How E-mail Works – THE IRS IS LYING

photo credit (AP/Carolyn Kaster)

photo credit (AP/Carolyn Kaster)

Many of you already know the nuts-and-bolts of how e-mail works so you understand that Lois Lerner, the IRS, and the Obama Administration are caught in yet another bald-faced lie when they say her e-mail files are missing.  If you are in this category, you may skip this article and move on to something productive.

I did not intend to write about the IRS scandal because I thought the “big lie” is just so obvious that everybody will see right through it and justice will prevail.  But the controversy goes on.  The corruptocrats are betting they can get away with their contempt of congress, the law, and the taxpayers because there are still enough people who (a) don’t care and (b) don’t understand.  I can’t do much about (a), but I can help with (b).

Let me explain in layman’s terms why it is impossible for Lerner’s IRS e-mails to be lost forever.

Let’s say Yahoo is your mail service provider.  When you write an e-mail and press the “send” key, the e-mail file goes through the internet to Yahoo’s mail server (a large computer system specifically designated for handling e-mails).  A copy of this file is then routed through other internet computers to the recipient you specified.  The file remains on Yahoo’s mail server disk drive, and is also copied to other Yahoo drives for backup protection, permanent storage, and to free up space on the main mail server.  Yahoo keeps many copies of every e-mail you send, and they are retained forever.

Conversely, when someone sends an e-mail to your “@yahoo.com” address, Yahoo’s mail server forwards a copy of the e-mail file to your computer, and saves the file on several of its own disk drives.

You might be thinking “Yeah, but what if I delete the e-mail?”  Well, it won’t show up in your list of e-mails any more, but trust me – it’s still there on Yahoo’s drives.  There is considerable controversy right now over who owns these e-mail files, whether they can be processed and the information from them sold, and whether the government should be allowed access to them.  Do not assume that the content of your e-mails will not be seen by other eyes, or that when you delete an e-mail, it is gone forever.  The big e-mail providers will never destroy any data that has profit potential, and that includes your e-mails.

The process is the same for government computers.   Just change the “@yahoo.com” to “@irs.gov”.  The federal government’s mail servers have multiple backup copies of every e-mail received or sent by everybody who works there.  And outside mail providers have copies of the same e-mail files that they processed on the way to and from their mail clients.

One IRS spokesman said that e-mails are only stored on the federal government’s mail servers for six months and are then deleted.  This contradicts the government’s own policy, which states that the retention requirement for most e-mail records is permanent. Further, it instructs employees:

Once you determine that an e-mail message is an official record, you should ensure that it is kept in an approved file system that satisfies the requirements for recordkeeping set out in points 1 to 5 above. You may, of course, retain your personal copy in your personal e-mail, but you must ensure that the record is placed in an approved file system.

The government contracts with a private data security firm to provide and manage the file backup system.  The defense that Lois Lerner lost her e-mail to a “hard drive crash” on her personal computer ten days after her department was implicated in the scandal, is moot.  And how can we be expected to believe that e-mails from six other key IRS employees were lost at about the same time?  How many times does lightning strike the same spot?

Where is the DOJ?  Where is the FBI?  Where are the terminations, if not criminal prosecutions? This is an outright, in-your-face assault on the taxpaying citizens of the US.  We can’t allow government employees, and the elected officials who direct them, to break the law and cover their tracks without repercussions.  When will we say enough is enough?

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Lerner is not the first person to have problems with the mail . . .

Return to sender, address unknown.
No such number, no such zone.
We had a quarrel, a lover’s spat
I write I’m sorry but my letter keeps coming back!

Elvis Presley – Return to Sender

 

The Biggest Democrat Lie EVER!

For years now Democrat leaders have fought efforts to beef up voter ID laws tooth and nail.  Last week President Obama stepped up to the podium and with a straight face declared:

obama at NAN“The stark, simple truth is this: The right to vote is threatened today in a way that it has not been since the Voting Rights Act became law nearly five decades ago,” Obama told a meeting of the National Action Network, a group founded by civil rights leader and MSNBC television anchor Reverend Al Sharpton.

“Across the country, Republicans have led efforts to pass laws making it harder, not easier, for people to vote,” he said.

Translation:  “If you think voters should be expected to identify themselves at the polling place, you are a RACIST.”

That’s not the “stark, simple truth.”  It’s the biggest lie ever.  A naked, ugly, partisan lie.  Requiring voters to prove they are who they say they are has nothing whatsoever to do with racism.  It is merely a simple and effective tool used all over the world to ensure the integrity of elections.

Democrat leaders continue to play that tired, old race card against Republicans – the only strategy they have left in the face of 78% public approval for voter ID laws.  And the Lame Stream Media shamelessly continues to support the big lie.

It’s such an obvious lie that it frightens me to think that the Democrats even dare to say it.  Minorities (legal American citizens of color) are no less capable of showing their identification than anyone else.  And they should be furious at the President, the Democrat leadership, and the media for calling them that stupid and helpless.

