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Was the 2004 Election Stolen? 1425

Posted by kdawson
from the disenfranchising-ohio dept.
jZnat writes, "In June Rolling Stone ran an article by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. delving into the statistical improbability that Bush won the 2004 election based on massive amounts of evidence that support a Republican-sponsored election fraud across the country, particularly in Ohio. The GOP used a number of tactics in its fraudulent campaign including ballot-stuffing, denying newly registered voters (particularly in urban and minority precincts) their voting privileges via illegal mailings known as caging lists, inane voter registration requirements, preventing thousands of voters from receiving provisional ballots, under-providing Democrat-majority precincts with voting machines thus creating enormous queues of voters, faulty machines (particularly from Diebold) that skewed results in the GOP's favor, mostly unnoticed ballot-stuffing and fraud in rural areas, and a fixed recount that was paid for by the Green and Libertarian parties that essentially supported the initial fraudulent numbers." From the article: "'Ohio was as dirty an election as America has ever seen,' Lou Harris, the father of modern political polling, told me."
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Was the 2004 Election Stolen?

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  • Yes/No/Maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:41PM (#16126234)
    There has been fraud, corruption, and all manner of crap going on in elections in the US since the beginning of time. (And, might I add, consider the source.)

    This hasn't change since Bush took office, and won't be any different in 2008. It's not just Republicans that do it, nor is is just Democrats. (Witness the decades-old joke from Democratic stronghold cities: "Why did the Democrat walk into the cemetery? To thank his voters.")

    As dirty and reeking of conflict-of-interest as it is, when Diebold's CEO said he was committed to delivering Ohio's electoral votes to Bush, he meant it as a Republican corporate leader and campaigner; not in the context of "rigging" an election.

    No, the disenfranchisement that happens now and will continue to happen is the same disenfranchisement and dirty tricks that always happens: the rise of the internet for the general population, particularly since the last pre-Bush presidential election, has enabled the kinds of incredible information exchange on all manner of topics that we've seen in the last two elections. That will only increase, and it cuts both ways: as much as it allows the exchange of legitimate information, it acts as a breeding ground for conspiracy theories, some wacky, some not-so-wacky, some with elements of truth, but still serving to subvert any faith we ever had in our system.

    The worst part is so many people believe that not one, but two, elections were actively and intentionally "stolen"/rigged exclusively by Republicans, that anytime any Republican/conservative candidate ever wins an election from this point forward, it will always be doubted. Even recounts will be doubted. People want to believe, well, what they want to believe.

    All of the political, governmental, financial, famous and otherwise, and other powerhouse figures in the United States on the anti-Republican/conservative side(s) didn't just stand idly by while not one, but *two* elections were stolen.

    Nothing new has happened on either side in 2000 or 2004 that hasn't ever happened before. That's just a fact of life. These are the same county election entities that have run elections in locales for generations. Yes, things change a bit, especially with the introduction of electronic voting machines (which, ironically, were the result of various Democratic and bipartisan initiatives designed to allow more equal and consistent management of and access to polling places). But all e-voting vendors offer permament voter-verified receipt options on current and some previous models of machines - but these additions cost even more money; money that many municipalities weren't willing to spend.

    Worse still, we're talking about it two (or six, depending) years later. Not only do we have people who believe firmly that both elections were stolen, but we have people who literally believe something will cause a suspension of the 2008 elections, allowing Bush to remain in power. To me, the growing ranks of people who believe that with all their heart - growing mostly because of the internet, and sources of information that reinforce what they want to believe - are actually more of a threat to our system of government than anything else.
  • by dingDaShan (818817) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:45PM (#16126246)
    We are talking about a Rolling Stone article... a half-gossip magazine. The "entertainment industry's" take on politics... why is this even on Slashdot? Of course the election was rigged! This would explain why the disjointed, disorganized, and divided Democratic party lost an election to an incumbent. Lets just keep making excuses if it makes us feel better.
  • by rumblin'rabbit (711865) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:46PM (#16126250) Journal
    Do you ever get the feeling that the people posting these stories do so just cause they like to rattle people's cages?


    Democrats versus Republicans
    Creationism versus evolution
    Open software versus proprietary

    These are all sure to create vicious back-and-forth arguments that'll put the responses over that magical 300 number.

  • RK4prez (Score:1, Insightful)

    by mcbenji (949156) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:47PM (#16126254)
    all i had to do was see the name Robert Kennedy and know this story wouldnt be biased AT ALL!
  • by Stonent1 (594886) <stonent.stonent@pointclark@net> on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:47PM (#16126256) Journal
    Maybe we should start moderating the stories? I give this one (-1 Flamebait)
  • BFD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BCW2 (168187) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:47PM (#16126257) Journal
    Like this is different from any other election? Look up what happened in 1960 in Texas and Illinois if you think 2000 or 2006 were the most crooked. The only difference was that Nixon refused to demand a recout because it would hurt the country and the last two don't care how much damage they do!
  • by deanj (519759) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:48PM (#16126260)
    Yep. That's exactly what they're doing.

    It's a left-leaning site. I have NEVER seen a right-leaning article approved here. Ever.

    It does drive traffic though, so they're still making money, which is why they do it in the first place.
  • by the_skywise (189793) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:49PM (#16126266)
    So now slashdot is reduced to pandering political gossip?

    Any particular POLITICAL reason Slashdot waited until mid september to post a story about a JUNE Rolling Stone article?
  • by hawks5999 (588198) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:49PM (#16126269)
    C'mon Slashdot. This isn't news relevant to nerds or stuff that matters.
  • by loraksus (171574) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:50PM (#16126271) Homepage
    *grabs popcorn*

    Seriously though, Diebold machines are a joke. What I don't understand is why widespread vandalism of these machines hasn't been done.
    The exploits are, from what I understand, incredibly simple.
    Unfortunately, I have a feeling that even if Osama bin Laden won the 2008 presidential election based on votes from machines, it would just be blamed on "terrorist hackers" and no actual accountability would be implemented.
    Then, 2 years later, the American public would go back to voting on the same buggy machines, as oblivious as usual. Nothing would of have changed.
  • Re:Moo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kjart (941720) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:50PM (#16126278)

    Um, this is a bogus story. Sorry.


    So where is your fact checking? I followed reference number 6 and it appeared to be accurate.

  • WAAAAAA!!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kaufmanmoore (930593) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:51PM (#16126282)
    If Bush couldn't be ousted in '04 and if the Dems can't take control of Congress maybe its something they're doing wrong, cause Bush isn't doing anything right.
  • Cry Cry Cry (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) * on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:52PM (#16126287)
    I am not a fan of our current president and I have never voted for him (but I did vote) But the democrats were stupid enough to put a Northern Liberal Democrat against a South Western Republican. So what it did was create a polarized nation during the election, it forced people to be deadly afraid of the other side. So they all voted for one side or the other. So being that bush won, all the people who got all hyped up the Bush will be the end of the world are now going on conspiracies and trying to find any thing to make them seem like they were cheated. While it was a fair fight and they lost. If the democrats were more willing to get a more middle of the road candidate they could have one. But they were betting on that GWB wouldn't win because he didn't win the last election with a majority vote so they were betting that if they get a Full to the left Democrat then they would win hands down. But guess what it didn't work. Next time I hope they get a more middle of the road democrat and perhaps I may vote for them.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Insightful)

    by koreth (409849) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:55PM (#16126306)
    but we have people who literally believe something will cause a suspension of the 2008 elections, allowing Bush to remain in power.
    To be fair, though, I've heard that about every president since I've been old enough to know what a presidential term was. At this point I'd be surprised if there weren't people thinking that toward the end of a given president's tenure. Happily, it's always a very small minority of extreme left-wingers (the Republican President is going to declare martial law or some national emergency) or right-wingers (the Democratic President is going to cede authority to the UN in exchange for being installed as a figurehead) and not something that most people really give any thought to.
  • Re:Moo (Score:2, Insightful)

    by diablomonic (754193) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:59PM (#16126324)
    NOT BOGUS STORY. wake the hell up sheeple. You may not care that bush stole the election, but youd have to be a complete frickin idiot not to realise that he did steal it. Dodgy exit polls, mathematical impossibilities, thousands of accounts of one sided errors, the voting machines manufacturer CEO PROMISED BUSH VOTES in a memo!!! how much more fricken obvious does it have to be? (bush promised votes [commondreams.org] (first link in google, no idea the site but it was a fairly widely printed story) more dodginess [pravda.ru].

    You can whinge about sources if you want, I dont give a crap, most murdoch/GE/etc owned news companies lie through their teeth, so the only place you CAN go for some of this news is "less reputable" sites.... (eg look up "outfoxed" on google video, a doco by ex fox news reporters, describing how dodgy the station ewnt after murdoch took over)

  • Bad excuses (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HangingChad (677530) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:59PM (#16126327) Homepage

    Because one or the other party did it in the distant past does not make it okay. Technology gave the current ruling party the ability to subvert our election process in a broad and coordinated fashion not available historically.

    The bottom line is a lot of good people fought and died to uphold the ideal of one person, one vote and take pride that we run honest elections. The current administration tramples on the Constitution and stacks government agencies with unqualified partisans. They've looted our national treasury and gotten three thousand of our people killed in an ideological war in Iraq. Not only should they be impeached, but if evidence of rigging elections come to light it should undo all that Bush has done in office, including his Supreme Court appointments.

    I think Bush lost 2000 and 2004 and that represents a greater threat to our country than terrorism. If the right wing wasn't so shamelessly hypocritical they'd be rioting in the streets for Bush's impeachment. The fact they're lending tacit support to this fraud only demonstrates their lack of character.

  • If the election was in fact stolen, "moving on" is the worst thing you can do, since its a direct attack on both the constitution and the legitimacy of government - and through that, an attack on the US and its citizens. Finding the criminals who helped steal it would be the right thing.
  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:00PM (#16126335)
    "Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence." - Robert Hanlon (disputed)

    We had a fun 2004 election up here in Washington state. At the end of polling, the Republican Dino Rosse had defeated Democrat Gregoire by ~200 votes - so close that a recount was mandated. After one recount, Rossi was still ahead by about 60 votes. The Dems paid for a second recount, during which multiple small groups of uncounted ballots from highly-Democratic King County kept turning up. Gregoire won that recount, and is now our (rather uninspiring) governor.

    Thing is, this really looked like a rigged election; and a lot of Republicans still think it was. But looking at the various pieces, my personal conclusion is just that the King County Elections department is largely incompetent, and has been for a while - it just hasn't come up because we've never had this close an election. Ballots left uncounted inside of voting machines; absentee ballots that get stored away, uncounted; ballots from overseas military people that were wrongly disqualified... it's all easily covered by incompetence.

    I have no doubt that fraud occurs; but I also don't doubt it runs both ways.

    Another other issue that everyone conveniently ignores, of course, is counting error. Simply put, the likely error in any given count of N random items (as long as N is sufficiently large) is 1/sqrt(N). With a really close election, you simply can't know who the true winner is.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:4, Insightful)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:00PM (#16126339)
    Sorry to disappoint, but all of the words are my own, and were written in the 15 minutes or so before the story became public. Slashdot subscribers see stories a bit early.

    No, counting ballots doesn't have to be hard. What's extremely hard is:

    - Making sure everyone only votes once
    - Keeping the entire process anonymous

    If you only had to to either instead of both, it would be a piece of cake. Unfortunately, having to do both is hard, and with each and every county running their own elections for tens of millions of people, all with different aims, populations, budgets, and so on, it's a lot harder than you think.

    This isn't even about paper versus electronic (because we can make 100% trusted electronic systems, with a permanent voter-verified audit trail being present - but even with a paper trail, a lot of people seriously believe there will still be ways to rig the elections...and beyond that, there will still be claims of long lines, voter threats, and so on). It's about the intrinsic difficulties in doing a one-vote election while maintaining anonymity, and disallowing any external entity to find out who any particular person voted for.

    Remember, too, that the voting acts (e.g., HAVA) were designed to allow fair and uniform access to ballots and polling places, while taking advantage of streamlining things with technology - something we have done in every other sector of society. Unfortunately, any federal, state, or local initiatives recommending or mandating electronic voting machines are incomplete without a permanent voter-verified paper trail. With that piece, it doesn't matter how complex it is, whether or not the systems are open source or proprietary, or anything else. But even with a paper trail, there will still be the increasing calls of fraud and disenfranchisement, as people who want to believe that will continue to organize and reinforce each other via the internet. Yes, some of the fraud and disenfranchisement is real. But there are people, as I said, who will continue to believe that any Republican victory is stolen, as if Democrats can't game the system (and make no mistake, they do).

    I also don't know what you're talking about when you say that the "GOP" wants a complicated system, when the voting initiatives that mandated and extended things like electronic voting were either solidly Democratic or bipartisan.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:02PM (#16126345)
    I agree, there is so much media that people just listen to the sources that say what they want to hear.


    Elections are a process and there is a rate of error that occurs. The last couple elections have fallen within or dangerously close to the error.


    More alarming, these people aren't acting like statespeople. You've got Rush Limbaugh and Air America (basically the same thing, they just support different parties) pushing forward all this hubris that attacks the very trust model that makes an election possible. Corruption and election theft are big claims without evidence. Huge claims.


    Further, due to the 2000 election, everybody mandated "electronic" election equipment when there was very little actually wrong with the current equipment. You could listen to air america on a dialy basis suggest that ballots were stole and there were other things that electronic ballots would fix. Then when the next election went the same way, there are problems with the machines, the makers of the machines are corrupt.


    My advice, stop paying attention to the spin doctors, vote for the best person that is running, regardless of if you agree or disagree with his idealogy, vote for the most honest person that is running in a particular race. We need good statespeople a lot more than we need different election hardware and we need to get rid of shit like Rush Limbaugh and Air America that will never ever act in the best interest of the country or unite anybody.

