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US Presidential Election 2004


In a followup to my last entry, it seems that Diebold voting machines can be opened easily using a standard key available on the Internet!


Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuVote-TS Voting Machine.


Another excellent article from Harper's Magazine entitled Grand Old Inquisitor begins:

When I left the Republican National Convention in September, I was in awe and a little depressed, as if someone or something had told me to go fuck myself, and had told me with a kind of meticulous exactitude that was overwhelming and irrefutable.


Harper's Magazine recently hosted a forum on voter rights as they related to the 2004 federal election. This forum is discussed in a Harper's article entitled "What Went Wrong in Ohio?"


FBI linguist won't deny intelligence intercepts tied 911 drug money to U.S. election campaigns.


In his article Fascism Anyone? Lawrence W. Britt takes a look at seven fascist or protofascist regimes which have been overthrown and comes up with fourteen defining characteristics. How many of them are apparent in the U.S.A. as Bush begins his second term?


On 2004-01-06, for the first time since 1877, a member of the House and a member of the Senate stood up together to object to a state's electoral college votes. I only heard about it today (in a posting to alt.discordia of all places) - strange. Anyway, you can read all about it on Michael Moore's website - In the Clearing stands a Boxer....


Remember all the fuss about the possibility that some sort of comms device was being used to prompt Bush during the televised debate with Kerry? I never gave it much credence, and now there is an alternative explanation for the "bulge". It seems like it could have been a medical device for "persons at risk of cardiac arrest".


The result of the recent US Presidential Election has induced a global sense of foreboding the likes of which have not been seen since Hitler's rise to power (at least amongst those of us who do not have our heads buried in the sand). Barring a miracle it looks like George W. Bush will be inaugurated again on 2005-01-20 for a second term in which he will attempt to complete the transformation of the United States into a Crypto-Fascist Theocracy. Hope springs eternal and there are ongoing efforts to challenge the result on the basis of numerous alleged "irregularities", but if that fails the DC Anti-War Network is promoting a Counter-Inaugural Demo.


"Your Papers Please", US adopts National ID: Homeland Security Now In charge of Regulations for all US States Drivers Licenses and Birth Certificates. By Jonathan Wheeler.

Geof Stone, author of "Perilous Times" is guest blogging on Lawrence Lessig's blog while the professor is over in Italy helping to launch the Creative Commons License. The relevance to this page? Well, Geof's book is all about the restriction of civil liberties during time of war, a tradition that the Bush Administration seems keen to maintain.

And finally for today, what does Hunter S. Thompson have to say about Dubya? I have not read "Kingdom of Fear" (Simon & Schuster 2003-01-21) but on page 65 Dr. Gonzo treats his readers to a typically brutal piece of invective titled "Jesus Hated Bald Pussy" which has been kindly reproduced by the good folks at The HempFarm.


Coast Guards Sets Prez Inaugural Kill Zone (from Cryptome).


Julian Borger in Washington reports for the Guardian that George Bush's victory will be challenged in Ohio's supreme court today.


Znet have published Noam Chomsky's analysis of the election.


The final BetaVote.com result gave Kerry more than seven times as many votes as Bush (421,770 to only 55,242). The site gave people all over the world a chance to register how they would have voted in the presidential election. Although it is not very scientific, the result is pretty much what I would have expected. So for the benefit of the vast majority of citizens of the world, someone has created Sorry Everybody to apologise on behalf of the American people for choosing the bad guy:-)


A New Zealand website called Scoop has published what it claims to be a full set of 4pm exit poll data, with the suggestion that it confirms widely held suspicions of some sort of fraud.


Lawrence Lessig makes a modest appeal to free the exit poll data.


Today's truthout editorial by William Rivers Pitt Worse Than 2000: Tuesday's Electoral Disaster makes for interesting reading.

American Samizdat has also got good coverage of the debate about election rigging.


Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! visited Stanford to talk about the election, as reported by Aaron Swartz.


Harpers Weekly Review has an excellent brief summary of this week's more interesting election headlines.

