READER COMMENTS ON
"Ralph Nader Endorses VR's 'Divestiture for Democracy' Campaign!"
(75 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 1:17 am PT...
People get ready. The big train's a-comin'.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 3/31/2005 @ 1:58 am PT...
Don't count on John Kerry. If he really wanted to reform our electoral system, he'd never have conceded on Nov. 3 and would never have gone to Iraq as the Jan. 6 challenge by Boxer and Tubbs Jones approached.
He's preparing for 2008. What someone should tell John Kerry is, "The same people who stole the presidency from you in 2004 are going to be there in 2008. If we don't expose them now, they'll steal it from you again."
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 2:56 am PT...
There is some evidence that the Black Caucus requested Kerry's absence on Jan. 6
Kerry is no fool. He won't run if there's a chance of having another stolen election. Just the fact that he is running again is a good sign.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 3:32 am PT...
In my book, Ralph Nader is an American hero. I don't always agree with his political positions, (see Schiavo) but he has done more to reign in the power and greed of the corporations over his long carreer than any other.
As for Kerry, what he did while protesting the Vietnam war deserves respect and admiration. I think his political carreer would have been over had he contested the election, but that is precisely the problem. Too few are willing to risk anything at all to stand up for what they believe in and most important to stand up for us. Nader will never hold a high political office but he has never compromised his principles in the pursuit of that office. He is a powerful ally in the fight to bring these voting machine companies under control.
Way to go Brad, we need a thousand more like you.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 4:52 am PT...
Let me take you on a trip to the Nineteenth century when the ships in the oceans transported people and goods far and wide. You are the captain of your ship; you have complete control of your agenda; and nothing but the ocean can prevent you from getting from England to New York. Smell the salty ocean breeze and feel the mind-boggling sense of being the center of the universe and in complete control...
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 5:19 am PT...
I apologize for all the nasty things I ever said about him. I was wrong.
Keep em comin Brad. Proud of you, & VR
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 5:21 am PT...
Hey Brad, I've been reading all about you over on GOPUSA. And to be quoted not once but SEVERAL times - wow, you're REALLY making the big-time now!
Next thing you know, JimmyJeff will be calling you for an interview on HIS site!
And we can all say "We knew him when...."
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 5:52 am PT...
Ralph Nader is one of my heroes. I listened to him all during the Presidential campaign. He's got a lot of great ideas, he's a good man, has great integrity and continues to do his best as a Watcher for all citizens of this country.
Thank you Mr. Nader!
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 6:10 am PT...
Ralph Nader. Hah! Another fraud heard from. His candidacy in 2000 did a lot to do in Gore and you people call him a hero? Hahaha! We Republicans know he is. He was a useful idiot for the GOP. 'Cause now we only have to listen to Al Bore whenever he gets a few too many and lets off another incoherent rant like his "global warming" scream on the coldest day of the year in New York. Paul Simon should write a song for you libs called "Still Clueless After All These Years."
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 7:32 am PT...
Ralph Nader has always stuck to his guns and I think he will be a strong ally in this battle. He is one of the few I know who has stuck to his guns and gotten things done in spite of not being always so popular.
I wonder though if there are any other candidates out there willing to stick out there political necks to back what is right instead of staying with the status quo and playing the game by the rules in place now. What happened to integrity in govt?
Manabanana or whatever - why don't you explain yourself a little clearer as to what point you are trying to make instead of trying to be clever with your insults? If you want to debate the topic, that's all good - but if you only want to sling about slurs - then there is no point. But then - why should I expect a good debate from you if you think that just because it was cold in New York then the enviromentalists and greatest scientists in the world are wrong.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 8:29 am PT...
The corporations and the neo-cons are confused by nader, when they tried to buy him it took them a while to figure what "Not for sale" meant.
I'm not totally sure how much will be gained by having him on board, but he'll bring even more integrity so it sure can't hurt.
Don't bother with the troll, when he seriously starts spouting Caligula quotes in the context of US foreign policy we know we're dealing with a wing nut of the highest order, not worth the bandwidth or eyeball time.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 8:30 am PT...
...why don't you explain yourself a little clearer...
Well, there's this from a liberal blogger. In part it says:
One of the bitterest lessons I learned as a young and naive liberal staffer on Capitol Hill was that the "public interest research" produced by the Nader groups was systematically fraudulent. Every time I actually got into an issue deeply enough to understand the details --- nuclear power, toxic waste, pharmaceutical regulation --- I discovered that the Naderites had no more respect for the facts than the industries they were fighting: in some cases, less.
And this from a former Nader Staffer. A quote:
Why do I hate him so much? Because I worked with one of his groups. That was back when I was a lady of the left, doyenne of popular protests and die-ins. I went into PennPIRG a starry-eyed idealist . . . and emerged disgusted. The PIRGs are gigantic beasts that feed on money, which it turns into . . . pretty much the same end product as any other beast. They do research, of course, but most of it seems to be done at the same high level as a freshman term paper. As far as I could tell, the majority of the money they earned was consumed by the fundraising process itself. Consider the canvassing operation, which is where they generate many or most of their members. When I was doing it, 45% of the money they took in went to the canvasser. A further sum accrued to the canvasser's field manager. Then there was the field office, which had staff and fixed costs to pay, and the cost of moving all those canvassers from place to place. Well over half of the money, possibly almost all of it, simply went to operate the field operations.
There's plenty more out there if you care to look. But having been raised in an area where his crusade against the automotive industry led to thousands of lost jobs, I have some first-hand experience. If he showed his face in that area, he'd not be guaranteed to get out of there unscathed. The people know him for what he is. And these are UAW union members. Not exactly right-wing zealots.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 9:00 am PT...
I was recently at a MA Democratic Activist Day at Amherst College. This was my first encounter with MA Democrats statewide. Seven people sat with me ranging from a college senior to the 60 year old Amherst town Democratic chairwomen. The Amherst town committee is one of the most active in MA. To begin with everyone at the table believed the election had been stolen. Also everyone was very disappointed that Kerry seemed to do nothing. Then the lady who was the Amherst Democratic Chair said, “I had a friend visiting from East Germany after the election who listened to me ask way is Kerry doing nothing!”. His response to me was “Perhaps it is too dangers for him to do anything”. The lady who had been actively involved in state Democratic politics for quit sometime said, “I felt so naive” She then said “Has it come to this. I hope not” You could see in everyone eyes what her East Germany friend said seemed possible to all of us.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 9:27 am PT...
John F -
I had heard that one of Kerry's daughters was threatened.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 9:59 am PT...
Manananana #9 and #12, why don't you try using your own words to explain your post, since quoting from other bloggers doesn't really tell us what you think?
I must admit that I am too young to know much about Nader and his dealings with the automotive industry, nor have I deeply researched it. But it is my understanding that the automotive industry had to be forced to make changes to save lives. Why was that a bad thing? It is unfortunate that the industry and its workers suffered, but I seem to recall that there were other, far more damaging market forces at work at the time. It is convenient to blame Nader for that economic disaster, but not only is it fraudulent, it doesn't really have any bearing whatsoever on the topic at hand.
So please take the time, if you will, to explain what you are actually trying to say. Cutting and pasting the words of others does nothing to further the dialogue.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 11:20 am PT...
Nader is fighting the wrong battle. The problem with evoting is not secret software. The problem is that the ballots are not recorded and counted under appropriate multipartisan observation. If evoting equipment is used, each voter must see a permanent non-electronic copy of their marked ballot (voter-verified paper ballot, or VVPB), and the VVPB must be counted in public.
Elections are not about computers or software. NO ONE can control what software is in the computer at the time of the election, or prevent innocent software errors, corrupt insiders, or hackers from altering the recorded ballots and tallies.
The focus on computers and software is a smokescreen to distract Americans from the fact that democracy requires a public vote count. Democracy cannot survive if we have to trust someone to tell us that an unobserved vote count was honest--whether that person is a technologist who tells us that the computer was honest, or a statistician who tells us that a 2% surprise random recount of VVPB was statistically significant, or Avi Rubin, or Wally O'Dell.
Go watch the movie Norma Rae. Watch the scene where hundreds of factory workers observe the opening of the ballot box, and the counting of the votes. That's what election integrity is made of. Observers of a non-technical process.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 2:40 pm PT...
Excellent, Teresa Hommel #16.
It was absolutely pointless for Kerry to contest the election. There was no way to win. He is not a loser, and he knew better than to waste his energy. He is now a force in the Senate and we need his efforts in lawmaking. He is our ally in the government, and we should be glad he didn't make the mistake of not conceding.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 3:21 pm PT...
Nader's a good guy in my book and I'mm glad to see he's showing his integrity once again. I'm sorry to say that I've been voting Democrat anyway (see the stupid confession on my website). About the auto industry: It is not Nader who is really destroying jobs. It's the changes in our economy. Unfortunately the right is correct about this. But are they the ones who will help these workers regain their livelihood? Yeah right. Environmental regulation is pocket change compared to U.S. executive wages and the loss in U.S. auto sales. So Nader's alright. At least he's the type to fight and make sure these guys get back on their feet when the manufacturing system crumbles.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 3:43 pm PT...
There is no way in the world we can compete with cheap foreign labor. This country has a radical economic transformation coming.
Individuals have little to do with anything but their own personal lives. The collective rules itself.
Nadar sets an example but this election reform is in our hands. The time of heroic icons seems to be past. We are the current heroes.
Worshipping or desecrating another human being is pointless.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 3:43 pm PT...