  • by Flounder (42112) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:03PM (#16126348)
    Wow, if that article is your idea of "open discussion and reason"....

    Or is it simply more Democratic "free speech and tolerance, unless you disagree with us, then it's theft/fraud/racist/sexist/facist"

    Like the ABC movie "The Path To 9/11"?? Yeah, threatening to revoke a network's broadcast license because you disagree with the content of their programming isn't censorship.

  • by treak007 (985345) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:05PM (#16126359)
    If there ever was any Proof that was valid, then yes, I would agree, but every couple days, I see the same kinda article with same laughable sources.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Insightful)

    by theshibboleth (968645) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:06PM (#16126367)
    Yes there has always been corruption in American politics, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do anything about it. The last couple of eletions have been extremely close. As far as people being paranoid about the next election being cancelled, it is disturbing when a sitting administration talks about postponing the election [cnn.com].
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ptbarnett (159784) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:07PM (#16126371)
    Worse still, we're talking about it two (or six, depending) years later. Not only do we have people who believe firmly that both elections were stolen, but we have people who literally believe something will cause a suspension of the 2008 elections, allowing Bush to remain in power.

    The right-wing believed Clinton would do the same thing in the late 1990's. Of course, it didn't happen. And it's about as likely to happen this time.

    But, they viewed the 2000 fiasco in Florida through the same lens: for every person that believes that Bush stole that election, there is someone on the opposite side that believes that Gore was narrowly prevented from stealing the election. There is plenty of "evidence" for both, if you carefully choose what to believe.

    To me, the growing ranks of people who believe that with all their heart - growing mostly because of the internet, and sources of information that reinforce what they want to believe - are actually more of a threat to our system of government than anything else.

    I agree that the polarization is getting worse, but I don't think the Internet is to blame. I believe the traditional coalitions of "left" and "right" that once wanted similar things (and differed only on the details) are drifting further apart as the extremists take control of the respective major parties. In the past (past 30-40 years), it typically happened to only one party and the other captured the "center".

    But now, the center is fed up and stays home, leaving the party faithful to battle it out. And the parties need something to motivate their followers, and aren't above stretching the truth a little to do it.

  • by dangitman (862676) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:09PM (#16126384)
    Do you have anything to refute the content and the facts laid out in the article? It doesn't matter who the source is. It matters if it's true or not. Show me any human on this planet who is not biased.

    Argue with the argument, not the arguer.

  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:10PM (#16126386)
    Nothing new has happened on either side in 2000 or 2004 that hasn't ever happened before. That's just a fact of life. These are the same county election entities that have run elections in locales for generations. Yes, things change a bit, especially with the introduction of electronic voting machines (which, ironically, were the result of various Democratic and bipartisan initiatives designed to allow more equal and consistent management of and access to polling places). But all e-voting vendors offer permament voter-verified receipt options on current and some previous models of machines - but these additions cost even more money; money that many municipalities weren't willing to spend.
    In the meantime, it has become public knowledge how easy these machines can be manipulated. I do, however, not hear much about consequences. A few states or municipalities seem to take the problem seriously but they are a minority. That does not inspire much trust in future US elections.
  • by badboy_tw2002 (524611) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:10PM (#16126387)
    Facts don't need bias. Whether something happened or not when evidence is available and verifiable makes the facts of the event immune from bias. The interpretation of those events "Bush won fair and square because of x" "Bush stole the election because of Y" is where the bias in this case comes in. You shouldn't dismiss something (well, something possible or probable) outright because you don't like the messenger or the possible implications.
  • Re:Moo (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:11PM (#16126388)
    Sorry, son. The Dems nominated a shit candidate who was EVEN LESS ATTRACTIVE THAN BUSH, as hard as that might be to believe.

    And they lost.

    Here's a hint: next time don't nominate a senile hippie with the worst record on defense in the entire Senate while the country is at war.

    Here's another: admit that you lost and move on. Continuing to screech just makes you look like a pack of psychotics.

    Why is this story even on Slashdot? If I wanted to read nutjob political ranting I'd check out freerepublic, democraticunderground, or digg.

     
  • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:12PM (#16126394)
    Exactly. The article was written by ROBERT KENNEDY, JR. It's like trusting a reporting a global warming written by Dick Cheney.If there had been a massive voter fraud conspiracy in 2004, we'd have known about it by now. Articles like this love to paint the GOP as the bad guys and conveniently forget that Democrats were, for instance, slashing the tires of GOP voter vans on election morning and registering dead people to vote. A bunch of stuff happened from both sides, but for some reason, magaines and newspapers only remember one side doing it, as if the poor, innocent Democrats just never do anything wrong. If the GOP had been registering dead people and paying homeless folks with drugs to go into voting booths, it'd be in Rolling Stone, but because the magazine leans left (as does most of the media, proven by a UCLA-Standford study on the subject), we don't hear about it.
  • Re:Moo (Score:1, Insightful)

    by letxa2000 (215841) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:12PM (#16126395)
    Oh goodie, another opportunity for Democrats to bitch about losing in 2004 and blame anyone but themselves. Run a decent candidate (Kerry was not it) and you'll have better results.


    The Kennedy article was a rehash of all the nonsense liberals have been spewing since 2004. So the article itself was redundant when Kennedy wrote it. And it's been months since it was published, so why exactly is it suddenly news now? Oh, that's right, because the elections are just over a month away and the Democrats are offering no clear and concise alternative to Republicans so all they can do is rehash the same assertions they've been making since 2004. Heck, let's be honest, since 2000. The close election of 2000 and the close election of 2004 gave them the idea that if they try to highlight how close the election was and try to make the case that they should've won, people won't realize they have no platform themselves.

    Democrats, wake up! Come up with a real platform and stop bitching and moaning about past elections and start focusing on future elections and you'll do a lot better. Even on the off chance all your assertions about past fraud are right, what do you really expect to gain from from staying stuck in the past? GET A PLATFORM, PLEASE! GIVE US A REAL ALTERNATIVE!

  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Insightful)

    by partisanX (1001690) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:14PM (#16126406) Homepage
    To me, the growing ranks of people who believe that with all their heart - growing mostly because of the internet, and sources of information that reinforce what they want to believe - are actually more of a threat to our system of government than anything else.

    The question you have to ask is WHY? Why are people now so inclined to believe in "conspiracy theories" and distrust the government on this level now? Is it really just because of the internet? Could it have anything to do with the fact that this administration and its partisan drones have actively used conspiracy theories in pursuit of their political agenda? "Axis of Evil" conspiracy theory anyone? "Iraq has WMD and is going to use them against Americans" conspiracy theory anyone? "Liberals want to bring down america" conspiracy theory anyone?

    When an administration rejects hard facts and logic and reason in its decisicion making process, that has an impact on the psyche of the nation. When an administration continues to lie and justify it's lies, why would any rational citizen in their right mind believe anything they say? They lied to us about wiretapping, secret prisons, and WMDs in Iraq. Why would I or anyone else logically trust what they say?

    Indeed, their consistant violation of the trust of the American people is why these things persist. It isn't because of the internet boogeyman or those "whackey" conspiracy theorists. They have created an environment where secret plots and corruption on the level that is being alleged is not only not unthinkable, but seems plausible given their seeming dependency on deception.

    Have politicians always lied? Damn straight. I wasn't born yesterday. But the severity of the lies have gotten worse in recent years. And the republicans planted a seed in the minds of the public that honesty and truthfulness was paramount, so much so that it was worth putting the country through an impeachment process because a man purjured himself trying to hide his humanity. Then the republicans get in office and tell lie after lie, which seems sinister in scale compared to what they impeached the previous president over.
  • by Jimmy_B (129296) <slashdot AT jimrandomh DOT org> on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:15PM (#16126418) Homepage
    So far, we've got posts bashing the slashdot article for not being current, bashing the Rolling Stone article for being by Rolling Stone, and a few posts of "it's not that bad, get over it". We remember the Florida 2000 fiasco, which was much ado about nothing, and assume this is the same.

    It's not.

    Seriously, read the article. This isn't just about a few dirty tricks, although there are plenty of those. It isn't about a few thousand votes, like Florida was. It's about outright, large-scale ballot stuffing, hundreds of thousands of votes, fraudulent manipulation of voter rolls, and deliberate sabotage by the Republican secretary of state (who was also the co-chair of President Bush's re-election committee).

    It's an extraordinary claim, which does indeed require extraordinary evidence, but the evidence IS there. But no one's willing to look at the naked emperor. Everyone made up their mind about whether Bush was good or bad a long time ago, but now the Bush-supporters have no defense but to close their eyes and plug their ears. And for the most part, they're doing exactly that.
  • by Michael_Burton (608237) <michaelburton@brainrow.com> on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:19PM (#16126451) Homepage

    In June Rolling Stone ran an article by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Yep, there's two bastions of unbiased opinion.

    Oh, good. I was afraid there wouldn't be any ad hominem responses, without which we would have to judge on the basis of facts and reason. Who wants that?

  • by Vicissidude (878310) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:20PM (#16126453)
    Yeah, and Dino Rossi could have continued by contesting the last recount as well. But, he chose not to. His loss.

    The Secretary of State for Washington is a Republican. If there were any problems with the election, he certainly would have said something.
  • by cyberformer (257332) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:30PM (#16126511)
    Slashdot caters to an audience of intelligent people who like to keep some awareness of the world outside Fox News and talk radio. This is perceived as a liberal bias in American politics.
  • The end result of your statement is circular logic at its finest:

    If you have proof that's valid ...

    ... then we'll investigate ...

    If you already have the proof, why investigate?

    The simple fact is that more than half the population feels the election was stolen - an investigation is needed, even if it wasn't - to restore faith in the system.

  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Insightful)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:31PM (#16126515)
    Well, those aren't conspiracy theories.

    "Axis of evil" is rhetoric, just as much now as it was then. Accurate? Maybe, maybe not. The point is that it's just political rhetoric, not a conspiracy theory.

    As for WMD, to requote something I've said before, which applies here:

    To quote something I've said before, but which applies here:

    [w]hile I agree that there isn't going to be an Islamic ICBM delivering a nuclear weapon anytime soon, there were *hundreds of tons* of WMD unaccounted for in Iraq, post-1998. The intelligence capabilities of most western European nations, notably the UNSEC members, the UN as an organization, the US, UK, and so on, all believed Iraq to be in continuing possession of the WMD that were unaccounted for after 1998 when the inspectors left. After 7 years of utter lack of cooperation, deception, and all manner of lies from Iraq about its WMD programs, there was zero reason to believe anything changed for the better once it was left unsupervised. Over 700,000 tons of non-WMD UN-banned weapons were found in Iraq since March 2003. Entire fleets of fighter aircraft were found *completely buried* in remote areas of the desert. There is no reason to believe the hundreds of tons of remaining WMD that was unaccounted for with absolutely no acceptable proof of its disposition, combined with Iraq's lies and deception, didn't remain in Iraq's possession. Likely, it is now in the hands of nations like Syria.

    The Iraq strategy isn't about "Iraq". It was about picking a nation for which a case could be expeditiously made to the American people, allowing a great number of resources, both monetary and military, to be brought to bear, on an omnibus strategy of political change in the mideast. It was a VERY RISKY proposition, but the threat of Panislamic radicalism is a very, very real one. And no, it's not something we "created". It's something that has come to this point for a variety of reasons, but the US and/or West isn't exclusively or even mostly to blame. (Is it impossible for people to believe that there are factions of people in the world who disagree about a great many things and who desire to kill those who don't agree with them?) And, FYI, we know we have problems with Saudi Arabia, but we hope for a domino affect, and also, we don't overtly attack official allies (for those who ask "Why don't we attack Saudi Arabia instead of Iraq, then?").

    The big differences are intent. E.g., intent to kill innocent civilians vs not. Intent to allow people to live in a free(r) society vs not. These are very important distinctions to people who aren't pure moral relativists who think that everyone is just as "right" or justified in doing something as someone else.

    While WMD wasn't the real "reason" we went to Iraq - the reasons were MUCH broader and not about "Iraq" per se - it's quite reasonable that the administration and planners would expect to find caches of WMD there, thus justifying the action on its face.

    I realize you're talking more about nuclear, here, but if you're going to make incorrect claims about Iraq with regard to WMD, you should take a look at the following and educate yourself:

    http://www.iraqwatch.org/wmd/ [iraqwatch.org]
    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/iraq/ [globalsecurity.org]

    And as for nuclear problems, we now have Iran to worry about as well. If you choose to "blame" the US or US policy on any troubles we have with Iran, feel free. I'm just somewhat dumbfounded by the view that others outside the US are apparently incapable of doing "bad" things on their own without provocation of the evil US, especially given the thousands of years of human history.


    As for "secret prisons", again, to requote something I said a couple of days ago for the sake of expediency:

    I believe there are extraordinary circumstances where military or intelligence components may want to keep the capture of an enemy completely secret, and that this need
  • by iendedi (687301) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:32PM (#16126518) Journal
    From TFA:
    ''Exit polls are almost never wrong,'' Dick Morris, a political consultant who has worked for both Republicans and Democrats, noted after the 2004 vote. Such surveys are ''so reliable,'' he added, ''that they are used as guides to the relative honesty of elections in Third World countries.''(18) In 2003, vote tampering revealed by exit polling in the Republic of Georgia forced Eduard Shevardnadze to step down.(19) And in November 2004, exit polling in the Ukraine -- paid for by the Bush administration -- exposed election fraud that denied Viktor Yushchenko the presidency.(20)
    Whether you put faith in the Rolling Stone or JFK Jr is one thing. But to discredit mathematics because you don't like who is using it to prove their point is ... well ... it is not something any self-respecting geek would ever knowingly do...

