Wednesday, December 29, 2004

"This Presidential Election Is Over"

The comment in the subject line was made via email by John Kerry's attorney in Ohio on Monday evening. He was speaking for both Kerry and Edwards in answer to questions Keith Olbermann was posting as to how involved is the Democratic Party with charges of fraud and illegitimacy. The attorney goes on, "There are many conspiracy theorists opining these days. There are many allegations of fraud. But this presidential election is over. The Bush-Cheney ticket has won. The Kerry-Edwards campaign has found no conspiracy and no fraud in Ohio, though there have been many irregularities that cry out to be fixed for future elections. Senator Kerry and we in Ohio intend to fix them. When all of the problems in Ohio are added together, however bad they are, they do not add up to a victory for Kerry-Edwards. Senator Kerry's fully-informed and extremely careful assessment the day after the election and before he conceded remains accurate today, notwithstanding all the details we have since learned."

You may wish to read both of Olbermann's entries from Monday. Scrolling through the earlier one, written around noon, past the wonderings about Kerry, you'll find he addresses the Clint Curtis situation. You remember he's the guy who developed software for changing tabulations in electronic voting machines without detection. Four hours later Brad Friedman answered him at The Brad Blog. All of this debate is interesting, but it does not appear anything is going to happen with Curtis to change the actual election result...and that is my only concern at the moment.

The Ohio Recount is complete, and the major papers are carrying the story. What you'll find in most places is an Associated Press piece, but The New York Times goes further this morning with a bylined article that is more complete. "CINCINNATI, Dec. 28 - A recount of the presidential election in Ohio that was finished on Tuesday showed that President Bush won the election here by about 300 fewer votes than initially recorded. The recount of Ohio's 88 counties showed that Senator John Kerry gained 734 votes, with Mr. Bush picking up 449 after elections officials allowed more than 1,100 previously disqualified ballots to be counted in the second tally."

The article concludes with quotations from the Green, Libertarian, and Democratic parties, which seem to indicate they are content with the process and results, and the matter is complete. "Representatives in Ohio for the Green presidential candidate, David Cobb, and the Libertarian candidate, Michael Badnarik, said on Tuesday that the recount achieved one of their goals, to scrutinize Ohio's election process. While they said they never expected to change the results of the presidential vote in Ohio, they said they wanted an overhaul of Ohio's election system."

Again, future election reform is an old and long story in this country, but the matter at hand is Bush for another 4 years (at least as the Constitution still states the length of term this morning)...and so, with the recount done in this key state and with Kerry emphasizing again he has no interest in contesting anything, is there any hope left? As of yesterday David Cobb's site still was feisty as heck and Internet message boards are filled with calls to protest demonstrations in the streets for the next month. But is there anything we can do besides hit the bricks?

Well, there's that lawsuit in the Ohio Supreme Court brought by 37 voters challenging the election. On Monday Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell was invited, I guess, to deliver his deposition. He said No thanks, that he's a high-ranking official who can't be bothered with "frivolous" lawsuits. The Associated Press story is carried online at ABC News and concludes, "Attorney General Jim Petro, representing Blackwell, said the voters 'are not trying to actually contest the presidential election but are merely using this litigation to cast public doubt on the voting system of the State of Ohio without a shred of evidence.' On Dec. 21, officials learned lawyers for the voters planned to issue subpoenas to several high-ranking officials, including Blackwell, Bush and the president's political adviser, Karl Rove, according to Petro. The state Supreme Court 'should halt their ability to subpoena any person until such time as they make a good faith showing for the reason to take any deposition,' Petro said in the court filing." The Bush Administration was scheduled for deposition yesterday, but an attorney for Bush said the subpoena wasn't filed correctly and nobody showed up then either. I guess one way to find out whether or not you are "high-ranking" is to ignore a subpoena from a Supreme Court somewhere and see if anything is done about it.

