Periodic Posts

Posts made periodically by a particular author. The periodicity may be totally random.


The America Anti-Corruption Act

Represent.Us is pushing The America Anti-Corruption Act.

End Corruption in America: Stop Political Bribery, End Secret Money, & Give Voters a Stronger Voice

Here are the sections of the act.

Stop political bribery

  • Make it illegal for politicians to take money from lobbyists.
  • Ban lobbyist bundling.
  • Close the revolving door.

End Secret Money

  • Mandate full transparency of all political money.

Give Voters a Stronger Voice

  • Change how elections are funded.
  • Prevent politicians from fundraising during working hours.
  • Empower small donors over traditional PACs.

Enforce the Rules

  • Crack down on super PACs.
  • Eliminate lobbyist loopholes.
  • Strengthen anti-corruption enforcement.

Brexit and the New Global Rebellion

Common Dreams has the article Brexit and the New Global Rebellion.

Things are changing. A major crack has appeared in the edifice of globalization, and the neoliberal order that has dominated the world’s economy since the end of World War II is now in danger.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, by any means. But poisonous weeds are just as likely as green shoots to grow up through those cracks. To paraphrase John F. Kennedy: Those who make constructive evolution impossible may be making destructive devolution inevitable.

One of my complaints about the way that our country has handled globalization through trade deals like NAFTA and TPP is that the way they are being written gives a good idea a bad reputation.  This article gives a great explanation of what harm can come from giving a good idea a bad reputation.  Giving a good idea a bad reputation may be as big a crime against humanity as what the trade deals themselves do to our people.


So, you want to fix corruption?

Represent.US has the article and sign-up page So, you want to fix corruption? Here’s how you can help.

This plan sounds so plausible, that I am sure it would gain even more support than it has all ready received if more people knew about it.  It is action that we can take on a local level that will ripple up to the national government.

First we start out with an explanation that Corruption is Legal in America.

According to the above video, the next step is How to Fix America’s Corrupt Political System.


Petition Bernie to Run Independently, Build New Party   Recently updated !

Movement For Bernie has the Petition Bernie to Run Independently, Build New Party. They have several answers to objections that might be raised.  I wanted to record this one on this blog.

A New Party for the 99%

There is another danger if Bernie drops out to back Hillary. It would leave Trump, Cruz, or other right-wing Republicans a free hand to monopolize the growing anti-establishment anger, while most of the left is trapped behind Clinton, the crowning symbol of establishment, dynastic, Wall Street politics. Could the far-right even dream up a better scenario to build their forces? While Trump might not win the election, support for hard-right populist politics will grow if there no fighting left alternative offered.

Meanwhile, the confidence and energy our youthful, working-class political revolution will turn into demoralization and disorganization if the movement is corralled into Clinton’s Wall Street funded campaign – the exact opposite of a political revolution!

The stakes are too high to let this moment slip through our fingers. Capitalism is plunging humanity into a social and ecological catastrophe. Bernie’s campaign shows a viable fightback is possible. What’s missing is a strategy to sustain and grow our movement. Now is the time for bold action to build a fighting, working class political alternative – a party for the millions, not the millionaires.

Can you imagine what would happen if the Republican Party became the face of the revolution?


Racial Injustice and Economic Inequality

I am reading Martin Luther King Jr.’s book. Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (King Legacy).

While there must be a continued emphasis on the need for blacks to pool their economic resources and withdraw consumer support from discriminating firms, we must not be oblivious to the fact that the larger economic problems confronting the Negro community will only be solved by federal programs involving billions of dollars. One unfortunate thing about Black Power is that it gives priority to race precisely at a time when the impact of automation and other forces have made the economic question fundamental for blacks and whites alike. In this context a slogan “Power for Poor People” would be much more appropriate than the slogan “Black Power.”

I think that what MLK Jr. is  saying here is that Bernie Sanders’ emphasis on class warfare and income inequality deserves the emphasis Sanders’ give it.  This in no way diminishes the need to fight racial injustice.  In fact, it is one, and I emphasize “one”, way to fight racial injustice.

In reading this section of the book, there was a powerful description of the psychological warfare prescription for slave owners to use to subjugate their slaves. While it was startling how someone could actually write this in a book for slave owners, and startling to read just what was perpetrated against the slaves, it is also startling to realize that these very techniques are now being deployed in class warfare being waged against non-wealthy people of all colors.


Enjoy a video of Boston Dynamics’ new robot doing chores and slipping on banana peels

Tech Crunch has the article Enjoy a video of Boston Dynamics’ new robot doing chores and slipping on banana peels.

Boston Dynamics, the company behind some of the most impressively terrifying and terrifyingly impressive robots of the past decade, is demonstrating its softer side with a video showcasing the Alphabet-owned [Google – ed.] firm’s latest creation.

 

How is this political, you ask? Glad you did.

Do you think traditional economic policy will be able to keep us all employed and earning enough to live on? If you pick a Presidential candidate who only thinks of the practical and today’s possible, then we are sunk.

