical and insurance cartels.

I also agree that the lies of this administration should be thoroughly brought out in the open and let the Truth prevail. The "D's" should stop trying to win over the neocons and religious zealots, they will never change their minds as they are stuck with moralistic, repressive and ignorant positions of fear, doom and gloom.

Good work, Richard!!!  

17 May 2006 @ 10:05 by jazzolog : These Are Wonderful Comments
and, as always, it is heartening when folks stop by to think over some of these issues. Coincidentally Pennsylvania's primary results are being totalled right now...and they tried the new mandated electronic voting machines for the first time statewide. Most news outlets there report everything went fine, and we don't have the kind of concern that people in Ohio have been shouting for the past 2 years. But the day is still young. BradBlog, who has been more on top of election fraud issues than anyone else on the Internet, waved some warning flags last evening though. If somehow there is anyone remaining in the States, left or right, who isn't worried about stolen elections, I urge him or her at least to browse the material Brad has put together from Florida on. I certainly welcome investigation of glitches and corruption in any election, no matter who wins. Unfortunately in America today, a group has developed that only defends its own side and mocks out (and worse) any question or dissent.

For those abroad, the company that has benefitted from the new election laws here is named Diebold. Headquartered in Ohio, the firm made news during the 2004 presidential campaign when its CEO announced he was sure the new machines would deliver Bush a clear victory. The Republican running for governor here, who is also the current Secretary of State, the position that oversees Ohio elections, was discovered recently to be a major stockholder at Diebold. I mean, wouldn't anybody respond to such a situation with at least a raised hand? Hello. Besides BradBlog the Diebold questions are summarized well in this update from Monday~~~ .  

17 May 2006 @ 16:42 by Quinty @ : Feingold

I think he would make an excellent candidate, if he gets the nomination. And if anyone can appeal to the good sense of the American people I think he could. All the talk today is about Hillary. Is that just an empty media fanfare, offering up the same old superficiality? Or is she really the leader?

Regarding Diebold, anyone who has ever programmed or worked with computers know how easy it is to make a change. The Diebold voting machines could work wonderfully in a primary, which, after all, is not the final election, and can easily be changed to make every third vote for X go to Y in the general election. While the print out or receipt the voter receives at the booth would reflect his actual vote. Paper, paper, paper: even if it takes a week to count all the votes (that would hugely upset the mass media) it would be well worth it for the sake of an honest election.  

18 May 2006 @ 09:55 by jazzolog : What Is Time, Who Should Run& Corruption
While I would prefer to spin and weave with Nicola's wonderings about Time, the immediacy of the predicament interrupts her spell. I've always contented myself with a notion of the Wheel of Life as a single dimension of linear Karma. Nraye adds rather more height and depth to the perception.

Feingold is the kind of Democrat who either gets relegated to the sidelines of the off-kilter prophet or is promptly assassinated if too many people start to listen. Besides, is this an America that is ready to say President Feingold?

My OU friend Dick McGinn sent me the recent Greg Palast interview at DemocracyNow . I found it quite confusing, often incoherent, and breathless in pushing his new book. But towards the end, Palast focuses on the challenging and discounting of votes in recent elections. I think he's on to something here, and only can wonder why the hell Democrats are so flaccid in response to this issue~~~

GREG PALAST: Yeah. Well, for those who, you know, know my background, I came to the U.S. attention when I broke a story that before the 2000 election, Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris knocked tens of thousands of black voters off the voter rolls of Florida, and this is what gave the election to George Bush in 2000. It was fixed by the knocking off of these black voters. There’s a chapter in the new book --

AMY GOODMAN: You broke this on BBC.

GREG PALAST: Yeah, I broke this on BBC, and to get in the United States, we got Michael Moore to put on a chicken suit and report it here as a joke. And then, thank you very much, Amy, for bringing it across the water and breaking through the electronic Berlin Wall. By the way, all of these stories are stories developed out of BBC and Guardian that basically are blacked out, except for here on Democracy Now! That's very important, because these are the stories that they don't want you to have for good reason. And they don't want you to have it, because -- I then followed up with 2004. Now, it’s accepted 2000 pretty much was fixed. Well, there’s a chapter, “Kerry won.” 2004 was fixed. And the way it was done is that 3.6 million votes were cast and never counted in the United States. That's very important to know. This isn’t Greg Palast conspiracy nut stuff.

AMY GOODMAN: Say the number again.

GREG PALAST: 3.6 million ballots cast, never counted. And that's because they call these spoiled votes or rejected provisional ballots, 1.9 million so-called provisional ballots, and then, most of those don't get counted. And so, whose votes don't get counted? If it was random, it wouldn’t matter. In other words, if these were votes where the machine doesn't record it properly, hanging chads, extra marks on a paper ballot, you had the wrong address on your absentee ballot, etc.

Three million ballots. Whose ballots? If you're a black person, the chance your ballot will be technically invalidated is 900% higher than if you're a white voter. Hispanic voter, 500% higher than if you're a white voter. Native Americans, it’s like 2,000% higher than if you're a white voter. The overwhelming majority -- and I went to the state of New Mexico, which supposedly Bush won by 5,000 votes, 89% of the ballots were cast out of minority precincts that were thrown away. Kerry won New Mexico. You go into the dumpster, and it’s black votes, 155,000 black votes that were chucked away in Ohio. Kerry won those votes. He won Ohio.


GREG PALAST: And ‘08, so what's happening is there is no fix of the system. In other words, just like black folk get bad schools and bad hospitals, they get the bad voting machines, which are going to kill those votes. But they're not satisfied with just letting the ballots be thrown away. They're going to move it along. And one of the things I discovered is the Republican Party has something called “caging lists,” which came to our -- you know, just like you had Friday, the way the Yes Men capture material by using false websites, so through a false website we were able to capture Republican Party internal missives, through

And so, what happened was is that they sent us a bunch of lists of literally tens of thousands of names of voters and addresses. We were wondering what the heck this was. It turns out these were almost all African American voters, who they were prepared to challenge in 2004, and they did, to say that these people shouldn't vote, because their addresses are suspect. And you'll see in the book that in the lists of thousands of black voters that they were challenging over their address were thousands of black soldiers who were sent to Iraq; go to Baghdad, and the Republican Party challenges your vote.

And that’s the beginning, and because there's been really no action taken, they're accelerating the system now. And the next thing that they’re going after is the Hispanic vote. So when we saw two million votes cast/not counted in 2000, nearly four million votes cast/not counted in 2004, you're going see that number massively increase in challenges to voters in 2008. And that's what's going back to this database story with the National Security Agency.

AMY GOODMAN: We have 30 seconds.

GREG PALAST: So, you have to say, “Why are they collecting this data?” The answer is 2008. It's ultimately all about the elections.  

19 May 2006 @ 10:04 by jazzolog : 2 Stolen Presidential Elections
Bob Fitrakis, the Green Party endorsed candidate for Governor of Ohio, was at Ohio University last night. I saw no advertisements for the event anywhere, nor any article in the newspapers. A single line in the Events Calendar of yesterday's Athens Messenger caught my eye and I got to go. The lecture hall in Bentley was hardly packed, and the students seemed not particularly informed on either who he is or what kinds of issues concern him. But Bob was at full tilt and as usual showered his audience with the "hidden" truth of this nation's political and economic situation. Those issues are listed here at the Green Party site~~~

The Fitrakis for Governor site is here~~~
Check out his credentials at the About Bob link.

He said the Democrat candidate, Ted Strickland, is a great guy and a friend, but we shouldn't expect him to hit away at stolen elections and illegal wars. While the "corporatists" own the Republican Party, the Democrat Party is available for rent whenever it serves their interests. As for the Republican candidate, Ken Blackwell belongs in jail. Here's an article he wrote, with his writing partner Harvey Wasserman, last Tuesday~~~

Elections & Voting
Will the major media finally cover the electronic election fraud issue?
By Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
Online Journal Guest Writers
May 16, 2006, 00:45

That the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004 were stolen has become an article of faith for millions of mainstream Americans. But there has been barely a whiff of coverage in the major media about any problems with the electronic voting machines that made those thefts possible -- until now.

A recent OpEdNews/Zogby People's poll of Pennsylvania residents, found that “39 percent said that the 2004 election was stolen. 54 percent said it was legitimate. But let’s look at the demographics on this question. Of the people who watch Fox news as their primary source of TV news, one half of one percent believe it was stolen and 99 percent believe it was legitimate. Among people who watched ANY other news source but FOX, more felt the election was stolen than legitimate. The numbers varied dramatically.”

Here, from that poll, are the stations listed as first choice by respondents and the percentage of respondents who thought the election was stolen: CNN, 70 percent; MSNBC, 65 percent; CBS, 64 percent; ABC, 56 percent; Other, 56 percent; NBC, 49 percent; FOX 0.5 percent.

With 99 percent of Fox viewers believing that the election was “legitimate,” only the constant propaganda of Rupert Murdoch’s disinformation campaign stands in the way of a majority of Americans coming to grips with the reality of two consecutive stolen elections.

That the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post finally ran coverage of problems with electronic voting machines this week is itself big news. It says the scandals surrounding computer fraud and financial illegalities at Diebold and other electronic voting machine companies have become simply too big and blatant for even the bought, docile mainstream media (MSM) to ignore.

The gaping holes in the security of electronic voting machines are pretty old news. Bev Harris's has been issuing definitive research since Florida 2000. warned of the impending electronic theft of Ohio 2004 with Diebold machines eight months before it happened.

After that election, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) issued a report confirming that security flaws could allow a single hacker with a wi-fi to shift the vote counts at entire precincts just by driving by. Then the Government Accountability Office reported that security flaws were vast and unacceptable throughout the national network of electronic machines.

