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20 THings You Should Know About Voting in the US

20 THings You Should Know About Voting in the US

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http://www.nightweed.com/usavotefacts.html
  • 21. There is substantial evidence of Democrats rigging elections

    22. All politicans work to maintain a system of government that at present is racist/sexist/homophobic and opressive to low income families, and destructive of our enviornment.

    23.Democratic politicians are also war mongers despite trying to portray themselves as doves, history shows us a very different story

    24.All but one democratic politician voted for the patriot act. Not because they agreed with it (since their recent opposition demonstrates in theory that they didn't) but in order to consolidate power and gain votes. Now when they think they can gain more by decrying the methods they endorsed post 9-11 they are doing just that. There is therefor no way you can be sure a democrat majority government would not emberace similar totalitarian measures if would work in their favor. Which it would, police states only benefit the people who control the police.

    25. No elected official is required to do the things they said they would and frequently do not. Therefor when you vote the only choice you are excercising is picking which pupeteer pulls your strings. In most issues in the country you do not have a direct say in what happens to you or a substantial portion of the money you earn.

    If you want to vote, that's fine, just don't let it be all you do.
    • It would be nice if we could have some form of direct democracy. Then we could finally pull the rug out from under the political parties and we would no longer be forced to choose from a selection of ideological 'package deals'. That, however, can never happen unless we expand the use of computerized voting systems, which in turn cannot happen until we work out the kinks and develop secure, trustworthy systems.

      Do you have any proof of systematic racism, sexism, and homophobia in today's western governments?
      • Politicians and most state governments upholding bans on gay marriage.

        the abandoning of poor minorities in new orleans

        inequalities in public education

        police brutality which is targeted predominately at minorities

        the government issuing guidlines suggesting all women be treated as "pre-pregnant"

        judges denying restraining orders to women who are undoccumented

        the tuskegee experiment

        the events leading to the stone wall riots

        jim crow laws

        anti-miscagenation laws

        denying votes to felons

        denying women the vote

        laws which restrict a womans right to choice in any way

        the treatment of amerindians by the us government

        the internment of japaneese citizens in ww2

        the creation of modern police forces to control slaves in the south and the working class in the north east

        the persecution and imprisonment of ida craddock

        the fact that once women were not legally allowed to initiate divorce

        the fact that many minorities especially women are under represented in a government which is a representative republic

        the way women were kept utterly powerless for a large portion of the countrys history

        segregation

        police dogs being turned on civil rights activists

        the refusal to investigate let alone prosecute lynchings

        and that's just off the top of my head.


        Incidentally direct democracy is impossible in a representative government no matter how the votes are tallied. increasing the amount of people who vote does not in any way guarantee or even make likely a strong third party presense in our government.



        • The word 'today' in the term "today's western governments" was not for cosmetic effect, it was meant to restrict the domain of the question to things that are currently going on or which happened very recently, say within the last four years. I put it there to correspond to your use of the term 'at present', which I interpreted in the same sense. That eliminates most of your points, but as for the rest:

          'Politicians and most state governments upholding bans on gay marriage':

          It will probably become less and less as time goes on, but for now I agree that most western governments are somewhat homophobic in that regard. They also have a phobia towards polygamists in the same way.

          'the abandoning of poor minorities in new orleans':

          Last time I checked it was the poor in general, not just minorities. Unless you have proof that deliberate measures were taken to ensure that some races of poor people in New Orleans were abandoned more than others, the abandonment cannot be considered a form of systematic racism.

          'inequalities in public education'

          Unless you can prove that there are systematic inequalities that were deliberately put in place to put some races at a disadvantage, that can't be considered racist.

          'police brutality which is targeted predominately at minorities':

          Maybe you can prove that certain police officers are racist, but can you prove systematic racism on the part of the police departments?

          'the government issuing guidlines suggesting all women be treated as "pre-pregnant"':

          That sounds extremely odd, and disturbing if true. To suggest that it is sexist, however, makes about as much sense as suggesting that obstetricians are sexist for not taking male patients.

          'judges denying restraining orders to women who are undoccumented'

          If by undocumented you mean not a legal resident, then the reasoning for denying the restraining order seems obvious enough to me, and it has nothing to do with race or sex. By what right can someone who is in a country illegally demand anything from the legal system?

          'denying votes to felons'

          I had no idea felons were a race. Does this mean that if I commit a felony my DNA will instantly transform?

