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Archive for the ‘general rant’ Category

Ranked-Choice Voting

December 13th, 2016 Comments off

Ranked-choice voting (RCV) means the voter votes for candidates in order of preference.  If there is no clear majority winner, the lowest-ranked nominee is eliminated, and their votes assigned to those voters’ next-highest=ranked candidate, until there is a clear majority winner.

This may not be great for general elections; it is easily used to oust a sitting party for momentary purposes.

But it would be great for primaries!  It would not throw the baby out with the bathwater, if poles were taken more often, giving voters a chance to express their preference without committing to a sudden change in government.

Single-issue candidates, though they may not be eventual winners, would be promoted as champions of their cause, and the other candidates would see the swell of support for that cause.

Transportation

September 11th, 2016 Comments off

This just in from the year 2020:

Greenville, Thank you! I thank you for making transportation such a moving experience!  (No pun intended.)

I get up in the morning, and walk from my house along those lovely, wide sidewalks that now line all our roads, to the shops on the corner of Woodruff Road at Five Forks.  From there, I get onto the Woodruff Road PeopleMover, which takes me from one mall to another and another, with convenient hop-on-hop-off points along the way.  No more maddening bumper-to-bumper traffic, with soccer-moms on their cell phones careening about and ready to rear-end me.

And it’s not just shopping that your wise transportation policy has made easier for me.   I take the 385 Express Tram from Woodruff Rd. to my doctor’s office at the Patewood complex. Or perhaps we might make a spring excursion to the zoo.  Or we’ll go right downtown, to the Main Street  Mall, which used to be a traffic nightmare but now is a pedestrian’s paradise. With the influx of strollers, even Bergamo opens for late lunch (pranzo in Italian).  It’s amazing how  commercial activity throughout the city has blossomed with the coming of an intelligent transportation policy.

From Downtown, I can hop on the Green line tram to attend a music recital at Furman University, or even travel through Traveler’s Rest via MagneCar right up to the funicular that takes me to Caesar’s Head Park for a summer’s picnic near the Solar Collection site.

Or, from Downtown, I might choose to board the Orange Line, which whisks me out to the game at Clemson. (Okay, I was never really big on tail-gating.) And Anderson’s also just a few stops away on the Blue Line.

For a special treat, I’ll go downtown and grab the BulletTrain to Atlanta — I do love the High Museum, though  I just wish that Atlanta’s transportation would make it easier for the visitor to get to Buckhead.  Every few months, I take the same BulletTrain (in the opposite direction, natch’) to Washington, D.C., to visit my nephew.  Thirty minutes to Atlanta, three hours to DC: Greenville, you’ve become the hub of the universe!  Well, at least my universe.

All this, and totally green and non-polluting—ain’t solar reat?

So thank you, Greenville, for being the progressive town you were always meant to be!

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American Sharia

July 30th, 2016 Comments off

This is from the Republican platform:

We are the party of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The Declaration sets forth the fundamental precepts of American government: That God bestows certain inalienable rights on every individual, thus producing human equality; that government exists first and foremost to protect those inalienable rights; that man-made law must be consistent with God-given, natural rights; and that if God-given, natural, inalienable rights come in conflict with government, court, or human-granted rights, God-given, natural, inalienable rights always prevail; that there is a moral law recognized as “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”; and that American government is to operate with the consent of the governed.

This is almost a perfect description of sharia law I’ve read — it’s just Allah missing, replaced by God. Here’s a passage from the Constitution of Iran:

•    1.the One God (as stated in the phrase “There is no god except Allah”), His exclusive sovereignty and the right to legislate, and the necessity of submission to His commands;
•    2.Divine revelation and its fundamental role in setting forth the laws;…

 

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Slow Goin’

March 2nd, 2016 Comments off

“South Carolina still has laws that criminalize committing adultery, premarital sex and seducing a woman with the promise of marriage. The state also bans working on Sundays, playing pinball under age 18 and challenging someone to a duel.”

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Toshio Suda

March 1st, 2016 Comments off

I think this is the Toshio who was at the Congregational Church in Des Plaines, Illinois, when I was working after school as a janitor’s assistant:

Obituary

Toshio Suda, 95 years, died Feb. 7, U. S. Army, served in the 100th Regiment then transferred to the 442nd infantry division, serving as a medic in Italy. Toshio was an accomplished writer, and published several poems in the tanka style and founded the Chicago Tanka club. Beloved husband of the late Toyo; loving father of Priscilla (Jeff) Taylor, Richard (Ann Marie) Suda and Robert (Catherine) Suda; devoted grandfather of Brent, Chad and Troy Taylor and Matthew (Meghan), David (Megan), and Lindsay Suda; and great-grandfather of Cayden and Elliot. In lieu of flowers, memorial to the J.A.S.C., 4427 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640 appreciated. Visitation Feb. 11, Thursday, from 4 p.m. until Funeral Service at 7:30 p.m., both at Devon Church of Christ, 1630 W. Devon St., Chicago, IL 60660. For info Lakeview Funeral Home, 773-472-6300 or www.lakeviewfuneralhome.com.

Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Feb. 9, 2010 – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/chicagotribune/obituary.aspx?n=toshio-suda&pid=139560069#sthash.RmVGVZ2l.dpuf

Found Here.
 =
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Neoverb-phrase: “believe think”

March 1st, 2016 Comments off

 

“I do believe think there have been some very good Republican presidential candidates this year…”

–Arthur Brookes in the New York Times

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No Lies, Just Stupid?

February 17th, 2016 Comments off

America’s unlearned lesson: the forgotten truth about why we invaded Iraq

 

Abstract and radical neoconservative ideas that had developed during the Clinton years, bouncing around a tiny echo chamber of like-minded idealists who had little desire to challenge one another, had suddenly and with no real public debate become the basis of a war that would quickly cost many thousands of lives.

But those ideas are still very much a part of America’s foreign policy discourse, and some day, even as soon as this January, their adherents could return to the White House.”

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Fracking and Baysean Calculator

August 11th, 2015 Comments off

Well, we can use the Bayes Probability Theorem to figure out how likely is is that fracking will pollute our water supply.

Suppose the probability of fracking polluting the water supply in any one spot–say, within 500 yards of the fracking site–is originally estimated, before any evidence of pollution has been found, to be only 0.5%.

Now an event happens, such as the real event: water coming from a tap in a house, which draws its water from a well, starts to ignite when an open flame is brought near it.

What are the chances that the fracking caused the pollution?  We can estimate that there is about a 40% chance that fracking is the cause.  We can also posit that, without the fracking, natural causes might cause the water to become polluted; but it’s very rarely that a water supply spontaneously becomes flammable, so let’s put that possibility at 0.05%.

Plugging these values in to the Bayesean Theorem; x=.5, y=50%, z=0.05%

Bayesean Theorem:  P = xy / xy + z(1-x)

Solving for P :  There is a 83% chance that fracking will pollute the water supply.

That is not a trivial possibility.

You can play with these figures, using my Bayesean Calculator.  In any case, you will not find the possibility of pollution from fracking to be anything but frightening.

Hey, nothing wrong with that, right?

Coverture

May 6th, 2015 Comments off

Coverture (sometimes spelled couverture) was a legal doctrine whereby, upon marriage, a woman’s legal rights and obligations were subsumed by those of her husband, in accordance with the wife’s legal status of feme covert. An unmarried woman, a feme sole, had the right to own property and make contracts in her own name. These terms are English spellings of medieval Anglo-Norman phrases (the modern standard French spellings would be femme seule “single woman” and femme couverte, literally “covered woman”).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coverture

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Truth

April 30th, 2015 Comments off

“The first reaction to truth is always hatred”

==Tertullian

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