Sunday, October 31, 2004

Nov.3.us - Emergency Response to Another Stolen Election

What will you do if Republican partisans steal the presidential election a second time? Those who have already voted appear to be solidly favoring John Kerry for President. However, events already urgently warn us that the same forces that stole the 2000 election are going for a replay. This time, however, many more eyes and cameras are watching. Intense anger lurks just below the surface among Democrats disenfranchised by the 2000 election cheating at all levels. If it happens again in 2004, it appears that it will not go down as easily.

Major corporate media lapdogs aided and abetted the 2000 election theft by playing Three Monkeys, but this time one wonders if they will be able to so easily bury it with their silence if millions of angry Democratic voters are noisily making their demands heard over and over in all parts of the country.

Enter No Stolen Elections! Nov3.us, an emergency response coalition of activist groups vowing immediate non-violent protest in the event of the appearance of another election theft. No doubt, other coalitions would arise as time passed.

If you feel that a second election theft must not go unchallenged by rigorous dissent and that it is time for your voice to be heard also, then you may wish to lend your support to their continuing effort or become an involved activist yourself.

Explore their website. Click on the logo above for a beginning link.


 

How do you spell T-O-T-A-L-I-T-A-R-I-A-N ?



Bush wants to take away individual's freedom to file voting rights lawsuits

In his latest assault on individual rights and in a shameful attempt to protect himself against pesky judgments from voting rights litigation (and those terrible activist judges), Bush has asked that voting rights lawsuits be filed only by his good buddy John Ashcroft, thus ensuring that none would ever be filed on behalf of any Democratic voter.

Watch the Democracy Now! report "Bush Administration Attempts To Overturn Decades of Legal Precedence & Block Voting Rights Lawsuits From Voters."



 

Friday, October 29, 2004

NASA Scientist: Bush WAS Wearing Something Under His Jacket During the Debate

Internationally acclaimed NASA image analysis expert says the debate image clearly shows something under George Bush's jacket, something that could be wiring or tubing. Bush has consistently laughed off the suggestion that he was wearing something and ultimately claimed on Good Morning America that it was nothing more than a poorly tailored shirt.

Read this definitive argument at Salon.




Update: Nov. 5 - Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel

Just days before the New York Times killed a story about the mysterious object George W. Bush wore on his back during the presidential debates, and the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times also decided not to pursue the story, which featured a leading NASA satellite photo imaging scientist's analysis of pictures of the president’s back from the first debate.


 

Electronic Theft Being Served Up?

Two companies (ES&S and Diebold) started by two brothers (Bob & Todd Urosevich) with close connections to the Republican Party, will count over 80% of all votes in America using both touchscreens and ballot scanners.





(Click here and on image for Scoop stories)



GEMS Central Tabulators: STUNNING Back Door Allows Vote Tallies To Be Changed In Seconds At County Level (And Via Modem?). Why does such an option even exist?

While Bev Harris' BlackBoxVoting.org is being reconstructed, other links to Bev's article are: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.




Three hours missing from King County [WA] audit log:
OK folks. We now have what everyone keeps saying no one can come up with. We now have evidence that certainly looks like altering a computerized voting system during a real election, and it happened just six weeks ago. . . .
BlackBoxVoting.org



 

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

2004 Election Theft Followup

BBC Newsnight - Greg Palast's latest video report:

Are Republicans planning to challenge Democratic precinct voters to disrupt, slow down and discourage voting?

Update 10-31: Democracy Now! report and interview with Palast: Secret Document Suggests GOP Preparing to Challenge Black Vote in Florida



Democracy Now! A/V reports:

Making Votes Count: Is a Theft of the 2004 Election Already Underway?

