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Try though I might, I never really liked Lance Armstrong, whose interview with Oprah Winfrey will be aired this week. (I understand from listening to a lawyer on RMC’s Grandes Gueules today that everything he says will have been gone over with a fine tooth comb with his legal counsel.)
My English colleagues at the time talked him up endlessly. One of them lent me Armstrong’s autobiography, which was interesting and worthwhile reading for cancer sufferers. I felt some empathy for him as a child as he never got on with his stepfather, who didn’t sound very nice. However, he did sound self-righteous in painting such a virtuous self-portrait. I also did not appreciate his slurs about tobacco, later reflected on his website, although I understand that some of the bad science links have since been removed. For him, it was all about health, never faith in God, which he dropped early on in his life.
On the road during his Tours de France, he seemed aloof and antagonistic. Intimidating, even. I recall reading Le Monde‘s Tour coverage during the Armstrong years. Many French at the time believed he was doping. My colleagues assured me that it was merely France’s anti-Americanism showing.
Therefore, it was with some relief when I read last year that Armstrong was stripped of his titles and that he might have to pay back some of the money he later earned as the front man for various products.
It emerged late last year that Armstrong took EPO injections in small amounts at night. He appears to have received favourable treatment from the drug testers. Admittedly, everyone in cycling knows — even the testers — that it is possible for riders to pass drug tests as the techniques for doping surpass the ability to detect them in the bloodstream.
But you know all that.
What makes Armstrong’s case different is not only his cancer but also the way he used it as a lever with the public. Who is going to criticise a cancer recovery success story in endurance sport? It just didn’t seem right to do so. And it could be said that Armstrong’s supporters had a point at the time. I ended up keeping my thoughts to myself outside of the house.
Alex Massie, writing for The Spectator (UK), offered the best analysis of the Armstrong story thus far. Excerpts follow, emphases in bold mine:
Because Armstrong was worse than a cheat, he was a fraud. Sure, many other riders were taking EPO or using blood transfusions themselves. They did not, however, present themselves as some kind of inspirational saviour. They did not do their best to run riders who did not dope out of the sport.
And this is one of the differences between old-school doping and the new-school perfected by Armstrong and his foot-soldiers …
Armstrong’s case is different and not just because this first Tour victory was in 1999, the year cycling was supposed to have started again after the scandal of the 1998 edition during which the race was revealed to be a kind of pharmacy on wheels. We had always known there was drug-taking but the Festina scandal meant it could no longer be quietly ignored. The blinkers we’d chosen to wear had to come off at last and forever. No more nodding. No more winking.
So the 1999 race was branded as some kind of Tour of Redemption. And it was won by Lance Armstrong. Pretty good joke, that. Sure, Armstrong was only King of the Dopers and many of the guys he beat were juiced too and you can make a case arguing that the playing-field was relatively level. Between 1996 and 2011 some 36 of the 45 places on the Tour de France podium were claimed by riders “tainted” with doping. But it was still a fraud and Armstrong’s successes were a lie. The crime was one thing but, as the old cliche has it, the cover-up was much, much worse …
Apart from the “everyone was at it” argument, the most common defence of Armstrong has been that he’s still a hero because he had cancer and cancer is bad and lots of people who had cancer were inspired by Armstrong and this is a good thing because, you know, cancer is very bad. Which is fine but has nothing to do with cycling. It seems a bit much to expect those of us who love cycling to be persuaded by the plangent splutterings of those who’d never heard of the sport before Armstrong arrived to inspire the planet.
In any case, cancer became a carapace protecting Armstrong from the slings and arrows of outrageous criticism. Never mind the sport, face up to the fact he inspired so much hope. Maybe so. But the sorry truth is that cancer proved useful to Lance Armstrong. It didn’t just reshape his body and equip him with a startling measure of mental fortitude, it also made his critics wonder if they – I suppose I mean, we – were heels, scoffing sourly at the greatest inspiration of the age. What kind of person reacts to such a noble prospect by wishing to destroy it?
A wise one, as it turns out. Pace Christopher Hitchens, just as it suited Mother Theresa to keep her people poor, so it suited Armstrong to swaddle himself in the community of cancer sufferers. They were his human shields. A cancer-awareness-raising foundation can both be a noble enterprise and a useful insurance. There is no contradiction here, merely the ancient truth that even virtue is not always wholly virtuous.
Even now – even now! – Armstrong’s faithful ask us to excuse his sins on account of the money he has raised for cancer-awareness and the succour – genuine, for sure – he has offered cancer-sufferers. Set against such goodness, what is mere sporting disgrace? Only this: his disgraced success begat the goodness and the good works depended upon the success which was achieved by cheating. If charity is based on fraud does it remain charity or does it curdle into something closer to cynical buck-raking? …
The USADA report pays tribute to this. Consider this passage:
[T]he team staff was good at being able to predict when riders would be tested and seemed to have inside information about the testing. For instance, according to David Zabriskie, “Johan [Bruyneel] always seemed to know when drug testers were coming at races. His warning that ‘they’re coming tomorrow’ came on more than one occasion.” Jonathan Vaughters said, “[t]he Postal Service staff, including Johan and the soigneurs seemed to have an outstanding early warning system regarding drug tests. We typically seemed to have an hour’s advance notice prior to tests. There was plenty of time in advance of tests to use saline to decrease our hematocrit level.
Remember too that Armstrong’s relationship with Michele Ferrari – the trainer to whom he paid more than $1 million – began before he contracted cancer. Armstrong was working with Ferrari in the mid-1990s. Just as it seemed odd so many of Armstrong’s former team-mates suddenly failed tests when they were no longer racing with Lance, so it always seemed implausible that when Ferrari’s other clients were doping Armstrong was merely discussing power to weight ratios with his guru. A guru, moreover, who claimed that “Only excessive consumption of EPO is dangerous, as the excessive consumption of orange juice is dangerous.”
