Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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TiM GW Bulletin 2000/11-3

Nov. 13, 2000

November 2000

TiM Readers' Forum

Your Turn... 

FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONAREADERS' FORUM


TiM Editor’s Foreword

PHOENIX, Nov. 12 - It will probably come as no surprise to the TiM readers that we’ve received the biggest number of reactions to our comments about the U.S. Election 2000.  Some were cryptic, others elaborate.  All were welcome.  What follows is a selection of the most interesting letters.

Also a word about the first comment, by Rusty Womble of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  Technically, the message was not a reaction to our editorial “Too Much Blood and Gore,” since it was sent the morning of the Election Day, Nov. 7.  But that’s what makes it that much more significant.  And prescient.  You will see why after you read it.

Finally, a travel advisory.  Your editor will be traveling next week, so our reports may be more sporadic as a result.

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Some reactions to... Too Much Blood and Gore? (A U.S. Election 2000 Editorial)

NORTH CAROLINA - Russian Election Monitors Were Offered

CHAPEL HILL, NC, Nov. 7 - We received the following letter from Rusty Womble of Chapel Hill, North Carolina:

“Heard from friends that the Russian Parliament has decided to send a team to the US to monitor the elections for fairness, etc...

It would be nice if they would make an issue of the ease with which results can be altered, thanks to the computers.  Even if all of the advantages of the NWO are overcome and anti-NWO candidates are able to garner majorities in future elections, it will all come to naught if the minions of the NWO control the voting and tabulating apparatus.

Keep up the good work.”

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TiM Ed.: Pretty stunning, huh, given that this was written before the vote fraud had been committed? 

Also one factual correction.  The nationalist members of the Russian Duma (parliament) had not “decided” to send a team of monitors, but had drafted a resolution proposing to do it, according to an Agence France Presse Oct. 24 news report.  Here’s an excerpt from it:

“MOSCOW (Agence France Presse) - Nationalists in Russia’s parliament have drafted a resolution demanding the right to observe the U.S. presidential elections, voicing “profound concern” they will be falsified, Interfax reported Tuesday.”

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IRELAND - Are Serb Election Observers Coming to America?

DUBLIN, Ireland, Nov. 11 - It is unclear to what extent the above Russian parliamentary resolution was a tongue-in-cheek document, mocking the United States government’s constant preaching and meddling in elections of other nations around the world, including those in Russia.

But after the embarrassing disaster into which the U.S. Presidential Election 2000 has turned, there has been no shortage of satirical comments from TiM readers around the world. Some of them enclosed foreign media articles that ridiculed the self-proclaimed “world’s only superpower,” now a.k.a. the “laughing stock of the world.”

Here’s, for example, a tongue-in-cheek question we received from Joe Murphy, a TiM reader in Ireland:

“Will Serbia send election observers to the USA to make sure that fair and democratic elections are being held?”

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TiM Ed.: As it turns out, some Italian media arrived at the same idea independently.  We received at least half a dozen e-mails enclosing a Nov. 10 cartoon that depicts some Serb peasant-looking election observers disembarking from a Yugoslav Airlines jet at the Washington, DC, airport, ready to teach America what they’ve learned about democracy (see the above cartoon).

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SERBIA - Why Not Use the Yugoslav Election "Solution?"

BELGRADE, Nov. 13 - We received the following comment from a TiM reader in Serbia who asked to remain anonymous (except for the initials - M.L.), but whose identity is known to TiM.  His satirical "solution" is based on what actually happened in Yugoslavia on October 5 and thereafter (see "Serb ‘Ostrich Revolution’ Was Anything But Spontaneous," and "Fifth Column, Nor 'Revolutionaries,' Toppled Milosevic"):

"The solution (for the U.S. election quandary) is right there, before one's very nose! Here it goes...

1) Conjure up an angry mob consisting of unemployed workers, discharged military personnel (preferably Vietnam vets), off-duty policemen and baseball fans led by a Mayor of a small Midwest town. Assemble them all in a column of all sorts of vehicles but remember bulldozers are a must. March straight to Washington, dispersing of all police blockades and checkpoints on the way.

2) Upon arriving at D.C. storm Capitol Hill, take anything that can be taken out and torch the Congress. Do the same to the buildings of all major TV and Radio Networks. Don't forget to loot the Smithsonian of all it's artifacts as well as all the shop windows in downtown D.C.

3) Take at gunpoint all state-owned companies and institutions like U.S. Customs and the Federal Reserve Bank and take all valuables you can with you. Proclaim a Crisis Committee that will say it has all the authority and of course do the same on the local level, regardless of the election results.

4) Smash all local HQs of your political opponents and beat up the opposition Congressmen and Senators.

This is a scenario guaranteed to succeed, having been tested in various countries and conditions. It goes without saying, of course that the financing of this enterprise comes from Russian- and Chinese-based non-government organizations."

