Blogging Left

With the darkness now covering the land, the progressive spirit of the Enlightenment is getting dimmer and dimmer. But at the same time, the blogosphere allows folks an alternative means of communication that allows the truth to be known and someday, the progressive agenda will be realized.

Name:
Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

When I was an undergraduate, I read Escape From Freedom in an anthropology course, wow did I think that was cool stuff when I was 19, but how can you make a living doing that kind of stuff. Well, somehow I pursued an interdisciplinary education and trained to become a shrink, but with strong social and political values. (I did spend several years at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. Well, somehow I got caught up in protesting the war in Viet Nam, moved from a more individualistic perspective to a sociological perspective, and voila, here I am, having made a career in sociology and what am I doing, Frankfurt School critical theory....yes maybe Nietzsche is right about eternal return. If interested in my professional work, see my website-tho it has not been updated lateley. I will soon have a volume of papers on alienatioun out. I am now working on a book on the carnivalization of our culture, how the degeneration of taste destroys the mind and fosters political indifference.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Staggeringly Impossible Results of Ohio's '05 Election

The Staggeringly Impossible Results of Ohio's '05 Election



Brad Friedman

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brad-friedman/the-staggeringly-impossib_b_10589.html


Is this the Election that will finally break the camel's back?
With so much going on, few have noticed the extraordinary outcome of last Tuesday's election in Ohio where the crooked state that brung you -- by hook and by crook -- a second term for George W. Bush may have turned in results so staggeringly impossible, that perhaps even the Mainstream Corporate Media (if only in Ohio?!) will have no choice but to look into it.

As usual, the Free Press' heroic Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman are on the case. Their article on what happened on ballot issues 1 through 5 last week is
A MUST READ for anybody who still gives the slightest damn about whatever democracy might be left in America.

I'll try to summarize here briefly. There were five initiatives on the ballot last week. Issue 1 was a controversial proposition for $2 billion in new state spending. The Christian Right was opposed (because some of the new funds might go to stem cell research), but otherwise, the Republican Governor Taft's Administration (he recently plead guilty to several counts of corruption) was pushing it hard alongside progressives in the state.

The Columbus Dispatch's pre-election polling, which Fritrakis and Wasserman describe as "uncannily accurate for decades", called the race correctly within 1% of the final result. The margin of error for the poll was +/- 2.5% with a 95% confidence interval. On Issue 1, the Dispatch poll was right on the money. They predicted 53% in favor, the final result was 54% in favor.

But then came Issues 2 through 5 put forward by ReformOhioNow.org -- a bi-partisan coalition pushing these four initiatives for Electoral Reform in the Buckeye State largely in response to their shameful '04 Election performance led by the extremely partisan Secretary of State (and Bush/Cheney '04 Co-Chair) J. Kenneth Blackwell.

On those four issues, which Blackwell and the Christian Right were against, the final results were impossibly different -- and we mean impossibly! -- from both the Dispatch's final polling before the election and all reasoned common-sense. Take a look:

ISSUE 1 ($2 Billion State Bond initiative)PRE-POLLING: 53% Yes, 27% No, 20% UndecidedFINAL RESULT: 54% Yes, 45% No

ISSUE 2 (Allow easier absentee balloting)PRE-POLLING: 59% Yes, 33% No, 9% UndecidedFINAL RESULT: 36% Yes, 63% No

ISSUE 3 (Revise campaign contribution limits)PRE-POLLING: 61% Yes, 25% No, 14% UndecidedFINAL RESULT: 33% Yes, 66% No

ISSUE 4 (Ind. Comm. to draw Congressional Districts)PRE-POLLING: 31% Yes, 45% No, 25% UndecidedFINAL RESULT: 30% Yes, 69% No

ISSUE 5 (Ind. Board instead of Sec. of State to oversee elections)PRE-POLLING: 41% Yes, 43% No, 16% UndecidedFINAL RESULT: 29% Yes, 70% No

Now, you tell us...What could possibly explain such unheard of differences between the Dispatch's poll and the final results?


Now, we'll tell you...This was the year that Ohio, under the encouragement and mandates of Blackwell, rolled out new Electronic Touch-Screen Voting Machines in 44 of its 88 counties...41 of them employeeing the same Diebold Touch-Screen Machines that California's Republican Sec. of State decertified in this state when 20% of them failed this summer in the largest test of its kind ever held.

Those would be the very same Electronic Voting Machines which a
recent GAO Report (still unmentioned by a single wire-service or mainstream American newspaper) confirmed to be easily hackable.

Will the absurdly skewed results from last Tuesday's Ohio Election finally light a fire under the media -- either nationally or just in Ohio alone -- to look into what the hell is going on here?! We remain hopeful...if not optimistic.

The
Free Press article is a must read, as mentioned, but we'll share their closing thoughts here on the possible reasons for the wildly unexplained discrepancy between the final polling and the final results which, as they posit, are due to either a completely inexplicable breakdown of the Dispatch's historically accurate polling methods wildly beyond the margin-of-error for all initiatives except Issue 1...or...somebody hacked that vote count:

If the latter is true, it can and will be done again, and we can forget forever about the state that has been essential to the election of every Republican presidential candidate since Lincoln.

And we can also, for all intents and purposes, forget about the future of American democracy.

Anybody in the Mainstream Media ready to give a damn yet?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Diebold source code broken!

Diebold source code broken!


From Joanna:!!!

BREAKING - DIEBOLD SOURCE CODE !!!

Dr Avi Rubin is currently Prof of Computer Science at John Hopkins U.He "accidently" got his hands on a copy of the Diebold software program--Diebold's source code--which runs their e-voting machines. Dr Rubin's students pored over 48,609 lines of code that make up this software. One line in particular stood out over all the rest:#defineDESKEY((des_KEY8F2654hd4"

All commercial programs have provisions to be encrypted so as to protect them from having their contents read or changed by anyone not having the key... The line that staggered the Hopkin's team was that the method used to encrypt the Diebold machines was a method called Digital Encryption Standard (DES), a code that was broken in 1997 & is NO LONGER USED by anyone to secure prograns. F2654hd4 was the key to the encryption. Moreover, because the KEY was IN the source code, all Diebold machines wld respond to the same key. Unlock one, you have then ALL unlocked.

I can't believe there is a person alive who wldn't understand the reason this was allowed to happen. This wasen't a mistake by any stretch of the imagination. This was a fixed election, plain & simple. [DUH]

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

GAO report upholds Ohio vote fraud claims

GAO report upholds Ohio vote fraud claims
By Joe Baker, Senior Editor



As if the indictment of Lewis “Scooter” Libby wasn’t enough to give the White House some heavy concerns, a report from the Government Accounting Office takes a big bite out of the Bush clique’s pretense of legitimacy.

This powerful and probing report takes a hard look at the election of 2004 and supports the contention that the election was stolen. The report has received almost no coverage in the national media.

The GAO is the government’s lead investigative agency, and is known for rock-solid integrity and its penetrating and thorough analysis. The agency’s agreement with what have been brushed aside as “conspiracy theories” adds even more weight to the conclusion that the Bush regime has no business in the White House whatever.

Almost a year ago, Rep. John Conyers, senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, asked the GAO to investigate the use of electronic voting machines in the Nov. 2, 2004, presidential election. That request was made as a flood of protests from Ohio and elsewhere deluged Washington with claims that shocking irregularities were common in that vote and were linked to the machines.

CNN said the Judiciary Committee got more than 57,000 complaints after Bush’s claimed re-election. Many were made under oath in a series of statements and affidavits in public hearings and investigations carried out in Ohio by the Free Press and other groups seeking to maintain transparent elections.

Online Journal.com reported that the GAO report stated that “some of [the] concerns about electronic voting machines have been realized and have caused problems with recent elections, resulting in the loss and miscount of votes.”

This is the only democratic nation that permits private partisan companies to count and tabulate the vote in secret, using privately-held software. The public is excluded from the process. Rev. Jesse Jackson and others have declared that “public elections must not be conducted on privately-owned machines.” The makers of nearly all electronic voting machines are owned by conservative Republicans.

The chief executive of Diebold, one of the major suppliers of electronic voting machines, Warren “Wally” O’Dell, went on record in the 2004 campaign vowing to deliver Ohio and the presidency to George W. Bush.

In Ohio, Bush won by only 118,775 votes out of more than 5.6 million cast. Honest election advocates contend that O’Dell’s statement to hand Ohio’s vote to Bush still stands as a clear indictment of an apparently successful effort to steal the White House.

Some of the GAO’s findings are: 1. Some electronic voting machines “did not encrypt cast ballots or system audit logs, and it was possible to alter both without being detected.” In short, the machines; provided a way to manipulate the outcome of the election. In Ohio, more than 800,000 votes were cast on electronic voting machines, some registered seven times Bush’s official margin of victory.

2: the report further stated that: “it was possible to alter the files that define how a ballot looks and works, so that the votes for one candidate could be recorded for a different candidate.” Very many sworn statements and affidavits claim that did happen in Ohio in 2004. Next, the report says, “Vendors installed uncertified versions of voting system software at the local level.” The GAO found that falsifying election results without leaving evidence of doing so by using altered memory cards could easily be done. The GAO additionally found that access to the voting network was very easy to compromise because not all electronic voting systems had supervisory functions protected by password. That meant access to one machine gave access to the whole network. That critical finding showed that rigging the election did not take a “widespread conspiracy” but simply the cooperation of a small number of operators with the power to tap into the networked machines. They could thus alter the vote totals at will. It therefore was no big task for a single programmer to flip vote numbers to give Bush the 118,775 votes.

Another factor in the Ohio election was that access to the voting network was also compromised by repeated use of the same user ID, coupled with easy-to-guess passwords. Even amateur hackers could have gotten into the network and changed the vote.
System locks were easily picked, and keys were easy to copy, so gaining access to the system was a snap.


One digital machine model was shown to have been networked in such a rudimentary manner that if one machine experienced a power failure, the entire network would go down. That is too fragile a system to decide the presidency of the United States.
Problems obviously exist with security protocols and screening methods for vendor personnel.
The GAO study clearly shows that no responsible business would operate with a computer system as flimsy, fragile and easily manipulated as the one used in the 2004 election.
These findings are even more damning when we understand the election in Ohio was run by a secretary of state who also was co-chairman of Bush’s Ohio campaign. Far from the conclusion of anti-fraud skeptics, the GAO’s findings confirm that the network, which handled 800,000 Ohio votes, was vulnerable enough to permit a handful of purposeful operatives to turn the entire election by means of personal computers using comparatively simple software.
One Ohio campaign operative, Tom Noe, a coin dealer, was indicted Oct. 27 for illegally funneling $45,400 to Bush by writing checks to others, who then wrote checks to Bush’s re-election campaign, allegedly dodging the $2,000 limit on contributions by an individual.
“It’s one of the most blatant and excessive finance schemes we have encountered,” said Noel Hillman, section chief of the U.S. Department of Justice’s public integrity section, as quoted in the Kansas City Star.


In the 2000 election, Florida was the key; in the 2004 election, Ohio was the key.
From the Nov. 2-8, 2005, issue -->
Copyright 2002-2005 - The Rock River Times

Copyright © 2002-2005 - The Rock River Times