A patriot's agenda for '06

http://www.reasonableveteran.com/

New Year’s Day Resolution
by Reasonable Veteran, January 1, 2006

As a war veteran who deeply appreciates the value of freedom, here is my New Year’s Day resolution:

Peacefully overthrow the unelected executive.

Although this proposal sounds shocking, my resolution remains protected as free speech under our U.S. Constitution.

With great seriousness, I believe it is time for me to exercise that right today, so we and our children may live with liberty and pursue happiness.

Toward that end, here’s an idea free people should ponder: Exercising our civil liberties on a massive scale on Friday, January 20, 2006.

That day will mark five years since our last properly elected president departed the White House and the disturbing downward spiral toward dictatorship began.

On January 20, 2006, free-thinking citizens in the United States should take one hour from work, school, or play in order to exercise our freedoms.

We should call it “Freedom Hour.”

This means using one hour, at any time of the day, to remember the meaning and value of freedom. Some may choose to take time from work. Others may choose to walk out of class. And others may decide to assemble in public, as is our right under our U.S. Constitution.

People should bring with them one of these three great works to share.

“Common Sense,” by Thomas Paine
“Declaration of Independence,” by Thomas Jefferson
“U.S. Constitution,” by James Madison

I’m suggesting we peacefully exercise our rights on January 20 because our Nation is facing a very serious Constitutional crisis due illegal domestic spying, questionable elections, and an endless pursuit of war using fear and lies.

Our Constitutional crisis began last year when Bush confirmed that he spied on U.S. citizens without a warrant, as required by our U.S. Constitution and the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act.

Interestingly, Bono, TIME Magazine’s man of the year, points out the seriousness of these times that try men’s souls. In an almost-hidden message in U2’s new video album, “Vertigo,” the band reminds us, using a one or two words per page:

Don’t become a monster in order to defeat a monster.

When Bush was confronted with the fact he broke our laws and ignored our Constitution, Bush only turned up the heat, saying he will keep undermining our freedom.

In Bush’s unreasonable view, Bush tells free people that he, as “Commander in Chief,” is above our Constitution and our laws. May I remind Bush what Thomas Paine wrote when describing the despotic George III during the Revolutionary War: “Law is King.”

Paine means that the King is not the sole decision maker for a free people. And that is why Americans revolted against the tyranny of the British Crown, including violent attempts to mandate the King’s version of religion and the King’s version of monopolized commercial profit.

Unless we act peacefully to recognize we are a free people who lead our Nation, then Bush’s pattern of behavior indicates Bush will raise the stakes and steal more liberties.

The loss of freedoms is not an academic exercise. In plain terms, Bush ended habeus corpus – your right to your day in court. Bush builds secret prison camps around the globe. Bush uses “rendition” – he sends suspects to other countries to be tortured without a trial, away from the Red Cross and your right to an attorney.

When Bush declares himself King, who, then is to prevent Governors, Mayors, police chiefs, and others from declaring themselves above the law? The potential for cascading abuse is real and upon us.

Recent news confirms the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York City police, and other police departments spied upon church groups and peace groups. Bush’s illegal spying involves the active support of major corporations who provide internet and phone service. That means everyone, every where, can be monitored by secret police without any reason, without any warrant, and Bush says there is nothing you can do about it.

Ask yourself this question: Do you want government police spies and big business in your church pews, in your work meetings, at your job site, or at your poker parties with your buddies where you slam the boss?

A similar theft of freedom was corrected in the 1970s, when former President Richard M. Nixon declared himself above the law. Nixon spied on innocent people, too. Lives were ruined, and many people went to prison for violating our Constitution.

Bush’s spying reminds me of Nixon. And remember Bush’s haunting quote on CNN news on December 18, 2000:

If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.

As a political moderate, I’ve been very concerned about the direction this country is going in the past few years. I keep asking myself, how bad does it need to get before the people say, “Enough is enough?”

On Veteran’s Day, I said this to a group of family, friends, and veterans gathered to recognize those who stand on the ramparts guarding our individual and collect freedoms:

The worst day free is always better than the best day safe.

Thus, I ask all fellow citizens to consider taking one hour on January 20th to stand up for ourselves and send a clear message to a reckless and dangerous President: we are strong because we are free, and we grow weaker when you steal our liberties, spy on us, imprison us, and otherwise ignore the fact that Congress and the Judiciary are co-equal branches of government responsible to the people, not you.

