The only soap opera, sitcom, or prime time show that ever really held my attention beyond my adolescence wasn't the crime shows (Law & Order, etc.) nor the comedies (Fresh Prince, etc.); Gene Roddenberry would be proud for it was Star Trek: The Next Generation. The show was forward thinking, weekly imagination-challenging, family time. And, the kids who grew up watching any of the Star Trek-s were blessed to pick up societal cues regarding progressive respectful living and proper behaviors when interacting with different cultures. These shows also came with societal cues regarding battle behavior: in peace time use "stun," in war "vaporize."
Technology junkies, bred on various generations of gaming devices, recognize the real life technological goals set by the Star Trek series (STs). Anyone who currently owns a cell phone ought to look at it and smile every time they use the speaker phone, after all, STs lent us a glimpse at hand held instant communication technologies. Even Bluetooth users ought to tip their hats to the comm badges made famous from ST: TNG, devices which are carried on clothing, operated at the touch of a button, and contained GPS (allowing for transporter signals).
We do not currently have transporters. Though some would argue, correctly, that we are in the infancy of replicator technology (think fax machines and the new 3D printer that makes plastic objects). As I grew up, I realized that my generation was finally coming of age and that today, we are stepping up as creators of the very technologies that we once wished actually existed. We are fulfilling our own dreams with new technologies for more culturally aware and interconnected peoples. With this growing awareness and connection of/with other cultures, we've witnessed amazing feats of assistance as well as severe backlash as each culture is put through the wringer until finally they become either assimilated or segregated. But, who/what are they assimilating into or segregating from? The Borg? Is resistance futile? Some might say the neo-colonials/globalists - an article for another day - who might as well be the Borg. It matters less who, more how. Politics is how. But, not upfront politics, we're talking backdoor, behind the scenes, sneaky underhanded politics.
Confession: I watch world politics on the internet, it's my current favorite soap opera. I see various governments attempting to retain sovereignty in the face of a growing "global need" for "common" laws. In the United States the individual sovereignty fight has raged on since the Declaration of Independence was discussed, written, and delivered to King George. We fought the Civil War over individual and state sovereignty. Individual sovereignty won out, though the Reconstruction's rise of the Jim Crow Laws era proved that the impact of seething racial animosity is truly lasting. We can still see the rising steam of anger in the remnants of historic extremism that led to the murders of some of America's greatest leaders. We see it in the racist slurs hurled at the country's first "black" president. A man whose "mixed" heritage has been speculated on by the most insidious types of racists, ones who refuse to admit their racism and maintain their claim that he's not an American.
He's "half" American which equals full citizenship when time living in country is also within legal limits. In our multicultural society that is all that's required. One parent and a certain number of years on American soil. Some people are fucking idiots. The man was not raised in Kenya. His mother is an American. He's got a Hawaiian birth certificate. I wish these people could admit to themselves that they would not act the same for a man who had one Canadian parent and one American parent. Especially, if neither parent was black. Because, racism is what this "birther" hatred is really about, regardless of what they may try to sell you. These "birthers" argue that Obama has no right to office. I say, where the hell were they when George Bush and Jeb Bush finagled the 2000 election and the 2004 election? They claim that a man whose parentage guarantees his right to hold office is ineligible because of that parentage. But, say nothing when the president was a man with familial connections in a state where voter fraud was proven prevalent. Whine about lineage, but ignore outright voter fraud and election theft? Can we all just admit the truth? The racist truth?
I think criticism is an interesting ball game. One must be careful to swing at pitches that are in the zone. The "birther" issue is one that riles me. These are batters swinging at wild pitches. And, they're missing. They're missing the entire point of America. In other words, they've struck out.
To be American is to engage in a constant uphill struggle against oppressors who would limit the unalienable rights of individuals. No matter where our government or our fellow citizens point us, we must always strive to maintain our "unalienable rights." These rights aren't things that can be taken away, they are our collective individual sovereignty granted us by our very existence as human beings who happen to be American citizens. We must remember that the battle is never won, the fight never over, for every year a new group of would be oppressors is born. And, every year their parents must be stopped from oppressing us.
Here we are, the count down to election day, our choices limited, oppression on the wind. The mainstream distracted populace no doubt only knows of two options. Though, Louisiana has 11 candidates on the ballot for president and Colorado has 17. Can you imagine that 11 to 17 candidates? That's actually 22 to 34 candidates when you take into account the Vice Presidential running mates. Which is another thing...why do the vice presidential candidates get fewer debates? If anything happens to the president the vice president takes over. What would a presidential debate be like if all the candidates (presidential and vice presidential) had equal coverage? Well, that's a fantasy world that doesn't have to be, if we the people start swinging at the pitches that matter. Pitches that are in the zone.
