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Alexander Cockburn - Wannabe Anarchist Fed Up With Conspiracy Nut Ravings Over Election
by repost
Monday Nov 22nd, 2004 3:12 PM
I'd noticed Counterpunch was completely MUTE on the issue of election fraud butI'd never have guessed that this is what Cockburn was thinking all this time . . . that everyone who bothers with it is just too stupid to understand how things work, thinking that anyone questioning things like how the WTC collapsed is to be labelled a 'conspiracy nut' while Counterpunch raves on and on against the evil Democrats and Kerrycrats (the real news!) What ego-manics. Counterpunch as 'Wannabe 'The Nation,' only incrediably, they don't even know it. Have they hired any CIA agents lately, to write their stories? Or are they simply trying to be more subtle (or cheap) than the Nation about cutting down those 'crazies' in thier midst. You have to wonder, at this point. And then be glad you didn't give a single cent to their red thermometer of money on the front page . . .
Apparently Cockburn has never heard of the well known number, 18,181.

It's called a palindrome. It is an extremely unique number. It is reversible in two directions - try it . . fwd / bwd . . and upside down / right side up.

Three Republicans were elected by this number of votes in a single Texas county in 2002. On the new ES&S electronic voting machines. The same election that wiped out the Democrat majority in congress.***

But so what? If I don't like the Ds, should I care?

I have no love for the Ds or the Rs. I work to expose both of them as much as I can. I didn't vote for Kerry, never even considered it. But I won't look the other way when those in power are pulling scams to get their wars on. And it isn't above me to question ALL of it, no matter how stupid I may look, or what names I will be called by CNN and Counterpunch. Many people have died for a handful of lies. I will work to expose the lies, no matter how boring it is to Alexander Cockburn, or how he'd like to sweep away everyone who bothers him with their nonsense 'conspiracy theories.'

So apparently, according to Cockburn, I'm a conspiracy nut, (you mean, just like the 9/11 Family Steering Committee?) because I, like the Steering Committee of suburban wives and husbands of corporate workers sacrificed in NY, want to know why three steel framed buildings collapsed into dust on 9/11 when this has never happened before, under far worse conditions. And believe me, those aren't the people writing to Cockburn and reading his site - if they were, I'd hazard a guess, but he'd change his tune.

But apparently to Cockburn, it doesn't matter that one of those buildings was never hit by any plane, only that anyone questioning it should be told to 'shut up,' by the left gatekeeping institutions like his. Apparently, we should all simply understand that what's important is only to expose how the Democrats ran a bad campaign and voted for war, pretending to be the party of the people, but stealing from the people.

Here's a great line from his piece:

"Do I think the election was stolen? No more than usual."

Because apparently - yawn . . . - he's above all that nonsense about stealing elections. So what?, says Cockburn, essentially, "if you were stupid enough to think the election wouldn't have been stolen, like it always is, and you want to screech about it, you aren't worth my time."

Go ahead and tell that to the woman in Ohio whose husband died while she was standing in line waiting to vote for hours, because Bush had to steal another election. It was only one life, afterall. Not worth Cockburn's time.

___________________________________________________


"The truly bad news is the 9/11 nuts have relocated to Stolen Election. My inbox is awash with their ravings. People who have spent the last three years sending me screeds establishing to their own satisfaction that George Bush personally ordered the attacks on the towers and that Dick Cheney vectored the planes in are now pummeling me with data on the time people spent on line waiting to vote in Cuyahoga county, Ohio, and how the Diebold machines are all jimmied. As usual, the conspiracy nuts think that plans of inconceivable complexity worked at 100 per cent efficiency, that Murphy's law was once again in suspense, and that 10,000 co-conspirators are all going to keep their mouths shut."


****"In 2002 in Comal County in Central Texas 3 Republican candidates each won with exactly 18,181 votes. What do you think the odds are for that? Would you trust a lottery that hit the same numbers 3 weeks in a row? It gets worse. Two more Republicans in nearby states also won with exactly 18,181 votes. All five on the same type of ES&S voting machines.
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/htdocs/dcforum/DCForumID12/114.html
Convert the numbers to the alphabet: 18181 18181 18181 ahaha ahaha ahaha - were they laughing at us? The voting machine company Diebold also uses a voting software called GEMS version 1.81.81. More laughter? Since brothers Bob and Todd Urosevich, founded ES&S and then Bob then went to run Diebold, perhaps both companies share a sense of humor. Diebold and ES&S, together, count about 80 percent of the votes in the United States."
http://bushtrash.blogspot.com/2004/11/18181-18181-18181.html
so, here it is, down below

or, go to this link: http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn11202004.html

and, my guess is that you didn't post it, because then you'd see his argument in context, that he says that the Democrats lost because they had a lousy candidate, and that the excesses of Bush may actually galvanize opposition to the war, and, of course, if we talked about that, we'd have to talk about why the party is in terminal thrall to the pro-globalization, pro-war scene

and, maybe you also didn't want to post it, because it is much more thoughtful than your description suggests, especially in regard to his discussion of the horrors of the war in Iraq, which Democrats seem to be allergic to even acknowledging its existence

so, better to hide the article while launching an attack upon Cockburn

personally, I don't agree with his entire perspective here (as many here know, I voted for Kerry, despite my serious reservations, because I believed, contrary to Cockburn, that it would embolden resistance to the US), but it should be noted that COUNTERPUNCH has emphasized vote suppression and vote fraud issues, especially as they affect people of color and low income people, long before the 527 PACs that raised money for Kerry ever heard of it, and published numerous articles about it over the years

for example, COUNTERPUNCH ran an article right after the 2000 election about the suppression of the black vote in Tennessee, which the Democratic Party totally ignored

which is, of course, what the Democratic Party is doing now in Ohio, Florida and elsewhere, with Kerry unsuccessfully trying to bank 45M remaining in his campaign account, what a coincidence

so, next time, why don't you post the article, or at least the link to it, so that it doesn't come off so sleazy

you might also consider abandoning the obsessiveness with numerology that pervades your post, reminiscent of the Nation of Islam's Louis Farrakhan

--Richard Estes
Davis, CA

[Sapping the Empire
The Poisoned Chalice
By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

At least when Duffy's Circus left Youghal there'd be piles of dung from the horses and the elephant. The Kerry campaign leaves nothing of fertilizing potential, not a single creative idea, only grim advisories like not running any nominee from the north-east in 2008, and we all know the probable life-span of that particular piece of useful advice.

