Tuesday, May 22, 2007

DU Has Made Me Too Cynical...

It Finally Happened; Someone I Know Was Killed In Iraq

(It was a) 27 year old Army Medic who grew up down the street from me. Shot by a sniper. He had some emotional problems stemming from an incident 9 years ago and decided to join the Army. I worried about him but his parents said that he was doing fine.

He was expecting his first child this week and was one day away from coming home on leave to be there at the birth. I'm sure his family is devastated. I am too. His life WAS wasted by this unjust war. (El Supremo)


I call these 'ghost posts'; they are posts that didn't really happen that are made up and posted to push a certain agenda. DU, and other Leftist sites, use them to fraudulently gin up anti-war sympathies in a way that no straightforward rant could.

Now, maybe I am wrong (though I've seen them before)--and I beg their pardon if I am. However, it seems to me this post is overly-obvious and self-serving; the only thing it lacks is his mom dying of cancer and his dad about to lose his house...

Please, be extremely skeptical of anything you read--especially on the Internet. Ask yourself why it was published or posted. Figure out what purpose it serves and WHO it could serve best. (DU regularly taunts it's rightwing lurkers and trolls, so they assume there's scads of them listening in. Don't think for a minute that they don't use that.)

Trust your instincts and don't let yourself be used.


Anonymous day said...

I have always wonder the lengths to which they would go.

I read over at KOS from time to time and I often see such hyperbole...

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That includes here especially. If you believe any of this tripe, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.
- Boxer

11:03 AM  
Anonymous day said...

I haven't seen any such evidence of that - and you haven't proven any.

Donal runs a particularly well-regarded and professional blog. Just because you disagree with the political stance doesn't mean anything.

11:10 AM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

Thank you, Day! That was terribly kind of you to say that about my blog!

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Les Ismore said...

Here is the problem. You DONT know if this is true. But just stop for a minute and think. What if this person is telling you he lost a neighbor in Iraq. Just like my nephew. It is shameful, yes shameful and pathetic and twisted that you take the loss of a brave young man and twist it for your little circle jerk of hatred. And that is what it is. Hatred, pure and simple that you will bring this post over and mock the young man who posted it, the brave young man that died and every service man and woman who has ever given their life for YOUR freedom.
Take this post down NOW. Shame on you Donal for all of your caveats and rationalizations and self-serving excuses.
And I dont give a rats ass if you block every one of my posts in the future. I hope your local VFW, American Legion and Vets groups see this little circle jerk of hatred for what it is. Because the fact that you dont know, proves it all for the world to see.

Sign me a proud vet, loving Uncle to an Iraqi casualty and more than ever, a patriotic Democrat.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Les, you're a vet? When did you serve, what was your unit and what was your MOS? I don't see how Donal twisted anything. We revere and respect vets here or haven't you noticed? If you're a vet, God Bless you,However, personally, I think your full of shit. J'Mac.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello folks, I'm back! J"Mac.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Russet Shadows said...

Hey Donal, I think you should ban Les for just being relentlessly illogical and unable to read.

Les: "You DONT know if this true."

Voice of Sanity: "Neither do you Les, but that doesn't stop you from ASSUMING that it is and ranting about it."

Les: "that you will bring this post over and mock the young man who posted it, the brave young man that died and every service man..."

Sanity: "Who said anything about EVERY service man? Furthermore, who said anything about mocking? She did say that her words did not apply IF it was factual."

I don't know how you put up with this constant barrage of reading comprehension-challenged idiocy. I'd have banned him a long time ago just for reasoning like a grade-schooler.

8:04 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

LES--You are entititled to your opinion. I have put up the necessary caveats and cautions in believing this. However, you blame me instead of who you SHOULD be blaming:

I have seen the calls at DU to stuff polls. I have seen them organize Google-bombing parties where every search of a GOP candidate leads to a ficticious, very derisive page about that candidate. I have seen them stuff ballot boxes with the names of dead people to boost DEM votes in my own home county. I have read where Al Gore threw out tons of military votes on the pretext that most were voting GOP. I have seen them call to each other on DU to 'win any way you can, no matter WHAT you have to do'. I have seen them plan the worst abuses of the fair electoral process and, when it didn't go their way, STILL they hollered 'fraud'!

