Why Do We Need The Electoral College?

electoral-college

Why do we need an Electoral College to determine our president? Isn’t the popular vote a better way to elect a President? After all, the popular vote is the method to select Senators, Congressional representatives, Governors, etc.

The President is based on a national election. Our founders designed our government with checks and balances to limit control by a majority. The Executive, Legislative, and Judicial are designed to limit overreach by the other branches. The branches were designed as follows:

Congress – Each state is allocated representatives based on population.

Senate – Each state was allocated 2 Senators per state. The state legislators voted on the Senators. In 1913, (Woodrow Wilson’s term), the 17th amendment was ratified, which authorized Senators to be elected by popular vote.

Judicial – Appointed by the President and approved by the Senate. Legislatures need an amendment to overturn Judicial decisions.

President is decided by an electoral college instead of popular vote. The founders knew that the heavily populated states could dominate an election. How could they limit the impact? Through an electoral college. There are 538 electoral votes.  The same total as Congress, 438 representatives plus 100 Senators. The plurality wins the same number of electoral votes in a state regardless of the margin of victory.  In North Carolina we have 15 electoral college votes. If a candidate wins with 40% or 100%, then they both receive 15. This forces a candidate to campaign in all states. Otherwise they could target California, New York, and Illinois and avoid South Dakota. This encourages a national campaign to woo all voters. The electoral college is another example of the founder’s foresight and wisdom.

Should I?

go-no-go

Where should we focus our efforts?  The myriad of choices is endless. Decisions confront us at school, work, and in relationships How should we prioritize our decisions?

There should be two parts to all decisions, whether you are boiling an egg or starting a company.

Can I do it? Do I have the skills or talents to complete the task? Can I learn the requisite skills? If you determine that you believe that you can, then comes the critical next phase.

Should I do it? This is where the profit is evaluated, a business case is built, or you trust in an intuitive sense. Some visionaries, like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, develop products that people were not looking for.

Spending all day on social media or gaming, consumes some teenager’s lives. The bible says most things in our lives should be tempered with moderation.

Focusing on “Should I?” will engage your mind and heart. Sit down before I share this stunning news. Believe it or not, there are mistakes, errors, and blatant lies on the internet. Anybody with a strong sense of right and wrong, could spend hours correcting spelling and grammar, discussing logic fallacies, and arguing about how their opinion is right. Or you can just ignore it.

Engage in the profitable, fun, and relational. There is no “Should I?” flowchart to follow, but just asking the question will improve the quality of your decisions.

Constitutional Crisis?

constitutional-crisis

constitutional crisis is a situation that a legal system’s constitution or other basic principles of operation appear unable to resolve; it often results in a breakdown in the orderly operation of government.

This 2016 election has presented an extraordinary challenge to the voters. The Democratic party nominated a candidate while under an FBI investigation. The case was closed on July 5, after the Democratic convention. New emails discovered during another investigation prompted FBI director, James Comey, to reopen the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified material. Since the case will not be resolved by election day, then we could have a sitting President under indictment. The FBI is presently investigating her email and the Clinton Foundation, all related to her tenure as Secretary of State from 2009-2013.

A sitting President under indictment would give her power over the departments charged with investigating (FBI) and prosecuting (DOJ). The Constitution does not account for this scenario.  This problem has been highlighted by Democratic supporters.

John Kass from the Chicago Tribune, a Democratic stronghold, talks about the danger to the Republic of electing Clinton.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/kass/91809665-132.html

Doug Schoen, a Democratic stalwart and friend of the Clintons since 1994, voices the same concern.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/5191496078001/?#sp=show-clips

In the next few days, I will monitor if this idea broadens.

Ketchup and the third-party problem

 third-party
Note: This is an article from Seth Godin.
 
