Category Archives: Election 2020

What needs to be done about the Electoral College

So once again there is, as always a call to end the Electoral College and replace it with just a national vote.

As if replacing one broken system with an even more broken system is a solution. Yes, the current system gives a bizarrely huge advantage to small states that have effectively zero population like Wyoming and the
Dakotas. But going to a pure popular vote will make all elections just pandering to the wants of the 10 largest cities in the country and will be just as off-kilter, possibly even more so, than the current situation. Both systems give too much power to one group or another and neither is a viable solution. Let’s not forget that the Founding Fathers recognized that there are supreme problems with democracy and the tyranny of the majority and that the more democratic you make a system the more likely you will have demagogues like Trump and Obama, not less.

But clearly, the system has given us hollow men with cults of personality for the last twelve years so it is clear that something is off and needs to be fixed. But complete democracy is not the answer.

To find a solution we need to go back to why it’s the way it is. Like so much of the Constitution’s creation, it was designed to allow for majority rule but allow for the minority rights to be protected. At the time of the first census, the smallest state was Delaware which had 1.5% of the population and 2.3% of the electoral votes. Now Wyoming has 0.17% of the population but .55% of the electoral college (from having the smallest state have 1.5 advantage over their population to now our smallest state having a 3.2 times advantage over what a pure democracy would give them).

We have too many states with next to no population and therefore a huge advantage in the electoral college.

On the other hand, we have a handful of massive states like Florida that make their swing state status make them disproportionately important.

So we need a system that both ensures states with smaller populations are not powerful and that huge swing states don’t control everything. The point is to force candidates to care about the largest swatch of the country if they want to get elected and reelected not just worry about their states and a couple of swing states (seen by Trump not caring if people die in blue states, and Obama foolishly dismiss the people who cling to their guns and Bibles). The point is to make sure that the President must care about the most states as possible. To do this we must have no bizarrely small states that one side can ignore, and no huge states that get all the attention.

And, while I know this is not popular (but one of the jobs of leadership is to explain to the public why the right solution should be popular—it is only unethical demagogues that pander to what is popular) by any means there is a way to solve this, here is what we need to do:

A constitutional amendment that states any state over 20 electoral votes has to split apart and any state under 6 votes has one census cycle to either get their population up or have to join with the lowest state that they’re next to…failure to do so will have their electoral college votes annulled.

The Dakotas become one state because it’s simply preposterous to think that a whole lot of nothing requires two full state governments. Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming the same. As with everything north of Massachusetts. Rhode Island and Delaware serve no conceivable purpose and we all know it. But California would be broken up into three states, one probably blue one red, and one swing, New York would be NYC and everything else. Florida two states because no single government should be responsible for that much crazy, and Texas would thankfully be broken up because I think we can all agree that shithole excuse for a state deserves to be knocked down a peg (also, as a Dodgers fan, I need to point out that every member of the Houston Astros needs to be publicly executed).

By doing this states will now be in a nice 6-20 vote margin which means that now middle red states are important enough for democrats to care and the huge bastions of liberalism are broken into areas that become an attractive target for conservatives…i.e. the candidates will have to moderate their view and policies and actually be president for ALL OF AMERICA, no longer will strategies that just focus the parts of the country they want to pander to and two or three swing states. A conservative will finally have to care about things that happen on the West coast, a liberal will have to look into the concerns of the people in the middle part of the country who are afraid of the fact that their ways of life will be done away with by technology in another generation.

The only other thing that probably needs to occur in every state should probably reserve two of their votes for statesmen chosen for their common sense before the primaries even begin with the right to vote their conscience. How many godforsaken presidents might we have been spared if that check existed?

Finally, these laws that some states are putting in that force electors to vote with the state vote have to be eliminated also by Constitutional Amendment (because the Supreme Court recently made the dumbest error in thinking that electors, not representative who are elected to use their best judgment, which they are). If a presidential candidate picks John Doe to be their elector in the electoral college and come the day of the election John Doe feels that he can’t vote for the candidate that choose him…there is probably a damn good reason, and forcing them to vote against their conscience is just endangering the nation.

