Election Day Law Ignores First Amendment

25 10 2008

Imagine waiting for three hours in line on Election Day to cast your ballot, but you’re turned away at the last second. Right before the voting booth, you’re turned away because you’re not wearing the right kind of sneakers.

You should have left your Nike Obama Air Force Ones at home.

Lawyers and campaigners have started bringing up a little known law that completely undermines the First Amendment on Election Day. They’ve started bringing it up, because it can prevent you from voting after you’ve waited for hours in line. Instead of being able to vote, you may be forced to go home and change.

This law prevents against the crime of “passive electioneering,” which is when voters wear political paraphernalia to the voting booth.

If you’re planning on voting, don’t wear anything that shows any kind of support for anything – you’re not allowed. Even though you’re going there to vote for who you think should run the country, for some reason, the people running the election don’t want you to show it.

Some republicans have argued that the outfits could get too outlandish.

Imagine people wearing musical hats to the voting booths. Wouldn’t that be complete and utter chaos? Blood would most likely run in the streets! If people could wear Obama and McCain pins to the election, they would no doubt take them off and start piecing each other relentlessly.

If you’re heading to the election booth, you’ve most likely made your mind about why you’re there. Someone wearing a McCain hat or Obama shirt isn’t going  to sway your vote or drive you to violence, so why waste taxpayer dollars creating laws on it?

Not only does it lack sense, but it has also damaged democracy and what we are supposed to believe in as a country. If I want to where an Obama Halloween costume when I go vote, I should be allowed. Everyone should just be happy that I’m voting, and stop being so picky.

Everyone is always telling everyone else to go out and vote, but if I show support when I go out and do it, then you won’t let me vote?

From what I can tell, our government only wants half a democracy. They want about 50 percent of us to vote, and the other half to stay home. For some reason, when we get too pumped up about an election, they have to make sure to bring us back down.

Please vote, but don’t be too excited about it, or else they might not let you.

Hopefully we’ll see a lot of publicity on this subject in the next week and a half.

And hopefully someone can explain to me how this isn’t a blatant violation of my First Amendment rights.

5 political tactics used by liars

24 10 2008

When a politician starts speaking, you should already have your guard up.

Get ready to become a filter, because there’s a big difference between what a politician says, and what he or she actually means.

Terms you can tune out to. They dont mean much when politicians say them anymore.

Terms you can tune out to. They don't mean much when politicians say them anymore.

Fortunately, a lot of politicians have put themselves in a lot of compromising situations. This gives us a chance to observe those critical moments right before they actually admit to their misdeeds. It is in these moments where we can see the mind of a professional liar break down.

When one of the world’s greatest liars starts going down, we get to see what desperate attempts they make to try to stay afloat. Those desperate acts are the ones that show us the inner workings of mass manipulation And when we see those moments, we can remember and point out when others use them.

The following are five terms that politicians have used when they’re going down in flames. Check them out, and see if you can tell when politicians try to use the same tactics in the future.


5) Redirection and Deferment:

We’ll start out with a popular example from about a decade ago. President Bill Clinton’s position was compromised after he put intern Monica Lewinsky in a compromising position. It doesn’t matter what your personal opinion is about the situation, the fact that Clinton lied isn’t up for debate.

Clinton said he didn’t have any kind of sexual relations with the intern, but later admitted he did. This gives us an opportunity to see Slick Willy’s tactics of untruth.

This video takes place after Clinton cracked under the pressure, but there are still some key strategies we can get out of it.

Notice how he immediately tries to redirect the conversation at the beginning. That’s a very successful way politicians get out of what they don’t want to talk about. It didn’t work in this instance, but it has in many others.

His answers also give us some information. If a politician is being asked a serious question, and can’t give a “yes” or “no” answer, there’s a problem. If someone’s making sure not to answer a question, it’s probably because they don’t like the answer they would give.


4) Unprovoked confirmation that a statement is true:

Recently, John McCain has been put in a situation that has forced him to defend “robocalls” he’s decided to make. These are automated calls into people’s homes that campaign for McCain.

