92 votes

“Our country is one country pretending to be another.”

I just finished watching Hacking Democracy, a 2007 documentary about how voting machines, specifically those made by Diebold, are rigged. Over the five years since it was made, I have seen video clips from the film online, on YouTube, and on other websites, but I’d never watched the whole thing. It is well worth it, even though the information has permeated the internet. It is now common knowledge for anyone online and paying attention that voting machines are - or at least can easily be - rigged. And therefore it follows that the elections are a just show.

In the film we see footage from the 2004 election between Bush and Kerry that brings back memories for me of living through that election - not here in America, but abroad. Eight years ago, I was living in Taiwan, working in an office that was in a parallel, upside universe to the one that I’m accustomed to. All the standard equipment and furnishings were there: Fluorescent lights, cubicles populated by workers typing away on desktop PCs running Windows — only everything was in Chinese.

Did I mention I neither read nor speak Chinese?

Luckily, the internet worked just the same. From my lonely cubicle, which was in back corner of the office and somewhat hidden behind a higher than normal dividing wall, I had some measure of privacy. I had constructed something of a sanctuary for myself in that otherwise hellish place, with an orange batik sarong that I had picked up in Thailand hanging on the wall, a houseplant on the file cabinet next to me, and a small goldfish swimming back and forth in a tiny jar on my desk. It was a gift from a colleague. But most important of all, I had unscrewed the fluorescent light above my desk, and instead used an incandescent lamp to light my workspace - an arrangement I have always made whenever and wherever I have had to spend my days in a cubicle. Fluorescent lights are hell on my eyes, and give me brain-splitting headaches by the end of the day.

I fear I am rambling, but this was the perch from which I watched the election of 2004. At the time, I was running Bull Not Bull!, the website that immediately preceded the Daily Paul. You might think of it as DP 1.0; the proto-DP.

From my hiding place at the back of the office, I was well informed on American news and politics (which is to say I spent much of the day surfing the web). With my website, I was a muckracker. I hated George Bush with a passion. Just one look at him and I knew instinctively that he was an idiot. A liar. A crook. A thief. An arrogant son-of-a-bitch. And a war monger.

People have told me recently that they can’t stand looking at Obama on the TV. They cannot stand to hear his voice; that when he comes on, they have to change the channel. I have remedied that particular problem by canceling my cable, but that is exactly how I felt towards W. So I understand the urge to to vote for ‘the other guy.’

In 2004, I wanted Bush to lose. And from my perch on the other side of the world, in a time zone 12 hours opposite that of Eastern Standard, I cast my absentee ballot for what I perceived to be the lesser of two evils: John Kerry. (Forgive them, for they know not what they do.)

I wanted Kerry to win for no other reason than to dislodge George Bush, to put an end the wars and killing and the misery in Iraq and Afghanistan and just come home.

And while all this was going down, I was reading about the work that Bev Harris, the subject of this film Hacking Democracy, was doing at blackboxvoting.org to expose the fraud of the vote rigging and the voting machines, especially in Ohio.

* * *

So I’m watching old Horse Face Kerry concede the race to GWB in the documentary - just 12 hours after he vowed to fight the battle in the courts, and all these memories come flooding back. I remember being livid when I read the news, back in Taiwan. Kerry had said he was going to fight the decision in the courts! He was going to expose the fraudulent voting system for all to see. He was going to set the country right again, after its derailment in the disaster of 2000.

What a fool I was. To put so much faith not just in a politician, but in a system that was corrupted long before the 2000 election. Maybe I’m still naive, but things seems to have taken a more sinister turn in 2000, and it seems we’re only speeding up on the highway to hell. Watching this only drove that point home further.

Because while it is possible to understand it intellectually, that the elections are just one big show, it is another thing altogether to feel it viscerally - to feel the knife go in, probe the various internal organs, before it finally makes purchase with the heart.

Near the end of the movie, Bev’s team definitively proves with a small, experimental “election” that votes can be flipped by programming only the memory card. A ballot is printed with the question, “Can the votes on this Diebold system be hacked, using only the memory card?”

