school desks with computers built in

Education

Education is the key to success

At this stage of a civilization’s development, education is the single most important investment. Children need a crash course in the world they’re born into. When all we had to do was gather berries and build shelters from the storm this was something a village could handle, but not anymore. There are too many subjects, too many students, and too few resources, personnel and otherwise.

Children Can Math

Presently the nation’s education budget is about $100 billion dollars. Our entire national budget is around $3 trillion dollars. That means education is getting only 1/30th of the budget. Kids are not born stupid, they’re taught basic math and they can figure out how much their future matters to you. It doesn’t.

Imagine if Education received 1/4 of the budget

If Education received 1/4 of the national budget that would be around $750 billion dollars. We could build enough schools so that no community would have classes bigger than 15 students. We could provide a computer to every student in every class in every school in America. They’d be built into their desks to prevent wear and tear and accidental damage. All data would be stored on the network so students wouldn’t rely on a single machine.

Every student would have a personal folder on the school network, with public and private repositories. This is something we already do in top colleges, why not grade schools? Start them earlier. There could be a secured folder where students would have read-only access to their lesson material, textbooks, assignments and so on.

It’s easier than you think.

The politicians want you to believe that kind of budget adjustment is impossible, but it’s not. The reason America spends $3 trillion dollars on so many things is because Americans are stupid, thanks to a public school system which hasn’t seen a real overhaul since the 1950s. Stupid people cost money to maintain. Smart people would innovate new tools and processes which would improve our society and drive down the costs of maintenance. The only thing that creates smart people is education.

Protestors holding signs that read "No More Wars for Israel".

Israel is not *my* ally.

One of the things you will hear often from the mouths of American politicians is “Israel is one of our greatest allies.” What they really mean is “We’re not anti-semites and also they buy our weapons.” But why are they our “allies” really?

It’s not anti-semitic to say Israel is not our friend. They don’t care about us, they have never come to our aid in any significant way. Israel exists because our grandparents felt sympathetic for the jews following the atrocities of the holocaust, and our grandparents didn’t care about “sand niggers” at all, so they stole some land from the arabs and gave it to the jews, as if it was theirs to give.

Just speaking for me personally, I am two generations disconnected from the people who created Israel. I did not create it, and I would not have created it by stealing land from other people. It is unjust for our parents’ generation to expect and demand that we share in the foolish plans of our grandparents, who dropped nuclear bombs on populated tropical islands full of innocent people so that they could test the effects of radiation on the victims. Our grandparents were terrible people, regardless of how much they may have loved us.

Israel is a hostile xenophobic parasite in the middle east. They take whatever they want, they commit horrible crimes against humanity, and they justify it all by saying “But the holocaust!” You can’t use the crimes of long dead generations to justify the horrors you commit today.

It is time that America reconsider it’s relationship with Israel. Is it too much to ask that they adhere to their treaties and behave in an upstanding way to foster peace in their region? I believe that is a perfectly reasonable expectation of any nuclear power. The biggest kids on the playground should be setting positive examples for everyone else.

Why America Does Not Have a Popular Vote.

What is a “Union”

The United States of America. That is what we call ourselves. We often abbreviate this to USA, US. or America, for the sake of brevity in conversation. It is important to remember, however that we are the United States. America is a union of autonomous “States” (often referred to as nation-states, in other countries).

Each State has been granted authority under the constitution to make it’s own laws, which are not subject to the authority of the federal government. This affords us a really unique ability to have completely different life experiences simply by moving to different states.

A Popular Vote would disenfranchise 47 states.

According to election results from 2016, California had about 9 million participating voters. New York State had approximately 7 million. Texas had 9 million. Wyoming had 250,000.

Approximately 120 million people voted in the 2016 election. If America used the popular vote to determine it’s president, California and New York State and Texas would dominate every election. Between them they have 25 million votes, which is more than 1/6th of the entire nation’s votes.

That means if we were to use a popular vote, California, New York, and Texas would dominate every election and 95 million votes would be practically unheard.

