Friday, September 30, 2016

End Secret Decisions

A few days ago I read a disturbing article written by Nick Turse for TomDispatch. (1.)

It focused on a document which surfaced through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Turse discovered a September 2015 briefing slide which was produced by the Intelligence Directorate of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), entitled “A Century of War and Gray Zone Challenges”. (2)

SOCOM is the “umbrella” command which is charged with operating elite units of the U.S. military, among them, the Army Rangers, Army Special Forces (the Green Berets), and Navy SEALS,

The slide pointed out that over the past 100 years, the U.S. has participated in 64 conflicts, resulting in 9 wins, 8 losses and 42 ties. That translates into five full-fledged wars - three wins (World War I, World War II, and Desert Storm), one loss (Vietnam), and one tie (Korea). The other conflicts? SOCOM puts them into the “gray zone” which is now “the norm”. Our record in the gray zone stands at 9 victories, 8 losses, and 42 ties.

For me, the “record” was not the disturbing thought. Rather it was the “how” and “why” we committed our military to 64 conflicts. Plus the fact that most Americans never considered why we were launching them and soon forgot they happened.

The article ends with a one sentence summary by Turse and a quote from retired Army colonel Andrew Bacevich, a professor of history and international relations at Boston University: “An American century of carnage and combat has yielded many lessons learned, but not, it seems, the most important one when it comes to military conflict. “We can kill people, we can break things,” Bacevich observes, “but we don’t accomplish our political goals.”

I’ll bet you believe that the U.S. military is the best the world has ever seen. It’s likely that members of your family, like my own, have honorably served our nation in the past or are serving today. And, certainly, each year, we spend an immense amount of dollars on our military. So by these measures alone the “Best Ever Military” rings true in a multitude of ways.

Still, I don’t know about you, but I stopped using modifiers like “the best” in the now dusty past.

“The best” dredges up painful memories and fears about a time in my life that I hoped would remain buried in my backyard, along with a few other artifacts from the early 70s – a pair of boots, photos and articles of clothing.

It was late night in early fall. All I wanted was to forget and somehow shed the nagging feeling that I had not done my duty, not done my part, not done enough… that I should have died in some godforsaken jungle in Southeast Asia. After all, I thought, what good have I done with the extra time I had been granted?

I graduated from high school in 1967. It was different then. The boys had perhaps four choices, go to college (if your grades were reasonable), enlist in the military, wait a few days until the local draft board (Selective Service) sent you greetings, or try to go to Canada as a draft dodger.

There was tremendous pressure on kids then. Nearly everywhere, the newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, movies, celebrities, relatives, family friends – nearly all of them were vehemently telling you what to do with your life. What your patriotic duty was. That meant it was your role in life to go to Vietnam and kill the commies - the gooks - for America.

John Wayne affirmed it, too. (3.)

And, by the way, before you go… get your hair cut, put on a suit, toe the line, get a job, because if you don’t you’re no better than one of those doper hippies.

Not one of the adults in my life, save my father, questioned why it was our patriotic duty to support the War in Vietnam. They just accepted as “fact” the words placed in the mainstream media by our government: “We were attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin. The Communist aggressors were torturing women and children in Vietnam… the dominos (other nations in Southeast Asia and around the world) will fall (be taken over) if we don’t make a stand in Vietnam and stop “the Russians and Chinese” Communists.”

Years later, aided in a great part by FOIA, we discovered the documents that proved our suspicions were valid. The Gulf of Tonkin never happened. We were duped then and later, again. Remember the nonexistent “weapons of mass destruction”? The Vietnam War and the Iraq Wars were horrendous miscalculations – decisions born in secrecy to assert U.S. hegemony as clandestine conflicts only to metastasize into crimes against humanity. (4.)

Today, as it has been throughout these past 100 years, it is policy and “leadership” that counts much more than which military is “the best”.

The “why” upon which we decide to engage our military counts above all else and our leaders must be held accountable for their decisions to commit our people to a conflict.

If anything the sorry, 100-year record of conflict “results” clearly demonstrates the fallacy of allowing that decision to be rendered in secret.

Sane, honorable, elected leaders who prioritize the welfare of our people first - above corporate profit - and act within the laws of our nation must be the leaders who render decisions to commit our military in any instance.

Will we continue to follow the psychopathic rational that has driven our nation for the past 100 years? Or, will we finally realize the insanity that drove our past leaders is simply that – insanity.