Despite overwhelming evidence that George W. Bush has occupied the White House due to the fraudulent manipulations of the GOP Secretaries of State in Florida and Ohio, none of this has seeped into "journals of record" like the Times and Post.

Until this week. The Times was sparked out of its stupor on May 11, after officials in California and Pennsylvania warned that Diebold touch-screen machines, slated to be used in upcoming primaries, were hopelessly compromised. Michael Shamos, a professor of computer science at Pittsburgh's high-tech Carnegie-Mellon University, called it "the most severe security flaw ever discovered in a voting system."

Douglas W. Jones, a computer science professor at the University of Iowa, says "this is a barn door being wide open, while people were arguing over the lock on the front door."

The Times refers to the uproar as "the latest concern about touch-screen machines" while having completely ignored dozens of complaints in Ohio 2004 that voters who selected John Kerry's name saw George W. Bush's light up, or saw the light on Kerry's repeatedly go out before they could complete the voting process.

The Wall Street Journal ran the following kicker: "Some former backers of technology seek return to paper ballots, citing glitches, fraud fears."

The WSJ could have ran that story last year after the bipartisan commission on federal election reform co-chaired by President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker noted in no uncertain terms that: "Software can be modified maliciously before being installed into individual voting machines. There is no reason to trust insiders in the election industry any more than in other industries."

Indeed. There's every reason because of the unprecedented power and money involved in U.S. politics to trust them less than anybody else.

In its March 2006 primary, it took a week to tally Chicago's votes because of technical problems in Sequoia Voting Systems equipment. In Maryland, electronic voting scandals prompted a unanimous vote by the State House of Delegate demanding that touch-screen machines be scrapped. The Maryland Senate effectively killed that bill, which is certain to come back.

Citizen lawsuits are being filed in Arizona, California, New York and New Mexico by the nonprofit Voter Action organization.

The new concerns about Diebold's equipment were discovered by Harri Hursti, a Finnish computer expert who was working at the request of Black Box Voting. The new report forced Diebold to warn of a "theoretical security vulnerability" that "could potentially allow unauthorized software to be loaded onto the system."

In other words, one of the prime manufacturers of the machines on which America casts its votes has admitted those machines can be hacked.

But as the Times has finally reported, the company, in one of the new century's most truly laughable letters, has claimed that "the probability for exploiting this vulnerability to install unauthorized software that could affect an election is considered low."

A company spokesman has admitted the flaw was actually built into the system to allow election officials to upgrade their software. But Diebold is apparently confident that those officials would never, ever cheat. "For there to be a problem here, you're basically assuming a premise where you have some evil and nefarious election officials who would sneak in and introduce a piece of software," says Diebold's David Bear. "I don't believe these evil elections people exist."

The Times has thus far chosen not to report on the staggering history that frames such statements. As reported in 2003, Diebold CEO Walden O'Dell promised in a GOP fundraising letter to "deliver Ohio's electoral votes to George W. Bush." The election chief in Florida 2000 was Katherine Harris. In Ohio 2004 it was J. Kenneth Blackwell. Both controlled access to their state's electronic voting machines, and are widely believed to have exploited their now obvious flaws. Both served simultaneously as Secretary of State and as state co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign. As of today, the electronic access cards for Ohio's electronic voting machines have been ordered into Blackwell's personal office, despite the fact that he is the GOP nominee for governor in the upcoming November election.

Recently passed House Bill 3 in Ohio does not mandate post-election audits of electronic voting machines, nor does the Help American Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. The rush to electronic voting machines was fueled by the passing of the HAVA Act, which authorized more than $3 billion in federal funds to purchase new voting equipment. HAVA's principal architect was Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), whose financial ties to Diebold, through disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, have yet to be fully exposed.

Blackwell personally negotiated a no-bid contract for Diebold touch-screen Direct Recording Electronic machines (DREs) while holding stock in the company. Under HB3 Blackwell will decide whether the machines will be audited or not in an election where he is running for governor.

"We're prepared for those types of problems," said Deborah Hench, the registrar of voters in San Joaquin County, California, according to The Times. "There are always activists that are anti-electronic voting, and they're constantly trying to put pressure on us to change our system."

Aviel Rubin, a professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University, did the first in-depth analysis of the security flaws in the source code for Diebold touch-screen machines in 2003. After studying the latest problem, The Times reported Rubin said: "I almost had a heart attack. The implications of this are pretty astounding."

More coverage from the mainstream corporate media may surface as the machines malfunction in the 22 primary elections scheduled in May and June. The next major e-vote meltdown should occur during the May 16 primaries in Kentucky, Oregon and Pennsylvania.

There's still time to move to hand-counted paper ballots for the November 2006 election. And if current trends continue, some of the mainstream media may actually start reporting on the issue.

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman are co-authors of "How the GOP Stole America's 2004 Election and Is Rigging 2008". They are co-editors, with Steve Rosenfeld, of "What Happened in Ohio?" soon to be published by The New Press.

Copyright © 1998-2006 Online Journal  

20 May 2006 @ 20:51 by Quinty @ : An interesting
follow up to the above by Danny Schechter {link:|Voting Scandal}in which he emphasizes the mass media's lack of interest appeared in Common Dreams today.

About Feingold, what you say, Richard, is probably true. Arriana Huffington (I've been scanning Common Dreams) discusses the fear politicans have of being branded a "Loser" by the Punditocracy. Like the way Howard Dean was un-nominated by the media and turned into a national joke (with his own assistance) in 2004. Feingold may be portrayed as an out-of-step crank, or hot-head. For, as we know, truth telling in Washington (and on the mass news media) is seen as impolite. Though, of course, on shock radio anything goes. Including first person accounts of having taken a little ride through the Solar System on a space ship.  

29 May 2006 @ 02:47 by jobrown : This is all quite interesting...
...but in the end, I think both R's and D's are one and the same and hence a real danger for American People.... That's just my feeling... BTW, has anyone of you had a chance to check out the
I think the Power in and of the Centrust party is expressed in Victor Hugo's words there on the site.
If I were to vote here, I would go for the Centrust!... : )
Anyhoooo; Good Luck America! I'm envisioning only 'The Best' -whatever that is...  

29 May 2006 @ 08:59 by jazzolog : Which Blueboy Are You?
The one who sends me emails sometimes lives in the States, but maybe maintains citizenship elsewhere. I had not heard of the Centrust Paradigm and so am grateful to the link.

I agree Repubs and Dems reach into the same pockets for power, but I think we've seen with what ferocious glee Repubs do it these past half dozen horrible years. The Dems at least still get paralyzed by conscience. Repubs go on the attack when questioned...which is denial in its final phase: murderous.  

29 May 2006 @ 17:10 by Quinty @ : The sad truth
is that the Repubs and Dems often drink in the same country club bar. And to a European, where a genuine left can be found - or something similar - the left and right sides of the same political party may appear indistinguishable. Many Americans have that problem too. Among intellectuals Gore Vidal has been harping on this for years. And, what's more, in Europe the intellectuals tend to receive considerably more respect. Even admiration. Here they are often viewed with suspicion, as elitist outsiders and complainers. And our far right accuses them of being "America haters" at the drop of a hat.

But there are some prominent honest folks in both parties: Kevin Phillips, Richard Clarke on the right, for example. On the left there is the Congressional Black Caucus, the Progressive Caucus, some good senators, such as russ Feingold. There there, and some are even honest. But the bottom line for we Americans is that a good Democrat, if one emerges, is the only hope we've got.

A European may have some trouble understanding our winner take all, two party system. For a third party to succeed it has to knock another entirely out of the box.  

29 May 2006 @ 18:15 by jobrown : "Interesting" Question;
"Which Blueboy Are You?" Does it CHANGE the Message if the blue boy is this label- carrying - or this label-carrying or this label-carrying person? I always was tought that it is the MESSAGE that has meaning -not "Who" comes with/puts forth the Message.
We learn about each other "all the time", don't we? ; )

I would agree with your statement that " The Dems at least still get paralyzed by conscience..... " and that is the only thing MOST of the Dems has going for them.... if you ask me! ( plus the few Good Ones, like yourself, of course! : ))

Enjoy your Day, Jazzo!/Blueboy nr 2525 ; )

A few hours later.

Heyyy , Jazzo, does this 'fit' the thread here? If it does; why don't you 'put it in' here ( I don't know how to put in pics ) .
Anyhooo, maybe it can crack a smile on someone's face....idonnnnow....' this should really comfort an old D's Heart... : )

// bb/2525  

29 May 2006 @ 19:59 by Quinty @ : Speaking of honesty
in politics, the breaking news is that Senator Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader, has been caught in a conflict of interest scandal in which he accepted tickets for ringside seats at three major boxing bouts while working on legislation regulating the boxing industry. And if that is not enough, he appears to actually also be tied to Abramoff!

Oh Harry, why, why?  

30 May 2006 @ 09:34 by jazzolog : "The Medium Is The Message"
I attempted to raise myself with that motto...or label...even though I still am not sure I understand it. Let me not insult anyone by linking Marshall McLuhan but I know how brief are generations today, and how short the memory of a culture.

"The true enemy is inside. The maker of trouble, the source of all our suffering, the destroyer of our joy, and the destroyer of our virtue is inside. It is Ego. I call it, 'I, the most precious one'. "
--Gehlek Rimpoche

Yes Quinty, and I have no trouble opposing corruption no matter which party's pocket it's found in. Our mutual Repub-voting friend in Maryland sent me this email last week chronicling Dem mischief (maybe he sent it to you too)~~~

This is why no particular part, dem or rep, should get their pants in a
bunch about Jack Abramoff in specific or corruption in general--it cuts
both ways

Politics: Haven't heard much lately about Democrats' plans to make an
issue of the GOP's "culture of corruption" in the 2006 elections. Could
it be they just don't want to call attention to their own scandals?

