RANGER AGAINST WAR: Seen and Not Heard <

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Seen and Not Heard

I ... had a purpose now
To lead out many to the Holy Land,
Lest rest and lying still might make them look
Too near unto my state.
Therefore, my Harry,
Be it thy course, to busy giddy minds
With foreign quarrels; that action, hence borne out,
May waste the memory of the former days.

--Henry IV, Shakespeare


Of any population in the U.S., veterans should have full access to the vote, yet tens of thousands may not be able to vote this presidential election due to restrictions on voter registration drives in VA inpatient facilities. Connecticut's Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz made a plea last week in a New York Times Op-Ed piece, Help Our Veterans Vote:

WHAT is the secretary of Veterans Affairs thinking? On May 5, the department led by James B. Peake issued a directive that bans nonpartisan voter registration drives at federally financed nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and shelters for homeless veterans. As a result, too many of our most patriotic American citizens — our injured and ill military veterans — may not be able to vote this November.
"There are thousands of veterans of wars in Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and the current campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan who are isolated behind the walls of V.A. hospitals and nursing homes across the country. We have an obligation to make sure that every veteran has the opportunity to make his or her voice heard at the ballot box."

The Hatch Act has erroneously been invoked to continue this prohibition, but registering people to vote is a nonpartisan activity. A bipartisan group of 21 secretaries of state has asked VA Secretary Peake to lift his department’s ban on voter registration drives. But as Bysiewicz says, this federal legislation shouldn’t even be necessary.

Last Friday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the VA policy, policy barring voter registration drives inside its hospitals, concluding the rule does not violate the First Amendment.

"They are walling our wounded warriors off from participating in political life in the communities of which they are citizens," and "disenfranchising thousands of wounded veterans around the country." (Court: No Voters Drives at VA Hospitals).

The Left Coaster says the first group of disenfranchised voters of the 2008 election will be "wounded and homeless veterans currently occupying VA facilities around the country."

"President Bush and Karl Rove are attempting to block voter registration of at least 200,000 and possibly as much as 400,000 veterans," said Paul Sullivan, president of Veterans for Common Sense. ... This needs to be shoved in the face of every single elected official in the country. We can fix this in a second. We are talking about two or three sentences in legislation. We are talking about the integrity of our democracy."

"The GOP has identified its first enemy group for election 2008, and it's the brave men and women who have made the supreme sacrifice in carrying out illegal GOP policies. Disgusting."

Why would the Bush Administration keep VA populations away from the vote?
Could it be they fear these military personnel are not happy with what they've seen, or how they have been treated? That they may not be the rah-rah poster children that they wish to represent them as?

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Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

one of the most disgusting things the "southern strategy" of the republicans has brought is their incessant pressure on suppressing the vote. it's gone far beyond mere jim crow to include any group of people that they figure might not vote for them.

greg palast has some very eye opening articles about this.

the republicans figure "hey, it worked like a charm in florida. . ."

Monday, August 18, 2008 at 12:53:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

MB, it's interesting that Palast doesn't get more MSM attention. Wonder why? jim

Monday, August 18, 2008 at 9:30:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, gee Jim, they all want our brave men and women to DIE for them there regime changes, not take part in voting for regime change!
My son keeps telling me that they will keep this crap up until they manage to steal the next election...and then blood will run in OUR streets. I begin to wonder if he hasn't got a point.

Monday, August 18, 2008 at 11:20:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

palast has been credentialed by the BBC for the last few years. our media combines won't touch him.

thing is, nobody who has been on the receiving end of one of his investigations has prevailed in a libel suit.

at least, in some courts, truth is still a defense.

Monday, August 18, 2008 at 11:59:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

blood is running in our streets but we just don't see it b/c fox news doesn't report it. jim

Monday, August 18, 2008 at 12:01:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Thank you for reminding us all about Greg Palast. He is an excellent reporter.

I must create a news sidebar column in which he would certainly be source.

Monday, August 18, 2008 at 12:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they keep screwing the Constitutional pooch, Jim, there will be sufficient quantities that even Faux News can't ignore it. In fact, I can think of several neighborhoods where displaying the Fox logo might not increase your life expectancy!

Monday, August 18, 2008 at 10:16:00 PM GMT-5  

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