Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A hanging chad might not be so bad after all.


I have said it on this blog before, but let me repeat it: I am not a big conspiracy guy. I think that man did land on the moon, I think that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, and I don't think that the government created the AIDS virus to kill black people and Gays.....well, I take that back, I am not too sure about that one.


But having said that, this story has me troubled. I first caught a glimpse of it on CNN tonight, where some old guy from West Virginia (who if you just looked at him, you wouldn't believe he would vote for the O man in a million years)tried to push the button on an ES&S touch screen voting machine (more on them in a minute) for Obama. Apparently, the poor old guy kept pushing the Obama button on the touch screen, but the machine kept registering, McCain. This is not some conspiracy buzz, I actually saw it happening live on my television, and the story is all over the Internet. Of course the republican county commissioner swears that there is nothing wrong with the machines,and the old guy just happened to get a bum machine. To CNN's credit, the followed up on the story, but the company said that this machine might just not have been calibrated properly. Hmmmm, not calibrated properly. And just what does that mean? And who is doing the calibrating? (Can one of you computer savvy field Negroes help me out with that one please?)


This whole ES&S touch screen thing got me to wondering: How many of these machines are in use? And what states are using them? "When I pushed Obama, it jumped to McCain. When I went down to governor's office and punched [Gov. Joe] Manchin, it went to the other dude. When I went to Karen Facemyer [the incumbent Republican state senator], I pushed the Democrat, but it jumped again. The rest of them were OK, but the machine sent my votes for those top three offices from the Democrat to the Republican.."


Okay, now is the time to cue in the Twilight Zone music. I must confess that I have heard some folks obsessing over these shaky voting machines (which are always controlled by some company with a connection to republicans) before, but I never paid much attention to them. I viewed the folks who were always complaining about them, kind of like I always viewed the folks who believe in UFOs. I hear them but I really don't listen to them if you get my drift. Now....I am not so sure. The more I read about these Es&S folks, the scarier the shit gets.

Hell, I am even learning that they used them in Ohio for crying out loud. Be afraid Obamaholics, be very afraid. Where there is a will (and a republican with money) there is a way. So don't go counting your fried chickens just yet.


And you gotta give the rethugs credit. All I have heard about is ACORN and their shaky voter registration drives. Nothing about ES&S and their shaky touch screen voting machines. Distract. Distract. Distract.


Folks, could we be far away from a time in this country, when the best man you can have on your political team is a good computer programmer, or hacker? I dare say that we might be there already. Obamaholics, you better pray that isn't the case.


Okay Rod Sterling, you can get out of my head now.

124 comments:

classysbf said...

Field,
It's stories like this one in 2000 and 2004 that caused me to register as a permanent absentee voter.
And I live in reliably blue California!

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

The Republican are going to start a civil war right here in America if they keep this up, because people are not going to go for none of their mess again this time. They crazy and scary!

Seda said...

It ain't just ES&S. The Bush Pioneer CEO of Diebold guaranteed Chambliss in Georgia when he ran against the war hero who lost his arm and legs. Exit polls showed the Democrat winning, but the Republican won. It's been going on a while.

Can you say, "Bradley effect" anyone?

Why has the media been dwelling on that story? And who owns the media? Oh, yeah - big corporations headed by Bush Pioneer/GOP/Abramoff crony types. Kerry was leading in Ohio until the polls were nearly closed, then suddenly Bush votes swamped him.

Call it coincidence if you like, but I haven't heard of any of those machines flipping votes from GOP to Democrat.

Exodus Mentality said...

Just because I'm paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get me.

I voted absentee too, but so what? why do we continue to entertain the fantasy that votes will be properly counted where there exists obvious motive, opportunity, and intent to manipulate elections by any means possible.

How else will you explain how a man who routinely gets tens and hundreds of thousands of supporters to attend his speeches got beat by a man who rarely spoke to a crowd of over a thousand?

Jose said...

Well we all know Diebold stole the election for Bush in 2000 and 2004. People think I'm crazy for playing up the problems with technology, but we all know how dangerous technology can be, especially in moments like this. Not that elections haven't been manipulated before on paper, but with computers, it's easy to fool people with gadgetry. I know, I sound like one of those old fogies we don't feel like voting right about now, but companies that have vested interests in particular parties can pull the trigger on our already-gaping Constitution as they please. But whenever I mention Diebold, people get their eyes crossed all of a sudden, believing that their votes can't possibly be manipulated.

jose

White Power said...

You niggers are going down! Yeah, bitches!

field negro said...

See now, you all are really scaring me:(

Look, I am big on folks voting. If there is anything a all that would undermine that part of the democratic process, it would really be troubling.

Not ACORN; ecause we all know that's bull shit.

field negro said...

"You niggers are going down! Yeah, bitches!"

Sarah, shut up and go back to Alaska.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I guess this is the only way McCain can win, by cheating, this is disgusting and the Justice Department or whoever in supposed to be in charge of this needs to be in WV stat.

I vote by mail, easier and less of a hassle.

And, Sarah Plain, put a sock in the racial slurs and head back to that stripper pole you used to get elected with, no one is afraid of some dimwitted white person who is a failure in life and trolls websites of people who have made it with hard work.

Faith said...

Dude where have you been? You should at least listen to the conspiracy theories before you reject them. The Diebold machines are just as shady. BofA uses them for their ATMs and you can feed a check into your account and have it scanned w/o an envelope with a print out of the image. So there's no reason to not be able to have a receipt for your votes. This is why it's really important for people to vote early and put all the real fraud on blast. The Republican know they're gonna lose so a little padding won't hurt.

404Kim said...

Exodus - what's up fam! I caught your line about being from CP... born and raised in Decatur but currently reside in Alpharetta.

"How else will you explain how a man who routinely gets tens and hundreds of thousands of supporters to attend his speeches got beat by a man who rarely spoke to a crowd of over a thousand?"

I routinely think to myself 'he's GOT to win. look at all the people who come out JUST to hear him speak'. But then I get this disgusting feeling in the pit of my stomach shortly thereafter...


"Sarah, shut up and go back to Alaska."
Field - you know what I love about our site? Well, many things, but first, your intelligence, and close second is the humor.

-k

Jazzy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jazzy said...

Field, I am worried. Fear is real and a dangerous motivator for some. The people that this is affecting need to stay vigilant contact the Obama campaign alert them as well as the state election board.

Jazzy said...

Field, I am worried. Fear is real and a dangerous motivator for some. The people that this is affecting need to stay vigilant contact the Obama campaign alert them as well as the state election board.

Red Devil said...

Who pays this much for clothes? Very down to earth for Palin, hey? Maybe that is why mcCain camp doesnt have enough money left

Swiff said...

Don't worry Field, the Rethug voting trickery will be cancelled out by that Pro-Obama Kenyan witchcraft.

white power said...

This is the struggle for the soul of this country...i have my guns loaded...lock and load...and some niggers will have to pay. Stinking watermelon niggers, fried chicken booty niggers...chicken feed bitches. Hos. Niggers. Hos. Niggers. Hos. Niggers. I will cut off your fucking penis. Die, bitches. heil hitler. heil mccain.

White Power said...

i will fuck your women though--i like them booty. then turn around and shoot them. beyonce ass must be sweet. hmmm...hmmm...yummy.
here is the shit: i wanna fuck your women, but i dont want them, or your men nigger folk ruling this country. period.

gwpriester (i before e) said...

Be very afraid. The software/hardware is "proprietary" which means that you cannot question it or see the code. But you can "trust us"! The secretary of state of each state using these machines cannot see the code. But you can "TRUST US!"

Note to self: DO NOT TRUST THESE PEOPLE! THEY ARE NOT TO BE TRUSTED!

