What Could Have Been: If Ron Paul Ran Against Barack Obama (He Might Have Won)

By now, everything that can be said or written about the election 2012 has been said and written . . . except for what might have happened if Ron Paul had been the Republican nominee.

I think he could have won. Here is why:

Something that wasn’t talked much about leading up to the Republican nomination of Mitt Romney instead of Ron Paul was Paul’s appeal across ideological lines. I voted for Obama but would have strongly considered voting for Paul. My girlfriend, the archetype of academic liberalism, would have enthusiastically voted for him, based on what she knew about him during the primaries. Why?

Because he tells the truth as he sees it. I voted for Obama even though I want him to do more about military expansionism and erosion of civil rights. These two issues are central to Paul’s platform, along with eliminating the Federal Reserve, which I see as the source of the county’s financial woes. While I strongly disagree with Paul on points like cutting the federal budget as drastically as he would, and I’m not as libertarian as his view on the role of the federal government, I largely agree with what I heard come from him throughout the campaign. He was a lone voice of truth on Bullshit Mountain, using John Stewart’s hilarious summary of the Republican/FOX disinformation campaign.

Yet, the Republicans considered basically everyone else except Paul and John Huntsman, and Huntsman was the candidate the Obama campaign feared most. I mean, apparently they would sooner have a Donald Trump, Michelle Bachmann, or that twit from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum, as their nominee than the guy who actually had a chance.

When Romney said 47% of voters would never vote for him, he was right. He ended up with 47% of the popular vote, and needed to peal off another 3% to make the election competitive. Peel off 5% and he’s on the way to a convincing victory. That means he takes one in ten of Obama’s votes to win. But he really had no shot at getting those votes. Paul, however, had a shot.

The 47% who voted for Romney would have voted for Paul, because, to use Romney’s logic, they were going to vote for the Republican nominee no matter who it was. Only around 5% of voters are truly “swing voters” who go either way from election to election. Because politics in Washington has become so partisan and so polarized, most voters are already in one camp or the other. For example, I have voted for Republicans, but would not even consider it now because a vote for any Republican, in my mind, is a vote for the entire party, which has driven right off the deep end, and I can’t support that. But put Ron Paul on the ballot and now you give me the opportunity to vote for a Republican who can talk some sense into other Republicans. You peel away a vote from Obama. At the very least, you change Obama’s tune and force him to confront his support of policies that he didn’t support when he ran for President in 2008.

But no, even though Paul came in second in the primaries and was the best alternative to Romney except, perhaps, Huntsman, he was treated like the ugly girl in the wedding party. He was even harassed by TSA agents while trying to fly home during the Republican convention because, Paul claimed, he would not endorse Mitt Romney.

So we are left to wonder what might have been. One thing we know for sure: the Republican establishment hated Paul because he took no marching orders, and, according to a plethora of analysis and reporting, the nomination was outright stolen from Paul.

Oh, what might have been.

The Horse Race That Wasn't: Obama Won the Election Weeks Ago

Boy, the news media sure made it sound like Romney and Obama were neck and neck all the way to the finish. The results show how wrong they were.

Yes, it was pretty close as far as elections go. President Obama had a few scary moments when it looked like momentum was shifting toward Romney. When I texted my girlfriend on election night and told her Obama won, she wrote back “but Romney has been leading all day.”

It was never really close. Like most people, she was snookered by the media.

The media needs a horse race. It needs drama. It needs close elections to keep viewers tuned in. It needed you to believe, up until the last moment, either candidate could win.

When Romney won the first debate in early October, a collective cheer went up in newsrooms. Not because the media supported Romney over Obama, but because until that point Romney had been sliding down and looking like he had no chance of winning. Obama was up by 5-10 points in state polls where it mattered most: Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin. People like myself were starting to tune out media coverage of the presidential race.

When people tune out, media has less to sell advertisers. Less advertising means less money. Simple economics.

