Events

Congratulations, President Obama!

We have seen democracy in action, and we have achieved something amazing, as a country: we have elected the first African-American president. That’s something that goes a long way to wipe the wrongs of the past, and is something that would have probably made some of our country’s founders proud, had they been able to witness it.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7811491813839468741

There’s a long road ahead, and it’s paved with incredible challenges. I believe our new president is equipped to deal with them, and that’s why he got my vote and my wife’s vote. I hope he does what he promised to do, and that he brings positive change to this country. We’re in a huge mess, and we need someone to clean house.

Our federal government will now be a Democrat government, from top to bottom, which is something I’ve not seen yet. I hope they use their collective legislative power to do good things, and they don’t get caught up in bureaucracy or infighting. I think the next four or even eight years could be used to build our country up in an historic way, not unlike the period after WWII. The opportunity is there, but the right people need to do the right things, and they need to support our new president as he charts our country’s course.

One thing I also hope is that they’ve beefed up the security around him. I don’t want to see anything tragic happen. It would be disastrous. It is very unfortunate that there are still people in the US who can’t get over someone’s skin color even when that person is rational, intelligent, respectful and kind. But those people are around, and I’m fairly sure that they’re not dealing with this Obama win in any sensible manner. Let us hope the Secret Service does their job and neutralizes any threats before they arise.

I want to end on a positive note and wish Barack Obama and Joe Biden all the best in the years that lie ahead. I hope and pray they will meet every challenge rationally, calmly, and decisively, and that they’ll hold true to the promises they made during their campaign.

Image used courtesy of Barack Obama.

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Events

We voted today!

We got back a few minutes ago from voting for Barack Obama. Our polling place was Walter Johnson High School, in North Bethesda, MD. The line wasn’t too long. We waited about 25 minutes in line and it took about 5 minutes to vote.

The voting machines were electronic, and — I’m disappointed to say this — they were Diebold machines. After all of the controversy and research that Diebold has spurred since the last election, I am shocked to see the machines still in use, particularly after Maryland passed a paper ballot initiative a couple of years ago. These machines used a card with an embedded chips, that I inserted in the machine to get the votes written to it. When I got done, I put the card in a collection box and walked out.

Somehow this whole electronic process doesn’t inspire me with confidence. When I read up on it a few years ago, I found out that Diebold tallies the votes on a single computer, in an Access database that is easily hacked. Having designed and built Access database systems, I know how easy it is to bypass any sort of login restrictions and get right at the tables where vote totals can be changed in an instant without any sort of tracking record.

All I can say is that I hope for the best. Let’s hope this transition of power occurs smoothly, correctly, and in a democratic fashion, as George Washington wanted it to be from the get-go.

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