Sunday, October 26, 2008

How They Are Stealing the Election in West Virginia

Note the tense. It's not future tense, because the stealing of the election is already in process.

First, they had to set the stage. This began way back in May, after the primary, when The Daily Show and later NPR did stories in which they seemed happy to get the most ignorant examples of life and parade them out. I'm not linking them as I'm sure you've heard about them, and a search of this blog will have the articles that we wrote on them at the time. The most recent story is from the New York Daily News, hardly a bastion of liberal thought. (Hat tip to Buzzard Billy for this story.) These ridiculous stories were all about how the ignorant hicks living in West Virginia were not going to vote for a black man and thought Obama was a Muslim. Both ridiculous. We've got problems with racism in West Virginia, but I've seen no worse problems here than in the rest of the US. We have problems with racism because we are a part of the US, and racism is a national problem, not one relegated to a particular region. But the point of these kinds of stories is to demonstrate that West Virginia is a racist state, beyond hope of enlightenment. And for this I consider the media to be at least complicit in this part of the rigging, if they're not downright aiding and abetting in this crime.

With the popular notion that a bunch of racist idiots is never going to vote for a black man, the scene is laid for the latest. Republican Secretary of State Betty Ireland went with the ES&S voting machines, a Nebraska-based company whose machines are known to have serious security flaws and being easily hacked. These machines were rejected by the state of Ohio (yes, OHIO, that handed Bush a second term in 2004). Yet they're good enough for the voters in West Virginia, according to Betty Ireland. She even gave an award for special services to an official from that company. This story details the whole nasty bit. Suffice it to say that Ireland is doing her job very, very well by choosing the easiest way to make sure that WV goes Republican this year. Conveniently, she's decided not to run for re-election, even passing up on an offer from Charles Minimah, the Republican candidate for Secretary of State.

And so, where are we now? Well, AG reported on the switching of Obama votes for McCain in Putnam and Jackson counties during early voting. The Film Geek reported on the same thing happening in Martinsburg. The same thing has also been happening in other parts of the state. I'll continue to update with links as I validate them.

Strangely enough, NO ONE knows about this. My parents had no idea, and they pay attention. So what can we do?

Well, Sagacious Hillbilly reported on a complaint that he made to the Secretary of State's office. So how did that work out? Not too good. Jennifer from AG has posted links to independent agencies that can help. Use them.

Finally, PLEASE, get the word out! Forward this post to anyone who needs to read it. Link to it. Heck, copy and paste it to your blog. I'd prefer attribution, but this issue is much more important than my own ego.

It may be a done deal. This has been orchestrated so carefully that it may be too late already. But as Atticus Finch says, "Just because we were beat a hundred years before we started is no reason not to fight." Stand up for your rights as Americans. If they take our votes, the other rights don't matter all that much.

UPDATE 10/27: Problems also in Berkeley, Ohio (Wheeling) and Monongalia (Morgantown) counties. I'm not sure of Berkeley, but Ohio and Mon counties are almost always Democrat. They went for Kerry in 2004.

UPDATE 2 10/27: This story hits Slashdot.

The Cruelest Month

If T.S.Eliot had been a Mountain, he wouldn't have said that April is the cruelest month. For us Mountains, November is the cruelest month.

Work with me here. November 1968, Mountain Grandpa had a sudden and fatal heart attack. He'd been planning to go to visit my mother and dad, recently married, to have Thanksgiving at their house. Mountain Grandma made the trip alone.

November 1990. Mountain Grandma has a massive, sudden stroke at the age of eighty-five. two more months and she would have been eighty-six. At that point, we started the whistling in the dark kind of joking that they died in November so that they wouldn't have to go through another winter, as they hated winter so.

November 1992. After a struggle with congestive heart failure, Mountain Rose, Mountain Grandma and Mountain Grandpa's oldest daughter, dies. She was buried in December, but it still counts as she actually died in November. After the funeral, Mountain Daddy remarked, "November isn't a good month for the Mountains, is it?"