How quickly the caravan moves on! The Brookings crowd sadly pull their resumes from the fax machines. John Kerry resumes his ghost-like sojourn in the US Senate, where perhaps he might apply himself to improving his attendance record, the worst in the upper chamber. He missed no less than 76 per cent of the Senate Intelligence Committee's public hearings over the course of his 8-year tenure on that committee. Teresa returns to full-time work at the Heinz Foundation, dispensing money to neoliberal environmental groups, though alas she has had to dispense with the wise counsel of Ken Lay, formerly of Enron, who adorned her board of advisors until last year.

Pockets of Kerrycrats fight on, like Japanese soldiers on atolls in the Pacific. No doubt there are 527s still nourishing themselves on the money of men like Soros. There's even been some talk about Kerry keeping his hat in the presidential ring, but we shouldn't take that too seriously. Over the next few months his horse-like visage will fade in the murk of memory, amid kiss-and-tell memoirs about his indecision and arrogance plus the ultra-high maintenance required for his consort.

The political consultants pocket their retainer fees, their 10 or 15 per cent commissions on hundreds of millions worth of campaign ads and march on to the next electoral rendez-vous . Before the election a Washington Post profile of Kerry's manager, Bob Shrum, disclosed that he stood to make $5 million out of the 2004 presidential campaign, win or lose.

The truly bad news is the 9/11 nuts have relocated to Stolen Election. My inbox is awash with their ravings. People who have spent the last three years sending me screeds establishing to their own satisfaction that George Bush personally ordered the attacks on the towers and that Dick Cheney vectored the planes in are now pummeling me with data on the time people spent on line waiting to vote in Cuyahoga county, Ohio, and how the Diebold machines are all jimmied. As usual, the conspiracy nuts think that plans of inconceivable complexity worked at 100 per cent efficiency, that Murphy's law was once again in suspense, and that 10,000 co-conspirators are all going to keep their mouths shut.

Do I think the election was stolen? No more than usual. The Democrats are getting worse at it and the Republicans better. Back in 1960 it was the other way round. The best documented stolen election in history is probably the one that put Lyndon Johnson in the US Senate. Next came the one that gave JFK the White House. So, for sure there's vote suppression in Ohio and Florida. I don't think it made the crucial difference.

"Stolen election" is one way to divert attention from the fact that the Democrats had a lousy candidate and gave up on most of the country, investing everything in two or three states. Small wonder they lost the popular vote, not to mention other minor details ,like the US senate.

The months will pass and then, most hideous of hideous thoughts, we'll have to put up with three solid years of talk about Hillary Clinton. Her in the White House, Bill running the UN. There'll be nowhere left to run.

Those who argued Bush's reelection would, by and large, do more to sap the American Empire already detect pleasing omens of enhanced discord among the Allies. Out goes the oiler of troubled waters, Colin Powell. In comes fractious Condoleezza. Would you really have preferred Richard Holbrooke, shuttling between Paris, Bonn, and Madrid amid relieved shouts that here after four dark years was a man who respected Euro-feelings?

And talking of the Euro, down down down goes the US dollar against all the major world currencies. Soon we'll be getting news footage of US tourists pushing airport trolleys piled high with worthless greenbacks along the rue St Honore and into the Ritz to settle their bills before camping out under the bridges. In the last two years the US dollar has declined 52 per cent against the Euro, which many people used to think had about the same substantive brawn as a UN blue helmet.

Here's a sign of how bad things are. Speaking honestly, can you remember the name of the Treasury Secretary? Aha! And no, it's not Evans, who's quitting the Department of Commerce. It's John Snow. Now, in the old days everyone knew the name of the Treasury Secretary, the guy who protected the money and strutted the ramparts of Fort Knox. Not any more. These days he's a harrowed mendicant who spends most of his day on the line to Beijing imploring the Chinese not to join up with the Japanese to ditch the dollar as a global unit of account, heeding Jude Wanniski's thought that they could join up to fix the yuan and yen to gold in an Asian Bretton Woods.

The neocons? They're are holding on, probably aware that if they quit government they'll live like hunted things, fleeing lawsuits down the years. They'll cling on and then hope Bush will pardon them on his way out of Dodge in 2008, same as his dad did Weinberger and his CIA buddies.

Fallujah has now supposedly been "won". For how long? Sometimes the parallels drawn between Iraq and Vietnam have seemed a bit theatrical. Not any more. No hearts and minds have been won in Fallujah any more than they were won in the Vietnamese countryside around My Lai. The city has been destroyed in order to save it for democracy. The language of the US military commanders, and of the journalists who relay their press releases echoes with eerie and horrible fidelity those press releases from US military hq in Saigon 35 years ago. LBJ handed the quagmire on to Nixon. It's Bush's poisoned chalice bestowed by his first to his second term, the cup he'll be hoisting on Inauguration Day.]







by RWF
Monday Nov 22nd, 2004 3:57 PM
so disregard my comments about your failure to post the link

otherwise, my overall perspective still stands

--Richard
by Lee Harvey Osama
Monday Nov 22nd, 2004 4:43 PM
http://www.webcom.com/~lpease/media/cockburn.htm
a great article on Alexander Cockburn's twisting of facts in his defense of the "Warren Commission"

Let's see --

he defends the Warren Commission (which covered the coup against JFK)
he says that 9/11 was a surprise attack (which there's no evidence for)
he says, in effect, that depriving African Americans (and liberal white college students) of their votes is OK as long as they were planning to vote for Kerry

Is this a COINTELPRO campaign, or merely a crazy ultra-sectarian point of view of the type lampooned in Monty Python's The Life of Brian?

by reader
Monday Nov 22nd, 2004 5:10 PM
>>>you might also consider abandoning the obsessiveness with numerology that pervades your post, reminiscent of the Nation of Islam's Louis Farrakhan.

Nice try.

Here's what Richard considers "numerology." Apparently he's never taken a course in statistics, nor has ever heard of the term 'hacker.' He also seems to feel threatened by the concept of a palidrome, apparently a term he's never heard of. He probably realizes that he can't understand what it means, therefore, it must be those crazy conspiracy cases again, at it again with their numerology. It's a wonder Richard (who voted for Kerry) can figure out how to work his computer, which must also be based on a series of 'magical' numbers . . .

-- In 2002 in Comal County in Central Texas 3 Republican candidates each won with exactly 18,181 votes. [Nothing magical there, Richard. It's a published fact.]

-- Two more Republicans in nearby states also won with exactly 18,181 votes. All five on the same type of ES&S voting machines.
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/htdocs/dcforum/DCForumID12/114.html
[Funny how statistics work! The liklihood of finding 5 instances of the same astronomically unique palindromes all occurring in the same election, for the same party, all wins, on the same software . . . now that's GOTTA be numerology man!]

-- Convert the numbers to the alphabet: 18181 18181 18181 ahaha ahaha ahaha - were they laughing at us? [ Sorry Richard, but numerology doesn't deal much in humor. It is well known that hackers do, however, leave calling cards.]

