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A Hard Act To Follow

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Here’s a synopsis of a science fiction short story I’m thinking about leaving unfinished:

The crime of murder isn’t particularly noteworthy. On average about 40 people are murdered every day in the United States. However the four murders that occurred on the day in question made headlines around the world. The victims were the former Secretaries of Defense and State, and the previous President and Vice-President of the United States.

The killings took place in California, Maryland, Wyoming, and Texas at 3:47 a.m. EST. All four died from a gunshot wound to the head. The gun was placed against the right temple, the trigger was squeezed, and a hollow-point .22 caliber bullet fired into the brain did the rest.

Everyone in the country was asking the same question: Who was behind it? What organization from what country had the wherewithal to commit such an outrage with such terrible precision … and then not take credit for it?

The most unsettling aspect of the murders was successfully kept from the press through the combined efforts of the Secret Service, the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA. The newspapers screamed of a vast conspiracy but the intelligence agencies knew differently.

Each murder, though separated by thousands of miles, took place at exactly the same time … and ballistic tests on the four recovered bullets irrefutably proved the bullets were fired from the same gun.

There was no conspiracy. The intelligence agencies of the United States were looking for one person  who could do the impossible.
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Six Problems Unique to 2012 New Hampshire Elections:

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By Bev Harris, founder of Blackboxvoting.org

SIX PROBLEMS UNIQUE TO 2012 NEW HAMPSHIRE ELECTIONS:
  1. Removed safeguards for its same-day registration system.
  2. Ignores the law on ballot-stuffing safeguards.
  3. Breaks the chain of custody.
  4. Conceals vote-counting from the public, in violation of Article 32 of its own Constitution.
  5. Removed candidate recount rights (2009).
  6. Made it illegal for public citizens or members of the press to examine the ballots after the election is over (2003)

TWO THINGS YOU CAN DO

  1. Get involved with Protect the Count NH or Watch the Vote 2012 (links below).
  2. Monitor the trap doors WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT NEW HAMPSHIRE'S FIRST-IN-NATION PRIMARY? Like the Iowa caucus system, it forces candidates to answer real questions from actual people. Political strategists like their candidates to plan their media (setting up media ops that are nothing short of laughable; placing their candidates in cornfields, in tanks, on factory assembly lines, donning catcher's mitts and plaid shirts and baseball caps.) Unscripted moments are forced on candidates in Iowa and New Hampshire, where locals won't vote-ya if you hide behind photo ops.
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From now on … Our Biggest Mistake is Believing We Are Free

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On December 17, 2007 Senator Christopher Dodd spoke on the Senate floor against George W. Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping and telecom company amnesty compromise, “Clear, first-hand whistleblower documentary evidence [states] that for year on end every e-mail, every text message, and every phone call … hundreds of millions of private, domestic communications … have been copied in their entirety by AT&T and knowingly diverted wholesale … into a secret room controlled exclusively by the NSA.

Then Senator Barack Obama announced he supported the amnesty "compromise" saying, “So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as President, I will carefully monitor the program, review the report by the Inspectors General, and work with the Congress to take any additional steps I deem necessary to protect the lives -- and the liberty -- of the American people.

I didn’t want George W. Bush, Barack Obama, or any future president of the United States to “carefully monitor the program.” I wanted a president who would stop the wiretapping program, restore the Fourth Amendment, and protect the Constitution of the United States. That’s his goddamned job. But that’s not the president I got for Christmas in 2008. The eavesdropping on every call, text, fax or email hasn’t stopped. It’s just being “carefully monitored.”
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Iowa: Issues of Integrity for the Iowa Republican Caucus

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by Bev Harris, founder of Black Box Voting

Brad Friedman at Bradblog.com reports on some key procedures in the 2012 Iowa Republican caucus. At issue is just how transparent and public the process is, and whether there are any holes in the cheese. Fewer holes than 2008, it seems. A bit of diligence on the part of caucus participants will be needed (see end of this article for what to do).

There is also some consternation from concerned citizens about a recent Politico.com story, which reports that the Iowa statewide caucus counting will be moved to an undisclosed location, its author chiding those who question the transparency behind such a move as "conspiracy minded types." To be clear about this, insisting on transparency is a necessary and patriotic element of running any public election, and ridiculing public citizens who examine transparency is kind of embarrassing. For the reporter. Not the citizens.

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I Wish We’d Stop Doing This

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The Dominant Culture of The United States, and most of the countries on this Earth, is Capitalism. We were taught it in school, we were told it was Gawd’s Will in church, we work within it during the day, it pours out of our televisions when we come home, and the only time we can escape from it is when we are asleep.

Maybe.
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All the World's a Grave

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Most of us will spend our tomorrows doing what we did today. If we have a job we’ll go to work. Kids will go to school. And stuffed somewhere around all that is shopping, laundry, cooking, and everything else. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow look pretty much the same.

Here’s what’s going to happen if we all keep putting one foot in front of the other courtesy of Jeremy Leggett, geologist turned environmentalist writing about the near-future in 2006, "The price of houses will collapse. Stock markets will crash. Within a short period, human wealth -- little more than a pile of paper at the best of times, even with the confidence about the future high among traders -- will shrivel. There will be emergency summits, diplomatic initiatives, urgent exploration efforts, but the turmoil will not subside. Thousands of companies will go bankrupt, and millions will be unemployed. Once affluent cities with street cafés will have queues at soup kitchens and armies of beggars. The crime rate will soar. The earth has always been a dangerous place, but now it will become a tinderbox.

... As with the Great Depression, economic hardship will bring out the worst in people. Fascists will rise, feeding on the anger of the newly poor and whipping up support. These new rulers will find the tools of repression -- emergency laws, prison camps, a relaxed attitude toward torture ..."
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Not as Smart as Lemmings

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An angry Rhesus monkey is apt to defecate in its hands and throw its feces at you. I think this accurately sums up the debating skills of the current crop of Republican cartoons currently vying for The Top Job. All except Rick Perry of course. He’s taken the deer-caught-in-the headlights stylings of George W. Bush to a whole new level by simply soiling himself on national television. But he’s not as smart as Mitt Romney et al because he doesn’t know what to do with his ammunition once he’s made it.

After watching the Republican Gong Show it’s obvious to anyone smarter than a goldfish that any one of these “leaders” of the Republican Party, if elected, will take this country straight to hell at roughly the speed of sound. The Democrats are the obviously prudent choice. Obama proposes proceeding down the road to perdition at the stately rate of only 55 miles an hour. Thank God our country has a two party system. We have the freedom to choose how fast we want to die.

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