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More on Republican fraud in Ohio:
September 9, 2005 1:25 AM   Subscribe

None Dare Call It Fraud: Harpers article on the report Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio.
posted by blue shadows (81 comments total)

 
Meh. He won the popular vote, so there is no psychological motivation to be angry here. The reason Gore V. Bush is so emotional is that Gore was the majority choice overall.

Kerry V. Bush? *shrug* the dumbasses spoke and they picked Bush.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:29 AM on September 9, 2005


the dumbasses spoke and they picked Bush

If you do not defend the value of votes then you deserve what you get.


Meh is the new bleat.
posted by srboisvert at 1:43 AM on September 9, 2005 [1 favorite]


No pyschological motivation for being angry? Evidence of massive election fraud, even if a lot of it is anecdotal, is more than enough reason for anger, and one can only hope, action.
posted by blue shadows at 1:46 AM on September 9, 2005


yeah, but I don't deserve what he gets.
posted by shmegegge at 1:47 AM on September 9, 2005



/derail from the ad
Wow, that bush1984 book is drivel! Politicoporn comes to the....well, left I suppose, or what apparently is labeling itself as left.

Greenberg can't write worth a damn:
“Well, you raghead-lovin’ pussyshit, I would like the opportunity to stick my foot up your subversive asshole right now, but I may not get that opportunity, or will I?” The judge smiled at his own cleverness.

If I wrote that I'd slit my wrists. The subject matter is interesting, but how shallow that is compared to the depth Orwell had.

Back on:
What happened to Badnarik? Did he have an 'accident' or commit 'suicide' or anything? Isn't he still on this?

Apparently you need only ignore the opposition.

Still, I addressed the ad because it lends credence to the 'looney left' stigma.

I looked into this a bit and the silence is deafening. I'm appalled at the lack of interest to follow this up. I'm astonished the (supposed) opposition party didn't kick more.
Of course, that's granting that they are not a party to it. Still, I would think everyone would be interested in a straightforward election.

But apparently not. Most people follow politics like they follow sports and are trained to.
They cheer for their guys no matter what.
I've never heard the referee congratulated for calling a clean, fair game.
Never seems to come up in politics either. Filthy business.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:30 AM on September 9, 2005


It’s all over but the counting. And we’ll take care of the counting.

Therein lies the problem.

It really doesn't matter what votes are cast locally. When the votes are electronically tallied in central locations that have been proven time and again to be insecure, your actual vote isn't worth a pitcher of warm spit.

Filthy business indeed, Smedleyman... with special emphasis on the "business" part.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 2:36 AM on September 9, 2005


Election Fraud and Diebold's comin'.
Our votes are no longer our own.
In November I heard the drummin'.
Democracy dead in Ohio.

Gotta get down to it.
Democracy was shot in the head.
Should have been done long ago.

What if you knew her and
Found her dead on the ground?
How can you run when you know?
posted by three blind mice at 2:46 AM on September 9, 2005


Kerry V. Bush? *shrug* the dumbasses spoke and they picked Bush.

The dumbasses spoke and they picked Kerry. By so doing, the Democrats grasped defeat out of the hands of victory.

Blame Bush all you want, but Kerry was a miserable candidate who ran a miserable campaign. Bush didn't win, Kerry and the Democrats lost.

And whenever I hear the names Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton I anticipate a repeat performance in 2008.
posted by three blind mice at 3:03 AM on September 9, 2005


Meh. He won the popular vote

And what are you basing that on? The vote count, of course. You obviously aren't basing it on the opinion polls.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:33 AM on September 9, 2005


Mehtafiltar!
posted by Hands of Manos at 3:40 AM on September 9, 2005


And what are you basing that on? The vote count, of course. You obviously aren't basing it on the opinion polls.

Still celebrating the magnificent Kinnock win in 1992 are we P_G?
posted by biffa at 3:50 AM on September 9, 2005


All I'm saying is that it's a logical fallacy to dismiss complaints of vote fraud on the basis of the results indicating a popular win - it's begging the question.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:10 AM on September 9, 2005


I demand an immediate recount of the 1960 Illinois presidential election ballots!
posted by twsf at 4:25 AM on September 9, 2005


"I demand an immediate recount of the 1960 Illinois presidential election ballots!"

At least there were ballots to recount.

It beggars belief that Venezuala can hold elections with electronic voting machines that leave a secure paper trail, while here in the USA, that technology is just too difficult and advanced. Instead we got machines openly demonstrated to be able to have the tallies changed in seconds with no means whatsoever of detecting such tampering. Completely and uttery untraceable.

It just beggars belief.
posted by -harlequin- at 4:49 AM on September 9, 2005


The exit polls didn't match the electoral results. This is the first time in history such a thing has occured. This alone calls both elections fraudulent. The evidence is overwhelming; elections in this country are just as rigged as in any third-world dictatorship.
posted by mk1gti at 5:44 AM on September 9, 2005


In Germany the votes are counted by representatives from all parties, the exit poll results are factored in and every time each vote counted matches up with exit polls taken. Oh, and they don't use electronic voting machines that can be manipulated like the ones here in KazhakiUSAistan
posted by mk1gti at 5:46 AM on September 9, 2005


The article made me mad enough that I promptly tried to forget it.
posted by OmieWise at 5:54 AM on September 9, 2005


The problem at this point is that Americans honestly don't seem to care if democracy goes MIA, because it's essentially a concept, not a tangible commodity - such as Cheap Gas, for example, or an event as recognizable as a "win" at the "polls."

