Protecting Election Integrity — Making Sure Every Vote Counts

October 30, 2008

With the election days away now is the time to make sure that every vote is cast and counted!

In 2000 and 2004, the right-wing machine went national with voter intimidation, misinformation, and other maneuvers to steal elections. Possible illegal attempts to remove or block registration are underway right now in six states. Now is the time for the antiwar movement to join election activists in communities to protect the vote. Check with local chapters of NAACP, ADC, AFL-CIO, and the ACLU for efforts already underway (see contact info below).

Resources:

  • Vote Early. And encourage others to do so! Thirty states allow early voting; check if yours is one here. Early voting flags registration problems, which can then be addressed before November 4th. In addition, your time can be freed up to help get people to the polls and to be a poll monitor on Election Day.
  • Poll Monitor. Staffing the polls allows you to be a resource for voters needing assistance and to deal with problems when they occur. Volunteer here or here to be poll monitor in your respective area.
  • Join election protection efforts in swing states. Help staff election protection phones: 1-866-OUR-VOTE and, in Spanish, 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA. Or sign up here.
  • Legal Assistance on November 4th. Voters have the right to complain on Election Day if they are not allowed to cast their ballot for the candidates of their choice. If they call 1-866-OUR-VOTE or, in Spanish, 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA, they will get legal assistance.
  • Write letters to the editors now, giving the numbers listed above to call if voters have problems. State that stolen elections will not be tolerated! Tell your Congressperson and Senator that you take this threat to our vote seriously. Let them know that you expect them to object to the vote count in any state where there are clear examples of election fraud. For background information on what happened in 2004 in Ohio, watch this short video. Click here for an overview of the situation.
  • If you have helped register new voters, ask them to confirm their registration before Election Day. Most of this can be done online. Be sure everyone has the number to call if they encounter problems on Election Day. Remind people how important it is to call when problems occur, ideally before leaving the polling station!
  • Consider seeking or providing civil disobedience training for election protection volunteers. If there is conflict, it is important to be able to respond in a way that does not fuel the right-wing’s desire to discredit our efforts. Thousands of people were involved in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience to secure the right to vote for all. Check here for more information on nonviolent civil disobedience training, resources, and networking.
  • Participate in local gatherings on November 5th to review and evaluate the process to make improvements for even better election protection during the 2010 election cycle.

For additional information and tips visit:

ACLU

AFL-CIO voter protection campaign

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

Election Defense Alliance

Election Protection – massive national effort by civil rights lawyers

Just Vote 2008

NAACP

Native Vote

No More Stolen Elections

Poll workers for Democracy

Steal Back Your Vote

– a comic book piece to help inspire voter protection work

Video the Vote


Bush Tries to Pardon Himself

October 29, 2008

President Bush Seeks to Pardon Self and Administration for Possible Violations of Geneva Conventions, War Crimes Act

Burried deep inside the War Crimes Detainee bill recently passed by the House, is a provision that would pardon President Bush and his administration for violation of the Geneva conventions. Some of these crimes are violations punishable by death.

President Bush seeks to Pardon himself and his administration in advance for violating the Geneva Conventions in an effort to avoid possible prosectution in the future.

See details in this CNN Video:


Iraq Toll

October 29, 2008

Those who died in Iraq from Oct 19 to 25:

Pvt Cody Eggleston  21  Eugene OR

Sgt Brian Hause  29  Stoystown PA

Cpl Stacy Dryden  22  North Canton OH

Pvt Heath Pickard  25  Palestine TX

Spc Justin Saint  22  Albertville AL

9 were seriously wounded.

25 were returned to kill fields.

