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Archive for the ‘voter reform’ Category

There are quite a few lists out there, and most of them are useful.

What I want to say here is that the decision to act, to be present, is important. The decision to remain active is just as important.

To stand up and be accountable is a daily activity, but it does not mean that the level of activity will always be the same.  Self worthy persons, and, we all have worth, choose every day, even in all their small actions, how to live, in the groceries they buy,  or not, the fripperies of societal needs, the media they absorb and allow to remain unchallenged, whether they can make it to the town halls, support their libraries, write to and support their local paper.

This might mean that the economic and convenience cost of our actions are greater than it would otherwise be, as in the decision to buy or not from a big box store, or to cut the cable cord if it does not provide balanced news. Daily decisions, such as those of noted above, are best served with notice of accountability to that establishment. Tell them why you have chosen to disassociate with them.

We have been at a bipartisan war, that we could have declared officially, with other countries since 2011. We pretended that the war was a military action and never acknowledged the blood and treasure it took from our country. We never acknowledged that more than half the oil we are perpetually fighting over goes to our military. We never saw the caskets, and just barely heard the low moaning of the families of the dead.  When Michelle Obama started the White House garden, we saw the value of feeding our children fresh veggies, but not that we actually all needed victory gardens, or that we were killing our planet with excess brought to us on petroleum wheels.

This election signaled what will be a long war for the future of our country. We are already past the rhetoric and into the actions of a militant dictator. We have witnessed a five year old child handcuffed behind his back because the cuffs were too big for his wrists in the airport. We know that children are being followed by strangers in order to ascertain the homes of their mothers. We have witnessed harassment, killing and bomb threats to minorities and institutions for women. This week brought both the shut down of the NoDAPL site with most of the neutral cameras off,  and the revelation of Immigration tearing a woman out her hospital while she was waiting for a brain tumor operation and being sent to the Alvarado Detention Center, where she was handcuffed and strapped down.

Do not assume these are abarrations.

Bannon, in his address to CPAC, this week, made it quite clear that these are not, but rather the beginning of his new world order. This will not stop unless we stop it.

Which leads me to my point. I was gratified to here that there are elite geometry mathematicians working on the problem of “compactness” in gerrymandered districts, which cause us to perpetuate Republican, mostly, representatives. We desperately need a better districting formula. Folks are being trained as expert witnesses to discuss, in court, the ramifications of these findings. However, redistricting is also performed on the basis of our ten year census. The next one won’t occur until 2021. So, unless the courts find a way to invalidate the current districts now, its very probable that the same political landscape will be present in 2020; the same one that elected Trump this time. It’s more than likely that it will still be in place in 2018.

Trunp is known for rewarding the loyalists. He is also very good at knowing how to “chum” the waters. He will spend infrastructure money on those states he needs. He has already promised road money to Florida. Unless things change dramatically before 2018, expect the same states to be in play.

So, if you don’t do another thing, stand up and be accountable by voting. Around  fifty percent of you didn’t last time. Start planning how you will do it now. I know it’s very hard for some of us in our disctricts get there, or to even stay on the rolls. Some of us are harassed and suffer indignities that we we shouldn’t have to suffer. Indigenous peoples shouldn’t have to drive hundreds of miles in winter, because a Nevadan official decides she doesn’t want to provide a polling place. I don’t know what it will take, volunteer lawyers standing beside you, a new group of Red Berets, or Acorn, or  better taxi service. Maybe that includes volunteering and doing the work for your home to be a polling place.

Whatever it is that will get your vote counted; do it.

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I’m spending an inordinate amount of time in the “Asphodel Meadows”, so I haven’t posted. Hopefully, I’ll find my way out soon. However, I just had to say this regarding an email I received today—

POLITICO Breaking News
————————————————-

President Barack Obama declared that a “transformation” is taking hold in Egypt as reports said President Hosni Mubarak was on the verge of stepping down. “We are witnessing history unfold,” Obama said. “The people of Egypt are calling for change.”

“America will continue to do everything we can to support an orderly and genuine transition to democracy in Egypt,” he added.

For more information…  http://www.politico.com

First, if there was a buzzword fuzzy employed in the 2008 election, that got my goat, it was the word “Transformation” used by Senator Kerry in the context of describing President Obama’s then active candidacy for President.

