“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”.
Have a great week!
Well, the day has finally come!
After a very long campaign season, the longest in my life, tomorrow, 11-08-2016, will be the day of reckoning.
If you are from the US, and haven’t voted yet, be sure to make time to cast your ballot tomorrow!
This is truly a historic election. If you miss the vote, what will you tell your kids and/or grand kids when they ask you, who did you vote for in 2016?
Well, with the completion of the Iowa caucus and the coming of the New Hampshire primary, the political season has officially begun in the US. We all say, the campaigns are getting longer and longer, but not getting better and better.
This image started as part of a decal, on a car somewhere, parked, in my path, my daily walks and travels. I changed the design, and made the colors bolder, and more dramatic. I was thinking of adding “Radio Free New York”, using special fonts, to the artwork, but for now, I will just leave it as is.
This is my sign, my shield, to guard against the two party system and all of its propaganda. I have no faith in the two party system and want to transition to a multiple party system (by changing the rules) or a system of no parties. For me the two parties echo the last line of the Matthew Arnold poem, Dover Beach, “Where ignorant armies clash by night”.
With that said, periodically I may write a very short piece on where the election stands and what I think of the situation. I will use this insignia as my calling card!
Vote, 2014, My Tuesday Reminder!
One week and counting, don’t forget!
This election is probably more important than you think.
The Supreme Court could be at stake and remember, these appointments are for a lifetime.
Yes, a lifetime.
I’ll see you at the polling stations next Tuesday!
Important elections are coming up in the US, 2014.
Your vote is only one voice, true, but when joined, with other voices, it can be heard around the world.
Remember, if your one vote is not that important, why are some spending so much money to try to suppress it one way or another, or why are some trying to persuade you to just stay home?
Have a great Tuesday!
THE DUOPOLY & THE COLD WAR AND MILLENNIAL GENERATIONS
A Brief Political Tract #1
Contemporary Corporations and Governments are virtual monopolies, i.e. monopoly capitalism, and monopoly socialism. Individuals in unions and individuals who are not unionized mediate the two. Our society is a three corned hat. It is not working properly right now because the corporate and governmental monopolies have too much control relative to the individuals in unions and individuals who are not in unions. That is a fundamental flaw of the two party system. We could use another political party but the duopoly will not like that. My generation, the cold war generation, really had to struggle with the duopoly to get it to end the cold war, bring peace, end the hyper-inflation, and create jobs to move the country and society forward. We tried to create a virtual third party by making sure, to the extent we could, that different parties of the duopoly would occupy the Presidential Office and the Congress. It worked, sort of. It solved many problems but left many unanswered. Ultimately the unanswered problems accumulated and brought the system down. That is where we are now, though the air of crisis has been forestalled. The millennials, i.e. the generation to follow the cold war generation, will have to figure out if they can make the duopoloy work, and move the country forward once again, or if they need a new party. Despite occasional eloquence, the two party system currently is little more than a high school spitball fight, sometimes spirited, sometimes desultory, rarely enlightening.
THROUGH RAIN, AND HAIL, AND SLEET AND SNOW!
With the USPS in the news these days, and several members of Congress attacking one of the best of America’s traditions, and the snowstorm in the NE, I could not help taking this photo and posting it.
Just before I was ready to hunker down, sipping my hot tea.
Out on the rounds, the mail gets through!
I think it sums up just about everything that needs to be summed up.
But not if Congressman Darrell Issa has his way.
And the question remains: Where is Darrell Issa?
Out working for you delivering mail?
Or collecting more campaign money for himself?
Think about it.
As a longtime voter and political junkie I have a theory that no democracy has only two parties. If you create a data map of the public based on the issues, it would take at least three parties (or three major groups of parties) to express the data map. It is my opinion that this is the reason why the two party system we have in the US is such a source of frustration for the American people.
This is a poll along those lines, to see if there are three parties. I have picked two of the seminal elections in the twentieth century and given all the choices possible among the two major parties and an “Other” choice if none major party combinations applies.
I can’t wait to see the results!
(Franklin Roosevelt won 4 times, more than any other candidate.
He defeated Herbert Hoover who was the incumbent in 1932.
Ronald Reagan won 2 times, both times by landslides.
He defeated Jimmy Carter who was the incumbent in 1980.)
VOTER FRAUD, POLLING, THE TWO PARTY SYSTEM, A FAIR PROPOSAL!