He is now a force in the Senate
Kerry a force? Hahaha! First he has to show up. And when he finally gets around to actually showing up, he will find that he's in a dwindling minority party. He has no power. And right now, I'd bet the Republicans are in no mood for his bloviations.
Don't put all your eggs in his basket. He's likely to be wind surfing or skiing at Gstaad. But he sure won't be fighting for you.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 4:58 pm PT...
Hi, I have a question. If it would have been pointless for Kerry to contest, then who should we have turned to to protect our right to have our votes counted? If not the man who was running for the most powerful position in the world, then who?
This election was stolen, period, and I have no doubt that Kerry knows this. So how are we to win any future elections when the guy that, I believe, most of us voted for, has done next to nothing about the rigged machines?
manabananaman has a point when he says that Kerry will find himself part of a dwindling minority. While I agree that he is a voice for us in the Senate, my opinion is that when he was in the position to be heard loud and clear about what was happening, he walked away. His position now is far weaker then it was at the time of the election.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 5:02 pm PT...
This question is posed with respect for my sister Bradblogger :0)
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 5:22 pm PT...
Tweaking computers will NEVER give us elections that can be adequately monitored and confidence that all the votes are counted. Black box voting gives the most precious right in a democracy over to a technology that we cannot fully trust. Oregon's all-mail, all-the-time elections have decreased the cost of running elections and given us verifiable results. Vote by mail increases participation in elections and gives voters time to reflect and cast well-informed votes. There is ALWAYS a paper trail and voters can duplicate and retain copies of their ballots.
This Washington Post article by Oregon's Secretary of State Bill Bradbury explains how well mail voting works:
Vote-by-Mail: The Real Winner Is Democracy
By Bill Bradbury
Saturday, January 1, 2005; Page A23
While many states were embroiled in fights over touch-screen voting machines and provisional ballots and struggling to find enough people to staff polling places, Oregon once again quietly conducted a presidential election with record turnout and little strife.
Oregon's vote-by-mail system has proved reliable and popular. Critics said that vote-by-mail is prone to fraud. But signature verification of every voter before a ballot is counted is an effective safeguard against fraud.
Curtis Gans of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate contended that vote-by-mail would suppress voter participation. But record numbers of Oregonians registered to vote, and almost 87 percent of them cast ballots.
Critics argued that vote-by-mail eliminates the communal experience of voting on Election Day. But community activities promoting voting were readily available to Oregonians on Election Day and in the days leading up to it. With two weeks to conduct public education and get-out-the-vote efforts, Oregonians were surrounded by civic engagement reminders. Oregonians have also started a new communal experience: voting at home, showing their children the ballot and talking to them about how important it is to vote.
Vote-by-mail is voter-friendly, and high turnout in every vote-by-mail election shows that voters like the convenience. Oregonians receive ballots in the mail two weeks before Election Day, allowing ample time to research issues, review and mark the ballot, and eliminating the need to stand in long lines waiting for a polling booth.
Voters are busy, but voting fits their schedule if they may return their ballot at any time during those two weeks and up until 8 p.m. on Election Day. Voters may mail their ballots or save a stamp by dropping them off in person at any of the official sites located throughout the state. The earlier that ballots come in, the more time election officials have to check for any problems and to process the ballots to ensure that every vote counts. With a large number of ballots received before Election Day, the first tally released on election night contained nearly 50 percent of the vote and proved to be an accurate predictor of the final numbers.
Vote-by-mail provides an automatic paper trail. Every vote-by-mail ballot is read by reliable optical scan machines, and the paper is available should a hand recount become necessary. Mailed ballots are not forwarded by the post office, and the constant updating of voter rolls provided by returned ballots allows Oregon to have accurate and updated voter rolls without the risk of partisan purges.
Without polling places, vote-by-mail eliminates the expensive and time-consuming recruitment and training of poll workers. As a result, the cost of a vote-by-mail election is nearly 30 percent less than the cost of a polling place election.
Centralized supervision and control of ballot processing by elections officials in county elections offices, instead of dispersed polling places, maintains uniformity and strict compliance with law throughout the state.
An impressive percentage of Oregon's registered voters cast ballots in this election. Each of those voters can be confident that the mechanism of democracy in Oregon suits their needs, runs smoothly and fairly, and, most importantly, protects their votes.
The answer to the nation's voting anxiety is not a national standard that imposes new rules on an outdated system of polling places. The answer is a low-tech, low-cost, reliable and convenient system that makes it easier to vote and easier to count votes. The answer is vote-by-mail.
The writer is Oregon's Secretary of State.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 5:25 pm PT...
Well, Super, Kerry has fought these people before and he knows all about them. Counting the votes would have been meaningless, since the machines were rigged. He is a savvy prosecutor, never losing a case, and he knew the impossibility of overturning the election. The evidence has to be there, rock solid. That takes a lot of time. The government machine never would have stopped for this. You have to be logical, and Kerry is.
We are up against hardened criminals, and this task is not easy. But it can be done. We will not have a savior, we have to do this ourselves, which is why Brad's work is so meaningful.
This is not a Kerry issue, which is why he has stepped out of the way. And we don't know for sure that he is doing nothing. He is crafty. And Teresa's public statement about the stolen election was part of some strategy, I believe.
I do know that he would not run if the machines were riggrd against him. I think he is up to something, but the whole problem has to be handled on many fronts. And we have to do our part. Massive boycotting always works.
We should trust that Kerry is doing his part in the way he thinks best and we should be doing ours.
It is OUR vote, and OUR responsibility.
Also, the President of the US is not the most powerful position on the world. He is largely a figurehead. The power is in unseen places.
We have to trust the future and not be afraid. The chips will fall where they will, and we can do our best and hope. I have confidence in us, more and more as I see the commitment growing.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 5:35 pm PT...
I will add that I have studied Kerry carefully, since I detest most politicians, and am loathe to vote for them. He is playing a high stakes game, and this is his one big chance to do what he has always wanted in his political career. He is misunderstood and always underestimated, which I think is to his advantage. The game with the neocons is a very big personal issue and I believe he aims to win. They are also pitted against him and doing a lot to get back at him since Iran/Contra and the BCCI. It is far from over, and he is extremely determined at this point. He is a slow and deliberate strategist, but I think he might be coming into a period of even more power and influence. You have to understand that he is deeply involved and knowledgeable about Washington and the game of politics. Most of us are not.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 6:38 pm PT...
Judy Davis #23 -
The idea of mail-in ballot sound sat first blush to be fool-proof. But I have no faith that a crew as determined as the one we are dealing with would find a way to obstruct the postal service, perhaps by compromising postal workers.
Here in Maine, we largely use pencil and paper. That WORKS. Just ask a Canadian.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 6:41 pm PT...
I've argued those same points constantly since Nov. 3. I think people are just too depressed to realize how probable they are. Keep talking!
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 7:54 pm PT...
Wow - Teresa #24, #25
I (like Peg C.) also argued those same points and maintain the same beliefs you just wrote. When Kerry was nominated I had no idea who he was, but after much research I began to admire him - especially the BCCI case he worked almost single-handedly!
The debates cinched it for me. He seems to have a tremendous amount of integrity and I continue to support him.
We also agree that there is real and present danger in the political world.
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 9:28 pm PT...
Re my own #26 -
"The idea of mail-in ballot sounds at first blush to be fool-proof. But I have no faith that a crew as determined as the one we are dealing with would fail to find a way to obstruct the postal service, perhaps by compromising postal workers."
It's hard to type in the dark.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 10:04 pm PT...
I believe that there are many different solutions that could work to help, if not fix, improve the standards at our election polls. I just don't know how we could get enough people to believe that there was a dishonest election that took place. I have worked with the public for many years and I am still astounded at how many of them think that I am a conspiracy theorist when I talk about fixed elections or anything else that denotes a negativity to our current powers in charge. They honestly believe that the election was fair and that we are fighting a "war against terrorism". They also believe there were/are WMD and the tooth fairy. How do we battle blind sheep who follow without thought?
I believe Kerry did the one thing he could do by conceeding. Sure, I would have very much loved to see him fight the good fight on election day down to every last bloody vote. But where would that have gotten him or us? The Bush's still would have found a way to defeat him and he would have lost alot more than the election. I think he is still fighting the good fight and is on our side.
As for Manabanana #12 - you still haven't made a firm stand in my eyes. I live in what was the Steel Capital of the world. Ye Gods Man, if you blame Nadar for the downfall of the automotive industry then you are a lost cause. Here in good ol' Pittsburgh - we have lost all of our industry to the fact that it's shipped out of the country now. It's cheaper to make it outside than here. Other countries making cars faster, cheaper and easier than here in the US has far more to do with your areas depression than anything Nadar did. All Nadar's crew wanted was to protect the environment. And if we don't start doing that then there will be no world left to be fighting for or over. I am in complete agreement with Des #15 and Java Black #18. It is a changing world and a changing economy. As it changes - jobs and industries are going to be lost. But if the govt. had a strong economy then those same people would be able to find new jobs. It is obvious to me that the Bush administration cares little for the problem of unemployment or anything else doing with the middle and lower class situation. After all - there is no money for them in it. All they are worried about is their big corporations making more money.
So again - Manabanana - what is your point?
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 10:31 pm PT...
Peg C.... type in the dark?? They didn't shut your juice off, did they? Well, you never know way up there north in the wilderness. Let us know if you need anything...blankets, lanterns, matches... We're here for ya.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 11:07 pm PT...