Just three weeks ago Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean inveighed on
national TV against the Republicans' "culture of corruption." His
remarks were echoed by House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. The
Democratic National Committee has gone so far as to post "The Corruption
Files" on its Web site, detailing purported GOP malfeasance.

The strategy isn't looking so hot now that the FBI videotaped Democratic
Rep. William Jefferson taking $100,000 from an FBI informant. The FBI
later found $90,000 of the cash in Jefferson's freezer. Apparently,
Jefferson planned to use the money to bribe a high-ranking Nigerian
government official to win business for a U.S. company that, in turn,
was bribing Jefferson.

Jefferson, however, is just the latest member of his party to face
questions about corrupt or unethical behavior, all but shredding the
Dems' "culture of corruption" case against the GOP. Other cases include:

Democrat Rep. Alan B. Mollohan of West Virginia, who is being
investigated by the FBI for getting millions of dollars in pork barrel
spending for his state, and profiting from it. Mollohan's personal
wealth has reportedly grown from $565,000 to $6.3 million in just four

Former Sen. Robert Torricelli of New Jersey, who is being investigated
by the Senate for meeting with Iraq's U.N. ambassador, Hizar Hamdoun, in
the late 1990s and seeking oil-for-food contracts for a Torricelli
campaign donor, businessman David Chang.

A handful of Democrats who've been ensnared in the Jack Abramoff
scandal, though you likely didn't read about it. They include Michigan
Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, and Senate Democratic Leader Harry
Reid. Just weeks ago, the media were full of stories about how this
scandal would sink the GOP. Now, Democrats and their media friends have
grown strangely quiet.

An aide to New York Sen. Chuck Schumer at the Democratic Senatorial
Campaign Committee, who pleaded guilty to fraud after stealing personal
data on Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, a Republican, including his
credit report. Schumer heads the DSCC, which helps Democrats run against
Republicans nationwide.

Sadly, there's more - including Rep. Cynthia McKinney's outrageous
assault on a Capitol Hill security officer and Patrick Kennedy's
inebriated car crash.

If the Democrats are counting on corruption to keep their current lead
in the polls for this year's midterm elections, they may be in for a
very nasty surprise.  

30 May 2006 @ 14:34 by Quinty @ : Hi Richard -

I didn't mean to imply that you would have any trouble. Though I must admit to being disappointed with the Dems. How nice it would have been to concentrate only on the K Street Project, Halliburton, Cheney's secret meetings, Big Pharma, Oil and the like? Not to mention the world of spin Bush's White House has created.

McKinneyh's neurotic slip does seem like small potatoes, though, to me, compared to the stranglehold Bush and the Repub Congress have had. And speaking of dishonesty, Bush et al have created a national climate of dishonesty, the cherry on the top being the war.

No, I hadn't seen that email. It does seem the Dems have a long way to go to catch up.  

30 May 2006 @ 16:21 by Quinty @ : Looking at that again
I see that I offered a small variation on the theme of a "climate of dishonesty." Which, in truth, I wasn't thinking of when I wrote the above. Since any two people who look out two separate windows can conclude the sky is blue if the sky indeed is. And one person doesn't need to wire the other with that information. It's plainly there for anyone who wants to see.

Only a good Repub would deny this "climate" exists. But then perhaps they, the Repubs, are in denial. They see no wrong in Bush's conduct of the war: K Street is politics as usual: the Dems are really no more or less corrupt than the Repubs. While the Dems have contributed to this climate, and some voted for large scale corporate pork this runaway greed and corruption which is flourishing today goes far back: to at least the days of Reagan, when "greed was good." Though the go go dot com boom kept the pace during Clinton's presidency and real estate went off the map. Did Clinton believe "greed is good?" He certainly believed his own personal ambition was, though I can't say one way or the other how far he went in supporting corporate rapaciousness. We have, as Greg Palast said, "the best democracy money can buy." And then there those who justify it by merely saying "everone does it."

Anyway, as you may have guessed, I felt a little like running on. And thanks for your patience. (That is if you are reading this, which you obviously are, if you are reading these words.) I have an appointment with the doc and perhaps I'm a little nervous. Nothing serious, just a routine checkup. You all know how that is. And rattling on helps deal with the "white coat syndrome."

Have a good day.....  

31 May 2006 @ 16:09 by Quinty @ : To respond to your emails

Well, when it comes to graft why limit it to any one party? When anyone with a vote wants to play?

The reason why is power, that's why. Influence. Control. Calling the shots. More even, perhaps, than money, but coming out on top and winning the game. That appears to be what fuels many Republicans. And a corporate oligarchy is the natural plane everything would level out on in America.

So if the Repubs control the Congress and the White House why should they share with the Dems? No reason at all, and that was the idea behind the K Street Project. To eliminate all Democratic influence. To take complete control. To become the single pipeline between corporations and government.

No, the Repubs don’t want to share anything today but the blame. And now “equality of blame” is their spin since it deflects from their own raw guilt. And while this response may only be a straw it may be one fine straw the American people will grasp, that the corruption cuts clean both ways. For if the Age of Bush has shown us anything it is how far Americans are willing to travel with their faith in fantasies. It's as if, in truth, there were no one else there in the world, except inferiors awaiting our good tutelage in the ways of free market democracy. Under our constant supervision, of course.

Each time a Democrat is caught in a scandal that will be like a flash of burning white light out of Heaven for the Republicanss. A neurotic explosion here (McKinney), a true bribery scandal there (Jefferson), a bit of scandalous nepotism, drugs and drunkenness (Patrick Kennedy) as well as some questionable odds and ends: and the Repubs can concoct a veritable moral crusade they can launch and hang on to in order to obscure their own intents and larger culture of crime.

Torriceli, yeah, he was a pretty nasty piece of work. Harry Reid: his explanations are most unconvincing. But as for the others, Durbin and Schummer, we’ll see. Frankly, if these guys are truly crooks I would be greatly surprised. Especially Durbin. But then that Harry Reid sold his soul just for some tickets to a boxing match, well......

No. The phantasmagoria world of George Bush goes only so far. There even honest Republicans who are disgusted with the administration's shenanigans, seeing through the heavy cloud of lies. And for the sake of preserving their own values and mental health they are saying “Enough!”

Since the point is not that many Democrats are corrupt too: many, I’m afraid, are. The point is that these Republicans in the Congress and White House have created a “culture of corruption,” to use that phrase again. And what we have to ask ourselves is, what’s to be done about it?

Curious we’re having this discussion when Kenny Boy Lay and Jeff Skilling have been convicted. Ah, now there’s a story.  

1 Jun 2006 @ 06:15 by jobrown : I would agree with you JAzzo,
that the staement "The Medium Is The Message" is cryptic -to say the least!... You know what; I think it is one of those famour Neocon CONFUSION Rhetorics: meaning to sound so Impressive and IMPORTANT that we , the People don't dare to ask what it means, because of ooooohhhh, God forbid, fear of showing our IGNORANCE!.... In other words: the Statment "The Medium Is The Message" is nothing but CRAPP and indeed not meant to be anything but crapp -with the intention to make us feel stupid for not knowing it was nothing but crapp!... Well, anyhoo... that's what I think of about that "Message" and the Messegner who brought us that one is a crook!...OR a Fullblood Dummy! Ahhh c'est la vie!
Hugs to you, jazzo from /A-d  

1 Jun 2006 @ 09:04 by jazzolog : To Blueboy And Quinty
The emails weren't from me Paul, but from Dana who responded more ferociously to our Maryland buddy than I usually do (although his more recent environmental barb tipped me over the edge). For the sake of this discussion and clarity in the thread, I think I should post what she sent out~~~

Root it out wherever it's found- but for sheer MASS of corruption (and this
is JUST Abramoff ties)

Investigation Target

Sen. Richard Shelby
Gov. Robert Riley
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff. Received contributions from.
DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff

Senate President Ben Stevens (son of US Senate Pro Tem
President Ted Stevens)
Sen. Ted Stevens
Probed for accepting consulting fees from oil services firm Veco.
Subject to a recall petition.
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Republican Party Received contributions from. DeLay's
ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff

Rep. J. D. Hayworth
Rep. Rick Renzi
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher
Rep. Doug Ose
Rep. Richard Pombo
Rep. John Doolittle
Rep. Ed Royce
Ethics probe for accepting salary from two men's fitness magazines
while governor, possible kickback from American Media publisher to
Schwarzenegger charity and silence money to a woman who had an extramarital
affair with Schwarzenegger. This probe may go criminal.
Probed for bribery regarding financial ties with and favors for
defense firm MZM. Pleaded guilty to tax evasion, conspiracy, Nov. 28, 2005.
Tied to Abramoff scandal on loan papers. Recipient of contributions
from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff, including Indian casino
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Republican Party Received contributions from. DeLay's
ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff

Gov. John Rowland
Rep. Rob Simmons
Convicted, imprisoned 2004
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Attorney General Jane Brady Accused of helping MBNA Bank of
Wilmington skirt campaign finance laws.

