Kevin Zeese: Messy Elections: Can We Trust The Results?

For a country that considers itself the ‘greatest democracy on Earth,’ the U.S. sure does run messy elections.

This year about one-third the public is voting early (something Marylanders will be voting on in a referendum on Election Day), as a result we are seeing election meltdowns in slow motion. Here is a sample of what is occurring:

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GazaFriends Update 28 October, 2008: A ship called dignity

It rained today in Cyprus, a rain that the Cypriots really need. Those of us who were getting ready to send another delegation to Gaza worried that the weather would prevent us from leaving. But, by 3:30 pm, the rain began to stop and the sun came out, the late-afternoon rays shining through the flags that draped our new boat, the SS Dignity. We had worked so hard over the past two months to keep the boat safe.

Several times over the past week, people had said that Israel was looking for the Free Gaza, asking port authorities where it was and when we were going.  So today was another triumph for the human spirit.

Twenty-seven passengers and crew were on board, grinning and waving at the media gathered below on the docks. All of the hard work and all of the frustration were worth it as they crowded around the upper deck of the new boat, posing for photos.  Joe Fallisi, one of the passengers on board and an Italian tenor, sang as the boat pulled out. Once again, the Cypriot authorities escorted the boat out and on its way to Gaza.

Israel says they will stop us and not allow us into Gaza. How cruel of them to threaten to stop a boat full of nonviolent people like Mairead Maguire and Dr. Mustafa Bargouthi. Why would they want to send doctors away from injured children? What are they so afraid of that they would want to shoot instead of talk? Mairead Maguire said it perfectly today, when she said, “If we had continued to fight instead of talk, Northern Ireland still would have no peace.”

Greta Berlin
Media Team
Free Gaza Movement
357 99 08 17 67

Let us speculate By William Bowles

28 October 2008

There’s an awful lot of speculation going on right now, from both the left and right about where the latest crisis of capital is headed, chief amongst them is the notion that this signals the end of the US Empire, that the so-called uni-polar world is over, that a new multi-polar world, headed by China, Russia, India and Brazil is emerging.

The theory is based upon the fact that the US is no longer the world’s numero uno economic power and it’s true that even an overwhelming military force is dependent on the economics that fuels it. But how true is this idea and even if it is true, over what timescale are we talking about here?

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GazaFriends: Israel Threatens to Forcibly Stop Us

For Immediate Release
October 28, 2008

Contact: Greta Berlin, Cyprus: +357 99 08 17 67
Angela Godfrey Goldstein, Jerusalem: +972 547 366 393
Huwaida Arraf (on boat): +357 96 723 999 /SS Dignity: +357 967 80 329
Osama Qashoo, +447833381660

This morning, the Free Gaza Movement was informed through the media that the Israeli Navy is threatening to forcibly stop the SS Dignity from entering Gaza tomorrow morning. Israel has not bothered to inform us of a legitimate reason for preventing us from delivering medical supplies, doctors, lawyers, and prominent human rights advocates to the Gaza Strip. Indeed, Israel has not bothered to communicate with us at all.

We are returning to Gaza for exactly the same reasons we came in August: to deliver medical supplies, meet with civil society organizations, volunteer in hospitals, and visit Palestinians who have requested our presence.

According to Huwaida Arraf, Free Gaza spokesperson and law lecturer at al-Quds University in Jerusalem: “The SS Dignity is carrying 27 unarmed civilians, as well as a ton of urgently needed medical supplies. We will be sailing from Cypriot territorial waters to international waters, directly into Gaza territorial waters. We do not pose a ‘security threat’ to Israel, we will not be going anywhere near Israeli waters, and therefore, Israel does not have any legal right to violently disrupt our mission.”

The Free Gaza Movement would like to make it clear that we do not wish nor do we seek any confrontation with Israel. We have already invited Israeli Foreign Minister Aharon Abramovitz and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to join us on our voyage as long as they remain nonviolent. In August, we invited Tsipi Livni to accompany us.

We would like to extend this invitation to any member of the Israel Knesset: “If you are legitimately concerned about our mission, or if you wish to educate yourself on the devastating effects of Israel’s genocidal policies of collective punishment against the families of the Gaza Strip, join us in breaking this brutal siege, sail with us to Gaza, and learn first hand what Israeli violence has done to the civilian population of Gaza.”

Mairead Maguire, the winner of the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize and one of the passengers aboard the SS Dignity, stated: “The people of Gaza are part of our human family. The Israeli government cannot cut off Gaza forever. We will come again and again until we reach our family. We go to visit our family, and the Israeli government has no right to stop us.”

The 27 unarmed civilians sailing aboard the SS Dignity represent 13 different countries. We are doctors, lawyers, teachers, and human rights advocates. We are Christians, Muslims, Jews, and agnostics. It would be ignorant and outrageous for Israel to use violence against us, and we are reminded at this moment of a message from the Qur’an:

“And the servants of God most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, ‘Peace!'”
Qur’an 25:63

Greta Berlin
Media Team
Free Gaza Movement
357 99 08 17 67

Action Alert: The Washington Post Undercounts Iraq Deaths

Paper’s feature low-balls Iraqi casualties


The Washington Post’s weekly Saturday feature on “Iraq War Casualties” has consistently listed a “maximum count” of Iraqi civilian deaths that is dramatically lower than the likely civilian death tolls assessed through surveys of the Iraqi public.

In the most recent edition of this feature (10/25/08) which the Post has been publishing as a chart in the Saturday newspaper since August 2, the Post offers a “maximum count” of 96,719 Iraqi civilian deaths. Yet as the Post itself acknowledged in a footnote to its chart on June 15, 2007, there are studies that put the Iraqi death toll much higher: A 2006 survey by Iraqi physicians and overseen by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health estimated over 600,000 killed at the time.

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CMD’s Election Protection Wiki in the NY Times

With only eight days to go, many people are concerned about the upcoming election — not just about who will win, but about whose votes may be suppressed, which votes may not be counted because of faulty machines or ballot shortages, and a variety of other election problems.

Today’s New York Times featured the Center for Media and Democracy’s Election Protection Wiki as one of the best tools available to track and counter these issues:

“There are at least two wikis intended to let voters collaborate to collect examples of problems with voting, whether exceptionally long lines or more direct actions meant to scare off voters – the Voter Suppression Wiki and [The Center for Media and Democracy’s] Election Protection Wiki.”

Along with two professional editors, scores of citizens are adding information to the Election Protection Wiki to provide the best single source of information on the integrity of this year’s election — before, during, and after it has taken place.

Your country needs your help to protect democracy and voting rights by joining other volunteers to help produce a comprehensive record of the widespread voter suppression campaigns underway nationwide.

Come to and click on “Things you can do” – no experience is necessary.

Think it’s a great idea, but don’t have time to help out? Because CMD doesn’t accept grants from corporations, governments, or labor unions, we need individuals LIKE YOU to support this and all of our projects. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation today!

Working with you to support democracy,
The staff of CMD