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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘voting’

Voting isn’t Revenge, it’s ResistanceVoting Isn’t Revenge

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

There are plenty of ways to cast the divisions between parties and movements, but the elemental act of voting divides rhetoric from motive.

Obama called voting the best revenge, because for a sizable portion of his base that’s exactly what voting is. Their votes are a violent act, a spiteful assault on a country that they can never participate in for economic or cultural reasons. Change for them is not a positive program, but a negative assault on the national majority. Bankrupting the country by robbing it for their own benefit is their revenge.

Voting for us isn’t revenge, it’s resistance. It isn’t a choice that emerges out of reasoned debate between two sets of values, it’s an act of resistance against the revengers, the looters and the destroyers. The voting booth is a form of sabotage against their regime, their corrupt interests and their oppressive regulations.

These last four years we have endured an intensified occupation of our political, religious and personal freedoms. We have been robbed, lied to, ordered around and in some cases even killed. These crimes have been carried out by elected officials and the election will allow us to remove some of them. It will not end the reign of terror, but if successful, our act of electoral resistance will inflict a severe setback on the plans of their ideological movement and the unelected officials who rely on them for funding and political support.

The election will not end the occupation, but it will interrupt the forward momentum of the occupiers. It will force them to fall back into their think tanks and formulate new strategies for dismantling the Constitution, eliminating our civil rights and ending elections as anything but empty shows with no meaning.

Some of us act as if elections will be here forever so that we can wait for the next one to come around and the one after that when the right candidate will lead us to victory. They won’t be. The ideology that we are resisting believes in populism only when it serves its ends. Its judicial appointees have acted repeatedly to neuter referendums when the results do not go the right way.

The ultimate goal of the occupation is to shift power away from elected officials and into the infrastructure of unelected officials, so that their elected officials can draw on nearly unlimited powers by dictating to the bureaucratic oligarchy of the state, while elected officials not aligned with their movement will be narrowly constrained and have very little influence over the bureaucracy.

The occupation is not here to take power for another four years, but another forty years and another four-hundred years. It is not playing a short term game in a system where power shifts back and forth, but putting in place the infrastructure for the permanent occupation of the United States of America. But despite all its power and control, the miles of video screens that spew forth its propaganda, the billions of dollars that flow from its coffers into the pockets of its supporters and the cultural control that its proponents wield– it still has one vulnerability.

A piece of paper, a push of a button, and the occupiers have to fall back, gritting their teeth and planning a renewed offensive in the spring.

The left overreached itself in the last four years. Its occupation was poorly managed and the native population has been alienated. While its Chief was sacrificing thousands of American lives to win over the natives in Afghanistan, his occupation of the United States was crumbling. The economy is rotten and the people are tired of being lied to. The resistance is popular and the community organizers are running scared.

This is our moment and in a single day we can push the occupation out of the countryside and back into the cities. We can undermine its morale, strip it of the money with which it bribes collaborators and force it to rethink whether it really wants to spend the next few decades battling to control an unruly population. We can make men like George Soros and Ted Turner decide that their money would be better spent terrorizing Eastern Europe or Africa, instead of America by making oppressing us seem like a bad investment.

Voting Overseas

Monday, October 29th, 2012

This year, American citizens living in Israel can vote in the upcoming U.S. elections, at the AACI (Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel) centers across Israel. The voting station in the picture is in Jerusalem. Nancy and I voted at the Netanya AACI which has the narrowest parking lot you ever saw, plus you have to get the nice lady to come out of the office and remote-open the gate – but who’s complaining…

The line wasn’t that long, but it’s probably sensible to call ahead and find out when the voting room is open. The place is staffed mostly with volunteers, so we need to appreciate their effort and show up when they’re available.

The downside is that you fill out a blank ballot, where you write in your choices for everything, from President to dog catcher. I had to ask Nancy to spell for me the name of our Congresswoman. Our zip code, 10002, just switched from one election district to another, plus, back in the States you don’t have to spell when you vote, unless you’re going for Daffy Duck (whom I have recommended in the past for many different positions).

