14 Sep

Freedom to Tinker – NJ election cover-up

Based on all of the above, it is clear that the election at issue was defective and must be voided by the Court. While I do believe I have the authority to certify the Plaintiffs as the winners, I do not feel that this is the ideal result in this matter.

I do not know and may never know exactly why this election was defective. I have suspicions that something happened here that was improper and I even question whether something happened here that may have been criminal. And I strongly encourage the Attorney General to turn this over to the Attorney General Division of Criminal Justice, so that appropriate criminal investigators can conduct a full and complete investigation of this matter, to assure that criminality did not take place.

Although the Board of Elections and the Administrator maintain that human error was all that was involved here, for me to believe that I have to believe that three independent errors, human errors, occurred here, and that somewhat stretches my belief of common sense and reality, but it’s possible.

Accordingly, I am ordering a new election to be conducted on September 27, 2011.

via Freedom to Tinker – NJ election cover-up. Just plain scary a whole election result considered null and void, no idea what happened, who to blame or how to fix the problem.

15 Nov

NBC News – Just 32% of Tea Party candidates win

For all the talk of the Tea Party’s strength – and there will certainly be a significant number of their candidates in Congress – just 32% of all Tea Party candidates who ran for Congress won and 61.4% lost this election. A few races remain too close to call.

via NBC News – Just 32% of Tea Party candidates win. Just a reminder don’t get to carried away with delusions of grandeur.

20 Oct

FiveThirtyEight – The Most Overrated Concept in Elections Analysis: Momentum

In general elections, the direction in which polls have moved is not predictive of the direction in which they will move.

Thus, it is usually wrong to say that a candidate is gaining ground in the polls — present tense — or that her position is improving. Instead, you should say that the candidate has gained ground or that her position has improved.

via FiveThirtyEight – The Most Overrated Concept in Elections Analysis: Momentum. Another post from FiveThirtyEight that shows why I love reading it, no spin just the facts. A sorely missing concept in reporting especially political reporting.

07 Nov

Travel Day

Today I’m in DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth) for work, and I have a bunch of thoughts running through my head about different things, so this is a post without any real clear topic, but more of a ramble of what’s going on in my head tonight.

I need to do a post about the election and how people who want to run away from the results should seriously grow up. Along those same sort of lines, I want to do some research into do countries become more liberal over time or is that something that I think occurs? Personally I feel the answer is yes, as do the majority of people that I’ve discussed this idea with. I have yet to find a good book/paper to back me up though, I could be making it up however. Research is needed, any commenters know a good resource or some facts to prove it?

I need to set aside time to do more things that I want to do such as blogging, reading my piles on piles of books, and writing code for myself to scratch my itches. Sure maybe when I’m out of school or at least I go to being a part time student. 24 hours in a day, and I getting into the bad habit of sleeping for more than 5 of them, need to stop that.

I have a new project that I am starting with a friend or two. It has a lot of potential and currently is really really early. I can’t reveal yet where that is going or what is happening, but be looking for information about software engineering, project management, etc, floating across here.

Along those same lines I re-read Getting Real by 37signals. I forgot what a great book it was with regards to software engineering, project management, and shipping software. Really good to read, both with my side project and for work where I am now having to manage more than just myself. It reflected a lot of things in both projects and software that I want to occur in software projects that I can influence. (Defiantly should be a later blog post.)

Some other last minute blurbs. Most of the billboard ads I saw in the car ride from Love Field to my hotel where for goverment/state programs or agencies. I wonder why, is the advertising slump starting to already hit DFW, are the billboards simply where these groups are advertising now. I certainly don’t remember quite the same percentage last time I travelled, but I could be wrong.

One of the ad’s was for the Texas Lottery and had a background picture of 5 or so stop lights all green, with the words “Maybe it’s your luck day”. Clever as much as I don’t like advertising for the lottery (tax on the poor/stupid essentially), it was still a good ad.

My Christmas list has been worked down to four things: iPhone, MacBook Pro, Sony Cybershot and MediaTemple Grid Service. Sorry current host, but you just do not work out (especially the whole still running on Apache 1 and PHP 4, like seriously???).

That’s kinda a purge of my brain from today, here are some photos from the hotel room. Night, I have to leave the hotel at 6:30am tomorrow.

Hyatt Place 04 by jtyost2 on flickr.com

28 Oct

You Should Educate Yourself and Vote, or maybe not

I was thinking about this little thing we have coming up in the US, that well is dominating everything. The Presidential election and at first I was going to urge that you should educate yourself and then go and vote on Nov. 4, and also point you to a place to go in case you have problems voting or think that your ballot wasn’t casted correctly.

However I can’t say that, because it’s un-economical to vote and frankly I can’t support something that’s illogical/un-economical.

I believe very firmly in the idea that humans, myself included should be more rational and make decisions based on logic, especially logic based in the economics of a decision. Essentially cost-benefit analysis everything, including cost-benefiting the cost-benefit analysis of something. Is the cost, be that time, money, energy, food, friendship, etc worth the benefit gained, money, food, energy, friendship, etc. Pretty simple to explain, only really hard to implement. However I try to make decisions based on this principle, only do something that generates at least an equal or greater return compared to what I put in.

