15 November 2005

20 Amazing Facts about Voting in the USA

Blazing its way over the internets, reproduced for your perusal here…

Did you know…

  1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.

  2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.

  3. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.

  4. The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

  5. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines.

  6. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.

  7. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's vice-presidential candidates.

  8. ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes

  9. Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.

  10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.

  11. Diebold is based in Ohio.

  12. Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as consultants and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states.,2645,61640,00.html

  13. Jeff Dean was Senior Vice-President of Global Election Systems when it was bought by Diebold. Even though he had been convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree, Jeff Dean was retained as a consultant by Diebold and was largely responsible for programming the optical scanning software now used in most of the United States.

  14. Diebold consultant Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years.

  15. None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio.

  16. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it! (See the movie here),2645,63298,00.html

  17. 30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail.

  18. All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.,2645,65757,00.html

  19. The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President's brother.

  20. Serious voting anomalies in Florida -- again always favoring Bush -- have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation.,10801,97614,00.html

Rampant proliferation of voting machines without any accountability is an invitation for fraud. In the recent initiative elections in Ohio earlier this month, newspaper polls of registered voters varied from the actual Tuesday vote in a statistically inconceivable margin.

Concerned citizens have been sounding an alarm for rectifying this lack of checks and oversight, but to date, nothing of significance has been done by lawmakers to ensure that vote counts are accurate and free from any monkey business. Paper ballots can be recounted; proprietary machine algorithms with dubious security provisions overseen by rabid partisans cast a fog of suspicion and a ring of total uncertainty about the the voting process. While 100% proof of no impropriety may be a utopian goal for any system, action must be taken to position the engine of democracy above reproach. It is beyond belief and an outrage that this is not being remedied ASAP.

3 November 2005

The toilet seat separated from his skin, leaving abrasions

Glued to toilet, man sues Home Depot
Home Depot was sued by a shopper from a Colorado store who claims he got stuck to a restroom toilet seat because a prankster had smeared it with glue.

Bob Dougherty, 57, accused employees of ignoring his cries for help for about 15 minutes because they thought he was kidding."They left me there, going through all that stress," Dougherty told The Daily Camera, of Boulder.

"They just let me rot."

Dude, I feel for you and all, but next time, you might want to perform a cursory examination of a public toilet seat before you just plop down on it. Better yet, you might want to slip on one of those sanitary covers over top of the bowl, or use it wipe the seat off before you attach your tush to it.