Vote VIII – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

09.12.2020

Vote VIII

There are fifty-two days until election day, keep it cool and we will get through this together.

What do you say to people who try to tell you that Donald Trump is doing a good job, that they think he has good policies, and they believe we are better off now than we were four years ago?

Ask them to get specific; don’t let them off the hook.

Ask them about the response to the pandemic, ask them about his continuous and persistent misinformation campaign. Ask them how they feel about the fact that the United States of America has 4.25% of the global population but 25% of deaths due to coronavirus.

If Donald Trump would have taken real and decisive action, if he would have trusted the experts in his own administration instead of “playing it down” because he “likes to play it down,” and is still playing it down 1,000 people a day would not be dying from this virus.

Yesterday in Canada no one dies from the coronavirus.

Think about it. Ask that erstwhile Trump supporter to think about it.

Donald Trump, who is the fear-monger-in-chief said he “played it down,” because he didn’t want to create a panic. He withheld information from the American people that could have saved lives because he didn’t want to create a panic.

Who did he think would panic?

Not me, not almost everyone I know. We knew he was full of sh*t all along. We did what the scientists and our doctors were telling us to do: wear a mask, stay home keep distant.

No one panicked, but millions of Americans, tens of millions of Trump supporters ignored that advice, and now the economy is in tatters and the do nothing republicans in the senate and the White House are disinclined to do anything about it.

Ask whoever it is that thinks Donald Trump has good policies and is doing a good job, what is good about that.

Don’t let them off the hook, make them explain themselves, and don’t let them tell you that they are happy with him for appointing conservative judges to the federal bench.

RIP Chadwick Boseman – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

08.29.2020

 

RIP Chadwick Boseman

 

I am a comic book fan.

 

I was in the Marvel camp, and the Avengers were my crew.

 

The Black Panther was an Avenger, but he was not in the regular part of the line-up. He came around when the team was in trouble, he would help them get out of jam.

 

He was a super-soldier, like Captain America, only different he powers came from another source, something ancient, something spiritual, something magic and African. He seemed to be the equal of Captain America in nearly every way, and Chadwick Boseman personified him perfectly.

 

I woke to the news of Mr. Boseman’s passing and it made me really sad.

 

Watching the news I saw a number of tributes to him and the sadness has not passed, it sticks around because Mr. Boseman did something unique through his portrayal of the Black Panther, something he did not achieve in his portrayal of Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall and James Brown; in the persona of the Black Panther he became a living icon.

 

He appeared in four Marvel movies as T’Challa, first as prince then as king of the mythical African country of Wakanda. The movie, Black Panther became the first superhero movie to be nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards, it was nominated for a total of seven, and won three.

 

Chadwick Boseman’s portrayal of T’Challa was the reason (as far as I am concerned).

 

One of his co-stars referred to him as regal, and I absolutely agree. He was positively regal, he walked like a king, not like the head of some sick old dynasty, but as a leader a person of substance, confidence and compassion.

 

His work generated the movement hashtag Wakanda Forever, he inspired people, and he is already missed.

 

He was a born and raised in South Carolina, a graduate of Howard University, a husband and a hero.

 

Wakanda Forever!  

 

OIP

Vote VI – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

08.22.2020

 

Vote     VI

 

 

The stage is set on the race is on, there are seventy-three days to go until the general election.

 

It has been two days since the Democratic National Convention concluded, having played out remotely due to the material necessities imposed by the global pandemic, COVID-19.

 

Many media analysts have said that the web based teleconference style of the presentations played well with the viewer, the fact that there was no-big-stage, the absence of crowds, the lack of cheering and the endless prattle of the pundits allowed for a more conversational presentation of the case the Democratic Party is making for their candidates and their platform, for our candidates and our platform, then would have been possible in the standard format.

 

The speeches that were given were somber yet hopeful, personal and hard hitting, they successfully portrayed Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the thoughtful intelligent human beings that they are…if you believe it.

 

Unfortunately, the self-styled “progressive” left, which I refer to as the fundamentalist-wing of the democratic party, they have taken no time at all to disparage the Biden/Harris ticket as not representing their interests, not in touch with the base (whatever that means).

 

They are unhappy that the spotlight has moved away from them, unhappy that the PARTY writ large is putting up the big tent in the hope of turning out a landslide victory against Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and the rest of the treasonous traitors that make up the Republican Party.

 

All I can say is, STOP IT!

