Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas, Conservatives!

Here at Casa Gonemild, we've had a peaceful Christmas, complete with nativity scenes and family time. We had dinner with Johnson County Republicans, and had too much great food and not a word of politics. A lot of well-chosen books were exchanged around our Christmas tree, other fun stuff, and a new guitar player will soon be adding music to the world.

I was wryly amused by the people who sought to use "Merry Christmas" as "fighting words" agsinst to liberals. Yes, they thought that they could somehow use Jesus' birthday as a political weapon.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish those people peace on earth, and good will to men (and women).

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34 Comments:

Anonymous all grinched up said...

This is my Christmas card this year...

sund to the tune of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"
(the role of Grinch is now being played by Mike Sanders)

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch.
You’re a callous, cold Exec.
You’re never in the office,
But you still pick up your check.
Mr. Grinch.

The old reporter got all Funky
And the new one is a monkey, what the heck?

You’re a faker, Mr. Grinch.
A phony, a cheat, a fraud.
Your hair is just revolting,
Some would say that you are molting.
Mr. Grinch.

Maybe you should climb down off your high horse,
And back into your pod.

You're a villain, Mr. Grinch.
Your heart's a blackened blob.
You claim to care for the employees,
Then you take away their job.
Mr. Grinch.

That rumble in the distance
Is the march of an angry mob.

They are voters, Mr. Grinch.
And a vote is what you need.
You fooled them once with misdirection.
Fool them twice? You won’t succeed.
Mr. Grinch.

Given the choice between you and the Jabba you rode in on,
I'd take the Jabba back indeed.

You're a strange one, Mr. Grinch.
You're a Jabba Wanna-Be.
You claim to hold her in disdain,
But you studied at her knee.
Mr. Grinch.

The three words that best describe you,
are as follows, and I quote:
"Was.
Were.
Been."

You are over, Mr. Grinch.
Caught in the counterfeit web you spun.
Your word is now mistrusted,
Your integrity’s flat busted,
Mr. Grinch.

Your office is a load of lazy lackeys,
Oozing with cat loving non-working nincompoops,
With all the substance of a sticky bun.

You disappoint us, Mr. Grinch.
With your bad managers and crooked horde.
Your favorite in-house heavy
Leased a Calvin Willy-Chevy
…or was it a Ford?

You're a Nutter Butter and spoiled leftover sandwich of your own making
With brown poopy must-ord!

12/25/2007 9:10 PM  
Blogger Ben, aka BadBen said...

Merry Christmas and Happy Festivus!

Happy trails,
Bad Ben

12/25/2007 11:59 PM  
OpenID ktimmerman said...

"I was wryly amused by the people who sought to use "Merry Christmas" as "fighting words" agsinst to liberals. Yes, they thought that they could somehow use Jesus' birthday as a political weapon."
(smiling) ... so share with me, my Dear Friend. Just what would Jesus do? :)
Huggers
Karl

12/26/2007 12:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That blog is a pure example of how low conservatives will go to bash anyone not jumping off the bridge with them. I couldn't help but notice his fundraiser for wounded warriors. He raised 200,000 dollars to buy laptops for wounded warriors? How about maybe a plane ticket for a loved one or maybe needed medical care or equipment to help them with their injury? YOu would think he would use his head a little more, but then again, look who we are talking about.

"Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of another... There are just some kind of men who - who're so busy worrying about the next world they've never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results."- To Kill A Mockingbird

12/26/2007 12:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. Happy Holidays Dan

Sincerely,

The above blogger

12/26/2007 12:32 AM  
Blogger whistleblower said...

Anyone, or any organization, that would use "Merry Christmas" as a weapon, has lost the meaning of the words.

December 25th is Christmas Day in the USA (Title 5, Section 6103). Celebrate it however you wish.

When I say "Merry Christmas" to my non-Christian friends, I hope they understand that I am not pushing my religious beliefs on them. I hope they just consider the expression as a want for them to share in my peace and joy.

I hope / doubt that the linked site sold much of their “anti-Christmas” materials. We can only hope that the lack of support has somehow shown them the true meaning of Christmas.

12/26/2007 7:01 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

I hold nothing but contempt for the ACLU. I wouldn't spend one cent to send them a card or support them in any way. In fact, I've contributed to organizations that oppose them, a much better return on my dollar. Any conservative who sends them a Christmas card "as fighting words" is a fool with his money and you're right, Dan, wrongly use Jesus' birthday as a political weapon.

