Sunday, November 28, 2004
Ohio Voters Tell of Election Day Troubles at Hearing
By Reginald Fields The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Sunday 14 November 2004
Tales of waiting more than five hours to vote, voter intimidation, under-trained polling-station workers and too few or broken voting machines largely in urban or heavily minority areas were retold Saturday at a public hearing organized by voter-rights groups.
For three hours, burdened voters, one after another, offered sworn testimony about Election Day voter suppression and irregularities that they believe are threatening democracy.
The hearing, sponsored by the Election Protection Coalition, was to collect testimony of voting troubles that might be used to seek legislative changes to Ohio's election process.
The organizers chose Ohio because it was a swing state in the presidential election as well as the site of numerous claims of election fraud and voter disenfranchisement.
"I think a lot of us had a sense that something had deeply went wrong on Nov. 2 and it had to do with the election process and procedures in place that were unacceptable," said Amy Kaplan, one of the hearing's coordinators.
Kaplan said the hearing gave everyday citizens a chance to have their concerns placed into public record.
Both a written and video report on the hearing will be provided to anyone who wants a copy, especially state lawmakers who are considering mandating Election Day changes, Kaplan said.
Many of the voters who testified were clearly Democrats who wonder if their losing presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry, was able to draw all the votes that were intended for him.
"I call on Sen. Kerry to un-concede until there is a full count of the votes," said Werner Lange of Trumbull County, who claimed that polling places in his Northeast Ohio neighborhood had half the number of voting machines that were needed.
"This caused a bottleneck at polling stations, and many people left without voting," he said.
Others said they were testifying not on political grounds but out of concern for a suspicious election system
that should be above reproach.
Harvey Wasserman of Bexley said he tried to vote absentee with the same home address he has used for 18 years but was told he couldn't because his absentee application had the wrong address.
"But the notice telling me I had the wrong address arrived at the right address," he said. "I wonder, how many of these absentee ballots were rejected for no good reason?
"My concern is not out of the outcome of the election," Wasserman said, "but that this could go on and an election could be stolen. And we simply can't have that in a democracy."
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Billionaires for Bush highlight class division in the public sphere, an issue pathologically avoided by the Left. At the RNC 2000 in Philly, they were known as Billionaires for Bush or Gore. It’s obvious why they dropped the Gore, but worth noting that they didn’t pick up the Kerry in 2004.
David Rees has utilized a Pentagon creation (the internet) to critique its actions. "Get Your War On" is a clip art imperial satire phenomenon that caught fire online, resulting in a number of books & a place in the mainstream via the hipster rag Rolling Stone.
Music is a possible means of reconciling of the abuses of empire & the suffering consequence. For example, Billy Bang incorporates the music of Vietnam into his jazz compositions. On a wider scale, these can be dangerous appropriations. Are we here to share or steal? Eminem has been this century's poster boy for the ongoing tug-of-war.
Collagist Theodore Harris uses the recurring image of the Capitol Building displayed upside down. Its inversion suggests the dome is holding a weight inside that cannot sustain.
Mission: "Record the time in which we live."
The Capitol Building drops from the bottom of a Bank of America check. The Capitol drops from the bottom of capital.
Harris is also using the inverted Pentagon in his newer work, hovering over collaged figures like a wounded guillotine.
Tracie Morris opens with a question from Langston Hughes…"or will it explode?"
For some, Philadelphia does not bring to mind the Liberty Bell or Declaration of Independence. It's the city that murdered MOVE by fire & imprisoned Mumia Abu-Jamal.
On appropriation: after the bombing of the MOVE house, the Philadelphia Police made T-shirts that read "Welcome to Philadelphia." Beneath the phrase, there was an image of the helicopter that dropped the explosive device on the roof. What began as an in-joke of ha-ha brutality, eventually became a means of telling the MOVE story. The organization reproduced the shirts w/ the same slogan & image. They simply added a paragraph of text under the image telling the story of the massacre. Sale of the T-shirts have become a significant fundraising & information outreach tool for MOVE & the International Concerned Friends & Family for Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Field songs served as specific coded instructions. Directions. Maps. (e.g.- MacIntosh County Shouters- "Move Daniel. Move Daniel.")
The black political artist as metaphor, as secret, is an idea transformed by the likes of Russell Simmons & P-Diddy, specifically w/ their voter mobilization campaigns like the "Vote or Die" movement. Their wealth transcends the cultural demand that they speak in code. "I'm so rich I can afford to complain" in direct political language, making for an odd association between luxury lifestyle & political activism.