 

Stop talking about turning against Joe Biden the day after he becomes the President Elect, stop complaining about the former republicans, and Never-Trumpers who spoke at the DNC. Stop making the swing voters, whether they are traditional swing voters, or people who are going to shift party for the first, stop making them feel uncomfortable, they have come to the dance, let them in.

 

For the first time in their lives they are talking with us, with you, this is an opportunity for dialogue…take it.

 

Say your piece and listen, find common ground and hold it.

 

It is impossible to know what will happen seventy-three days from now, we may wake to find ourselves rejoicing, we may wake in a state of anxiety, we my wake to a state of despair, whatever it is that we are going to face lets face it together, with purpose and resolve.

 

Let me be clear…Your vote is so important, we need everyone to vote, to vote early, to ensure that your vote is counted, to stir your friends and family, to get them to the poles as well.

 

It is equally as important that everyday between now and then you spread the same message of hope and strength through unity of purpose.

 

Check yourself, and check those around you. Check the self-styled “progressives” if they won’t come along, tell them to keep quiet, the real change-agents are working now.

 

It is time to lead or follow, or get the hell out of the way.

 

 

Vote V – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

08.15.2020

 

Vote     V

 

Danger, danger our democracy and all of its promise is in danger.

 

One of our fellow citizens is dying from the COVID-19 every minute and a half.

 

Over five million people have been infected, by the end of the month 175,000 will have died.

 

The tyrant Donald Trump is utterly incapable of grasping the severity of it, or imagining a solution, instead of leading he spends his weekends on the gold course.

 

The orange menace is actively promoting policies that will make it worse.

 

It didn’t have to be this way, it doesn’t have to stay this way, but it will only get worse if we don’t exercise our vote.

 

Vote!

 

Vote early, request your absentee ballot now. Go to the website of your secretary of state learn what the procedure is, check your registration and vote.

 

Vote that criminal out of office. Do not wait.

 

If your state allows you to get a ballot early and deliver it by hand to a drop box, do it.

 

Donald Trump and his minion, his newly appointed Post Master General are doing everything they can to interfere with the orderly delivery of the mail. The tyrant has stated his intention behind these actions, he wants to depress the vote against him.

 

Do not let him win!

 

If the republicans in the House and Senate are not going to stand up to put an end to this madness, we must vote them out of office too.

 

Vote them all out, let them know that their time is up, vote them out and send them home.

 

The time to act is now.

Vote IV – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

08.08.2020

 

Vote     IV

 

So Donald Trump is going to sign executive orders today pretending to address the economic woes the working class who cannot work due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

 

Over the past weeks he himself has not participated in the negotiations with Congress. His Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows and the Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin were said to be “not on the same page.

 

The House of Representatives passed their bill months ago, but the republican majority in the Senate is said to not want to do anything at all to help the people by extending unemployment benefits, providing another stimulus to each citizen, providing aid to local governments, shoring up the post office and other critical services.

 

Republicans want to do nothing. Republican mayors, governors, representatives and senators and the orange menace himself. They want to do nothing.

 

They want to pretend like the virus will just disappear, they want to send workers into unsafe work environments, children into unsafe schools, they do not want to test and do contact tracing, they only seem interested in telling the American people lies.

 

Today Trump reveals the bad faith in which he has had his team “negotiating” on the relief package. He is signing an order which he has no lawful authority to sign, spending money that only the congress can allocate, in order to claim that he himself “came through” for the people.

 

It will not work. We cannot cede the power of the purse to the executive simply because the executive and his cronies in the Senate do not want to negotiate.

 

They have to strike a deal.

 

We cannot let this happen. It is another assault on the constitution and the lives of the American people are hanging in the balance.

 

Trump has created the impasse so he can make his false move strictly for political purposes, he thinks it will help him, we must ensure that it damns him, and every single one of the republican lackeys that are complicit in this fraud.

 

Vote, get your absentee ballot and vote. Vote as early as possible. Vote in overwhelming numbers. Check on your friends and family, make sure that everyone votes.

 

Vote as if the Republic is at stake, freedom and Democracy are on the line. The rule of law hangs in the balance.

 

Vote that little tyrant out of office.

Vote III – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

08.01.2020

 

Vote     III

 

The talk continues about how Donald Trump will refuse to concede the presidency when he loses the election on November 3rd. In the past week he became the first president ever to suggest that we delay the election.

 

He is spreading lies about the process of mail in voting, fear mongering and worse. His own attorney general echoed Donald Trump’s sentiments in his testimony before congress without offering any proof, or even the rudiments of an actual argument support by statistics of any kind.

