Thousands of Voters Kicked Off Rolls to Protect Against Nineteen Non-Citizen Voters

No-excuse early voting in U.S. states, as of S...

No-excuse early voting in U.S. states, as of September 2007. in-person and postal in-person only postal only none (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Voters Kicked Off The Rolls In New Mexico Include Voting Rights Activist, Wife Of State Representative | ThinkProgress

More than 170,000 people have been purged from New Mexico’s voter rolls — and among them are a prominent voting rights activist, as well as the wife of a Democratic state representative.

State Rep. Brian Egolf (D) told the AP that his wife received a letter saying that the state government considered her an inactive voter, and that she would need to, essentially, re-register before she could vote in the fall.

Voters Kicked Off The Rolls In New Mexico Include Voting Rights Activist, Wife Of State Representative | ThinkProgress

That 170,000 number is 14% of all the voters in the state. All this because of a handful of questionable votes. How few? Let’s take a look at an editorial from the Sante Fe New Mexican:

If nothing else, Secretary of State Dianna Duran deserves credit for getting to the bottom of that age-old, oft-repeated New Mexico folk tale about dead people voting. Not so much, it turns out.
And Duran can prove it, too. Once in office, she and her staff have taken the state’s voter list, torn it apart, put it back together and in the end, found almost no voter fraud in New Mexico. From the 64,000 voter registration records she once referred to state police as possible cases of voter fraud, we are down to 100-plus voters apparently registered illegally. Of those “illegally” registered, 19 possible non-citizens might have cast a ballot they should not have. Another 641 people, now believed to be deceased, remain on the rolls, although there is scant evidence they are voting. That’s out of 1.1 million registered voters, by the way.

Is something going on here that is not about voter fraud? I think I’ll just let the numbers speak for themselves.

James Pilant

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Bill Moyers Fights the Good Fight

Here is a selection of the words of Bill Moyers. The first is from Salon and is in print today, February 14th, Valentine’s day. The next three are closing remarks from episodes of Bill Moyers’ Journal. You might say that this is a valentine to Bill. May he live a hundred years and continue to inspire us every day of that time.

James Pilant

America’s billionaire-run democracy – 2012 Elections –

We are drowning here, with gaping holes torn into the hull of the ship of state from charges detonated by the owners and manipulators of capital. Their wealth has become a demonic force in politics. Nothing can stop them. Not the law, which has been written to accommodate them. Not scrutiny — they have no shame. Not a decent respect for the welfare of others — the people without means, their safety net shredded, left helpless before events beyond their control.

The obstacles facing the millennial generation didn’t just happen. Take an economy skewed to the top, low wages and missing jobs, predatory interest rates on college loans: these are politically engineered consequences of government of, by and for the 1 percent. So, too, is our tax code the product of money and politics, influence and favoritism, lobbyists and the laws they draft for rented politicians to enact.

America’s billionaire-run democracy – 2012 Elections –

Plutocracy and Democracy Do Not Mix

Bill Moyers on Greed

Bill Moyers on the American Dream

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Central, Hong Kong Pretty Girls – courtesy of HK newspaper Apple B.B. Daily (a lesson about freedom of press) (via Kempton – ideas Revolutionary)

Is it ethical to take pictures of pretty women (or anyone) without their permission to put in a newspaper?

I don’t think so but this is Hong Kong. What are the rules there? Read the attached article and enjoy.

James Pilant

Central, Hong Kong Pretty Girls - courtesy of HK newspaper Apple B.B. Daily (a lesson about freedom of press) *** Hong Kong Pretty Girls *** I am a keen observer of pretty girls in HK and around the world. Unfortunately today, against my better judgement, I will argue the Hong Kong newspaper Apple B.B. Daily should voluntarily stop taking photos of some of these pretty girls (中環我至靚) in Central, Hong Kong. Yes, some of these photos taking and publishing has to be stopped!  Especially many of the photos that I love the most. Isn’t this paradoxical? Lets lo … Read More

via Kempton – ideas Revolutionary

Democracy is the Solution (via Out of the Black)

This blog post is an analysis of Dr. Aswany’s words and the state of the nation of Egypt. In the United States, there is an assumption that foreigners are always moving toward an American style democracy. I do not believe the current American government is a shining light on a hill to virtually any foreign nation or its people. The adoption of torture demonstrate to many that the United States has given up on moral absolutes and operates only along the lines of what action is most profitable at the time. The best we can hope for is the development of democratic reform. A nation with the kind of rich educational and philosophical history of Egypt is quite capable of developing its own democratic institutions.

