Remember back a few years ago when every faith-based “Movement Conservative” knew – and I mean absolutely knew – that Mexicans were coming across the border and cutting off the heads of farmers who lived nearby?  The stories were rampant.  Finally, a reporter went on down to the areas around the borders and asked the Sheriffs for the incident reports.  Surely people weren’t having their heads chopped off without law enforcement at least making a report, right?  Turned out, of course, it was just a myth…a Movement Conservative Myth.  Sure, they still believe it.  Nothing can cause them to change a belief they’ve decided on, least of all factual basis.  But for the rest of us, it confirmed what we already suspected: Movement Conservative Blather…nothing more…

It’s the same with this voter fraud…um…fraud.  Every one of the Movement Conservatives knows – just KNOWS – that in-person voter fraud is rampant.  Thousands, millions, maybe billions of fraudulent votes get cast in every single election if you ask them.  In truth, it doesn’t happen, at least not to a statistically significant degree.  When it DOES happen, it’s usually a matter of sending in an absentee ballot and then going to the polling place anyway.  I know Ann Coulter did it.  I’ll bet she wasn’t trying to help Hillary, though.

Trump said it happened again in the 2016 election.  It didn’t.  They said it anyway.  Trump established a commission.  When they started to discover that it hadn’t happened, Trump disbanded the commission.  People argued about it over the internet.  In today’s Guardian appears this article,  ‘Documents disprove White House voter fraud claims, says ex-member of Trump commission.’  Spoiler alert: it didn’t happen.  No, don’t try to convince your Trumpublican uncle.  He can’t hear you.  He’s faith-based…

You know what DOES happen, though?  Computer voter fraud.  These are the voting machines built by the companies the build ATM’s but those same companies insist they can’t build a machine that handles complex transactions AND gives you a receipt.  Anyway, you cast a ballot on one of those computer voting machines and maybe your vote gets counted as intended, maybe your vote gets applied to the vile candidate.  There’s no way for you – or anyone else – to know.

I keep hearing about how the Russians interfered with our “election” by saying mean things about Hillary on the internet.  Truth be told, I have a hard time getting upset about it.  The conservatives have been saying absolutely horrible things about Hillary since 1992.  When I saw some lying meme about her during the campaign, the thought of Russians never crossed my mind.  I just dismissed it as more conservative bullshit.  But while all this talk is going on, there’s also talk around the edges about the security of the voting machines.  Did they hack in?  Did they flip votes?

Of course they did.  You don’t really think this country elected Trump, do you?  But the “two parties” don’t want to admit it for two reasons.  The public face is that they want to reassure the public that the voting system is fair and accurate.  But the real reason is that each party wants to try to maintain the ability to hack into the machines and swing elections they way they’d like to see them come out.  In my mind’s eye, I see two “war rooms”, one Republican, one Democrat, each furiously hacking into machines and switching votes.  The Dems flip one, the Repubs flip another.  The Dems flip one the Repubs have already flipped and the Repubs come back to flip it back their way and vice-versa.  Back and forth the battle goes until the polls close and a “winner” is announced.

Either way, your vote probably didn’t get counted accurately – at least not if you wanted to vote for someone other than the conservative.  So, if you want to vote for the conservative, go ahead and use the machines.  (Can you tell I think the cons are better at it?  They’ve had more practice.)  BUT…if you want to vote for someone other than the conservative and you want your vote to count, DO NOT – under any circumstances – use a computerized voting machine to cast your ballot.  Vote absentee.  Paper.  Traceable.  “Unflippable”, if you will…

The major parties won’t like it and the press won’t like it.  It will take FAR longer to count the ballots and announce a winner if they have to count all the absentee ballots – but it will be a better outcome.  Vote!  You just have to, that’s all.  There are no acceptable excuses in this “election.”  But vote absentee.  (Hey, it’s actually easier and you can vote in your underwear – or less, if you’re so inclined.)  Make the bastards count the paper ballots.

I’ll tell you this: we cannot count on our “elected” officials to do the right thing in this matter.  They have too much to lose.  The ONLY way we can take back the vote is if we use paper and the only way we can voluntarily use paper is if we all vote absentee, so that’s what we need to do…


Who Wins?

Scary.  That’s the only word I can think of for what’s coming.  Scary.  I just finished reading an opinion piece from the BBC called, ‘What is Donald Trump’s Family Separation End-game?  The writer opines that there’s a two-fold strategy in place: one, get his stupid wall or, failing that, two, motivate his base.

It should say enough that terrorizing little children motivates his base to fall out in support.  It’s motivating Democrats and progressives to fall out as well but in defiance – so at least lefties won’t find themselves on the wrong side of history and they won’t have to tell themselves comforting lies in the future.  The question is, who wins?

Ted Cruz says liberals will crawl over broken glass to vote in the upcoming mid-terms.  Republicans, of course, will be the ones breaking the glass.  I’ve never wanted to agree with Ted Cruz but I hope he’s right about this one.  Dems and Progressives MUST fall out to vote.

