Tag Archive for election

Made My Voice Heard

I Voted!
Originally uploaded by MikeOliveri.

The Wife and I just finished voting over my lunch break. I was the 317th person to vote in our precinct, which isn’t half bad considering there are only 2000 people in our town and the eligible voters are split across two precincts. No lines, just walked up, they verified my address, someone else verified my signature, and I was handed my ballot. Only waiting I had to do was for the Wife to finish so she could keep an eye on the Little Bird while I voted.

I’m glad we don’t have to deal with touchscreens here. I hear way too many nightmares about improperly calibrated electronic voting machines, and I just don’t trust e-voting yet. Our county is using the old-fashioned, fill-in-the-bubble paper ballots. They take a little longer to fill out because of the ovals that have to be filled in, but they’re simple to use and easy to read. Tampering would have to come from the whole precinct of judges, judging by the roll of paper tape signed by several officials and taped to the tabulating machine. My ballot is my paper trail,whether or not I have it in hand, and there’s no problem down the road of misinterpreting hanging chads.

As for the votes themselves, I stuck to my guns and voted Barr. The Wife and I may very well be the only two Barr votes in the precinct — maybe even the county — but that’s fine. That’s what the process is about, as far as I’m concerned. Then we both chose independent parties for as many seats as we could; everything local only had Republicans running, which gives you a good picture of our county. I also voted yes to recommend our legislature write a concealed carry firearms law, and no to our state setting up a new Constitutional Convention.

This next bit will probably only be of interest to Illinois citizens. I’ve heard via Twitter that some folks heard on the news that there was a handout to go with the Constitutional Convention ballot item, replacing the wording that appears on the ballot itself. At least two people said they didn’t get that handout. Our precinct did have it: they posted it inside each polling booth and they also handed every voter a laminated copy which was turned in when the ballot was placed in the machine. For those wondering, it wasn’t a drastic change. I read the original wording out of curiosity, and it explains that the vote in 1988 was shot down by a margin of 75% against to 25% in favor. I’m guessing they didn’t want that to influence the vote, but the handout also mentioned “inaccuracies” so maybe those numbers were off. Either way, in my opinion there’s nothing that can’t be changed through the current legislative process, and our state budget is already screwed up enough that we don’t need to be spending the money on the Constitutional Convention. It’s good to have the right to vote on rewriting the State Constitution every 20 years, but I don’t think it needs to be exercised at this time. Your mileage may vary.

Now I’m wearing my “I Voted” sticker around the school, as are all the teachers who have voted so far. It’s important to set that example for the students. There are enough adult voters who don’t bother, so we best start motivating the next generation before it’s too late.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Would You Elect These People?

I think I solved the mystery of why the media doesn’t list third-party presidential candidates: a lot of them are unelectable whackjobs.

Let’s start simple, shall we? Consider Gene Amondson. Judging by his website, Gene’s primary goal is to promote his web designer. Nothing says you’re a valid presidential candidate like a front page that has absolutely nothing to do with you or your platform. And look! Gene’s also a wood carver and pie cook. Isn’t that swell? Wading past all that crap, we finally discover Gene is running on the Prohibition Party ticket.

Yes, it’s exactly what you think: ol’ Gene wants to ban alcohol. Because, you know, Prohibition worked so well the first time around.

Fortunately it appears Gene’s more interested in making a point and promoting his Billy Sunday impersonations than actually becoming president, so let’s move on.

Meet Da Vid, the candidate fronting the Light Party. Mr. Vid is full of love. He thinks peace and love will save the world, and wants to replace “liberty and justice for all” with “health, peace and freedom for all.” He’s even going to build a snazzy Global Peace Center that will be a shining beacon for all humanity to embrace his message of love.

The guy’s a frickin’ Care Bear. Maybe he can team up with Gene up there and replace booze with pot and patchouli. Then we can all hold hands and head for the Global Peace Center (complete with prerequisite pyramid) where we’ll all drink the Kool-Aid and catch the next ride to Heaven.

Think I’m being too harsh? Behold The Metacube. Tell me that’s not the result of a three-day acid binge. Now he wants to share his vision with you. The Metacube will use its wondrous holographic imagery to teach you things, and you will enjoy such “Artaining” artifacts as The Violet Flame Initiation and A Comic Christmas Celebration (ooh! Parts 1and 2!). No more bombs, bullets and boobs to harsh your mellow.

You know, this guy just may have a shot. Because as well all know, everybody loves brainwashing.

Last but not least, we have my favorite candidate, Jack Grimes. I’ll let his picture do the talking:

Jack Grimes and his wicked cool Spartan helmet

Looking at the head of the United Fascist Union, I think we finally know what became of Ogre following the events in Revenge of the Nerds. How is Jack an unelectable crackpot? Let us count the ways.

First, he’s even less web-savvy than Gene Amondson. Jack can’t even be bothered to register his own domain name, and has instead co-opted somebody else’s Tripod account. I didn’t even know Tripod still existed, but there it is, powering the web for crackpots who can’t spring for three bucks a month.

Second, just look at that helmet.

Third, nothing endears a candidate to the people like touting the political ideals of Benito Mussolini and Saddam Hussein.

Fourth, just look at that helmet.

Fifth, snazzy matching uniforms for himself and his intended First Lady. Yeah. That’s sexy.

