Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Meet The New Blog, Same As The Old Blog

In just a few hours I will be interviewed on the nationally syndicated Thom Hartmann radio show. We'll be discussing election conditions, peaceful revolution, and my new book We Do Not Consent. If you are in Humboldt County, tune in at 11am to KGOE, 1480-AM. The show airs on over 80 radio stations plus it streams online so if you are outside of Humboldt, please click here to find the best way to get the signal.

This is the broadest exposure yet for these ideas. Obviously it is important that the many thousands of Hartmann listeners know where to get more of this information and how to continue receiving it on a regular basis. I do not want Hartmann to be spelling out G-U-V-W...since the word GuvWurld is difficult to remember and to spell correctly. As a result, this will likely be my final post here at GuvWurld.

The advocacy journalism work of GuvWurld will transition uninterrupted at my new blog If you are a GuvWurld subscriber, please visit the new site and enter your e-mail address to continue receiving dispatches when the site is updated. You will receive only one more reminder after this. If you do not opt-in to WDNC then you will not receive e-mail updates from me.

We Do Not Consent, the blog, is also set up to process payments automatically for the sale of We Do Not Consent, the book (you can also click Buy Now at the top of GuvWurld). A free .pdf version of We Do Not Consent is still available here:

This is quite the moment in time and I have much more I'd like to share. But it will have to wait. It seems like there ought to be some significant point to make in wrapping things up here at GuvWurld, but this isn't really any kind of an ending at all. So for now I'll just say what we all want: PEACE.

If you don't want PEACE, what do you want?

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Monday, May 29, 2006

PRESS RELEASE: Berman to Appear on Hartmann Show

May 29, 2006

TO: All media

FROM: Voter Confidence Committee

CONTACT: Dave Berman, 707-845-3749, or


Local author Dave Berman, whose new book, We Do Not Consent, grew out of his two-year campaign to ensure verifiable elections, will receive statewide and national exposure on Thursday, June 1, when he guests on the nationally-syndicated Thom Hartmann radio program. The program can be heard in Humboldt County on KGOE, 1480 AM. Berman's interview is scheduled for 11 a.m. (Pacific Time).

Berman is also expected to discuss protest actions that his Voter Confidence Committee may take at the June 6 election. The VCC has a long-standing campaign advocating transparent, secure and verifiable elections, which cannot be achieved with the discredited Diebold optical scanners used for vote counting in Humboldt County.

Hartmann is a progressive radio talk show host with a growing following. He is heard on more than 80 stations in 29 states from California to North Carolina as well as on the Sirius satellite radio network. He also appears on the Air America progressive radio network. KGOE airs the Thom Hartmann Show locally from 9 a.m. to noon on weekdays. Programs are also archived online at

Officially launched in late March, Berman's new book (the full name is We Do Not Consent: Peaceful Revolution and Other Provocations from the GuvWurld Blog) is a compilation of essays originally posted on his blog, The book is dedicated to "conscientious objectors everywhere" and covers topics such as election integrity, U.S. involvement in Iraq, media reform, propaganda, and strategies for large scale social change.

Berman also plans to announce the launch of a new blog,, where he will continue the work started at GuvWurld. The new blog will be able to process purchase transactions for readers wishing to buy a hard copy of We Do Not Consent. The book will continue to be offered as a free .pdf download.

In the introduction to his book, Berman says that "GuvWurld is advocacy journalism. That means I often write about the work I do for change in the world and I write in a way that promotes these efforts. To judge whether my advocacy journalism is successful, I consider only whether my intended real-world results are produced."

The Voter Confidence Resolution (VCR), which was adopted by the Arcata City Council last year, "is so far my best example of successful advocacy journalism," he said. It took Berman more than a year of organizing and doing re-writes before a majority of the Council affirmed, "the Declaration of Independence refers to the Consent of the Governed as the self-evident truth from which Government derives 'just Power'...elections are [currently] conducted under conditions that prevent conclusive outcomes, [therefore] the Consent of the Governed is not being sought. Absent this self-evident source of legitimacy, such Consent is not to be assumed or taken for granted."

A protest at the June 6 election in Humboldt County would focus on the reporting of election results by Diebold optical scanners, which use illegal "interpreter code" to count votes. This computer programming is the proprietary property of the machines' manufacturer, Diebold, and is vigorously guarded and protected as secret. Thus, there is no way to verify the results--except to count the ballots by hand, which the Voter Confidence Committee believes is presently the best way to restore transparency, security and verifiable accuracy to election results.

More information about the Voter Confidence Committee is at

# # #

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Eureka Councilmember Leonard Speaks Out For Verifiability

Saturday's Eureka Times-Standard (archive) and Eureka Reporter both cover comments made by Eureka City Councilmember Jeff Leonard who is challenging the legitimacy of a recent public opinion poll. The topic of the poll and the players in the story are of local interest, but for the sake of GuvWurld, it is this quote in the T-S that brought this story alive:
"If CREG [Citizens for Real Economic Growth] commissioned a legitimate survey of public opinion on this issue, that information should be part of the public record so the City Council can use it as part of our decision-making process," Leonard said. "The community should be allowed to verify whether or not their polling was legitimate."
Let's try a slight variation on that and see if it is a stretch or if Leonard has come around to the GuvWurld position:
If the Elections Department conducted a legitimate survey of public opinion (election), those votes should be part of the public record so the City Council can use it as part of our decision-making process. The community should be allowed to verify whether or not their election was legitimate.
My variation is materially the same as the Councilmember's original statement. If we don't count the ballots, we cannot know who won.

Currently, Humboldt ballots are "counted" by optical scanners. However, the ballots do not simply go in one end of the scanner and out the other with a report of the results. In the scanner, the votes recorded on the ballots become data acted upon by computer programming, specifically illegal "interpreter code." The vote information is transformed into AccuBasic, the proprietary language of the scanner manufacturer Diebold that neither the public nor elections officials are permitted to examine. Let's pause here for a second.
"The community should be allowed to verify whether or not their polling was legitimate." - Eureka City Councilmember Jeff Leonard
We should be allowed to verify, but are we? Our system is supposed to have checks and balances and accountability. Instead, blind trust is required to accept the results according to Diebold. Worse, we have no demand for verification from the media. Instead, we have faith-based reporting about faith-based voting. There is no rational basis for confidence in the unverified results reported.

Fortunately we have paper ballots that can and should be counted by hand ("verified"). It is an old tradition, therefore perhaps even considered conservative. Or if you are progressive, it might seem like everything old is new again, what comes around goes karma, etc. And if you are like me and apparently Eureka Councilmember Jeff Leonard, it is as simple, basic and fundamental as the public deserving access to public records so we can make informed decisions. In this case, the choice is whether to accept or reject the legitimacy of an election.

Last June, when California's special initiatives election was announced for November, the Voter Confidence Committee put out a press release saying we would not accept the results as conclusive. Look for more along these lines in the next 10 days and help your friends and neighbors to understand that unverifiable elections are just simulated competition, like professional wrestling or the Harlem Globetrotters.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Tune In 6/1, GuvWurld on Thom Hartmann Radio Show

On June 1 at 11am PT, I will be on the nationally syndicated Thom Hartmann radio show talking about my new book, We Do Not Consent (.pdf). Thom's show airs on the Sirius satellite radio network as well as Air America and a total of more than 80 stations in 29 states. There are multiple online listening options too. See this page for details.

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Inherent Uncertainty

On the heels of the latest reports filed by Harri Hursti, and covered in depth by, Newsweek via now has an article called "Will Your Vote Count in 2006?" The piece strives for "balance" by including the following opposing quotes:
"If Diebold had set out to build a system as insecure as they possibly could, this would be it," says Avi Rubin, a Johns Hopkins University computer-science professor and elections-security expert.

