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Abortion is The Evil of our generation

So yesterday I came across a rather  appalling article  that tried to make it sound like states having increased abortion restrictions were ...

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Instant Runoff elections: another key to breaking the DC corruption

As I've said before, I firmly believe term limits are a key component to combating the corruption plaguing our government system.  Power, even limited and numerated, should never be held for too long.  George Washington was way beyond his years wise in this.  Unfortunately, the legislative and judicial branches did not follow suit.  In my opinion, it'd be harder to curate power in DC in only a few years.  The changing of the guard means no politician, or judge, is able to attain high amounts of influence that lead to corruption.  Most candidates being elected for the first time have a stronger sense of duty to their people and the ideology that fuels them.  This isn't always true. But the good news is for those that easily come under corruption's influence, they'll be gone within a few years.

Enough about term limits.  Let's talk about another part of political corruption that has its stranglehold on Washington:  the dual party system that dominates our political landscape.  Pretty much since the beginning of this country, we've only really had two major parties.  Over the course of time, there have been other parties that have come along that has an ideology that doesn't quite fit into either of the two major parties.  In fact, this was how the Republican party was born.  The Republicans ran on an abolitionist platform.  Yet that wasn't really popular among the Democrat or Whig parties, the two dominant parties at the time.  But it managed to gain traction and eventually supplant the Whig party, giving us the Republican and Democrat parties of today.  There have been many parties since then that would gain popularity, but would never do what the Republican party was able to do.  Today, these parties are largely marginalized since a number will feel forced to vote Republican or Democrat to keep out the opposition candidate.   This problem has been more pronounced than ever in this recent election cycle.  We, in effect, have 5 different ideologies trying to fit into 2 nomination slots.  We have Conservative, Establishment Republican, Independent Republican, Liberal Democrat, and Socialist.  We have a 6th ideology, Libertarian, that will run on its own nomination.

So why are there so many trying to grab the Republican or Democrat nomination?  It's because the general presidential election does not have a run off voting system.  Without a runoff system, it simply means the candidate with the most votes, whether real votes or electoral votes, wins.  This works fine when there are only two candidates since the winner will inevitably have more than 50% of the votes, meaning a majority of the voters chose that candidate.  The problem comes when there's more than 2 candidates.  With 3 or more candidates, it's quite possible that the candidate with the most votes doesn't capture over 50% of the vote, meaning a majority of the voters did not choose that candidate.  For example, let's say we have 3 candidates.  Candidate A and candidate B share similar political ideologies, but have different policy proposals and campaigning platforms.  Candidate  C's ideology is in opposition to both candidate A and B.  Let's imagine the votes went like this:

Candidate A 25%
Candidate B 35%
Candidate C 40%

In our current system, candidate C would win even though 60% of the voters did not vote for that candidate.  It's very possible that all the votes from candidate A would have gone to candidate B, which would have given candidate B 60% and the win.  In past election cycles, those not wishing to vote Republican or Democrat are left with two options:  do not vote in ideological protest or vote for the independent 3rd party candidate.  In both cases, the voter will get pressured into voting Republican or Democrat because their non vote, or vote for a 3rd party, will mean a win for the opposition candidate.  And while that is indeed a very valid argument, it's not very compelling.  It turns the election into simply keeping the worst person out of office instead of letting the people choose the person they want and have it feel like it still makes a difference.

This is where instant runoffs come into play.  Runoffs, from a conceptual standpoint, is a voting system that allows an election with more than 2 candidates play out until one candidate captures a majority.  There are some variety to runoffs, but the one I'm advocating for is the instant runoff, or preferential, voting system.   Here's how it works:  At election time, instead of a voter simply selection one candidate, they would instead rank their candidates from 1st choice to last choice.  If you had 3 candidates, you'd chose a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice.

After voting is complete, all 1st choice votes are tallied.  If no candidate receives 50% or more of the vote, then it goes to an instant run off round.  In this case, the lowest candidate's second place votes go to those respective candidates.  If a 50% majority still isn't reached (in the possible case of 4 or more candidates), then another runoff takes place that will do the same thing until a candidate has a 50% majority.

Let's take the A, B, C example above and add some ranked voting to it...

Candidate A
Out of the people that made Candidate A their first choice, 80% of them made candidate B their second choice and 20% to Candidate C.

