David Ashcraft Gallery


Joseph Holmes

August 30th ~ October 12th, 2003

Opening Reception for the Photographer
Saturday August 30th ~ 5:00 ~ 8:00 pm

40982 Hwy 41 Oakhurst, CA 559.683.3375



[Three of David Brower's Favorites]

from:  Joseph Holmes


  August 27, 2003


Mother Jones: Bush's Environmental Record

Another Great Link for Bush Record - Rollback Reader

Climate Change Bill Voting This Week!

Bah, Wilderness! Reopening a Frontier to Development

One Million Citizens - One Goal: Stop Global Warming

Bad News

A Welcome Shift!

Another Call on Energy Battle Needed Now

Time to Call on Energy!

Shays - Meehan, Pickering Nomination

Shays-Meehan, Campaign Finance Reform!

Bin Laden Revolution?

Energy Bill Alert from NRDC and Redford


Afghan Eye-Opener

A Interesting Foreign Policy Commentary

The wickedness and awesome cruelty of a crushed and humiliated people

Support from France

Bush Has Given Millions to the Taliban

SB 1333, Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act!

Tongass and National Forests Action Alert!

The Energy Bill is Up Now!

Check out these Bush appointsments!

Meeting George Bush

Whales Seriously Threatened by New SONAR

World Reactions to Bush's CO2 Policies

ANWR Update!

ANWR Under Assault -- And So It Begins

Clean Air Under Attack by Bush

Overvotes Were Key After All

Last Chance to Stop Ashcroft

Full List of Senator's Numbers, Ashcroft Update

A Supreme Court Chronicle

The Judiciary Committee's Contact Information -- STOP ASHCROFT NOMINATION

A Few Choice Ashcroft Remarks

Worse Than Watt

The Secretary of the Interior Matters!

Details of the Case Against the Bogus Electoral Votes

Best Way to Contact Your Congressional Representative Quickly

New Republican Voter Fraud Found in Florida

The Texas Electoral Votes Are Also Invalid

An Open Letter To Congress from Alan Hale

Electoral Disaster Revealed, Reform Needed

Precinct Analysis Finds Stark Inequity in Polling Problems

Partisanship Rules

Making Every Vote Count

Ashcroft Disaster, Need to Fight

Senators Should Fight for Middle Ground and Block Ashcroft

Right-Wing Coup That Shames America

'Machine' Politician Exposed By Photos

How Bush and His Campaigners Trust the People

Ballot Spoilage Likelier For American-Africans




Date: Wednesday, August 27, 2003 9:44 AM

Mother Jones: Bush's Environmental Record

Here are four pretty spectacular articles on the horrors of the
lesser Bush (plus a great list of scary statistics):


The worst environmental assault in history by far, it seems to me.
Who would have thought that there could be a man crazier than Ronald Reagan.

I really think that we are on the verge of losing the county (and a
huge chunk of the planet's future) entirely, as the right wingers
near completion of their plan to permanently dominate politics in
America. The percentage of registered voters who are Republicans vs.
Dems has increased steeply and is rapidly approaching a majority.
The media is half dead. The courts are closing in rapidly on Nazi
majorities. The internet may be our last best weapon of communication.

Joe Holmes



Date: Wednesday, August 27, 2003 9:52 AM

Another Great Link for Bush Record - Rollback Reader

Tom Paine has reprinted part of what Mother Jones put up, plus they
have added a great set of links to several Bush record articles:
"Rollback Reader"




Date: Monday, July 28, 2003 3:40 PM

Climate Change Bill Voting This Week!

Dear Friends,

The U.S. Senate is going to vote on the McCain - Lieberman Climate
Stewardship Act this week, probably Wednesday.

We need to call our Senators to ask them to vote for this vital,
landmark environmental legislation. (Dianne Feinstein is already a
co-sponsor, so she doesn't need to be called.)

Your senators' phone numbers can be found quickly here:

http://www.senate.gov/ and then use the "Find Your Senators" pop-up by state...


Environmental Defense is also attempting to reach one million
petition signatures in support of the Climate Stewardship Act. If
you haven't already signed the petition, you can do so at:


We have to get this effort passed! Please spread the word!

http://www.environmentaldefense.org/campaign/gw/index.cfm is a link
to find out more about the situation in general.

Thank you!

Joe Holmes

Kensington, California



Date: Monday, May 5, 2003 10:58 AM

200 Million Acres of Potential Wilderness No More

All of Yosemite National Park, 1,100 square miles, or about one per cent of the State of California in area, is equal to 3/4 of one million acres. So when you read about George Bush taking 200 million acres of public land out of consideration for wilderness designation, remember that he's talking about areas totaling two and a half times the size of California, or over 260 times the size of all of Yosemite. This is war.

Joe Holmes


May 4, 2003

Bah, Wilderness! Reopening a Frontier to Development

The New York Times

SEATTLE - More than a century after historians declared an end to the American Frontier, the Interior Department made a somewhat similar announcement last month, with no fanfare. On a Friday night, just after Congress had left for spring break, the government said it would no longer consider huge swaths of public land to be wilderness.

The administration declared that it would end reviews of Western landholdings for new wilderness protection. As long as the lands had been under consideration for the American wilderness system, they had temporary protection from development.

With a single order, the Bush administration removed more than 200 million acres from further wilderness study, including caribou stamping ground in Alaska, the red rock canyons and mesas of southern Utah, Case Mountain with its sequoia forests in California and a wall of rainbow-colored rock known as Vermillion Basin in Colorado.

By declaring an end to wild land surveys, the administration ruled out protection of these areas as formal wilderness - which, by law, are supposed to be places people can visit but not stay. Now, these areas, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, could be opened to mining, drilling, logging or road-building.

The idea of designating an area as wilderness - wild land left as is, for its own sake - is an American construct. Artists and writers in the mid-19th century led the charge for wilderness, with Henry David Thoreau arguing from his pond-side home in Concord, Mass., that wilderness sanctuaries were a necessary complement to civilization.

In setting aside the first wildlife refuge in 1903, on Pelican Island in Florida, President Theodore Roosevelt protected a patch of America that is now the smallest of the formally protected lands - a mere five acres. And since passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964, 106 million acres have been given the wild lands designation, with more than half of that total in Alaska.

Over the years, the Bureau of Land Management, the nation's biggest landlord, with 262 million acres under its control, has continued to survey its vast holdings, trying to determine whether more land is suitable for wilderness. But the Bush administration says wilderness reviews should have ended 13 years ago, at the close of a study period mandated by Congress. This interpretation is challenged by conservationists who plan to appeal the Bush order in court.

If the Friday night declaration represents the beginning of a broad new land management policy, the Interior Department has not said so. There was not even an announcement of the end of the wilderness reviews on the department's Web site.

Instead, the change came about in a settlement of a 1996 lawsuit filed by the State of Utah against the Interior Department over a reinventory of three million acres conducted by Bruce Babbitt, the interior secretary at the time. Most of the lawsuit had been dismissed and sat dormant until the state amended its complaint in March.

"This does not mean that someday down the road we may still manage some of these lands as wilderness," said Patricia Lynn Scarlett, an assistant interior secretary.

The move follows a consistent pattern in the president's environmental policy: to change the way the land is managed, without changing the law. Whether the issue is allowing snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park or logging in the Pacific Northwest, the course has been to settle lawsuits by opponents of wild land protection, opening up the areas to wide use, without going to Congress to rewrite the rules.

Oil and gas developers and others point out that the Clinton administration did the same thing - making broad changes of policy by administrative order - but on behalf of an environmental constituency. In their view, wilderness protection amounts to a land grab, putting potential timber or mining areas off limits. They say citizen groups were abusing the law by bringing land surveys to the government, which then managed the land as de facto wilderness. Leaders of some Western states have long complained that wilderness study essentially eliminates the chance to gain any economic value from the land, money that is needed for state coffers.

To many conservationists, the announcement was more than another setback. Wilderness, in the oft-quoted line of the writer Wallace Stegner, is "the geography of hope." To have that geography capped, they argue, has had the same effect on some outdoor lovers as the fencing of the public range had on open-country cattle ranchers. "They are trying to declare, by fiat, that wilderness does not exist," said Heidi McIntosh of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

The interior secretary, Gale A. Norton, said that the policy reflected the administration's attempt to cooperate with local officials and heed concerns of industries that rely on public lands' resources. "The Department of the Interior believes that we should manage these lands in a way that provides the greatest benefit to the public," Ms. Norton wrote in a letter to Senator Robert F. Bennett, Republican of Utah.

In another letter, Ms. Norton said it seemed senseless to consider declaring any more wilderness areas in Alaska because its elected officials are against expanding this protection. But critics say that in California, a majority of elected officials favor more wilderness. And in New Mexico, Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, has asked the government to prevent drilling in 1.8 million acres of the Otero Mesa, an area that has all the qualities of wilderness.

The New Mexico land is the largest contiguous piece of Chihuahuan Desert grassland left in North America, Governor Richardson said. It may be wild, but for now, it can no longer be Wilderness.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company



Date: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 6:34 PM

One Million Citizens - One Goal: Stop Global Warming

Have you heard about the Climate Stewardship Act?

It's a bipartisan bill in Congress to stop global warming.
This is a landmark bill, and our help is needed to get it passed.

Environmental Defense is calling for 1 million people
to sign an online Petition in support of this bill.
Please, do as I did and sign the Petition today. It's
easy to do, just use the link below: (thanks!)




Date: Monday, August 12, 2002 1:32 PM
Subject: Bad News

Galen and Barbara Rowell were both killed yesterday at around 1:00 am
while on approach to the Bishop airport in a small, twin engine turbo
plane flying them from the Oakland Airport to their current home in
Bishop, along with the pilot and one other person. This was the last
leg of the return trip from a long visit to the Bering Sea region.

http://www.395.com for a downloadable Real audio file with details.

The plane was observed to have rolled 90 degrees and was falling.
The crash did not start a fire, but jet fuel was present.

I am so stunned. This was not their future.




See also: http://www.mountainlight.com/


Date: Monday, June 10, 2002 2:35 PM
Subject: A Welcome Shift!

Here is a link to a wonderful story about advancing ethics of the
Orthodox Church and apparently also the Roman Catholic Church
regarding destruction of the environment.

Here is a choice quote from the article:

For the past two years the organisers have been wondering how to
involve Pope John Paul II in this crusade. The text to be signed
tomorrow is being kept secret, but the Orthodox Church has been
discussing whether it should include a joint declaration of the
sinfulness of degrading the environment. The Patriarch starkly warned
the delegates - who include Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London -
that "we witness death approaching on account of trespassing against
limits that God placed on our proper use of creation".


Joe Holmes

See my new web site at http://www.josephholmes.com Use the side
arrows with the first large image for a straight through slide show of 77 images.


Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2002 10:42 AM
Subject: Another Call on Energy Battle Needed Now

And one more time everybody.

Thanks for your help.

Joe Holmes

If you're outside of California, you can find your senator's phone
numbers by visiting:





Dear friend of MoveOn,

Today, Tuesday, March 12th, 2002, the Senate is beginning debate on
fuel economy for cars, SUVs, and small trucks. There's a very bad bill
picking up a lot of support. The vote could come this afternoon or
tomorrow morning. We urge you to call your Senators now to oppose it, at:

Senator Barbara Boxer
DC Phone: 202-224-3553
DC Fax: 415-956-6701

Senator Dianne Feinstein
DC Phone: 202-224-3841
DC Fax: 202-228-3954

Make sure their staffers know you're a constituent. Then urge them to:

"Please OPPOSE the Levin-Bond fuel economy bill."

Please let us know you're making these crucial calls, at:


The Levin-Bond bill not only misses a key opportunity to make a strong
increase in fuel economy - which would be the single biggest, fastest
way to reduce our dependence on oil - it moves us backwards, making it
harder for the US to improve car fuel economy over the next 13 years.

Many Senators seem to be on the brink of caving in to the auto industry
on this. We've got to stop them if we can. Please call your Senators *right now*.

Thank you.


- Peter Schurman
Executive Director
March 12, 2002


Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2002 10:42 AM
Subject: Forward: Time to Call on Energy!

Hi everybody,

Today is the time to call your senators in support of the sane energy
policy options now up for consideration in the Senate. This may be
the most important environmental vote of the decade!

I don't know how many days until they vote.

If you're outside of California, you can find your senator's phone
numbers by visiting:




Joe Holmes


Date: 6 Mar 2002 18:14:03 -0000
From: "Wes Boyd, MoveOn.Org"
Subject: Call NOW for sound energy policy

Dear friend of MoveOn,

The biggest environmental policy fight in a decade is now nearing
its peak: the Senate has just begun its debate on energy policy.

Enron and other giant corporations have already forced a disastrous
energy bill through the House, with the support of the White House.

The Senate is our _only_chance_ to stop them. Please call BOTH your
Senators now at:

Senator Barbara Boxer
DC Phone: 202-224-3553
DC Fax: 415-956-6701
Local Phone: 415-403-0100

Senator Dianne Feinstein
DC Phone: 202-224-3841
DC Fax: 202-228-3954
Local Phone: 619-231-9712

Make sure their staffers know you're a constituent. Then urge them to:

"Please support the Kerry-Hollings CAFE bill;
support the Jeffords Renewable Energy bill;
and _block_ oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge."

Please let us know you're making these vital calls, at:


We'd like to keep a count. Thank you.

The Kerry-Hollings "CAFE" bill would increase the fuel economy of new
cars and light trucks to an average of 35 miles per gallon by 2013 (CAFE
stands for "Corporate Average Fuel Economy"). This will save as much
oil as we import from Iraq and Kuwait combined. It's the single biggest,
fastest step we can take to reduce our dependence on oil, a crucial goal
for our national security, our economy, and our environment.

The Jeffords Renewable Energy bill will help move America toward a
sustainable energy future, by requiring that 20% of our energy be
generated from renewable sources by the year 2020.

Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is just plain wrong.
The Refuge is the intact heart of the last great wilderness ecosystem
in North America. It contains only enough oil to last the United
States 6 months, and that would take 10 years to come online. President
Bush, Vice President Cheney, and their friends in the energy business
are determined to drill it. But once it's gone, it's gone forever.

Please make your calls now. This really is the biggest environmental
battle in a decade. Make sure your voice is heard.


- Wes Boyd
March 6, 2000


Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2002 2:36 PM
Subject: Shays - Meehan, Pickering Nomination

Hello everybody,

First, today is the day when the House will either pass the
Shays-Meehan bill intact and give us meaningful campaign finance
reform, or we will fail again in this critical area. If there is any
doubt in your mind about how your representive will vote, please call
his or her office right away, even though it's already after 6:30 pm
Eastern time. A vote is expected by midnight. I'm not sure that
messages will still get through but I think it's worth a try in case
they might.


Second, I just received this alert on a bad judicial appointment from
Bush. Emails to most or all of the Judiciary Committee appear to be
in order. There is an automated way to send mail to the most
cooperative eleven members or so, by following the link at the end of
this forwarded letter. Otherwise you can go to:


to track down links to members' message systems.

Thank you.


Joe Holmes


Judge Charles Pickering, President George W. Bush's nominee to the US
Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, could receive a vote by
the Senate Judiciary Committee as soon as February 28. Pickering's recent
testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee clearly demonstrates that
he should not be confirmed. Pickering is anti-women's and anti-civil
rights. He has opposed legal abortion throughout his life and opposed the
Equal Right Amendment. As a district court judge, he criticized voting
rights remedies that improved African American chances to be elected and
attempted to have the sentence of a cross burner reduced.

During his hearing, Pickering refused to answer questions on his views on
important matters of constitutional law, such as legal abortion and gun
control. This behavior echoes that of Clarence Thomas-- a nominee who
dodged crucial questions on legal and constitutional matters that affect
women and minorities, and then voted along with the right-wing when

Pickering's nomination is just one more action in a line of anti-abortion
and anti-women's rights actions Bush has taken since his Presidency began.
On his first official day in office, President Bush reinstated the global
gag rule, curtailing access to abortion and information about abortion for
women world-wide. His anti-abortion and anti-women's rights policies have
continued, from his proposals to increase funding for "abstinence-only"
sex education at the expense of more comprehensive programs that have been
proven more effective to the more recent hold on US funding to the United
Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).


You can TAKE ACTION TODAY by emailing Judiciary Committee members and
urging them to oppose Pickering's nomination to the 5th Circuit Court.



Date: Tuesday, February 5, 2002 7:11 PM
Subject: Shays-Meehan, Campaign Finance Reform!

Hi Everybody,

A momentous occasion will arrive just next Wednesday, the 13th--the
House of Representatives is finally going to get a chance to vote on
serious campaign finance reform, over the bitter objections of Tom
DeLay and friends. It's time for us to make noise. Please call your
representative and try to write a letter to the editor of your local
paper. This may be our last chance for a long to time partially free
ourselves from the yoke of the culture of money that pervades the
capital. Nearly everything on the planet will be affected by this
outcome, in some degree.


Joe Holmes

(sample letters, courtesy of MoveOn.org below)




Dear friend of MoveOn,

Our best chance ever to get big money out of politics is finally here.
The House has just scheduled a vote on a key campaign finance reform
bill for next Wednesday, February 13th. Your Representative,
Barbara Lee, is a swing vote on this crucial issue.

The Shays-Meehan bill would ban "Soft Money" -- enormous, unregulated
contributions to political parties, mostly by corporations like Enron,
that make up the single biggest pot of money in our political system.

With the vote one week away, the best way you can help now is to send
a letter to the editor of your newspaper. It will help focus public
attention on your Representative's vote, which is vital for success.

We've made it easy by including a few sample letters below. Simply copy
and paste one, edit it a little -- your own words are always better --
and send it in to your paper. Most newspapers list an address on their
letters page. Be sure to include your name, address and telephone
number in your letter. (The phone number is only used to verify your
authorship, and should not appear in the paper. But if the editors
can't verify a letter is yours, they won't print it.)

Please let us know you've sent your letter at:


This really is our best chance ever. A majority of the House has signed
a petition calling for this vote; the Senate has already passed the
companion McCain-Feingold bill. But the vote will be extremely close:
many members of Congress, including Barbara Lee, are *very* nervous
about changing the money system that elected them.

The vote is just one week away. Please send in your letter TODAY.

Thank you. This may be the biggest difference we can make.


-Wes, Joan, Peter, Carrie, and Eli




Dear Editor,

If the Enron scandal proves anything, it's that big money buys too much
clout in Washington. Too often, the rest of us are left out in the cold.

Fortunately, a solution is in sight. Next week, with the help of
Representative Barbara Lee, Congress may ban the huge, mostly corporate
campaign contributions to political parties known as "Soft Money."

After years of hard work, the Shays-Meehan campaign finance reform bill
is about to come up for a decisive vote in the House. Already, a
majority of the House has signed a petition calling for this vote; the
Senate has already passed the companion McCain-Feingold bill.

The upcoming House vote will be extremely close -- votes for reform are
always difficult. I hope Representative Barbara Lee will do the right
thing by voting to ban Soft Money.





Dear Editor:

Luckily, not everyone in Washington is corrupt. Next week, thanks to
years of hard work by supporters of campaign finance reform, the House
will vote on whether to ban the enormous, mostly corporate campaign
gifts to political parties known as "Soft Money."

Now is the time for Representative Barbara Lee to do the right thing
by voting for the Shays-Meehan bill, banning Soft Money. Already, a
majority of the House has signed a petition calling for this vote; the
Senate has already passed the companion McCain-Feingold bill.

Next week's vote will be extremely close -- votes for reform are
always difficult. This is a chance for Representative Barbara Lee
to show real leadership.





Dear Editor:

Next week, the House will vote on a campaign finance reform bill that
truly changes politics and policy making in Washington. Sponsored by
Congressmen Chris Shays (R-CT) and Martin Meehan (D-MA), the bill will
put an end to soft money - the unlimited contributions from
corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals.

Thanks to the courage of a bipartisan coalition who insisted on this
vote against the wishes of the House leadership, we have a genuine
chance to win this battle. But to reach our goal we must have the
support of Representative Barbara Lee.

Last year in the first session of this Congress the Senate passed the
nearly identical McCain-Feingold bill. Now, as the House vote
approaches, the Enron scandal has once again made clear how important
it is to end the corrupting influence of big money. The unchecked
power to influence legislation and public policy must be stopped. The
momentum is with us now to do just that.


This is a message from MoveOn.org


Date: Tuesday, October 30, 2001 8:39 AM
Subject: Bin Laden Revolution?


Thanks Elmo for this most intriguing article from the Times in
Britain. When caught up in history, it's great to get a comforting
glimpse of how that history works.


Joe Holmes





No future in bin Laden revolution


Osama bin Laden is the Sorcerer's Apprentice of the Islamic
fundamentalist revolution. The revolution itself is real enough,
fuelled by religious puritanism, hostility to Israel and America,
cultural changes and social deprivation. It is as real as the English
Puritan revolutions of the 17th century, as the American Declaration
of Independence, the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the
Nazi Revolution or the Chinese Revolution. Like them it portends war.
But bin Laden is not a great revolutionary leader. He is not to be
compared with Cromwell, Washington, William of Orange, Napoleon,
Lenin, Hitler or Mao.

He is much closer to the immature charismatics who have come to the
surface in many revolutionary situations, danced for the moment on
the flood of events, and then been submerged by them. He is a
Robespierre or lesser Trotsky, perhaps only a Duke of Monmouth. He is
one of those of whom Lenin was thinking when he wrote of "left-wing
deviationism - an infantile disorder". For all his personal
austerity, and his merciless use of terror, he belongs to the
category of playboy revolutionary, a rich man's spoilt son petulantly
seeking the approval of his deceased papa.

The distinction between serious revolutionary leaders and these
mayflies of the revolutionary process is that the great leaders have
a strategic analysis of the real forces and develop an effective
strategy for dealing with them. Of the seven great revolutionary
leaders, six had such a grasp of reality that they died in their
beds, even if Napoleon's bed was on St Helena. Only Hitler, who lost
touch with reality after 1940, had to commit suicide. Monmouth died
on the scaffold, Robespierre on his own guillotine and Trotsky with
Stalin's ice pick in his head. Someone is going to kill Osama bin
Laden; he will almost welcome it, because that is the only end that
fits the drama he has scripted for himself.

Tactically, last week may have seemed a good one for bin Laden, with
an unfortunate emissary betrayed to the Taleban and killed, and with
some American bombs going astray. Yet that week has achieved nothing
of substance for him, except another week's survival. In all other
respects, the coalition he has brought against him has become more
decided. In particular, America remains wholly determined to destroy
the terrorist network which committed the crimes of September 11.

That is bad enough for bin Laden, but the reality of the non-Islamic
world is equally threatening. The modern world has five great
regional powers: the United States, China, Russia, Europe and India.
Before September 11, two of these powers were already at war with
aspects of the Islamic revolution: Russia in Chechnya and India in

After September 11, the United States and Europe declared war on
Islamic terrorism; the Chinese became more concerned about their
Islamic minority. From two great power enemies to five in one day is
a poor strategy. In effect, the five great powers, with more than
half the world's population, form an Iron Pentagon around bin Laden's

His strategy should have been designed to divide the potential
enemies of the Islamic revolution and unite his potential supporters.
He has achieved the opposite. He has united his enemies by the threat
of terrorism. All the five great powers have airlines, skyscrapers
and post offices. We do not know whether bin Laden provided the
anthrax spores. Perhaps so, perhaps not. The anthrax has, however,
done its geopolitical work. It has made it clear to all the great
powers that international terror is directed against the whole order
of the world, as much a threat to Beijing as to Washington. We are
all in this together, whether we like it or not.

He has united his enemies; no one has ever united the world's powers
in such a way before. It is an achievement of a kind, but hardly one
he can have foreseen. Indeed we do not really know how much he does
foresee. Undoubtedly his organisation authorised and facilitated the
crimes of September 11, but did he foresee the consequences? He may,
for he is a clever man, have seen an advantage in forcing America to
respond against Afghanistan. But did he realise that September 11
would not be just another terror spectacular, but to Americans an
unforgivable offence? Did he know that he was going to change the
world, largely to the disadvantage of the Islamic revolution?

If he has united the world powers against him, has he united the
Islamic world on his side? In one sense. Almost all Muslims, even
less observant Muslims of the West, feel a loyalty to the Islamic
community, just as almost all Jews feel a loyalty to Israel. This
loyalty is aroused when any Islamic country comes under attack, just
as Jews feel most loyal to Israel when it is most threatened. Such
loyalties exist even when the peoples concerned disapprove of the
actions of the governments which benefit from their loyalty. Jews do
not have to agree with Ariel Sharon to rally to the defence of
Israel; Muslims do not have to sympathise with Osama bin Laden to
rally to Afghanistan.

So far, so good for bin Laden's strategy. Every bomb on Afghanistan
recruits Muslims to support the revolution, particularly when bin
Laden has not been caught and the Taleban not yet destroyed. Yet this
is a superficial view. What bin Laden has done is also a universal
challenge to the people of Islam and their governments. Some key
questions will be answered in the negative. "Do I believe the New
York massacre was compatible with Islamic principles? No." "Do I
support American bombing of Afghanistan? No." "Would I like to be
governed by people such as the Taleban? No." These are the likely
responses of many Muslims. There is a pro-bin Laden crowd, but the
logic of Islamic development is against him.

All the Islamic governments are threatened. They have work to do.
They face destabilising mass poverty and unemployment. They want to
develop their countries in stable economic and political conditions.
They need to work with the leading economic powers of the world, and
expand trade and investment. They do not want to kill their
customers. They know that bin Laden's terrorists would kill them,
given half a chance. Whatever they may think it prudent to say in
public, every Islamic government must see bin Laden as a menace.

The modern world has not happened by accident. One of the insights of
Karl Marx, who remains the most interesting historian of revolutions,
is that the changes in the means of production changed the structure
of society, creating new class interests and social ideas. One of the
global challenges to Islam is the role of women. In the 20th century
the social position of women in advanced countries was revolutionised
by the vote, by the Pill and by the personal computer. The vote gave
women political equality; the Pill gave them sexual equality; the PC
gave them economic equality.

The modern world, including the larger Islamic countries, has come to
terms with that. Both Turkey and Pakistan have already had women as
heads of government, as has Britain. For the United States, Russia
and China, that is yet to come. The Chinese had a narrow escape from
Madam Mao. Do the women of the world, including Muslim women, want to
return to their status in 7th century Arabia? They do not. Nor does
the Koran tell them that they should.

Revolutions succeed where they represent the modern against the
obsolete. Counter-revolutions fail. Even Nazism traded on the appeal
of the modern. Bin Laden has identified his revolution not only with
terror but with the reactionary and archaic brutalities of the
Taleban. There are revolutionary forces at work in Islam; some
Islamic societies are ripe for radical change. If Osama bin Laden had
been able to identify his revolution with the real social and
economic needs of Islam, he would have offered what revolutions must
offer, a new dynamic towards a new society.

As it is, he has identified his revolution with everything that is
most backward in the Islamic world. In the seven major revolutions of
modern history, the future, however terrible, has always defeated the
past. Anti-modernist revolutions have never succeeded, not even in
Naples or the Royal Academy. Anti-modernism will not conquer Islam.

Osama bin Laden is not a serious revolutionary; he is a poseur, a
silly but lethal boy.

Copyright 2001 Times Newspapers Ltd. This service is provided on
Times Newspapers' standard terms and conditions. To inquire about a
licence to reproduce material from The Times, visit the Syndication
October 29, 2001


Date: Tuesday, October 30, 2001 9:35 AM
Subject: Energy Bill Alert from NRDC and Redford

Dear friends,

You may have heard most of this before, but times have changed and a
new impetus is pushing for this massive disinvestment in our future.
We must free ourselves of our addiction to petroleum and other fossil
fuels. We have no other choice. Exxon posted the largest corporate
profits in history recently. Profit is the <only> reason behind the
looming moves in Congress.

Joe Holmes



Dear Fellow NRDC Member,

It is understandable that we Americans feel an almost reflexive need
for unanimity in trying times like these. As a nation, we are rightly
consumed with responding to the terrorist attacks on September 11th.
But, at some point -- and I think we're beginning to get there -- we
need to take a long-term view even as we are reacting to the current
crisis. Really important domestic issues facing us before all of this
happened -- education, energy and the environment, health care --
still have the same dimension and consequence. But we have to
recognize that it's much more difficult to discuss and debate them in
the aftermath of Sept. 11th. Unfortunately, disagreement is sometimes
characterized as unpatriotic during times such as these and open,
thoughtful discourse is somewhat muted. The gravity of the current
situation is not lost on any of us and we all want to do what's right
to insure our national security. It is with this in mind that I felt
compelled to write you today.

A handful of determined U.S. senators, encouraged by the White House,
are arguing that national security requires the Senate to rush a
pro-oil energy bill into law. They have vowed to hold up normal Senate
business and attach the bill to every piece of legislation that comes
to the Senate floor. So far they have failed in what The Boston Globe
is calling "oil opportunism." But with President Bush, himself, now
calling for rushed passage of this disastrous bill, intense pressure
is building on Senate leaders to succumb to the emotions of the
moment. Using our national tragedy as an opportunity to advance the
narrow interests of the oil lobby would not be in the best interest of
the public. This bill, already passed by the House, would not only
open the Arctic Refuge to oil rigs, it would also pave the way for
energy companies to exploit and destroy pristine areas of Greater
Yellowstone and other gems of our natural heritage. As important, it
would do nothing to address energy security.

I'm asking for your immediate help in stopping this legislation. After
reading my letter I hope you'll take action at
http://www.savebiogems.org/arctic/index.asp?src=aa0110a and then
forward this letter to your friends and colleagues.

Last spring, the Bush administration and some members of Congress said
we had to pass the president's oil-friendly energy bill because we
were facing the most serious energy crisis since 1973. But here we
are, a mere six months later, and the energy crisis has vanished. Due
to a slowing economy and falling demand, the prices for gasoline,
natural gas and home heating oil have plunged. Meanwhile, the
much-feared "summer of blackouts" in California never happened,
largely because consumers and businesses made dramatic cuts in energy
use by launching the most successful statewide conservation campaign
in history.

With no energy crisis to scare us with, the administration and pro-oil
senators are now promoting their "Drill the Arctic" plan under the
guise of national security and energy independence. Don't buy it. It
would take ten years to bring Arctic oil to market, and when it
arrives it would never equal more than two percent -- a mere drop in
the bucket -- of all the oil we consume each year. Our nation simply
doesn't have enough oil to drill our way to energy independence or
even to affect world oil prices.

We possess a mere 3 percent of the world's oil reserves, but we
consume fully 25 percent of the world's oil supply. We could drill the
Arctic Refuge, Greater Yellowstone, and every other wildland in
America and we'd still be importing oil, still be paying worldwide
prices for domestic oil, and still be vulnerable to wild gyrations in
price and supply. As The Atlanta Constitution put it: "Burning through
our tiny oil supply faster will not make our country more secure." I'd
go further: increasing our dependence on oil, whether that oil comes
from the Persian Gulf or the Arctic Refuge, practically guarantees
national *insecurity*. And we know that it will bring more habitat
destruction, more oil spills, more air pollution, and more global
warming. The public health implications will be devastating.

If our nation wants to declare energy independence, then we have no
choice but to reduce our appetite for oil. There's no other way. We
need to rely on smarter and cleaner ways to power our economy. We have
the technology right now to increase fuel economy standards to 40
miles per gallon. If we phased in that standard by 2012 we'd save 15
times more oil than the Arctic Refuge is likely to produce over 50
years. We could also give tax rebates for existing hybrid gas-electric
vehicles that get as much as 60 mpg. We could invest in public
transit. We could launch an "Apollo Project" to bring fuel cells and
hydrogen fuel down to earth, allowing us to begin the mass production
of vehicles that emit only water as a by-product. The list goes on and

In this climate of national trauma and war, it is up to us -- the
people -- to ensure that reason prevails and our natural heritage
survives intact. The preservation of irreplaceable wildlands like the
Arctic Refuge and Greater Yellowstone is a core American value. I have
never been more appreciative of the wisdom of that value than during
these past few weeks. When we are filled with grief and unanswerable
questions it is often nature that we turn to for refuge and comfort.
In the sanctuary of a forest or the vastness of the desert or the
silence of a grassland, we can touch a timeless force larger than
ourselves and our all-too-human problems. This is where the healing
begins. Those who would sell out this natural heritage -- this
spiritual heritage -- would destroy a wellspring of American strength.
What's worse, their rush to exploit the wildness that feeds our souls
won't do a thing to solve our energy problems.

There are plenty of sensible and patriotic ways to guarantee our
nation's energy security, but destroying the Arctic Refuge is not one
of them. Please tell that to your senators. They urgently need to hear
it because the pressure is on to move this pro-oil bill to a vote in
the next few weeks. It will take you only a minute to send them an
electronic message from NRDC's SaveBioGems website.

Go to http://www.savebiogems.org/arctic/index.asp?src=aa0110a

And please forward this message to your family and friends. Millions
of Americans need to know about this cynical attempt to promote the
interests of energy companies at the expense of everyone else.

Sincerely yours,

Robert Redford


BioGems: Saving Endangered Wild Places
A project of the Natural Resources Defense Council

If you have any questions about this message, please write to us at


Date: Thursday, October 25, 2001 10:34 AM
Subject: Utah Wilderness Alert

. . . I'm sure my congressman will be voting the right way, as he always does,
so there isn't much I can do (George Miller).




From: AlertList@suwa.org
To: AlertList@suwa.org
Subject: *RED ALERT* Pilot Range VOTE Next Week!
X-Loop: uw
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 19:21:37 -0600


Unwilling to negotiate with the environmental community, House Resources
Committee Chairman Jim Hansen (R-Utah) has told colleagues he will seek
floor time to move ahead with his anti-wilderness Pilot Range Wilderness
Act (H.R. 2488) next week! This situation in the House of Representatives

H.R. 2488. Just call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for
your Representative. (If you don't know the name of your Representative,
just go to www.congress.org and type in your ZIP code in the appropriate
box to find out.) You may be patched through to your Representative's home
District office because of temporary office closures in DC, but don't
worry, the District staff will relay the message to the DC staff. If you
have trouble getting through because of this unusual situation, please try
again until you do! Ask your Rep simply to vote "NO" on H.R. 2488. The
many reasons why are listed below.

In Salt Lake City, WE NEED VOLUNTEERS to help us phone our supporters so
they can in turn call Congress to help stop this bill. We'll call starting
TONIGHT Wednesday, October 24 through Tuesday, October 30. We call from
6:00-9:00 p.m. each weeknight and Sunday and from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. on
Saturday, October 27. We'll provide pizza to keep callers energized! To
volunteer, call Bob Brister at (801) 486-7639 ext. 12.



