Monday, November 12, 2012

Why do people have to go hungry?

I was seriously considering opening up this post with a brain bashing of facts and statistics to set the stage for the primary content of the discussion i would like to hold with you today, but I decided the only real way to open this topic up would be with one simple fact: According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), from October 2009 to September 2010, there were approximately 1.6 million homeless people fighting for their survival.

Now i don't want you to think for a second that this is some sob story about how you should have pity for those people because it could be you and they deserve your money when they sit on the side of the road. Absolutely not. Those people who sit on the side of the road, in most cases, just want your money so they can get a quick fix of their preferred poison. Whether it be tobacco, alcohol, or some of the "harder" drugs. Chances are, most of those people will not re-purpose your money for what they tell you they'll do with it. And i know of many instances where those people aren't even homeless! In my hometown there was a man who woke up in the morning and got himself dirty and ratty then drove out to the corner of a street, parked his car out of sight and begged all day. At the end of the day he'd just jump in his Corvette and drive off.

I'm trying to make the point that we can solve the hunger issues, possibly throughout the world! simply by having fast food restaurants give a little back to the community. That's all.

Did you know that on average, The entire McDonalds Franchise makes roughly 6.5 million hamburgers a day? Now this was in 2005 i'd imagine that the company has grown quite a bit since then, so all the number's i'm working with will be low. Given that they have an estimated 31,000 locations worldwide, that would put the total number of burgers per day per location at roughly 210 (209.667 but since no one ever orders 2/3rds of a burger it's safe to assume that's just another whole burger). another interesting statistic states that McDonald's ends up throwing out about 1/3rd of their stock due to time issues and so on. When factoring this in, we can get a pretty accurate reading that every McDonald's location in the world throws out about 70 burgers a day for one reason or another.

Here's where the real kicker comes in. My hometown has as of right now, 34 McDonalds Locations. According to HUD, in 2010 there were approximately 13,711 homeless in my hometown. if every McDonalds in my hometown were to give away the food they were throwing away to the homeless instead of throwing it away. Just my city alone would be able to feed 17.4% of my entire state's homeless population. If the Capitol of my state and my city were to combine forces and use their throw-outs for good, we'd be looking at feeding 46.5% of all of the homeless in my state. I am not talking about giving food away that other people could be paying for. I am merely suggesting that they save whatever they don't or cannot sell that day and pass it out to the homeless while the crews are doing end of the night clean-up. That's it!

I mean if just McDonalds were to do this. That's not even counting Burger King, Carl's Jr (or Hardee's depending on what side of the country you hail from), Wendy's, A&W, or any of the other hundreds of privately owned, local fast food joints spanning the country. If i were to factor those in? I'm willing to bet that it could very well surpass the number of starving homeless people we have in this country.

All this would imply (as i did not make it very clear earlier), is that companies stash the overflow or underflow food somewhere until the end of the day. The night crews would set the box out behind the store while their doing the evening cleanup routine. Have it publicly known that homeless people or people having trouble feeding mouths could come and get one or two items to give them enough calories to make it through the next day.

I know one of the common objections to an idea like this is that it would be abused and people who didn't need it would be taking from those that did. To be quite frank on the matter, if you have enough to even so much as buy top ramen, you're probably not going to leap at the chance to eat old McDonald's hamburgers.

I want to hear your feedback. if you have something to improve on the idea? then contribute it. There's no such thing as a stupid idea.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

2012 Elections and The Electoral College

With the advent of todays voting results, and by this i mean the fact that the electoral college played such a large role in re-electing Barack Obama, i found it high time to bring out a few issues that i have with the electoral college. This will not be a case of "oh well the electoral college is bad because they went against the popular vote and OBAMA is back in office... THE WORLD IS DOOMED!!!" No, this will be a case of "the electoral college is out dated. It has been outdated for over 100 years and this is why."

There have only been a few cases in which the electoral college members have voted against what the popular vote of their state. Each time there has been some severe backlash and each time the collegiate who does so generally needs to watch their back and go into their fallout bunker for the next 10 years and never show their face again for that period. But this is the exact issue that arises with the Electoral College. The presidential position was originally intended to be appointed by the people and for the people. Meaning that the president is a servant of the people, but even more so to the point, it means that the individuals get to vote and elect whomever they choose.

