Saturday, July 28, 2007

Righteous Indignation 101

Debra Bowen, ChairGal of the CA Election biz, hires some UC Davis geeks to benchmark, er, bench-hack her voting gear. But she makes it easy: she provides them with the source codes and manuals. They do succeed in cracking some e-vote machines. Wow. Even the hacker-hobbyist could more than likely alter or destroy the box, given the source code. Nonetheless Bowen's predictable PC rage against the Diebold SS earns front page coverage in the SF Cthulicle (googlestein it)

"""""Letting the hackers have the source codes, operating manuals and unlimited access to the voting machines "is like giving a burglar the keys to your house,'' said Steve Weir, clerk-recorder of Contra Costa County and head of the state Association of Clerks and Election Officials. """""

AS Weir realizes, Bowen's lightweight righteous indignation means little or nothing. Normal citizens do not have access to the source code. Even would-be hackers (unlikely that they are hanging out at the GOP country club) don't have access to the source code. Only some UC Davis state-funded hacker-lites had access to the source code (and the guys who wrote the code for the voting machines). Solution? Keep the Diebold and Sequoia, etc. programmers and admins on a wire each election.

I'm sure right-wing ideologues and devotees of monarchism everywhere will scoff....but this logically concludes the controversy over election fraud in 2000 and 2004.

IT doesn't "conclude" scheisse, Quack-Ron: a possibility, even a probability that some network was somewhat "hackable" (by some state-sanctioned geeks with user manuals) does not imply it WAS hacked, or that some rightwing idiots hacked it. DreckRon couldn't distinguish a valid argument from his vanilla-chronic, or Modus Ponens from his mama, nor does he realize that logical conclusions follow necessarily from true premises (or at least premises assumed to be true), not from conjectures--not that that ever stops scum of left and right from lying. (Given this person's incessant Scientology-like rants and irrationalism, he's probably doing some safe moderate attacks on rightist extremists on one site, and then on another chiming in with Romney supporters, and will probably wear his tie-dye to the booths when he votes for Mitt the Mormon Family Guy).

While some GOPers may have hacked the vote (unlikely), Dems may have as well. In CA there were a few accusations of vote tampering with Feinstein's victory (Bowen is a pal of DiFi as well, Demonius). Not only that, GOP registration was at least 5% more than Dems in Ohio 2004; official exit polls (ie CNN) had Bush ahead as predicted. The 2004 presidential votes closely correlated with party registration--and that's a more reliable indicator than pre-vote or exit polls (had there been a large discrepancy, the vote-conspiracy nuts might have had a case). A few unofficial exit tests (ie, conducted by the Peoples' Front of Toledo, uh Toledoian Peoples' Front)--showed Kerry ahead. Funny the DNC itself did not press the issue. (Maybe Quack-Ron, Hercules of DU, might gather all of his favorite SF Gate articles written by his favorite shrieking marxist hag, find some Fed shyster, and try to take his accusations of vote fraud to Court-Stein, and see how quickly his PC belches and guessing games hit the Dreck can).

Moreover, a significantly higher number of GOPers than Dems voted as well--that's a fact whether one likes it or not (some vote fraud in Florida may have occurred--Contingencies never claimed that BushCo were not corrupt---but the existing law prevented more than one official recount, and Gore got a recount, and still lost. The Court rejected additional recounts. And it was nearly all ballot voting, not e-votes).

Zogby himself and other liberal pollsters predicted a Bush win in Ohio 2004 with like 2% margin of error, and that's what it was, regardless of some conspiro-nut's infantile disorder fantasies. (amusing how most of the vote-fraud nuts also believe the 911 attacks were a conspiracy, which has been disproven numerous times. The NIST itself--continually updated by professional physicists, even non-conservative ones--debunked the 911 conspiro-claims).

You might be a totalitarian if you mistake your own subjective, emotion-based ideology for objective reason, notwithstanding your collection of Norma Rae videos.

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