Not too many cyclists have died from a surfeit of orange juice. Too many have perished from using EPO. How else to explain the rash of cyclists who died from heart attacks in the middle of the night as their blood congealed to jelly? How else to explain their grim, death-avoiding, midnight exercise regimes designed to get the heart pumping. For a spell back in the 1990s, EPO was a kind of slow-motion Russian roulette.
… A three week race is a test of endurance. The ability to “heal faster from harder and more frequent workouts” cheats that test. Equally, in cycling the better the drugs the less vicious – and less thrilling – the thrills become. The spectacle of suffering is compromised. Its value is diminished too …
Like other great cyclists Armstrong doped; unlike the other great cyclists he exploited his life story to claim a degree of holy untouchability. There is all the difference in the world between an honest Hinaultesque cynicism and Armstrong’s lucrative and dishonest cynicism. He was – and remains – a fraud and a liar. That’s why his disgrace matters and why it is necessary.
Once upon a time, Armstrong asked a simple question:
“If I cheated, how did I get away with it?”
Because the Big Lie is bigger, more brazen, more dishonest than anything else.
Last year’s Tour de France, which resulted in Sir Bradley Wiggins’s victory, seemed more the way the race should be ridden and won. As I recall, one or two riders had failed drugs tests early on. I hope that future Tours will be conducted with the same vigilance.
It’s also time that other sports consider rooting out dopers. Baseball had its investigations several years ago. Online commenters say that football — gridiron and soccer — also has a reputation for doping. If so, it’s time to investigate.
We can also communicate to our children that cheaters never truly ‘win’ except at lying, which violates the Ten Commandments, specifically Exodus 20:16 and Deuteronomy 5:20:
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
The same holds true for school and business ethics. Cheating on tests and using underhanded tactics are sins. If you don’t get caught in this life, you will in the next.
Only three weeks ago, the French government said that the anti-smoking campaigns over the past few years hadn’t reduced the number of smokers, which still hovers around 30% of the population.
The conclusion was that the only way to bring the number of smokers down was to increase the price of cigarettes dramatically. Never mind that current prices are now on a par with the UK’s.
On January 7, 2013, the financial journal Les Echos reported that ‘several sources’ indicated that tobacconists’ sales decreased by 4.9%. Trebles all round, then.
But how can this be when the percentage of French smokers remains the same?
The answer is that, as RMC listeners explain in the comments, more smokers are buying cigarettes in Italy, Spain and Andorra. Others purchase via the internet. Some also know a man with a van who sells contraband.
So, a reduction in tobacconists’ sales is no time for self-congratulation on the part of anti-tobacco experts or the government. It is simply a matter of massaged statistics for a forgetful public.
Conclusion: leave the price alone. Forget plain packaging and shuttered points of sale. Smokers will continue to smoke, regardless. As for the children? Most have already been taught at home and in school to despise tobacco.
There is nothing the state can do about this overly-taxed legal product about which much bad science and egregious propaganda have emerged over the past 50 years. (For more information see the posts on my Recipes / Health page under ‘The bogus science behind Tobacco Control’, particularly the findings of Professors Even, Molimard, Davies and Grieshaber.)
Let’s not forget how much tax the price per pack generates — around 75%, possibly 80%, depending on what source one reads. Every tax-grubbing leftist should be kissing smokers; that money goes to his beloved state.
Spare a thought for the vilified tobacconists who are also viewed as poison-pushers.
Never mind corrupt politicians, higher taxes, government waste, increasing crime, mounting unemployment, broken homes and so on. And tobacco is the real social evil?
No, far from it.
The Book of Common Prayer (1662) is 350 years old. It is the only book other than the Bible which any Anglican should ever need for faith.
Cranmer’s version was, certainly, older (1549, 1552), however, the 1662 version was the revised version which Charles II introduced shortly after the Restoration following the English Civil War. It remains the official prayer book of the Church of England, despite the more frequent use of Common Worship, new this century replacing The Alternative Service Book of the 1980s, which the satirical magazine Private Eye still lampoons.
This book has been revised in the United States, most recently in 1928 and 1979, the latter being a departure too far for some.
Here in England, the BCP is largely disregarded as a relic, even — perhaps especially — because it contains the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion which are the tenets of the Anglican faith. Every faithful Church of England adherent should study them carefully. Too many have departed from them.
The Revd Roger Salter recently wrote a beautiful article on the BCP for Virtue Online. Excerpts from ‘Thomas Cranmer’s Portable Spiritual Director’ follow, emphases mine:
The Book of Common Prayer is largely a compilation of extracts from Holy Scripture arranged for public worship and private fellowship with God, and the material from other sources is derived from meditation upon Scripture and consonant with it. Cranmer has bequeathed us a compendium, not entirely of his own creation but skilful organization, from a multiplicity of sources that is a true and comprehensive guide to godliness in thought and life, and a handbook to holiness. It is not the exclusive possession of Anglicanism but a precious gift from the 16th century English Church to all believers who care to use it. It is a catholic treasure available to all, encapsulating the substance of the true Catholic faith.
An Anglicanism that stays close to the BCP (1662), whatever other developments there may and should be, will not stray from the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and will weather the storms of novelty and deviant doctrine. In Cranmer’s liturgy and confessional statements we have a sure guideline for orthodoxy crafted by many minds, both those of his godly predecessors and wise contemporaries.