Rep. Hansen just does not seem to get it, folks. Again, he has snubbed
efforts by SUWA, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, and the rest of the
Utah Wilderness Coalition and other national conservation groups to
compromise and improve his bill so that it creates a true Wilderness area
in the tradition of the 1964 Wilderness Act. Instead, he insists that the
FIRST bill for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wilderness in Utah be of a
degraded new type, a pseudo-wilderness or a wilderness in name only. Once
again, it looks like it's either his way or the highway; yesterday he
scuttled the promised negotiations with committee Democrats and vowed to
take his bill to a floor vote, while Capitol Hill is still in complete
disarray from the recent scare. At this point, only *you* stand in his
way. PLEASE call and help stop him again!



H.R. 2488 is an indirect attempt to re-write sections of the 1964
Wilderness Act, degrading wilderness management through less-protective
language allowing new construction within wilderness. It also sets back
efforts throughout Utah by canceling wilderness study on deserving lands,
by lopping off great tracts of wilderness with a minimal boundary, and by
denying water rights for this desert wilderness.

If the Congress approves this bill, it would be the first Utah BLM
wilderness bill ever to pass. And if the first bill to pass contains this
bad management language and cancels much-needed wilderness study efforts,
it will set a new low standard for ALL future bills.

Chairman Hansen confirmed this intent during Committee markup, saying that
when he's done with this bill, he'll move to the next county, repeating
this process as he moves through the whole state using the same management
language throughout. His clear intent is to minimize the eventual total
acreage of designated wilderness, and to fatigue the Congress with tiny
Utah related wilderness bills until they weary of fighting to improve them.
Either way, he gets his wish: minimal wilderness in Utah.



1) The bill establishes NO FEDERAL RESERVED WATER RIGHT for the new
wilderness area. Wilderness bills generally provide this right, which says
that federal wilderness has a right to water -- a "junior" right, subject
to all prior water rights held by private land owners, the state, or other
entities. The federal water right gets at the end of the line, and someday
in the distant future, when and if other owners have given up their right,
it can become a senior right, letting the water flow forever. This is not
much to ask, in fact it has been standard language in previous wilderness
bills. As written, H.R. 2488 explicitly *denies* a water right for this
new, tiny wilderness area -- a desert wilderness with only two perennial
creeks, both containing a threatened species of trout!

2) The bill contains language allowing the MILITARY UNPRECEDENTED ACCESS TO
bills have accommodated our military's need to occasionally access remote
wilderness, this bill goes too far by authorizing new construction projects
in so-called wilderness, and in some cases closing the public land and
shutting the public out of the wilderness. No previous wilderness bill has
ever authorized construction or installation of new facilities in this way
-- bulldozers and cement trucks do NOT belong in wilderness!

3) The bill throws out more than half the qualifying wilderness in the
in the area. It is alarming that the bill's terrible boundary could
establish a new "percentage precedent," making it likely that future Utah
bills would protect less than half the wilderness in a given area. What
makes it worse is that H.R. 2488 would cancel the BLM's wilderness planning
process for the Pilots, rubbing out the results of BLM's long-awaited
re-inventory there, as if the agency's study was never conducted in the
first place! The BLM reinventory found an additional 2.6 million acres
meeting wilderness criteria throughout Utah, and BLM's Section 202 planning
process currently seeks to designate these areas as new Wilderness Study
Areas (which BLM *should have done* 20 years ago). The unprecedented "202
release" language in H.R. 2488 is a direct attempt to roll back the
progress BLM has made, and torpedo new Wilderness Study Areas throughout

To top it off, the 20-odd square miles of wild benchlands that H.R. 2488
would lop off the BLM-inventoried wilderness *was proposed for wilderness
designation by Rep. Hansen himself* last Congress, in his West Desert bill
H.R. 3035. No explanation has been given for this stunning reversal that
would leave out the entire mountain's wild benchlands and tell BLM "don't
plan wilderness here"!

Please call your Representative right away and ask them to vote "NO" on
H.R. 2488 because of these three grave problems. With your help we can
stop H.R. 2488 or gain changes that will give Utah wilderness the real
protection it deserves. Thank you!!!


Date: Monday, September 17, 2001 5:09 PM
Subject: Afghan Eye-Opener

Here is an interesting piece about Afghanistan from an author unknown
to myself, that is being passed around the Net today.

Have a normal evening!


Joe Holmes


Facts about Osama, the Taliban, & Afghanistan

In recent days, many people have been saying or implying that the
Taliban and the people of Afghanistan are one in the same. Below are
a number of factual points showing how this is untrue. The Afghan
people oppose Osama bin Laden and oppose the Taliban, who are
controlling their country by force.


1) The Afghan people do not want Osama in Afghanistan - The Taliban,
not the Afghan people, allow Osama to stay in Afghanistan. The Afghan
people hate that because of Osama's presence they are denied
humanitarian aid, and their country's reputation is being smeared.

2) The Taliban is not a legitimate government - they are a
fundamentalist Islamic military dictatorship that took control of the
country in a bloody civil

3) The Islam of Osama, The Taliban, and Terrorists is not real Islam
- The Afghan people and Muslims around the world condemn the
corrupted twisting of Islam that Osama, the Taliban and other Islamic
terrorists promote. True Islam forbids the killing of innocent people
and accords women equality and respect.

4) Osama bin Laden is not Afghan - Osama bin Laden is Saudi Arabian,
not Afghan. But no one in their right mind is suggesting we should
bomb our ally Saudi Arabia

5) The Afghan people are against the Taliban - The majority of the
Afghan people are against the Taliban and want a government that will
provide peace, freedom and democracy.

6) The Taliban rule thru terrorism - The Taliban maintain control,
against the will of the people, by violence, terrorism and threat and
has denied the people of Afghanistan of all their civil and human

7) The Taliban kill Afghans - The Taliban commit horrific acts of
violence against the people of Afghanistan including: killing,
torture, forced expulsion of members of ethnic groups from their
villages (e.g. Shamolee), massacres of entire towns (e.g. Yakawlang),
forcing families to turn over their teenage girls for marriage.

8) Girls and Women are denied basic human rights - Under the
oppression of the Taliban, Afghan girls and women are not allowed to
leave their houses, are not allowed to work, are not allowed to go to
school, are not allowed to be seen or heard in public, cannot receive
medical care, are considered worth only one half of a man.

9) Taliban deny freedom to all - Under the oppression of the Taliban
stuffed animals, kite flying, music, family photos, TV, the Internet
have all been banned and destroyed. Under the Taliban men are forced
to grow beards of a certain length, pray, and keep the women of their
family under house arrest. The only education available for boys is
religious rote memorization.

10) Taliban use violence instead of justice - The Taliban's
punishment for breaking any of their edicts is public whippings, limb
amputations, and executions, without due process or fair hearings.

11) Taliban do not provide for people's basic needs - The Taliban
have used their money for military operations to fight other
fundamentalist factions within the country rather than to provide for
the Afghan people who are starving due to a four year drought, world
sanctions, lack of infrastructure, jobs, and freedom. There is no
phone service, no postal service, the economy is in ruins.

12) Afghans have fled - Over 3 million Afghans have fled the Taliban
and the other fundamentalist factions and live as refugees around the
world. Another 25 million Afghans are too poor, sick, or hungry to
leave. Many are internally displaced - forced to flee their homes due
to violence and the risk of starvation, but forbidden by neighboring
countries to cross their border.

13) Afghan people are actively resisting the Taliban - Afghans in
Afghanistan are fighting against the Taliban. In addition to armed
opposition, many Afghan groups provide food and shelter, run
underground schools, health clinics, orphanages, and some document
and protest Taliban and other fundamentalist factions' atrocities.

14) Who are the friends of the Taliban? - The Afghan people are not
the friends of the Taliban. The Taliban is recognized as a government
by only three countries in the world: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the
United Arab Emirates. The Taliban came to power with the military and
financial aid of Pakistan and the Pakistani ISI, their secret police.
They are educated in fundamentalist Islamic madrassa (schools) in
Pakistan. They maintain power through the military and financial aid
of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and Islamist extremist groups in other

15) Who are the Taliban? - The Taliban are not all Afghans. They
include Arabs, Pakistanis, Kashmiris, and others, most of whom don't
even speak the major languages of Afghanistan (Dari Persian and
Pashto). Many are mercenaries and extremists from around the world.



1) Afghans and Americans have a lot in common and a common enemy -
Both the US and the Afghan people are currently victims of terrorism
and (if proven to be the case in the US) fundamentalist violence.
Afghans along with the rest of the world stand against Osama, and
against the Taliban and their fundamentalist oppression of
freedom-loving people.

2) Killing more Afghans will help, not hurt, Osama and the Taliban -
Bombing the Afghan people plays directly into the hands of terrorists
and Islamic fundamentalists like Osama and the Taliban. They would
like help in controlling the opposition of the Afghan people. The
Taliban and Osama would like to be able to say that the US is against
the Afghan people.

3) Bombing Afghanistan will hurt innocent people not Osama and the
Taliban - Bombing Afghanistan and the Afghan people will not touch
Osama and the Taliban. They are the only groups with the power and
resources to flee. Only the innocent people of Afghanistan will be
left and killed.

4) Bombing Afghanistan will kill our allies not our enemies - Bombing
Afghanistan will kill the very people who are on our side - Afghans
working for peace, freedom, and democracy, and against fundamentalist

Please help get out the word. Our anger should be against the
perpetrators of this horrific violence, and against those who limit
freedom, democracy, peace, and human rights all over the world. Our
anger should be against those who use violence and terror to try to
make everyone act and think like they do.

We would never ever blame the hostages on the airplanes that struck
the World Trade Center for the destruction caused by the armed
terrorist pilots. We similarly must not blame the people of
Afghanistan, who are also hostages, for the actions of the armed
despots who steer their country.


Date: Friday, September 14, 2001 1:26 PM
Subject: A Interesting Foreign Policy Commentary


Here is another interesting article on the foreign policy issues that
I think we all need to recognize vis-a-vis our complicated history in
the Middle East, thank you Jon.


Best wishes to you all,


Joe Holmes


Date: Friday, September 14, 2001 1:20 PM
Subject: Two Articles:

Here are a pair of articles on some of the foreign policy issues by
well-informed people. Thank you Lon and Franz.


Joe Holmes



The wickedness and awesome cruelty of a crushed and humiliated people

By Robert Fisk

Independent UK

12 September 2001

So it has come to this. The entire modern history of the Middle East - the
collapse of the Ottoman empire, the Balfour declaration, Lawrence of
Arabia's lies, the Arab revolt, the foundation of the state of Israel,
four Arab-Israeli wars and the 34 years of Israel's brutal occupation of Arab
land - all erased within hours as those who claim to represent a crushed,
humiliated population struck back with the wickedness and awesome cruelty
of a doomed people. Is it fair - is it moral - to write this so soon,
without proof, when the last act of barbarism, in Oklahoma, turned out to
be the work of home-grown Americans? I fear it is. America is at war and,
unless I am mistaken, many thousands more are now scheduled to die in the
Middle East, perhaps in America too. Some of us warned of "the explosion
to come''. But we never dreamt this nightmare.

And yes, Osama bin Laden comes to mind, his money, his theology, his
frightening dedication to destroy American power. I have sat in front of
bin Laden as he described how his men helped to destroy the Russian army
in Afghanistan and thus the Soviet Union. Their boundless confidence allowed
them to declare war on America. But this is not the war of democracy
versus terror that the world will be asked to believe in the coming days. It is
also about American missiles smashing into Palestinian homes and US
helicopters firing missiles into a Lebanese ambulance in 1996 and American
shells crashing into a village called Qana and about a Lebanese militia -
paid and uniformed by America's Israeli ally - hacking and raping and
murdering their way through refugee camps.

No, there is no doubting the utter, indescribable evil of what has
happened in the United States. That Palestinians could celebrate the
massacre of
20,000, perhaps 35,000 innocent people is not only a symbol of their
despair but of their political immaturity, of their failure to grasp what
they had always been accusing their Israeli enemies of doing: acting
disproportionately. All the years of rhetoric, all the promises to strike
at the heart of America, to cut off the head of "the American snake'' we
took for empty threats. How could a backward, conservative, undemocratic
and corrupt group of regimes and small, violent organisations fulfil such
preposterous promises? Now we know.

And in the hours that followed yesterday's annihilation, I began to
remember those other extraordinary assaults upon the US and its allies,
miniature now by comparison with yesterday's casualties. Did not the
suicide bombers who killed 241 American servicemen and 100 French
paratroops in Beirut on 23 October 1983, time their attacks with
unthinkable precision?

There were just seven seconds between the Marine bombing and the
destruction of the French three miles away. Then there were the attacks on
US bases in Saudi Arabia, and last year's attempt - almost successful it
now turns out - to sink the USS Cole in Aden. And then how easy was our
failure to recognise the new weapon of the Middle East which neither
Americans nor any other Westerners could equal: the despair-driven,
desperate suicide bomber.

And there will be, inevitably, and quite immorally, an attempt to obscure
the historical wrongs and the injustices that lie behind yesterday's
firestorms. We will be told about "mindless terrorism'', the "mindless"
bit being essential if we are not to realise how hated America has become in
the land of the birth of three great religions.

Ask an Arab how he responds to 20,000 or 30,000 innocent deaths and he or
she will respond as decent people should, that it is an unspeakable crime.
But they will ask why we did not use such words about the sanctions that
have destroyed the lives of perhaps half a million children in Iraq, why
we did not rage about the 17,500 civilians killed in Israel's 1982 invasion
of Lebanon. And those basic reasons why the Middle East caught fire last
September - the Israeli occupation of Arab land, the dispossession of
Palestinians, the bombardments and state-sponsored executions ... all
these must be obscured lest they provide the smallest fractional reason for
yesterday's mass savagery.

No, Israel was not to blame - though we can be sure that Saddam Hussein
and the other grotesque dictators will claim so - but the malign influence of
history and our share in its burden must surely stand in the dark with the
suicide bombers. Our broken promises, perhaps even our destruction of the
Ottoman Empire, led inevitably to this tragedy. America has bankrolled
Israel's wars for so many years that it believed this would be cost-free.
No longer so. But, of course, the US will want to strike back against
"world terror'', and last night's bombardment of Kabul may have been the
opening salvo. Indeed, who could ever point the finger at Americans now
for using that pejorative and sometimes racist word "terrorism''?

Eight years ago, I helped to make a television series that tried to
explain why so many Muslims had come to hate the West. Last night, I remembered
some of those Muslims in that film, their families burnt by American-made
bombs and weapons. They talked about how no one would help them but God.
Theology versus technology, the suicide bomber against the nuclear power.
Now we have learnt what this means.







Nina Burleigh has written for The Washington Post, The Chicago
Tribune, and New York magazine. As a reporter for TIME, she was among
the first American journalists to enter Iraq after the Gulf War.


The morning after the worst terrorist attack in the history, the
nations' great editorial page editors have offered up the wisdom of a
group of middle-aged white men whose claim to fame is that they lost
the Vietnam War.

And on a day when every television and newspaper hack around the
country was proclaiming "a new era" in national defense needs, the
Washington Post, the paper of record in the national capitol,
solicited the wisdom of a pair of Nixon administration chicken hawks.
The New York Times gave readers the advice of its resident ex-Nixon

It is not impossible to find smart people in this country with new
ideas about terrorism and how to go about fighting it. One of them is
Jessica Stern of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, formerly
with the Clinton Administration National Security Agency. Stern spent
the last several years interviewing the men and boys in Pakistan
whose most fervent dream is to die the sort of death the hijackers
died yesterday. Stern and others like her have taken the time to
learn a little Urdu and face the enemy on enemy ground, to find out
how he thinks and perhaps learn ways to foil diabolical plans.

Yet rather than seek the ideas of young, and possibly female, experts
with new ideas, Washington Post op-editors give column inches to
Nixon administration Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Nixon
speechwriter George Will. The Post editors are apparently time-warped
by the soothing sounds the failed patriarchs of the past: Former
Nixon advisor Donald Rumsfeld, and former Nixon administration
bureaucrat Dick Cheney, our vice president "in charge of the
government," as network television reassuringly put it, while
President Bush officially went missing when Manhattan's towers
Kissinger, Will, Safire, Rumsfeld, Cheney -- the names of middle-aged
and well-fed white guys who lost the Vietnam War to precisely the
same breed of committed, angry brown men capable of living in
deprivation as Osama bin Laden. Their conventional wisdom then, as
now, was to attack the state that harbored the network, with American
boys sent in to fight a jungle war against an invisible, committed

For the Post and Times to trot out these failed policy makers on this
terrible day-after is evidence of profound reliance on outworn
thinking to address dangerous new territory.
To paraphrase our president, 'God help us.'

This is Nina Burleigh for TomPaine.com


Date: Thursday, September 13, 2001 10:13 AM
Subject: Support from France

Here is a lovely letter reporting on the sentiments of our dear
allies, the French, thank you Jon. And three cheers for NATO's
declaration as well.

Joe Holmes


Michael Puttré
Managing Editor
Email: mp@jedonline.com

Dear Michael,

How are you? Hard to say good morning today after the nightmare
on the East coast these days.

Here, in France the emotion is deep and high. As for me of course, I am
very affected, having appreciated many times New York and the people of
the Pentagon also. But there are also the victims of the jetliners. You
know New York is 6 hours from Paris (like Paris/Marseilles in the
train). New York is the first city visited by the French tourist and
there are 150 000 French citizens living in the city. As a consequence,
many have informs us about the event by phone in the minute.

Here, the emotion is very high, from the head of state to the
simple citizens. We see many collective and individual signs of solidarity
from the French people. It will be hard to mention all of them.
The spirit of La Fayette perhaps !

We can list the followings:

NATO meet in order to carry out Article 5 of the treaty.

Friday is decreted "National Mourning Day" by the governement.
All the flags of state buildings have been put down. There will be one
minute of silence at sport events. This morning, I discoverd that the flag
of my company have been brought down also.

According an opinion pool achieved yesterday, 96 % of the French
expressed there close solidarity with the american citizens.
Le Monde newspaper titled : "We are all Americans".
As you know perhaps: the city of New-York is twined with the city Paris.

There are special ceremonies in churches. A stick of fire men of
the "Paris Brigade" was present including the militaries who had been
before with the fire men of New York in the framework of exchange programs.

The French governement has tasked the civil securities units
(specialized in rescue after earth quake) to be ready to go to New York
if needed by the US administration.

On the TV, the ennoncers are all in black and humoristic programs have
been supressed. We see 24H/24H special programs and stories
on the event and its impact in France and in the world.
Moreover, the anti-terrorist plan had been reactivated and the
French Air force, put into alert on september 11th. On the TV we saw a special story
on the Mirage 2000 of Cambrai Air base, tasked to intervene in the case of an air-terrorist
attack. A press conference has been achieved.

I think about New York. I hope that New York will rebuild as soon as
possible the World Trade Center to erase the event and to show to the World again the exact
visage of the legendary "city that never sleep". The financial district is the window of America.
After an attack of your home or your shop, the window must be rebuild.
As for me this works for the WTC.

For the Pentagon : the Marines always pay the tool !

God bless America !
Be sure of my sympathy,
Hoping to see you soon,
Take care,
Very friendly,

Philippe Wodka-Gallien



Date: Wednesday, September 12, 2001 6:37 PM
Subject: Errata


I just wanted to say that I took no pleasure (in my last mail) [below] in
belittling the fellow who must function as our President (we need him
now) and I regret giving any such impression. Rather, as I try to
make sense out of what has happened, I hope that the nation will
think about how to insure real justice for all, including the many
other nations whose fates are intertwined with the flow of petroleum.

Much of the history of the 20th century was shaped by the demand for
oil and we owe it to ourselves to understand how our dependence on it
and other carbon fuels changes the world. I don't expect to see
leadership on this part of the question from the administration.

Our foreign policy belongs to us all. I hope we find a sound one on
the occasion of this great sadness.


Joe Holmes


Date: Wednesday, September 12, 2001 2:37 PM
Subject: Bush Has Given Millions to the Taliban


For a fascinating look into the history of Bin Laden and some
shocking info on foolish foreign policy moves by the Shrub (many
millions of dollars in foreign aid for the Taliban, on the occasion
of their banning opium cultivation), have a look at this URL:


Apart from wondering how we can strike back effectively and how we
can make our aircraft less vulnerable and less threatening, I'm left
wondering exactly what we can do to further justice in a way that
takes us away from the original injustices that got us into the
position where so many people hate the U.S. I can't help but think
that our past (and continuing) demand for oil is the root of most of
this problem. It's not just one wacko with a bunch of dedicated
followers who get a kick out of harvesting our contempt. To portray
it as only that seems profoundly irresponsible to me.


Joe Holmes


Date: Friday, September 7, 2001 11:00 AM
Subject: SB 1333, Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act!

Nature-loving friends,

Another golden opportunity to be good to the planet is before us
today and for the next several days. The administration of the Shrub
and the House of Representative have been trying to outdo one another
in coming up with the most damaging energy policy possible. Only the
Senate stands between us and horrific increases in the magnitude of
Climate Change, loss of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's
unspoiled beauty, drilling in dozens of national monuments, more acid
rain, more smog, etc., etc.

If one of your senators is on the Energy Committee (listed below),
please call their office and simply ask them to support SB 1333. It
only took me about ten seconds on the phone. Efficiency, solar, and
wind need to be massively pushed -- now. The Carbon Age must yield
to the Hydrogen Age, and quickly, or our goose is cooked! (The
carbon industries desperately want to sell the fuel...)


Joe Holmes
Kensington, California


Dear Friend of MoveOn,

We need your help this week to support energy efficiency and renewable
energy. Now that the House has passed an energy bill even worse than
Cheney's plan, the upcoming Senate energy policy debate is crucial.

Please call your Senator(s), listed below, and urge him/her/them to:

"Please co-sponsor S. 1333, the Renewable Energy and Energy
Efficiency Investment Act of 2001."

Arizona Sen. John Kyl (202) 224-4521
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (202) 224-3841
Colorado Sen. Ben Campbell (202) 224-5852
Delaware Sen. Tom Carper (202) 224-2441
Florida Sen. Bob Graham (202) 224-3041
Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka (202) 224-6361
Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh (202) 224-5623
Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu (202) 224-5824
Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel (202) 224-4224
North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan (202) 224-2551
Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden (202) 224-5244
*AND* Sen. Gordon Smith (202) 224-3753
South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson (202) 224-5842
Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell (202) 224-3441

Please let us know you're making this call, at:


We'd like to keep a count.

These Senators are members of the Energy Committee, which will
begin editing its energy bill beginning next week, September 10th.

By cosponsoring S. 1333, your Senator would be supporting two key

1. Creating a market-driven, flexible, and efficient policy mechanism
called a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that would:
- diversify our resource base with market-ready, clean, renewable
- require all retail electric providers to sell an increasing
percentage of electricity derived from renewable sources,
starting at 2.5% in 2002 and leveling out at 20% in 2020;
- establish a system of tradable renewable energy credits,
which creates flexibility in meeting the renewable goals.

2. Generating $6 billion annually from a Public Benefits Fund (PBF),
at a cost of 0.2 cents per kilowatt-hour -- about $1/month for a
typical household -- that would provide matching funds to states for:
- energy efficiency programs;
- investments in promising renewable energy technologies;
- low-income assistance programs.

In addition, the bill would require utilities to tell their customers
how their electricity is generated, enabling consumers to make wise
decisions about the energy they use.

Current co-sponsors of S. 1333 are Senators Lieberman, Kerry, Schumer,
and Snowe.

Please take a moment now to make this call. You could make a big
difference in this critical energy policy debate. Thank you.


- Wes Boyd
September 6, 2001
This is a message from MoveOn.org
If you wish please visit our subscription management page at



Date: Thursday, September 6, 2001 11:08 AM
Subject: Tongass and National Forests Action Alert!

Friends of wilderness:

We have until this coming Monday September 10th to send in comments
to the chief of the Forest Service on the Roadless Area Rule that the
Clinton administration passed after many years of work and public
comment etc. Naturally, the Bush administration is doing everything
in its power to torpedo the new protections for our unspoiled forest

The Tongass in the Alaska panhandle is perhaps our most important
single National Forest and needs to be left alone. If you just
follow the link given in the letter below, it will take you to a site
of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), from which you can
send an e-mail to the Forest Service Chief with minimal effort.

Now is one of the times that we need to push a button.


Joe Holmes



From: David Guterson
Subject: Chainsaws Falling on Cedars?

Dear Friends,

I've had a personal relationship with our national forests since
long before I wrote "Snow Falling on Cedars." As a college student,
I worked summers for the U.S. Forest Service burning slash in
clearcuts, piling brush, and fighting wildfires. I've seen the
wilderness at its most fearsome -- and at its most fragile. Today,
it's political cronyism between logging interests and the Bush
administration which poses the greatest threat to the survival
of the wild. From the Channel Islands in California to the Great
North Woods in Maine, this dangerous combination of greed and
political favoritism puts some of the most pristine and untamed
places in our country at risk. The Tongass National Forest
is one of these vulnerable places. The heart of the largest temperate
rainforest left on the planet, the Tongass is among the national
forest wildlands now slated for logging and development.

Alaska's Tongass is home to the world's largest concentration
of grizzly bears and bald eagles. This inspiring landscape of
misty isles and towering groves of ancient trees supports populations
of the Alexander Archipelago wolf, sustains the black bear, and
is crisscrossed by streams teeming with salmon. But the Tongass
is also coveted by the logging industry. That's why so many have
spoken up in support of protecting the Tongass and other national
forest wildlands.

The Clinton administration heard your comments and, in January
2001, issued a landmark ban on roadbuilding and industrial logging
in undeveloped roadless areas of our national forests. But the
Roadless Rule, years in the making, has been waylaid by President
Bush. His administration delayed implementing the rule, then
refused to defend it in court. Now, despite more than 600 public
hearings on the issue and a record-breaking 1.6 million public
comments -- over 95 percent of which were in strong support of
wilderness protection -- Bush has started a new 60-day public
comment period, hoping that the same public support won't materialize
a second time.

(Prove him wrong at http://www.SaveBioGems.org/Tongass.)

Never mind that one half of our national forest system has already
been developed by commercial interests.

Never mind that there are already 378,000 miles of access roads
carved into our national forests, more than eight times the length
of the U.S. Interstate system.

Never mind that Attorney General Ashcroft assured the Senate
before his confirmation that he'd defend the Roadless Rule. Since
he's been confirmed, he's done nothing to oppose lawsuits brought
by industry and others hostile to this historic decision.

Never mind that Americans have resolutely voiced their support
for protecting the Tongass in overwhelming numbers. We don't
want to see the timber industry destroy our natural wonders.
And we sure don't want to be dragged back to square one on this
issue. But here we are.

Bush has decided to ignore these facts -- and your comments.
With this 60-day window for additional "public" comment, Bush
has waged a bet. He's betting you won't find out that the Tongass
is once again on the chopping block. He's counting on running
out these 60 days without letting you know that the clock is ticking.
But you can bet your national forests that insider logging interests
know when and where to put in their two cents.

I urge you to join me in this fight for the Tongass National
Forest. It only takes a minute or so to make your voice heard.
Visit http://www.SaveBioGems.org/Tongass and, with a click of
the mouse, you can send an email directly to the Forest Service,
or alert a friend to this environmental and ethical crisis. While
you're there, you can take action to protect other wild places
like Greater Yellowstone, the Everglades, and Utah's Redrock Wilderness
now threatened by the Bush administration.

Right, you might be saying to yourself, "Logging companies greased
political coffers with enough money to convince the White House
to attack our Roadless Rule. What's one email going to do?"

A lot. Activism on the Web has emerged as one of the most potent
grassroots tools we have to speak truth to power. NRDC web activists
helped persuade President Clinton to create the Giant Sequoia
National Monument. In Belize, your e-activism helped compel Duke
Energy to drop out of a planned dam that would flood the Macal
River Valley. In Chile, it was the power of a mouse that helped
block Boise-Cascade's plans to build the largest wood-chip mill
in Latin America. Click.

I hope you'll take a minute to visit:


The comment period ends September 10th. Tell our leaders in
Washington that the Tongass National Forest -- and your vote --
is worth more than any campaign contribution.

Truly yours,

David Guterson

. . .

BioGems: Saving Endangered Wild Places
A project of the Natural Resources Defense Council



Date: Monday, July 30, 2001 12:16 PM

Hi Everybody,

Everyone's help is urgently needed to defend us from the
GOP-sponsored energy rape and pillage legislation, which is up for
its vote this week in the House.

The final vote is expected on Wednesday. Calls to your legislators
are ugently needed today and tomorrow (especially today, because
votes on amendments will come first and are also important).

Many things are at stake, including the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge, the extent of future global climate change, greatly increased
oil and gas exploration in National Monuments, support for renewables
development, etc., etc.

Please call the Capitol switchboard 202-225-3121 and ask for your
representative (I just tried and couldn't get through) or call on
their direct line and ask them to oppose HR 4, the GOP bill and to
support the following two amendments:

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance urges yes votes on the
Rahall-Petri amendment (to Strike Title II of Energy Security Act)
and the Markey-Johnson amendment (to Strike Arctic Refuge drilling!).

I have pasted in the complete list of phone numbers and addresses for
all Representatives to the current U.S. Congress.

Thanks a lot,


Joe Holmes


Phone and Address Info for U.S. House of Representatives
Some also have email (go to www.house.gov to try to find it)




All phone numbers are in area code (202).

Room numbers with 3 digits are in the Cannon House Office Building, 4
digits beginning with 1 are in the Longworth HOB, 4 digits beginning
with 2 are in the Rayburn HOB, numbers beginning with H1 are in the
O'Neill HOB, numbers beginning with H2 are in the Ford HOB. Capitol
room numbers begin with SB, ST, HB, HT with 2 digits and with H or S
with 3 digits.

Republicans in roman; Democrats in italic; Independents in SMALL CAPS;
Resident Commissioner and Delegates in boldface.

Members who have died or resigned appear in bold brackets [ ].

Compiled by Jeff Trandahl, Clerk of the House


Washington, D.C. 20515

January 4, 2001

NOTE: Each member's listing has

Representative's Name (Republican Democrat)
Representative's State
Congressional District
Phone (area code 202)
Room Number




Abercrombie, Neil

Acevedo-Vilá, Aníbal
(Resident Commissioner)

Ackerman, Gary L.

Aderholt, Robert B.

Akin, W. Todd

Allen, Thomas H.

Andrews, Robert E.

Armey, Richard K.

Baca, Joe

Bachus, Spencer

Baird, Brian

Baker, Richard H.

Baldacci, John Elias

Baldwin, Tammy

Ballenger, Cass

Barcia, James A.

Barr, Bob

Barrett, Thomas M.

Bartlett, Roscoe G.

Barton, Joe

Bass, Charles F.

Becerra, Xavier

Bentsen, Ken

Bereuter, Doug

Berkley, Shelley

Berman, Howard L.

Berry, Marion

Biggert, Judy

Bilirakis, Michael

Bishop, Sanford D., Jr.

Blagojevich, Rod R.

Blumenauer, Earl

Blunt, Roy

Boehlert, Sherwood L.

Boehner, John A.

Bonilla, Henry

Bonior, David E.

Bono, Mary

Borski, Robert A.

Boswell, Leonard L.

Boucher, Rick

Boyd, Allen

Brady, Kevin

Brady, Robert A.

Brown, Corrine

Brown, Henry E., Jr.

Brown, Sherrod

Bryant, Ed

Burr, Richard

Burton, Dan

Buyer, Steve

Callahan, Sonny

Calvert, Ken

Camp, Dave

Cannon, Chris

Cantor, Eric

Capito, Shelley Moore

Capps, Lois,

Capuano, Michael E.

Cardin, Benjamin L.

Carson, Brad

Carson, Julia

Castle, Michael N.
At Large

Chabot, Steve

Chambliss, Saxby

Christensen, Donna M.

Clay, Wm. Lacy

Clayton, Eva M.

Clement, Bob

Clyburn, James E.

Coble, Howard

Collins, Mac

Combest, Larry

Condit, Gary A.

Conyers, John, Jr.

Cooksey, John,

Costello, Jerry F.

Cox, Christopher

Coyne, William J.

Cramer, Robert E. (Bud), Jr.

Crane, Philip M.

Crenshaw, Ander

Crowley, Joseph

Cubin, Barbara
At Large

Culberson, John Abney

Cummings, Elijah E.

Cunningham, Randy ''Duke''

Davis, Danny K.

Davis, Jim

Davis, Jo Ann

Davis, Susan A.

Davis, Thomas M.

Deal, Nathan

DeFazio, Peter A.

DeGette, Diana

Delahunt, William D.

DeLauro, Rosa L.

DeLay, Tom

DeMint, Jim

 Deutsch, Peter

Diaz-Balart, Lincoln

Dicks, Norman D.

Dingell, John D.

[ Dixon, Julian C. ]

Doggett, Lloyd

Dooley, Calvin M.

Doolittle, John T.

Doyle, Michael F.

Dreier, David

Duncan, John J., Jr.

Dunn, Jennifer

Edwards, Chet

Ehlers, Vernon J.

Ehrlich, Robert L., Jr.

Emerson, Jo Ann

Engel, Eliot L.


English, Phil

Eshoo, Anna G.

Etheridge, Bob

Evans, Lane

Everett, Terry

Faleomavaega, Eni F. H.

Farr, Sam

Fattah, Chaka

Ferguson, Mike

Filner, Bob

Flake, Jeff

Fletcher, Ernie

Foley, Mark

Ford, Harold E., Jr.

Fossella, Vito

Frank, Barney

Frelinghuysen, Rodney P.

Frost, Martin

Gallegly, Elton

Ganske, Greg

Gekas, George W.

Gephardt, Richard A.

Gibbons, Jim

Gilchrest, Wayne T.

Gillmor, Paul E.

Gilman, Benjamin A.

Gonzalez, Charles A.


Goodlatte, Bob

Gordon, Bart

Goss, Porter J.

Graham, Lindsey O.

Granger, Kay

Graves, Sam

Green, Gene

Green, Mark

Greenwood, James C.

Grucci, Felix J., Jr.

Gutierrez, Luis V.

Gutknecht, Gil

Hall, Ralph M.

Hall, Tony P.

Hansen, James V.

Harman, Jane

Hart, Melissa A.

Hastert, J. Dennis

Hastings, Alcee L.

Hastings, Doc

Hayes, Robin

Hayworth, J. D.

Hefley, Joel

Herger, Wally

Hill, Baron P.

Hilleary, Van

Hilliard, Earl F.

Hinchey, Maurice D.

Hinojosa, Rubén

Hobson, David L.

Hoeffel, Joseph M.

Hoekstra, Peter

Holden, Tim

Holt, Rush D.

Honda, Michael M.

Hooley, Darlene

Horn, Stephen

Hostettler, John N.

Houghton, Amo

Hoyer, Steny H.

Hulshof, Kenny C.

Hunter, Duncan

Hutchinson, Asa

Hyde, Henry J.

Inslee, Jay

Isakson, Johnny

Israel, Steve

Issa, Darrell E.

Istook, Ernest J., Jr.

Jackson, Jesse L., Jr.

Jackson-Lee, Sheila

Jefferson, William J.

Jenkins, William L.

John, Christopher

Johnson, Eddie Bernice

Johnson, Nancy L.

