Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Mr. Kerry -- it’s still possible for you to be a war hero

An Open Letter to Senator John Kerry on Irregularities, Fraud, and Conspiracies
31st December 2004 - 06h15 -

This commentary was inspired partly by the open letter to Senator Kerry. It’s addressed in part to Mr. Kerry, but is also for those of us who are suffering from the entrenched corruption and apathy that is killing our Democracy.

It’s time for Senator Kerry to step forward and publicly do something about our eroded Democracy -- now.

There’s ample evidence of systematic corruption of the voting process. Thousands of reports document suspected fraud. Reported problems have a disturbing pattern --virtually all of them stacked the vote in favor of George W. Bush. Thousands of such incidents are documented and easy to find via web links such as those found on page one at http://www.verifiedvoting.org -- an excellent, non-partisan website originated by computer science professor David Dill of Stanford University.

Mr. Kerry -- it’s still possible for you to be a war hero... because this is a war to save our Democracy. Very few people could successfully spearhead a movement to do this. Maybe you could start the process by calling a press conference and challenging the accuracy of this presidential election, based not only on reported incidents, but also on the blatant sleazy practices used to control the voting process in Ohio.

The only way anything will change towards making our Democracy work in our lifetime, is to do something now. If the exit polls have been used for decades to successfully verify voting outcomes -- why ignore it now? According to exit polls, George W. Bush lost Ohio.

We have to ask you Mr. Kerry -- what took the Democratic Party so long to recognize the serious problems taking root in our voting system? Many of us did our best to warn you. We told you that beginning in 1996 there began the use of unverifiable computer technology and software to cast the vote. We hoped you would see something wrong with the fact that right wing Republicans, defense
industry interests, and even the Saudis, were investing in voting technology that incrementally created the perfect way to steal the elections without leaving a trace!

First there was Nebraska, then Georgia and then Florida. Georgians were stunned by the difference between the exit polls and the actual outcome. Didn’t you hear about that? And it’s not just computers that are suspect -- it’s the tabulation software --nearly 80% of which is made and controlled by two companies, Diebold and Election Systems and Software. These two companies control software that counts every type of vote cast -- including optical scan and even absentee ballots. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Urosevich and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diebold

Now we see that the SCALE of possible vote theft is huge compared to when it was years ago when fraud was committed in little patches here and there -- that amateur old timey stuff is kid’s play by today’s standards. Now it’s possible to rip off millions of votes without leaving fingerprints.

But thank God we have the Ohio elections which are still pretty messy. The ability to steal the vote without fingerprints is not perfected. This despite almost complete control of the voting process by entrenched Republican political hacks. But they’re out there in the light-- at least part of the time... unlike those mysterious and unverifiable voting machines.

You can’t sit back any longer and wait for other shoes to drop -- you have to do something now while some of the fingerprints in Ohio are still fresh. It might be a good idea to start with a news conference that says that you have completely lost faith in the way our voting is done in this country and that the election system is broken. You will have to it now because if you don’t -- this
moment will be lost and we will never, ever in our lifetimes -- get those who were elected by this corrupt system to change it to one that is accountable. You can only move forward if you stand up tall now and show a willingness to fight. You won’t have to wait for long as we line up behind you.

Real election reform won’t easily come through the Congress of the United States -- not currently, at least not through normal means. This lesson was learned most recently by the resistance of Republicans who for the past year and a half refused to sign onto bills which would have gone go a long way towards creating a verifiable Democracy.

Democratic Congressman Rush Holt tried unsuccessfully to pass a a bill calling for a mandatory paper trail to be kept by elections officials as hard evidence -- a way to verify the vote. Then -- when that bill didn’t go anywhere it was copied and pasted by Democratic Senator Bob Graham who tried to get it voted on in the Senate. Both bills were crushed by Republicans that wouldn’t allow the bills to even get to the floor for a vote!

Even some Republicans know in their hearts that systematically creating a voting system that makes stealing the vote easy -- means that our Democracy is based on a lie. Surely that must be spiritually sickening to even the most hardened person! It’s not possible that all Republicans are "ends justifies the means" Bushites. We need to all ask ourselves, ALL of ourselves -- Republicans, Democrats, Republicans, Independents whether we’re going to sit back and let neocon, fanatic Republicans steal the foundation upon what we would live and die for!

This may be the last time that we ask you and our Democratic representatives to fight for what is right. We need to ask you once more -- where is your outrage and passion as our Democracy slips away? The evidence is all around you that clearly show a pattern that amounts to fraud. Please fight!And if we don’t see you out there in the front of the lines fighting during the next few days -- then We, the People, need to admit that we can no longer trust the Democratic Party to fight for the main principles upon which this country was founded.

