02 November 2012

Friday Follies...
Welcome to the WEEKEND...(and all those 50% OFF sales for Halloween candy).
Lots to get into today, not the least of which is voter machine "inconsistencies".
More about that a little farther down.
SO, without any further ado, let's get this show on the road...
*** Item - The death toll from Hurricane Sandy now stands at 90 - many of them were not DIRECTLY related to the storm itself, but were the result of trees falling on people.
You'd think that would be on the short list of places to stay away from.
*** Item - NYC residents are displaying something I said a few days ago that they really needed to practice...PATIENCE.
Lines for gasoline were akin to the Carter era, stretching around blocks, with people waiting for HOURS...and at wit's end .
Problem stems from the LACK of electricity to operate these new-fangled automated pumps...(who knew?)
And yes, I've had MY share of ill-performing gas pumps...(and in perfecting GOOD weather to boot...sheesh).
I'm sure there are some (older) pumps that do have some sort of mechanical pump process...or manual backup...or at best, a method of attaching a secondary EXTERNAL power supply (generator) to allow the pumps to operate...but you need GAS for the generators, right?
One man was accused of pulling a gun on another person in line at one station in Queens.
Here's the story link:
Imagine facing FIFTEEN YEARS for pulling such a stunt (and pistol)...
Interestingly enough, trying to purchase a GAS CAN is all but impossible, because there aren't any to be had.
No gas cans...and a trickle of gas..pretty damn FUBAR.
It's gotten to the point where the NY state police have been deployed to gas stations to maintain order.
*** Item - An update to the "railroad driver"...
Here's the story:
The driver of the Buick suffered from (according to his brother) M.S. and had numbness and vision issues.
(so MAY-BE he shouldn't be driving after dark? Ever hear of RESTRICTIVE LICENSES?)
He could have got his ass KILLED.
*** Item - And in a twist of IRONY, there's THIS story about GAS PRICES:
Doesn't matter how CHEAP gas might become (which won't be much, rest assured) when you can't GET ANY, right, NYC?
Wouldn't the gas-pump fiasco in NY (and probably other storm-ravaged areas) become a LOT simpler IF we didn't have all that "technology" getting in our way?
Wasn't there a time when an ATTENDANT pumped your gas (which was a HELLUVA lot cheaper), and cleaned your windshield?
And didn't that used to mean MORE people EMPLOYED by those SERVICE STATIONS?
Many pumps in THOSE days were not electrically-operated, as well...and through ALL that, we managed to survive, only to be faced with outages which impact on SO many aspects of us just wanting to live our lives.
*** And that brings us to the center of today's SHRUBBERY MAZE...
Voter machines...used to be MECHANICAL in nature, and they worked pretty damn well in their day.
When you heard those metallic thunks, you KNEW the vote was cast, and depending on WHICH LEVER you pulled, cast CORRECTLY.
Nowadays, it's a whole other ballgame...and some folks can't even "get up to bat".
Here's the story from The Blaze:
This is one of those eye-popping, epiphanic moments when you read this.
And we can place the blame on...(...you guessed it...)...TECHNOLOGY.
Imagine going into a voting booth on Tuesday (or earlier, if you state has that early voting gig), you touch the screen on YOUR candidate, and you leave...case closed, right?
Not really...you might have JUST cast a vote for "the OTHER guy"...in this case Obama.
Many early voting machines have been found to be suffering a case of "bad calibration-itis".
Machines that SHOULD be attended to a lot closer, BECAUSE of their electronic capabilities, have been neglected, and that means (just like your computer sometimes) it might go a bit to the WONKY SIDE...(not a good thing).
Apparently, there is a need to "double-check" your vote, because it might wind up "wasted"...
(but not for that other guy).
Around the touch screen "field", there is an invisible "boundary", and when these machines go OUT OF WHACK, that boundary might "drift about"...become LARGER, and all but negate the other touch screen tab nearest to it.
One person is wondering "if this is intentional"...well, think about it.
It's been the DEMS that have "gamed the system" by casting votes from the DECEASED, Alzheinmer's victims, as well as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and sundry other "voters" of like substance and cartoon mythologies.