The role of the BCP is not only public and “denominational”. Frequent personal use and growing familiarity will soon prove its pastoral effectiveness in daily life and discipleship. Perhaps in this dimension its benefit has not been fully appreciated and commended. As a part of one’s daily walk with God the Prayer Book becomes a beloved companion, an aid to understanding and worship, a mentor in prayer and meditation, and, in effect, a cherished spiritual director. Its various liturgies and services span the course of our lives marking all events, normal and extra-special, assisting us to prepare for, experience, and review them. The Litany, Collects, Intercessions, and other prayers touch, so deeply, our personal concerns and expand our concern both for the Church of God and the world he has created and governs. It is impossible to employ the Prayer Book without taking others to heart and holding them before God. It amply nourishes our interior life but it takes us out of ourselves as well – something private devotions do not always achieve.
Praying and pondering the BCP, under God’s good hand, purifies the mind, warms and encourages the heart, and expands the soul. As was the archbishop’s intention, it draws the spirit to God and focuses the inner eye upon him, and then we are enabled to participate in his perspective upon the condition and affairs of men, beseeching him to work powerfully and redemptively in a desperate and declining world. The Prayer Book cultivates our individual communion with God but it counters the dangerous individualism that debilitates the life of the church and which hampers our corporate witness and ministry to the world. What a joy to hold daily in our hands Cranmer’s choice volume that affords constant and inexhaustible spiritual direction for the people of God.
Let us pray that the BCP’s use experiences a revival in the years to come. It is sorely needed in today’s Anglican worship and private devotions.
An interesting article about the Mayan calendar ‘end of the world’ story appeared recently on UK Yahoo! News. Looks as if Christmas is coming after all — on schedule — so get the cards done and the presents wrapped. Excerpts follow, emphases mine:
The ‘prophecy’ does not stem from the Mayans at all – or date from thousands of years ago.
Instead, the beliefs come from two New Age books in the Seventies and Eighties.
The two books predict outcomes as surreal as a ‘upgrade’ to human consciousness predicted by a spirit from the seventh century and the date itself comes from a prophecy based on a magic mushroom trip.
“December 21st will be just another Friday morning,” said Andrew Wilson, Assistant Head of Social Studies at the University of Derby. “A hippy guru called Jose Arguelles associated the date with the Mayan calendar in a book called The Mayan Factor in 1987. But it’s an obsolete form of the calendar, which had not been used since the year 1100AD.”
“He claimed to be channelling various spirits, including the spirit of a Mayan king from the seventh century. He predicted a ‘shift in human consciousness’ – mass enlightenment.”
The actual date of December 21 first appeared in an earlier work – a 1975 book by Terence McKenna, a writer known for his descriptions of “machine elves” seen while under the influence of drugs.
The date appeared in McKenna’s ‘Timeline Zero’ prophecy, and was based on McKenna’s own mathematics, the Chinese I Ching and a magic mushroom trip.
McKenna later met Arguelles and the two became, Wilson says, part of a circle of New Age authors who cited each other’s work, lending the ‘prophecy’ an air of believability.
“The significance of December 21 2012 in ‘New Age’ circles emerged from the work of ‘ethnobotanist’ Terence McKenna as he travelled deep into the Amazon in the 1970s,” says Wilson. His calculations of a ‘zero time wave’ suggested the world would go through a large change on December 21.”
“Arguelles, who had a long-held interest in Native American spiritualties, was inspired by McKenna’s work. He popularised the date in connection with the ‘long count calendar’ of the Mayan people in his new-age circles.”
The article includes a picture of Arguelles. Hmm.
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (Matthew 24:36)
It should be clear by now that the mainstream media (MSM) have been pushing memes as to how Obama won a second term in office.
I find it curious that people who normally disregard the MSM now believe them when they say that fewer voters came out in favour of Romney than for McCain. Check Breitbart for six election day citizen’s journalism pieces which show that, from dawn to dusk, there were queues nationwide. (Read reports 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.) It seems unlikely that these were for Obama, especially when a) ‘broken glass’ Republicans and independents were going out to vote and b) Romney rallies consistently had at least 10 times the number of people in attendance over Obama’s.
The other strange thing is how Romney’s Electoral College projections were 10 votes ahead of Obama’s until the early hours of the morning (UK time) and, suddenly, everything flipped to Obama. That was it for Romney.
When did Obama and his team ever believe he could win anything without cheating or intimidation? In 2008, it was by intimidating Hillary Clinton’s delegates to give their votes to his candidacy prior to the Democratic National Convention. Yet, Hillary had more popular caucus votes than he. (See We Will Not Be Silenced. The episodes are available here.)
Earlier, back in Illinois in 2004, he and his team smeared GOP opponent Jack Ryan (by getting Ryan’s divorce records unsealed — ironic) then the Roman Catholic beliefs of his subsequent opponent Alan Keyes; Obama won the race for US Senator that year based not on any policy differences but through a dirty campaign. Eight years before, in 1996, Obama managed to push all his Democratic opponents off the primary list — including his own mentor Senator Alice Palmer — leaving him unopposed in his own party and victorious in a heavily leftist district.
Even in 2008, Obama’s team didn’t seem to mind voter intimidation going on in cities like Philadelphia.
There is also another angle. I have read in several places that Obama had no acceptance speech planned. Romney had no concession speech. This opens up the possibility that people behind the scenes had a vote flipping operation put into place. Of course, one name always pops up in the picture, although there are no doubt more who would like to see the United States reduced to serfdom by a bunch of feral neo-Bolsheviks.
Before I go further into vote flipping, I would like to share other reactions from around the web, some of which are from Hillary’s PUMAs — the last comment coming from an immigrant who later became an American citizen (emphases mine):
– The GOP — and Romney/Ryan — had to fight the media as well as the Dems (The Right Sphere):
Small, petty politics won. More specifically, our inability to combat small petty, politics won. We are an ideological movement. We have principles we hold on to. The left simply does not. They hold no truths to be self-evident. They have no moral compass. They will lie, cheat, and steal for their movement. We will not.
