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In Praise of Patriots - Then and Now

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Right before tonights premier of HBO's John Adams began they ran a preview for their May production of Recount, about the Florida debacle during the 2000 election. I know no more than that except Kevin Spacey, Dennis Leary, and some other brand name actors are in it. This comes after my just having seen what I believe is the quintessential documentary on election transparency by producer, director, writer David Earnhardt, UNCOUNTED – The New Math of America Elections. And, it started me to thinking.

I started thinking how far those who have devoted so much of their time and resources; sacrificed fortune and sadly for some - after years without compensation or reimbursement - even marriages and family in the pursuit of transparent, fair, and honest elections have come. The election transparency movement has evolved from obscure voices constantly marginalized as “conspiracy theorists” and “nut cases” to today - awash in government, scientific, think-tank and academic studies that support the plethora of blogs such as,,,, and a host of others (not including the inexplainable position of Markos Moulitsas of the Daily KOS) who have for years been reporting on the truth behind voter disenfranchisement and stolen elections. To the growing number of fact-based documentaries such as HBO's Hacking Democracy and independents such as Invisible Ballots, Electile Dysfunction and the just released UNCOUNTED, converts ranging from former naysayers and “denialists” to leading politicians and media personalities are speaking without fear of being marginalized or diminished as they align themselves with the facts. Corroborated by major motion pictures like the 2006's Man of the Year directed by Barry Levinson and starring Robin Williams, exposing the idiocy of privatized elections and electronic voting machines and presumably the forthcoming HBO film Recount, the election transparency movement has begun to overcome the “faith-based” disbelief and resistance of detractors. The terminology of election fraud and election transparency has entered the lexicon of George Stephanopolous, Tim Russert, and Bob Schieffer on the Sunday morning news shows to the network late night comedians and cable's Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert. We've come a long way, baby! To all those whose passion in pursuit of the truth has taken so much, we owe an ever deepening debt.

The work is not over. It's appropriate to recognize that the election transparency movement is only at the end of the beginning. We've only just begun to significantly penetrate the mainstream media censorship; the obfuscations, stonewalling, and criminal activities by the political operatives and minions of the Dark Side permeating the Bush administration; and the self-serving proclamations by state and county elections officials that “all is well” as if they were reenacting Kevin Bacon in Animal House vainly trying to hold back a panicked and fleeing crowd. And, in the coming days and months, more and more reports, FOIA requests, and expose´s attacking the soft underbelly of electronic voting machine companies and the elections officials who shill for them, will break down the rest of the faith-based resistance that, I believe, will lead to arrests, prosecutions, convictions, and sentencing for those who would steal our very democracy from under us for power or profit.

For now and until then, buy your local election transparency advocate a beer or, better yet, a tank of gas. They deserve it!

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Michael Shelby Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Michael Shelby serves democracy as an aggressive progressive and "equal opportunity abuser". An independent election integrity activist in Arizona, he is also an active member of Progressive Democrats of America. A veteran of Vietnam era antiwar (more...)
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