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Re: forgery
Old 09-22-2004, 08:51 AM   #61
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Re: forgery

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Some of you fine folks may be familiar with Ayn Rand's magnum opus 'Atlas Shrugged'. *In it, John Galt (my fictional
namesake) decides he can't change the system, and *that the
inmates have taken over the asylum, so he just opts not to participate.
The Road to Wigan Pier, George Orwell
Quote:
The machine-civilization is here, and it can only be criticized from the inside, because all of us are inside it. It is only romantic fools who natter to themselves that they have escaped, like the literary gent in his Tudor cottage with bathroom h. and c., and the he-man who goes off to live a 'primitive' life in the jungle with a Mannlicher rifle and four wagon-loads of tinned food.
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Re: forgery
Old 09-22-2004, 10:02 AM   #62
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Re: forgery

Thanks for the reading time put in. I got to write it at least 8-10 times (before deleting it) so I got better at it as I went on

Solutions. We just hit on the problem. We're all waiting for someone else to solve it for us.

Nobody who would really want to establish themselves in a leadership position and try to really do the right thing for the american people would touch a political job with a 500' pole. You're scrutinized and exposed by weasels. You're picked apart by both friends and competitors. Even if you got in you'd either be killed or you'd become jaded after a while. The fish does rot from the head down but sticking a good head on a rotten fish doesnt work either. Most of histories finest leaders were real scumbags or shifty little weasels at some point in their lives. Many of our past presidents were drug users, alcoholics, womanizers and slave owners. I would hazard that none of our founding fathers could get a job on a city council in todays politics.

This is a trillion dollar business. Unless someone has billions of dollars and a veritable army of supporters, you have very little chance of challenging the current two party system or changing either party or its leadership. What we've earned is a choice between the most "electable" milktoasts available. Or the pretty boys. And between the two parties there is scant difference, really. Go back and look at the differences between the Whigs and the Tories to see the contrast.

In a way, one of these hot button issues cuts into the other. Our founding fathers put specific language into the constitution and the bill of rights to limit government power by not allowing it to maintain a standing army (it really IS there in the constitution), and by allowing the civilian population to bear arms to form a militia to act as an army and to throw the government out if it became overbearing or operated against the better interests of the people.

So much for that safety mechanism.

And it means you have to read beyond "the right to bear arms", to include the fact that that right was to support two functions that simply dont exist anymore. We have a standing army and a national guard that are armed, and by law you cannot challenge the government of the USA without being accused, tried, convicted and executed as treasonous.

But what it really comes down to is something still near and dear to my heart. You put enough marketing, PR craft and money against something, and you can get a majority of the people to agree with it. If they're not smart enough to see past your 'game', they're so damn busy with their own lives to really, honestly, truly understand what they're voting for and what their options are.

I mean, look at where we are now. Arguing over typefaces on a 30 year old document. When have we as a people discussed which one of these sods is the better leader who will fix the bureacracy, get us health care, boost the economy, etc? Do you think we got here because the public has a burning desire to understand the history of Times Roman or which typewriters could do superscripting in the 70's? We got here because its a rat-hole that diverts us away from the real issues of who should be elected, and we have two guys that would rather be lit on fire than have to talk head to head over the real issues.

You want a solution to this? Well here's one. Try and get a bill like this passed.

- Any candidate can run and any candidate that can present more than a few thousand signatures in support gets put on the ballot. Makes me sick that they're excluding Nader, even though he really has no idea as to what he's talking about on 90% of the issues.
- No candidate can run advertisements or appear on television or radio during the course of an election run. They may appear in person as much as they wish, but they appear alone and their transportation will be by commercial jet only.
- No candidate can discuss any aspect of another candidates life other than their differing perspectives on the issues.
- No money may be given, collected or spent on the election process by any candidate, before during or after elections.
- All candidates will document their positions, their beliefs, and their stand on whatever issues they feel are pertinent. These documents will be collected and distributed in book form to the voting population 60 days before the election.
- The media is barred from discussing any of the candidates unless someone claims their positions in the voting 'book' have been misstated or they've been barred from participating unfairly or unlawfully.
- Registration for voting and the voting process will be used for one thing and one thing only: voting. Not for jury duty, census data, etc.
- Voting will be allowed by as many means as possible: internet, email, fax, telephone, in person, etc. Everyone gets to use their social security number or some other unique identifier once to vote by whatever means they're comfortable with.

