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Don’t Mess With Mesh/Evidence-Based Voting

Ralph welcomes investigative journalist, Trudy Lieberman, who warns us to stay away from the synthetic mesh for hernia repair and statistician, Phillip Stark, who explains how we can restore trust in our voting systems. Plus, listener questions!

Trudy Lieberman is a journalist who has written for the Columbia Journalism Review, the Rural Health News Service, and Consumer Reports, and has served on the board of the Medicare Rights Center. She is the author of several books, including “Slanting the Story: the Forces that Shape the News.” Her recent article In the Net appeared in the March 2021 issue of Harper’s.

“The doctors are recruited to be opinion leaders for the new drug or the new device. And I think patients don’t know that this goes on. And the doctors are given money, sometimes, they’re given dinners. They’re given honoraria. They’re given lots of goodies to come along and essentially shill for whatever new product the manufacturer is producing.”

Trudy Lieberman, journalist

“I do think that [the risk/benefit calculation] is really not explained to people. They hear that you can go into the hospital, you can go in and out, the complications are minimal. And they don’t get explained anything [about the risks of mesh repairs].”

Trudy Lieberman, journalist

Contact Shouldice Hospital:

7750 Bayview Avenue
Thornhill, Ontario,
Canada L3T 4A3


Tel: 905-889-1125
Fax: 905-889-4216

Canada: 1-800-291-7750
U.S./International: 1-855-328-3423


For more information on whether your doctor receives money from a drug or medical device company money, go to Pro Publica Dollars for Docs.

Philip Stark is a Professor of Statistics at the University of California, Berkeley whose research includes earthquake prediction, gender bias in academia, the US census, food equity, and election integrity.

“I think that elections have become more vulnerable to manipulation by a smaller number of people, and vulnerable to remote manipulation, rather than in-person manipulation.”

Professor Philip Stark


“The security properties of paper turn out to be just right for elections. Paper is tangible. It’s accountable. You can keep track of how many ballots were sent to each polling place, how many came back, how many were sent out to voters, how many came back. It’s tamper-evident, and it can’t be altered remotely and wholesale.”

Professor Philip Stark

“Right now, I think… both of the major parties are motivated to do something to produce more secure elections or demonstrably more secure elections. I’m concerned by the efforts in Georgia and Florida and elsewhere that are restricting voter access rather than improving the security of the elections.”

Professor Philip Stark

For more information on open source elections technology, go to Open Source Elections Technology Institute.


“Stealing elections is an American tradition, going back generations.”

Ralph Nader

“If you have candidate protection to get on the ballot, you give more voices and choices to the voters and make their vote more meaningful. So, candidate rights and voter rights are inextricable if you believe in higher standards of democratic elections.”

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ep 370 Transcript (Right click to download)


  1. NooN says:

    I Lo💞e this week’s Subjects; since both are close to my Heart.
    Re Growing Stem Cells (Cartledge from Nose) to grow Ears in Petry Dishes to Growing flat sheet of skin for hammock to hold hanging organs,
    such as the BrillianT Dr BenDavid taught
    Dr BenDavid is Truly one of my Teaching Hero’s.

    It is always good to “Err using Caution” and to “use natural products”. Each body knows what is natural and will grow with bio.natural products.
    **being in the medical field, too often I have heard of “strangulation” from the “mesh hammock”. I am so extatic to hear the
    FDA IS ALLOWING”R” Doctors to Use.+.Learn about Natural Products, such as Stem Cells.
    SooN we May Even use them on Cracked Aortas
    & Ulcers & Burns. May this DooR Comtinue to RemaiN 0PEN.

    Re: Voting. All the PROGRAMS should be
    TesTed & Cross~TesTes via UNIVERSITIES..
    Possibly, We can even use the Tax Computers
    to Tally who they have on the Fed ComputerRs.

    We Also have these numbers to VOTE if
    We wish to Vote Via our Home Computers:
    (1) Birth Certificate #
    (2) Bank (both Bank & Personal Numbers)
    (3) DebiT or CrediT Card
    (4) Concealed Weapons License
    (5) Driver License
    (6) ID Card issued by :
    ………Dept of Highway~+~Motor Vehicles
    (7) Medical #
    (8) Neighborhood Association ID
    (9) Public Assistance ID
    (10) Retirement Center ID
    (11) Social Security or other Social Services
    (12) Student ID (New or 0ld)
    (13) US PassporT
    (14) Veterans’s Health ID (from VA)

    Truly, i “Wish” we could hold ZooM Meetings with ELECTED EMPLOYEE Representatives
    so they had “CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS” what We, the PUBLIC PEOPLE request to be “BILL’d”.
    If they do not comply, can we $anction their
    $ 125,ooo/month Salary$; and prepare to Replace our ELECTED EMPLOYEES;
    Possibly, the People can VOTE via Computer
    for these important subjects such as:
    Health Care for ALL
    Internet for GLOBAL EDUCATION for ALL
    even “TeST & Clean the explosive material out of the AiR with the possibility of healing from the Global “Virus” by cleaning & filtering possible RadioActive airborne poisons, ⚖️

  2. Don klepack says:

    Professor Phillip Stark main concern as stated in his notes is restricting voter access rather than improving the security of the elections.” This was mentioned but not pursued by Ralph Nader and the panel. There are 2 big lies about the 2020 election. Joe Biden lost to Donald Trump and the 2020 election was the fairest election ever. I accept the Joe Biden’s victory but I reject that this was the fairest election ever. Chris Krebs, the head of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said: “ we have confidence in the security of your vote, you should, too.” is a lie. In a Pandemic when their are mass mailouts to potential voters with very early voting and the percent of mail-in votes much higher than in-person by it’s nature is unfair, especially with no physical audit as admitted by Professor Starks. As stated by Jimmy Carter “Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud.” Just wondering if Ralph Nader agrees that the 2020 should be studied and Chris Krebs pronouncement at the very least is premature and most likely wrong?

