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Election Reform!
« on: Dec 06, 2013, 10:24:41 am »
 

Geolibertarian

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IMHO, election reform is easily one of the three most important issues facing our society right now. Why? Because the Democratic and Republican parties -- the two parties that have monopolized our government for decades upon decades, and who jointly caused the current mess we're in -- have repeatedly proven that they are thoroughly and hopelessly corrupt.

Thus, without meaningful election reform, no other meaningful reforms are possible!

How, then, do "we the people" reassert our rightful control over government?

First, those of us in the know must familiarize as many people as we can with the following material (all books are clickable):







http://hackingdemocracy.com
http://americanblackout.org
http://www.votersunite.org

Then we must urge those same people to join forces with us in a non-partisan, cross-ideological coalition to:

     * Institute fair and equal ballot access criteria.
 
     * Enact both Congressman Ron Paul's Freedom Debate Act and Senator Herb Kohl's Weekend Voting Act.

     * Repeal both the Federal Election Campaign Act and Bipartisan Campaign "Reform" Act.

     * Institute instant runoff voting for Presidential, U.S. Senate, and gubernatorial elections.

     * Institute proportional representation for both U.S. House and state house elections.

     * Mandate the use of hand-counted paper ballots for all elections.

     * Require all election ballots to include a binding NOTA option.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #1 on: Dec 06, 2013, 10:26:05 am »
 

Geolibertarian

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With the arguable exception of Police State 3: Total Enslavement, the following is Alex's most underrated documentary:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cIh36N1LwY (American Dictators) (dead)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fr5QC6u2EQ (American Dictators) (works)




A key point made in the above film is that there's more to rigging an election than mere "vote fraud" (electronic or otherwise). There's also the institutionalized yet inherently illegitimate process whereby the criminal, banker-owned political establishment ensures that the two major party candidates are both puppets of the global elite, that way, no matter which of the two major candidates "loses," the international bankers win.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #2 on: Dec 06, 2013, 10:33:04 am »
 

Geolibertarian

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If you'd like to know who to sarcastically thank for how ridiculously bad things have gotten in recent years, thank "lesser evil voters."

So brainwashed, so sheeplike, and so emotionally wedded to the false left-right/Democrat-Republican paradigm are lesser evil voters, that even if the Republican and Democratic nominees were Hitler and Stalin -- and God himself was the third party candidate -- the two "major" candidates would still get over 90% of the vote.  ::)

-------------------------------------

http://voices.yahoo.com/the-evils-lesser-evil-voting-385201.html

The Evils of Lesser Evil Voting

Joel S. Hirschhorn
Yahoo Voices
June 02, 2007

Condemn progressives for voting enthusiastically for Democrats and the inevitable response is something like “just imagine how much worse voting for Republicans would be.” Similarly, many true conservatives and Libertarians see voting for Republicans as a necessary evil. With many progressives regretting giving Democrats a majority in Congress and many conservatives regretting putting George W. Bush in the White House, it is timely to refute lesser evil logic.

Inevitably, lesser evil voters face personal disappointment and some shame. Politicians that receive lesser evil votes do not perform according to the values and principles that the lesser evil voter holds dear. These voters must accept responsibility for putting ineffective, dishonest and corrupt politicians in office. Though they may be lesser evils, they remain evils.

All too often lesser evil voters avoid shame and regret and prevent painful cognitive dissonance by deluding themselves that the politician they helped put in office is really not so bad after all. Corrosive lesser evil voting erodes one’s principles as pragmatism replaces idealism. This makes the next cycle of lesser evil voting easier.

Lesser evil voting helps stabilize America’s two-party duopoly that greatly restricts true political competition. Third party and independent candidates – and minor Democratic and Republican candidates in primaries – are defeated by massive numbers of lesser evil voters. Despite authentically having the political goals that mesh with many voters on the left or right, these minor “best” candidates fall victim to lesser evil voting. Lesser evil voters are addicted to a self-fulfilling prophesy. They think “If I vote for a minor candidate they will lose anyway.” They ensure this outcome though their lesser evil voting. The truly wasted vote is the unprincipled lesser evil vote.

Effective representative democracy requires politically engaged citizens that vote. Lesser-evil voters support the current two-party system with its terribly low voter turnout and chronic dishonesty and corruption. Lesser evil voters help put into office disappointing politicians, not the best people that would restore American democracy and show more citizens that voting is valuable. Lesser evil voters demonstrate the validity of turned-off citizens’ view that it really does not matter which major party wins office.

Politicians knowingly market themselves to lesser evil voters by constructing phony sales pitches, especially to certain audiences outside of their more certain base constituents. Democrats make themselves look more progressive than they really are, and Republicans make themselves look more conservative than they really are. Lesser evil voters are phony, and they produce a phony political system. Lesser evil voters contribute mightily to the travesty of our political system that no sane person respects and has confidence in.

Lesser evil voting demonstrates the worst aspects of political compromise. This is the common cause of terrible laws. When citizens surrender so much of what they truly believe in, they enable compromise politicians to create bad public policy that, in the end, satisfies very few people and puts band-aids on severe problems. Lesser evil voters concede victory to the other side – the side they view as the worse alternative because the people they vote for will not stand up for what is right and necessary. Think Iraq war. Even when their lesser evil side wins, they do not have the principled positions that would prevent awful compromises, often in the name of bipartisanship that is a clever way to justify our corrupt two-party mafia.

Lesser evil voters deride the alternatives of not voting or voting for minor candidates. The outcome should the “other” side win is deemed unacceptable. There is worse and there is worst. The core problem with lesser evil voters is that they are short term thinkers. They fail to see the repeated long term consequence of their style of voting – a system over many election cycles that persists in delivering suboptimal results. The “good” outcome in the current election (from their perspective) is the enemy of the “better” solution in the longer term (from an objective perspective). The better solution is major reform that will never happen as long as lesser evil voting persists.

Understand this: Lesser evil voting is not courageous. It is cowardly surrender to the disappointing two-party status quo. Lesser evil voters should trade regret for pride by voting for candidates they really think are the best. Voters in this presidential primary season have some remarkable opportunities to transform fine minor candidates into competitive major candidates – more honest and trustworthy people like Ron Paul, Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich, for example.

Finally, the deadly decline of American democracy results in large measure from lesser evil voters electing lesser evil politicians. When virtually no elected public official is there because most voters have embraced his clear principled, trustworthy positions we get a government that is easily corrupted by corporate and other moneyed interests. We get what we have now. And if you are dissatisfied with that, then reconsider the wisdom of lesser evil voting. We will only get the best government by voting for the best candidates. Otherwise, we get what we deserve and what the power elites prefer.


http://www.nolanchart.com/article8066-lesserevil-voting-perpetuates-evil.html

Lesser-Evil Voting Perpetuates Evil

The root explanation of why the nation is in terrible shape and speeding down the wrong track is the dominant practice of lesser-evil voting.

by Joel S. Hirschhorn
Nolan Chart
October 13, 2010

For many years Americans have justified voting for candidates they were not especially thrilled with by convincing themselves that the lesser evil deserved to win office. The fraction of people totally committed to one of the two major parties is small. Most Americans see themselves as independents, liberals, conservatives, progressives or libertarians, but not as loyal Democrats or Republicans. Most Americans are fed up with both major parties, not just incumbents.

But this year's midterm elections will once again result in only Democratic or Republican candidates winning. Other than staying home and not voting, nearly all voters will employ the lesser-evil justification. Just one problem: That lesser-evil strategy has resulted in the dismal state of the nation that angers most Americans.

The only logical conclusion is that lesser-evil voting perpetuates all the cancerous evil plaguing the political system. This should not surprise anyone. Regardless of party affiliation, major party candidates convincingly lie to voters and the tons of money poured into politics create a mass propaganda machine from both parties that deceives voters.

Lesser-evil voting sometimes works in favor of Democrats and sometimes favors Republicans. Negative advertising creates fear of some candidates and media pundits and celebrities use their considerable power to give voters reasons to vote for or against candidates. The thirst for true reforms of government persists, as evidenced by the Tea Party movement and even the election of President Obama. It is the force that moves the pendulum from one party to the other.

When will Americans wake up and realize that lesser evil still means evil? Least bad still means bad. Least corrupt still means corrupt. Least dishonest still means dishonest. Least stupid still means stupid.

But many people despairingly see no other option if they want to fulfill their civic responsibility and participate in elections. That is because the two major parties have given Americans no real options. They like the lesser-evil system that sustains the two-party plutocracy. Only voters in Nevada can choose the "none of the above" option. The rest of us can stay home or vote for third party candidates that stand no real chance of winning. What to do?

Stop deluding yourself that any Democrat or Republican in Congress or the White House will actually do absolutely everything, even if it means not winning reelection, to reform the corrupt, dysfunctional, wasteful government system being controlled by wealthy people and corporate interests, and devastating ordinary Americans.

Your lesser-evil vote perpetuates evil. Do you want to live with that?

[Continued...]

-------------------------------------

"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #3 on: Dec 06, 2013, 10:33:55 am »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://web.archive.org/web/20031208013721/www.3pc.net/essays/fallacy.html

The Fallacy of the "Wasted" Vote

If you are like most people, you might say something like:

"The way I see it, there are only two possible outcomes in any election: either the Democrat will win or the Republican will win. I vote for one of these two because I do not want to waste my vote on someone who has no chance of winning."

Roughly 80% of Americans use this procedure when deciding how to vote, and this is unfortunate. Voting for a candidate other than your true favorite has the EXACT OPPOSITE of the desired effect. Let's see why...

"But I don't want to vote for someone who can't win."

Voting for a candidate other than your favorite has the exact opposite of the desired effect. If your beliefs exactly match those of some particular candidate, then you ought to vote for them. Of course, this never happens, so you have to pick the lesser, or the least, of several evils.

Suppose you, and people like you, almost always vote for candidates from one of the two major parties. If you do this, the optimal strategy for the parties is to IGNORE you completely. Since the candidate already knows that your vote is in hand, he can then concentrate on moving the platform AWAY from your wishes, in order to court the votes of people with beliefs far from your own.

For example, many people who like Libertarian ideas always vote for Republicans. What does the party do to reward them? They make policies to win over moderate liberals. Similarly, many people who like Green Party ideas always vote for Democrats, and so the Democrats ignore them and make policies to win over moderate conservatives. Either way, the voters get the opposite of what they wanted, as the Democrats and Republicans move toward the political center.

To give recent example, in this year's presidential race, it is likely that most of Pat Buchanan's supporters will vote for Bob Dole in the coming election. Dole knows this, so he simply ignores Buchanan and his platform, and even tries to make himself look more liberal in order to court centrist Democrats.

Politicians don't need your approval, so long as they have your vote.

"But I dont want that other guy to win!"

Perhaps you feel that if you vote for your favorite candidate instead of a more popular alternative, then things will backfire on you because then your LEAST favorite candidate might win, and if he does then it will be your fault. This is a false fear.

If your least favorite candidate wins, then it is NOT your fault. You personally have only one vote. Like it or not, you are powerless to turn the results of a democratic election. This being the case, your one vote counts for something only in the sense that it represents your approval of some set of principles. Voting is a means of conveying information about what you believe. If you ignore your principles then this information is lost, and your vote really is wasted.

In preparation for subsequent elections, all politicians in the dominant parties continuously review polls and election results to see what voter blocks they might like to try to sway. If your block or party is big enough, these politicians will make some effort to win some of you over by implementing policies that you favor. They would be fools not to, since politicians and parties that enact unpopluar legislation lose the next election. Recall what happened to George Bush after he broke his "no new taxes" pledge.

The only way you can make your vote worth something is to use it to vote for the candidate whose principles are closest to what you really want.

The Clear Conclusion

In short, voting for someone other than your favorite candidate is not only unappealing, but also contrary to your own best interests. The only way to make your voice heard is to actually VOTE, and when you do, vote for your principles.

In the 1996 presidential primaries in South Carolina, Republican candidate Bob Dole spent several hundred thousand dollars running an ad that said:

    "Bob Dole is going to be the nominee. Don't waste your vote."

We leave it to you to resolve the paradox.


http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/hooper1.html

The Myth of the Wasted Vote

by Charles L. Hooper
LewRockwell.com
September 21, 2004
        
Recently, I was surprised to see a long-term Libertarian's car sporting a Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker. "What's with the Kerry bumper sticker?" I asked my friend. "Isn't it self-explanatory?" he replied sarcastically. "Okay, okay, I see that you’re going to vote for Kerry. I just want to know why. I thought you would be voting Libertarian."

He then proceeded to tell me that while he doesn't like Kerry, he simply despises George W. Bush. "You don't want to waste your vote on somebody that you fundamentally disagree with, do you?" I asked him. "I've been wasting my vote for years by voting Libertarian," he replied bitterly.

"Ah, but you will be wasting your vote this year because Kerry is almost assured to take California. One extra vote won't make a difference." I hadn't run the numbers, but I was sure that my friend's vote wasn't going to affect the California electoral vote and, therefore, had no chance of affecting the national result.

Since our conversation I have run the numbers, and they are mind-boggling. Based on these results, reasonable people may conclude that they should never vote. But if you do decide to cast your vote, as I have, you should vote for the best candidate and abandon any attempts to displace the disliked Kerrys, Bushes, Clintons, Reagans, Carters, and Gores of the world.

To run the numbers, I created a Monte Carlo computer simulation model and ran well over 300,000 simulations. My model has two pretty evenly matched main political parties and three smaller ones that fight over roughly ten percent of the vote total. I defined voting groups, each with probability distributions. With these groups defined, I ran multiple runs of the model at 5,000 iterations (5,000 elections) each while varying the number of total voters.

It turns out that your one vote, and mine too, has a probability of swinging any evenly-matched election based on the following formula: Probability equals 3.64 divided by N, where N is the total number of votes cast. So for a small election, say for a homeowners' association with 100 members, your probability of casting the vote that determines the outcome is about 3.64 percent (or 0.0364). Stated differently, you'd have to vote in 27.5 elections to determine a single one. As we move up to the state and national level, the odds fall dramatically. With 11 million voters in California, where my friend and I live, the probability drops to 3.3 x 10-7 (0.00000033), which means that you'd have to vote in over three million presidential elections to determine the winner in California just once.

Of course, California isn't the whole country. California currently has 55 electoral votes out of a total of 538, with 270 needed to elect a president. Since 1852, when Californians first voted for U.S. president, California has been a key swing state in only two presidential elections. In 1876, California cast 6 electoral votes for Rutherford B. Hayes, who beat Samuel J. Tilden by the razor-thin margin of 185 to 184. In 1916, California cast 13 electoral votes for Woodrow Wilson, who beat Charles E. Hughes by 277 to 254. In either election, if California voters had gone the other direction, the national totals would have followed. In every other presidential election, however, the winner was determined regardless of how Californians voted. By acknowledging that California has been a swing state in only two of its 38 elections (5.3%), we can get to our final answer: A voter in California would have to vote in 57.5 million elections to determine one President of the United States.

This ignores voting error and fraud, but even with them, there is still a point at which the official vote total swings from candidate A to candidate B. The question is whether you will cast that key vote. And the answer is that it’s extremely unlikely.

