Thursday, January 26, 2012

Election 2012

In the next few months Alberta will be holding a provincial election, and I have been pondering what to do and who to vote for. For me, the option to not do anything at all,simply isn't viable. I need to be a part of the process, and I can say that I have never failed to vote.

I have learned not to trust, however. Or maybe I should say I have been forced to learn not to trust. Which pretty much sums up how politicians and the political process has evolved. It doesn't seem to make any difference if it's civic, or provincial, or federal.

I have also learned that every party at every level, has their political bullies. You know the ones, they lurk around corners, just waiting to pounce on you and make you feel useless and clueless. Or their favorite ploy, they lip off at you, and then never bother to respond back when you start asking some of those "good questions" or making comments about things that they refuse to discuss. But I get the feeling it's because they know you are right, and they are wrong, and they just can't honestly defend themselves or their parties stances on hot issues.

The following is my personal take on things, coming from the experiences I have received over the past few years, combined with discussions and news reports.

Our current ruling PC party... well, they have a new leader, who seems to have come out of the gate making promises of cleanups and reforms. Some of those have been started, some have been "modified" since the original statements, and some are pending. I see several of the current MLA's that are not going to be running again and you have to ask if they are jumping from a sinking ship. There has been some promises of reviewing what MLA's get when they leave... and for the average person they certainly get way more than anyone else ever will in life. And for the most part, very few of them actually deserve it. As a life long resident of Alberta, I am really very tired of these golden hand shakes and huge payouts. It has to stop, and it has to be retroactive. PC party coat tails have been too long, and if you want us as the general public to really believe in you then you need to clean things up. Taking your time to do that, is not acceptable.

Then we have the Wild Rose folks. Mega amounts of talking and making statements. Many of those have been of an arrogant nature to boot. I am not impressed with that, sorry. You folks talk up quite the storm, but from what I have heard from inside sources, your party is all about control. What makes me skeptical and curious at the same time, is the out right refusal to say where your leaders donations have been coming from. We do know you have major backing from the Oil industry... and that tells me you are going to be "beholding" to them, rather than serving the needs of the public.So many other things over time, have come up as well. The stance and internal flipping on health care is a huge concern. I do however, like the fact that you stood up for the City Center Airport remaining to serve the needs of the medical community, and should be enhanced to bring back our "gateway to the north". How the current government ever let the city close down the only practical runway for medivac services is beyond me... Of course, we all remember the baby that died as a result of that decision.

Next would be the Liberals. Quite the tough time in getting off the ground, and while you have tried you haven't really been effective. Of course, being up against a government that has refused to listen to the people in the past, has not been easy. And then along came Raj... maybe a little lippy at times, and apparently has done some things "for effect", rather than for honesty. I heard that those boxes of documents being hauled out of the car "for show", were really FOR show, and that the boxes were mostly empty with papers being taped so they hung outside for dramatic effect. I don't know how true that is, but... it does make me wonder about the credibility factor for sure.

And then, there is the NDP. Oh, if Grant were only alive... Anyway, they have been trying like the Libs have been, and of course have been running into the same problems. It is what it is, right? But, there is that "attitude" thing again. Ever since I started diving into politics several years ago, I have always stated to every party and every person... "I do not care what party you are with. If you have a good idea then I will willingly stand by your side and fight for it". Yet when I met Brian for the first time during the public protest event over at City Hall about the arena, and shook his hand... and then mentioned that (at the time) I was a member of the Alberta Party... What did you do? You looked down your nose at me and turned away. One never knows but maybe the old "tit for tat" thing will come at election time.

And finally, that leaves the Alberta Party. Above all, you folks have taught me that you are no different than any of the other parties out there. You scream about the "Big Listen" and imply that you actually listen. And I will say that indeed, you do. But only as long as it suits your internal Board of Directors directions. As much as I politely tried to bring the City Center Airport issues up, I was ignored. I have already posted on how I was told it would be discussed, so I won't bother bringing that up again. And I fully expect someone from the party to respond and say "it is a City issue"... Well, maybe the Airport is on City land, but the medical side of that service is under provincial control. You should have stood up to the plate, for the people, to make sure that service stayed until something *acceptable* was in place. You knew about the baby's death as well, and said nothing.That just isn't acceptable.

With all of this said, I will do full disclosure here. Yes, I bought membership in the Alberta Party. I paid my 10 bucks, and because of the PC race a while back, prices were dropped to 5 bucks, and now I have had a year added on. I could turn it in and say 'screw you', but that would be 10 bucks wasted. You could say 'screw you' and cancel it and send me my money back. Meh... like I really care. And yes, I did also buy a membership in the PC party during the 'race', because I wanted to have a SAY in the selection of the replacement for Eddie.

In closing, I will state at this point, I have no clue on the party or the person I will be voting for when the time comes. My desires are for a government that rules for the 99% and not the 1%. I would lean towards a party that promises to create recall legislation for both civic and provincial politicians, and makes the process of doing official complaints and/or referendum type rules easier. For example, the legislation now says you need a certain percentage of signatures, but includes all residents including children. Yet children are not allowed to sign a petition. Logic says this is just wrong. And I would lean towards a party that would severely cuff industry upside the head for things like price fixing. You know.. like gas... and power... all in the name of profits.

I AM the 99%. And I count.My numbers are growing, which could make your numbers shrink faster than you could ever dream. If you can't be open, and honest... then you need to leave. Sooner is better.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hey Google...

In this post, I am literally biting the hand that feeds me, because this is about some funny things Google is doing ... and yet here I am posting on a Google blog. It is what it is.

Many who know me, know I tend to be very anal about the security on my computer system. And I am like that because working with computers for over 30 years I have learnt to be wise. Over the past while, watching my internet traffic and various browsers, I have noticed some changes in the way that Google has been working.

Now, I get that Google is on a gathering mission... in many ways we want that to happen. But what exactly IS Google gathering anyway?  Not so long ago, you could search on Google, click on a link, and it would take you to your selection. The browser "back" button was never enabled, because you had nothing to go back to, presuming that you opened your link into a new window... That has all changed because Google is obviously adding in some more tracking stats or something, because now you go to Google to pass on "stuff" before being directed to the website you wanted... and... the back button takes you back to Google's re-direction scheme.... Meh... certainly annoying...

And for whatever reason, many websites are now using some form of "Google Analytics", and to be honest, I got so pissed at seeing SO many hits to this service, that I blocked it from working on my computer.

Today, I was looking at a website for a few seconds, and noticed the blocked entry appearing in my list. And of course, I snickered under my breath. I closed the browser after a few seconds, since the page I was on wasn't exactly what I was interested in.

But wait!!! I started browsing at 7:55:25, and I closed the browser at 7:55:30 ... 5 seconds later. So WHY was it, that my system was still trying to "respond" to Google at 7:56:53, almost a full 90 seconds AFTER I closed the browser? Like... what the h***...

But then, it gets even better.

Over a minute AFTER the last attempt made by whatever "leftovers" were still running from closing the browser... Google THEN made several "burst attempts" to communicate to MY system, trying to 'talk' to me on multiple ports.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words...

So... Is Google your friend? Really??