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  • Reply to: Why Wisconsin's Presidential Results Are So Unbelievable   2 years 2 months ago
    Early Voting Bonanza! In Wisconsin the initiation of early voting presented an excellent opportunity to insure that unwanted votes will be reduced and eliminated. Instead of recording early votes and holding the results securely until after the polls close on election day, a method was chosen that allows for easy vote manipulation. Early ballots are treated as absentee ballots. They are placed in envelopes and not secured. They are placed in open trays at the voting site within view of all voters and poll workers. During the day they are moved to a different tray where they are sorted alphabetically by voter last name. During voting on election day the ballots are fed in to a scanner by the voter and dropped in to a secure box that holds the ballots. Each voter signs the poll list that shows who has voted. In 2011, Update #4 to the Wisconsin Photo ID Law stated that “Voters must sign the poll list before being issued a ballot, unless they identify a disability that prevents them from doing so. If the voter refuses to sign the poll list, the voter will not be issued a ballot and therefore, will not be able to vote.” The Wisconsin Election Commission when asked about the lack of signature requirement during early voting returned the following reply: “In Wisconsin, ‘early voting’ refers to in-person absentee voting. Voters are able to cast their absentee ballots prior to Election Day but the absentee ballots are not processed and counted until Election Day with all of the other ballots cast at the polling place. As part of the absentee ballot processing, the poll workers state the voter’s name and address aloud and then make an absentee notation by their name on the poll book”. No signature was permitted during the early voting for this election. If there was a question about the signature on any of the ballots sitting for two weeks in the trays at the polling place there was not a local signature with which to compare. The signatures on the ballot envelopes and the signatures on the voter lists, if available, could have been easily compared by both party representatives as the envelopes were opened and the ballots fed in to the vote scanning machines on Election Day. What is the reason that the envelopes containing the voter ballots are organized alphabetically in those trays? Wisconsin and several of the northern states allow voters to return and change their vote. The ballots are kept organized and available for the rare returning voter. What happens to those votes after the polls close for the day? Are they locked in a secure box with two padlocks that have been provided by each political party with keys retained by a representative from each party? Or are they under the sole control of the partisan clerk of that municipality or district? With the envelopes organized alphabetically by voter name, the lists of likely voter preferences can be used to easily pull the appropriate envelopes and ballots. A new ballot and envelope can be inserted in the tray with the desired markings. Envelopes are not counted, but if all blank ballots are accounted for that is not a problem. Spoiled ballots placed in an envelope will contain the same signature that is on the ballot envelope even though neither is of the actual voter. Too many spoiled ballots? No problem! Add an extra mark for a second candidate for each office to be “adjusted” on the ballot. When the ballot is fed in to the scanner on Election Day, the ballot will be rejected. The poll workers that feed the ballots can reject the ballot completely or hit the bypass button on the scanning machine and have only the adjusted offices rejected. In either case the selected candidates receive fewer votes. Since the early votes are totaled along with the Election Day votes, the number of votes rejected during the early voting period or from other absentee votes is easily disguised. The vote recount would not uncover any changed votes as they would have been adjusted before being submitted on Election Day. According to the Wisconsin Election Commission 830,703 completed absentee early votes were available to be adjusted. What could possibly go wrong? FOR EDITORS ONLY: Background of author: 10 years of experience as Voting Judge in Nearby state using scanning machines and touch screen machines with paper trail. 40+ years as Computer and Telecommunications Network designer, planner and project management for government and commercial enterprises. Questions? garymara@hotmail.com
  • Reply to: Pssst...Trump: You Won By Running to Clinton's Left   2 years 2 months ago
    You correctly identify areas that had voted Dem but now voted for Trump. But your editorializing that Trump ran to Clinton's left is risible. You are finally looking at Clinton"s deficiencies but you are hoping to masquerade the fact that her policies were progressive and they were also rejected by voters. Supporting American workers and opposing monopolies and Wall Street bailouts are not leftist concepts, though you want to claim so. Clinton lost because she was a bad candidate - corrupt and arrogant and unlikable. But her progressive policies also lost, because the people have grown weary of promises that never deliver, and they wanted something different. Going forward, progressives should decide whether they will double down on the leftism and support Bernie and Jill types. Or you can help to make Dem candidates more palatable to voters by toning down on the central control and the division that pits interest groups against each other.