All I know is that this is the only apparently right-leaning Google result in the top 20 links produced in search of "democracy".

Is there some math to be done there?
posted by objet at 6:17 AM on September 9, 2005


[anecdotal] My lady's senile-as-all-hell grandmother lives in a nursing home in Ohio. One day last fall, a whole bunch of friendly, clip-board toting folks came in and helped her and a bunch of her fellow residents register and vote for Bush. My lady and her mother were outraged that anyone was allowed such contact with their matriarch, but such is the current state of many retirement institutions. [/anecdotal]

Not even necessarily fraud, but a good indicator of the depths the Republican party was ready to sink to in Ohio.

Plus there are a lot of poor minorities in Ohio, and recent events have illustrated the Bush administration's policy of distance, denial, and manipulation for regions in "these parts of the world."
posted by es_de_bah at 6:32 AM on September 9, 2005


on preview
Objet, you cracked it! The Bush Administration's constant repetition of the same tight lines over and over again whenever possible is, in fact, a sophisticated attempt at google-bombing.
posted by es_de_bah at 6:36 AM on September 9, 2005



Es_de_bah -

Glad to see that the humor level's not been diminished.

As for the 'math' to be done - well, 'our childrens is learning', I guess.

"Google-bombing"... isn't that slated to become a Microsoft thing?
posted by objet at 6:41 AM on September 9, 2005


Metafilter: Meh is the new bleat.
posted by lodurr at 6:57 AM on September 9, 2005


es_de_bah -

Good point, except for the fact that the Democrats do the same exact thing in minority communities, blue-collar towns and with educators. Same tactic, different people.

Now granted, it does seem a bit fishy to be doing so with people in a *nursing home*...
posted by tgrundke at 7:03 AM on September 9, 2005


The biggest problem is that the 2000 election stretched on forever, and that many, many people in America, even ones that voted for Kerry, just wanted a quick "He's the one."
There was real malfeasance here, and if we had a special prosecutor, we'd be able to do something. Instead our best hope is that the coin scandal takes out the Republicans in Ohio.
posted by klangklangston at 7:17 AM on September 9, 2005


"I say we had best look our times and lands searchingly in the face, like a physician diagnosing some deep disease. Never was there, perhaps, more hollowness at heart than at present, and here in the United States. Genuine belief seems to have left us. The underlying principles of the States are not honestly believ'd in, (for all this hectic glow, and these melodramatic screamings,) nor is humanity itself believ'd in. What penetrating eye does not everywhere see through the mask? The spectacle is appaling. We live in an atmosphere of hypocrisy throughout. The men believe not in the women, nor the women in the men. A scornful superciliousness rules in literature. The aim of all the littérateurs is to find something to make fun of. A lot of churches, sects, &c., the most dismal phantasms I know, usurp the name of religion. Conversation is a mass of badinage. From deceit in the spirit, the mother of all false deeds, the offspring is already incalculable. An acute and candid person, in the revenue department in Washington, who is led by the course of his employment to regularly visit the cities, north, south and west, to investigate frauds, has talk'd much with me about his discoveries. The depravity of the business classes of our country is not less than has been supposed, but infinitely greater. The official services of America, national, state, and municipal, in all their branches and departments, except the judiciary, are saturated in corruption, bribery, falsehood, mal-administration; and the judiciary is tainted. The great cities reek with respectable as much as non-respectable robbery and scoundrelism. In fashionable life, flippancy, tepid amours, weak infidelism, small aims, or no aims at all, only to kill time. In business, (this all-devouring modern word, business,) the one sole object is, by any means, pecuniary gain. The magician's serpent in the fable ate up all the other serpents; and money-making is our magician's serpent, remaining to-day sole master of the field.

The best class we show, is but a mob of fashionably dress'd speculators and vulgarians. True, indeed, behind this fantastic farce, enacted on the visible stage of society, solid things and stupendous labors are to be discover'd, existing crudely and going on in the background, to advance and tell themselves in time. Yet the truths are none the less terrible. I say that our New World democracy, however great a success in uplifting the masses out of their sloughs, in materialistic development, products, and in a certain highly-deceptive superficial popular intellectuality, is, so far, an almost complete failure in its social aspects, and in really grand religious, moral, literary, and esthetic results. In vain do we march with unprecedented strides to empire so colossal, outvying the antique, beyond Alexander's, beyond the proudest sway of Rome. In vain have we annex'd Texas, California, Alaska, and reach north for Canada and south for Cuba. It is as if we were somehow being endow'd with a vast and more and more thoroughly-appointed body, and then left with little or no soul."

Walt Whitman wrote that in the sad essay, Democratic Vistas, 135 years ago. I keep reading one post after another tainted with this sense that the writer is clutching this thread of hope that this one will be the straw that breaks the camel's back. The no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq straw. The 9-11 commission straw. The Plame outting straw. The Katrina Straw. This Ohio voting straw barely even registers - and is itself a mere footnote to the real and essentially ignored (in any major public arena) of the unchecked push towards voting via electronics whose inner workings are closed to independent scrutiny, which provide no concrete verification to the voter or the government of the actual results of voter intent, and which are manufactured, controlled, and serviced in action by private business concerns with no outside oversight.

None of it matters, because the problem is not a lack of information. It is not a lack of evidence. It is a deep and fundamental apathy, confusion, short attention span, vulnerability to misdirection, ignorance, and self-centeredness. It is America in a nutshell. It is the ongoing result of a 135 year diet of pap since Unca Walt took the matter under consideration, the outcome utterly predictable: everything is even worse. It is a sickness deep in the American soul. It is evident everywhere. Events like Katrina don't reveal that something is wrong, they simply demonstrate how that wrongness explodes whenever it meets with extraordinary circumstances.