One of the reasons we are in this current pickle is that Americans don't know enough about who they are voting for. If we don't take responsiblity for this, then we don't dserve the vote.
Kerry has done so many amazing things for this country in his career. Even in the last couple of months. For example, right now he is spearheading legislation to help the small businessman, which will be very important in the upcoming economic climate. He also just got legislation through to help the small fishermen. Kerry is responsible, clear headed, dedicated and tireless. He does what he believes is right. He is not a phony, horn-tooting, pop icon. I think he might be a major, major player in this country in the next years. He is an ally, and we are foolish not to support him.
Here is a site that has a lot of good information:
And his new Senate site:
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 3/31/2005 @ 11:18 pm PT...
I get Kerry's mailings and am usually faithful.
This is important, because I have a STRONG feeling:
What is needed is another "Pearl Harbor-like" event. Our little fuhrer needs a cause, and he's going to generate one, for raping Iran this summer.
Look for a dirty bomb detonation somewhere in urban America (we've already been steered towards Boston, so let's look at Chicago). This is a gigantic crime, treason of the highest, murder most foul, and infamous evil.
Please...keep a skeptical head when the endangered "administration" tries to sell you more war and death in the name of "democracy."
I don't know what we can do; but I'm on record as predicting another major crime - to enable another war. HEADS UP.
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 4:08 am PT...
A leader is supposed to lead, and Kerry's failure to lead on the most important issue facing this country in over two hundred years, outwieghs, IMO, by far, anything he can do for farmers, or small businesspersons, or you and me. No amount of good work by Kerry or any other politician is going to matter if the vote is rigged, because if it is, then we will continue to lose elections, and continue to find ourselves represented less and less. All they need is one more stolen election. All they need is 60 votes in the Senate to truly dictate the agenda and pass legislation that will be the downfall of this country and Kerry's and every other Democrats voice will be muted and meaningless.
I want to know what Kerry is doing about election reform, because without this, nothing else matters. Bush doesn't have to worry about selling us anything. He can simply shove it down our throats because there is no way to stop him. Ever wonder why he keeps pushing Soc. Sec. reform when clearly the majority of Americans don't support it? Because he plans to push it anyway through executive order and there is nothing we can do about it.
Does all this make me a quitter? A frightened and immobilized alarmist? No. But I will admit that I am very frightened for my children, two of which will be of draft age this month and three years from now respectively. What is John Kerry doing to protect my children from this?
We all know that this past election was, as they called it, the most important of our lifetimes, and we came up short, not for lack of effort but because the system is rigged. I agree that we all have a responsibility to work at making our country healthy again, but leaders must lead and when the outcome of the election was hanging in the balance, Kerry failed to lead. I repeat, his position now is far weaker than it was on the morning of Nov. 3, 2004.
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 4:49 am PT...
Back in the Sixties, I saw Nader on the Dick Cavett talk show. To make the point of how well shoes used to be made in the US, he removed a shoe and held it up while explaining that it had lasted many years for him. But I'm staring at his shoeless foot. HIS SOCK HAD HOLES IN IT.
Here's another fact. The late night radio show Coast to Coast AM sent interview invitations to all the 2004 Presidential candidates . Nader was the only one who bothered to come on. He even answered questions from callers.
Nader is strange, but he's got integrity.
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 5:38 am PT...
I'm curious, does anybody remember who was blamed for siphoning off just enough votes to hand Al Gore defeat in 2000? And does anybody remember who the Michigan Republicans fought viciously to make sure was on the Michigan ballot in 2004? Ironic, no?
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
Mark Lloyd Baker
said on 4/1/2005 @ 6:03 am PT...
Excellent posting by all, as usual.
It is untrue that using a computer necessarily means losing verifiability. A computer can be used to create a paper ballot, and is capable of instantly and reliably checking the consistency and general correctness of the ballot, so that ballot "spoilage", which costs Democrats elections, could be reduced to virtually zero. This is an example of using a computer in a way that we could trust - more so than a similar system without a computer.
But the maliciously awful voting systems are here, and as long as they are, we must pay attention to both their hardware and software. If we don't, we may as well give up on elections altogether, since we can be certain they'll all be rigged from here on out.
With closed source software, software that is, which can only be read by the company that owns it, we cannot verify whether it really does what it's supposed to, has severe security flaws, or has back doors for easy hacks.
With open source, we can study the code, know what it does, expose flaws, close security holes, and be relatively confident in it. Open source would be a vast improvement over the current state of affairs, and unlike getting rid of the systems altogether, is something we have a decent chance of accomplishing - as is getting the voting machine companies to add paper trails.
For these reasons, I think Velvet Revolution is on the right track and so is Ralph Nader.
- - -
But what I'd like to know is this: how is it that we get receipts for every little transaction we do but not for voting? Imagine if grocery stores decided they'd do away with receipts! It's obviously silly, yet it's how voting works.
So I want to take home a valid copy of my completed ballot. The state keeps the other copy. (we can even use a computer with a printer to make the copies!).
And if it turns out that we the people don't trust election results, we can mount a decisive challenge, and do so with or without the government's help or cooperation.
That would give me more trust in our elections.
COMMENT #38 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 6:14 am PT...
Open source would be a vast improvement over the current state of affairs
Must be why so many companies standardize on Open Source software. No...wait...
COMMENT #39 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 7:01 am PT...
Once again the famous line "Of the people, by the people for the people" comes to mind. Until enough people decide they have had enough of this spoon/force fed govt. we will continue to suffer the concequences. I really thought that the first rigging of the votes would be enough to motivate people to change things. Obviously not since the second election was more of the same - just a little sneakier. But the answer isn't in the politicians, it's in us. We the People. And until the People of the US stand up and demand the government we deserve then we are at the mercy of any power that chooses to rule us. Our founding fathers weren't perfect - but they were on the right track with many of their ideas. They saw the wrongs that were being done and did their best to right them. And went against the majority of Americans to do it. It's time again to rise up and take back our government from the politicians and give it back to the people - as was intended in our constitution.
COMMENT #40 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 8:08 am PT...
I completely agree, Shadow. We cower in fear and expect to have everything done for us like children. I've never followed anyone and have tried to take care of things myself as much as possible.
But government is necessary, and when we stand up for ourselves and act like they are our paid employees, then our leadership will reflect it.
COMMENT #41 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 10:11 am PT...
Agree 1000 %
It seems that it will have to become much worse before the majority finally say enough. I, as do you, place the final responsibility for changing things squarely at the feet of the people.
I am involved in anti-war groups, peace groups, I vote, I participate in town government, I write, e-mail politicians, I donate to groups that seek to carry out the changes I wish to see happen, so what more can I do? Relatively speaking, I have a small voice in this country, and my whole point about this is, that those in positions of power are amplifiers for our smaller voices. That is why we vote for them, is it not? They have as great or greater responsibility to speak out about injustice.
Fearing for my childrens future does not make me a frightened, cowering child. I am doing all I can to protect them, since apparently I can't count on anyone in Washington in any form, lest I be labeled a sheep, too afraid to stand up for myself.
Ignorance and laziness, not fear, is what keeps the people from rising up. So how do we educate the ignorant? How do we reach them? If we can't even expect those who we put in positions of power to speak with us and for us, then what the hell should we expect from them? Nothing? Why then even bother with this form of government?
I think we would all be a lot better off if we adopt the Iroqois form of governance and step aside and let the mothers of this country lead.
COMMENT #42 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 10:18 am PT...
It's time again to rise up and take back our government...
Kinda reminds me of an old locker-room speech by my high school basketball coach. The only difference is that after the speech was delivered and the team started to whoop and holler and tear the locker doors off their hinges, and as they headed for the court to do noble battle with the enemy, they found that the Republicans had locked the door to the locker-room. And the coach of the other team, Karl Rove, had swallowed the key.
COMMENT #43 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 10:26 am PT...
COMMENT #44 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 11:25 am PT...
Super, of course fearing for your children is natural.
I am talking about this endless hysteria... fear of fascism, fear of Karl Rove, fear that Bush is another Hitler, fear of these stupid right wing Christians, fear of republicans, fear of what they are going to do next....
I AM SICK OF IT!
You can't function at your best when so petrified that the government is going to hurt you. They ARE going to hurt you, but courage is the best choice of emotion.
There is much indication that women will be coming more influential in politics soon. It's cyclic. Everything is. We are supposed to be moving away from this primitive, violent, paranoid, He Man approach to solving conflict. It's clearly not working. We'll see.
Fear is a huge problem in everyone's life. It is always there, and it tends to cripple us. Why? Horrible things keep happening but we get through it all. You can't do much about the ignorance. It seems to be a given percentage of the populace no matter what you do. Unfortunately we have to wait for evolution, in hopes that thet will elevate mankind.
But we still are besieged with superstitions and unamed fears that really should be faced in every individual. Individual fears turn into mob hysteria so easily. And sometimes lead us to wrong places for safe harbor.
It takes a group of strong, wise, spiritual, somewhat autonomous, confident people to create good leaders.
COMMENT #45 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 3:01 pm PT...
Remeber Clint Curtis and Lemee (sp)? Lemee is dead, and he was only uncovering the FDOT thingy.. immagine if Kerry pushed the issue and started getting 'facts' exposed regarding the 2004 coup d’état? If the life of his children were actually threatened, can you blame him for stepping aside and letting "us" push the issue?
