For The Trees
Who is our economy FOR, anyway?
About the Authors:
BEST OF STF:
Articles not at STF:
The ATLA Speech on building a progressive infrastructure
Lowering the Bar
The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law
Who's Behind the Attack on Liberal Professors
On the Right and their communications infrastructure:
Why Republicans Win
Win or Lose
The "Conventional Wisdom" Machine
Some History of the Conservative Movement
HOW TO FIGHT BACK
An Amplifier Of Our Own
Don't Blame the Democrats
How They Do It 1 2 3 4
You're Gonna Get Drafted
Scalia and Self-Government
Who is Our Economy For?
Voting Machine Story Link Collection
What's Wrong with this Picture? (Voting Machines)
Like Meat in the Supermarket
Thin Line 1 2 3
Fixing Social Security
Seeing the Forest I, II, III
"Incredibly Positive News"
The Breadth of It
The Republican Crony Club
Ralph Nader is a Scab
John's Best Of:
Kerry Smear Page
9/11 Commission Report Damages Bush -- if you read it
Florida Goon Squad Intimidated the Supreme Court
The Use and Abuse of George Orwell
Zizka's Archives (John's previous identity)
Information Clearing House
What REALLY Happened
Links to Other Weblogs:
A while back I wrote:
Sometimes lately - since Bush v Gore - I imagine I'm looking at current events as if I am a future historian, tracking the record of "what happened" - sort of like how we now look back at Germany in the 30's, trying to understand how it happened.Some important words over at Daily Kos today:
What to do? First, spouting off in the blogs and staying engaged and informed, trading opinions and sharpening arguments, and conceding an opponent’s well-made points is healthy and good for all of us. It helps us find common ground where possible and identify issues that bother all of us. People who read and participate in blogs or get their news significantly from the Internet may be better informed than most. This doesn’t make us better than others, but it does give us the opportunity and responsibility to do something more than complain amongst ourselves. Yes, it means writing, faxing, or emailing your elected officials to let them know when you deem an issue to be important. But take the time to build an email mailing list and fax numbers made up of key US senators or representatives. What good is getting mad today about the GAO decision and your fears about the 2003 version of the Patriot Act if you don’t fire off a quick email or fax to these office holders about it? First off, they will be surprised to see that folks are paying attention. Secondly, although it may feel as if your message won’t make any difference, the experience of the right-wing media Wurlitzer of the last two decades shows that a small group of well-informed people who keep the heat up and gradually spread the effort around can convince officeholders and the media that people are paying attention to something other than the establishment spin.There's more so please go read the whole Daily Kos piece.
Voting Machine Story Link Collection
A new, complete collection of articles and resources on this subject is available at the Commonweal Institute. Also see "Making the Integrity of Electronic Voting Into a National Issue".
I put together a collection of voting machine stories and websites. Let me know if you know of other good articles or other resources on this subject.
My "What's Wrong with this Picture?", Seeing the Forest
Who makes the vote-counting machines?
"If You Want To Win An Election, Just Control The Voting Machines"
To Register Doubts, Press Here, New York Times, May 15, 2003
New Voting Systems Assailed - Computer Experts Cite Fraud Potential, The Washington Post, March 27, 2003
Black Box Voting - Ballot Tampering in the 21st Century - a website dedicated to this issue.
Electronic Voting - Rebecca Mercuri, Ph.D. - contains many links to websites and stories about this issue.
Diebold - The face of modern ballot tampering
American Coup: Mid-Term Election Polls vs Actuals
Atrios on right-wing Christian Reconstructionists buying voting machine companies
Voter Fraud 2002: Death Stalks America's Democracy (Includes a collection of links.)
Computerized Balloting is Taking Over Elections In Maryland--But Can We Trust the Results?
The Nightmare Scenario Is Here - Computer Voting With No Paper Trail
THE SECRETIVE WORLD OF VOTING MACHINES
Can we trust the vote count anywhere? In any race? In any election?
Hagel’s ethics filings pose disclosure issue
Republican Manufactured Voting Machines Involved in Election Fraud
Votescam: The Stealing of America
Electronic voting system an invitation to trouble
Votescam in the Electronic Age
How to Rig a Touch Screen Voting Machine
HOW SAFE ARE OUR VOTING MACHINES? - Rage Against the Machine
The Real Scandal Is the Voting Machines Themselves
Area Democrats say early votes miscounted, Court hearing delayed as meeting planned on touch-screen problems
Vote Fraud in America
Lynn Landes' analysis of the 2002 Elections
Voter News Service: What Went Wrong? and Sideshow's essay linking to this.
Voting machines must provide a voter-verifiable audit trail - David Dill's website about voter-verified audit trails and the recent hearings in Santa Clara County, CA. - with links to to other sites on the voting machine issue.
Computer ballot outfit perverts Senate race, theorist says. At The Register. Also read the reply.
Paranoid party rights in The Guardian.