But the Electoral College reduces the ‘value’ of certain votes

Yes, this is true. And before you think you’ve figured it all out, everyone over the age of 30 has figured it out before you. The thing is the electoral college does less harm than the popular vote. Yes, some votes mean less than others. Specifically, California’s votes. California is the only state really adversely effected by the Electoral College, and that is because California has too many people living there. California has the largest number of EC votes (55) of any state, but there is a ceiling because if the EC votes were directly proportionate to the population, then California would again be dominating the election.

Do you see a pattern yet? The point of the Electoral College is to prevent a single state from dominating every election. If you’re a selfish democrat living in California or New York you might think “So what?” Well we aren’t “The United States of California, Texas, and New York”, we’re the United States of America, and everyone deserves a voice at the table as much as you.

Why does this issue get raised every election

Because a lot of people are sore losers, they don’t care about being a United States, all they care about is getting their way, all the time.

One of the things that makes this country so great is the political balance. No single party dominates all the time, which prevents the most heinous of ideas from becoming laws. There is a filter known as “gridlock”, ideas go in, and most of the time what emerges are bills which everyone can agree on. This system has worked for almost 300 years.

Some are thinking “but sometimes one party controls the white-house and both houses of congress”. That is true, however that usually does not last more than 2 or 4 years, and typically the opposition party puts up a fierce battle during those times. Balance is found.

Isn’t there something better?

YES! We just haven’t discovered it yet. Seriously, if you are interested in this you should work on it. We are never, ever, ever going to have a popular vote. For our particular political system a popular vote is out of the question, it is off the table because it would be unfair and broken. If you want to see our elections improve, you have to be forward-thinking. The system to replace the Electoral College will be something new, that nobody has ever tried before.


This next part is dedicated to those poor souls who are either incapable of understanding, or unwilling to understand, the above text. Be warned, if you already “get it”, you might find the next part tiresome.

But but but… the popular vote!

People who, in spite of everything I have explained above, continue to insist that the popular vote is the only real vote, those people are idiots. They aren’t worth your time and there is not a fully developed adult in this country who will ever take their opinions seriously. If you’re one of those people, I urge you to let it go. Re-read what I’ve explained above. Read other people’s explanation. For your own good and understanding, you should.

So and so won the election, but lost the popular vote

Remember, there is no popular vote, so it is impossible for someone to win or lose it. In the same way that we do not have a monarchy, or a parliament, we do not have a popular vote. Yes, you can count numbers in a certain way, but that does not mean the way you counted has any relevance or bearing on the conversation ever. There is no such thing as a popular vote in America, and there never will be.

The only people who ever bring up the popular vote are the losers

We don’t have a popular vote in America. I know I keep repeating this, because certain individuals continue to use the phrase “Popular Vote” as if it were a thing which exists. It does not exist. There is no such thing as a “Popular Vote” in America. It does not exist. The thing you keep talking about does not exist. The numbers you quote are completely meaningless. And if you look back, the ONLY people who ever start this are the losers.

If you are tired of losing our elections, then maybe the problem is you’re trying to win the popular vote, which does not exist, instead of trying to win the Electoral College, which is how our elections actually work. You’re not appealing to the individuals of every state, you’re appealing to the states themselves. It is a pyramidal system and for now it is the best that we have. You either work within that system or you continue to lose and act like crybabies, wishing that the sky were some shade other than blue.

In conclusion

There is no popular vote. There is no popular vote. There is no popular vote. Say it in your head like a mantra every day. There is no popular vote. There is no popular vote. When you’ve matured enough to really understand that there is no such thing as a popular vote, then you will be better able to understand the rest of our political culture, and you will make more informed choices.

Comments?

I invite your comments. Comments which appear to be in support of “A popular vote” will be deleted, as I do not tolerate efforts to dumb down the population, especially not on my blog. Forward thinking is encouraged.

Stop Violence

The Root Causes of Violence

The Root Causes of Violence

We the People have neglected education

The United States education system is neglected. We used to be praised as the leader in public education. That was because of education reforms we made in the mid 20th century, things like public schools in every town, guaranteed education etc. However we have not made any significant progress since then. Also, we’ve built only a tiny number of new schools despite our population rising by 150,000,000 people.

Failing education

A lack of education has lead to an increase in under-educated citizens who are less capable in the workplace, less likely to start their own businesses, and more likely to prey upon others to support themselves and their families. Our federal spending is around $4t dollars, but less than $100bn of that or 2.5% is used for education, our most important resource to ensure a prosperous future for ourselves and the generations to follow. We can literally buy societal intelligence if we’d spend more.

