Another Update: 2016 Presidential Election Prediction

Let’s take another look at state-by-state polling and state voting history to get a good prediction for the 2016 election. I primarily look at the RCP average polling numbers but I also take into account polls they don’t use if data is lacking for a state. So taking all that into account, I now think Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada and Utah are too close to call. Notable changes from my last prediction include:

  1. Clinton has taken the lead in Colorado
  2. Utah is in statistical three way tie.
  3. Georgia and Iowa are back in contention.

Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

Taking that all into account I think Clinton will get at least 273 electoral votes, Trump at least 158 and 107 electoral votes are still up for grabs. With Clinton still reaching 270 at a minimum, this would still place her in the White House. Trump would need to put another state in contention where Clinton still has a lead and gain that in addition to the eight other states I consider in contention to win. That is still a long shot for his campaign.

Now for the potential spoilers, both Governor Gary Johnson (L) and Jill Stein (G) will be on the ballot in most states in 2016. The Libertarian Party is on track to be on the ballot in all 50 states while the Green Party will be on many of them but missed crucial deadlines for states like Arizona. There is also a late comer in Evan McMullin (I) who can potentially make it onto 11 states ballots. In polls where Governor Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were included, the polling gap between Clinton and Trump narrowed. Johnson has been polling as high as 13% while Jill Stein has been polling at around 3-5%. This really only comes into play if Jill Stein can spoil a state for Clinton or Johnson gains enough momentum to take a state from Clinton like New Mexico, where he was a successful Governor. If that happened the election could potentially go to Congress where things would become very interesting.

The chances of Johnson winning a state have become much more difficult in the past few days, just coming of polling showing him a statistical tie for a state. If McMullin gets on the ballot in Utah, that could help the state go Democrat this election and further cement Clinton’s electoral lead. His candidacy would likely eat away at support for both Johnson and Trump in his targeted states.

Looking at McMullin’s candidacy, I think some of the Republican elite have looked and come to some of the same conclusions I have about Trump losing; while finding a way to twist the knife a little. This has a secondary impact of potentially suppressing polling for Johnson and making him miss that last couple polling points he needs to make the debates and try to put the brakes on any momentum he might build.


Who is Paul Darr?

Paul Darr has lived in the Inland Empire region of California, Oregon, Colorado and currently lives in San Antonio, Texas. Paul is also an Army Veteran, who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the political spectrum Paul is a Libertarian that advocates fiscal responsibility and social tolerance. Paul is currently employed as a Computer Support Technician and is a father of one handsome boy. In his free time Paul enjoys reading, using and modifying open source software, gaming and several other geeky pursuits.

Marijuana legalization is a Christian stance

helping-handsA person can oppose the recreational use of marijuana and yet still recognize that the impact of the prohibition on drugs has not achieved it’s intended results and in many ways has accomplished the opposite. I would like each of you to take a moment to consider what the current “War on Drugs” has accomplished and consider that education and personal choice might be far better tools to accomplish the task of reducing recreational drug use.

Let’s first look at marijuana use over the past decade compared to tobacco use. According to a 2013 Pew Research Survey over the past decade use has increased from 40% of adults having tried the drug to 48%. According to the Centers for Disease Control numbers, smoking hit an all-time low in 2013 at 17.8%. These two numbers are at odds with common policy as the legal tobacco saw a decrease while the illegal marijuana saw a marked increase. In this case, criminalization has completely failed to reduce the use of marijuana; while education and personal choice has been far more effective at reducing tobacco use. I would even go so far as to say that those that are still in support of marijuana prohibition are ignorantly supporting its continued black market use.

Now let’s consider the impact the “War on Drugs” has had on the prison population and our communities. Currently over 46% of Federal inmates are being held for drug offenses. This percentage holds roughly at the various states also. That is a large percentage of the prison population that is being held and largely going untreated for drug use. Habitual/detrimental drug use should be treated as a public health problem and not a criminal justice issue. Throwing people in cages is a very poor treatment for drug use and is largely ineffective. When drug use hurts a person’s life, we should take the compassionate approach and help them to get the medical treatment they need. Ruining a person’s life in prison to save them from potentially ruining their life with drugs only yields a Pyrrhic victory, even in the best case scenario.