What about Congressman John Conyers, ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee who conducted a couple of forums, one of them in Columbus, on voting irregularities, particularly in Ohio? Republicans dominate the Committee, and not one attended the forums. That fact probably explains his cautious tiptoeing around topics of fraud and conspiracy. As this accessible story explains , Salon did an interview with him last week. It's here but if you don't have a subscription you need to watch a few pages of ads to get to it. It doesn't take long, even with dial-up, but essentially what he says is a conspiracy requires some person somewhere to issue orders to obstruct or corrupt a process like an election. Does Bush have anyone around who would do such a thing? Conyers wants to go nowhere near naming Republican names.

"Do you believe that there was an orchestrated attempt to steal the election?

"Well, you know, orchestrated attempts don't always require a conspiracy. People get the drift from other elections and the way [campaign leaders] talk about how they're going to win the election. When you have the exit-polling information discrepancies that occurred in 2004, where the odds of all the swing states coming in so much stronger for Bush than the exit polls indicated -- they say that that is, statistically, almost an improbability.

"[People] are saying, 'No, no, no, that doesn't mean much.' But it means a lot. It feeds this growing, [but] not provable feeling among millions of Americans that this was another unfair election.

"Do you have that feeling?

"Sure, I have a feeling that whenever we can come across ways to make elections fairer or work better or improve the process or simplify the regulations or make voting more available to people who have language problems or disabilities, we have a responsibility to do it. We're trying to improve the system. I'm not trying to attack the outcome. What we need is a system where there are only a few of the kinds of the tens of thousands of complaints that we already have."

Here's what I think: an "orchestrated attempt" needs an orchestra and a conductor. Yes, some orchestras operate without a conductor, and maybe---just maybe that happened here. But would any of you please tell me something? In these nearly 2 months since the United States election, have you heard or read any complaints at all from Republicans in prominently GOP precincts that they had to wait in lines for hours to vote? That there weren't enough machines in their polling places? I haven't, but maybe I'm not looking in the right place. If Republicans had no problems like this, why not? Is it random, is it coincidence? Is it possible someone somewhere made a decision as to which precincts got enough machines, based on statistical prediction, and which didn't? Did Boards of Election get phone calls through Election Day with requests from precinct officials for more machines from an emergency stockpile states like Ohio had available? If so, is there a record of those calls...and how they were answered and served?

What worries me more than anything is if Americans don't care. It's all too complicated to bother with, and besides what can any of us do about it? The press will not investigate with vigor. Self-proclaimed high-ranking officials ignore subpoenas. Police enforce according to who's making the call. The military is called out to protect corporate ventures. Is citizenship in the United States finally beyond the average Joe, by his own admission?

Milton Mayer, an American journalist of German/Jewish descent, wrote an account in 1955 of the slow takeover of his country during the early 1930s by the Nationalsocialist Party. The book is called They Thought They Were Free, and includes many interviews with citizens who watched it happen and describe it step by step. One of the most oft-quoted sections is a chapter entitled "But Then It Was Too Late." It would take you just a minute to read it, and it's available online. Thank you.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The Great Ohio Rebellion Disintegrates

The trouble with the American Left is the nature of our material. Our spirit of independence is easily corrupted by frustration, rage, and stubbornness. We are less reliable by far to carry a load and get the work done than any Democratic mule. When we're dropped we splinter. We love to make speeches full of demands and hurl charges empty of evidence. We're the stuff of impotence.

No wonder the media doesn't report us. No wonder it takes 2 hours to tour the Internet to find out what's going on. Everybody has his own little blog or group blaring out similar invectives. Where's a coalition, an alliance to get the job done? Who is doing painstaking research and organization? No wonder the rightwing message boards find us so hilarious. No wonder their insults hurt. No wonder all we do is squeal louder.

I had contented myself with a long winter's nap in preparation for Christmas Eve. I thought everybody was taking the week off maybe. I figured the courts must be adjourned for the holiday, and the only action was now left to the lawyers. The Recount is about over, and David Cobb's site looked pretty mild and moving to New Mexico next...even though there is concern the partisan Election Boards seemed to select what they wanted to recount and what they didn't. But for some reason this morning I decided to tour the blogs and sites again. What I found is the little posting happening now involves fighting with each other. It's the American Left at its most dismal.

