The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

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Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

I’m not sure if this is good news or bad news for Troy King…

Posted by ALmod on October 21, 2009

Both Alabama senators are throwing their backing behind someone else.

Now, considering how popular Shelby and Sessions are among local Republicans, that can’t be good news for King.  However, being backed by Shelby and Sessions isn’t the sort of thing that bolsters my support of any candidate, so I have to wonder if on some level this is reverse psychology.

Posted in Alabama Government, Elections | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on I’m not sure if this is good news or bad news for Troy King…

This can’t be right…

Posted by ALmod on August 29, 2009

So I’ve recently come to the conclusion that polls are b.s.  Some of that has to do with the fact that I took a look at wording and how questions are asked.  (Wording is very important, as I often remind my husband when he gets my drive-thru orders wrong.)  Take for example the following two questions:

1. Are you satisfied with your current health care coverage?

2. Do you think the United States needs some form of health care reform?

These are two very different questions, and I can almost guarantee that most people will answer to the affirmative to both questions.  Depending on which side of the issue you want to show support for, you base the question you ask on that.

This leads me to this next bit.  According to Ben Smith (and I can find no link to the actual poll itself), the Alabama Education Association recently sponsored a poll that showed a favorable lead for Artur Davis.  Now, I don’t doubt that Davis has a fair chance, but that’s not the part that gets me.  The part that stuck out for me is this:

“The survey finds President Obama holding up reasonably well in the conservative state: Fifty percent of Alabama likely voters are either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the job he’s doing…”

Call me a cynic, but I find that hard to believe.  While I personally have no huge qualms with the current president, my outlook isn’t as rosy as it was on election day.  To imply that the president is more popular in Alabama now than on election day rather than the oposite that seems to be true in much more Dem-friendly territory is a big red flag.  Of course, we don’t know what questions were asked.

Posted in Alabama Government, Elections | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Chuck Norris Endorses Roy Moore

Posted by ALmod on August 26, 2009

Looks like Barrens chat today will be a little more interesting.  I just hope we don’t see another commercial like this with Roy Moore in it.

Posted in Alabama Government, Elections, Laugh It Off, Video Games | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Chuck Norris Endorses Roy Moore

Poll: 48% of Alabama residents don’t know what “conservative” means.

Posted by ALmod on August 19, 2009

Okay, well not quite, but I had to take a little dig.  Ron Paul is a conservative, and 48% of the state didn’t support Ron Paul.  In fact, they canned him for being against the Iraq War.  I did get a small kick from this quote:

“There’s no doubt the Republican Party is the conservative party, so I think it’s got to be good news for Republicans in Alabama,” said Alabama Republican Party Chairman Mike Hubbard.

Yeah…  Sure you are…  Because  spending that STILL makes Obama’s look like a drop in the bucket by comparison (as long as it’s not a Democrat doing it) is a conservative principle?  Starting wars for no good reason is a conservative principle?  Government agencies spying on the citizenry is a conservative principle?  Throwing out the first ammendment for “free speech zones” is a conservative principle?  Throwing out habeas corpus is a conservative principle?  Big government is a conservative principle?

Good grief, Hubbard!  At least the Democrats are honest about being liberals!

Posted in Alabama Government, Elections, Federal Government, Laugh It Off | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Poll: 48% of Alabama residents don’t know what “conservative” means.

Glenn Beck has never heard of cookies or EULA statements?

Posted by ALmod on August 8, 2009

Here’s a clip I found amusing:

The line Beck is so worked up about is basically an agreement for the owner of the program/site (in this case, that would be the U.S. government) to monitor you while you use it.  There are a number of reasons for this and a number of ways to do it, but it’s done by virtually every site out there– including this one and Fox New’s own website.

Now before you accuse me of doing something dreadfully horrible, hear me out.  Most sites install what is called a “cookie” on your system for various reasons.  Perhaps you want to stay logged into that site when you return to it the next day.  The cookie keeps that information so that it’s possible to do that.  It also helps keep track of other personalized site features.  For me and other bloggers, it gives us nonpersonal information like the amount of site traffic we’ve had and where that traffic was referred from.  I’m not exactly getting your bank account information or name or home address.  But I can tell you what Google search words sent you here.  I can also tell things like what type of browser you were using.  That helps me to improve my site and get more traffic.

