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"The Future of Miss Powers"

red61544
Updated:

Lazlo has just posted chapter five of his story "The Future of Miss Powers". The first five paragraphs should be interesting reading for any authors and should provoke an interesting discussion.

BlinkReader
Updated:

@red61544

Just interesting?

Here he wrote about some very complex things - like relations between geniuses and school system, and simple things we never paid much attention to, like learning to dance (or trying to understand what is ballroom dancing at all for us from wrong countries), and all this with what looks to me with mind blowing results :)

PS:
What is looking most important thing for you americans - playing sports in school he put in right perspective too. I'm afraid that this is going to cost this story some lesser scores too ...

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@BlinkReader

What is looking most important thing for you americans - playing sports in school he put in right perspective too. I'm afraid that this is going to cost this story some lesser scores too ...

Not all of us. Some of us identify with the Nerds instead of the Jocks and despise organized team sports. :D

miksmit

I'd think that alot of readers on this site were or are nerds. Some of us read for the fantasy, some for what might have been. I think thats why the coming of age and the do over stories do so well here. If I had to bet I'd say that a lot of us have had bad experiences with bullies or we were invisible in school. In some ways there stories are our therapy, our coping methods.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@miksmit

I'd think that alot of readers on this site were or are nerds. Some of us read for the fantasy, some for what might have been. I think thats why the coming of age and the do over stories do so well here. If I had to bet I'd say that a lot of us have had bad experiences with bullies or we were invisible in school. In some ways there stories are our therapy, our coping methods.

That does seem to be the overriding premise of do-over stories. Not only that school sucks for most of us, but that we'd like a chance to redo the entire thing, spending more time screwing our sisters/mothers than wasting time on lost causes (like being good at sports we'll never play again or being popular with the in-crowd). (OK, the one part is pure fantasy, but still.)

Rambulator

I had low self esteem until in my twenty's because of bullies. My nickname thru junior high was germy Jonathan because we were poor and I got three pair of pants, five shirts and one pair of shoes to last all year. If I could go back and have today's knowledge I wouldn't want a lot of money or get back at the bullies I would like to keep my self esteem and be a better person.

BlinkReader

@Wheezer

Thumbs up for all us Nerds :D

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@BlinkReader

I've always imagined, if I died as an old man and was reborn in a young kid's body, I'd be interested in older women rather than chasing all the teenaged beauties (i.e. all the woman who've already developed an appreciation for life, rather than those who don't know what the hell they're doing). Thus I could see them chasing all their parent's friends.

Replies:   Lugh  John Demille
Lugh

@Crumbly Writer

I'm doing something of that in the Tomorrow Is Another Day universe. The protagonist, however, has to "recruit" classmates in his endeavor. The Alien Space Bats also accelerate the maturation of his peers.

It is interesting to look back at my 50th high school reunion, and some pictures of classmates, such as the one on a beach with her daughter and granddaughter, all in brief bikinis. From the rear, one cannot tell them apart.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
John Demille

@Crumbly Writer

rather than those who don't know what the hell they're doing


But the young ones are the most malleable. You can teach them exactly what you like all the while enjoying the freshness and beauty of their teenaged bodies.

For a knowledgeable/experienced person in a youthful body, older women won't be a challenge at all and will probably be a health hazard considering the potential for bad things they have most likely picked up along with their appreciation of life.

Bondi Beach
Updated:

@Lugh


It is interesting to look back at my 50th high school reunion, and some pictures of classmates, such as the one on a beach with her daughter and granddaughter, all in brief bikinis. From the rear, one cannot tell them apart.


Showoffs, but we get to enjoy them anyway ...

bb

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Capt Zapp

@Bondi Beach

...such as the one on a beach with her daughter and granddaughter, all in brief bikinis. From the rear, one cannot tell them apart.


That is definitely NOT the case where I am from. Aging is NOT a graceful thing for the women around here!

Replies:   Lugh  sejintenej
Lugh

@Capt Zapp

Genetics seem to be everything. Of the ones whom I've seen recently, if only in pictures, only three of the women seem ageless.

To my surprise, I actually do better facially than most of the men, although (looks at belly) it's been a long, long time since I struggled to make weight for the wrestling team.

Also amusing is that the generally acclaimed slut of the class two years older also seems to look about the same, except that she's now a social conservative.

Crumbly Writer

@Lugh

Also amusing is that the generally acclaimed slut of the class two years older also seems to look about the same, except that she's now a social conservative.

Always beware those 'born again', as they're typically the most self-righteous and judgmental. :( They'd be the very first to stone Christ himself.

Replies:   Lugh
Lugh

@Crumbly Writer

They'd be the very first to stone Christ himself.


Is it not written, though, that certain sins are absolved when coupled with nature's bounty? "When a man lieth down with a man, they shall be stoned", according to the Church of the Holy Dorito.

She was in an innocent time, in that she shocked people with occasional upskirts revealing that she wore [gasp] black panties. Her black stockings already stunned the mob.

sejintenej

@Capt Zapp

That is definitely NOT the case where I am from. Aging is NOT a graceful thing for the women around here!

Nor here. In the hospital today was a man who had to be a yard across (shoulders and butt) and the same front to back. He was dwarfed in both directions by the woman he was with AND her face had run into the back end of a bus (as they say).
As for taste he was wearing a stupid baseball hat (this is indoors), shorts (imagine the tree trunks on display) and a shirt which clashed. As for her - don't ask.
If I get halfway to that take me to Dignitas

sejintenej

@Lugh

Genetics seem to be everything. Of the ones whom I've seen recently, if only in pictures, only three of the women seem ageless.