Jack Abramoff, GOP lobbyist
Adam Kidan, DC Dial-a-Mattress franchise owner in DC and Abramoff
associate since College Republican days when Abramoff was chairman
Michael Scanlon, former chief of staff to Tom DeLay
Steve Rosen, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)
Keith Weismann, AIPAC
Larry Franklin, Colonel, USAF Reserves, Dept. of Defense
Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President's Chief of Staff
White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove
David H. Safavian, Head of Procurement Policy, Office of Management
and Budget, former Chief of Staff, General Service Administration
Ex-Corporation for Public Broadcasting Chairman and current
Broadcasting Board of Governors member Kenneth Tomlinson
Patricia Harrison, President Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Vice President Dick Cheney
President George W. Bush
J. Steven Griles, former Interior Deputy Secretary
Indicted, wire fraud, conspiracy
Indicted, wire fraud, conspiracy. To plead guilty in return for his
testimony against Abramoff
Being probed for involvement in Indian casino scandal with Abramoff,
Kidan, and DeLay. Indicted Nov. 18, 2005 for conspiracy to defraud Indian
tribes. Pleaded guilty Nov. 21.
Indicted for criminal conspiracy involving classified national
security information
Indicted for criminal conspiracy involving classified national
security information
Indicted for criminal conspiracy involving classified national
security information
Probed for illegal disclosure of CIA classified information. Indicted
on 5 counts: Obstruction of justice, making false statements and perjury
Probed for illegal disclosure of CIA classified information. New Grand
Jury investigating Rove
Arrested by FBI for making false statements about helping Jack
Abramoff acquire two Federal properties in DC and Maryland.
Under investigation for violating the Public Broadcasting Act
Probed for violating Public Broadcasting Act
Investigated for criminal conspiracy in divulging the identity of
covert CIA agent
Probed in Abramoff scandal for accepting bags of illegal campaign cash
from Seminole casino interests in Florida
Probed for links to Abramoff

Rep. Katherine Harris, US Senate candidate
Rep. Tom Feeney
Rep. Ric Keller
Probed for campaign donations from MZM, Inc. (related to Duke
Cunningham probe)
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff. Probed for corporate ties to
Yang Enterprises, involved in over billing state of Florida. Feeney was Jeb
Bush's 1994 running mate for Lt. Gov.
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff and Kidan.

Ralph Reed, candidate for Lt. Gov.
Sen. John Isakson
Sen. Saxby Chambliss
Rep. Phil Gingrey
Rep. Jack Kingston
Probed for involvement in Abramoff, Kidan, DeLay Indian casino money
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Gov. Felix Camacho Probed for ties to Abramoff and demoting
Acting US Attorney for Guam Frederick Black

New Hawaii PAC and House GOP PAC
Dalton Tanonaka, former Lt. gubernatorial and congressional candidate
State Rep. and House Minority Leader Galen Fox
Campaign violations filed against a number of GOP candidates for the
state legislature and US House for skirting spending limits.
Under FEC investigation for disguising and failing to report campaign
loans. Also investigated for possible illegal foreign funding from Hong Kong
and Japan.
Convicted on federal charges of fondling a woman on a Honolulu to Los
Angeles commercial flight

Rep. Michael Simpson
Rep. Butch Otter
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

House Speaker Dennis Hastert
Rep. Jerry Weller
Republican National Treasurer Bob Kjellander
Former House Leader State Rep. Lee Daniels (Elmhurst)
Probed for accepting money from Turkey.
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff (Weller is married to the
daughter of Guatemalan dictator and mass murderer [300,0000 Guatemalans]
Efrain Rios Montt).
Under Federal probe for steering investment contracts to Illinois
Teachers Retirement Fund.
Under Federal investigation for misuse of state employees for
political activity and state contract kickbacks

Rep. Dan Burton
Gov. Mitch Daniels
Thomas Sharp, INDOT Commissioner
Jim Kittle, GOP state chairman
Rep. Chris Chocola
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Under investigation for soliciting campaign donations in return for
INDOT (Indiana Dept. of Transportation contracts)
Under investigation for soliciting campaign donations in return for
INDOT (Indiana Dept. of Transportation contracts)
Under investigation for soliciting campaign donations in return for
INDOT (Indiana Dept. of Transportation contracts)
Received DeLay ARMPAC money. FEC investigating

Sen. Charles Grassley
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Rep. Jim Ryun
Sen. Sam Brownback
Adam Taff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
2004 congressional candidate (KS-3), indicted for campaign violations
and wire fraud.

Gov. Ernie Fletcher
Transportation Commissioner Dan Druen
Deputy Personnel Secretary Bob Wilson
Darrell Brock, Chairman of Kentucky GOP
Gov. Personnel Adviser Basil Turbyfill
Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert
Dick Murgatroyd, Gov. Deputy Chief of Staff
Jim Adams, Deputy Transportation Secretary
Cory Meadows, Executive Director, Transportation Dept.
Environmental Protection Commissioner Lloyd Cress
Sen. Jim Bunning
Lt. Gov. Stephen Pence
Dave Disponett
Criminal probe in a state employees' merit system scandal. Received
contributions from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff.
Merit system scandal, witness tampering. Indicted.
Merit system scandal. Indicted
Merit system scandal. Indicted.
Merit system scandal. Indicted
Merit system scandal. Indicted
Merit system scandal. Indicted
Merit system scandal. Indicted.
Merit system scandal. Indicted.
Probed in merit system scandal
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Received contributions from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff
Indicted for violation of Kentucky civil service law

Sen. David Vitter
Linked to Abramoff in a case involving a
Louisiana Indian tribe.

Republican Party
Received contributions from. DeLay's
ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff

Joseph Steffen, aide to Gov. Bob Ehrlich
Gov. Bob Ehrlich
Resigned for starting a rumor campaign against Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley.
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Gov. Mitt Romney's Executive Office of Environmental
Lawrence Novak, Vice Chair, state GOP
Under ethics cloud for awarding a $10,000 contract to conservative
Boston Herald columnist to write columns supportive of Romney's policies.
Arrested by FBI for drug money laundering

Rep. Dave Camp
Attorney General Mike Cox
Rep. Candice Miller
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Failed to pursue felony pollution charges against Graceland Fruit
after a major Department of Environmental Quality investigation.
Investigated by House Ethics Committee for accepting campaign
contributions in return for her yes vote on the 2004 Medicare bill.

Rep. Gil Gutknecht
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Sen. Christopher Bond
Sen. Jim Talent
Gov. Matt Blunt, son of Roy Blunt
Rep. Roy Blunt, House Majority Leader
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Received contributions from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff
Investigated for trading illegal PAC money with DeLay through Blunt's
Rely on Your Beliefs Fund. Received Indian casino money from tribes
represented by Abramoff.

Rep. Charles Pickering
Rep. Roger Wicker
Sen. Thad Cochran
Sen. Trent Lott
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Received funds from casino Indian tribes represented by Abramoff

Sen. Conrad Burns
Rep. Dennis Rehberg
Probed for links to Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Former Rep. Jon Christensen
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Received tainted money from DeLay. Refused to return it.

Sen. John Ensign
Rep. Jon Porter
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Received $25,000 from DeLay's ARMPAC

New Hampshire
Sen. John Sununu
Rep. Jeb Bradley
House Speaker Gene Chandler
James Tobin, Northeast political director National Republican
Senatorial Campaign Committee
Chuck McGee, former Exec. Dir. New Hampshire Republican Party
Allen Raymond, GOP Marketplace President
Probed for receipt of money from DeLay tainted PAC
Probed for receipt of money from DeLay tainted PAC
Campaign contributions violations
Indicted, conspiracy, GOTV phone line jamming, Sununu 2002 campaign.
Convicted Dec. 15, on 2 telephone harassment charges.
Pleaded guilty, conspiracy, GOTV phone line jamming, Sununu 2002
Pleaded guilty to conspiracy, GOTV phone line jamming, Sununu 2002

New Jersey
GOP State Chairman Tom Wilson
Rep. Jim Saxton
Rep. Frank LoBiondo
Rep. Mike Ferguson
Probed for his firm receiving $2.7 million from the Burlington County
Bridge Commission
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff, may have illegally "wheeled"
money from DeLay through his "MIKEPAC" to GOP candidates in Texas and other

New Mexico
Rep. Heather Wilson
Recipient of contributions from

New York
Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro and US
Senate candidate Probed for campaign donations from mobsters. Her husband
served a year in prison for tax evasion.

Northern Marianas
Gov. Froilan Tenorio Grand Jury probe, ties to

North Carolina
Rep. Charles Taylor
Hayes Martin, Taylor Campaign Treasurer
Rep. Walter Jones
Probed for ownership of shady Russian bank - whose other major investor
is a former KGB general. Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Indicted, fraud and money laundering
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

North Dakota
Richard Clayburgh, House candidate
Received contributions
from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff

Gov. Bob Taft, Misuse of state funds/ethics violations
Thomas Noe, Bush-Cheney 04 campaign chair, NW Ohio; Turnpike
Commissioner; University Regent
Bernadette Noe, Thomas Noe's wife; chair Lucas County GOP; chair Lucas
Co. Board of Elections
Brian Hicks, Taft chief of staff, member Ohio University Board of
Cherie Carroll, Taft Chief of Staff Executive Secretary
Rep. Bob Ney
Rep. Jean Schmidt
Rep. Ralph Regula
Douglas Moormann, Gov. Taft's Executive Assistant for Business and
Walden O'Dell, Chairman & CEO of Diebold, Bush-Cheney major campaign
contributor who promised to "deliver" Ohio to Bush in 2004
Convicted, four first degree misdemeanors, pleaded no contest
(admission of guilt). $4000 fine and public apology, two Federal Grand
Juries, one state Grand Jury still investigating Taft.
Misuse of state funds for rare coin fund. Indicted by Federal grand
jury, arrested in Florida.
Misuse of state funds
Being probed for involvement with Abramoff, Kidan, and DeLay, Indian
casino money laundering. Recipient of contributions from Abramoff and Kidan.
Indictment may be imminent.
Probe of financial ties to Games, Inc., and proposal to put Ohio State
Lottery on the Internet. Received contributions from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked
to Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Under criminal investigation for accepting loan from Noe.
Resigned for "personal reasons" Dec. 13, 2005 after initiation of a
class action lawsuit against Diebold for securities fraud.

