Posted in Election, History, politics

Electoral College Debate

Our Electoral College system is based on issues that no longer exist. We have 24/7 communication all across the globe. We don’t need to worry that uninformed country bumpkins will elect someone based on lack of information or worse an unqualified person.

Ironically this 2016 election proved that an electoral college system does not prevent an unqualified person to be elected. If we had the ability to elect candidates based on popular vote alone, we would now have the only qualified presidential candidate in this disastrous election as our incoming president. Unfortunately, modifying or eliminating the Electoral College is highly unlikely to be abolished or modified to reflect the vast changes from the days of the Framers of the U.S. Constitution to the present time.

I’ve included a link to an article which discusses why the Framers of the Constitution created the electoral college below.

(http://www.historycentral.com/elections/Electoralcollgewhy.html)

“Hamilton and the other founders believed that the electors would be able to insure that only a qualified person becomes President. They believed that with the Electoral College no one would be able to manipulate the citizenry. It would act as check on an electorate that might be duped. Hamilton and the other founders did not trust the population to make the right choice. The founders also believed that the Electoral College had the advantage of being a group that met only once and thus could not be manipulated over time by foreign governments or others.”

Another even more disturbing reason for the Electoral College to be created was to allay the fears of Southern slave owners that the Northern states at some point would be able to end “slavery commerce”.  So Thomas Jefferson who was largely the proponent of this modification to the Electoral College was eventually elected president basically on the backs of slaves.

More can be found on the Internet that goes into greater detail about the Electoral College system. As American voters, I believe it behooves us to understand this process which was originally established as part of forming and retaining our elected representatives.  Ignorance is never blissful in my experience. Being ignorant or easily swayed by those who would purposely use and abuse any portion of our Constitution is especially crucial when other governments can intervene during an election cycle. An obvious example is the Russian hacking of Democratic computer systems and having the information leaked through various channels to influence voters. Unfortunately, the  Framers of the Constitution had no ability to foresee the future of computers and instantaneous global communication.

And that’s the way the cookie crumbles…

Note: Please excuse any typos or grammatical errors. Living with very little sleep over the past week and a half does blunt the brain’s functionality. Future elections will hopefully be less “exciting” one can only hope.

Posted in Civil Rights, History

To Fly or Not to Fly That Is the Question

I ran across (actually I surfed to) this blog today and the subject is so important if we are ever going to break free from the chains of slavery that continue to bind our country.Yes, you are a racist and traitor

“While I was out jogging this morning, I passed a neighbor’s house that I have passed every day for almost three years. Usually I stroll right on by without giving it a second thought. Today, though… today was different. I stopped in my tracks and blankly stared until a car honked at me to move out of the way.”This house flies a Confederate flag.”I don’t live in South Carolina or even Maryland. I live in a small town in Central Pennsylvania, 50 miles north of Gettysburg – the site of the most famous victory of the Civil War. Yet even here, a few hundred feet from my front door flies the unambiguous symbol of hatred, racism, and treason.”

You can read the rest of the article here.

Take Down That Flag
Take Down The Confederate Flag Rally at SC State House

The Confederate flag flown over certain Southern State Capitols absolutely reflects why Southern states left the Union. It was all about slavery make no mistake. Slavery was institutionalized within the original U.S. Constitution because many of the signers owned slaves.

Slavery was ended as a result of the Civil War and yet Southern states insist upon living in the past flying the Confederate flag over state capitols. To better understand what all the fuss is about a little reading is required.

I found the South Carolina Declaration of Causes of Secession to be especially revealing. Note the election of Abraham Lincoln as being a motivation to secede.

The Declaration states in part:

“We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assumed the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of Slavery; they have permitted the open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to purloin the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.”

“For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the Common Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the Common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that Slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.”

Southern states were seemingly puzzled why anyone would question the morality of the “Institution of Slavery. The Confederate flag is emblematic of the struggle to maintain the status quo allowing slavery to continue and to treat people of another skin color like animals.

 

Posted in Great Quotes, History

Happy Indepence Day!

FireworksJohn Adams predicted:
“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

We actually celebrate Independence Day on the 4th of July but Adams was correct in saying it would be celebrated for generations. It is to be hoped that we Americans reflect on the sacrifices made centuries ago to create a free democratic republic.

Parade
4th of July Parade
Posted in Friends, History, Humor, Learning

Oh, Canada Day!