It seems that a good many states these days are launching into major efforts to change voter rules under the auspices of preventing voter fraud. Since my first vote was in 1968 I can truthfully say I have never encountered such an effort. True, local politicians of both major parties always hurl accusations at one another, and may try to tweak regulations here and there, but there has never been such a major, sustained effort, by one party, to curtail voting hours, and days. The normal tendency of American democracy has been to increase hours and days, to make voting more accessible.
With that said, it seems to me there is a fairly straightforward way to determine if indeed, widespread fraud does exist. Right now we take many polls throughout the country, in every jurisdiction in the land. It would seem if there were truly significant voter fraud, at a level implied by these major countrywide efforts to change voter laws, there should be noticeable differences between the polling data, and the actual election results, differences that would not be normally distributed, differences that would be skewed towards one party, presumably given the allegations, towards the Democratic Party.
Think of a sports season, for example. Clearly over a season there are going to be bad calls, bat at the end of the day they should be randomly distributed, not favoring any particular team on the whole; even though, one bad call could influence an important game and be heavily covered by the news media.
As of yet I have not heard of any such study, though it seems straightforward enough to do.
Has anyone any references on this type of effort?
I would love to conduct these surveys, but a study of this type would require substantial amounts of money, though probably less than the Republicans and Democrats spend on slamming each other, regularly.
However, before one engages in such massive efforts to obviously restrict voting, one should have statistical evidence that such fraud does exist. The parties could easily get together and appropriate money to determine if there was any discrepancy in the polling/voting patterns of our elections. It certainly would cost a lot less than many other things that we do spend money on, which do not help the general public.
And polling/voting analysis aside, if our country does think we need to change voting laws, it should be done on a more systematic, voter friendly basis. It should be done over a period of years, reaching out to the entire population to make sure everyone gets a chance to legally register and vote. The burden should be on the State to find potential voters. Voter restriction legislation should not be rammed through state governments to prevent voters from making their choices they are entitled to make.
This is what a truly confident Party system would do. Only a party afraid of the voter would try to restrict voters. Confident parties seek voters because they have a positive message.
Why is the Republican party, which through most of its history rightfully tried to extend the franchise, now trying to restrict the franchise? What has happened to the GOP? If it truly believes there is voter fraud, why doesn’t it commission the type of study I have recommended? Mitt Romney could probably fund that study by himself, and still have tons of millions of dollars left over!
For myself, I personally do not have a high regard for the two party system, and would like to either have everyone run as an independent, or change the rules to allow a multi party system. The two party system is too easily controlled by insiders, special interests, and activists, and since I am none of the above, it does not serve me as a lifelong voter.
There are many alternatives and I hope to explore these with you in the days ahead. I would also like to conduct some onsite polls of my own to find out more about the true political landscape of America.
It is clear that many, if not most Americans are very disheartened and frustrated with the two party system. Perhaps we need to explore fundamental changes in the structure of the two party system. Perhaps it is time for a real change in how we go about self government.
It seems to me, given the evidence presented, that these nationwide attempts at voter suppression, are a potential distortion of a real and overdue need for reform in our democratic process.
THE USPS IS THE BEST! GET LOST DARYL ISSA!
Part of the reason I write this blog is to set the record straight. I just find there are so many statements made by liberals and conservatives that just do not match the day to day reality of many lives, including mine.
Case in point: the USPS.
Now I know we all like to joke about the USPS, and I think most members take it good-naturedly. But the bottom line is I can’t think of any government agency or many private companies that even come close to doing the job they do, particularly for small businesses like mine.
You see for the last 10 or so years I have been selling books and works of art online, on Amazon and Ebay. I estimate I have sent out around 5,000 items through the USPS, mostly in the US, a few to Europe, Latin America, and Asia, and mostly books. And from all those deliveries only about 10 books actually were lost, or less than .002 of the total, which is pretty amazing.
Can you imagine if other sectors of our economy had that record? Like the financial sector for instance? Or the defense sector? If they were as effective as the USPS, our economy would be in much better shape than it is today.
Sadly ideologues like Darrell Issa want to eviscerate the post office. There is no economic reason for this, and it will certainly hurt the economy but it is part of his agenda. And some of the private carriers would like nothing better than to dismember the USPS so they could step in and monopolize the market.
