Friday, February 27, 2004

HPR Online on the Help America Vote Act
Nightmare Redux?
Fast forward to the morning of Nov. 3, 2004....

"Fast forward to the morning of Nov. 3, 2004, the day after the next presidential election. You wake up, flip on the television, and are greeted by a pugnacious newscaster yelling that once again, we do not yet know who won...

In 2002, Congress passed and President Bush signed into law the Help America Vote Act. The legislation authorized over $3.8 billion in grants to states to replace outdated voting equipment with new electronic devices, train poll workers to use the new equipment, increase voter education efforts, and involve America's youth in the voting process by encouraging high school volunteerism at the polls. The legislation generated widespread praise and bipartisan support. Since then, however, supporters of election reform have faced an uphill battle....

Here are some major points brought out in this article:

--Confronted with a half-trillion dollar budget deficit, a shaky domestic economy, and a costly war in Iraq, Congress and the White House are proving reluctant to appropriate the funds authorized by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).

--Leading computer scientists have voiced concerns that the electronic voting devices to which many states are switching may be vulnerable to tampering.

--Progress has stalled. As of September 2003, 27 states still used controversial punch-card ballots, which were the focal point of a legal challenge prior to California's October recall election.

--Some civil rights groups are also raising concerns that the Help America Vote Act's (HAVA's) anti-fraud provisions will unintentionally prevent legitimate voters from casting their ballots.
This is what democracy-in-politics is all about. Reminds me of last night's debate in L.A...
I wanted to share this article with you because it is full of truth about the fact that, like him or love him, Kerry is being molded carefully by the media as the "annointed one". (In last night's Democratic debate in L.A., it seemed to me that all the moderators were doing was edging John Edwards out of the realm of nominee-possibilities by constantly telling him there were no differences between him and Kerry.)

The article discusses a media photo-shoot where Dennis Kucinich's entire being was obstructed (This reminded me of last night's Democratic debate in L.A. when Dennis finally got a token question thrown his way. When the cameras finally showed his face, it was totally obstructed by one of the moderators -Janet Clayton- who was rudely talking to Larry King as Dennis tried to give his reply!)

The article talks about the importance of voting in your state primary in order to get the delegates representing the ideas of candidates such as Dean and Kucinich to the Democratic convention. (Reminds me of Al Sharpton at the Democratic debate in L.A. last night. At every (rare) opportunity to speak, he stressed the same importance of delegational representation in the nominating process.)

Read the article..please. It makes a lot of realistic sense in this crazy all-too media-tinted world.

Harvard Political Review on Alan Dershowitz' book "The Case For Israel"
"It is unfortunate that the question "Is Israel the prime human rights violator in the world?", which should simply be dismissed out of hand, requires a serious answer in today's political climate. But however intuitively outrageous the question, it must be answered, and Dershowitz has done us a service with his calm and reasoned reply."
I think HPR's done a good job reviewing Mr. Dershowitz' latest book. I've read parts of this book already and highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the Israeli-Palestinian troubles. It's a well-reasoned explanation for the necessity of what many believe will be an eventual two-state solution.