I would not have been questioning this post had I not seen all those things, Les. The double-dealings and cheating by the Democrat party has consequences. A healthy skepticism is one of them. If you wish to have your party well-thought of and trusted, then CLEAN IT UP! I am PERFECTLY within my rights to question such things.

I have already begged pardon if I am wrong. However, as far as cheating goes, I have seen WAY too much of it from your side not to clue people in on the deceptive practices of the Democrat party.

I don't want anyone duped. The post I posted was not meant to denigrate a true happening--it was just to alert other GOP readers of the lousy practices of the Left--and not to believe anything that's seems a little too sensational to be true. It is YOUR SIDE, Les, that can change a post like this one--not me.

I can only warn good people not to believe sight unseen as they normally would. You people have made it a different world than it used to be.

8:17 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...



8:19 PM  
Anonymous cassie said...

Les Ismore - If I were to mention ANY offense done by the DEMS on one of their sites - like the 5 Dem staffers back east that slit GOP tires so they couldn't pick up GOP voters on election day - the first thing the Dems would say is 'you did it yourself simply to make us look bad'.

If you want to be believed, you have to take responsibility for your actions and those of your party and stop making fantastic claims meant to absolve you of all blame. THEN you might have a leg to stand on. But, not now you don't. Donal is right - and you have no right to accuse her as you have.

If a post like that showed up on DU, it would have contained no caveats at ALL, no apology for perhaps being wrong. You owe HER an apology; she only called it like she saw it, like it HAS been.

8:39 PM  
Anonymous may lake said...

Donal, your honesty and fairness is what your readers appreciate most. It's what I appreciate most. I have been a loyal reader for a long time. Now you can count on me to be a loyal poster. I have a lot to say, and you have given me a place to say it. The dialogue on this thread proves my point; you have allowed both sides a voice.

8:46 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

Thanks, May! Post anytime; you're always welcome here!

9:02 PM  
Anonymous bobcat said...

Knock it off Les! You have your nerve speaking here like you have. Clean up your own damned party and lay off Donal.

She's right - if your party wasn't such a mess of con artists, we wouldn't HAVE to question such posts.

For myself, I'm glad I've been warned of your/their/Dim tactics!

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Les Ismore said...

This is not about the naive unprovable lies you still cling to. Of course you nor anyone else prove ANYTHING about the stuffed ballot boxes (still waiting for proof on that, and the loyal readers will remember the many links to reports that disprove that theory). Remember class, how we also discussed the vet ballots in 2000 and how under any circumstances, FAXED ballots and ballots completed AFTER the election by FEDERAL law are illegal. And we also saw about how the GOPers love go Google bomb. I even provided the links to the regressive sites. And you will also recall how someone asked why no one EVER provides any evidence for ANYTHING here. No links, no quotes NOTHING, just silly schoolyard taunts, rumors and Cheney fed crap.

The reason for outrage, and I would hope any REAL vet here (talking to you JMAC), would be for once to just stand up to for your principles and say ENOUGH. A young man has died and you MOCK the announcement. MOCK it with your caveats and double talk.

So, tell me how you support our troops again?

2:48 AM  
Anonymous bobcat said...

Les, we haven't got all day to do your homework for you. This stuff has been all over the news. Your method of simply statiing that something is 'wrong' and providing an article from Slate (hahahahahahahahahaha!) magazine as 'proof' is absolutely absurd!

4:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you havent been paying attention, silly girl.

10:35 AM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

ANON.--You can't even tell genders--that's a worse problem...

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Les Ismore said...

Still waiting for a link on the stuffed ballot boxes...
[crickets chirping...]

Now we all know it didnt happen and of course, I cant prove a negative. So therefore, one link, one reputable source (Not Freepers or Rush puhhhleasse, I said reputable) and I will wear my "I love Bush" t-shirt in Seattle and maybe, if you are lucky, one of those snipers will get me...


3:48 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

LES--Gregoire had THREE recounts until she got the vote she wanted. They had umpteen felons and dead people 'voting' in King County--a Dem stronghold. Try and add 2 and 2 and come up with 4.