Swinging at the bureaucrats involved in the 2000 and the 2004 election tampering and voter fraud would have been one of those "in the zone" moments. A moment where every life that was lost in the struggle to obtain voting rights would have been vindicated. Instead, they were betrayed by the very generations they struggled to ensure could vote. Let's not lie to ourselves. They were betrayed first when their own generation struggled against them by fighting on the side of continued oppression. The real questions are: when are we going to collectively stop betraying the people who died to make sure we could vote? When are we going to stop betraying ourselves? When will we recognize that we risk the future every election that we don't vote, every time that we don't speak out against voter fraud, every time we don't protest election tampering, every time we don't call for a new election (after fraud has been proven) or don't require an "objective" election observer? Oh. That's right. We do speak out. We do protest. We do demand hand recounts. And, we are denied by fellow citizens (judges) who sully the integrity of vote by denying recounts.
I think not voting can be a form of protest or civil service (in a broad sense). The few that choose not to cast their ballot for political reasons, those I understand. They may be frustrated by the system, they may believe that their vote is irrelevant, or they may be disgusted by their lack of options and convinced that no third party candidate stands a chance. Many people aren't voting because they "don't like politics" or "don't know anything about politics." These are the ones I fear for; I fear for their children as well as for the people who must interact with them. So, basically, all of civilization. But, I'd rather they exercise their right to not vote, then have to worry about where they put their vote. So, whether I understand or not, I thank them for having the courage to announce they'd rather not participate in something they don't understand or don't enjoy. At least they're honest enough to step up and say, "No. I'm not qualified to make decisions for our country because I'm not informed and I choose not to be informed."
The protest non-voters, these are my heroes in the non-voting community. These are the people who refuse to use their vote on principle: The voting system is broken, so why use it? Their abstention makes waves too. Though not so much that the election process stops. But, imagine an election where 300 million Americans stayed home. The only votes cast would be by the candidates, their immediate families, and a couple of their financial backers/lackeys. Would it be enough to still carry out the election? Probably, because that's how corruption works. But, it'd also say something major to whoever won. It'd say, "we're not playing anymore."
That said, I once again relegate my fear to those who cast their votes along bi-partisan, religious, or racial lines. The two-party system is a myth that can be broken easily whenever voters collectively vote third, fourth, or even fifth party. Right now there is a misconception that a vote for a third party is a "wasted" vote. This is a perception problem directly related to probability and indirectly related to a lack of conscientious voting. In other words, current perception: one of two parties has a chance to win, therefore we must offset the chances of the candidate we really don't want to win, by voting for the candidate in the party "opposite" that candidate's. In the casino industry this is considered hedge betting. That is paranoid/cautious (break-even) voting, not conscientious voting. The former reconciles probability with dislike: I dislike Candidate A. Candidate B has the best chance of winning, but I like Candidate C. The voter's paranoia regarding Candidate A pushes their like of Candidate C to the back burner when they cook up their reasoning for voting for Candidate B. And, their reasoning is simply probability based on historical voting trends. In recent history, only one of two parties gets elected, therefore it is probable that only one of two parties will continue to be elected.
Now, here's the flaw with probabilities based on historical human actions: people are predictably unpredictable. People are conditional and their opinions are subject to change (or, become more deeply ingrained). Given the right conditions, enough people will jump the two-party ship and cast their votes to third-party buoys. What's the trigger for such spontaneous collective action by voters? Frustration? Hell, I don't know, but that seems likely. How much depends on factors way beyond the scope of this little tirade. Just saying. Studying uprisings throughout history, familiarizes one with the cyclic nature of human behavior. That trigger is coming, mayhap this election, mayhap next. Who really knows?
The conspiracists would tell you the secret groups and uber rich (elites) know. Since Romney's son, Tagg, has ties with HartInter Civic, Inc. and they own some of "swing state" Ohio's voting machines (as well as machines in other parts of the country), I don't doubt the validity of conspiracists arguments. I don't even doubt the logic of probability behind the paranoid/cautious voters' decision making processes. What I doubt is the accusation that third-party voters are "wasting" their votes. Truly, third-party voters are ahead of the political curve, probability-speaking. They're the early risers in the cyclic process of voter dissent. The power of third-party voting blocks has only recently begun to be recognized in the U.S. of A. We've seen it in every recent election where a third-party official won the seat over an incumbent Dem/Rep. We've seen it happen at all levels of government except the presidency. Given the standard of historical time, the probability begins to raise that this over throw of the two-party system will eventually make it to the presidential elections.