- Frank Sherlock
Thursday, November 11, 2004
LINK TO STORY:
Were legitimate votes mis-counted or not counted at all?
Were people prevented from voting?
Two cases of serious problems are accepted beyond doubt:
In Broward County, Florida, electronic voting machines counted backwards: as more people voted, the official vote count went down.
In one Columbus, Ohio suburb, election officials have acknowledged that electronic voting machines credited
Bush with winning 4,258 votes, even though only 638 people voted there.
A small number Congress members are demanding an investigation to answer these questions. The decision on whether or not there will be an investigation could come as soon as next Monday 11/15/04.
More and more reports are coming out about African-Americans denied
access to the polls in Ohio, and about impossible computer voting
tallies. Six members of Congress, including Jerry Nadler of New York,
are calling for an investigation of this election. I support them.
We wuz robbed!
Letter to the New York Daily News by Sparrow.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
However, if the stories about the mass voting problems don't stop -- and they don't seem like they are going to stop -- here is what I predict the next wave of stories will look like.
We will indeed here more about voting count "irregularities," of course; (and of course one might expect me to point this because I voted for John Kerry).
But what I am saying is something different. Some stories about voting count "irregularities" will be lies inserted into the story, which will be spread to mislead and distract people from what happened.
What do I mean?
This is a hallmark Karl Rove move, or sting.
When bad news comes, the Bush team doesn't avoid it; but in fact piles on (through blogs, fake documents, and otherwise); that is -- outright lies that they hope will get picked up by groups criticizing them as well as some media.
The result: Rove, W, Fox News clearly shows how their critics are piling on by citing false information to support their claims.
It's why people call Rove "brilliant" because he knows how to divert the focus of a story they don't want people to pay attention to -- to other lies. Lies beget lies; and believe me, W and Rove are in too far to stop now.
Hence, the sting.
Because Fox and Talk Radio back-ups can clearly show that the lies are lies -- it's built into the story. It's why the bloggers knew about the phony documents at CBS so quickly, within minutes of the CBS story breaking.
Rove gets the news cycle; he knows how to feed and use it.
So the story changes; the new, replaces the old.
All agree: Rove is a pro.
Let's face it -- the Bush folks took over a county, these tactics are mild. They do the work they need to and do it effectively -- and the "fair and balanced" news media implodes in the chase of the story.
a.. In Columbus, Ohio, an electronic voting system reported that Bush received 4,258 votes while Kerry received 260 votes in a precinct where records show only 638 voters cast ballots;
b.. In North Carolina, a machine lost more than 4,500 votes due to a mistaken assumption about the memory capacity of a computer;
c.. In Youngstown, Ohio, and South Florida, numerous voters complained that when they tried to cast votes for Kerry, the machines instead recorded their votes for Bush.
All in all, more than 30,000 complaints have been gathered from across the country. In the midst of such turmoil, it's crucial that an independent authoritative investigation be undertaken to sort this all out.
Glitch Found in Ohio Counting By JOHN SCHWARTZ
An electronic voting machine in hotly contested Ohio added 3,893 votes to President Bush's tally in a suburban Columbus precinct, even though there are just 800 voters there.
The error was discovered in preliminary vote counts from Tuesday night, and local officials say it would have been caught in any case and corrected in the final count now under way. But the glitch fed the rumors that have been flying across the Internet since Election Day that results were tipped by high-tech voting machines.
The report is nothing less than shocking:
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
The resignations were announced by White House press secretary Scott McClellan, who said Bush had accepted the decisions of both secretaries.
"The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved," Ashcroft wrote in a five-page, handwritten letter to Bush.
Apparently, we're safe now. And I was worried! Silly me.
Sleep tight, all.
love, jenn mccreary.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
- Frank Sherlock
1895- Russian cultural theorist Mikhail Bakhtin born, Orel, Russia
1971- Onondaga Nation, NY protests intrusion of interstate highway
1986- Iran-Contra scandal begins to break in US
Saturday November 6, 2004
La Tazza Reading Series presents
Brenda Iijima & Chris McCreary
108 Chestnut St. Philly
7PM cocktail hour
Readings @ 8 sharp
Brenda Iijima's 2004 publications include AROUND SEA (O BOOKS), COLOR AND ITS ANTECEDENTS (YEN AGAT) and EARLY LINOLEUM (FURNITURE PRESS). From the Prospect Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn she runs PORTABLE PRESS AT YO-YO LABS. A compact disc of Friedrich Holderlin's poems read in German by Erika Uchman and in English (using Richard Sieburth's translations) by Iijima will be released shortly. Other involvements include painting, photography and lately video.