Be very afraid.

sharon in CT said...

Field, before I started my present stint in graduate school, I was a software engineer for over 20 years, developing and testing embedded software for mission-critical systems much more complex than electronic voting machines. The touch screen machines scare the hell out of me. We heard stories exactly like this one in 2004. I worked on a system with a touch screen. "Not calibrated properly"??? The machine shouldn't even DO anything UNTIL it's been calibrated. It's a simple enough operation. The screen displays four targets and the user touches each one. This might be repeated more than once, depending on what kind of accuracy is called for. Then and only then should the machine go into normal operation.

There's a saying, "Never attribute to malice that which can easily be explained by stupidity," or something like that. In this case, I think it's both. As someone up-thread correctly pointed out, you never hear about voting machines flipping GOP votes to Democratic.

If you want to learn more, visit http://blackboxvoting.org/.

Adam said...

Field,

Miracles happen in every election in Illinois. It has been well-known for its dead people who manage to get out and vote. It has been going on here for at least three decades here.

Many Illinoisians believe there are two groups of people who mysteriously causes the dead to rise - the first group is Jesus and the Prophets and the second group is the Democractic Party of Illinois.

Illinois is not a swing state either. It is 70% Democrat in its voting base.

In all fairness, it would not surprise me that some Republican groups are making miracles happen too.

I think it is fair to say that people both side are going to get out and vote early...and frequently.

sharon in CT said...

Oh, and don't even get me started on the other machines. The touch screens are bad enough, but what's really insidious is the fact that the software can easily be written to flip a whole precinct, city, or state. And it can be done with a large enough margin such that an automatic recount is not triggered, and no one will ever know. In my opinion, this is what happened in Ohio, when the exit polls said one thing and the final count was something else. Exit polls have been accurate for decades, and all of a sudden one year they are off by many percentage points? I don't think so.

Red Devil said...

This guys is going senile

sharon in CT said...

I bet you all thought "white power" was a real person. It's actually a 'bot that crawls the Web and is programmed to output a canned response when it finds certain trigger words. Amazing what those artificial intelligence researchers are doing these days.

Black Diaspora said...

It's better to be a conspiracy theorist and be wrong, than not to be one, and wake up one morning, look around at the empty streets, and say to no one but yourself, "I am Legend!"

sytgrl said...

I take it you've never seen this video where a computer programmer testified that Tom Feeney (former Florida Speaker of the House) asked him to write a program that would flip votes, huh?

Very informative, and worth the 12 minutes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEzY2tnwExs

sharon in CT said...

Red devil, $150K for clothes, shoes, makeup, and hair is still only about a quarter of what the ol' Palin homestead in Wasilla cost to build. "Middle class" my a$$.

George M said...

Calibration.

Well, consider a thermostat that's set to keep a room's temperature at 70 degrees. To conserve energy, the heater/air conditioner need not run continously at 70 degrees. It would be reasonable to make it decrease room temp. if it reaches 75 degrees, or increase room temp. if it reaches 65 degrees. The act of calibration would include the SYNCRONIZATION of temperature monitor readings with ACTUAL conditions. In other words, we'd want the machine to act at the temperatures desired. We wouldn't want to set the thermostat for seventy, but for lack of proper calibration of equipment, have the average temperature maintained at 50 degrees.

Now, a voting machine that's maliciously calibrated may, for example, give inaccurate outputs 33% of the time, which could determine the outcome of an election. Or, more cleverly, a voting machine may be calibrated to mis-fire 10% of the time. In this case, there's a 90% chance that, in a random test of efficiency, the machine would SEEM to be working fine.

G

Anonymous said...

One has to wonder why MaSame is closing shop in some states.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

What you said, Granny.

If another election is stolen, there is going to be Revolution up in this MoFo.

Sorry about the language, but if it's a Civil War the ReThugs want, it's a Civil War they will get.

And they know how they fared in the last Civil war when slaves went free.

They were Democrats then, but they still LOST.

bean twn chica said...

Chris Rock " you got the most votes, sorry that's how we used to do it!"

I voted today! phat! and I was given a choice to print out my vote, which I did! I so glad white power and those of his ilk are so terrified I can't stop smiling... the day of reckoning is soon

Anonymous said...

Hey Field, check out this site out.
www.blackboxvoting.org

Anonymous said...

People in this country won't stand for it if they steal this election this time. If they get away with it, I can promise you this: It will be very, very ugly.

Sheila

Exodus Mentality said...

LMAO at all the closet commandos predicting Civil War and revolution if the Messiah gets robbed. NOT GONNA HAPPEN!

It will take more than one more nigga cheated out of a job to get the masses of sorry ass negroes off their collective asses. Revolutions start from the bottom up and the bottom don't give a damn about Obama. Let the welfare checks not show up for two months straight, then you might get some spontaneous street level activism.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Palin really needs a serious lesson in the how the government operates, especially, the constitution. How in the world does a self-proclaim, pro-American like Sarah give the wrong answer to what a VP's job is four times. Unbelievable, and some folks think she is qualified and have the nerve to call us unAmerican. Unbelievable! John McCain mind is in worser condition than I thought.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

So I am curious. Are these people like "white power" commenting above, are they real or are they just people trying to pull your chain? (I don't mean "real" like "real American" and "fake America" but I mean real like, as you might say, Twilight Zone real.)

Anonymous said...

Just as I suspected, the machines are beginning to influence the election just as they have the rest of our lives. Microwaves and cellphones are not tools for you, YOU are tools for them! They burn your popcorn to spite you.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

exodus mentality:

I'm laughing too, real hard, but not with you, I'm laughing at YOU! That Palin sure can bring the extremely ignorant and misinformed folks out the woodpile, I'll give that to her. You with your narrow minded-thinking made a false assumption about my reference to PEOPLE not going for the Republican's mess again. However, all those people that Palin doesn't consider Pro-Americans come in all skin-colors, but then I can understand how a racist like you didn't get it.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

my sister was in Ohio in 2004 when she worked for the DNC. Folks we must keep an eye on these machines.

Faith is right. I have an account of BoA. Why can Diebold print a receipt when we vote?

rikyrah said...

FN,


I'm not naive. But, it's easier to steal it in a couple of states. The genius of the Obama campaign is that they literally have to steal it in about 10 states. Barack Obama was never going to limit himself, sticking to the ' old map', where they could concentrate in a few states. He's got them mofos running around the country. Plus, it only works if it's 'close'. Which is why Obama has been crazy about registering NEW voters.

It's not that I'm not hesitant..I'm cautious..we all should be...but vigilant.

Bob said...

Rikyrah is on the mark. This is why Barack dumped the Kerry / Hillary electoral strategy. If you plan for a one or two state electoral margin, writing off others as unwinnable, you're saying to the Repugs, "Come on & steal another election." Well, whadda ya know, because of Obama's full year GOTV strategy focusing on caucus & red states, the Repugs have to fight for Virginia, North Carolina, New Mexico, Colorado, Missouri. In other red states the downticket Repug candidates are in trouble due to Democratic turnout. They've abandoned every state Kerry won even narrowly except PA.

east austin said...

Field,

I do not think there was a moon landing, (Manifest Destiny, where the Lunar outpost); I do not think that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone (they lost me with the single-bullet theory) and I do think the AIDS virus was created as a germ warfare. (Smallpox, Tuskegee experiment)

Could this election get away from so many people who are eager for "Change", the only way that would happen is... "it’s not the time/season"... I’m watching an universal principle develop which is larger than any conspiracy theory.

Faith of a mustard seed... Thirteen (13) days to go...

R.J. said...