-- The voting machine company, Diebold, also uses a voting software called GEMS version 1.81.81. Brothers Bob and Todd Urosevich, founded ES&S and then Bob then went to run Diebold.
[Numerology here, Richard? Coincidence? Or another case of incompetence? You do the math.]

-- Diebold and ES&S, together, count about 80 percent of the votes in the United States.
http://bushtrash.blogspot.com/2004/11/18181-18181-18181.html
"Let's see --

he defends the Warren Commission (which covered the coup against JFK)

he says that 9/11 was a surprise attack (which there's no evidence for)

he says, in effect, that depriving African Americans (and liberal white college students) of their votes is OK as long as they were planning to vote for Kerry

Is this a COINTELPRO campaign, or merely a crazy ultra-sectarian point of view of the type lampooned in Monty Python's The Life of Brian?"

this is a gross distortion of what Cockburn has said

as for (1), Cockburn believes two things, first, that Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy, which you can describe as being a shill for the Warren Commission if you want, I'm more skeptical about it than Cockburn is, but, more importantly, from my perspective, he believes, acccurately, based upon the historical record, that liberals have falsely transformed JFK into a peacenik, civil rights crusader, as part of a prominent feature of their personality cult style of politics

both JFK and LBJ were Cold War Democrats, and, hence, his assassination wasn't a coup, it was the replacement of one liberal imperialist with another (an internal fight over the spoils, so to speak, which, contrary to Cockburn, I believe may have been severe enough to prompt his assassination), and LBJ was actually more pro-civil rights than Kennedy

if you read the comparison and contrast about Cockburn and
Chomsky in your link carefully (assuming that it has accurately presented Cockburn's views in context, which is a big leap of faith, given the source), you will see that the responses don't refute Cockburn to the degree that you maintain, a lot of the answers tend to shift the terrain in order to create the impression of a refutation

such as, for example, the response to Cockburn's criticism of Jim Garrison, the Louisiana DA who conducted a high profile investigation of the assassination, for arresting and charging journalists, which deflects the blame back onto the journalists by claiming that they engaged in activities for which, I assume, they were never convicted, because the response doesn't say that they were

another one claims to refute Cockburn's contention that LBJ, not JFK, ended Operation Mongoose, a Cuban exile military operation, by saying that JFK cut "some funding" and closed "some camps" in late 1963, again, close, but no cigar, note that Cockburn used the word "ENDED"

still another response asserts that Cockburn falsely claimed that JFK supported a coup in Guatemala to keep Arevalo out, by actually admitting that Georgie Ann Geyer states that Kennedy had a meeting with advisors where he did so, and then tries to get out of it by saying that some advisors stated, after the fact, that the meeting never happened! gee, that's never happened before, after our hands were found in the proverbial cookie jar

one could call this a matter of interpretation, of which source you are going to believe, but, if so, it doesn't justify your strident attack upon Cockburn

the critical point of omission is, however, whether Kennedy continued relations with the Guatemalan government that took over after the coup, and I suspect that the answer is YES, and if so, that's all you need to know, if true, because Kennedy was willing to accept the fruit of the coup, while trying to keep his hands clean

similarly, in regard to Cockburn's assertion that Kennedy went along with the military/industrial complex, the response goes on and on about steel negotiations while ignoring the fact that JFK increased the number of advisors in Vietnam and green lighted Diem's assassination, while allowing CIA plans to kill Castro to go forward (note that the response to Cockburn implicitly admits that Kennedy knew of the first attempts)

and, there's good reason for someone to call Oliver Stone a "fascist" if Cockburn did so, because that was the reaction that I had to his film, "JFK", which presents America in the wake of JFK's assassination as a country which had lost its father figure, and thus wandered aimlessly into a myriad of catastrophes as a result

this fascination with JFK as an indispensable political figure, a father figure, certainly carries troubling fascistic overtones, which I understood immediately before I even left the movie theatre

overtones which have bedeviled the Democratic Party to this day

ever since JFK's death, we have been plagued with this kind of fact free liberal romanticization of Democratic presidential candidates to the detriment of any attempt to effectively organize around issues that would hold politicians accountable

as for (2), there's obviously a lot of evidence that it was a surprise attack, you might not agree with it, and cite the work of conspiracy theorists, and maybe some day, the irrefutable evidence will be produced, but, to claim that there is no evidence for Cockburn's position is preposterous

finally, as for (3), Cockburn has never said anything like what you state, indeed, his website has printed articles expressing concern about the disenfranchisement of low income people and people of color long before it became fashionable (i.e. long before it actually became necessary to count their votes to get a moderate Democrat like Kerry elected), and has continued to do so after the Democrats abandoned their own voters the day after the election

indeed, it is a little strange that you are so angry with Cockburn on this question, while letting the Democrats walk, as Kerry has millions of dollars that could be used to facilitated investigations into vote fraud and vote suppression, but, instead, it's Nader, the Greens and the Libertarians that are doing all the heavy lifting

and, your description of Cockburn as a "wannabe anarchist" while falsely chiding him for lacking any concern about vote fraud is truly bizarre, as many anarchists believed, if the posts on this website are an accurate indication, that the very act of voting violated fundamental anarchist principles

I know, because I participated in the misguided endeavor of actually trying to persuade some of them to vote for Kerry, and I still haven't made my visit to the anarchist confessional for forgiveness

hopefully, SF Food Not Bombs will still give me some food if I am ever arrested there again

so, if he were, why would he care about it at all?? and, if I were you, I'd be careful about throwing around COINTELPRO accusations, they might just fly around in a circle to their point of origination

--Richard Estes
Davis, CA


by reader
Monday Nov 22nd, 2004 5:44 PM
>>indeed, it is a little strange that you are so angry with Cockburn on this question, while letting the Democrats walk

Wrong again Richard. I'm an elected Green Party official and I do 100x more to take down the Dems than 95% of the people out there.

Stop trying to defend Cockburn. Show me the articles he's printed exposing the fraud of electronic voting, with no paper trail. He hasn't. And he won't. He'd rather attack those who are questioning authority, than authority itself. It's a bit easier, wouldn't you say?

He's covering it up for his own ideology, or paycheck, whichever the case.

I used to love that site. Now I see it for what it is.

And stop trying to sign people up to vote for the f**king Democraps - you make it harder for the rest of us who want real change.
by response
Monday Nov 22nd, 2004 5:50 PM
"both JFK and LBJ were Cold War Democrats, and, hence, his assassination wasn't a coup, it was the replacement of one liberal imperialist with another"

So assassinations are okay and shouldn't be exposed for what they really are if the liberals are led to believe the wrong thing.

