Monday, October 26, 2009

Who is the greatest Environmentalist in history?

Who is the greatest Environmentalist in history?

First let us give some facts from some green sites.
1. Bovine Flatulation creates 200-300 gallons of methane per day per cow.
2. Methane is 23 times more dangerous then CO2 as a greenhouse gas.
3. Dairy Industry has 9 mil cows and says if they reduce the methane 25% it will equal removing 1.25mil cars from the road for a year.
4. There are a total of 95 mil cows in the US total and if we reduce the methane 25% it will equal removing 13 mil cars from the road for a year.

Now let us add some historic facts.
1. In the 1860s there were an estimated 70 million Bison roaming the Great Plains and now there are 350000. A loss of 99.5%
2. Bison are twice the size of a cow and have 4 stomachs which helps produce more then twice the amount of methane then a cow. For our discussion we will say 600 gallons of methane per day per bison.
3. If removing 25% of 95 mil would be 13 mil cars per years, math would give us...600 gallons...70 million... 100% removed...or 76 mil cars per year.
4. Since it was done 150 years ago we get to multiply 76 mil cars per year by 150 years leaving, 11.4 billion car years.

The greatest environmentalist in history was Buffalo Bill Cody and his fellow buffalo hunters. Without them the world would be a very different place

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Who Pays Income Taxes?

With this presidential campaign coming to a close, we have heard claim on claim on tax cuts and who got what tax cuts. I was curious on the facts of taxes and who pays what.

I went out to the Congressional Budget Office's website and accessed information on taxes for the last 30 years. Here is what I found.

In 1981 the wealthest 20% of all tax payers paid 63.9% of all the income taxes and the Top 1% paid a whopping 16.3%. That is understandable, we did have a 75% tax rate for the wealthiest and a people loving President and Congress in office.

But then came the greedy Reaganites and the Reagan Tax Cuts, and the percentage when down to 66.9% and 21.2%, Wait that was not down, it was higher percent. That's strange the averages started to rise and rise. In 2001 the rate was a 82.5 % and 34.4%. The richest 1% paid over a third of all income taxes?

Then comes the illigimate George W. Bush and his "for the wealthy" tax cut, and we all know that poor started paying much more of the taxes. And yes, they did! In 2003, after the first tax cut was in affect rates went down to 84.8% and 34.8%. AH, that was up again.

For sure the 2003 tax cut had the rate drop for the wealthy. We all remember Tom Dachle come out and show that the common person got back only enough for a muffler and the rich could afford a Lexus. ....HUH? the Rate when up again. In 2005, the last year available the rates went up to 86.3% and 38.8%.

Now we are on the verge of having a true champion of the people and he has promised that 95% will not have a tax increase. He has also said that he would get rid of this "Bush TaxCut". Is this not raising taxes on the lower classes of wage earners? Go Figure.

Friday, October 10, 2008

ACORN and Limiting Fraud

I have been seeing a number of articles in the last few days on Officials in Battleground States raiding ACORN offices and finding thousands and thousands of fraudulent registrations let alone the ones that were already turned in. With such a close election coming up in November this could affect the balance of power in this country. How can we get the most honest elections by not taking away the most freedoms. I have been thinking about this for a while and this is what I have come up with.

Getting Equal Voter Representation and Limiting Fraud

I am going to make three assumption that I think we can all agree on. First, let us agree that we need an equal representation in each vote. Secondly, We are speaking here as to the best way to limit the fraud. Thirdly, To hide Voter Fraud a group can only do small amounts that affect only 2-5% of the overall election.

Option 1: Direct Democracy
If each person is one vote of 200 million possible voters and each person is limited to one vote we would have Equal Representation. But we have voter fraud that gives people more votes then they are allowed and lowering the real voters representation. So with a direct election each vote is affected by any fraud that is done. So this would be the hardest to limit the affect of Fraud on each vote. Remember at only +5 fraudulent votes for a candidate in the 200,000+ precincts would cause 1,000,000+ more votes for that candidate and Al Gore won the popular vote by only 500,000 votes.

Option 2: State Winner Takes All
If we use today's style of elections where each State's Electors are selected by the popular vote of State we get a little different issue. In Illinois we have 8 million possible voters deciding 21 Electorals. This means that voter fraud that happens in this State affects only 21 of the 538 Electorals. Now we need to realize that since Fraud can only affect 2-5%, without being obvious, Fraud must be done in states that are close. This is why you hear about fraud in Missouri, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada and other "Swing States". This is the weakness in the State's winner-take-all Electoral decision. In the large cities of these States it is easy to hide fraud so a Group like ACORN can breakup into multiple States and cause damage in close Presidential races. 2000 Florida and 2004 Ohio both could have been affected by fraud. But these are not the only States that fraud might have affected. Any State that was within 5,000 to 10,000 votes could have easily been affected by voter fraud. So any close national election could easily be affected by fraud in this system.