Diebold Election Systems spokesperson David Bear says Hursti's findings do not represent a fatal vulnerability in Diebold technology, but simply note the presence of a feature that allows access to authorized technicians to periodically update the software. If it so happens that someone not supposed to use the machine--or an election official who wants to put his or her thumb on the scale of democracy--—takes advantage of this fast track to fraud, that's not Diebold's problem. "[Our critics are] throwing out a 'what if' that's premised on a basis of an evil, nefarious person breaking the law," says Bear.
Note that "fast track to fraud" are the words of Newsweek writer Steven Levy. That's nice, suggesting it could happen. But instead of being forced to prove that Diebold machines are secure, which he can't do, Baer is allowed to make the argument that the machines are not secure but the company bears no responsibility for any breach. This is precisely at issue in Denver right now where a City Auditor made news for complaining about the terms of the contract he just signed with Sequoia limiting that company's liability for their machines' potential (inevitable) failures.

So where does this Newsweek article take us? Levy is trying to comment that we should be concerned but he doesn't quite grasp the problem. The closest he gets is at the very end:
In other words, it's unlikely that every voter using an electronic voting device in 2006 will know for sure that his or her vote will be reflected in the actual totals.
It is not a matter of being unlikely, and it is not an open question, as the article's title suggests. Unverifiable voting, by definition, produces inconclusive outcomes. We are being asked to have blind trust which will continue to result in a lack of unanimous acceptance of election results. There is no rational basis for confidence in the results reported from elections in America today.

I wouldn't expect Newsweek to offer such paradigm-shattering analysis. Instead, while raising questions and feeding the existing and growing doubt, the effect is to further reinforce the inherent uncertainty which leaves ordinary Americans divided about what constitutes reality. Rather than stating unequivocally that we cannot know for sure the true outcome of an election held under these conditions, Newsweek appears to be giving ground coveted by those seeking to wake up the masses to America's election problems. This classic technique is called a limited hangout.

* * *

GuvWurld correspondent Dennis Kyne was back in the news this week. Amy Goodman interviewed Kyne's lawyer, Gideon Oliver, on her Wednesday Democracy Now program (transcript).

They discussed the Justice Department's new criminal investigation of the NY police department's work during the Republican National Convention in 2004. As chronicled here at GuvWurld, Kyne was falsely arrested, imprisoned, and eventually put on trial. Charges were dropped and the case dismissed after video evidence showed officers had perjured themselves about the circumstances of Kyne's arrest. This made the front page of the New York Times. At the time, 91% of the 1670 convention arrest cases that had run their full course "ended with the charges dismissed or with a verdict of not guilty after trial."

When we can show that cops are lying to get convictions, or simply to cover their wrongful behavior in the field, and we know how often defendants do not have the benefit of video evidence against their accusers, we have identified another type of inherent uncertainty. If you are a juror, think very carefully about what constitutes a reasonable doubt nowadays. Everything is geared toward making certainty impossible. I need no further cause to support local efforts here in Humboldt for the creation of citizen police review board.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Palo Alto Defers On VCR, McPherson Rejects Vote-PAD

On Tuesday night, the City Council of Palo Alto (.pdf) had its first discussion of the Voter Confidence Resolution (VCR). The Council considered the version of the VCR (.pdf) adopted in February by Palo Alto's Human Relations Commission (HRC). Commission Chairperson Shauna Wilson has taken the lead in pushing the voter confidence message in Silicon Valley and we need to get her more support. Following Tuesday's meeting, Shauna sent me these observations, printed with permission:
The Voter Confidence Resolution was sent back to the HRC for revision. Some members of Council did not like the call for Election Day to be a National Holiday, Equal time provisions, or Preferential voting. With some tweeking I think we can draft a resolution that would pass the City Council. I am not willing to drop the Equal time provisions as I believe the FCC not enforcing that aspect has greatly contributed to our deteriorated electorate.

Two members of the public spoke to the issue. I'll put the revison [sic] on the HRC agenda for June and hopefully have it sent back to Council by the end of June. When I spoke at the Council meeting tonight, I expressed my concern about the lag time between when the HRC passed the VCR and the City agendized it. I found out it was City staff not preparing the CMR (CIty Manager's Report) that caused the delay. I think we'll see the revised VCR before the City Council before July.
My friend Emily, who has also done a considerable amount to promote the VCR, traveled from Santa Cruz to speak at Tuesday's meeting in Palo Alto. She posted these comments on Democratic Underground:
Our agenda item wasn't over until nearly 11:00 p.m., not because they spent hours debating it but because it got pulled from the "consent agenda" (the list of things that get approved without discussion) and put at the end of the regular agenda.

Most of the nine council members were in support of the idea of the council making a statement about the importance of verifiable elections, but nearly all felt the VCR was too broad. They sent it back to the Human Relations Commission, which had drafted the VCR based on Arcata and Berkeley versions but also added some of their own ideas, for major revision.

Notably, Council Member Peter Drekmeier, an election integrity activist before he ran for the P.A. City Council, expressed support for the VCR as it stood.

It looks like they would pass a much narrower version, which I suspect the HRC will agree to draft, though I don't know anything about the politics of that commission.
I want to make a trip down to the Bay Area to promote the VCR and my new book, We Do Not Consent. I need help setting up speaking gigs in San Francisco, Palo Alto and Santa Cruz. If you can help with logistics, please write me: Meanwhile, copies of the book are getting out and I am hopeful to get more media presence soon.

I have an article coming out any day now in Green Focus, the quarterly newspaper published by the Green Party of CA. Like several previous articles I've written for the Humboldt Advocate (.pdf), Arcata Eye, and Eureka Times-Standard, this new essay emphasizes election reform as a tactic toward peaceful revolution (.pdf) rather than its own end goal. I confess that I am still struggling to help others see this as the elephant in the room. With bogus elections and no right to privacy or speech or due process, the inescapable conclusion must be that peaceful revolution is necessary, NOW!

One small but encouraging sign emerged last Thursday at the monthly meeting of the Humboldt County Election Advisory Committee. Clerk/Recorder and Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich announced that Secretary of State Bruce McPherson had forbidden Humboldt and other counties from using Vote-PAD, the non-electronic paper ballot assistive voting device. Humboldt had recently committed to a "pilot program," making a good faith effort to comply with the disabled voter provisions of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Many aspects of this McPherson decree are maddening, so bear with me as I build up to the encouraging sign. According to section 19211 of the CA Election Code, McPherson should not be able to block Humboldt's experiment with Vote-PAD:
The governing board, without formally adopting a system that it might lawfully adopt, may provide for its experimental use at an election in one or more precincts. Its use at the election is as valid for all purposes as if it were lawfully adopted.
Crnich said she cited this section of the Code and simply met with further insistence that the devices not be used, thus ensuring Humboldt's non-compliance with HAVA. So should we be out of compliance and offer disabled voters the benefit of Vote-PAD and the ability to vote privately and independently, or should we remain non-compliant and disenfranchise disabled voters?

At this point, Humboldt County Supervisor Jimmy Smith expressed his frustration with "state and federal mandates" that interfere with the local government's ability to make decisions. I validated him, noting how refreshing it is to hear this acknowledged. It is common and obvious, I said, and rather than wind up in a non-compliant position by default, we should be more purposeful in resisting and rejecting this outside control over our local decision making. This argument is straight from Blueprint For Peaceful Revolution and watching Smith nod encouragingly struck me as a very good sign.

