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In an effort to recapture the eclectic, more typical style of the Blog of the Ancient Mariner, the mariner revisited his list of must-read web sites, magazines, newspapers and, after a brief respite, television news. In fact, his wife tipped him about an article in VOX, a digital magazine.

Two odd issues that one wouldn’t think would capture broad interest (even the mariner’s local paper) are the Electoral College and the Emolument Clause of the Constitution. A third topic that should, perhaps must be at the center of voter discussion is the future of jobs.

The mariner shares the two sources with his readers because they are EXCELLENT sources that continue to provide above average articles that one must read to keep up with the personal duty of managing a free democracy.

ELECTORAL COLLEGE (EC)

The first source is VOX. VOX is a grown-up, fully commercial version of The Blog of the Ancient Mariner. VOX negotiates with smaller web site journalists to have them contribute posts through VOX. Occasionally VOX will buy more developed websites and integrate them with the VOX publishing team. The result is a current and unbiased presentation of topics that are related to substantive issues, ideas, and more informative than other commercial publications like cable news. Mariner recommends VOX as a member of the reader’s favorites list.[1]

To tickle your fancy, here are a few phrases from the article.

– Why not rely on a popular vote like other democracies do?

– The EC allows states to count slaves, each as 3/5 of a person.

– Why do we still have an EC?

EMOLUMENT CLAUSE

The New York Times is the second source that should be checked regularly. NYT is an influential newspaper around the world. To a surprising extent, its priority of topics reported sets the focus of many other news sources and discussions about the US, politics, finances, and the important information about business, health, nature, science, etc. – even what new books individuals may want to buy. The paper edition works near New York but the digital copy is of-the-moment and organized for faster perusing. Also should be added to the favorites folder.

Particularly at the time the Constitution was written, the forefathers were afraid that a US president could be bought by foreign monarchies and competing commercial interests who would want to block competition from the US. Further, the President was to govern by the authority of a democracy and could not be influenced by special interests. Donald has a strong desire to keep his world-wide business empire while he is President. For those who fantasize about some method to remove Donald, if he is denied Trump corporate authority, he may resign on his own. This conflict with the emolument clause will persist as a top news item likely to reach the Supreme Court.[2]

JOBLESS FUTURE

VOX again publishes an insightful article about how, in just a few decades, there is a chance we may all draw our wages not from commerce but from Government. This is hard to imagine when today it is all we can do to hold on to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and what there is of single payer insurance. How could we be prejudiced against lower class people on welfare? We would all be on a government handout!

Granted, the Services Employee International Services Union (SEISU) considers the idea a valid argument. We have known about the disappearance of jobs because of automation; even worse, job sources are dropping retirement, benefits packages and do what they can to avoid government mandates like minimum wage, equal pay for women and maternity leave. Because this cultural transition is already underway – and has been for at least 20 years, it is close to becoming front page news as a national and Federal issue instead of a right to work issue on a state-by-state basis. Something as serious as keeping 300,000 people alive is better handled by the Federal Government. The managers of a free democracy should be schooled on this jobless issue and not be caught up in a class war like the 2016 elections.[3]

 

Ancient Mariner

[1] http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/12/13598316/donald-trump-electoral-college-slavery-akhil-reed-amar

For a procedural description issued by the US Government see

https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/about.html

[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/us/politics/donald-trump-conflict-of-interest.html?_r=0

[3] http://www.vox.com/conversations/2016/10/17/13245808/andy-stern-work-universal-basic-income-technology-artificial-intelligence-unions

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