I seriously wonder about genetics. When I look at photos of my parents and grandparents they looked ancient and downtrodden when they got into their fifties. The "good" side was that there was no obesity.
I put most of it down to improved medicine, nutrition and education, not changes in DNA unless those positive factors have affected the DNA.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@sejintenej

I put most of it down to improved medicine, nutrition and education, not changes in DNA unless those positive factors have affected the DNA.

I agree. The elderly wealthy look much better than the elderly working poor, by leaps and bounds (for those still able to dance at that age). Having personal trainers and personal chefs makes a world of difference!

However, the same is true with the poor. As a lifelong diabetic (since I was 16), I've always realized I had a set age mortality sticker, however, elderly diabetics are uniformly healthier, and live longer, regardless of the obesity problem. They don't live indefinitely, but they now live a good twenty years longer than they did only 30 years ago.

When I came down with Type 1 diabetes at 16, the doctor emphsized that, if I'd contracted it 10 years earlier, I'd be dead since they hadn't developed insulin shots, so I'm always conscious that I'm on the rising crest of improved health care--despite how flawed it is. But, a separate but related issue in the 1% vs 99% debate is the difference in health care between the two. If you're poor, your felt to not deserve to live.

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej

@Crumbly Writer

When I came down with Type 1 diabetes at 16, the doctor emphsized that, if I'd contracted it 10 years earlier, I'd be dead since they hadn't developed insulin shots,

I suppose I was about 10 or 11 when a large rock fell behind me cutting my heel. Despite all the doctor's efforts the infection grew and started to eat away at the Achilles tendon with the doctor indicating that amputation was the only "cure" left.
He had heard of some new stuff which he had never seen or used so he ordered this gauze covered in honey-like goo from London. The next day after putting the gauze on the wound the infection had gone and my heel is now completely healed.
The power of that new drug penicillin!

Dominions Son

@sejintenej

The power of that new drug penicillin!


Talk about dating yourself, If you were 10 or 11 when Penicillin(1928) was new, that would put you in the upper 90s.

He had heard of some new stuff which he had never seen or used so he ordered this gauze covered in honey-like goo from London.


Honey itself is a potent topical antibiotic. It is so hydrophilic that it will destroy any live bacteria exposed to it by dehydration. There are a few spore forming bacteria where the spores can survive in honey, but the spores are essentially a hibernation state.

Replies:   Lugh  sejintenej
Crumbly Writer

@sejintenej

The next day after putting the gauze on the wound the infection had gone and my heel is now completely healed.
The power of that new drug penicillin!

My mother was one of the first recipients of the rabies vaccine in the U.S. after she suffered a dog bite. Over 50 shots over 3 days in her stomach, incredibly painful. Again, it was only a matter of weeks since it had been available, else she would have suffered a painful death. Since she was a young girl, I wasn't even a glimmer in anyone's eye by that time.

richardshagrin

@Wheezer

"despise organized team sports."

Organized team sports tend to be better than disorganized team sports.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Lugh

@Dominions Son

If you were 10 or 11 when Penicillin(1928) was new, that would put you in the upper 90s.


Penicillins were my original research area when I was still doing biochemistry. While Fleming did discover the effect in the twenties, the clinical experiments didn't start until the forties.

The strain available at the time had to grow on the surface of the culture media, and produced very little drug. With wartime shortages, it was a challenge to find large, flat culture media that could be sterilized. Some genius in procurement found a supply of covered porcelain bedpans.

Still, the supply was so short that patients' urine had to be recycled to recover drug. The first patient was an Oxford policeman, who responded extremely well, but died as his frustrated physicians looked on, completely out of antibiotic.

The tale was told:

Penicillin
A remarkable substance
Grown in bedpans
And purified by passage
Through the Oxford police force

Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

Organized team sports tend to be better than disorganized team sports.

Then again, there are those sports fans who aren't satisfied unless there's a fight on the rink or a full-on soccer riot. They prefer the disorganized (i.e. out of control) team sports.

awnlee jawking

@red61544

I'm not aware of anyone having gone to war because of art, dancing or music. However plenty of people have gone to war because of the written word, the Bible, the Qu'ran etc.

AJ

miksmit

I'll agree with you for the most part AJ. Now I'm not an expert but I'd say that certain nations that do their best to erase any mention of religion have murdered plenty in their own right. Not excusing any murders by anybody. I think its wrong to force anyone to agree with whatever anyone else believes. Bad people will use any reason to kill others or any beliefs to justify themselves.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@miksmit

I would suggest that the communist regimes that have committed mass murder are to Atheism what the Westboro Baptist Church is to Christianity.

sejintenej
Updated:

@Dominions Son


@sejintenej

The power of that new drug penicillin!

Talk about dating yourself, If you were 10 or 11 when Penicillin(1928) was new, that would put you in the upper 90s.


I sometimes feel 97 but I am not quite that old (by quite a few years). As Lugh has pointed out penicillin was simply not generally available and when you live many leagues from the other side of nowhere modern things like mains electricity, TV, busses/trains are not available.

He had heard of some new stuff which he had never seen or used so he ordered this gauze covered in honey-like goo from London.

Honey itself is a potent topical antibiotic. It is so hydrophilic that it will destroy any live bacteria exposed to it by dehydration. There are a few spore forming bacteria where the spores can survive in honey, but the spores are essentially a hibernation state.


True but not always effective; it is something I have used from time to time and at that time I had not learned all the other techniques and remedies to be used in case of the H bomb going off. I don't think we could get any honey at that time in any case - no ration tickets

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@sejintenej


True but not always effective;


There are no more modern antibiotics that are always effective. And where topical application is indicated, honey is often more effective than any modern antibiotic.