Rep. Ernest Istook
Sen. James Inhofe
Sen. Tom Coburn
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Sen. Gordon Smith
State Rep. Dan Doyle
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Misused campaign funds. Convicted.

Rep. Don Sherwood
Rep. Curt Weldon
Sen. Arlen Specter
Rep. Joe Pitts
Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick
Investigated by DC police for assaulting and choking a 29-year old
Maryland woman
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of money from DeLay's ARMPAC (subject of Federal
indictments), money laundered from Abramoff sources.

Puerto Rico
Puerto Rican New Progressive Party (GOP affiliate party)
Paid Abramoff $400,000 for lobbying for 1998 statehood referendum

Rhode Island
Former House candidate (2002) Mike Battles
Providence Mayor Vince Cianci
Firm, Custer Battles, disbarred from Iraq contracts after allegations
of over charging and money laundering
Imprisoned in 2002 for 5 years.

South Carolina
Rep. Joe Wilson
Rep. Gresham Barrett
Rep. Henry Brown
Received contributions from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff
Received contributions from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff
Received contributions from. DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff

South Dakota
Sen. John Thune
Rep. Bill Janklow
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Guilty, second degree manslaughter, imprisoned. Recipient of
contributions from Abramoff

Rep. Van Hilleary
Sen. Bill Frist
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Under Securities and Exchange Commission investigation for insider
trading on his Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) stock

Rep. Tom DeLay, House Majority Leader
Jim Ellis, Director Americans for a Republican Majority (ARMPAC) PAC
tied to DeLay and Abramoff
John Colyandro, Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC), DeLay
Warren RoBold, Lobbyist and DeLay associate
House Speaker Tom Craddick
Sam Walls, candidate for Texas House
State Rep. Todd Baxter
Rep. Kevin Brady
Rep. Pete Sessions
Probed for campaign finance fraud, ties to Abramoff/Kidan, Saipan sweat
shops. Grand Jury, Travis County prosecutor, and House Ethics Committee
probing DeLay. Indicted by Travis County District Attorney for 1 count of
criminal conspiracy and 2 counts of money laundering. Arrested and booked at
Harris County jail October 20, 2005. Recipient of contributions from
Abramoff. Conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering charges
still stand after Texas Judge dropped the one count of criminal conspiracy
on December 5, 2005.
Probed for campaign violations involving TRMPAC and DeLay
Photos of him wearing women's clothes surfaced in the 2004 runoff
Investigated for receiving ARMPAC and TRMPAC money from Republican
National Committee. To resign from office on Nov. 1, 2005
Recipient of $10,000 from ARMPAC in 2003. Arrested for DWI in South
Probed for receiving money from casino Indian tribes represented by

Rep. Chris Cannon
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

Gov. Jim Douglas Opposition to universal health care in
Vermont tied to huge contributions from insurance industry.

Rep. Virgil Goode
Jerry Kilgore, gubernatorial candidate
Rep. Eric Cantor
Rep. Randy Forbes
Sen. George Allen
Rep. Tom Davis
Probed for contributions from MZM, Inc. (related to Duke Cunningham
Received $5000 from MZM, Inc.
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff and Kidan.

Rep. George Nethercutt
Rep. Doc Hastings
Spokane Mayor Jim West
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Under Federal and state investigation for abusing his office to obtain
sexual favors and soliciting sex over the Internet from underage males.
Recalled Dec. 6, 2005 by a 2-1 margin.

West Virginia
Rep. Shelly Moore Capito
Received contributions from.
DeLay's ARMPAC, linked to Abramoff

Rep. Paul Ryan
Rep. Mark Green
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of funds from DeLay's ARMPAC

Sen. Mike Enzi
Rep. Barbara Cubin
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff
Recipient of contributions from Abramoff

The format of this horrifying list of Republicans is curious and Dana often doesn't source her material. I'll try to find out where she found this and its date when she wakes up this morning. Will post that info later.
A minute later she sent out this message, which is sourced~~~

Whereas almost all lobbying before the Bush era was confined to Capitol
Hill, now one in five lobbyists approaches the White House directly.
Consider the success story of one Kirk Blalock, a former aide to Karl Rove
as deputy director of the Office of Public Liaison, where he coordinated
political links to the business community. Now, one year out of the White
House, he's a senior partner in the lobbying firm of Fierce, Isakowitz and
Blalock, boasting 33 major clients, 22 for whom he lobbies his former
colleagues in the White House. Indeed, the Bush White House boasts 12 former
lobbyists in responsible positions, from chief of staff Andrew Card
(American Automobile Association Manufacturers) on down.

"The number of registered lobbyists in Washington has more than doubled
since 2000 to more than 34,750," reports the Washington Post, "while the
amount that lobbyists charge their new clients has increased by as much as
100 percent."

As for McLuhan, I shall venture, blueboy, where angels feared to tread some 45 years ago when this stuff hit the university campuses. It's rather difficult to convey the impact "McLuhanism" had upon intellectuals back then. Maybe you had to be there. Essentially there was vast speculation about what the man possibly could be talking about. Looking back, his idea seems essentially quite simple...and here's what I think medium is the message is about.
His main concern was television. He said the transfer of information via this tube requires a very different neurological response than simply viewing a landscape or reading a book. A landscape on a TV screen (or nowdays a computer) actually is a series of tiny dots that your brain has to decipher, put together, and interpret as to what that arrangement represents. The process involves a concentration so vast that its importance must not be neglected in favor of the mere message. In fact, that medium IS the message. Watching a movie on TV is entirely different from watching it run through a projector in a theater. The reel of film gives the illusion of motion in a different process than the dots that run left to right across the screen with lightning speed. We talk all the time about people being brainwashed in front of a TV or computer. McLuhan opened the door to that process in the brain, probably overlooked by most people, where the mind is open to such manipulation. So far as I know, he never did anything "crooked" with his theories and quite possibly was a conservative sort of guy---I'm not sure---but I think he certainly was right.  

1 Jun 2006 @ 20:04 by jazzolog : Dana's Source---
it looks like---is here~~~

but the post date on it is last December. Fortunately the Repubs have learned their lesson and there's nothing new to add.

Oops, what's this? It seems Randi Rhodes gives more details on this material~~~  

1 Jun 2006 @ 20:54 by Quinty @ : The medium is indeed the message
and not "Crap" at all. All the old boy was saying is that how the message is packaged, presented, the feel of the medium embracing the message creates the message. Look at the difference between a novel, let's say, and a television presentation of an event, idea, mood, story, whatever. You get two different things and all McLuhan was predicting was that the mass media would eventually color and define truth, the culture, the world many see and accept all about us. And that has indeed happened. The war in Iraq is a good example: for the reality many Americans embrace is a fantasy which the Bush administration created with the eager collusion of the mass media. For many Americans see their own reflection in the media which greatly defines our culture.

No, it's not that odd an idea. And McLuhan, I suppose, can be credited with having seen this phenomenon arising in American life and culture before it truly took hold. As that conservative, Tome Wolfe, said: "what if he's right?" If you read Wolfe's essay on McLuhan you will get the impression that he was like many thinkers, those whose active minds keep them awake at night. Guys living entirely in the world of thought, who can't shut it off.

There people like that, you know? And I think McLuhan, right or not, was for real.  

1 Jun 2006 @ 21:29 by vaxen : Interesting...
that the ''dog and pony'' could even go on year after year. Same actors, different names, different faces, all the same...

You all seem to have forgotten the real import of the American Republic for humanity. Of course the for profit CORPORATION calling itself your government, the "Democracy" which has NO AUTHORITY outside the zone and territories it was limited to (by us), has so totally hypnotised you into believing it that the Republic remains empty (well, not entirely), as well as anti-thetical to the false 'government' that installs itself, not by vote, but on the sly, as you serve your puppet master politicos.

My suggestion to all you who love to get bound up in 'their' game is to consider what you lost when you became a fourteenth amendment lackey of the Corporate State and surety (your birth certificate) for its' loans. Your sovereignty. We of the republic must denounce you as the traitors that you are. Treason is punishable by?

Maybe a little Lysander Spooner might be just the thing for you all...  

1 Jun 2006 @ 23:57 by i2i : If the Democrats win...

...{link:|will Brokeback Mountain be required to be shown in elementary schools???}  

2 Jun 2006 @ 00:16 by vaxen : You mean...
if the international banking fraudsters win, don't you? Disband this government of usurpers. Reinstantiate full reserve banking and the gold standard, and institute a total policy of ''money reform,'' Or, better yet, find out who you are and lets wake the republic up. The house of the republic is beautifull built and almost empty so...

I realise I am shouting to the wind. Take a gander at this, though, if you have the time and maybe, just maybe...


Are the elections in the United States fair and honest? A review of the facts is far less than reassuring.

Since 1964, right after John F. Kennedy was assassinated, vote tabulation for national elections has been handled not by the government, but by a private company lacking any official oversight at all. This company, which changes its name on a regular basis, is currently called "Voters News Service" and is located in New York City. This company is owned by a consortium of TV networks and wire services, which are in turn controlled by the CIA through its Operation MOCKINGBIRD. The TV networks will make a great show of being "first with the election results", but in reality all of them rely on the numbers sent to them by VNS, while seldom acknowledging its existence during the election coverage.