The conscientious voter does not waste their vote when voting third-party. Rather, they express their informed decision making abilities, their objection to the two-party system, or their disgust with the options provided by the two parties (and, sometimes all three simultaneously). These are the people who have used action in the voting booth to express their displeasure with the system. They didn't hedge their bets, they risked it all on a long shot. That continued and repetitive action will eventually pay off in a big way. Just as we're seeing at the local, state, and congressional levels, so too, will the day come when a third-party candidate is elected to the highest national office. Of course, the historical probability that we will eventually have a second civil war is also rising every day. These "impartial" elections officials best get their act together and start delivering actual free and fair elections. Until the flaws in electronic voting can be fixed, we'd be better off delaying the announcement of a winner because we returned to the hand count.
As voters, we attempt to vote-in representation that will carry on in the best interest of the people. In America that's somewhere around 300 million people. No where near that number will vote. Some because age restricts them, some because they refuse. Ask yourself this: What is in the best interest of 300 million people when your options are: President Barack Obama, former Governor Willard "Mitt" Romney, Dr. Jill Stein, or former Governor Gary Johnson (there are others 7 to 13 others - at least)? Some of you may not have heard of Dr. Stein or Gov. Johnson. Stein was arrested bringing supplies to protesters during the election campaigns. Johnson was previously the governor of Arizona. The intentional bi-partisan effort to block third party candidates from exposure in the mainstream media is a sign of the power third parties weld.
Third parties hold the ability to ouster either or both of the reigning parties. These two parties have developed organizations, businesses, social and financial networks. The ability to unseat them is a powerful ability that would upset the lives of people who made their livings selling one or the other of the two-parties to the American people. One day enough of the American people will collectively say "I'm not buying" the fear-mongering, the media-driven hysteria, nor the insistent donation propaganda. They'll say: "I'm voting my fucking conscious for once. I'm done playing." That election cycle the vote will finally sway away from the two-party political bi-opoly. Some people tell me that's a fantasy that will never happen. I say: "Wanna bet? Give it time."
To the people that accuse third-party voters of "stealing" votes from either of the two-party candidates: The vote was cast. Not stolen. Your candidate never had that vote. How about this election you stop hedging your bets and vote your conscious? If you currently plan to vote for either of the two-parties and you have made an informed decision based on research and your circumstances, than I applaud you for voting your conscious. If you're voting along party lines because you're hedging your bet against the candidate you don't like, I understand. But, I think you're missing the point of gambling. A hedge bet is a safe bet. It's a bet that minimizes loss and profit while extending play. People who hedge bet while gambling want to experience the excitement without the risk of their bankroll.
Voting equals gambling for government representation. It is a risky practice that people have died and killed over. Don't let their deaths be in vain. Vote your conscious. And, beware. If your precinct uses any of the current hackable electronic voting machines, than it is likely that your vote has been tampered with. Since, we cannot be certain of the true outcome of our elections, we all are wasting our votes.
As a Trekkie, I love the possibilities that are unlocked by technological advances. As a 21st century American, I am realistic concerning the dangers that potentially exist in all technology. I love the idea of electronic voting. If we can ensure that an accurate count occurs and that verifiable hard copies are also made available. This country was built on checks and balances. For too long the balance has been tipped in the favor of corporations and government. It is beyond time that we tip the scale back in the favor of the American people. Justice is blind, not dumb. She can feel the imbalance and she will right the scales. Our liberty demands our vigilance. IF, you see anything suspicious at any voting place anywhere in this nation please call the police. Call the news. Call your local conspiracists. Do not remain silent. Do not idly watch as our election process is destroyed.
***Update (9 Nov 2012) - Here are some links to reports of election fraud this cycle. (I am not commenting on the validity of the reports. I am sharing the news I've seen. And, I urge every report be investigated thoroughly by every voter.):
Election Day 2012: Legal Teams Prepare...
News Brief Highlights...
Salon Voter Fraud links...
CBS News: Congressman's Son Resigns..."
Businessweek: Romney campaign app to report...
American Thinker: Voter Fraud Redefined...
CNN: Election Voting...
State of New Jersey: Emergency Voting Changes
Aljazeera: Malfunctioning Machines...
Reddit: 2012 Voting Machines Altering Votes...
RT: Long Lines...
RT: Pre-Election Lawsuit over Voting Machine Patch...
Princeton Computer Scientist Hacks Voting Machine...
New Jersey Voting Machine Lawsuit...
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