It also helps sites that are supported through advertisements to better assess which ads to place and so forth.  Government sites want to make sure that you’re not doing anything illegal with their site– like creatively modifying it to send out a virus or datamining it for the personal information of other people who have used it.

This is nothing new.  In fact, it’s been going on for years.  If you own a computer, chances are that you’ve already agreed to these terms with Microsoft (or whoever else owns the operating system you’re using) and the owners of any other software you have.  Back when the RIAA was first freaking out about pirating, it became increasingly popular to monitor and make sure you weren’t using any stolen software.  And yes, the process would have allowed them to see other things as well.  In fact, the first thing I thought of when I saw the agreement that Beck is ranting on was the End User Liscence Agreement (EULA) that I have to agree to everytime Blizzard releases a new patch for World of Warcraft.

Check out #17, in particular:

“A. WHEN RUNNING, THE GAME MAY MONITOR YOUR COMPUTER’S RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY (RAM) AND/OR CPU PROCESSES FOR UNAUTHORIZED THIRD PARTY PROGRAMS RUNNING CONCURRENTLY WITH WORLD OF WARCRAFT…

B. WHEN THE GAME IS RUNNING, BLIZZARD MAY OBTAIN CERTAIN IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR COMPUTER AND ITS OPERATING SYSTEM, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION YOUR HARD DRIVES, CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT, IP ADDRESS(ES) AND OPERATING SYSTEM(S), FOR PURPOSES OF IMPROVING THE GAME AND/OR THE SERVICE, AND TO POLICE AND ENFORCE THE PROVISIONS OF THIS AGREEMENT AND THE EULA.

C. Blizzard may, with or without notice to you, disclose your Internet Protocol (IP) address(es), personal information, Chat logs, and other information about you and your activities: (a) in response to a request by law enforcement, a court order or other legal process; or (b) if Blizzard believes that doing so may protect your safety or the safety of others.

D. BLIZZARD MAY MONITOR, RECORD, REVIEW, MODIFY AND/OR DISCLOSE YOUR CHAT SESSIONS, WHETHER VOICE OR TEXT, WITHOUT NOTICE TO YOU, AND YOU HEREBY CONSENT TO SUCH MONITORING, RECORDING, REVIEW, MODIFICATION AND/OR DISCLOSURE. Additionally, you acknowledge that Blizzard is under no obligation to monitor Chat, and you engage in Chat at your own risk.”

And be sure to check out the Fox News website’s Privacy Policy to read all about how they collect and use your Personally Identifiable Information (“PII”).  In my humble opinion, they actually do a fairly good job of clarifying and simplifying everything– much better than the website that Beck is harping on.  But it’s still pretty much the same thing.  In fact, just for fun, pull out some software manuals (if you kept any of them) and start reading the privacy policy.  Even my web browser collects a certain amount of information.

And if you use satelite or cable television?  Well, that’s being monitored, too.  For similar purposes.  Ain’t “privacy” grand?

EDIT: After taking another look at the video, I realized that the highlighted exceprt Beck is going on about is specifically targeted at hackers who might be using the site to “mine” personal data.  Considering that this is a government site that asks people to log in with personal information, it could potentially be a dream come true for those with nefarious purposes.  And so, it would make sense for them to monitor the use of the site.  If they noticed anything suspicious, they could notify a third party government authority (foreign or domestic) should they suspect an attack of that nature.  Now, being a video gamer, I probably see it a lot more than some people because it’s very prominent in the video game industry.  But the Chinese industry for this sort of thing is HUGE.

EDIT: FactCheck.org has weighed in, and they actually caught something I didn’t.  The site in question is for dealers and not every day citizens/car buyers, as Beck seems to be implying.  (And he did imply well, as I thought he was referring to a site for participating consumers and not dealers.)  Regardless, the assessment is the same — nothing nefarious or unusual is going on here, and these two are overreacting.  In fact, the EFF says pretty much the same thing I said, which is that the language is meant to alert the user that the site is working to keep personal information secure.

Posted in Corporate Craziness, Entertainment, Federal Government, Laugh It Off, Mainstream Media, Republicans, Video Games | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Palin Resigns as Governor of Alaska

Posted by ALmod on July 3, 2009

As much as I’m not a fan of Sarah Palin, I’ve never seen a need for her to resign.  Of all the people in the world, why on earth is she stepping down?  Talk about unexpected.

