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Why the Electoral College? Existing Schools Not Good Enough?

Why the Electoral College? Existing Schools Not Good Enough?

Why the Electoral College? Are existing Schools Not Good Enough?

In reality, it was the Framers of the Constitution who came up with the Electoral College, not the Founding Fathers. The primary difference is that the Founding Fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence, and the Framers wrote the Constitution. While the first set of Framers were the Founders also and wrote the Articles of Confederation, the second set of Framers ( the party of the second part) wrote the actual Constitution once they discovered that the Articles would not be sufficient actually to govern the country. But the Framers just couldn’t bring themselves to allow ordinary people to vote for President directly. After the 2016 Presidential election, how many people are asking, “how’s that Electoral College thing workin’ out for ya?”

While the President was the only position to be elected by the entire country, there was resistance to allowing the decision to be made by the uneducated, common folk. After all, who knows what kind of lying, undisciplined, narcissistic, unskilled, nepotistic, snake oil con men, and traitorous leaders they would elect?

So, the Electoral College was a mechanism whereby the people elected Electors from their state (“notable” leaders) who would do the voting for the President. Because the House of Representatives favored the larger states (more representatives), they made a legislative compromise to allow the smaller states to maintain equal status with the larger ones by electing 2 Senators from each state.

This same mechanism was used to determine the number of members of the Electoral College: the number of House members plus the number of Senators. They would meet in their respective states on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December (who thinks of this stuff?) and simultaneously vote for the President and Vice President. At one point, the winner became President, and the runner-up became Vice President. That sounds fair, now doesn’t it? (Picture how that system would work in any of the elections you can remember in your lifetime. Trump-Clinton? Ewww.)

The Electoral College was a last-minute compromise

Not only did the Framers NOT consider women or Blacks as voters, but they didn’t want the Common People to vote for the Chief Executive of our young country. Some of the early qualifications for voting were property-owners or taxpayers because exactly who voted was left to the states to decide.

George Mason of Virginia argued that ‘it would be as unnatural to refer the choice of a proper character for chief Magistrate to the people, as it would, to refer a trial of colours to a blind man. The extent of the Country renders it impossible that the people can have the requisite capacity to judge of the respec­tive pretensions of the Candidates.’

And following the times, even the Declaration of Independence refers only to men — not women, not Blacks — but men, men, always to men.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Not surprisingly, some of the Framers of the Constitution had also been Founding Fathers signing the Declaration some 20 years earlier. Now they were trying to frame the Constitution, and they once again deferred to the States and allowed them to ignore women and Blacks if they chose to do so. (Another little-known reason for this is that the college couldn’t agree on a mascot, making who could vote as tricky as deciding on a mascot.)

This led to a continuing evolution of voting rules into and throughout the nineteenth century. In some states, free Blacks could vote, but not all states. The electoral process went through periods where only property owners could vote, and then only taxpayers. As the process evolved more toward white men only (regardless of whether they were property owners or taxpayers), women who owned property in New Jersey even lost the vote that they once enjoyed. (Rumor has it that this was the result of a brawl involving a member of the Soprano family of Nutley, New Jersey before migrating back to Sicily, only to return to the USA in the late 1800s.)

My personal choice for making wise choices in national elections is to test —

— for an informed electorate before allowing them to vote. Not enough voters care about issues to become knowledgeable enough to vote.

Man-in-the-street interviews seen on late night comedy TV demonstrate all too clearly that geography, current events, government, politics, legal issues and the like seem far beyond the capacity of modern US citizens to grasp or even care about.

However, naturalized citizens, who have given up their past lives to come here and work hard for the opportunity to grow and succeed, have to take a test to prove their understanding of our history and how our government works. Can you pass this test? I can. (98% correct.)

We’ve seen what happens when the “will of the people” is overridden by the Electoral College. We’ve seen what happens when people are too lazy to vote or leave it to the uninformed but passionate, to vote.

It’s time for the EC to go and time for people who care about choices their leaders make to get informed and get out the vote! Time to know and care at least as much as the legal immigrants our leaders rail about in terms of how our country is run.

Fake News

Fake News

Fake News

Social Media and Anonymity Breeds Bullies

Social Media and Anonymity Breeds Bullies

Social Media and Anonymity Breeds Bullies

If you’re reading this, you may have never known a time without social media. Or a time without bullies. For the rest of us, we’ve probably known at least one bully at some point in our life.

To be clear, Merriam-Webster, an online dictionary, defines a bully this way:

It used to be that a bully could just get in your face or call you on the phone or leave you notes in your mailbox or your school locker. Proximity was vital for the bully, so you could try to arrange not to get too close. Not anymore.

With the advent of the internet for almost anyone in the world and social media, anonymity is virtually guaranteed. The distance separating people also practically guarantees that it’s easier to be a bully without consequences.