In all that Harper's essay I find only one point of interest, which is the Jefferson quote: "“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”

And so it is.

And that's the end of the story. "Meh" indeed.
posted by nanojath at 7:50 AM on September 9, 2005


The US is not a democracy, it is a republic, birch. And yes, a banana republic is still a republic.
posted by C.Batt at 7:54 AM on September 9, 2005


birch? thank you spell checker... :-p

birch = iirc
posted by C.Batt at 7:55 AM on September 9, 2005


Same tactic, different people. Now granted, it does seem a bit fishy to be doing so with people in a *nursing home*...

I think that's going far enough that it's not the same tactic any more. If the nursing homes in question are anything like the ones I've seen, it's not "a bit fishy," it's fraud, just as surely as buying votes is, or as registering dead people is.

My grandparents got so foggy in their old age that they couldn't handle forms, bills, or anything that required a signature on their own - long before they ended up in nursing homes. As comprehension of forms and signatures eluded them, their impulse to please the people around them became the only drive of any significance in their lives. They were willing to sign anything if the pencil-pusher with the clipboard smiled at them, and they did. And they were the lucid residents.

It's one thing to help register voters who are likely to vote your way. It's quite another to help register voters who are incapable of actually filling out a ballot on their own. Nursing home residents are going to need "assistance" with their absentee ballots, and they're going to be only too happy to fill them out in whatever way the "assistant" suggests.
posted by Western Infidels at 8:35 AM on September 9, 2005


Meh. He won the popular vote, so there is no psychological motivation to be angry here. The reason Gore V. Bush is so emotional is that Gore was the majority choice overall.

This may not be true. There are signifigant statistical anomilies in hard core red states where the bush vote is way higher than would be expected. Seems like a two part stratagy was used. There may not be as many dumb asses as suggested.
posted by pointilist at 8:47 AM on September 9, 2005



Gore should've beat Bush in a landslide but instead it came down to counting pennies in Florida. Why? Gore distanced himself from Clinton and tried to run as an outsider which was his mistake. If Gore played his hand right he could've stomped all over Karl Rove's bag of tricks.

Same problem with Kerry. Kerry ran against an unpopular incumbent in a down economy and an unpopular war... and could not win overwhelmingly... it came down to splitting hairs in Ohio.

Losing by a hair is still losing... especially when you lose to a flunky.

Democrats need to have a clear agenda rather than complain about the other parties agenda.
posted by StarForce5 at 9:11 AM on September 9, 2005


Blame Bush all you want, but Kerry was a miserable candidate who ran a miserable campaign. Bush didn't win, Kerry and the Democrats lost.

3BM is totally correct.

If the Dems would have had a candidate then 1-2% election fraud wouldn't have mattered.

None of it matters, because the problem is not a lack of information. It is not a lack of evidence.

Yup. The problem everybody has their OWN competing "facts" that when confronted simply obfuscate andy real point the other side has.
posted by tkchrist at 9:12 AM on September 9, 2005


So we're all agreed, then:

1) The electronic voting machines are open to undetectable fraud. They were designed that way. Nobody knows if such fraud actually occurred, but it is certainly possible.

2) Before, during and after the election campaign, the corporate-owned media gave little or no airtime to any view other than the Republicans and Democrats - some outlets blatantly favoring the Republicans, some blatantly favoring the Democrats, but none rejecting or exposing both as lying frauds.

3) For most people, the corporate media is their only source of political information, and so, they don't realise there's a problem.

Anyone disagree with any of that?
posted by cleardawn at 9:29 AM on September 9, 2005


What, no link to the report in question? (PDF -- google html cache) Even a cursory review of the table of contents will show why
-- Meh. He won the popular vote,
-- Gore should've beat Bush in a landslide...
-- If the Dems would have had a candidate then 1-2% election fraud wouldn't have mattered.
are completely besides the point. Documented charges of irregularities and fraud should be taken seriously no matter how many legitimate votes either candidate got.

tkchrist's apparent acceptance of 1-2%* fraud as a non-matter is exactly why our democracy is a joke.

*A number pulled entirely out of his ass because the truth is nobody knows what the real tally was.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 9:54 AM on September 9, 2005


...except for the fact that the Democrats do the same exact thing...

You can insert that after nearly every account of Republican electoral malfeasance, which may be why not a single prominent Democrat has made an issue of the steaming, rotting mound that is/was American Electoral Democracy. Illinois 1960 and all that. But it doesn't explain why the American people in general seem to think this shit is OK. I guess its like the medieval medical practice of bleeding - that went on for hundreds of years, simply because "we've always done it this way". Shit that wouldn't fly anywhere else in the world. Like, you can't have the chief electoral officer (the person responsible for running the election) be the same person as the freaking campaign manager for one of the candidates (paging Katherine Harris and Kenneth Blackwell) - it's just wrong.

But all of the "traditional" methods of American election fraud are dwarfed by the deployment of hopelessly insecure and unauditable electronic voting machines, whose operation is a closely guarded secret known only to a few Republican-connected corporations. That's 30+ million "vapor-votes" people. Majority of 3.5 million? - maybe, maybe not - who knows?

It certainly explains why BushCo doesnt' seem to care about the consequences of their blatant venal mendacity. Like, they know something you don't...

How you gonna vote the bastards out if you didn't vote them in?
posted by dinsdale at 10:09 AM on September 9, 2005


But it doesn't explain why the American people in general seem to think this shit is OK.

