Archive for May, 2012

Elections!

May 7, 2012

I just noticed the elections in France today.  If it’s any indication of what is to come then God help those that have been to greedy for their own good.  It only serves them right for being far too greedy.  However, it also raises a question.  Just how honest is the election process in any government anymore?

Over the years there have been a number of different methods where candidates have won elections only to be called to the carpet after recounts and election investigations.  Those methods are imposing threats on voters, ballot stuffing, and even bribing election officials.  There’s even been a case where people have had others posing as dead people to get elected.  All this for greed and power.

In today’s electronic age, these issues become fewer and fewer.  However, I’m sure there have been some bright politicians or bureaucrats who have thought to bribe the people that set up the ballot box machines or again bribe the election officials just to get elected.

Will we see this happen again in the U.S.?  Maybe not on the federal level unless someone is that dishonest enough.  I tend to think we’ll see some on the local and possibly on the state levels depending on various states but not likely in the federal level unless someone has billions just to throw away to sway the electoral college which has 538 members and are the real people who elect our president.

Unlike many, I did study history and know who really elects the president of the U.S.  Five hundred and thirty eight people can go against the popular vote.  It’s happened four in know history of the electoral college.  Who’s to say those votes CAN’T be bought?

All I’m really saying here is that those of the voting populace need to watch their political leaders very carefully.  No, I’m not talking the special interest groups watching over the politicians.  They do so anyway.  I’m talking individual voters should pay close attention to how their politicians vote on various bills and policies.  Only then does anyone have a right to bitch about his or her political votes not counting.

As a prior military service member, I’ve watched elections (no I’ve never voted and only registered to vote once or twice).  I’ve seen the ins and outs of the political system.  They are as corrupt as any other system.  It’s the main reason I don’t vote.  That and the two different parties in Washington D.C. who keep redrawing the lines in census years to their advantage and not letting other parties having equal rights to campaign funding under the federal laws (matching funds).

However, having served, I have every right to complain about my government as I’m still receiving a federal Veteran’s Administration disability check.  I served for 12 years so those elected officials brat kids didn’t have to.  Yes, I volunteered.  I was not drafted.

Anyway, I feel it’s each individual’s right to make things change.  France is a shining example of that happening in a democratic country.  I hope it happens here as well.  However, it won’t happen unless more people start watching who is elected and voting their minds and wallets for the officials that won’t be corrupted by greed and power.

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Communication!

May 4, 2012

It seems the more forms of communication we have the less we actually talk to each other.  First it was the postal mail system.  Then it was the telephone.  Now with the advent of the Internet we have more forms of communication than ever before.

There’s email, instant messaging, Internet Relay Chat, Twitter, Facebook and even more.  Of these forms of communication there only a few where people actually talk to each other or in groups.  I can actually narrow it down to just one form.  The others don’t count as you’re only talking to selected individuals.

My thoughts on so called social networking are this.  First off there is no such a thing as a true Internet born social network as Facebook, My Space, and Google+ calls themselves.  These places only let you surround yourselves with like minded people.  They offer few if any tools to communicate even with individuals that don’t share your point of view.

The only form of true social networking on the Internet is Internet Relay Chat.  That’s right.  It was developed even before what today is called social networks as a way for people to communicate faster (via online) about ideas they wanted to share with others even in the development days of the Internet under DARPA.  Today it still exists in many different networks though not what it once was.  There are a lot of themed networks.  The oldest is said to be EFNet which I won’t dispute.  A couple of themed networks come to mind.  The biggest themed network is Freenode.net.  Freenode is probably what has become the original software/hardware network on the Internet today.  If you have questions about operating systems, hardware, or even various software packages like Adobe Illustrator for one, Freenode is the place to go for answers before you go to a forum or other discussion group.  Often times you’ll find the help you need here almost immediately.

If asked if I’ve used various social networking before, I’d admit to trying Facebook and LinkedIn.  Never tried Google+, Twitter, or some of the other rarer forms of communication.  I’ve even used instant messaging and I’ve had Skype on the computer before.  Never got the chance to use it however (Skype).  In the end, it all comes down to what you prefer I guess.  Myself, I still prefer Internet Relay Chat over all forms of social networking.  It’s fast paced (in busy rooms), gives you the advantage of being able to talk with people around the world almost instantaneously, as well as talking to people with different points of view in the same place.  It can also be quite addictive if there is such a thing.

Anyway, go out and find yourself a conversation on Internet Relay Chat.  All you need is chat client software or you can use a couple of web based chat clients.  There are several clients for all platforms.  The biggest for Microsoft Windows arguably is mIRC.  In Linux you’ll find a vast array of different clients.  The same I believe is true for Mac OS X as it’s very similar to Linux.  Don’t let corporations like Facebook, Google, or LinkedIn use your personal data to SPAM you with or make money from.  And believe me they are doing just that.  Though not as bad as the United States government, they are making money from you.  Internet Relay Chat has it’s share of spammers but it’s well metered.  Not only that, but you won’t have your personal information exposed to anyone you don’t want it exposed to.  Enough said.