    If I were to put my tinfoil hat on for a second ... okay, here goes ... The fact that there are so many posters on this thread that are dismissing mathematics and using association with a magazine or a clearly democraticly bent author would indicate to me that they are not from the typical geeky slashdot croud. They would appear to be (drumroll) some other type of beast alltogether... Is slashdot picking up propaganda dispensers? If so, you would be wise to adopt certain religions to be taken seriously here and mathematics is at the very top of the list of those religions.

    In fact, this has me thinking now... We may constitute a particularly difficult demographic to brainwash for exactly that reason - geeks don't take anyone but other geeks seriously and that means if you don't bow to geek religious beliefs (such as science and her language), you have very little chance of adjusting our opinions. If there are enough of you and you push buttons fast enough, you might be able to sling your comments around and mod-up the memes of your cohorts, but you will have little chance of making any difference to the thought process of the readership here.

    Ok, tinfoil hat off... We geeks are probably just as gullible as everyone else and even easier to control... Just promise us dates if we go along with you...
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:1, Insightful)

    by garcia (6573) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:32PM (#16126521) Homepage
    but we have people who literally believe something will cause a suspension of the 2008 elections, allowing Bush to remain in power.

    I believe it's certainly possible but it has absolutely nothing to do with the Internet, other people's opinions, or the media. It has to do with the simple fact that we are "at war" and Bush wants to continue that war going at any and all costs (financial, lives lost (on both sides), and the good name of the Republican Party (to which he does not belong IMHO)).

    I am not saying that I believe, without a doubt, that Bush is going to stand in front of the United States and say, "We need to have me in office because I'm the most honest liar ever in office and I have committed atrocities against citizens of the United States like no one before me." I just expect him to say, "we cannot permit the terrorists to win and I am the only one who can do that! The New Aged GOP must live on to protect the 'Homeland'!"

    All I'm saying that it certainly wouldn't surprise me. He's really that fucking sure of his poor decision making and the fact that a good number of people (especially those racist and religious morons that have suddenly appeared more in recent times than they have since the 1960s) support him and everything else does, scares the living shit out of me and it should certainly scare the living shit out of everyone else too.

    Long live the Homeland and down with the Constitution!
  • Re:Moo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:34PM (#16126534) Journal
    Look, it may not concern you that Bush stole the election, because you wanted him to win, but I garauntee it will concern you when someone you don't like uses the same techniques to steal it. Wake up. This isn't partisan, the Democrats have done the same thing in the past, and it sucked just as much then. But we did somethign about it.

    Just read the friggin article and perhaps you will see some ways that our elections are unfair and should be fixed, ignore the fact that it's your man who did it. Mentally insert "Bill Clinton" in place of GWB if that helps, but read it, and believe it, and get riled up and do something or our country is going to go down the crapper in a big scary way. I gaurantee that if no one does anything about this, someone who you abhor is going to use these tricks. And by then it will probably be too late.

    And if you think everyone here is lame and pathetic because they don't agree with you, well, maybe this isn't the place for you? I hear freerepublic.com is nice...
  • Re:Moo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by paintswithcolour (929954) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:36PM (#16126543)
    First off, I'm not an American so I'm not as clued up on the political standings as other here. But what I am sure of is that if I was presented with this level of evidence (and it seems from some of the references that we are dealing with real, substanial evidence here) the very last thing I would want anyone to do is: "stop bitching and moaning about past elections".

    It's nonsense to suggest that just because something happened in the past we should all simply accept the outcome and move on...past elections were rigged? Ah, well...better luck next time!

    Accusing the Democrats of sour grapes seems within the realm of possibility but to suggest that even if this were all true just to ignore it undermines the very foundation of your democratic process. Like it or not (and I'm guessing not - as it is a clear and present threat to your obvious political alligence) free and fair voting for everyone matters in a democracy.

    You don't like that because your side won't always win?

    Tough.

  • by Jugalator (259273) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:37PM (#16126549) Journal
    No election frauds should be "let go".
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 0WaitState (231806) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:43PM (#16126581)
    I agree that the polarization is getting worse, but I don't think the Internet is to blame. I believe the traditional coalitions of "left" and "right" that once wanted similar things (and differed only on the details) are drifting further apart as the extremists take control of the respective major parties. In the past (past 30-40 years), it typically happened to only one party and the other captured the "center".

    I'm familiar with right-wing extremism (non-stop elective war, dismantle social security, sell off national parks (Richard Pombo, R-CA), fuck the Geneva convention, spy on anyone, anytime, at the ruling party's whim). But what would the polarizing left-wing extremism be? I mean, Clinton was (is) a centrist. As far as I can tell Dems have been moving to the center in decades after they broke the back of segregation. I mean, the Republican party has controlled all three branches of goverment for the last six years--who's the cause of polarization then?
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:4, Insightful)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:51PM (#16126612)
    I can't believe it.

    You'll concede that both parties commit election fraud via various means, but still want to think of what one party does as "worse".

    This is exactly the kind of problem I'm talking about.

    I'll answer your question: NEITHER is "worse". I'm not talking about it from a scientific or statistical or emotional standpoint. They're both bad, and they're both dirty tricks.

    And for what it's worth, I don't believe that people are flat-out denied their rights to vote en masse. I believe that there are hundreds of examples of isolated incidents, and also things like people believing legitimately long lines or legitimate road construction are actually parts of a carefully coordinated conspiracy to prevent people from voting, and the like. Humorously, where people claim the most "disenfranchisement" are in Democratically-controlled counties. This is a county issue, and ones that Democratic and bipartisan initiatives mandating electronic voting machines was ironically intended to solve.
  • Re:Moo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bcat24 (914105) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:58PM (#16126658) Homepage Journal
    IANAA (I Am Not An Australian), so I don't know how things work there, but maybe voting in at least presidental elections should be required to maintain your US citizenship. The ability to (partially) elect your own goverment is what makes America so great, but it gets screwed up if people don't vote. I guess most people just don't care.
  • Sure (Score:2, Insightful)

    by The Bungi (221687) <thebungi@gmail.com> on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:03PM (#16126687) Homepage
    This is the election where the democrats got their asses handed to them across the board. So never mind the presidential election, the GOP rigged just about every local, state and senate/congress race. Suuure, right. Of course.

    Sour grapes are even worse when they've been in storage for three years.

  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dynamo52 (890601) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:09PM (#16126720)

    There has been fraud, corruption, and all manner of crap going on in elections in the US since the beginning of time

    While true, There has never been wholesale, systemic manipulation of the electoral process on this scale. Previous acts of fraud tended to be minor and localised, mainly due to an overzaealous member of one or the other parties. The irregularities referrenced in the 200 and 2004 elections, however, appear to be a well planned and concerted effort by the extreme right wing to ensure thier agenda is enacted at all costs.

  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by partisanX (1001690) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:12PM (#16126731) Homepage
    Well, those aren't conspiracy theories.

    Hogwash.

    "Axis of evil" is rhetoric, just as much now as it was then. Accurate? Maybe, maybe not. The point is that it's just political rhetoric, not a conspiracy theory.

    Axis of evil is an implication of a conspiracy on the part of the members of said group. It is very much a conspiracy theory in that it implies they are conspiring to do us wrong. Is it rhetoric? Sure, but it is also meant to get people thinking in terms of the axis plotting evil against them.

    The often repeated claim, which you could call rhetoric, but which is also clearly a conspiracy theory, is that "liberals want to destroy the country". The people who espouse this will offer "evidence" to their audience to support it. They, in essence, offer factoids about "liberals" and then fill in the gaps as to their meaning.

    But perhaps I'm wrong in my semantic use, but please, humor me, and explain to me what is the difference between a group of partisans advancing ideas that another group of partisans are out to destroy america, that a group of nations are out to do evil to us, etc... how are these really different in the effects they have on those that believe it, than the conspiracy theories are?

    As for the rest of your stuff, it's all irrelevant to the point of my post.

    You are asking for the villification of Bush to stop and you are saying that you view those who believe in "conspiracy theories" as a bigger threat to our system than government. On the former, I disagree, he has reaped what he's sown, on the later, I somewhat agree. Our system is not in a good place when over 1/3rd of the people believe not only that the government could take part(either actively or passively) in a terrible thing like 9/11, but actually did... that is not a good place for our system to be.

    But, when you constantly lie, and lie, and lie, what is the logical result of that? People don't trust your word. People don't trust your character. People don't trust you.

    This administration has lied, either knowingly or unknowingly on the WMD issue, the secret prisons, the wiretapping, etc... and your post about what you think Iraq was about, if it is indeed true, is a very good example of the people being told lies to hide true intentions(conspiracy theory?). If that's what it was about, then the president should have been forthcoming with our true goals there from day one. To suggest otherwise, is to compromise the integrity of our democratic republic, an integrity that is built on the trust the people have of the government. If the government can't trust the people with the truth, then the people can't trust the government to do their will, and then the conspiracy theories start to take hold. It's cause and effect.

    Right or wrong, whether you believe it or not, Clinton lost a lot of clout and respect for himself and the office with the great many Americans when he did what he did

    And it's amazing to me that you are sitting here telling me how Clinton lost clout for his lies, while seemingly unwilling to see that Bush has lost clout for his lies too. It really doesn't matter whether you think he deserves to lose clout for his lies, the fact is, he has lost clout and his lies are the reason(whether you think they are "good" lies or not). For the record, I supported Clinton's impeachment at the time, and I would again under the same circumstances. That was all irrelevant to my point.

    And on that John Kerry bit...
    Don't bother quoting John Kerry to me. I hold both parties in equal contempt. Quoting one liar to justify another means very little to me. I will say this, I don't subscribe to most of the conspiracy theories. In fact, I share a good deal of your concern, but rather than trying to VILLANIZE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE who believe them(which you are clearly trying to do), I see cause and effect at work. A deceptive government does not deserve to be believed. Whether they intentionally decieved or no
  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:12PM (#16126732) Homepage Journal
    Whether or not the elections in 2000 and 2004 were stolen does not change the fact that we are witnessing an unprecedented attempt to consolidate power in the hands of a very wealthy, very few. And they are mostly Republicans.

    You say that people believing that the Bush Administration is capable of the most egregious types of illegal activities is more of a threat to our system of government than those illegal activities themselves. This is known as baloney.

    Yesterday, we saw a President declare that a law must be passed that will have the effect of absolving him and his administration from any war crimes that may have been committed since 2001, retroactively. He is afraid that as the 14 prisoners that he's transferring from secret prisons (just the thought of secret prisons is anti-American) are interviewed by the Red Cross when they get to Guantanamo (Guantanamo is anti-American) we will learn that they were tortured in ways that violate a Convention that has served us well for more than half a century, and this will expose Mssrs Bush and Cheney to quite valid charges of War Crimes.

    So, in a classic cover-your-butt move, this despicable man is going to pardon himself and his friends, in advance. I hope those of you who voted Republican are proud.

    All this to protect his sudden need to try people with secret evidence. Let that sink in for a second. You are arrested and not told why. You are held for 3 years without any charges being brought against you. You are brought to court and a judge tells you that you are found guilty, based on evidence that you and your lawyer will not be allowed to see. Who wants to try to argue that any of this is the "American Way"?

    And this entire charade, 2 wars and untold suffering is done because 19 guys in dirty nightshirts were able to commandeer a couple of planes and kill 3000 people. We're told not to worry about the guy who masterminded this crime because after all we can't find him anyway, and there's a much more important thing we have to do because of this massive crime and that's fight a war thousands of miles away from where this criminal is hiding. And it just so happens that this war that's so urgent is in a place that has a huge supply of oil. And, it just so happens that the President got into politics with the help of the oil industry, but that's all just a coincidence. And it's a further coincidence that the one corporation that has profited the most from this war was run by the Vice President until a short time before the election. And, by the way, that Vice President's income tax return last year showed income of tens of millions of dollars even though his salary is only about 250 thousand bucks. But ignore all of that because THIS PRESIDENT IS A-GONNA KEEP US SAFE. Safe from terrorists. Forget that you're more likely to die of toenail fungus than from terrorism.

    One great thing about this country is that although it's possible to scare Americans, they don't stay scared for long. If there's a God in heaven, the Bush Administration and his Republican lickspittles are going to pay dearly for what they've done to a country that not too long ago was held in regard by the world as being a beacon of freedom, but is now known for secret prisons, torture, domestic spying and stupid, destructive wars.

    To Hell with George W. Bush. And Dave Schroeder, regardless of whatever it is that would make you try to defend him, to Hell with you.
  • by dangitman (862676) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:13PM (#16126743)
    Plus, while there's likely to be a correlation between exit polls and what people voted, there's no way to rule out a self-selection. Maybe Kerry supporters were more likely to answer the poll. Maybe people were embarrassed to admit they voted for Bush and lied on the exit poll. Maybe the people taking the exit poll rigged the exit poll for Kerry.

    Perhaps, but why have exit polls been so amazingly accurate in the past - and now, when anomalies turn up, the exit polls don't match for those places where weird shit was going on, like voters being turned away from the polls, or machines malfunctioning?

    On a related note, I love the duality of various far-left Democrats,

    That doesn't make any sense. The terms "far left" and "Democrat" are mutually exlusive. Democrats are typically centrist, many of them increasingly right-leaning.

    howling at the same time that the current administration is completely incompetent, while at the same time accusing them of managing to conspire to rig the election.

    I don;t see the contradiction. They are incompetent at running the country, because they spend so much time on their corrupt self-serving schemes. Same with most bad politicians, of whatever persuasion

    If they can't keep secret prisons secret, what's the chance that they'd keep an election conspiracy secret?

