Thursday, November 18

Stupid sure seems to pay well

This nice lady says that those of us who who still have questions concerning the results of the election, should also be concerned with the banks stealing our money, and if we aren't we are just crazy.

While Anne Tannenbaum ponders a basket of oranges, and a bushel of apples and discovers them identical (for the sake of her argument), she seems to conclude that ATM and internet transactions are just like voting . Shorter Anne Tannenbaum pundit on parade.

closed & opaque=open & transparent.

From the WaPo, examined by the Daily Howler, via Atrios
By Anne Applebaum
Wednesday, November 17, 2004; Page A27

When the ATM asks whether I want a receipt, I usually say no. When a Web site wants my credit card number, I usually say yes. When I pay bills online, there is no paper record of the transaction. In my failure to demand physical evidence when money changes hands, I am not very unusual.
Because Anne chooses no reciept from her ATM transaction, and because she does not get a paper reciept from her online transaction, we should not be concerned with a paperless voting system. And this is just the start of the column, but do not worry, this tortured logic will be framed in yet another way or three. Egads, I guess that it is possible that I have abused "logic" in an attempt to make a point, but I doubt I have been as dishonest. You see Anne, I'd be willing to lay odds (and I'm not a betting man) that you would raise the roof if you got a bank statement, or credit card statement, that did not represent correctly the transactions you had made during the previous month. Something tells me that you probably keep pretty close tabs on your cash, as it is not very unusual for people to keep an eye on their finances. Now You might also raise the roof if say, you got a statement in the beginning of december that showed that you had cast a ballot for John Kerry, Oh yeah, right, we don't get statements for our voted, no record at all. In fact the only people who can be reasonably sure that there vote was recorded properly use voter manipulated paper ballots, that they themselves put into the ballot box. And really they can't be certain, unless involved in the counting process, see the difference? I hope so.
...After all, the editorial noted, there is "no way to be sure" that votes weren't changed "by secret software" inside the machines. If you're tempted to believe that analysis is rational, just ask yourself this question: Are you really sure that your bank isn't using secret software to steal $9.72 from your retirement account every week? And if the answer is no, why aren't you up in arms about that, too?
Are you really that stupid, or are you trying to channel an idiot, and slip a talking point past the GOP Goalie. Let me guess that her premise will turn on the "conspiracy theory" dime and use an example that includes say a Jordanian you had an interesting conversation with. By the way do you have a reciept for this transaction?
Given our reliance on computerized accounting, the explanation for the American paranoia about computer voting cannot be rational. It must lie elsewhere, in some special part of the national psyche. Plenty of other nations are prone to conspiracy theories, of course: I've never forgotten a conversation I had with a Western-educated, business-suited Jordanian who explained to me that the two blue stripes on the Israeli flag represent the Nile and Euphrates rivers, the planned future borders of the Jewish state. But American conspiracies have their own peculiar flavor.
Ok I peeked, I am no nostradamus.So lets see where we stand. Anne sets up a completely bullshit premise, conflates it with looneytunes conspiracies (would it actually suprise me if some zionist somewhere had not considered the possibility of a greater Israel whose border extended from the Nile to the Euphrates? No, but that's beside the point. Anne let me say this clearly. ATM's and Electronic Voting machines without paper trails are not the same thing. The former is Open and transparent, the latter is closed and opaque. BTW you really might want to think of the Pulitzer the next time you fire up your keyboard, because this column is a stain on the honor of that prize.