Another day, another anonymous person calling me a nigger.

Yawn.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

east austin:

"Faith of a mustard seed..." Thank you east austin, I've been trying to get them to realize and hold on to that same thought.

I don't care what McCain, Palin, the GOP, MSM, or any of the rest of them pull. Like I said before, and I'll say it again, it's gone backfire, and it won't work. What a lot of folks don't understand is that you cannot curse what God has blessed. That young man is blessed and has a lot of righteousness in him. I can see it in the way that he runs his campaign, how he responds, and his actions.

In the bible, it says as long as King Uzziah SOUGHT the Lord, he prospered, and the Lord gave him VICTORY OVER HIS ENEMIES, and his name spread ABROAD. I don't care what no one says, the TRUTH is stronger than any lie. Palin claims to be a Christian, but all I've witness come out of her mouth are lies, smears, and falsehoods and she seems to enjoy it. I don't see righteousness in her.

BTW, rikyrah, you're on the ball young lady. Keep up the good work.

field negro said...

"Another day, another anonymous person calling me a nigger."

You know, I am trying to find the mot juste for our friend white power, but....

Anyway, the key word being "anonymous". I have never been called a nigger to my face. r.j., how about you?

But hey, at least "white power" has good taste in women. "i like them booty.." Yes white power, I like them too. So you can put a hold on the moat around the trailer park, your women are safe:)

sharon in ct and george m, thank you for the info. It's always nice to have smart people read your blog.

And I will be checking out that site, blackboxvoting.org.
WTF? The beauty queen spend 150G on her wardrobe and makeup? I don't believe it. I bet she will be the envy of everyone in her trailer park.

Anonymous said...

do you really think the machine that brought the iraq/afganistan wars are going to let barry in the wfh????

look they have enough money to paint this thing anyway they want...remember watergate...they got caught...think of all the other operations that have never come to light.....

blackwater/haliburton....folks these people HAVE THEIR OWN ARMY'S & AIRFORCES!!!!

do you not think for one minute they don't have covert operatives/techno terrorist!!!

Miranda said...

Yeah field, the GOP spent $150k on Miss Sarah and her chaps to per-FECT the "walmart mom" look.

As someone who loves high fashion, I am completely disgusted about this. How dare you scour Neiman's, Saks and Barneys for duds that looked like they should be on the clearance rack at Fashion Barn? This upsets me more than anything else....nothing pisses me off than high-end tackiness.

Anonymous said...

oh, and as one white dude to another "white power" FUCK OFF

your the kind of nutsack that always gets his ass wooped....LOL

Brown Man said...

404 KIM - were you at the debate party in Johns Creek (I HATE writing that, but we are no longer actually in Alpharetta) two weeks ago at Barnacles?

I've got an idea.

Holler out loud if your voting machine is acting up. You know, like you do when you go to your local upscale restaurant and they seem to be seating everybody before you.

I will make sure to sip on a little Jack Daniel's and smoke a cigar the night before I vote just to put an extra grrrr in my growl so I can get my best Bernie Mac imitation on:

"I KNOW y'all ain't trying to steal my vote up in THIS motherfucker!"

khia213 said...

As someone who experienced "vote flipping" in 2004 here in Ohio, I am here to tell you that the phenomena is real. I worked as a poll monitor that year and as I drove around the county I was assigned to, I heard numerous complaints about people voting for Kerry and having it register as a vote for Bush. Oddly enough, it only happened in black precincts. We fought with election officials about the lack of working voting machines all day. But again, oddly enough, only in black precincts. It was a nightmare.

We knew the handwriting was on the wall when correspondence between a Diebold exec and Ken Blackwell, the secretary of state and the head of the committee to re-elect Bush, showed up saying that Diebold could guarantee that they would bring the election in for Bush.

If this election gets stolen, it'll be here in the heartland, in which case, I apologize as an Ohioan in advance.

Jody said...

Khia213..... I am heading your way to walk the streets of Columbus for Obama...... I figure as a middle aged, football watchin, beer drinkin, working class white woman, I have an OBLIGATION to do what I can to talk to my kindrids and convince them Obama is the best candidate we have. Not to vote against McCain, but to vote FOR Obama.

We must all use this last 2 weeks to get out voters!!!!

khia213 said...

Jody,

I'm in Northeast Ohio, which is usually solidly Democratic. We are the home of the yellow dog Democrats. (If a yellow dog ran as a Democrat, we'd vote for him.)
However, this year, we're testing whether commitment to a party overshadows a low lying commitment to racism. I hope the economy is enough to make people look past their tribalism.

Good luck in the Capitol city. They're a bit more conservative than we are up here. It could be worse. You could be canvassing in Cincy, home of the creationism museum. ;)

Dave said...

Yes white power, I like them too. So you can put a hold on the moat around the trailer park, your women are safe:)
LMAO. Great put-down.

@grannystandingfortruth - This is the kind of Christian Sarah Palin is: the kind who practices "spiritual warfare."
(My favorite quote from that: The occultists are "weaving lazy 8's around McCain's mind to make him look confused and like an idiot". Bree K. said we need to break these curses off of him that are being sent from Kenya.)

c'mon said...

WOW, and you guys wonder nobody likes you. Don't worry about a moat for the sisters. Nobody likes them enough. If I was u, I also would be swimming the moat.

RisingTide said...

The folks what did Ohio be sittin' in jail, yo. The Democrats got the professionals, and there ain't no good computer person can't hack something. This election will be monitored on all channels -- freelance style, no connections with the campaign.

'Cause hackers ain't all bad, and they AIN'T Republican (least not the competent hackers. free wheelin' ethos does NOT go with authoritarian. just don't work).

We got all the evidence up in Rolling Stone on how they stole Max Cleland's seat, and how they're trying to steal this one. Speak up.

Oh, and Field -- Obama just called. I think he needs you to be on the lawyer patrol, day of elections.

It ain't paranoia if they're truly after you -- but that doesn't stop folks from putting people in mental institutions...

Sharon said...

This is the struggle for the soul of this country...i have my guns loaded...lock and load...and some niggers will have to pay. Stinking watermelon niggers, fried chicken booty niggers...chicken feed bitches. Hos. Niggers. Hos. Niggers. Hos. Niggers. I will cut off your fucking penis. Die, bitches. heil hitler. heil mccain.<<

Oh, real intelligent. Get a thesaurus.

Jody said...

c'mon and white power..... your days of scaring/having power/mattering are over. Now you are just a sad little joke. I highly recommend some intense therapy to deal with your anger/hatred issues and then maybe you can join the rest of us right here in the 21st century.

lincolnperry said...

Field, we been arguing this for months....I want UN Monitors! Give me UN Monitors, and Poll Monitors as well!

Natalie said...

I am so surprised that the machines aren't printing receipts. We have touch screen in Chicago but you can get a receipt printed and if it is wrong you can get it fixed. Given the last two elections it is essential that everyone get a record of their vote.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

I've been covering this story for the past three days over at my place.

There seems to be a distinct lack of concern from other WV bloggers about this travesty.

"I first caught a glimpse of it on CNN tonight, where some old guy from West Virginia (who if you just looked at him, you wouldn't believe he would vote for the O man in a million years)"

Why you gotta say things like that Field?

Anonymous said...

ok, so it gives you a receipt.....it's the eletronic vote that counts......registers mccain....prints obama...that's what i'm talk'in bout......LOL

RisingTide said...

sag,

It's cause we all know that older people tend to be more blatantly racist (I know my pa is much more than I am, anyhow).

other folks,
Dems don't need NOR WANT to make dead people vote. That's too damn dangerous for too little gain. Sides, it would leak out, you know it. Ten dollars to a homeless man, who could find a reporter to give him a thousand? Easy money. And then the Democrats be in deep doo doo. No, it's easier to get people involved, get more people involved, because the more people who vote, the more Democrats win.

