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MUST READ: A STATISTICAL MYSTERY; STRANGE DEATH OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

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TruthIsAll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 04:17 AM
Original message
MUST READ: A STATISTICAL MYSTERY; STRANGE DEATH OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY
Edited on Thu Jul-21-05 04:39 AM by TruthIsAll
These are two of the best articles I have seen on the subject.


Final Tallies Minus Exit Polls = A Statistical Mystery!
by John Allen Paulos

Professor of mathematics at Temple University and winner of the 2003 American Association for the Advancement of Science award for the promotion of public understanding of science, John Allen Paulos is the author of several best-selling books, including Innumeracy and A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market.

OpEd in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 24, 2004

http://www.math.temple.edu/~paulos/exit.html


Note: The belated "official" response" of January 19, 2005 to the controversy certainly points to a possible explanation, but I can't say that I'm at all convinced by it. Unfortunately, if people - and the media in particular - couldn't rouse themselves to demand (the investigation needed for) a truly convincing explanation before the inauguration, they certainly aren't going to demand one now. Alas ...

Why did the exit polls taken on election day in the battleground states differ so starkly from the final tallies in those states? As my crosstown colleague, Steven Freeman of the University of Pennsylvania has demonstrated in his paper, "The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy," the pattern is unmistakable. In Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, the differences between Bush's final tallies and his earlier exit poll percentages were, respectively, 6.7%, 6.5%, and 4.9%.

Similarly huge differences between the final tallies and the exit poll percentages occurred in 10 of the 11 battleground states, all of them in Bush's favor. If the people sampled in the exit polls were a random sample of voters, Freeman's standard statistical techniques show that these large discrepancies are way, way beyond the margins of error. Suffice it to say that the odds against them occuring by chance in just the three states mentioned above are almost a million to one.

Since exit polls historically have been quite accurate (there is no question about likely voters, for example) and the differences as likely to have been in one candidate's favor as the other's, we're confronted with the question of what caused them. Given the indefensible withholding of the full exit poll data by Edison Media Research, Mitofsky International, the Associated Press and various networks, we can only hazard guesses based on what was available election night. The obvious speculation, alluded to above, is that the exit samples were decidedly non-random.

more...
********************************************


The Strange Death of American Democracy:
Endgame in Ohio
by Michael Keefer

http://globalresearch.ca/articles/KEE501A.html

www.globalresearch.ca
24 January 2005


snip

Like the unsavoury Katherine Harris, who was Florida Secretary of State in 2000 and simultaneously state Chair of the Florida Bush-Cheney campaign, Kenneth Blackwell occupied a strategic double position as Co-Chair of the Ohio Bush-Cheney campaign and Secretary of State in what analysts correctly anticipated would be the key swing state of the 2004 election. From this position, a growing body of evidence shows, he was able to oversee a partisan and racist pre-election purging of the electoral rolls,<10> a clearly partisan reduction of the number of voting precincts in counties won by Gore in 2000 (a move that helped suppress the 2004 Democratic turnout),<11> a partisan and racist misallocation of voting machines (which effectively disenfranchised tens of thousands of African-American voters),<12> a partisan and racist system of polling-place challenges (which together with electoral roll purges obliged many scores of thousands of African-Americans to vote with 'second-class-citizen' provisional ballots),<13> and a fraudulent pre-programming of touch-screen voting machines that produced a systematic 'flipping' of Democratic votes into Bush's tally or the trash can.<14> In a nation that enforced its own laws, the misallocation of voting machines--a clear violation of the equal protection provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution--would alone have sufficed to invalidate the Ohio election.

