Hot Topics (internal)
I had never purchased a lottery ticket in my life. As an adult with a college education who earned a part-time MBA while working a stressful job, I believe that success is several parts hard work with a touch of luck. Is it possible to toil all one’s life, working hard, putting in hours, only to fall flat on one’s face and retire penniless? Yes it is. Just ask Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Antoine Walker. But mostly you make your own luck in this life, regardless of the hand you were dealt.
So why do people play the lottery? Because its fun, like going to Vegas and blowing $5k on a Caesar’s palace suite, a Wayne Newton show, prime rib buffets, and the blackjack tables with your college roommates from 10 years earlier? No. People play the lottery because they think they can win. The lottery gives false hope.
This week the Powerball lottery reached a jackpot of $1.5 billion dollars. Billion with a “B”! That has never before happened. History was upon us. Okay, okay, I need to admit that I did buy a ticket. Why did I buy it? Because I thought I might win? Perish the thought. I bought it because of peer pressure, plain and simple. Several of my work colleagues went during lunch to purchase tickets at the Kudo Beans, a sandwich shop in our office building. So I bought $20 worth of tickets. I was fully aware that my chances to win were 1 in 300 million. That I stood a greater chance of dying in a car crash on my way home that night. Or that I might get asked out by Salma Hayek, my high school crush. But then the funniest thing happened. I actually thought about winning the damned thing. What if? What if I ACTUALLY won? I’ll tell you what I’ d do. I’d quit my 9-5 gig and freaking buy property in the North Shore of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands. That’s where my wife and I honeymooned….and I’ve been dying to return since. With $1.5 billion…..hell, I could live there and do whatever I damned well pleased. This, my friends, is called FALSE HOPE!
Like everyone else, I was up at 7am the next morning getting ready for work. What I learned from this $1.5 billion up for grabs fiasco is that the Powerball lottery gives false hope. Statistics show that mostly poor and uneducated folks regularly play the lottery. Wealthy people of education prefer to invest their money in stocks, bonds, and real estate. Maybe the difference is the educated understand statistics and know that 1 in 300 million means there is no chance they would ever actually win while the poor don’t care about statistics and enjoy thinking about “what if” and clinging to the false hope that playing the lottery generates in their lives.
There should be only three people who disagree with me here. The three people who actually won. They’d tell you that the hope is real. Let’s see how long they can go before they need new hope in their lives. Statistics, that annoying little word again, also show that most lottery winners end up broke. How’s that for false hope?
If you are like me you are in your thirties, you dig politics, you don’t live under a rock, and you had to ask yourself this week “Who the heck is Ariana Grande?” For those of you who do live under a rock, much was made this week of the young pop singer when she was filmed on camera licking a donut and uttering the words “I hate Americans. I hate America.” Awesome. Well, I had to look up who this newest Britney Spears wannabe actually is, and in doing so, I found out some interesting facts. What are Ariana Grande’s politics? Read on.
Ariana claims she’s only hating on Americans’ eating habits and not on the country itself. Apparently she is a healthy food freak. I wonder if she owns stock in Whole Foods.
“What I said in a private moment with my friend, who was buying the donuts, was taken out of context and I am sorry for not using more discretion with my choice of words,” Grande said. “As an advocate for healthy eating, food is very important to me and I sometimes get upset by how freely we as Americans eat and consume things without giving any thought to the consequences that it has on our health and society as a whole.”
“The fact that the United States has the highest child obesity rate in the world frustrates me. We need to do more to educate ourselves and our children about the dangers of overeating and the poison we put in our bodies,” she continued. “We need to demand more from our food industry.”
That’s not all. There is a more political side to Ariana Grande than just hating on us sugar addicts. She was also involved with a group called Kids Who Care that performed shows and such for charity. Aside from this, she was active in boycotting SeaWorld after seeing the film BlackFish. It was around this time that she became a vegan.
Ariana Grande also has a strong position on the homosexuality issue. Her brother, Frankie, is gay and Ariana has publicly supported him and the LGBT community as a whole. She even left Christianity for Kabbalah, whatever that is.
I haven’t been able to find in my research what political party, if any, she affiliates with. Given what I’ve learned about her, she’s either a Communist or a left-leaning young woman who had the misfortune of being filmed saying something stupid about America on the eve of its birthday. Kudos to you, Ariana. At least now I know who you are. Some advice: don’t shave your head, don’t have kids with Kevin Federline, and if you do have kids with Kevin Federline, don’t let them sit on your lap while you drive your car.
I was in high school during the 1996 Election. I remember being caught up in how great Bob Dole seemed. I totally bought into the storyline that he was a hero, a World War II veteran who had his arm shot up during the war. “What a leader!” I thought. Then he lost the election. I was upset about that. It was the first time I really read up on a Presidential Election. I remember hearing about the Electoral College. I began asking the same questions that I have heard legions of others ask me since: what is the Electoral College? Why aren’t Presidents elected by popular vote? What determines how many Electoral votes each state is allocated? What’s the deal with this crazy system?
What Is The Electoral College?
Contrary to its name, the Electoral College is not a college or a place. It is a process that was established in the Constitution by our forefathers. The process involves the selection of Electors for each state, the coming together by all Electors to cast their votes for the President and Vice President of the party that chose the Electors, and the counting of the votes by Congress.
How Many Electoral Votes Does Each State Have?
Each State is allocated one Electoral Vote for each member of Congress representing that state. Each state gets one vote for each of its two Senators and one additional vote per member of the House of Representatives. The topic of Congressional Districts and members of Congress per state has been previously detailed. While the District of Columbia does not have a vote in Congress, the 23rd Amendment to the Constitution awarded it three votes for purposes of the Electoral College.
How Is The President Elected Given This System?
Each Presidential Candidate and his or her VP have Electors in each state that have been chosen by the party the candidate represents. In most states, the winner takes all. Each Electoral vote is awarded to the candidate with the most popular votes in the state. (The exceptions are Maine and Nebraska.)
How Messed Up Is This System?
Its pretty messed up, otherwise you wouldn’t be asking the question of what it is. An election process should be pretty simple. This process is anything but; however it is the process that we currently have. Its so messed up in fact that a Presidential Candidate can win the popular vote and lose the election because of the Electoral College. This happened, in fact, during the 2000 Presidential Election when Al Gore won the popular vote nationwide and lost in the Electoral College to George W. Bush. Thanks a lot, Florida. Also of note here is that if no candidate is able to emerge the clear winner in the Electoral College, then the deciding vote is given to the House of Representatives.
Why Have The Electoral College System?
The motivation for this system by our founding fathers was the same motivation for many of their decisions: oppressive Government. They felt the people could be swayed by a smooth-talking politician that didn’t really intend to do the will of the people (gee…why on Earth would they think THAT would ever happen? We’ve NEVER seen that!). Rather than allow the people to be fooled, the trust was put into the Electoral College to ultimately be a check against this mass manipulation. Unfortunately, changes in the system that give most states the “Winner take all” for Electoral votes has neutralized the good will intended here by our founding fathers.