TCS Daily

No More Minnesotas - Part 2

By Jon N. Hall - June 2, 2009 12:00 AM

Continued from Part 1...

Some folks think electronic voting machines are unreliable, and perhaps even rigged. They contend that the only way to verify vote counts is for these machines to produce paper trails that show how each voter voted. They want to be able to contest elections--by recount. But what they really want is to be able to conduct recount after recount after recount ad infinitum until their boy wins.

While it's not true that you need a paper trail, you do need some kind of trail. So the anti-voting machine crowd does have a legitimate point. For if all a voting machine does is keep "running totals" of the votes, it's entirely unacceptable.

Here's how to ensure the integrity of vote counts with Internet voting:

  1. Internet voting software would keep running totals for each ballot option.
  2. But running totals, as we've said, aren't enough. You need to be able to prove who won, and that takes ballots. So, the voting software would write ballots, but they'd be electronic, not paper. After the polls close, a program would count the votes on these electronic ballots and compare the results to the running totals. And if no hacking had occurred, these sums would be identical, period! (Unlike paper ballots with their dimpled, pregnant and hanging chads, electronic ballots aren't subject to interpretation. Recounting electronic records in a closed file always produces the same result. So recounts would become a thing of the past.)
  3. But ballots aren't enough, either. We need a backup of the ballots, and it should reside--on another device using a medium that cannot be overwritten, perhaps burned to DVD-R. But the backup would not only be for backup. The backup would also be used to verify individual ballots, a level of detail verification that doesn't exist today. If a program that compares the ballots with their backups showed that they were identical in all particulars, you'd pretty well know that nothing untoward, such as hacking, had happened. (If there were a discrepancy, the backup would be used to determine the winners, as it had been written to a medium that, once written to, is unalterable.)

To recap, we'd be verifying the running totals by comparing them to the votes on the electronic ballots, and we'd be verifying the individual electronic ballots by comparing them with their mirror images on the backup file. Rather than recounts triggered by close elections, we'd have computers verifying the vote counts--for each and every election. And the electorate would know the true winners immediately after the polls closed.

Further Considerations
There's another thing that's always bothered me: No one in America really knows if his votes have been counted. But an Internet system could give voters this reassurance: After the election, the ballots could be made available online to the public so they could compare them to the voting receipts they printed off (see above). If there were any discrepancies, the voter could report it to the board of elections. This feature is yet another form of verification and it should remove any remaining doubt about the trustworthiness of elections in America. (How would the voter find his ballot? The software will put a unique tag on both the ballot and his voting receipt.)

On CNN, former Clintonista James Carville hinted that if Obama were to go into Election Day with a consistent 5-point lead in the polls but lost, there could be riots. Riots become a possibility not because folks aren't getting their way, but because they suspect theft. Since government can't prove who won, this suspicion is not unreasonable.

Riots or not, any doubt whatsoever about vote counts is utterly corrosive to Democracy. But so are recounts. And don't forget how time-consuming and expensive recounts are. The Florida 2000 recount took more than 5 weeks, yet no one can demonstrate what the true vote counts were. But that recount was nothing compared to the unending drama of the 2008 recount in Minnesota that after more than 6 months is still unresolved, leaving the state with but one Senator in Congress. Internet voting would end such nonsense.

Why have cutting-edge technology if you're not going to use it?

Here's why: It's real difficult to affect vote counts if computers are doing the counting; the "hand recount" is the better way to steal elections. America's election system is that of a Third World banana republic because the powers that be want it that way.

Doubt it? Well, some folks still doubt we went to the Moon.

Jon N. Hall is a programmer/analyst from Kansas City.


Thumbs Down on Internet Voting, say computer experts
Before anyone jumps feet first into Internet voting, they probably should do little research. The Internet would make that easy.

For instance, here's a letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune regarding Internet voting:

Your editorial on Internet voting

"Let U. S. military personnel overseas vote via
the Internet." That's what you suggest in your
editorial "When ballot access goes AWOL" (August
16, 2008) as the remedy for the paltry 5.5%
turnout among U. S. voters overseas.