We speak with New York Times editorial writer Adam Cohen about voter suppression and fraud in the 2004 election. From U.S. soldiers being told to use non-secret ballots to the Pentagon counting the votes of the military and U.S. citizens living abroad. From partisan secretaries of state overseeing the election to Homeland Security preventing new U.S. citizens from registering and much more. [includes rush transcript]

Suppression, Fraud and Breakdown: Voting Problems Emerge in States Across the Country

Voters in states across the country have already begun to vote as millions more prepare to head to the polls next week to vote in the 2004 presidential election. We take a look at voter suppression and fraud with a lawyer with the Voting Rights Project, focusing on voter protection, a journalist with the London Independent and an international monitor who was part of a team that has prepared a Pre-Election report. [includes rush transcript]



 

Friday, October 22, 2004

Election Theft 2004 in Progress - AGAIN !

How Much is Going On All Over the Country That We Haven't Heard About?

Election chief warns of absentee scam

St. Petersburg Times

Political operatives (you guess which party) have been knocking on doors of absentee voters in Florida, misleading the voters into believing they are election officials, and soliciting their absentee ballots (even if not yet finished). The collections have been occurring in neighborhoods full of low-income, minority and elderly residents. Such neighborhoods typically vote strongly Democratic.




Republican Group Accused of Voter Fraud
In several battleground states across the country, a consulting firm funded by the Republican National Committee (news - web sites) has been accused of deceiving would-be voters and destroying Democratic voter registration cards.

Arizona-based Sproul & Associates is under investigation in Oregon and Nevada over claims that canvassers hired by the company were instructed to register only Republicans and to get rid of registration forms completed by Democrats. . . .

Substitute teacher Adam Banse wanted a summer job with flexible hours, so he signed up to knock on doors in suburban Minneapolis and register people to vote.

He quit after two hours. "They said if you bring back a bunch of Democratic cards, you'll be fired," . . .

Sproul declined to name the states in which his company conducted registration drives. His political consulting firm was founded last year and has received nearly $500,000 from the RNC since July, according to federal election records.

Former canvassers such as Banse have come forward in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Oregon in the past two weeks alleging they were told to register only Republicans and to "walk away" from people who said they intended to vote for Democrat John Kerry (news - web sites).

Some said Democratic registration forms had been thrown out or ripped up. . . .

Eric Russell of Las Vegas told The Associated Press that he watched a Sproul supervisor tear up eight to 10 registration forms completed by Democrats and managed to grab some of the shredded documents as evidence. State officials are investigating his claim. . . .

In West Virginia, Lisa Bragg said she refused a sorely needed $9-an-hour job to register voters after attending an orientation session conducted by Sproul employees.

Like Banse in Minnesota, she said canvassers were discouraged from registering Democrats and were told to misrepresent themselves as poll takers.

Bragg, who filed a complaint earlier this week with the West Virginia secretary of state's office, said Friday that canvassers were given a script that read at the bottom, "Our goal is to register Republicans." . . .

In Pennsylvania, Democrats in the state House of Representatives have asked the attorney general to investigate complaints from former Sproul canvassers who said they had been instructed to not register Democrats. About 40 to 50 also complained they had not been promptly paid. . . .
Yahoo! News


See also my post below entitled "Millions Blocked from Voting in US Election."



 

Monday, October 18, 2004

Feeling a Little Drafty?


U.S. Has Contingency Plans for a Draft of Medical Workers -- New York Times 10-19-04

Selective Service eyes women's draft - The proposal would also require registration of critical skills -- Seattle PI 5-04-04

Update 10-30-04:
Potomac Watch: Administration's own actions fuel rumors of draft -- Seattle PI


 

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Iowa Gov. Vilsack blames Bush for flu vaccine shortage

TheIowaChannel.com

Gov. Tom Vilsack said the Bush administration should be held responsible for a vaccine shortage (read complete story) that could result in substantially more deaths from the flu.

Speaking in a conference call Saturday sponsored by Sen. John Kerry's campaign, Vilsack said the vaccine shortage will likely increase significantly the number of illnesses and deaths this year.