What won last night was marketing. What won last night were communications strategies. Our ideology didn’t lose. Our ideology was never heard. It was drowned out by a media more focused on gotchas and Big Bird and binders and feeding a narrative created by the masters of marketing: Obama For America. The media won’t allow an ideological battle because every time they do, they lose …
So stop the finger pointing. Stop the “I told you sos.” WE didn’t lose the election. Marketing WON the election. And we’d better figure out how to outdo the marketing machine fast or it is really really over.
– The possibility of collusion between pollsters, media, the Democratic National Committee, then a behind-the-scenes vote flip which would enable a palatable anti-GOP rationale for Romney’s loss to be presented to the public. From PUMAs:
wyntyre: I believe I am right about the impossible numbers. Just an hour or so before Florida started leaning for [Obama] one of the biggest [Obama fans] out there, Chuck Todd, said BOTH parties expected Florida to go for MR. Even the pollsters have been saying that for months. The media was complicit in the POS’s victory. It has been obvious from day one, when [ABC’s George] Stephonapoulos brought up contraception at the January primary debate. This was all coordinated. And covert … I do not believe Mitt did not take Florida.
Erica: It does seem fishy to me, too. All the indicators you mentioned were there, and then the blowout for O. I don’t trust his Chicago machine and am starting to believe we’ll never have a fair election in this country again.
gxm17: Everyone in my family who voted for Obama absolutely believed that Romney would win. That’s sure what it *felt* like. That’s where the energy was coming from. I didn’t see any excitement or energy coming from ObamaNation, only fear and anger. Now they are giddy with relief. And they don’t even see the blood on their hands. Ah, ignorance is bliss!
angienc: [Mitt] wasn’t prepared for the massive cheating – the MSM is pretending it is because DailyKos/SEIU poll, PPP & Nate Silver were “right” (and all the other polls were wrong) but that’s the cover story (and unfortunately people on the right are falling for it too).
Obama lost almost 10 million votes [compared with] 2008 yet lost almost NONE of his votes in the important swing states.
Nothing fishy there at all.
votermom: I was born in a dictatorship that was nominally “democratic.” The President, under international (ahem USA) pressure, would hold elections. There would be massive crowds for the opposition challenger, than mysteriously the results would show overwhelming votes for the dictator. He never officially lost an election. The media would always cover this up for him – never criticized him.
I saw the crowds for Mitt Romney. I saw the handfuls of diehards for Obama. I saw the poll skewing – Obama needed to exceed 2008 turnout to break even with Romney. Did Obama exceed 2008 turnout? No he did not. Obama lost 9 Million voters! But in the key battleground states, he got more votes than Mitt Romney. Somehow Obama voters in battleground states were more pumped than ever to vote for Obama?
I’m not the only one whose spidey sense is tingling. These are not plausible numbers, these are 3rd world dictatorship … election numbers …
To clarify my hypothesis of vote flipping, only a few people in the background could know about it. Otherwise, the secret risked exposure. I do not believe that Obama knew, because he appeared as surprised as Mitt Romney did. This action was done independently of Obama and most of his water carriers, even though they had hoped for this result. I believe that what people saw on the ground with voter irregularity and intimidation was but a small part of the hypothetical vote flipping.
Historically, improved technology has improved the potential for vote flipping. Most states now use electronic machines with a touchscreen facility or a vote scanner. Devvy Kidd went back into the archives to find out how these machines work and why they are a risk to the democratic process, a brief excerpt of which follows:
Dr. O’Halloran … confirmed by contacting Doubleday Publishing of Kalamzaoo, Michigan which sells the GES “Accu-Vote system, “A programming technician matter-of-factly told me that there are modems inside each of the vote counting computers which are used to transfer results from dozens of precincts to computer counting computers. They talk between modems. There is a modem between each computer unit.” This means the voting counting computers can talk to a central computer mainframe and are vulnerable to outside access. Dr.O’Halloran went on to say, “The Doubleday technician explained that special command cards can be inserted into the machine to tell the precinct computer to call the central computer with results. According the technicians, “You have to program the phone number into the card, the card accesses the modem and the card tells it to dial into the central computer. To close the election you slide the ‘ender-card’ – like a special ballot – which has certain codes on it and tells it to lock up the election.”
GES isn’t the only manufacturer of these internal modems. Dr. O’Halloran further investigated a Florida based company, Optech, and found the following on its web site: “Modem communications and results transfer capability from the precinct with the OPTECH III-P Eagle and regional accumulation with the Smart Pack Receiving System.” This alarmed O’Halloran because “the presence of an internal (hidden) modem which could allow outside access to the computer without anyone’s knowledge.” At that point, Dr. O’Halloran contacted Ronnie Dugger, author of a highly acclaimed November 1997 article in New Yorker about computerized election fraud. For those who are interested, you can read one of Dugger’s articles here; another detailed article on vote rigging via these insidious machines is here.
“A modem in an election computer would be highly suspect,” Dr. O’Halloran quoted Dugger. “You can’t insulate a computer from outside communication if you have a modem in it. There would be a sub-routine (in the source-code) program which would cause the results being turned into the central computer to be phoned to you too, so that you could find out how many votes you needed to steal the election.”
A number of electronic machines used in the United States for last week’s election came from Smartmatic, a Venezuelan company which, in 2005, bought the American company which makes the machines — Sequoia Voting Systems. This CNN video tells us that when Chicago used these in an earlier election, Venezuelan technicians were on hand to rectify any problems.