Also, again I say, when you come here soon take your car, or your rental, and put a nice big "I support President Bush" and a "W" in your car back and passenger windows and see what happens...

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"They had umpteen felons and dead people 'voting' in King County--a Dem stronghold."

Got a link on that one? Or an indictment? Anything?
[crickets chirping yet again..]

Patiently waiting,

5:13 AM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

LES--You and your crickets are going to have to learn a little patience (that's only polite); I have a husband and sis to get off to work...


7:07 AM  
Blogger VerityINK said...





7:10 AM  
Anonymous tom said...

seems this les has a few chirping crickets of his own that he needs to account for...

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Les Ismore said...

Sorry, I didnt mean right NOW :-)
Just some time. However I did try to link to the Seattle pages and got this.

"The page you have requested was not found. The link is either incorrect or the page no longer exists. If you believe there is a problem, please send a message to newmedia@seattlepi.com"

National Review ranks up there with the Washington Times...nice try.

1:20 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

Les, it works for me...


Scores of convicted felons voted illegally in the state's 2004 general election, and officials never noticed because of serious flaws in the system for tracking them, The Seattle Times has found.

The Times, reviewing felony convictions as far back as 1997, identified 129 felons in King and Pierce counties who were recorded as having voted in the Nov. 2 election. Another 23 likely voted. Several methods were used to confirm the findings.

Either the counties failed to flag or purge felons on the voter rolls as required by state law, or they allowed them to register without checking their status. Some were even mailed absentee ballots and returned them unchallenged.

The findings are almost certain to add to an already contentious debate over whether Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire's victory was legitimate.

After three vote counts in the race for governor, Gregoire was declared the winner by a record-close 129 votes over Republican Dino Rossi, fueling more than two months of controversy about how well — or poorly — the election was managed.

State Republicans filed a court case Jan. 7 arguing that the election was illegitimate and should be nullified. They have cited illegal votes by felons, as well as votes credited to dead people, errors in the handling of provisional ballots and problems reconciling differences between the number of people credited with voting and the total number of ballots cast.

The Times examined records from the state's two largest counties and found a number of felon voters that coincidentally equals the 129-vote margin in the election. While their votes did not change the outcome — not all of them voted for Gregoire — the finding suggests that felons could have voted illegally throughout the state.

Findings of a review of Pierce
and King county court and voting

records by The Seattle Times:

129 felons found to have voted illegally; 23 others likely to have done so.

Absentee ballots were mailed to some.

Officials improperly left many felons on voter rolls.

Some felons were wrongly allowed

to re-register.

Republicans' use of felon voting as a factor in their lawsuit has been countered by state Democrats, who say Republicans must show not only that felons voted illegally, but that if their votes were subtracted from each candidate's total, Rossi would have won. The judge hearing the case will consider that issue next month.

Election officials in King and Pierce counties say voter-registration procedures are designed to make it easy for people to vote. Instead of employing a rigorous screening process, they rely on people to be honest when registering or voting. Still, state officials say they are working to improve the system.

Washington prohibits felons from voting not only while they are in prison but until they have met all court-imposed obligations including community service and the payment of restitution and fines. If they've met all their obligations at the end of their supervision by the Department of Corrections, felons are supposed to be issued a "certificate of discharge," which restores their right to vote. If they meet all conditions later, they must petition the court for the certificate.

Despite the prohibition, though, it is relatively easy for felons to vote, as Jesse Shay Jr. discovered.

The 46-year-old former sergeant in the Washington Army National Guard was convicted of felony harassment in 2003 for making death threats to neighbors who owed $140 to his stepchildren. He vaguely recalls being told after his conviction that he had lost his right to vote. But Shay said his lawyer told him he could vote again a year after he had served 10 days in Pierce County jail.

"And then I got my absentee ballot. It just showed up. My impression was I was good to go because I received it," he said.

However, Shay's vote for Gregoire was illegal because he hadn't had his voting rights restored because of outstanding court debts. His name had remained on the voter rolls improperly.

Rossi spokeswoman Mary Lane said that because of poor enforcement of the law, Republicans have had to get a copy of the state's criminal-history database and match it against voter lists themselves.

