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View Diary: Compelling: Ohio recount: Stealing votes in Columbus-- INVESTIGATE DAMSCHRODER (166 comments)

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  •  Roeper in Chicago Thinks We are full of it. (none)
    Some have predicted that by running some of these theories up the flagpole that the MSM would take the debunked stories and use them to delegitimize our complaints. Turns out that is exactly what is occuring in some media outlets. Richard Roeper in the SunTimes today writes this:
    Real conspiracy theorists never admit they're wrong. No matter how many facts and bits of logic you throw at them, they'll always say, "That's all well and good, but you haven't proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm wrong. Why can't you produce concrete evidence that the Loch Ness Monster doesn't exist?"

    Well, because it's a little tough to prove a negative
    Rest of Article

    I think there are some errors in his analysys and a few of you might agree with me. Maybe you'd like to share some thoughtful responses to this article with him.
    rroeper@suntimes.com

    Keep in mind, you probably need to get your point across in one or two short paragraphs if you want him to actually consider reading it.

    •  Don't you love how the people who (4.00)
      post accounts and evidence of disenfranchisement, election malfunctions, harrassment and fraud here are called "conspiracy theorists," but the people who complain about the same things in the Ukraine are called "citizens"?

      A big difference between here and there:  we didn't take to the streets on November 3.  We didn't camp out in the middle of the mall in D.C.  We didn't chant and protest and go on strike.

      Why didn't we?

      Is it because we believe that our elections system "works" and so we couldn't believe that it could be fixed and hijacked?  Do we believe that the system is impervious to the actions of bad people, if bad people control it?  Maybe this is the year when bad people controlled the elections in key states-- as we saw in Ohio, Florida, Oklahoma, Colorado-- and they decided to do bad things, with a sense of impunity that was perhaps not misguided given the fact that there were no mass protests on November 3rd, and the fact that the corporate media colluded with their interests in branding anyone who questioned the election results as "conspiracy theorists".

      Whereas, in Ukraine they have a newer democratic system, and there is still more transparency and rawness?

      •  It's been only "spitballs" ..... (none)
        .....since 2000, and umpires [from Gov's and SoS's all the way to SCOTUS] who work for the other team, and media who either don't care, don't have the guts to care, or are totally in favor of the fix because they get to make shit up and call it news -- and they get paid really well for it.

        W 2: Democracy O - ver?

        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/11/30/33526/427

        By the way, you've posted an outstanding Diary; thank you.

        "Halt, Audit, & Prove My Vote Counts, Now"

      •  We had this discussion (none)
        on another thread, and a gilas girl (brilliant, as always) had this to say:

        What we have is a weak democracy, but a strong governance mechanism.  In some of the Eur-Asian nations you are discussing as a model, I think, perhaps the reverse is true: the sense of democracy and the demand for it to actually be practiced is stronger than in the US, but the governance mechanisms are weaker, and therefore respond to the organic democracy that takes place on the streets in a way that doesn't happen here.

        I agree completely with this, and what we need to do in this country is find ways to strengthen "organice democracy" in such a way as to make our government more responsive while not weakening the strong "governance mechanism" that we do in fact have.  A government can be both strong and responsive, IMO.  I'm just not sure how to go about accomplishing this -- it's not exactly something to do over lunch.

        "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." Mencken "This is one of those times." Me

        by jsmdlawyer on Tue Nov 30, 2004 at 09:13:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe a series of lunches? (none)
          Seriously, that's what I'm getting at.  We have a very strong governance mechanism, and a sense that that mechanism works.  What is going to be worked out, ideally, in the next few years is heightened awareness of the ways in which the mechanism is subject to tampering and fixing-- i.e., the ways in which it has been weakened, and is weak, and open to abuse-- and heightened awareness of the possibility of responsiveness through channels other than LTEs or conversations with neighbors and friends.  So, protest, better organized mass response.
          •  People also need to (4.00)
            be given a reason to give a fuck -- right now in this country, one of the reasons people don't protest about anything is that there is no investment in the process of government.  For too long, Republicans have gotten away with the idea that the government is "them" -- some alien force that rules our lives.  And the media plays along, by ignoring and/or marginalizing any protests that actually do take place.

            The government is not them, it is us.  If we want to take it back, we can -- but we need to do so not every two years or every four years, but EVERY FUCKING DAY, by demonstrating to people that there are issues to care about, that the corporatist Republican model and the media "scandal du jour" model are robbing us of our voice in our own government.  Government is only responsive if we insist that it be so.  Passivity is acceptance.

            So WHEN is that first lunch?  We gots work to do.

            "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." Mencken "This is one of those times." Me

            by jsmdlawyer on Tue Nov 30, 2004 at 10:13:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Why didn't we? (none)
        Maybe because we didn't have a sophisticated USAID program behind our efforts.
      •  Here's Why (none)
        You ask: Why didn't we [take to the streets in protest]? The reason is we (Americans, generally, to include the vast majority of activists such as most who will read this offering) are wrapped up in our daily comforts and lifesyle and really don't want to be inconvienced by actually undertaking to do the hard things. Its just too much trouble.

        Perhaps, one day after democracy has been successfully dismantled in we live in what will, in fact, be a very different country, it will be recognized that taking to streets and actually fighting with your life for what you believe in is required.

    •  At least they're finally talking about it . . . (none)
      . . and from the Bush-endorsing Chicago Tribune no less.

      I'm encouraged - sounds like they may be getting a little nervous.

    •  Letter to Roeper (none)
      Here's the letter I sent him:

      Dear Mr. Roeper,

      I read your article: "Some conspiracy theorists elect to ignore the truth."  It is true there are some pretty weird throries about the election.  But I think you are missing the bigger point.   Namely that elections should not only be honest, but should be manifestly and transparently honest, so as to eliminate and possible grounds for suspicion.   Do you agree?  I hope so.

      Unfortunately, many of the votes (30-40%) in the 2004 election are counted on voting machines that maintain no auditable paper record.    This means, should questions arise, there is no way to verify the votes were correctly recorded and counted.    This leads to the unfortunate situation that there's no way to prove the election was honest.   This is a really terrible situation.

      Please think about this a bit.   Even aside from the possibility of deliberate fraud everyone knows computer programmers can make mistakes.   If there was a paper ballot (counted by Opti-scan) we could always recount if any questions arose.  But the situation we have now is analogous to having some guy count the ballots in a locked room, give us the totals, and then burn the ballots, so we have no way to verify anything.  Do you think this is a desirable situation?   If not, while it's fine to debunk off the wall theories, at the same time I hope you will also advocate systemic improvements that will eliminate the reasonable grounds for suspicion that now exist.

      Incidentally, the following article from NYDN lists some pretty strange reported voting results. What's your take on this?

      Hoping to hear from you.

      Sincerely,

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