|New Civilization News: So You Think There's A Right To Vote?|
9 comments26 Jun 2006 @ 16:54 by Quinty @220.127.116.11 : An excellent article and commentary Jazz
I feel uneasy with Palast too. The BBC, for the most part, is a serious and reasonably good source for news. And if Palast ever allowed his fancy to lead his journalistic nose I don’t think they would employ him. What’s more, fundamentally, he appears to be sound. I think the Republicans do want to steal the election. Why not? Under the pall of Tom DeLay and the K Street Project and the White House, dishonesty has routinely become a way of life in their camp. For many decades they have said it’s now how you play the game but winning. That winning is the only thing. Nor is there anything new about throwing elections, or establishing conditions which are favorable for your own side. As cynical wags once put it regarding LBJ’s 1949 Senate race, “they were so eager to vote for him they even rose from the dead to cast their ballots.”
There’s a simple equation here we have to remember. Blacks vote about %90 for Democrats. Now, we can all agree, I think, that race is not really the issue. Or color. That a precinct might stand out because it is black only serves as a flag to indicate that %90 of the vote might go to the Democrat. Now, if you were a good, cynical Republican, who knows “that winning is the only thing,” wouldn’t you like to find a means for disenfranchising all those Democratic votes?
It’s exactly as Julian Bond said. “If murderers would promise not to murder again, we could eliminate all our laws against unlawful killing. No laws against murder — no murders.” But we have to have laws, as Bond implied. The absence of murder doesn’t indicate that that ugly taint has left the human soul, but only perhaps that the law’s heavy punishment may prevent murder. Palast - whatever the details in his news pieces - is correct. The Republicans - bless their hearts - are set to steal the election. Look at their chief guru - Carl Rove. A kind of demigod of dirty tricks. The man who figured out how to slime President Bush’s opponents and put him in office. With such a record - along with what we know of the ‘00 and ‘04 elections - should we believe the Republicans? And allow the Voting Rights Act to fall into the dust? To finish what Bond said: “That is analogous to the argument made by some Republicans against reauthorizing the 1965 Voting Rights Act. We may have done wrong in the past, they say, but we won't in the future. So we can now eliminate the most effective civil rights law ever passed.“
27 Jun 2006 @ 17:32 by vaxen : What...
would happen if everybody in the country refused to vote in their dog and pony shows? What would happen if people everywhere decided to chart a new course and told Washington to EFF off? What would happen if people realised exactly what 'what' this country was, purportedly, founded upon? The sacred duty that we all have now is first and formost to realise that it is our own self determination, sovereignty, which made this country great...
Well, aside from all the genocides we've sponsored throughout the world as well as the genociding of whole peoples right here in our own back yard... two parties serving the same master? That master sure isn't freedom!
I, for one, never fought for a legislative democracy constituted from out the swill of lawyer and attorney privelege which makes up the mountebank called the UNITED STATES.
The meaning of the word attorney can give deep indication as to what has happened in this country and why we should not 'stay the course' but get rid of the money changers in the temple! Shall we attorn or adjourn? Congress never did come back the first time around (sine die) so who are they up there in that wonderful white wooliness?
Any real advocates available? Freedom isn't free and isn't it time for a real fundamental change? I mean is it the thought of another Waco or Ruby Ridge or some other such conflagration at the hands of the alphabet soup gestapo agencies raking in the, was going to say coin but, graft that keeps 'individuals' tethered to non action?
Identity crisis anyone? Does the Public ''Thing'' matter at all to anyone anymore? Endless rhetoric at the hands of really good, bought and paid to shut up, journalists is an early warning sign that has come on the scene just a little too late to be of any significance whatsoever.
DEFINITION OF COUNTERINTELLIGENCE:
Counterintelligence is defined as the activity or activities
collectively organized by an intelligence service dedicated to obstruct the
enemy's source of information by means of concealment, codes, crypto,
censorship and other measures to deceive the enemy by using disinformation,
The two measures used by Counterintelligence are DEFENSIVE or OFFENSIVE:
PS: We the real people were declared to be Enemies of the State a long time ago. Do you remember when and who that was that did the declaring? I suggest you find out and know exactly who you are before things get much worse. Oh, yes they can get much worse.
"If we do not hang together we shall hang seperately." B.F. ( A member of the famous Hellfire Club [link] )
"Fay ce que voudras."--- St Augustine of Hippo
10 Aug 2006 @ 01:09 by jmarc : Voter Fraud in Georgia
Sound the Alarms! An Investigation is in order. This is excellent! Now these people who have been screaming about rigged pols have the wonderful opportunity to prove that it's not just because they are sore loosers, but because they actually care! Get on the phones to Cindy Mckinneys people and learn the TRUTH! Anyway, I'll wait and see how indepth n investigation this gets from the democratic party line toters. I'm not holding my breath while I wait though. LINK
10 Aug 2006 @ 10:51 by jazzolog : Thanks jmarc For The Reference
Personally, I think it's a shame the Dems seem just to let McKinney go...and have done since she voted against the invasion and occupation. I've seen her let loose with opinions in Congress and I thought her candor has been refreshing. Too bad she shoved the cop: guess that was the last straw. Meanwhile the Dems seem so elated at Lieberman's defeat that Cynthia's plight is all but forgotten. BUT with Lieberman declaring an independent run---and Repubs already funneling tons of cash into his campaign---Connecticut is all but lost. What's the cheering about? McKinney's problems have been chronicled well by BradBlog, including machine irregularities during the original primary that brought on the runoff in the first place. See the history and check the links here [link] . If anybody is interested in meeting the Democrat candidates and their ongoing campaigns for the November election, there's a very neat blog following developments here [link] .