Having overseen one of the more flagrantly corrupt elections in recent American history, Blackwell and his Republican machine proceeded to "take care of the counting"--which involved a partisan and racist dismissal of scores of thousands of African-American ballots as "spoiled,"<15> a flagrantly illegal "lock-down" of the vote-tallying process in Warren County on the transparently false grounds of a supposed terrorist threat,<16> massive electronic vote-tabulation fraud in this and other south-western Ohio counties,<17> and marginally less flagrant but evidently systematic forms of 'ghost-voting' and vote theft elsewhere in the state.<18>Blackwell then saw to it (with the active assistance of partisan Republican judges, and the passive assistance of a strangely supine Democratic Party) that no even partial recount--let alone anything resembling a voting-machine or vote-tabulator audit--could get under way prior to the selection of Ohio's Republican electors to the Electoral College.<19>

He also did his utmost to block public access to election data, ordering the Boards of Election in all eighty-eight Ohio counties to prevent public inspection of poll books until after certification of the vote, which he delayed until December 6th.<20> On December 10th, his Election Administrator, Pat Wolfe, intervened to prevent analysis of poll-book data by ordering, on Blackwell's authority, a renewed "lock-down" of voting records in Greene County and the entire state. (According to Ohio Revised Code Title XXXV Elections, Sec. 3503.26, such records are to be open to the public; Ohio Revised Code Sec. 3599.42 explicitly declares that any violation of Title XXXV "constitutes a prima facie case of election fraud....")<21>

Bizarrely enough, on the night following the statement to election observers in Greene County that all voter records in the State of Ohio were "locked down" and "not considered public records," the Greene County offices were left unlocked: when the same election observers returned at 10:15 on the morning of Saturday, December 11th, they found the building open, a light on in the office (which had not been on when it was closed on the evening of the 10th), and all of the poll books and voting machines unsecured.<22>

When at last the Green and Libertarian parties' lawyers were able to obtain a recount, Blackwell presided over one that was fully as corrupt as the election had been. Sample hand recounts were to be carried out in each county, involving randomly-selected precincts constituting at least three percent of the vote; any disagreements between the sample recount and the official tally were supposed to prompt a full county-wide hand recount. According to Green Party observers, however, a substantial proportion of Ohio's eighty-eight counties broke the law by not selecting their hand-recount precincts randomly.<23> There is evidence, most crucially, that Triad Governmental Systems, the private corporation responsible for servicing the vote-tabulation machines in about half of the state, tampered with selected machines in counties across Ohio immediately before the recount in order to ensure that the sample recount tallies would conform with the official vote tallies.<24> (Triad's technicians knew which machines to tamper with because, it would appear, Board of Election officials, in open violation of the law, told them which precincts had been pre-selected.)

Despite this widespread tampering, there were discrepancies in at least six counties between the sample hand recounts and the official tallies--and yet the Board of Elections refused to conduct full county-wide hand recounts.<25> As David Swanson writes,"Only one county conducted a full hand recount, which resulted in 6 percent more votes than in the original vote. Those extra votes were evenly split between Kerry and Bush, but--even assuming that one county's votes have now been properly counted--how do we know where votes in the other 87 counties would fall? Should an extra several percent of them show up, and should they be weighted toward Kerry, the election would not have yet been what the media keeps telling us it is: over.<26>

more...
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wli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 04:44 AM
Response to Original message
1. pure fascist fraud
What can we do? How do we do it? Something needs to have a paper trail and the papers have to be guarded 24/7. More and more states are going 100% Diebold and we don't even have a say in it.

Help!
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 05:30 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Mucho Ignoramus-es let a monster in there and now have lost
the Nation to Delusional decisions....
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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 06:28 AM
Response to Original message
3. How do we convince the blind to see?
If people are unwilling to confront the truth, they can't be helped.
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lateo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 06:39 AM
Response to Original message
4. And remember that some of the top Democrats...
Don't believe the election was stolen...
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 07:29 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. They know.
They don't care.
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lateo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. True...
They are even providing cover for the fucking thieves.
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Talismom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 07:31 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Yep! This situation is more depressing to me than any other aspect--
because it can block us from preventing a continuation of all the rest of the horrors. How can we throw these thugs out if they finagle the vote?
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ananda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. well, that's the point..
.. isn't it?

