Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana


October 31, 2012

House of Burgess: Software update available

Which political version will candidates use after election?

Kokomo — There are just six days left until Election Day. Most voters will either vote for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama for president. The problem with these choices is that there is no indication which version of these candidates you’re being asked to vote for. All one is given is the name.

When I’m asked to download an update for a computer program or an operating system, the file comes with a number attached. This process is called “versioning” and it helps in differentiating between unique states of the software in question.

For example, my iPhone 4 is currently running iOS version 5.1.1. It works fine. I see no reason to change. However, every time I plug my phone into my computer, iTunes keeps trying to prompt me to update to iOS 6. This is useful information because iOS 6 does away with the incredibly useful Google Maps-based navigation application and replaces it with Apple’s own software, Maps. And Maps has been, let’s say, problematic.

“Sears Tower in Chicago has reportedly shrunk, Helsinki railway station was listed as a park, and a British furniture museum [was] placed in a river,” reports French news service Agence France-Presse. “In Ireland, justice minister Alan Shatter has written to Apple asking for an urgent correction to an error placing an airport at a farm named Airfield in his Dublin constituency.”

Like Apple, both Romney and Obama have undergone some questionable changes regarding their main features over the last few years.

When Romney was running for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, he told New England Cable News reporter Alison King, “people recognize that I’m not a partisan Republican, that I’m someone who is moderate, and that my views are progressive.”

But when Romney spoke before the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, he had quite a different take on his time as the leader of the Bay State.

“I fought against long odds in a deep blue state, but I was a severely conservative Republican governor,” he said, to applause.

And then, the very next month, in March, Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom was asked by John Fugelsang on CNN if the fight for the Republican presidential nomination would cause him to “tack so far to the right it would hurt him with moderate voters in the general election.”

“Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign,” said Fehrnstrom. “Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.”

So, if you’re going to pull the lever for Romney next week, which edition will you be voting for? The pro-choice candidate he said he was when running for Senate in 1994, or the pro-life warrior he claims to be now? The man who touted Romneycare as his crowning achievement during his governorship, or the standard-bearer of the call to repeal Obamacare? The governor who signed a restrictive assault weapons ban, or the presidential candidate the National Rifle Association endorsed this month as the “only hope” for firearms freedom?

This isn’t to say that Romney is the only politician to undergo such dramatic software updates. President Obama has undergone several overhauls to his firmware in the recent past.

Are we being asked to vote for the Obama who said in 2008 that he was “not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on [medical marijuana],” or the president who has since surpassed George W. Bush’s record for crackdowns on state-licensed pot dispensaries? Is he the man who promised to close Guantanamo Bay detention camp, or the chief executive who still hasn’t shuttered it? Should I believe the guy who originally campaigned against the Bush tax cuts, or the newer version who extended them?

All I’m asking for is some consistency. Since neither Obama nor Romney can seem to manage his way around that, I’d at least like to know what features I can expect from their new software before I decide to update or not.

Rob Burgess, Tribune night editor, may be reached by calling 765-454-8577, via email at rob.burgess@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/robaburg.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • ROB BURGESS: You've gotta keep 'em separated In my career as a journalist I have served my time reporting on city council, county supervisor and state regulatory meetings, to name just a few. Whatever else they might have been, they weren't holy places. In the many, many hours I spent there I n

    April 23, 2014

  • ANDREA NEAL: A committee of 10 picked Ind. capital Editor's note: This is one in a series of essays leading up to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. Anyone who's ever served on a committee can relate to the old laugh line: A committee is a group of people who keep minutes a

    April 23, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Judge in gay marriage decision is no activist When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn't

    April 22, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Turner ethics case tests bounds of 'citizen legislature' When a legislative ethics panel meets this week to review the case of House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner, members could have trouble finding clear-cut answers, in large part because of the Indiana General Assembly's status as a "citizen legislature."

    April 22, 2014

  • Cleaning up Indiana could be as easy as a bottle deposit Scan the roadside on a drive through the Wabash Valley, and you might spot an empty pop bottle or two. Or two dozen. Or 200. Drink bottles have become our litter du jour. They compose an estimated 40 to 60 percent of all litter, according to the Mich

    April 21, 2014

  • Wolfsie: High-tech got you down? I love where I bank. It’s a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 21, 2014

  • Vasicek: Celebrating Easter I have shared a few bits of Easter humor over the years, so I thought I’d start with a new one. Joseph of Arimathea was the wealthy Pharisee who is famous for helping to bury the body of Jesus. He procured the body, asking Pilate’s permission, and, w

    April 20, 2014

  • DAY: God trusted us with them Well, you heard about my wife and I, and our families from the past, so it is time for me to tell you about two of the prettiest girls I have ever known. They are our daughters Debbie and Patty. They are the greatest gifts from God that we have had i

    April 19, 2014

  • LoBianco: Bigger ethics questions raised in House Turner review

    Members of the House Ethics Committee who will take up Rep. Eric Turner’s case face daunting tasks as they try to answer two questions: Did their powerful colleague violate any ethics rules in privately lobbying against a measure that would have hurt his family’s business?

    April 18, 2014

  • Hicks: Measuring the unmeasurable

    One aspect of economic research I think is especially powerful is the ability to measure or monetize the things that humans clearly value but for which a market price is not necessarily apparent. This is one of the aspects of economic analysis that gives it such dominance over other social sciences.

    April 17, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller