Saturday, September 16, 2006


By Brandon, Daniel, Jeffrey, and Kyle

Editor's Note, by Enlightenment

The penultimate installment in this series, by necessity, paints with a broad brush. Simply stated, there was so much in the way of Republican-instigated election fraud that we decided to stick to a few concrete examples and let them speak for themselves.. The upshot however, could not be more clear. Just as Adolf Hitler used chicanery, threats, and intimidation to get himself appointed to the office of Chancellor by President Hindenburg, so too have the Republicans tampered with our electoral system to select a president and rig elections, the end results of which benefit the increasingly corrupt and disreputable Republican Party. So, without further hesitation, my team mates present...

In Four Sections
By Brandon, Daniel, Jeffrey, and Kyle
Voter Fraud, 2004
For one cannot expect that these elected ones of the nation are also the elect of intellect or even of commonsense. And I hope that one does not think that from the ballots cast by a body of voters which is anything but clever, the statesmen will come forth by hundreds. On the whole, one cannot contradict too sharply the absurd opinion that men of genius are born out of general elections. First, there is only one real 'statesman' once in a blue moon in one nation and not a hundred or more at a time; and record the masses' aversion to every superior genius is an instinctive one. It is easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than a great man is discovered by and election."

Adolf Hitler From the complete, unabridged edition of Mein Kampf
Page 1131939,
Houghton Mifflin Company
Chapter 3, page 113"

I told all four of them that there were going to be times when we don't agree with each other. But that's okay. If this were a dictatorship it'd be a heck of a lot easier--just so long as I'm the dictator." President Select George W. Bush on December 18, 2000"Now Many of our Christian friends have what I call the googoo syndrome--Good Government. They want everybody to vote. I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of the people. They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite considerably goes up as the voting populace goes down."

Paul Weyrich
Speaking at a 1979 training session for 15,000 conservatives preachers in Dallas, Texas

Contrary to popular belief Adolf Hitler was not elected to the office of Chancellor. Like George W. Bush, he was selected for the position. In the case of Adolf Hitler, he was chosen by the ailing President Hindenburg following series underhanded, albeit clever political and parliamentary machinations which eventually positioned him for the Presidency and eventual control over the entire German Reich. Granted, Hitler was subsequently rubber stamped by a large majority of the German people. For example, on March 7, 1936, Hitler dissolved the Reichstadt, calling for new elections and a referendum calling on Germany's move into the Rhineland; and the ensuing March 29 elections were interesting to say the least. Only 540,211 people voted "NO." Out of the 45,453,691 registered voters approximately 99 percent turned out to vote. Of that number approximately 98.8 percent gave an eager thumbs up to Hitler's policy towards the Rhineland. Despite the fact that foreign observers (correspondents) noted irregularities (such as open voting as opposed to closed voting) there was little doubt that a majority of the German people approved of their Nazi warlord's policies. Mind you, this was a repressive, even sociopathic regime in which there was not a free choice between individual candidates or lists of candidates; a regime which had embraced everything from marking ballot with skim milk to identify naysayers to violently disrupting the political rallies of opposition parties. And yet, in 1936, when the regime staged to what amounted to a rubber stamp election, the end result proved that Adolf Hitler was an overwhelmingly popular leader who had received an overwhelmingly majority of the German vote.

Would that the same could be said about George W. Bush, who, despite an arsenal of dirty tricks and underhanded tactics has managed to steal two elections. True, the Bush Regime isn't marking ballots with skim milk, and it isn't offering preselected lists of candidates from the which the American people are forced to choose. All right, there was that frightening incident in which Bush operatives and Republican Congressional staffers were sent down to Miami to threaten vote counters, and then there were reports of unidentified individuals photographing black voters in Florida, but there are distinct differences between the Nazi goons of the 1930s and the Republican goons of the 21st Century. The Nazi goons had been supplied with Nazi party uniforms while the Republican goons had been forced to settle for every day street clothing. The Republicans won't need armed Brownshirts and weapon-waving soldiers during the 2004 election cycle. Instead of blatant threats, the GOP casually closed polling places to discourage minority and/or lower income voters; gleefully discarded provisional ballots, and surreptitiously employed computerized voting machines which may well have been rigged to fix the election.