The Sequoia/Smartmatic machines, not surprisingly, use their own (proprietary) software. This makes it nearly impossible to discern whether their voting systems are tamper-proof. These machines cannot be audited. Furthermore, the foreign ownership of the voting machines raises the question as to foreign ownership of American elections.
‘Venezuela? Hugo Chavez?’ Funny you should ask. These machines were used in the country’s 2004 recall election. Some experts, the video says, allege that the machines were ‘manipulated’ in order to give strongman Hugo Chavez a victory when he was widely expected to lose. Yet, the day after the election, Chavez declared victory with 59% of the vote. One of Chavez’s ministers sat on the board of Smartmatic. A year later, Smartmatic purchased Sequoia. The rest, as they say, is history.
And, let us not forget that many of the votes were tabulated at the top level by SCYTL, a company based in Barcelona (Spain!).
We might never know what happened this year, but what all conservatives and small ‘l’ libertarians can do is keep pushing the message of integrity, God-given rights, success and autonomy for oneself and one’s family. It is to be hoped that four years from now — God willing, although anything is possible now — that Americans will have tired of a celebrity president and his policies:
While both candidates are controlled by the big banks, Romney would have slowly eased in their takeover. However, you have voted for their quick takeover – which will hit you like a ton of bricks. Since Congress has not changed, Obama will rule solely via Executive Orders, which will complete the shredding of the Constitution. As Obama closes down 1000 coal powered power stations and we’re forced to buy electricity from dirty plants in Mexico, get ready for your power and all other bills to go through the roof. Enjoy!
On November 14, 2012, the RNC finally decided to help Lt Col Allen West contest election results in Florida. West is currently a congressman for his district and objects to the apparent vote fraud which occurred there, particularly in St Lucie County. The Florida Secretary of State, happily, is sending three auditors there to investigate vote tabulation.
Many occurrences of voter intimidation and machine anomalies have occurred. Barack Obama Voter Fraud is one site compiling various incidents from around the nation. WND has more, including one story about a voting machine technician from suburban Chicago who said that, on one touchscreen machine, a Romney vote gave an error message of ‘voter save failure’, which happened to him when he cast his own vote. The man said that the precinct worker on duty told him to ‘assume’ the vote registered for Romney. The technician asked to vote on another machine.
If you are interested in writing to your Secretary of State to dispute election tallies, visit The Competent Conservative for relevant contact details. Election results have not yet been certified, but time is running out.
UPDATE — MONDAY, AUGUST 1, 2016: In an interview today with Alex Jones, Joel Skousen — political scientist, conservative commentator and retired US Marine fighter pilot — said that 2012 was the first year where election results were tabulated at the national level. They were counted at the state level, then sent to national level. Given the lengthy queues outside polling stations from early morning to late evening, it is highly possible that several million votes could have been shaved off so that Obama appeared to be the winner. If any state had objected, the officials at national level could have said that they tabulated what was submitted by that particular state. It would have been impossible to trace. This new national tabulation system is likely to be in place again in 2016.
If you are interested in knowing how votes can be flipped electronically, this 11-minute video is useful:
End of series on America’s 2012 elections – find the rest on my Marxism/Communism page
Readers will be wondering where we stand with the US election now. Some action is in play, although how useful it will be is anyone’s guess.
For those who have been watching the story since 2008, further investigation into the incumbent comes from Lord Monckton. How successful that will be is questionable at this stage. One can only hope that he considers this theory from Lame Cherry, nothing my readers have probably read before, although it concerns the ‘Soebarkah’ name.
Another possibility is this one from The Ulsterman Report‘s Military Insider. Hmm. A bit more promising.
However, the point of today’s post is to pass along two quotations about nation-states — how they evolve and self-destruct over time.
The first quote comes from Alexis de Tocqueville — 18th century (emphases mine):
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.
The next quotation some of you might remember from the 2008 election. It was bandied about by leftists and conservatives alike and, for a change, a whole room could nod in agreement. It has been attributed, perhaps mistakenly, to the 18th century’s Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee, as the link explains. It appears to date from the 20th century:
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.
The United States is now 236 years old. What stage is the Great Republic at now? Where does it go from here?
Something to ponder and pass along to friends and family.
Reince Priebus, if I may, this message is for you and your top level staff:
It was my fondest hope that Mitt Romney could have transformed the Republican Party from the White House.
His and Paul Ryan’s campaign was one of the best the GOP has run in years. Most of the ads were excellent (interested readers can see The Tamminator’s posts at HillBuzz). Romney was always well prepared for the debates and tens of thousands of people attended his rallies. The candidates and their families were always well presented in public. Neither had any dirt anyone could dig up. They were clean, pure and refreshing in a corrupt, postmodern age.
Much talk has arisen post-election about further things the GOP can do in general to improve its image when the media and other leftists are continually attacking it.
What follows are 11 suggestions:
1/ Avoid slip-ups when discussing social issues, especially abortion. Senate candidates Akin (MO) and Mourdock (IN) made some serious gaffes when discussing abortion and rape. This cost them critical votes and overshadowed their campaigns. Any social issue, whether it be abortion or immigration, must be addressed in a way in which the Left won’t attack it: one response from everyone. Mitt never seemed to get caught in this trap, although the Left did try a few unsuccessful attacks. Please find out what he did and why.
2/ Consult with Mitt as to messaging and strategy. He would probably be only too happy to help. There are a lot of good things from the Romney/Ryan campaign that the GOP can roll out again for mid-terms and the next presidential election (God willing). They put the incumbent’s camp on the back foot more than once.