  3. Afdal Shahanshah says:

    Loved the election integrity segment this week. I especially appreciated Ralph noting the anti-3rd party poison pills in the “For the People” act.

    With regards to risk-limiting audits, the election integrity community is still somewhat divided on whether that’s actually a sufficient practice. The problem is statistical power and the limits of negative hypothesis testing. Let’s say, for example, that we used a standard 0.05 cutoff point for our hypothesis test: that is, we compare the differences between reported election results and proportions observed from our sampling and flag the election when discrepancies are large enough to not be due to random sampling error 95% of the time. We may erroneously conclude in 5% of fraudulent elections that there was no reason to be suspicious of the discrepancies that we observed. Is that good enough? If I were trying to steal a close election but pass a risk-limiting audit, I would design my vote-stealing software to steal only enough votes to pass whatever significance test was performed. If we used this for example on the fraud observed in the Ohio 2004 presidential election where small handfuls of votes were flipped at a precinct level, a risk-limiting audit at those precincts may not have had the statistical power to detect those small discrepancies. This leads to a major criticism of risk-limiting audits: Assuming we can trust the sampling method (a interesting assumption on its own), if the most sophisticated kinds of election theft are already done in close elections in ways that would pass a risk-limiting audit, of what use really is a risk-limiting audit over a full hand count?

    The real question we should be asking ourselves is whether integrating computers into our elections actually do anything to make them better. Many places find they actually spend more money maintaining direct-recording electronic machines and optical scanners than it would cost to return to full hand-counted paper ballots. But more importantly, they inherently reduce trustworthiness of our evidence chain. Ask just about any computer security expert and they will tell you that, even if we are using open-source hardware and software whose code is signed and audited regularly, computers simply have no business being in elections where trust is paramount because they massively increase the attack surface of potential exploits. When we reach a point where full hand counts are the only standard of evidence that can really ensure trust in the system, then what really is the point of computerizing our elections at all?

  4. stan moore says:

    The Post-Capitalism Conference will be held April 22 – 25 by Cooperative Humboldt, the US Solidarity Network and Humboldt State University. It will be a virtual conference on topics Ralph have long discussed. Speakers will include people with whom Ralph has collaborated in the past, such as David Cobb, former guests of his show such as Noam Chomsky, among many others

  5. Margarite says:

    I have listened with appreciation to your interviews, Ralph. But it angers me deeply that you would criticize someone like Pramila Jayapal for doing her best in the world to do good. How about going after someone like my so called representative Seth Moultan, who as far as I can tell does literally nothing. How about you realize that as a MAlE living in this world you don’t have a clue what it is to be a woman?

    • Afdal Shahanshah says:

      Don’t criticize an elected legislator representing hundreds of thousands of people in the most powerful government in the world because… men can’t know what it’s like to be a woman? Is that really your argument? Superficially, you seem to know the divisive rhetoric of intersectional feminism. Yet deep down, you appear to have so little respect for women that you think their actions are beyond reproach by simple configuration of their genitals. That they’re so weak that they need to be defended from the mean nasty world of men, given some sort of handicap to compensate for inherent inferiority. Plenty of us know what it’s like to be women, whether we are one or not. We are all human beings with brains and we know how to communicate our experiences with each other and how to empathize with one another. Jayapal is not a weak woman. She is a woman who holds a position of considerable power and deserves to be held to account as any man. Especially so when she functions as a sort of token progressive that allows the real Democrat Party to hide behind her like a shield, pretending their party is any sort of home to progressive politics instead of reviling it to its deepest core. If Jayapal were truly “doing her best”, she would have used her leverage to demand a floor vote on Medicare for All when Pelosi needed her vote to be speaker of the house. It angers me deeply when people use crass identity politics to shield collaborators with the ruling class from criticism.

  6. Richard Curtis says:

    Hi Guys,
    Thanks for reading my comment about this show (on the show about Cancel Culture), but I think Ralph did not understand my point. This is point:
    “Right now, I think… both of the major parties are motivated to do something to produce more secure elections or demonstrably more secure elections.” Prof. Stark said that, and you quote it above. This is the core of my issue. That claim is nonsense. Republicans do not want more secure elections, they want to manipulate everything about our elections. To say that they also want secure elections is utter stupidity or an obvious lie. They claim to care about security but everyone knows this is not an issue. Our elections are very secure at this point. They could be manipulated and this must be watched, but that manipulation would come from the Republicans themselve, because they cannot win free and fair elections, let alone secure ones. Pandering to the fascist fringe by pretending security is an issue is to repeat their lie. This is why I said the show was surreal. You all know everything I just said here, you have said it yourselves. So why pretend security is of any concern, especially in the face of voter suppression?

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