We have an Electoral College to protect slave states

❝ Every four years, we elect a president in this country, and we do it in a strange way: via the Electoral College. The reasons for the Electoral College are unclear to most people. On the surface, it appears anti-democratic, and needlessly complicated.

Why not rely on a popular vote, as almost every other democracy does? If a popular vote makes sense for gubernatorial elections, why doesn’t it make sense for presidential elections? What did the American founders have in mind when they erected this ostensible firewall against majority will?…

Why does the Electoral College exist? Is it exclusively about federalism and slavery?

❝ There are several standard stories that I learned in school, and then there’s an emerging story that I find more explanatory. I learned in school that it was a balance between big and small states. But the real divisions in America have never been big and small states; they’re between North and South, and between coasts and the center…

So what’s the real answer? In my view, it’s slavery. In a direct election system, the South would have lost every time because a huge percentage of its population was slaves, and slaves couldn’t vote. But an Electoral College allows states to count slaves, albeit at a discount – the three-fifths clause – and that’s what gave the South the inside track in presidential elections. “And thus it’s no surprise that eight of the first nine presidential races were won by a Virginian. Virginia was the most populous state at the time, and had a massive slave population that boosted its electoral vote count.”

What’s the greatest argument against it?

❝ Again, it’s in tension with a basic idea of one person, one vote. The problem with most of the arguments for the Electoral College are that they prove too much, because if they were good arguments, every state is stupid, as no state has a mini-Electoral College. And if that’s good enough for the governorship of Texas or California, why not for the presidency of the United States?

History’s a bear, ain’t it? There is a current legal tweak circulating in an attempt to work around the Electoral College. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is what it’s called and only blue states have signed on. Republicans are confident the current Electoral College system favors them. No red states have supported the idea.

So, Congress ignores civil rights one more time. The mindset of slave-owners ain’t about to leave town.

Bernie Sanders op-ed: Where will the Democrats go from here?

❝ Millions of Americans registered a protest vote on Tuesday, expressing their fierce opposition to an economic and political system that puts wealthy and corporate interests over their own. I strongly supported Hillary Clinton, campaigned hard on her behalf, and believed she was the right choice on Election Day. But Donald J. Trump won the White House because his campaign rhetoric successfully tapped into a very real and justified anger, an anger that many traditional Democrats feel.

❝ I am saddened, but not surprised, by the outcome. It is no shock to me that millions of people who voted for Mr. Trump did so because they are sick and tired of the economic, political and media status quo.

There’s a big chunk of analysis in the middle – RTFA.

I don’t agree with it all; but, of all the elected office-holders in the Democratic Party, Bernie is one of the few worth listening to.

❝ …I will…provide a series of reforms to reinvigorate the Democratic Party. I believe strongly that the party must break loose from its corporate establishment ties and, once again, become a grass-roots party of working people, the elderly and the poor. We must open the doors of the party to welcome in the idealism and energy of young people and all Americans who are fighting for economic, social, racial and environmental justice. We must have the courage to take on the greed and power of Wall Street, the drug companies, the insurance companies and the fossil fuel industry.

❝ When my presidential campaign came to an end, I pledged to my supporters that the political revolution would continue. And now, more than ever, that must happen. We are the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. When we stand together and don’t let demagogues divide us up by race, gender or national origin, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. We must go forward, not backward.

This applies to all Americans of good will, not just Democrats but people looking for structural change and willing to participate actively in seeking that change. The whiners belong to Trump. Conscience belongs to Bernie.

Canadian diver may have found an Atomic Bomb we lost 66 years ago

❝ The water conditions were perfect — “beautiful, clear, green” — when Sean Smyrichinsky went diving last month off the north coast of British Columbia…

Using a DPV, or a diver propulsion vehicle, Smyrichinsky plunged 25 to 30 feet down into the bay…Ahead of him, a mysterious object emerged.

“And I thought, what a cool rock formation,” he said. “It’s perfectly round.”

As he approached the formation, Smyrichinsky discovered it wasn’t a rock, but something that appeared man-made.

It was perfectly round, he noted, with circles and bowls “the size of basketballs” cut into it.

❝ He rushed back to the surface to tell his friends, boat captain Richard Hamilton and fellow diver Chrissy Anderson, about the bizarre object he had spotted…

n the evenings, he consulted with fellow divers and fisherman in nearby boats to try to corroborate what he had seen. All of them dismissed him.

It wasn’t until Smyrichinsky was preparing to go home when an “old-timer” at a local village took him seriously…

❝ “…“Hey, maybe you found that old bomb they lost?”

“That old bomb,” the older fisherman explained, was from a U.S. Air Force B-36 bomber that had crashed over British Columbia in 1950.

The wreckage from the plane was discovered a few years later, in a remote location, but a Mark IV nuclear bomb that it had reportedly jettisoned ahead of time was never recovered…

❝ The Canadian Navy has since deployed a ship to explore the site of the crash and invited Smyrichinsky to join them — something that has particularly thrilled the diver, who usually lives in Courtenay, B.C., where he runs the Union Bay Diving shop…

Smyrichinsky’s discovery does match up with the location of the 1950 bomber crash, Maj. Steve Neta of the Canadian Armed Forces told CBC News.

Neta also told the news network that the lost bomb was a “dummy capsule” and is not likely a nuclear weapon.

“Nonetheless, we do want to be sure and we do want to investigate it further,” Neta told CBC News.

The Canadian naval ship should arrive later this week, and Smyrichinsky plans to join them later this month…

Is there a lost-and-found reward from Uncle Sugar?