The No Illusions Podcast #57 – Brad Heitmann, Mormon

My guest today is Brad Heitmann. Brad lives in Utah, has a background in investment banking and start-up strategy and loves history. Today, however, he joins me to talk about his religion – The Church Of Latter Day Saints aka Mormons. To all those people asking me for years “when are you going to a show about Mormons” – you can now shut the hell up.

Brad and I discuss the life of the founder of the Mormon religion, Joseph Smith – I especially wanted to focus on his trial for being a conman (he was found guilty), his polygamy and the reasons behind his eventual murder. We also discuss the methods by which we search for Truth.

I’d like to thank Brad for having the balls to come on the show. He was a good sport and I hope he takes me up on my offer to come back soon. You can follow him on Twitter @bradheitmann

If you’re interested in the Mormon religion, here’s a few links I recommend:
Wikipedia’s many entries on LDS
Reddit’s Ex-Mormon Group
The Annotated Book Of Mormon

Rigging Elections

I’ve been reading some fascinating posts lately on the attempts – past and present – to rig U.S. elections. As with all theories that don’t have sufficient supporting evidence, these need to be read with caution. However, there seem to be enough circumstantial evidence to suggest there might be some element of truth in these stories.

If you haven’t been following the story, just after the U.S. election, Anonymous claimed they prevented Karl Rove from hacking the result in Ohio – which is why, they say, he was so convinced the result was going to go in Romney’s favour. A number of people claim that Rove pulled this trick back in 2004 – that is, he used electronic vote counting services which were linked to the GOP to alter the result of the election in Ohio in Bush’s favour. Adding concern to the story, there were “last-minute, uncertified” software patches made on the Ohio voting machines just days before the election. Sounds dodgy to me.

Of course, there are plenty of stories of the GOP “stealing” or “rigging” elections as far back as Nixon that are also worth reading.

In fact, this article in Harper’s, published weeks before the election and worrying about election rigging in 2012, has stories about elections being rigged in the U.S. as far back as 1932. This same article also explains the connections between the two companies that dominate the electronic voting machine market in the U.S. and their connections to the GOP and the Romney family.

Unfortunately, Australia is also moving towards electronic voting systems. Will we see the same kinds of scurrilous behaviour in future elections too?