My wish for 08 is that the Supreme Court rules against the ACLU on
http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=3648184

I'm sure this issue is of high importance to you, Dan, and would make an interesting blog topic.

That aside, I do wish you and your family a wonderful New Year, Dan, and will look forward to being a part of your blog community in '08 as believe it or not, I do appreciate gaining insight into liberal politics in a sensible way and I do believe several liberal issues have merit.

12/26/2007 7:52 AM  
Blogger les said...

They can't even be original--from '05:

"Of course, there is no "Merry Christmas" lawsuit, nor is there any ACLU litigation about U.S. currency, military chaplains, etc. But the facts are not important to these groups, because their real message is this: By protecting the freedom of Muslims, Jews, and other non-Christians through preventing government entanglement with religion, the ACLU is somehow infringing on the rights of those with majority religious beliefs.

In truth, it is these website Christians who are taking the Christ out of the season. Nowhere in the Sermon on the Mount did Jesus Christ ask that we celebrate His birth with narrow-mindedness and intolerance, especially for those who are already marginalized and persecuted. Instead, the New Testament—like the Torah and the Koran and countless other sacred texts—commands us to love our neighbor, and to comfort the sick and the imprisoned."

http://tinyurl.com/d2fcj

Gee, Trav, why am I not surprised that the defense of any rights other than your own is so offensive to you?

12/26/2007 9:27 AM  
Blogger sophia said...

My wish for 08 is that the Supreme Court rules against the ACLU on [voter ID law]

Well, given this:

5. The purpose of the law is fraud prevention,
but there is no evidence that in-person impersonation
fraud has ever occurred in Indiana

The articulated purpose for the voter identification
law is to combat voter fraud. (App. 106). However, the
State of Indiana is not aware of any incidents of attempted
or successful in-person impersonation voting fraud that
have ever occurred within the State. (App. 39). Indeed, no
person has ever been charged with any crime relating to
voting fraud associated with in-person voting in Indiana.
(Id.). Veteran poll watchers have seen no evidence of inperson
voting fraud. (Id.). On the other hand, there is
evidence of fraud associated with absentee ballot voting in
Indiana, although absentee balloting is not regulated by
the identification law. (Id.).


Your wish is kind of like wishing a person has a successful, unwanted, and completely unnecessary surgical amputation. In light of that, Merry Christmas and I hope 08 brings you a fresh perspective.

12/26/2007 11:15 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

I happen to agree with the
State of Indiana
http://www.in.gov/sos/press/2007/State_Respondents_Merits_Brief.pdf
and the lower court decisions that upheld their law.

We all know there is voter ID fraud, if not prosecuted in Indiana, such fraud has been found and prosecuted in other states.

Speaking of amputation analogies, as Sophia has, I would suggest an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 12-20 million people are in this country illegally because we did not prevent them from coming. The cure will undoubtedly be more painful than sensible prevention efforts.

Sophia, I also wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as well, no matter the difference in our perspectives. I think we can both agree it will be real interesting to specifically see how the SCOTUS argues their decision.

12/26/2007 1:13 PM  
Blogger les said...

Despite 7 years of vigorous effort, the Bush DOJ has not been able to document significant voter fraud on any basis, and effectively none based on voter identification. The professional staff of the DOJ voter fraud division, before being squashed by their politicized overlords, identified voter ID laws as having the likely effect of suppressing voter turnout, particularly among (wholly legitimate) poor, elderly and minority communities. Shockingly, these are groups that have historically voted Democratic. Go figure.

Trav, when you have actual evidence of votes influenced by the Illegal Brown Hordes, let's talk about wasting tax money and gov't resources on disenfranchising Americans in pursuit of the permanent Republican majority.

12/26/2007 4:48 PM  
Blogger whistleblower said...

Wait a minute!

My father is a Republican. My brother is a Republican. My best friend is a Republican. A whole lot of people that I know are Republican. - Not one of them wants to prevent anyone that has a legal right to vote, from doing so.

On the other side; my mother was a Democrat. My uncle is a Democrat. Many of my closest friends are Democrats. - not one of them wants any one to vote that is not legally permitted to vote.

Read the blogs. That’s exactly how each side sees the other.

What we have here is two sides to the same coin. The real value only exists because we do have both sides.

