Why I’m Not Voting Third Party for President

Why I’m Not Voting Third Party for President

Here we are in 2020 with another set of sub-optimal choices between two candidates for president. I don’t think it’s quite as bad as 2016, but neither are exciting. You could not convince me to go out and proactively campaign for either one of these candidates. Sigh.

If you even kinda concur with my above assessment, voting third party might look attractive. The Libertarians in particular talk a good game. It seems in recent years, they’ve even gotten me to take a hard look at their candidates. But, I’m not voting for a third party candidate again. Likely ever. Here’s why.

How many seats does the Libertarian party hold in the national congress (house/senate), state congresses (houses/senates), or governorships? The answer is simple. According to Ballotpedia, in 2012 it was a whopping 30. Out of thousands of seats, they have 30. What about 2016? They list the candidates the Libertarian party ran in 2016, but as far as I know, none of them won.

This is like asking Madison Square Garden to schedule a gig for your band. There’s just one small problem. Your band isn’t Guns and Roses and can’t draw 20,000 people. Madison Square Garden is well aware that they could schedule your band, and it might be technically better than Guns and Roses, but they won’t. Because nobody gives shit about your band. So, if you want to change the world, you have to join Guns and Roses, write them letters, or gain as many followers as them. There’s no easy path. There’s no easy day except yesterday.

But, it gets worse.

In 2016, I wasted time listening to Gary Johnson until he said, “what is Aleppo?” with a stoned look in his eyes. I listened to Jo Jorgensen until she lost me by essentially saying 1. Libertarians wouldn’t have done Covid lock downs because people would have stayed home themselves and 2. Libertarians wouldn’t have destroyed the economy because they wouldn’t have had lock downs.

That’s fucking double speak. That’s the “what is Aleppo?” moment for me. If people stay home, because they are scared, or because of the lock-downs, the economy gets destroyed either way. Fear of the virus destroyed the economy. The lock downs were just our collective response to that fear.

I gave the band an audition for Madison Square Gardens but the guitar player was out of tune, the drummer couldn’t keep a beat, and the singer was screaming the ABCs in a death metal voice. For $5 bucks, I’d listen to them at my neighborhood dive bar. Not getting my presidential vote.

Sitting around, and playing Army does nobody any good. The Libertarian party is holding primaries, creating websites, and “counting ballots” (what ballots?) for what? We should be focused on fixing the Republican and Democratic parties or supporting a third party at the grass roots level until it wins enough seats to actually have a chance at winning the presidency. This is a place where the prime minister model works better because it doesn’t trick people into thinking there can be a third party president without all of the hard work. A third party president has never happened, and probably never will.

I made that mistake once. Once. I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. We ended up with Bush, two wars and nearly a million dead brown people in the desert. Sadly, less dead brown people in the desert is a KPI for my presidential vote. Votes matter. I’m never making the third party mistake again.

I don’t love Joe Biden, but I don’t hate him either. He’s just meh. In fact he’s a hair less than meh, whatever that is. You’ll never convince me to campaign for Biden, but I’ll surely vote for him. Trump threatens to nuke people on Twitter and ponders out loud if we should inject people with disinfectant. To be fair, I think Trump has actually killed less people brown people in the desert (with drone strikes, troop surges, etc) than Hillary would have if she was elected in 2016. So, there is that.

So, for 2020, I’ll be spending my very valuable presidential vote on Biden thank you. And, good luck getting your band scheduled at Madison Square Garden or Red Rocks, or wherever else floats your boat.