Keith Olbermann came out of vacation yesterday to put something up, because so many emails were yelling at him to tell us what's going on! His column, which has been a bastion of hope for those of us depending on Congress or lawyers or a political party of some kind to do something to save us from the coming 4-year madness, looks at everything we've got left and concludes there ain't much. Unless somebody comes up with a hard drive that proves the vote was fixed, Bush and his family have prevailed. Brad Friedman of The Brad Blog promises a reply, but he's arguing and how can we expect leadership from a couple of journalists anyway?

The summary that best reflects the situation, at least here in Ohio, showed up at The Village Voice yesterday. Rick Perlstein wrote it, and it's called "The Case Of The Ohio Recount." Mr. Perlstein is the author of Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus, and the chief national political correspondant for The Village Voice. Here it is~~~

In the whodunit over who won it, the true villain is slipping away: The Case of the Ohio Recount
by Rick Perlstein
December 21st, 2004 12:00 PM

The game is still afoot in Ohio. Taking advantage of a state law that allows presidential candidates to request an official recount if they finance it themselves, David Cobb of the Green Party and Michael Badnarik of the Libertarians raised $113,600 in mid November, largely from progressives nearly tapped out after the campaign. Last week, the part-time bureaucrats of Ohio's 88 county boards of elections started slogging through the results once more. Teams of progressive volunteers watching over the recounts began clocking 20-hour days.

Meanwhile there have been the emotional hearings, led by ranking House Judiciary Committee member John Conyers, in which Ohio secretary of state and Bush-Cheney campaign co-chair Ken Blackwell was raked over the coals in absentia for answers to 36 questions about specific Election Day irregularities that Conyers posed to him in a now famous December 2 letter. The 36 questions are masticated endlessly in forums on—new outrages added each day, thousands of embittered idealists consuming the better part of their time in search of that elusive needle-in-haystack data point that will prove outright theft of the election. One lawyer, Cliff Arnebeck, even thinks he's found it, and has filed suit with the aim of kicking George W. Bush out of office.

It's possible that their vindication will come, that what's already being referred to as the "vote fraud community"—the allusion is to the "JFK assassination research community"—won't disappear up its very own grassy knoll. But the charges producing the greatest heat online often turn out to have the most innocent explanations. The recount isn't amounting to much, either. Last week the Franklin County Board of Elections did discover one extra vote for Kerry—offset by the extra vote they found for Bush. The irregularities volunteers have pointed to in the recount process itself are often picayune.

In many Americans' minds, it's not too hard to imagine, this will all be received as further evidence of the activist left's irrelevance. Which would, in fact, be a tragedy. For elections in America are indeed broken, badly, and vulnerable to fraud. That fact is not politically neutral: The problems in America's election system have advantaged the Republicans, in significant and consistent ways.

If the Democrats had a Karl Rove—a cunning master strategist who thinks so far in advance that he wins new wars before the other side even wakes up to discover there's been a fight—setting up an election reform movement might be the first thing he would do. It just wouldn't look anything like the reform movement we have—so uncoordinated, strategically unsound, and prone to going off half-cocked that it may end up hurting the crucial cause it seeks to help.
The national elections may—--we can't prove it yet, but there's every indication--—be completely crooked," says Wayne Tack, an activist in Chicago. "And the consequence of that is, in the next election cycle, the Republicans have a filibuster-proof majority. The election cycle after that, a two-thirds majority in both houses, and the possibility of a two-thirds majority in two-thirds of the states. Then you can amend the Constitution every week." He adds, "Based on the lockdown thing, I would leave the country right now."
By "lockdown thing," he's referring to one of the vote fraud community's bĂȘtes noires, and a useful index of its culture. On December 10, two California volunteers took upon themselves independent investigation of suspiciously low voter turnout in three precincts abutting a black college in rural Greene County, Ohio. When they asked to copy those precincts' signature books—ordinarily public records open to anyone who asks—the clerk called the Secretary of State's office. She was told that these records, for the time being, were "locked down."