          'laws which restrict a womans right to choice in any way'

          There are laws which restrict the reproductive choices of both women and men. Why are only the laws restricting women's choices considered sexist? That consideration seems pretty sexist to me.

          'the fact that many minorities especially women are under represented in a government which is a representative republic':

          Do you have proof that voters are physically forced to vote for white, male candidates?

          'police dogs being turned on civil rights activists':

          So civil rights activists are now a race as well? What physical features distinguish them from other races? What part of the world did they come from originally? How different are their genes from the recently discovered felon race?
          • The word 'today' in the term "today's western governments" was not for cosmetic effect, it was meant to restrict the domain of the question to things that are currently going on or which happened very recently, say within the last four years. I put it there to correspond to your use of the term 'at present', which I interpreted in the same sense. That eliminates most of your points, but as for the rest:

            Not really since our current society and government is still dealing with the legacy of all these issues.

            I think its great that you put an arbitrary four year limit to government corruption as though you could fix any of these problems in a few years.

            The last laws against interacial marriage were on the books until 200 but I guess that doesn't count since that would have been six years ago.

            It will probably become less and less as time goes on, but for now I agree that most western governments are somewhat homophobic in that regard. They also have a phobia towards polygamists in the same way.


            Probably, but until that day it does prove my assertion that the government does indeed opress homosexuals. I agree with you point about polygamists as well but since itdoesn't qualify for any of the three categories you asked me to prove I didn't even think to mention it.

            Last time I checked it was the poor in general, not just minorities. Unless you have proof that deliberate measures were taken to ensure that some races of poor people in New Orleans were abandoned more than others, the abandonment cannot be considered a form of systematic racism.

            The vast majority of poor people in new orleans are non white, which if you look at economic and ethnic demographics in this country you'll notice is a fact which is not isolated. Why do you suppose that could be? Could it be the systematic opression of non whites in this country? Even if a specific event didn't happen four years ago the effects are still felt today. I agree though the government pretty much abandons all poor people, but you're kidding yourself if you don't think non white poor people in general have a harder time of it in this country.

            Maybe you can prove that certain police officers are racist, but can you prove systematic racism on the part of the police departments?

            To you probably not, since I'm sure as long as one police department was actually behaving as it should my entire arguement would be invalidated in your eyes. That said many books have been written on the subject, and as I pointed out myself their very inception as an institution was built on racism. I'm sorry you don't understand or more acurately refuse to consider that there could be any possible link between racism in the past and socio-economic issues many people of color face today. A quick look at the racial breakdown of prisoners pretty clearly demonstrates that the cops arrest far more black men than white men, and that far more black men are found guilty than white men. That fact alone should demonstrate a racial bias in our justice system.

            If by undocumented you mean not a legal resident, then the reasoning for denying the restraining order seems obvious enough to me, and it has nothing to do with race or sex. By what right can someone who is in a country illegally demand anything from the legal system?


            As I anticipated you know exactly shit about shit in this issue. Under the Violence Against Women act undoccumented women have a right to seek protection from abusers. That still hasn't stopped at least one judge from threatening an abused woman with deportation if she didn't leave the courtroom and then denying her petition because she wasn't present in court.

            That aside that you would suggest it is ok to beat and mistreat women just because they are not citizens here is horrifically sexist. Congratulations on being the most awful human being I have met in a long time.

            • That sounds extremely odd, and disturbing if true. To suggest that it is sexist, however, makes about as much sense as suggesting that obstetricians are sexist for not taking male patients.

              After your last comment there is clearly no way I'll be able to explain to you how targeting a specific gender especially in relation to their reproductive rights is sexist, so I'm not going to bother to try.

              I had no idea felons were a race. Does this mean that if I commit a felony my DNA will instantly transform

              Thanks to epidemic poverty and unemployment in the black community which in this country is one hundred percent the fault of the government since we

              1. brough them here as slaves

              2. continually denied them rights even after emancipating them

              3. police target black men

              There is a vastly dissproportinate percentage of male black felons compared to any other racial and gender category. I'm sure that none of this strikes you as at all racist, but yes when a criminal justice system targets one race and as a result larger portions of that race lose the right to vote,(in the case of black men this amount is 13% of the black population denied the right to vote) it is indeed an issue of institutonalized racism.

              Never mind the fact that denying a person who has served their time in jail to right he right the vote is unconscionable regardless of race.