3/ Choose crème de la crème candidates. Get the best possible men and women out there. Akin was more than a bit embarrassing. Christie, considered to be a potential 2016 presidential candidate, just looks like a potential Democrat. Regardless of their re-election losses, Mia Love (UT) and Allen West (FL) really rev up the base. They talk of God-given freedom and the American Dream — please use them to your advantage in speaking engagements around the country!
4/ Continue to maximise the visibility of minority GOP office holders, past and present. The GOP convention held in Tampa, Florida, this year really put the Democratic National Convention organisers on the back foot. They marvelled at the many speakers from minority groups and wondered why they themselves had so few to put up on the dais! Blacks, Hispanics — among them Congressional representatives and state governors — looked great. All their speeches spoke about achieving the American Dream. New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez gave a particularly inspiring account of hers and her husband’s conversion to the Republicans from the Democrats. It occurred during and after a lunch that she had with GOP members one afternoon. She said afterward that she turned to her husband and said, ‘You know what? We’ve been Republicans all along’. Now that blacks are upset with Obama and the Democrats, Mia Love, Allen West, Susana Martinez and many others can demonstrate that the GOP is a viable and real option for them.
5/ Hammer home that the GOP — not the Democrats — has always championed civil rights. Use history to demonstrate the point from Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation to the late Sen. Everett Dirksen on civil rights in the 1960s. Remind blacks that the KKK was a Democrat organisation. Get the National Black Republican Association more involved. Alveda King, Martin Luther King Jr’s niece, is a member and speaks on pro-life and conservative issues. Make her more visible to the black American audience. Invite other National Black Republican Association members to speak to black audiences around the country. Get political writer and author Kevin Jackson from The Black Sphere involved. Also get in touch with RagingElephants, a black conservative group. Now is the time to do so, especially when many blacks are concerned about rising abortion rates and realise that the Democrats have been holding them like slaves on a plantation.
6/ Work with the TEA Party. Why reject people who honour the Constitution and traditional American values? Build bridges with them. Each can help the other.
7/ Work with Libertarians. There are many Libertarians who are conservative. Meet with them and let them give their advice. Talk with Ron Paul and promote his ideas for small government and the economy.
8/ Work with the PUMAs. Do you know how many of Hillary Clinton’s PUMAs campaigned locally and voted for McCain/Palin in 2008 and Romney/Ryan in 2012? Hundreds. Read their websites and get in touch with the authors. They can give you great advice on decoding what the Left is up to. Listen to them and implement what they have to say. Places to start include Hillary is 44, Kevin DuJan’s HillBuzz and Larry Johnson’s No Quarter. All are on your side. Contact details are available on the sites.
9/ Energise the leadership at the top. Sorry, chaps, but the image you project appears to the rest of us as weak and apathetic. Michael Steele’s tenure was disappointing; at a time when Obama had just been elected, Steele could have done so much more for the party and the minority vote. Mr Priebus, you have more enthusiasm, but still haven’t managed to galvanise the party as a force against the Left — the Democrats. It seemed to me that the runaway success of Romney/Ryan was because of them and their campaign team. Learn from them — starting now. The Dems are already starting to plan for 2014 elections. Please do the same for the GOP — today!
10/ Remind people that the GOP is a broad church, so to speak. Notice how the Democrats currently hold that title, boasting that they are the party for women, minorities, media, educators. There is no reason why the GOP can’t start broadening its base; the time is ripe. Many people I talked to and read about this year — all voters — said, ‘Anybody but Obama!’ Tap into those blocs, get them interested and work on a theme of American unity.
11/ Man up! Encourage more GOP candidates to question their losses, following the example of Lt Col Allen West in Florida. I hope that you are actively supporting him in this effort. Is anyone from the RNC questioning the Romney/Ryan defeat and asking for a recount? Many Americans and those of us abroad hope so. After all, Al Franken (D-MN) did so in 2008; the recount took three months, but he won! The Democrats know that Republicans will just roll over as soon as they lose an election. Please stop it! Stand up for yourselves! Even Europeans can sense your weakness — here’s what a French citizen has to say (emphases mine):
There is a thing lefties can count on: if Conservatives lose they will start beating their chests instead of looking at what is fishy.
Frankly I cannot believe Romney not getting a single swing state. It is too perfect. Also it doesn’t match with what was seen at ground level. Everywhere we have been told of record high particpation levels in Republican districts and low ones in Democratic counties, of obama giving his final speech in half empty arena in Ohio, of many tell-tale signs pointing to lack of enthusiasm between Democrats and a strong determination between Republicans; the logical assumption was that Romney would win easily in states where [the] electorate was divided. But no. Not a single time this translated into a Republican victory. Not a single time.
Then we remind [ourselves] of [the] DOJ preventing Florida of purging voting lists of non-citizens, of voting machines giving a vote for Obama when the Romney button was pressed, of in Pennsylvania, thousands of Republican votes shredded by a “help the vote” organization, of Democrats being caught red handed organizing a concerted effort of fraudulent vote through impersonating people they knew wouldn’t vote. Given how little is done to prevent fraud there are reasons to believe the fraud is not a hundredfold larger than what was caught ... (If you fear poor people would be unable to vote then make it [zero] cost, also in France for voting you need an ID _and_ a special nationally issued election card, that is rubber-stamped when you vote thus ensuring you cannot vote in more than one district and that that district is the one where you live not the one that is more convenient for your party).
Also when I learned that Rasmussen had been threatened by the DOJ of being sued I immediately knew here was something at work more sinister than simply trying to demoralize the Republican electorate: if poll[s] pointed to an Obama victory fraud, [it] would not be suspected.
Let’s remind [ourselves that] Romney didn’t get a single swing state; not a single one.