The republicans don't let dead people vote, because even dead people won't vote republican. instead they distribute propaganda to try and get people not to vote.

It won't work this year.

Sag, I know you have fine folk down in WV, but you might want to think about polishing your gun or hiding your Obama gear. Times might be a little rough down South. (that goes for you folks in Atlanta too).

The Silverback said...

What can you do? I'll continue to take part in the electoral process and make myself feel good about exercising my rights. But who am I kidding...there are so many ways that these votes can be tampered with. Electoral fraud dates back to the earliest "democracies". And if my Democratic vote does register correctly...I live in Texas.

The Minority Militant said...

field,

tired of hearing this acorn shit. i couldn't find anything on this till now. if i get in a booth that keeps popping "rethug" if i choose otherwise, there's gonna be a broken voting machine. i really hope these old folks who don't know much about technology ask questions when they get in the booth. i'm just saying.

sytgrl said...

rikyrah, as usual, you are on point. That is why the double digit leads that the O man has in some states is important. Thus, the pushing ofthe Bradley effect meme. There are a couple of good write ups of how the Bradley effect will likely not be in play this year over at fivethirtyeight.com

rainywalker said...

When the machine trys anything funny someone is going to be at the machine everytime!

Zimbel said...

@sharon in CT-

You can deliberately mis-calibrate a touch screen in a variety of ways. A touch screen on a roughly rectangular surface only needs two touches (like upper left and lower right) to be calibrated; any extra touches are for verification of the calibration.

If you can do simple geometric transformations, it's easy to do calibration that flips the touch surface versus the screen (horizontally, vertically, or in both directions), add (or subtract) an offset (in any direction), or shrinking the touch screen size compared to the real screen. You can do multiple of these at once. Note that it's been a while since I've worked on touch screens, so it's possible that one or more of the above issues have been worked out.

Even worse (although this takes a lot more knowledge about the specifics of said hardware and software), at least when I worked with them, you could sometimes dynamically affect the touch screen (as a user) by applying wet or sticky substances to specific places. It may be possible that an attacker could take advantage of this (although the specific problem we had was people putting beer mugs/food on top of the touch screens).

In any case, with a decent calibration tool, a mis-calibration would have to be a defect (software, hardware, or a massive process failure) or malicious activity.

Finally, I'll note that mis-calibration is a stupid way to steal votes - it's very likely to be caught pretty early on, and few (if any) votes are likely to be stolen.

And yes, I agree that a touch screen working without being calibrated is defective software.

Zimbel said...

Field-

I noticed your question; in case it hasn't been answered above:

Calibration is a means of mapping the touch screen onto the display screen, so that when you touch a point on the touch screen, it corresponds to the nearest point on the display screen.

Hypothetically, this can be done pretty well by asking for two touches near opposite corners of the touch screen (at points highlighted on the display screen). Each touch give both a horizontal and vertical location on the touch screen, so those two touches can give enough information to map the rectangle of the touch screen to the equivalent rectangle of the display screen. Many calibrators ask for one or more additional touches to verify that there wasn't an accidental touch in the wrong place.

At least when I worked directly with touch screens (roughly a decade ago), many calibrators made no assumptions about this mapping other than that it was a rectangle to a rectangle, so (with effort) you could flip, shrink, expand (slightly), or offset the rectangle, as long as your touches were a consistent rectangular mapping, and all the corners were on the touch screen (and, I think that all the sides had to be parallel with the expected sides of the calibration).

Finally, note that this is a mapping of the touch screen to the display screen, so even if you calibrate the touch screen perfectly, a change to the display screen can also affect this mapping. For example, if the display screen in shrunk, stretched, or offset after the calibration, you need a new calibration. While this was common with old CRT screens, I suspect that this is rare with LCD screens.

Adam said...

RisingTide:

You stated: "The republicans don't let dead people vote, because even dead people won't vote republican..."

Oh...you are killing me, man. That is funny.

Anonymous said...

checked out the fivethirtyeight.com.......

Well, scratch West Virginia from the swing state list for the time being. Both Public Policy Polling and Mason-Dixon have new polling out in the state, and they give John McCain leads of 8 and 6 points respectively. It's possible that this is one of those areas where McCain's attacks on Barack Obama are having some resonance. It's also possible that the state was never all that close.

the brady effect!?!?!?!

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

dave:

The Christianity that Palin practices is a false teaching, because the bible teaches this:

"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

Trying to seduce people with fear is not of God and has nothing to do with Christianity. If more people would actually study the bible they would see through Palin, and know the difference between false Christian teachings and the real deal. She and her folks use fear as a tactic. God is not a spirit of fear or hate, but a Spirit of LOVE, and judging by some of Palin's rallies love wasn't on the agenda. Palin and her bunch are those type of people who give Christianity a bad name and who have kept a lot of people from wanting anything to do with it. Also, she has no problem lying, smearing, or with deceiving people, and that right there alone let's you know that she ain't right, because God is also a Spirit of TRUTH.

Anonymous said...

I did some research on ES&S after some questionable local races. The information I found was alarming to say the least.

rikyrah said...

I also want to say this:

Gore was a punk.
Kerry was a punk.

Whatever you want to say about Barack Obama, HE IS NO PUNK.

Don't let that Harvard veneer fool you - He'll let go of this election, only you steal it from his iron-fisted hands.

Also, The Democrats have gotten smarter at spreading the word.

It's not that the GOP has stopped their attempts at voter suppression. It's that, at nearly every turn, we have folks pushing back.

They thought they'd do that bullshit about the foreclosure list in Michigan, until it was busted wide open and they had to back away from it. I'm still waiting for their ' libel' lawsuit against the paper that busted them.....crickets chirping.

Then, they decided to come against ACORN...but, ACORN has folks behind them, and Obama WAITED..he waited until that decision was made in Ohio, and THEN he struck back at the GOP, providing cover for ACORN.. (check Stanley Crouch's new article about that)

Then, they tried that bullcrap in Indiana, and we got the word today - there WILL be Early Voting Places in low-income (read Black) areas in the 2nd largest county in Indiana.

Then, we have Montana, where the GOP tried to throw off thousands of Democratic voters. When exposed , they had to back the hell up, and the GOP head had to resign.

They tried ACORN bullshit in New Mexico and were shown their asses.

Then, it was the trickery with the ballott down in Mississippi - we fought and won on that too.

Then, you have Republicans who are just not going out like that, and are distancing themselves from the thievery, like current Florida Governor Crist - remember, Crist is the one who restored Felon Voting Rights, and he just came out last week with the ' I don't think ACORN is involved in any voter fraud' - he's saying, I'm not another Jeb Bush.

You have the Robert Kennedy, Jr.'s, going around sounding a huge siren about this.

It's a combination of things, but we're taking the fight to them.

As I said before....if Obama had stuck to the 2000 and 2004 Map, he'd be sunk right now. He didn't.

He's run the GOP OUT of New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Minnesota...

He's fighting block-by-block in Missouri.

He's fighting block-by-block in Indiana - the birthplace of the KKK- INDIANA.

He's got them spending time, money and resources in VIRGINIA, NORTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA.

He's got them on the ropes in FLORIDA.

No offense to anyone in Ohio, but my fondest hope is that Obama wins WITHOUT Ohio. It would be nice, but I don't want him to need it in the end.

John McCain BEGAN the month of October with 47 million dollars.

Obama - 133 million.

Caribou Barbie SNEERED at the ' COMMUNITY ORGANIZER', but he paid her and nobody else any mind and went about his business.

