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Kelvin Mace

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 17,469

Journal Archives

Reality check on Hart-Intercivic voting machine company and its owndership by Romney partisans

As noted in other posts, H.I.G. Capital, LLC, a private equity firm stuffed full of Romney croniesm bought voting machine company Hart-Intercivic in July 2011. This has has raised the old spectre of dodgy computer code and stolen elections. A few issues to keep in mind going forward:

1) According to the Ohio SoS site, H-I equipment is only used in two counties, Williams and Hamilton. I am trying to find out which counties use H-I equipment in Colorado.

2) Despite much discussion about "rigging" an election, the easiest way to have an effect on an election is to control the number and deployment of functional voting machines. Keep replacement/backup equipment in short supply, then controlling what precinct gets replacements is easier to manage than diddling the code. Also, much harder to prove tampering short of a whistleblower or a confession.

3) No reasonable person can view control of a voting machine company by political partisans as anything short of improper.

4) The quickest way to destroy faith in elections is to have situations like this.

5) Until voting machines are afforded that same level of security as slot machines in Las Vegas, we cannot trust them without a LOT of scrutiny.

6) No voting process which lacks a tangible ballot is acceptable.

Links:

Ownership of Hart-Intercivic:

http://www.thedailydolt.com/2012/10/10/former-bain-employees-own-voting-machine-company-used-in-swing-states/

Ohio SoS:

http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/Upload/elections/votingsystems.aspx?page=25056

Colorado relaxing voting machine security:

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2011/12/colorado-voting-machine-security

And an oldie from my old site on how Hart-Intercivic organized a secret meeting to fight e-voting activists and undermine independent machine certification:

http://blackboxvoting.com/s9/index.php?/archives/177-Secret-meeting-of-the-Black-Box-Yakuza.html

Cross posted to Politics 2012

Reality check on Hart-Intercivic voting machine company and its owndership by Romney partisans

As noted in other posts, H.I.G. Capital, LLC, a private equity firm stuffed full of Romney croniesm bought voting machine company Hart-Intercivic in July 2011. This has has raised the old spectre of dodgy computer code and stolen elections. A few issues to keep in mind going forward:

1) According to the Ohio SoS site, H-I equipment is only used in two counties, Williams and Hamilton. I am trying to find out which counties use H-I equipment in Colorado.

2) Despite much discussion about "rigging" an election, the easiest way to have an effect on an election is to control the number and deployment of functional voting machines. Keep replacement/backup equipment in short supply, then controlling what precinct gets replacements is easier to manage than diddling the code. Also, much harder to prove tampering short of a whistleblower or a confession.

3) No reasonable person can view control of a voting machine company by political partisans as anything short of improper.

4) The quickest way to destroy faith in elections is to have situations like this.

5) Until voting machines are afforded that same level of security as slot machines in Las Vegas, we cannot trust them without a LOT of scrutiny.

6) No voting process which lacks a tangible ballot is acceptable.

Links:

Ownership of Hart-Intercivic:

http://www.thedailydolt.com/2012/10/10/former-bain-employees-own-voting-machine-company-used-in-swing-states/

Ohio SoS:

http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/Upload/elections/votingsystems.aspx?page=25056

Colorado relaxing voting machine security:

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2011/12/colorado-voting-machine-security

And an oldie from my old site on how Hart-Intercivic organized a secret meeting to fight e-voting activists and undermine independent machine certification:

http://blackboxvoting.com/s9/index.php?/archives/177-Secret-meeting-of-the-Black-Box-Yakuza.html

Cross-posted to Election Reform

Modern wheat a "perfect, chronic poison," doctor says

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505269_162-57505149/modern-wheat-a-perfect-chronic-poison-doctor-says/

Davis said that the wheat we eat these days isn't the wheat your grandma had: "It's an 18-inch tall plant created by genetic research in the '60s and '70s," he said on "CBS This Morning." "This thing has many new features nobody told you about, such as there's a new protein in this thing called gliadin. It's not gluten. I'm not addressing people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. I'm talking about everybody else because everybody else is susceptible to the gliadin protein that is an opiate. This thing binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite, such that we consume 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year."

Asked if the farming industry could change back to the grain it formerly produced, Davis said it could, but it would not be economically feasible because it yields less per acre. However, Davis said a movement has begun with people turning away from wheat - and dropping substantial weight.

"If three people lost eight pounds, big deal," he said. "But we're seeing hundreds of thousands of people losing 30, 80, 150 pounds. Diabetics become no longer diabetic; people with arthritis having dramatic relief. People losing leg swelling, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and on and on every day."

