Archive for May, 2012

A Frictionless Environment

Thinking back to my days of Pre-AP Physics in high school (9 years ago for me), I remember that equations were always calculated “in a frictionless environment,” since the addition of friction would necessarily change the results. Think wind resistance. Well guess what, there’s always friction. All those formulas and papers you turned in were all for nothing! It’s impossible to calculate exactly how an object would be affected by the resistance of air, that is at least until a 16-year old German student figured it out recently.

Enter Friction

When it comes to political elections, the friction of “what-ifs” can be just as complicated as air resistance in physics equations. What if so-and-so wasn’t in the running? What if one particular candidate said this instead of that? Well the fact is, he or she didn’t say the other thing. So-and-so is (or isn’t) in the running. This year, a lot of people have suggested that Rick Santorum would have become the front-runner for the Republican nomination for President if Newt Gingrich had dropped out sooner. They said he would get the anti-Romney vote were that the case. I say, that anyone except Mitt Romney would get the anti-Romney vote no matter who dropped out. In many states, Romney won first place, but with far less than 50% of the vote.

What would happen if one of the other candidates dropped out? Most likely some of said candidate’s vote would have gone to each of the remaining. Now that there are only two candidates left on the Republican side (and none worth mentioning on the Democrat side… even though some no-names are getting as much as 40% or more of the primary vote), the calculations should get much simpler, but they aren’t. The thing I don’t understand is why are people voting for some candidates that have publicly suspended or ended their campaigns? The most logical conclusion that I have heard is that they are “protest votes,” and in this case a protest to Mitt Romney because he isn’t the conservative candidate that these voters would have chosen. That would make sense to me, but only if he were the only candidate still running.

He isn’t the only candidate still running. Today, Texas holds its primary vote (which is ending as I type), and you would think that all the votes would go to two candidates, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. But I am sure that in a matter of minutes a single-digit or small double-digit value shall be assigned to Santorum and Gingrich. What a waste, I say. What a waste of a vote and of the primary process. A true anti-Romney vote would be a vote for someone else who is still running against him, so I don’t understand the thinking of those who vote for the non-candidate.

Frightening Reality

Here’s some friction for you. How many people would vote for a Republican candidate no matter what his or her name was? What about a conservative candidate (or the most conservative) no matter what? I’m talking about what some political statisticians refer to as “quintiles.” Each of 5 parts, making up the whole of the voting population, votes for slightly different reasons. Some always vote party, some always principle, others vote for a candidate that they can “stomach,” so-to-speak, while others still just wake up one morning and decide without much reason at all.

What is scary is that people do this on the morning of the national elections as well. They may or may not even know anything about the candidates, because most of their information gathering is spent on ESPN Sportcenter or the X-Factor. Not to say that either of those programs are bad and should never be watched, but there are much more important things going on in the world.

I will update after the nearly final results are in from the Texas primary, but right now Romney has about 70% of the vote, Paul with 10%, and the remaining 20% split among the rest.

UPDATE: 10:20 PM CDT, Numbers are holding pretty solid with Mitt Romney just at or under 70% of the vote (Source). Ron Paul has about 11% and again the rest split the difference. Clearly Mitt Romney wins this primary. Now the quest for Ron Paul supporters is to have their activists at the state convention next weekend. I will report on this also, as I am a registered guest to this event.

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A New Path

I concluded a report about recent happenings within the Oklahoma Republican Party with an editorial about lost causes. I emphasized the concept that those who fight for lost causes shape the history of our world. Implicit was the idea that the Ron Paul and/or Liberty movement in many cases looks like a lost cause, that his and its supporters are fighting an uphill battle, an impossible fight.

But all is not lost. Only a few years ago, there was a sort of break-out movement which became known as the TEA Party. Ordinary citizens suddenly or not so suddenly became aware of the tyranny that was in force in their government. Some of us met on the lawns of our state capitols, some in small buildings or churches. We gathered together for the sake of sending some sort of message to our representatives that we were not happy. Unlike even the “original” TEA Party, known to history as the Boston Tea Party, we did not overturn merchandise or disrupt order to make our point. In fact, it is commonly reported that TEA parties clean up after themselves and often leave the grounds where they meet better than they were to start off with.

All of the sudden, Americans who have never been involved in politics are running for office or helping campaign for those they believe deserve the position. We have begun educating ourselves with knowledge the teaching of which our public school systems have abandoned. We have woken up. Read the rest of this entry »

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Order and Chaos Part 3 – Lost Causes

For a recap please see Part 1 and Part 2. They are lengthy but will give insight as to the purpose of this post.

I do believe history is written by those who fight for lost causes.

“I guess this is just another lost cause, Mr. Paine. All you people don’t know about lost causes, Mr. Paine does. He said once they were the only causes worth fighting for, and he fought for them once, for the only reason any man ever fights for them: Because of one plain simple rule: Love thy neighbor. And in this world today, full of hatred, a man who knows that one rule has a great trust. You know that rule, Mr. Paine. And I loved you for it just as my father did, and you know that you fight for the lost causes harder than for any others. Yes, you even die for them, like a man we both know, Mr. Paine. You think I’m licked. You all think I’m licked. Well I’m not licked, and I’m gonna stay right here and fight for this lost cause, even if this room gets filled with lies like these!” – Jefferson Smith, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

The fights that changed the world were always lost causes, but in every case, some man, woman, or group decided it was worth their very life to take up that cause, and they fought. Many, if not most, lost their lives, but they did not perish. To perish is to suffer complete ruin, to lose the qualities that make something what it is, but those who die in the fight for lost causes gain something their oppressors do not. Read the rest of this entry »

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Order and Chaos Part 2 – A Reconvention

So the story is all over, right? The state party leadership adjourned the meeting, everyone went home and reviewed the events of the day in their minds, right? Not exactly. Most people did leave, but a number stayed, comprised almost exclusively of the Ron Paul supporting delegates. Outside, the delegates, having never technically adjourned, began to reconvene.

For a recap, please read or skim the first article about the 2012 Oklahoma State GOP Convention.

You Are Now Free to Exit the Building

Remember, it is after 5 PM at this time. The convention hall was only rented (as I am told) until 5. I saw with my own eyes a printed schedule of some sort indicating that exact cutoff time. I was informed by one person that they had talked with the hotel staff and found out the hotel staff were instructed to cut the lights and move everyone out promptly at 5:00 no matter what else was happening. I cannot confirm this as truth as the staff apparently did not want to go on camera saying this. I don’t blame them – I wouldn’t want to either!

I made my way outside where an increasing number of people were gathering while others left to their cars and drove off. I don’t blame them, either, because most of them had no idea what was going to happen that day. It is not often that a group of people, especially such a large group, attempt so strongly to lobby their cause in a situation like this. As you might imagine, I wasn’t going anywhere. I had just witnessed a monumental event and wasn’t about to leave until I saw exactly what would take place. Read the rest of this entry »

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Order and Chaos Part 1 – A Republican Gathering

Local news channels brought reporters, freelance journalists wrote reports, the Associated Press published a couple of sentences they found relevant. Something happened. Something out of character for Republican conventions, with an outcome yet to be finally determined, but most of the news channels and outlets ignored much of what took place. What exactly happened on 12 May, 2012 in Norman, Oklahoma at the Embassy Suites Hotel? Were Ron Paul supporters there to cause trouble and stir up strife? Was a Mitt Romney power play in effect? Did fights break out as children within the walls of the convention hall? I will give my recount of the events that took place, and I shall conclude with a conclusion. Read the rest of this entry »

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