After Romney won the debate he rose in the polls. The race tightened. Breathless headlines proclaimed he still had a shot. It not only attracted people to media to get coverage of the race, it made Republicans happy. Otherwise the last few weeks before the election would have been dominated by headlines declaring Obama unbeatable, and all the drama would have been over.

But drill down into the numbers and you’d know that the additional people who proclaimed support for Romney were not swing voters: they were disaffected Republicans. Romney gave them a glimmer hope. They were never going to vote for Obama, and wanted a good reason to vote for Romney after watching him flail all summer.

The math of the winning the presidency never changed. Obama was still clearly leading the electoral college map.

I knew before that debate that Romney would win it. He had to. Otherwise, game over. I knew he would win because the winners and losers are picked by the media, and the media needed Romney to win.

Of course, Obama helped by getting rocked back on his heels by the outright lies and spin that Romney brought out for the debate. The president’s exasperation was visible. I thought he made the Al Gore mistake of 2000 when he reacted to Bush’s distortions that made himself appear more moderate.

A great book about dreams that anyone can understand
And in other news, I wrote a book, available at Amazon.

The headlines following that debate could have easily been, “The Incredible Quick-Change Artist Mitt Romney.” They could have focused on Romney’s sudden conversion from “Severe Conservative” to “Moderate Mitt.” Trust me, if Obama was down in the polls at that point, the headlines would have focused more on Mitt’s turnabout than Obama’s listlessness.

Statisticians like Nate Silver at 538 Blog were not fooled. While Obama’s odds of winning fluctuated down after being declared the loser of the first debate, Silver, like most nonpartisan election experts, knew it would take a miracle for Romney to win. It was possible, yes, but highly improbable. Obama led the electoral college race, and most voters in swing states had already made up their minds.

Bottom line: Don’t believe the hype.

 

A groovy book about dreams

I took a sabbatical from blogging to write a book about dreams and dream work, titled Dreams 1-2-3: Remember, Interpret and Live Your Dreams.

Dreams are the ultimate life coach because they know you in ways you might not even know yourself. But to most people, their life coach speaks a foreign language, and they only understand a little of what they’re told. Learn to speak the language of dreams and you understand them like never before, discovering that they advise about every area of life: work, family, school, friends, feelings, love, ambitions, needs. Dreams can even predict the future and show you your soul.

Dreams solve problems from work and personal life. They show areas that are active with potential for growth, and areas that are inhibited or blocked. They are concerned with health of the body, mind and spirit, offering suggestions on ways to improve health and warnings against detriments. Dreams can also communicate with spirit and connect with all spirits, passing information along an invisible network.

In Dreams 1-2-3 I teach not only how to decipher what dreams mean, but how to remember and apply them to your life. Dreams contain information to benefit you, and ultimately they are a call to action. Sometimes they are a simulation to show you how you would react under certain circumstances. Sometimes they revisit unpleasant scenes from the past, trying to help you move forward.

Screw paying $50-$100 an hour for someone to tell you what you already know, which is what life coaches basically do. Find out for yourself from your dreams (my book is only $3.99 for Kindle. Print edition coming soon). Many famous folks like Einstein and Stephen King used their dreams to create great works of science and literature. So at the very least, by knowing how your dreams work you can improve your creative life and do your job better. But if you really follow your dreams and work at them regularly, you’ll find that you can become a calmer, more aware, more successful, more loving and more giving person.

In Dreams 1-2-3 you’ll learn about nightmares, recurring dreams, animals and insects in dreams, dream characters, structure, settings, and much more. Examples from dreams I’ve interpreted enliven the book by showing the dream interpretation process in action and teaching step by step how I break down a dream and rebuild it using the dreamer’s associations. And since I believe in learning by example, I’ve used dozens if not a hundred or more dreams from my life, my partner, my friends, and my work as a moderator at the Reddit dreams forum. Drop by and ask for RadOwl — it’s a great community for sharing dreams and experiences.

