I Voted—Now Get Off my Lawn!

J'ai Voté: NeuchâtelIn Switzerland, we’re always voting on something.  Under the system of direct democracy, federal legislation adopted by the parliament can be subjected to a popular veto in a referendum which can be required through only 50,000 signatures (around 1.2% of eligible voters).  Amendments to the federal constitution require a mandatory referendum.  With the signatures of 100,000 eligible voters (around 2.5% of the electorate), an initiative amending the federal constitution is placed before the parliament, which can either recommend or reject the initiative, with, in the latter case, the option of proposing an alternative (“counter-project”).  In any case, the issue is placed before the voters, who get to choose among the initiative amendment, the counter-project, or outright rejection of both.  In a referendum on vetoing a parliamentary act, a simple majority of the nationwide vote is required to reject the law, while for constitutional amendments a “double majority” consisting of a majority of the national popular vote and a majority of cantons based upon the popular vote within each canton is required.

A similar system exists at the two lower levels of government as well: canton and commune.  Each individual jurisdiction makes its own rules, but in general the threshold for a referendum or initiative is around 1% of the eligible electorate.  The population of the canton of Neuchâtel, where I live, is around 176,000, so subtracting off foreigners who are not permanent residents and children, it only takes around 1500 signatures to put an initiative or referendum on the ballot, and it isn’t that difficult to get that many signatures for just about anything.  I recall votes over the years on issues such as whether the bike lanes on the main street through Neuchâtel should be abolished and whether advertising shown before the feature in movie theatres should be banned.... [Read More]

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Super Bowl LIV: The Rise of Mahomes

Even though my Seattle Seahawks did not make it to this year’s Super Bowl, I will nevertheless have a team to root for. That will be the Kansas City Chiefs. And the primary reason? They are quarterbacked by the great Patrick Lavon Mahomes II, fellow alumnus of Texas Tech University!

... [Read More]

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Attitude boots for Liz

Ms. ET, I saw an article.  It was a hostile profile of Sidney Powell, the lawyer who took over General Michael Flynn’s defense.  It included a detail intended to somehow illuminate context.

I don’t know why it made me think you would want to see it, but here goes.

Continue reading “Attitude boots for Liz”

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January 20

….is St Agnes’ Eve. If you are a maiden and you skip supper, and go to bed without looking behind you or to either side, you will dream of your future husband, and you will feast with him!
I reminded my daughter and she asked me to tell her the ritual. Maybe she’ll be vouchsafed Agnes’ vision! But it occurred to me: I wish there were a companion ritual for mothers of maidens. Cuz I probably won’t live long enough to show up in her wedding photos in some dumpy pastel chiffon sack; so I’d like to catch a glimpse of the lucky guy!

Nota bene: remember St Agnes, be ye a maiden, or parent, friend, etc., of a maiden. I have done my part.

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Hugh Hewitt: “I’m voting for Bernie Sanders…”

On “Meet the Press” yesterday, conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt said he was voting for Bernie Sanders—in the Virginia Democrat presidential primary election on March 3rd, 2020.  Virginia has an open primary, where voters can vote in the primary of any party.  He went on to say he was not engaged in “calculated voting” but preferred an “authentic, traditional socialist” to “all the people who are just pretending to be”.

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TOTD 2020-1-19: What do you see?

There is a saying, “You hit what you aim for.” What is in your viewfinder? Do you see something of beauty or something ugly? This also means the mind’s eye. Does your mind dwell on the good or the bad? What I have seen for many people is their lack of awareness that they can change their views. (Pun intended.)

I keep trying to work up an aphorism for complaining and its opposite. Complainers have the stench but not the stretch. Or complainers deplete not complete/compete.

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#metoo, Cole Porter Version

There was a revival of the Cole Porter musical Kiss Me Kate in 2019. One of the numbers is “Always True to You in My Fashion” about the relationships between a woman and wealthy men. It’s hard to see how the interactions described in the song differ from the complaints leveled about Harvey Weinstein. Surprisingly, the 2019 revival seems to have kept the explicit money-for-sexual-favors-exchange lyrics. How the Wokerati reconcile these lyrics with the #metoo kerfuffle perplexes me.

There’s an oilman known as Tex
Who is keen to give me checks
And his checks, I fear, mean that sex
Is here to stay!... [Read More]

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