1. Killing People, Breaking Things, and America's Winless Wars, Nick Turse, TomDispatch, 27 Sept 2016.
2. “A Century of War and Gray Zone Challenges” -- A September 2015 briefing slide produced by the Intelligence Directorate of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM).
3. The Green Berets, (review) Roger Ebert, 26 June 1968
"The Green Berets" simply will not do as a film about the war in Vietnam. It is offensive not only to those who oppose American policy but even to those who support it. At this moment in our history, locked in the longest and one of the most controversial wars we have ever fought, what we certainly do not need is a movie depicting Vietnam in terms of cowboys and Indians. That is cruel and dishonest and unworthy of the thousands who have died there. more

Kill Anything That Moves, The Real American War in Vietnam, Nick Turse.

4. How did today's political world come about?, World Millennial, Ronald D. Baker.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Command Presence Look?

Just asking... during the recent "debate" did Mr. Trump try to mime a famous "command presence" look? For one of the two above "substance" and "preparation" mattered.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Pres. Debate? You're Kidding!

They won't be "debating" important issues tonight. No, tonight is nothing more than "show business". What really counts will not be discussed at all. That is, Will your grandkids have a future? 

Neither candidate will help make that future happen. For the future you want for your grandkids, we need to work together and make it happen.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Job One - Make the White House Great Again!

Contrary to popular expectations Pres. Trump will not make building The Wall his first job. Nor will it be tossing out 11+ million people.

No, sir. I predict that Job One will be making a White House We Can Be Proud Of!

"Making the White House Great Again! will require rebuilding it in the fashion of all the other fabulous Trump Hotels," said Pres. Trump. "It will be Fantastic! Fantastic!", he said. "Believe me. FANTASTIC!!"

I can't wait. - RB

*I offer my full apologies to Mr. Trudeau for taking his beautiful, beautiful White House illustration out of context.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Today is Peace Day

This Guy Feels Your Pain?

Ever heard the phrase, “Born on Third Base”?
It means, "born to privilege".

Football coach Barry Switzer (University of Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys) summed up the idea when he said, "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple."

In other words, the phrase refers to the favored few who are born with advantages over the rest of us but they think they "bootstrapped" themselves up, earning their way.

If you plan to vote for Mr. Trump this November because he is amazingly successful, wealthy, brash, a political outsider and a bully, please stop for just a second and think about the legacy you are building for your grandkids.

Yes. Your Legacy.

Mr. Trump is not a self-made man. He did not get his wealth because he worked hard and was a smarter dealmaker than you.

He got his start with his dad’s money and continued to rely on his Dad's fortune, at least through 2007, to help him through (and out of) his financial mistakes.

I’ll bet that you didn’t benefit from "family privilege" the way Mr. Trump has. Nor, is it even remotely likely that you even tried to pull off a Trump-similar charade as, “I am a savvy bootstrapper and made my billions because I’m smarter and a wily deal maker”.

Please reflect a moment on this man’s character. Then, consider what your grandkids world will be like if you turn over the keys to the most powerful office in the world to Mr. Trump.

If you are still reading, please check the following excerpts (below) from: Where Was Donald Trump Born? He Even Lies About That, Peter Dreier*, AlterNet , 20 Sept 2016.

“During his presidential campaign, Trump has claimed he made it on his own. When pushed, he acknowledges that his father loaned him what he's called the ‘small amount’ of $1 million. In fact, Trump inherited his father's real-estate empire worth tens of millions of dollars, made by building middle-class housing financed by the federal government. Earlier in Donald's career, his father paid his son's debts. Donald also took several massive loans from his siblings' trust funds.”

"I went to the Wharton School of Finance," (Trump) said multiple times during a speech last year in Phoenix. "I'm, like, a really smart person."

"In an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" last year, he described Wharton as "probably the hardest there is to get into." He added, "Some of the great business minds in the world have gone to Wharton."

"Trump surely knows he didn't get into Wharton on his own merits. He transferred into Wharton's undergraduate program after spending two years at Fordham University in New York. But Trump's grades at Fordham were not good enough to transfer to the University of Pennsylvania, home of the Wharton School. In her 2001 biography, The Trumps, Gwenda Blair wrote that Trump got into Wharton as a special favor from a "friendly" admissions officer who knew Trump's older brother, Freddy.