Sixty-odd years of psyops against one's own population will do that to a country.
posted by solistrato at 10:35 AM on September 9, 2005


In all that Harper's essay I find only one point of interest, which is the Jefferson quote: "“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”

I find that hard to believe. Did you read the article? Did you already know about all this shit?

Contrary to a prior understanding, Blackwell also kept foreign monitors away from the Ohio polls. Having been formally invited by the State Department on June 9, observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, an international consortium based in Vienna, had come to witness and report on the election. The mission’s two-man teams had been approved to monitor the process in eleven states—but the observers in Ohio were prevented from watching the opening of the polling places, the counting of the ballots, and, in some cases, the election itself.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:09 AM on September 9, 2005


I think there are a lot of people who are missing something crucial, here. If SOMEONE in the powers that be would launch a REAL investigation into this, (as in a followup to this report) that really endeavored to determine ultimate culpability... well, impeachment is an option.

This isn't just "Did all of Bush's votes count?" That's beside the point. The point isn't to say "Ha! We should have won all along!" The point is to say "You did WHAT to our election?! YOU'RE FUCKING FIRED, ASSHOLE! HERE'S SOME JAILTIME FOR YOU!"

Chances are there's a trail out there... somewhere... that would lead all the way back to Bush, if for no other reason than because he's just a figurehead who can be abandoned by his handlers in the event of any real trouble.
posted by shmegegge at 11:11 AM on September 9, 2005


It's not hard for Democrats to win. All they have to do is drop gun control. You can keep your welfare, your taxes, your affirmative action, your abortion, all of it. Just give up and admit that the Second Amendment gives every law abiding citizen the right to own civilian weapons of their choice, and you'll pick up millions of votes. Not only all the many single-issue voters, but all the people for whom Democrats' hostility to guns, and the offensive ways they try to dance around it (cf Kerry's hunting expedition) is the foot in the door for Republicans to sell them that Democrats are generally opposed to traditional American values.

And after Katrina, all the voters who matter are both more disposed to be critical of Bush and less disposed than ever before to entertain any politician who isn't fervently committed to the right to keep and bear arms. Yet Democrats are probably going to blow their greatest opportunity in a long time...
posted by MattD at 11:35 AM on September 9, 2005


Amen, MattD.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:38 AM on September 9, 2005


Yeah, I find the general oh well attitude simply astounding.
The above quote from Whitman may demonstrate that there never has been a perfect democracy, but to shrug and say this is the way it always has been allows fraud to continue becoming greater.
posted by blue shadows at 11:46 AM on September 9, 2005


I find that hard to believe. Did you read the article? Did you already know about all this shit?

I read the article thoroughly. I did in fact know the better part of "this shit," mrgrimm, because I followed these stories rather closely up to the point that it became completely obvious that nothing at all would come of it.

But I didn't mean to say that there's nothing of interest in that article, just nothing of interest to me. One need merely observe the overwhelming statistical disconnect between the composition of the voting populace and that of our "representatives" to see that this system has been rigged for a long, long time. To say this country is being run by white, affluent men is not some sort of political conspiracy theory, it is just a bald fact. So no, a particularly ripe season of skullduggery in Ohio doesn't really capture my interest. I saw little in that article that was new to me and nothing that surprised me. The only thing that surprises me is that so many of you delightful pollyannas believe there is any solution at this point. The condition has been ignored too long and is no longer treatable. I got nothing else to say about it.
posted by nanojath at 11:50 AM on September 9, 2005


So the solution is simply to give up? I don't think anyone is suggesting any easy instant fixes, but I think there is a general agreement that democracy is worth fighting for. Abandon all hope?
posted by blue shadows at 12:00 PM on September 9, 2005


tgrundke and dinsdale, really? I've never heard of any democrats organizing to trick people with Alzheimers into voting democrat. Maybe they do, but...
posted by es_de_bah at 12:06 PM on September 9, 2005


...really?

um, well I did say "nearly". The point is, where the hell is the so-called Democratic "leadership"? Busy making sure their own asses are armor-plated and teflon-coated, that's where...

The condition... is no longer treatable.

Perhaps, but it is primarily this attitude that makes it so - call it a self-defeating prophecy.
posted by dinsdale at 12:19 PM on September 9, 2005


The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.
Plato
--------------------
Metafilter reaction: Meh . . .
---------------------
Seriously though, MattD might have a point about abandoning the whole gun thing, in fact I'll go one better: mandatory gun ownership and firearms training for everyone, conservative or liberal, democrat or republican, mandatory draft for everyone, regardless of social status, mandatory recalls every couple of years for six month military service.
Think about how likely a government would be to mess with it's population knowing that it was fully trained in military science and armed to the teeth, ready to overthrow any corrupt dipsticks who were arrogant enough to mess with it.
Blood and Circuses indeed. . . .
posted by mk1gti at 12:21 PM on September 9, 2005


tkchrist's apparent acceptance of 1-2%* fraud as a non-matter is exactly why our democracy is a joke.

Acceptance? 'Our' democracy? Oh. Shut the fuck up. Because nobody else has election fraud.

Do you know how much fraud is ALWAYS committed? In every election? In every democracy?

And where do you get that I accept it?

When you can PROVE it and PROVE who is responsible then I will happily give you cash dollars to prosecute your case and punish the perpetrators.

Oh. Your still just bitching? So then you simply "accept" it, too?

Because, despite the best efforts 9that should still continue) of every democracy to prevent election fraud, it only is REALLY effective in small targeted areas AND elusive when the elections are as close as they have been.