If -they- can finagle the vote, then they don't have to worry about polls or what the increasing majority of people think, then do they?

They simply dance with those that brungem.. corporations, lobbyists, campaign workers.... not with the people.

This country is NOT a democracy, nor is it free. It's set up on the economic principle of scarcity, which causes great fear and truly weird preoccupations with being "normal" and "functioning" as a pseudo-capitalist cog in the big wheel of the free market, deregulated, capitalist economy.. well, it's -called- capitalist but really isn't.. being in actuality corporofascist, existing only for the superrich and the giant megacorporations.

Sue
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LibertyorDeath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Exactly
You speak my language.
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anarch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. very well said
the principle of scarcity. A sort of economic slavery, isn't it? You have mostly fear motivating the working masses, with that slim hope of joining the ranks of the wealthy (although the hope component is perhaps being phased out...)

It seems surprising that more people don't see this society for what it is, as the gap between the superrich and, well, everyone else is widening at an amazing rate, and the petro-corporo-fascists who run the place seem to be doing everything possible to speed it up even more.
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #4
12. There are not many people, even here
Edited on Thu Jul-21-05 11:59 AM by kenny blankenship
who are ready to face the implications of these numbers. Now what do they mean for prominent office holding Democrats, or eminent Party personalities like Sleazy Bill? It's even worse for them than for your average sleepwalking Democratic voter in denial. They cannot acknowledge the possibility of electoral theft that has become so open and routine it can only be called mock democracy or managed voter participation. If it were halfway true, it would suggest that they, prominent Democrats, are merely figureheads left in place as a token opposition to disguise the completion of the takeover and the new nature of our government. Who would listen to them anymore if the little people understood what was really happening? Who would give them money anymore? What would be their use anymore to the GOP power monopoly if everyone understood what the deal really was? They'll be the LAST to acknowledge the stench rising from the floorboards.
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TruthIsAll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. 89% of over 500 Duers believe that the election was stolen...
It's those outside of DU who be convinced...
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LibertyorDeath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 10:30 AM
Response to Original message
9. From DUer Land Shark
Land Shark Donating Member (503 posts) Thu Jul-21-05 04:35 AM
Original message
There's No BASIS for Confidence in Election Results; Activist CRACKdowns


Three days after the Andy Stephenson Memorial in Seattle, another activist is arrested for "investigation" of charges that go to "honesty" and "credibility".

This article explains reasons why such wild reactions are being experienced by activists in the elections fairness area, and establishes in clear terms through historical explanation why in American elections the vote counting emperor not only has no clothes, he has no wardrobe and lives in a glass house.

When it comes to elections, it is the government that has to prove the results it keeps data (ballots and exit poll data) secret on, not the public that has to prove an irregularity in the process specifically made secret or unavailable to the public. The final stages now being implemented of the elimination of checks and balances in elections through the massive replacement of paper ballots with invisible electronic ballots means that elections officials can never provide a basis for a rational confidence in election results, just as a court would never accept an expert opinion that refused to disclose data or methods of analysis to cross examination.

AT THIS HISTORICAL JUNCTURE WE MUST ALWAYS REMIND EVERYONE THAT THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR CONFIDENCE IN ELECTION RESULTS BECAUSE BOTH THE DATA (BALLOTS AND EXIT POLL DATA) AS WELL AS THE METHOD OF ANALYSIS (COUNTING) ARE NOT DISCLOSED, CONSEQUENTLY ONLY THROUGH IRRATIONAL OR TRUST-BASED INFERENCES CAN WE CONCLUDE THAT CONFIDENCE IS APPROPRIATE FROM A SCIENTIFIC PERSPECTIVE. THE BALLOT DATA AND ANALYSIS OF VOTES METHODOLOGY WILL REMAIN SECRET INTO THE INDEFINITE FUTURE WITHOUT A REVERSAL OF POLICY, THUS WE CAN NOT AND ARE NOT ALLOWED TO VERIFY THE EXISTENCE OF DEMOCRACY IN THE UNITED STATES AS AN EMPIRICAL MATTER.