Candidate B
Out of the people that made Candidate B their first choice, 60% of them made candidate A their second choice and 40% to Candidate C.

Candidate C
Out of the people that made Candidate C their first choice, 67% of them made candidate A their second choice and 33% to Candidate C.

Remember the results:
A: 25%
B: 35%
C: 40%

Since C did not gain 50% majority, it goes to instant runoff where the lowest performing candidate's 2nd place votes are added to the other candidates.  In this case, A is the lowest with 25%.  Since 80% of those who voted for A made B their second choice, that means 20% (80% of 25) to B and 5% (20% of 25) to C.    This would give the following totals:

B: 55% (35% + 20%)
C: 45% (40% + 5%)

B would then win the election, having recouped enough of A's votes to exceed 50%.

Naturally, it gets more complicated when there's more than 3 candidates, but the concept from a voter's perspective is fairly simple to follow.  Let's there's 5 candidates and I rank them 1 through 5 and my first choice is the lowest on the first round.  My #2 vote to that candidate now counts.  But let's say there's another round of instant runoff voting and my #2 candidate is the lowest.  Now my #3 vote to that candidate is now in effect since my first 2 candidates were eliminated.  And this keeps going until one candidate gets the majority.

When it comes to general elections, this would allow people to vote for who they want, but still allow them to have "fallback" candidates should their person have a low vote count.  When it comes to the presidential electoral college, the system becomes a bit trickier to visualize since you'd have to have a two tiered instant runoff system.  The first tier, at the state level, counts the actual vote and does instant run off to determine a winner, who gets the electoral votes.  The second tier though, is at the electoral college itself.  If no candidate captures the majority of electoral votes, the lowest candidate with electoral votes will have to have the states they won re evaluated to see which remaining candidate would have won the state.

Understandably it's a bit complex for the average person to follow completely, but that's what would have to be done to have a presidential election follow instant run off rules.  That or switch to a pure popular vote election.

In either case though, having Instant Runoffs mean candidates don't have to funnel through the Democrat and Republican party machines.  They can run as their own party with their own rules and conventions.  People can vote for who they want.  Many of the circus act of the primary elections will evaporate.  It would essentially break the power the two parties has over its constituency and ultimately Washington.

One argument against it is that the complexity means there's a higher possibility that someone could tamper with the votes, or that we have to rely computer programs to do all the runoffs and retallying, which means it's possible someone could "hack" the vote.  There's one simple way to combat this: After all the votes are recorded, ALL the voting data (minus any personal info) gets uploaded to a publicly available server where all third party "watchdog" companies can take that data and process the results.  The government would, of course, have their own calculation programs.  However, there'd be independent organizations that would keep the government honest in their tallying.

Granted, there are indeed new challenges that would come along with moving to an instant runoff voting system for presidential elections.  But, the way I see it, it's a much more robust system that allows a true "free market" of politics, which is something this country sorely needs.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Abortion is The Evil of our generation

So yesterday I came across a rather appalling article that tried to make it sound like states having increased abortion restrictions were a bad thing because it seems the residents of those states are seeking more home made abortions.  What's even more abhorrent is the attitude people had toward this article.  That somehow the states trying to do the right thing (you know, making it harder for someone to murder their baby) are to blame for all these "unsafe" abortions.  What's truly distressing is the attitude that seemingly millions of people have toward abortion.   This leads me to believe that it's a definite indicator of how far our society has fallen when the "disturbing" issue is what lengths the states are supposedly making women go to in order to abort their children and not the fact they're being aborted.  Almost as if the baby is treated as more of a mere annoyance than the precious life that it is.

And not surprisingly, this attitude is coming from the liberal side of things from the very liberal ThinkProgress.   These people, so enlightened as they are, don't even think twice about the travesty of hundreds of thousands precious beings being killed for convenience's sake.  And this, folks, is the true face of evil...and guess what, it doesn't look like an orange faced real estate billionaire.  This is how evil operates.  Evil wouldn't be very effective if they all looked like the monsters from Lord of the Rings.  Remember, Satan himself is called the Angel of Light and is considered one of the most beautiful beings in all of creation.  Yet he is evil.  In fact, I bet he gets quite a kick out of us saying it's ok to do probably the most evil thing imaginable on this planet:  the killing of the most innocent and vulnerable among us.  