You can read the first three chapters in a free book sample I uploaded to Scribd. It spells out the basics of remembering, interpreting and living your dreams. I’m going to try to embed it below — it works sometimes, and sometimes it doesn’t, so use the direct link if you need it.

Thank you for your support as I make this transition to author and dream interpreter! I promise that more groovy writing is on the way!

[scribd id=91668385 key=key-2kdv83w1bewud3nwiads mode=list]

The Origin of Hanukkah and Why It Matters Right Now

As Hanukkah 2011 approaches and the Festival of Lights begins again, remember why the Jews battled to restore the people to their faith. Remember why it is still commemorated. Oppression and tyranny are big themes going into 2012. People everywhere are rising up for their rights same as the Maccabees did 2,150 or so years ago.


To really “get” the reason for the Hanukkah holiday, picture the scene:

Jerusalem, more than 150 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. You are a Jewish resistance fighter opposed to the rule of the hated King Antiochus IV Epiphanes, ruler of the Greek Seleucid kingdom that controls Israel. Against all odds, your ragtag militia of devout Jews has defeated the Greeks and kicked them out of the Temple. For three and a half years it’s been controlled by foreigners, during which time your traditional religion and culture were almost completely wiped out by decree of the King.

You enter the Temple and see devastation: mangled bodies in death poses, rotting animal carcasses, orgy dens, altars covered in pig blood – an act of profanity ordered by Antiochus to mock you and your zealous people by sacrificing an unclean animal on your altar. Instead of a house of God, the Temple has been turned into a gymnasium and whorehouse dominated by an immense statue of Zeus.

You are a Maccabee, the resistance fighters empowered by God to defeat Antiochus, led by the greatest Jewish warrior of all time, Judah Maccabee, youngest son of the original rebel Rabbi who rallied the people against King Antiochus. You’ve witnessed miracles on the battlefield that could only be from God. You’ve attacked the enemy a thousand different ways, usually when least expected, and won almost every time. Judas led the charge into battle and became Samson before your eyes, slaying great swaths of well-armed-and-trained Greek soldiers with immense strength, cunning and courage.

Now it is time to restore your Temple and once again make the daily sacrifices commanded by your God, Jehovah. The bodies are hauled away, pagan statues taken down, messes cleaned up, altars and relics cleansed. But there’s a problem: only one bottle of consecrated oil survived the Greek occupation. Might seem like a small matter to outsiders, but that oil supplies the menorah that burns in the inner sanctuary, a sign of God’s presence. A week is needed to consecrate more oil and you’ve got a one-day supply. You can’t wait; the people need their God now. What do you do?

The Maccabee revolt against the Seleucid Empire

And so the first day of the first Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, begins. God wants the Temple back immediately, not in a week. So the High Priest lights the menorah and you all pray for a miracle.

The next night the few priests allowed in the sanctuary watch the menorah wicks wondering how long the sacred oil will last. The faith of the devout seems unshakable that God will keep it lit as a sign to the people, but after years of subjugation at the hands of foreign rulers and civil war between traditionalists and secularists, some aren’t so sure. Antiochus had turned Jew against Jew, family against family, and deep bitterness remains. Many Jews had renounced their religion and adopted Greek ways under pain of death – “Hellenized” – and now fear the Maccabees will execute them for betrayal. The King’s decree outlawing the traditional Jewish faith is still in effect. Antiochus could return and destroy the city, as he’s done before when the Jews rebelled. People don’t know which to fear more.

But the Maccabees aren’t out for revenge just yet. They’re more concerned with reinforcing their positions, consolidating their gains and seeking a strong ally to protect them from the Greeks. Secret talks have begun with Rome, you hear whispered. As darkness swallows the ancient city, inside the sanctuary the lights burn bright, and continues the next night, and the next.