163 Iraqi sisters and brothers were killed.

In Afghanistan were killed:

Cpl Adrian Robles  21  Scottsbluff NE

Cpl Sim San  23  Santa Ana CA

Spc Dean Taylor  30  Bronx NY

Cap Robert Lindenau  39  Camano Is. WA

Sgt Patrick Behlke  25  Germany

Cpl Roman Schmidt  22  Germany

Cf:  http://www.icasualties.org


UN Secretary-General – new call for nuclear disarmament through a Nuclear Weapons Convention

October 27, 2008

New York
October 24, United <http://www.un.org/events/unday/2008/>  Nations Day

Dear Friends,

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on governments to
start negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention as part of a five point
plan to eliminate the risks from nuclear weapons.

In an address to a conference organised in the United Nations by the
East-West Institute <http://www.iews.org/> , Ban Ki-moon called for ‘the
nuclear-weapon States, to fulfil their obligation under the [nuclear
Non-Proliferation] Treaty’ by pursuing ‘a framework of separate, mutually
reinforcing instruments.  Or they could consider negotiating a
nuclear-weapons convention, backed by a strong system of verification, as
has long been proposed at the United Nations.” Ban Ki-Moon informed the
conference that “Upon the request of Costa Rica and Malaysia, I have
circulated to all United Nations Member States a draft
<http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A%2F62%2F650&Submit=Search&
Lang=E
>  of such a convention, which offers a good point of departure.”

Ban Ki-moon also:

*     Called on the Security Council to initiate discussions on ‘issues in
the nuclear disarmament process’ including the provision of unambiguous
assurances ‘to non-nuclear-weapon States that they will not be the subject
of the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.';

*     Encouraged the negotiation, entry-into-force and implementation of a
number of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament treaties including the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, regional nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties
and a treaty to control fissile materials;

*     Proposed that the Nuclear Weapon States become more transparent about
the size of their arsenals, stocks of fissile material and specific
disarmament achievements.  He noted that “the lack of an authoritative
estimate of the total number of nuclear weapons testifies to the need for
greater transparency.”

*     Supported complementary measures for the elimination of other types of
WMD; new efforts against WMD terrorism; limits on the production and trade
in conventional arms; and new weapons bans, including of missiles and space
weapons.  He noted that “the General Assembly could also take up the
recommendation of the Blix Commission for a World Summit on disarmament,
non-proliferation and terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction.

The conference included other high-level speakers Mohammed El Baradei
(Secretary-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency), Henry
Kissinger (former US Secretary of State) and leaders from the E.U., China,
India, Japan and Pakistan.

For the UN Secretary-General’s full speech see:
http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2008/sgsm11881.doc.htm
<http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2008/sgsm11881.doc.htm>

For more information on the conference see
http://www.iews.org/announcements/news/index.cfm?title=News
<http://www.iews.org/announcements/news/index.cfm?title=News&view=detail&nid
=672&aid=6290
> &view=detail&nid=672&aid=6290

Alyn Ware

Ex-Bush press secretary McClellan endorses Barack Obama

October 24, 2008

This just in: Scott McClellan, President Bush’s former press secretary, announced Thursday that he is endorsing Barack Obama for president.

McClellan is the second former Bush administration official this week to come out in support of the Democratic presidential candidate. Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell announced his endorsement last weekend.

McClellan’s news, which he shared during a taping of comedian D.L. Hughley’s new show on CNN, doesn’t come as a huge surprise. McClellan, after all, drew ire from Republicans earlier this year when he published a tell-all book about his time in White House. The book, “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,” was highly critical of Bush and his handling of the war in Iraq, which McClellan called “a serious strategic blunder.”

The former aide told Hughley he planned to vote for Obama because he is the candidate most likely to change Washington.

McClellan became Bush’s press secretary in the summer of 2003 — shortly after the U.S. invaded Iraq. He resigned the post two years ago. At the time, their split appeared to be fairly amicable (on the day that McClellan resigned, President Bush told reporters that he and the outgoing aide someday would be “rocking in chairs in Texas and talking about the good old days”). But McClellan later wrote that he quit in part because he felt deceived by the Bush White House.

Specifically, McClellan accused former administration officials Karl Rove and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby of misleading him during the investigation into the 2003 exposure of then-CIA operative Valerie Plame.