*sigh*

I throw this out for discussion as I do not quite know what to make of the claim.

Yes, I can believe the premise of what Davis is saying, and it makes sense, but so do a lot of other "sensible-sounding" theories until you get some serious peer-reviewed research into the claims.

America's obesity problem is being blamed on a number of factors, all which seem plausible:

- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- High concentrations of corn in food
- Sugar (all types)
- Growth hormones used in animals
- Growth of suburbia requiring driving instead of walking
- Practical elimination of phys-ed in schools
- Shift from agrarian to industrial economy
- The rise of super-high calorie fast food/convenience food
- Cheap food prices (relative to the past, especially meat)
- All the above

What does one eat to be healthy? And if most of what is on the market is unhealthy, how does one find the money and time to find, buy and prepare healthy foods?

How do we make sense of all these conflicting theories?

An open letter to folks like myself who cannot in good conscience vote for Obama

Note: I would ask that the pro-Obama folk refrain from insulting me until they have actually read what I am saying here.Thanks!.

Dear distraught fellow progressive:

If you are like me, the last four years have been a time of frustration, anger and sadness. Despite all the promises from Candidate Obama about "hope and change", President Obama, for whatever reason, failed to make significant changes on a variety of issues of moral imperative.

Rather than argue these points (yet again) and suffer accusations of being, at best, "naive" and at worst, a "secret Romney shill", I wish to suggest a means of resolving the issue ethically to (hopefully) everyone's satisfaction.

All other issues aside, the only hope Romney has of winning this election is by voter suppression, both "legal" and illegal. In my own state of North Carolina, a Tea Party corporation masquerading as a "non-partisan, non-profit" group protecting our election process from "fraud" tried to have 30,000 voters purged from the rolls, claiming that these people were dead. This forced our state board of election to waste time, money and resources disproving their idiotic claim.

(For more on this story, watch this RMS story)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/49112935#49112935

Obviously more of this tactic is taking place, and more is on the way.

The right of a citizen to vote is sacrosanct and the worst thing any other person can do is negate that right. No matter what our point of view, we should be allowed to vote for whom we please.

With this in mind, I have decided that I shall cast a vote for President Obama as a proxy for some person who will be denied that right by corporate sponsored goons, religious zealots, and anti-democratic political groups.

This is my choice, and one made after much soul-searching. I do not exhort anyone else to do what I am doing, but I do ask that they consider my reasoning.

And for those people who have been quite vociferous in their opinion of people like me who had planned to abstain from voting for President Obama as a matter of ethical/moral objection, please be as strident in pressing the President back to doing what is right, not what is expedient, should he win the election.

I hope this proposal will resolve this very contentious issue between myself and some of my fellow liberals.

Most respectfully proposed,

David Allen (Not Skinner)
aka Kelvin Mace

University of Rochester professor defends Limbaugh's screed

Steven E. Landsburg, a professor of economics at Rochester University has decided that Rush Limbaugh's attack on Sandra Fluke's "position" deserved to be "ridiculed, mocked and jeered".

While more careful to differentiate between the person and the opinion, Landsburg none the less doesn't seemed to have actually read what Ms. Fluke said, any more than Rush did.

From a posting on The Big Questions blog:

But while Ms. Fluke herself deserves the same basic respect we owe to any human being, her position — which is what’s at issue here — deserves none whatseover (sic). It deserves only to be ridiculed, mocked and jeered. To treat it with respect would be a travesty. I expect there are respectable arguments for subsidizing contraception (though I am skeptical that there are arguments sufficiently respectable to win me over), but Ms. Fluke made no such argument. All she said, in effect, was that she and others want contraception and they don’t want to pay for it.


No, that is NOT what she said. What she said is that she wants contraception covered under her medical insurance policy, like the one she ALREADY PAYS FOR.

Now some might argue (like this idiot) that requiring insurance companies to cover contraceptives means that he is compelled to "subsidize" a drug whose use he and Limbaugh disapprove of. This is a completely specious argument and deliberately distorts the purpose of health insurance. To use this logic, I should be able to deny Dick Cheney any cardiac care, since my tax dollars subsidize his health insurance, since I believe he is a soulless monster who should be put down for war crimes. I certainly believe that any person who has a policy with Rush Limbaugh's health insurer would object to subsidizing his drug habit!

Whether something should, or should not be covered by health insurance is a simple financial argument which you would think an "economic professor" would understand:

1) Is the drug effective?

2) Will the use of the drug prevent more costly treatment down the road?