By then word has spread to the countryside that a miracle is happening in the Temple. Battered Israelis gather outside to pray. Inside, the priests beseech God and sing praises.

As the hours pass and the news spreads, the Jewish Covenant is restored. Spirits lift. Celebrations break out. Wine flows. Faith grows. The fattest calf is slaughtered. Something unheard for several years lifts over top of the clamor: the words of the holy scripture read to the people by the priests. “Remember your God, oh Israel! Remember your history and heritage! Remember Moses and David and Elijah!”

For eight days the flames burn. For eight days a flame burns inside all the Jewish faithful. New oil is consecrated to light the menorah in the sanctuary. And you know without a doubt that what you’ve witnessed was a miracle to be commemorated by all Jews, indeed by everyone everywhere who seeks God and lives rightly.

As Hanukkah 2011 approaches and the Festival of Lights begins again, remember why the Jews battled to restore the people to their faith. Remember why it is still commemorated. Oppression and tyranny are big themes going into 2012. People everywhere are rising up for their rights same as the Maccabees did 2,150 or so years ago. Empires are falling, and other rise in their place. Great institutions like the Catholic Church are in decline, and civil rights fought so hard for are disappearing into a police state. These conditions will be used to build a new world order based on value over growth, peace over conflict, and public good over personal profit. Or else the clamor we’re hearing across the globe is the swansong of the planet. Now more than ever we need the flame of faith to burn inside.

***

The first book of the two-book novel, Something Coming: a New Age Thriller, by J.M. DeBord

I wrote a novel that involves the descendants of the Maccabees opposed to the second coming of King Antiochus in modern day, so I know something about the subject. The origin of the Hanukkah story provided fertile material to weave into the plot. However, I stuck as closely to recorded history as possible. What I learned is that Antiochus ranks just below Hitler on the Jewish hatred meter, but he’s not mentioned a lot even though he has all of the classic traits of a villain and is a fascinating historical figure. My version of Antiochus is more complex than the conventional villain; he has the potential to save the world but has to get over himself first.

Anyway, read my novel about the Second Coming of Antiochus and you’ll learn more about him, the Hanukkah holiday, and how to affect change both personal and collective. Hint: it all begins by being at peace in the world as it is now…. Shalom.

The GOP Flying Circus: a nomination race worthy of Monty Python

So it’s getting near the end of the night and only three girls are left who could possibly be voted Queen of the Republican prom. All are men, of course. Ron Paul is the ugly girl who’s really smart, always tells the truth, and would only be picked the winner if a meteor wiped out every other candidate including the ones off-stage like Huntsman and Johnson. So Republicans held their nose and stuck out a hand to the Newt. Newt Gingrich, the idea man, as he likes to bill himself. The intellectual among the entertainers. He rose to the top because Republicans are getting desperate that they’ll be stuck with the unthinkable. But President Newton Leroy Gingrich is unthinkable for most of America. It’ll never happen. As someone once said, Newt is a stupid man’s idea of what a smart man is supposed to be.

2011 will be remembered as the year of the Republican Flying Circus, a parade of absurdity, clownishness and gutter standards unlike anything ever seen in American politics. I’m really starting to wonder if any of the candidates really want to be President – Mitt Romney’s naked ambition not withstanding – or are they all just a bunch of self-promoting blowhards?

Let’s look first at the early front-runner, Donald Trump. No one embodies the Flying Circus better than the Donald. His early ascension to the top of the Republican wish list was a sign of the nuttiness to come; that he’d even be considered a contender illustrates how low the bar has been set. Knowing Trump, his first act in the White House would be to add some neon to the front facade and set up a casino in the Roosevelt Room. America Inc. at its crassest.

Speaking of low standards, it’s hard to believe, with everything we’ve found out about Sarah Palin since 2008, that she’d even be considered. Yet the drama of her non-announcement about running for President gained her months of free publicity. Oh Sarah, what tidbit will you drivel next on your Facebook page? How long can you milk the tit of political donation before taking the loot back to Alaska? We found out the answer to that question.