The whole issue with this methodology when the constitution was written was that they did not have the good graces of our modern technology. There were no fax lines or telephones or fiber-optics. There were just torches, pitchforks, horses and dirt roads. So the convenience of transmitting precise numbers to the white house or where ever the votes were tallied was a large inconvenience. Who wanted to ferry every single ballot from their state all the way to the capitol? So, during the constitutional convention of 1787, it was discussed the issues arising from fair exposure for every state. The smaller states with only hundreds of occupants did not want the larger states with thousands, possibly even tens of thousands of occupants to swing the elections. As such, the electoral college was formed. Each state would be given a number of representatives determined by the number of occupants they had. This evened the playing field a little bit. Instead of having only, say 100 votes being tossed into the pot against tens of thousands of others, they had say 2 votes. and the larger states, instead of having tens of thousands of votes they only had 5 for instances.

This also lightened the load for the people carring the total votes to wherever they were tallied. Instead of a sack of papers, he only needed 1 slip with tallies on it in his front pocket.

Now that you know the history, here's why it's outdated...

  1. the current estimated population of the United States is 311.6 million individuals according to the U.S. Census Bureau. divided between 50 states, that comes out to roughly 6.2 million people per state with a standard deviation of roughly 1.13 means.
  2. It is no longer about the smallest states not having a voice. let's take a look at some statistics to prove this point:
    1. Our number 1 state in size (Alaska) has the 3rd lowest population in the country
    2. Our number 4 state in size (Montana) Has the 6th lowest population in the country
    3. Our number 47 state in size (New Jersey) Has the 11th highest population in the country
    4. our number 44 state in size (Massachusetts) has the 14th highest population in the country
  3. Our technology has grown vastly. We no longer live by candle light. We have gone through 2 distinct eras of ground transportation since the electoral college was created. And we have the ability to send almost 3 terabytes of information from the united states to Europe in a fraction of a second.
So where exactly is the electoral college useful? We have no Paul Reveres ridding his horse ragged to deliver ballots across the country. We have an outstandingly enormous population as a country now and every one of them free thinking. The advent of the internet made sure of that last bit. Since anything you could possibly dream can be looked up in less than a second now by google, it's like Enquirer Magazine's old slogan went: Inquiring minds, got to know. If you want to know something "gee, i'll google that!" or if you're part of the new bing "movement" then it's "Gee, i'll bing that!" and tada, you're almost instantaneously more knowledgeable about anything.

In short, it's no longer become a case of every town is a small town and the issues are clear cut and everyone agreed with everyone in their town because if you didn't you were outcast from society, called a witch, and burned on the spit that will hold your severed head later because we're all barbarians. It's now a case of people being either really reserved, really vocal or somewhere in the middle about their own, individual opinions. Which blurs the lines of which states are "red" and which are "blue" to be honest, i hate the color system. I hate how the media almost brainwashes people into believing the only way to vote is either Republican or Democrat. I hate how we haven't had a serious shift in the two "primary" parties since 1876, and i most definitely hate how even though the democratic system is supposed to be a majority vote, we seem be perfectly content with condensing down the voices of 311.6 million people into the voices of 538, vastly overpaid, completely out of touch aristocrats who are not even so much as required to vote the way the majority wishes.

I welcome all forms of arguments, i would be very interested to see what others have to bring to the table as to the future of the Electoral College.

Television Networks. (n.d.). Morse Code & the Telegraph — Articles, Video, Pictures and Facts. — History Made Every Day — American & World History. Retrieved November 7, 2012, from
Census Bureau Homepage. (n.d.). Census Bureau Homepage. Retrieved November 7, 2012, from
G.984.4 : Gigabit-capable passive optical networks (G-PON): ONT management and control interface specification. (n.d.).    ITU: Committed to connecting the world. Retrieved November 7, 2012, from
Avalon Project. (n.d.). Avalon Project - Madison Debates - June 2. Avalon Project - Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy. Retrieved November 7, 2012, from
Walbert, D. (1997, July 23). political_parties_poster.jpg. Walbert's Compendium of Instruction and Entertainment. Retrieved November 7, 2012, from