How to throw an election

Overthrowing the government through democratic power.

With electronic voting machine fiascoes tallying up quickly, I feel it’s appropriate to say a couple of words that may put me in the camp of felon or saboteur of the government.

I am completely in favor of using these electronic voting machines to throw an election. With little or no public source code reviews, known defects (like counting -16,022 votes for Al Gore in the 2000 election), and no audit trail, these machines are rife for hacking.

To be perfectly clear, I am suggesting that we get an electronic voting machine, reverse engineer it, then publicly announce an easily exploitable security flaw hoping that other people will abuse it on election day. I would love to see the looks on the election officials’ faces when one candidate gets ten million votes in a single precinct. If you invalidate enough precincts and choose those precincts well, you can selectively decide any election in this nation.

We need to do this at a critical point in time — the 2004 national elections. This way we maximize the publicity of the event and throw even more dirt in the faces of the government workers who thought this would fix the problems from Florida in the 2000 elections. At the very least, we can raise the question about how bad these machines are for democracy. At best, we can invalidate a national election. Quite frankly, I would be happy with either outcome.

This argument presupposes that these machines are bad. If you search the net for Diebold’s leaked emails and for analyses of their leaked software, you’ll see the serious nature of the problems with these electronic voting machines. The potential for electoral fraud has never been greater. Compared to electronic voting machines, dimpled and hanging chads are a good thing.

Also, the companies who make these machines have questionable ties to government. The C.E.O. of Diebold is quoted as saying he will deliver Ohio to George Bush in 2004. A senator is a major stockholder in an electronic voting machine company where those machines were used to elect him to office. Former government officials often work for these companies in a blatant conflict of interests.

To put yourself over the edge, you should seek out the leaked Diebold emails. If any of the other companies treat this exercise in democracy in the same way as Diebold, their abhorrent behavior alone should be enough to put them out of business.

For those of you interested in committing a major act of fraud against the single strongest embodiment of democracy — the act of voting — let me suggest the following. As a side note, this is extremely illegal and will likely get you and your conspirators thrown in prison. No amount of civil disobedience protections will save your ass here…

  • Get a voting machine

    Do whatever it takes. Pose as an election official for a county. Pay off a poll worker or electronic voting system company employee. Steal it. None of this works if you don’t have a machine to play with.

  • Get a dedicated team of workers

    You’ll need lots of people and lots of time to get this done. They will need to be smart, computer savvy, and they have to be able to keep a secret. Trust is the key word here. You don’t need a snitch in your group.

  • Hack the box

    Do whatever it takes. Find the hole.

  • Wait to announce your results

    You need to wait until about two to three weeks before the election. That way they can’t postpone the vote, they won’t be able to produce alternate ballots in time, and people who may be willing to commit the fraud still have time to register to vote.

Australia uses electronic voting, but the software is publicly available for scrutiny. Their method for verifying the software’s security is significantly better than any of the methods used in the U.S. (most of which are unknown or scripted (not using real people)). The problem, however, is in the very nature of electronic voting, not the method of doing it.

In Canada, they use pen and paper. Funny how we have to spend millions of dollars on electronic voting systems when millions of others worldwide have no problem writing down their votes.

That reminds me of a story… In the U.S. space program, we developed a space pen suitable for writing upside down and in zero-G environments. In the U.S.S.R., they just used a pencil. Sometimes the most appropriate tool for the job is the least technical one.

But I digress. What I am suggesting is the single greatest act of hacktivism ever conceived. This will make Y2K look like Christmas. Credit fraud? No way — stealing money is easy. In the past, stealing an election was much more difficult. Now, thanks to technology, stealing an election can be as easy as popping a smart card into a slot and touching the screen.

I just hope it never has to come to this…


Fuck the environment, or something like that.

I’m not a die-hard green freak, but I do have minimal respect for the environment. My thought is that since we’re all here on Earth together, the least we can do is try to be civil during our lives on this planet — put our garbage in garbage cans, bury our toxic waste far away from any sensitive environments, try mass transportation over cars, etc.