With the grifters promoting their reality shows and book deals out of the way, presumably the Republicans would get down to the serious business of choosing a candidate. I mean, they hate President Obama so much, you’d think they’d be really careful not to belch up another Bob Dole or John McCain to ultimately lose the election.

But no, next on the sacrificial altar fell the Wonder from Minnesoter, Michelle Bachmann. Her path to Vice-President followed Palin’s 4-inch fuck-me pumps – yes, she ran for President, but the job she really auditioned for is the role Palin defined: religious vixen to stand next to some white man destined to be the nominee. She’s a truly odd duck, and her moment in the spotlight lasted about as long as a summer vacation before the Menace from Texas stole her thunder.

There could be no doubt that Republicans were looking to dance with anyone but Mitt Romney when Rick Perry waltzed on the scene. Anyone! They knew what a cesspool Texas had become under Perry, a politician so craven he’d sell the Governor’s Mansion to the highest bidder if he could. But as soon as he said “I do” he shot to the top. Perry looked impressive at first in tightly controlled environments. His swagger and Texas charm gave Republicans a wet dream of another Texan like Bush to lead the march to Hell. It’s a dream that became a sticky mess when Perry blew his wad before even getting naked, exposed as nothing more than a perfect hairdo during the rough-and-tumble of scripted Republican debates.

Who’s next, Joe the Plumber? I can see it now: I, Joe the Plumber, do solemnly swear to keep the pipes of Democracy flowing free and clear….

Actually, Herman Cain is only a notch away on the Ridiculous Meter. The pizza guy and self-proclaimed brother of the Koch brothers is the perfect antidote to President Obama for Republicans: a black man who speaks the language of the rich and white. Another Clarence Thomas type that hides his true nature beneath the color of his skin. Cain seemed genial enough in the early debates, when he could spout a few business school platitudes and sound like the wisdom he’d gained from running a pizza chain was somehow preparation to run the country. It’s a huge leap, and Republicans were willing to make it, lifting Cain to the top of the polls as the conservative alternative to Romney … until the basic scrutiny given to every serious contender quickly rattled the skeletons in Cain’s closet.

Come on, Republicans. It’s obvious that Cain is not on stage to win; he’s there to raise his speaking fees and lift his stock as a commentator. Has anyone really asked what the guy did between Godfather’s pizza and running for President? I’ll tell you: he was a lobbyist! His office and email address were linked to the political operation of the Koch brothers. Palin is more qualified to be President than Cain, and she’s far from qualified.

So it’s getting near the end of the night and only three girls are left who could possibly be voted Queen of the Republican prom. All are men, of course. Ron Paul is the ugly girl who’s really smart, always tells the truth, and would only be picked the winner if a meteor wiped out every other candidate including the ones off-stage like Huntsman and Johnson. So Republicans held their nose and stuck out a hand to the Newt. Newt Gingrich, the idea man, as he likes to bill himself. The intellectual among the entertainers. He rose to the top because Republicans are getting desperate that they’ll be stuck with the unthinkable. But President Newton Leroy Gingrich is unthinkable for most of America. It’ll never happen. As someone once said, Newt is a stupid man’s idea of what a smart man is supposed to be.

Then there’s poor Mitt Romney, the Cinderella who rode a pumpkin to the Ball instead of a limo. Can Republican voters make any clearer that they’d take ANYONE over Mitt? He’s the pretty girl that everyone knows cheated on her boyfriend with the female volleyball coach and had the audacity to even show up at the dance and pretend like she doesn’t eat pussy. A long time ago, Romney said seven little words that forever branded him in the minds of Republican voters: I support a woman’s right to choose. He doesn’t have the conservative credential that is most important. He could end up as the Republican nominee by default.

