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Judge considers challenge to Bush victory in Nevada - SCOTT SONNER, Associated Press - 11/29/04

Cobb Expands Recount To Nevada, New Mexico - Press Release: United States Green Party - scoop.co.nz - 11/29/04

44 Percent of Hispanics Voted for Bush? - by Ruy Teixeira - The Center for American Progress and The Century Foundation - alternet.org - 11/24/04

Voting Machines Count Backwards in Okla. - by Bob Nichols - Oklahoma Independent Media Center - 11/27/04

More voting questions raised - by Jon Craig - Columbus Dispatch - Ohio - 11/25/04

What Were the Odds That Bush Would Win? - by Alan Waldman - Hartford Advocate - 11/25/04

Surveying the Damage - Exit Polls Can't Always Predict Winners, So Don't Expect Them To - By Richard Morin, Washington Post 11/21/04

'Stinking Evidence' of Possible Election Fraud Found in Florida - by Thom Hartman - Black Box Voting's Bev Harris and her team in Volusia County - bellaciao.org 11/18/04

Breaking the Media-Induced Trance - by Vincent L Guarisco - opednews.com 11/16/04

Did Bush Fix the Elections? Why did Kerry throw in the towel so soon? - by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey - bellaciao.org - 11/11/04

Collected Vote Fraud Stories - by Hank Ramey - bellaciao.org - 11/11/04

Media Black Out on Vote Fraud Allegations - Votes aren't the only thing missing in Ohio - by David Swanson - counterpunch.org - 11/8/04

Worse Than 2000: Tuesday's Electoral Disaster by William Rivers Pitt, truthout.org - 11/8/04

Growing Collection of Vote Fraud links: ATTN Global Media - excellent resource with many links to articles - bellaciao.org - 11/7/04 States with electronic voting machines gave Bush mysterious 5% advantage - News Target Network - 11/6/04

Evidence Mounts that the Vote was Hacked - Thom Hartman, Common Dreams - 11/6/04

KERRY WON. HERE ARE THE FACTS - by Greg Palast, writer for Harper's and the BBC - 11/5/04

Surprising Pattern of Florida's Election Results - Page with amazing details of various Florida counties where electronic voting was used - ustogether.org

Exit polls and 'actual' results don't match; Evoting states show greater discrepancy - Raw Story/Blue Lemur - 11/03/04

For the latest updates on petition developments see the UPDATE PAGE

Parsing the President's Speech - Should we take W literally?
Rick Gagliano | 1/21/05

George W. Bush, inaugurated as president on January 20, gave a post-inauguration speech that left many people and pundits puzzled and perplexed. The president spoke in very lofty terms, using the word "freedom" no less than 28 times. Following is the text of the speech with my interpretation interspersed in Bold Red.

President George W. Bush's Inaugural Address - 1/20/05

Vice President Cheney, Mr. Chief Justice, President Carter, President Bush, President Clinton, reverend clergy, distinguished guests, fellow citizens:

At this second gathering, our duties are defined not by the words I use, but by the history we have seen together. For a half century, America defended our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders. After the shipwreck of communism came years of relative quiet, years of repose, years of sabbatical - and then there came a day of fire.

By the "history we have seen together" and "day of fire" the president is no doubt referring to 9/11.

We have seen our vulnerability - and we have seen its deepest source. For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny - prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder - violence will gather, and multiply in destructive power, and cross the most defended borders, and raise a mortal threat. There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom.

Anyone with a sense for democracy has to agree with this statement. But when the president says "ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder," considering our recent activities in Iraq and Guantanamo, is he talking about the US? This is the first phrase that began to confuse people.

We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.

This is the most disturbing segment of the entire speech: "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands." The president expects us to blindly accept this dictum that we must expand liberty and freedom to other parts of the world in order to ensure our own liberty, without providing a logical argument, instead saying, "we are led, by events and common sense" to that conclusion. I, for one am not led to that conclusion. From the looks of things, what we're doing in Iraq, if that's supposed to be "spreading freedom," looks more like war and isn't making us any more safe, free or democratic. If anything, it is fomenting anger and frustration and hatred for our country and our ideals.