However, I have a problem with anyone who says that the shoddy evidence about global warming is reason alone to stop pollution reduction. In their support, I offer these two facts about global warming. First, any weather data collected previous to 1950 (or so, I don’t exactly remember the date) is inherently suspect. We rely on this data to do our climate modeling. The questionable data is due to the inaccuracy and the lack of calibration for the thermometers and barometers at the time. You could argue that the errors are evenly distributed over the time, but a two degree standard deviation when tracking a trend of one-tenth of a degree per year does not yield good results (you statistics people know what I mean). Second, all models of climate change are exactly that — models. Modeling is limited by two things: the inaccurate measurements described above and the smallest area of land used in the model. Specifically, models can’t predict the temperature at every point on Earth, so you instead model temperatures over larger spaces — say, the size of a medium U.S. state. Climate, like weather, has a large variability, and things like one acre of land can make a big difference (a.k.a. the butterfly effect, chaos theory).

These two limitations of accurate climate modeling are being chipped away. Air samples trapped in ice cores provide can give excellent data about climate conditions in the past. Also, more computing means climate modeling can improve.

However, none of this matters for the point I’m trying to make.

My point is that we should always err on the side of caution when dealing with something like the only known planet that sustains our life. For a long time, people were afraid that we (humans) were going to blow ourselves off the face of the Earth with nuclear weapons. This is still a possiblility, but it’s voluntary; someone has to fire the missle and start the cataclysmic chain reaction of nuclear war. Destruction of the environment is a bit less voluntary. For example, you can easily tell the person with his finger on the button not to fire the missle and he (hopefully) won’t. You can tell several billion people to stop driving their cars to work, to reduce factory emissions, and to help clean polluted areas. Unfortunately, the logistics of sending such a message nearly impossible, and they probably won’t listen to you either.

On the more pragmatic side, getting companies to clean up their factories’ pollution is a near impossibility without legislation. I cite the case of seat belts in my defense. Back in the 60’s (70’s? again, facts elude me…), the government was considering legislation requiring all cars to have seat belts installed on future models. The chairman of General Motors at the time testified to Congress under oath that the costs of installing seat belts are so overwhelming that it would bankrupt GM, making thousands of workers unemployed and ending one of the country’s largest corporations (probably the largest at the time). Congress told GM to screw off and passed the legislation anyway. GM is still with us today (though not exactly in the U.S.) proving that companies don’t always want to do what’s right and that sometimes the government really does act in favor of it’s citizens despite corporate interests. Likewise, the government can tell polluters to screw off and lay the smackdown of tough pollution controls on their asses.

Unfortunately, this round of environmental sellout goes to President George W. Bush. He proclaims publicly that there is no conclusive evidence that global warming really exists. He has faith in God, but for some reason he doesn’t have faith in global warming. I claim it takes much less faith (but more intelligence?) to believe in climate change than it does a Deity, but then again, I’m not George. All the environment decisions he’s made – arsenic levels in water, ANWR oil reserves, reports of air quality in NYC following 9/11, no increase in automobile fuel efficiency requirements – have reflected corporate interests rather than public interests. Maybe having faith in the environment is more difficult than faith in religion; Bush “knows” there’s a God, but somehow believing in the environment takes a greater amount of proof.

Environmentalism hasn’t become a large enough issues to get the attention of all the peple in the world. I think the popularity of Hummers is evidence of this. Without commercial interests taking an active part in sustaining the environment, this is a hopeless task. Likewise, a social revolution will need to take place so people understand that caring for the environment is a daily requirement. I’m not going to hold my breath until this starts. For now, I’ll just put on an extra layer of sunblock and catch some rays until it catches on.


Ranting is a talent.

This is an edit of my rant on ranting taken from a previous version of this web site.

I rant alot. I probably rant more than you care to read them. I really don’t care what you think about it, but I feel I should defend myself with respect to why I do it and my personal ranting style.

Why I do it is because the Internet has empowered everyone with a voice and I fully intend to use it. I’m fairly certain that this site will never reach huge levels of popularity, but that’s still not going to stop me from speaking (or rather writing) my mind.

I rant about alot of things. Usually I rant about one subject – it’s easier to keep focused on one topic and digress on all the nuances of that one subject. It adds cohesion to the rant and keeps me from straying too wildly on lots of non-sensical or depressing subjects. Those kinds of depressing and confusing rants are usually the ones where people digress from topic to topic, lose track of where they started, and finish with no point except to be more depressed than when they started.

I never intend to have a point that I’m writing towards, but often I lead up to one after a while of weaving through a topic. Writing down a thought helps me home into the way I really feel about something, and the “point” that I get to is often my most true opinion on that topic.