And it's not just murder.  It's horribly brutal murder that if these doctors were to do the equivalent to a born individual, they'd rank among likes of Jeffrey Dalmer and other truly disturbing serial killers.  Yet, despite its utter brutality, somehow millions of "caring" Americans believe it's ok to do this.

In the past, it's been pointed out socialism (what liberalism ultimately leads to) is responsible for more deaths during peace time than any other ideology.  Stalin is reportedly repsonsible for 40 million deaths over a 24 year period.  Mao Zedong is responsible for 60 million deaths over a 27 year span.  Both regimes were communist (aka socialist) regimes.  When it comes to abortion just in the United States, the death toll since Roe vs Wade, a 43 year period, is 58 million.  That's just in the US.  It's estimated that 1.4 BILLION babies have been aborted worldwide since 1980.  Let's put this in perspective.  That's roughly the current population of China, the most populated country in the world.  It's also close to the population of the entire Western Hemisphere.  Either way, it's quite clear when it comes murder death tools, abortion falls right alongside with the worst dictators in history.

Abortion has stepped in to be the new mass murdering Evil of the world.  And yes, that's a capital E because it is the Evil of our generation.

And it must be thoroughly rejected and fought.

Anyone that gives the line "Well I don't condone abortion, but I support the woman's right to choose!" is tacitly support abortion.  In other words, they're saying the right of the woman to kill their unborn baby trumps the unborn baby's right to live.  It's a way for them to not feel guilty for supporting murdering the most vulnerable in our society.

Others might consider it a "mercy" to avoid being born to seemingly horrible conditions and/or parents.  That attitude perfectly illustrates what people call the liberal "culture of death".  They see death as a mercy for suffering and even suffering they think will happen.  And so it's the case here.  The problem with this is I'm pretty sure the baby inside would rather live than die and not live at all.  No one, except God, knows how their life will turn out.  They may have a hard life growing up, but then become someone inspiring later on in life.  They could be one that has a positive impact on the lives around them.  But if we follow the "mercy" crowd, it's something the baby would never get the chance to do or for us to find out.

People that are vehemently opposed to abortion are considered right wing nutjobs wanting to control a woman's body.  Again, that attitude alone illustrates the level of depravity many in our society has sunk to.  This is also an attack by the Enemy, also known as the accuser.  He wants those loudly proclaiming abortion's evils to be silenced so we can continue our supposed "civilized", Godless lives uninterrupted.

People having abortions at home shouldn't be a reason to make it easier for people to have them.  We should not allow easier access to evil just because the person committing the murder might also hurt themselves.  Heck, I prefer if it were harder to access.  Then maybe there'd be more time to think it over.  Maybe they'd realize they have options that don't involve the killing of a baby.  They could even come around to realizing the baby, no matter the circumstances of conception, is a gift from God that could change their life for the better.

While I'm not condemning the women who go through with such a horrible decision, I will condemn the practice of it and its acceptance in our culture.  People like to complain about sex and violence on television making us too desensitized.  But what about the killing of innocent babies?  Why don't we hear complaints about being indifferent to that?  It's because it's a true Evil that many don't want to face.  Don't want to admit that they may not be the good person they believe themselves to be.  Someone can be kind to others and generous, but they cannot be considered a good, moral person if they agree that it's ok for mothers to subject their unborn children to such a brutal dehumanizing murder.  I'm not going to say these people that are ok with abortion are going to burn in Hell.  That's not my place.  Only God knows their hearts.  But I will say they are continually lying to themselves if they believe themselves to be moral.

And here's a theory for you.  If we believe the liberal (socialist) agenda is ok with women killing their babies, therefore tacitly ok with baby murder and we also point out many activist agendas are liberal in nature..such as Occupy Wall Street, Code Pink, Black Lives Matter, etc.  Then perhaps the liberal propensity to fight these perceived evils is because they're unwilling to face the evil within their own heart regarding abortion?

I'm pretty sure I'll be labeled an extremist.  And in this case, I'll gladly accept that.  I'll be an extremist in pointing out the barbaric evil that preys upon the most vulnerable people of our society.  It is Evil and it needs to be called evil without hesitation.   The world needs to be reminded of the evil they condone every day.