The fight is ours.

We just need to pound away until we see their bones breaking through the flesh.

Jody said...

Rikyrah said ....
"We just need to pound away until we see their bones breaking through the flesh."

Damn! I want you on my side when the revolution comes!

sharon in CT said...

Zimbel, thank you for that clear explanation about touch screen technology and how it can be manipulated. Add to that the undetectable manipulation of flipping votes later, during the city-wide or state-wide tally, and the problems with plain old chain of custody, and you've got a recipe for another electoral disaster. I wish we had our good old mechanical lever machines back. Either that or old-fashioned paper ballots. But HAVA sure did line a lot of pockets at Diebold, ES&S, and elsewhere--Republican donors to a man.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Back in the beginning of the year, I made a comment and said that some of you are scholars. I meant what I said back then, and I mean it now. There are some great minds that post on this blog. I feel as proud of them as do my own children and grandchildren. Rikyrah is another one of them. Some of you may or may not hold a Ph.d., but it really doesn't matter, because it doesn't diminish the fact that you have brilliant minds.

I love reading what a lot of you have to say, and I learn from each and every one of you. On a daily basis, I privately call them my brainchild. I know that we are all adults on here, but brainchild is my own special expression of endearment, because I appreciate what they contribute and what is learned from them as well. Keep up the good work.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

I do have a question about the machines. If a machine does flip from one candidate to the other, do they correct that error by taking that vote off or does it stay on? How do they correct the error?

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

One more question, below are some e-mails being sent out, and I wanted to know is this legal if McCain is limited in the amount of funds he can raise?

The McCain/Palin campagin needs our help, friends, and they need it IMMEDIATELY.

The news media is reporting that Barack Obama raised more than $150 million in September (on top of the $66 million he raised in August), and is using that money to flood the airwaves in key battleground states over the past month to run up his poll numbers.

Now it's time for us to level the playing field in the final two weeks of the campaign, and the Our Country Deserves Better Committee needs your support for our aggressive anti-Obama TV ad campaign being broadcast in the key battleground states. You can donate online - HERE.

Obama "swamped" McCain in ad spending by a 4-to-1 margin, and in some states the margin over McCain was even higher.

Obama, the Democratic candidate, is now running at least four times as much advertising nationwide as his Republican rival, John McCain, according to CMAG, a service that monitors political advertising. That difference is even larger in several closely contested states.

While Obama's decision to forgo the matching funds - and the limits that come with them - has given him a spending advantage throughout the election, his television dominance has become most apparent in the past few weeks as he has gone on a buying binge that has allowed him to utterly swamp McCain's campaign with concurrent lines of positive and negative messages.

Since McCain is limited under public financing laws as to how much he can raise and spend - whereas Obama can raise and spend unlimited funds since he went without matching funds - it is critically important for groups like the Our Country Deserves Better Committee to step in to help bring a balance to the TV ad wars.

Over 650,000 people will receive this email you are reading right now. Imagine the impact we can make if all of us make a contribution to our anti-Obama/pro-McCain/Palin ad campaign.

The maximum allowed contribution to a federal PAC such as ours is $5,000. If you can afford a contribution of $5,000, please lend your support to our cause now -- DONATE HERE.

Many of us can only afford to contribute lesser amounts of $1,000 or $500 or $250 or $100 or even $50 or $25. Even donations of $10 and $5 make a strong impact when they come from tens of thousands of Americans.

So please, help us overcome Obama's campaign funding advantage over McCain by allowing us to go up on the airwaves in key swing states with our strong and aggressive TV ads. Make a contribution online right now, and ask your friends or family members to also make a contribution to double or triple the impact you make in this election.

Adam said...

GrannyStandingforTruth:

I appreciate your Christian convictions. You and I share a common faith.

I do believe that Barack Obama is genuine in his Christian faith as well. I have no doubt that he is a good husband and father.

There are some positions that he takes on some issues that I do find troubling. But, that is every candidate. McCain/Palin bother me on many levels too.

I am very cautious, however, about equating any political party as being more closely aligned with the Christian faith than another party.

There is a professor (born in China) who taught in Great Britain who once said, "May your Christian Faith always cause your political loyalties to be strained".

What is fascinating to me is that Christ Jesus did not side (politically) with the zealots, or the Samaritans, or the Roman Soldiers, or the scribes and the pharisees, or the tax collectors. But somehow he made himself available to all, didn't He?

Maybe that is why I struggle every election time - I simply do not fit neatly into the Democrats (or Republicans) view of things.

Truth be told, I know devoted Christians (people I trust) who vote (D) and others who vote (R). I find myself undecided still.

My wife, who is woman of color and an immigrant to this country, would tell you that it is both the free market economy AND civil rights that gave her a springboard for success.

The (R) has championed value of the Free Market Economy and the (D) in turn has made Civil Rights a large part of their platform.

Being that we share a common faith, perhaps you give this 34-year old white man some insight.
What is your criteria in voting for a candidate?

Now matter who wins this election, our Scriptures teach us to pray for our leaders. I failed to that when President Clinton was in office. I failed to do it for G.W. Bush. I am committing to faithfully praying for the president and his family this time around nor matter who takes office.

I think you would agree that whoever takes office will need it.

Anonymous said...

look, bambie doesn't need the gun toting vote (angry and clinging) so fine.....new flash folks that's a majority of the country....hell the anti gun nuts couldn't even keep em out of dc anymore.....

rikyrah- man take a breath....your boy won't get the votes to make it to the big house so might as well start getting youself used to it....but if you want to bust a vein on the 4th go ahead it's a free country :)

oh, if you got time check out the polls from the last 2 elections at this time.....it was any different...repubs behind by 5-10:)

Jody said...

anon 6:15pm....news flash for you..... "Bambie" is gonna win. Difference between then and now:

The moderate republicans are abandoning the sinking McCain ship like rats!

Number of newpapers to endorse was a 8 total paper difference, with Kerry only slightly edging Bush. Currently, it is 124 Obama, 46 McCain. When the Bryan College Station Paper in friggin Texas (Home of the Aggies and Georg Herbert Walker Bush's Library) endorses Obama, that is a seismic shift! This is the first time they have EVER endorse a democrat.

In 2004, the projected electoral map looks MUCH different than today. In fact, the maps today look like the maps when Clinton ran in 92 and 96.

All Im gonna say is that I sincerely hope that when Obama wins, and he will, that all of you that supported McCain will agree that we need to unite as a country and be willing to try to work together to solve many of the very serious issue we face as a country today...... energy, education, healthcare, the economy, ending the war.... Because at the end of the day, we are ALL in this together and we need each other to get through.

red devil said...

LOL!

Adam said...

Jody,

You are correct. The moderate and liberal Republicans are abandoning ship as far as I can see.

http://www.republicansforobama.org/

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Well, Adam, in all honesty, I'm sure you read what God told Samuel, when he was upset about the people wanting a king. Nevetheless, like the people of Israel, America wanted and has Presidents and as it was in the bible there is a price to pay for that, which was all laid out in the bible in simple language, which I'm sure you read.

Jesus fought for the poor people and common ordinary citizens, he fought against the rich. "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." One of his main messages was to "Love thy Neighbor As Thyself." Obama tends to follow what the word says to do in a lot of respects. He doesn't draw racial divides in doing it either. His messages is unity. Besides he is intelligent and shows wisdom, and he follows the bylaws of the constitution. "They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's."

Whereas, Palin and McCain tend to treat others with blatant disrespect, use divisive tactics to divide this nation, and simply put their message is one of hate and lies. The bible says, "If you lie, your father is the devil," and also it says, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" Therefore, Adam whom would you choose to be in agreement with? Their actions go against real Christian teachings. Division causes desolation. "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."