What does this mean? Well, first of all it means that you'd have to vote for a very long time – 230 million years – to swing one election and all you'd have to show for it is a Bush in the White House instead of a Kerry (or visa versa). If you are like me and many other voters, you can't get very excited about either Bush or Kerry, so your final payoff would be lackluster, at best. For those who still think these odds look acceptable, consider the following comparisons. You are 12 times as likely to die from a dog attack, 34,000 times as likely to die in a motor vehicle accident, and 274 times as likely to die in a bathtub drowning as you are to swing a presidential election.

My friend thinks that his Libertarian votes have been wasted and that his vote for a Democrat will matter. This analysis shows that his vote for Kerry has a vanishingly small expected value. Even if he would be willing to pay $10,000 to determine the winner in November, the expected value (probability times value) of his vote for Kerry is only $0.00017. Americans won't even stoop to pick up a penny on the ground yet every four years they happily cast votes worth one fiftieth as much. Voting may still make sense, but the overall satisfaction of participating in a great democracy must be compared to the time and costs of voting. The expected vote-swinging outcome is rounding error. In fact, if you drive to your polling place, you are approximately ten times more likely to die in an accident on the way than you are to swing that presidential election.

Now, what if my friend votes for Michael Badnarik, the 2004 Libertarian candidate? Is that vote wasted? Well, it is clear that no third-party candidate will win the 2004 election, but my friend's support would certainly help his favorite political party stay in business and therefore get noticed. While it is in business, his party will help define election issues and could even get lucky and elect a president. Abraham Lincoln and Jesse Ventura are good examples of third-party candidates who were elected. Ross Perot in 1996 and 1992, American Independent George Wallace in 1968, and Progressive Robert LaFollette in 1924 were presidential candidates who got a large percentage of the popular vote. More likely, as any third party becomes successful, the Democrats and Republicans will simply adopt that party's platforms. The same thing happened with the Socialist party early in the 20th century. As Milton Friedman points out, the Socialists failed miserably with a popular vote total that peaked at only six percent in 1912. But they succeeded in the way that matters most. Dig below the surface and you'll find that virtually every economic plank of the Socialist's 1928 platform has since been written into law. The votes cast for these Socialists certainly weren't wasted from the point of view of those who cast them.

Your one vote has the same power to affect the results whether you vote for a major or minor candidate, but a vote for the candidate you respect and agree with gives you the expectation of a better outcome. If you are like me and do take the time and effort to vote, you should put your X beside the candidate you think will be the best president, not the one most likely to beat the guy you dislike. The myth of the wasted third-party vote is just that – a myth. If there is a wasted vote, it is the one cast futilely against the candidate you dislike in an attempt to swing the national election.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #4 on: Dec 06, 2013, 10:34:25 am »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://www.cagreens.org/alameda/city/0803myth/myth.html

Dispelling the Myth of Election 2000: Did Nader Cost Gore the Election?

Questioning the Myth

George Bush beat Al Gore by only 543 votes in Florida. Gore needed Florida’s electoral votes in order to win the presidency. He did not get them. Gore’s diehard Democratic Party supporters have declared Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader the reason their candidate lost the 2000 presidential election, even though numerous other factors in the climactic Florida vote-counting drama affected the outcome. Instead of focusing solely on the votes Ralph Nader took from Al Gore, a balanced analysis would also take into account the following: (1) voters who were disenfranchised; (2) voting systems and procedures that failed; (3) the party-line United States Supreme Court vote declaring George W. Bush the winner; and (4) Democrats who voted for Bush or not at all.

Disenfranchised By Design?

The Florida Secretary of State’s Office hired a private firm known as Database Technologies, Inc. (now ChoicePoint Corporation) to identify convicted felons and remove them from Florida’s voting rolls. Prior to the election, 94,000 voters were removed (Kelly, 2002). This is legal if someone has been convicted of a felony, but as it turns out, 97 percent were innocent and should not have been removed. "The list was full of mistakes mainly because of the criteria [the database company] used. It compared its list of felons with the Florida voting rolls by looking for a rough match between the names and dates of birth. Thus a Christine Smith could have been disqualified if there had been a Christopher Smith of the same age with a felony record somewhere in the US. [the database company] also used race as a matching criterion, skewing the impact of the errors even more against black voters" (Borger & Palast, 2001). As The Nation magazine reported, "immediately after the November 7, 2000 election, minority voters who had never committed crimes complained of having had their names removed from voting rolls in a purge of ‘ex-felons,’ of being denied translation services required by law, … and of harassment by poll workers and law-enforcement officials." The list of voters denied the right to vote was overwhelmingly Democratic and half were minorities (Kelly, 2002). Al Gore neither protested the disenfranchisement nor supported these voters’ lawsuit to regain their vote.

Voting Systems and Procedures

Voting systems throughout Florida (as well as the country) varied in makeup, and some had seriously flawed ballots. Since the 2000 presidential election, 11,000 election-related complaints have been registered in Florida, and some reforms have been implemented.

Paper and Pencil Ballot

Some Florida counties used a paper and pencil ballot. Some of these counties sent their ballots to the county seat (election headquarters) for tabulation, while others tallied votes at the polling place. When votes were counted at a county election headquarters, voters were not given a chance to revote if they had made a mistake, such as double voting or making an illegible mark on a ballot, and, in this scenario, African-Americans were four times as likely as whites to have their ballots thrown out (Keating & Mintz, 2001). In the tally-on-site counties, voters were told immediately if they had made a mistake and were given a second chance to vote (ibid). In these second-chance counties, African-Americans were just under two times as likely as whites to have ballots tossed out. With nine out of ten African-American voters voting Democratic and two-thirds of white voters voting Republican, the use of voting systems that lacked a second-chance option represented a net advantage for Bush of thousands of votes.

One common type of disqualified ballot, called a double bubble, showed a double vote for president in that a voter marked the oval next to the candidate’s name and then also marked the oval next to "write in" and wrote in the same candidate’s name. A Washington Post review (2001) found that Gore would have had a net gain of 662 votes, enough to win, if there had been a hand recount of "over-votes," mostly from double bubbles.

The Infamous Butterfly Ballot

The infamous butterfly ballot has punch holes running down the center and the list of candidates on pages to the left and right of these holes. Butterfly ballots are the most prone to voter confusion as it is not clear which hole goes with which candidate. Palm Beach County, the one county in Florida that used this system, is a predominantly Democratic-leaning county yet extreme conservative candidate Pat Buchanan had a phenomenal showing there. On the left side of the Palm Beach County ballot George Bush was listed first and Al Gore second. However, the second punch hole in the center of the ballot was for Pat Buchanan, the first candidate listed on the right.

Pat Buchanan himself has admitted that most of his votes in Palm Beach County were meant for Al Gore, saying he "did not campaign and bought no advertising there" (Nichols, 2001, p. 86). He added, "I would say 95 to 98 percent of [the votes] were for Gore" (id. at p. 89). The day after the election, many people were upset, saying the butterfly ballot was confusing. When the election results were "too close to call," Buchanan worried he would be charged with costing Gore the election. He said he got more media coverage after the election than he did during the campaign (id. at p. 84). The graph to the left showing an abnormally high Buchanan vote in Palm Beach County suggests the butterfly ballot cost Al Gore thousands of votes, more than enough to have won the presidency.

The "Supreme" Test

The United States Supreme Court voted five to four along party lines to uphold the vote certified by the Florida Secretary of State, Kathleen Harris, declaring George Bush the winner in Florida. Between undercounts and overcounts, that vote count was riddled with inequities. Harris’s role has been sharply criticized because she worked for the Bush campaign, and thus had a direct conflict of interest.

Because varying voting standards were used within different counties, the Florida Supreme Court said it was each county’s responsibility to ensure ballots were treated uniformly. Some counties began a manual recount of the vote. The United States Supreme Court, however, stopped the manual recount altogether by requiring canvassing boards to meet an impossible Electoral College deadline.

In the book The Unfinished Election of 2000 (2001), Pamela S. Karlan wrote, "There is something disquieting about the fact that although the Court focused largely on the claims of excluded voters, the remedy it ordered simply excluded more voters yet" (id. at p. 192). "[N]either Al Gore’s counsel nor the Court ever addressed the threshold question of standing and whose rights were being remedied" (ibid.). As Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in his dissenting opinion, "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this years Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. it is the nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." (Justices Ginsburg and Breyer joined Justice Stevens in his dissenting opinion.)

Florida Voters

Even if none of the factors mentioned above had happened, the votes of Florida voters themselves show that Ralph Nader was not responsible for George W. Bush's presidency.

"Democrats for Bush, Democrats for nobody"

       "Twelve percent of Florida Democrats (over 200,000) voted for Republican George Bush"
                                         -- San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 9, 2000

Even if none of the factors mentioned above had happened, the votes of Florida voters themselves show that Ralph Nader was not responsible for George W. Bush’s presidency. If one percent of these Democrats had stuck with their own candidate, Al Gore would easily have won Florida and become president. In addition, half of all registered Democrats did not even bother going to the polls and voting.

The Final Count

According to the official 2001 Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 7, 2000, George W. Bush beat Al Gore in Florida by 543 votes. It is noteworthy that every third-party candidate received enough votes in Florida to have cost Al Gore the election.

Conclusion

Green Party Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader did not work for the Florida Secretary of State, the Palm Beach County Election Commission, the Al Gore campaign committee, or the United States Supreme Court. Yet, he has become a scapegoat among many Democrats for Al Gore’s loss of the 2000 election, and, beyond the election, the person to blame for the resulting policies of George Bush. These diehard Democrats are averse to looking at the failings of their candidate, and they are not blaming voters for failing to vote at all. Instead, they are upset that Ralph Nader did not acquiesce to dropping out of the race as many urged him to do. As a side note, if Al Gore had won his home state of Tennessee, he would have had the necessary Electoral College votes to have won the election and the Florida results would have been irrelevant.

The facts are compelling and undeniable that Ralph Nader is not the reason, and should not be blamed, for George Bush’s victory in the 2000 presidential election.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #5 on: Dec 06, 2013, 10:35:31 am »
 

Geolibertarian

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Whenever Democratic or Republican party hacks parrot the “wasted vote” mantra, they’re trying to con voters into believing that each individual vote cast for a 3rd party or independent candidate is, by definition, a “wasted" vote, since that candidate has “no chance of winning.”

Think about what this implies.

If you vote for a candidate who supports the very policies you most oppose and opposes the very reforms you most support, and that candidate goes on to win the election, do you “win” as well?

According to the aforementioned hacks, you do!

Yet as any rational person will almost certainly agree, in terms of having your views represented -- which is supposedly the whole point of voting in the first place -- you actually lose. And if that weren’t bad enough, you also lose in terms having the right to complain about anything that candidate does once safely in office, since he or she can always turn to you and add insult to injury by saying: “You're getting exactly what you voted for, so stop whining!”

Another psychological trigger-word that major party hacks love to employ on the brainwashed masses is “spoiler.”

If a Democrat ekes out a victory in three-way race against a Republican and Libertarian, the Pavlovian response from Republican reactionaries is always to accuse the Libertarian candidate of “spoiling” the election. Likewise, if a Republican ekes out a victory in a three-way race against a Democrat and Green, the Pavlovian response from Democratic reactionaries is always to accuse the Green candidate of “spoiling” the election.

For a glaring example of this, one need look no further than the 2000 presidential “election.” In the aftermath of that election, Democratic Party hacks waxed hysterical about how Green Party candidate, Ralph Nader, had “spoiled” the election by “taking” (read: stealing) votes from Al Gore. Their argument was essentially this:

    “Ralph Nader is a spoiler, because if he had respected our divine right to be the only ‘alternative’ to Republican Party candidates, Al Gore would have easily won Florida -- and hence the election.”

This, of course, begs an obvious and -- if you’re a Democrat -- incovenient question: Since Al Gore would easily have won the election if the Republican Party had not fielded a candidate, why aren’t you (Democrats) accusing Bush of being a "spoiler" as well?

The answer is obvious: because Democrats, like their Republican counterparts, have been brainwashed into believing that the two ridiculously corrupt, banker-owned major parties are -- by definition -- the only "viable" options.

Such is the arrogance of the Democrats who hold this absurd belief, they literally think that their party “owns” the vote of every non-Republican in the country. And such is the arrogance of the Republicans who hold the very same belief, they literally think their party “owns” the vote of every non-Democrat in the country.

So, to the countless people out there who, like me, are equally disgusted with both major parties, I hereby propose that our unified message to those parties should be: “Neither of you ‘owns’ our votes. Got that? If a third party or independent candidate gets our votes, it’s NOT because that candidate ‘stole’ those votes, but because your candidate failed to earn them. So if your panties are in a tight little bunch because your guy lost, just remember: that’s your fault for nominating such a shitty candidate, not ours for refusing to waste our votes on him!”
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #6 on: Dec 06, 2013, 10:36:10 am »
 

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http://www.prisonplanet.com/viguerie-forget-third-parties-vote-for-%e2%80%9cprincipled%e2%80%9d-establishment-candidates.html

Viguerie: Forget Third Parties, Vote for “Principled” Establishment Candidates

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
May 15, 2010

Let’s face it. A large number of “conservatives,” in actuality neocons, are mind-numbed ciphers for the establishment Republican Borg collective. This fact was underscored earlier in the week when a poll sponsored by Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, hit the bricks.

The poll reveals overwhelming opposition to a conversion of the Tea Party movement into a political party, according to a Viguerie press release. “The poll of 736 respondents showed only 11.8% thought the Tea Party should become a political party.” Instead, according to Viguerie’s poll, conservatives believe they should eschew third party candidates and vote for establishment Republicans.

“We must run principled conservatives in the primaries and then throw our support behind the most conservative major-party candidates in the general election,” Viguerie wrote for the CIA’s favorite newspaper, the Washington Post, on May 2.

In February, the Republican hijacked Tea Party insisted the troops get behind the Republican platform of endless wars launched on small defenseless countries, never ending debt dedicated to obscene military budgets and bankster bailouts, and obeying an endless stream of diktats issued from on-high by international bankers.

“Republicans lost three Senate seats in 2008 – Ted Stevens in Alaska, Norm Coleman in Minnesota, and Gordon Smith in Oregon – and two seats in 2006 – Jim Talent in Missouri and Conrad Burns in Montana – because of conservative third-party candidates. If these five senators were still in office, there probably would have been no Stimulus Bill and no Obamacare. Conservative third parties almost certainly made these liberal legislative victories possible,” said the veteran direct mail pioneer.

In other words, if you voted for a Libertarian or Constitution Party candidate during the last election, you have only yourself to blame for the appointment of Barry Obama and his Goldman Sachs and Federal Reserve handlers.

Moreover, nearly half of the respondents believe Obama is a Marxist or a socialist. “President Obama is considered to be an extreme left wing radical by almost 92% of the poll respondents, with 46.5% labeling him a Marxist and 45.3% a socialist. Only 4.3% thought he was a liberal.”

Once again, the brainwashing and indoctrination run deep. The far left is traditionally defined as favoring egalitarianism and opposing economic, political and social establishments. The far left is hostile to people associated with a stratified establishment.

In practice, however, the left is controlled by globalist foundations.