And close elections, my friend, is the result of shitty candidates.

*A number pulled entirely out of his ass because the truth is nobody knows what the real tally was.

EXACTLY. Nobody knows. And if it was 5%. 10%. 20%. SOMEBODY would know wouldn't they? Idiot.
posted by tkchrist at 12:32 PM on September 9, 2005


It's not hard for Democrats to win. All they have to do is drop gun control. You can keep your welfare, your taxes, your affirmative action, your abortion, all of it. Just give up and admit that the Second Amendment gives every law abiding citizen the right to own civilian weapons of their choice, and you'll pick up millions of votes.

Yes. Excellent. I have said this for 20 years. We fetishize Gun control as much as the right fetishize abortion.
posted by tkchrist at 12:34 PM on September 9, 2005


MattD: I disagree. First off, gun control is wildly popular with women voters, and is an easy issue to push. It polls at about 70% support among likely suburban voters, and there are fairly few people who vote only on that issue. Further, there is a need for some level of gun control, and most people will agree with that (excepting the NRA).
Hell, even the Assault Weapons Ban was popular, despite being a shitty and pointless law.
posted by klangklangston at 12:37 PM on September 9, 2005


I've got no problems with Gun Control, I control my guns very well. The Democrats would gain substantial ground by giving up on it but its very near and dear to alot of people in the party, with good reason though, gun violence in the US is out of control.

Maybe Gun Reform would be a better strategy though I must admit that I like mk1gti's idea about arming everyone and training everyone. Though the functional reality of a conscript military is a dangerous one.

Would any of you like to be in a conscript army under George Bush? I know I for damned sure wouldn't and I would, in all seriousness, leave the country to avoid it.
posted by fenriq at 12:41 PM on September 9, 2005


First off, gun control is wildly popular with women voters, and is an easy issue to push. It polls at about 70%

No way. You would recapture a healthy % of the disaffected white guys out there that sympathize with the pro-labor/working-class policies of the Democrats. The point is the the right uses that macho gun thing to make the left look wimpy. And unfortunately that superficial shit matters. it has to be diffused.

And women voters. C'mon. You think NARAL & LOWV would all go Republican. No frigg'n way. And if the women voting block was so on the edge the left would have already lost those that care that much. Hell, soccer moms/security moms are voting republican now.

We are talking about simply "Gun Control". We can leave in place those policies that work. We are talking about a left establishment that has the perceived goal of banning ALL fire arms. Which IS unconstitutional and morally untenable like most prohibition policies.
posted by tkchrist at 12:47 PM on September 9, 2005


Tkchrist, any more information on your claims of universal election fraud?
posted by blue shadows at 1:09 PM on September 9, 2005


tkchrist, and would make me leave the party if they wanted to take away my guns. There are few, if any, specifically named rights in the Constitutional Amendments, the right to keep and bear arms is one.

The irony is that the founding fathers would have expected the people to have risen up and removed these charlatans in office by now for their overt negligence in caring the entire nation, not just the wealthiest 1%. And its the Democrats who want to take the guns away? The Dems should be the ones fighting the hardest to keep the guns in the hands of the people.
posted by fenriq at 1:16 PM on September 9, 2005


By the way, New Orleans is now confiscating guns whether stolen or not.
posted by fenriq at 1:19 PM on September 9, 2005


And where do you get that I accept it?

I drew the conclusion from the fact that you seem to feel a discussion of election fraud -- a very specific discussion of a Congressional report detailing specific irregularities -- is the appropriate place to declare your opinion that Kerry and Gore are "shitty candidates". I assumed that by furthering the derail ("the Democrats suck so who cares about a little cheating"), you were intentionally trying to confuse the issue. Perhaps I gave you too much credit, perhaps you simply having a reading comprehension problem.

'Our' democracy?
Yes, I believe that's what I typed. What is your issue with my use of the word?

And if it was 5%. 10%. 20%. SOMEBODY would know wouldn't they?

Not if the fraud happened programmatically without a paper trail, which is a new wrinkle in the history voting theft.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 1:21 PM on September 9, 2005


Arn't they taking away all the guns from everybody in New Orleans right now?
posted by Iax at 1:28 PM on September 9, 2005


Would any of you like to be in a conscript army under George Bush? I know I for damned sure wouldn't and I would, in all seriousness, leave the country to avoid it.
---------------------------------------
I wouldn't agree to be a conscript in Bush's army but then again perhaps if this were more a spartan nation instead of a windbag one perhaps these things wouldn't have happened in the first place. Only the Flying Spaghetti Monster knows for sure. . . And I agree that the functional reality of a conscript military is a dangerous one, but look at Israel and it's conscript army. You have right wingers afraid of left-wingers with military weapons and military training. Somehow I would think that would be a great little 'force multiplier' if drunken rednecks knew they had to face up to tattooed straight-edged punk rockers toting military weaponry around who not only knew how to use it but were better shots than their drunken, flabby brethren.
posted by mk1gti at 1:29 PM on September 9, 2005


Iax, yep.
posted by fenriq at 1:30 PM on September 9, 2005


They're taking the cameras too.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 1:39 PM on September 9, 2005


Tkchrist, any more information on your claims of universal election fraud?

Do I have to do all the work for you. Sheesh. Ask Jimmy Carter.

Let me turn this around. So do you seriously believe that there is ZERO election fraud in national elections some where in the world? Where? The Grand Duchy of Fennwick?

