Help Lynn Landes with this crucial lawsuit!

Mark,

Anything you can do to give my lawsuit some publicity would be much appreciated.

It would also be great if others filed amicus curiae briefs on my behalf.

Lynn Landes

__________________________

http://www.ecotalk.org/Lawsuit.htm

Voting Systems Lawsuit Reaches U.S. Supreme Court

Washington DC, Jan 30 / PR Newswire (link) – A little-noticed voting rights lawsuit has made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court (Docket No. 05-930). It constitutes the first legal challenge to the widespread use of nontransparent voting systems. Specifically, the lawsuit challenges the use of voting machines and absentee voting in elections for public office.

The lawsuit was originally filed by freelance journalist Lynn Landes in July of 2004 in Philadelphia federal court (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania). The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Landes on November 2, 2005.

In her lawsuit Landes claims that, as a voter and a journalist, she has the right to direct access to a physical ballot and to observe the voting process unimpeded. Voting by machine or absentee, Landes claims, introduces obstacles and concealment to a process that must be accessible and transparent in a meaningful and effective manner.

Landes is representing herself in this action.

“I tried to get civil rights organizations interested in this case, but had no luck. Their disregard for this issue is incredible. It’s clear to me that without direct access to a physical ballot and
meaningful transparency in the process, our elections have no integrity whatsoever,” says Landes.

The defendants in the Landes lawsuit are Margaret Tartaglione, Chair of the City Commissioners of Philadelphia; Pedro A. Cortes, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States.

Attorneys for the defendants have successfully fought Landes, claiming that she did not prove an injury and therefore does not have standing. Landes counters that she has the right to challenge the constitutionality of acts of the legislative branch under federal statute and case law, most significantly under Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803).

Early American history seems to favor the Landes position. Prior to the Civil War, voting was a public and transparent process. It was only after the war, as the elective franchise expanded to minorities and women, three changes to state and federal election laws were adopted that eventually made the voting process a private and nontransparent enterprise: absentee voting was allowed (1870’s), the Australian secret ballot method was adopted (1880’s), and voting
machines were permitted by Congress (1899).

Today, 94.6% of all votes are processed by machines and approximately 30% of all voting is conducted early or by absentee.

The defendants’ response is due at the Supreme Court no later than February 24, 2006.

The Landes lawsuit can be found at the following url: www.EcoTalk.org/lawsuit.doc (Editor: No password should be required to see the document, but I’ve received a comment that one is
being asked for. I don’t understand it, but try typing in anything and you should get in anyway.)

Docket no.

Source:

EcoTalk.org
Lynn Landes, publisher
215-629-3553
lynnlandes[at]earthlink.net

Cindy Sheehan's account of her arrest

Sheehan: “What Really Happened”

author: g.d. dem
Cindy Sheehan has released a statement about what really happened when she was arrested yesterday in the gallery of the House of Representatives, shortly before Bush entered to give his State of the Union speech.

“There have been lies from the police and distortions by the press.”

Her statement has been posted at Michael Moore’s website. Here it is. …a message from Cindy Sheehan

Dear Friends,

As most of you have probably heard, I was arrested before the State of the Union Address tonight.

I am speechless with fury at what happened and with grief over what we have lost in our country.

There have been lies from the police and distortions by the press. (Shocker) So this is what really happened:

This afternoon at the People’s State of the Union Address in DC where I was joined by Congresspersons Lynn Woolsey and John Conyers, Ann Wright, Malik Rahim and John Cavanagh. Lynn brought me a ticket to the State of the Union Address. At that time, I was wearing the shirt that said: 2,245 Dead. How many more?

After the PSOTU press conference, I was having second thoughts about going to the SOTU at the Capitol. I didn’t feel comfortable going. I knew George Bush would say things that would hurt me and anger me and I knew that I couldn’t disrupt the address because Lynn had given me the ticket and I didn’t want to be disruptive out of respect for her.

