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I am sure that many if not all of them are members of the Election Integrity Caucus. Predictably, they are all Democrats. I don't guess that the caucus is of much interest to the president, whose actual concern is the opposite of election integrity, the myth of voter fraud, an issue that he believes bears scrutiny because candidate Clinton beat him by 3 million popular votes last year.

Not only that, but photographs of the crowds attending his inauguration show bald spots, unlike the dense hordes documented for both of Barack Obama's inaugurations. No holes. And so, to perfect the imperfect, if new photographs haven't been circulated yet, new proof that vote fraud generated Hillary's 3 million extra popular votes is of paramount importance. You can be sure that it will be well funded, though committee members will be reimbursed for travel only on a per diem instead of subsistence basis. Perhaps Medicaid funds will pay for it.

No additional compensation for those participants, though. The commission will be administrated by the Government Services Administration "subject to the availability of appropriations. It's like scraping the bottom of an empty barrel, as proven by countless, nonpartisan studies whose conclusion is that one is more likely to be struck by lightning then commit voter fraud.

Now, for the uninitiated, there are many categories of voter fraud, but our subject, the hen's tooth, is voter impersonation at the polls. It just doesn't happen. Even President George W. Bush's relevant commission had to corroborate that. The commission was today described by Rep.

John Lewis D-GA as "nothing more than a cover for them to threaten our progresswith registration barriers, elimination of early and absentee voting, and rules that obstruct an inclusive democracy. Kobach's qualifications are many. He probably was inspired by former Florida SoS Katherine Harris's logic as she trimmed a voter roll of likely Democrats by 94, before Election eliminate duplicate names of likely Democrats, using as datapoints only first and last names.

Forget middle initials or birthdays or social security numbers. Poof go the Democrat votes! And so it has gone with a perfectly justifiable practice, interstate crosschecking, that is part of the HAVA-mandated digitization of voter rolls statewide. This has been completed in 32 states, which compare their rosters for duplication, honest duplication, which occurs, for example, when a voter moves from one state to another, as happens often in our highly mobile society--will we all be moving soon?

But Mr. Kobach has hooked into this project with his Harris logic of eliminating all of the Michael Jacksons from voter lists, regardless of their middle initials, let alone state of residence. He targets common names like the above often of African Americans ; and in addition, aiming at Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans, he will exercise the same amputation of all Jang Lees and Jose Hernandez's and other names shared by many among these populations.

Off they go from the lists. According to Palast, 1. If you go to gregpalast. Back to the executive order. Fifteen committee members will assist Messrs. Pence and Kobach: "The President shall appoint the additional members, who shall include individuals with knowledge and experience in elections, election management, election fraud detection, and voter integrity efforts, and any other individuals with knowledge or experience that the President determines to be of value to the Commission.

I wonder whom he will choose. Their duties will be to "study the registration and voting processes used in Federal elections" and publish a report on their findings in None of their decisions will be binding--just "advisory. What detracts from it? Kobach's orb of expertise. The committee will work with appointed, elected, and career-level officials at all levels who are concerned with all aspects of voting, as well as election law experts.

What about scholars who study the issues from other perspectives? Maybe ask Betsy DeVos. The study will probably conclude just in time to influence the results of the midterm election. Then the committee dissolves in a month--poof! Not to worry. Trump has already begun his campaign for reelection in Nobody is following Bernie Sanders's tour of the country with Joe Biden. Not half as "press-sexy. What is a "voter" anyway, if not disenfranchised a lot of the time? And so voting is a hot topic these days.

One can trace its ascent into mainstream headlines from obscure placement on back pages and low paragraphs to Mr. Trump's paranoia, I mean honest interest in making elections ethical in every sense of the word, I mean alt-word. Kobach was eating white, I mean vanilla ice cream the day that Greg Palast confronted him with documents he was sure had been kept confidential, proving the alt-logic of his registration rolls. Kobach hit the ground running, not without first gulping down the last of his desert, I mean dessert, and calling Palast a LIAR.

At least Mr. Palast wasn't removed from the scene by police, as he was when attempting to confront Florida's Director of Elections with Katherine Harris's bogus lists in , which was filmed by the late Danny Schechter in his film on Election , "Counting on Democracy. But who can film or photograph the demise of democracy? The more that voting has become a hot topic lately, the less voting integrity is involved.

The real, not "alt" thing. We must continue to battle alt-realities and instead somehow maneuver the alt's to a reality alt to theirs. Remember that in math, when you multiply two negatives you get a positive. His words gave birth to the report published by another commission concerned with improving elections, The [bipartisan] Presidential Commission on Election Administration.

For my take on it, see. I hope that I didn't become the Earth when I left the People's Climate March early today to come home and write about it. I hope not, because I nearly dropped from heat exhaustion and would have if I'd marched longer. So I hope that the Earth can hold out longer, much longer. One sign depicted the Earth as a golf ball Trump was about to whack.