{NO DATA DISCLOSURE} + {NO ANALYSIS/COUNTING DISCLOSURE} = NO BASIS FOR CONFIDENCE IN RESULTS.

Now for how this ties in with bizarre crackdowns on activists recently:

==================================================

Recent coverage of the life and controversial death of politically progressive paper-ballot activist Andy Stephenson has focused both on how Stephenson tried to keep democracy real by advocating paper ballots, (in opposition to the recent federally funded slide into virtual reality through mass purchases of e-voting machines), and on how a vicious smear campaign was waged against Stephensons credibility while he was dying and desperately seeking treatment. Id like to address factors more fundamental than the extensive disinformation campaign against Andy that consisted of entire websites, hate mail to friends and campaigns dedicated to claiming that the anti-election fraud activist was himself a fraud, because friends were raising money for his cancer surgery when he was allegedly not even ill with cancer or anything else. See, e.g., <http://www.seattleweekly.com/features/0529/050720_news_ ... >

Whatever the motives might be for the continuation of this campaign to discredit Stephenson even after Stephensons well documented death at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, critics seemed to delight in saying that someone who had warned us about fraudulent American elections was himself a fraud. This certainly undermines trust in the active citizen community working on these issues.

After trust issues always comes fear. Within three days of Stephensons July 16, 2005 memorial service in Seattle, a whistle blowing or perjuring former Elections Director present at Andys memorial and who the media never tires of reminding us was fired in 2002 (two days after a Seattle Times editorial critical of the elections department) was arrested.

But the arrest and press releases or leaks were only for investigation of various possible charges allegedly constituting a pattern of dishonesty, including allegedly adding pages to a public disclosure file she was inspecting apparently as an activist (called forgery), allegedly sending an email to a current elections official under a different identity (called impersonation), stopping payment on a check for public documents, and tried to hit a police officer by allegedly driving away after being shown a badge in such a manner as to force the officer to step aside to avoid being hit. This investigation not only merits arrest short of charges, but also apparently merits a story on the AP Wire, printed in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and the Seattle Weekly, and supervised by the State Attorney Generals office. <http://www.seattleweekly.com/features/0530/050720_news_ ... >
<http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/233447_kempf21.html >

All major details of crimes she has not been charged with are dutifully printed, together with very old news of her firing controversy.



Whatever the motives of these critics to examine so harshly the credibility of certain election activists, anyone else who dismisses concerns about (or mentions the lack of confidence in) the accuracy of American elections as the work of distrusting conspiracy theorists, seems to misunderstand something extremely fundamental about the American system of democracy: its not about the need for trust and acceptance, its about checks and balances. Which is to say NOT trusting BIG power at all, in a way.

But the all-important checks and balances of elections have been destroyed over the last century or more. The ship of elections is listing badly, and the hard-working and largely faithful crew of election volunteers and officials is too often ready to take offense at anyone who points out the system is poorly designed or malfunctioning, yet all the good intentions in the world by the crew can not save a ship designed or fated to sink. Its not about being distrustful of the technology Andy Stephenson personally happened to know a lot about. Rather, the more one knows about technology, the more one realizes that the utter change-ability of computer electrons is not a solid foundation upon which to continue to build democracy.

When it comes to elections, the checks and balances can not be provided by the government itself, and can only be provided by the public and/or by activist members of the public, because the government itself (which obtains or loses its power and tax money from elections), does not have the ability to check and balance itself from that position of conflict of interest. Only a tyrant counts the votes for his own election, so the government can never administer elections all by itself, and call it good. In fact, the very definition of tyranny is when a political enemy counts the votes unchecked, and a definition of corruption is when you and your own friends count the votes unchecked.

