Pleonexia: Beyond Hubris

Thursday, March 30, 2006

War for Profit, War for Power. How the the Neocons and American Fundamentalists are Instigating a War On Christianity.

In 2005, Fox News anchor John Gibson penned"The War On Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought”. His fellow Fox News blaviator, Bill O'Reilly, joined the chorus going so far as to post a list of retailers like Target for not using “Christmas” in some of their advertisements. From this point on, the perception of a War on all things Christian were seen to be under attack, and the call was out to defend it.

Over the years, especially since the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade, the emerging theocratic wing of the Christian community has trumpeted their interpretation of Biblical law in the public square. Since then, they’ve attempted to foist their theoretically a skewed vision of “America as The Promised Land” via school prayer, political proselytizing, and fomentation of End Times fear mongering.

So what is this “War on Christianity” and where does it come from? Well, I have an idea, and it’s not because the Democrats or Liberals are trying to wage one.

The latest supposed front in this “War on Christianity” is the “War on Easter” al’la Fox News (video from BradBlog). Though I do agree that bunnies and eggs have little to do with the Christian faith, nor do I care if someone hangs “Happy Easter” signs all over the city, the reactionary cries of a “War on Easter” because someone thought that people of different faiths might feel offended by an expression of a single religion on the door of a public servant is a classic example of how the Right provacates this perception. Something tells me that they would be the first to tare down a picture of the Al Aqsa Mosque or Mecca.

If you googled “War on Christmas” today, you’d find 49,900 entries on the subject. The top search result, the Jeremiah Project outlines the reasons they believe that Christianity is under attack. Two of these reasons they give is the limiting of religious liberty in the area of public and private education, and exclusion of the Bible from school classrooms and from other school property. Now I haven’t heard anything about religious schools being denied the right to proselytize in their classrooms. But public schools, funded by public monies are not allowed to do so. They never were. That’s called state sponsored religion.

Last night, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council was on Hardball with Rev. Al Sharpton and the Bible in schools issue came up (video from Crooks and Liers). Chris Matthews said, “If everyone at school is forced to read the King James Bible they may feel a little bit out of it.” to which Tony replied, “But nobody’s calling for that”. Oh, but they are.

Georgia’s Governer has a bill on his desk today calling to put Bible classes in Georgia’s Public high schools. In an attempt to include the Bible’s historical value in public education, Democratic Alabama Sen. Bill Preuitt, introduced the "Bible Literacy Act" which calls for the use of a book called “The Bible and Its Influence”. Relatively moderate Evangelical leaders embrace the move as “an extraordinarily helpful background-the Bible's impact on literature, the arts, and life. If anyone is looking for a comprehensive academic understanding of the roots of modern civilization, this book is an indispensable resource.” This move to extend an olive branch and include Biblical history in public education was branded by the hard-core fundamentalists as the “Bible Distortion Bill”. Rep. Nick Williams, would later say that Alabama already “provided for an elective in Bible literacy under authorization of the State Board of Education consistent with the U.S. Constitution” He then explained that "a very sound curriculum" by the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools (NCBCPS), which uses THE HOLY BIBLE itself as the textbook, is already being used in some Alabama public high schools. Tim Howe, executive director of the Alabama Republican Party assailed the book “as highly questionable, evidenced by the fact that it was supported by several liberal groups,” sighting the ACLU. This was later proven to be a lie. (source: About, with links to Christian Wire)