I didn't realise quite how ugly things had become in Ohio until I looked at Ohio Voter Suppression News.

Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 9/11 had its television debut yesterday.

I was having trouble reaching Andrew Tanenbaum's Electoral Vote Predictor site, but I just got in and found out that it was because it was slashdotted and subject to some distributed denial of service attacks. If you can't reach the main site then try www.electoral-vote[3-8].com which are backups.


Andrew Tanenbaum has revealed himself to be the "Votemaster" behind this excellent vote predictor website. At the time of writing he is predicting a Kerry win by 298 to 231 - we can but hope!


Brian Flemming explains how the Republican Party in Ohio is running a scam using public voter registration rolls to try to prevent potential Democrat supporters from voting. He also points out that there a high quality QuickTime version of Eminem's "Mosh" video at the iTunes Music Store.


The Economist has endorsed Kerry.


A friend just sent me a link to this Eminem anti-Bush video.


Brian Flemming reports on a couple of non-partisan websites, both of which aim to increase voter turnout.


Kerry has received the backing of the influential Washington Post.


At least one editor of The American Conservative, Scott McConnell, has endorsed Kerry.


At 89 years of age, Doris Granny D Haddock walked across the United States in support of campaign finance reform. Now, at age 94 Granny D is running for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire against Republican Senator Judd Gregg. She has just finished a stint as guest blogger on Lawrence Lessig's blog and has now gone head to head in a public debate with her opponent. Judd Gregg apparently prepped George Bush for his debates and yet in an online poll Granny D came out the winner by a massive 4:1 margin!


Downhill Battle, the music activism organisation, have a new spin-off news site called The Regular which is providing hourly updated election news.


Aaron Swartz has been busy! In collaboration with Larry Lessig and J Christopher Garcia he has just created P2P Politics, which allows users to share and send political clips before the election.


David Brock was a collage student who got sucked into the conservative movement but eventually saw the light and as part of his effort to make amends launched Media Matters for America.


If you have some extra money lying around and would like to use it to help the Democrats against the Republicans then Aaron Swartz has a couple of suggestions.


Flyby News was set up to highlight the risk associated with the Cassini flyby manoeuvre on 1999-08-18 which thankfully went to plan. The website is still up though, publishing "News Fit to Transmit in the Post Cassini Flyby Era". Currently the people behind the site are focusing on the upcoming election, and have posted some interesting stuff - check it out.

Did you know that House Bill HR 10 retroactively establishes a loophole which allows the U.S. Government to send any U.S. citizen abroad for the purpose of having them tortured?


I have not owned a television for at least 5 years now so I have avoided seeing even high/lowlights of the vice-presidential debate. I have however read a few things about it in the blogosphere, the most interesting being the Vice President's cock-up in referring viewers to factcheck.com instead of factcheck.org. The former is registered to someone in Grand Cayman who has redirected it to point to www.georgesoros.com where one is greeted by a personal message from George Soros warning of the dire consequences of re-electing president Bush!


Tonight is the turn of the vice-presidential candidates to face each other in a live TV debate. I would expect it to be a bit more interesting than when the presidential candidates clashed last week but I won't be watching it live myself.


The first nationwide opinion poll since Thursday's debate suggests that it may have significantly improved Kerry's standing.


I have it on good authority that Unconstitutional by Robert Greenwald is a fantastic film about the erosion of civil liberties in the United States over the last three years.


I didn't watch the debate because it was obviously going to be a load of scripted sound bite bullshit. Republicans and Democrats are both claiming that their candidate "won" the debate, but polls indicate that a majority gave it to Kerry.

I watched (Didn't Know I Was) Unamerican instead.


In a few hours Bush and Kerry will go head-to-head in a key televised debate. Intellectual Property issues are unlikely to feature heavily in the debate but there are plenty of people trying to raise their profile. For example, IPac is a nonpartisan group dedicated to preserving individual freedom through balanced intellectual property policy.

The US dollar has long been the currency of the oil industry. But members of Opec are contemplating ditching greenbacks. The results could be catastrophic for the American economy, reports Janet Bush.


Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo are running as third party candidates in the Presidential election, and there are two ways to look at it. On the one hand it may give the election to Bush by diverting support from Kerry/Edwards in some key states. On the other hand, many view Bush and Kerry as representing the same system and consider that it is more important to challenge this corrupt duopoly than it is to pick from the lesser of two evils. The second point of view is well represented by this website.

After 9/11 more than 5,000 people, mainly non-U.S. nationals of South Asian or Middle Eastern origin, were taken into custody by the U.S. Justice Department and held indefinitely on grounds of national security. There is an acclaimed documentary about some of these Persons of Interest, which is subtitled "Ashcroft calls them terrorists. They call themselves Americans".

And while on the subject of films, Outfoxed examines how media empires, led by Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, have been running a "race to the bottom" in television news.


It seems that the key questions about the "War on Terrorism", Iraq etc are not being asked by mainstream journalist because they are afraid of the personal consequences of doing so. It doesn't matter how well respected you are as a journalist, even Dan Rather told the BBC that he feels compelled to bite his tongue in America. Greg Palast talks about this in The Lynching of Dan Rather.


Anthony Lewis wrote an excellent article called Making Torture Legal in which he explains how Bush Administration lawyers have been advising the President that he can order the torture of prisoners even though it is forbidden by federal statute and by the international Convention against Torture, to which the United States is a party.

What if the whole world could vote in the U.S. presidential election? This is the question asked by BetaVote.com, where you can view the results and/or take part. Of course it is all highly un-scientific, and you can only choose between Bush and Kerry (though the authors plan to create a page for alternate candidates). The votes are broken down by country but the overall figures at the moment indicate 13% support for Bush and 86% for Kerry.

A legal battle has been raging over Ralph Nader's candidacy in Florida.

The science journal Nature asked Bush and Kerry to answer 15 questions on major issues. Paul Reynolds of the BBC summarises the differences between the two sets of answers.


Richard Forno has announced the availability of his book "Weapons of Mass Delusion: America's Real National Emergency" under a Creative Commons license.


Police at the RNC were equipped with a non-lethal acoustic weapon mounted on an armoured car and pointed at protesters. It is an LRAD, manufactured by American Technology Corporation.


Here is a list of films to see before you vote.


After intense media coverage of the RNC and figures which purport to show an improvement in employment figures, a recent poll has put George Bush ahead of his main rival.

Meanwhile, the Kerry/Edwards campaign released these Remarks of John Kerry in response to the Shrub's RNC speech.


As the RNC drew to a close George Bush arrived on the scene to rally the faithful.


Jaime Lamond spent 26 hours in Guantanamo on the Hudson after being arrested during Friday's RNC Critical Mass and wrote about the experience (with cockroaches the size of kittens) in the Village Voice.


The Republican National Convention is due to begin tomorrow and Manhattan is bracing itself for unrest as a huge protest planned for today in Central Park is likely to go ahead despite a ban. The first significant protest occurred on Friday night when about 5,000 cyclists gathered at Union Square for Critical Mass. Police arrested 264 people and seized their bicycles, and in the chaos traffic was brought to a standstill. For more information about protests check out counter convention or RNC Watch.

Are protesters detained by the police or the FBI in NYC required to identify themselves? It seems that the short answer is "no" - here is the long answer.


Ben Cohen (of Ben and Jerry's ice cream fame) started an organisation called "True Majority" - check out True Majority Action.


I just created this section for stuff about the US Presidential election campaign.

Politics1.com claims to be the most comprehensive online guide to American politics, and their Presidency 2004 page is a good source of information. Wendell Berry wrote Some Notes for the Kerry Campaign, if Wanted, while Kurt Vonnegut, sharp as ever, penned I Love You, Madame Librarian after seeing Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911.

My favourite commentary though is the Flash movie by JibJab which brilliantly parodies Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land". Unfortunately the company that controls Woody's rights is taking legal action against JibJab, but as of 2004-08-14 the movie can still be viewed on their server, to the delight of Woody's surviving family.

www.zenatode.org.uk Ian Gregory 2010