A video of him defending these calls gives us some insight into how politicians will sometimes start defending an accusation that was never made.

McCain starts defending how true the robocall is, when that was never an issue. By doing this, he not only redirects whatever accusation was going to be made, but he also gets off without having to lie about anything (even though what he’s doing is suspect).


3) Make it personal:

Richard Nixon’s most popular phrase of all time is probably, “I am not a crook.” The problem was, that statement wasn’t exactly true. He was involved in the Watergate scandal.

While his ship was sinking, he was able to give us a statement, which we can now look back on and see as a not-always-effective tactic to cool down the heat.

He makes the accusations more personal by using “I am” and “I’ve earned” statements. These are an effective way to confront everyone who is thinking bad thoughts about you. It makes people think they are attacking you, because they don’t like you.

If they think you did something wrong, call them out on it, and they’ll usually back down. That is, unless they have a lot of recorded evidence to back themselves up.


2) Realistic, but not necessarily real, links:

One of the best ways to get Americans to fight who you want them to fight, is to link your enemies to people Americans already don’t like.

Dick Cheney gave a good example of this when he was trying to link Iraq to the attacks on Sept. 11. Cheney made statements suggesting that Iraq was somehow involved, and not only was this later proved wrong, but Cheney also backtracked on the statements himself.

Even though he backtracked, this was still a factor in getting support for the Iraq War from the public. This tactic can be very dangerous, because it can lead to a constant war where we keep attacking people who our leaders tell us are linked to people we’ve already fought.

The 7-step Kevin Bacon rule proves that this can eventually kill us all, since we’re all linked in someway. Thank you, Kevin Bacon, for proving the eventual apocalypse.


1) Fear:

Fear is what politicians use most to control us. People will do almost anything to not feel fear, and that’s why politicians keep feeding it to us. It’s the most effective way to get what they want.

This last one is a little bit of a compilation of politicians, but they’re all from basically the same administration.

We need to realize that there’s always going to be something to be afraid of, but it’s not a reason to allow others to control what we do.

We have to keep our guard up when politicians are talking about scary stuff, because it usually means they want something. It’s the equivalent to a child being really nice to their parents all of the sudden.

They’re only doing it to get what they want, and they’ll do it again when they need something else.

-William Kammer

Top 5 Sarah Palin Mistakes, So Far

22 10 2008

The following are obvious mistakes Sarah Palin has already made on her road to taking the second highest office in the country.

There are obviously many more mistakes, and if you feel there is a specific incidence that isn’t on the list and should be, then leave a comment. I realize everyone isn’t going to have to same opinion of how terrible each her mistakes is compared to the others.

Let’s get the ball rolling:


One of Palin’s more recently discovered mistakes involved Alaska paying for her kids to go to New York, among other places. Palin charged over $20,000 to the state in order for her kids to go with her to events they weren’t invited to. One expense was a 5-day trip to New York for Palin and her daughter, Bristol, and another expense to the state allowed her children to watch their dad, Todd, perform in a snowmobile race.

The argument is that Palin’s daughters were invited to these events, but some organizers disagree. Palin tries to brush it off as not a big deal, but if it wasn’t a big deal, then why did she alter records?

“…after Alaska reporters asked for the records, Palin ordered changes to previously filed expense reports for her daughters’ travel.” – An AP Investigation.


The series of interviews Katie Couric did with Palin really showed her lack of knowledge on issues important to the office she wants to hold. Couric was relentless in asking specific questions, and wanting specific answers. Unfortunately, Palin couldn’t give Couric specific answers to easy questions. For example, When asked what kind of magazines Palin read, sheresponded by saying, “all of them.”

She also failed to answer other questions Couric threw at her, like specific questions about the economy.

This interview was just a terrible choice for Palin all-around. At the beginning of her vice presidential nomination, she already solidified herself as the dumb manipulative kind of woman, which some women don’t want representing them.


Palin received millions of dollars for Alaska in order to complete a terrible bridge idea. Not only did she receive almost $400 million for the bridge, but after the rest on the country realized that building a $400 million bridge for a town with a population of 7,500 was a bad idea, she kept the money.