I am not aware of it being used actively in modern human medicine, but some vets have started using honey in wound and surgical dressings, so it wouldn't surprise me if it started turning up in human medicine.

Replies:   John Demille
John Demille

@Dominions Son

I am not aware of it being used actively in modern human medicine, but some vets have started using honey in wound and surgical dressings, so it wouldn't surprise me if it started turning up in human medicine.


Two years ago I underwent a small operation and the surgeon gave me a tube of pure honey to apply directly onto the incision under the gauze whenever a change was done. So it is already in use for human medicine.

Replies:   ustourist
red61544

Damn! I was hoping for some discussion of the first five paragraphs of chapter five, not a discussion of nerds v. bullies!

ustourist

@John Demille

The present problem which restricts the use of honey based medication is that Chinese honey containing antibiotics deemed illegal in food has been placed on the market by Chinese exporters falsely stating the origin and forging lab reports. Customs are making seizures - 2 in the last three months - but it has been a problem for years.

Lugh

@ustourist

There's at least one FDA-approved honey, from, IIRC, New Zealand. The specific approved type is manuka.

Replies:   ustourist
John Demille

@ustourist

The one I was given was made/pasteurized in Germany.

It's easy to make it yourself if you have direct access to a honey source like your own colony. Just need to heat the honey up enough to kill a common fungus (which may not be present).

Dominions Son

@ustourist

The present problem which restricts the use of honey based medication is that Chinese honey containing antibiotics deemed illegal in food has been placed on the market by Chinese exporters falsely stating the origin and forging lab reports.


In a sane world, that would not affect medical grade honey intended for use as a topical antibiotic.

Dominions Son

@ustourist

The present problem which restricts the use of honey based medication


We aren't talking about the use of honey in oral medications (the honey itself has no particularly useful medical properties when taken internally), but the use of pure honey as a topical antibiotic salve.

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist

@Lugh

IIRC there is about 6 times as much Manuka sold as there is produced, so fraud is rampant there as well, but by distributors, not by the producers.

ustourist

@John Demille

Pasteurization is a problem in that it also destroys a lot of the good bacteria.

I have several colonies and both filter and sell raw honey, so I don't have a problem.

Replies:   Dominions Son
ustourist

@Dominions Son

The presence of animal or insect antibiotics in any topical medication could cause extreme problems. A lot of the Chinese honey is adulterated with other sugar forms from vegetable sources and then pressure filtered to remove the pollen and thus the identifying traces of where it was produced.

Dominions Son

@ustourist

Pasteurization is a problem in that it also destroys a lot of the good bacteria.


There isn't any live bacteria in any honey. It's too hydrophilic. The spores of certain spore forming bacteria(mostly fairly nasty ones) can survive in honey but the spores are an inactive hibernation state. But there is no recorded case of any batch of honey testing positive for them.

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist

@Dominions Son

But there is no recorded case of any batch of honey testing positive for them.


"Botulism in the United States: A Clinical and Epidemiologic Review".
Honey sometimes contains dormant endospores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can be dangerous to babies, as it may result in botulism.

Botulin toxin produced by C. botulinum is often believed to be a potential bioweapon as it is so potent that it takes about 75 nanograms to kill a person (LD50 of 1 ng/kg,[34] assuming an average person weighs ~75 kg); 1 kilogram of it would be enough to kill the entire human population. For comparative purposes, a quarter of a typical grain of sand's weight (350 ng) of botulinum toxin would constitute a lethal dose for humans.

That is why it is recommended to NEVER give honey to a child under a year old, and most suppliers state that on their packaging.

Dominions Son

@ustourist

Honey sometimes contains dormant endospores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can be dangerous to babies, as it may result in botulism.


Botulinum is one of those spore forming bacteria. Once ingested, the fluids in your body dilute the honey enough for the spores to activate.

The warning is based on theoretical possibilities.

An epidemiological review is based on questioning patients who have suffered a disease to see what possible vectors that they have in common.

An epidemiological study can not definitively prove the actual occurrence of a disease in any particular vector, only laboratory testing of samples from the vector can do that.

No laboratory tests of any sample of US produced honey have ever come back positive for botulinum spores.

Dominions Son

@ustourist

That is why it is recommended to NEVER give honey to a child under a year old, and most suppliers state that on their packaging.


The warnings are there only because the FDA requires them.

The government also required Auto manufactures to recall millions of vehicles over unintentional acceleration issues even though 99.99% of the cases that went to court ended up being provable cases of driver error and no one was ever able to reproduce the issue under controlled conditions.

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist

@Dominions Son

No laboratory tests of any sample of US produced honey have ever come back positive for botulinum spores.

The warnings are there only because the FDA requires them.


Personally I prefer to believe the CDC.
"A survey of foods commonly fed to infants revealed C. botulinum in specimens of corn syrup as well as honey but in no other category of foods tested."

And the FDA does not 'require' the warnings. Small producers and retailers are not under any Federal obligation to place a label on their product.

Please stick to subjects you understand. I will not waste my time on a troll.

Crumbly Writer

@John Demille

It's easy to make it yourself if you have direct access to a honey source like your own colony. Just need to heat the honey up enough to kill a common fungus (which may not be present).

On a side note, eating local honey is a good way to develop resistance to local allergens (since the bees visit the local flowers). However anything farther than 50 miles won't help you one wit.

