Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I Cannot Be Too Busy To Blog

It bugs me when I don't get to update WDNC for a week. As you'll see, I've been busy though I finally decided I cannot be too busy to blog. Reporting on what I am doing in order to further these efforts is what makes this advocacy journalism, my raison d'etre.

Before I get to recent activities of my own, I want to briefly comment on the Military Commissions Act (.pdf) passed by both houses of Congress last week and now awaiting Mr. Bush's signature. This article is a good summary of this bill's affront to humanity, though it does not connect the suspension of Habeas Corpus with the 800 year old Magna Carta as the legal precedent that by itself defines whether a society is free. I've written many times about the lost presumption of innocence, the cornerstone of American jurisprudence. We know of some cases where people have been jailed without charges or access to an attorney. From the point of view of Congress, if that had been a dubious practice, it will now be perfectly legal. The U.S. government has jumped the shark. Peaceful revolution is necessary, NOW!

* * *

Today's Eureka Reporter includes the letter to the editor I submitted on Monday, as well as an opinion column submitted by Jon Koriagin about the misdeeds of CA Secretary of State Bruce McPherson.

I have several public speaking gigs coming up, starting with this Saturday, 10/7. There is a World Can't Wait rally in the parking lot of the County Courthouse in Eureka. From what I can tell, the approach to the event resembles the community forum on non-violent revolution held back in February. Jack Nounnan is one common link here. Jack just ended an 11 day fast during which he spent 12 hours each day in front of the Courthouse. Others have been fasting too, and even greater numbers of people are making time to keep a constant presence for peace in front of the Courthouse.

Sociology professor Nezzie Wade has invited me to speak to her social problems analysis class at College of the Redwoods next Monday, 10/9. She has given me a whole hour. Over the past few semesters, Nezzie has brought me in to her various classes four or five other times. I need to use a different approach this time, informing people, but focusing in the end on recruiting volunteers for the Voter Confidence Committee (VCC) and our work around the upcoming "election." I will probably even bring another VCC member with me this time.

The biggest upcoming event is another forum on media accountability. The VCC takes no credit or claim on the first forum, which KHUM's Mike Dronkers and I set up independently of the group. This time, the VCC is bringing syndicated talk show host Peter B. Collins to town. Peter's show airs weekdays from 3-6pm on KGOE 1480 AM in Humboldt. On Wednesday 10/18 he will be broadcasting from the Dell'Arte performing arts school in Blue Lake. The event will follow the show in the same location. There will be at least one other election integrity all-star joining us on this occasion but I'll leave that for next time when I'll also describe what we have in mind for the event.

It is a really good time to get involved with the VCC. We've recently had a very strong and active bunch of new members join the group. Our meetings have been more frequent, and productive, with everyone taking on some responsibility for making things happen. By now, all candidates running in this November's "election" should have received a mailing from us about their position on secret vote counting vs. hand counted paper ballots. We will compile their responses and issue a report. This is only one of the new ways we are reaching out into the community. We are also making connections with various religious leaders as we hope to create the broadest and most diverse coalition we can to stand up for fair and transparent elections. We have also made it possible to download and distribute our new Humboldt Voter Advisory flier, with a separate event-specific item coming very soon.

I have spoken with Palo Alto Mayor Judy Kleinberg, as well as two Palo Alto City Councilmembers who voted to adopt the Voter Confidence Resolution on 9/18. They have confirmed that the "unofficial" version of the resolution I posted two weeks ago is indeed the wording they adopted. The City Clerk told me Monday that no official copy of the resolution will be available for a few weeks. I've been trying to get around to writing a press release but it hasn't happened. It will though, because I want to make use of the quotes I got from these folks and Arcata City Councilmembers too.

* * *

There is legislative news to catch up on. This past weekend was the We Count conference in Cleveland, OH. Congressman Dennis Kucinich surprised many by introducing HR 6200 calling for hand counting paper ballots at the precinct. Read more about this bill and the conference in this thread at Democratic Underground. And really look closely at the speakers list for the conference. These people are heroes to me. I remember speaking in Portland last year at the National Summit To Save Our Elections. I met many people for the first time, some of whom I was in contact with online, others whom I only knew by reputation. How odd, then, that I felt like it was a family reunion, and that this feeling should return browsing the bios of the more recent conference speakers.

AB2948, the "suicide pact" legislation I wrote about a few weeks ago has been vetoed by Arnold. This prevents CA from joining into a multi-state compact that would go into effect only once enough states had joined to represent a majority of electoral college votes. Had the bill become law CA electors and those of other participating states would be awarded to the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of how the majority the state voted.

* * *

And a few important reads I'd like to recommend starting with this TruthOut.org essay by Cindy Sheehan with some choice words at the end. These should be familiar to WDNC and GuvWurld readers:

Come join GSFP and the Camp Casey Peace Institute in Washington, DC, on election day to show BushCo that we are withdrawing our consent to be governed by torturers and killers.
Here is the Princeton team hacking the Diebold TS. That link has an abstract, plus links to a full report, video, FAQ, and a rejoinder to Diebold's weak response to this devastating demonstration.

Following up on his June article, Rolling Stone has published a lengthy piece by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. that quotes heavily from a Diebold whistleblower. The new article confirms the "rob-Georgia" patch that I first recall reading about via BlackBoxVoting.org. I archived an article in March 2003, with the author's permission, which is good because it means I'll leave it in the archive even though the original link no longer works and I can't find another. Looking through the BBV site, though, I did find that Bev Harris deals with "rob-Georgia" in chapter 10 of her book, Black Box Voting. It is great that Kennedy has now confirmed this story that accounts for the premature ouster of Senator Max Cleland and Governor Roy Barnes.

Since there probably is no such thing as "caught up," I'll just stop here with this closing thought: Inconclusive "election" charades and corporate controlled politicians do not have any foundation of legitimacy except for the submissive obedience we give them. Resist with everything you've got because you can be indefinitely imprisoned for far less than that.
"When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose"
--Bob Dylan, Like a Rolling Stone

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
--Kris Kristofferson, Me and Bobby McGee
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Posted by Dave Berman - 9:07 AM | Permalink
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I took the time to read the Rolling Stone report.

So, let me check that I understand. Diebold got a contract with the State of Georgia and because they didn't have time to do a proper rollout and training, ran the election for the state.

Last month, Bruce McPherson declared, weeks before the election, that the VotePAD wouldn't be certified after all, so any counties planning to use it had better find an alternative to meet HAVA requirements. Humboldt County decided they didn't want to pay the penalty of HAVA noncompliance and would rather spend $800,000 on the Hart e-Slate. However, since the deadline was so close... you guessed it, Hart would have to run everything.

In Humboldt, that probably isn't such a big deal, particularly since Ms. Crnich only expects a handful of disabled people to show up and vote on e-Slates rather than using absentee ballots. (However, I will be very suspicious if we suddenly have thousands of disabled votes counted on e-Slates.)

But what about counties that were going to replace their entire voting system instead of just supplementing it? Doesn't Bruce McPherson's timing mean these counties will have to let the voting machine vendor run their election due to the time crunch? Anyone wonder if this is not a coincidence? I mean, it isn't like he couldn't figure out this schedule issue ahead of time. (If he can't, he's incompetent.)

Posted by Blogger Kathryn @ Oct 4, 2006, 1:30:00 PM
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