Vote fraud activists tore through the statute books and alighted upon Ohio Revised Code Title XXXV, section 3503.26, which makes knowingly preventing or prohibiting the inspection of public records filed at a board of elections "a prima facie case of election fraud within the purview of such Title." Motive was surmised: What could be an easier way to hold down Kerry's totals in Ohio than to suppress the votes of one black island in an overwhelming sea of white?

Now, generally speaking, it is true that Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell is a cad. His decisions in the runup to the election seemed tailor-made to smooth the way for Republican vote-suppression teams. But his office's answer to the "lockdown" charge just happens to make sense. During an official election count, says his spokesman Carlo LoParo, Ohio law sensibly allows for a period of heightened security in which such materials can be touched only in the presence of a bipartisan group of election officials. "What would these people be saying if officials from the Bush campaign were able to look at these documents?" LoParo asks in exasperation.
That hardly satisfied the volunteers. They returned to the same office the next morning and found it untended and unlocked. The Internet erupted in rumors that the documents were being surreptitiously doctored; the more elegant explanation, that some Barney Fife forgot to lock the door, wasn't even broached.

This clash of cultures, between bright-eyed defenders of democracy (an ingathering one of the Greene County volunteers breathlessly calls "divinely guided") and harried county clerks can make for epic misunderstandings. An entire county is only recounted if a preliminary sample of 3 percent shows anomalies. In little Hocking County, a visiting computer repairman from Triad Government Systems suggested dodging that tedious eventuality by hiding the original totals on a bulletin board. Word of the repairman's suggestion leaked out. Online forums exploded with conspiracy theories, though everyone actually present at the time insists the guy was joking. It wasn't funny to Representative Conyers, who called it "likely illegal election tampering" and demanded an FBI investigation.

That kind of overreaching may lead to embarrassments. Cliff Arnebeck is an Ohio-based lawyer convinced that it was John Kerry who won 51 percent there—only to be robbed, he says, by "a movement of some 65,000 votes or so that were cast for Kerry into the Bush column." His evidence relies on comparing the number of votes Kerry received in four conservative counties in southwest Ohio to the total won by an African American Supreme Court candidate, C. Ellen Connally. "It's a fix," says Arnebeck—after all, he reasons, who could have intended a vote for both George Bush and a liberal black woman?

You wonder if Arnebeck did his due diligence before making the claim. "Connally and I have talked about it. It's such a stretch," says Dan Trevas, spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party. He reeled off three reasons southwestern Ohio turned against Connally's opponent, Thomas J. Moyer—most prominently the way the area had been ravaged by one of Moyer's most prominent decisions, on school-funding formulas. Arnebeck's response? "He's blowing smoke. Those three things are bullshit." He blames the Democrats' culture of timidity for their inability to get behind his suit. "If you get screwed this way, this is the last thing you want to admit: that you've let them get away with this stuff."
What's wrong with this picture? These people should be working together, not fighting each other. None seems to know what a coordinated, disciplined, long-term progressive strategy on election infrastructure would look like; certainly, no one seems to be working toward one.

Which is exactly what Karl Rove would be doing, if he were a progressive.

If the Ohio situation shows anything, it is how lazy, harried, dilettantish, variable, confusing, and sometimes even arbitrary election administration can be in the United States of America. "I don't think people understand how elections get reported on election night," says Jonathan Rosen, director of the New York Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "I mean, it's literally old blue-haired ladies who work once a year for a hundred bucks . . . yelling out the number to their husband with a hearing aid who's going to change the eight to a zero." The confusion advantages the more ruthless party, the Republicans: They are willing, as in Florida in 2000, to proclaim victory before all the votes have been counted—taking advantage of the American need for the election to be done with on election night—and to make those who protest sound like whiners, wreckers, or extremists.

Democrats in Westchester County have pointed toward a better way. They knew that the state senate race between Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Nick Spano was going to be close. Explains Rosen, "So we went to court for an impoundment order in this recount the day before the election, mainly in an effort to create a public psychological perception that, whatever unofficial results were reported on election night, we wanted to reserve the presumption that there was still a recount to be had." Thus their post-election strategy proved disciplined and tough. They've got a good chance to win.