As a compassionate change from current policy, I propose that those of us who oppose harmful drug use just do so in a more effective manner. Education on the potential harm and persuasion will do far more to influence moral behavior than trying to use the government to enforce it. All of us have agency, while on the earth to choose for ourselves to follow what the Lord would have us do. For those that fail and need help, our compassion and medical treatment will do far more to help them than prison. The potential benefits of such a change would mean a lower prison population and reducing the harmful impact drugs have by providing better treatment for those that need it. It would also provide a tertiary bonus of reducing street crime associated with drugs and reducing the violence inherent there. Please consider taking what I think will be the more effective and compassionate approach for drug policy. It’s what I believe the Lord would have us do to help our neighbor and not try to throw them in a cage.

 

While we are on the topic, can we get industrial hemp legalized and not so controlled by the feds that it’s nonviable? The stuff isn’t even usable as a drug yet gets demonized to the point of being ignored as the great textile that it is.


Who is Paul Darr?

Paul Darr has lived in the Inland Empire region of California, Oregon, Colorado and currently lives in San Antonio, Texas. Paul is also an Army Veteran, who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the political spectrum Paul is a Libertarian that advocates fiscal responsibility and social tolerance. Paul is currently employed as a Computer Support Technician and is a father of one handsome boy. In his free time Paul enjoys reading, using and modifying open source software, gaming and several other geeky pursuits.

Minetest time with Joseph

minetest1So Joseph discovered Minecraft and wanted to play it. I ended up going with Minetest a free, open source near-infinite-world block sandbox game and a game engine, inspired by InfiniMiner, Minecraft, and the like. It has clients for Ubuntu, Android and several other platforms. He has loved having me go on adventures and build stuff with him. The other day we hit a bug and his character sunk a good couple hundred feet down in the game. I dug down to help rescue him and then I hit the same bug to go deeper past lava and stuff. It was pretty hilarious. I was digging what seemed like forever to get us out. I had no clue the game could go so deep. When they say near-infinite, they mean it.

Here is a picture of the castle we built and it’s surroundings. Click on the image to see the full sized version.

minetest


Who is Paul Darr?

Paul Darr has lived in the Inland Empire region of California, Oregon, Colorado and currently lives in San Antonio, Texas. Paul is also an Army Veteran, who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the political spectrum Paul is a Libertarian that advocates fiscal responsibility and social tolerance. Paul is currently employed as a Computer Support Technician and is a father of one handsome boy. In his free time Paul enjoys reading, using and modifying open source software, gaming and several other geeky pursuits.

Update: 2016 Presidential Election Prediction

A few polls came out the day of my last post concerning the 2016 election. So taking those into account, I now think Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Nevada are too close to call. In Nevada’s case it’s due to a lack of polling on the state level. In my last post I considered North Carolina barely in Clinton’s margin and an important state for the Trump campaign but I now consider it too close to call. Taking that all into account I think Clinton will get at least 270 electoral votes, Trump at least 189 and 79 electoral votes are up for grabs. With Clinton still reaching 270 at a minimum, this would still place her in the White House. Trump would need to put another state in contention where Clinton still has a lead and gain that in addition to the five other states in contention to win. That is a long shot for his campaign.


Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

Now for the potential spoilers, both Governor Gary Johnson (L) and Jill Stein (G) will be on the ballot in most states in 2016. The Libertarian Party is on track to be on the ballot in all 50 states while the Green Party will be on many of them but missed crucial deadlines for states like Arizona. In polls where Governor Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were included, the polling gap between Clinton and Trump narrowed. Johnson has been polling as high as 12% while Jill Stein has been polling at around 3-5%. This really only comes into play if Jill Stein can spoil a state for Clinton or Johnson gains enough momentum to take a state from Clinton like New Mexico, where he was a successful Governor. If that happened the election could potentially go to Congress where things would become very interesting.


