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Comment Re:The question is this (Score 1) 469

I do support the EC. I don't support winner takes all. I really don't support the entire primary process of either major party.

Do the primary election just like the general election. All states vote on the same day and no caucus garbage. Let the state's individual party votes in their respective party convention be broken down based on that state's popular vote for each candidate. At the end of the day, we'd probably know who the candidates for each party would be, but allow some time for mail-in ballot processing as now. After a couple of weeks, hold the convention for each party, add up the totals, and make the results official. No super delegates are allowed.

If you want to make it interesting, allow individual voters to write in an opposing party candidate for a particular office - and have that vote actually count for the opposing party at the cost of no say in that race for your own party candidates. If necessary, scale the cross party vote by some percentage to keep party A from messing with party B which is much smaller. That way people don't have to switch parties for the primary just because of one race and the party benefits by seeing just how many voters think the candidates they selected were truly awful. Four weeks or so later after the individual party conventions - maybe a bit longer - vote in the general election.

The primary process is really the biggest problem we have. The self funded candidates can make it to the end, regardless of their positions. The well connected can as well. Everyone else is eliminated long before some states even get a choice in the matter. The problem is not how the EC decides the election after the damage is already done. Fix the primary system, and all of this uproar about the EC would largely go away.

Comment Re:The question is this (Score 1) 469

Wyoming isn't ignored because it only has 3 electoral votes. It is ignored because it is reliably Republican. It voted (sadly) for Trump by the highest margin of any state. If I remember Time's graph, it's about on par with how heavily Democratic the District of Columbia is. Republican candidates don't need to come here because it is already wrapped up. Democrat candidates don't need to come here because it is hopeless. Advertisements aren't going to change any minds. In many locations in the state, there is only a Republican candidate for office for some state offices. That is how Republican Wyoming is.

Comment Re:Sour grapes (Score 1) 1424

I'd say the main argument for leaving the EC alone is that the lone Representative to the House in Wyoming (and other single Representative states or even the two Representative states) can't get much of anything done for their states compared the the huge number of Representatives from each of the bigger states. Having a bit of advantage - if it can even be called that with only 3 votes in the EC - gives a little balance to the difficult position smaller states like Wyoming have in all other aspects of the the House of Representatives in Congress.

If California wants something badly, they start off with 53 votes in favor. That's not a majority in itself, but it's a good start.

If you want to fix the EC, make all states allocate their EC votes based on the actual outcome of the vote in the state. Eliminate the winner takes all crap.

Comment Re:Solutions (Score 1) 531

Going directly to the source is always useful when it is possible to do so. The thing with all solutions is that they take time. Sometimes going directly to the source can be the most time consuming - but you may get an unfiltered account assuming the source hasn't been itself manufactured or altered to change context. Technology is getting good enough to create really good illusions of fact. You tube is not necessarily better or worse at this. A couple of lines taken out of context there can be just as jaded as a news account if you don't see the entire speech or parts are selectively omitted.

Even trying to keep up with multiple sources as I mentioned on a continual basis can't really be done. But if something strikes you as off, you can always seek a second source from an alternative spectrum source. Pro Republican vs pro Democrat for example.

The older you get, the more cynical you get. You've simply seen too much and read too much and heard too much. If it is something that really matters, see what God says about it. He's a pretty solid arbitrator of what is truth and what is falsehood. Course, there's a lot of stuff I don't imagine He cares about that we get really worked up over...

Comment Solutions (Score 1) 531

So subscribe to both a very liberal and a very conservative newspaper that are well known that actually still do news - I know - that's getting tougher and tougher as more and more go to just running feeds. Pick up a local paper subscription as well if you don't live in a major city. Hard to pick good examples but maybe the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times/Washington Post. Read all three thoroughly. If the facts of a story are similar in each, then there is a greater chance (not in any way approaching 100%) that what you are reading is truth. If they are diametrically opposed, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

Pick a few more diametrically opposed pairs for variety (Christian Science Monitor vs. Freethinker). Extend as needed.

It's not perfect, but it's certainly better than just relying on a single source for news.

Comment Re: Why even have elections? (Score 1) 437

Really, all I am suggesting is that there are so many issues and problems with the two primary party candidates that taking a one issue stand as a means to divide the third party vote so that no third party can compete is the road to ruin.

The post was replying to smog in cities, largely caused by autos. That ship has sailed and the car companies aren't going to be able to push the product purchasers back to the 60s/70s.

As far as the rest of your comments - many are valid. I tend to think that since the various departments are under the executive branch, that Congress would be likely to shuffle some functions around as needed and would probably pass that legislation without much fuss. I wasn't necessarily even thinking of the EPA, although it certainly doesn't have a sound constitutional basis for existing. It's also an agency with cabinet level status, but really isn't on the same level as other departments. A lot of these were split out in the first place from other departments for political purposes to show we were serious about problem X or were created out of thin air because the existing departments couldn't communicate with each other in the first place. Recombining them isn't the drastic problem you point out.

