This is the powerful video I shot last Sunday at Incopah, the retreat in Willow Creek, CA for veterans with PTSD. Gary Woodings worked with Steve Robinson for about 90 minutes using Emotional Freedom Technique and Steve was able to discharge shocking and horrifying emotional trauma he had been carrying since serving in the US Navy 40 years ago in Viet Nam. The video is edited down to less than 26 minutes and demonstrates the process pretty well. Note that Steve's story is rather graphic and may be disturbing. However, as you watch it, remember that he no longer has these feelings and you don't need to take on their weight either.
NOTE: DU won't allow me to embed this video, so please watch it here:
IfWeRanTheWorld.com is now in live beta. I've been eagerly awaiting the chance to use this and see great potential for it as a means to attract and facilitate organizing the Manifest Positivity advocacy journalism collective. It looks like only some of the features have been enabled so far. I have created a limited profile and created a "microaction," though I also had to report a problem that the action item seems to have vanished. I also submitted praise saying I was so glad they had launched even a little! (though this too may have disappeared in the ether.)
Learn more about the advocacy journalism collective in the welcome video at ManifestPositivity.org.
The North Coast Journal published my latest book review:
am I being kind
By Michael J. Chase
Michael J. Chase is known as "The Kindness Guy." As the founder of The Kindness Center, based in Maine, Chase is an inspirational speaker and author of am I being kind, available at TheKindnessCenter.com. The book has a 100% life back guarantee: If it doesn't change your life, you get your old life back, no questions asked. This may be frivolous, book-jacket fluff but there really are undeniable benefits to a life of kindness and Chase offers a dynamic and easily accessible means of exploring how to choose this way of living.
am I being kind outlines seven personal choices at the heart of Chase's "Livingkindness" philosophy. The choices are no-brainers when simplified thusly: personal responsibility or victimhood; forgiveness or resentment; wellness or abuse; dream big or settle; a life of purpose or life without meaning; positive relationships or energy vampires; and a life of kindness or unkindness.
With resolve, these choices are preparation for Chase's five keys to happiness: awareness of thoughts, words and actions; asking yourself throughout the day “am I being kind?” adopting the Livingkindness philosophy; applying the 9 elements of a kind heart; and action: performing acts of kindness, particularly spontaneous acts, if not random ones.
The 9 elements of a kind heart: attentive, authentic, charitable, compassionate, courageous, enthusiastic, grateful, inspirational, patient. Chase doesn't expect us to be saints, encouraging us simply to be this way in the future more than in the past. His test for answering "am I being kind?" is whether he'd want his child to behave as he is in that moment.
Presenting stories of his own imperfect self and spiritual evolution as context, Chase delivers a simple and digestible message influenced by The Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Eckhart Tolle, Ram Dass, Buddha and Christ (among others), without being cerebral, esoteric or religious. Self-help books tend to reformulate familiar concepts and any given volume may be more or less likely to resonate based on your current position along your own path.
It is not new, for example, to suggest "Our reason for being is this: service, making a positive contribution, and bringing joy to the lives of others." For me this bridges a gap between attitude and action, advancing my aspiration toward pronoia: the belief the universe is conspiring on our behalf. Rob Brezsny's book Pronoia brought me this concept and inspired my own mantra "live to love as much as possible."
Chase brings this home by replacing the typical positive/negative paradigm with a dichotomy of kindness/unkindness, including toward the self. Beyond viewing kindness as the pathway to happiness, he calls it "the vehicle for delivering unconditional love" and "the creative distribution of love." What a great way to proactively bring intention closer to manifested reality.
I am very excited to present this interview with Tribune Media Services syndicated columnist Bob Koehler at Manifest Positivity. It is the first remote interview here using Skype's relatively new call recorder feature. This will allow me to interact with far more people than just those I can personally visit with my video camera, so look for more split screen interviews like this coming up.
In this discussion, Koehler talks about what it means to be a self-described "peace journalist," writing about his participation in "peace circles," much the same way my advocacy journalism is about using media transparently to document work to create change in the world. In his most recent column, "Power With, Power Over," he also comes to an amazing point of clarity about personal relationships of power, mirroring the definition I have long used for peaceful revolution.