I was asking 'ol Anus there (who is an idiot I will now ignore) if HE knew of a place that had no election fraud. But I confused him. Obviously an easy thing to do. And he doesn't BTW.

A small amount of fraud is to be EXPECTED. Not ACCEPTED. Get it.

I agree there were likely shenanigans in 2004 that effected the outcome. There are likely shenanigans in every election. The Democratic Machine in Chicago and in Boston? Hello?

As far as 2004. I can't prove it. And neither can any of you.

The point is is would not have effected the outcome as badly if there were decent candidates fielded.

Why is this so hard to understand? Fraud or no, Kerry got beat by Bush. By Bush! If that is not a testament to how BAD the candidate was I don't what else will convince you. I dunno. I guess some of you are too used to the bar being set so low.
posted by tkchrist at 2:40 PM on September 9, 2005


Sheesh indeed. The whole point, tkcrist, is not that there always is a small amount of fraud, but that in this case there was a lot of fraud. From your earlier comments, you made it sound like massive election fraud is the norm, everywhere, all the time, and I was wondering on what you were basing those statements.
posted by blue shadows at 2:51 PM on September 9, 2005


that in this case there was a lot of fraud

Here we go again. Prove it. Ok. Please!

If there was a great deal of fraud then it should be easier to prove. I WANT to you to. I would love to see the Bush administration ejected on proven fraud charges. Oh. Would I. But you cant prove it because IF they did it they did it in targeted precincts within what would have been at other times close to the MOE. And they COULD do that because they knew the election would be so close. Because the opposition was weak. Weak. Weak.

I think we are trying to paint this thing like Kerry was a much beloved and universally popular candidate who was flagrantly robbed. We ant that because to admit he was a fucking idiot makes us complicit in the failure of the left. And we are.

We need to focus on getting people to run who people WANT.
posted by tkchrist at 2:59 PM on September 9, 2005


Like, you can't have the chief electoral officer (the person responsible for running the election) be the same person as the freaking campaign manager for one of the candidates (paging Katherine Harris and Kenneth Blackwell) - it's just wrong.

This amazed me when I first read of it. In the UK, returning officers (responsible for running the election and the count of the vote in each constituency) aren't even allowed to vote* and are expected to be seen to be scrupulously impartial.

* Except in the extremely rare event of a unresolvable tie between two candidates, in which case they have the casting vote.
posted by normy at 3:00 PM on September 9, 2005


tkchrist, I really can't believe you dragged out that argument of ' Here we go again. Prove it. Ok. Please '.
Seriously, what have you been doing this entire thread? The past eight years? All of your life? Walking around with your head shoved firmly up your poop chute? 'Prove it?'
It's been proven a thousand times over if you would only pay friggin' attention!
Tell you what, just scroll down through the thread, read the story again, read the links others have posted, rinse, repeat until you are able to hop onto the clue train without falling off.
Everyone else has no further duty to prove to you something that you are not paying attention to.
posted by mk1gti at 3:08 PM on September 9, 2005


I agree that Kerry was far from an ideal candidate. What is really scary is what might happen in the future with those electronic voting machines.
posted by blue shadows at 3:19 PM on September 9, 2005


Oh, I think the electronic voting machines will eventually suck our brains out of our heads. It seems to be doing that now with the last couple of elections. . .

One side: "The elections are fraudulent"

The other side: "Nothing to see here, move along." (with glassy eyed staring off into space)

One side: "Oh, okay then, we'll just take your word for it and 'just get over it'. (beginning to stare off into space, eyes glazing over)

The other side: "Okay then!" (with glassy eyed staring off into space, drooling a little.)

Both sides slowly amble off, bump into walls and fall down, then forget how to breathe, pass out and die. . .

Nobody notices.

Meh. . .
posted by mk1gti at 3:34 PM on September 9, 2005


I'm glad someone brought up gun control. From personal experience, I know some guys down at the gun range who can't stand Bush and will deride him every chance they get.

But they'll keep voting Republican until the Dems make it clear they won't threaten anyone's gun rights.

No one is saying localities have to give up their rules on gun control. NYC could keep banning handguns as much as they wanted. But the Democrats have to make it clear they will never attempt nationwide gun control. And they'll get the guys down at my range firmly on their side. Multiply those guys times a few million of like-minded people, and the Dems will easily win control of the government.
posted by pandaharma at 3:57 PM on September 9, 2005


Are you describing Metafilter threads in general, mk1gti?
posted by blue shadows at 4:14 PM on September 9, 2005


I used to be against firearms, but having thought the issue over during the past few years I think it would be to the benefit of all if persons here, no matter what their political stripe reconsidered the issue and gave it some deep thought. A good place to start would be looking at the history of the militias prior to the U.S. revolutionary war and after for some guidance on the matter.
posted by mk1gti at 4:20 PM on September 9, 2005


Yeah, I guess I am blue shadows. (^_^)
posted by mk1gti at 4:21 PM on September 9, 2005


No one is saying localities have to give up their rules on gun control. NYC could keep banning handguns as much as they wanted. But the Democrats have to make it clear they will never attempt nationwide gun control.

If any Democrat party plotters are out there, you'd do well to pay close attention to this thread, because I think mk1gti, pandaharma, and others might be on to something here.

It's kind of funny if what pandaharma says is true, because most of the Dems I know could almost care less about gun control. Not saying some of 'em wouldn't like to see more regulations in certain cases, but for most, gun control really isn't a burning, high priority issue at all. (Maybe I'm misreading my Dem friends, but I seldom hear any of them talking about gun control.)