I, in fact, had given the ticket to John Bruhns who is in Iraq Veterans Against the War. However, Lynn’s office had already called the media and everyone knew I was going to be there so I sucked it up and went.

I got the ticket back from John, and I met one of Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s staffers in the Longworth Congressional Office building and we went to the Capitol via the underground tunnel. I went through security once, then had to use the rest room and went through security again.

My ticket was in the 5th gallery, front row, fourth seat in. The person who in a few minutes was to arrest me, helped me to my seat.

I had just sat down and I was warm from climbing 3 flights of stairs back up from the bathroom so I unzipped my jacket. I turned to the right to take my left arm out, when the same officer saw my shirt and yelled, “Protester.” He then ran over to me, hauled me out of my seat and roughly (with my hands behind my back) shoved me up the stairs. I said something like, “I’m going, do you have to be so rough?” By the way, his name is Mike Weight.

The officer ran with me to the elevators yelling at everyone to move out of the way. When we got to the elevators, he cuffed me and took me outside to await a squad car. On the way out, someone behind me said, “That’s Cindy Sheehan.” At which point the officer who arrested me said, “Take these steps slowly.” I said, “You didn’t care about being careful when you were dragging me up the other steps.” He said, “That’s because you were protesting.” Wow, I get hauled out of the People’s House because I was, “Protesting.”

I was never told that I couldn’t wear that shirt into the Congress. I was never asked to take it off or zip my jacket back up. If I had been asked to do any of those things…I would have, and written about the suppression of my freedom of speech later. I was immediately, and roughly (I have the bruises and muscle spasms to prove it) hauled off and arrested for “unlawful conduct.”

After I had my personal items inventoried and my fingers printed, a nice Sgt. came in and looked at my shirt and said, “2,245, huh? I just got back from there.”

I told him that my son died there. That’s when the enormity of my loss hit me. I have lost my son. I have lost my First Amendment rights. I have lost the country that I love. Where did America go? I started crying in pain.

What did Casey die for? What did the 2,244 other brave young Americans die for? What are tens of thousands of them over there in harm’s way for still? For this? I can’t even wear a shirt that has the number of troops on it that George Bush and his arrogant and ignorant policies are responsible for killing.

I wore the shirt to make a statement. The press knew I was going to be there and I thought every once in awhile they would show me and I would have the shirt on. I did not wear it to be disruptive, or I would have unzipped my jacket during George’s speech. If I had any idea what happens to people who wear shirts that make the neocons uncomfortable…that I would be arrested…maybe I would have, but I didn’t.

There have already been many wild stories out there.

I have some lawyers looking into filing a First Amendment lawsuit against the government for what happened tonight. I will file it. It is time to take our freedoms and our country back.

I don’t want to live in a country that prohibits any person, whether he/she has paid the ultimate price for that country, from wearing, saying, writing, or telephoning any negative statements about the government. That’s why I am going to take my freedoms and liberties back. That’s why I am not going to let Bushco take anything else away from me…or you.

I am so appreciative of the couple of hundred protesters who came to the jail while I was locked up to show their support….we have so much potential for good…there is so much good in so many people.

Four hours and 2 jails after I was arrested, I was let out. Again, I am so upset and sore it is hard to think straight.

Keep up the struggle…I promise you I will too.

Love and peace soon,
Cindy

Source: http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/02/333163.shtml

Let's take down the Vichy Democrats!

Mark:

Thanks a lot for putting up the VichyDems site during the filibuster fight. It helped: on Monday the site was only 6 days old, and drew over 7,000 hits. I estimate we turned out at least a few tens of thousands of phone calls from there alone.

I’m not stopping, though. The Alito fight, in my eyes, was always just the opening salvo in a larger game plan. With all those calls, the Vichy Dems who voted yes on cloture knew full well that they were going against the wishes of the base; and the ones that supported the filibuster knew, just as clearly, that they were
acceding to their base. Phase Two MUST be to demonstrate, to both groups, that we’re watching them, rewarding the good, punishing the bad. Otherwise, all that work was for nothing.

