Monthly Archives: May 2007

“Cleaning” the Voter Rolls of “Undesirables”

Greg Palast is one of the few good investigative journalists on the current scene. He continues to report on the ongoing (and, unfortunately successful) attempts to rig elections by excluding voters who are likely to vote the “wrong” way. Read about it in his book, Armed Madhouse and on his website.

Here below is one of his recent articles that reveals the criminal activity within the office of the U.S. Attorney General.

The Goods on Goodling and the Keys to the Kingdom

Special to BRADBLOG
by Greg Palast

This Monica revealed something hotter — much hotter — than a stained blue dress. In her opening testimony yesterday before the House Judiciary Committee, Monica Goodling, the blonde-ling underling to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Department of Justice Liaison to the White House, dropped The Big One….And the Committee members didn’t even know it.

Goodling testified that Gonzales’ Chief of Staff, Kyle Sampson, perjured himself, lying to the committee in earlier testimony. The lie: Sampson denied Monica had told him about Tim Griffin’s “involvement in ‘caging’ voters” in 2004.

Huh?? Tim Griffin? “Caging”???

The perplexed committee members hadn’t a clue — and asked no substantive questions about it thereafter. Karl Rove is still smiling. If the members had gotten the clue, and asked the right questions, they would have found “the keys to the kingdom,” they thought they were looking for. They dangled right in front of their perplexed faces.

The keys: the missing emails — and missing link — that could send Griffin and his boss, Rove, to the slammer for a long, long time.

Kingdom enough for ya?

But what’s ‘caging’ and why is it such a dreadful secret that lawyer Sampson put his license to practice and his freedom on the line to cover Tim Griffin’s involvement in it? Because it’s a felony. And a big one.

Our BBC team broke the story at the top of the nightly news everywhere on the planet – except the USA – only because America’s news networks simply refused to cover this evidence of the electoral coup d’etat that chose our President in 2004.

Here’s how caging worked, and along with Griffin’s thoughtful emails themselves you’ll understand it all in no time.

The Bush-Cheney operatives sent hundreds of thousands of letters marked “Do not forward” to voters’ homes. Letters returned (”caged”) were used as evidence to block these voters’ right to cast a ballot on grounds they were registered at phony addresses. Who were the evil fakers? Homeless men, students on vacation and — you got to love this — American soldiers. Oh yeah: most of them are Black voters.

Why weren’t these African-American voters home when the Republican letters arrived? The homeless men were on park benches, the students were on vacation — and the soldiers were overseas. Go to Baghdad, lose your vote. Mission Accomplished.

How do I know? I have the caging lists…

I have them because they are attached to the emails Rove insists can’t be found. I have the emails. 500 of them — sent to our team at BBC after the Rove-bots accidentally sent them to a web domain owned by our friend John Wooden.

Here’s what you need to know — and the Committee would have discovered, if only they’d asked:

1. ‘Caging’ voters is a crime, a go-to-jail felony.

2. Griffin wasn’t “involved” in the caging, Ms. Goodling. Griffin, Rove’s right-hand man (right-hand claw), was directing the illegal purge and challenge campaign. How do I know? It’s in the email I got. Thanks. And it’s posted below.

3. On December 7, 2006, the ragin’, cagin’ Griffin was named, on Rove’s personal demand, US Attorney for Arkansas. Perpetrator became prosecutor.

The committee was perplexed about Monica’s panicked admission and accusations about the caging list because the US press never covered it. That’s because, as Griffin wrote to Goodling in yet another email (dated February 6 of this year, and also posted below), their caging operation only made the news on BBC London: busted open, Griffin bitched, by that “British reporter,” Greg Palast.

There’s no pride in this. Our BBC team broke the story at the top of the nightly news everywhere on the planet — except the USA — only because America’s news networks simply refused to cover this evidence of the electoral coup d’etat that chose our President in 2004.

And now, not bothering to understand the astonishing revelation in Goodling’s confessional, they are missing the real story behind the firing of the US attorneys. It’s not about removing prosecutors disloyal to Bush, it’s about replacing those who refused to aid the theft of the vote in 2004 with those prepared to burgle it again in 2008.

Now that they have the keys, let’s see if they can put them in the right door. The clock is ticking ladies and gents…

Dr. Bob Bowman Speaks Truth to Power

A few nights ago I went to hear a speech by Dr. Bob Bowman and was amazed to hear his comprehensive agenda for restoring the United States and to make it the kind of humane and free country we always thought it to be. Finally, someone on the political stage who makes sense.

Bob is a former “insider” whose credentials are excellent by any measure. He’s a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel who flew over 100 combat missions in Vietnam. He has a PhD in Aeronautics and Nuclear Engineering and served as Director of the Star Wars program in both the Ford and Carter administrations.

Despite his credentials as a “warrior,” Bob speaks as a peace-maker; quite a contrast to the “chicken hawks” who are currently in charge in Washington.

I encourage one and all to learn more by exploring his website, The Patriots.

SURVIVAL STRATEGIES FOR TROUBLED TIMES

People these days are beset by any number of worries — global warming, climate change, economic collapse, inflation, depression, war, terrorism, etc., etc.

