The Rigged Election Insult

rigged-electionsGenerally speaking, I try to avoid politics as much as possible in this blog – for a bunch of reasons including there are so many other places for that, there is no upside to being political sometimes and generally everyone has an opinion.  However during this election cycle, since my kids are talking about this a lot in school – one recurring theme bothers me; the talk of a rigged election is an insult to everyone.

Rather than getting into the politics of the candidates or their positions – I’d rather look at the sentiment of standing before the American people and telling them (with a mostly straight face) that the electoral process is rigged (one way or another).

It’s insulting to hear someone striving to become the president of the United States say our election process – which thousands have died to protect – is rigged.  It’s self-sustaining hubris to even take that as a position.

I live in a state where there is no “early voting”  In fact, I had never even heard of early voting until Risa and I moved to Texas in 1997 – and while in Texas, the state legislature there in what it said was an attempt to stop voter fraud enacted ID rules at polling places that have since been mimicked around the country.  The goal of these laws was to stop voter fraud – you know, rigging an election.

When I vote, I refuse to sign any additional paper other than the official registry.  That is my commitment to voting – signing the registry and casting my ballot.  One man, one vote.  In a couple of years 16.5 will be able to vote, and I expect her to follow suit.

But how does a candidate think it’s OK to say the election is rigged?  Because the don’t like what is said about them on TV?  That’s not a reason to claim I and everyone else who goes to vote is taking part in a fraud.  In fact, by my reading of election law in New York State would make me a felon – to knowingly cast a vote in a rigged election.  Is that what I am being accused of?

It’s a bad argument.  In fact, talk of the rigged election is an insult to us all.

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The End of an Era-The Obit of the Printed Encyclopedia

The first mentions of it came (at least my way) via Twitter.  Then I saw it on Facebook.  Finally, I was able to get to my iPad and see it in electronic-print for real.  It’s the end of an era as Encyclopedia Britannica surrenders to the inevitable and gives up the print editions.

Just think about how you found out about this. Chances are it was not this morning when you got your copy of the New York Times (or your morning paper of choice) from the end of your driveway.  Chances are it was not even on the late news of choice last night.  In fact, it’s very likely you found out about this “stunning” change via the same medium that helped kill the printed volumes.

I truly do have found memories of the encyclopedia (Britannica and World Book).  The new volumes coming out of the boxes.  The never-ending cross referencing you could from one volume to the next.

There were episodes of TV shows growing up-Happy Days leaps to mind quickly where being a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman played a central role.

And now, all of that content.  All of that information is available on line-and I am not even talking about Wikipedia.

Perhaps the first tell-tale that this day would come was when library Sciences moved away from Dewey decimal.  I don’t know.

But I do know, there is no way my kids would know how to pull an encyclopedia off the shelf and do some research.  I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing since I always strived as a student and strive as a parent to understand how to find information-wherever it is and not be slave to a specific method of finding information.

So, I’ll fire up my iPad (I have the 3 on order BTW) and read more about the demise of this piece of Americana via other institutes that have already made the shift-newspapers, magazines and video.  And you know what?

Even though I’ll remember the fun of looking through the images of the human body and the solar system in the printed books-the information is not lost-it’s actually more readily available.  And that’s a good thing, right?

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