Last year was my first and last opportunity to vote on a computer in our district. Gone were those wonderful iron machines with the heavy, decisive lever you pulled down with such an air of finality. When that lever came down, fates were decided, you could feel it.

Now we didn’t even have computer keys to push, just an old fashioned piece of paper with my write-in choice.

Good luck, Yosemite Sam, I hope you make it to the White House and become the best possible pwesident you could possibly be.

An Open Letter to Religious Zionist Rabbis

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Dear Rabbi:

With elections approaching in Israel, I am searching for a religious political party for which to vote. When I think about voting for Shas, I remember their support for Oslo, the surrender of parts of Eretz Yisrael, giving rifles to our enemies, and the terrible sea of Jewish blood that was spilled after the Oslo Accords were signed. That is not the Torah I am searching to find.

When I think about voting for Degal HaTorah and Agudah, except for a few lone voices, I remember their silence leading up to, and during, the Disengagement from Gush Katif, when fellow Jews were thrown out of their homes and pieces of Eretz Yisrael were handed over to our enemies. That is not the Torah I am searching for.

When I think about voting for the Bayit HaYehudi-National Union merger, I see that their leading candidate in the polls has chosen a very pretty young woman as a running mate. Please understand that I have nothing against women, and I am sure this candidate is a very talented and idealistic person, but I wonder if in a public situation like politics, it is appropriate to include a young attractive woman in the leadership of the party, especially for a party that promises to defend Torah ideals.

Modesty has always been a pillar of Judaism. In this week’s Torah portion of “Lech Lecha,” we learn that Avraham Avinu never gazed at his wife until they were on their way to Egypt and its illicit culture, when he realized that the Egyptians would lust after her beauty. I remember that HaRav Shlomo Aviner has written that it is forbidden to attend a lecture given by a woman, since one will have to gaze at her at length and thus transgress the commandment not to stray after one’s heart and eyes. In fact, I once I asked HaRav Aviner if I could write a screenplay, based on a popular novel, about a Haredi youth who was attracted to a non-religious girl, and Rav Aviner answered, yes, if the girl was 90 years old and not attractive. HaRav Mordechai Eliahu, of blessed memory, stated that in attending a wedding where men and women ate together without a mechitza, there was a problem with “Lo tachmod eshet rayecha,” the prohibition of lusting after your neighbor’s wife, one of the Ten Commandments. So, it is difficult for me to think about voting for the Bayit HaYehudi. Some people may say that all this is an exaggeration, that they can look at an attractive woman and not think any improper thought, but I recall that even King David himself got into trouble over a pretty married woman. So I wonder: is this the Torah party that I am searching for?

Could this occur in Shas? In Agudat Yisrael? Will this bring these parties closer to identifying with the goals of the Dati Leumi? Would HaRav Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook have endorsed this party? Yes, the unity of the ranks is a praiseworthy project, and yes, it is important to unite all Am Yisrael, religious and non-religious alike, but why with a pretty, young secular woman? Is this a sign of Torah leadership? Couldn’t non-religious voters be attracted to the Bayit HaYehudi by including on their list a young, idealistic , non-religious soldier from some top commando unit? Why does it have to be a young women who looks like a model? While many people long to see a new idealism and a new Torah-spirit in Israeli politics, which fosters a love for the Land of Israel and for all Am Yisrael, religious and non-religious alike – what possible good could come from this lack of concern for the modesty of our national life in the Holy Land?

Vote Early, Vote Often!

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

The title of this article is the supposed motto of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago, but for Americans living in Israel it means, literally, vote twice. Both Israel and America are holding important elections and, hopefully, most Orthodox Jews will be voting. The United States will be holding its regular four-year elections for president and many other offices, and Israel will be voting for an entire “new” Parliament (Knesset).

