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Someone You Love: Coming To A Gulag Near You, and this is looking like a starting point?


The security and surveillance state does not deal in nuance or ambiguity. Its millions of agents, intelligence gatherers, spies, clandestine operatives, analysts and armed paramilitary units live in a binary world of opposites, of good and evil, black and white, opponent and ally. There is nothing between. You are for us or against us. You are a patriot or an enemy of freedom. You either embrace the crusade to physically eradicate evildoers from the face of the Earth or you are an Islamic terrorist, a collaborator or an unwitting tool of terrorists. And now that we have created this monster it will be difficult, perhaps impossible, to free ourselves from it. Our 16 national intelligence agencies and army of private contractors feed on paranoia, rumor, rampant careerism, demonization of critical free speech and often invented narratives. They justify their existence, and their consuming of vast governmental resources, by turning even the banal and the mundane into a potential threat. And by the time they finish, the nation will be a gulag.

This is why the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was contested by me and three other plaintiffs before Judge Katherine B. Forrest in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Thursday, is so dangerous. This act, signed into law by President Barack Obama last Dec. 31, puts into the hands of people with no discernible understanding of legitimate dissent the power to use the military to deny due process to all deemed to be terrorists, or terrorist sympathizers, and hold them indefinitely in military detention. The deliberate obtuseness of the NDAA’s language, which defines “covered persons” as those who “substantially supported” al-Qaida, the Taliban or “associated forces,” makes all Americans, in the eyes of our expanding homeland security apparatus, potential terrorists. It does not differentiate. And the testimony of my fellow plaintiffs, who understand that the NDAA is not about them but about us, repeatedly illustrated this.
[112th Congress Public Law 81] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2012
Alexa O’Brien, a content strategist and information architect who co-founded the U.S. Day of Rage, an organization created to reform the election process and wrest it back from corporate hands, was the first plaintiff to address the court. She testified that when WikiLeaks released 5 million emails from Stratfor, a private security firm that does work for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Marine Corps and the Defense Intelligence Agency, she discovered that the company was attempting to link her and her organization to Islamic radicals and websites as well as jihadist ideology. <<>>


Photo ID, Fingerprints, Retinal Eye Scans and Voting in America

Quick: Which of the things listed below do NOT require a photo ID to perform?

(a) Buy cigarettes or alcohol
(b) Enter a federal building
(c) Board a commercial airplane
(d) Purchase over-the-counter antihistamine
(f) Vote in an election

You are correct. 'F' it is, dumb as it is. Completely absurd in 21st century America.

Apparently, the most cherished thing we have in our democratic republic, the right to vote, is taken less seriously than the right to smoke, drink or take drugs.


Ohio and The Optical Scan Ballots

from the current 2012 Ohio BOE, Precinct Election Official, Manual
A federal consent decree between the Secretary of State’s Office and the Ohio League of Women Voters, requires all county boards of elections using DRE voting machines as their Election Day voting system to distribute backup optical scan paper ballots to voters in the event of long lines or machine problems or breakdowns during federal even-numbered year general elections and presidential primary elections.
Situations Where Backup Optical Scan, Paper Ballots MUST Be Used:
  1. Long Lines
       To provide all voters and precinct election officials with consistent minimum standards, all county boards of elections must establish a wait time policy.
       When wait times reach the threshold established by the board’s wait time policy in any given precinct, precinct election officials must verbally announce the availability of backup optical scan paper ballots to voters every half hour until the wait time is less than the board-established maximum wait time.
  1. Problems with Machines 
       If DRE voting machines malfunction, break down, run out of power, etc. precinct election officials must offer voters backup optical scan paper ballots.
       Contact the board of elections immediately to notify someone of the problem with the machines.