How about listening to Bernie Sanders who asks us all to think big? Certainly the people designing these robots are not stuck thinking “inside the box”.

When “leaders” want to take us to war and cannot even think of the consequences that will turn around and bite us 6 months from now, how good do you think they are at looking into our future with robots?

Will the voters be any better at looking down the road and seeing the consequences of our decisions made today? How smart are the super-delegates? Can they see past their noses, or their outstretched, bribery seeking hands?


Curbing Monopolies Promotes Growth, Lowers Inequality

Naked Capitalism has the article Curbing Monopolies Promotes Growth, Lowers Inequality.

Classical economists depicted various forms of rent-seeking, such as monopolies, cartels, and other forms of collusion, as destructive and thus needed to be constrained. This study provides more support for that long-standing view by looking at economic effects more broadly than other studies have. It also finds that intervention reduces inequality.

For a long time I have been decrying the lack of enforcement of our anti-trust laws. I am glad to see some evidence that this lack of enforcement has even wider implications than I had assumed.

For a healthy economy, the government has to start doing its job again.  Contrary to what Bill Clinton said, the era of big government needs to return. If you elect Hillary Clinton and she puts Bill in charge of economic recovery, we will have a disaster.   I am trying to warn people about an impending train wreck, but few are listening, and fewer are doing anything about it.


Why Did 51 American State Department Officials ‘Dissent’ Against Obama and Call for Bombing Syria?

Naked Capitalism has the article Why Did 51 American State Department Officials ‘Dissent’ Against Obama and Call for Bombing Syria?

This is an explanation of exactly what is so dangerous about a Clinton presidency. If you don’t read at least part of this article, then you will be missing one of the strongest reasons why I will never vote for Hillary Clinton. This is also the reason I was so disgusted with Obama when he chose her for Secretary of State. Thank goodness he was able to resist some of her calls to war, and what a shame it was that he could not resist others.

Even Donald Trump might not be as dangerous as Clinton, at least in Foreign Policy.  He has at least stated a propensity to keep us out of situations we have no business interfering in.


Bev Harris – Hacking Democracy – Full Length (A Must See)

YouTube has the video of the HBO movie Hacking Democracy.

This is the story of Bev Harris and her organization Black Box Voting (http://www.blackboxvoting.org). She is a true American hero and a good example of what ALL Americans should be doing to ensure that our rights and liberties are protected against the elitist and special interest’s agenda!

 

I defy you to watch this movie and then tell me you are tired of hearing about the possibility of there being election fraud. Just from looking at the machine that sucks in my ballot here in Sturbridge, I would guess that we use the Diebold system. I have never attended the public sessions where the Town Clerk verifies that the machines are working. Before seeing this movie, I would not have known what questions to ask. Now I know that the issue is in the memory card that is put into the machine. If it is an honest memory card, then the machine will pass with flying colors. If the memory card has been tampered, there is nothing that the Town Clerk or the public would be able to do to detect the tampering, given the tools that Diebold provides.

The election monitoring system that I have outlined on my blog “Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections (Full Length)” could detect this kind of fraud.

My vote checking system does not depend on access to the secret Diebold software. It does not depend on access to the memory cards. My system would be relatively easy to implement using existing computer technology and software. What is the chance that something like what I have described, a system that is not patented, nor is it copyrighted, nor is it claimed to be trade secret, will ever see the light of day?

There should be a law that only open source software may be used in the election process. It should be illegal to use trade secret software to process ballots. That alone, without even going into the details of specifying the levels of required security, would make a huge difference.


Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections (Full Length)

YouTube has the video Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections (Full Length).

UNCOUNTED is an explosive new documentary that shows how the election fraud that changed the outcome of the 2004 election led to even greater fraud in 2006 – and now looms as an unbridled threat to the outcome of the 2008 election. This controversial feature length film by Emmy award-winning director David Earnhardt examines in factual, logical, and yet startling terms how easy it is to change election outcomes and undermine election integrity across the U.S. Noted computer programmers, statisticians, journalists, and experienced election officials provide the irrefutable proof.

 

This is an issue far more serious than Citizens United.  Without knowing about this video, I wrote a blog post in 2012 touching on this issue that is addressed at 46:16 in the above video.  The previous post was Making Electronic Voting Transparent.  My post covers an important ingredient left out by Athan Gibbs’ invention that is mentioned in the previous video starting at 46:16.  Athan Gibbs’ appearance in the video demonstrates the hardware that would be all that was needed to implement what I described.

My contribution to Athan Gibbs’ idea is to make the results verifiable online by any person who cares to check his or her vote and to check the vote totals.  I didn’t mention in my previous blog post, that the entire election result database should be made easily available, so that people can verify the published vote count.  Individuals can verify the correctness of their own vote.  The combination of verifying the vote totals and verifying individual votes would make it nearly impossible to commit fraud at any point in the system and have it go undetected.

It was a Facebook comment that led me to this video. Thanks to Ellen Cook Crowfoot for posting this.