Manananabuttmunch #36 No, I have no clue who you are talking about.. How about some links/names? or would that mean you can't just say "remember that Democrat that wanted to make a law that forced everyone to screw pigs to get paid?". I have little doubt you are trying to point out something 'serious' or 'valid', but when you refuse to say what it is you are saying, you force all of us to conclude that you are, in fact, a drooling moron who can't form a logical or intelligent thought. *shrug* If you want to have a converstation with us, then do so (i.e. provide more than marginally cryptic statements which seem to have no substance).. otherwise, do us all a favor and put on your bib and go drool at the 'right wing' sites.. k? thanks..
Oh, and at #38 .. what the hell are you talking about? Do you know what Open Source is? Just because 'many' companies don't want to have Open Source for -their- products doesn't mean we shouldn't -force- proprietary systems designed exclusively to handle our voting and paid for with tax dollars to be 100% disclosed. Standardize? what? what does that have to do with making sure voting software is provided to the public to re/view and make sure there aren't any "funny bits" moving around?
And for #42 .. yeah, kind of like that.. only, the problem is, the Repugnecons can't hide behind that locked door forever, and we're more than just a High School Basketball team, we're millions of people who, when pushed far enough, will pick up our guns/knives/sticks/cat-poo and march on 'headquarters'.. Then Rove/Shrubman/etc will be out of luck as we'll be out for blood, not reform. Ever been hit in the eye with cat-shit? not fun
COMMENT #46 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 3:54 pm PT...
guns/knives/sticks/cat-poo and march on 'headquarters'
Like y'all did in Mogadishu? Or back when Jimmah the Peanut Farmer was humiliated for 444 days by a bunch of terrorists in Teheran? Like that?
Okay, who's got the "scared crayon?" I need to color myself scared. You'd better hurry, though, your numbers are shrinking. Soon your sect/clan/cell will be extinct.
COMMENT #47 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 4:38 pm PT...
lol.. yeah, smaller.. 82% of the country said they thought Shrubman and his Congress cronies stepped over the line with the Terri Schiavo thing.. yeah, "shrinking"..
The only thing that's shrinking around here are your balls from all the glue you must be sniffing.
What does Mogadishu have to do with Shrubman and his psycho-crew trying to dismantle our Constitution? Or Teheran ?
COMMENT #48 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 5:21 pm PT...
Shrinking balls can be an extreme hazard. They really are sensitive, and must be cared for properly.
COMMENT #49 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 5:27 pm PT...
*blink blink* My kind of woman!
COMMENT #50 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 8:32 pm PT...
OK, I'll try to type real slow for you. I said:
I'm curious, does anybody remember who was blamed for siphoning off just enough votes to hand Al Gore defeat in 2000? And does anybody remember who the Michigan Republicans fought viciously to make sure was on the Michigan ballot in 2004? Ironic, no?
To which you replied:
No, I have no clue who you are talking about.. How about some links/names?
There's only one name and that name is Ralph Nader. I find it amusing that suddenly he's the knight in shining armor after being accused of helping to defeat Gore in 2000. Then in 2004, the Democrats in Michigan (my state) tried very hard to keep him off the ballot because Kerry wasn't polling that well. The Republicans started a petition drive and made sure Nader was on the ballot so he would siphon as many votes as possible away from Kerry. I guess you have short memories or you forgive quickly. Did I make that simple enough for you?
Then I said:
Must be why so many companies standardize on Open Source software. No...wait...
In response you #37's comment about Open Source software. To which you said:
what the hell are you talking about? Do you know what Open Source is?
I am a Computer Systems Analyst by trade and worked up to that skill by spending many years in software development and hardware design, as well as managing computer networks and systems. I also taught both computer hardware and software systems and design classes. So, yes, I know what Open Source is and means.
Then you said:
Just because 'many' companies don't want to have Open Source for -their- products doesn't mean we shouldn't -force- proprietary systems designed exclusively to handle our voting and paid for with tax dollars to be 100% disclosed.
Which in my mind indicates YOU might be the one who does not understand much about software. Open Source is shunned by businesses because of its reputation of being kludgey, poorly performing, bug-ridden, undocumented, and unsupported. Quality control runs the gamut from not too bad to terrible or non-existent. Since the software is Open Source, any 14 year old who's learned a little bit about programming can get hold of the source code and use it to figure out how to hack your system, or write malicious software like Trojan horses, worms, and virus programs. All of that adds up to risks that people who depend on their software to do business cannot and will not take. With proprietary software, you can specify exactly what you want, have some company to hold responsible for its quality and performance, and get support and patches when you need them. Not so with Open Source. Since Open Source is rarely commercial, the designers and developers do it in their spare time and the fix things "when we can get to it."
Then you said:
Standardize? what? what does that have to do with making sure voting software is provided to the public to re/view and make sure there aren't any "funny bits" moving around?
When you purchase software, as I have already stated, you get to specify its design, functionality, what tests it must pass, and everything about it. Standardize in industry means things like everybody who has to work together uses the same CAD/CAM software or Spreadsheet program, or graphics editing package. In the context of voting machines, it would mean that every machine would use the same software to register and count votes. That entire process can be open to inspection and testing - which is different than Open Source. Open Source is software designed and developed by amateurs and committees. It is way cool - and too risky for anything serious that must be reliable and must have support.
You might not believe it, but I am using an open source browser right now - Mozilla. So I am not against it for silly little applications where accuracy and reliability don't much matter. I find Mozilla to be sufficient for surfing the net. But I would not want a bunch of Open Source programmers providing software for a cruise missile or any other system that must function properly.
Does that clear things up?
COMMENT #51 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 9:36 pm PT...
First things first.. point 1 about votes. I didn't realize you were talking about Nader (I suppose I should have given the topic of the thread, yet you continually go off topic so I have no way to know what you are talking about 1/2 the time). I also was not aware of Democrats trying to keep him off ballots as damage control (and it's pretty shitty when the opposition actively tries to disrupts the system by meddeling, but hey.. nothing wrong with a little "legal", albeit immoral adjusting of the field, right?). Personally, I doubt I could care less about Nader at this point. Perhaps I should do some researching on him.. but since I've not commented on him or any of his policies, I don't see an issue here.
Now, for Open Source.
I'm a Software Engineer. I also see you "worked your way up".. Not sure if you have a degree, but I do. Not saying you have to have a degree to know what you are talking about, but it helps (it also doesn't mean a degree automatically means you know what you are talking about, I've met a lot of idiots with degrees, even in my field).
That said.. Linux.. ever hear of it? Open Source.. guess what? it's one of the MOST prevalant ISP systems out there, runs more Web Servers with Apache (also Open Source), and more and more companies are going TO IT because it's a LOT more stable than 'proprietary' systems. In fact, our company is moving to Sun machines running Rad Hat because we got tired of the crap from HP/Compaq (proprietary systems, right?)
You DO realize that the MOST attacked systems out there are Winbloze? And it's all PROPRIETARY? It's one of the BUGGIEST, most pathetic OSes out there.. Now our TAX DOLLARS are going toward helping one of the richest men in the world do his job???? The Air Force will be testing "security patches" for that fuckwit because in all his riches, he can't figure out how the fuck to release solid code?
Yes, "businesses" don't want to mess with "Open Source", mostly because the moron bearuocrats running companies don't know what it is, don't understand how it can be VERY benifical, and belive the crap told to them by small software companies that would lose business if larger companies actually hired developers to tweak OPEN SOURCE applications.
And this crap about "part timers working things at their leisure" is just that, crap. Open Source is NOT "freeware" or "GNU" code, it's a philosophy about not keeping any secrets and proving your code is doing what it's supposed to..
and in the case of our voting machines, making sure no one is fiddling with bits.
One of your biggest problems is you are looking at this from a "small company that needs a specific application", but those are a VERY small percentage of the populace.. and I would argue that a niche business like that should be hiring on Software Engineers for that task, not hiring out (there would be exceptions to that rule, as with all things). When it comes to the voting machine companies, do you -really- think the software running on proprietary hardware is "outsourced"? I'm guessing it's all written in-house where they can (supposedly) put in all the 'bit flipping' code they like.
With regard to "standardizing", you are completely missing the mark. Open Source has nothing to do with "industry standards". The only "standardizing" that I've heard anything about is "do we shift to Open Source for everyone", to that there are a lot of companies saying "No, we'll lose business.. don't go to Open Source, let us keep it all hidden"..
While I'll give you the point that Open Source might have it's issues (some lingering questions about bugs/hacking could be discussed.. yet Microcrap with Winbloze doesn't need to have it's source out there to be exploited to hell, right?), what's being discussed here is ONE very specific case... what's being talked about here is forcing companies (there's only like 10 companies that make these machines, IIRC) to divulge their code (source) so it can be verified to not have "secret code" that manipulated votes, or less machivious "bugs" that weren't rooted out. An entire OTHER point of all this is that we want "paper printouts" to accompany the electronic votes.. why would they want to avoid that? to prevent adding on a $20 printer with another $100 in parts to run it? and another 10,000 lines of code to support it? Sorry, but that's an ignorant argument.. I think most people in the country would gladly pay another $250 - $300 a machine to make sure they are being accurate.. Yet, the voting machine makers (last I heard, 2 were perfectly willing to 'play ball', the rest got all indignant) don't want to do it..
COMMENT #52 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 9:52 pm PT...
Here, this is a place to get your info..
Mostly, companies that oppose Open Source are companies that produce software that don't want to lose profits by having to let it be freely (or sold for a cost too) distributed by someone that modifies/adds/fixes the base code.
