Monday, May 15, 2006

The Time Has Come

The time has come, Democracy said, to talk of many things:
Of Diebold, Funk, Ohio’s Ney,
Of Abramoff buying kings–
And why HAVA cannot matter–
Since the warnings that Hursti brings.

Okay, no more beating around the Bush – now Utah’s Emery County Clerk, Bruce Funk, is redeemed.

Perhaps you’ve heard of him. His March 23rd announcement that he would not use the Diebold voting machines Lt. Governor Herbert sent him caused an emergency closed-door meeting on March 27th with Diebold, the Emery County Commissioners and Counsel, and Michael Cragun, Elections official from Lt. Governor Herbert’s office – but not Funk.

When the doors were finally opened, Funk was told to use the Diebold machines. Unwilling to accept responsibility for their security, he threw it back on the Commissioners, who later insisted that was his resignation.

This all happened after the March 18 posting at of an initial independent evaluation of Diebold’s TSx by Harri Hursti, Finnish computer security expert, and Security Innovation (consultant to Symantec, McAfee and Microsoft), based on their examination of two of Funk’s 40 machines, at his request.

For that, Diebold punished Emery County with a $40,000 fine. Yet none of this was reported by Michael Cragun on April 19, before the State Government Operations Interim Committee, updating the legislature about the voting machines implementation, with Bruce Funk seated nearby.

But last week, the official report from Hursti/Security Innovation is out, again at, detailing "multiple backdoors built into the system", and Bruce is mentioned, with great respect. (Additional concerns will be addressed in a second part to the report, expected to be out by May 16.)

The weekend before, Brad Friedman of, the uniquely diligent investigative blogger, reported that early word on Hursti’s report prompted Pennsylvania voting system examiner Dr. Michael Shamos to force acknowledgement of the problems out of Diebold. Pennsylvania Secretary of State Pedro Cortez then issued a Security Alert for the Diebold machines and a lock down of the equipment before this week’s primary.

The jig is up. Diebold machines, currently creating chaos in primaries, allow voting results to be altered – easily, quickly and undetectably, without passwords.

For several years, computer scientists have warned the technology isn’t ready yet, especially because the vendors’ work harder at securing large contracts than securing election integrity.
Those large contracts have been prompted by HAVA, the Help America Vote Act. Notice it isn’t called the Help America’s Votes Get Counted Act.

In fact, Congressman Bob Ney, of recent Abramoff infamy, was a co-sponsor and author of HAVA, just when Diebold paid $275,000 to Abramoff at Greenberg & Traurig, to push for electronic voting machines in HAVA – with no verifiable paper trail. Meanwhile, Diebold donated heavily to The National Federation of the Blind, pushing accessibility before security.
Compliance with HAVA may be impossible, requiring the disabled to have "the same opportunity for access and participation (including privacy and independence) as for other voters".

Ponder this: Can a voting system that serves individuals who are blind, also serve those who are deaf, as well as those in wheelchairs, and with dexterity issues? – And without assistance with no chance of someone seeing their votes.

So, HAVA was written with absurd standards by a corrupt Congressman, under the influence of cash from a corrupt lobbyist, paid by Diebold, a company that corruptly sold uncertified software to California for the 2004 election (and settled out of court for $2.6 million), whose machines are revealed to be corruptible – with Bush’s most important election, legacy-wise, only months away.

New York State has demanded and received postponement of its HAVA compliance from the Department of Justice. Utah needs to do the same.

(Barbara Bellows-TerraNova is a working mom whose side-mission it is to know more, and then share it – So, in October 2004 she performed her One Person Patriot Act, "Know Bush: Launching Facts That Shock and Awe" in Salt Lake City. )

"Democracy requires informed voters. Ultimately, it’s rude to not talk about politics."

Initial Hursti/Security Innovation Evaluation, dated March 18, 2006:
Security Innovation clients: , page 11
News of Upcoming Hursti/Security Innovation Report, Pennsylvania, Shamos & Cortez: and,0,7235865.story?coll=all-newslocallehighton-hed
Hursti Diebold TSx Evaluation, May 11, 2006:
Abramoff/Ney/Diebold connection: and
HAVA Requirements:
New York Delaying HAVA Implementation:
Diebold settlement with California: and

P.S. So I took this article and the Hursti Report to the Utah Democratic Convention and handed out 100 copies. I encourage you to spread it around. . .

P.P.S.  Click on Title to go to PDF of article, as published by Catalyst Magazine, June, 2006.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day 2006

Today I shared with others the original

1870 "Mother's Day Proclamation" by Julia Ward Howe:

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."
From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

Put that in a Hallmark card!