This is the voting process most in use in America today. A voter punches a card in the voting booth. That card is run through a computer at the local voting center, then that computer contacts computers at Voters News Service, or the precinct official telephones the numbers the computer shows him to Voters News Service, which then announces the results via the networks. Poll watchers are allowed to watch the voting booths, to guard against polling place electioneering, but in most precincts, the actual counting of the ballots is concealed from the public, and nobody is allowed to see inside the voting machines, or review the computer software that counts the ballots. 70% of all votes in America are counted by machine, and nobody, not private citizen, not local election official, nobody, is allowed to examine how it all works. The accuracy tests conducted on the voting machines before and after the actual election are utterly worthless, as they cannot detect fraud designed to fool the accuracy test itself. In 1988, when voting machines in Illinois were tested with tens of thousands of ballots instead of the few dozen normally used for the accuracy test, over 1/4 of the machines which had passed the standard accuracy test were found to have mistabulated the larger test vote results!

While researching the book, "VOTESCAM", the Collier brothers actually managed to videotape members of the League of Women voters forging ballots, and found hard evidence that Shouptronics and Printomatic vote machines were rigged in the Dade County Elections. In the Shouptronics, the wheels of the mechanical counters were shaved to cause miscounts. In the Printomatic machines, a malfunction revealed that the paper tape with the voting results had been pre-printed before the voting even started! The Colliers, along with attorney Ellis Rubin, handed the evidence to the assistant State Attorney for Florida. Sadly, that assistant State Attorney was Janet Reno, who in a pattern we have all become too familier with, killed the investigation. 60 Minutes taped a segment on the Dade County Vote Fraud, but never aired it.

Mandatory voter registration laws, such as "Motor voter" have been a boon to election fraud, generating registered voters who don't vote and whose names may be used to obtain absentee ballots. In the California election that unseated Bob Dornan following his efforts to investigate the Clinton White House, canvassers discovered that nearly half of the names registered to vote in the GOP election from 7 precincts simply did not exist. The California Attorney General's office was informed by the precinct worker, but again nothing was done. In 1998, almost 20,000 fraudulent voter registrations were discovered on the voting rolls, but were allowed to remain on the excuse that their removal in time for the election would cost too much!

The evidence for massive vote fraud in the United States uncovered by the Voting Integrity Project and organizations like it are ignored by the government, which has obviously been the beneficiary of such chicanery, and by the media, which is complicit in the fraud.  

2 Jun 2006 @ 00:33 by i2i : But...

....{link:|would Brokeback Mountain be required to be shown in elementary schools???}

It is an important question.  

2 Jun 2006 @ 01:35 by vaxen : So is...
The Federal Reserve banking scam and so is knowing who you are as yourself and as a puppet in their system... till rebuttal. I really don't know what is the importance of that question, in lieu of all the above, however I'll enjoy your reply, I'm sure...  

2 Jun 2006 @ 02:37 by i2i : No, no, no, sorry Vax.
I asked first!

So, my "important question" trumps your "important question" (sorry, that's the way it goes, lol!) Besides, my question and its related {link:|link} are more directly related to the original question on jazzoLOG.  

2 Jun 2006 @ 03:14 by i2i : Practical ways... make a difference today: {link:|Take It Personally}.

Incidentally, Betsy Taylor (New American Dream,) believes that "this year may go down as ONE OF THE MOST CIVIC-MINDED in recent memory."

I wonder. We shall see.  

2 Jun 2006 @ 08:17 by jobrown : Oooooh, my, oh my.....
I had no idea!... Thanks for enlightening me on the subject ( "The Medium Is The Message"/the "Tube" thannngggg )but then again whi knew! ; ) -exept for you a few already Enlightened Ones in the Field, so to speak. Did I understand correct, that these names are (some ) of our Reps , who have seriously misbehaved, by stepping into the Corruption zone?
Well.... I looked at the "Take It Personally link - not that I read it all yet... but what I saw right away was this "Sign the Petition" - s---- (Sorry!...
I feel really bad to poohpooh it, but I really have difficulties in believing in the validiy and EFFICIENCY of the Petitions!... -sertainaly MOST of them are thrown in the trash -after the Reps have laughed their little Butts off -at our cost!.... Am I just being cynical here -or does my hunch 'bout them get support from anybody? Jazzo? Vaxen? Anybody?
My gutt feeling wanders off more in Vaxen's Idea groove, though maybe in an even more RADICAL -as in Cosmic-(( ; ) )) groove: We women need to sidestep entirely ALL Male dominant Energy and go for the FEMALE INDEPENDENCE ENERGY, by starting to take actions in that direction extreamly seriously in our own lives! We have show every Male (energy using individual) that this Planet needs a re-alignement in the BALANCE of Female-Male energies, in EVERYBODY's thinking, acting, behaving.
I could say more about this "whole thing", but this is sufficient for this thread - at least for now. Besides it is after Midnight and my Brain takes a vacation every night from ten o'clock forward till next morning!... (Some of my biggest blunders here on NCN, all happened AFTER ten o'clock in the evening!...) sighhhh... Nite, nite hugs & kisse to u all/BB A-d  

2 Jun 2006 @ 09:13 by jazzolog : I Love What's Going On Here
and please continue this amazing discussion. It's an honor to have you folks talking these issues out...and yes, I'm glad Vax sticks to his guns about the fundamentals of the US state. I need his reminder every day! At the same time this Bobby Kennedy story is hitting the stands and I've got half an hour to mount an entry on it. BTW, it turns out Brokeback Mountain is a wonderful movie, though I'm not sure how to edit it for an 8-year-old.  

2 Jun 2006 @ 15:57 by Quinty @ : Blueboy, regarding the message -

I'm probably a lot older than you, and grew up watching this phenomenon. I can remember when great novelists (Hemingway, Faulkner, Steinbeck, to name a few) held sway over the cultural landscape. And how they all eventually gave way to the mass media, which pretty much defines American life and culture today. Just yesterdy I was in a book store and the current best sellers were on display: the top non-fiction authors were all media personalities: demonstrating that in today's corporate culture each medium economically boosts the others, since they're all owned by the same people. And among the fiction writers only Phillip Roth appeared among those who could be judged "serious," though schlock has always done well on the lists. But Roth is one of the last of a disappearing breed.

Why the hell would anyone want to show Brokeback Mountain to gradeschool kids?  

2 Jun 2006 @ 16:11 by rayon : Strange also to
consider that the densely populated countries of Europe have a freer, more open discussion process entrenched in their cultures. Whilst the big open spaces of the US and Russia seem to spawn the Brave new World, Big Brother, control freak cultures. It is almost as if the great outdoors and wilderness of many Americans causes the personal a priori assumption of total unequaled freedom, more than any country in the world, and therefore the Control factor is merely a remote or even unknown quantity for the average citizen. The juxtaposition is strange tho, one would have thought it would be reversed. Certainly in Britain many take to the country to escape the media/rat race onslaught digging, fishing or bird watching with increased fervour in a selfbrainwashing attempt to regain control of their own existence and mind. Again in Europe most people walk around amidst their dense throbbing cities whilst maintaining self reflection and control,..... constantly - often causing me to wonder what exactly this is in them, and hope these days to have discovered an awareness of this sense, but not sufficiently to translate into Americaneese or even into Brit English for that matter, it merely stays as personal awareness at this stage!!! I am concerned for America.  

2 Jun 2006 @ 17:34 by Quinty @ : We are too

Concerned, that is, about America. Since we seem to be slipping into a full fledged corporate (theocratic?) oligarchy. Yes, one of the appeals of European city life for me can be caught in a famous 1930s photograph of a Parisian in his dark suit and tie merely feeding the pigeons. I loved to walk around great cities where's there's always something to catch the eye. Parisians, for example, love slight spontaneous gestures which display some flair. I remember once a strong wind suddenly coming up and in a split second I reached up and caught my hat. Upon acomplishing this I looked about and saw two Frenchmen staring at me with something close to adoration. In America no one would have noticed or cared. Drop a package on the street? In the US it is a cause for embarrassment. In Europe it allows someone to become gallant and with a courteous flourish he will help pick it up. At least that has always been my experience.
We are not a nation of walkers. Walk around the streets of your town and people may look at you with suspicion, wondering what you are doing out there. Nor do we have the sights any reasonably seasoned town in Europe has. I'm beginning to sound like an "America basher." But we do plenty of bashing of Europe here, especially the French. And they have much there we don't have here which I admire. If the US evolves into a corporate oligarchy (Cheney perhaps is more about that than Bush. And Bush definitely needs grounding.) then we will lose that which is best about our culture. And the mass media, which currently defines it, offers a fantasy world: one many Americans cling to.

Maybe in 2008 things will begin to change. Many Americans are fed up, whatever their political pursuasion. Today though, we have lapsed into a vulgar, stupid, corporate imperialism which doesn't leave much room for merely taking a walk along the Seine and looking at all the intriguing sights.  

2 Jun 2006 @ 19:18 by i2i : I Love What's Going On Here

Ditto, Richard!