BlinkReader

And now, when this story is finished - what do all of you think about it?

richardshagrin

@BlinkReader

downloads: 263541 votes: 2339 score: 8.73
I voted it very good, which is the equivalent of an eight. Lots of people liked it even better than that.

red61544

@BlinkReader

what do all of you think about it

I also voted it a "very good". Very few of Lazlo's stories would rate lower than that. There are about five authors on SOL whose next story I anxiously await. He is one of them.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@red61544

There are about five authors on SOL whose next story I anxiously await.

You poor boy. There are lots more than five authors I wait for. Maybe we should list them. Maybe not, lets not insult those not on our lists.

Replies:   StarFleetCarl  red61544
StarFleetCarl

@richardshagrin

There are lots more than five authors I wait for. Maybe we should list them. Maybe not, lets not insult those not on our lists.


Anyone know if Al Steiner is going to start writing again? I started a list and realized that (a) it would have more than five names on it and (b) realized that for reading on a 'porn' site, most of what I like to read isn't porn. I prefer plot, with interludes of sex / reality.

Oh, and since this was about Miss Powers ... I felt like something was missing in this one, almost like the ending was forced. Anyone else think that?

Replies:   Grant  awnlee jawking
Grant

@StarFleetCarl

I felt like something was missing in this one, almost like the ending was forced. Anyone else think that?

Checkout Lazlo's blog.

awnlee jawking

@StarFleetCarl

Oh, and since this was about Miss Powers ... I felt like something was missing in this one, almost like the ending was forced. Anyone else think that?


It was certainly strange. Danny Markem supposedly achieved success by his own capabilities, although with help from his teachers to develop a rounded personality. Yet he gives Valerie Powers a huge leg up based on the friends and family network. It sends mixed messages.

AJ

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
red61544

@richardshagrin

You poor boy

Richard, thank you. That's the first time I've been called a boy in many years. I'm 72 sneaking up on 73. But I'm always happy to be seen as a young "boy". Now I have to go out and sow some wild oats!

Oyster

@BlinkReader

It was a good story, but I had some issues with the dialogue. In some scenes it could be transplanted 1:1 to some of his other stories (like Magic) and it would not be out of place making it less distinct and thus the characters stand out less.

Replies:   BlinkReader
awnlee jawking

@red61544

I'm 72 sneaking up on 73.


Were you born on the sixth day of the fifteenth month of 1944 by any chance? :)

AJ

Replies:   red61544
BlinkReader

@Oyster

For me (even with Lazlo's blog) there is something missing / feeling of not finished as it should be /...(add your thoughts here).

But story is still brilliant, about something that forced me to use my "small gray pebble between my ears" to think about it.

This story is definitely is not your everyday "5 cents" story :D

Replies:   ustourist  Oyster  Jim S
ustourist

@BlinkReader

For me (even with Lazlo's blog) there is something missing / feeling of not finished as it should be /...(

Possibly because the way the way the demonstration of the concept was described was low key and not as a 'eureka' moment?
The story did then state that it could be some time before money started to roll in, so it did clarify it was a seed from which things could grow, and was therefore much more realistic.
I would agree that the story is brilliant. Not quite as good as 'millionaire' in my opinion, but pushing it close for stimulating the grey cells.

Oyster

@BlinkReader

Something missing or not finished...I think that depends on how you view the story and what you expected it to be.

Here's my take on it:
The story is not about Danny's life and despite the title it is not about "The Future of Miss Powers". It is about Danny paying back what his teachers did for him during his last year in high school. It was his teachers (and friends, co-inventors, family) who made him a better man and made his success possible. Now he is taking up the mentor role and holding a mirror in front of Valerie Powers' face and asking her if she is the best person that she can be or if there are things she needs to learn or change.
He was where she is now and only that snapshot of his life that lead to his positive changes is important. Everything else in his life is not needed in this interview/story.

REP

@awnlee jawking

It sends mixed messages.


What messages?

I see it as a self-made man trying to help someone, who is capable of succeeding without his help, avoid the delays and pitfalls of having no support system.

Many of us try to help friends and family.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
red61544

@awnlee jawking

Were you born on the sixth day of the fifteenth month of 1944 by any chance? :)

Yeah, the fifteenth month - that's Febtember, isn't it? Actually, that's a segment of my serial number from when I was in the army. I was still in the service when I got my first email address.

awnlee jawking

@REP

I see it as a self-made man trying to help someone, who is capable of succeeding without his help, avoid the delays and pitfalls of having no support system.


That's what Donald Trump thinks when he gives his friends and family prime government roles.

The story shows Danny Markem changing the world. There's no evidence to support Val Powers being exceptional, we're just told it. In fact, as portrayed, she seems relatively humdrum.

AJ

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

That's what Donald Trump thinks when he gives his friends and family prime government roles.


You sound like Bill Clinton and Obama were any different, or Hillary wouldn't have being doing the same - it's the routine process in the US political system now, and has been for over 50 years.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@Ernest Bywater

Fifty years is way optimistic. Before Civil Service rules, almost all government jobs were based on political connections. I say almost because the military, army and navy were not so based, except possibly at the top. If you graduated from West Point you were an officer whether you or your family were Republican or Democrat. It probably was different for President Washington, but once political parties developed, the current US political system developed, and it may have been worse then than it is now. The jobs on offer from Trump are at the higher levels in Government. It seems normal to me, should he give prime roles to his enemies and people he never heard of? Of course he wants people who will support his policies, if he can figure out which of his campaign promises were ones he intended to follow through with.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

Fifty years is way optimistic.


Based on what I know of the people involved, prior to 50 years ago to get the prime top jobs you had to have some knowledge and experience in the work of the position. But soon after the end of the 2nd World War the top US politicians stopped seeing knowledge of the job as being a requirement, and by about the early to mid 1960s the only requirement was to be a friends with the elected president or his close advisors or the party leadership. It's been that way since.