She supported the idea of a bridge until the general public thought it was a bad idea, then she kept the money and said she was going to “redirect the funds.” Now she has the nerve to say the bridge was a terrible idea that she fought against it since the beginning.

There is something very scary about a person who can completely turn around anything they said, and say it with a straight face. That means she can lie to us really well.


The Alaskan Independence Party (AIP) is very connected with Palin and her family, and they don’t care much for the U.S.

The AIP wants Alaska to succeed from the U.S. and become their own state. Big players in the party like Mark Chryson say they wouldn’t use force to succeed, but he admits to having lots of guns, as I mentioned in an earlier post (Obama and Ayers compared to Palin and Chryson).

Palin isn’t a member of this organization, but her husband is. And although she has never officially been a member, she has worked with them and supported them publicly on television.


The worst mistake Palin made was accepting the nomination for vice president. This isn’t necessarily the worst mistake she made for herself, but it is the worst mistake she has made she her gender and her species.

Unlike Hilary Clinton, Palin isn’t a good role model for anyone. She isn’t someone who worked her way to the top and fought for everything she’s got. She had a vice presidential nomination fall in her lap after Clinton didn’t get on the democratic ticket. Palin just happened to be the hottest female at McCain’s disposal.

If Clinton was on the democratic ticket, there is no way McCain would have picked Palin. A potential president shouldn’t be picking his vice president based on who his opponent picks.

It should be the best person for the job.

“Real Virginia” may be a new key meaningless term for McCain

19 10 2008

Recently, John McCain’s aide said that McCain was strong in “real Virginia.” This looks like it could become another one of those terms that politicians use to rile-up support while the words don’t really mean anything.

Maybe "real Virginia" should be added to the cloud

Maybe "real Virginia" should be added to the cloud.

“Real” Virginia is anyone who helps encompass what Virginia is as a state. That includes everyone who lives there, not just the people who support McCain, so I don’t see what they could really be getting at by the term.

McCain’s aide, Nancy Pfotenhauer, said that the poeple who live in the more populated areas in the northern parts of Virginia are commuters and people moving from D.C. who don’t count as “real” Virginians.

This is different than the southern par, which is more rural.

It’s pretty well known that republicans do better in rural areas, so why create a term that pins down those in Virginia? The logical reason seems to be one that’s a little slimy.

Instead of getting people in Virginia to support McCain by making him hear what their needs are, and helping them with their problems, the big strategy is to back-handily lie to them. By using the term “real Virginia,” all McCain does is instill a sense of ownership and pride in the rural south of the state.

If someone told me I lived in the “real California,” I would feel pretty proud of myself, but at the same time, it doesn’t really help me with my bills. I don’t really care if I live in the “real” part of the state, if the state is still getting screwed over.

When the “real” parts of the states are hurting just bad or more than the “fake” parts, then what’s the real difference? The only difference is one part of the state is going to have a chunk swayed to vote for someone who did nothing more than give them an empty compliment.

This is the video:

100,000 people attend Obama rally in Missouri

18 10 2008

Just so you know, I really try to be unbiased, but sometimes one campaign has all the news. I can’t help but notice all of the firsts that have happened in the Obama campaign. Not only is he the first black president (potentially), but a lot of his ideas are new, answering questions with specific answers is new, and his new rally in Missouri brought in record breaking numbers. The only first in the McCain campaign is Sarah Palin being a woman, but that hasn’t really worked out like they’d hoped.

The photo of 100,000 people waiting to hear Obama speak is amazing. But you have to ask yourself, “why would all of these people travel to see Obama in Missouri?” No matter what you think the answer is, you’d have to admit that whatever brought all of them there, it was pretty powerful.

Obama is bringing out more emotion and feeling in his followers. He makes them believe that he is actually going to change things. McCain says he’s going to change this as well, but for some reason, not as many people believe him.

Why is that?

