It’s about time I addressed a number of commonplace beliefs held in the United States which, while they often sound great in sound bites, are almost always based on flawed reasoning. I call these beliefs “American myths.”

Since 2010 is an election year, the news media will almost certainly begin to run more and more articles about the importance of voting and how everyone should vote. While I agree that voting is important, I disagree with the idea that everyone should vote. This is a common American myth.

Let’s think about it. First and foremost, anyone who isn’t an American citizen cannot and should not vote. It’s considered an act of fraud in every state, territory and dominion of the United States. Voting is a responsibility and a privilege associated with citizenship, but this idea isn’t universally understood. In San Francisco, certain people want everyone, citizen or not, to vote on local city issues. While non-citizens living in San Francisco will certainly be affected by local votes, they still remain non-citizens. Membership can and should have its privileges.

Are you aware that in the United States, convicted felons cannot vote? Since a felon has already demonstrated that he or she is not a good citizen, society has determined that a convicted felon loses the right to vote. Yes, this right may be restored after the felon has served his or her sentence, but until then, a felon cannot vote. I can’t help thinking this is a wise rule, especially when I try to imagine Charles Manson casting a ballot.

No one should vote more than once. Even if an individual finds some clever way to circumvent the many laws designed to stop people from registering and voting multiple times, he or she is still committing voter fraud. I include in this category those who damage or spoil ballots, those who browbeat or threaten other voters, and those who coach the mentally incompetent into voting for their chosen candidate or issue. In the American democratic process, no one should be allowed to get away with the thoroughly non-egalitarian idea that some votes are more equal than others.

Apathetic citizens who are otherwise eligible to vote, but who haven’t bothered to register by a certain deadline, cannot vote in the next election. Even if you’re a fully eligible U.S. citizen, you must register in your local voting district if you want to cast a legal vote. If you haven’t taken the paltry amount of time and effort required to register to vote, you won’t have much cause for complaint when the day comes around and you can’t participate because you’re not on the voter rolls.

Finally, while it isn’t illegal, no one ought to vote in ignorance. If you don’t care or can’t be bothered to find out about the issues brought before the public, why participate? There’s not much point in voicing your opinion if you don’t have one. Granted, Joe and Jane Citizen certainly have the right to walk haplessly into the voting booth and vote for candidates and initiatives based on the results of a coin toss. But every citizen who votes in ignorance is failing in his or her civic duties. During the Democrat run-off leading up to the 2008 elections, I heard someone at work say she couldn’t decide whether to vote for Barack Obama because of his race, or for Hillary Clinton because of her gender. Neither of these reasons had anything to do with the issues at hand. One of my wife’s relatives once stated that she voted for JFK because he was such a good-looking man. But neither the candidate’s nor the voter’s race, gender, or pulchritude should have any bearing on a vote. Instead, we need to take the time to do the research–read the voter guides, study the pros and cons of the initiatives on the ballot, find out what we can about the history and political beliefs of the candidates, then vote for the people and ideas that best fit our own political philosophy.

So should everyone vote? No. Only eligible citizens who have taken the time to carefully study the issues and candidates should vote, and vote once. Anything else is either illegal or ignorant. And we’ve had enough of that.

As I watch the 2008 election unfold, I am seeing more and more evidence that the political left in America hates democracy, not that they would be willing to say so in so many words. Before I continue, I must state that, regardless of what you might have thought, the United States of America is not a democracy — the U.S. is a representative republic. The Founding Fathers were not impressed by democracies because they had noticed that “majority rule” democracies decayed and died as they got larger. This is nicely summed up in a quote often erroneously associated with Alexander Fraser Tytler:

A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.

Regardless of its true author, the point is well made about the nature of democracies. But how can I say that the political left in this nation hate democracy? They are vocal supporters of democracy, but saying something doesn’t necessarily make it so. I have found it much more instructive to watch someone’s actions rather than words to determine what he really believes. And the left’s actions are pretty clear.

First case in point is the erroneously named “Employee Free Choice Act” supported by Senator Obama and many other Democrats. I say it is erroneously named because it is about restricting the free choice of workers. Former Senator George McGovern nails the problem with this bill in an editorial he wrote in the Wall Street Journal:

The key provision of [the Employee Free Choice Act] is a change in the mechanism by which unions are formed and recognized. Instead of a private election with a secret ballot overseen by an impartial federal board, union organizers would simply need to gather signatures from more than 50% of the employees in a workplace or bargaining unit, a system known as “card-check.” There are many documented cases where workers have been pressured, harassed, tricked and intimidated into signing cards that have led to mandatory payment of dues.