Here is a cross section of the top-level Obama line-up:

Timothy Geithner: Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, president and CEO of Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Paul Volcker: Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, North American chairman of Trilateral Commission, Federal Reserve chairman during Carter and Reagan administrations, and president of Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Larry Summers: Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Treasury secretary during Clinton administration, chief economist at World Bank. Hillary Clinton: Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, and Trilateral Commission. Joe Biden: Bilderberg and Council on Foreign Relations. Robert Gates: Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, former CIA Director, and Defense Secretary under Bush the Lesser. Janet Napolitano: Council on Foreign Relations. Gen. James Jones: Bilderberg, Trilateral Commission.

On and on… sound like a gaggle of far leftists and Marxists to you?

Instead we hear about little pip squeaks like Van Jones, Mark Lloyd, and Carl Browner who amount to a hill of beans. Glenn Beck would have you worry about these folks who have absolutely no influence on the bankster policy that runs the federal government in central command fashion no matter the members of the Banker Party that warm seats in the White House and Congress.

Viguerie’s “principled conservatives” will follow orders or end up in compromising situations with prostitutes or will suffer airplane accidents. So-called “principled conservatives” like Ronald Reagan promised a Libertarian Nirvana and once in office delivered a statist hell. History will remember Reagan not for his idealistic oratory but his record deficit (when Reagan took office the nation’s debt was $934.1 billion and when he left it stood at $2.7 trillion, a near tripling). He will be remembered for presiding over Iran-Contra and gangster corruption.

The last time Republicans promised to change the political landscape we ended up with Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America. It promised small government and lower taxes. In did nothing of the sort. It resulted in larger government and most Americans realized increased taxes.

Can you hear the Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” lilting in the background?

Every last member of Congress — with the notable exception of Ron Paul — should be shown the door come November. Libertarians and Constitutionalists must fill the vacancies.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #7 on: Dec 06, 2013, 10:38:48 am »
 

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http://www.prisonplanet.com/viguerie-forget-third-parties-vote-for-%e2%80%9cprincipled%e2%80%9d-establishment-candidates.html

[...]

Every last member of Congress — with the notable exception of Ron Paul — should be shown the door come November. Libertarians and Constitutionalists must fill the vacancies.

As countless Ralph Nader supporters will certainly attest, not everyone who opposes such things as imperialist wars of aggression, Nazi-style police state measures and corporate fascist economic policies necessarily subscribes to the Austrian School approach to economics that most of the respective members of the Libertarian and Constitution parties subscribe to.

So I would urge all Nader voters and left-leaning independents to become active in the nearest local affiliate of the Green Party (GP), and that they do so with an aim towards returning the GP to its progressive libertarian roots.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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The Money Party: The Essence of our Political Troubles
« Reply #8 on: Dec 06, 2013, 10:40:50 am »
 

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http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0709/S00549.htm

The Money Party
The Essence of our Political Troubles

by Michael Collins
“Scoop” Independent News
September 30, 2007

The Money Party is a small group of enterprises and individuals who have most of the money in this country. They use that money to make more money. Controlling who gets elected to public office is the key to more money for them and less for us. As 2008 approaches, The Money Party is working hard to maintain its perfect record.

It is not about Republicans versus Democrats. Right now, the Republicans do a better job taking money than the Democrats. But The Money Party is an equal opportunity employer. They have no permanent friends or enemies, just permanent interests. Democrats are as welcome as Republicans to this party. It’s all good when you’re on the take and the take is legal.

This is not a conspiracy theory. There are no secret societies or sinister operators. This party is up front and in your face. Just follow the money. One percent of Americans hold 33% of the nation’s wealth. The top 10% hold 72% of the total wealth. The bottom 40% of Americans control only 0.3% (three tenths of one percent). And that was before “pay day loans.”

The story is as old as civilization but the stakes have never been higher than they are right now.

In every campaign for major office, the party passes out money and buys candidates from both parties. Thanks to the candidates who get elected, this pay to play system remains perfectly legal. Those elected get luxury trips, sweet jobs for family members, and more campaign contributions for the next round of elections. What they do is perfectly legal even though it looks like bribery.

In return for contributions, the election winners come through by fixing the laws so that The Money Party cleans up. Lower taxes, highly favorable business regulations, laws that shield their businesses from real competition all start with the nonstop flow of Money Party funds. Cost is no object, because in the end it’s all paid for with our tax dollars.

The Money Party gets no-bid contracts as well as the ability to lay off their employees and dump their pension plans just about any time they want. It doesn’t get much better than that. It's welfare for big money and survival of the fittest for the rest of us.

We are nothing to them.

When the White House and Congress ignore the health care crisis year after year, why be surprised? They’re not in office to serve you. The drug companies and hospitals had their bid in first.

When our public servants fail to get us out of Iraq, don’t take it personally. That will happen when The Money Party says so.

When citizens suffer and starve for days after a hurricane, we’re told they should have been better prepared. When levees and bridges collapse, it's an act of God. But when the fat no-bid contracts show up, The Money Party takes it all.

Unreliable election systems, citizens excluded from the vote on the basis of race and class, and questionable results don’t matter as long as the right candidates get in. We pretend to vote, they pretend to get elected, but there’s no doubt who is in charge - The Money Party.

It’s nothing personal. The party is just doing its job. Why be surprised or disappointed? It’s been happening for centuries. The more some have, the more they want, the harder they fight to keep it. Spread some around so they can get even more. It’s a rigged game from top to bottom.

We let this happen. We can change it. The first step is to name it, and we just did.

The Irish fought for 800 years to win their independence from the world’s most powerful empire. Generations came and went before the goal even seemed possible. They never gave up.

Now it’s our turn.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://www.infowars.com/celente-says-populists-will-break-the-false-left-right-political-paradigm/

Celente Says Populists Will Break the False Left-Right Political Paradigm

Eric Blair
Activist Post
July 7, 2010

Trends Research Institute CEO, Gerald Celente, originally predicted the rise of a third party when he spoke with Libertarian radio talk show host, Alex Jones, in late 2009 and repeated this forecast last week on the same show.


Americans can no longer allow the machine to define us by
the shallow, false Left-Right debate.


Celente described this populist third party as “Progressive Libertarians” who stand for real environmental issues such as non-GMO organic foods, clean water, air, and soil free from corporate pollution, while advocating for alternative health freedoms and economic justice. He coupled this group with the antiwar, “live free or die” Libertarians who principally desire a return to small locally-controlled government with truly free economic markets to form an independent coalition. But is such a populist alliance realistic?

Understandably, the red-blooded Americans in the Liberty Movement are as equally angry as true Progressives, but many are still playing partisan politics with “Obama this” and “Bush that.” Granted, it is easy to blame the party in power for the country’s current woes; and God knows Bush dragged the Republican brand to a new low during his eight infamous years. However, it is now becoming more imperative by the day that this anger be channeled and targeted at the proper perpetrators, while offering proper solutions in order to restore America. Admittedly, it can be difficult to find common ground among the thunderous noise of Limbaugh, Maddow, and the rest of the pundits.

Certainly there is enough blame to go around between the do-nothing, bought-and-paid-for Congress, to the puppet president who has clearly been doing more for Wall Street and Big Oil than for the people who elected him. Amid the perpetual blame-game, both Republicans and Democrats are equally controlled by the same multinational corporate interests whose agenda always moves forward. As George Carlin famously quipped: “It’s one big club, and you ain’t in it.”

Do any of us even know how to define a Liberal or a Conservative these days? After all, in 8 years of a “Conservative” president we saw preemptive interventionist wars and nation building on the backs of the taxpayer, runaway borrowing and spending, and massive growth in government. Meanwhile, the “Liberal” savior Obama continues to expand the wars, torture captives without trials or evidence, and target all forms of free speech. Where it matters most, both political parties cater to Wall Street over Main Street, while working to restrict our Constitutional rights. Fierce populist revolutions have been fought over far less oppression than we see today (see 1776), and yet the generally angry public can’t seem to focus long enough to form a strong common consensus.

Americans can no longer allow the machine to define us by the shallow, false Left-Right debate. In fact, we don’t stand a chance against the current system if we don’t form a coalition with what is most important for us politically. Even if we do agree and get organized, some powerhouse Independents like Jesse Ventura fear that a “legit” third party may have to stoop to the same corrupt level to compete with the “two-headed monster,” because the system seems damaged beyond political redemption. Assuming our Republic can be wrestled back from the multinational corporations and banksters through the political process, it is best to stick to defining principles.

Indeed, the Ron Paul crowd and the Liberal crowd have much in common when it comes to very important issues such as Peace, Auditing the Fed, Individual Liberty, Economic Freedom and Justice, and the Human Rights defined in the U.S. Constitution. After all, it is the Constitution that makes us American, not the Support the Troops stickers or Social Security.

Furthermore, it seems that the stale Left-Right debate should be replaced with a Top-Bottom debate for a real populist movement to take hold. Average Americans are just now beginning to recognize that the coalition that keeps them in servitude crosses both party lines and is directly controlled by unpatriotic multinational corporations. Rage is mounting as citizens increasingly realize that the system has been maliciously designed by an unelected oligarchy with a stated mission to destroy America and consolidate control into a one world government. The enemy is not our neighbor who watches Fox News if we prefer CNN; as all major networks make up the marketing arm of the corrupt system, and are orchestrated to keep us divided long enough to conquer. This is an enemy whose allegiance is to international profits rather than the Constitution, and nearly all politicians are willing accomplices regardless of what color state they represent.

Populists must be cautious as movements can easily be co-opted by the power centers of the two monopoly parties. For example, Neo-Con-in-Prada, Sarah Palin, is attempting to hijack the Tea Party for Republicans; therefore, Progressives are sickened by the sight of them. Meanwhile, Chief of Staff Rahm “Hitman” Emanuel tells the Progressives that they are “f–king stupid” not to swallow Fascist Healthcare. Incidentally, it appears that anyone who tries to regain America for the people is either labeled a radical, or must be jammed into one of the “big tent” political parties. But perhaps this movement will prove to be large enough to transcend petty politics.

As is often the case, another forecast by Gerald Celente may indeed come true as non-establishment candidates are now winning impressively all over the nation. No one can say for sure what this Independent-minded movement may ultimately look like, but it is encouraging to see populist anger being used for something so positive as kicking the corrupt bums out of Washington. This should be viewed as an optimistic sign of a true uprising that will gain traction and define what every American should be fighting for: Independence.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

 

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Trends Research Institute CEO, Gerald Celente, originally predicted the rise of a third party when he spoke with Libertarian radio talk show host, Alex Jones, in late 2009 and repeated this forecast last week on the same show.

Celente described this populist third party as “Progressive Libertarians”...

Please understand that Celente made this prediction after the rise of the Austrian School-dominated "Tea Party" movement.

And the Austrian-dominated Libertarian Party, of course, has been around for decades.

So if you know how to read between the lines, it's obvious Gerald knew that there was something about the Austrian version of "libertarianism" that an increasingly large percentage of the independent-minded people who'd grown disenchanted (if not outright disgusted) with the quasi-Marxist/quasi-Keynesian/pro-gun control/pro-carbon tax/pro-debt money version of "progressivism" simply found lacking (to put it mildly) as an alternative.

Something to think about the next time you hear someone promote (however implicitly) the Austrian-vs.-Keynesian-vs.-Marxist paradigm.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

Why Americans Elect Awful Presidents
« Reply #11 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:07:10 am »
 

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http://www.globalresearch.ca/why-americans-elect-awful-presidents/20890

Why Americans Elect Awful Presidents
A Delusional democracy which favors corporate, wealthy and elitist interests over those of ordinary Americans

by Joel S. Hirschhorn



Global Research
September 4, 2010

For years I muttered mentally to myself about the insanity of Americans electing George W. Bush president. Now I go through the same agony about the craziness of the nation electing Barack Obama president. As much as I thought Bush was a manipulated second-rate politician that carried out the terribly destructive policies pushed by Cheney and other conservative corporate shills, now I feel equally angry that so many voters fell for the slick rhetoric and lies of Obama. Disgust produces public thirst for change and Obama was wickedly brilliant at selling change. When voters are so easily victimized what does democracy amount to?

All this tells me that any nation that can elect such inept people president can also elect other people that appear to have no right or chance to be president of the United States just as Bush and Obama once appeared before they were sold to the public. That is what is so frightening about the future of this nation. The two-party plutocracy with its stranglehold on the American political system has the power to elect presidents that are an insult to the great ones that once served the nation with pride and competence.

I keep searching for explanations why millions of American voters make such bad electoral decisions. Are they just so stupid, uninformed and distracted that they fall for endless political lies? Have Americans become so easily manipulated and fooled by advertising and brilliant political campaigns that they can be sold terrible presidents as easily as unneeded, low quality and unhealthy products?

Yes, all this seems too true. Delusional voters have produced our delusional democracy which strongly favors corporate, wealthy and elitist interests over ordinary Americans. This explains frightening economic inequality and the demise of the middle class. In the late 1970s, the richest 1 percent of American families took in about 9 percent of the nation’s total income; by 2007, the top 1 percent took in 23.5 percent of total income (less than 5 million people). Two-thirds of the nation’s total income gains from 2002 to 2007 flowed to this sliver of households, which saw a rise of 62 percent, compared to 4 percent for the bottom 90 percent of households. Today, the median male worker earns less, adjusted for inflation, than he did 30 years ago. A corrupt bipartisan system gave us this. Is this the change you were waiting for?

Considering Bush and Obama from a right-left perspective misses their several critical commonalities. Both have wasted the nation’s wealth and lives on two ludicrous, unnecessary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan . Both turned out to be pretty good communicators during their presidential campaigns but quite lousy after they became president. The more intelligent and articulate Obama is particularly striking in being totally lackluster when it comes to addressing major issues and crises and building public support for his policies, which now explains his very low approval ratings.

Both pursued public policies and government programs that preferentially benefit corporate and other special interests, especially the financial sector. This is no surprise because both depended on huge amounts of corporate money to get elected. They both have responsibility for the economic meltdown that still exists for a large fraction of the nation. A large majority of Americans correctly see the nation on the wrong track, but more importantly it is hurtling down the wrong track, which President Obama ignores, because he lacks solutions.

What may turn out to be the most disturbing similarity is that Obama may get elected for a second term just like Bush accomplished despite uninspiring performance. If there is anything more disturbing than electing awful politicians with no real record of accomplishments it is reelecting them for a second term! More than anything else this demonstrates the absence of true, effective political competition and the ability to brainwash and manipulate voters.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #12 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:07:43 am »
 

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http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/new-face-same-imperialism-20101005-16612.html

New face, same imperialism: Obama no better than Bush

Tariq Ali
The Age
October 6, 2010



After all the hope and hype, Obama's foreign policy mirrors the ugliness of the Bush years.

The election to the presidency of a mixed-race Democrat, vowing to heal America's wounds at home and restore its reputation abroad, was greeted with a wave of ideological euphoria not seen since the days of Kennedy. The shameful interlude of Republican swagger and criminality was over. George Bush and Dick Cheney had broken the continuity of a multilateral American leadership that had served the country well throughout the Cold War and after. Barack Obama would now restore it.