M.L., Serbia

Also check out "Serbia Deploys Peacekeeping Forces to U.S." (from whence the above photo-cartoon comes). 

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ILLINOIS - Milosevic for President?  Floridians vs. Floridiots

CHICAGO, IL, Nov. 12 - We received the following comment from Mira, a Serb-American from Chicago, who has asked that her name be withheld:

“Dear Mr. Djurdjevic, Thank you for all the hard work you do in your writings on your website, in the Serb media, and elsewhere. You are a talented writer, and a strong defender of the truth. Thank you.

I have a story idea for you. Hypocrisy has reared its ugly head over the past week, and only Serb-Americans see it.

When Serbia held her vote, the world (led by bigmouth Clinton) was up in arms that the votes were being tallied by hand and were taking so long to tally. The world/Clinton cried foul, stating that Milosevic was using the time to tamper with the votes. The world/Clinton demanded that Milosevic admit defeat and step down.

I am in no way defending the monster Milosevic. However, I find it highly amusing that now this great superpower, one of the richest nations and one of the most technologically advanced, has now found itself in the midst of a recount of the recounted recount, including HAND COUNTS!!!

Why is the world not crying foul now? Why is the world not demanding Gore admit defeat since Bush has been declared the winner of Florida twice now?  Maybe it's because the world is too busy laughing at us.

Don't laugh. He (Milosevic) needs a job, and we need him out of Serbia.”

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TiM Ed.: To which the TiM editor replied:

“Actually, I suggested "Milosevic for President" in a June 1992 column which bore that title.  Yes, 1992 - no mistake there.  J  Here's an excerpt from a TiM Bulletin about it:

In a June 1992, opinion column titled “Milosevic for President?”, written during the height of that year’s U.S. Presidential campaign, we outlined many similarities between the American and Serbian Presidents:

        “Each has used war to cover up policy failures... 

        Each has shown a gross disregard for human life while preaching “brotherly love”... 

        Each has had left friends in a lurch after leading them on... 

        Each thrives on incompetence of people around them…  Etc.”

The U.S. president referenced above, of course, was George Bush, Sr.  After eight years of Bill Clinton, Bush's transgressions seem like child's play, don't they?”

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TiM Ed.: The Chicago TiM reader’s letter continues:

“Please do use your connections to the public and media to show the absurdity of these US elections and how similar they are to the Serbian ones. Many Americans will always remain blind to their own faults, yet are quick to judge others.

I'm also amazed at the number of Floridians who have taken to the street in protest. Millions of children around the globe are starving to death yet no one protests. Instead we protest over butterfly ballots. 

I saw one interesting protest sign on TV: "My Grandma voted right, why can't yours?" J

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TiM Ed.: To which the TiM editor replied:

“Some of my sources from Florida tell me that the Floridians who are taking to the streets in protest are actually the Gore supporters to whom other locals refer (tongue-in-cheek) as Floridiots.”  J

In the rest of the country, however, people are not demonstrating in the streets but in gun stores.  Sales of ammunition were up 900% in the three days since the election day, according to a Nov. 10 post by Hal Turner, host of the Hal Turner Radio show.

Foreigners may be laughing at us, but millions of Americans don’t think Al Gore’s and Democratic Party’s Florida shenanigans is a joking matter.  Nor that other irregularities attributed to the Gore/Democratic Party campaigns in Wisconsin, California, New Mexico, etc. can be just glossed over, no matter what the Florida outcome is.  Here’s how Hal Turner sums up the ugly mood that is spreading across America:

“Not since the early 1860’s, prior to the Civil War, has the US population been so divided and openly talking about violent civil warfare.  Radio callers are making unprecedented open and public calls to employ the Second Amendment (right to keep and bear arms) to protect the integrity of the Constitution and of the Bush election.

This election has pitted brother against brother, parent against child, young against old, white against black, Gentile against Jew.  The anger is palpable and the situation grows steadily worse.”

(For the full article, see… http://www.halturnershow.com/blood.htm). 

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WASHINGTON, DC - This Election Is Being Stolen: Don’t Give an Inch!

WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 9 - What follows are excerpts from a comment from Daniel McAdams, a old time TiM reader and contributor, who has observed elections in Central and Eastern Europe for the British Helsinki Human Rights Group. He is now a senior research associate at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC.  His comments were first published by Newsmax.com, under the headline, “United States of Albania.” Here are some excerpts from it:

“The "people power" that has taken to the streets of Florida today courtesy of the Democratic Party and the Rev. Jesse Jackson is not so different from the mobs that have taken to the streets of the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe when a vote was being stolen. And no, they are not "defending democracy" but rather they are a critical force-multiplier in the cheating process itself.