Bush proposes to tear our Nation in two. We’re better than that. Let’s resolve this New Year’s Day to be one free people. Let’s have a “Freedom Hour.”

On January 20, at the time you choose, begin to peacefully overthrow the unelected executive. Are you willing to pledge one hour to be free?

— Reasonable Veteran

Rich Lang on "Ring of Fire" today, tomorrow

Greetings folks,

Just a FYI …. I’m on Air America this weekend on the Ring of Fire Show (with Mike Papantonio … the show is co-hosted by Bobby Kennedy Jr.) … We are talking about Christian Fascism and the state of the church. I think it might prove interesting.

There might be a problem hearing the interview.
a.) it might be pre-empted by a Cougar basketball game
b.) the show is two hours but only one hour in Seattle

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a live-body at the local station to tell me whether or not it will air as everyone seems to have been raptured. Ah well.

You can access the show in Seattle on KPTK 1090am Saturday at 5-6pm. If, for whatever reason, the show is not aired, you can access the interview on the Ring of Fire site (ringoffireradio.com) next week.

For you computer whizs the show can be accessed live Saturdays 5-7(EST) or rebroadcast Sunday 3-5pm (EST).

Rich Lang

Trouble in Illinois

Dear Kane County Democrats,

As most of you already know, the Illinois State Board of Elections has given two-year interim certification to two unreliable and highly insecure DRE touch-screen computer voting systems.

They are:

1. Sequoia AVC Edge
2. Diebold Accuvote TSX.

Since 2002, VotersUnite.Org. has collected hundreds of press reports on vote switching, miscounts, mechanical failures and the illegal use of uncertified
software involving these and other computer-based voting systems.

In addition to the DRE touch-screen systems that will be put into use,
nearly all Illinois counties will be using highly insecure optical-scan
voting equipment manufactured and programmed by Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia.

The Illinois Ballot Integrity Project and The Quick ‘N Clean Foundation have
learned that virtually none of the computerized voting equipment (including
county central tabulators) has been tested for security against malicious
programming and vote rigging.

The lack of security testing is true at both the federal and state levels.

The Illinois State Board of Elections does not test for security in its
certification processes.

We now know that the Illinois Election System is wide open to malicious
programming and vote rigging.

Two things need two be done two provide reasonable assurance that Illinois
elections will not be rigged in 2006:

1. Independent party tabulation of all county and statewide vote totals.
2. All paper ballots in a minimum of 5% of all precincts in each county must
be hand counted by teams of bipartisan/multipartisan trained election
judges.

Item two will likely require state legislation.

I have attached (see below) a single-page document entitled “County Election Integrity
Committees”. This document outlines what needs to be done at the county
level.

We must begin organizing our Democratic Party election oversight program
now.

I would like to schedule out first organizing meeting on Saturday, January
7th at 10:30 a.m. in Batavia.

Let me know if this meeting time works for you.

Best Wishes,
Larry

COUNTY ELECTION INTEGRITY COMMITTEES

(www.qnc.us)

The vast majority of election oversight activities will be conducted at the county level.

Working with township, district and ward committee chairs, the Democratic County Central Committee will be responsible for recruiting, training and coordinating the election oversight activities of hundreds of Democratic volunteers. Recruitment and training activities need to begin well before the next election.

It is recommended that each Democratic County Central Committee:

·Create a standing County Election Integrity Committee to coordinate election oversight activities around the county.

·Staff each precinct/polling place with two Democratic poll watchers to record precinct vote totals for all races.

·Independently tabulate countywide vote totals.

·Ensure that 5% of all precincts are randomly selected in each county, for a complete hand count of all races, by a bipartisan team of qualified election judges.

·Staff each county and township election center with an adequate number of trained election judges.

·Staff each county and township vote tabulation center with two qualified attorneys to ensure compliance with election law, and to quickly report observed violations to election officials and the media.

·Prior to each election, provide an election integrity workshop for all Democratic poll watchers, election judges, legal experts and others in need of training.

·Actively work for the establishment of a nonpartisan/bipartisan county election board.

Establishing a county election oversight system will create an opportunity to involve hundreds of new Democratic volunteers in the political process, and will assure a Democratic presence in each precinct of the county. Most volunteers need only contribute a few hours at election time.

Join the fight in Georgia!