* * *

Update: 5/11/06 11pm

The following are not official minutes, and reflect only the first hand observations of GuvWurld correspondent Emily Levy.

Palo Alto City Council Meeting 5/8/06

Council Members (all present): Bern Beecham, Peter Drekmeier, Ladoris H. Cordell, Yoriko Kishimoto (vice mayor), Judy Kleinberg (mayor), Larry Klein, Jack Morton, Dena Mossar, John Barton.

As soon as Shauna Wilson’s presentation concluded, Beecham moved to deny the request to approve the VCR. This was immediately seconded (by Mossar, I think).

Beecham said that the VCR calls for the city to “follow above guidelines,” and it’s unclear how they’d do that, and that the “therefores” don’t make sense. He expressed concern about costs to the City if election day became a national holiday.

Mossar said that despite her awareness of concerns about elections this resolution is troublesome. She would support a council letter to registrar with concerns about elections, but not this resolution.

Drekmeier talked about exit poll discrepancy and other election problems. Hey said that they key point of the resolution is voter-verified paper ballots, which he stated is a bipartisan issue. He noted that what the HRC was requesting was for the city attorney to draft a resolution, and supported that.

Klein said resolution needs more work and that it sounds like a canned resolution from some group or other. That deeper analysis needs to be done. He said that the part about supporting clean money laws is too vague. He questions the part about national standards because California often does things better than national standards. He said that VVPB “may or may not be the way to go.” He said the HRC should have consulted with county supervisors. He said equal time provisions weren’t voluntary but were imposed by the FCC and that internet communication makes the equal time provisions less important. Regarding preferential voting and proportional representation he said this would be a “dramatic change in the political system” and can’t be dealt with in this way (the resolution).

Shauna did get to respond to him briefly. She said the resolution is not canned, but was based on resolutions from Arcata and Berkeley combined with other research. She said the clean money part was left vague because at the time the HRC passed the VCR it was unclear what would happen with the clean money bill in the state legislature, that it’s now AB530 and is currently in the State Senate elections committee. She said the HRC contacted the county which is taking some action regarding VVPAT but not on open source. Regarding the national holiday she said it could be taken out. She said proportional representation “would be nice.” About equal time she noted that the airwaves belong to the people and people have a right to access information via the airwaves.

Kishimoto said she would welcome a cleaner, more focused resolution regarding a verifiable voting system.

Barton echoed Kishimoto and expressed concern about the money to pay employees for a national holiday. He said #8 and *1 need further thought. He said on p. 1 “not the last whereas but the two above it” have something in them that is not supported by fact and require further evidence.

Drekmeier encourages HRC to come back and address the feedback and said he supports VCR as is.

Cordell suggested the resolution be pulled tonight but return to HRC for reworking.

Attorney said it couldn’t be pulled but could be tabled.

Morton moved to refer it back to the HRC. Kishimoto seconded and notes that a new version should focus on voter security and assurance elements.

Kleinberg noted that it’s awful how low voter turnout is and that people wouldn’t necessarily use a voting holiday to vote. She asked how the HRC can inspire more people to vote in Palo Alto.

The motion to send the VCR back to the HRC for revision passed 8-1. Beecham voted no.

respectfully submitted by Emily Levy

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Palo Alto, CA City Council Takes Up Voter Confidence Resolution

May 8 Agenda (.pdf)

Recommendation to Palo Alto, CA City Council from Human Relations Commission (.pdf)

Voter Confidence Resolution as adopted by Palo Alto Human Relations Commission (.pdf)

Voter Confidence Resolution template (adopted by Arcata, CA City Council)

The HRC's recommendation is to have the Council direct the City Attorney to draft the resolution. I don't think there will be real debate or public comment, but I could be wrong. Attendance is definitely recommended. I think most likely they will accept the recommendation, the City Attorney will draft the resolution, and a real debate will occur at a future meeting.

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Public Service Announcements

I do not like going this long between GuvWurld Blog entries but sometimes life intrudes and kills my computer. Actually, it seems I had a somewhat rare experience that I'll share here in hopes of sparing others this hassle. Consider it a GuvWurld public service, followed by several other announcements that also fit the bill.

Microsoft Outlook: It is very important to use the auto archive feature of Microsoft Outlook. I was not doing that. Ultimately my outgoing mail could not move into my sent folder because I had reached the limit that the folder could hold (something like 16,350 messages). As a workaround, it is easy enough to make a new folder and move some of the messages. But I hit a second limit which was the overall size of my .pst file. That means Outlook could no longer display my e-mail, calendar or contacts, the data contained in the .pst file that only opens in Outlook. It seems different versions of Outlook can handle different size .pst files. At a little over 2 gigs, Outlook 2000 will crash and so I've "upgraded" to 2003. Using auto archive will still leave messages easily accessible while also preventing encroachment upon these limits. Of course, many will say just don't use Microsoft, and we'll let them have the last word here.

Humboldt County dismissed from election lawsuit: On Wednesday, announced through PRNewswire that Humboldt and six other counties have been dismissed from the California Voters Lawsuit (Holder v. McPherson). The press release strikes an excited and celebratory tone in noting that these seven counties will not be using Diebold touch screen "voting" machines. I too recently touted the flash of enlightenment displayed by Humboldt's election department in choosing not to use the DREs. However, virtually all of the arguments in this lawsuit apply to the optical scan technology that Humboldt will be using. I'm still seeking legal representation to take the case against interpreted code to a Humboldt Judge to request an injunction against their continued use.

Voter Confidence: With Humboldt's continued intention to use secret and illegal vote counting machines, the Voter Confidence Committee is planning another Parallel Election (PE) to double check the accuracy of the June 6 primary results. This will only work with lots of citizen volunteers. Please join us for a parallel poll worker training session on Monday, May 1, at 6pm at the Redwood Peace and Justice Center, 1040 H St. in Arcata. Fore more info:

Board of Supervisors: I wanted to mention the PE, among other things, at Tuesday's Board of supervisors meeting. Unfortunately, I misread the agenda and failed to request that the item be removed from the Consent Calendar. I understand that Tom Pinto spoke later, during the public comment, asking the Supes to add information on the mandatory 1% manual audit to the County website. Tom works in the district attorney's office and typically prefaces comments to speak only for himself. On Tuesday he also suggested that County employees be allowed as paid volunteers for the hand count. Right on.

9/11 Truth: This announcement also from Tom:
Americans have the right to ask questions about 9/11 and demand the release of the evidence that will address these questions. Don't confuse your sympathy for the victims with your beliefs about what happened that day. Join the northcoast 9/11 citizen's CSI team and let's do the job the 9/11 commission failed to do. We'll be having an organizational meeting at the Redwood Peace and Justice Center, 1040 H Street, Arcata, Saturday April 29th at 12 noon.
Police Review: Thursday, April 27, 6:30pm there is a community meeting to advance efforts to establish a citizen's police review board. This essential program should be a no-brainer for everyone who has been reading about the recent police killing of Cheri Moore

Solidarity: Mobilize for the National "“Day Without an Immigrant"” action on International Worker'’s Day
*** MONDAY MAY 1ST, 2006 ***


Don'’t go to work, cancel classes, walkout and join others in your community to build a movement to end racist violence and policies against Latin and undocumented communities. Solidarity with all migrant and undocumented workers! End the exploitation and abuse of migrant labour! Resist racist attacks on all workers and peoples of colour! Stop the militarization of the border! Stop deportations! No one is illegal!
This is happening everywhere. Humboldt: 7th and Broadway in Eureka at 10am

The New Road to Impeachment: A rule of Congress never before used has recently come to light. Section 603 of Jefferson's Manual of the Rules of the United States House of Representatives allows federal impeachment proceedings to be initiated by joint resolution of any state legislature. Illinois state representatives are now working on House Joint Resolution 125. OpEdNews has the resolution text. California has also put this wheel in motion by completely overhauling Bill AJR39, which was about a depleted uranium moratorium. I spoke to the offices of both Senator Wes Chesbro and Assemblymember Patty Berg today and both confirmed they are receiving other calls about this from members of the Humboldt Nation. Chesbro (707-445-6508); Berg (707) 445-7014.