…Oh, and while we’re on the issue of the size of states, every state should take a long hard look at the size of their counties. Most counties were set up with the idea that a person could reach a county seat within less than a day at the time they were founded. For most of the history of the country that was the distance a horse and carriage could go in a day. And in modern terms, that’s about 20-50 miles. There are places in the country where if you’re just driving a legal speed of 65mph you can cross four or five counties in a single hour. This was a practical size when your governance was limited by the speed of a horse…it is no longer necessary to have that. Every country has swaths of redundant public officials and corrupt officers who like to keep their own fiefdoms and do so because they are able to control such a small area with a small level of corruption. Two-thirds of the number of counties in America do not need to exist because a single county seat for four or five existing counties would probably be able to offer the same level of service for a fraction of the overhead price. The government should be local in many cases, but that is what cities are for.

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Filed under Election 2020, Elections, Government is useless

Who should you vote for if you want your vote to count…depends…

So, there is a problem right now for those of us who used to think of ourselves as conservatives as to who to vote for. And I use the words “used to” because right now at best the term means absolutely nothing and at worst it means a Pharisee type of Christianity that bows downs to the altar of the orange Nazi god-king believing in nothing but white supremacy, tyranny, isolationism, and violence.

idiots

Ugh…are these really our choices?

But there was a time– not even a decade ago –when conservatism meant things like:

  • Limited Government
  • Adherence to the Constitution and Rule of Law
  • Free Markets, Free Trade, and leaning more on the side of Laissez
  • Faire without falling into anarchy
  • Globalization of the economy
  • Personal responsibility
  • Economic Progress that raises all boats
  • Equality before the law and shunning identity politics
  • Strengthening international relations and promoting liberty abroad and opposing tyranny.

These used to be the ideals of conservatism. And right now we have a Republican candidate who not only opposes but is completely antithetical to all of them and would do everything in his power to see tyranny and white supremacy be the only thing in the world, a Democrat candidate who only supports the international relations point, and a Libertarian who sort of supports the free market one (but to be honest is leaning just a little too much toward that anarchy extreme that conservatives don’t believe in). The only thing either has going for them is that they don’t have the blind cult-of-personality behind them that Trump does, which makes them infinitely less dangerous even on policies that are equally stupid as Trumps. Further, whereas Trump is unquestionably criminal and evil, the other choices are merely dumb.

So, our choices are voting for Mickey Mouse as a protest vote that will be ignored or maybe voting for one of the two barely tolerable candidates that might have a chance of sending some kind of message.

Obviously voting for Trump is out. The man is everything this country is supposed to oppose and there is no excuse, no justification, no reason to vote for a man who is a traitor, a fascist, a racist, a mentally deficient idiot, whose one and only virtue is that the morbidly-obese trailer-park slob is the living embodiment of sloth and we have only gotten a small taste of the evil he could have accomplished. But what we really want is that we never have to deal with this kind of vile ignorance again. And that’s going to be a problem because there is still a massive group of Americans who are vastly too stupid to be trusted to vote—God help us if the Bernie and Trump supporters ever realize they both support isolationist racists who want big government to have total fascist control of the economy. They’re probably not a majority but they’re a hideously frightening sizable plurality that has nothing but willful ignorance and hatred going for them. So we need to reduce the power of the populists and the progressives to continue their attempts to ruin America and the world (both extremes have fooled themselves into thinking that’s not what they’re doing, but it is).

So, we need two things for that. The first is we need new limits placed on the executive branch. The Senate needs the power to veto executive orders; Senate approval needs to be required to withdraw from a treaty; DOJ policy must be changed by law so that a president can be arrested for high crimes while in office; a Department of Internal Affairs (with two heads, one from each party) must be created to investigate all high ranking officials in the governments and, if necessary, charge and prosecute them; all of the Cold War-era emergency powers given to the president must be removed or, at least, subject to Congressional review from either house of such a declaration; Congressmen and Senators (or at the very least either of the Houses as a whole) must be given absolute standing to challenge Presidential action in court; a policy to allow for more challenges to the Executive Department’s extra-legal actions must be put in. There are of course further ways the President’s power must be pulled back, but that would be a start.
Will we get all of that under a Biden/Harris presidency. I doubt it, but if we start pushing Congressmen and Senators now we might get some of it. If you live in swing districts go to the town hall meetings and debates and ask what they plan to do to limit executive authority in the future…and no matter who wins hold their feet to fire through calls, emails, and, of course, traditional mail. This is going to be a long slog to get all of that power put in, but it is possible.

But more importantly, the power that Trump and his treasonous cronies need to be removed from the Republican party (or more likely the Republican party just needs to be killed for all time so that something new can grow in its place). So how do we do that?