Black Lawmakers Vow to Repeal Ga. Voter Law
By ERRIN HAINES, Associated Press Writer
Thu Dec 29,10:12 PM ET

At the end of a losing battle during the past legislative session, Georgia state Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan burst into the civil rights anthem “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around” to protest the passage of a law requiring voters to show a photo ID at the polls.

In the next session starting Jan. 9, the 27-year-old black Democrat says she will not be moved in her fight to get the law repealed.

“It’s whatever it takes,” Morgan said. “I’m putting on the armor. Nothing they can do will fix the bill. It’s a bad law and it needs to be repealed. We’re not going backwards.”

Thomas and other black lawmakers know they are in for a battle as Republicans stand determined to defend the law, which requires voters who do not have a driver’s license to buy a state-issued ID card for as much as $35 – a fee critics say hurts the poor, the elderly and minorities.

The law eliminates the use of some other forms of identification to vote, including Social Security cards, birth certificates and utility bills. Supporters, including Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue, argued that the measure would help prevent fraud.

In October, a federal judge blocked Georgia from enforcing the law, saying the measure amounts to an unconstitutional poll tax because the state is not doing enough to make ID cards available to those who cannot afford them.

Republican Sen. Cecil Staton, the legislation’s chief Senate sponsor, is proposing to amend the law during the upcoming session. He said he is willing, among other things, to make the state-issued IDs free for the asking.

Read more.

This is no joke

Lawsuit Alleges Discrimination Against Whites in Mississippi
By Jake Tapper and Avery Miller
ABC News
Wednesday 28 December 2005

For the first time, justice department alleges voting disenfranchisement against whites.

Macon, Miss. – In overwhelmingly black and Democratic Noxubee County, Miss., everybody knows local Democratic Party chairman Ike Brown.

Officials at the U.S. Justice Department know Brown too; they’re suing him. Using the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the government has alleged that Brown and local elections officials discriminated against whites. It is the first time the Justice Department has ever claimed that whites suffered discrimination in voting because of race.

“When I read the letter, it was junk, you know, bogus,” Brown told ABC News.

The Justice Department says Brown and local elections officials disenfranchised whites – challenging their voting status, rejecting their absentee ballots and telling voters to choose candidates according to race.

Brown says he has merely tried to keep white Republicans from voting in Democratic primaries. He says the lawuit is all political – an attempt to discredit him because the Democratic Party in eastern Mississippi has been doing so well at bringing new voters to the polls, which may mean someday soon that Mississippi, a red state, could turn blue.

Read more.

A soldier's mother in the crosshairs

of the US Army.

December 28, 2005

Letter From A Military “Mom”
Domestic Spying and Incident of Intimidation of Military Families
by Robin Vaughan

I am sending this letter to you in hope of finding a source to hear my concerns. It is something that has bothered me since the occurrence, and I know it is not something that should have happened, and I worry for my family’s safety as I step out to speak about this.

During my son’s deployment to Iraq, February 2004 – February 2005, I created a small group website on MSN, for families and friends of our soldiers’ deployed unit. It was a membership only site, and we were a tight group of mostly “Moms” from all over the United States just trying to make it through each day. The support and help we gave one another is a singular experience of grace I will never forget.

During the first few months of our site, the Army decided to call every single family on the site, informing them that the site was not to be used by any of the families. The Department of Defense called families in the middle of the night to notify them to not use the web site. Most of the families were near tears, thinking they were getting “THE” call telling them their child or loved one had been killed or injured.

The information received via the phone call was to inform the families that the base did not condone the site, nor [did] the Army, and that it was not to be used; the gist was, families were not allowed to use the site, or they could get into “trouble”. Some members reported their soldier calling from Iraq, telling them to be careful about using the site as the Army was monitoring it.

As Web Mistress of the site, I needed to respond and qualify this information, as well as to educate this commanding officer as to the rights and liberties of a private web site, which I did. I was told I would have to let a commanding officer onto the site to monitor the messages. I did allow this, but I also informed the officer that this was a courtesy, as there is no such law, or right of the military to monitor, shut down or exclude our web site.

I believe we received this order and treatment for a couple of reasons.

Occasionally we would voice our concerns publicly over what our government was failing to do to help our soldiers, or we would share or argue political opinions as well. The second reason may be the armed services all have a group of their own family type support (FRG); as we were not local to the base our soldiers deployed from, the site was a means to provide that support, as best as we could.

