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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Blogging the 2008 vote

This morning at 5:45 AM me, my wife and two of my three voting aged offspring jumped in the Subaru and went down to vote. We live in a small town, but wanted to make sure we got in and got our vote counted early. We were not alone.

The line stretched out the door down the sidewalk and well into the parking lot of the American Legion building where our precinct voting takes place. We knew Mark, the guy right ahead of us in line and also Chris, who was just ahead of him. So the conversation was more than just among ourselves.

Indiana, being an intelligent state, requires a photo ID for a voter to vote. (The License bureau provides them even if you do not want or need a drivers license). We filed past poll workers with lists who checked to be sure we had our ID's and that our names were on the registration lists. Then inside were the polling books, where the spot for each of us to sign was next to our names. Not much chance of voter fraud with that system!

We perhaps take the secret ballot for granted. In England, it was a long fight to win that right from the Parliament. Inside the American Legion building were no signs supporting any candidates or parties and none allowed. There was no electioneering. No one even discussed for whom they were voting. We talked about the issues of the election and traffic to Chicago and road construction and a host of other things instead.

Once we reached the inner portion of the voting area, we were split up into two precinct voting groups (precincts 2 and 5 vote at our location). For each group there were three voting machines and rows of chairs set up. Everyone sat down in the order they had arrived and, as one got up to vote, all the rest would get up and scoot over. There were four rows of chairs but before we got to vote those chairs were all filled up and there was another line formed inside the building.

I've voted in the same precinct since the 80's and know a couple of the voting officials. One told me how exciting it was for them to have 1,000 new registered voters for this election in two precincts. Since the last census of the town listed us as less than 10,000 people that was interesting indeed. This town has been booming and I know my subdivision, planned for 383 homes when done, was less than half-completed when we had our house built and now it is completed. Still, 1,000 new voters in just two precincts should have been overwhelming but the polling place ran smoothly.

Despite the long line at the start, we were out the door in 47 minutes from the time they began ushering us inside. My other son drove his car to join us, realized he didn't have time to vote before work and drove off. He'll have to come back after 5:30 and it will be interesting to find out what the line is like at that time.

Freedom of speech and the secret ballot are two of the big weapons we have against totalitarianism. No matter who is in power, remember to fight like mad against any attempt to take away even one aspect of those two important rights.

PS - One official noted that she was very glad not to be in Indianapolis, where even by the latest population estimates the registered voters are 105% of the population, children included! She also mentioned that her cohorts in the Gary area reported massive numbers of new registrants in recent days, many of which had already been tossed out as fakes, but the poll workers there were concerned about confrontations with people who had invalid or fake IDs or no IDs at all. That is one reason they screened IDs outside at our location, to make sure voters had their stuff together before even entering the building.

Also, I noticed a poll watcher posted there, but he did not come in but rather sat in his vehicle and just watched the people lining up and going out. I smiled at him when I left and he smiled back. I wondered why he didn't go inside. Perhaps his only task was to take a count of the people for the day?

All week long, people had been going to early polling places and standing in line for five and six and seven hours or longer. Then comes election day and I am sure those lines will be shorter even in the biggest districts. Again I wondered, outside of work duties, why someone would spend half the day waiting to vote early when they could simple come early in the morning and get it done in an hour or maybe less?

Meanwhile, in other states voter intimidation, multiple voting, illegal Dem dirty tricks and other completely stereotypical Chicago Machine political tactics are taking place and being recorded
by Hyscience!

Jerrold Nadler, New York's Democratic 8th district rep, admits that Obama lacks political courage! Bad news if he gets into the White House...

In the voting madness, I forgot the 91st anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, thanks to Angel for reminding us!

I think Big Lizards makes a great point in this post:

November 3, 2008

Perhaps the “H” stands for hubris

Hatched by Dave Ross

Since we can assume that when Barack Obama takes the oath of office that, unlike every other president in history he will omit his middle name since it is a no-no to bring up that it is “Hussein.”

Perhaps he may substitute “Hubris.” All these speeches that “the one” gives about how the sea levels will fall and that change will begin as soon as he takes office, Obama’s arrogance is not only getting pretty hard to take, it’s also setting him up for a potential fall from a great height should things not work out quite as he planned.

I recall with amusement the last politician who was that overweeningly self-confident about how much the universe was going to change when he took charge.

“In a Spitzer administration, the road to responsive and responsible government will begin on Day One.” That was former New York Governor Elliott Spitzer on the day of his election. In less than a year, his poll numbers were in the toilet, and that was BEFORE the news that he was carrying on with a high-priced hooker.

I’m not saying that Obama is cavorting with loose women. Far from it. But I think that a lot of his radical past is being swept under the rug by the media that is determined to have a Democratic president and no ifs ands or buts, by God! So we might see some honest reporting once they have accomplished their task.

And what happened to Jimmy Carter, who began to take his initials a little too seriously, could happen to Obama. Someone who is so inexperienced yet so supremely self-confident—someone who has ALWAYS gotten his way in the past and has rarely experienced a setback, is cruising for a comeuppance.


At last, I totally understand Barack Obama!