I hate to say this, but, some of us are going to have to vote for the Libertarian candidate. I know, I know. As any longtime reader of this blog, while I have many leanings toward libertarian economic and social policies, the Libertarian Party is a joke. I will at least give them that they didn’t put Gary Johnson on the ticket again…I think they finally figured out that when one of the chief insults claims against the Libertarian party is that they’re just a bunch of stoners who want legal drugs it might not be a good idea to put up Johnson who looks like he’s stoned 24/7 on the ticket. Who would have thought? But that doesn’t mean that Jo Jorgensen is all that great. Like all Libertarians, she has a truly infantile understanding of foreign policy and would like to turn this country into an isolationist nation (the wet-dream of every dictator) because Libertarians for all their noble words of caring about natural rights would be perfectly happy to see the rest of the world subjugated to tyranny so long as they weren’t being bothered (they seem to have learned nothing from history that this is a policy that only leads to strong dictators eventually attacking the US…but Republicans never learned that making deals with populists and racists is evil…and Democrats have never learned the first thing about economics…so every party is terrible in its own way). So, I’m not saying some should vote Libertarian because they’re doing such a bang-up job. Some should do it because it will show that there is a percentage of the Republican electorate that is willing to turn their back on the party, that unless the GOP expels the populists, racists, tyrants, and Trumpists from their ranks wholesale, we will not support them. Just think if the Libertarians could get 10% nationally that would terrify the GOP that they might not ever win again and rather than having a party platform of “we will mindlessly bow down to our orange God-King and do whatever illegal thing he wants” (they use different words but that is the actual Republican platform for 2020, servile obedience to Trump). To anyone who has listened to politics over the last four years, you have heard again and again that most Republicans hate Trump but they’re afraid of his base voting against him. Well, they need to be afraid of those who want small government and capitalism and adults in charge. And the only way to do that is not by not voting, but by showing we are willing to vote for someone else. They know the crazy Trump loons who listen to QAnon and are not so secret about their want for an all-white America, are willing to drop out and not vote for them we need to show them that actual conservatives in the mold of Goldwater-Reagan-Romney are not just as willing to abandon them, but more willing to do so. They need to have abject fear put to them, and as a pair of pliers and a blowtorch are out of the question, this is the only way. They don’t care if you don’t vote, they only care if you vote for someone other than them. (It will be interesting to see which Libertarians attack me for more A. That I insulted them by pointing out how dumb they always are or B. That I’ve made a better case for voting Libertarian than they ever have.)

If your choices are wasting your vote on not voting, and wasting it on a candidate who can’t win, but with the possibility of sending a message—the option that has a glimmer of hope for change in the right direction has to be the better bet. Doesn’t it?

Now, I’m not saying donate to the kooky Libertarians. No. And you don’t exactly have to campaign for them, maybe people who are thinking of voting for Trump or not voting. But if you really want a change this is the only way I can see forward—it’s only a first step, but it is THE first step.
Now, who should vote for whom? Obviously, if you can’t ever bring yourself to vote for Biden (and I get that) vote for the Libertarian. But if you could go either way if you’re in a swing state (Colorado, Main, New Mexico, Virginia, Connecticut, Oregon, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Iowa, Missouri, Arizona, Nevada, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, Indiana, Montana, South Carolina) you should probably vote for Biden—I know, it’s not great, but, again, the lack of a cult-of-personality and the lack of being pure evil does actually make him marginally better, his policies are just as bad, but as we’ve seen so many things come down to character, not policy. Character matters, and Joe is dumb, not evil, Trump is dumb AND evil. If you live in any other state and you were thinking of just sitting out because you can’t bring yourself to vote for Trump, vote for the Libertarian.  And try and convince every other Republican you know to also vote Libertarian as

And send messages to every other elected official around that you didn’t vote Libertarian because they’re just a mature party worthy of respect, but because you expect that the government needs to limit its power and this was the only way you could convey that message. And try and if you can see if you can get any Trump voters to vote for the Libertarian as well. Tell them “Look, it’s pretty much a given that Biden is going to win” (I mean Trump could win if he started acting like an adult, but Trump is completely incapable of doing that, so Biden is going to win) “and if you want your vote to actually count make it clear that you support small government, not Trump, not the Republican Party, actual principles and this is your way to show it.