He said the vaccine shortage is "a senior citizen nightmare."

Iowa has the nation's largest population of citizens 85 and older, and has more than 1,000 flu deaths each year.

Vilsack said the Bush administration ignored a warning about vaccine supplies in a 2001 report from the General Accounting Office.

He said Bush failed to act again in 2003 when his administration received specific information about contamination problems at the British vaccine plant that was closed down.
. . .


 

Bush governs not by facts, but by his "gut", by "instinct" !

Without a Doubt, by Ron Suskind

George Bush's "instincts" may be great with regard to his own political maneuvering for power, but certainly his disastrous record of domestic and foreign policy shouts out to the contrary.


Ron Suskind's article offers a shocking look at the man whose finger is on the trigger. (Read the whole New York Times article)


Bruce Bartlett, a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and a treasury official for the first President Bush, told me recently that ''if Bush wins, there will be a civil war in the Republican Party starting on Nov. 3.'' The nature of that conflict, as Bartlett sees it? Essentially, the same as the one raging across much of the world: a battle between modernists and fundamentalists, pragmatists and true believers, reason and religion.

''Just in the past few months,'' Bartlett said, ''I think a light has gone off for people who've spent time up close to Bush: that this instinct he's always talking about is this sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has told him to do.''Bartlett, a 53-year-old columnist and self-described libertarian Republican who has lately been a champion for traditional Republicans concerned about Bush's governance, went on to say: ''This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all. They can't be persuaded, that they're extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he's just like them. . . .


''This is why he dispenses with people who confront him with inconvenient facts,'' Bartlett went on to say. ''He truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence.'' Bartlett paused, then said, ''But you can't run the world on faith.'' . . .

'''Mr. President,' I [Sen. Joe Biden] finally said, 'How can you be so sure when you know you don't know the facts?'''

Biden said that Bush stood up and put his hand on the senator's shoulder. ''My instincts,'' he said. ''My instincts.''

Biden paused and shook his head, recalling it all as the room grew quiet. ''I said, 'Mr. President, your instincts aren't good enough!''' . . .

Paul O'Neill, Christine Todd Whitman and Colin Powell to generals fighting in Iraq -- have been told for years when they requested explanations for many of the president's decisions, policies that often seemed to collide with accepted facts. The president would say that he relied on his ''gut'' or his ''instinct'' to guide the ship of state, and then he ''prayed over it.''
. . .

Once he makes a decision -- often swiftly, based on a creed or moral position -- he expects complete faith in its rightness.

The disdainful smirks and grimaces that many viewers were surprised to see in the first presidential debate are familiar expressions to those in the administration or in Congress who have simply asked the president to explain his positions. Since 9/11, those requests have grown scarce; Bush's intolerance of doubters has, if anything, increased, and few dare to question him now. . . .

This is one key feature of the faith-based presidency: open dialogue, based on facts, is not seen as something of inherent value. It may, in fact, create doubt, which undercuts faith . It could result in a loss of confidence in the decision-maker and, just as important, by the decision-maker. Nothing could be more vital . . . .

A cluster of particularly vivid qualities was shaping George W. Bush's White House through the summer of 2001: a disdain for contemplation or deliberation, an embrace of decisiveness, a retreat from empiricism, a sometimes bullying impatience with doubters and even friendly questioners. Already Bush was saying, Have faith in me and my decisions, and you'll be rewarded. All through the White House, people were channeling the boss. He didn't second-guess himself; why should they? . . .

''Where people often get lost is on this very point,'' he said after a moment of thought. ''Real faith, you see, leads us to deeper reflection and not -- not ever -- to the thing we as humans so very much want.''

And what is that?

''Easy certainty.''


 

Saturday, October 16, 2004

New York Times endorses John Kerry for President

New York Times

Read an excellent review of George Bush's overall abuse of the national trust in the New York Times' ringing endorsement of John Kerry for president.