I am often asked what people ought to do to be prepared. Here is a list that I first prepared in the mid-1980′s and have revised slightly from time to time. It may be of some use now. Do what you can for yourself, but keep in mind, that ultimately our security lies in our relationships and the kindness and helpfulness of those around us.

General Strategies

HEALTH, SAFETY, AND SELF-RELIANCE

Learn healthy living and acquire a diversity of skills. Cultivate a low input lifestyle. Secure your own material needs as much as possible, and find a safe place to live.

COOPERATION AND MUTUAL SUPPORT

Build mutually supportive relationships. Nurture the development of networks and self-contained, cooperative communities.

DISENGAGE

Reduce your reliance upon conventional money, financial assets, government and institutions. Get out of debt.

BE ALERT AND BE INVOLVED

Keep attuned to the changing global conditions of humanity and its habitats; help to solve regional, national and global problems as well as local ones. Participate in local politics. Ask tough questions.

Specific Possibilities to Consider:

1. Food. Grow at least some of your own food, store staple food items, save seeds, plant perennial food plants, especially fruit and nut trees. Learn how to forage for wild foods – many “weeds” are edible. Support local (preferably, organic) farmers.

Participate in “Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), also known as “subscription farming.” This is an arrangement in which a group of consumers contract to support an area farmer who in turn delivers his produce to the contracting group. The farmer is guaranteed a market and the consumers are guaranteed a supply of fresh wholesome food.

2. Collect valued items and commodities that are likely to retain their value and can be used as an exchange medium. Some favor gold and silver coins. In modest amounts, these may be useful in the event of inflation or collapse of the currency. I prefer to hold things which are more useful, like tools and books.

3. Get out of the large cities, if possible. Locate a country place which you can retreat to if and when it becomes necessary. Buy productive land that can support you and your family. Choose land that can provide food, clean water, and fuel. Ideally, locate near small towns where you have access to helpful neighbors and common facilities. If you lack the resources to buy land on your own, consider buying in partnership with others or organizing a Community Land Trust, which holds corporate title to land while assuring secure tenure, but limits individual speculative gains.

4. Build community where you are. If you must live in a city, get to know your neighbors and organize neighborhood cooperatives and mutual-support structures. Large cities depend on a complex and well maintained infrastructure, and the importation of tremendous amounts of resources from distant places. In hard times these systems may fail, in whole or in part. Learn about critical systems like water, electricity, sewage disposal, health care, and police protection. With your neighbors, plan back-up strategies and create back-up systems that will assure at least minimal life-support. Get involved in local politics and hold officials accountable.

5. Disengage financially. Begin to disengage from the conventional financial systems as much as possible. Don’t depend too much on banks or other fiduciaries, and avoid, as much as possible, the use of the conventional money system. If banks fail, you may loose your deposits, while finding that your debts remain in tact. Convert most of your financial assets to real (tangible) assets, while holding some in liquid form for payment of taxes, utilities, and other necessities that require monetary payment. Support the emerging decentralized economy that promotes humane values, equity, social justice, sustainability, and local self-determination.

6. Become debt-free; kick the credit habit; pay as you go. Don’t get caught in the “usury trap.” Especially, avoid borrowing from predatory lenders and credit card companies. Do not borrow to buy consumer goods; purchase these only when you can pay for them in full. Get out of debt as quickly as you can and stay out of debt. If you must borrow, borrow from people, not banks. In a crunch, it’s better to have your debts in friendly hands, someone who won’t take advantage of your distress or press for foreclosure. If you have a home which is mortgaged or are making payments on a major durable item such as a car or truck, you might consider the following possible options:

a. Accelerate your repayment schedule by making extra principal payments out of current income.

b. Refinance using funds obtained from individuals-relatives, friends or associates-to pay off the bank. You might obtain from them non-interest-bearing loans or, better yet, negotiate a contract which will allow for sharing of both the risks and benefits of ownership. You might give the new fund providers a part-ownership in the property. You, the user/occupant, would pay rent and they would receive a part of the rent in proportion to their investment. You would also buy back their investment over time.

c. In the case of a farm or multi-unit residential property, you might create a “community land trust” or LLC to hold title to the property which you would then lease it back on a long term basis. Others would put up enough money to repay the bank mortgage in return for equity in the buildings or a leasehold on the land.

d. Another possibility is to sell the property and buy one you can afford to hold free-and-clear.

7. Simplify your lifestyle and reduce your needs. Learn how to live better with less. Do it yourself, fix what you have, reuse, make-do, or do without. Share with others. Kick the shopping habit and emphasize non-material satisfactions and gifts.

8. Learn to share and cooperate. Secure your basic necessities like food and shelter by creating community and cooperative arrangements. Possibilities to consider are neighborhood associations, buying clubs, food cooperatives, shared or co-op housing, barter clubs, trade associations or mutual credit clearing exchanges (like LETS).

Thomas H. Greco, Jr.

My blog: Beyondmoney.net

My website: ReinventingMoney.com

Community Information Resource Center * P.O. Box 42663 * Tucson, Arizona 85733