15 Aug 2006 @ 09:57 by jazzolog : The Supreme Court & Gore vs. Bush
The New York Times has an editorial today about the Supreme Court's decision in 2000 to disallow the recount in Florida of the Presidential election. What was the basis of that decision and did it set a precedent that continues to affect free election in the United States? The author of the editorial is Adam Cohen, an assistant editor on the New York Times Editorial Board. [link] As you can see from his resume he used his Harvard law degree for social justice cases, first in the courtroom and now as a journalist and writer. Please notice in the editorial itself the mention of a case still going on in Ohio, in which the plaintiff is represented by Dan Tokaji, whose blog on election law I've mentioned several times in my own entries since November 2000. I presume he is avoiding astutely any comment on that case however. [link]
The New York Times
August 15, 2006
Has Bush v. Gore Become the Case That Must Not Be Named?
By ADAM COHEN
At a law school Supreme Court conference that I attended last fall, there was a panel on “The Rehnquist Court.” No one mentioned Bush v. Gore, the most historic case of William Rehnquist’s time as chief justice, and during the Q. and A. no one asked about it. When I asked a prominent law professor about this strange omission, he told me he had been invited to participate in another Rehnquist retrospective, and was told in advance that Bush v. Gore would not be discussed.
The ruling that stopped the Florida recount and handed the presidency to George W. Bush is disappearing down the legal world’s version of the memory hole, the slot where, in George Orwell’s “1984,” government workers disposed of politically inconvenient records. The Supreme Court has not cited it once since it was decided, and when Justice Antonin Scalia, who loves to hold forth on court precedents, was asked about it at a forum earlier this year, he snapped, “Come on, get over it.”
There is a legal argument for pushing Bush v. Gore aside. The majority opinion announced that the ruling was “limited to the present circumstances” and could not be cited as precedent. But many legal scholars insisted at the time that this assertion was itself dictum — the part of a legal opinion that is nonbinding — and illegitimate, because under the doctrine of stare decisis, courts cannot make rulings whose reasoning applies only to a single case.
Bush v. Gore’s lasting significance is being fought over right now by the Ohio-based United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, whose judges disagree not only on what it stands for, but on whether it stands for anything at all. This debate, which has been quietly under way in the courts and academia since 2000, is important both because of what it says about the legitimacy of the courts and because of what Bush v. Gore could represent today. The majority reached its antidemocratic result by reading the equal protection clause in a very pro-democratic way. If Bush v. Gore’s equal protection analysis is integrated into constitutional law, it could make future elections considerably more fair.
The heart of Bush v. Gore’s analysis was its holding that the recount was unacceptable because the standards for vote counting varied from county to county. “Having once granted the right to vote on equal terms,” the court declared, “the state may not, by later arbitrary and disparate treatment, value one person’s vote over that of another.” If this equal protection principle is taken seriously, if it was not just a pretext to put a preferred candidate in the White House, it should mean that states cannot provide some voters better voting machines, shorter lines, or more lenient standards for when their provisional ballots get counted — precisely the system that exists across the country right now.
The first major judicial test of Bush v. Gore’s legacy came in California in 2003. The N.A.A.C.P., among others, argued that it violated equal protection to make nearly half the state’s voters use old punch-card machines, which, because of problems like dimpled chads, had a significantly higher error rate than more modern machines. A liberal three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agreed. But that decision was quickly reconsidered en banc —that is, reheard by a larger group of judges on the same court — and reversed. The new panel dispensed with Bush v. Gore in three unilluminating sentences of analysis, clearly finding the whole subject distasteful.
The dispute in the Sixth Circuit is even sharper. Ohio voters are also challenging a disparity in voting machines, arguing that it violates what the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Daniel Tokaji, an Ohio State University law professor, calls Bush v. Gore’s “broad principle of equal dignity for each voter.” Two of the three judges who heard the case ruled that Ohio’s election system was unconstitutional. But the dissenting judge protested that “we should heed the Supreme Court’s own warning and limit the reach of Bush v. Gore to the peculiar and extraordinary facts of that case.”
The state of Ohio asked for a rehearing en banc, arguing that Bush v. Gore cannot be used as precedent, and the full Sixth Circuit granted the rehearing. It is likely that the panel decision applying Bush v. Gore to elections will, like the first California decision, soon be undone.
There are several problems with trying to airbrush Bush v. Gore from the law. It undermines the courts’ legitimacy when they depart sharply from the rules of precedent, and it gives support to those who have said that Bush v. Gore was not a legal decision but a raw assertion of power.