In 2004, the Pentagon was slated to launch just
such a system, dubbed "SERVE." But they dumped it
after the entire concept of Internet voting was
blasted by leading experts in computer security.

They wrote: "Because the danger of successful,
large-scale attacks is so great, we reluctantly
recommend shutting down the development of SERVE
immediately and not attempting anything like it in
the future until both the Internet and the world's
home computer infrastructure have been
fundamentally redesigned, or some other unforeseen
security breakthroughs appear.... There really is
no good way to build such a voting system without
a radical change in overall architecture of the
Internet and the PC, or some unforeseen security
breakthrough." [A Security Analysis of the Secure
Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment
(SERVE), ]

Included in their report is the caution that some
varieties of attack "would be extremely difficult
to detect, even in cases when they change the
outcome of a major election."

None of the experts' prerequisites for secure
Internet voting have yet occurred. Instead,
additional security holes continue to be
discovered. Just two months ago, a major Internet
flaw was discovered that would allow hackers to
invisibly redirect Internet browsers to infected
websites. (See, for instance, this Information Week article:\D=208808229
Or google "DNS poisoning.") Such a site could
"filter" or alter votes before passing them on to
the authentic website.

Internet voting is one of those bright new ideas
that, unfortunately, turn out to be fatally

Roy Lipscomb, Vice Chair
Illinois Ballot Integrity Project

My letter above refers to a 2004 report by computer security experts. Has the Internet become more secure since then? For the answer, see this report, published five weeks ago in the New York Times:

U.S. Steps Up Effort on Digital Defenses

Some excerpts:

"Thousands of daily attacks on federal and private computer systems in the United States -- many from China and Russia, some malicious and some testing chinks in the patchwork of American firewalls -- have prompted the Obama administration to review American strategy."

"Or American intelligence agencies could activate malicious code that is secretly embedded on computer chips when they are manufactured, enabling the United States to take command of an enemy's computers by remote control over the Internet. That, of course, is exactly the kind of attack officials fear could be launched on American targets, often through Chinese-made chips or computer servers."

"'We have seen Chinese network operations inside certain of our electricity grids,' said Joel F. Brenner, who oversees counterintelligence operations for Dennis Blair, Mr. McConnell's successor as national intelligence director, speaking at the University of Texas at Austin this month. 'Do I worry about those grids, and about air traffic control systems, water supply systems, and so on? You bet I do.'"

'Just before Mr. Obama was elected, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a policy research group in Washington, warned in a report that "America's failure to protect cyberspace is one of the most urgent national security problems facing the new administration."'

"What alarmed the panel was not the capabilities of individual hackers but of nations -- China and Russia among them -- that experts believe are putting huge resources into the development of cyberweapons. A research company called Team Cymru recently examined 'scans' that came across the Internet seeking ways to get inside industrial control systems, and discovered more than 90 percent of them came from computers in China."

"Air Force officials confirm that a large network of computers at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama was temporarily taken off-line within the past eight months when it was put at risk of widespread infection from computer viruses."

"During the cold war, if a strategic missile had been fired at the United States, screens deep in a mountain in Colorado would have lighted up and American commanders would have some time to decide whether to launch a counterattack. Today, when Pentagon computers are subjected to a barrage, the origin is often a mystery. Absent certainty about the source, it is almost impossible to mount a counterattack."

No More Minnesotas - Part 2
Please explain how an Internet voting system would determine that the person who is voting is actually the person they purport to be and is voting freely (no intimidation).

I do not think that this critical election system requirement was addressed in the 2 part submissin.


Let me get this straight
Do you mean to tell us that the Governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, is a Republican.. and that his appointed Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie, is also a Republican.. and that the Minnesota Dept. of State oversees their elections.. and that the Democrats have still somehow managed to corrupt the results and recount through voter fraud and chicanery?


Oh, I know. You don't have to produce any evidence. You can just put it out there, as self evident.

