12.01.2016

Three Things

First, the recount in WI, MI, and possibly PA.  I think Trump is correct in calling it a scam.  It has almost zero likelihood of overturning the results.  There is absolutely no evidence that the tampering they're claiming occurred.  It is interesting that they acknowledge this - and in the states where they want a recount claim the lack of evidence is a reason for the recount while in other states they use the evidence to mock Trump's claim that 2 million illegal immigrants voted.  Very much talking out of both sides of their mouths, but that's not uncommon for Democrats.
 
Trump's claim, by the way, is based on a (very much disputed) study that suggested 2.2% of votes were illegal immigrant votes in 2010.  While I think illegal immigrant voting is probably worse than the naysayers claim, I think it is not as bad as the study Trump's claim is based on.  More to the point, I suspect illegal immigrant voting was heavily weighted towards the states and districts Clinton would have won even without those votes.

No, I think the only reason for calling for this recount is to sucker people into giving them money.  It appears there are quite a few suckers willing to part with their dollars for it.

Second, there is this stat out there claiming Hillary won the 500 counties that account for 64% of US GDP while Trump won the 2,500 counties that account for 36% of GDP.  This may be true.  But a lot of the interpretations of it are highly suspect.  What it does show is that Democrats receive the votes of those who prosper economically from their policies and do not receive the votes of those who do not prosper from their policies.  Which is kind of a no-brainer.

Third, the electoral college is valuable and needs to be retained.  The whole point of the Constitution is to provide checks and balances.  We have a senate where every state gets two votes, and a house where votes are apportioned according to population.  This is to protect the smaller, less populous states from a tyranny of the majority, while also providing a way around those smaller states if the majority is big enough.  We have an electoral process for president to ensure the president pays attention to the whole country, not just the population centers.  Raw majority rule is as much a form of tyranny as is one-man rule.

Hillary made a decision to concentrate her efforts in those places where she was already strong, abandoning working-class voters in the old union strongholds.  That was a strategic decision of the Clinton campaign and one her husband (at least, according to this article) warned her against.  She did not want to be president to the whole country, so she ignored, even insulted, a significant portion of it.  As a result, she managed to engineer a loss to the absolute worst presidential candidate the GOP has put forward in the last 70 years.  It's not the electoral college's fault.  It's Hillary's fault.

A Voice

Trembling, I stand on the threshold
Peering into the murky depths beyond.
Fear and fascination
     Mix
            Mingle
                 Become entwined within me.

Out of the swirling darkness,
A voice shines forth
A stabbing, searing light
     Flickering
            Fading
                 Fragmenting my mind.

Stirring thoughts, long forgotten.
Rising from the abyss,
Images dance on the words,
     Thrusting
            Twirling
                 Retreating to a silent music.

And still the voice probes on,
Asking forbidden questions
Seeking answers I do not have
     Questions
            Challenges
                 Demands confound me.

A light shining in the darkness
Revealing neglected corners
That I would hide
     Gaining
            Growing
                 Guiding where I fear to go

Terrified, I cry out
"God save me!"

"I am."

*****

I wrote this initially in response to the feelings generated while working with a young lady suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder, but I find it applies to me with some regularity.

11.22.2016

Let Hillary's (Alleged) Crimes at State Drop

I've seen a few articles by conservatives who are disappointed in Trump's statements that he is not going to pursue criminal prosecution of Mrs. Clinton any further.

Personally, I think that's one of Trump's better decisions.

I do think Hillary Clinton is guilty of violating federal law on multiple occasions with regards to campaign finance, quid pro quo abuse of her position at the State Department, federal records act requirements, and protection of classified information.

But I also think that pursuing criminal charges on these matters would serve no further purpose.  It would cost the federal government far more than would ever be recouped in fines from the Clintons.  It would further exacerbate the already strong divisions in the country and continue the appearance of a highly politicized police power.  The Obama administration used the DoJ (and other federal agencies) to punish political opponents with some regularity.  Prosecuting Hillary would seem too much like tit-for-tat perpetuation of that strategy rather than a repudiation of it.  

The Clintons would certainly never believe they did anything wrong, so it would have no corrective or rehabilitative purpose, either.

And as for punishment, Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump.  I think that's punishment enough.  Her power and influence as a leading politician in this country has been shattered.  To lose to a Marco Rubio or John Kasich would have allowed her to retain something of her dignity.  But she lost to Donald J. Trump.  There is nothing of dignity left for her in such a loss.

So I think Trump is right on this.  She's already received the worst punishment she could imagine.

11.21.2016

Dixon May Not Owe Pence an Apology, But He Owes Everyone Else in the Theater One

Typical.

