Thursday, January 13, 2005

bring it!!!

what the hell is going on?

is anybody paying attention?

check it: democracy now headline from Thursday, January 13, says "the Washington Post is reporting that the Bush administration is considerably lowering its expectations for both the turnout and the results of the Jan. 30 election in Iraq. Officials are now claiming that high voter turnout is not even significant. A senior administration official said, "I would . . . really encourage people not to focus on numbers, which in themselves don't have any meaning, but to look on the outcome and to look at the government that will be the product of these elections." The comment came during an official White House briefing. But reporters were barred from citing what official conducted the briefing. Also Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan admitted, "The election is not going to be perfect," Earlier this week interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said for the first time that elections would not be held in all parts of Iraq.

Don't focus on the numbers.
Only the outcome. What outcome if there aren't going to be numbers of votes to be counted?

Sound familiar? hmm. reminds me a lot of talk last week during our elections results hearings, that measly 2 hours before the validation/rubber stamping by the house of the outcome of our (s)election day.

Some of the reasons that senator barbara boxer objected, from a letter she released:

"Why did voters in Ohio wait hours in the rain to vote?

Why were voters at Kenyan College, for example, made to wait in line until nearly 4 a.m. to vote because there were only two machines for 1300 voters?

Why did poor and predominantly African-American communities have disproportionately long waits?

Why in Franklin County did election officials only use 2,798 machines when they said they needed 5,000? Why did they hold back 68 machines in warehouses? Why were 42 of those machines in predominantly African-American districts?

Why did, in Columbus area alone, an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 voters leave polling places, out of frustration, without having voted? How many more never bothered to vote after they heard about this?

Why is it when 638 people voted at a precinct in Franklin County, a voting machine awarded 4,258 extra votes to George Bush. Thankfully, they fixed it - but how many other votes did the computers get wrong?

Why did Franklin County officials reduce the number of electronic voting machines in downtown precincts, while adding them in the suburbs? This also led to long lines.

In Cleveland, why were there thousands of provisional ballots disqualified after poll workers gave faulty instructions to voters? "

That last one really makes my skin crawl. A simple vote, really, for most people. But the effin paperwork just to verify you are who you say you are and you aren't a terrorist to the system that works so inefficiently. How easy it would have been to double check ids, misplaced info, etc. But hey, what's easier than callin it spoiled and tossing it to the circular file?

Thanks much, Ken Harris, I mean, Blackwell...

If you heard any of the house debate bout the elections results, then maybe you heard as i did, as i was brushing the snow off my car, radio blaring, the rep lady from upper arlington, ohio [read:suburbs] who chided her colleague from inner city colombus for wasting her tax-payers' time and hard earned dollars to talk about the lack of voting machines, cause her district sure had enough. touche'.

All these repubs went stammerin on bout 'legitimizing the prezident' and this thing about a war on (support the troops!) , and a 'mandate,' 'clear majority,' 'wrong debate wrong place wrong time.'

You go Karl!, your messaging is catching on--rinse, repeat. rinse, repeat. rinse, why not repeat again? wrong war, wrong debate, hey, wrong election, man.

Oh, wait a sec. Didn't the entire congressional black caucus, reminiscent of four years ago without a senator-objector, protest the election results on the grounds of our failing democracy?

And yet, a mandate falls for king george. Let's just focus on the outcomes, shall we.

I was really hoping for a december surprise-kind o' outcome, that truth and justice would prevail, and our boy jk would be declared the prez for real, and get to spend $40 million in the next week on inaugural balls, celebrations etc.

But that would mean counting things. Like votes.

Like in the real surprise, half a world away. A first election so similar to ours, with rampant discrepancies, voter disenfranchisement, over-voting, and the inability for international/ outside/ independent elections observers (call them what you will)... in Ukraine.

sounds like ohio.

But nothing but outcomes here. No late December gift of a new election, or a complete recount, or a sympathetic Supreme Court.

What will it take for a "revolution" in democracy here?

Sit ins by flight attendants and pilots and police officers and truck drivers who are losing their pensions and health care?

Corn bread and chocolate chip cookies, bridge party block club get togethers?

Building TAZs and new communities & structures of our own that express our values?

Or, Dealing with diversity, with rugged individuals and the patriot act, with sinking governments? How do we deal with this world power global aggression that affects us all, but leave us so impotent in the public sphere? ("support the troops!")

I mean, we can all go and create our perfect utopia, buy up some town in Montana somewhere, live out our glocally local ideals, but still perhaps watch the world go to, you know, cause there'd be even less of us around to say, 'hey wait a minute, that ain't right.'

So what do we do? How do we become patient champions of democracy, in a civic republicanism sense? How do we gain faith in building community where we all feel good participating cause we're listening to each other, and we all get the chance to be heard?


In a world of so much sadness, where can we find hope?

RIP Gustavo.


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