on November 13, 2005
I came to this book with, I think, the usual preconceptions: it will present a paranoid conspiracy theory, it 's just a Democrat's sour grapes, it will be the left-wing equivalent of an Ann Coulter or Joe Scarborough rant--in other words, nothing new to say, shrieked at top volume. Instead I found that Miller has the rare courage to take on a forbidden topic, one of the few remaining in America. He asks us to consider the possibility that our cherished democracy, the very heart of American exceptionalism and the thing that sets us apart from (and, in the eyes of many Americans, above) all other nations, is not merely flawed or compromised but actually in danger of disappearing. Perhaps it has already disappeared. We are now a nation in which one political party has no intention of ever releasing its hold on power and the other is too cowed to defend itself against constant attacks, let alone defend its constituents or the integrity of the process by which power is allocated.
The "mature" and "reasonable" thing to do, of course, is to practice moderation, to avoid strong, polarizing accusations, to work with the opposition to provide strong governance, and always to understand that your political opponent is not your enemy. But this presupposes an opponent who is willing to practice moderation and reason in turn, rather than simply demand it. As President Bush and his allies keep reminding us about terrorism (with rather too intimate knowledge whereof they speak), fanatics cannot be reasoned with. Mark Crispin Milller has pointed out, in exquisitely documented detail, that this country has its own fanatical extremists to deal with, and they are not a fringe element. They are a significant force in the Republican Party, perhaps the dominant force. Miller shows in great detail what this means: the mindset that allows these people to justify their actions to themselves and the specific ways in which they have subverted American democracy. Under these circumstances, compromise and moderation can only fail. When we are faced with fanatics, true reason demands that we do what Miller has done: call them what they are.
In short, this is a powerful and terrifying book. It is well documented and makes its case, if anything, too abundantly. The 2004 election was stolen. My nightmare is that generations from now, historians will look to Fooled Again as a valuable contemporary account of how America became a theological dictatorship.
on November 17, 2005
Since election night, I've had a feeling that all was not right with the voting. From studying this in the days afterwards, it soon became clear that something had gone very wrong. This book finally puts together all of the suspicious and downright criminal activity surrounding 2004's rigged election.
The most glaring suspicion that the result was fraudulent arose around the massive discrepancies between the exit polls and the result in several states. Exit polls have been accurate at every election in living memory in the US - except in 2000, which we have since discovered would have been won by Al Gore if the Supreme Court had not stopped the count and handed `Dubya' the presidency. The exit polls in 2004 were dramatically at odds with the result, and every single discrepancy favoured Bush. In March 2005, a study came out from US Count Votes, computing that the odds against such an enormous error in the exit polls were 959,000 - 1. In other words, the chances that the 2004 election was not rigged are nearly a million to one.
All of this may be news to you, because it has not been reported in the mainstream print media. CNN were even obliging enough to `adjust' their exit polls after the results were known to make them match up with the outcome, swiftly followed by the rest of what Miller ironically refers to as the "liberal media".
Instead of reporting the facts, Miller asserts, the media referred to the matter flippantly, dismissing it as internet rumour and paranoid conspiracy theory, and continued to ignore the overwhelming evidence which began to emerge, particularly in Ohio, where the state senate investigated the matter.
Mark Crispin Miller documents dozens of staggering assaults on democracy, from the coordinated disenfranchisement of overseas US voters (who favoured Kerry by a large margin), to the criminal suppression of the black vote.
Miller points out that the CEOs of electronic voting companies are Republican fund-raisers and supporters and that vote manipulation would be remarkably easy, with many of the tallying computers online.
Miller's concern is that the theological right will go to any lengths to win and retain power, since they see their political opponents - literally - as agents of Satan. He warns that this could happen again next time, and does not trust that the Democrats will stand against it, noting that although John Kerry's wife has publicly stated that she believes the vote was rigged, he has never defended his voters, then or since.
The case Miller makes is compelling, and it is particularly disturbing to consider how well conditioned the public is: if it isn't reported in respectable media organs, it isn't news. America is slipping quietly into fascism, and this book is a welcome and essential wake-up call.
Andrew Gumbel opens his book, STEAL THIS VOTE, with a stunning indictment of the American electoral process from ex-President Jimmy Carter. Asked if the Carter Center's "widely respected international election monitoring team" would ever considering monitoring an American election, Carter bluntly declined. "Not only would the voting system be regarded as a failure, he said, but the shortcomings were so egregious [they] would never agree to monitor an [American] election in the first place....'The American political system wouldn't measure up to any sort of international standards...'"