The temperature was 90 when I left, with a casual breeze from time to time. Facebook had predicted a crowd of 12,, but I just read that the number has soared to , It sure looked like more than 12, when I arrived at on Third Street and Constitution, which rapidly turned into Pennsylvania Avenue as we marched. We saw a crucial fork in the road and took it.

I left the march as it was turned away from its intended route around the White House, to surround it and have a moment of silence before proceeding to the Washington Monument for another rally and some music. I do believe that Il Duce was in town this weekend. I hadn't heard otherwise.


One sign warned him that at just 10 feet above sea level, Mar-a-Lago would sink with the rest of us. Marchers booed as they passed by Trump's pretentious hotel. Today the posters stole the show from the chants, which were pretty routine: Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go!.

True enough. They all were. Back to the Cherry Blossom Festival for a moment. I believe that it was kept from its full splendor by the new sometimes-occupant of the Oval Office, our first woman president, Ivanka? I mean The Donald. Ice Cold Koch. At least one sign mentioned Flint. People had come from all over the country, south from Michigan and east from Colorado and California, even though they could have marched closer to home.

Today is the th day of Trump's regime, I mean administration. That was one motive for setting this Saturday aside to march. Was another that Mother's Day is coming up so soon? Many of the signs equated the Earth with our mothers and Her Motherhood, which we are not honoring, especially this Dictator Wannabe and his moto perpetuo, I mean his executive staff.

These photos CNN's are even better are worth more words than Trump's entire vocabulary set--I mean the number of words of the English language that he knows and can tweet in if not comprehend on TV but not read. He doesn't like to read. What's there to read about? Climate change? So we rumbled drums and chanted and marched, droves of us, a language I read that he plans to attempt to tone down. Less power to Him, I mean him. The Newseum, which we marched past, knows better see photo below.

If he is so enamored with the Second Amendment that he received a standing ovation from the NRA yesterday, what about the First? What about Climate Change? The April 15 Tax March in Washington, DC, reiterating others nationwide and even in some places overseas, drew a crowd of 25, protesting Trump's refusal to release his tax returns. This violates a protocol active since the Watergate scandal.

President Nixon was the first to comply and all presidents after him did so as well, unquestioningly. Democracy is hard work, I thought, scribbling, photographing, and later marching nearly three miles. We're doing it. Religion opened and closed the two-hours rally. The initial speaker, Rabbi Nehama Benmosche, recited the Hebrew shma as I cringed awaiting anti-Semitic responses that didn't occur. Deo gratias. She spoke of the significance of Passover Week this day before Easter--how the Children of Israel had thrown off Pharoah's oppression. People's power is huge, she told us.

I am the rich daughter of the former head of AIG. I see nonetheless that our tax system is wrong. No more outsourcing employment! Knock off the secrecy and disclose your tax returns! The ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee compared Trump to a teenager hiding his bad report card from his parents. A later reference to "crooked Donald" reinforced this reference. By now McConnell would have already impeached Hillary if she'd been elected. Ingenious, often paradoxical or ironic signs were everywhere. If police were present, they were in plain clothes. The atmosphere was relaxed--more so than usual, it seemed.

There was nothing close to an incident requiring intervention. Uniformed police headed off traffic most cooperatively on the two busy streets of our march, Pennsylvania and Constitution Aves. Heather McGhee, president of Demos, asked whom Trump was working for anyway. Jamie Raskin D-MD evoked the American Revolution as he modernized the situation: taxation without representation is the plight of residents of the District of Columbia. Before you rewrite the tax code, show us your taxes! Put the United States, not yourself, first! The Russians we care about are marching in the streets of Moscow.

Trump flies off to Mar-a-Lago on an average of every 2. The two chairs of the Women's March were present. Tamika Mallory said that we had made history together. When she asked who among us had been there, every hand went up. Five million people around the world marched. We sparked resistance against sexism, racism, and fascism. We won't end with Donald Trump's taxes! Three immigrant women speakers followed, defining taxes as a commitment to democracy. She pays taxes, she said.

She pays taxes too. And on day of Trump's administration today is day 75 , two hundred thousand will participate in the climate march. The crowd was in stitches as he complained about 85 days of feeling like garbage. He called the crowd the "white holes" that had punctuated the outdoor terrain at his inauguration, an embarrassment. He said he declares Ivanka as three dependents on his tax return: daughter, mother, and wife.

You want to see my tax forms? The crowd said yes. He showered them with shredded paper like confetti. Did Russia lend you money when the U. Who financed your hotel, Deutsche Bank? You sure know how to spend our taxes.

How gerrymandering helped the far-right “win”

The final speaker, Bishop Swayne Royster, reminded all of us that we are the boss and Trump is the employee, the civil servant. You can lie, but you can't hide! The march began. Sidewalks were lined with supporters and vehicles passing by honked their approval. In front of Trump's hotel, styled like a pretentious castle, the march stopped and many chanted "Shame! The same chant was repeated as we passed the back of the White House. An hour later, even the millennials were weary, seated on the grass beside the colossal white chicken icon that symbolized both Trump's fear of revealing his taxes and the Year of the Rooster in Asia--this year the rooster's features were purposely stylized in Hong Kong to parody Trump.

