Tuesday, February 16, 2016

American Democracy Today?

Democracy having a bad hair day in America (Image source)

Being a British citizen living and voting in Britain I am both fascinated and mystified by the arcane American electoral system. However even before learning that despite his having obliterated Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire democratic Party primary last week, Bernie cannot hope to emerge from the process with more delegate votes than Hillary when it comes down to the final nomination process, due to the influence of 'Super Delegates' I decided this blog ought to take a closer look at the way things are done.

And what I found was the system is as unfair and undemocratic and as biased towards preserving the status quo as our archaic and broken system in Britain.

Now like most Europeans who take a passing interest in American politics I was aware that money is a major factor in US elections and so was aware that the so called Super PACs are a way of avoiding legal spending limits on candidates campaigns. I was curious to know more about superdelegates and being a survivor of a long career in Information Technology wanted to know just how easy it is to hack the voting machines. (Quick guess: an eleven year old could do it).

Here's an article from former green Party Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney that a lot of people will find informative.

 Ian R Thorpe.

Super PACs, Super-Delegates, & Hacked Voting Machines.

from an Op Ed by Cynthia McKinney for RT

(This piece has been edited for brevity, although we are sure the significance of the content has not been altered - Editor)

According to the New Testament, Jesus once remarked to a wealthy man that “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to go to heaven.”
Today, we could amend the words of that Biblical reference with the US presidential race underway:
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a voter in the US to know and understand the rules regulating the administration of all elections, including elections for President of the United States.”
Let’s start with the phenomenon of what is called a “minority president.”  A minority president is one who has failed to win a plurality of the votes cast in the race for president, and yet is still able to become President of the United States. This is the exact opposite of what a true democracy would require.

The United States has actually had several minority presidents in its history, while the 21st century began ominously enough with yet another minority President: George W. Bush, the Republican who failed to secure the most votes cast by the people [in the 2000 election, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, decided the victor of the race after moving to halt the recount process in the state of Florida].

Both the US House and the US Senate are charged with counting the Electoral College votes, and this is a process in which I have participated. It’s not the people who have the last word in US elections. It’s a non-democratic construct called the Electoral College that does, except in those rare instances when it doesn’t.

The Electoral College was created by the framers of the US Constitution to ensure that the votes of the plebes did not supersede the interests of the landed gentry. That’s not just my opinion. For example, according to FairVote, an organization with which I have worked in the 2000 Presidential election, a whopping 78 percent of the votes cast were rendered unimportant due to the arcane rules of the Electoral College. They estimate that in 2008, the figure still topped 70 percent.

In order to be declared the winner of the presidency, 270 Electoral College votes are required. But the process is not what could be called transparent. For example, veteran Pro Se litigator Asa Gordon has demonstrated how the Black vote in the US is rendered less relevant by the arcane apportionment rules of the Electoral College.

Add to the above debacles, the US Congress and the election authorities in the 50 states have authorized and encouraged the use of hackable electronic voting machines that are used for vote casting and vote tabulation. Bev Harris and her company, Black Box Voting, has accumulated horror stories surrounding the non-transparency of US elections.

Such a scenario is what led former President Jimmy Carter to comment he “absolutely” could not be elected today under such conditions, going so far as to characterize the United States as an oligarchy, not a democracy.
In the US, votes and vote tabulation processes are done without any traceable back-up procedures. In other words, there is no paper trail - no receipt of a vote, as it were - whatsoever. In one of my Congressional elections in which the electronic voting machines “failed,” not only was I unable to obtain the election data despite a lawsuit having been filed, an expert witness for the state of Georgia testified that voters have to simply “trust” that the announced winner is the actual winner. Meanwhile, candidates have no access to the raw election data because that information is “owned” by Diebold—the company that produced the electronic voting machines and the software used by them (The documentary ‘American Blackout’ tells my own personal story with US elections). It is difficult to place trust in the US election system when we learn about the number of votes cast that go uncounted. In the 2000 Presidential election between Bush and Gore, between two million and five million Americans went to the polls and voted, yet their votes were thrown out, disqualified for any number of reasons. Half of those uncounted votes were cast by Black Americans.