So, on http://vichydems.blogspot.com, I’m moving forward.

First, I’ve
http://vichydems.blogspot.com/2006/02/cross-reference-alito-vichys.html
cross-referenced the Dem Senators for and against the filibuster with who’s up for reelection this year, and who’s in the Gang of 14. (Hey — everyone in the G14 voted for cloture! Hey — if everyone up for reelection pandered to their base, we would have won!)

(I’ve also got links to a couple of challengers: Ned Lamont (vs Joementum) and Mark Wilson (vs. Cantwell). I’d appreciate people’s thoughts about Wilson, in particular: is he the best guy to beat Cantwell in the primary and still win the general? Is Cantwell really a Vichy?)

Second, I REALLY wish that everyone who made millions of phone calls, emails and faxes to Senators before the cloture vote, would make at least a few – and hopefully more than a few – to praise those who did the right thing, and later to chastise those who didn’t. I’m
http://vichydems.blogspot.com/2006/02/everyone-listen-up-post-filibuster.html
starting with the praise to the good guys. It’s really important, both to retain the moral high ground (we say thank you to those who support us), AND TACTICALLY, because it reminds them that WE’RE STILL PAYING ATTENTION.

I estimate we — meaning everyone, Kos, MoveOn, NARAL, everyone — turned out several hundred thousand phone calls against cloture. I’d like to crank out at least 50,000 thank yous over the next week or two. Our grandmothers will be proud of us. After we’ve sent our thank you notes, we’ll start making the screw you calls.

As before, complete contact resources are over at my site.

Thanks!!

Thersites

"The True State of the Union"

CounterPunch
February 1, 2006
The True State of the Union
More Deception from the Bush White House
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Gentle reader, if you prefer comforting lies to harsh truths, don’t read this column.

The state of the union is disastrous. By its naked aggression, bullying, illegal spying on Americans, and illegal torture and detentions, the Bush administration has demonstrated American contempt for the Geneva Convention, for human life and dignity, and for the civil liberties of its own citizens. Increasingly, the US is isolated in the world, having to resort to bribery and threats to impose its diktats. No country any longer looks to America for moral leadership. The US has become a rogue nation.

Least of all did President Bush tell any truth about the economy. He talked about economic growth rates without acknowledging that they result from eating the seed corn and do not produce jobs with a living wage for Americans. He touted a low rate of unemployment and did not admit that the figure is false because it does not count millions of discouraged workers who have dropped out of the work force.

Americans did not hear from Bush that a new Wal-Mart just opened on Chicago’s city boundary and 25,000 people applied for 325 jobs (Chicago Sun-Times, Jan. 26), or that 11,000 people applied for a few Wal-Mart jobs in Oakland, California. Obviously, employment is far from full.
Neither did Bush tell Americans any of the dire facts reported by economist Charles McMillion in the January 19 issue of Manufacturing & Technology News:
During Bush’s presidency the US has experienced the slowest job creation on record (going back to 1939). During the past five years private business has added only 958,000 net new jobs to the economy, while the government sector has added 1.1 million jobs. Moreover, as many of the jobs are not for a full work week, “the country ended 2005 with fewer private sector hours worked than it had in January 2001.”

McMillion reports that the largest sources of private sector jobs have been health care and waitresses and bartenders. Other areas of the private sector lost so many jobs, including supervisory/managerial jobs, that had health care not added 1.4 million new jobs, the private sector would have experienced a net loss of 467,000 jobs between January 2001 and December 2005 despite an “economic recovery.” Without the new jobs waiting tables and serving drinks, the US economy in the past five years would have eked out a measly 64,000 jobs. In other words, there is a job depression in the US.

McMillion reports that during the past five years of Bush’s presidency the US has lost 16.5% of its manufacturing jobs. The hardest hit are clothes manufacturers, textile mills, communications equipment, and semiconductors. Workforces in these industries shrunk by 37 to 46 percent. These are amazing job losses. Major industries have shriveled to insignificance in half a decade.