The most heartening sign at the event appeared at this point. Yesterday was an interesting day to recommend this issue of an annual journal published by Ronny Dugger's Alliance for Democracy AfD. The grid expands the more I study it. Problems are no longer limited to intimidation, bribery, and stuffed ballot boxes, as they were nearly years ago in this country. But, as I wrote above, yesterday was an interesting day to review this comprehensive account of the five Ws and how our electoral system is so corrupt and what we can do to fix it, because in yesterday's issue of The Nation, an author dismissed voting as close to useless if we can do no better than to elect Donald Trump as president.

We must pursue other avenues of activism than simply checking off some candidates once every four years. Does he ask why our system is running on empty? The avenues of activism he proposes as far more effective than voting include the exciting protests and confrontations with legislators we are witnessing against Trump's treachery today. But first we have to vote and the system must effectively reflect We the People's will, We the 99 Percent.

Ask Tom Paine, for one. Seventeen brief, concise, and incisive articles by 15 distinguished authors dissect the system's complexities and clarify them for concerned activists and all those wondering why Election Day, which used to be a simple "going to the ballot box and pushing a lever" process to quote Noam Chomsky , has evolved into such a mess for certain minorities who together happen to comprise the vast majority of our country's population.

Defeating the corporatocracy that is more and more trespassing on human rights here is the mission of the AfD. Bernie Sanders has agreed, addressing the system at large.

Michigan Election Reform Alliance

Our machinery is no good, writes Tarbell. Why waste billions of dollars on it when we can use recyclable paper and create work opportunities for large numbers of people? HCPB works if done correctly. He anticipates the center section, which describes AfD's new "People's Vote Must Count" campaign pages , which enumerates how to assemble the revolution step by step, from publicizing the exigencies and getting people together who support HCPB, to outreach to larger numbers, to effective and compelling publications, to introducing legislation, to a tableau vivant of HCPB in action at one precinct of each jurisdiction in the country.

In this regard, "It's time for the US to Join the Rest of the [voting] World" Western Europe, for example; articles thumbnailed below supply more details. AfD's webpage explaining the processes is at www. The "Principles of Electoral Reform," quoted from the National Election Reform Coalition, describes an ideal HCPB system, fulfilling the goals of transparency, accuracy, security, and privacy, among other desiderata that you must read about. A new member congressional caucus focused on voting rights was formed last year.

Hank Johnson D-GA. Both call for vast improvements in our electoral systems to be accomplished through federal funding. The lifespan of the worst of these systems is at best 10 years, the direct recording electronic DRE or touchscreen machinery. Purchased between and , it must be replaced, as our math indicates.

The article "Failed Election Administration" page 19 describes the report published by the commission. Fine that it's nonpartisan, but does that explain why there is no mention of discrimination or corruption, two towering symptoms of election dysfunction? Instead, to combat the "long lines" thus engendered, the science of queology, the science of queuing, is consulted. Remember President Obama's repeated exhortation that "we have to do something about that"?

Try queology. I don't mean to oversimplify. The report is magisterial.

15 2 - Election Theft in the 21st Century with Dr. Jonathan Simon

Election law expert and academic Rick Hasen simply writes that it's not enough. Author and activist Jonathan Simon, executive director of the Election Defense Alliance, describes another brand of corruption that interferes with accurate vote counting--the opposition to and thwarting of an effective means of auditing the vote counts produced by machinery, exit polls, which are used, again, successfully overseas in Ukraine, for example, where the United States intervened in a presidential election on the basis of incongruity between the vote count and exit polls collected.

Exit polls are being eliminated gradually in this country or else tweaked to conform to machine results. Simon and his colleagues manage to capture the raw data when it appears briefly on television I believe that CNN provides it , before the corruption process begins. Such vote counts trend right of exit poll data, Simon discovered, and called this event a "red shift. Such disgraces relegate the United States to the rank of forty-fifth among long-standing democracies of the world, with an integrity rating of To sum up, write the authors in agreement with Tarbell, "The only cure is a bottom-up revolution in human consciousness and action.

Tarbell narrates its origins and culmination in the computer program invented for that sole purpose, the corporate-financed REDMAP. Then in , reiterating a result achieved several times at the presidential level by the Electoral College, Democrats swept the popular vote by 1. The solution, of course, is to take redistricting out of the partisan hands of state legislatures and into the purview of independent, nonpartisan commissions, which several states have accomplished effectively, mostly western ones, including Arizona, California, Washington State, and Iowa.

Caging and purging are also defined and discussed, two other forms of vote theft that hugely subtract the votes of minorities from totals. Who's at fault, the author wonders, directing her gaze at the cynical author published yesterday in The Nation--the people or the system? Still other forms of skullduggery follow with the obvious conclusion that We the People are suffering from a bad case of corporatocracy this issue of Justice Rising promises we can overcome. Other forms of "voter apartheid," a great coinage, are covered by Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, who discusses discriminatory legislation created by the notorious ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, which was formed in the early seventies at about the time that the infamous Powell Manifesto began to swing things away from the reformist revolution of the sixties back to corporate control and ultimately now.