Who is Paul Darr?

Paul Darr has lived in the Inland Empire region of California, Oregon, Colorado and currently lives in San Antonio, Texas. Paul is also an Army Veteran, who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the political spectrum Paul is a Libertarian that advocates fiscal responsibility and social tolerance. Paul is currently employed as a Computer Support Technician and is a father of one handsome boy. In his free time Paul enjoys reading, using and modifying open source software, gaming and several other geeky pursuits.

Open letter to Internet Anarchists concerned about the Libertarian Party

LPInternet Anarchist – [in-ter-net an-er-kist]
1. a person who is more interested in talking about freedom than experiencing it.
2. a person who trolls Libertarian Party social media websites calling Libertarians f***ing statists.
3. a person who seeks to overturn all constituted forms and institutions of society and government from behind their keyboard.

I understand you all are afraid of the LP becoming more than a social club and actually causing an impact in a large election which will draw more attention to the spectrum of ideas in libertarian thought.

You are afraid that those in the minarchist wing of the LP will somehow dilute your message. That is not the case. Anarchists primarily share their message in on-on-one conversations or sharing of media on the small scale. Libertarianism as a mainstream concept will allow further opportunities to share with people the many different philosophical schools you feel are better. Much like extreme liberal or conservative ideals grow in bastions of those ideologies, Anarchism/Voluntaryism will have a better chance to grow in an environment which is more generally accepting of libertarian ideas.

If you are opposing the LP because you want the system fail and for there to be a reset, I think you are extremely optimistic. It is far more likely that something far more authoritarian would arise when the majority of people have only experienced lesser levels of authoritarianism and don’t know of other alternatives. The spreading of these ideals is so small scale currently that even as the total number of those that identify as libertarians grows, proportionally they are shrinking by the far larger growth rate of those outside that ideology.

Something needs to change. Currently the Republican and Democrat parties are running two of the most hated candidates yet. A majority of the population still supports either candidate but it does give an opportunity for the LP to act as a disruptive force in the normality of this election. The LP has chosen Gary Johnson for this time around. He has worked the past four years trying to get us into the Presidential debates to bring further exposure to libertarianism. He was also the only candidate that we had which could mount a serious campaign and fight for less harm to be done if he were actually elected.

This is an opportunity to share your message and most Internet Anarchists are missing it. Instead of focusing on fighting minarchist LP members (who already know who you are) it would be better to reach out to the public. Otherwise the public just sees a bunch of infighting and miss your message completely.

That’s just my opinion. You can miss your opportunity by continuing to fight with minarchists and get nowhere or share your message more generally, it’s your choice.


Who is Paul Darr?

Paul Darr has lived in the Inland Empire region of California, Oregon, Colorado and currently lives in San Antonio, Texas. Paul is also an Army Veteran, who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the political spectrum Paul is a Libertarian that advocates fiscal responsibility and social tolerance. Paul is currently employed as a Computer Support Technician and is a father of one handsome boy. In his free time Paul enjoys reading, using and modifying open source software, gaming and several other geeky pursuits.

Why I rejected McAfee as the LP candidate

McAfeeAs far as Johnson vs. McAfee. I rejected McAfee primarily for three reasons.

  1. Any message he shared would be overshadowed by his past. The media was already producing pieces listing as a person of interest for murder in Belize. Then there is the underage girlfriend, drug making and other activities that would have fed the narrative that the Libertarians nominated a crazy guy. He wouldn’t have been taken seriously and the message would have been ignored. So at communicating the message, he would have failed as a candidate.

  2. If he somehow was elected, he would be terrible at the job. The guy is unstable and has acted pretty crazy in his life and some past interviews. I also don’t think he has the experience to actually get some of the things done for reigning in the government and I think he would set the movement back.

