Saturday, September 29, 2012

Comparing states voting for Romney with states voting for Obama

Comparing states voting for Romney with states voting for Obama
(Right-click on image and click on "open link" to enlarge and/or print.)

The above chart was made using the 9/24/12 electoral map by Karl Rove that can be found at .  This map is probably the most reliable in that the states indicated are probably strongly dedicated to the candidates they are allocated for. The other data came mostly from Census Data found on the US Census site. 
  1. Murder and Forcible Rape data came from  using selection # 308 on that page and the Excel file at that selection.
  2. Educational expenditures by state were secured from the Excel file at Item # 262 at
  3. Educational achievement by state was secured from the Excel file at item # 233 at
  4. Median income for each state was secured from by going to "Annual Social and Economic Supplement" on that page and the "Income of Households by State Using 2-Year-Average Medians"
  5. The information on which states still allow physical discipline in public schools came from
  6. Finally, the information on Food Stamp usage by state comes from
Additional ideas are welcome as to variables that should be explored in this effort. 

Bill Betzen

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Voting Rights Act Revived in Texas: 3 maps

The 2011 Texas Legislature redistricted three maps to shift the previous decades massive population growth into new legislative districts.  This was done for the Texas House and Senate, and for the US Congress with four new seats added to the U.S. House from Texas. The maps created were so discriminatory against minorities that they were immediately challenged and repeatedly declared discriminatory by the courts.  Most recently, on 8-28-12, a three judge Federal Court in Washington affirmed that judgement. The maps are now on the way to the Supreme Court.  Study the three reports below, one on each map. Form your own opinion.  What should the decision be?  
Anatomy Chart on Texas House Map PlanH283
(Right-click on image above & hit "open link" to enlarge and/or print.)
The chart above is for Texas House map PlanH283 for the 150 Texas House districts. The study of this map was done with a bar chart due to the large number of 150 legislative districts. It more easily illustrates the gerrymandering pattern of discrimination, a pattern that has the same components in each map. Each map has an area that is designated as a "Maximum Win" area and a "Maximum Loss" area. In the bar chart above, the area highlighted with yellow is the Maximum Loss area.  The green area is the Maximum Win area. Notice the consistent fact that Anglo districts dominate the Maximum Win areas in every map.  Minority districts dominate the Maximum Loss areas in every map.  How can that be an accident?
Anatomy of Texas State Senate Map PlanS148r
(Right-click on above image and hit "open link" to enlarge and/or print.)

In both the Texas State Senate map above and the Congressional map below it was easy to document the "gaps" that existed. In the Maximum Loss area there were no Anglo districts. In the Maximum Win area there were no Minority districts.
Anatomy of Texas Congressional Map for U.S. House Map PlanH283
(Right-click on above image and hit "open link" to enlarge and/or print.)
These maps are perfect examples of gerrymandering. They should find their way into the next generation of government class text books in Texas.
These maps are also online at,, and

Questions are welcomed and encouraged.

Hopefully the above information will help in spreading the word as to the debt of thanks we owe the Legislators of 2011 who designed these maps. They have created maps that will help assure everyone involved, including the judges, that the Voting Rights Act should have a long life.

Such maps must NEVER again become law and go into use. They reflect the painful history of racism that, with the current creation of these maps, obviously continues to afflict Texas. These maps should only be used in text books as examples of the gerrymandering damage that can be done to democracy if voters are not vigilant.

I've joined the League of Women Voters to work together with them in maintaining our democracy and the right to vote. (There are now over 18 men who are members in Dallas.  Everyone is welcome to join!)  It is an honor to work with them to continue their noble history of achievements on behalf of our nation, and democracy.  Join your local League of Women Voters and support democracy!

7-14-13 addendum: It appears maps very similar to those above will become the law in Texas now that the Supreme Court has kicked out critical protections in the Voting Rights Act. This is a painful and uncertain time in the history of our nation.  Will the necessary work be done?

Bill Betzen

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The REAL 47%!

The real "47%" are Romney supporters.
(Right click and hit "open link" to enlarge and/or print.)

The original of the above map comes from  It appears that Romney was speaking about his own supporters based on an electoral map from the Karl Rove web site:

Obama voters are more generous.

Dallas Fort Worth giving and voting patterns in 2008
(Right-click & hit "open link" to enlarge and/or print.)

