One might consider the title of this post a tad provocative, after all the events in Ferguson Missouri involve a shooting death followed by rioting, while in Westminster MA all that being debated is banning cigarette sales in the city.

However there is one aspect of these two events that is identical, the objection to how a representative government is acting, and that objection requires the same solution for those upset.

In Ferguson the community that has been the loudest in opposing the local police & mayor etc have been rather apathetic at the ballot box and have been so for years.  These aren’t the days of Jim Crow, if they don’t like their local representation in the city they could be voting them out or at least making sure there is a political cost for making what they consider bad decisions.

They have not.

While the circumstances aren’t as dire in Westminster and the odds of riots and blood taking place in the city are lower than the chances of Bill Clinton taking and keeping a vow of chastity it’s very much the same situation.

Where were all of these people who were so angry now when the members of local government who are pushing this ban were being elected and appointed?  Were they attending town meetings?  Were they pushing other candidates?  Were they filing petitions?  Were they running candidates or standing as candidates themselves?

They were not.

So while I have sympathy for the store owner at the center of this fuss, if you are  a person in Westminster who possess this move by the town remember it was made possible by your apathy.

There is however one huge difference between Ferguson & Westminster.

No matter what your position is on the Officer’s actions or young Mr. Brown’s nothing that comes out of Ferguson will bring Michael Brown back from the dead.

While in Westminster if the people don’t like the decision to force smokers to go to a neighboring town or city to buy their tobacco products (made possible by those amazing new inventions called the Automobile and the Bicycle they can vote out the people in charge in the town and vote in new people to replace them, presumably the store owners in Westminster will still be there by that time.

If you live in a free society and you don’t take advantage of those freedom and allow people who wish to restrict your freedom, it’s on you.

Out of a decent respect for the opinion of mankind, it is customary to give such excuses as “threatening weather” or “wet field.” there is nothing in the world, though, to prevent me from saying the field is unfit because I had a nosebleed behind first base.

Bill Veeck Veeck as in Wreck p 163

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress:

Article 2 Section 1 US Constitution


A while back Both Smitty & I took umbrage at the Mass State legislature attempting to disenfranchise me making a change to the way electors are selected in the state but while I still am upset at the change I pointed out that constitutionally the legislature was perfectly within its rights.

Now however the left is getting nervous because the GOP has figured out they can play this same game to their advantage.

In September, top Pennsylvania Republicans shocked the nation by proposing a change to the state’s election rules that would have rigged the Electoral College in favor of Mitt Romney. Facing a nationwide backlash, the state’s GOP backed down—but not before Wisconsin Republicans considered a similar plan. With the old rules still in place, President Barack Obama won a 332-206 electoral college victory over Romney.

But now that Romney has been defeated, prominent GOPers are once again mulling rule changes that could make it harder for Democrats to win the White House—and easier for Republicans to claim Electoral College votes in states where they lose the popular vote.

Maybe it’s just me but I don’t recall Mother Jones objecting when Massachusetts made the move to eventually discard my electoral influence.

At Outside the beltway James Joyner comments:

Awarding the entirely of a state’s votes to even a narrow winner makes no sense whatsoever. And, in the cases of states where one party has a decisive advantage, they might as well not bother to hold elections, since the outcome is inevitable. Given the incredible difficulty of amending the Constitution and the fact that the popular vote winner ultimately prevails almost all the time, we’re not going to abolish the Electoral College. Reforming it so that it more accurately reflects election outcomes, though, is within the power of individual state legislatures. So long as it’s done well enough in advance, I don’t find that problematic. Even when, as is unarguably the case here, it’s motivated by partisan advantage rather than philosophical purity.

My thoughts are a tad different.

One of the things that tends to drive me nuts about the GOP is their unwillingness to take off the gloves, too afraid of what the media and the democrats will say ignoring the fact that the left, the media and the Democrats (who are pretty much the same thing) are going to object no matter what the GOP does.

That being the case the best choice is to ignore them and do what you want to do, or better yet what your supporters elected you to do.

The problem is simple, it is virtually impossible to police the cities where the Democrats own the black vote in the same way that the bosses of old once did. That being the case I’d like to see a lot more of this kind of thing in states where we can pull it off and as we have the legislatures in many states that went Obama we can do it and the left, at the moment, can’t.

People (well the left) might say it’s not fair, well TOUGH! It is explicitly constitutional and all the media hype or complaints in the world doesn’t change it.

If Pennsylvania wants to give their votes proportionally they can do it and if the democrats don’t like it they can win seats in the legislature and stop it.

Because if the GOP legislature in Pennsylvania were really serious they could allocate electors in the state based on the popular vote results in Wyoming or by a vote of attendees at CPAC 2013, (they could charge $1,000,000 a head and sell out every time) or perhaps a majority vote of the authors at DaTechGuy blog with ties being decided by the owner.

And it would be perfectly legal and constitutional.

It sure would make me a lot more popular.

This weeks commentary is all about elections and responsibility:

You can see the whole thing here, to view it simply hit DaTipJar

and I’ll send you the code as soon as I see the confirmation e-mail. If you don’t want to worry about ever missing a single video choose any subscription level

and I will e-mail you the codes every week as soon as the videos are uploaded and the posts are ready.

When my youngest was about 3 he had an annoying habit of crawling out his bedroom window and onto the roof.

We tried taping the windows, locking the windows etc. Nothing worked. Finally we had a window company come it. They brought in a window and set it up in the Kitchen, and said it was “full of wonderful safety features that children wouldn’t be able to circumvent.”

We then called Danny into the room and told him to open and get through the window. It took mere seconds for him to open and get through it. At that the salesman said: “Good luck, I can’t sell you anything.” We eventually just nailed his window shut.

I couldn’t help thinking about that when I read this story:

Last week, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics opened a new Internet-based voting system for a weeklong test period, inviting computer experts from all corners to prod its vulnerabilities in the spirit of “give it your best shot.” Well, the hackers gave it their best shot — and midday Friday, the trial period was suspended, with the board citing “usability issues brought to our attention.”

Challenging hackers to hack a system is asking for it. And with millions of dollars of patronage etc at stake do you really believe that people won’t be trying to hack such systems?

Fortunately there is a ready made solution!

memeorandum thread here

Update: Instalanche Thanks again Glenn, and while you are here check out the my latest examiner article, examine the “we don’t censor art” crowd and although you might have heard about Rep John Tierney’s wife pleading guilty of federal tax evasion, you might want to meet his republican opponent in ma-6 Bill Hudak who deserves your support.

…and the waiter checked my ID to be sure it matched.

Naturally if I’m a progressive person I must never go there again. After all if it is a violation of basic rights to show ID to prove who you are to do a thing as important as voting how much more a basic violation of rights is it to request it for something as trivial as breakfast?