We Do Not Consent: I have begun sending out hard copies of my new book, We Do Not Consent. I have launched another blog at I figure this will be easier to say in media interviews so I don't have to spell out I hope it will come up in more searches. But have you ever Googled GuvWurld? I see over 26,000 hits right now. Anyway, now there is also a place for the book to get reader comments and another place where donations might originate. If you can help offset the cost of printing more hard copies, please click here or look for the PayPal button on either blog. Everyone who contributes $15 or more will receive a complimentary copy of We Do Not Consent.

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

You Must See Loose Change

Loose Change is a documentary about what happened on 9/11. You can watch it in your browser and/or download it free HERE. I don't write in depth about 9/11 here at GuvWurld but I have long since read enough to conclude that the official story is full of contradictions and scientific impossibilities.

In more devout 9/11 circles, a debate continues about MIHOP (made it happen on purpose) or LIHOP (let it happen on purpose). Loose Change doesn't directly address this, in that it leaves it to the viewer to draw some conclusions. This approach may be more likely to penetrate the denial and defenses of those not versed in all that has been independently researched about 9/11.

After watching the movie last night there was definitely one thing above all else that I was grokking on. As with my comment in the second paragraph, I think about how we are more or less likely to get messages through to the other side. I imagine myself talking to various people and having them disregard my retelling of events as I've come to understand them. I imagine e-mailing people with links for their own verification, only to find that websites may have dubious credibility to them. So watch this film and be reminded of what the news networks reported as events unfolded that day.

If I tell you bombs brought down the towers you may scoff; if I point you to articles, you may dismiss them as noisy dissonance; but watch, and remember, this is what we all saw. When it happened, they told us bombs were going off. Then over the next couple of days they simply stopped reporting it and we Consented to an alternate reality. We accepted the same brainwashing with weapons of mass destruction and the 2004 "election."

Don't get me wrong. If you are new to debunking the official story of 9/11 this may challenge your worldview in other ways as you learn about the contradictions and scientific impossibilities. You may literally want to wretch. I cried. Cleanse. Now be ruthlessly honest. Who hates your freedoms and acts over and over to limit and remove them?

* * *

Read more about 9/11 in the GuvWurld News Archive.


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Thursday, April 13, 2006

LISTEN: Thurs 7:30pm PT, GuvWurld on; Parallel Election Plans Announced

I will be interviewed Thursday night (4/13) at 7:30pm PT on "Thursday Night Talk." This radio show airs in Arcata, CA at 90.5 KHSU and streams online at

We will be discussing my new book We Do Not Consent (.pdf), including the Voter Confidence Resolution and Blueprint For Peaceful Revolution (.pdf), and the Voter Confidence Committee (VCC), which is planning to do another parallel election for the June 6 CA primary. Please call in to the show, especially if you have participated in a parallel election anywhere else. Studio phone: 707-826-4805 or toll-free 1-800-640-5911.

The book has received some local media coverage, as did the VCC in the lead up to the Demand Your Democracy Forum we held Tuesday night. I posted a collection of media briefs HERE. Not included in the list are the channel 3 TV news interview I did Tuesday morning for that day's 6pm news (I never saw this on air, please contact me if you recorded this), and the KGOE radio broadcast from Wednesday which included excerpts of comments from Tuesday's forum. I am trying to get this audio from Tom Sebourn.

The forum attendance was not what we had hoped, teaching us a lesson about scoping the accessibility of our location, especially for parking and foot traffic. By my head count we drew 35 people, though the Eureka Times-Standard (archive) reported the audience was just 20 strong. Writers from the Eureka Reporter and the Humboldt Advocate were present so I anticipate more coverage in the next few days.

The crescendo of the event was my announcement of the next parallel election, to be conducted in conjunction with the June 6 CA primary. To begin organizing and training volunteers we will be meeting on Monday, 4/17, 6pm at the Redwood Peace and Justice Center at 1040 H St. in Arcata. This is open to the public. We need dozens of volunteers to be able to set up at a large number of polling places. Please help us double check the accuracy of the official vote count done on secret and illegal Diebold optical scanners.

UPDATE 4/13 2:06am: Eureka Reporter article on Forum now online.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Media Briefs

Eureka Reporter

Local activist publishes essay collection

Local elections activist Dave Berman has published a collection of his essays, “We Do Not Consent,” dedicated to “conscientious objectors everywhere.”

The 20 essays have been posted on Berman’s GuvWurld blog and address U.S. involvement in Iraq, election reform and the Voter Confidence Resolution, among other things.


* * *

Humboldt Advocate (.pdf)

GuvWurld Blogger Authors 'We Do Not Consent'

Cameron Langford
Humboldt Advocate
April 7-13, 2006

As the vote count in the 2000 presidential election ended in uncertainty and controversy, the ultimate decision passed from the hands of the American people to the nine justices of the Supreme Court. In this void of disconnect between verifiable will of the people and the verdict of the nation's highest court a fire kindled to life in the belly of Humboldt County Voter Confidence Committee co-founder Dave Berman.

MORE... (.pdf)

* * *

Eureka Times-Standard (archive)

Article Launched: 04/09/2006 4:16 AM PDT

Democracy forum scheduled for Tuesday
The Times-Standard

EUREKA -- Voter Confidence Committee (VCC) of Humboldt County has scheduled a “Demand Your Democracy Forum” to be held Tuesday.

The forum, to be held in Founders Hall Room 118 at Humboldt State University, is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Speakers will include Nathan Smith, vice president of the Humboldt Chapter of the NAACP; David Cobb, Green Party presidential candidate in 2004 and steering committee member of Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County; and Dave Berman, VCC founding member and author of the just-released book, "We Do Not Consent."


* * *

HSU Lumberjack

Flawed voting machines affect elections

Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Written by Jon Koriagin

I have never in my life seen anything so stunning as our press' inability to deal with the issues surrounding the subversion of our national elections.


A real democracy demands real participation. I would urge those who care about democracy to come to the Demand Your Democracy Forum, on Tuesday, April 11, 7 p.m. at HSU's Founder's Hall, Room 118, to find out how you can stay informed about and make a difference concerning issues surrounding democratic reform.


* * *

Eureka Reporter

It's time for people to reclaim their rights and make their voices heard

by Larry Hourany, 4/2/2006


With the voting machines dependent on a proprietary code that Diebold refuses to allow election officials to monitor or verify, and with the presence of uncertified machines to keep us company in the voting booth, Americans are participating in a sham process. At the time of the last election it was not known that the programming was illegal. However, now it is clear, thus every official who abides this violation is in dereliction of duty.

One organization,, has filed suit against the California secretary of state, C. Crinich, Humboldt registrar of voters, and 16 other county registrars. This suit alleges that voting laws have been violated by use of the Diebold machines and that voters’ constitutional rights have been infracted.

On the local level, we are having mixed results confronting this problem. On March 21, the Elections Department proposed, and the Board of Supervisors indicated a willingness to approve, a non-electronic, low-tech assistive voting device called Vote Pad. This would satisfy the disabled voter provisions of the Help America Vote Act and presumably stop the county from buying Diebold touch-screen machines.