The pattern may not be familiar to the American public, but as one who has observed elections throughout the former communist world, including those that have ended in violence and massive fraud, the pattern, to me, is unmistakable.

What is happening in Florida - and to a lesser degree in places like St. Louis and elsewhere - follows a game plan that has yet to fail: first rule is, delay, delay, delay. Do not let any official results be announced. The longer you can delay, the more doubt is cast on the elections and the more time there is to manipulate the results.”

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TiM Ed.: That’s an interesting tactic.  The former Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic, also tried that - delay, delay, delay - after the Sep. 24 election which he appeared to have lost, but look what it got him - a stiff boot right out of the president’s office (see “Fifth Column,” Not Street “Revolutionaries,” Toppled Milosevic”). 

Will the same happened in the U.S.?  Well, that depends on how tough the Republicans are, and the American people.  Here’s Mr. Daniels’ advice:

“Final advice to Republicans: You are being hit with something so sinister and so alien to our democratic traditions that you have not known thus far how to respond to it. Get over the shock of "it can't happen here, this isn't Albania." You must recognize what is happening, or you will lose more than you have already. Do not give one inch. No compromises. No new elections. No switching ballots. This election is being stolen. It is up to the Republican Party and all good American people to defend their vote.”

For the full text, check out… http://newsmax.com/archives/articles/2000/11/9/162749.shtml.

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MASSACHUSETTS - This Election Is Being Stolen: Don’t Give an Inch!

MASSACHUSETTS, Nov. 11- We received the following reaction to our editorial by Andre Huzsvai, a TiM reader from Massachusetts:

“My thoughts on the whole election mess. Both Bush and Gore failed to recognize the option of running on the same ticket of a centrist party, as each other’s president/vice president. The election would have made more sense.

Similarly, both (Ralph) Nader and (Pat) Buchanan failed to recognize that the American electorate by and large is intellectually too lazy to handle a multi-party system, with its shades of gray, and will always opt for a simple choice between good/bad, white/black and so on.

It is truly delightful to witness the political system squirm, knocked off the high horse of invincibility. Apparently the indignity of fighting and bickering over ballots and vote count, like rug dealers, is not reserved for the inferior peoples like the Serbs. The master nation who pontificated only 40 days ago about "irregularities" and "vote theft" in the Yugoslav elections now learn a valuable lesson in humility.”

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OREGON - You Are a Big Artillery in This War

PORTLAND, OR, Nov. 10 - We received the following comment from Bob Pletka, a TiM reader from Oregon:

“Appreciate your great comment to ‘NY Slimes’ re Electoral College and the "Professor" of BS.  Your points were right on track and superbly presented.  The big drive is on by the ‘illiterati’ and the enemy to destroy what is left of the Republic.  You are a big artillery in this war, and I want you to know how much you are appreciated. 

Have been in this battle for the last 40 years, and don't expect to see it won in my lifetime which is how long I intend to stay in it.  Have followed your excellent columns before and throughout the despicable war on the land of your ancestors. 

The UN and its Communist traitors have been my chief targets for 35 years through lectures, seminars and lobbying, so I especially appreciate your shots in that direction.  Savor Henry Kissinger if Bush wins!  Respectfully and appreciatively, may God bless you richly!”

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UNITED KINGDOM - Countering Mass Media News Paranoia

LONDON, U.K., Nov. 10 - We received the following comment from Frank Favre, a TiM reader from London, England:

“Dear Sir, I enjoyed your report about the Electorate College system very much.  It is informative and reassuring, and clarifies aspects that are greatly overlooked. 

The popular opinion of my colleagues will probably be in chaos after reading your report.  It is only unfortunate that this TiM information is not being distributed as much as the paranoia based news the masses seem to get engulfed in. Regards,”

Frank R. Favre, MMus, BMus (Hons), Composer/Sound Designer, Bits Studio Ltd.

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To which the TiM editor replied:

“Thank you for your feedback and for your kind words.  If you need a bit of encouragement in dealing with you "wayward" colleagues, you may find the following thoughts, expressed by some of mankind's greatest minds, of some consolation:

"Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise." (Thomas Gray)

"All truth passes through three stages.  First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident." (Arthur Schopenhauer)

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." (Albert Einstein)

"At a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act." (George Orwell)

Cheers!  Onward and upward...  One of these days, your skeptical colleagues are bound to be cheering you.” J

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GEORGIA - Founding Fathers Knew What They Were Doing

GEORGIA, Nov. 10 - We received the following reaction from Gene Lovell, Vice Chairman, Georgia Freedom Party - from the state of Georgia, of course:

What most people over look concerning our Founding Fathers is that most of them knew that a Democracy could not stand the test of time. Which is why a Constitutional Republic was formed with adequate checks and balances in place to make changing the basic concepts very difficult.  Had it not been done that way, idiots like the elitist intellectual (Yale’s Prof. Amar) would have destroyed this country long ago.