Johnson, Sam

Johnson, Timothy V.

Jones, Stephanie Tubbs

Jones, Walter B.

Kanjorski, Paul E.

Kaptur, Marcy

Keller, Ric

Kelly, Sue W.

Kennedy, Mark R.

Kennedy, Patrick J.

Kerns, Brian D.

Kildee, Dale E.

Kilpatrick, Carolyn C.

Kind, Ron

King, Peter T.

Kingston, Jack

Kirk, Mark Steven

Kleczka, Gerald D.

Knollenberg, Joe

Kolbe, Jim

Kucinich, Dennis J.

LaFalce, John J.

LaHood, Ray

Lampson, Nick

Langevin, James R.

Lantos, Tom

Largent, Steve

Larsen, Rick

Larson, John B.

Latham, Tom

LaTourette, Steven C.

Leach, James A.


Lee, Barbara

Levin, Sander M.

Lewis, Jerry

Lewis, John

Lewis, Ron

Linder, John

Lipinski, William O.

LoBiondo, Frank A.

Lofgren, Zoe

Lowey, Nita M.

Lucas, Frank D.

Lucas, Ken

Luther, Bill

McCarthy, Carolyn

McCarthy, Karen

McCollum, Betty

McCrery, Jim

McDermott, Jim

McGovern, James P.

McHugh, John M.

McInnis, Scott

McIntyre, Mike

McKeon, Howard P. ''Buck''

McKinney, Cynthia A.

McNulty, Michael R.

Maloney, Carolyn B.

Maloney, James H.

Manzullo, Donald A.

Markey, Edward J.

Mascara, Frank

Matheson, Jim

Matsui, Robert T.

Meehan, Martin T.

Meek, Carrie P.

Meeks, Gregory W.

Menendez, Robert

Mica, John L.

Millender-McDonald, Juanita

Miller, Dan

Miller, Gary G.

Miller, George

Mink, Patsy T.

Moakley, John Joseph

Mollohan, Alan B.

Moore, Dennis

Moran, James P.

Moran, Jerry

Morella, Constance A.

Murtha, John P.

Myrick, Sue Wilkins

Nadler, Jerrold

Napolitano, Grace F.

Neal, Richard E.

Nethercutt, George R., Jr.

Ney, Robert W.

Northup, Anne M.

Norton, Eleanor Holmes DC

Norwood, Charlie

Nussle, Jim

Oberstar, James L.

Obey, David R.

Olver, John W.

Ortiz, Solomon P.

Osborne, Tom

Ose, Doug

Otter, C. L. ''Butch''

Owens, Major R.

Oxley, Michael G.

Pallone, Frank, Jr.

Pascrell, Bill, Jr.

Pastor, Ed

Paul, Ron

Payne, Donald M.

Pelosi, Nancy

Pence, Mike

Peterson, Collin C.

Peterson, John E.

Petri, Thomas E.

Phelps, David D.

Pickering, Charles W. ''Chip''

Pitts, Joseph R.

Platts, Todd Russell

Pombo, Richard W.

Pomeroy, Earl
At Large

Portman, Rob

Price, David E.

Pryce, Deborah

Putnam, Adam H.

Quinn, Jack

Radanovich, George

Rahall, Nick J., II

 Ramstad, Jim

Rangel, Charles B.

Regula, Ralph

Rehberg, Dennis R.
At Large

Reyes, Silveste

Reynolds, Thomas M.

Riley, Bob

Rivers, Lynn N.

Rodriguez, Ciro D.

Roemer, Tim

Rogers, Harold

Rogers, Mike

Rohrabacher, Dana

Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana

Ross, Mike

Rothman, Steven R.

Roukema, Marge

Roybal-Allard, Lucille

Royce, Edward R.

Rush, Bobby L.

Ryan, Paul

Ryun, Jim

Sabo, Martin Olav

Sanchez, Loretta

At Large


Sandlin, Max

Sawyer, Tom

Saxton, Jim

Scarborough, Joe

Schaffer, Bob

Schakowsky, Janice D.

Schiff, Adam B.

Schrock, Edward L.

Scott, Robert C.

Sensenbrenner, F. James, Jr.

Serrano, José E.

Sessions, Pete

Shadegg, John B.

Shaw, E. Clay, Jr.

Shays, Christopher

Sherman, Brad

Sherwood, Don

Shimkus, John

Shows, Ronnie

Shuster, Bud

Simmons, Rob

Simpson, Michael K.

Sisisky, Norman

Skeen, Joe

Skelton, Ike

Slaughter, Louise McIntosh

Smith, Adam

Smith, Christopher H.

Smith, Lamar S.

Smith, Nick

Snyder, Vic

Solis, Hilda L.

Souder, Mark E.

Spence, Floyd

Spratt, John M., Jr.

Stark, Fortney Pete

Stearns, Cliff

Stenholm, Charles W.

Strickland, Ted

Stump, Bob

Stupak, Bart

Sununu, John E.

Sweeney, John E.

Tancredo, Thomas G.

Tanner, John S.

Tauscher, Ellen O.

Tauzin, W. J. (Billy)

Taylor, Charles H.

Taylor, Gene

Terry, Lee

Thomas, William M.

Thompson, Bennie G.

Thompson, Mike

Thornberry, Mac

Thune, John R.
At Large

Thurman, Karen L.

Tiahrt, Todd

Tiberi, Patrick J.

Tierney, John F.

Toomey, Patrick J.

Towns, Edolphus

Traficant, James A., Jr.

Turner, Jim

Udall, Mark

Udall, Tom

Underwood, Robert A.

Upton, Fred

Velázquez, Nydia M.

Visclosky, Peter J.

Vitter, David

Walden, Greg

Walsh, James T.

Wamp, Zach

Waters, Maxine

Watkins, Wes

Watt, Melvin L.

Watts, J. C., Jr.

Waxman, Henry A.

Weiner, Anthony D.

Weldon, Curt

Weldon, Dave

Weller, Jerry

Wexler, Robert

Whitfield, Ed

Wicker, Roger F.

Wilson, Heather

Wolf, Frank R.

Woolsey, Lynn C.

Wu, David

Wynn, Albert Russell

Young, C. W. Bill

Young, Don
At Large









































































From: jh@josephholmes.com
To: Joseph Holmes <jh@josephholmes.com>
Date: Thursday, July 19, 2001 9:50 AM
Subject: More Graft Courtesey of the Shrub

Hi everybody,

Check out these Bush appointsments!


From Tuesday's Molly Ivins column:

"The corporate Cold War mentality of this administration just gets
weirder and weirder. If you thought the Cabinet was a little heavy on
corporate types, check out the second-tier appointments. The new
secretary of the Air Force is James Roche, vice president of Northrup
Grumman, the giant defense contractor, which wants billions in new
Air Force contracts. The secretary of the Navy is Gordon England,
vice president of General Dynamics, which is seeking billions in new
contracts from the Navy.

The same spirit of corporate participation is found in other
second-tier appointments as well, according to Jim Hightower's
newsletter. Bush named Linda Fisher, the top lobbyist for Monsanto in
Washington, to be deputy administrator of the Environmental
Protection Agency (news - web sites). Bush picked James Conaughton, a
Washington lawyer for ARCO and General Electric, to head the Council
on Environmental Quality. And for the No. 2 slot at the Interior
Department, which oversees mining on public land, none other than J.
Steven Griles, lobbyist for the National Mining Association.

It's possible W. has a darker sense of humor than anyone has suspected."

We are being taken to the cleaners as fast as the bum can drag us
there. Let's drag back.


Joe Holmes


Date: Thursday, July 12, 2001 6:17 PM
Subject: Meeting George Bush

Hi everybody,

I just got this little gem from Jon Warren Lentz:


Here's a recount of a meeting with the President, from a journalist in Philadelphia.

So when the President was here on July 4, I had the opportunity to
shake his hand. I wasn't sure if that was a good idea or not but I
did it anyway, and said to him, "Mr President, I hope you only serve
four years. I'm very disappointed in your work so far."

He kept smiling and shaking my hand but answered, "who cares what you
think?" His face stayed photo-op perfect but his eyes gave me a look
that said, if we'd been drinking in some frathouse in Texas, he'd've
happily answered, "let's take it outside." A nasty little gleam
constrained by Presidential propriety.

But that was the end of it until I turned away and started scribbling
the quote down in my notepad, so as to remember The Gift forever.
When he saw me do that he got excited and craned his neck over the
rubberneckers to shout at me, "who are you with? Who are you with?"
People started looking so he made a joke: "make sure you get it
right." But he kept at it: "Who do you write for?" I told him I
wasn't "with" anybody and pointed to one of his staff people, who
knows me a little, and said, "ask him, he'll tell you." Then I split.

Half an hour later, my boss (who had helped organize the event we
were at) came up to me and said, "did you really tell the President
that he was doing a 'lousy fucking job'?" No way, I said, I was very
polite, I just told him what I thought. Fortunately, he believed me.
He wasn't happy with me, but he believed me.

But anyway, if you ever wondered if the Prez really was kind of a
jerk, I'm here to tell you, he is, and I got The Gift to prove it.
I'm thinking of making up T-shirts so we can share The Gift with

"Who cares what you think?"

- President George W. Bush, July 4, 2001


(And by the way, if you think that the Prez needn't give the time of
day to longhairs, tree huggers, Democrats or anybody else, then The
Gift works for you too. Hell, so would the t-shirt)


From: jh@josephholmes.com
Date: Friday, April 20, 2001 11:24 AM
Subject: Whales Seriously Threatened by New SONAR

Hello everybody,

For over thirty years, I have been aware that underwater noise
created by human activities sometimes does terrible harm to the vital
accoustic environment of the world's oceans, especially for
cetaceans. I just received this alert which gives us the chance to
possibly stop the Navy from introducing the most damaging of all such
noise sources yet. The blue whales are already close to extinction.
They depend on the ability to communicate over vast distances, as do
other whale species. Such "fiendish thingies" (as George Harrison
might have called them) as this new, ultra-powerful type of sonar
would appear to be optimally conceived to ruin the habitats of our
great whales. Boom boxes of the sea.

I recommend a note on this topic, as requested below in this
forwarded message. Our swimming friends need our help. Needless to
say, it is very difficult to know the actual facts in detail,
however, I very strongly suspect that the plea is a valid one.

Joe Holmes


Urgent Action Needed to Stop LFAS (Low Frequency Active Sonar) Worldwide!

This is an urgent appeal for help. Please pass it along to anyone who may
be able to assist us by taking action to STOP LFAS Worldwide! And remember,
the clock is ticking. We only have until May 18th!

Regarding: SURTASS LFA Sonar

The U.S. Navy is preparing to deploy a low frequency active sonar system
that seriously threatens the marine environment, including endangered
whales and other species.

As human beings we take the ability to navigate from visual cues for granted.
For marine life living in the deep oceans, light's equivalent is sound. In
the ocean waters, where the surroundings are dark and silent -marine life
will listen and by this means interpret an environment. A setting. A
distance. Another species. A possible mate. An ominous shoreline. A calf
calling out to it's mother. These magnificent interpreters of sound are able
to detect minute objects at significant
distances. The approach of an enemy is detected. Or the distant singing of
a remote acquaintance is perceived. This world of navigated sounds is
vanishing. And as a result, marine life is dying. We are witnesses to the
acoustic dirge. And we can hear it daily, if we are willing to listen. But
there isn't much time to simply listen. We must act now! We have, roughly,
four weeks. And then a decision will be made about whether to allow
deployment of the Navy's proposed SURTASS LFA Sonar.

Acoustic pollution has been escalating through the advancement of technology
with a casual disregard to the needs of these aquatic beings. Engine noises
contribute to this noisy clatter in the oceans. And that is a part of the
problem. Big cities create a rumble, which is disruptive to the ocean
environment. All factors combine. But now, there is an immensely powerful
military device, which could shatter and destroy the remaining silence.

A new, devastating, highly controversial and intensely powerful technology
signals the escalation of acoustic weaponry and acoustic markets in this
underwater towed array with 18 speakers. Large corporations stand to profit
immensely as nations co-invest in the an underwater Star Wars technology
which blasts acoustic scatter beams in all directions until they echo back to
a convergence point. Pressure waves form. Invasive sound patterns disrupt
breathing and normal singing between whales and dolphins. And hundreds of
miles from the source, the decibel level is sustained at potentially harmful
volumes.The rationale in the mind of the US Navy is that we need defenses.
The Navy says it seeks to protect "American Interests." Those interests are
defined in accordance to the perceived threat of silent submarines.Let the
Navy know that "American Interests" do not justify the indiscriminate killing
of massive numbers of seals, dolphins, sea lions, whales, and walruses and
the devastation of the eco-marine environment out of a "cold-war" mentality
of exaggerated fear. Other intense sonar technologies have resulted in dire
numbers of stranded whales in at least seven massive stranding incidents in
recent years. The Navy says this new technology won't kill. And yet, this
technology is SURTASS LFA Sonar - and it is the most widely renown and widely
opposed of all the invasive acoustic technologies in the history of the
planet. And your appointed officials at National Marine Fisheries Service may
soon issue a letter of authorization which will allow this acoustic pollution
to be introduced to 80% of the world's oceans. If the US approval goes
through, it's expected that other countries will follow.

There are three hearings scheduled in the next three weeks and after that,
NMFS will continue to receive comments until May 18th, 2001. And then the
comment period will end and the decision will be made. So now is an important
moment. Could you please lend your voice to preserving the silence? Send a
fax today.


Please Contact:

Donna Wieting, Chief;
Marine Mammal Conservation Division;
Office of Protected Resources;
National Marine Fisheries Service;
1315 East-West Highway;
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3226

Fax number: 301-713-0376.

Dear Ms. Wieting,

Please add my name to the list of people who urge you to rule against issuing
a Letter of Authorization to the US Navy's SURTASS LFA program,which would
allow the use of SURTASS LFA Sonar. The Navy contends that the impact from
this technology would be "negligible." Please know that I subscribe to the
belief that further information will reveal that the system is harmful to
marine life and quite possibly to humans and to coastal communities.

I urge you to use caution in evaluating the Navy's information, which is
scattered through volume after volume of supplemental reports two thick
volumes of more than 1200 pages. And for all its size, this documentation is
fraught with omissions and is deemed to be incomplete. The research done is
more suitable to research and development objectives which seek to market a
specific product. There is too much contradicting information for this
documentation to be viewed as "scientific" or to support environmental goals.
So please consider the US Navy's report to be tainted with investment
potential which supercedes environmental concerns. I urge you to be sensitive
to the needs of citizens and communities, which ask about the sensibility of
this potentially harmful and invasive technology. I ask you if you will not
be hurting the fishing opportunities along our coastlines and I further
question if allowing this damaging sound to enter our waters has the
possibility of causing those adults and children who are in the water to be
at risk.

Please know that the Navy is not in compliance with the Coastal Zone
Management Act because there has not been a hearing with the California
Coastal Commission which objects to the proposed, extreme and highly
controversial technology. The US Navy has not complied with NEPA
requirements because they spent in excess of 350 million dollars on a harmful
program in an effort to make it look good. It should be evident that the US
Navy was thereby wasting money on something before studying it. Much of the
EIS is trying to mitigate the draft's miscalculations pertaining to habitat
destruction and shoreline influences. The EIS seeks to justify excuses for
environmental aggression. Please do not issue a letter of authorization for
SURTASS LFA Sonar. Do not allow acoustic destruction of our oceans.

Best regards,


From: jh@josephholmes.com
To: Joseph Holmes <jh@josephholmes.com>
Subject: World Reactions to Bush's CO2 Policies
Date: Thu, Apr 5, 2001, 1:42 PM

Hello again everybody,

Here is a fine letter on global reactions to Mr. Bush's abandonement
of the Kyoto accord, courtesy of Gary Braasch (thanks Gary). The
global warming picture really is a desparately serious one. The
recent scientific assessment is for more warming, not less (up to 10
degrees F by 2100), and the prescription for avoiding catastrophe is
to eliminate two thirds or so of current greenhouse gas emissions
within a few decades, while energy consumption is growing extremely
fast, worldwide (expected by one source to increase by 50% by 2010).
Some of the best news is that wind power has become economically very
competitive with other systems used in the U.S. Then again, with the
"President" leading us as fast as possible in exactly the wrong
direction, things look pretty bleak.

Don't invest in land in river deltas, or get too attached to alpine
landscapes, or forests for that matter... and the spreading in the
range of tropical diseases will be spectacular.

Two weeks ago I was treated to a first-hand look at the Great Barrier
Reef in Australia, and it is an absolutely stunning wilderness,
sitting just below the surface of a warm, tropical sea (the Coral
Sea). Coral bleaching (die off) is already widespread worldwide and
is thought to be a response to the small warming that has already
occurred. The marine life was beyond belief. It was a forest of
exotic animals, many resembling plants, and many more swimming
around, all vastly more dense than any animal life I have ever seen
on land. This great, hidden treasure is just one of the many
priceless things in our unique world that are on their way to
oblivion, courtesy of the collectively-mindless human endeavor.

Although it's still a carbon-powered automobile, every time I see a
new Toyota Prius, I feel like squealing with delight. Half the
carbon emissions of a similarly-sized vehicle and one tenth the
hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen, especially in town. 54 mpg
rating in town, 45 on the highway. Tight seating for five. The
ultimate would be a super-efficient car powered by fuel cells,
themselves powered by windmills. Go solar!

Please consider calling the White House, as suggested below.



Joe Holmes



> To: All Activists
> From: Aaron Rappaport, American Lands
> Date: March 30, 2001
> Criticism of President Bush's global warming policy, already strong
> following his reversal two weeks ago of his campaign promise to regulate
> CO2 emissions from powerplants, has skyrocketed this week in response to
> EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman's announcement Tuesday that the
> Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change was dead as far as the Administration
> was concerned.
> Concerns have surged because the Protocol is the only treaty in which
> nations committed to reducing their emissions of "greenhouse gasses"
> such as CO2 that cause global warming, and because it took 10 years of
> negotiations between some 150 (!) nations to hammer out. Thus, it is
> almost universally viewed as the only hope for substantive action on
> climate change without incurring the delay of a similarly long
> renegotiation process, a delay that would necessitate much harder
> emissions cuts in the future.
> The Administration now appears almost completely isolated in its climate
> views. Criticism from the European Union, while serious, was certainly
> expected. However, in the past several days:
> · A broad coalition of U.S. religious groups has urged the President to
> reconsider his approach, saying, "If credible evidence exists to
> indicate our present course could threaten the quality of life for God's
> creation and God's children, this becomes an issue of paramount moral
> concern."
> · Even most members of the "umbrella group" of nations that in the past
> have joined the U.S. in trying to weaken Kyoto, including Australia, New
> Zealand, and Japan, have expressed disappointment and serious concern.
> Outside the governmental sphere, the President of Tokyo Electric Company
> even went so far as to suggest trade sanctions against the U.S.
> · The head of the world's largest trade union body, the International
> Confederation of Free Trade Unions representing 156 million workers
> world wide, said that, "We need successful negotiations that might lead
> to a properly planned transition process for workers, so as to minimize
> its negative social and employment impacts".
> · The Union of Concerned Scientists, not a group prone to exaggeration,
> labeled Bush's rejection of Kyoto, "the most anti-environmental act by
> an American President in modern history."
> Please contact White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card at 202/456-6796,
> fax 202/456-1907, and let him know that you are extremely disappointed
> in President Bush's rejection of the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change.
> You might mention that in 1997 2,500 economists, including eight Nobel
> Laureates, endorsed a statement saying that climate change could be
> slowed without harming the U.S. economy or living standards.
> For more information, please contact the American Lands climate and
> forests campaign:
> Darcy Davis, 503/ 978-0511 or mailto:darcydavis@americanlands.org
Aaron Rappaport, 202/ 547-9098 or mailto:arappaport@mindspring.com


Subject: ANWR Update!
Date: Thu, Apr 5, 2001, 10:04 AM

Hi everybody,

Here are a couple of very interesting updates on ANWR and the oil
situation, forwarded courtesey of Democrats.com (news@democrats.com).
Note the article explaining the development perspective for the north
slope and expressing hope for coal mining, a coal-fired power plant
to power zinc mining, and the prospect of Alaska becoming "the
plastics-manufacturing capital of the world" based on natural gas!
Oh boy! Let's make the Alaska look like Cancer Alley... (Louisianna
- Texas coast)

This kind of creeping development is the inevitable consequence of
our unmitigated, excessive human presence on the planet. We can at
least work to insure that it stays away from places like ANWR, even
if we don't make any progress on the larger issue of
institutionalizing real respect for our planet by being less of a
burden with each passing generation instead of more of a burden.

Joe Holmes



__Fossil Fuel Industry Circling Arctic Wilderness like Sharks

The fossil fuel industry in Alaska is strangely confident about the
future exploitation of pristine Arctic wildlands. Now Jacob Adams of the
Arctic Slope Regional Corp. in Barrow, which owns 91,000 acres of mineral
rights around ANWR, says he's betting Congress will open the reserve to
oil. The Bush-inspired feeding frenzy is intensifying. Now Cominco Corp
and others say they plan to dig for coal and zinc as well. Plans for an
Arctic Slope coal-fired power plant are now on the drawing board as are
plans to construct a large-scale transportation infrastructure in the
region. Sure looks as if these guys are sure of their purchase--namely

Article follows:

Web posted Sunday, April 1, 2001

Arctic Slope optimistic on development

By Tim Bradner
Journal Reporter
Arctic Slope Regional Corp. President Jacob Adams gave an upbeat
assessment of his corporation's prospects and the future of North
Slope oil, gas and mineral development in a March 22 talk to the
Resource Development Council in Anchorage.

ASRC is the Alaska Native regional corporation for northern Alaska,
based in Barrow. Because of extensive land holdings and its
industry-support subsidiaries, the corporation is extensively
involved in resource development on the North Slope.

Adams announced that ASRC will be sending checks totaling $20 million
to other Alaska Native regional and village corporations this year --
and payments of a similar amount in following years -- as
royalty-sharing payments from revenues from the new Alpine oil field.

ASRC owns part of the mineral rights under Alpine, a new oil field on
the Colville Delta west of Prudhoe Bay, which began producing in late
November. The state of Alaska owns the remaining mineral rights under

Under terms of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, regional
corporations are required to share 70 percent of net resource
revenues with other Native corporations.

With Phillips Alaska Inc. and BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. busy
exploring for more oil in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska to
the west of Alpine, Adams said ASRC is hoping to persuade the federal
government to allow the corporation to select lands in the reserve.

On coal, Adams said prospects for commercial use of ASRC's very large
deposits of bituminous coal in the western Arctic are looking better.

"New technologies that Cominco and NANA Regional Corp. are looking at
to produce zinc at the mine site in the Red Dog Mine area could make
it economic to also mine coal," Adams said.

What's being discussed with Cominco is a coal-fired power plant that
would supply large amounts of power needed for zinc metal processing.
ASRC would supply coal for the power plant. That, combined with
long-range plans for transportation infrastructure in the region,
could also see western Arctic coal being exported to market, he said.

On a natural gas pipeline, Adams said the sooner the producing
companies make their decisions on the project the better it is for

"However, we are very cautious that Alaska can develop a
petrochemical industry based on natural gas," he said.

"We may become the plastics-manufacturing capital of the world, but
it will be incremental opportunities based on gas," Adams said.

ASRC also has a big stake in petroleum exploration in the coastal
plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The corporation owns
mineral rights under 91,000 acres of land in the northern part of the
coastal plain, with the surface lands owned by the village
corporation of Kaktovik, the nearest village, Adams said.

"I'm optimistic that Congress will recognize the large contribution
ANWR can make to the nation's energy needs," he said.

ANWR holds potential for new oil and gas discoveries, development and
more employment for Alaskans, but Adams cautioned that, "these jobs
and opportunities will not be available overnight. It will take some
time to develop the mechanics of leasing and to get exploration under

Adams had two areas of concern, however.

"The right of way for the trans-Alaska pipeline system is up for
reauthorization. There are those who would like to load up the
reauthorization with conditions to the point where the pipeline's
economics might be jeopardized," he warned. "It's incumbent on all of
us to let our government leaders know how important this
reauthorization is."

Secondly, Adams is concerned with the long-term study of cumulative
oil impacts on the North Slope that is now under way by the National
Academy of Science. "I will tell you that the habitat which our
people rely on has been well protected by the petroleum industry. The
industry has also respected the views of our people," Adams said.

"There have been mistakes, certainly," Adams said. "But we learn from
our mistakes. In future development ... we will not see the kind of
industrial sprawl we see around Prudhoe Bay."


And a story about the recent oil situation report from the Union of
Concerned Scientists (across the river from Harvard -- they have long
been a very good and respected source of critical analysis on nuclear
and energy related issues):

__Concerned Scientists Say Energy 'Crisis' Is Just an Excuse to Rape
the Environment

Bush is "using energy needs as a pretext for assaulting the environment
and proposiung actions that would actually make our aenergy problems
worse." This is the assesment of the respected Union of Concerned (as in
not on the take) Scientists. The report, released nearly two weeks ago,
has been all but ignored in the face of the onslaught of the corporate
junk science-spouting lobbyists converging on Capitol Hill. The report
notes that by cutting the DOE budget and energy R&D (the 2% hike it
received, after inflation, works out to a cut), Bush is ensuring US
dependence on big oil.

Article follows:


March 22, 2001

Bush Administration Exploits Energy Issue to Assault Environment
Clean choices available to resolve energy crunch in California, nation



The Union of Concerned Scientists today charged the Bush
administration with using energy needs as a pretext for assaulting
the environment and proposing actions that would actually make our
energy problems worse. To wit:

· Two days before taking office, Bush said that environmental laws
may be preventing California power plants from operating at full
capacity. Generators subsequently declared Bush wrong.

· Ten days into his term, the president used California power
shortages to justify oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife.
Oil accounts for only one percent of California electricity and less
than three percent of national electricity generation.

· On day 39, Bush proposed relaxing regulations to speed construction
of new power plants.

· On day 40, the administration proposed cutting the Department of
Energy's overall budget by $700 million. There are indications that
DOE's energy efficiency and renewable energy research and development
budget could suffer a disproportionate share of the cut. A day
earlier the president said he supported renewables and efficiency.

· On day 53, he broke his campaign pledge to reduce carbon dioxide
emissions at power plants.

Earlier this week administration officials were wrong again when they
said there are no short-term fixes for energy problems. "Conserving
energy by investing in energy efficiency improvements is by far the
fastest, least expensive way to balance energy demand and supply
needs," said Alan Nogee, Director of UCS's Clean Energy Program.
"President Bush's proposals would prolong our dependence on coal and
oil, which will only cost us more in the long run by increasing the
cost of responding to global warming."

"We need to develop and deploy efficiency and renewable energy
technologies that will conserve and reduce our dependence on fossil
fuels," said Ron Sundergill, UCS's Washington Representative for
Energy. "These programs need federal funding, not lip service."

Energy efficiency and renewable energy could immediately begin to
stem the energy crunch. For example:

· If every household in California replaced four (average 100 watt)
incandescent light bulbs with four (equivalent 27 watt) compact
fluorescent light bulbs, burning on average five hours per day, we
would save the equivalent of the electricity generated from 17 power

· If every household in California replaced one average-flow
showerhead with an energy saving showerhead we would save the
equivalent of the electricity generated from 15 power plants.

· The California Energy Commission is providing low-interest loans to
convert traffic lights to more energy efficient modules that cut
electricity use by 80 to 90 percent. The change is expected to save
Sacramento County $67,000 a year in electricity costs.

· A bill currently under consideration in California would increase
funding for energy efficiency by more than $1 billion.

· America has abundant renewable energy resources. With today's
technology, wind energy alone could economically provide 20 percent
of America's electricity. A typical wind farm generates electricity
within six months of groundbreaking for the project.

· The current cost for wind projects with up-to-date technology is 4
to 5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) at good sites. Electricity from
large new wind farms in the western United States will cost less than
2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

· By comparison, recent hikes in natural gas prices have driven fuel
costs alone for older gas-fired power plants past 5 cents per kWh
produced, and spot market shortages have led to much higher prices --
$10 per kWh and up.

· Leading states have made commitments that will increase the total
use of wind, solar, geothermal and biomass power by 8,550 megawatts.
That's enough electricity to power 5.6 million homes, reducing as
much carbon dioxide - the main greenhouse gas causing global warming
-- as planting 1.2 billion trees or taking four million cars off the

· Sales of residential wind turbines in California are already
skyrocketing as consumers seek refuge from high energy bills. Sales
for one company are seven times greater for the month of January 2001
than they were for all of 2000.

Meanwhile, utility spending on energy efficiency programs nationally
fell 45 percent between 1993 and 1998. While utility conservation
budgets were being slashed, peak summer loads grew by 56,000 MW. In
several regions, capacity reserve margins are thin. Half of the
growth in peak loads could have been avoided by increasing energy
efficiency spending.

Renewable energy generation nationally fell from 66 billion kWh in
1993 to 49 billion kWh in 1998, as utilities cut near-term costs to
prepare for deregulation. Congress should extend and expand renewable
energy tax credits and require energy companies to provide an
increasing percentage of their supplies from clean renewable energy


For info on this release, call:

617 547-5552
202 223-6133
To set up interviews, or for UCS info, contact:

Assistant Press Secretary
202 223-6133
Media Director
202 223-6133
Transportation Media & Outreach Coordinator
510 843-1872

2 Brattle Square
Cambridge, MA 02238
Contact us at ucs@ucsusa.org


From: jh@josephholmes.com
Subject: ANWR Under Assault -- And So It Begins

Hi everybody,

Here is a great rundown on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge issue,
and a handy way to send an email letter to your senators. This place
is America's Number One wildlife refuge by a wide margin. It is
currently virgin wilderness, and it has to stay that way. It is an
area of land fully two dozen times larger than all of Yosemite
National Park -- about one fifth the size of the state of California.
The Resident and the money-grubbing Alaskan senators (Murkowski and
Stevens), along with a bunch of their disrepectful bum friends in
Congress would just <love> to ruin this place and make themselves a
whole bunch of money in the process. Sacrifice our best remaining
wildlife habitat for one 300th of the world's estimated oil reserves!
Over my dead body!

We don't need the oil. Not now, and not ever. We do need a vast,
living Arctic region, unspoiled forever by the dirty hands of man.
Check it out.

Joe Holmes


From: "ActForChange" <takeaction@actforchange.com>
To: "Activist" <takeaction@actforchange.com>
Subject: An Earth Alert from ActForChange!
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2001 12:39:31 -0800
Sender: takeaction1-request@mail.isisnewmedia.com


You are receiving this update because you have previously taken action on
ActForChange.com. We hope you'll join our urgent campaign to stop an
environmental outrage our president has made a top priority.

In a deeply cynical maneuver, President Bush is citing California's
short-term energy crisis in an effort to push through approval of long-term
oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, one of the nation's
most important and fragile wildlife breeding zones. It is up to everyone who
cares about our environment to step forward and take action on this crucial


Tell our senators they must protect this national treasure! By using the
link above you can take action right now from your computer in just a few
quick clicks. Simply click the link, or copy and paste it into your browser.

The oil industry has long campaigned for the rights to drill in the pristine
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with potentially devastating consequences
for the region's fragile habitat, native communities and unparalleled
wildlife. The 1.6 million-acre coastal plain of the refuge is the United
States' premier birthing and nursing ground for arctic wildlife, including
grizzly and polar bears, musk oxen, the arctic fox, wolves and wolverines,
135 bird species, and a migrating herd of caribou which supports thousands
of native people still living in harmony with this rugged land.

"The Arctic Refuge is a unique environmental cathedral -- a 19-million-acre
expanse where mountains meet ocean, where grizzly bears meet polar bears,
where 130,000 caribou migrate each spring to give birth on the coastal
plain, where an entire ecosystem is preserved and where Mother Nature is
totally in charge," wrote journalist Thomas L. Friedman in the New York
Times (3/2/01). "This is not Yellowstone Park, with campsites and R.V.'s.
The original idea behind the Refuge's creation was to save an area of pure
wilderness, in which there would be no maps, virtually no roads and no
development. When the Bush team says it can drill in such wilderness without
harming it, it's like saying you can do online trading in church on your
Palm Pilot without disturbing anyone. It violates the very ethic of the

And the arguments Bush and his oil cronies make for drilling this cathedral
just don't hold up:

An average of 409 spills have occurred annually on Alaska's North Slope
since 1996, while operations produce tons of nitrogen oxides, which cause
smog and acid rain, and large amounts of sewage, garbage and scrap metal.
The drilling sites in the Arctic Refuge would be strewn throughout the
delicate coastal plain, linked by pipelines and roads.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the oil that could be extracted would
fuel the U.S. market for less than six months. Consider that increasing fuel
efficiency standards for new vehicles to an average of 39 miles per gallon
over the next decade would save 51 billion barrels of oil over the next 50
years -- more than 15 times the likely yield from the Arctic Refuge!

The oil market is global, and oil from the Arctic Refuge would expand global
oil reserves by just 0.3 percent -- a quantity far too inconsequential to
affect prices at the pump or elsewhere.

Drilling in the coastal plain would have no impact on California's
electricity problems or any other state's electricity problems. Most U.S.
electric power plants do not use oil. Less than 1 percent of California's
electricity is generated by burning oil, and the average for the United
States as a whole is only 3 percent. Besides, no oil from the Refuge would
flow to refineries for at least a decade.

Despite all this, Alaska's Congressional delegation continues to push for
oil development in this fragile corner of the Arctic, which will fill the
state's coffers with oil drilling royalties. On Feb. 26, Sen. Frank
Murkowski (R-Alaska) introduced a sweeping piece of energy policy
legislation that would allow Arctic Refuge drilling, while also weakening
nationwide power plant standards designed to fight global warming.

Please stand with us as we fight this attempt to ravage one of the last
truly wild landscapes in the United States. To take action, simply click on
the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.


There is strength in numbers! So once you take action, please forward this
e-mail to friends and associates so they can speak out, too.

You can also take action on these and many other crucial, timely actions at

End Use of Human Antibiotics in Livestock Feed

Tell Ford to Offer Environment-friendly Cars

Ban Special Interest Money in Elections

And, if after taking action, you want to do even more to protect the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge, go to http://www.giveforchange.com and make a
donation to Defenders of Wildlife or Natural Resources Defense Council
(NRDC) who are working on protecting this natural resource. Or you can
donate to the Sierra Club through the link below.

Sierra Club (Donate now and get a free expedition pack!)

With appreciation,

Michael Kieschnick
President, Working Assets


From: jh@josephholmes.com
Subject: Clean Air Under Attack by Bush

Hello everybody,

We lost the stop Ashcroft campaign by a narrow margin, but the
political commentary that I have heard is that this is a clear signal
from the Senate democrats that ideological nominees for federal
judgeships will indeed be subject to filibuster (42 votes against
Aschcroft, at least two of whom, Chris Dodd and Russ Feingold would
probably add their support to a filibuster of a judicial
appointment). If so, this is very good news, and is indeed the
result of concerned citizens bringing pressure to bear on the
senators with phone calls, emails, membership in organizations, etc.
So all is not lost! Without us, the vote against Ashcroft would
probably have been dramatically smaller!