Much of the movie is an exploration of just how such a thing is possible. The team discovers that on all the Diebold memory cards, there is an executable file - a program - that specifically allows for manipulation. And they’ve learned how to hack it. By their demonstrations, it seems easy enough that even I could do it.

So they hold their mock election. The votes are cast: 2 yes, 6 no.

We watch as they fill out the ballots and feed them through the optical scanning device. And then we watch, as they close the election and print the results. And the results reveal the truth on the printed slip: 7 votes yes, one vote no, a result completely opposite of the ballots cast. Their experiment worked, and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt what they have been claiming.

It is a great victory for Truth, but one woman on the team begins sobbing. It hits her all at once: Prior to this display, it was all just theory, just possibility. Now, there are no more outs - nowhere to hide. The truth in all its plain-faced glory is revealed, and what else can one do but cry?

“To quote a friend,” she says, “Our country is one country pretending to be another.”

And that’s what it is. And most of us here know it. And in spite of that, somehow, we have to carry on.

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Rings a bell...

I pledge allegiance to the Flag
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands:
one Nation pretending to be another, indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.

Worse news

So instead of being ruled by a tyrant selected by millions, as you thought, you are ruled by a tyrant selected by a few. Yes, it's a deception, but neither option makes you anything but a slave.

The REAL pretense to worry about, as Robert LeFevre put it:

"Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure."

Coercion cannot be banned by institutionalizing it and legalizing it (for the rulers only, of course).

You can b!tch all you want about how your ruler ought to be selected, but as long as you demand to be ruled, all talk of "freedom" is beside the point.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...

Amen

dabooda, Amen!

These are the "flat earthers" of today. The earth is flat and we must be ruled.

I've got news for you.

The country we were taught about in school. The land of the free and home of the brave and all the good things that we were told it represents has never existed. It for sure has not existed since the war of northern aggression, erroneously aka the civil war.

Michael Nystrom's picture

And then what?

And then what happened?

To be mean is never excusable, but there is some merit in knowing that one is; the most irreparable of vices is to do evil out of stupidity. - C.B.

It gets worse

But it ends well. :-)

Thank you

Michael. Very well said.

"And that’s what it is. And most of us here know it. And in spite of that, somehow, we have to carry on."

Keep on keeping on.

For Liberty

Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

John Adams

86 + votes,

+1 Agent 86, with your post on top of page I saw 86 + votes. Same time.
Next, I also read the post on another thread with 86, =
http://www.dailypaul.com/260813#comment-2807802

3rd para =
"I love this one: #86
"Since the pope’s income today is larger than ~ ~ "

the strangerr's picture

staring into the abyss

from the event horizon

You make an important point, in combination with how you arrived at it and how it feels. Voter fraud is simply a verifiable fact. And yet voter fraud is but one facet on a highly polished political stone; this system is fashioned to combine diffused energy and focus it to a single purpose. We may have to ask if something as important as individual liberty is properly protected through political means. That is, are we complicit with its demise by allowing this energy to be subverted.

People (seekers) continue to pursue knowledge and increase awareness of the current reality. On this web site, as BNB1.0 morphed to DP2.0, that awareness shifted largely from economics to ideology - and specifically the gulf between political myth and what we are. However, politics is but one port of entry to greater understanding - or confusion.

Trends are in motion that were put in place decades ago. Many voices sounded the alarms and Ron Paul was lone voice from the political realm. Many of us took notice, not least of which is yourself Michael. Ron-Paul equaled last-chance to confirm whether the American political machinery still worked, and further, if that machinery could be utilized to mitigate the effects of decades of bad policy.

From my perspective - seekers, particularly those arriving at increased awareness through the ideological doors of perception, often fail to grasp the advanced stage of western societies' economic situation in combination with the authoritarian structures already in place; accordingly, they believe they can vote and alter the destructive power of those combined forces. In essence, its a nod for government solutions and continued centralized control.

My continued theme is not that striving for liberty is pointless, but that fighting for liberty though the current political structures is not only an exercise in futility, it sustains and empowers bondage.

I'm still looking for solutions to this ancient problem, clues at the scene of the crime. The revolution that is required can not be accomplished by fighting the machine; the stronger, more violent the resistance, the stronger the machine grows. Lessons from Christ, Buddha, Gandhi et al are instructive. My observations direct me toward spontaneous decentralization – independence must manifest and saturate daily routine.