I also think that regardless of the presence or absence of the EPA, the $1 bln dollar value you're throwing around would be just as effectively used greasing the palms of Congress to get legislation written to do whatever they wanted or carve out whatever exception they wanted anyway, so I'm not sure what your point is.

Finally, keep in mind that war is frequently much more harmful to the environment than the worst polluter. It's also much more harmful to those directly involved. You may have many reasons for disliking the Libertarians, but their keep your noses out of other peoples business stance has its merits.

Comment Re: Why even have elections? (Score 1) 437

The environment (from a pollution standpoint) has improved massively over the last few decades. There have also been some notable disasters on the pollution standpoint that happened even with a strong EPA around. A large part of the reason for the improvements had to do with pollution controls on automobiles. I doubt seriously that companies are going to risk going back to the 60's or 70's policies and products - even if the EPA wasn't there to stop them. All the major manufactures are moving to electric or hybrid - I just wish they were feasible in our neck of the woods.

In addition, ballot issues on corporate proxies seeking accountability for issues like these are getting higher and higher percentages of For votes - regardless of the industry - so I think that the pendulum is definitely swinging towards conservatism and protecting the environment regardless of the party in political power at the time.

But even for all the good that the EPA has done, you still have companies like VW scamming the system. So saying that government is the solution really doesn't work either.

Reducing the federal government's size and scope doesn't necessarily mean that the functions it does will all disappear. Some will be taken over by other departments if they need to exist at the federal level, and some will be taken over by the states (where the founders of the country intended them to be).

I don't agree with every policy the Libertarians have either. Remember that many would take a law getting through Congress to enact anyway. For all the uselessness that I feel exists in the Department of Education, one of the things that I would champion is the Common Core - I just think it should push students harder than they are now being pushed but it is still a great idea. With the mobility of the population, it is absolutely required that there be no impact on kids education when they move from state A to state B. Each grade level must be expected to have mastered particular items and not have the hodgepodge that we have had for decades. Even within a single elementary school here, they have gone to different math curricula every couple of years. Different ones teach things at different times, leading to gaps in the kids educations. That is madness.

But I've digressed. There is no one single issue that I can think of that is so big that I would disqualify the current Libertarian slate of candidates. If elected, they may well not win a second term because the main parties will have to seriously re-evaluate their lives. That would be a good thing, in and of itself. As former governors, I think that they would probably govern OK. Not great - not horrible. But I'm OK with that.

Comment Re: Why even have elections? (Score 1) 437

You should vote for whatever candidate you feel best represents your views. If the Green Party is head and shoulders above the others, so be it. But if you are ambivalent between a couple of choices, then consider this.

This election I decided that both of the main party candidates were so bad that I had to pick the third party candidate that was actually on the ballot in all 50 states. The Libertarian party would normally be my fourth choice, but my preferred third choice isn't on the ballot everywhere. So they won't win. Write-in votes simply don't happen enough. There is at least a chance that when people see the third option on the ballot, they might pick it this election. If your third party candidate isn't on the ballot everywhere, this won't happen.

The reason a third party vote usually fails is it is split so many ways. For a third party vote to actually mean anything, we need to unite behind a single third party. If the vote is split 20+ ways, none will make a difference. I'd urge you to consider picking the third party that actually is on the ballot everywhere. It wasn't my preferred candidate either, but it is the only realistic chance preventing a train wreck.

Comment Re:Supply and Demand - where is the demand? (Score 1) 425

You can google it. Generally .44 cal or higher. Some say .357 is OK if you're a good shot. That good shot part is important if it's a cat. The bear is a bigger target, but good shots count there as well as the effective target that will stop them in their tracks isn't big. You don't just want to piss the predator off with a bad shot or an ineffective load or too small a round coming from a gun any more than hitting with a stick. Just the noise of a shot can be a deterrent for that matter. That's also why they recommend you just make noise when you're out in the woods so the predators will leave. As far as cats are concerned, many will say that if you've been in the forest at all, you've been observed by a cat at some point. They just don't generally attack people.

The point of a gun is range. If you get to the point you're trying to fight off a predator with a stick, you've lost. You'd probably be better off playing dead depending on the predator. That range advantage of guns versus sticks or feet and hands is true when dealing with criminals as well, BTW, but works for them as well as you.

Comment Re:Supply and Demand - where is the demand? (Score 1) 425

Trouble is if you move your hand and break contact, you're out of luck till your finger matches up over the reader just right again. That just right is a tough thing to make happen cheaply. I can't tell you how many times I've had to re-profile my finger for my laptop to register the presence some of the time, nor how many times I've had to swipe my finger for it to be identified. The technology just doesn't seem to be there to do it reliably even without considering dirt, gloves, band-aids that might be present, and everything else.

Smart guns are great in theory, but fingerprint reading is just stupid. If you're worried about kids around your guns, buy a trigger lock or put them in a gun safe.

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