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Drunk Driving is Less Dangerous than The Common Flu

Drunk Driving is Less Dangerous than The Common Flu

I’m pissed and you should be too! Our government is taking our rights away and destroying our economy. Here are some facts!!! People hate facts:

  • Fact:Drunk driving (or as the British call it, Drink Driving – they’re so crazy) kills substantially less people than the common flu. In 2018, the flu killed an estimated 61,099 while drunk driving only killed 10,511.
  • Fact: Drunk driving is WAY more fun than the flu (or CoronaVirus)
  • Fact: Drunk driving barely affects children. In 2018, the common flu killed 643 children between the ages of 0 and 17, while drunk driving only killed 1,233 children between the ages of 0-14. This is totally worth it.
  • Fact: I have a video on YouTube that explains these facts, and it was going viral with over 5M views. YouTube took it down. They HATE dissent. They didn’t tell me why, they just took it down. I’m not saying there’s a conspiracy, but what am I saying? You know…you know…
  • Fact: People can get better at drunk driving if they practice. It only takes a small amount of improvement to the skill of drunk drivers to achieve herd immunity
  • Fact: if you are scared of drunk drivers, you can stay home
  • Fact: There are federal DUI laws. This is “the kind of totalitarian thinking and conduct that has cost millions of lives in recent world history.” (Ron Coleman, a prominent First Amendment lawyer). States should be allowed to develop their own laws, even on Federal property!
  • Fact: only those that haven’t learned to drive drunk should be under quarantine. This could easily be solved with testing and tracing who the qualified drunk drivers are.
  • Fact: over a ten year period from 2009 to 2019, people over the age of 65+ are the fastest growing segment of drivers who cause fatal crashes, growing 35%. This “vulnerable population” is the group that should be restricted from driving drunk, or after 2AM.
  • Fact: Facebook is disclosing your drunk driving posts to local law enforcement. This is both a violation of privacy and can also lead to your being charged with a DUI.
  • Fact: predatory targeting of drunk drivers is destroying the service industry. Many bars and restaurants have had to close since drunk driving laws have been implemented. The damage in the millions of dollars US.
  • Fact: DUI laws are racist and sexist, targeting white men more than any other demographic and men more than women.

So, please, let’s stand together and wake these #sheeple up to the #truth!!!

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Comparing the Covid-19 Response The Right Way

Comparing the Covid-19 Response The Right Way

Background

The right way to compare the Covid-19 response is by Metropolitan Statistical Area in the US, or a roughly equivalent methodology which most other countries use (Example: Germany uses Metropolitan Regions). These metro areas are the best unit of measurement when comparing a country’s response because of several reasons:

  1. A metro area represents a unit of people that lives and works together
  2. The virus spreads through the interaction of people
  3. There is much less travel between metro areas right now
  4. The virus grows exponentially, so it will create hot spots mostly confined to these metro areas
So, as an example, let’s see how well the US is doing compared to Germany on April 10th, 2020 as I write this article. All all numbers are cited with links:

Germany

Berlin has a population of 3.7 million and about 165 Covid-19 deaths today, which makes it’s death rate approximately 1 in 22,424. Like Washington DC in the US, Berlin is both a city and one of Germany’s 16 Federal states. This makes it easy to find Covid-19 data, which makes it a good foreign metro area to compare the United States to.

United States

Detroit

The Detroit Metro area has a population of 4.2 million which covers most of Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland Counties. There have been 2451 (910 Wayne + 698 Macomb + 843 Oakland) deaths, making the death rate approximately 1 in 1713. The death rate is literally 13X as high in Detroit as it is in Berlin.
 

New York City Metro

The New York Metro Area has an estimated population of 23.7 million. There have been 19,200 deaths, making the death rate approximately 1 in 1234. The death rate is 18X as high in New York City as it is in Berlin.

Boston

The Boston Metro Area has an estimated population of 8.3 million. There have been 4557 (Norfolk, MA 635, Plymouth. MA 384, Suffolk, MA 703, Essex, MA 625, Middlesex, MA 1169, Worcester, MA 420, Briston, MA 260, Hillsborough, NH 40, Rockingham NH 27, Stratford, NH 9, Providence, RI 285), making the death rate approximately 1 in 1821. The death rate is 12X as high in the Boston Metro Area as it is in Berlin.

New Orleans

The New Orleans area has a population of 1.3 million. There have been 2,213 deaths, making the death rate approximately 1 in 587. The death rate is 38X as high in New Orleans as it is in Berlin.

