July 4th, symbolic day of our nation’s birth. Also EDA’s birthday, the day we went live six years ago. It is a day of great celebration for many, remembering America’s greatness. It is a day when they play patriotic films one after the other on movie channels, so you can watch John Paul Jones say “I have not yet begun to fight,” and hear Jimmy Cagney sing “It’s a Grand Old Flag,” and listen as Lincoln repeats from the grave, “ . . . that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
I spent a good part of this special day fighting back tears, unsuccessfully when listening to Mr. Lincoln. For it is apparent that the form of government he invoked at Gettysburg is perishing, if not from the earth then from his own dear country, our country, on our watch. Rigged elections remove “by the people” and “for the people” from that majestic sentence, and sentence The People to the most pernicious form of tyranny: that which does not even have the courage to declare itself, but instead cloaks itself in the trappings of democracy and illusions of self-rule.
When we founded EDA six years ago we knew what we were up against. We knew that damning evidence of computerized election rigging had already been dismissed with a shrug and would likely continue to be dismissed with a shrug. We knew that, as with any inside job, the perpetrators were sitting in the catbird seat with a big head start. We knew that, as with any Big Lie, the architects and engineers of election rigging could count on “never happen here” denial to protect them from serious investigation and exposure.
What we didn’t know was how many informed people with cellphones would find some excuse not to call 911, how many would turn out to be bystanders, going about their business-as-usual with a shrug. Whether it’s Kitty Genovese dying in front of dozens of lighted windows or a democracy dying in front of dozens of opinion leaders with “too much on their plate,” Bystander’s Syndrome is a tragic phenomenon. When each of us says “intervention would be inconvenient, or risky, or distasteful and, besides, someone else is sure to take care of it,” we fail the ultimate test of citizenship, of patriotism, of human kinship. The twist is that, unlike the bystander safe in his apartment turning off the light and going back to bed, none of us is safe—the bell we talk over and take pains not to hear is tolling for us.
I sense a metastasizing awareness that we have a problem, a dreadful problem. It is close to coming into sharp focus, like a boil breaking the skin. There will be a powerful article in a major MSM publication this fall. There will be a powerful book following in its wake. It won’t take that much more and EDA will do everything possible to push awareness, shock, and outrage to critical mass. There’s plenty of energy in the politics of this time, much of it misdirected. That energy, as the never-happen-here veils are torn down, can yet save us and save our country. Please be part of it. Please support us. Please carry awareness to others. Please don’t be a bystander. Please don’t turn off your light.
With appreciation and best holiday wishes—
Out-Of-State Corporation Offered Wisconsin Election Clerks a Deal on Touchscreen Voting Machines That Make Election Results Impossible To Verify: EDA Alerts Clerks To Dangers
For full story please open Press Release in .pdf format below.
The Occupy Movement, Rigged Elections, and the
Bastille Line: An Urgent Call To Action
All revolutions, even peaceful ones, require a point of attack capable of breaking through the Wall erected by the Powers-That-Be. The Occupy movement, such a welcome and important revival of democracy, has great potential to “rattle the walls” and change our times. There’s great heat out in the winter cold all over America (and across much of the globe). Focusing all that Heat like an acetylene torch on restoring observable vote counting and honest elections may well be the best, if not the only, chance the Occupy movement has to break the chokehold of the 1%.
Although the historical evidence is that Marie Antoinette never actually said “Let them eat grass,” the phrase has become inextricably linked with the callousness and cruel inequalities that led directly and inexorably to the storming of the Bastille and the French Revolution. Now we have Newt Gingrich, among others, saying, to wild right-wing applause, that the Occupiers should “go get a job right after you take a bath.” The mockery is at or above the “Let them eat grass” level; the question is: Must revolution inexorably follow?
Every society has its Bastille Line, the point at which the provocation—the inequalities, naked unfairness, exploitation, derision—becomes so great and affects so many, and the prospects of redress through normal political processes grow so dim, that the cork blows and revolution is sprung. All the lies told, bones thrown, and Prozac prescribed can push the Bastille Line back somewhat, but it is still there when there is no other way. Even in America, where the Occupy movement, which continues to attract more and more to its ranks and to its consciousness, is the first stirring in a very long time, the first looking out of windows at the weather, the first test of the power structure’s response.
It’s becoming pretty clear, with the help of Michael Bloomberg and Newt Gingrich, what that response will be. In fact the “Let them eat grass” response is probably inevitable because America has become that broken, that polarized, that unfair, that cruel, that close to the gang rape that was pre-Revolutionary France. The Occupy movement is preparing for a long siege. They know there are no quick fixes to the mess that is America today. As they wisely expected, the Powers-That-Be are not going to change their ways, let alone yield control, to anything short of a Revolution. The question is “Why?”
