100+ Diebold voting machines, known for how easily they can be hacked, available now on EBay
You really can get anything on EBay, even electronic voting machines proved to be easy to corrupt for purposes of voting fraud.
Brad Friedman of the Brad Blog first noticed that "more than 10" AccuVote-TS voting machines, built by Diebold, were being sold on the online auction site for the buy-it-now price of $1,200 (plus $50 shipping and handling).
The machines are used and don't come with user's manuals, power supplies, batteries or memory cards, which may explain their discounted price. However, for those who wish to rig elections, machines like these are priceless.
Friedman was contacted by the seller, who told him that he had more than 100 of the electronic voting machines that were originally used in Van Wert County, Ohio.
AccuVote-TS voting machines were also used in New Jersey, when a professor at Princeton demonstrated how easy the Diebold machines were to manipulate for nefarious means.
Long time readers of The BRAD BLOG likely recall the Princeton hack came about when VelvetRevolution.us (as co-founded by The BRAD BLOG) gave the Diebold touch-screen system to computer scientists there for the --- at the time --- highly secretive, first-of-its-kind examination, after we'd received the machine from a source of ours. We originally broke the story of that hack exclusively both here at The BRAD BLOG and in a slightly shorter version at Salon.
The alarming hack --- which demonstrated how a virus could be inserted into one of these systems and invisibly flip the results of an entire election --- received a great deal of attention from the mainstream media at the time, and was even covered in a live video demonstration on Fox "News". (See that video at right.)
Though the Princeton hack was on a Diebold AccuVote TS (with no so-called "Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail" printer) versus the TSX model (with VVPAT) being sold now on eBay, the many ways available to game them in order to flip election results with very little possibility of detection are essentially the same...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Obama's 'new' blueprint for energy security --- not so 'new' after all; Offshore drilling --- not actually 'safer' after all; US falls further behind in the global clean energy race; PLUS: The 'Chernobyl Option' for Japan's nuclear reactors at Fukushima, as radiation continues to spike and spread ... All those disasters and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): US energy efficiency gains eclipsed by new gadgets; Dead dolphins confiscated from Gulf scientists; PA enviro chief to personally approve violation citations; PA's gas drilling commission stacked with industry; Lose the 'smart' meter, but it'll cost ya; Packaged foods raise levels of BPA; Organic farmers sue Monsanto; Aircraft contrails impact climate change; Joshua Tree NP escapes nearby landfill threat; CA approves nation's strongest clean energy standard; Student's Solarball creates drinkable water ... PLUS: At least he's honest: Pawlenty Admits 'Every One Of Us' Running For President Has Flip-Flopped On Climate Change ....
His remarkable display of contempt for the democratic aspirations of working class Americans comes as little surprise, unfortunately. Mica, during his time in office, has received more than $620,000 in campaign contributions from the airline industry.
The Mica clause would block a rule adopted by the federal National Mediation Board which, according to the Communications Workers of America permitted airline and railroad workers to achieve "union representation based on a majority of votes cast, in line with the National Labor Relations Act rules governing union representation across all other industries." Instead of accepting the rules of a democratically held election of workers, Mica wants to count those who are eligible to vote, but who fail to do so, as votes against unionization.
Over the dissent of three Republicans and every Democratic member of the Committee, the House Transportation Committee rejected "an amendment by Rep. Jerry Costello (D-IL) to strip Mica's anti-union language from the bill."
Mica's new definition of "democracy" underscores the observations we set forth in "Gov. Walker's Wisconsin 'Union Busting' Exposes 'Tea Party' Scam, Duped Americans" as to how so many working class Americans have been "taken in by the lies and deceptions of billionaire sociopaths, like oil-baron David Koch...[whose] aim is not liberty, freedom, and jobs but American fascism, corporatocracy, and the 'eternal subjugation of the common man.'"
That subjugation flows from the disparity of power that accompanies a growing disparity of wealth, which, in turn, correlates with the demise of unions in the U.S...
P.S. I should probably come up with a name for this show. Anybody have any good ideas?
P.P.S. It's no April Fools Joke! I'll be guest-hosting the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show again for a week starting this Friday, weeknights through next Friday (4/1 - 4/8). We'll be running our live chat rooms right here each night while the show is live from 6pm - 9pm PT (9pm - Mid ET), so please stop on by and say hey!. We'll also have links to live listening streams right here if you're not lucky enough to get Mike's show on the public airwaves where you live! Don't miss one thrilling episode!
As we noted in today's Green News Report for radio, Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan told Parliament on Tuesday that the country remains on "maximum alert" in regard to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis as Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) workers and members of the country's Self-Defense Force continue to struggle heroically to prevent complete meltdowns at four of the plant's six reactors. They were each knocked out of commission by the March 11th magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
Kan was, for the first time, publicly critical of TEPCO's inadequate safety measures for the plant where, as AP detailed in an investigative report on Sunday, the company had "dismissed important scientific evidence and all but disregarded 3,000 years of geological history," when planning safe-guards against tsunamis there.
