Bev Harris Of BlackBoxVoting.org Joins Me To Discuss Memphis Election Mess On KPFK

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"Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org Joins Me to Discuss Memphis Election Mess on KPFK"

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COMMENT #1 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/22/2010 @ 3:31 pm PT...

After you and Bev get through explaining how easily rigged and unverifiable our elections are, I'm sure you'll both be urging listeners to vote.

Step right up, folks! Cast your uncounted or flipped ballot right here, so the election integrity industry can sympathize with you when it is stolen. Help us document what we already know by sending money to this important cause so basic to our democracy.

Don't forget to exercise your freedom to cast your uncounted vote!


COMMENT #2 [Permalink]

... karenfromillinois said on 9/22/2010 @ 3:50 pm PT...

bev and team have done an amazing job of showing how the machines in tn have spit out an impossible number....more votes than voters...


COMMENT #3 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/22/2010 @ 4:01 pm PT...

More votes than voters?

Well, then, obviously the solution is more voters.

Get out there and cast YOUR uncounted vote and badger everyone you know into casting their uncounted vote too!

How can we verify uncounted votes if people don't cast votes they know won't be counted?

People who are too apathetic to cast an uncounted vote should be shot!


COMMENT #4 [Permalink]

... Ernest A. Canning said on 9/22/2010 @ 4:01 pm PT...

Brad: I hope you'll find time to do a separate piece on Bev's coverage of the Memphis, TN election fraud mess.

I mean wow!


COMMENT #5 [Permalink]

... Jeannie Dean said on 9/22/2010 @ 4:38 pm PT...

Mark E. Smith ~

Your constant, ridiculous assertions that boycotting the vote is an effective means of protest are laughable and not worth even responding to, but in case anyone else is reading you and thinks you have a point:

"Boycotting the vote is a counter-productive, destructive, uninformed idea that has been floated here more than once, and is never taken seriously for many, many, many, many reasons. Here are just a couple:

1.) Suggesting we abstain from voting as protest against the very people who *DON'T WANT US VOTING* is about the dumbest rollover suicide strategy I've ever heard of.

2) is ignorant of one of the only mathematical advantages we have in this fight:

TURN OUT.

It's all we got.

The now famous HURSTI hack (featured in HBO's Emmy-award nominated doc HACKING DEMOCRACY) proves it. Only a small percentage of votes can be diverted electronically (or erased completely) without causing huge disparities in the voter turnout / vote ratio.

Brad (and Bev Harris and a handful of other election integrity heros) have reported impossible numbers from election after election; machine "failures", and "glitches" that (regularly) produce more votes than voters, more voters than votes...

and only a few of us ever seem to notice that impossible elections are happening right under our noses, printed as stolen in statistics in every newspaper and on every website...if only any one ever bothered to look.

If we can INCREASE voter turnout, the chances are much greater that any manipulation of the results will be more widely recognized, even if it's NEVER reported by anyone but Brad. (It's all very easy info to dismiss until it's YOUR vote that disappears down the rabbit hole.)

3) ...people have suffered and died, are dying, and *will* die for what's left of your right to vote. So get your ass off the couch and participate in your democracy. It's a dire, most important civic duty because the road to do so has been paved in blood and stone and it's the least you can do for the residual spirits of the sacred, brave American dead.

4.) If Brad and Bev can continue to tirelessly advocate for public oversight of our own elections, as the right to vote count is *the* right that comes before all others, then the least we can do is show up."

(Brad / all - Please forgive re-posting this summation for Mark after having written it up for another thread. I'm just sick to death of his reoccurring lack of understanding re: VOTER TURNOUT's impact on MANIPULATED ELECTIONS. Please stop what you're doing. It's destructive and dis-informative.)


COMMENT #6 [Permalink]

... Brad Friedman said on 9/22/2010 @ 5:13 pm PT...

Jeannie Dean @ 5 said:

I'm just sick to death of his reoccurring lack of understanding

Me too. Thank *you* for having the patience to respond anymore. His comments continue to be idiotic and appalling. How he's decided that "your vote will not be counted" (or whatever horseshit way he put it this time) is beyond me.

Yes, we have to fight to assure our votes are counted. Yes, we have to fight to assure they are counted accurately. But, as you point out, if we don't vote, there is nothing for the bad guys to do. We've done it for them.

Mark: When you come up with a new idea, about *anything*, please feel free to comment. Until then, please take your tired, dead horse elsewhere. Thanks!


COMMENT #7 [Permalink]

... Shortbus said on 9/22/2010 @ 5:39 pm PT...

Hey Brad, Are you going to Markos's book signing tonight? lol


COMMENT #8 [Permalink]

... Brad Friedman said on 9/22/2010 @ 7:11 pm PT...

Didn't know he was having one tonight, Shortbus! (Invite lost in the mail? ;-) )

In truth, I hear his presentation for his new book (American Taliban) is a good one, and I wouldn't mind hearing it!


COMMENT #9 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/22/2010 @ 8:05 pm PT...

Jeannie Dean, do you really believe that corporations, political parties, and candidates spend millions of dollars getting out the vote because they don't want people to vote?

Yes, "Brad (and Bev Harris and a handful of other election integrity heros) have reported impossible numbers from election after election," and have also reported that nothing has ever been done about it.

"If we can INCREASE voter turnout, the chances are much greater that any manipulation of the results will be more widely recognized," unless the central tabulators have been programmed to allocate a certain PERCENTAGE of the vote to specific candidates, in which case the total number of votes cast is irrelevant. However even if you strike it lucky and the manipulation IS recognized, and you publicize it, and sympathize, there's nothing you can DO about it.

Nobody ever fought and died for the right to cast an uncounted vote. You need to learn the difference between an uncounted or flipped vote and a voice in government.

Brad, as long as people are willing to vote in faith-based unverifiable elections, there is no reason for the powers that be to allow honest elections. The ONLY leverage We the People have is to REFUSE to vote in faith-based unverifiable elections and to withhold our votes unless we KNOW that our votes will be counted accurately.

If you continue to vote in faith-based, unverifiable elections, you've done the bad guys' work for them because all they have to do is "disappear" or flip your votes, and then let you try to get your "elected" officials to do anything about it, which they won't.

I did an informal poll in 2008 asking voters if they would continue to vote if the only federally approved voting mechanism was a flush toilet. Half of them said that they would, citing their precious right to vote that people had fought and died for. Unless your vote is counted, counted accurately, cannot be overridden, and is the sole determinant of the results of the election, it is NOT a voice in government and is NOT what people fought and died for.

Stalin allowed people (in fact he forced people) to vote in his rigged elections--did that make the Soviet Union a democracy and its citizens free?

How long are you going to keep attacking me and denying the truth that votes cast in faith-based unverifiable elections are NOT a basis for or an indication of democracy?

In stolen election after stolen election, the election integrity industry has proven time after time that the elections were stolen, and that there is no possible remedy for stolen elections even when there is absolute proof that the election was stolen, and then encouraging people to vote in the next stolen election. That's what a professional shill does--encourage people to play in a rigged con game.

Once a Member of Congress or President has been sworn into office, even if you could prove conclusively that not a single vote had ever been cast for that person, there is no Constitutional remedy. Only Congress itself could remove them from office and they won't. You can blog about it, investigate it, and commiserate about it all you want, but if you vote in rigged elections, you have to live with the results. How can you be so apathetic as not to care even after so many stolen elections that have harmed this country so greatly?


COMMENT #10 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/22/2010 @ 8:33 pm PT...

Look, we KNOW that Gore won the popular vote in 2000, but Bush took office and served out his four year term because there was nothing we could do about it.

We KNOW that Kerry probably won the popular vote in 2004, but since he conceded before the votes could be counted and many records were illegally destroyed, it was impossible to prove and even if it had been proven, there was no way to remove Bush from office so he would have served out his second four year term, as he did, anyway.

In 2008 Bush won AGAIN because the only two candidates with any chance of winning were both committed to the Bush pro-war, pro-bailout, pro-Wall Street anti-Main Street agenda, so the results of the election, more wars and bigger bailouts, were predetermined no matter how many people votes or how they voted and whether or not their votes were counted.

And we know that in 2012 the corporations will spend millions of dollars to ensure that their candidates win, every dirty trick in the book will be used to subvert the vote, and that no matter how brazenly the election is stolen, there is no remedy for a stolen election. In the case of faith-based unverifiable elections, it takes Herculean efforts even to prove that the election was stolen when there's nothing that can be done about it anyway.

The only reason the election integrity industry keeps encouraging people to vote in faith-based unverifiable elections, is so that it can continue to decry one stolen election after another.

If you left your keys in your unlocked car and it was stolen, and you'd been unable to collect the insurance or get the car back due to your own negligence, I'd warn you not to do it again. If you did it a second time and the same thing happened, I'd start to wonder if you had any brains. When it happened a third time, I'd begin to suspect that you were in cahoots with the car thief because nobody is THAT stupid. So what should I think if you publicly announced your intention to do it a fourth time?


COMMENT #11 [Permalink]

... jani01 said on 9/22/2010 @ 8:36 pm PT...

{Ed Note: Comment deleted. Commercial spam. -BF}


COMMENT #12 [Permalink]

... psychologists sydney said on 9/22/2010 @ 10:00 pm PT...

{Ed Note: Comment deleted. Commercial spam. -BF}


COMMENT #13 [Permalink]

... ClintCurtis'Dog said on 9/23/2010 @ 12:07 am PT...

{Ed Note: Comment from user banned multiple times for continuous and flagrant violation of BRAD BLOG commenting rules, most notably using multiple user names, deleted.}


COMMENT #14 [Permalink]

... Larry bergan said on 9/23/2010 @ 3:30 am PT...

I just uploaded my first video to YouTube. I'm not sure whether I'm in trouble or not, but I'm SURE most BradBlog readers will love it!

Mr. Fund tries to tell us he's concerned about fraud in voting. Why does he defend Diebold here? Well, because HE'S a fraud; No?

And yet we enter another voting season without any idea who won...

Peace!


COMMENT #15 [Permalink]

... Hesi exam said on 9/23/2010 @ 4:32 am PT...

{Ed Note: Comment deleted. Commercial spam.}


COMMENT #16 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/23/2010 @ 4:40 am PT...

Ah, Larry, but does it matter who won or whether or not we know who won?

As long as we have our sacred right to vote, how can anyone be so apathetic as to care about who won or whether or not we know who won?

You're right, at least as this BradBlog reader is concerned--I love the video you uploaded.

It does get rather repetitive though.

We can't verify the election and there's a chance that the election might be stolen, so get out there and vote.

We can't verify the election, there are many discrepancies and glitches, and we think the election may have been stolen.

We've proven that the election was stolen and that the wrong person has been in office for (two/four/six/eight) years now. Irreparable harm has been done, over a million innocent people killed, our economy wrecked, and there's no way we can remove that person from office but there's a new election coming up so please get out there and vote for somebody else.

The election was stolen again, the wrong person was sworn into office again, irreparable harm has been done again, there's nothing we can do about it again, and we believe that the next election will also be stolen, so get out there and vote!

Yawn.

Oh, and don't listen to that nutcase suggesting that you don't vote--if you don't allow your vote to be stolen, how can we prove that your vote was stolen?

People fought and died for your right to allow your vote to be stolen--don't forget to vote!


COMMENT #17 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/23/2010 @ 4:52 am PT...

Tonight's sweet tweets:

JasonLeopold

Wouldn't it B gr8 if Obama & Dems said fuck it & started prosecuting/investigating Bush admin 4 war crimes? In other words, do their duty

fubarista (me)

@JasonLeopold Wouldn't it B gr8 if Obama & Dems said fuck it & stopped continuing/expanding Bush war crimes? Even for five minutes?


COMMENT #18 [Permalink]

... Larry bergan said on 9/23/2010 @ 5:07 am PT...

Mark E. Smith:

I think that is the most cynical thing I've ever read.

Obama defeated the plans of the right wing to steal another election through shear turnout and those people are still registered.

Whether the right wing or your sorry ass has convinced them to give up will be known in a few weeks.

What is your opinion about the video on this page?

Honestly, I don't care! Keep it to yourself, dude.


COMMENT #19 [Permalink]

... Larry bergan said on 9/23/2010 @ 5:23 am PT...

Walden O'Dell is the dude who said he was going to deliver votes to monkey man in 2004 and John Fund CLEARLY calls him Warden O'Dell in my video.

Fund is defending a man and he can't even get the name strait.


COMMENT #20 [Permalink]

... Larry bergan said on 9/23/2010 @ 5:28 am PT...

We're all monkey men, but some of us are more equal then others.


COMMENT #21 [Permalink]

... Ernest A. Canning said on 9/23/2010 @ 7:39 am PT...

While I am pleased that Brad deleted the post from the serial offender @13, I am deeply offended that this individual would choose the handle, "ClintCurtis'Dog."

For the uninitiated, a few hours after The BRAD BLOG published its original story about the content of the Curtis affidavit in which Curtis revealed how former Republican Congressman Tom Feeney asked him to develop an e-vote stealing prototype, someone shot and killed Clint’s three year old German Shepard, according to Curtis.

In an effort at gallows humor, during Murder, Spies & Voting Lies, Curtis observed that his dog’s death was not a suicide.

This was supplied in relation to the mysterious death of Ray Lemme, an investigator with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), who turned up dead inside a Valdosta, GA motel room on July 1, 2003. Lemme had been investigating the the allegations that Curtis' termination by the FDOT was retaliatory.

In June 2003, Lemme told Curtis “he had tracked the corruption ‘all the way to the top,’ and that the story would break in the next few weeks…”

Careful examination of the crime scene photos raises significant questions as to the validity of the Valdosta PD conclusion that Lemme's death was a suicide.


COMMENT #22 [Permalink]

... Brad Friedman said on 9/23/2010 @ 9:41 am PT...

Larry Bergen @14:

I just uploaded my first video to YouTube. I'm not sure whether I'm in trouble or not, but I'm SURE most BradBlog readers will love it!

What was the date on the vid, Larry? Any idea? I don't think it's recent, is it?


COMMENT #23 [Permalink]

... glf said on 9/23/2010 @ 10:17 am PT...

Sounds to me like Mark E. Smith is a shill for the GOP. Who benefits the most when the masses don't/can't vote? Rather than coming up with ideas to prevent or fight rigged elections, Smith's only suggestion is for people to not exercise their right to vote. Smith is similar to the ones who turn away people at the polls for illegitimate reasons except that he's trying to do it before they even stand in line.


COMMENT #24 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/23/2010 @ 11:05 am PT...

Sure, GLF, anybody who won't grant their consent of the governed to the Republican agenda must be a Republican. All Democrats know that there's nothing wrong with the Republican war, bailouts, Wall Street, corporate, favoring the rich agenda as long as Democrats do it. Democrats voted for everything Bush and Cheney wanted during the two Bush/Cheney administrations, took impeachment off the table, are still protecting them from prosecution, and have expanded both the wars and the bailouts, but having Democrats carry out the Republican agenda is much better for the country than having Republicans do it.

Just like having your vote stolen or even flushing your vote down the toilet is better than not voting at all.

The ONLY way to fight rigged elections is to boycott them and refuse to vote in them. As long as people are willing to vote in rigged elections, there's no reason for those in power to allow honest elections. Just keep telling your elected officials that you want honest elections and that if you don't get them you'll keep right on voting in rigged elections. That's going to force them to change because they really care about you, right?