It seems to me that the Neo-Conservative/Fundamentalist alliance is actively stoking a religious war, both here and across the world. Fromer Nixon advisor and author Kevin Philips, in his new book “American Theocracy” wrote, “In its recent practice, the radical side of U.S. religion has embraced cultural antimodernism, war hawkishness, Armageddon prophecy, and in the case of conservative fundamentalists, a demand for governments by literal biblical interpretation. In the 1800s, religious historians generally minimized the sectarian thrust of religious excess, but recent years have brought more candor. The evangelical, fundamentalist, sectarian, and radical threads of American religion are being proclaimed openly and analyzed widely, even though bluntness is frequently muted by a pseudo-tolerance, the polite reluctance to criticize another's religion. However given the wider thrust of religion's claims on public life, this hesitance falls somewhere between unfortunate and dangerous. Charles Kimball, a North Carolina Baptist and professor of religion, speaks very much to the point: "Although many of us have been taught it is not polite to discuss religion and politics in public, we must quickly unlearn that lesson. Our collective failure to challenge presuppositions, think anew, and openly debate central religious concerns affecting society is a recipe for disaster." Considering the past history of Zealot Christian Fundamentalism’s attributions to the decline and fall of the last three great world empires, the Holy Roman Empire, the Spanish Habsburgs, and the British Empire, I fear that fear itself has become the growing catalyst in their self proclaimed “War on Christianity”. Let me explain.

For decades, the American oilgarchy has supported dictators that oppressed the people of the Middle East. And as Yoda always says, “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering". In this case, the oil industry’s fears of the nationalization of Middle Eastern oil fields lead them to interfere in democratic movements and install “protectorates” in Iran and Iraq. This move was compounded by their blind support of the theocratic regime in Saudi Arabia. This lead to anger in the Middle East and eventually hate when the people found out that American interference was what lead to the ascension of such ruthless dictators like Saddam and the Shah. Meanwhile, their support for the fundamentalist Wahabists of the Al Saud family created the atmosphere for the rise of Islamo-fundimentalism, the manifestation of suffering in both the West and the Middle East.

Though it is true that American presidents from both political parties over the years have culled an official strategic relationship between America and Saudi Arabia, I currently don’t know of any Democrats that have had such close business and personal ties to the Wahabists and the bin Laden family as there is between the Neocons and the Bush family. It is my belief that this relationship, which is predicated on the agreement that the US would not gather intelligence within the kingdom, is the main reason we face the threat of terrorist action by zealot Islamists.

All the while, American Evangelical extremism has grown right along side of the Islamists. Starting in Afghanistan, then VP Bush Sr., with his deep connections to the CIA, oversaw the rise of the modern militarization of jihadism. This movement was trained, armed and funded by the Bush/Al Saud alliance. Meanwhile, back here at home, the money that the Bush family made off the Saudi royal family went to building their own, Christian version of militant religiosity.

Touting his connections to high profile Evangelists like Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, and Jerry Farwell, George Bush the younger followed his father’s footsteps into the White House. But this time, he would thread everything he said with biblical undertones and overtones. With zingers like proclaiming that Jesus was his favorite philosopher, calling the War on Terror a “Crusade”, and insisting that he don’t talk to his father on political issues, he talks to a “higher father”, he has blurred the lines between church and state, and convinced Americans of faith that he speaks for God. Since then, he and his coalition of Neo-Conservatives, and radical fundamentalists have attempted to exploit every issue that they could dream up in the furtherance of their agenda; absolute power.

I fear that the concerted efforts of the Bush administration and their allies to split America along sectarian v. religious lines has empowered a fundamentalist Christian Evangelical movement that shares more resemblance to Wahabism than many would ever admit. It’s like they are attempting to use religion to reopen the wounds of the Civil War in an attempt to start a religious war against both Islam, and non-believers alike. This co-existent trend of militarization within two major religious groups can no longer be ignored.

I would like to make one point abundantly clear. The more these American fundamentalists cry out that someone is waging a “War on Christianity”, the more nervous and fearful they will make the rest of the country and the world. Fearful of the fall of America under the weight of theocracy, fearful of an emerging American Inquisition following the crumbling of our constitutional rights, fearful of the bleak future for our children in light of the suppression of science, and fearful of a global war instigated by this unholy alliance that will leave our country broke, beleaguered, and scorned throughout the world. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering. By their own doing, they may just get their “War on Christianity”. This is my fear. But no matter what happens, I will die an American. I WILL DIE FREE!

