Saturday, January 01, 2005

"Pro Democracy Count Every Vote Rally" Columbus, Ohio, Monday, January 3, 2005

CHICAGO - (December 23, 2004) – The Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, along with a coalition of grassroots organizations from across the nation, announced today plans for a "Pro Democracy Count Every Vote Rally," in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday, January 3, 2005.

The rally, which will be held at the Capitol Theater, 77 S. High Street, across from Ohio State Capitol, begins at 2:00 PM. Coalition partners include Ohio Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones,, Progressive Democrats of America, the anti-war coalition United for Peace and Justice, Ohio State Senator Joyce Beatty, CASE Ohio and others.

Organizers said the rally, which is being held just days before the Electoral College convenes to confirm the election results, is an effort to keep the spotlight on the deepening investigation of voter irregularities that occurred in Ohio during the Nov. 2nd presidential election as well as to give birth to a new Pro-Democracy Movement.

"The vote recount in Ohio is underway. The election challenge lawsuit has been filed. Subpoenas are being prepared. Depositions are being planned. Hearings spearheaded by Cong. John Conyers are bringing forth new evidence of voter machine manipulation. And now Sen. John Kerry has joined in the recount fight.

We must have a thorough investigation of voter irregularities and the voter machines before Congress certifies the Electoral College vote on January 6," Rev. Jackson said. "January 3rd will be the beginning of a new Pro-Democracy Movement in America.

Forty years ago, the Voting Rights Act was passed as a result of an independent, mass civil rights movement. We will carry forward that tradition in 2005, and continue the fight to count every vote and make sure every vote counts."

More than half of the votes cast in Ohio and the nation were recorded on electronic voting machines owned by Republicans, and which had no audit trail. Rally organizers say they want forensic computer analysts to investigate the machines.

"We cannot expect to promote democracy around the world when we cannot even guarantee the right to vote in the state of Ohio," said Carpenter of Progressive Democrats of America. "There are outstanding lawsuits, testimonies, and growing data proving votes were deliberately suppressed in Ohio. Until these issues can be fully aired by a Congressional investigation, we ask that Senators of conscience stand with the many members of the House who will contest the vote."

PDA has initiated an online petition effort urging Senators to stand with the House Representatives and challenge the vote count and avoid a repeat of the 2000 silence from the Senate."

Explaining why United for Peace and Justice has joined the cause, Cagan said, "This administration claims the ongoing war in Iraq is to help bring democracy to that nation, yet here at home our very right to vote and to have every vote counted has been compromised by the many problems in this past election. We are committed to the struggle to guarantee that every vote is counted, because every vote does count."

Rev. Jackson highlighted other reasons for the rally. "Voter disenfranchisement and discrimination continues," he said. "The election of the President remains based on a state’s rights system – where we have 50 separate and unequal elections conducted under the authority of 50 secretaries of states. We have an antiquated Electoral College system that must be abolished." He concluded, "We need a one person, one vote democracy – the direct election of the President – which will motivate a 50-state campaign inclusive of the entire nation, not just 20 "battleground" states.

That’s why we support Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s (D-IL) bill, which calls for a constitutional amendment on the right to vote for all U.S. citizens, for presidential elections with one set of rules where the individual right to vote is protected by the U.S. Constitution." The Rainbow/PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization, which seeks to protect, defend and gain civil rights, even the economic and educational playing fields in all aspects of American life and bring peace to the world.

The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago. For more information about the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, please visit the organization’s website,, or telephone (773) 373-3366.

For information on the Pro Democracy - Count Every Vote Rally,
Butch Wing

Jerry Thomas

Tannis Williamson

David Rovics - 10 New Songs: Tsunami & Election 2004

David Rovics - Band page with free MP3 music downloads on SoundClickI just wanted to let everybody know that as of today there are 10 new MP3's available for free download at, including the song I wrote a couple days ago, "Tsunami."

The other 9 songs are all songs written in the past few months, including songs about political prisoner Free/Jeffrey Luers, a song on the recent election, a song about pirates in the golden age, the joy of hot tubs, and other subjects. Several of the songs have an anti-sprawl theme to them, and I am calling this on-line "CD" release BEYOND THE MALL.

Please feel free to spread the word about it! Know any people who do radio shows? Feel free to let them know they can download the song and play it on their show. (Or burn a copy of some songs on a CDR and give it to them!)