Vote Caging

Shortly before the 2004 election the Republican Party mailed thousands of first class letters to (primarily) African American voters in African American neighborhoods. In the dysfunctional State of Florida, this included ghetto areas in Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Plantation, etc. If by chance the first class letter was returned unopened, the person to whom it had been mailed was then placed on a special list and challenged when he or she arrived to vote. Note that with large numbers of people expected to vote the challenges also had the beneficial side effect (for Republicans, that is) of lengthening the line of frustrated voters, many of whom simply ran out of time and had to leave for more pressing reasons, thereby sabotaging the entire electoral process. Not surprisingly many of the letters were sent to colleges, rescue missions, homeless shelters, and deployed black soldiers. Translated into modern English, the GOP specifically and knowingly sent these letters to people who they knew had recently changed their addresses, explicitly intending to challenge these voters when they arrived at their respective polling places. Indeed, the idea that the "fiscally responsible" Republican Party would pay good money to obtain an expensive set of return addresses and then mail them first class instead of bulk rate, speaks a lot to the Republicans' ulterior motives. Under normal circumstances, clerical information such as this would have been handled by an office clerk, but in 2004, the information was being sent to state and national campaigns. And it gets even worse. In their initial attempt to explain this blatantly illegal practice ("caging" is prohibited under the 1965 Voters Rights Act) a Republican hack named Joseph Agostini, the GOP Director of Communications) claimed that the caging lists were composed of potential Bush-Cheney donors. That seems "a little" bizarre when you consider the fact that one of the lists included homeless people at the Sulzbacher Center, a homeless shelter. At this point, Mister Agostini's immediate superior, another Republican hack named Mindy Tucker Fletcher (who, indigently, was a Republican spokesperson for the Bush-Cheney re-selection campaign and a former press spokesperson for former Attorney General John Ashcroft), brazenly suggested that the letters had come back from newly registered voters with "bad addresses."

Oddly enough, the BBC, and Greg Palast, who broke this story, never would have uncovered these events, if it hadn't been for a clerk at the Republican National Committee, who sent the caging lists to the wrong email addresses; instead of sending the lists to a GeorgeWBush. com address, the lists were sent to a address. The intended recipients were Brett Doster, the director of the entire Bush-Cheney campaign in Florida, a certain Randy Kammerdiner, who directed research ops for the Republican National Committee, and Tim Griffin, a Research Director and Deputy Communications Director for the Bush campaign.

And now the kicker. In his recent book, Armed Madhouse, Greg Palast notes that there were fifty such lists, each of which included approximately 2000 names, mailing addresses, and a spreadsheet--all of which were in a file titled "CAGING-XLS." Which brings us to a related topic.

Provisional Voting

Ironically, provisional voting was a well-intentioned, albeit naive idea, that was quickly perverted by the rapacious Republican Party into another method by which Democratic (read black or lower income) votes could be thrown out. Simply put, a provisional ballot is a means by which the GOP can steal additional votes and future elections. A voter is allowed to obtain a ballot, even if the voter's name does not appear on the voting rolls. The ballots cast under such circumstances are marked as provisional, and under ideal circumstances, are counted, pending a review after the polls are closed. The assumption here is that your provisional ballot will eventually be counted unless it can be demonstrated that you are not a legitimate voter.

Initially sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus as a response to nationally based election fraud in Florida during in Florida during the 2000 Presidential Election, provisional voting was quickly, and, in retrospect, suspiciously agreed to by the Grand Old Party. The Republican response was the Orwellian titled "Help America Vote Act," which, among other electoral bastardizations, mandated that the fifty states hand out provisional ballots. Regrettably, it did not direct the states to count them. In Ohio, only days prior to the 2004 Presidential Election, Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, the co-chairman of the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign in Ohio (think Katherine Harris in a three piece suit) issued a new diktat: if a provisional ballot was cast in the "wrong" district it would not be counted. Subsequently, many voters were not even informed as to where the correct precinct was located. Instead, they were informed that the correct precinct was irrelevant because they had cast a provisional ballot. Moreover, in many cases, the correct precinct could have been located by merely strolling to another table in the school gym where the people had congregated to vote. The results in Ohio were telling. At least 33,998 provisional ballots were thrown out because they had been cast in the wrong district. Nationwide, approximately 3,107,490 provisional ballots were cast. Of that number a third, or 1,090,729 were rejected, tossed out. You just have to admit--those caging lists proved useful when the GOP decided to fix the election by dumping all those provisional ballots.

