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Democracy in America: a multi-level fraud.

The elections of 2002 proved that democracy in America, at the Federal level,  is stone dead.   Those who are praying for a miraculous resurrection,  will be disappointed.  Non-violent direct action is the only remaining avenue to save ourselves. 

Election results in many states are being tallied by electronic systems which leave no paper audit trail.  Software for these systems is secret and proprietary.  From www.blackboxvoting.org comes this report:

On October, 10, 2002 Bev Harris, author of the upcoming Black Box Voting: Ballot-Tampering in the 21st Century, revealed that Republican Senator Chuck Hagel has ties to the largest voting machine company, Election Systems & Software (ES&S). She reported that he was an owner, Chairman and CEO of Election Systems & Software (called American Information Systems until name change filed in 1997). ES&S was the ONLY company whose machines counted Hagel's votes when he ran for election in 1996 and 2002. The Hill, a Washington D.C. newspaper that covers the U.S. national political scene, confirmed her findings on January 29, 2003 and uncovered more details.

While the potential for tampering should be obvious, the proof of fraud is statistical.  Public-opinion polls conducted with proper controls are known to be accurate within limited error bounds.  Yet in many cases the polls were stunningly different from the election results in November 2002.    Bartcop's summary notes differences of up to 16% between the pre-election polls and the reported election results.  The odds of this happening by chance, are so miniscule that I'm not interested in discussing them.

A more fundamental problem: we have hardly any authentic candidates to vote for, even if our votes were counted.  The Democratic and Republican parties are almost equivalently corrupt, as shown by the bi-partisan support for repressive measures such as Patriot Act and Homeland Security, and for the war in Iraq.

For a thoughtful look at all the reasons democracy has died, look at Richard Heinberg's "Remember when we had elections?"  And here is a technical website out of Stanford University dealing specifically with voting machine problems.  

If there is one issue that is even more important than the truth about September 11, this would be it.

Economics for activists

The United States economy is increasingly dependent on subsidies and tribute from the rest of the world.  These flows are becoming more difficult to maintain, and as a result, the United States Government is increasingly going down the path of overt and covert violence and coercion,  to enforce an economic system which is both unjust and dysfunctional.  Individuals can act to cut their consumption and to make socially responsible investments.  (In my opinion, shorting the market is one of the best responsible investments available at the moment.)

The major political divisions of socialism against capitalism, communism against libertarianism, left against right, are based on a flawed dialectic, a conflict between a bankrupt thesis and its immoral quasi-utopian antithesis.  The synthesis of middle-road compromise takes on the worst aspects of both.

Activists need to stop fighting the wars of the last century.  We need to develop some common ground.  

Early liberal authors had some insights that are worth recovering -- such as the Single Tax proposal by 19th century journalist  Henry George.  The Single Tax movement puts a high value on free enterprise, and the market economy.  At the same time, they recognize that humans inhabiting the Earth are not so much owners, as caretakers for the future.  Their proposal is to use a system of property taxes and natural resource taxes to protect the earth and provide for social needs, while freeing the people from burdensome, regressive and immoral income taxes. 

George argued that corrupt, illegal ties between government and huge corporations were the basis for the inequities in the American system, which were quite obvious in his time (as well as today).   With a fundamental approach to this problem,  the populist Poclad group is attacking the entrenched conception  that corporations should be endowed with a super-human legal stature as immortal persons with the same rights as individuals under the Constitution.  

The term "geolibertarianism" has been coined by the green Libertarian activist Dan Sullivan, now director of the Henry George School of Philadelphia, who challenges Libertarians with the question, "are you a real libertarian, or a Royal Libertarian?" 

Religion and politics -- what to say?

Although the real motives for the war are probably related to money and power, this war is also being sold as a religious, cultural and ethnic hemorrhage.  Our US political system is increasingly dominated by a bizarre Christian Zionist cult.  Activists need to learn to talk about ideology and religion and address the problems frankly and directly. [continue...]

Building the Internet samizdat media

We need to be critical of the Internet media as well as major corporate disinformation sources.  It's time to build a new "People's Media".  My "media page" features critical articles about mainstream and alternative sources.

The future is still a possibility...

The people of America have the benefit of our long experience with democracy and the rule of law.  It's time for us to win back our country, before it's too late.  While we are going down the wrong path, there is real work to do to bring about a positive future