"Every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor edge of danger and must be fought for, whether it’s a field, or a home, or a country." ~Thornton Wilder

However, we do have a problem with voter fraud. It has existed for a long time. Maybe not as "in-person" fraud, nonetheless, it does exist. As this country continues to become more evenly split along party lines, the influence of voter fraud becomes more apparent.

No true patriot of the United, and I do use that term loosely, States would want anyone to be deprived of their right to vote - for any reason. No true patriot would want anyone without that right to vote in our elections. We just need to come up with a way to satisfy both sides. I hope we have a common goal. Once we recongnize that as fact, we can move forward.

As travelingal pointed out, we do have a problem with illegal immigration. The problem occurred due to our own failure to secure our borders, and the fact that we looked the other way because it was economically beneficial.

“Real valor consists not in being insensible to danger, but in being prompt to confront and disarm it.” —Sir Walter Scott

12/26/2007 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So then we can safely say that Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, Anne Coulter, Pat Robertson, Lou Dobbs, That one racist tool from KC talk radio Chris Stigsomething not really important, Gov. Blunt, and Darla Jaye are definitely not true patriots? I'm good with that!

12/27/2007 12:28 AM  
Blogger les said...

Has anyone made a non-hysterical connection between voting fraud and illegal immigration, or is this just the new talking point? Whistleblower, while I have no doubt about the attitude of your friends and relatives, it is clear that the Bushco DOJ has been politicized, and generates and supports efforts to make it harder for traditionally Democratic constituencies to vote. Fair and balanced is all well and good, but this is not an "oh, both sides do it, so what?" issue.

Check this story:
http://tinyurl.com/3b4qhw

It's at DailyKos, so I'm sure Trav will ignore it. But there are dozens of links to studies, news reports, etc. from a wide variety of sources-that data thing that's come up before.Political history in this country is clear--Dems benefit from increased voter turnout, and Reps benefit from reduced turnout, especially in particular demographics. Given the zeal for power and disdain for law shown by current Rep. leadership--Karl Rove, anyone?--do you really doubt they would use the power of the administration to disenfranchise? Particularly, do you doubt that voter ID laws--a response to an unproven threat--impact the poor, elderly and legal immigrant populations disproportionately? Before the Liberty U. grads took over, DOJ consistently found that to be the case.

12/27/2007 9:15 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

Les, my ISP is all screwed up today and my puter is barely working .. can't open any links but I would if I could. I don't mind reading opposing views but I certainly don't have Kos bookmarked.

Anyhow, you asked about the poor, disabled and legal immigrants. I'll even throw in disabled. My mother happens to fit 3 of the 4 (she's a birthright citizen) and has never missed voting in any election other than maybe the month when she had a stroke and became paralyzed. (By the way she's never voted for a Republican, even my own cousin who was a state senator). Conversely, I know several people who are none of the above and who never vote. As for legal immigrants, they aren't allowed to vote until they become citizens and I'd speculate that those who do become citizens vote in high percentages given what they had to go through to become citizens.

There's all kinds of things at play here, not the least of which is states' rights. The requirements for voter ID vary from state to state from voice acknowledgement to utility bill to photo ID. It even goes further. Some states ban convicted felons from ever voting; others allow them to vote the day they get out of prison.

As for voter fraud, what about the Milwaukee situation in '04 where thousands more voted than were registered to vote in one city alone? The investigation concluded there was clear evidence of voter fraud. No one can tell me voter fraud doesn't exist.

12/27/2007 11:19 AM  
Blogger whistleblower said...

les...

Our elected leaders are crap... on both sides. They look for the loopholes in the law rather than following the spirit of the law.

I don't have a problem with an attorney using a loophole to defend his client, but I do have a problem with the law-makers, and those elected to enforce the law, (i.e. Blunt, Bush) looking for a way to avoid the spirit of the law.

I doubt that legal immigrants fail to possess proper identification. If I jumped thru all the hoops to become a citizen, I would carry my ID like a badge of honor.

If you are poor or elderly, you probably take advantage of some government program. It would seem reasonable for you to be required to prove who you are prior to receiving benefits. If that’s not a requirement, it should be.

Voter fraud does exist. The following press release is from the St. Louis City Election Board in response to this month's indictment of eight former ACORN workers on charges of voter registration fraud:

Earlier today, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of the State of Missouri, Catherine L. Hanaway, announced that eight former employees of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, were indicted in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri on federal election violations. The indictments come approximately thirteen months after the City of St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners turned over to federal investigators, thousands of voter registration cards that had been submitted for processing to the Board by ACORN.