Below is a wonderful commentary from the New York Times about how the
Bush white house is conducting an absurd campaign (how dumb do they
think we are?) to sell the notion that ruining our largest and most
important wildlife refuge (ANWR in Alaska), and pursuing many
similarly dubious energy policy initiatives, including gutting the
Clean Air Act, will somehow solve the current management foul-up that
is afflicting California's power grid. The issue of air pollution is
completely unrelated to the California power crisis (which is very
real and very serious), as discussed below.

Thanks to Clint Schemmer for bringing this article to my attention.
Clint and I travelled the length of the Mississippi River together in
the summer of 1979, as part of a larger group (half by canoe, half by
power boat).

Stay tuned!

Joe Holmes




January 31, 2001

Smog and Mirrors



A couple of weeks ago, in one of his first statements about the
California energy crisis, George W. Bush placed the blame squarely on
pollution controls: "If there's any environmental regulations
preventing California from having a 100 percent max output at their
plants - as I understand may be - then we need to relax those
standards." But his assertion was swiftly contradicted - not just by
environmentalists and California officials, but by the energy
industry. A spokesman for Houston- based Reliant Energy, which
operates four Southern California plants, told The Los Angeles Times
that assertions that environmental regulations were holding back
power production were "absolutely false."
Nor, apparently, did environmental regulations play much of a role in
California's failure to build new plants in the years since
deregulation. In fact, environmentalists generally favored
deregulation, because they thought it would lead to the construction
of new plants, which would be gas-fired and hence cleaner than the
coal-fired plants that still supply much of the state's power.
Nimbyism - the objections of people who didn't want a plant near them
- was more of a factor, but that's a different issue, and one that is
quickly being resolved.
And yet the Bush administration has continued to push the idea that
allowing more smog is the way out of the crisis. What exactly is
going on here?
A cynic might suggest that this is all about payback to the companies
that bankrolled Mr. Bush's campaign. But in the case of California
smog, there isn't any direct payback. The only California power plant
that has actually been kept offline by air quality rules belongs not
to a Texas company but to the city of Glendale.
Now of course the administration is trying to use California's woes
to sell its plan to drill for oil in the Arctic tundra - a plan that,
if you do the arithmetic ("No fuzzy math!" roared the crowd), turns
out to be virtually irrelevant to our current energy problems. At
best, it might add a few percent to the nation's oil supply a decade
or more from now. But the administration's enthusiasm for that plan
also poses something of a puzzle. It is, after all, expensive to find
and extract oil from the Arctic, even if you play fast and loose with
the environment; so the windfall to oil companies won't be all that
large. Oil industry service companies, like Dick Cheney's former
employer Halliburton, will reap some immediate benefits; but it's
still hard to see why this should be at the top of the agenda.
To understand the enthusiasm of the administration for all things
dirty, I believe, you need to see it as something that goes beyond
simple calculations of cost and benefit. What it's really about is
political momentum - about eliminating Mr. Bush's legitimacy gap by
winning a series of striking victories. In effect, his advisers hope
that by repeatedly rolling over the moderates they can make people
forget that the other guy actually got more votes. The environment,
in particular, becomes a target precisely because the other side
wants to protect it. Think of it as an attempt to create the illusion
of a mandate using smog and mirrors.
Will this strategy work? As Jacob Weisberg recently noted in Slate,
during the last few weeks of the campaign Mr. Bush's advisers tried a
similar strategy, hoping to use the appearance of inevitability to
convert his poll lead into a landslide. Instead, he lost the popular
vote and came within a butterfly ballot of losing the electoral vote.
But now he's in Washington, where it may be easier to turn perception
into reality.
Whether or not the strategy is smart, however, its consequences will
be far-reaching. Alaska is only the beginning; the man to watch next
is Joe Barton, the Texas congressman who heads the House Commerce
Committee's new subcommittee on energy and air quality. (Air quality
was formerly the domain of the subcommittee on health and
environment.) Coming soon, we can be sure, is a drive to gut as much
as possible of the Clean Air Act.
It may seem bizarre that anti- environmentalism could become a goal
in itself, that politicians might seek to despoil the environment not
even for the sake of profit but merely to prove a point. But we're
living in bizarre times; as they say, get over it.


Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company


From: jh@josephholmes.com
Subject: Overvotes Were Key After All


For anyone wanting to understand the details of how the voting
systems of American need to be fixed, or anyone wanting to know more
about just how it is that Gore won in Florida, here is a very
interesting article that explains that the overvotes in at least some
of the optical scan counties actually contained a very large number
of salvageable votes, and that they were overwhelmingly in Gore's
favor. In November, nobody in the public spotlight knew this, except
for people who didn't want it to become known.

I saw another article about counting overvotes of an optical county
by hand, in which it had been discovered that many Gore overvotes,
but zero Bush overvotes, had been created after the fact by someone
who marked the ballots and didn't even bother to use the same kind of
pen (i.e. bald-faced fraud).

After the article, there is a brief excerpt from a Jimmy Carter
interview explaining that the Carter Center would never get involved
in overseeing an election in a third world country that has laws and
voting systems as fouled up as the ones in Florida.


Joe Holmes




Almost Everything We Thought About the Florida Recount Is Wrong!

By Mickey Kaus Posted Thursday, Dec. 28, 2000, at 1:15 a.m. PT

Can we forget about John Ashcroft and go back to the Florida recount
for a moment? The press has long since left the theater, and the
final credits have almost finished rolling, but there's another plot
twist to the story. A pretty big one. I'm referring to the "press
recount" conducted last week by the Orlando Sentinel in Lake County,
a fairly small, 90,000-vote county in central Florida that George
Bush carried by 15 percentage points. You wouldn't expect a Lake
County recount to reveal many new votes for either candidate. After
all, the county uses the supposedly more accurate optical-scanning
voting system, in which voters mark their ballots with a pencil--no
chad-producing "punch cards." What's more, the 3,114 ballots examined
by the Sentinel were "overvotes"--ballots the optical scanning
machines had rejected because they detected marks for more than one
presidential candidate. If you followed the coverage of the recount,
you know that overvotes were not a central focus of the Florida
fight. Instead, the recount controversy centered on
"undervotes"--ballots on which machines detected no presidential vote
at all. It was undervotes that Gore was desperately trying to get
manually counted and that the Florida Supreme Court had ordered
counted before that count was stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court.

What could overvotes yield, anyway? If a ballot is marked for two
candidates, it's irretrievably spoiled, right? True, some
people--including Bush lawyers seeking to discredit an
"undervote-only" recount--raised the possibility that some overvotes
might be salvageable if, say, voters actually wrote "I want Bush" on
their ballots. But this possibility seemed almost theoretical.
"There's nothing in the record that suggests there are such votes,"
Gore attorney David Boies asserted confidently when asked about the
possibility in oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court. We now
know how wildly off-base Boies was. We know because in Lake County
the Sentinel examined 3,114 overvotes. And one-fifth of them
contained exactly the "write-in mistake" that Boies had dismissed as
nonexistent. More perversely, the majority (376) of these ballots
were clear votes for ... Boies' client, Gore. "In each case, an oval
next to his name was filled in with a pencil and the voter mistakenly
filled in another oval next to a spot reserved for write-in
candidates, writing in Gore's name or running mate Joe Lieberman's
there as well," the Sentinel reports. Some 246 ballots contained the
same Write-In Mistake, except that the voter both marked and wrote in
"Bush." But, all told, Gore would have gained 130 votes in this one
measly little county had its overvotes been manually tallied. In
retrospect, it seems glaringly obvious why voters would make the
Write-In Mistake. If you're a first-time voter, after all, and you
see a ballot that says "Mark your candidate" and then another line
that says "Write-in," you might easily think that the latter phrase
was instructing you to write in your candidate's name--just to be
sure! Sort of like a check, where you write the dollar amount with
numerals and then write it with letters as well. It's actually quite
amazing--with all the talk of voter confusion, butterfly ballots, and
the like--that nobody realized this simple mistake would be so
common. Nobody until now, that is.

The Lake County numbers contain another stunning surprise, in that
they dramatically validate what might be called the "Sloppy Dem
Thesis"--the folk wisdom that says Democratic voters (being less
experienced, or less well-educated, or less anal, or whatever) tend
to make ballot errors more often than Republican voters. Lake County,
remember, is a Republican county that Bush carried by a wide margin.
Yet the recoverable ballot errors (at least the overvote errors) ran
heavily in favor of Gore. (Even other, more problematic ballots that
the Sentinel didn't count--such as when a voter attempted to erase
one mark--"fell heavily in Gore's favor.") If Gore picked up votes on
a recount in Lake County, where wouldn't he pick up votes? The writer
Murray Sayle once joked that there are only three real stories in
journalism: 1) "Arrow points to defective part;" 2) "We name the
guilty man;" and 3) "Everything you thought you knew about this
subject is wrong." The Lake County story comes close to qualifying
for the third category. Consider its apparent implications: Gore was
mistaken: Gore went for hand recounts in four Democratic counties
rather than a broad statewide recount. He's been criticized for
grabbing at a quick political advantage instead of taking a gamble
and doing the "right thing." But it's now clear that the right thing
wouldn't have been much of a gamble for him at all. If the Sloppy Dem
Thesis is as correct as it was in Lake County, Gore would have gained
votes all over the state, in pro-Bush counties as well as Democratic
counties. Gore was doubly mistaken to focus, laserlike, on the
undervotes, ignoring the potential harvest of uncounted votes in the
overvotes that resulted from voters making the Write-In Error.

Gore was a total fool, in particular (and in hindsight), to ignore
the massive overvote of 21,000 ballots in Duval County. According to
Richard Cooper's post-mortem in the Los Angeles Times, Gore aides
assumed these votes were unsalvageable. Only after the deadline for
requesting a recount had passed did the Gore team meet with local
allies and learn that many of the overvotes contained the Write-In
Error--and might have been counted for Gore. The press was equally
wrong to follow Gore's lead and cover the recount as if the
undervotes were the whole story. Gore and the press also missed the
boat by focusing almost exclusively on the voting problems in
"punch-card" counties. Optical-scanning counties may have held large
troves of votes, too. True, it's not clear how many optical-scanning
counties decided, as Lake County did, to not examine overvotes for
the Write-In Error. (At least two jurisdictions in fact counted such
votes, according to the Orlando Sentinel.) The Sentinel is even now
trying to find out how many other counties acted as Lake County
acted. But, since Lake alone yielded 130 new net Gore votes, it would
only take three or four similar counties (out of 38 using the
optical-scanning system) to put Gore over the top. The whole chad
debate was unnecessary! By focusing on "punch-card" undervotes, Gore
was inextricably drawn into the murky and morally ambiguous world of
chad. He wound up throwing the full force of his advocacy behind the
highly questionable Delahunt standard, under which merely "dimpled"
chad can be counted as clearly intended votes. But if the Lake result
is indicative, Gore didn't need dimpled chad! He would almost
certainly have won a full statewide recount under the strictest chad
standards--if, that is, the recount included the overvotes in the
punch-card and optical counties. The whole debate over dimples was a
needless drain of Gore's legal and moral resources.

James Carville was right! He boasted that Gore would win a recount
even without dimpled chad. Kausfiles was wrong to ridicule Carville
for this boast. James Baker was right--in a strategic, not moral,
sense--to fight all manual recounts instead of seeking his own hand
counts in pro-Bush counties. The Lake County result shows that even
in Bush counties a hand recount would probably have helped elect
Gore, thanks to all the Sloppy Dems. Kausfiles was also wrong to
suggest that Baker "blew it in Florida" with this "no recount"
strategy. Please don't click here to see just how wrong. Slate's
"Ballot Box" was wrong, in hindsight, to estimate that Bush would win
a statewide recount under strict standards but lose under loose
standards. We now know Gore would probably have won under either
standard. Jacob Weisberg made it clear that his Slate calculation
assumed that the Sloppy Dem Thesis was invalid (which it clearly
didn't turn out to be in Lake) and that overvotes didn't matter
(which it's now clear they do).

The Florida Supreme Court was wrong to order a statewide recount that
was seemingly confined to undervotes. The overvotes should have been
recounted, too (though if Gore had won with only the undervotes, then
counting the overvotes would probably have only widened his margin of
victory). But Lake County officials say they would have examined
their overvotes if the recount had gone forward, and the circuit
court judge presiding over the recount probably had authority to
order that other overvotes be examined as well. So maybe the Florida
recount would eventually have been fairer than it at first appeared.
But the Florida court was very clearly wrong, in retrospect, when it
allowed a count of both undervotes and overvotes in mainly Democratic
precincts in Miami-Dade County while adding to those results a count
of only undervotes in mainly Republican precincts. The only way that
apple-orange sandwich could be fair is if recounting overvotes never
yielded anything. But we now know that overvotes can contain a huge
(one in five) stash of salvageable ballots. Finally, the exhausted
post-concession press has been wrong in failing to give the Sentinel
story the play it deserves. The New York Times' news pages, according
to Nexis, have simply ignored the Lake County recount and its
implications. (Only Maureen Dowd's op-ed column has mentioned it.) A
recent NYT editorial defending the utility of press recounts didn't
bother to note the Sentinel's effort, even though it helps make the
editorial's point.



GWEN IFILL: You've also made a reputation for yourself as an
international election monitor, yet you said that you wouldn't have
even stepped into Florida. You wouldn't have even touched that.


GWEN IFILL: Can the United States still be a beacon of democracy in
this way, in the electoral process, after what we've been through?

PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER: Well, I think as a matter of fact the United
States still a beacon of democracy to most people in the world. This
past year, the Carter Center monitored six elections in the world.
Three were in Latin America and the others were in Asia and Africa.
But we have certain minimal standards in a country before we will go
in there at all. And we would not dream of going into a country that
had election laws like ours, where there is such a vast chasm in some
central nonpartisan or bipartisan agency deciding on election
arguments. And also, where every precinct, every voting place can
have a separate kind of voting mechanism, and where the
interpretation of what is a good vote or a bad vote depends, almost
exclusively, on local officials' prejudices. So we require uniformity
in the type of voting and in the standardization of what is a good
vote, and we also require that a central election commission be
available, on a nonpartisan basis, in order to make judgments during
a contest period immediately before, during, or after an election.
--PBS Interview, 1/10/01


From: jh@josephholmes.com
Subject: Last Chance to Stop Ashcroft

ALERT: Ashcroft Filibuster Needs JUST ONE SENATOR!

CNN just reported the following:

"Threats of a filibuster faded Tuesday as sources close to Sen. Edward
Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, told CNN that the veteran lawmaker had
insufficient support from fellow Democrats to block a vote on Ashcroft."


According to Democratic sources in the Senate, there are nearly 40
Democrats who are prepared to vote against the nomination of John Ashcroft
for Attorney General. But only 25 of those Democrats are willing to
support a filibuster. Since it takes 41 votes to wage a successful
filibuster, Kennedy does not want to wage a hopeless fight.

Our response is simple: "JUST ONE SENATOR". This was our battle cry on
January 6, when we needed JUST ONE SENATOR to challenge Florida's

Once again, we need JUST ONE SENATOR to START a filibuster.

Once the filibuster begins, it will take on a life of its own. The case
against Ashcroft is so overwhelming, that when all the facts are presented
in the course of the filibuster, we believe the Democrats will vote to
sustain the filibuster if we can show them a massive outpouring of public



1. The following Senators have announced their opposition to Ashcroft.
Tell them we need JUST ONE SENATOR to begin a filibuster!.

State Member Phone (202) Fax
CA Barbara Boxer 224-3553 228-4056
CA Dianne Feinstein 224-3841 228-3954
DE Joseph Biden 224-5042 224-0139
IL Richard Durbin 224-2152 228-0400
IN Evan Bayh 224-5623 228-1377
MA Edward Kennedy 224-4543 224-2417
MA John Kerry 224-2742 224-8525
MD Barbara Mikulski 224-4654 224-8858
MI Carl Levin 224-6221 224-1388
MN Mark Dayton 224-3244 228-2186
MN Paul Wellstone 224-5641 224-8438
NJ Jon Corzine 224-4744 228-2197
NM Jeff Bingaman 224-5521 224-2852
NY Charles Schumer 224-6542 228-3027
NY Hillary Clinton 224-4451 228-0282
RI Jack Reed 224-4642 224-4680
SC Ernest Hollings 224-6121 224-4293
VT Patrick Leahy 224-4242
WA Patty Murray 224-2621 224-0238

If a phone call or fax does not register your feeling strongly enough,
please consider sending your Senators a Filibuster Special care package
specially designed to show your support for a filibuster. You can visit
http://www.ashcroftlied.com to place your order, which will deliver a very
provocative gift basket to your Senator tomorrow with a personal message
of support from you. Each basket contains a chocolate bar, a high energy
bar, throat lozenges, gourmet coffee, a can of Jolt Cola, pocket size
Tylenols, beef sticks, Lifesavers, and a stress ball. The cost is $26.95
including delivery to a Senators' office on Capitol Hill.

2. The following Senators are undecided. Tell them to OPPOSE ASHCROFT

State Member Phone (202) Fax
AR Blanche Lambert Lincoln 224-4843 228-1371
CT Christopher Dodd 224-2823 224-1083
CT Joseph Lieberman 224-4041 224-9750
DE Thomas Carper 224-2441 228-2190
FL Bill Nelson 224-5274 228-2183
FL Bob Graham 224-3041 224-2237
GA Max Cleland 224-3521 224-0072
HI Daniel Inouye 224-3934 224-6747
HI Daniel Akaka 224-6361 224-2126
IA Tom Harkin 224-3254 224-9369
LA John Breaux 224-4623 228-2577
LA Mary Landrieu 224-5824 224-9735
MD Paul Sarbanes 224-4524 224-1651
MI Debbie Stabenow 224-4822 228-0325
MO Jean Carnahan 224-6154 228-0043
MT Max Baucus 224-2651 228-3687
NC John Edwards 224-3154 228-1374
NE Ben Nelson 224-6551 228-0012
NJ Robert Torricelli 224-3224 224-8567
NV Harry Reid 224-3542 224-7327
OR Ron Wyden 224-5244 228-2717
SD Thomas Daschle 224-2321 224-7895
SD Tim P. Johnson 224-5842 228-5765
WA Maria Cantwell 224-3441 228-0514
WI Russ Feingold 224-5323 224-2725
WI Herbert Kohl 224-5653 224-9787
WV Jay Rockefeller 224-6472 224-7665

To make an even GREATER impact please go to the local office of your
Senator tomorrow, Wednesday 31 January at noon local time to express your
opposition to Ashcroft. You can learn more about this including where to
go in your area at:
< http://democrats.com/display.cfm?id=192>

3. The following Senators support Ashcroft. Tell them that you are a
Democrat, that you voted for them, and that you find their support for
Ashcroft both puzzling and troubling:

State Member Phone (202) Fax
GA Zell Miller 224-3643 228-2090
ND Byron Dorgan 224-2551 224-1193
ND Kent Conrad 224-2043 224-7776
WV Robert Byrd 224-3954 228-0002

Most of the Democrats in the Senate will stick together if we are unified
and mobilized. If ever there was a time to be vocal and active, this is it.

-- Bob Fertik and David Lytel, Managing Partners
Democrats.com: The Aggressive Progressives

candidate, and advocacy group should maintain a campaign web site and
e-mail list to build a powerful network for change. Let Democrats.com
show you the way! Visit http://campaign.democrats.com or

To subscribe, send an email to:

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From: jh@josephholmes.com
Subject: Full List of Senator's Numbers, Ashcroft Update

Tuesday morning 1/23

Dear Ashcroft Lovers (Not!)

Below find an appeal on the Ashcroft issue written by people a lot
more committed to doing something about this travesty than myself.

Included are contact numbers and position analyses for all the
democratic senators and the five pro-choice republican senators. It
would appear that the most important thing each of us can do is to
phone our own senators, if they appear among those shown, and to do
so repeatedly (once a day is suggested). We really have to win this
fight. It will also help to call the other ones, however. I just
called several, and some asked if I were a constituent, some didn't,
but all cared to get the opinion.


Joe Holmes



Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 02:22:07 -0400
Subject: Ashcroft Filibuster Gains Ground - Call Your Senators Today!!

Dear Friend of Democrats.com,

If you listen to the media reports on the Ashcroft nomination, you would
conclude that he emerged from four days of hearings without a scratch, and
will sail through his confirmation vote by the Senate.

We assure you - nothing could be further from the truth!

Here is just one indication: today, the New York Times joined us in urging
Senate Democrats to filibuster Ashcroft.

Sensing that the tide is turning against Ashcroft, Republicans on the
Judiciary Committee - led by anti-choice zealot Orrin Hatch - are trying
to force a quick vote to send Ashcroft's nomination to the full Senate.

But the Democrats have just submitted a list of detailed questions that
are crucial to consider before voting. Ashcroft will not have time to
answer these questions before Wednesday. Moreover, Ashcroft's answers are
bound to raise further questions, because his testimony has been full of
contradictions - and worse.

During the hearings, Senators were given important new information about
Ashcroft's extreme positions on the issues. And they were also exposed
directly to Ashcroft's repeated evasions and outright lies - yes, the same
actions that caused the Republican Congress (led prominently by Ashcroft)
to impeach our last elected President, Bill Clinton.

The Attorney General of the United States is the nation's chief law
enforcer, civil rights officer and government ethics watchdog. The
Attorney General should be someone who is distinguished by his or her
ethics, integrity, and impartiality. But as the hearings proved, John
Ashcroft meets NONE of these qualifications. He is a die-hard and
cutthroat partisan, a rabid ideologue, and - worst of all - a serial liar.

In the final analysis, we believe the single most important reason
Ashcroft should be defeated is because of his lies, as we have documented
in detail at:

1. John Ashcroft lied to the Senate about Judge Ronnie White when he
blocked his nomination to the Federal judiciary, and lied again to the
Senate about his reasons for doing so

2. John Ashcroft lied to the Senate about his reasons for opposing James
Hormel for Ambassador to Luxembourg

3. John Ashcroft lied to the Senate about his reasons for opposing David
Satcher for Surgeon General

4. John Ashcroft lied to the Senate four times about his role in
Missouri's school desegregation struggle

5. John Ashcroft lied to the American people when he said he didn't know
the teachings and practices of Bob Jones University

6. John Ashcroft lied to the people of Missouri about his misuse of his
government employees for his re-election campaigns

These lies were not simple misstatements of facts. They were calculated
lies, intended to punish individuals who disagreed with him on his core
ideological issues, namely opposition to abortion rights, gay rights, and
civil rights. John Ashcroft has no integrity - he will do anything to
defeat his chosen enemies.

With your help, we have been gathering feedback on the positions of the 50
Democratic Senators. At this point, here is how the votes look. If you
have a Democratic Senator or two, see where they stand - and take
appropriate action.

We cannot believe that any Democrats are even considering voting for
Ashcroft. The reasons for rejecting him are so overwhelming that there is
absolutely no reason why any Democrat should support him.

We have identified 12 Democrats who are solidly opposed to Ashcroft. They
should be thanked by their constituents.

All of the other Democrats - as well as the five pro-choice Republicans -
should be called EVERY DAY by their constituents. While they should be
urged to vote against Ashcroft on principle, they should also be persuaded
of the crucial POLITICAL reasons for voting against Ashcroft.

None of these Senators would have been elected - or will be re-elected -
without the support of key Democratic constituencies in their own states.
In particular, that means women, blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans,
Asian Americans, gays, environmentalists, gun control supporters,
liberals, and progressives. ALL of these groups are united in their solid
opposition to Ashcroft. It is time for these Senators to recognize and
honor their obligations to these groups.

If you are a local leader in one of these groups, please remind your
Senator of the important constituency you represent, and get your members
to make calls. If you know the leaders of these groups, make sure they are
making calls, and urging their members to do so.

If you see an * before a name, that means they are up for re-election in
2002. These individuals will need every ounce of support from progressive
activists, and should be especially responsive to our appeals. Similarly,
an ^ indicates a Senator who has been mentioned as a potential
Presidential candidate in 2004.

1. Democrats Opposed to Ashcroft

If they represent you, call them to thank them.

CA: Barbara Boxer 202-224-3553 415-403-0100
*^DE: Joseph Biden 202-224-5042 302-573-6345
*IL: Richard Durbin 202-224-215 2217-492-4062
IN: B. Evan Bayh 202-224-562 3317-554-0750
MA: Edward M. Kennedy 202-224-4543 617-565-3170
MD: Barbara Mikulski 202-224-4654 301-263-1805
*MI: Carl Levin 202-224-6221 313-226-6020
NJ: Jon Corzine 202-224-4744
NY: Hillary Clinton 202-224-4451
*RI: John F. 'Jack' Reed 202-224-4642 401-943-3100
VT: Patrick Leahy 202-224-4242 802-863-2525

2. Nervous Democrats

These Senators should be solidly in the "opposed" column, but they are not
there yet so we need to convince them to do the right thing. In addition
to Ashcroft's lies, we must also stress his grotesque unfairness to James
Hormel, Judge Ronnie White, and Clinton judicial nominee Alex Bartlett,
who Ashcroft admitted he blocked for reasons having nothing to do with
Bartlett's qualifications for the job. The important argument is
Ashcroft's inability and refusal to see and do what is right and just.
Ashcroft used his post as a Senator to take positions - such as his
virulent opposition to Hormel simply because he was gay - that in a normal
hiring process wouldn't even be legal. Finally, these Senators should be
questioned about Ashcroft's crazy attempt to reconcile Roe v. Wade with
his anti-abortion record and agenda.

CA: Dianne Feinstein 202-224-3841 619-231-9712
*MN: Paul David Wellstone 202-224-5641 651-645-0323
WI: Russ Feingold 202-224-5323 608-828-1200

3. Silent Democrats

These Senators have not sent signals either way. That means these are the
most important Senators for us to reach, because they are the swing votes.
They should vote against Ashcroft both on principle and on politics -
namely, they need our support to win.

AR: Blanche Lambert Lincoln 202-224-4843 501-375-2993
CT: Christopher Dodd 202-224-2823 860-240-3470
CT: Joseph Lieberman 202-224-4041 860-549-8463
DE: Tom Carper 202-224-2441
FL: Bob Graham 202-224-3041 305-536-7293
FL: Bill Nelson 202-224-5274
*GA: Joseph Maxwell Cleland 202-224-3521 404-331-4811
HI: Daniel Inouye 202-224-3934 808-541-2542
HI: Daniel Kahikina Akaka 202-224-6361 808-522-8970
*IA: Tom Harkin 202-224-3254 515-284-4574
LA: John Breaux 202-224-4623 504-589-2531
*LA: Mary Landrieu 202-224-5824 504-589-2427
*^MA: John Forbes Kerry 202-224-2742 617-565-8519
MD: Paul Sarbanes 202-224-4524 410-962-4436
MI: Debbie Stabenow 202-224-4822
MN: Mark Dayton 202-224-3244
MO: Jean Carnahan 202-224-6154 314-531-2006
*MT: Max Baucus 202-224-2651 406-329-3123
NC: John Edwards 202-224-3154 919-856-4245
NE: Ben Nelson 202-224-6551
*NJ: Robert Torricelli 202-224-3224 973-624-5555
NM: Jeff Bingaman 202-224-5521 505-988-6647
NV: Harry Reid 202-224-3542 775-885-9111
NY: Charles Schumer 202-224-6542 212-486-4430
OR: Ron Wyden 202-224-5244 503-326-7525
SC: Ernest Hollings 202-224-6121 803-765-5731
SD: Thomas Daschle 202-224-2321 605-225-8823
*SD: Tim P. Johnson 202-224-5842 605-332-8896
WA: Patty Murray 202-224-2621 206-553-5545
WA: Maria Cantwell 202-224-3441
WI: Herbert Kohl 202-224-5653 414-297-4451
*WV: Jay Rockefeller 202-224-6472 304-347-5372

4. Lost Democrats

These Democrats have announced their support for Ashcroft. That suggests
that these Senators are have lost their way. Perhaps their constituents
can help them find their way back to the side of Truth, Justice, and the
American Way.

GA: Zell Miller 202-224-3643 404-347-2202
ND: Kent Conrad 202-224-2043 701-232-8030
ND: Byron Dorgan 202-224-2551 701-250-4618
WV: Robert Byrd 202-224-3954 304-342-5855

5. Pro-choice Republicans

These Republicans ran as strong supporters of a woman's right to choose
and as environmentalists. They received key support and funding from pro-
choice PACs, such as WISH List and NARAL, and environmental groups like
the Sierra Club. Ashcroft lied under oath when he swore that he would not
look for opportunities to outlaw abortions - it's the first thing he will
do every morning, and the last thing he will do at night. It is the single
most important goal in his life, as he stated repeatedly during his
career. No Republican who votes for Ashcroft can continue to call
themselves "pro-choice" - and future pro-choice Democrats will use a pro-
Ashcroft vote as Exhibit A in their campaigns. This argument should be
especially persuasive with Susan Collins, who is up for re-election in

ME: Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) 202-224-5344 207-780-3575
*ME: Sen. Susan M. Collins (R) 202-224-2523 207-945-0417
PA: Sen. Arlen Specter (R) 202-224-4254 215-597-7200
RI: Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee (R) 202-224-2921 401-528-5294
VT: Sen. Jim Jeffords (R) 202-224-5141 802-658-6001


We urge you to do four things:

1. CALL your Senators, especially if they are on one of the above lists.
If you can, visit their district offices and leave them a hand written
note. Keep trying until you reach a human being who appears to be paid to
listen to you.

2. FORWARD this message to other Democratic activists, especially people
active in African American, pro-choice and gay/lesbian advocacy. But do
not leave this to others to do your work for you. We ALL have a stake in

3. SIGN-UP for our daily newsletter by sending a blank e-mail message to

4. STOP BELIEVING TOM BROKAW. And that goes for Dan Rather and Peter
Jennings, too. Those guys will be the last people in America to know when
Ashcroft is toast. Remember, their job is not to get it right. Their job
is to attract eyeballs to sell laxatives, drugs and automobiles - and to
maximize profits for their Republican corporate owners. We can make the
news. They're entertainers and Republican flaks.

We are convinced like never before that we can win this battle and turn
back the forces of reaction. We can make it very, very difficult for the
Republicans to secure the support of 10 Democratic Senators. Far more than
Bush's inauguration, this vote is the start of the new government. If we
support one another and light a fire under our Senators, then we can set
the stage for some very significant progressive victories on the crucial
battles to come.

-- Bob Fertik and David Lytel

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From: jh@josephholmes.com
Subject: A Supreme Court Chronicle

Dear Friends,

I found the following USA Today article on the Supreme Court's recent
history very interesting. It nevertheless leaves us with little hope
to prevent a major shift to the right in this already right-leaning
court that will last for decades, except the hope provided by an
apparently weak-kneed Senate opposition. It may be that the only way
to stimulate the Democrats in the Senate to keep extremists out of
the federal judiciary is to bury them in letters. O'Connor will
probably retire first. Then Rehnquist. O'Connor's departure will
remove her critical swing vote on many issues if the Senate dems roll
over on nominations. Rehnquist's replacement will serve to add
thirty years or so to his seat's extremist positions, insuring
decades of injustice, again unless the Senate dems stand up for us.
Pray that Stevens can hold out until we get the White House back.

Clearly there is an unprecedented level of outrage in the nation
today. Let's keep it that way.

Joe Holmes



01/22/2001 - Updated 02:39 PM ET
Election decision still splits court

By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON - Six weeks after an uneasy U.S. Supreme Court cleared the
way for Republican George W. Bush to become president, the scars left
on the nation's highest court by the Florida election case are

The court's nine justices, uncomfortable with their role in such a
high-stakes political contest, have remained tense with one another
since the 5-4 ruling that shattered many Americans' image of the
court as an institution above the partisan politicking that goes on
across the street in Congress.

The court has been slow to get back into its routine caseload, and
justices have been meeting with each other and their staffs to try to
ease any lingering bitterness and to boost morale. The justices'
clerks, the young and ambitious worker bees behind the court's white
marble edifice, nevertheless are nursing grudges.

Meanwhile, the court has been bombarded with thousands of letters
from angry Americans, some of whom have sent in their voter
registration cards, suggesting that going to the polls in November
was a waste of time. "For shame!" one letter said. Many messages to
the justices have been sarcastic, others more menacing - including
one with an illustration of a skull and crossbones.

More significantly, there are signs that the fallout from Bush vs.
Gore has become a factor in at least one justice's yearnings for
retirement. Sandra Day O'Connor has told people close to her that in
her two decades on the court, she's never seen such anger over a
case. O'Connor, more than any justice, has seemed disturbed by the
public wrath directed at the court.

People who know the 70-year-old justice's personality and politics
believe the election fallout - and a desire to spend more time with
her husband, John O'Connor, as he faces health problems - could lead
the nation's first woman justice to retire as soon as this summer,
when the 2000-2001 term ends. John O'Connor, 71, a lawyer, had a
heart pacemaker implanted in 1999 and has had more health problems
since, say people close to the couple.

Justice O'Connor refuses to comment on such speculation and has gone
about hiring staff for next year. If she were to leave the Supreme
Court, it would give President Bush a chance to have an immediate
impact on the court. Bush says he wants judges who will
conservatively interpret the Constitution, and has held up Justices
Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas as models.

Others in the new administration invoke a "no more David Souters"
mantra, referring to the justice appointed by Bush's father in 1990.
Souter is far more moderate than conservatives expected and regularly
votes with the court's liberal wing. O'Connor often casts the
deciding vote and, as a swing justice, crafts the court's rationale
on some of the most hotly debated issues, including abortion rights,
affirmative action and the line between federal and state power.

In the Florida case, she sided with the court's conservatives in
supporting Bush's argument and blocking Democrat Al Gore's push for
further ballot recounts. Sources say the decision was particularly
uncomfortable for O'Connor, in part because she, along with Chief
Justice William Rehnquist, 76, stood as potential beneficiaries of a
Bush election victory. Both have considered retirement, and it's
accepted among court analysts that the two justices, both
Republicans, would prefer that a GOP president name their successors.

Rehnquist's distaste for the scenario that put the election in his
court's hands was apparent during an address on Jan. 1, when he
departed from protocol by mentioning a specific case that had come
before the court - the Florida recount dispute. He said he hopes such
a case never again lands at the court.

"This presidential election tested our constitutional system in ways
it had never been tested before," said Rehnquist, who joined O'Connor
in the majority. He said he hopes such involvement "will seldom, if
ever, be necessary in the future."

The Florida case cast an unwanted spotlight on a court that is
unaccustomed to significant public attention, much less harsh
criticism. It is an insular place of strict decorum and deliberate
mystery. Justices rarely agree to be quoted, and their clerks are
pledged to secrecy.

But an examination of the court's activities and interviews with more
than two dozen people close to the justices reveal new details about
the fallout from the Florida ruling, and about the court's struggle
during the second week of December to reach a decision as an anxious
nation waited.