    They can't, and they haven't. Anyone with their eyes open knows there's dodgy stuff going on. Of course, that doesn't mean most Americans care. Hell, we KNOW, for sure about hundreds of screw-ups and lies, and somehow Bush hasn't been impeached yet. They openly come out and advocate torture, and it seems nobody cares. Maybe it would be a different matter if the President got a Blow Job. Seems that harmless personal infidelity is evil in the eyes of the voters, but corruption on a massive scale is perfectly OK. People very quickly forget. How many people really even remember what happened at Abu Ghraib? How many people remember the "anthrax attacks" and who it was that was investigated for those?

    If people don't even remember such major events and atrocities, they aren't going to remember much about the fiascos in Ohio and Florida. It's basically been revealed that Diebold machines are easily hackable, and the people that run the company have partisan intentions. Where is all the outrage? Why isn't that issue being covered every day on the national news networks? Instead, all you get is celebrity gossip and talking points about Democrats "giving aid to the enemy" or being "terrorist sympathizers" and other such nonsense.

  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 0WaitState (231806) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:17PM (#16126757)
    Hundreds of examples of isolated incidents? Try 90,000 voters illegally and without notice removed from the Florida voter rolls [google.com] prior to the 2000 election.

    90,000 > 100, even for large values of 100.

    The rest of your logic makes no sense: of course Dem precincts complain about disenfranchisement in states with Republican-controlled voting systems (hello, Ohio, Florida).

    Tell you what--I'll agree that dirty electioneer tricks are a wash when I see both parties having results that are statistically unexpected. When I see some Dem upset wins in the face of pre and post election polling, to go along with the slew of Repub "upsets", then I'll think its "jest business, y'know?" There haven't been any in a long, long time.

    BTW, I do not mean an upset where a candidate started behind in the polls months before the election then came to a win, I mean one where the polls the weeks and days before the election say A wins by 5%, the exit polls say A wins, and yet B somehow squeaks through on the basis of late reporting results, always it's the late, late reporting precincts that push the poll-defying winner over the top.

    Six years of one party rule has not been six years of peace and prosperity. I want to make be we can throw the bums out when they screw up, Dem or Repub.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:19PM (#16126775) Homepage Journal
    I bet you didn't say anything like that in public in 1996 when Clinton was reelected, reassuring us that any purported Democratic vote fraud was "nothing new, don't worry your pretty little head about it".

    Democrats didn't "stand by idly", but were locked out of any action. As you'd know if you'd RTFA, rather than just rush to First Post some spin to excuse Republican vote fraud "because everyone does it".

    Don't you think that Harris saying 2004 in Ohio was as bad as it's ever been, meaning it's worse than almost every other election? If 2006 is rigged even worse, will that still be OK? Where is your limit to accepting vote fraud, where you no longer think "bad enough" is OK? When Democrats do it someday?
  • Re:Moo (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ThreeE (786934) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:25PM (#16126805)
    I can't agree. I think people should be free to express their opinion as they see fit. If they don't want to vote, they shouldn't be forced to. Why encourage people who know nothing about the election to randomly vote? Encouraging civic responsibility is great -- forcing people to go to the polls and punch the left hand column is bad.
  • by Chardish (529780) <`chardish' `at' `gmail.com'> on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:27PM (#16126818) Homepage
    Seeing as this is a 4-month-old political opinion piece of a speculative, conspiratorial nature that doesn't even pretend to promote an unbiased or nonpartisan viewpoint, what business does it have on Slashdot?

    If Slashdot is going to be linking to Robert Kennedy, Jr's writings, it better also link to those of Rush Limbaugh, Michael Moore, Al Franken, and Bill O'Reilly. Frankly, I'd rather Slashdot stay away from all of them.

    I wish the article itself could be modded down to -1 Flamebait.
  • Re:Moo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TrekkieGod (627867) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:27PM (#16126824) Homepage Journal
    I don't know how things work there, but maybe voting in at least presidental elections should be required to maintain your US citizenship. The ability to (partially) elect your own goverment is what makes America so great, but it gets screwed up if people don't vote. I guess most people just don't care.

    I don't know how it works in Australia, but I lived in Brazil for a long time, where it is also compulsory to vote. What they do is make your life difficult if you don't have the receipt that says you voted in the last election (they require the receipts in order for you to get renewed documents such as passports, etc). Thus, the system works in that people do vote. The argument there is similar to the one you're making. You have the right to vote, so you should damn well use it, because that's what makes a democratic government great. I disagree with that in so many ways that I can't cover it all, but I'll just discuss the major problems with it right now.

    I suppose the most important reason is the practical one: It doesn't work. They can make you vote but they can't make you care. The ballots were secret as they are here (a very good thing), so there were a large number of nullified ballots by people who just didn't want to vote. Essentially, they'd check the mark next to all the candidates, making the ballot worthless. They're doing the electronic voting there too now, but that's after I moved out, so I have no idea if the software disallows that. If the software does prohibit you from doing that, it puts you in a much scarier situation. I imagine most people who didn't care would simply vote for the first person on the list.

    The second reason why voting shouldn't be compulsory also relates to the fact that most people don't care. You say that the system gets screwed up if people don't vote, but I claim it gets screwed up even more when people who don't do their research vote. I really hate the whole "get out and vote" campaigns because they make it seem like just showing up and voting satisfies all your civic responsibilities. It's not about just making a decision, it's about making an informed decision (although I guess "The Decider" would disagree). I'd be seriously in favor of the "Get out and learn about the candidate's track records, their proposals, and the success rate of similar actions to the ones they are proposing in the past, then vote for the best candidate" campaign, but people don't seem to want to do the hard things. Frankly, people who just show up and vote based on the fact that, "I don't like the damn republicans, I shall vote democrat" or "I'm conservative, I shall vote republican" are ruining for the rest of us who are actually doing our research.

    Finally, there's the freedom argument. I don't like any laws that restricts people's freedoms. Your right to not vote is as important to me as your right to vote. If you want to vote I'll fight against anyone trying to prevent you to do so, regardless of whether or not I agree with who you are voting for. If you do not want to vote, I'll fight against anyone trying to make you do that.

  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0WaitState (231806) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:32PM (#16126854)
    Socialised med.

    So Britain, Canada, Italy, Germany, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, etc. are all left-wing exteremists. Ok...

    Gun control (other then hitting what your aiming at).

    Six years of Republican rule, and we still have gun control. If this is such an extreme left-wing issue, how come they haven't done something about it?

    BTU taxes, Koyoto treaty.

    Actually, these are economic issues, not liberal: BTU taxes and Kyoto treaty is about paying for what you use. There is economic value to dumping your trash (waste, exhaust, etc) without having to pay for it. The above is about measuring and billing for what you dump.

    World court. Loss of sovernty to the UN.

    Sorry dude, but you're drinking some serious bunker koolaid there.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:33PM (#16126861) Homepage Journal
    >Nothing new has happened on either side in 2000 or 2004 that hasn't ever happened before.

    In 2000 and again in 2004 the elections in a swing state were supervised by one candidate's bleeding *campaign manager*. That lethally toxic level of conflict of interest may have happened before, but it can't have been often, and it's always unforgivable.

    >we have people who literally believe something will cause a suspension of the 2008 elections, allowing Bush to remain in power.

    Simple fact, not conspiracy theory or opinion, is that the DHS has already studied how to postpone a Presidential election [cnn.com]. Official denials that anyone would ever do this came in short order, from Condi Rice and maybe others.

    An election might result in someone who critizes the government coming to power. Ashcroft told the Senate Judiciary Committee in December 2001 "to those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty; my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists". Add the John Yoo theory of unlimited war powers. Follow the logic a short distance. Can a nation at war risk the election of a government that will "aid" the enemy?

    Yes, elections are in the Constitution, but then so is habeas corpus (Article I, Section 9): so is Congressional authority "To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces" (Article I Section 8), while this administration claims that Congress can't even outlaw torture: so is a prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure: so is a speedy and public trial: so is a ban on torture (8th amendment): so is the exclusive authority of Congress to declare war (Article I Section 8): so is free speech, but someone who holds up a "No War for Oil" sign in a crowd of pro-Bush demonstrators has been arrested and prosecuted.

    >people who believe that with all their heart - growing mostly because of the internet, and sources of information that reinforce what they want to believe - are actually more of a threat to our system of government than anything else.

    "The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime, and the punishment of his guilt."

      John Philpot Curran
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:2, Insightful)

    by canicus (670885) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:35PM (#16126878)
    If you can't read that, then I certainly hope you didn't vote. How could you ever read one of the lengthier articles out there to inform yourself?
  • Re:Moo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by monoqlith (610041) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:40PM (#16126903)

    Oh goodie, another opportunity for Democrats to bitch about losing in 2004 and blame anyone but themselves. Run a decent candidate (Kerry was not it) and you'll have better results.

    Ignoring the fact that you have failed to rebut any of the facts or arguments presented in the article:

    1. Use a word processor to replace references to Kerry and Bush and election 2004 in that article with other names and a different election.

    2. Read the article.

    3. Note whether you form emotions of anger or if there is a "salty discharge" flowing down your cheeks due to feelings of sadness.

    Because what the article shows is that regardless of who "won" that election, our election system as 1) far from perfect and 2) even outright broken.

    Now, the fact that there is even a case to be made here means that our election system is seriously flawed. Counting is a mechanical process - it should not be subject to even the slightest error, and therefore should not be subject to even the slightest doubt. Transparency and perfection are achievable. And yet, at every turn, Mr. Kennedy has been able to show the continuing presence of openings and loopholes and conflicts of interest in the counting process and the registration process.

    Now, why haven't we reformed the election process? It's in everyone's interest to make sure that the will of the people is realized, correct? It's in everyone's interest to see that the votes are counted and that we live in a truly Democratic society, right? Or is it?

    This is so very important. Unless we establish transparency and reliability in our voting system we are forfeiting our democracy itself.

    The Kennedy article was a rehash of all the nonsense liberals have been spewing since 2004.

    Since 2004 Republicans have been calling these accusations "nonsense" when it appears to be in their interest to settle the question (and thereby obtain a stronger mandate) by discrediting the facts at hand. And yet this hasn't happened. A mandate was asserted even without rigorous testing of the election results. And here you are, defaming the article and its author as "nonsensical" without actually countering any of the facts.

    It's almost like one side is screaming "Our democrcacy is dying" and the other side responds by tacitly and cynically admitting "Haven't you heard? Our democracy is already dead."

    So the article itself was redundant when Kennedy wrote it.

    As your best friend forever George W. Bush has stated, "Sometimes you need to repeat the truth over and over, so it sinks in." In this case, of course, the "real truth" is what's at stake, and we have an obligation to discover what the real truth is, and repair it if it offends us. Lots of credible people are still reporting on this issue, yet, for some reason, it hasn't made its way into the mainstream media besides in minimal ways.

    And it's been months since it was published, so why exactly is it suddenly news now?

    Good f*cking question. Nothing in our society stays relevant. Important articles disappear all the time - we live in an information world where, regardless of actual relevancy, nothing stays relevant for more than 24 hours. Or it could just be a collective will of our news media not to "rock the boat" too much, as I believe Keith Olbermann points out in the article.

    Oh, that's right, because the elections are just over a month away and the Democrats are offering no clear and concise alternative to Republicans so all they can do is rehash the same assertions they've been making since 2004. Heck, let's be honest, since 2000. The close election of 2000 and the close election of 2004 gave them the idea that if they try to highlight how close the election was and try to make the case that they should've won, people won't realize they have no platform themselves.

  • by bnenning (58349) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:47PM (#16126932)
    Bush *is* an illegitimately elected aspirant dictator, a large scale mass murderer, and a war criminal.

    This is why you guys are going to keep losing. As a conservative who actually believes in limited government and individual freedom, I strongly disagree with the current Republican leadership on many issues. But when the opposition is this unhinged, all I can do is either leave my ballot blank or "waste" it on a third party.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:51PM (#16126956)
    Do you have anything to refute the content and the facts laid out in the article? It doesn't matter who the source is. It matters if it's true or not. Show me any human on this planet who is not biased.

    Argue with the argument, not the arguer.


    Been there, done that.

    Arguing with fraudsters is like arguing with a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. As soon as you demonstrate that one part of their evidence is either bogus or had no significant impact on the election, they'll move on to the next supposed conspiracy to steal the election. Eventually, they start bringing up rumors and coincidences, which can't be disproven since it isn't evidence in the first place. Or else they accuse me of being a Republican stooge. But I'll give it a start anyway with the Diebold claim.

    Only 2 out of Ohio's 88 counties used Diebold machines in 2004. The vast majority of counties used punch-card ballots. So then how are the machines "particularly from Diebold" supposed to have "skewed results in the GOP's favor", as the article claims? If there was any significant bias, wouldn't those two counties have stuck out like a sore thumb, if they are to account for Bush's margin of 118,000 votes?

    But in fact, comparing 2000 to 2004, Bush's margin decreased pretty evenly throughout Ohio. If the Republicans gamed the Diebold machines, then they also managed to ga
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Coryoth (254751) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:54PM (#16126968) Homepage Journal
    I agree that the polarization is getting worse, but I don't think the Internet is to blame. I believe the traditional coalitions of "left" and "right" that once wanted similar things (and differed only on the details) are drifting further apart as the extremists take control of the respective major parties. In the past (past 30-40 years), it typically happened to only one party and the other captured the "center".