Despite this good news, we must still object to the optical scanners used to count all votes, including those cast on Vote Pad. The illegal interpreter code simply requires blind trust and gives no basis for confidence. A secret ballot means casting your vote in private, not counting the votes in secret.


Come to the Demand Your Democracy Forum presented by the Voter Confidence Committee on Tuesday, April 11, at 7 p.m. at HSU Founders Hall Room 119. For more information, go to


* * *

Against These Wars

Dennis Kyne: An Uncommon American Hero

By Cathy Garger
3 April 2006


I remember some time back reading one of Dennis Kyne's articles, thinking he was my kind of person. You know the type - one way cool dude. I wrote to him, he wrote back, and since then I've followed his work, his travels (including Camp Casey) and his awesome humanitarian effort down in New Orleans after Katrina with Cindy Sheehan and friends.

A man who's definitely more action than talk, Army veteran of 15 years Dennis Kyne is without a doubt one of my all-time favorite heroes. This advocate for both vets and current military soldiers informs us on his website that to simply say we Support the Troops is not enough. Instead, Kyne maintains, we must Support the Truth.


* * *

Eureka Times-Standard (archive)

Article Launched: 04/09/2006 4:16 AM PDT

Arkley opposes Measure T
Kimberly Wear The Times Standard the initiative.

EUREKA -- In letters to elected officials and political candidates, businessman Rob Arkley asks for their response to a ballot initiative that would ban outside corporations from donating to local races -- saying that Measure T will open the county up to a lawsuit and suppress free speech.


Arkley writes that the measure suppresses speech by attempting to limit campaign contributions -- a "hallmark of fascism."

"We do not need any form of fascism here in Humboldt County," Arkley said in the letter dated April 7.


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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Humboldt Supervisors Approve Limited Vote-PAD Pilot Project

As the first order of business on this morning's agenda, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors heard a revised report from Carolyn Crnich, Recorder/Clerk-Registrar of Voters. As noted in GuvWurld's Sunday dispatch, the plan now calls for deploying Vote-PAD at only the elections department for the June 6 primary. This was approved unanimously by the Supes.

For my part, as indicated on Sunday, I pointed out the "alternatives to staff recommendations" that Crnich included with her proposal (.pdf) because they indicate her preference for blowing off the Help America Vote Act rather than falling back upon purchasing Diebold touch screen machines. Today's approval would have made this a moot point had I not brought it up. Chairman Woolley thanked me for offering this perspective which I called a welcome willingness to consider "municipal civil disobedience" (.pdf).

In addition to bringing recognition to that important position shift at the elections department, I requested that the topic of vote counting and election security be added to the next Supervisors' agenda so that we may "report out of committee" what is discussed at the meeting coming up this Thursday for the Election Advisory Committee (6:30pm at the Courthouse in Eureka; open to the public). Elections Manager Lindsey McWilliams requested that the Supes delay hearing the item due to Fortuna's local election next Tuesday and so the matter is now slated for April 25. Altogether, I think we got what we needed this morning.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

GuvWurld 2nd Anniversary Post

Last year on April 3, I wrote the GuvWurld 1st anniversary post, paying homage to the first-ever GuvWurld post, and linking to some of the highlights of the first year. Another year later and one of the biggest highlights yet occurred one week ago. That's when I launched We Do Not Consent (.pdf), a free online book containing the essential GuvWurld Blog posts of the past two years. While a tad early, consider the homage to be more robust this year. We will look back on 2006 as an even better vintage still.

Together, this set of complete essays portrays advocacy journalism in action. The GuvWurld Blog was conceived for writing in this style, as I've noted many times. Yet now that this material has been assembled this way the advocacy journalism concept requires increased emphasis. Hence the Introduction and Epilogue, both written specifically for the book, and of course the press release. Everything written here is meant to advance the Movement for a peaceful revolution (.pdf).
GuvWurld is advocacy journalism. That means I often write about the work I do for change in the world and I write in a way that promotes these efforts. To judge whether my advocacy journalism is successful, I consider only whether my intended real-world results are produced. What better way to be the media than to create my own account of what I'm doing?

--Introduction, We Do Not Consent (.pdf)
For evidence of how this approach works, read the book. There will be a slight version change in the next few days before we print the first batch of hard copies. The only difference will be the quotes added to the inside of the back cover. Here are a few of those kind words:
"I urge everyone to read "We Do Not Consent", and distribute it as widely as possible."

--B Robert Franza MD, Seattle, WA

"What's special about this book (and it fits because there's nothing more fundamental to Democracy than our vote) is the raising of consciousness. Someone recognizing they have no basis for trusting elections may well ask what else is being taken for granted."

--Eddie Ajamian, Los Angeles, CA

"If in the future we have vital elections, the "no basis for confidence" formulation that GuvWurld is popularizing will have been a historically important development. This is true because by implicitly insisting on verification and checks and balances instead of faith or trust in elections officials or machines as a basis for legitimacy, it encourages healthy transparent elections. It's also rare that a political formulation approaches scientific certainty, but this formulation is backed up by scientific principles that teach that if you can't repeat something (such as an election) and verify it by independent means, it doesn't exist within the realm of what science will accept as established or proven truth."

--Paul Lehto, Attorney at Law, Everett, WA
All of these, and other quotes I've received, are very flattering and encouraging. But Paul's quote is something else. Historical importance will require quite a bit more reinforcement of the "no basis for confidence" message than I can hope to convey by myself. Fortunately, I know and work with people like Larry Hourany. See his Eureka Reporter opinion column from Sunday for a great piece on current election conditions in Humboldt County. Larry has also put up $100 toward book printing costs, bringing us to 32% of the goal, which is $500.

If you would like to support GuvWurld brand advocacy journalism, withdrawing the Consent of the Governed, and creating a peaceful revolution, please help get this message out to a larger audience by making a small donation using the PayPal button at the top left of the GuvWurld blog or by clicking here. All monies collected will go toward printing copies of We Do Not Consent (.pdf).

Larry's use of the "no basis for confidence" angle, Paul's high praise for "the formulation," fantastic news coverage from sources like the Lone Star Iconoclast and New Zealand's Scoop, and recent endorsements of the Voter Confidence Resolution (VCR) from the Human Relations Commission of Palo Alto, CA (.pdf) and Progressive Democratic caucuses in Washington state - these are essentially the day to day signs of progress for advocacy journalism. The next stage, in addition to gaining even more widespread adoption of the VCR, is to prompt other writers to take up this organizing style and other organizers to take up this writing style.

A few other things on the horizon: a long awaited re-vamp and re-launch of the Reinventing Activism program, the original source for my advocacy journalism concepts; first-hand courtroom reporting on the lawsuit (.pdf) from GuvWurld correspondent Jane Allen in San Francisco; development of a media and speaking appearances history to reference available interviews and articles in a single place; expanding upon that list with many new media appearances in support of We Do Not Consent (.pdf) (Hi Tom Sebourn, I'm ready for Thom Hartmann's call!); and more collaborative efforts with,,, California Election Protection Network, and Study California Ballots, among others.

So after two years I think it is fair to say that the GuvWurld blog has stayed on track and true to its purpose. Tangible progress has been made with both immediate impact and long-term big picture implications. Though I don't update GuvWurld every day, 320 posts, the VCR, the Blueprint (.pdf), and We Do Not Consent (.pdf), plus more than a dozen published letters and essays all show I've met a personal goal of being more prolific. What will be the highlights of the GuvWurld 3rd anniversary post? Keep your mind open...the future's coming.