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What Biden should do…but probably won’t

I wish he would govern from the center…but the fact is we’ll have to start screaming at them now if we want that kind of sanity.

So it’s pretty clear that an act of God that removes Trump, Pence, McConnell, Barr, Pompeo, Cruz, and Paul from this mortal coil–2020, you can still redeem yourself here; no one would mind if you brought the fabled meteor of death down on DC while both houses of Congress are in session and the idiot is in residence. The only question is are Republicans going to lose control of all branches of government by a little bit or by a huge amount. Trump, along with his loyal supporters, is a garbage fire on steroids and doesn’t have the intelligence, ethics, or even basic humanity necessary to pull out of this disaster. So since it is fairly obvious that the people working hardest for the Democrats to come to total power is the Republican party, we should accept that at least until 2022 Democrats will be setting the agenda.
Now they could do one of two things. The more likely is that they’re just as stupid, petty, and short-sighted as the Republicans and once again try to push through really dumb legislation that only appeals their far-left base along with cronies. They’ll pass essentially no useful legislation but hand out huge payoff and handouts to the people they like, piss off the moderates in the nation and lose the House in 2022. You what all of these idiots do.
Of course, there exists a small sliver of a chance that they might not be that stupid. Not that I think dimwitted Biden will be that smart, but I don’t think any of us think that he’ll be little more than a puppet for his Chief of Staff and Vice President to move until the moment he dies, likely in the first year of his presidency. What might, just might (and I realize that this is stupid crazy speculation, but goddamn it, I have to hope) happen is that they spend the first two years putting through all the easy bills. All the things that not only the left agrees with, but that most of the moderates and even the majority of the Never Trump Republicans can get behind. You know, caring more about the good of the country than simply pandering to the idiocy of the Bernie/AOC fringe that has never bothered to read an economics text or a history book. (And I understand that the idiot has already put out a very Bernie influenced plan, but when has a president ever done what they promised to do…maybe Pelosi will put her foot down as she didn’t do with Obama and actually do things that will not guarantee the Dems get voted out in 2022.)
So what would that be?
Here are some of the major points:
`1. Starting with low hanging fruit: ending qualified immunity all police and government officials. If you violate the rights of an American citizen you should suffer more as a government official, not be protected from having to face the music for your crimes. We pay police especially, but really all government officials, to be the adults in the room. They need to act like it. And if they don’t they need to have an Acme Anvil level of pain dropped right into their lives.