Commonweal Institute's Uncommon Denominator: "new computerized voting machines are vulnerable to tampering."
Voting Machines: Vote Tampering in the 21st Century (NOT the same site as "Black Box Voting - Ballot Tampering in the 21st Century")
Caltech-MIT Voting Technology Project
If voters get a record of their ballot, they can check on the system. A San Jose Mercury News editorial today acknowledged the voting machines problem. 2/21/03
Board faces key decision on voting by computer - POTENTIAL FOR FRAUD WORRIES SUPERVISORS -- The San Jose Mercury News front page story, 2/24/03
* Great resource!* Electionline.org - The Election Reform Information Project
Paperless Voting Machines Under Fire - Newsday, Feb. 25, 2003
** Key Story -- Scientists question electronic voting, SF Chronicle, March 3, 2003
Voting Technology, California Voter Foundation
Computer-Related Elections, Peter Neumann
Which Corporation Owns Your Vote over at AlterNet.
Election Fraud & Voting Machines - You can't vote them out if you never voted them in. Cronus Connection
Are American elections fixed?
Britain to Launch Electronic Voting Systems -- International Herald Tribune, April 20, 2003
Voters must have faith in the vote count," by the chief elections officer, San Mateo County, California, San Jose Mercury News, May 19, 2003.
Microsoft and Technology Investment
Brad DeLong is writing about Microsoft making it appear that the Opera web browser doesn't work correctly.
How much of the Silicon Valley slump - and the national technology slump - is the result of the Bush administration's deal letting Microsoft off the hook from their anti-trust conviction?
You simply can not get venture money, or any other type of funding, if you are in any area where Microsoft is, or possibly could be. Of course this is having an effect!
The Bush-Microsoft deal dried up technology investment. You would have to be a fool to invest when a predatory monopoly is given government protection to operate as it pleases. Look what just happened to WebEx, after Microsoft bought PlaceWare. Palm is laying off because of Microsoft's competition in PDAs. How soon does Microsoft take over the embedded software market - cell phones, etc.? Look how many software companies have gone out of business because of Microsoft.
The idea of the anti-trust remedy was to restore competition and innovation. Has there been a SINGLE investment in ANY company that Microsoft could compete with, since the Bush-Microsoft deal?
Some More on Jobs
Here's a story from this morning's San Jose Mercury News, Sales sluggish in January
WINTER NOT SUCH A WONDERLAND FOR MANY OF NATION'S RETAILERS, confirming what I wrote below. The January "retail jobs surge" wasn't.
Understand the Numbers
Here's the explanation of what's going on with today's employment report, U.S. Unemployment Rate Drops in January,
Economists had predicted that retail hiring would pick up because holiday employment was well below normal. This meant that fewer seasonal workers were laid off in January.In other words, this is an adjusted employment number. USUALLY there is a lot of retail hiring for the Christmas shopping season, so they adjust for a large number of layoffs in January. Obviously there wasn't as much hiring this year, so there were 100,000 or so fewer layoffs in January. Adjusting for the 100,000 expected layoffs makes it look like the retail sector is strong now. Everyone knows it isn't.
Here's another story that talks about this, U.S. jobless rate falls to 5.7%.
Because of the way the government adjusts the figures for seasonal factors, both December's loss and January's gains in retail are probably illusory. Read more about the seasonal problems.That last reference is to this story, Job growth could be an illusion.
When the government reports its monthly numbers, it adjusts them for seasonal factors to allow economists and us interested amateurs to see underlying trends more clearly. But sometimes the seasonal adjustments serve only to cloud the issue.UPDATE - The first story changed since I posted this morning. The first story now has this quote,: instead of the one above
Holiday hiring was well below normal, meaning fewer seasonal workers were laid off in January. That means seasonal adjustments accounted for January's large gain, economists said.
Ruminate This is writing about voting machines.
Good News / Bad News
The good news is that the comments have been restored. The bad news is that comments left yesterday appear to have been lost.
The lesson for history to learn from this Korea story (if there is a history after all this is over) is: Never, never give a big speech and declare a group of countries to be "evil," and say you're going to attack first, and start preparing to attack one of the countries, unless you're in a position to do something about it if they BELIEVE YOU! Obviously Korea believed you!
Lesson #2: Don't put your POLITICAL ADVISOR in charge of your foreign policy and war planning, (even if there IS a Congressional election coming up.)
OK, now, with these Korean activities in mind, I have a message that I'd like you to rush straight to General Rove. You also threatened Iran, and they haven't forgotten this, and they're sitting there next to Iraq waiting for our forces to to be preoccupied with that situation. They're heavily armed, and they're smart, and they aren't going to sit and wait for General Rove's attack, currently planned for October 2004. They're also figuring out how to fight back. Just like Korea is doing. DUH!
(Also posted at No War Blog.)
What Liberal Media?
What Liberal Media?
Is the Republican Party a Cult?