Cable news shows, with their 24-hour news cycle to fill with content, often fill it with guest “panels” struggling to make their point, usually by making the loudest point. Cable news becomes an example for the rest of us.

So the fact that anyone can be a bully, especially on social media, leads me to offer an example if you need any.

My sister posted in this thread, so I went to check it out. It took place in October of 2012, during the presidential election. Nothing gets bullies more fired up than a presidential election. Instinctively, I saved the thread, not knowing what I would ever do with it, but now I know.

You’ll notice that it starts somewhat reasonably but watch what happens when I, a definite outsider, post a link to something they don’t like. The thread speaks for itself, but I pointed out some things to be sure they were clear.

Unfortunately, I got a little caught up in the fray in a couple of places, but the defensive instinct kicks in, and you realize that whatever you write, none of these people knows where you are, and there’s nothing they can do about whatever you say.

And That’s How Easy It Is to Become a Bully on Social Media.

One way to raise yourself is to put other people down. And if those people are seen as inferior already, always surrounding yourself with people like them, always makes you the biggest fish in a small pond. Don’t ever leave the pond, though. Reality can be daunting.

But this is America. We should be having an exchange of ideas, where the best ones are appreciated. In the acting profession or any other, working with the most talented people encourages a competition that makes the quality of the entire enterprise even better.

Another type of bully is the anonymous one. This one has all the traits of the first, but they’re afraid to be discovered because that’s just it — they’re afraid.

Maybe they’re afraid they’re wrong. Or if people know who they are, they could be punished. Note the extremists who lost their jobs and homes when we discovered who they were. Or maybe they’ve always found it easier to strike and run away before the going gets tough.

We’ve Always Been Told to Stand Up to Bullies.

I’m suggesting a corollary to that advice. Let’s not become them. If we do, we become a world of cowardly bullies, and we already have too many.

Think about it. I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with the names of some well-known bullies even if you’re not on Facebook, or Snapchat, or Twitter.

My Daddy, The Alien

My Daddy, The Alien

My Daddy, The Alien

Oh, boy. Tomorrow is Saturday, and that means Daddy and I are going to play the “Alien Monster” game just as soon as he gets off from work at lunchtime!

That may not mean much to you if you’re a grownup, but to a kid of 10 (going on 20, Mommy says), it’s my big chance to show him that I’m ready to be a man too.

Mommy always says I’m big for my age, and I think I have just the “trick” to bring him down this time. I’ll need to get Tony and Maria to help me, and they’re just little kids, but I’m pretty sure they’ll do it if I can come up with the right price.

So here’s how it’s going down. Daddy only works a half-day on Saturday, so he’ll be home around 12:30. Maria, she’s only 7, is going to meet him at the front door, all crying and everything. She’s really good at that.

Daddy’s going to be trying to find out what’s wrong, and he’ll be all kinds of sweet to her, but she’ll just cry and pretend like she can’t talk about it.

That’s when Tony and I get in place. (I’m George, by the way.) We’ll set up outside the back door. I’ll be on one side, and Tony will be on the other with the blanket, and we’ll both be hiding in the bushes on either side.

When we’re ready, I’ll give a little whistle. Maria is going to tell Daddy that Tony hit her and lead him outside the back door to show him where Tony is. And as soon as he gets outside past the bushes, we are on him! This alien may be big and strong, but let’s see him get away from a big 10-year-old, a big 8-year-old and a 7-year-old!

The Alien May Be On to Us Though.

Daddy has been acting strangely lately. He looks out the windows a lot. Sometimes he’ll even stop what we’re doing and shush us to be quiet so that he can listen to something outside. Mommy does this too. I think they do this to throw us off track, because all of a sudden, after looking for a few seconds, he’ll laugh and tell us he thought he heard “aliens” outside.

I can’t take all the credit for this game. My big brother, Carl, who’s a senior at Princeton University, made it up. He got us going before he left for college and told me the best way to beat the “Alien.” Surprise him. Daddy’s bigger and stronger, but that won’t work against the three of us if he’s under the blanket.

Okay, Daddy, let’s see how many aliens you see tomorrow from under a blanket!

Knock, knock. Knock, knock. Immigration! Open up!

What time is it? What’s going on downstairs? Sounds like a lot of people!

Tony and I are racing downstairs, and I win. When we get there, it looks like there’s an army surrounding Mommy and Daddy. Mommy is crying, and they’re putting handcuffs on Daddy. What is going on here? Three soldiers are holding Daddy, even though he can’t do anything in handcuffs. Maria is crying and holding on to Mommy around the legs, and Mommy can’t move.

Daddy sees us and yells out, “Jorge! Antonio! ¡Vuelve arriba! ¡Mami te lo explicará más tarde!”

I look at Tony, and he looks at me, and in one Spiderman move, we’re over the railing and all over the biggest soldier holding Daddy.

