"Don't hurt people and don't take their stuff" - Matt Kibbe

10/27/20

Elections Don't Matter

 By Grant Davies

Writing click bait titles to blog posts is a form of entertainment for me. I'm not very good at it. But I'm easily amused, so I do it.

The above title can be used to get people to read this stuff because everyone either agrees, disagrees, or wouldn't read anything here no matter what. That just about covers all the blogging bases. 

This essay can go in a lot of different directions. Readers have probably formed an opinion about what it was going to say in the single second it took to read the title. Almost everyone will be wrong. Get used to it. I got used to being wrong all the time. You can too.

So where is this going? It's heading toward the preposterous election system that the country has morphed into. It used to be that we had a bad system. But at least we were used to it. Now the details change so often and are so convoluted that no one knows what the hell is going on. One new wrinkle is mailing out millions of ballots to people who didn't ask for them. What could possibly go wrong? 

A lot of people have no confidence that an election will succeed in its fundamental purpose. So let's get back to fundamentals. 

Most people (except power seekers) were hopeful that the process would yield good choices. They hoped for open access for voters and candidates alike. They hoped for fair and honest elections. They wanted a simple system where the results were certain and the peaceful transfer of power was a sure thing. 

It may be that we never had those things. But most were satisfied that it was close enough. Today we certainly do not have those things. 

As an aside, if there wasn't so much un-needed power being passed out it would hardly matter who won the elections. But that is a topic for a different day. 

Here is what the system has morphed into instead. 

A constant battle and changing rules about: 

  • Who is allowed on the ballot.
  • Who is allowed to vote. Citizen or non citizen? Resident or non resident? Adults or children? 
  • When the vote should be taken. On one day or over a rather long period of time? 
  • When shall the votes be counted?
  • How the vote will be cast. In person or by mail? 
  • How a state will cast its electoral votes. 
  • How campaigns will be paid for.
  • Who determines access to the debates.
  • Whether people have to prove they are entitled to vote.
  • Who can donate to a campaign and how much.
There are other issues as well but that's a short list to start with. No wonder people are confused and have lost confidence. 

Depending on the answers to those questions, elections can matter or not. But those are not the only reasons elections may not matter. Some folks, like me, never have a real chance to be counted. That's because no candidates, except the "approved" ones, are given a real chance to be elected. 

The biggest problems are not being addressed. And they never will be by the ruling party. Yes, there is a ruling party. It has two wings but it's the same building. That party will not allow it to change. No party gives up power willingly.

What should we consider in order to get back to the fundamentals mentioned above? I thought you'd never ask. Actually, you never did ask. But I'll pretend you have been waiting breathlessly for that opinion. 

So, do elections matter? I think some do. But only if they are conducted after the problems are corrected. 

I have some ideas and you probably do as well. Unless, of course, you like the current system. 

Fundamental things I think must change.

  •  It should be easier to get on the ballot
  •  There should be conclusive evidence that someone qualifies to vote. If it's too much trouble for someone to prove they are qualified, they don't vote. It's their choice.
  • The governments only role should be to insure a fair count and prevent fraud. 
  • No laws or regulations that favor any system or political party should be made.
  • No "matching funds" should be provided.
  • The government should not pay for any primary elections.

If parties want to select their candidates by public votes they should pay for it themselves. If they want to light up cigars in smoky back rooms and pick someone for their party to run for office, it could hardly be worse.

 It goes without being said that gerrymandering has disenfranchised more people than any other single gimmick that has been perpetrated on the electorate. Additionally, I think "ranked choice" elections like the ones that are catching on in some states (Maine is one) should be debated and expanded.

You may have other ideas. We have a comment section on this blog. Feel free to use it.

10/25/20

A Short Story


 By Grant Davies

Two men walk into your bank and steal your money. They are wearing masks. This time they are Halloween masks. One looks like Joe Biden and the other looks like Donald Trump.

They do not announce "this is a robbery." They steal your money by making it worth less than it was worth. 

You thought they were in line to make a deposit in your account. You saw the check they deposited. It was for $1200 and you were very happy. Your wife got one too.

By the time you figured out that you were robbed and were sad about it you had forgotten the whole incident. 

The end.

10/23/20

Squashing the Little People Again

By Grant Davies 

Two economic illiterates "debated" last night and one topic they agreed upon was that the government should use wage and price controls when it comes to the minimum wage laws.

Of course they disagreed on the level. But that was just so we would think they represented a choice for us on that concept.

The truth is, the people least able to withstand having governments' foot on their throat are the same people who get suffocated by this kind of law. Even The NY Times, a far left tabloid, at one time said the minimum wage should be ZERO. 

But more important than economics, the law is a violation of basic human rights and is morally repugnant. It's a fundamental concept and this blog is about fundamental things. In my view people who actually care about the little people should familiarize themselves with the concept. We can safely conclude that these two politicians have missed that concept, perhaps even purposely.

Lots of well meaning people misunderstand this concept because minimum wage laws sound like they're compassionate. Therefore it's a pretty popular policy politically. Often bad ideas look good at first glance. Many people haven't considered this concept.

These two mopes agree that it's okay to do harmful things to poor people if it helps them get votes. 

Here is a link to an excellent article about the NYT position back when they got it right, for a change.

Jon Miltimore is the author and he gets it right pretty much all the time.

8/13/20

A Report From The Front


By Grant Davies


I'm putting on my war correspondent hat today to report on the action in the US war with domestic terrorists.


The terrorists are winning handily at this point. Many cities have been laid waste and a number have surrendered.


Large swathes of entire states have been ceded to the terrorists. Those states are notably, Washington, Oregon and California. 


The invasion is widespread but the most progress by the terrorists has been made along the entire west coast. 


The supposed US defenders have turned on the militia in some places in a tactic that seems designed to aid the progress of the terrorists. They have arrested members of the militia for brandishing their own weapons in defense of their homes and businesses. New recruits to the terrorist side are being provided by the practice of releasing criminals from jail. 


It's unclear if the country as a whole will fall but terms are being negotiated by the sides. They are rumored to include the legal dissolution of private property and the ceding of most political power to the terrorists in exchange for the temporary cessation of burning, looting, and murder. 


One political party has called for defunding/dismantling of the defenders except for the purpose of arresting citizens who do not comply with the edicts concerning the wearing of masks and social distancing. No reinforcements are expected and desertions are at a high point among the current defenders. 


Things look bleak for the republic. 


For a very long time I have been exhorting people to "get a helmet." My latest advice is to put the helmet on. It looks like a long war.