Oh, BTW.. it's simplicity itself to program a computer to accept a vote for Franken, record a vote for Coleman and print out a receipt for Franken. Or for Donald Duck. Everyone knows this, yet is trying to come up with great arguments as to why the switch from a transparent process to an opaque one should be made.

Optical scan is a pretty good technology. And if a recount is ever required, you have the original ballots that the voters inked in by hand to work from.

I get sick and tired of people trying to corrupt the republic, then pointing a finger and accusing their opponents loudly.

That's easy
You ask "Please explain how an Internet voting system would determine that the person who is voting is actually the person they purport to be and is voting freely (no intimidation)."

Simple. Just do it the way they do it on those televised singing contests. As we know, no one ever votes more than once for their favorite. And they all have to click on an affidavit that says they are over 18.

The beauty of it is, it will save the states money. There's no need to have any election officials on the payroll.

If you knew half of what you believed you knew, you would know the answer.
That's because vote counting is done on a county by county basis. The same as it is in every other state in the country.

The state level officials have little to no role in the process other than certifying the results.

Improving the ballot
Neither party in Minnesota has a lock on the ballot process. Both agree that the absentee voter system, increasingly popular with voters, needs repair. And they are working together to fix it.

Generally, the Republicans are trying to limit the number of people who can use it, while the Democrats want to franchise as many people as possible. Same old story. But no one owns the Minnesota ballot.

One principle I hope they end up agreeing on. When a candidate loses a close one, and demands a recount (like Norm Coleman), he'll be hoping his state hasn't been using electronic machines. Because then, there'll be nothing to count. The electrons will have already returned to their original positions.

If they use optical scan, there'll be boxes and boxes of the original ballots, to be examined patiently by hand, until a result is commonly agreed on.

boy oh boy, roy loves to trot out his fantasies
Generally, the Republicans are trying to limit the number of people who can use it, while the Democrats want to franchise as many people as possible.


Let's see. Republicans want to limit the right to vote to only those people who are entitled to vote.

Democrats disagree with this process.

As usual, roy wants to be sure that even the dead continue to vote Democratic.

Do it like the unions want.
Everyone must sign their ballot and affix their fingerprint or provide a dna sample to prove you voted and to tell the world who you voted for.

Stand up and be proud of your vote.

Also, voting must be mandatory.

Eliminate voting altogether.
The folks in Athens had a good idea, a lottery.

All public officers should be selected by lottery for one fixed term.

I have never trusted anyone who wants to be in political power and I don't understand why anyone would trust them.

Tell us what purpose would be served by making every citizen vote. Half of them don't have a clue, or an interest. They're what we call the "low information" crowd. Their vote would just blur the results of the informed vote. It would make elections more like flipping a coin.

As for the process of voter verification, my county does a good, easy job that requires no photo ID.. or even presentation of a voting card, which everyone has been issued and could easily bring to the polling station if required.

What they have on file is a bar code sticker for each voter. They ask your name and fix your sticker onto the ballot.

If there's no sticker for the name you give, you don't vote. And if someone else uses your name, you enter a complaint then and there. So the fraudulent ballot is voided and you get another one.

It's simplicity itself. And it works. NC has a negligible rate of voter fraud, and has been using this simple system for many years. If they ever found a need for an upgrade, they'd just ask the voters to bring their registration card to the polls.

In Georgia the reason the legislature wanted the photo ID law was to exclude the rural poor vote. Out in the sticks there would be fewer authorized ID offices than there are counties. So people would have to hitch a ride with someone to take a trip that was often over thirty miles, each way.

That, for rural po' folks, has an exclusionary effect.. which the Republicans certainly appreciated. Also, there would be a significant fee.

This country has already had the debate over poll taxes. Photo ID is just another disguise for a poll tax. It's unnecessary.

If photo ID is good enough for Mexicans to vote, why not the USA?

So what is the average IQ in the country?
Most people are not smart enough to vote, much less hold political office.

Open source the voting software.
If you source code for voting online is made public there would not be any way to commit whole sale fraud.

The problems of voting on line are fixable. It just takes the will to do it.

you are just spiiling rehotoric.
An other way to but it, You are selling a bunch of bullshit. Please read "On Bullshit" by Frankfurt.