Conclusion

I’ll let you do the math for other Metro Areas in the US, but I think it’s pretty hard to say that the United States’ response has been a 10 out of a 10 compared to the rest of the world.
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An Analysis of the Demographics of Opinions on Abortion

I’ve noticed that I have a lot of friends with wildly ranging opinions on Abortion. This made me curious about the statistics. Here are some observations that I found interesting about the numbers:

  • More men in the United States are pro-choice than pro-life [1]
    • 46% pro-life, 48% pro-choice
  • All women over 30 years old are more pro-life than pro-choice [1]
    • Age 30 to 49 – 51% pro-life, 44% pro-choice
    • Age 50 to 64 – 54% pro-life, 41% pro-choice
    • Age 65+ – 56% pro-life, 36% pro-choice
  • Only women aged 18 to 29 are pro-choice
    • Age 18 to 29 – 33% pro-life, 62% pro-choice
  • From 1995 until 2019 more people have become pro-life [2]
    • 1995 – 33% pro-life, 56% pro-choice
    • 2019 – 49% pro-life, 46% pro-choice
  • Since 1995, women are the ones who have changed their opinions most [3]
    • 1995 – 41% pro-life, 56% pro-choice
    • 2019 – 51% pro-life, 43% pro-choice
  • Since 1995, men’s opinions spiked on pro-life in 2009 and again in 2001, but have leveled back off.
    • 1995 – 41% pro-life, 50% pro-choice
    • 2009 – 54% pro-life, 39% pro-choice
    • 2016 – 46% pro-life, 46% pro-choice
    • 2019 – 46% pro-life, 48% pro-choice
  • Men and women’s opinions seemed to somewhat correlate up until about 2011 or 2012
    • You can see a similar shape to the curves if you look closely up until 2011 or 2012
    • After 2011 or 2012, they seem to have no correlation whatsoever (very weird to me)
  • People who make under $40K or have no college are way more likely to be pro-life [1]
    • Earn under $40K/year – 59% pro-life, 34% pro-choice
    • No college 58% pro-life, 35% pro-choice

This data over time is really interesting to me. Here are some observations:

  • People’s opinions swing wildly depending on the year
  • The same 18 year men and women, who were pro-choice in 1995, have become become way more pro-life at age 43 in 2019
  • Coincidentally, Gallup publishes easy to access numbers back to 1995 when I first became politically aware
    • 1996 was the first year I could vote
    • I feel like I was lied to about what it means to be pro-choice or pro-life
    • I feel like propaganda really had an effect on my opinion in 1995

I do understand why pro-life people are mad about liberals wanting to fund abortion clinics in poor neighborhoods. It’s so easy to make the connection to Eugenics, Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood, given that poor people are overwhelmingly pro-life. Also, note that Democrats and liberals are overwhelmingly pro-choice (29% pro-life, 68% pro-choice). Seems impossible since they are the party of the poor right?

It’s pretty obvious to me that Third Way Democrats like Clinton in 1995 (coincidentally, when I became politically active) traded workers issues for social issues like abortion because the Unions couldn’t support the Democratic party anymore. The left has purposefully turned abortion into a wedge issue since they don’t have any financial or workers issues to leverage now days.

Like most things, my opinion is super nuanced on abortion. I’ll leave you with a thought experiment:

Imagine a family with a husband, a wife, and three little children aged 3, 5 and 7. The father is an engineer, the wife a nurse. They are a loving and happy family, until one day the wife goes to work for night shift. On her way to the building, tragically, she is attacked, and raped. She becomes pregnant, and both the husband and wife are horrified when they are in the bathroom doing the test. They cry together and hug.

Eight months later, the husband wakes up when the 5 year old comes in the room crying because of a bad dream. The father notices her belly rubbing up against him and can’t stop thinking about as he tries to calm his child down. The wife wakes up, and the five year old asks – Mommy, I thought you said that we weren’t going to have anymore brothers or sisters because daddy “was fixed?” The mother cringes with disgust, takes a breath to deal with the knowledge that was was violated, and struggles to explain it to her 5 year old daughter.

Eight years later, they are divorced, and the children have a lot of trouble accepting their brother from the rape. When the older kids are mad, they say things like “you’re going to grow up to be a rapist like your father!” – or “you’re the reason that our mom and dad got divorced!”

Or imagine that eight months later, the same family is happy with three children. The mother and father never tell the kids. They take it to their grave. Roe versus Wade was primarily decided based on privacy. Nobody has a right to know what happened or why the woman got an abortion.

[1]: https://news.gallup.com/poll/244709/pro-choice-pro-life-2018-demographic-tables.aspx

[2]: https://news.gallup.com/poll/1576/abortion.aspx

[3]: https://news.gallup.com/poll/245618/abortion-trends-gender.aspx

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My Theory on the Electoral College

People think the electoral college failed in the 2016, so now they want to get rid of it. Correlation, is not the same thing as causation. What if it was something else that failed? If we saw a car crash, and the airbag failed to save someone’s life, would we argue to get rid of airbags? Just because a failsafe fails in one particular situation does not mean that the fail safe is not doing it’s job. Instead, I would argue that the problem is we need more than just the Electoral College as a fail safe. Here’s why…

In Jim Whitehurst gave a Ted Talk, Economics of The Information Revolution, he outlines three major epochs in the modern economy and which people were able to extract the most value. I will quickly summarize:

1. History of Humanity – 1800s – Land. Land mapped directly to power. The more land, the more food you had, the money you had, the more power you had, the more people you controlled. It was a direct mapping between land and power. The electoral college worked well because coincidentally, it also mapped to land. This meant that land holders balanced each other’s power out.

2. 1800s – 1980s – Manufacturing usrups land. Things changed with manufacturing because land became less important than machines. The machines that extracted food from the land became the most valuable assets. The more manufacturing you had, the more power you had. Selling tractors and cars, Henry Ford and friends indirectly extracted more value from the land in that short period of time than had ever been done before. The electoral college didn’t keep up nor help balance this shift in power. Instead, the unions eventually formed and things balanced out after a painful journey.

3. 1980s – Now – Information usurps manufacturing. With the age of information, the machines that extract food are now mostly a commodity, but the information on where food will grow, which food will grow best, how to prevent disease, and how to genetically modify the food is the most valuable asset. This information is wildly more valuable than the tractors. Owners of the information are the ones who extract the most value from the economy. The electoral college and unions can mitigate this power imbalance. Facebook, Twitter, Monsanto and others leading the information economy are extracting the most value, and essentially have nothing to balance that power.

The irony of this whole debate with is that the people with the “information” are the ones setting up this straw man against the Electoral College. We dont’ need to get rid of the Electoral College, we need the new thing that helps prevent HUGE imbalances of information. Some people are rambling on about it, including me, but none of us seem to have the answers. Hence, Zuckerburg (Facebook) is going to propose is “own” business friendly regulation to mitigate the threat of an Information College. He feels no guilt about this because he figures he’s as good/bad of a person as anyone and he might not be all that wrong.

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Let Me Explain Poverty

Let Me Explain Poverty

Growing up:

  • Your dad goes to jail on your birthday
  • Vietnam veterans smoke pot and party with your dad
  • Your dad hits your mom
  • You hit your dad with a bag of diapers
  • Your mom points a gun at your dad’s face
  • Your parents divorce
  • You move in with your grandmother and uncle
  • You remember the sound of your drunk, angry uncle throwing your grandmother’s cat down the stairs and breaking it’s tooth. He’s mad for who knows what, and you avoid him as much as possible
  • You are hungry toward the end of every month because the food stamps run out
  • You change schools every year, sometimes you go back to schools you have already went to
  • You have barely any friends because you change schools every year
  • Kids steal your stuff because you live in a poor neighborhood
  • During a summer program at the local school, you and your friend get handcuffed to the jungle gym for hours and chased around by older kids. Nobody helps
  • Your electric, gas and phone are off randomly. Friends call, and get the disconnected message – the next day at school, everybody knows your phone is disconnected
  • A kid that hates you, trips you at recess, while you are running full speed, and you have a scab along the ridge of your nose for months. Nothing happens to him
  • One of the kids from school sees you buying milk with food stamps and tells everyone at school. They make fun of you, even though most of them are probably getting food stamps as well.
  • You know and understand all of your parent’s financial struggles
  • You watch your cousin’s cat fly up in the air, land in the street, and die in convulsions after two kids in an old sedan speed up on purpose to hit it. They are in a gang, so there is no recourse
  • Your mom tries to enter you into a better school where all the kids have more money than you
  • You are too poor to get braces and have huge, bucked teeth
  • At the beginning of each year, the teachers are mad at you because you don’t have the “folder” they told you to buy. You’re too embarrassed to tell them that you are begging your mom every day, but she just doesn’t have the money until…
  • You wear used clothes on the first day of school, everyone knows and laughs
  • You wait for your mom’s income tax return so that you can actually get something that is brand new – you wait and plan for it, scheming, seething with desire. It’s almost sensuous planning for that one moment of pleasure
  • No girls want to date you
  • All the kids make fun of you because you “are ghetto”
  • They make fun of you because you “talk like you are black”
  • You sit alone at lunch because you barely have any friends
  • You get “jumped in” to a dumb local gang by having four kids “fight” you for five minutes (probably because you are lonely)
  • You get taken hostage by two of the toughest kids at school. They punch you in the face, pour soda on you, and hold you for hours. Eventually, you escape on your bike while they chase you. Your heart pounds…
  • Because you hate school so bad, you miss so much that you fail a semester, then another semester…rinse, repeat
  • You tell the principal about how bad it is and he doesn’t care
  • You tell your guidance counselor and he says you should drop out and join the military because you will never amount to anything
  • You barely graduate high school with a 1.66 grade point average – mostly because you failed so many classes because of absence
  • You know you have no future

Then you:

  • Constantly struggle to keep a car running, so you can get to your job at a grocery store
  • Rebuild the motor in your car to keep it running
  • Have a suspended license because you can’t afford insurance
  • Learn to “act white” as demanded by society
  • Figure out how to get into college anyway
  • Beg your single mom who is depressed and alone to fill out the financial aid forms, always late, and barely ever receive any money
  • Struggle to work in a warehouse loading and unloading trucks while going to college on loans
  • Eventually get a job in computers, as a lab assistant for minimum wage
  • Survive on $20 a week after bills, eating macaroni and cheese, and 99 cent whopper juniors
  • Eventually, you start to know more about computers than some other people
  • You stop dying your hair dumb colors, take off the combat boots, chain wallet, and start interviewing for jobs
  • Eventually, you weasel your way into a real computer job supporting developers, and servers
  • People think you work really hard at work
  • But, you are rough around the edges, and everyone knows it
  • You are not calm and patient, and you speak your mind too much
  • You eventually have an offer at another company to make more money, but your dad and you get into a screaming match because he doesn’t think you should “give up a good thing”
  • 10 years later, you are still going to school
  • People still look at you a little weird because you can’t quite hide it all….

Eventually you:

  • Graduate college with 3.9s and 4.0s every semester
  • Get a job with a major technology company and make more money than you ever believed was possible
  • Learn to speak well, write well, and influence
  • Travel the world
  • Learn to speak three languages
  • Become just another white dude in tech
  • Gain expertise in several different disciplines including engineering, sales, marketing, and product management
  • Work too much and struggle to balance it with life
  • Bring others along for the ride
  • Try to be a good ally
  • Google offers you a job, finally. You turn it down.
  • Gain weight from working too much
  • Are attracted to adventure sports because of baggage in childhood – but it helps you hide it all
  • Freak out and loose all the weight
  • You put on a great show
  • You finally get over the fear of bringing children into this world
  • Even though you have significant expertise, you struggle to figure out whether you have enough life left to start a business and try your hand
  • Try to explain to others that choosing to “take risk” is a luxury

Or

  • You fail at any step of the way and go back to the beginning…
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