 

Donald Trump and his minions are simply making assertions, counterfactual statements, lies to make their point.

 

Donald Trump cannot delay the election, do not follow the bright shiny object or be distracted by that prospect. Focus on what is really happening: voter disinformation, voter intimidation, voter suppression, and other malfeasance.

 

The most important thing we can do is vote, everyone must vote!

 

Do not forget to vote. Do not forget to register. Do not forget to vote.

 

Double check your registration status and vote.

 

If you are voting by mail then get your ballot early, mail it back early or drop it off at a collection center in person.

 

Check and double check the date you write on your ballot, and your signature. If the Secretary of State in the state where you live sends you any correspondence, read it, follow up on it, and be on the look out for bogus mailings coming from supposed election officer who do not belong to a recognizable public office.

 

It had been discovered that Donald Trump and the Trump Administration are interfering with the United States Post Office, a newly appointed Post Master General, a trump supporter and campaign contributor just took office and has implemented measures to slow down the mail.

 

They do not want the Post Office to facilitate Trump’s electoral defeat.

 

This cannot stand. Postal employees should refuse to cooperate with these measures. Do your patriotic duty and process the mail.

 

Do more, prepare yourself with knowledge; we need a massive public education campaign, we need a crash course in civics. There is an electoral process that must play out, it is different from state to state, but every citizen should take the time to become familiar with the rules, the laws that govern your voting rights in each and every local.

 

Let’s not be confused, Donald Trump will lose the popular vote, and he will lose in the electoral college. Nevertheless, between now and then there will be a massive disinformation campaign trying to scare you into not voting, trying to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter, or that your vote is illegitimate. The orange tyrant and his republican cronies will attempt to invalidate your vote; we cannot let them

 

Wherever republicans have the authority they will purge voter roles, close polling stations, make it more difficult to vote; our duty is to be undeterred, to insist on our rights, to cast our votes, and to have our votes counted.

 

Familiarize yourself with the laws that govern voting where you cast your vote.

 

Over the last two week we discussed the voting rights act of 1965, which was designed to enforce the rights guaranteed in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and the laws that govern elections at the federal level.

 

Last week we discussed the statutes that govern voting in my home state of Minnesota.

 

In the weeks leading up to the election we will look at the statutes that govern voting in key battleground States.

 

Knowledge is power, arm yourself with it.

 

Hold your government accountable!

Vote II – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

07.25.2020

 

Vote     II

 

The talk continues about how Donald Trump will refuse to concede the presidency when he loses the election on November 3rd.

 

People are talking about the unconstitutional deployment of federal agents in American cities, like Portland and Seattle, Kansas City and Chicago, and the threat coming from the orange menace that he will send tens of thousands of heavily armed, agents into other cities without insignia, without unique identifiers without a lawful mandate to police those cities as a preemptive move in support of his anticipated refusal to relinquish power.

 

This cannot stand.

 

The courts must intervene, and though a federal court in Oregon has dismissed the lawsuit filed their on the erroneous basis that the city attorney and the State’s Attorney General did not have standing, action in the courts must continue, and those federal agents must be arrested.

 

More importantly, everyone must vote!

 

Do not forget to vote. Do not forget to register. Do not forget to vote.

 

Double check your registration status and vote.

 

Do more, prepare yourself with knowledge; we need a massive public education campaign, we need a crash course in civics. There is an electoral process that must play out, it is different from state to state, but every citizen should take the time to become familiar with the rules, the laws that govern your voting rights in each and every local.

 

Let’s not be confused, Donald Trump will lose the popular vote, and he will lose in the electoral college. Nevertheless, between now and then there will be a massive disinformation campaign trying to scare you into not voting, trying to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter, or that your vote is illegitimate. The orange tyrant and his republican cronies will attempt to invalidate your vote; we cannot let them

 

Wherever republicans have the authority they will purge voter roles, close polling stations, make it more difficult to vote; our duty is to be undeterred, to insist on our rights, to cast our votes, and to have our votes counted.

 

Familiarize yourself with the laws that govern voting where you cast your vote.

 

Last week we discussed the voting rights act of 1965, which was designed to enforce the rights guaranteed in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and the laws that govern elections at the federal level.

 

This week lets discuss the statutes that govern voting in my home state of Minnesota.

 

In the weeks leading up to the election we will look at the statutes that govern voting in key battleground States.

 

Knowledge is power, arm yourself with it.