This has nothing to do with "opening the source to review" with voting machines.. Mark at #37 was implying peer review of the code (removing it from the proprietary realm), not really "Open Source" as the ongoing "industry debate" (at least, the words he typed talk about reviewing and the words 'open source' I don't think were meant to imply the larger Open Source debates internal to the Computer Industry).
COMMENT #53 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 10:02 pm PT...
Very impressive, Gentlemen. Excellent debate. I applaud your knowledge and articulation, Savanster.
COMMENT #54 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 10:05 pm PT...
Concerning the issue of open software code. You're right on. Somehow I don't think it will sink through the heads of people who don't or won't think for themselves. Voting isn't a trade that video gaming, slot machines, software tools...etc..is. I don't see how hidden source logically applies to voting.
Hacking can only be done if the machines are connected to a central tabulator. Cut out the central tabulator, allow the counts to be visible, and the point is moot.
They're doing it India right now. It's also a hell of a lot cheaper.
The new trolls are a lot smarter than the old ones, but irrational just the same.
COMMENT #55 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 10:36 pm PT...
Yeah.. Us 'technical' types have a very hard time convicing the "manager" types that Open Source is good for us (bad for small (or large) companies that like to charge for patches to fix things that should have worked from the get go). Not only can we "fix" bugs we find, we can add functionality that our company needs, and it's a LOT cheaper than starting from scratch.. then, when we make a "nice" system that is solid and works for us, we could re-sell that to other people who use our services..
but.. it falls on deaf ears... "what about hackers!", "but then people we sell to could re-sell, and we'd lose money!".. um, hackers aren't gonna get behind our firewalls all that easily, and since WE have the code, WE can "hack-proof" it.. and we only "lose" money in an old archaic sense. We MAKE money to recoup what we originally spent.. so what if we aren't the "only ones" who make some money? course, that's blasphamy to "management" types (and all business loving types who only value money and care nothing for simplicity, completeness, thought)
COMMENT #56 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 11:23 pm PT...
What if you couldn't open the hood on your car because the manufacturer wanted to keep the engine design secret?
COMMENT #57 [Permalink]
said on 4/1/2005 @ 11:26 pm PT...
Well done gentleman - now this is a real debate. Let me applaud you Mana - I have to say that you are finally talking sense instead of babbling out seemingly nonsensical quips. I don't happen to agree with you, however, I do see valid points in what you are saying. I am more in agreement with Savantster simply because I don't believe the issue is so much with open code versus propriety code. Although having a impartial team of experts to oversee the code would be a good idea. I think the simple process of having printed ballots given would help some, but how would you know for sure that it would help. What would prevent poll fixing with written ballots. The only way that could possibly help was if people hung onto them. Then if there were to be a question - have the voters return to the polls and re-count the paper ballots. I see a problem with that simply because it is hard enough to get many Americans out of their living rooms and into the polls. Do you really think that all of them would return to the polls with their paper votes? I'm not sure if that is the way to go either. So in what way would having a printed ballot help? Or am I misunderstanding what your goal for having paper ballots is. Would you cast your vote, get a printed copy and turn it in after you've voted? Or would you hang onto it? Were are we going with the push for printing out our ballots. Because even if we had a paper ballot - that is in no means proof that the ballots were not fixed. But I would be open to hearing more ideas about how it could help.
COMMENT #58 [Permalink]
said on 4/2/2005 @ 7:58 am PT...
Not sure if you have a degree, but I do.
Okay, I'm impressed. I never got a degree (but I did teach courses at a state university), but I've had plenty of those degreed wiz kids working for me. Some were good, some were dumber than sticks.
That said.. Linux.. ever hear of it?
I used to use Mandrake Linux on my personal PC. Ever hear of it? I went to Windows XP after finding that many hardware and software systems did not work with Linux and there was nowhere I could get drivers, code, etc. to meet my needs for such simple things as satellite Internet connections (my only choice for high-speed connectivity where I live), some sound cards, and even some DVD drives and printers. I went to Linux because I heard it was small in size, fast, and virtually crash-proof. My experience was that the reason Linux was smaller is because it had less features out of the box. I found that it was actually no faster, and in some cases much slower than Windows. And I found myself re-booting my Linux system more often than I ever had to do with Windows. Things in Linux would just stop working - no error messages, no warnings, they just quit working. Often when I consulted the documentation, the particular area that I wished to read about was blank or had the text "to be provided later." Seems coders don't like to write documentation and in the Open Source world, they just don't ever get around to doing it.
You DO realize that the MOST attacked systems out there are Winbloze?
Is it possible to have a conversation with you without all the hyperbole? The software is called Windows. And you, of all people, should be aware of the fact that the major reason hackers target Windows is because of its dominance in the marketplace. The last I checked, Windows is on over 90 percent of all computers. Hackers target their malicious software where it will have the greatest effect. There have also been many, many attacks of Linux servers and famous crashes caused by hackers on Linux servers for high-profile hosts like Hosting Matters which hosts Instapundit, for example.
because the moron bearuocrats running companies don't know what it is...
This kind of statement, and the attitude behind it, is why in all my years of experience in the professional world that I seldom see people with technical backgrounds in charge of companies that actually have to make a profit.
for that fuckwit because in all his riches, he can't figure out how the fuck to release solid code?
Tell me, do you feel that all that vulgarity helps you make your point? Is this what you learned that qualified you for your degree? I find it boorish and immature. YMMV.
Open Source is NOT "freeware" or "GNU" code, it's a philosophy about not keeping any secrets and proving your code is doing what it's supposed to..
Are you suggesting that the vast majority of Open Source code is not GNU or freeware? You must be joking. Linux seems to be the only real Open Source system out there that some companies have found a way to make a buck supporting (e.g., Red Hat). Most Open Source programs by far are freeware and GNU. I also find it quite amusing that you'd provide a link to an organization that pushes Open Source as a way to substantiate the benefits of Open Source. What else would they say?
The bottom line is that there is a big difference between Open Source and the concept of having open access to the source code. In commercial systems, you can have that access - you just must pay for it. The best solution for the voting machine issue is to hire a company to write the software to specifications we provide them, demand access to the source code (and be willing to pay for it), and design the system from the ground up. I do not support COTS as a solution. It must be a unique solution that meets all requirements because it is a unique application. Companies can compete for the contract but once awarded there should be no more competition. In house development is not viable because there is no "house." There are many users or houses of they product so that won't work. So a custom-built software application, developed by professional software designers and developers that work for a company that will be around and can provide software updates and modifications when needed as well as support is the superior approach. The code is available, reviewable, testable and if your specifications are accurate, reliable and does exactly what you want it to do.
I don't think that we can "customize" the current systems nor do I believe we should try. If we can specify and build a nuclear aircraft carrier (often cited as the most complex pile of technology in the world) from scratch, we ought to be able to produce hardware and software specs for a voting system that satisfies all requirements. I just don't think it ought to be done necessarily by a bunch of faceless coders writing from anonymous locations with no accountability. They should be allowed to compete if they like, but I don't think they'd be able to win a contract. Not if the specs were any good, anyway.
Not only can we "fix" bugs we find, we can add functionality that our company needs, and it's a LOT cheaper than starting from scratch.. then, when we make a "nice" system that is solid and works for us, we could re-sell that to other people who use our services..
If you comply with your Open Source license, you will have to open and publish any changes that you make to the code. If you do that, how would you sell it? Anybody who gets hold of your code could just compile it themselves. They would not need to buy it from you.
WE can "hack-proof" it..
Hackers around the world are laughing at that mentality. It isn't a matter of hack-proofing, its a matter of how long it will take them to hack your programs. And your comment about firewalls is silly. If you don't close the system off completely from the outside world, a hacker can, and if there is adequate motivation will, get in.
COMMENT #59 [Permalink]
said on 4/2/2005 @ 10:46 am PT...
Linux.. ever hear of it?
You mean like SUSE (owned by Novell?)
Novell is on a knife-edge financially and competitively, having placed a huge one-way bet in the success of its Linux strategy. But there's no guarantee of success: its revenue from Linux licensing is puny, and it faces a crowded market of Linux distros. Novell may be getting some positive press now that it's gone full tilt for Linux, but let's remember the reasons why: because of mis-steps of its previous management (especially the disastrous acquisition of WordPerfect in the mid 1990s) and its failure to grow its Netware business (with more than a little help from Microsoft), it's now having to re-engineer itself for Linux."
Years ago, I attended all the training Novell offered for their NetWare product and was fully certified. They really had a booming business with their only real competitor being 3Com Corporation. Novell and 3Com both lost out to Microsoft, HP, IBM, and other big guns in the networking world as well as some market loss to Linux. Novell chose to buy another loser to Microsoft's Word called WordPerfect (which by the way controlled 70 percent of the word processing market before Word) which they ended up giving away in a feeble attempt to compete with Microsoft. Then they turned to Linux, buying SUSE to attempt competition with RedHat. From the report above, it doesn't look good for Novell and their sad attempts at trying to make a business out of Open Source is failing miserably.
3Com got completely out of the networking business (I also was a certified 3Com 3Wizard) and turned to making hardware cards for Ethernet systems. They will likely survive because they make the absolute best hardware in the business. That and the fact that they are the controllers for Ethernet addresses for the whole world. They were smart enough to stay away from Open Source adventures and are still a viable company. Novell will likely go under. One wonders what will happen to SUSE then.
COMMENT #60 [Permalink]
said on 4/2/2005 @ 11:06 am PT...
Finally, a real discussion! thanks Now, let's procede.