Posted in Republicans | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

A GOOD Argument Against Government-Controlled Health Care

Posted by ALmod on May 18, 2009

While I’m actually for a government-run health care system like those run in other countries with significantly better systems than our own, I have to say that Dr. Paul has presented the best counter-argument I’ve heard thus far.  I can even understand his logic.  I just happen to disagree.

I feel that what he’s referring to would need more government controls (on health insurers) than we would be removing (on Medicare, etc.) to make it work, and the same politicians who would normally support Dr. Paul’s idea would also favor health insurers and let them run wild– thus screwing up the entire thing.  And so I’d rather support a system that is actually proven to work– where folks spend less money and get better care.

That being said, again, Dr. Paul does have some good points to make, and you don’t hear any bogus, scary talking points about how you won’t be able to choose your doctor and emergency rooms will be crowded.  Why is it so hard for opponents to make such rational arguments such as this?  Honestly, if this was the debate I typically saw from the right, I’d take them much more seriously.

Posted in Elections, Health and Wellness | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on A GOOD Argument Against Government-Controlled Health Care

Michael Steele: Private health insurance is burdensome on small businesses.

Posted by ALmod on May 16, 2009

Okay, so maybe that’s not what he actually said.  But consider for a moment what he’s suggesting.

Private health insurance is burdensome on small businesses, and I agree with him on that fact.  And if a small business (or even a large corporation) has issues with getting the deals that it can get on “bulk buying” private health insurance, then how exactly is it not to be expected that an individual who does not receive such a benefit from his employer would have the same issues?

But on the subject at hand… Isn’t it just abso-posi-lut-a-tively adorable that Mr. Steele seems to think that gay people only wed people of the same gender to gain legal benefits?  (And Santa Claus is real, too!)

You know what else is going to burden small businesses, Mr. Steele?  Straight couples.  Let’s say we forbit company employees from getting married and having children.  Those do put a rather large strain on the company as well.  And seeing as how that’s the majority of workers, I’d say that would ease a HUGE burden on those small businesses.

And for that matter, paying salaries also hurts businesses.  What say we cut that out, as well?

Just remember, folks.  When GM and Chrystler tank, it’s all because of “the gays.”

Posted in Alabama Government, Corporate Craziness, Health and Wellness, Laugh It Off, Republicans | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Michael Steele: Private health insurance is burdensome on small businesses.

A Glimmer of Hope for the GOP

Posted by ALmod on May 15, 2009

Meet Dr. Rand Paul:

I know I shouldn’t get my hopes up.  I know I should probably stay my normal, cynical self.  I’m only setting myself up for a world of hurt, but I can’t help it.  This is exactly what I’ve been waiting to see in my Republican Party.  Dare I hope that we could be looking at a GOP presidential candidate in 2012 or 2016?

Posted in Elections, Republicans | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on A Glimmer of Hope for the GOP

To Sen. Specter: Please come back (or at least join someone else)!

Posted by ALmod on April 29, 2009

I know a lot of folks are ticked at Sen. Arlen Specter right now, but I actually like the guy.  He was one of the few remaining GOP senators that I can still stomach.  That pretty much just leaves John McCain (barely), at this point.

I can relate to Sen. Specter to some degree.  He’s a moderate like me, after all, and these days, I’m finding less and less in common with the mainstream GOP.  I believe in small government (with some exceptions), less spending (with a few exceptions), and a strong national defense (but force used with restraint).  Those are core GOP principles, but the GOP seems to be backing away from those principles to appease the far right.

The problem is that I don’t relate to the Democrats.  While I’m willing to compromise some spending and some regulation, I’m not ready to go as far as the far left wants.  The Democrats do have their moderates, but make no mistake…  They’re just as far left as the Republicans are currently far right.  I doubt that’s what Sen. Specter has in mind.

So why join the Democrats?  Do they really NEED any more warm bodies?  Why not instead break away with other moderates of both parties and form a strong third party?  I want MORE choices, not fewer.

Posted in Elections, Federal Government | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on To Sen. Specter: Please come back (or at least join someone else)!