So I suppose it’s only appropriate that I should be equally annoyed with Politico’s reported use of the word now.

As we know, when transformation occurs, it can mean there has only been a change in form or appearance, rather than the third larger meaning of change in character. Secondly, transformation is not necessarily good or better, and can be worse; that kind of valuation comes later.

I now hate this word and the generational mythology it encompasses. Gone are the days of the cartoon “Transformers” where change is heroic and the battle is bad versus good.

Second, when Politico reported above that they were quoting Obama in a “genuine transition to democracy”, I wondered about that pronouncement on President Mubarak’s government and his subsequent refusal to step down. In the past Mubarak has espoused democratic principles. At this moment in time, it would be pretty insensitive of the USA to state that his government is not in any way, democratic, even if there is a genuine need for change.

As it turns out, Politico was summarizing or editorializing or something; HERE is the press release from the WH. It’s much more nuanced and neutral.

Are Politico’s quoted statements in the press release video that I can’t load on dial-up? I don’t know.  However, they don’t sound like something HRC’s Dept. of State would have prepared or reviewed. It does seem like the DOS and the Prez would be coordinating closely on the subject of Egypt affairs. Even if it is time for change, words matter.

 

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On this one, I agree with the Prez. Pass the Disclose Act tomorrow, otherwise known as the “Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act, S.3628,(correction) see file “getdoc.cgi“! Don’t let this Supreme Court Decision stand. Corporations should not have personhood, or the right to donate money without disclosure to elections. It was bad enough last election WITH disclosure.

The White House Blog

President Obama on Citizens United: “Imagine the Power This Will Give Special Interests Over Politicians”

Posted by Jesse Lee on July 26, 2010 at 03:07 PM EDT

With a Senate vote tomorrow on legislation to undo some of the damage from the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, the President laid out the stakes in no uncertain terms:

Monday A vote to oppose these reforms is nothing less than a vote to allow corporate and special interest takeovers of our elections. It is damaging to our democracy. It is precisely what led a Republican President named Theodore Roosevelt to tackle this issue a century ago.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/07/26/president-obama-citizens-united-imagine-power-will-give-special-interests-over-polit

As pre-announced last month, Hayward’s head is going to be put on the plate for the BP Gulf debacle. If you will pardon the Cold War chuckle, they are sending him HERE in Siberia. Well not quite, the headquarters of TNK-BP was changed to the British Virgin Islands in 2006. However, if he takes the penitent’s job, I see no reason to believe that he will fail to visit the Irtyish River once or twice. TNK-BP announced in January they were aiming to double production. Hayward sounds like just the guy they need. Who needs a river anyway?

BP’s Hayward to Leave as CEO; Russia Job in Works

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=11249030

Look at that, China doen’t want to  be left out of the story either!

In counterpoint to our health plans, Japan’s keep producing this:

Japan women’s life expectancy world longest for 25th straight year

Posted : Mon, 26 Jul 2010 10:04:50 GMT

By : dpa

Tokyo – Japanese women held the world’s longest life expectancy for the 25th year in row in 2009, with their average life-span hitting a record high of 86.44 years, the government said Monday.

Japanese men’s life expectancy also posted a record high of 79.59 years, but they dropped to fifth in the world from fourth in 2008, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare said in a report.

The extension was attributed to improved treatment of major causes of death among Japanese – cancer, strokes, pneumonia and cardiac disorders.

“If an influenza epidemic does not break out, the life expectancy (of Japanese people) is likely to extend further,” a ministry official was quoted by Kyodo News as saying.

In the men’s list, Qatar topped the men’s list at 81.0 years, followed by Hong Kong at 79.8 years, and Iceland and Switzerland at 79.7 years.

As for women, Japan was followed by Hong Kong at 86.1 years, and France at 84.5 years.

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/news/336496,longest-25th-straight-year.html

As adjunct to a recent comment about the lack of alternatives in political parties over at the Confluence last night, this news arrives from the Denver Post.  Just in case you didn’t know, there is frustration among Repubs as well as Dems. Upsetting TeaPartiers, Tom Tancredo has decided to openly declare his right wing intentions by running for the American Constitution Party. Frankly I like this kind of transparency; Tancredo hasn’t changed, he’s just come out of the closet.