History supports the notion that Republicans win when there’s low voter turnout.  (Do a search onGoo Goo Syndrome.”  They KNOW this to be true.  It’s the reason they work so hard on voter suppression.)  But they can be counted on to vote in every “election”, every single time.  Dems and Indies are less…compliant.  But history ALSO supports the notion that when something big is happening, Dems DO come out in large numbers.

There are more sane people in this country than Republicans so, if Dems DO come out in force, we’ll win.  We’ll take enough control of Congress to stop President Beeblebrox in his tracks.  (For the uninitiated, the reference is to Zaphod Beeblebrox in Douglas Adams’ ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’ series.  His job, as President of the Galaxy, is to distract people from noticing what’s really going on around them…)

But the punitive crowd will still come out as well – and in force.  Dems often don’t bother with mid-terms.  So the question is, who wins?  The results will have consequences that determine the very soul of this once-great nation.  No, we’re not going to be able to impeach Trump – not just yet, anyway.  Sure, the House might vote for it but the feckless Republicans in the Senate will not lift a finger to stop Trump because he’s so lucrative for them.  Still, we CAN stop him…or, at least, slow him down.

It’s curious.  I have this belief that anything begun dishonorably is destined to fail.  It’s a fairly easy argument to make that the United States of America – what with all it’s official support of enslaving human beings – was begun dishonorably, which, in turn, means it MUST – sooner or later – fail.  Every day that goes by and the country I love falls further and further into a pit of it’s own making that it may never climb out of, I’m vindicated in my larger, over-arching belief.

But I’ll tell you this: I’m not happy about it…

Who Counts The Votes?

Joseph Stalin, of all people, is credited with a rather infamous comment: It’s not who votes that counts.  It’s who counts the votes.  Maybe he said it, maybe he didn’t.  It’s still an important idea and it’s one we face in this country on a regular basis.  I’ve said this before and I feel a need to say it again – with a bit more…urgency.  Do NOT cast your ballots on a computerized or electronic voting machine.  Use paper ballots.  The reason is simple enough: we, the people, cannot trust the integrity of electronic voting machines.  The “fix” is simple enough as well: cast absentee ballots.

I suspect, on some level, we all know the machines are easily rigged.  Americans should have demanded the removal of voting machines early on.  We should still.  We SHOULD have been suspicious the moment we were told by the manufacturers – the same companies that build ATM machines – it’s not possible to build a voting machine that creates a paper trail.  What?  They can do it for an ATM but not a voting machine?  That seems odd.  I can make deposits, withdrawals, and payments on an ATM and when I’m done I collect a little receipt that summarizes my transactions.  The machine also keeps a paper copy and updates it’s computer with the current information.  So what happens when the total on the paper doesn’t match the computer total?  Time to review the footage.  (Oh, yeah, the ATM can even take your picture while you do whatever it is you’re doing…)

So, how hard might it be to set up the same system – the one they already use so there’s no need to reinvent the wheel – to provide a paper copy to the voter and keep a paper copy in the machine while updating the computer count?  Not much of a challenge, I imagine.  BUT…if, at the end of the day, the paper count doesn’t match the computerized total, it would prove something was amiss.  How would the people who control those machines successfully control the outcome of “elections” if the paper trail betrayed the vote flipping inside?  Simple solution: eliminate the paper trail.  Pretend it’s “not possible.”  Prattle on about the “integrity of the election.”  Repeat as necessary.

We the people, can…should…MUST refuse to use those machines.  But I do NOT support the notion of simply not voting.  We have one teeny tiny glimmer of hope remaining to recover our once-proud nation from the grips of the one percent without bloodshed: voting.  But if the one percent control the voting machines, they control the votes.  So…get out and vote – specifically because someone out there doesn’t want you to.  But don’t use their equipment.

Cast an absentee ballot, instead.  It’s paper.  It’s a written hard copy.  It can be manually counted and recounted if necessary.  The machines?  You get a total.  You have to trust it.  There’s no double-checking because there’s no paper trail.  Think of it this way: perhaps Donald Trump didn’t even “win” the Electoral College, but there’s no way to prove that because it happened on voting machines.  The internal numbers can be changed, easily, as it happens, with no evidence such changes occurred.  (Look, don’t take my word for it.  Search ‘Vote Flipping Video’ and behold the avalanche of information…)

So vote absentee.  Cast a provisional ballot if you must.  Whichever, don’t use the machines.  Create a paper trail.  The key is, a HUGE number of people have to participate in this process in order to be effective.  There must be enough absentee ballots to force the “counters” to count them BEFORE an announcement of a “winner” can be made.

I’ll tell you this:  In November, 2018, you need to vote and you need to vote on paper ballots.  Tell your friends.  Tell your friends to tell their friends.  (Maybe just forward this essay to everyone you know…)  This needs to become a “thing.”  It should become a wave.  A movement would be better.  At this point, America needs every vote it can get and the votes had better be on paper…