However, getting away from how long it's been, I was simply pointing out what Trump was doing was simply what's been the standard procedure for both US political parties for decades and Hillary would have been no different, so why are they upset about Trump doing the standard thing.

Replies:   Grant  Jim S  sejintenej
Jim S
Updated:

@BlinkReader


For me (even with Lazlo's blog) there is something missing / feeling of not finished as it should be /...(add your thoughts here).


The final chapter left me feeling that Lazlo chopped this one off with a meat cleaver. In other words, way too abrupt.

I get the feeling he put this one together quickly and with less effort that most of his other work, regardless of his extended blog post explaining the story. If he would have returned to Stephanie periodically, i.e. to the present, for a refresher, maybe I would have the different opinion. Hard to say.

Replies:   1111
Grant

@Ernest Bywater

so why are they upset about Trump doing the standard thing.

Lack of suitability for the role as much as anything else, and/or the fact that they are there to represent all of the population, yet in the past they've shown themselves to represent a rather small segment of the overall population.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Grant



Lack of suitability for the role as much as anything else, and/or the fact that they are there to represent all of the population, yet in the past they've shown themselves to represent a rather small segment of the overall population.


Appropriate comment for any appointee for over 50 years and would have applied to Hillary as well - so what's new - situation normal for the USA.

Jim S

@Ernest Bywater

Based on what I know of the people involved, prior to 50 years ago to get the prime top jobs you had to have some knowledge and experience in the work of the position.

Earnest, I doubt you're familiar with U.S. Grant's Presidency or you wouldn't have made that statement. Favoritism was rife in U.S. politics starting shortly after the Civil War and still continues to be.

Ernest Bywater

@Jim S

Favoritism was rife in U.S. politics starting shortly after the Civil War and still continues to be.


I'm sure it was rife all along, but there's a difference between rife and the de rigour status it has now, with less need to have any knowledge of the job for the appointment.

However, by focusing on how long the problem's been around you're ignoring the main point I was making of - why pick on one side when the other side is exactly the same?

REP

The post in this thread made me curious about the start of political parties, so I did a quick search on the topic.

What we think of as a political party first appeared in the late 1600's; prior to that, there were factions that supported different noble families. Around 1678, a rumor led to the formation of the Petitioners and Abhorrers in England, which were later called the Whigs and Tories respectively.

In the US, the founding fathers were split over the formation of political parties. Around 1787, Hamilton and other leaders who wanted a strong central government formed the Federalists party; this was the first US political party. Around 1796, Jefferson and his followers, who opposed the Federalists, formed a political party, which they called the Democratic-Republicans.

As far as political favoritism goes, I imagine it was prevalent long before the first political party was formed.

sejintenej

@Ernest Bywater

so why are they upset about Trump doing the standard thing.

'cause he is not giving the jobs to the complainers' friends and thus get some personal benefit. OK so I'm cynical but I remember the last dinner at Animal Farm

Grant

Some pigs are more equal than others.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
REP

The scene in Washington is chaotic. There have been rumors that the on-line voting programs in one or more of the states Trump won were hacked, and changed to give Trump more votes than he actually received. If that is true, we will have a major problem. Now, I had this thought the other day that would make it even worse.

Prior to winning the election the Republican Party felt that Trump was forced on them by the voters. A very large segment of the party's leadership opposed him in one way or another. Most of the Democratic leadership obviously opposed him. Since winning the election, Trump has done a number of things to seemingly alienate the voters who supported him and his party leadership.

Now what would happen IF the Republican leadership of the states in which Trump won electoral votes were to select their Electoral College delegates and instruct them to vote for Clinton? The worst that could legally happen to the delegates would be to a fine. Of course, they may not want to go back to their home states. If Clinton were to receive the 270 votes necessary to become the President on the first vote, we would find out what real chaos was like. Who knows, people may even demand the election process be revamped to get rid of the Electoral College and select the President by popular vote.

Ernest Bywater

@Grant

Some pigs are more equal than others.


especially when being roasted.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
1111

@Jim S

One way for this story to feel less 'truncated' as many here say, is for a sequel on Valerie Powers herself, but I fear it would turn out to become another Betsy Carter type story.
Everyone's formative experiences are unique to themselves, as well as the lessons derived from them. Danny Markem is only trying to transmit these lessons to Valerie through the recitation of his final year at school. Lazlo's approach leaves us confused as to the actual protagonist of the story; despite the title, Miss Powers appears only in the prologue and the last chapter while Danny's various interactions are all meant to point to the said life lessons.
The blog posting I think is so important to understanding the story, that it should actually be part of the story, maybe inelegantly framed as the author's Closing Thoughts

Chris aka 1111

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@1111

Danny Markem is only trying to transmit these lessons to Valerie through the recitation of his final year at school.


That struck me as odd. Danny is supposed to be recounting his experiences but isn't it written in the third person?

AJ

Penguintopia

@REP

Now what would happen IF the Republican leadership of the states in which Trump won electoral votes were to select their Electoral College delegates and instruct them to vote for Clinton?


The House of Representatives would reject those Electors, then the vote would be held in the House amongst the top three in the remaining electoral vote. The House votes by state delegation and would almost certainly elect Trump over Clinton.

The Senate would then have to decide what to do about the Pence/Kaine race, but again, most likely, they would reject the electors in your scenario and elect Pence as Vice President.

Of course, if something like the above were in the works, the Republicans could arrange for Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio or whomever to get a single electoral vote, and then elect that person President.