Sarah Palin Refuses To Answer Whether Or Not Abortion Clinic Bombers Are Terrorists

October 24, 2008
I just watched some highlights of Brian William’s interview with Sarah Palin and John McCain.

This exchange was shocking:

Brian Williams: Back to the notion of terrorists and terrorism, this word has come up in relation to Mr. Ayers — hanging out with terrorist – domestic terrorists. It is said that it gives it a vaguely post uh 9-11 hint, using that word, that we don’t normally associate with domestic crimes. Are we changing the definition? Are the people who set fire to American cities during the ’60’s terrorists, under this definition? Is an abortion clinic bomber a terrorist under the definition?

Sarah Palin: There is no question that Bill Ayers via his own admittance was um one who sought to destroy our US Capitol and our Pentagon — that is a domestic terrorist. There’s no question there. Now others who would want to engage in harming innocent Americans or um facilities, that uh, it would be unacceptable — I don’t know if you could use the word terrorist, but its unacceptable and it would not be condoned of course on our watch.


Larry David: Waiting for Nov. 4th

October 23, 2008

I can’t take much more of this. Two weeks to go, and I’m at the end of my rope. I can’t work. I can eat, but mostly standing up. I’m anxious all the time and taking it out on my ex-wife, which, ironically, I’m finding enjoyable. This is like waiting for the results of a biopsy. Actually, it’s worse. Biopsies only take a few days, maybe a week at the most, and if the biopsy comes back positive, there’s still a potential cure. With this, there’s no cure. The result is final. Like death.

Five times a day I’ll still say to someone, “I don’t know what I’m going to do if McCain wins.” Of course, the reality is I’m probably not going to do anything. What can I do? I’m not going to kill myself. If I didn’t kill myself when I became impotent for two months in 1979, I’m certainly not going to do it if McCain and Palin are elected, even if it’s by nefarious means. If Obama loses, it would be easier to live with it if it’s due to racism rather than if it’s stolen. If it’s racism, I can say, “Okay, we lost, but at least it’s a democracy. Sure, it’s a democracy inhabited by a majority of disgusting, reprehensible turds, but at least it’s a democracy.” If he loses because it’s stolen, that will be much worse. Call me crazy, but I’d rather live in a democratic racist country than a non-democratic non-racist one. (It’s not exactly a Hobson’s choice, but it’s close, and I think Hobson would compliment me on how close I’ve actually come to giving him no choice. He’d love that!)

The one concession I’ve made to maintain some form of sanity is that I’ve taken to censoring my news, just like the old Soviet Union. The citizenry (me) only gets to read and listen to what I deem appropriate for its health and well-being. Sure, there are times when the system breaks down. Michele Bachmann got through my radar this week, right before bedtime. That’s not supposed to happen. That was a lapse in security, and I’ve had to make some adjustments. The debates were particularly challenging for me to monitor. First I tried running in and out of the room so I would only hear my guy. This worked until I knocked over a tray of hors d’oeuvres. “Sit down or get out!” my host demanded. “Okay,” I said, and took a seat, but I was more fidgety than a ten-year-old at temple. I just couldn’t watch without saying anything, and my running commentary, which mostly consisted of “Shut up, you prick!” or “You’re a fucking liar!!!” or “Go to hell, you cocksucker!” was way too distracting for the attendees, and finally I was asked to leave.

Assuming November 4th ever comes, my big decision won’t be where I’ll be watching the returns, but if I’ll be watching. I believe I have big jinx potential and may have actually cost the Dems the last two elections. I know I’ve jinxed sporting events. When my teams are losing and I want them to make a comeback, all I have to do is leave the room. Works every time. So if I do watch, I’ll do it alone. I can’t subject other people to me in my current condition. I just don’t like what I’ve turned into — and frankly I wasn’t that crazy about me even before the turn. This election is having the same effect on me as marijuana. All of my worst qualities have been exacerbated. I’m paranoid, obsessive, nervous, and totally mental. It’s one long, intense, bad trip. I need to come down. Soon.


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