Computerized Dirty Tricks in Ohio

Sadly, the situation gets even worse. In a bizarre twist of fate (assuming of course that you can refer to election fraud as a bizarre twist of fate) there's a distinct possibility that John Kerry actually won the state of Ohio, which--surprise surprise--would have given him a victory in the electoral college. Of course the unusual thing about all of this is that we may never know the actual degree to which Ken Blackwell and his puppet masters in Washington rigged the election, because the Republican and Corporate Powers That Be wasted little time when it came to covering up (read "destroying") the evidence.

Ohio State law mandates that only three percent of a county's vote has to be tallied by hand before the entire county can be recounted. Under normal circumstances, the three percent is obtained by selecting a whole precinct or only two or three precincts to meet the three percent requirement. After the ballots are counted by hand, the sample ballots are then counted by a tabulator. In the event that there is a discrepancy, the remaining ballots must be counted by hand. If there is no discrepancy, the remaining ballots are mechanically counted.

In Ohio, a representative of Triad Governmental Systems appeared in Hocking County where he allegedly made several adjustments to the Hocking County tabulator. According to sworn testimony in Columbus County, Ohio, Green Party Candidate David Cobb stated:

"A representative from Triad Systems came into a county board of elections office unannounced. He said that he was just stopping by to see if they had any questions about the upcoming recount. He then headed into the back room where the Triad-supplied kept. He told them there was a problem with the system, had a bad battery and had' 'lost all of its data.' He then took the computer apart and started swapping parts in and out of it and another 'spare' tower.type PC also in the room. He may have had spare parts in his coat as one of the BOE people moved it and remarked how heavy it was. He finally reassembled everything and said it was working, but not to turn it off.

"He then asked which precinct would be counted for the three percent recount test and the one which had been selected as it had the right number of votes was relayed to him. He then went back and did something else to the tabulator computer.

"He said Triad Systems representative suggested that since the hand count had to match the machine count exactly and since it would be hard to memorize the several numbers which would be needed to get the count to come out exactly right, that they should post the series of numbers on the wall, where they would not be noticed by observers. He suggested making them look like employee information or something similar. The people during the hand count could then report these numbers no matter what the actual counts of the ballots revealed. This would then 'match' the tabulator report for the precinct exactly. The numbers were apparently the final, certified counts for the selected precinct."

Cobb later stated "The source of this information believes they could lose their job if they came forward... "

After the recount Hocking County Officials decided to go with a different precinct "

The implication here is obvious. A representative of Triad may well have rigged the recount so that the hand counted sample ballots and the tabulator count thereof would match, thus avoiding a recount of the entire county.

Why, if you didn't know better, you'd think that the Republicans were fishing for precincts which would avoid a county-wide recount. And now the bad news. Similar misbehavior apparently took place in other counties, including Green, Monroe, and possibly others.

Needless to say, this kind of conduct violates both federal and Ohio State Law, but that doesn't seem to matter to the Republican Party which is determined to win elections either by hook or by crook.

Forced Redistricting in New Orleans

You no sooner think the Republicans have hit a moral low but what they find a way to sink even deeper into their own sewage. As if the above examples weren't bad enough. GOP machinations have sunk to an all time low in Louisiana where the Republicans are using the aftermath of hurricane Katrina as an opportunity to change the population, the voting demographics of a once predominantly black and democratic stronghold.

Between downtown New Orleans and the French Quarter you'll find some of the most beautiful (and, we might add, expensive) townhouses that you could possibly hope to find. This area had not been severely damaged by the flood, the water never reached the door sills, and yet, for reasons which boggle the imagination, the residents of this area were forcibly removed by the 82nd Airborne, which informed the residents that they would be shot if they did not evacuate. To this day, the doors and windows of these townhouses are decorated by prison bars which have been welded to the doors and windows; the electricity has been turned off, and the residents are still not allowed to return to their homes. Translated into modern English, you can be arrested for trying to enter your own home.

