Transcript: Dave Berman (We Do Not Consent), Jun 01 2006

Dave Berman is author of "We Do Not Consent" and chronicles the state of elections and voting machines and voting theft in the USA.

Thom Hartmann interview with Dave Berman 01 June 2006

[Thom Hartmann] Right now Dave Berman is with us. His website,, coincidentally the title of his book: We Do Not Consent, which you can actually download on the website Dave Berman, welcome to the program.

[Dave Berman] Thank you, Thom.

[Thom Hartmann] Dave you're a reasonable chronicler of the state of elections and voting machines and voting theft in this country. What's going on? Where are we right now?

[Dave Berman] Well, I typically don't talk about it in terms of theft and I don't even really do the chronicling that places like BradBlog and Vote Trust USA do a better job with. What I'm more interested in doing is organizing the response from the people with the message: "We do not consent."

[Thom Hartmann] Ok. So, how is the message organized?

[Dave Berman] Well, for starters, we have a resolution called the "Voter Confidence Resolution", which was developed through my previous blog, which was called GuvWurld, in which all of the essays in my book originally appeared there. And the resolution, the "Voter Confidence Resolution," was adopted by the city council of Arcata, California, last July, and it's currently pending before the city council of Palo Alto, CA, and we're looking to see citizen groups around the country organize themselves for the purpose of pursuing local adoption of this resolution, which says that election conditions guarantee inconclusive results. We're never going to have unanimous acceptance of the results, when they're unverifiable elections. And, since that, under these conditions, the consent of the governed is not even being sought, we have to shatter the assumption that that consent actually exists.

[Thom Hartmann] And the consent of the governed is the basis of American democracy in the American Republic.

[Dave Berman] You know it! Yeah, from the Declaration of Independence. It is the source from which government's just power is derived, and we do not have to grant that, and we should not allow it to be taken for granted. So, it's time to withdraw the consent of the governed.

[Thom Hartmann] That's great. "We Do Not Consent", the book. Election reform is not an end goal, you say, but it's a tactic toward peaceful revolution?

[Dave Berman] Well, yeah. I mean, that's why I refer you to Brad Blog and Vote Trust USA and, you know, all the many, many great organizations that have come up throughout the country over the past few years. We do need to do the actual work of identifying appropriate reforms and pursuing them, but the thing is, even if we are successful at getting our elections to be verifiable, where are we? I mean, we have a government that is lawless. We have a government that has taken away, completely, our right to privacy, our right to free speech. You want to protest? They'll put you in a free speech zone. We have lost our "presumption of innocence"; you can just be jailed for nothing. So, even if we are to fix our elections, I'm afraid that that's not the 'be all, end all.'

[Thom Hartmann] No, we have a lot of work to do. It's amazing the amount of damage that Bush has done in five years.

[Dave Berman] No doubt.

[Thom Hartmann] I mean, it's just mind boggling. So, Dave Berman, if local groups of people, people listening to this program right now, want to try to get a "We Do Not Consent" type of resolution passed by their city council, their county board, their state legislature, whatever it may be, how do they do that?

[Dave Berman] Well, the first thing would be to grab the copy off of the WeDoNotConsent.blogspot website. We have maintained since the beginning is that the resolution that we got accepted here in Humboldt County, by the Arcata City Council should be regarded as a template. There are certain key elements that should be preserved from one community to another, but there is a big section of it that is basically an election reform platform. And so, here is where the discussion and debate is really open, where every community needs to kind of take a shot at developing their own local standards for what is going to create a basis for confidence. Right now, we're being asked, through unverifiable elections, to have blind trust in the results and, instead, we need to create a basis for confidence.

[Thom Hartmann] Ok, great. So people should download the resolution from and then...?

[Dave Berman] Well, then you begin organizing and begin lobbying your city council or your county supervisors. I mean, I think it really needs to be on the local level.

[Thom Hartmann] Yeah, yeah, well said. Ok, Dave Berman. His book: "We Do Not Consent." The website: Dave, thanks for being with us today.

[Dave Berman] Thank you, Thom.

[Thom Hartmann] Good talking with you. It's a great start, a great start getting out there and saying, 'Nope, sorry, we're not going to play this game', and I think we need to do more of that.

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