Add to these procedural vagaries, the influence of private money in US elections and even the pretense of holding transparent, free, and fair elections is stood completely on its head. As I wrote in a previous post, the rules have given rise to super-wealthy individuals who lurk in the shadows while becoming the power behind the public faces of candidates: Marco Rubio has Norman Braman as his closest and most important backer. Hillary Clinton has Haim Saban as one of her top donors; Sheldon Adelson is a “player” at the Presidential level in US politics. Billionaire Donald Trump self-finances his Presidential bid and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is rumored to be willing to spend one billion dollars in his still-to-be-announced independent presidential run.


Can Americans Overthrow The Evil That Rules Them?

The anti - establishment, anti - globalisation mood that manifested itself in the Brexit vote is sweeping across Europe, the cosy government - corporate cartel is desperately trying to control the narrative, but against the combined strength of millions of new media commentators all challenging the official; narrative, the dark forces of globalism are on the back foot.

Servergate: 'Immune' Hillary IT-Staffer Reportedly A "Devastating Witness" - FBI
We reported a little while ago, in our series of posts chronicling the downfall of Hillary Clinton after the story of how, while Secretary Of State, she made use of personal IT equipment to handle government material classified as 'beyond top secret. The story broke just as Hillary's campaign ran into stormy waters are Bernie Sanders, originally written off as a fringe candidate began to gain momentum ...

Undemocratic Democrats – Nearly 10% Of Democratic Party Superdelegates Are Corporate Lobbyists

while I have been amused by the antics of the Republicans as they search for a way to stop Donal Trump, on the other side of the coin I have learned there is not alot about the Democratic Party that is actually democratic.

Mighty Trump Blows Off Rebublic Challengers
No surprises in the US Presidential primaries last night, but another chance to maintain my run of flatulence related headlines as Donald Trump continues to dominate the Republican contest.
American debt disaster
America being destroyed - by Vic Damico
Detroit: the first American dystopia
American incompetence leads to Iraq meltdown
The failure of American leadership
American paranoia

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The Syrian Conflict For Dummies

This was an upmarket residential area in Syria before the western powers decided to liberate Syrians from tyranny (Image source)


President Assad (who succeeded his father as ruler of Syria and therefore is bad) is a really, really nasty guy who was so nasty to his people that only just over half of them strongly supported his regime, but the first black President of The USA, The Enitre Universe and everything else besides did not like the way Assad, a Shia Muslim, ran Syria and took delight in stopping the Sunni Muslims killing Shia muslims and Yazidis and Syriac Christians.

The Sunni's (a sect of which Obama is most definitely not a member because he said he is a Christian when he needed the black evangelical vote to get himself elected) wanted Syria for themselves, so that they could reintroduce their favourite spectator sports, beheading and stoning.

Obama gave some of his Al Qaeda (Sunni) buddies some money and some weapons and told them to overthrow Assad. They stirred up the malcontents in Syria and imported Afghan, Pakistani and north African mercenaries, secured further funds from Saudi Arabia, did a deal with Turkey to launder oil from stolen oil wells, and rebelled.

The Rebels (who were good) started winning.

But then some of the rebels turned a bit nasty and started raping and beheading and noshing human organs (not cold you understand, but still warm from the corpses of freshly killed donors; ISIS fighters are not animals and plenty of people in the west enjoy a warm doner) Having changed their name more often than they change their underpants, finally settling on Islamic State, ISIS (who are definitely bad)started attacking Iraq as well as Syria. Others, whom Obama named 'moderate rebels' carried on killing, raping and enslaving innocent people, but they were fair about it, confined their actions to syria and also continued to support democracy (which is good, even when people are forced to vote at gunpoint).

After a while the good rebels and ISIS (bad rebels) started fighting each other. This distraction gave Assad the upper hand.