Tags: Related Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Chris Matthews, War on Christmas, War on Christianity, War on Easter, War on Christmas
Bible, religon.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Did Bush Start WW3? Delta Force Founder Says He "May Well Have".

In an interview that RAW STORY wet my whistle for on Friday, Delta Force founding member, and author of the book that inspired the new hit TV series “The Unit”, Eric Haney pulled no punches. The following is what I hope is the first installment of this interview conducted by David Kronke of the LA Daily News.

Q: What's your assessment of the war in Iraq?

A: Utter debacle. But it had to be from the very first. The reasons were wrong. The reasons of this administration for taking this nation to war were not what they stated. (Army Gen.) Tommy Franks was brow-beaten and ... pursued warfare that he knew strategically was wrong in the long term. That's why he retired immediately afterward. His own staff could tell him what was going to happen afterward.

We have fomented civil war in Iraq. We have probably fomented internecine war in the Muslim world between the Shias and the Sunnis, and I think Bush may well have started the third world war, all for their own personal policies.

Q: What is the cost to our country?

A: For the first thing, our credibility is utterly zero. So we destroyed whatever credibility we had. ... And I say "we," because the American public went along with this. They voted for a second Bush administration out of fear, so fear is what they're going to have from now on.

Our military is completely consumed, so were there a real threat - thankfully, there is no real threat to the U.S. in the world, but were there one, we couldn't confront it. Right now, that may not be a bad thing, because that keeps Bush from trying something with Iran or with Venezuela.

The harm that has been done is irreparable. There are more than 2,000 American kids that have been killed. Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis have been killed ñ which no one in the U.S. really cares about those people, do they? I never hear anybody lament that fact. It has been a horror, and this administration has worked overtime to divert the American public's attention from it. Their lies are coming home to roost now, and it's gonna fall apart. But somebody's gonna have to clear up the aftermath and the harm that it's done just to what America stands for. It may be two or three generations in repairing.

Q: What do you make of the torture debate? Cheney ...

A: (Interrupting) That's Cheney's pursuit. The only reason anyone tortures is because they like to do it. It's about vengeance, it's about revenge, or it's about cover-up. You don't gain intelligence that way. Everyone in the world knows that. It's worse than small-minded, and look what it does.

I've argued this on Bill O'Reilly and other Fox News shows. I ask, who would you want to pay to be a torturer? Do you want someone that the American public pays to torture? He's an employee of yours. It's worse than ridiculous. It's criminal; it's utterly criminal. This administration has been masters of diverting attention away from real issues and debating the silly. Debating what constitutes torture: Mistreatment of helpless people in your power is torture, period. And (I'm saying this as) a man who has been involved in the most pointed of our activities. I know it, and all of my mates know it. You don't do it. It's an act of cowardice. I hear apologists for torture say, "Well, they do it to us." Which is a ludicrous argument. ... The Saddam Husseins of the world are not our teachers. Christ almighty, we wrote a Constitution saying what's legal and what we believed in. Now we're going to throw it away.

Q: As someone who repeatedly put your life on the line, did some of the most hair-raising things to protect your country, and to see your country behave this way, that must be ...

A: It's pretty galling. But ultimately I believe in the good and the decency of the American people, and they're starting to see what's happening and the lies that have been told. We're seeing this current house of cards start to flutter away. The American people come around. They always do.

The Unit airs on CBS Tuesdays at 9:00pm EST.

Link back to the San Bernardino County Sun Article.

Tags: , , , Constitution, Terrorism, Middle East, Security, WW3, Delta Force, Cheney, Torture.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Winds of Change Blow Across the South. GOP Feeling the Draft. Thank Your TV?