Obama didn't defeat the plans of the right wing. The corporate right wing gave more money to Obama than to McCain because they knew he'd give them more money in bailouts than McCain would. There was no election in '08. The only two candidates with any chance of winning both had the same big donors, both had the same pro-war agenda, and both took time out from their sham campaign to issue a joint statement in support of bailouts. Yes, the Democratic candidate Obama, and the Republican candidate, McCain, at a time when the public was overwhelmingly opposed to bailouts and they were supposed to be campaigning against each other and appealing to voters, stopped campaigning and issued a joint statement saying that neither of them cared what voters wanted and that both of them were committed to the Republican bailout agenda.

You want cynical? Google their joint statement in support of bailouts. Look at some of the news stories from that time about how much opposition there was to bailouts among voters. I couldn't get that cynical if my life depended on it. Obama and McCain said that they didn't care who you voted for, they both had the same agenda, and that they didn't care if 90% of voters opposed the bailouts, they both supported the bailouts.

The best estimates I've heard are that at least six million votes went uncounted in the '08 election. You don't know who won because the election was unverifiable and you don't know if it was due to turnout or due to election rigging. You believe in faith-based elections because you have faith in faith-based elections and you don't like people who are too cynical to take things on faith.


COMMENT #25 [Permalink]

... Larry bergan said on 9/23/2010 @ 11:07 am PT...

Brad:

It's from early September, after the Republican convention in New York in 2004. Here is the web page about it.


COMMENT #26 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/23/2010 @ 11:10 am PT...

Oops, only the first 3 paragraphs above are in response to GLF, the rest is in response to Larry.


COMMENT #27 [Permalink]

... karenfromillinois said on 9/23/2010 @ 11:24 am PT...

in case you dont have time to listen,i think this copy from bev @ bbv.org sums things up,

Mike is correct. Their names were entered into an electronic pollbook (which had the wrong list inserted into it). The list wrongly identified thousands of voters as already having voted even though they had not already voted. Shelby County has admitted that it inserted the wrong list into the electronic pollbooks, claiming it inserted a voted set of May early voters instead of putting in the August early voters.

I'm not clear on why they needed to insert any new list at all for Election Day. It appears that they inserted the list Aug. 3. Early Voting ended July 31 and Election Day voting began Aug. 5. Since the CORRECT early voters would have been listed in the database already, I am not sure why it became necessary to insert a new list.

They claim that during the process of inserting the new list for Election Day they accidentally put the voted May early voter list in. But we asked for the incorrect "May" list they inserted and it does not match the May list. These people tell whoppers for breakfast.

Yes, they do post a daily total of the number of Early Voters on their Web site. No, they do not have a physical sign-in sheet to confirm the electronic database placed into the electronic pollbook.

It is possible to verify whether Early Voting reported totals changed from during the Early Voting process to Election Day - I haven't seen evidence so far that they did.

But verifying that the purported Early Voters listed in the epollbook had anything to do with reality is another matter, and it is also open to question as to whether any of the early votes were ultimately the ones counted.

- They did not print results tapes from their early voting machines.

- They ran their early voting memory cards in-house out of view of observers.

- They had their early voting machines up, unsealed, and wired directly into the central tabulator more than a week after the election.

- They refused to release results until two weeks after the election.

- They had additional voting machines, memory cards, admin and supervisor cards, and voter card programmers in an office which were running, more than a week after the election, and they refused to let anyone in the room to inspect those live voting machines.

- And up until a week after the election they had a touchscreen voting machine wired up to the tabulator in a central tabulation room which was hidden from public view.


COMMENT #28 [Permalink]

... karenfromillinois said on 9/23/2010 @ 11:28 am PT...

the number of peops disenfrachised by the "wrong data base" is over 5000..if mark was correct and turn out didnt matter why would they bother illegally denying peops the right to vote?


COMMENT #29 [Permalink]

... Rich Albright said on 9/23/2010 @ 11:59 am PT...

Our political system works fine, it's the abusers who constantly altering it to their benefit.

Voter apathy is even worse. What will it take to create a new mindset?


COMMENT #30 [Permalink]

... Brad Friedman said on 9/23/2010 @ 1:23 pm PT...

Mark E. Smith - Seriously, I don't have time (or interest) in slogging through your tiresome nonsense, detailing your "courageous" position of staying at home and doing absolutely nothing in support of your democracy, but to be clear, we have never encouraged anybody to go out and vote. If anybody does not wish to vote, that is their perogative, and I support (and defend) it.

At the same time, I've never encouraged anybody to sit at home and do nothing and stay in their myopic world in which they believe there is only one election every four years, and nothing can be done to ensure that votes get counted and counted correctly.

You may wish to capitulate to bad guys and wave a cowardly white flag as you curl up under your desk behind your keyboard, but you'll pardon those of us who actually believe that rights are worth fighting for.

If you want to keep running your idiotic, years-long campaign hoping to convince people to not vote for some reason, please take it to a website where they spend time trying to encourage people to vote. We don't do that here, and your comments to that end are exceedingly boring and stupid at this point. I keep asking nicely, though I'm nearly done, please knock it the fuck off. Nobody here is interested in hearing your pointless position yet again. Thanks!


COMMENT #31 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/23/2010 @ 1:33 pm PT...

Karen, sometimes there are thousands more votes than voters. Nobody is denied the right to vote, all votes are counted, and the election is rigged by adding enough phantom votes to throw it to a different candidate.

It isn't a question of denying people the right to vote, it is a question of controlling the results so that no matter how many people vote or how they vote, the votes don't determine the outcome of the election, the machine programming does.

Like Stalin said, it isn't who votes but who counts the votes.

If turnout matters, why did Stalin force people to vote?

If you're interested in U.S. politics, you need to read the late Walter Karp's classic book, often referred to as "Politics 101," Indispensable Enemies. The two major parties aren't competing, they're cooperating. The elections aren't designed to give people a choice but to limit people's choices to options they don't want and force them to choose the less odious.

If the only two people on the ballot with any chance of winning both have the same pro-war, pro-bailout agenda, the election boils down to which one you'd prefer to have presiding over an agenda you oppose. That's not an election. That's like a magician telling you to, "Pick a card, any card," when the deck has 52 identical cards so that no matter which card you pick, it is the same card.

Our elections often boil down to personality and beauty contests, because there is no real choice of agendas. If you want peace, you can vote for one of two pro-war candidates, you can vote for a peace candidate with no chance of winning, or you can cast a blank ballot. It makes no difference because by voting you have demonstrated your faith in the system and delegated your power, granted your authority, and agreed to be governed by whoever wins, regardless of who you voted for.

According to a recent Rasmussen Reports poll, only 21% of voters think that our government has the consent of the governed. The other 79% of voters don't understand that when they voted, they were granting whoever won their consent of the governed. And they were doing it in what most of them know to be faith-based unverifiable elections.

The Declaration of Independence says that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. The way that governments demonstrate that consent is by holding elections. Some dictators have their soldiers go door to door and force people to vote at gunpoint. In countries where there have been successful election boycotts, such as Batista's Cuba, Apartheid South Africa, and most recently Haiti where, after Aristede was kidnapped and Lavalas taken off the ballot, only 3% voted, the world knew that those governments did not have the consent of the governed.

You don't know me, Karen. So I really doubt if you would give me all your money and trust me to spend it as I wished, keep or not keep records as I wished, and grant me full power of attorney and immunity from prosecution if I stole all your money. But you'll do that with our national treasury--turn it over to people you can't hold accountable and who may or may not have been legitimately elected. You'll vote in a faith-based, unverifiable election where the only two candidates with any chance of winning are both publicly committed to wars and bailouts that you know will indebt you, your children, and your grandchildren, and you'll seriously discuss which one of them is less evil than the other.,

And then Rich will say that you're a responsible citizen and that I'm apathetic because I won't grant my consent of the governed to people I can't hold accountable and I won't delegate the full power of attorney over our national treasury to people who have pledged to bankrupt us.


COMMENT #32 [Permalink]

... Larry bergan said on 9/23/2010 @ 2:25 pm PT...

Mark E. Smith:

Save it dude! Nobody's reading.


COMMENT #33 [Permalink]

... Accuvote4.6.4 said on 9/23/2010 @ 2:38 pm PT...

Brad. You break your own RULES.

"4) Do NOT post knowing dis-information."

OR ... you truly are so ignorant of what in totality it takes to hold an election that you conjure 98% of the dribble posted here. I have met several of the "Blackboxvoting" clowns and even got to see one dragged off to jail for interfering with a federal process. You people show up and cause a huge stink for the media but as soon as the cameras are gone so are you. The last guy I had to deal with made us pull OS tapes for days, he never took notes or wrote down anything, he just wanted to exercise his right , which is fine, I don’t care, I get paid either way but it did cost the taxpayer .

Of course there are memory cards everywhere!! Did you think the poll workers got trained on the same cards that go to the Polls? That would be a HUGE breach in security!

Do you think that they are trained on the same database that the election is run on? That would be a even bigger breach in security! There would never be enough time to clear training cards and re-burn them for the Polls. There are also backup cards for the polls sites that never get used and don’t need to be stored. There are training cards for precinct coordinators and trouble shooters. There are cards for Public teaching and demonstrations on voting for the schools. There’s probably cards from past elections that are non-functioning or have some issue. If you believe the worst then watch the canvas!

Every election, anyone can watch the canvas (which any election savvy person would know , this is the absolute most important aspect of the election process when it comes to “was my vote counted”).

I have never seen any "concerned" person last more the 20 min into the canvas. All of the temps (temporary employees) that have ever worked through a canvas will all give the same statement. " I had no idea it was this involved. Every vote gets counted!" AND IT HAS TO because it has to balance.

To be out-of-balance by 1 or 2 ballots in a precinct of 2000+ registered voters where 450 voted and maybe 60 were provisional and 35 ballots were spoiled,,,, happens in 1 out of every 20 poll sites and it’s still something we try to reconcile up to the very end .

CANVAS would catch all the errors that you are all freaking out about in Tenn. Especially at the numbers you’re describing. What you found is some innocuous straw laying around to build a Straw Man that you can knock down.

There is an extensive check and BALANCE system that occurs during canvas. A poll site might be rerun several times depending on what happened on election night at the poll site. Spoiled ballots get run in at the poll sight by mistake adding more to the count than there should be.

If you don’t believe then VOLUNTEER for the CANVASS and or watch the entire event asking questions.

This blog site along with BBV and the likes might have a passion for “something” but being armed with 2% of the election knowledge it takes to conduct an election, you are all truly talking out of your……Blackbox?


COMMENT #34 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/23/2010 @ 2:44 pm PT...

Brad, your post crossed mine.

You are partially correct. I do not believe that the right to vote is worth fighting for.

I believe that the right to a voice in government is worth fighting for.

I don't believe that it is courageous to vote in elections which you know to be faith-based and totally unverifiable.

In fact, I think that it is those who vote in elections they know to be faith-based and totally unverifiable who are throwing in the white flag and saying that they don't care about democracy or about having a voice in government as long as they can vote in faith-based unverifiable elections.

I remember reading your amusing account of one election where your vote was flipped and you had to fight to have it recorded correctly. You fought tenaciously and you won. Your vote, after strenuous effort on your part, was recorded correctly on the ballot and the voting machine. Of course you have no way of knowing if the central tabulator tallied your vote the same way that it was recorded, but that didn't seem to matter.

One time I angered Richard Hayes Phillips, whose book, Witness to a Crime, proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that there had been election tampering, and that it was impossible to conclusively determine who had won. He insisted that because his voting district at that time used lever machines (if I recall correctly), he knew that HIS vote was counted correctly, so he was proud to vote. The fact that fewer than 20% of voting districts in the country had verifiable election processes, and that 20% could not determine the outcome of a national election wasn't relevant to him. As long as HIS vote was counted, he didn't care if the election was stolen, other than as an exercise in attempting to prove that the election was stolen.

I am fully aware that Presidential elections are far from the only elections, but in a hierarchical system the positions at the top are more critical, since they can make appointments and decisions for which the public has no recourse and that can cause irreparable harm. When a President starts or expands a war or a torture policy, the victims cannot be made undead or untortured by a subsequent election. When a decision is made to use depleted uranium weapons, the radioactive particles cannot be removed from the world's lands and oceans by a subsequent election.

I'm not interested in fighting to have my vote recorded correctly or in proving that many votes were not recorded correctly. I'm interested in "citizen-owned, transparent participatory democracy," to quote the Creekside Declaration of which you were a signatory.

If election results can be determined by the media, elections officials, computers, the Supreme Court, or anything other than the will of the people, it isn't a citizen-owned, transparent participatory democracy and I'll fight it.

If a President can be sworn into office before each and every vote has been counted and counted accurately in a way that is completely verifiable, it isn't a citizen-owned, transparent participatory democracy and I'll fight it.

It took me a lifetime, but I now know the difference between a vote and a voice in government. An uncounted, miscounted, or overridden vote is not a voice in government. A vote in a faith-based unverifiable election is not a voice in government. Nobody fought and died so that people could vote in Stalin's elections in the old Soviet Union. Nobody fought and died so that the Supreme Court could stop the vote count and decide an election themselves.

Even though you disagree with what I say, you allow me to say it. That's because you believe in democracy and you have the courage of your convictions when it comes to freedom of speech.

You also believe in democracy when it comes to elections, but when you say that refusing to vote in faith-based unverifiable elections is cowardice and doing nothing, which implies that voting in faith-based unverifiable elections is doing something courageous, you ARE encouraging people to vote in faith-based unverifiable elections.

"Tiresome nonsense," "cowardly," "myopic," "idiotic," "capitulate to bad guys," "curl up under your desk," "boring and stupid," are not words indicating a neutral position. In no sense can they be interpreted as defending the perogative of not voting. If that was your intent, then I think you expressed it poorly. ;)


COMMENT #35 [Permalink]

... karenfromillinois said on 9/23/2010 @ 3:18 pm PT...

acc said,

pls correct me if i am wrong but the interview said,a month and a half later there has been no canvass,no official report of votes

and acc,am i to understand that you see no problem with signed poll tapes in the garbage?

or are you saying the dre system is so bad that the machine mistakenly counted over 3000 spoiled ballots?


COMMENT #36 [Permalink]

... karenfromillinois said on 9/23/2010 @ 3:38 pm PT...

since acc has infered that he is an election official,it reminded me of the last one we had here,tracy howard,the guy from the sensational bs story...the following is paste from news clip of that election official

Radford, Virginia – After learning that local election officials have rejected numerous applications of eligible students who attempted to register using their valid university addresses, voting rights advocates at the Brennan Center for Justice, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia wrote yesterday to the Registrar of the City of Radford, Virginia, urging that office to remedy the situation so that eligible students at Radford University who were wrongly rejected can cast ballots that will be counted on Election Day. The letter noted that Radford Registrar Tracy Howard has delayed or refused to register students providing university addresses as their home address, in some cases rejecting such registrations outright, by requiring such applicants to meet additional and confusing registration requirements. The affected student applications number in the hundreds if not the thousands.


COMMENT #37 [Permalink]

... Accuvote4.6.4 said on 9/23/2010 @ 4:30 pm PT...

Karen .. try thinking on your own.

The August election has been certified, By law this means the Canvas is completed.