Free trade, offshore production for US markets, and the outsourcing of US jobs are the culprits. McMillion writes that “every industry that faces foreign outsourcing or import competition is losing jobs,” including both Ford and General Motors, both of which recently announced new job losses of 30,000 each. The parts supplier, Delphi, is on the ropes and cutting thousands of jobs, wages, benefits, and pensions.

If the free trade/outsourcing propaganda were true, would not at least some US export industries be experiencing a growth in employment? If free trade and outsourcing benefit the US economy, how did America run up $2.85 trillion in trade deficits over the last five years? This means Americans consumed almost $3 trillion dollars more in goods and services than they produced and turned over $3 trillion of their existing assets to foreigners to pay for their consumption. Consuming accumulated wealth makes a country poorer, not richer.

Americans are constantly reassured that America is the leader in advanced technology and intellectual property and doesn’t need jobs making clothes or even semiconductors. McMillion puts the lie to this reassurance. During Bush’s presidency, the US has lost its trade surplus in manufactured Advanced Technology Products (ATP). The US trade deficit in ATP now exceeds the US surplus in Intellectual Property licenses and fees. The US no longer earns enough from high tech to cover any part of its import bill for oil, autos, or clothing.
This is an astonishing development. The US “superpower” is dependent on China for advanced technology products and is dependent on Asia to finance its massive deficits and foreign wars. In view of the rapid collapse of US economic potential, my prediction in January 2004 that the US would be a third world economy in 20 years was optimistic. Another five years like the last, and little will be left. America’s capacity to export manufactured goods has been so reduced that some economists say that there is no exchange rate at which the US can balance its trade.

McMillion reports that median household income has fallen for a record fifth year in succession. Growth in consumer spending has resulted from households spending their savings and equity in their homes. In 2005 for the first time since the Great Depression in the 1930s, American consumers spent more than they earned, and the government budget deficit was larger than all business savings combined. American households are paying a record share of their disposable income to service their debts.
With America hemorrhaging red ink in every direction, how much longer can the dollar hold on to its role as world reserve currency?

The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is the cradle of the propaganda that globalization is win-win for all concerned. Free trader Stephen Roach of Morgan Stanley reports that the mood at the recently concluded Davos meeting was different, because the predicted “wins” for the industrialized world have not made an appearance.

Roach writes that “job creation and real wages in the mature, industrialized economies have seriously lagged historical norms. It is now commonplace for recoveries in the developed world to be either jobless or wageless–or both.”
Roach is the first free trade economist to admit that the disruptive technology of the Internet has dashed the globalization hopes. It was supposed to work like this: The first wo

rld would lose market share in tradable manufactured goods and make up the job and economic loss with highly-educated knowledge workers. The “win-win” was supposed to be cheaper manufactured goods for the first world and more and better jobs for the third world.

It did not work out this way, Roach writes, because the Internet allowed job outsourcing to quickly migrate from call centers and data processing to the upper end of the value chain, displacing first world employees in “software programming, engineering, design, and the medical profession, as well as a broad array of professionals in the legal, accounting, actuarial, consulting, and financial services industries.”

This is what I have been writing for years, while the economics profession adopted a position of total denial. The first world gainers from globalization are the corporate executives, who gain millions of dollars in bonuses by arbitraging labor and substituting cheaper foreign labor for first world labor. For the past decade free market economists have served as apologists for corporate interests that are dismantling the ladders of upward mobility in the US and creating what McMillion writes is the worst income inequality on record.

Globalization is wiping out the American middle class and terminating jobs for university graduates, who now serve as temps, waitresses and bartenders. But the whores among economists and the evil men and women in the Bush administration still sing globalization’s praises.

The state of the nation has never been worse. The Great Depression was an accident caused by the incompetence of the Federal Reserve, which was still new at its job. The new American job depression is the result of free trade ideology. The new job depression is creating a reserve army of the unemployed to serve as desperate recruits for neoconservative military adventures. Perhaps that explains the Bush administration’s enthusiasm for globalization.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.