These voter registration cards contained fraudulent signatures, improper and inaccurate voter information, and duplicative and incorrect names. Included in the voter registration cards that were patently fraudulent was a voter registration card and signature attributed to a fifteen year old girl whose mother alerted the Board that no such card and signature had been completed.

"These voter registration cards were brazenly fraudulent, and we are pleased that the U.S. Attorney’s Office is taking steps to properly prosecute those who commit voter registration fraud," stated Republican Director Scott Leiendecker.

"The Board will continue to vigorously investigate any and all allegations of election fraud and refer any incidents to the appropriate law enforcement authorities."


Let's figure out a way to get proper identification for those that would like to vote. Give me a list. I'll give a couple of days prior to the next election to ensure that I can help a fellow citizen cast a vote.

12/27/2007 11:27 AM  
Blogger sophia said...

One of life's enduring mysteries to me is the extent to which Republicans sincerely believe that voter fraud at the polls is a serious widespread problem. Worried about people bundling absentee ballots at the nursing home? I can see that. But worried about Mickey Mouse showing up to vote because some independent contractor hired by ACORN padded his registration sheets with BS? Are you serious?

Ann Coulter committed voter fraud by registering at an address she'd never lived at, but it's not like she voted twice in the same election. A lot of what counts as "fraud" does not, at its core, involve ineligible voters casting ballots. The ACORN problems are another example of that -- do people seriously fear that those bogus registrations are going to result in someone voting at the polls?

12/27/2007 1:27 PM  
Blogger whistleblower said...

"do people seriously fear that those bogus registrations are going to result in someone voting at the polls?"

Yes sophia...bogus registrations do end up with votes.

Dead voted in Washington Governor's race

Even Dead People Voted in Miami

Yes... The Democrats do receive the majority of votes from the lower income sector. So, Yes, Democrats will be affected the most by those without valid ID being rejected at the voting booth. I can't change that.

I have valid identification, and I'm pretty sure most people that read this blog do too. So let's stop complaining about the poor people that can't vote because they don't have any identification, and get them some identification.

How do they cash their welfare or SS check without ID?

This whole debate is stupid. Instead of pissing and moaning about a reasonable corrective action to, at least a potential problem, both Democrats and Republicans should be helping the poor and elderly acquire valid identification. That way they won't be spending a portion of their checks at the check cashing facilities. OR are the poor and the elderly not receiving checks today?

12/27/2007 3:51 PM  
Blogger les said...

Trvelingal: someday, I hope you quit drinking the kool-aid and actually look around. the "great Milwaukee voter fraud case" was so ridiculously trumped up, immediately pre-election, by a Bush/Gonzalez US Atty, that a circuit court judge reprimanded him from the bench. Filing the case saved him from the purge, but not much else:

"Daniel Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is doing some good digging into the Milwaukee connection to the phony "voter fraud" claims used to help push U.S. Attorneys out of their job in the Bush Administration's political purge/disassembly of the now-ironically named Department of Justice.

As well, a recent, and unusual, overturned case in Wisconsin's Seventh Court of Appeals is similarly adding fresh fuel to the insidious GOP "voter fraud" scam at the heart of the outrageous abuse of power by the current Executive Branch."

Some day, you may learn that the plural of anecdote is not data; as I've said, there is no evidence of voter ID fraud effecting any significant state or national election, no matter how hard DOJ tries. There is substantial evidence of how voter ID laws suppress turnout. Thanks for playing.

Whistle, I trust you're aware that the St. Louis "Acorn fraud" consisted of false registrations--no, zero, fraudulent votes--from a few paid registration collectors; and that ACORN itself notified the USA of the situation? That the term "thousands" in your cited report is blatant overstatement? That the Reps have targeted ACORN nationally, because they register mostly poor folk? Like this--

"Ah yes, the always reliable GOP "vote fraud" scammers' "ACORN canard" rears it's ugly (and unsubstantiated) head again. The NEWSWEEK article referenced above is here.

ACORN is the "Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now", a group which has successfully run voter registration drives across the country in low-income and minority areas.