  1. End the sale of all military equipment to the police. They don’t need it. Maybe even a buyback program.
  2. Strengthening of Civil Rights laws to prevent abuse of government authorities.
  3. Make all federal funding dependent on all state police operations having body cameras, having complete reporting on every single time that police pull their guns and the outcomes of every one of those incidents, not using facial recognition technology, DNA searches, or any kind of access to private files or data without a court order.
  4. Federal laws requiring that all special treatment given to police in shooting by their utterly corrupt police unions (pro-murdering scum) is absolutely and totally illegal. In fact, if we could outlaw public unions that would be great, but I doubt the Democrats have the spine for that even though it would be popular and in their long term best interests.
  5. Outlaw every form of civil forfeiture unless it comes after a conviction and the government has proven beyond the shadow of all doubt that the property in question is a result of criminal acts (which has to be a separate court battle that occurs only after said criminal conviction).
    Regrettably, there is not much more that can be done on the federal level in regards to this issue because these are state issues.
  6. Let’s just grow up and realize that the war on drugs is a complete total failure and completely decriminalize it at the federal level. And I don’t just mean marijuana. Everything. Every level of government has proven that as much harm and despair that drug use can cause, the corruption, violence, government overreach and abuse in fighting drug use is vastly more damaging to society at every level. If states still want to have laws about use, trafficking, and sales, that’s a state’s rights issue, but the federal government just needs to end the drug war, remove all punishments for use and trafficking and give a pink slip to every employee of the DEA.
  7. In other issues, it has become clear that many of the rules of the medical profession, which were suspended for COVID, were never really needed. Their suspension needs to be made permanent.
  8. Trump’s tax cuts will probably be up for the chopping block very early in any Democrat administration. However, they should take a cue from actual conservatives who said part of the problem with Trump’s tax cuts was that it was not accompanied by cuts deductions. Rather than raising the tax rate they should go through the list of deductions and get rid a lot of them—I’d be happy with all of them for individuals and just letting everyone use the standard deduction (it would then take most people 10 minutes to fill out their taxes, and the rich will never be finding ways to avoid paying taxes…which reduces the need for an IRS and thus brings in more revenue, encourages money to be spent in a free market way, and reduces government power, not to mention bringing in more revenue) and any of the special carve-outs for industries (payroll, capital investments, and R&D, should still be valid deductions).
    Now if they were really smart they would realize that if they removed all deductions for it will give them the revenue they want without raising tax rates and it will actually make the economy more efficient as people will no longer be spending money just in government pet projects for the sake of tax benefits but rather choosing where they think it will best be served. So less cronyism, more revenue, more equity across the board.
  9. Starting with TTP Biden needs to sign and the Senate needs to ratify every free trade agreement we can find. Tariffs should be lowered to levels below when Trump took office, and Congress needs to put serious reigns on the president’s ability to arbitrarily raise tariffs. I understand that these powers were given to the executive to prevent cronyism, but it only works if Congress keeps a veto power to not allow haphazard behavior. We should also negotiate as many new trade agreements and lower every barrier we possibly can. We have learned from the current COVID crisis that dependency on one source is not effective in an emergency, and the idiocy of isolationism would only make things worse so we must work to help the whole world embrace globalization so that for every part, product or service we have multiple choices available to us.
  10. Money and due deference to such important organizations as the WTO and ICC needs to be given. Globalization is a great thing, and it is hated only by bigots and people who don’t understand how economics works…and actually, nothing will put China and Russia in their place like a strong international order.
  11. Look back in early 2001 Bush wanted to modernize the US military so it could be much smaller, cheaper, and fluid with a better ability to handle the challenges of the 21st century which don’t call for the massive armies strategy of the last century…and then some things happened that got him sidetracked, you know the story. Why don’t we pick up where he left off? A much smaller, more technological military that is faster, more efficient, and cheaper…and able to hand all the bullshit coming from China, Russia, and Iran. Cuts military spending and makes the country safer. Just a thought.
  12. Finally, (not because I couldn’t keep going but lucky 13 seems a good place to stop for the moment), we could pass laws that actually understand that the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and the writing of all the early founders are quite clear: THE GOVERNMENT HAS ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT TO LEGISLATE IMMIGRATION. Open borders is the only constitutional option. For safety issues we have the right to detain people at the border for a reasonable period to run a background check and make sure they’re not carrying anything contagious but if we can’t prove they’re a violent criminal and aren’t a health risk EVERYONE, and I mean everyone from every country has the right to come to the US and work. Now Congress can put limits on who gets to be a citizen (but to simply try and transfer the nothing but racists immigration system to our naturalization process would be dumb even for Democrats).
    Yeah, I would also like the UBI and further deregulation, but I realize that even if Biden was interested in building coalitions, these would be hard to push for at times like this (not that his stated plans are really looking to build coalitions).

(And yes I realize if I actually thought I was getting any of this it would mean I was in a fever dream more severe then that “Of Monsters and Men” music video…but I am allowed to dream)

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A Long-Term Case for Optimism

“The past can teach us, through experience, how to accomplish things in the future, comfort us with cherished memories, and provide the foundation of what has already been accomplished. But only the future holds life. To live in the past is to embrace what is dead. To live life to its fullest, each day must be created anew. As rational, thinking beings, we must use our intellect, not a blind devotion to what has come before, to make rational choices.”—Wizard’s Seventh Rule, The Pillars of Creation, Terry Goodkind

So, in a bizarre way to treat optimism let’s first look at how bad this is going to get. That may seem very counterintuitive but go with me on this for a minute. “Of all mindfulness meditation, that on death is supreme,” says the Buddha as he calls for an awareness of death (maranasati)…and some research shows that there are emotional and intellectual benefits to contemplating our death. When you have faced the worst end, analyzed it, accept it, and moved on, you are no longer bounded by the fears of the the worst-case scenario.