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WISCONSIN - Peg Electoral College to Popular Sovereignty

WISCONSIN, Nov. 10 - We received the following reaction from Steven Majstorovic, professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin:

“Bob: One thing that the Constitution does allow is for each state to decide how to organize its Electoral College vote.  The state of Maine (must be all the time to think during those long winters) has the proper balance between direct popular sovereignty and protection of smaller states and minorities in concentrated areas.  Maine has four electoral votes.  But it's not a winner take all system.  The votes are pegged to Congressional districts.

Consequently, if a presidential candidate wins the popular vote in a particular state district, he or she then gets one electoral vote.  On top of that, Maine then awards one extra electoral vote to the presidential candidate who carries the popular vote for the whole state.  In this scenario, Gore would not have received 54 votes for California but maybe 30 votes and Bush 24 electoral votes.

What people often forget is that America is perhaps the only true federal system in the world in which state sovereignty is balanced against central governmental power, although when push comes to shove the central government usually prevails (see the Civil War or Marbury vs. Madison that enshrined judicial review).  European critics of the American system don't come from the type of multi-tiered federalism that the U.S. represents and European systems are generally based on a parliamentary model in which a majority party or majority coalition picks a prime minister.  The U.S. is the only major country in which the head of state and head of government are fused into one person, the president.

The original idea of the Electoral College was to be a buffer against direct democracy, and so was the election of Senators by state legislatures until 1916.

Clearly, this was an elitist framework.  The best remedy, however, is to peg the Electoral College to popular sovereignty via Congressional districts instead of just dumping the whole deal.  Nebraska, by the way, also uses the Maine model although Nebraska is our only unicameral state, which is another story.

So from the perspective of this political scientist, that's the deal.  Using the popular vote model really does undo the compromise that created the U.S. Constitution in the first place.  But keeping the present system makes a mockery out of popular sovereignty.  The folks in Maine are really on to something.”

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ALASKA - Switch to “Instant Run-off” Voting System

ALASKA, Nov. 10 - We received the following comment from Eric Skidmore, a TiM reader in Alaska.  Here’s an excerpt from his letter, which opens by requiting a passage from the subject TiM article:

“…The real travesty of this system is that a candidate who was able to woo 19% of the national electorate (almost 20 million votes) received ZERO (!) electoral votes for it (Ross Perot in 1992).” (From “Too Much Blood and Gore,” Nov. 10, 2000)

“Bob: Now you're getting down to the nitty-gritty.  I'm not opposed to the Electoral College.  I just think the states should allocate their Electoral College votes based on single-transferal vote... (sometimes called instant run-off voting - IRV).  

We're going to have that option on the 2002 ballot in Alaska as an initiative.  That way no one can say that Ralph Nader 'spoiled' Gore's chance at election. Or that Perot hurt Bush in 1992.     

Instead of voting for just one candidate you rank the candidates in order 1-2-3.  If no one gets 50% + 1, then you take the second place votes of the also-rans. (Third party candidates). 

This also gives the States more power in this matter without having to amend the US Constitution.  The third party candidates would have a better chance because no one would ever say you're wasting your vote.  Voter turnout should increase.

You could still have someone win the popular vote but lose the electoral vote.  But so what?  Neither Bush nor Gore won 50% of the vote anyway. Winning the popular vote but losing the electoral vote is no more unfair than a plurality winner in a tight three-way race. 

The Republican governor of New Mexico was elected when the Greens ran a strong candidate that split the liberal Democratic vote.  The Libertarian and Alaska Independence Party has kept the Alaska Republicans from capturing the gubernatorial election for 20 years!!!!  The new initiative seeks to address that situation.  It could work for President, too.”

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NEW YORK - Switch to “Instant Run-off” Voting System

NEW YORK, Nov. 11 - We received the following cryptic comment from John Collins (a pen name), a writer and a practicing lawyer from Long Island, New York, in reaction to our editorial “Too Much Blood and Gore,” Nov. 10, 2000):

“Bravo for TiM!”

--- END OF PART I ---

With the above cryptic comment from New York, we conclude PART I of the November TiM Readers Forum, which was devoted exclusively to the U.S. Election 2000. In Part II, we will bring you some TiM reader reactions to TiM Bulletin topics on other global affairs.

A Supreme Injustice: TiM Readers Respond to TiM's Letter to the Florida Supreme Court (Nov. 22, 2000)

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TiM READERS' 2000 FORUMS... January, March, May, June, August, October, November

TiM READERS' 1999 FORUMS... January, February, March, September, December

Also, check out TiM READERS' 1998 FORUMS... April, May Part I May Part II, June , July, August, September, October, November, December Part I, December Part II