Nonspecific Update - It's been a rough few days. Mattie had a relapse and was hospitalized for a few days for some steroid and chemotherapy. But there were things I wanted to post here for the loyal readers.
"Purple Crack" - The Globe magazine had an interesting story this week about Prilosec in specific and drug companies in general. This business is a bit of a mystery to me, especially the rules surrounding patents vs. generics. The article contends that AstraZeneca is using its lawyers to extend the profitable life of Prilosec (preventing cheaper generics) while readying a switch to a new drug (Nexium) that doesn't really work any better but has a new patent.
Boston Globe Online / Magazine
USA - Gun Distributors to the World - So now we've got "Homeland Security." Wonderful. But while we're passing all these new limitations on our freedoms, why hasn't there been any serious effort to prevent terrorists from arming themselves through the USA's lax gun laws? We're arming the terrorists that we're supposed to be fighting. Read: The Guns of Opa-Locka: How US Dealers Arm the World
The Onion on The Election - This is The Onion's "man on the street" parody. This week it's about the midterm elections. My favorite is the comment by Rodney Garn,Systems Analyst: "The American people have spoken. And they have said, 'Duhhh, I likes chockomut ice cream.'"
The Onion | What Do You Think?
Case of the Disappearing Votes - As I mentioned in an earlier post we've had some problems in our town. Here's What Maggie has to say:
The town clerk had told me "we didn't count the write-ins," after she tried
to convince me that Randall Forsberg wasn't running "legally."
When I got that latest message from RF which said that it was illegal for
the town clerks not to separate out the write-ins, I called the Secretary
of the Commonwealth. Well, I guess nobody knows their job. On the
website it says that a candidate has to petition for a recount, but she
called me back today and told me that I could do it. She also told me that
the town clerks in Somerset were going to sign affidavits saying that there
were no write-ins. So I went up and got the form, and it does require that
the candidate petition for a recount. It asks for the signature on the
form, so the town clerk called the S.O.C. for me, and she said she'd made a
(When I was standing in the office reading the form, the town clerk said
"That's going to be an expensive recount," to which I replied "You should
have counted them in the first place." She said nothing back.)
This has certainly been more of a learning experience than I expected! At
least I now know to tell the town clerk when I've voted for a write-in
candidate, and that I expect the vote to be counted!
So here's where we are. The form requires 10 people from our voting district to sign, and what you're signing is something that says you believe the count will affect the nomination or election of a candidate. Unfortunately, we do not believe that. What we do, now, believe is that our town has not been conducting the election(s) in accord with Massachusetts state law. Since they're willing to sign affadavits to the effect that there were no write-invotes and we know we put the votes in there, we know the law was broken. But until there is a count of those votes, we have no way to prove it; it's our word against theirs. But we can't affirm that we believe that count will affect the winner of the election.
You'd think the state would be interested to know whether or not their laws are being followed in our district. Is the request for the officials to sign affadavits the extent of their investigation?
Patti provided the following comments on a previous posts, but I thought I would elevate them into the blog because they apply here:
I have two complaints I must file with my town (offices are closed today, so I shall call tomorrow).
- The pen at my voting booth was so fuzzy, it was hard to write in Forsberg, but I did. New pens, please.
- The local paper that week reported 2,000+ votes for Kerry, ~600 for Cloud, and NONE for Forsberg.
WTF? Did my vote evaporate?
I just got the results for my town (Stow), and Randall Forsberg got 51 votes. I forwarded all the Senate vote results to the Forsberg campaign.
I also wrote to the Elections Commission and told them about the fuzzy pen that made it damned near impossible to write in a candidate's name and address. I asked them to ship new pens to Stow for the next election. I also asked them if voters can use their own pens, and if it had to be a special type (I mentioned that the answer to this question should be disseminated to all poll workers state wide).
We had the same problem with our pens.
Pattern of Deception - Our president exhibits a pattern of deception. One wonders why he isn't just straight with us? What's the big fat hairy deal? via Spinsanity: Spinsanity - Making Bush tell the truth
"Then, in July, the Office of Management and Budget issued a press release that severely underestimated the percentage decline in the 10-year federal budget surplus caused by the Bush tax cut (apparently an inadvertent error). Rather than admit its mistake publicly, OMB deleted the error and posted an altered version of the release (Adobe PDF file) on its Web site with no indication that it had been changed."
Feeling Left Out In the Desert? - Perhaps you need to stop by at the LiberalOasis. Among other things, they're saying that the Democrats have to start saying no compromises. Huzzah! Let the GOP screw it up on their own - now is the time to stick to principles.
Take a drink of cool water.
My Vote Didn't Count - People say that when you vote for a third party or when you write-in a candidate that your vote did not count. Well, I wrote in Randall Forsberg for senate and my vote should have counted as a protest to Kerry's rolling over and approving the president's War Powers Resolution. Instead, my vote did not count because my town did not bother to count the write-in votes!
We're looking into why this happened. When Maggie called the town hall to find out whether they have tallied the votes yet (in an attempt to help the Forsberg people organize their election results) she was told that they had not bothered to count any write-in candidate votes. Then she was told Ms. Forsberg was not a legal candidate, which strikes me as a complete and utter ass-covering fabrication. As you can see here, other communities are counting their Randall Forsberg write-in votes. In fact, the lady got over 13% of the vote in Amherst, almost double that of Cloud, who was on the ballot.
There is a page recording problems people have had writing in Randall Forsberg. I expect our story will be up there after Maggie submits it.
Black Tuesday - Well, the Republicans are in control of our federal government now. They have 2 years to prove they can provide leadership. My personal opinion is that they've just been given enough rope to hang themselves with. Just as they did in in the era of the "Contract With America" they will over-read their mandate and piss off the American people. And the next election will unseat the president.
Well, we shall see.
Votes Speak - If you're against the war, a MA resident and are upset that Kerry voted for the Bush War Powers Resolution, then Randall C. Forsberg may be the Democrat for you. If you want to send a message to Kerry, what better way than to write in Ms. Forsberg on election day? See:Randall C Forsberg, ballot demo for details.
I'm sick of voting for people who don't represent my interests, no matter what party they're from. I'm sick of the lesser of two evils. Once in a while a message needs to be sent that my vote cannot be taken for granted.