The same is true of any terrible situation.
So, let’s deal with the worst that this could possibly be. COVID 19 at worst has a fatality rate of 4%, and we will probably have a second round of it next cold and flu season. That is upwards of 8% dead. In the US that is 26.4 million people. Worldwide that is 624 million people.
That is beyond tragic. That is over four times more than communism killed in its entire existence. That is somewhere between 56-100 times the deaths of the Holocaust. It is nearly everyone you know over 65, parents, friends, certainly grandparents, and depending on who is reading this, possibly you. A new word might need to be invented to deal with death at these levels.
I want everyone reading this to take a few minutes, maybe even days to consider this, and let it sink in. It will be horrible.
It’s okay, it’s worth crying over, worth being horrified by, and worth being revolted that more could not be done.
Let it sink in.
Okay? If not, maybe this is a time to stop reading and think about why you’re still not okay with this. Do you need to make amends with people who might be gone or who might lose you? Then why are you still reading and not doing that? Didn’t accomplish all you wanted in life? Again, if that’s what is really bothering you, you might want to deal with that while you have time. Didn’t’ go on that trip or buy that car or retire to that beach…you know these are the kind of moments that are supposed to make it clear that life isn’t things, and you may need to think about what is bothering you.
Okay, have we come to terms with this worst-case scenario?
Now let’s move on.
This is unspeakably terrible, but there is one thing it is not. It is not the end of the world.
The Black Death killed 50 million people in Europe. That sounds like a lot less but it was closer to 35-65% of the population of Europe. (Data on what it did in Asia is a little harder to get, but over the course of centuries it probably did a bang-up job there too). And you know what happened? Europe survived. Possibly two-thirds of the population gone. Two out of every three people dead. And Europe survived. This is a disease that strikes hardest at the elderly, which was a disease that was indiscriminate to age. And they survived. We will survive 8% of the population dying.
Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t’t care about the people who die, not do every reasonable and even a few unreasonable efforts to save them. But understand this will be tragic deaths of people we love—it will not be the end of the world. If a bunch of illiterate peasants who are civilized only by the barest of definitions can survive two-thirds of their civilization, we will survive. *
This is not the end of the world.
Let that sink in.
Really, let that sink in because to get to the optimism for the future this might come off as a little callous if you haven’t accepted the previous points.

The plagues that struck Athens which led to their conquest by the Spartans led to Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. The Black Death was followed by the Renaissance. The Napoleonic Wars led to the Industrial Revolution on the European Continent, and the Civil War was followed by the Industrial Revolution in America. WWI and the Spanish Flu were followed by the Roaring ’20s. And the post-WWII economics was nothing short of miraculous. The universe has a way of balancing great tragedy with a spectacular moment of growth economically, intellectually, and spiritually. I’m not saying that everything about these periods was great, but the good certainly outweighed the bad. And granted, not every great tragedy is followed by prosperity. But assuming we get better at what we’re doing (either by toughing it out until January, or maybe blessedly COVID will walk down Pennsylvania Avenue) and learn that the free market with light direction is often a better innovator to our problems, and then hopefully set the groundwork for prosperity when this passes—and this too shall—then we will rise from this better than before.
That might not seem logical, but consider that we’re already coping remarkably well. Restaurants are still serving people via delivery and so while they won’t be in a great situation come to the end of this, they will still be there and ready to grow again. Companies will find that most people can be more effective from home, and will probably find out that 30 hours from home (so long as they have support from the corporate office) will be more effective than 40 in the office for a lot of jobs, which will not only help bring about a new jump in productivity but hopefully give vast new hours for people to spend on pet projects, artistic endeavors, and side business possibilities. This is giving us the opportunity to put in a lot of automated systems that unions and regulation had previously stood in the way of, which will raise the quality of life for numerous people and drop the costs of products worldwide. I’m sure we will see a massive increase in the money for self-driving cars and drone delivery to help reduce human to human transmission of the COVID, which will have an unspeakably massive drop in transaction costs of almost every economic transaction. We have been on the verge of a change as great as the change from an agrarian culture to an industrial one—and it promises to be a world where there is far less poverty and institutional injustice, and it’s sad this is the price we may have to pay for that change, but it is a better world on the other side of this.

And if you’re still not convinced, let me be exceptionally coldly rational here. The average person over the age of 65 in the US has an average net value of over a million dollars. In the worst-case situation, you’re looking at 20 million senior citizens dead. I hate to be callous but, that’s $20 Trillion being pumped into the economy. Granted a good deal of that is in housing, which that kind of glut on the market will radically drop housing prices (but that is affordable housing that isn’t bad) …but that’s still about $10 Trillion being pumped into the economy in the next year and a half. This is terrible, but it relieves a huge strain on our safety nets which can give us the opportunity to fix them properly without having to cut the benefits of those who depend on them while we fix them to be sustainable.
If we think long term here and amidst trying to save as many as possible, but we also need to work to set the groundwork for the world that comes after. And that world is better with less government (which I think we can easily see how stupid and short-sighted government is), with more guardrails in government to prevent the idiotic and unethical from achieving power over anyone, with more efforts put into the technologies and innovations that can make our lives better, and by using the time to reflect on how much we do need human connection in our lives and how we need to re-establish a greater sense of community with others in our lives after this.

