Saturday, January 21, 2017

Electoral College Thoughts

I'm amused at Trumpkins going "You should read history and learn why we have an Electoral College". They are so proud at having read something on the internet!

But in fact, the Electoral College had two functions:
1. Let a small group of elected white men talk among themselves to decide who shall be president. It has never had that debate (except possibly when Aaron Burr tried, and they rejected him).

2. Let slave states have more power. 1000 voters in a free state would have the same electoral power as 300 voters in a slave state who between them owner 2700 or so slaves. (The slaves, of course, didn't vote).

So which purpose are they arguing for?

Oh, they *say* its so that small rural states have a voice. But they *know* that's false. No-one ever seriously campaigns in a non-battleground state, big or small. Rural voters in Montana, Idaho, the Dakota ... or eastern Washington ... might as well stay home because their votes are never courted.

A popular vote system means a voter in a tiny town has the same voice as a voter in a big city. And the way modern campaigns work, it is just as easy to reach that small town voter as the big city voter. Advertising rates are per-viewer, not per-square-mile.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Cuffing BP

I'm delighted to discover that I've lowered my reported blood pressure from "mildly hypertensive" to "higher than ideal" by the simple expedient of using a correctly-size cuff.
 I do not feel that I am a large person nor especially fit. But objectively speaking, I am larger than most people and my biceps are larger than most (I tend to compare myself to others at the gym, who are a very fit lot indeed!) My doctor suspected that the reason my home BP readings were higher than her office BP measures (while most patients have higher office visit BPs due to tension) was that I was using a standard sized cuff. I ordered the new gadget with the larger cuff and ha-ha! BP went down.
Now I'm sticking with most of the BP-lowering life changes we had settled on since I *am* still a little elevated, plus they're probably good for me anyway. But this justifies the decision to avoid a prescription at the outset; a more conventional medical treatment might have had me on diuretics for the rest of my life, which would have been expensive, unnecessary and a little bit risky.
It is a good day!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Open Sections Night

This evening I staffed the World Peace Through Law Section's table at Open Sections night, an annual or semiannual WSBA ritual inviting new lawyers to meet and mingle with representatives of our Sections. The intent is to improve the new lawyer process by connecting young (mostly) attorneys with sections relevant to their practice. It's a good recruiting tool for the sections as well.
For the World Peace Through Law section, this is a challenge, as we are not practice-oriented. New lawyers are, for the most part, focussed on getting their careers rolling, not improving the world. Still, it's helpful to introduce ourselves and I always have good conversations.
It's also one of the few times that Section leadership can get together informally and network. I regret having to skip Zumba for the program this time, but I enjoyed the conversation so it's all good.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

DAV 23 Bylaws Committee

Today's commitment was meeting the the DAV 23 Bylaws Committee to go over a draft to present. We made great progress - fully completing the work we needed to get done of preparing a quick draft - but we also practiced working together as a team. Each of the have their quirks (as I suppose I do too haha) and we are getting a good sense of how to work together, which is almost as valuable in itself as editing some bylaws.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Toastmasters Tax Time Tip of the Day!

I enjoy the unrelenting positivity and mutual support of my Toastmasters group, and I feel I could give a little of it back tonight with my "Tip Of The Day" - a short, prepared speech on something educational. Tax time is approaching so I thought the heads-up about tax transcripts would be useful - and I think it was well appreciated.
I also spoke briefly introducing a new guest. She's an ER Nurse and pretty interesting so I enjoyed the introduction for its own sake but also because it was another contribution to the fellowship. I'm glad I stumbled upon this!

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Day of Service

Today I slept in as late as my cats would allow - maybe 6:30. I dropped off donations at the little red thrift store, and took a load of books from Pegasus to the VA Hospital. There I met Bob, the DAV Chapter Commander, to review a demand letter I'd written for the Chapter (... law degree comes through again!) We rendezvous'd back at the Chapter house with the Senior Vice Commander to discuss more organizational stuff; I got away with only two more small assignments (plus mailing the demand letters). I just finished the new stuff and am ready for a little TV, a little reading, and then to bed.
It's a good day! While driving I heard much of MLK's Temple Garden speech, which was new to me, and yet sounded familiar. Perhaps I should practice his speeches as a way of absorbing his values; our times seem difficult and yet surely are easier than his.