Rarely has self-interested mythology - or well-meaning gullibility - been more quickly exposed. There was no fundamental break in foreign policy between the Bush and Obama regimes. The strategic goals and imperatives of the US imperium remain the same, as do its principal theatres and means of operation.

Obama's line towards Israel would be manifest even before he took office. On December 27, 2008, the Israeli Defence Forces launched an all-out air and ground assault on the population of Gaza. Bombing, burning, killing continued without interruption for 22 days, during which time the president-elect uttered not a syllable of reproof. By pre-arrangement, Tel Aviv called off its blitz a few hours before his inauguration on January 20, 2009, not to spoil the party.

Once installed, Obama called, like every US president, for peace between the two suffering peoples of the Holy Land, and again, like every predecessor, for Palestinians to recognise Israel and for Israel to stop its settlements in the territories it seized in 1967. Within a week of the President's speech in Cairo pledging opposition to further settlements, the governing Netanyahu coalition was extending Jewish properties in East Jerusalem with impunity.

However, war-zones further east have the first call on imperial attention. In 2002, on his way up the political ladder as a low-profile state senator in Illinois, Obama opposed the attack on Iraq; it was politically inexpensive to do so. By the time he was elected President, his first act was to maintain Bush's Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, long-time CIA functionary and veteran of the Iran-Contra affair, in the Pentagon. A cruder and more demonstrative signal of political continuity could hardly have been conceived.

Before his election, Obama promised a withdrawal of all US ''combat'' troops from Iraq within 16 months of his taking office, that is, by May 2010 - with a safety clause that the pledge could be ''refined'' in the light of events. It promptly was.

There persists the uneasy thought that the Iraqi resistance, capable of inflicting such damage on the US military machine only yesterday, might just be biding its time after its heavy losses and the defection of an important segment, and could still visit havoc on the collaborators tomorrow, should the US pull out altogether. To ensure against any such danger, Washington has put down markers in the modern equivalents - vastly larger and more hideous - of the Crusader fortresses of old.

As for Iran, schemes for a grand reconciliation between the two states had to be set aside. The calculation was upset by political polarisation in Iran itself. For Obama, the opportunity for ideological posturing was too great to resist. In a peerless display of sanctimony, he lamented with moist-eyed grief the death of a demonstrator killed in Tehran on the same day his drones wiped out 60 villagers, most of them women and children, in Pakistan.

The Democratic administration has now reverted to the line of its predecessor, attempting to corral Russia and China - European acquiescence can be taken for granted - into an economic blockade of Iran, in the hope of so strangling the country that the Supreme Leader will either be overthrown or obliged to come to terms.

From Palestine through Iraq to Iran, Obama has acted as just another steward of the US empire, pursuing the same aims as his predecessors, with the same means but with a more emollient rhetoric. In Afghanistan, he has gone further, widening the front of imperial aggression with a major escalation of violence, both technological and territorial.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

American Democracy: Despair Follows Delusion
« Reply #13 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:08:47 am »
 

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http://www.globalresearch.ca/american-democracy-despair-follows-delusion/21755

American Democracy: Despair Follows Delusion

by Joel S. Hirschhorn



Global Research
November 3, 2010

Despite all the hype and rhetoric, only one impact of the midterm elections is assured.  Notwithstanding power shifts from Democrats to Republicans in Congress there will not be any deep, sorely needed true reforms of our corrupt, dysfunctional and inefficient government.  The culture of corruption in Washington, DC will remain.  Hundreds of millions of dollars from corporate and other special interests will assure that.

Voters who think otherwise are either delusional or stupid.  It will not matter whether you voted for Republicans because you wanted to defeat Democrats (or vice-versa), or whether you voted for Tea Party candidates, or whether you voted against incumbents, or whether you voted for what you believe are lesser-evil candidates.  Americans lost however they voted, but it may take time for most to comprehend that.  That is a terribly painful reality, which is why many who chose to vote will resist facing the ugly truth.

When it comes to politics in America , delusion and stupidity are rampant, like a terrible epidemic that has killed brain cells.  Several billion dollars were spent selling candidates this year.  Who profited?  The many media outlets that received the advertising bonanza and companies that supplied mailings, posters and automatic phone calls.  At least all that spending was kept domestic.

Yes, you are thinking that this is the most cynical view possible.  Cynicism beats delusion.  I recommend it.

This is what American history tells us.  Americans have been brainwashed and tricked into thinking that elections are crucial for maintaining American democracy.  That is exactly what the two-party plutocracy needs to maintain their self-serving political system and that is also what the rich and powerful Upper Class wants to preserve their status.  But voting in a corrupt political system no longer sustains democracy.  It only sustains the corrupt political system that makes a mockery of American democracy.  Think about it.

In the months following this election, when unemployment and economic pain for all but the rich remain awful, anyone who pays attention and is able to face the truth will see that there is little chance of genuine government reforms.  Nor will any of the nation’s severe fiscal and spending problems be smartly attacked.  The Republicans will blame the Democrats, the Democrats will blame the Republicans, the Tea Party winners will blame the system, the radio and cable pundits will blabber endlessly, and Jon Stewart and other comics will have an abundance of material to take jabs at.  The two-party plutocracy will triumph.

Every member of Congress will, as before, spend most of their time and energy doing what is necessary to win the next election.  The army of lobbyists will be busier than ever legally bribing politicians to sustain the successful political strategy of the rich and business sector to make the rich and superrich still richer at the expense of the middle class.  Anyone who thinks that winner Republicans will work to overturn economic inequality is stupid or delusional.  A disproportionate and ludicrous fraction of the nation’s income and wealth will go to a tiny fraction of rich and superrich Americans.  Nothing that President Obama or the Democrats have done or championed was aimed squarely at reversing economic inequality and the death of the middle class, which by itself justified defeating them.

President Obama, of course, will continue his self-serving rhetoric with the sole goal of winning reelection in 2012.  The presidency just made him destructively delusional.  Of course he will speak about working with Republicans.  Wait and see.

Here is what non-delusional Americans can hope for: Maybe a decent third party presidential candidate will emerge.  Maybe the Tea Party movement will wake up to the reality that electing Republicans is a terrible strategy for reforming the government and restoring the health of the nation and shift their interest to forming a third party.  I doubt very much whether any of the Tea Party winners in Congress will stand up and aggressively work for and demand true reforms.  The new Republican Speaker of the House is a classic establishment Republican.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

Election Over, Neocon Republicans Talk War
« Reply #14 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:10:38 am »
 

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http://www.infowars.com/election-over-neocon-republicans-talk-war/

Election Over, Neocon Republicans Talk War

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
November 4, 2010

It is time to get down to business now that Republicans are flush with victory. You’d think that business would be dismantling Obamacare or moving to outlaw the Federal Reserve. For establishment Republicans and their neocon buddies, however, the first item on the agenda is to make sure the war agenda moves forward.

Hours after the Republicans realized their historic victory, U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, who is the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, wasted little time revealing the “broad vision for national defense policy that emphasizes winning the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq while also investing in the capabilities and force structure necessary to protect the United States from threats of tomorrow,” according to The Santa Clarita Valley Signal.


Buck McKeon promised to take the forever war agenda into the
112th Congress.


McKeon was elected as Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee in 2009 and is looking for the chairmanship of the committee for the 112th Congress. The United States House Committee on Armed Services is responsible for funding and oversight of the Department of Defense and the United States armed forces.

McKeon and the neocon Republicans want to sock your kids and grand kids into the misery of eternal debt in order to pay for the invasions of small backwater countries where there are recalcitrant Muslims who have problems with international banksters and world government organizations running every minute detail of their lives.

“Our citizens have spoken, and they want a defense budget that is sufficient to address the challenges of today and the threats of tomorrow,” McKeon said. “One percent real growth in the base defense budget over the next five years is a net reduction for modernization efforts which are critical to protecting our nation’s homeland” from dazed and confused underwear and stupendously inept barbeque grill canister non-bombers.

Mr. McKeon promised to take the forever war agenda into the 112th Congress, but also said “there is still work to be completed this year,” namely passing a National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 “that is not weighed down by the current majority’s social agenda items,” or for that matter the demands of millions of Americans who told the Republicans they want fiscal responsibility from the government and a return to the constitutional principles the country was founded upon, including the cherished principle of noninterventionism as spelled out by George Washington.

“As many frustrated Americans who have joined the Tea Party realize, we cannot stand against big government at home while supporting it abroad,” wrote Ron Paul in August. “We cannot talk about fiscal responsibility while spending trillions on occupying and bullying the rest of the world. We cannot talk about the budget deficit and spiraling domestic spending without looking at the costs of maintaining an American empire of more than 700 military bases in more than 120 foreign countries. We cannot pat ourselves on the back for cutting a few thousand dollars from a nature preserve or an inner-city swimming pool at home while turning a blind eye to a Pentagon budget that nearly equals those of the rest of the world combined.”

“A return to the traditional U.S. foreign policy of active private engagement but government noninterventionism is the only alternative that can restore our moral and fiscal health,” said Paul.

If the attitude of Buck McKeon and the establishment Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee are any indication, it looks like the neocons will rule the roost under Republican control of Congress and it will be business as usual.

In addition to the never-ending wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, we can look forward to new manufactured conflicts in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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Widespread Public Anger: Voting out incumbents. It Didn't Happen
« Reply #15 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:12:31 am »
 

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http://www.globalresearch.ca/widespread-public-anger-voting-out-incumbents-it-didn-t-happen/22009

Widespread Public Anger: Voting out incumbents. It Didn't Happen

by Joel S. Hirschhorn
Global Research
November 19, 2010

Americans Voted: Few Incumbent Bums Out

For some years a number of groups have been advocating voting out incumbents in Congress, both the House and the Senate, as a path to reform and improve the US political system. You might have thought that with this year’s incredible widespread public anger with both major parties and the remarkably low confidence level in Congress this anti-incumbency movement would have scored a huge victory. It did not happen.

Even more surprising, perhaps, because for many months before the elections there was endless media predictions that incumbents were at risk of losing their seats, which was backed up by hundreds of polls showing historical high levels of voter dissatisfaction with Congress.

Over at voidnow.org one of the oldest and vocal anti-incumbency groups there is this delusional chest-beating good news: “Congratulations Vote Out Incumbents voters. 15 Senate Incumbents stepped down or lost, and only 25 Senators sought reelection. 57 House incumbents lost, and 37 chose not to run again. (91 House Incumbents gone, 21.6%).”

Apparently delusion rules within this movement. First of all, no credit should be given for those members who decided not to run for reelection. What level of reelection rate should be considered a big victory? I would be impressed if that rate was 50 percent or less, because typical reelection rates have very high. For example, according to data at Open Secrets, it was 88 percent in 1992 and 94 percent for 2006 and 2008 for the House. In the Senate it was 79 percent in 2006 and 83 percent in 2008.

At the Rundown blog from the PBS Newshour a far more accurate account was given for this year’s midterm elections. In the House 53 members lost their (this does not count members who quit, ran for higher office or lost their primary) in 2010. But that is still just 13 percent of House incumbents who ran for office and lost – meaning that 87 percent seeking office were reelected. Note that in 27 House races, voters had no choice because only one candidate was on the ballot.

Interestingly, this reelection result was predicted before the election by professor John Sides who found a statistically valid correlation between past reelection rates and Gallup poll results on the percentage of voters rejecting their own Representatives. Even when that dissatisfaction rate rose to 40 percent this year, a high reelection rate resulted. In fact, that correlation indicates that even if 100 percent of voters rejected incumbents, the vast majority would still be reelected!

In the Senate, where incumbent loses are more common, only four incumbent Senators running for reelection lost their seats. That produced a 90 percent reelection rate.

What do we see? The House reelection rate was down slightly from recent years while the rate in the Senate was higher. To be crystal clear, out of 435 seats, 351 incumbents will be returning to the House in January, according to one analysis. In the Senate, out of 100 seats, 77 incumbents will return in January. Does that sound like some revolution happened this year? And note how incumbent, establishment members will be running both the majorities and minorities in both the House and Senate.

I conclude that the anti-incumbency movement ought to fold up and close down; it has proved to be a totally ineffective movement and strategy to reform the abysmal US government system.

Why has the anti-incumbency movement failed? There are multiple reasons, including: the stupidity of voters who succumb to all the campaign lies and rhetoric from both major parties, the way House districts are gerrymandered to favor one party or the other, the lack of voting by the most fed up citizens, voting for lesser-evil candidates, the inability of third parties to mount really effective campaigns, enormous financial backing of incumbents by many special interests, and the decision by the Tea Party movement to back only Republican candidates rather than third party candidates.

Welcome back to the reality of America’s delusional democracy where career politicians will continue to foster a corrupt, inefficient and dysfunctional government because that is what the two-party plutocracy and its supporters want for their own selfish reasons.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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The Left Has Nowhere to Go
« Reply #16 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:13:27 am »
 

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http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-left-has-nowhere-to-go/22637

The Left Has Nowhere to Go

by Chris Hedges



Global Research, January 4, 2011
truthdig.com  

     "Either we begin to practice a fierce moral autonomy and rise up in multiple acts of physical defiance that have no discernable short-term benefit, or we accept the inevitability of corporate slavery. The choice is that grim."

 Ralph Nader in a CNN poll a few days before the 2008 presidential election had an estimated 3 percent of the electorate, or about 4 million people, behind his candidacy. But once the votes were counted, his support dwindled to a little over 700,000. Nader believes that many of his supporters entered the polling booth and could not bring themselves to challenge the Democrats and Barack Obama. I suspect Nader is right. And this retreat is another example of the lack of nerve we must overcome if we are going to battle back against the corporate state. A vote for Nader or Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney in 2008 was an act of defiance. A vote for Obama and the Democrats was an act of submission. We cannot afford to be submissive anymore.

    “The more outrageous the Republicans become, the weaker the left becomes,” Nader said when I reached him at his home in Connecticut on Sunday. “The more outrageous they become, the more the left has to accept the slightly less outrageous corporate Democrats.”

Nader fears a repeat of the left’s cowardice in the next election, a cowardice that has further empowered the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party, maintained the role of the Democratic Party as a lackey for corporations, and accelerated the reconfiguration of the country into a neo-feudalist state. Either we begin to practice a fierce moral autonomy and rise up in multiple acts of physical defiance that have no discernable short-term benefit, or we accept the inevitability of corporate slavery. The choice is that grim.

The age of the practical is over. It is the impractical, those who stand fast around core moral imperatives, figures like Nader or groups such as Veterans for Peace, which organized the recent anti-war rally in Lafayette Park in Washington, which give us hope. If you were one of the millions who backed down in the voting booth in 2008, don’t do it again. If you were one of those who thought about joining the Washington protests against the war where 131 of us were arrested and did not, don’t fail us next time.

The closure of the mechanisms within the power system that once made democratic reform possible means we stand together as the last thin line of defense between a civil society and its disintegration. If we do not engage in open acts of defiance, we will empower a radical right-wing opposition that will replicate the violence and paranoia of the state. To refuse to defy in every way possible the corporate state is to be complicit in our strangulation.