Indeed, anyone who asks, "WTF??" when it comes to the laws of physics in the case of a "Cold War Democrat" or even a right-winger, is to be considered a 'conspiracy nut.'

Gee, wonder if Cockburn ever took a course in science?
by reader
Monday Nov 22nd, 2004 7:23 PM
Wow, one WHOLE story on the e-vote fraud . . . over 2 weeks ago, one out of a daily publishing of 5-10 stories?? You call THAT coverage? And now, as the situation *really* heats up as the Ohio case is going to the state supreme court, Cockburn is lambasting anyone who thinks fraud happened as a 'conspiracy nut.'

Sorry Richard, but you really have no case.

November 8, 2004
Votes Aren't the Only Thing Missing in Ohio
Media Black Out on Vote Fraud Allegations
By DAVID SWANSON
http://www.counterpunch.org/swanson11082004.html
[The one viable story Richard could find - yes, it's a good one. One.]

November 3, 2004
The Ghost Votes in the Machine
Voting Snafus Across the Nation
By ANN HARRISON
http://www.counterpunch.org/harrison11032004.html
['Snafus' is hardly considered 'fraud,' more like innocuous hardware errors that aren't very important and don't actually add up to anything like a 'win.' Snafus include things like 'failed to boot up on election day,' poll workers who just weren't trained properly, etc. In that way, intentional fraud to steal an election is sidelined because 'it can never be proven.' I also note that this story focuses on the group Verifiedvoting.org, which has tried to debunk Bev Harris and claims that they have seen no evidence of fraud in this election. They are the installed gatekeepers out to block any claims of fraud. People like Kim Alexander may indeed have good intentions, but they are blocking the way for the truth to be revealed. They will instead redirect the public into the far less volitile area of 'glitches,' 'snafus' and other such nonsense to make it look like, once again, it's all JUST A SERIES OF MISTAKES again, gosh darn it, those snafus again!]

"Cohn said she would like to see e-voting machines, especially the troublesome Sequoia machines, outfitted with voter verified paper trails as they were in Nevada this year."

Once again, Sequoia is targetted, when most all of the fraud being seen is via Diebold and ES&S.

And the fact is, the paper trail is the 'Limited Hangout' to ensure and endless series of stolen elections - the computer can print one thing, and record another. So unless there is an automatic recount, you will never be even looking at the paper trail in the first place. And even if you did, you'd have to count the entire state, because with the way the elections are rigged now, and the way the parties are mirrors of eachother, you only need a few thousand votes out of millions to steal an election. All you need is for one ballot box to dissapear after the media has reported the electronic results. But with the 'paper trail' argument, the media and elected officials and courts can scream about how it's all verified . . . only the hand counts will likely never happen.

Oh, and here we go, with your third citation, Richard, from friggin' MARCH of this year . . . ! So the f**k what, when this thing is going into the COURTS this week??

March 4, 2004
The Perfect World of Electronic Voting
A Deafening Silence as Democracy Expires
By BRIAN BARRY
"This is a brilliant strategy by Sequoia Voting Systems. All elections are now perfect by design. If you eliminate the ability to detect or prove fraud in an election, then you can claim that all elections are free of fraud."
http://www.counterpunch.org/barry03042004.html

Again, on Sequoia, but no one else.


>>If I had the time, I could probably find a few more about e-voting machines, and several about vote suppression generally

I'm not interested or talking about 'vote suppression' generally, I'm talking about the ability to steal elections electronically via the machines. There is an exponential ability, when using the machines, the alter the votes. That means you can take an entire state, rather than bothering with trying to withhold machines in the myriad of counties, or trying to toss out ballots in a certain precinct - it can all be done in one swoop.

>>Or, maybe a Zionist, angry at Cockburn's advocacy for the Palestinians. Or, maybe, just a politically confused, angry person. The possibilities are endless. .

Wow, don't let Cockburn hear you, he's liable to call you a 'conspiracy theorist!'

What's the point with trying to peg me personally, Richard? I'm an elected official and I also get in the streets when necessary. So TF what?

Of course, that's what Zionists resort to, when they lose their arguments, go after someone's character to divert the subject.

>>At this point, other than your hostility towards Cockburn, I'm having trouble understanding it.

Richard, go and sign up for a stats class. It will help you to understand things in life. Then go read the links from the story you cited - voting machines can be hacked and we won't turn to dust if we worry that they are, and say that we worry that they are, and do studies which strongly suggest that they were. We are not conspiracy theorists. We are average people who won't stand for being lied to and cheated on.

And there's no need to bring Nessie into this . . . granted, I'd love to hear what he has to say, but he's pretty paranoid too, so I can guess he knows what the deal is. I don't know him and have never met him, have only read his writing. But most people on here seem to hate him. I actually learned a lot from him in sf.indymedia. Especially about cops.

And you sound about as paranoid as he is . . .
run COUNTERPUNCH the way that you'd like

I'd don't always agree with what he says there, or the perspectives contained within the other articles that he posts, but I do respect the overall content, as I do other sites, like Sam Smith's Progressive Review

as for you, after being caught in straight up falsehoods, you've moved the target 3 or 4 times

now, he's not posting enough articles vote fraud and vote suppression after you incorrectly said that he had posted none

now, the content is not specific enough for you, after you erroneously said that he hadn't posted any e-voting articles

needless to say, it doesn't make what you say about e-voting very credible, which is too bad, because I have real concerns about it, too

and, let me ask again, what kind of "real change" do you work to accomplish, other than ranting about the evils of e-voting?

because, while the threat of stolen elections through e-voting is serious, it's not the reason why we could, in your words, be turned to "dust"

no, it's because we have bipartisan support for a policy of pre-emptive war and colonial expansion that alienates the rest of the world

even in a world without e-voting machines, we'd still be confronting a dire situation

and, I have to again ask, if the use of e-voting machines could lead to a world where we could be turned to "dust", why aren't you angry that the Democrats have contributed very few resources to the effort?

seems to me that, if given a choice, you'd rather have some of Kerry's money that a raft of positive articles on a left wing website like COUNTERPUNCH, as that would be a lot more effective

but, for some reason, you don't see it this way

seems like the dangers of e-voting has become the safe liberal issue of the day, as it becomes the excuse for all other evils, the war in Iraq, the excesses of the Patriot Act and the emerging power of Christian fundamentalists, among others, without really having to take much of a public stand against them, because, after all, the Democrats want to either support these things or co-opt them in an effort to recover some of their lost political power

for example, I used to frequently get e-mails from someone who is obsessed with e-voting like you (and by obsessed, I mean to the exclusion of other critical issues), and then, one day, I sent a reply suggesting that she send one of my messages about the horrors of the attack upon Falluja, and the atrocities of the war in Iraq in general, with several links to articles, to the people on her list (after all, I must have gotten 10 or 15 messages from about e-voting), and since then, it's been . . . silence

for her, just the thought of sending a message out to her list about the brutality of the war was just too difficult, too uncomfortable, and the concept of actually opposing the violence of the US occupation, and the loss of lraqi lives, was beyond her capability, because the issue is, well, you know, just too complex, compared to the obvious evils of e-voting

which goes a long way towards explaining why liberalism in America today has the political traction of monarchism

anyway, perhaps, you should start your own website about vote suppression, vote fraud and e-voting, instead of making dishonest statements about COUNTERPUNCH

after all, there seems to be a void, and you seem to be motivated enough to fill it

--Richard Estes
Davis, CA
by reader
Tuesday Nov 23rd, 2004 9:09 AM
>>>Sam Smith's Progressive Review

Wow . . . so you must *love* Larry Bensky, then.

