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Democracy Chronicles is focused on the all important effort to establish and strengthen democracy across the globe. News on democracy, elections and voting!
Updated: 1 hour 8 min ago

How Space Weather Can Alter Electronic Voting Machines

22 hours 11 min ago

Here is an excerpt from the great article on this bizarre issue with voting machines by Ryan F. Mandelbaum on Gizmodo. One more problem with voting machines you probably hadn’t put your finger on before:

When all sources of errors have been ruled out and 4096 phony votes have still been given to a candidate, who do you blame? In some cases, these kinds of glitches may be coming from outer space, according to scientists who discussed this cosmic conundrum today at the annual meeting of American Association for the Advancement of the Sciences in Boston. Just to be clear, this does NOT mean that aliens influenced the 2016 election.

Every day, the Earth falls victim to an onslaught of high-energy particles originating from throughout the galaxy and even our Sun. These particles, especially neutrons, can interact with the semiconductors powering computer chips and cause an assortment of glitches in all of our electronics. Such interactions have been an aviation issue for several decades, but in recent years, concern over cosmic rays harming cell phones, electronic cars and even voting machines has increased. Now, consumer electronic companies are attempting to manufacture their devices to be more hardy against every day cosmic rays, and bigger space weather events like solar storms.

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Artistic UpRISING and Revolutionary Love in NYC

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 14:40

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer

Earlier that same day, Josh Fox who created the film GASLAND that featured Scott Stringer, took part. In the film, and members from were calling on to divest in fracking and the DAPL pipeline outside 1 Centre Street. “I watch the books and I watch the money in the city and I can tell you in this day and age, men make more than women although, women work harder than men. We know that women continue to be exploited in so many ways in this country”. “And what this generation must be feeling like knowing that the Republicans and Donald Trump are going to roll back the health and reproductive rights of women if we don’t stop him”.

Valarie Kaur

Valarie Kaur is a seasoned activist, civil rights lawyer, award-winning filmmaker, media commentator, educator, entrepreneur, and Sikh interfaith leader. Her new venture, the Revolutionary Love Project at the University of Southern California, champions the ethic of love in an era of rage. Latest at @valariekaur.

Kaur (pronounced “Core”) has made award-winning films and led national campaigns on civil rights for 15 years. Her activism focuses on hate crimes, racism and profiling, gun violence, immigration, solitary confinement, LGBTQI equality, and Internet freedom. She is the founder of Groundswell Movement, America’s largest multifaith online organizing community of 300,000+ known for “dynamically strengthening faith-based organizing in the 21st century.” She also founded the Yale Visual Law Project where she trained students at Yale Law School to make films that change policy. Kaur recently served as the Media and Justice Fellow at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, where she co-founded Faithful Internet to equip faith leaders in the fight for Internet freedom. Now as the Scholar-in-Residence at Middle Collegiate Church and Senior Fellow at Auburn Theological Seminary, she speakers on #RevolutionaryLove as a public ethic — a political and moral response to injustice and wellspring for social action.

Make Valentine’s Day a Day of Revolutionary Love and Resistance

Join Artists, Activist in Washington Square Park for an “ARTISTIC UPRISING – A CALL FOR REVOLUTIONARY LOVE”

JOIN: Ryan Amador, Donna Auston, BETTY, Great Caesar, Staceyann Chin, Kate Clinton, Julissa Contreras, Michael Cunningham, Lea DeLaria, Eve Ensler, Laura Flanders, Dan Fogler, Alixa Garcia of Climbing PoeTree, Suzanne Gardinier, Valarie Kaur, James Lecesne, Amy León, Dana Levinson, Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, Middle Collegiate Church, Ian Pai, Ally Sheedy, Casey Spooner, Elizabeth Streb, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Thenmozhi Soundararajan, Imani Uzuri, Kiah Victoria, Women’s March, and more to be announced.

This Tuesday, February 14, women and men throughout the US and in 200 countries worldwide came together for the RISE to end violence against all women and girls (cis, transgender and gender non-conforming) as part of V-Day’s massive annual One Billion Rising campaign, including this just-announced rally – “Artistic Uprising – A Call for Revolutionary Love” – to take place in Washington Square Park. The rally will feature performances and speeches by artists and activists.

The event is being called in a response to the current racist, misogynist, xenophobic political climate where the rights of women, refugees, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQIAGNC people, African Americans, the indigenous, and the poor are at serious risk.

The rally will be a collective experience. Audience members will be invited on stage to rant as part of the Where We Meet artist collective, called the Ranting Box.