              There are laws which restrict the reproductive choices of both women and men. Why are only the laws restricting women's choices considered sexist? That consideration seems pretty sexist to me.

              Considering your stance on beating undoccumented women I'm not sure you're in a position to be calling anyone sexist. That said I would agree that laws which specifically target men are wrong and indeed in some cases sexist. As I noted the list I gave was off the top of my head and was by no means meant to be contrued as comprehensive or a complete look at these issues.

              Do you have proof that voters are physically forced to vote for white, male candidates?

              No they aren't forced to vote for white men. They could always just not vote. Again the reasons for the lack of minority politicians are due in large part to educational and economic issues, chiefly the fact that as minorities they are generally speaking not given the same opportunities as white people. Consider that it was once ilegal to teach a black person how to read, consider that blacks were segregated by law into schools which by and large were not as good as the average white schools in their area, consider that poverty enforced de facto segregation in many cities and that those public schools still do not compare to public schools in areas of the same city that are financially better off (and typically whiter)and it should come as no surprise that there are fewer black politicians than white running or who have acess to the connections and money required to run elections for major offices in this country.

              I mean,shit, look at the chicano blowouts of 68 one of their chief issues was that the schools were not preparing or encourging chicanos to go to college. You seriously don't see how that level of difference in schooling is racist and directly impacts the ability of a so called minority group to compete with white canidates in the political arena? It's no coincidence that as these communities fought and fight for equality in education that they are also able to gain more representation.

              So civil rights activists are now a race as well? What physical features distinguish them from other races? What part of the world did they come from originally? How different are their genes from the recently discovered felon race?

              Are you seriously that stupid or just as racist as you are sexist? Yeah I can't imagine how a state trying to smash a movement designed to claim equal rights for minorities could in any way be seen as racist.

              Sexist and racist, you're quite the catch.
              • "22. All politicans work to maintain a system of government that AT PRESENT [emphasis mine] is racist/sexist/homophobic and opressive to low income families, and destructive of our enviornment."

                That was your point that generated this exchange, so please stop denying that it has anything to do with the past.

                Someday I'm going to be forced to stop giving everyone the benefit of the doubt and assume that they can argue in an intellectually honest manner. Because you seem to be blinded by ideology and unwilling to even abide by the most basic principles of intellectual honesty, I cannot justify the use of any more time to argue with you. I tried to be as charitable as possible in my interpretation of everything you said, and you in turn violated the principle wholesale. I could have immediately jumped on you for suggesting that felon = minority, an incredibly racist assertion, but the principle of charity required me to interpret in a manner that made your argument look as good as possible, and in this case that was a literal interpretation. Meanwhile, you made unconscionably vile interpretations of my points, and even labeled ME as a racist and sexist based on your interpretations and strawmen.

                Since any further argumentative exchange with you would border on masochism, all I can do is suggest a little reading to you. Critical Thinking: An Introduction to the Basic Skills, by William Hughes, is a fairly short book that addresses the skills involved in rational, honest argumentation in a very logical, straightforward manner. In it's third chapter it explains the principle of charity in argumentative interpretation, and asks us to remember our experiences of arguing with someone who persistently violates this principle as a motivation to try to employ this principle at all times. The next time I'm ever tempted to violate this principle, I'll think of you ;)
                • Unless your arguement is that the past haszero impact on the present, your brilliant rebuttal is red herring.

                  I neversuggested felon=minority I said denying felons the right to vote is racist because a majority of felons are minorities thanks in part to the racial bias of our justice system. So much for intellectual honesty.
    • I'm Canadian, just so you know. I'm just really shocked and scared at how BRAZEN the whole election rigging was. In Canada, the politicos somehow don't feel a need to rig our elections (thank the skies!)

      I have no idea what the patriot act is.

      I was hoping that the Democrats wouldn't be so dictatorship-like. I really don't like how the states is a dictatorship of sorts, and am a bit concerned about the totalitarian trends heading north, especially with Harper as PM. Fortunatlely, the PM's radical dark-ages conservative ideals aren't being forced into policy.
      • Harper is the first PM in a long time to take steps towards making the Senate more democratic and more accountable to the people. That hardly sounds totalitarian to me.
      • The patiot act is what will one day be seen as a very grim part of US history, it essentially gave the president almost total authority and has really pushed the US into being a functioning police state.

        Of course that's a pretty biased synopsis.