Maybe because he’s been in Washington for 30 years and things haven’t changed much while he’s been there. If you can’t change things to they way you want them in 30 years, how do you expect to do it in four?

It seems like, as long as people go out and vote, there is no question Obama has more followers to vote for him. However, that seems to be the case in every election. There are more democrats in this country than republicans, there are more people supporting Obama than McCain. But for some reason, republicans are always in the running when election night comes.

This is because there’s a big difference between saying things and actually doing them. Democrats always talk big, and hopefully Obama can back up what he’s saying.

Joe the Plumber was linked to GOP scandal before talking to Obama

17 10 2008

“Joe the Plumber” has been found after the debate last night, and he’s not making things look any better for Barack Obama or John McCain.

The plumber the candidates were talking about in last night’s debate turns out to be a man by the name of Joe Wurzelbacher.

At an Obama event in Ohio, Wurzelbacher told Obama that he’s planning on buying a business that earns over $250,000 a year. He then asked Obama, “Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn’t it?”

Years before that question sparked much of the final presidential debate of 2008, a relative of Wurzelbacher’s was involved in a scandal with McCain.

The Gawker article says, “Keating’s son-in-law, Robert Wurzelbacher (not a very common last name) served a 40-month prison sentence in 1993 in connection with Keating’s Lincoln Savings and Loan collapse.” According to the article, McCain was investigated in the matter, but was let off with a slap on the wrist.

It’s hard to believe that Joe the Plumber just happened to be connected to the Keating scandal, and Joe’s already become somewhat of a talking head for republicans. It’s starting to look like this thing was -to some extent- set up by someone.

Wurzelbacher isn’t a very common last name.

There is a collection of articles and fast facts about the situation here.

Sarah Palin Says New Hampshire is in the Northwest – The Crowd isn’t Happy

15 10 2008

It doesn’t matter what side of the political spectrum you’re on, incorrect statements are incorrect statements. Sarah Palin’s lack of geography knowledge seemed to change the mood of a crowd in New Hampshire she was talking to, and it doesn’t look like she recognized her mistake right away.

There’s no debating your way out of not knowing where part of the country is. Especially when you want to be the vice president of that country. This brings up a lot of questions: How can Palin love a country she doesn’t know much about? How much can she know about what she’s doing, if she doesn’t even know what direction the plane is going when she’s in it? And this also brings up the question that always needs to be asked: why on earth pick Sarah Palin to be on the ticket?

Questions that are also out there that need to be answered honestly are: Would she have been chosen if she was male? Would she have been chosen if Clinton ran with Obama? It’s scary when the leaders of your country aren’t selected on merit, but by electability. Obama is also in this category, but he is still miles ahead of Palin of everything.

Obama and Ayers compared to Palin and Chryson

15 10 2008

When you start diving into a politician’s political background, you’ll no doubt find some dirt you can use against them. There isn’t a single successful clean politician, because the system requires lots of dirty money and dirty support to get to the top. My definition of “dirty” being things that are accepted in a political campaign based on the understanding that the company giving the dirty stuff will be protected in some way.

John McCain and (more so) Sarah Palin have been bringing up Barack Obama’s connection to Bill Ayers for some time now. This is a justified, legitimate point to bring up from Obama’s past, but they are blowing it out of proportion. Whenever you hear the words “domestic terrorist,” you’re first thought should be, “why would they call him/her that?” not “what is there justification?” It’s easy to justify why you do something, but it’s more difficult and credible when you actually have a powerful reason for doing it.

While this connection between Obama and Ayers has been out for a while, there is now a new connection between a “domestic terrorist” and a candidate on a ticket this November. Now we have the Palin-Chryson connection to look into.

Mark Chryson is the chairman of the Alaskan Independence Party. He is in favor of Alaska succeeding from the nation, and also recognizes 30 other state’s claims of succession. He carries a gun wherever he goes, has a basement full of them, and says lots of Alaskans have lots of guns for similar reasons, according to the Salon article.

While Ayers had a radical movements in the sixties, what has he done lately? Well, lately it looks like he is a professor at the respectable University of Illinois at Chicago, and doesn’t care for the press he’s getting for his past from, the Chicago Tribune managed to get a word out of him.