“The left has nowhere to go,” Nader said. “Obama knows it. The corporate Democrats know it. There will be criticism by the left of Obama this year and then next year they will all close ranks and say ‘Do you want Mitt Romney? Do you want Sarah Palin? Do you want Newt Gingrich?’ It’s very predictable. There will be a year of criticism and then it will all be muted. They don’t understand that even if they do not have any place to go, they ought to fake it. They should fake going somewhere else or staying home to increase the receptivity to their demands. But because they do not make any demands, they are complicit with corporate power.

    “Corporate power makes demands all the time,” Nader went on. “It pulls on the Democrats and the Republicans in one direction. By having this nowhere-to-go mentality and without insisting on demands as the price of your vote, or energy to get out the vote, they have reduced themselves to a cipher. They vote. The vote totals up. But it means nothing.”

There is no major difference between a McCain administration, a Bush and an Obama administration. Obama, in fact, is in many ways worse. McCain, like Bush, exposes the naked face of corporate power. Obama, who professes to support core liberal values while carrying out policies that mock these values, mutes and disempowers liberals, progressives and leftists. Environmental and anti-war groups, who plead with Obama to address their issues, are little more than ineffectual supplicants.

Obama, like Bush and McCain, funds and backs our unending and unwinnable wars. He does nothing to halt the accumulation of the largest deficits in human history. The drones murder thousands of civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as they did under Bush and would have done under McCain. The private military contractors, along with the predatory banks and investment houses, suck trillions out of the U.S. Treasury as efficiently under Obama. Civil liberties, including habeas corpus, have not been restored. The public option is dead. The continuation of the Bush tax cuts, adding some $900 billion to the deficit, along with the reduction of individual contributions to Social Security, furthers a debt peonage that will be the excuse to privatize Social Security, slash social services and break the back of public service unions. Obama does not intercede as tens of millions of impoverished Americans face foreclosures and bankruptcies. The Democrats provide better cover. But the corporate assault is the same.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

Republicans Move to Make PATRIOT Act Permanent
« Reply #17 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:14:37 am »
 

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http://www.prisonplanet.com/republicans-move-to-make-patriot-act-permanent.html

Republicans Move to Make PATRIOT Act Permanent

Kurt Nimmo
Prison Planet.com
Friday, February 4, 2011

Freshly emboldened by their mid-term congressional wins, establishment Republicans are set to extend the unconstitutional police state Patriot Act. It is set to expire in three weeks and Republicans are eager to make sections of the legislation permanent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ieX2BnPwPk (Patriot Act Update)



On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee postponed a vote to continue and extend the law. “Having this debate year after year offers little certainty to agents utilizing these provisions to keep the nation safe,” said ranking member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

“Short-term reauthorizations lead to operational uncertainty and compliance and reporting problems if the reauthorization occurs too close to expiration,” Grassley continued. “If these provisions are necessary, we should provide more certainty rather than simply revisiting the law year after year given the indefinite threat we face from acts of terrorism, and that looks like decades ahead. We should permanently reauthorize the three expiring provisions.”

Grassley, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Intelligence Committee Ranking Republican Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., will introduce legislation to make the measures permanent.

[Continued...]


Thanks a bunch, lesser-evil voters!  ::)
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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Obama Signs Patriot Act Extension
« Reply #18 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:16:05 am »
 

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Thanks a bunch, lesser-evil voters!  ::)

http://www.infowars.com/obama-signs-patriot-act-extension/

Obama Signs Patriot Act Extension

New York Post
February 26, 2011

WASHINGTON – President Obama yesterday signed a three-month extension of the Patriot Act’s surveillance provisions.

One aspect of the 2001 law lets law enforcement set roving wiretaps to monitor multiple communication devices.

Another lets officials ask a special court for access to business and library records deemed relevant to a terrorist threat.

A third grants the FBI the right to keep tabs on non-Americans not known to be tied to specific terrorist groups.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

10 Reasons Obama is Just As Bad or Worse Than Bush
« Reply #19 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:17:49 am »
 

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10 Reasons Obama is Just As Bad or Worse Than Bush

Activist Post
April 5, 2011

George W. Bush was clearly a mentally-challenged puppet of the military/banking/oil elite.  The policies put it in place at breakneck speed after 9/11 were provably predetermined by think tanks well in advance. Not that other presidents were any less controlled by this hidden agenda, but there was a noticeable in-your-face quickening of corporate-government tyranny under Bush.

These policies like wars of aggression, illegal surveillance of Americans, torture of detainees indefinitely held without formal charges, unfair “free trade” agreements, and bank bailouts rightfully enraged many progressives during the Bush years.  Yet, not only have these policies accelerated under Obama, even more of the draconian playbook is unfolding.

After 8 years of Bush’s reign that ended with a record low presidential approval rating in the low 20s, Obama’s promise of hope and change inspired many beyond mainline progressives.  His campaign speeches were so powerful that they landed him the Nobel Peace Prize without having done anything for world peace except to offer the idea in order to get elected.  As a Constitutional law professor and attorney, Obama appeared to have a greater understanding of rights and the balance of power than did flunky Bush.

Although policies being implemented under Obama’s leadership exhibit the continuation of Bush’s tyrannical agenda, his stunning betrayal of populist and Constitutional principles in support of these actions makes him the ultimate hypocrite.  Additionally, because Obama is a much more influential orator than Bush, his service to the puppet masters is far more dangerous to the American people he’s supposed to serve.

There have been many articles written about Obama’s unkept promises and outright lies, but here are 10 actions that prove Obama is just as bad if not worse than Bush:

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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Programmer under oath admits computers rig elections
« Reply #20 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:19:59 am »
 

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* Mandate the use of hand-counted paper ballots for all elections.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/programmer-under-oath-admits-computers-rig-elections.html

Programmer under oath admits computers rig elections

YouTube
April 20, 2011

Software programmer says US elections are rigged and that US Representatives tried to pay him to rig their election vote counts.

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1thcO_olHas

"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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Bipartisan Plutocracy: Obama is a Political Puppet
« Reply #21 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:21:54 am »
 

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http://www.globalresearch.ca/bipartisan-plutocracy-obama-is-a-political-puppet/24950

Bipartisan Plutocracy: Obama is a Political Puppet

by Joel S. Hirschhorn



Global Research
May 24, 2011

The outspoken scholar and Princeton University professor Cornel West has been viciously attacked by many on the political left, especially supporters of President Obama.  Why?  Because he had the courage to call Obama a “black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats.”   For more of West’s views see this article.

Most of the attention has been on the use of the word “black,” as if the black Cornel West had made a racist comment.  In fact, West got it right because he and some other true progressives have condemned Obama for not being an authentic progressive.  Right again, Obama has never shown himself to be a true leftist progressive, even though many on the conservative right may think he is one.  West thinks Obama “has no backbone.”

It is not that Obama is not black enough, as some think West was saying.  It is about the dishonesty, deceit and corruptness of Obama.

What everyone should be praising West for is that he correctly made the point that Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats have stolen the US government by using vast sums of money to corrupt both Democrat and Republican politicians.

West just told the truth about Obama who got elected because as a candidate for president he received a huge sum from the most awful Wall Street company, Goldman Sachs.

What West has explained is that “poor and working people have low priority in US government policy including the Obama Administration.”  No surprise because West is definitely a true liberal progressive who has been making this kind of criticism very openly for a long time.  Indeed, if poor and working people, as well as all African Americans, would wake up to reality they would abandon Obama, even as the lesser evil.  Obama has told too many lies and done too many wrong things to deserve their support.

Nearly all members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, are nothing more than mascots of Wall Street oligarchs and puppets of corporate plutocrats, something that all intelligent Americans, including those in the Tea Party movement, should totally agree with.

Here is something else West said: "The tea party folk are right when they say the government is corrupt.  It is corrupt. Big business and banks have taken over government and corrupted it in deep ways....we've got to think seriously of third-party candidates, third formations, third parties."

Over at FutureofCapitalism.com this point was made: Obama “has basically enshrined the too-big-to-fail banks while also propping up GE and the firms that will benefit from ObamaCare.”  True enough.

We need many more people that get mass media attention to say the kind of things that West has said.  Americans need to be reminded incessantly that their government has been hijacked by rich and powerful elites.

With a corrupt two-party plutocracy elections no longer offer the promise of much needed reforms.  Odds are that Tea Party people will realize that their favored Republicans will also not deliver a rehabilitated, honest government serving the interests or ordinary Americans.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

The Democrats and 'Lesser Evil' Politics
« Reply #22 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:23:13 am »
 

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http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-democrats-and-lesser-evil-politics/25108

The Democrats and 'Lesser Evil' Politics

by Jack A. Smith



Global Research
June 3, 2011

Why is it that people in the United States enjoy far fewer social benefits than the working class, middle class and the poor who live in many other industrialized capitalist countries?

Why is it that the major social benefits Americans do have — such as Medicare, Social Security and food stamps — are constantly in danger from right wing Republicans and conservative Democrats? Why is it that the modern Democratic Party always seems to compromise and retreat, even when it is the stronger of the political duopoly? And why is it that there aren't more viable choices at the ballot box to help overcome this situation?

These and many other questions have been coming to the fore since the Democrats gained the White House and both houses of Congress in the 2008 elections but did not mobilize their majority to fight for social gains or pass important social and labor legislation. Now, following the Republican domination of the House since last year's midterm election, the entire edifice of social advances won over the decades seems up for grabs.

Further, though the majority of Democratic voters opposed the Bush era wars, they are being continued by Democratic President Barack Obama, not just in Iraq and Afghanistan but spreading to Pakistan, Yemen and now Libya, where the White House, while trying to hide in the background, is leading the U.S./NATO campaign for regime change by bombing the residence of Col. Gaddafi and his family. Had George W. Bush done that when Democrats used to be in the peace movement they would have protested in droves.

A key to these contradictions, which many Americans often do not recognize, begins with the fact that that America is a class society. The capitalist social-democratic countries of Europe are also class societies, but some of them enjoy far greater benefits from their governments because their left mass parties fought hard to gain and retain those benefits.

The political, educational and communication systems that mold popular thinking in the U.S. work overtime to conceal the class nature of our society. The notion of a "classless" America is largely believed even though it is contradicted by the cold statistics of wealth, income, poverty, power, powerlessness, housing, education, jobs, healthcare, the biggest prison population in the world and an aggressive hegemonic and militarist foreign policy.

The facts also show that many millions of Americans are further oppressed by racial as well as class stratification, although the generality of white people seem to believe that racism and the barriers to racial equality are no longer serious problems. Why else is African American unemployment double that of jobless whites, and black family assets are less than half that of white families? Why else the cash-starved inner-city schools, or the de facto residential segregation?

The nature of the American political system vitiates against social reforms for the masses of people. There are two ruling political parties in the United States — the Republicans and the Democrats — and both these parties are positioned right of political center, the Republicans to the farther right.

It is hardly controversial to suggest that these ruling parties primarily serve the interests of wealth, the corporations and Wall St., and that they exercise dominant influence over the Republican and Democratic leadership and a large majority of political office holders. To our knowledge there is not one decisive indicator to demonstrate this assumption is false.

For example, the two parties combined neoliberalism and globalization to benefit the big corporations at the expense the American working people and the society in which they live. Both supported the financialization of the economy and then deregulated the financial markets. Both presided over the deindustrialization of the United States. Both facilitated the greed and gambling that led to the Great Recession. Both do little to seriously alleviate unemployment. Both refused to take effective steps to prevent millions of home foreclosures or to fight for programs to rebuild America's neglected infrastructure.

The Democrats gesture politically toward the middle class, working class, minorities, unions and the poor — their principal voting blocs — though in the last 40 years this broad constituency has received nil-to-negligible benefits from the arrangement. In fact many of the gains won in struggles of earlier years are in deep jeopardy today, with little more than a rhetorical fight-back from the Democratic Party. It is true that the Democrats are fighting back on Medicare — one of the most popular programs in America which the Republicans foolishly attacked — but only a small minority stand up for new proposals serving the mass of working people.

This is the "genius" of the American political system. The class of wealth and power has devised a structure where only two fairly similar mass political alternatives are available on Election Day, as opposed to the three and four viable mass parties, including those of the left, in other rich capitalist countries, especially in the social democratic societies.

As we have noted before, the U.S. is the only such country without a mass left party — and every effort to form one over the decades has been weakened by red-baiting, repression, the opposition of a formidable commercial and governmental propaganda apparatus, and the reluctance of the progressive left and labor to turn away from the Democratic Party and work with others on the left to build a mass third political party to challenge the hegemony of the two parties of big business.

The American people are told that the only way to bring about a good government that really cares about the people is in the voting booth. But at the booth the choice for the upper classes usually consists of "good" and "lesser good" political candidates, with "evil" and "lesser evil" candidates for everybody else.

Many Democrats in 2008 thought President Obama was a "good" candidate who would govern from the liberal or progressive "left," but in practice this was shown to be fictitious. They will now vote for him again in 2012 as a lesser evil candidate because he is the only available viable alternative is some god-awful reactionary who will strip them of their Social Security. This tends to bedevil the liberal/progressive voting bloc every four years. (Note: We say "viable" in the sense of being able to win; there are left candidates from small parties who are better and deserve a vote, but the system is stacked against them.)

At this point, because many of the Democratic House members who lost last November were center-rightists and Blue Dogs defeated by far-right Republicans backed by the reactionary Tea Party, there are more liberals and progressives among the Democratic ranks than usual. A total of 83 out of 193 Democrats belong to the Congressional Progressives Caucus — and they are rendered virtually powerless by President Obama, House leaders, and the bigwigs and money people behind the Democratic Party. In April the caucus introduced a liberal People's Budget to challenge Obama's center-right offering and the GOP's ultra-conservative proposal, but as The Nation noted May 9, it was simply "ignored by establishment Democrats."

The Republican Party has moved considerably farther to the right in recent decades. Just look at its antics in Congress and in the state legislatures today. They are trying to break the unions and destroy all the social advances of the last 75 years. It's not that the GOP is so powerful, but the Democrats are compromising and weak, partially because they are moving to the right themselves behind a leadership hell-bent on compromise with the right wing.

It hasn't always been this way. The old Democratic Party, going back nearly eight decades, harbored a vibrant center-left wing for several years during the 1930s and a few more during the 1960s.

Now, the Democratic Party is positioned on the center-right (similar to the old "moderate" Republican tendency that was drummed out of the GOP decades ago), though it continues to harbor a minority center left faction of remnant liberalism and a smattering of social democrats. This worthy but sidelined vestige, which defends the old victories and remains guided by the ideals of modern liberalism, inadvertently provides the backsliding party with an undeserved liberal patina.

In the 1930s the Democratic Party moved partially to the left in order to save capitalism during the Great Depression by inaugurating a number of social-democratic reforms that pumped money into the economy and kept the working class away from socialist revolution. (Remember, there was a swiftly developing Soviet Union at the time and it was essentially the only country in the world untouched by the Depression.) This was the period of President Franklyn D. Roosevelt's New Deal, which began dissipating with the approach to World War 2 (1941-45).

Though largely unwarranted, the party's center left reputation lingered for years afterwards, because of its continuing defense of the Depression-era programs (such as Social Security), and due to the phenomenal post-war growth of the union movement. At the same time, it was the Democrats who ruled Dixie and were the prime supporters of racial segregation, as they were of the Cold War.