And they've been doing it for some time.
-- Almost forgot...here's a link to a documentary ABOUT voter fraud and "spigot cities"...very revealing:
But, all is not lost...
Some states have gone and taken a page from the "Bobby G. Handbook of Cautious Technological Living" (3rd edition) and gone BACK to using WRITTEN ballots.
Now, that would necessitate a longer wait to tally all of them, but it WOULD be a lot more ACCURATE...and FINAL.
I'd be happy with just going back to MECHANICAL MACHINES.
The big issue with the touch-screen voting rigs, is that the vendors are not doing preventive maintenance on the machines.
Should be a PRE and POST election screening of these machines to see IF they have a penchant for going OUT of calibration, and if they do, dump the machine or call the manufacturer, and bitch a fit.
If there is ONE facet of our society that needs to be as free from ANY problem that might arise, it's when it comes to VOTING for who (all) we want to LEAD this nation. You'd think there would be adequate oversight HERE, if no place else.
Well, the problems have been addressed for now, and we can only hope that any other problems that surface will be noted and taken care of ASAP.
And, if that means we return to mechanical machines or even WRITTEN ballots, so be it.
Some states have already done so. Good for them.
*** Lastly today, I've listened to a few people on TV and radio that have spoken about the aftermath of Sandy and how this could have been largely avoided, particularly when it comes to utilities (and the restoration of such whenever they fail).
It would have been nice to have taken ALL that "stimulus" money (close to a TRILLION BUCKS) and dumped it into this nations' aging INFRASTRUCTURE, such as the POWER GRID.
Face it, it's been motoring along all these years, and no REAL upgrades to speak of. The nation's been putting band-aid after band-aid on a broken leg, hoping that will hold (for now).
We can plainly see it has not...on the EAST COAST, especially.
Imagine how far down the "repair and replace" road we COULD have been with all that money that was all but wasted on other crap that hasn't produced the results that were first thought.
Our infrastructure would have CERTAINLY produced JOBS too numerous to count, and would have gone a lot farther to lower the national debt (as long as spending is kept in check).
If anything could be considered a "wake up" call for America, Hurricane Sandy MUST be highly considered near the top of ANY list.
We've seen what can happen when things are ignored or placed on the "back burner".
As what can be done to reinforce our electrical grid, the same can be done for increasing the number of refineries and upgrading existing ones.
This nation has already been DOWN the road to independence, and the path should be clear to us all by now, if we've learned anything from history.
We better plan now so as not to wind up repeating the aftermath of ANY disaster, large or small.
Because when it comes to YOU, it IS a big deal.
Do have yourselves a great weekend.
Don't forget to change your clocks BACK one hour (Sunday 0200hrs) for "Daylight Saving Time" - we're not REALLY saving it, just moving it about a bit.
Be well, make a difference to someone today, and as always...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


John DuMond said...

Sorry, I just don't trust those electronic voting machines. I can't see how they can be any more reliable than the computers that give me fits and starts on a daily basis. Except instead of the "blue screen of death", it miscasts my vote. Not cool.

The one good thing we have in my county is that we do have paper ballots. We fill those out and insert them into the machine to be scanned, so there is a paper trail to follow in the event of a problem.

Bob G. said...

John D.:
Having that paper trail is AZLWAYS preferable than placing one's faith (and vote) in the hands of something that can be tanmpered with SO damn easily and is prone to all the problems we suffer with our computers (and we know how fun THOSE are).

The whole "spigot cities" thing RELIES on those same electronic machines, though...and inflates the ACTUAL voting numbers to no end.

At the end of the video in that link is a black pastor that states you NEED to have ID for voting...because you NEED an ID for everything ELSE.
It really is a breath of fresh air...and sobering as hell.

Thanks for rolling on up today and commenting.
Much appreciated.

Have yourself a great weekend and stay safe out there.