Archive for the ‘conspiracy’ Category

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How the West will be stolen?

October 24, 2006


Concerned about masked elephants in black coveralls tip-toeing away in the dead of the November 7th night with all the votes innocently entered into touch screen “voting” machines? It’s a valid and natural fear.

But a lot depends on where you’re voting. If you’re in Georgia or Maryland, of course, your vote is as good as vanished, because both of them have state-wide mandated paperless touch screen machines courtesy of Diebold. If you’re in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, the methods vary, but you’re pretty sure to have an honest vote (precinct-based optical scan, or hand counts).

Ohio has gone almost entirely to “electronic” machines – though only two counties are getting theirs from Diebold. So, did the GOP pull its funding from the DeWine Senate bid because Sherrod Brown had pulled too far ahead, or because they have it in the bag? We’ll learn in due course. But they are continuing to fund Steele, even further behind in Maryland. And they’re pouring money into Tennessee, which is mostly gone over to E-voting this year.

If you want to check out local stealability conditions, this page from Verified Voting is a godsend. It shows, county by county on clickable maps, just what machinery is in use everywhere in the USA. Bear in mind that “precinct based” optical scan machines are the good ones; “centrally tabulated” optical scans are the bad ones, where votes can be switched at the central machine. But even for the CT OS, vote switching is a big risk, and can’t be done too blatantly, because the paper trail remains and the fraud could be found out.

My guess? They can jigger all the close House races in Indiana, the Senate in Tennessee and Maryland, and a number of others. But they can’t steal enough votes in enough districts to keep the House. For that, they’ll have to depend on their staples: vile last minute push polls, massive voter suppression, tons of money behind tons of lies. And fear.

If Steele loses in Maryland, and DeWine in Ohio, it will mean that they really can’t jigger the machines. Yet. It will be instructive to watch.

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Cutting a path through the conspiracy jungle

May 20, 2006

There’s a semi-regular feature on Salon.com called “Ask the Pilot”, the columnist being a commercial airline pilot named Patrick Smith. His latest piece takes up 9/11 conspiracy theory questions that have been put to him, and lays a lot of red herrings to rest. Which he doesn’t take to mean that it’s necessarily red herrings all the way down.

This is good. It’s extremely unlikely that the official story on the events of that day is the whole truth. The more that foolish speculations recirculate through the rumor ether, the harder it will be for the signal emitted by reality (and yes, Virginia, there is a reality) to make it through the static. When knowledgeable folks with no love for the neocons peel away the wild conspiracy theories, the outlines of the real conspiracy, if any, are more likely to surface.