I'ev seen signed lunch receipts and signed ballots and the flag signed by ... Poll workers. Depending on their trainning they might sign everything including the tape made for the poll site after closing and all backup/copies. The OS card will print the same tape out over and over unless it's messed with, and if it's messed with then the HASH ( no brad,, not the smokeable kind) number wont match the one in the server and the server will not read it ( a little thing "HURSTI hack" failed to mention and he was well aware of it)


COMMENT #38 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/23/2010 @ 5:34 pm PT...

Acc writes: "The August election has been certified, By law this means the Canvas (sic) is completed."

That's nice. But before you tell somebody else to think for themself, why don't you try it?

By law where I live, the precincts for the canvass had to be chosen randomly. They weren't. I took the Registrar to court and the court found that the Registrar hadn't complied with the law and that the precincts hadn't been chosen randomly. The judge then suggested that next election the Registrar should consider complying with the law, dismissed the case, and that was that.

What something means by law and what actually happens, can be two quite different things.

Elections are certified all the time despite the fact that by law they aren't certifiable. Another election here was certified at a time when the Registrar admitted that thousands of votes had yet to be counted.

Just because the election was certified, and that by law the election cannot be certified until the canvass was completed, does not mean that in reality the canvass was actually completed.

You're great at muddying the waters, but not too good at thinking for yourself.


COMMENT #39 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/23/2010 @ 5:41 pm PT...

If people didn't break laws, we wouldn't need cops and courts to enforce laws--all we'd need are laws because nobody would break them. We could save enough money to start another war and another round of bailouts.

If the problem is that laws may have been broken, citing the laws does not prove that they weren't broken and isn't an example of thinking for yourself.


COMMENT #40 [Permalink]

... Brad Friedman said on 9/23/2010 @ 5:48 pm PT...

Mark E Smith @ 34:

you say that refusing to vote in faith-based unverifiable elections is cowardice and doing nothing, which implies that voting in faith-based unverifiable elections is doing something courageous

No. I said that you're years-long campaign to get other people to not vote is cowardly and does nothing to improve anything.

BTW, as I recall, you live in CA. So you're elections are not unverifiable.

Beyond that, don't have the patience to read your absurdly long comments. Wish you would spend half as much time fighting for your democracy, instead of against it.


COMMENT #41 [Permalink]

... karenfromillinois said on 9/23/2010 @ 6:38 pm PT...

i screwed up that blockquote thingy last time..gonna try again

CANVAS would catch all the errors that you are all freaking out about in Tenn. Especially at the numbers you’re describing

but they didnt catch it,the 3000 plus votes with no voters are still there


COMMENT #42 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/23/2010 @ 6:50 pm PT...

Well I sure am ignorant then, Brad.

I was unaware that we now have verifiable elections in California so that things like the election glitch of 2008 https://bradblog.com/?p=6373 can't happen here any more. That's great news.

Would you mind explaining to me how you verify that the central tabulators tally the votes the same way that the paper ballots and optical scanners record them?

I'd certainly consider voting if I could be sure that the votes had been tallied the same way that they had been cast and recorded.

Back when I stopped voting, as I mentioned above, we couldn't even ensure that all the votes had been counted (or miscounted or flipped as the case may be) before the election was certified. Official observers weren't allowed to watch the absentee ballots being counted, and although the Registrar insisted that it was the absentee ballots that had swayed the election, since the absentee votes were often two-to-one or three-to-one AGAINST the candidates who had come out two-to-one or three-to-one ahead at the polls, nobody ever saw the absentee ballots counted because he "forgot" to notify the observers. Now they've almost completely eliminated the polls and almost everyone votes by mail. It isn't mandatory yet, but without as many polling places, it is more convenient.

As for Acc's observation that poll workers will sign anything, the same seems to be true of SOME elections officials. Although the office of the CA Secretary of State may have access to the audit logs, they don't have time to check them all before local elections are certified and I was unaware that the public had access to audit logs prior to the election being certified.

You can verify that your vote is recorded by the voting machine the way you intended, but I'd be EXTREMELY interested in finding out if there is a way to verify that the central tabulator tallied the votes the way the op-scans or voting machines recorded them.

If I go to the bank and make a small cash deposit, I count out the money to the teller. The teller counts it again in front of me. But I don't just walk out satisfied that we both agreed on how much I deposited. I want a receipt showing that my account was credited that amount--that it was correctly entered into the bank's computer system.

It also bothers me that between the election and the canvass (the tally, or mandatory minimum hand count), the ballots are in the sole custody of our elections officials for one to three days, in a building to which the public has no access except to a reception area in front during business hours. And our elections officials, as you know, are a former Diebold salesperson, and a guy who once said that when his elections officials in Cuyahoga County manipulated the hand count so it would match the machine count, they'd done nothing wrong.

I want public oversight of all elections processes at all times, no secret vote counts, no breaks in a publicly visible chain of custody, etc. I have NO FAITH in elections officials or in computerized tallies. None. Total atheist. I'm not saying all elections officials are like Tony 'Trust Me' Anchundo, just that elections are so important that if I was counting the votes myself, I'd want people checking me every step of the way to make sure that I didn't make any mistakes. Maybe elections officials aren't human, but I am and I'm capable of error, as I may have done in assuming that our elections are still not verifiable.

Yes, I understand that YOUR VOTE is verifiable, I want to know if THE ELECTION is verifiable. When I'm talking about faith-based unverifiable elections, I'm not talking about faith-based unverifiable votes. Even if every single vote is verified by the voter when cast, it does not mean that the election, the vote tally, is verifiable.


COMMENT #43 [Permalink]

... Bev Harris said on 9/23/2010 @ 7:02 pm PT...

Well this thread has the propagandists out, doesn't it? So this San Diego County employee, now calling himself Accu ...etc... is apparently using county taxpayer dollars sitting here spitting out talking points on a blog. Posting during business hours, eh? Is that what the taxpayers are paying you for, Accu?

One correction. I asked two people who I believed would know, and neither said there was a physical sign-in sheet. Randy Wade, a candidate for sheriff, told me today that there is a list of signatures for who showed up at the polls. That's something to check, then.

Now, Accu-propaganda up there seems to believe that if a bunch of good old boys give a thumbs up to an election, the public must accept it whether the numbers match or not.

Well, the numbers don't match, and the public doesn't have to accept this, and the public is NOT accepting this.


COMMENT #44 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/23/2010 @ 9:14 pm PT...

I think it rather unlikely that Acc is in San Diego. And extremely unlikely that Acc is employed by the San Diego ROV. Acc's writing style, rhetoric, assumptions, general attitude, and liberties with the facts are almost identical to those of a former elections official in another state.


COMMENT #45 [Permalink]

... Marlene said on 9/24/2010 @ 8:45 am PT...

Dear Brad,

First, I want to thank you for continuing to cover voter fraud. You are just about the only journalist who is willing to tell voters the truth about our so called democracy.

After working, breathing, eating and researching the voting system in DuPage County, Illinois for 10 years, I am rather dismayed to see you advertising Early Voting in Illinois. Early Voting is strictly done on touch screen machines, here in Dupage, unless the voters travel to Wheaton, and vote at the DuPage County Election Commission. This is something that very few voters, in Dupage County, realize. And, as you know, the touch screens are the worst means of voting.

I have read only a few of the current posts on today's articles, and I must agree with those folks who say it is time to stop talking about our votes not counting, and do something. Well, I have tried for 10 years to do something, and I have even spoken to Durbin about this issue, and guess what? No one even cares, not Durbin, not even the Democrats. They all believe that, if the Dems turn out enough voters that we can override any cheating that the DuPage County G.O.P. can do.

During my 10 years as a Democratic Committeeman, I did everything in my power to confront the issues around voter fraud. I was the only PC telling her voters NOT to use touch screens, or Early Voting. The other Dems would not tell their

precincts, because they were afraid that no one would vote. Well, I know more than most local voters, and I still vote!!! Maybe, if the Democrats, and our Democratic pols would do their jobs, and fight for the voters, they would give everyone a reason to VOTE!!!!


COMMENT #46 [Permalink]

... Ernest A. Canning said on 9/24/2010 @ 10:02 am PT...

I am wondering Bev Harris @43 & Mark E. Smith @44 why the two of you assume that "Accuvote4.6.4" is actually an election official, as opposed to a paid propagandist of a private vendor.

His (or her) comment @33 calls to mind Rob Pelletier and the article Black Box Voting published some years back, The Diebold Persuasion Machine [PDF].

In that piece, BBV revealed, among other things, the Diebold-funded creation of "The Blackboxwatchdog site" a few days after the Hursti hack which immediately began hurling false accusations against election integrity advocates, including a false claim that "Hursti and employees of Black Box Voting (naming Kathleen Wynne, Bev Harris, Jim March) were soon to be arrested for felony vote-tampering."

I suspect that enough digging would expose "Accuvote4.6.4" as a paid-for industry propagandist.


COMMENT #47 [Permalink]

... Brad Friedman said on 9/24/2010 @ 10:34 am PT...

Marlene @ 45:

Thanks for your supportive comments and, far more so, for your work in trying to oversee your own democracy in DuPage.

As you likely know, the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project (IBIP) is one of the smartest election integrity groups working out there and I'd encourage everyone to support their efforts. Big time.

Among the things I've been able to learn about through them is the outrageous fact that a far-Right GOP operative, Dan Curry, is actually sucking off the government teet to making thousands of dollars each month as the PR operative for the (supposedly, non-partisan) Election Commission.

In short, Curry is one of the unapologetically worst of the worst Tea Baggers there is, with a record of lying about any number of things in order to achieve partisan advantage as a Republican operative even while collecting a check from DuPage County each month to supposedly represent all voters.

That he hasn't been drummed out by now, along with the partisan scam artists who funnell tax dollars to him on behalf of the government, is an outrage that should draw round the clock protests outside of both the Election Commission and the local media for allowing him to continue his despicable work in attacking democracy, rather than supporting it.

As to ads you may have seen here encouraging Early Voting out there. Ads that readers see is based both on content on any given page, as well as their locality. Being out here in CA, I've not seen the ads you refer to and, in truth, I have very little (often no) control over which ads run via the ad networks we use. Next time the ad comes up, however, if you're able to screenshot it and email it to me, I'll be glad to give it a look and see if it violates our guidelines for advertising here. My guess is that it does not though, as we do our best to firewall ad content from editorial content, unless any particular ad is offering out-and-out disinformation.

One last thought: Your greatest concern on the touch-screen systems is not "voter fraud". The voters are doing fine. Please leave them alone. It's "election fraud" you need to be concerned about, where insiders (like Curry and his friends) have unfettered access to tabulation systems on which they can flip the results of an election without ever being discovered.

And thanks again for the kind words and all you're doing out there!


COMMENT #48 [Permalink]

... Brad Friedman said on 9/24/2010 @ 10:44 am PT...

Ernie @ 46:

"Acc" gives his position away, as working for SD County in his own comments. Furthermore, I can confirm that the posting was made, during work hours, from a San Diego County computer.

Clearly, "Acc" has little interest in following county guidelines on that score, and proves once again, therefore, why no election official should ever simply be trusted (as the actually good ones will tell you!), but instead be overseen carefully by the citizenry, along with their elections.

Given that San Diego makes it next to impossible for citizens to be able to afford to oversee their own elections (see the 2006 Busby/Bilbray debacle, and how the far Rightwing SD Registrar's office capriciously set the price for hand-counting of ballots at $1/ballot for a citizen lawsuit and refused to release public documents, while neighboring Orange County allows same for appx $.14/ballot), I suspect that even "Acc" knows, he's full of shit.

If he doesn't, then, as he foolishly tried to describe me, he is "truly...ignorant of what in totality it takes to hold an election" in a transparent American democracy, that he must "conjure 98% of the dribble [he] posted here."


COMMENT #49 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/24/2010 @ 12:33 pm PT...

Thanks for checking that IP, Brad. It looks like I was wrong about Acc but correct about our elections still not being verifiable.

It isn't those who admit to human frailties who should be viewed with suspicion, but those who claim infallibility. To paraphrase an ancient wisdom, let those who have never been wrong throw the first stone.


COMMENT #50 [Permalink]

... karen said on 9/24/2010 @ 3:39 pm PT...

I just want it noted that without Brad and Bev, there would be so little know about how unverifiable our elections are. Thanks Brad and Bev, I know many others assist, but without your leadership we would be so much worse off.

From my small experience in this world, must corruption gets unmasked eventually...I think Shelby county and some other crazy stuff this Nov will be the time we look back and realize that was when it the tide finally turned. Majority in country believe Iraq war a was about 911 or wmds or something elso, not they dont. Unfortunately , rats will be onto something else it will take use 10-15 years to expose, but preserving democracy is worth it


COMMENT #51 [Permalink]

... Brad Friedman said on 9/24/2010 @ 3:43 pm PT...

I'm sorry, Mark. I haven't had time to plow through all of your essays here, but yes, California's election's (other than in Orange County and San Mateo) are, indeed, verifiable.

No, I wasn't speaking about YOUR ballot, I was speaking about ALL of our ballots (with a few minor exceptions, such as in O.C. and where voters are stupid enough to use unverifiable "disabled accessible" DREs.)

If you spent half as much time trying to help your fellow citizens to verify those elections as you do trying to convince people to not vote at all for reasons which remain beyond anybody's grasp here over the last several years that you keep choking that same dead chicken, we might have moved democracy more forward than we have by now.

And yes, there are great patriots on the ground who have succeeded in moving it forward, making it more verifiable, fighting to verify ballots, fighting to assure access to those who want it, even if you seem to refuse to be one of them.

Seriously, Mark, give it a rest. Your years-long campaign of one is a failure, with absolutely nothing to show for it (compared to so many who read this site every day, who actually do something positive --- successfully --- about the situation.)


COMMENT #52 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/24/2010 @ 6:00 pm PT...

Okay, Brad, since you don't have time to read my comments, you wouldn't have seen where I said, "I'd be EXTREMELY interested in finding out if there is a way to verify that the central tabulator tallied the votes the way the op-scans or voting machines recorded them."

I'm still extremely interested.

If there's a way, before the results have been certified, to verify that the central tabulators haven't been accessed by unauthorized persons during the election, I'd be happy to volunteer to help examine the audit logs.

I haven't done coding since the days of COBOL and FORTRAN, but if the public can access the central tabulator software before the election is certified, to compare it with that which is on file with the CA Secretary of State and ensure that it hasn't been modified, I'm capable of doing a line by line comparison and would be happy to volunteer to help get it done.

I was unaware that you'd made that much progress, if indeed you have.

On the other hand if the public still has no access to central tabulator audit logs and software before the results are certified, then there is still no way to verify that the central tabulators tallied the votes the same way that the op-scans and DRE's recorded them.

All you can do is verify that your vote was recorded accurately, and then wait for the election fairy to swoop down and tell you the results of the unverifiable central tabulator tallies. You have to have faith that the central tabulator software wasn't illegally modified and that the processing wasn't hacked.

Where I am, the public can't even get close enough to the central tabulator to ensure that it isn't illegally connected to the internet, and as Acc pointed out, anyone who tries will be arrested.