That quaking sound

http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/06/01/con06046.html

A BuzzFlash Guest Contribution
January 29, 2006
The F-Word: A Letter the New York Times Refused to Print

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Stephen J. Ducat, author of The Wimp Factor
New York Representative Jerold Nadler, as quoted in the January 21, 2006 issue of the New York Times, appropriately and articulately drew comparisons between President Bush’s unrelenting accretion of unaccountable executive power, and some of the early strategies employed by the Nazi party to consolidate its authority. Regrettably, shortly after this bold statement, Mr. Nadler’s spokesman, Reid Cherlin, sought to retreat from this frank assessment, saying the Representative had “picked an example that he shouldn’t have.” Due in part to its careless over usage by partisans of all stripes, the Hitler analogy has become a kind of rhetorical third rail in American political discourse. But that does not mean there are not real and profoundly disturbing parallels between the prehistory and certain features of the Nazi epoch and emerging developments in our own era.

A partial list would have to include: a massive, warrantless domestic surveillance program implemented at the whim of the Chief Executive and his inner circle, and unimpeded by any oversight; the use of federal law enforcement agencies to spy on political opponents of the administration; an elaborate network of clandestine detention facilities designed to hold people indefinitely without charge or legal representation, and where suspects may be tortured and then, at the discretion of secret tribunals, executed; an executive branch of government that views the notion of checks and balances as a fusty anachronism, if not subversive; the fusion of federal and corporate power; and the monitoring of the reading habits of private citizens — all of this done under the rationalizing rubric of national security.

It is time to call America’s incipient dictatorship by its proper name: fascism.

Stephen J. Ducat
San Francisco, CA

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION

Stephen J. Ducat is a professor of political psychology at New College of California, and the author of The Wimp Factor: Gender Gaps, Holy Wars, and the Politics of Anxious Masculinity (Beacon, 2005)

Sam Alito's USA

And remember, always: Watch your back!

Airman’s Shooting Sparks FBI Inquiry
By Lance Pugmire and Matt Lait
Times Staff Writers
February 1, 2006

Responding to a dramatic videotape of a police shooting, federal officials opened an investigation Tuesday into the conduct of a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy who opened fire on a man who appeared to be following the deputy’s order to get off the ground.

A grainy videotape of the shooting in Chino was broadcast repeatedly on television Tuesday. The quality of the tape is poor, and it is difficult to clearly hear all the exchanges between the deputy and 21-year-old Elio Carrion during the seconds before the shooting.

At one point, a voice on the tape appears to say “Stay on the ground.” A moment later, however, the deputy appears to tell Carrion: “Get up, get up.”

“I’m going to get up,” Carrion replied as he began to rise from a crouch. As he did so, the deputy, who was standing a few feet away, fired multiple rounds.

Read more.

Paper ballots to protect America

From William H. Sell:

A National Defense Issue

There is an aspect of the Diedold hack test in Florida that is of vital importance to our nation. Harri and Dr. Thompson explained to me that there are 3 levels of computer attack (and please remember that electronic voting systems are computers, whether they are networked or not).

Level One, called a “script kiddy,” is the most primitive and can be copied by a novice from an internet site and then be used to create a virus or hack a computer or a computer system.

Level Two is more sophisti! cated and is the level at which most viruses, worms, Trojan horses and hacks are conducted, often by “casual hackers” who, for whatever reason, enjoy conducting “electronic break-ins” into computers.

Read more.

Has Bush intimidated Oscar?

