I learned a lot at VoterWest, but not about the coup. Since I had to work the BBBR/fringefolk table, and practice a speech I never gave (more on that on the next page), I wasn't able to listen to all the speeches in their entirety. I did get the gist of them, though.
What I learned at VoterWest is that we are in trouble. Only 200 or so protesters attended the action, in one of the most liberal cities in America. I don't know why this is, but I have some suspicions, and it worries me.
I was shocked to find out that so many people who attended the action were unaware of the facts of the coup. Since I correspond mostly with very active political junkies like myself, I had assumed that information we know is known in the wider community.
In fact, yesterday may have been the first time a great many people, who rely on the mainstream media-opolies for their news, heard about the voter purge in Florida. The Los Angeles Times finally ran the story as a front page item on Monday, and understatement was the order of the day (sadly):
...a little-known program aimed at curbing voter fraud in Florida was so badly designed and run that it wrongly targeted thousands of legitimate voters during the 2000 presidential election.
Even worse, state officials in Tallahassee ignored clear warnings about the mounting mistakes and actually loosened criteria for matching voters' names with those of felons, putting more innocent people at risk of losing their right to vote.
The so-called felon purge drew little attention during the bitter 36-day recount battle between Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore last fall...
-FLORIDA NET TOO WIDE IN PURGE OF VOTER ROLLS by Lisa Getter, May 21, 2001
I'm not gonna say ANYTHING. Okay, well, maybe a couple of things... Starting with, "bullshit."
The anti-coup movement has known about this story since the day after the election (November 8), thanks to the excellent reportage of news organizations like Mother Jones:
Thousands of Florida residents were struck from the voter lists because they were mistakenly identified as ex-felons, just months before what has become the closest election in US history. With Bush apparently leading Gore by only hundreds of votes, in a state with hundreds of thousands of disenfranchised voters, could similar errors be tipping the race?
- VOTELESS IN FLORIDA by Sasha Abramsky Nov. 8, 2000
...and honest journalists like Gregory Palast, Resistance Hero:
Hey, Al, take a look at this. Every time I cut open another alligator, I find the bones of more Gore voters. This week, I was hacking my way through the Florida swampland known as the Office of Secretary of State Katherine Harris and found a couple thousand more names of voters electronically 'disappeared' from the vote rolls. About half of those named are African-Americans. They had the right to vote, but they never made it to the balloting booths.
- A BLACKLIST BURNING FOR BUSH by Gregory Palast The London Observer, Dec. 10, 2001
So, not only did the anti-coup movement know about this story immediately after the election, but foreigners knew about it, through THEIR MAINSTREAM PRESS, within days of the election.
If the American mainstream media is just now getting around to reporting this story, that is a stronger indictment of their worthlessness than I can ever make myself.
This weekend was also the first time many in the American mainstream media got hipped to the fact that the White House "trashing" story was a lie -- a Karl Rovian propaganda effort of indefensible proportions -- though we in the anti-coup movement knew about this from J28 forward, thanks to the excellent efforts of Buzzflash:
On January 28, 2001, Buzzflash became the first prominent news outlet to reveal the truth about the "scandal" involving the alleged vandalism of the White House, the trashing of Air Force One, and the theft of government property by departing members of the Clinton Administration. The conformist mainstream media howled in unison that evil Bill Clinton had taken one last opportunity to degrade the presidency. In confident defiance, Buzzflash alerted you to the fact that the incident was just another example of Bush Svengali Karl Rove employing the Big Lie technique made famous by his hero, Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels.
- WHY DOES ANDREA MITCHELL STILL HAVE HER JOB by Buzzflash, May 20, 2001
Which brings me to my point.
I want an explanation. The rightwing, THE SAME RIGHTWING that is so fond of using the "intelligent design" argument to refute the scientific theory of evolution and natural selection ("Do the calculation. Take the numbers seriously. See if the underlying probabilities really are small enough to yield design." - Rightwing darling W. A. Dembski, who has never presented any explicit calculation to back up his claim to have detected Intelligent Design at work in the "creation" of life on earth), now claims that the election "debacle" was nothing more than "Murphy's Law on Crack", so to speak. They claim that in an extreme case of coincidental serendipity, everything that could go wrong in Florida DID. Bullshit. If that were the case, then everything that could have gone wrong for Jeb Bush's brother would have. It didn't. What precisely are the probabilities that so much would go wrong in the same state, almost exclusively harming the Governor's brother's opponents? I'd like to see THOSE calculations. Murphy's Law, my eye...What happened in Florida happened by intelligent design, and the lack of media reporting on the crime happened by intelligent design, and that is the frightening but inescapable truth.
TODAY: A VoterWest Frustration Rant
TODAY: Resistance Fighters on Marching: DC-SF
TODAY: Quotable on the Coup: Bradley Whitford
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