Both Democrats and Republics want one person one vote. This IS what they REALLY believe.

You can make the argument that the method one side or the other proposes has the EFFECT of creating invalid election voting.

When you state fanatically the Democrats actually want to commit voting fraud you turn me off and any one else off of your comments. You have no skill in changing peoples mind or making a valid arguments.

Please refine from any further responces untill you can make a real argument.

Unnecessary extra steps
"If you source code for voting online is made public there would not be any way to commit whole sale fraud."

Not the way I see it. With open source, anyone could hack the system. With proprietary software, only the manufacturer can hack it.

Besides, why the extra layers of expense and complexity? No one has ever alleged that optical scan systems have any innate problems. They just require that the scanner eyes be kept dust free, otherwise there is an error rate.

That's an easy fix. Plus, if there's a razor thin margin and the ostensible loser contests the count, you can perform a hand recount. With electronic voting, you can't.

I like a paper ballot marked by hand. Something that can be stored in a box for later examination. There are fewer ways to mess it up. Software experts have made mincemeat of every argument asserting that electronic voting can ever be made either secure or transparent.

One hundred?
It used to be that the average IQ was 100.. by definition. That was the line they calibrated from.. at which 50% of the population was dumber and 50% smarter. But I think that's changed. Over the decades there has been a creep upward in measured IQs.

However your point remains. People in general are either not bright enough to figure out the real issues confronting us politically, or they just don't have the time to plumb the depths. We live in a world that's both complex and deceptive. And most adults only have about forty minutes left in their week when they aren't either working, sleeping, doing chores or dealing with the kids.

Those forty minutes are devoted to sports.

"..much less hold political office."

Politicians, on the other hand, ARE smart enough to hold office. A professional politician knows he must spend about 70% of his time lining up financial backing. Because without it, he doesn't stand a chance of winning an election on reasoned argument alone. He needs the cash to survive.

Another 20% of his time is spent figuring out how he can best position himself with his demographic base. So he does do a lot of work on the wording of speeches and press releases.

The remaining ten percent he spends schmoozing in the hallway, with the other MOCs, to see what kind of strategies are being laid. These percentages have been given by retired pols who've written books about their experiences.

Policy? All the detail work he subs out to his aides. They advise him how he should probably vote on a given issue.

These elected officials are highly paid, highly motivated professionals with a lot at stake. So yes, they're pretty smart. They just don't have your best interest at heart, or mine. They mostly work for themselves.

Most are more intelligent than our VP Biden.
And there are quite a few dolts in Congress and legislatures across the land.

Most people have more common sense than nearly every elected official now.

Ah, the standard response, I don't believe it, I don't want to believe it, therefore you are lying
BTW, it really would help if you managed to translate your blatherings into something resembling english next time.

That is how juries are selected.
Most attorneys want the most ignorant people they can find.

Refining the quality of the discourse
I think what WTS is calling attention to is that the forum works a lot better when participants use evidence-based arguments to reach logical conclusions.. and doesn't just use it to hurl insults and try to demean anyone they disagree with.

Here's a good example right here:

"BTW, it really would help if you managed to translate your blatherings into something resembling english next time."

That was just a gratuitous insult. He made one typo, saying "refine" when he obviously meant "refrain". Was your taunt designed to make him come around and agree more with your point? If so, I don't think it's having the intended effect.

Here's an idea. The discussion has to do with whether online voting has features that make it superior to other methods in use. Why not research the issue and come up with something new and intelligent, that someone else hasn't already said?

And for extra credit, how about giving us a citation, so we can see that your comment's not just a work of the imagination?

Try it. We'll like it.

Thank You
Well said.

More rheotoric
Once again you flame rather then comment.

Please respond to the actual content of my response.

If you want to flame some on then email me at:
TheBigR314 at

Please don't fill up the forum with you wasteful responses.

open source
Is less expensive not more. In fact it is free. No one can hack a ROM server logic from an external client. The certification of server software could be made available to all.

It only takes the will to do it. Not fear to stop it.