Hey! Democracy! A middle-class guy from Wichita that really comprehends the issues and has good ideas on what to do with them, who has run a small business and understands the average joe could go toe to toe with a rich guys kid, a rich womans husband...even a popular action movie star! You know, someone who has actually shopped for groceries, gone to a movie theater and had to buy their own health care.

This playing field needs levelling.
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Re: forgery
Old 09-22-2004, 10:15 AM   #63
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Re: forgery

Oh yeah, one other thing.

Managers that wont listen to problems without solutions or who cant come up with solutions on their own should be put on a stick out in the parking lot, tarred and feathered.

But I guess I respect the fact that most company managements have instilled a culture that keeps people from complaining about or noting problems, and making them feel like when they do bring a problem that they also should do the managers job of solving it as well. Sure clears up those afternoons for golf.

While I loved people who came to me with existing and potential problems along with a set of solutions, it was my job to know everything that was going on, good and bad, and to craft and execute my own solutions. I wasnt getting an extra zero on the end of my paycheck to be a human magic 8-ball.

Many, many times someone brought a problem to my attention and I either had the solution or enough ideas for them to go make a good fix. Beat the heck out of people being afraid to tell me something because they didnt know how to fix it or sitting in their cublicle with their thumb up their ass for a week trying to figure it out on their own.

Worse? How about the time a guy brought me a 'problem' with a whole presentation on how to fix it. Only thing is, the 'problem' was intentional and just the way I wanted it, and I was fairly pissed that the guy spent half a week writing me a presentation on how to fix something that was broken just the way I liked it. In the meanwhile some stuff I needed him to finish up didnt get done. THAT was a problem.
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Re: forgery
Old 09-22-2004, 11:09 AM   #64
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Re: forgery

A fine example of your current system at work:
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...mpaign_vote_dc
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Re: forgery
Old 09-22-2004, 01:44 PM   #65
 
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Re: forgery

It's incredible to me how proud of our 'democracy' we are. We're so proud that we support wars to export it. But we're really not very democratic. Two rich white guys from the Skull and Bones society at Yale! What a choice. But what should we expect when the best indicator of who will win is who can raise the most money. The news coverage is pathetic. But what can we expect? They're in business to make money, not educate the public. The fox (gop tv) coverage of the forgery scandal is 24x7. Everyone seems to forget that the president relied on information from forged documents to justify the Iraq war to our citizens (remember, uranium from Africa.) Who forged those documents? I know, the Italians.

If we Americans are to spread democracy a good place to begin is right here at home. For starters we can make it easy (instead of difficult or impossible) for people to vote. Ballot access should be easy, not nearly impossible. We should give the option of full voting rights or independence to US territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, Somoa,...) The US federal government presides over these places, yet they have no voting rights. (BTW, this arrangement is in violation of UN resolution 1514 -- but these are only useful against enemies.) If they're given the option to trade their voting rights, for not paying taxes, well then I'd like that option too.

TH's ideas are along the right direction, but there are some constitutional issues that would need to be hammered out.
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Re: forgery
Old 09-22-2004, 03:22 PM   #66
 
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Re: forgery

Hello. A friend gave me a news release re. the
future passage of the "Americans with No Abilities Act"
Signed into law by John Kerry in May, 2005. Now, it is humorous I guess, but I can easily see this sort of
legislation passing. If anyone wants to see it I will post it. Or, maybe I am the last one to the party?

I will decide based on your shouts of enthusiasm
or your silence. Makes no difference to me.............

John Galt
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Re: forgery
Old 09-22-2004, 03:47 PM   #67
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Re: forgery

Wow has that one been around a while.

The clinton incarnation, circa 1998:

http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/P.../gover049.html

Hey John, the constitutional bits wouldnt be as hard as you think. In fact what I proposed is pretty much putting the electoral process back to the way it was 200 years ago pre-tv, pre-radio, pre-media blitz, pre-billion dollar campaigns.
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Re: forgery
Old 09-22-2004, 04:19 PM   #68
 
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Re: forgery

Okay TH. You and unclemick are now my "co-heroes"

John Galt
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Re: forgery
Old 09-22-2004, 10:42 PM   #69
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Re: forgery

Since retiring a year and a half ago, I've worked for the election board for 4 or 5 of the elections that have taken place here in Mesa (state, local, primaries, etc.). We have to go through training before each election and then we spend one hellatious 14+ hour day working at the polls. Since the voting fiasco in Florida in 2000, the federal election board has taken quite a bit of action in order to insure some common, minimum standards in every state.