But the process of destabilizing elections and eliminating their checks and balances started long ago and with the best of intentions. For example, in the New England town hall around the time of our Constitution, voting would often be by a show of hands, with each voter able to count total votes for themselves if they wished. The advent of the so-called Australian ballot in the late 1800s (which included the innovative secret ballot) was a welcome protection against possible retaliation based on ones votes, but ballot secrecy is equivalent to putting blindfolds on each voter in the town hall so that they can not see the raised hands of neighbors, with the votes counted by un-blindfolded government officials. Because an audit trail can never connect a particular ballot to a voter without violating ballot secrecy, and because the government both operates the elections and gains and loses its tax money and power via elections, it is a wonder that the public professes any basis for confidence in election results at all, especially when you consider that no one is ever allowed anymore to count the ballots for themselves, or even to see them.

Given the foundation of elections is so open to fraud unless there are serious checks and balances provided by public observation of the vote counting, taking the additional step as our nation is now of adding vastly more computers into the voting mix acts to replace paper ballots with electrons, thereby making the process of vote counting literally invisible, and consequently extremely wide open to alteration without leaving any significant evidence.

Given these structural problems and lack of checks and balances anymore in elections, one can only accept computerized voting or scanning of ballots based on pure faith, because no data is disclosed (the ballots) nor are the precise methods of analysis either disclosed, observable or repeatable.

While paper ballots are also imperfect and subject to ballot box stuffing and other risks, at least they tend to create witnesses and evidence and typically yield only single vote rewards for the unscrupulous, while computerization of the vote allows a single motivated individual to alter an entire election without leaving any substantial evidence. Thus, it is not a valid objection to say "paper ballots have problems too" because the problems are smaller, they don't spread, and they leave evidence....

With defense budgets in the trillions, government contracts in the billions, and campaign costs in the millions, many seem to think it inconceivable that anyone would mess with a US election. This is inexplicable, but apparently due to an irrational assumption that there is a lack of anything substantial at stake in American elections, or perhaps the irrational assumption that the apparent lack of any really important issues in American elections like war, abortion, or a worldwide permanent war on terror would minimize any actual tampering risk, though if these political risks were to be assumed to exist, someone on one side or the other of any of these issues could easily believe that allowing such a critical issue as a worldwide battle between Christianity and Islam to be decided or defeated by the vagaries of 30-second addled voters combined with the lies of the folks on the other "wrong" side of the issue would be a profound travesty of justice, thus completely justifying the nonviolent offense of election rigging instead of the more traditional political assassination or neutralization campaign against political enemies. In fact, rigging such an important election would become a joyous occasion for such a zealot, not a badge of shame as people seem to assume would be the case. Besides, there were at least 50 million people in the continental USA alone on each side of the REPUBLICAN/DEMOCRAT divide, each of whom had motive, and knew

WHO TO FAVOR (their candidate for president)
WHAT they needed (votes)
WHEN they needed them (on Election Day, November 2, 2004)
WHERE they needed them (swing states, particularly Ohio, Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Iowa)
WHY they needed them (the Electoral College)

and many knew HOW to do it: change tabulator results, etc.

In fact, given the above numbers with motive and knowldge, the idea that it is "conspiracy theory" to think that someone, even someone in a foreign country or for fun, might want to affect the election for control of the world's richest country and sole military superpower is ludicrous assuming even a rudimentary knowledge of world history. Attacks on such hypotheses reflect either a fundamental failure to think, an intentional plan to discourage independent thought in the area, or a plain indication that one lacks the freedom in the USA to make educated guesses based on partial information, which itself raises grave concerns about the ability of America to compete in the world of science, since science involves the formation of "conspiratorial" hypotheses that things might work together this way or that way, based on analysis of known fact combined with intuition, followed by the testing of those hypotheses and the explanation of methods to others to see if they can repeat the same experiment with the same results.