Tancredo will run for governor as American Constitution Party candidate

By Karen Crummy, Denver Post Staff Writer

POSTED: 07/26/2010 08:48:17 AM MDT

UPDATED: 07/26/2010 11:49:11 AM MDT

Tom Tancredo (Denver Post | 2008 file)

[Former Congressman Tom Tancredo is in the race for Colorado governor, he said this morning. “I will officially announce at noon that I will seek the nomination of the constitution party,” Tancredo told the Post….]

http://blogs.denverpost.com/thespot/2010/07/26/tancredo-will-run-for-governor-as-american-constitution-party-candidate/12382/

In case you don’ think they are serious, take a look a t the Wiki link and see how many positions they are seeking in the 2010 election. A few can become a voting block pretty quickly.

At the same time, some over at the Black Agenda are advocating ending the sheep stroll for the Democratic party and going Black, Red And Green.

Black American Politics in the 21st Century: Is It Time For A New Plan?

Wed, 07/14/2010 – 09:28 — Bruce A. Dixon

[We all love and respect our ancestor and freedom fighter Frederick Douglass. But in the 21st century, nobody is trying to imitate his haircut or wear his 19th century clothes. So why is 21st century black America still stuck with Frederick Douglass’s political strategy, 140 years later? And how’s that old stuff working out for us, anyway?…]

http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/black-american-politics-21st-century-it-time-new-plan

The Green Party has their own list, and want you to support their local candidates.

Keep a repugnant law on the books, just so the very arrogant and powerful can play God. Then, when the international community calls you on the carpet, blame them and the defenders of the victims.

We have our own problems with the death penalty here in the USA, but for this kind of torture even the Humane Society would have your ass in jail and the key thrown away.

Just who gets to throw these stones anyway? You gotta wonder what it does to the throwers as well. It’s government sponsored Milgrams, only with real consequences:

Attorney of Iranian Condemend(sic. Condemned) to Be Stoned Faces Arrest

Edward Yeranian | Cairo

26 July 2010

Iran has reportedly issued an arrest warrant for the attorney of Sakineh Ashtiani, whose stoning sentence has enraged many in the West.  Iranian authorities apparently detained the wife and brother-in-law of attorney Mohammed Mostafaei, when they were unable to locate him

http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/Attorney-of-Iranian-Condemend-to-Be-Stoned-Faces-Arrest-99249949.html

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Want to reform the Democratic Texas Two Step? changethecaucus.org has announced a meeting for 9-11 AM Friday, June 25, 2010, at the State Convention in Room 225 D-E, American Bank Center.

Check HERE for the full notice.

Several precincts have be able to get resolutions passed in their March conventions proposing changes to the rules, which in turn then made it through then the process approval at senatorial district, or county conventions.   They are to be considered next by the Rules Committee at the State Convention.

Change the Caucus Org needs volunteers to collect signatures on a petition, to persuade folks to get the party rules changed.

They are also looking for folks to run for election to the Rules Committee who are interested in changing the Party Rules.

If you have questions or you can help collect signatures on Friday or Saturday, please contact Scott Cobb by email at scottcobb99@gmail.com. You can also call Scott at 512 552 4743 or Linda Burgess at 512 529 7235.

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As we reported on February 28th, Change the Caucus.org was asking folks to take and present a resolution, ending the Texas Two Step, to their precinct conventions on March 2nd.  Yesterday they reported:

“Resolution to Reform the Texas Two Step System Passes Precinct 231 in SD 14 in Travis County”

They are asking anyone else who may have taken and presented the resolution to their precinct to inform them of the results.

In the mean time, Politico has tallied the election results for Governor HERE.

The election is now going to be (D) White against (R) Perry. Take a closer look at the map and note how many folks voted Republican versus Democrat.

Imagine the future.

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League of Women Voters Celebrates Milestone Birthday

Washington, D.C. – The League of Women Voters celebrates its 90th birthday on Sunday, February 14th. Known widely for its voter education efforts, this non-partisan, government watchdog group has been an American institution since 1920.

http://www.lwv.org/AM/Template.cfm?Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=14807

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For District 19 Fresno Area, Politico reports:

Radanovich retiring

[Rep. George Radanovich (R-Calif.) announced this afternoon that he won’t be seeking reelection and endorsed a Republican state legislator to succeed him in office….]

http://www.politico.com/blogs/scorecard/1209/Radanovich_retiring.html

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