can I borrow your sunglasses?

I’m reluctant to describe anything negative I see in my community, because then people ask me why I live here. I love Knoxville. I think the bad things that happen here are everywhere else, too. Other people just don’t seem to see what is happening before their very eyes. On Christmas eve, I watched a drug transaction take place in public. In fact, it took place in the exact spot where people wait to be hired based on their appearance to do day labor jobs in exchange for cash. No, I’m not talking about prostitution. I’m talking about construction type jobs. No, I was really talking about the two cars exchanging items and speeding off quickly. I’ve seen the prostitution though. In areas all over town with participants both under-age and too far over the age or rapidly aged by drugs. I’ve seen pick-pockets and shoplifters. Intoxicated drivers are everywhere. Children without carseats. It’s not just illegal activity that I find depressing. I see homeless people absolutely everywhere. Don’t other people see them? Do they choose not to see them? None of us live in Disney World where everything is clean and shiny. Things that are broken are not quickly tucked into underground tunnels for repairs. They are right in front of our eyes. Why aren’t we trying to help each other instead of being distracted by things that just don’t matter? What if our obsession with celebrities was concentrated on helping each other? What if professional athletes had to work second jobs and teaching became a highly competitive and well paying career? What if caring and helping wasn’t attacked as socialism? What if we didn’t have this broken two party hate system and the electoral college? What if 2008 was a fresh start?

One thought on “can I borrow your sunglasses?

  1. 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).


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