Monthly Archives: November 2016

Dear Clinton supporters: Recall wont matter

Dear Clinton supporters: Recall wont matter

News that Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has requested a recount in Wisconsin, and will likely do the same in Michigan and Pennsylvania, has raised faint hopes among Hillary Clinton supporters that somehow Donald Trump will not become the next president of the United States.

Now that Clinton's campaign has said it will participate in the recount efforts, those supporters' hopes have been lifted even higher.

To put the matter bluntly: They should give up that hope.

There is essentially zero chance that the recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania will change Trump's lead, which number in the thousands, not hundreds, in all three states. Trump is winning Wisconsin by a little more than 27,000 votes; his lead in Michigan sits at around 11,000; and his lead in Pennsylvania is insurmountable at over 68,000.

This is not Florida 2000. On Election Night in 2000, George W. Bush held a 1,784 vote lead over Al Gore in Florida's election for president, representing just 0.031 percent of the 5.8 million votes cast in the state. After a recount — which the US Supreme Court halted by a 5-4 vote — Bush ultimately won Florida by 537 votes, securing the presidency. Yet even if the Court had allowed the recount to proceed, the margin would not have swung by much.

This is not Washington 2004, where a recount reversed the result, handing Democrat Christine Gregoire a 129-vote win over Republican Dino Rossi after he initially had a 261-vote lead on election night.

This is not Minnesota 2008, where a recount gave Democrat Al Franken a 225-vote win over Republican Norm Coleman, reversing Coleman's initial lead of 215 votes.

All of these recounts had one significant fact in common: the margin of victory was in the hundreds, not thousands. And the shifts in vote totals after the recounts were very small.

In the past 15 years, a statewide recount has reversed the winner from the election-night tally only three times — in the Washington 2004 governor's race (a 390-vote shift), the 2008 Minnesota US Senate race (a 440-vote shift), and a 2006 election in Vermont for Auditor of Accounts, which initially had a 137-vote margin on election night that changed to a 102-vote win for the other candidate after the recount (a 239-vote change).

FairVote, a nonpartisan organization that advocates for electoral reform, found that from 2000-2012 there were only 22 statewide recounts across the country, and the average shift in those recounts was just 0.026%.

But, a Clinton supporter might say, what if the machines were hacked? What if the election was actually rigged? It is an ironic sentiment given that Trump was the one claiming widespread election rigging before the election and Clinton supporters blasted Trump for refusing to say whether he would honor the results.

Irony aside, there is simply no evidence of election hacking, as Clinton's top lawyer, Marc Elias, himself conceded. Of course, now that Stein has begun the process, it is perfectly reasonable for Clinton and her lawyers to stay involved. But her supporters should not take that fact as a sign that the election is still in question.

Prolonging the campaign by seeking a recount breeds unwarranted doubt about the legitimacy of our elections — without any real evidence to back it up. Our democratic system relies on everyone accepting the result. That legitimacy suffers when mere speculation calls the result into question with little evidence of rigging and Electoral College vote totals that decisively determine a winner.

Moreover, all of this talk of recounts and election rigging obscures the more important fact about our elections: We impose too many obstacles on voters for no good reason. We need to work harder to eliminate onerous voting laws and make voting easier, not focus on long-shot recounts that provide only false hope. For instance, this recount effort does nothing to address issues surrounding Wisconsin's controversial voter ID statute, which improperly prevented some people from voting.

While Stein's futile recount effort should give no solace to Clinton supporters, there is a silver lining to the current debate: It might finally prompt Congress and state legislatures to devote greater resources to election technology.

We desperately need better voting equipment and stronger post-Election Day audits. Going into this election, experts warned about the woefully out-of-date equipment that most states use. Indeed, old machines — especially if they do not allow for a paper trail — raise the possibility, however small, of election hacking. Old machines can lead to long lines, lost votes, and other Election Day problems.