In FOOLED AGAIN, Mark Crispin Miller analyzes the 2004 Presidential election and finds that President Carter was indeed correct in his assessment. Through his overview of the election results and his detailed analysis of the outcome in Florida and Ohio, he not only demonstrates how badly broken our national electoral system is, he provides more than enough evidence to suggest that our current President, George W. Bush, has in fact stolen two elections in the last five years. Why were reported election results so substantially at odds with the same day's exit polling (a first in American history)? Why were reported election results so substantially at odds with early voter returns in so many States, also a result without precedent? Why did Kerry's performance in key Democratic districts actually decline from Gore's, despite thousands of Democratic voter registrations and the relative absence of Ralph Nader from 2004's race? And what are we to make of Republican Congressman Peter King's assertion in the summer of 2003 that the 2004 election was already over? How did he know Bush would win? "It's all over but the counting," he answered. "And we'll take care of the counting." And so they did.
The examples are detailed, numerous, and specific: widespread and systematic pre-election disenfranchisement by local Republican election officials, failure to register Democratic voters, distributing absentee ballots late or incorrectly, spreading false and misleading information, refusing to register Democrats to vote, manipulating the availability of working voting machines to favor Republican precincts, intimidating voters on college campuses and at the polls, undersupplying provisional ballots in Democratic districts, throwing away Democratic votes, manipulating paperless electronic voting machines manufactured by Republican supporters, and virtually prohibiting millions of overseas absentee ballots from being counted. Miller points out that the Republican Party not only engaged in all of these vote suppression tactics and more, they simultaneously asserted repeatedly that the Democratic Party was in fact the one that was engaging in the same underhanded behaviors they were perpetrating!
Miller takes time out from his explication of events before and during the election to psychoanalyze the Republican Party's behavior. He contends that the more fanatical elements of the Party rationalize their own behaviors by projecting them onto the Democrats. By demonizing the dark forces of "the Other," they justify the absolute correctness of their own misdeeds. They see the election not as politics, but as an apocalyptic battle of dark and light, good and evil. Under such a "world view," any actions, no more how immoral, unethical, or outright illegal, are justifiable in the name of preserving Republican rule.
Mr. Miller also reserves much of his condemnation for the mainstream media. The major media organizations have underreported and underinvestigated, ignoring both small stories as well as the broader pattern. They have been too quick to cave to the blathering roar from the Right, cowed into acquiescence rather than serving the commonweal in their watchdog capacity. Why, for example, are Americans almost utterly ignorant of the January, 2005 Conyers Report ("Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio?") At the same time, the Republican Noise Machine agitates immediately against anyone who has the temerity to suggest the election was tainted in the slightest manner, labeling them as cranks, loonies, conspiracy nuts, sore losers, and the like. As Miller suggests, the citizens of Europe are better informed about the truth of our national elections than we are.
FOOLED AGAIN is a stunning indictment of the current, win-at-all-costs Republican Party, the American electoral process, and the blatant, couch potato indifference of American citizens that has made us the laughingstock of the Western world. What happened in the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections is a national disgrace, an embarrassment of colossal magnitude that we are too blind to see. Miller's "true life incidents" from tiny Jacksonville, Oregon in his book's Appendix are eye-openers that everyone should read if they want to understand what's really taking place in this country today. It's enough to make you cry. Hopefully it will infuriate you to stand up and do something, because it will indeed happen again in 2006 and 2008, and on and on until we put a stop to it and take our country back from the right-wing fanatics who've hijacked it.
Read FOOLED AGAIN - it's your civic duty.
on December 30, 2005
There are scores of new and recent books worth reading, but how often does a book invite comparison with SILENT SPRING, UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED or, for that matter, THE PENTAGON PAPERS. Laugh if you will, but you'll be laughing all the way to the vault, your own burial place as the citizen of a Democracy.
Once you begin reading this book, you won't be able to stop until you finish it.
Despite the lack of national media coverage of massive election-related fraud Mark Crispin Miller connects the dots (or should I say pixels) and shows how the presidential election of 2004 was stolen in plain sight.
On June 19th of 2005 Miller interviewed Denise Shull, a New Yorker who had grown up in Ohio, and returned to help the Kerry campaign during its final week. While serving as a poll checker on election day, she discovered, to her disbelief and horror, that somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of the Democratic voters in the four precincts she monitored were not on the master list of registered voters. Many of them had lived and voted in the same area for years. People were being turned away from the polls and denied their right to vote.