I guess we’re back to Joe the Plumber. Joe, you listening? Monty Python is calling, bro. Here’s your big chance to lead the Flying Circus. You don’t have a shot in hell of ever being President, but you’ll never be unemployed again as long as Fox News is around.

That's not good! Methane released in mass quantity, will warm atmosphere even more

Under the category of planet Earth’s revenge, Russian scientists have measured a massive spike in methane gas pouring into the atmosphere from the Arctic ocean. As the idiots debate climate science and play down global warming, the worst predictions are coming true. This one is the worst of all: methane is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and will quickly push the climate over the edge.

Time's Up: Israel's Wiggle Room Just Ran Out. Showdown Ahead.

There is no diplomatic solution, no grand agreement, no way for Israel to coexist peacefully with its neighbors while occupying Palestinian territory and deliberately subjecting them to sub-third world existence. Turkey and the Palestinians have strong arguments supporting their recent actions, and whether right or wrong, they will be heard: the present situation has gone on long enough. It has to change.

Anyone interested in Middle East politics should be aware of two, no, make that three … four very big recent developments involving Israel:

    1. Turkey, Israel’s strongest ally in the region, is now openly hostile to the Jewish state, kicking out its diplomatic staff, withdrawing its own, and promising military protection to any vessel carrying supplies to Gaza in defiance of Israel’s naval blockade. In other words, Turkey just said fuck you, bring it on.

    2. The Palestinians are seeking an elevation of status in the U.N. to full statehood, allowing them access to resources reserved for nation-states. In other words, Israel’s occupation is about to be challenged in the international arena when the U.N. meets for annual general assembly later this month.

    3. The U.N. Secretary General, in response to pressure to stop the Palestinians from moving forward with plans they announced months ago, said, basically, that 20 years of talks have gotten nowhere and the Palestinians therefore have a right to seek statehood.

    4. Clashes along the Israel-Egypt border ever since the fall of Mubarek are straining relations to the point that Egyptian protestors are calling for the cancellation of their peace treaty with Israel. Israel can no longer assume that its southern border is safe, a cornerstone of Middle East peace for the past 30+ years.

There is no diplomatic solution, no grand agreement, no way for Israel to coexist peacefully with its neighbors while occupying Palestinian territory and deliberately subjecting them to sub-third world existence. Turkey and the Palestinians have strong arguments supporting their recent actions, and whether right or wrong, they will be heard: the present situation has gone on long enough. It has to change.

To the casual American observer these actions appear hostile toward Israel, but, since the current situation can no longer stand, it’s the next logical step. The current Israeli government headed by Prime Minister Binny Netanyahu has been stalling peace talks while moving forward with colonizing Palestinian territory, bragging to his supporters that he has America wrapped around his finger and can do whatever he damn well wants. The casual observer would not know this, but the Palestinians do, and so do all those world leaders meeting at the U.N. — there’s video on Youtube from Binny’s own mouth.

The reversal of relations with Turkey is the bigger blow for Israel. Turkey, with its economy booming, had close military and diplomatic ties with Israel, and was the one Muslim nation that played the game the way Israel prefers. Black Sea resorts in Turkey are favored by vacationing Israelis. The countries’ military forces conducted war games together and traded technology. Not anymore.

Israel’s refusal to apologize for killing nine Turkish nationals last year inflamed Turkish anger and led to the meltdown in relations. Prime Minister Erdogan in Turkey has purged the military and taken thorough control of the country under a moderate Islamist government, so he has latitude and he’s using it. Like many Muslim leaders, he’s sick of the way the Palestinians are being treated by their Israeli occupiers. For Westerners, imagine a Christian nation taken over by Muslim invaders and occupied for 60 years, subjected to constant warfare, sea and land routes blockaded, people living desperately in a society on the brink of collapse, basic utilities like power and sewage controlled by the occupiers. And when they rise up against these conditions, the occupiers use brutal, overwhelming firepower and thuggish security tactics. That’s modern day Israel in the eyes of the Muslim world.

