Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Early voting in Florida

My daughter and I went for early voting after work yesterday to the regional library near our house. We got there at 6:10 p.m. and the line was literally forming outside the door.

We asked a McCain supporter who was walking the line just beyond the point where no campaigning is allowed how long the actual wait was and he said a "minimum" of 2.5 hours. My daugher had no choice, it was vote then or not at all (because of work and school committments) However I did not wait, I have other opportunities to try to vote.

I drove home and my daughter called to be picked up at 9:10 p.m. It took her 3 hours.

Why so long a wait? Well, the regular precinct isn't where early voting takes place, so there are limited places to do so, and the way things are set up you can vote at an early voting place no matter what precinct you are registered in. In Miami Dade County there are a total of 20 (yes ONLY 20) locations where you can go to vote early.

Last week the hours were from 7 to 3, this week there were supposed to be from 11 to 7 but now it's 7 to 7. The person at the desk (when you get through the three check points first, presenting picture ID) types your name into a computer which verifies your eligibility and the PRINTS OUT a ballot specific for the location where you are actually registered. So, people who do not live in Miami Dade County can vote in Miami Dade County because they will get a ballot that is specific to their area - i.e. Monroe County, Broward County, Jacksonville FL, Ft. Myers, Tampa etc. That is what takes the time, the individual printing of the ballot for each voter. If a student attends a FL university and is a FL resident they can vote in the city where their university is, but they vote for the people representing the place where they are actually registered. And if you are a FL resident on business and travel across the state knowing you won't be in your hometown on election day you can vote in any FL locale that has early voting and STILL vote for your local represenatives.

Now Gov. Charlie Crist has "extended" early voting hours to 12 hours a day, so the polling places will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. If you are in line at 7 p.m. they will still allow you to vote, but they will not allow others to que up after 7 p.m. I am going to try to vote tomorrow, or early Saturday morning. If I miss that opportunity or if my boss will allow me time off today to vote (and they don't have to allow time off for EARLY voting, only voting on the actual election day) I will have to vote at my regular polling place and probably go into work late.

At my "regular" voting place all the ballots printed will be the same, so there should be less wait time. One can only hope.

By the way it's COLD here. It was only 68 mid day yesterday (the high was at midnight at 71 degrees and then the temperature dropped during the early morning and only rose to 68) Last night it was in the 50's and this morning it is quite brisk. But people stood in line despite the chill. After all we are used to standing in lines for 2 hours at Disney World for a 3 minute ride, why can't we tolerate a 2 hour wait for a 4 year one?

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people" Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

a thought occured to me

If Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house, do you think if she cleans her windows she can see the United States?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

the state of education

Now I have heard of open book tests.

But this is a new one on me - an open notes test.

I asked the person taking the test if the professor thought the students were so unable to retain information that he had to resort to letting them use their notes to find the answers to the questions.

Pardon me for saying so, but in may day we called that cheating. You studied, you went in to take the test and you used your memory and reasoning ability to answer questions. You didn't rely on notes. You were actually required to "remember" what had been said in the classroom and show that you understood it enough to answer a question about it. Whatever happened to this concept?

Are current students' attention spans so limited that they can't be trusted to study and remember infomation given to them in lectures?

If so, I pity the nation.

We wont' have to wait for someone to overthrow the government, we'll give it away to anyone who has enough retentive memory to hold on to it.

I saw a stupid movie over the weekend, it was on one of the movie channels on Direct TV. It was called Idoitocracy. It's about how "dummied down" the future has become so that some low level jailbird with an average IQ is unfrozen (accidentally) from a cryochamber and ends up being the smartest person in the entire world. I thought it was a really stupid movie.

Now I am not so sure. It may be the way of the future.

Or probably only the way of the United States, because so many other places (like places currently refered to as third world countries) value education and improve on it instead of destroying it from the inside. They don't dummy down, they smarten up...

Unfortunately we will get pressure to make things easier and we do. To what purpose?

More's the pity.

Friday, October 10, 2008

the global economy

With all the stock market stuff going around I wonder if anyone is worried about retailers?

So much of our consumer goods comes from other countries now.

If Americans stop spending (and they have) what kind of ripple will that have on the people who supply us with goods from afar?

Our retailers will fail.

Their suppliers will fail.

The sweat shop workers will be out of work.

Gee, isn't it nice to know that W could such a global impact?

He thought he could rule the world.

All he managed to accomplish was to ruin it.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Let's be serious

I see conspiracy here,there and everywhere.

The Republicans dont't want big government, so they put a woman on the ticket who supports her state's secession from the Union? The Country of Alaska would then control the oil within their borders and the lower 48 (plus Hawaii) would be at the mercy of yet another foreign power?

The banks may be taken over by the Fed as part of the bailout? So is this the begining of a national banking system in America?

We dont' have enough money to pay our debt now, and yet we are pledging $700 billion to stop a financial meltdown? Banks are solvent? If so, why is the Fed taking over?

Forclosures, slow retail sales, unemployment and bank failures and still it's not a "depression?" The world markets are crashing because we are, and yet no one in America beleives it's a depression?

Have we so dummied down the average citizen that they can't decide anything for thmselves and take the word of Fox news analysts that we are in a bit of trouble but we are still the "greatest nation" in the world?

How absolutely stupid can the American people be?

Eight years ago I told people that "W" has ruined or bankrupted EVERY business he was ever in and everyone laughed.

Eight years later - and we are bankrupt.

So, who is laughing?

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