Everybody knows there can only be one reason for anybody to disapprove of validating each voter: the desire to cheat.

There is no evidence that anybody would be prevented from legitimately voting because they do not have identification.  I challenge the media and the Democrats to come up with 100 eligible voters – legal citizens of the United States – who have no form of identification or no means to get one.  Show them!  Put them in front of the TV cameras!  I challenge you!

They do not exist.  If there actually were Americans who are so disengaged from ordinary daily life that they have no identification, the Democrats would be falling all over themselves to get them enrolled in social programs.  For which they would need identification, of course.

So there is the lie.  And now here is the truth.  Only one person could be opposed to a common-sense law:  the person who wants to break that law.  Banks have security systems to prevent theft.  Only bank robbers would be in favor of eliminating that security.

The Democrat leaders have perfected many methods of voter fraud in recent years.  Last week DEMOCRAT spokesperson Al Sharpton, at a rally for “voters rights”, hugged DEMOCRAT Melowese Richardson, a poll worker who admitted  – and was convicted for – voting for DEMOCRAT Barack Obama five times in the 2012 election.  It is but one small example of a huge and accelerating problem.

Thank God only 22% of Americans are that crooked.  That would indicate at least half of all Democrats support voter ID.  The other Democrats persist with the biggest lie EVER.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Lie to me
It doesn’t matter anymore
It could never be
The way it was before

 Lie to Me – Jonny Lang

I Marked Dozens of Ballots

On election night, I worked at the vote tabulator machine in our county courthouse for ten hours.  The machine was a total disaster.

I was supposed to be an election “watcher”, keeping an eye on how things were working as part of our voter integrity project.  But our county’s ES&S 650 tabulator machine was so dysfunctional that I, and two other election “judges” (one Democrat, one Republican), ended up manhandling the machine and the ballots until 2 am just to get the vote count for our county done.

Our tabulator machine jammed and rejected ballots continually.  Our election official had to mark hundreds of ballots with a sharpie just to get the machine to recognize them as ballots.  For a while we had bipartisan remediation teams who negotiated and fixed ballots that were poorly marked or had overvotes.  When they left, we had to fix them at the machine on the fly.  I personally marked dozens of ballots to make them acceptable to our tabulating machine – darkening circles, fixing cross-outs, whiting-out overvotes, etc.

Phones were ringing – our secretary of state and news media wanted final counts.  Pressure mounted.  Ballots flew all over.  Scans and re-scans and more re-scans.  By the time we finished at 2 am, we were exhausted.

We unpaid volunteers worked our butts off, and without us the count would never have been completed.  Did I see any corruption?  Absolutely not.  Was there opportunity for corruption?  Hell yes!  Do I have confidence in the quality of the count?  Not much.  Who knows how many ballots were not counted, or were duplicate counted?

Earlier in the week, we ran a test batch of ballots through our tabulator in which nearly half the candidates and issues on the ballots were miscounted by the machine, according to triple-checked manual audits.

This year there was much attention paid to voter integrity before the election, and competing claims about whether or how much chicanery was happening at the polls.  What many of us learned is that the problems are not in the front of the house.  They are in the back, where the ballots are counted.

While I did not see any evidence of intentional fraud at our county, in our small town, where friends and neighbors treat each other with respect and honesty, I can’t vouch for the many other counties nationwide using the same dysfunctional ES&S 650 tabulator system.  And with or without intentional vote fraud, the integrity of the process and count results is not good.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

If you need someone to count on, count me in
Someone you can rely on through thick and thin
When you start to count the ones that you might ever doubt
If you think of counting me, count me out

Count Me In – Gary Lewis and the Playboys

Absentee Ballots – Invitation To Voter Fraud

There are so many things going haywire in our nation that you just can’t keep up with them all.

It’s like whack-a-mole.   “Federal Land Grabs!”  Bam!  “Agenda 21!”  Bam!   “Election Fraud!”   Bam! Bam! Bam!  You can’t keep up – when you try to smack down one issue, two or three more pop up.

Yesterday a friend and I made a trip to our County Courthouse to meet the Clerk and Recorder and learn all about our old ES&S 570 tabulator (vote counting machine).  We wanted to know exactly how this thing works and if there are any weaknesses or opportunities for hanky-panky.  We were warmly greeted and our Clerk went out of her way to answer all of our questions.  She even took time out of her busy day to give us a test drive.

The machine is a pretty clunky old gal, but understandable and serviceable.  There are opportunities for people error, but the machine itself is pretty fool-proof as near as we could tell.  However, our visit actually pointed us to an unexpected and much bigger problem – absentee ballots.

Our secretary of state, Linda McCulloch, insists “voter fraud is nonexistent in Montana“.   If your local fire chief tells you “fires are nonexistent in my town”, you’d better start looking for a new fire chief.   He not only may not see fires that do occur, he also doesn’t feel the need to prevent them.  Great gig if you can get it.