Updated voting technology can increase turnout by making voting easier. As just one example, Doña Ana County, New Mexico uses Voting Convenience Centers instead of precinct-based polling places, meaning that anyone in the county can vote at any of the 40 centers instead of having to go to their assigned home precinct. This makes it easier to vote near work or school and eliminates the possibility of having to vote via a provisional ballot — which could potentially not count — if a voter shows up at the wrong place.

This system shows that improved technology can both enhance the integrity of our election system — a standard Republican talking point — and also make voting more accessible to more people, thereby increasing the electorate — something Democrats usually strive to achieve.

The recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania will do nothing to assuage the fears of Clinton supporters who recoil at the thought of a Trump presidency. But at a minimum, they should force politicians on all sides to re-examine how we run our elections.

Like it or not, Donald Trump will become our next president. Hopefully, when he runs for re-election in four years, we will have a stronger election system that makes voting easier, more convenient and accessible, less susceptible to manipulation, and more easily verifiable. That's the closest to a "win" that Clinton and her supporters can expect.

Reprinted From CNN

Thomas Prendergast
 

 

Are We Entering The Age of The Cryptocurrency

my cryptocurrencyAre We Entering The Age of The Cryptocurrency

 

I have started taking an interest in Cryptocurrency and the fact that it offers a number of advantages over paper based currencies. Unlike paper currencies, which Governments can print at will, Cryptocurrency is restricted which means that the value of these coins increases.

 

Take Bitcoin, the best known coin, launched in 2008 with a value in 2009 1 BTC = 0.0001 USD and is now currently at $725. Over the years there have been quite large fluctuations :-

  • June 2010 1 BTC = 0.07 USD

  • June 2011 1 BTC = 15 USD

  • June 2012 1 BTC = 7 USD

  • June 2013 1 BTC = 100 USD

  • June 2014 1 BTC = 600 USD

  • June 2015 1 BTC = 220 USD

  • June 2015 1 BTC = 750 USD

It is interesting to note anyone who has held Bitcoin since the early days has seen a great increase in his asset.. I first came across Bitcoin when I moved to Cyprus in 2013. the Banks shut for days and then restricted both withdrawals and deposit and many people started to use Bitcoin because the banks stole peoples savings. The security with Cryptocurrency protects your holdings and to some extent provides anonymity.

Theft and fraud risks can be quite high when holding Cryptocurrency in online wallets or exchanges and it is recommended that is is best to use mobile wallets or even record you account details on paper. I still have to come to terms with using mobile data and until I learn how to use scan and use QR codes. Individuals cryptocurrencies are digital and cannot be counterfeited or reversed arbitrarily by the sender, as with credit card charge-backs.

One of my pet hates is transaction fees from bank and this is where cryptocurrency comes into its own There aren’t usually transaction fees for cryptocurrency exchanges . Even though there’s no bitcoin/cryptocurrency transaction fee, many expect that most users will engage a third-party service, such as Coinbase, creating and maintaining their bitcoin wallets. These services act like Paypal does for cash or credit card users, providing the online exchange system for bitcoin, and as such, they’re likely to charge fees

Identity theft isa growing concern for example. If you give your credit card to a merchant, you give him or her access to your full credit line, even if the transaction is for a small amount. Credit cards operate on a “pull” basis, where the store initiates the payment and pulls the designated amount from your account. Cryptocurrency uses a “push” mechanism that allows the cryptocurrency holder to send exactly what you wants to the merchant or recipient with no other information.

Decentralization means the network operates on a user-to-user (or peer-to-peer) basis. The forms of mass collaboration this makes possible are just beginning to be investigated.

Since cryptocurrency is not bound by the exchange rates, interest rates, transactions charges or other charges of any country; therefore it can be used at an international level without experiencing any problems. This, in turn, saves lots of time as well as money on the part of any business which is otherwise spent in transferring money from one country to the other. Cryptocurrency operates at the universal level and hence makes transactions quite easy. There is no other electronic cash system in which your account isn’t owned by someone else.

David Ogden

http://information.cryptocoin20.com