Showing posts with label Political. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Political. Show all posts

Friday, July 29, 2016

Trouble with Wikileaks emails from DNC: as far as I can tell, no "election manipulation" is actually in the emails

Anyone can go to the Wikileaks page and peruse through the DNC leaked emails.

You know what I've seen no one do? Look through the emails and talk about any actual evidence of election manipulation.  I've seen journalist use rather dicey innuendo regarding email content, but not much else.

Most of emails are just reports.  What conversations I've seen are just people expressing their opinions and/or making strategies in support of those opinions and desires (like how best to get certain points across to their constituents).  I've not seen anyone showing anything from the emails about rigging the primaries.

The party insiders are supposed to be neutral by their own party rules, but I don't really care about DNC or any party's rules.  I'm not a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Greenie, etc.  Even if I were, I still wouldn't care because I understand that people are people.  We Americans all have the rights to our own opinions, and the rights to pursue our own interests.  What would've suprized me?  Seeing every person in the DNC expressing complete neutrality regarding who is going to represent their party in the General Election.

The DNC rules aren't laws of the land. The only person that needs to be upset, maybe, is Sanders since he was working under one set of rules, and others where not.  In the end, it still just people expressing their opinions and trying to work towards goals they feel are best for their interests.  None of this has anything to do with me, and none of this is in anyway a "manipulation" of elections.

If someone can dig up something that shows election rigging, then we have a story, as well as an actual crime.  Maybe it is buried somewhere deep in the emails.   I've not see it.  I'd be interested to see if something like that pops up.   The fact that no journalist have dug it up suggests that it's just not there.

At this point, after looking through the emails myself, I'm forming the opinion that anyone that uses the terms "manipulate" or "rigged" in reference to the primary elections based on these emails is being dishonest or honestly doesn't know what they are talking about (which is still a form of dishonesty).

I'm also now of the opinion that Julian Assange, who has made several incendiary statements regarding the content of these emails, is full of nonsense.  What little good he did in the distant past is now been cancelled out by his modern behavior.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Article 1 section 2 paragraph 3 of the U.S. Constitution and why you aren't being represented!

Constitution of the United States
Here's what a source says about our House of Representatives, "In the original constitutional debates there were pro-federalist delegates proposing that a House member could represent up to 50,000 constituents, while more anti-federalist framers sought one House member up to 20,000 citizens.  The debate, therefore, was over the people wanting smaller Congressional Districts and not larger. In September 1787, they settled on the language, "The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every 30,000," thus limiting a Congressional District minimum size to 30,000 citizens. No Congressional District maximum size was included because the framers believed both the members of Congress and their constituents would inherently want Congressional Districts as small as the constitution would permit."1

Another source states, "The Constitution says that the total number of representatives shall not be greater than one for every 30,000 citizens. During the ratification debates over the Constitution, opponents argued that such a ratio was inadequate to properly represent the country. But even using the original ratio in the Constitution, the House of Representatives would have consisted of about 9,400 members after the 2000 census. Faced with the ever increasing size of the House, Congress voted in 1929 to limit the number of representatives to 435."2

Needless to say, our current Congress has not been keeping the size of Congressional Districts in-line with the intent of our Constitution's framers.  Today, Congressional Districts have 710,767 citizens. This is way over the original expectations of roughly 50,000.

Can you imagine a House of Representatives with 9400 members?  How would business get done?  Well, maybe that's the point.  There would be so many representatives, that votes would have to be made based on what the person feels is right for their 30,000 voters, rather than how much money they can collect from lobbyist for their next campaign. 9400 Representatives would make it a lot harder for lobbyist to sway the will of our elected officials.  It would make pork barrel projects almost nonexistent because districts would be too small to gather enough support for the most silly of funding requests.  It's a lot harder to buy off 9400 people than it is 435.  Particularly if each of those 9400 people have to go back to talk directly to just 30,000 people several times a year.  Representatives' support would really have to come from the local grassroots level.  They might even vote per their constituents desires!  Imagine that!

The one problem with a number of Representatives being so large is that bill introduction may become a bit unmanageable. If we keep to the current system of making huge bills with tons and tons of legal code, things would be unmanageable.  However, that doesn't necessarily need to be a roadblock. Maybe we shouldn't keep the current system of bill introduction!  Maybe our Representatives should really just submit succinct laws that apply to very specific things.  We would still need a huge bill from time to time to address social and other national issues, and the national budget, but we would pretty much end riders that plague the current system.  We can even use 21st Century technology to make such bills easier to process.  (Anyone hear of this Wonder called The Internet?)

More meaningful and useful laws might actually get passed because they wouldn't be tied up so frequently in political maneuverings.  Political Parties couldn't hold our government hostage with standoffs, because their members would be so easily replaced.  We would actually be able to hold our Representatives accountable!