I look to humorists for the best inspiration on ranting. My favorites are George Carlin and Dennis Miller. Carlin is the master at pointing out human eccentricities in our language and behavior. Carlin’s observations are usually simple things like “why do we drive in a parkway and park on a driveway?” Most of us are to preoccupied doing human things like working and shopping that we don’t pay attention to the stupid small shit that occupies our mundane lives, and Carlin is more than ready to point those things out to us.

Miller is quite different than Carlin. I highly suggest you watch the opening rant on his TV show if you get the chance – mine is a more direct relative of his style than anything else. He picks a topic, rants on it, fills it with references that only he understands, and comes to a poignantly humourous point that may be exaggerated but is usually well taken. He expounds on broader topics than Carlin – power, drugs, sports – but the similarity is there.

And if you take those two, you’ll see a little better where I’m coming from. Unfortunately, some people choose to fill their web pages with senseless thoughts or things that are more personal than what they should be putting on the internet. Shame on them – they waste my time and precious net bandwidth with stupid shit that I don’t care about. On one hand, I’m reading lots of stuff that has no point and is only a collection of meaningless sentences. On the other hand people present trivialities and private thoughts that I don’t care to read about. I’ve got my own problems and nuances to deal with and I don’t care about yours.

The point of ranting is to have a point. You can rant about lots of things in a rant, but you can’t have ten points and expect someone to absorb all of those when they’re done with it. Likewise, you can’t have no point and expect people to remember it. There’s a fine line between a rant and bullshit, and I try hard to walk the line because I know that alot of what I say here is my own shit spewing everywhere.

Of course, you can fully expect that any point I make here will have no socially redeeming value or will be something you won’t agree with because I really am out to piss everyone off with this site. At this time, I want to thank, my site host, for turning a blind eye to what would otherwise be a banned site on any other server for what could be deemed offensive content.

This is my promise to you: I will only make rants of the highest quality. Screened by me and edited by me, I will hand craft each rant to the peak of sarcasm, wit, and offensiveness, so that you, the reader, will be flabbergasted at the crudeness and crassness that I exude in this text.

A trick is no longer a trick once you know how it’s done.


It’s the most annoying time of the year.

I had a few rants about Christmas and other holidays. I decided to consolidate them into a single rant, capturing my feelings about holidays.

It’s Christmas time again. Lights adorn houses and apartment balconies. Stockings and tinsel line the walls of houses and restaurants. Stores proudly display signs of “Happy Holidays” and “50% Off” in their windows.

Ramadan, Christmas, and Hanukkah all occur this time of year. Christians and Jews often forget Hanukkah is a very minor holiday that has been blown out of proportion because of its proximity to Christmas. And what about Kwanzaa and the winter solstice? I don’t hear much fuss about those celebrations. How many people do you know that hang lights on their house celebrating Ramadan?

And so the phrase “the spirit of the holidays” has little meaning for me when all that I see are Christmas lights and the occasional “Happy Hanukkah” signs. What makes this time of year so special except that it occurs near the time of the supposed birth of Christ? If that’s the only reason I get a week of vacation next week, then you can take it back.

Also, why is it only during this time of year do people feel inclined to “get into the spirit of the season?” Why can’t they feel like that all year long? Why don’t those Salvation Army bell ringers stay outside all year long? I bet their donations increase ten-fold during the month of December, if not more. But if people were constantly reminded of the plight of others, maybe they wouldn’t feel so giving any more. Plus that ringing noise is REALLY annoying – I don’t think anyone wants to hear that all year long.

A friend gave me an Easter gift once that I really appreciated – these little pieces of paper with silly fake Easter pictures on them. One had Jesus hopping like a rabbit with an Easter basket and the text “Happy Easter.” The other had the same text but had a picture of an Easter bunny crucified. I liked that one best of all. Apparently these are from The Onion, so props to them…


Hop, hop, hop.


Ain’t he cute?

I’m going to make my own Christmas pictures – Jesus crucified to a Christmas tree. Maybe even Santa crucified too… Here’s we go: Jesus is sitting in Santa’s sleigh, but the sleigh is broken and heavily damaged. The reindeer are all slaughtered, full of bullet holes, painting the snow red with their dripping blood. One of the reindeer is roasting over an open fire. Santa is dead, nailed to a cross, with a halo of christmas lights wrapped around his hat. Oh yeah, Jesus has a smoking machine gun in one hand and a blunt in the other. That’s my Christmas vision.