We the People have embraced systematic poverty

Systemic Poverty

The United States suffers from systemic poverty. Our society has adopted a dog-eat-dog mentality which traces it’s roots back to early tribal societies. The strongest tribe takes over until the next one replaces it. This is usually done with hostilities. If we want to have an enlightended and civilized future society we need to change the way we approach issues of Education and Poverty. We should be unified in raising and uplifting all of our citizens nationwide. This can only make our entire nation stronger and everyone will prosper.

We the People have encouraged an oppressive government

The United States has become an oppressive government. In May of 1970 the United States government murdered peaceful college students who were protesting the vietnam war. In April of 1993 the United States government murdered 76 people by trapping them in a building and setting fire to it. Since the 1960s and 1970s major cities such as Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles have been terrorized by unreasonably hostile and racist police forces. Often these crimes have gone unpunished.

Abusive police

Many of us cling to the America of our dreams, one where United We Stand, but young people growing up in this environment and facing the senseless carnage and abuse that our government has been allowed to get away with will feel disenfranchised. They don’t see a nation guided by the rule of law, they see a lot of meaningless words on paper intended to empower the ruling elite while keeping the poor and underprivileged locked in endless struggles.

We the People have made life hell

The United States suffers from a widespread social disease. When someone has a bad day they take it out on other people. Those people then have a bad day and they take their frustration out on yet others. This goes on and on until everyone is miserable.

When people have disagreements, they do not look for ways to understand each other, they use their disagreements to create divisions between “Us” and “Them”. The parents of today’s youth have not tried to encourage their children to embrace our similarities, instead they have become more xenophobic than ever, teaching their children that everyone else in the world is a threat.

Our nation is enslaved by television, whether in it’s traditional form or delivered via the internet. Everything we know is presented by the television, which is controlled almost entirely by large corporations who do not care about social stability, only profit. In fact social instability usually means more profits for media corporations, so it is in their best interest to stir up problems and they are constantly doing just that.

Our politics has become completely insane. The discussions that occur in Congress at the federal and state levels are infantile and rarely show evidence of rational, considered thought. Children are not born stupid. They grow up in this environment and they see the insanity of all of the adults around them, it is no wonder that many learn to feel alone and threatened by the entire world. When faced with choices they will be more likely to make self-serving choices because they don’t believe anyone else is on their side, and that can lead to violence.

We the People have a drug problem

Pills and Money

The United States is addicted to drugs. The Pharmaceutical industry is one of the largest and most evil industries to ever exist. They are not in the business of curing disease, they are in the business of selling pills. New diseases are invented, to which harmful and addictive substances are sold with inadequate testing. People who have fallen into a hypnotic trance staring at their TV are told they are sick and they need pills to fix them. Many of these “medications” are psychoactive which means they effect the way the brain works.

Besides prescription drugs, Americans are addicted en masse to psychoactive chemicals they are told are safe, such as Caffeine and Sugar, and poisons they know are harmful such as Nicotine and Alcohol which cause more than 8 million deaths every year. In some areas illegal drugs are also a problem, but the threat of illegal drugs is insignificant compared to the damage that we’ve done to our society with “legal” drugs.

We the People are distracted by the wrong issues

The United States has been discussing the epidemic of violence for decades. It does not require decades to find a solution to a problem when the discussion is healthy. One of the reasons we are in the same place as we were 30 years ago is that every time the subject of violence is raised, the conversation is immediately hijacked by people with extremist agendas. They never talk about anything except their personal agendas, and they make the most noise and drown out everyone else. After a few months everyone realizes what a sham it is, they get sick of it and they return to the routine of their daily lives, having done nothing about violence.

I have described for you in this article many of the actual root causes of violence in America. More importantly, I have focused on issues which can be realistically addressed and fixed, rather than divisive topics that nobody will ever agree about. Are there any which I missed? I invite your comments if you feel there is a root cause of violence which I have not yet covered. IF we’re serious about reducing violence in our society, then we need to get serious about addressing these problems rather than blowing hot air every time someone goes insane because of the things I’ve listed and decides to end their lives in an attention-grabbing way.

