Sunday, September 17, 2006

Get Off Your Ass and Get On My Vote!

Photo credit Cartier Bresson courtesy of Magnum Images
There's a weird vibe in the air lately, its not just Autumn about to fall, its not post-9/11 doldrums, the war, or post-Katrina depression.
Its something like 'impending doom'. That feeling you get just before something bad happens. It seems human nature to try and shush it away, calm what can be interpreted as 'irrational fear'. Just keep keeping on.
I'm a big supporter of the 'gut feeling'. I've always kept faith with my intuition. The trick is learning to be still enough to hear the quiet voice that will tell you, if you listen, the correct path for you. Not the right path for others, just the simple, direct route to your own happiness, and oftentimes, safety.

My gut is telling me that this 'vote fraud debacle' or however you prefer to phrase it, is real. Really, real. Notice how in the American venacular when we say something twice, we mean it? "Are you going shopping?"
"No, I'm going shopping shopping". Ooh hoo.

Thursday September 14th, the Princeton study story broke in the blogosphere. Barely any mention of it elsewhere. When I did a blog search for "Diebold voting machines" I got 1,092 blog posts that spoke specifically, with much detail about the Princeton study and the past successful hacking of Diebold machines. When I searched MSNBC, I got an article from 2004 about vote fraud in Chad. Hello? Is anyone besides the bloggers paying any attention? The answer is an qualified, "No". [Bradblog linked here and here, a must read.]

The blogosphere is an interesting phenomenon. It's dominated by left progressives with a potent posse of wingnuttery bringing up the rear. The Diebold story brought many people like me out trumpeting the charge, "We must do something about our votes being stolen...again". Yet In my reading around the blogosphere, I found many people up in arms as I am. People were debating, making an arguement for why this is an important an issue as war or anything else. The right-wing response was par for the course with their defensiveness and insulting poo-pooing. But the other dynamic I saw was quite a bit of, "Nothing to see here, move along", done by Democrats, Progressives, Liberals, The Left. This shocks me.

I know the Left is constantly complaining about how 'brain-dead'and 'in denial' the bushies are for following their fearless leader like lemmings, but is anyone paying attention to the paralysis on the left when things get too scary? We on the left, and in the MSM (albeit it with a GOP talking point bent), bitch constantly about our elected officials, Democrats, who act like scared puppies too frightened to make a peep even when the American public raises its hackles about the state of the union. Why when we have not only that which is decent about America on our side, but the pulse of the nation beating in sync with what we say we want? Why do we cowtow to what appears to be a force greater than ourselves, namely the conservative, rich, crazy, theocratic, neo-fascist goopers? Why, indeed.

I have no definitive answers, but I have theories as to why we seem to shy away from the obvious conflict of facing up to the criminal, evil, right-wing that rules America and is changing our very way of life unabated. The issue of 'taking on the vote' seems too overwhelming, too much to be able to do anything about. Certainly, those in power must be doing something, right? Wrong. Those with the power to make a stink about the fraudulent activities around the vote tampering are scared of losing their jobs. Better to be a sitting politician with little power than a private citizen with none. The proof in their actions , defined as inaction.

I have found in life, and all its myriad expressions, that it is better to risk making a mistake than to do nothing. For months that have now stretched into years, sitting Democrats have done next to nothing to curb the right's rampant stranglehold and usurpation of power. There exists almont NO checks and balances. Much of the political energy expended by the Left has been in the form of defense against the constantly encroaching tyranny pushed ever-forward by the right. If we do not insist that the sitting politicians, past politicians, the mainstream media and the citizenry of the USA get off their asses, a world of shit will hit us with both barrels. It is inevitable. How bad does it need to get before we do something?

