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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Here are a few e-mails I have in my box this morning. I just thought I would share...

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And I thought the German people were morons to "elect" Adolf Hitler. I
genuinely thought America was smarter than that. Abe Lincoln should have
shut his mouth and let the South secede. Another gigantic Mexico to the
south would be better than having the bible belt as a national
embarrassment. Meanwhile, we remain the world's most hated nation. Lucky
us.

Max

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I truly wish that you were voting age. You have more insight into this matter than
most of the "adults" I speak with. I hope that you keep it up for the next four
years.

Kara

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The Democratic party should investigate this fully!
In particular, I call your attention to the item in the middle about
DIEBOLD.
An amazing find through Lexis-Nexis:

Copyright 2004 Guardian Newspapers Limited
The Guardian (London) - Final Edition


October 18, 2004


SECTION: Guardian Leader Pages, Pg. 17

LENGTH: 1157 words

HEADLINE: Comment & Analysis: In the 60s, police dogs and billy clubs
kept black Americans from the polls. Today's methods are more refined:
Any means necessary

BYLINE: Gary Younge

BODY:
There is nothing George Bush likes more than extolling the virtues of
democracy in faraway places. On October 8, during the second
presidential debate, he promised: "Freedom is on the march. Tomorrow,
Afghanistan will be voting for a president." Apparently some Afghans
enjoyed their new freedoms so much, they voted for the US surrogate,
Hamid Karzai, several times over, after the ink used to mark voters'
thumbs wore off. By the middle of the day, all 15 of Karzai's
challengers had withdrawn. Freedom was not even limping let alone marching.

"Today's election is not a legitimate election," said Abdul Satar Sirat,
after he and the other disgruntled candidates had met in his house.
Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, knew better. "This
election is going to be judged legitimate," she said. "I'm just certain
of it." When it comes to fixing elections, the Bush administration has a
way of making the lame walk.

By Monday an exit poll funded by the US government and conducted by the
International Republican Institute, which has links to the Republican
party, revealed Karzai as a comfortable winner. After diplomatic
arm-twisting by the US ambassador, the 15 challengers withdrew their
withdrawals. It was a miracle. A few days later, in the final
presidential debate, Bush would literally claim divine intervention. "In
Afghanistan, I believe that the freedom there is a gift from the Almighty."

Back in the US, however, the Almighty seems far less generous. Bush's
enthusiasm to export democracy is not matched by his desire to defend it
at home. With just a fortnight to go to the presidential election,
efforts to obstruct and deny the vote, particularly to black and Latino
voters, are intensifying. Forty years after the civil rights act
enshrined the franchise in the constitution for African-Americans,
freedom is being crippled.

The group most likely to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they are
ostensibly extending democracy and freedom - African-Americans - is most
likely to be denied those rights in the US. There is nothing new in this
contradiction. In the cold war, when the US lectured the eastern bloc on
the delights of democracy, black Americans couldn't vote.

The issue of disenfranchisement does not affect only minorities. The use
of electronic voting in many states, using machines that leave no paper
trail, has sent confidence that a fair election is likely, or even
possible, into freefall. Once dismissed as the obsession of con spiracy
theorists, fear of fraud is now mainstream. "Will your vote be counted?"
asks the cover of Newsweek. "Election protests already started: Fraud
intimidation alleged in key states," says a USA Today front page.

The former employee of a company hired by the Republican party to
register voters in Nevada says he was told to throw Democrats'
registration forms away. And last January, the Republican Ellyn
Bogdanoff won a seat in Florida's senate by just 12 votes, out of almost
11,000 cast. According to state law there should have been an automatic
recount; moreover, 137 votes emerged blank. But because the voting had
been done by machine there was nothing to recount. Bogdanoff took the
seat. The machines will be used on November 2.

Sometimes these efforts bear the official imprimatur of local officials.
Given the debacle in Florida four years ago, you would think the
governor (Bush's brother Jeb) would be anxious to ensure that anyone who
wants to vote can. Instead he has introduced a rule that registration
forms should be rejected if a citizenship check box is not complete -
even when people have signed an oath on the same form declaring
themselves to be US citizens. Meanwhile Ohio's Republican secretary of
state, Kenneth Blackwell, attempted to enforce a rule by which only
registration cards printed on heavy, 80lb paper stock would be accepted,
claiming lighter cards might be shredded by postal equipment (meaning
that voters who have to re-register on the heavier paper might not make
it on time). And last summer the chief executive of Diebold, which makes
many of the voting machines, said he was "committed to helping Ohio
deliver its electoral votes" to Bush.

African-Americans, however, remain the principal target of the
Republican campaign to block the vote. Unlike the 60s, when black
Americans were barred from the polls by police dogs, water cannon and
billy clubs, the means today are more refined. Occasionally the mask
slips. In July, John Pappageorge, Michigan's Republican state
legislator, told a Republican meeting: "If we do not suppress the
Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election cycle."
Detroit is more than 80% black. It does not take a genius to work out
whose votes he was keen to suppress.

