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...a miserable 1% audit in the other half.
Know how much usually gets audited in a recount, here (if you can afford the money and lawyers to get a recount)? 3%.
Know who owns the programming code in these UNAUDITED and miserably inadequately audited voting machines, all over the U.S., in every state? 75% owned and controlled by ONE, PRIVATE, FAR RIGHTWING CONNECTED CORPORATION--ES&S which bought out Diebold.
Know what this code is called? It is called 'TRADE SECRET' code! The public is forbidden to review it!
Know what Venezuela's code is called? OPEN SOURCE code! It is owned by the PUBLIC and anyone may review it.
Know how much of an audit experts say is needed to detect fraud in electronic systems? At least 10%!
Venezuela is doing an audit that is more than FIVE TIMES the amount needed to detect fraud!
The U.S. government demanding a 100% audit in Venezuela is "Alice in Wonderland-ish" hypocrisy.
“'The U.S. government must know this...' said CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot...".
He's damn right they know it. EVERY Democratic Party/Obama administration POLICY is designed with one thing in mind: the noose that ES&S/Diebold has around their necks.
One, private corporation, with far rightwing connections that would make your hair stand on end, designed the U.S. vote counting system (um, vote rigging system) for profit and for power, and operates it as a monopoly!
And they dare to criticize Venezuela!?
Posted by Peace Patriot | Sat Apr 27, 2013, 02:54 AM (0 replies)
--upside down, inside out and backwards.
1. In the United States, 75% of the votes are 'counted' by ONE. PRIVATE. FAR RIGHT-WING-CONNECTED. CORPORATION--ES&S, which bought out Diebold--using 'TRADE SECRET' code--code that the public is forbidden to review--with half the states doing NO AUDIT AT ALL (automatic comparison of electronic results to ballots--most because they HAVE NO ballot), and the other half doing a miserably inadequate 1% audit. And even if the fingernails of secretaries of state are pulled out and they are forced to do a recount--in the states that CAN do a recount--they only do 3% or so.
2. According to statisticians, and computer and election experts, 10% is the minimum audit needed to detect fraud in an electronic system.
3. Venezuela votes electronically, but uses OPEN SOURCE CODE--code that anyone may review and that belongs to the PUBLIC--and they do a whopping 55% audit--more than five times the minimum needed to detect fraud. Furthermore, Venezuelan elections are closely monitored by all the major election monitoring groups, by invitation of the Venezuelan government--the OAS, the EU, Unasur, the Carter Center and others, and Jimmy Carter recently said that Venezuela has "the best election system in the world." These groups do not just drop in on election day and make pronouncements. They help set up the system and monitor it all along the way. They KNOW what's needed--as to audits and other requirements of honest, transparent elections--and have repeatedly validated Venezuela's elections, including THIS election.
4. The U.S. State Department (Obama, H. Clinton) helped to legitimize the fascist military coup in Honduras by THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT holding an 'election' UNDER MARTIAL LAW, using entities like John McCain's INTERNATIONAL REPUBLICAN INSTITUTE to 'monitor' the voting. (John McCain has telecommunications and other interests in Honduras.) No reputable elections group in the world would touch that election. Talk about 'illegitimate.' Honduras has since become a Colombia-like killing field, as rightwing death squads murder hundreds of labor leaders, teachers, community activists, leftist politicians, journalists and others, and inflict a reign of terror on Hondurans, with every kind of oppression.
5. The U.S. (Obama, H. Clinton) did the same thing in Haiti--phoney election in which the party that represents 70% of Haitians was banned from the ballot!
6. As Mark Weisbrot has pointed out, the leftist Manual Obrador in Mexico lost the presidential election in 2005 by only 0.05% of the vote. Millions of Mexicans demanded a recount of Mexico's largely paper ballot system (but with highly riggable, PRIVATE electronics at the top of the chain, which the Bush Junta helped Mexico put in place). The U.S. (Bush Junta) immediately endorsed the rightwing candidate, Felipe Calderon (who also, like the fascists in Honduras and Colombia, has engaged in violent repression against labor leaders, community activists and peasants, in Oaxaca, and furthermore invited the corrupt, murderous, failed U.S. "war on drugs" into Mexico, for a bloodbath in the border areas--some 50,000 dead!) Why was that much closer election "legitimate" while Venezuela's (1.6% difference), with all of its safeguards and above-board systems, is not?