        I don't know enough about Canadian government or society to feel secure in making any statements about it, but maybe I'll do some research since I seem to be picking up a lot of canadian friends these days.
  • It's nice that the claims were sourced, however many of the sources themselves weren't very helpful. Any claims made by a biased or unreputable source such as Common Dreams and Indymedia have to be dismissed unless they include verified photographic or videographic evidence; their words alone cannot be trusted. Even claims from reputable sources can never be known to be true without empirical support, although if two or more reputable sources independently make the same direct empirical claim then it's truth probability usually becomes high enough to warrant serious consideration. Only the more mundane of those 20 claims seem to have such support, however.

    Facts regarding the political activities and preferences of high-ranking employees and shareholders of ES&S and Diebold, in their capacity as private citizens, are mundane and completely irrelevant to claims about the security and fairness of the products of these companies. Arguing that Diebold voting machines are untrustworthy for counting votes because the CEO is a Republican constitutes an unacceptable ad hominem attack and does nothing to logically support the point. If Microsoft made voting machines, it would be equally unacceptable to say that they were untrustworthy because Bill Gates is a Democrat. It is possible for people to have the integrity to leave their personal political preferences at the door when they go to work, and if any claim is going to be made that employees of ES&S or Diebold failed to do so then those claims require evidence for support, not ad hominem attacks.

    On the same token, mentioning that the Governor of Florida is George Bush's brother is totally irrelevant, especially when partisan ties often trump family ties. If Jeb Bush was a lifelong Democrat, would the same suspicion be directed towards him? Just about every state has either a Democrat or a Republican as its governor, and these governors are expected to play their role in overseeing elections with a level of integrity that precludes them from involving their party affiliations. Why should family affiliations be any different? If someone is going to accuse a governor of messing with election results, that accusation should be based on evidence, not on an irrelevant ad-hominem attack.

    The most serious charges are effectively backed my nothing. Even creation scientists manage to do a better job than this of defending their most questionable empirical claims. If Jeff Dean was actually convicted of something in court, why not use the official court records as a source? All I see is one inactive link, and one active link to a document that appears to contain no citations at all (I see what looks like reference numbers, but no corresponding numbered references). When someone makes a serious claim and fails to cite the most obvious and reliable source for that claim, I get suspicious.

    Claims of statistical anomalies are generally problematic, especially when they contain sentences like "According to the study President Bush received a total of 1,157,435 votes when he should have received between 900,000 and 1,020,000." To me that sounds like someone saying "The result that I predicted did not take place, and I'm never wrong, therefore fraud was involved." An honest, skeptical person has no choice but to dismiss claims like this unless compelling empirical evidence can be presented to support the assertion that the number of votes for Bush should have fallen within a certain numerical range.

    My own opinion on voting systems is pretty well the same as that of the ACM, which can be read at http://www.acm.org/announcements/acm_evoting_recommendation.9-27-2004.html
    I can't seem to get hyperlinks working in comments, sorry. Flaws in the voting systems currently in place need to be addressed seriously, not with garbage like that Chimpanzee video used to 'support' the claim that Diebold voting machines have poor security. I have to doubt the intelligence and intellectual honesty of anyone who would use that as a citation.
    • Just to clarify, my criticism is directed at the author of the site you linked, not at you.
    • Well the hard truth is that the Diebold machines are MADE (as in designed and built with the express purpose of) to be rigged. In one study, some people even trained a chimp to rig a machine. Andrew found it online, so I don"t know the source.

      Also, the ad hominem attacks are not necessary evidence on their OWN, however, they are VERY suspicious in light of allthe other EMPIRACL FACTS. For instance the CEO of Diebald was QUOTED claiming to do everything in his power to deliver the election to Bush. The voting machine are easily rigged, and most of the errors reported (if not ALL) swayed the vote from the opponent to Bush. Hmmmm. Hmmmm.

      Also, people may have responsibilities, but still do whatever the f** they want behind closed doors. So It's suspicious that there is evidence of election tampering towards Bush in the state that his very own brother runs.
      • The hard truth, as established by your prior post, is that the Diebold TS model can be easily altered to boot off a different flash chip. However, as the article you linked to goes on to say:

        "This is not a minor variation from the previously documented attack point on the newer Diebold TSx. To its credit, the TSx can only contain one boot profile at a time. Diebold has ensured that it is extremely difficult to confirm what code is in a TSx (or TS) at any one time but it is at least theoretically possible to do so. But in the TS, a completely legal and certified set of files can be instantly overridden and illegal uncertified code be made dominant in the system, and then this situation can be reversed leaving the legal code dominant again in a matter of minutes."