Sixth? You guessed it! Just. Look. At. That. HELMET! Only one man’s is more awe inspiring.

Okay okay, so he looks like a douchebag. Let’s at least give his issues a chance. I’ll start with the FAQ. It says I can make big bucks if I click on… oh, wait. That’s the Tripod pop-up ad. I’ll try again.

Ah, here we go. Blah blah blah… fascism… yadda yadda… class struggle… blah blah… Saddam Hussein… Wait! What’s this? “I would also halt urban sprawl by reviving center cities across America & enacting rules of public conduct that police would rigidly enforce.”

Ooh, Thoughtcrime! I can’t wait to see how that would work. I wonder if it will involve snazzy helmets?

Then he tells us what he’d tackle first in his Presidential Priorities.

Numero uno? Abolish paper money and replace it with a work point system. Apparently you get credit for the work you do, which you can then use to buy things. How novel! Screw salary, I want work credits! His second priority is to make things cheaper. No, really, that’s it: make things cheaper. I’m guessing work at the Chuck E. Cheese hasn’t been very fulfilling for Mr. Grimes.

Finally (yep, that’s right, three whole priorities), he intends to “create a league of nine or ten nations that would form a Confederacy of States to create a global government.” Nine or ten? Thanks for being specific. Dare I ask which nations? I get the feeling Chavez and Ahmadinejad will be numbers 2 and 3 in his Fave 5SM. Maybe Jack will bring helmets to their first summit.

So I get it now. The mainstream media isn’t going to give lip service to crackpots, even if it would be worth a few laughs and might jack up ratings. I say we force the media to give people like Grimes the attention they so richly deserve! On election day, I’ll be wearing the following button on my lapel:

“Vote Grimes 2008. Just for spite.”

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Who's Your Pres?

My friend Clark just sent me a link to ABC’s Vote 2008 Match-o-matic that finds your top three candidates based on 11 sample questions covering the war in Iraq, health care, immigration and tax reform. It told me my top three candidates were Mitt Romney, Dennis Kucinich, and Ron Paul. If need be, you can find an overview of all the candidates here.

While I think such tests are a good guide, I have a few problems with them. First, there are a lot of issues they don’t cover, and they don’t always take into account your feelings about some of the issues. For example, some people aren’t affected by immigration and could care less, so those answers would have less weight.

Second, they all seem to crunch their numbers differently. This test spat out two Republicans and a Democrat. A test I took in the past listed more candidates than three, but my tops on that test were all Democrats, with the top two listed as Bill Richardson and Mike Gravel. So am I a Democrat or a Republican?

Which brings me to third parties. I tend to gravitate towards third parties, and most of the time the Libertarians seem to line up with my thinking. Most of the same silly tests about party affiliation put me squarely in the Libertarian circle. So where are the third parties on these tests?

More importantly, where are the third parties on the lists? The link above doesn’t have any third party candidates. Nor do any of the other media outlets I found in a quick search. Non-partisan sites like Project Vote Smart list them, but there are more than you can shake a stick at (including a handful of whack jobs to keep things interesting). But hey, at least they’re making an attempt, not just perpetuating the two-party system.

Which leads to the big problem. Take the test, then go through the results. On how many points do you actually agree with the candidate? When I was told I should vote for Bill Richardson, I had a 70% match. Respectable, but I had to consider the weight I assigned to various issues. On ABC’s list, however, I only matched 5 of 11 responses to my alleged top candidate Romney, and only 3 of 11 responses to both Kucinich and Paul.

In the end, the test just confirms how I really feel:

These guys are all full of shit.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

More Huckster BS

Huckabee got busted again, this time claiming most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were clergymen. Best case scenario: 4 out of 56 of them were practicing or former preachers. Only 1 was an active minister. (Thanks for the link, Tim.)

This is the second time this week he’s demonstrated religion is going to be behind every decision he makes, and people like that just plain scare the hell out of me. Fortunately Bush has pretty much sunk the Jesus lovers, so we shouldn’t have to worry about the Huckster come ’08.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Abortion and the Workforce

Presidential wannabe Mike Huckabee is quoted as follows regarding abortion and the reduction in the American workforce:

“Sometimes we talk about why we’re importing so many people in our workforce,” the former Arkansas governor said. “It might be for the last 35 years, we have aborted more than a million people who would have been in our workforce had we not had the holocaust of liberalized abortion under a flawed Supreme Court ruling in 1973.”

Many are taking issue with the Holocaust comparison, and I can see that. What I really have a problem with, however, is his claim that the abortion rate is somehow impacting the American workforce. Because I’m sure that every single one of those million babies would now be a stable and productive member of society after being brought up by a mommy who didn’t want them in the first place. Because none of those million babies were aborted for medical issues. Because none were done to save the mother, which would have taken her out of the workforce.

Uh huh. Tell me another one, Huck. By your same reasoning, if we’re having to hire immigrants and illegals to pad out the workforce because there aren’t enough workers, then our unemployment rate should be near zero. Instead, we had a 4.7% unemployment rate in September, and there were just over seven million people unemployed last year.

One has nothing to do with the other. If you find abortion distasteful and immoral, then you should have the balls to say so, not just go pulling meaningless statistics out of your ass.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.