    The parties aren't getting wider apart in their policy, they are simply getting more divisive in the marketing. In practice the two parties are more similar in ideology than ever. Certainly they're more similar in methodology than ever - politics has ceased to be about ideas or leadership and has become about marketing, focus groups, and push button issues. The key to political campaigns in this day and age is analyse your potential voters and find whatever issues have emotional ties. Usually those issues are trivial ones because ultimately it's the little things that we encounter in day to day life that irk us, it's the things that often don't matter in the grand scheme that tend to piss us off in that deep emotional way that is being exploited by politicians. Once the political strategists have gotten a decent list of irrelevant but emotionally charged issues they use them as convenient push buttons to try and herd people in the direction they want. But they've gotten so obsessed with all the trivial issues themselves that they don't even have a direction anymore and are, ultimately, themselves driven by whatever helps them push the electorates buttons. Mostly that means cash for marketing campaigns. Both major parties in the US have become parties of corporate control. Sure they have their hand picked issues to bicker over, and certainly those are highly emotionally charged issues so that they're highly divisive, but ultimately they re both selling the same thing.

    So let's repeat that: the parties haven't gotten more extremist over the last few decades. Rather they have simply gotten a lot better at mining the public psyche to find out what particular issues and bullet points currently carry the greatest emotional weight, and at focussing all discussion on those bullet points. Instead of considering the powerpoint style rhetoric on the hot button issues of the day, try comparing actual legislative records - what actually gets done - and compare that to legislative records of the past: In practical terms the two parties are more similar than ever.
  • by Roger Wilcox (776904) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:57PM (#16126991)
    All of these ad-hominem attacks on Robert Kennedy and Rolling Stone do nothing to address the questions that the article raises. They do allow many responders to sidestep the issues and smile smugly to themselves.

    Nowhere in Kennedy's article or in the discussion of his article here on Slashdot has anyone claimed that Democrats are angels sent from Heaven to save us from the evil GOP. Many responders have pointed out that the Dems cheat as well, and no one is trying to refute this.

    If you wish to convincingly discredit the arguments presented in the article (which, by the way, are backed with extensive reference material,) point out where its arguments are flawed. I have no doubt that Kennedy and the rest of the people that worked on research for this article put countless hours into assembling and analyzing the information it presents. Your quick and derisive response shows that you didn't even bother to think about the information that the article brings to the table. If you think that they are full of shit (and many of you seem to,) show the rest of us where they are pulling the wool over our eyes so that we might be enlightened as well. If they are fabricating the material in this article, I think we'd all appreciate reasoned evidence that they are doing so.

    Obviously, there are people in here who are supporters of the Bush administration who do not want to hear that their pony is a cheater. Consider though, that a system which continues to allow anyone to cheat - your pony or mine - is headed to a bad place.
  • Yeah but (Score:2, Insightful)

    by /dev/trash (182850) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:59PM (#16127006) Homepage Journal
    Midterns are in 2 months. Can't have any Republicans win, now can we?
  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Sunday September 17, 2006 @08:04PM (#16127036) Journal
    You have no point, just propaganda.

    The argument is that we should've investigated. Are you honestly arguing that we shouldn't investigate until we have proof? The whole point of an investigation is to find proof, one way or the other!

    Please read this until you understand. Please do not reply with the same illogical line you keep repeating.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mr2001 (90979) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @08:15PM (#16127105) Homepage Journal
    And yes, politicians always lie, but when you say "Iraq has WMD", and you genuinely believe it (especially since the collective intelligence communities of the Western world believed it, the UN "believed" [un.int] it (but wasn't ready to commit to military action for a wide variety of reasons), and Saddam himself believed it), and then it later turns out to not be true, is that a "lie"?

    If you believe it based on a gut feeling rather than evidence, it's incompetence. We legitimately expect our leaders to do their best to find out in good faith whether what they're saying is true. For that purpose, it doesn't matter how many other people believe it; an opinion poll is only evidence of those opinions, not the underlying facts.

    Now, if you do have evidence, but it comes from a group you set up specifically to find evidence that supports your position, while ignoring evidence to the contrary--and especially if you force the inspectors on the ground out before they can reach a conclusion that might contradict you--then you may as well be lying. In that case, what you're doing is setting yourself up so you can believe something that isn't true. The difference between that and a more blatant lie is just philosophical nitpicking: you're lying to yourself by relying on cherry-picked intelligence, so the things you say based on that are either lies, or as close to lies as you can possibly get.
  • Re:Moo (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Liam Slider (908600) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @08:27PM (#16127167)

    You know what these stories and rants always fail to mention? That the Democrats cheat very heavily in elections as well. I don't think there's been a legitimate major election in Illinois (a Democrat stronghold) in decades, here we get dead people signed up to vote, fictional people voting, absentee votes coming from non-existance addresses....all votes for the Democrats. On top of that there's all sorts of fraud and corruption at pretty much all levels. And the Democrats haven't been above tactics like "slash the tires of the cars of volunteers of the opposition", or having the cops called with bogus complaints.

    The Democrats cheat just as much, if not more than the Republicans....that in 2004 they just weren't as good as the Republicans at it is no reason to go whining about "stolen" elections.

  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vijayiyer (728590) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @08:30PM (#16127174)
    In the United States, the Democrats, for the most part, are firmly against checking ID when voting, with the reasoning that it discriminates against those without ID. Unfortunately, that destroys the integrity of the voting process.
  • by Deadplant (212273) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @08:37PM (#16127201)
    All these arguments about who's more biased or who has "sour grapes" are anti-intellectual clap-trap that serve only to stiffle open discussion of vitally important issues.

    Evidence of Democratic fraud does not invalidate evidence of Republican fraud.
    It is not "OK" if both sides cheated. Evidence that both sides cheated re-inforces the conclusion that the election was invalid.

    Why do people keep doing that? countering accusations of fraud with counter-accusations of fraud? It does not follow from that argument that the election result was an accurate tally of voter intentions, quite the contrary. Are people seriously suggesting that we make an assumption that the level of fraud was "probably about even repub/dem" so we don't need to recount?

    I also don't understand why there is any opposition to counting ballots.
    If results are very close and/or if anyone doubts the validity of the results I can think of no legitimate reason to refuse to count the paper ballots.
    Except one: cost. I have a hard time believing that americans are willing to forgo double-checking their election results because it would cost too much.
    Am I the only one here who thinks that fighting to stop a ballot recount should be a criminal offence?
  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @08:39PM (#16127215)
    particular points worth expending mod points for:

    Evidence of Democratic fraud does not invalidate evidence of Republican fraud.
    It is not "OK" if both sides cheated. Evidence that both sides cheated re-inforces the conclusion that the election was invalid.
    Am I the only one here who thinks that fighting to stop a ballot recount should be a criminal offence?

  • Re:Moo (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 17, 2006 @08:48PM (#16127256)
    Absolutely. All those talking points being parroted by the mindless drones of the media come back to mind:

      Kerry = flip flopper (whatever the fuck that means).
      The sordid Swift Boat fiasco, while Bush = Hero (even though he was AWOL for a year and a half). There is a deep, deep circle of hell awaiting Karl Rove.
      A vote for Kerry is a vote for Bin Laden.

    In fact, the CIA has officially stated that the Bin Laden tape was put out to scare americans into voting for Bush. Which is to say, Bin Laden wanted Bush to win. Which was obvious. But the press took the grey lard between peoples' ears and molded it in exactly the opposite direction. I can think of nothing worse than being ignorant and scared, and that's precisely what the american press has done to a large amount of its' people.

    Who were partners in the failed oil venture Arbusto Inc back in the early nineties? Poppa Bush and Salim Bin Laden (one of Osama's big brothers).
    Hey, just keep this tidbit a secret, 'cause whenever Bush supporters hear that one, they foam at the mouth and start screaming "bloody treason, you goddamned liberals, you want the terrorists to win blah blah blah". Well no, 'cause what I'm actually saying is that your beloved president has been compromised.
  • Re:Moo (Score:1, Insightful)

    by cheater512 (783349) <nick@nickstallman.net> on Sunday September 17, 2006 @08:48PM (#16127258) Homepage
    The fact is you have to go vote. Most people wouldnt go to the bother to go vote and then submit a invalid vote.
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Sunday September 17, 2006 @09:03PM (#16127318) Journal
    For that matter, how about JFK's run in 1960? Nixon knew all about the graveyard vote in Chicago, and the ballot-box stuffing in West Virginia, but he decided that calling for a recount would damage the country. He chose instead to run again another day. If Gore had taken the high road in 2000, instead of letting his campaign staff go on a tear of blaming everyone from Katherine Harris to Ralph Nader, he probably could have won in 2004.

    -jcr
  • Here, Here! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gd2shoe (747932) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @09:11PM (#16127344) Journal

    At least in the states, mandatory voting would be bad. "Mandatory caring" (not possible) would be decent though...

  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @09:18PM (#16127366)
    Their platform as it stands now:

    -withdraw from iraq, try to do so gracefully since were damned if we stay and damned if we go.
    -undo the damage to our civil liberties done by the patriot act
    -reform social security by removing the blatant privatization bush put in which basically amounts to abolshment (but with the added benefit of commissions to brokers before your stock tanks)
    -Universal health care (which responds to the increasing 10s of millions of people without healthcare, and which they make a damned good economic case for!)
    -Investigation into bush's illegal activites, followed hopefully by impeachment
    -Investigation into oil companies among others for gouging.

    Among others.. it's all laid out..

    Big media is owned by republicans so you don't see it.. listen to air america and they spend each and every day spelling out those exact same points.


  • 1. Yes, it really does matter.
    2. I have collected links [blogspot.com] to hair-raising material on the Ohio 2004 election, and they are just the tip of the iceberg; it was a complete scam.
    3. There is a good new documentary coming out, Stealing America [blogspot.com], by emmy award winning film maker Dorothy Fadiman.
  • by 1053r (903458) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @09:22PM (#16127388)
    From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:
    "Election of President of the United States and Vice President of the United States is indirect. Presidential Electors are chosen by the popular vote every four years on Election Day. Although ballots list the names of the presidential candidates, voters within the 50 states and the District of Columbia are actually choosing Electors when they vote for President and Vice President. These Presidential Electors in turn cast the official (electoral) votes for those two offices."
    (emphasis added)

    I find it amazing the sheer number of americans who find time to bitch about the government and don't take the time to understand it. Maybe 1 out of every 5 people I'll talk to know that you aren't voting for the president when it comes time to vote. Having moved from canada just 6 years ago, and knowing more about american government than most americans do, I find this very sad.

    It's a few months before the congressional election, and /. is waiting till NOW to publish this story? I mean, this was A) A Rolling Stone story and B) A June Article. Something that was published THREE MONTHS ago IS NOT NEWS. Secondly, when did Rolling Stone become a reliable news source that was fair and balanced? When did they suddenly become political experts?

    (I am neither Democrat nor Republican, I am for which is actually making sense, and who I happen to agree with at the time, unlike some who are fanatically and unwaveringly either on the right or left)
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LionKimbro (200000) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @09:41PM (#16127466) Homepage
    Hm; This seems to be mainly metaphysical calculation in your head: "Center: Good, Off-Center: Bad."

    "Of course, it didn't happen. And it's about as likely to happen this time."

    One is spoken of in terms of a certainty, the other in terms of a probability.

    Nary a shred of evidence, not even an argument.

    Just: "Probably not." "I don't think so." "I don't know, and it's not worth checking."

    Fascinating.

    You can get away with anything, when people think like this.

    I think it's good that you can cast off concerns about the world for a time, hole up in yourself, and so on. But I wouldn't go around encouraging others to do so.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KingSkippus (799657) * on Sunday September 17, 2006 @09:42PM (#16127470) Homepage Journal
    "Discriminates against the homeless" is a perfect excuse for allowing people to double- and triple-vote. Of course, getting a false driver's license is also a way to multiple-vote.

    It doesn't matter, you can't discriminate against the homeless, period. (Duh.) They are, for the most part, citizens, too, and therefore, have the right to vote. If it comes down to discriminating against the homeless or figuring something else out, well, we'll just have to figure something else out. Or else next time, maybe we'll just discriminate against you.

    Maybe the Iraqi ink-stain is the best way to ensure single-voting. But I still want each voter to have a signed gov't picture ID.

    Why? Does anyone else remember the "good old days" when the people in this country didn't have to show thier "papers" just to exercise their basic rights?

    A literacy test would also be useful. But not a poll tax.

    I hate to burst your bubble, but I run across people with the nutty idea of keeping certain undesirable U.S. citizens from voting a lot. Wake up, Sherlock, illiterate people have just as much right to choose who represents them as literate people do.

    It sure would be personally convenient for me if the country was run by people who catered to people just like me. Unfortuantely, I don't get that luxury, and neither do you. The purpose of government is to represent all of the people: black, red, yellow and white; male and female; smart and stupid; rich and poor; everyone.

  • Re:Cry Cry Cry (Score:4, Insightful)

    by plasmacutter (901737) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @10:47PM (#16127521)
    If you consider a conservative like kerry a "far left" democrat than you don't want "middle of the road".. you want hard right.

      (He can best be considered a centerist, but he's more conservative than clinton.. a democrat who friggin deregulated several industries for christ sake!)

    Ever since reagan we've had center, right, and wackjob hard-right.

    Both bush's were wackjob hard-right, reagan was between right and wackjob hard-right, clinton was centerist, and kerry was at best center-right.

    You don't want "middle of the road", and if you consider right "middle of the road" than you need to stop watching fox news and listening to hannity and re-evaluate your outlook on the world.
  • So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by a_nonamiss (743253) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @11:17PM (#16127625)
    I wasn't going to post in this thread, but "The Man" probably already has a file on me, so I'll go ahead and excercise my first amendment rights and comment.

    My comment is this: so what? The president cheated. It seems pretty clear that something fishy was going on in the 2004 election. I am from Ohio, I saw as our shameful Secretary of State (possibly our future governor) stood by his man and took 3rd party candidates off the ballot to make it easier for his master to get re-elected. As much as I didn't want Bush re-elected, I accepted the "truth" like everyone else did. I was even suspiscious. But what's going to happen? Is the Republican controlled Congress going to investigate? Is the Republican appointed Supreme Court going to invalidate the election two years after the fact? Is an armed militia going to march down to the White House and give control back to the people?