A guy goes to see a play, a concert, something similar to take his mind off life and be entertained.  Then some blowhard actor or musician with an axe to grind decides to rant about his or her political gripes.  Most often the opinion is ignorant, irrelevant, and impolite - and this time was no different.

Vice-President Elect Pence is gracious.  He says it is simply the sound of freedom.  Perhaps it is.  It is also the sound of rudeness, tactlessness, and self-importance.

Pence says he isn't owed an apology.  Fine.  But Brandon Victor Dixon does owe an apology to everybody else who paid good money to see a musical rather than be harangued by his over-inflated ego.

11.10.2016

Satan Wasn't on the Ballot

Every time.  It's like clockwork.  A bunch of bubble-headed celebrities think they can blackmail their fans into voting the way they want by promising to flee the country of the Republican is elected.

Then, when a Republican is elected, they make a big deal of being so very gracious and forgiving as to remain.  I can't say that I find it so gracious.  I was looking forward to their departure.  But I knew they wouldn't.  They're really not all that brave.  How much bravery does it take to parrot the same lines they hear from everyone else they know?  They also know they won't be arrested and hauled off to jail before the cameras for whatever stupid video they make - unlike a certain youtuber whose videos were made a scapegoat for the Secretary of State's abject failure a couple years ago.

This "won't accept the results" talk from either side of the aisle - and let's be honest: Trump and his fans started it this time around - is male bovine fecal matter.  Neither God nor Satan was on the ballot.  Two horrible candidates, both very human, were.  More than any election I can remember - and I can remember as far back as the 1972 Nixon-McGovern race - this election was a referendum on which candidate is the lesser of two evils.

Trump is not a fascist.  And it seems strange to call someone married to a Slovenian "xenophobic".  His first wife was Czech.  That's two out of three foreign-born wives.  I doubt that he's racist, either.  His sins lie in a completely different direction.  Egotistical, vain, arrogant, dishonest, greedy, self-obsessed, adulterous, crass, vulgar - these I can easily believe of him (and Hillary, except for the adulterous bit).  But I don't think skin color or place of birth matters to him when he decides to screw you over.  He may be tyrannical - he certainly has expressed an impatience with the legislative process that is very similar to our current president's and, like Obama, has pledged to simply ignore the Constitution on some points.  But a tyrant is not necessarily a fascist, as Obama demonstrates.

In a way, I find this all-too-obvious imperfection hopeful.  One of my primary concerns with the U.S. today is the way we tend to expect our presidents to be miracle-working messiah figures, high priests in our cult of government.  This idolatry of the state lies at the root of many of our ills.  I don't think very many of the roughly 120 million who voted in the presidential race think any of the candidates were messiah figures.  If we had nominated the likes of Bernie Sanders and Marco Rubio, that almost certainly would have been different.

11.09.2016

We Have Chosen the Form of the Destructor

The good news is, Hillary Clinton will not be the next president of the United States of America.

The bad news is, Donald Trump will.

I am encouraged that the GOP retains control of Congress, and I think we have a kind of reverse-coattails phenomenon this year.  Instead of the top of the ticket pulling the other elections towards his column, I think it is the efforts of GOP senators in some key, tight races that pulled the presidential vote their way.  Trump owes the GOP in congress far more than they owe him.

All that said, my basic, gut reaction this morning was, "You know, he kinda looks like the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man when you think about it."

11.03.2016

We're Not Dead Yet

Latest Headlines

Ninth Circle Reports Temps Dip Below Freezing!
Lucifer Apologizes for Lack of Winter Coats!

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Tied!
Candidates Agree to Co-Presidency of the United States!
Bill Assures Donald He'll Still Be Able to Grab P***y!

Massive Flight of Winged Pigs Spotted Over Northwest Iowa!
Car Washes Overjoyed at New Business Opportunities!

Supreme Court Rules Supreme Court Unconstitutional!  
Judges Accept Pension and Go Home!

Cubs Win World Series!

Hey - if that last one could happen, any of the others could, too.  Seriously, though, a hearty congratulations to the Cubs - and to the Indians - for a well-played World Series.  Nobody grandstanding for political points, just baseball and honorable competition.  It would be good to see more of that.

There will be an election in 5 days.  Despite what the various factions would have you believe, the sun will rise on the day after.  Life will go on after Tuesday no matter who wins.  There will be wars, poverty, struggle, death, and taxes on the 9th of November.  There will also be peace, prosperity, success, life, and joy as well.  The mix of the human experience since the dawn of time will continue.  This is not the apocalypse, even if Hell does freeze over and the pigs of northwest Iowa take flight.

I will vote, and if you're interested, I will vote for as many Republicans as I can bring myself to vote for.  Whether Donald or Hillary is elected, the only effective check on either will be a Republican Congress and Republicans in the various state houses and governorships.