WHERE: Washington Square Arch. North side of Washington Square Park at Fifth Avenue
WHEN: 6:00-9:00PM

This high-profile group will gather, resist, RISE, and dance, connecting directly to the global One Billion Rising campaign, which will be happening in full force across the planet, broadcast en masse across all social media channels. What happens in NYC will be broadcast immediately throughout the world via Facebook Live, Twitter, Instagram, and more, joining the hundreds of thousands of ONE BILLION RISING activists harnessing radical forms of artistic, creative and political resistance through rallies, protests and events. The actions will connect individuals, networks, and organizations that are organizing to hold our governments and other patriarchal institutions accountable.

One Billion Rising Activists declared February 14th a “Day of Revolutionary Love, Day of RISING,” putting out a call for solidarity amongst movements:

“We declare our love for all who are in harm’s way, including refugees, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQIAGNC people, Black people, the indigenous, the poor, and women and girls at risk of violence. We vow to see you as our brothers and sisters and fight by your side…We join forces and stand together with the millions of people across the planet who are rising to end violence against and girls and resist racist patriarchy. To protect women who are most often the most vulnerable within marginalized communities. We take part in it to honor our mothers whose bodies and beings and blood carved the path we are walking on. We are rising – we are dancing – to find the new language of these times – built on a deeper education, radical listening, humility and empathy.”

Activists will RISE against the neo fascist, racist patriarchy taking hold in governments throughout the world, against bigotry, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, anti-immigration, nativism, white nationalism, climate change denial, imperialist and capitalist aggressions, misogyny and hate. From Standing Rock to financial deregulation to the “Muslim Ban”, activists will demand the new regime’s agenda be dismantled. A particular focus will be on women’s rights. With a “Predator in Chief” at the helm of the White House that is fueled by rape culture, a war on women is being waged.

Let us RISE
against neo-fascism, racist patriarchy, misogyny and sexism.
Rise against rape culture and all those who escalate and normalize it.
Rise against racism, discrimination and inequality.
Rise against neoliberal policies that place profit over people.
Rise against environmental plunder and Rise to protect Indigenous people, land and water.
Rise against homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, exclusion and hate.
Rise against imperialist wars, occupation, internal and international displacement and militarization.
Rise for food, land and justice.

Rise against fear mongering and division.
Rise against international capitalist and imperialist systems that perpetuate poverty.
Rise against the corporations and the rich making more profit off the backs of people’s suffering.
Rise against economic, labor and sexual exploitation.
Rise against human and sex trafficking.
Rise against the violence of poverty, exploitation and marginalization.
Rise for freedom, dignity, equality and respect.

How to Rise?

We need TO DISRUPT with active and radical defiance!

Disrupt in order to shake the present global structure characterized by patriarchy and capitalist greed.
Disrupt to show how strong a creative “people power” force can be.
Disrupt to keep radicalizing our creative resistance.

We need to CONNECT and expand our political consciousness.
Connect by educating ourselves on all issues.
Connect by uniting in all our struggles and fighting for ALL rights.
Connect by hearing and listening and learning.
Connect by deepening our understanding of issues within the context of race and class analysis.
Connect by joining organizations and mass actions.
Connect by organizing our communities.

HOLD YOUR GOVERNMENTS and other exploitative patriarchal institutions ACCOUNTABLE.
Resist with Rage.
Resist with fierce hope.

Resist with unwavering insistence on a future where freedom, equality and dignity is possible.
Resist with collective defiance.
Resist all together. With and For each other.

Rise In Solidarity!
Rise For Revolution! JOIN ONE BILLION RISING 2017

Alexandra Elizabeth “Ally” Sheedy is an American film and stage actress, as well as the author of two books. Following her film debut in 1983’s Bad Boys, she became known as one of the Brat Pack group of actors in the films The Breakfast Club (1985) and St. Elmo’s Fire (1985). Ally read one of Eve Enlser’s poems entitled My Short Skirt.

Kashish Shamsi is a graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in the Music Industry with minor in Business Administration from Drexel University. Kashish sang Stronger Together in response to the Trump “election”.

Judy Gold has written and starred in 2 critically acclaimed, Off-Broadway hit shows: The Judy Show – My Life As A Sitcom, (Outer Critics Circle Nom) and 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, (GLAAD Media Award – Outstanding NY Theater, Drama Desk Nom – Actor). The book with the same title based on more interviews with Jewish Mothers was nominated for the prestigious Quill Award. Judy received rave reviews as Gremio in the all female The Taming Of The Shrew for NYC’s 2016 season of The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park. She has co-starred in the Off-Broadway productions of Clinton! The Musical, Disaster! The Musical, Love Loss & What I Wore, and The Vagina Monologues. Referring to Donald Trump Gold said, “He did one good thing, he brought us all together”.