        In other words, they took measures to improve the security of newer models. Providing a model in the first place that can be so easily altered is still inexcusable, and if I were a business owner considering the purchase of any other Diebold products (ATM systems, computerized safes, security systems, etc.) I would probably end up purchasing from one of Diebold's competitors after learning about this. However, my skeptical mind wants to know Diebold's side of the story. Was there actually a valid reason for putting such an odd feature in the TS? I feel obligated to investigate the possibility before making a final conclusion about Diebold's competence to develop secure systems. Incompetence, by the way, is the most that can be proven by this. To accuse Diebold of deliberately designing the machine to be rigged requires further proof, and making the accusation without such proof could lead to a libel charge (you have a better chance of winning the lottery than actually being sued, but still).

        They say that if you have an infinite number of monkeys bash away at an infinite number of keyboards, eventually one of them will type Hamlet. However, if you have one monkey, one keyboard, one video camera, and a basic knowledge of video editing, you can produce a movie on one monkey typing Hamlet on one keyboard. The editor of the chimp movie has insulted all of our intelligences by alternated between shots of the chimp poking keys, and shots of a database being manipulated. Only in one scene can both the chimp and the screen be seen, and in this scene the audit log has already been opened and the chimp is simply poking the enter and delete keys, each of which has been painted with a dot, presumably in a color the chimp has been trained to want to touch. At no point in the video can the chimp be seen to be actually using the mouse, and the scenes involving mouse activity don't show the chimp. Furthermore, the database looks like it was made with Microsoft Access. Is there any reason to believe that this is the actual Diebold database being manipulated? I think not. Because Black Box Voting hosts this movie, I now have to doubt their intellectual honesty and their competence to seriously investigate the security of voting systems. I am that much less likely to give any of their arguments the time of day after seeing them stoop to this level.

        Ad hominem attacks, by nature, do not prove ANYTHING. They are formally irrelevant to an argument and neither strengthen nor weaken the rest of the argument, but they sure as hell make the person using them look bad. When you consider that none of us have time to analyze a lot of arguments in detail, it becomes VERY important that we try to maintain our reputations as intellectually honest people whose arguments deserve to be taken seriously. We can't afford to have people dismiss our most important arguments because they think we are untrustworthy. It is almost always better to admit defeat on a point and spare one's ethos than to resort to irrelevant personal attacks or photo/videographic trickery.
        • Meh I didn't watch the chimp movie, I just mentioned it. As for incompetence, Diebold makes ATMs. ATMs aren't pieces of shit that breakdown all the time, in fact the work very well. It's odd that a very COMPETENT company would suddenly become incompetent.

          The paragraph that you quoted about the Diebold TS, the stuff suppossedly in it's favour is NOT. You can't easily confirm what code is in it? Well, since it's so hard to check, are they supposed to reset the software after every vote to insure that it's the official stuff? It still remanes that the system is very hackable.
          It's not like the list of canadates to vote for changes just before or during the election. Really, there is no excuse to have such a large security flaw.
          • I never suggested that the paragraph was in Diebold's favor, the purpose of the paragraph in the article is clearly one of full disclosure and fairness. It's the kind of paragraph that smart, ethical writers are always careful to include, so that a critical reader like myself will respect their effort to cover all the facts and be more likely to give their future arguments the time of day. It does, however, illustrate the fact that Diebold is taking measures to improve security in newer models, they aren't just merrily manufacturing more TS models without doing anything about the flaw.

            Is it possible that this is just for show, just a means of damage control after some bad press? Is it possible that they really are inviting people to rig their machines, or even doing the rigging themselves? Sure, lots of things are possible. Skeptics simply want proof to back the accusations, and want to hear from all sides before making judgements. This is SUPPOSED to be seen as mature, ethical, and responsible thinking. There has been a frightening change in people's attitudes towards skeptics in the last few decades, where we are now seen as being ignorant, reactionary, or agenda-driven. In fact, we seem to now be hated by people of just about every political stripe. In my experience, however, it is only the hardcore ideological types who hate us. Moderates don't seem to mind proving their points, admitting that they can't prove a point for the time being, and retracting points that have been soundly refuted. The fact that I don't see the world the same way they see it doesn't seem to bother them, and we can have meaningful discussions.