Each paragraph is heavy with reason to make George W. Bush a one-term miscarriage of justice. A must-read.


Other Links:

Editor & Publisher: Daily Endorsement Tally: Kerry Picks up 30 Papers, Widens Lead

Democratic Underground: Master Newspaper Endorsement List


 

Friday, October 15, 2004

Blair warned a year before that Iraq regime change would be illegal

Now it's out. Blair knew all along that invading Iraq to take out Saddam would be illegal and was advised he needed to invent a legal reason.

Cape Times

London: Secret government documents show that Tony Blair was warned by his own advisers a year before going to war that there was no growing threat from Saddam Hussein and that invading Iraq would be illegal.

Confidential papers, including a secret memo from Jack Straw to the prime minister, say that Iraq had not "stepped up" its weapons programmes and that invading Iraq would be "legally very difficult".

They advised that the threat from Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programme should be emphasised to help make the legal case for war even though intelligence showed "the pace of Saddam Hussein's WMD programme" had not speeded up. . . .

"A legal justification for invasion would be needed. Subject to Law Officers' advice, none currently exists," says a paper marked Secret UK Eyes Only, prepared by Cabinet Office experts on March 8. "This makes moving quickly to invade legally very difficult." . . .

The secret papers also show that law officers warned a year before Britain went to war that it was up to the UN Security Council to assess whether Saddam Hussein had breached UN resolutions and that this was not a judgment that could be made by an individual state such as Britain or the US.

But the prime minister was also warned repeatedly that regime change would be illegal under international law and that, a year before the Iraq war, there were no legal grounds for invading Iraq at all. . . .


 

Platoon risks imprisonment rather than go on "suicide mission"

Fighting the war in Iraq on the cheap, that is, except for the thousands of expensive hired mercenaries, the inflated prices paid to Halliburton and other Bush cronies, and the billions of dollars that have simply slipped through the cracks without a trace, one of the cheapest of Bush's assets appears to be the lives of our kids serving in his military.

The Clarion-Ledger

A 17-member Army Reserve platoon with troops from Jackson[,Mississippi] and around the Southeast deployed to Iraq is under arrest for refusing a "suicide mission" to deliver fuel, the troops' relatives said Thursday.

The soldiers refused an order on Wednesday to go to Taji, Iraq — north of Baghdad — because their vehicles were considered "deadlined" or extremely unsafe
, said Patricia McCook of Jackson, wife of Sgt. Larry O. McCook. ...

The platoon could be charged with the willful disobeying of orders, punishable by dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of pay and up to five years confinement, said military law expert Mark Stevens, an associate professor of justice studies at Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, N.C. ...

"President Bush takes the position that the troops are well-armed, but if this situation is true, it calls into question how honest he has been with the country," [U.S. Rep. Bennie] Thompson said.

The 343rd is a supply unit whose general mission is to deliver fuel and water. The unit includes three women and 14 men and those with ranking up to sergeant first class.

"I got a call from an officer in another unit early (Thursday) morning who told me that my husband and his platoon had been arrested on a bogus charge because they refused to go on a suicide mission," said Jackie Butler of Jackson, wife of Sgt. Michael Butler, a 24-year reservist. "When my husband refuses to follow an order, it has to be something major." ...

The platoon is normally escorted by armed Humvees and helicopters, but did not have that support Wednesday, McClenny told her mother.

The convoy trucks the platoon was driving had experienced problems in the past and were not being properly maintained, Hill said her daughter told her.

The situation mirrors other tales of troops being sent on missions without proper equipment.

Aviation regiments have complained of being forced to fly dangerous missions over Iraq with outdated night-vision goggles and old missile-avoidance systems. Stories of troops' families purchasing body armor because the military didn't provide them with adequate equipment have been included in recent presidential debates. ...

"He told me that three of the vehicles they were to use were deadlines ... not safe to go in a hotbed like that," Patricia McCook said.

