Posts Tagged ‘democracy’

ajclogo2

by @anarchyroll
2/10/2014

Much like the politicians who are running for the elections I will be a judge for, I’m doing it for the money.

I showed up the a suburban library to get a once over of the basic information that involves being an election judge. It was given in a combination Powerpoint fueled verbal presentation, a bound packet, and an interactive dry run of our duties. It started at 10 am, not an ungodly early time of day so I went in rested and somewhere between optimistic and pessimistic.

I was clearly the only person under the age of 50 in the room. I noticed this by both sight and smell. Old man stink for days. The first half hour could have easily been confused for the senior citizen throat clearing Olympics. The guy to my left took home the gold in that regard.

However, the two very nice, very proficient women in charge of the presentation stuffed my pessimism in a sack mister. They knew what they were talking about, were not dependent on the Powerpoint slides, answered every question asked without skipping a beat, and gave us a bathroom break at the exact right moment. Kudos to you ladies.

Besides the knowledge that the state of Illinois was hiring smart, savvy, experienced people to train those at the local election level, I was impressed by the infrastructure of fail safes, paper trails, and laws to attempt to prevent voting shennanigans.  I certainly can’t speak for states with electronic voting machines from the Diebold corporation, because Illinois uses paper ballets that are first verified by two sets of eyes, then a computer, then rechecked by multiple sets of eyes before being mailed in sealed containers, before they are electronically scanned, then checked by multiple sets of eyes again to verify authenticity of individual voter and election result.

The process of checking to make sure everything on the level at a polling place in Illinois is very much like the organizational structure of a casino. We were done by 1 pm. We have the option of taking additional online proficiency exams and training, for extra pay in return for that extra work. If only the government itself had competent people like the ones I encountered today, in office. If only the government operated with a little more time efficiency and a little less old man throat clearing.  If only the agencies and social safety nets had logical infrastructure in place like ones I learned about today. If those things were so, maybe voter turnout would equal or be higher than that of American Idol.

Now, which one of you assholes stole my tumbler while I was in bathroom after class ended?

by @anarchyroll
1/21/2014

Contrary to what FOX News would have you believe, the ACLU is not a terrorist organization.

American Civil Liberties Union…those four words, to me, couldn’t scream democracy more if Uncle Sam was eating a deep fried Twinkie, while driving a Hummer, and taking an IG selfie while making a duckface with the toaster filter all at the same time.

The ACLU is your friend, whether you care or not, whether you want to help them or not. They are the ones, playing within the system to change the system, and make it work for the people, by the people.

It should come as no surprise then, that they’re no fans of the NSA bulk surveillance program that was created in the dark, in secret, and exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden this past summer.  Both Congress and President Obama have said the public debate Snowden started is a good thing for democracy, yet he is still a wanted fugitive, go figure.

The NSA has been using Freedom of Information requests to try and shed more light into the dark and shady world of the NSA’s metadata dragnet.  Surprise, surprise the government is just flat out refusing to grant the ACLU access to various documents. I thought this was America.

Snowden and the ACLU aren’t looking to put soldiers in danger or expose mission critical information that will aide or abed real, actual terrorists who wish to do real, actual harm to innocent civilians on American soil.

Snowden and the ACLU are simply looking to put all of the cards on the table for the American people to decide for themselves.  It is the same thinking behind listing ingredients in food.  We (the country) just want to know what we’re putting into our body (government policy) to make sure it isn’t going to harm us (evaporate our personal privacy).

Allergies, fitness goals, overall health dictate a person must know what their food is made of. Where did it come from? Is it organic? Is it processed? How much salt? How much sugar? What is polymethylsiloxane? These are things that we NEED to know for our own health and peace of mind.

The same goes for what exactly, specifically is the NSA doing with their $1.1 trillion (that’s trillion with a t) budget. How much info are they storing? How often? For how long? From what sources? Are they authorized? Is it legal? By whom? This is not the Soviet Union or Red China. We the people get a say, and at the least have the right to know. If it is important to know if our food has gluten, it is important to know if we are giving up our personal privacy in the name of national security.