            It seems to me that most ideologues can't handle the thought of someone not thinking the way they think. It's as if they take personal offense to having their views questioned and scrutinized. It floors me when I ask for proof of a positive claim and am then paraphrased as asserting the negative, but I think I now finally understand why this happens. Some people want to believe things, not because there is evidence to support the belief, but because it is personally convenient for them. I'm not a big fan of Bush, but I'm also not going to believe anything said about him without proof. Someone who is used to believing what is convenient, however, will couple their dislike of the president with the belief that he rigged the election. From their subconscious point of view, the primary reason for believing that Bush rigged the election is a personal dislike of Bush, so when a skeptic questions that belief they assume that the skeptic must like Bush and must believe that Bush's election was not the slightest bit suspicious. That, after all, is the belief that would be most convenient for a Bush supporter.

            Again, I'm frightened by the brazen hostility to skeptical thinking. If this trend doesn't reverse soon, we may very well be on our way to a new dark ages.
            • This whole LJ thing isn't a good forumfor discussion. You're replying to my comment, so it looks like you're talking to me. However, you're going off on a tagent monologue about idealists and non skeptics, and the hostility of people towards skeptics. Since this comment is directed at me, a sensitive person may mistakenly infer that you are implying that I'm anti skeptic and/or a blind idealist. (Which of course, you aren't, being so neutral, and after giving the impression that if you wanted to say something you would come right out and say it)

              Also, you are being very trusting of a company run by ex-felons, and that isn't very skeptical.


              And you didn't make it clear that you wren't quoting a pro Diebold paragraph to support Diebold. It really looked like you were.
              • You're right, it's not a good forum for discussion, and I did become somewhat confusing with the tangent.

                You know me well enough to know that I'm rather thick-skinned, I can take a lot of abuse and venom and still keep my cool. You know that I don't get offended easily, but one thing that will always piss me off is having words put in my mouth. When I let it slip that I don't believe in God, it really pisses me off when Christians say "See, you believe there is no God, and you can't prove there is no God, therefore your belief is faith-based just like ours." There is a HUGE DIFFERENCE between refusing to believe a claim, and asserting a belief in the opposite claim. It makes me angry to have others tell me what I believe on the grounds that I was unwilling to believe their claims without proof.

                Now you're telling me that I'm 'very trusting' of a company simply because I refuse to believe claims of wrongdoing without proof. How do you think that makes me feel? You're always talking about empathy, so try and put yourself in my shoes for a bit.

                I don't know if Diebold is run by ex-felons because I haven't seen any conviction records of any Diebold operators. The courts keep these records for a reason, if you are so sure that the company is run by ex-felons then show me the conviction records. I already said that I would not be inclined to buy their products after seeing the poor security in the TS machine, do those sound like the words of someone who is 'very trusting'? Again, there is a HUGE DIFFERENCE between not trusting someone, and making direct accusations against them. It makes me angry when my refusal to believe the accusations without proof is then treated as a sign of trust in the accused. Would you accuse jurors, demanding proof beyond a reasonable doubt, of being 'very trusting' of the defendant?

                You never struck me as a very politically oriented or ideological person, so I am surprised that you care so much about whether or not Bush rigged an election and believe so strongly that he did, even though you don't seem to have the kind of proof that most critical thinkers would require before holding such a strong belief. Since neither of us are US citizens, it's not like a rigged election is depriving either of us of having our votes counted. It's not like you're the one living under 'a dictatorship of sorts' (try living in a real dictatorship, like North Korea, for a few years). It doesn't make sense for you to be bothered so much by my demands for proof, and my insistence on separating out the points that constitute actual evidence of wrongdoing from the irrelevant ad hominem attacks and unconvincing circumstantial evidence. Franky I have to wonder why you direct any time and energy at all into this. Don't you have more important things to worry about right now?
                • Well, since rigging an election is ILLEGAL, most people won't come out and say "we rigged the election, and here's how".

                  Case in point: I had a roomie that stole stuff from me. Of course he would SAY he didn't do it, amazingly he was stupid enough to do so with my own pizza hanging out of his mouth and still deny that he took the pizza. Thats pretty dumb though, most people hide their tracks a bit better.

                  I don't think that you're getting is that there is NO REASONABLE REASON to leave the code switching thing in the machine.

                  Also you aren't using ad hominem correctly. Ad hominem is attacks on character of people. So saying that Jeb Bush is George's brother isn't an ad hominem attack. Calling Jeb a dirty monkey would be an ad hominem attack.