On 9-17-12, on the front page of the Dallas Morning News Business Section, the larger map above of the DFW area was printed.  Inserted into it by zip code were the giving levels according to 2008 tax returns.  The darker green areas are thoses areas giving the highest percentage of their income to charity. This map can be found online at .

The smaller inserted map is of the 2008 presidential election returns for the same DFW area. This copy of those 2008 election returns comes from  Notice the correlation between high rates of giving and voting for President Obama.

Generosity was not a quality mentioned by the other presidential candidate as he spoke of what he called "the 47%" who will "always" vote for President Obama.  He described them in his view as people "... dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them."  Generosity was not mentioned. He needs to see the above graphic.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Texas Plan H283, House Redistricting Plan declared discriminatory 8-28-12

Following is a chart made from demographic data on Plan H283, as approved by the 2011 Texas Legislature, that can be found at 

Texas House District Plan H283 Declared Illegal 8-28-12
(Right-click on above image and click "open link" to enlarge and/or print.)
The information about Anglo non-Hispanic population percentages in each of the 150 House districts created was collected as well as the Minority population percentages in each district. A count was then made as to how many Anglo districts, and then how many Minority districts, were in the 0 to 4% range, the 5% to 9% range, the 10% to 14% range, and so on up to 99%. This shows which ethnic group has the most favorable percentages for winning an election without "wasting" too many votes and which group has the worst percentages where their votes are more likely to be unable to elect a candidate of their choice. (This presumes voters are more likely to vote together as either Anglos or Minorities as a group. If that were not true, why does this redistricting plan have a very definite pattern among racial lines? What are these map makers telling us they expect to happen?)

Below is the list used to make the above chart.  It was made using the PlanH283 data linked from the right hand column on the page at
Demographic Data from House PlanH283, used to make above chart
(Right-click and hit "open link" to enlarge and/or print.)

 On 8-28-12 when PlanH283, the above House district map, was declared discriminatory, the other two maps, one for the Senate and one for Congress, were also declared illegal due to discrimination.  Reports on those maps have also been done.  The report on Congressional Map, PlanC185, can be seen at   The report on the Texas Senate Map, PlanS148r, can be seen at

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Texas Plan S148r, Senate Redistricting Plan, declared discriminatory 8-28-12

Anatomy of Texas Senate Redistricting Plan S148r
(Right-click on above image and hit "open link" to enlarge and/or print.)
The above anatomy demonstrates the gerrymandering patterns that led to this map and two others from Texas being declared illegal and discriminatory by Federal Courts in Washington on 8-28-12.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Making Dallas Early Voting Work, 10-22-12 to 11-2-12

Dallas Early Voting begins 10-22-12 and ends 11-2-12, before the 11-6-12 election.  This year for the first time there will be 3,500 Dallas County Election Department Early Voting signs with arrows on them to use in helping the public locate early voting locations.   The plan is to place about 10 of them at each major intersection within 2 miles of each early voting location and then have a trail of identical signs leading the way to the election location.  Just follow the arrows!  An experiment on this in 2010 led to an increase of 40% in the number of early votes cast at the location tested.

Here is a link to the Dallas County Elections site with the locations, times, and other details given for early voting.

National Voter Registration Day is 9-25-12.  The last day to register in time for this election is 10-9-12.  You can go to the National Voter Registration Day web site to find details about registration in your area, or to help in voter registration efforts for the future of our nation.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Google & political lies

The volume of lies this political season is overwhelming, especially online. They seem to almost always be made in support of Republican candidates. I wondered if the way I was set up online and in Facebook was simply directing all such anti-Republican postings toward me. Are not lies being associated with the Democrats just as frequently? Research was done to see how often the possessive form of the party name was followed by the word "lie" online. The chart below is the result. Corrections are welcomed!
Google study of terms related to political lies
(Right-click and hit "open link" to enlarge and/or print.)
It appears that the art of the political lie for political gain may have been perfected during the time of Karl Rove at the turn of the century, developed through examples such as the Swift Boat exercises, and is now used with abandon.  It appears to be dominating political dialogue. Is our democracy in danger if the public cannot be educated as to how to verify facts?  Or will this method of winning votes ultimately be exposed to the general public for what it really is before we endure another decade like the last one?  Lies contributed to the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives, and trillions of dollars, dollars that are now part of the debt we are leaving our children.

Trust but verify! This is a brilliant phrase often used by President Reagan.  We all must follow his advice with all political statements being made in this exceptionally dangerous time.  We must not have another decade like the last one.