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Another 4 years... - The Paranoid Android
...musings of a mechanically depressed robot...
paranoidandroid
paranoidandroid
Another 4 years...
It's been a strange week.

On Monday I got a year older - always a bad start to the week. I also got a fever from somewhere and was off work for 2 days shivering like a nut and sweating profusely at the same time.

Sometime during this fever I saw a news clip showing Bush (G.W.) had managed to get a second go at running the world U.S. I put it down to delirium - surely a majority of the American public couldn't all be blind to the affects of the last for years?

Yesterday I read in the Metro that it hadn't been a dream (or nightmare) - it was real.

I would like to know how the most powerful nation can fuck up something so simple as voting for a (new) leader... how the hell is it that people had to queue for hours to register their vote? I've never had to queue to vote... and Greater London is probably more densely populated than any place in the whole of the USA. The obvious answer is to have MANY polling stations - one for every couple thousand people - more if that's too slow. These polling stations should count the votes themselves (overlooked by officials of course!) and send in the results. In this technological age the compilation of data from multiple sources shouldn't take more than a couple minutes on a decent enough system. Even the worst government built system should manage it in a few hours. How the hell it takes upwards of 11 days to check the validity of votes I don't know.

I made it back into work for business day 4 (BD4) so the other project boys wouldn't be left in the shit. I have a couple of "business as usual" (BAU) tasks that take me about a day to do - and both are required to be done by close of play BD4. The information I need to complete these tasks in never available before BD4, and I usually have to fight for it during the day. For someone else to take over this task it would take them all day to do just the one task - let alone both.

I finished the work by 6... about an hour later than the official deadline... but what's an hour between friends. I took some of the work I've been missing home with me - and finished it about 10:30 last night.

Today I feel worse than I have all week. I have an annoying dry cough, my nose is blocked, and my head feels like it's stuffed with wool. I can't think straight and every task seems to take an hour longer than it usually does.

I watched the last of an interesting program on the telly vision. It was called the The Power of Nightmares. It attributes the fear most of use live in (terrorism/war etc.) to the Islamists and neo-conservatives! Did you know that "al-Qaeda" was a name the American administration made up? Osama Bin Laden never used it until well after the attacks of the towers in NY - after the American news agencies had published that al-Qaeda were responsible for the attacks.

The neo-conservatives are using the fear of this phantom organisation to keep control of the American population - and if the election this week is anything to go by - it's working. The UK government is also using it to remove our rights.

Could the reason that no-one, not the American or British Armies, can find the al-Qaeda "base" in the mountains be because there is no base? There is no big organisation? There is just a bunch of guys with a burning hatred of the decadent West. How do you fight a war with a bunch of guys? Guys with mixed nationalities - the only thing they have in common is their shared beliefs.

The so-called "sleeper cells" of terrorists in America and the UK are pure nonsense. Perhaps this is why a lot of these people are held without recourse to legal representation. The reason they are not charged with anything is they haven't done anything.

Can we now arrest people for what they might possibly do in the future? How can anyone prove that guilt? Are we now guilty until proven innocent? How can you prove your innocence for the future? How can we as "civilised Westerners" hold people as prisoners in the worst conditions with the only justification that these people might be a terrorist at some point in the future?

Of course - one crazy nut in control of an aeroplane is a whole lot more to be afraid of than a sleeper cell or a large terrorist organisation. Especially if you happen to be on that aeroplane - or working in the building they are planning on flying into. There is a simple solution to that problem... and airports the world over are getting there... better security. Not mind numbingly anal security - (no pun intended) - but BETTER security. If we stopped pretending we are fighting a nation of terrorists - and concentrate on the fact we are fighting a handful - prevention becomes possible.

Were am I going with all this? I guess I'm telling you all that you shouldn't believe all you read in the press. We are not 2 minutes from midnight. The world isn't about to end. You are more likely to be killed by a runaway donkey than a terrorist. Perhaps slightly more worryingly, globally - you are more likely to be killed by the allied forces than by a terrorist.

Current Mood: sad

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Comments
From: deeevamp Date: November 5th, 2004 06:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I did want to wish you a happy birthday, but I was out of town. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

The polling places here are totally stuck in the 1950's (kind of like our country lately). Our town actually improved the system as there used to be a three to four hour wait for ANY election (even on the local level). This was because there was one little old lady in the building working the books for thousands of people. She was slow and bitter and it took forever.

This year they opened a third polling place for our area and there were about five people working the books.

I have noticed though on the news that some places around here still have only up to two people working things and only ONE voting machine. That would about kill a speedy in and out.
paranoidandroid From: paranoidandroid Date: November 5th, 2004 07:37 am (UTC) (Link)
If I was the cynical type (*coughs*) I might think there was some sort of conspiracy to prevent people from voting! ;)
ladylynx From: ladylynx Date: November 5th, 2004 08:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Uh...happy birthday?

