September 15th, 2005

AK autograph

La Esperantigado de ĝeneralsemantikaj verkoj

Finfine mi scias Esperanton sufiĉe por traduki ĝeneralsemantikajn verkojn. Mi komencis kun la relative facilaj; nun mi laboras je la artikolo 'Destino kaj libereco' de Alfred Korzybski. Tiu ĉi prelego antaŭas al la ĝenerala tempo-kunligada teorio, kiu iĝis ĝeneralsemantiko.
Apollo 4 on column of fire

BradBlog: A Diebold insider speaks

In exclusive stunning admissions to The BRAD BLOG some 11 months after
the 2004 Presidential Election, a "Diebold Insider" is now finally
speaking out for the first time about the alarming security flaws
within Diebold, Inc's electronic voting systems, software and
machinery. The source is acknowledging that the company's "upper
management"—as well as "top government officials"—were keenly
aware of the "undocumented backdoor" in Diebold's main "GEM Central
Tabulator" software well prior to the 2004 election. A branch of the
Federal Government even posted a security warning on the Internet.

Pointing to a little-noticed "Cyber Security Alert" issued by the
United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), a division
of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the source inside
Diebold—who "for the time being" is requesting anonymity due to
a continuing sensitive relationship with the company—is charging
that Diebold's technicians, including at least one of its lead
programmers, knew about the security flaw and that the company
instructed them to keep quiet about it.…

In phone interviews, DIEB-THROAT confirmed that the matters were well
known within the company, but that a "culture of fear" had been
developed to assure that employees, including technicians, vendors and
programmers kept those issues to themselves.…

The voting company insider, who has also served as a spokesperson for
the company in various capacities over recent years, admits that the
"real danger" of this security vulnerability could have easily been
exploited by a malicious user or an insider through remote access.…

The ability to connect to the system remotely by phone lines and the
apparent lack of interest by Diebold to correct the serious security
issue in a timely manner—or at all—would seem to be at
odds with at least one of their Press Releases touting their voting
hardware and software.

In an October 31, 2003 Press Release as part of a publicity blitz to
"sell" the new voting machines to the voters in the state of Maryland,
Diebold Election Systems President Thomas W. Swidarski is quoted as
follows in a section titled "Security Is Key":

Diebold has fine-tuned its computerized system so that it
meets stringent security requirements. “We have independent
verification that the Diebold voting system provides an unprecedented
level of election security. This is crucial to maintaining the
integrity of the entire voting process,” Swidarski

In regards to possible remote access to the GEMS Central Tabulator by
modem via phone lines, a way that hackers could easily and simply
change the vote total information in the Access database, Diebold's
official spokesman seemed to be … in denial even today.

When we asked [the spokesman] Bear whether or not the Central
Tabulator is still accessible via modem in their machines, he first
denied that it's even possible, telling us "the Central Tabulator
isn't accessable via modem."

When we pressed about whether or not there is still modem capabilities
in the machines and software they sell, Bear admitted, "There is a
modem capability, but it's up to a jurisdiction whether they wish to
use it or not…I don't know of any jurisdiction that does that."

"Oh, boy. Such lies," DIEB-THROAT said in response. "There are several
jurisdications that use [the modem capabilities] in the
machines…Probably one of the most robust users of modems is
Prince Georges County in Maryland. They've used it in every
election. I believe they started in 2000. And Baltimore County used
them in the November election in 2004. Fulton County and Dekalb County
in Georgia may have used them in 2004 as well."

While we were unable to hear back in response to messages left with
Election Officials at several of those offices prior to the
publication of this article, a review of "Lessons Learned" after the
November 2004 Election conducted by the Maryland state Board of
Elections obtained by The BRAD BLOG, confirms that modems were used to
access the GEMS Central Tabulator to send in information from
precincts on Election Night.…

When we asked our source if they had any evidence to show that the
security flaw described by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security was
actually exploited in the 2004 election, DIEB-THROAT told us only: "I
wouldn't say I have evidence that it was exploited….only that
it was known. To the feds, to state officials and to Diebold. They all
knew. In spite of the gap they moved forward as normal…As if it
didn't exist."
Apollo 4 on column of fire

The fecklessness of Democrats

"Beyond belief."

That's what Josh Marshall has to say about Democratic politicians. He ought to believe it, though; the Democrats have had their nervous systems disrupted.

It may become clearer why I speak of a dying, aristotelian, two-valued
system by giving examples of how this type of evaluation is at the
foundation of present day confusions and terrors. Thus, for instance,
the Nazi militant delusion of `chosen people' gives us an excellent
illustration of a two-valued, `either-or' orientation. The two-valued
semantic twisting of `real neutrality' is another significant example.
This distortion has kept the `neutrals' in terrors, disorganizing
their national and political life to the point of complete collapse,
which today is a historical fact. The Nazi two-valued evaluation of
`neutrality' was: either be `really neutral' and endorse and fight for
the Nazis, or be `not really neutral' and not help them. According to
this orientation a `really neutral' Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway,
etc., should fight against England, France, etc., to prove that they
are `really neutral'!

A similar analysis applies to the `aggression' of China against Japan,
Czechoslovakia against Germany, Poland against Germany, Poland against
Russia, Finland against Russia, Greece against Italy, etc., and so on
endlessly, which shows only the pathological application of the
two-valued, `either-or' patterns in action. This analysis applies also
to the first World War and the `war guilt'. In a non-aristotelian
orientation we ask for actual facts, and do not accept mere
verbalism. Who invaded whom? The historical facts are simple. We know
by now who invaded whom, and never mind verbal definitions.

(From Alfred Korzybski, introduction to the second edition of Science and Sanity; see

Notice the desperation in Josh Marshall's voice

This is a time when the country needs an opposition party. Every Democrat should be hitting on this. Take the politics out of the reconstruction effort. He put his chief spin-doctor in charge of the biggest reconstruction and refugee crisis the country's probably ever faced. That tells you all you need to know about his values. Nothing that happened in the last couple weeks meant anything to him. And nothing has changed. Same as Iraq. Same stuff.

Poor Josh, notice the desperation in his voice, when talking about

Talking Points Memo was my favorite blog, right up to the day I
dropped it from my reading list as irrelevant. I think that was after
the electors' votes were added up, or maybe it was right after
election day, I don't remember which. It was not that Marshall had
changed; rather I did one of my rapid re-evaluations taking into
account new knowledge. Recently, though, I have brought TPM back into
my reading, and now I'm glad I did.