However the [sad] thing is Republican[s] will do nothing about it. They will do nothing because with Catholic-like eagerness they will start beating their chests, they will do nothing out of … fear … They will do nothing because over 150 year[s] after it was created the Republican party has still not learned how to fight with someone who fights dirty and still acts like if the Democratic party was the Boy-Scout Party. What could be expected of a party whose dirtiest fighter, that is Richard Nixon, did nothing when Kennedy stole an election from him. Obama expected it and the Republicans gave the answer he expected: chest thumping.
Re Nixon, I have read elsewhere that John F Kennedy had a chuckle with his brothers in November 1960. He told them that the first thing he would have done, were he in Nixon’s shoes, would have been to contest the results. Remember, it was Cook County (IL) and LBJ’s home county (TX) which won it for Kennedy.
I hope these help you, Mr Priebus, to reinvigorate the Republican Party. Many more Americans and foreign onlookers — more than you can imagine — wish you and the GOP the very best.
But please begin a rethink today.
It seems to me as if Mitt Romney’s ‘loss’ could well have been a fix.
Now, there are many religious Americans who have said that it is God’s plan. Quite possibly, however, consider the following:
1/ Reading Kevin DuJan’s HillBuzz commenters’ first-hand reports of queues at polling stations around the country and, prior to that, the newspaper accounts of 10,000 to 20,000+ people attending Mitt Romney’s rallies (e.g. Red Rocks, Colorado and Defiance, Ohio), there is no way that a) Romney lacked public support and b) the voting numbers were below that of 2008. In fact, I fully expected news stories to appear on Wednesday, November 7, saying that the US had a record voter turnout. I believe there was a record GOP turnout.
2/ Astute observers will have read Lame Cherry‘s and Ulsterman‘s White House Insider warnings that the election could be stolen. They posted their warnings well in advance of Election Day. Here are excerpts from their follow-up observations (emphases mine).
a) Lame Cherry:
This is all Scytl, SOE and … electronic voting machine. As I warned you, this is now legitimized … Romney knows completely what was done and he like this entire treacherous lot will say nothing to reveal any of this …
The numbers said it all. Mitt Romney won the election fairly, but as this blog reported months ago, Obama could still steal it. Obama did just that and each of you was fed the hope that trusting in elections it would save you, so that you would not go into revolution.
You will be told now to wait until 2014 and trust in that. This is all scripted …
WHI: … I’m going over the #s. State by state. County by county. Had all of that lined up a week ago and it was looking so good for us. Last night not adding up. A major shift in the final hours or some serious anomalies in the actual vote counts. Voter turn out was depressed for both sides. All prior evidence states otherwise. How is that possible? Don’t know. At this point not worth discussing because I don’t have an answer for you so don’t ask. This is … Venezuela we got here.
Is what it is for now though. Shut up. Move on.
You want me to say I was wrong? Fine. I was wrong. But I said they could steal it. And that is what might have happened. But to pull that off in so many states, would mean they got help. Talking from both sides here. Get it? Republicans. And that is scary. If we are that far gone, what the hell are we to do about that? We need a major reset in America if that is the case. We don’t … deserve America anymore. When those Senators dropped Benghazi I got real worried real fast. It felt like a deal had been made. And the CBS [stuff]. Talk about a media scandal of epic … proportions. But nobody is pushing it … I’ll say it again. BOTH SIDES. Get it? I know localized fraud. But a multiple state millions of votes level of fraud? To pull that off would be incredibly risky and would require help from the apparent opposition side. And I don’t really want to go there right now. Too scary …
1/ By all means, continue to vote in every election and get your friends down to the polling station as well. However, do not be too shocked if the vote does not turn out the way it should. Conservatives staying at home on election day serve only to depress the GOP vote. Don’t let it happen.
2/ There are big government people from the Democrat and, it would seem, the Republican parties who want to maintain the status quo and/or root the US in Marxism. Whilst I can understand why the Democrats would want to do that, why the GOP would is puzzling. This time around Utah’s Mia Love — a candidate for liberty — lost her re-election bid. So did Allen West in Florida. I am pleased that Lt Col West is contesting the result.
3/ Resist the urge to cannibalise conservative candidates when they lose. Within hours of Romney’s gracious concession speech, Americans started to rip his campaign apart. Among the criticisms was his silence on Benghazi. Right now, no one really knows what happened there except for those immediately involved. I do not believe that Romney was in a position to go on the offensive on this subject, as much as we would like to have seen it. The man is not stupid, so he resisted bringing up the subject for a reason.
4/ Beware of false flags and decoy arguments. This ties in partly with point 3 above. Another GOP target of abuse is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who looked chummy in the photo-op with Obama in the days following Hurricane Sandy. Christie did what he did for reasons known only to him. I suspect he, rightly, wanted to make sure that his state got the FEMA help it needed. Whatever the reason, forget about him. He had very little to do with Romney. The Left and their pals in the media enjoy these diversions because each one helps to erode the Republican Party and the conservative base. Yes, the GOP has some cleanup to do but the Dems are far from saintly.
5/ Refuse to be engaged in a passive ‘Christian’ view of things. A number of Christians are willing the days from the Book of Revelation. However, our Lord told us that no one knows when those days are, so, instead do what you can to regain liberty and support American values. Some Christians are eager to see America’s destruction. They think they will be either raptured beforehand or be able to sit comfortably on the sidelines at home watching telly whilst the world unravels. If so, they would do well to prepare themselves for resettlement, gulags, death and everything else that goes along with that scenario. They would be well advised to be careful what they wish for.
In conclusion, Mitt Romney’s and Paul Ryan’s plan for America was not what the powers that be want. They would have rolled back the state, which does not seem to be part of the grand plan. We should bear in mind that the fix was in and live with the ‘defeat’. But, let’s not give up the battle for God-given freedoms.
