It’s my birthday! The Democrats Won!

As a present to me, this is the end of all whining about how an election was stolen and an end of campaign ads.  Anyone living in Ohio realizes that there isn’t a better present than that!

As far as daily living, this election result will be the most benificial.  You can breath better in Ohio now and I’m not referring to the total ban on smoking off of your own private property that goes into effect on December 8th.  Breathing in the office should be easier too.  At the end of the last election, those who voted democrat around the office were very bitter and very angry. You quickly learned to stay away from them. Today the comments I heard were republicans were “Oh, well. Stuff happens; fear not!”. And even the staunchest replublican greeted me with a smile when I walked in the door.  And that is SOOOoooooo much better an environment to be in.  So, it’s a good birthday present. I was not looking forward to the atmosphere in the world in general if the republicans had won by a slim margin.The ballot issues in Ohio were interesting.

The first one, a workman’s comp issue was recalled. So many people spent a lot of time reading the full page of 6pt font when they didn’t need to.

The second issue was raising the minimum wage. It passed. It’s probably over due for the min wage to be raised, but I didn’t like how this was an ammendment to the constitution. I believe the constitution should be left untouched as much as possible. Additionally, the minimum wage is now tied to the inflation rate. I’m not convinced that that’s how it should be. Wages do not raise and lower exactly in harmony with the inflation rate. So, not being an economist, I don’t have enough data to know if this was a good idea. However, now that it is in the constitution, if it is a bad idea, it will be very hard to change.

The next election was the “Earn to Learn” initiative in which said, if you let two gambling cartels build their casinos in Cleveland and lock out all competitors for the next 16 year or so, they’ll give some proceeds to local schools. “Some good can come of this.” was the slogan. Which is just horrible. It told you explicitly that a lot of bad was already part and parcel to it. It’s like a line in the bond movie as a laser is about to insinerate him “Don’t worry Mr. Bond. Some good came come from this: that tie never did go well with that suit.”

The next two issues were smoking bans. The first one was a limited ban and failed. The second one banned smoking pretty much everywhere except in private dwellings and cars. In Ohio, there is no smoking in any place of busines and no smoking in any public area. This is definitely a curtailing of rights. However, as I’ve had asthma symptoms develop since moving to Ohio and its gotten much worse over the years, frankly, this will be a physical relief for me. Its now to the point where I can feel it in my chest if I have to speak with a co-worker about an issue. So, from a purely selfish aspect, this is much better for me. However, from a rights perspective, I think any business should be able to decide EITHER WAY if smoking should be allowed. I’ve weakened my conviction on this as my asthma symptoms have become more suseptable to specific brands of cigarettes. I heard comparison between smoking ban and setting a temperature at which dishes MUST be washed at a restaurant. Asthma has “spread” so much in Ohio that smoking can legitmately be considered a health issue more than a civil rights issue.

The next 5 or so issues were all lowering the school taxes by 0.01%. What!?!?! Who would want to do that? Well, it too had a hidden agenda. By lowering the taxes by an insignificant amount, there cannot be another initiative put forward for the next 5 years (I think) that could lower the taxes any further. So, this was a definate “The best defense is a good offense.” technique. It’s an interesting ploy. One person mentioned that they think that just having it on the ballot meant that it could not be readdressed within a certain time frame. Ahhhh Politics….

My kids had a discussion yesterday about voting:

Mom: “It’s election day!”

Son #1: “For who?”

Mom: “For everyone!”

Daughter: “I get to vote!”

Son #1: “No, you have to be 18, it’s like a rated R movie”

Daughter: “But there’s no violence…”

Mom: …contemplative silence…

Voted today – Good grief quite a turn out!

I usually get in and get out of the voting place in 5 minutes.  A little longer if I go in unprepared. for the issues.  This time there were 13 other people in line and when I left there were still about 10 people in line.

I usually get in and out of there in < 5 minutes when I go in the morning.  But Not today! Today I waited 25 minutes to get to the voting machine. That's not all that outrageous.  Still yeesh...

Nuclear Bomb in Iraq in 2002 & Wikipedia as a WMD (Website for Message Distribution)

There was a NY times story today on a webpage stating this:

Among the dozens of documents in English were Iraqi reports written in the 1990’s and in 2002 for United Nations inspectors in charge of making sure Iraq abandoned its unconventional arms programs after the Persian Gulf war. Experts say that at the time, Mr. Hussein’s scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away.

European diplomats said this week that some of those nuclear documents on the Web site were identical to the ones presented to the United Nations Security Council in late 2002, as America got ready to invade Iraq. But unlike those on the Web site, the papers given to the Security Council had been extensively edited, to remove sensitive information on unconventional arms.
The deletions, the diplomats said, had been done in consultation with the United States and other nuclear-weapons nations. Mohamed ElBaradei, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which ran the nuclear part of the inspections, told the Security Council in late 2002 that the deletions were “consistent with the principle that proliferation-sensitive information should not be released.

was on a web located here: Interestingly, it has been taken down and wayback machine has nothing on it. Now the information was on the website back in April, but the NY Times brings it up today stating how it was irresponsible for this information to be allowed in the public. Perhaps that is so…

A couple related articles:
Today’s NY Times article
The Chicago Tribune’s take on the papers
A conservative blogger’s view on it: NY Times Story PROVES Saddam Was Making Nuclear Bomb

I’ve yet to judge the material, though I certainly can understand why it is being discussed this week. I’m interested in this from the geek aspect, because, to me, it is fascinating that this whole thing, which really just broke today, has already been covered over on WikiPedia. Wikipedia, a versioning tool, will keep all records of what was recorded here. Will wikipedia become a weapon in these political debates? What happen since wikipedia includes information that has been removed from a governmental site?

This is how Wikipedia summarizes the documents:
Continue reading Nuclear Bomb in Iraq in 2002 & Wikipedia as a WMD (Website for Message Distribution)