As if to rub salt into an already open wound, FEMA refuses to reveal what parts of the city will be rebuilt; won't reveal in which areas you will be allowed to purchase flood insurance; won't reveal where the levies will be repaired, and won't reveal the housing standards that will be utilized during reconstruction.

By this time, you're probably asking yourself a few questions. Why would the Powers That Be drag their feel when the life of an industrial American city is in the balance. Why hasn't the black mayor of a predominantly black American city been more forceful in this regard?

The answer is obvious. The Republicans want a smaller New Orleans with fewer blacks. Oh, they'll keep a few remnants to keep the tourists happy and to project a sense of legitimacy to the rest of the country, but when it's all said and done, the Republicans are, in effect, trying to transform New Orleans into a playground for the white, upper class, conservative elite. And if anyone is foolish enough to think for a moment that Mayor Ray Nagin will do anything to stop this, please remember that mister Nagin is a former Republican. He may be a black mayor, but he is a Republican first, a black second, and an American last. He, like the Republicans in Washington, understands that if nothing is done, Katrina refugees will simply give up and decide to abandon their city and their homes. And that's abominable, because New Orleans was a black, working, industrialized city; it had the highest percentage of black home ownership in the United States

Regrettably, it didn't have to turn out this way, but this is what happens when you combine greedy developers with rabid privatization. New Orleans has always been a coveted target for rapacious developers who have looked upon Black Americans as an obstacle to their lucrative pet projects. Moreover, prior to the flood, the Bush Administration handed a sweet heart contract to Innovative Emergency Management, a company whose primary qualification was the fact that it made fairly generous contributions to the Republican Party. Innovative, believe it or not, had been hired to create an evacuation plan for the city of New Orleans, a task which it never even bothered to tackle.

The upshot to all of this is that after Katrina, the situation played into Republican plans on two levels: It created a lucrative situation for private developers and greedy corporations, and it gave the GOP an excuse to ethnically cleanse New Orleans for both, financial and political purposes.

In the meantime, we have 73,000 refugees in a FEMA trailer camp on a parking lot in Baker, Louisiana. This camp, by the way, has been enclosed by barbed wire and is completely subcontracted--right down to the privately hired mercenaries who guard it. And the tragedy in all of that is that it now appears as if this horrific GOP tactic has succeeded. A majority of the displaced refugees have, in fact, given up. More than half of the population of New Orleans has yet to return, and the Powers That Be are openly encouraging refugees to settle with friends and relatives in other states (eg Houston, Texas, a red, Republican sea that can easily afford to absorb a few refugees without endangering its political demographics).

You just have to give the Republicans credit. In the early days of the Hitler Regime the Nazis were content to harass or beat their victims. Later, the dreaded 1935 Nuremberg Laws stripped Jews of their German citizenship and banned marriages between Jews and Germans. In a similar vein, the GOP is content to exile blacks from a predominantly black city, and they certainly have no problem when it comes to bastardizing, or even making up the law as they go along, when they want to ethnically cleanse the City of New Orleans.

Those were just a few of the many topics that we could have discussed. Sadly we don't have the time nor the space to discuss other issues. Like the fact that in 2004 the Republicans mailed official-looking fliers, informing voters that crowded polling places would require Republicans to vote on Tuesday, Democrats on Wednesday; or the fact that Republicans jammed phone lines, preventing Democratic voters from learning where they should cast their votes; or misinforming voters that they couldn't vote if they were behind on child support ot if they had outstanding traffic violations, ad nauseaum. Yes, we'd like to discuss so much more, but we still have one more issue to discuss...