So, you see, time’s up. A major showdown is brewing that will reshape Middle East politics.

Scoundrels and Thieves: Another Election Stolen. Location: Wisconsin

Following the crooked footsteps of Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, the results of the recent vote in Wisconsin are statistically impossible. Numbers don’t lie. But, it seems, they do, and it’s either bad exit polls or bad GOP election officials that are telling tall tales.


This time it’s Wisconsin. Another election stolen right before our eyes, exposed by statistical analysis.

Following the crooked footsteps of Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, the results of the recent vote in Wisconsin are statistically impossible. Numbers don’t lie. But, it seems, they do, and it’s either bad exit polls or bad GOP election officials that are telling tall tales.

Judging by history, I bet it’s the latter.

All five exit polls conducted in Wisconsin during the recent attempt to recall Republican state senators who backed Koch-funded Governor Walker show Democrats getting more votes than the official tally, sometimes by wide margins. Here’s an analysis by Richard Charnin:

According to Charnin, “Based on the True Vote Model and the exit polls, it is very likely that the District 8 and 14 recall elections were stolen. The Republicans control the state senate by a 17-16 majority, but the Democrats should be in control by 18-15.”

Any crank can spit out statistical analysis, so I’m presuming that Charnin, a trained mathematician and analytical software consultant, is an expert observer. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a freakin’ duck! The skewed election results don’t surprise me because it follows a pattern of mysterious discrepancies and GOP chicanery. Let’s remember Florida 2000:

Exit polls showed Al Gore won the Florida vote by three percent. The official result was he lost by like 0002 percent, and the Republicans on the Supreme Court crowned their man George Bush the winner in defiance of Constitutional procedure. Even though exit polls in other states matched official results closely, Florida was declared an anomaly, rather than presume Jeb Bush and friends stole three percent of the vote for his brother, Junior. Hmm, what’s more likely?

Add on 2004 when both Ohio and Florida exit polls showed John Kerry winning those states but the official result gave Bush victories, and the trend becomes obvious.

Exit polling in most other states aligned with the official results. In the two states that made all the difference and where Republicans controlled state government, however, statistical analysis proves that the official vote totals favoring Bush were impossible. Hmm.

I studied political science in college and took several courses on survey research, and the more I studied the science behind the statistics the more I realized that numbers don’t lie, people lie. Yes, people sometimes lie to pollsters, and pollsters can set up polls to show results they want. But if a thousand people are polled, and the poll is done scientifically, the accuracy of the results is within three percent no matter what. Get ten thousand people to answer survey questions — which is possible in big states like Ohio and Florida with 25 or more polling locations on election day — and the results will be within one percent accuracy. On the flip side, there’s a 1 in 20 chance that no matter how big the sample size, the results can’t be trusted. Statistics, though, are not the only evidence of voter fraud.

In 2000, Republican officials in south Florida hired some friends in the software business to write a program that could flip the results of an election undetected. The guy who wrote the program presumed it was an exercise in learning if it could be done, in order to catch Democrats trying to steal the election. He testified before the Ohio House about what he did after it became obvious to him and nearly everyone else who studied the election results that the election really was stolen … by the people he worked for!

Evidence of fraud is also all over the 2004 vote in Ohio, but the guy who was going to testify died the day before he was set to appear. He worked with then Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R, Obviously) to process the election results through third-party computer servers. It’s been well-documented that those computers, controlled by highly partisan Republicans, kicked into action the night of the election and gave back results far different than the exit polls.

Elections stolen from under our noses. I was there in Ohio in 2004 working as an exit pollster, and I counted results that favored Kerry a little more than expected. But the official result, after reworked by a “man in the middle” computer attack, favored Bush. I also worked in the national exit poll reporting center during the 2000 election, then as a field pollster in 2008 and as a field supervisor in 2010. I know how the exit polling business works from the inside out, and while far from infallible, I trust those results more than the official ones.