    No. None of this is going to happen. As much as our commander in chief goes around waving his flag and talking about how we are "spreading freedom" across the globe, we have lost our freedom in this country. Even if this article is 100% true, nothing will ever come of it. You know why? There are two ways of dealing with those who dissent. One way is to kill them all. Stalin did this, and it worked for a while, but he tends to be frowned upon by history. The other way is to just ignore them. What are they going to do? Post an angry article in their blogs? Write a letter to their congressman? Write and host a satirical fake news show? Even worse, are they going to show the fat cats in Washington and run for office themselves? At the end of the day, nothing will happen. Don't think that the Democrats are any better. The illusion of politics is that you actually have a choice. You don't. All the people in power just take turns passing it around to each other. They pretend to disagree about the issues, but they all have one thing in common. They all want to wear the crown and carry the sceptre. The most devious ones make it to the top, and the others end up getting jobs as high paid lobbyists or fade out of existance.

    So here is what I'm choosing to do. I'm not stupid enough to fight the system. It's like swimming against a rip tide. You swim and swim against the current, and you never get anywhere. Eventually it takes you out to sea, and you die. Instead, I'm going to make the best life I can for myself and my family. I stand up for my rights where I can. I write my congressman, and read about the issues, but I don't fool myself into thinking I can make a difference. Most importantly, I put blind faith in the idea that what goes around comes around. I am not a member of an organized religion, but I'm not arrogant enough to think I know how the universe works. I think there are other facets to our existance that we can't even begin to comprehend. I believe that in some way, in some form, the people who do evil in this world face subsequent consequences in the next. I strive to be the best person I can in this one, and hopefully I will be rewarded. If not, hey, at least I didn't waste my whole life on this Earth stressed out about something I can't do anything about. Sometimes, the blue pill isn't all that bad.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hswerdfe (569925) <.slashdot.org. . ... .swerdfeger.com.> on Sunday September 17, 2006 @11:23PM (#16127648) Homepage Journal
    your system of government has created this 2 party polerized state.
    Its a winner take all system with no room to encurage the middle ground.
    you need to move to a system that allows voters to come to a comprimise,
    I would suggest getting rid of the office of president all togeather.
    but if you must still have it use a ranked ballot of some sort.
    Condorcet would be my first choice but honestly anything is better then your current system.
  • by zubernerd (518077) * on Sunday September 17, 2006 @11:25PM (#16127657)
    And Dave Schroeder, regardless of whatever it is that would make you try to defend him, to Hell with you.

    The above comment epitomize what, in part, I believe is wrong with political discourse in this country (USA). We can't disagree in a civil manner. No, no, no... We have to turn around and name call and tell people to "rot in hell" among other things. Our debates turn into the fights small children have:

    Child 1 to Child 2: "you're a poop poop head"
    Child 2 to Child 1: "You're a ca-ca face"

    Except replace the names with nastier ones.
    You don't have to agree with your oppenent, but remember they're a human being too. Be civil.
  • by kaffiene (38781) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @11:26PM (#16127660)
    I'm not an American. I am gob-smacked at the head-in-the-sand attitude being displayed by Republican supporters on Slashdot.

    From the article:

    "According to the exit poll, Kerry should have received sixty-seven percent of the vote in this precinct. Yet the certified tally gave him only thirty-eight percent. The statistical odds against such a variance are just shy of one in 3 billion."

    This is something to be VERY concerned about, not to be brushed aside with some facile quip.

    The article also mentions the fact that the Democrats don't seem to be pushing the issue of electorial fraud, which rather puts the lie to all the posters claiming that this is about Democrats not accepting defeat. The reality is, that had this election been held in a third world country, we would all be decrying it as a case of clear electorial tampering and demanding a fresh election with neutral observers in place.

    When you fail to care whether the electorial process was tampered with, you fail to care about democracy at all. What's more important? GW winning or democracy itself? To me, that's a no brainer, but clearly that's not the case for many of the Republican supporters here and as a member of TheRestOfTheWorld, that's a real worry for me. You need to sort your priorities out.
  • Re:Moo (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DavidTC (10147) < ... > <neverbox.com>> on Sunday September 17, 2006 @11:34PM (#16127693) Homepage

    Of course, even if the election of 1960 was stolen, it was to get JFK in office isntead of Nixon, whereas the election of 2004 was to keep GWB in office instead of any other random person.

    It's akin to the difference between robbing a bank so you can live in the Caymans the rest of your life, vs. robbing a bank so you can purchase and torture small children(1). The means might be identical, even the ends might be the same, being president, but the actual results varied rather largely.

    And now I'm imagining paranoid Nixon during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    1) Like John Yoo says, the president is legally allowed to crush the testicles of the children of people we suspect of being terrorists to make the parents talk.

  • Re:LIARS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ptbarnett (159784) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @11:36PM (#16127705)
    You cite Rice's reassurance that her gang won't postpone elections as reason to "cool the rhetoric"?

    I reminded someone else that apparently didn't read the cited article in the grandparent posting, but it's worth repeating:

    Rice made her comment about not postponing the elections in 2004, in response to concerns about discussion of what to do if terrorists tried to disrupt elections. This was shortly after the train bombings in Madrid, a few days before national elections in Spain.

    You can choose not to believe her. But you cannot dispute the fact that the 2004 elections were held.

    As the original poster cautioned: cool the rhetoric. The facts are making you look like a fool.

  • by ChePibe (882378) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @11:45PM (#16127738)
    -withdraw from iraq, try to do so gracefully since were damned if we stay and damned if we go.

    So, the Democrats' official position is that Iraq's hopeless? Wow, I'm inspired with confidence. The solution of "no solution". Great.

    -undo the damage to our civil liberties done by the patriot act

    Yes, because the majority of the U.S. population is so pissed off that you can look at library records. Forgive me, but the PATRIOT Act is by far the least of my concerns. As someone who has done more than his fair share of studying national security issues, I recognize the need for something that goes well beyond FISA, which was designed to operate against different kinds of threats.

    -reform social security by removing the blatant privatization bush put in which basically amounts to abolshment (but with the added benefit of commissions to brokers before your stock tanks)

    Make Social Security insoluble. Great. Pardon me as I run for the ballot box...

    -Universal health care (which responds to the increasing 10s of millions of people without healthcare, and which they make a damned good economic case for!)

    Because it's worked oh so well for Europe and Canada! Quick, let's all jump on that bandwagon! And where do you plan on getting the funding for all of this?

    -Investigation into bush's illegal activites, followed hopefully by impeachment

    DOWN WITH BUSHITLER! Please, did you bother to read the post above?

    -Investigation into oil companies among others for gouging.

    Because there could only be one source for all the world's problems - rich people.

    Among others.. it's all laid out..

    I sincerely hope this isn't a serious party platform. Please, please tell me that your post is some kind of sick joke. No serious group could put this forward and expect people to vote for them.

    Big media is owned by republicans so you don't see it.. listen to air america and they spend each and every day spelling out those exact same points.

    And, of course, the big time media conspiracy theory which I don't buy from the right wing and find particularly fatuous when coming from the left. Yes, I must listen to the great Air America and exorcise the right wing demons like Ted Turner! Save me! Why, I've been wasting all of this time reading ridiculous publications like Foreign Affairs [foreignaffairs.org], Policy Review [policyreview.org], and the Christian Science Monitor [csmonitor.com] when I could've been listening to some idiot and paid political actor with a BA in Government tell me what to think in the form of nice, compact bumper sticker slogans! Oh, the fool I must be! I must throw away my entire library of books written by influential political thinkers and replace it with Al Franken and Noam Chomsky ravings!

    If you're looking to convince me your party has anything resembling a platform, you've failed miserably.
  • Re:Moo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Peter Cooper (660482) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @11:46PM (#16127747) Homepage Journal
    What would happen if you walked in, ticked your name off, then didn't vote and just wrote "Screw you!" on the ballot paper. It's a secret ballot, right? So you didn't vote, but.. you kinda did. That's what I'd do.
  • Re:Thank you, sir. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by caffiend2049 (984834) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @11:52PM (#16127769)
    In large part, I agree with you. America has been in desperate need of an alternative to the "two sides of the same coin" party for a long time.

    I spent several election cycles fighting the idea that I was "throwing away my vote" by actively supporting a third party candidate. Voting for someone you don't trust or believe in is the definition of throwing away one's vote as far as I am concerned.

    But dire times call for desperate measures. Sometimes the devil you know is so bad that you couldn't possibly do worse picking one you don't know. What I find the most intriguing is the bait and switch of calling for specifics in a platform...only to attack the details of these plans when they are made public. It's a common tactic and the major reason that almost no one in government can actually talk about what they want to do before having the power to move it forward. The concept of good faith bipartisan negotiation is at a nadir.

    At this point, each of the two megaparties have but one plank in the platform....win the election by any means. Unfortunately for the Dems, the means by which they try to put forth ideas is often still rooted in the antiquated tradition of debate and discussion. This often makes them appear unfocused and at odds with one another.

    The republicans, on the other hand, often take the tack of supporting the party's leadership no matter what - it's a topdown world on the right. And this is IMO why they have been crushing the opposition in the past few cycles. It's also why I'm more likely to vote Dem this year.

    You can't run a democracy with an authoritarian regime. And the characteristics that have made the Repubs successful are not what I need bleeding out into the mechanizations of how the country is run.

    Can anyone argue that this isn't already happening?

  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:02AM (#16127795)
    Let's just check out what passes for extreme left in the US.

    Socialised med.

    Most of the developed world has this.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publicly-funded_healt h_care#Varieties_of_public_systems [wikipedia.org]

    Gun control (other then hitting what your aiming at).

    Gun licences and banning of semi-automatic weapons, again, most of the developed world.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_control#Specific_ locales [wikipedia.org]

    BTU taxes.

    Hey, I wonder, if the US had something like this, might they have avoided building TANKS and calling them cars? Like most of the rest of the developed world?

    Kyoto treaty.

    Signed by (join in if you know the words) most of the developed world, and the developing for that matter. In fact, signed by just about everyone except the US and (sadly) Australia.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Kyoto_Protoco l_signatories [wikipedia.org]

    World court.

    Because no-one should really have to be accountable for war crimes. Again, agreed to by most of the developed world.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Parties_of_the_ International_Criminal_Court [wikipedia.org].

    Loss of sovernty to the UN.

    Because the UN has such a HUGE army, and the US has no say in the resolutions of the UN, and the US has no choice but to enact these resolutions. You're really clutching at straws there.

    So basically, all the terrible left wing liberal ideas you're so afraid of are considered normal for the rest of the developed world. Who do you reckon is right, your or us? Oh, I forgot, you're America, of course you're right.
  • by DisKurzion (662299) on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:06AM (#16127812)
    Mod parent up. People love conspiracy theories against the party in power, and this is no different.

    That being said, if people really want change, they'll vote Libertarian. Democrats are the same as Republicans, except they take their money from different interest groups.
  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:15AM (#16127836)
    wow.. talk about right wing nutbag rant.. let's start from the beginning:

    So, the Democrats' official position is that Iraq's hopeless? Wow, I'm inspired with confidence. The solution of "no solution". Great.

    No.. that would be any sane person's official position. Ever hear of vietnam.. did you live through it.. ask anyone who lived through it what hope the united states has at imposing any kind of system when the existing system has popular support.

    Iraq is hopeless, we got ourselves into it with good intentions, bungled it horribly, and utterly failed to gain the public trust, now we're reaping what we sow.. which even the rightest of right wing news organizations now acknowledges as out and out civil war.

    there is a critical mass that wants us out and holds it against us for being there.. and there is also a significant portion who wants us to stay who will blame us if we leave. Since we're damned either way, our forces worldwide are stretched thin leaving us vulnerable to attack and incapable of responding to threats, and staying costs us more money and lives, leaving is the best option. Or maybe you want to stay and convince those few left who actually don't hate us that hating us is the right thing to do.

    Yes, because the majority of the U.S. population is so pissed off that you can look at library records. Forgive me, but the PATRIOT Act is by far the least of my concerns. As someone who has done more than his fair share of studying national security issues, I recognize the need for something that goes well beyond FISA, which was designed to operate against different kinds of threats.

    to paraphrase your statement "Oh trustworthy and competent government, please please PLEASE take away my civil liberties for the promise of security you can never deliver.. i know you can disappear me to prison for years without charges and torture me already... but I just want you to have more power"..

    trust me.. you are in the minority in this view, and the majority is really scared of the patriot act and people like you who support it, live with it.

    Make Social Security insoluble. Great. Pardon me as I run for the ballot box...

    better than making it "nonexistant".. by the way making it actually worth something to people by reforming it and undoing bush's rediculous privatization does not necessarily mean making it insoluble.. it may however mean that corporate executives will have to get 3 solid gold hum-v's this year instead of 4.

    Because it's worked oh so well for Europe and Canada! Quick, let's all jump on that bandwagon! And where do you plan on getting the funding for all of this?

    First off, those two systems may not be "perfect", but they still rank much higher than the US in health care quality, and further we have the benefit of being able to analyze where their mistakes were and correct them, second people pay out hundreds a month for company or personal plans.. guess where that money could go instead? Finally, 30% of the money paid into the healthcare system right now pays for the overhead of dealing with the many many MANY different processes of filing claims with half a billion different insurance systems. That 30% cost goes away with a proper national heathcare system.. as does the discriminatory denial of coverage for people for the slightest headache or zit on their face.
    If you'd think about things outside of your right-winger partisan box for a second you'd notice these possibilities. Maybe if your republican friends contributed their input would provide valuable perspective in ironing out potential problems. Instead they rig elections and preach shrilly about "godless communism" while selling the middle class off the big business.