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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Humboldt Registrar Downgrades Vote-PAD to 'Pilot Project', Prefers HAVA Non-compliance to Diebold Touch Screens

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will meet once again this Tuesday, April 4, at 9am. The agenda begins with this financial request from Recorder/County Clerk-Registrar Carolyn Crnich. The Supes are now expected to approve just $3730, a much smaller allocation than previously mentioned, for the purchase of two Vote-PAD packages comprised of 20 booklets and 10 extra ballot sheaths. The Elections Department would serve as the only polling place offering the low-tech, non-electronic assistive voting device. According to Crnich, Vote-PAD, designed to allow disabled voters to vote privately and independently, will also "demonstrate good faith efforts to meet HAVA [Help America Vote Act] requirements."

As noted previously at GuvWurld, Crnich recently appeared before the Supes to request substantially more funding (.pdf), which would have made Vote-PAD more widely available throughout Humboldt County. The revised plan downgrades the Vote-PAD implementation to a "pilot project" and calls for spending less than 2% of the original projection. The primary reason for the change is the lack of time required for elections department staff to manually prepare the six hundred Vote-PAD booklets that were to have been put in use for the June 6 primary.

Crnich cites assurances from Secretary of State Bruce McPherson's office that the limited outlay will be reimbursed by HAVA funds, even as she acknowledges the uncertainty of the Secretary's approval for use. This is about par for the course for McPherson who knowingly certified election machines that do not comply with state or federal law. recently filed a lawsuit (.pdf) against McPherson, Crnich, and 17 other CA county registrars.

In this week's submission to the Supes, Crnich mentions the lawsuit. The reference is part of the second of two "alternatives to staff recommendations." I interpret this to mean that if the Supes don't want to go along with the minimal use of Vote-PAD, the next idea is to be non-compliant with HAVA. If that is not acceptable, purchasing Diebold TSx machines is not off the table, despite the lawsuit.

I don't think there is much question that the Supes will approve the Vote-PAD plan. But to Crnich's credit, it is a strong statement for her to put on the record that she would rather not comply with HAVA than use Diebold TSx machines. I have to admit, I take exception with Crnich for several things but this is totally right on. It suggests the glimpse of optimism I flashed five weeks ago might have been justified:
In a previous meeting I attended with Crnich and Vets For Peace Secretary Jim Sorter, I encouraged Crnich to consider municipal civil disobedience. She reacted quite negatively. However, yesterday we discussed what an untenable position she is in and it seemed like maybe, perhaps, I hope I'm not just wishing that she began to get the idea that being controlled by others is not a suitable excuse to offer after everything has gone to pot and people are seeking accountability.
Another important part of this story is simply the topic getting an official hearing again on Tuesday's Supervisors' agenda. This is an opportunity we should not pass up. Last time, Chairman Woolley curtailed my public comment when I expanded the topic to include vote counting. How can we have any serious conversation about a new vote casting method and not also discuss how the votes are counted?

We need more citizens present this Tuesday to speak out for hand counted paper ballots. Perhaps an upshot here is that the Election Advisory Committee is meeting this Thursday, April 6, at 6:30pm at the Courthouse in Eureka. The main topic is scheduled to be election security and we need lots of citizens to show for that too. If they're not willing to hear about it at Tuesday's Supervisors' meeting, we should recommend strongly that their next agenda have an item "to report out of committee" about Thursday's election security discussion.

In his regular Friday afternoon guest slot, Brad Friedman of recently interviewed (.mp3) Crnich on the Peter B. Collins radio show originating in Monterey, CA on KRXA and aired in Humboldt on KGOE. A few interesting, but disappointing comments from Crnich:
(Collins): What is your level of confidence in the Diebold optical scan?

(Crnich): Well Humboldt County is considerably smaller than some of the counties that you may be broadcasting into or from. Um, but, we have through our audits in the past, we have not had any reason to, uh, any reason for concern over the security of the ballots this point in time, our 1%, or 1%-plus actually, uh, manual recount of those ballots has verified that the, uh, the results we have received have been accurate.


(Collins): Do you ever permit poll workers or precinct directors, whatever title you give them, to take a machine home overnight and then take it to the polling place in the morning or are the machines under your control at all times?

(Crnich): They, uh, the poll workers do have them at their homes and deliver them to the polling place. Before they receive them, the memory cards are sealed in them.


(Friedman): 1% certainly isn't sufficient to catch problems because you're going to miss them 99% of the time, essentially. But, um, as she [Crnich] says, when those machines go home at night with the poll workers, anything can happen to those machines, because they--my understanding is--they can be networked, they can be accessed through all kinds of ways and information can be put onto those memory cards even if the memory cards are locked in the machine and that's a very serious concern because that code can then be programmed to essentially delete itself the next day before anybody gets to see what has actually happened to that code.

(Collins): Carolyn, a comment?

(Crnich): Um, you know, I don't have any comment to that. I, uh, um, I have heard that comment before and I've, you know, I've not been able to address it and prove it or disprove it.
So let's review. Friedman is correctly asserting, according to the Berkeley/VSTAAB report (.pdf), that the memory cards can be altered even when "sealed" in the machines. By allowing the machines and cards out of their control, by definition, the elections department cannot vouch for the condition of the equipment when deployed at the precincts. And to validate the accuracy of the vote count, 99 out of 100 possible discrepancies are disregarded without consideration. Is it any wonder this approach has not revealed any problems in the past? Perhaps there were none, but how would we know? It is easier to miss what you are not looking for than what you are looking for.

What I'm looking for is a rational basis for confidence. I want to see a reason why I should accept the results that will be reported by an elections department that speaks for its equipment by announcing that they can't really speak for their equipment because others get it at the last minute. I want conclusive election results delivered by an elections department that can prove, over and over, that the final numbers they report match the will of the people. I'm looking for an elections department so committed to instilling confidence in the system (.pdf) that they themselves apply this rational basis for confidence criteria when approaching the challenges of preparing for an election.
(Crnich): Um, you know, I don't have any comment to that. I, uh, um, I have heard that comment before and I've, you know, I've not been able to address it and prove it or disprove it.
Crnich is uncertain, and understandably so. As I wrote in Blueprint For Peaceful Revolution (.pdf), these conditions have been created intentionally to cause inherent uncertainty. The Voter Confidence Resolution proves unequivocally that current election conditions ensure inconclusive results. While Crnich is uncertain, she also seems unable or unwilling to recognize the systemic source of her uncertainty. She is willing to plod ahead with the optical scanners, denying that she is perpetuating the conditions ensuring the uncertainty, and believing she is serving her community by making the best of a bad situation. How Manchurian.

* * *

If you dig this writing, and understand that we must use our access to media, including blogs, to further the work we do for social change, please support We Do Not Consent, my new e-book. It is a free .pdf that you can download and forward. Or just send this link: If you'd like to see this material get more national media exposure, please consider making a PayPal donation through the button at the top left of the GuvWurld Blog or just click here. I'm hoping to raise just enough money to print a small run of hard copies to be sent to progressive broadcasters and writers. One dollar is not too little. It is a personal account and none of it will be syphoned off by fees for PayPal. What is the least you can do?

* * *

The Voter Confidence Committee is presenting the Demand Your Democracy Forum on Tuesday, April 11 at 7pm at Humboldt State University's Founders Hall Room 118. Click here for the press release. If you can help promote the event, there are links to downloadable leaflets and posters below.