As we reported back in December of 2005 --- when high-level GOP operative James Tobin was actually found guilty of jamming Democratic 'Get out the Vote' phone lines in order to keep voters away from the polls in 2002 by "orchestrating an election day phone-jamming plot against New Hampshire Democrats" --- the ACORN nut had already fallen off the Republican's "vote fraud" tree.

ACORN had "been vindicated of the various bogus charges, as virtually all of the frivolous lawsuits and investigations the GOP liars made so much noise about had simply collapsed by then," as we reported at the time in linking to ProjectVote.org's coverage."

Do you know that New Mex. USA Iglesias was fired in part for refusing to pursue voter fraud claims against ACORN, because he thought there was no case? Or check out what the Washington Post found: http://tinyurl.com/3dvlz7 That's on ACORN's site, but don't jump to conclusions.

Now, ACORN is a big organization, working in an easily abused situation; it hires unemployed and homeless, and (I think) pays on performance. Are some fraudulent registrations turned in? I'm sure there are. But these are registrations, not ballots; and ACORN has a history of assisting local voter registration agencies and Fed. authorities when problems have arisen. You are buying into political hype that accompanies politically motivated indictments and accusations; find me the convictions, the evidence of actual fraudulent votes in any significant quantity. There is no evidence that justifies disenfranchising legal voters--and every study done says that what voter ID laws do; that's what Bush-appointed trial and appellate judges have found; that's what the Bush DOJ found, till the people who wouldn't play along were purged and the Liberty U. contingent brought in.

After seven years of this administration, there is no excuse for any reasonable human being to accept at face value the propaganda of the Republican party, particularly at state or federal level.

12/27/2007 4:16 PM  
Blogger les said...

Sorry to go on, but this just gets me. Whistle:

I have valid identification, and I'm pretty sure most people that read this blog do too. So let's stop complaining about the poor people that can't vote because they don't have any identification, and get them some identification.

Jebus on a popsicle stick. Why not just say, "Hey, I got mine, fuck you?"

The people behind these laws are using false stories, commonly called lies, to push laws that they know will suppress voting. THEY DO NOT WANT TO HELP ANYONE GET ID. These laws have been overturned in some cases, among other reasons, because Fed. judges have determined the required ID could cost over $100--guess who can't afford it? IT'S A FEATURE, NOT A BUG. No voter ID law has even hinted that the gov't would help anyone get an ID. How naive are you? How did a National ID law fare among congressional Repubs????

Is there any voter fraud? Of fucking course; why in Florida, they found 40 people who had also voted in New York!!!! Is there wide spread, systematic voter identification fraud, sufficient to effect state or national elections? Well, the people dedicated to claiming it can't find it--damn, those fraudsters must be good, huh?

12/27/2007 4:28 PM  
Blogger whistleblower said...

les...

For every article that claims that voter fraud exists, there is another that claims it to be a myth.

I don't know which one to believe, but I do know how to take steps that prevent it from having the chance to occur.

If, given adequate notice and assistance in the procurement of valid identification, is a problem, I'd like to solve it.

If there is a reason to avoid obtaining identification, I'd like to hear that too.

I don't want a single vote cast that is fraudulent. I also don't want any citizen to be denied their right to vote. - What is the best approach to solving both?

12/27/2007 4:43 PM  
Blogger les said...

I don't know which one to believe,

Great, now I have to worry about you voting. If you can't figure out how to sort the political bullshit from actual evidence--e.g., loud, frantic cries of "FRAUD, FRAUD" vs., oh, gee, I dunno, FUCKING CONVICTIONS of the accused for fraud?--on this and myriad other issues, what business do you have voting?

I don't want a single vote cast that is fraudulent. I also don't want any citizen to be denied their right to vote. - What is the best approach to solving both?

When you find the door to Utopia, clue us in. In reality, unpossible. There has no doubt been fraud in every election held in this country, at some level. There's not much doubt there's been significant and successful fraud at the city level--Chicago under the Original Daly, NY in the Boss Tweed era. Again: there is no evidence of significant voter ID fraud effecting a state or national election.

You do not disenfranchise people--institute an effective poll tax--in greater number than has ever even been claimed, far less proved, for fraudulent ballots. You grow up and live with reality, and you don't restrict people's rights because you're afraid of the boogeyman. cough*Iraq*cough, faked up voter fraud, etc. ad nauseam.

12/27/2007 5:57 PM  
Blogger whistleblower said...

les...

How many fraudulent votes were cast in the 2004 Presidential Election?

