What the world thinks of Trump Voters

This great video sums up the thoughts of so many voters that were shocked that Donald Trump won. Things have somehow progressed well beyond basic policy ideas. They have transcended into basic human rights and decency. This quick video does a great job of summing up our thoughts.

 

 

Thanks!
Credit: Tess Rafferty.
Video shared by Occupy Democrats

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Fight the Hate

People Politico

We must all come together and fight the hate that has taken root! Add this profile picture to all your social media. Share it with your friends and tell the world you will not sit idly by while hate takes over. 

Fight The Hate!

Fight the Hate

Do not sit by and let America repeat the horrific mistakes of the past. Fight the Hate. Fight the Fear. Call it out and do not tolerate it anymore. Our complacency has let it take root. 

FIGHT THE HATE!

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Time to Toss the Turd-tastic Trump

Time to Toss the Turd-tastic Trump - Political Poem By a Pondering PunditThere is a nasty little foul orange turd,

that throws childish fits and wants to be heard.

It had such aspirations, a president to be,

which terrified most people, even across the sea!

It shouted, insulted, degraded, and mocked,

and people all over gasped and balked.

Unfortunately now, we see that few,

thought the turd was great, a leader they’d choose.

The hate, the loathing, the anger that churned,

so awful and mean, it should have be spurned.

The turd it’s terrible, an unstable king,

and worse, it’s not a bright little thing.

Its grotesque tiny hands, its swoop for a hat,

some people want a leader like that.

It boggles the mind, more than a little,

that this slimy turd didn’t make these folks piddle.

Tricked by anger it made some people think,

a turd like this wouldn’t make us sink.

But the lack of reality and wealth of lies,

all it really does is attract the flies.

This silly little turd we took as a joke,

is a step away from making us choke.

The turd is a problem and way too serious,

the path that lead here is far too curious.

It’s time we do what we know is right,

grab the moist towelette and wipe.

No longer a joke, understand the danger,

then flush this nasty turd and dispose of anger.

It might be a nutty, interesting turd,

but it is something we shouldn’t have heard.

So flush that thing, and wash your hands clean,

of that which should not have been seen.

Find a leader on the ticket that’s true,

or write one in, it could even be you!

Then take a breath of clean fresh air,

and forget about the turd with fake hair.

So get out and vote, then on with your day,

the stink of the turd will soon go away.

Talk to your friends, your family, your spouse,

about how you banished the turd from your house.

No more hate, anger, or bigotry here,

we are all now better without its fear.

Now be a good person and make the right choice,

your most powerful weapon is a good moral voice!

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Primary or Caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday

people-politico-vote-bernie-sanders-for-president

Head out to vote in the primary or caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday. It is vitally important! Our power lies in our participation in the political process. One of the places where our vote still holds a huge amount of sway is in primaries and caucuses. It is arguably the place where the individual voter’s vote still has real, tangible power. Use it!

Find out how and where here: http://voteforbernie.org/

In some years the differences in candidates for president for each party is minimal. This year is not the case. In fact, the democratic candidates are remarkably different. This difference is will mean whether we have a chance to fix and correct our political system or if we remain in the embarrassing and dysfunction quagmire that is our corrupt political process and government functionality.

Here is the evidence that shows their differences and why voters need to mobilize and caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday.

Hillary Clinton & Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday Comparison

Issue Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders
Super PAC Contributions $64 Million

(Many large corporate & banks)

NONE

 

TPP Changed from Support to Opposed

(Supported until started Campaign)

Opposed
Keystone Pipeline Recently Opposed

(No Stance for a Long Time)

Opposed
Campaign Contributions 18% Small/82% Large

(Corporations & Banks)

71% Small/29% Large

(Small Business and Individuals)

Presidential Polls against GOP GOP Consistently Wins

(She is very divisive)

Consistently Beats GOP

*Data from: http://presidential-candidates.insidegov.com/compare/35-40/Bernie-Sanders-vs-Hillary-Clinton

Primary or Caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday - Bernie Sanders vrs Hillary Clinton

*Chart from: http://www.businessinsider.com/hillary-clinton-vs-bernie-sanders-on-the-issues-2015-9

Primary or Caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday
As demonstrated in by the data above Senator Bernie Sanders has a much more progressive agenda with hopes and plans to continue to improve America. Bernie Sanders is pushing for further steps to tackle every major issue.

Much of what Hillary Clinton proposes is to stick with much of what we already have, such as healthcare and energy policies.

When looking at each candidate’s stance on issues both in the past and present, their outlined plans for American policy, and the drive they have to make a difference in the coming years the choice is clear.