Has Bush Intimidated Oscar?
by Jerry Politex

It’s just a question, but it’s a question worth asking, since we saw the excellent documentary “Why We Fight” and then read “The Oscar Nominees Aren’t…” in the NYT, explaining why Hollywood rules keep it from being considered for an Oscar.* It appears that what’s happening in Hollywood is that the Academy keeps changing its rules to keep out documentary films that, in one way or another, oppose the policies of the Bush administration. As the NYT online teaser to the article words it, ” Some great documentaries are ineligible for Oscars. Why? It’s all in the fine print.” “To be considered for an Oscar…a documentary must have made its debut in
theaters and played for at least a week in New York or Los Angeles, and films that appeared only on television – or even those that appeared on television before moving to theaters – are disqualified,” explains reporter John Anderson.” But the fine print keeps changing to thwart, among others, those cash-strapped, anti-establishment docs, who try to follow Hollywood’s industrial rules, only to find the rules have been changed.

“Last year, “Control Room,” in which Jehane Noujaim examined American and Arab news coverage in the opening stages of the Iraq War, was…shut out,” continues Anderson, “even though it was shelved by its producers for six months before being shown on European television; in the interim the required blackout period had been extended to nine months. That rule has since been eliminated. But it doesn’t help “Why We Fight”. “The director of “Why We Fight,” which opened on Jan. 20, Mr. Jarecki has produced an ambitious treatise on the American military-industrial complex, the philosophy of perpetual war and the prescience of Dwight D. Eisenhower. It won him the prize for best documentary at the Sundance Film Festival last January – just as the documentary branch announced another set of rule changes.

“Ms. Mock [,head of the Academy’s documentary division,] said in an academy press release that “films with a true theatrical rollout would be ‘exempt’ – in quotes – from the television blackout provision,” said Mr. Jarecki, whose previous documentary was “The Trials of Henry Kissinger.” Mr. Jarecki’s legal counsel, John Sloss; members of the Sundance Institute; and executives at the BBC concluded that the academy had at last recognized that a television debut is sometimes a financial necessity for documentaries. Mr. Jarecki allowed “Why We Fight” to be shown on British television.

“But according to the academy…, the film violated the broadcast ban. “We were informed that these clauses had been dropped,” he said. “Had we known that the rules had retained some obligation to show first in a cinema in America, we would have rescheduled our screening.”

At best, one could believe that the Oscar rulemakers are simply incompetent, or perhaps even biased toward certain kinds of documentary content, as Anderson implies elsewhere in his article, but in the same piece we learn that “at one point the academy’s board of governors wanted to eliminate the short-documentary category altogether and banish documentary features to the science and technical awards, which are presented in a separate ceremony.”

Hollywood would look pretty silly doing so, given how closely the documentary film is woven into the fabric of film history and aesthetics, but this would not be the first time that Hollywood caved in to Washington. The bottom line is that the Academy was put on the spot, politically, when Michael Moore won an Oscar for “Farenheit 9/11,” and gave his short but political acceptance speech amidst both cheers and boos; so what we’re seeing now may be an effort to prevent such things from happening again. Given what we have learned over the years about the Bush regime’s news management and propaganda, a White House hand in Hollywood is hardly out of the question.

http://www.bushwatch.com (Bush Watch, Jan. 30, 2006)

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/29/movies/redcarpet/29ande.html?_r=1

Another bad idea

Illinois is starting up an early voting program, which will “end Election Day as we know it.” (The Tribune‘s article about it is below.)

Here’s Kat L’Estrange’s take:

Get this: “legal” early voting–as opposed to voting early illegally? The plan is to do away with Election Day as to avoid the image of large voter turnouts that historically have meant the party in power loses to the challenger. Perhaps well-meaning Dems see it as a way to bring out more voters, but what good does that do if machine counts are being rigged? Just gives the cheaters more time to analyze and “fix”outcomes. There’ll be no remaining check and balance against final vote tallies. To Republicans, the only FAIR vote is one for the GOP. They could care less about suppressing or disenfranchising voters from the opposition parties as long as the GOP wins and controls government. This is the biggest farce ever making accountability of elections impossible. We don’t need more time to vote if vote tallies are not verifiable by human beings. It’s what Karl Rove and buddies loved about Oregon’s vote-by-mail system, which they scrutinized after the 2000 election. They recognized it as a way to easily game the system and blame Democrats for having instituted it. Fairly soon, even lawsuits will not be a viable option in our pursuit of justice. Perhaps somebody, at least foreigners, will begin the debate soon enough as to why it was that Americans voted themselves out of a free and open society at the beginning of the 21st Century. Was it some sort of freak lunacy that overcame the citizenry? Apparently, never in a million years, give or take a few, will the American media and corporate representatives in Congress consider a diagnosis of fixed elections. — Kat