COMMENT #53 [Permalink]

... karenfromillinois said on 9/24/2010 @ 7:21 pm PT...

we won a small victory in az that i thought mark might be interested in since he said his area does same

8) (WON before court started) Finally at point eight we win a big one. Just before the trial started the county stipulated they were wrong, a shrewd move to quietly remove one of our bigger claims: no more picking precincts to hand count until after they release precinct-detail vote totals as per the ARS 16-602. What they were doing was both crafty and disgusting: by learning which precincts would be counted before releasing details for each, they could rig the vote totals among all precincts at the central database and then once they learn what will be counted, un-rig those ones selectively (shifting any false totals assigned there to other, uncounted precincts). This was the single most blatant violation along with the unsigned results tape and they gave up before trial started. We have on video two different times that we protested on this point, on 11/05/08 and on 08/25/10.


COMMENT #54 [Permalink]

... Brad Friedman said on 9/24/2010 @ 8:57 pm PT...

Mark -

Presuming you live in California, you have the right, as an elector, to ask for a hand count of any race, at any precinct you like. You can have your own hand count of the ballots, right before your eyes.

You can also make public records requests for Audit Logs to examine them.

You can't look at the source code for the machines, however, as far as I know. Though it wouldn't do much for you anyway, since there's no way to know that you're looking at the code actually used on election day. But if you have the ballots to count yourself, that's far more valuable anyway, most likely.

You can also look to the Maricopa, AZ lawsuit by AuditAZ that Karen just referenced above. They are doing an extraordinary amount of good work out there in bringing heat to both Maricopa and Pima County's, forcing procedural changes of all sorts, allowing far more oversight and accountability. (And, a couple of years ago, won a decision from the court that the databases of how voters voted, etc. were public records).

There are all sorts of things that can be done to fight for transparency and/or ways to verify elections in various ways. Taking actual action on behalf of your democracy and rights would be a very good thing for you to do --- rather than posting years long rants about how people should not vote and otherwise do absolutely nothing.


COMMENT #55 [Permalink]

... Larry bergan said on 9/24/2010 @ 9:31 pm PT...

I'm not convinced that they wanted it, but the Democrats are in power today because the voters overwhelmed the attempts to rig the election in favor of Republicans in 2008.

Do I have any proof? Not a scosh, but I'll believe it until the day I die.


COMMENT #56 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/24/2010 @ 11:07 pm PT...

LOL @ Larry. Ain't no arguing with beliefs.

Karen and Brad, I do follow Maricopa pretty closely, mostly through Dave Griscom who worked with and stays in touch with John Brakey.

I came across two articles today that appear to share my point of view. The second one is labeled satire, but as with many satires, contains much truth:

The Progressive Dilemma

http://onlinejournal.com...blish/article_6342.shtml

Study concludes Americans are the Stupidest People on the Planet

http://onlinejournal.com...blish/article_6350.shtml

Since the corporations and the military-industrial complex want war, and since both major parties are dependent upon them for jobs and funding, the only candidates with any chance of winning will be pro-war, and the results of any federal election will always be more war. So the questions of who can vote, how voting is done, and whether elections can be verified, are just distractions from the fact that in U.S. federal elections, the only choice voters have is war. Everything else is off the table, unrealistic, or impractical.

Voters divide people into three categories:

1. Those who prefer Republican war.

2. Those who prefer Democratic war.

3. Those who are too apathetic to care which brand of war we get.

Although I've personally begged each and every one of them not to, most of the self-described peace activists I know vote. Then they act surprised when the outcome of the election is more war.


COMMENT #57 [Permalink]

... Larry bergan said on 9/24/2010 @ 11:45 pm PT...

[email protected],(whoever):

COL stands for "crying out loud" and I'd be willing to bet my life that's not your real name.

Whoever said:

Voters divide people into three categories:

1. Those who prefer Republican war.

2. Those who prefer Democratic war.

3. Those who are too apathetic to care which brand of war we get.

The whole purpose of this blog is to prove that voters can't vote and it has proven it without any doubt whatsoever.

You're and idiot!


COMMENT #58 [Permalink]

... Larry bergan said on 9/24/2010 @ 11:47 pm PT...

The last election had nothing to do with apathy!


COMMENT #59 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/25/2010 @ 1:17 am PT...

You lose, Larry. That's my real name. Just about any San Diego area election integrity activist can verify that for you (Brad can, if he wishes, put you in touch with some if you don't happen to know any), as could quite a few prominent election activists in other states.

The problem with elections is that people like you aren't betting their own lives, they're betting other people's lives. Millions of other people's lives, in fact.

I'm intrigued by your statement that, "The whole purpose of this blog is to prove that voters can't vote and it has proven it without any doubt whatsoever," and I'll be very amused if Brad agrees with you.


COMMENT #60 [Permalink]

... Larry bergan said on 9/25/2010 @ 2:05 am PT...

Mark:

Give me a call dude:

801-265-9221

I usually have to work, but leave me message on my answering machine about YOUR phone number...

K?


COMMENT #61 [Permalink]

... Larry bergan said on 9/25/2010 @ 2:15 am PT...

I meant to say "leave me A message"


COMMENT #62 [Permalink]

... Larry bergan said on 9/25/2010 @ 3:25 am PT...

I'm waiting...


COMMENT #63 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/25/2010 @ 3:56 am PT...

Sorry, Larry. I have my own website and post to several other blogs and mailing lists, in addition to having what passes for a life, so I'm not on here 24/7.

My phone number is (619) 702-7251, but since I never plug the phone in unless somebody I wish to speak with has emailed and prearranged a time to call me, it won't do you any good.

My full name and address:

Mark E. Smith

1055 9th Ave #203

San Diego CA 92101-5527

Since I can't imagine anything I'd want to talk with you about, I'm not giving you my website or email. You may continue to call me an idiot right here if you wish, but I won't allow you to do it over the phone.

If you have something to say, do it here where people can see it. Using your statement about the purpose of this blog as an example, if you'd said it over the phone and I told people that's what you'd said, nobody would believe me. And that's something I couldn't have made up if I'd tried.

I owe you nothing, I want nothing from you, and I don't think I'd benefit in any way from getting to know you better. I think you owe me an apology, so if you want something from me or wish to get to know me better, that might be a good place to start.


COMMENT #64 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/25/2010 @ 4:36 am PT...

And by the way, Larry, although there are only 46 people on my personal mailing list, I enjoy making new friends. I'm always happy to get to know and work with any leftist with an I.Q. over 150, as long as they're well-traveled, well-read, have done or written anything I admire and respect, and are capable of engaging in intelligent discussions without stooping to personal attacks. Somehow I don't get the impression that you'd be a good fit with my crowd, dude.


COMMENT #65 [Permalink]

... Larry bergan said on 9/25/2010 @ 5:44 am PT...

Since your phone's not plugged in, (jackass), I guess I can't call you.

I have no idea what my I.Q. is but I can assure you that I'm not well traveled OR well read.

Nothing else to say, eh?


COMMENT #66 [Permalink]

... Paul Lehto said on 9/25/2010 @ 6:07 am PT...

Brad Friedman wrote:

"yes, California's election's (other than in Orange County and San Mateo) are, indeed, verifiable."

I'd have to question this statement. In 2006, in the Busby Bilbray race two CAlifornia citizens sued for a recount and have yet to see their first ballot, despite voter turnout percentages in some precincts not only over 100% but over several thousand percent higher than the number of registered voters according to the Registrar's own printouts. Another common thing in San Diego county is for the statutory audit to find discrepancies and nothing is done to follow up on them. This things have been the subject of more than one lawsuit by more than one attorney and no action by the Registrar was forthcoming.

If one can't verify the election when they REALLY want to (such as when they want to badly enough to sue for it) then one can't really say "elections in California are verifiable" unless by "Verifiable" one means "capable of being verified in theory" but not in actual fact.


COMMENT #67 [Permalink]

... Ernest A. Canning said on 9/25/2010 @ 2:17 pm PT...

Mark E. Smith: I can't recall a single comment by anyone else who has agreed with your year's long effort to convince others to stay home; don't vote.

Can you, Mark?

If not, don't you think it's time you stopped beating that dog.


COMMENT #68 [Permalink]

... Adam Fulford said on 9/25/2010 @ 2:56 pm PT...

I'm always happy to get to know and work with any leftist with an I.Q. over 150

I'll wager that the vast majority of people with IQs above 150 would be "leftists" according to your worldview.


COMMENT #69 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/25/2010 @ 5:03 pm PT...

Yes, Ernest, I can recall hundreds of comments agreeing with me over the past years, dozens in the past few months, and two yesterday from people I don't know on a blog where I rarely post. But not on blogs like this which allow personal attacks. People who agree with me, but see me being subjected to personal attacks, usually don't wish to subject themselves to personal attacks also. On forums which allow direct or personal messaging between users, I often get feedback from people who agree with what I've written but don't want to incur the wrath of cyber-bullies by saying so publicly.

Adam, there are many people with high IQ's who are corrupt, short-sighted, or driven by greed and lust for power. I'm not denying that they exist, just saying that I don't particularly want them as friends. Intelligence without compassion, that is, a brain without a heart, is, in my worldview, an indication of stunted development.


COMMENT #70 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/25/2010 @ 5:36 pm PT...

Adam, I think Henry Kissinger is a good example of a person with a high I.Q. whom I wouldn't want as a friend. His I.Q. is said to be well over 150, but I don't think anyone would describe him as a leftist, as a compassionate being, or as an ethical person.

The type of society one lives in, often determines who rises to the top. In a democracy, meritocracy, or ethical society, the cream can rise to the top, but in a tyranny, plutocracy, or corrupt society, it is often the scum who rise to the top.

There's a crucial difference and it is useful to be able to differentiate rather than simply assuming that anyone who is smart and powerful is therefore worthy of respect.


COMMENT #71 [Permalink]

... Brad Friedman said on 9/25/2010 @ 6:31 pm PT...

Larry - Personal insults against commenters (other than against folks like myself) are against our very few rules for commenting here. Please knock it off.

Mark - If you'd like Larry's comments deleted, just let me know.


COMMENT #72 [Permalink]

... Adam Fulford said on 9/25/2010 @ 6:40 pm PT...

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/25/2010 @ 5:36 pm PT...

Adam, I think Henry Kissinger is a good example of a person with a high I.Q. whom I wouldn't want as a friend. His I.Q. is said to be well over 150

Yes, Henry Kissinger is a brilliant criminal sociopath. What would you estimate Noam Chomsky's IQ to be?


COMMENT #73 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/25/2010 @ 8:14 pm PT...

Thank you, Brad. I think your rules are very well thought out. I'd prefer that Larry's comments

NOT be deleted, but I'd also appreciate it if his personal attacks do not continue.

Adam, I think Chomsky's I.Q. is also off the charts, and I don't think even his severest critics have accused him of any sins of commission, so to speak, although he has sometimes been accused of refusing to address controversial topics that could jeopardize his academic reputation.

Those who have sought his insights on issues like the JFK assassination and 9/11 Truth have been disappointed, but he may feel that in addressing the more controversial theories he could damage the very credibility that would make his analysis valuable. Critical thinkers had hoped for his analysis, which they would then have subjected to their own analysis, while those who rely more on authority than on independent thought, support his choices to avoid the pitfalls of challenging the conventional wisdom in areas that determined some of the very policies he so ably critiques.

Personally, I'm grateful that my own lack of credibility and academic stature allows me the latitude to explore questions which I might not otherwise feel comfortable addressing. Sometimes lesser intellects can make valuable contributions by simply investigating evidence that greater minds won't look at.


COMMENT #74 [Permalink]

... karenfromillinois said on 9/25/2010 @ 10:03 pm PT...

brad,ty for supplying the background and link for me,they are doing fantastic work there in az

mark,we the people do not give our consent to be governed by voting anyways..ur whole premise is incorrect..we imply our consent by staying

i have read ur stuff here and at bbv,you could be a force for good ,maybe it is hopeless but i dont think rosa had any idea what she started when she refused to give up that seat,so u nevr know what one person with really sore feet can start... a guy with a sore attitude that is a lawyer..we could really use him...u and i both know the same peops that rig the machines are the ones that want continual war...why not hassle them..in a totally legal way of course


COMMENT #75 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/25/2010 @ 10:36 pm PT...

Karen, anywhere there are people and there is a government, unless the people abandon the country en masse, their government may be a legitimate government with the consent of the governed, or an illegitimate government without the consent of the governed.

The reason that governments, even tyrannies, hold elections is that there is no other way that they can demonstrate that the people they are claiming to have the right to govern, have given their consent to be governed by that government.

In other words, as long as people voted, the Apartheid regime in South Africa had a claim to being the legitimate government with the consent of the governed. It wasn't until they held an election and the people of South Africa refused to vote, and they could only show a voter turnout of 7%, that it because indisputably clear to the world that the Apartheid regime did not have the consent of the people of South Africa.

If we had such a thing as a vote of no confidence or a binding "none of the above" (along with honest verifiable elections, of course), where, not only could people be certain that their votes would be counted and counted accurately, but also that if the government in power did not get the consent of the governed, it would have to step down, could changes be brought about through voting.

Take a look at my post #106 here:

http://emptywheel.firedo...wlaki-he-just-is-damnit/

If you believe that people who want war are rigging the machines (not that it is necessary to rig the machines when the only two candidates with any chance of winning are both pro-war), how can voting hassle them?

Rosa Parks didn't start anything. Many people before her had refused to give up their seats and move to the back of the bus. Rosa Parks was the final straw that mobilized the people to a bus boycott. No matter how tired their sore feet, they walked instead of taking a bus. It was the bus boycott that brought about change.

I really hope that the Memphis case will be historic and will result in some sort of remedy. Year after year, election after election, I've helped or supported or watched activists do the tedious work of proving that the results of an election were wrong. And year after year, election after election, the proof was obtained but no remedy occurred.

Perhaps in this case, or perhaps in some future case, a remedy may be possible without an election boycott. But I suspect that until and unless people get so fed up with rigged elections that they stop voting in rigged elections and boycott rigged elections--just refusing to vote until we can be sure that the elections are not rigged, the rigged elections will continue.

As I've said many times, why should anyone stop rigging elections as long as people are still willing to vote in rigged elections?

If the people of Montgomery, Alabama had been willing to continue to ride the bus even after Rosa Parks, like so many before her, had been arrested, and hadn't organized a bus boycott, I suspect that the buses in Alabama would still be segregated.

In case you're unfamiliar with the Rosa Parks story, here's the Wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_Parks

It is an excellent example of how injustice will continue until the people get fed up and refuse to participate any more.


COMMENT #76 [Permalink]

... Larry bergan said on 9/25/2010 @ 10:38 pm PT...

Sorry Brad, I was in a real bad mood and I was out of line. You can delete my comments.

Sorry Mark, but when I think somebody's trying to mess up an election it gets my hackles up.


COMMENT #77 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/26/2010 @ 10:42 am PT...

Brad, please don't delete Larry's comments.

Larry, why did you think I was "trying to mess up an election"?

Do you believe that our elections are free, fair, open, honest, transparent, and that the results are never wrong?

Do you believe that the major parties, or even one of them, represent the interests of the majority of the American people?

Do you think that when corporations spend close to a billion dollars funding the campaigns of political candidates, they are doing it for the good of the country without expecting anything for themselves in return?

How do you think it would "mess up an election" where millions of votes go uncounted, or where the Supreme Court overrides the popular vote, if people didn't vote?

I can understand why political party operatives who are paid to get out the vote, become irate when somebody suggests that people not vote in rigged elections, but why would demanding honest elections by boycotting rigged elections anger any honest person?

Do you think that someone who refuses to play in a rigged card game and warns others that the game is rigged, is therefore opposed to all card games?

