Mmm. voting

I voted today.
Massachusetts uses the optical scanning voting machines for folks casting their ballots. They have the advantage of leaving an undeniable paper trail (everyone has a sheet of paper), as well as instant registration and counting (they are scanned immediately and data is collected right there and then).
Can someone tell me why these are inferior to ‘touch screen voting machines’, which have no paper trail, and audit capability is completely out of the hands of the people running the vote for the state?
Everyone at a site running the optical scan machines can pick up the votes, count them, and say “We have xxx votes recorded, if you give me af ew, I can even tell you who.” I bet one in 10,000 volunteers at sites using touch screen machines could get any form of information from the touch screen voting machines.
I just don’t get it.

http://www.overshopping.com

primark

Words fail me.

I actually saw this on a bumper sticker this afternoon. Everytime I try and figure out what is trying to be said here, I get a headache and move on to something else.

Let me see if I can summarize these things a bit. First, who the heck is the ACLU, and what do they really do? According to their “about” page:

The ACLU is our nation’s guardian of liberty. We work daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Our job is to conserve America’s original civic values – the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Okay, sounds pretty good. So, these guys are there to defend the rights of the individual vs the centralized authoritarian government by providing a check and balance against unquestioned dictates. So, I suppose in some ways an argument could be made that they are in fact the enemy of the “state”, in that they are there to counterbalance it. Note I say counterbalance, not overthrow, but I digress, which to me is an important distinction… but I digress.

Now, this particular bumper sticker replaces the ‘C’ with the symbol of the former soviet bloc, the ‘sickle and hammer’, representing, we assume here, the tenets of communism. The implication here is that the ACLU is a communist front, bent on overthrowing the US through it’s anti-authoritarian (and, by implication, it’s anti government) policies.

Okay, so lets look at what that means…

According to wikipedia, the definition of ‘communism’ is:

Communism, or communist society, is the name of the social formation that, according to Marx, would be a classless society in which all property is owned by the community as a whole, and where all people enjoy equal social and economic status.

I’m having a hard time connecting these two concepts, at least in the methodology that is implied in that bumper sticker. “Enemy of the state”, okay, someone who wants to bring down the state power. ACLU, a body that opposes centralized authoritarian rule when checks and balances aren’t in place… er, that’s a stretch, but I guess I might see that…

But… this bumper sticker is offered up as emblematic of the views presented by the ‘right wing’ crowd. The ones who detest central authority over local issues and personal details. The very private rights tha the ACLU is sworn to defend.

I’m so confused.