Monday, October 24, 2005

Electronic Voting Frenzy

ELECTRONIC VOTING... was it a velvet revolution? As we can all see, we took it on without a fight, and we may have lost our lifeline to the basic premise on which our own constitution was drafted upon. Has our national infatuation with convenience, computer omnipitance, and gagetry overtaken our basic common sense? Enter, Electronic Voting Fraud.

As for the recent GAO Report www.truthout.org/docs_2005/102105Q.shtml , highlighting the shortcomings of E-Voting, one can only wonder when common sense will return to this once great land. With all due respect to our right honorable Rep.Waxman who said, "The GAO report indicates that we need to get serious and act quickly to improve thesecurity of electronic voting machines", some of us can't help but think they've missed another opportunity. Although he is in part correct (these systems are easily tampered with), this line of argument may not leave America any better off in time for its next elections. I maintain that this line of argument is, in fact, a false trail. Pursue this line of conversation and again we will be lost. Please, let's not let the makers of E-Voting off that easily. Rather, the key issue with E-Voting is not that it must be improved or 'tweaked' in order to serve us better. They central discussion should be around ways in which we can get rid of it. There is a strong argument that it must be scrapped because America had never asked for it. As the GAO report continues in the spirit of political correctness, "Significant concerns about the security and reliability of electronic voting systems", and I wish I was able to laugh at this point, but actually I could be crying. The amount of evidence and documentation exposing the outright fraud and corruption which we have put up with in since 2000, and the level to which it is endemic in the e-voting industry already, evidence overflowing, certainly beyond the pale for any "Serious concerns" about it. This recent article in Harpers leave no room for doubt as it retells the story of Ohio 2004 www.harpers.org/ExcerptNoneDare.html. And Florida GOP Congressman Tom Feeney has survived under the radar so far, but has abused his position of influence to such a degree that the software programmer he contracted to fix the electronic counting in his district has already been to testify in court (his video testinomy is available free online at http://iwilltryit.com/). And of course, there's Jeb Bush's move to push aside gubernatorial competition in his own state race www.commondreams.org/views04/1106-30.htm . The fundamental issue must now be put to task- that no serious investigations or indictments have been actioned in the face of so much available evidence. Therefore, we in the United States of America no longer have adequate "Checks and Balances" to run a stable democracy. Whilst we bicker amongst ourselves regarding the technical shortcomings of a fatally flawed idea like electronic voting, our country and its adventures in democracy, has naturally become the laughing stock of the world which exists outside of our own borders. This reality which we are so intent to ignor at home, has discredited our integrity in the eyes of the World at large. And in a land of no checks and balances, there is no democracy- only a facade of it. Ladies and Gentlemen: of course 'Automation' is something I want in my life- like when I buy airline tickets online, check my bank balance online, buy my weekly subway tickets, my meal card at work, and my account at Amazon.com. So I do know what I want and when I want it. And I do not want automation when I enter a polling both, and I can't remember when I, or anyone else I have met for that matter, had at any time asked for it. I am not alone in expressing that I would've appreciated a referendum on such an important matter, on such a key process in our lives. It would've been nice to discuss it, and then vote on it (...actually 'vote' on it. That's rather ironic, isn't it?). We surived for 227 years by using paper voting systems, so who amongst feels that this must be scraped because a few pregnant chads in South Florida? But in the end it was because of the US Supreme Court, the highest law of the land, ruling that the people of the United States SHOULD NOT COUNT ALL OF THE BALLOTS WHICH WERE CAST in the state of Florida- that we as a people felt helpless and have become detached from the voting process. It has simply been taken out of our hands (for good?). Now Electronic Voting has taken it even futher away.

Where on Earth is this leading us to then? E-voting is strictly a corporate issue and a pure business phenomenon- a multi-multi million dollar industry with real winners behind the scenes. So in this new facade of democracy, where the fusion of corporate interests and government policy has now crystalized and of course, this is by definition, is a word called Fascism. So Here we are not winners, if only on the point that we did not get to choose this new system. Rather we are poor disenfranchised loosers. "Why use paper", you might say? After all, this is the 21st Century, right? Well simply, you cannot buy off 50,000+ US citizens hand counting ballots. But on the other hand, tampering with one central server, or loosing a few dozen SIM cards is relative childs play- and very short work for people in key positions.

Time to get up, and stand up.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Ignorance is Bliss (when it comes to 9/11)

How long will we slumber in the cosy idea that 9/11 was planned, orchestrated, and credited towards a rag-tag group of Arab hijackers (novice pilots)? When we hear the lost conservative cry out... "George Bush would never allow such a thing..." one can't help but realize those who say this are living in a state of denial. So we will sit back and watch as his, the most corrupt gov't in US history, goes down, scandal, after scandal, after scandal. The conservative Rebublican ethos has always been devoid of concepts like compassion, equality, and planning for future generations (except for their own). Republican administration after administration have always set their priorities first for industrial military profileration, lowering taxes for the wealthiest and of course the distrubution of federal monies to a small circle of supporters and sponsors. If these powerful oil magnates are determined to lie and forge intelligence about a supposed menace in Iraq, then the slight of hand which is 9/11 is merely a short days work. Think about it. The results are clear to see- they are all rich beyond their wildest dreams in only 4 short years. And finally, we can hear this comment over and over, as if it's coming from the same conservative mouth in defense of the official 9/11 report... "if you hate this country so much, then get the f*** out of it." Charming slogan, and yes, like the gorilla at the state zoo, we've all heard it grunt, and seen it beat its chest. But it does sums up the intellectual level that these manipulating power drinkers love to hear coming from the mouths of their lost patriots. But woe to them, as such base-level and unexamined comments actually have a thread of fear running right through them. The actual truth behind the whitewash of a report which is The 9/11 Commission is much more frightening than the prospect of a few sinister Arabs hiding in the caves of Tora Bora. I hear this fear in the voices of even the most liberal of American thinkers, as if they are nearly brainwashed into a state of denial and could think of no worse fate in this life than to acknowledge that they have been taken for the greatest ride in history since the Vatican proclaimed to its followers that the world was flat! To discover that there were complicit forces within our own country, monied interests and pure greed, the likes of that which had brought us over ten years of Vietnam where over 2 million Vietnamese died and 58,000 young US men wiped out... for essentially nothing? It was a war which split our country in two, a war which did not benefit the people at all. So then, who amongst us has fallen for this scam (the mother of all scams)? I feel sorry for Americans who call themselves patriots and yet despise an open inquiry about what really happened on 9/11. They are arguably scared about what they might find there and would rather close ranks instead of directing their frustration towards the actual source of our problems, that is those in power. And then there's the time-honored classic, "Love it or leave it", a degrading one for sure, and wastefully used against the true innocent party here in this conversation: the average American Independent Thinker! So, let's see if Bush's great wartime novel has a happy ending, but I would advise anyone... don't hold your breathe...