In the interest of transparency: the reason we did two takes was the first one had many audio dropouts and video freezes avoided by changes to the Skype settings for the second try. The content in both was very similar.
Originally blogged at:
Introduction to the Peace Circle
By Dave Berman
Tuesday morning I'm doing my first interview using Skype's call recorder. I'll be talking to Bob Koehler, syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services, about his latest column called "Power With, Power Over." Koehler calls himself a "peace journalist," and the new column mentions his participation in a gathering called a peace circle. He writes:
"The first premise of a circle like this is that everyone's presence is vital - the ones with whom I disagree, the ones I don't quite trust...even my own. Making a concept like this real is not easy, but what we begin to generate when we do so, when we listen with deep respect, when we speak our riskiest truths, when we discover our common humanity, is a collective energy that cannot help but change the world. It's called, for lack of a better word, love, and it's a force older than violence.He continues later:
"I'm convinced that uncoupling our inclination to dominate others to get our way and embracing "power with" them as our prime approach to life is the fundamental emotional shift necessary for the creation of lasting peace."Read the full column here:
Look for the video interview Tuesday afternoon at www.ManifestPositivity.org .
Book Review, David Swanson's Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Un
Book review by Dave Berman
Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union by David Swanson
Seven Stories Press
Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union is the first book from David Swanson, a prominent national activist organizer known for ProsecuteBushCheney.org, AfterDowningStreet.org and his work with Progressive Democrats for America and Democrats.com. Swanson’s pedigree might suggest a partisan perspective but his book reveals a utopian idealist equally critical of President Obama, both parties, and the supposed two-party system. He is deeply devoted to restoring the rule of law through populist policies, wide-ranging reforms, and most demonstrably his own direct actions.
In just the introduction alone, Swanson notes: “The US government has been fundamentally changed...While we can’t erase the harm already done, we can reconstitute a nation of laws and a democratic system of government to ensure it doesn’t happen again...We will need a revolution of values in our own habits of thought and action...At heart, the aim of this book is to encourage the American people to take actions that are absolutely necessary. Now.”
Focusing heavily on the relationship between the three branches of US federal government, Daybreak documents how each has illegally redefined its role in recent times, via signing statements and other executive overreach; abdication of spending powers, refusal to impeach, and other congressional self-castration; and selective judicial activism. While recommending many changes to the Constitution, Swanson also writes: “The most glaring problem with it is not dated concepts or ambiguous wording, but our failure to enforce it.”
More than 400 footnotes support an exhaustive depiction of government, corporate and media wrong doing. For those of us who have been actively working for change through most of this decade, such a complete review can be overkill and create a seemingly interminable delay in getting to the “how to” part of forming the more perfect union. Or maybe I’ve just read enough Naomi Wolf and Naomi Klein and become an impatient member of the revolutionary choir.
To the credit of Swanson’s broad perspective, Daybreak recognizes the interrelatedness of myriad issues, offering insight to both problems and solutions involving the economy, imperialistic military, consolidated media control, corporate personhood, health care, wealth inequality, election integrity, campaign finance reform, whistleblower protections, education, labor, civil liberties, and more.
His best recommendations are in chapter 23, “The Trouble With The Media.” Citing Robert McChesney and John Nichols’ characterization of a “cartel-like arrangement,” Swanson sees the equivalent of a fourth branch of government deserving to be called the US Department of Media causing the need “to completely overhaul our communication system.”
Utopian idealists such as Swanson (and myself) believe “Most Americans are altruistic and want to be more so.” Further, “the best programs and organizations...show people how they can help others. It’s not ‘Teach a man to fish’ so much as ‘Teach a man to teach others to fish.’” In the margin next to that paragraph I scrawled “promoting as well as doing advocacy journalism,” which is my purpose at ManifestPositivity.org, a site created as a public service for peaceful revolution.
This is clearly Swanson’s approach as well. Of the need for revolution in “US civil society,” he says “we must not only avoid violence, but reject it so completely that no use of it can be plausibly attributed to us.”