But in Ohio, where Kerry is down by 119,000 votes, no one is talking about winning. Nationally, the progressive side is left with a clash of agendas and conspiracy theories and an emotionally draining recount thrown together, ad hoc, after Election Day, dazedly negotiating the confusion of a radically decentralized system in which every county courthouse seems to cherish its own confounded traditions.

As a strategy for election reform, a recount can only work if it produces a convincing record of abuse. That hasn't happened, and so neither has the necessary work of educating the public. "Nobody can say that there weren't long lines in Ohio. And nobody can say that there weren't more machines in the suburbs than there were in the inner city. There was not equal protection under the law," observes Frank Watkins, a longtime progressive activist and campaign manager for Jesse Jackson's 1988 presidential campaign. But the recount has achieved naught in publicizing these problems.

Republicans rely on such failures. If everyone in the country voted under the same rules of residency and eligibility, their votes counted the same way, using the same equipment, it would be a lot harder to hide needles in haystacks. Getting rid of the current flawed system, ultimately, has to be the long-term strategy—but it is hard to get good answers from recounters, lawsuit-filers, and hearing-holders about how that long-term strategy could come together.

There is a way, though it will take some heavy lifting—a lot of heavy lifting. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. has pointed out that Congress doesn't even have the power to establish a nationally uniform system of voting—everything in the Constitution concerning presidential elections is mediated through the states, which is why every state (and within every state, every county) runs elections its own way. He's proposed a constitutional amendment to right the wrong. Passing it is a daunting prospect, no doubt. But as strategy, it also has the makings of brilliance. Let the Republicans try to fight it. Put them on record as against the right to vote. Let them defend the process as it exists—where a figure like Blackwell can simultaneously be the captain of one of the teams and the game's chief referee.

Then Americans will know where the Republicans stand.

Standing behind Jackson's constitutional amendment would be a better application of progressive energies than the frenzied attempt every fourth December to chase down the horses after the barn door is closed. We should be working on political campaigns also—working on winning the next time around by wide enough margins to put the need for any kind of recount out of play. The Republicans lost a presidential election in 1992, remember. They didn't waste their time trying to take it back. They took back Congress, instead. We've got 22 more months to try to do that ourselves. It's December of 2004. Do you know who your congressional candidate for '06 is?
Rick Perlstein's vast array of articles and reviews online have been compiled into links by 2 bloggers, who must admire him greatly~~~
Scroll down an entry for that last one.
Good holiday to all, folks!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Buon Natale

Oh friend, awake, and sleep no more! The night is over and gone, would you lose your day also? You have slept for un-numbered ages, this morning will you not awake?

---Rabindranath Tagore

The man who in his work finds silence, and who sees that silence is work, this man in truth sees the light and in all his works finds peace.

---The Bhagavad Gita

I never hear the loud solitary whistle of the curlew in a summer noon, nor the mild cadence of a troop of grey plovers in an autumn morning, without feeling an elevation of soul like the enthusiasm of devotion or poetry.

---Robert Burns

This year's Christmas greeting from beloved friend, mentor, poet John Tagliabue, and his beautiful artist wife Grace, are 3 new poems I'm delighted to share with you. His introductions to everything, including himself, are worth preserving, and so handwritten he says, "I've been hearing it said to me since 1923...Buon Natale and now in 2004 Grace & I say it to your family and we hope we all will have Good Health and Somehow Peace in 2005. All Good Wishes---Grace & John". Inside on lovely recycled paper are the poems, printed by Jan Owen, which I reproduce here exactly (without question or concerns you might expect from me about grammar, punctuation or spelling)~~~

1. Gentle at ease bemused maestro

When you conduct
the symphonies of the world, little baby a
few months old,
when you begin to write your Responses, future Activities,
the City of God
actually seen in the womb, and in your bright early months,
sometimes fondled
by your dismayed and fond and amused Mother, when she
your hands and motions calls you little Maestro, you
sometimes seem
to know that the planets and stars made you memorize
the score,
you conduct with such gracious knowledge.

2. Hold on, continue to learn, to walk, to praise

One of the best feelings in the world for me,
the feel of
a small child's hand learning to walk, holding
it, or
remembering when I did, now I am 81; but
Universe and Miracle sent not only the Christ
but the so-called ordinary child; I continue
to want
Peace that surpasseth understanding to
lead us.