The courts should also stand by Bush v. Gore’s equal protection analysis for the simple reason that it was right (even if the remedy of stopping the recount was not). Elections that systematically make it less likely that some voters will get to cast a vote that is counted are a denial of equal protection of the law. The conservative justices may have been able to see this unfairness only when they looked at the problem from Mr. Bush’s perspective, but it is just as true when the N.A.A.C.P. and groups like it raise the objection.
There is a final reason Bush v. Gore should survive. In deciding cases, courts should be attentive not only to the Constitution and other laws, but to whether they are acting in ways that promote an overall sense of justice. The Supreme Court’s highly partisan resolution of the 2000 election was a severe blow to American democracy, and to the court’s own standing. The courts could start to undo the damage by deciding that, rather than disappearing down the memory hole, Bush v. Gore will stand for the principle that elections need to be as fair as we can possibly make them.
Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
26 Aug 2006 @ 07:47 by jazzolog : Pull The Plug
The other day www.truthout.org sent a copy of a Forbes article in one of its dispatches. In case you missed it---and live in America where computer voting is law---I'm going to paste it up. (Forbes requires free registration to read their material.) The essay is written by Aviel Rubin, professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University and author of Brave New Ballot: The Battle To Safeguard Democracy In The Age Of Electronic Voting. In the article you'll see I've included 2 links, which give detailed information about the Diebold computer company, its stock rating, recent news stories about it (including its "administration" of Ohio elections) and the people who run the organization. If you're interested in getting that far into this, you may have to register with Forbes.
On My Mind
Pull The Plug
Aviel Rubin, 09.04.06, 12:00 AM ET
You don't like hanging chads? Get ready for cheating chips and doctored drives.
I am a computer scientist. I own seven Macintosh computers, one Windows machine and a Palm Treo 700p with a GPS unit, and I chose my car (Infiniti M35x) because it had the most gadgets of any vehicle in its class. My 7-year-old daughter uses e-mail. So why am I advocating the use of 17th-century technology for voting in the 21st century--as one of my critics puts it?
The 2000 debacle in Florida spurred a rush to computerize voting. In 2002 Congress passed the Help America Vote Act, which handed out $2.6 billion to spend on voting machines. Most of that cash was used to acquire Direct Recording Electronic voting machines.
Yet while computers are very proficient at counting, displaying choices and producing records, we should not rely on computers alone to count votes in public elections. The people who program them make mistakes, and, safeguards aside, they are more vulnerable to manipulation than most people realize. Even an event as common as a power glitch could cause a hard disk to fail or a magnetic card that holds votes to permanently lose its data. The only remedy then: Ask voters to come back to the polls. In a 2003 election in Boone County, Ind., DREs recorded 144,000 votes in one precinct populated with fewer than 6,000 registered voters. Though election officials caught the error, it's easy to imagine a scenario where such mistakes would go undetected until after a victor has been declared.
Consider one simple mode of attack that has already proved effective on a widely used DRE, the Accuvote made by Diebold ( [link] , [link] ). It's called overwriting the boot loader, the software that runs first when the machine is booted up. The boot loader controls which operating system loads, so it is the most security-critical piece of the machine. In overwriting it an attacker can, for example, make the machine count every fifth Republican vote as a Democratic vote, swap the vote outcome at the end of the election or produce a completely fabricated result. To stage this attack, a night janitor at the polling place would need only a few seconds' worth of access to the computer's memory card slot.
Further, an attacker can modify what's known as the ballot definition file on the memory card. The outcome: Votes for two candidates for a particular office are swapped. This attack works by programming the software to recognize the precinct number where the machine is situated. If the attack code limits its execution to precincts that are statistically close but still favor a particular party, it goes unnoticed.
One might argue that one way to prevent this attack is to randomize the precinct numbers inside the software. But that's an argument made in hindsight. If the defense against the attack is not built into the voting system, the attack will work, and there are virtually limitless ways to attack a system. And let's not count on hiring 24-hour security guards to protect voting machines.
DREs have a transparency problem: You can't easily discover if they've been tinkered with. It's one thing to suspect that officials have miscounted hanging chads but something else entirely for people to wonder whether a corrupt programmer working behind the scenes has rigged a computer to help his side.
My ideal system isn't entirely Luddite. It physically separates the candidate selection process from vote casting. Voters make their selections on a touchscreen machine, but the machine does not tabulate votes. It simply prints out paper ballots with the voters' choices marked. The voters review the paper ballots to make sure the votes have been properly recorded. Then the votes are counted; one way is by running them through an optical scanner. After the polls close, some number of precincts are chosen at random, and the ballots are hand counted and compared with the optical scan totals to make sure they are accurate. The beauty of this system is that it leaves a tangible audit trail. Even the designer of the system cannot cheat if the voters check the printed ballots and if the optical scanners are audited.
© 2006 Forbes.com Inc.™
29 Jul 2007 @ 14:25 by George Washington @18.104.22.168 : Alot of ignorance here
No one here knows that this country was NOT set up to vote for the President or Senators. No one here knows or cares about the electoral college. No one here knows or cares about Democracy aka mob rule. No one here understands what a representative republic is. But all of this does not matter because it does not fit YOUR agenda.
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