Mein Kampf
By Adolf Hitler
The complete, unabridged edition
1939, Houghton Mifflin Company

Armed Madhouse
by Gregg Palast
See the chapter titled "The Con."
2006 Dutton, New York

WEBSITES Black Box VotingHomepage etc

Was the 2004 Election Stolen?
By Robert F. Kennedy Juinior
From the online edition of Rolling Stone Magazine

SPECIFIC SOURCES WEBSITES Democracy Crisis Election 2006: Will All Votes Count?
From Democractic Underground .com

Proof of Ohio Election Fraud Exposed
By William Rivers Pitt
December 15, 2004
From Truthout.issues

Black Voters in New Orleans
By Ed Davis
Common Cause Apilr 19, 2006

The August 27, 2006 broadcast of Ring of FireMike Papantonio interviewing Greg Palast
Topic: Republican dirty tricks in New Oreleans
Broadcast on WCPT 850 AM Chicago

The New Face of Jim Crow: Voter Suppression in America
People For The American Way

By Brandon

"There is no independence of law against National Socialism. Say to yourselves at every decision which you make: 'How would the Fuhrer decide in my place?' In every decision ask yourselves: 'Is this decision compatible with the National Socialist conscience of the German People?' Then you will have a firm foundation which, allied with the unity of the National Socialist People's State and with your recognition of the eternal nature of the will of Adolf Hitler, will endow your own sphere of decision with the authority of the Third Reich and this for all time."

Dr. Hans Frank, Commissioner of Justice and Reich Law Leader, to German judges in 1936

When the far right complains about "activist judges" they are actually complaining about an independent judiciary which recognized the unconstitutional nature of the unitary form of government as proposed by their would be Fuhrer, George W. Bush. On a broader level, the term "activist judges" has also been applied to those judges who would expand the rights of their fellow Americans, as opposed to the truly activist judges on the far right who, having taken their oaths to defend and uphold the Constitution, would use their seats to limit or even abolish the rights of American people. In other words, the only activism which is coming from the American judiciary is not from the left, but from the right, which has seen the constitution as an inconvenience for at least twenty-six years and probably longer.

A case in point was Friday's decision by a federal appeals court which sided with the Bush Administration in an electronics surveillance case, a decision which will inevitably make it easier for the regime in Washington to tap our phone calls and broadband transmissions. I won't bother you with the details of the case; instead I shall merely ask that you click on Appeals Courts Backs Bush on Wiretaps for more information. That said, I will offer the following commentary.

This is not a good sign.

The far right has been packing the federal judiciary for the better part of twenty-six years And when they weren't able to further pack the judiciary they blocked (during the Clinton Administration) virtually any federal court nominee who didn't pass their reactionary litmus test, virtually guaranteeing that the instructionsoffered by Doctor Frank to German Judges in 1936 would become a reality for Republican Judges in 2006.

I see no reason to differentiate between the situation that occured in Nazi Germany and the situation which currently exists in the United States. Both Frank and Hitler were opposed to the idea of an independent judiciary. Both, Bush and his inncer circle, are dedicated to the idea of an obedient judiciary that will rubber stamp virtually any attempt by this president to impose right wing Christianity and limit the rights of those who disagree with their very narrow and very unconstitutional agenda Just as the National Socialists of the 1936 were dedicated to the eradication of the Wiemar Constitution, so too are George W. Bush and his fifth column followers dedicated to the abolition of the form of government that was handed down to us by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. I don't know if they want to create Christian theocracy in which non Christians will serve in the roll of second class citizens, or if they want to create a cult of one in which the president is the supreme commander in a unitary form of government. For all I know the might embrace the worst of both alternatives--a repressive theocracy in which the President serves as a sort of Totalitarian Divine.

But I do know this: Right wing activists want to use the federal and state judiciaries to dismantle our Constitution. They even have a process, a "legal" philosophy, by which they intend to accomplish this. It's called the doctrine of "strict constructionalism" and it's based upon the truly oppressive idea that Americans in the year 2006 should interpret the constitution in the same way that it was interpreted in the late 18th Century. They genuinely believe that the Constitution is a lifeless piece of rock, that it should be interpreted in a manner that will grant the fewest possible liberties to the fewest possible people. I would not be surprised if, at some future date, these strict constructionists were to propose bills and amendments, or reactionary judgements that would truly take us back to 1787, to a time when a black man was considered only 3/5 human. I would not be surprised if they were to propose measures that would abolish the 19th Amendment and recreate a system in which voters were defined in terms of white, male property owners. As you can tell, 1787 was a fine time to live--if you were a white, male, Christian property owner with enough slaves to keep the plantation up and running. But it wasn't such a fine place to live if you were black, female, Jewish, or otherwise non-christian. And yet these right wing activists routinely espouse a system of constitutional law that would both, ignore more than 200 years of history, and drag us back to the bad old days when a select ruling class of self-declared divines was allowed to vote, to a time when the State legislatures elected our Senators, etc