Mountain Daddy came from a flower of six. At this point, three of the six died in November. Mountain Hyacinth, his other sister, had died in June. Now there are two: Mountain Daddy and his sister, Mountain Lily. (Yes, we like to name after flowers. Or at least I do. ;-)

Last night Mountain Daddy called me to tell me that Aunt Lil is in the hospital, and that he's going to see her. It's a bit of a long trip, but I assumed that she would be back on her feet soon with nothing to worry about. After all, we Mountains are hardy. And Aunt Lil is well into her eighties, and has been healthy as a horse. But this morning I woke up and realized that this is the last week of October. And the next month is....November. I felt a cold chill at the realization.

Every year since 1992, as December crests and we prepare for Christmas, we have a little toast that we've all made it through the evil November. I pray that we can do it again this years.

(One of these names is not made up. Tell me which one, and you'll get a prize. If you know me IRL, you're not eligible, as that wouldn't be fair, now would it?)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Betty Ireland's Reaction

Here's the official reaction of the Secretary of State to the voting machine, errrrr, anomalies from the

Charleston Daily Mail

And here's the unofficial reaction: from Sagacious Hillbilly. A commenter has left numbers to call on the national level as well.

We the people have a responsibility to be vigilant and to make it as hard as they can to steal this election. Steal it they may, but it will be while we are kicking and screaming.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

And because there is humor in EVERYTHING....

Sometimes our best weapon is laughter. Even if the very same thing is happening in the next county over. This will at least help to raise awareness.


Are you Really Registered?

Kit in her impressive blog Keep It Trill has posted a link to a valuable resource: Click there to make sure that you are actually registered. I was a little nervous as I've moved recently and not yet received my new card. Not only did it put my mind at ease, it told me where to vote.

Make your vote count!

Cross-posted at Appalachian Greens.

Racist Ohioan Mike Lunsford Hangs Obama Effigy from Noose in Tree

I'd like to say I'm shocked, but I'm really not. Beneath the veneer, this is still a racist country in so many ways. What I love is that the guy is brave enough to do this in his yard, but not brave enough to show his face on TV. Coward. Kudos to his neighbors who are wiling to take a stand against this publicly by showing their faces.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

If you ain't cheating, you ain't trying

Ever hear that at a football game? I have, and it disturbs me. If you can't play fair and expect to win, then just don't play at all. Unfortunately, folks in the Republican Party don't hold with my philosophy. First Florida, then Ohio, and now right in my backyard.

This disturbing story in the Charleston Gazette
details how Democrat votes are being switched to Republican in Jackson County. Jackson County is an interesting one in that the folks around Ravenswood tend to be Democrat and the folks around Ripley tend to be Republican. Guess which one is the county seat? That's right...Ripley. Let's also note, for the record, that Betty Ireland, the Secretary of State of WV, is a Republican that chose not to run this year for personal reasons. So she has no recourse from voters. (Full disclosure: Natalie Tennant is running for Secretary of State on the Democrat ticket. I went to college with Natalie, like and respect her a lot, and will buy a drink for anyone who votes for her. Not that she needs it, because I think she's going to run away with it. Just saying.)

Now, in WV, especially southern WV, we have a long tradition of voter fraud that has been pretty much extinguished. "We are the most democratic state in the US," we boast. "your right to vote doesn't even stop when you die!" Every election day Dad calls me and tells me to "vote early, and vote often." But these are jokes pointing at a past we've left behind, such as saying "Wow, fancy new house! You've got the outhouse inside!"

We as West Virginians, and as Americans, have GOT to stand up and fight against stealing this election. Everywhere it happens. They've already started talking about the Bradley Effect (which I'll blog about later). They are setting up to steal this election too. Because, as every fan knows, if you can't win, cheat. And if you ain't cheating, you ain't trying.

