Ranting, Raving, and Rocking by Sal Canzonieri

This was my ninth column in AMP magazine. This one Rants on the single most important issue in the USA: electorial reform, Raves on the Moderate Party, and Rocks on about San Francisco's The Golden Gods!

Loud Fast Rules magazine issue 1
AMP magazine
(December 2005 / January 2006 issue #40)
Column #9

Welcome to my ninth column for AMP magazine.

This month’s Rant:

As we approach the end of another year, we all need to focus on the single most IMPORTANT issue facing our country today. IF you truly are a real patriot, whether Republican, Democrat, or whatever; it is extremely important for the American people to get behind Electoral Reform now. If you care about the future of our Nation's children, then you will understand that nothing is more important than your vote being counted as a real vote. Yes, the accuracy of the vote count during elections is the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE today. What is at stake here is our entire election system. This system we have is based on consent of the governed. If the government operates without our consent, or if people are falsely elected, we have NO country, we have no consent, we have no freedom, we have absolutely nothing. If many, many millions of Americans are convinced that they got screwed on Election Day and couldn't vote, or if 3.4 million more Americans claim that they voted than the actual total of voters -- this is what the Census Bureau told us last May - this is grounds alone for serious investigation.

The fact that our voting machines don't give us a receipt of what our votes were, that can be compared to the results later, is an abomination of our liberty! Not only that but the fact the our future lies in the hands of electronic voting machines that cannot verify your vote, and that the totals shown on them can be easily manipulated is a total FARCE against ALL American citizens! How can people sit there and not give a shit about something so incredibly fucked up that it calls into question all that it means to be an FREE American citizen! The essence of our Democracy is at stake here.

We need an government agency with subpoena power to truly investigate the situation. Take the Ohio results during the last 2004 election, for instance. Why should the companies that made the electronic voting machines be able to legally not answer an investigators questions like they have done. Only someone with something to hide would refuse to answer any questions. John Conyers tried to do his own investigation, but he was stonewalled by Ken Blackwell, the Secretary of State of Ohio and other officials, including the Triad Computer Company, who basically refused to answer his questions. What right have they to refuse to answer questions when something so important as our elections are at stake. How can anyone anywhere in the USA trust the election results? We deserve to have a persuasive answer to what happened in 2004.

The Democrats wouldn't contest the 2000 theft of the election. The only thing they could bring themselves to do was sort of whine about electoral reform. 'We have to have electoral reform.' So, what the White House did was very cleverly say, 'Yes, electoral reform. We're very interested in electoral reform,' and on that basis, they shoved through the Help America Vote Act. Now, there are some decent provisions in that act, but it's that act that mandates the use of touch screen voting machines throughout the entire country eventually. That's already a serious problem. Those private vendors should be outlawed. We shouldn't be using them at all. THE VOTES TALLIED ON THEM ARE UNVERIFIABLE. COMMON SENSE dictates that there should be paper ballots that are hand counted. Guess how many counties of the hundreds of counties in the 50 United States do this? ONLY approximately 1% of these counties are there are paper ballots -- and these are hand counted properly -- the way all of our counties should be counting our ballots! ONLY 1%!

One of President George W. Bush's major donors was Diebold's CEO Walden "Wally" O'Dell, of Ohio. O'Dell was on record stating that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President" that year. On September 26, 2003, he hosted an Ohio Republican Party fundraiser for Bush's re-election at his Cotswold Manor mansion. Diebold made the electronic voting machines used in Ohio in 2004. Conflict of interest? None of these Diebold machines provided a paper receipt of the vote. Why not? Why would these machines be made this way, against common sense. Diebold, located in North Canton, Ohio, does its primary business in ATM and ticket-vending machines. Critics of Diebold point out that virtually every other machine the company makes provides a paper trail to verify the machine's calculations. Oddly, only the voting machines lack this essential function. Why? State Senator Teresa Fedor of Toledo introduced Senate Bill 167 late last year mandating that every voting machine in Ohio generate a "voter verified paper audit trail." Secretary of State Blackwell has denounced any attempt to require a paper trail as an effort to "derail" election reform. What sense does that make?