I understand the ennui of overwhelm. When you are so inundated with problems that you feel paralyzed. Many of us find ourselves there now. I haven't posted in a few days because of this low-grade 'depression'. I spent two days crying on and off. Granted, watching Spike Lee's "When The Levees Broke" didn't help but when you can't get a break from the constant horror of the shape our country is taking, it gets to you. The gulf coast residents feel it, though for a different reason. They are trying to survive, while many of us are trying to give our country a fighting chance for survival. The difference of course with Katrina survivors is their energies are used up by trying to find housing, jobs, health care, schools, fairness, not to mention the criminal behavior of the insurace companies. It doesn't leave much left over to fight the government. We take for granted sometimes being grateful to not have to fight for these things on a daily basis.

People will read a small article on page 18 of the local paper or watch a 15 second blurb on the evening news about the voting machines and think," Hmm, well somebody's got to be doing something about that, afterall this is America, we have a free and fair election process." In truth some bodies are doing something but nobody is listening. The clock is ticking. Father Martin Niemoller said it well in his best known statement, "When they came for the Communists, I was silent, because I was not a communist..." If we do not contact our public officials and the media about these vote-stealing machines and raise holy hell there will be no need to "come for us" because we will already be there, trapped in a system of our own design because we did nothing.

When will enough be enough for YOU?

Additionally, if you are up to it, in a slightly off topic post, I direct you to some excellent reading by Christy Hardin Smith of firedoglake. She has posted on the disatisfaction within the republican party as well. If you still haven't had enough, then check out this "Bush Family Connections" site. It looks a little dry but as you click on the Bush pictures you can find the links between the corruption in government, the corporate interests and much, much more. This is worth a post in itself but give it a spin and see if you get a better picture of why we are where I say we are in this country.


HotFlash said...

Morning Swim/HopeSAT,

You know me from FDL, I am HotFlash. I came looking for your Net Neutrality linkies and found this. Right right on on. I am concerned, too. I have started to find out what the alternatives to Diebold etc, so far have found a bit about absentee voting. Each state does it differently, so far as I can find out. (surprise) If absentee is covered in HAVA I don't know, I will check that out next. I do not have a lot of time, but 15 min here, 15 min there, might add up to something. Would this help you in any way? I don't have a blog, should start one, I suppose, but don't want a cobweb site. Shall I fwd any of what I find to you?

Swim said...

Hotflash..hello! and thank you. Any help offered is gratefully accepted. I think the best strategy is alerting the media and the politicians in an unending barrage DEMANDING that something be DONE to secure the integrity of the upcoming vote. We cannot afford to wait for another election cycle. Email me what you find and I will post it. I am also sending out posts to left pod-casters and media and congress. Again thanks for coming over to my place.

lotus said...

Fine post, swim!

As a reader of BradBlog, you're probably already aware of the name "Ion Sancho." If not, Google him, and you'll find the kind of Supervisor of Elections every county in this country needs!

His tangle with Diebold is a helluva story. I just hope that someday he'll decide to run for governor or Congresscritter, so he can do Florida even prouder.

Jan said...

Thanks for directing me to your post -- it's very well-said -- I think the next 7 weeks may be the most important in our lives....


(just to mention -- I live in northern Maine/Canada now after 20 years in New England. But I'm originally from East Texas (Marshall)

Swim said...


The Fox News Video I posted from my last entry has Sancho on it. That story is the best thing I've ever seen Fox do. Hmmm. Thanks for coming over and thanks for the Bloody. (((((((((Lotus))))))))

Swim said...


Thanks for popping in. I loved what you said over at the lake and feel that this vote fraud isn't getting the attention it deserves but for the few of us that are vocal about it. Thanks for the support, it feels good not to be alone.

Eli said...

I used to think the Dems were just spineless, but their inaction and outright self-sabotage now has me suspecting that the underlying problem is the same as that of the media: Corporate Ownership.

Swim said...

Ain't it the horrible truth eli? I'm just gonna keep bitching. I'm sending my post and Brad's post on a daily basis to the networks and I have sent copies to my senators. I am going to send it to all of conress until i get an answer. Who knows. thaks for always showing up , I appreciate it.

Christopher said...

Stolen elections are normal now--I'm not sure there is any turning back. Stealing elections is a handy tool for the ruling class--I don't think they are going to give it up--why should they? Anyway, I sense that the historical moment for democracy is gone.