What I am not saying is that we should help those who are vulnerable to this disease, who are suffering from it, or who are afraid. We most certainly should be there for them in any way that we find we are able to without going further than we feel comfortable doing.
That we need to understand that it was globalization that gave us exposure to so many diseases before this that we had better immunities and that this will only be, at worst, 8% and not 20% or 70%.
We should take time to ask if this is the best plan to save the most people unlike right now which only cares about deaths from COVID ignoring that the economic harm we’re causing will also cause death from more suicide, accident, stress, domestic violence…and the fact is that I can’t find anyone seriously asking which will have more death, it would likely be COVID is the greater danger, I would just love to know somebody looked toward the long term…you know in a way the government never does.
That science and free markets are working hard to find solutions while governments dither and sputter in incompetence.
And that life is a mixture of good and bad, and we shouldn’t give up on the good just because of terrible, but undeniably momentary, bad.
The world on the other side of this is easily a better one than behind us. Take comfort in that.

*A caveat. I know there are some older parents out there who are worried that they might not be there for their children. I wish I could transfer my faith that the universe is an ordered place, and that they will not be challenged with anything more than they can take, and any loss they endure will be a loss they knew about coming into this life and that it will give them the opportunity for growth. But I can’t transfer that faith. I can only advise that you seek some reconciliation with your own beliefs. But I understand that logically there is probably nothing I can do to ally your fears.

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What I’m looking for in November…

As I have already said we are living in insane times.
And things aren’t going to get extravagantly better in the immediate future as all the candidates running are far too left of center for any sane person’s taste (except maybe Bill Weld, but I have a better chance of winning the Powerball and Megamillions in the same week than he has of winning the Republican primary, so not exactly an issue there).
So I think for most of us we have two choices to sit out the presidential election and/or write in a candidate’s name as a protest-vote or pick the least evil of the candidates. I’m not sure which camp I’ll be in yet, but here is what I’m going to be looking for.
The biggest problem we have unquestionably seen with the last 20 years of presidential idiocy and corruption is the executive branch has become way too powerful and Congress, especially the Senate, has become way too weak.
And there are ways to fix this.
Now I’m not going to get into heavy detail at this point but here are a few things that could be done:


Establish a Department of Internal Affairs. The Department would investigate government corruption and only have jurisdiction over government employees. It can investigate, subpoena, take indictments to a grand jury, and prosecute government officials it finds has committed crimes. The Department will be split in half with two directors, each side with equal budgets, and the two heads appointed independently by the majority and minority party leaders of the Senate, but with each head subject to Senate confirmation. This will prevent the corruption we saw with Eric Holder, and which has been put on steroids in William’s Barr attempts to turn the US into the Reich. This way no matter what party is in power, they will not be above the law. We absolutely must stop the party in power having the power to ignore its own crimes.
Congress must pass laws making it a crime with severe penalties for the executive branch refusing subpoenas of Congressional investigations.
Congress must remove most, if not all, of the laws that give the president power over trade, tariffs, unilateral military power engagements and control of the budget.
Congress must put in some kind of regulatory and/or veto power over executive orders.
Internally, the Senate needs to reestablish the filibuster and supermajority rules.
Congress must put in rules that take power away from the party leaders and give it back to committees.

On the election side, here’s a simple thing that needs to happen:
Just pass a law that every statement made at a campaign rally, in an add, on any social media or basically in any public space other than the floor of Congress (you do need to protect the freedom of debate) every elected and appointed member of the federal government is to be considered under oath and that the penalties for lying under oath as an elected official should be significantly higher than they are for perjury in court. Think about it, not a single thing Bernie Sander, Donald Trump, Elizabeth Warren, and Ted Cruz have said for the last decade would pass this test and they’d all be rotting in the jail cells they belong in right now if we had a law like this. It would be a much better world.
The other thing is that while we need a public record of what happens in Congress, we need to acknowledge there is a corrosive nature of the show of visual mediums. I have no problem with keeping a video record of the actions of Congress, but it should stop being a TV show were people are pandering for video clips for the pundit shows to show again and again. The Supreme Court is correct to only allow audio recordings, a moratorium of two years for House video and six years for Senate video should be enough to turn back into legislators from the reality TV idiots they’ve become.

