Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Electoral College 2016 / What is it anyway? / Is it fair? / Why do we have it? / and Donald Trump (Conclusion)

Well, it is over.  Donald J. Trump is to be the next President of the United States.  The Electors, selected by their respective states, for the most part, voted as their state designated.  But five Democratic Electors bailed on Hillary Clinton; and two Republican Electors failed to vote for Donald Trump as they were sworn to do.

Get this though, the ‘faithless’ Democratic Electors voted as follows:  three voted for Colin Powell (believed to be a Republican – but maybe not), one voted for Bernie Sanders (OK, perhaps understandable), and one voted for Sioux Tribal Leader Faith Spotted Eagle (pictured above).

On the Republican side, one of the ‘faithless’ Electors voted for John Kasich (Yes, Kasich is a Republican and did run for President) and one ‘faithless’ Elector voted for Ron Paul (Ron is a self-avowed Libertarian, but Ron Paul’s son, Rand, did actually run as a Republican Presidential Candidate.  Apparently, said Elector didn’t think Rand was ready for the ‘big show,’ forgot his name, or clutched under pressure).

A couple of thoughts here:

First, I love that term ‘faithless.’  Where’d they come up with that?  It seems to have some religious connotation – not on purpose I imagine.  Kind of archaic – maybe some history there.  And, I suppose the synonym ‘unfaithful’ has another more modern meaning – perhaps overused already.

Were these ‘faithless’ Electors making a political statement, or were they making a joke about what the Electoral College is or has become?  They will indeed have their fifteen minutes of fame; and historians will remember them fondly as ‘screwballs.’  And so goes are political system.

I kind of agree with the Electoral College system and wouldn’t necessarily support its abolishment.  It’s a good thing in a way – giving smaller, less populated states a say in the process.  But, I think the Electors should be subjected to a significant penalty for not voting as they promised to do.  How about 30 days in the County Jail and a $5000 fine?  That way, if an Elector decides to stand on principle, or to just be difficult, he or she might think about their decision more than once – and, perhaps, make that decision while not under the influence of an intoxicant.

True Nelson

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Electoral College 2016 / What is it anyway? / Is it fair? / Why do we have it? / and Donald Trump

On December 19th the Electoral College members will vote and confirm Donald Trump as the next President of the United States.  And, I must say that most Oregonians that reside in the Portland Metro area have their respective undershorts or panties in a bunch regarding that expectation; not to mention the Hillary supporters, aka liberal activists (rioters) (or as I affectionately refer to them – ‘knuckleheads'), who spent a good bit of their inordinate spare time wrecking a very liberal city (Portland).  Moreover, the majority of said ‘knuckleheads’ didn’t vote or were not even registered to vote.  However, that didn't seem to hold any particular sway with them.  And, incidentally, said rioters will not, for the most part, be prosecuted because around here we are very protective of free speech – even when it includes significant taxpayer dollars lost (in the millions) for property damage and police overtime.  No one was killed you understand.  And, boys and girls (as they say) will be boys and girls.

So here we are.  The new target (temporarily) is the Electoral College.  Liberal activists are hoping that the appointed Electors will revolt and turn the process on its head.  If so, the Electors by showing their disapproval of the process, which they previously volunteered for (including swearing an oath), will as a result throw the Presidential election into chaos.

The Electoral College:

Unfortunately, most voters do not know much about the Electoral College and I’ve done some research that may be helpful.

How is the number of Electors for each State established?

Each State gets the number of Electors equal to the State’s number of members in the U.S. House of Representatives plus their two Senators.  Washington DC (not a state) also gets three Electors.  Each State has a minimum of three – correlated to two Senators and one Representative.  Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories do participate and vote in the Presidential primaries, but do not vote or participate in the actual election.

It is important to note that the number of Representatives to Congress is designated by the associated State’s population – not the number of registered voters and not the number of actual U.S. citizens in the State – it is the population overall based on the census at which time everyone is counted.

There are approximately 2.7 million residents in California designated as being illegal, about 7% of that State’s population.  Those illegals are counted toward awarding California its apportioned Congressional Representatives – even though the 2.7 million are in this country illegally.  For perspective, the 2.7 million illegals are equivalent to approximately 70% of Oregon’s entire population.  So, what’s the point?  Could it be that California actually has more Congressional Representatives and also Electors than it should have?

We live in a Democracy, or do we?

Yes, I understand that Clinton won the popular vote; but lost the Electoral vote.  And, many claim we live in a democracy – so what’s up with that?  Perhaps a technicality to some; but (surprise) we don’t live in a pure democracy.  We live, and have always lived since this Country was founded, in a ‘Democratic Republic.’  What’s the difference?  Well, it’s time you looked it up.  The Electoral College is emblematic of a ‘Democratic Republic.’  Pure democracies can become tyrannies where 51% of the population dictates to the 49% (some have described it as ‘mob rule.’)  The U.S. Constitution, in many respects, was written to protect the 49%, the minority – and that is a standard that most of us would agree is a good thing.  Am I wrong?

To be continued…

True Nelson

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Thanksgiving Dinner at Jake’s in Portland (2016) / the good and the bad / The ‘Homeless’

I know Christmas is less than three weeks away; but I’ve still been thinking about Thanksgiving – the good and the bad - mostly the bad.

This year the family went to Jake’s on 10th Street in downtown Portland for Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s a nice restaurant.  Eating out on Thanksgiving might not be everyone’s cup of tea; but it certainly saves a lot of wear and tear on those who customarily would be required to prepare Thanksgiving dinner at home.

Well, what was it like having dinner at Jake’s?  The answer:  good and bad.
The meal and service were very good.  The meals started at about $40, but I guess that’s to be expected considering the holiday aspect and the venue.

However… right outside the large window where we were seated was a ‘homeless’ woman, huddled under a quilt, trying to stay warm on a cold, rainy night.  She was, or at least looked, middle-aged.  I couldn’t get her out of my mind.  Except for the window, she was not more than four or five feet away.

We were in the restaurant about two hours.  When we exited the restaurant onto the street, the woman was mostly covered and facing the wall.  I lightly touched her shoulder and said something like, “Ma’am, excuse me.”  The quilt was wet to the touch.  She glanced at me and if looks could kill I would have breathed my last at that very instant.  I put a twenty down near her face.  She grabbed the money and pulled the quilt over her head.  I walked on with my family.

This ‘homeless’ woman is not unique.  In Portland, ‘homeless’ people are everywhere.  It is a public disgrace.  The City of Portland has been struggling with the problem for many years, but it only seems to get progressively worse.

The Oregonian newspaper (photo above from the same) did an article awhile back on the subject.  At the time, their research found that 20% of the ‘homeless’ are Mentally Ill, 20% are Chronic Substance Abusers, 10% are Victims of Domestic Violence and 10% are veterans.  I suppose some, maybe many, are on the streets because this is their choice.  I don’t know.  But, there are thousands of the ‘homeless’ populating Portland streets.  Why can’t we do something?  Why can’t we at the very least care for the Mentally Ill?  Wouldn’t that constitute some progress?

Next Thanksgiving, I will not be eating at Jake’s.

True Nelson