Sir Kensington’s Ketchup is better ketchup. Most adults who try it agree that it’s more delicious, a better choice. Alas, Heinz has a host of significant advantages, including dominant shelf space, a Proustian relationship with our childhood and unlimited money to spend on advertising.
The thing is, you can buy Sir Kensington’s any time you want to. And when you buy it, that’s what you get.
You’re not buying it to teach Heinz a lesson. You’re buying it because that’s the ketchup you want.
The marketing of Sir Kensington is simple: If you want better ketchup, buy this, you’ll get it.
Elections in the US don’t work this way.
I’m calling it a third-party problem because the outcome of third-party efforts doesn’t align with the marketing (and work) that goes into them.
Ross Perot, the third-party candidate who ran against Bush and Clinton, cost Bush that election. The people who voted for Perot got Clinton, and it’s pretty clear that the Republicans learned nothing from this, as the next winning candidate they nominated was… George Bush.
Ralph Nader, the third-party candidate who ran against Bush and Gore, cost Gore that election. The people who voted for Nader got Bush, and it’s pretty clear that the Democrats learned nothing from this, as the next person they nominated was… John Kerry.
[Irrelevant aside: John Kerry was married to the heir to the Heinz Ketchup fortune.]
[I’m calling it a ‘problem’ because I have such huge respect for people who care enough and are passionate enough to support change. The problem is that since Gus Hall, and then John Anderson and then the more recent candidates, just about all the changes that third parties have tried to bring to national politics have foundered. It just isn’t a useful way to market change in this country.]
If enough people spent enough time, day after day, dollar after dollar, we could fundamentally alter the historic two-party system we have in the US. But it’s been shown, again and again, that the easy act of letting oneself off the hook by simply voting for a third-party candidate accomplishes nothing.
The marketing of the third-party candidate is: Teach those folks a lesson, plus, you’re not on the hook for what happens. But…
No one in government is learning a lesson.
And you don’t even get who you voted for.
The irony is not lost on me. A small group of voters who care a great deal are spending psychic energy on a vote that undermines the very change they seek to make.
It’s a self-defeating way of letting yourself off the hook, but of course, you’re actually putting yourself on the hook, just as you do if you don’t vote at all.
No candidate has earned a majority of all potential (regardless of registration) voters, not once in my lifetime. Which means that the people who don’t vote, or who vote for a third-party candidate, have an enormous amount of power. Which they waste.
Yes, it’s on you. Your responsibility to vote for one of two people, and to be unhappy with that conundrum if you choose. And then work to change the system, and keep working at it…
But it’s not like ketchup. With ketchup, you get what you choose. With voting, we merely get the chance to do the best we can on one particular day, and then spend years working for what we might want.
It turns out that democracy involves a lot more than voting.

Shall He Find Faith?

shall-he-find-faith

Believing* is vital for a successful Christian life. Without out believing, we cannot please God. In Luke 18 is a parable teaching about believing.

1And he [Jesus] spake a parable unto them to this end, that man ought always to pray, and not to faint;

Here is the point of the parable, that men should continue praying and not grow weary.

Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

The judge is ungodly and elitist.

And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

The widow’s husband died requiring her to fend for herself. She says, “Avenge me of my adversary.”  Avenge means to grant justice or legal protection from the person harassing her. The widow knew her legal rights and wanted the judge to exercise his authority on her behalf. The judge was not interested in helping her.

And he would not for a while: but afterward, he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;

Even though he did not want to provide assistance because he did not care about her plight or the law.

Yet because of this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

She continued disturbing the judge until he responded to her annoying behavior and not because of his concern for the law.

And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.

 

The Lord calls the judge unjust, lawless.

And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cries day and night unto him, though he bears long with them?

I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

When Jesus returns, will he find believing on the earth? Find implies that Jesus will return looking for believers? Everybody believes. Believe what? The Bible, which is also called the Law.

Jesus will return looking for believers that are obedient to the Word of God. The widow asserted her legal right to the lawless judge to do judge righteously.

