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View Diary: Christopher Hitchens thinks the OHIO VOTE WAS STOLEN (357 comments)

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  •  Your statement isn't logically consistent. (4.00)
    If Ohio was stolen, it would cast doubt on the overall vote totals.

    You take the vote totals for granted, but that begs the question - for the vote totals are contested and defy statistical probability and - some say - statisitical possibility.  I have seen no credible explanation from anyone, or from any relevant authority, as to why a 1-3 point average Kerry lead should suddenly flip to a 1-3 point average Bush lead. None.

    Christopher Hitchens' rather late acknowledgement of the wide spectrum of vote-fraud techniques, which seem to have been employed in Ohio, underlines the case that a diffuse, criminal program of fraud shifted large numbers of votes from Kerry to Bush.

    Then, there is the question of the partisan Republican ownership of  voting machines and central vote tabulating machines - and the proven violation, by said owners, of a number of relevant electoral laws in illegally accessing and tampering with those machines both immediately prior to, during, and after the 2004 election....

    The bottom line is : anyone who won't acknowledge that the US 2004 election fell pitifully short of  world electoral standards for clean elections and that the election was, in the end,  a far less credible electoral process than even the 2004 Ukranian election....... anyone refusing to acknowledge this is flirting with delusion.


    Now, when I drew attention to the rather unflattering comparison between the US 2004 and Ukranian 2004 elections, on another forum post Nov. 2, my post was deleted :

    A tale of two elections : compare "This election did not meet
    a considerable number of international standards for democratic elections" with "voting procedures
    being used in the extremely close contest fell short in many ways of the best global practices."  Ukraine 2004 election vs. US 2004 election : Despite virtually identical allegations of vote fraud and vote suppression ( backed up, in the US election, by hard data from the incumbent-friendly partisan controlled electoral system itself ), one election receives widespread international press attention, the other a nearly complete news blackout. In the contested Ukrainian election, a disparity between exit polls and the official election results - which show a "surprise" upset victory for the incumbent - are cited as evidence of fraud and the election, world media reports, did not meet international democratic electoral norms.  These norms include 1) transparency of voting process, 2) equal access to voting equipment, 3) impartial professional administration of voting systems, 4) and a uniform national system : all lacking in the US 2004 election.

    American machine politics of an earlier era are accepted history : does mainstream US media refusal to acknowledge a new era of machine politics indicate a press and punditocracy now compromised by class interest that aligns with the prerogatives of power and wealth ?
     (more inside)

    The post kicked ass and I was - of course - mad when it was deleted. I got in first, quick, mapped out the territory and staked my claim on the talking point. Woo Hoo.  

    And that unflattering comparison between the US 2004 and Ukranian 2004 elections was subsequently made by a wide variety of commentators in the US and the World at large :

    When electoral officials establish, through obstruction, their own prima facie case - according to the electoral laws of their jurisdiction - for electoral fraud - amidst widespread accounts of vote-rigging - and then mainstream media chose to turn a blind eye to those facts, what can one say of that media ?

    Well, one can say - at least - that media still constructs, despite the growing clout of the Net,  popular perceptions of reality, and so pressure on the administrators of popular liberal internet sites - such as Kos or Matt Haughey - can be considerable. Such site administrators have to play the extremely tricky balancing act of  promoting truth and yet also protecting the reputation of, and promoting, their sites.  Nothing can be taken for granted - the resistance of DailyKos to a campaign of smears or the potential of such sites to mature into a worthy counterforce to the susurrating buzz that issues from the engines of the Fourth Estates, those flying heads of Zardoz that we collectively call "the media".

    Unfortunately, those flying heads of Zardoz  egg on the barbarians as they toss babies from spear to spear, burn books, and piss on Democracy....

    And, the flying heads of Zardoz screech out the soundtrack shaping public perceptions of "credibility" :

    : they are the gatekeepers and butchers who wield the USDA Grade "A" Prime certificate of "credibility" that gets stamped occasionally on the hides of timid websites but most often gets affixed, with bows and ribbons, to that plate of payola-encrusted media bromides, chestnuts, distortions, hyperbole, lies, and infotainment served up on a golden platter of corporate bottom-line profit that bears this perfumed pile of stinking diarrheaic crap called "truth" which - beyond the still thin, disdainful and nauseated gourmet ranks of internet and media savvy elites who chose other, less excretory fare -  still, in this latter pre-Singularity age, nonetheless get emitted, squeezed and sprayed out, from crusty old orifices of the traditional mass media, by radio, on TV, in print. The ghost of Walter Lippman - somewhere - spits, rolls his eyes, takes up reading Hegel.

    DailyKos and Metafilter do not exist in a vacuum : and because they do not exist in a vacuum, they are subject to arm-twisting and indirect pressure - via accusations of "tin foil hattery" - should they choose to highlight such verboten news stories as the now rather well documented case that the US 2004 election was rigged and hacked. In this, the fact that both international democratic standards for clean elections and  Ohio electoral law itself declare a prima-facie cause for electoral fraud - in Ohio and in the US at large in '04 - is irrelevant.