Ultimately, while there is a lot in Daybreak that resonates with me, it is a book that could afford to trade some of its thoroughness for a simpler articulation of priorities. Swanson gives us an extra large serving of “what would be better” without enough “least you can do” everyday actions.
In this video, I refer to the ManifestPositivity.org Glossary term "sabotage," exploring its yin/yang relationship with progress. This is also the first time I'm publicly stating my intention to create a self-help workbook, which will happen in collaboration with people participating in the web-based TV talk show I'm also working on. This post is helping to manifest both.
* * *
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dave Berman issues compilation of essays, We Do Not Consent, Volume 2
August 27, 2009, Eureka, CA – In the new book, We Do Not Consent, Volume 2, self-described advocacy journalist Dave Berman presents 20 essays from his We Do Not Consent blog, promoting themes of peace, media accountability, election integrity, and other public service. As with the first volume, published in 2006, free copies of Berman's latest book may be downloaded and paperbacks purchased at a new website launched with the book, www.ManifestPositivity.org .
"For years I've been practicing and promoting advocacy journalism," says Berman, "transparently using media to facilitate the achievement of public service goals. The new book covers the period from mid 2006 through late 2008."
Featuring a freshly written introduction, epilogue and glossary, We Do Not Consent, Volume 2, also sets the stage for Berman's new work, shifting focus from writing mainly about his own projects to creating videos supporting the public service goals of other people and groups, many entirely apolitical.
Combining writing and community organizing experience with 10 years as a radio DJ, a communication degree from Cornell University, and six years as a successful entrepreneur, Berman sees his new site as a pathway to an online talk show.
"The Manifest Positivity site comes from a place of love not anger, showing how we can use media as a tool for the greater good. I think this can be most effective in the form of a web-based TV talk show," explains Berman. "People everywhere are collaborating independent of the corporate/military/government/media juggernaut to address the survival needs of humanity and our planet. Manifest Positivity is the work of peaceful revolution, inspired by pronoia, the belief that the universe is conspiring on our behalf."
Berman's advocacy journalism has appeared frequently in local media over the past five years, with several examples showing up in We Do Not Consent, Volume 2. In support of the new book and website, an in-depth interview with Berman appears in Humboldt's free Steelhead Special magazine issue #51 due out in early September. Beyond the North Coast, Berman hopes to reprise national and international media exposure garnered by his past work, as well as to resume frequent public speaking appearances.
"I'm especially interested in collaborating with students," says Berman. "Social networking and other new media tools are particularly conducive to advocacy journalism so I'm reaching out to my contacts at HSU, CR, and elsewhere, including through programs at The Ink People. I invite everyone to contact me through ManifestPositivity.org to get involved."
Congrats on the recognition, Al. I've really enjoyed these interview segments and seeing you get some overdue credit. Despite having worked with you in the past, I never realized your mission statement was so directly aligned with how I've practiced and defined advocacy journalism. That link goes to my glossary, found at my new blog, Manifest Positivity, and also in my new free e-book, We Do Not Consent, Volume 2 (.pdf). What do you think of my definition and how you feel about applying the term to what you do?
PS: Right now is a soft launch of both new book and blog. Paperbacks will be printed in a few weeks and I'll be promoting both more thoroughly.
June 4, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Dave Meserve: (707) 834-3612
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA vs. CITIES OF EUREKA AND ARCATA, CA
UPDATE ON DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE EFFORTS TO INVALIDATE THE ARCATA AND EUREKA YOUTH PROTECTION ACTS
On Tuesday, June 9 at 1pm, in Courtroom 3 at the Oakland Federal Courthouse, Federal Court Judge Saundra Armstrong is scheduled to hear oral arguments regarding the Arcata and Eureka Youth Protection Acts. These ordinances prohibit military recruiters from initiating contact with minors for the purpose of recruiting them into any branch of the military. They were approved as ballot initiative Measures F and J, on November 4, 2008 by margins of 73% in Arcata and 57% in Eureka.