This year, the main organization actively soliciting votes in Israel for the American elections is “iVOTE Israel” (www.ivoteisrael.com). There are a few paid professionals but most are volunteers who are working to encourage Americans living in Israel to vote in the American elections. The main purpose of the campaign is that American politicians should be more aware that aside from the many Jewish voters in the United States who support Israel, there are also about 160,000 potential American voters living in Israel. “iVOTE Israel” has garnered about 60,000 – 75,000 votes in this first year of its operation and I was happy to volunteer to help gather votes. At none of the meetings that I attended was there a request to vote for a specific party. At public meetings, both American parties were represented and the representatives explained their candidate’s approach to helping Israel.

I understand that there were also Democrat and Republican organizations soliciting votes, but they did not seem to be too active and we did not see any of that activity. It is true that many Israelis are disheartened by the Democratic administration’s handling of matters important to Israel and our leaders seem to be afraid of the potential effect of another four years of this Democrat President. They are afraid that once he no longer is concerned about reelection, he will follow a much harder anti-Israel approach.

Israel, of course, is very aware and appreciative of American aid, but many here are afraid of Obama. They feel that he has made too many pro-Muslim statements and has downplayed violent Muslim terror acts. Terror should not be ignored and hopefully Americans of all faiths will wake up to what is happening in Europe and in the rest of the world. Europe itself seems to be finally waking up to the dangers that their Muslim populations pose and Europeans, hopefully, are beginning to realize that suicide murderers are a danger not only to Jews but also to all Europeans.

There will also be elections in Israel. The Israeli Knesset usually serves for up to four years but the Knesset can decide to hold elections earlier (as it usually does) or the Israeli president can decide that elections should be held when the parties in the Knesset are stalemated. The Knesset rarely completes a full term. PM Netanyahu recently decided to call for elections a bit early because he feels that he has an electoral advantage.

For Orthodox Jews in Israel, the coming election may not be too beneficial. Unfortunately, Orthodox Jews are as divided as ever. Each religious faction believes that it can garner more seats by going it alone and Orthodox Jewry loses out. The Religious Zionists are again trying to unite but, as we have seen in the past, the National Union, an alliance of several parties, may break away again. Some disgruntled religious politicians already seem to be planning another national religious party. The Sephardic Shas Party also may have patched up its internal differences and Aryeh Deri will once again serve in a leadership role. Rabbi Ovadia Yosef decreed that there should be two heads to the party: Eli Yishai and Arye Deri. This should prove interesting. Let us hope that at least the Agudah and the Degel Hatorah Parties remain united.

The High Holidays are over, the children are back in school, the weather is still fairly warm and politics has become the major topic of conversation. We pray for internal and external peace.

ACLU Sues to Block Anti-Election Fraud Bill in Michigan

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Only citizens of the United States can legally vote in federal elections.  So Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson added a yes/no question on ballot applications that asks: “Are you a United States citizen?”

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan, this simple requirement is “an election day disaster in the making.”  So the ACLU did what it usually does, which is to sue.

Filed on behalf of the UAW International, which includes the radical Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development (LA SED), a county election official, and several voters, the ACLU’s Sept. 17 lawsuit charges that the citizenship question was not approved through proper channels and violates the 1965 Voting Rights Act because two townships it affects come under federal jurisdiction.

Also, the ACLU contends that this question was not asked of all voters in the August primary, and that including the question on the form could cause long lines on Election Day.

Really?  If you’re a U.S. citizen, what would keep you from checking the right box?  How long could it take?  If you’re not a U.S. citizen, what would you be doing at a polling place, unless you were trying to vote illegally?

“We can all agree that it should be easier to vote and harder to cheat,” said Kary L. Moss, ACLU of Michigan executive director, in a press release, “but cynical voter suppression tactics should not be tolerated.”

To the ACLU and its liberal allies, commonsense voter ID laws constitute “suppression tactics.”

Earlier this year, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder inexplicably vetoed a bill requiring the citizenship checkbox on every Michigan ballot, citing concerns about possible confusion.  The ACLU’s challenge will decide shortly whether the secretary of state, the official who oversees elections, can or cannot put the question on the form without legislative or executive direction.  The case is before Eastern Michigan U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Edmunds, a 1992 George H.W. Bush appointee.