A joint study by the California and Massachusetts Institutes of Technology following the 2000 election determined that between 1.5 and 2 million votes were not counted due to confusing paper ballots or faulty equipment. The federal government's solution to the problem was to pass the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. One of the law's stated goals was "Replacement of punch card and lever voting machines." The new voting machines would be high-tech touch screen computers, but if there's no paper trail, how do you know if there's been a computer glitch? How can the results be trusted? And how do you recount to see if the actual votes match the computer's tally? Bait and switch or what! Bev Harris, author of "Black Box Voting: Ballot Tampering in the 21st Century", argues that without a paper trail, these machines are open to massive voter fraud. Diebold has already placed some 50,000 machines in 37 states and their track record is causing Harris, Johns Hopkins University professors and others great concern. Johns Hopkins researchers at the Information Security Institute issued a report declaring that Diebold's electronic voting software contained "stunning flaws." The researchers concluded that vote totals could be altered at the voting machines and by remote access.

Harris writes that hacked documents taken from Diebold's website expose how the mainstream media reversed their call projecting Al Gore as winner of Florida after someone "subtracted 16,022 votes from Al Gore, and in still some undefined way, added 4000 erroneous votes to George W. Bush." Hours later, the votes were returned. One memo from Lana Hires of Global Election Systems, now Diebold, reads: "I need some answers! Our department is being audited by the County. I have been waiting for someone to give me an explanation as to why Precinct 216 gave Al Gore a minus 16,022 [votes] when it was uploaded." Another hacked internal memo, written by Talbot Iredale, Senior VP of Research and Development for Diebold Election Systems, documents "unauthorized" replacement votes in Volusia County. This is trustworthy system for counting our votes? In an 87-page CBS news report, it was noted that "According to CBS documents, the erroneous 20,000 votes in Volusia was directly responsible to calling the election for Bush." The first person to call the election for Bush was Fox election analyst John Ellis, who had the advantage of conferring with his prominent cousins George W. Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Coincidence?

The electronic voting industry is dominated by only a few corporations - Diebold, Election Systems & Software (ES&S) and Sequoia. Diebold and ES&S combined count an estimated 80% of U.S. black box electronic votes. The far-right Ahmanson family sold their shares in American Information Systems (AIS) to the McCarthy Group and the World Herald Company, Inc. Recently, Republican Senator Chuck Hagel disclosed in public documents that he was the Chairman of American Information Systems and claimed between a $1 to 5 million investment in the McCarthy Group. In 1997, American Information Systems purchased Business Records Corp. (BRC), formerly Texas-based election company Cronus Industries, to become ES&S. One of the BRC owners was Carolyn Hunt of the right-wing Hunt oil family, which supplied much of the original money for the Council on National Policy. In 1996, Hagel became the first elected Republican Nebraska senator in 24 years when he did surprisingly well in an election where the votes were verified by the company he served as chairman and maintained a financial investment. In both the 1996 and 2002 elections, Hagel's ES&S counted an estimated 80% of his winning votes. Due to the contracting out of services, confidentiality agreements between the State of Nebraska and the company kept this matter out of the public eye. Hagel's first election victory was described as a "stunning upset" by one Nebraska newspaper. VERY INTERESTING! He owned the companies that made the voting machines, and then somehow won in an area where Republican's have never won before. Wonder how that miracle happened? Maybe it was the testing ground for stealing the 2000 and 2004 national elections? Worked great on the local level, why not do it for the big election?

Bob Urosevich was the Programmer and CEO at AIS, before being replaced by Hagel. Bob now heads Diebold Election Systems and his brother Todd is a top executive at ES&S. Bob created Diebold's original electronic voting machine software. Thus, the brothers Urosevich, originally funded by the far Right, figure in the counting of approximately 80% of electronic voting in the United States. Like Ohio, the State of Maryland was disturbed by the potential for massive electronic voter fraud. The voters of that state were reassured when the state hired SAIC to monitor Diebold's system. SAIC's former CEO is Admiral Bill Owens. Owens served as a military aide to both Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci, who now works with George H.W. Bush at the controversial Carlyle Group. Robert Gates, former CIA Director and close friend of the Bush family, also served on the SAIC Board. Oh, how CONVENIENT!

Why are these CRIMINALS getting away with stealing our very DEMOCRACY from the nation? CAUSE WE ARE ALL JACKASSES that do nothing but watch TV and wait for "someone" to do something about things. If these crooks are putting us into a huge cage, in a virtual prison box, it is our own fault for not educating ourselves and getting involved. If you care about the future of America, check out: http://www.votefraud.org/ and then go out and do something! Complain to your local congressman, petition for vote reform, do something. DEMAND that your local polling places must hand count ever vote coming in. "Computer scientist Peter Neumann spent two decades looking into computer software security. He's big on computers, it's safe to say, but when it comes to computers and elections he says "paper" is the way to go; pointing out computerized touch-screen voting machines can provide no assurance our votes have been recorded. Neuman is, like hundreds of his colleagues, a proponent of paper ballots despite the advent of high tech voting options."