Saturday, June 08, 2013

WP on MJ legalization; and the prohibition

The article Five myths about legalization of marijuana has a lot of interesting points about legalization of marijuana and what is likely to really happen.
When the United States’ 40-year-long war on marijuana ends, the country is not going to turn into a Cheech and Chong movie. It is, however, going to see the transfer of as much as 50 percent of cartel profits to the taxable economy.
I don't really agree with the tone for the conclusions about the 5th myth in the article regarding the politics of the matter. The Marijuana Prohibition (and prohibition on all drugs for that matter) is neither a liberal or conservative battle.  Many individuals from both camps have reasons to support the Drug Prohibition. And, many individuals from both camps have reasons to end it.

For me, these are reasons to end prohibition:
  • personal liberty
  • disproportionate application of the laws massive federal investment into the Drug War has not decreased drug addiction nor substantially affected overall use
  • expensive drug related battles (literally) that only make our enemies stronger and us weaker by the day
  • allows focus on treatment for those are prone to addiciton rather than turning them into career criminals
  • better use of local funds to help other areas of society and infrastructure
  • tax money from the regulation of drugs, etc.
These issues cross the political spectrum.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Expose of hate

Wow, it's the 21st Century, and we still have people using the same old tired arguments to justify beliefs that are only marginally covered in some ancient "holy" text.  These are the same arguments used by the Nazis to justify hatred of the Jews and other peoples in the early 20th Century, arguments used by Slave Owners to justify slavery in the 19th Century, and arguments used by racist to justify keeping the races separate during the mid-20th Century.  How are they using these same bigoted arguments now? attack homosexuals and gay marriage.  I ran into a person spewing this nonsense on a social website the other day.  Here's a brief rundown of the arguments with my opinions as replies (each one of these could be their own meme):

  • Societies that have embraced homosexuality have declined - (Comment: Really? Over-extended borders, reduced/squandered resources, foreign invasions, and heavy debt are all caused by homosexuality?)
  • Statistics show us that it's unhealthy to be homosexual - (Comment: What's really the point of this and how is this justification to deny equal protections under the law? It's risky crossing the street.  Should we stop equal access to education for those kids that happen to need to cross a street to get to school?)
  • God created and defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman - (Comment: Ah, here comes the bible-thumping!  Numerous scriptures were quoted at this point.  But, how many bible characters had multiple wives? A lot!  The bible even sets out rules on how to take captured women from military conquests home as wives.)
  • Homosexuals have a higher risk of mental illness - (Comment: Given the fact that homosexuality was classified as a mental illness up until the last part of the 20th Century, I would question any statistics linking mental illness to homosexuality.  But on that point, as more scientific facts are discovered, it is becoming increasing understood that most mental illnesses have a genetic factor, which means that being prone to mental illness is also something with which certain individuals are born.)
  • STDs, including HIV, higher among homosexuals - (Comment: Teen pregnancy is infinity higher among heterosexuals.  Coal miners have much higher risks of lung related diseases.  Umm, there's about a million other pointless and dubious statistics that can be pulled out of thin air.  All of this is completely unrelated to the fact that we all deserve equal treatment under the law. )
  • Societies that had a spread of Christianity had a decline in homosexuality - (Comment: No, homosexuals where just forced into hiding due to the same kind a bigotry being promoted in our time.  This is a kin to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's claim that there are no homosexuals in Iran.  Complete nonsense.)
  • The gay marriage discussion is about changing the religious definition of marriage - (Comment: Again, no.  This statement an attempt to re-frame the discussion to pretend that promoting gay marriage rights is an attack on one's own faith, as if gay marriage is somehow violating the rights of unassociated individuals.  This is disingenuous at best.  The gay marriage rights discussion is about equal protections under the law without regard for what beliefs one group of people have about another group of people.)
  • Marriage isn't a human right, but rather an honored institution - (Comment: Talk about grasping for straws!  This is a scorched-earth attempt to argue that marriage is just some sort of contract. Well, even with contracts, we are all entitled equal protection under the law.  In other words, we are all allowed to enter contracts freely.  So, not only does that argument contradict the earlier argument about God defining marriage, it actually makes the opposite point it is trying to make.  The point is, we must have equal protection under the law, regardless the circumstances!)
  • Gay couples wish to force their beliefs on corporations and the government to take advantage of benefit structures geared for traditional families. (Comment 1:  Yeah, again, equal protections under the law is the point.  Do we give corporations the right to deny benefits to other classes of families based on religious beliefs?  No, because that is supposedly illegal.  Comment 2: This statement is a hint about the right of the corporation to have a religious stand.  However, a corporation is an imaginary construct of the law.  The presuppositional argument is that imaginary things (like corporations) have rights that trump flesh and blood people.  Since this person seems to believe that  corporations (which are imaginary) have more rights than actual humans, then let's give other imaginary things rights too, like giving the Easter Bunny the right to vote!)
  • Married couples pay more taxes.  Gay marriage would benefit the government.  (Comment:  First, "oh the horror of it all!  Oh no, the government will benefit from treating people equally!"  Second, married couples pay less, the same or more tax based on their family situation.  Number of kids, owning a home as a marriage couple, and other factors actually significantly reduce tax liability for families.)
  • The point continues: What if our world economy crashes?  Labor unions may fall into foreclosure; employers may have to declare bankruptcy and then won't be able to afford the benefit structures that support gay marriage afterwards.  (Comment: Really?  Argument against equal protections for gays involves what-iffing about world wide catastrophes?  Wow!  First, the inclusion of labor unions (the reason we have a middle class in American) as "foreclosing" is down right silly, and a very backwards way of expressing one's wishful thinking.  I'm not sure how a union would fall into foreclosure, since unions are a free assembly of individuals for the purpose of collective bargaining.  The bureaucratic portion of a labor union may go bankrupt, but that doesn't mean the union would cease to exist. A free assembly of individuals certainly cannot be foreclosed upon, as they are actual living and breathing people, not property.  Second, collective bargaining is used by employers to provide benefits to their employees.  The more employees that are covered, the more economical the benefits.  Having gay couples included actually helps reduce costs, not increase them.  Third, the idea that gay marriage will worsen a world wide catastrophe is completely ludicrous.  Bankers and Wall Street will have far more to do with that than any other minority in our population.)
Much like the average fundamentalist propaganda brochures, the individual who made these points concluded their statements with a bunch of rhetorical questions that they believe they answered in their diatribe.  I reserved my sharpest criticism for my own blog here, but I didn't let these bigoted claims go unchallenged on that social forum, nor was I the only one.  Another Christian and others also chimed in and called out this individual for those statements. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Real Soldier vs. Fake Soldier