What's the advantage?
Oh, I agree on open source. Greater transparency's almost always the better way to go. And I wasn't contesting that it might be less expansive. Here's what I said:

"With open source, anyone could hack the system. With proprietary software, only the manufacturer can hack it.

"Besides, why the extra layers of expense and complexity? No one has ever alleged that optical scan systems have any innate problems. They just require that the scanner eyes be kept dust free, otherwise there is an error rate." [an error.. I meant to say a negligible error rate]

My point was that with a paper ballot, you had the ballot with your own barcode ID on it, as well as the marks you yourself made on the page. That's good verification.

With software, all you end up with is electronic blips, that could mean anything. It's quite possible, if a program is crafted to do so, that you get a paper receipt saying you voted one way and a tally adding one vote the other way. Then it gets programmed to erase itself when the machine is turned off. No amount of scrutiny will tell if the result was really accurate. Only finding eveyr voter who used that machine and cabvassing them in person will tell you anything.

That's a whole lot of trouble and expense. Paper? Nothing to it. All you have is storage costs for the bulky files.

I'm no programmer. But I've read analyses of electronic machines that offer a dozen invisible ways to hack and subvert a program.

If we really REALLY needed an alternative, we might consider it. But who needs it? Paper voting is cheap, verifiable and very nearly foolproof. As I say, the only error rate they find is through dirty scanners.. and that has an easy fix (wipe the eye before use). And paper can be verified a day or a year later. Electrons are instantly gone forever.

Has anyone ever sent out an email using your address? I get them, ostensibly sent by me, to me, from Romania. How could that ever happen? It could be a worm with a broom and dustpan, cleaning up his slime trail behind him.

Where is your evidence that high taxes and more government creates wealth?
I, and others, have been presenting evidence for years that low taxes and limited government creates wealth and prosperity while you and your socialist fellow travelers provide no evidence that higher taxes and an intrusive government creates wealth and prosperity.

(Rhetorical) Question; do you follow your own advice (to NOT hurl insults and demean dis-agreers)?

Opinion is not evidence
"I, and others, have been presenting evidence for years that low taxes and limited government creates wealth and prosperity while you and your socialist fellow travelers.."

What you've been presenting is opinion. There can have been no actual evidence presented.. because since the era of Ron Reagan, we've been embarked on an adventure of constantly growing federal government.

And the evidence of the efficacy of low taxes and huge government, in this period, is that it periodically bubbles up the illusion of vast wealth, then the bubble pops. And then there's no more wealth.

So this is a model on which we both should agree: it doesn't work. Just when you think the wealth is real, and here to stay, it pops.

At any rate, there's a critical dimension missing in your analysis. It's not just whether the total pie is growing, it's how accessible to all members of society the growth really is. And on that, copious evidence is available.

Back in the 1950s we had high taxes and small government. We were able to pay down a huge debt resulting from our war spending.. and on top of that we were able to create a very real, broadly based wealth.

The middle class was buoyed up, people drove around in their own cars and owned their own homes, and few relied on debt to pay the bills. Wealth disparities were minimal.

Since then, all that has changed. Government has grown larger and not been able to pay its own bills. Jobs have fled overseas while we've turned from being a creditor nation to a debtor nation. And wealth disparities have steadily increased.

Has anything good happened? Well, we pay fewer taxes. But as a direct consequence, everything else in the country has gone to pot.

"..provide no evidence that higher taxes and an intrusive government creates wealth and prosperity."

There is substantial evidence which you ignore.
You and the other socialist, big government supporters.

If you look at the index of economic freedom, Hong Kong is tops because of their low taxes and limited government.
Ireland cut taxes and prospered for a time. Every jurisdiction that cuts taxes and reduces the size and power of government prospers.
NV has low taxes and CA citizens flee to NV. Bloomberg admits he dare not raise taxes much more or risk losing the few thousand super rich that pay all the taxes.

What you forget about the 50s is the USA was the only functioning economy in the world. All others were rebuilding after being destroyed in the war.

You clamored for documentation, where is yours?