ALEC writes legislation that becomes boilerplates nationwide that lead to "red shifts" in every sphere of our society--in our context voter ID and shortening early voting periods, for example. The people are fighting back in droves for a "sixties" renaissance, now that our plight has descended to such abysmal levels. We need a Sanders Manifesto that will work, and AfD is leading the way. A dedication to Ronnie Dugger follows, written by Nancy Price, co-chair of AfD National Council: "Over his plus year career, Ronnie Dugger has produced 'journalism of conscience,' as a writer, editor, publisher, biographer and mentor.

Reverend Rodney Sadler, a widely published professor, pastor, and community leader, writes about deliberate racism in voting and the people's courageous activism in fighting back. He looks back to the SCOTUS gutting of section five of the Voting Rights Act and its effects on Election , warns against the attrition of the voting machines we use, and discusses the failure of so many bills written by Congress to combat all of this discrimination.

How gerrymandering helped the far-right “win” – NEWS FROM UNDERGROUND

Activist, actress, and author Mimi Kennedy, chair of the Progressive Democrats of America, contributes anecdotal details concerning her home state, California. She reviews the accomplishments of heroic secretaries of state like Kevin Shelley and Debra Bowen, who decertified most of the voting systems in her state, replacing them with optical scanners that performed better, a step in the right direction, paper. The Golden State should lead the nation with its exemplary system refined even more since then, with its publicly observed chain of custody, especially at the stage of ballot counting.

A rosy report indeed to encourage the rest of us onward. She describes their exemplary system of hand-counting all paper ballots in concert with rather than despite her co-commissioner, the Republican Jason Nastke, in all elections: "a marriage of computer-tabulated unofficial results. Who profited most from its passage? Not We the People but rather the corporatocracy. Pages 14 and 15 list the most widely known and prominent EI organizations and publications. An article by EI pioneer and relentless activist and investigator Bev Harris, owner of the revered website blackboxvoting.

The latter was closely connected with presidential candidate Mitt Romney, betrayed by his own October surprise in a way that even digitized voting couldn't fix with all the bells and whistles many of the other articles hone in on. Further diversity is added by computer scientist and activist Dr. Ethan Scarl, who lists steps that should be taken to test for accuracy and honesty among our electronic voting systems. His sad conclusion is that "guaranteeing a secure and uncorrupted computerized votecounting system has never been done, nor even attempted.

Media asphyxiation of the outrageous ills that prevent accuracy and transparency in elections is the subject of Jonathan Simon's second contribution, an excerpt from his dynamic, ongoing publication Code Red. The squelched media, as betrayed by many employees off-record, is but one offshoot of the corporatocracy. Even progressive publications have steered clear of it or are censored when they attempt to spread the word. Keith Olbermann, formerly of MSNBC, began accurate coverage of the disaster that occurred in Election in Ohio, only to be yanked off the air and to return after two weeks a changed man, lips sealed on this taboo subject, the truth.

When brave vehicles like the BradBlog and OpEd News report the truth, anything not taken up by that "truth-monger" [1] the New York Times is labeled tin-hat conspiracy theory, period. Contrary to its alleged purpose, to eliminate the virtually non-existent problem of voter fraud, the photo ID requirement has facilitated this form of corruption.

It is easy to create facsimiles of photo IDs--even a teenager can do it--and gone are the days of the tried-and-true signature check that worked so well for much of the twentieth century. Matching the low-quality photo typical of today's photo IDs is also easy. If you vaguely resemble the photo, and long lines and the demand for provisional ballots demand fast action from poll workers, presto, real voter fraud proceeds to the next step and theoretically the vote count after that.

She recently made the news, at least among EI activists, for discovering that in her home state, Kansas, a hotbed of election corruption led by the notorious SoS Kris Kobach, there was a tendency for a type of red shift. In this case, the larger the voting district was the more likely totals trended Republican.

The smaller the district, the less likely this occurred. The bright oval in the center of the cover design, which reads "Let's have a real election! To obtain a hard copy, go to afd thealliancefordemocracy. Flag me down if you run into me and want one! I found this wonderful image at the back of the NYTimes Magazine today. Here it is, with a bit of editing. Happy Sunday!

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PS: I just saw a photo of the Times building--they have a huge "Truth" sign on it now, at the top. Harvard's motto is "Veritas" truth. Maybe there's something to infer from that. All suggestions welcome. The system doesn't. The theme of Election , said Green Party Presidential nominee Jill Stein, was totally negative, a question of whom do we hate the most. A ranked-choice voting system would allow for many candidates.

We must rid ourselves of the Electoral College. We need an election system we can trust. A large group of activists crowded the assembly room of the Friends Meeting House for this nonpartisan conference on Voting Justice and Democratizing Elections. Instead of recounts, like the disastrous one held recently in the Quaker State, which almost entirely votes on DRE, with its unauditable election systems, we need something like the instant replay systems they use in athletic events, said Stein.