"I used to use Mandrake Linux on my personal PC. Ever hear of it?"
Yup.. Mandrake is one of the smaller, less supported Linux distrobutions out there. It has it's purposes, but in the world of "Open Source" with a side that has no "corperate driver", you are correct in that it tends to be slow going on drivers and the like.. (oh, and "satellite Internet connections" are -not- simple.. they are very uncommon and will take longer for people to "hack" drivers for.. now, if they were open source, they would be ported within days of being released.. mostlikely.. it could take a week or 2). Red Hat (and Slackware up till a while ago, not sure where it is now) is one of the biggest distrobutions out there. Some companies even release the source for their new hardware so the Linux people can port it so people can buy that hardware and use it on their Linux boxes.. Perhaps if we -supported- those hardware vendors, more vendors would follow suit and more code would be available for porting, and the ENTIRE industry would benifit..
"Is it possible to have a conversation with you without all the hyperbole? The software is called Windows. And you, of all people, should be aware of the fact that the major reason hackers target Windows is because of its dominance in the marketplace"
First, no.. I hate Billy Boy and his crap OS.. so if it really is that much of a bother for you to see "Winbloze" then I guess our discussion is over. As for the rest of the quote.. Saying the 'fact' that it's targeted because of it's popularity would be overstepping your bounds. Is it 'very likely' the reason? sure.. but I also have heard a LOT of people discussing how EASY it is to do.. that helps a lot to, don't you think? We just had a security class at work.. know what the instructor told us? The biggest security breach in most companies is running Windows, and the single biggest hole is Internet Explorer (I already knew that). In fact, the 'emergency software update orginization' or something like that, said no one should be running IE because of it's vaunerabilities. So, yeah.. his stuff "blows", and in the age of L337, it bloze.
(me) " because the moron bearuocrats running companies don't know what it is..."
"This kind of statement, and the attitude behind it, is why in all my years of experience in the professional world that I seldom see people with technical backgrounds in charge of companies that actually have to make a profit."
Ah.. yes.. it's us Technical Types that don't have the stomach to see that dumping 7,500 people to "improve the bottom line" while giving the CEO a $4 million dollar bonus is borderline criminal. See, the problem isn't that techinical types can't run a business (look at Google, Yahoo, eBay, etc.. all the "technical" businesses that were started by 'technical types' and bought for billions of dollars) and make a profit.. it's that in the business world, profit isn't about "making more than you spend".. it's about "looking the best you can on paper so people invest in your company through the market".. that's why, in the face of RECORD PROFITS, companies are STILL firing people.. it's not that they are having trouble getting money, it's that the greedy SOBs running the show want a bunch more millions before they get off the board, and who cares if they put thousands of people out of work to do it.. To say "techinical types" can't run a company is very irresponsible and flat out wrong.
"Open Source is NOT "freeware" or "GNU" code, it's a philosophy about not keeping any secrets and proving your code is doing what it's supposed to..
Are you suggesting that the vast majority of Open Source code is not GNU or freeware? You must be joking. Linux seems to be the only real Open Source system out there that some companies have found a way to make a buck supporting (e.g., Red Hat). Most Open Source programs by far are freeware and GNU."
No, I agree with you that 'the majority of apps are GNU and Freeware', but that's only because Open Source hasn't caught onto the mainstream yet. Open Source, as I said, is -not- "about" GNU and Freeware.. you don't have to build software on Linux (subject to the GNU) for it to be Open Source. You can use Microcrap's Visual C++ if you like. You will just piss off anyone out there that might have wanted to buy your code cause now you are forcing them to use Windows and buy Windows applications. Hell, you could make an application on HP/Compaq if you wanted, sell it under Open Source.. would it compile on Windows? no.. but it could be ported by someone that wanted the base system.. Anyway, the point is, Open Source is -not- GNU and Freeware.. it's much larger than that.. it's just not been moved into the mainstream yet.
"Not only can we "fix" bugs we find, we can add functionality that our company needs, and it's a LOT cheaper than starting from scratch.. then, when we make a "nice" system that is solid and works for us, we could re-sell that to other people who use our services..
If you comply with your Open Source license, you will have to open and publish any changes that you make to the code. If you do that, how would you sell it? Anybody who gets hold of your code could just compile it themselves. They would not need to buy it from you."
Not sure I agree with you about the "have to open and publish any changes" I believe the idea is if you do not grant rights to modify your code, you have to provide patches.. What I was saying was, if you are company X and sell me application "Fudge Bar".. I can take "Fudge Bar" and insert a big chunk of "Cream Filling" I bought (or wrote) and -sell that-. If I paid $45,000 for "Fudge Bar", and wrote "Cream Filling", I could sell the "Fudgey Creamy Cookie" for $25,000 a copy.. if I sold 2 copies, I'd have made $5,000 for my cream.. To imply no one would "buy" "Fudgey Creamy Cookie" because they would have "free access to it" is to not understand how Open Source works. For the original company that made "Fudge Bar", yeah.. they will lose a few sales.. until they add my "Cream Filling" and sell the package.. Course, a -better- way would be for them to have "Fudge Bar" and me to have "Cream Filling", and for me to sell the "melding code" that links them both together. Then when someone want's "Fudgey Creamy Cookies", they would buy from both of us... Though, given how greedy most corperate types are, they don't want to go for that.
And as I said, "software companies" are in the minority in the computer industry.. there are a LOT of places using computer, and no where -near- as many companies producing software. The biggest opponents to Open Source -are- the companies making software because they wouldn't be able to "maximize profits" like they do now. Is that a good thing? Bad thing?.. I don't know. But as a Software Engineer who isn't making my living my one-offing code, it sure would make my job a lot easier at work.
"WE can "hack-proof" it..
Hackers around the world are laughing at that mentality. It isn't a matter of hack-proofing, its a matter of how long it will take them to hack your programs. And your comment about firewalls is silly. If you don't close the system off completely from the outside world, a hacker can, and if there is adequate motivation will, get in."
Yes, you are correct. But, -most- systems that get comprimised are done so because of 'poor programming practices'.. and if I own the source to an application, I can 'fix' typical problem areas. Will I get all of them? no.. Will anyone -ever- be able to make a totally unhackable system? Not if it's on any kind of network, especially one that reaches out to the internet.. You are absolutely correct in that the 'only' way to 'hackproof' a system is to have a system that is standalone, but I'll go you one further.. if that system allows people access to it for -any- reason, it can be hacked. My point was, in the face of having hundreds of holes in some code, I could close most, if not all, of them up. Will someone eventually break in?.. yeah, like you said.. if they have motivation to. Do you realize that a HUGE portion of hackers out there today are just kids playing with stuff they found on the net that lets them inconvience Windows users? There really isn't a whole lot of "serious" hacking going on.
Now.. Once again.. I believe it was 'mis-spoken' when it was said "Open Source" should be applied to voting machines.. I believe what was intended was "opening the code to review".. As you stated yourself, it could be done (though I disagree with your reasons that it would be done out-of-house). From what I understand, these voting machine contracts -were- bid on. And, given the proprietary hardware involved, it would be a nightmare to try and have some "outside company" write the code.. And I don't see any good reason why it should be out-sorced either. It just adds another layer of cost that doesn't need to be there, and doesn't offer any benifits (in a world where the software is open to review).
Basically, either you agree that there are potential problems with computers/e-voting and they could be largely mitigated by "haveing the source code reviewd by various people", or you don't. Either you support having full visibility to this particular industry, or you don't.. Open Source and that debate has nothing to do with it and might as well be dropped.
COMMENT #61 [Permalink]
said on 4/2/2005 @ 12:49 pm PT...
Basically, either you agree...
I'll go you one better. Go back to paper ballots. Go back to manual systems. They were slower and it took longer to publish the results, but there was a paper trail.
Either you support having full visibility to this particular industry...
Never said I didn't. I no doubt want my vote counted at least as much as you. I have my complaints with the current system too. They have little to do with machines and software, though. Mine are more toward the HAVA and motor-voter initiatives that end up with people who should not be voting casting votes.
In the 2004 election, I was a poll monitor for the Republican party and sat all day long at the polls making sure that no hanky-panky was going on. I had a checklist of things to watch and watch out for, which I did. I am proud to say that in the polling location where I was, there was not even one problem or questionable incident. The high point of the day was when the person in charge of the polls (a Democrat) told me that he'd never seen the Democrats be as diligent about monitoring elections as we were in the Republican party. He had seen poll monitors from the Democrats and they didn't even know what they were supposed to be doing. At my polling location, there were no Democrat monitors all day long. I wonder why.
BTW: I did not start the discussion on Open Source but I did respond to it.
COMMENT #62 [Permalink]
said on 4/2/2005 @ 1:00 pm PT...
I never said you started it, but when I explained what appeared to be "meant", you continued on the debate anyway.
As far as going back to paper ballots.. that's fine with me too.. But, we live in a society that likes to "move forward".. in that veign, people (some people anyway) think moving to machines is a good idea. If it is or isn't is still up for debate, but I have no problems with machines either.. so long as we are being responsible human beings about it (paper printouts with the votes, source code subject to review by anyone who wants to look at it, etc etc).
So, tell me more about what problems you have with HAVA and "moto-voter initiatives" and why you think it makes for "people who should not be voting casting votes"..
I'd also be curious as to what state you are from .. with regard to being at a polling station..
COMMENT #63 [Permalink]
said on 4/2/2005 @ 1:39 pm PT...
