Friday, December 09, 2005

Which Side Of The Bed Today?

Each morning I wake up and try to determine which is the greater threat to our democracy, the near complete loss of the fourth estate due to corporate consolidation of media, news and information or the loss of free and fair elections due to the corporate ownership of voting machines and proprietary vote counting software. The war in Iraq, the corruption in our government, the missing $8.8 billion of Iraqi money, the loss of American jobs, plummeting real wages, the skyrocketing national debt, the trade deficit and the expanding achievement gap in our schools are all by-products of a lapdog press and a corrupt voting system. Without acknowledging the two biggest problems facing America, we will never be able to fix them or anything else.

It is a catch 22 for sure. If the mainstream media refuses to cover the problems plaguing our voting system, there will never be sufficient pressure on our elected officials to fix it, and without reliable elections there is no way to toss them out in favor of new leadership. The General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report in late October that found “concerns about electronic voting machines have been realized and have caused problems with recent elections, resulting in the loss and miscount of votes.” The GAO did its job in researching the problem and issued recommendations, but since the report was all but completely ignored by the MSM, our elected officials see no need to take a stand. No pressure, no action, no results.

The one thing that has been missing in both providing proof of electoral fraud and in capturing the attention of the MSM is a whistleblower, but that may be about to change. Brad Freidman of the BradBlog interviewed a Diebold insider dubbed “Dieb-Throat” about the security flaws within the Diebold voting machine software and claims that the company not only knew about them, but covered them up as well. “Dieb-Throat” also described a culture of fear within the company that makes dissent all but impossible and ensures that the “glitches” will not be corrected.

This same company insider has now granted an interview to Raw Story, the resulting article by Miriam Raftery, is a must read. But the most interesting news comes again from BradBlog, that Diebold is now suffering from financial problems that are about to take a turn for the worst with a pending class action law suit from shareholders. This is the kind of good news that doesn’t come around too often. The little guy taking a stand against the mighty and powerful does sometimes work, but the truth tends to come out faster when the rich and powerful turn on each other. Dieb-Throat describes an Enron type fiasco that may be on the verge of collapsing which sets up a situation where those at the top may be unable to resist the urge to grab what they can, leaving a trail of crimes behind them. Not that anyone will be held accountable for said crimes, but at least it may bring about the demise of one of the largest, and possibly the most politically compromised, electronic voting machine companies. Whether we will hear about it on the evening news is another story altogether.


Anonymous Jonathan said...

Hey Liberal Girl,

Just found your site. I like it alot. I'll be coming back for more. I have been thinking pretty much along the same lines as you. The two most significant issues facing our democracy are the MSM and electronic voting (and other issues with voting that disenfranchise our citizens).

The issue with the MSM is that they are owned by large multinational companies. And as with any company they desire to maximize profits. This is a problem because the media part of the company has an obligation to assist in that endeavor. This translates into news that is biased in favor of big companies (and by extension the wealthiest of our citizens). Shading the news thus is good for big business but bad for democracy.

The electronic voting fiasco is frightening. How can anyone in their right mind approve of a voting system that is so easily corrupted and that can't be audited?

Ultimately it is the fault of the American people. We let these two situations occur with hardly a wimper. It is akin to the fall of Rome. In Rome the citizens were too interested in watching the gladiators behead slaves and get eaten by lions (the original reality shows?). No time, energy, or interest in watching what was happening to their country under the leadership of corrupt rulers.

Those who refuse to learn from history.......

4:15 PM  

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