A form of quality assurance. I thought of the public school system I was forced to pull my daughter from, with athletics as its main focus, a department well equipped with state of the art computerization, while the program for gifted students had been gutted. Distinguished athletes had graduated from this school, its pride and joy. My daughter was a cheerleader. We have the right to bear arms but not to vote, said activist Ilaan Mattel.

Voter ID blocks equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment [oh has that Amendment been mangled since Bush v. In Pennsylvania, a statewide recount is impossible: all 9, electoral districts must request it, with each county having a different system. He quoted Teddy Roosevelt: "Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty. Our society is built on death and destruction. We must create a different reality. Enough voters in this country agree that this sort of suffering should end.

Empowered by this first plenary, the group split up for the morning's workshops. I chose the one focused on Maryland's recent electoral history that has finally culminated in the acquisition of opscans after 14 years of affliction as one of the first states to panic after Election and purchase the useless DRE systems, even before the Help America Vote Act HAVA was passed late in A brief history of this disastrous stampede followed, highlighted by the Sarasota debacle where 18, votes had been lost when the names of the two HR candidates were accidentally?

The GOP candidate who had been far behind in the polls thus won by 4, votes and took his seat in the HR while the Democratic candidate sued without success in the wake of the most hotly contested race in the country over benighted former Sos Katherine Harris's vacated seat. After voting to use paper ballots after wrestling with DREs for several elections, Maryland, the Old-Line State, voted to replace them with optical scanners. Then in the budget came up short. Voters did not use scanners until Opposition by the state's director of elections Linda Lamone, a notorious roadblock in favor of Internet voting, had undoubtedly been a factor.

The new optical scanner is accessible to populations with disabilities, unlike the older counterparts that had influenced them to fight to retain the DREs. At least now few DREs are purchased anywhere in the country, said Greenhaigh. Her organization, one of the earliest advocates of paper voting, was started in by Professor David Dill, who produced a petition signed by the most distinguished computer experts in the country warning against computerized voting and advocating paper ballots.

See Dill's article in the January issue of Scientific American for an updated perspective. She warned against Internet voting, easily open to domestic and hostile foreign hackers and other dangers of releasing votes in cyberspace. Deemed as a good solution to problems experienced by military and expatriate voters, the Internet is certainly handy for sending out ballots all over the world, which can then be printed up, filled in, and mailed out.

But what of the universally approved system of online banking? It is hardly foolproof, said Greenhaigh. Banks lose billions a year, which they pass on to voters by increasing the costs of this convenience. They also spend additional billions attempting to fortify their systems. A brief history of attempts and then discarding of the IV option followed, with the federal government spending millions and a disastrous experiment in Washington, DC, in , which wanted this system but was persuaded by the public to be first opened for experimentation before use, which was never implemented.

The famous enemy of IV, Professor Alex Halderman, came down from the University of Michigan with some graduate students to expose the vulnerabilities notoriously, inserting a Pac Man game and his employer's athletic fighting song, among other ploys. They also discovered foreign hackers Iran and China lurking within the machinery. Nonetheless 31 states now permit IV, especially for military and overseas use. Such tacit compliance might have enticed much more foreign hacking, which has most lately been proved to have strongly influenced the election, many agree.

In Estonia this system is used, though Prof. Halderman traveled there to prove its vulnerabilities. This government has partnered with the Venezuela-based vendor Smartmatic, which still holds intellectual property rights to software used by Sequoia and now Dominion. Estonia is also getting cozy with the Russian federation. But the new-generation IV system, software-as-a-service is sold to be used with commercial over-the-counter hardware, so that customers can build systems inexpensively.

The software is all connected via the Internet. Vendors use their own private, insecure networks "virtual private networks," or VPN. Pennsylvania's SoS, Pedro Cortes, left his position for two years to work for the IV vendors Everyone Counts, before returning with hands-on experience to fight veteran activists like Marybeth Kuznik, a judge of elections in Penn Township, who held a workshop on Pennsylvania election equipment that overlapped with this one.

Another discussion ensured on taking images of opscan-generated ballots online after the voting process. Though certified by the doomed-by-Congress Election Assistance Commission," in Wilson's opinion it slows down the system. She recommended risk-limiting audits instead, as did Greenhaigh. In this scenario districts are chosen at random and, according to how close vote totals are, various amounts of votes are recounted--fewer where totals are more disparate, and more where they are close, a worst-case scenario on any election venue.

An Illinois accountant among the listeners recommended audits before, during, and after election days, with 10 percent random samples taken across the state, witnessed in every precinct involved. He said that an election to adopt this system will clean it up before Another, more cynical attendee and activist questioned why we go to this trouble if the Democrats clearly don't want to win. But the people do. This has been hugely apparent since "President" Trump took office.

The electrifying, former Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb led the next workshop I attended, on corporate constitutional rights. We've been taught that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, with its fundamental principles of liberty, justice, and equality.

