Thursday, October 28, 2010

Electronic Voting and Stealing Elections With Media Complicity

I don't trust establishment politicians. I don't trust the establishment media. I don't trust that the two groups don't have unwritten agreements to scratch each others backs. I don't trust the establishment, period. The establishment is not out to look after my best interests, your best interests, or the best interests of the common folk on the street. The establishment is out to look after the best interests of the establishment, and unscrupulous people inside the establishment will stop at nothing to make sure they maintain their power and keep their wealth stream flowing. There isn't a principle they won't forsake nor a law they won't break in order to protect their interests, including trashing any system that may help protect the interests of the less powerful individuals within society.

One of the basic principles of a democratic republic is the right of the people to be able to fairly and honestly select a representative that a majority of the populous can agree on. While the merits of this system are debatable, the reality of its effects is not. The vast majority of people will see this system as legitimate and go along with its dictates so long as the laws passed and requests made of the populous remain reasonable. In order for this type of system to maintain its perception of legitimacy, it also must remain transparent. Both these requisites have become extremely compromised over the past decade and more and more people are adopting the perception that our system is no longer legitimate.

I first began to suspect that the electoral system in this country had problems back in the late eighties, early nineties when Ross Perot was running for president and founded one of the most successful third parties in modern times. I voted for Mr. Perot. I remember asking many others who they voted for and the vast majority voted for Mr. Perot. I don't believe that most of the people I know are anything other than average Americans. I couldn't understand how so large a percentage of the people I asked had voted for Mr. Perot and yet he had obtained so low a percentage of the vote when the ballots were counted. I realized that I knew only a small percentage of people and understood that my sampling wasn't scientifically sound, but I still had a bad feeling in the back of my mind that something had gone rotten with the system.

(As an aside, I was reminded the other day of something Ross Perot said about passing NAFTA and a giant sucking sound of jobs leaving the country. Seems like his statement was very prophetic considering the present high unemployment rate and the gloomy outlook for creating jobs in the future.)

I think that the elections in which George W. Bush was elected showed us just how devious our electoral system had become. I'm not talking about the Electoral College or hanging chads, I'm talking about pure and simple corruption and the compromising of the very principle of free and open elections.

Now I am reading stories of electronic voting machines flipping votes. A few years ago, it was the Republicans who were benefiting from such mishaps. Now it's the Democrats. I've read stories of early voters in Nevada being unable to vote for Sharron Angle and instead Harry Reid and the whole slate of Democrats is registered by the machine. I've read stories of service technicians talking about how easy it is to hack into the machines.

As one who's had experience with computers, machine level programming code, RAM and ROM memory and other digital electronic basics, I understand perhaps a little better than most the holes in securing data on electronic voting machines. It is nowhere near as secure as good old paper ballots and a paper trail. In fact, I would suggest that electronic voting provides near zero security and the voting public should show near zero confidence that their vote is even being counted. But don't take my word for it. Bev Harris and Black Box Voting have done a marvelous job documenting the flaws and corruption of our current election processes. There is also a wonderful documentary available called Hacking Democracy. If you haven't seen it yet, I suggest you find the time to watch it.

How are we to have even the illusion of legitimacy when we can't even be certain that the candidates elected to be representatives of the people were put into office by a majority of participating voters? How are we supposed to "throw the bums out" when we can't be sure that our votes against corrupt and criminal incumbents won't be flipped and counted for them? How can we hold anyone accountable when our electoral process is secretive and controlled by individuals and companies whose interests may conflict with or be served by certain politicians on the ballots?

Yet the problem goes deeper than just the voting machines. It takes confidence in the system by the majority of voters for the system to maintain its appearance of legitimacy. The voting machines might easily be done away with if the problems with them were widely reported. Yet one hardly hears anything about such problems in the establishment corporate media. With a few notable exceptions like the documentary mentioned above, one needs to go to alternative sources if one wants to really get the low down on these highly suspect election practices.

The press was supposed to be the de facto fourth branch of the American republic, a kind of watchdog over the other three branches of government in case the checks and balances failed. It was specifically mentioned in the first amendment of the Bill of Rights. President Kennedy, emphasized its importance in a famous speech admonishing secrecy and concealment. The establishment press has failed miserably in carrying out this important duty. In fact, I would suggest that the modern day press has done the opposite of being a watchdog and has empowered the federal government to usurp the control one should have over his own life and to grow well past the limits written into the Constitution that were put there to constrain it. That's one reason why the citizen press, the blogs and opinions one finds on the Internet, is so important.

The establishment press has a tendency to attack those who may threaten the status quo. It seems to embellish insignificant faults and mishaps involving candidates who might threaten the establishment while ignoring glaring corruption of the candidates who likely serve the interests of globalists and the corporate elites. This is not new. It has been going on for quite some time. Remember how Ross Perot was painted as crazy? Remember how they did the same with Ron Paul back in 2008? More recently, it was Debra Medina in Texas who was painted with the crazy brush. It seems that any time a candidate espousing freedom principles and advocating more power to the individual and less to the government gains steam and starts to become popular, the establishment media jumps all over that person and tries to demonize or discredit them. It's the same MO, over and over. Perhaps that's why establishment news programs are losing viewers and establishment newspapers are losing readers. People aren't stupid, and they do remember.

I don't even trust the pollsters anymore. It seems to me that they have no accountability either. It seems to me that they can do and say what they want, and that they can do and say anything those paying them would like them to say. The polls seldom seem believable to me. They almost never seem to mesh or reflect the sentiment I encounter in my personal life. I don't know why.

Consider this, polls say that the approval rating for Congress is only 11%. I can believe that. That seems right. But when polled, often more than 11% of the people are planning on voting for their incumbent congress critters. That just doesn't seem to make much sense. Why would so many disapprove of the job their "representatives" are doing, but then go ahead and re-elect them? Where's the disconnect? Is it apathy? Could it be because they see both major parties as bought and paid for so they don't think there's any difference between the two candidates? Is it the "devil you know versus the devil you don't" meme? Perhaps it's the "lesser of two evils" saying at work. Whatever the case, it seems to me that a decent third party or independent candidate (with the exception of one Joe Lieberman) might help and a principled one reported on in a favorable light by the mainstream media outlets might have a chance.

So, go to the polls next Tuesday and vote. Vote the incumbents out of office. Vote for candidates that seem to you to be the most anti-establishment. Vote for those who claim to want to shrink government and give the common folk more power. Vote for whatever candidate you feel will best represent your interests. Just don't expect too much. Don't expect too much to change. Don't expect the system to roll over. Don't expect honesty. Don't expect truth. Don't expect any real investigative reporting from the media. These are things the common folk will likely have to do on their own. The system will not change until the common folk stop paying for and putting up with it. It will not change until we make it known in no uncertain terms that we've had enough.

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