Month: October 2020

My dad’s slow progress

My dad had surgery Wednesday and then had two seizures that night while recovering. They put him on anti-seizure medication and, while he did have a third seizure soon after, the seizures have stopped. That’s good. But 6 days later he still has not woken up! Because of Covid, my mom can’t even visit him in the hospital so we had a Zoom call with him hoping he’d hear our voices and we could encourage him to wake up. But this afternoon, we heard that he partially opened his eyes after being asked to by the nurse and he is pulling back from pain tests (pinching, touching his hand, etc) which is the first positive sign. I’m very hopeful for the first time in days.

I voted!

Washington State has had mail-in voting since 1983 and it’s been an option for all Washington residents to vote by mail since 1991. In 2005, it became legal for counties to do voting entirely by mail if they chose to and in 2011, after 38 of 39 counties statewide went exclusively to mail-in voting, mail-in voting became the only option for Washington voters. I’ve never voted in person in Washington and we can verify online that our ballots have been received and counted.

I Voted! social media profile image in English

I’m rethinking my opinion of the Electoral College. I fear the “tyranny of the majority” too so I’ve always agreed with the reasons the Electoral College exists but it failed in 2000 and 2016 by not doing its job — it did nothing in both cases. In both those elections, the winner of the popular vote did not become the President. That has happened 3 times before but hadn’t happened in 112 years. In 2000, judges were allowed to decide the outcome of the election rather than the people or even the Electoral College. In 2016, which seemed exactly what the Founding Fathers were trying to avoid by creating the Electoral College — a demagogue — the Electoral College again did nothing. If it doesn’t fulfill its purpose, we need to either fix it or get rid of it. We’ve correctly gotten rid of a few other things that were originally in the Constitution, so we can get rid of this too.

Worse, the Electoral College means that everyone’s vote is not equal. The Electoral College votes are intended to represent the populations of each state, but they don’t. A table showing each state population and how many people one Electoral College vote represents, shows how unequal they are. For example, one electoral vote in Wyoming represents 192,920 people compared to Texas where one electoral vote represents 763,050 people. That means that a Wyomingite’s vote is worth almost four times more than a Texan’s vote! The average electoral vote across the country represents 515,000 people and in 21 states a single electoral vote represents fewer than that, so votes in 21 states have more voting power than votes in the other 30 (which includes the non-state District of Columbia), from 2-4 times as much! It’s just math, this is easy to fix but politicians don’t want to change it because it gives them more power and makes it easier for them to influence elections. The Founding Fathers would surely consider that closer to tyranny than democracy.

My dad in emergency surgery

My 85 year-old dad fell down taking the recycling out into the garage last night, got up, went into the house and for hours carried on and didn’t even realize he fell. Later in the evening, my mom noticed a scratch on his arm and he complained that his head hurt so my mom called 911 and they took him to the hospital. He may have a concussion. That’s how I understand the facts, at least.

This morning, he had surgery to remove a hematoma on his brain — we were initially told it was a blood clot — and the surgery was quick and apparently went well. He’s not out of the woods yet, but I’m optimistic. Unfortunately, my mom can’t even visit him in the hospital yet because of Covid.

I love you Dad, I hope you can read this soon!