Monday, March 7, 2016

If #NeverTrump is truly serious, they'll urge Rubio and Kasich to drop out now.

In case you missed it, "Super Saturday" has shaken up the Republican primary race once again.  Cruz came away with two commanding leads while holding respectable 2nd places against Trump.  Oh, and Rubio won Minnesota, coincidentally the only state Democrat Walter Mondale won in the general election in 1984.  Kasich won nothing.  Again.  Carson suspended his campaign and did it with class by holding his announcement until his CPAC speech, giving him an opportunity to give a "farewell address", so to speak.  Smart man.

The most important thing though,was Cruz's resurgence.  Suddenly, what was looking like an inevitable Trump nomination with Rubio being our only hope is instead a real race between Trump and Cruz.  As of now, Trump has 384 delegates to Cruz's 300.  Rubio has 151 and Kasich sits distantly with 37.  I'll admit, I fully felt like Cruz was heading the way of the past two Iowa Caucus winners that did nothing after winning Iowa.  But now, since Super Tuesday, he's made a comeback in a big way.  After South Carolina, everything thought Cruz was done.  South Carolina was supposedly a state Cruz had to win.   Yet here he is, winning 5 more states in under a week.  True, Trump still won more, but Cruz has pulled closer.  Closer than Rubio has despite Rubio being the guy making the argument that he'd build the delegate count despite lack of wins.  Yet, here we are and it's Cruz with the delegate count and 6 wins under his belt.

Since Super Tuesday, the #NeverTrump hashtag has gained a lot of momentum.  Many prominent conservatives and many establishment Republicans have rallied behind it.  And while I can understand people wanting to oppose Donald Trump, I find it irritating that it's just in opposition to one candidate while there are still 3 other candidates in the field.  So they're fine with letting Hillary win by sitting on their hands in ideological protest, but seemingly not fine with rallying behind the one dude who actually has a shot at beating the Donald:  Ted Cruz.

And why is that?  It's because establishment Republicans actually hate conservatives more than they hate liberal Democrats.  Liberal Democrats and establishment Republicans both are going to the same place:  more government power.  The only difference is the liberal Democrats want to floor it and get that at 70 miles per hour while establishment Republicans are fine getting there at a leisurely 35.  However, conservatives actually want to not only halt the car from getting any closer, they actually want the car to go in reverse.  In other words, conservatives, according to establishment Republicans, want to remove the power they've accumulated and give it back to the people.  And that is far more unacceptable to an establishment politician than letting the other party win.

So if all these big name supporters of #NeverTrump want to be taken seriously, they'll start urging Rubio and Kasich to drop ASAP.  Florida and Ohio, respectively, won't save them.  There's no path to the nomination aside from the melee of a brokered convention. They should drop out now and endorse Cruz.  He's the not-Trump frontrunner and has won more than 1 state.  He's only 85 delegates behind the Donald.  He CAN catch the Donald....IF he had the full support of #NeverTrump , along with Rubio and Kasich dropping out, he'd seize the nomination.

Otherwise, all #NeverTrump looks like is a scorched earth establishment ploy that has nothing to do with embracing Republican values and everything to do with maintaining their power in Washington.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Dear establishment Republicans: You had this coming for a while

So lately the news cycles are being dominated by anti Trump statements and doomsday predictions if he wins.  While I expect this type of fear mongering from liberals,  it's both sad and unsurprising to see it coming from the establishment types within the Republican party itself.

And just for those reading who don't know,  "the establishment"  refers to the Republicans that don't really hold to conservative values and are just about as interested in growing government power as Democrats are.  The difference between them and Democrats are while Democrats unabashedly tout their big government ideology, establishment Republicans pretend to espouse conservative principles to get elected,  but then operate and vote in a completely different way in office.   They're more interested in political power than they are acting on the mandate of their constituency.

Yesterday we see Mitt Romney come out and not only call Trump a terrible person, but also scold those that support him.  And while there are a number  of takeaways from this,  chief among them illustrating how out of touch the establishment is with its voter base, there's just one response that's been screaming in the back of my head:

YOU'VE HAD THIS COMING! YOU,  THE ESTABLISHMENT,  ARE TO BLAME FOR THIS SITUATION!