James Pilant

This is my favorite paragraph –

Ultimately, I think Dr Aswany’s answer is that the revolution was the cry of wounded human dignity. Firstly, many of his stories involve Egyptians being sent to several different hospitals and being refused treatment at each, like a scene from The Death of Mr Lazerescu, or being asked for a bribe. Secondly, Egyptians regard Gulf States seeking domestic servants in their country as an affront, especially as the idea of Pan-Arabism is a deep political instinct. Thirdly, attitudes to women and sexuality play a highly significant part in Dr Aswany’s rejection of the cult of power and formulaic Islam. Despite, or rather, because of the introduction of the hijab and the niqab, sexual harassment has risen exponentially, leading us to conclude that societies which seek to place the blame on victims merely encourage the urges of the perpetrators.

On the State of Egypt; What Caused the Revolution by Alaa Al Aswany (2011) Addressing distinguished guests at the Mansion House last month, William Hague called the Arab Spring ‘perhaps the main event of the twenty-first century so far.’ More significant than the rise of al-Qaeda, which changed the course of Western foreign policy in the region, or the global economic crisis, which has accelerated the relative decline of the West vis-à-vis China … Read More

via Out of the Black

“Islam: Message of Peace” Comments on One of My Posts – In Search of a Good Dictator (via Diasporadical)

“Islam: Message of Peace” is the internet name of one of my blogging friends.

Here are his comments on a previous post which can be found here.

(The following is two comments which I have folded into one.)

James Pilant

“If a man like Muhammad were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he
would succeed in solving its problems that would bring it the much needed peace and
happiness.” –George Bernard Shaw

“Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational
dogmas, of a cult without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one
spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human
greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?” –Lamartine, HISTOIRE DE LA TURQUIE, Paris, 1854, Vol. II, pp. 276 -277

“He was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without Pope’s pretensions, Caesar
without the legions of Caesar: without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a
palace, without a fixed revenue; if ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by the
right divine, it was Mohammed, for he had all the power without its instruments and
without its supports.” –Bosworth Smith, Mohammad and Mohammadanism, London, 1874, p. 92.

My point is… if only Middle East follow the footstep of this Man (Muhammad – peace be upon him), in all aspect of social, economical, financial, legislative, institutional, judicial, leadership (…etc) matters of life, no dictator would assume leadership.

Islam cultivates these values from self, to family to society, (just like a pyramid) so when everyone is prepared to live a life like Muhammad (peace be upon him) did, there won’t be any chance for dictators to play with people’s lives.

Andrew Comments on a Previous Post – In Search of a Good Dictator (via Diasporadical)

Andrew often comments on this blog and I am pleased to bring his thoughts to you.

The original post is here.

Here’s Andrew –

I had an interesting discussion with a friend of mine the other day regarding the odds of successfully establishing self sustaining representative democracys in the Middle East. He borught up a good point. Every facet of our lives, and what is expected from us as citizens, is based on our cultural system of values. While an individual can easily become “enlightened” to the ideas of freedom and democracy, its much harder to change the cultural value system of an entire society to progress one way or another. When you look at different scales of human interaction (from the individual, to the family, to the community, to the state… all the way up), you see different sociological mechanisms becoming dominant.

These dictators remind me of the Joker in the new batman movie. What they are telling the masses has a ring of truth to it. The problem is that they pervert the line of reasoning towards their benefit, or they take it too far to an extreme. It is true that it takes a lot longer for a culture to naturally develop into a new system of values. In the West, we had our Enlightenment period in the 18th century in which the inertia of cultural values finally gave way to the way to our current system of values. The middle east didnt really go through that period the way we did. So while you can easily find a middle easterner to agree that freedom and democracy are good for values for the middle east, the emotional need to break that cultural inertia seems to not have reached that critical point yet.

I predict that it wont be 30 years after we are completely out of Afghanistan and Iraq before their democracies (that we gave to them, they didnt earn it like we had to.) are in shambles and new dictators arise to take power.


In Search of a Good Dictator (via Diasporadical)

Some of the best outrage is generated overseas. I hope you read this with as much delight as I did.