The roots of discord

On Dec. 12, a flurry of holiday cheer in the building masked the
wrenching negotiations behind the scenes over the Florida case. As a
team of workers put colored lights on the court's 22-foot Christmas
tree in the Great Hall, the nine justices were in their chambers,
wrangling over the law.

At the start, it didn't seem so hard. In the early deliberations the
five conservative justices who on Dec. 9 had halted the recounts
ordered by the Florida Supreme Court - O'Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia,
Thomas and Anthony Kennedy - seemed to be on the same page. In fact,
Rehnquist initially believed a decision would come on Dec. 11, the
day the court heard oral arguments in the historic case. The chief
kept the courthouse staff on duty late that day.

But shortly after the staff ordered Chinese carryout, it was told to
go home. One factor that complicated things was a decision by the
Florida Supreme Court that evening in which the state court clarified
its grounds for intervening in the ballot controversy. That made it
more difficult for the justices to assert that the state panel had
improperly set new rules of state law.

The five conservative justices fractured into essentially two camps:
Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas, who continued to believe the Florida
court had acted illegally and infringed on legislative power; and
O'Connor and Kennedy, who agreed that any recounting would be
improper but were turning to alternative grounds, the different
standards that Florida counties had been using for recounts. They
believed this could violate the Constitution's guarantee of equal
protection under the law.

Meanwhile, those two justices were being pressured by two of the
court's four liberals - Souter and Stephen Breyer - to adopt a
compromise that would acknowledge the lack of standards for recounts
but permit a review of the disputed ballots to continue under new

Kennedy, who was especially worried about the various county
standards for determining voter intent, took on the responsibility
for writing much of what became the court's unsigned decision. But he
has a slow, deliberate style that works against him when under
pressure. Court sources say that he at times simply froze.

In the Florida case, crafting a constitutional principle that spoke
for any majority would have been difficult for the swiftest writer.
What finally was released the night of Dec. 12 - two hours before a
midnight deadline that would have raised the possibility of
congressional intervention - was a thin mix of precedent and legal
reasoning. The court's decision stopping the recounts was a novel
interpretation of the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection
that included a declaration that the ruling shouldn't affect other

Agreeing to the opinion were Rehnquist, O'Connor, Kennedy, Scalia and
Thomas - all ideological, if not political, conservatives. The
liberals - Souter, Breyer, John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- dissented.

Souter and Breyer, who shared concerns about a statewide standard,
had fought hard for a compromise. They wanted to avoid a ruling that
would seem little more than a political calculation. More
importantly, they believed that Florida's disputed ballots had to be
tallied to make the election results credible.

They tried to identify with the concerns of O'Connor and Kennedy. But
as time ran out, O'Connor and Kennedy said there was no practical way
to swiftly set new standards. Rebuffed, Breyer and Souter left the
courthouse in frustration.

The two other dissenters were no less unhappy. Stevens said the
decision wounded the nation and would undercut its respect for
judges. In Ginsburg's dissenting statement, she dropped the customary
"respectfully," from her closing words and said only, "I dissent."

Repairing the damage

There is a philosophy among the justices that rehashing a case or
holding a grudge is useless and counterproductive. As lifetime
appointees, they must return to each other's company. The justices
are known for saying that they decide a case and move on, and in fact
Thomas said shortly after the Florida ruling that the court was doing
just that.

But this case - which exposed the court to public outrage it hadn't
faced in decades - wasn't easily filed away.

While many Americans supported the ruling and wanted the recount
debacle over, "a lot of the public is looking at this as a bad call
in the seventh game of the World Series," Stanford University law
professor George Fisher says. "It's not surprising to have unusual
tensions over this case."

When the justices returned to the bench this month for the first
round of oral arguments since the ruling, they seemed both wearier
and testier. O'Connor, who often snaps at the lawyers who come before
the court, at times has been visibly impatient with her fellow
justices. In one citizenship case, she implied that her colleagues'
questions were inconsequential and, in a voice dripping with
annoyance, told the lawyer at the lectern, "I'm concerned that your
time will expire before you've addressed either point that may be
critical here."

The justices have been slower to resolve cases that are pending from
oral arguments in the fall. So far this term, the court has issued
only about half the number of major rulings it usually puts out by
the four-week winter recess, which begins today. This will be the
first time in at least a decade that on the last court day before the
recess, the justices have no decisions ready to hand down.

Meanwhile, signs abound that some justices are trying to help the
healing process.

O'Connor and Breyer have lunched in private, and individual justices
have met with their young clerks to try to keep them from becoming
disillusioned by the fallout from the Florida case. Sources say that
some clerks for the liberal justices are dismayed at the court's role
in the case, while clerks for conservative justices believe the
ruling was one of integrity and are angered by nationwide criticism
of the court.

That criticism began close to home, with the resignations of a few
members of the Supreme Court bar, the group whose members are
eligible to argue before the justices. Although such a move is
largely symbolic - most of the tens of thousands of lawyers qualified
to practice before the court never actually get the opportunity -
court officials cannot recall lawyers ever protesting a ruling in
such a way.

Beyond Washington, the court's ruling has been skewered by some legal analysts.

A refrain that has become popular among dissatisfied law professors
is, "What will I tell my students?" Yale University law professor
Akhil Amar answered that in an opinion piece in the Los Angeles
Times: "It will be my painful duty to say, 'Put not your trust in
judges.' "

Michael Greve of the American Enterprise Institute wrote in the
conservative Weekly Standard, "It would be silly to deny that
partisan considerations influenced the justices' rulings."

Court observers say that while certain justices have been barraged by
mail after controversial rulings - Harry Blackmun began receiving
hate letters in 1973 after writing the opinion in Roe v. Wade that
established abortion rights - it is rare that the entire court is
swamped with letters. In the days after the Florida ruling, thousands
of letters poured into the court.

Many voters who wrote the court accused the justices in the majority
- all GOP appointees - of playing politics. "I called them clowns in
robes," says Grandison Bartlett, 74, a retired business manager in
Forked River, N.J. "I figured it was payback time for Republicans."

But court insiders say the reactions that have most shaken the
justices have come from Americans who have questioned the justices'
personal motives.

One widely circulated tale involving O'Connor has it that at an
election night party Nov. 7, O'Connor became visibly upset when
network anchors first said Gore had won the critical state of
Florida. Her husband told others at the party his wife was upset
because the couple wanted to retire and that she preferred a GOP
president name her successor. USA TODAY sources confirmed much of the
story, first reported in the Wall Street Journal and Newsweek, but
some suggest O'Connor was angry that the election was being called
for Gore while West Coast polls were still open. Yet, her husband's
comments fueled speculation that O'Connor is mulling retirement.

"She is more central to the court than anyone," says University of
Chicago law professor Dennis Hutchinson. "She is the one who has
defined the standard for abortion rights, for affirmative action. If
she were to step down, it would be the most important appointment (to
the court) in nearly 15 years."


 From: jh@josephholmes.com
Subject: The Judiciary Committee's Contact Info


Dear Friends,

It looks as though there is a chance of stopping the Ashcroft nomination with a filibuster, requiring 40 of the democrats to act to defend us from this truly horrific candidate. This would be a rare event for a cabinet level nomination, although the GOP, including Senator Ashcroft himself, has used filibusters and secret holds extensively during the last eight years to stop very moderate Democratic nominees from being accepted, including for many federal judgeships, during a time when a huge percentage of such positions are unfilled and many cases are therefore unable to get court dates for years.

At no time should a man of such extreme views be allowed to become the person who recommends judges for all levels of the federal judiciary, let alone under the present circumstances. Every Attorney General and every District Attorney exercises a huge level of discretion in enforcing the law. Mr. Ashcroft's assurances that he will simply enforce the law as it is written are as false as the lies he told the Senate, in order to defeat Judge Ronnie White's nomination, purely to gain a political advantage in his recent, failed bid for re-election to the Senate. Additionally, Mr. Ashcroft repeatedly lied to the committee about his history of actions as Missouri Attorney General and Governor, in order to bolster his claim that he would simply act to enforce the law as written if he become the AG. Detailed explanations are available at the second link below.

I suspect that a strong No vote from the Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee would help to garner the necessary support on our side of the aisle to begin and sustain a filibuster. Senator Torricelli is alleged to have already decided in favor of Mr. Ashcroft. I have assembled the best available e-mail addresses and the Washington, D.C. office phone numbers of the eight Democrats on the committee below and offer them as a means to express your own feelings to the committee members conveniently. Telephone calls are supposedly ranked significantly higher than e-mails, but I can't be certain of that. The committee is in recess for a few days and will be considering what it has heard and written responses to further questions posed by committee members of various witnesses. Their decisions will become evident later next week, by which time the die will presumably have been cast.


Joe Holmes

See also: http://www.opposeashcroft.com/ and http://www.opposeashcroft.com/press/ash_010117.phtml for specifics on his numerous lies before the committee.


107th Congress Judiciary Committe of the Senate


Patrick Leahy (VT) senator_leahy@leahy.senate.gov (202) 224-4242

Edward Kennedy (MA) senator@kennedy.senate.gov (202) 224-4543

Joseph Biden (DE) senator@biden.senate.gov (202) 224-5042

Herb Kohl (WI) senator_kohl@kohl.senate.gov (202) 224-5653

Dianne Feinstein (CA) senator@feinstein.senate.gov (202) 224-3841 or (415) 393-0707
Russell Feingold (WI) http://www.senate.gov/~feingold/services/contactrdf.html#form (202) 224-5323

Robert Torricelli (NJ) http://torricelli.senate.gov/webform.html (202) 224-3224

Charles Schumer (NY) senator@schumer.senate.gov (202) 224-6542


Orrin Hatch (UT)

Strom Thurmond (SC)

Chuck Grassley (IA)

Arlen Specter (PA)

Jon Kyl (AZ)

Mike DeWine (OH)

Bob Smith (NH)

Jeff Sessions (AL)


 From: jh@josephholmes.com
Subject: A Few Choice Ashcroft Remarks

Thursday morning 1/18

Dear Friends,

Lest we be swayed by Mr. Ashcroft's nice-guy exterior in the Senate hearings, here are a few choice quotes that reveal his outlook on the world. Among other things he has been very much in the forefront, along with Scalia and friends, of the fight to enshrine the notion that a blastosphere is a person and deserving of all the rights thereof. The details of that story are particularly chilling.

The hearings are nearly over. Our time to comment is waning quickly.

Joe Holmes


The Ashcroft Record

"There are voices in the Republican Party today who preach pragmatism, who champion conciliation, who counsel compromise. I stand here today to reject those deceptions. If ever there was a time to unfurl the banner of unabashed conservatism, it is now."

John D. Ashcroft

Human Events
April 10, 1998

"They say you can't legislate morality. Well, you certainly can."

John Ashcroft

Chicago Tribune
May 25, 1998

"People's lives and fortunes have been relinquished to renegade judges, a robed contemptuous elite."

John D. Ashcroft

CPAC speech
March 6, 1997

"I'm a uniter, not a divider."

George W. Bush
2000 Campaign

"[Southern Partisan] helps set the record straight. You've got a heritage of doing that, of defending Southern Patriots like [Robert E.] Lee, [Gen. Thomas J. (Stonewall)] Jackson and [Jefferson] Davis. Traditionalists must do more. I've got to do more. We've all got to stand up and speak in this respect, or else we'll be taught that these people were giving their lives, subscribing their sacred fortunes and their honor to some perverted agenda."
John D. Ashcroft
Southern Partisan
2d Quarter 1998


* Ashcroft Misrepresents Facts on Desegregation Case: First day of testimony damages his credibility, says PFAW's Neas.
January 17, 2000

* ASHCROFT'S MISSOURI RECORD FOUND "DEEPLY DISTURBING": Second PFAW report examining Ashcroft's political record, this one focusing on his Missouri years.
January 13, 2000


* Remarks by Ralph Neas: PFAW president makes statement as second report is released.
January 13, 2000

* Ashcroft's Extreme Record: announcing PFAW's release of its report detailing Ashcroft's record in the Senate.
January 5, 2000

* What Others are Saying: Read articles, editorials, op-eds and testimony from other groups and individuals.

* The Case Against the Confirmation of John Ashcroft as Attorney General of the United States
Download the report in .pdf format

* The Case Against the Confirmation of John Ashcroft as Attorney General of the United States
Download the report in .pdf format

* John Ashcroft's Extremism Against Abortion Rights and Common Birth Control Methods


Sign the Petition!


* Overview: A concise summary of Ashcroft's extreme political history.


* Integrity: John Ashcroft's behavior as he pushed to defeat judicial nominee Ronnie White betrays a lack of honesty and integrity


* Civil Rights: The major points of John Ashcrofts abysmal record on civil rights.


* First Amendment: John Ashcroft's willingness to ignore our Constitution's First Amendment in matters of religion and free speech is reflected in his record.


* Women's Rights: Ashcroft's extreme positions on women's reproductive rights, including support for a constitutional amendment that could be used to ban common forms of birth control.


* Gay Rights: A summary of John Ashcroft's record of hostility towards equal rights for gay men and lesbians.


* The Environment: Ashcroft's stunningly awful record on environmental law - including opposition to emissions standards, clean water laws and communities' right to know about pollution risks - is highlighted here.


* Gun Safety: Ashcroft has been hailed as an ally by the NRA, voting against trigger locks and the assault weapons ban while supporting conceal and carry laws and gun show loopholes to regulation.


* Letter to the Editor: Use our sample letters to help you create your own letter to send to your local paper.


* Letter to the Judiciary Committee: Send a letter to one or all of the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.


* Help Locally: Find out what you can do to help organize folks in your area.


From: jh@josephholmes.com
Subject: Worse Than Watt

Here is an ominous opinion piece/story from the L.A. Times about Gale Norton.

Joe Holmes


Tuesday, January 9, 2001

Gale Norton Is No James Watt; She's Even Worse



Although she's earned such colorful epithets as "James Watt in a
skirt," amusing labels can't fully capture why Gale Norton, newly
nominated as secretary of Interior, is unfit to be entrusted with our
national parks, monuments and other public treasures. As her record
as a lawyer espousing the rights of polluters and corporate interests
shows, Norton's only qualifications for the job of Interior secretary
should be disqualifications.
Norton began her career litigating on behalf of cattlemen,
miners and oil companies at James Watt's Mountain States Legal
Foundation. She followed Watt to the Department of Interior, where
she advocated policies such as opening the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge to oil drilling. In the late 1980s, at the conservative
Pacific Research Institute, she helped plan litigation strategy to
enhance individual property rights at the expense of community
interests. As Colorado's attorney general, Norton implemented a
"self-auditing" procedure that allows polluters to evade
environmental fines and promoted legislation that would have
enshrined an extreme view of the "takings" clause of the U.S.
Norton's absolutist views on property rights and her hostility
to environmental protections place her far outside the mainstream of
even conservative legal scholarship on these issues. Specifically,
Norton promotes a radical interpretation, advanced by University of
Chicago law professor Richard A. Epstein, of the U.S. Constitution's
"takings clause," which bars government confiscation of private
property without compensation. Epstein has argued that the takings
clause "invalidates much of the 20th century legislation" by
requiring compensation for any government interference with property
rights "no matter how small the alteration and no matter how general
its application."
Norton has actually chided the Rehnquist Supreme Court for
interpreting the clause in a manner that "falls short of the role
discussed by Richard Epstein." Norton further advocates an
affirmative "right to build on one's property" and suggests,
remarkably, that "we might even go so far as to recognize a
homesteading right to pollute or make noise in an area."
Adoption of Norton's agenda would mean one of two things: Either
the government would have to pay polluters not to pollute, and thus
the Bush administration would have to set up a corporate welfare
program so large that it would make a farm bureau lobbyist blush, or
it would have to repeal most of our health, safety and environmental
laws. The second alternative is the one Norton clearly prefers. She
notes: "If the government must pay compensation when its actions
interfere with property rights, then its regulatory actions must be
limited." She views this "chilling effect on regulation" to be
"something positive."
But long-standing court interpretations of the takings clause
already offer important protections for property rights, and this
country has also been governed by the competing notion that
individual property rights cannot run roughshod over neighbors'
rights or the community interest. That's why we have laws to minimize
the effects of pollution on residential areas, keep adult bookstores
away from schools, and maintain parks and wilderness areas for
recreation. Norton's extreme property rights agenda would undermine
this careful balance.
The Interior Department's primary mission is to manage nearly
500 million acres of the public domain, including our national parks,
monuments and wildlife refuges. These lands are beset by pollution,
eroded by a maintenance backlog and under encroachment from
development. They already are encumbered with stale, frivolous or
otherwise defective claims of property interests asserted by timber,
oil and gas, mining and grazing lobbyists.
Interior also administers the Endangered Species Act and thus is
entrusted to protect our wildlife and plants. A critical component of
the act ensures that habitat modifications on private lands do not
harm protected species. Given Norton's extreme views on property
rights, landowners are sure to assert to the department that
"Secretary Norton believes what you are doing is unconstitutional."
Finally, Interior is charged with holding polluters responsible
when they harm publicly held natural resources. It is difficult to
imagine Norton, with her antipathy to regulatory solutions and her
advocacy of a "right to pollute," warming to this responsibility.
No choice for Interior secretary could have been more likely to
divide and less likely to unite than Gale Norton. By nominating her,
Bush has rewarded the corporate contributors who underwrote his White
House run, but he risks alienating the vast majority of Americans who
support strong environmental laws and protection of our public land.
Indeed, the more you learn about Norton, the more the label
"James Watt in a skirt" seems unfair to Watt.
- - -
Doug Kendall Is the Founder and Director of Community Rights Counsel,
a Nonprofit Law Firm

Copyright 2001 Los Angeles Times


From: jh@josephholmes.com
Subject: The Secretary of the Interior Matters!

Dear friends,

For any American who cherishes wilderness (or wildness) and who
thinks that Americans need to stand together to protect most of what
remains unspoiled today from the affects of our own demands for ever
more natural resources, the identity of the Secretary of the Interior
is a vital issue.

Unfortunately Gale Norton, the woman chosen by Mr. Bush to be our
nation's next steward for the federal lands and the many, many vital
policies that affect how they will be treated, is clearly an enemy of
the entire conservation movement, despite her stories for the media
about how she and her family love to go skiing in the mountains of
Colorado, her home state.

As outlined below, in two letters from the Sierra Club and another,
much longer one from virtually the entire American Wilderness
community, which was forwarded by the Southern Utah Wilderness
Alliance, Ms. Norton is, by all evidence, simply a more attractive
(i.e. sellable) version of James Watt. It is time to say NO to her
nomination. Please call your senators and congressperson about her.
I will call and write, as soon as I finish putting this letter

I should point out that writing or calling more than once about an
issue is also helpful, and these early days of the Bush era are among
the most crucial in which to send an avalance of letters and calls in
Washington's direction.

Letters to follow.

Thank you,


Joe Holmes


PS: Note that the instructions in the letter from the Sierra Club
are designed for their semi-automated response system, where if
<they> had sent you this letter, you could simply edit their letter,
and return it to them. Under this circumstance, it would be best to
contact the congress people directly I should think. Phone calls get
more weight, supposedly, than emails, and they are actually rather
exciting and satisfying, though the message tends to be very short.
One can call their office in D.C. or one of their local offices, with
numbers available at www.senate.gov, www.house.gov and



From: alert@sierraclub.org
Subject: Stop Nominee Gale Norton's Senate Confirmation
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2001 09:02:46 GMT

>You can take action on this alert either by email or
>preferably on the web at:
>Alert expires on January 26, 2001
>Here's what this alert is about:
>Stop Nominee Gale Norton's Senate Confirmation
>President-elect Bush's nominee Gale Norton would be
>a "natural disaster as Interior Secretary," according
>to Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director. The Sierra
>Club opposes Norton's nomination for Interior Secretary
>because she has long advocated opening up the Arctic
>National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, weakening the
>Endangered Species Act, and increasing oil drilling
>and mining on wildlands. Tell your Senator that Gale
>Norton and her extreme anti-environmental agenda are
>wrong for America's parks and wildlife.
>Gale Norton is an anti-environmental extremist whose
>record as a lobbyist for polluters, an attorney for
>the mining and oil industries, and a protege of James
>Watt makes her unfit to be Secretary of the Interior.
>The Sierra Club also opposes the nomination of Sen.
>John Ashcroft for Attorney General because he would
>be responsible for enforcing America's environmental
>laws, yet throughout his career he has voted to roll
>back environmental laws. Tell your Senators to oppose
>both Ashcroft's and Norton's confirmations.
>If you have access to a web browser, you can take action
>on this alert by going to the following URL:
>Just choose the "reply to sender" option on your email
>program, and edit the letter below as you wish. You
>must include the whole letter in your response including
>Please do not add your name and address to your letter.
>Action Network automatically does this for you.
>We STRONGLY encourage you to make edits directly to
>our sample letter below, and put the alert talking
>points into your own words. An individualized letter
>is worth ten computer generated letters. Of course,
>hundreds of unedited letters will still create a large
>impact, so please reply even if you don't have time
>to personalize the letter.
>Your letter will be addressed and sent to:
>Senator Dianne Feinstein
>Senator Barbara Boxer
>I urge you to oppose George W. Bush's nomination of
>Gale Norton for Interior Secretary. Gale Norton is
>an anti-environmental extremist whose record as a lobbyist
>for polluters, an attorney for the mining and oil industries,
>and a protege of James Watt makes her unfit to be Secretary
>of the Interior. Her extreme anti-environmental agenda
>is wrong for America's parks, wildlife and public lands.
>I would also like you to oppose the nomination of former
>Sen. John Ashcroft for Attorney General because, throughout
>his career, he voted to roll back the environmental
>laws he would be responsible for enforcing as Attorney
>Please take a stand to protect America's parks and
>wildlife, and oppose both of these nominations. Thank
>-------END OF LETTER-------------------------
Sincerely yours,

(Your Name and Address)




Here is the second letter.

Forwarded by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) and written
by the heads of most of the major environmental organizations!

Date: 1/11/01 11:41 AM
Received: 1/11/01 11:43 AM
From: AlertList@suwa.org
To: AlertList@suwa.org

Hello folks, we've got two important items this week:

before Jan. 18, and
2) THANK YOU ALL for successfully defending Utah's wilderness in 2000! (Be
sure and read this second item, we really want you to know how much we
appreciate your incredible grassroots activism!)



The next four years are looking grim at the Interior Department: The
Bush-Cheney nominee for Interior Secretary is Gale Ann Norton, a protege
of none other than Reagan's notorious Interior Secretary James Watt. As you
might guess, Ms. Norton is a vigorous proponent of polluters and extractors
over wildlife and wild lands.

and ask them to vote NO on the confirmation of Norton for Interior Secretary
because she represents a big step backwards for public lands protection
(details are below).

Just call the Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your
Senators, they'll patch you through. If you're not sure who your two
Senators are,
you can simply type in your ZIP code at http://www.congress.org/ and find

A strong NO vote, even if Ms. Norton is eventually confirmed, can rein in
the new administration and prevent them from appointing anti-environment
zealots in every powerful post at Interior.

For more background, read what the national environmental community is
saying in united opposition to Norton:



January 10, 2001

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the millions of Americans who are members of our
organizations, and the many more who care about protecting and preserving
our nation's public lands, we write to urge you to oppose the nomination
of Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior. Ms. Norton has a long record of
condemning basic federal lands stewardship as an intrusion on the extreme
"property rights" causes which she champions. Her positions and beliefs
are fundamentally incompatible with the Secretary of Interior's role as
steward of our precious natural resource heritage.

Ms. Norton publicly supports oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge, one of the world's last truly pristine wild places and a
critically important nursery ground for arctic wildlife. But that is only the
beginning. Her career evidences a long term commitment to undermining the
policies of land and wildlife protection for which the Interior Department
bears responsibility. She worked for four years for the Mountain States
Legal Foundation, an anti-environmental litigation group out of Denver
that is closely linked to the "wise-use" movement, which argues that national
lands should be open to exploitation. Mountain States is well known for
representing the interests of loggers, miners, cattle ranchers and water
developers in fights against environmental protections. While there, Ms.
Norton argued in a U.S. court that the Surface Mining Act - a law she
would bear responsibility for carrying out and enforcing as Interior
Secretary -
should be declared unconstitutional.

Moderate republicans with strong environmental records have distanced
themselves from the group for which Ms. Norton recently served as the
National Chairwoman: the Coalition for Republican Environmental Advocates
(CREA). This political action committee gets substantial funding from
industries hostile to environmental protections, including Coors Brewing
Co., American Forest and Paper Association, and The Chemical Manufacturers
Association, among others. CREA's first dinner included a keynote address
from Newt Gingrich and honorary members include Representatives Chenoweth,
Richard Pombo, and Don Young, all of whom are known for their outright
hostility towards environmental protection. CREA was denounced by the
Republicans for Environmental Protection who called the group a
"transparent attempt to fool voters who care about environmental

Ms. Norton promotes her radical anti-regulatory property rights views in
legal writings in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy and the
George Mason Law Review, even going so far as to recognize "a homesteading
right to pollute." In Ms. Norton's opinion the "chilling effect" of
requiring the government to pay compensation for environmental protection
is "something positive." These are disturbing views for a nominee to be
the chief trustee of our federal lands to espouse. This philosophy could lead
to policies that weaken federal land protections, as discussed later in
this letter.

Her past record illuminates many varied examples of her long-standing,
anti-environmental approach to decision making:

· Undermining Federal Responsibility for the National
Environmental Policy
Act. Ms. Norton testified before Congress that NEPA implementation ought
to devolve to the states and away from the federal agencies whose
decisions it is designed to inform. In fact, in speaking of the
federal lands over
which the Secretary of Interior presides, Ms. Norton advocated the view
that states are the "proper entities to implement environmental laws and

· Weakening Endangered Species Protections. In 1995, as
Attorney General,
Ms. Norton signed onto an amicus brief with the state of Arizona arguing
that including habitat in the definition of harm would be unconstitutional
and place states in the untenable situation of choosing between using land
to provide revenue and potentially violating the habit harm regulations.
By asserting that the federal government is not authorized to protect
wildlife habitat without compensating nonfederal landowners, she advances a
position that runs afoul of the ESA's stated goal to conserve
ecosystems. In the
6-3 decision, the Supreme Court upheld such authority of the Department of

· Endangering Western Water. On one Interior project, the original Animas
La Plata, Ms. Norton endorsed construction of a massive dam in
southwestern Colorado even though biologists thought the project
would endanger rare

· Weakening Superfund Liability. Ms. Norton testified to Congress that
Superfund liability should only apply prospectively, not retroactively,
and refused to sign a letter that 35 other Attorneys General wrote to Congress
expressing their support for the natural resource damage provisions of
CERCLA. These two positions run counter to responsibilities she would need
to accept as the lead federal trustee for natural resource damage claims
on our nation's public lands.

· Relaxing Environmental Safeguards. As Attorney General for
Colorado, she
supported measures that would relax otherwise applicable environmental
safeguards if businesses volunteered to regulate themselves. For example,
she supported a Colorado law that gave polluters immunity if they reported
environmental violations and pledged to clean up their act. The EPA
criticized the law because it kept details of companies' actions
confidential, preventing citizens and government agencies from
investigating even egregious violations that could have dramatic impacts
on public health and the environment. Her stance on this issue is troubling,
because as Secretary of Interior she might be willing to let companies
that operate on or near public lands regulate themselves. This approach could
result in a situation similar to the one that occurred during her tenure
as Colorado's Attorney General when a gold mining company acting under a
self-regulation regime committed ongoing criminal violations of
environmental laws resulting in massive and ongoing cyanide contamination
of the Alamosa River in the Colorado mountains. EPA had to intervene to
address the contamination.

· Challenging Federal Regulation of Surface Mining. Ms. Norton filed an
amicus brief in 1980 on behalf of the Virginia Surface Mining and
Reclamation Association in which she states that the Surface Mining Act
"should be declared unconstitutional."

· Lobbying for Polluters. Since leaving her job as attorney general in
1999, Ms. Norton has been lobbying Congress and the Colorado state
legislature on lead paint issues on behalf of NL Industries, a Houston
company formerly known as National Lead Co. The company has been named as
a defendant in suits involving 75 Superfund or other toxic-waste sites, in
addition to a dozen lawsuits involving children allegedly poisoned by lead

· Downplaying Global Warming. On the issue of global warming, one of the
most serious challenges facing the global environment, Ms. Norton
co-authored an op-ed in 1997 in which she declares that she does not think
the problem exists. She stated: "There is little consensus over whether
global warming is occurring." It is alarming that Ms. Norton has taken a
public view that is at odds with the consensus opinion of the international
science community, when DOI plays a vital role in interagency cooperation
concerning finding solutions to global warming.

We also harbor serious concerns that Ms. Norton's views on private
property rights could affect her ability to be a careful steward of
our national
lands. As noted above, Ms. Norton's extreme views on property rights have led
to her opposition to effective implementation of the Endangered
Species Act, a law
she will be charged with implementing at the Interior Department.
There are numerous
other instances where the Secretary of Interior makes decisions about the
need for public protections on private lands. For example, under the
Clean Air Act, federal land managers of "Class 1 areas" (which includes most
national parks) evaluate the impact of proposed new air pollution sources
near national parks on the air quality-related values of the parks
including impacts on visibility, and impacts on sensitive flora and fauna.
If these federal managers demonstrate to the state permitting authority
that an adverse impact will be caused in the park and the state agrees,
the permit cannot be issued. As Secretary, Ms. Norton could establish
procedures or criteria that would effectively hobble the ability of
federal managers to participate in state permitting actions.

In addition, the Secretary makes critical recommendations about how
private inholdings adjacent to park lands are developed and used. As Secretary,
Ms. Norton could prevent the National Park Service from exercising the right
to condemn private inholdings in national parks when the use of these
inholdings jeopardizes park resources. This would open wide the door to
massive private development within national parks where there are
inholdings on sensitive lands or in sensitive places.

Finally, as Interior Secretary, Norton would be responsible for countless
Environmental Impact Statements pertaining to federal projects on federal
land. From her testimony, it appears Ms. Norton would prefer not to
exercise that responsibility, but instead leave it to individual states to
conduct the primary assessment of environmental impacts, whether or not
they favored or opposed the federal management decision under
consideration. This kind of "devolution" of authority over federal lands
is a direct lineal descendant of the "Sagebrush Rebellion" championed by
her early mentor James Watt on behalf of the businesses and user groups
most responsible for damaging public lands.

For all these reasons, we urge you to review closely Ms. Norton's record
and consider her ability to safeguard the lands, wildlife and waters that
Americans hold so dear - for themselves and their future generations. It
would be a pity to waste the progress we have made, and we believe that
the nomination of Ms. Norton would represent such a momentous shift backwards
that we take the drastic step of calling for opposition to her nomination
for Interior Secretary.


John H. Adams
Natural Resources Defense Council

Deb Callahan
League of Conservation Voters

Rodger Schlickeisen
Defenders of Wildlife

William H. Meadows
The Wilderness Society

Cindy Shogan
Executive Director
Alaska Wilderness League

Doug Kendall
Executive Director
Community Rights Counsel

Vawter Parker
Executive Director
Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund

Carl Pope
Executive Director
Sierra Club
Brock Evans
Executive Director
Endangered Species Coalition

Brent Blackwelder
Friends of the Earth

Gene Karpinski
Executive Director
U.S. Public Interest Research Group

Philip Clapp
National Environmental Trust

Larry Young
Executive Director
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

Susan Tixier
Great Old Broads for Wilderness

you can check http://SayNoToNorton.org -- coming soon.



Your Letters and Phone Calls Made the Difference!

The year 2000 saw many threats to Utah wilderness, both in Congress and
in the land management agencies -- and your tremendous activism defeated them
time and again. THANK YOU ALL for a great activist year defending Utah

SUWA e-mail alerts give us an opportunity to inform you of threats both
large and small, and to generate rapid opposition to them; the timeliness
of e-mail means that we can shoot down many bad proposals even before
they get off the ground. But we could do none of it without your help. Your
love of the redrock wilderness comes through in your letters and calls,
and often these are the single most important thing that activists can do to
protect Utah's wild places. Thanks for speaking out on behalf of
America's Redrock Wilderness!

Here are some of the threats that your responses to SUWA e-mail alerts
help shut down in 2000. Pat yourself on the back, because these are successes
that simply would not have been possible without your help:

* The blatantly anti-wilderness San Rafael "Not-So-Swell" bill reared its
ugly head in several incarnations. Your letters and calls helped slow it
down every time it came up, and helped to win the decisive House votes that got
the bill withdrawn.

* Rep. Jim Hansen's anemic Basin and Range bill never got out of
committee, thanks to your efforts.

* Your letters delayed a proposed gas production well in the White River
Wilderness Inventory Unit.

* Your comments helped to force the BLM to generate a Grazing EIS for
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Their final Management Plan for
the monument did not address grazing; now your letters will be critical in the
formulation of the Grazing EIS.

* Your attendance at ORV policy meetings and your written comments made
the BLM and Congress aware of the outrage many citizens feel about the
increasing damage caused by Off Road Vehicles. Without your help, the
long-overdue ORV policy formulation process would have been guided only by
the same people who commit the abuse.

Even as we celebrate these successes, 2001 brings a new administration and
fresh threats to Utah wilderness. With your continued help, we can stop
these new threats as effectively as we stopped those last year. Thanks
again for making those calls and writing those letters; they make all the
difference in the world.


From: jh@josephholmes.com
Subject: Details of the Case Against the Bogus Electoral Votes

Forgive me for one last piece today.

Here is some additional detail in support of challenging the
validity of the Texas and Florida electoral votes. The Congress
meets at 1:00 PM Eastern tomorrow.

If you use the URLs at the top of each section to visit the actual
pages, then the other links in the text will become active, though
they are not here.


Joe Holmes


The Case Against Florida's Electors

I. Republican state election officials and others engaged in acts of
official misconduct and deliberate fraud and were part of a
conspiracy to suppress voter turnout through illegal methods:

Before the election, Republican Secretary of State Katherine Harris
spent $4 million of taxpayer funds to hire a firm with ties to
far-right activists to purge voters who were allegedly felons. The
list of "felons" included 8,000 American citizens - mostly minorities
- who committed only misdemeanors and thousands of innocent people -
again mostly minorities - with the same names as felons. By this
action almost 58,000 U.S. citizens were denied due process and the
right to vote.
Secretary Harris unlawfully certified the election results from 20 of
Florida's 67 counties without requiring - as mandated under Florida
law for elections decided by one half of one percent or less - that
they conduct automatic machine recounts. While publicly denying
knowledge of the failure of almost a third of Florida's counties to
be in compliance with the law, Harris's office privately knew the
Secretary Harris unlawfully accepted and certified the results of
hand recounts in six Florida counties that produced an additional 400
votes for George W. Bush while rejecting the results of hand recounts
in other counties.