In the mid-1960s the Democratic Party again moved to the center left, partially because the '60s were more radical times. There were two main reasons.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

American Politics: "Lie To Me"
« Reply #23 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:24:03 am »
 

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http://www.globalresearch.ca/american-politics-lie-to-me/25244

American Politics: "Lie To Me"

by Joel S. Hirschhorn



Global Research
June 12, 2011

What is the main lesson from the recent fiascos of former Senator John Edwards and Representative Anthony Weiner?  If you follow the news shows you saw a number of video clips where each of them had lied many times about what eventually they confessed to, their stupid, sleazy sexual misconduct.  As I watched the videos I was amazed how good their lying behavior was, without any hint of their blatant dishonesty in how they looked or sounded.  Of course, I was also reminded how terrific a liar Bill Clinton was when he went on television to lie about his sexual misconduct.

As a fan of the TV show Lie To Me where the experts can detect minute physical signs of lying or micro-expressions, I felt that the politicians had developed the talent and skill to lie without giving any sign of it.

Here is what Americans should learn: All elected Democrats and Republicans have succeeded because they are excellent liars and, therefore, not one of them can ever be trusted to be telling the truth.

When you vote for any of these two-party politicians all you are saying is: LIE TO ME.

And when they get elected that is exactly what they will do, and not just about their personal behavior.  The larger lesson is that American politicians will also lie effortlessly about public policy and just about everything they have anything to do with.

Make no mistake, President Obama has lied about many things just as presidents before him also have.

Can you have an effective representative democracy when elected officials can never be trusted to tell the truth to citizens?   No.

Elected officials no longer feel they have a profound responsibility to tell the truth.  It appears to be behavior that has become automatic, not something they agonize over.  Lying has become normal behavior whether it is done in Internet communications, on TV, in speeches or during campaigning for office.  Lying may have become so commonplace that politicians no longer spend time justifying it to themselves or their closest staff or supporters.  Sure, when they get caught, they easily apologize and accept responsibility in some glib and usually tearful way.  But their moral decrepitude should not be forgiven.  Dishonest politicians are chronically ill, selfish, egoistic betrayers of public trust.  Severe punishment of them is necessary, starting with legally required removal from office and loss of all pension and health insurance benefits.

In the US political system public trust of elected officials is passé, or should be.

This is not a matter of cynicism; it is just prudent and logical to mistrust just about everything said by elected officials.  Of course, if you think that a particular politician lies supports your views, then it may not bother you, but it should.

Forget about the rationalization that politicians merely misspeak or that they are just fallible human beings like the rest of us.  My point is that an essential skill and regular behavior of politicians is lying without any hint of it.  The only thing that politicians now fear is losing control and inadvertently telling the truth!

Has it always been this way?  Have American politicians always been ubiquitous liars?  I don’t think so.  What was once aberrant behavior has become normal behavior.  It is yet another sign of just how much the US has sunk.  It is not just that the country is on the wrong track; it is off the track, falling into an abyss.

When it is rational to always be suspicious of everything politicians say, then why keep listening?  Why keep voting for them?

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-founding-fathers-tried-to-warn-us-about-the-threat-from-a-two-party-system/25553

The Founding Fathers Tried to Warn Us About the Threat From a Two-Party System

by Washington's Blog



Global Research
July 8, 2011

Polls show that a majority of Americans say that both the Republicans and Democrats are doing such a poor job representing the people that a new, third party is needed.

I've repeatedly warned that there is a scripted, psuedo-war between Dems and Repubs, liberals and conservatives which is in reality a false divide-and-conquer dog-and-pony show created by the powers that be to keep the American people divided and distracted. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

In fact, the Founding Fathers warned us about the threat from a two party system.

John Adams said:

    There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.

George Washington agreed, saying in his farewell presidential speech:

    The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.

    Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight,) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

    It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

    There is an opinion, that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the Government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of Liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in Governments of a Monarchical cast, Patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in Governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And, there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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Lies are being fed to the Public by America's Two-party Plutocracy
« Reply #25 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:26:17 am »
 

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http://www.globalresearch.ca/semantic-propaganda-feeds-stupidity-lies-are-being-fed-to-the-public-by-america-s-two-party-plutocracy/25753

Semantic Propaganda Feeds Stupidity: Lies are being fed to the Public by America's Two-party Plutocracy

by Joel S. Hirschhorn



Global Research
July 23, 2011

We would already have had a much needed American revolution in response to the tyranny of the money-fed two-party plutocracy that is destroying the middle class except for one big problem: so much of the American population is just plain stupid. Too stupid to behave like angry Greeks and rise up in the streets to rebel against the dysfunctional government.

In the never ending fight of Republicans and their cancerous (make that stupid) Tea Party members to gain even more control of the US political system, economy and culture they have fixed on another semantic weapon. The latest attack on intelligence is the constant use of the term job creators in place of words like the rich or wealthy. Not just plain Republicans in Congress are doing this, but especially the large crop of Republican presidential candidates.

This bit of cleverness surely was deemed necessary because much of the nation was beginning to appreciate the class warfare going on. Rising economic inequality, unemployment set in concrete, and merging of the middle class into the poverty stricken lower class were all becoming clearer.

Keep this in mind: As Zuckerman pointed out, the US “experienced the loss of over 7 million jobs, wiping out every job gained since the year 2000. From the moment the Obama administration came into office, there have been no net increases in full-time jobs, only in part-time jobs. This is contrary to all previous recessions. Employers are not recalling the workers they laid off from full-time employment.” Business sectors have discovered that they can maximize profits with smaller US work forces; they export jobs and their capital investments. And they benefit from all kinds of tax loopholes protected by Republicans so that they pay very little if any US taxes.

A terrific new article by Jeff Reeves makes the case that unemployment will actually rise to over 10 percent, because of anticipated layoffs in the financial, technology, and aerospace and defense sectors. The data are compelling. All this despite high profits.

Apple is sitting on an amazing $76 BILLION in cash. Other than understanding that people are paying too much for their products, just imagine if they invested a big fraction of that on moving manufacturing of its products from foreign countries to the US. An enormous number of good jobs could be created here.

What were Republicans to do, especially as they used the current crisis surrounding the need to raise the national debt limit to seek huge cuts in federal spending affecting ordinary Americans and prevent higher taxes for the greedy rich and corporate forces?

What better way than to falsely claim and constantly presume that those that should be paying higher taxes are exactly the ones who create jobs and that they would not do so if hit by higher taxes. In truth, this is a bold lie. The richest Americans have been paying the lowest taxes in many decades and corporate profits have been enormous, and this reality has clearly had absolutely no positive impact on the unemployment and underemployment plaguing at least 30 million Americans and their family members.

Go back to the post-World War II era when the richest Americans paid very high taxes and you discover that jobs and fairly distributed wealth were created in abundance.

Neither wealth nor jobs trickle down from the Upper Class. Proper government policies are required to prevent criminally large fractions of the nation’s wealth going to the most greedy and selfish elites. Those NOT rich that support Republicans are very stupid; they have been brainwashed by the steady stream of Republican lies and propaganda that are used to serve the rich and corporate interests sustaining Republicans with much money. The return on their investment has proven more than adequate to justify their endless input of money to Republicans.

We probably will soon see President Obama cave in and giver Republicans much of what they want. There will be major cuts in federal programs that will place millions of Americans in even more precarious economic uncertainty and pain. And there will probably be far too little increases in taxes on the rich and corporations. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security may all be cut in ways that harm many people.

Lies are constantly being fed to the public. Will you be smart enough to see them for what they are? The more you face this ugly, disturbing reality, the more embarrassed you will be about the US political system and, hopefully, the more inclined you will be to stop voting for any Republicans or Democrats and participating in our delusional democracy.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

Court Filing Reveals How 2004 Ohio Presidential Election was Hacked
« Reply #26 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:28:18 am »
 

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http://www.globalresearch.ca/court-filing-reveals-how-2004-ohio-presidential-election-was-hacked-unexpected-shift-in-votes-for-george-w/25786

Court Filing Reveals How 2004 Ohio Presidential Election was Hacked: "Unexpected Shift in Votes For George W."

by Bob Fitrakis



Global Research, July 26, 2011
freepress.org  

A new filing in the King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell case includes a copy of the Ohio Secretary of State election production system configuration that was in use in Ohio's 2004 presidential election when there was a sudden and unexpected shift in votes for George W. Bush.

The filing also includes the revealing deposition of the late Michael Connell. Connell served as the IT guru for the Bush family and Karl Rove. Connell ran the private IT firm GovTech that created the controversial system that transferred Ohio's vote count late on election night 2004 to a partisan Republican server site in Chattanooga, Tennessee owned by SmarTech. That is when the vote shift happened, not predicted by the exit polls, that led to Bush's unexpected victory. Connell died a month and a half after giving this deposition in a suspicious small plane crash.

Additionally, the filing contains the contract signed between then-Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell and Connell's company, GovTech Solutions. Also included that contract a graphic architectural map of the Secretary of State's election night server layout system.

[Clickable images omitted. See original article.]

Cliff Arnebeck, lead attorney in the King Lincoln case, exchanged emails with IT security expert Stephen Spoonamore. Arnebeck asked Spoonamore whether or not SmarTech had the capability to "input data" and thus alter the results of Ohio's 2004 election. Spoonamore responded: "Yes. They would have had data input capacities. The system might have been set up to log which source generated the data but probably did not."

Spoonamore explained that "they [SmarTech] have full access and could change things when and if they want."

Arnebeck specifically asked "Could this be done using whatever bypass techniques Connell developed for the web hosting function." Spoonamore replied "Yes."

Spoonamore concluded from the architectural maps of the Ohio 2004 election reporting system that, "SmarTech was a man in the middle. In my opinion they were not designed as a mirror, they were designed specifically to be a man in the middle."

A "man in the middle" is a deliberate computer hacking setup, which allows a third party to sit in between computer transmissions and illegally alter the data. A mirror site, by contrast, is designed as a backup site in case the main computer configuration fails.

Spoonamore claims that he confronted then-Secretary of State Blackwell at a secretary of state IT conference in Boston where he was giving a seminar in data security. "Blackwell freaked and refused to speak to me when I confronted him about it long before I met you," he wrote to Arnebeck.

Read the email correspondence here [pdf]

On December 14, 2007, then-Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, who replaced Blackwell, released her evaluation and validation of election-related equipment, standards and testing (Everest study) which found that touchscreen voting machines were vulnerable to hacking with relative ease.

Until now, the architectural maps and contracts from the Ohio 2004 election were never made public, which may indicate that the entire system was designed for fraud. In a previous sworn affidavit to the court, Spoonamore declared: "The SmarTech system was set up precisely as a King Pin computer used in criminal acts against banking or credit card processes and had the needed level of access to both county tabulators and Secretary of State computers to allow whoever was running SmarTech computers to decide the output of the county tabulators under its control."

Spoonamore also swore that "...the architecture further confirms how this election was stolen. The computer system and SmarTech had the correct placement, connectivity, and computer experts necessary to change the election in any manner desired by the controllers of the SmarTech computers."

Project Censored named the outsourcing of Ohio's 2004 election votes to SmarTech in Chattanooga, Tennessee to a company owned by Republican partisans as one of the most censored stories in the world.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #27 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:31:52 am »
 

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Oh, The Pain of The Believer: Barack’s Betrayals Offer Lessons We Can’t Deny

by Danny Schechter



Global Research
August 29, 2011

Journalists are not supposed to have political opinions, and yet we all do. Our “biases” are usually disguised, not blatant or overtly partisan, and can be divined in what stories we cover and how we cover them,

Even ‘just the fact’s maam,’ journos for big Media have to decide which facts to include and which to ignore.

Our outlooks are always shaped by our worldviews, values and experience, not too mention the outlets we work for.

Which brings me to the challenge of seeking truth and recognizing it when you see it.

I have to admit that I was seduced by the idea of Barack Obama.

The idea of a black President, the idea of a young President, the idea of an articulate President, and the idea of a man married to such a stand up women from a working class family was hard to resist.

Here’s a guy who seemed really smart, not just because he went to Harvard but because professors there I liked were impressed with him. (I taught at Harvard, and know very well how not so smart many students there can be!)

In the end, it doesn’t mean much, but in that period he lived about a block away from the House I once shared on Dartmouth Street in Somerville.

Was that a degree of separation?

He had also been a community organizer, starting in politics at the grass roots in Chicago. I also worked at Saul Alinsky-style organizing and even knew the iconic organizer personally.

Was that another degree?

He’s invoked the spirit of the civil rights movement but was not part of it. He treated Dr. King as a monument before the new memorial was conceived, embracing him as a symbol of the past, not a guide to the future.

He took an anti-war stance on pragmatic grounds only, preferring Afghanistan to Iraq. He hasn’t extricated us from either battlefield.

His strategy borrowed heavily from the Bush Doctrine. What’s the difference, really, as US troops now intervene worldwide and Guantanamo remains open for business?

There was a lot I didn’t know. I didn’t know the backgrounds of those that groomed him and funded him. His relationship with the centrist DLC was murky as were the details on the services he performed for a shadowy firm, Business International, said to have CIA links.

There were those who warned, but I guess, I didn’t want to listen.

Why? I didn’t want to reinforce my own skepticism and sense of despair. I feigned at being hopeful even as I took quite a few critical whacks at his positions in my blog. His deviations from a liberal agenda and his paens to the “free market” were conmsidered necessary for his “electability.”

I was also influenced by the euphoria for him overseas that had become infectious but has since soured.

To be honest, I was so disgusted with eight years of George Bush for all the right reasons that I wanted him gone full stop, as did millions of Americans.

Hillary didn’t appeal to me, not because she’s a woman but because of her slavish affinity for the Israel lobby and middle of the road Democrats. (Yes, Obama, did his mea-culpa to AIPAC too!)

I was denounced as a super sexist by a few for not buying into her centrist Clintonista crusade.

She had gone from a student advocate to part of a ruling family; he went from bottom-up activism to top-down elitism.

When she joined his “team,” you knew they were always in the same league.

When the right bashed him for associating with radical Bill Ayers, who I knew, it made me suspect he might even be cooler than I thought, even as he raced to distance himself. His membership in Reverend Wright’s church hinted at a deeper consciousness until he buckled in the media heat and threw the man that married him under the bus.

And yet, I wanted to believe because I needed to believe, needed to believe it was possible to change the American behemoth, to believe that, as he kept saying, “it could be different this time.”

As the late writer David Foster Wallace put it, “In the day-to-day trenches of adult life…there is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship… else (what) you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things - if they are where you tap real meaning in life - then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough.”

So, in a sense, I became a worshipper like so many, not of the man or the dance he was doing in an infected political environment, but because I convinced myself that I worshipped possibility, that there are times when the unexpected, even the unbelievable occurs. I had seen Mandela go from prison to the presidency of South Africa.

After all, how does a progressive blast a candidate who has Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger singing the uncensored version of “This Land Is Your Land” at his inaugural?”

Yet, there was always a nagging question: was he with us or just co-opting us?

Yes We Can?

Slowly, despite the glow and the aura, deeper truths surfaced, realities I had winked away. Its not surprising that his mantra has gone, as the Washington Post reports, from the “fierce urgency of now,” to “ Be patient, democracy is big and tough and messy.”

