As published in Grinnell Herald Register on July 9, 2018
The Washington Post recently published an article entitled Give ranked choice voting a shot. Believe me if we do we’ll never go back. Ranked choice voting (RCV) is better by orders of magnitude. The idea of ranking your choices in order of preference is really not that hard for voters to understand.
As a matter of clarification RCV is not the same thing as instant run-off voting (IRV) as implied in the article. RCV is simply the format of the ballot allowing us to rank our choices whereas IRV is the algorithm most commonly used for sorting out the winner. Continue reading
I recognize but two religions, Atheists and Liars and I prefer the company of Liars, for it is they who weave the fabric that binds us all together. The time has come for Liars to step up.
Set aside those beliefs that would tear us farther apart and build on those that will make us whole again. You know the difference so stand up, join together and make your voices heard.
I can’t hear you!!!
Wow! I didn’t expect anyone to actually come right out and say it. It’s something that’s bothered me for a long time. But during the July 13th broadcast of “CNN Newsroom,” Ebony Magazine Senior Editor Jamilah Lemieux stated that she disagreed with (President Obama’s) characterizing the shooting of Dallas police officers as a hate crime and using that term for “a group of people that have a history with African-Americans that have been abusive, and we can apply that to either police officers or to Caucasians, I think, gets into very tricky territory.”
Of course that isn’t what the law says. But the tricky territory she’s talking about is how we all perceive the law. For most of us we may say Civil Rights but we hear Black Rights. Despite the awkward euphemisms her message is clear, “Whites can’t be the victims of a hate crime because they are the bad guys.” She sees the law as a kind of declaration dividing Americans into two classifications, “the haters” and “the hated.” What bothers me is I see the law that way too. Now if an old white guy like me and a young black activist woman share the same perception of the law, perhaps everyone in between does too.
That would go a long way in explaining why we can’t heal old wounds.
I’ve been attending an interesting “Bucket Course” with this title at Grinnell’s Drake Library given by Dr. J.R. Paulson. This quote by Rodney King, actually, “Can we all get along?” poses some challenging questions about human behavior. One of Dr. Paulson’s main themes is,
“Belief comes first, explanations for beliefs follow.”
The only problem I have with this is it demonstrates what Dr. Paulson calls the “framing bias.” The word “Belief” implies we are talking about something the individual believes to be true. I doubt that I am only speaking for myself when I say my beliefs are hardly ever grounded in truth and almost always represent a concession I have made “just to get along” in society. This makes Mr. King’s statement more an enigma than a question. Continue reading
Actually what National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre said was, “Gun owners will not accept blame for acts of criminals.” It may seem like I’m parsing words here but the only difference between the two words is that “blame” implies we have no control over the situation and that simply isn’t true. And either way, he’s got it wrong, because the gun owners I know want to take responsibility and they only need a little help from lawmakers who just don’t seem to get it. Continue reading
You might well imagine that when I proposed to my colleagues in the banking industry that 100% of the fees collected for deposit advance loans should be given back to the customers as dedicated long term savings funds, it was met with skepticism. But I’m not so easily deterred. I will admit it is a bizarre notion Continue reading
For most of us, even some financial experts, savings and loans are two things that simply don’t belong together. Certainly for the bank these go hand in hand. But we tend to think of savings accounts as how banks borrow from customers who have more money than they need right now so they can loan the money to those who need more than they have at the moment. If you think of it this way, it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense that the same customer would be using both services. But if you think of it this way, your way of thinking is wrong. Continue reading
Bernie Sanders has earned the support of this long-time (50 year) Republican, by simply taking on the biggest issue facing the American people and the biggest threat to the American economy, income disparity. Raising the minimum wage is probably the only “quick fix” available to us now. In the long run I believe minimum wage has done more harm than good to the American worker and in fact it has created the need for a quick fix. Continue reading
Manta asked this question of their members and got some good responses.
Personally I’d fire the employee on religious grounds. But just to be safe, I’d fire my attorney and hire a religious scholar to find Bible passages to justify all my business decisions.