II. Republican county election supervisors and others engaged in
official misconduct and deliberate fraud:

1. In Duval County, a pre-election purge of the voter rolls
unlawfully removed 22,000 voters - mostly African Americans -- who
voted in the primary election in August but were denied the right to
vote in November. Another 27,000 votes cast on election day were
discarded, primarily in African-American sections of Jacksonville.
This represented one-fourth of the votes in certain precincts. The
Republican Supervisor of Elections unlawfully withheld these facts
from local Democrats until the deadline for requesting a recount had
2. Lake County: The Republican county canvassing board rejected
all ballots in which the voter not only correctly penciled in his or
her choice in the appropriate oval beside the candidate's name but
also emphasized that choice by writing in the candidate's name, just
below a line that carries the instruction "WRITE IN." This is a
willful violation of the state of Florida's election law directing
that ballots be counted where the clear intent of the voter is
3. Miami-Dade County: Investigations by news organizations have
uncovered several hundred ineligible persons, including Cuban
citizens, who were permitted to vote on election day. These
investigations of only a fraction of the Miami-Dade election
districts suggest a total number of ineligible persons being allowed
to vote numbering in the thousands. In addition, the methods used to
secure and vote absentee ballots that were found by the Florida
Supreme Court to be unlawful in 1998 were repeated in this election,
resulting in an untold number of fraudulent ballots.
4. Broward County: In addition to evidence of voting by
thousands of non-citizens, we believe there is sufficient evidence to
uncover a conspiracy that involved controlling precincts through
workers that enabled the fraudulent introduction of pre-punched
ballots into certain precincts, a conspiracy to generate fraudulent
absentee ballots, and unlawful activities to suppress voter turnout
including the purposeful assignment of non-working voting machines to
precincts that were heavily black and Democratic.
5. Seminole and Martin Counties: Election supervisors have
already admitted providing favorable treatment for Republican voters
who requested absentee ballots that was denied to Democratic and
independent voters. Republican election workers were permitted to
correct incomplete absentee ballot requests, and those requests were
honored even when the Republican election workers failed to correctly
complete the forms.
6. Okaloosa County: The election supervisor directed that
optical scanning machines be programmed not to reject erroneous
ballots, resulting in an inflated number of uncounted ballots.
7. Our examination of ballots in four other counties is
producing evidence of post-election ballot tampering to reduce the
number of overvotes (Jackson), a massively inflated number of
overvotes in only the presidential race (Gadsden), and statistical
anomalies in the election results (Liberty and Calhoun).

III. Vice President Gore won more votes in Florida
When the Florida Supreme Court ordered a statewide manual recount on
December 8, Bush's lead was only 154 votes. More recently, news
media recounts in Lake and Broward counties gave Gore 294 votes,
putting Gore ahead of Bush for the first time - by 140 votes. As more
manual recounts are completed throughout Florida, Gore's lead will
grow into the thousands.

The Texas electors may also be subject to a challenge over the
requirement a president and vice president be inhabitants of
different states




On December 18, the 32 Electors from Texas violated the 12th
Amendment. As a result, their votes are also invalid and should also
be rejected by Congress.

The 12th Amendment is unambiguous:

The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by
ballot for President and Vice President, one of whom, at least, shall
not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves...

Richard Cheney has been an "inhabitant" of Texas since he become CEO
of Halliburton in 1993 and moved into an expensive home in a Dallas
suburb. He claims that he became an "inhabitant" of Wyoming on July
20, 2000 when he traveled there briefly to change his voter
registration. In fact, he may have committed a felony by falsely
claiming Wyoming residency.

Several lawsuits have been filed challenging the legitimacy of the
Texas Electors. Republican judges have sided with Cheney, claiming
that the Constitution's "inhabitancy" standard is equivalent to
current "residency" standards. But the "original intent" of the 12th
Amendment was to determine where the candidates "lived" in the plain
meaning of the word. Thus, the proper standard for judging
"inhabitancy" would be the stricter standard of "domicile," not

The Supreme Court asked Bush-Cheney to respond to the lawsuit on
appeal by January 10. This is too late to assist Congress in its
deliberations, but Members of Congress can make their own
determination of Cheney's compliance with the plain meaning of the
12th Amendment.


Non-Lawyers Guide to the Challenge of Electors The Texas electors
may also be challenged

The Layman's Guide to the Congressional Challenge of Florida's Electoral Votes

By Mark Levine, Esq.

Q: So I read that it is now "unofficial" that Gore got the most
votes in Florida.
A: The evidence is overwhelming, even though very few US newspapers
(mostly in Florida) feel that democracy is important enough to report
on who actually won the election. Indeed, the best articles I've
seen on Gore's Florida win come from the UK.
See http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4109842,00.html
Q: But even though Gore won Florida, I guess it's too late to do
anything about it, right?
A: No. There's still time. On Saturday, January 6, Congress must
accept Florida's electoral state for the votes to be counted. Recall
that in 1961, Hawaii's votes were also submitted in early January,
and the were counted.
Q: Yeah, but Gore's already conceded. Congress will never challenge
the results.
A: Actually, Gore is REQUIRED BY LAW as President of the Senate
(whether he likes it or not) to ask if there are any challenges to
any State's electoral votes when he reads each state in alphabetical
order. The entire procedure is laid out in detail under Federal Law.
(3 USC Sect. 15)
Q: How many members of Congress does it take to make a challenge?
A: Two.
Q: Just two????
A: Yep. Only one Congressman/woman and one Senator.
Q: Then what happens?
A: Each House is required by law to debate the issue for 2 hours,
then both sides must vote. If a majority vote to uphold the
challenge in each House, Florida's votes aren't counted, and Gore
wins by 267 to 246.
Q: I thought Gore needed 270 to win.
A: Nope. The Twelfth Amendment to the US Constitution only requires
"a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed." If no
Florida Electors are lawfully "appointed," Gore would just need a
majority of the remaining 513 Electoral Votes.
Q: Have states ever been left out of the Electoral College before?
A: Yes. In 1864, President Lincoln was re-elected, even though
eleven rebel Southern states did not send electoral votes to
Washington, DC.
Q: So what is the standard for rejecting Florida's electoral slate?
A: The slate can be rejected if the electors have not been "lawfully
certified." (3 USC Sect. 15)
Q: What does that mean?
A: That the electors must be chosen "under and in pursuance of the
laws" of Florida. (3 USC 6)
Q: C'mon, lawyer. Get to the point.
A: If electors were not chosen based on Florida law as it existed on
Election Day, then Florida's electoral vote can and should be
challenged and not counted.
Q: What was Florida law on Election Day?
A: That the counties could use a variety of voting systems and a
variety of counting systems, as long as they looked at the "totality
of the circumstances" to determine the "intent of the voter."
Q: But the US Supreme Court held that was unconstitutional.
A: Exactly.
Q: Now one thing I never understood: was the count certified by
Katherine Harris unconstitutional or was the recount ordered by the
Florida Supreme Court unconstutional?
A: Both were unconstitutional. Indeed, several justices who
disagreed with the Florida Supreme Court recount decision conceded
that it was more fair than Harris's count, just not fair enough. One
thing's for certain though: under neither count were all the
counties treated equally, not by a long-shot. Some counties were
handcounted (such as 6 Republican counties, giving Bush 400+ votes);
some were not (Miami-Dade comes to mind). Even the optical scanning
counties did not count their votes in the same manner. If Lake
County, for example, had handcounted its optical-scanning equipment
using the exact same method that Orange County used (by counting
voters who both filled in the Presidential oval and wrote in their
Vice-Presidential choice instead of just discarding their ballots),
Gore would have gotten an additional 130 votes. See the story in the
Orlando Sentinal
Q: So neither the Harris-count nor the Florida Supreme Court count
were constitutional.
A: Not according to the US Supreme Court.
Q: Was either count legal under Florida law?
A: The Florida Supreme Court is the final arbiter of Florida law,
and they rejected the Harris certification as illegal under Florida
law. Although their recount was legal under Florida law, it was
declared unconstitutional
and prevented by the US Supreme Court, who insisted that Florida's
law be changed after Election Day.
Q: I thought if Florida's law was changed after Election Day, it was
subject to challenge by Congress.
A: Exactly. So since the US Supreme Court changed Florida Law after
Election Day, Federal Law REQUIRES Congress to reject the Florida
electoral vote.
Q: So you're saying that Florida's votes have NEVER been counted
legally, either under Florida law or under the Constitution.
A: I'm not just saying it. Even the Conservative Scalia Five back
me up on it. Florida's entire system was rejected as
unconstitutional. Thus, Congress must reject Florida's slate.
Q: Isn't the US Supreme Court the final arbiter here?
A: Not at all.
Q: No???
A: No! Article 3, Chapter 1 of the Federal Code makes clear that
Congress makes the final decision on electors and the US Supreme
Court has no power to change it. Indeed, following the disputed
election of 1876, Congress made explicit in legislative history that
these political decisions must be made by the political branches of
government as required by the Constitution, and NOT by the Supreme
Court that acted so politically in 1876 that Rutherford B. Hayes was
called His Fraudulency during his weak, one-term Presidency.
Q: And all Congress has to do is determine whether Florida's
electoral votes were "regularly given" under Florida law.
A: Right. You've seen all the news reports: the hanging chads, the
butterfly ballots, the Republican modification of
improperly-completed absentee ballot requests, the African-Americans
turned away at the polls due to Katherine Harris's false "felony
list." And these are just the tip of the iceberg. Do you think that
even a Republican member of Congress can honestly say that Florida's
votes were "regularly given" under the law?
Q: So what can I do?
A: Get on the phones again. Call your Congressman/woman and your
Senators (especially your Democratic Senators) and urge them to do
what is required by law: challenge Florida's electoral votes. If
you don't have a Democratic Senator, or just have some extra time,
please call Ted Kennedy, Paul Wellstone, Barbara Boxer, and Tom
Daschle. Here is a directory for looking up their phone numbers.


From: jh@josephholmes.com
Subject: Best Way to Contact Your Congressional Representative Quickly

Hello again,

It would appear that representatives for the most part don't have
publicly available email addresses.

The following link offers a better alternative anyway, when time is
short. It is a link to the official telephone directory of all 500
plus members of the House of Representatives. Just find yours from
the list and call them and let them know what's on your mind. The
young helper at the other end of the line will probably ask for your
name and address, so that they can know if you are a constituent and
where to send a written response.


There may only be one hour left to call them in time to influence
their actions (or inactions) tomorrow, when the electoral fraud of
all time will otherwise be perpetrated.


Joe Holmes


From: jh@josephholmes.com
Subject: New Republican Voter Fraud Found in Florida

Friday noon, 1/5/01


There is more: new evidence of major ballot fraud and tampering has
just been discovered in one of the first independent reviews of
ballots in a minor county in Florida. In Gadsden County, optical
ballots that were disqualified by reason of being overvotes were
found to have been tampered with, by having marks added after they
were voted for Al Gore, causing them to be disqualified. No such
tampering with any Bush ballots was found. This is just the tip of
the iceberg. As the rest of the counties are counted over the coming
months, the extent of the Gore lead will become quite large.

We must stop the acceptance of the Florida and Texas electoral votes
tomorrow! This is an outrage of immense proportions and import for
our nation! Please call your senators' offices and your
representative's office today. I just did. It's really easy. Just
go to www.senate.gov and link to their information. A nice person
working the phones at their local offices will take any brief verbal
message and add it to the tally of public opinions and it will count
the same as if you had called their Washington, D.C. offices, I am

Story below. Also, Gore's lead in the unofficial recount is now a
few hundred and growing fast.

One more thing -- Dick Cheney should be prosecuted for felony tax
evasion, if he is found by the fed to have been a resident of
Wyoming, while taking resident deductions on his actual home in
Texas. Only by being a non-Texan can the Texas electoral votes be
considered valid under the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Thanks in advance,


Joe Holmes




January 5 , 2001


JANUARY 4, 2001
9:30 AM
CONTACT: Democrats.com
David Lytel, 315-472-0581 or
Bob Fertik, 212-396-3457

Democrats.com Uncovers Official Misconduct in Count of Florida
Presidential Ballots
Calls on Congress to Reject Florida's Electoral Votes


WASHINGTON - January 4 - In the first manual recount of overvotes in
Florida's Gadsden County, Democrats.com today uncovered new evidence
of official misconduct in the Florida presidential election.

Using a Florida public records act request, Democrats.com attorneys
today examined overvotes, which are ballots that contained double
votes or extraneous marks that prevented them from being included in
the vote totals of each of the candidates. The Miami Herald and other
media organizations are looking at undervotes, or ballots for which
no vote for president was recorded by vote tabulation machines.

Democrats.com is the the largest independent community of Democratic
voters and activists with headquarters on the Internet
at http://www.democrats.com. More information on the newly revealed
unlawful actions by Florida election officials has been put on a
special Web site at http://www.trustthepeople.com

"Of the 1,900 overvotes examined today, 40 of them were clear and
obvious votes for Al Gore," said Florida attorney George Drumming,
who handled the examination of the ballots on behalf of
Democrats.com. These 40 were invalidated due to a smudge mark or
some other extraneous mark through some other candidate's name, most
done by a light pencil mark that was completely different from the
mark indicating the voter's preference. "There was not a single case
of mysterious extraneous marks appearing on any ballots for George W.
Bush," said Drumming.

The largest category of "overvotes" were from voters who marked their
ballots in the first column for Al Gore and then also marked another
presidential candidate in the second column. A total of 456 Gore
votes were disqualified for this reason. Not only were the ballots
unlawfully designed to spread the candidates in the presidential race
over two columns, but the instructions on the ballot said "vote for
group," suggesting the ability to vote for more than one
candidate. Only 45 Bush votes were disqualified for this reason.

"The disqualification of these 496 votes for Al Gore is a crime
against American democracy," said Democrats.com co-founder David
Lytel. "A simple examination by any human of these ballots shows the
clear preference of the voter. It is only because of the poor design
the ballot, the inadequacy of the instructions, the limits of the
optical scanning equipment itself, or tampering with the ballot
afterwards that these votes were not credited to Al
Gore." Correcting these mistaken official results from Gadsden
County results further extend Gore's lead over Bush, which was
already up to 260 votes in the unofficial recount.

"In light of this new evidence we are calling on Congress to
challenge the award of Florida's 25 electoral votes for George W.
Bush on Saturday," said Democrats.com co-founder Bob
Fertik. Congress will meet on Saturday January 6th. Under
constitutional procedures established more than 100 years ago, the
electoral votes of any state may be challeged by any member of the
House of Representatives in conjunction with any member of the
Senate. The challenge requires that each house debate and decide by
majority vote.

Democrats.com will be examining so-called overvotes in Jackson County
on Thursday and in Calhoun County on Friday.

"With all due respect to Vice President Gore, we believe that it is
the duty of the American people assembled in Congress to determine
how much election fraud we as a nation are prepared to accept," said
Fertik. "In short order we believe the clarity of Gore's victory in
Florida will become evident. The final tabulation - blocked for so
long by Republicans -- will show that Gore won Florida by several
thousand votes. And the magnitude of the Bush brothers' complicity
in the conspiracy to suppress voter turnout by illegal means will be
revealed. As these things happen, this vote that Republicans in
Congress will cast to uphold the Florida election results will become
a mark of dishonor that will cost a few of them their seats."

"We call upon all citizens to call and visit the offices of their
representatives urging Congress to challenge and then to reject
Florida's electors," added Lytel. Democrats.com is calling on
citizens to visit the local offices of their representatives in
Congress at noon on Friday January 5th to make their feelings known.

More about this campaign to reject Florida's electors as well as a
reporting of the evidence gathered so far by Democrats.com is
available at http://www.trustthepeople.com


From: jh@josephholmes.com
Subject: The Texas Electoral Votes Are Also Invalid

Thursday evening, 1/4/01


Hello again,

A visit to http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/3750/bush.htm will
illustrate just how it is that Dick Cheney is actually very much a
resident of Texas, not Wyoming as he is claiming, and his residency
makes the electoral votes of the state of Texas invalid under the
12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. For example, he and his
wife take a large deduction on their home in Texas which they are
entitled to only because they live there. This is a serious tax
evasion crime if one doesn't actually live in Texas, and there is a
lot more.

So it is not only the electoral votes of the state of Florida that
are invalid (for a very long list of reasons, which is still getting
longer as ever more, dishonest and illegal voting practices are
exposed -- oh and by the way, Gore is already now in the lead in the
Florida vote tally as the first two counties have been retallied by a
news organization, which two counties are just the tip of the

Both houses of the Congress must either simply accept the vote
tallies that they have been given, of if just one representative and
one senator object to any given state's votes, then both the House
and Senate must debate and then vote, and a simple majority in both
would invalidate the electoral votes in question.

I don't know whether a majority in only one of the two would do the
trick, but I doubt it. In any case, there <should> be some pretty
fierce debate on Saturday, rather than simple resignation to a
misguided sense of inevitability, even if the odds of finding five or
more House Republicans to vote against their party are frighteningly
close to zero.

As an aside, can you believe that the Senate Republicans are
insisting that in an evenly divided Senate that the committee chairs
should all be Republican and the committee memberships should all be
majority Republican?

I think it's long past time that the Democrats learned to play
hardball. Turning the other cheek doesn't entail failing to stand up
for one's principles.


Joe Holmes


From: jh@josephholmes.com
Subject: An Open Letter To Congress from Alan Hale

Thursday afternoon 1/4/01

Dear Friends,

Please open the link below, or refer to the text, pasted in below but without illustrations. It is a wonderful letter from Alan Hale, the scientist who co-discovered the Hale-Bopp Comet. It shares the concern of many Americans about how the recent Presidential election was conducted and resolved. He has written this Open Letter to the Congress of the United States. It is a short, reasoned, thoughtful analysis of the choice facing Congress this coming Saturday, and emphasizes the non-partisan, patriotic sentiments of many of us, who place country and the ideals of democracy above party.

Saturday, January sixth is the last chance this country has to reverse the disgrace and disaster that a Bush presidency will bring to democracy in this country and the world.

Please pass this on, and e-mail the congress about the issue before Saturday (by tomorrow), if you agree with Alan that the principles upon which our nation was founded are worth more than a passing thought!


Gary Braasch, Joe Holmes

To contact Congress:


The letter:

An Open Letter
to the Senators and Congressional Representatives
of the United States


from Alan Hale, astrophysicist
co-discoverer of Comet Hale-Bopp


Dear Senators and Representatives,

My name is Alan Hale.
I live in the mountains of southern New Mexico, and if you saw that beautiful comet that was shining in our nighttime skies during the spring months of 1997, then you've heard of me. Perhaps you may also be aware that during the past eighteen months I have led two delegations of American scientists and students on "scientific diplomacy" expeditions to Iran. In any event, if you'll forgive my being so presumptuous, I'd like to take a few minutes of your time and share my thoughts on the events of the past two months.

Long before I became known for finding a comet, I was a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy, and spent a few years thereafter as an officer in the U.S. Navy. My military "career" was nothing to brag about, but my experiences from those years of my life have not been completely lost upon me. One thing I remember is the oath of office I took both when I entered the Naval Academy, and four years later when I graduated and received my commission. The first lines read: "I solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same." I believe that your oath of office contains pretty much the same language.

Let's take a look at that Constitution of the United States. Its first three words were considered by its authors to be so important that they are written in far larger letters than any other words in that document. These three words are "We the People." These words are not "We the political parties." They are not "We the privileged few who have lots of money." They are not "We the partisan mob." In our governing document that we have all sworn our allegiance to, the founders of our nation made it absolutely clear with these three words that the true power of our government is to come from its people.

We can look further. Thomas Jefferson, in our nation's Declaration of Independence, gave us the classic words: "[G]overnments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Perhaps former President Abraham Lincoln said it best, when in the midst of a hideous war that literally split this nation apart, showed honor to those who had fallen by stating that they had made their sacrifices so ". . . that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

I was raised to believe in these ideals, and I'd still like to believe in them. But as I've watched the events of the past two months unfold my beliefs in these ideals have been severely betrayed. This goes far beyond the individual candidates involved in the Presidential election, and who I may or may not have supported. No, it is clear that I am watching the complete unraveling of all the principles upon which our nation was founded, principles that I was proud to represent as an American when I have visited places like Iran.

"We the People" chose a President for this nation. We, the governed, did not consent to have the political parties, or the Supreme Court, or a mob controlled by partisan Congressmen, intervene and choose our President for us. The installation of a President who was "selected" in this manner in defiance of the expressed will of the people spits in the face of everything we have been taught to believe in, dishonors the Constitution to which we've sworn our allegiance, and insults the memories of all those who have sacrificed so much for our nation.

But there is a solution. Title 3, Chapter 1, Article 15 of the U.S. Code states that when the Senators and Congressional Representatives certify the electoral votes on January 6, any Senator, together with any Congressional Representative, can challenge the electoral votes from any state for any reason. There is ample reason to challenge the votes from the state of Florida; the incredible reports of voting irregularities in that state -- with more coming to light almost every day -- and the media-initiated counting of previously-uncounted votes make it emphatically clear that the given electoral votes do not reflect the will of the people in that state, nor do they reflect the will of the people of this nation.

I urge you in the strongest possible terms to challenge and reject the erroneous and illegitimate electoral votes from Florida. This will take immense courage, and will take our nation into some uncharted territory; but we are a strong nation, and we are capable of finding a solution that accurately reflects the wishes and consent of its people. But if we instead take the easy way out, we will have demonstrated to the world, to our children, and to history, that we are not worthy of the principles that we have always espoused, and we will have disgraced ourselves for all to see.

You have an immense responsibility awaiting you on January 6. I hope that when you face that responsibility, you will remember the true power and authority behind our government, and that you will do the right thing by our nation's people.

I thank you for your patience with me, and in closing I'd like to share a personal statement. The comet that bears my name will return in about 2400 years, and I've often wondered, both to myself and in public, just what kind of world will greet it at that time. We have such a long ways to go. Will we finallybe free of war, of hatred, of bigotry, by then? Will we have matured enough as a species to be able to govern ourselves responsibly, and to be able to take care of our people, and our planet? There's only one way for us to find out. The answers begin with us, here, today.

Very respectfully,

Alan Hale
Cloudcroft, New Mexico



 From: jh@josephholmes.com
Subject: Electoral Disaster Revealed, Reform Needed


Dear Friends,

The full breadth of the flaws in American electoral processes was only just hinted at by the main stories coming out of Florida after November 7th. It turns out that devious human beings have utilized a very large number of dishonest devices to alter the outcome of elections, from throwing away mailings at the post office, to arresting minorities on election day, to dropping alleged felons from the voter rolls right before election day, to preventing counties with punchcard systems from using supplemental equipment that would prevent accidental overvotes, to having too few poll workers and voting machines to process the number of people who need to use them in certain precincts, to sending poll workers to the wrong precincts so that minority voters would be unable to get help in their native language, to altering ballot designs after they are shown to be one way in the paper, to demanding two forms of identification to be able to vote, to lord only knows what. The list is practically endless, and in some precincts as many as one vote in FIVE has been lost, only due to problems with the actual ballotting procedures, let alone other problems.

Our nation is awash in a sea of electoral fraud, and presumably has been for many decades or longer.

If we can put a stop to this, not only will we get electoral outcomes much more closely matching the actual preferences of the citizens, but many people will be encouraged to vote who would otherwise not bother to, out of disgust over their perception of the sliminess of the process. Opinion polls show 90% approval for electoral reform right now, so now is our chance to end this long history of anti-democratic practices!

Below find three articles that touch, in various ways on this topic, which is soon to become a very hot one in the Congress. We all need to let our senators and representatives, if not all of the senators and representatives, know how we feel about this issue too.

Remember, if our nation's electoral processes worked properly, the democrats would almost certainly control all of the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives for the next two years, instead of none of them! I would say let's join the 20th century, but we missed our chance!


Joe Holmes




(graphics of Chicago and Atlanta precints)
A Racial Gap in Voided Votes
Precinct Analysis Finds Stark Inequity in Polling Problems

By John Mintz and Dan Keating
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, December 27, 2000
The chads just weren't budging at Georgia Walters's polling place in a Southside Chicago grammar school on Election Day. The tiny cardboard rectangles wouldn't yield when the retired insurance saleswoman tried to poke them with the metal stylus. "I got those poll workers to yell out to the voters, 'Punch hard!' " she said.

"A lot of people don't vote as often as I do, and don't know you have to listen for that little 'katoop' sound to know you've punched through," said Walters, 56, who is black. "A lot of their votes were missed."

Her observation may be the enduring legacy of the Nov. 7 election -- the nation now knows that many ballots that are cast don't count as votes. In Florida, where the election hung in the balance, many African Americans discovered that their ballots were nullified at a much higher rate than those of whites.

That problem extended well beyond Florida. For example, in Atlanta's Fulton County, which also uses the old punch-card voting machines, one of every 16 of its ballots for president was invalidated, while two largely white and Republican-leaning neighbors using more modern equipment, Cobb and Gwinnett counties, had a rate of 1 in 200, The Washington Post found.
But in no state was the pattern as pronounced as in Illinois. A Post analysis found that in many black precincts in Chicago, one of every six ballots in the presidential election was thrown out, while almost every vote was counted in some of the city's outer suburbs.
Voters in Chicago's Cook County confronted an array of balloting complications that may have led them to either accidentally "overvote" (punch for two candidates) or "undervote" (fail to make a proper punch). The November ballot was extraordinarily long and confusing. Voters used rickety punch-card machines that are hard to operate at the best of times. The machines get so out of alignment that voters sometimes can't line up the holes to be pressed, and the plastic backing under the ballot can become so brittle or filled with discarded chads that it gets hard to punch the holes properly.

This also was the first presidential election in Illinois since the elimination of the "straight party" vote, which let people punch for an entire slate. Moreover, the GOP-led state Senate prevented Cook County from using a device on its machines that notifies voters of some mistakes and gives them a second chance to cast valid ballots.

Election experts say new and infrequent voters are the most likely to be affected by these kinds of balloting problems. On Election Day, the NAACP organized a massive get-out-the-vote drive for Vice President Gore, and NAACP officials say many of these new voters accidentally invalidated their ballots.
Ballots are thrown out, or "spoiled," for a number of reasons, including mistakes in voting, and the possibility that some people choose not to vote because they don't like the candidates. But voting experts say they doubt this explains why more black voters' ballots went uncounted than those of whites.
For generations Cook County has been a punchline for cynics saying that Democrats steal elections. But The Post's precinct-by-precinct analysis suggests Democrats have actually lost votes there for years -- and perhaps lost elections -- because large numbers of ballots of African Americans were not counted. This year, Gore won the state.
Cook County provides a case study of how the nation's patchwork system of voting machines, operated by often poorly funded local election bureaucracies, can play a role in these ballot discrepancies. The fact is dawning on black leaders that the greater the concentration of black voters, the higher the rate of votes that don't count -- which is generating anger across the black community.

"It's disturbing and unfair," Ronald Walters, a University of Maryland political scientist, said of the high nullification rate among blacks. "As a community, we place such emphasis on getting people to vote, we don't pay attention to what happens afterwards. . . . These disparities are apparently a tradition that goes back decades, through neglect or an eye blink."
Until last month's vote, few people in the political world grasped the scope of the country's problem with spoiled ballots. But in recent weeks, black leaders, among others, have moved the issue to the top of their agenda. Some contemplate voter education programs, lawsuits and lobbying to persuade state legislatures to fund improvements in voting machinery.
Thomas C. Adams, field director of the NAACP's National Voter Fund, said the higher rate of uncounted black votes recalls inequities that African Americans have confronted in the past. "This is an issue of voting rights and constitutional rights, which this country has struggled with for 200 years," he said. "The shame is that in the 21st century we thought we had gone beyond this, but we know now we're going to have to make it a priority."

Some election officials have had an inkling of this pattern, however vague, for years.

Cynthia Welch, elections chief in Atlanta's Fulton County, says she confronted the same problems this election as in the presidential election of 1992, when 108 of the county's 125 precincts with more than 5 percent ballot spoilage were in heavily black areas. "This system wouldn't make it through another election," Welch said of her 1964-vintage punch-card machines. She is seeking $3 million for the kind of new optical scan machinery used in her region's most prosperous neighboring counties.
Ohio State University voting specialist Herb Asher agreed that the discrepancies are not new. "Poor people are more likely to invalidate ballots because of their unfamiliarity with punch-card systems," said Asher, citing a study of his from 1978, when Ohio first used the equipment. Voters in well-to-do suburbs disqualified their ballots 2 percent of the time, he said, while voters in poor black areas did so as much as 20 percent of the time.
Cook County was among the jurisdictions using decades-old punch-card machines. While in past presidential elections, Cook County averaged a nullified vote rate of 2 percent, this time it was 5 percent.
JoAnn Robinson, Illinois director of the NAACP's National Voter Fund, thinks she knows why. This was the first presidential election since Republicans in the state Legislature pushed through a law in 1997 that ended voters' ability to vote a straight-party ticket, and she said many voters were confounded picking candidates individually for the first time. "In the past African Americans in particular knew all the pro-civil rights candidates were under the one-punch number," she said. "You just followed the directions to 'Punch 10.' "
The 40 telephone lines at Jesse L. Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition office in Chicago rang from morning till night on Election Day with callers flummoxed by the change. "People were so confused they didn't know what to do," said Alice Tregay, who helped run the phone bank. "They were saying, 'Where's the punch for the straight Democratic Party?' "
The Cook County ballot was the longest in memory -- 21 pages, with 400 candidates. The part on retaining 77 judges was spread over multiple pages, partially resembling the notorious "butterfly ballots" that confused voters in Florida. "The ballot was horrendous," Robinson said. "People got so confused. And the turnout was so huge, election [officials] got overwhelmed."
Even the board chairman of Rainbow/PUSH mistakenly punched for both George W. Bush and Gore before getting a new ballot, Tregay said.
"Most people were upset with those arrows that didn't square up with the names, and it was harder than ever to punch it to go through," said Carolyn White, 40, who says she votes in every election and is a trained poll worker.
The rate of disqualified ballots in Cook County ranged from one of every 20 ballots in precincts that are less than 30 percent African American to one of every 12 in precincts that are more than 70 percent African American, The Post found. In Chicago, there were 51 precincts where at least one of every six ballots lacked a valid presidential vote. Ninety percent of the residents in those precincts are black or Latino, and they voted 94 percent for Gore.

Cook County Clerk David Orr has launched a probe into the varying rates of nullified votes. "It's obvious class has something to do with it, and regularity of voting," he said. "We don't know how much of it was by choice."
The controversy has taken on a partisan cast. This election the Republican-dominated state Senate refused to let Cook County use equipment on its new $26 million ballot counting machines that catches many balloting errors. After filling out their ballots, voters feed them into counting machines in the precincts, which spit them out if certain types of mistakes are noted. Voters then get a second chance to cast valid ballots.
"We can dramatically decrease that number" of ruined votes by flipping on the second-chance devices, Orr said. Some 120,000 of Cook County's ballots didn't count -- 70,000 in Chicago and 50,000 in surrounding towns.

Some largely white, GOP-leaning counties nearby already are allowed to use this technology, which reduces their rate of nullified ballots to near zero.

Illinois GOP officials justify their stance by pointing out that some other nearby Republican-inclined counties near Chicago lack this second-chance technology, so Cook County should be banned from using it too.
"It sounds extremely political and partisan," said state Sen. Christine Radogno (R), who represents a district covering parts of mostly Democratic Cook County and Republican DuPage. "But if these [Democratic] voters were given an opportunity to correct their votes, it gives a partisan advantage to the area with that safety factor."

Some counties were allowed to use the second-chance equipment on their counting machines because they use a different kind of voting machinery. While Chicago and Cook County use punch-card machines, the heavily Republican and white DeKalb and McHenry counties nearby use optical scan equipment, on which voters mark ballots with a pen.
The Illinois legislature strictly regulates ballot machines, and while it has allowed the kinds of new optical scanners used by DeKalb and McHenry counties to employ the second-chance technology, it hasn't updated the law governing the approved operations of the type of older punch-card equipment Cook County uses.
Using the new equipment, DeKalb and McHenry reduced their ballot spoilage rates to 0.3 percent in this election -- a tiny fraction of Cook County's rate.
Patty Schuh, spokesman for the state Senate's GOP, said the chamber may take up the issue by spring but added, "It's no time to rush to fix it."
Ten years ago a candidate for Cook County clerk, Joanne Alter, released a detailed 48-page study showing how disproportionate numbers of votes cast by black voters were being discarded.
"The punch-card voting system used in Cook County has effectively disenfranchised poor voters by the tens of thousands," the study said.

It noted that in the 1988 presidential election, no vote was registered on 9 percent of the ballots in some of Chicago's black sections, while in the affluent suburb of Elk Grove the proportion was 1 percent. The report said high numbers of uncounted black votes helped defeat Democratic gubernatorial candidate Adlai E. Stevenson III in an extremely tight race in 1982.
"Nobody listened," Alter said in an interview last week. "I gave copies to the Cook County Board," and kept distributing it after her loss.
"People say it's a matter of money, but nothing could be more expensive to our democracy," she said. "My opponent hasn't done a thing."
Her opponent was Democrat David Orr, who has been county clerk ever since.
"We have actually done things like better training election judges and holding mock elections with high school students," said Orr's spokesman, Scott Burnham. "But we're still looking for solutions."

© 2000 The Washington Post Company


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January 1, 2001
Partisanship Rules

writing for The Nation


The Supreme Court decision effectively handing the presidency to George W. Bush reveals the intensely partisan nature of the Court's current majority. The Court, to be sure, has always been political, but rarely as blatantly as today. Nor are there many precedents for Justices trampling on their own previous convictions to reach a predetermined conclusion.

Chief Justice Roger Taney enlisted the aid of President-elect James Buchanan in persuading Northern Justices to join the pro-slavery majority in Dred Scott. Franklin Roosevelt conferred regularly with Justice Louis Brandeis, and Justice Abe Fortas served as a trusted political adviser of Lyndon Johnson. But never has there been a public statement as partisan as Antonin Scalia's when first suspending the recounts that the Court needed to insure "public acceptance" of a Bush presidency.

If there is a silver lining, it is that the last month suggests an agenda for democratic reform. First, the Electoral College should be abolished. The product of an entirely different political era, when the electorate excluded women, nonwhites and propertyless males, the Electoral College was created by a generation fearful of democracy. Its aim was to place the choice of President in the hands of each state's most prominent men, not the voters. It unfairly enhances the power of the least populous states and can produce the current spectacle of a candidate receiving a majority of the votes but losing the election. At the very least, electors should be chosen in proportion to the popular vote in each state.

Second, the Florida fiasco should lead to the reform of voting procedures. As with schools, roads and public services, the wealthiest districts have the best system of voting. The machines used in poor black precincts of Florida, the Miami Herald demonstrated, are so flawed that they are guaranteed to produce a larger number of spoiled or uncounted ballots than in affluent suburban areas.

One can only view with deep cynicism the Court majority's invocation of "equal protection" in rejecting a recount. Added to the Constitution in the Fourteenth Amendment after the Civil War, this language was intended to protect former slaves from discriminatory state actions and to establish the principle that citizens' rights are uniform throughout the nation. The current Court's concept of equal protection has essentially boiled down to supporting white plaintiffs who claim to be disadvantaged by affirmative action.