Freeman Dyson, writing in The New York Review, gives us a good answer. “Democratic systems of government,” he writes, “are designed to answer the . . . question, ‘How do we make sure that rulers can be peacefully replaced when they rule badly?’ . . . Elections are held not to choose the best rulers, but to give us a chance to get rid of the worst without bloodshed.” Elections, in other words, are the primary mechanism for keeping a society well away from its Bastille Line, and they virtually never fail to do so. Unless they are rigged. Then they lose all such protective power and the only choices left are quiet desperation or the march on the Bastille.
This is what has happened in and to America. Election Defense Alliance, and our colleagues in election integrity and election forensics, have amassed mountains of evidence that America’s computerized, privatized, concealed, and partisan owned-and-operated vote counting system has been fully corrupted and manipulated to serve the interests of the few and to progressively disempower the many. To do, in other words, exactly what elections in a democracy are designed to prevent. Much of that evidence and analysis is archived on this website (www.ElectionDefenseAlliance.org); it is available for your evaluation and will not be recapitulated here.
Because this is a Call To Action. The Occupy movement, and the widespread discontent and disempowerment it embodies, have met the First Response: get out of the park, take a bath, get a job . . . get lost. We don’t know what will come next. America remains a rather closely divided, if dangerously polarized, nation and, yes, there is a lot of Prozac, actual and rhetorical, in circulation. Meanwhile, American elections are ceasing to function as the vehicle for "get[ting] rid of the worst without bloodshed.” In the rigged game of American elections, it now often requires a 60% or greater supermajority to actually win an election against a candidate or proposition favored by the "1%." And, because computerized rigging knows no theoretical bounds, it can get a lot worse, the thumb on the scale morphing as needed into a ham fist and, ultimately, an elephant—whatever it takes to stay in power. And every rigged election brings us one block closer to the Bastille, to a stark choice between retreat and revolution, an obscenely uneven playing field with no democratic alternative, no political means of redress and recovery.
If our democracy is to be saved from generations of oppression on the one hand or bloody revolution on the other, an end must come to rigged elections. And it must come NOW. The only way that is going to happen is by replacing our secret and corrupted computerized vote counting with publicly observable human vote counting—all across America. “But,” election officials in thrall to the speed and convenience of the computers wail, “we don’t have the peoplepower to do this.” Oh yes we do. They are out there in the cold in parks and public spaces in cities and towns all across this country. They are also in their homes and offices, inspired by the Occupiers, beginning to recognize that there is something terribly wrong with the picture and wondering what they too can do.
We recognize that the Occupiers have focused much of their energy on the challenge of creating a “real” democracy. And we understand the temptation to turn away from our larger “democracy” that is seen to be so damaged and corrupted. But we believe that, if the Occupiers can seize this moment and channel their growing power and their new insights, it is not too late to restore our democracy to health and vitality. Whatever other agenda or demands the Occupiers may ultimately embrace, they could begin now to focus their power on elections, the primary means our democracy has provided for its own defense. It is time to OCCUPY ELECTIONS, to storm not the Bastille but county and town clerks’ offices all across America with signed commitments to work as vote counters and observers on Election Day, beginning this winter with the primaries. And then to actually OCCUPY THE ELECTIONS by assembling at polling places to relieve the computers from duty. That’s right, to take the place of the computers, replacing secret cyber-counting by partisan programmers with open, observable counting by citizens. It doesn’t get much more democratic than that!
The Occupiers could become a national militia for democracy, resolved to count the ballots—all the ballots—in the open, in public. And also rouse their fellow citizens to join them in this fundamental duty to democracy, fatally forgotten in this age of convenience-uber-alles. Yes there would still be Citizens United and lots of work to do, but even gobs of corporate cash soon run out of steam when it comes to buying votes and thwarting the public will in honestly tabulated elections. To add a bit to Lincoln, “You can’t fool all of the people all of the time . . . but election rigging can make it look like you did.” Years of data-gathering and analysis tell us that America—fooled, fooled again, snookered, cheated, stolen—would awake from its nightmare and be a very different and a whole lot fairer nation if honest elections were restored.
This could be the moment of truth. It is definitely a moment of choice. A moment of focus. If it passes, all that’s left may be the Bastille and the agony that follows.
Jonathan D. Simon
November 19, 2011
DID YOU KNOW
the computer-based voting machine NH uses to count up to 85% of our votes is the SAME
Diebold AccuVote model that recorded minus
16,022 votes for Al Gore in Florida in 2000?
NH state election officials knew. But most citizens and local election officials still don’t know these machines are vulnerable to hacking.
Citizens are spreading the word. Across the country, one person, one town and one state at a time, we are taking back our elections.
Fact: If your community uses a voting machine, it is the Diebold AccuVote. The software is trade secret and takes no oath of allegiance. Nobody sees the votes being counted and nobody knows if the count is real.
Fact: It takes less than 6 seconds for a single untrained person to hand count a single contest on a ballot in a publicly observable vote count. Experienced counters average half this time and good counting teams consist of 2-4 people, significantly reducing the amount of time to hand count votes. And in a public hand count, everyone knows the results are real!
Want to help secure the public vote count in NH? We are New Hampshire citizens just like you, and we all need to help out to make sure we get real election results this year!