So far it has mainly been a mix of petty harassment and bureaucratic
pedantry, devised to intimidate newly registered and poor voters, a huge
proportion of whom are black and Latino. Take Florida. According to the
Washington Post, African-Americans in Republican-run Duval county were
the most likely to have their voter registration forms rejected, while
rejections for Democrats outnumbered Republicans by three to one. In
2000, 42% of ballots rejected by the Duval county election board came
from mainly black areas.

In Ohio, Mr Blackwell also told election boards that anyone who turned
up at the wrong polling station would not be able to cast a provisional
ballot (to be verified later). The Democrats successfully sued, saying
that the ruling would disadvantage minority and poor voters, who tend to
move more often.

It is not difficult to fathom what is driving these efforts, which are
being replicated throughout the country. The best indication of how an
American will vote is race. More than 80% of African-Americans voted
Democrat in the last election. Incapable of persuading them to vote
Republican, Republicans now seek to prevent them voting Democrat.

This task has become particularly urgent because voter registration
recently ended in many states, revealing that voter rolls in black and
Latino areas have swollen in far greater numbers than in Republican
precincts. Between the last election and August this year, almost
200,000 additional black voters were registered in Florida.

So while these attempts are clearly racial in nature, they are
essentially partisan in motivation. With apologies to Malcolm X, they
are about winning by any means necessary. Republicans support democracy
when democracy supports Republicans. But they are equally happy to do
without it when it is inconvenient. That was always true abroad, from
Venezuela to Nicaragua and Pakistan to Saudi Arabia. Now it is true at
home, from Detroit to Duval County.

Freedom is on the retreat. And the man who assumed office four years ago
thanks to thousands of disenfranchised black voters is again leading the
charge.

g.younge@guardian.co.uk



LOAD-DATE: October 19, 2004

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Great site Caleb!!

As a UK journalist, am still reeling from the news that it looks as if the
village idiot has won a second term. God help the world.

Keep up the good work. Shame you couldn't vote.

Sarah

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Caleb, you are a genius. We, as liberals, who care more about people than money,
are facing a very sad day. I am profoundly sickened by the election results and
fear for the future of our country and the future of my three young daughters. I
have never seen your website but was searching the web for friends and allies in
this fight. Keep up the great work and I'll pass your homepage on to all my friends
who care about democracy. Maybe I can cast a vote for you in about 21 years...
Download this as a file

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4 MORE YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
KERRY-EDWARDS---LOSERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

POPULAR VOTE WON BY 3 MILLION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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You cant even vote, so dont talk shit. Thats why Bush won again and set a
record doing it. BUSH 04'!!!!

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I just wanted to commend you on your site, and encourage you to continue to
stand up for what should be. Bush is NOT my president. I myself voted last Sat.
for the first time, and I say this with both pride and regret. Perhaps if more
of us voted in 2000, things may have been different (but with the Bush
influence, I doubt it...). I am, at the moment, watching the election
coverage... Watching with a heavy heart that Bush controls so much of the vote.
I, myself, am originally from West Virginia. I went home to cast my vote in the
hopes that it would somehow make a difference. I am surprised and somewhat
disgusted that Bush took WV. How??? I don't know.
These "single issue" voters need to open their eyes to the big picture. I also
wonder if any of these voters watch any type of news other than local (FOX news
does not count due to their biased views and Republican affiliations. If you've
never seen the documentary "Out FOXed", I strongly recommend it). I am beginning
to lose faith in the American Gov. and the overall intelligence of the American
people. Do they not realize what is going on here? Have they been so brainwashed
that they willingly permit this moron to perpetuate the downfall of American
society? The information is there. Unfortunately you can't force people to read
and/or accept it. I find it disturbing that I am more intelligent than the
President of the United States, and yet I can't find a job with a college
degree. I would LOVE to force people to watch the NUMEROUS video clips of Bush
being a complete moron. Mindlessly regurgitating the information that his speech
coordinators tell him to. No intelligent
thought of his own. I believe if he had not been elected (and I use that term as
loosely as possible), our nation would not be in the alarming state it is today. I
only hope people like us can someday get our message out there and convince the
closed minded of society to pull the wool from their eyes, open them wide, and say,
"What the hell is going on here?!?".
What I'm trying to say,with so many words, is keep up the good work. I tend to
ramble when I get fired up, sorry about the length or this. God knows I will
also do my best to get the message out. One man should not be allowed to
destroy what so many have worked so hard for. Be it through personal interest,
or just plain ignorance. Thank you for the time it took you to read this, and
know that we can make a difference. I believe Mark Twain once said, "A patriot
supports his country all the time, and his government when it deserves it".
Hopefully people like us can one day help to create a government we're proud
to support. Hopefully, by this time tomorrow, we will have a new president (and
that's a start). Take care, and God bless.


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