The president is certainly setting a dangerous agenda with this line of thinking. He is signaling that there will be more Iraq-like "liberations." It is clear that his policy is one of expansionism and imperialism. To many, that sounds a lot like what we fought the cold war over - the spread of Communism. Whether we will be actively sending troops into countries or supplying support for overthrow of governments, it is a policy that surely will keep world leaders - dictators or democrats - on their toes, watching our every move.

America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation's security, and the calling of our time.

"America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one." Says who? What are our vital interests, deepest beliefs? Another statement that sounds over the top. If the president is saying that our deepest beliefs are our religious beliefs, then he is touting a theocracy, contrary to the dictates of the Constitution.

He continues with "Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation's security, and the calling of our time." This is very cloudy, murky language, but usually, when one speaks of a calling, it is from God. Again, the president invokes religion where it should not be a part of our national agenda.

So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.

This is a noble statement. How to reach that end is a question of means. As yet, the president has not defined how he plans for the US to achieve this lofty goal.

This is not primarily the task of arms, though we will defend ourselves and our friends by force of arms when necessary. Freedom, by its nature, must be chosen, and defended by citizens, and sustained by the rule of law and the protection of minorities. And when the soul of a nation finally speaks, the institutions that arise may reflect customs and traditions very different from our own. America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way.

OK, he backs off from the use of military force a bit here, still leaving the door open with the statement, "we will defend ourselves and our friends by force of arms when necessary." Once again, if it is the president or the administration who determines necessity, we could be facing more "regime change" somewhere in the world within the year.

The great objective of ending tyranny is the concentrated work of generations. The difficulty of the task is no excuse for avoiding it. America's influence is not unlimited, but fortunately for the oppressed, America's influence is considerable, and we will use it confidently in freedom's cause.

Diplomacy? Maybe?

My most solemn duty is to protect this nation and its people against further attacks and emerging threats. Some have unwisely chosen to test America's resolve, and have found it firm.

A little saber rattling, to be sure. The president takes security seriously. OK, we get that.

We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation: The moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right. America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies.

This section is quite bold and dangerous. When he talks of oppression and dissidents in chains, is he potentially aiming his rhetoric at China? How about Israel? Pakistan? Venezuela? Korea? Iran? The choices are as diverse as there are nations in the world.

We will encourage reform in other governments by making clear that success in our relations will require the decent treatment of their own people. America's belief in human dignity will guide our policies, yet rights must be more than the grudging concessions of dictators; they are secured by free dissent and the participation of the governed. In the long run, there is no justice without freedom, and there can be no human rights without human liberty.

Here he gets a bit meaty. This statement, "success in our relations will require the decent treatment of their own people," could be signaling a requirement for trade relations. The president is also being quite ambiguous and hypocritical here. His administration has become famous for stifling dissent of any kind.

Some, I know, have questioned the global appeal of liberty - though this time in history, four decades defined by the swiftest advance of freedom ever seen, is an odd time for doubt. Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of our ideals. Eventually, the call of freedom comes to every mind and every soul. We do not accept the existence of permanent tyranny because we do not accept the possibility of permanent slavery. Liberty will come to those who love it.

Four decades? He's talking about our cold war success, leaving our Vietnam, of course.

Today, America speaks anew to the peoples of the world:

All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.

Democratic reformers facing repression, prison, or exile can know: America sees you for who you are: the future leaders of your free country.

The rulers of outlaw regimes can know that we still believe as Abraham Lincoln did: "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it."

These previous lines somewhat clarify the president's argument, but at the end he again invokes religion. It's a bit unnerving to think that he might actually believe he has been called by God to save the world, but it is inescapable. Either that, or he's using religion as a cover for anything and everything he might do in the name of freedom.

The leaders of governments with long habits of control need to know: To serve your people you must learn to trust them. Start on this journey of progress and justice, and America will walk at your side.

And all the allies of the United States can know: we honor your friendship, we rely on your counsel, and we depend on your help. Division among free nations is a primary goal of freedom's enemies. The concerted effort of free nations to promote democracy is a prelude to our enemies' defeat.

He throws a bone to Europe. I'm sure the leaders of the EU nations are overjoyed that the president has included them in his plans.

Today, I also speak anew to my fellow citizens:

From all of you, I have asked patience in the hard task of securing America, which you have granted in good measure. Our country has accepted obligations that are difficult to fulfill, and would be dishonorable to abandon. Yet because we have acted in the great liberating tradition of this nation, tens of millions have achieved their freedom. And as hope kindles hope, millions more will find it. By our efforts, we have lit a fire as well - a fire in the minds of men. It warms those who feel its power, it burns those who fight its progress, and one day this untamed fire of freedom will reach the darkest corners of our world.