Judge Armstrong is scheduled to hear oral arguments on two motions by the United States Department of Justice.
One motion is the plaintiff's (United States') motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, in which the US is arguing that, as a matter of law, Measures F and J are both invalid under the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution. Such a motion can only be granted if the Court believes that all of the Cities’ arguments in defense of the measures lack any substance worthy of a hearing. A ruling in favor of the Federal Government on this motion would effectively invalidate the ordinances without further opportunity to defend them, subject to possible appeal by the Cities.
The second motion is the plaintiff's motion for Dismissal of the Cities' Counterclaims. The Cities' Counterclaims assert that the United States recruiting practices are themselves invalid because they are in conflict with International Treaty obligations that prohibit the military recruiting of minors. The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts, as ratified by the United States Senate, has the standing of the Supreme Law of the Land, on equal footing with the US Constitution and any federal laws regulating military recruiting. The U.S. argues that the Cities do not have standing to bring the counterclaims, based on a lack of harm to the Cities themselves.
Ironically, the U.S. argues this in the face of the recent ruling by Judge Armstrong that the proponents of the initiatives passed by the voters do not have the right to intervene in the case. She based her ruling on the assertion that the Cities are able to present a full defense of the measures without the participation of the proponents in the case. If neither the Cities nor the proponents have standing to defend the measures, then how will the people who voted for them be represented in defending their right to protect youth from the excesses of recruiters?
The Cities have argued that, under the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution, people have a right to privacy and to protect their children from uninvited or inappropriate advances by anyone, including military recruiters. Further, under the Tenth Amendment, they have the right to enact and enforce ballot initiative ordinances.
The City of Arcata is represented by Brad Yamauchi of the San Francisco firm of Minami and Tamaki, LLP, and by the Law Offices of Michael Sorgen, and City Attorney, Nancy Diamond. The City of Eureka is represented by their City Attorney, Sheryl Schaffner, and by San Francisco attorney, Dennis Cunningham. All non-city attorneys are offering their services pro-bono.
Whatever the outcome of Tuesday’s hearing, the people of Arcata and Eureka continue to demand that the United States of America “Stop Recruiting Kids!” in their communities.
Recent related news:
4/14/09 Democracy Now! interview
4/19/09 Sacramento Bee Article
4/26/09 - San Francisco Chronicle Article
Originally blogged at We Do Not Consent:
My Present Path Toward Advocacy Journalism (aka Reflections On Independence, Volume 6)
By Dave Berman
This is the sixth essay in my not quite annual series of Reflections on Independence. In the past I've published these thoughts around July 4. By that time this year, however, I'm expecting my advocacy journalism to be in a whole new place, to which this begins the transition. I will probably only make a few more posts here at the We Do Not Consent blog. Then, as with the suspension of my prior blog, GuvWurld, another free e-book compiling the most essential pieces from WDNC will serve to promote the launch of my next site, a video blog.
For the last six plus years I have done this public service work while assiduously avoiding reference to my wife and the business we built together. At the end of last year I exited our professional partnership, and our divorce will be final soon. This has given me time and space to create the life I'd like to lead now, a natural extension of the communication strategies and organizing experiences I've blogged about, and most definitely a new debt-free era of multi-faceted independence.
Friday morning I'll be embarking on an extended road trip, itself a reflection of my new independence. I'm hoping to have a new video camera by next week and possibly to begin posting content by the end of the month. The reunions I'll have between now and then are all with people who have greatly supported and deeply affected this part of my life. I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to explore the nature of my future collaborations with these folks.
In addition to the emphasis on video, I can also say at this point that my next blog will launch with a glossary I have already written to summarize and define the dozens of terms and concepts I have coined and cultivated over the years. I intend to continue developing these ideas, using them to create a talk show based on the Project-Based Format (see Time To Check Your Least, 11/24/07). In the long run, the glossary will grow and expand, providing a frame of reference companion piece for the program.