See,  here's the thing: conservatism has been on the rise for decades now.   It started with Barry Goldwater.   Yes he lost in a grand fashion,  but it laid the groundwork in state and local governments that started to see a rise in elected Republicans. It continued with Ronald Reagan,  the most conservative president we've had in the last 50 years.  It even continued into the 90s with Newt Gingrich and his conservative takeover of the House that brought forth some good legislation. 

But then something happened in 2000.  Running on what he called "compassionate conservatism",  George W.  Bush was elected president.  And despite him having a strong response to fight terrorism in the aftermath of 9/11, spending (not on the war) went through the roof,  very similar to what a Democrat would do.   And he signed some legislation that no true conservative would ever sign, such as the Patriot Act.  (slight aside fact: the modern tea party was founded near the end of his term in response to government overreach,  not when Obama was elected).  Resentment toward this establishment type of Republican began to strengthen.

Then Barack Obama was elected, a socialist riding on the blame Bush wave promising to make everything better.  His ideology was just about perfectly diametrically opposed to conservatism.  And after ramming through an unconstitutional law (no matter what type of judicial contortions John Roberts may have done to claim it otherwise) through dirty tricks,  the resentment against government overreach rose significantly.  And in  2010, fueled by the tea party,  an electoral wave swept out the Democrats  and put the Republicans back in charge of the House.  Many candidates ran on the tea party's conservative platform,  tapping into that growing anger at a government explicitly ignoring the will of the people. And they did it again in 2014, this time giving Republicans the Senate.

And yet,  despite two wave elections,  nothing has changed much.   Candidates promised to stand against Obama's agenda,  but instead have given him practically everything he's wanted including massive irresponsible spending bills. In other words, not only have they done nothing,  they've done worse than nothing. They've continued to let the government do what they want despite being elected to stop that.

It's because of this that people stopped trusting career politicians.  For three election cycles,  voters have received vows to "fight" for conservatism and restore sanity to DC.   Yet the opposite seems to have happened. And what's worse,  is that the politicians sounded so sincere and convincing.  It was exactly what voters wanted to hear.  And they were Republican, why wouldn't they believe them?

Then comes Trump.  He's not a politician.  People already know who he is.  And he's boldly speaking out on things many Americans have been praying for someone to speak about.   He also touts his ability to self fund,  meaning he's not controlled by donors,  the people who many believe actually control politicians via monetary influence.  It's the perfect  combination for the anti establishment sentiment brewing.  The sentiment is so strong that not only has Trump drawn massive support,  but establishment pick Jeb Bush was thoroughly rejected  by the people.

Now this isn't an endorsement of Trump.   There are indeed many sound reasons to be wary of him.   And many establishment goons,  and even conservatives,  are telling people not to trust Trump.  Which again there are some valid reasons to be wary.  He's espoused very liberal ideals in the past, even gave money to the Clinton campaigns. He's changed from Republican to Democrat and back whenever it suits his needs.  His Trump University lawsuit, from the sources I've viewed, looks like false advertising at the least and is the basis of why Rubio has called him a con man.  He's been married 3 times.  He's used government programs to his personal advantage on numerous occassions.  Heck, he's even called Ronald Reagan not fit for the job of President (which he also called Carter that too, for what it's worth).  That's also if you're able to look past his what many  seem to see as a very boastful, narcissistic over the top personality (which I don't necessarily agree with).  And there are plenty of people saying these exacts things why voters should not trust Trump and should not vote for him.  

Yet, to voters, what alternatives do they have?  Thanks to slick talking politicians saying what people want to hear to get elected, being a career politician is, ironically, an electoral liability in this election cycle.  Even more so if the candidate is someone the establishment is backing.  The answer is they really don't.  It's about who do the voters trust less. While they may not trust Trump completely, they trust career politicians even less since that's more of the same.  Trump could end up being a poor president, but at least he's not some smooth talking politcian where the voters are pretty certain it'll be the same betrayal as it has been these past few years.  

This is why voters, no matter how much Republican leaders say not to trust Trump, will vote for him.  The Republican leadership has lost virtually all credibility.  They've had their chance to do what they've said, and they haven't.  Why should the voters trust them now?  In fact, many voters are relishing the fact that the establishment looks like it's losing its grip on Washington.   The anger toward them continually throwing the average American under the bus has risen to a boiling point.  Again, they had their chance,and they blew it.