According to our training, in every state now, an election board worker is allowed to ask you for your name, how you spell it, and your current address. . . That's it. It is illegal for any election worker to ask to see any ID (photo or otherwise). A voter is not required to show a voter registration card, a drivers license or anything else. If the person's name appears in the precinct list of eligible voters, then the person gets to vote.

The exception to the "no ID required" rule is the person who is not listed in the list of eligible voters. That person is still allowed to vote provided he/she can produce some written documentation that has their name and address on it. That documentation can be something as mundane as a bill from the water company. Of course a drivers license, voter registration card, etc. will also work.

By far the easiest way to vote is to request an early ballot. I usually request an early ballot, but don't mark it till the night before the election. Then, rather than mail it, I bring it to the polls and drop it off. No lines, no signatures or paperwork of any kind. Just drop the envelope in the box. I'm not sure whether all states are required to let you drop off your early ballots at a polling place on election day or not.
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Re: forgery
Old 09-23-2004, 12:13 AM   #70
 
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Re: forgery

Hi SG, Your understanding contradicts what I've read on this topic. For example, see the NYT editorial below. FL is one screwed up state when in comes to voting. CNN sued this year to get an advanced copy of the infamous 'felons list'. Guess what happened -again? The list contained a disproportionate number of blacks vs. hispanics. There were 48 hispanic names on a list of 48,0000. (Hispanics tend to vote republican in FL.) Secretary of State Glenda Hood was forced to scrap the list after claiming that it was an 'innocent mistake.' This sorta blew over in the media. Is anyone held accountable? What law enforcement? Thanks for your efforts to make voting fair in Mesa. --JB

The Confusion Over Voter ID
NY Times editorial
April 4, 2004

In last month's Florida presidential primary, Fort Myers polling places had signs saying voters could not vote without photo ID, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida The problem is, the signs were wrong. Florida law guarantees voters without photo ID the right to cast an "affidavit ballot," which counts the same as a regular one. There is no way of knowing how many eligible voters saw the false notice and did not vote as a result.

The process by which voters prove who they are has largely been left to election professionals. It shouldn't be. Every barrier to the ballot box reduces the number of voters who end up voting. ID requirements, which vary widely by state, are complicated, and administered poorly. In November, there is every reason to believe a significant number of eligible voters will be turned away on ID grounds, perhaps enough to decide a close election. Election officials should be working to fix these problems now.

Voter ID laws must strike a balance between preventing voter fraud and not making it unduly difficult to vote. Without a national ID card, it isn't easy. Many Americans do not have driver's licenses, particularly city residents, old and young people, and some members of minority groups. The rules for what is acceptable ID vary widely by state. The Help America Vote Act, the law passed after the 2000 election mess, added new federal ID rules, some making it easier to vote, some making it harder.

Above all, election officials should enforce the law accurately. Their record, however, is troubling. In an interview, the election supervisor for Lee County, Fla., which contains Fort Myers, defended the polling place signs, saying there was an official at each polling place to tell voters about affidavit ballots. Training poll workers to operate by different rules than are stated in official written materials is a bad practice, and voters are entitled to have their right to vote correctly described.

Louisiana sent an advisory to recent mail registrants, saying that the Help America Vote Act "requires" them to provide part of their driver's license number, or alternative identification, on an enclosed form and that they must do so "immediately." This, too, was false. The act makes clear the information can be provided at the polls on Election Day. The letter gives recipients the impression that they are not fully registered. People who neglect to do the paperwork may believe they cannot vote.

Election officials also need to do a better job of telling people what ID to bring to the polls. This information is often hard to find in voter education materials, or is not there at all. Missouri's Web site states cryptically that voters "must present one of the forms of identification as provided in 115.427," as if every voter has a set of Missouri law books at home. In an interview, a Missouri election official defended the Web site by saying a list of acceptable ID is available at every polling place. Voters should be told what to bring before they show up to vote.