Hill said the trucks her daughter's unit was driving could not top 40 mph.

"They knew there was a 99 percent chance they were going to get ambushed or fired at," Hill said her daughter told her. "They would have had no way to fight back." ...

Update 10-16-04

Soldiers "detained", not "arrested". Army spokesman says preliminary findings show the soldiers raised "valid concerns."


Update 10-17-04

Soldiers Saw Refusing Order as Their Last Stand



 

Excellent 47-minute Democracy Now! video about Bush's National Guard dereliction

Democracy Now!

As controversy swirls around the authenticity of documents used by 60 Minutes last week, we play an excerpt of a new documentary 'Bush Family Fortunes' by investigative reporter Greg Palast that examines Bush's military duty and includes a rare interview with former Texas Air National Guardsman Lt. Col. Bill Burkett. [includes rush transcript] ...


Watch complete documentary at Information Clearing House or get your own DVD at GregPalast.com

Previously posted 9-18-04


Update 10-16-04:

CBS and Dan Rather suffered humiliation over the documents used in their reporting that Bush was viewed as a problem in the Guard and had refused to follow an order to get a physical. Marian Carr Knox (the former secretary of Bush's National Guard commander, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian), who examined the document copies, attested that she had not typed those particular memos, but that their content nevertheless was in fact true.

Lt. Col. Bill Burkett was the source of the documents to CBS and later admitted he had lied to CBS about how he had come to possess them. Because of that lie, Burkett's general credibility has been cast in suspicion and therefore arises again regarding his testimony to Greg Palast. However, just as the truth of the CBS memos was attested to by Marian Carr Knox, the evidence is also clear that a large amount of George Bush's National Guard records are in fact missing from the files, including everything in one particular large critical period of time. In both cases, the bottom line facts do indeed match the charges, even though the source of the charges has been drawn into question.

What may be happening here is allowing the truth of the matter to enter into the public domain in such a manner as to be able to deny its credibility by discrediting the source. This is a strategy known as "damaged packaging" and has been used sucessfully before by Karl Rove against Jim Hatfield, author of unpublished Fortunate Son in 2000.

We may never really know the details of Col. Burkett's involvement in this matter, whether he is in fact a GOP plant — a sleeper cell of one put in place long ago for just such a mission — or whether he is just a victim in a scheme to discredit the accurate information he delivered.



 

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Sinclair Broadcast Group displaying blatantly partisan and divisive behavior

On October 22, just days before the November 2 election, Sinclair Broadcast Group, the nation's largest owner of local TV stations and which reaches 25% of American homes, has ordered its 62 TV stations to preempt its regular prime time programming to air a 90-minute commercial-free politically partisan attack against presidential contender John Kerry for his early activist work against the Vietnam War. The company has no stated plans to air a pro-Kerry program to balance the Kerry bash. In what therefore is probably an illegal corporate political contribution to the Bush campaign, Sinclair intends to try to skirt campaign contribution laws by claiming the documentary entitled "Stolen Honor" is actually news and therefore exempt from campaign regulations.

Secretary of State Colin Powell's son Michael, who heads the FCC, pleads that his hands are tied because there is no precedent in law that would enable him to prevent the broadcast.

Sinclair's executives are more exclusively Republican in their contributions than any other radio and TV broadcasters, giving 97 percent of their more than $67,000 in political contributions to GOP candidates in 2004.

As further evidence of Sinclair's political leanings, after 9/11, the company required their affiliates to express complete allegiance to the Bush Administration on the air.

[MediaChannel.org]
On April 30 Sinclair refused to allow the showing of ABC's Nightline, wherein each of America's war dead was named. Sinclair claimed at the time that the naming of the dead was too political and would undermine the President's war effort. When the program aired, ratings for Nightline for the stations that did carry it jumped because people in fact wanted to see such a tribute to our fallen soldiers.