So, tell me more about what problems you have with HAVA and "moto-voter initiatives"
Simply put, they open the system to abuse. The utter concept of having a provisional ballot it just one example of how ridiculous those things are.
I think that HAVA and motor-voter fall into the same category as the McCain-Feingold law. By that I mean that they may have been implemented with the best of intentions but the results have been disastrous.
I have been voting since 1967 and I have never seen all the problems that I have seen since HAVA went into effect. Now you can try to blame these problems on dark conspiracies (much of that going on here) but HAVA is the culprit to me and is the same as the crazy policy (or non-policy) we currently have for the flood of illegal immigrants flooding across our borders. There are even nut cases in the far left that are pushing to get it made legal for illegal aliens to vote. This is just plain crazy.
I am living in Michigan. I don't understand your question or how where I live makes a difference, though.
COMMENT #64 [Permalink]
said on 4/2/2005 @ 2:17 pm PT...
I missed #59
Basically, you are asserting that since Novell, a company that had marginal network software to begin with (at least, that's been my expierence), who then bought a SMALL Linux distrobution, and a direct competitor to Bill Gate's monopoly on software (Office) is having financial troubles.. and you think it has to do with "Open Source" as the culprit? I don't see Open Source being anywhere -near- that article.. that's something -you- are bringing into it with no real reason that I can see. Markets change, industry changes.. if the service you provide is mediocre and some other company comes along and does it faster and better for cheaper, you are going out of business. Novell was a network software company.. they lost ground when more people got in the market (making better networking prtocols.. IIRC, Novell refused to adhere to standards and kept their priprietary systems which ended up being supplanted). They lashed out to other ventures to remain a viable company, but that doesn't mean they knew what they were doing (network people with a word processor? why?). Buying Linux (SUSE, actually) may be the -only- thing keeping them afloat.. yet you make it sound like Open Source is what killed that company? I don't get the correlation.
for #63 I didn't ask you to restate what you said before (which provided no info), I asked for details. Not sure why you don't want to support your point with details, but now I'll go read up on HAVA and "moto-voter" stuff to see if I think there's something wrong with it. See, that's the problem with the right most of the time.. they never want to actually -tell- you what they think is wrong, they just say "it opens up the way for a lot of problems".. well, so does being born.. but we deal with it, right?
Oh, and I agree with you that "illegal immagrants" should NOT be voting in the U.S., period, ever. As far as them "flooding over the border", that's a problem too.. I don't know enough about it to really comment on it, but my initial feeling is, we need to stop letting so many people come into this country until we take care of our own first (a premise that is foriegn to most conservatives..)
I asked about what state because there were several states that reported a -lot- of problems with voting.. I don't recall if Michigan was one, I thought it was.. While your district (well, polling station) didn't have problems and it makes one wonder why so many others are reporting them, it also doesn't mean that your station just plain and simple didn't have any issues. With millions of polling stations, one would expect that a lot of them had no issues at all, but that's still not evidence to support "no fraud happened"..
COMMENT #65 [Permalink]
said on 4/2/2005 @ 2:39 pm PT...
K.. found the HAVA bill.. Here's the general intent..
" (b) Use of Payment.--
(1) In general.--A State shall use the funds provided under
a payment made under this section to carry out one or more of
the following activities:
(A) Complying with the requirements under title III.
(B) Improving the administration of elections for
(C) Educating voters concerning voting procedures,
voting rights, and voting technology.
(D) Training election officials, poll workers, and
(E) Developing the State plan for requirements
payments to be submitted under part 1 of subtitle D of
(F) Improving, acquiring, leasing, modifying, or
replacing voting systems and technology and methods for
casting and counting votes.
(G) Improving the accessibility and quantity of
polling places, including providing physical access for
individuals with disabilities, providing nonvisual
access for individuals with visual impairments, and
providing assistance to Native Americans, Alaska Native
citizens, and to individuals with limited proficiency in
the English language.
(H) Establishing toll-free telephone hotlines that
voters may use to report possible voting fraud and
voting rights violations, to obtain general election
information, and to access detailed automated
information on their own voter registration status,
specific polling place locations, and other relevant
Not sure how any of that is "bad".. it's trying to make sure we have some consistency in voting, right? remove the "little tabs not popping all the way out".. strange alignment on machines that we saw in 2000 in Flordia (and other places)? Fixing that kind of thing is bad why? You still haven't given any "reasonable" explination about your objection (that's supported with evidence or fact).
This is gonna get old fast.. In every debate I've watched between "liberals" and "conservatives" it boils down to, liberals want the facts presented and use facts to back up what they say. Conservatives start out with 'some' facts (on occasion), then resort to derailing the conversation entirely (by getting sidetracked and using "feelings" and "beliefs" for basises of their arguments).. Not saying that's gonna happen here, but you aren't showing me anything to support your "dislike for the system", which seems to me is only intended to make sure voting is done properly, unmistakably (no errors reading ballots), and to the inclusion of all the citizens of this country. I fail to see your problem (so, enlighten me with fact)
COMMENT #66 [Permalink]
said on 4/2/2005 @ 2:48 pm PT...
SEC. 231. NOTE: 42 USC 15371. CERTIFICATION AND TESTING OF VOTING SYSTEMS.
These machines are supposed to be certified by independant labs approved/certified by national institute of standards and technology.. anyone know of any "certification processes" that were run on all those voting machines? I'd be curious to see the cert results and tests run..
COMMENT #67 [Permalink]
said on 4/2/2005 @ 2:57 pm PT...
and you think it has to do with "Open Source" as the culprit?
yet you make it sound like Open Source is what killed that company? I don't get the correlation.
Well, that may be what you think I meant, but it is not what I meant. What I meant is that Open Source (SUSE in this case) did not help this company, and may actually be its downfall. SUSE hoped to benefit from the same kind of corporate sponsorship that Red Hat had, but will likely go down with Novell. In all other respects, I agree with you about Novell. The company refused to comply with standards (any standards) and the software wasn't very good. Their stab at WordPefect (actually it included a spreadsheet and database from Borland too) was just an extension of their attempt to compete Netware vs Windows - Wordperfect Office vs MS Office. Novell lost on all accounts, and will likely not survive. Their last-ditch effort to go with Linux is likely to kill them forever. Their products (from networking to the office software) has to be ported to Linux now and that is a costly prospect. Also, If they have any intention of going open source on that stuff - that's another major expense. I say bye-bye Novell. I wonder what will happen to SUSE, though. Might Microsoft buy it?
I asked for details.
And I said before, the provisional ballot is the culprit. Prior to that, if you could not provide proof that you were who you said you were and that you were registered to vote and that you were in the right polling location, you got turned away from the polls. Now you get to cast a vote. It is set aside as a provisional ballot and reviewed later to determine if it should be counted. That is the point of abuse. People with the wrong motivations can flood a polling place with phony voters who case provisional ballots and then have their friends on the reviewing committee approve the provisional ballots, influencing the results. That can go either direction, Republicans or Democrats could do that. The provisional ballot also opens up the abuse of voting more than once by just driving around from polling location to polling location casting provisional ballots. There are many other ways to game that system, even without dishonest poll workers.
So an attempt to make it easier for citizens to participate in the electoral process has resulted in the largest number of charges and complaints of voter fraud in history. It ain't the Republicans or the Democrats who are complaining - its both. The Democrats yell louder, but that's because their candidate lost the election. The way to more trustworthy elections is through verification and strict security and controls, as well as a fully auditable process - not through opening every possible avenue of abuse to the world. That is what HAVA and motor-voter actions have done. And again, I said that their intentions were good - the results are not.
I don't recall if Michigan was one, I thought it was..
I do not recall any problem with the election in Michigan, other than the fact that Kerry won here. That sucked. But I didn't hear of any complaints. Maybe in Detroit, but I didn't hear of any.
...but that's still not evidence to support "no fraud happened"...
I don't think that I ever said that. I did say that nothing happened at my polling location. I was there from opening to closing and I observed nothing suspicious. Voter fraud happens in every election. Some of the historical records of it point to legendary incidents. One in Texas had more people voting than actually lived in the area. In Chicago, during the Kennedy campaign, Sam Giancana (the Chicago mafia boss) promised and delivered the city to Kennedy. Mayor Daly used to say jokingly, "Vote and vote often." That doesn't mean that we should just accept it, but it is nothing new. As I have repeatedly stated, I'm all for open, audited systems for ensuring the integrity of the vote. I think I proved that by sitting in a polling station all day long to do my part. But it is a problem that can be fixed only when people take off their tin foil hats, abandon their conspiracy theories, and roll up their sleeves and get to work.
COMMENT #68 [Permalink]
said on 4/2/2005 @ 4:07 pm PT...
"(me) yet you make it sound like Open Source is what killed that company? I don't get the correlation.
(Manananana) Well, that may be what you think I meant, but it is not what I meant. What I meant is that Open Source (SUSE in this case) did not help this company, and may actually be its downfall."
Erm, look at your last phrase there.. "may actually be it's downfall".. yet, you clearly -also- agree they had a piss-poor company to begin with.. so, wich is it? they sucked and couldn't compete, or Linux and Open Source are gonna be their "down fall".. I think your problem is, you can't see that they already had their "down fall", and Open Source won't be their saviour.. that's a -totally- different position. One point (your first one) says Open Source is the -cause-, the other excludes Open Source from the argument. Based on their track record, I'd say Open Source has nothing to do with it (and therefore Novell should not have been brought up at all since it's entirely irrelevant).
For the voting issues..