Demand Your Democracy Forum leaflets (.pdf, 6 to a page)

Demand Your Democracy Forum poster (.pdf, 8.5 x 11, b&w)

Demand Your Democracy Forum poster (.pdf, 8.5 x 11, color)

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Press Release: VCC Presents "Demand Your Democracy" Forum On 4/11


FROM: Jack McCurdy, the Voter Confidence Committee,

CONTACT: Dave Berman, 707-845-3749 or


March 31, 2006--Is Humboldt County heading for a possible vote count disaster on June 6? What can be done to prevent the use of illegal and untrustworthy optical scan machines to count votes? How can the community organize to demand the use of reliable hand-counted paper ballots?

Those questions--and an even bigger one: will your vote count on June 6?--will be explored, debated and answered at the "Demand Your Democracy Forum" beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11, sponsored by the Voter Confidence Committee (VCC) of Humboldt County, which is dedicated to ensuring electoral integrity in our community. The Forum will be held in Founders Hall Room 118 at Humboldt State University. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

Outstanding speakers and their topics will be:

• Nathan Smith, NAACP Humboldt Chapter Vice President, the historical struggle for the franchise.

• David Cobb, Green Party presidential candidate in 2004 and steering committee member of Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County, the recount in Ohio during 2004, which is still subject to pending litigation.

• Dave Berman, VCC founding member and author of the just-released book, "We Do Not Consent," the reliability of election conditions in Humboldt County.

A fourth speaker may be added to the program.

The Forum is aimed at explaining just why the VCC and other groups around the state and nation are so alarmed about not only how even local elections have been corrupted but how that may continue to occur if the optical scan machines continue to be used. These machines, including those manufactured by Diebold, which County officials intend to deploy, use secret codes that are expressly forbidden by 2002 Federal standards that must be complied with by California and other states.

Paul Lehto, an Everett, Washington, attorney, who has sued and won removal of similar machines manufactured by Sequoia, wrote this in his Foreword to Berman's new book:

"...whenever secret vote counting is used, there is no rational basis for confidence in the reported election results. This is so because nobody saw the count, nobody can verify it, and nobody can independently repeat it. Such conditions violate all of the basic principles of science necessary to have a basis for confidence in the reported election results. That's no way to run a system of elections if you're serious about defending democracy."

The Forum will provide an opportunity to review the purpose and importance of the lawsuit filed on March 21 seeking to prevent the use and purchase of Diebold machines in California. It was filed in San Francisco by attorney Lowell Finley and and named as defendants California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson, Humboldt Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich, and 17 other California registrars. It alleges that McPherson did not follow proper procedures in certifying Diebold voting machines for use in California, that Diebold's equipment fails to comply with the law, and that voters' constitutional rights are being violated.

Following widespread expressions of concern, including an almost daily onslaught of news about problems with election machines, the county has seemingly abandoned its plans to buy new Diebold machines for use in the June 6 election. Instead, it plans to use the Vote-PAD system to satisfy legal requirements for disabled voters, but votes cast with Vote-PAD will still be counted on the illegal and secret optical scanners, leaving the accuracy of vote counts at risk.

What makes the use of these machines so objectionable, Berman said, is that the corporations that make them "are all claiming proprietary privilege to keep their computer programming from being scrutinized by the public, or even by the election officials on the county level." Thus, the public is kept from being able to have a transparent view of how it works. The state of Maryland has abandoned such machines, which also have been rejected by several Florida communities and the state of North Carolina.

The only good alternative is the use of hand-counted paper ballots, Berman said. "Hand counting paper ballots represents a transparent, secure and verifiably accurate voting system. In a county the size of Humboldt, this is practical, logistically-feasible and cost-effective when compared to the cost of more litigation."

The blueprint for bringing integrity to our voting process is found in the Voter Confidence Resolution, which is at The Resolution was adopted by the Arcata City Council last July with a platform of election reforms aimed at creating a new basis for confidence in election results. The Demand Your Democracy Forum will be a reminder to community members of the civic role we share for overseeing the transfer of power from We The People to those who must then represent us.


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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

GuvWurld Book Launch Off To Good Start

We Do Not Consent was downloaded 637 times in the first 14 hours. Earlier today, Democratic Underground posted the press release on their home page.

Update 1, 3/29 6:22am PT:

I am astounded. In the first 38 hours, We Do Not Consent was downloaded 12,090 times.

Click screen shot to enlarge.

Donations are up to $40, 8% of our goal. Please see the PayPal donation button in the top left of the page if you can contribute to the printing cost of putting hard copies of the book in the hands of some of America's most progressive media. Thank you for your support.

Identify the least you can do...and commit to doing at least that much.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

PRESS RELEASE: GuvWurld Author Publishes "We Do Not Consent," An Online Book


Dave Berman issues "We Do Not Consent," a compilation of essays from the GuvWurld blog


March 27, 2006—Just one week shy of the GuvWurld Blog's second anniversary, author Dave Berman has compiled 20 essential essays into an online book called "We Do Not Consent" (.pdf). The material highlights Berman's style of advocacy journalism, reporting on his own work for social change in a way that furthers those efforts. Berman puts himself above charges of bias by openly stating his progressive goals and promoting this approach as a key to successful community organizing.

Berman observes the obsolescence of mainstream journalistic neutrality, citing debunked threats of WMD, withheld reporting on unconstitutional surveillance, the unresolved contradictions and scientific impossibilities of 9/11, and thousands of uninvestigated electronic voting glitches.

"What the newspapers and network news don't tell us is enough to manipulate the common perception of reality," Berman explains. "Shaping perceptions this way is intentional, yet subliminal. I'm also trying to shape your view of reality but I'm telling you this up front and showing you the difference between what the media report and what you can directly observe for yourself. I'm asking you to be ruthlessly honest – with yourself."



In a January 2006 cover story on Humboldt County blogs, the North Coast Journal recognized GuvWurld for "gaining some stature in the larger blogosphere." This notoriety stems primarily from the Voter Confidence Resolution (VCR), a statement challenging the legitimacy of the U.S. government's claim to power after elections that did not seek the Consent of the Governed. Such Consent, according to the Declaration of Independence, is the source from which government's "just Power" is derived. The book's title, "We Do Not Consent" is a clarion call to peaceful revolution and served as the theme of a recent community forum in Eureka.

Last July, the City Council of Arcata, CA became the first to adopt the VCR. More recently, Palo Alto's Human Relations Commission and several Progressive Democratic caucuses in WA have also endorsed the VCR. Berman cites this as the GuvWurld Blog's most successful example of advocacy journalism.


This work has brought Berman into contact with other thinkers on elections and election law. Paul Lehto is an attorney in Everett, WA. He sued election machine maker Sequoia, and eight months later their machines were removed from use in Snohomish County, WA. Lehto wrote the Foreword to "We Do Not Consent."

According to Lehto, "Berman, writing under the GuvWurld name, is spearheading one of the most incisive arguments to make against the secret vote counting that always occurs with electronic voting. Namely, whenever secret vote counting is used, there is no rational basis for confidence in the reported election results. This is so because nobody saw the count, nobody can verify it, and nobody can independently repeat it. Such conditions violate all of the basic principles of science necessary to have a basis for confidence in the reported election results. That's no way to run a system of elections if you're serious about defending democracy."


Berman's writing and quotes often appear in Humboldt County media and he keeps an active speaking schedule. Upcoming appearances include the Demand Your Democracy Forum on April 11, 7pm, at HSU Founders Hall Room 118; and KHSU radio "Thursday Night Talk" with Rob Ammerman on April 13 at 7:30pm.

Berman is also a founding member of the Voter Confidence Committee (VCC) of Humboldt County, an election integrity watchdog group. Supported by GuvWurld promotion, the VCC conducted the county’s first parallel election last November and continues to lead the resistance to the use of Diebold and any other election machines containing "proprietary" programming.