    Because there could only be one source for all the world's problems - rich people.

    what poor person do you know that can lobby to congress for the erection of barriers to entry which destroy consumer choice and rights, how many poor people
  • Re:So what? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:33AM (#16127916)
    "I stand up for my rights where I can."

    Apparently you don't. Not according to your post.

    The only way that the people in power can seize control is with the fear or implicit consent of the populace. You've given consent by not trying to stop your criminal leaders.
  • by knifey (976510) on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:41AM (#16127942)
    Aussies (myself included) do tend to be defensive about our voting system. Because it works (even if we do currently have the government who coined the terms, "core and non-core promises"). And the reasons why it works for us maybe wouldn't work for other countries.

    For one, Australia has pretty damned close to 100% literacy. I've seen what this means, and it's not literacy as in read shakespeare fluently, but from what I've seen of else-where it still translates into a population massively more informed than (for example) the US.

    Media ownership control laws (which are currently in jeopardy) provide a slightly wider set of views, esp coupled with the government run media. (That sounds really stupid to anyone from a totalitarian country, but sadly, the most bipartisan media in Aust is the Australian Broadcasting Channel).

    There are several other factors like disallowing massive media campaigns that assist.

    Either way, your post was misinformed (or likely un-informed).

    And to add my 2c on America's issues.

    There are worse issues than the voting system. Population education being significant, which hinges again on media ownership. And lobby groups need to die. I have serious troubles believing that Americans can blindly accept such an institutionalised corruption.
    :-P
  • Re:Moo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by newhoggy (672061) on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:45AM (#16127961)
    Voting should be compulsory - if only to guarantee that the government can't take short cuts by, for example:

    only providing enough polling booths for the turnout based on the previous election

    turning voters away at voting day based on some dubious criteria

    disenfranchising working voters by holding elections on working days

    The benefit of maintaining the integrity of the voting system (from the point of the government properly administering an election) far outweighs the cost to the "right not to vote".

    Compulsory voting also diminishes the influence of ideologically extremists who vote not because they are informed.

    The ballot should be preferential and the first candidate should be "The ballot ends here", so if someone numbers the ballot straight down, it is an indication that the voter votes for no one solving your "scary" scenario.

  • by JimDaGeek (983925) on Monday September 18, 2006 @01:05AM (#16128020)
    For one, Australia has pretty damned close to 100% literacy. I've seen what this means, and it's not literacy as in read shakespeare fluently, but from what I've seen of else-where it still translates into a population massively more informed than (for example) the US.

    Australia has a 99.9% literacy rate while the USA has a 97.0% literacy rate. I would not call that "massively more informed". A lot of those that are counted as being illiterate in the USA are immigrants from Mexico. Mexico has a literacy rate of only 90.3%. Many of the immigrants that come to the USA do not speak, read or write English. It is very, very, very rare to find someone that was born and raised in the USA that does not know how to read and write at a basic level.
  • Re:Moo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by killjoe (766577) on Monday September 18, 2006 @01:08AM (#16128031)
    "Change Election Day from Tuesday to Saturday. "

    I'll go you one better.

    Change the election date to the fourth of july. What better way to celebrate your independence then to vote. It's a holiday, people are running around getting BBQ supplies and beer anyway. Just pull into the polling place on your way to the supermarket.

    Easy, simple, effective. There is no way it will get done.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DavidTC (10147) < ... > <neverbox.com>> on Monday September 18, 2006 @01:11AM (#16128047) Homepage

    No. Just, no.

    You are 90% correct, in that the two parties are mostly the same. However, the Administration we have is insane, and doesn't actually match either party, either what they actually believe or even claim to believe. One party is John Jackson, and one party is Jack Johnson, and the Administation is evil Richard Nixon, to make a Futurama reference.

    But the Republicans won't get rid of the Administration or even restrain it. They are enabling it to completely beat our military up against rocks until it breaks. They are enabling it to cause terrorism, and violating everything we stand for, by imprisoning innnocent people. They are enabling it to debate torture like it's some sort of fucking game that we might allow for political reasons, where there is no legal reason that Bush can't crush the testicles of innocent children if he thinks it might get us useful information.(1) They are enabling it to arguing that, yeah, wiretapping without warrant is illegal, but not the 'illegal' kind of illegal. They are enabling it to rip off the entire nation with no-bid contracts. They are enabling it to replace competant people, even in traditionally non-political ares of the executive branch, with incompetant cronies. They are enabling the Administration to literally destroy this nation.

    I don't get a flying fuck about what the Republicans 'policies' are at this point. I tended to agree with them about half the time, and the Democrats about half the time, but they have betrayed their duty to their country because of their loyality to party. If they'd have reversed course earlier, okay, they made a mistake. But it's too late now. I'll never vote for anyone who's still enabling the Administration ever again, under any circumstances, Democrat or Republican. I'll vote for the fucking Nazi party first...at least they're honest.

    1) I'm not kidding. Google it.

  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Monday September 18, 2006 @01:21AM (#16128075)
    Wow.. more frothing.. tons of it.. calling my argument "rediculous" without any basis..

    Also... people with Ph.D's in fields like those you are speaking about also tend to be in the elite echelons of the upper class, because those degrees tend to cost you more money than you make from them (without the right connections, of course.. wink wink).. and you wander why they espouse elitist right wing values and are listened to by elitist right wing leaders?

    Yes, we should really stick with the present social security system, which is bound for failure in the next few decades, just to make sure no one gets "solid gold hum-v's" (which should be HMMWV, but hey, it's not like you're concerned with accuracy). Riiiiight...

    You make the assumption that we would stick with the "present" social security system, reforming bush's policies does not necessarily mean putting in place the same old one that didn't work.. however restoring solvency would probably involve taxing the rich.. who have more than enough assets to bear that burdon without batting an eye..
    so it wouldnt be "just" so they wouldn't have sold gold hum-v's, they would be taxed for a purpose.. the point would be they can bear it quite easily though..

    if the government wants to invest money in a retirement account for me, I'd like the choice of where that money goes rather than trusting the government (something you obviously have issues with) to put it into a system which depends on birth rates the U.S.

    So you'd rather put it in the hands of the ken leighs of the world? Have a tenth of it eaten up in commissions?
    Did it ever occur to you that the majority of citizens view social security not as their retirement package but as a safety net, which is what it's supposed to be, immune to the instability of the stock market.. (after all social security was instituted after black tuesday wiped the nation's economy out.. do you want that to happen to your retirement fund?) Social security is managed by the government for stability. Maybe stronger protections need to be set up.. possibly constitutional.. to keep them from raiding the social security fund like they do.. maybe the press needs to be more responsible in decrying it.. but social security is supposed to function as a stable safety net, not a stock toy for every tom dick or harry to squander.

    Take a look at similar programs in countries whose present birth rate reflects what the U.S. birth rate will be in a few decades - here's a hint, it's not pretty. For someone who's supposedly so concerned about government intervention in our lives, working against a program that would allow people to exercise some freedom over how THEIR money is spent for THEIR retiremen see statements above

    But your positions aren't based on personal consistency - simply arguing the contrary of what someone you don't like says.

    that's funny.. everything I said is consistent, you simply try to assert otherwise without proof or substance in order to discredit what I say.

    Then again.. the end of your post was quite logical.. If I were crafting policy I would want you there for input, but dismissing policies which could be beneficial for the sake of one like "personal accounts" which do not fulfill the root purpose of social security is not the answer.

    s to the rest... heh, thanks for the laughs. It was a boring boring BORING
    Logic and reason are often boring.. theyre definitely not as interesting as dogma, zealotry, and irrationality. Then again, the government process is not supposed to be exciting.
    If you want exciting you should get into extreme sports, or war, or exploration, archaeology, humanitarian aid in dangerous places... become a reporter assigned to interview people in dangerous parts of the middle east and africa for instance.. that'll be exciting.

    repeat of the gibberish found throughout the left
    Since the left speaks clearly, but with great complexity, I can only assume you simply don't understand the complexity theyre trying to convey to you.. you insult yourself wrongly here.. because I honestly think you're more competent than that.
  • Oh man... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ChePibe (882378) on Monday September 18, 2006 @01:40AM (#16128132)
    I'm off to bed, so no time to even bother. Great way to lighten up the evening, though. Thanks once again for the laughs, especially this nugget:

    Since the left speaks clearly, but with great complexity, I can only assume you simply don't understand the complexity theyre trying to convey to you.. you insult yourself wrongly here.. because I honestly think you're more competent than that.

    Allow me to assure you that I hold no similar opinion of your intellect.

    Also... people with Ph.D's in fields like those you are speaking about also tend to be in the elite echelons of the upper class, because those degrees tend to cost you more money than you make from them (without the right connections, of course.. wink wink).. and you wander why they espouse elitist right wing values and are listened to by elitist right wing leaders?

    Ah, the left's distrust for science...

    I've got to go sleep so I can wake up with all the energy I need to keep down the teeming masses yearning to be free. Toddle back along to Kos and post away where your views won't be challenged, and you'll feel much better, I promise!

    Oh man... great times, great times.
  • by letxa2000 (215841) on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:02AM (#16128196)
    AA is fighting the right wing talk radio attitude with the same type of bullshit as the right wing,

    not true, they fight stupidity with reason.. oh the concept!


    Y'think? Back in March I was driving through Texas in the early AM and listening to talk radio to keep me company. The only station I found was an Air America station. The show that came on was Springer. So I listened to him. Now I've heard Rush's parodies, etc. so I was not surprised when Springer had the same idea. But you know what the parody was? It was basically making fun of the people that enlist in the military!! I couldn't believe it. It wasn't taking any shots at Bush but basically insulting those that are "stupid enough" to enlist. Amazing, but I let it go. Then not more than 10 minutes later Springer was bitching about how Rush was available in Iraq over military radio but Air America wasn't, and why was that? I actually grabbed my cell phone to call him and tell him, "Think about the damn parody you played not 10 minutes ago and ask yourself WHY the military isn't thrilled to broadcast you?" Unfortunately, the phone just rang and rang and rang. No-one even answered.

    Later in the day, I tuned to another station and caught some Rush. At some point I felt compelled to call... busy signal constantly until I gave up trying to call. I found that to be interesting in and of itself, i.e., the contrast to the unending-ring-and-no-answer of Springer.

    After Rush faded out, I again ended up catching Air America and for 20 minutes the guy (I don't remember his name, it was early afternoon mountain time) just sounded like an angry man that was doing nothing but complaining about "unfounded" rumors that Air America was going out of business in a couple of markets. He insisted it wasn't true and complained about conservative talk shows, and he sounded defiant. Basically he talked about nothing of interest for 20 minuts until I said, "Hell with this" and just listened to some music. I later found out that the markets he said weren't going out of business actually did go out of business. So much for honesty.

    I can understand that people have a difference of opinion, but there as a decidedly negative attitude on Air America. I would've enjoyed some liberal commentary, but there wasn't any. It was just angry bitter men that weren't talking about anything remotely interesting in regards to politics. They were insulting to the military, overly concerned with their own business prospects, and basically just depressing. Say what you want about Rush, he's entertaining and while he does rip on liberals, his attitude is positive.

    The energy is just different, and I think that's a difference in energy that goes beyond talk radio and is representative of Republicans and Democrats. That, too, is why Democrats continue to lose elections.

  • Re:Moo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 10Ghz (453478) on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:22AM (#16128252)
    So name an older democracy?


    Finland (first really democratic country in the world), Iceland and New Zealand come to mind. USA didn't become a real democracy until 1920, 14 years after Finland.
  • by volkris (694) <volkris@gmail.com> on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:44AM (#16128294)
    You overlook the obvious answer: Kerry supporters are the ones looking for change so it stands to reason that they'd be the ones more likely to voice that opinion to a survey taker.

  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Chas (5144) on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:47AM (#16128303) Homepage Journal

    So Britain, Canada, Italy, Germany, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, etc. are all left-wing exteremists. Ok...

    No. But none of those countries have a population of 300 MILLION people, with fully 1/3rd getting ready to hit retirement.

    Hit the CIA factbook and you'll see that, all together, the named countries only exceed the US population by about 15%. The cash outlay for something like that would be staggering.

    Six years of Republican rule, and we still have gun control. If this is such an extreme left-wing issue, how come they haven't done something about it?

    Because it's harder to repeal a bad law than it is to pass one.

    BTU taxes and Kyoto treaty is about paying for what you use.

    No, it's merely a set of socialist transfer payments to 3rd world countries. The US is already investing trillions in foreign aid. Why the fuck should we be required to pay more? ESPECIALLY when even the nations signatory to things like Kyoto are ignoring the guidelines set up? More toothless, but feel-good, legislation? No thanks!

  • by doom (14564) <doom@kzsu.stanford.edu> on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:30AM (#16128525) Homepage Journal
    diablomonic wrote:
    NOT BOGUS STORY. wake the hell up sheeple.
    No, no, "sheeple" is what you say when you want to sound like a right-wing crazy... (the "tinfoil hats" line is good, too). If you want to sound like a left-wing crazy you need to accuse everyone of being a Nazi.

    You may not care that bush stole the election,
    You raise an interesting point here -- do people not care about fair and unbiased elections? It would seem that there are a large number of people who are comfortable with winning one for their own side and they don't much care how: God help the party, and devil take the country.

    I mean, when you point out that there was chicanery in the 2004 election, why is it that the first question on everyone's minds is "was the fraud large enough to throw the election?" It doesn't bother you at all that there are people trying to rig elections? I mean, if the election wasn't stolen last time, wouldn't you be concerned that it might be stolen next time?

    but youd have to be a complete frickin idiot not to realise that he did steal it.
    No, not an idiot, just not paying very close attention. The major media hasn't exactly done a great job of covering the issues involved, you know?