The launch will also include publication of a proposal detailing how the show would work, to be followed later this spring by a demo of the program. In a nutshell, I am going to be seeking out people and organizations doing public service to ask: If you had unfettered access to media to promote your work, what would you do? How would you use this exposure to achieve your goals? This is where the content will begin to come from for the talk show. I welcome e-mail (or DU PM) from those ready to participate. Here are just a few of the topics I think we can advance:
Helping returning veterans re-adjust to society; Understanding environmental implications of diet; Building sustainable local economies; Triple bottom line; Green building; Alternative energy and transportation; Emergency preparedness; Identifying edible plants; Supporting conscientious objectors and war resisters.
Basically, if your work empowers people at the grassroots, I want to hear from you. If you are a citizen journalist making independent media, let's work together. If you are about manifesting positivity, building the better world the corporate/military/government media juggernaut doesn't even want us to imagine - we are on the same page. Contact me.
Meanwhile, independence has already allowed me to volunteer on several other projects, including the art site BARDoodle; the future wilderness therapy retreat now called Veterans Spirit at Incopah; the media committee of Vets For Peace Chapter 56; and the next edition of the independent magazine The Steelhead Special, due out July 4. This issue of the Steelie will demonstrate multiple examples of advocacy journalism through interviews with various Humboldt community organizers, including one that Tom Pinto and I will conduct in May. By the way, I recently learned that Wikipedia has an entry for advocacy journalism and this 2004 essay of mine is cited as the first reference source.
I can't say any of this will be in a context that is more or less political than I've been until now, but I can say my changed circumstances and personal growth will be evident. For now I'll just recommend two books I've recently gotten a lot from. First is Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth," a very popular book that has helped me view ego in a new way, separating my sense of self from the thoughts and emotions I have, ultimately leaving me happier, more loving, and better able to calibrate the intensity that I project (in a word, present). I have found myself discussing this book with dozens of people, one of whom recommended another powerful paradigm changer, Rob Brezsny's "Pronoia," which essentially is the belief that the universe is conspiring on your behalf.
This is quite a departure from my previous Reflections on Independence, all of which were written during the Bush regime, all harkening to the Declaration of Independence as the master change manual bequeathed to us by the nation's founders. In keeping with tradition, I have posted the historic document in full below and encourage you to read or hopefully re-read what may be humanity's most hopeful and inspiring expression of freedom.
When we remember that our rights are unalienable; that government exists only to secure, not create or grant, these rights; that government legitimacy derives entirely from the Consent of the Governed; when we Reflect on Independence, we realize our Life, Liberty and Happiness are birthrights to preserve and never give up, never allow ourselves to be denied; we realize our Consent must no longer be taken for granted lest we sabotage ourselves through complicity in the harm being done to us all; and we realize that nothing less than "our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor" are at stake - both what we stand to lose and what it will take to survive, sort of a cosmic use it or lose it.
Reflections On Independence 2002
Reflections On Independence 2003
Reflections On Independence 2005
Reflections On Independence 2006
Reflections On Independence 2007
July 4, 1776
The Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united* States of America.
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shown that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the present King of Great- Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.
HE has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.
HE has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
HE has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People, unless those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature, a Right inestimable to them and formidable to Tyrants only.
HE has called together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the Depository of their public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with his Measures.
HE has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly Firmness his Invasions on the Rights of the People.
HE has refused for a long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the meantime exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and the Convulsions within.
HE has endeavored to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migration hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
HE has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
HE has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and the Amount and Payment of their Salaries.
HE has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance.
HE has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our Legislature.
HE has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to Civil Power.
HE has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
FOR quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us:
FOR protecting them, by mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
FOR cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:
FOR imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
FOR depriving us in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:
FOR transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:
FOR abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rule into these Colonies:
FOR taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
FOR suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.
HE has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
HE has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burned our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.
HE is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.
HE has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
HE has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the Inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is undistinguished Destruction of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.
IN every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.
NOR have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and Consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.
WE, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, that these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which INDEPENDENT STATES may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
· New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
· Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
· Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
· Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
· New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
· New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
· Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
· Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
· Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
· Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
· North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
· South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
· Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton.
