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Ethel the Blog
Observations (and occasional brash opining) on science, computers, books, music and other shiny things that catch my mind's eye. There's a home page with ostensibly more permanent stuff. This is intended to be more functional than decorative. I neither intend nor want to surf on the bleeding edge, keep it real, redefine journalism or attract nyphomaniacal groupies (well, maybe a wee bit of the latter). The occasional cheap laugh, raised eyebrow or provocation of interest are all I'll plead guilty to in the matter of intent. Bene qui latuit bene vixit.

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Tuesday, January 04, 2005

FACTS ABOUT VOTING
Via
No Capital we discover Angry Girl's 20 Amazing Facts About Voting in the USA.
  1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.

    http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diebold

  2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.

    http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0916-04.htm
    http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html

  3. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.

    http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/private_company.html
    http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html

  4. The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/07/28/sunday/main632436.shtml
    http://www.wishtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=1647886

  5. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines.

    http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/2004/03/03_200.html
    http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/031004Fitrakis/031004fitrakis.html

  6. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.

    http://www.blackboxvoting.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=26
    http://www.hillnews.com/news/012903/hagel.aspx
    http://www.onlisareinsradar.com/archives/000896.php

  7. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's vice-presidential candidates.

    http://www.businessweek.com/2000/00_28/b3689130.htm
    http://theindependent.com/stories/052700/new_hagel27.html

  8. ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes.

    http://www.essvote.com/HTML/about/about.html
    http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/042804landes.html

  9. Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.

    http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0225-05.htm
    http://www.itworld.com/Tech/2987/041020evotestates/pfindex.html

  10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.

    http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0225-05.htm
    http://www.diebold.com/solutions/default.htm

  11. Diebold is based in Ohio.

    http://www.diebold.com/aboutus/ataglance/default.htm

  12. Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as consultants and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states.

    http://www.wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,61640,00.html
    http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/10/301469.shtml

  13. Jeff Dean was Senior Vice-President of General Election Systems when it was bought by Diebold. Even though he had been convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree, Jeff Dean was retained as a consultant by Diebold and was largely responsible for programming the optical scanning software now used in most of the United States.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0312/S00191.htm
    http://www.chuckherrin.com/HackthevoteFAQ.htm#how
    http://www.blackboxvoting.org/bbv_chapter-8.pdf

  14. Diebold consultant Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years.

    http://www.chuckherrin.com/HackthevoteFAQ.htm#how
    http://www.blackboxvoting.org/bbv_chapter-8.pdf

  15. None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio.

    http://www.globalexchange.org/update/press/2638.html
    http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/10/26/loc_elexoh.html

  16. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it! (See the movie here .)

    http://wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,63298,00.html
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4874190

  17. 30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/07/28/sunday/main632436.shtml

  18. All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.

    http://www.wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,65757,00.html
    http://www.yuricareport.com/ElectionAftermath04/ThreeResearchStudiesBushIsOut.htm
    http://www.rise4news.net/extravotes.html
    http://www.ilcaonline.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=950
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0411/S00227.htm

  19. The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President's brother.

    http://www.tallahassee.com/mld/tallahassee/news/local/7628725.htm
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A10544-2004Oct29.html

  20. Serious voting anomalies in Florida -- again always favoring Bush -- have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation.

    http://www.yuricareport.com/ElectionAftermath04/ThreeResearchStudiesBushIsOut.htm
    http://www.computerworld.com/governmenttopics/government/policy/story/0,10801,97614,00.html
    http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/tens_of_thousands.html
    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/1106-30.htm
    http://www.consortiumnews.com/2004/110904.html
    http://uscountvotes.org/


posted by Steven Baum 1/4/2005 09:25:19 AM | link

Monday, January 03, 2005

INSIDERS SELLING
So
what are the insiders doing in the stock market these days? To put it bluntly, the same insiders who want you to buy their stock are selling their stock at levels last observed when the Internet bubble burst in 2000.
Executives at United States companies sold stock last year at levels not seen since the bursting of the Internet bubble in 2000.

Executive stock sales known as insider sales rose 20 percent in 2004 through Dec. 24, while purchases by insiders grew 13 percent to $2.11 billion, according to Washington Service, a company that tracks such transactions.

Overall, insider sales amounted to $51.3 billion last year, according to the report. It was the higest level since 2000, when executives sold $80.1 billion of stock.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates topped the list, selling 81.8 million Microsoft shares for $2.21 billion, Bloomberg News reported.

"CEOs are not enthusiastic about company shares," Michael Painchaud, director of research for Market Profile Theorems, a company that researches insider sales for institutional investors, told Bloomberg. "The attitude of insiders can give clues as to the shape of the year ahead. The clues don't look good for equities in 2005."

As stock prices soared in the fourth quarter, insider sales picked up. November sales by insiders, for example, were the highest since August 2000.

In November, executives sold $46 worth of stock for every $1 purchased, Bloomberg reported, citing Thomson Financial.

A rise in insider sales are generally considered bearish for the markets, and earnings for companies in the Standard & Poors are expected to rise 10.5 percent in 2005, compared to a 19 percent rise last year, according to Thomson Financial. A group of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect the S&P 500 to rise on average 2.5 percent in 2005.

In addition to Gates, two other big-time sellers were Dell head Michael Dell and Oracle chief Larry Ellison.

Dell, whose company's stock rose 24 percent in 2004, sold 32 million shares for $1.18 billion, according to the report.

Ellison, meanwhile, sold 87 million shares for $1.03 billion. Dell rose about 5 percent last year.

"Stock ownership is the most clear indication of the CEO's investment judgement on his firm," Charles Stutenroth, a money manager at Fort Washington Investment Advisors, told Bloomberg. "Insider purchases are a strong signal of the investment potential for a company."

Are we seeing another pump and dump operation?
In 2000 and 2002, as the US financial markets tanked, investors lost trillions of dollars in equity as stock prices plunged and investment portfolios - many connected to pension funds - lost trillions of dollars in value. What was documented in both cases was that senior executives at many of the twenty or more companies involved (WorldCom, Enron, Adelphia, Merck, Global Crossing, to name a few) had engaged in a tactic called "pump and dump" just before the stock prices collapsed. Stock prices are pumped up by the executives and key insiders who then sell at the peak before everyone else gets reamed.

In a pump and dump operation, those who can influence stock prices issue glowing reports which cause investors to put their hard-earned dollars into a stock right before it collapses. This is a wealth transfer from poor or middle class folks to the absurdly wealthy. Immediately prior to the stock's collapse, the guys on top cash out and then the price plummets. The bad guys have the cash and the little investors and pension funds have nearly worthless or severely devalued paper.
...


posted by Steven Baum 1/3/2005 02:46:30 PM | link


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