"It's undeniable their assumptions about tsunamis were greatly mistaken," Kan explained on Tuesday. Engineers had designed the plant to withstand waves of up to 18 feet, while the wave that swamped the nuclear plant knocking out power and flooding back-up diesel generators in the basement was believed to be more than 40 feet high...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Fallout from the nuclear nightmare in Japan leads to a political shift in Germany; Plutonium found in the soil around the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant; Americans trust the EPA more than Congress... so the GOP attacks the EPA --- again ... PLUS: Questioning America's emergency response to a Fukushima-style nuclear nightmare ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): UN report: Cities ignore climate change at their peril; Study: freshwater in upper Arctic Ocean increased 20%; China 'to overtake US on science' in two years; Court OKs Air-Pollution Restrictions for Ships; TX could require disclosure of drilling chemicals; China leads clean energy ranking as U.S. falls; Massey coal mines hit with 80 citations for safety violations; Can Canada's boreal forest be saved?; Russian support for nuclear power weakens as Chernobyl anniversary nears; Trouble stalks Hanford Nuclear Waste Site, America's largest; Enviro lawyers "tied in knots" over court's ruling on CA climate law; Pittsburgh's ash, oak trees expected to die off ... PLUS: San Diego dolphin deaths linked to navy training ....
With 2012 just around the corner and these babies still in use at polling places all over the country, why not get one or more of them now for your very own?! With one of these future door stops, you too can learn all the ins and outs of "voting" before the pressure of Election Day, when that "vote" will really "count"!
Great for social clubs, like political parties, or even terrorist groups! Why wait? They're sure to disappear fast! Just like the 100% unverifiable "votes" cast on them!
Because they were made by Diebold, you know it comes from a company you "trust," whether you'd like to or not. And with bids starting as low as, well, anything you like, this tens-of-thousands-of-a-kind e-voting machine is sure to be a "steal"!
UPDATE: The seller tells The BRAD BLOG the systems, more than 100 of them, come from Van Wert County, Ohio! And from a state like Ohio, you know the machines work just as they are supposed to! Get yours now and become the life of the party!
UPDATE 3/31/11: Thanks to Tony Pierce, filling in for Andrew Malcom at the Los Angeles Times "Top of the Ticket" blog for picking up on this story, adding some helpful details to it (and for giving appropriate attribution in the bargain.)
"The number is not credible," Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) spokesman Takashi Kurita told reporters on Monday in Japan, apologizing for the error. "We are very sorry."
Kurita was referring to their alarming report on Sunday night (local time) that radiation from iodine-134 in water of the basement of the turbine building at Fukushima Daiichi's Unit 2 reactor was 10 million times higher than the normal level, leading workers to another hasty evacuation of the plant. That number, Kurita explained, turned out to have been an incorrect reading.
But just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water...Turns out the radiation levels in the flooded water at Unit 2 were actually "only" 100,000 times safe levels.
Mark McKinnon, the East Asia correspondent for Canada's The Globe and Mail may have said it best when he tweeted: "Congrats to TEPCO for finding a way to make radiation '100,000 times normal' sound almost like good news."
And with that, TEPCO confirmed the radioactive water has been detected in all four of the plant's six troubled reactors. It's "only" 10,000 times higher than normal at the those other reactor buildings...
At left, a road in Naka, running between Tokyo and the Ibaraki prefecture, as photographed on March 11. At right, the same 150-meter section of road fully restored just six days later on March 17.
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A few new developments over the weekend at Fukushima. Thankfully, none of them explosive. Will try to do a quickie update with those new items later tonight if possible. For now, our last update on the Fukushima nuclear crisis is still largely up-to-date and remains operative, in general. Have been covering new developments all weekend, as they happen, via Twitter, however, if you'd like to check that in the short term.
The GOP voter fraud epidemic continues unabated. The latest alleged felon? Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to China, former Utah Governor --- and potential 2012 GOP Presidential candidate --- Jon Huntsman Jr.
Jon Huntsman Jr. is still registered to vote as a resident of the Utah governor’s mansion even through he resigned his office some 19 months ago to become the U.S. ambassador to China.
In fact, Huntsman voted by absentee ballot for last year’s general election using the state-owned mansion on South Temple as his Utah residence — months after Gov. Gary Herbert settled into the historic building and Huntsman purchased a home in Washington, D.C.
Of course, Huntsman is a Republican, so different "voter fraud" laws apply to them, in general, than to other Americans.
"It is generally illegal for voters to cast ballots using a residential address where they no longer reside," the Tribune notes before giving Huntsman a pass. "But state and federal law seem to back Huntsman’s ability to still vote using the governor’s mansion as his home because that was his last address before he left for Beijing to serve as an employee of the U.S. government."
Despite that, as the very same article notes, "Last June, Huntsman purchased a $3.6 million home in a tony D.C. neighborhood." So while he may have had cause to specify his last U.S. address as Utah prior to last June, one wonders why officials are overlooking the fact that he owned a D.C. home well prior to last November's general election, when he voted using a registration at a residence where he hadn't lived for more than a year and a half.