In any event, whether correct or incorrect, there is no substantial scientific or political basis to have confidence in American elections as presently constituted, and it is IMPOSSIBLE for elections officials to PROVE them reliable without reinstituting the checks and balances they claim have been safely discarded and replaced by misleading government or secretary of state certification of voting machines and the "testing" of the same as to its ability to handle an election day of almost 200 votes by casting 1 or 2 test votes, just like test drives ensure the lifetime performance of an automobile.

The complete obviousness that government certification of lawyers or doctors or any other professional together with their testing is not even remotely close to a guarantee of proper behavior or performance does not stop elections officials from regularly and confidently reciting that the emperor's certification and this limited testing is a modern day improvement rendering our Constitutionally based systems of checks and balances utterly obsolete.

But Andy Stephenson, after spending the last years of his life asking for information about elections and not being able to find any basis for confidence in the reported and certified results, was still typically a luminous and optimistic person, determined to overcome the massive weakness in our country's democratic election defenses by making the government "show its work" like anyone else in court, in school, or on the job. One can't convict a speeder with a radar gun without showing (if challenged) that the gun is properly calibrated and how it works, and having that process be subject to cross examination. Every court case in which expert witnesses appear will require those expert witnesses to show their work, both the data they used and the methods of analysis chosen.

But in democracy, the government regularly re-elects itself with Wizard of Oz machinations that they will never disclose to regular citizens, using ballot data they never show, confirmed (or not at all confirmed) by exit poll data for which conclusions are published and then changed to match election "results", but the data for which is proprietary and therefore also never disclosed. Unfortunately, the very gullibility of the American public in accepting this process is aided by a love of country and a reticence to criticize it, yet the one most faithful to his automobile is the one who spots the problems and goes about fixing them before all is lost.

With $6 billion in new federal funding for e-voting machines under HAVA which passed Congress in 2002 to be spent by January 1, 2006, corporations now increasingly claim the heart of our elections (vote counting) and over 2/3 of the total vote in this country, as a computerized software private property interest and as a corporate trade secret that the government is obliged to help them keep secret. This state of election affairs is completely beyond concerns about corporate "influence" or corporate "power"; this is literally corporate ownership of the heart of democracy itself, made the private profit slave of a corporation, instead of serving the public interest which occasionally calls for something other than profit as a motive.

Given the private property now claimed at the heart of democracy itself and the focus on profitability, one would think the government would have the sense to auction off the right to count votes in secret to the highest bidding corporation, in order to maximize the return to the taxpayer for the literal sellout of our democracy.

Certainly, a modest proposal by a foreign nation to abstain from attacking our cities, factories and taking our mineral resources in exchange for the minor favor of merely counting our votes in secret would be met by immediate recognition of what this really means, rejection of the "offer" and repulsion by force as needed, yet in our day and age taxpayers are handsomely paying tax dollars to private corporations to assume this extraordinary privilege and immunity of secret vote counting, with the government allying with these private corporations to defeat the publics right to know whats going on in its elections, and to operate as a check and balance on the counting of the vote. It is a "conquest by contract" in which mere purchases of voting equipment purport to vitiate our history, constitution, democracy, and checks and balances without so much as a poor debate by a legislature ignorant of the Constitution. The Founders were SO distrustful to think that congress might do something unconstitutional!

COnsider now the radical secrecy in which the government is now attempting to operate elections as a strong contrast with the openness and friendliness of Andy Stephenson, who maintained his style and spirit to the end, despite having every reason in the world to call bullshit on the real democracy he loved, and swore would never die on HIS watch.

We should be much more concerned with the credibility of the side of the debate that is saying trust me with wealth or power than the activist side of the debate that asks for public debate on election security and insists on checks and balances, a central term in which power was delegated from the people to the government in the first place.

Until the media re-learns these things and ceases ignoring the concerns of active citizens and being inexplicably crippled as a check and balance to big government and big corporations, the media and our elections will continue to receive a grade of F for Fear and Favor. Like Soviet "journalists", they now seem to fancy themselves responsible for not making irresponsible public questions.