The support group at our base tried to force the site to be given over to them, which I refused. At this time I was told I might want to be careful, as the government was monitoring the site as well. Soldiers in our unit, while in Iraq, were telling their parents to stay off of the site, or to be very careful of what they wrote. This came from a rear detachment officer in charge, and members on the site.

I reminded the Army I am a private citizen, not on base, with a private site making no claims as to having any affiliation with any branch of service, but clearly stating we were family and friends of our unit in support of one another. We were treated with power-by-intimidation. It isn’t hard to make that work, when you have someone’s child in a war zone.

We were a group of 77 families from all over the country, at the time of the call. Every single family was phoned and told not to use the site, and I believe some 150 other families were phoned as well, as it was an official order from a commanding officer.

I have waited to speak of this situation until my son was home safe and sound, and also after his transfer to another base. Yes, I was afraid of repercussions that could have harmed him, one way or another. I called my local senator’s office 4 months ago, following up every 10 days to 2 weeks, and still have no answers or support.

I admit I am not comfortable writing this, as required to, as I am still concerned for my son and the other soldiers and families involved on the site. We didn’t endanger them by means of displaying their photos with their names, giving up information about their location and actions. We were very careful to not breach Intel protocol, learning Ops protocol, as well as respecting and complying with it. We simply were at times, vocal about our displeasure with our president and government for how our military was being treated, or how the presidential election was being handled.

There are literally hundreds of military family, private support groups on the Internet. I truly believe we were singled out because of my refusal to hand the site over to the local F.R.G., as well as [my] outspoken political beliefs.

It’s simply amazing that my son and others risk their lives for “Freedom” in Iraq, when his own mother’s civil liberties are threatened, and families are intimidated into silence by the very same Army he is serving. I am hoping after reading this you may direct me as to where I can at least have this concern heard. Basically, are the following common practice, and legal?

** The Armed services can order families from communicating in a private forum?

** The Armed services can threaten private citizens’ first amendment rights?

I want to make sure this is not happening to other service member’s families. We live in a hell everyday during the deployment of our loved ones; we don’t need the added bullying or stripping away of our means of helping one another.

Any idea or direction you can point me in would be greatly appreciated. Also, this problem can be corroborated by other families if need be.

Why did it take so long for me to step forward?

Originally I contacted my Senators office, with no reply for six months, and have also spoken with the A.C.L.U (with little hope of action due to the length of time that has passed), but until now was not willing to come forward in a public way. It took until September for my son to be safely stationed at another base, and other family’s service members to either be out of the service all together, or be transferred as well.

We were afraid for their safety, our own safety, our relationships with them and their future in the service; all of these things could have been affected, and we couldn’t chance one more problem or pressure being added to the already heavy load the families and soldiers live with. The intimidation worked. Is this just something silly I should let go?

It doesn’t seems trivial to me, but I am learning unless it happens to someone personally, no one seems to care.

http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Dec05/Vaughan1228.htm

Cover-up in California

‘All is Well’ Says CA Sec. of State About ES&S Voting Machines (Without Telling Us What Was Wrong in the First Place)
Some Quick Damage Control After Secret Letter Uncovered Threats of Decertification by of Voting Machine Company by SoS in the Golden State

Everything’s fine. Nothing to worry about. These aren’t the droids you’re looking for. That was the message out of Sacramento yesterday in regards to the newly exposed concerns about ES&S voting machines in California as recently revealed by a secret letter from California’s Secretary of State. That letter was written and sent five weeks ago privately, but only reported publicly for the first time last week after it was uncovered by an AP reporter.

Of course, CA SoS Bruce McPherson’s office has yet to actually inform the voters (you remember them, don’t you, Mr. McPherson?) of the “problems experienced by counties utilitizing ES&S voting equipment and software” as discovered during the recent November Special Election which “deeply concerned” the SoS enough to threaten ES&S with decertification in the entire state, according to the letter.

But the message out yesterday — which still does not reveal the extent of the discovered “problems” — is that all is well, and no, you pesky voters don’t need to worry your pretty little selves about a thing!…

Read more.

Snapping out of it

Hello Mark & Brad,

You both are my heroes of 2005. I actually have been in a state of shock since 2000 —– I am now much better able to start shaking it off since I heard both of you speaking in Portland this year. Big things are coming — we’ll take our country back from the brink. And it will be in no small part because of the courageous, pioneering work of both of you on election reform.

