Friday, January 25, 2008

Rabbi Les Scores Points For Voter Confidence Committee

Voter Confidence Committee member Rabbi Les Scharnberg scored big this week with an OpEd in the Arcata Eye, plus a great front page quote in Tuesday's Eureka-Times Standard's coverage of the NAACP event honoring MLK on Monday:

Rabbi Lester Scharnberg said the dream of the freedom to vote has become a nightmare, especially as voters are putting faith into vote-counting machines.

"Now the threats to individual freedoms are more subtle," he said. "We're being asked to put our trust into a machine. They no longer allow us to count the votes hand by hand. Look closely at the dream of those who died to have your vote counted."
Les's speech during the event had such great impact that he was invited to make a presentation to both the local NAACP board of directors, and also the Humboldt County Human Rights Commission. Way to go Les!

The VCC also got ink this week in this T-S letter to the editor by new VCC member Bob Olofson. An unrelated (and somewhat bizarre) LTTE by Donna-Lee Phillips also questions the use of electronic voting machines.

The VCC is putting finishing touches on a poll watching program for the Feb. 5 primary. I hope to have more details announced about that by the end of the day.

Meanwhile, one more media reference from this week, found in the North Coast Journal's lengthy report on Bill Clinton's recent visit to Eureka:
McKinleyville resident David Berman seemed to be in charge, conferring with the Secret Service agent and with Lauren Levinson, a young campaign worker from the Hillary for President Sacramento office sporting a bright green Team Hillary scarf. (Berman is not to be confused with the Eureka elections activist of the same name.)
In the first day or two after Clinton's visit, a few people asked me if I was at the event or involved in any way. I had no idea why I was being asked this, but now the Journal article makes it clear. Too bad for this other Berman because the article lays a bit of blame at his feet for the hundreds or more people who were left in the cold, unable get into the event or even find an available bathroom as they waited. Worse still for Berman, the Journal reports:
David Berman, who was running the show, declined to answer questions on the record after the event. (On the day of the event, he had told a reporter that it is considered extremely bad form for an advance man to appear in a story.)
Bad form indeed. Still, this was a compliment to me, as far as I can see, and the second such one in the Journal in recent weeks. Recall Marcy Burstiner's December 6 comment:
I like having the Eureka Reporter around. It gives jobs to my current and former students. And it prints any opinion out there. For those who see it as a bullhorn for Arkley, they ignore how it prints columns by Amy Goodman, Dave Berman and others.
That's two articles in two months that refer to me even though the articles had nothing to do with me and weren't quoting me. It is very flattering, really.


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Posted by Dave Berman - 12:25 PM | Permalink
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Read or Post a Comment

Burstiner's piece also said the Reporter "gives a forum for the 911 Truth folks - those pushing to reopen the investigation into the collapse of the World Trade Centers(sic) - who can't get their voices in the North Coast Journal or the Times-Standard." To be fair, the TS ran my two letters on the subject (not submitted to the Journal).
Chris Lester

Posted by Blogger Chris Lester @ Jan 26, 2008, 1:09:00 PM
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Great comment, Chris, thanks. When I first posted Burstiner's comment I did include the rest of the paragraph mentioning the 9/11 Truth folks. Thanks for writing those letters. Keep it up!

Posted by Blogger Dave Berman @ Jan 26, 2008, 3:17:00 PM
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We Do Not Consent, Volume 1 (left) and Volume 2 (right), feature essays from Dave Berman's previous blogs, GuvWurld and We Do Not Consent, respectively. Click the covers for FREE e-book versions (.pdf). As of April 2010, paperbacks are temporarily out of print. Click here for the author's bio.

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— Brad Friedman, Creator/Editor,; Co-Founder,

"If in the future we have vital elections, the "no basis for confidence" formulation that GuvWurld is popularizing will have been a historically important development. This is true because by implicitly insisting on verification and checks and balances instead of faith or trust in elections officials or machines as a basis for legitimacy, it encourages healthy transparent elections. It’s also rare that a political formulation approaches scientific certainty, but this formulation is backed up by scientific principles that teach that if you can’t repeat something (such as an election) and verify it by independent means, it doesn’t exist within the realm of what science will accept as established or proven truth."

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"Dave Berman has been candid and confrontational in challenging all of us to be "ruthlessly honest" in answering his question, "What would be better?" He encourages us to build consensus definitions of "better," and to match our words with actions every day, even if we do only "the least we can do." Cumulatively and collectively, our actions will bring truth to light."

— Nezzie Wade, Sociology Professor, Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods

"Dave Berman's work is quietly brilliant and powerfully utilitarian. His Voter Confidence Resolution provides a fine, flexible tool whereby any community can reclaim and affirm a right relation to its franchise as a community of voters."

— Elizabeth Ferrari, San Francisco, Green Party of California

"This is an important collection of essays with a strong unitary theme: if you can't prove that you were elected, we can't take you seriously as elected officials. Simple, logical, comprehensive. 'Management' (aka, the 'powers that be') needs to get the message. 'The machines' are not legitimizers, they're an artful dodge and a path to deception. We've had enough...and we most certainly DO NOT consent."

— Michael Collins covers the election fraud beat for "Scoop" Independent Media

"What's special about this book (and it fits because there's nothing more fundamental to Democracy than our vote) is the raising of consciousness. Someone recognizing they have no basis for trusting elections may well ask what else is being taken for granted."

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