Option 3: Representative Election
If we made it so each District would elect it's own Elector that is tied to a Presidential Candidate, voter fraud would only affect votes in that District. A Congressional District has approximately 680,000 people or 445,000 possible voters. Since each District had approximately the same population, voter representation would also be retained. one in 445,000 votes would determine one of 438 Electoral and one vote of the States Population would decide two of the final 100 Electorals. This would also make it much harder for Groups like ACORN to perpetuate fraud on a national election. The two Senatorial Electorals would still be determined by the State as a whole and could not be limited as much from fraud, but 19 independent Districts would be. This is better then either of the first two alternatives. To have national fraud, a group would have to have power in many more Districts and can not hide in the large Cities only.

A Representative Election is best way to limit the fraud that happen at every election. For this reason, I believe that each State should change it's electoral election to a District by District election of Electors. This would remove the ability to change election by voter fraud.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Tyler's Interview

This is an interview I did with a young man in my church. I am impressed he did so much with so little. I made 27 minutes of ramblings into 10 minutes of semi-ramblings.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Supreme Court

A few years ago the Ten Commandments were removed from the judicial building in Alabama. We here in Illinois we don’t have to worry about a decision that was against a Judge in Alabama. Well unless you consider that if not overturned by the Supreme Court, this might remove the remaining rights from the states and more disturbingly, removed the last bit of credibility from the Supreme Court.

“Article III, Section 2. The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority…“ - United States Constitution

During the creation of the Constitution, not much concern was given to the judicial branch. As was said in the Federalist papers during the ratification period, “The judicial branch…will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution; because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or injure them.” This was because the judicial branch’s job was simple. Interrupt the Constitution. Take what the Constitution says and compare it to the case, decide first if this is a federal issue or a states issue. (Remembering that the 10th amendment states “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”) Then if this is a federal issue, take the “Fundamental Law” of the constitution and make sure the Congress’ law met this.

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” – Preamble, United States Constitution

The Constitution was written for the people so it is not that hard to understand. So the “legalese” is not present. What it says “is” what it says. So when an amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….”, then it should be commonly understood that this means, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Not infer that there is a “Wall of Separation between the Church and State, nor does it mean, that “Congress” means anything but congress. Since this only speaks of making law how can it be anything more? Does the Supreme Court make laws? Not until now.

I am a common man, no PHD in government nor a graduate of Harvard Law School. But I am a man that has more education then 95% of the population of the original 13 states, including more then 50% of the “Founding Fathers”. Is the Supreme Court telling me that I cannot understand this document because I have not studied law and understand precedence and the nuances of the law? I say, that unlike criminal law, constitutional law has no precedence possible. The Constitution does not change, even after a decision such as “Separation of Church and State”, the physical document is still the same, unless amended. The Article III does not allow for precedence. A Court has one thing to make its decision on, The Constitution. And the words of the Constitution are very clear. “…extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution …”

Time has come for “We the people” to stand up and speak out for the document that has kept us free for 216 years. Will this Court next deem that the second amendment does not mean that the individuals have the right to keep and bear arms, or that the first amendment say that freedom of speech is freedom to think anything but not to say anything. They have already stated that the 10th amendment is no longer valid.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Electoral College and the Two-Party System

In November of 2000 the country and most of the world were turned upside down waiting on endless court battles on who will be the most influential position in the world. After a trip to the Supreme Court the decision was made final. We ended with a man that did not gain a victory in the populous vote, but did win a majority of the electoral votes. With all of this chaos brought us to a new retrospection to the way presidential elections are held and the pros and cons of our current system. Some have stated that the Electoral College should be removed to better represent the majority vote. Others have stated that a multi-party system would better serve the country and that the two-party system is the problem. I would say that I disagree with both of these statements. I will first say that the Electoral College was not the problem in the election, but it worked in exactly the way it was supposed to. Secondly, the two-party system is not a system that is enforced but more a natural effect of our form of republican government.

Looking at the figures of the 2000 election, we see that the nation was divided. One side was made up of conservatives with the religious fundamentalist, the individualist, the pro-lifers, and many other groups that believed in a candidate that was in tune with them. And, the other side was made up of liberals that included groups like the environmentalist, the unions, pro-choicers, and many more that believe in an alternate candidate. In the middle are people who are moderates, people that do not involve themselves in political issues until the time to decide the presidency. And, this group ends up dividing itself in to these two factions as well.

The vote totals showed that there was more then the issues that divided the country. Location also dictated how people voted. In the states with the greatest amount of voters in the metropolitan areas voted at a 55% - 65% rate for Al Gore, with areas like DC voting at an 85% to 9% for Gore and rural areas like Wyoming, Utah and Idaho had 68% for Bush. But, in states that were mixed with rural and metropolitan voters were the states that decided the election. Oregon, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Iowa, were all states that selected Al Gore by less then 1%. The infamous Florida election was .1% difference. Not surprisingly the popular vote for the 2000 election was split evenly with a .51% difference, 48.38% to 47.87%. The electoral vote represented this split of the populous vote well. The closeness of the populous vote in these states is best described by the fact that if New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Iowa would have voted just 10,000 votes to the right, Florida would not of mattered. And, if 7000 more people voted for Gore in New Hampshire it would have been a one electoral win for him.