"The fact that the U.S. government could...seek to put away people because of their political dissent was a real major eye-opener to me." - Leonard Weinglass, commenting on the 1968 Chicago Seven trial.
The cause of civil liberties has lost a legal champion.
As we noted was likely to happen just after posting last night's update on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the "calm" over the last day or two that we reported was somewhat broken shortly thereafter. Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan took to the air for a rare press conference to discuss the situation at the crippled nuclear plant, and to mark the two weeks which have passed since an unprecedented, three-prong earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster rocked the country.
Kan described the situation at Fukushima as "very grave and serious", adding, "we are not in a position where we can be optimistic. We must treat every development with the utmost care."
He did not, however, offer much in the way of new information. In the meantime, other government officials have now recommended (but not ordered) that those living between 20 and 30 kilometers from the plant voluntarily leave the area. They stress that the new recommendations are due to the difficulty in supplying food and other resources to the area, not because of an increase in radiation levels.
Last week, those living within 20 kilometers of the plant were forced to evacuate from that "exclusion zone", and those within 20 to 30km of the plant were instructed to stay indoors to avoid radioactive fallout. The U.S. government has recommended a larger exclusion zone of 80 kilometers (50 miles) around the plant, though Japan has not felt it necessary to widen their own mandatory exclusion zone.
The most noteworthy hard news development since our report yesterday is the speculation --- and yes, we'll still call it speculation until there is hard confirmation --- that the containment vessel at Unit 3 has ruptured in some fashion, and that a meltdown may be occurring in the core of the reactor. Those details seem to be largely speculative still at this hour, based on the investigation into what caused the water at the reactor building to be as radioactive as it was to lead to "beta burns" on the feet and ankles of three workers yesterday who stepped in water while trying to restore electricity to the unit. Two of them were hospitalized. (See dispiriting photo at top of this article.)
Whether the extraordinarily high levels of radiation in the water is coming from a crack in the steel containment vessel housing the reactor core there, or from water leaking out of the spent fuel pool at Unit 3 --- or even from something else --- doesn't seem to be conclusively known at this point. But the radiation in the water was reportedly 10,000 times the "normal" limit, with some reports pegging the radiation at 100,000 times higher.
That's not the only disturbing news, however, as we now have more scientists ringing in on the data we discussed in detail yesterday from Austrian researchers suggesting that some 50% of the radioactive cesium-137 that spewed from Chernobyl in 1986 has already been emitted to surrounding areas in Japan from one or more of the crippled reactors at Fukushima...
I just got off the air after doing two segments on the nationally syndicated Randi Rhodes Show, guest-hosted today by my pal Nicole Sandler of RadioOrNot.com. We discussed, as you may have guessed, the latest news (and politics) out of the continuing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan, and the effect it may (or may not) have on the supposed "nuclear renaissance" previously scheduled here in the U.S.
In addition to summarizing some of the information from our latest detailed report on Fukushima last night, including the news we detailed about several independent scientists asserting that some 50% of the dangerous, radioactive cesium-137 emitted at Chernobyl twenty-five years ago has already leaked out of Fukushima, there are several new details breaking today. Some of them I mentioned quickly on the show. I will try to round up those, and several other new details, of course, in a new article here in a bit.
Until then, here's the audio of me and Nicole on Randi's show just now...
We're just a day or so from the two week mark since disaster struck Japan on March 11th. Estimates now are that the death toll is likely to top more than 27,000 people killed in the great Tohoku Earthquake and its subsequent tsunami (with a peak wave now estimated to have 77 feet at its highest.)
Some quick math comparing the relative populations of Japan to the U.S. suggest that, had such a disaster struck this country, some 68,000 lives would have been lost in a single day. To further appreciate the size of Japan's disaster, the cost of damage is estimated to be around $300 billion. In the U.S., the cost of the damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina, one of our greatest disasters, is estimated to be "only" around $81 billion, according to Reuters.
Friday is already well under way at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and reports last night and today suggest a calm, of sorts, at least in regard to the chain of continuing disasters we've seen there over much of the last two weeks. Though, like the photo that opens this article above, that calm may mask other problems, or be shattered in an instant, as has frequently been the case just after we post one of these "things seem to be stabilizing" articles.
Nonetheless, there does seem to be some stabilization at Fukushima's Daiichi power plant and its six troubled reactors at this moment, even as three plant workers were contaminated after stepping into 30 centimeters of radioactive water yesterday (two were sent to the hospital with burns on their skin as the radiation they came into contact with is said by TEPCO to have been 10,000 times normal levels); irradiated tap water worries ease somewhat in Tokyo, but spread to neighboring prefectures; and as scientists grapple with attempting to determine the full extent of the damage at the nuclear plant and the radiation dangers to the rest of the country, and across the globe, as data now suggests releases of dangerous radioactive cesium-137 have so far reached approximately 50% of that released at Chernobyl twenty-five years ago next month.
But first, before some of that gloomier news below, a (happily) very quick update on the latest status of each of the six crippled nuclear reactors...