Personally, I think the real tragedy is that the states by and large don't have well-armed, independent militias anymore. If they did, discussions of states' rights issues might have some teeth for a change.

But now that I think about it, wasn't Bush Governor of Texas during the Waco debauchle? Didn't he even lend the Feds the helicopters they used to carry it out? I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure he was as much up-to-his-neck in that atrocity as any "gun-hating Democrats" were. What does that tell you about the real ideological commitments of the people at the top?
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 5:07 PM on September 9, 2005


I'm not saying we should all go out and start waving guns around or anything, but we should re-examine our beliefs about the power of a 'well-armed militia' a little bit more. Think of what a counter it would be if there were a left wing version of the NRA?
A'hm jus' sayin' . . .
posted by mk1gti at 5:52 PM on September 9, 2005


It's been proven a thousand times over if you would only pay friggin' attention!

If YOU know can prove it - if you have this irrefutable evidence you claim - then raise some fucking money and hire a lawyer. I will give you money. Millions of people would give you money. A lawyer would be insane NOT to take the case - they would be the most famous - and rich - lawyer in modern history. There would be entire nations that would aid you that would love to see the Bush administrations policies ruled illegitimate. Most of europe and all the resources there in would rally to you. So. Produce this proof.

So go for it.

Or. It has NOT been proven. There is cirtainly circumstancial proof - but nothing concrete. It seems like ther may have been fraud. Yet. There is no irrefutable evidence you just want there to be. So you won't and can't do any of that and there for nobody will help you make an ass of yourself. And you are full of shit.

Which is it? Anybody else want to weigh in?

Your other idea on dropping gun control was much better. Stick with that.
posted by tkchrist at 6:18 PM on September 9, 2005


tkchrist . . . eternally falling off the clue train, landing with own head stuck up own ass. And on and on it goes. . .
posted by mk1gti at 8:34 PM on September 9, 2005


If YOU know can prove it.... Or. It has NOT been proven.

I feel like a tape loop, I've tried to explain this so many times in so many different contexts, but the concept remains very poorly understood, so here goes one more time.

Election results are supposed to be *provable*. With paperless electronic voting, it is impossible to prove anything - you simply have to trust the owners and designers of the machines that they are, as claimed, 100% accurate and bug free. Except that, as pretty much any computer security expert will tell you, no one in the history of computers has ever written a 100% bug-free program, so the designers of these systems are either demi-gods who deserve a goddamned Nobel Prize, or they are lying. There is a very large amount of evidence that these machines are in fact rather prone to error, like say, giving one candidate negative 16,000 votes to site a single notorious example. Obviously, it's impossible to prove if that particular error was the result of fraud or accident, or, had the error been slightly less outrageous, if it would have even been noticed at all. The use of these machines produces results which can not be independently verified, which cannot be recounted, nor can they be audited or sampled to determine their accuracy.

Here's the point - election systems which do not produce results which are provable - that is to say auditable - are pretty much completely worthless. They are "faith-based" not "reality-based". And yet such systems have been put in place deliberately, despite the best efforts of experts across the spectrum to inform legislators of what a terrible idea it is. The international community is horrified - people who run elections all over the world are unable to understand how it is that Americans have the worst electoral practices in the "civilized" world. A system that is so open to fraud and manipulation that the system itself is already a fraud and a manipulation before a single vote is cast.
posted by dinsdale at 10:26 PM on September 9, 2005


Anybody else want to weigh in?

I'm thinking Chicago in the Jungle by Upton Sinclair. It isn't that simple. Getting proof. Even with money.

This is anecdotal. I know a guy, who knows a guy type of thing. Normally this kind of story goes off into albino alligators or some guy with a hook for a hand or whatever. This one isn't nutty.
Back when Kennedy was running for president a lot of folks from Cook County, most of them dead already, voted for him. (I want to be buried in Chicago so that I can remain politically active after I die.)
Lots of ward heelers got out the vote in the time honored way (further back than Regan's colts and the Capone outfit). There were people who wanted to expose these shennanigans. The Chicago Tribune reported how bent Daley was and how crooked the election was. It's not like nobody knew.
A bunch of people were indicted on vote fraud,
but were aquited because Daley had a couple judges in his pocket.
Multiple election boards at the time saw no reason to overturn the results. Neither did state or federal judges. Neither did an Illinois special prosecutor in 1961. Neither have academic inquiries into the Illinois case.
J. Edgar Hoover investigated it (but we all know the leverage that folks in the know had on 'Mary') and RFK being attorney general didn't do the FBI investigation any good.
There were people with a lot of juice and money who got into the investigation. They got nowhere. One of them played hardball. Roselli and Sam Giancana happened to him. No one said anything about it.

Of course it scared people, why do you think RFK had such a hard-on all of a sudden for the Mob?

But all that aside - what can we learn from this anecdotal, but true tale?

Even with proof, who will listen? That maxim about treason isn't quoted simply because it's cute. When treason prospers it becomes the new order. It becomes the way things are done.

And if you don't like it you wind up in a cornfield and no one mentions your name anymore.

What you need then is a LOT of power. That comes from being part of the structure. Being immovable. Even being part of the structure is no guarantee if someone wants to throw lead.
Kennedy was assassinated. RFK was knocked off. The entrenched powers remained. To fight them, in some respects, you must become them. And fanatacism in virtue or radical change is no defense (remember Robespeirre? Best intentions when he started).

This isn't to say it's impossible. Typically through art or religion you can mobilize people.