The next most important thing for the presidency is the need to regain sane foreign policy. Regrettably, Clinton’s short-sightedness, Bush’s ignorance, Obama’s indifference, and Trump’s evil have left the US in a terrible position to be a force for good in the world. So everything here is baby steps at best. But what I’m looking for is the following:
An eagerness to engage in trade deals that lower as many barriers and tariffs while boxing in tyrannies like Russia and China.
A push to restore power such bodies as the WTO which helps to force bad actors to improve if they wish to engage with the rest of the world.
An effort to reduce the power and influence of Russia and China, unlike Trump and Obama who did everything they could to help these two tyrannies.
An understanding that America is the shining city on the hill and has a duty to not just provide an example, but to help the growth of capitalism, rule of law, and liberty the world over.

If at all possible (ha!) a desire for at least the New Democrat ideal that the era of big government is over, and a desire to shrink the government in every way possible.

If I feel that a candidate can at least move the momentum of the country in the direction of these goals then I will hold my nose as I vote for them despite whatever short term problems they may cause. Clearly that won’t be the socialist scum that is Sanders, Warren or Trump. But if I can’t be convinced they will work for these goals then I might as well vote for Mickey Mouse.

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Election 2020–Best Case Scenarios in a Realm of Terrible Scenarios

 

We are living in an age of absolute insanity. Just about every politician out there is clearly out what little mind they have.
Now I have decided that I want to focus more on policy than the ground games of political games from now on because the momentary stream of manure from the politicians is and always be secondary to real policy developments. But we still should have a vague understanding of what is going on.
So I’m going to give out the best to least good outcomes that could happen.
Now the real problem is that there is not really a single capitalist with a snowball’s chance running right now. So in even a vaguely plausible scenario, we’re still left with only less bad options.

So best case scenario (third-least likely) would be that in a rare moment when all three branches (including all the cabinet members) are in D.C. with full attendance of both houses of Congress save Mitt Romney who is out of town, a meteor crashes in D.C. and rids us of all the morons. I would really appreciate if God could get involved in this and clear the slate for us because not one of these asses in either party (save Romney) deserves air let alone their office. Yeah, at the moment, Democrats are aligned with the truth that Trump is the worst president ever and has committed so many crimes and eternity in Hell will not balance the scales…but they had the exact same cult of personality for all of Obama’s (7th worst president ever) idiocy and corruption. So a plague on all their houses. Meteor, volcano, freak Cat 5 tornado, some act of nature to wipe all the scum out of this plane of existence.

The next best, and unquestionably least likely solution, would be for the Libertarian Party to nominate a sane person who has a chance of winning. Never. Going. To. Happen. They never embrace the best parts of the Libertarian party (capitalist economics and laissez-faire social issues) for nominees, they only seem to pick the worst (drug use, isolationist pro-tyranny foreign policy, bat shit crazy attitude). A sane libertarian candidate is the least likely thing I plan to see.

The next best solution would be for the GOP to grow a spine, throw Trump to the gutter he belongs in and embrace Bill Weld’s campaign for the nomination. Sadly the meteor of death is still more likely than this.

Finally, the most likely (still not very likely) option would be for the Democrats not to completely blow it. They need to admit that Biden is not going anywhere and that Klobuchar is not the moderate she claims to be. And that the Sanders/Warren wing is a bunch of socialist scum who unquestionably shares a lot of commonalities with the MAGA crowd and needs to be forcibly pushed out of the party (and preferably off a cliff). Obama needs to get out there and actively campaign for Buttigieg, and publicly state that any African-American who won’t vote for him because he’s gay is a homophobe who is as vile as the racists who have persecuted them. Pete should then probably put Bloomberg as his running mate, making the campaign unstoppable and probably fill his staff with a mix of New-Democrats centrists and Never-Trump Republican, and maybe a sanish libertarian or two, pushing for the realignment we know is coming where it will be the socialist/populist Trump/Bernie people versus the free-market centrists.  He’s not an ideal candidate, not by any measure, but he might have the sanity to put us back on a sane track. That’s the way to win. I doubt the Democrats will have the brains to do that.

Pretty much every other option will either leave Trump in power or put someone worse in.

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