Where I went to vote, there was like a half minute wait for me and where I live is more densely populated. I'm still pissed because my dad went into the booth and intimidated my sister into voting for Bush. At least he won the New York vote.
honeyrider From: honeyrider Date: November 5th, 2004 08:40 am (UTC) (Link)
happy (belated) birthday!

and as for bush - god damn, i can't afford to get riled up again, but what a phunkin' shame.
From: deadpornstar Date: November 5th, 2004 08:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Happy Belated Birthday, James!
brightspot From: brightspot Date: November 5th, 2004 12:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love you, darlin'...but not all of us feel like we fucked up. Personally, the current leader didn't scare me nearly as much as the person he was running against. New isn't always better. And in this case, I LIKE George W., and actively wanted him back. And since I'm a US citizen, I got to have a say in that decision. Since you don't like the decision, be glad you don't live here.

We do have hundreds of thousands of polling places. They do talley the votes, and pass on the total for their district. They are given to one central person for the state, who gives them to the electoral college. Voter turn out is not usually very high because people don't believe their one voice makes any difference. There has NEVER been as high a turn out as there was this time. This meant long lines, which was unfortunate, but clearly not insurmountable.

As for how can it take 11 days to count votes, I can't answer that, since I knew November 3rd that Bush won, and the vote was only held on November 2nd. I can say that the provisional votes become a challenge, because it means anyone can walk right in and vote...if the race is extremely close, they begin counting those votes...but first they have to verify that the person is an American citizen eligble to vote. Can't imagine that's a quick and easy process, since the person is no longer in front of you.

London may be densely populated, and have a wonderful system, but it is also what - the size of one large US city. ONE. Instituting computer polls for all of London's districts would be a fairly reasonable and manageable task over a small geographic region. We are an enormous country with millions of registered voters. Implementing computer polling stations for the hundreds of thousands of voting districts across the United States would be not only extremely expensive (and thank you, they take enough of my paycheck in taxes), but also impractical especially for small districts looking to fund healthcare and welfare, and not concerned with new voting booths.

I just love how everyone assumes that people who voted for Bush did so because of some kind of right wing conspiracy propaganda movement. If you want to blame ANYONE, blame the left wing propoganda movement. I was so pissed off with the line of crap they tried to feed me every waking minute of my life, every lie and misdirection and misrepresentation of the facts, I wouldn't have voted for Kerry if I'd liked him...and I DIDN'T.

And PS - There are people who believe the Holocaust was a conspiracy, too. The "don't believe everything the media tells you" card works both ways, James, and the liberal side is just as tainted as the conservative.
teya_uk From: teya_uk Date: November 7th, 2004 05:14 am (UTC) (Link)
We don't have computer polls in London town, we're not so technologically advanced. I'm afraid it's a pencil and marking a "X" against the candidate you want to vote for. These bits of paper are then counted (with the proper supervision as James stated above), and the total forwarded on to be included in the national total (here is where the IT comes into it's own). A polling station is likely to be housed in a local primary school, kids are happy as they get off school for a day, locals have to walk a good mile or so (if that) to get to their nearest polling station, and there are no queues as each polling station serves a small area. It's sort of simple, but works really well. Now to get rid of the apathy and get people out to vote ...
paranoidandroid From: paranoidandroid Date: November 7th, 2004 09:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Mom! ... I'm not suggesting you (or indeed the other 59,459,350 people who voted Republican) fucked up - I was suggesting the system where a result might not be know for up to 11 days was fucked up. Absentee votes should not be a problem, and I think the idea of "provisional voting" is absurd.

I have to register to vote several times a year. This gives the government ample time to check to see if I am eligible to vote. Just before any election I will be sent a voting slip telling me where I can register my vote. This is proof to the official at the polling station that I am eligible to vote.

I didn't suggest that the neo-conservatives used terrorism to get them the election (although it probably did help) - I'm suggesting they are using the fear of terrorism to strip America of some of her most fundamental rights... and that Britain's current government is doing exactly the same. I have no idea if the democrats would have used the same tactics, but I know for sure there is no way I'd vote for a government that currently did.

As for the holocaust being a conspiracy - that's only believed by people unable to fail to believe evidence put before their eyes.
thevanster From: thevanster Date: November 5th, 2004 01:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like to think I am conservative. However, when my time comes, I am registering as Independant. Our country is in such a state of disarray, no one knew who to pick. Both candidates are idiots. However, my political leanings support Bush because at least my views somewhat support him.

As far as I'm concerned, Kerry shouldn't have been elected. I want to see Bush end the war. If he doesn't maybe we do need a new leader, but as it stands, I don't think Kerry could handle a war. People tell me, "Oh, now that Bush was reelected, there will be a draft and America's youth is fucked." Well, the latest draft bill was propose by the demoncats.

It's all so confusing, I'm still unsure as to how we had the biggest voter turnout in history. I think we're lying.
teya_uk From: teya_uk Date: November 6th, 2004 04:06 am (UTC) (Link)
I saw the same documentary on BBC 2 and was going to post about it - you've done a much better job than I would!
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