No Comment — November 3, 2008, 10:17 am

Go Vote!

Our nation’s current problems started with a whiff of sulfur on Election Day 2000. Americans went to the polls in substantial numbers and voted, by a margin of over a half million votes, to put Al Gore in the White House. But our election machinery seriously misfired. Down in Florida, more than a hundred thousand voters who went to the polls to vote, very largely for Vice President Gore, had their votes cast aside—through a combination of chicanery, voter purging, intimidation, and other obnoxious tricks in a quantum just sufficient to put George W. Bush and Dick Cheney into the White House. In the wake of that election, the mainstream media ridiculed accusations of fraud associated with black-box voting as tin-hatted lunacy. In the years that followed, however, the “conspiracy theorists” were very substantially vindicated: the black-box voting process that had spread throughout the country was revealed to be a petri dish for vote fraud. In a series of demonstrations, academics at Princeton and other institutions showed that vote tampering and manipulation of the results using this technology was child’s play. Moreover, the experts are now largely in accord that in 2000, 2002, and 2004, manipulation of black-box voting systems almost certainly occurred, affecting a number of races. It was one of the most serious assaults on the integrity of the democratic process in our country’s history.

When you go to the polls tomorrow (if you have not already gone), keep your eyes about you and be on guard against fraud, intimidation and acts of voter suppression. More importantly, make your vote count. Insist on a proper ballot. Don’t take a provisional ballot unless you have no alternative. Here, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal is a good run-through of predictable voting-day problems. You have the right to vote. And if you encounter any irregularities or challenges, report your experience immediately to the voter protection hotline: 1-800-792-VOTE (8683).

Here, for general background, is a video entitled “Making It Count,” which discusses how you can anticipate and cope with vote-suppression tactics.

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Arab artists take up — and look past — regional politics
“When everyday life regularly throws up images of terror and drama and the technological sublime, how can a photographer compete?”
“Qalandia 2087, 2009,” by Wafa Hourani
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Visiting His Own Grave © Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
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“Heroin isn’t the weakness Art Pepper submits to; it’s the passion he revels in.”
Photograph (detail) © Laurie Pepper
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"Policymakers, recognizing the growing influence of civil disobedience and riots on the direction of the nation, had already begun turning to science for a response."
Illustration by Richard Mia
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“Almond insists that watching football does more than feed an appetite for violence. It’s a kind of modern-day human sacrifice, and it makes us more likely to go to war.”
Photograph by Harold Edgerton

Chance that a movie script copyrighted in the U.S. before 1925 was written by a woman:

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In Praise of Idleness


I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

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