There should also be closer scrutiny of state voter ID laws. Missouri lets people vote without ID if two supervisory election judges recognize them. This favors rural residents, who are more likely to know poll workers personally, over black voters in St. Louis. Critics of a South Dakota law passed last year, which imposes a photo ID requirement, say it will hurt Indian voters.

The rush of a presidential Election Day is the worst time to try to work out complicated voting issues. Election officials should do more to educate themselves, and the voters, about ID requirements well in advance of the voting.
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Absentee ballots
Old 09-23-2004, 11:39 AM   #71
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Absentee ballots

I've never voted in a voting booth.

Ever since I've been old enough to vote, I've voted an absentee ballot. I just kept mailing in voter-registration forms to a state govt who presumed that I was who I claimed, and they'd mail me a ballot which I'd mail back with the presumption that my vote was counted.

Even today I don't go to the polls. Hawaii mails all us residents an absentee-ballot request and we can vote absentee whenever we want for whatever reason. I drop my carefully-marked ballot in a mailbox and presumably it's counted!

I don't think my kid will ever visit a polling place either. Absentee voting for all is a desparate act to raise voter participation by one of the states with the lowest rates. But to me it makes a lot more sense than standing in line waiting for the computers to reboot and trying to figure out which voting official has been properly trained...
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Re: forgery
Old 09-23-2004, 01:16 PM   #72
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Re: forgery

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Hi SG, *Your understanding contradicts what I've read on this topic. *For example, see the NYT editorial below. . .
Hi John,

I didn't mean to imply that the voting problems in this country are fixed -- only that they are a little bit better than they used to be. Federal standards have been turned into law to address some of the issues that have been talked about. Not all the inconsistencies and problems have been addressed by any means. The felon rules regarding voting, for example, vary widely from state to state. There is significant indication that some states apply their rules unfairly.

Thanks for the article. I think the article is consistent with what I posted. It acknowledges the new federal requirements (no ID and provisional ballots) and points out a number of places where some states are bending or breaking the rules . . . if not violating the letter of the law, then certainly the spirit. I figure we're better off with a law that is only partly effective than with no law at all. We have something to build from and more leverage to battle those states that are still not with the program. Still, more clearly needs to be done.

We are making progress -- slow progress, maybe -- but progress. One of Jimmy Carter's books he wrote several years ago documents his experience with his first election to GA congress back in the 60's. Regardless of your politics, the book is a very interesting documentation of how corrupt the voting process was in Georgia at that time. We have made significant progress since that time. Unfortuately, it may be another 40 years before we get rid of some of the remaining blatant corruption that still plagues states like Florida.

Nords has the right idea. Vote early. It's easier. You can consider your options for weeks, mark your ballot in leisure and never have to face some semi-trained poll worker (like me). And at least in Arizona, I can confirm that early votes do get counted. We have to have them all counted immediately after the polls close before the last poll worker gets to go home.
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Re: forgery
Old 09-23-2004, 05:25 PM   #73
 
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Re: forgery

My gosh salaryguru, please do not post anything
coming from Jimmy Carter as an example of
"progress". John Kerry looks like Mr. Personality
compared to Jimmy Carter. To me, Jimmy is the
ultimate liberal, and thus antipathetic.

John Galt
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Re: forgery
Old 09-23-2004, 10:21 PM   #74
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Re: forgery

Quote:
My gosh salaryguru, please do not post anything
coming from Jimmy Carter as an example of
"progress". *John Kerry looks like Mr. Personality
compared to Jimmy Carter. *To me, Jimmy is the
ultimate liberal, and thus antipathetic.

John Galt
Oh come on John, you can read my posts more accurately than that. You are guilty of twisting my words to make your own political statement that is completely irrelevant to my post. That tactic kind of dilutes the effect of your tirade about Jimmy Carter and "progress", doesn't it?

I read a lot of books by and about political figures -- both liberal and conservative, Republican and Democrat. The title of the book I was referring to is "Turning Point" and it is simply an account of Carter's first time running for political office. The story is very interesting and tells you a lot about the state of political elections at that time.
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Re: forgery
Old 09-24-2004, 04:01 AM   #75
 
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Re: forgery

Hi salaryguru! I plead innocent to any intentional
"twisting", and I read through your post several times.
"Jimmy Carter" for me is like a red flag in front of a bull.
Just set me off. I apologize.

John Galt
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