Here’s a sample paragraph –

Move on to what, though? Where does one go after a dictator? How to let go of a mental lifestyle that’s been seeded by a lifetime’s worth of democracy-talk? We are the generation that’s been weaned on talk that a country has to be at a certain point on the development chart before its peeps can even begin to comprehend democracy, much less enjoy its fruits. The country shouldn’t have so many freaking poor people, for starters, because you just can’t trust poor people. They never ask for much. A litre of paraffin and some cooking oil is fine, really. We have spent half our lives listening to life-presidents perpetuating the idea that, while we might never be ready for democracy, we are always ready for dictators. It would appear that we have a proclivity for despotism. That’s our lot.

This is good writing expressing that universal yearning for a life free from manipulation and control.

James Pilant

In Search of a Good Dictator What I am about to tell you, I would never tell anyone else. Yet I trust Diasporadicalists. You are the least judgemental people I know. I am confident that none of you will use what am about to tell you against me. I know my confession is in safe hands. Okay, deep breaths everyone. Here goes: When people ask me what democracy is, I still reply with a definition my primary-six civics teacher scribbled on the blackboard. That is: ‘Democracy is the … Read More

via Diasporadical

Worker march blocked- Phnom Penh Post (via Mu Sochua: MP & Human Rights Advocate)

Are workers entitled to severance pay when their facility burns down? It is not the custom in the United States. Is it the custom in Cambodia? If it is, should the cultural expectation override the “realities of global competition?”

It took many years for Patriotism, human decency and custom to disappear as issues in the loss of jobs in the United States, how long will it take in Cambodia? Or will it at all? In some countries, is the perception of fairness still a major issue?

James Pilant

Police in Sen Sok district blocked a march planned for yesterday by workers from the June Textile garment factory, who have been demanding severance payments since the facility burned down in March. Roughly 100 workers and activists gathered outside June Textile yesterday, planning to march to the capital’s Freedom Park and to government buildings. Read the full article at the Phnom Penh Post website. trackback url … Read More

via Mu Sochua: MP & Human Rights Advocate

Michigan Kills Democracy, FDA Kills Babies (via Consciously Evolving Our Planet)

Anger and a lot of it.

I’ve been watching it now for years. But I’ve noticed changes in the past few weeks. Generally, I would see tea partiers or the like raging against the government. Now I’m seeing regular bloggers more and more often. They are outraged. They are disgusted. They want something to change.

We’re crossing some kind of line here in America. I don’t understand what’s happening. I can’t help but believe that something is.

This article is well written and thoughtful. You should read it.

James Pilant

In the three years of the Great Recession, more than 5 million families have lost their American Dream. Through foreclosure or short sale, another 6 million face the same fate during the next 3 years. As more than 10% of us endure this particular type of “homelessness”, with its anxiety, shame, and loss, no one has gone to jail. The few who protest openly are mocked or ignored. Corporate profits are at record levels, driven primarily by the incre … Read More

via Consciously Evolving Our Planet

A New Model?

EniacA New Model?

The impact of the new technologies, even something as ubiquitous as e-mail have only begun to be felt in many parts of society. For instance, take shareholder voting. Usually, this ratifies selection of the board of directors and takes place once a year. This is a reflection of the difficulty of getting all the shareholders together to vote or was. Really, it’s obsolete. Shareholders should be empowered by the new technologies and there should be multiple votes each year. For instance, the extravagant pay and benefits offered CEO’s and other officers of the company might require ratification by the shareholders instead of being chosen by a board of compensation often appointed by the CEO himself.

What about government? How many places could the government in this country empower citizens to make a difference in the decision making. Right now, floods of e-mails are fired in whenever a major issue appears. But we can do better. I believe right now we have the technology to eliminate fake e-mails and other nonsense from the process. If one of my websites can screen out spam and confirm my identity so I can download modifications to my video games, surely a congressional office can do the same. I don’t think they want to do this. Floods of e-mail enable a representative to vote anyway they like. Accurate e-mails reflecting the actual views of the citizens, particularly the most energized and interest citizens would likely reflect real public concerns and handicap a representative freedom to do any act they wish for any constituency for instance a corporation having made large campaign contributions.

We don’t think about these things. We act as if the world were connected by horse drawn vehicles from another age when people communicate with every part of the world in tenths of a second. Let’s start thinking and start building a society where people matter.

James Pilant