There are many ways to mess up an election that do not involve the number of people who vote.

For example, central tabulators can be programmed to allocate a certain percentage of votes to each candidate. If the central tabulators are programmed to allocate 60% of the vote to Candidate A, 30% of the vote to Candidate B, and distribute the other 10% of the votes among third party candidates, if 10 people vote, Candidate A will get 6 votes, Candidate B will get 3 votes, and a third party candidate will get 1 vote. If a hundred people vote, Candidate A will get 60 votes, Candidate B will get 30 votes, and third party candidates will get 10 votes. If a thousand people vote, Candidate A will get 600 votes, Candidate B will get 300 votes, and third party candidates will get 100 votes. And the proportions will remain the same if a million, 10 million, or even 100 million people vote. Unless there is a way to ensure that the central tabulators have not been programmed to mess up the election, it doesn't matter how many people vote.

It is not surprising in a capitalist society, that the candidate who attracts the most corporate donor money, would win the election. What would be surprising would be if the candidate who was the most popular but didn't attract as many large corporate donors, managed to get a major party nomination. Do you know of a case where that happened?

This thread began with a discussion of a Memphis election that is being investigated by Bev Harris and others. They have uncovered evidence of fraud and proven that the numbers available so far cannot be verified and are completely implausible. Do you think that it was the voters who messed up that election? There were found to be thousands more votes than voters. If 2,000 people vote and 5,000 votes are tallied, do you think it is because not enough people voted? Would you have more faith in such an election if 10,000 people had voted and 5,000 votes had been tallied?

In some cases of suspected election fraud, the numbers appear to have been flipped. For example one candidate may be leading, 53% to 47%, and the next morning the results show that the other candidate "won" by that exact percentage. Do you think that if the first candidate had been leading by a larger margin, it would have prevented the votes from being flipped?

Your anger is understandable. You believe that if more people vote for one candidate than for another, the candidate with the most votes will win, particularly if a huge majority votes for one candidate and only a small minority votes for the other candidate. In our elections, illegal voter purges, voter caging, insufficient distribution of voting machines, and other dirty tricks can make a lopsided election appear to be closer than it really is, and allow a vote-flip by the central tabulators to appear plausible. But in the '08 election no vote-flip was necessary. The candidate with the most money won, the agenda that the majority of people wanted changed, continued unchanged, and therefore the allegedly missing six million votes, which would not have changed the outcome of the election, were never challenged. So in your belief system, the '08 election was not messed up. Had the candidate with somewhat less corporate donor money, McCain, whose Senate voting record and agenda were virtually identical with Obama's, won the election with six million votes unaccounted for, I think you'd be claiming that the election had been messed up.

In other words, I don't think you care about whether the election is messed up or not, you just care about your candidate or party winning.

You're angry because you think that anyone who cares about honest elections isn't supporting your candidate or party and might even be supporting the other candidate or party. In your belief system, election integrity is irrelevant and the only important thing is that your side wins.

Similarly, in Mongomery, Alabama, those who owned or held stock in the bus company would have been angry with those who boycotted the bus system because to the shareholders the issue wasn't segregation but continued profits. As long as the bus system remained profitable, the shareholders had no reason to care whether or not the buses were segregated. Only after the bus boycott had threatened the profitability of the bus system, did the injustice of segregation come to the attention of the shareholders so that they were forced to end segregation in order to get people to ride the bus again.

That's how an election boycott would work. Right now, those in power don't care if our elections are honest or not, as long as they can remain in power. If there was a successful election boycott, however, and the only way that they could get people to start voting again was to have honest, verifiable elections, they would be forced to confront and address the issue of election integrity, instead of caring only about who wins.


COMMENT #78 [Permalink]

... Larry bergan said on 9/26/2010 @ 12:54 pm PT...

Mark:

Maybe that IS your real name and if it is, thanks for being willing to divulge it. Even since I started reading this blog I've been amazed that there are many, many people who are willing to get on here and other blogs just to mess up the conversation, by pretending to be someone else or just using a moniker to do the same thing. Somebody actually used my name to post one time.

I get upset an try to get commenters to reveal their own name knowing it will make them more honest.

Your insistence that people give up trying to vote over and over again is despicable and very suspect. But you know that.


COMMENT #79 [Permalink]

... Ernest A. Canning said on 9/26/2010 @ 1:37 pm PT...

Mark E. Smith @49 wrote:

Yes, Ernest, I can recall hundreds of comments agreeing with me over the past years, dozens in the past few months, and two yesterday from people I don't know on a blog where I rarely post. But not on blogs like this which allow personal attacks.

Let's analyze that.

1. You concede, Mark, that not one single person at The BRAD BLOG has agreed with your years long crusade to get people to boycott the electoral process as a reasonable solution to the billionaire assault on democracy.

2. You attribute your 100% failure rate in convincing anyone here as to the wisdom of your crusade to "personal attacks" even though this blog's rules discourage personal attacks.

With all due respect, Mark, I have to question the scientific basis for your assumption.

Both Brad and I have been the recipient of personal attacks with respect to numerous articles here at The BRAD BLOG. While people can and do disagree with what either of us has had to say on any given topic (and, indeed, are encouraged to do so in a respectful manner), in spite of those personal attacks, many have agreed and continue to agree with Brad and I on topics that do not receive universal acceptance.

This would suggest that your 100% failure rate in convincing anyone here at The BRAD BLOG that your boycott is a reasonable means to resolve the electoral dilemma or to reduce the democracy deficit is due to something other than personal attacks, i.e. the invalidity or lack wisdom embodied by your boycott elections argument.

Regardless, since you've been playing this tune for more than a year now and since it has bombed here every time, perhaps the time has come for you to abandon what amounts to an exercise in futility.


COMMENT #80 [Permalink]

... Jeannie Dean said on 9/26/2010 @ 1:43 pm PT...

Mark E. ~

Amazed that your superior intellect doesn't tip you off to this, but Boycotts only work when the vendor has a VESTED FINANCIAL INTEREST in the boycott of the product. They don't gain anything from my participation but gain everything from my lack of participation. So...why do they care a whit if everyone stays home? Supply / demand economics is N/A, here. How is it that your Giant I.Q. still fails to register that simple dinky-do?

I love that karenfromillinois (and Brad) have both tried to put you onto your better medal in this fight (and any fight in this fight is better than your fight, Mark E., really 'tis) and arouse some plucky thing in your Great Big Mind that will advance a cause (any cause, cuz any cause in this cause is better than your cause, Mark E., really 'tis) only to be met with the same anti-voting dribble-drabble you've been espousing here for years with expert ineffectiveness. Your remarkable lack of aptitude for understanding cause / effect over time should be the next big discovery tackled by science.

We've been 'Ground-Hog Day-ing'this discussion with you round n' round every year since 2006 - so here is my '10 version and final draft, Mark:

Abstaining from the vote aids and abets the corporate take-over of this country. Your solution to make it an even easier coup - a less hostile takeover by less aggressive means - does nothing but advance the ball for the opposition, hands them the full cheese platter, and calls it a day. No matter how much blah blah you (quite tragically) devote to it, your idea can not stand on it's own merit.

...I'm a complete dummy and I see that.

Brad is right: can't you give it a rest until you get some NEW bad ideas?

(Advance heads-up volly as you consider the dissertation thesis you've got forming in your head in response: I won't read it, so keep it really, really short. Like...one syllable.)


COMMENT #81 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/26/2010 @ 2:26 pm PT...

For thousands of years, Ernest, most civilizations were ruled by tyrants and might made right. There was no such thing as democracy.

So it would have been an exercise in futility to advocate democracy. All previous attempts at establishing a democratic form of government had a 100% failure rate.

Some fools persisted anyway. Do you think they were wrong?

At one time people believed that the earth was the center of the universe. All attempts to convince them otherwise had a 100% failure rate. Yet some fools, even at the cost of their own credibility and sometimes their lives, persisted anyway. Do you think they were wrong?

Everyone here on BradBlog (at least those willing to post publicly--I have private communications from several people here who agree with me), believes that it is possible to bring about honest elections without boycotting rigged elections. So far they have had a 100% failure rate.

This topic is about yet another attempt, this time in Memphis, to remedy election fraud by proving that there was election fraud and seeking remedies within the system. There have been numerous such attempts in the past, and they have had a 100% failure rate. Do you think that people should therefore stop trying to remedy election fraud by investigating and documenting election fraud?

In many previous elections, it was proven conclusively that there were more votes than voters. Had this method of deterring election fraud met with success in the past, it would not have occurred again in Memphis. But it apparently has happened again. Since documenting election fraud has met with a 100% failure rate in preventing future election fraud, would you advise that such efforts be abandoned?

What you're really saying is that because nobody here dares to openly agree with me, I should shut up and go away.

I remember when election fraud was considered to be a lunatic conspiracy theory and people like Bev were banned from web forums just for mentioning election fraud. For a long time those who attempted to discuss election fraud on many large forums had a 100% failure rate. It simply was not allowed. Nobody agreed with them. There was no election fraud and that was that. But some fools persisted and today there are very few forums left that still deny the existence of election fraud, or attempt to silence, discredit, or ban anyone who mentions election fraud.

One of the reasons that Brad allows open discussion of ideas, even unpopular ideas and ideas that he himself does not agree with, is because a contest of ideas is not a popularity contest. In an open forum, ideas which have previously been universally condemned, can, if all other ideas prove unsuccessful and there's nothing else left to try, eventually prevail.

I stand on the shoulders of giants, like Cleisthenes, Galileo, Bohr, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and yes, even Bev and Brad themselves, who persisted in advocating universally unpopular ideas even when such ideas had a 100% failure rate before them.

That's my scientific basis for persisting in advocating an unpopular idea, Ernest. And if you think about it, I suspect that even you may eventually support my right to do so.


COMMENT #82 [Permalink]

... Adam Fulford said on 9/26/2010 @ 2:39 pm PT...

I see news to the effect that Democrats could win elections in Texas...as if that could happen with rigged unverifiable election machines.

http://www.dallasnews.co...texgovpoll_.25c8eff.html


COMMENT #83 [Permalink]

... karenfromillinois said on 9/26/2010 @ 4:36 pm PT...

mark said,

how can voting hassle them?

you misunderstood,take them to court to hassle them


COMMENT #84 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/26/2010 @ 5:04 pm PT...

Karen writes, "...take them to court to hassle them."

Which court, Karen?

Many courts are presided over by judges who are themselves elected, and who therefore are loathe to penalize elections officials who have the power to determine the outcome of local elections. In other words, if you're a judge who will have to stand for reelection, and you know that local elections officials have the power to rig those elections, you have a strong motivation to stay on their good side.

The CA50 case went through several levels of appeal until it reached the Appeals court of the State of California. At that point the attorney for Congress sent the court a letter citing Article One, Section Five of the Constitution where it says that Congress has the sole power to judge the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own Members, so the court found that it had no jurisdiction and dismissed the case. In fact, the case was not about a Member of Congress, it was about obtaining a local recount. But since a recount might have allowed citizens rather than Congress itself to judge the results of a Congressional election, the court determined that it had no jurisdiction. (As for Congress considering election fraud, you might ask Clint Curtis about the chances of that happening.)

Or do you suggest taking them to the Supreme Court that stopped the vote count and gave the election to Bush in 2000?

Our legal system is not a justice system. It is not designed or mandated to bring about justice, but only to interpret and enforce the laws. According to California elections laws, if elections officials find that they have to violate the elections laws in order to hold an election, they are allowed to do so. In other words, our law says that elections officials can break the law without penalty by claiming that they needed to do so.

Our legal system is very strange. For example, our Constitution says that citizens are entitled to due process, but Obama says he can assassinate citizens he considers to be terrorists without first according them due process. Last I heard, the courts said that the decision is up to Obama, not to the courts.

If you mean "hassle them" in terms of forcing them to spend time and money in court, their time is paid for by our tax money, so it doesn't cost them anything--we're paying for both sides of any court case against the government, our side, and the government's side.


COMMENT #85 [Permalink]

... Ernest A. Canning said on 9/26/2010 @ 7:11 pm PT...

Mark E. Smith wrote @81

For thousands of years, Ernest, most civilizations were ruled by tyrants and might made right. There was no such thing as democracy.

So it would have been an exercise in futility to advocate democracy. All previous attempts at establishing a democratic form of government had a 100% failure rate.

Howard Zinn in A Power Governments Cannot Suppress wrote:

It is easy to be overwhelmed or intimidated by the realization that the war makers have enormous power. But some historical perspective can be useful, because it tells us that at ceretain points in history government find that all their power is futile against the power of an aroused citizenry.

There is a basic weakness in government, however massive their armies, however vast their wealth, however they control images and information, because their power depends on the obedience of citizens, of soldiers, of civil servants, of journalists and writers and teachers and artists. When the citizens begin to suspect they have been deceived and withdraw their support, government loses its legitimacy and its power.

Mark may think that he and Howard are saying the same thing, but actually their positions are polar opposites.

Zinn is addressing the need for an active movement, and there is no reason why that movement would not actively engage in the electoral process--demanding transparent elections.

Where Howard Zinn posits an assessment that the power of governments is precarious and rests on the consent of the governed, Mark offers no solution whatsoever, sort of--"Oh shit! Its all black so why try?"

The fact that Obama, and Bush before him, have violated the constitution does not negate the constitution. The fact that HAVA opened the door to electronic theft of elections does not mean that HAVA cannot be replaced by a law that requires paper ballots and a hand count. The fact that election laws have been broken, does not mean that they cannot be fixed. The fact that, at present, the corporate media controls most of the flow of information does not mean that people cannot become educated, aroused and effectuate meaningful change.

There's a reason why no one here at The BRAD BLOG has agreed with your proposal to boycott elections, Mark. And it has noting to do with "personal attacks." It has everything to do with the fact that your "solution" amounts to abject surrender to the hard right forces behind past electoral thefts.

You want to keep beating your defeatist drum, Mark, go ahead. But no one here is buying the brown, smelly substance you've been selling.


COMMENT #86 [Permalink]

... Soul Rebel said on 9/26/2010 @ 7:57 pm PT...

Ernest -

I do not believe Mark is at all saying "It's all black, so why try?" I believe he is saying that if, in our vote, there exists the power to legitimize government, then the ... what is it, contrapositive? ...should also be true, that an active stance of mass non-voting, there exists the power to de-legitimize.

I'm not sure I entirely agree with that conclusion, but I would applaud Mark publicly for making a well-thought out argument.

The thing that bothers me the most about the turn that elections have taken is the abandonment of exit polling. Exit polling was, only a short while ago, considered a lock. It was clear to me that there was an "inside game" being played with our votes on a mass scale when there was no MSM hue and cry over the loss of exit polls as a standard.

I, for one, am willing to say that I see potential in both sides of the coin, and I don't think that Mark is trying to undermine democracy in any way, shape or form, and furthermore I continue to be intrigued and appreciative of both sides in this discussion.


COMMENT #87 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/26/2010 @ 10:06 pm PT...

Thank you, Soul Rebel.

Ernest quotes Zinn:

"There is a basic weakness in government, however massive their armies, however vast their wealth, however they control images and information, because their power depends on the obedience of citizens, of soldiers, of civil servants, of journalists and writers and teachers and artists. When the citizens begin to suspect they have been deceived and withdraw their support, government loses its legitimacy and its power."

Citizens demonstrate their obedience by doing their jobs. When citizens rebel, they go on strike and refuse to do their jobs.

