Europeans Are Mixed

Or in more informal terms, honkies are mutts.

The three migrations that populated Europe were:

  • Paleolithic: likely from the Middle East.
  • Neolithic: from Anatolia (Turkey) in the Middle East, by farmers.
  • Steppe: from the South European Russian part of the steppe (grassland) zone, by users of domestic horses and wheeled vehicles. These migrants took the Indo-European languages with them, spreading them over Europe and southern Asia.
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The US Electoral College: Part 2, Alex OC

In my first part, I discussed the US Electoral College (United States Electoral College – Wikipedia) and how it originated, and in this part, I will discuss problems with it and efforts to abolish it or work around it.

Despite being advertised as a search committee, the Electoral College soon became a rubber-stamp body, and the electoral vote has long been interpreted as an approximate proxy for the popular vote. The electoral vote usually amplifies popular-vote margins, but out of the 58 Presidential elections, the two votes have gone in opposite directions 5 times, in 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016. The 1824 election was the first of the 49 elections where at least some of the electors were chosen by popular vote.

In recent decades, the EC has caused a distortion in campaigning priorities, with much effort devoted to states that are nearly evenly divided: “swing states” or “battleground states”. States that are reliably Democratic or reliably Republican tend to get ignored.

There have been numerous attempts to abolish it or work around it.

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The US Electoral College: Part 1, Alex H

The United States elects its Presidents in a very odd indirect way. Each state chooses some electors, and those electors then vote for the President and Vice President. Those electors were originally chosen by state legislatures, but with the rise of political parties, they soon became chosen by whichever party wins each state’s popular vote, the vote of ordinary voters. Electors normally vote for whichever candidates that their party has nominated, with exceptions being “faithless electors”.

Each state gets a number of electors equal to the sizes of its House and Senate delegations. Most states use “winner take all”, but Maine and Nebraska use one elector per House district and two electors for the whole state.

The name “Electoral College” seems odd by present-day standards, but that is because “college” is used in an earlier meaning of “assembly” as opposed to the present meaning of “institution of higher education”. So for present-day people, it ought to be renamed “Electoral Assembly”.

How did it come into existence?

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Creative Writing Update

Three years ago, I wrote Some Creative Writing | NexusZine and I must update that. I’ve published my stories on:

Three of these stories are inspired by UFO contactee George Adamski’s alleged close encounters of the friendly kind. I ask “What if they are partially real?” and work out the consequences as science-fiction stories.

  • Tunguska and the Titanic – what might GA and his ET friends have in common?
  • The Great Bomb – a nuclear bomb, of course.
  • Contact across the Solar System – starting with GA’s contacts and continuing across the decades to contact for real in the near future.

The other ones are

  • Watching a Supernova Up Close – my first storytelling effort
  • Lincoln and Darwin Raglanized – if someone tried to kill them in their infancy, as had allegedly happened to many legendary heroes.
  • Alexander the Great and the Four Noble Truths – if AtG was like King Ashoka of India
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“…branding on my forehead: SLAVE”

I’ve finished reading the book Bruce Levine’s book “The Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the Social Revolution That Transformed the South”. It’s excellent. I find it especially curious how the plantation-slaveowner elite reacted to the war. It was a war waged on their behalf, a war waged so that they could continue owning slaves. But after the first few months to a year, they could not be bothered to do much to support the war effort, something that some Confederates themselves found rather odd.

They exempted their sons from the military draft with the “Twenty Negro Law”, they were not willing to grow much grain or sell it at low prices, and they were not very willing to hire out their slaves for tasks like building fortifications. The poorer Confederate citizens ended up grumbling that they were fighting for people who were clearly not doing as much as they could. “A rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.” That sentiment was especially strong in parts of the South with relatively few slaves. Western Virginians succeeded in seceding from their state, but eastern Tennesseeans’ attempt to do so was crushed by the Confederate Army.

Consider the case of South Carolina plantation owner, politician, and slavery defender James Henry Hammond. He argued that the slaves were very suited for doing the work that they were made to do, that they were better off enslaved than free, and that higher civilization rests on the labors of an underclass of people that never get much for their labor — the “mudsill theory” of society. But when a Confederate army officer stopped by to requisition some grain, he tore up the requisition order, tossed it out a window, and wrote about it that it compensated him too little, and that it was like

branding on my forehead

SLAVE

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Transgender-Identity Infographic

I have composed an infographic that depicts my understanding of transgender identity and what I think is a mistake that some transpeople make. It is after the fold for brevity in the main page.

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Ireland moves toward legalizing abortion

Republic votes to remove constitutional ban on abortion by resounding two-thirds majority — 66% of the vote.

These people repealed the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution, a part of it that forbade abortion. But abortion is still not legal yet. The Irish legislature will have to pass a law legalizing it. But it is a step forward, and a sign of the weakening power of the Catholic Church in that nation.

As I mentioned earlier, early in 1879, a certain Anne Purcell decides that having five children is enough. So she gets an abortion. Here is who she would have aborted:

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