"It is set aside as a provisional ballot and reviewed later to determine if it should be counted. That is the point of abuse. People with the wrong motivations can flood a polling place with phony voters who case [sic] provisional ballots and then have their friends on the reviewing committee approve the provisional ballots, influencing the results"
Well, here, the meat of your "point" is that "friends on the inside can get involved with hanky-panky".. right? What does that have to do with Provisional Ballots? If there are 'currupt' people on the inside, why can't they just swicht out ballots? destroy ballots? etc etc. That point of failure has -nothing- to do with "provisional ballots", to imply they are tied together is a logical misstep.
Then there's this "The provisional ballot also opens up the abuse of voting more than once by just driving around from polling location to polling location casting provisional ballots".. So, what happened to "having the Election Officials verify ballots" in that case? To cast the ballot, you have to disclose where it is you were actually registerd (in the case of being out of your polling station).. or, you have your name that was "missed on the list".. but isn't the job of the judge to verify all that? Not to mention, lots of complaints in the "bad states" were that lines were 10 hours long in Dem heavy districts.. how do you propose "voting lots" when you only have time for one vote, if you're lucky?
"he Democrats yell louder, but that's because their candidate lost the election." Well, if you want to believe there are no shinanigans going on, then yeah.. they are only yelling louder because they lost. Though, in light of the allegations (and distinct lack of cooperation by the winners to prove they won), it's just as likely they are being loud because they were cheated.. Just like in 2000 when they were yelling in Florida and the 1st recount put Gore as the winner, then the Repubs cried, then they started another recount, then cut it all short and let the Court decide.. remember that? Of course you don't, we're just making that up too.. right? Now we have HAVA which pushed electronic voting on us to "fix" the problems with paper ballots (and let's face it, those things are pathetic) but were seemingly "rigged" in a few key states? and now noone wants to let us look inside the "black box"? That doesn't strike you as odd?
"The way to more trustworthy elections is through verification and strict security and controls, as well as a fully auditable process - not through opening every possible avenue of abuse to the world"
Well, guess what? no matter what you do, you're subject to 'abuse' when you don't have full disclosure. It's -not- the Dems that are preventing full disclosure, it's the Repubs.. 1/2 of your argument is horse shit when you don't force your own party to live up to the standards you claim to embrace.. If done -without- curruption, there's nothing wrong with Provisional Ballots.. But we know nothing in politics is done without curruption, right? Your pointing the finger at "provisional ballots" as a "culprit" is to disregard the human element in all this.. the fact that a lot of people in this country could care less about the rules. You can't say the rule is bad when it fails because humans ignore it..
"(me) ...but that's still not evidence to support "no fraud happened"...
(Manananana) I don't think that I ever said that. I did say that nothing happened at my polling location."
I was just pointing out that simply because "some" places had no issues didn't mean all were good.
"But it is a problem that can be fixed only when people take off their tin foil hats, abandon their conspiracy theories, and roll up their sleeves and get to work"
Well, I'm not sure what world you grew up in, but in the good ole US of A, we have plenty of curruption and true conspiracies. It's fact, not something to be used as a way to try and discredit someone's concerns... not that I'd expect you to get that. Remeber Iran/Contra? Bay of Pigs? Vietnam?, The first Iraq war when the photos of the Saudi Border were doctored to look like Saddam was invading? Operation Northwoods? Our history is FULL of PROVED illeagl actions that only showed up after later scrutiny. To call people who question our government (which our Founding Fathers said was a requisite for being a true Patriot) "tin foil hat wearers" and "consiracy theorists" is to ignore lots of FACT from our history.. Funny how people claiming to be open minded and wholly grounded in beliefs stemming from FACT so easily and completely dismiss history and fact that is counter to their very very narrow view of the world *shrug*
COMMENT #69 [Permalink]
said on 4/2/2005 @ 8:14 pm PT...
Well, first of all, let me say that the computer debate about coding and so forth is way over my head. So I won't even go there.
However, I do have to stop a minute and comment on Mana's statements about the motor voter laws and HAVA. What?????? How can you say that those two bills have in any way shape or form cause problems with voting? All the Motor Voter law does is enable people to register in places that would be convenient to them. Such as the DMV when they are renewing their license and so forth. All that does is increase the number of people who can vote. Which according to studies has helped the Republicans gain more registered voters than Dems. How can that be a problem??
As for HAVA - that allows funding to states to ensure that their voting systems are implemented fairly, the staff that runs them have adequite training and that the laws are being followed with decent equipment and so forth. HOW does that hurt?? I am confused.
Now for the provisional votes. This link about declaration voting explains more about what provisional voting is. But the truth is in most elections, provisional votes aren't necessary to decide the election. However, in cases such as the last two presidential elections, they can be a very important part. Since the people who cast provisional votes are required to provide proof - all that is needed to verify them is for someone to check their validity. What I see the problem as isn't so much that the provisional votes are invalid, but that there are other issues, such as blocking voting at polls, loading the polls, and yes, casting illegal votes. However, that is not the fault of a system that simply tries to allow people the CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to vote. It is one of the founding beliefs that in America - every citizen has the right to vote. Males, females, blacks, whites, gays, Christians, Pagans. If you are a Legal Citizen of the US, you have the right to cast your vote, whether you are in your home town or not. That right should not be forfiet if you have to be in another state taking care of a sick family member, or if you are in the hospital and can't get to the polls or whatever. You have that right. Just because there are dishonest people in the world who cast illegal votes or fix the votes or attempt to stop people from voting does not mean that the laws/bills are not sound. I really think that you are off base here.
Mana - do you even believe in the Bill of Rights and Constitution of this state? Bush and his croonies have already proven to me that they have no regard for our constitutional rights - but that is an arguement for another thread. My point being - how can you call yourself an American and yet not believe in having the freedom to vote?
COMMENT #70 [Permalink]
said on 4/2/2005 @ 9:55 pm PT...
The problem is, people like Manananana don't care about the Constitution as it applies to everyone, they only care about it applying to them. That's the general problem with -all- Republicans and Conservatives. It's called Narcissism and it causes them to believe "I worked for what I have, there's no excuse for anyone else not to work for what they have". The underlying problem with that thought process is, they also want laws to be made so that "their" status isn't hurt, but it's ok if the laws "intentionally keep down others".. and that comes from an understanding (even though it's not a conscious thought for them) that there has to be people on the bottom for you to be held up.
Here's the fundamental difference between Republicans and Democrats.. In seeing that some people have to be on the bottom to prop the rest of society up, Republicans say "hey, it's their own fault for being on the bottom" (while passing laws that keep them there).. Democrats tend to pass laws that say "yeah, it sucks someone has to be down there.. let's at least not let them starve to death so the rest of us can have our SUVs, Big Screen TVs, Movie Nights out, Dinner out 3 nights a week, Boats, Hobby Cars, -insert thing we spend money on that we don't need and is envied by people in poverty-, etc.
When the day is done.. Democrats "tend" to care about other humans, Republicans use them as stepping stones. At least, that's really the only consistent dividing line I can see (specific issues can be held by both sides depending on the person).
So, Shadowtwinchaos, in a nutshell, no.. he doesn't care about the Constitution [for everyone, just himself and his lovedones].
COMMENT #71 [Permalink]
said on 4/2/2005 @ 10:36 pm PT...
I Don't think they care much for their 'loved' ones.
COMMENT #72 [Permalink]
said on 4/3/2005 @ 12:48 pm PT...
Sadly, I think you are right on different levels. On another thread I posted the American's Creed" in full. I just can't stand that there are so many American's who don't believe in America and the beliefs we were founded on. It really burns my buttons. I hate that feeling so many people have of "Everyone is created equal, but some are more equal than others".
Okay, maybe this is off topic (again, sigh) But I feel a bit better for the rant.
COMMENT #73 [Permalink]
said on 4/3/2005 @ 12:54 pm PT...
Sadly also, I asked my daughter if she knew what the American's Creed was and she replied:
"That we suck because we are lazy and stupid?"
Sigh, she doesn't feel like we are that way, but she says it's sad the government now makes her feel not proud to be an American. She says she is ashamed to be an American in today's world where it is more important to sue McDonalds for making you fat than it is to find out what your government is doing and be an active participant in our system of govenment. She is 16 and very bright.
COMMENT #74 [Permalink]
said on 4/3/2005 @ 2:06 pm PT...
Great link! I didn't know such a nice little encapsulation existed.. what I find incredible is this one Pledge of Allegence . I always thought it was fishy that "under god" was in there, and people actually use the pledge of allegence toward 'support' that our founding fathers were "men of god".. turns out, that's not a reasonable argument.. Hell, without the words "under god" in it, I have no -real- objection to it (other than it's still kinda like Nationalization by making our kids recite it every day before school.. not a good idea, in principle)
Off I go to expand my April Awareness of the World by reading the rest of those documents!
COMMENT #75 [Permalink]
said on 4/3/2005 @ 11:03 pm PT...
Savantster - glad you liked the link. I love that site. I am really into our history of govt. It's one of my passions. I lived in Williamsburg, VA where Colonial Williamsburg and William & Mary college is. I learned all kinds of interesting history about our nation and our founding fathers while working there. On a side note, my sixteen year old daughter took her first steps on the very streets that our founding fathers took their first steps towards forming our nation. Okay, I'm a bit of a sentimental fool, but I love that fact. I've got some other great links to great sites about our constitution and other govt. stuff. Unfortunately, there are some sites that our current govt. felt were a threat to our nation's security and have shut down public entry to. Grrrrr