* Although this capitalization of "united" differs from the images of copies of the Declaration of Independence viewable at the Library of Congress's Web site (*http://www.loc.gov /), it follows the capitalization found on the images of the Declaration of Independence held by the National Archives and Records Administration (*http://www.loc.gov /|http://www.nara.gov >).
The great Peter B. Collins progressive talk radio show has only been able to get on about 9 stations via self syndication. Unprofitable, the show is going off the air on Friday unless, according to today's show, there is by 9am Tuesday a significant response to firstname.lastname@example.org pledging a voluntary monthly subscription fee (suggested $10, anything gratefully accepted), or of course some major donors or advertisers emerging.
Peter's reporting, coverage and exploration are unmatched on topics such as election integrity, 9/11 truth, depleted uranium, grassroots activism (more properly called public service), and others distorted or blacked out by the corporate/military/government/media juggernaut. Of all the talk show hosts I've heard, PBC is the most respectful of listeners, guests and callers, who are rarely interrupted and never shouted down, always allowed to make their point even when in disagreement with "the humble host." This show smartens us up rather than dumbing us down.
Of all the debate I see about why liberal or progressive talk isn't more successful, I think right here is the missing ingredient...
Imagine the PBC show as our after school club where we get together to stay informed and involved, a rare progressive media forum that supports real world work for change (what we dream DU could be at optimal effectiveness). If you can, pay some monetary dues. For the rest, dues means participating and using the program (being the media) to actually accomplish things and advance solutions for a progressive agenda.
Listen live all this week (and hopefully beyond) from 3-6pm PT via www.PeterBCollins.com .
Originally blogged at We Do Not Consent:
Funding Frozen For Proposed Humboldt Voting Machine Switch
By Dave Berman
According to the agenda, this Tuesday the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will consider a proposal from Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich, who seeks approval for the purchase of Hart InterCivic eScan optical scanners to replace the similar Diebold/Premier equipment used to "count" votes here since 1995. Linked from the agenda is a 22 page .pdf called Voting Modernization Project Plan Phase II. From page two:
Because of the current fiscal crisis in the State of California, the voting Modernization Bond funds designated to cover this project were frozen by the State Treasurer on December 19, 2008. We will return to your Board for change order and funding plan approval once the funding plan is developed and approved by the Secretary of State. The delay in obtaining these funds should not impact the approval of the concept of this plan.As previously reported at WDNC, the Registrar has created a sense of urgency around this proposal (reinforced by quotes in a Eureka Times-Standard Sunday cover story that is oddly absent from the paper's website). But how can she expect the Supes to hurry up and approve a proposal for a purchase requiring funds that are not currently available and which would be based on a contract that has not been made public? Further calling this urgency into question, from page 6 of the same agenda attachment:
Because there is currently no county-wide election scheduled until November 2009, full implementation of the system will be possible before the next election.One other quick point about this implementation plan. On page 9 it calls for "sleepovers," a period of two days prior to the election when precinct inspectors will have the eScans in their private possession. This is despite myriad warnings, even in the California Secretary of State's own Top To Bottom Review of Hart voting systems. From that report:
Conclusion (p.16):No procedural mitigation defeats unfettered access to machines that can be undetectably manipulated. In addition, deletion of audit trails occurred in this past November's election, as revealed by the Election Transparency Project (ETP). Volunteer Parke Bostrom commented on this in a quote previously posted here at WDNC and also found in this December 8 article at Wired.com:
Th is means the audit log is not truly a "log" in the classical computer program sense, but is rather a "re-imagining" of what GEMS would like the audit log to be, based on whatever information GEMS happens to remember at the end of the vote counting process.Bostrom is referring to the Diebold central tabulation program responsible for the 197 secretly deleted ballots, though the point is the same with Hart's equipment. Beyond undetectable manipulation, the system can cover its tracks, destroying assurances of built-in memory redundancies and making a mockery of logic and accuracy testing.
The We Do Not Consent blog on Friday posted an announcement from the Humboldt County Republican Party that it has adopted a resolution in support of a public discussion process prior to a vote by the Supervisors on Crnich's proposal. In Sunday's (so far) print-only T-S article, Eureka City Councilman Larry Glass adds, "I think that's an issue that I'd like to see get some more public dialogue, and I'm going to try to make a point of contacting the supervisors and expressing that." Another member of the Council assured me he will attend Tuesday's Supes meeting to make this point in person.