If you check back on the soundclick site in the next several weeks or so, whenever the mixing and mastering is done there will be another 12 new songs online (and new versions of 7 other older songs), which will ultimately be released in March as a physical CD, called FOR THE MOMENT. This CD will feature Sean Staples on mandolin, Thistle on harmony vocals and other cool stuff, and it will include other new songs such as "Song for Hugo Chavez," "The Draft Is Coming" and a bunch of love songs, too...

Hope to see you on the road and in the streets! To see where I'm playing in the DC area during the Counter-Inaugural, the World Social Forum in Brazil, and gigs coming up in the southeast, northeast, west, southwest, etc., go to then click on "gigs"!

David Rovics

Friday, December 31, 2004

t r u t h o u t - Conyers to Object to Ohio Electors, Requests Senate Allies

t r u t h o u t - Conyers to Object to Ohio Electors, Requests Senate Allies: "

By William Rivers Pitt

Thursday 30 December 2004

Representative John Conyers, ranking minority member of the House Judiciary Committee, will object to the counting of the Ohio Electors from the 2004 Presidential election when Congress convenes to ratify those votes on January 6th.

In a letter dispatched to every Senator, which will be officially published by his office shortly, Conyers declares that he will be joined in this by several other members of the House. Rep. Conyers is taking this dramatic step because he believes the allegations and evidence of election tampering and fraud render the current slate of Ohio Electors illegitimate.

'As you know,' writes Rep. Conyers in his letter, 'on January 6, 2005, at 1:00 P.M, the electoral votes for the election of the president are to be opened and counted in a joint session of Congress. I and a number of House Members are planning to object to the counting of the Ohio votes, due to numerous unexplained irregularities in the Ohio presidential vote, many of which appear to violate both federal and state law.'

The letter goes on to ask the Senators who receive this letter to join Conyers in objecting to the Ohio Electors. 'I am hoping that you will consider joining us in this important effort,' writes Conyers, 'to debate and highlight the problems in Ohio which disenfranchised innumerable voters. I will shortly forward you a draft report itemizing and analyzing the many irregularities we have come across as part of our hearings and investigation into the Ohio presidential election.'

There are expected to be high level meetings with high ranking Democratic officials next week to coordinate a concerted lobbying effort to convince Senators to challenge the vote. The Green Party and David Cobb, as has been true all along, will be centrally involved in this process, as will Rev. Jesse Jackson.

The remainder of the Conyers letter reads:

3 U.S.C. §15 provides when the results from each of the states are announced, that "the President of the Senate shall call for objections, if any." Any objection must be presented in writing and "signed by at least one Senator and one Member of the House of Representatives before the same shall be received." The objection must "state clearly and concisely, and without argument, the ground thereof." When an objection has been properly made in writing and endorsed by a member of each body the Senate withdraws from the House chamber, and each body meets separately to consider the objection.

"No votes...from any other State shall be acted upon until the (pending) objection...(is) finally disposed of." 3 U.S.C. §17 limits debate on the objections in each body to two hours, during which time no member may speak more than once and not for more than five minutes. Both the Senate and the House must separately agree to the objection; otherwise, the challenged vote or votes are counted.

Historically, there appears to be three general grounds for objecting to the counting of electoral votes. The language of 3 U.S.C. §15 suggests that objection may be made on the grounds that (1) a vote was not "regularly given" by the challenged elector(s); and/or (2) the elector(s) was not "lawfully certified" under state law; or (3) two slates of electors have been presented to Congress from the same State.

Since the Electoral Count Act of 1887, no objection meeting the requirements of the Act have been made against an entire slate of state electors. In the 2000 election several Members of the House of Representatives attempted to challenge the electoral votes from the State of Florida. However, no Senator joined in the objection, and therefore, the objection was not "received."

In addition, there was no determination whether the objection constituted an appropriate basis under the 1887 Act. However, if a State - in this case Ohio - has not followed its own procedures and met its obligation to conduct a free and fair election, a valid objection -if endorsed by at least one Senator and a Member of the House of Representatives- should be debated by each body separately until "disposed of".

A key legal aspect of this is the second clause referenced in the letter. Rep. Conyers and the other House members involved do not believe the electors have been lawfully certified. They believe that there has been too much illegal activity on the part of Blackwell, other election officials, and Republican operatives on the ground and therefore, as stated in the letter, the electors were not "lawfully certified" under state law.

Next week, the House Judiciary Committee Democratic staff will release the report referenced in the letter, which is now still in draft form, and which led Mr. Conyers to this decision.