Barack Obama, Fabian Socialist

By Jerry Bowyer — 11/04/2008

Barack Obama is a Fabian socialist. I should know; I was raised by one. My Grandfather worked as a union machinist for Ingersoll Rand during the day. In the evenings he tended bar and read books. After his funeral, I went back home and started working my way through his library, starting with T.W. Arnold’s The Folklore of Capitalism. This was my introduction to the Fabian socialists.

Fabians believed in gradual nationalization of the economy through manipulation of the democratic process. Breaking away from the violent revolutionary socialists of their day, they thought that the only real way to effect “fundamental change” and “social justice” was through a mass movement of the working classes presided over by intellectual and cultural elites. Before TV it was stage plays, written by George Bernard Shaw and thousands of inferior “realist” playwrights dedicated to social change. John Cusack’s character in Woody Allen’s “Bullets Over Broadway” captures the movement rather well.

Arnold taught me to question everyone–my president, my priest and my parents. Well, almost everyone. I wasn’t supposed to question the Fabian intellectuals themselves. That’s the Fabian MO, relentless cultural and journalistic attacks on everything that is, and then a hard pitch for the hope of what might be.

That’s Obama’s world.

He’s telling the truth when he says that he doesn’t agree with Bill Ayers’ violent bombing tactics, but it’s a tactical disagreement. Why use dynamite when mass media and community organizing work so much better? Who needs Molotov when you’ve got Saul Alinski?

So here is the playbook: The left will identify, freeze, personalize and polarize an industry, probably health care. It will attempt to nationalize one-fifth of the US economy through legislative action. They will focus, as Lenin did, on the “commanding heights” of the economy, not the little guy.

As Obama said, “the smallest” businesses will be exempt from fines for not “doing the right thing” in offering employer-based health care coverage. Health will not be nationalized in one fell swoop; they have been studying the failures of Hillary Care. Instead, a parallel system will be created, funded by surcharges on business payroll, which will be superior to many private plans.
The old system will be forced to subsidize the new system and there will be a gradual shift from the former to the latter. The only coercion will be the fines, not the participation. A middle-class entitlement will have been created.

It may not be health care first; it might be energy, though I suspect that energy will be nationalized much more gradually. The offshore drilling ban that was allowed to lapse legislatively will be reinstated through executive means. It may be an executive order, but might just as well be a permit reviewing system that theoretically allows drilling but with endless levels of objection and appeal from anti-growth groups. Wind and solar, on the other hand, will have no permitting problems at all, and a heavy taxpayer subsidy at their backs.

The banking system has already been partially nationalized. Bush and Paulson intend for their share purchases to be only non-voting preferred shares, but the law does not specify that. How hard will it be for Obama, new holder of $700 billion in bank equity, to demand “accountability” and a “voice” for the taxpayers?

The capital markets are not freezing up now, mostly because of what has happened, although community organizers’ multidecade push for affirmative-action mortgages has done enormous harm to the credit system. Markets are forward looking.

A quick review of the socialist takeovers in Venezuela in 1999, Spain in 2004 and Italy in 2006 show the same pattern—equity markets do most of their plummeting before the Chavez’s of the world take power. Investors anticipate the policy shift in advance; that’s their job.

It’s not just equity markets, though; debt markets do the same thing. Everywhere I turn I hear complaints about bankers “hoarding” capital. “Hoarding” is a word we’ve heard often from violent socialists like Lenin and Mao. We also hear it from the democratic left as we did during the 1930s in America. The banks, we’re told, are greedy and miserly, holding onto capital that should be deployed into the marketplace.

Well, which is it, miserly or greedy? They’re not the same thing. Banks make money borrowing low and lending high. In fact, they can borrow very, very low right now, as they could during the Great Depression.

So why don’t they lend? Because socialism is a very unkind environment for lenders. Some of the most powerful members of Congress are speaking openly about repudiating mortgage covenants. Local officials have already done so by simply refusing to foreclose on highly delinquent borrowers. Then, there’s the oldest form of debt repudiation, inflation. Even if you get your money back, it will not be worth anything. Who would want to lend in an environment like this?

Will Obama’s be the strong-man socialism of a Chavez, or the soft socialism that Clement Atlee used to defeat Churchill after WWII? I don’t know, but I suspect something kind of in between. Despite right-wing predictions we won’t see Rush shut down by Fairness Doctrine fascists. We won’t see Baptist ministers hauled off in handcuffs for anti-sodomy sermons. It will more likely be a matter of paperwork. Strong worded letters from powerful lawyers in and out of government to program directors and general mangers of radio stations. Ominous references to license renewal.

The psychic propaganda assault will be powerful. The cyber-brown-shirts will spew hate, the union guys will flood talk shows with switchboard-collapsing swarms of complaint calls aimed at those hosts who “go beyond the pale” in their criticisms of Obama. In concert with pop culture outlets like The Daily Show and SNL, Obama will use his podium to humiliate and demonize those of us who don’t want to come together and heal the planet.

You’ve heard of the bully pulpit, right? Well, then get ready, because you’re about to see the bully part.

(bolding is mine)

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