Situations Where Backup Optical Scan Paper Ballots MAY Be Used:
Voter Preference
       If your county has adopted a policy permitting it, a voter who prefers to vote an optical scan paper ballot may be supplied an optical scan paper ballot.
       Precinct election officials are not required to ask each voter whether he or she would like an optical scan paper ballot unless their county board of elections has adopted a policy requiring them to do so.
In General:
       Backup optical scan paper ballots cast based on one of the three reasons listed above are NOT provisional ballots and are not to be placed in provisional ballot envelopes. Voters voting on backup optical scan paper ballots must NOT be made to fill out an Identification Envelope – Provisional Ballot Affirmation Statement (Form 12-B).
       Before providing a voter with a backup optical scan paper ballot, check to make sure the voter is authorized to vote a regular ballot, such as having an authority to vote slip.
       Each voter receiving an optical scan paper ballot must receive the instructions for voting the ballot.
       Precinct election officials should direct voters to privacy booths to mark their optical scan paper ballot. Privacy booths used by persons voting a provisional ballot may be utilized for this purpose.
       Voted optical scan paper ballots are to be placed by the voter in a secure ballot box provided by the board of elections.
       If a voter asks, inform the voter that his or her ballot is considered a “regular ballot” under state law and will be counted at the board of elections on election night.

Voting Information 2012

Key facts:
• Nationwide, 25% of the nation's registered voters will have to use paperless electronic voting machines on Election Day (November 6).

• For 
67% of American voters, voter-marked paper ballots are the standard voting system. 37% of the voters live where paper ballots are the sole voting method and accessible ballot marking devices serve voters with disabilities; 30% live in areas where paper ballots are the standard voting system and electronic voting machines are deployed for accessibility.

• Half the states will conduct 
manual-count audits of electronic vote tallies. Hand-counted audits of machine tallies are essential to verified elections; without audits, paper ballots or paper records add little security value. Some planned audits will be weak audits, such as in Florida, where the audit will be conducted after the election is certified, and only one item on a large general election ballot will be chosen randomly in each county. New Mexico has strengthened its audit law, and California is planning robust risk-limiting audit pilots next year. 13 states that now have voter-verifiable paper records for all voting systems will not conduct post-election hand audits.

• In 
11 states, paperless voting accounts for most or all Election Day ballots. Six states have paperless e-voting statewide: DE, GA, LA, MD, NJ, and SC. In five states, paperless voting counts for a heavy majority of votes: IN, PA, TX, TN, and VA. In KS, we estimate that at least 40% of the vote is paperless. 

• In 32 states, voter-marked paper ballots counted by ballot scanners will account for most or all votes. 19 states will use voter-marked paper ballots statewide. In 13 states and DC, optical scan voting will account for the majority of ballots: AK, AZ, CA, CO, FL, IL, HI, KY, MO, NC, WA, WI, and WY.

• 
33 states plus DC now provide a voter-verifiable paper record (VVPR) for every vote cast. A VVPR may be a paper ballot, or it may be a printout that the voter can view before she casts her ballot on a DRE voting machine. 

• 40 states have moved toward requiring voter-verified paper records (VVPR), either through legislation or administrative decision. 
6 states will not fully implement their VVPR requirements until some time after the 2012 election: AR, CO, FL, MD, NJ, and VA. 
• 4 states are now mostly or entirely paperless but have enacted laws to end the use of direct-recording electronic voting machines, or fund their replacement: MD, NJ, TN, and VA. Maryland's and Virginia's statutes require a transition to optically scanned paper ballots. NJ's statute allows printer retrofits. Tennessee repealed a required transition to paper ballots in 2011, but current law requires the state to provide counties with funds to replace DREs with optical scan equipment and ballot marking devices for voters with disabilities.
• This year some 32 and states and DC allow military and overseas voters to return their ballots by fax, e-mail, or through a Web portal, though security concerns are starting to be heard. States such as MI, OH, and VA prohibit insecure electronic return of voted ballots. These States instead serve their military and overseas citizens by employing common-sense practices such as electronically transmitting blank ballots to voters and extending the deadline for accepting ballots from abroad.

• The District of Columbia's pilot project for Internet voting for overseas and military voters has been scaled back to allow only electronic delivery of blank ballots to voters (though voted ballots may be e-mailed or faxed). In October 2010, DC's pilot Internet voting system for overseas and military voters was hacked in dramatic fashion by University of Michigan researchers who changed votes on submitted ballots, discovered voters' personal information – and who observed users in Iran and China attempting to break into the system. To learn more about Internet voting, please visit Verified Voting Foundation's Internet Voting Information page.

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