In that case we need to consider this apathy -- this corrupted spirit -- to be both final evidence of a dying spirit -- and also an opportunity for rebirth and change. We the People would then need to make up our collective minds to move completely away from dependence on this party -- or any other, and direct our energy for real change by creating a new party that stands firmly and unequivocally on Democratic principles.

If that ends up being our choice -- then may I please suggest to my friends that the new party be created from existing coalitions of energetic groups such as MoveOn and others that have proven themselves trustworthy by working tirelessly to preserve our Democracy? They have also proven that they have the leadership skills to motivate millions of people. They (we) have proven that it is possible to raise millions of dollars with small donations from individuals.

May I suggest that if this movement comes to pass that we never again give one thin dime to the Democratic or Republican parties? Because so many of us found real conservatives who joined us in our fight -- don’t you think we can find each other again?

The next step might be to call for a convention of representatives from these disparate groups such as MoveOn, for the purpose of linking together to form a whole... perhaps it can be called the Coalition Network Party -- or similar idea. (Keep it to two words to make the name legal in all states).We need a party with energy, moral courage and guts, that absolutely refuses under any circumstances to take any money whatsoever from corporate interests. Period.

To create the new party as coalition would mean it could tap the energy from all these groups who truly represent the United States in all of its diversity. But in line with the original principles that this country was founded on -- a country dedicated to the creation of policy intended for the public good, and not for the wealthy few. We need leaders that inspire us to become the best we can become -- not an entrenched group that is corrupted by special interests and lies. And as a coalition -- instead of a single organization -- it has a better chance of staying fresh, with young, honest and energetic ideas --and not be continually in danger of becoming monolithic, and corruptible from within.

Even before a new party is formed we need to push hard for all paper, hand counted ballots --just like is currently done in the regional elections in Canada (unfortunately Canada’s cities are corrupted by computerized voting machines). In their regional elections however, paper ballots are hand counted by citizens from all parties, not political hacks!

Wisely, hand counting of ballots is limited to no more than between 500 and 600 of the votes -- thus limiting the potential for corruption. Despite Canada’s size, the votes are most often counted by midnight! No computers and no software! Paper ballots are possible here too in the U.S., even with multiple issues and many candidates. Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s too complicated here in the U.S. for paper ballots. It’s not.

It’s not only doable but it’s cheap. No need for expensive computers, technicians -- and no need to worry about how proprietary software is secretly written --protected from public scrutiny by trade secret laws! No modems to worry about, no hacking, and no breakdowns in the voting process because a bunch of machines don’t work. No long lines where people have to wait up to ten hours. Imagine long rows of voting cubicles ----very cheap to make. It’s even possible to make privacy dividers from heavy cardboard for heaven’s sake!

It’s also possible to have access for the disabled using a verifiable paper voting system. The disabled vote done on a computer on secret software -- is just as vulnerable to corruption as it is for an fully abled person.I must warn you all to not listen to lawsuit threats from disability organizations such
as the National Federation for the Blind. NFB has long failed to disclose that it received a million dollar "donation" from Diebold. Then, its members and sister organization, the American Association for People with Disabilities, which also received money, traveled around the country threatening to sue supervisors-of-elections officials unless they used "approved" computer voting
technology -- such as Diebold’s!

Shame on AAPD and NFB for NEVER disclosing their financial relationship with Diebold. It took an angry blind woman with eight children from Virginia who got mad and pointed it out. The NFB and AAPD should have been royally sued under RICO for what they did. Now is the time to remember the beautifully crafted words of Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and others who struggled with all their might to create and protect something precious. They warned us many times that Democracy is a fragile concept that would be hard to protect. We need to define for ourselves how it can be protected at this time in our history.

If we start a new party it will be important to become far more organized than the Democratic Party could ever hope to be. Its reputation as being disorganized slackers is somewhat deserved. A new party should use powerful Organization Development tools for strategic planning, such as those developed by Kurt Lewin’s Force Field Analysis -- a terrific tool for planning a real future for any movement and any organization that really wants to succeed. A description of Lewin’s "values based management system" can be found at:
http://www.valuebasedmanagement.net/methods_lewin_force_field_analysis.html

Another wise move would be to call up Richard Winger -- editor for over twenty years of Ballot Access News. He would be the perfect consultant on how to set up a new party so its legal in every state. He is the single most knowledgeable person in the U.S. on how to do this and he doesn’t charge for his services. He only needs to know that we’re really serious about really doing it right.
Let’s get started now!

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