But Ohio isn't the only state where the GOP found ways to suppress voter turnout and the registration of Democrats. In Arizona (and other states) students were told they couldn't vote where they attended school. In Florida, eligible voters were purged from the rolls. In many states minority voters were intimidated and confused through the use of dirty tricks. Democratic registration forms were thrown away by contractors like Sproul and Associates who were paid millions of dollars by the RNC to operate in swing states before the election.
Miller also shows how the electronic voting machines (the major companies being controlled by Republican interests) delivered votes for Bush despite the evidence of exit polls, and Bush's 2004 weakness within a divided Republican party.
Furthermore, one must read this book to find out the role of the Pentagon in disenfranchising countless Americans abroad.
When I was growing up in the 1960's there was a tongue-in-cheek television program called "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." starring Robert Vaughn as Napolean Solo. Solo once said, as he held a listening device, "sometimes the most obvious is the most devious." After reading FOOLED AGAIN, I thought of this. The author ends by pointing out that we, as citizens of this country must stand up and insist on electoral reform, meaning federal standards for elections and the banning of the electronic machines now in use.
on January 7, 2006
Mark Crispin Miller has made it his work to provide Americans with the information they need to see the actions of the NeoCons not as isolated events but as a pattern of interlocking points that have moved the conversion of American government far along the path to fascism.
His courage in confronting not only the opposition but the leadership of the Democratic Party has provided a rallying point. When your leaders fail to be the voice for protest then the people must find new leaders.
Black Box, and the other many efforts to bring the electoral process back to the people owe much to his efforts and to his voice.
This book provides the reader with the solid information needed to understand what has happened and then see where individudal efforts are best applied. It is a must read for anyone who is committed to freedom.
As a Republican I urge all Republicans and Libertarians ro read it and buy it to give to others.
on December 2, 2005
How is it that the carefully-researched, meticulously-documented, copiously-footnoted works of Administration critics are dismissed as madness, while the unsupported, categorical rhetoric of Administration supporters is accepted as common wisdom?
Miller is a clear and convincing writer. He's done his homework, and he makes a powerful case, calling the legitimacy of the Bush White House into question. This is a story that has been woefully neglected, even by the 'liberal' arm of the US press. It has been told piecemeal by internet bloggers and non-profit websites. In Europe and New Zealand (!) the story of the election heist of 2004 has been reported by the commercial press, and is common knowledge. But in America, it has been considered slightly loony to question the integrity of our electoral machinery.
'Fooled Again' may just prove to be a turning point for the conventional wisdom. What Miller has done with this book is far more than to document anecdotes of election fraud and put them in perspective. He paints for us a coherent picture that I, for one, have understood for the first time after reading his work. I had been familiar with the economic analysis of right-wing politics - the growing power of multinational corporations, the lobbyists and the PACS, and their dominance in setting our government's agenda. It had seemed to me to be the work of a distant, inaccessible money machine.
Miller adds a psychological perspective, making the actions of the power-grabbers very tangible, comprehensible and real. The subversion of our democracy was planned for decades by people who are not so much evil as afraid, and no more dishonest with us than they are with themselves. If the methods with which they push their agenda seem deceptive, autocratic and draconian, it is because they perceive their situation (and ours) to be desperate.
One weakness of the book is that it focuses exclusively on anecdotal evidence for election theft. There is another half of the story which is told by numerical evidence. The widespread statistical anomalies in the 2004 election provide a context for the anecdotes, so that they cannot be dismissed as isolated aberrations. The statistical story will be told in a forthcoming book by Steve Freeman.
Since November '04, I had been a follower of the internet dialogs about election fraud, and a minor contributor to the statistical analysis. I have found Miller's book to be empowering: He offers us a context in which we might hope to organize a new movement for electoral integrity, setting the system aright before it becomes entrenched.
on December 18, 2005
There is no joy in this book. It documents in excruciating detail overwhelming evidence of the broad-ranging election fraud that took place in the United States in connection with the 2004 national election. Unfortunately, the reaction of the typical na*ve American to the fact that the election was stolen by the right-wing Republicans who are currently in power in this country has been an insistent disbelief. The indisputable facts have been either roundly disputed or assiduously ignored by the mainstream print and broadcast media, and the proponents of this ugliest of truths have been relegated to the status of tinfoil hat conspiracy theorists.