Gary-Johnson3. This election is really about setting up for the next election for the LP. We want to get over 5% in the general election and we would like the candidate to poll at or over 15% so that our candidate can get into debates. I don’t see McAffee accomplishing that. Johnson has already been polling at 10-12% so he has a likely chance of meeting this goal.

I was for Johnson because I think he has the best chance at communicating the message, he would do best if actually elected and he has the best chance for setting up future local and National candidates.


Who is Paul Darr?

Paul Darr has lived in the Inland Empire region of California, Oregon, Colorado and currently lives in San Antonio, Texas. Paul is also an Army Veteran, who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the political spectrum Paul is a Libertarian that advocates fiscal responsibility and social tolerance. Paul is currently employed as a Computer Support Technician and is a father of one handsome boy. In his free time Paul enjoys reading, using and modifying open source software, gaming and several other geeky pursuits.

The Pigeonhole Principle

After looking at the potential topics for this paper I was initially drawn to “Mathematics and Music” because my wife is very musical and likes the topic but as I read about it, it didn’t really sing to me. As I read the rest, I thought the pigeonhole principle seemed very interesting and I decided to write about that. In chapter three in the book “To Infinity and Beyond” the pigeonhole principle states: “Suppose we have four pigeons but only three pigeonholes. No matter how we assign a hole to each pigeon, at least two pigeons will have to share the same hole.” We can apply this principle to conclude some surprising results with very little work.
Before I give some other examples this principle is based on certainty and not chance. So each example will happen but the specifics may differ from case to case. One example I found outside of the book was “if you pick five cards from a standard deck of 52 cards, then at least two will be of the same suit.” (16 fun applications of the pigeonhole principle) The reason that I liked this example is that I could easily test it and see for myself at home. While this principle made logical sense, it was good to be able to test it and see for myself that it worked. I then scaled this principle up. I found that when I had nine cards, three of them were of the same suit. While many of the conclusions of the principle are difficult to confirm I found this to be fun to scale and confirm. [Calculation 9 = 4 x 2 +1]
You might wonder to yourself at this point about how this is a nice trick but what use is this principle to mathematics or science? As I was reading I learned the pigeonhole principle is called an “Existence theorem” because it confirms that a solution exists but doesn’t give a method for finding it. So when working on a difficult problem we can use an Existence theorem like the pigeonhole principle, to confirm ahead of time that a solution exists before working on it. This would be preferable to wasting time on a problem where a solution doesn’t exist and for which that could have been confirmed previously.
Another principle spoken of in the chapter is “Uniqueness of a solution.” The Uniqueness theorem is essentially if there is a solution, it is the only solution. While the pigeonhole principle itself is not a unique solution with two pigeons that can be random among the group, this theorem is an extension of that principle. This theorem can be applied to many things in life where there is a presumption of one solution. The book uses an example of finding the one true church. An example popular in the world would be finding your one true love. After you found that person continuing to search would be illogical as you have already found the person.
The pigeonhole principle was fascinating to learn about and test myself with its predictive ability. While I’m not the sort of hard mathematics person to use this in my working life, I think it will be fun to share this sort of thing with friends as a conversation piece they can see and test in person with a few examples.


Who is Paul Darr?

Paul Darr has lived in the Inland Empire region of California, Oregon, Colorado and currently lives in San Antonio, Texas. Paul is also an Army Veteran, who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the political spectrum Paul is a Libertarian that advocates fiscal responsibility and social tolerance. Paul is currently employed as a Computer Support Technician and is a father of one handsome boy. In his free time Paul enjoys reading, using and modifying open source software, gaming and several other geeky pursuits.