 

In Minnesota you can find information on voting, the voting process and your voter rights at the Secretary of State website: https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/

 

The Secretary of State in Minnesota is Steve Simon. At the web address above you can register to vote online, request an absentee ballot online, you can find out where you go to vote if you plan to vote in person based on your address, and what the hours of your polling station will be.

 

You can view a sample ballot, view candidate filings, and volunteer to get involved, participate in non-partisan voter education and even become an election judge. IN addition you can stay up to date on how COVID-19 is impacting the voting process.

 

Participate, protect both your right to vote and the rights of your neighbors.

 

On this Minnesota Secretary of State website you can learn all you need to know about how elections are managed in Minnesota: https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/how-elections-work/

 

In Minnesota, the laws governing presidential elections are clear, nevertheless it may be up to the citizenry to keep the election process in good order. It is being reported the Republican National Committee is prepared to spend tens of millions of dollars to challenge election results across the country. Their planned obfuscation may result in your vote being invalidated, or your neighbors.

 

We cannot let this happen.

 

Below is the process as articulated on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website for electing a president. Memorize the applicable statutes, know the process, ensure that it is adhered to.

 

The state canvassing board meets on the third Tuesday after the state general election. (Minnesota Statutes 204C.33) At that meeting the board will open and canvass the returns made to the secretary of state for presidential electors and alternates, prepare a statement of the number of votes cast for the persons receiving votes for these offices, and declare the person or persons receiving the highest number of votes for each office duly elected. (Minnesota Statutes 208.05)

 

“The governor shall transmit to each person declared elected a Certificate of Election, signed by the governor, sealed with the state seal and countersigned by the secretary of state.” (Minnesota Statutes 208.05)

 

On the day before the day fixed by congress for the electors to vote for president and vice president the electors shall notify the governor that they are at the state capitol and ready to fulfill their duties as electors at the proper time.  The governor shall deliver a certificate of the names of all the electors to the electors present. (Minnesota Statutes 208.06) On the day fixed by congress to vote for President and Vice President the electors shall meet at 12:00 PM in the executive chamber of the state capitol and shall perform all the duties imposed upon them as electors by the constitution and laws of the United States and the state of Minnesota. As a condition of having been chosen under the name of the party of a presidential and vice presidential candidate the electors are obligated to vote for those candidates. (Minnesota Statutes 208.46) The day fixed by congress for the electors to vote is the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. (3 U.S.C. 1)

 

This process must be fulfilled, republican interference notwithstanding.

 

Hold your government accountable!

Vote – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

07.18.2020

 

Vote

 

I am starting to hear a lot of talk about Donald Trump refusing to concede the presidency when he loses the election on November 3rd.

 

Do not forget to vote. Do not forget to register. Do not forget to vote.

 

Double check your registration status and vote.

 

We have to do more than that, we need a massive public education campaign, civics for all. There is process that has to play out, it is different from state to state, but every citizen should take the time to become familiar with the rules, the laws that govern your voting rights in each and every local.

 

Let’s not be confused, Donald Trump will lose the popular vote, and he will lose in the electoral college, and between now and then there will be a massive disinformation campaign trying to scare you into not voting, trying to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter.

 

Wherever republicans have the authority they will purge voter roles, close polling stations, make it more difficult to vote, our duty is to be undeterred, to insist on our rights, to cast our votes, and to have our votes counted.

 

Familiarize yourself with the voting rights act of 1965 which was designed to enforce the rights guaranteed in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

 

The Voting Rights Act was amended four times: 1970, 1975, 1982 and 1992, then it was reauthorized in 2006.

 

In 2013, in the case Shelby County v. Holder, the United States Supreme Court gutted key provisions of section five of the voting rights act that protected the rights of citizens from the malign intentions of states with a history of voter disenfranchisement.

 

Learn this history, and learn this:

 

The procedure for a presidential election is established in the Twelfth Amendment.

 

The president and vice president are elected by the electoral college. Each state has different rules for how electors are appointed and different rules for how an electoral must handle their vote. The Supreme Court recently upheld the notion that a State can bind an elector to vote in a particular way.

 

The Twelfth Amendment stipulates that each elector must cast distinct votes for president and vice president. Electors may not vote for presidential and vice-presidential candidates who both reside in the elector’s state—at least one of them must be an inhabitant of another state.

 

If no candidate for president has a majority of the total votes, the House of Representatives, voting by states, chooses the president. The Twelfth Amendment requires the House to choose from the three highest receivers of electoral votes.

