Thursday, October 02, 2008


Early absentee voting is already taking place here as reported by the Akron Beacon Journal last Tuesday:

This is the first presidential election year in which people can vote absentee without an excuse, such as being out of town on Election Day. The change greatly boosted the number of absentee voters in the primary — and even more are expected to take advantage of the convenience this fall, when it is estimated that a third of the state will vote early.

In the Akron-Canton area, more than 60,000 people have applied to vote early — and the absentee period is just starting.

The early voting changes have sparked controversy and partisan wrangling, including a Republican lawsuit challenging an overlap between the start of absentee voting in Ohio and the registration deadline on Oct. 6. The Ohio Supreme Court sided with Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner in a decision released Monday, saying voters can register to vote and cast an absentee ballot during this time period.

When we go to the polls here, our name has to appear on the list or we can't vote. So what happens if a person decides to vote twice, registers and votes absentee on the same day in a district that is not his own, and then votes in his own district on election day? Would the fraud be caught, or would it slip through the system undetected?

Meanwhile at U. Mass. credits for working the Obama campaign. Nothing offered for the McCain campaign. Hmmmm. Good thing this one got squashed in the birthing.

University of Massachusetts officials yesterday quashed efforts by an Amherst campus chaplain to offer two college credits to any student willing to campaign in New Hampshire this fall for Democrat Barack Obama.

Chaplain Ken Higgins told students in a Sept. 18 e-mail, "If you're scared about the prospects for this election, you're not alone. The most important way to make a difference in the outcome is to activate yourself. It would be just fine with McCain if Obama supporters just think about helping, then sleep in and stay home between now and Election Day."

Higgins added that an unnamed "sponsor" in the university's History Department would offer a two-credit independent study for students willing to canvass or volunteer on behalf of the Democratic nominee.

Then there is the radicalization of schools through Obama affiliated ACORN as reported in the Wall Street Journal:

Despite having authored two autobiographies, Barack Obama has never written about his most important executive experience. From 1995 to 1999, he led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists.

The CAC was the brainchild of Bill Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground in the 1960s. Among other feats, Mr. Ayers and his cohorts bombed the Pentagon, and he has never expressed regret for his actions. Barack Obama's first run for the Illinois State Senate was launched at a 1995 gathering at Mr. Ayers's home.

The Obama campaign has struggled to downplay that association. Last April, Sen. Obama dismissed Mr. Ayers as just "a guy who lives in my neighborhood," and "not somebody who I exchange ideas with on a regular basis." Yet documents in the CAC archives make clear that Mr. Ayers and Mr. Obama were partners in the CAC. Those archives are housed in the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago and I've recently spent days looking through them....

The CAC's basic functioning has long been known, because its annual reports, evaluations and some board minutes were public. But the Daley archive contains additional board minutes, the Collaborative minutes, and documentation on the groups that CAC funded and rejected. The Daley archives show that Mr. Obama and Mr. Ayers worked as a team to advance the CAC agenda....

In works like "City Kids, City Teachers" and "Teaching the Personal and the Political," Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? "I'm a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist," Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk's, "Sixties Radicals," at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC....

The CAC's agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland's ghetto.

Well I remember when Cleveland's inner city burned. It happened around the same time that the shooting occurred at Kent State University after the ROTC barracks had been set on fire and burned to the ground and merchant windows in downtown Kent were smashed in an evening riot. It was this activity that brought the National Guard to Kent and that culminated in the Kent State shooting. Was Ayers instrumental in the Cleveland riots? This is the kind of community organizing we sure can do without!

Mr. Obama once conducted "leadership training" seminars with Acorn, and Acorn members also served as volunteers in Mr. Obama's early campaigns....

Mr. Ayers's defenders claim that he has redeemed himself with public-spirited education work. That claim is hard to swallow if you understand that he views his education work as an effort to stoke resistance to an oppressive American system. He likes to stress that he learned of his first teaching job while in jail for a draft-board sit-in. For Mr. Ayers, teaching and his 1960s radicalism are two sides of the same coin.

Mr. Ayers is the founder of the "small schools" movement (heavily funded by CAC), in which individual schools built around specific political themes push students to "confront issues of inequity, war, and violence." He believes teacher education programs should serve as "sites of resistance" to an oppressive system. (His teacher-training programs were also CAC funded.) The point, says Mr. Ayers in his "Teaching Toward Freedom," is to "teach against oppression," against America's history of evil and racism, thereby forcing social transformation.

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