From under the linoleum
Old newspapers show Mussolini's imperialism looked a lot like today's

I sat on the floor and picked through the tragedy of the country we now call Ethiopia laid out on the yellowing pages. It was eerily reminiscent of the current Iraq adventure.

A tale for our times
The December 1934 assassination of Sergei Kirov

Seventy years on, the killing of Sergei Kirov casts an eerie light on the events of 11 September 2001, the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the “war on Terror” and the state-sponsored hysteria surrounding the shadowy figures of Osama bin Ladin and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Ninety-three years of bombing the Arabs
It was the Italians, hell-bent on acquiring an African empire, who got the ball rolling. In 1911 the Libyan Arab tribes opposed an Italian invasion. Their civilians were the first people in the world to be bombed from the air.

Dispossessed all over again
After spending nearly two months in the West Bank the pull towards my village was growing stronger, especially after being detained twice and threatened with deportation … an Australian Palestinian returns to her ancestral home.

The tragic inevitability of a forlorn hope
Australia slides further into the Iraq quagmire
Cabinet documents recently released under the 50-year rule show that, in 1954, Liberal (conservative) Prime Minister, Robert Menzies, and key figures in his Cabinet were extremely gloomy about the prospects for success in an American war against nationalists in Indochina. But eventually they went to the Vietnam War anyway.

Bombing King David
One man’s freedom fighter is another’s terrorist

Some historians date the beginning of modern terrorism from the 1946 bombing by Zionist terrorists of the British military HQ in Jerusalem.

Don’t loiter near the exit
Military debacle and economic decline haunt the Bush regime

When I was just a young possum in the school cadet corps there was a hoary old war story that we all knew. It was almost certainly apocryphal, but it ruefully expressed a nasty historic truth about the US role in the demise of the British Empire.

 


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Brushtail Graphics

Bush lost the election
The biggest story never told


1 December 2004

I was quietly sipping cider at my favourite table in the Brushtail Café when Gloomy Janice the journalist joined me. She was usually a picture of despondency, but today she looked like her dog had died, so I felt obliged to ask how things were going.

“horrible, horrible”, she muttered. “I’ve been working on the US presidential vote fraud story, but the editor won’t touch it. He just keeps putting me off. It’s driving me nuts because it’s just the biggest scandal in the history of democracy.”

A frisson of excitement ran down my tail, for I knew there was a great mass of evidence of systematic fraud. It’s the story the mainstream media won’t touch, but it’s all over the internet news and the blogs.

It all started with the weird business of the exit polls.

Right through the mainstream coverage on the night the voting closed, the exit polls had Kerry winning, then from one moment to the next, the networks had Bush ahead by as much as Kerry had been beating him before. So the talking heads looked confused and said, ‘Um, well, the exit polls were wildly wrong’, and then they dropped it.

But next morning, people noticed that in states with old-fashioned paper ballots, the exit polls matched the final results very well indeed – what you’d expect historically and statistically. The weird thing was that in the states which use electronic voting machines or where the ballot papers were scanned electronically the final result didn’t match the exit polls.

“I’m on your side”, I said to Gloomy, “Looks pretty sus to me”.

She fished out her notebook.

“If you look at Michigan, Arizona, Maine, Colorado, Louisiana, Iowa, New Mexico, Nevada, Arkansas and Missouri, there’s a bunch of different voting systems, including paper ballots. In those states the exit polls were almost exactly right – within a tiny margin of error, a fraction of one per cent one way or the other.

“But if you look at Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota, Florida, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, where electronic voting or optical scanning machines were widely used, the exit polls were way out of whack with the official count.

“The discrepancy always favoured Bush, and not by small amounts. In Ohio and Wisconsin, it went Bush’s way by 4 per cent. It was 7 per cent in Florida and Minnesota, 5 per cent in Pennsylvania, 9 per cent in North Carolina and a whopping 15 per cent in New Hampshire. Statistically, that’s just impossible.”

“And that ain’t all”, I said. “I’ve seen a great mass of evidence that there were other types of systematic bastardry – all of it favouring Bush. There was voter intimidation. Black and other minority voters were excluded from the rolls, or told they could only be ‘provisionally’ registered – and then their votes were disallowed. There were touchscreens that persistently registered support for Bush when the name Kerry was touched, and, get this, in lots of precincts, including in Ohio, it seems the number of votes cast exceeded the total number of registered voters, sometimes by large margins.”

“Right. But the worst indications of fraud are in the big, critical, states of Ohio and Florida”, she said, flicking through her notes.

“In Florida, the number of votes recorded for all the candidates went over the maximum possible voter turnout by 237,522, meaning that over three per cent of the votes must be bogus. Florida uses electronic voting machines in the 15 counties that account for most of the state's residents.

“Now there’s a survey by the University of Berkeley in California, which shows that electronic voting irregularities in Florida seem to have awarded 130,000 to 260,000 or more excess votes to Bush.”

“So maybe now there’s some academic respectability, the thing might be mentioned in the media?”

A flash of anger crossed her gloomy countenance.

“It says heaps about the mainstream media that things a high school kid could deduce can’t be written about unless some high academic pronounces on them.”

“Yeah, it’s disgraceful”, I said. “There’s obviously been an instinctive decision by hundreds of executive editors that even if Bush triumphed through fraud, it’s important now to get behind him because to do otherwise would be to jeopardise the system, blah, blah.”

“Is that a conspiracy?”

“Wouldn’t need one. These guys are are real trusties. You don’t get to their position except by being dog loyal to the shibboleths of parliamentary democracy and market fundamentalism. Even if they were for Kerry, they’d think very hard, in their pseudo-responsible sort of way, and ask themselves whether they really wanted to cause the greatest constitutional crisis in history and the total collapse of American prestige, and they decide that although Bush is a bastard, but they’d better gloss over the evidence or say nothing.”

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Good places to start:

Cannonfire: http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/
Black Box Voting: http://www.blackboxvoting.org/