The line, "obligations that are difficult to fulfill, and would be dishonorable to abandon," is all about Iraq and the president is saying that we're staying there no matter what. Now, that part about tens of millions having achieved their freedom is a little bit of a stretch. Maybe in Afghanistan the lives of many are better, but certainly not in Iraq. All that's been achieved in Iraq is anarchy, death, destruction, confusion and horror. The living conditions in most of the country are worse now than when we invaded. Fallujah has been leveled by our bombs, tanks and missiles. Baghdad gets four hours of electricity a day and has had no water for five days running. If that's what this president calls freedom, he's not looking at reality.

Also in the above paragraph, he uses the symbolism of "fire" again. In the beginning of this speech, he referred to 9/11 as a "day of fire." Now he uses fire as a metaphor for freedom and says, "one day this untamed fire of freedom will reach the darkest corners of our world." He's either mixing the metaphor or this is a signal that we are about to embark on a vicious destructive military campaign.

A few Americans have accepted the hardest duties in this cause - in the quiet work of intelligence and diplomacy ... the idealistic work of helping raise up free governments ... the dangerous and necessary work of fighting our enemies. Some have shown their devotion to our country in deaths that honored their whole lives - and we will always honor their names and their sacrifice.

Another bone, tossed to the CIA, diplomatic corps and the military. George W. is so generous when it comes to heaping faint praise.

All Americans have witnessed this idealism, and some for the first time. I ask our youngest citizens to believe the evidence of your eyes. You have seen duty and allegiance in the determined faces of our soldiers. You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs. Make the choice to serve in a cause larger than your wants, larger than yourself - and in your days you will add not just to the wealth of our country, but to its character.

Here he is talking to the youth of America and urging them to join the armed forces. That is unmistakable.

America has need of idealism and courage, because we have essential work at home - the unfinished work of American freedom. In a world moving toward liberty, we are determined to show the meaning and promise of liberty.

In America's ideal of freedom, citizens find the dignity and security of economic independence, instead of laboring on the edge of subsistence. This is the broader definition of liberty that motivated the Homestead Act, the Social Security Act, and the G.I. Bill of Rights. And now we will extend this vision by reforming great institutions to serve the needs of our time. To give every American a stake in the promise and future of our country, we will bring the highest standards to our schools, and build an ownership society. We will widen the ownership of homes and businesses, retirement savings and health insurance - preparing our people for the challenges of life in a free society. By making every citizen an agent of his or her own destiny, we will give our fellow Americans greater freedom from want and fear, and make our society more prosperous and just and equal.

This paragraph is simply nonsense, laying out his agenda to hand a large portion of Social Security paycheck deductions over to Wall Street investment houses. On the rest, he's still pretty cloudy.

In America's ideal of freedom, the public interest depends on private character - on integrity, and tolerance toward others, and the rule of conscience in our own lives. Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self. That edifice of character is built in families, supported by communities with standards, and sustained in our national life by the truths of Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, the words of the Koran, and the varied faiths of our people. Americans move forward in every generation by reaffirming all that is good and true that came before - ideals of justice and conduct that are the same yesterday, today, and forever.

In America's ideal of freedom, the exercise of rights is ennobled by service, and mercy, and a heart for the weak. Liberty for all does not mean independence from one another. Our nation relies on men and women who look after a neighbor and surround the lost with love. Americans, at our best, value the life we see in one another, and must always remember that even the unwanted have worth. And our country must abandon all the habits of racism, because we cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time.

From the perspective of a single day, including this day of dedication, the issues and questions before our country are many. From the viewpoint of centuries, the questions that come to us are narrowed and few. Did our generation advance the cause of freedom? And did our character bring credit to that cause?

These questions that judge us also unite us, because Americans of every party and background, Americans by choice and by birth, are bound to one another in the cause of freedom. We have known divisions, which must be healed to move forward in great purposes - and I will strive in good faith to heal them. Yet those divisions do not define America. We felt the unity and fellowship of our nation when freedom came under attack, and our response came like a single hand over a single heart. And we can feel that same unity and pride whenever America acts for good, and the victims of disaster are given hope, and the unjust encounter justice, and the captives are set free.