...notice how purile our art and religion is in the US? Not so much the fine arts et. al. which make statements and are thus marginalized or exploited for shock value and drained of content - the mass media, what passes as religious experiance, etc.
Jesus today would be more than crucified, he would be marginalized, his message would be perverted into some sort of banality, he himself, because of his expression of empathy and intimacy would be derided as some sort of pervert (pedophile perhaps or homosexual - "I mean he hangs out with 12 guys!", or some such ... odd, perhaps Koresh was a rehersal).

All the tools for mobilization have been rendered inert, you cannot then seize power through popular revolt, so who cares what proof you have?

(even the internet, which keeps looking like it could mobilize people, yet doesn't - most people use it for shopping, perhaps that's changing but it's a matter of time before "subversive!" is shouted and this free flowing communication gets neutralized)

You need more than proof. You need an underground. That takes someone with a whole different mindset.

I could do it. But I'm on vacation. And I'm a taoist now, so I try not to hurt people, which is what you'd have to be doing.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:04 PM on September 9, 2005


More on the gun control derail:

Every election season, the NRA will give a thumbs up/down to candidates based on their stance on gun control. For example, Howard Dean got a big thumbs up because of his stance on the issue and how he behaved as governor.

Someone, with more time on their hands than I, should put together a chart of how Democrats in congressional and statewide races did in their races with the results color-coded by their approval status with the NRA.

I would hazard a guess that those Dems who won in predominantly rural or suburban areas had some level of approval by the NRA.
posted by pandaharma at 1:19 AM on September 10, 2005


From personal experience, I know some guys down at the gun range who can't stand Bush and will deride him every chance they get.

But they'll keep voting Republican until the Dems make it clear they won't threaten anyone's gun rights.


and they say you guys don't get irony.
posted by fullerine at 3:33 AM on September 10, 2005


Smedleyman
What you were saying about the Kennedy vote buying thing is well documented in Seymour Hersh's book about him called
The Dark Side of Camelot
It's a real page turner and eye opener. If only conservatives could be as open-minded about the possible truths of their so-called 'leaders'. . .
posted by mk1gti at 8:29 AM on September 10, 2005


If only conservatives could be as open-minded about the possible truths of their so-called 'leaders'...

Thanks, mk1gti. I'll probably pick that up when I'm mobile.

/I'd've considered myself a conservative. I fit the profile (suburban, hunter, "white", veteran, homeowner, decent income, conservationist (environmentalist if you will), so pro-gun I make Wayne La Pierre look like Ralph Nader - Heston and Charles Bronson are way off to the left of me sort of thing, etc). Apparently I got afflicted with freethinking somewhere along there and broke training. Actually I think the "neo-cons" split from the program, not me from them. I enjoy William F. Buckley for example. But I admire his cerebellum, not his wisdom. Hope that makes sense.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:55 PM on September 10, 2005


I could do it. But I'm on vacation. And I'm a taoist now, so I try not to hurt people, which is what you'd have to be doing.

Great post, Smed.

With paperless electronic voting, it is impossible to prove anything

I agree. The computer voting machines are a very stupid idea. And we must push to go back to the paper audit.

But where I get very frustrated is with this lefty chant of "we know there was fraud and we can prove it" when in fact - as you say there - they CAN'T prove it.

More, you can't find a person/individual to hang - for instance - a RICO charge on you simply have these disturbing anomalies and a suspicious result. That is NOT proof.

Not enough to build anything close to case on, right? Combine that with the absolute lackluster alternate candidate himself and that is why people seem apathetic about it.

If you had a decent candidate - one that people really felt strongly about, one that would not abandon his principles like Kerry did, one that would FIGHT for the outcome if there was suspected fraud - and there was from there very beginning - you would have people rally to it.

This apathy is what people here are complaining about. And that blame rests almost exclusively with the democratic leadership.

But had this dream candidate been then Democratic nominee it is likely the fraud would NOT have been effective as the margin would NOT have been so close.
posted by tkchrist at 1:52 PM on September 11, 2005


Yeah, I know what you're talking about Smedleyman, perhaps you can understand what I'm getting at when I call people like tkchrist 'brainwashed red commies'. Some 'muricans out there who consider themselves conservatives, apple-pie and chevrolet and flag waving might know exactly what I'm talking about, then perhaps others may not. I'm an ex-military brat who grew up in Germany, Morocco and Japan at the height of the Cold War and who's father was in the Navy and detached from the NSA. After he got out we had some talks and I even considered a career in the military and with the intelligence services. I also did some research before I signed on the dotted line and decided it wasn't in the cards. For twenty years now I have looked back and kept up on what's going on out in the field and each time I know I made the correct decision by saying 'no' when I had the opportunity to say 'yes'.
Maybe tkchrist will someday pull back and look around and realize he's been manipulated and lied to, but somehow I doubt it. He doesn't seem to have it in him to really figure out what kind of operation he's dealing with.
They may seem like amateurish bumbling idiots to some, but to me they are cold and calculating sharks. And like sharks they have very, very tiny little brains. No room to figure out what's really best for civilization and humanity, just killing something they don't understand. Just like the romans tried to destroy christianity. If you can't understand it, just kill it. If you can't read a book, burn it. If you can't understand art, burn it. If history throughout the ages doesn't agree with your current worldview, try to hide it.
It didn't work for the romans. It will not work here. This current administration may be able to delay what is inevitable but they cannot stop it. It is as inevitable as a glacier carving a valley, as unstoppable as a mountain emerging from a flat and grassy plain. As inevitable as the neanderthals being supplanted by Cro-Magnons and later Homo-Sapiens.
posted by mk1gti at 9:46 PM on September 11, 2005


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