1. "I'm glad Vax sticks to his guns about the fundamentals
of the US state. I need his reminder every day!"
[2 Jun 2006 @ 09:13 by jazzolog]

And yes, I do too share Richard's enjoyment of Vax's lectures about the fundamentals of the US - I don't think however that I need his reminders every day, lol (I mean, this one , on my Newslog, is dated 18 Sep 2002 and, well, you’ve got to give the man points for his consistency but, I swear, if I have to be reminded one more time that "the United States was not founded as a Democracy, but is and was a Republic," I am gonna blow a fuse.) The funny thing is that I do like Vaxen’s take on things (no, seriously, I really do) on a thinktank/hogepodge kind of a thing, which is mostly one of the few main interests of NCN to me in this current stage of its development - the hogepodge kind of a thing. Maybe there is in there somewhere the seeds of some worthwile system designer’s project. How to design a system in which a vast array of posts and viewpoints are intelligently and efficiently indexed and interconnected in a way that make them obviously but unobtrusively present and accessible whenever a related topic comes up, so that people don’t feel like they have to repeat themselves all the time, or feel as Vaxen put it that they are "shouting to the wind."

2. "I looked at the 'Take It Personally' link - not that I read it all yet...
but what I saw right away was this 'Sign the Petition' - s---- (Sorry!... )
I feel really bad to poohpooh it, but I really have difficulties in believing
in the validiy and EFFICIENCY of the Petitions!..."
[2 Jun 2006 @ 08:17 by blueboy]

Good point, there are a lot of petitions there, lol. I guess that’s one of the services such sites do provide. And the site might not be your kind of thing either, which I understand – it’s not for everyone – It is an example however of what some people – good people - are trying to do out there. Most of those sites are still exploring how the internet can be used to better connect people, to raise awareness, or as a tool for Democracy. It is a growing process.

It seems to me, however, that equating "Take It Personally" to just a "Sign the Petition" kind of a site would be somewhat of a REDUCTIONIST VIEW of what the site is really trying to do. For one thing, it serves as a portal to the activities of other networks, such as Greenpeace, which are not all exactly known for just "petitioning" or taking a passive stance on things.

There are many ways in which changes, small and big ones, can take place, have taken, and are taking place, NOW, in the world, other than a "RADICAL" Revolution.

As a matter of fact, if you will allow me that digression, it is often those changes and the way they affect one's perception of things that are the precursors of Revolutions rather than the other way around – Take the French Revolution for instance, aside from the usual culprit (i.e. food scarcity, high bread prices, grossly inequitable system of taxation, etc.) the French Revolution was also a product of the zeitgeist of the times, i.e. the rise of enlightenment ideals (maybe what blueboy refers to as "cosmic groove") and a resentment of seigneuralism and royal absolutism. The French Revolution was a bloody one and its immediate aftermath gave birth to the Reign of Terror, so it might not be the best "groove" here, and maybe the best and most successful Revolution are the quiet ones – the grass roots/ubiquitous ones as opposed to the bottom down/monolithic kind.

Changes take place. The times of institutionalized racism, segregation, and lynching, or the times of robber barons, sweatshops, and child labor are not so far away. It was not too long ago either that the federal government imposed no income tax on the fortunes made by the Fords, Rockefellers, and Vanderbilts and did nothing to help poor children or ailing senior citizens, nothing to regulate the quality of food and medicines, nothing to protect people from being fired or evicted from being, say, Irish or Jewish or Black.

Changes still are taking place. One of the paradoxes of our era (there are many) is that although we condemn sweatshops and child labor here at home, we seem to condone them abroad (impicitly so) in those countries from which we import our consumer goods, or to which we export our factories. People's awareness of such paradoxes and their discomfort with them has been growing. People everywhere are starting to educate themselves on how they can take it personally by making conscious consumer choices that will make a difference in the world. {link:|Socially Responsible Investing} is on the rise. Citizens can and should play an active role in shaping the future of our global economy: .

{link:|} was inspired by {link:|Anita Roddick’s book} of the same name, and focuses primarily on human rights, environmental, trade and women’s issues.

3. "Why the hell would anyone want to show Brokeback Mountain
to gradeschool kids?"
[ 2 Jun 2006 @ 15:57 by Quinty].

Beats me, Quinty (I don't believe anyone does.) Doesn’t make much sense to me either, but then again, as {link:|you well know}, it doesn’t have to.

The quote was taken from the {link:|page by Joe Gandelman} to which it is linked. I quote:

"...over the next few months American will be treated to the dizzying spectacle of the Republican-dominated Congress being used as a transparent political tool to define Democrats and to set the country up for a political campaign that is aimed at dividing the country by arousing passions in segments of the population."

"Rather than discuss recent issues or policies, to win they will create enemies then accentuate stereotypical images and trigger fears of what will happen if the GOP can't protect them from them. Will a Democratic Congress appoint Cindy Sheehan to the Supreme Court? Will Brokeback Mountain be required to be shown in elementary schools? If Democrats are in will they vote to eliminate the pledge of allegiance and substitute it with George Clooney's Oscar speech?"

"Actually, there is a good chance this strategy will succeed, since it has worked well before — and when it comes to politics, Democratic strategists aren't exactly rocket scientists.

In, fact, they're not exactly strategists, either...

But perhaps it will fail this time because polls show there is a strong desire for change."  

2 Jun 2006 @ 20:31 by jobrown : Now, theres a few things here
that I would like to breafly touch ( my time is very limited for NCN, since we are in the midst of a major move; packing,and some more packing!....)
Anyhooo, I think it was last night after my comment here, that I ran SOMEWHERE - I wish I could remember WHERE!.... into this thing: - someone asked "Everybody" to write a letter to this one Senator, who had taken on a Major PEOPLE's REQUEST and working it through the Mire to We, the People's favor.
In other words; the times someone in the Higher Echelons is doing Things right: ENCOURAGE them and CHEER them on!
I liked that a lot! I believe that, that will bring in the kind of energy into Politics /our overall Society, that we so desperately need!

Then again; here in I2i's comment I found a THINKING that I personally believe that we all be better off to understand as OLD way of thinking; the errouneos way of thinking that has gotten us into the s----!..... hence we "should" all wake up and understand in a more Cosmically Correct ways, and indeed poke holes in this/any errouneous thinking -or certainly at least NOT give credence to the old thinking anylonger: "Changes take place. The times of institutionalized racism, segregation, and lynching, of robber barons, sweatshops, and child labor are not so far away. It was not too long ago either that the federal government imposed no income tax on the fortunes made by the Fords, Rockefellers, and Vanderbilts and did nothing to help poor children or ailing senior citizens, nothing to regulate the quality of food and medicines, nothing to protect people from being fired or evicted from being, say, Irish or Jewish or Black."
This I see as still accepting the old OUTDATED Thinking! "..... Irish or Jewish or Black."
That is exactly the thinking we HAVE to poke holes into MORE, MORE and even more, eh?
Of those three, only ONE is truly a Race; the 'Black' in terms of biology.
The other two are just PHONY -sociopolitical-/ SEPARATING ( for the Divide & Conquer-methods (the MAchiavellian Principles all due respect ; ) )) or "Tools" that have been used to confuse and hurt people -and still are!...though less and less (I hope! )
And besides, even if 'Blacks' really reperesent a biological race, it is done WITHIN the Sphere of God's Creation of Human (animals. We are all related as bilogical GOd's Creations ( heck; The Silver Back Gorilla/s in the Rainforests of Zaire, I think it is, differ genetically only TWO % from us!... Whom are we insulting with truly understanding this?????..... ; o Heck, again!... ; ) we are related to the very dust we step on daily on our way to Work (, that our CONF/USERS have decided they need us to do FOR them! Do I sound like Vaxen -or what!hahahahah. Vax, you know I love you! : ) ) We are related to amoebas, for that matter as well. We are indeed related to ALL LIFE -and if we don't like that , or realize that, boy, then we do have problem/ then we are in serious TROUBLE!!! Trouble City,in fact! uuuuuhhhhhayayay

The DIFFERENCE that we all need to become aware of and ALLOW to be the determining factor in our lives is the Consciousness someone is choosing to be their dominant frquency.THAT is the TRUE "Racial" issue!... Nobody thinks with the flesh, but -hopefully- with their Mind!.... Frank Zappa said: "What's the ugliest part of your body? /Some say your nose/ Some say your toes/ But I say it's your Mind/" Doesn't that 'kinda' sum it all up?... don'tcha think, eh? I do!... *!*....
Ciau for now, guys! Seize the Day! : )/  

4 Jun 2006 @ 15:52 by jobrown : i2i
You do have strong points in your response to my slightly cynical -given-up-on -petitions opinion!.... Thanks for pointing out another -more positive- way to look at the Issue!
Blessings to you , i2i! /A-d  

8 Jun 2006 @ 11:12 by jazzolog : Godless
Greg Palast
June 7th, 2006

Anne Coulter says we’re “Godless” — we “liberals.” And by “liberals,” she means anyone who wants to keep the government out of our underpants, out of Iraq, and out of the business of helping Big Business shoplift America.

It’s time someone took on the blonde bully.

Anne, I realize yesterday was special day for you, releasing your book on June 6 — 06-06-06.

Going through it, I must, admit, is heavy going: ‘Godless’ is a 300-page brick of solid meanness and pin-head hatreds packaged like a fashion magazine: Big Brother wears Prada.

You accuse those who don’t sign on to your list of prejudices as the Lord’s enemies. That’s not original, Anne: the Taliban thought of it before you and they too were partial to dressing in black.

You want to talk about Godless? OK, let’s go:

Would the Lord lie us into a war?

Would the Lord let thousands drown in New Orleans while chilling at a golf resort?

Would the Lord have removed tens of thousands of Black soldiers from the voter rolls as the Republican Party did in 2004?

You talk about being “Christian” — but with all your zeal to fire up electric chairs and Abrams tanks, you sound more like a Roman.

I suggest this, Anne: let’s debate. Set the time, set the place, and I’ll be there. Nose to nose, my facts versus your fanaticism.

But I know you don’t have the guts to do anything but lob idiocies from your electronic Fox-hole.