"Moreover, a 2011 article in Salon reported that Trump has exaggerated his academic accomplishments at Wharton. According to Salon, on at least two occasions—in a 1973 profile and in a 1976 article—the New York Times reported that Trump "graduated first in his class" at Wharton in 1968.

"That is a lie. Trump didn't even make the honor roll while at Wharton. 

"Trump's efforts to portray himself as an up-by-his-bootstraps entrepreneur is typical of the self-made man myth surrounding someone who was born on third base but refuses to acknowledge his birthplace.

"It has not been easy for me," Trump said at a town hall meeting on Oct. 26, 2015. "And you know I started off in Brooklyn. My father gave me a small loan of a million dollars."

"At a news conference early this year, Trump repeated the same story: "I got a very, very small loan from my father many years ago. I built that into a massive empire and I paid my father back that loan."

"An investigation by the Washington Post earlier this year demolished the idea that Trump made it on his own. Not only did Trump's multi-millionaire father provide Donald with a huge inheritance, and set up big-bucks trust accounts to provide his son with a steady income, but his father also was a silent partner in Trump's first real estate projects.

"Trump's first big real estate deal was the construction of the Grand Hyatt hotel, near New York's Grand Central station, in 1978. Fred Trump's Village Construction Corp. provided a $1 million loan. But, as the Post investigation explained, "that loan was only a small part of the father's involvement in the deal."

According to the Post:

"Trump's father—whose name had been besmirched in New York real estate circles after investigations into windfall profits and other abuses in his real estate projects—was an essential silent partner in Trump's initiative. In effect, the son was the front man, relying on his father's connections and wealth, while his father stood silently in the background to avoid drawing attention to himself."

"Wayne Barrett's 1992 book, Trump: The Deals and the Downfall, reveals the magnitude of his father's involvement. Fred Trump and the Hyatt hotel chain jointly guaranteed the $70 million construction loan from Manufacturers Hanover bank, "each assuming a 50 percent share of the obligation and each committing itself to complete the project should Donald be unable to finish it."

"Trump's father was not only his silent partner but also his safety net. In a 2007 deposition, Donald admitted that he borrowed at least $9 million from his future inheritance when he encountered financial difficulties. In effect, Donald was on welfare. The funding came from his father, not the government. But it actually came indirectly from the government, which had financed Fred Trump's real estate business.

"Other investigations have shown that Trump's business career is filled with multiple bankruptcies, bogus businesses (like Trump University), repeated rip-offs of suppliers, contractors and employees who he failed to pay for services rendered, and misuse of the Trump Foundation to feather his own nest while trying to look like a philanthropist. Trump has also lied about the size of his wealth, as various business publications have pointed out. Many observers suggest that one reason Trump has refused to release his tax returns is that they will show that he has repeatedly exaggerated his wealth and, thus, his success.

"Like Obama's Hawaiian birth certificate, the Washington Post's investigation provides the documentation needed to confirm Trump's birthplace on third base. But even though he was born on third base, he has had to lie, cheat, and break the law in order to get to home plate."

Still feel Mr. Trump feels your pain?

*Peter Dreier is professor of politics and chair of the Urban & Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College. His most recent book is The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books).

Monday, September 19, 2016

Remember the Banksters?

There’s so much deliberate “misinformation” goin’ around about unimportant “presidential” things that we nearly forgot to remember something that’s actually important.

But, Sen. Warren has remembered this important fact for us: the non-criminal prosecution of those responsible for the 2008 financial crisis.

At least she is not willing to let the government slide when it comes to bringing to justice those responsible for the financial crime of the century. She stated: "For the uncounted millions of Americans whose lives were changed forever and for those who are still dealing with the consequences of the crash, I can think of no matter of 'intense public interest' about which 'the American people deserve the details' than the issue of what precisely happened to the criminal referrals that followed the 2008 crash."

The “criminal referrals” she noted were recently disclosed in documents which revealed, “that the FCIC referred nine individuals and 14 corporations to the DOJ (Department of Justice) in 2010 based on "serious indications of violation(s)" of federal securities or other laws. But none of these individuals or corporations has been criminally prosecuted.”

Who are these people? The answer, again from Sen. Warren is, the FCIC specified nine top-level executives who should be investigated on criminal charges, including: CEO Daniel Mudd and CFO Stephen Swad of Fannie Mae, CEO Martin Sullivan and CFO Stephen Bensinger of AIG, CEO Stan O’Neal and CFO Jeffrey Edwards of Merrill Lynch, and CEO Chuck Prince, CFO Gary Crittenden and Board Chairman Robert Rubin of Citigroup.

