Highway 431 Blog

Saturday, February 28, 2009

It's The Economy, Stupid! ::

Glancing through the classifieds just a short while ago I noticed that of the 23 ads in the miscellaneous section 7 were for burial plots at various cemeteries around town.

I also looked at the stock quotes and see that Sanmina is selling for 25 cents/share right now. I wonder how long they can hold on and I've been expecting dire employment news from the company for some time. That would certainly be a wake-up call for this area.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More On Diebold And Wal-Mart ::

I called the listed numbers for Diebold at the local Wal-Mart and Sam's Club locations in Huntsville. One number was disconnected and there was no answer at the other three. Here is the original Raw Story piece and I'm excerpting a bit from the article:

Utah is among the number of states that now use a partial or fully electronic election system, and Premier Election Solutions, a subsidiary of Diebold, is the company that sold the machines to the state. To convince Utah decision-makers that Diebold was a big company with a substantial presence, Kathy Dopp, founder of UtahCountVotes.org, reported that a company representative told the decision-makers in 2006 that Diebold “has about 20 offices in Utah.” When pressed further, the representative refused to give the locations of any of the offices. In fact, the White Pages lists 18 Diebold offices.

However, when calls were made to all of these offices, only one picked up the phone. And when the addresses of offices listed under Diebold in the White Pages were visited, the addresses turned out to belong to either a Wal-Mart, a Sam's Club, or no building at all. In the end, 16 of the 18 Diebold offices in Utah listed in the White Pages were false listings. One is in Salt Lake, and the other is in Bountiful.

A quick investigation by Bob Fertik on Democrats.com revealed that a similar scam existed in New York, with another Diebold listing in Buffalo turning out to be a Wal-Mart. Out of 13 listings in Florida, 5 turned out to be Wal-Marts. Similar office listings have been uncovered in Alabama, Mississippi, and New Hampshire. Since the office listings exist in each state and not just in Utah, it is probably unlikely that the corporate branch in every state is acting independently of each other.

Here is a comment from an anonymous poster to my original bit on Diebold and Wal-Mart:

Diebold makes cash registers as well as voting machines. Probably Walmart uses them, or sells parts and service. I wouldn't get too work up about this.

Not a very helpful comment as there are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of Diebold cash registers in Madison County so why are most locations and phone numbers throughout the country listed as being in Wal-Mart and Sam's locations? I'll bet that these locations have Diebold ATM's, but I still don't get the tie-in.

Just to feed the conspiracy theory a bit more, Wal-Mart has a very super-secret data collection center in Bentonville, Arkansas which is reputed to be state-of-the-art!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Diebold Offices In Huntsville ::

I suppose everyone is familiar with the voting problems associated with Diebold electronic voting machines, but I ran across something interesting on another blog a couple of days ago. I forget which blog it was, but someone had checked Diebold in the phone book and each listing was for a Wal-Mart or a Sam's Club so I decided to check out Huntsville and guess what? There are 4 listings for Diebold in the local white pages and two are Wal-Mart locations and the other two are the two Sam's Clubs here in town.

I find this to be not only puzzling, but extremely curious. I'm going to try to block out a few minutes tomorrow to call at least a couple of numbers to see what happens on the other end of the line. Maybe we should all try this.

Check your phone books for Diebold listings just to see what you find!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Our Senator, Richard Shelby, In Action ::

Senator Richard Shelby (R-Al) was speaking to a group of citizens this weekend down in Cullman, Alabama and had this exchange with a constituent:

Another local resident asked Shelby if there was any truth to a rumor that appeared during the presidential campaign concerning Obama’s U.S. citizenship, or lack thereof.

“Well his father was Kenyan and they said he was born in Hawaii, but I haven’t seen any birth certificate,” Shelby said. “You have to be born in America to be president.”

According to the Associated Press, state officials in Hawaii checked health department records during the campaign and determined there was no doubt Obama was born in Hawaii.

So, a citizen asked Shelby about a discredited meme and Shelby does not set the record straight that the question of Obama's citizenship has long ago been settled, but rather he knowingly obfuscates the issue. When pressed for a clarification here's what Shelby's spokesman, Jason Graffeo, has to say as noted on Politico:

Graffeo calls to say that the Cullman Times report is a "distortion" and that Shelby mentioned that he hadn't seen the birth certificate only as a "throwaway line" while listing the qualifications for office and explaining that the issue had been examined at length and put to rest.

Here's a further clarification from Graffeo:

The Cullman Times article contains an incomplete account, and therefore a distortion, of Sen. Shelby's comments regarding President Obama's citizenship. At the town hall meeting in Cullman, Sen. Shelby laid out the Constitutional qualifications for the Presidency and said that, while he hasn't personally seen the President's birth certificate, he is confident that the matter has been thoroughly examined.

Politico is trying to get a transcript of the exchange but, regardless of what that shows, the fact is that Shelby knowingly let a lie about the birthplace of President Obama continue to circulate with no effort on his part to discredit this lie. That in itself is abhorrent and deserves a personal apology from Shelby to Obama!

The truly unfortunate thing is that Shelby will most certainly only face token competition, if that, for his senate seat when he runs for reelection given that he reportedly has around $13mil in his campaign war chest.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Twenty Years ::

That's how long I've been here. I moved to Huntsville in February of 1989 with the intention of making this a temporary move of just a couple of years and then back to Atlanta. As it turns out I like it here a lot and I'm happy in north Alabama although I do miss Atlanta at times. I enjoy visiting friends over there when I'm passing through and I do miss the museums and art galleries, but all in all I'm glad to be where I am right now.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Still Here ::

But I guess I've lost track of time and all of my previous posts have drifted off into cyberland somewhere. I'm hoping to pick up a new laptop tomorrow so I'll have more time to actually have something to say here. I've taken on a couple of new personal projects that have been taking up a lot of my time-apparently more time than I had thought.

Rembemerances ::

nasawatch.com has some really great rememberances of Konrad Dannenberg.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I'm Kinda Back ::

I had to turn over my box to a friend who does computer fixin' for a living. In my years of building my own computers this is the first problem I have not been able to solve and I still have to transfer files from one hard drive to the new one so we'll still be MIA to some extent for the next couple of days.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Light Blogging! ::

I have some computer woes I'm slowly working through so I'll be MIA for another couple of days. I long for the day when all computer and computer peripherals will be wireless!