According to a new polling conducted by conservative columnist Matt Towery, the GOP seems to be losing it’s grip on the Deep South. To quote his own words;

“The final, comprehensive results of the poll weren't yet complete when this column was filed. Over 4,000 interviews have been conducted, however -- enough to render persuasively alarming news for the GOP.”
“For example, in the populous states of Florida and Georgia, more respondents want the Democrats to control Congress next year than they do the Republicans.”
“President George W. Bush won both states in 2004, and yet he now has higher disapproval ratings than approval ratings. In Georgia, his disapproval rate approaches 50 percent. In Florida, it's 55 percent.”
“It gets worse for Republicans. Initial polling results seem to show that the disapproval of Washington Republicans is starting to translate into possible votes against GOP candidates this fall in statewide races back home. Most of these are races in which Republicans would expect to hold obvious upper hands.”
“Not surprisingly given the overall polling results, there is also an emerging trend of erosion of support for President Bush and the GOP Congress by core conservative voters, as well as by independent voters. In the Republicans' strongest region in the nation, it's these independents who usually give the conservative party its victory margins.” (Read the entire article)
Surprisingly enough, aside from the obvious drag exerted by the war in Iraq, Matt Towery blames what he calls “the West Wing effect”. I must admit, over the past week I’ve seen something that I would consider proof that Bush watched last Sunday’s episode.

In case you haven’t seen it, GOP candidate Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda), in an attempt to get past a scandal, comes out of hiding and holds a marathon press conference outside a nuclear power plant. Just weeks before, the plant almost melted down and it was reported that he had pushed for the plant’s construction. After avoiding the press, as his advisors had encouraged, he decided that the only way to stop the press from beating him up at the polls, would be to confront them in an open QandA till the press turned blue in the face. It was a master stroke. His polls stabilized, and the nuclear power plant questions were no more.

Now, of course an argument could be made that life imitates art and vise-a-versa, but to blame a TV show about a fictional President for the diving polls of a real President, well that’s just classic. That’s all him. That is, unless George W. Bush actually thought that he could pull an Arnie Vinick. In that case, all hail the power of the Boob Tube!

Tags:Politics, , , , , , , , .

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

What Does 9/11, Plamegate, and Domestic Spying Have In Common? Judge Reggie Walton.

Tuesday, former FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, the Arabic translator who exposed the FBI’s mishandling and mistranslations of recordings related to the 9/11 investigation, filed a motion in federal court asking that Judge Reggie Walton be recused from her case sighting the Ethics in Government Act. She claims that Judge Walton’s bias to secrecy, evident in his dismissal of her original First Amendment case sighting State Secrets Privilege, and the “highly unusual” redaction of Judge Walton’s 2003 financial discloser statement.

So how does this tie together? Judge Walton is the same judge sitting on the I. Scooter Libby case. At first, in July 2002, her First Amendment case was assigned to Judge James Robertson, the same judge who just resigned from the FISA court over the NSA domestic spying issue. In 2003, Robertson was removed from the case without explanation and was handed to Walton. Edmonds petitioned and asked that her case be heard by Judge Ellen Huvelle who had been presiding over Edmonds’ related FOIA case since July 2002. This motion was granted, but just a few days later, the motion was reversed without explanation. Then, according to RawStory, “In July 2004, Judge Reggie Walton disposed of Edmonds’ First Amendment case on the basis of the government’s assertion of State Secrets Privilege. On the same day as the decision, Judge Walton quashed a subpoena for Edmonds’ deposition by attorneys representing over 1,000 family members who lost love ones during the terrorist attacks on 9/11. In limiting the deposition in the case, Burnett et al. v. Al Baraka Investment & Development Corp., Judge Walton prevented the 9/11 attorneys from asking a majority of the proposed questions related to the attacks. These included even the most mundane questions, such as:”
“• When & where were you born? • Where did you go to school? • What languages do you speak? • What did you focus your studies on in school? • In what capacity have you been employed by the United States Government?”
On July 6, 2004, Judge Walton granted the government’s motion to dismiss based on the assertion of the State Secrets Privilege.