Yes, I knew, I may have been rationalizing a false god, who was only another, if more attractive, politician who says one thing and does another in a political system where power, not personalities prevail.

Like many of his predecessors he would be “captured” by the power structures, by the military men and contractors at the Pentagon and the money men on Wall Street.

He was in office but never really in charge. Clearly, he didn’t have the votes to enact a real change agenda. But that was because his own party was long ago bought and paid for.

He never had a chance, even if as I wanted to believe, he wanted one. He said he wanted to be transformational figure but the system transformed him—and quickly.

Everyone runs “against Washington,” even a Senator, who was part of it.

And so I held my nose and voted, hoping against my wiser instincts. I even made a positive film about the campaign that showed how he used social media and texting to mobilize new voters. When I tried to get a copy to the White House, through an insider there, I found they couldn’t be less interested.

By then, he had gone from playing the “outside game” to opting into the “inside game” built around compromise in the name of “pragmatism, or ‘getting it done,” in his words. In the end he was a rookie who may have outsmarted himself or just served the interests who put him there.

He couldn’t dump his most passionate and issue-oriented followers fast enough.

While his backers were still hot to trot, he became cooler toward them, and, in effect, repudiated them with few progressive appointments. He put on his flag pin and relished the symbolism of the “office.” He became the master of the uplifting speech disguising a quite different policy agenda.

He spoke for the people but served the power. His wanted the other side to love him too, even as his stabs at “bi-partisanship” proved non-starters.

When you lie down with those “lambs,” (or is it snakes?) you betray not only supporters, but their hopes. FDR was soon spinning in his grave.

I am not surprised that knowledgeable critics of his economic policies not only consider him bull-headed and wrong, but, actually corrupt, aligned and complicit, with the banksters who are still ripping us off. No wonder he’s ”bundled” more donations from the greedsters and financiers this year than in 2008! No wonder, he turned his back on consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren and is trying to kill prosecutions of bank fraud in high places.

Christopher Whalen who writes for Reuters say there will be a cost for his doing nothing, “The path of least resistance politically has been to temporize and talk. But by following the advice of Rubin and Summers, and avoiding tough decisions about banks and solvency, President Obama has only made the crisis more serious and steadily eroded public confidence. In political terms, Obama is morphing into Herbert Hoover.”

Yet, at the same time, many of us who now know how we have been used, will vote for him again, because, as he rightly calculates, there is no one else, and the alternative is even worse. Watch and weep as today’s rebels become next year’s rationalizers.

It reminds me of when activists were asked to vote for Lyndon Johnson in 1964 with the slogan “Part of the Way with LBJ.” That way ended with an endless escalation of war in Vietnam, and guns trumping butter. Sound familiar?

The search for truth and reality has hit a wall but has to continue. The lessons need to be learned. We have to say we were wrong, when we were, not in our beliefs, but in pinning our hopes on a shrewd, ambitious, and double-faced political performance artist.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Global Internet Voting Firm Buys U.S. Election Results Reporting Firm
« Reply #28 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:33:31 am »
 

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Recipe for Vote Fraud: Global Internet Voting Firm Buys U.S. Election Results Reporting Firm

Bev Harris
Black Box Voting
January 14, 2012

In a major step towards global centralization of election processes, the world’s dominant Internet voting company has purchased the USA’s dominant election results reporting company.

When you view your local or state election results on the Internet, on portals which often appear to be owned by the county elections division, in over 525 US jurisdictions you are actually redirected to a private corporate site controlled by SOE software, which operates under the name ClarityElections.com.

The good news is that this firm promptly reports precinct-level detail in downloadable spreadsheet format. As reported by BlackBoxVoting.org in 2008, the bad news is that this centralizes one middleman access point for over 525 jurisdictions in AL, AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, KY, MI, KS, IL, IN, NC, NM, MN, NY, SC, TX, UT, WA. And growing.

As local election results funnel through SOE’s servers (typically before they reach the public elsewhere), those who run the computer servers for SOE essentially get “first look” at results and the ability to immediately and privately examine vote details throughout the USA.

In 2004, many Americans were justifiably concerned when, days before the presidential election, Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell redirected Ohio election night results through the Tennessee-based server for several national Republican Party operations.

This is worse: This redirects results reporting to a centralized privately held server which is not just for Ohio, but national; not just USA-based, but global.

A mitigation against fraud by SOE insiders has been the separation of voting machine systems from the SOE results reports. Because most US jurisdictions require posting evidence of results from each voting machine at the precinct, public citizens can organize to examine these results to compare with SOE results. Black Box Voting spearheaded a national citizen action to videotape / photograph these poll tapes in 2008.

With the merger of SOE and SCYTL, that won’t work (if SCYTL’s voting system is used). When there are two truly independent sources of information, the public can perform its own “audit” by matching one number against the other.

These two independent sources, however, will now be merged into one single source: an Internet voting system controlled by SCYTL, with a results reporting system also controlled by SCYTL.

With SCYTL internet voting, there will be no ballots. No physical evidence. No chain of custody. No way for the public to authenticate who actually cast the votes, chain of custody, or the count.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

What Does It Mean When They Don’t Try to Hide the Election Fraud?
« Reply #29 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:36:08 am »
 

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What Does It Mean When They Don’t Try to Hide the Election Fraud?

Daisy Luther
Inalienably Yours
Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Apparently, election fraud is only an outrage when it happens in other countries.

In 1989, the US invaded Panama in outrage over a fixed election in favor of Noriega.

Bush threatened Egypt with sanctions over Election Fraud in 2005.

In 2009, the US and NATO reached a consensus to sanction the rigged elections in Afghanistan.

Thousands of citizens took to the streets in Russia in protest of rigged elections in 2011.  The European Parliament  threatened financial sanctions over that same fraudulent election.

However, when this happens in the United States, no one bats an eye.

The rampant fraud in the 2012 GOP primary has all but escaped mention by the media.   Statements by Dr. Ron Paul’s campaign, the primary target of the crime,  go unpublished with the exception of alternative media sites.  Small local newspapers carry stories about hundreds of dead people casting votes, but the large media conglomerates don’t pick them up.

Other countries have turned a blind eye – nobody is sending in troops to the United States to keep things honest.  No economic sanctions have been threatened.

There are no large mobs taking to the streets in irate protest. Paul supporters who protest or comment are marginalized by the media and all claims of fraudulence are written off as “sour grapes.”

Where is our revolution?
Where is our outrage?
How can intelligent men and women watch this happen and do nothing about it?


Every single state that has participated thus far in the Republican primary has had accusations of impropriety, ranging from miscounts, to dead voters, to secret meetings and lost votes.  Not one voting has been unquestioned.

And yet, the American people have done nothing but sit idly by in their Lazyboys, flipping the channel to something less mentally taxing, like Jersey Shore.

Dr. Paul has intrepidly persevered through what must be terrible frustration.  He isn’t giving up despite the fact that he has been cheated in EVERY SINGLE STATE.  He has continued on his mission despite being either ignored or ridiculed by the mainstream media.  His supporters are loud and active and by all rights, his grass roots campaign should be the one in the lead.

Even more alarmingly, little effort is being taken to hide the criminal activity in this election.  What does it mean when the leaders of our society blatantly ignore the laws our country was built on?  When democratic elections are so clearly and obviously rigged?  When election fraud is utterly ignored by the “justice” system?

It means that our opinion no longer matters.  It means that We, the People, have ceased to be a threat in the eyes of the Powers That Be. Our power to govern ourselves and choose our leaders has been eliminated.  We are being condescendingly humored by the “pretend election” that is going on in an America that has already been quietly overthrown.

The unbelievable apathy of the American citizens regarding this criminal behaviour leaves us, as citizens, even more at fault than the perpetrators of the crimes.  We are allowing it to happen.

If you do not say “NO” you are giving tacit permission for the behavior.  You are allowing this fraud to continue.  You are allowing this sham of an electoral process to eliminate your voice.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

The Next US President Will Be.... [2012 article]
« Reply #30 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:37:24 am »
 

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The Next US President Will Be....

Tony Cartalucci
Prisonplanet.com
April 26, 2012

President George Bush, President Barack Obama, and presidential hopeful Mitt Romney all work for the exact same handful of corporate-financier interests. While they vary in how they dress up their methods of carrying out what is essentially a singular agenda, there is glaring continuity from one administration to the next in a process analogous to a corporate spokesman presenting the agenda of the board of directors. Changing spokesmen doesn’t change the agenda of the board of directors.

While the corporate media focuses on non-issues, and political pundits accentuate petty political rivalries between the “left” and the “right,” a look deeper into presidential cabinets and the authors of domestic and foreign policy reveals just how accurate this analogy is and who sits on the “board of directors.”



Image: Professional spokesmen, representative not of the American people but of Fortune 500 multinational corporations and banks. Since the time of JP Morgan 100 years ago, the corporate-financier elite saw themselves as being above government, and national sovereignty as merely a regulatory obstacle they could lobby, bribe, and manipulate out of existence. In the past 100 years, the monied elite have gone from manipulating the presidency to now reducing the office to a public relations functionary of their collective interests.

....

George Bush’s cabinet consisted of representatives from FedEx, Boeing, the Council on Foreign Relations, big-oil’s Belfer Center at Harvard, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Circuit City, Verizon, Cerberus Capital Management, Goldman Sachs, and the RAND Corporation, among many others.



Image: The Henry Jackson Society is just one of many Neo-Conservative think-tanks, featuring many of the same people and of course, the same corporate sponsors. Each think-tank puts on a different public face and focuses on different areas of specialty despite harboring the same “experts” and corporate sponsors.

....

His foreign policy was overtly dictated by “Neo-Conservatives” including Richard Perle, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Paul Wolfowitz, James Woolsey, Richard Armitage, Zalmay Khalilzad, Elliot Abrams, Frank Gaffney, Eliot Cohen, John Bolton, Robert Kagan, Francis Fukuyama, William Kristol, and Max Boot – all of whom hold memberships within a myriad of Fortune 500-funded think-tanks that to this day still direct US foreign policy – even under a “liberal” president. These include the Brookings Institution, the International Crisis Group, the Foreign Policy Initiative, the Henry Jackson Society, the Council on Foreign Relations, and many more.



Image: A visual representation of some of the Brookings Institution’s corporate sponsors. Brookings is by no means an exception, but rather represents the incestuous relationship between US foreign and domestic policy making and the Fortune 500 found in every major “think-tank.” Elected US representatives charged with legislative duties, merely rubber stamp the papers and policies drawn up in these think-tanks.

....

Obama’s cabinet likewise features representatives from JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, the Council on Foreign Relations, Fortune 500 representatives Covington & Burling, Citi Group, Freedie Mac, and defense contractor Honeywell. Like Bush’s cabinet, foreign policy is not penned by Obama sitting behind his desk in the Oval Office, but rather by the very same think-tanks that directed Bush’s presidency including the Council on Foreign Relations, RAND Corporation, the Brookings Institute, the International Crisis Group, and the Chatham House. There are also a myriad of smaller groups consisting of many of the same members and corporate sponsors, but who specialize in certain areas of interest.



Image: A visual representation of current US President Barack Obama’s cabinet’s corporate-financier ties past and present. As can be plainly seen, many of the same corporate-financier interests represented in Obama’s administration were also represented in Bush’s administration.

....

And with Mitt Romney, the likely republican candidate running for president against Obama in 2012, we see already his foreign policy advisers, Michael Chertoff, Eliot Cohen, Paula Dobrainsky, Eric Edelman, and Robert Kagan, represent the exact same people and corporate-funded think-tanks devising strategy under both President Bush and President Obama.

While Presidents Bush and Obama attempted to portray the West’s global military expansion as a series of spontaneous crises, in reality, since at least as early as 1991, the nations of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and many others that previously fell under the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence, were slated either for political destabilization and overthrow, or overt military intervention. While the public was fed various narratives explaining why Bush conducted two wars within the greater global “War on Terror,” and why Obama eagerly expanded these wars while starting new ones in Libya and now Syria, in reality we are seeing “continuity of agenda,” dictated by corporate-financier elite, rubber stamped by our elected representatives, and peddled to us by our “leaders,” who in reality are nothing more than spokesmen for the collective interests of the Fortune 500.



Image: The International Crisis Group’s corporate sponsors reveal a pattern of mega-multinationals intertwined with not only creating and directing US, and even European foreign policy, but in carrying it out. ICG trustee Kofi Annan is in Syria now carrying out a ploy to buy time for NATO-backed terrorists so they can be rearmed, reorganized, and redeployed against the Syrian government for another Western-backed attempt at regime change – all done under the guise of promoting “peace.”

....

No matter who you vote for in 2012 – until we change the balance of power currently tipped in favor of the Fortune 500, fed daily by our money, time, energy, and attention, nothing will change but the rhetoric with which this singular agenda is sold to the public. Romney would continue exactly where Obama left off, just as Obama continued exactly where Bush left off. And even during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Bush Sr., it was the same agenda meted out by the same corporate-financier interests that have been driving American, and increasingly Western destiny, since US Marine General Smedley Butler wrote “War is a Racket” in 1935.

A clear pattern should be apparent. The influence of corporate-financiers transcends more than presidencies, but contaminates all aspects of modern society including what is often called “non-governmental organizations” or NGOs. Modern NGOs are entirely funded and centrally directed by Fortune 500 corporations to carry their neo-imperial agenda to the four corners of the globe under the guise of the very best of intentions. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), for instance, portends to be “supporting freedom around the world.” A quick look at their board of directors reveals they are in fact drawn from big-oil, big-banking, and defense contracting boards of directors, Neo-Conservative warmongering think-tanks, corporate lobbyists, and US State Department functionaries, past and present.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

 

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http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/05/american-politics-freedom-to-choose-between-two-acceptable-choices.html

American Politics: “Freedom” to Choose Between Two “Acceptable” Choices

Washington's Blog
May 9, 2012

We Have Freedom to Choose … Between Two “Acceptable” Choices

Most parents know the trick of letting their kids “choose”.

You give the kid two choices … either of which produces the result you want.   For example, you ask:

    “Do you want to clean your room and then wash your dishes … or do you want to wash first and then clean?”

The kid feels like there is “freedom of choice” … but you – the parent – get what you want.

That is exactly what America’s two-party political system is.

The American voters are given a “choice” between two parties which are nearly identical in their support of crony capitalism, never-ending bailouts for the big banks, disregard for the Bill of Rights, never-ending war, support for big oil and big nuclear, allowing the sale of crap instead of real food, and other important issues.

Any candidate who doesn’t follow the script is labeled “unelectable” – in the same way that any policy which the powers-that-be don’t want is branded “not politically feasible“.  And see this.

We have the freedom to choose … as long as we pick one of the two acceptable choices.

The Founding Fathers tried to warn us against a two-party system. We should listen to their words of wisdom.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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Ventura: Abolish Both Political Parties
« Reply #32 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:40:18 am »
 

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http://www.prisonplanet.com/ventura-abolish-both-political-parties.html

Ventura: Abolish Both Political Parties

Slams mainstream media as “hired guns to push an agenda”

Steve Watson
Prisonplanet.com
June 12, 2012



Former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura called for the abolition of the Democratic and Republican parities in an appearance last night on CNN, saying they are worse than violent warring street gangs.