Organizer of the event and founder of One Billion Rising Against Violence against women and girls around the world, Tony Award winning playwright, performer, and activist, is the author of The Vagina Monologues, which has been translated into over 48 languages, performed in over 140 countries, including sold-out runs at both Off-Broadway’s Westside Theater and on London’s West End (2002 Olivier Award nomination, Best Entertainment), and run for 10 years in Mexico City and Paris. The success of her play Avocado, which opened to rave reviews in 2015 at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and at the Latitude festival in the UK inspired her to create The Fruit Trilogy. This trio of short plays comprises Avocado, Pomegranate and Coconut and explores the female experience of human trafficking, sexual abuse, refugee life and body image and was presented at the Southbank’s WOW- Women Of The World Festival in March 2016 followed by a run at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. Her play O.P.C. recently had its world premiere at American Repertory Theater where she debuted and performed In the Body of the World, based on her memoir in May of 2016, directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus.

Laura Flanders of the Laura Flanders show.

For more info see here.

PHOTOS: Valentine’s Day Divestment Action with Josh Fox

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 14:28

Ajani Stella, 10-year-old fifth grader at PS 41 was one of the speakers on Tuesday outside Scott Stringers office at 1 Centre St NYC. He read a plea for his future to Scott Stringer to divest from DAPL and be on the side of the environment and not big business. Ajani Stella hand-delivered more than 160 pages of petition signatures, telling the Comptroller to protect the environment and New Yorkers and drop fossil fuel investments from the City’s more than $170 billion portfolio. This month, Comptroller Stringer made an announcement that the City will begin a long-over due climate risk assessment of its investments.


Tell NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer to Show the Planet Some Love on Valentine’s Day! Divest NYC Pension Funds from the banks funding Dakota Access Pipeline #DefundDAPL and the top 200 fossil fuel companies doing the most harm to our climate!

Feb 14: Press conference & rally “We Love New York, That’s Why We Must Divest”

Join Josh Fox to deliver a divestment valentine to Comptroller Stringer!

New Yorkers will deliver a divestment valentine of thousands of petition signatures to New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer with the message that we love New York, that’s why we must divest. This comes days after Stringer announced the City will begin a climate risk assessment of its investments.

WHAT: Press conference & rally: “We Love New York, That’s Why We Must Divest”

WHO: New Yorkers representing 350NYC, 350BK,, NYU Divest, Riverside Church Beloved Earth Community, organizations of the #DivestNY coalition

Speakers include:

Josh Fox, film director and environmental activist

Sean Petty, New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA)

WHERE: Outside the City Comptroller’s Office,
1 Centre St, New York, NY

WHEN: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 12pm ET

WHY: We love New York, but we don’t love its current ties in fossil fuels threatening the lives and livelihoods of
our communities. With the corrupt and anti-climate Trump administration is regressing on hard-won climate action, New York must step into its leadership. We are a broad spectrum of New York society urging Comptroller Stringer to divest the City’s $170 billion pension funds from fossil fuel companies knowingly perpetuating the climate crisis, and reinvest in a sustainable economy that works for all New Yorkers.

One of the 50 or so activists who came out on Tuesday, Valentine’s Day, to tell Comptroller Scott Stringer to Divest from the harming the environment and invest in their future. #DefundDAPL

Activist and filmmaker Josh Fox

Josh Fox addressed the crowd speaking about how a few years ago Scott Stringer stood up for NYC water supply stating, “There is no way you can do hydro fracking in our watershed”. Scott Stringer was “loud, he was clear, he was thunderous, said Fox, “he was enthusiastic, he was amazing. He was one of our leading politicians in the world in 2008, in 2009 as Manhattan Borough President against fracking”. “Scott Stringer actually appears in Gasland and he talks about how everything is about water”.

Fox went on to say that NYC has the best water because we stopped fracking in NY state and in the Delaware River basin and that Scott Stringer had a lot to do with that. Fox called Stringer to defend this city from the rising waters of climate change like he defended this city from fracking because we are under a Dire threat. “We are one of the three most vulnerable cities in this nation to rising sea levels.”

Fox spoke about 1 degree difference in temperature can make a huge difference by using the example of putting your Valentine ice cream cake in the freezer at 33 instead of 32 degrees. “IT IS SIMPLY SUICIDAL FOR THIS CITY TO CONTINUE TO INVEST IN FOSSIL FUELS”. Fox stated that “investing means you’re trying to get a better future for yourself. Investing means I’m planning ahead so I can pay dividends for something in the future. It makes no sense to invest in something that will destroy the future for this city”. “WATER IS LIFE but, WATER CAN ALSO BE DEATH. Any politician who doesn’t understand that should not survive the next political cycle.”