 

Canada Day occurs every July 1st. Why is this important? Due to the origins of both our countries we have a bit of shared history. Not only that but we also have a very long shared border. In fact, it is the largest international border in the world. It even has a name, the International Border which I would think adds to the specialness of Canada. (Incidentally, Detroit is actually north of Canada. (Just a little trivia for the geographically astute.) Detroit and Windsor, Ontario share the Detroit River over which the Ford Fireworks display wows the crowds on both sides of the border/river each year.

Our shared history involves being subject (and I do mean subject) to what was once the British Empire. As previously mentioned Canada Day occurs on July 1st. Personally, it seems just a little suspect that Canada Day occurs two days prior to America’s Fourth of July or Independence Day during which there are fireworks shows and shooting off firecrackers quite similar to our celebrations two days later.

Well, come to find out there is actually a good reason for choosing July 1st.

Canada Day, July 1st, was set aside to commemorate the joining of three British North American colonies into one nation by British Parliament. These three provinces were Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada (which was divided into Ontario and Quebec) creating four provinces in the country. This occurred July 1, 1867 when the British Parliament passed the North American Act. Today, Canada is a free nation requiring no British Parliamentary acts to amend its constitution. That would definitely be a bummer. It takes governments too long as it is to get things accomplished.

So what does it mean to be a Canadian and how are they different from their neighbors across the International Border?

I believe I’m something of an expert (at least in my own mind which possibly says something about my sanity) having lived most of my life in Southeastern Michigan just over the border with Canada. I’ve encountered a few Canadian idiosyncrasies which at times have been a bit puzzling to me. Also, I actually lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba for 4 months for job training.

Canadians have a dialect all their own often adding “eh” nearly every other word in a sentence. It’s cute! Quebec is a French-speaking province which explains why I’ve never visited. (I passed French in high school but I remember little of the language.) Another difference is they use the metric system which is confusing to us visiting Americans still stuck on using the English measurement system. (Hey! We had to keep something from our early British days.) Speeding tickets explain some of the confusion encountered.

Then there is sports. A definite game changer.

One of Canada’s favorite sports is curling which I always thought was something women did while fixing their hair. Live and learn.

Let me tell you, curling rates right up there as the most boring sport ever. (Obviously, that’s just my opinion. It’s an Olympic sport so someone must love it.) It involves brooms and heavy “stones” being swept down and ice rink. I was not swept off my feet watching the “action”. It’s not much fun to watch on TV (Trust me, I’ve done it.) and in person isn’t much better. Plus it’s extremely cold in the building in which curling occurs.

As many know, the national pastime is Hockey. If you think American college and pro football fans are rowdy and out of control, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve attended a hockey game in Canada. Canadians are fanatically fanatic about their hockey teams. And along with these national pastimes they put away a lot of beer. I suspect beer-drinking might be another national pastime.

So basically a description of Canadians is they may tend to copy certain American holidays including Thanksgiving and Independence Day. They love beer, hockey, curling and possibly more beer.

All kidding aside, when I lived in Canada for 4 months I met the nicest, kindest, most hospitable people who opened their hearts and homes to us visiting Yanks. It was definitely a home away from home.  I have a special place in my heart for the people of Canada. Still a little “sibling” teasing won’t rock the cradle too awfully bad. Right? Maybe?

Posted in Friends, History, Learning

Happy Canada Day Eve?

Canadian Flag
I confess I am an American but living so close to Canada (southeastern Michigan) I’m quite aware of the special folks who call themselves Canadians. I remember when the Canadian Flag looked much different from that of today and want to share a little about how the current flag originated. From the Toronto Public Library:

The Red Maple Leaf: How Canada’s Flag Came to Be

The Inauguration of Canada’s Current Flag: February 15, 1965

Also, 2015 marks 50 years since Canada’s official adoption of the current flag. I guess that says far too much about my age

Posted in History, Humor

Monday Medicine: Humor is Best

Fancy rose

“I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalog: 'No good in a bed, but fine against a wall.'” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Humor is Healthy

Humor and stress relief:

A sense of humor and the ability to laugh have been scientifically proven to lessen the effects of stress on your health and reduce tension.

Laughter is Nature's form of holistic medicine and stress relief. Scientists are not sure why we have a sense of humor but smiling and laughter are innate. We all have the ability to laugh and smile!

 

 

Posted in Great Quotes, History, Writing

And Still I Rise

(By Maya Angelou)

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

Sunset

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

The‘ Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I riseUp from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise