Thursday, November 8, 2012

For Safekeeping

It’s been such an exciting week around here, between the elections and my day job.  I’m feeling so upbeat about the latter these days, which is good because I have a lot of work to do this month on a grant that needs to be resubmitted.  Today I wanted to follow up on a few things from my post earlier this week on voting in Texas.

First, I found my voter registration card!  Unfortunately, I think I was far from being the only person confused about polling places on Tuesday—I met another person in line who had gone to the wrong place to vote, and through the grapevine I heard there was generally a lot of scrambling around as people tried to make it to the polls on time.  For me, this underlines my point on Tuesday: Texas needs to do a better job with informing people about polling places.  Why not include that information on the voter registration cards?  I think that’s what the state of Illinois did, and it was always a helpful reminder so that I knew where to go.  Or Texas could at least remind its voters to verify polling locations by visiting the Secretary of State’s website.

While I was waiting in line for the second time on Tuesday, a friendly stranger recommended as a useful website for all things voting-related in Brazos County.  I wanted to mention it here as a reminder to myself and any other College Station residents who may be confused about where to find information about voting in Brazos County.  I know that politics can be very confusing and frightening if you’re unfamiliar with the protocols, so a good website is worth its metaphorical weight in gold.

In other election news, I loved Kate’s post from Tuesday.  Birds of a feather, man.  In this case, we flock together on the internet, chirping at each other about sustainability and green living, civil liberties and the injustice of war.  Politically, I’m a cross between a Democrat and a Libertarian.  I find Obama to be a reasonable choice for President, though I wish he were more radical on environmental/energy issues.  I am in favor of a government that invests in science and technology.  The history of science tells us that discovery and innovation do not happen without some failures mixed in with the success stories.  Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is lying!  In addition, there is a lot of evidence that the funding source for a particular study can have a huge impact on the results of the study.  That, to me, is one of the main reasons why it is so beneficial to have a non-profit research sector.  (This study, about the efficacy of smoking cessation products, is a great example of funding bias.  You can read the article’s Summary Points to get the gist of the study.)

Goodness, I’ve become so political in my old age.  Thank you for indulging me!  I hope it’s been a good week for you too, dear reader.


Rosiecat said...

"Health authorities should emphasise the positive message that the most successful method used by most ex-smokers is unassisted cessation."

So quitting may be hard, but at least it's really cheap! :-)

Kate said...

Glad you found your polling place and got to vote!