From the Press release:

“Comptroller Stringer’s study needs to tell the City’s pension fund trustees and its taxpayers how the City will manage a fossil free portfolio. The study needs to show the public the options. It is then up to the elected leaders of the City to take steps to protect the public interest from the poor financial performance of fossil fuel companies and their collective mishandling of risks created by climate change,” said Tom Sanzillo, Director of Finance at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, and former Deputy Comptroller of New York State. “We look forward to meeting with the Comptroller and the consultants responsible for the report to discuss the future of the CIty’s pension funds”

To date, more than 600 institutions across 76 countries representing over $5 trillion in assets have committed to some level of divestment, doubling in size in just one year. Notable motions in New York to cut ties with fossil fuels include Amalgamated Bank, Cooperstown, NY, the New School, and the American Museum of Natural History.

A recent report showed humans are causing the climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces. New Yorkers know who is responsible: Big Oil and its political allies knowingly perpetuating climate change. #DivestNY will ramp up pressure on Stringer and New York officials in the weeks to come, including mobilizing for the People’s Climate March on April 29, 2017.

On the left, Betámia Coronel, US Reinvestment Coordinator. On the right, Sonia Ingram, Riverside Church Beloved Earth Community who recently returned from Standing Rock.

Valentine’s box with 160 signed petitions delivered to Scott Stringer’s office encouraging him to divest from DAPL and fossil fuels.

Retirement Law Repeal is Major Win For Wall Street Political Donors

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 20:33

The chief sponsors of this bill have been heavily supported by campaign cash from the finance industry

House Republicans voted to rescind a federal rule making it easier for states to offer basic retirement savings plans to millions of workers. As International Business Times reported last week, the chief sponsors of the bill have been heavily supported by campaign cash from the finance industry, which has lobbied against the plans. The Department of…


Romanian Corruption Crisis Shows Little Sign of Slowing Down

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 20:29


Romania has seen Eastern Europe’s largest protests since the fall of communism in 1989

Over the past two weeks, Romania has seen Eastern Europe’s largest protests since the fall of communism in 1989.The demonstrations center on corruption, and they continue even after the government survived a no-confidence vote. For the West, the crisis represents a dilemma in which people on the streets of Bucharest are exposing a darker side of…


Is Somali Democracy Finally Emerging From the War?

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 20:26


The presidential vote was widely celebrated, but there remains much room for improvement. On 8 February, widespread street celebrations took place in Somalia, following the election of its 9th president: Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, nicknamed ‘Farmajo’. A popular former prime minister and dual Somali-US national, his victory has raised hopes that the country remains on track in…


What Trump Era Political Satire Says About American Democracy

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 20:22

Political satire is alive and well in America as a check on power and outlet for opposition angst

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. It’s a fair bet that champagne corks have been popping at Gnome House, the abode of Lord Gnome, the (fictional) proprietor of the satirical magazine, Private Eye since the latest circulation figures were released. This is because, running contrary to the usual news about…


Ghana’s Democratic Credentials Make it a Role Model For Africa

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 20:15


The change of power through the ballot box in Ghana is an unparalleled success story

A former Headmaster of McKeon Senior High School in Kumasi, Mr. George K. Eshun, has lauded Ghana for entrenching democracy in Ghana, and Africa as a whole. The retired educationist, in a chat with The Chronicle, described the transfer of power from one political party to another as legendary, adding that ‘Ghana is a role model…


Reviving Demands For Pakistan Proportional Representation

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 20:10


Civil society representatives in Pakistan demanded radical changes in the current electoral system

Civil society representatives on Wednesday demanded radical changes in the current electoral system so that elections on half of the seats in all the legislatures are conducted on the basis of proportional representation or party lists. President of the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi, Mohammad Ahmed Shah, who was accompanied by scholars and leaders of rights…


Are Congolese Elections Too Expensive to Go Forward?

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 20:05


Congo’s government has said it will be too expensive to hold national elections in 2017

Congo’s government has said it will be too expensive to hold national elections in 2017, suggesting that an already-delayed vote will be pushed back even further. The country’s budget minister, Pierre Kangudia, said at a press conference in Kinshasa on Wednesday that it would be difficult to raise the funds purportedly needed to hold the vote.…


US Political Climate Leading to Stress: Study

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 20:02


The political climate in the United States is stressing out Americans, according to a new study. Researchers from the American Psychological Association found that 57 percent of Americans say the “current political climate is a very or somewhat significant source of stress,” according to a poll done in January. Nearly half of Americans, 49 percent, say…


Privacy Concerns Over Utah Automatic Voter Registration Bill

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 19:58


Utah lawmakers would automatically register teen voters – then sell their personal information

Republish Reprint By Ronald Mortensen / Feb 15, 2017 / Columnist at Utah Standard News Key Points: – Proposed HB159 automatically registers anyone obtaining or renewing a Utah driver’s license to vote. The state then sells key elements of the voter record including the voter’s full name, address, phone number, party affiliation and voting history. This…


Indonesian Felon Voters Enthusiastically Join Local Elections

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 19:51

Even inmates in the nation’s prisons voted in Wednesday’s regional elections across Indonesia

Perhaps because Indonesia’s democracy is still young, just 19 years old, Indonesians seem palpably excited about the chance to vote. The country grants extraordinary suffrage to its far-flung citizens. Even inmates in the nation’s prisons voted in Wednesday’s regional elections across Indonesia, including the hotly contested race for Jakarta’s governor. Although the military can’t vote in…


Expert Tips For Contacting Your Local Representatives

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 19:44


Calls for Americans to engage with their local governments and representatives are at an all-time high

Regardless of political ideology, there is no denying President Donald Trump’s first four weeks in office have been some of the most active and controversial in modern American history. The new White House administration has unleashed a series of contentious executive orders greatly transforming the inner workings of Washington, D.C., scaling back federal regulations, restricting travel…


The Least Fair Turkish Elections in Decades Are Set

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 18:22

Erdogan has signed into law constitutional amendments aimed at giving him sweeping new powers

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has signed into law constitutional amendments aimed at giving him sweeping new powers under an executive presidency. The reforms are deeply divisive, with supporters saying they will strengthen democracy, while critics warn of dictatorship. Turks will decide in a referendum set for April 16. Doubts over its fairness are growing…


AUDIO: My Discussion With Radio Host Kevin Willett

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 18:01

Kevin Willett and Aaron Hamlin

From Big Talk Radio:

Host Kevin Willett is joined by Aaron Hamlin of The Center for Election Science. The Center for Election Science is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit comprising voting system experts and activists. They promote better collective decisions in settings ranging from civic organizations to government bodies.

Find out more about The Center for Election Science by visiting their website at

To learn more about the Friends of Kevin Networking Group, go to

Revealing the True Goals of Russia’s Vladimir Putin

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 17:03

Little is known about Vladimir Putin’s personal life – and he’d prefer to keep it that way

Despite being one of the most powerful world leaders in modern history, very little is known about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s personal life – and he’d prefer to keep it that way. State-sponsored media has long-reported positive attributes about the Kremlin leader: Putin is a Judo black belt, has flown in a fighter aircraft, hunts Siberian…


You can subscribe to Newsweek’s Foreign Service on Acast, SoundCloud and on iTunes. After decades on the sidelines, Russia is once again a leading player in the Middle East, playing a role in issues ranging from the Syrian civil war to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Meanwhile, bruised by a decade of disastrous interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and…


Woman Receives Eight Years in Prison for Voting Illegally

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 16:55


This is an embarrassing and costly miscarriage of justice. It shouldn’t be allowed to stand.

The following editorial appeared in The Dallas Morning News on Wednesday, Feb. 15: ——— We all must respect the sanctity of the right to vote. To that end, we have no bone to pick with the criminal justice system holding anyone accountable for voting illegally, whether the person cast a fraudulent ballot mistakenly or deliberately. But…


Ethiopian Protest Athlete Reunited With Family

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 16:42


Ethiopian protest athlete Feyisa Lilesa risked his life to speak out during the Olympics

An Ethiopian athlete who protested against his government’s crackdown on protests among the Oromo ethnic group has been reunited with his family in the U.S. after six months of separation. Feyisa Lilesa relocated to the United States after the Rio 2016 Olympics, where he won a silver medal in the men’s marathon. When crossing the finish…


Understanding Cameroon’s Anglophone Protests

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 16:37

Tensions continue in Cameroon as the strike in English-speaking regions nears its third month

Cameroon’s remarkable diversity has led to it being dubbed “Africa in miniature.” The country is home to more than 200 different linguistic groups, several major ethnicities and substantial Christian, Muslim and animist populations. But the most prominent difference within Cameroon’s population—that between the majority French-speaking regions and minority Anglophone regions—has come to the fore in recent…


Tensions continue in Cameroon as the strike in English-speaking regions nears the end of its third month. Three strike leaders pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of terrorism and insurrection before a military tribunal. They are accused of calling for the English-speaking parts of the country to secede and they could face the death penalty if…