We go forward with complete confidence in the eventual triumph of freedom. Not because history runs on the wheels of inevitability; it is human choices that move events. Not because we consider ourselves a chosen nation; God moves and chooses as He wills. We have confidence because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul. When our Founders declared a new order of the ages; when soldiers died in wave upon wave for a union based on liberty; when citizens marched in peaceful outrage under the banner "Freedom Now" - they were acting on an ancient hope that is meant to be fulfilled. History has an ebb and flow of justice, but history also has a visible direction, set by liberty and the Author of Liberty.

These last paragraphs are thick with rhetoric, and a winding down of the thrust of the president's speech. He does mention God and religion a few more times and in this last line, the words "Author of Liberty" are capitalized as it is in the text. Apparently, the president feels that God is the Author of Liberty and the author has set the direction of history. The phrase comes from the last stanza of the song "America" (Our fathers' God, to thee, author of liberty, to thee we sing;). This is a real stretch, being taken wholesale from a song. Most Biblical scholars don't tie political freedom to religious faith, on the other hand. In fact, the Bible is quite adamant about this, as it says in Mark 12:17: "And Jesus said unto them, 'Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's.' And they marveled greatly at him."

So, when George W. Bush wants to invoke his faith, as he did greatly in this speech, where is Billy Graham advising him of this passage? Or does the president just use faith and God and religion as an all-encompassing miasma of what HE believes and for HIS purposes? The founders wrote into the Constitution specific language separating Church and State and they did it for good reason. Muddling the arguments of politics with those of religion leads to zealotry, fanaticism, purges and crusades under the sanctified veil of blind faith or righteousness. It's very dangerous territory.

When the Declaration of Independence was first read in public and the Liberty Bell was sounded in celebration, a witness said, "It rang as if it meant something." In our time it means something still. America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof. Renewed in our strength - tested, but not weary - we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom.

May God bless you, and may He watch over the United States of America.

Overall, I thought the speech was less than inspiring and apparently so did the gathered crowd in front of the Capitol. The cheers and applause were hardly what one would call robust. Mr. Bush, if taken literally, has clarified the vision for his second term to some degree. In a nutshell, he's saying that the United States feels perfectly justified in sticking it's nose into any nation's business for whatever reason we see fit because we are guided by an infallible God.

If he really means that, it's nothing short of a religious crusade and it will be waged around the world with massive amounts of weaponry if need be. The really frightening part, if he is taken literally, is that no one is exempt.

Because there are tyrannies, injustices and oppression of all kinds everywhere, the administration can pick and choose to start the crusade of freedom just about anywhere it chooses, and it seems that the Bush administration has already begun in the Middle East. We should all be prepared for this administration to propose an escalation, instead of a reduction, of our commitment in that area of the world. Worse yet, they may not even propose it, they may just do it.

Rick Gagliano

to the US Congress requesting an investigation into the 2004 Presidential Election.

Election Main Page - information source and links

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dirtybush.com - Hard-hitting and to the point, this site makes the case against governemnt fraud and names names.

The New Hampshire Gazette - The nation's oldest newspaper and home of the chickenhawk database.

The Brad Blog - Solid source for updated news concerning election fraud. Great place to arm yourself with FACTS!

Anitwar,com - Continuing commentary on opposition to war in Iraq and beyond.

Hack The Vote - Professional IT Auditor Chuck Herrin shows how easily votes can be altered. Packed with tons of links to other related sites. A must-see!

Countdown with Keith Olbermann - Top shelf blog complements factual, probing, on-air reporting.

VAIW - Veterans Against the Iraq War - Their name speaks for itself.

The Blue Balloon - Intelligently written blog with articles and links. Support an Informed, Intelligent Dissent to Discover Truth.

Black Box Voting - Site developed by author Bev Harris, uncovering the failures of electronic voting and currently pursuing FoIA requests for election results.

Votergate - site features documentary film focusing on how elections can be rigged.

InfoWars - Alex Jones' InfoWars with updated information on election fraud issues.

truthout.org - Continuing coverage of post-election news, updated throughout the day.

CNN Election 2004 - extensive collection of data, maps, county-by-county results. Do your own research.

CounterPunch - Politics, news and opinion, edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair.

Verified Voting - Incredible resource with links to sortable election incident reports.