3. Ongoing convictions, Ongoing concerns, Originality

You think the Sun is great but cheer up,
you are
a part of it; you think the reflections of the Moon
are beautiful,
now reflect that you are part of that and every item
or instant
of creation, the infinitissimal first seed of the
All over the body of every person there are stars;
you are
baffled, you are startled? that's only natural,

I'll conclude with this personal note from them because perhaps parts of it speak to us all~~~

"Dick, I've been wondering about your health for a long time now...we hope things have been going better for you...and that somehow we will all have more good health (Grace & I at 81, 82 can't expect too much) in 2005 and that Somehow (how??) there will be more Justice & Peace in the world. Anyway---Avanti, music, & hope & love & Buon Natale...Grace & John"

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Back Into The Closet

Along with any notions of nonBiblical sex, America is packing away its dreams and memories of a liberal nation. Also into hiding and whispers go any thought of rebellion against stolen elections and a corrupt republic. It's housecleaning time and the jazzoLOG sites have become as messy as those storefront Democratic headquarters in every town, now returned to haunted vacancy. I'll be consolidating and deleting some of the articles that have appeared, because cyberspace just ain't infinite. Besides, Democrats certainly need practice in organization and calm judgment. As a result, some comments may be removed. If you wish to save any you added over the past few months, please do so during the next week. or

Tomorrow a House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee is conducting a forum in Columbus, Ohio, in an effort to discover if any factual wrongdoing was done in voting and tabulation procedures in this state. There also is a recount beginning here, with a plan in place should the result turn out differently than what will be considered by the Electoral College. Also tomorrow a lawsuit may be filed at last in Ohio that has been promised for a couple weeks; at this point I'm not sure what it will be about. Message boards on fraud in the American election continue to grow and are loud and angry day and night, but real facts about alleged crimes are fading into conspiracy theories.

Thanks to my dear friend Robert Whealey, Emeritus Associate Professor of History at Ohio University, I can close with this list of facts about our election for your consideration~~~

20 Amazing Facts About Voting in the USAmoderator at Thu Dec 9 00:37:58 EST 2004


20 Amazing Facts About Voting in the USA

by Angry Girl

Did you know....

1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only twocompanies: Diebold and ES&S.

2. There is no federal agency with regulatoryauthority or oversight of the U.S. voting machineindustry.

3. The vice-president of Diebold and the president ofES&S are brothers.

4. The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bushcampaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that hewas "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoralvotes to the president next year."

5. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairmanof ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted byES&S machines.

6. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected withthe Bush family, was recently caught lying about hisownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.

7. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of GeorgeW. Bush's vice-presidential candidates.

8. ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer inthe U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes.

9. Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have nopaper trail of any votes. In other words, there is noway to verify that the data coming out of the machineis the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.

10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, andticket machines, all of which log each transaction andcan generate a paper trail.

11. Diebold is based in Ohio.

12. Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as seniormanagers and developers to help write the centralcompiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in30 states.,2645,61640,00.html

13. Jeff Dean, Diebold's Senior Vice-President andsenior programmer on Diebold's central compiler code,was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the firstdegree.

14. Diebold Senior Vice-President Jeff Dean wasconvicted of planting back doors in his software andusing a "high degree of sophistication" to evadedetection over a period of 2 years.

15. None of the international election observers wereallowed in the polls in Ohio.

16. California banned the use of Diebold machinesbecause the security was so bad. Despite Diebold'sclaims that the audit logs could not be hacked, achimpanzee was able to do it! (See the movie here <>.),2645,63298,00.html

17. 30% of all U.S. votes are carried out onunverifiable touch screen voting machines with no papertrail.

18. All -- not some -- but all the voting machineerrors detected and reported in Florida went in favorof Bush or Republican candidates.,2645,65757,00.html

19. The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, isthe President's brother.

20. Serious voting anomalies in Florida -- againalways favoring Bush -- have been mathematicallydemonstrated and experts are recommending furtherinvestigation.,10801,97614,00.html

Saturday, December 04, 2004

One Month Later

This piece actually was written on Thursday, and posted at as have a number of essays I've written these past few years. I set up this Log because I joined to post to another guy's. So here goes~~~

Beginning is not only a kind of action, it is also a frame of mind, a kind of work, an attitude, a consciousness.