Obama was furious about this, because he wanted the moderate Sunni rebels to win so the Americans (who are good and wear white hats and masks and ride horses called Silver) started bombing Islamic State (who are bad and wear black hoods and ride Toyota pick up trucks,) and giving arms to the moderate Syrian Rebels (who are good) so they could fight Assad (who is still bad) which was good. Unfortunately the moderate rebels took the new, high tech weapons systems and defected to ISIS (who paid better wages and offered one sex slave shared between five guys here on earth as opposed to 72 virgins (or raisins depending on which translation of The Koran you believe) in heaven.

Meanwhile the Kurds, who weigh heavily in middle eastern politics had merged their Syrian territory with the autonamous territory in Iraq they were given after the first Gulf War in 1991 to form a breakaway state in the north. The Kurds are great fighters (they have 4000 years experience) and want to fight IS (which is a good thing) but to free Kurds living in Turkish terriotry. Turkey is a member of NATO and want to join the EU so the Kurds are bad because NATO is good. The Kurds have no time for Assad but agree with him the Turkish government (Sunni Muslims) are bad. So we have to say the Kurds are bad when fighting Turkey (who are supplying ISIS with money and weapons remember) but good when they are fighting ISIS.

Secretly we think the Kurds are good and are giving them guns to fight IS (which is a good fight) because we in the west love underdogs, except Assad who is bad like Muammar (Mad Dog) Gadaffi of Libya, whom we killed because although he was insane had mental health issues and was no threat to the west and killed far less people than insane tyrants we support, was bad because The Americans wanted to control Libya's oilfields.

Getting back to Syria. President Putin (who is bad because he is Russian, makes fun of Obama, threatens to turn the gas off when the EU annoy him and likes to take his shirt off,) had invaded Crimea and the Ukraine and killed lots of folks including that nice Russian man in London (with polonium in his tea) decided to back Assad (who is still bad) by attacking IS (who are also bad) which is a bad thing because the Americans do not really want ISIS beaten after they have invested a lot of money and effort in preparing the rebels to overthrow Assad. The important thing to understand here is the good rebels and bad rebels are the same. Good or bad depends on which way their guns are pointing.

But Putin know the Syrian Rebels who are good are also bad because they all want to kill Assad whom Russia supports, and so he bombs them too, much to the annoyance of the Americans (who are good) who are busy backing and arming the rebels (who are also good).

China also supports assad and has sent soldiers to boost his ground army. The Chinese are inscrutable so their contribution cannot be estimated.

Iran (who used to be bad, but now they have agreed not to build any nuclear weapons and bomb Israel are now good) are going to provide ground troops to support Assad (which is bad) as are the Russians (bad) who now have ground troops and aircraft in Syria.


So, a Coalition of Assad (still bad) Putin (extra bad) and the Iranians (good, but in a bad sort of way) are going to attack IS (who are bad) which is a good thing, but also the Syrian Rebels (who are good) which is bad.

Now the British (obviously good, except for David Cameron whose alleged necrophiliac cavortings with a pig make him persona non grata to Muslims (because while cavorting with goats is fine, cavorting with pigs whether alive or dead is an absolute no-no, the Koran is very clear on that) and the Americans (also good - white hts, eye masks, horses called silver) cannot attack Assad for fear of upsetting Putin because if it kicks off with Russia, China (too importsnt for trade to be bad) and Iran (good or bad) will join in. So now America and the NATO coalition have to accept that Assad might not be that bad after all because if the west gets into another messy, unwinnable war it might help Donald Trump (who is super bad) in his big to be elected President.

So Assad is now probably good, being better than IS and since Putin and Iran are also fighting IS that may now make them good. America (still good) will find it hard to arm a group of rebels being attacked by the Russians for fear of upsetting Mr Putin (now good) and that mad Ayatollah in Iran (also good now) and so they may be forced to say that all the rebels, even the moderate ones (i.e. when they are shooting at assad's supporters) are now bad. This will lead most of them to flee to Turkey and on to Europe to join IS cells(still the only constantly bad group) or local Islamic amateur Rapist groups in cities like cologne and Stockholm.