Your revelations about the crusade against our democracy are chilling but I am really feeling an exhiliration of finally coming out of the dark (after so many years!) and I’d like to express profound gratitude for your courage in finding the truth and informing the public.

Besides thanking you, I wanted to write to send you a blog entry I put together from Professor Miller’s speech during his book tour through Portland in November.

It’s at this link: http://www.oregonvrc.org/SpeakerSeries1

The Q&A portion is not transcribed yet but it is fantastic. I also have recordings of the entire speech and will be posting them on our site (http://www.OregonVRC.org) in 10 minute segments so anyone can listen. I’m happy to make these files available for posting directly on your blogs if you would like. I want to make a DVD as well, since we have some good quality video of the event. Every American needs to hear this information!

Well, Happy non-denominational mid-winter celebration and here’s to getting some democracy back in the ’06 election!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Ginny Ross
Democracy for Oregon
Oregon Voter Rights Coalition

Religious nuts run USAID

This is from a newspaper in Lebanon.

‘By God, another awful Bush appointment’
By William Fisher

Washington is a town where the best and the brightest usually coexist with well-connected political hacks. However, the Bush administration has taken promotion of the latter to embarrassing extremes, selecting unqualified people for posts because of their political loyalty and ideological persuasion. The most recent example of this was the appointment of Paul Bonicelli to be deputy director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which is in charge of all programs to promote democracy and good governance overseas.

One would have thought the administration had learned its lesson. In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Michael Brown, was forced to resign because of his incompetence in dealing with the consequences of the storm. Soon afterward, President George W. Bush named While House counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. Her lack of qualifications, and a Republican revolt against the nomination, forced her to withdraw.

Like Brown and Miers, Bonicelli has little experience in the field he has been tapped to supervise. The closest he comes to democracy-promotion or good governance is having worked as a staffer for the Republican Party in the International Relations Committee of the House of Representatives.

Read more.

Is Amazon colluding with Bush/Cheney?

From a friend in Oregon:

Late last Friday evening (12/ 23/05) I ordered two books from Amazon.com: Your own Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney’s New World Order, and Justin A. Franks’ Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President.

The following Monday morning (12/26/05) I received an e-mail from Amazon.com asking me if I would like to purchase evidence of my intention to commit a federal crime. The e-mail said, “Dear Amazon.com Customer, We’ve noticed that customers who have purchased Gardener’s Latin: A Lexicon by Bill Neal also purchased books by S. T. Oner. For this reason, you might like to know that S. T. Oner’s [i.e., Stoner’s, isn’t that cute?] Marijuana Outdoor Grower’s Guide will be released in paperback soon. You can pre-order your copy at a savings of 32% by following the link below.”

I find it a real stretch that the marketing geniuses at Amazon.com believe that people who want to know the meaning of the Latin terms found on nursery tags and in gardening catalogs will likely want to manufacture a controlled substance classified as a Schedule I drug!

Amazon.com lists one other book authored by S. T. Oner, and that is The Marijuana Chef’s Cookbook. That’s the only book by S. T. Oner that customer’s who bought Gardener’s Latin could have purchased. But, on Amazon’s page for Gardener’s Latin, where it says “Customers who bought this book also bought…” there is a list of books on plant identification and terminology, but none on cooking with pot.

So what is the connection that Amazon.com’s marketing department perceives between botanical taxonomy and pot brownies, or the manufacture of a controlled substance? There is none that I can think of. (Unless they’re thinking that it must be pot-heads who are buying Bill Neal’s book just to find out what the heck Cannabis sativa means.)

My guess is that that Amazon.com’s thoughtful offer is much more related to my interest in knowing about our President’s mental illnesses and his plans for world domination, than to my interest in knowing the meaning of the botanical names of the garden plants I buy.

Since we know that the intelligence agencies are snooping to see who is reading what, this bizarre offer from Amazon.com makes me wonder if the intelligence agencies are also getting booksellers to offer self-incriminating evidence to people who read “forbidden” books. The purchase of a book on how to commit a federal crime can be used in court as evidence of intent to commit that crime. It also tips off the authorities to possible illegal behavior, and in the Age of Bushlaw, it might even be sufficient evidence for the issuance of a search warrant — if anyone still thinks those are necessary.

I curious to know if other people who buy your books get similar off-the-wall offers.

R. Fischer
Bandon, Oregon