Replies:   REP
paliden
Updated:

@REP

(quote)

Now what would happen IF the Republican leadership of the states in which Trump won electoral votes were to select their Electoral College delegates and instruct them to vote for Clinton? The worst that could legally happen to the delegates would be to a fine. Of course, they may not want to go back to their home states.

(quote)

The Republican leadership can not instruct any of the electors how to cast his or her elector vote. I refer you to this federal government website.

https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/electors.html#restrictions

(quote)

Who knows, people may even demand the election process be revamped to get rid of the Electoral College and select the President by popular vote.

(quote)

Although I can't swear it, I believe a change of that magnitude requires enacting a constitutional amendment. An amendment requires the approval of three quarters of the United States in addition as to the approval of Congress (Senate and House of Representatives).

And I do not see that happening.

ETA- well it's obvious that I don't how to highlight another persons statement, sorry about that.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  REP
Ernest Bywater

@paliden


Who knows, people may even demand the election process be revamped to get rid of the Electoral College and select the President by popular vote.


For this to work they'd have to remove all the restrictions the states have on who can nominate for election and how they can nominate for election. In the past some states have refused candidates to be put on the ballot paper in their state. Popular vote only will only work if every state has the exact same rules for candidate nomination and voting.

Replies:   REP  REP
REP

@Penguintopia

I believe you are mistaken. The Electoral College is separate from Congress, and the House and Senate have no control over what happens in the College or the appointment of electors.

Check the link in the following post.

Replies:   Penguintopia
REP

@paliden

The Republican leadership can not instruct any of the electors how to cast his or her elector vote. I refer you to this federal government website.


I don't recall reading that in the article you cited. The political leadership of the state picks their electors. If they wanted to go against the popular vote, they would pick people who did not like Trump and make it very clear that they wanted them to vote for Clinton.

Considering past feelings and the way emotions are boiling over now, a Constitutional Amendment should not be ruled out.

Highlight what you want to quote and click the return symbol.

LonelyDad

I think you are missing the point here. What Ernest is saying is that unless all 50 states have identical processes and ballots for President/Vice President, it can not truly be called a fair election. And the only way I can see that happening is be creating another federal bureaucracy to define and supervise the project. And we have all seen the difference between what was desired by the enabling legislation, and what actually happens after all the bureaucrats finish putting their fingers in the pie. At least this system has worked the last 200 years or so. Note I didn't say worked well, but it has worked.

I for one don't want it changed. I don't want to have California, Illinois, Michigan, Florida, and the New York metro area deciding who is going to be president, which is what would happen if we switched to a direct popular vote. I don't have time right now, but is one of you could get the actual number of voters from each state, rank them, and then tell us where the tipping point would be, that would be helpful.

Replies:   StarFleetCarl
REP

@Ernest Bywater

Popular vote only will only work if every state has the exact same rules for candidate nomination and voting.


I disagree. The last part of the process can be changed without changing the first parts. We could leave everything the way it is, and only consider who received the largest number of votes. Although, some people may want to select the two people with the largest count of votes and have a final runoff election between just those two people.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
REP

@Ernest Bywater

Popular vote only will only work if every state has the exact same rules for candidate nomination and voting.


I disagree. The last part of the process can be changed without changing the first parts. We could leave everything the way it is, and only consider who received the largest number of votes. Although, some people may want to select the two people with the largest count of votes and have a final runoff election between just those two people.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

We could leave everything the way it is, and only consider who received the largest number of votes.


And thus any state can change the results simply by not allowing a candidate to be on the ballot in their state. There have been cases where candidates weren't on the ballot in some states because the state rules differ and some states used those variations to keep people off the ballot, thus people couldn't vote for them. If the state stops candidate 'C' from being voted for, why should the votes for candidates 'A' and 'B' in that state be allowed to count for them?

For a popular vote process to work fairly every citizen of every state has to have the same chance to vote for the candidate of their choice from amongst all the candidates who nominate. Anything else is just another attempt to try and tip the scales in the direction you want, and is no improvement over the current system.

Here in Australia we have compulsory voting and first past the post with priority voting. Overall, we have a much higher percentage of votes that count than any US election I've seen stats on, but we often end up populous areas deciding the result. Thus the policies pushed by both parties tend to promote things for populous areas and the expense of less populous areas. This eventually leads to major discord on important things.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


And thus any state can change the results simply by not allowing a candidate to be on the ballot in their state


That is the way it is now and has been for a long time.

What you are suggesting would result in so many candidates (1000s per state) that the election process would be bogged down.

edited to add: and that is only the Primary Election. It would also affect the Final Election for each state would propose at least 1 candidate and that could result in 50 candidates with most Americans knowing nothing about most of the final candidates. That would be a nightmare.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

It would also affect the Final Election for each state would propose at least 1 candidate and that could result in 50 candidates with most Americans knowing nothing about most of the final candidates.


Actually, I'm not proposing any changes at all. Only stating that if you go to the most votes only winner in the final election it isn't a valid option while the states have the capability to keep people's names off the ballot paper in the election.

Let's say you go with the most votes as the winner, then you only need a couple of very high population states keeping a person off the ballot in their states to ensure that candidate has absolutely no chance of winning the election. Thus the most popular votes option is as biased, if not more biased, than the existing Electoral College system and thus not a valid way to go without making further major changes.

Another aspect that's come up is a need for a uniform voter registration and identification process. Here, in Australia, you don't get registered on the voting rolls until after the Electoral Commission has checked out you're a legal citizen and there's no death certificate issued for you. Then they put you on the roll for the area where you live, and you can only legally be on one roll. Thus it's not possible for non-citizens to vote. From what I read in the US media during the last election it's possible a lot of non-citizens were registered and able to vote in the last US election, I don't know if that's true or not, but with each state having their own process and rules you have no uniformity and no way to ensure the validity is the same across the board.

