Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Heard this One?

This Space For Rent - I heard something today that shocked me a little. It falls under the general category of "your tax dollars at work", but with a twist. If your husband/son/brother is killed in action these days, the company that makes the tombstones for the Pentagon's departed now adds the name of the operation in which he/she perished, like "Operation Enduring Freedom" or "Operation Iraqi Freedom", whatever. The shocking part is that these little additions are done without notifying the families, as if to confirm for eternity that it's all OK because it was a worthy cause. The upside of this little ad campaign is that the additions are done for free. Thank you, President Bush.

I have my doubts that we'll ever catch up with all the schemes put into action by the current administration looking for an election edge of some kind. Here's a term you may not have heard, but it has a clear purpose. It's "caged voting", and works this way. In certain cities or counties, the local election machinery is under the control of, let's say, a political party which has an interest in reducing voter turnout in order to keep its local edge. GOP? Maybe.
Let's say you are someone who lives in a racially diverse neighborhood, and have a name which might indicate an African American, like "Bailey", with a first name "Thell". You may, at some point far removed from an election, receive a letter asking that you confirm again your name, address or phone number, along with a return. It looks harmless enough, but, hey, the city has no trouble reaching you when they have bad news to deliver, and nothing has changed anyway, right? So why send it at all? What you don't know is that your name is being removed from the list of registered voters unless that envelope comes back, and you won't know this until you go to vote. Then all you can do is complain, because your vote ain't going to get counted this time around. This process has a name: "caged voting". No surprise that it's illegal. It may or may not have happened in recent elections. At least one former official in the snakepit that is sadly the Department of Justice, says that it took place before the last election, although the revelation got nary a yawn in the corporate-owned media. And as I said before, we may never get caught up with every little scheme that opens itself to execution when one party holds all the levers of "democracy". I guess there's perfect justice in the next life, but that seems just tooooo long.


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