I am nearly literally sickened when I see a Christian preachers on TV, who are watched by hundreds of thousands if not millions of Americans, and who claim that Christians are being persecuted in America.  Here's what's really happening.  Just for he record, this has been reported equally by Christian sources.

But then, here's what other Christian sources claim is going on in the military.  

It's one step more ridiculous than the bully who forces you to hit yourself and asks "Why are you hitting yourself?"  This situation is the bully hitting you directly and saying "Stop hitting my fist with your face!"  Not only that, this story outrageously insults our armed forces by even using them as such an example in the first place!  Disgusting.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Freedom of Speech not an excuse to incite because we are offended

Protection of the speech that we find offensive is critical to protecting our right to speak. If we ban our opponent's right to speak because we find their words are offensive, then we open the door to someone banning our rights (not just the right to speak, but perhaps even the right to worship) for the same reasons.  Second, each of us as a fellow human control our own selves, and it is our responsible to not harm others. Words by themselves are irrelevent to our actual actions unless we are part of a conspiracy to act together to harm others (such as in the case of gangs that are ordered by their leaders to commit crimes). The only people who should be held accountable for the actions of killing another are those who did it and those who told them to do it. Being offended by the words of our opponents is no excuse for harming others.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Solyndra headquarters during weekday, just after bankruptcy announcement

This video is of the Solyndra headquarters in Fremont, California just days after they announced that they are going bankrupt. There's three large buildings around two massive properties.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

No on 20 and Yes on 27 (my personal experience)

As someone who has gone through the applicant process for the Prop 11 Citizens Redistricting Commission, I can say from personal experience that the process is very bizarre. The Applicant Review Panel, which selected the applicants, is not following the constitutional requirements in how they have selected the applicants. They have extended deadlines in direct violation of the Prop 11.

My personal experience have given me the impression that the Panel didn't seem to understand how to assess the skills of average Californians when picking applicants. They have selected a body 60 individuals, many of whom might be described as academic elitists and career bureaucrats. To illustrate this point, the body of 60 applicants (in the current pool that will eventually be narrowed down to 14) is heavily favored towards those who are in the highest tax brackets, and almost all have higher education degrees. Less than 30% of Californians have such degrees and far less have such incomes, yet the current applicant pool almost entirely of consists of college grads, including a high number of PhD's.

It doesn't seem like the current pool of applicants represent the average Californian. This is not in the spirit of Prop 11. I don't believe this is what Californians expected when they voted for Prop 11. Additionally, the semi-final random selection process (random drawing for the first 8 of the eventual 14 individuals) will not be guaranteeing compliance with Prop 11 either!

Prop 11 and Prop 20 might be good in principle, but have just turned out to be yet another Sacramento mess, in my opinion. There has got to be better solutions out there. We are better off not having Prop 11 or 20 right now. Seeing the mess from the inside has prompted me say No on Prop 20 and Yes on Prop 27 this year.