I am writing this for those of you who know instinctively that this U.S. government demand that Venezuela do a 100% recount is absurd. Your instincts are correct. I am also writing it for those who know nothing about these matters: Half the states in the U.S. cannot even DO a recount! Our system is 100% RIGGABLE by corporate CEO's whose far rightwing connections would make your hair stand on end.
Obama should be calling for 100% recounts HERE! Why isn't he? Why are our Democratic leaders as silent as the dead about OUR egregiously riggable system--and instead beat up on Venezuela, where they CAN prove, and HAVE proven, who was elected?
Not one elected official in this country can prove that he or she was actually elected. Not Obama. Not anybody else. NOT ONE OF THEM! Our system is UNVERIFIABLE, and has been rendered unverifiable DELIBERATELY--methodically, knowingly--and we can only wonder why and who is really calling the shots. WHO is picking and choosing among our already compromised and LIMITED political candidates--drenched with money, pandering to Corporate Media, and with ES&S/Diebold's noose around all of their necks? WHO is choosing who to give our power and our sovereignty TO? WHO is choosing our rulers? And are those "dark actors" the ones responsible for the wretchedness of this unrepresentative Congress, for the shackles on Obama, for the loony rightwing governors and state legislatures we see, and for the obvious wars being waged against the poor majority and all progressive policy?
And Obama--who surely knows all of this, and has to have agreed to it (along with other "deals" like no prosecution--and not even investigation--of Bush Junta war criminals)--dares to demand a 100% recount of Venezuela's election--a country whose president and whose poor majority DID EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to ensure a clean, honest, verifiable election system?!
It is just bizarre. It really is. Upside-down, inside out and backwards.
We really, really, REALLY need to understand this--however difficult and demoralizing it seems to be--because it is REALITY. Our system is rigged. It is anti-democratic, even to the very 'counting' of our votes. And it is producing office-holders--holders of OUR power as a people--who are clearly NOT acting in our interests, and are interfering against the peoples' interests in other countries--not just in the war zones of the Middle East but also in our own hemisphere. We need to face this. We need to expose it. We need overcome it--peacefully and democratically.
That is a difficult project, to say the least. But, hey, the people of this country have faced difficult projects before--on our long road to a fairer and more progressive society. We owe it to those who went before us, to straighten out the goddamned fascist disaster that has fallen upon us, starting with Reagan. And if Latin Americans--who have suffered so much grief at the hands of our ruling powers--can throw off those shackles, as they are doing in country after country, so can we.
The powers that control Obama KNOW that Latin America is undergoing a vast, deep, grass roots, leftist democracy revolution, and that Venezuela is the pioneer and inspirer of this amazing revolution. It has swept through most of South America, with strong leftists elected and re-elected in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay, and soon to be re-elected in Chile (after a miserable rightwing hiatus), and into Central America (Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras until the coup). Their Corporate Media are doing their best to keep this information from us, precisely because they FEAR that we, too, will be inspired with democracy once again. And they REQUIRE their hand-picked office holders to LIE about Latin America's democracy revolution continuously and to engage in anti-democratic plots--with twisted lies like this one, about a 100% recount, and with worse.
Obama is obediently LYING. He has no other choice. And that lie--like the lie about the "constitutional crisis" in Honduras--is the visible element of a destabilization and overthrow plot, that Obama may or may not be in control of. I DO think that Obama was elected, by the way, but he was also PERMITTED TO BE elected, and that is the problem. We have been deliberately deprived of verifiable elections--and we had better be aware of how vulnerable this makes us to FUTURE Bush Juntas, beyond the misery of seeing a Democratic president propose cuts to Social Security and all our other current miseries. Worse is not only possible; it is likely, and it is all set up to have the APPEARANCE of legitimacy with no legitimacy at all.
Posted by Peace Patriot | Wed Apr 17, 2013, 12:20 AM (3 replies)
The New Yorker Corrects Two Errors on Venezuela, Refuses a Third
By KEANE BHATT - NACLA, April 9th 2013
Thanks to readers’ responses to The New Yorker following my last post (LINK), “On Venezuela, The New Yorker’s Jon Lee Anderson Fails at Arithmetic,” the magazine has amended two errors in two separate articles.
