The American voting system is seriously fucked up. I think most of us can agree on this fact. Right wing nut jobs insist that millions of illegal aliens somehow got into thousands of voting booths and voted for Hillary.

I voted!

Thousands of illegal aliens somehow rented hundreds of buses and all drove to New Hampshire to vote for democrats.

New Hampshire or bust!

Our arcane system of electing a President has resulted in a minority of Americans voting in the two worst Presidents in American history.

Dumb and Dumber. (Dumber is on the left)

Republican states are bending over backward to deny more and more people (usually minorities) the right to vote. To top all this off, less than half our voting age population bothers to vote at all.

Interesting fact. In 2012, more people voted for the winner of American Idol than voted for President of the United States. 

This begs the question which is — what is American Idol doing right that the American government is failing to do?

I think the answer is that we as a nation have just become a big, big, really bad reality show. We have a really bad reality TV show President. And why? Well, apparently lots of people like reality shows. So, I say we need to change the whole system of voting.

It’s obvious. We need to change the way we select candidates for President and turn electoral politics into a giant reality show contest.

We start with the primaries. We have a set number of people to start with. Say … 16. Both parties do this. We then have 16 debates. The debates are not moderated by network news people. Instead, we have judges. Different judges for each debate. For the first debate, we can have the judges from The Voice, Master Chef, Junior America’s Got Talent, and so on.

Or we could mix them up. At the end of each debate the judges eliminate one candidate. Oh, and the audience can yell and scream all they want.

When you narrow it down to the top 10 candidates, that’s when you, the American public, takes over. During the debate and for one hour following it, you get to vote for the candidate of your choice. The one with the fewest votes is out.

Voting rules are simple.  You can vote by text, phone call, or online. You can vote 10 times on any of these devices. (Note: Message and data rates may apply.)

Eventually, we’re down to just two candidates.

Now they are free to travel around the country. Give all the speeches they want. But — they will have to go through at least four more debates.

Here’s where it gets interesting. They are not just debates! Depending on the judges, the candidates will have to compete in various competitions. When the America’s Got Talent judges are moderating, each candidate will have to do some kind of act. Magic, ventriloquism, hip hop dancing, or maybe a dog act.

When the Master Chef judges are moderating they will all have to make an interesting dish. Using shrimp.

They may have to design a line of clothing, flip a house or bake a perfect soufflé.

You get the idea. The candidate who wins these challenges gets an advantage for that episode, excuse me, debate. Stuff like maybe the winner gets an air horn he or she can blow whenever the other candidate is speaking.

When we finally get to election day all the networks agree to show a wrap up clip show of all the debates. The winners, the losers, the fallen soufflés.


Now you, the American public have until midnight November 8th to vote. You can vote by phone, text, online, regular mail — or you can go to a voting booth. This time, you only get 20 votes. You can only vote 10 times on any given device. Except the voting booth. You can cast all 20 votes there. (Note: Message and data rates may apply.)

I realize at this point you think I’m joking. And I am. But am I? You say that it’s supposed to be one person, one vote. But is one person, 20 votes any different? OK, you say it’s too complicated. What if people don’t use all 20 votes? What if they don’t know how to text? What if they can’t get online? Well, too bad. That’s what makes the game interesting.

Is this any more difficult than having people stand in lines for hours on election day in poor districts with a few voting machines, many of which don’t work — only to find out that they’ve been thrown off the voting rolls because their name was similar to somebody else who had committed a felony and wasn’t allowed to vote?

WTF!! What do you mean I can’t vote!?

But, you say “How do we know people didn’t cheat?” Maybe they voted more than 20 times? Well, our technology seems to be fully able to handle the problem. I recently texted a donation to a hurricane relief fund during the telethon that all the networks aired the other day. I tried to do it again and I got a text back saying that I had donated the limit.

Maybe people could cheat, but it’s still more secure than the electronic voting machines we use. Machines we’ve seen repeatedly hacked by professionals trying to show us how easy they are hacked.

So this is it. My humble proposal. I think it would bring a lot more people out to vote, and it would be a lot more fun!

Tell me honestly, wouldn’t you pay money to watch Ted Cruz try to bake a savory cheese soufflé?

I’m Ted Cruz, and I approve of this soufflé. Food porn!




This  is our anniversary. Number 27. There’s a special gift that goes with 27. Not gold, diamonds, silver, or other expensive metals. No, this is the “sculpture” anniversary. I was thinking a really large bronze or something in stone.

Otherwise, we are considering trying out a new Chinese restaurant in Whitinsville. For you non-locals, you may pronounce that “white-enz-ville.” Emphasis on the “white.”

There is no “wit” in the valley. The Whitens family were big mill owners and the pronunciation remains with us forever.

This particular restaurant is brand, spanking new. We know this because we got their publicity mailer only yesterday. Having been here such a short time, there’s an off-chance they’ll retain memories of how to cook Chinese food in a Chinese manner. New restaurants are pretty good for a couple of months, until everyone starts to complain how the food is too spicy.  Too spicy can mean the chef uses alien spices, like ginger and garlic. Even regular ground black pepper is viewed as a potential dangerous intruder to our local culinary style. Flavorful? We hope.

Today will be a largely a non-electronic day. We’ll be out most of the afternoon and possibly, if dinner works out, a piece of the evening.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Maybe we’ll go buy a sculpture after all. A really big, extremely heavy bronze — or maybe solid granite. Something weighty enough to take out the front end of a snow plow. With its hands outstretched to hold a plaque with our address on it.

Thus finally, the FEDEX guy will stop delivering our packages to the neighbors, though not necessarily from tossing them into snowdrifts where I won’t find them until next spring.



The Weekly Photo Challenge is on a break this week. Since waiting was a great topic, I thought I’d add a new one to last week’s subject. After all, I am always waiting for something. When I finish waiting for whatever I was waiting for, I’m immediately awaiting something else.

Life. Is. Waiting.

Or, as Michael Valentine Smith used to says: “Waiting is.”

Even when the waiting is framed with positive anticipation, it’s still waiting. Waiting for the bride to walk down the aisle. Waiting for the show to begin. Waiting to get your hands on your new car. Whatever it is, first — you wait.

Waiting for Garry to come inside
Waiting at the Registry of Motor Vehicles
Waiting for the graduates to appear!
Waiting for the next guests
I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2017