With each troubled step, America ignores Wolf's warning. Liberty's light wanes and the song remains the same; she's buying the stairway to hell.

re - "$ingle Purpose".

+1. My + vote was removed by some-one's negative. You wrote =
* "this system is fashioned to combine diffused energy and focus it to a single purpose. "

* and " ~ more violent the resistance, the stronger the machine grows."

* and "she's buying the stairwell to hell."

* N.Wolf's review mentions - "about the ever-tightening noose being placed around our liberties."

Agreed. I think you are referring to the "Ratchet Effect",
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratchet_effect
it is pointed out and defined in an 'edited' bible verse -
Deuteronomy 23:20, (KJV)

20 Unto a stranger (goyim) thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother (jew) thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the Lord thy _*_ may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

the racist tone is clear, it is meant to be a $ecret, so that in time the ratchet effect will squeeze & defeat the opposition. This $nake of debt has wormed around humanity, and is now choking it, ~ ~ the trap is quite strong = iron-clad. But for the faithful its the spider's web, weakest of fabrications.

may be the problem goes deeper

May be the problem is with the whole concept of democracy, of a slim majority imposing its will on the rest of people, just because there is more of them. Democracy is gang rape writ large.

But a great article nonetheless, Michael. Your passion for justice is endearing and inspiring.

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

Enjoyed your sense of humor and intellect, Michael.

Now seems like the end days of Rome; insanity among the elite ruling class; a few with intelligence and insight trying to restore balance. It must have also been that way in the end days of Atlantis, another empire that dominated the world trade in its time.

I still believe in the American spirit and I do not think that spirit will go quietly into submission. There will be a breaking point, and the pathetic fools trying to rule the human spirit will vanish into the night. Freedom and light will prevail.

I also have those strong feelings at the sight and sound of O. I cannot watch and listen. Too much BS and no real intelligence. Same with R. Pathetic. As for voting, well it is not much better choice in Canada. But the vote in America will effect the entire world. Many of us in the world would write in Ron Paul if we could vote.

Denise B's picture

Beautifully

written Michael, so much so, that I had to just sit and pause and think about the stark reality of what your essay conveys. It is easy to let yourself be crushed under the enormous weight of the corruption and tyranny that has engulfed this once great nation. The urge to just surrender and join the oblivous throngs of distracted, disaffected and ignorant masses is always there, but right there beside it is the simple truth that once the door is opened, it is not easily closed...there really is no going back. So, like you said, we have no choice but to carry on.

What is the solution to this stark reality that our voting system is really no longer ours, but just another tool of the elite to ensure that their insidious plans play out against us all as planned? I wish I knew...but I do know it starts with doing exactly what Bev Harris has done. If enough of us keep sounding the alarm as loudly as we can, maybe we can finally awaken enough people out of their deep slumber to the fact that the enemy is inside the gate and it is going take all of us working together to bring him down this time.

when we are all dead you

when we are all dead you should start writing this story in your film noir narrative, and i'll be dead and still reading and waiting to see if you won and destroyed the new world order. Chinese fluorescent lights and rain.

lawrence

You're a very good writer Michael

And my path to libertarianism, Ron Paul, and my current political awareness was very similar to yours.

I can't help but wonder how many others this is true for. There have to be a lot. I've met quite a few.

Kind of gives me hope that some -- if not many -- of yesterday's Obama voters (Obama being their Kerry) and today's Romney voters (Obama being their Bush & Romney their Kerry) will soon have a similar "awakenings" and be tomorrow's, uh... us.

Everyone arguing about

Everyone arguing about writing in Ron Paul or voting for Gary Johnson.... Until your vote is counted it simply does not matter what button you push! They will flip your vote how they see fit.... Ron Paul lost badly to Romney in his own district.... You know the one Ron has been elected within a dozen times.... Come on folks this issue should be front and center... At this point I have decided to set out and no longer play in the make believe voting system.... Why legitimize their system?

Good point

;)

Great read.

Thanks for all you do, Mike.

I guess I have to watch the documentary now.