UPDATE: It's happening right next door. Literally.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I am a Doris

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Doris!


You are a Doris -- "I must help others."

Dorises are warm, concerned, nurturing, and sensitive to other people's needs.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Tell me that you appreciate me. Be specific.

  • * Share fun times with me.

  • * Take an interest in my problems, though I will probably try to focus on yours.

  • * Let me know that I am important and special to you.

  • * Be gentle if you decide to criticize me.

In Intimate Relationships

  • * Reassure me that I am interesting to you.

  • * Reassure me often that you love me.

  • * Tell me I'm attractive and that you're glad to be seen with me.

What I Like About Being a Doris

  • * being able to relate easily to people and to make friends

  • * knowing what people need and being able to make their lives better

  • * being generous, caring, and warm

  • * being sensitive to and perceptive about others' feelings

  • * being enthusiastic and fun-loving, and having a good sense of humor

What's Hard About Being a Doris

  • * not being able to say no

  • * having low self-esteem

  • * feeling drained from overdoing for others

  • * not doing things I really like to do for myself for fear of being selfish

  • * criticizing myself for not feeling as loving as I think I should

  • * being upset that others don't tune in to me as much as I tume in to them

  • * working so hard to be tactful and considerate that I suppress my real feelings

Dorises as Children Often

  • * are very sensitive to disapproval and criticism

  • * try hard to please their parents by being helpful and understanding

  • * are outwardly compliant

  • * are popular or try to be popular with other children

  • * act coy, precocious, or dramatic in order to get attention

  • * are clowns and jokers (the more extroverted Dorises), or quiet and shy (the more introverted Dorises)

Dorises as Parents

  • * are good listeners, love their children unconditionally, and are warm and encouraging (or suffer guilt if they aren't)

  • * are often playful with their children

  • * wonder: "Am I doing it right?" "Am I giving enough?" "Have I caused irreparable damage?"

  • * can become fiercely protective

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Tide Is Turning!

Oh happy day! According to West Virginia 2008 Presidential Ballot, Obama is ahead by 8 points!! No, he didn't move ahead 8 points..he's leading McCain by 8 points!!

I thought I heard a big popping noise earlier today. I think it was my fellow West Virginians pulling their heads out of ... the sand. Hey, this is a family blog.

I am ecstatic. Now, it's still early and I know there are plenty of other factors, which I'll detail later. But now, tonight, I am celebrating.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Politics of Attack

This is precisely what I'd worried about. This editorial - Politics of Attack - from the lays out the problem in detail. The level of hate has been rising steadily over the past few years and has reached a fevered pitch. I wondered when the racist tendencies that have been lying just under the surface would pop up like bubbles in boiling soup. I guess we know now. The most recent thing that I've heard is "off with his head," referring to Obama. McCain referred to Obama as "that one" in a derisive tone. Now I don't think that is necessarily racist in and of itself (thought I suspect it might be, but that's another post**). For me it's just indicative of the level of partisan hate that's been rising.

I was in college in the 80s. My roommate (still a close friend whom I'm lucky to have) was a Republican. I was a Democrat. Both of us were active in our respective college groups. We'd often talk politics, she being a political science major and I a minor. We'd go to see politicians together, of both parties, and talk about their performances afterwards. The most memorable of these was seeing then-Vice President Bush. She drove and we discussed it on the way home, laughing and joking as we always did.

Let's compare that to the daughter of a friend of mine. My friend commented that her daughter would be glad when the election was over because then her roommates would speak to her again. See, Daughter was voting for Kerry. After the election, everything was fine.

I'm not sure exactly why we've had this decline in civility and polarization. All I know is that there are about two conservatives that I can talk to with respect and civility. WE need to get back to that point. The sooner the better.

** I have heard from some that "that one"is code for a person you'd like to call a n---- but you can't because that person in within hearing range. I can't confirm on deny that, but it's certainly worth thinking about.