November 29th, 2004

Apollo 4 on column of fire

Some vote stealing stories from Ohio

Some selections of vote stealing stories in Ohio, that I obtained at the Columbus Free Press (all italics are mine):

Tom Pinnetello:
"I need to tell you what happened on my first experience voting in
Ohio. On November 2nd, I got to my polling station early, so I got --
I wanted to get there early so I got in the car and I headed over to
nearby Livingston School and I signed in and waited about 45 minutes
in a line that looked to have about 60 people waiting to vote. Once in
the library, we noticed that there were only three voting
machines. Once it was my turn, I got inside and looked over the voting
machine, and this is one of the electronic voting machines. It
consisted of an array of blinking lights urging you to vote for
something, and once you did vote for something, the blinking light
would go out and a steady red light would appear next to your
selection. On the upper left-hand part was the selection for
president. I wanted to do this, I wanted to get this out of the way,
that's what I came here, to vote, that was my number one priority. So
I pushed the button for John Kerry for president of the United
States. And the light -- the flashing light went out and the light
next to John Kerry's name came on. I then mulled over the rest of the
propositions and local races that were taking place, some of which I
knew about, some of which I didn't. It took the better part of five
minutes or so to get through them all. Some of the political players
locally I don't know about so I just left them blank because I think
you should be making an informed decision and not just pressing
buttons. Once I was finished, I got down to the lower right-hand
corner and the big green vote button was beckoning. I almost pushed it
and I said, no, wait a minute, I want to -- I want to proofread what I
just did. I want to look over my selections. I looked up into the
upper left-hand corner and the area for president of the United States
was now flashing again. My vote for John Kerry had been
neutralized. It had been reset.
Now, you can call this a glitch, you
can call this a design flaw, you can call it a bologna sandwich if you
want, but whatever you call it, that machine nearly threw out and
neutralized my vote for John Kerry."

Jen Miller:
"I went ahead and walked in because the lines at that point were four
hours long. Again, this used to be my polling location, after the last
presidential location it was my polling location and at that time
there were two precincts and there were four booths per precinct. This
year the first thing I noted that there were three and not one of the
precincts had a booth down, so they were operating on two, just 50
percent the amount that they had the election before.
The next thing I
noted that there were more people in line, probably, at that point
than I had probably had ever voted in that precinct. I had voted there
for several times. It was just absolute chaos. People were wandering
this way and that. The first thing someone said to me is, I don't
think they want me here. This is confusing. I voted here for years and
I'm leaving. And I asked him to stay, but he wouldn't.. . . So I would
say at least a third of the people that were in line were elderly or
had mobility challenges. A lot of those people would be standing in
line for one to three hours to then come across some steep steps that
would be even challenges for the average able-bodied person. One side
of the steps could -- one side of the steps didn't even have a rail to
hang onto and there was no one to assist people down, okay."

Mark Dunbar, Columbus:
"I got off work about 9:30 that morning. I went down and dropped off
some ballots down at the Board of Elections. Then I went to my home
near Eastgate Elementary. I arrived there at 10:00. I went in. There
was no signs as to how to use the voting machines. I heard one of the
poll workers tell a guy in one of the booths that he had one minute
because he had been in there four minutes. So they were actually
rushing people in and out of the polls. The line was about three hours
when I got there. There was only three voting booths and I remembered
the last time I vote there, we had at least four to five voting
booths, so we were down to three.
They did allow the people to sit in
chairs and move the chairs up and down the line. They did have an
elderly woman who was in a wheelchair just sitting there for a couple
hours and she was still sitting there when I left. So she didn't get
to vote the kind of way she should have. She should have been taken to
the front but I didn't see any accessible voting booths and I saw -- I
counted at least 27 to 30 people who left while I was there, but I
didn't leave. I had to vote."

Monica Justo, Columbus:
"I ran 6 wards for the Kerry campaign in the Clintonville corridor. At
8:00 -- my precinct location was 19H -- it is run out of the Southwick
Funeral Home by Bill Good. Bill Good is a Republican. At 8:00 in the
morning, he went out to the people in line. There was already over an
hour wait at this time and informed them that they all needed to get
out of line and move their cars because he had a funeral
. . . According to the Franklin County Board of Elections, it
was their fault for not verifying that business was not being held on
that day, that they needed to inform them of that."