How about Chip Berlet? Did you know his salary is about $150k? Funny how progressives make so much money these days!

Sam Smith claims to know that the WTC was "poorly constucted," so that accounts for why it fell down. Apparently Sam Smith needs to defend authority (without any evidence, much less any engineering or physics background) in ways that even a manager at Underwriter Labs recently refused to - he got fired because he wouldn't stay silent while NIST published lies about how steel performs. Sam Smith would rather shove it all under the rug so, like Cockburn, he won't have to have his box clogged by the 'conspiracy theorist' ravings anymore.
by RWF
(restes60 [at] earthlink.net) Tuesday Nov 23rd, 2004 11:22 AM
[Wow . . . so you must *love* Larry Bensky, then.]

not really

[How about Chip Berlet? Did you know his salary is about $150k? Funny how progressives make so much money these days!]

I don't follow him much, either, so I'll have to take your word for it

--Richard Estes
Davis, CA


by Lee Harvey Osama
Tuesday Nov 23rd, 2004 5:14 PM
When I see commentators exxon-erating government corruption, I always ask WHO BENEFITS?

John Kennedy was very flawed in many ways, but he changed his mind on the Cold War, especially after the Cuban Missile Crisis. Kennedy stoped nuclear testing in the atmosphere, called for stopping the arms race and the moon race (in favor of cooperation / detente), spoke for civil rights (although imperfectly), and signed an order to start pulling troops out of Vietnam. He was intensely hated by the secret government. He vowed to scatter the CIA into a 1,000 pieces, they scattered him into a 1,000 pieces.


JFK Commencement Address at American University, June 10, 1963
the supporters of the Warren Commission who claim that there wasn't a conspiracy
ignore this speech, which called for an end to the Cold War
http://www.ratical.org/co-globalize/JFK061063.html


Folks like Alexander Cockburn, if they'd been in Germany in 1933, would probably say that it was OK that the Social Democrats had been arrested by the Nazis because the SD's weren't radical enough. This is the logical conclusion of Cockburn's defense of government propaganda (Warren Commission).

Cockburn also ridicules people who point out evidence - even the best evidence - of official complicity in 9/11, but he hasn't bothered to do any investigation of his own, at least none that he's made public. Counterpunch often covers the writing of journalist Wayne Madsen, but Madsen's latest - tying Osama to Bush - was not republished by Counterpunch.

"Waking up from our global nightmare" is archived on a number of sites, but Counterpunch doesn't dare do this, since it points out how silly Cockburn really is to claim Bush is innocent.

The best disinformation is mostly correct. Much of counterpunch is really good (their middle east coverage is excellent), but on the Bush family's biggest scandals (9/11, vote fraud, assassination of Democratic politicians), they're not much different than Fox News.


by Karl Rove
Tuesday Nov 23rd, 2004 5:19 PM
Cockburn is wrong to dismiss the 9/11 scandal

however, there is NO evidence the Pentagon wasn't hit by a plane
a LOT of people from a wide variety of backgrounds saw the plane hit the building, there's also a lot of physical evidence for this

the claims that complicity is dependent on "no plane" theories is ultimately a slick way to distract from real evidence -- such as why the Pentagon was hit in the nearly empty part of the building and why the Trillion Dollar Air Force didn't defend its headquarters

http://www.oilempire.us/pentagon.html



http://911research.wtc7.net/essays/pentagontrap.html

The Pentagon No-757-Crash Theory:
Booby Trap for 9/11 Skeptics

by Jim Hoffman
first published: October 7, 2004
revised: November 15, 2004


The idea that no 757 crashed at the Pentagon is easily the most controversial and divisive issue among researchers of the 9/11/01 attacks. Effectively promoted since early 2002, this idea has enjoyed an increasing acceptance in the 9/11 Truth Movement, despite its blatant incompatibility with the extensive body of eyewitness evidence that a 757-like twin-engine jetliner flew into the Pentagon and exploded.
Many researchers have ignored or dismissed this eyewitness evidence in favor of a seemingly overwhelming physical evidence case that no 757 crashed at the Pentagon, based on photographs of the crash site. As I show below, however, each of the pieces of evidence adduced in favor of the no-757-crash theory can be reconciled with the crash of a 757.
The controversy over this issue has eclipsed the many documented facts linking the 9/11/01 attacks to insiders. Defenders of the official story have seized on this issue as representative of the gullibility and incompetence of 9/11 "conspiracy theorists."


by reader
Wednesday Nov 24th, 2004 3:20 PM
Richard's positions on here are so bizarre - vote Kerry (but accuse *me* of being a Kerry supporter, which I am not at all), protect Cockburn (who clearly is trashing people who want Counterpunch to publish on the voting scam - wrong for *anyone* to treat others this way), trying to divert the discussion into personal, trying to accuse me of being Nessie, etc., etc.

It's not worth my time to respond anymore. If Richard wants to protect the left media trashing of people who honestly want answers, while voting for John Kerry, he can be my guest.
and my question really isn't that difficult:

[and, let me ask again, what kind of "real change" do you work to accomplish, other than ranting about the evils of e-voting?

because, while the threat of stolen elections through e-voting is serious, it's not the reason why we could, in your words, be turned to "dust"

no, it's because we have bipartisan support for a policy of pre-emptive war and colonial expansion that alienates the rest of the world

even in a world without e-voting machines, we'd still be confronting a dire situation]

do you oppose the war in Iraq? do you support it? are you an environmental activist? are you a labor organizer? a global justice advocate? something else?