King David wasn't perfect either, but he was a man after God's own heart, nor were any of the biblical figures of greatness of the bible perfect such as Abraham, Elijah, Peter, etc., but the one thing they all had in common was they were fair, just, had faith, love, obeyed, believed God, and believed he was who he said he was. Nor did they misuse the military, or want them to fight in unjust and illegal wars.

When King David ruled ALL the people prospered and ALL the people were blessed by Abraham and prospered as well, not just the rich. "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Palin and McCain are more concerned about having to contributed taxes, something rich folks rarely do if at all, than they are about the average American. BTW, another job I used to have years ago was at I.R.S., and I know firsthand who really pays taxes and who doesn't, and it ain't those rich folks that pay either.

Leslie said...

Field, this exact same thing is happening in Davidson County (Nashville), Tennessee. Got word about it on the local Obama listserv today. Let me know if you want more info.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Would someone please answer my questions that I asked in my two prior post...please?

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

And they said that Obama is an elistist, well check this out:

http://www.newshounds.us/2008/10/22/smalltown_sarah_palin_gets_a_big_city_big_dollar_makeover.php#more

rikyrah said...

Grannystanding,

About the fundraising letter. Though it's sent out by Country Last/Caribou Barbie, I believe the money is being funnelled to the RNC. The RNC can make ads on behalf of them- the way around the 84 million dollar limit.

grinder said...

Let me put it this way: Given the numbers showing in the polls, and given what we are seeing with early voting, if the Republicans steal THIS election, the brazenness of the action would require abandoning even the pretense of democratic republican self-rule.

Myself, I don't think the people who really call the shots in America will want to go there. It will mean the end of their cash cow, forever. I think they'd much rather take their chances with an Obama presidency than pull the plug on the whole shootin' match.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Thank you Rikyrah! But what about the other question I asked concerning the faulty machines, how do they correct them and does that misplaced vote still go to McCain when the voter picks Obama and it flips to McCain?

MsJoanne said...

Funds being raised for McCain now are going to the RNC or the RNCC or to the sleazy 527 groups who sling slime...oh wait, McCain is doing that his not-so-fine self, already. That is the traditional role of the 527 but it would be harder to climb further into the gutter than McCain has.

I believe that Diebold no longer exists - in name. I think that Diebold, along with Sequoia or ES&S have merged or been bought out or whatever by a company called Premier Voting Systems. Same slime different name. It was originally run by a guy who got into some trouble with the law and was supposedly singing to the law. I am sure with Bush (and his pals in the voting, uh-hem, rights section, that what he had to say will never make the light of day.

MsJoanne said...

The faulty machines do not correct and if the person does not catch it before they cast their vote (depending upon what state they are in), their vote is lost.

Some people do not realize their votes were flipped, others do. If they are in a state which allows for corrections, it can be corrected. Most states, however, do not allow that. Once you vote, sorry Charlie, your vote has been cast.

THAT is the problem Field was talking about here. That is vote switching and vote stealing.

Houston said...

First, I'm just as paranoid as the next person. I read in the local paper that Obama will have an army of lawyers on stand-by on election day. There is a movement in the blogosphere to get normal people to volunteer as election workers. We need to all bear witness to this election.

I read at another site that minorities are being encouraged to show up to vote in groups of four to six. This problem is considered greater in areas where Hispanics are plentiful but not necessarily in the majority.

No problem for Black voters in places like Ohio when in 2004 when Black precincts had lines that caused the polls to be open hours later than 7 p.m. I understand people were voting as late as 10 p.m. If that's the case, just imagine how many people went home because they had kids waiting, or maybe even a lack of enthusiasm in the first place. I'm afraid I'd have been one of those "my vote is just one vote and don't blame the failure of the democracy on my one vote."

I have confidence in Obama's campaign to have worried about all of these same things. That's their job and so far they've been doing their job pretty darn well.

All that said, I'm still very paranoid. I'm self-medicating, but sometimes that just makes my eyes get wide. Thank God the mute button works on my TV. Otherwise I'd be totally nuts by now.

Off topic a little, but there was a very interesting conversation on the Newshour tonight about the issue of race in this election. Gwen Ifill moderated. Joining her were Michael Fauntroy, Eddie Glaude Jr., and Andrew Kahut. I May write about the subject on my blog, Dancing with Myself, but I'd rather participate in a discussion about it here. You have a larger and more interesting crowd.

ms_hgrits said...

Granny it depends on the rules for the various state boards of election.

Rikyrah said ....
"We just need to pound away until we see their bones breaking through the flesh."

WELL SAID.

Barack was in VA today - I let my 12 year old son go and he has not stopped talking about it since. We are doing everything possible in VA folks - that is my word. It's like an Obama front line out here. I am a satellite voter information office during the week and we will be hittin the streets again this weekend.

Where ever you are - everyone do something - take at least ten people to the polls; tell at least ten people to vote early if they can; hand out voter instruction booklets (email me if you need some!). If we work like we are in 2nd place for the next 12 days then we just may have a large enough margin to cancel out the trickery and the shiggidy that is sure to come on Nov. 4th.

NoRegrets said...

Hmm... looked it up on Snopes and didn't find it...
But did find this about voting straight ticket:
http://www.snopes.com/politics/ballot/straightticket.asp

rikyrah said...

Granny,


I don't know about the machines. I was reading a diary over at Booman Tribune, I think, and someone was telling about this happening in Texas, and his friends refused to turn in their ballots. They raised holy hell until those ballots were disqualified, and they were allowed to vote again - came out proper the next time.


I believe it will take vigilance of the voter. If this BS happens, you gotta take it to them.

Changeseeker said...

Have you seen the cool new Quincy Jones III video about how we're not stopping this Obama train till we get where we're going?

Seda said...

Is there any clearinghouse/place-to-report if someone finds a problem when they attempt to vote? We DO need UN monitors! I'd like to see some system set up whereby everyone who experiences voter repression tactics, or has their vote flipped (that they can see, anyway), can report it. I'd really like to see exit polls published right away, so we can compare that with the tabulated results. Anyone know what systems are in place, if any, to verify an accurate vote count?

Adam said...

GrannyStandingforTruth:

I appreciate you taking a moment out to address my inquiry.

Thank you for your perspective. Insightful.

Adam

rikyrah said...

BREAKING: NV SecState rules against GOP vote suppression attempt (UPDATED w/ text)

by Califlander [Subscribe]
Wed Oct 22, 2008 at 02:41:19 PM PDT

Fresh news from the Silver State: the Nevada Secretary of State, Ross Miller, has ruled against efforts by the state Republican Party to deny thousands of registered voters their franchise.

Califlander's diary :: ::


As explained in this article from TPM, on Monday, Republican chair Sue Lowden asked the Secretary of State to invalidate the registrations -- and thus the right to vote -- of any Nevadan whose registration information contained errors or was otherwise incomplete. (A copy of Lowden's request is here: PDF) In many instances, of course, the voter may have provided accurate and complete information, but the county election officials transcribed the information incorrectly, while in still other cases the voter may have been responsible for the error.

To the Republicans, such voters should not be permitted to cast their ballots because state law requires "true and satisfactory answers to all questions" on the registration application... particularly if such ballot applications are from Democratic-leaning "urban counties."

The Secretary of State determined, however, that Nev. Rev. Stat. 293.5235(6) requires the county to notify the voter of any deficiency and give them 15 days to correct the error; and that such notice-and-correction can be done at the polls. Thus, a potential Republican tool to disqualify voters has been taken from the GOP arsenal of dirty tricks.