The next year, in March 2005, Edmonds filed a new claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act which was assigned to Judge James Robertson. But in a highly unusual move, the case was moved to, wait for it, Judge Reggie Walton.

It should also be pointed out that Walton is a Bush family favorite, nominated to the bench by Bush 43 in October of 2001. He also served as Bush 41’s Associate Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

So I must ask was Judge Walton paid to keep Sibel Edmonds’ case from being heard? What is in the redacted financial records that Judge Walton does not want anyone to see? Will he attempt to thwart Fitzgerald’s case against Scooter Libby? Does Judge Robertson believe that he was removed from the Edmonds cases so that they could be squashed by an administration hack?

Tags: , , , , .

Santorum "Encourages" PA Churches To Violate Tax Code.

Embattled Pennsylvania Republican Senator, Rick Santorum, produced a video that was passed out at what is described as an illegal “get-out-the-vote” training session organized by the Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN), a coalition comprised of 4 conservative groups, two of which are listed with the IRS as §501(c)(3). Under federal law, organizations listed as §501(c)(3) under federal tax code are prohibited to engage in political activities.

The story was first picked up by David D. Kirkpatrick writing for the New York Times on March 21st, and has since been picked up by Rawstory and the Philadelphia Daily News.

Ethics watchdog, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, has filed an IRS complaint against the PPN alleging that the group is aiding the re-election campaign of Senator Santorum in violation of federal law.

Rick Santorum, via video tape said, “I encourage you to let your voices be heard from the pulpit”, urging the pastors to champion a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, according to a recording made by a person at the session that was made available to the New York Times.

A warning has been issued by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State regarding the PPN. “This is an under-the-radar campaign to re-elect Santorum,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Pennsylvania pastors are being misled, and they need to be very careful. The Internal Revenue Service is watching carefully for violations of federal tax law this year.”

Fighting Dem Duckworth Moves On To the General In Ill 6th.

Congradulations to Maj. Tammy Duckworth for winning the Illinois 6th Congressional Democratic Primary in a cliffhanger this morning.

Support the Fighting Dems and the Band Of Brothers.

Tribune staff reports
Published March 22, 2006, 10:47 AM CST

Iraq war vet Tammy Duckworth narrowly won the Democratic nomination for Congress to run against Republican state Sen. Peter Roskam for the west suburban seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde.

With nearly all the votes counted in the three-way race in the 6th Congressional District, Duckworth, a former Illinois National Guard helicopter pilot who lost her legs in a 2004 grenade attack, had nearly 44 percent. Software engineer Christine Cegelis, who lost to Hyde in the last election, had 40.9 percent. Wheaton College professor Lindy Scott accounted for the rest.

Cegelis conceded the election this morning in a phone call initiated by Duckworth, according to Cegelis spokesman Andy Juniewicz.Later, Cegelis issued a statement, in which she said in part: "I spoke with Tammy this morning and wished her luck. She's going to need it."

Chicago Tribune

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"American Theocracy" by Kevin Phillips. An Ominous Warning of What Lies Ahead.

This powerful new book by former Nixon advisor Kevin Phillips outlines the triple threat of a Republican Party radicalized by religion, a debt ridden society, and our reliance on a whining supply of energy. Heralded in the sixties as the author of the so called bible of the Nixon Administration, “The Emerging Republican Majority”, and the man who coined the name of the Republican Party’s most coveted voting block, “The Sun Belt”, Mr. Phillips has since penned some of the most telling treatises on American history to date.

In his 1999 book, “The Cousin’s War”, he chronicled the three great Anglo-American civil conflicts. First was the English Civil War of 1642–1649, which led to the triumph of Parliament and its Puritan allies over King Charles I. Second was the American Revolution, 1775–1783, in which he dissected the internal conflicts within this conflict between and within the Brits, Scots and the American Colonists. And finally the American Civil War, 1861–1865, which he then went about tying into the previous two by means of the lingering social, religious, and economical connotations that fueled these most defining moments in American history.

