Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Monday, November 03, 2008

Tomorrow is the day we take back our country

Imagine that you've been watching your favorite professional football team all year, and they make it into the playoffs, and finally into the Super Bowl.

Imagine that the game is close - very close - and as the final seconds run down, your quarterback has the ball in the air to an open receiver, who comes down in the end zone... victory!

But suddenly the unthinkable happens. A referee makes a terrible call and the touchdown is called back. Your team loses the game. On an erroneous technicality.

Now imagine that you are losing your home, your job, you have no health care, your life has gone downhill in a thousand different ways in the past eight years... your kid is off at war and can't come home because he or she keeps getting redeployed over and over and over again. You have had it. You are going to change this country, and so you register to vote and you get in there early and you cast that vote for change.

Now imagine that your vote, and others like it all across the country... magically disappear.

The landslide that the polls all indicate is right around the corner... doesn't happen. All because an IT firm is secretly flipping bits inside touch screen voting machines and undermining our democracy. Right under our noses.

It could happen again.

I have been agonizing over this election for years, and tomorrow is the day... but I don't feel any better tonight than I did two years ago. We are the ones who have everything to lose. Our government -- even and especially the Democratic Party, who should have known better -- has done nothing to fix this rampant problem.

Here are two must-read stories from truthout.org -- because our mainstream media is light years behind on this do or die issue that concerns the foundation of our democracy.

The first, from Greg Palast:

It's November 5 and the nation is in shock. Media blame it on the "Bradley effect": Americans supposedly turned into Klansmen inside the voting booth, and Barack Obama turned up with 6 million votes less than calculated from the exit polls. Florida came in for McCain and so did Indiana. Colorado, despite the Democrats' Rocky Mountain high after the Denver convention, stayed surprisingly Red. New Mexico, a state where Anglos are a minority, went McCain by 300 votes, as did Virginia.

That's the nightmare. Here's the cold reality.

Swing state Colorado. Before this election, two Republican secretaries of state purged 19.4 percent of the entire voter roll. One in five voters. Pfft!

Swing state New Mexico. One in nine voters in this year's Democratic caucus found their names missing from the state-provided voter registries. And not just any voters. County by county, the number of voters disappeared was in direct proportion to the nonwhite population. Gore won the state by 366 votes; Kerry lost it by only 5,900. Despite reassurances that all has been fixed for Tuesday, Democrats lost from the list in February told me they're still "disappeared" from the lists this week.

Swing state Indiana. In this year's primary, ten nuns were turned away from the polls because of the state's new voter ID law. They had drivers' licenses, but being in their 80s and 90s, they'd let their licenses expire. Cute. But what isn't cute is this: 566,000 registered voters in that state don't have the ID required to vote. Most are racial minorities, the very elderly and first-time voters; that is, Obama voters. Twenty-three other states have new, vote-snatching ID requirements.

Swing state Florida. Despite a lawsuit battle waged by the Brennan Center for Justice, the state's Republican apparatchiks are attempting to block the votes of 85,000 new registrants, forcing them to pass through a new "verification" process. Funny thing: verification applies only to those who signed up in voter drives (mostly black), but not to voters registering at motor vehicle offices (mostly white).

And so on through swing states controlled by Republican secretaries of state.

Read the rest here...

And yet another from truthout.org (they are obviously as worried tonight as I am. But then, they have been covering this issue for years.)

Is the Election About to Be Stolen in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Elsewhere?

Last Friday, a federal court judge in Cleveland, Ohio, ordered Michael Connell, an information-technology consultant to the McCain '08 campaign, to give a deposition in a court proceeding. Mr. Connell, whose firm, GovTech Solutions, built Ohio's 2004 election results computer network, was in a position to have knowledge about the alleged manipulation of electronic voting results in that presidential contest (a technique known as "flipping") in order to switch the winner in Ohio from Sen. John Kerry to President Bush. The deposition is scheduled to take place today, November 3, one day before the 2008 general election.

Connell is a former associate of Karl Rove, who is believed by those familiar with the events in question to have engaged in witness intimidation to prevent testimony about what happened in Ohio in 2004. They also believe that IT companies associated with the Republican Party have redeveloped the capacity to manipulate electronic voting results in Tuesday's election, both within Ohio and outside, including Pennsylvania and other key battleground states such as Colorado and New Mexico. One such firm, Triad GSI, is managing voter registration databases in 55 of Ohio's 88 counties and is hosting 25 of those databases.

All this has led to speculation that the McCain campaign's insistence that they can win Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other states, despite being (in some places, significantly) behind in most of the polls, could be prompted by having been informed about planned cyber interference with electronic voting results. The reality is that a successful cyber attack only requires a few skilled IT experts with an in-depth understanding of digital security. Election returns in many states are presently emailed from local databases for statewide consolidation, without even the standard safeguards routinely used by banks and corporations. In other words, voting data can be relatively easily hacked.

Read the rest here...

I noticed a special on the hacking of our elections on a public television station this evening. I didn't want to watch it. I'm trying to get some actual sleep tonight. I flipped through the stations, only to find that 'Recount' was playing on HBO. Stolen elections have finally made it into the public awareness. Apparently I am not the only one with that sick, gnawing feeling in my stomach tonight.

May justice and democracy prevail tomorrow. Be vigilant. Be wary. Pay attention. And don't let anyone bully you out of voting.

As Fredrick Douglass once said -- and I've read this twice today, in two different places, so I know its relevant:

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

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