“when participants use evidence-based arguments to reach logical conclusions”; what evidence leads t
the (logical?) conclusion that people have obligations to provide for one another’s retirement life – among other things - Roy?

But that’s EXACTLY what the current SS System you support is all about.

"If you look at the index of economic freedom, Hong Kong is tops because of their low taxes and limited government."

Hong Kong's not exactly the paradise you picture, according to those who've looked closely at the dynamics making it run. Here:

"The growth of Hong Kong’s economy since the early 1990s has been dominated by the
finance and real estate sectors, with the profits of oligopolistic real estate developers rising
exponentially. The linked exchange rate system and the government’s tax policy greatly
favoured capital gains. The resulting low interest rates encouraged speculation in the real
estate and stock markets. This, in turn, accelerated the relentless formation of a bubble
economy, which eventually burst during the Asian crisis.
After nearly two years of widespread recession with profound effects on the labour market,
there were signs of economic recovery in the latter part of 1999. This was followed by doubledigit
growth (10.5%) in 2000—although the 1999 base of comparison was low. At first, growth
was led by a rebound in merchandise re-exports to major markets, including mainland China
and the United States. Then rising employment, price discounts at retail outlets, and
buoyancy in the local stock market in the early part of the year improved private expenditure
in the domestic market for consumer goods and services. This revived domestic demand also
depended on growth in investment spending as corporate profits improved because of an
upsurge in machinery acquisition and inventories.,
Nevertheless, the structural problem of Hong Kong’s economy is the rapid deterioration of its
real productive base—a result of high rental prices and lack of investment in research and
development. The prospects for continued growth are not very positive (see Table 1)." etcetera

"Ireland cut taxes and prospered for a time. Every jurisdiction that cuts taxes and reduces the size and power of government prospers."

Ireland's the perfect example. Along with Poland, Hungary, Iceland and lots of other hopeful emerging economies they all followed your recipe for success to a T. And now look where they are. Unemployment is intractable and the credit markets are frozen into the foreseeable future. It's been a disaster!

"NV has low taxes and CA citizens flee to NV."

Nevada's unemployment rate reached 10.6% this April, and is still climbing! Everybody's getting laid off and the unemployment insurance tills are drying up. Why? Not enough tax base.

California would never have gone bankrupt had their hands not been tied by Prop 17. Oh, and getting ripped off by Enron following an unwise experiment in deregulation.

"What you forget about the 50s is the USA was the only functioning economy in the world. All others were rebuilding after being destroyed in the war."

We're in exactly the same position today we were in 1946. Instead of the USA standing alone in a world devastated by war, it's the developed nations standing alone in a world devastated by neoliberal policies that haven't helped anyone in the third world actually emerge.

We could turn it around in much the same way.. if we had the will to do so. By priming the pump, and returning some capital back to the countries whose wealth we have extracted over the years.

BTW.. explain China. Big government, everything directed by the central committee, and the most remarkable story of success since.. well, since 1946.

Maybe you should reexamine China
They have their share of issues to deal with.

However, China is where the USA was in the 40s. They have a vast interior to develop, poor farmers, etc.

This is called supply side where China needs to create the supply of energy, roads and transportation to spur further economic growth.

Since 1946, > 40 Million were killed by Chinese Government Roy. Forgot Mao's Cultural Revolution?

The Chinese model of success
"They have their share of issues to deal with."

To be sure, they have. Back in the 1970s they had the chaos and exhaustion following the Cultural Revolution, and no prospects for providing any kind of living for their 1,200,000,000 people.

And look what they've done with that. China's a miracle, and a well planned one. For our purposes here, of course, she's an example of a formula that has provided incredible, durable and sustainable growth in the context of a strong, autocratic state.

That, you can't deny.

"This is called supply side where China needs to create the supply of energy, roads and transportation to spur further economic growth."

China has been earning huge piles of profit. So their consumer economy is in the fortunate position of enjoying vigorous demand-driven expansion. And with sufficient income (and a bit of planning) all those things you mention are possible.

