Fraudy Fraud Fraud

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[RE: The Real Side, “The Man Who Got Iglesias,” May 24-30] Scarantino argues that charges of voter fraud against the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now were “bogus." Of course, anyone who remembers that case knows that, in fact, there were documented cases of ineligible voters registered by ACORN personnel. The excuse for not filing fraud charges was that the law had been “interpreted" so that it isn’t really “fraud" unless you can prove that the primary intent was to corrupt the election process, rather than simply making more money (ACORN workers are paid based on how many people they sign up). Proving “state of mind" in such cases is next to impossible. Thus, the people on the bottom are “safe" because they have a monetary motive, and those on top, who set up the process with precisely those incentives, are sufficiently distant from the actual dirty work that they’re safe as well … and Scarantino complains about Karl Rove?

It’s often claimed that charges of voter fraud are “bogus" because they are based almost entirely on anecdotal evidence. I’d find it easier to believe such arguments if the laws weren’t rigged so as to make it nearly impossible to identify and prove fraudulent voting. If there is a lot of fraudulent registration and voting going on, how would we detect and prove it? We don’t place any substantive ID requirements on those voting; it’s virtually impossible to challenge anyone, no matter how suspicious, unless you
already know (or have both good and “acceptably grounded" reason to believe already) that they’re appearing fraudulently. With no IDs required, and of course no profiling allowed, and even the suspicion of it grounds for legal counterattack, how often will that be the case? Answer: Almost never, and that’s the way the Democratic “powers that be" like it. Here in New Mexico, in fact, the problem is so blatant that people actually call into local talk radio stations on Election Day to boast about how many different places they managed to vote in the day’s election. But officially, none of it is noticed—everything’s just hunky-dory.

Pardon me if I don’t “play stupid" just to offer tribute to Scarantino’s hypocrisy.

And speaking of hypocrisy … Scarantino exults in one of his fellow activists’ hijacking the domain name of the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) and misleadingly redirecting anyone who legitimately seeks the site to another site that “debunks" ACVR’s positions. Ha ha. Justice triumphs? Unless he exults equally in other such misdirection—for example, pro-life sites that misleadingly bill themselves as more neutral sites for pregnancy counseling—his hypocrisy simply shows him, metaphorically speaking, to be the posterior excretory orifice of a horse.

Animal Instincts

Don Schrader is respectable for the purity and extremity with which he lives his beliefs. More of us should have such courage. In his letter [“Football with the Don,” May 17-23], however, he asserts that animal homosexuality justifies human homosexuality. He needs a better argument to support his point because otherwise animal behavior supports a litany of bad human actions. Animals regularly kill other animals—both interspecies and intraspecies. They kill for food, dominance, territory, pleasure and even "preemptive defense." Animals also rape, rob and wage war. Luckily, they haven’t figured out arson.

So if Don asserts that homosexuality is natural, then he is right. If the assertion is that every natural behavior is OK then he also supports rape, murder, war and theft. Don has too much class to mean the latter, but his recent letter is open to misinterpretation.

W’s War Machine

I am not shocked that our Sens. Domenici and Bingaman can’t see that a large drain on the U.S. gas and oil supply is the armada of war machines the president has deployed in Iraq and around the world. All those tanks get about 5 mpg, jet planes even less, Humvees are horribly bad, too. The carrier fleets also need fuel. It has to be taken out of someone else’s supply.

This simple fact that Congress and the president have deployed a global war machine is a gigantic factor in creating an artificial shortage in the market. This is more important than hurricanes and price-gouging and our senators are not willing to mention that little fact.

Even Hitler had to talk about the need for his war machine (and invaded Africa) but here it is taboo to mention that the military gets all it wants while we have to take out a small loan now to fill our gas tanks for a summer vacation.

Chalmers Johnson says the U.S. has more than 700 military installations of some type around the world. All these installations and offices and people have huge fleets of government vehicles which use our precious fuel.

Domenici and Bingaman both support the war in Iraq and the Middle East to expand American influence and they don’t care what that does to the poor people back in their state. This leads them to flip-flop and flounder around like that fish on the boat deck in the advertisement for a restaurant.

It is time we recall these two senators who are doing nothing for N.M. but enriching their pockets while impoverishing us working people and killing thousands with their war machine.

Para Los Niños

[RE: Feature, “Maria’s Story,” May 24-30]

I am so pleased to see that you have written this article, Marisa. So few folks know the true nature of homelessness in Burque. There is one element that is missing though: homeless women with children need safe, affordable childcare in order to hold down a job and then pay rent to break the cycle of homelessness. The amazing organization (where I work) Cuidando los Niños provides accredited, safe, high-quality childcare and parent education for one year, for free. Seventy-four percent of the families who enter this program become securely rehoused within one year. Thanks for reading this other chapter to the challenges faced by homeless women in our town. And thank you intensely for writing the article.

Burgeoning Artist

[RE: Blog, “Any Child Psychologists Out There?”]

That is amazing artwork for a 4-year-old! The fact that he drew the mouth around his name or the name in the mouth–either way, nice concept recognition. Shit, the fact that he can write and correctly spell his name! If he’s fucked up, at least he’s smart and talented as well!

Kiddy Cannibalism

[RE: Blog, “Any Child Psychologists Out There?”]

When I brought my daughter home, my son tried to bite her head off. Sure, he’s only 2, but I still would have opted for an artistic expression of his feelings over a newfound interest in cannibalism.

No Feigning Fatness Allowed

[RE: Blog, “The Daily Word 05.24.07.”]

With more than half of Americans overweight or obese, I would have to say I’m in favor of a chunky president. As long as we continue to expand our waistlines, we should expect to have a president that not only represents the majority’s attitudes toward issues, but also represents its appearance.

Google = Monoculture

[RE: Blog, “The Daily Word 05.23.07.”]

A gentle reminder: Lurking behind all Google’s boons to humanity is the implicit loss of privacy resulting from carelessly pumping personal information through the bowels of the Googleplex to produce saleable advertising profiles and metrics. Good thing you love ’em so much. They’re counting on that.

And, say, won’t revealing the top 100 search results skew the top 100 search results in favor of the top 100 search results? Isn’t this the research observer’s dilemma where you can’t measure an event without changing it by the act of measuring it? And how do we even know they
are the top 100 results? Oh, that’s right, we trust Google to not be evil. We are indeed fools.

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