"We Do Not Consent" is available at no charge, without copyright restrictions, at The book is an easy to navigate Adobe PDF file with cross-referenced pages and numerous, comprehensive hyper links to online resources for readers.

Eureka-based Agreda Communications worked with Berman to publish the book in both PDF and printed, bound versions available at discounted costs. For a printed version, please contact the author.


Dave Berman, author, "We Do Not Consent"
Tel: (707) 845-3749 ("We Do Not Consent") (GuvWurld blog main page) (Voter Confidence Resolution)


Note to blog readers: We are only planning to print a very limited number of hard copies which will be sent to progressive media such as Thom Hartmann and Randi Rhodes. First, if you can assist in getting the book to someone like that, please contact me (see above). If you want to suggest someone who should get a book but you don't know how to get it to them, please leave a comment using the link below. And finally, if you believe in the idea of voting with your dollars and can help offset the cost of this printing, please click the PayPal donation button at the top left of the page.

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Coming Monday 3/27: We Do Not Consent, a GuvWurld e-Book

Coming this Monday, March 27, GuvWurld presents We Do Not Consent, an e-book comprised of essential GuvWurld blog posts, a Foreword by attorney Paul Lehto, and two new bits, an intro and epilogue that I've written to bookend the set within the context of advocacy journalism.

I won't give away the full chapter list but you can be sure that the Voter Confidence Resolution (VCR) is amply represented. At this time, I'd like to invite readers to take a look at the VCR with new eyes. Isn't it obvious now, to conclude that our election conditions ensure inconclusive results that will not be unanimously accepted? Can you even conjure an argument that might be used to explain maintaining confidence in election results, other than with blind trust? Isn't it time we say We Do Not Consent?

At the bottom of the resolution is a link for comments. Remember, the VCR is a template, meant to be adapted in each community that adopts it. If you can get behind the general ideas, please add your name and town as an endorsement, and consider asking your City Council to adopt it. All endorsements posted by 4pm on Friday 3/24 will be included in the book.

We Do Not Consent will be a free download and the link will be posted Monday 3/27. Meanwhile, we want to put hard copies in the hands of Thom Hartmann, Randi Rhodes, and other progressive media. If you think these ideas need more attention, please help offset the cost of printing with a small donation. See the PayPal donation button at the top left of the page. We are only collecting a total of $500 and then the fundraising will stop. Support The Truth!

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006 Sues CA Sec. of State, Humboldt Registrar, Others

Tuesday was a landmark day for the election integrity movement. Attorney Lowell Finley and filed a lawsuit in San Francisco naming as defendants CA Secretary of State Bruce McPherson, Humboldt Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich, and 17 other CA registrars. The case alleges that McPherson did not follow proper procedures in certifying Diebold voting machines for use in CA; that Diebold's equipment is not compliant with the law; and that voters' constitutional rights are being violated. GuvWurld readers will recognize some of these points as familiar.

The case was filed Tuesday morning though word had started to leak out Monday afternoon via See Brad's Tuesday coverage for more details, where he links to the actual court filing (.pdf) and posts an excellent response from Debra Bowen, State Senator from Redondo Beach and challenger to McPherson for the Secretary's office. GuvWurld correspondent Dan Ashby, speaking on behalf of the California Election Protection Network, also gave a great interview (.mp3) Tuesday morning to Will Durst and former SF Mayor Willie Brown on their Will and Willie radio show for Air America.

Around this same time, I was at the Humboldt County Courthouse for the Board of Supervisors meeting at which we knew that Crnich would be presenting a proposal for the county to buy Vote-PAD rather than Diebold touch screen machines in order to satisfy the disability requirements of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). I did not learn until later in the day that Crnich was named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Crnich's proposal did not seem to arouse any enthusiasm from the Board though it received a modicum of acceptance. She was told that they would need more specific financials in order to give final approval and so the item was rescheduled for next Tuesday's agenda. Board Chairman John Woolley did at least two unfortunate things in this process. First, he did not call for public comment immediately and in direct response to Crnich's proposal. Instead, he allowed a motion to be made, seconded and discussed by the Board before calling for public comment.

As the first speaker, I noted the rarity of my agreement with the elections department and stated my support for Vote-PAD as a partial solution that eliminates half of our problem by removing the prospect of buying Diebold touch screen machines. The other half of the problem, I began to explain, is how the Vote-PAD votes would be counted, using the optical scanners, just like all other votes. The optical scanners, I pointed out, have interpreted code that is illegal.

Before I could mention the lawsuit, which I had in front of me on a brief list of talking points, Chairman Woolley did the second unfortunate thing. He cut me off and said this was beyond the matter at hand which was the motion to bring the matter back next week for funding approval. I somewhat meekly said that you can't consider a voting system without taking into consideration how the votes are counted. But somehow I did not stand my ground and continue my testimony. The "woulda, coulda, shoulda" thought I had only a few minutes later was that I had missed a great chance to use another item from my notes:
"The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything" - Joseph Stalin
I do wonder now whether Crnich and/or Chairman Woolley were already aware of Crnich's status as defendant in the VoterAction lawsuit. When I arrived at the meeting, Crnich was rather cold to me but this did not surprise me since she had told me late last week that I had offended her here on the pages of GuvWurld by suggesting the possibility that she might not be honest with the public about the Diebold training she was attending. It is hardly impossible to imagine such behavior when the track record shows repeated defenses of illegal election machines and irresponsible denial of the problems these machines pose.

Frankly, it is getting tiresome to have people in the community defend the elections department entirely on the basis of personal relationships, or on the mistaken impression that personnel is really trying to address core issues. Citizens need to educate themselves, and I am doing my part to assist, in order to understand that the supposedly upstanding, reputable and popular community members responsible for administering our Democracy are in fact lying repeatedly and standing in the way of transparency, security, and verifiable accuracy.

The media, for their part, are uneven about all this. I certainly won't complain about how often I get on the radio or quoted in newspaper articles. But we've heard repeated calls (.pdf) for investigation regarding Diebold's installation of uncertified software two years ago, and while the press will report the call for investigation, there does not seem to be the will to do real investigative journalism. Heck, Tuesday's Eureka Times-Standard (archive) sets the bar even lower.
Dave Berman, a founder of the Voter Confidence Committee, claims the Diebold machines are illegal.

"Polite and passionate speakers are greatly needed to escalate the resistance to the illegal Diebold machines that count our votes in secret and are unreliable," said Berman.

County Elections Officer Lindsey McWilliams has said that the county's Diebold machines are legal and certified by the California secretary of state.
I don't know why this article has no byline other than The Times-Standard, but that is beside the point. The conflicting statements are a matter of verifiable fact that the newspaper simply doesn't bother to research, even though the Secretary of State's own report (.pdf) reveals all. Instead, McWilliams is permitted to flatly lie and go unchallenged and uncorrected. Too bad his name isn't included in the VoterAction lawsuit.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

KHUM Interview re: Humboldt Election Conditions

Less than an hour ago I was on KHUM doing an interview with Mike Dronkers. He has had me on several times before so we should all be very grateful for his role in getting the election integrity message out there. Plus he always hooks me up with a recording to archive. Listen to an .mp3 of today's interview here:

And if you don't take a few minutes to listen, at least consider this your reminder that the Humboldt County Supervisors will be discussing election conditions tomorrow, Tuesday March 21. Please come to the County Courthouse, 825 5th St. in Eureka at 9am and help us stand up for hand counted paper ballots, our only way to create a basis for confidence in the results of elections, even the local ones.


Before I could publish this post, KMUD called for an interview. This will air in tonight's 6pm news and again Tuesday morning at 8am.

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