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We're at a point when we can win all or nothing. Society is being restructured by labor-less production, Within the next 20 years it won't need many people. And in truth the Constitution is based not on human rights but property rights. The government is afraid of the people, and Occupy is the proof, a tremendous success that Obama dismantled. But he couldn't dismantle the conversation that resulted about human rights. The people are engaged; there is a mass movement all over. We have more power than we dare imagine; we aren't engaged properly.

The government doesn't have rights but duties. The revolutionary flag slogan "Don't tread on me" is alive and well. We've been taught the we need corporations. Though "incorporate" means "to give body," it's a legal fiction. But climate change is real. The Constitution was ratified in by a group representing 5 percent of the people, many of whom held slaves. Fully 95 percent of adults didn't have rights. Lawsuits determined that women weren't people and blacks had no rights. But back then, formation of a corporation required approval by the state house and senate as well as the governor.

The life span was a maximum of 20 years, after which a new application was necessary. A public need had to be proved and the public interest had to be served. Large corporations were not allowed. Money equals speech. We have lost our right to govern ourselves. A majority of the people believe that this country is on the wrong track.

They believe in human rights. We live in a progressive society. But we don't control our government; money and oligarchs do. Cobb looked far back in history to Bacon's Rebellion, which occurred in what is now Massachusetts in the s. African slaves united with white indentured servants and practically won. Hence, to avoid this dangerous alliance, the nobility created the concept of the white man and awarded some privileges to the indentured servants: they could own guns and some amount of property. We must change the Constitution.

Bush was a lame duck and completed by the Obama administration. Cobb called Obama a black Clinton and Clinton a white Obama. The Tea Party might initially have united with the progressives, Cobb said, had the Koch brothers not taken them over. Obama intimidated those favoring a single-payer option in health care. The question "What's the matter with Kansas? Systematic transformational change must come from the outside by means of a Constitutional amendment. Cobb specified the two difficult processes requiring this and chose the easier one, focused on two-thirds approval by state assemblies, instead of by Congress, producing a formal proposal that three-fourths of the states must ratify.

Passage of the Seventeenth Amendment was threatened by this method if it wasn't ratified. Hence the people now elect their no-long-appointed U. We need a balanced budget and term limits. We must get money out of politics. We don't have ten years to wait! Cobb plans to hold movement schools to educate and motivate revolutionaries. We will either take over the Democratic Party or re-create the Green Party--or something different.

We must get involved in local elections. When Democrats stopped funding precinct chairs, they killed the heart of democracy. He recommended Thom Hartmann's visionary book Unequal Protection. EI activist and author Jonathan Simon's workshop in the afternoon focused on outreach and public support for reform. The GOP is cheating the will of the people by means of computerized voting, he began, a brilliant ploy. We must change our corrupt electoral system by means of legislative change. Small pockets of hope won't save this country from fascism. Simon recalled the massive GOP obstructivism in and how many times they voted to outlaw Obamacare.

At the time, Congress enjoyed an 8 percent approval rating. Nonetheless out of Republicans were reelected--that's How do we scare them? Mass public action is needed to alter the makeup of Congress. He sticks needles into eyeballs and the people only emerge in larger numbers. Progressive heroes like Michael Moore speak not a word about the voting process. Polls, parades, and protests accomplish nothing. Recounts have failed. In and there must be a 10 percent ballots sample to allow for transparency, with counting done and witnessed by the public.

Mass action needed. Occupy was swept away with an electric broom. Simon mentioned an article he'd published recently that updates his latest edition of his popular book Code Red , which can be accessed online at the site of the Mint Press News. Media are our implacable enemies. We need reactive progressivism. Smarter ways to organize should be a theme of our next conference, said activist Joel Simpson. We need to convince people each--how? People hate Trump. We must unite with other protesters by for hand-counted paper ballots HCPB. Brand-new people have joined us! We need a hammer!

Simpson mentioned the CIA as a culprit, invading so many crucial domains. We're just beginning to see. You can get those rich guys and get them to pay attention. We could stop buying a long list of consumer products! Rich, beautiful people make us feel inadequate, said Simon, quoting a Michelob commercial asking the public, "Who says you can't have it all? We're starving democracy--funding is continually being subtracted from the people!

Somehow you have to storm the Bastille, somehow effect change. One good quote should be, "Machinery shouldn't be used. George Soros will withdraw money from any organization that addresses election fraud. We could use that; we have the facts and public awareness; the millennials are angry about the fixed election. Said David Cobb, When women first convened to address voting rights, they didn't call their cause suffrage but human rights.

Last Friday the Austin American-Statesman , the very liberal university city's principal newspaper, reported that if Texas's stringent voter ID requirement hadn't been mitigated by a court trial, 16, citizens would have lost their right to vote, statewide. Important information for those in favor of fair voting and kudos to the newspaper for publishing this alarming statistic.

But in the context of the total votes cast in the usually red Lone Star State in , this number is a drop in the bucket, according to many. Nine million Texans voted in the presidential election last November. One would expect that the principal news vehicle in this 14th-most-liberal [large] city in the country would be liberal.