    Dodgy exit polls,
    Check.
    mathematical impossibilities,
    Essentially.
    thousands of accounts of one sided errors,
    Yeah, essentially.
    the voting machines manufacturer CEO PROMISED BUSH VOTES in a memo!!!
    True, but this isn't really the strongest point. It helps establish motive, but not really intent, if you know what I mean.

    I think a better point is that Diebold and ESS are both run by two brothers, and between the two of them they controlled a huge slice of the vote in 2004. That makes it start to look much less like some whacky theory of an insanely wide-spread conspiracy...

    You can whinge about sources if you want, I dont give a crap, most murdoch/GE/etc owned news companies lie through their teeth, so the only place you CAN go for some of this news is "less reputable" sites.... (eg look up "outfoxed" on google video, a doco by ex fox news reporters,
    Here we get down to another interesting point... how widespread a "conspiracy" do you need to presume to explain the media's behavior in recent years? The mainstream media has been looking like it's in the government's pocket, but that could easily be a sincere rallying-around-the-flag after the 9-11 attack.
  • Real Voter Fraud (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:37AM (#16128533)
    The real U.S. voter fraud has been going on for 200 hundred years and in plain sight.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerrymandering [wikipedia.org]
  • by chrisbord (602239) on Monday September 18, 2006 @05:35AM (#16128636)
    -withdraw from iraq, try to do so gracefully since were damned if we stay and damned if we go.

    We aren't winning Iraq, but we're not losing either; we're only holding back the hordes trying to drive us out. Unfortunately George W. Bush has proven a weak wartime leader unable or unwilling to prepare the American people to sacrifice in order to win a war, or to explain the consequences of abandoning Iraq to terrorist who will quickly proceed to make use of Iraq's vast oil wealth and WMD know-how and production facilities against us. Think Afghanistan under the Taliban was a threat? Wait until al Qaeda runs Iraq!

    The good new is the problem with our strategy in Iraq are immenently solvable with a little leadership at the top. Too bad that's exactly what we're lacking with this idiot at the helm. Sad but true.

    First, get our troops out of their bases where they can do some good. Currently most of our troops are holed up in ever-growing compounds, accomplishing very little in order to keep American casualty levels very low. Second, drastically increase the number of American 'advisors' to the Iraqi military. Third, stop pushing Iraqi troops into the field long before they are ready. Fourth, we need to permanently increase the size of our military by a million troops to support our military strategy in Iraq. 140,000 troops was never enough to successfully implement an oil-spot strategy in a country the size of Iraq. Rumsfeld should be fired for this one alone.
    -undo the damage to our civil liberties done by the patriot act

    There have been no serious abuses so far, so that's a hard sell.

    -reform social security by removing the blatant privatization bush put in which basically amounts to abolshment (but with the added benefit of commissions to brokers before your stock tanks)

    The current surplus in SS is being used to fund Medicaid and welfare and every other government program, and to say there is no budget shortfall in SS now is to pretend these programs are funded separately. They aren't. There is just one big pot of money out of which the Treasury pays all government obligations. And since today there is a budget deficit overall, every time two or three baby boomer retires to be replaced by one new worker, the Social Security solvency and the overal budget deficit gets worse as the ratio of payers to payees increases.

    Bush's very small (2%), totally voluntary privatisation would help solve the problem by bringing in a whole lot more money than is possible now in the highly inefficient purely government system. Few remember this, but Bill Clinton actually proposed a similar solution several years ago, of course his solution was to allow the *government* to do the investing, a poison pill.

    -Universal health care (which responds to the increasing 10s of millions of people without healthcare, and which they make a damned good economic case for!)

    Yeah that one worked great for Hillary. I dare you to try it again. ;)

    There are a lot of misconceptions about the American medical system such as a lack of emergency care for the uninsured, something which is actually illegal here. Or that people commonly do without necessary operations, in truth a rarity because charity almost always picks up the slack. I bet you buy into them all. But I would ask you why Canadians have to wait 6 months go south of the border whenever they have major operations? Why do those who can afford it instead opt to go south of the border to find timely care? Or maybe you could ask yourself why our medical care costs started to explode only when government HMOs took over? Or why virtually all the world's cutting edge medical research and new procedures are developed in the U.S., why such a large percentage of relevant Nobels are awarded here? Did it ever occur to you that all those great miracle drugs and other amazing advances wouldn't have happened in other places that make such long t
  • by oakgrove (845019) on Monday September 18, 2006 @05:58AM (#16128674)
    As a person born and raised in the United States, I can honestly say I have never met a single person that could not read and write on a level that could at least be considered basically literate. Where this supposed 3 percent comes from, I don't have the slightest clue. Though, you seem to have ignored the other poster's comment of illiterate Mexicans coming into the country; maybe that could be a not so subtle hint.

    As for your assertion of an uninformed populace, has it occurred to you that Americans are informed and choose to act on that information in a different way than you do. Most Americans are pro-business, pro-democracy, pro-rule of law conservatives. Deal with it. Contrary to what seems to be the consensus belief of our European and Oceanic cousins, we are doing quite well, are quite happy, and still have the largest (and growing) economy in the world. Ask yourself, if the United States was really as bad as its made out to be, how are we still able to kick every other country in the world's ass economically, technologically, socially, etc. I know, this comment is getting more and more disjointed but its late and I'm tired. Just two more things. First, socio-economic mobility isn't just a buzzword here, its a reality. I was born dirt poor. Now, I run my own business and am doing quite well thank you. Only in America, baby. Second, if you insist on lecturing people about literacy, do yourself a favor and run a spell check on your posts. You'll look a lot less like the egotistical, asshat, pseudo-elitest, non-spelling bee winning idiot that you are.

  • Re:So what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stalyn (662) on Monday September 18, 2006 @07:34AM (#16128892) Homepage Journal
    There should be a term that classifies your line of thinking, perhaps "apathetic determinism".

    Most importantly, I put blind faith in the idea that what goes around comes around. ...but I'm not arrogant enough to think I know how the universe works...

    Isn't that position a contradiction? There has to be some level of arrogance to believe something without question.

    If not, hey, at least I didn't waste my whole life on this Earth stressed out about something I can't do anything about. Sometimes, the blue pill isn't all that bad.

    Why do anything then? Why have a family? Why don't you just kill yourself now? The thing is you don't actually believe this. But you convince yourself that you do for the sake of convenience. And the very fact this got modded insightful is no wonder why the world is in such a state.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nutrock69 (446385) on Monday September 18, 2006 @08:01AM (#16128980)
    Sorry, that's what I get for thinking the quote was in context, which was in a reply to a post claiming that people think the 2008 elections will be indefinitely postponed. Silly me. Of course the repubs wouldn't try to postpone the 2004 election, since they already had that one in the bag and didn't have to worry about such things until the end of our tyrant's second term.

    Remember - Hitler was elected before he stopped holding elections, and many of his other techniques are in use today. Using fear to keep us in line, claiming we are always minutes away from being attacked. Casting political opponents and outspoken citizens as being unpatriotic simply because they disagree. Starting wars under false pretense to keep the military growing at a rate that is able to sustain a police state. I especially like how Bush used the word "Nazi" this past friday as a general term to describe people who are fighting him in congress. I've never seen a blacker pot or kettle. Hermann Göring has a famous quote citing the best way to steal and hold political power - it's a good read, and every single thing in it is currently being done by the Bush administration. Are we going to learn from history before it becomes too late to do anything about it?
  • by plague3106 (71849) on Monday September 18, 2006 @10:07AM (#16129725)
    Yes, sore losers, nevermind that there seems to be a lot of proof (that is, its much more than a conspiracy theory) that the election results were tampered with, or other illegal methods were used to keep people from voting.

    Call me a 'sore loser' if you will (I personally didn't like either choice), but concern of increased corruption in our election process is warranted. Governments have been overthrown for such things.
  • by scjnsn (701305) on Monday September 18, 2006 @10:43AM (#16130001)
    We are capable of providing a system where voters have a national voting ID. We are also technologically capable of providing a system whereby everybody can vote from home. Republicans favor efforts in this direction and Democrats oppose them. This makes no sense if truly, Republicans are the ones defrauding the process.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jedidiah (1196) on Monday September 18, 2006 @11:53AM (#16130598) Homepage
    Nope. Capitalism is the notion that people will be productive when they have something to gain from it. Whether or not someone chooses to be a "do-gooder" is entirely orthogonal to this. What you are attempting to confuse through Keynes is the notion that building wealth in general is beneficial in general.

    You only need to look at the successfully capitalist or quasi-capitalist countries to see this bourne out.

    There's also a nice inverse relationship demonstrated by the nations that choose to interfere with productivity for whatever reason (Mexico, Belarus).

    Industrial England may have more rober baron bastards but it will also have more resources available to the do-gooders.
  • by aber (141743) on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:53PM (#16131155)
    IMO, there are a few problems with your assessment here.

    First of all, a factual error: Mandatory voting as implemented in Brazil does not affect your freedom of expression. Even with electronic voting, the voter has the option of anulling their vote, by selecting the "Annul Vote" option. So, if you refuse to vote for any of the candidates, you still have that option. That clearly indicates a protest vote. The one thing the electronic voting system did away with was the possbility of mistakenly annulling your vote (see Florida elections, 2000).

    Second, I disagree that not being forced by law to vote generates better informed voters, necessarily. Again, using GWB as a case study, it seems to me that a lot of his voters were lured by vague things like "Values", or "Tough on Terror". I don't have especific references to that last statement, but it is the impression I have from following political news for the last few years. It seems to me that ellective voting tends to favor well-organized minorities, which simply by voting as one block may outnumber the votes on certain issues, even if the majority of Citizens have a different view on said issues. E.g.: A president is elected in singnificant part based on his positions on issues like Stem Cell Research and Abortion, while polls [pollingreport.com] show [pollingreport.com] that the majority of Americans disagrees with him.

    Voting as a legal duty solves the issue above since most people are likely to have an opinion on most things, so vote counts are more likely to reflect the collective mind of the Citizens. And even if they don't have an opinion, they can still abstain by actively annulling their vote. The amount of annulled votes is a valuable statistic that reflects the fraction of the population that thinks the system has failed them. No such assessment can be made from the fraction of the Citizens that just didn't feel like voting that day.

    In summary, we disagree on this: the right not to vote because you can't be bothered to do it doesn't mean much to me. But the right to actively abstain from voting by indicating so on a ballot, that to me is as important as voting.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:2, Insightful)

    by phantomlord (38815) <slashdot AT krwtech DOT com> on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:11PM (#16131890) Journal
    then you're going to need to explain why black voters are almost all Democrats and why rural Southern whites are almost all Republicans

    Democrat to inner city(which is primarily minority): "The republicans want to starve your children, kill the elderly and take away your entitlements. You need to vote for us to stop them. BTW, rural america is a bunch of uneducated racist rednecks."
    Republican to rural America(which is primarily white): "The democrats continue to raise taxes to give your money to the people in the cities who would rather collect a welfare check than go to work. Vote for us and we'll reform the system."

    There isn't really any racism involved, it's all about one side demogoguing the other to pander to their constituents and they're both really good at it.
  • by doom (14564) <doom@kzsu.stanford.edu> on Monday September 18, 2006 @05:03PM (#16133608) Homepage Journal
    Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) wrote:
    I'm highlighting the fact that elections are controlled on a very local level. I have no doubt there was fraud on election day. Am I supposed to like the democrats more becuase they were less successful then they were in 1960?
    Here we come to issue you're so stressed out about. Someone might actually dare to think that the Republicans should be voted out of office. Oh my.
    I'll have to vote third party, cause I couldn't live with myself voting for either one.
    Got it. They're all a bunch of crooks, so let's vote for Nader. That's your recommendation? You think that's going to fix the problem?
    If the republicans conspired on a national level to steal the election, of course they should be punished, all the wrongs should be righted ect, ect... But you actually have to prove it was possible, and actually achived.
    For that to happen, you'd actually have to be willing to investigate the problem, not try to sweep it under the rug.
    Exit polls are not relieable. See Florida 2000 for more info.
    Um, allow me to gently call "bullshit". Try reading Freeman and Bleifus on the subject. Why is it that an exit poll discrepancy can mean something in the Ukraine but not in the United States?
    If all we needed was exit polls, why actually vote? I think we agree that the system is broke and needs to be fixed. I just have a higher burden of proof.
    Proof of what? Freeman and Bleifus think they've proved that there are problems that need to be investigated. Proving that the system needs to be fixed, that ain't hard... all you need is a "conspiracy" scenario that looks plausible. This is different from proving that someone should be thrown in jail.
    Remember, never assign to malice what can be easily explained by mass stupidity.
    But sometimes, corruption really happens. Sometimes you actually run into a genuine "conspiracy". What happens then? Where's the check that balances out that particular failure?

    If the party in power refuses to investigate it's own problems, then maybe you should vote them out of power.

  • Re:Sure they do... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AmazingRuss (555076) on Monday September 18, 2006 @08:18PM (#16134818)
    I think one of the things that has made our democracy such a circus is the fact that people who have no ability to comprehend what they are voting for are allowed to vote. It ensures our government to be chosen by people whose only information comes from the screaming of pundits on tv...or the promise of some nebulous handout. I think not only should literacy be a requirement...voters should also be required to somehow demonstrate that they have a clue what they are voting for. No, I don't have any idea how to test for this, and yes, I can see how the parties would angle to use this as an exclusionary tool...but something needs to be done. Rule by the people is rule by idiots if the people are idiots. Look at what we have! And I fear for what we'll get next when the pendulum swings the other direction. An uneducated population is the Achilles heel of any democracy.

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