 

The Twelfth Amendment requires a person to receive a majority of the electoral votes for vice president for that person to be elected vice president by the Electoral College. If no candidate for vice president has a majority of the total votes, the Senate, with each senator having one vote, chooses the vice president.

 

The procedure for counting the votes of the electors is as follows:

 

After the nationwide presidential election, which takes place the Tuesday after the first Monday of November, each state counts its popular votes according to that state’s laws to designate presidential electors. Each state’s electors meet in their respective state capital on the first Monday after the second Wednesday of December to cast their votes. The results are counted by Congress, where they are tabulated in the first week of January before a joint meeting of the Senate and House of Representatives, presided over by the vice president, acting as president of the Senate. If a majority of votes are not cast for a candidate, the House turns itself into a presidential election session, where one vote is assigned to each of the fifty states. The elected president and vice president are inaugurated on January 20.

 

There is no way to deviate from this process.

 

Study the law and learn what rules apply to the vote and the counting of votes and the appointment of electors in your state.

 

If Donald Trump tries to steal the election or attempts to ignore the Constitution he will prove once and for all what he is, and enemy of the republic, we will demand that the law be upheld and drag him before the bar of justice.

 

Transform VII – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

07.11.2020

 

Transform   VII

 

Former Vice President Joe Biden announced a seven hundred-billion-dollar infrastructure package as a part of his presidential platform.

 

This is a good idea, and we need to get behind it.

 

America needs a multi generation infrastructure package that creates jobs in every community across America, and all of our territories.

 

And while we are at it our territories need to become states: Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Samoa, Micronesia etc…wherever our flag flies the people living under should be citizens, and those citizens should be fully enfranchised members of the country with full representation in congress.

 

America needs this transformation.

 

We need to rebuild our highways, roads and bridges; airports, seaports and spaceports; highspeed rail, commuter rail and local rail.

 

We need this, not only to bring our dilapidated country into the future, we need it for the jobs it will create and the community that will come from those jobs.

 

We need to work on this together and we need a lot more if America is going to transform itself into a just society, one that is capable of living up to its promise.

 

We need a guarantee of equal justice before the law.

 

We need universal health care, and universal education.

 

We need full voter participation, and the guarantee that every vote will be counted.

 

We need the president to represent the majority of the people.

 

We need universal housing, and universal basic income.

 

We need a new power grid, and a green revolution.

 

We need to throw Donald Trump out of the White House and force him to stand before the bar of justice.

 

We need to transform.

 

 

Transform VI – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

07.04.2020

 

Transform   VI

 

 

Change the names.

 

Take down the monuments and memorials.

 

Do it now.

 

There is plenty to be proud of in the American tradition, and much to be ashamed of. If we want to transform our culture into one of enduring justice then it is time for us to stop elevating what is reprehensible in our collective story and time for us to promote what is truly good and beautiful, the things that unite all of us and speak to our common humanity.

 

We must stop fetishizing the flag, the national anthem, the military, war.

 

Bravery is good. It is good that men and women are willing to put their lives on the line and even die for their brothers and sisters in arms, but war itself is reprehensible and always marks a failure of human beings to navigate the maze of their self-interest.

 

Slave holders, including men like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson presented in history as the men that they were: brave, brilliant, despotic.

 

There was much to be admired in them, but also much to be abhorred and we should not shirk from our responsibility to tell their story in full.

 

What I was taught to admire in human beings was the quality of perseverance we see in human beings who have to struggle to overcome adversity, what we find in and women who rise to the challenge of their circumstances, when the world is set against them and they triumph as the underdog, while demonstrating grace in victory, humility and love for their fellow human beings.

 

Our memorials and monuments should be dedicated to men and women who display those characteristics, and it is the poor, the marginalized, the disenfranchised who possess those qualities in seemingly infinite capacities.

 

Just look at our “essential workers” our minimum wage-earning heroes and heroines who are keeping the economy running, the hospital cleaning staff, just as much as the doctors and nurses, all risking their lives to fight the pandemic.

 

We do no need monuments dedicated to men who broke treaties, enslaved their fellow human beings, justified that slavery with ridiculous arguments that were only intended to cover up their otherwise naked greed.

 

We do not need memorials dedicated to traitors the traitors that took our country to civil war, in order to defend their “right” to buy and sell human beings as property.

 

We do not need men and women holding office who cannot understand this, they should step down, and not run again.

 

Let’s begin the transformation of America now.