And, the 14 corporations? Once more, from Sen. Warren: America’s largest banks—Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual (now part of JPMorgan), and Merrill Lynch (now part of Bank of America)—along with foreign banking giants UBS, Credit Suisse, and Société Generale, auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers, credit rating agency Moody’s, insurance company AIG, and mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

From my perspective it is important to note the difference between a presidential candidate trying to make himself seem great and Sen. Warren - Sen. Warren is working for the best interests of the people.

1. Press Release:
Review of recently released archives shows no DOJ criminal prosecutions of FCIC-referred individuals or companies.
2. Warren Demands Investigation Into Obama's Failure to Jail the Banksters
Lauren McCauley,, 15 Sept 2016.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Swindllng Mom & Pop America

“At least 5,300 employees were fired over a five-year period for “inappropriate sales conduct’”, he said. But where were senior executives during that time? And, who established the environment that pushed the “employees” into breaking the law?

It's not my fault!! Those tellers and service peons did all that multimillion-dollar swindling! In so many words that's what John Stumpf, Wells Fargo Bank CEO / Chairman of the Board of Directors told the Feds.*

Obviously, Mr. Stumpf doesn't really believe as Pres H.S. Truman famously asserted: “The Buck Stops Here”.

Nope, for mom and pop America, and poor lit’le ole Wells Fargo, the third largest bank in the U.S., Mr. Stumpf was asleep at the switch, not doin’ his C-suite duties overseeing the workin’ people.

So much so that Wells has a $190 million fine to pay for setting up two million fraudulent deposit and credit card accounts and then stealing millions from customers by billing ‘em for unauthorized Wells Fargo services.

Sound like the ole west was still alive – at least in Stumpf’s mind – until the new sheriff rode into town. He probably won’t worry too much, though. Stumpf pocked $19.3 million in compensation last year alone. And, the executive in charge of Wells Fargo Bank branches is slated to retire this year with a retirement package worth around $93 million.

Not bad for lookin’ the other way when stealing from Mom and Pop America.

* On 20 Sept 2016 Mr. Stumpf testified before a Senate Banking Committee, saying, “I accept full responsibility for all unethical sales practices.”

1. Wells Fargo CEO Blames Multimillion-Dollar Fraud On The Lowest-Level Employees
C’mon, dude, Kim Bellware, The Huffington Post, 14 Sept 2016.
2. Why Is Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf Making These 3 Major Mistakes?, John Maxfiend, The Motley, 13 Sept 2016. 
3. 3 Charts About Wells FargoCEO John Stumpf’s 2015 Compensation, John Maxfield, The Motley, 22 Mar 2016.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Knock, Knock.. Who's There?

And St. Peter said, “Oh, no Mr. Trump. It doesn’t matter what you said on Fox News. 
We have it right here. 'Misstatement' 10,500,000. The one you said about Flint. Remember... 
when you stood inside the Church...”
Remarked NPR correspondent Scott Detrow, "I was in the room in Flint as a pool reporter at the time, and here's what happened... As Trump began to criticize his opponent, Hillary Clinton, Timmons slowly walked back onto the stage."

"Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we've done for Flint, not to give a political speech," she said.

"Oh, oh, OK, OK, OK. That's good," Trump said. "Then I'm going to go back onto Flint, OK."

"The audience was saying, 'Let him speak, let him speak,' " Trump told Fox and Friends.

"That isn't true. In fact, several audience members began to heckle Trump, asking pointed questions about whether he racially discriminated against black tenants as a landlord."

"And that's when Timmons — who Trump said Thursday had planned to ambush him — stepped in to defend Trump, saying the Republican nominee was "a guest of my church, and you will respect him."

"Thank you. Thank you, Pastor," Trump responded.

The pointed questions for Trump continued as he wrapped up his remarks, though — and that's the moment when the press traveling with Trump were hastily escorted out of the room."

Trump Criticizes Flint Pastor — But Misstates Key Facts About Their Encounter, Scott Detrow, NPR, 15 Sept 2016. 

Fats Domino - I Hear You Knocking

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Pastor Timmons Not Timid

Rev. Faith Green Timmons 
Mr. Trump must have figured he’d have an easy time in Flint the other day. After all he had just sailed through an interview with a Detroit minister.

