Oct 22, 2016

Saturday Data: Russians at The Alabama Polls

   The Russian Government wants to have observers at the polls in several states on Election Day. But given the allegations of Russian cyber-interference in this contentious election year, they've been told Nyet!

     The Washington Post reports the request came from the Russian consulate in Texas. 

      Some states outlaw all international observers at the polls, even the most innocent types who want to learn from us. I looked it up, and was not the least bit surprised to see Alabama is among them. 

     I was surprised, a little, to see that Alabama also prohibits "non-partisan citizens" from the polls. The National Conference of State Legislatures says those observers can be helpful:

Nonpartisan observation can provide a particularly important way for citizens to encourage accountability in the democratic system outside of party structures. In some cases, nonpartisan citizen observers are able to report election administration issues as soon as they arise, thereby helping administrators to respond immediately and avoid further problems.


Thirty-five states allow those observers. The rest, including Alabama, do not.  
     Monday is the deadline to register. 
     The 2016 Voter Guide from the Secretary of State's office identifies these deadlines:
NOVEMBER 8, 2016
October 24 Voter registration deadline.
November 3 Last day for voter to make application for an absentee ballot.
  November 7 Last day for voter to hand-deliver or postmark an absentee ballot.

The Election Guide also advises: 

The voter has only the following legal ways to return the absentee ballot:
  • forwards the absentee ballot by U.S. Mail, or
  • personally hands the absentee ballot to the absentee election manager (or delivers by a designee in the case of emergency absentee voting)

Or not. I tried to assist an older couple with their absentee ballots last week because one is hospitalized and the other spending almost the entire time in the hospital room. I went to hand deliver the ballots in sealed envelopes provided by that very election office. The ladies there were very nice, but said they were not allowed to accept hand-delivered ballots other than by the voter him or herself. I had to turn around, carry them to the Post Office, and mail them back to the office.
 Happy voting!

Oct 19, 2016

A Post Debate Polling Warning

Image result for PEW logo

     Even before Trump and Clinton have said their last words, the world will be filled with post debate "polls" claiming to know who "won". Some are those awful online polls in which people self-select themselves to take part, an immediate violation of the rules of scientific polling.

The PEW folks have posted an article about what the believe...and not believe...about the polls tonight. 

Watch the debate on CBS 8 tonight in Montgomery.

Hyundai Employees: Is This an Elantra You Worked on?

According to the AutoGuide.com website, Hyundai has remade a standard Elantra into a rather amazing race car..inside and out:

".....the team is working its magic on the Hyundai Elantra. Called the ARK Road Racer Elantra Concept, the sedan takes the practical yet sporty lines and infuses it with an alternate persona, sporting integrated fender flares, forged racing wheels and custom front and rear fascia designs.

Go to the website posting for the inside stats, which includes:

"...a custom ARK turbo kit using an Xcargot XT26 turbocharger, Turbosmart blow-off valve and wastegate."
     The 5th Generation Elantra is assembled not only in Montgomery, but in a half dozen other places around the globe, so there is no way of know where the basic car they transformed came from. But I've asked the question of ARK Performance, and I'll post an answer, if I get one.
    Here's a photo of the 2017 model, before modifications.

Oct 18, 2016

THURSDAY at Archives in Montgomery

Alabama Department of Archives & History presents
Food For Thought 2016
The History & Culture of the Muscogee People
Presented by Justin Giles
Thursday, October 20 at 12:00
at the Alabama Archives
In the 1830s, the Muscogee (Creek) people were removed, like so many others, from their ancestral home in Alabama and other southern states to Indian Territory where they made a home out of necessity. The Trail of Tears may have ended where Tulsa was founded, but the tribal government, art, language, and scholarship of the Muscogee people continue. 

This month, Justin Giles, former director of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Cultural Center & Archives Department, will discuss the history, culture, and enduring spirit of the Native Americans who first called the land of Alabama home.
Admission to Food For Thought is always FREE! Bring a brown bag lunch, complimentary beverages are provided.

Food for Thought 2016 is made possible by the Friends of the Alabama Archives and a grant from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. 
624 Washington Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36130

Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our videos on YouTube  View on Instagram

Oct 17, 2016

Charter Schools & Race.

    Just about every topic of conversation in Alabama has a racial angle.

     And so it is with Charter Schools, private schools that are supported by tax dollars but that operate independent of public school systems.
     Now the National Association for The Advancement of Colored People board of directors has approved a resolution opposing the charters until several factors change:
1. Charter schools are subject to the same transparency and accountability standards as public schools
2. Public funds are not diverted to charter schools at the expense of the public school system
3. Charter schools cease expelling students that public schools have a duty to educate
4. Cease to perpetuate de facto segregation of the highest-performing children from those whose aspirations may be high but whose talents are not yet as obvious.

     The Alabama Legislature approved Charter Schools last year, but none is operating so far. A board set up to oversee them gave thumbs up to a couple of proposed schools last month, but no Montgomery area entities applied.

The national Black Lives Matter group opposes Charters, but The Atlanta Black Star newspaper reports:

A 2015 poll conducted by the Black Alliance for Educational Options in Alabama, New Jersey, Tennessee and Louisiana found that approximately two thirds of African-Americans supported charters. Another recent poll by Education Next revealed that 46 percent of African-Americans were in favor of public charter schools while 29 percent were against them.

Oct 16, 2016

The Hunter's Super Moon (NOT)

     I intended to get some shots of the "Hunters" Super Moon last night but clouds got in the way...

There's another so-called "super" Moon next month so I'll try again.

The technical term for a supermoon is perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system. In astronomy, the term syzygy refers to the straight-line configuration of three celestial bodies.

And that's what we call it a super moon. 
National Geographic reports:

Next month’s supermoon promises to be the most impressive, as it will be the largest full moon visible in our skies so far this century.

Also Coming up:
2016:  Monday November 14
2017: Sunday, December 3rd
2018: Monday January 1st