It was most heartening to see photos and read from people who stood in the voting queues for an hour or two at a time, especially early in the morning. Thank you!
Finally, I have been reading many comments elsewhere from people who would like to write to the GOP presidential ticket candidates and thank them for their stellar campaign. Perhaps some of you do, too. The simplest way is to address envelopes as follows: Mitt Romney, Belmont, MA 02478 and Paul Ryan, Janesville, WI 53546.
Onwards and upwards. As Mitt said, ‘Clear eyes. Full heart. Can’t fail’.
A week ago at this time, many of us were hopeful for America’s future — the first time in four years.
As it transpired, the election result, whilst close in the popular vote with a 2.2% difference, looked stark in projected Electoral College votes: 303 (Obama) to 206 (Romney).
Much media soul searching has gone on between Wednesday morning and now, but this election wasn’t about image or message. It carried much deeper implications.
Whilst reading my favourite political blogs last week, two readers’ comments stood out for me. Both explained the wider implications of the result. I hope that their authors do not mind my sharing excerpts of them with you.
The first comes from an immigrant who commented on a post at The Ulsterman Report. I have left the spelling and syntax as in the original (emphases mine):
I have seen this one before in my life and left my country of origin anticipating exactly what has happen there since.
I am glad to have live in America because I experienced freedom at least for a while in my life …
Not adding up with the results. I think a close look comparing the results in counties controlled by different voting machines will tell the tale.
So here we go marching towards a cliff …
For now there is a big sadness in my soul.
As there will not be any Benghazi, any empeachment, any fast n furious. They will all disapear from the radar. They will be burry by the press even more than now.
We did not get the Senate back …
Sad, so sad. And afraid of the future …
… I need to think about what it all means for me personnaly. This game just became extremely dangerous.
This was, as it should have been, the most important election of our lifetimes and a distinct choice …
The re-election of Obama stands for a system of government that the majority of people in this country want, have had, and want to see fulfilled.
Here are two forms of government:
1. A system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single party holds power; state controls business ownership. Ownership of property or capital while claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people.
2. A state in which the powers of the central government are restricted and in which the states, retain a degree of self government, and ultimate sovereign power rests with the People.
The latter was the system of government created by the founders of our country and was inscribed in the U.S. Constitution. The former has become the system of government we have increasingly lived with since the New Deal …
Obama unabashedly said he sought to redistribute wealth, that individuals did not create their own success, and that the central government was best to run our economic and social institutions.
… this was a course first set during the Great Depression where that generation accepted a new direction for the United States which was to have the central government take care of our problems and make life easier for us. It was based on policies that FDR’s advisors saw in communist Russia and thought would work for us. FDR was the Barack Obama of his time.
FDR got re-elected by creating divisions in this country and enticing groups to become reliant on government and therefore on him. Obama has done the same. The New Deal never resolved the economic depression and in fact extended it so that it became the new norm. Obama has done the same.
That path was never reversed by the baby boomers and was instead enlarged by Lyndon Johnson and then by Bill Clinton. For all the folklore, Ronald Reagan did little or nothing to make a dent in that inevitable trajectory.
Obama is just finishing the job and over the next 4 years Americans will realize their federal republic is no more and will learn to live and accept the socialism with an [in]evitable path toward communism brought by Obama.
Nixon defeated LBJ/Humphrey because of foreign policy (Vietnam) – not because of domestic issues. The same with Reagan over Carter. While the phrases may have been poetic, Carter lost because of foreign policy (Iran hostage crisis). And George W. Bush won because Al Gore was a jerk (and still is) and not for any policy reasons.
This may have been a close election but there can no longer be any dispute that the majority of Americans want government to control our economic and social institutions. There are still states who still seek a federal republic but they are growing smaller with increasing population of people who want government reliance.
In the end our financial systems will be heavily controlled by government which will limit capital risk which will continue the stagnant growth as well as place limits on entrepreneurialism. Our religious institutions will be subject to government mandates that may step on religious freedom but under Obama the Bill of Rights has been treated as a pesky impediment to his goals. Our judicial system has already been corrupted to empower the executive branch’s goals. Our education system will be completely controlled by the federal government and we will, within a few years, have a fully nationalized healthcare system that will severely reduce our quality of care. And as far as the fourth estate, we have already seen that they are and will remain a tool of socialism.
Beginning with the New Deal th[e] people of this country have chosen a path toward collectivism and away from individualism …
This is what our country is now and it is something that will not be reversed – certainly not in our lifetime.
… This election solidified the fact that this is not and never again will be the United States that the founding fathers created. The next four years under Obama will cement that.
It is often said that we get the leaders we deserve. A year and a half ago, I wrote that, in order to rectify our churches, society and government, we would need to lead more orderly lives.
One thing I noticed this election cycle were the numbers of politically involved yet lapsed Christians who have been returning to prayer over the past few months. Mitt Romney’s good personal example and clean campaign partly inspired them. Like many others who watched the debates, I shall not quickly forget the Romney family on the dais together afterward: the love and devotion they have for each other which has extended not only to their friends and associates but also generously to strangers.
In the dark days to follow, may more Americans find themselves in continuing prayer, repentance and humililty. One by one, they will find they can take their country back in time. Also something we Europeans — as well as Antipodeans — would do well to consider.
What follows is a four-minute video in which award-winning radio talk show host Phil Valentine explains how America’s Electoral College works and why it exists.
Not only is this an easy-to-understand video complete with graphics for those who do not understand the Electoral College’s role in presidential elections, but it is also a useful refresher for those who might be a bit hazy on the detail. Children will also be able to grasp Valentine’s clear presentation:
Electors will meet in December in their respective state capitals to vote for the 45th President of the United States, so we still have a wait ahead for their official result.