But this time he picked the wrong church and the wrong pastor. Instead of a free pass to speak his usual belligerent bully talk, he was politely stopped and asked to speak to the topic he said he was going to discuss before the invited church guests.

According to Detroit Free Press, Bethel United Methodist Church pastor, the Rev. Faith Green Timmons said, “I thought he wanted to see that we gave out food and water, and when his statement went beyond what he originally said, I asked him to stick to what he was originally going to say. He’s welcome to come and see what we’re doing in Flint. We’re doing well. We’re helping those in need. And I wanted him to see the best of Flint.”

Pastor Timmons was not timid when it came to facing down Mr. Trump. It’s remarkable isn’t it? Pastor Timmons rates no. 1 among the few who will not take s**t from anyone, including a world-class bully. She’s my hero.

Trump's remarks in Flint cut short by pastor, protesters, Kathleen Gray and Katrease Stafford, Detroit Free Press, 14 Sept 2016.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Get Out of Jail Free

I’ve lost track of the total, but I believe 13 Detroit Public Schools (DPS) principals have been "nailed" for their roles in the Norman Shy School Supplies Conspiracy. Many have been sentenced to prison and one more is facing trial.

I suspect it might be time to give some thought to just what’s gone wrong with DPS administrative oversight so that hiring practices can be amended an itty bitty bit.

According to a school principal in Detroit makes between "$87,249-$111,121 / yr. not including bonus and benefit information and other factors that impact base pay".

For those considering submitting a resume for the open DPS Principal positions, it might also be wise to ask for a couple of benefits... a Get Out of Jail Free card and some form of kickback and bribery absolution protection… just sayin'.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Got Some Free Time?

Now that you have more free time than any other generation in history, why not golf and change our world, too.  And... one more thing. What do you want your legacy to your grandkids to be? A world of opportunity or one of hurt and chaos? Go here for a discussion:

Saturday, September 10, 2016


There is a Doppelganger USA
Few documents are truly prescient.
Certainly, Mein Kampf, written by Adolf Hitler, is one. In it, Hitler laid out his political philosophy and his future plans for Germany. Mein Kampf, Volume I, was published in 1925 and Volume II in 1926. Once in power Hitler pretty much did what he wrote about. As a result millions of people were murdered or died in what became known as World War II.

A second document was equally prescient. The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) plan entitled: Rebuilding America's Defenses - Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century, written in 2000, laid the foundation of the post cold war expansion of United States interests and a Pax Americana enforced by a U.S. military, modernized with new technologies and operational concepts. Chillingly, on page 51, (see PDF) the authors referenced their fear that it would take too long to bring about “absent a new Pearl Harbor”.

A few months later when many of the PNAC people were holding office under President George W. Bush the “new Pearl Harbor” took place.

9/11 took the lives of 2,974 innocent people. It remains the largest cold case mass murder in the history of the United States. 9/11 became the justification for continuous war, the murder of more than one million Iraqis, the displacement of millions of people, and the unaccounted loss of trillions of taxpayer dollars.

Cold-Blooded Murder
On 11 September 2001, 2,974 people were murdered in New York City. At the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. and on flights 77 and 93, 224 innocent people were murdered. To this day, these crimes remain unsolved and the perpetrators continue to elude justice. Please go here for the story: 9/11 Cold-Blooded Murder and here, Remembering 9/11 - 2,974 Murders.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The View: From Above the Rock

Micah White, Occupy Wall Street co-creator, "Permanent Revolution",
TeamHuman, EP. 04, 6 Sept 2016.*

Often I find a flimsy reason or two for ignoring or hiding from a challenge. They range
from, “It’s not my job” to “I have no idea what that guy is talking about” and, “I’m too busy now to deal with that”.

By adopting my flimsy reason I feel fine with doing absolutely nothing to help mitigate the problem and then crawling under the nearest rock. From that ostrich-like perspective, the problem is no longer visible.

Others, however, assume a different position - like viewing the challenge from “above the rock”. From that perspective things look differently. And, that can lead to problem resolutions which are simply not visible from “under the rock”.

Dr. Douglas Rushkoff, Professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics at CUNY/Queens, is one of those people. From his perspective – on top of the rock – he has identified many of mankind’s most persistent challenges and a few solution, too.