This book was followed in 2002 by “Wealth and Democracy”, a study of politics and wealth over the past 200 years of America history. In this book, he identified the beginnings of what he saw as a dangerous turning point in the future of our country as compared to other past economic powers through history. You could say that he saw it coming.

After 9/11, he wrote what I would consider required reading for anyone who had any question of why we were attacked. The book, “American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush”, is the quintessential biography of the Bush family’s rise to power in America. Published in 2004, it chronicles four generations of the Bush and Walker families from their beginnings in the late 1800’s through both world wars and to the pinnacle of power in American politics as well as corporate America and our national security agencies.

Today, in his latest chapter, “American Theocracy” he calls on all of his knowledge and expertise and brings it together into a sobering critique of the Bush administration. He outlines the dangers that lie before us and the lowly road that George W. Bush has led us down. If there was ever a book that all Americans must read, this is it.

You can read an excerpt and listen to an interview he gave to Terry Gross on NPR (click) here.

This book as well as the others mentioned here are available at

This book is also available in audio format from

Tags: Bush, Politics, Fundamentalism,
Books, Kevin Phillips, .

Thursday, March 09, 2006

"Black Box" Data Recorders. A Cost Effective Port Security Measure.

It’s was a great feeling to hear that our elected officials are actually listening to us on something for once. The announcement today from DP World that it will transfer their holdings of US port assets to an American entity sounds very promising, but as Sen. Schumer, and now, half of Capitol Hill keeps saying, “The devil is in the details”. Knowing how things seem to work in DC lately, I’ll bet that there’s going to plenty of room for the devil to hide in what ever details are yet to be provided.

I’m glad that Dubai saw the light. I was confident that they would restrain themselves from trying to force this thru with threats of kicking our Navy out of their ports over a business deal. Our presence there provides for their security. It would be suicide for them to play that card. That was an action of an ally. We are still all in this together.

The firestorm over the Dubai Ports deal has offered us a new chance to make real progress in safeguarding America and our allies. It has shown the light on a dangerous vulnerability left wide open by the Bush administration, our ports. And in light of this, I believe that it is time for us to take the next step in securing our way of life.

I was proud of how General Wesley Clark acquitted himself in answering the question of how this deal was being handled. When asked about his stand on the ports deal by George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week”, he replied, “I think it ought to be reviewed. But you know, the United States has to find a way to fit into the modern world. Now, there's no reason why American companies can't own and operate ports - not only here and abroad - but our security doesn't depend on who owns the facility, in other words, who's collecting the money and taking the tolls. It depends on how we regulate the facility”. It was our part to raise the alarm over this deal; voice our opposition to something that we believe is bad for our country. The sign of a valuble leader in such a situation is the ability to listen, and speak from a position of authourity and convey a firm understanding in a way that gives comfort to such concerns held by those they lead.

In the spirit of the question posed by General Clark’s statement, “how we regulate the facility”, I’d like to contribute my two cents to this task.

While watching the History Channel the other day, I came across a program call, “Al-Qaeda’s Navy” which focused on Al-Qaeda’s shipping capabilities. They went thru the methods and assets diserned by security experts to be in use by terrorist organizations. During the show, they mentioned a piece of equipment that stuck with me. It’s a “Black Box” for shipping containers. Simular to a flight data recorder used in civil avation, it has the ability to track the movements as well as a miriad of other security related telemitry real-time, from anywhere in the world over GPS Sat Com and accessable via the internet.

Installed in the top corner of the door end of a shipping container, the “Black Box” would monitor things like door access, weight differences, speed, travel time, temperature variances, internal movement of the product within the container, damage to the contaner, and so on. So if Sony Japan packs a container in Tokyo, we can track that container thru out its trip. We’ll know if it made any unschedualed stops. We’ll know if someone tried to open it. We’ll know if someone tried to cut thru the roof to bypass the door sensor. We’ll know if someone tampered with the refrigeration system. We’ll even know if some idiot droped it. And we’ll know this in real-time. This would give us the ability to pack it and let it go without worry of it being intercepted and packed with someone or something we didn’t order, if you know what I mean.