Your new book is called, “Godless.” Your autobiography should be called, “Gutless.”

Greg Palast, winner of the George Orwell Courage-In-Journalism Prize, is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. Yesterday, he released his book, Armed Madhouse: Who’s Afraid of Osama Wolf?, China Floats Bush Sinks, the Scheme to Steal ‘08, No Child’s Behind Left and other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War.”  

8 Jun 2006 @ 16:31 by Quinty @ : Anne (Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!) Coulter

I can sympathize with Palast's anger and disgust. But Anne (Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!) Coulter is nuts. And she obviously hopes to provoke a reaction.

I listened to her for all of two hours last night on Hannity on the radio. Two hours of hate spuming wildly from her motor-mouth. Where to begin? Listening I kept saying, whoa, whoa, wait a minute now, as she leapt from provocative fantasy to provocative fantasy. Logically grappling with what she said would have taken several more hours for each parse of her rampant diatribe would have required its own rebuttal. Who could keep up? The liberals this, the liberals that, she went on and on: and attempting to honestly recognize myself somewhere in all of this I found nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not one of her generalizations fit. Liberalism is a religion? Nonsense. She does (and many rightwingers do) have a tendency to project, and accuse others of what she herself does. And forcing religion down other people’s throats is not one of liberalism’s faults.

No, she inflames with her wanton recklessness and being nuts she's no one to take seriously. Though I must admit, I am fascinated. And the audience at Hannity's open air show in Huntington, Long Island, roared their approval. And, yes, like it or not, all the attention she receives helps sell her books. Dealing with her is like allowing a bully the satisfaction of knowing that you actually hurt each time he hits you. And, of course, not many (notice, I said "not many," instead of the universal "we" Coulter uses) want to do that. I suspect, though, that her attack on the four 9/11 widows may be too much for some on her side. I mean, after all, the woman is completely gaga and nuts.  

10 Jun 2006 @ 15:40 by vaxen : She...
obviously is doing something somewhere along the line as she has hooked lots of energy into her bag...

I could care less what any of the countless punditized talking heads say. I know the truth. And Quinty, are you at all familiar with 'the Act of 1871?' Created a Government for Washington D.C.

A Corporation known as the 'UNITED STATES,' oh it also copyrighted other little goodies, too, like 'WE THE PEOPLE.'

So, since at least that time the monster in Washington was given full sway to Corporatize 'America.' Study ''UCC Redemption" for it is a way, one of many, to begin to reclaim what was stolen from you. The Declaration of Independence might give you a clue, too, as to what HAS to be done if you are at all interested in Liberty and Freedom.

Beating a dead horse is deceptive... Both the Republicans, and the Democrats and, I dare say the Libertarians as well, are lackeys of the Corporate State. What, you don't like the taste of Fascism? Then divorce yourself, expatriate from, the "Democracy" in Washington. This nation was founded as A REPUBLIC not a Democracy! Mobocracy as opposed to individual rights. Any idea just what that means?

The dog and pony show put on by the Corporation in Washington D.C. only impresses idiots and fools and those ignorant of the real history of this country. ;)

Carpe Noctem!  

11 Jun 2006 @ 16:08 by i2i : What should the Democrats do?

"Offer courage. Leadership in the face of incompetence and lies. The American people are yearning for it. Leadership will require the novelty of speaking truth to the American people..."
---16 May 2006 @ 20:53 by Quinty @

This is really the core of the question, isn't it? Not just for the Democrats, BTW, but for anyone, for any sincere person (whichever their political affiliation might be) who might have ever considered getting involved in politics: can {link:|Mr Smith go to Washington,} Quinty?

The cynics say that, if we get politicians who lie, it is because we don't vote for those who tell us the unpleasant truths.

The question is not so much then about whether Politicians should "speak the truth" (I think they should) but whether they can, or as Paul Krugman put it in a recent article:

"Are we — by which I mean both the public and the press — ready for political leaders who don't pander, who are willing to talk about complicated issues and call for responsible policies? That's a test of national character. I wonder whether we'll pass."

11 Jun 2006 @ 19:08 by Quinty @ : As Obi-Wan Kenobi
in Star Wars says: "Trust in the force."

Miracles occur when you do. If not, then nothing can ever happen. Without that courage "to be" nothing good can ever happen. Our country, the United States, may be too large for its two party system. Because there are actually many political philosophies in the United States. A country as large as ours might function in a more representative manner if power were shared. Then candidates might not feel so compelled to seek the middle in order to draw votes. (Just a thought.)

By the way, I watch CSPAN from time to time: and it seems to me the Demos get a bit of bum rap. There are many loud progressive voices in both the House and Senate. But when these reps put up ammendments to bills they are almost always shot down. Some do "trust in the force," in a political way though.  

12 Jun 2006 @ 08:31 by dempstress : I'm a bit worried.
According to Colleen Graffy the three suicides at Guantanamo were a 'good PR move'. I work in the PR area, and am concerned that the next time my employers want to make a bit of a public splash the ante has been upped rather dramatically........  

12 Jun 2006 @ 09:54 by jazzolog : Rest Easy Dempstress
The suicide of a PR guy is so commonplace it never makes news. Your mission is to get 3 unpopular administrators to jump from the tower at your college. New student applications will flood the admissions office.  

12 Jun 2006 @ 10:08 by dempstress : Phew!
Thanks Richard.  

17 Jun 2006 @ 01:48 by jazzolog : Sex & Money
This entry, created this morning (Pacific Time) at Daily Kos, already has 642 comments!

Money is to Liberals as Sex is to Conservatives
by SusanG
Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 10:28:18 AM PDT

Evil. Suspect. Immoral. Dirty and shameful. Something no one should be proud to admit either having or enjoying. But mostly ... the ultimate temptation to succumb to selfish hedonism and to betray ideals.

In both cases - sex and money - knee-jerk condemnation of those who enjoy either is stupid, simplistic thinking.

Of course, we recognize it when we condemn it in Republicans. After all, we think, who but a right-wing fundie would think that love consummated between two consenting adults, whatever their gender, whatever the position, is a sin?

But we rarely recognize this one-dimensional, stereotypical assumption in ourselves when we apply it to those who have money. After all, who but a liberal would think wealth, no matter how honorably earned, no matter how honorably spent, is a stain upon the idealistic, progressive soul?

We pride ourselves in this burgeoning people-powered movement on giving voice to the true views held by average Americans. For the most part, we're right. Polls consistently show that most citizens now agree that the Iraq war was a mistake, that President Bush is a lousy president, that clean air and water are priorities, that good schools for our kids are necessary and that our health care system needs a major overhaul. The one area that liberal activists often seem seriously out of touch with mainstream views is attitudes toward money.

Most Americans view economic success as a validation of their hard work, savvy, entrepreneurship and an indication that they are meeting a previously unmet need for their fellow citizens. But too often in progressive circles, an individual living anywhere above the federal poverty guideline is dismissed as "selling out" or being co-opted. Of course, in a few individual instances, this may be the case. But these, I would argue, are aberrations, and even the right wing recognizes it as such; the constant railing from conservatives about limousine liberals and George Soros show that they at least get it: liberals with some money in their pockets can be a fearsome thing when it comes to funding candidates, issues, think tanks, progressive infrastructure. Far from selling out, liberals with wealth - and I'm including some with inherited wealth like the Kennedy family - are the right's worst nightmare.

The fact is, money is a tool. In and of itself, it is absolutely neutral. It can be spent for good, it can be spent for evil. Just like a hammer, it can be used either to bash someone's head in or to build a house. We don't condemn the tool as inherently suspect, but the uses to which it is put, and to label anyone who starts earning decent money as immediately suspicious is as ludicrous as Republicans condemning anyone enjoying consensual sex outside the strictures of Leviticus as sinful.

As we are seeing more and more progressives able to make a full-time living off of giving voice to our movement, this "money is evil" mindset must be reexamined. People like Markos, John Aravosis, Duncan Black ... well, I glory that what they have to say is worth paying them to write it or say it. As Air America gains markets and advertisers, I rejoice that the views expressed there are valued enough to be acquiring some serious coin. I'm dizzy with happiness at the thought that Michael Moore made a shitload off of Farenheit 911.

I want this movement's best minds and hearts in a comfortable financial position. I want them undistracted by calling landlords each month to whine and wheedle about overdue rent. I want them fully focused on building our infrastructure, networking, getting our message out by any means necessary. I want them to be able to hire help if they need it. I trust them, you see, to use their time and money wisely, and here, for me, is where the real nub of the problem lies and the frightening parallel with the right-wing condemnation of sex for pleasure.

I've long thought that the individuals on the right who assume sexual freedom will give rise to all sorts of inarguably exploitive sexual situations - pedophilia, rape, manipulation of the trusting sexual partner and abandonment - are telling us a lot more about their own dark side than about the reality of most of our sexual relationships. And I often give a silent prayer of thanks that they are tamping themselves down, even as I resent their efforts to impose their strictures on the rest of us who have managed to handle our sex lives with some dignity.

I've now come to view objections to other progressives acquiring money and the accompanying power in the same light. It's telling me a whole lot more about what these purist economic protestors who want us all starving in garrets would do with a large chunk of change than what the folks now earning a living through progressivism will do in the future.

Thus, if you don't trust yourself to handle money wisely in the service of your ideals ... please, stay away from it. But don't impose your own knee-jerk economic prejudices on your fellow progressives. Instead, welcome the flourishing as evidence that our moment is arriving and we are connecting with America in a way that shows people are willing to pay to have us build our people-powered vision.

Liberals can handle money and its accompanying temptation, I'm certain. Sit back and watch. It's about to happen.


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