To my friends supporting [the Employee Free Choice Act] I say this: We cannot be a party that strips working Americans of the right to a secret-ballot election. We are the party that has always defended the rights of the working class. To fail to ensure the right to vote free of intimidation and coercion from all sides would be a betrayal of what we have always championed.

The secret ballot is a critical part of a well-functioning democratic process. But that doesn’t stop 228 Democrat Representatives from voting for this bill with only two voting against. On the Republican side, 13 voted for it and 183 against, insufficient to stop the passing of the bill in the House. As for the Senate, it’s version was put forward by Senator Ted Kennedy with two independent co-sponsors and with 44 Democrats, including the junior Senator from Illinois running for President.

The other evidence that the left hates democracy comes from the many, and I mean many, examples of voter fraud coming from the left. ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has been working hard to register voters for years now. Now, registering people to vote is not a bad thing, and targeting your registrations towards your own party is also not a bad thing. But registering people multiple times or registering people who are ineligible to vote is a bad thing. And it appears that ACORN has been doing nothing but bad things. The New York Post reported about one Ohio man who was paid bribed by ACORN to register again and again.

“Sometimes, they come up and bribe me with a cigarette, or they’ll give me a dollar to sign up,” said Freddie Johnson, 19, who filled out 72 separate voter-registration cards over an 18-month period at the behest of the left-leaning Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

“The ACORN people are everywhere, looking to sign people up. I tell them I am already registered. The girl said, ‘You are?’ I say, ‘Yup,’ and then they say, ‘Can you just sign up again?’ ” he said.

Johnson used the same information on all of his registration cards, and officials say they usually catch and toss out duplicate registrations. But the practice sparks fear that some multiple registrants could provide different information and vote more than once by absentee ballot. [*bing*bing*bing* and that's a real problem. Emphasis mine - CM]

In Nevada, the fraudulent voter registrations handed in by ACORN included the entire Dallas Cowboys starting line-up, which I’m sure came as a surprise to the Dallas Cowboys living in Texas. State officials raided the ACORN headquarters and is currently investigating.

In Missouri, election officials suspected 5,000 ACORN registrations to be fraudulent, so they sent letters asking them to reply, but fewer than 40 people responded. In 2007, four ACORN employees were indicted, and in April of 2008, eight ACORN workers plead guilty of submitting false registration cards back in the 2006 push for voters. Jess Ordower, the Midwest director of ACORN, had a different way of looking at their guilt, as reported in the AP news: “He believes his group is being targeted because some politicians don’t want that many low-income people having a voice.” Did you catch that? Ordower said ACORN is the victim of “some politicians” — read that as the evil Republicans — who don’t want the poor to vote. And that makes the confessed federal election fraud somehow OK?

In Indiana, ACORN handed in 5,000 registrations just before the deadline. As is required, the state officials proceeded to validate the registrations, but they stopped when the first 2,100 registrations were all found to be invalid. Every registration checked was bogus! That’s not an accident. That’s intentional. These examples aren’t the only instances of ACORN fraud since there are at least 14 states who have launched criminal investigations against ACORN because of its fraudulent voter registration. It is obvious to me that fraudulent voter registration is not an isolated incident with ACORN, and I believe it is intentional, from the top to the bottom.

And where are the leaders on the left? Where is the condemnation and the urging to stop by the Democrat leaders? There’s a whole lot of silence going on. Instead of telling ACORN to stop breaking the law, Senator Obama’s campaign gave $800,000 to ACORN. I read that as not just turning a blind eye to their illegal actions, but condoning, encouraging, and facilitating their illegal actions.

So let’s sum up: the left wants to get rid of the secret ballot, and it condones voter voter registration fraud. And that is why I say that the left hates democracy. Their own actions prove it.

On Friday, I was surprised to get a letter in the mail from a company in California I had never heard of before. The text of the letter — with personal information, mostly mine and theirs, excised — follows:

[My home address]

We have an interest in a small parcel of land in Riverside County California. According to the Riverside County Recorder there is a cloud on the title in your name. In order to clean up the title to this land we need to remove your name from this title. We can accomplish this through a number of means but the simplest is for you to sign the enclosed deed.

You may not even be aware of this interest and we are not sure how you acquired this interest but we are willing to give you $1,000.00 for your signature on the enclosed deed.