When they’re not gumming up efforts to prevent vote fraud, the ACLU of Michigan proudly continue the ACLU’s long tradition of assaulting moral sensibilities.  On Sept. 26, the lead item on the ACLU of Michigan’s blog was a reverie by one of its interns:

Just a week ago, hundreds of Michigan men and women came out for the HANDS OFF! Rally for Reproductive Justice. Not only was it truly inspiring, it was liberating to turn heads in my “Vagina” t-shirt, demonstrate that I value autonomy over my own body via some not-so-coordinated dance moves, and to be one amongst a huge community of people who rallied and danced in solidarity.

While I took pride in my own participation, dancing alone would not have been as fun, and the resounding echo of “vagina” that reverberated around the halls of the Capitol would definitely have been less powerful if there weren’t so many other voices there to chant with me.

Another ACLU of Michigan blog post titled “Religion Doesn’t Justify Discrimination” trashes a private Michigan company for challenging the Obama administration’s tyrannical order to provide abortifacients, contraceptives, and sterilizations.

In the ACLU’s world, anyone who cares to — regardless of citizenship — should be able to vote, and the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom applies only to some.

Originally published by the American Thinker.

Russia Evicts USAID

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

The Russian government has evicted the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), according to the US State Department, accusing the organization of using its money to influence elections.

The US denied the claim.

Nearly 60 percent of the $50 million annual budget of USAID has been allocated to promoting democracy in Russia, with some of the money funding Russia’s only independent election monitoring organization, Golos, which has accused Putin’s party of voting fraud.

In a victory speech given by Vladimir Putin in March, the Russian president said his country “showed that our people can distinguish between the desire for renewal and political provocation that has but one goal: to destroy Russia’s statehood and usurp power”.

Putin has decried Russian NGOs accepting US aid as “jackals”.

The Public Is The Last To Know

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

The charade is played out every evening on election day. Television news anchors and beat reporters, on local stations and the networks, come on the air full of breathless anticipation, seeking to build an atmosphere of nail-biting uncertainty.

Unless a particular race results in a landslide of mammoth proportions – and the vast majority of them do not – projected winners are not announced until after a sufficient number of voting districts have officially reported in.

The choreographed suspense makes for wonderful theater, as the action continually shifts between the anchors in the studio and the reporters stationed at the various campaign headquarters. Every few minutes a fresh batch of figures is announced, widening the gap in one race, tightening it in another.

And every time the numbers are updated, back we go to the correspondents at the rented halls for stories of jubilation or desperation, renewed hopes or sinking expectations.

Meanwhile, back at the anchor desks, there is much speculation about what the latest data could possibly mean.

It’s all so intriguing, so exciting…so phony. Because one of the media’s dirty little secrets for many years was that thanks to exit polling, anchors and reporters covering the races on election night almost always knew the results hours before the polls even closed.

Even now, with 24-hour coverage of politics on cable TV and the Internet and after the controversy over the 2004 exit polls that indicated John Kerry would beat President George W. Bush, exit polling is still something of which many Americans are at best only dimly aware.

The existence of exit polls and the media’s reliance on them first began to permeate the public consciousness – at least among those who paid close attention to politics and the media – in 1980, when the networks called the presidential election for Ronald Reagan just a couple of hours after the first states had closed their voting booths and long before many voters had even cast their ballots on the West Coast.

But the subject was something journalists – understandably – were reluctant to speak about. An early public airing came in the November 1998 issue of Brill’s Content, a short-lived magazine dedicated to exposing journalistic excess.

In an article titled “Exit-Poll Results: The Public Is the Last to Know,” Warren Mitofsky, a former executive director of the CBS News Election and Survey Unit who has since passed away, wrote that by “early [election day] afternoon, the network exit-poll consortium will open the computer spigot to its members and subscribers. Within minutes, political insiders – politicos and journalists alike – will be buzzing with the results.”