Wherever Diebold and ES&S go, irregularities and historic Republican upsets follow. Alastair Thompson, writing for scoop.co of New Zealand, explored whether or not the 2002 U.S. mid-term elections were "fixed by electronic voting machines supplied by Republican-affiliated companies." The scoop investigation concluded that: "The state where the biggest upset occurred, Georgia, is also the state that ran its election with the most electronic voting machines." Those machines were supplied by Diebold. IS THIS THE KIND OF COUNTRY WE WANT? We might as well be a one of those small third world countries that only hold fixed elections for the gangsters that run their country and steal them blind. Wired News reported that ". . . a former worker in Diebold's Georgia warehouse says the company installed patches on its machine before the state's 2002 gubernatorial election that were never certified by independent testing authorities or cleared with Georgia election officials." Great, isn't that great?

Also, questions were raised in Texas when three Republican candidates in Comal County each received exactly the same number of votes - 18,181. Why, it must have been the HAND OF GOD THAT DID THIS MIRACLE! PRAISE THE LORD! Why even vote anymore then? Just let the electronic voting machines pick our next president, that way we don't have to miss any TV shows during the elections! We are all ASSHOLES for letting this happen without question, without research, without investigations. Sure, FOX news made fun of people questioning vote results, "crazy conspiracy buffs, hah, hah, hah!". So, everyone sighed with relief and went back to their TV shows. Gutless! The American people have become GUTLESS! We are one step from being burned alive in ovens. Following the 2003 California election, an audit of the company revealed that Diebold Election Systems voting machines installed UNCERTIFIED software in all 17 counties using its equipment. Why would you buy a voting machine from a company like Diebold which provides a paper trail for every single machine it makes except its voting machines? And then, when you ask it to verify its numbers, it hides behind 'trade secrets'. Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as consultants and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states. It is UNREAL that criminals can get away from stealing our own country right from under us like that.

Before the 2004 election, Ohio Senator Fedor pushed for Senate Bill 167 and the "voter verified paper audit trail." Athan Gibbs, President and CEO of TruVote International, demonstrated a voting machine at a vendor's fair in Columbus that provides two separate voting receipts. The first paper receipt displays the voter's touch screen selection under plexiglass that falls into a lockbox after the voter approves. Also, the TruVote system provides the voter with a receipt that includes a unique voter ID and pin number which can be used to call in to a voter audit internet connection to make sure the vote cast was actually counted. Brooks Thomas, Coordinator of Elections in Tennessee, stated, "I've not seen anything that compares to the Gibbs' TruVote validation system." The Assistant Secretary of State of Georgia, Terrel L. Slayton, Jr., claimed Gibbs had come up with the "perfect solution." DID ANYONE USE IT? NO! U.S. Representative Rush Holt introduced HR 2239, The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2003, that would require electronic voting machines to produce a paper trail so that voters may verify that their screen touches match their actual vote. Election officials would also have a paper trail for recounts. DID ANYTHING COME OF IT? NO! What was the result of the 2004 election? Republican upsets all over the country. Recently, executives and owners of the two largest private "vote counting" companies, ES &S and Sequoia, have been convicted of bribery and suborning public officials in more than a dozen states. These two companies were delegated the power to count 60%+ of the USA vote in secret in Presidential Election 2004. It's not just votes for Kerry or Gore that were "lost", but also other people that have run, like Buchanon, etc. How exactly is this voter fraud done? Check out (read it and weep): http://www.votefraud.org/every_american_needs_to_study.htm

For example, the day after elections, numerous tests were performed and videotaped by losing Council Member candidate Susan Bernecker in New Orleans in 1994 that clearly demonstrated that votes she cast for herself were electronically recorded for her opponent. This test was repeated multiple times with the same result, thus confirming that the machine had been fraudulently altered to influence the outcome of the election. Three times she keyed in her own name on the voting machines, and three times a vote for her opponent was registered. After these proceedings she perhaps justly feared for her life if she kept the secret to herself. She convened a hastily-called press conference, and then retired from public life. Welcome to America! If this was done an a local level, why not the national level? Would you put it past them to do this? I don't. All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates. Golly gee! How did that happen? Ohio's infamous Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell clearly and vehemently denied poll access to teams of international observers from the United Nations and other international election observers. Since the election, he has effectively stonewalled and sabotaged all recount attempts, to the point that no credible accounting of the Ohio election has ever been done. To this day, at least 100,000 votes remain uncounted, electronic voting machines remain unaudited, key hardware and data files have been trashed, paper ballots have sat unguarded for anyone to pilfer and tallies in dozens of key counties remain filled with statistical impossibilities.