I think they said that the price to install these devises cost about a couple thousand dollars per unit. That sounds high at first, but if you consider that a shipping container’s life expectancy is about 10 to 15 years, and that the containers make multiple trips a year, the price per shipment is more like $20 to $50 per trip. I think that companies that rely on timely shipments would find such an additional charge inconciquetial if it meant that their containers could be concidered secure and would not require time consuming and occasionaly destructive physical inspections.

Of course this would not take the place of US Customs and the Coast Guard. But it is a cost effective measure that would give us a dramaticly improved awareness of shipments and would help to delegate human resources to more useful tasks like screening the people on board the ships on approch to port, and screening the truckers and dock workers on the ports.

I would like to ask Congress to push legislation to require all shipping containers used in trans-oceanic shipping to US ports to have a certified “Black Box” container security device instaled within 6 months of passing. And maybe, as a token of good faith, if Dubai does not retaliate for us shutting them out of US port opperations, we could offer them a short term financial break on something for allowing US technicions to install these devices on their entire fleet of shipping containers in recognition of their dominate position in the industry.

For more information on this technology, I am including a link an article from GPS entitled “Thinking Inside the Box”. Please pass this on to whom ever you think could help make this a reality.

Pleonexia: Beyond Hubris

Monday, March 06, 2006

Feds Threaten to Sue Pennsylvania Over E-Voting. Federal Funding Threated As Well.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the U.S. Justice Department has threatened the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with a lawsuit if “its counties fail to be in compliance with federal law by the May primary election”. To become compliant with the federal law in question, the so called “Help America Vote Act” that was forced through Congress after the 2000 Presidential election by Republican leaders including Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), these counties must “upgrade” to electronic voting machines by the May 2006 mid-term primaries.

As witnessed in Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, the use of electronic voting machines of questionable integrity, such as DieBold, and Election Systems and Software have caused a deepening rift of mistrust between the American people and their government. The actions of the Justice Department, using threats of lawsuits against Pennsylvania for refusing to employ unaccountable and clearly unsecured voting machines only serves to provocate Pennsylvanians who want nothing more than for their vote to count.

The machines in question have been shown to have serious security flaws in both its hardware and software. The manufacturers of these electronic voting machines have repeatedly refused to address these problems or the concerns of the voters in general. Meanwhile, representatives of these companies, in coordination with corrupt elements within the Republican Party have waged a campaign to gerrymander Congressional districts and force voters to rely on their unsecured voting systems to cast their ballots against their will and without the simple assurance of a paper receipt.

During independent testing, these voting machines have been hacked into, and manipulated with relative ease. More over, as it has recently been revealed by Brad on February 22nd, many electronic voting machines have been equipped with wireless inferred data transfer ports, making it possible to tamper with voting machines without ever touching them. With IrDA ports, votes could be manipulated from across the room or even through a window from across the street.

I do not believe that it is too much to ask for a simple piece of paper to put a voters mind at ease; an acknowledgement that their voice was heard. To deny such assurances in light of the past must be seen as a clear overreach of the federal government’s constitutional duties, and quite possibly, a veiled attempt at instigating some sort of reactionary response.

Pennsylvania, the incubator of America's core principle of a government of laws, not of men, can not be striped of her right to secure a fair and guaranteed voice for her citizens. This is a clear violation of our First Amendment rights. To threaten my right to vote is to threaten my right to speak. Only death may take my voice, and even then, he will chase my echoes in vain.

Residents of Pennsylvania can take action by following this link.

For more information on this subject, try these links.

"How To Hack an Election" and other NYT Articles

The Brad Blog

Where's the Paper At?

Analysis of an Electronic Voting System

Black Box Voting

Tags: Politics, News, Voting Rights, Corruption, Elections, Electioneering, Constitution, Diebold

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