Everybody go read The 8 Basic Elements of Mind Control at Blah3. (Unfortunately I can't link to individual articles over at Blah3 so you might have to scroll or look in the archives to find this.) (Referred by Skippy.)
Even More on Voting Machines
A reader sent in a link to this article "from Bruce Schneier, one of the foremost security experts in the world."
Did you Do Your Homework?
Did you do your homework assignment? Here is what you would have seen, from The Money Behind the Media:
Over the past 30 years a small group of wealthy conservative philanthropies have quietly funded a movement to change the social, legal, educational, media and political landscape of the United States. Using tax-exempt funds these philanthropies have coordinated their giving to create a suppy-side machinery for implementing their mostly Republican agenda.The test will be comprehensive. Study up, here's the library: Articles and reports tracing the formation of the right-wing ideological movement, how it is funded and how it operates.
Wow. Go read the comments to the post titled "Jobs Going Away," the entry about the e-mail I received from a guy who can't get a job because so many jobs are being shipped to India or because of competition from H1B workers here. (And if you have time, read the Business Week Article that it points to, because I'm going to be writing more about it. Yeah, I know, more homework.)
Here's your homework assignment. Go read The Money Behind The Media, over at Cursor.org. (Be sure to click "Next" at the bottom of the pages.)
A bunch of scary economic outlook news from Skippy, including "Market Timers Foresee Imminent Crash for Stocks".
Testify! has a good piece on the voting machine problem here. (Scroll down to "Vote Scam 2002/2004".)
Last Day to Comment on FCC Ownership Regulations
skimble points out that today is the last day to comment on FCC proposals to relax media ownership regulations, and tell you how to do it.
Hunter S. Thompson, in a Salon interview:
"Who does vote for these dishonest shitheads?" he writes, referring to the people currently occupying the White House. "They are the racists and hate mongers among us -- they are the Ku Klux Klan. I piss down the throats of these Nazis."I couldn't have said it better myself.
And on that note, I begin another day's blogging.
What's Wrong with this Picture?
See also the Voting Machine Story Link Collection
So the voting machine story is starting to be talked about by more and more people in more and more places - another major story driven by webloggers. I've written about it here, here, here, here and maybe a few other times - there are a number of links to other sources in that last one. Atrios and Sideshow, Bartcop and Testify! have also been writing about this, as have a number of others. (Let me kow and I'll add a link to you.)
For now let's not get hung up on whether Nebraska's Hagel, or Georgia's Chambliss or anyone else won in 2002 because something was rigged. There is no way to know, and it's over, and nothing is going to change anything. Instead, let's just look at what we have here:
- Really rich, far right-wing "Christian Nation" fanatics involved in the ownership of the companies that make the voting machines. That alone should set off alarm bells.
- Electronic voting machines that leave no verifiable, auditable trail beyond what the machine reports as the vote count. You can't verify that whatever was recorded as your vote was what you actually voted, and there is no way to do a recount of the totals other than what the voting machine itself reports. That alone should set off alarm bells.
- Voting machines that come with contracts forbidding looking at the code, so there is no way to check what the machines are actually doing. You can't look at the code that comes with the machines to see if it is set up to download special code on election day. You can't set one up on election day to see if it is downloading code, unless you steal the machine. (And there are ways to tell if the machine is being checked. For example, you don't send code to any machine that someone working for the company isn't looking at, in a polling place, and checking that the modem line isn't monitored.) These contracts alone should set off alarm bells.
- These are voting machines with modems, supposedly to report results, but modems can receive as well as send. The RAM can't be checked because you have to turn it off to move it to check what's in RAM, so the contents of RAM are wiped. And you can't run pre-election tests because the machines might be testing for the right time-and-date before downloading special code.
Who would have imagined that any district would EVER buy such machines? But they do. What competitive company would design such a thing? But they did. The unaccountability of results is suspicious enough, but when you learn WHO is involved with these companies this goes over the top.
This is an easy situation to fix. Demand that voting machines come with a paper printout that the voter looks at to verify that the vote was recorded correctly, and puts this paper record in a ballot box that is watched. That's all there is to it. Why in the world don't these machines come with this simple, common-sense security measure?
Dan Gilmore writes in Saturday's column,
The right to vote -- and for that vote to be counted with integrity -- is at the heart of liberty. People are already skeptical. If we continue on this path, pure cynicism will corrode what's left of public trust in an already frayed system.Skepticism is the least of it. Paranoid nutcases like me will let our imaginations take us a lot further than just skepticism when we see "Christian Nation" fanatics buying up the voting machine companies and pushing unauditable voting systems on the public. Oh yeah, we can.
Atrios is talking about voting machines again today. Here's another about voting machines.
Update - Problems at blogspot today - just go to Atrios for now and scroll to "Thom Hartmann tells us more about voting machines and Chuck Hagel. " I'll update the link and remove this note when the correct link is working.
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