July 12th, 2004

run the fuck away

My solution to the voting crisis

Dear [your elected official]:
I am writing you to address the latest rash of terrorism related concerns- the threat to our national elections. Without regular elections, our government ceases to function as a democracy, and this is a hazard to all free peoples in our nation, and in fact, the world.
Unfortunately, plans for postponing the election do not solve the real problem; our election precincts, by virtue of what they are, are impossible to secure against a terrorist attack. Postponing the election would not alleviate the fear of attack- and fear is going to skew our voting; people may not go to the polls out of fear, they may vote for a choice they do not support out of fear, and so on.
There is no way to remove the threat of attack against a voting precinct. There are too many precincts, and all are in public locations chosen for their ease of access. So what can we do?
I propose this solution- if there is a clear threat to our national elections, a threat that makes democracy itself a victim, we must allow the elections to continue- from the privacy of our own home. I propose that the federal government mandates that all local elections commissions to distribute absentee ballots to all registered voters.
This will delay election results, and ruin primetime news coverage of the event. Though, it has been my experience that news coverage coupled with exit polls has the power to skew elections, so perhaps this is a good thing. Such a decentralized election process is immune to terrorist threat. The only down side is the larger amount of labor involved in tallying the results, and a small price indeed for safe, secure elections.

I ask you to take this proposal to your peers both in the House and the Senate, as well as with the local authorities in your constituency, so that this proposal can be given weight in discussions, thereby protecting our democracy from outside threat and interference.

[your name]

Live Journal, and its users are probably patent infringers...

Fantastic news. Oracle patened "self service system for website publishing."
"The web site system permits a site administrator to construct the overall structure, design and style of the web site. This allows for a comprehensive design as well as a common look and feel for the web site. The web site system permits content for the web site to originate from multiple content contributors. The publication of content is controlled by content owners. This permits assignment of content control to those persons familiar with the content." This patent was filed in March, 2000; prior art should, one would think, be relatively easy to find.

Congratulations Oracle for creating a patent that puts 90% of the web in violation. Your shareholders must be jizzing in their pants.