Early Voting

Another analytical weight that is important to our vector analysis of the campaign is absentee or early voting. Unfortunately, the effect of early voting can’t be verified until Election Day. What analysts do instead is speculate on a state’s early voting in recent elections. While difficult to capture, early voting is rapidly expanding. It is expected to be 30% of the votes in this election. Some states have implemented mail-to-the-voter ballots as a primary method of bringing together ballot and voter. The voter still has the choice of casting their vote in person at a voting station. In some cases, e.g., military serving overseas, votes may not be fully counted for a month after the election.

No one will disagree that this election is an odd election. The bombastic style of Donald has stirred grass roots “register and vote” efforts which may help the democrats in down ballot results. New registrants particularly have impressive numbers. Consider how the voting may be altered in the south: More than 20 percent of the nearly three million votes already tabulated in Georgia, North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa have come from people who did not vote in the last midterm election, according to an analysis of early-voting data by The Upshot (New York Times column).

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Chicken Little came to visit the mariner this morning. Chicken is quite disturbed about North Korea (NK). Exploding nuclear bombs every once in a while is noteworthy in itself for its impact on all our lives whether they are launched in war or not: The radioactive particles will reside in all our bodies within a year.

The nuclear activity in NK has its own set of worrisome issues for us. In reality, NK is a rogue nation. It has the credentials of a nation but no rational constitution, no citizens’ rights and no legitimate economy – dealing in contraband of all kinds, drugs, pirated copyrights, and an abusive tax system that is similar to what most nations consider import-export fees: any national income is taxed up front before funds are made available for commerce.

How will China handle this? How will Asian countries handle this? How will the West handle this? Economic sanctions don’t work because there is no flexible labor economy. Unpaid slaves do a significant amount of work. Slaves are acquired when the court finds a citizen guilty of something and sends them to prison.

Prisons work differently in NK. When a person is sentenced to prison, it is for an inordinately long time. Further, the sentenced person’s parents, immediate family, including all children and others living in the household, are imprisoned. Most, if any, will never leave.

Isn’t this Donald’s solution for American Muslims?

Life goes on in the prisons; people live their lives working for the state, older ones die, new ones are born. Famine is prominent. There is a vacuum of education. Not only is this tragic for the prisoners, it is dangerous for the rest of the Pacific region, including the US.

The following is an excerpt “Three Generations of Punishment” which aired on CBS Dec. 2, 2012. Anderson Cooper is the correspondent.

Tonight we’re going to tell you about a place so brutal and horrific it’s hard to believe it exists. It is, by all accounts, a modern-day concentration camp, a secret prison hidden in the mountains, 50 miles from North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang. It’s called Camp 14, and according to human rights groups, it’s part of the largest network of political prisons in the world today. Some 150,000 people are believed to be doing hard labor on the brink of starvation in these hidden gulags. But it’s not just those who have been accused of political crimes; it’s their entire families — grandparents, parents, and children. A practice called “three generations of punishment.”

Very little was known about Camp 14 until a young man showed up in South Korea with an extraordinary tale to tell. His name is Shin Dong-hyuk and he said he had not only escaped from Camp 14, but he was born there. He’s believed to be the only person born and raised in the camps who’s ever escaped and lived to tell about it.

Anderson Cooper: Did anybody ever explain to you why you were in a camp?

Shin Dong-hyuk: No. Never. Because I was born there I just thought that those people who carry guns were born to carry guns. And prisoners like me were born as prisoners.

Anderson Cooper: Did you know America existed?

Shin Dong-hyuk: Not at all.

Anderson Cooper: Did you know that the world was round?

Shin Dong-hyuk: I had no idea if it was round or square.

According to other testimony by former camp guard Ahn Myong Chol of Camp 22, the guards are trained to treat the detainees as sub-human, and he gave an account of children in one of the camps who were fighting over who got to eat a kernel of corn retrieved from cow dung.[16]

The course of NK is entirely in the hands of Kim Jong-un, an immature, narcissistic 32-year old considered in some respects to be a demigod. His word is the only word. If he wants to nuke the Pacific Rim, so be it.

Kim Jong-un is now capable of causing immense damage to the Earth, its inhabitants and the global ecology. Unlike other nuclear nations, there is no government; there is no political citizenry; there is no information about when or whether NK will launch a war. It’s all up to Kim….

In a US military training program for higher ranks, attendees were warned that NK is unstable internally. As such, any number of military actions could erupt within the region; no one can speculate when Kim Jong-un will strike back or how. The US, along with Pacific Rim nations like Japan and Micronesia, must prepare responses which anticipate the extent to which NK will erupt.

Chicken Little’s question to mariner is, “Are our anti-ballistic defenses able to protect us from a NK nuclear strike?”

Ancient Mariner

2 thoughts on “Early Voting

  1. Seems to me that the Kim regime (and pretty much North Korea in general) exists entirely at the pleasure of the People’s Republic of China. Who are also unlikely to react well to Western military action on the peninsula …

    Why they have allowed NK to go on for so long I can only guess. Maybe the apparatchiks of their oppressive, not-terribly-socialist state want to keep looking good by comparison? Maybe Chinese ambitions in the Asia-Pacific region are advanced by the existence of a hostile, unstable neighbor state (which, despite nuclear saber-rattling and a massive standing army, is nonetheless completely incapable of meaningful mobilization beyond its borders in any modern conflict, and will probably collapse the moment actual warfare breaches its cultural isolation)?

    Or maybe NK is an embarrassment to them with no apparent solution, sort of the way we have always ignored Mexico’s government corruption, economic woes, and recent systemic near-collapses of civil order …

    As satisfying as it might be to show Kim Jong-un what a REAL nuclear explosion in North Korea looks like, I doubt there is a whole lot the U.S. (or anyone else) can do about NK without Chinese support. I can’t speak to our anti-ballistic-missile defenses, but for now I am still counting on North Korea’s missiles to protect me from North Korea’s nukes.

  2. All points well taken. The only idea mariner can add is a Chinese perspective: NK is a convenient port for stuff China would not like everyone to know about; China can always throw NK into the breach of a war without national harm. Where did NK get the scientists and materials to build a nuclear bomb anyway? The mariner has read that NK is pretty much living on China’s dime.

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