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

It sends mixed messages.

That's the kind of thing you hope to catch and correct when you post a story all at once by catching the inconsistencies during the revision process.

Crumbly Writer

@red61544

But I'm always happy to be seen as a young "boy". Now I have to go out and sow some wild oats!

Good, now pipe down, boy! ;) (I grew up in the deep south, so I've heard the term a LOT in my youth.)

Crumbly Writer

@Jim S

Favoritism was rife in U.S. politics starting shortly after the Civil War and still continues to be.

Nepatism, which is what Trump is flirting with having his family attend meetings with world leaders, was only outlawed recently due to JFK appointing his brother to a prime political spot (which, in my humble opinion, he deserved, though he was way too young for the job at the time).

I don't think many people object to Trump appointing supporters, they just question when those people are either not qualified (i.e. no experience in that field) or espouse positions they're uncomfortable with (White Nationalism).

Crumbly Writer

@REP

Who knows, people may even demand the election process be revamped to get rid of the Electoral College and select the President by popular vote.

You'd need to pass an amendment to the Constitution, which requires a tremendous amount of support. At this point, I doubt you'd get more than a few Republications to support it.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

especially when being roasted.

Especially when they're bacon! Yum-yum.

Jim S
Updated:

@REP


Now what would happen IF the Republican leadership of the states in which Trump won electoral votes were to select their Electoral College delegates and instruct them to vote for Clinton?


Each state selects their electors according to their own rules. Those rules are established through legislation. Mostly, I believe they are selected by the political parties in some way in each state so the chance of them flipping sides is remote. The speculation about them doing so is remarkably similar to the stories of the Republican Party hierarchy about to steal the nomination from Trump at the Convention. Didn't happen. I doubt the theft of the election will happen either.

Faithless electors have seldom been a problem. I think the worst such occurrence was James Madison's first election where six electors pledged to him voted for his opponent (ironically, his name was Clinton).

Who knows, people may even demand the election process be revamped to get rid of the Electoral College and select the President by popular vote.


The Electoral College isn't going anywhere. It takes a 2/3 majority of state legislatures for ratification and the last I looked Republicans controlled 34 of 50 either totally or partially. Anyone who seriously thinks that smaller states are going to voluntarily surrender more power to larger more populous states are smoking some really good stuff. As Shakespeare(?) said, much ado about nothing.

I don't think the Popular Vote Compact is going anywhere either. For those who don't know what that is, a compact of states got together and pledge to allocate their electors by popular vote once the total number of electoral votes by states in the compact total more than 270 votes. The only problem is that state compacts are unconstitutional unless their action is approved by Congress. Again, ain't likely to happen.

Regardless of what happens, at least it makes for some interesting posts here. The next four years in America out to provide interesting fodder for future discussions.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

To start with, I agree with you that there are many problems with the American election process, and I concur that it is in need of a major overhaul.

I find it ludicrous here in California to require a person to register to vote, and then not check the IDs of the voters. Anyone can walk into a polling place in California and vote. It is illegal, but the way things are structure in California, people in the country illegally can vote, non-citizens here in the country on visas can vote, citizens of other states can vote both in their state and in California, people under 18 can vote, and people can vote multiple times. I recently heard that in one of California's voting districts there were more votes cast than there were registered voters.

However I fail to understand your logic regarding how changing the process from the current Electoral College system to a Majority Vote system would impact how candidates get on the ballot. I also fail to understand why you think use of the Majority Vote system is not valid without major changes when that is currently the system used at the state level to select the candidates for the national level and the system currently used at the national level to allocate a state's Electoral votes.

Currently, states make their own laws regarding how the Primary Election is conducted. In most states, the Primary Election separates voters along party lines. Each party proposes its candidates and they must meet the requirements necessary for a candidate to be listed on the state's Primary Election ballots - one ballot for each party. Yes, the state's process is tailored to keep people off of the ballots. During the Primary Election, the voters only vote for candidates their party is proposing, and the Majority Vote system is used to determine who wins each state's Primary Election. That is the current system and the Electoral College system has nothing to do with the Primary Elections.

Therefore, changing the system used at the national level from the Electoral College system to the Majority Vote system would have absolutely no bearing on what happens during the states' Primary Elections. What it would do is eliminate the Electoral College and allow the overall popular vote determine who should be President.

As a separate item, what your collective statements mean is that neither the Electoral College system nor the Majority Vote system is a valid system.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Penguintopia

@REP

I believe you are mistaken. The Electoral College is separate from Congress, and the House and Senate have no control over what happens in the College or the appointment of electors.


On the contrary, the Congress is the sole judge of the qualification of electors and the validity of any certificate submitted. If a member of each House presents an objection to a certificate, in writing, there is a suspension of the vote, and a debate on the certificate. If the certificates are found to be invalid, the votes are not counted.

Objections were raised by members of the House to the 2000 elections, but no Senator concurred, so the objections were denied. I think the last time any certificates were actually rejected was 1872.

So in the current situation, if the election were to hinge on a disputed state, it would be a simple matter for the House and Senate to reject the certificates and throw the elections to the chambers - House electing the President and the Senate electing the Vice President.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

However I fail to understand your logic regarding how changing the process from the current Electoral College system to a Majority Vote system would impact how candidates get on the ballot.


REP,

I think you've misunderstood what I've said. I never said you should change the system, someone else said that it should go to the most popular vote only. I simply said, a few times, that any change won't work or be worth changing too until such time as you have a total uniformity of the electoral system that involves no state interference on who is listed on the ballot paper, and has a way to confirm a voter's right to register vote and identification on voting day.