I'll save you some time. - You don't know, and neither do I.

If a fraudulent vote was cast, who did it?

Maybe we should view the voting both video, so that we can catch the perp. - wait a minute, we don't have video of the voters.

Apprehending / prosecuting a fraudulent voter is almost impossible to do. The trail is tough to follow.

Inquiry finds evidence of fraud in election

I'm not expecting utopian results, but I do expect a reasonable effort.

Much like any investigative tool, the results are only as good as the method used for detection.

I propose an alternative. We can fingerprint any voter that cannot provide a photo ID.

12/27/2007 6:58 PM  
Blogger les said...

I'm not expecting utopian results, but I do expect a reasonable effort.

That's great. We can at least discuss what's reasonable. Is there some fraud? We seem to agree yes. Is there significant fraud, so as to justify expensive programs and creation/expansion of bureaucracies and programs, likely at some further degradation of personal privacy? There's no evidence of it, even though the US Attys. and DOJ generally have been heavily invested in finding it.

You trotted out a story from 2005, the same lame shit that Travelingal ran out. If you would bother to follow the story to 2007, you would have found that there were few convictions at the circuit court level, and that the appeals court not only overturned all convictions, the US Atty. received a blistering public reprimand from the bench for bringing a case based on shoddy legal reasoning and near non-existent evidence. Even if the charges had been true, is it reasonable to implement an expensive (think about the driver's license apparatus, expanded to cover everyone who votes and with stricter requirements for home address, etc.) program to deal with 300 fraudulent voters out of 270,000? Particularly when it's been shown that such programs disenfranchise legitimate voters? Are you down with a tax increase, to make voter ID free to all voters?

You can't pretend to be reasonable if you're not willing to figure out what the problem actually is, whether the proposed solution actually addresses it effectively, and whether the solution creates other problems (although in this case, the problem I see with voter ID laws is actually a preferred outcome for those proposing them).

12/28/2007 9:34 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

Indiana provides a photo ID FREE OF CHARGE to anyone who wants one and still there are exemptions for people who don't want one for religious reasons, etc. This crybaby crap about $100 for a card is totally unfounded.
http://www.in.gov/sos/elections/hava/2007%20Media%20Kit/Photo%20ID%20fact%20sheet.pdf

Go back on your meds, Les.

12/28/2007 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Les is More said...

Umm, no, Travelingal, you're wrong.

Go read the link you provided. You only get a free ID if you manage to assemble and purchase the required documents. The required documents aren't free. That's kind of like saying I'll give you a free ID if you bring me a valid stock certificate for 100 shares of IBM.

If you read your link, you'd see that they even found it necessary to create "exemptions for voters who cannot afford the costs associated with obtaining a free ID." In other words, the free ID ain't free.

Now, before you jump to the conclusion that those exemptions solve the problems, I want you to tell me exactly how I go about finding out how to qualify myself under those exemptions.

. . . .

. . . .

I'm waiting . . .

Kind of a hassle, isn't it? Even for a bright, well-educated person of means and good internet access, like yourself. Now imagine if you were a little less adept with the language. Imagine if you didn't really like dealing with authorities, because authorities tend to treat (poor black elderly) people like you like shit.

You would probably give up, wouldn't you? And one more poor, black, elderly person would be silently disenfranchised. And Dick Cheney would smile.

12/28/2007 10:25 AM  
Blogger whistleblower said...

les, and les is more...

I proposed fingerprinting as a method of verification. In fact, we could fingerprint and photograph anyone without a valid photo ID. The voter would only be required to bring their current form of identification with them.

NO increased cost to the voter. No jumping thru bureaucratic hoops. No disenfranchised voters. This would be free of charge to the voter, and could probably receive funding from the money saved by decreasing the cost of investigations of alleged voter fraud.

Who you vote for is private. The fact that you voted is not.

I'll admit that I have not had a chance to investigate this in-depth, but I do think the proposal has merit.

Your feedback would be appreciated.

12/28/2007 11:47 AM  
Blogger les said...

NO increased cost to the voter. No jumping thru bureaucratic hoops. No disenfranchised voters. This would be free of charge to the voter, and could probably receive funding from the money saved by decreasing the cost of investigations of alleged voter fraud.

What's wrong with this picture? Well, a couple of things. It's not free, and it doesn't work.

Taking and maintaining fingerprint records digital photos is free. Uh, no, sorry.