If the 2016 Presidential election were held today…

Clinton-Johnson-Trump-750x400If the 2016 Presidential election were held today with Hillary Clinton (D), Donald Trump (R) and Gary Johnson (L) as the candidates, I believe the electoral votes would come out far more skewed than than what the most recent national polls suggest. When looking at what States are safe for candidates and which ones candidates have a strong lead I would place Clinton as currently receiving 285 electoral votes, Trump receiving 189 and 64 electoral votes up for grabs. So even if Trump was able to grab all the states that are too close to call, he would still lose. The only way I really see this election getting interesting is if Gary Johnson can pull enough votes to get his home state of New Mexico and Trump gets all the states I’ve marked as toss ups along with North Carolina, where Clinton has a smaller lead. Johnson is currently polling at 10% or higher so he has the chance to make the election interesting if he gets enough support to win a state. If he doesn’t get that level of support, he is unlikely to be a spoiler for either Trump or Clinton as he draws roughly equal support from disenfranchised members of each their parties. So unless Trump kicks it up a notch and Johnson gains enough momentum to win his home state, we will have a President Clinton. If Johnson and Trump are successful then the vote would go to the House of Representatives who would choose from the top three finishers. So this election will either be a boring repeat of 2012 or very interesting as it’s fueled by the dislike of two very polarizing candidates.


Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

Who is Paul Darr?

Paul Darr has lived in the Inland Empire region of California, Oregon, Colorado and currently lives in San Antonio, Texas. Paul is also an Army Veteran, who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the political spectrum Paul is a Libertarian that advocates fiscal responsibility and social tolerance. Paul is currently employed as a Computer Support Technician and is a father of one handsome boy. In his free time Paul enjoys reading, using and modifying open source software, gaming and several other geeky pursuits.

Trip to DC

So last week I took a trip to DC to accept an award as Library Technician of the Year 2015. Here are some of the pictures I took while walking around the National Mall, Capitol, Library of Congress, White House and Smithsonian. I walked several miles, took the metro around the city and I was ready to head home by the time we were done.


Who is Paul Darr?

Paul Darr has lived in the Inland Empire region of California, Oregon, Colorado and currently lives in San Antonio, Texas. Paul is also an Army Veteran, who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the political spectrum Paul is a Libertarian that advocates fiscal responsibility and social tolerance. Paul is currently employed as a Computer Support Technician and is a father of one handsome boy. In his free time Paul enjoys reading, using and modifying open source software, gaming and several other geeky pursuits.

Joseph and reading

batman

Joseph continually surprises us with his reading ability today head to me “Batman: Reptile Rampage.” Which is level 2 in the “I Can Read!” series but level 3 in the ATOS book level. He also read to me “Henry and Mudge and Mrs. Hopper’s House.” Which is also level 2 in the “I Can Read!” series but level 2.8 in the ATOS book level. I prefer to use AR level as a guide as I find it a better guide to compare against different books. This is pretty amazing to us because Joseph won’t enter Pre-K until next year.

Some of the things that I think have helped Joseph with his reading are:

  1. We read at least two books to him daily before bed time. These books come from his collection at home (that we mostly got for free) and from library books we trade out every few weeks on Monday night. We also read him a few scriptures every night that also gives him some more advanced reading exposure.
  2.  PBS shows like Word World, Word Girl and Super Why.  Sure gluing his face to the TV wouldn’t be good but when he does watch a show I feel programming like this does very well at exposing children to reading and new vocabulary.
  3. Video Games. Your probably saying to yourself wait, “video games”? Yes, video games have helped encourage him to read and sound out new words. Sure some games don’t require reading but RPG’s like Twilight Princess pretty much require it and he really wanted to read all the text boxes from the villagers. I just modeled it a bit for him (played) and he wanted to be just like dad reading and playing.

At any rate, I thought I’d just share with others what worked with my family for encouraging my son to read. I hope this is helpful to someone else.


Who is Paul Darr?

Paul Darr has lived in the Inland Empire region of California, Oregon, Colorado and currently lives in San Antonio, Texas. Paul is also an Army Veteran, who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the political spectrum Paul is a Libertarian that advocates fiscal responsibility and social tolerance. Paul is currently employed as a Computer Support Technician and is a father of one handsome boy. In his free time Paul enjoys reading, using and modifying open source software, gaming and several other geeky pursuits.