As Mitofsky noted, the people who do the buzzing are the very ones who have agreed among themselves – in the name of civic responsibility, of course – to carefully guard the exit-poll projections from the public until the voting booths close.

But Mitofsky suggested that something other than altruistic devotion to good government drove this double standard.

“It is considered bad form to broadcast early exit-poll estimates before polls close because doing so could discourage late voters from casting ballots,” he wrote. “However, journalists and politicians consider themselves an elite class that is able to handle this potent news without contamination. Throughout election day they clamor for it while they protect the citizens’ right to remain uninformed.”

Does any of this make a difference? Mitofsky said it does, since “early exit-poll results influence print and broadcast news reporting. They also affect get-out-the-vote efforts by politicians and the spin their consultants put out to the press. They can even affect the stock market.”

As soon as exit-poll estimates become available, wrote Mitofsky, they “are then leaked by staffers at various news organizations to their many friends and acquaintances in and out of politics. In fact, these exit-poll results are stock-brokered like commodities – used by campaign sources and journalists to squeeze more information from one another.”

Something to bear in mind on election night this November when the reporters and pundits on television and radio will once again pretend to be as much in the dark as you are about the election results.

iVoteIsrael Making Registration a Cinch for US Expats

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

A new movement to register American expatriates in Israel to vote in the US elections aims to encourage them to cast their ballots for the good of Israel.

iVoteIsrael, an initiative of a group of olim from the United States, helps Israelis with American citizenship to wade through the daunting process of registering to vote in US elections.

According to founder Eli Pieprz, who made in aliyah in 2010, though “each vote is very consequential, very significant”, only 1 out of every 8 Americans in Israel exercised their right to vote in the last election.

In an interview with the Jewish Press’s Yishai Fleisher, Pieperz agreed that some electoral states are more influential in presidential elections than others, noting the importance of each Floridian vote in the 2000 elections between George W. Bush and Al Gore.

However, he also warned Israelis that failing to participate in elections could make a big impact on them.  “If I’m a US politician and I’m looking to try to get money without having any consequences, I’m going to look towards people who are not going to vote,” Pieprz told Fleisher.   “Those of us who are in Israel and are not voting and are not trying to impact the politicians, the influential who are making decisions in America, which has an impact on Israel, if we’re not exercising the limited power that we have, which is casting one vote or talking to our friends and getting them to cast a vote, we’re doing ourselves a severe disservice.”

Yet while some olim fail to participate because of lack of effort, others bow out of election season on principle, seeing their participation in elections as disloyalty to Israel or a failure to identify exclusively as Israeli.

“Participating in the political process through casting a vote, I don’t believe in any way that mitigates the huge sacrifice and frankly the huge excitement and drive that we all feel by making aliyah, living in Israel, and making our lives in the Jewish State,” Pieprz said.  “I think you could make a strong argument that for the average American Jew in Far Rockaway versus the average American Jew in Gush Etzion where I live, the President of the United States will have a more direct, a more acute impact on my day to day life than the American Jew in Far Rockaway, and I think that’s something that we really should be thinking of, that it’s not so much about America.”

“Our organization is called iVoteIsrael.  We’re not voting in the Israeli elections, we’re voting in the American elections to enhance Israel, to benefit Israel on a day to day basis and also to hopefully enhance and bolster our political power back in the States to affect decisions that affect our lives.”

What’s more, Pieprz says voters from Israel can make a big difference when it comes to counter-balancing powerful anti-Israel organizations working to get out the vote in the US.  In a press release issued by iVoteIsrael, Pieprz warned that “forces hostile to Israel are active, effective and are engaged in the campaign season”, and urged pro-Israel voters to be sure to cast their ballots.

Interested potential-voters are encouraged to visit the iVoteIsrael website, where they can register and sign up to participate in the campaign to encourage others to vote.

“Every vote that comes from Israel enhances Israel’s political capital,” Pieprz said.

There are approximately 3 million voting-age Americans residing outside the United States.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/ivoteisrael-making-registration-a-cinch-for-us-expats/2012/07/02/

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