Taking a fingerprint verifies right to vote. How the fuck does that work? Unless you have a (not free) database of fingerprints and pictures to compare to, it's useless. And how does the database happen? Why, potential voters would have to verify their right to vote in advance--what does this sound like? By the way, if you really have a free method to generate and maintain hundreds of millions of records, including fingerprints and pictures, constantly updated residence verification, let's get together--I could come up with some investment money.

You've massively slowed down the voting process, requiring many more polling places, machines, personnel, blah blah blah. Uh, not free.

12/28/2007 12:10 PM  
Blogger whistleblower said...

les...

The acquisition of fingerprints and photographs can take place on a notebook computer at the voting station. If it does not currently exist, I would be happy to write the database, free of charge.

Digital cameras and biometric scanners, of the quality needed, are also very inexpensive.

No need to verify against any database at the polling place. We can verify, and prosecute if needed after the election. We would then have the fingerprints and a picture of who voted under that registration.

Merging the data could take place after the election. It may even provide information needed to provide future voter identification.

I have proposed a method of identifying who is placing the vote, at no cost to the voter that lacks proper identification, and you still balk. Why?

Voter identification is left to the state. Why not do our best to ensure that every vote in Missouri is legitimate?

If I could ensure funding, with no increased cost to the taxpayer, and no increased cost to the potentially disenfranchised voter, would you support it?

"method to generate and maintain hundreds of millions of records, including fingerprints and pictures"

We are talking about 11 million nationwide. I'm just talking about Missouri. Let's fix our house before we decide how to fix our neighbor's house.

I have no way to influence states other than Missouri, but they may catch on. However, Missouri currently has about 4 million registered voters. How many of them lack proper identification?

I'll leave the figures up to you, as mine would be challenged anyway. (remember to show your math)

“How far would have Moses gone if he had taken a poll in Egypt?” –Harry S. Truman

12/28/2007 1:09 PM  
Blogger les said...

Whistleblower, get a grip. A digital camera and biometric scanner at every polling place in Missouri--no cost?

Data points: name (2), residence (4?), fingerprint, picture, date (3), polling place (4?)--fuck yes, hundreds of millions. A fingerprint is not a single data point, ya know?

You'll do the database free--are you 15?

You'll verify afterwards? How? What will you compare to? You don't actually even get the so-called problem, do you?

You'll merge the data afterward? With/into what?

I begin to think I've been spoofed. You can't be real.

12/28/2007 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Les is More said...

Whistleblower -

The game is won in your assumptions.

Somehow, you manage to create a massive database of photos and fingerprints at no expense. I don't believe that you could, in fact, get an adequate system set up at all polling places without huge expense.

So, even though you're wrong about that, I'll work with you on this. If the system had no other major flaws, and managed to defeat potential voter fraud, I would be willing to make the investment.

But, that's where the flaws come in. First off, I do not want the government maintaining a database of every citizen's fingerprint and photo. It's dangerous.

What will it achieve? If I have to go through this additional hurdle in order to vote with my usual form of ID, then how will it add any enforcement? If I've somehow managed to avoid prosecution for the past 20 years voting with my false address and false driver's license identifying me as Joe Whistleblower, and I can continue to vote with that same documentation, what will be gained? How will I suddenly get caught now?

It's also worth pointing out that none of this will be solving a problem with any significance outside of the imaginations of a few crazies. I've never seen anyone demonstrate significant voter fraud in Missouri.

But you want to force every voter who shows up with currently valid ID to undergo a fingerprint and photo - why?

I do admire your creativity, and I don't question your goodwill - it seems that you are really trying to avoid disenfranchisement while increasing protection against voter fraud. That's admirable. I just don't see your proposal as improving anything except for the bottom line of some computer salespeople and consultants.

12/28/2007 2:09 PM  
Blogger whistleblower said...

I’ll address les, and then les is more. Trying to do both at the same time would be confusing.

Les…

Almost ten years ago I wrote a database that is still in use today. It is the who’s who of the agriculture department for every state in the union. I just wrote the database; I did not collect or input the data. The whole thing, including all the data, when compressed, fit on a floppy disk. It would not take me long to modify that database to perform this function. The image files for the fingerprint and photo would require more space, but not much of a design change. Relational databases are wonderful things when created properly. The information on every registered voter could easily be imported from a spreadsheet to save entry time at the polling place.