Right now I can send an average weight book from NY to CA for around $3.00 postage. It takes awhile but it is cost effective. Without the USPS I would have to pay upwards of $8.00 for the same delivery. It might get there a day or two faster, but my customers would rather pay the lower price. In effect many small business like mine would have to close or sell a much smaller range of items.
The real reason behind the apparent financial difficulties the USPS reports is the strange way Congress forces the Postal Service to prefund retirement health benefits for 75 years in advance. No one else does this; obviously this burden was created to wound the Postal Service so private carriers could step in and establish postal monopolies.
The USPS takes packages rain or shine, from everyone. You do have to pay the postage, but you don’t need to open an account. Its workforce is diverse and it is the largest employer of veterns in the US, with the exception of the military. This is a notable record.
Now it seems Mayor DeBlasio wants to destroy the Central Park Horse Carriage business, and Representative Issa wants to destroy the USPS. Yet both these fine institutions have served America well and they deserve our support.
Is it any wonder why so many people do not trust politicians of either party?
MR ED TO REPRESENT NEW YORK CITY HORSES AGAINST MAYOR DEBLASIO!
Today Gray Palomino, a spokesperson for television reality show star Mr Ed, the talking horse, revealed that Mr Ed will serve as a spokesperson for the horses currently working in New York City, pulling carriages through Central Park. Mayor DeBlasio has recently announced he seeks to end the horse carriage tradition in New York City as soon as possible.
Mr Ed will be working pro bono and was inspired to action when rumors surfaced that tubes of glue were found in Gracie Mansion, now that the DeBlasio family has moved in.
The horse drawn carriage is a tradition that goes back over 150 years, to the 1850’s and began when Central Park opened. It is a favorite among tourists and of course, old time Hollywood movie directors.
That is why so many were shocked when the new mayor announced he was going to end this tradition, pronto. Many observers were taken aback by this decision particularly since this issue was not in the campaign . Of course closing the stables will add more to the unemployment rolls of New York and will add to the income inequality that already exists. Thus far the Mayor’s office has not given plans for where new work may be found.
Mr Ed is scheduled for a news conference at 10 AM tomorrow morning. In his off the cuff remarks given exclusively to our reporters, he mentioned “horse sense” a number of times. “He is even dumber than Wilbur” he snorted on more than one occasion. He also had a few choice words, and hoof kicks, about rumors of tubes of glue allegedly found in Gracie Mansion. Our reporters had to duck quickly when he lashed out with his hooves in anger.
Our most recent statistics indicate that as many as 100,000 horses are “put down” every year to due lack of work. Horses can be very expensive to maintain and their work pays for their keep. New York City horses have a host of benefits including a five week vacation, in the pasture, and they are very popular.
Mr Ed, who starred on TV for many years, is quite wealthy, and can take care of all expenses by himself. “It is time to give back to the community”, he said when asked why he was leaving his beautiful Hollywood stable to come to the cold city of New York in winter to do battle with the new Mayor over this issue.
Good luck Mr Ed, we wish you the best!
(A CAMEO OF MR ED IN HIS PROMO)
In the recent clash between some of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, and institutions objecting to some of its provisions, specifically the mandate to provide contraception, the choice seems to me to be pretty obvious, but among conservatives and progressives apparently not much is obvious these days.
If you are a bonafide religious organization, of course you should not be forced to do anything that compromises beliefs your organization may have held for thousands of years. That is what the First Amendment is all about. You should not be forced to sign what amounts to a loyalty oath to the US government. Religion precedes the US government by many thousands of years. The only debate could be whether or not you are a true religious organization or whether you just created one to avoid a law. That should be fairly easy to determine simply by the length of time your organization has been around.
Of course, corporations are creatures or entities of the state. They do not exist in nature, they are not part of natural law, they are relatively recent institutions that are created by governments. Individuals and religions have existed from the beginning of recorded time; corporations are only a few hundred years old.
It just seems to make sense, that if you form a corporation, and get the benefits from the state for the corporation, such as limited liability among other benefits, that you also are subject to laws passed by the state.
Individuals, and religions are not creatures of the state; corporations are.
Forcing a true religion (true in the sense that it has been around and not formed for some specific legal reason) to swear or sign some loyalty oath is an offensive, dangerous policy and should not withstand judicial review.
A corporation, however, is not formed for religious reasons. It is entirely a creation of the state, and receives benefits and protections from the state. It is truly absurd for a corporation to try to claim a religious exemption.