Nonetheless, by extending the issue of equal protection to the casting and counting of votes, the Court has opened the door to challenging our highly inequitable system of voting. Claims of unequal treatment by voters in poorer districts are not likely to receive a sympathetic hearing from the current majority. But Bush v. Gore may galvanize demands for genuine equality of participation in the democratic process that legislatures and a future Court may view sympathetically.

Equally difficult to accept at face value is the majority's disdain for the principle of federalism these very Justices have trumpeted for the past several years. Like the South before the Civil War, which believed in states' rights but demanded a fugitive-slave law that overrode the North's judicial and police machinery, today's majority seems to view constitutional principles as remarkably malleable when powerful interests are at stake.

The next time this Court turns down an appeal by a death-row inmate on the grounds that federalism requires it to respect local judicial procedures, the condemned plaintiff may well wonder why his claims do not merit the same consideration as those of the Republican candidate for President.




December 4, 2000
Making Every Vote Count




For years many of us have called for a national conversation about what it means to be a multiracial democracy. We have enumerated the glaring flaws inherent in our winner-take-all form of voting, which has produced a steady decline in voter participation, underrepresentation of racial minorities in office, lack of meaningful competition and choice in most elections, and the general failure of politics to mobilize, inform and inspire half the eligible electorate. But nothing changed. Democracy was an asterisk in political debate, typically encompassed in a vague reference to "campaign finance reform." Enter Florida.

The fiasco there provides a rare opportunity to rethink and improve our voting practices in a way that reflects our professed desire to have "every vote count." This conversation has already begun, as several highly educated communities in Palm Beach experienced the same sense of systematic disfranchisement that beset the area's poorer and less-educated communities of color. "It felt like Birmingham last night," Mari Castellanos, a Latina activist in Miami, wrote in an e-mail describing a mammoth rally at the 14,000-member New Birth Baptist Church, a primarily African-American congregation in Miami. "The sanctuary was standing room only. So were the overflow rooms and the school hall, where congregants connected via large TV screens. The people sang and prayed and listened. Story after story was told of voters being turned away at the polls, of ballots being destroyed, of NAACP election literature being discarded at the main post office, of Spanish-speaking poll workers being sent to Creole precincts and vice-versa.... Union leaders, civil rights activists, Black elected officials, ministers, rabbis and an incredibly passionate and inspiring Marlene Bastiene--president of the Haitian women's organization--spoke for two or three minutes each, reminding the assembly of the price their communities had paid for the right to vote and vowing not to be disfranchised ever again."
We must not let this once-in-a-generation moment pass without addressing the basic questions these impassioned citizens are raising: Who votes, how do they vote, whom do they vote for, how are their votes counted and what happens after the voting? These questions go to the very legitimacy of our democratic procedures, not just in Florida but nationwide--and the answers could lead to profound but eminently achievable reforms.

Who votes--and doesn't? As with the rest of the nation, in Florida only about half of all adults vote, about the same as the national average. Even more disturbing, nonvoters are increasingly low-income, young and less educated. This trend persists despite the Voting Rights Act, which since 1970 has banned literacy tests nationwide as prerequisites for voting--a ban enacted by Congress and unanimously upheld by the Supreme Court.

We are a democracy that supposedly believes in universal suffrage, and yet the differential turnout between high-income and low-income voters is far greater than in Europe, where it ranges from 5 to 10 percent. More than two-thirds of people in America with incomes greater than $50,000 vote, compared with one-third of those with incomes under $10,000. Those convicted of a felony are permanently banned from voting in Florida and twelve other states. In Florida alone, this year more than 400,000 ex-felons, about half of them black, were denied the opportunity to vote. Canada, on the other hand, takes special steps to register former prisoners and bring them into full citizenship.

How do they vote? Florida now abounds with stories of long poll lines, confusing ballots and strict limitations on how long voters could spend in the voting booth. The shocking number of invalid ballots--more ballots were "spoiled" in the presidential race than were cast for "spoiler" Ralph Nader--are a direct result of antiquated voting mechanics that would shame any nation, let alone one of the world's oldest democracies. Even the better-educated older voters of Palm Beach found, to their surprise, how much they had in common with more frequently disfranchised populations. Given how many decisions voters are expected to make in less than five minutes in the polling booth, it is common sense that the polls should be open over a weekend, or at least for twenty-four hours, and that Election Day should be a national holiday. By highlighting our wretched record on voting practices, Florida raises the obvious question: Do we really want large voter participation?


Whom do they vote for? Obviously, Florida voters chose among Al Gore, George Bush and a handful of minor-party candidates who, given their status as unlikely to win, were generally ignored and at best chastised as spoilers. But as many voters are now realizing, in the presidential race they were voting not for the candidates whose name they selected (or attempted to select) but for "electors" to that opaque institution, the Electoral College. Our constitutional framers did some things well--chiefly dulling the edge of winner-take-all elections through institutions that demand coalition-building, compromise and recognition of certain minority voices--but the Electoral College was created on illegitimate grounds and has no place in a modern democracy.

As Yale law professor Akhil Reed Amar argues, the Electoral College was established as a device to boost the power of Southern states in the election of the President. The same "compromise" that gave Southern states more House members by counting slaves as three-fifths of a person for purposes of apportioning representation (while giving them none of the privileges of citizenship) gave those states Electoral College votes in proportion to their Congressional delegation. This hypocrisy enhanced the Southern states' Electoral College percentage, and as a result, Virginia slaveowners controlled the presidency for thirty-two of our first thirty-six years.

Its immoral origins notwithstanding, the Electoral College was soon justified as a deliberative body that would choose among several candidates and assure the voice of small geographic areas. But under the Electoral College, voters in small states have more than just a voice; indeed their say often exceeds that of voters in big states. In Wyoming one vote in the Electoral College corresponds to 71,000 voters; in Florida, one electoral vote corresponds to 238,000 voters. At minimum we should eliminate the extra bias that adding electors for each of two senators gives our smallest states. As Robert Naiman of the Center for Economic and Policy Research reports, allowing each state only as many electors as it has members in the House of Representatives would mean, for example, that even if Bush won Oregon and Florida, he would have 216 and Gore would have 220 electoral votes.
Today its backers still argue that the Electoral College is necessary to insure that small states are not ignored by the presidential candidates. Yet the many states--including small ones--that weren't close in this election were neglected by both campaigns. Some of the nation's biggest states, with the most people of color, saw very little presidential campaigning and get-out-the-vote activity. Given their lopsided results this year, we can expect California, Illinois, New York, Texas and nearly all Southern states to be shunned in the 2004 campaign.
How are their votes counted? The presidency rests on a handful of votes in Florida because allocation of electoral votes is winner-take-all--if Gore wins by ten votes out of 6 million, he will win 100 percent of the state's twenty-five electoral votes. The ballots cast for a losing candidate are always "invalid" for the purposes of representation; only those cast for the winner actually "count." Thus winner-take-all elections underrepresent the voice of the minority and exaggerate the power of one state's razor-thin majority. Winner-take-all is the great barrier to representation of political and racial minorities at both the federal and the state level. No blacks or Latinos serve in the US Senate or in any governor's mansion. Third-party candidates did not win a single state legislature race except for a handful in Vermont.

Given the national questioning of the Electoral College sparked by the anomalous gap between the popular vote and the college's vote in the presidential election, those committed to real representative democracy now have a chance to shine a spotlight on the glaring flaws and disfranchisement inherent in winner-take-all practices and to propose important reforms.

What we need are election rules that encourage voter turnout rather than suppress it. A system of proportional representation--which would allocate seats to parties based on their proportion of the total vote--would more fairly reflect intense feeling within the electorate, mobilize more people to participate and even encourage those who do participate to do so beyond just the single act of voting on Election Day. Most democracies around the world have some form of proportional voting and manage to engage a much greater percentage of their citizens in elections. Proportional representation in South Africa, for example, allows the white Afrikaner parties and the ANC to gain seats in the national legislature commensurate with the total number of votes cast for each party. Under this system, third parties are a plausible alternative. Moreover, to allow third parties to run presidential candidates without being "spoilers," some advocate instant-runoff elections in which voters would rank their choices for President. That way, even voters whose top choice loses the election could influence the race among the other candidates.

Winner-take-all elections, by contrast, encourage the two major parties to concentrate primarily on the "undecideds" and to take tens of millions of dollars of corporate and special-interest contributions to broadcast ads on the public airwaves appealing to the center of the political spectrum. Winner-take-all incentives discourage either of the two major parties from trying to learn, through organizing and door-knocking, how to mobilize the vast numbers of disengaged poor and working-class voters. Rather than develop a vision, they produce a product and fail to build political capacity from the ground up.

What happens after the voting? Our nation is more focused on elections now than it has been for decades; yet on any given Sunday, more people will watch professional football than voted this November. What democracy demands is a system of elections that enables minor parties to gain a voice in the legislature and encourages the development of local political organizations that educate and mobilize voters.

Between elections, grassroots organizations could play an important monitoring role now unfulfilled by the two major parties. If the Bush campaign is right that large numbers of ballots using the same butterfly format were thrown out in previous elections in Palm Beach, then something is wrong with more than the ballot. For those Democratic senior citizens in Palm Beach, it was not enough that their election supervisor was a Democrat. They needed a vibrant local organization that could have served as a watchdog, alerting voters and election officials that there were problems with the ballot. No one should inadvertently vote for two candidates; the same watchdog organizations should require ballot-counting machines like those in some states that notify the voter of such problems before he or she leaves the booth. Voters should be asked, as on the popular TV quiz show, "Is that your final answer?" And surely we cannot claim to be a functioning democracy when voters are turned away from the polls or denied assistance in violation of both state and federal law.
Before the lessons of Florida are forgotten, let us use this window of opportunity to forge a strong pro-democracy coalition to rally around "one vote, one value." The value of a vote depends on its being fairly counted but also on its counting toward the election of the person the voter chose as her representative. This can happen only if we recognize the excesses of winner-take-all voting and stop exaggerating the power of the winner by denying the loser any voice at all.


End of Document


 From: jh@josephholmes.com
Subject: Ashcroft Disaster, Need to Fight

Dear Friends,

The more one learns about ex-Senator John Ashcroft's political positions, the more the horror of his selection by Mr. Bush as the next Attorney General of the United States become apparent. (Senator Ashcroft is the one-term Republican senator from Missouri who lost to the deceased governor of Missouri, Mel Carnahan. Carnahan's seat in the senate is going to his widow Jean Carnahan.)

Senator Ashcroft is a bigoted, religious extremist akin to Jesse Helms, and his position is the most important cabinet position of all. His appointment illustrates all too well the lack of moderation in Mr. Bush's true views of governance. The power wielded by the A.G. directly affects a wide range of civil liberty issues, discrimination issues, etc. Abortion rights, minority rights, women's rights -- you name it. Appointments to the Supreme Court and the other federal courts are also intertwined with the power of the A.G., and it is the A.G. who argues before the federal courts on matters of federal law, as the top lawyer for the people of the United States.

We must bring as much pressure to bear on the fifty democratic members of the Senate (fifty as of the afternoon of next Wednesday, January 3, 2001 when the new senators will be sworn in) as we possibly can. His appointment is completely outrageous, particularly in light of the way that Bush is getting into office. If he can be stopped, it will go a long way to avoiding a subsequent avalance of key judicial appointments from the extreme right wing.

It is our right and our duty to make our feelings about this critical issue known to our senators. Doing so is actually quite simple. Many web sites make is easy to send email to senators. Every letter helps. The senate has its own web site at http:// www.senate.gov, which is a good place to start, as are some of the sites which I have previously mentioned, including http:// www.congress.org and http:// www.eff.org/congress/. The latter site explains in detail how congress rates contacts from people, in terms of priority. For example, actually printed letters, especially hand-written ones rate much higher than e-mails in the nine categories listed, but all contacts count in some degree! I will continue to send emails to all of the democratic senators on several issues, and plan to additionally send paper letters to my own two senators.

It is very much a matter of senate prerogative who becomes a cabinet member. A majority of the senate must approve these nominations, and 41 senators are all that is needed to sustain a filibuster to prevent any nomination from proceeding. The Republicans have done this exact thing to us in recent years, over nominations that were entirely proper and reasonable. It is time to return the favor.

We need to stand our ground! Let's bury the senate with letters!

Two articles follow, which are particularly good from the recent crop. You can easily keep up with what the press is saying at http://www.geocities.com/capitolHill/3750/headlines.htm, where 20 to 40 new articles a day are linked.

This nomination and the prospect of major electoral reform are the two hot issues stemming from this disastrous election at the moment. I will follow this mail shortly with one which contains three fine articles on the issues relating more directly to the electoral reform need.

Thank you for your attention.


Joe Holmes





Sunday, December 24, 2000
Senators Should Fight for Middle Ground and Block Ashcroft

For the Los Angeles Times



The selection of conservative Missouri Sen. John Ashcroft to be attorney general is evidence that President-elect George W. Bush's talk of bipartisanship and conciliation is just empty rhetoric.
The far right of the Republican Party expressed concern that Bush's initial Cabinet appointments were too moderate. Rather than stand up to the right wing and show a true commitment to a middle-of-the-road administration, Bush gave conservatives the Cabinet position they care most about: attorney general.
Now the burden is on the U.S. Senate to reject this appointment, by a filibuster if necessary, to deliver a clear message that far-right appointments will not be approved.
Ashcroft has been one of the most conservative members of the Senate. He is fiercely anti-abortion. He has opposed every major civil rights bill during his stint in the Senate and led the fight against the confirmation of Bill Lann Lee as assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division. Despite Lee's unquestioned and impeccable credentials, Ashcroft objected to Lee because he had opposed Proposition 209, the measure that eliminated affirmative action in California.
Ashcroft is closely aligned with the religious right and repeatedly has introduced legislation to allow religious groups to receive federal funds. His proposal, called "charitable choice," permits churches and synagogues to receive money for social service programs. Faith-based groups always could get federal funds if they created a separate, nonreligious entity to conduct programs such as family planning services, alcohol and drug rehabilitation and homeless shelters. Ashcroft has pushed, sometimes successfully, for allowing religious groups, including houses of worship, to get the money directly. Not surprisingly, he is a hero to the religious right, notwithstanding the dubious constitutionality of such aid.
On every issue, Ashcroft is at the far right of the Republican Party, and that is exactly why conservatives pushed for him to be the attorney general. The Justice Department represents the federal government in court, including the U.S. Supreme Court. With Ashcroft as attorney general, conservatives are confident that the Justice Department will oppose abortion rights, including calling for the overrule of Roe vs. Wade.
With Ashcroft as attorney general, conservatives know that the Justice Department will vehemently oppose all forms of affirmative action programs and will push for allowing more of a religious presence in government, such as in school prayers, and more aid to religions, through charitable choice and voucher programs.
Democrats in the Senate should express outrage at such a conservative choice for one of the most important Cabinet positions. They should send the message now, early in a Bush administration, that such selections will not be accepted.
The Constitution is clear that it is not the president's sole prerogative to pick the Cabinet; Senate confirmation is required. Rejecting Ashcroft will clearly express the view that the Senate is not going to rubber-stamp the president's selections and will insist on moderate appointments. Ideally, some moderate Republicans will join Democratic senators in rejecting Ashcroft. This might be difficult, though, because of the Senate's historic courtesy toward its former members and its reluctance to reject one of its own.
Even if bipartisan opposition to Ashcroft does not materialize, the Democrats clearly have the power to stop the nomination through a filibuster. With the Senate split 50-50, the Republicans obviously lack the 60 votes necessary to end a filibuster. There are many precedents of filibusters being used to block nominations, such as the Republicans filibustering President Clinton's nomination of Henry Foster to be surgeon general.
Important judicial vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court and the lower courts likely will occur in the next four years. The Democrats must show that they are ready and willing to block right-wing nominations. Stopping the nomination of Ashcroft would make it far more likely that Bush will pick from the middle in the future.
The only way to heal the wounds of the deeply divisive election of 2000 is by a moderate approach in policy and appointments. Ashcroft is the worst possible nominee to achieve that goal.
- - -
Erwin Chemerinsky Is a Professor of Law and Political Science at USC

Copyright 2000 Los Angeles Times





Published on Sunday, December 24, 2000 in the Observer of London
Right-Wing Coup That Shames America

by Will Hutton

I never thought I would live to see it. There has been a right-wing coup in the United States. It is now clear beyond any doubt that the winner of the Presidential election was Al Gore. In Florida the votes are being counted unofficially in a way the Supreme Court would not permit: he was already 140 votes ahead when counting stopped for Christmas and his final lead promises to be in the thousands. Nationally he leads by over half a million votes. What has happened is beyond outrage. It is the cynical misuse of power by a conservative élite nakedly to serve its interests - and all of us should be frightened for the consequences.

The issue is not George W. Bush's conservatism, opponent though I am of what Bush plans to do; a democracy only has vitality and political tension if its philosophy and stream of thinking is articulated and pitches to win elections. The incontrovertible abuse is that Bush has won power despite losing, and critically he only pulled off this feat because the Republicans control the Supreme Court. The Right has subverted pivotal US institutions to win power - a campaign of which the discrediting and attempted impeachment of Clinton was part - and in the process disgraced the legitimacy of US democracy at home and abroad, and undermined conceptions of the rule of law. It is a poor augury for the twenty-first century.

In Britain the response has been woeful - itself a token of our own lack of hard democratic instincts. The commentary, especially in the right-of-centre press, has been to decry Gore as a poor loser and to insist that he had to accept the rules of the electoral game, respecting the votes in the US electoral college which, when Florida was lost, gave Bush the election. But as the great liberal defenders of freedom, Karl Popper and Isaiah Berlin, both argued when unjust, illegitimate governments win power through subverting the rules it is our responsibility to contest them.

The nine-member Supreme Court, apart from the heady decade of the 1960s when it advanced the cause of civil rights in the South, has always been a bastion of a regressive conservatism. In the 1930s it tried to rule that key elements in Roosevelt's New Deal were unconstitutional. Its defence of the sovereignty of states rights has been fundamental in extending capital punishment and allowing bible-belt states to resist implementing federal legislation banning violence against women. Yet its general prohibition in interfering in a state's rights has been overturned in one instance; the highly politicised intervention in Florida.

The more you examine it, the more outrageous the now famous judgement was. What the Court had to do to serve its political purpose was to find a way of acknowledging a sovereign state's rights and the continuing legitimacy of hand recounts in closely contested elections - after all George W. Bush had passed a law as Governor in Texas in 1998 endorsing hand recounts - but at the same time give the election to their Republican champion by finding that events in Florida were a special case.This was tricky. In the first place, even the conservative judges shared the unanimous view that it was reasonable for hand recounts to be undertaken because, as the judgment concedes: 'Punch card balloting machines can produce an unfortunate number of ballots which are not punched in a clean, complete way by the voter.' Consequently individual states are obliged, when the winning margin is tight, to mount an effort to find out what the 'clear intent' of each voter was. In other words Gore was completely within his rights to demand the hand recount.

The five conservatives had a problem. How could they deliver the coup? The solution was elegant. The process was too subjective, said the Supreme Court, unless the Florida court put in place even more protective measures to ensure impartiality than the Florida legislature had provided for - a position that is constitutionally impossible, as the judges knew, because it meant the Court would have to change rather than interpret Florida law. Hand recounts are thus legal in principle but impossible in practice because of possible partiality. And in a telling aside in its judgment, the Court said that hand recounts would 'cast a cloud' over Bush's 'legitimacy' that would harm 'democratic stability'. It never crossed the five-strong conservative majority's mind that the opposite might be the case; that not counting votes which would give Gore the presidency when nationally he had won half a million more votes than Bush would damage, not democratic stability, but the entire democratic principle.

But then right-wing America is not much interested in the democratic principle. It believes that its duty is to sustain America in its unique destiny as a Christian guardian of individual liberty, a place - I joke not - that will deserve Christ's second coming. It sees itself in a holy war against a liberal enemy within, and its uses every tool at its disposal ruthlessly to dispose of its foe.

The Right enjoyed 12 years of power under Reagan and Bush, lost the Presidency to Clinton in 1992 when Ross Perot split the conservative vote and pledged to continue their jihad against what they saw as his illegitimate victory from the beginning. Hence the fantasies of Whitewater. Hence the Starr inquiry into the Lewinsky affair, where now we learn key evidence was fabricated. Hence the attempted impeachment. Mud sticks, they reckoned, and even though they knew impeachment would fail, they calculated it would put any Democrat presidential candidate in 2000 in a presentational bind - association with the successful Clinton years would be attacked as an association with immorality.

But for all their efforts American public opinion remained stubbornly tolerant, sceptical of tax cuts and moderately centrist. To win Bush had to outspend his rival two to one in the last month and build on the strategic dilemma faced by Gore about the Clinton years. But even then it has taken the Supreme Court to complete the coup.

For all the talk of reconciliation Bush is building a tribal conservative administration bent on supporting business at home and asserting US unilateralism abroad. His next Treasury Secretary has been picked not for his capacity to negotiate the US and the world through the minefield of a fragile international financial system, but his interest in feathering the nests of corporate America. And so it goes on, offering the US and the world a policy and perspective not wanted by the majority of Americans.

The consensus view is that within months the whole Florida affair will be forgotten, and Bush will be installed as a legitimate US President. I don't agree. The value of democracies is they produce administrations broadly in tune with the times and will of the people, and thus able to marshal both consent and the correct policy responses for the varying crises that hit them.

Not so in America. Whether the need to respect international treaties abroad or the desire to universalise medical protection at home, the US has the man in power it did not want and whose instincts are opposite to those of the majority. This will prove a disastrous administration for America and the world, and the coup will become widely understood as a moment of partisan infamy. It is a brutal lesson for us liberals. Never, never forget the treachery and poison on the Right.

© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2000


From: <register@washingtonpost.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2000 14:55:33 -0500 (EST)
Subject: A washingtonpost.com article from jkh@josephholmes.com

You have been sent this message from jkh@josephholmes.com as a courtesy of
the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com).
To stay on top of the latest political headlines, live discussions and
breaking news, register now for the OnPolitics email at

Hey Robert, you should send this to Ken for me. I don't have his email
address. The Bush team has been using faked "news" photos of the
President-Select with his various cabinet choices...


To view the entire article, go to

'Machine' Politician Exposed By Photos
By Gene Weingarten
Washington Post Staff Writer
December 27, 2000


First, don't panic. There is probably a good explanation for the mystery of
the photographs, something that does <em>not</em> threaten the enslavement
and/or extermination of mankind.

There has to be a benign explanation. I just haven't found it yet.

The first photograph appeared in The Washington Post on Dec. 18. In it, the
president-elect stands behind and to the side of Condoleezza Rice, his
nominee for national security adviser. George W. Bush is slightly out of
focus. His head is cocked to the left and tilted slightly backward, his
mouth downturned in a perfect cartoonish crescent, the way a first-grader
might draw a frown. His eyes are squinty.

The next photograph appeared in this paper two days later. In it, the
president-elect stands behind and to the side of Alberto R. Gonzalez, his
choice for White House counsel. George W. Bush is slightly out of focus.
His head is cocked to the left and tilted slightly backward, his mouth
downturned in a perfect, cartoonish crescent, the way a first-grader might
draw a frown. His eyes are squinty.

It is not a similar pose; it is an identical pose. It is not a similar
expression; it is the identical expression.

Both photos were sent to me via e-mail by Post reader Adam Shannon, and at
first I suspected chicanery: that as a joke, Shannon had altered one or both
of them in a Photoshop process. But no, Post archives confirmed that both
had been published.

Then the third photo appeared in The Post two days later:

The president-elect stands behind and to the side of Ann Veneman, his
nominee for agriculture secretary. George W. Bush is slightly out of focus.
His head is cocked to the left and tilted slightly backward, his mouth
downturned in a perfect cartoonish crescent, the way a first-grader might
draw a frown. His eyes are squinty.

Identical. Different tie, identical pose.

Now I suspected chicanery of a different sort. Could The Post have violated
its own hallowed standards for accuracy by ginning up these photos from old
stock, to cover for lazy or drunken photographers who missed their
assignments? Or something?

Then the fourth photo appeared. This was in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Bush,
with his new EPA chief, Christine Todd Whitman. Cocked head. Backward tilt.
Crescent frown. Squint.

Then, The Baltimore Sun. The New York Times. The Washington Times. Bush,
with his nominee for treasury secretary, Paul O'Neill. Squints! Frowns!
First-graders! Tilt!

Then, <em>El Nuevo Herald</em> in Miami. <em>¡Ce&#241;os! ¡Cortaduras!
¡Estrabismos! ¡Cabezas inclinadas!</em>

I felt I was losing my mind.

Adopting a background pose of requisite gravity is evidently a tricky thing
for a new president: In 1993, when Bill Clinton had to appear beside his new
nominees, this very newspaper commented how similar the president-elect
looked in the photographs: It was the birth of his famed lip-bite pose. But
those photos were fraternal twins of each other. These new ones are clones.
What could explain this?

It occurred to me that it might not be Bush in these photos at all. The
president-elect is a busy man these days, forced by circumstance to collapse
his interregnum into a few weeks. Perhaps he hasn't the time to attend all
these ceremonial events. Perhaps what we are seeing is a stand-in, one of
those cardboard cutouts you can pose with on the street around the White

I telephoned J. Scott Applewhite, the Associated Press photographer who took
that first excellent picture of Bush and Condoleezza Rice. Is it possible, I
asked him respectfully, that he was fooled by a cardboard cutout?

"A cardboard cutout?"

Yes, I said hopefully.

"It was Bush," he said.

You sure?

"I am absolutely certain. Otherwise, I wouldn't have said it was Bush in my


I asked: How is your eyesight?


"It does the job," he said, a little stiffly.

I admit I was pressing, but I was desperate. The only alternative scenario I
had was the one I did not wish to visit.

Adam Shannon, the Washington communications consultant who first brought
this matter to my attention, had a theory of his own: The Bush we know, the
Bush we see, the Bush at the debates, the Bush on the campaign trail, the
Bush we elected, the Bush whom J. Scott Applewhite and others have been
photographing, is "an animatronic robot."

A machine?

"It's a fusion of a servo-motorized biofidelic shell and a sophisticated
artificial intelligence module," Shannon theorizes.

What we are seeing in these photos, he postulates, is "a machine that has
defaulted into standby mode." At a press conference in which attention is
directed elsewhere, he said, the robot would "go into a temporary shutdown
state in which it assumes a preprogrammed pose while waiting its turn to
reactivate and begin speaking."

Let's follow this through to its logical conclusion. The most powerful human
on Earth is not a human at all but a machine under the control of an unknown
master with technological skills far beyond ours, programmed to carry out
God-knows-what for the benefit of God-knows-who at the expense of

Oh, man.

Desperate for an alternative explanation, I went to our photo files, and
found a picture of George W. Bush at around age 7, holding his baby brother
Jeb. If you look at this picture just right, you can see the hint of the
same downturned mouth, the same squint.

What could <em>this</em> mean?

I brought this new evidence to Shannon.

"Can you authenticate the age of this supposedly old photo?" he demanded.

Well, no.

"See, if you were going to create an animatronic robot to run for president,
you would have to go back and establish a documentary childhood. So you
would have to build and photograph Mini-Me's. This is probably a Mini-Me.
Same default posture."

Oh, man.




From: jh@josephholmes.com
Date: Sun, Dec 17, 2000, 1:05 AM

How Bush and His Campaigners Trust the People:

"You only count all the votes if it means that we win."


Florida Totals as of 12/14/00 2,912,253 Gore 2,912,790 Bush
U.S. Totals as of 12/14/00: Gore now leads by 537,983

Everyone who studies elections in the United States, including the
statisticians and demographers who work for American presidential
campaigns to provide the guidance necessary to achieve the most
rational allocation of resources in a close contest, knows full well
that those legally cast votes which fall into the category of the
machine undervotes, are very disproportionately cast by minority
voters, when a state has a considerable minority population, as
Florida does. (Refer to the Washington Post article below for

Both sides during the recent presidential election were absolutely
certain that the preferences expressed by the people who cast these
machine undervotes would disproportionately reflect the preferences
of minority communities, both in Florida and in the remainder of the
fifty states of the union which have considerable minority
populations, and they were certain of this long before election day.

On election day, an initial machine count was made in the state of
Florida in which Governor Bush prevailed by approximately one vote
out of each 3,400 votes cast, or a ratio of 1,701 to 1,700,
statewide. This is a lead equal to one 34th of one percent of the
total votes cast.

Once many of the errors in this initial counting and tabulation
process were eliminated and the mandatory second machine count and/or
re-tabulation was completed, Governor Bush was found to prevail in
that more accurate count by approximately one vote out of each 17,000
votes cast, or a ratio of 8,501 to 8,500, statewide. This is a lead
of one 170th of one percent of the total votes cast, a stunningly
small difference.

By comparison, the legally cast votes missed by the machines
constitute at least one vote in every 600 or so, which is equal to at
least 28 votes, and probably many more, out of each 17,000 votes cast.

Since the initial vote was essentially a precise 50/50 split, both
sides knew with absolute certainty that any reasonable hand count of
the statewide, legally cast machine undervote, in which cherry
picking within a given county were not allowed, would show a net gain
for the Vice President of roughly three to ten votes per 17,000 votes
cast, i.e. several times the size of Governor Bush's miniscule lead
in the second machine count/tabulation of one vote per 17,000 cast.
This is because the roughly one in 600 (or more) votes cast in
Florida which had not been counted, would go somewhere in the
neighborhood of 60% or higher for Gore and 40% or lower for Bush, for
a total of roughly 17 votes or more for Gore to 11 votes or fewer for
Bush, out of each 17,000 votes cast. The exact extent of this shift
toward the Vice President would depend on whether all of these votes
were counted, or if only a portion were counted, as, for example,
because indentations were not counted as votes. The Vice President
would prevail in the case of essentially any statewide hand count,
however, or in the case of essentially any hand count in only those
four counties which the Gore campaign made the legal and proper
request for recounts to which they are entitled under Florida law,
when sample counts show a shift that could affect the outcome of the
election, which was clearly the case in these counties. By contrast,
the Bush campaign could not expect to pick up significant numbers of
net votes, even in their strongest counties, because of the
disproportionately minority sources of the machine undervotes.

This brings my estimate of the final, true count of votes in Florida
to 8,517 for Gore and 8,511 for Bush, roughly, out of each 17,028
votes cast in the state of Florida, or an actual total of roughly
2,918,347 votes to 2,916,290 or a Gore victory of 2,057 votes. This
guestimate ignores the many known irregularities of the Florida vote,
all of which worked in favor of the Republicans.

Joseph Stalin said, "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those
who count the votes decide everything." Lately our nation has seen
the wisdom of his remark. Virtually every Republican government
official that had anything whatsoever to do with either
decision-making or public relations efforts on behalf of the Bush
campaign in this matter has acted so as to prevent the simple truth
about who got the most legally cast votes in Florida from being the
basis for the outcome of our election. This is, of course, in
complete contravention of essentially all legal precedent, both in
Florida and in the rest of the nation, as well as in complete
contradiction to the simple principle that our votes are to be
counted, period. Anything less is a blatant affront to the people of
the nation. In no election could it be more important to get the
count right, and yet the Republican strategy from day one was to run
out the clock, owing to the unusual timetable imposed by the
processes of the Electoral College, in order to hang on to Governor
Bush's miniscule and illusory lead in the final machine count. Had
all the various irregularities been prevented or addressed, the Vice
President would have lead in the official totals by on the order of
100,000 votes in the state of Florida.

This election, and the presidency that it determined, are the sacred
property of the people of the United States, and that lawful property
has indeed been stolen by many lawless partisans of the Republican
Party. It is those Republicans and only those Republicans, including
five blatantly corrupt members of the U.S. Supreme Court, who sought
to re-write the election law after election day, to say that "You
only count all the votes if it means that we win."

We have, more than any other person, George W. Bush himself to thank
for this crime of the century. During the last one hundred years,
have any political crimes risen to the level of this one? Perhaps
Nixon's widespread campaign of illegal activities against the
Democrats and others, leading eventually to Watergate and his
resignation in disgrace, rises to the level of the current crimes.
In any case, they were carried out in the same spirit, that victory
for the Republican candidate is justified, no matter how much or what
kind of cheating, lying or unabashed propaganda spinning is necessary
to accomplish it. This attitude, which is justified by many
Republican partisans by comments like "Well if they were too dumb to
punch their card properly, they don't deserve to have their votes
counted", and other such obscene rationalizations, must be scorned at
every turn. Aside from being racist, it is anti-democratic, or as
Ralph Nader would say, it is plutocratic. Most, or at least a great
many Republican voters seem to prefer the idea of plutocracy to that
of democracy. Let us not forget that from the beginning of our
republic, there have been many who believed that those who owned the
country should run it. Naturally it was those who did own the
country that held most strongly to that belief. Needless to say, all
prior precedent in American law properly supports the counting of
such ballots that the machine may miss, if the intent of the voter
can be discerned or clearly discerned. Many kinds of problems can be
found by manual counts of machine undervotes in particular, and these
votes are by no means evidence of universal mental incompetence on
the part of those who cast them.

Beyond the outrageous effort to prevent the counting of the votes, we
have learned of widespread use of the Florida State Police, under the
direction of the candidate's brother, to deliberately and
systematically intimidate black voters from going to the polls on
election day. I learned recently from a black man who used to live
in Chicago, that there, when the local powers wanted to avoid a high
black voter turnout, the Chicago police would routinely arrest blacks
in large numbers on bogus charges on election day, and jail them
until the closing of the polls! Perhaps this old remnant of Jim Crow
was utilized by both parties years ago in Chicago, as well as in
other places, I don't know, but the Republican officials in Florida
are still doing much the same thing in the year 2000.

Next we have the deliberate decision by the top officials of the
Florida Republican Party to commit a series of felonies and
misdemeanors in order to insure the maximum voter turnout for their
side, by illegally tampering with thousands of public records, rather
than accept that they made a mistake and deal with the consequences
legally, as best they could, by trying to get these voters to the
polls. This crime should have resulted in about two and a half
thousand votes being thrown out.

Then in another county, a ballot was designed with the presidential
candidates filling two pages instead of one, and on the ballot was
the explicit instruction to "Vote every page". At least two thousand
voters were fooled into casting two votes for president for this
reason, most of whom were blacks voting both for the first time and
for Vice President Gore. This one irregularity alone would have
overcome the false and illusory, machine count lead for Governor Bush.

Next we have, according to recent reports by Jesse Jackson and an
official in the office of Florida's Attorney General, several tens of
thousands of people's names being removed from the voter roles, as
the result of an alleged error, for being felons, when in fact these
people (overwhelmingly minorities) were not felons, rather they had
been convicted of misdemeanors. These votes would have yielded a net
advantage for Vice President Gore that was several dozens of times
larger than the machine count lead for Governor Bush, were it not for
this "error", almost certainly deliberately perpetrated by a few
dishonest Republican partisans to remove Democratic voters from the
polls, too close to election day for them to do anything about it.