Consumers demonstrate their obedience by shopping. When consumers rebel, they boycott stores or products instead of shopping.

Journalists demonstrate their obedience by writing what they're told to write and not leaking anything like the Pentagon Papers that the government would prefer remain hidden. When they rebel, they cease to be obedient and start telling the truth. They stop doing their jobs and start doing what they know is right.

Citizens demonstrate their obedience by doing their civic duty--by voting. When citizens rebel, they boycott elections and refuse to vote.

It is interesting that Ernest didn't answer one of my questions.

Ernest writes, "...no one here is buying the brown, smelly substance you've been selling."

Actually, I'm not selling anything, Ernest. I'm trying to convince people who are so angry with our government and with the lack of choices in elections that they often say that they have to hold their noses when they vote. The reason they have to hold their noses is because they're voting for smelly brown substances--candidates they can't hold accountable with policies they don't want.

Millions of dollars are spent getting out the vote--close to a billion in the '08 Presidential election. What is it spent on? On TV debates where nothing is debated. On ads trying to convince people that no matter how bad this candidate is, the other candidate is worse. And most disgraceful of all, on appeals for money, appeals from millionaires and billionaires with millions of dollars in corporate backing, to the same citizens they're screwed by wrecking our economy to make themselves and their cronies richer.

I sent money to Kerry in '04. He promised to ensure that every vote was counted. I wanted that so desperately that I convinced myself that no matter how stupid it seemed for an extremely low income person like myself, well below the poverty line, to send money to a billionaire, it would be worth it if it would help him ensure that every vote was counted.

Well, he didn't bother. He'd lied. He'd promised what people wanted most so that they'd send him money, and then he took the money and walked away.

In other words, he was full of brown smelly stuff.

And Obama, who promised change?

Is expanding the wars, increasing the bailouts, and continuing the Bush/Cheney agenda while protecting them from prosecution the change that people wanted, or was that more brown smelly stuff?

Everyone I know wanted Kucinich to get the nomination. But he didn't represent the corporations so he couldn't raise as much corporate money and the superdelegates made sure the nomination went to somebody who could. I'd asked people what they'd do if Kucinich didn't get the nomination, and they said that they'd hold their noses and vote for whoever did. You don't have to hold your nose if you're not voting for brown smelly stuff.

If our votes are meaningless and do not legitimize government, then there's no reason to vote.

If our votes are what legitimizes government, then the only way we can delegitimize government is to stop voting for brown smelly stuff.

So now that at least one person has said that they don't think my arguments are without merit, are you going to keep tediously repeating that nobody here thinks my arguments have merit and I should shut up and go away?

Howard Zinn supported unions whose workers went on strike for better conditions. He didn't say that the only way to bring about change was to stay on the job, keep working, and keep trying to pressure the bosses to improve conditions. When management refused to negotiate in good faith, Zinn supported those who fought back by going on strike.

Our government won't even ensure that our votes are counted. Is an election system like that a sign that they are bargaining in good faith? How many times will we believe the lies before we understand that unless we force them to, they have no motivation to ensure that our votes are counted? They know that's what we want, but it doesn't happen to be what they want.

It's easy to jump on a bandwagon, be on the side that's winning, and blend in with the herd. It takes courage to break away from group-think and consider that the position of a minority, even a minority of one, might have merit. You don't get medals for going against the crowd or for speaking truth to power. You get ostracized and punished.

Anyone who wants to help the major parties get out the vote can get a paying job doing so and, if they show any competence at it, be well rewarded. There's no remuneration for election boycott advocacy--I'm not selling anything, but in trying to silence me, you're abetting those who are, those who have one of the biggest advertising budgets the world has ever seen because the brown smelly stuff they're selling stinks so badly.

An active movement "demanding transparent elections" would be a great thing, Ernest. I'm all for it.

But a demand has to have a credible "

OR ELSE " to be effective.

For example, an employer can tell a worker, "I demand that you do the job you're supposed to do

OR ELSE I won't pay you and you'll be fired." If the employer said, "I demand that you do the job you're supposed to do,

OR ELSE I'll keep paying your anyway," why would the worker give in to that demand?

Workers can say, "We demand safer working conditions

OR ELSE we'll go on strike." If they said, "We demand safer working conditions

OR ELSE we'll go right on working in unsafe conditions," why would an employer give in to their demand?

One spouse can say to another, "I demand that you pull your weight around this house

OR ELSE I'll divorce you." If they said, "I demand that you pull your weight around this house

OR ELSE I'll just let you keep slacking off," why would their spouse give in to their demand?

If voters say, "We demand transparent elections," what is the

OR ELSE ? If voters say, "We demand transparent elections

OR ELSE we'll keep right on voting in rigged, faith-based elections," there's no credible

OR ELSE .

But if voters said, "We demand transparent elections

OR ELSE we won't vote," there's an excellent chance that we'll get transparent elections. Corporations aren't going to be willing to spend millions of dollars funding political parties and candidates if nobody votes. They might do it once, hoping that voters are just bluffing, but they won't do it a second time.

You can't make a demand without a credible

OR ELSE , Ernest. If you want citizens to demand transparent elections, what's the credible

OR ELSE that you suggest we use to back up that demand? "We demand transparent elections

OR ELSE we'll keep voting anyway," isn't going to cut it.


COMMENT #88 [Permalink]

... Ernest A. Canning said on 9/27/2010 @ 8:07 am PT...

Mark & Soul Rebel.

Both of your latest comments reflect a number of positions with which I can wholeheartedly agree, especially Mark's comments regarding the need for an "or else" which would include, for example, a general strike to bring the system to its knees.

Certainly meaningful change cannot be limited to the electoral process. As Gandhi observed, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

The gaping hole in Mark's logic, however, the one that both of you failed to address is how boycotting elections can form a part of an effective strategy for change?

There are already large numbers of Americans who do not participate in the electoral process--not as part of an "or else" strategy but due to apathy. Apathy and atomization are the hallmarks of totalitarian politics.

A "boycott" of an election merely adds numbers to the apathetic who do not vote. Mark's idea merely compounds apathy with cynicism. It is counterproductive.

I note that Mark hails from the People's Republic of San Diego. The ballot he has the opportunity to vote on includes an exercise in "direct democracy"--ballot initiatives.

I've included an analysis of two vitally important initiatives--Prop 19 & Prop 23. What impact will your boycott strategy have on those two initiatives, Mark?

Soul Rebel, how can you square your assessment of what you "believe" Mark is saying with the cynicism in his statement that advocating democracy is an exercise in futility?

I don't doubt that Mark's beliefs are sincerely held. My reference to the "brown, smelly substance" is not a reflection of what I feel about Mark as a person but the quality of his proposed boycott of elections.

Now, that is the topic at hand, Soul Rebel. I did not see where you agreed with Mark that boycotting elections is a good idea. If you believe it is, then you should say so.


COMMENT #89 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/27/2010 @ 11:50 am PT...

Ernest, earlier you wrote about, "...abject surrender to the hard right forces behind past electoral thefts."

I notice that you don't name those "hard right forces," so I will. The hard right is fascism. It is pure evil. It does things like torture innocents and kill millions of people in wars of aggression and crimes against humanity. Fascism is the merger of government with businesses that pollute the planet for private profit causing irreparable harm like the melting of the icecaps. I would never participate in abject surrender to the dark forces of fascism.

I'm not apathetic. I care and I care deeply. I want to be represented. Most non-voters, in the only poll that ever asked them why they don't vote, a Zogby poll commissioned by the same Paul Lehto who posted a comment above, say that neither major party represents their interests. People who care enough that they won't vote against their interests aren't apathetic. It is those who don't really care about the hard right forces that steal elections, the forces of fascism who do evil things like wage wars of aggression and commit crimes against humanity, and who vote in elections where no safeguards are in place to prevent those hard right forces from stealing elections, who are apathetic.

If you know that hard right forces have stolen elections in the past, that they want to steal elections in the future, that no safeguards are in place to prevent them from doing so, and you vote anyway, you are surrendering to those dark forces because you are too apathetic to care if they continue to wage wars of aggression, commit crimes against humanity, and destroy the planet along with every living thing on it.

The big corporations fund those hard right forces. The Democratic Party kept moving farther and farther to the right until in '08, the dark forces of fascism saw that the Democratic Party had moved so far to the right that it was willing to abjectly surrender to fascism, to support wars of aggression, to commit crimes against humanity, and to pollute the planet, so the corporations gave more money to the Democratic Party than to the Republican Party because they saw that it would trepresent their interests better.

How can the dark forces of fascism be accused of stealing elections when only the dark forces of fascism have any chance of winning those elections? The few who oppose the dark forces of fascism can't raise enough corporate money to get a major party nomination. The dark forces of fascism own both major parties, lock, stock, and barrel. When both parties and their nominees support wars of aggression and crimes against humanity, and nobody else can win, the election has been stolen by the dark right wing forces of fascism before anyone even casts a single ballot.

During the Bush/Cheney administration, when the Congressional Democrats voted for everything that Bush and Cheney wanted, and took impeachment off the table, they were abjectly surrendering to the dark right wing forces of fascism. In fact, they weren't just surrendering, they were collaborating with them and joining them. When the Democrats took power, people hoped that they would finally stop collaborating with the dark right wing forces of fascism, and instead, they expanded the wars of aggression, continued the crimes against humanity, and did nothing to reregulate corporations.

Ballot initiatives hold out the promise of benefits such as health care, legal pot, marriage equality, and other good things. When these benefits come about through elections, they can be taken away through subsequent elections. They are temporary. But the millions who are killed in wars of aggression and crimes against humanity have been done permanent harm and cannot be brought back to life. What kind of selfish, short-sighted person is willing to trade a temporary benefit for a permanent harm?

How can voting form part of an effective strategy for change in a two-party, winner-take-all system where neither party represents change? Where is the party of the left, the one that votes against wars of aggression, that opposes crimes against humanity, and that will not accept donations from or give favors to corporations that pollute the planet? Where is the party that puts people before profits? If such a party exists, it has no chance of winning in a system that is so undemocratic that it doesn't even have proportional representation and leaves half its citizens unrepresented in government.

Not even a general strike can bring a system to its knees when that system has the consent of the governed. In a system where the economy is so bad that people who lose their jobs cannot expect to find new jobs, who is going to participate in a general strike? Particularly when the government can simply issue work visas to millions of scabs from India, Mexico, and other countries and doesn't have to give strikers their jobs back?

I never said that advocating democracy is an exercise in futility. What I'm saying is that voting in elections where only political parties who represent the dark right wing forces of fascism have any chance of winning, is an exercise in futility. I'm saying that voting in elections that you believe the dark right wing forces of fascism have stolen in the past and wish to steal in the future, without first ensuring that safeguards are in place to prevent those dark forces from stealing the election, is an exercise in futility and abject surrender to the dark right wing forces of fascism.

While Soul Rebel didn't agree with me, Soul Rebel wrote, "...I would applaud Mark publicly for making a well-thought out argument." Soul Rebel also wrote, "I don't think that Mark is trying to undermine democracy in any way, shape or form," so Soul Rebel does NOT agree with your position that my election boycott advocacy is in any way cynical, counterproductive, or undermining democracy.

In their attempts to get out the vote to legitimize the dark right wing forces of fascism, political party hacks and operatives always characterize nonvoters as apathetic. Notice that they do not characterize people who vote in elections where the only two parties with any chance of winning, both support wars of aggression, crimes against humanity, and corporate polluters. Only 21% of voters think that this government has the consent of the governed. The other 79% are so apathetic that they continue to grant their consent of the governed to a government they don't feel has their consent. You can't get any more apathetic than that.

The Wall Street financiers who represent corporate rule, are the representatives of the dark right wing forces of evil who profit from wars and pollution. The Democratic Party kept moving farther and farther to the right until, in '08, Wall Street determined that it would represent them better than the Republican Party had, and donated more money to the Democrats. They were right. The Democrats gave them bigger bailouts than the Republicans had.

Those of us who wish to end corporate rule and establish a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, instead of a government of, by, and for the corporations, care deeply about democracy. People who vote, knowing that their votes might not even be counted, are too apathetic to even care if their votes are counted. People who vote, knowing that both political parties and both candidates support wars of aggression, and that the only possible outcome of the election will be continued wars of aggression, are too apathetic to care if millions of innocent people are killed in wars of aggression.

Sometimes people don't wake up until it is too late. I'm reading eaarth by Bill McKibben. He and others like him have been warning about global warming for decades. People are finally starting to wake up. But it is too late. The process is irreversible. The melted glaciers that were here since the ice age cannot be restored. So we have to figure out how to survive on a planet that has more people and less water for drinking and irrigation.

In that sense, I am indeed engaging in an exercise in futility. Because I've been saying the same things for years and you're not going to wake up until it is too late. The hard right forces that have been killing millions of innocent people in other countries, are now claiming the right to also kill Americans. And when they do, the last words of many those Americans will be, "But that's not what I voted for--I voted for change."

If you have no way to know if a candidate is lying to you or not, and you vote for them anyway, you are too apathetic to care if they're lying to you. If you have no way to hold candidates accountable once they're in office, and you vote for them anyway, you are too apathetic to care if they do things for which you cannot hold them accountable. If you have no way to ensure that our elections are honest, and you vote anyway, you are too apathetic to care if the hard right forces of evil steal another election.

Afterwards you'll rant and rave about how the hard right forces stole another election, you and other election integrity activists will spend thousands of hours documenting how the election was stolen and attempting to seek legal and legislative remedies to prevent another election from being stolen, but even without such legal and legislative remedies, you'll keep voting anyway--not because you're too apathetic to really care if the dark forces keep stealing elections, but because you represent one of those hard right forces and you WANT them to keep stealing elections.


COMMENT #90 [Permalink]

... karenfromillinois said on 9/27/2010 @ 2:59 pm PT...

mark asked,

Which court, Karen?

mark,bev has found a court,we all should be supporting that

the guys in az found a court

i seem to remember a plane falling out of the sky on its way to court

u give south africa as an example whr a voting boycott worked but in sa it was nearly all blacks ,a huge majority boycotted...that would nevr work here as the reps will nevr boycott the top 2 % and their policies

mark also said,

Ballot initiatives hold out the promise of benefits such as health care, legal pot, marriage equality, and other good things. When these benefits come about through elections, they can be taken away through subsequent elections. They are temporary. But the millions who are killed in wars of aggression and crimes against humanity have been done permanent harm and cannot be brought back to life. What kind of selfish, short-sighted person is willing to trade a temporary benefit for a permanent harm?

they will wage war wether we the people gain any ground temporary or perm,when hitler was defeated it did not end evil in the world..does that mean we shouldn't of stopped him?

my mind says it is too late to save the earth or rid our country of corruption but my heart says...it is worth a try


COMMENT #91 [Permalink]

... Ernest A. Canning said on 9/27/2010 @ 5:37 pm PT...

Mark E. Smith @89 wrote:

I never said that advocating democracy is an exercise in futility.

Mark E. Smith @81 wrote:

For thousands of years, Ernest, most civilizations were ruled by tyrants and might made right. There was no such thing as democracy.

So it would have been an exercise in futility to advocate democracy.

I asked you to explain how a vote boycott is an effective strategy and you come back with a lengthy discourse of the ills of the status quo?

I believe the words of George Bernard Shaw, later repeated by RFK better explain the difference between us.

Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not?

You will not overcome the two-party system by staying home. If you really think the answer lies in a third party, such as the Greens or Ralph Nader, why would you not vote for those candidates, and try to convince others to do the same? Or is it that you must be assured of a victory before you will join the effort?

Oh, if only fascists can win, how do you explain the terms in Congress served by the likes of Dennis Kucinich and Cynthia McKinney, or would you include them within your over broad definition of fascists?


COMMENT #92 [Permalink]

... Soul Rebel said on 9/27/2010 @ 8:33 pm PT...

Ernest,

I vote. I vote in SnoCo in WA, with all mail-in ballots, and everytime I drop it off at the offical poll stop, I say to myself, "Well, I guess I'll just have to have faith that it gets counted (or gets anywhere, for that matter.)" So I participate in faith-based voting, and I'm eternally grateful for Brad, Bev, and others who fight tirelessly to expose the fact that most of our voting is indeed unverifiable and faith-based. It's a big step for me, because I am "ye of little faith." I am also a big believer in the idea that Democracy is not a spectator sport, and voting is just one of the ways that I actively involve myself in the game. And yet, if you'll pardon the crudeness, I (and you) will get kicked in the balls pretty much every time I cast that vote, because in nearly every election we have to choose from Candidate A (D - Bad) and Candidate B (R - Worse). It happens on every conceivable level, and it is essentially institutionalized in the major parties. What's worse is I get excoriated by Democrats because I do in fact vote with a conscience - hence two presidential votes for Nader ('96 and '00), and then the blame for Gore's 2000 loss shifted to me and people like me who wanted some real change back before change was popular. It's not a pretty picture. I have no love for the institutional Democratic establishment.

With Obama and his lack of fortitude (the fortitude I was so damn sure he had when I cast my vote in '08), I'm fairly well ready to hand the keys to the car to the GOP again just as a protest against the idiocy of the Democrats. It saddens me. Moving forward with gay rights has had nothing to do with the Democrats, by and large. That is a result of 'We the People'. If we manage to get pot legalized, once again, it won't have had anything to do with Democrats, it will be a result of the popular movement and people just being generally fed up with the stupidity of its criminalization. You name it, the Democrats have tried their level best to stop it from happening while trying to look like they've been supporting it. They are a party of strong words and weak action. And yet, I'll still vote for a Democrat over a Republican because there's a difference between ineptness and pure evil. Why Kucinich, Nader, and Dean don't form a triumvirate baffles me, but I suspect there's a bullet between that and the ballot.

I don't have to square my belief with any statement from Mark about democracy being an exercise in futility, because I don't think that's what he means at all. I simply think he's saying that an active stance of not voting will send a message not just to the establishment at large but to Democrats in particular. I'm not so sure they aren't too thick to heed the message. Mark's absolutely right, and I think we could all agree, that we don't have a legitimate government. It may be the case that Obama won by the sheer weight of numbers. And it may be the case that there was a fix in Obama's favor. How could we ever know? But if it was by the sheer weight of numbers, his administration isn't respecting that weight by any measure, so it seems just as plausible at this point that there was a fix. And we'll never know.

What bothers me about what has happened here is that I really consider the regulars at BradBlog my ideological family. I've been hanging around here for five or more years, and I have tremendous respect for Brad and his work. There are few people in the world that I would defend more vociferously. And my respect extends to you, Jeannie Dean, Czaragorn, Big Dan, Kestrel BlueEyes, GrizzlyBearDancer, '99, and so on. In the end we all want the same thing. We want an election system that we can count on 100%. Mark wants that too. I am troubled that he has been attacked with the vitriol that has been present here. I'm further impressed that he has hung around to press his ideas. I probably would have said my peace and bailed long ago. But I'm glad he did, because I think his ideas have merit (and I can say that without necessarily advocating his position.) I would be sad if saying that were to cause me to lose the respect of people whom I respect, but there it is.

I don't know what the right course of action is. I don't claim to be that smart on this issue. But I do think we do ourselves a serious disservice if we as a community try to shut Mark down and tell him to take his ideas elsewhere. It is quite clear to me that he is not the enemy. He is not a GOP operative. He is not a teabagger. He is not a corporate executive, or a shareholder in ES&S. He is not one of the 2%.

I want to be able to weigh alternatives and make an informed choice. That's my view of democracy. I don't know if I'll vote in November. I have bad and worse to choose from in a State Rep. I have bad and worse to choose from in a Federal Rep. I'll probably vote for Patty Murray. But I haven't decided 100% yet. There are some ballot measures concerning taxes and education that I'll vote for. But I won't pretend to believe that they are all counted properly. I'll just have to have faith.

Peace. SR


COMMENT #93 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/27/2010 @ 10:49 pm PT...

Ernest, you criticized my ideas because you claimed that they had a 100% failure rate in convincing anyone here on BradBlog.

I responded by pointing out that attempts to prevent stolen elections by investigating, documenting, litigating, and seeking legislation have also had a 100% failure rate, and asked if you thought that they should be abandoned because they haven't been successful yet.

I also mentioned two ideas, that the earth is round, and democracy, which, before they became acceptable, had met with a 100% failure rate for thousands of years and asked if you thought those advocating democracy should have shut up because for thousands of years it had met with a 100% failure rate.

What you did was simply demonstrate poor reading comprehension skills. Here's what I wrote and what you quoted:

For thousands of years, Ernest, most civilizations were ruled by tyrants and might made right. There was no such thing as democracy.

So it would have been an exercise in futility to advocate democracy.

But you took it out of context. The full quote says:

For thousands of years, Ernest, most civilizations were ruled by tyrants and might made right. There was no such thing as democracy.

So it would have been an exercise in futility to advocate democracy. All previous attempts at establishing a democratic form of government had a 100% failure rate.

Some fools persisted anyway. Do you think they were wrong?

In other words, I explained clearly that democracy is a good idea that eventually prevailed, but for thousands of years previously it had met with a 100% failure rate.

Rather than saying that advocating democracy is an exercise in futility, I said that even though it had met with a 100% failure rate for thousands of years, it was NOT an exercise in futility, because it was a great idea and it eventually prevailed.

I don't know if you stopped reading when you saw something you could misinterpret, or deliberately took my words out of context to try to make them seem like the opposite of what I'd said, but my point was that just because an idea is not immediately accepted, or not accepted for thousands of years, doesn't mean it is a bad idea and that people should shut up about it.

I used democracy as an example of a good idea that met with a 100% failure rate for thousands of years. People said it was crazy, impossible, not practical, couldn't be done, etc. But even when branded as heretics, some people, people who understood that democracy was a good idea, persisted, and eventually it became acceptable.

Just because something is a good idea, doesn't mean that people will accept it quickly. A good idea can meet with a 100% failure rate for decades or even millenium before it is accepted.

When everyone KNOWS something, anything that contradicts their beliefs will meet with anger and rejection. Those who said that the earth was round instead of flat were persecuted. But the earth never was flat. It was just a universal belief and a false one, despite having 100% acceptance in European society for thousands of years.

Soul Rebel, I'm not trying to send a message to the Democrats, I'm trying to oust an illegitimate oligarchy. It does not have the consent of the governed. Half of us don't vote, and of the other half, the ones who DO vote, only 21%, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll, think that this government has the consent of the governed. Yet the government points to a 50% voter turnout, higher in some presidential election years, and says that it has the consent of the governed.

Other countries see that half of eligible Americans still vote, and interpret that to mean that at least half the country approves of what the two parties who control Congress and the White House are doing, so the U.S. is still a stable country and not ripe for revolution because the people are still granting their consent to the government.

There was an Iraq war vote in the Senate. The Iraq war is a war of aggression, a crime against humanity, yet the vote was 99 to 0. One Senator was either absent or abstained. Only fascists wage wars of aggression. Where was the opposition party? Where was the single dissenting vote? When there are two parties, you can usually look at a vote and tell that there are two parties because there are votes on both sides of an issue. If there's only one party, the vote can only be unanimous because there's no opposition party.

I'll tell you why nobody, not a single Democrat or Republican cast a dissenting vote. The Senate is just like BradBlog. Dissent meets with 100% failure and universal condemnation.

Some dissent is permitted, usually on non-budget, non-war issues. But on budget and war issues, dissent cannot prevail and always meets with a 100% failure rate. Those who advocate peace and a people-based rather than a corporate-based economy, don't have sufficient support in either party to accomplish anything.

No democracy wages wars of aggression. That's something that only fascist dictators do.

In advocating that we not grant our consent of the governed to continuing fascism, continuing corporate rule, and continuing wars of aggression, I am advocating and fighting for democracy.

That meets with a 100% failure rate here because most people here believe that we already have a democratic form of government and that there's nothing really wrong with waging wars of aggression, although they'd really prefer that it be done by Democrats instead of by Republicans.

Remi Kanazi, known as Remroum on Twitter, asked:

Dear Democrat: What number is enough for you to open your mouth about Obama? 200,000 murdered? 500,000? A million?

But there is no number. When Obama announced that he intends to assassinate U.S. citizens without affording them due process, Democrats said, 'Okay, whatever, it doesn't matter because Sarah Palin would have been worse.' She killed wolves, for crissakes, not U.S. citizens. Not even Bush and Cheney arrogated to themselves the right to assassinate U.S. citizens without due process.

No, I'm not saying that the Republicans are better than the Democrats. I'm saying that the Democrats are NOT better than the Republicans. Not even a smidge. That the policy of assassinating U.S. citizens without due process is far to the right of the Republican agenda--even to the right of the neo-con and Tea Party fringe agenda.

I'm saying that neither party deserves the consent of the governed, because they both represent the corporations and the military-industrial complex, so it doesn't matter which one is worse because neither of them represent We the People.

But of course I'm talking to the wall. And yet I know as surely as I know anything, that fascism is a bad idea, that democracy is a good idea, and that even if I don't live to see it, someday Americans will understand the difference and that fascism will fall and democracy will prevail.

And I also know that it cannot happen by voting in rigged elections for one of two fascist political parties that support wars of aggression and crimes against humanity--not even if one of them WAS slightly less fascist than the other. In rigged elections it can't even happen by voting for Nader or Kucinich or Dean or McKinney. In rigged elections, the fascists always win--that's why the far right (fascist) forces rig the elections, to ensure that they and their wars of aggression and their crimes against humanity always win.

Democratic voters were outraged when the elections of 2000 and 2004 were stolen. But the Democratic Party wasn't. It didn't rush to ensure that it would never happen again. Instead the Congressional Democrats supported and voted for the Bush/Cheney agenda. And when the Democrats took power, they expanded upon that agenda. If one party was less evil and more honest than the other, the first thing it would fight for would be transparent, verifiable elections.

When Obama announced that Bush and Cheney would not be investigated or prosecuted, the Democratic Party did not protest. What's a few war crimes among friends? Oh, some Democratic voters were outraged, but they'll still vote for the Democrats, or for some party with no chance of winning, because they have no choice--they have to show their obedience to this government by doing their civic duty and voting. It is only when they get fed up, cease being obedient, and stop voting, that change can occur, which is the real meaning of that Howard Zinn quote.


COMMENT #94 [Permalink]

... Larry bergan said on 9/28/2010 @ 12:26 am PT...

Mark:

I assume you haven't accepted my apology for flying off the handle, calling you names and, frankly embarrassing myself.

None of the people who voted for Obama are happy about compromises he has made and we're certainly not happy that his people are calling us whiners when we speak up. I guess that's the difference between the two parties. Republicans rarely EVER whined about the terrible abuses of their party when they were in power. In fact, I think, the only reason they ever DID was so they could say they had some integrity and it would usually only concern one issue.

Isn't that reason enough to make sure the Republicans don't take power in the congress and figuratively lynch Obama as they did with Clinton?

Your silly plan of not voting wouldn't make a bit of difference unless you could convince literally everybody to participate by this November. That's not going to happen.


COMMENT #95 [Permalink]

... Soul Rebel said on 9/28/2010 @ 1:37 am PT...

Mark, I guess I was projecting about the Democrats. I would like to think that there's enough good left there so that the threat of an election boycott would be cause enough to have them change course and represent the People for a change. It would be part of my purpose in such participation.


COMMENT #96 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/28/2010 @ 3:14 am PT...

Larry writes:

None of the people who voted for Obama are happy about compromises he has made and we're certainly not happy that his people are calling us whiners when we speak up. I guess that's the difference between the two parties. Republicans rarely EVER whined about the terrible abuses of their party when they were in power. In fact, I think, the only reason they ever DID was so they could say they had some integrity and it would usually only concern one issue.

I'm not sure I understood that, Larry. Are you saying that the difference between the two parties isn't one of policy, but that the Democrats call their voters whiners if voters criticize their party's policies, while Republicans, knowing that their party doesn't answer to voters any more than the Democratic Party does, simply remain silent, or change their registration to Democrat so as not to be called whiners? Or, more realistically, so as not to be told to go Cheney themselves?

In other words, are you saying that the difference between the parties is that Democratic voters are basically good people who are willing to criticize their party's policies when they feel it is necessary, even knowing that their party isn't going to change its policies and is going to call them names, while Republicans are bad people who know that their party won't listen to them, so they either agree with their party's policies, remain silent, or leave their party, rather than subjecting themselves to being called names?

And that although neither party represents the interests of their voters (which is why both Congressional Democrats and Congressional Republicans had less than a 15% approval rating among their own voters in 2008), we should ignore what the parties do and focus on what their voting base tells them to do, even though neither party cares what their voters think?

Isn't that reason enough to make sure the Republicans don't take power in the congress and figuratively lynch Obama as they did with Clinton?

Unless I'm misunderstanding you, no it is not.

Let me give an example. Suppose their are two factories. Both pay minimum wage, provide no benefits, have unsafe working conditions, and the bosses have no respect for the workers.

In one factory the workers never complain because they know that it wouldn't do them any good because the boss isn't going to listen and might fire them, blacklist them as troublemakers, or at the very least call them whiners.

In the other factory the workers always complain. It doesn't do them any good because the boss doesn't listen to them, sometimes fires them and blacklists them as troublemakers for complaining, and calls them whiners.

So you're saying it is better to work at the second factory? Not because the wages or working conditions are better, not because the boss cares more about or will listen to the workers, but because workers at the second factory often complain?

Personally, I think that the workers at both factories should organize instead of complaining, form a union, go on strike for better wages and working conditions, and not go back to work until their demands are met. Since complaining isn't going to do them any good at either factory, I don't see the point in it.

Your silly plan of not voting wouldn't make a bit of difference unless you could convince literally everybody to participate by this November. That's not going to happen.

There are new elections all the time. This November is not the only election that will ever happen.

I assume you haven't accepted my apology for flying off the handle, calling you names and, frankly embarrassing myself.

Look at the paragraph you wrote that begins, "Your silly plan of..." Now remove those words and read it again and see how you could have made the same argument without being disrespectful.

There was over a decade of violence in South Africa before the people hit on the idea of an election boycott. They'd tried asking the government to end Apartheid, but the government didn't listen. They'd tried violence but it only led to more violence. So eventually they decided to try the one thing that they hadn't tried. And it worked. Some day, probably not this election or the next or the next, but some day, the American people are going to get fed up with corporate rule, wars of aggression, and political parties that don't represent their voters. That's when people will stop voting, not before.