I'll post a copy of the opinion when I get it. Expect a court challenge before the end of the week.


this is good news.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

You guys, when Nov 5 comes and goes, remember that I told you that Senator Obama will be the next President of the USA. I don't care what McCain and Palin pull, it's not going to work, it is going to backfire on them, because they chose to take a dishonest path.

BTW, I watched Olbermann tonight, and they showed a snippet of the interview that Brian Williams did with McCain and Palin. Judging from the expression on McCain's face, he was looking at Palin as if to say, "I wish you would shut up!" I don't think tjat McCain is happy with each Palin or she with him. I'm sort of half-way expecting McCain to snap any minute and call her the "C" word. In addition, he made a couple of blunders in his stump speeches as well.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Sorry for the errors in last post.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

McCain is not comfortable with women. He's the type of man that is only comfortable with a woman in the bed, after that he could care less about them.

facingreality said...

I watched an HBO special entitled "Hacking Democracy" about Diebold voting machines. The film demonstrated how the machines could be manipulated to change voting results and was replete with material examples of inaccurate reporting.

So the current "miscalibration" claims are not that far-fetched.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Thank you ms_grits and the rest of you who gave me an answer to my questions.

Adam:
You welcome, but I wish that I could have went a little more in depth, but well, but I don't want Field having a hissy fit about Granny preaching on his blog and going all religious up in here. (smile) I don't won't Field giving me my walking papers...banning me from the fields forever. (smile)

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Now, the McCain campaign is pulling another Ben Laden speaks again on the election thingee again. Why don't those folks just admit that Ben Laden is a business partner of theirs, and that they are all profiting from the war in Iraq and get it over with. I mean after all what's in the dark is coming to the light anyway. *sigh*

Granny--> giving major eye rollage to the GOP.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Jesse Lee Peterson is nothing more than a hireling. He is one evil man that sold his soul a long time ago and a disgrace to the human race. Not worth two dead flies!!

He doesn't even rate house status unless your referring to the outhouse.

Anonymous said...

I'm a computer programmer, and don't trust these voting systems. We need a publicly developed system, where every bit of code and hardware is available for study, not these privatized pieces of trash.

Anonymous said...

if you get off this blog and read some of the other moderate sites you would see that NOT everyone is falling for bambie......

jody sweetheart don't look at the 00-04 map from election day....duh
look at them from the week before

oh, and i noticed you spoke of the prestigious "college station" paper....ah thats aggieland they can't even build a bonfire without killing each other....LOL

RisingTide said...

All Hail Open Source! (agrees with anon just above).

adam,

You're asking good questions, but you're missing the true answers. I love me a free market economy -- but it needs government safeguards to make sure that businesses are prevented from holding the entire American Economy hostage. And that's what you do when you elect a Democrat -- you get someone who is a fiscal conservative, nowadays, and wants to make sure the little guy gets his fair shake.

Dr. Brin (my favorite Republican blogger) davidbrin.blogspot.com
says that there is a right hand and a left hand to progress. Competition and Collaboration. You get competition in a free market, and collaboration in gov't. We couldn't have gotten to the moon by competition -- ain't that much foresight in the marketplace. But the free market does a much better job of giving us good prices -- PROVIDED there is competition. And it's gov'ts job to make sure that happens -- to look out for the little guy, with minimum of interference.

I don't go about quoting the Bible -- and I don't share your religion, but I'm fairly sure that it's not only unChristian what Palin is doing, but unReligious as well. I can't see any religion goin' so much on the fear, on the "different is bad" sorta stuff.

And McCain doesn't understand the free market enough to make a plan that works. His Plan? Reducing capital gains taxes (which helps HOW, when everyone is taking losses???? you don't pay nothin' if you've taken losses!).

Obama sat in on the meeting where McCain was explainin his plan to Paulson and the President. He kept his mouth shut until the end, too (great listener, Obama). Then he turned to Paulson and asked, "Is there any way this could possibly work?"

To which Paulson simply buried his head in his hands, and said "no"

That's what a leader does -- keeps quiet when the folks what know how to do stuff are getting shit done. Kinda like how Kennedy got to draft No Kids Left Behind... he knew the legislation backwards and forwards -- pity the republicans wouldn't fund it.

MsJoane said...

It goes beyond Free Markets. IF the government had done something about corporations fudging their financials after Enron, Tyco, etc, and IF the government had stopped predatory lending of giving mortgages to people who couldn't afford what they bought (or even prove they were working at the time they took their loan), and IF the government had maintained some oversight over the ratings agencies which rated the mortgage instruments as AAA when they were not AAA at all, and IF, IF, IF, then you would have a free market that worked.

Right now, how many people will look to the US to invest (and that is what the market does, supposedly, it allows investment in firms which you think will bring you back dividends and higher stock prices - but those investments are usually money into the company for growth or what have you)?

That is not free market, it is free for all...and right now, it is free falling.

When people talk about confidence in the market, it is not about shoving a couple of trillion dollars to financial companies, it is about truth in investing. When companies rig their annual and prospectus reports a la Arthur Andersen, that is where the Free Market fails.

And hopefully, that will be what the dems can fix.

c'mon said...

@ Jody-

You obviously didn't read the prior or post comments made after mine. I was being sarcastic towards an obvious hate-minded site. And you have the gall to say I'm being hateful. Look at your own comments after mine. The 'Revolution'

Seda said...

Hey, white power, get a clue. You don't need to be so scared. When everyone has their power, equally, regardless of skin color or anything else, you're gonna find whites have more power than we ever did. We just won't be holding good people down.

Meanwhile, I'm kinda grateful for ya. You're the kind of creep that's turning white America away from the McSame/Palin ticket to embrace the candidacy of Barack Hussein Obama.

GOBAMA!!!

Adam said...

RisingTide:

Keep in mind, I was addressing GrannyStandForTruth ona more personal level. We share similar spiritual views and it is a struggle for many us to reconcile our religion with our politics.

(Oh and Field, like GrannyStandForTruth, I will respect any house rules you have on discussing religion. She wrote some things that resonated strongly with me and I wanted her to write a little more.)

RisingTide, I do appreciate your thoughts as well. I like the edge you put into statements. I have always learned from people who believe differently that me.

I have come to appreciate the tension between Free Markets and Regulations. I heartily agree there should be collaboration. I suppose I would liken it do damning and channeling a large river properly- no one wants it to overflow its banks...or dry up.

While civil rights have been a key platform issue for the (D) party, I am not suggesting they are not for Free Markets. Bill Clinton's signing of the Graham-Leach-Bliley Act is perfect example. (Contrary to popular belief, there are companies in this country that have handled that legislation beautifully and have diversified their product lines.)

I suppose I pride myself a little on being an "equal oppportunity" basher of both parties. If I going to rip into the (D) party, I will do my best to accompany that statement with mentioning the absurdities I see in (R). I am as liberal as a Republican can get and as Conservative as a Democrat could be.

Two sights I find interesting:

www.republicansforobama.org (Careful and reflective Republicans talk about supporting Obama)

www.democratsformccain.com (heavy on the talking points but a welcome read from all the rhetoric)

Anonymous said...

At what point in time did the Bible become idolized by Christians?

This country is not a theocracy and not a Christian theocracy, so why do people keep substituting quoting scripture for critical thinking or fellow feeling.

The founding fathers knew what they were doing when they tried to keep any religion out of the government. I particularly dislike the mean spirited dog in manger attitude that so many Bible worshipers have towards a gay marriage. It should not be called marriage but something else just for ease of conversation. If you say you are married it means to a person of the opposite sex. If you say you are paired* that means to a person of the same sex.