Chris McCreary is soon to bring ixnay press out of hibernation. Honest. In the meantime, look for his work in an upcoming issue of “The Poker.” He’s the author of “The Effacements” (Singing Horse) and the manuscript “Dismembers,” which is currently making the rounds of potential publishers. Any takers?
Reading Report from CA Conrad:
When Frank asked me to guest host, I was interested in something which would speak to the upcoming presidential election, and would include local activists who have struggled against the war, and organized against injustice in its many forms.
So the night turned into a fundraiser for The Global Women Strike, an international organization with 60 participating countries, whose US headquarters just happens to be right here in Philadelphia. My friend Mary Kalyna has been an intricate part of the organizing that goes on with The Strike for many years, and she spoke to us about the recent Million Workers March she and the The Strike group had just participated in down in DC.
To start off the evening, I talked about an elderly woman I see a few times a week at work, who told me just the other day that she and her daughter were in Atlantic City, and saw police attack and beat striking workers who were marching, demanding fair wages and benefits from the casinos. She said she was horrified, and that she couldn't believe it was happening, said that she thought this was a scene from the past, when her husband would strike decades ago.
The bulk of the evening was of course, readings. Mytili Jagannathan read from Mahmoud Darwish's Memory & Forgetfulness, something you really don't forget after you hear it. The section she focused on was the struggle for water for the family in Beirut during the war. The landlord was a tyrant who would shut off the water when any tenant was critical or demanding of the landlord or his family. As soon as the water was turned on, the family would quickly fill every available container, even leather pockets, because they didn't know how long they would have the water coming from their faucets, sometimes for only half an hour or so.
Hassen collected the money, and The Strike brought in an amazing total, which means some folks in the audience where being very generous. Thanks VERY much to whoever you were out there, and thanks to everyone who donated, these women will put your money to work, you can count on it.
Frank Sherlock read Nazim Hikmet, and a fantastic Kaia Sand poem. Then, he read the haunting, long poem "Puerto Rican Obituary" by Pedro Pietri. The music of the poem refrained the anger among people who had nothing, and who were always angry at one another when one had a little more than the other. The sad, dark song of poverty, of how the injustice of a world where the wealth is in the bank, and it ain't going to your end of town, and you have to scrap and struggle an entire life.
Jena Osman read Charles Bernstein's new "Girly Man" poem. She also read Peter Middleton, and Marianne Moore. The Middleton piece in particular ispretty wonderful, but the poem that really sent the message --at least for me-- was by George Oppen. Oppen was the water Mytili spoke of waiting and waiting for and gathering it in every way once it arrived.
Thanks to all three poets for donating their valuable time, and for everyone who showed up to hear the poets, and to support The Global Women Strike. And Leslie still makes chocolate martinis better than anyone!
See you Saturday.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
The poster art was donated by artists across the country to a coalition that included Punk Planet Magazine, Clamor Magazine, In These Times Magazine & The Center for the Study of Political Graphics.
This morning I overheard office workers mentioning curious sightings of poster art in Fishtown, Tacony & deep South Philly. To see a sampling of the posters that were unfurled on the area, keep your eye on the streets. But in the meantime- since you're here, check this out.
- Frank Sherlock
Monday, November 01, 2004
Some Basic Questions to Aid Voters in 2004
Circle your preference (or the lesser of the evils).
a. Killing foreigners
b. Killing embryos
a. Fewer rich but unlimited amount of wealth
b. More people with a comfortable income
a. No healthcare
b. Some healthcare
a. New markets in poor countries
b. Consumer base at home
a. Global hatred
b. World support
a. Ingested pathogens
b. Breathable air, drinkable water
a. People who claim they are Christians
b. People who try to behave like Christ
a. Social behavior of reptiles
b. Social behavior of Bonobo monkeys
a. Art of marketers
b. Aesthetics of artists
a. Increased likelihood of nuclear catastrophe
b. Existence of Islam
a. Military aggression against so-called terrorism
b. Diminished impetus for real terrorism
*If you answered all the questions & still don’t know who to vote for, ask a Democrat. If you prefer, ask WWJD?