The fact is, our absentee ballot system is a neon-flashing, irresistible invitation to any unscrupulous group wanting to control an election.  Here’s why:

Every voting jurisdiction in Montana, and in most states, mails absentee ballots to out-of-state addresses.  Many are sent to people who previously lived in the district.  Some are college students who originally registered using their parents’ address.  In any event, if someone is registered to vote in the district, all they have to do is request an absentee ballot, fill it out and sign it, and return it to the county clerk.  As long as they keep voting, they remain registered at the last address on file and can continue voting forever, regardless of where their ballot is sent.  They never have to set foot in the state.

I asked our clerk if they check to see if these out-of-state absentee voters are also registered to vote in other states.  “No,” was the succinct reply.

How many votes in Montana elections are being placed by people who no longer live here?  Or perhaps never did?  How easy would it be for me to register to vote in Montana, using a fictitious name and/or address, and then ask for an absentee ballot to be sent to me in Newark, New Jersey?  Using technology, why couldn’t I do this a thousand times or more?

It may sound like too much work for an amateur like you or me for just one vote.  But elections are no longer just about choosing the right person for a local government office.  There are huge government dollars at stake and deep pocket special-interest groups who will do and spend whatever it takes to throw an important election – think, for instance, Al Franken.  And what’s the down-side if you get caught?

The only verification of absentee voters is a brief check of the signature on the envelope against the scanned signature on the registration at the secretary of state’s website.  In our courthouse, whoever gets the mail performs this function.  It is unsupervised and unscientific at best (I watched a small batch being checked-in and saw a very suspicious signature accepted.)  I know there are many conscientious employees in our county offices, but if it’s a busy day, especially in a very large district, is this a step that might get skipped?  Following up on a suspicious signature is tedious and time-consuming.  Who would know the difference?

We all love the convenience of absentee voting, and its use is exploding all over the country.  I maintain that vote fraud will explode right along with it unless we take one or two preventative steps:

  • stop mailing absentee ballots out of state
  • develop a nationwide registration system and cross-check registrations, similar to that built by True The Vote, a national voter integrity advocate group

I know my libertarian friends oppose national ID cards and related identification processes such as fingerprint and retina imaging, but this would be yet another perfect justification for their use.

This is not an indictment of our County Clerks and their employees.  In our sparsely-populated, rural state, there is probably less election fraud than in populous areas.   In larger cities, where ballots are handled in huge batches and nobody knows anybody else, and where votes are worth big money, it looks like easy money.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

This video of the Who in 2001 includes
bassist John Entwistle just before his death, and
Zak Starkey (Ringo’s son) on the drums –
sure looks like his Dad, but plays even better!

Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?

Who Are You – the Who

Please Don’t Vote

“Get Out the Vote”!  It’s a good thing, right?  Everybody should vote!  It’s your responsibility as an American. It’s patriotic.  It’s for the good of the country.

Ask anyone you meet – should every American be allowed to vote?  The automatic, enthusiastic, unequivocal response is always: “Yes!”

Just for the exercise, let’s set aside our rigid posture (and the Constitution) and ask, “What is best for our country, and our childrens’ futures?”

Should a person who has never paid taxes get to vote?  Where else in the circus of life can a person decide how another person’s money is spent?  Half of US citizens pay no federal income taxes, but they still get to elect those who spend the money taken from the other half.  Isn’t that a golden opportunity for corruption? I’ll break this down:  “Vote for me, and I’ll give you somebody else’s money.

I VOTED! WOO HOO!

Should a person who has no understanding of candidates, issues, government, history, or economics be allowed to vote?  Let’s be honest, a large percentage of our citizens are economically and politically illiterate.  They don’t read or watch any news. They don’t know who the vice president is.  They can’t find China on a globe.  And they are absolutely not able to make an intelligent decision about how our government should be run for the benefit of all.

We don’t let children vote.  Why?  Because we assume they have no clue what they are voting about.  Unfortunately, when it comes to important events, many of our adult voters are child-like in their understanding of the world.  An astute and well-educated fifth-grader is more qualified to vote than many adults.

Should a person who can’t prove eligibility get to vote?  A state legislator from a college town here in Montana was recently testifying against stricter identification rules for state voters.  “This is so unfair!” she wailed.  “If we lengthen the registration period, how are our out-of-state and international students going to be able to vote?”

In a world where personal identification is a requirement of daily life, asking a voter for ID is just common sense, and everyone knows it.  Those who oppose it clearly intend vote fraud.

It may seem that I want to take away the average guy’s right to vote.  I don’t.  But I do think that every voter should have skin in the game – when each voter pays at least some taxes, he will be more interested in how the money is spent.  I think our education system should be dramatically improved so that by adulthood, each citizen knows our country’s history, understands economics, and is equipped to vote intelligently.  And I think we should protect the sanctity of our electoral process by making sure that only eligible voters cast ballots.

Call me a rebel.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

ImageI’d like to help you son,
But you’re too young to vote!

Summertime Blues – the Beach Boys