The subject of this book is self-marginalizing. It utterly destroys the reflexive "It can't happen here" response of those of us who refuse to believe that it HAS happened here. I say "those of us" because acknowledgement of the basic premise of the book is the most revolutionary of thoughts for anyone who has learned to believe in the sanctity of our electoral system, and the basic premise is extremely painful to admit in spite of the overwhelming proof: Our government has been hijacked by undemocratic forces that manipulated election results to reinstall the Bush administration, an illegitimate administration initially installed by a Supreme Court decision that invalidated the results of the 2000 election, an administration dedicated to world domination and the destruction of American democracy, the U.S. Constitution and the individual rights that made this country the envy of striving people throughout the world.
Why do we refuse to believe that it can happen here and, indeed, that it has happened here? The reason is that the inevitable conclusion that American democracy has been fatally compromised can lead to only one reaction: and that reaction is action. "And what if it's true?" people ask. "What can we do?" Indeed, what can we do? Can we go on as before? Certainly not. Can we ignore it? No. (Only the press can ignore it.) We as citizens have several options: vote the bastards out, have them removed by impeachment, or take up arms against them. Yet if elections, with the help of Diebold, Sequoia, ES&S and the other private machine proprietors and counters of votes, are permanently fixed, the first option is eliminated. In that case, we are truly doomed.
But, as Bush suggested in the days immediately following September 11, 2001, we have yet another option: we can go shopping. We can drink the Kool-Aid. Congress, by all indications, has opted for this most comfortable option. The author of this book thankfully has not.
The author of "Fooled Again" ( the title is based on Bush's famous garbling of a saying that should have come out "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me," a saying Bush is psychologically incapable of repeating accurately [see "The Bush Dyslexicon"]), Mark Crispin Miller, is an indefatigable democratic (small "d") activist on a level I've never previously seen in my lifetime, a lifetime that includes exposure to the work and ideals of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Miller, the author of the 2001 examination of the psychology of this illegitimate president, "The Bush Dyslexicon," seems to understand Bush. In the "Dyslexicon" and in a later book entitled "Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order," Miller delves further into the psychology of this imposter than others are willing to do. And it is scary in there. Whether Bush is a Machiavellian manipulator of people or the unwitting beneficiary of forces far greater than he is, forces that include the religious right and defense, medical, pharmaceutical, petro-chemical and other dominant corporate interests, the conclusion is inescapable that he is getting away with murder, figuratively and literally, including the murder of our democracy and the murders of innocents caught up in his serial military adventures.
The American spirit is optimistic. We believe in the goodness of our government and its people. We believe that people who vote differently from us still play by the same rules. We are willing to endorse the results of elections that result in the election of candidates we did not support. This is the essence of democracy. This is also the fundamental weakness in our ability to acknowledge exactly what went on in 2004. The inescapable and terrifying fact is that the right-wing branch of the Republican party, which includes religious and corporate interests that are motivated by something other than democracy, does not play by the rules. This was obvious in Florida in 2000, when Republican functionaries and activists and Bush campaign workers and PNAC suporters converged on state offices to force a halt to the vote recount. To them it was a game. It was the same game Segretti and Rove & Co. developed while they were in college, pretending to pursue an education they never received. And the only rule in this game is that there are no rules, that the ends always justify the means. If the preferred candidate is elected or installed by any means, then it doesn't matter how he gets there.
Miller hits the nail on the head in describing how Bush supporters, in this instance, and right-wing activists in general, are able to perpetuate their "dirty tricks" and how they are able to justify their activities in their own minds. The key is projection. Like lawless psychotics throughout history, the Busheviks and Republican evil-doers are able to persuade themselves that they are only doing what their opponents always do, are planning to do this time, and will or would do in the future if they, the defenders of liberty, let down their guard. They are right and their opponents are wrong. They are, they truly believe, motivated by higher values, and their opponents, conversely, are motivated by selfish interests. The Bushevik true believers "project" onto anyone who disagrees with them the same qualities and motivations that they themselves possess. Therefore, if the Busheviks are inclined to steal elections or manipulate the vote counts, or suppress the vote, or engage in any kind of election mischief, their justification is that they are only doing what their opponents do - or would do, if they could get away with it. This is the essential justification in the minds of the people who are coldbloodedly destroying this country - to save it.
We can't believe the election was stolen because it is too painful to admit. The co-opted press has dutifully fallen in line because it has been taught that to challenge this administration is to invite retaliation. Besides, it is now part of the corporate elite, and has other interests. A primary interest is going along to get along, not to upset its own comfort level. It is still "embedded," in every sense of the word, and promises to remain embedded. There are facts that exist, however, and facts will continue to be promulgated on the Internet and elsewhere. But the truth-tellers who actually care about facts and the truth will, by the same token, continue to be marginalized. Why? Simple: they do not control the debate.