To Sunni Muslims, an attack by Shia Muslims (Assad and Iran) backed by Russians will be seen as something of a Holy War, and the ranks of IS will now be seen by the Sunnis as the only Jihadis fighting in the Holy War and hence many Muslims will now see IS as good (doh!).

Sunni Muslims will also see the lack of action by Britain and America in support of their Sunni rebel brothers as something of a betrayal and hence we will be seen as bad.

So now we have America (now bad) and Britain (also bad) providing limited support to Sunni Rebels (bad) many of whom are looking to 'moderate' rebels (were good, now bad) and IS ( still bad) for support against Assad (now good) who, along with Iran (also good) and Putin ( unbelievably good because The Pentagon and The Ministry of Defence have seen what SU35 aircraft and Growler missiles can do) are attempting to retake the country Assad used to run before all this started?

Even for people who have never taken any interest in middle eastern politics, that should be a clear as mud.

Obama: US and Iran have major differences.

So what happened to Obama's great deal with Iran? Didn't the great peacemaker and joybringer proclaim not long ago that he had created peace and understanding between the USA and Iran? Perhaps the Iranians worked out that every country with which Obama claims he has created peace and understanding is the next to be blitzed by American bombs and drone strikes

Propaganda War: US Officials Working to Keep Russia, Europe at Odds
Speaking to the US Senate Armed Services Committee this month, Breedlove said that " Russia and the Assad regime are deliberately weaponizing migration from Syria in an attempt to overwhelm European structures and break European resolve." These irrational remarks, and the mainstream media's ability to convey them with a straight face, are an indication of a broken system, experts suggest.

Call The Hackers: US Superplane Grounded By Software Bug
... it was reported late last year during a particularly intense moment in US / Russian relations in the middle east that Pentagon officials had warned Obama not to risk triggering any direct conflict with Russia because the Russians could "obliterate US military capablities."

Ignorance Is Strength: European Parliament Read to clamp Down On Free Speech
The EU is blatantly pro American, supportive of moves towards global government and opposed to democracy, except for the kind of democratic assembly that merely rubber stamps bureaucrats' decisions. Moreover, the EU has well documented designs towards extending 'Europe' into the middle east and north Africa, which makes an insane kind of sense of Hausfrau - Volksfuhrer Merkel's determination to flood Europe with illegal immigrants from those regions.

The Business of War: Defense Sales Keep Economies Of Manufacturing Nations Afloat
Tens of thousands have been killed and millions displaced due to 'humanitarian' interventions by the developed nations (led by the USA, France and the UKm the FUKUS axis) in the domestic politics of third world nation. Usually the interventions support rebel groups who if they came to power would be far more oppressive and brutal regime than the one they replaced.

War Is Good, The Obama Worshipping Guardian Says

Alas that all went down the pan in 2008 when the USA elected its first (and probably last) black president. Like American liberals, the hacks at The Guardian could not see past the colour of Obama’s skin and before Obama had even been sworn into office they were declaring him not just the greatest president ever but the greatest human being ever

Road To World War III: Turkey Shells Syria For Second Day As Saudi Warplanes Arrive

The geopolitical world was rocked yesterday when Turkey began shelling Syria’s second largest city, Aleppo, where the Syrian opposition has its back against the wall in the face of an aggressive advance by the forces of President Assad’s government and the Iranian Republican Guard supported, of course, by Russian airstrikes.

‘I’m back from Syria. The media are lying to you.’ Eva Bartlett

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian activist/freelance journalistst. Eva has lived cumulative 3 years in Gaza, spent time in Lebanon and visited Syria 3 times since April 2014. Anti-zionist, anti-imperialist, pro-justice. Find out more about Eva’s trips to Syria on her Websites: InGaza and Syria Solidarity Movement or watch the embedded video from YouTube at the web page linked above ...

