Saturday, August 13, 2005


I've been reading a bunch of political stuff lately. It's not having a good effect on my psyche at all. It's making me angry and depressed. It's making my wife crazy because, as a teacher at the start of the school year, she doesnt want to think about politics right now. But look at this site:

Okay, "fascism" might (might) be a bit strong. So ignore that part. Ignore the 14 different headings. But look at the individual items underneath them. At least one of these things should make you gasp with outrage. A section of a military funding bill which places decisions by the Director of Homeland Security outside of judicial review?! Programmers being asked by Legislators to create programs to subvert electronic voting machines?! Restrictions on who and what can be published IN AMERICA?!!!
Worst of all is the appearance of voting fraud. Now, nothing has been proven. That's certainly what republicans will say, and they would be correct. But, proof or not, if it's possible, someone is going to do it. And if you can arrange a way to take a vote that cannot be subverted electronically (for instance, by not using electronics), then it should be done that way. Voting is too important to do in ANY way that can be subverted. Maybe it'll take longer to count. Maybe it will take longer to tabulate. Maybe it ought to. What's the big hurry anyway? No one will take office for another two months anyway.
Once upon a time, there was this idea that those government officials who served us should avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Nowadays, the Republicans fall back on the very sophistry they condemned their arch-nemisis Bill Clinton for. Carl Rove didnt leak anyone's name, specifically. Of course, he did say that the wife of Joseph C. Wilson was an agent for the CIA, but that's not saying her name. But unlike Clinton, Rove wasnt engaging in a private sexual tryst, he was selling out an agent of the CIA as political payback for disagreement with the administration line. Illegal or not, that kind of thing doesnt just appear improper, it wears a big, red T-shirt that says IMPROPER BEHAVIOR while jumping up and down, waving red flags in both hands, and yelling "Look at Me! Look at Me!" into a stadium-sized concert-quality amplification system.
Now we have what looks a lot like several cases of voting impropriety. Some of them involving two presidential elections. Regardless of what really happened, maybe we need to find a different way of doing it. Or, even better, an old way of doing it. Names next to boxes, X marks the spot, counting by both a Democrat and a Republican, side by side. No scanners; no chads; no silent, invisible, manipulable electronic devices. Just People.

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