My point, all along, has been: while the states can interfere in the system so much and they have such diverse rules on who votes, a popular vote winner can be greatly manipulated by the state administration from one election to the next. Thus you need to address all those issues before you can even contemplate any change.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  REP  REP
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

I believe (possibly erroneously), that each state is considered an independent political unit which could, theoretically, secede from the USA. Switching to a straight majority vote across all the states would conflict with this independence.

AJ

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  REP
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

I believe (possibly erroneously), that each state is considered an independent political unit which could, theoretically, secede from the USA.


The US Constitution has no provision for any state to secede in any way at any time. The first drafts of the constitution, and the documents that preceded it included the phrase 'in perpetuity' as part of the opening section. Thus making it clear it was a case of 'once in always in' - the question was more violently resolved during the War Between the States, because that was the core issue of the reasons for it to start of the war - State Rights versus federal Government Rights.

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

IIRC - and from what the locals here believe unequivocally - when Texas became a part of the states it was written in that they could secede, but they are supposed to be the only one with that right. It also involves other factors, but so far the secession vote hasn't been approved by the state government, even though it is tabled regularly.

So it isn't in the US constitution, but exists somewhere - maybe the state constitution?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@ustourist


So it isn't in the US constitution, but exists somewhere - maybe the state constitution?


Some months back i read something about this while doing the research for Survivor. The right to withdraw was in the original draft and document between the US Congress and the Government of the Republic of Texas, it was even in the provisional agreement. But the finalisation of the agreement got held up and it wasn't in the final document to incorporate Texas as a State. According to the article the intention was there, and was part of the rights during the negotiations but wasn't included in the final agreement between the Texas government and the US government when Texas included as a state. I wish i could find it again.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

electoral system that involves no state interference on who is listed on the ballot paper,


If there were no limits set by the state, anyone who wanted their name on the ballot could have their name on the ballot. That would be a totally ludicrous result because, every idiot in the country would want to see their name on the ballot even though they have absolutely no chance of winning.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
REP

@awnlee jawking

each state is considered an independent political unit which could, theoretically, secede from the USA


To my knowledge, the only state in the US that reserved the right to secede from the union is Texas.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

If there were no limits set by the state, anyone who wanted their name on the ballot could have their name on the ballot.


REP, I never said that - one way or another - I said it should be uniform across the country, whatever system is used to get on the ballot.

Even in the election just past some of the candidates were not able to have their name on the ballot in some states because of the way the states have different rules between states. Thus it wasn't possible for them to get any votes in that state. Which state's rules are the best to use is not a subject I wish to go on. I simply stated that the person who wanted to have a process where the president was elected by the most popular votes can not work unless the process was uniform for all states., otherwise the states will manipulate it more than they are now.

BlinkReader

"Boys",

Shouldn't you open your own topic about election in your good ole USA, instead of poisoning our nice little discussion about above mentioned story?

REP

@Ernest Bywater

I simply said, a few times, that any change won't work or be worth changing too until such time as you have a total uniformity of the electoral system that involves no state interference on who is listed on the ballot paper

REP, I never said that - one way or another - I said it should be uniform across the country, whatever system is used to get on the ballot.


Ernest,
My last post on this subject.

If you never said it, what did you mean by "no state interference" for states currently have rules that limit the number of people who can get on the ballot.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

what did you mean by "no state interference"


Simply the Feds make some rules about who can or can't nominate, and thus limit the nominees that way, then that's the list of who people can vote for in every state. Also the feds make rules on who can register and what identity docs they provide when voting, and that's how it's done in every state. In short, one uniform system across the country. The same could be arranged via all the states setting the same rules and sticking to them, but that's not what you have.

The main thrust of what I've said, all along, is those who push for a popular vote presidential election have no validation of such a voting system until such time there is a national uniform process on nomination of candidates, registration of voters, and identification of voters. How that's achieved is another issue, but is needed to have a valid popular vote system.

Replies:   StarFleetCarl
StarFleetCarl

@LonelyDad

Boy, did this thread derail from where it started.

I for one don't want it changed. I don't want to have California, Illinois, Michigan, Florida, and the New York metro area deciding who is going to be president, which is what would happen if we switched to a direct popular vote.


You missed a state, but you can be forgiven because of how it voted. Texas.

California has 11.2 million votes cast,Florida 9 million, Texas 8.4 million, New York 6.7 million, Pennsylvania 5.7 million, Illinois 5 million.

What seems to be missing here in all this is that we are not a single entity - if we were, then popular vote would be the way to go, because we'd be the United State of America. We're not - we are a representative republic, and basically a confederation of individual states, which is how we were set up in the first place. You don't like how they do things in your state, move to another one. Vote with your feet.

StarFleetCarl

@Ernest Bywater

Simply the Feds make some rules about who can or can't nominate, and thus limit the nominees that way, then that's the list of who people can vote for in every state. Also the feds make rules on who can register and what identity docs they provide when voting, and that's how it's done in every state. In short, one uniform system across the country.


Which is exatly opposite of how and what the country was founded upon. We're supposed to be sovereign states except in those areas specifically delineated by our Constitution for the common good of all people.

In simplistic terms, that means people in Illinois can't dump raw sewage into the Mississippi River since that could affect people in Mississippi, because they're downstream. But if people in Illinois want to dump their raw sewage into a giant hole in the middle of Champaign County, go right ahead - it's within your own state borders.

That's the whole point of the Tenth Amendment.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


The states themselves, and the people, are supposed to be the check upon an over reaching Federal Government.

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