And then we have the butterfly ballot. Tack on another ten- to
fifteen thousand net votes for Al Gore that were lost due to a ballot
that apparently violated Florida law in three different ways.

And finally the now-infamous punch card ballotting systems
themselves. Perhaps last, but definitely not least, these machines
result in roughly one percent of the legally cast votes being thrown
out in every precinct that uses them across the nation, on average,
though the rate varies a lot, depending on the care with which they
are maintained and used, by both the voters and the polling place and
county officials. Error rates as high as six percent have been
reported. That is why the conclusion of a major study by the
National Bureau of Standards on American ballotting systems, written
in 1988, was that these machines should be banned. The fact that the
machine undervote was nearly five times larger in the counties of
Florida that use these machines is overwhelming evidence that most of
the undervotes in the 23 or so counties that use them were in fact
intended to be votes, despite their not having been counted, for the
most part. This is also part of a statistical proof that
indentations on ballots are nearly always a clear reflection of the
intent of someone to cast a vote.

Tell me this: if one intends to vote for nobody for president, does
one insert the stylus into the hole beside the name of candidate
"Somebody" and push downward? Or does one not vote for president?
The notion that these many indented chads either indented themselves,
or that they are all just a reflection of tens of thousands of people
deciding in the last two milliseconds not to vote after all, having
had a year to think about it, is utterly preposterous, and just one
more example from the long and shameful list of lies that the
above-mentioned Republicans were willing and indeed anxious to tell,
in order to win power over the people of this country.

The consent of the governed has not been given!

We owe it to ourselves and to our children to resist the damage that
this illegitimate presidency will do, and to fight it at every turn,
unless Mr. Bush should undergo a major, spontaneous transformation of
his subtly reactionary views. One can only hope that he will keep
soundly toward the center of American politics, avoiding many of the
looney bin ideas to be found amongst his compatriots, though I am
fairly certain that to maintain such hope would be simply naive.
Most importantly, we must prevent, at all costs, appointments to the
Supreme Court of the United States or other federal courts, which in
any way reflect Governor Bush's stated preference for lunatic
extremists such as Injustice Antonin Scalia or Injustice Clarence
Thomas. After that, I am perhaps most worried about a wholesale
failure to address vital environmental concerns. If we fail to work
vigorously toward the prevention of global warming and weaning
ourselves from dependence on fossil fuels, because of Mr. Bush's
affection for the oil companies, it will bring huge tragedy for the
entire world. Etc., etc.

Learn the phone numbers, addresses, and e-mail addresses of your
elected officials in Washington, D.C. and demand that our courts move
toward becoming instruments of justice. Our course, especially the
U.S. Supreme Court, hold our fates in their hands more than most of
us realize (I suggest that everyone read the 65-page opinion, which
is widely available online in PDF format. Three places to get it are:



http://www.supremecourtus.gov [for all Supreme Court opinions])

our current, activist conservative overlords do not have our best
interests, nor the rule of law, nor legal precedent, nor
constitutional fact, nor the wishes of the founding fathers, and
certainly not justice in mind. The founders of our nation were
adamant that courts never decide the outcome of an election. To
those who would say that the Florida Supreme Court was doing this
very thing, I say, nonsense. The somewhat vague and contradictory
legislation on the books in Florida clearly intended that all legally
cast votes be counted, even if more time were required to do so, and
in this case, just as clearly, there was time to count them, even in
the first week, if only the various Republicans involved in the
decision making had not wished for them to remain uncounted. The
Florida statutes had never explicitly considered the difficulty of
the task of manually recounting all of the votes of the state, but a
recount of only those suspect undervotes could be carried out in a
total of two days, if the people involved had simply wanted them to
be counted, as the law and the rights of the people of the nation

To slightly paraphrase the good advice given below by attorney Mark
Levine (MarkLevineEsq@aol.com), e-mail this to everyone you know, and
write or call your senator, reminding him or her that Gore beat Bush
by over five hundred thousand votes (five times Kennedy's margin over
Nixon) and that you believe that voters rather than judges should
determine who wins an election by counting every vote. And to
protect our judiciary from overturning the will of the people, you
want them to confirm NO NEW JUDGES until 2004 when a president is
finally chosen by most of the American people.

Can ballots which do not record a vote in a machine nevertheless
contain legal votes? Key Republicans involved in this debacle have
belatedly decided that, despite all legal precedent to the contrary,
and despite Florida's explicit (and standard among the states)
statutory law to the contrary, that, no, these votes don't count.
Joe Klock, attorney for Katherine Harris, and Scalia, Rehnquist, and
Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court, have all said, either in recent
testimony before the U.S. Supreme Court, or in their opinion in the
recent, infamous Supreme Court ruling, that only votes counted by the
machine are legal. They reason that it is the responsibility of the
voter to insure that an imperfect machine system works perfectly, by
inspecting each ballot for dimpled or hanging chad, etc. They fail
to consider that each voter is also given an explicit five-minute
time limit, that many voters can't even see these chad in the dim
light of the polling place once the card is removed, that voters
can't see that card at all while they are using it to vote, that long
lines of impatient, under-served voters, primarily in Democratic
regions of the state are waiting and pressuring those in the booth to
hurry, that when people use any unfamiliar mechanism for the first
time, that they are likely to fail to do so properly and must gain
experience with it. Guess which act of voting is most likely to be
the very first experiment with punching a ballot for those voters who
voted with these systems for the first time on November 7, 2000? You
guessed it. Their vote for president is nearly always their first
try at casting a vote. That alone could serve to explain why there
are evidently more dimples for the presidential candidate, than for
candidates and issues further down the ballot, among machine
undervote punchcard ballots. Some people simply didn't yet know the
touch of the system. We learn such things through the experience of

I suppose the Supreme Court's three lunatic Injustices would also
contend that every person should learn to drive a car by simply
reading instructions (perhaps also in less than five minutes if the
printed instructions on a wall somewhere said so) and that they
should be expected to perform perfectly when they first sit behind
the wheel and join the flow of traffic. Let's not forget that the
voter cannot see the punchcard or what is happening to it, as they
cast their votes, and that after the card is removed from the booth,
the identity of the many numbered locations on the ballot is
essentially mysterious until one learns this pattern, as the manual
recounters had to. An experienced voter might endeavor to look for
hanging or dimpled chad as insurance against the seemingly distant
possibility that his or her vote might not otherwise be counted.

Once again, the Republicans involved in this national disgrace have
decided to simply re-write, after the election, the law that stood in
the way of crowning their candidate as our next king (King George
II). And this of course after whining loudly for weeks about how the
Democrats were attempting to do the same thing, by merely exercising
their rights under Florida law to ask for more accurate counts in
those areas where large numbers of votes were missed. Bush
supporters must ask themselves why the Bush campaign never asked for
the same to be done in the counties which they dominated, even though
it was their well-known and fair right to do so. The answer is
primarily to be found in the simple fact that even there, few if any
net votes could be found for them, because of the disproportionately
ethnic minority sources of those votes. Instead the Bush team seized
upon the superficial appearance of unfairness to argue against all
manner of hand recounts, lying as often as necessary to smear these
counts, which are widely acknowledged to be far more accurate than
the machine counts in the punch card counties - even by Bush's best
expert witness. Even in the non-punch card counties, hand counts are
more accurate, particularly when only the undervotes, or
alternatively both the undervotes and overvotes are examined.
Republican candidates all over the nation have consistently agreed to
hand recounts in close elections, until November, 2000 in the state
of Florida. The Bush campaign itself even requested a hand recount
of the one dubious county result in the state of New Mexico, but to
no avail. The counties of Oregon, Iowa, and Michigan and the
remaining counties of New Mexico were not hand counted simply because
the Bush campaign knew that they would not gain net votes were such
recounts performed. So there never was any issue of these errors in
counting being a problem nationwide, as the Bush spokespeople have
repeatedly contended. This is just one more of their red herrings.
It is only when a state could go the other way that a hand count is
indicated, and in this election, that means that only a state that
Gore barely lost would likely be a candidate for a recount, at least
when a state had a large minority population and if it had enough
electoral votes to matter to the national outcome. There were no
such states. Blacks went 90% for Gore -- a stunning rejection of the
man who speaks and acts only for the money worshippers, including
most of the rich and powerful.

Every American has the duty and the obligation to overthrow tyranny,
whenever it occurs. That is how our republic began, and that is how
it must continue, if it is to remain a government of, by and for the

Every American must demand justice in this affair, though thirty
million or so Bush partisans are bound and determined to believe
whatever their leaders tell them to believe, no matter how
self-contradictory or ridiculous, or to simply believe whatever they
must, in order to justify their candidate being considered the winner.

I will demand the impeachment of the five members of the United
States Supreme Court, who outrageously and unjustifiably ruled that
the state of Florida couldn't count all of its votes basically
because that would elect the other guy. Judicial malfeasance could
not be more clearly indicated than it is in this utterly partisan
vote. (See attorney Mark Levine's Layman's Explanation of the
Decision, below.) The conflict of interest for Scalia, Rehnquist and
O'Connor is particularly obvious. Scalia had announced that he
intended to retire from the court if Al Gore were elected, presumably
because this would prevent his longed-for appointment as Chief
Injustice. Rehnquist similarly wishes to avoid retirement until such
time as he can expect that his replacement would be of similarly
extremist character. O'Connor likewise wishes to retire and
apparently wished to insure, by her participation in this outrage,
that her replacement would be named by Mr. Bush, and not Mr. Gore.
Justice Stevens is over 80 years of age, and his loss, given a Bush
replacement, would very probably be a tragedy of gigantic proportions
for the future of justice in America. At the very least, we must
demand that no new judicial appointments be approved by the Senate,
either until such time as we have a president that was actually
elected, or until such time as nominations are made which are
entirely satisfactory to a great majority, if not all of the
Democrats in the Senate. And we mustn't let token ethnic
appointments become a successful Republican device for getting more
people onto the court who are not committed to justice above all else.

Ballotgate may jaundice the citizen's view of the judiciary for the
remainder of our lifetimes, if this abuse of the electorate is not
righted and its effects minimized. My personal feeling, is that our
nation has just been gang-raped by a group of elected and/or
appointed, Republican governmental officials.

I therefore further suggest that we seriously consider the
impeachment of the man who claimed adamantly, thousands upon
thousands of times during his campaign, that he "trusts the people",
should he actually be inaugurated as president next month. A man who
showed stunning cowardice by failing to trust the people with the
simple fact of who got the most legally cast votes in the state of
Florida. Even worse, as he saw that he might not prevail in this
deceitful action, he undertook to deliberately and systematically
poison the well of American politics by working hard to convince,
through his many surrogates, working in concert, that if the Vice
President were to win, it could only have been by cheating and lying.
Does our nation actually require the services as President of a man
whose first significant acts following Election Day were to undertake
to systematically undermine the will of the voters and to insure that
bitter partisanship would be all that the rightful winner would ever
get from the Republican party when it came time to govern? This kind
of insane Republican bitterness has been the hallmark of the last
many years of partisanship aimed at Bill Clinton by the dominant
extremists in the U.S. Congress - the very same extremists who have
done so much to create political deadlock in Washington, which Mr.
Bush has been consistently blaming on guess who: Al Gore. At what
point does politics become treasonous treachery? Impeachment is
intended specifically for those who would take advantage of the
public trust.

Joseph Holmes
jh@josephholmes.com, December 14, 2000


The following, excellent and thorough article by By John Mintz and
Dan Keating, Washington Post Staff Writers, with contributions by
Thomas B. Edsall Sunday, December 3, 2000 explains in great detail
the statistical facts about the undervote and how it is associated
with minority voter populations.



Fla. Ballot Spoilage Likelier For Blacks


Heavily Democratic and African American neighborhoods in Florida lost
many more presidential votes than other areas because of outmoded
voting machines and rampant confusion about ballots, a
precinct-by-precinct analysis by The Washington Post shows.

As many as one in three ballots in black sections of Jacksonville,
for example, did not count in the presidential contest. That was four
times as many as in white precincts elsewhere in mostly Republican
Duval County.


According to the Post analysis, in Miami-Dade County precincts where
fewer than 30 percent of the voters are black, about 3 percent of
ballots did not register a vote for president. In precincts where
more than 70 percent of the voters are African American, it was
nearly 10 percent.


Such patterns have helped fuel questions in the black community about
whether the vote was fair on Election Day. A number of African
American leaders say faulty ballot machines and long lines at polling
places sowed confusion among many black voters and ended up
nullifying many of their votes.


Aides to Texas Gov. George W. Bush say the kinds of errors Florida
voters made are typical of elections across the nation. Vice
President Gore, by contrast, has placed allegations concerning
disqualified black votes at the center of his appeal to hold recounts
in Miami-Dade County, and he is making his case with rhetoric
reminiscent of civil rights struggles. Democrats say the errors
suggest a manual recount of ballots would show that Gore won Florida.


A computer analysis of election returns suggests there were anomalies
in the Florida vote, particularly in African American areas. The more
black and Democratic a precinct, the more likely it was to suffer
high rates of invalidated votes.


Some 40 percent of the state's black voters were new voters, and
election experts say they were the most vulnerable to confusion about
oddly designed ballots. Moreover, a higher percentage of blacks than
whites live in counties with voting machines more prone to not
registering a vote. And similarly, African American voters are
somewhat more likely to live in areas where poll workers do not
immediately check ballots for errors--so blacks were less likely than
whites to get a chance to correct their ballots if they messed them


"We keep talking about 'every vote counts,' and, boy, I feel like
mine doesn't count," said Lon Fanniel, 40, a retired Marine captain
from Jacksonville. He fears that confusion over the ballot led him to
accidentally leave two marks for president, invalidating his vote for


Florida was one of the nation's most viciously fought battleground
states, with both parties pouring in millions of dollars during the
final days to get their core supporters to the polls.


It turns out that one reason for the high rate of invalidated votes
this election was the NAACP's massive get-out-the-vote effort in
Florida, which brought many inexperienced or first-time voters to the
polls. Black turnout in Florida set records--893,000 African
Americans cast ballots on Nov. 7, a 65 percent jump over 1996.


At times--especially when polling places were crowded and voters felt
rushed to mark their votes--it appears large numbers of these new or
infrequent voters were confounded by technical problems in the
ballot. Florida listed an unusually high 10 presidential tickets,
which contributed to confusing ballot designs in some counties.


A prime example is Duval, a north Florida county that hosts thousands
of naval aviators. A ballot that perplexingly spread presidential
names over two pages led to many accidental double votes, which are
automatically voided. Although Bush carried the county 58 percent to
41 percent, the spoiled ballots were concentrated in African American
sections of downtown Jacksonville.

In the most heavily white precincts, about 1 in 14 ballots were
thrown out, but in largely black precincts more than 1 in 5 ballots
were spoiled--and in some black precincts it was almost one-third.
(By comparison, in the District of Columbia, fewer than 1 in 50
ballots were not counted as votes for president.)


There are several reasons why a voting machine would not record a
vote. A voter may have intentionally abstained. Or the voter could
have tried to vote but messed up the ballot--either by mistakenly
voting for two candidates, which automatically disqualifies a ballot
and is called an "overvote," or by failing to mark the ballot cleanly
(which, along with the ballots deliberately left unmarked, is known
as an "undervote").


Gore wants the undervotes recounted, and because so many of them took
place in pro-Gore precincts, his advisers are confident they could
overturn Bush's lead if a court permitted such a recount.


Bush allies say most undervotes were intentional. "We believe that in
most if not virtually all so-called undervotes, individuals didn't
intend to vote for president," said Bush spokesman Ray Sullivan.


He also said Bush did not ask for a statewide hand recount because
recounts are "flawed and inaccurate," as he said was shown in manual
recounts in Broward and Palm Beach counties that showed Gore picking
up votes.


Republicans note that Florida's rate of failed ballots is lower than
four other states among 35 states for which the GOP has examined
data--Idaho, Illinois, Georgia and Wyoming. In those states, the
spoiled ballots represent a small fraction of the winning margin for
president, but in Florida the 180,000 invalid ballots were 335 times
Bush's margin.
(Note that according to a detailed analysis by CNN, the actual
undervote in Wyoming was about one third of what the Republicans have
claimed, because they did not count the write-in votes in their
misleading statistic. --JH)

The GOP says recounts are not needed because voting mistakes occur
everywhere. Voting expert Curtis Gans said about 2.5 million voters
across the nation cast presidential ballots that didn't register as
votes. Given these large numbers outside Florida, and what he
believes are the inequities in all types of ballot recounting, Gans
said "it's an irrelevant exercise" to recount votes in Florida.
(Now that's logic for you. -JH)


The Bush campaign's Sullivan added that some of the Florida counties
with high rates of invalidated ballots--he cited Hamilton, Hendry and
Lafayette--were won by Bush. But Democrats point out those counties
are sparsely populated and had a total of only 1,310 votes thrown
out. The three counties Gore asked be recounted--Palm Beach, Broward
and Miami-Dade--had 72,000 invalidated ballots.


Senior GOP strategists say privately that a key reason the Bush
campaign did not ask for a statewide recount was it feared that Gore
would pick up more votes than Bush, because of the high rate of
ballot spoilage in black precincts.


"The NAACP did a tremendous job of turnout in Florida," one
Republican strategist said. "But in a way they overachieved, and got
people out who couldn't follow instructions."


The irony is that in Duval, the sample ballot designed by the
Republican election supervisor explicitly instructed people to "vote
all pages" on the ballot--which led thousands of people to invalidate
their ballots because the list of presidential candidates was spread
over two pages. The rule of thumb in election administration is that
candidates for a single office should be listed in one column on one
page to avoid confusion.


A case in point: Sharon Lewis of Jacksonville, who brought her
18-year-old son Ernest to their polling place. The high school senior
had just registered to vote. But she was mortified when he, upon
leaving the booth, told her proudly, "I voted on every page." She
said they complained to the poll workers but "they said there's
nothing we could do about it."


"He had that 'I Voted' sticker on his shirt--the only kid at his
school who voted," she said. "But his vote didn't count."


"I'm proud of the turnout we had in Florida," said Anita Davis, the
NAACP's state president. But she added, "I'm very concerned that so
many of our votes were being disenfranchised. . . . In a lot of
Florida counties, these [black] votes have been thrown out for years,
and we had no idea about it."


The NAACP has filed formal allegations with the Justice Department
saying some blacks were discouraged from voting by unfair demands for
identification or long lines. But a Justice Department official said
so far investigators have not found enough evidence to justify a
full-fledged investigation.


"I fought for the right to have a good vote," said Fanniel, the
retired Marine captain who fought in the Persian Gulf War. "I feel
like that was taken away from me."


Election experts say inexperienced voters are the most likely to be
confused when a ballot contains more than about six names for one
office. Beyond that, confoundment rises exponentially with each name
added to the ballot. Florida's ballots listed 10 presidential
candidates--which tied for the most with four states.


Black Floridians also were more likely to face unforgiving voting
equipment. About 26 percent of black voters live in counties that
verify ballots as valid in precincts as soon as they're cast--so poll
workers can immediately tell voters they disqualified ballots, and
voters have a second chance to vote a valid ballot. By comparison, 34
percent of white voters live in these areas. That means white voters
are more likely to have their votes counted than blacks--a point made
by Gore.


"These cheap and unreliable machines are much more likely to be found
in areas of low-income people and minorities and seniors," Gore said
in an interview on CBS last week.


Voters whose ballots were checked right away were using cutting-edge
optical scanners, which read pen marks. The other voters were using
either optical scanners that don't check ballots instantly, or
punch-card machines in which voters punch out "chads," tiny cardboard
rectangles, to make a selection.


In the 23 counties that check a ballot as soon as the voter completes
it--all using optical scan gear--fewer than 1 percent of ballots did
not register a choice for president, said Ion Sanchez, Leon County
election supervisor. By contrast, in the 26 punch-card counties, none
of which perform the instant check, about 4 percent failed to
register a presidential selection, Sanchez said.


"The only difference is the technology," said Sanchez. "That's the
dirty little secret about election machines."


"Poor people are more likely to invalidate ballots" because of
difficulty mastering punch-card systems, said Herb Asher, an Ohio
State University balloting expert who studied the issue in 1978, when
Ohio first used the machines. Voters in prosperous suburbs
invalidated their ballots 2 percent of the time, he said, while
voters in Dayton's poor areas did so by up to 20 percent.


For decades, 2 percent of ballots cast nationally have traditionally
not recorded a presidential vote. But in Florida this year, it was
2.9 percent. In 21 of Florida's 67 counties, the ratio of
disqualified votes to total votes cast was more than 6 percent. Those
with the largest numbers of both disqualified and double votes were
largely Democratic and black areas. Double votes are not reviewed in
hand recounts, because there is no way to discern a voter's intent.


Gadsden County, a largely poor black rural area, had a 12 percent
spoilage rate, mostly because presidential candidates were listed in
two columns--and the great majority were overvotes.


Almost 2,000 voters nullified their ballots by double-voting on a
ballot that listed the first eight presidential candidates in one
column, and a second column listing Constitution Party or Workers
World Party candidates, in what could be mistaken for a second


Denny Hutchinson, Gadsden's election administrator, blamed voters,
not the ballot. "Some of our high rate of presidential overvotes was
attributable to so many names on that ballot," he said. "Some people
voted for every candidate. . . . People didn't prepare themselves to
come to the polls."


But Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, a black Florida Democrat, said Bush's
claim that almost all undervotes were intentional is "pure hogwash."


"We've designed a voting system not understandable to many voters,"
Hastings said, "and it takes fair-minded people to design one
ensuring every vote counts."


Staff writer Thomas B. Edsall contributed to this report.


Tossed-Out Ballots


Ballots were tossed out at a much higher rate in predominantly black
precincts in Duval and Miami-Dade counties.


Duval County (Jacksonville)

Black voter Total ballots cast
Population Precincts Ballots invalidated


Under 30% 195 239,555 16,621 6.9%


30%-50% 12 10,517 1,634 15.5%


51%-70% 17 9,953 1,834 18.4%


Over 70% 44 31,010 6,820 21.6%


Miami-Dade County

Black voter Total ballots cast
Population Precincts Ballots invalidated


Under 30% 486 490,863 16,459 3.4%


30%-50% 30 29,102 2,027 7.0%


51%-70% 26 22,115 1,754 7.9%


Over 70% 72 68,601 6,540 9.5%


SOURCE: Washington Post analysis of Florida state election data
© 2000 The Washington Post Company


Here is an evaluation of the logic of the Supreme Court's decision by
Mark H. Levine, Attorney at Law, courtesy of Bush Watch
(politex@geocities.com), at


by Mark H. Levine, Attorney at Law.

Q: I'm not a lawyer and I don't understand the recent Supreme Court
decision in Bush v. Gore. Can you explain it to me?

A: Sure. I'm a lawyer. I read it. It says Bush wins, even if
Gore got the most votes.

Q: But wait a second. The US Supreme Court has to give a reason, right?

A: Right.

Q: So Bush wins because hand-counts are illegal?

A: Oh no. Six of the justices (two-thirds majority) believed the
hand-counts were legal and should be done.

Q: Oh. So the justices did not believe that the hand-counts would
find any legal ballots?

A. Nope. The five conservative justices clearly held (and all nine
justices agreed) "that punch card balloting machines can produce an
unfortunate number of ballots which are not punched in a clean,
complete way by the voter." So there are legal votes that should be
counted but can't be. (I found the contrary in the opinion of
Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas. -JH)

Q: Oh. Does this have something to do with states' rights? Don't
conservatives love that?

A: Generally yes. These five justices, in the past few years, have
held that the federal government has no business telling a sovereign
state university it can't steal trade secrets just because such
stealing is prohibited by law. Nor does the federal government have
any business telling a state that it should bar guns in schools. Nor
can the federal government use the equal protection clause to force
states to take measures to stop violence against women.

Q: Is there an exception in this case?

A: Yes, the Gore exception. States have no rights to have their
own state elections when it can result in Gore being elected
President. This decision is limited to only this situation.

Q: C'mon. The Supremes didn't really say that. You're exaggerating.

A: Nope. They held "Our consideration is limited to the present
circumstances, or the problem of equal protection in election
processes generally presents many complexities."

Q: What complexities?

A: They don't say.

Q: I'll bet I know the reason. I heard Jim Baker say this. The
votes can't be counted because the Florida Supreme Court "changed the
rules of the election after it was held." Right?

A. Dead wrong. The US Supreme Court made clear that the Florida
Supreme Court did not change the rules of the election. But the US
Supreme Court found the failure of the Florida Court to change the
rules was wrong.

Q: Huh?

A: The Legislature declared that the only legal standard for
counting votes is "clear intent of the voter." The Florida Court was
condemned for not adopting a clearer standard.

Q: I thought the Florida Court was not allowed to change the
Legislature's law after the election.

A: Right.

Q: So what's the problem?

A: They should have. The US Supreme Court said the Florida Supreme
Court should have "adopt[ed] adequate statewide standards for
determining what is a legal vote"

Q: I thought only the Legislature could "adopt" new law.

A: Right.

Q: So if the Court had adopted new standards, I thought it would
have been overturned.

A: Right. You're catching on.

Q: If the Court had adopted new standards, it would have been
overturned for changing the rules. And if it didn't, it's overturned
for not changing the rules. That means that no matter what the
Florida Supreme Court did, legal votes could never be counted.

A: Right. Next question.

Q: Wait, wait. I thought the problem was "equal protection," that
some counties counted votes differently from others. Isn't that a

A: It sure is. Across the nation, we vote in a hodgepodge of
systems. Some, like the optical-scanners in largely
Republican-leaning counties record 99.7% of the votes. Some, like
the punchcard systems in largely Democratic-leaning counties record
only 97% of the votes. So approximately 3% of Democratic votes are
thrown in the trash can.

Q: Aha! That's a severe equal-protection problem!!!

A: No it's not. The Supreme Court wasn't worried about the 3% of
Democratic ballots thrown in the trashcan in Florida. That
"complexity" was not a problem.

Q: Was it the butterfly ballots that violated Florida law and
tricked more than 20,000 Democrats to vote for Buchanan or for Gore
and Buchanan.

A: Nope. The Supreme Court has no problem believing that Buchanan
got his highest, best support in a precinct consisting of a Jewish
old age home with Holocaust survivors, who apparently have changed
their mind about Hitler.

Q: Yikes. So what was the serious equal protection problem?

A: The problem was neither the butterfly ballot nor the 3% of
Democrats (largely African-American) disenfranchised. The problem is
that somewhat less than .005% of the ballots may have been determined
under slightly different standards because judges sworn to uphold the
law and doing their best to accomplish the legislative mandate of
"clear intent of the voter" may have a slightly different opinion
about the voter's intent.

Q: Hmmm. OK, so if those votes are thrown out, you can still count
the votes where everyone agrees the voter's intent is clear?

A: Nope.

Q: Why not?

A: No time.

Q: No time to count legal votes where everyone, even Republicans,
agree the intent is clear? Why not?

A: Because December 12 was yesterday.

Q: Is December 12 a deadline for counting votes?

A: No. January 6 is the deadline. In 1960, Hawaii's votes weren't
counted until January 4.

Q: So why is December 12 important?

A: December 12 is a deadline by which Congress can't challenge the

Q: What does the Congressional role have to do with the Supreme Court?

A: Nothing.

Q: But I thought ---

A: The Florida Supreme Court had earlier held it would like to
complete its work by December 12 to make things easier for Congress.
The United States Supreme Court is trying to help the Florida Supreme
Court out by forcing the Florida court to abide by a deadline that
everyone agrees is not binding.

Q: But I thought the Florida Court was going to just barely have
the votes counted by December 12.

A: They would have made it, but the five conservative justices
stopped the recount last Saturday.

Q: Why?

A: Justice Scalia said some of the counts may not be legal.

Q: So why not separate the votes into piles, indentations for Gore,
hanging chads for Bush, votes that everyone agrees went to one
candidate or the other so that we know exactly how Florida voted
before determining who won? Then, if some ballots (say,
indentations) have to be thrown out, the American people will know
right away who won Florida.

A. Great idea! The US Supreme Court rejected it. They held that
such counts would be likely to produce election results showing Gore
won and Gore's winning would cause "public acceptance" and that would
"cast... a cloud" over Bush's "legitimacy" that would harm
"democratic stability."

Q: In other words, if America knows the truth that Gore won, they
won't accept the US Supreme Court overturning Gore's victory?

A: Yes.

Q: Is that a legal reason to stop recounts? or a political one?

A: Let's just say in all of American history and all of American
law, this reason has no basis in law. But that doesn't stop the five
conservatives from creating new law out of thin air.

Q: Aren't these conservative justices against judicial activism?

A: Yes, when liberal judges are perceived to have done it.

Q: Well, if the December 12 deadline is not binding, why not count the votes?

A: The US Supreme Court, after admitting the December 12 deadline
is not binding, set December 12 as a binding deadline at 10 p.m. on
December 12.

Q: Didn't the US Supreme Court condemn the Florida Supreme Court
for arbitrarily setting a deadline?

A: Yes.

Q: But, but --

A: Not to worry. The US Supreme Court does not have to follow laws
it sets for other courts.

Q: So who caused Florida to miss the December 12 deadline?

A: The Bush lawyers who first went to court to stop the recount,
the mob in Miami that got paid Florida vacations for intimidating
officials, and the US Supreme Court for stopping the recount.

Q: So who is punished for this behavior?

A: Gore, of course.

Q: Tell me this: Florida's laws are unconstitutional, right?

A: Yes

Q: And the laws of 50 states that allow votes to be cast or counted
differently are unconstitutional?

A: Yes. And 33 of those states have the "clear intent of the
voter" standard that the US Supreme Court found was illegal in

Q: Then why aren't the results of 33 states thrown out?

A: Um. Because...um.....the Supreme Court doesn't say.

Q: But if Florida's certification includes counts expressly
declared by the US Supreme Court to be unconstitutional, we don't
know who really won the election there, right?

A: Right. Though a careful analysis by the Miami Herald shows Gore
won Florida by about 20,000 votes (excluding the butterfly ballot

Q: So, what do we do, have a re-vote? Throw out the entire state?
Count all ballots under a single uniform standard?

A: No. We just don't count the votes that favor Gore.

Q: That's completely bizarre! That sounds like rank political
favoritism! Did the justices have any financial interest in the case?

A: Scalia's two sons are both lawyers working for Bush. Thomas's
wife is collecting applications for people who want to work in the
Bush administration.

Q: Why didn't they recuse themselves?

A: If either had recused himself, the vote would be 4-4, and the
Florida Supreme Court decision allowing recounts would have been

Q: I can't believe the justices acted in such a blatantly political way.

A: Read the opinions for yourself:
(December 9 stay stopping the recount), and
(December 12 final opinion)
(All Supreme Court opinions)

Q: So what are the consequences of this?

A: The guy who got the most votes in the US and in Florida and
under our Constitution (Al Gore) will lose to America's second choice
who won the all important 5-4 Supreme Court vote.

Q: I thought in a democracy, the guy with the most votes wins.

A: True, in a democracy. But America is not a democracy. In
America, in the year 2000, the guy with the most US Supreme Court
votes wins.

Q: Is there any way to stop the Supreme Court from doing this again?

A: YES. No federal judge can be confirmed without a vote in the
Senate. It takes 60 votes to break a filibuster. If only 41 of the
50 Democratic Senators stand up to Bush and his Supremes and say that
they will not approve a single judge appointed by him until a
President can be democratically elected in 2004, the judicial reign
of terror can end... and one day we can hope to return to the rule of

Q: What do I do now?

A: E-mail this to everyone you know, and write or call your
senator, reminding him that Gore beat Bush by over five hundred
thousand votes (five times Kennedy's margin over Nixon) and that you
believe that VOTERS rather than JUDGES should determine who wins an
election by counting every vote. And to protect our judiciary from
overturning the will of the people, you want them to confirm NO NEW
JUDGES until 2004 when a president is finally chosen by most of the
American people.

-- MarkLevineEsq@aol.com

Published on Friday, December 15, 2000 in the Christian Science Monitor

The Supreme Fix Was In

by Daniel Schorr


In developing countries such as Pakistan, Chile, and Sierra Leone, a
transfer of power is often accomplished by military coup. In our
country, it is done by judicial coup.

Admitting to something short of cool dispassion, I marvel at the way
the gang of five, led by arch-conservative Antonin Scalia, tried to
camouflage their 5-to-4 operation behind a nominal 7-to-2 agreement
that there was a problem with the Florida recount. That seemed to
leave open the chance of fixing the system. Their fix was in, all
right, but a different fix. It suppressed the recount for good.

Any one of these five could have returned the contest to limbo. But
none did. Decades of conservative support of states' rights, by
overturning federal statutes from affirmative action to federal
review of criminal cases, went out the window in an arrogation of
authority to judge voting in Florida.

The tactics were adroit. First, the junta on Saturday halted the vote
count. That enabled them to say on Tuesday that there was no more
time left for vote-counting.

One thing about Tony Scalia is that he levels with you. Not every
justice would say, as he did Saturday, that issuing the voting stay
suggested Bush had "a substantial probability of success." Not every
justice would own up to partisanship by saying the recounted votes
"threaten irreparable harm to petitioner" - Governor Bush - "and to
the country."

Justice Stevens, for the embattled minority of himself, Stephen
Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and David Souter, said on Saturday that
halting the vote recount "will inevitably cast a cloud on the
legitimacy of the election." Tuesday he said we may never know who
was the winner of the presidential race, but "the identity of the
loser is perfectly clear. It is the nation's confidence in the judge
as an impartial guardian of the rule of law."

Justices have not always been so beholden to politicians. President
Eisenhower, after leaving office in 1961, said his greatest mistake
had been appointing to the high court Earl Warren and William
Brennan, who sparked a liberal revolution. Chief Justice Warren
Burger, a friend of President Nixon, joined the unanimous 1974 ruling
obliging Nixon to release the Oval Office tapes that led to his

Reagan and Bush appointees Anthony Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor, and
Mr. Souter, in 1992, cast the swing votes that preserved the
constitutional right of abortion. Their opinion stated that
overturning Roe v. Wade would do "profound and unnecessary damage to
the court's legitimacy."

This legitimacy was something the tribunal has enjoyed almost alone
among American institutions of government, unlike the presidency and
the Congress. There was a perception that the black-robed nine march
to different drummers, that they are not beholden to their
presidential sponsors or their political views, that they harken to
the law and Constitution, affected by the court's tradition and

That legitimacy has been endangered by the court's intervention into
the white-hot controversy over the presidency that opened the court
to suspicion of partisanship. Before this issue arose there were
suggestions of partisanship. Mr. Bush referred to Scalia and Clarence
Thomas as models for the kind of justices he would name. Chief
Justice Rehnquist and Justice O'Connor reportedly said they would
like to retire under Bush to ensure being succeeded by conservatives.
But now, these five have had a banner day. They have selected a

Copyright 2000 The Christian Science Publishing Society


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