The first correction involves an online piece that Anderson wrote on the eve of Venezuela’s elections in October of last year. As was pointed out almost immediately after (LINK) Anderson’s entry was published, he had incorrectly claimed that “Venezuela leads Latin America in homicides” in his “The End of Chavez?” (LINK) (the headline was changed to “Chavez the Survivor” after the late Venezuelan president handily won his reelection).
Actually, it is Honduras that leads Latin America (LINK)—and indeed the entire world—in per capita homicides: 92 per 100,000 people are killed annually there, while Venezuela’s figure stands at 45.1, according to the most recently available United Nations data. And unlike the Venezuelan government, the Honduran government contributes to this body count by regularly murdering its own civilians through its military and police, both of which (LINKS) receive tens of millions of dollars from U.S. taxpayers. (The New Yorkerhasn’t published a single article referring to Honduras’s current post-coup regime, headed by Porfirio Lobo, who came to power in January of 2010.)
Reacting to readers’ complaints, the magazine’s editors issued an addendum to Anderson’s October 7 piece, which reads (LINK):
*An earlier version of this post said that Venezuela led Latin America in homicides; globally, it was in fourth place, but third in Latin America (behind Honduras and El Salvador), according to U.N. statistics (LINK) on intentional homicides for 2010-11.
Another Anderson article—“Slumlord: What has Hugo Chávez wrought in Venezuela?”—also misled the print magazine’s readers by giving the impression that Chávez’s presidential tenure was predicated on a coup d’etat rather than his victories in over a dozen internationally vetted elections. The New Yorker released a correction (LINK) for the inaccuracy in its April 1 issue, two months after the original piece had been published:
In “Slumlord,” by Jon Lee Anderson (January 28th), Hugo Chávez is described as having been concerned with “preventing a coup like the one that put him in office.” In fact, Chávez’s coup attempt, in 1992, failed; he was elected to office in 1998.
For Jon Lee Anderson’s most recent factual error, unfortunately, The New Yorker has thus far refused to issue a clarification or retraction. One month ago—the day Chávez died—Anderson wrote a third piece (LINK), for NewYorker.com, claiming:
What (Chávez) has left is a country that, in some ways, will never be the same, and which, in other ways, is the same Venezuela as ever: one of the world’s most oil-rich but socially unequal countries. . .
As I pointed out in “Anderson Fails at Arithmetic (LINK)," this allegation misleads the reader in two ways. Inequality has been reduced enormously under Chávez, using its standard measure, the Gini coefficient. So one can hardly say that in this aspect, Venezuela remains the “same as ever.” Making Anderson’s contention even worse is the fact that Venezuela is the most equal country in Latin America, according to the United Nations (LINK). Anderson’s readers come away with exactly the opposite impression.
To The New Yorker’s credit, a senior editor sent me an email regarding my article’s criticisms, and flatly conceded the first two misstatements in Anderson’s pieces. However, the note offered a strained defense of Anderson’s position on inequality, arguing that Anderson’s point was valid, given that his claim supposedly combined Venezuela’s conditions of being both “oil-rich” and “socially unequal” as one assertion.
I pointed out in my response that any reasonable reading of the statement would portray Venezuela as both one of the world’s most oil-rich and one of the world’s most socially unequal countries. And the fact of the matter is that the CIA’s World Factbook ranks (LINK) the country 68th out of 136 countries with available data on income inequality—that is to say, Venezuela is exactly in the middle, and impossible to construe as among the most unequal.
I also explained that when Anderson was confronted with this evidence on Twitter, the magazine’s principal correspondent on Venezuela expressed extreme skepticism (LINK) toward publicly available, constantly used, and highly scrutinized data; he instead cited his own “reporting” and “impressions” as the authority for his assertions. Given Anderson’s defiant admission not to even pretend to care about empirical data—after his magazine had already retracted two of his articles’ factual claims—it was incumbent on editors and fact-checkers to uphold The New Yorker’s reputation as a trustworthy and evidence-based journal by addressing the issue immediately.