US Allies Now Fighting CIA-Backed Terror Groups In Syria

The idea that ISIS has very close links with the USA has gone beyond conspiracy theory, or anti US propaganda, the proof is out there. We have previously reported on the US government's links to ISIS and revealed the vital role of NATO member Turkey in supporting the terrorists in their campaign which aims to create an Islamic Caliphate stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf

Crazy Obama Administration Claims It Brought Peace And Security To Syria In 2015
As fighting intensifies between ISIS, The Assad regime and its Russian, Iranian and Chinese allies and the FUKUS axis (France, UK, US) with support from Turkey as that rogue state wages a genocial campaign against the Kurds, the increasingly insane warmongers of the Obama administration is telling US voters they have brought peace and security to Syria Fortunately for Americans with enough nous to question the official narrative, new media is getting the truth out to ever increasing audiences.

Captured ISIS fighter says ‘trained in Turkey, ISIS thinks it’s safer than Syria’

Yet another report from the middle east offering more evidence that Turkey is supporting ISIS in every possible way and acting as the USA's proxy in the Obama administration's efforts to depose the regime of President Assad in Syria.

NATO Rhetoric About Russian Threat is 'Absurd'

The reasons being given for the latest NATO military buildup in Eastern Europe, the idea that the Russian 'Russian threat' to Eastern Europe grows every day is "simply absurd," according to former US diplomat and Senate policy advisor Jim Jatras. Effectively, Jatras says, the buildup is an attempt by the US to keep Germany and France on board with Washington's world domination agenda and ...

Turkey and Sadui Arabia Already Have Troops Fighting In Syria

Even mainstream media has been forced to concede that Turkey and Saudi Arabia are apparently ready to send ground forces to the Syrian battlefield as Assad's forces, backed by Russian air power and Iranian elite troops but continue to grind down ISIS forces equipped with US made arms and ammunition via Saudi Arabia and funded by Turkey's illegal oil trade with the terrorist group.

Obama Launching Massive Military Intervention In Libya And Iraq

Almost five years after the United States and its NATO allies launched a campaign in Libya to overthrow Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the United States is on the verge of massively escalating its military operations in the war-torn country.

ISIS Oil expopse "Raqqa's Rockefellers", Bilal Erdogan, KRG Crude, And The Israel Connection

More on how the USA and its allies Israel and Turkey have been central to the criminal business of stealing oilf from wells rightflly owned by Iraq and the autonomous Kurdish region and laundering it through Turkey into western markets and how the Turkish crook President Recep Edrogan is making hundreds of millions of dollars from the trade.
To Join Obama's Proxy War Against Russia In Syria Would Be Cameron's Greatest Folly

A look at our prospects should twat - boy Cameron succeed in obtaining parliament's approval for his wish to join Obama's coalition ofg dodgy political opportunists in their attempt to overthrow Syria's President Assad. Given that Putin has said many times, Assad stays, our outdated war planes don't stand an ice cube in hell's chance against Russian S34s and Growler Surface to Air missiles (SAMs). And that's without factoring in China's pledge to support it's allies Putin and Assad.
Turkish Convoy Allegedly Carrying Weapons To ISIS Bombed In Syria

Why is NATO member Turkey breaking every aspect of international law and United Nations charter by trading with isis and why are the USA and other NATO members condoning it, while EU leaders pledge to fast track membership for the Islamist state?
ISIS: Know Your Enemy - Who Of Those We Think Are On Our Side Is Helping ISIS
Here at last is the story behind the shooting down of a Russian military jet by Turkey's air force. It will also answer questions about how ISIS can afford all those Toyota pick up trucks, but it is not pleasant reading for people in the west who just want to hear that the good guys are winning

The Truth Of What Is Going On In Syria

The public in those nations involved directly or peripherally in the Syrian war are not being told the truth of what is going on in that country, and have not been told the truth since hostilities began in 1011. We have tried to report this many times on our main news site The Daily Stirrer

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