The duck is quacking like that annoying Aflac mascot. Will America hear it and take action to protect our electoral system?

What The Fuck Are The Tea Baggers Thinking?

Irrational actions like we’ve seen from the Republicans during the past few weeks lead to questions about how low they’ll stoop. My answer to that question is another question: is bringing down the country low enough? When someone or a group of someones acts irrationally but in a calculated manner, it’s a sure sign of a secret agenda

Years from now people are going to look back at this time when America’s credit rating began to sink and ask, “What the fuck were they thinking?”

The so-called tea party faction of the Republican party made a mountain out of a molehill — increasing the debt ceiling should have been routine, as it was during the Bush years when Republicans raised the it without question — and rattled the credit rating agencies. Speaker of the House John Boehner stretched out the drama too far and in the end agreed to steps too weak and indecisive. Standard and Poor’s chief sovereign ratings guru said basically that the tea party’s game of chicken ran America’s credit rating off the road.

What the fuck were they thinking?

The people who did this will try to blame President Obama, shameless bastards that they are, but I don’t think it will stick. The Prez tried to get some modest revenue increases along with deep budget cuts — steps S&P ratings people specifically asked for to preserve America’s AAA credit — but rather than raise taxes 3% on millionaires and close some egregious loopholes, Republicans threatened to sink the whole deal. They figured Obama would cave to outrageous demands rather than force a credit crisis, and they were right. But they didn’t know when to quit, pushed things too far, and here we are, America. Put on the Panama hat and sunglasses and welcome to the Banana Republic!

What the fuck?

To say it’s irresponsible to gamble with the nation’s credit fails to capture the contemptuous disregard of the tea party faction for good governance, especially after running up so much debt, no questions asked, under Bush Jr. Some people are starting to suggest the unthinkable: Republicans are deliberately sinking the economy to win the election in 2012. After all, it was not their policy proposals that brought the House back under their control in 2010; it was an economy that hadn’t recovered from the debacle at the end of the Bush years and a political environment poisoned by ideologically driven radicals on the right who came to Washington with The Fountainhead in one hand and their dicks in the other.

Irrational actions like we’ve seen from the Republicans during the past few weeks lead to questions about how low they’ll stoop. My answer to that question is another question: is bringing down the country low enough? When someone or a group of someones acts irrationally but in a calculated manner, it’s a sure sign of a secret agenda. Well, the GOP agenda has a stated agenda, by Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell back in 2009: oppose Obama every way possible and take back the White House. Never mind that Obama’s agenda is to rescue the country after eight years of seriously bad management under Bush; that Obama is the easiest Democrat for the GOP to work with since Joe Lieberman: the GOP strategy is slash-and-burn, a game of chicken that they’ve decided ahead of time is to the death, no compromise, plow straight ahead and don’t veer an inch off course.

Unfortunately, these tactics win elections and make billionaire donors very happy. They thrive on chaos and disorder, throwing out fake battles to keep the public distracted while they systematically dismantle our democracy. America is no longer a democracy, by definition, nor is it a country of the people, for the people.

And now it no longer has perfect credit.

Something Coming: a New Age Thriller, by J.M. DeBord

Meet King Antiochus, coming soon to an apocalypse near you.

When he died 21 centuries ago he never passed on; instead his spirit waited for resurrection. He’s been preparing for his return. Watching humanity until its fruit ripened, ready to be harvested for the New Age.

That time is now.

To Christians, Antiochus defines Antichrist. He is the “abomination” Jesus warned about. The “little horn” of the prophet Daniel who needs no God other than himself. Yet he is also brilliant, supremely powerful, and capable of saving humanity. It’s a recipe for Armageddon.

Available on Kindle as two books, total less than $5: Something Coming Book One: The Sacred Mountain. And Book Two: The Second Coming of Antiochus.