In an interview with Piers Morgan, Ventura did not hold back, urging that “We need to abolish the political parties,” and “Make them political action committees.”

As he does in his new book, the former Navy Seal compared the current two party US political system to the infamous Los Angeles street gangs the Bloods and Crips.

“They call the blue states Democrats, well that is also the colors of the Crips,” he explained. “Naturally, the Bloods’ color is red and the Republican states are called red states.”

“They’re worse,” Ventura continued. “Let me explain why they’re worse: The Crips and the Bloods, the street gangs, while they can be devastating to a certain small part of the population, the Democrips and the Rep-bloodicans, they affect everybody in this country.”

Ventura elaborated by explaining that the system has been corrupted by big money and both parties are bought and paid for, leaving no room for a third party to have any success.

Ventura suggested that presidential candidates should be “required to wear a NASCAR racing suit” to “show who owns them”.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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2012 US Elections: Obamney vs. Rombama
« Reply #33 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:43:09 am »
 

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http://www.globalresearch.ca/2012-us-elections-obamney-vs-rombama/32488

2012 US Elections: Obamney vs. Rombama
War, economic collapse and poverty await Americans no matter who they vote for

by Tony Cartalucci



Global Research, August 25, 2012
landdestroyer.blogspot.com

War, economic collapse, and personal devastation await Americans no matter who they vote for - and what we should do instead.

A vote for Obama will bring war with Syria, Iran, and eventually Russia and China. The economy will continue to suffer in order to bolster the interests of off-shore corporate-financier interests, while  the collective prospects of Americans continue to whither and blow away. A vote for Romney, however, will also bring war with Syria, Iran, and eventually Russia and China. The economy will also continue to suffer in order to bolster the interests of off-shore corporate-financier interests, while the collective prospects of Americans continue to whither and blow away. Why?

Because the White House is but a public relations front for the corporate-financier interests of Wall Street and London. A change of residence at the White House is no different than say, British Petroleum replacing its spokesman to superficially placate public opinion when in reality the exact same board of directors, overall agenda, and objectives remain firmly in place. Public perception then is managed by, not the primary motivation of, corporate-financier interests.

It is the absolute folly to believe that multi-billion dollar corporate-financier interests would subject their collective fate to the whims of the ignorant, uninformed, and essentially powerless voting masses every four years. Instead, what plays out every four years is theater designed to give the general public the illusion that they have some means of addressing their grievances without actually ever changing the prevailing balance of power in any meaningful way.

The foreign policy of both Obama and Romney is written by the exact same corporate-financier funded think-tanks that have written the script for America's destiny for the last several decades.

Bush = Obama = Romney

As was previously reported, while the corporate media focuses on non-issues, and political pundits accentuate petty political rivalries between the "left" and the "right," a look deeper into presidential cabinets and the authors of domestic and foreign policy reveals just how accurate the equation of "Bush = Obama = Romney" is.



Image: Professional spokesmen, representative not of the American people but of Fortune 500 multinational corporations and banks. Since the time of JP Morgan 100 years ago, the corporate-financier elite saw themselves as being above government, and national sovereignty as merely a regulatory obstacle they could lobby, bribe, and manipulate out of existence. In the past 100 years, the monied elite have gone from manipulating the presidency to now reducing the office to a public relations functionary of their collective interests.

George Bush's cabinet consisted of representatives from FedEx, Boeing, the Council on Foreign Relations, big-oil's Belfer Center at Harvard, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Circuit City, Verizon, Cerberus Capital Management, Goldman Sachs, and the RAND Corporation, among many others.



Image: The Henry Jackson Society is just one of many Neo-Conservative think-tanks, featuring many of the same people and of course, the same corporate sponsors. Each think-tank puts on a different public face and focuses on different areas of specialty despite harboring the same "experts" and corporate sponsors.

His foreign policy was overtly dictated by "Neo-Conservatives" including Richard Perle, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Paul Wolfowitz, James Woolsey, Richard Armitage, Zalmay Khalilzad, Elliot Abrams, Frank Gaffney, Eliot Cohen, John Bolton, Robert Kagan, Francis Fukuyama, William Kristol, and Max Boot - all of whom hold memberships within a myriad of Fortune 500-funded think-tanks that to this day still direct US foreign policy - even under a "liberal" president. These include the Brookings Institution, the International Crisis Group, the Foreign Policy Initiative, the Henry Jackson Society, the Council on Foreign Relations, and many more.



Image: A visual representation of some of the Brookings Institution's corporate sponsors. Brookings is by no means an exception, but rather represents the incestuous relationship between US foreign and domestic policy making and the Fortune 500 found in every major "think-tank." Elected US representatives charged with legislative duties, merely rubber stamp the papers and policies drawn up in these think-tanks.

Obama's cabinet likewise features representatives from JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, the Council on Foreign Relations, Fortune 500 representatives Covington and Burling, Citi Group, Freedie Mac, and defense contractor Honeywell. Like Bush's cabinet, foreign policy is not penned by Obama sitting behind his desk in the Oval Office, but rather by the very same think-tanks that directed Bush's presidency including the Council on Foreign Relations, RAND Corporation, the Brookings Institution, the International Crisis Group, and the Chatham House. There are also a myriad of smaller groups consisting of many of the same members and corporate sponsors, but who specialize in certain areas of interest.



Image: Obama, not a Marxist. A visual representation of current US President Barack Obama's cabinet's corporate-financier ties past and present. As can be plainly seen, many of the same corporate-financier interests represented in Obama's administration were also represented in Bush's administration.

And with Mitt Romney, "running for president" against Obama in 2012, we see already his foreign policy advisers, Michael Chertoff, Eliot Cohen, Paula Dobrainsky, Eric Edelman, and Robert Kagan, represent the exact same people and corporate-funded think-tanks devising strategy under both President Bush and President Obama.

While Presidents Bush and Obama attempted to portray the West's global military expansion as a series of spontaneous crises, in reality, since at least as early as 1991, the nations of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and many others that previously fell under the Soviet Union's sphere of influence, were slated either for political destabilization and overthrow, or overt military intervention. While the public was fed various narratives explaining why Bush conducted two wars within the greater global "War on Terror," and why Obama eagerly expanded these wars while starting new ones in Libya and now Syria, in reality we are seeing "continuity of agenda," dictated by corporate-financier elite, rubber stamped by our elected representatives, and peddled to us by our "leaders," who in reality are nothing more than spokesmen for the collective interests of the Fortune 500.



Image: The International Crisis Group's corporate sponsors reveal a pattern of mega-multinationals intertwined with not only creating and directing US, and even European foreign policy, but in carrying it out. ICG trustee Kofi Annan is in Syria now carrying out a ploy to buy time for NATO-backed terrorists so they can be rearmed, reorganized, and redeployed against the Syrian government for another Western-backed attempt at regime change - all done under the guise of promoting "peace."

....

No matter who you vote for in 2012 - until we change the balance of power currently tipped in favor of the Fortune 500, fed daily by our money, time, energy, and attention, nothing will change but the rhetoric with which this singular agenda is sold to the public. Romney would continue exactly where Obama left off, just as Obama continued exactly where Bush left off. And even during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Bush Sr., it was the same agenda meted out by the same corporate-financier interests that have been driving American, and increasingly Western destiny, since US Marine General Smedley Butler wrote "War is a Racket" in 1935.

What Should We Do About It?

1. Boycott the Presidential Election: The first immediate course of action when faced with a fraudulent system is to entirely disassociate ourselves from it, lest we grant it unwarranted legitimacy. Boycotting the farcical US elections would not impede the corporate-financier "selection" process and the theatrical absurdity that accompanies it, but dismal voter turnout would highlight the illegitimacy of the system. This in many ways has already happened, with voter turnout in 2008 a mere 63%, meaning that only 32% of America's eligible voters actually voted for Obama, with even fewer voting for runner-up John McCain.

Ensuring that this mandate is even lower in 2012 - regardless of which PR man gets selected, and then highlighting the illegitimacy of both the elections and the system itself is the first step toward finding a tenable solution. People must divest from dead-ends. Presidential elections are just one such dead-end.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

The Political Illusion Of The ‘Lesser Of Two Evils’
« Reply #34 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:44:04 am »
 

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http://www.prisonplanet.com/the-political-illusion-of-the-lesser-of-two-evils.html

The Political Illusion Of The ‘Lesser Of Two Evils’

Brandon Smith
Alt Market
Sept 4, 2012

As I stated in my article ‘The Lesser Of Two Evils Con-Game’, one of the great dangers of the upcoming 2012 elections is the psychological trap presented by the Mitt Romney campaign.

Some conservatives are so terrified of a second Obama term that they are willing to strap on the blinders and ignore the overwhelming facts that reveal Romney to be no more than another globalist puppet with an almost identical policy record to the man they despise.

If a citizen votes at all, he should first understand that the election process, especially at the federal level, is utterly corrupt and beyond repair.  Believing that you can affect change by replacing one traitor with another is absurd.  Secondly, he should at the very least vote based on his deepest principles.

Every American should ask themselves one question:  Why participate in the farce if there is nothing to gain?  We have been voting for the “Lesser Of Two Evils" for decades, and the strategy hasn’t been working out too well for us so far.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

 

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http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/03/obama-is-worse-than-bush-in-favoring-the-super-elite-bailing-out-the-big-banks-protecting-financial-criminals-targeting-whistleblowers-secrecy-and-trampling-our-liberties.html

Even Democratic Party Loyalists Starting to Wake Up to the Fact that Obama Is As Bad As Bush … Or Worse

by Washington's Blog
March 17, 2013



Obama Is Worse than Bush In Favoring the Super-Elite, Bailing Out the Big Banks, Protecting Financial Criminals, Targeting Whistleblowers, Keeping Government Secrets, Trampling Our Liberties and Starting Military Conflicts In New Countries

Glenn Greenwald notes that even Democratic party loyalists are getting fed up with Obama’s Bush-like actions:

    Even the most loyal establishment Democrats are now harshly denouncing the president for his war on transparency ….
     
    This secrecy has become so oppressive and extreme that even the most faithful Democratic operatives are now angrily exploding with public denunciations.

(Greenwald gives numerous examples.)
 
The Hill reported last month:

    A majority of voters believe President Obama has been no better than his immediate predecessor, President George W. Bush, when it comes to balancing national security with the protection of civil liberties, according to a new poll for The Hill.
     
    Thirty-seven percent of voters argue that Obama has been worse than Bush while 15 percent say he has been “about the same.” {In other words, a total of 52% think Obama is just as bad as Bush. That was before the drone controversy - discussed below - went viral.}
     
    ***
     
    The results cannot be fully explained as party line responses. More than one in five self-identified Democrats, 21 percent, assert that the Obama administration has not improved upon Bush’s record. So do 23 percent of liberals.

Indeed, more and more Democrats are waking up the fact that Obama is doing a lot of the same stuff Bush did.
 
Bush was a horrible president. His warmongering, disrespect for civil liberties, redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle class to the super-elite, and obsession for secrecy were all abysmal.
 
But how does Obama stack up by objective measurements?
 
Let’s compare …

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #36 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:47:35 am »
 

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Vote on Amash Amendment Reveals Ruse of Two-Party System
« Reply #37 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:49:11 am »
 

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http://www.prisonplanet.com/vote-on-amash-amendment-reveals-ruse-of-two-party-system.html

Vote on Amash Amendment Reveals Ruse of Two-Party System

Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
New American
July 26, 2013

For all those who still believe that Republican=Constitutionalist and Democrat=Liberty-hating liberal, something happened on Capitol Hill that might change your mind.

As was reported by The New American, the House of Representatives narrowly defeated an amendment to the defense appropriations sponsored by Republican Congressman Justin Amash (shown) of Michigan and Democratic Congressman John Conyers, also of Michigan.

The Amash Amendment would have revoked authority “for the blanket collection of records under the Patriot Act. It would also bar the NSA and other agencies from using Section 215 of the Patriot Act to collect records, including telephone call records, that pertain to persons who are not subject to an investigation under Section 215” of the Patriot Act.

Despite the threat to the Establishment (or perhaps because of it), Amash’s measure failed by a vote of 205-217.

It’s the identity of the “ayes” and “nays” that tells the rest of the story.

An analysis of the roll call reveals that a majority of Democrats voted in favor of restricting the Obama administration’s wholesale surveillance of Americans, while a majority of the GOP voted to uphold the NSA’s unconstitutional surveillance of all electronic communications.

Though the final tally was close, the fix was in. In a rare demonstration of meddling in the making of the legislative sausage, the White House issued a statement warning, in not-so-elegant language, that a vote for the Amash amendment was a vote for terrorism.

In a statement published on the White House website, press secretary Jay Carney said, referring to the Amash amendment, “In light of the recent unauthorized disclosures, the President has said that he welcomes a debate about how best to simultaneously safeguard both our national security and the privacy of our citizens.”

Does the president really “welcome a debate?” By their fruits ye shall know them.

Ever since the documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden shined the light of disclosure into the shadowy activities of the surveillance apparatus that has categorized every citizen as a suspect, the White House has ferociously and rabidly attacked Snowden. Perhaps nicotine wipes the short-term memory and the president has forgotten calling Snowden a “traitor” and calling for him to be held accountable for the harm he caused national security.

In the spirit of bipartisanship, however, it’s not as if Republicans fell over each other standing up for the Constitution and the oaths they swore to uphold it.

The list of Republicans joining of the chorus of voices calling a vote for the Amash amendment a vote for radical Islam is impressive and instructive.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Election Reform!
« Reply #38 on: Dec 06, 2013, 11:51:51 am »
 

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"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Why are both major parties silent about election fraud?
« Reply #39 on: Apr 19, 2014, 02:05:43 pm »
 

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http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/04/president-carter-bush-didnt-win-2000.html

President Carter: Bush Didn’t Win in 2000

by Washington's Blog
April 9, 2014

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roTd_X6rQ34



Many commentators – including both liberal and conservative Supreme Court justices such as Sandra Day O’Connor – believe that the Supreme Court wrongfully threw the election to Bush.  Many have called it the “worst Supreme Court decision in history”.

Liberals also believe that the “Brooks Brothers Riot” against the recount was a dirty trick by high-level Republican operatives (and see this):



But the elephant in the room which most Democrats refuse to consider is election fraud. This is odd, given that there is substantial evidence that election fraud has been widespread in the U.S. in recent years.

Why won’t they admit that election fraud is widespread?

Perhaps because they benefit from the false appearance of free and fair elections. As Sonoma State University professor and Project Censored Director Peter Phillips noted in 2005:

    There is little doubt key Democrats know that votes in 2004 and earlier elections were stolen. The fact that few in Congress are complaining about fraud is an indication of the totality to which both parties accept the status quo of a money based elections system. Neither party wants to further undermine public confidence in the American “democratic” process (over 80 millions eligible voters refused to vote in 2004)…. Future elections in the US will continue as an equal opportunity for both parties to maintain a national democratic charade in which money counts more than truth.

A more cynical view: the Democratic “leadership” may simply hope to be able to outspend the Republicans in the election fraud arm’s race.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

 

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