3) Does the drug effectively treat a condition, or prevent a condition from occurring?

The answer to all these questions is "yes". Contraceptives are effective when used as directed. Contraceptives prevent unwanted pregnancies, which cost hell of a lot more than the contraceptives themselves. A single pregnancy, with no complications costs as much as a lifetime supply of contraceptives. Contraceptives are also used to treat other disorders of the endocrine/reproductive system, and improve the quality of women's lives by allowing them to control when and if they will have children.

To his credit, Rush stepped in to provide the requisite mockery. To his far greater credit, he did so with a spot-on analogy: If I can reasonably be required to pay for someone else’s sex life (absent any argument about externalities or other market failures), then I can reasonably demand to share in the benefits. His dense and humorless critics notwithstanding, I am 99% sure that Rush doesn’t actually advocate mandatory on-line sex videos. What he advocates is logical consistency and an appreciation for ethical symmetry. So do I. Color me jealous for not having thought of this analogy myself.


Rush's analogy might have made sense if what he claimed Ms. Fluke said was in any way, shape or form true. Ms. Fluke NEVER brought her own sex life into the conversation, and she certainly never asked to be paid for sex. These were projections of Limbaugh's twisted libido and obvious familiarity with prostitutes and online porn.

Like all conservatives, Landsburg interprets people's justifiable anger at Limbaugh's (and Landsburg's) vicious character assassination as "humorless critics" who don't appreciate Limbaugh's unique brand of "humor"

There’s one place where I part company with Rush, though: He wants to brand Ms. Fluke a “slut” because, he says, she’s demanding to be paid for sex. There are two things wrong here. First, the word “slut” connotes (to me at least) precisely the sort of joyous enthusiasm that would render payment superfluous. A far better word might have been “prostitute” (or a five-letter synonym therefor), but that’s still wrong because Ms. Fluke is not in fact demanding to be paid for sex. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) She will, as I understand it, be having sex whether she gets paid or not. Her demand is to be paid. The right word for that is something much closer to “extortionist”. Or better yet, “extortionist with an overweening sense of entitlement”. Is there a single word for that?


Bzzzzz! Wrong again, "professor".

extort: to obtain from a person by force, intimidation, or undue or illegal power.

Please explain how Ms. Fluke meets the definition of an "extortionist"? How is she "forcing" anyone to her point of view? We live (supposedly) in a democratic society, and Ms. Fluke has availed herself of her right to petition her government for redress of grievances. She has no power, illegal, undue or otherwise, to compel anyone to her opinion. Perhaps Landsburg find her intimidating? If so, I think it is a reflection of his gynophobic disorder.

I think an argument could be made that LIMBAUGH is the extortionist, as he is using his "undue" power to intimidate Ms. Fluke into silence.

Landsburg manages to be clueless in three disciplines at the same time: Economics, English and law. He might want to pay close attention to that last one, especially the legal definition of what constitutes libel. I believe calling Ms. Fluke an extortionist is just as libelous as calling her a prostitute.

The UR president is NOT amused.

Let's look at someone making minimum wage

$7.25 an hour means $1,160 a month.

Knock off about 30% for taxes, FICA, etc, and we now have $812.

Rent? In 2000, the last year I can quickly find a figure for, the median U.S. apartment rent was $602.

http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/c2kbr-21.pdf

We now have $210 left.

Utilities - $150 per month, leaving $60.

Food? One McD's value meal per day, $6, x 30 days $180.

Now at -$120.

Haven't factored in for clothes, gas, insurance, car expenses/bus fare.

See a problem?

OK, let's try "per capita" income, which is 27,000K a year.

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html

We come up with a more generous $2,250 a month, $1,575 after taxes:

Rent: $602
Utilities: $150
Health Insurance: $400 ( I am basing this on what I pay)
Food: $450 ($15 a day)
Car Payment: $250
Car Insurance: $100
Gas: $180 (1 tank a week, 12 gallons at $3.75)

Oops, I am already up to $1,832 and we are back in the hole, and we haven't accounted for insurance co-pays, clothes, or any form of entertainment.

OK, restart, we get a room mate, and cut rent, utils, and car expenses in half, which means we are finally "in the black" with $1,491 against our net income of $1,575, leaving us a "cushion" of $84 a month.

That $9 birth control prescription represents over 10% of our total "discretionary" income.

And that $84 must cover doctor visits (need one to get a prescription), personal needs (tampons, toilet paper, soap, tooth paste/floss (better use it, because dental is not included in your insurance plan), clothes, and you ARE saving money for an "emergency" aren't you?