So why haven't people rallied around Carson?  He's an outsider.  A success professional.  On the outside he seems to have a stronger moral character than Trump.  So why aren't people going to him?  Two major factors:  Money and the media.  Carson, like other politicians, has to rely on donations to run his campaign.  And as such, he's seen as also beholden to donor influence, which is seen as one of the biggest sources of corruption in politics.  He's also been the victim of media coverage.  Trump dominates in mainstream media coverage because the media believes he'll be a pushover for Hillary in the general election, which is he's getting 30 times the coverage of other candidates.  As a result, Carson's not getting a lot of air time.  One could point to some of his flag raising gaffes, but that point is moot when when trying to figure out why people still are going for Trump who seemingly gaffes every other sentence, yet isn't affected in the polls.  One other point is that Carson just didn't go big enough.  People want a leader that wants to go big.  Trump definitely understands this and has delivered.  The other candidates, including Carson, have been left trying to catchup or mimic it.  Yet, after Trump, it just looks like a political ploy.  It doesn't seem genuine.  Basically, people did have a choice between Trump and Carson as outsiders, but consider Trump the better candidate due to his self funding and the fact that he's unafraid to go big.  They're willing to overlook quite a bit.

Anyway, back to the establishment.  They've had this coming for a long time.  And no, Trump isn't a perfect candidate that flows along typical ideological lines and has a checkered past.  Yet, voters are willing to trust hm more than they are willing to trust any career politician, especially establishment candidates.  

And all Romney's speech does is illustrate perfectly the disconnect and contempt the establishment has for its voter base.  Here you have Romney, the LOSER of the 2012 election;  an election that by all measurements should have been ripe for the picking.  The economy was in shambles.  The president's foreign policy failure was on full display with Benghazi.  Heck he even tried to lie about why it started by blaming a youtube video.  Scandals aplenty.  The outrageous SCOTUS ruling on Obamacare.  Yet, somehow, Mitt still lost.  He ran a very timid campaign.  He barely went after Obama himself.  Rarely pointed out the man's hatred for the average American.  His campaign was terrible.  He wasn't bold.  He wasn't passionate.  And he spoke in a way that made him seem like he was reading the establishment's "How to Perosnally Connect to Your Voters" handbook.  Yet now, he's showing MORE energy tearing down his party's own frontrunner, a position he had himself 4 years ago, than he did in winning the presidency.  Oh and he also praised Trump to the high heavens just 4 years ago after begging for his endorsement.  It's the ultimate in hypocrisy and contempt.

As far as I'm concerned, this is the death knell of establishment Republicans.  It shows such contempt for its voter base.  It shows a brazen disregard for the will the people.  No one will trust these people ever again and if they have a non establishment option in an election, that's where they'll head. 

And lastly, there's rumor this is a pitch for Romney to enter the race.  Which is laughable.  If that's the case, I guarantee Romney will do just as poorly as Jeb.  In fact, it'll be embarrassingly obvious.  No one is going to switch from Trump to Romney.  There's also rumor that Romney will run 3rd party in the election.  Which, if that happens, that will literally be the end of the Republican party as we know it.  To think that the establishment, while trying to get Trump to agree to not to run 3rd party if he doesn't get the nomination, would be willing to do the exact same thing is beyond outrage.  The party will not survive if that's what they do.  It's insanity.

Yet, it's not surprising, the establishment is desperate and I wouldn't put it beyond them to pull such underhanded measures.   I wouldn't put it past them to do everything to hold onto their power, even if it means giving power to someone far worse:  Hillary. 

Like I said, there's plenty of reasons not to trust Trump (though some of it is just liberal panick and bluster).  But people are willing to take that risk.  What's there to lose?  Doomsday predictors make it sound like we'll descend in fascism and it'll be the end of the Republican party.  Hardly.  The worst he could end up being is another big government shill that perpetuates the problems in Washington.  Yet, even if he does just two things:  build the wall and negotiate better trade deals, he'll have been a bigger success than any establishment or Democrat candidate.  And people will vote for that risk.  

So the next time some establishment goon starts bashing Trump.  Remember, it's their own fault for betraying their voting base.