*Paired and pairrage are my suggestions for an alternative to the combination of "gay marriage."

Adam said...

Anonymous at 2:20 P.M.:

You will not get an emotionally satisfying answer from me, but you will get honest one.

To address your first question: I am not exactly sure. I am not the sharpest tool in the wood shed, but, I am intellectually and emotionally honest enough to realize the absurdity of so many different groups who claim to have the best understanding of the book. Further, to place the Bible as an object of worship is very dangerous.

For most of history, the Christian Faith was not a faith of the "book". Most people were not literate. Only in the last 300 years have most people in the west become literate.

What is really ironic is that Bible actually served as a safeguard against many forms of corruption in the Refomation Era of Europe. At the same time, though, it became a springboard for people to become their own "Popes". In the U.S. particularly, the blending of ideas of individualism (European Enlightment) and democracy (Greek) and the rule of law (Roman in origin) have been applied liberally to the Bible - thus complicating the picture even more.

Christianity remains a 2000 year experiment in progress. There has always been a duality of tremendous corruption and injustice coupled with a small minority of people who have cried out against it. (Recent examples: Deitrich Bonehoffer in Nazi Germany and Martin Luther King Jr. in the USA.)

More I can say on that....


I agree with you wholeheartedly that our country was not founded to be a Theocracy. If it became one, it would be one of the worst kind.
Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1781: “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say that there are 20 gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

There is a big difference between saying, "this nation was founded on the Bible" and saying, "the Bible (or Judaism and Christianity) have had an influence on the formation of our country". This first is absurd, the second is reasonable.

The idea of same sex marriage is an issue that we need to have a principled discussion on from all angles of society. I believe there are many good questions that need be raised and threshed out.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Adam. What has me all upset is the state constitutional amendment on the Cali ballot this fall to prohibit gay marriage. And I keep seeing these huge Biblical responses to this. The L.A. Times had a column left articla about young Bible worshipers doing a continual prayer on a liquid fast for this amendment. I live in a neighborhood that is flooded with McCain/Palin and Yes on the Marriage Amendment signs.

There are two schools of thought on this in the LA black community...those from the civil rights aspect and those from the Bible worshipers. I would love for this amendment to just die because “It does me no injury...It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

Anonymous @ 2:20

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Anonymous 2:20:

Let Granny make herself, perfectly, clear to about your concerns. Speaking for myself, I'm not your judge and jury, nor do I have a heaven and hell to put you in. I believe in treating everyone the way I want to be treated with dignity and respect.

The bible, also, tells us to mind our own business, and if at all possible be at peace with all men, especially, those of the household of the faith. I see all people as human beings, and what you do in your personal life or how you choose to live it, is your business as far as I'm concern. I don't go around dictating to people how to live their personal life, nor am I mean-spirited towards gays.

I figure like this everybody is entitled to make their own choices in life. That's your God given right! You best believe, I'm not fixing to let NO ONE tell me how to make mine.

Just like you choose to be gay, I choose to be a Christian. To each his own...

grinder said...

I'm a computer programmer, and don't trust these voting systems. We need a publicly developed system, where every bit of code and hardware is available for study, not these privatized pieces of trash.

You have hit on one of my obsessions. I have done a lot of thinking about this one over the years. It helps that I've lived in the Midwest, the East, and now WA State, and have thereby used a bunch of different voting systems.

I think WA State does it best. When you register to vote, you specify whether you will vote at the polling place or by mail. (Some counties are all mail-in, but most give you the choice.) If you choose mail-in, you can still vote at the polls if you want to, but I have voted by mail except for the one time that I procrastinated and went to the polling place.

When you vote by mail, you get a paper ballot that you fill in like an SAT test: darken the circles, except that the ones on the ballot are bigger and you don't have to use a No. 2 pencil. The ballots are then read by optical scanner.

You tear off a piece of the ballot, as your receipt, and you put the ballot into an inner envelope. Then you stick the inner envelope into an outer envelope, which you sign and mail in. You can also drop it off if you want.

You have a few weeks to vote. I got my ballot a little over a week ago, along with a voter guide. This allows you to vote in the races you know about, and gives you time to do some research on the races and initiatives that maybe you didn't think so much about.

If you vote at the polls, you give them your name and address and you sign in. I don't recall ever being asked to show identification. Personally, I think a photo I.D. (driver's licenses, military I.D., passport) would be an acceptable requirement, as long as the government made it VERY easy and FREE to get if you didn't have one.

When I voted at the polling place here, I voted on one of those mechanical voting machines. In the other places I've lived, it's always been on a mechanical voting machine except when I voted on a punch card on L.A.

Mechanical voting machines, and optical scanners, are the only voting machines I would trust. I think touch-screen voting machines should be outlawed.

If I were running the show, there would be a single system for all federal elections, mandated by the federal government. It would be the WA State system, using OCRs or mechanical machines (but not punch cards, which I hated).

To that, I would add another option, which is touch-tone telephone voting. I would use an 800 number, with a PIN code, and an automated voice response system ("Press 1 for ..."). People are familiar with all of this stuff.

When people registered, I'd allow them to pick whether they'd do mail/phone voting or in-person voting, just as we now do in WA State. If they choice mail/phone, they'd get an OCR-readable ballot just as we do here now. They would also get a phone-in number and a PIN code if they wanted to vote by phone.

How to keep people from voting more than once? Easy: The PIN code would be printed on the paper ballot. Whichever PIN code voted first would be the one recorded. Whether you voted by phone or by mail, you would need to sign a declaration that you were the person attached to that PIN code, and mail it in. (The signature is important; in WA State, we had a close gubernatorial race in '04, and some people who had signed ballots intended for other people wound up being prosecuted for it.)

If you had signed up for phone/mail but decided to vote in person, that same PIN code (which would change at every election, for reasons I'll give later) would be next to your name on the list. That way, you couldn't vote remotely and vote at the polling place.

In my ideal system, you'd have a tear-off receipt on the mail-in ballot, and a tear-off receipt on the mail-in signature card if you were going to vote by phone. If you voted in person, you'd get a paper receipt that showed you voted.

The PIN codes would be there for the purpose of verifying who you were in the case of a close election and a recount. Everything would be signature matched, so if someone voted who was not eligible to vote, they could be tracked down and prosecuted. There would be a paper receipt for everything.

I would also make the first Monday and in November a national holiday. In election years, that's when we'd have the big fall elections.

The potential downfall of this idea would be the phone-in system. A couple of things to say about that. First off, the telephone system is very secure. It is hard for an outsider to tap into it. Secondly, PIN codes and signatures would be matched. Thirdly, I would have some sort of random, voluntary audit system, in which people could choose to have their specific votes audited to provide a check on the system.

Could this be abused by the government, i.e., your votes recorded and used against you? The answer is "Yes, it could happen." But that could happen just as easily with mail-in voting. It could even happen with voting machines. At some point, you've got to accept the risk, and of course make it a federal crime to tamper with the integrity of the system.

There is also the lack of secrecy. In a mail-in (and phone-in) system, there is the possibility that someone in the household would do the voting and then command the other person to sign the ballot. This has not been a reported issue in WA State, or in Oregon, where all voting is by mail. However, I could imagine it being in an issue in some other places with a history of voting fraud, such as Chicago.

I'd consider allowing individual states to opt out of remote voting, as long as they had an alternative early voting system like we're seeing in a bunch of places now.

grinder said...

p.s.: Another possibility for the phone-in system would be that, instead of having to mail in a card, you would read a one paragraph statement like: "I certify that I am so-and-so, living at this-and-that address, and that I am voting freely in this election." Then, if there was any question about your identity (say, in a close race), the recording could be matched to your actual voice.

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