"The voter rolls should already have been purged of felons," she said. "We are having to pay for something that already should have been done by the counties."

Secretary of State Sam Reed said he didn't fault the counties but acknowledged gaps in the system.

"The law could be improved and the execution could be improved," he said. "One of our goals is to learn from this election. There are certain weaknesses or inconsistencies in the system, and this is one of them."

How the system is supposed to work

King County last year purged more than 600 felons from voting lists, but it's a tricky task.

Here's how the system is set up to operate: When a person is convicted of a felony, the court clerk in that county sends a notice to election officials in that same county and the county where the person lives. Those officials are then supposed to remove the felon from the voter rolls. Last year, King County officials purged more than 600.

But they can't always match the felon to the name on the voter rolls.

Because courts and election officials don't use a common identifier, such as a driver's license or Social Security number, they're often forced into a bit of a guessing game. They have to look for matches using a mix of names, addresses and birth dates. The process gets especially tricky for people with common names or when family members with similar names live at the same address.

Another problem is that counties don't get a statewide list of convicted felons, so if a criminal is convicted in a county other than where he votes, election officials may not know.

Who contributed

This story was reported by David Heath, Susan Kelleher, Justin Mayo, Christine Willmsen, Cheryl Phillips, Jonathan Martin and Mike Carter, and written by Heath.

How it was done

The Seattle Times found felon voters by comparing databases of nearly 100,000 court records and more than 1 million voter records in King and Pierce counties.

The Times matched full names and birth dates, narrowing the search to more than 600 names. After checking court records for those cases, Times reporters eliminated cases in which felony charges had been reduced to misdemeanors or in which felons' voting rights had been restored.

The Times looked at all cases resolved in Pierce County since 1997 and most cases filed in King County since 1998. (The searches differed slightly because of the way the two counties archive court files.) The court database didn't include 2004 cases.

The Times then shared more than 170 names with King and Pierce county election officials. King County officials reviewed absentee ballots and voting logs: In a few cases, felons had been mistakenly credited with voting; either someone else accidentally signed on the wrong line in a poll book, or an election worker electronically scanning names from the poll book mistakenly scanned the wrong line.

Pierce County said it was unable to double-check the names because it routinely seals all of its voting records after an election.

The Times identified 129 felon voters after matching each felon's name, address and birth date to a person listed as having voted. Additional verification included further record checks and interviews with some of the voters.

Another 23 were considered likely felon voters because the felon had a distinctive name and a birth date matching the voter record, but no matching address.

Even when a felon is removed from the rolls, in most Washington counties it's simple to get back on. All the felon has to do is register again.

On voter-registration forms, people do have to sign a statement saying, "I am not presently denied my civil rights as a result of being convicted of a felony." But because that's not further explained, some felons could mistakenly believe they are clear to register.

Pierce County officials said they check new registrants against their voter rolls for those who've been previously flagged as felons. King County does not check registrants.

Perry Madsen of Kent had no problem registering to vote in 2002, after serving 3-1/2 years in prison. He had violated a protective order in 1999 by repeatedly calling and writing letters to an ex-girlfriend.

"I didn't know I was supposed to not vote," the 39-year-old said in an interview.

The Times surveyed 21 of Washington's 39 counties about their procedures for tracking felons, and in most of those counties, officials don't check new registrants against other records.

Dean Logan, director of elections in King County, said, "I don't think it's the responsibility of the election administrators to essentially do background checks on registered voters."

Pat McCarthy, Pierce County auditor, said that wouldn't even be possible: "We don't have the capacity to do that, and that's true of every county in the state," she said.

McCarthy acknowledged, "The way it works now is not as good as it can be or should be."

State officials say they are creating a special statewide database that could be used beginning next year to help counties with more thorough searches.

"The good news is we're going to get better," McCarthy said.

Logan said for now, the best deterrent to felons voting is to prosecute those who get caught.

Pierce County is doing just that, after a probation officer reported a felon who had voted, McCarthy said.

The King County prosecutor's office and elections officials say they can't recall a case in which anyone has been prosecuted for voting illegally. No one thought much about how well counties enforced the law until the state had an election with a razor-thin margin of victory.