"some of [the] concerns about electronic voting machines have been realized and have caused problems with recent elections, resulting in the loss and miscount of votes." Some electronic voting machines "did not encrypt cast ballots or system audit logs, and it was possible to alter both without being detected." And, "It was possible to alter the files that define how a ballot looks and works so that the votes for one candidate could be recorded for a different candidate." Numerous sworn statements and affidavits assert that this did happen in Ohio 2004. The GAO also confirms that access to the voting network was easily compromised because not all digital recording electronic voting systems (DREs) had supervisory functions password-protected, so access to one machine provided access to the whole network. Which means that you only needed a few people to tap into the networked machines and thus change large numbers of votes at will. With 800,000 votes cast on electronic machines in Ohio, flipping the number needed to give Bush 118,775 could be easily done by just one programmer. He exit polls showed Kerry winning in Ohio, until an unexplained last minute shift gave the election to Bush. Similar definitive shifts also occurred in Iowa, Nevada and New Mexico, a virtual statistical impossibility. Election officials in Mahoning County now concede that at least 18 machines visibly transferred votes for Kerry to Bush. Voters who pushed Kerry's name saw Bush's name light up, again and again, all day long. Officials claim the problems were quickly solved, but sworn statements and affidavits say otherwise. They confirm similar problems in Franklin County (Columbus). Kerry's margins in both counties were suspiciously low. In some precincts, there were more votes for Bush than there were registered voters there! In Miami County, at 1:43am after Election Day, with the county's central tabulator reporting 100% of the vote - 19,000 more votes mysteriously arrived; 13,000 were for Bush at the same percentage as prior to the additional votes, a virtual statistical impossibility. In Cleveland, large, entirely implausible vote totals turned up for obscure third party candidates in traditional Democratic African-American wards. Vote counts in neighboring wards showed virtually no votes for those candidates, with 90% going instead for Kerry. Furthermore: John Kerry lost in every precinct in New Mexico that had a touchscreen voting machine. The losses had no correlation with ethnicity, social class or traditional party affiliation---only with the fact that touchscreen machines were used. Oh, there is a LOT more, for the whole report check out: http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2005/1529 and http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/102105Q.shtml . The GAO report now confirms that electronic voting machines as deployed in 2004 were in fact perfectly engineered to allow a very small number of partisans with minimal computer skills and equipment to shift enough votes to put George W. Bush back in the White House. So, not only is this "war" in Iraq based on illegitimate evidence, so it Bush's (election and) re-election itself!

The SAD TRUTH is that we no longer have a democracy, it is all a farce. Isn't it obvious by now that we must have machine free elections, with all computers and mechanical devices rigorously outlawed and excluded from the election process? In 99% of all the counties in this country, the machine count votes without a receipt. In these 99% of counties that use either computer or machine methods of casting a ballot -- the Democratic and Republican parties at the county level delegate the "counting" to one of a few mega-companies which allegedly count over 90% of the US vote IN SECRET; in election 2004 the four companies which were delegated the power to count 90%+ of the votes in the USA were Election Systems & Software (aka ES & S), Diebold, Triad, and Sequoia; the local county election boards use armed guards to make sure the citizens, candidates, and reporters cannot see what these private companies are doing to the ballots in the "counting room". WHY? Then, these private companies controlling the ballots next give a direct feed to a team of manipulators which represent a pool of the AP wire service and the 5 Big TV Networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, & FOX)! Can you believe that the people of the United States of America fall for this obvious total MOCKERY of the American people! WISE UP AMERICA! What's there to stop them from changing the vote count if someone doesn't like the way they came out? Since the counting is done in secret by private companies, how does anyone know for sure that the real voter counts are given to the local election boards? An election result can not be disputed, a recount can not be made because THERE ARE NO PAPER BALLOTS , there is NOTHING TO COUNT, LET ALONE RECOUNT! There is ONLY ONE solution: We print the ballot on paper, with a box next to each candidate's name. We instruct a voter to put an X in their candidate's box. Then we have human beings count the Xs. Otherwise, Goodbye, America the free! You have only yourself to blame, our forefathers that started this country said that we must be ever vigilant of our liberty, are you? The spineless Democrat party has proven itself to be a punch of pussies quickly willing to concede to the equally evil Republican party machine. Again, it is time for Americans to stand up for America and wipe Congress clean of the scurge of the country club politicians /crooks that eat all our hard earned tax payer money. Let's get rid of every long time Congress member and bring in fresh blood. Or someone like Jeb Bush will somehow wind up our next president in 2008 and if that happens it is clear proof that we are no longer in the United States of America, but back under Nazi power. Can we afford to lose our Democracy?