The loss of freedom, the loss of the meaningful right to vote, and the loss of checks and balances may all happen on our watch, not because many truly wish them dead, but because they are *being called something else*, or made fun of, and then dismissed or killed, like when checks and balances are renamed distrust, and when exercising right of any citizen to inquire and/or exercise the freedom to theorize (defined as the reconciliation of available facts into an educated probabilistic judgment) about what has deliberately been made secret is laughed off as conspiracy theory by journalists eager to triangulate themselves into some centrist credentials in a craven form of self-protection or proof to their employers that they will not question corporate or governmental secrecy, but will instead ridicule those would would think or inquire. All of this comes at the expense of the dynamic of active and voluntary association to solve problems that de Tocqueville considered essential to the unique American character and so prevalent among americans, because one is ridiculed for venturing off into the unknown territory instead of achieving a form of respect at least as a pioneer, even if dead wrong, as many a pioneer's fate.

Whether the two activists of Mr. Stephenson and Ms. Klempf are perfect or instead a work in progress on the moral level, they are two active folks Ive seen or heard about who got it, and were trying to live these American ideals of voluntary problem-solving association in order to protect and improve their countrys democracy. One ended up cruelly dead, the other publicly jailed for an "investigation" and labeled dishonest.

In no way do the humiliating punishments meted out to these activists fit the crimes even if all the allegations had been true, but there are compensations. These compensations are (1) we got the NEWS (defined by Bill Moyers I think as something somebody in power wants to keep hidden) and all they got is the rest, which is just PR.

When the PR is failing as badly as it is now, the powers that be tend to feel threatened and lash out. But in the end nothing can stop the common sense argument that secret corporate vote counting is wrong, nor can anything stop the desire of an awakened American public to rid itself of anything and anyone that would claim the treasonous right to own as private PROPERTY for profit and without regard to the public interest, our democracy itself, and furthermore without any right of supervision or control by the public.

The only thing worse than selling your soul or your democracy, is allowing it to be possessed or owned for purely selfish purposes in the first place.

P. Lehto
Attorney at Law
paul@lehtopenfield.com
(the only way my "credibility" is at issue in the above essay is to the extent you fail or refuse to exercise your God-given right as an American to think for yourself)

Plaintiff, Lehto & Wells v. Sequoia Voting Systems, et al.
Pleadings at:
<www.votersunite.org/info/lehtolawsuit.asp> ; ;

Land Shark!

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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AuntiBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
13. So Many Highly-Creditable Reports Like This, & Not 1 MSN REPORT!
So fed-up with the lamestream media! If the voting does not become authentic in this country, we can forget all the rest.
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byronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
14. Imagine their panic if we could somehow buy a majority stake in Diebold.
The Board of Directors hereby votes to replace Wally with TruthIsAll. And guess what -- he'd actually be fair about it. Panic! Such even-handedness means the end of the GOP!
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WhoWantsToBeOccupied Donating Member (413 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. No. They'd kill him. He would "suicide" himself or drive off a cliff.
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TruthIsAll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
15. The Corporate Media and the Democrats don't want to talk about this.
But it's only a matter of time.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Can you spell COLLUSION, boys and girls?
I KNEW you could!
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #15
21. It's coming...sooner rather than later.
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Al-CIAda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 12:25 AM
Response to Original message
19. .
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 12:27 AM
Response to Original message
20. That article is right on the money. Excellent read!
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Al-CIAda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 07:15 AM
Response to Original message
22. .
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 09:11 AM
Response to Original message
23. This is a must read
Kicking 'er up.

Kerry won. The election was stolen and even our people need to be better informed as to just how it was stolen. Keep this sucker kicked, please.
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dchill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
24. Must Read!
kick!
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
25. Not so strange afterall. What a great article. Recommend.
Thanks for posting this.
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Al-CIAda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-24-05 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
26. .
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