  • Reply to: Holicrazy   2 years 2 months ago
    More like this! We needed to support Jill Stein and we now need to oppose Trump in EVERY WAY!
  • Reply to: Pssst...Trump: You Won By Running to Clinton's Left   2 years 2 months ago
    Recounting the Wisconsin votes was like closing the barn door after the horse is gone. 830,703 completed absentee early votes sat around polling places in envelopes and were under the complete control of partisan county and district clerks for up to several weeks before being fed into the scanning machines on Election Day. They were alphabetized and available for adjustment well before they were fed in to the voting machines. The Wisconsin Election Commission even prevented voters from signing the voter lists during early voting so that there could be no comparison of the signatures on the absentee voter envelopes. Doing a recount merely diverted attention from the real fraud here.
  • Reply to: Dylann Roof: Emblem of America’s White Rage   2 years 2 months ago
    "Is it wrong of me to connect Roof’s hate crime to the kind of rhetoric we’ve heard from our President-elect?" Yes, it is wrong to attempt to link these. Roof is an evil killer. But he doesn't represent your political opponents. Your political opponents favor a different way, but they are not evil. Attempting to link your opponents with evil is unfair, lazy, sloppy, and delusional. Instead, try to see why so many people who disdain Trump nonetheless ended up voting for him. Maybe it was because Clinton was arrogant and corrupt and unlikable. Maybe it was because we've moved so far left in recent years, and the people wanted a more moderate approach. Consider that many people see Trump as more moderate than Clinton and Obama - a sign of how far from the mainstream many progressives are. Instead of jumping to the easy racism dodge, try to understand your opponents and try to consider their point of view. They do have one, and it isn't evil.
  • Reply to: Smoking Gun: Barack Obama, By the Numbers   2 years 2 months ago
    You sure can cherry-pick numbers. When I started reading, I thought it would be a newsworthy story of Obama successes, backed up by numbers. Instead, it's an editorial with misleading numbers. Most categories use some sleight-of-hand to paint a desired picture. Corporate profits? Compare worst quarter of Bush vs. best quarter for Obama. Standard of living? Don't cite actual measures, instead cite perceptions from polls. Deportations? Don't mention that Obama redefined "deportations" to include returns with removals. Another metric you might have included as a measure of Obama's performance might have been how many Democrat Senators, Representatives, Governors, and state legislatures at the end of his term as compared to the beginning.
  • Reply to: Trump Pick for Labor Secretary a Disaster for Workers   2 years 2 months ago
    Hope Springs Eternal, don't it?
  • Reply to: Why Wisconsin's Presidential Results Are So Unbelievable   2 years 2 months ago
    For the record, after the Jill Stein recount in Wisconsin, Trump actually gained votes relative to Clinton.
  • Reply to: American Encounters of a Frightening Kind   2 years 2 months ago
    Question: "Was it Clinton's policies, her personality, or was it that she is a woman?" Answer: It was her policies and her personality. Try to learn from the election; maligning opponents as bigots-racists-sexists-etc doesn't cut it.
  • Reply to: Wounded beyond PTSD: War Trauma and “Moral Injury”   2 years 2 months ago
    Brock is on the spiritual side of things - by nature of a divinity school -, and to say that you can't heal moral injury is a misnomer. There are therapies being developed to help people process their moral injuries. Look into work by Brett Litz and Bill Nash particularly, though also Joseph Currier and Craig Bryan (separately) are also conducting research in the field. It's a fast expanding field and focus of research at this time.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).


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