Officials in both King and Pierce counties said they will investigate cases The Times discovered.

Wide variation nationwide

Some states' rules are easier to enforce.

Voting rights for felons vary widely throughout the U.S. All but two states (Maine and Vermont) prohibit felons from voting while in prison. Some extend the ban under various conditions after prisoners are released.

In Washington, Secretary of State Reed said, the simplest way to fix confusion over tracking felons would be to automatically restore voting rights when people are released from prison, regardless of whether they've paid all their court debts.

Other states do that now. Some people argue Washington should join them.

"If (felons) were showing up and being allowed to cast votes, it shows an inherent problem with Washington's purge list, a purge list that they obviously can't manage," said Rashad Robinson of the Right to Vote campaign, a coalition of civil-rights groups working to help restore voting rights to felons. "If you have laws you can't enforce, it calls into question the viability of the laws."

However, elections expert Larry Sabato and others say there's little excuse for not preventing people from voting illegally.

"You still can't justify having people vote illegally, especially because from time to time you'll have an extremely close election like this," said Sabato, with the University of Virginia.

One study by a felon-rights advocacy group found some states do manage their rolls more closely. New Mexico, for example, electronically sends election officials a wide range of identifying information, including dates of birth and Social Security numbers, for each convicted felon.

Voting rights and money owed

Even some of those who have served their time may not get voting rights restored.

In Washington state, some people conceivably will never be able to legally vote again because of court debts they can't pay.

Rosemary Heinen was released from prison in January 2004 after completing her sentence for embezzling $3.7 million from her employer, Starbucks. But Heinen still owes more than $2 million in restitution and so hasn't had her voting rights restored.

Nevertheless, Heinen was left on the voter rolls and voted in the general election, according to King County election records. Reached at her new workplace, a manufacturing firm in Port Orchard, she declined to comment.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued Washington state last October, alleging that withholding voting rights for failing to pay a debt violates equal protection under the U.S. Constitution.

"I don't think it makes any sense to continue to punish someone who's been convicted of a crime by banishing them from voting for the rest of their life," said Julya Hampton, legal-program director for the ACLU.

The Times found one felon who had completed his sentence and paid all debts but still hadn't had his voting rights restored.

William L. Nause completed his probation for felony possession of marijuana, attended alcohol and drug classes and paid $1,900 in court costs, so he should be eligible to vote. However, Nause never received a "certificate of discharge," the document needed to restore the right to vote.

"My probation officer said my right to vote had been restored," said Nause. It hadn't, yet Nause was allowed — inadvertently — to re-register in 2003. He voted in November for Rossi.

"You do your time you should have every right to vote," he said. "You are still a citizen of the United States."

It's plausible that some felons don't know they're not supposed to vote. Sentencing agreements signed in King County cases reviewed by The Seattle Times made no mention of voting rights, despite specifically addressing other rights such as the right to own a firearm or drive a car.

Jeff Gregory, who handles restoration of rights for the King County Prosecutor's Office, said defense attorneys should tell clients about losing the right to vote.

Shahn Divorne, a felon who voted illegally, said, "Most of your felons are so uneducated they don't know what their rights are, they just worry about reporting to a probation officer."

Divorne, the owner of Ear-Tec Hearing Aid Specialists, served 2-1/2 years in prison for defrauding the state's Department of Labor and Industries. But he said his judgment and sentencing information didn't state he had lost his right to vote.

Divorne still owes $132,000 in restitution, but he voted for Rossi by absentee ballot. His vote was recorded because officials had never purged him from their rolls.

"If [election officials] did their job, they would look it up and could tell I was a felon," he said.

Divorne said he's upset with how the election was handled and with the multiple vote counts.

"Up until now I thought my vote counted and my wife's vote, too. Now I realize the system is crooked. I don't think we will vote anymore," he said.

8:53 PM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

LES--AND there's the Seattle Post-Intelligencer AND the American Thinker--well respected. I should point out that the Seattle Times and the Seattle P.I. are relentlessly liberal, so if THEY have something about it, it's more than likely true, very true.

8:55 PM  

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