OK, I don't like the Bush family much either, but what is the connection that you see with your issues in regard to a larger left agenda?

what about my analysis set forth above do you consider to be erroneous, if at all?

because, I'm just not following it, and I don't think that it is a "bizarre" thing to ask, as most people who post here could readily answer

--Richard Estes
Davis, CA


by JA
Wednesday Nov 24th, 2004 9:17 PM
(HI RICHARD)

NOW, WHILE WE *KNOW* THAT ZOMBIE ZIONIST "NON-'CRITICAL THINKIFIER'" *REGULARLY* POSTS UNDER VARIOUS ATTACK ALIASES, WHEN HE HAS *NOTHING* TO COME BACK WITH INTELLECTUALLY...

AND, WHILE WE *KNOW* THAT GERHIG IS NOT OCCASIONALLY ABOVE USING ATTACK ALIASES...

(THE ZIONISTS ALWAYS DO, WHEN THEY HAVE NO INTELLECTUAL/ANALYTICAL REBUTTALS AND ALL THEIR LAME ONES HAVE FAILED.)

I CAN EASILY TELL THAT "READER" IS *NOT* THAT ARROGANT ASSHOLE NESSIE. YOU CAN'T READ ANY OF NESSIE'S CHARACTERISTICS IN HIS/HER WRITING.
[But, hey: I could have told "reader" everything he/she needs to know about cops -- a *lot* more than arrogant white boy nessie -- who could have made quite an arrogant and bullying asshole cop himself.]

FURTHERMORE, I HAVE READ MANY OF "READER'S" POSTS OVER A LONG TIME AND CAN TELL YOU THAT HE/SHE HAS ADDRESSED *NUMEROUS* GLOBAL JUSTICE OR RESISTANCE (to even govt lies) ISSUES -- NOT JUST ONE OR TWO.

(CAPS for EMPHASIS, not for shouting.)

Now, I don't claim to be up on the particulars and background of your debate or on who has published what. (And I don't know exactly *what* most "Stolen Elections" activists believe about 9-11.) But, if I understand "reader" correctly, then logically, there *is* a qualitative, quantitative, and motivational difference between random electronic voting errors/snafus (which should more or less balance out, instead of almost always greatly/significantly favoring Bush or other Republicans) vs. systematic electronic voting *fraud* and outright *theft* (electronic ballot box stuffing or electronically throwing away votes).

I've read "reader's" posts on this issue *long* before the elections and *long* before the mainstream media even took it seriously -- even in terms of just poorly programmed machine errors or careless security measures -- back when the mainstream media acted like electronic voting machines don't lie, couldn't be hacked, or were otherwise foolproof.

I hardly have the expertise that "reader" seems to have accumulated. But, I think that systematic mass electronic voting (OUTRIGHT) *FRAUD/THEFT* -- not merely random errors -- on a potential mass scale much larger and more systematic -- potentially "Jim Crowing" (against Blacks and whites) hundreds of thousands of votes -- using the speed of light -- rather than stealing, or adding, here or there, a few handful of votes from, or to, the neighborhood ballot box is a justafiably pre-occupying issue. I must agree with "reader": there is "an exponential ability" using purely electronic systems.

And while the issue of underhanded voter suppression and disenfranchisement is important, that really only works against Blacks and Browns, not middle-class and above, college-degreeed white liberals -- or perhaps even moreso already economically marginalized blue-collar whites. Such whites (that the U.S. ruling class depends on to be the otherwise naive water bearers for the American ideology of apple pie and fair play) would be UP IN ARMS -- all over the U.S.!! -- if those tactics were used against them.

"Reader" obviously doesn't care whether Bush or Kerry per se won [as both being two sides of the same coin, both working for the same system and toward the same basic economic and geopolitical, if not religious, ends, only differing on style and strategy]. And Kerry *was* a LOUSY candidate! -- and a *LOT* of people voted for that lousy candidate: imperialism without a smarmy, 'We're kickin' *ass*!,' dum rich spoiled frat boy face. So, I'm sure that given the Diebold or paperless opportunity, the Repubs would still like to ensure their victory. But neither can we just entirely give up our democratic right to a meaningful and secure vote. (I admire people like "reader" that he/she can care so much about the vote, while not caring about the two candidates. "Reader" is not a KerryCrat.) Otherwise, we can just dispense with voting at all and let the elites establish a corporate authoritarian state.

We could just abolish the Congress, as Hitler abolished the German parliament, and let the two major parties (factions) themselves parry and switch off on which one rules the U.S., when, and let them *directly* decide among themselves on who's in what office -- maybe permanently dividing up the country between themselves. Or like in Mexico, letting certain families run different regions: the Bush dynasty in the South and Midwest, the Clinton dynastry (down to Chlesea and her kids) in the Northeast; maybe a future Kerry-Heinz dynasty in the West.

I do, respectfully, disagree with you, Richard (if I correctly understand your position), on the issue of Kerry. Obviously, anyone who refuses -- as "reader" indicates -- to vote for Bush or Kerry or any other such RepubliCrap put-up is, indeed, working for *real* change.

As Arundhati Roy said, working for real change is "not just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic or subsituting the gentle brainwashing of Ivory for the oxypower brainwashing of Tide -- both owned by the same corporation". Real change is not the "faith-based" voting of either the right (religious) *OR* the left (praying in their own right, but based on even *contrary* evidence! -- or claiming that Kerry is just 'talking in tongues': "He's *has* to talk that way to play to the conservatives and get elected!").

If there *were* a meaningful difference between Kerry and Bush, then I might support Kerry, under immediately dire circumstances. But, the circumstances are dire -- in the long run -- yet there *is* no meaninful difference. Kerry no more wishes to reverse course than Bush does!: *headlong* and *ever-forward* into militarism (with improved nuclear weapons), imperialism, Zionism, and "The War on Terror" -- an excuse for everything from kidnapping Aristide, to spraying Columbian farms and villages with cancerous herbicides and propping up Columbia's genocidal regime, as well as others, to financing and arming Israel's oppressive apartheid state, to carving up and privitizing Iraq for American corporations, and moving onto other Mideast or former Soviet 'Muslim' republics to do the same thing.

Real change is doing the *real* educational/media, outreach and street work of working to end militarism, imperialism, colonialism, racial/gender apartheid, institutional racism, international corporatism, corporate-financed political parties & election campaigns, and electoral politics itself -- and not just Bushism, replacing it with Kerryism (who promises us to be a smarter, more bipartisan and congenial, less name-calling, multilateral imperialist in the pretextual 'War on Terror', and yet an even tougher "Zionist"). Kerry, in particular, and the Democrats, in general, have *no* more an intention of ending these things (not even the School of the Americas) than the Republicans. To end that takes a real political *movement*, not a phony RepubliCrap choice.

As I've pointed out before, prominent Black law professor Derek Bell once said that it's we liberals and progressives who keep saving just enough of this awful system to keep it going.