The Voter Confidence Committee, which I co-founded nearly four years ago, distributed an e-mail newsletter on Sunday evening encouraging supporters to attend Tuesday's meeting, or at least to call Supervisors with some or all of the following messages:
--We want and are entitled to have a choice and a say in how we count our votes;There has been other recent media coverage of this developing story. In the third hour of Friday's Peter B. Collins show, I spoke with PBC and Brad Friedman about the day old announcement of a second discrepancy found by the ETP, showing 57 ballots were scanned twice into the official certified results.
After a commercial break (edited out of linked recording), we got into discussing Tuesday's upcoming Supes meeting and were then joined by a surprise phone call from Crnich. She has appeared on PBC's show many times before, and this is not the first time she has called in immediate response to my presence on the show. There was an unusually long and uninterrupted segment where Friedman challenges Crnich in ways that just have to be heard, including telling her flat out in the end that she should slow down and allow more public input. Overall, I come on the show at about 16:30 into the recording; Crnich joins around the 24 minute mark.
Finally, borrowed from the VCC newsletter, a summary of recent related links:
North Coast Journal, 12/4/08, Election Results: Wrong
Eureka Times-Standard, 12/5/08, Software glitch yields inaccurate election results
Eureka Times-Standard, 12/7/08, Local elections office commended
Eureka Times-Standard (editorial), 12/7/08, A glitch that should never have been
Wired, 12/8/08, Serious Error in Diebold Voting Software Caused Lost Ballots in California County
Wired, 12/8/08, Unique Transparency Program Uncovers Problems with Voting Software
Eureka Times-Standard (Letter to the editor), 12/10/08, Who Dares Defend Diebold?
We Do Not Consent blog, 12/17/08, Humboldt's False Alternative to Diebold
North Coast Journal (Letter to the editor), 12/18, Has Humboldt Hit a Tipping Point?
Eureka Times-Standard, 12/22/08, Registrar of Voters considers dumping equipment
Eureka Times-Standard, 12/29/08, Federal election commission eyes Humboldt
We Do Not Consent blog, 12/6/09, Exclusive: Humboldt's Secret Hart Attack
We Do Not Consent blog, 12/9/09, Humboldt Republicans Call For Public Discussion of Proposed Voting Machine Switch
Eureka Times-Standard, 1/10/09, New error found in county election results
Eureka Times-Standard (Editorial), 1/11/09, Thank you, Humboldt County Transparency Project
* * *
Originally blogged at We Do Not Consent:
Humboldt Republicans Call For Public Discussion of Proposed Voting Machine Switch
By Dave Berman
This is the second of two breaking stories from the Humboldt County, CA election integrity scene on the evening of January 8...
The county Republican Party has issued a press release, shown in full below, announcing their adoption of a resolution in support for a "public discussion process" before the Board of Supervisors votes on the proposal from Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich to switch from Diebold/Premier "election" machines to similar equipment made by Hart InterCivic.
The We Do Not Consent blog broke the news of the Registrar's proposal in a December 17 exclusive. A subsequent WDNC exclusive ran earlier this week revealing Crnich had previously divulged her plan at a public meeting of the Election Advisory Committee, requesting that attendees keep it secret.
In those articles, as well as my letters published in the Eureka Times-Standard and North Coast Journal, I have been advocating for a public process to evaluate multiple alternatives to the Diebold system currently used in Humboldt. Of course, I don't think we're going to see anyone cry or even resist giving up on Diebold. In fact, we ought to have a damn party! The way I see this unfolding situation is as a giant victory slathered in opportunity.
Parke Bostrom, who has been involved in most if not all developing Humboldt election integrity stories in recent months, authored a petition featured in my last post that outlines a specific public process for the county to consider.
