The Price of Political Baseballs: An Update

Four years ago I posted about the comparative prices on eBay of baseballs signed by presidential candidates. I didn't make any predictions back then. However, Obama-signed baseballs were fetching higher prices than Romney-signed baseballs, and Obama won. Make of that what you will.

So what does the political baseball market on eBay look like in this election year?

If you want a baseball signed by Donald Trump, they go for as low as $10.50 (above left) or as high as $2499.99 (above right). (There's one baseball signed by The Donald, Melania, and Ivanka for which the seller is asking $5000, but since that's 3 signatures it doesn't seem relevant for this data set.)

Gotta say, The Donald sure has a crazy signature! How do those zigzag lines spell out Donald Trump?

Hillary Clinton-signed baseballs can be bought for anywhere between $100.99 (left) and $2499 (right). Again, there are more expensive ones signed by both Hillary and Bill, but I'm only looking at individually signed baseballs here.

What conclusions can we draw from this? Well, the prices are much closer for Hillary vs. Donald than they were for Obama vs. Romney. Perhaps this indicates a closer race. However, Hillary baseballs aren't going for the very low prices that some Donald baseballs are going for. So maybe this indicates that Hillary has a slight advantage. Who knows! We'll find out in November.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 27, 2016 - Comments (6)
Category: Politics

Joel Slater, the Stateless Man

It's pretty common to hear people say that they're so disgusted with American politics that they're going to move to Canada and renounce their U.S. citizenship... especially if candidate X or Y wins the election. But people almost never follow through with this threat/promise.

But Joel Slater did. Back in the Reagan era (1987), he became so angry at U.S. policies that he decided to renounce his American citizenship. The problem was that he did this without first arranging to acquire citizenship in another country. So he made himself stateless.

He was in Australia when he renounced his citizenship, and had assumed he would be able to stay there. But no, Australia promptly deported him to the U.S. Then, as a stateless person, he discovered that he was effectively trapped in the U.S. because he couldn't travel anywhere else without a passport. He managed to make it into Canada and Mexico a few times without a passport, but they both eventually shipped him back to the States. He also couldn't legally work without a social security number. So he became homeless, surviving on "odd jobs and the generosity of strangers."

After much begging and pleading, he was able to regain his U.S. citizenship in 1993.

More info: wikipedia

Slater showing off his "Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States"
Source: Arizona Republic - Mar 17, 1991

Indianapolis Star - Nov 27, 1992

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 04, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category: Politics, Reformers, Do-gooders, Agitators and SJWs, Riots, Protests and Civil Disobedience, 1980s

Let Children Vote

Yesterday I posted about a proposal to disenfranchise the elderly. Here's a similar idea — a scheme to reduce the political power of grey hairs — but it goes about it in a different way. Instead of taking away the vote from the elderly, you give the vote to children. Their new political power would presumably balance out the influence of seniors, shifting state policy in new directions.

This idea has been repeatedly advocated by Paul E. Peterson, professor of government at Harvard. He's argued for the idea in the journal Daedalus (Fall 1992), The Brookings Review (Winter 1993), and Education Next (Jan 2011).

The way it would work, in practice: "parents exercise the vote on behalf of their children... parents be given the option to assign the right to their child whenever they think he or she is capable of casting it on their own. That right, once given, can never be taken back."

The details that remain to be worked out: "Which parent gets the vote? What is to be done with election-day newborns? What proof of parentage is required?"

Peterson was not, by any means, the first to come up with the idea of letting children vote. Philippe van Parijs gives a brief history of the children's suffrage movement in his book Just Democracy:

It has been repeatedly discussed for over a century, especially in France, and mostly with pro-natalist motivations. The earliest proposal of this sort seems to have been made, shortly after Prussia's victory over France, by a certain Henri Lasserre, 'the universally known historian of Notre-Dame de Lourdes'. In his proposal, every French citizen, whatever his or her age or gender, is given one vote, with the (male) head of each family exercising this right to vote on behalf of his wife and each of his children. The proposal was hardly noticed, however, except by the philosopher Gabriel de Tarde, who took it over enthusiastically, as a way of enforcing a concern for the interests of younger and unborn generations.

Image source: The Brookings Review (Winter 1993)

Posted By: Alex - Wed May 18, 2016 - Comments (11)
Category: Politics, Reformers, Do-gooders, Agitators and SJWs, Children

Elderly Should Lose Vote

Back in 1970, Douglas P. Stewart, a professor of classics at Brandeis University, made headlines for advocating that the elderly should lose the right to vote.

His thesis is this:
"The old, having no future, are dangerously free from the consequences of their own political acts, and it makes no sense to allow the vote to someone who is actuarially unlikely to survive and pay the bills for (what) he may help elect."
In other words, Stewart thinks old people vote with an attitude of "grand je serais mort, je me ficherais de tou — (when I'm dead, it (society) can go to hell)."

Stewart, if he's still alive, would now be around 83. I wonder if he's still voting?

The Daily Journal (Franklin, Indiana) — Sep 23, 1970

Posted By: Alex - Tue May 17, 2016 - Comments (12)
Category: Elderly and Seniors, Politics, Elderly, 1970s

Weird Campaign Promises

Latest article: A Brief History of Weird Campaign Promises.

Example promises include:

  • The elimination of poverty, after 10 pm. (Ferdinand Lop, 1940s)
  • Pass a law to "keep them 'vine-ripened' stickers off of them mushy green tomatoes." (Connie Watts, 1960)
  • Put joggers to good social use by forcing them to power treadmills to generate electricity. (Screaming Lord Sutch)
  • Change the name of Aspen to "Fat City." (Hunter S. Thompson, 1970)
  • Lose 50 pounds. (Adeline J. Geo-Karis, 1986)

Posted By: Alex - Fri Mar 18, 2016 - Comments (4)
Category: Politics

California’s Serious Draught

Scott Allen Meek is running for President, and he's not afraid to call attention to serious issues. For instance, right at the top of his campaign website he points out that "California is in it's 5th year of a Serious Draught."

He's the only candidate I'm aware of who's ever drawn attention to this problem, but as a California resident, I can confirm that it's absolutely true. Sometimes it gets so draughty here that I have to put on a sweatshirt. And as someone who's spent quite a bit of time in the UK, I appreciate his use of the British spelling of the word.

Other issues important to Meek include the promotion of desalination and hemp farming.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 13, 2016 - Comments (6)
Category: Politics, Strange Candidates

Captain Tick-Mouse



Original images here.

I am not sure having a rat-like figure as your patriotic icon is the best choice of imagery.

Here is a little background on the character, from this source.


Posted By: Paul - Tue Dec 01, 2015 - Comments (6)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Politics, Propaganda, Thought Control and Brainwashing, War, 1910s


Donald Trump has become the theme of Halloween this year. People everywhere are creating pumpkins, aka Trumpkins, in his likeness. Some examples:

A 374-pound Trumpkin created by Jeanette Paras of Dublin, Ohio.

by Nancy Faber, via Twitter

by billybush, via Instagram

Posted By: Alex - Wed Oct 28, 2015 - Comments (5)
Category: Art, Holidays, Politics

Mao’s Crystal Coffin

Posted By: Paul - Wed Oct 28, 2015 - Comments (6)
Category: Body, Celebrities, Death, Politics, 1970s, Asia

Who Can Beat Nixon?

1971 board game. I assume that whoever played Nixon was allowed to cheat.

via New York Magazine - Aug 16, 1971

Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 16, 2015 - Comments (3)
Category: Games, Politics, 1970s

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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