Posted by: Jim | January 2, 2008

Good News / Bad News

I thought I would ring in the new year with a little of both.

First, the good news. We may yet abolish the Electoral College with the “National Popular Vote” initiative, which has already passed in one state. If this actually works, it will be a great boon to the election process. Of course, they might still be rigged, but we try to assume they are not.

And now the bad news. Don’t try to adopt any kids if you’re an atheist. The courts won’t like you.

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Responses

  1. Now if we could only pass an Abolition of Political Parties and Media Exit Polls Initiative. And an Elimination of Corporate Political Sponsorship Initiative. And an All States Vote on the Same Day Initiative. And an Every Candidate Must Memorize the Entire Constitution Word For Word Initiative.

    Oh, and one more: an Anti-Dynasty Initiative, which states that no President’s family member may be eligible for the office for at least 2 generations. That includes WIVES.

    I have spoken.

    * * *

  2. Bri – And mistresses and love children.

    The atheist story is, if the facts are as presented, a disgrace, and a misuse of language that rightfully seeks to protect the right to worship

    “… no person shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshiping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience.”

    to effectively deny atheists the chance to adopt a child. This is unlikely to stand. I myself come from a family of lapsed Catholics, who considered themselves atheists (my mother reaching the conclusion that God did not exist or he would be doing something about the beatings she received from the nuns – nothing quite like the righteous with a stick in their hand, is there?), but the point is, my parents were also capable of believing that it was my choice what path I followed with regard to the practice of a particular faith. A few amicus briefs citing similar evidence with some analysis and common sense should prevail.

    This notion that atheists are somehow now a growing menace to America appears to be taking hold and was crystallized with Falwell’s laying of responsibility for 9/11 with, what was it, ‘gays and pagans and people who smoke pot and wear the same socks two days running…’ or some such garbage, that somehow secularism invites global terrorism to these shores.

    I wanted to ask Jim a question to do with Mitt Romney. Why do you think his Mormonism is regarded with such suspicion when Mormonism is one of the few truly US faiths? I mean, these guys found their church in New York City and believe the Garden of Eden was in Missouri! You’d think the appeal of a Christian-style faith that is wholly homegrown would be something of a head-turner, but no.

  3. The major shortcoming of the current system of electing the President arises from the winner-take-all rule (currently used by 48 of 50 states) under which all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who gets the most votes in the state. If the partisan divide in a state is not initially closer than about 46%-54%, no amount of campaigning during a brief presidential campaign is realistically going to reverse the outcome in the state. As a result, presidential candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or worry about the concerns in voters of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. Instead, candidates concentrate their attention on a handful of closely divided “battleground” states. As a result, 88% of the money and visits (and attention) is focused on just 9 states. Fully 99% of the money goes to just 16 states. More than two-thirds of the country is left out.

    Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill is enacted in a group of states possessing 270 or more electoral votes, all of the electoral votes from those states would be awarded, as a bloc, to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The National Popular Vote bill has 366 legislative sponsors in 47 states. It has been signed into law in Maryland. Since its introduction in February 2006, the bill has passed by 12 legislative houses (one house in Colorado, Arkansas, New Jersey, and North Carolina, and two houses in Maryland, Illinois, Hawaii, and California).

    See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

  4. Domo Arigato Mr. Kozo Roboto.

    Yes, us Atheists may be the next residents of Guantanamo if the fear-mongerers get their way. Check out Bri’s blog (Briosphere.com) for a humorous/frightening look at that.

    The Mormons hold a special place in the American Religio-sphere. They truly were persecuted for their beliefs by the more accepted “Christians.” Ironically, Christians see the Mormons as kooks and Joseph Smith as a Charlatan. Probably the most egregious of Mormon sins is polygamy, about which any sane man would both fantasize and fear.

    The fact is, the Mormons are just as moronical as any religion, but have had the bad luck of being the neighborhood pipsqueak. They have managed to survive, and their business acumen has caused the rest of America to set aside their differences and break bread with Mormons. But secretly they still harbor the impression that Mormons are freaks.

    And they are.

    But so are Christians.

  5. What I am wondering is if somebody who just simply does not belong to a church is going to be de facto labelled an atheist.

    Maybe such people, and I am one, need a PR firm to relabel us as ‘spiritual free agents’.

  6. Ah yes; thank you Mr Koza for reminding me of one more Initiative: Parliamentary representation that reflects the actual voting strata instead of the absurd First Past The Post/Winner Takes All bullshit that we have, to put it kindly, OUTGROWN.

    We can call it the Anti-Cowboy Initiative.

    Yee-haw.

    * * *

  7. jim,

    i don’t know where else to write this.. well i do but I am too lazy and it is almost 6 am and I haven’t slept yet.. thanks for leaving comments on my blog, it means something that you read it. so i left you one.

    so there

    I’ll get round to reading your blog properly someday too

    take it easy

    petey

  8. ‘Spiritual free agent’ . Love it! Hire that PR firm, you’re on to something Felix!

  9. I had a lot to say about this, but no need. Mega dittos to John Koza.

    -Tommy


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