The popular vote being so close, the states became a player. With each of the states receiving minimum of three Electoral votes instead of just one for each district, it gives an electoral benefit for the small states, en masse, to help stop the “Favorite Son” syndrome and to protect the rights of the minority of the smaller states. Since George Bush captured more individual states he was able to win a majority of the Electoral vote. Even though the popular vote was a small victory for Gore, George Bush won the election because he appealed to a greater diversity of people. So, we see that the Electoral College did work the way it was designed to.

With the issue of the Electoral College addressed, I would like to dive into the issue of the Third and multi-parties. What some people are proposing is, if we had a Third party or a multi-party system it would be better for the political wellness of the country. I view the two-party system as a natural consequence of our form of Republic. With the need for a majority of the Electoral votes to keep the election from going to the House, factions need to work together to achieve their goals.

At the time of the creation of the Constitution there were no national parties, nor did the creators think that there would be. Just four years later, we had two, the Federalist and the Anti-Federalist. Two parties seemed to be the natural choice. The next move in the parties happened when the Anti-Federalist fell to the wayside and the Democratic-Republicans led by Thomas Jefferson became the dominate party and the Federalist gave way to the National-Republicans and then to the Anti-Masons, the Whigs, and finally to the Republicans of today.

During all the years of political change, the nation has always moved to a two-party system. There have been four occasions in the last 100 years that a third party has gotten electoral votes in the election for the Presidency. Of these four only Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican running as an alternative to the Republican nominee Taft, was able to garner a second place finish.

One reason the two-party system works in our form of government is that our parties encompass many factions. The Republican Party is considered a Conservative party and includes the Pro-Life group, the religious evangelicals, the anti-tax crowd, the gun owners rights groups, the limited government group, and people who believe in capitalism. The Democratic Party is considered a Liberal party and factions like the Pro-Choice group, Environmentalist, Gun Control crowd, the Pro-activist government crowd, and the Unions seem to gravitate to it.

Having these Parties so diametrically opposed to each other gives the public a choice and the parties a responsibility to make decisions to balance the wants of the inner factions and also adjusting the message to help attract persons that are not affiliated with either of the parties. In this way the need for more then two parties is not there. There are some groups that do not believe in the compromise aspect of two-party system and have created other smaller parties, but these groups do not gain national power, although they have won regional races. The Green Party, the Libertarian Party, and the Reform Party are all parties that have attempted to gain national office, but can only garner a minimal support from its most loyal members. The way they can gain power is open them selves to other factions and have one of the two big dogs stop reaching out to others. This is possible, but not likely.

*All election statistics were taken from

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Electoral Folly

I read this article in the Sun-Times and had to write a Letter to the editor here in Peoria.

Dear Editor,

It has come to my attention that the Illinois assembly has placed on the Governor’s desk a plan to give all 21 of the states electorals to the “National” popular vote winner. They say they are doing this to “…give voters equal influence and keep the candidates from ignoring some states…” I am wondering why giving Electorals to the “National” winner would benefit voters more than a winner-takes-all per state. Is one vote of 300 million better than one vote of 12 million?

Let us look at it this way. Due to some Gerrymandering, we here in 18th District, on the most part, vote for Republicans. We elected Ray LaHood time and time again. Aaron Shock is unopposed to take his place. And overall we normally vote for the Republican nominee for President. But our Electoral for this District is dictated by the State vote total. Does this give the voters here any better influence and keep the state from ignoring our districts needs? NO, as a matter of fact this gives “ALL” the power to the Chicago area. Giving the power to the “National” winner will do the same thing but magnified. Large cities will own the White House. People in large cities have difference priorities then people in middle sized cities and especially farmers. Do you really think that a commoner from downtown Chicago really cares about opening grain markets to India?

If people want to give greater influence to each voter, they will change the winner-take-all of the state’s Electorals to, each district decides who the Electoral votes for. The two Senator Electorals would still be decided by the State’s vote totals. This way you are one of 670,000 (375,000 likeminded voters) that decides your districts choice for President instead of one of 12 million (7 million voters focused on needs of a large city) deciding 21 Electorals for the whole state.

We all need to send Gov. Blagojevich a letter in Springfield, err, CHICAGO to tell him that we need representation in downstate in Presidential Election and we need to scrap this nonsense of “National” winner and change the winner-take-all system to Congressional District Electorals.

Andrew Simmons
Princeville, IL

There are many more reasons that we need to have the Electorals follow the winner of the district vote. One is the limiting the affect of voter fraud and another is giving each voter and equal say in the election of the President.

If you notice who is wanting this plan are states that have large urban city areas. These areas are the ones that benefit most from this plan. I am a firm believer in "States Rights" and I have no problem if New York or New Jersey want to disenfranchises it's rural voters, but for Illinois, I will fight tooth and nail to end this stupidity.