“We’re all for helping people to vote, but we also have to do so in ways that are fair,” said John Tsarpalas, the state GOP’s executive director.
Soon you can vote early … legally
Illinois to open polls before Election Day

By John McCormick, Tribune staff reporter. Tribune political reporter Rick Pearson contributed to this report
Published January 31, 2006

Election Day is about to get much longer.

Following a national trend that promises to change political campaigns here, Illinois voters will be allowed to cast ballots starting Feb. 27, well in advance of the March 21 primary and without providing the kind of travel or illness excuses needed for absentee ballots.

Billed as a response to declining voter turnout, early voting will even be offered on weekends, providing flexibility for those tied up with work, children’s swimming lessons or other obligations.

“It ends Election Day as we know it,” said Lake County Clerk Willard Helander. “Election Day simply becomes the last day to vote.”

The problem in a nutshell

Re: Reforming the Democrats — Or a Third Party? By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers

Mark-Readers should keep in mind that a major reason the Dems have gone weak-kneed is that they are losing rigged elections. I’m not saying that the Dems don’t have plenty of intrinsic weaknesses and have not substantially sold out to the corporate establishment. But it does have a profound impact on strategy, courage, fortitude, etc. when no matter what you do you get beaten. Make no mistake, these rigged elections are being interpreted by the Dems as well as the media and the public as bigtime referenda saying the American public, for whatever reason, wants nothing to do with liberalism or dissent. You keep touching that hot stove and before long you don’t even want to see the inside of a kitchen. The rigged election impact is that strong and I don’t see how a third party could be any more successful than the Dems until the electoral apparatus is made at least roughly accurate and honest. The value of third party (or independent) candidacies, however, would be some sort of legal standing to challenge electoral results and procedures. This does not require an elaborate third-party movement, just a lot of grassroots participation. See below for this idea as put forth by Dennis Morrisseau.-Jonathan

In a nutshell, then:
We get people to run in every district and state for every US House and Senate seat available in the ’06 elections, e.g. 435 House seats and 33 Senate.

To Run,…… to Run……It is not necessary to win or even to dream of winning. We run in rebellion, as rebellion, as an act of civil disobedience against the gathering darkness. We run for love of country and to save ourselves. Not to join the present Congress . We run AT IT. To model a sane but potent rebellion. As a
theater of rebellion. Intending to break it down and repeople it if we win, with ourselves. It is not necessary to win………….though winning is possible.

If we run in numbers, real numbers, and with all the color and creativity of which we are capable, the beast falls. (We run from all parties and groups AT both Dems and Repugs.)( Run in R or D primaries, then as Independents (whatever) in the general election, or as 3rd party from the get-go.)

The very first thing each of us does after announcing, is to file a lawsuit (built from a single generic action, customised for each district/state) to set aside and restrain all recent elections law, and to restrain the use of any electronic voting or vote counting equipment. Ask each court to order that in this election the old established paper ballot with hand count process be reinstated (that’s easy for a court to do and for elections
officials also). As candidates, we will clearly have “standing ” to do this. And as candidates, we cannot be stopped from publicizing what we’re doing and why. We can holler and yell “They’re stealing elections in America!” as long and hard as we wish, no matter what the judge says……and this cry will be heard. ( Recent polls show astounding public concern re vote fraud by machine rigging.) Everyone understands what it means, if the fucks in power can steal our votes! We don’t gotta explain that!