Tom Kessel, Bexley:
". . .in precincts 4 A and 4 C in Bexley. What it was is Republican
challengers got there about 7:30 in the morning. Precinct 4 C was
going fine, so I watched her. On three different occasions, I caught
her sitting at the table with the poll workers. Each time I had to go
up there and say, excuse me, you're not allowed here, you know, you're
not allowed to be sitting there. She was not challenging it. She was
talking and kibitzing and working with the poll workers. I don't
know. One time I went outside, I came back in, she was actively going
over some sort of computerized list she had with the precinct judge in
precinct 4A in Bexley. One of the three machines went down and they
were not able to get the tape out of it and the cartridge at the end
of the day. Later on, when I got the poll -- data from Franklin County
poll workers, that machine which had the lowest numbers of votes had
the highest percentage of Bush votes. The other two machines were
coming back 30 percent for Bush. This one came back 40 percent for
Bush. I don't know. Also, they sealed up their provisional ballots
before I had a chance to count them and let them know how much
provisional ballots were there. Also, she signed off as an official
witness at the end of the day, even though she was a Republican
worker. I was met with open hostility from the workers in precinct 4 A
in Bexley. They let me know in no uncertain terms that they were Bush

I want to know, are there any reports like these, from anywhere
in the United States, in which the "problems" favored Kerry? I would
like to see them enumerated. Are any of the stories above cases that
actually favored Kerry?

The perverse distribution of voting machines is to me sufficient
evidence to invalidate the Ohio election, unless someone can give me a
transparent reason for it, which I doubt can be done.
Apollo 4 on column of fire

Creationism and the responsibility of parents

Musings upon the topic of creationism.

I assume the reader believes the Earth is billions of years old and
that we are derived from something like a primordial soup. Meanwhile,
creationists take over our school boards and try to mandate
lessons in creationism. O the horror! Sarcasm? Yes, because what
have we done about it?

Did we send our children to Hebrew School or Sunday School? Yes, we
did that. At Hebrew School what do they teach? Creationism. You
say, not at your Hebrew School, and, okay, that may be so. But how
can there be a Hebrew School that does not at least teach that the
structure of the world is determined by words, and faith in scripture
is a virtue? Shouldn't your children be taught that faith in
scripture is a deficit? Isn't that kind of obvious, if you
value scientific method? If you do not teach your children to value
observations first, descriptions and inferences second, and instead
teach your children faith in scriptures, or in the presumed virtue of
faith in scriptures, you are giving your children the basis upon which
creationists work. If you treat "G-d" as a taboo word, instead of
spelling it out "God," or "god," then you are teaching your children
the primacy of words, and helping the creationists.

I implore, don't do that to your children. Do not condemn creationism
while also undermining scientific method and providing the basis for

People who do not depend on belief in archaic writings are not
therefore murderers and thieves. You do not need a bible to tell you
not to murder your neighbor, or to covet your neighbor's things the
way Homer Simpson covets the things of Ned Flanders. Even atheists
see Homer's behavior as unethical and self-defeating. If you don't
need your religion to keep you from being Homer Simpson, why would
your children need it? In fact, isn't it better to make your children
less susceptible to organized nonsense, by teaching them
comparative religion instead of a faith?

Give your children a bible, and give your children Bulfinch's
mythology, and Edith Hamilton's, and put those books together on the

Noah's flood may have been, simply, the Black Sea basin filling up
suddenly and disastrously as the continental glaciers melted and the
level of the Mediterranean Sea reached the height of the land near
where the Bosporus is today. How could people who did not even have
writing understand that this is what happened, when so much of the
world and so many entire peoples were inundated? The awful story was
passed along orally for thousands of years, and then writing was
invented and froze the story into the forms we know today. If your
child is able to understand that the world is round, they may be old
enough to understand how such a flood could occur, and it will not
harm them to know that this would be the origin of the bible story.

If your children ask you how the universe came to exist, be honest
and tell them you have no idea whatsoever.