When all else fails, do the math.

New profitable business venture: Post-mortem metaphysical asset conversion

Based on the two main things I have learned from Mitt Romney as a bishop in the Mormon church and CEO of Bain Capital, I have stumbled on a sure fire, high profit business model. A paradigm shift in investment grade financial instruments which can make us all filthy rich, but will NOT damage the environment, or break any existing laws.

My plan is simple:

We sell Mormon souls to the devil.

Hey, I know what your first question is going to be, "But David, you can't sell someone else's soul to the Prince of Darkness." Silly commie liberal, you don't understand the business concept of "leverage" or other modern investment strategies like those used by Bain Capital.

You NEVER invest your OWN money in a business venture, you invest OTHER PEOPLE'S money.

In this case, why sell our own souls, when we can sell other people's souls?

My understanding is that souls are a HOT commodity and can bring in billions of dollars, fame, multiple sex partners, and immunity from the law (see the Bush family, Rush Limbaugh, Ted Nugent, Chuck Norris, Dick Cheney, Henry Kissinger, and Wall Street).

"But wait a minute," you interject. "I still don't think you can simply sell a soul you don't own to Satan." Well, for most people, you can't, but with Mormons, they have already established a precedent.

The Mormon Church mainstreamed the theological model of "converting" dead people to their religion. Since this is perfectly "legal" according to Mormon dogma, the converse (selling Mormon souls without the owner's consent), would be "legal" under the Common Law doctrine of "Sauce for the gander". I should also point out that we are not limited to the souls of LIVING Mormons, but may also exploit the untapped market for the souls of DEAD Mormons.

And you know what? Souls aren't the only way we can make money off this model. We could start a limited liability corporation in the Cayman Islands and begin dealing in "soul futures". Or we could package groups of souls into investment instruments, then sell shares to Wall Street hedge funds. We could also sell "soul default swaps" to investors to hedge against "soul default" in case some of our assets convert to a religion that doesn't permit post-mortem theological re-assignment. and to cover all our bases i.e., get paid no matter what the market does, we could then set up a investment bank in Zurich to act as a market broker for soul futures, soul default swaps, and infernal soul conversion stocks.

Wait, there's more. We can get the Vatican in on this. We let them know which souls we have monetized, then they can beef up their Exorcism Squad, and start [strike]charging[/strike] soliciting offerings from people whose souls have been converted to a metaphysical debenture. And for a modest royalty on each exorcism performed, we can tip off the Pope to the fact that they can provide this "service" to anyone, since no one will know if their soul has been sold or not (after all, that information is proprietary).

(Note to self: Patent this "technique" of pointing out the obvious. If Amazon can patent "one click check out" we can patent this.)

Once this takes off, there will be a need for a soul "rating agency" to score souls (obviously souls of politicians and Mormon Elders would not be investment grade). With this agency established, we could then offer to sell any Mormon with a credit card his "soul score" and offer services like a "soul lock", which, for a modest monthly fee, will prevent your soul from being "stolen" after your death.

So who's ready to be part of the dynamic new paradigm of synergistic soul harvesting?

Let's call the Virginia law what it is: State-mandated rape by proxy

Last night Rachel Maddow danced around explaining Virginia's proposed law requiring women wanting abortions to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound. She seemed to have problems even saying the word "vagina" and simply talked about "things inserted into your body".

Let's stop playing word games

This is legally sanctioned rape, end of discussion.

The state is compelling a doctor to perform an unnecessary medical procedure on an unwilling patient in order to get the medical treatment she needs.

The ultrasound probe is the state of Virginia's penis, and it is being used to sexually assault a woman because some sick and depraved politicians wish to demean women the do not approve of.

The woman is coerced into sitting in stirrups and submitting to a legal rape.

These very same sad, old, sexually deviant white men wish to punish any woman seeking an abortion, but you can bet your last dollar that if any of their mistresses or daughters have an "inconvenient" pregnancy, they will never be subject to this official rape. Instead, they will be given an abortion on the sly from a "helpful" doctor, or after a quick trip to Canada or England.

Let me reiterate, because I cannot stress enough the perversion being perpetrated by the Virginia government:

The Commonwealth (oh, the irony) of Virginia will force an unwilling doctor to vaginally rape with a medical instrument, a coerced and unwilling woman.

Folks, The Handmaid's Tale is now close to being a documentary, the Republic of Gilead is nigh.

The phone number for the Virginia governor's office is 804-786-2211

Cross-posted to my blog
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