The Republican resolution below stems from their Thursday night meeting, which Bostrom attended as part of a broader outreach effort to media, community groups, and local elected officials aimed at creating more support for encouraging the Board of Supervisors to take this path next Tuesday, January 13, when the Registrar's proposal is expected to appear on their agenda. If you can lend your voice, please be at the county courthouse at 5th and I Streets in Eureka at 9am. You can also scroll to the bottom of this page to find phone and e-mail info for the Supes. Let them know:
We love the idea of getting rid of Diebold but we must slow down and have a public evaluation of alternatives rather than rushing into another secret corporate vote counting system as the Registrar of Voters, Carolyn Crnich, is recommending - secretly, at that.Bostrom is also a pivotal player in the Election Transparency Project, a volunteer citizen-developed and Registrar supported audit project that uses an off the shelf office scanner and open source software to make images of all the ballots cast in an election. An initial review of the data from this past November's election revealed that Diebold's central tabulation program, GEMS, had secretly deleted 197 ballots, causing the Registrar to certify inaccurate results. The news became a national story. The ETP has now found another discrepancy, the second of the two breaking stories...
* * *
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: M. Parke Bostrom, 707.733.4201, email@example.com
At the January 8th meeting of the Republican Party of Humboldt County,
central committee member M. Parke Bostrom moved that the following
resolution be passed:
The Republican Party of Humboldt County calls upon the Humboldt County
Board of Supervisors to delay voting on the proposed plan to purchase
new elections equipment until there has been a reasonable period of
time for a public discussion process.
Humboldt County Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich was present at the
meeting to swear in all the committee members. Crnich stayed for and
participated in discussion with Bostrom regarding his resolution.
Prior to a vote on the resolution, party chairman Patricia Welch left
the chair and said, "As a Republican, I believe that anytime the
taxpayers' money is spent, it is important that there is an
opportunity for public discussion, and therefore I urge committee
members to vote in favor of the resolution."
The resolution passed in a nearly unanimous vote. The Republican
Party of Humboldt County is the first organization to pass a
resolution on this very important matter.
Additional contact info:
Chairman, Humboldt County Republican Party
Northwest Regional Vice Chairman, California Republican Party
Humboldt Election Transparency Project Identifies Another Discrepancy In November's Reported Results
Originally blogged at We Do Not Consent:
Humboldt Election Transparency Project Identifies Another Discrepancy In November's Reported Results
By Dave Berman
This is the first of two breaking stories from the Humboldt County, CA election integrity scene on the evening of January 8...
In a message posted just before 5pm Thursday at the Democracy Counts blog, Mitch Trachtenberg and Humboldt County Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich made a joint statement announcing the Humboldt County Election Transparency Project (ETP) has found a second discrepancy in the results of November's election, which Crnich certified as accurate in early December, just prior to discovering the Diebold central tabulation program, GEMS, had secretly deleted 197 ballots from the total count.
Joint Statement on the November 2008 Humboldt County Election ResultsThat last line about no outcomes being affected, while I don't doubt it, seems almost obligatory to the point of cliche in these types of stories, like many a government-issued denial ("the US does not torture," or even, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman"). Even given the benefit of the doubt, things look very wrong and smell foul. But hey, what's a little secret vote counting among friends, right?
Since the news of the original GEMS failure, the We Do Not Consent blog has twice broken stories of the Registrar's rushed and hushed plan to replace GEMS and the county's Diebold optical scanners with similar eScans made by Hart InterCivic. Crnich told the Eureka Times-Standard "This plan that is proposed pre-dates any of the problems that were found to exist in this election."
I personally confirmed this quote with Crnich on Tuesday when she acknowledged having shared her plan in November with volunteers of the ETP, who were asked to keep it a secret.
Even prior to learning this, I had already written a series of articles and letters calling for a public process to evaluate multiple alternatives to the current Diebold system, which of course I'm thrilled we'll finally be done with. With cooperation from Parke Bostrom and others, an outreach campaign is underway aimed at getting the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors to create such a process at their January 13 meeting, when Crnich's proposal comes up for their approval. We are beginning to receive support from some perhaps unexpected places. That's the other breaking story, coming soon...
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