Austin is the most liberal city in Texas. Here's one record: the American-Statesman endorsed G. Bush in and and Obama in and and no candidate in But one wouldn't expect the HUGE inaccuracy of the statewide figure. As of last summer, according to many sources, fully , Texans stood to lose their vote were the country's most stringent voter ID requirement allowed to stand--appeals were not accepted by SCOTUS for certiorari.

And because of misinformation as well as honest confusion, many would-be voters were turned away. See click here, citing an AP report at endnote How many got to read through this affidavit in advance? Was it reproduced by newspapers statewide to prevent long lines? The requirement was imposed even though this class of voters brought more reasonable, now conditionally accepted forms of ID with them, including utility bills proving that they lived where they lived and were who they claimed to be.

Something even more of us know: when asked to provide convincing stats about how many people committed voter fraud, experts beg the question. My point is that the number , sliding down to 16, between August and November of that same year would require what we're all grasping for today--miracles. Note that this stat, the 16, kept from voting, was affirmed by the office of the Lone Star State's secretary of state, Carlos Cascos, appointed by former Gov.

Rick Perry. But , up against the total cast in Texas of 9 million means that 7 percent or maybe a few less but certainly more than 16, were deprived of the vote. And Texas's 38 electoral votes comprise 7 percent of the total required to win a presidential election--just a coincidence. And the total difference between the winning and losing presidential candidates in Texas was , according to Ballotpedia. So thanks to Austin, Texas's largest newspaper for reporting that 16, inner-city voters were kept from voting.

Were this true, as at Hanukkah for Jews, a great miracle happened there. Out of those, million voted Ballotpedia. Add in the myriad other forms of skullduggery keeping us from the polls. The difference between the winning and losing candidates' popular vote total was inferrably 2 percent. But we all know that Cinton won the popular vote. What we don't know is what will happen once the DHS absorbs elections within its province of concerns as "critical infrastructure," especially under the Trump administration.

DHS already has lists. As the US population burgeons with minorities Trump is trying to keep out, the question is, who will win, quantities read: the popular vote or skullduggery read: the obstructors of what has been determined again and again to be a Constitutional right of the people, despite the late SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia's literalist reading of this in Time will tell. What can we do more than what we've done? Yesterday Republicans on the House Administration Committee voted to abolish the Election Assistance Commission EAC , which was mandated by the Help America Vote act HAVA of to distribute government funding for the purchase by all states of new election machinery in the wake of the Florida debacle of hanging chads and Jews voting for Buchanan.

It was also tasked with establishing standards for the election systems that we have or look to purchase and for assisting states with the arduous maze of election administration, which so varies according to governmental units at every level from federal to state to town and township. EAC's history has been bumpy at best. First were the logistics of setting it up from scratch, which took more than a year with much less allocation than it needed and not enough money to officialize and thus disburse promised funding to the states, let alone research and publish guidelines for the best, most up-to-date and efficacious voting systems.

When the first head of EAC, DeForest Soaries, resigned from his post in April , he chronicled the sorry details of an agency whose guidelines could only be suggestions. Computer scientist and professor David Dill in a New York Times editorial wrote that software certification, with one million lines of code, is impossible; "there is no technology that can find all of the bugs and malicious things in software.

It did publish guidelines in and while many states' equipment was up to snuff with guidelines sadly outdated. After a quorum of EAC commissioners was lost in and not replenished until the end of , further guidelines were published in The quorum could not be reestablished earlier than that because the House committee Republicans kept blocking nominees for the positions open.

The point is that much has been written and myriad roadblocks have been set up against fair elections in this country, as the Democratic population has steadily grown. They are clearly the majority, which would be clearly reflected in the government were the votes counted accurately. White Republicans are pushing back with masterful aplomb and ingenuity and without ethics. They abolished an office established to help us vote and have activated myriad forms of hindering the majority from voting. Its role as a guide and standard setter has been relegated to the Federal Election Commission, which was founded in to focus on campaign funding, just before the SCOTUS decision early in January of in Buckley v.

Valeo ruled against limits on money donated to political candidates. It in turn was passed in response to the Watergate debacle to limit the amount of money donated to political campaigns and require publication of such amounts when they exceeded the threshold set. Today the FEC is run by a nonpartisan commission composed of three Republicans and three Democrats, who vote along partisan lines so that politicization stands in the way of getting things done, whatever the task.

Many, many miracles are needed for us to survive the days, months, and years ahead of us given our current political straits. The Sister Giant conference last weekend dwelt on miracles and our ability to make them happen OEN has published numerous articles about this event all week. One miracle will occur when our electoral system becomes trustworthy and accountable as well as transparent. I won't bet on the now-bloated FEC accomplishing this. Not that I did before yesterday.

But at least in name, consistently opposed by Republicans, we had an entity dedicated to helping the people vote, an entity said to be dedicated to preventing election fraud and corruption. Never underestimate the power of words. According to WaPo reporting on George Stephanopoulos's Sunday program "The Week": Stephanopoulos, interviewing White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, asked him: "Let me move on, though, to the question of voter fraud as well.