For the real Americans who aren't too busy watching TV, please check out:

This month's Raving:

Dear Moderate Democrats, Moderate Republicans, Minor Party Registrants, Independents, and other Centrists:

Join the Moderate Party, a third mainstream political party emerging in the United States!

The Moderate Party is a political body seeking to be qualified as a political party in all 50 states. Presently, the Moderate Party is qualified as an official political party in the State of Florida. The Moderate Party is fiscally responsible and socially tolerant. Our philosophy emerges from four principles: (1) Morality, (2) Integrity, (3) Equality, and (4) Balance. We hope you'll join us in our quest to expand this new political party that is both innovative and evolutionary.

In the November 2004 election, according to network exit polls, 45 percent of voters nationwide described themselves as moderate, 34 percent said they were conservative, and 21 percent called themselves liberal. Yet the Republican Party continues to move to the right and the Democratic Party continues to move to the left. Both parties have been hostile to centrists. The void in the middle and the growing need for policies based on reason and balance have fueled the need for a national Moderate Party.

Our view is that most people don't fit in completely with existing political parties and want something to create a new optimism in this nation. All centrists - be they Democrats, Republicans, minor party registrants, independents, or new registrants - are welcome in the Moderate Party. No longer will the voice of reason be split between the two other major parties that have so clearly abandoned the moderate majority!

To join the Moderate Party, and to discover more about our party pledge, philosophy, and platform, please visit our web site: www.modparty.net

For media inquiries, please contact Charles C. Ragsdell, II, Moderate Party Spokesman via email to CRagsdell@modparty.net, or by calling (816) 679-8597.

Richard Kurylo
Moderate Party

This month's Rocking:

Who's the most Rockingest bands in the land right now? Well:

THE GOLDEN GODS are the BEST NEW HIGH ENERGY ROCK N ROLL BAND IN THE USA RIGHT NOW! Their new album, "The Thorny Crown of Rock & Roll" (available from www.cdbaby.com ) is sheer magic! Like if Foghat started today, only 10x better! Hailing from San Francisco, of all places, The Golden Gods are getting rave reviews not only from music zines, but also from other bands, like EF, The Supersuckers, and more. I think that they have a split single coming out with The Supersuckers too. Reviews that say " Full of swagger, grace and style, The Golden Gods are the best band to come out of San Francisco in the last 20 years. If you long for rock the way it was always meant to be played, this is the band for you. A monster of an album, this will go down as one of the best debut albums of this or any other year." Are coming out in abudance for this great band, who obviously play heartfelt Rock that is pure fun. When I first put on their CD, by the 3rd song it was SO GOOD that I had to take the CD off and save it for when I could totally pay attention to it! I haven't done that since I was a teenager! Trust me! This album is totally enjoyable Hard Punk Rock & Roll with lots of Three Stooges fun tossed in! This truly is America's answer to UK's The Darkness, they stomp them into the ground! Forget that whiney sissy indie "music" noise that kids are listening to nowadays. REAL Rock n Rolling Guys and Gals can get their ya-ya's out with "The Thorny Crown of Rock & Roll". Combining the best elements of Humble Pie, Foghat, Grand Funk, the Black Crowes, and all the other best bands from the 70s, when ROCK was at its peak! Their live shows are described as being totally hot too! Soon as you hear their song "Dynamite Lady" the first word that comes to mind is MASSIVE! You can get a small sample of this song and "Stone Fox" from their hot record by checking out the songs at http://www.myspace.com/thegoldengods . Keep Real Rock Alive! Buy this record! See them live!

That's it for this issue! Click here to read column #10

Sal Canzonieri - www.electricfrankenstein.com / www.myspace.com/electricfrankenstein

(c) 2005 / 2006 BGT ENT / Sal Canzonieri