People all too often forget the symbolism behind the objects of the holidays. The Christmas tree was adopted from pagan holidays then given extra symbolism, wood for crucifiction, green for life and rebirth. I hope all you non-Christians who have a Christmas tree realise this before you put one in your house – they are more than simple symbols of the holiday.

At work, they’ve put a Christmas tree in the lobby, lights on the front door, and wooden reindeer in the lawn. My idea is to make wooden wolves to attack the wood reindeer then add some red paint for blood. I have friends who would help me with my idea if I asked, but I know if I did that, someone would take it too seriously and scream for blood from whoever did that. Oh well…

merry fuckin’ Christmas everyone


An Open Letter


I wrote this in response to the unusual patriotism that suddenly appeared following the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center. I decided not to make any edits or changes to this from the original one. If I had written this today, I probably wouldn’t be so scathing, but I’m not going to apologize for it. By the way, this is my favorite rant of the ones I wrote to date.

Dear friends and fellow Americans,

A new patriotism has swelled in the hearts of Americans in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks. You can see it in the 7th inning stretch at baseball games as the crowd sings “God Bless America.” You can see it in the way American flags hang from car antennas and blow in the wind. You can see it in the signs that line our roads and highways:

God Bless America.
Grand Slam $2.99

We now enter a new phase in the history of our great nation. The War on Terrorism differs from any other war that we’ve faced before. Unlike our past successes in the War on Drugs, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War, this is a war with well defined objectives and a single, obvious enemy. Also, we now have the technological and military superiority that we didn’t have in those past conflicts. This will ensure our victory and strike fear into our enemies, who hide like cowards in the terrain of their native lands. The biggest difference between the War on Terrorism and our past actions is that this will be a long and extruded war, possibly encompassing years and locations worldwide, so that we can ensure the safety of Americans now and in the future.

My fellow Americans, have no fear that we will once again leave no stone unturned as we advance towards our goals in our most recent endeavors. We strongly believe that God will help us make the right decisions as we strike out at the Islamic extremists, who justify their actions as God’s will. Our military carrys God’s firey Sword of Justice that will brandish all enemies to our great country. Let us be sure that God will watch out for us as we attack these blaspheming religious zeloats. For this reason, we will surely prevail, and the Taliban will realize the err in their religious views only after they have been struck down.

The evil men who perpetuated this henious act were cowards of the greatest calibur. As I look upon the faces of my American brothers and sisters, I can see that no American would ever do something like that to a fellow American. Your government would never do anything to hurt or take advantage of the citizens of our nation. Your corporations and companies are doing everything they can to keep America running – giving up profits to prevent layoffs and helping all Americans get jobs in these trying economic times. And for the companies who are forced to let people go from their jobs, they do it only because they have to. A worker who lost his or her job must understand that the reason they lost their job was because of these terrorist acts and to not blame the company that did everything they could to prevent their job loss from happening. These layoffs by companies in our country pale in comparison to the heinous acts of terrorism imposed on us by foreign invaders.

Also know that we’re keeping an eye on your fellow American citizens, watching for anything that may seem unusual or un-American. Increased airport security and broader anti-terrorism laws give us the tools we need to keep everyone safe and prevent this from happening again. While we hope that no American would incite an attack against their own country, we still need the authority to conduct searches and investigations on any suspicious characters living within our borders. With this power comes great responsibility, and we promise not to overstep our bounds by conducting witch hunts, holding people without just cause, or create undue suspicion amongst our fellow Americans. We promise that we will be watching for terrorists, domestic or foreign, who seek to strike harm into our great nation.

Finally, let me say that although we are wholly encompassed in this War on Terrorism now, it will not be an impediment to the progress of the nation as a whole. We do realize that we have many other problems striking Americans and people around the world – AIDS, hunger, literacy and education, nuclear weapon proliferation, pollution, human rights violations, and others. We would never use these trying times as an excuse to diminish civil rights or push our own political agendas. We are looking out for Americans here and around the world, and know that we are doing everything possible to protect American interests in whatever way we can.

Our prosperity and wealth have long been excuses to defame and attack Americans in the past and likely in the future. Rest easy – your government and your fellow Americans are watching out for you, ensuring you safety in everything you do and everywhere you go.

God bless you, and God bless America.