    That fact is irrelevant because American public perceptions of reality are constructed now by what has devolved into an almost totally servile Fourth Estate come full circle since the latter days of the 19th Century, when the noted journalist John Swinton was heard to say - at a public gathering of New York's leading figures :

    There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.*

    There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.

    The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?

    We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.

    (Source: Labor's Untold Story, by Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais, published by United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, NY, 1955/1979.)

    *The remarks were apparently made by Swinton, then the preeminent New York journalist, probably one night in 1880. Swinton was the guest of honour at a banquet given him by the leaders of his craft. Someone who knew neither the press nor Swinton offered a toast to the independent press. Swinton outraged his colleagues by replying.

    The Wurlitzer comes and goes and comes and goes as an eternally recrudescent poorly toileted blight that sneaks in past plump complacency to cloud our perceptions with it's  smeared excrement and then, in turn and if we are lucky, is driven slouching from the temples of public consensus to sulk i the hills and plot it's return.  

    But, back to the ranch :

    I don't so much think Kos has knuckled under to pressure to suppress or not promote the US 2004 election fraud story - rather, I think it  is far more likely that the growing importance of his site has brought Kos association with people who both have much to offer and who disparage the story as conspiratorial.

    Individual perceptions of "reality" are derived and constructed both individually and from a wider social matrix - and because the American liberal elite has chosen to ignore the '04 fraud story and to tar it's proponents as conspiracy theorists ( as if successful conspiracies were not an eternal staple for study,  by historians, as a natural expression of human avarice ), and so it would be quite natural - for Kos or for anyone really, for all are subject to these pressures - to be influenced by the assocations that ownership of what is, in truth, a powerful new collaborative media forum brings.  

    The fact that liberal elites feel the '04 vote-fraud story to be so threatening or so far out on the periphery of possibility they are obliged to brand those documenting the electoral-fraud case as insane is no doubt a great comfort to Karl Rove - who surely is chuckling and rubbing his sweaty palms in glee as Democrats relegate the mad, pregnant niece raped by the incestuous and pedophilic uncle - that was the 2004 election - to the closet of the unspeakable, to be heaped with all the other scandals, skeletons, and scary monsters (such as the rise to power of the American religious right).

    Why liberal elites find such realities  so palpably disturbing as to require the construction of police lines of taboo protecting polite discourse from such things is an open question - does that arise from a generational naivete born of a sheltered upbringing in a land of milk and twinkies which has not, for many generations, seen the sort of devastation visited on Fallujah, Grozny, Dresden and Nagasaki or the genocidal killing frenzies of the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, or My Lai ? Or from a lack of experience with the merely "normal" civilian of war noted by Charles Bukowski, asking of LA - "What if this city were to be bombed, not with an atom bomb but day in, day out, relentlessly, with ordinary blockbusters" ?

    Recent research has shown more activity in the Amygdalas of Democrats, so perhaps some of this is based in fear. Of politics, Democrats worry while Republicans scheme ? Perhaps.

    Yet, here we are - entrusted by whatever curious twists of fate with truth telling. If we do not take this on, who will ?  Dan Rather ? The New York Times ?


    So here we are, staggering, building mscles to shoulder the load, envisioning the day when we divert the river that flushes out the stables. Eating egg whites, pumping info.  

    [ CUT - to Joseph Campbell :"On the quest, the hero must sacrifice on the path, to let all that is unessential and even much that which *he loves - even to the point of ultimate sacrifice - fall away."

    *He ? Hey, it's a generational thing. Insert a "she" or an "it" at will. Joe won't mind. ]

    We all walk the steep path of truth telling that wends through the mountains of despair to the Shangri La of a better day. We have no choice : knowledge, bought with pain, exacts a heavy price. We know too much, we cannot turn back.  We trudge on, in faith.

    Truth telling : truth telling most usually carries a blood price, and so the stance of such as Kos - those who are truly forging a third-way progressive path leading away from the blasted moral and ethical wastelands of the DNC - does not so much constitute a shibboleth of the bitches of power for access, as acolytes, to the inner sanctums of the 33rd degree as it amounts to a hard edged political stance on ugly tradeoffs necessary to the  imperative of establishing a counterforce to the flying heads of Zardoz  unleashed by the golf-course country club that once was the 4th Estate.