Soul Rebel, you are, I hope, aware that most Member of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, are wealthy, right? And that wealthy people have investment portfolios? And that most of the investment portfolios belonging to Members of Congress contain shares in defense contractors? And that those shares doubled and triple in value during the Bush/Cheney administration? And that while the average American is even less financially secure under Obama than they were under Bush, those defense shares are still increasing in value, particularly whenever Obama announces a new surge or hints at a new war or increases the defense budget, or affirms his support for undemocratic countries that buy a lot of weapons from the U.S.? And that those portfolios usually also include shares in energy companies, and that energy shares increase in value whenever Obama increases military activity, since our military uses a huge chunk of our energy resources, and also increase in value whenever Obama voices support for new nuclear power plants or opens up more places to oil drilling? And that those portfolios usually also include shares in banks and Wall Street firms, and that such share increase in value whenever Obama does anything that favors Wall Street over Main Street?

The threat of an election boycott wouldn't convince those people to put the welfare of the country and of their constituents above their own personal profits. A successful election boycott, however, would inform them that the jig is up, people are wise to them, and that they no longer have our consent to keep enriching themselves at the expense of our health, our jobs, our homes, our infrastructure, our safety, and our security.

You should study oligarchs. They're a class. Not only are they extremely wealthy, but they take precautions to protect their wealth. Almost all of them own estates in foreign countries. Almost all of them have offshore bank accounts. And almost all of them have well thought out plans so that they can flee into exile with their ill-gotten millions and billions the moment that they think that they no longer have the consent of the governed.

It has happened in many other countries. The rich know that the poor outnumber them. Very few decide to declare martial law and fight. If an election has less than 10% voter turnout and the rich see that more than 90% of the people no longer trust them, they usually take their money, hop aboard their private jets, flee into exile, and live out the rest of their lives in enclaves with other rich people. Happens all the time.


COMMENT #97 [Permalink]

... Ernest A. Canning said on 9/28/2010 @ 6:29 am PT...

Well, Mark, I'll leave it to others to judge whether the problem lies with my reading skills or with your obtuse verbosity.

I will simply note that, in all your lengthy mumblings, you never once made the case that boycotting elections is an effective means to change the status quo --- which is the real reason why you can't point to a single comment by anyone else here at The BRAD BLOG in which they agreed that your boycotting elections proposal is an idea worthy of support.


COMMENT #98 [Permalink]

... Ernest A. Canning said on 9/28/2010 @ 6:43 am PT...

Mark E. Smith wrote @93:

There was an Iraq war vote in the Senate. The Iraq war is a war of aggression, a crime against humanity, yet the vote was 99 to 0. One Senator was either absent or abstained.

Really! Then Wikipedia has it wrong?

21 (42%) of 50 Democratic senators voted against the resolution: Sens. Akaka (D-HI), Bingaman (D-NM), Boxer (D-CA), Byrd (D-WV), Conrad (D-ND), Corzine (D-NJ), Dayton (D-MN), Durbin (D-IL), Feingold (D-WI), Graham (D-FL), Inouye (D-HI), Kennedy (D-MA), Leahy (D-VT), Levin (D-MI), Mikulski (D-MD), Murray (D-WA), Reed (D-RI), Sarbanes (D-MD), Stabenow (D-MI), Wellstone (D-MN), and Wyden (D-OR)

My recollection is that Robert Byrd gave one of the most eloquent speeches of his long tenure, speaking out against the authorization to use force in Iraq in which he condemned his colleagues for ceding the war powers to the Executive branch.


COMMENT #99 [Permalink]

... Marlene said on 9/28/2010 @ 10:26 am PT...

To Brad @ 47,

I have known the folks at IBIP for years, and have worked directly with them. Without their input, DuPage County would be worse off. I have learned a lot from IBIP, and I am very grateful for what they do. I cannot say enough positive remarks about this group. I just wish our local Democratic Party would listen to IBIP's advice.

The fact that the DuPage Democrats have scorned IBIP makes me really wonder about a possible front in this party.

Also...

"One last thought: Your greatest concern on the touch-screen systems is not "voter fraud". The voters are doing fine. Please leave them alone. It's "election fraud" you need to be concerned about, where insiders (like Curry and his friends) have unfettered access to tabulation systems on which they can flip the results of an election without ever being discovered."

This is actually what I meant by voter fraud. Yes, it would be wrong to blame the voters for Curry's evil acts. Although, I'd like to crack the heads of anyone who votes Republican. Sorry, I will be more clear next time.


COMMENT #100 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/28/2010 @ 1:26 pm PT...

Here's the wiki on the first Iraq war vote:

Lee gained national attention in 2001 as the only member of congress to vote "No" on the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF), stating that she voted no not because she opposed military action but because she believed the AUMF, as written, granted overly-broad powers to wage war to the president at a time when the facts regarding the situation were not yet clear. She explained "It was a blank check to the president to attack anyone involved in the September 11 events—anywhere, in any country, without regard to our nation's long- term foreign policy, economic and national security interests, and without time limit. In granting these overly broad powers, the Congress failed its responsibility to understand the dimensions of its declaration.... The president has the constitutional authority to protect the nation from further attack and he has mobilized the armed forces to do just that. The Congress should have waited for the facts to be presented and then acted with fuller knowledge of the consequences of our action."

This vote made nationwide news reports and brought about a large and extremely polarized response, with the volume of calls gridlocking the switchboard of her Capitol Hill office. While it appears to have reflected the beliefs of the majority of her constituents, the majority of responses from elsewhere in the nation were angry, some referring to her as "communist" and "traitor". Enough responses included death threats against her or her family that the Capitol Police provided round-the-clock plainclothes bodyguards.[7] She was also criticized by politicians and in editorial pages of conservative-leaning newspapers, e.g. John Fund's column in The Wall Street Journal.[8]

This year's Senate 99 to 0 vote was the Iran Sanctions Act, not Iraq, and 12 people voted against it in the House.

Ernest, if I could prove to you that there were 12 decent, honest people who were members of the Ku Klux Klan, or 12 decent honest people who were members of the Mafia, would that mean that the Klan wasn't racist and the Mafia wasn't an organized crime syndicate?

You don't judge an organization by its dissidents, particularly if they are a small minority, you judge it by the majority, by the organization's policies, and sometimes by how it treats its dissidents.

Saying, "So it WOULD HAVE BEEN an exercise in futility to advocate democracy," during the thousands of years before democracy existed in western civilizations, is not obtuse verbiosity and does not say that it was an exercise in futility at all.

The status quo you're defending is that people vote, their votes do or don't get counted, candidates are sworn into office, sometimes before and sometimes after the votes are or aren't counted, those candidates try to do good things or they do bad things, but they cannot be removed from office if they betray the people who voted for them, so voters just have to wait until the next faith-based election to try to elect a different candidate they won't be able to hold accountable.

The only possible challenge to the status quo would be if people stopped voting in faith-based elections, stopped voting for candidates they can't hold accountable, and, instead of just wanting change, wishing for change, and hoping for changed, DEMANDED change and refused to vote until the system was changed so that their votes would count and their elected officials could be held accountable.

There were many Democratic voters who wanted Bush and Cheney impeached. The Democratic Party in Congress was happy with the fact that Bush/Cheney policies had doubled and tripled the value of their defense portfolios, so Pelosi, a Democrat, took impeachment off the table. That left many Democratic voters hoping that Bush and Cheney might at least be prosecuted for war crimes, but Obama, a Democrat who has continued and expanded those war crimes, took prosecution off the table.

You can't change the status quo by continuing to repeat the same mistakes over and over, Ernest. Change only comes when you do things differently.

By insisting that people keep voting in rigged elections for candidates they can't hold accountable, you are defending the status quo.

By not considering my idea on its merits, and condemning it for being unpopular, you are defending the status quo and opposing change.

Again, because you seem to be deliberately pretending that you can't understand simple English:

Just because an idea is unpopular, doesn't mean that it isn't a good idea.

Just because an idea, like democracy, may meet with 100% failure rate for thousands of years and be universally rejected and condemened, doesn't mean that it isn't a good idea and that it won't eventually prevail.

A child might stick something metal into an electric socket and get a shock. They'll usually avoid repeating that mistake. But the same child might later on play with matches and get burned. They're likely to avoid repeating that mistake also. But it isn't until they're older and wiser that they'll generalize and understand that before doing something, it is a good idea to consider the possible consequences and to find out whether doing it could hurt you.

Voters haven't yet reached that state of maturity.

Even after getting burned repeated, and knowing that the consequence of voting can harm them again, voters still keep doing it, like a very stupid child who, no matter how many times they get burned, keeps playing with matches and getting burned again.

Democrats wanted change. They voted in massive numbers and won the White House and both Houses of Congress. Nothing has changed. When they complain, they're called whiners. They're so happy about this, that they intend to do it again. They cannot seem to understand that it isn't the candidate who will best serve the people who gets the Democratic Party nomination, but the candidate who gets the most corporate money and who will best serve the corporations. They cannot seem to understand that voting for one of two pro-war candidates, or putting a few peace advocates into a Congress that has a huge pro-war majority, won't bring about peace.

And they're much more concerned about health care, reproductive rights, marriage equality, legal pot, and other issues, than about a few million innocent people they don't know getting killed in some country they don't care about. They think that people who care about a few million innocent people being killed are apathetic because they don't care about the really important things, like health care, reproductive rights, marriage equality, and legal pot. And if the price of getting their temporary (until the Supreme Court or new federal legislation revokes them) benefits is that another million innocent people will be killed, they believe, along with Madeleine Albright, that the price is worth it.

Voters are people who keep making the same mistake over and over, and expect different results every time. That's the status quo, and that's what you are defending, Ernest, and I am not.


COMMENT #101 [Permalink]

... Ernest A. Canning said on 9/28/2010 @ 5:40 pm PT...

Mark, with all due respect my good man, you don't have a clue about what it is you are talking about. The 2001 AUMF was "not" an Iraq war vote.

It simply authorized the U.S. to use military force against those responsible for the 9/11 attack. It did not identify Saddam Hussein or Iraq as responsible for 9/11.

The original AUMF has been universally accepted as a Congressional authorization to use military force in Afghanistan. It has never been accepted as authorization to use force in Iraq, which is why, in 2002, the Bush regime went back to Congress seeking a second resolution, which resolution predated the regime's efforts to secure UN approval.

The Supreme Court rejected the Bush administration's efforts to suggest that the original AUMF provided Congressional approval of the military commissions in Hamdan. Justice Kennedy fired a shot across the bow of the U.S.S. Unitary Executive, suggesting that the administration's violations of the Geneva Convention may constitute a war crime. That shot sent then AG Alberto Gonzales scurrying to Congress where he successfully pressed for the Military Commission's Act of 2006.

Now those are the facts, Mark. Are you going to man up and admit you were wrong?

I won't hold my breath waiting for you to do so, and, frankly, I'm not all that interested in reading any more of your obtuse verbosity. So if you want to persist, be my guest. I'll let you have the last word, however erroneous that last word is.


COMMENT #102 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 9/28/2010 @ 8:01 pm PT...

Once again, quoting Barbara Lee about the AUMF:

"It was a blank check to the president to attack anyone involved in the September 11 events—anywhere, in any country, without regard to our nation's long- term foreign policy, economic and national security interests, and without time limit. In granting these overly broad powers, the Congress failed its responsibility to understand the dimensions of its declaration.... The president has the constitutional authority to protect the nation from further attack and he has mobilized the armed forces to do just that. The Congress should have waited for the facts to be presented and then acted with fuller knowledge of the consequences of our action."

So if the government finds that it is committing war crimes, all it had to do is enact legislation exempting itself from war crimes.

And anyone who doesn't like it can whine about it or not whine about it, as long as they keep voting to consent to a government that commits war crimes and then exempts itself from liability for war crimes.

Because that's how democracy works. You vote for them, they vote for war crimes, and everyone can see that it is a democracy because everything was decided by voting.

Everything Hitler did was legal also. His government enacted laws legalizing everything that they did, including war crimes, wars of aggression, and crimes against humanity.

Every bit of it was legal because they themselves made it legal.

I used to wonder how people could have voted for Hitler. But he promised them everything that they wanted most. So what if he had to kill a lot of innocent people to do it.

Hitler was the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party, the party of the people, the equivalent of today's Democrats.

I get it, Ernest. I really do. Everybody here sees nothing wrong with voting for war criminals and with one exception are outraged that I would dare to suggest that, if the only candidates with a chance of winning are war criminals or belong to political parties that support, fund, and vote for war crimes, we shouldn't vote.

And if the war criminals exempt themselves from prosecution for war crimes, then it is all the more reason to vote for them, because they've not only committed crimes against humanity, but they've legalized crimes against humanity.

I don't think that anyone who is human should commit, support, consent to, or vote for anyone who commits, supports, or consents to crimes against humanity. As far as I'm concerned, those who aren't bothered by, don't really care much about, and are too apathetic to stop voting to legitimize crimes against humanity, have exempted themselves from humanity and don't deserve an apology from me or anyone else.

Those who have killed over a million innocent people, and those who voted for them and will vote for them again, are the ones who should be apologizing, but fascists never apologize, they just keep right on committing war crimes as long as they can get away with it.

Unlike the White Rose Society, I am free, at least on a few websites that haven't banned me, to speak out against war crimes, wars of aggression, and crimes against humanity. Even if not voting in elections where the only possible outcome is continued wars of aggression, war crimes, and crimes against humanity meets with a 100% failure and rejection rate here, I'm still going to keep advocating it.

I'm opposed to fascism, fascists, and war criminals, and I'll oppose them until my dying breath, whether they call themselves National Socialists, Republicans, Democrats, liberals, progressives, or anything else. If you grant your consent of the governed to war criminals, you're a fascist as far as I'm concerned.

It isn't strange for me to be alone advocating democracy. I live in fascist country where crimes against humanity are acceptable and the only debate is whether it is better that they be committed by one group of war criminals or another group of war criminals.

I understand that, given a choice between two war criminals (and some flaky peace candidates with no corporate backing and therefore no chance of winning at all), most people feel that they have no choice other than to try to decide which war criminal is the lesser evil and vote for that war criminal.

For me to say that in an election like that, the only choice a person of conscience can make is not to vote at all, will always meet with 100$ rejection from those who have no conscience.

I don't really think you'll let me have the last word, but if I could, I'd want it to be:

If you're relying on war criminals to allow honest elections, you're going to be very disappointed.


COMMENT #103 [Permalink]

... Soul Rebel said on 10/1/2010 @ 10:26 pm PT...

If I remember correctly, the "big deal" 99-1 Senate vote was The Patriot Act, and it was only Russ Feingold who voted against that. Even Wellstone voted for it (before he was assassinated...sad, though, you'd think they would have given him a pass in return for that one.)


COMMENT #104 [Permalink]

... Mark E. Smith said on 10/3/2010 @ 1:43 pm PT...

The word civic means: "Of, relating to, or belonging to a city, a citizen, or citizenship; municipal or civil."

The word duty means, "An act or a course of action that is required of one by position, social custom, law, or religion."

So civic duty is that which the government requires you to do.

And, according to Ernest, my suggestion that we NOT vote, NOT do our civic duty, and NOT do what the government requires us to do, would be abject submission to government.

In the Orwellian world of voters and political party hacks, obedience is rebellion, and rebellion is surrender.

Source : https://www.bradblog.com/?p=8083

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Houston Voting Machine Fire Update and Shouting Voter Fraud in a Crowded Midterm Election

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