Application

The parable reminds us that God is looking for believers that trust and obey the Bible. Believing entails persistence to continue praying and believing the specific verses until it comes to pass. If the prayer is not based on the bible then God has no obligation to answer.

 

* Both believe and faith are translated from the same word root. When it’s a noun (pistis) the translation is faith and a verb (pisteuo) it’s believe. This is one of the most confusing translation decisions in the Bible. I prefer believe and believing.

The Day Abortion Was Legalized

abortion

On January 22, 1973, the well-known Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade was decided by a 7-2 vote. This decision permitted women to undergo an abortion procedure up to viability, the first six months of pregnancy. This landmark decision overturned all state laws pertaining to abortion.

Most people are familiar with this case. Liberal politicians state that abortion is legal any time up to delivery because Roe v. Wade is the law of the land. Although the first part is true, it is not because of Roe v. Wade.

On the same day that Roe v. Wade was decided, another abortion case was on the docket, Doe v. Bolton. This case  challenged the Georgia abortion laws. Since Roe v. Wade was already approved, was there a need to decide on Doe v. Bolton. This decision was critical because it extended abortion options up to delivery because a woman could choose an abortion based on physical health, mental health, or emotional health. The case was filed on behalf of Doe, Jane Doe, to protect her name.

When asked by one of the justices if Jane Doe was a real person, the attorney replied that it doesn’t matter. Therefore, on January 22, 1973, abortion was legalized for the first and second trimesters and then a later decision ruling extended abortion during the third trimester.

In 2003 the identity of Jane Doe surfaced, Sandra Cano. When Sandra discovered that she was the Jane Doe in the case, she filed a motion in a district court to have her case reviewed. Cases cannot be filed on theoretical possibilities but require a party that has been harmed. Doe v. Wade was filed on her behalf without her awareness, but the district court denied her motion. A motion with the appeals court was denied also. Finally, a Supreme Court review was requested and denied. Ms. Cano died in 2014.

The courts knew that a review of this landmark decision would have been overturned since Sandra did not support the case. This is a fascinating case of legal and judicial manipulation.

  • How did both cases make the docket on the same day? Was it because Roe v. Wade was a high profile case and Doe v. Bolton would attract minimal attention?
  • Why were the justices not interested in validating that Jane Doe was a real person?
  • The courts were reticent to reopen a settled Supreme Court case, even though the merits of the case were questionable.

God’s Gem Miners

gem-mine

How should we filter life? Life bombards us every day. How should we process the multitude of thoughts, information, and influences that vie for our attention? We can’t accept everything. Rejecting all results in isolation and mistrust. In Philippians 4, God teaches one of the great life lessons in the Bible.

 8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Whatever things! God is describing a filtering process.  How do we decide what is useful and what to discard?  In Isaiah 55, God explains the tension in the world and in our lives.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

We are to filter life using the Bible to retain the things that align with God’s thoughts and ways while rejecting the world’s thoughts and ways.

Whatever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, or of good report…..

The second part begins with “if there be any”. This is another description for filtering. It doesn’t say “if there be only” or “if there a majority”, but it says if there be any. God doesn’t expect us to only accept something that is 100% Godly, or 51% Godly, or 10% Godly. He says any. If there is only .1% Godly then it’s enough.

If there is only .1% containing virtue or praise, then think on these things.

My family likes to go gem mining when we visit the mountains. This activity involves filling a bucket with dirt from the gem mine. Next, sit on a bench beside a trough with running water. Then scoop some dirt into a wood frame with a screen bottom. After submerging the frame in the water, then the water begins to wash away the dirt. The gems are larger than the screen. Therefore, after 90 minutes all of the dirt is washed away and a couple of tablespoons of gems remain from the gallon-plus size bucket.

This verse reminds me of gem mining because it takes time and effort to find the hidden gems in the bucket of dirt. God instructs us to search for the honest, pure, just, lovely, and the good report. If they have any virtue and praise, then spend some time considering God’s thoughts and ways.