This is written as a response and appreciation for Mark Crispin Miller's recent post, "Let's get off the paper trail." ( Miller is the author of "Fooled Again" a post-mortem of the many and multi-tiered crimes of our 2004 Presidential "Election," with its cast of thousands, most of them criminals ). Miller's article in itself was a response to Michael Scherer's piece, about "taking the paper trail to Washington," at salon.com, and both can be found at the following link at Smirking Chimp:
Hoping to follow Miller's fine advice in his post, to "get off the paper trail," I will do so ~~ and we will wind up taking an unexpected detour. After considering his cautionary point, I will ask for your company, especially, as we strike out on quite another trail altogether: one that I find leads to a yet darker place in our collective (and real) history. I will do my best to trim it with our hopes.
But let's first reprise Miller's pithy diagnosis of the current "reforms" of the Holt Bill:
"....We have heard it argued that the Holt bill is a half-step in the right
direction, and that some reform is surely preferable to none at all. In
this case that's a dangerous self-delusion. Sometimes "compromise" can
only make things worse, as there really is no valid "middle way." So it
is with torture, and illegal wars. Whatever "compromise" serves merely
to protract such horrors is finally nothing but abetment, however
well-intended it may be...."
Such absence of any spine in the "reform," and the same absence among our "representatives," merely "enables" the pirates of our voting rights to continue their piracies, in other ways, new or old, blunt or sly, on the same or some other High Seas ~ be they the far reaches of Cyberspace, or vulnerable software, or optical scanners such as have been used since well over forty years ( rendering purely suspect the results of all our elections that far back, and beyond ). This is true of any and all of the useless, if fancy, machinery that interposes itself between "we the people" and simple paper.
Simple paper. And that is ALL that we need to record a true vote ( with indelible ink, not evaporative kilobytes ) and a credible vote ~ one that can render a witnessed, public, and accurate count ~ and a provable account, or a needed recount. The vote, itself. The vote, in full. ( Some of these machines have even been sent software "patches" in past important American "elections" by "programmers" who merely "phone them in," downloading them wirelessly from cell-phones, even from outside our country ~ many of these shady "voting techs" without citizenship as Americans, but with long criminal records nonetheless. These "patches," once downloaded, have the capability to "cannibalize" themselves, disappearing without any trace. More importantly: changing the results. The very vote counts themselves. Bev Harris, of www.blackboxvoting.org, detailed these methods, these facts, in early 2004 on "Coast to Coast AM" before a national audience, and many times since. This morning I received an email from Pokey Anderson informing our online groups that she has just a new article, the results of her own year and a half investigation of these aspects of wireless telecom voting fraud, titled "Even a Remote Chance?" So look for that, and further clues to these well hidden crimes. )
What Mark Crispin Miller says about the "electoral reform" parody going on apace in Washington these days, as reported in Scherer's article, is nicely pointed and telling:
"Now, we must ask ourselves: Would that movement be frustrated, its agenda thwarted, by the use of paper trails? Evidently not--since members of that very movement also back the Holt bill with enthusiasm. As the Salon piece points out, Mary Kiffmeyer, Minnesota's Secretary of State, has now testified in favor of the bill. It is more than relevant to note that Kiffmeyer is a stalwart Bushevik and theocratic maniac, who has publicly deplored the separation of church and state, and who did everything she could to slash the Democratic vote in Minnesota in the last election. (That appalling story is in Fooled Again, pp. 138-39.) Her record is so dismal that she's now in trouble, facing a strong challenge by Mark Ritchie, who knows full well what she has done to the electoral system in his state and means to change the situation. That such an operative as she--and David Cole, and John Groh of ES&S, and other Bushist agents--would support this measure tells us all we need to know about its usefulness......
....And so it is with the far-right crusade against American democracy. We must oppose that drive in every way we can--and that means not allowing its own managers to cast themselves as champions of electoral "reform."
Another key clue: many of these self-styled "reformers" are among the greatest culprits ~and beneficiaries~ of rigged elections ( and we can well recall Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris among the first to hold a joint press conference, only some months after the 2000 Florida election meltdown, and the trotting out of their own trojan horses ~ disguised as voting machines ~ for us all to gape at, as their offering of "cures" for chads and what ails democracy.... Caveat emptor !! ) Senator Chuck Hagel has become a major player on The Hill; he himself has had past part ownership of Omaha's ES&S voting machine company, it is now counting 60% of the American vote (electronically, evaporatively). In fact, that's how he was first elected, as a package deal: senatorial candidate, and a key cog at ES&S. He went from trailing overwhelmingingly, at the start of his first successful campaign, to a stunning victory. Etc. ( Frank Carlucci ~ Reagan's Secretary of Defense, Princeton room-mate of Donald Rumsfeld, and business partner of Old Man Bush ~ sits on the advisory board of Populex, the company that now "handles" the Illinois vote. Other such members of this exclusive club "handling" our democracy are too numerous for the scope of this piece, but can be found on links to "voting company ownership" at Lynn Landes' home page of www.banvotingmachines.org )
As in past Mexican "elections," so often notoriously rigged to produce the desired criminal result, the clear link we have to banana republicanism now can be found in how many of our representatives would not even be holding office, but for the clear presence of such large-scale counterfeiting rings, busily fabricating OUR vote. And, most importantly of all, there would not be these decisive majorities now in all branches of our governments, all of them favoring large corporate interests, without these counterfeiters.