Saturday, November 13, 2004

The election that wants to go away


Many professors, scientists, and other leaders in society saw what happened to Richard Clarke and Paul O’Neill. So I preface this article with the idea that the political elites (and their cronies around the world) in America are doing two things to pacify dissent:

First, and absolutely foremost, political elites are frightening the “best and brightest” in our society into to shutting-up, or worse, sucking them in.

Second, political elites are stuffing many of their wallets and corrupting them with access to quid-pro-quo.


Move forward kicking and screaming again?

Some people are willing to speak because there are some incredible security holes in our election process. I happen to work as a software architect and what I have read makes for a head turner.

The political elite crowd audits us, spies on us, feeds us talking points, and burden us with deficits, but when it comes time to pay the same sort of religious attention to voting accuracy… hmmm, well, they spend the money on Iraq instead.

So while the political elites ignore the fairness of the 2004 eleciton millions of people are disenfranchised. Since when have soldiers, minorities, and the poor become so easily manipulated and where has all the work gone to bring this fairness to the front? Why are we reliving the 60's again?

The left proved we were right then (and during the Civil War), now, in 2004, when we should be spreading what we acomplished then to the world -we are stuck having to push Red America forward again.

So we impose democracy abroad while impeding it here at home. We are clearing out Falluja so they can get a vote. The approximate population of Fallujah gets disenfranchised in almost each and every state in America. Think about that paradox and wonder for a moment why technology is not used to make sure everyone eligible to vote during a national election votes. We have amazing computer technology and our votes can be hacked easily?

Very little mention of this:

It’s plausible a hacker(s) manipulate the results across many states not connected with either campaign.


How many more times do we let this stuff happen?

People with money, with power, with influence can ride out another 4 years of Bush. It’s the ones that Bush doesn’t call his base that are at risk. People like me, and most of you. All we get is 1 vote. Contributions get a lot more than that in Bush’s circle, adn they come from unexpected places.

Unfortunately, I think many people who could really study the issue of potential election fraud are not going to do it. The climate of fear is too packed with potentially explosive (and risky) journalism, even televison.

The security level on these computer systems is terrible. I would be fired for some of these lapses. Some of these systems can be tampered with in a matter of moments. And the manufacturers are big time Republican supporters (um, conflict of interest?). Who could more easily hack one of these systems than the manufacturer themselves?

And you combine this leaky software with exit polls showing Kerry winning in many states Bush won?

While I don’t shout conspiracy yet, I do shout:

“Media: after 2000 you promised to keep a close eye on this and you didn’t, you let us down again. We went to the moon in 10 years and in 4 years we can’t even fix the software and get the special interests out of our election?”


"The Digital Encryption Standard 56-bit encryption key used can be unlocked by a key embedded in all the source code, meaning all Diebold machines would respond to the same key.

Rubin, his graduate students and a colleague from Rice University found other bugs, that the administrator's PIN code was "1111" and that one programmer had inserted, "This is just a hack for now."

The implication is that by hacking one machine you could have access to all Diebold machines."



Big tree - small axe

What the media is doing, judging by what I am reading, is to ignore the election anomalies and pushing really hard on the “fix it” angle (that angle is 4 years old). My suspicion of the reason is embarrassment at home, abroad, and with Iraqi elections said to be coming, it would look o-so-bad. Just like Abu Ghraib. To me it seems we are in a period of being a cover-up culture and the media is knowingly winking at stories. They know in a bunch of years some guy will make money and write a book that “finally exposes” the scandal.

So like Bulge-gate, this story will likely never get the proper voice. The New York Times has written what I see as a premature dismissal at what are some rather eye popping mathematical anomalies; this was preceded by the Washington Post.

There is too much suspicion to at least not mount a serious campaign to close all these ridiculous IT gaps. I program computers every day. For something so important, this seems like a big, lazy, obvious example of bad programming. Or even sabotaging its development so that you can hack it without a footprint?

MoveOn.org seems to also see problems. And look at this phot, and those
enormous margins of victory in urban areas:




Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
(Notice also the blue divide up the Mississippi River)

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Compare this with the distribution of wealth
which corresponds with educational levels (pdf)

You can begin to see this divide falling across educational lines


I see a serious strain in the press trying to play down fraud because they think it hurts the cause long term. What a twist around. Letting this crap stand is what is hurting the cause. Having an ex-Enron lawyer as Attorney general who has cheated the people before and gives really bad legal advice is what hurts the cause: you think an attorney general like that cares about election fraud?

The media seem to be forwarding an agenda to quash the influence of blogs, because they think too much misinformation is spread. Well, the media should study the election results thoroughly and I wouldn’t have to write this. Remember folks, its not just leaky computers, it’s also how many votes are thrown away. There are in fact quite a few leaks.

If the media thinks it’s not truth unless they dish it out then start reading alternative sources of news . You will see two pictures of reality that differ alot more than the exit polls and the election results.




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