Mommy starts to scream, which sets Maria screaming. I think we’re winning because we manage to pull him away from Daddy, but the other two grab us from behind and pull us off him. Now Daddy’s yelling. I can’t tell if he’s still yelling at the soldiers or us, but it seems like he’s crying, too.

When the soldiers put us down, Mommy grabs us and drags Maria over too. When everything gets quiet, the soldiers walk Daddy out the door. He’s crying, I think, and Mommy’s watching him go and squeezing the air out of us.

The Man of the House Now

That’s me until Carl gets home. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, or when Daddy will be back, but I’m gonna do my best. I spoke to Carl on the phone, and he’s leaving school in New Jersey and will be here tomorrow. Mommy told him how we attacked the soldier, and Carl said he was proud of us.

It turns out that they weren’t soldiers, but their helmets and guns sure made ‘em look like soldiers. Carl said they were from something called ICE. Sure looked like soldiers to me.

Mommy says that Daddy didn’t do anything wrong, but it’s something that his mom and dad did a long time ago. That doesn’t make sense. If he didn’t do anything wrong, why did they take Daddy? Are they gonna make him pay for what his parents did? That’s stupid. Are they gonna take me for something that Mommy or Daddy did?

Spics Go Home!

We can’t go outside because there are people all over in front of the house carrying signs, and cameras, and microphones trying to get in. There are also police keeping them back in the street. One sign says, “Spics Go Home!” I don’t know what a Spic is, but I’m sure they don’t live here.

I don’t feel much like I’m ten going on 20 today ’cause I don’t get it. What happened? Maybe Carl can explain it better when he gets here tomorrow ’cause when Mommy isn’t on the phone, she’s crying. And, she’s crying on the phone, too. Maria won’t let go of Tony, and Tony just kind of stares at me with big, sad eyes. At one point, he asks me if Daddy will be back in time to play “Alien Monster” tomorrow.

I don’t know, but I don’t think so.

When Is the Last Time You Saw an AR-15 Walking Down the Hall?

When Is the Last Time You Saw an AR-15 Walking Down the Hall?

When Is the Last Time You Saw an AR-15 Walking Down the Hall?

Oh, really? “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.”

Let’s make this simple. There are two parts of this statement and if we removed the word “don’t”, both parts would be correct. But the original statement as offered by Wayne LaPierre of the NRA is not only a misleading lie, it’s designed to abdicate responsibility for the people wielding those guns.

We could also say that it isn’t the gun; it’s the bullet. This becomes the corollary to one of my father’s favorite quotes, “It’s not the fall that kills you; it’s the sudden stop.”

But, let’s get back to the original question.

Guns (AR-15s in particular) don’t walk or slither or crawl. They are inanimate objects designed for one thing and one thing only. They are designed to rapidly and effectively kill anything in front of them. They don’t decide to let something in front of it live or die. If something is in the path of its trajectory, it is going to be maimed or die.

So who decides: life or death?

The Gun or The Holder of the Gun? If you answered anything other than The Holder of the Gun, you are probably not as bright as you think you are. The AR-15 is a tool, something to make a human’s job easier. The mass shooter (school, movie theater, concert, nightclub, etc.) may accomplish their goals without an assault rifle, but it would take longer and he/she stands a much greater chance of being killed or stopped before completing their task. It only makes sense to use a more efficient weapon for that task.

Note that I said in the previous paragraph that I called the weapon an assault rifle. There are many articles on the web dealing with the origins and history of the AR-15, but I think you will find this one of the most complete and unbiased around.

One of the common threads is that the AR does NOT stand for assault rifle. In fact, it is currently (and laughingly sold as a “Sporting Rifle”). While it was originally designed for the military, it was designed by a company called ArmaLite (hence, the Armalite Rifle), who then sold the designs to Colt Firearms. Due to a variety of conflicts, the AR-15 model was sold first to civilians before the decision was made by the Army to buy it and rename it the M-16.

And by all means, let’s arm everyone so that as good guys, we are the only ones that can stop a bad guy with a gun!

Can you see it now? You’re inside the gas station, along with a dozen other customers looking for goods when the robber pulls a gun on the cashier. Obviously, he has nothing to lose, so when all of your untrained new-found friends pull their weapons as he runs and fires at the first person available, the circular firing squad opens up. He may not be the first to die, but I’m pretty sure he won’t be the last.

An AR-15 was designed for War and killing people.

Sporting Rifle? What sport? Bullshit. Ban it. Ban it now. And follow the lead of other countries who have grown tired of watching mass murders, so they’ve made obtaining these weapons extremely difficult to get.

Finally, are we really arguing about:

  • whether it is better to ban a certain type of weapon that our lawmakers profit from,
  • or do nothing about making it easier for sick, demented people to kill our unprotected citizens again, and again, and again, and again, and again?

Call your federal lawmakers and make sure they hear how fired up you are! End the Insanity!

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