  • Bernie Sanders is the best choice to advance American policy in meaningful ways demonstrated by his decade’s long history of fighting against the corporate takeover of America.
  • Bernie Sanders clearly has the majority of American’s people’s best interest in mind demonstrated by his empathy and vigor through demonstrating for civil rights.
  • Bernie Sanders is the best choice to bridge the gap between people in America demonstrated by his ability to compromise and find middle ground on long lists of passed legislation.

Vote or Caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday

Please take a little time out of your day today and head out to your local Primary or caucus and vote. It is a rich and rewarding experience. Your vote holds significant weight in the outcome of who will end up being the Democratic nominee for president.

Ask those around you if they would like to join you. Make a night out of! It will be fun and it is so very important to be involved in our democratic process. If we don’t use our democracy, we just might lose our democracy.

So get out there today and caucus for Bernie Sanders Super Tuesday!

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Climate Change Denial is Insisting the World is Flat

people-politico-empty-lake-climate-change

Climate Change Denial Must Be Addressed

Climate Change Denial is Insisting the World is Flat

Have you become a victim of climate change denial? Find out what it is and how you can learn to spot climate change denial propaganda.

Have we missed out on some of the important information, stories, experiments, studies, and catastrophes? There are so many events that have contributed to the indisputable fact, humans are changing the environment.

You can look at the many places in nature humans have made differences. With each road we create, we kill animals and block their paths. With each city we change the temperature and wind flow in the area, and with each piece of trash we throw away we pollute a little more of our planet. These are all climate change. Humans do this. Our combined human race does huge amounts of damage every day.

But don’t ask me, I’m just trying to make the world a little better. I’m not a climate scientist. I’m not a politician. I’m just an American trying to make America better. However, at this pace we are ignoring and exacerbating the problem. This has to stop for us to have any chance at a future.

Like I said, don’t ask me. Ask these thousands of scientists, organizations, and nations that can teach you what you need to know to make a better world. Let’s gets things started with a few massive collections of climate change data.

Climate Chance Consensus

Scientific American

NOAA

Wikipedia

Environmental Protection Agency

NASA

Things don’t really get any more black and white in our modern world. With overwhelming consensus we are observably and repeatedly damaging the one place we have to live. We must do something about it. We must make the change now for us to have any hope for humanities future. Climate change denial is one great social diseases we have the knowledge and power to cure. Climate change denial must be addressed immediately.

If you have any other great sources of scientific information regarding climate change please post them below.

 

 

 

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Government Employees Bear the Burden of Cutbacks

Government Employees Bear the Burden of CutbacksWhen I was in elementary school, and teachers would ask us what we wanted to be when we grew up, the answer was usually “an astronaut!” and then we would get asked what ELSE we would want to be in case the space career didn’t work out. Then the responses were fire fighter, police officer, or teacher.  All of which are government employees. When we got older and realized there were a whole lot more choices out there, it was still understood that a job with the government would provide good pay, good benefits, and a good future with job security.

Government Employee Salaries

Things have definitely changed. A career in law enforcement and elementary school teaching will require a degree and hold average salaries of $52,374  $53,842, respectively. The average salary for a fire fighter is $43,208, with need for specialized training and/or a degree.

The benefits that used to accompany public sector jobs can no longer be taken for granted. When the government needs to save money fast, they tend to aim for the low-hanging fruit: government employees. Whether they are laid off, their wages are frozen for years, or they are furloughed, it is now understood that government employees tend to be the collateral damage of political maneuverings.

Overlooking Government Employees

Taxpayers tend to forget that a large part of their taxes go toward paying government employees’ salaries, who may be sharing in their own hardships when times get tough. However, chasing away talented employees from government jobs is a recipe for substandard service, as is demoralizing those who choose to stay.

When companies defend the exorbitant pay of their CEO’s, they say they need to offer these large paychecks to stay competitive and attract the best talent. It’s really the same with any job: in order to attract and keep good employees, companies need to pay them well, offer good benefits, and make it a job that people will want to do.

Now consider police officers. We have municipalities that can’t afford enough officers for the number of people they are expected to serve and protect, and those they can afford won’t get raises so governments can meet their budgets. What kind of morale do officers have when they cannot get the equipment they need, are overworked, overstretched, and haven’t seen a decent raise in years? What happens when the people they are sworn to serve and protect do not support them on a basic level of fair compensation for what is expected of them? Don’t we want to attract the best candidates to this career?

Teachers’ starting salaries are terribly low, yet the competition is fierce. The profession attracts those who want to make a difference to children. There is always talk about how a good teacher makes a difference in a child’s life and a bad teacher can be devastating. Imagine the candidate pool if a teacher’s salary would actually be enough to begin to pay back a graduating student’s loans? Imagine school districts with budgets big enough to afford more teachers to make the student to teacher ratio more favorable?

Government Employees Keep America Going

When we worry about pollution, what is in our food, about climate change, about our health, do we realize our taxes go to pay salaries for employees of the EPA and FDA? That scientists make breakthroughs due to funding from government grants? Private companies cannot regulate or provide oversight to private companies. Oversight must be done by a neutral party, and the government is the only choice to administer to the public good.