THE ONLY HOPE FOR AN AT LEAST MARGINAL, BUT SOMEWHAT MEANINGFUL, DIFFERENCE (for at least the time being) IS FOR LIBERALS/PROGRESSIVES TO *OVERTLY* COST THE DEMOCRATS *ELECTIONS* BY SAYING THAT,

"IF YOU DEMOCRATS DON'T AT LEAST FIGHT AND SAVE US FROM THE *WORST* REPUBLICAN EXCESSES, THEN WHAT GOOD ARE YOU!!?: WE WILL VOTE FOR SOMEONE ELSE ANYWAY OR JUST STAY HOME"

-- AND NOT LET THE DEMS CONTINUE TO BLACKMAIL US WITH, 'YOU THINK *WE'RE* AWFUL?: THE OTHER GUY *SMIRKS* WHEN HE BOMBS/INVADES A SMALL, POOR, DEFENSELESS COUNTRY WHOSE REGIME WE SUPPORTED IN THE FIRST PLACE! WE AT LEAST PRETEND LIKE IT WAS A REGRETABLE DECISION.'


(Take care.)
by RWF
(restes60 [at] earthlink.net) Thursday Nov 25th, 2004 9:59 PM


[(HI RICHARD)]

Good to hear from you, hope you are enjoying the holidays

I plan to try to get over to the Castro Theatre to see the unedited, complete version of the movie Burn! tomorrow, and I highly recommend it, as it will be there through 12/2, a wonderful film about 19th Century imperialism, essential viewing for people dealing with today's challenges, with an audacious performance by Brando

[I CAN EASILY TELL THAT "READER" IS *NOT* THAT ARROGANT ASSHOLE NESSIE. YOU CAN'T READ ANY OF NESSIE'S CHARACTERISTICS IN HIS/HER WRITING.
[But, hey: I could have told "reader" everything he/she needs to know about cops -- a *lot* more than arrogant white boy nessie -- who could have made quite an arrogant and bullying asshole cop himself.]
FURTHERMORE, I HAVE READ MANY OF "READER'S" POSTS OVER A LONG TIME AND CAN TELL YOU THAT HE/SHE HAS ADDRESSED *NUMEROUS* GLOBAL JUSTICE OR RESISTANCE (to even govt lies) ISSUES -- NOT JUST ONE OR TWO.
(CAPS for EMPHASIS, not for shouting.)]

This is good to hear, but why couldn't Reader just say so himself, it's not like I work for the Department of Homeland Security or anything.

Let me elaborate a little as to why I persisted in asking this question. From my experience (as an obsessive about the JFK assassination in the mid-1970s, when there were actually some efforts to reinvestigate it), I discovered that the most rabid proponents of conspiracy theories were a lot like Oliver Stone: they constructed a fascistic, father figure perspective around it that actually served as an excuse to avoid engaging many other concrete issues.

Or, to put it more simply, it was like, JFK was a GOD, and therefore, there would have been no Vietnam War, no more Cold War, and two cars in every garage and two chickens in every pot, with fairness for all around the world, if he hadn't been killed.

A little sarcastic, to be sure, but then, I assume that you can appreciate my use of it for political effect, as you do so frequently.

Anyway, I sense similar undercurrents in the 9/11 and e-voting scenes as well, as they attract people who are otherwise right wing populists or apolitical in their perspective. They seem to have no connection to any issues that we would consider left in any sense of the term, which is why I suspect that Cockburn is so hostile to them. Now, he may, in some instances, the JFK assassination, for example, be so hostile that he has tuned out some of the facts, but ideologically, he may be on the right track.

Along these lines, note that there was a post on indybay yesterday of announcement about a fair elections event in Yolo County that: (1) didn't mention the war in Iraq at all; and (2) mentioned other issues for activists, such as labor and environmental ones, solely from the subconscious viewpoint of diminishing their significance as stand alone issues (kinda like, everyone should drop what they are doing and come to the fair elections meeting, as it is clearly more important than anything else, which is just an absurd and arrogant assertion to make)

It created the strong impression that we are looking at another one of these Anybody But Bush type scenes, an attempt to organize around an abstract idea being so inherently good that one need not associate it with any concrete issue of importance in the public mind. (in these two instances, getting rid of Bush and fair elections)

Just today, I called my mother, and she accidentally nailed the Achilles heel of the entire effort when she said (criticizing the purported US goal of establishing democrary in Iraq) that you can't eat democracy and democracy won't keep you warm. Even though my mother has never heard of him, it appears that she is instinctively Brechtian. Or, to put it another way, no one is going to care about whether an election was fair if you don't think that the result could help you in some concrete way, like improve your chances of getting a job, keep your kid from being sent to Iraq, or making sure that Social Security will be there for you when you retire

Hence, my question to Reader about his other efforts to bring about "real change" was also motivated by my intention to highlight this problem: an arid focus upon election fraud without any ideological or social connection for people is doomed to failure.

[I hardly have the expertise that "reader" seems to have accumulated. But, I think that systematic mass electronic voting (OUTRIGHT) *FRAUD/THEFT* -- not merely random errors -- on a potential mass scale much larger and more systematic -- potentially "Jim Crowing" (against Blacks and whites) hundreds of thousands of votes -- using the speed of light -- rather than stealing, or adding, here or there, a few handful of votes from, or to, the neighborhood ballot box is a justafiably pre-occupying issue. I must agree with "reader": there is "an exponential ability" using purely electronic systems.
And while the issue of underhanded voter suppression and disenfranchisement is important, that really only works against Blacks and Browns, not middle-class and above, college-degreeed white liberals -- or perhaps even moreso already economically marginalized blue-collar whites. Such whites (that the U.S. ruling class depends on to be the otherwise naive water bearers for the American ideology of apple pie and fair play) would be UP IN ARMS -- all over the U.S.!! -- if those tactics were used against them.]

I never said that there weren't problems with e-voting and that we should accept the current system. I did say that the way Reader was communicating it wasn't very effective (perhaps, I was a little too sarcastic again, but, certainly, Reader wasn't much better, if at all), especially with his emphasis upon Cockburn, someone unknown to about 98% of the American populaton

I get my information from a lot of sources, and there is not a single one that I agree with unequivocally. The fact that Cockburn has a cynical attitude about electoral politics, believing that there is always some form of "theft" in any election anywhere (definitely an understandable attitude from someone steeped in British and Irish history through his family), doesn't invalidate a lot of other good work that he does, and certainly doesn't justify throwing COINTELPRO charges around at him

As for Reader's focus upon e-voting itself, I contend that the focus is too narrow. As described in your message, poor people and people of color have been disenfranchised for decades, before anyone even conceived of an e-voting machine. In this election, many of them were disenfranchised in Florida, Ohio and elsewhere without e-voting machines, and they will be in the future as well.