The whole urging people not to vote sounds very weird coming from me for a variety of reasons:

  1. I’m a pretty political person.
  2. I’ve urged people to vote in the paste, even up to several weeks ago.
  3. Who in their right mind tells people not to vote around this time?

That all being said I can’t tell people that they have to vote, instead I will stick by my principles and actually not urge people to vote this election, it’s a waste of your time and except in very limited cases and very few states will it even matter.

That all being said, I must admit to being a hypocrite and I did vote this election (absentee ballot) and will probably continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The reason being is that I made a call in which my personal feelings towards voting and democracy outweigh the time spent educating myself on the issues and actually voting. I already care about politics so the time spent educating myself about the issues is wrapped into my normal routine. Also an absentee ballot, means no lines, no problems, just sign up (5ish minutes), get the ballot, fill it out (5 – 10 minutes) and I was done. So the time difference is pretty good. For most people to just drive back and forth from the polling place is 20 minutes.

So today I offer some weird advice with the realization, that I myself don’t follow this advice. Don’t vote people, it’s illogical.

29 Sep

This Republican Party Bothers Me

(I am a registered independent and my views align with the Libertarian, Republican, and Democratic Parties, yes, all at once. I consider myself a social libertarian, something I conjured up on my own to explain my views, which are too complex to explain here.)

The Republican Party of the United States over the past several years has bothered me, more and more.

The party has in the past years undergone a change that I believe will not cause the party to gain more unity, but rather cause more people to split from the party. The party has been pretty consistent in only area, everywhere else it says and does two very different things. The party also seems to be promoting the idea that logic and intelligence are flawed qualities in a politician. Wikipedia (as normal in this day and age) has more sources and more information than I could hope to convey regarding this so go look there for more details.

My largest problem with the party has been a promotion of people who genuinely appear to know nothing about how proximity doesn’t equal experience, economics, international affairs, or it seems just about anything other than religion or lipstick. I am genuinely bothered when opponents paint Obama as an elitist to win an election. I want an elitist President, I want a President so ridiculously smart and intelligent I can’t even hope to follow him/her. I want a President who believes in science, a President who is curious beyond anyone else I know, a President who sees the world as the complex system it really is, I want a Renaissance President. And yes I do want a President that actually causes excitement amongst both this nation and other nations. Let’s face it we can’t do everything on our own, we do not rule the world, not by far. Especially in the face of our declining economic strength and political power in the world (awesome book on this subject).

Most of all, I want a President who expresses a belief and actually applies it fully. This is one of the largest reasons why I can’t vote for a Republican the majority of the time. As I stated at the beginning of this post, I do believe in some of the views that the Republican party expresses, but they don’t apply those views.

What is going on with a party that as far as I can tell says one thing and does another except when it comes to religion? The only thing that the party seems to actually say and do regards social conservative positions.

This party needs to find itself and figure out what it really believes or work out some new form of logic to explain the disconnect between what they say and do.

Most of all a party that believes in the idea that one religion is somehow righter than everybody else and that the rest of the country should fall into line with a religious belief. Let’s get one thing right – Social Conservatives ultimately believe in their views not because it makes sense or they have the evidence to back it up, but because their religion says this is the way things should be. Their religion doesn’t and shouldn’t dictate my life. It’s freedom of religion – not freedom to have religion pushed on you. How does homosexuals being allowed to marry harm their marriage? I also didn’t realize I needed to be reminded to pray in school.

If I was a member of the RNC I would be embarrassed by Sarah Palin just as any Democrat should have been embarrassed by Kerry in 2004. We shouldn’t be embarrassed by our candidates, we should be proud of them.

Intelligence and logic should be first qualifications for a candidate something the Republican Party seems to ignore as far as I can tell, though I would love to hear otherwise.

09 Jun

What If We Let Iraq’s Decide To Stay The Course Or Not?

I read some two interesting article that got me thinking about a possible solution to Iraq. What if we let the Iraq’s decide if the US should stay the course in Iraq or pull out? I know radical idea letting the people we are directly affecting decide their fate.

Two things got my radar buzzing on this idea, the first is a Freakonomics article that actually discussed the idea and a BBC article that discussed how Iran was saying that the root cause of the current problems is the presence of the US. Now obviously Iran has two major reasons to be saying this, so I wouldn’t suggest that they are being entirely truthful or suggesting that if we left, the insurgency would end. First off, Iran hates the US, second they are known to be funding parts of the insurgency in Iraq.

However what would happen if we let the Iraq’s decide if we should stay or go? Two questions about this idea, first would we listen considering we have a habit of ignoring foreign elections if we don’t like them *cough* Palestine *cough*, and second how would the Iraq’s vote.

I honestly don’t have an answer to this question, but it seems a fair solution to the problem. On the Republican side, the Iraq’s are making a free choice to decide which way to go and they pass the buck off on dealing with Iraq for the election. On the Democrats side they get to pass the buck off on dealing with Iraq. Although I don’t see either party realing going for this, especially the Republicans it’s an interesing idea, and one that I would like to seee moving forward some.