Why I would vote for Donald Trump

Some people believe that if you would vote for Donald Trump, that makes you a trump supporter. These people are thinking in very limited, binary terms. You’re either democrat or republican, liberal or conservative. The real world is not black and white, and the human mind is capable of more complex reasoning than this or that.

I am not a Trump supporter, but given a choice between Donald Trump, a relatively successful businessman, and Hillary Clinton, a known felon with a history of fatal incompetence in government, I would have no choice but to vote for Trump. Or I could throw my vote away on some 3rd party candidate who would never win, thanks to our entirely corrupt and rigged electoral system.

There are several significant black marks on Hillary’s record. First and foremost, the “email scandal”, which is not simply a scandal, but a crime. Hillary used private email servers that she owned for government business. That is a felony offense. She knew it was a crime, not that ignorance is a valid defense in any court of law, but that she knew it and did it anyway shows her disrespect for the rule of law. The laws regarding government correspondence exist to prevent spying, but also to increase security against hackers, as well as to provide transparency in cases when the Freedom of Information Act is used. Hillary knows this. She likely chose to break the law so she could avoid Freedom of Information Act requests. She disregarded the risk of hacking, and thereby disregarded the risk to our national security. She flat out lied about it when challenged, which there is documented proof of. She lacks the quality of character required for someone who is to be charged with leading our nation’s armed forces. Let’s remember that control of the United States Military, the largest nuclear power in the world, is the first job of the President. A person with her character flaws cannot be allowed to have her fingers anywhere near “the button”.

Benghazi is next. I followed this story when it broke, I forget some of the details as I write this, but I recall it was clear to me that the death of our soldiers was the result of Hillary Clinton’s negligence in her duties. She disregarded calls for increased security, and as a result U.S. service men died. Again, she does not show the competence or qualifications required to be Commander-in-Chief.

If we dial the time machine back a few years, when Bill Clinton was in office, you might remember there was a scandal called “Whitewater”. Basically what happened is some business associates of the Clinton’s got caught doing illegal stuff. The Clintons denied having any involvement but it was found that they were very closely involved in the entire scandal. And then Bill Clinton mis-used the powers of his office to pardon the people responsible. You can read the whole thing at wikipedia.

So what we see is a history of disregard for the law, incompetence in office, and generally being a “bad person”. When you watch Clinton talk, she appears fake and full of anger she is aching to unleash upon the world. She is completely in the pockets of large corporations and many rich people, some of who are probably also criminals. She is very likely going to be indicted on felony charges, which would make her incapable of serving as President, and would open the door to all sorts of weird backroom deals for the democrats to “name” a President without a vote from the people. She is basically the worst possible choice.

Donald Trump is not a great candidate. He’s a terrible public speaker, he clearly views women as subservient to men, his views on race are questionable, his wall-building rhetorric is unrealistic and obviously pandering, but he has good ideas too. Enforcing deportation of illegal immigrants for example, is a good idea. Laws are worthless if those laws are not enforced, and for the entirety of my lifetime the law has been if you come to this country illegally you will be discovered and thrown out. Why this stopped happening is a mystery. When you stop cleaning your house, your house becomes a pig-sty. Because you were lazy and did not keep up with your chores does not mean you should permanently abandon those responsibilities, it means you have to work harder to get back to where you should be. That’s what we face today. It may cost a lot of money but deporting illegal immigrants should be a priority for any president.

There are a lot of important things which Trump will not do. Trump will probably not raise the minimum wage to $15/hr, which really needs to happen. Trump will probably not increase the education budget, which really needs to happen. Trump will probably not start any new wars, that’s a good thing. Trump will not further the gun-grabbing agenda, that’s a good thing. He is a mixed bag of insane rhetorric and a few good ideas and a few bad ideas. When compared side by side to Clinton, that makes him a better candidate. Also, the conservative establishment hates him, which has got to count for something.

The only really hopeful looking candidate is Bernie Sanders. He’s got a relatively clean history in government, his policies are mostly based on sound science, he has suggested nothing insane so far, and he’s not too old (yet). But it appears we’re not going to be allowed to vote for him. So if this election comes down to Clinton vs. Trump, it’s no-contest, any rational thinking patriot has to vote for Trump.