Just like you, I was fascinated by that old fart, McCain, picking a 44-year-old woman from Alaska to be his running mate. Doing a Google search for either Palin or Wasilla, I came across a well-written blog about Alaskan politics called Mudflats. The blog's author is AKMuckraker (possibly a pseudonym). AKMuckraker is new to blogging, but he's not new to writing.
Another Alaskan political blog of note is Progressive Alaskan Blog. Currently up rig now is a post with the highlights of Gov. Palin's mercurial rise in Alaskan politics, beginning with her slime campaign to become mayor of Wasilla. She's a Class One Nut. Oh yeah, McCain chose well.
Having lived in Alaska for most of the 70s, I continue to be fascinated by several aspects of Alaskan politics. With less than 700,000 people, Alaska is one of the last state-level participatory democracies. Literally anyone can and has run for statewide office. All you need is to be crazy enough not to understand your limitations. So if you're curious about what the locals are saying about McCain's choosing Palin and what kind of vice president the locals think she'd make, go read Mudflats and the Progressive Alaskan Blog.
The election watchdog group Black Box Voting, has sent out the following request. If you are not familiar with this group, you should be. The website is extensive, and there’s also a great documentary Hacking Democracy (available on Netflix) which tells the story of this organization and the amazing woman who started it all. This is possibly the single most important issue facing our country, because without preserving the integrity of the vote, we have nothing.
They also have a downloadable Tool Kit for the upcoming election on the website.
So do what you can. If you’re a blogger, post this. If you’re a tech, read below to see what you can do. Engaged citizen? Go to the website to learn more. Download a tool kit. Be prepared and know what to look for at your polling place. Keep your power and take back the vote.
This post will no doubt produce howls of objection for the vendors that read it. Black Box Voting is encouraging all individuals with a technical background to search and apply for temporary tech ELECTION SUPPORT jobs for the November 2008 election.
Hiring is underway for temporary technicians to help with voting machines this fall. Vendor dependence is undermining the structure of US elections, as described here in the new report by VotersUnite.org:
In a presidential election year, voting machine vendors will hire and train thousands of technicians staffed around the country. For example, anywhere that Election Systems & Software has a machine, they are under contract to provide an on-site support tech. Hart Intercivic, Premier (Diebold), and Sequoia also use Election Day support technicians.
Temporary election tech support jobs have been spotted on hotjobs.com, rollouts.com, and local tech temp firms like (in 2006) DecisionOne. The tech services firm may be a subcontractor for the big four voting machine companies. Sometimes you’ll find the positions advertised by your local county.
Sites like Rollouts.com have you register in their E-tech database. They search for techs based on skill set and area. There isn’t much in the way of a skill set needed for the election projects.
QUIETLY APPLY FOR THE JOBS
Anyone with tech skills interested in safeguarding the November election is encouraged to register at technical recruiting sites and apply for any election-related projects.
CONSIDER ASKING FOR TIME OFF ON YOUR FULL TIME JOB TO DO THIS. This November, there may be no better way to watch the behind-the-scenes process than to be a stagehand, so to speak.
It is not the vendor, and not the government, that has the right to elections information, it is the PUBLIC. Citizens have inalienable rights to sovereignty over the government they created and pay for. These rights cannot be honored without mechanisms to see all information related to elections, and ultimately, to have control processes that honor citizen sovereignty.
That said, it ain’t gonna happen this November. Therefore it is entirely appropriate, patriotic, and important, for citizens to apply for temporary positions as voting machine technicians to provide inside public oversight for the process.
There will be nondisclosure agreements, which are not appropriate at all for public elections, but it’s a reality now that vendors are trespassing on citizen right to know. There may be issues that arise which the public clearly has a right to know. When that happens, a decision must be made.
YOU WON’T BE THE FIRST
We have already been in communications with other patriotic volunteers who have successfully obtained these positions in the past, and are doing this for November.
THERE ARE ALWAYS WAYS TO DEAL WITH IMPORTANT ISSUES IF THEY ENDANGER THE PUBLIC GOOD. You, the People, are needed on the inside of the elections industry this November.
This is a public service bulletin from Black Box Voting.
Black Box Voting Tool Kit 2008 - free download here:
This post has been copied en toto from the blog, Mudflats. In my experience, the best way to keep elections honest is to keep the level of participation high, and to make people realize that we are the government and we are the nation. Another thing you can do is to volunteer to work the election as a precinct worker. - Houston
There's a new member of the Bridges household. On Wednesday, August 6, this fellow came to live with me.
He's a 3-year-old, 14-lb Maine Coon. His first name was Jack. The woman fostering him was calling him Beau. Right now he's hiding in a corner of my closet and doesn't respond to any names or words. I'll wait and see if there's any words or sounds he's partial to, but I think his new name is going to be Jack Bojangles. He'll probably end up being called Bo.
Look at that beautiful coat. Notice also how tall he is next to the bed.
An Update on Jack Bojangles: (Sunday, 8/10/08) He's adjusting very well. He now interacts with me regularly and no longer hides under the bed.
EARTH—Former vice president Al Gore—who for the past three decades has unsuccessfully attempted to warn humanity of the coming destruction of our planet, only to be mocked and derided by the very people he has tried to save—launched his infant son into space Monday in the faint hope that his only child would reach the safety of another world.
"I tried to warn them, but the Elders of this planet would not listen," said Gore, who in 2000 was nearly banished to a featureless realm of nonexistence for promoting his unpopular message. "They called me foolish and laughed at my predictions. Yet even now, the Midwest is flooded, the ice caps are melting, and the cities are rocked with tremors, just as I foretold. Fools! Why didn't they heed me before it was too late?"
Al Gore—or, as he is known in his own language, Gore-Al—placed his son, Kal-Al, gently in the one-passenger rocket ship, his brow furrowed by the great weight he carried in preserving the sole survivor of humanity's hubristic folly.