Instead of a legal philosphy which recognizes both, social and technological changes, these radical right wing activists (many of whom come with the most dismal of qualifications) propose a repressive batsradization which would almost invariably be used as a millstone around the necks of nonwhites.. And to make the situation even more bizarre, the idea of original intent wasn't even the intent of the Founding Fathers. The Framers knew that American society would evolve. They foresaw this. To that end they gave us the right to amend the Constitution. They left certain provisions deliberately vague, understanding that the Constitution would be interpreted by future judges. Moreover, Thomas Jefferson, who was not a framer per se, actually suggested that no generation had a right to impose its beliefs on the next generation, going so far as to suggest that each generation should tear up the constitution and rewrite it from scratch. That may sound radical, but it is no less radical than the idea that we should all live in a replay of 1787 and ignore every artistic, religious, technological, or societal development that occurred during the last 219 years.

Moreover, the term strict constructionalism is so vague that it means next to nothing, and, as if that weren't bad enough, at the very worst it is little more than a catch phrase, a buzz word, for the appointment of conservative, activist judges.
Ultimately the term strict constructionist, like the term judicial restraint is Orwellian in both intent and practice. Translated into modern English, it means protections for the rich and powerful--not to mention a class war upon the poor and powerless. Indeed, a constructionist view of the Constitution has very little to do with the Constitution itself, but a great deal to do with the people who believe that corporations should dominate both, the government and the every day lives of the American people. Like Benito Mussolini, strict constructionists believe that the American people have been given too many rights, that the wrong kinds of people (perhaps gays, lesbians, racial minorities, and non-Christians) have been given too much freedom. Indeed, they seem to be acting on the old adage that says "democracy is beautiful in theory, in practice it is fallacy" Or, if you prefer, "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." That too may sound outrageous, until you realize that those are quotes that are attributed to Benito Mussolini, the Italian granddaddy of European fascism. This may come as a shock and a revelation to the right wing activists (I just can't bring myself to call them judges) but the Republic did very nicely as a Republic for nearly 119 years. The founders did not want us to be a monarchy; the founders did not want us to be a theocracy, and--no matter what the Neocons may believe--they did not want us to be an empire. And if the right wing activists don't get that then I see no reason why they should be called Americans when they are so clearly dedicated to overthrowing the Framers' creation. When it's all said and done, the present incarnation of the Republican Party prefers he "stability" and "order" of an economic caste system over freedom and social mobility. And to secure that objective they will do anything, even appoint reactionary judges like Samuel Alito and Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, to preserve their archaic views of law, order, and social stagnation.

Ultimately, modern day Republicans do not believe in democracy--and that isn't surprising when you consider the fact that so many of them are operating under a corportist mindset.

"Democracy will in practice lead to the destruction of a people's true values. And this also serves to explain how it is that people with a great past from the time when they surrender themselves to the unlimited, democratic rule of the masses slowly lose their former position; for the outstanding achievements of individuals...are now rendered practically ineffective through the oppression of mere numbers."

Adolf Hitler
From the unabridged edition of
Mein Kampf
page 99


The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany
by William L. Shirer
1959, 1960 Simon and Schuster

Adolf Hitler: by John Toland
1976 Doubleday

Der Fuhrer: Hitler's Rise to Power
by Konrad Heiden
1944 Houghton Mifflin Company

Specific Sources

Mein Kampf
by Adolf Hitler
Unabridged issue
1939 Houghton Mifflin Company


Benito Mussolini
Quotes From

Adolf Hitler's Views and Opinions on Democracy
By Matt Brundage From publications

I am not a strict constructionist and no one ought to be posted on The University of Chicago Faculty Blog
by Sunstein

From Reconstructionism to Dominionism, Part 2
By Mainstream Baptist
November 26, 2005

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