    In this, who is with us ? Who is against ? Judgements are perilious and so - though I might suspect that  Mr. Hitchens  - conveniently late to the party - might have dallied overlong at the ritual basement gang-bang of captive Thai sex-slaves at the Senator's party and that  Hitch - a two edged peril - simply milks profit from a pendulous differential - between knee-jerk Manichean thinking and ground level shades of gray - with the bag balm of his elegant pen - but who am I to judge ? This may - on my part - amount to mere indulgent, scurrilous fantasy.  And - although I might be tempted to wonder if a  few righteous causes, good fights, and a gratitious stomp of Mother Theresa thrown in for  the hell of it  is calculated to grant license - in liberal minds anyway - and shore up sufficient street cred. at the Nation to sustain a frenzy of cracked Phantom of The Opera off-key wurlitzer pounding in praise of PNAC :  I have to wonder what sort of bones and bits of hair, coughed up from a hangover of a DC Bacchanalia turned ugly, the wringwraiths of J. Edgar Hoover have to brandish at Hitchens  should he step out line in the wrong direction.

    But, those would be idle, speculative musings on my part, and Kos is no Hitchens  : and Hitchens himself is merely the piper - unwitting or not - at the edges of a dawn where loofa-wielding parades of hateful,  frothing 101st Fighting Keyboardists, led by a float topped with Ann Coulter, in full metal S&M, sodomizing Bill O' Reilly with a faith-based cattle prod while Toby Keith slugs Jack Daniels and belts out the national anthem.....

    While Hitchens and his kind skulk around the periphery of Pax Americana planting flags between cocktail breaks, and while hungry theocrats chew through the wormy old heart of the Republic, enter :

    The ghost of Christmas future, where Tiny Tim has been kidnapped, shipped to Paraguay, and cloned into penned up herds of Tims, reared on moldy fodder purloined from fallout shelders, by the Council on National Priorities, strictly for profit rather than as sex slaves or killer castrati, to baptised, saved, butchered, stretched with Hamburger Helper, and  laundered through the Brazilian spot-meat market,  and snapped up by McDonalds and  shaped into Leviticus BurgersTM and served up with Coca Cola and Freedom FriesTM, for refreshments to be eaten while watching holographic images of Arnold Schwarzenegger  - strangling Osama Bin Laden and beating the truth out of suspects picked up for improper chewing gum etiquette while Pat Robertson beams, genuflects, and passes the water hose while chanting from Revelation - projected between the singing of hymns at the local drive-in megachurch.

    We are not there yet, and I - as your ghost of Christmas present - show you Kos and also yourself and - as the Ghost of Christmas future - cast a light on that daily procession of  choices both tiny and momentous leading towards that place shown to you, above, or towards a happier future where Tiny Tim gets a prosthetic leg and proper nutrition and so goes on to college, gets a law degree, and enters politics.

    We all - each in our own way - are Kos at Christmas present, and it tends not to be, most often, the great decisions that send us off along those uglier bifurcations, to hell or the madhouse : It is most often the aggregate that counts, our humble day-to-day  decisions, our ongoing infusions of love and care, and our ability to organize our energies into synchronous pulses to shape a better future and destiny for Tiny Tim - so that he might one day be a rising star Congressional aid rather than be rendered down into commercial hamburger and sold with Happy Meals.

    And, Kos - for providing this Samizdat megaphone for you and I and all of us, as we challenge the flying heads of Zardoz  - has led the way along to a happier future for Tim :

    The flying heads of Zardoz are everywhere, they are legion : NPR, Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC, NYT, The Washington Times, Newseek.....So many heads spewing out dreams, hatred and rifles.  

    Here, at least, we can mass force  to cast up nets and catch those loathsome heads to  - one by one - pull them to ground.

    Enough - I go.

    We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove. -Mark Twain [Samuel Langhornne Clemens] (1835-1910)

    by Troutfishing on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:56:27 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  sorry to respond so briefly (none)
      but the essential problem with the comparison is the tiny differential of the US exit polls compared to the Ukraine.  

      There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

      by Sandals on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:33:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The differential...... (4.00)
        Was as big as necessary. No more, no less.  A large differential would have been far too much even for a corrupt US mass media to ignore. But, the early / final ( contested ) exit poll differential - a 4-6 point spread or so - has been shown to have been anywhere from statistically unlikley to simply impossible.

        Meanwhile :

        Existing Ohio electoral law states that access to voting data shall be open to the public and that any and all attempts to prevent that access are illegal and constitute prima facie evidence of electoral fraud.

        Access to that data was blocked by non other than Kent Blackwell - hence, prima facie evidence for vote fraud.

        So, what's Blackwell HIDING ?  If he were not HIDING something, why would he illegally block access to voting data ?


        On a number of counts, the US 2004 election did not conform to international standards for clean elections. Not the least of which for the partisan control of the electoral apparatus : a big no no on the World scene if not in the backwater of Democracy the US has become.

        The Ukraine - by it's final re-vote, after the one or two botched and rigged elections - had come close enough to meeting those conditions as to receive international approval.

        The US did not even make an effort, and almost no one in the mainstrean media would touch the comparison.

        We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove. -Mark Twain [Samuel Langhornne Clemens] (1835-1910)

        by Troutfishing on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 09:00:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Great stuff (none)
      If only for the much neglected Zardoz head!

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