Sinclair is going out on a limb in broadcasting "Stolen Honor" by blatantly giving President Bush the equivalent of a huge campaign contribution. SBGI, Sinclair's stock has been dropping for months and is still seeking a bottom. Sinclair hopes that the Bush FCC will eventually allow them to control two stations in each city instead of just one.

Internet activists, outraged that such an obviously partisan and unbalanced 90-minute Bush advertisement is being aired just days before the election, are lodging their complaints at every level, urging investment managers to consider divestment, and organizing local protests against Sinclair stations and boycotts against Sinclair advertisers.


Carlton A. Sherwood, writer/producer of the film, formerly
worked as Special Media Advisor to the Secretary of the Navy during the Reagan Administration and Broadcast Communications Director for Homeland Security chief Gov. Tom Ridge. The Bush administration has selected Sherwood to create and manage a new federal website aimed at first responders (police officers, firefighters, etc.).
A relatively early example of Sherwood criticizing Kerry on this issue is a Fox News article from March 2004. In it, Sherwood is quoted as saying: "He knew as an officer that those were lies. It never happened... He was principally responsible for cementing the image of Vietnam veterans as drugged-out psychopaths who were totally unrestrained and who were a murderous hoard." [13]

[Disinfopedia]
It seems not to matter to Mr. Sherwood that the so-called lies he says Kerry told have actually been well substantiated as historical fact in the years since his testimony before U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971.

Sherwood also worked for the Washington Times, owned by Unification Church founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon. His purported investigation of Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, Inquisition: The Persecution and Prosecution of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, offers us a preview of the manner in which Sherwood's purported independent journalism is finally rendered.
In a story on this book, the PBS television series Frontline obtained a copy of a letter addressed to Moon. The letter was written by James Gavin, a Moon aide. Gavin tells Moon he reviewed the "overall tone and factual contents" of Inquisition before publication and suggested revisions. Gavin adds that the author "Mr. Sherwood has assured me that all this will be done when the manuscript is sent to the publisher." Gavin concludes by telling Moon, "When all of our suggestions have been incorporated, the book will be complete and in my opinion will make a significant impact.... In addition to silencing our critics now, the book should be invaluable in persuading others of our legitimacy for many years to come."[1]
View the October 13 Democracy Now! report for coverage of the issue.

John Kerry Then: Hear Kerry's Historic 1971 Testimony Against the Vietnam War
(Democracy Now!)

Other links include:

Sinclair's Partisan Ploy Cries Out for Equal Time (FAIR)

Anti-Kerry film ignites new row (BBC quick overview article)

Sinclair Plays Fast and Loose with the News
Sinclair Fiddles While the FCC Sleeps

Media control: Sinclair Broadcast Group
Disinfopedia: Media control: Stolen_Honor:_Wounds_That_Never_Heal

The official movie website


 

Friday, October 01, 2004

Bush responsible for hundreds of thousands of mother/child deaths and millions of unwanted pregnancies worldwide

Bush Withholds Money from U.N. Family Planning Fund for 3rd Year in a Row

Reuters

Scapegoating China, the Bush administration throws sop to his Christian fundamentalist base by withholding funds from UNFPA, thus assuring worldwide during fiscal years 2002-2004:

  • 12,600 maternal deaths

  • 205,200 infant deaths

  • 2,116,800 abortions

  • 5,400,000 unwanted pregnancies
This appears to be what Bush and his regressive fundamentalist base call "family values". It is totally unconscionable and derives from a mindset that is dogmatic, near-sighted, wholly uncompassionate, and disengaged from reality in this world. It is a horrible repeat of George Walker Bush's rapacious devastation of everything he touches.

Read the following articles to get up to speed on this tragic abuse of presidential power:

Oct 1, 2004 - Reuters
Mar 31, 2002 - Seattle PI
Jul 17, 2004 - Boston Globe
Jan 14, 2001 - PlanetWire