Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Voting For Gatewood Galbraith, Instagram, Dividends, and Going To Jail.

Gatewood Galbraith was awesome. I voted for him today, even though he is no longer with us. While in his perpetual candidacy for a slew of offices in Kentucky, he was (unfortunately) never given the chance to serve. Galbraith was the kind of guy that smoked pot everyday and made sure that everyone knew it. 

With the kind of honesty the he exuded, I don't see how you couldn't trust the guy. If that isn't enough for you, he was all about smart governance and getting rid of the 2 party (mockery of a system) that we have in our country. Even more so the case in the Commonwealth. The following series of videos give you a good idea about the guy.

His autobiography is wonderful. Basically, it's a tell all of him doing drugs, shooting guns, getting through law school, practicing law, and running for office- he was kind of like a respectable version of Charles Bukowski. I even have a personalized copy of the book that he signed in my brother's driveway. He couldn't turn off his car because of a failing battery... The guy was classic.

We lost a true treasure when he passed away earlier in the year. He was honest.

I dislike the political slant of Ben Chandler because he seems to cast votes to just stay in office. He's the type of guy who says pandering things like "I want to welcome the new counties into the district" so he can sound homely.

I have met Andy Barr on several occasions and frankly, don't trust him- he is too embedded in the pseudo-republican power machine that rests in Fayette County. He is the kind of guy that says things to the effect of "I am running to save my newborn daughter's future" to try to relate/scare people.

Randall Vance is a guy that is sincere (and supports Gary Johnson, nonetheless), but would probably be in over his head. I once talked with him at a farmer's market where he talked about having mechanized robots to fight our wars and do jobs for us... That's either crazy or being talked about 50 years too soon.

The candidate's debate on KET shows the lack of choice that voters had in Central Kentucky.

As such, I decided to express my distaste for the candidates by writing in a dead person who I still have a great deal of respect for. If that doesn't show a distaste for your selections, I don't know what does... Honestly, I thought the whole thing was kind of humorous, so I snapped a picture with my phone and uploaded it to Instagram, sharing it on Twitter and Facebook.

Then, I was informed by multiple people, that I was risking jail time...

And that, on the face of things, seems to be backed up by several authoritative sounding articles... with names like "Voting+Instagram=Jail" and "If You Want To Stay Out Of Jail, Don't Instagram Your Ballot". It even made it's way to Mashable and The Atlantic. As such, how could you not be scared into altering your normal taking pictures and preserving into the pristine digital clarity that the internet can provide? After all, in both articles, the authors clearly state that Kentucky's laws “expressly prohibit the use of photographic and recording equipment inside polling places.” 

Well, the only problem with that, is that the quote from KRS statutes the articles makes reference to doesn't prohibit cell phones of voters... it actually pertains to making lists of voters with cell phones. There is also a prohibition on certain types of media involvement around the polling place.

In fact, the Citizens Media Law website references legislation that doesn't even pertain to electronic media in a polling place... It does however reference the following:

"No election officer, voter, or other person permitted by law within the voting room,
except for challengers appointed under KRS 117.315, shall use paper, telephone, a
personal telecommunications device, or a computer or other information technology
system for the purpose of creating a checkoff list or otherwise recording the identity
of voters
within the voting room
, except for the official use of the precinct signature
roster that is furnished or approved by the State Board of Elections and is otherwise
permitted by law." (italics and bold are mine)

To further bolster this, the County Board Of Elections Guide Book, which is put out by the Secretary of State, specifically says that you can't bar someone from being in the polling place because they have a cell phone and makes no reference to photographing your own ballot. I wasn't even recording my own identity... It is obvious from the get go that I wasn't doing anything immoral as there is inherently nothing wrong with me taking a picture of my own ballot. Since I am in Kentucky, as I read the pertinent laws, I certainly wasn't doing anything illegal. After all, I wasn't making any sort of list, and I wasn't recording the identity of anyone.

I am guessing that the authors of the articles didn't expressly look at the legislation- and why would they? I would say that they just did some sort of quick scan to make their article sound good. Really, I think that is a pretty common thing. To me, I find it an example where what is commonly "known" isn't  necessarily correct. If this were a financial market, say, in regard to a dividend payment or something, there may have been money to be made. As Saj Karsan has pointed out, I think that TSR could potentially be a great example of that sort of action (check out my comment in the article regarding FRS). Hell, even the recent talk of dividends and share repurchases at Solitron is an example of why you should look into things for yourself.

The only problem with this, is that we have set up a system where people don't try to think for themselves. Maybe it's human nature to be like that, but I certainly have hope that we can eventually be a world in which there is no worry or fear mongering about going to jail for taking pictures with our cell phones, we know when we should get dividends, and otherwise know when we are acting within the law... 

Disclosure/Disclaimer: I and accounts that I manage are long shares of SODI but have no position in any of the other entities mentioned. I reserve the right to change my/our position(s) at any time. This is nothing more than my opinion. You should always do a ton of your own research before even contemplating anything that I say, do, write, or so much as think about.

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