While e-voting machines may be a good method for silently disenfranchising whites, any real effort towards confronting this problem requires that all methods of vote fraud and vote suppression be successfully challenged.

["Reader" obviously doesn't care whether Bush or Kerry per se won [as both being two sides of the same coin, both working for the same system and toward the same basic economic and geopolitical, if not religious, ends, only differing on style and strategy]. And Kerry *was* a LOUSY candidate! -- and a *LOT* of people voted for that lousy candidate: imperialism without a smarmy, 'We're kickin' *ass*!,' dum rich spoiled frat boy face. So, I'm sure that given the Diebold or paperless opportunity, the Repubs would still like to ensure their victory. But neither can we just entirely give up our democratic right to a meaningful and secure vote. (I admire people like "reader" that he/she can care so much about the vote, while not caring about the two candidates. "Reader" is not a KerryCrat.) Otherwise, we can just dispense with voting at all and let the elites establish a corporate authoritarian state.
We could just abolish the Congress, as Hitler abolished the German parliament, and let the two major parties (factions) themselves parry and switch off on which one rules the U.S., when, and let them *directly* decide among themselves on who's in what office -- maybe permanently dividing up the country between themselves. Or like in Mexico, letting certain families run different regions: the Bush dynasty in the South and Midwest, the Clinton dynastry (down to Chlesea and her kids) in the Northeast; maybe a future Kerry-Heinz dynasty in the West.
I do, respectfully, disagree with you, Richard (if I correctly understand your position), on the issue of Kerry. Obviously, anyone who refuses -- as "reader" indicates -- to vote for Bush or Kerry or any other such RepubliCrap put-up is, indeed, working for *real* change.

. . . . . . . Real change is doing the *real* educational/media, outreach and street work of working to end militarism, imperialism, colonialism, racial/gender apartheid, institutional racism, international corporatism, corporate-financed political parties & election campaigns, and electoral politics itself -- and not just Bushism, replacing it with Kerryism (who promises us to be a smarter, more bipartisan and congenial, less name-calling, multilateral imperialist in the pretextual 'War on Terror', and yet an even tougher "Zionist"). Kerry, in particular, and the Democrats, in general, have *no* more an intention of ending these things (not even the School of the Americas) than the Republicans. To end that takes a real political *movement*, not a phony RepubliCrap choice.
As I've pointed out before, prominent Black law professor Derek Bell once said that it's we liberals and progressives who keep saving just enough of this awful system to keep it going.
THE ONLY HOPE FOR AN AT LEAST MARGINAL, BUT SOMEWHAT MEANINGFUL, DIFFERENCE (for at least the time being) IS FOR LIBERALS/PROGRESSIVES TO *OVERTLY* COST THE DEMOCRATS *ELECTIONS* BY SAYING THAT,
"IF YOU DEMOCRATS DON'T AT LEAST FIGHT AND SAVE US FROM THE *WORST* REPUBLICAN EXCESSES, THEN WHAT GOOD ARE YOU!!?: WE WILL VOTE FOR SOMEONE ELSE ANYWAY OR JUST STAY HOME"
-- AND NOT LET THE DEMS CONTINUE TO BLACKMAIL US WITH, 'YOU THINK *WE'RE* AWFUL?: THE OTHER GUY *SMIRKS* WHEN HE BOMBS/INVADES A SMALL, POOR, DEFENSELESS COUNTRY WHOSE REGIME WE SUPPORTED IN THE FIRST PLACE! WE AT LEAST PRETEND LIKE IT WAS A REGRETABLE DECISION.'

(Take care.)]

This is where I get confused. If "real change" is about refusing to save enough of the system to keep it going, then why do we care about whether the election was fair or not? Why would we care about whether fraud can be perpetrated through e-voting? Because, aren't we, in fact, reforming the "awful system" by insisting that elections in this country, elections that are, practically speaking, limited to two parties that are in agreement on many issues, be conducted fairly?

Indeed, couldn't one plausibly argue that, if participation in the existing electoral system is merely reforming a terrible system, that we should hope for the pervasive use of e-voting and more blatant forms of vote fraud and vote suppression as quickly as possible to grossly discredit the system as clearly as possible?

And, if you are refusing to vote for Kerry or Bush, why would you care about the integrity of the vote? After all, I didn't hear anyone saying that there was any fraud in regard to the votes for Nader, Cobb or Peltier. Your analysis is not fully persuasive.

Right now, this is the reality: a strict emphasis upon e-voting, vote fraud and vote suppression, without a demand that the agenda also include demands for ballot access for candidates other than Democrats and Republicans, is just another Democratic game, a game geared to making sure that more people get their votes counted with only two real choices, Republican or Democrat.

This is the truly weird irony. Reader's framing of the issue to date, as someone who apparently didn't vote for Kerry or Bush (I'll take your word for it) actually helps Kerry and the Democrats, while my criticism, as someone who acknowledges having voting for Kerry, doesn't.

Furthemore, while I supported Kerry, for reasons that are now irrelevant, I always spoke forcefully for Nader's right to be on ballots around the country, and, thus, his right to strongly challenge Kerry and Bush on the issues. It is essential that the issue of ballot access not be forgotten in the wake of the election, but I am afraid that this is exactly what is happening by limiting the focus to e-voting.

Any real challenge to the electoral system must have include these things in addition to e-voting: (1) an effort to confront and reverse the methods that have been historically used to disenfranchise poor people and people of color; and (2) an expansion of the system to more easily provide for more parties to participate.

Finally, as for me personally, I believe, as I have said elsewhere, that change is about to be imposed externally, after we failed to take advantage of an opportunity to try to do so internally. Just look at what the Russians and Europeans are doing, dumping dollars after Bush's reelection, as well as the war in Iraq.

With that said, we can help faciliate it, but only on the margins, only through undertaking actions based upon a recognition that we are involved in a global conflict, as both political parties are increasingly rendering themselves irrelevant in the struggle that has already commenced and can only intensify.

My personal political activities will be consistent with this view.

--Richard Estes
Davis. CA


by reader
Thursday Nov 25th, 2004 11:32 PM
He thinks that anyone interested in 9/11 isn't doing any left activism, or that most aren't. How many has he even met? Has he ever gone to a 9/11 event?

And yet, he thinks he can categorize everyone into what he thinks they should be.

Well, try categorizing the 9/11 Family Steering Committee Richard, because they are asking all the same 'nutty' questions that geeks sitting at their computers and the right wing or libertarians are. These family members are not right wing. They are yuppies and rich homeowners. They are middle class. They live in suburbs and work at large corporations. And they are asking what happened to building 7, which collapsed when no plane hit it.

But this isn't worth my time or JAs time. It's a waste.

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