President Trump again this week suggested in a meeting with senators that thousands of illegal voters were bused from Massachusetts to New Hampshire and that's what caused his defeat in the state of New Hampshire, also the defeat of Senator Kelly Ayotte. That has provoked a response from a member of the Federal Election Commission, Ellen Weintraub, who says, "I call upon the president to immediately share New Hampshire voter fraud evidence so that his allegations may be investigated promptly.

As far as I know, none of her fellow commissioners has spoken out against her. From all the evils of racism to cleansing them and all else in need of eradication from our lives: Tikkun Olam. A magazine with this title awaited new attendees at the registration desk. Let us purify the Earth. Rabbi Michael Lerner leading people in a rousing chorus of "Down by the Riverside. MLK hadn't become an icon in with a speech that began, "I have a complaint.

Details are available at the rabbi's site Tikkun. Sponsored by Rep. Those who voted for Trump were suffering from a "crisis of insecurity in their families. What needs underlie Trump's bizarre strategies? We must stop blaming those who oppose us. We want to win, not just to be right. The meritocracy trope that motivated our society for so long has vanished. Hard work no longer elevates us to the American Dream.

I thought you were a liberal. We need an empathy tribe to go into red states, who must not be labeled as a "basket of deplorables. Realism is what can be changed in this setting. Go toward your highest vision of the good. Seguing to education, Marianne next noted that keeping U. The distinguished and widely read, well-known professor of U. Each day, President Trump gives us lessons that civics doesn't matter. We're back to the setting of the American founding, a collective dialogue in which the people pressured the founders to frame the Constitution. Mistakes would be most costly to society and the world.

According to John Jay, there are few political evils from which the people cannot save themselves. According to James Madison in the Federalist Papers 51, ambition must counter ambition. The government is a reflection of human nature. Leaders aren't angels; nor are citizens. The founders would be horrified by Sen. We can educate others on civics. One valuable source [I cannot locate it at the moment--sorry] contains documents on American Constitutional theory.

Another source is all of the writings of the founders. Madison advocated public libraries: "a popular government without access to knowledge is a farce. We must arm ourselves with the power that knowledge gives" [paraphrase]. We have not seen the end of history. History Begins Tonight! We roared our affirmations. Bernie Sanders had informed him that he was a revolutionary, he said.

He's just completed another film on the ongoing drama of heroic resistance at Standing Rock: "Those people in the water are the soul of everything we live for," he said. This oh-so-hard act to follow was succeeded by another popular progressive comedian and radio broadcaster on SiriusXM Insight , as well as filmmaker, John Fugelsang.

His outstanding new film, "Dream On," retracing Alexander de Tocqueville's travels throughout this country in the s, looking for American democracy and finding it, encompasses interviews. Trump has used us and exploited our suffering. This administration will kill us. It's now not America First but Trump and Money first. Everything is at stake. We must fight! Added Marianne: We can't go right from the Crucifixion to the Resurrection.

We must descend into the Tomb before we ascend back to the Womb. We'll get back to the light by the end of the day. He looked back nostalgically to The GOP had been overmatched. There was a huge Democratic sweep. GOP moderates at every level are nearly extinct because of the Kochs. Our strategy as outlined yesterday must be to take back every public entity from the school board and town councils to state legislatures countrywide, a legacy of the Tea Party sweep in the GOP picked up state legislative seats. Why did the DNC stop giving money to young Democrats?

Trump has no fealty to anything. His "perfect strategy" will always adhere unless we rise up. Quoting from Lawrence Britt's "Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism," Wilson cited Trump's favoring political activism by tax-exempt religious institutions and sowing internal discord among blue-collar workers as well as manipulation or annihilation of elections item 14, last but not least?

Fewer blacks are voting now than during the Jim Crow era, said Wilson. Trump has painted a bull's eye on the forehead of America. Every election in the future will be close, but we will win again, even though we will not see another liberal SCOTUS in our lifetimes. Civic participation every day is of vital importance. Now, before it's all gone. Free and fair elections are the bedrock of a democracy. America, which considers itself the beacon of democracy, has turned to computerized counting for virtually all of its public elections. Several other advanced democracies including Germany, The Netherlands, and Ireland have moved away from the computerized tabulation they initially embraced, having recognized the manifest security risks it entails.

But America has continued to entrust its elections to privatized and concealed vote counting despite mounting and voluminous evidence that the vulnerabilities to manipulation are not merely hypothetical but are actually being exploited, with profound political consequences. CODE RED shows how America has come to adopt and embrace such a system and why America is so collectively resistant to any serious reconsideration of its safety and appropriateness.

We examine the role of election administrators, politicians, and the media in stifling investigation of the validity of suspect American elections and, more generally, of the safety and rationality of a system proven by experts to be easily corrupted. We also examine the nexus between computerized elections and the veer of American politics over the past few years since the computers took over the counting.

The conclusion is that time is running short for a political i. We need only remember that democracy is not something that we watch, it is something that we do. Your favorite local bookstore. Your cart Looks like there are no items in here. Sign in to your account Browse Best Sellers.