The Senators who shall receive the greatest focus from Conyers in this matter are Biden, Bingaman, Boxer, Byrd, Clinton, Conrad, Corzine, Dodd, Dorgan, Durbin, Feingold, Harkin, Inyoue, Jeffords, Kennedy, Kerry, Lautenberg, Leahy, Levin, Lieberman, Mikulski, Nelson (FL), Jack Reed, Harry Reid, Rockefeller, Sarbanes, Stabenow, Wyden and Obama.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and international bestseller of two books
'War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know' and
'The Greatest Sedition is Silence.'

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

(t r u t h o u t has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is t r u t h o u t endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

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Tsunami - The Song

David Rovics

What do you say to someone
Who's just lost everything
Eventually things might be OK
As he's standing there
With all that's left of life
Before the ocean rose and took it all away

I was at the mosque
I wasn't on the shore
I guess it was my lucky day
And when I made it home
There was no one there
The ocean rose and took them all away

We were fighting
For independence
That's all that I was thinking yesterday
But now all I'm thinking
Is we're on an island
And the ocean rose and took it all away

We're on an island
And the big trees all were cut
And this is how we all had to pay
Maybe Mr. Ford
Was on vacation in Thailand
When the ocean rose and took it all away

If this had happened
In Kyoto
Or San Francisco, I wonder what they'd say
But this ain't New York
It's just Aceh
Where the ocean rose and took it all away


A recording of Tsunami will be available in a couple of weeks at

If you know of other post Christmas Tsunami Tragedy songs, please let us know.

CBS News | Tsunami Aid Out Of Reach For Many : Multimedia Resources

CBS News | Tsunami Aid Out Of Reach For Many: Excerpts: "But with help streaming in, overstretched authorities were dealing with the logistical nightmare of getting it to the needy. Tons of supplies were backlogged in Indonesia, with thousands of boxes filled with drinking water, crackers, blankets and other basic necessities piled high in an airplane hangar nearly 300 miles from Banda Aceh, the wrecked main city in the disaster zone.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Thursday that nations had donated $500 million toward the relief effort, but more help was needed. Militaries from around the world geared up to help.

"Over the past few days it has registered deeply in the consciousness and conscience of the world as we seek to grasp the speed, the force and magnitude with which it happened. But we must also remain committed for the longer term," Annan said.

Longer term? What is the U.N. Secretary-General talking about?
If the tsunami victims don't receive aid immediately, there is no longer term from their point-of-view.

CBS News has a very comprehensive multimedia tsunami tragedy site.

The Internet makes it easier for people to reach out to disaster victims. From Google to, Web sites are providing links and payment methods, Sharyl Attkisson reports. (Video)

Thursday, December 30, 2004

The New York Times > International > Middle East > 25 Insurgents Are Killed During Attack on U.S. Base in Mosul

The New York Times > International > Middle East > 25 Insurgents Are Killed During Attack on U.S. Base in Mosul: "AGHDAD, Iraq, Dec. 29 - American troops and warplanes killed at least 25 insurgents who used car bombs and rocket-propelled grenades in a brazen but failed effort to overrun an American combat outpost in Mosul this afternoon, the fiercest fighting the restive northern city has seen in weeks. Fifteen American soldiers were wounded, military officials said."

Sunday, December 26, 2004

David Rovics Radio Interview: 2004-02-01 (Audio)

Show Details for David Rovics: 2004-02-01: "David Rovics Interview and live performance on Across The Great Divide on KPFA 94.1FMKPFA 94.1FM Feb 01, 2004FM -> VHS -> PC Wav1.) Introduction 04:202.) Who Would Jesus Bomb? 04:203.) Discussion 03:084.) Song for My Broken Heart 02:455.) Discussion 04:27 " - Drug companies issue Michael Moore alert - Drug companies issue Michael Moore alert: "Some pharmaceutical companies are telling their employees to look out for the scruffy guy in the baseball cap. The Houston Chronicle reported Saturday that at least six drug companies have released internal communications telling employees to be wary of filmmaker Michael Moore. " - Drug companies issue Michael Moore alert - Drug companies issue Michael Moore alert: "Some pharmaceutical companies are telling their employees to look out for the scruffy guy in the baseball cap. The Houston Chronicle reported Saturday that at least six drug companies have released internal communications telling employees to be wary of filmmaker Michael Moore. "