Pretty much the only thing Ayers would say about the situation is, “Life happens.”

Chryson on the other hand, is still going on camera trying to get more publicity for his radical movements (note, they are not in his past). And although Sarah Palain was never an official member of the AIP, her husband Todd was, and Chryson considers her a personal friend.

If you’re a politician and you’re planning and digging up someone’s background, it would be a good idea to check your ticket and make sure there aren’t similar offenses involving someone in it. If the Chryson stuff gets enough publicity (why wouldn’t it?), then the stuff Palin and McCain said about Ayers might just come back to bite them in the ballot.

Barack Obama takes campaigning to a new level with Xbox 360, how will he be attacked?

14 10 2008

Obama’s camp has promised change, and that’s what they have delivered – at least when it comes to new campaigning methods. Recent sightings of an Obama ad in the EA game “Burnout Paradise” have the media outlets tweaking out.

Obama on Xbox, thanks to the source

Obama on Xbox 360

It’s cool people are at least trying to make this tedious election season a little more interesting. The fact that Obama’s camp went through with this shows they have a little bit of an open mind.

There are also those people who see this as an opening to hit Obama with another jab to try to take him down a peg, which isn’t completely unfounded. Some places are bringing up quotes Obama has said in the past, including, “… turn off the television set, and put the video games away, and instill a sense of excellence in our children…”

It’s tough to take that quote seriously when he turns around and advertises in the video games he doesn’t want kids to play. He wants kids to put down the video games, but does he have any idea how many more copies of “Burnout Paradise” will be played because of his face in the game and the publicity that brings?

This is small potatoes when you compare it to other contradictions in the election season. A qualified Palin, friendly McCain, civil Biden and humble Obama are already paradoxes that have been introduced this election.

When it comes down to it, the video game campaign is a good idea. Of course some people will attack him, because when you’re losing, you have to find a way to score some more points and get ahead. I just don’t think it’s going to work in this instance.

And if McCain tries to look young, talk about video games and get some of this demographic, then Comedy Central will have some good material for a while.

Now Obama just has to hope that those gamers will get out of the house on election day. I doubt they will if they’re in an important spot in the game their playing.

Here’s a page with a collection of links to all the stories about Obama on Xbox 360

Key meaningless political terms in the VP debate

7 10 2008

As the election gets closer, I can’t help but notice more meaningless political words coming out. These are words politicians use without understanding the meaning of the word, or at least not using the word in the correct way.

This makes the word or phrase take on a new meaning that helps the person who is using the word. For example, using the word “freedom” will strike certain emotions in people without the politician needing to use the word correctly.

Tag cloud of meaningless political words, the larger are more dangerous

Tag cloud of meaningless political words, the larger are more dangerous

I came up with a list of meaningless words (with some help from a post at DoubleThinkBlog and one at KVNUForThePeople), and I put them in a tag cloud-style grid with the most construed and misused words being the largest.

I also tallied how often some of those words were used in the recent vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.



Tally of key terms in VP debate:

Change: Palin – 18, Biden – 22, Maverick: Palin – 6, Biden – 9

Freedom: Palin – 5, Biden – 1, Patriot: Palin – 3, Biden – 2

Rights: Palin – 2, Biden – 7, Democracy: Palin – 3, Biden – 1

Terror: Palin – 3, Biden – 5, Security: Palin – 3, Biden – 3

Equal: Palin – 1, Biden – 0, Victory: Palin – 2, Biden – 0

Experience: Palin – 4, Biden – 0, War on…: Palin – 2, Biden – 0

Total “Victories”: Biden – 4, Palin – 7, Tie – 1

“Change” was by far the most used term during the debate, but there were questions about change, so that statistic was pumped up. Biden used the word “maverick” more than Palin did, and he never mentioned experience.

Also note that:

  • “equal” includes “equality”
  • “terror” includes “terrorist” and “terrorism”
  • “patriot” includes “patriotic”