This book belongs on the desk of every Congressman in this country, for every one of whom it should be required reading. But comfort, unfortunately, has also become a principal value of our elected national representatives. So they will not read it. They will not learn the painful truths that the author exposes, proves and insists be recognized. But there is, thankfully, the occasional John Conyers, and the occasional hero who will see and acknowledge the truth when it bites him in the nose. Let's hope one or two get bitten so we can reverse the disastrous course this country has taken without further delay.
If there is a modern Thomas Paine it is Mark Crispin Miller. His work deserves to be read and considered. Someone, reportedly Gloria Steinem, said "The truth will set you free. But first it will piss you off." It had better.
Most reviews have focused on the appalling lists of Republican dirty tricks in the 2000 and 2004 elections (mostly the latter) in this book, but I think perhaps the greater value is in Miller's clear description of the paranoid, cult-like mindset of these people. Although they utter many untruths, they are not always lying - it seems likely that many have convinced themselves of their fanatical nonsense and are able to genuinely ignore inconvenient facts. But whether they are simply blindly obsessive, or cynical and duplicitous (as some certainly are) the danger to the republic is the same.
And Miller rightly blasts the media for their lack of attention to all this. This may be changing somewhat, as events like Katrina have made the scales fall from some eyes: but not enough.
If there is one fault to find with Millers's review of media attitudes, it is that he gives a lot of attention to what the Press did or didn't print - lots of chapter and verse - rather less for TV and radio. But TV and radio - sorry, all you folks who love to read - have, for the majority of our population, about fifty times the impact of anything that may appear in newspapers. The Press sins largely (though not only) by omission - not covering something, not following up. But TV - and even more so, talk radio - are into heavy-duty sins of commission, spreading misinformation and bias overtly hour after hour, day after day. No wonder we're in the state we're in. Recovery will not be easy.
on April 28, 2006
This book is a great public service, a riveting, well documented account of a pathological criminal enterprise engaged in a massive coast-to-coast scheme to disenfranchise and defraud the American public of their most cherished and fundamental right -- the right to elect our own government. A must-read for anyone who cares about the future of our representative democracy.
on May 15, 2006
This book is, by far, one of (if not THE) best and most important book I've ever read. It must be made required reading by all college (& high school) students, every American citizen and all freedom/democary loving people the world over. It is imperative that this book be read by all our elected (at least) Non-Republican legislators in Washington DC and all over this Nation. I read it twice -a double take of sorts to make sure to thoroughly grasp it all. In late January 2005, I read "Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong In Ohio," the status report of the house judiciary committee Democratic staff lead by the distinguished representative, John Conyers, Jr., the ranking Democrat on the house Judiciary Committee. I thought that the Conyers' report said it all until I read "Fooled Again" -a second jolting wake-up call to the immense theft by the Republican Election Machine (REM) of the 2000 (& before), 2002, and 2004 national, state & local elections. The REM is firmly posed to steal the 2006 election too (using the same shenanigans & criminal tactics), unless, as Mr. Miller stated, "we stop them." Fooled Again" is replete with concrete research "notes" backed by an abundance of solid and irrefutable evidence. The Majority of Americans has been repeatedly and impudently disenfrancised by the REM while our elected Democratic legislators and political leaders stood back passive and (scared) silent -and continue to do so. Our great country is being ruled by a very small minority of members and followers of the REM.
The 9-11 catastrophe is nothing compared to what Americans stand to face unless all of us collectively and overwhelmingly WAKE UP & SMELL THE COFFEE. Top priority must be to completely do away with the current Republican-invented e-voting machines. "We the people" must insist that ONLY non-partisan voting machines with a paper trail must be used. Otherwise, we will one day wake up and realize that the Republican party has captured our nation, ruling us with governance of fear, subserviance, conformity, intrusion, restrictivenss and restrained confinement -a total loss of all our liberties. Unless we stop the REM's theft of elections, starting TODAY, our sacred (World Trade Centers) towers of freedom, democracy and the pursuit of happiness are sure to be toppled to smithereens. We must not let this happen. To our legislators, "We the people" implore you, with burning clamor, to wear armors of change, switch your political gears from silence/passivity/neutrality to out right active positive change. We elected you to fight for us. You have not done so.
Mark Crispin Miller deserves the highest awardS that can be bestowed on any author proclaiming urgent, irrefutable and absolute truths. He did an extraordinary, exceptional and thorough job of writing this book -writing excellence. Again, this is a MUST READ BOOK by all people worlwide.