                  I thought critical thinking was supposed to involve understanding and weighing the evidence. You can't say that there isn't enoug proof for most critical thinkers to accept my opinion just because you identify as a critical thinker and you disagree with me.

                  Where is the proof that critical thinkers would not accept my argument based on the evidence provided?

                  Also, if you really want these conviction notices, you can look for them yourself.

                  Oh and the why are you so trusting of Diebold is Andrew's comment. I think he wanted to know.
                  • If you complain to whomever is in charge of dorms that your room mate stole your stuff, you can't expect the person in charge to just go ahead and accept your claim. Whenever someone accuses someone else of doing something, the burden of proof is on the accuser. That might seem tough, but imagine how you would feel if you were accused of something you didn't do and everyone believed the accuser, even though there was no actual evidence presented against you.

                    I have no idea why Diebold would have such a strange feature in their Accuvote TS, and unlike you I'm not prepared to assert an idea without evidence. All I can reasonably conclude from this is that Diebold's election systems division may be incompetent. You seen adamant that this was intentionally put there to allow for tampering during an election, but you haven't presented any proof of this. Personally this isn't that important to me, so I'm not inclined to look myself. Also, it was YOU who asserted that the company is run by ex-felons, so why should I have to verify your claim for you? That's not reasonable.

                    Calling Jeb a dirty monkey, by itself, is not even an ad hominem attack, it's merely an insult. Using "Jeb is a dirty monkey" as a premise to support the assertion that he helped rig an election IS an ad hominem attack, and so is using the premise "Jeb is George Bush's brother". In either case, it is being suggested that some aspect of Jeb's personality constitutes evidence that he did something. If you were suddenly accused of vandalizing a grocery store, would you like it if the fact that you work for a competing grocery store was accepted by a judge or jury as a valid piece of evidence in the prosecution's case against you?

                    Critical thinking most definitely involves understanding and weighing evidence. The only evidence you have shown me consists of a security flaw in a particular model of voting machine that COULD have been exploited during the election (circumstantial evidence), and a bunch of irrelevant ad hominem attacks. If you think I'm the only person who would not be convinced by such weak evidence, think again.

                    Do you remember the David Milgaard case? He served something like 25 years in jail for a rape and murder he didn't commit. The case against him consisted of circumstantial evidence (he owned a knife similar to the one used to kill the victim, had no alibi, and was in the general area in which the murder occurred on the night it happened) and multiple ad hominem attacks against him. He was finally cleared decades later by DNA evidence. Because the jurors were unable to think critically, a 16 year-old boy was locked up with rapists and murderers and subjected to a quarter of a century of cruelty.

                    As you ought to be able to tell, I don't really care as much as you do about this whole election thing. It doesn't affect me, and I'm confident that if there actually was a compelling case for the election being rigged then that case would be in the courts right now. I'm still incredibly offended that I would be accused of trusting anyone, or taking anyone's side, or holding any political opinion, simply because I demand proof before I'm willing to believe in any claims of this sort. Was this really worth trying to get me to share one of your beliefs?
                    • Actually I don't care what you believe.

                      I don't have time to put it into words, and I'm not sure if I could even put it in a way that you wouldn't tear down or in a way that you would understand.

                      I'm just really shocked at some of your beliefs, that's all.
                      • Just out of curiosity, which beliefs are you shocked by? Please keep in mind that not believing that an election was rigged is not the same thing as believing that the election was not rigged.

                        If you don't want to tell me, that's ok too. I certainly don't expect everyone to hold the same opinions as me, and I don't act shocked upon learning that someone holds an opinion that is radically different from mine. The only things that shock me are the offense some people take to having their beliefs questioned, and the extreme intellectual dishonesty that some people (not you) use in debate.

                        I did some more research regarding the proper usage of the term 'ad hominem' and it turns out that I am somewhat out of date. Using someone's personal details as irrelevant evidence in an argument against them used to be considered ad hominem, but this usage has now been deprecated. This now limits the acceptable usage to describing the use of irrelevant personal details to discredit that person's argument. I don't agree with the deprecation since the basic logic error is the same in both uses, but my obsessive need to respect usage conventions wins out. That does not, however, make the irrelevance of the details any less meaningful. At any rate, I thank you for pointing out my error. This is what I get for reading too many philosophy books from the 60s and 70s.
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