This YouTube video that I think I found on this site convinced me that the primaries were rigged against Ron Paul and that the media was fully in collusion in getting Romney the nomination: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OynCgwmD-HM

"I ain't the dying type."

Reader, writer, soldier.

The Title is the Exact Summation of the Problem at Hand

I watched this yesterday, given to me by a DP Liberty Lover...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RS8LA-5fmrs G. Edward Griffin Interview Of Yuri Bezmenov

I don't know how much more bad news I can take....I know election is a fraud, but I suppose not at the visceral level because for some reason I am still driven to vote...wouldn't instinct direct othersise?

Instinct tells a deer to flee. Intellect may tell a deer it is fine to take a drink...I don't hear or see anything wrong.

Just what are Friends of Liberty supposed to do this election year?

Get Involved & Certify The Vote

I started over a year ago registering people as Republicans and helping them get to caucus. I made phone calls into Iowa on caucus day and evening. I was involved in the process all the way to the RNC. It was rewarding to participate.

Now, today, what can one person do? Phone or visit your county clerk and recorder and politely say you would like to help certify the vote. In Colorado, a few days after the election, you will go to their offices and count the paper tickets by hand for a couple days. I thought I knew something and had good ideas about how to change the mechanics of counting. I helped certify the vote a couple years ago, and it opened my eyes. Until a person has participated in their county, they typically can only speculate about fraud in their specific area.

I hear you now saying "yes, but" and I understand. My response is that until you participate, you can only speculate about your area.

I also like to watch this video. BHTM usually plays Red Rocks in the spring. http://youtu.be/rzLV2BUbtF4
Nothin' stays if it's gotta go now.
You can't get water from a stone now.
Sometimes you've got to think about
The things you're gonna love. ...
It's alright if you just wanna go home.
I understand.

Thank you for the info. I

Thank you for the info. I didn't even know anything about certifying the vote. Still don't in my area, but is something to look into. Seems I've been casting my vote for all these years and just trusted that "its all right"

Thanks!

"I know the election is a

"I know the election is a fraud, but I suppose not at the visceral level because for some reason I am still driven to vote...wouldn't instinct direct othersise?"

I felt that way too until I viewed this documentary, the scene Michael describes toward the end of the film, for me, was the visceral letting go. I won't vote...I had said this a few times in the past around here, but I meant that on the Federal level, I intended to vote on local issues, now I realize...what's the point?

If my need to be RIGHT is greater than my desire for TRUTH, then I will not recognize it when it arrives ~ Libertybelle

I haven't

watched the clip yet because I could not bear it after watching:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RS8LA-5fmrs G. Edward Griffin Interview Of Yuri Bezmenov

After reading your reply, the thought that came to mind...what if voter fraud is exactly what they want us to believe so that we will not vote...

This is such an upside down, left is right world, I don't know what to believe any more.

I imagine that I will watch it sometime this week though.

I understand how you feel

But "they" have made it clear that they DO want us to vote, from running hard sell PSA's preaching about our "duty" to vote, to actual discussions about making it mandatory. Low voter turnout indicates withdrawl of public consent and it embarrasses them. Until we take vote counting out of the hands of Diebold and put it back under the control of citizens, I'll never vote again.

Certify The Vote

Please let us know your experience if you help to certify (double check the count) the vote with your county clerk and recorder. A couple years ago it was a worthwhile experience for me.

Do this bear

Vote for whomever you will, and leave it all with the Lord!

Put your worries about all this away from you, for you nor I can do anything with worry!

"Cast ALL your cares upon Him, for He careth for you"

Remember that old hymn "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus"

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth, will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace"

Do this and be at peace!

" In Thee O Lord do I put my trust " ~ Psalm 31:1~

Thank you

And the things of earth, will grow strangely dim,

That's exactly how I feel about it.

Additionally… God will not honor my act of trying to do the wrong thing. Why not try to do the right thing?

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"I don't know what to believe

"I don't know what to believe any more."

Boy, that is so TRUE!

If my need to be RIGHT is greater than my desire for TRUTH, then I will not recognize it when it arrives ~ Libertybelle

I know, and it did not come

I know, and it did not come to mind until I read your comment. I don't know either. Perhaps it is best to err on the side which you think may do the most good?