You have made it very clear that have no desire to correct or acknowledge the problem, or even the potential problem. I told you no additional cost to the taxpayer, and no additional cost to the potentially disenfranchised voter. You just want to claim that the problem doesn’t exist, or that it would be cost prohibitive. I disagree on both points.

Those that accept defeat without trying, never get anything done. However, you are welcome to pull up a chair and watch.

les is more…

I appreciate your indulgence.

Not every voter would be required to be photographed and fingerprinted; only those that fail to provide acceptable photo identification would be susceptible to the fingerprinting and photo requirement. This knocks it down to less than 10% of the registered voters, still a large number, but much more workable.

Now, we write the law so that the fingerprinting and photo is something that ,may be required. We’ll leave the determination up to the election officials. This not only avoids creating a disenfranchised voter in the event of computer malfunction, it also allows you to only incorporate the fingerprinting and photo requirement at voting facilities that would have a significant number of expected voters without proper identification. I’m sure many voting stations don’t see a significant number of voters without proper ID, so why bother. I’m pretty sure that the Board of Elections could identify problem areas. The areas with a large population of poor or elderly would likely be the target facilities. (I don’t hunt for deer in the middle of the lake either) This significantly decreases the initial number of facilities that would require the identification equipment. These are also the facilities that would be staffed with more people to assist in the process. We can expand this in the future to include all facilities.

I was first fingerprinted almost 30 years ago when I joined the military. They like to know who you are prior to issuing a top-secret clearance. :>) I’m pretty sure that all veterans of the last 30 years or so have been fingerprinted. All police officers have been fingerprinted. I think you will find that more people have been fingerprinted than you would have imagined. And with no noted side effects.

I don’t worry too much about fingerprints. If “big brother” wanted my fingerprints, they could easily obtain them. Give me one bag of your trash and I can probably establish which prints are yours.

You can avoid the fingerprinting and photo if you obtained a valid photo ID prior to voting. I wouldn’t be surprised if this also provided an incentive for those that currently lack a photo ID to go get one, thereby decreasing the number of those subject to the additional identification process.

The process would require 2 minutes per person (a digital photo and a biometric scan). One person could process 30 people per hour. (Remember, these are only those without photo ID) That results in 360 people processed per day by one person. If 200,000 voters without proper ID went to vote, we would need about 550 additional election officials statewide. I think that is a doable number.

You also addressed the voter that is voting by use of false identification. In the future, and only because I can’t fix everything at once, we could require a biometric thumb scan from every voter. Most that would be willing to vote fraudulently already have a criminal record, with prints on file.

If Joe Blue voted at 10:00 AM and then went to a different facility as Tom Red (a poor registered voter without identification) at noon, how would we ever catch him, let alone identify and prosecute him? (possible one of the reasons for the lack of voter fraud prosecutions) How many times has this happened? I don’t know, and nobody else does either. A biometric scan would deter this from occurring.

I don’t see this as an end-all means of preventing voter fraud, but I do see it as a possible step in the right direction. I don’t have all of the answers and would appreciate constructive input.

If someone stole your credit card, and was using it a “Great Deal City”, but when the police checked with the store, they found that the store did not require a photo ID and they didn’t have any cameras; what would you think about that store? A fraudulent vote is theft against the citizens of this country. Reasonable and cost efficient methods of preventing voter fraud should be considered. I'd be more than happy to provide a thumb scan instead of a signature when I use my credit card.

12/28/2007 6:22 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

I'm in Chicago today. Yesterday awaiting my flight, I bought a paperback and some M&M's. I handed the clerk my Visa. Not good enough. She had to see a photo ID for an $11.00 purchase. This was her standard procedure for all customers.

Les...nothing is totally free and you know it. So Indiana requires "documentation" to get a photo ID which requires you get a birth certificate or like document which I suppose could cost a few bucks...bfd. I am sure old, poor, black women (to quote you above) have medicare, medicaid (if they're poor) both of which require documentation as well.

Your arguement doesn't change my mind one bit.

12/29/2007 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Les is More said...

So, a JoCo air traveler who can afford to blow $11 bucks for M&Ms and a paperback doesn't care that poor people won't be able to vote.

Nothing surprising here.

Les and I happen to care a little more about the right to vote than other rich white people. I'd rather be with Les. Have a nice time in Chicago. Be sure to tip the servants.

12/29/2007 11:07 AM  

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