Many agree with Dr. Rushkoff’s observation that our society is saturated with an unrelenting drive for profit and growth. The "profit and growth first" meme permeates every facet of our lives including how we value ourselves… we must be the first, the biggest, the best, the strongest, the most talented, the most beautiful, the most wealthy… ad infinitum. Likewise, our businesses and corporations must be the most profitable, the biggest and the most continuously growing. Unlimited profit at any cost and unrelenting growth are the standards by which we measure success and value everything. If it does not return profit to the shareholders and increase in market share it is not a winner.

What’s best for the customers, employees or the surrounding environment? That is not in the formula.

Dr. Rushkoff believes that the “growth and profit first” meme is a failure of incalculable proportions, infusing every nook and cranny of our lives. He believes that we must adopt “People Driven Solutions”.

That’s why he launched: Team Human

“Team Human is a weekly podcast and set of resources enabling human intervention in the economic, technological, and social programs that determine how we live, work, and interact. This is media as cultural resistance and a path to social change.”

“People driven solutions” and “media as cultural resistance and a path to social change”... for me, that translates into, “people first” rather than profit at any price. I like how that sounds.

*Micah White, Occupy Wall Street co-creator, Permanent Revolution,  Team Human, EP. 04, 6 Sept 2016.

Friday, September 2, 2016

A Few Election Adjustments, Please

The Smart People at FairVote
Pending Doom. That’s what is in the air. Both the Trumpers and the Hillaryers are seeing the clouds gathering and the 500-year storm building for the nation post November. No matter which candidate is named the winner, the supporters of both are now so overdosed with tons of fear and anger that they are spewing forth rumblings of chaos in the streets.

Hopefully it will turn out to be just that — some rumbling, smoke and a few flashes.

We all know our election system is broken. They are simply not competitive, with more than 85% of U.S. House districts safe for the party that holds them. “As a result, millions of Americans are perpetually represented by politicians they oppose, with little hope of changing things at the polls.” Go here for details.

What can we do to extricate ourselves and make our system represent our interests?

Today I’m optimistic about our future. That’s because I’ve discovered reasons to believe that with a few tweaks here and there we can repair our broken election system and climb up and out of the bottomless abyss into which we have fallen.
Finally, I can see a FAIR, REPRESENTATIVE election!

What will we see? Well, with the help of the FairVote people, a nonpartisan organization, for the first time in my lifetime, anyway, we may see a fair and honest election system.

Since the 1990s the people at FairVote, have been working on election reform and they’ve found some pretty good solutions, too. Here a few:

Ranked Choice Voting
Eliminate “winner-take-all” elections and replace them with “fair representation voting methods” such as "Ranked Choice Voting" (RCV). RCV is “used today in Minneapolis and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and by every voter in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and Scotland. Voters rank candidate in order of choice, with backup choices counting in the event their first choice loses, and nearly all voters ending up electing a preferred candidate. The result would be that voters would almost always be able to vote for candidates they truly believe in and end up with representatives who fairly reflecting each district’s left, center and right—Republicans would win in Manhattan, Democrats in Oklahoma and so on.”

Right to Vote Amendment
I’ll bet that you assume that the U.S. Constitution guarantees your right to vote. It does not. The only way to guarantee that you have a right to cast a ballot is through the adoption of a Right to Vote Amendment which will give Congress the authority to protect your right to vote, oversee voting policies and ensure that elections are fair.

National Popular Vote
“All voters should be valued equally in presidential elections, no matter where they live. Our current Electoral College system, grounded in state laws which allocate electoral votes on a winner-take-all basis, leads presidential candidates to concentrate their resources on voters in a handful of swing states, relegating the vast majority of the country to spectator status. Instead, we should elect the president by a national popular vote—and there's a state-based, constitutional way to do so: The National Popular Vote interstate compact.” Go here for details.

“The National Popular Vote plan has bipartisan support and has been introduced in all 50 state legislatures. To date, 10 states and DC have passed legislation to enter the compact for a combined total of 165 electoral votes, meaning the compact is over 60% of the way to activation.”

Universal Voter Registration
“Universal voter registration would modernize voter registration in the United States. Government would be responsible for maintaining accurate and complete voter rolls, shifting our system from its current opt-in structure to an opt-out structure. Automatic universal voter registration would significantly reduce duplications and omissions on the voter rolls, resulting in a system that balances the twin goals of election accessibility and security.” Go here for details.

Now, don’t you, too, feel better about the coming election? At least it will turn the spotlight on how broken our system is. And, we now know how we can make it work.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Déjà vu

Are we just too self-absorbed, ignorant, misguided or stupid to allow this to happen again?