But Roy won’t make any VALUE judgment on the "chaos & exhaustion following the Cultural Revolution"

Roy is OK with Governments killing40 million, as long as they "bring" 1200 Million "out of poverty"

They copied the success of Hong Kong: Apply free market capitalism.
It even works when communists try it.

"big government spending programs are turning out to have the opposite effect"
"That's the Catch-22 threatening to make an awful housing market potentially worse and keep the economy stuck in a funk. Kick-starting the economy requires higher spending, but rising rates mean fewer Americans will be able to refinance their home loans. And some potential buyers will be shut out of the market by higher monthly payments they won't be able to afford.

To understand how this is all connected, you have to think like a bond trader. Inflation is their enemy because it means the purchasing power of the dollars they receive when bonds eventually are paid off will be diminished. The only question is by how much."

"Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged Wednesday in congressional testimony that large budget deficits could threaten financial stability by eventually eroding investor confidence and endangering the economy's prospects for long-term health."

What a surprise!

"Think twice about 'green' transport, say scientists"
" Environmental engineers Mikhail Chester and Arpad Horvath at the University of California at Davis say that when these costs are included, a more complex and challenging picture emerges.

In some circumstances, for instance, it could be more eco-friendly to drive into a city -- even in an SUV, the bete noire of green groups -- rather than take a suburban train. It depends on seat occupancy and the underlying carbon cost of the mode of transport.

"We are encouraging people to look at not the average ranking of modes, because there is a different basket of configurations that determine the outcome," Chester told AFP in a phone interview.

"There's no overall solution that's the same all the time." "

What is an environmental wacko to do with such evidence?

Scientists think twice about everything
For that matter, so do environmentalists. People working with these issues understand about complexity and unintended consequences.

Who were the first people to find serious problems with corn-based ethanol as a substitute fuel? Wasn't it scientists and environmentalists?

It would be hard for you to give an accurate assessment of whether these people qualify as "wackos" when you never read them. All you do is read ABOUT them, from people who want to influence your thinking against them.

If they think twice, why do they want to destroy the economy?
" People working with these issues understand about complexity and unintended consequences."

This is false as they, like you, believe they can change the climate when the uncertainty in their climate models are so large the models have yet to predict the future.

little roy likes to defend those who agree with him
He made a lot more than one little typo.

The basic grammar of his entire piece was so juvenile that it made it nearly impossible to determine what the heck his point was.

As to giving citations. I've given you hundreds upon hundreds of them. Yet you pretend to see that you have never seen any of them.

in roy's world, any evidence that he doesn't agree with, is just opinion
Sorry roy, but there have been studies, by the hundred, and many here have provided links to them, to prove this point.

To bad that your ideology is so thick that it won't let reality peer in.

There is a solid inverse relationship between the size of govt and growth rates.
This has been documented over and over and over again. But you will never find roy admitting to any fact that flies in the face of his ideology.

Until China started adopting elements of capitalism, their people were starving.
The same goes for India.

In many ways, China is becoming more capitalistic than the US.

China's miracle is based on the adoption of capitalism, and the abandoning of state planning.
But you will never admit that.

roy has never had any problem with other people suffering.
As long as his goals are advanced.

Have you seen the chart of actual vs. projected un-imployment put out by the Obama administration?
They had one line, which they labeled do nothing.
It had unemployment peaking at 8.8%, later this year.

They had another line, which they claimed their "stimulus" package would guarentee.
It had unemployment peaking at about 6%, mid year.

Both lines had unemployment returning to the 4.5% range by the end of 2010.

The latest unemployment number was 9.4%, and it is still climbing fast. In other words, we would have been better off doing nothing.

That would be a first amongst environmentalists
Environmentalists weren't the first to discover problems with ethanol. It was economists. They were pointing out these problems back before the programs were even introduced.

Your guys, are still pushing ethanol, despite it's having been proven to be worse than useless.

because their stated goal, is not their real goal.
It's not a coincidence that most of the major players in the environmental movement come from the far left.

I did respond to your comments, in the spirit that you offered.
I'm sorry if you don't like it when your mental shortcomings are exposed for the whole world to see.

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