Random Thoughts at 36,000 feet

Joel Ungar
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I'm about 36,000 feet in the air heading from Detroit to Las Vegas to attend an SEC Update for Smaller Reporting Companies. Best part is the conference is at the Four Seasons. Love that place.

For some reason, I've got a few random thoughts going through my head. Here goes:

  • I've read about the efforts of various states to, as they put it, crack down on voter fraud. Some argue it is a badly disguised attempt to suppress voter turnout; others say there is just too much fraud. This is even going on in Michigan, where the Secretary of State is requiring ballots to have a check off box saying that you are a citizen. 

    This is what I don't get: as it is, all I need is a picture ID to vote. And that is all I need to get on an airplane. This seems off. Where can I do the most damage? On an airplane. It is exceedingly unlikely that my possible fraudulent vote (rest assured I'm a citizen) could cause as much havoc.

    I'm not saying I want to show more ID when I go through security at the airport. It just seems like these aren't equals risks.

  • I usually fly 30,000 - 40,000 miles a year on Delta. That gets me Silver Elite status. What I really need to be is Gold Elite, which is 50,000 miles a year. 

    Why do I bring this up? Because I couldn't get an exit row seat on this plane and I wasn't upgraded to first class and I'm totally cramped. Next time I can't get an exit row seat and it is likely a full seat, I'm springing the extra bucks for Economy Comfort, which guarantees more leg room. Which in turn means more work space. Somehow I'm managing to write this.

  • My wife's birthday is in two days and I still haven't gotten her anything. Good thing she doesn't read this blog.
  • Year-end audit planning is going to be underway shortly. I'm eagerly awaiting the update to the PCAOB audit guide from CCH. Call me a geek. I won't mind.
  • I think the Tigers were eliminated from the AL Central title on Monday. Still haven't figured out how this happened.
  • I'm looking around at the various computers on this flight. I'm using a Dell Latitude E5520 (I think) Guy one row up has a MacBook Air (looks like the 13" one). Have seen a couple of iPads, mostly used for entertainment purposes. Seeing a lot of ordinary laptops like mine and one that looked like an UltraBook.

    My daughter is a freshman at The University of Michigan. When we went for her campus day visit in late March, I paid attention to the computers I saw students using; I knew we were going to have buy one for my daughter. I especially remember being in the Law Library Reading Room (where I did a LOT of studying) and I saw maybe 50 computers. All MacBook Pros. Not a single PC.

  • For all of the Apples that were flying out of the store when I bought my daughter her MacBook Pro, that effect seems to have not hit this particular flight.
  • By the way, I'm really tired of lugging a laptop. Have to get a better alternative.
  • A week from today I'm going to Dallas for two days of fieldwork. If the client doesn't have extra monitors for us to use, I'm going to buy one of those USB powered portable monitors. No way I can work for two days with only one monitor. Which reminds me I have to email the client to find out.
  • Hope nobody is disappointed that the only time I'm mentioning LinkedIn is in this bullet.
  • Beginning to realize that I'm not likely to be a superstar on Twitter. 
  • There are some really good bloggers on this website. Hope you read them too.

If you've never commented on a blog before, here's your opportunity! What's on your mind? You can even tell me if you liked this post or if you thought it was really lame. My feelings might get a little hurt, but I'll get over it.

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By MrMer
Jun 26th 2015 01:10

This is what I don't get: as it is, all I need is a picture ID to vote. And that is all I need to get on an airplane. This seems off. Where can I do the most damage? On an airplane. It is exceedingly unlikely that my possible fraudulent vote (rest assured I'm a citizen) could cause as much havoc."

Well putting Obama as president did quite a lot of damage.
And I do not understand whats wrong with making sure that there is no fraud, fraud has the potential to eliminate the confidence in the whole democractic process.

Thanks (0)
By Joel Ungar
to Disappointed
Jun 26th 2015 01:10

First, thanks for commenting - I very much appreciate it. I'd have commented faster but I don't get notified of comments on here so I have to check back (which also raises my page views).

From what I've read, voter fraud isn't the huge problem. If the unstated aim is voter suppression of legitimate voters, I'd have a big problem with it.

The thought I didn't elegantly state was my one vote is unlikely to change the result of an election. Certainly it could happen, but it is unlikely. I think I could more likely figure out a way to bring down an airplane. Not that I'm spending time thinking about that (in case anyone from TSA is reading).

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By Tom Hood
Jun 26th 2015 01:10

Considering all of the unrest in the world and a general lack of real democracy, I think the right to vote and to prevent voter fraud is actually the "most damage" as it is the most important right we all have in the free world.

And isn't it ironic that I would need to show my photo ID to get in to visit our Attorney General to ask questions about why he does not support voter identification? Or that I have to show my ID at my local pharmacy (who know me) to get OTC allergy medicine? Is it really that much of a problem for people to have and show an ID?

Just sayin'

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By Joel Ungar
to opinionatedmoderate
Jun 26th 2015 01:10

Tom - love your blog with Bill Sheridan. You both inspire me to do this better.

Just sayin'.

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By Luisaophie
Jun 26th 2015 01:10

I've been having dreams about tornadoes (running, being caught in them,
sometimes dying in them) at least twice a week for almost 15 years.

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By shane
Jun 26th 2015 01:10

Regarding the voter fraud and airplane comments: Auditors evaluate material weaknesses in internal controls. If I found a material weakness in a company's procedures for issuing keys for the company vehicles, I would think about that differently than a material weakness in internal controls for entering Journal Entries into the accounting system. A material weakness in internal controls in the protection of physical assets puts valuable resources at risk. A material weakness in internal controls in financial reporting or corporate governance puts the entire company at risk. I would be much more concerned with weaknesses of corporate governance than asset protection. But don't listen to me, I'm a tax guy.

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