Lastly, I argued that the awkward formulation of combining “oil-rich” and “socially unequal”—a reading I reject—exposes Anderson’s contention as even further at odds with reality. Included in my email was the following list showing the top 10 most “oil-rich” countries ranked in order of their total crude oil production,according to the International Energy Agency (LINK). Each country’s corresponding Gini coefficient from the CIA World Factbook (LINK) appears in parentheses—the higher the Gini coefficient, the greater the country’s inequality:
1. Saudi Arabia (unavailable)
2. Russia (0.42)
3. United States (0.45)
4. Iran (0.445)
5. China (0.48)
6. Canada (0.32)
7. United Arab Emirates (unavailable)
8. Venezuela (0.39)
9. Mexico (0.517)
10. Nigeria (0.437)
When provided with these arguments and data, The New Yorker’s senior editor fell silent in the face of repeated follow-ups. I received a reply only once: a rejection of my request to publicly post our correspondence. While issuing a correction to Anderson’s third Venezuela article over the past year would have been embarrassing, the continued silence and inaction of the elite intellectual journal is perhaps a greater indictment. Anderson’s error remains unchanged on the liberal magazine’s website, while its senior editor has refused to address the matter in private correspondence or offer a public rationale for leaving Anderson’s claim intact.
When asked to comment on this issue, Branko Milanovic (LINK)—a lead economist at the World Bank and arguably the world’s foremost expert on global inequality—interpreted Anderson’s quote the standard way: “The article says that Venezuela is one of most ‘socially unequal’ countries,” he wrote by email. But The New Yorker’s “extremely vague formulation,” he added, obscured an important reality: “What we know…is that Venezuela is among two or three most equal Latin American countries measured by income inequality.” According to his own research of inequality throughout the world, Venezuela is likely to be ranked somewhere “around the middle, or perhaps slightly above (these things do change from year to year).”
Prominent macroeconomist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (LINKS) found The New Yorker’s factual contention and subsequent unresponsiveness astonishing: “This is pretty outrageous,” he wrote by email. “Do they have any data to support their assertion, or is the argument that because they don’t like Chávez they can say anything they want about him?”
Readers can pose such questions to The New Yorker by contacting its editors at www.newyorker.com/contact/contactus, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at@tnynewsdesk. Such media activism plays a crucial role in engendering more careful portrayals of countries like Venezuela, which has long been the target of cartoonishly hostile, slanted, and outright false media coverage. Previous demands for accuracy and accountability have already prompted two admissions of error by The New Yorker, and can lead to a third, in spite of the magazine’s obstinacy. More importantly, the magazine now faces a real political cost to publishing sloppy reporting, as well as a powerful deterrent to running reckless news and commentary during a politically significant transitional moment for Venezuela.
This work is licensed under a Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives Creative Commons license
(LINKS at the site.)
found at: http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/8562
My email to the New Yorker:
Not you, too!
I have been flabbergasted by the Corporate Media's propagandistic coverage of the Chavez government in Venezuela and I've held out the hope that The New Yorker would counter this garbage with an intelligent, fact-based article, as it has done on other subjects.
Alas, you instead decided to pile some more (or rather the same) refuse onto the garbage heap, by publishing Jon Lee Anderson's lies about Venezuela's murder rate and about how Chavez came to power--lies right out of the Corporate Media's "talking points" folder on Venezuela; lies for which you then published lame and very late corrections--plus a third lie that you haven't corrected, that Venezuela is now "one of the world's most...socially unequal countries."
According to the UN Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean, Venezuela is "THE most equal country in Latin America," after more than a decade of the Chavez government winning honest elections and implementing "New Deal"-like policies. Furthermore, in the Gallup Well-being poll, Venezuelans rated their own country FIFTH IN THE WORLD on their own sense of well-being and future prospects.
Obviously, Anderson consulted neither easily available, fact-based sources nor the people of Venezuela in his assessment of the Chavez government.
I used to have great respect for New Yorker fact-checkers. What happened? Did you down-size that staff?
Upshot from my point of view: The New Yorker's going onto the garbage heap unless you do a REAL correction of Anderson's lies and bias, by finding an intelligent and objective reporter to explain to the world why the Chavez government keeps winning honest elections by big margins, despite the relentless, monotonous, "Big Lie" campaign against them in ALL Corporate Media, here and there. Answer THAT, and you win the prize for the only honest news source in the western world.
And DO re-hire those fact-checkers, if that's the problem.
Posted by Peace Patriot | Wed Apr 10, 2013, 06:01 AM (14 replies)
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