Attached please find a deed for the lot, just sign it with a Notary Public, and mail it back to me in the enclosed envelope. When I receive the deed I will send you the $1,000.00 gift card.

Please feel free to call me at my toll free direct line [phone number].

Thank you for your help.

Sincerely,

Andy [Scammer], Secretary

My first response was, “Huh?” I have never lived or owned property in California, and there is no reason why any property in that state would be held in my name. My second response was to notice a severe lack of commas in the letter. My old English teacher would have marked this up seven times for non-comma run-on sentences. And my third response was to notice that they first offered me a thousand dollars, and only identified it as a thousand-dollar gift card later in the body of the letter. I suspect a legitimate business would write a check or money order, not deal in gift cards.

This has just got to be a scam. I can’t think of any other reason why Andy would send this poorly-written letter to me. So I started to search the Internet for hits on the name of the business, Andy, or the listed phone numbers. A reverse lookup on the phone numbers didn’t yield any hits, which would be unusual for an established business. And the business address is a P.O. box. I could understand a suite address, but not a P.O. box. If they have the wherewithal to purchase property in freakin’ expensive California, why they don’t they have the dinero to rent an office space?

I started to search using phrases in the text of the letter to see if it would bring up other examples. Nothing really worked until I searched with the phrase “quit claim scam”. Then I got an illuminating hit at an NBC affiliate’s website.

“People today are having their houses stolen right from under them and they don’t even know it,” said Sgt. Richard Davis, of Miami-Dade police.

All the criminals need is a one-page quit claim deed — a document used to pass ownership of a property from one person to another.

How does the scam work? Police say the crooks fill out a quit claim deed, transferring the property to themselves. Then they get it recorded. But, the county Recorder’s Office is not responsible for checking the document’s authenticity.

I can see how this might be a profitable scam, but I don’t actually own any land in California. So how would it help the scammers for me to sign a quit claim on property I don’t actually own? Then I found this article at another NBC affiliate’s website that answered my question:

Local authorities are having a hard time stopping a land scam involving quit claim deeds. Thieves steal property from legitimate owners and sell it to unsuspecting buyers.

“It’s like the wild west. You steal a herd of cattle or something, but this is just land grabbing,” said Claudia Barella.

Last summer Barella tried to sell two Lehigh lots left to her by her mother. When she went to put the deeds in her name, she got a surprise at the courthouse.

“They printed out a deed and believe it or not, this looks close to my mother’s signature, but my mother’s been dead for four years,” said Barella.

Someone had forged her mother’s signature on a quit claim deed, a commonly used document to hand over property to another person, essentially quitting ownership of it.

The article goes on to say that it’s not illegal to issue a quit claim on property you don’t own. For example, I could sign a quit claim of my ownership of the Brooklyn Bridge. The form would mean that all the ownership I had in the Brooklyn Bridge is now yours. The kicker is that I don’t actually own any part of the bridge, so I have transferred no real ownership. But if you take that quit claim form to other people and try to sell the Brooklyn Bridge to them because I have transferred the ownership to you, then you are committing fraud. Is that what Andy Scammer is trying to do? I don’t know, but this letter doesn’t pass the sniff test. Something about it smells funny.

But Andy Scammer made one mistake — sending the letter through the U.S. Postal Service. So I’ll be forwarding the letter to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Go get ‘em, guys!

A frequent contributor at Little Green Footballs is a woman who goes by the alias Zombie. She has done a marvelous job of visiting various demonstrations, rallies, and general nutty activities of the Left. Thanks to her dedicated service, the activities of the Left can be seen in all their disturbing glory.

In addition to her photos of rallies, Zombie has posted a page outlining the various categories of fraud as perpetrated by Reuters. She describes the four categories this way:

  1. Digitally manipulating images after the photographs have been taken.
  2. Photographing scenes staged by Hezbollah and presenting the images as if they were of authentic spontaneous news events.
  3. Photographers themselves staging scenes or moving objects, and presenting photos of the set-ups as if they were naturally occurring.
  4. Giving false or misleading captions to otherwise real photos that were taken at a different time or place.

Kudos to Zombie for categorizing the fraud so nicely and putting it all together on one page. Go read it now. And show it to a liberal friend.

P.S. — If Reuters is guilty of this amount of fraud and bias, what is the likelihood that it is the only news service thus guilty? Or is Reuters just the most egregious of the lot?