---Edward Said

Nothing is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood.

---Freeman Teague

Bowing is a very serious practice. You should be prepared to bow, even in your last moment. Even though it is impossible to get ride of our self-centered desires, we have to do it. Our true nature wants us to.

---Shunryu Suzuki

In this case, we need George Washington to be crossing into Delaware County, Ohio. I'm dashing off this entry I'm afraid, while considering I really should stay home from work today to research more thoroughly what's going on in my state currently. Let's see how I can order these events and stories for your convenience.

My last major message had to do with a judge in Delaware County putting a restraining order on the vote recount there. My concern was if the Boards of Election in the other 87 Ohio counties followed this example, the Green and Libertarian parties would have to challenge each one of them in court, which of course would put them both into bankruptcy quick. The Greens took Judge Whitney, the Republican judge who gave the order, to federal court and were preparing for that struggle---which court previously has given Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell a clear road in everthing he's wanted. So is it all over? Yesterday, the Washington Post is reporting, the Democratic Party finally has made its move. The Kerry/Edwards legal representative in Ohio has filed, with Whitney apparently, to join the suit to remove the restraining order and proceed with the recount. I don't think this means Kerry is requesting recount too, at this point anyway, but don't go away. Here are links regarding the Democratic involvement~~~

A snide-looking picture of Judge Whitney is at this blog, with the writer's take on his honor's character and ongoing developments~~~

The individual Ohio counties now have completed their tallying of votes, and that includes those pesky provisional votes, and sent off their certified OK to Blackwell. After he certifies that work, almost certainly for Bush, the recount begins. The LA Times is carrying the Associated Press story...but notice that last sentence~~~,1,1676678.story?coll=la-headlines-nation

In case you can't bring it up, it reads, "Carlo LoParo, a spokesman for Blackwell's office, said there would be no available breakdown of how many provisionals went to Bush and how many to Kerry." How's that again? They won't tell us who got how many among the provisionals? What's the deal on that? Must we fight for every scrap of information on this election? Carlo LoParo is the guy Blackwell sends out to talk whenever he has something he doesn't want to be questioned about. I did a Google search on Carlo, and I must say this is the first public figure on whom I've tried to find any info at all and come up with zero. No bio available, except "Blackwell's spokesman."

There are several reviews of the Ohio situation online and in the media now. If you want to get caught up or send on something about all this, these are good~~~

Dan Tokaji is associate professor at the college of law at Ohio State, with specialty in election law. His blog moved yesterday to join the college's website, and here he provides a rundown on what's happening as of December 1st~~~

He also has a featured essay at on all the things he finds wrong with the election system in our country at the moment. He urges us to address these before we try voting again~~~

Moritz' main news page links us to all the filings in Ohio contesting the process of election here~~~

The Nation, who bummed me out by giving up the fight almost as quickly as Kerry appeared to, is starting to pay attention to our struggle...and provides a good review as they play catchup too~~~

For a look at the new hot site on the Internet and a link to VotersUnite, try this one~~~

All of which brings us to Jesse Jackson and the weekend. It's not going to be quiet in Columbus. I wish Jesse had as much luck in this country as he does when he goes to Africa or the Middle East to straighten out some foreign policy disaster. But here he comes with a rally on Saturday, and he's bringing Greg Palast with him! Bob Fitrakis will be talking and stirring everybody up, as perhaps also will be Ian Solomon, the associate dean at Yale Law. It's all here at this crucial Ohio site if you want to come~~~

Reverend Jackson's view on the fishiness of Ohio was in the Chicago Sun-Times the other day~~~

And to finish off, an editorial yesterday from the Cincinnati Post~~~

OK, I gotta go to work. Anybody checked whether Steven Freeman has put out Part II of his Exit Poll study? I'll see if I can find it during my lunch hour.