No matter the political affiliation, it is important to remember the people who may be affected most by government cuts ultimately is ourselves: standing in line at the DMV, sitting dazed at the side of the road after a car accident, scared and confused after a robbery, sitting in a restaurant wondering when it was last inspected by the Health Department, and sitting with our child’s teacher at parent-teacher conferences.  When we cut taxes, to the detriment of government employees, we are hurting ourselves.

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Citizens United Constitutional Amendment – Open Letter

Citizens United Amendment, An Open Letter to CongressMemorandum

To:

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives John Boehner

Minority Leader of the United States House of Representative Nancy Pelosi

United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Current)

United States Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Current)

Subject:

Legislation to Create a Constitutional Amendment to Address the Supreme Court Ruling in Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Committee (FEC)

Introduction

The purpose of this open memorandum is to give the addressed audience the background behind one of the Supreme Court’s most critical rulings in determining how political speech can and will be voiced in the United States, as well who will be afforded this microphone for such speech. It is important to know background behind the legislation that was created that led to this decision, the fallout in terms of the tremendous influx and rise of corporate and individual contributions to super PACs and the infinite rise of dark contributions that are without disclosure, identity, or known motive to become prevalent in today’s political marketplace.

The Supreme Court has afforded individual rights to corporations throughout its existence but it, nor the legislative branch of the Unites States government have taken steps to clearly outline and define legal rights that should be afforded to corporations and which rights are exclusively endowed to actual human citizens. A constitutional amendment is the most clear path to defining and finally making a clear distinction and protect the liberties of citizens by provide corporations with adequate legal recognition and protection. A constitutional amendment is not an act of small proportions and will take both sides of the isle to find common ground in order to find a solution to the removes the court’s interpretation of whom and what are covered under specific amendments. Though it will be tough, it is vital to the preservation of the individual citizen to make such distinctions and definitions clear and a permanent within the United States Constitution.

Background in Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Committee

Citizens United Constitutional Amendment Open Letter to CongressIn 2002 the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) also known as the McCain Feingold Campaign Reform Act was signed into law by then President George W. Bush (BCRA, n.d.). The purpose of the bipartisan legislation was to address campaign financing in five main areas: soft money contributions and regulations, reform of electioneering communication from non-candidate organizations and individuals, the prohibiting of corporations and labor unions from using funds from their general treasuries to fund electioneering communications, the placement of an exemption for nonprofit organizations was implemented to allow these groups to use general treasuries to fund electioneering communications, and the final major subject addressed in the legislation is the placement of coordination restrictions and disclosure policies for advertising (BCRA, n.d.). The law almost immediately saw legal challenges spear headed by Senator Mitch McConnell and the National Rifle Association (NRA) whom both challenged the constitutionality of the legislation and ultimately the Supreme Court heard several challenges directed at specific sections of the act shortly after the bill became law and in all instances affirmed the legislation or pushed the argument back to be argued once the law is applied (BCRA, n.d).

Citizens United is nonprofit corporation that states is “dedicated to educating the American public about their rights and the government” and in the 2008 presidential election cycle produced a expressively conservative political ninety minute movie that attacked then Senator Hillary Clinton whom was running for the Democratic presidential nomination (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (Docket No. 08-205), 2009). As noted in the BCRA a ban on direct financing of electioneering communications and also required that such advertising have disclaimer and disclosure information provided to identify where the money for the advertising came from (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (Docket No. 08-205), 2009).  Citizens United sought to have these provisions of the BCRA challenge and on March 24, 2009 the Supreme Court heard oral arguments challenging the BCRA and the court was faced then with four overarching questions in their decision: should electioneering communication as defined and restrictions imposed in the BCRA be upheld, are the disclosure requirements within the BCRA “overly burdensome and fail a strict scrutiny test as-applied to The Movie”, determination if The Movie fell into the category of a “clear plea for action to vote”, and whether or not The Movie was considered an advertisement which then would make it subject to regulations within the BCRA(Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (Docket No. 08-205), 2009).

In January 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that “the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections” (Liptak, 2010). The court was split five to four in their ruling with the majority stating that the government cannot and should not be permitted to limit political speech while the decent stated that this ruling will lead to the money pouring into political advertising and will ultimately undermine democracy in the United States (Liptak, 2010). This ruling not only struck down the key provisions within the BCRA (that had already been ruled and upheld by the court in 2003) it was constitutional to place restrictions on corporate and union spending for political advertising and also overruled a 1990 Supreme Court decisions that had found it constitutional to implementation restrictions on corporate spending in political campaigns (Liptak, 2010). Writing for the majority Justice Kennedy “When government seeks to use its full power, including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought […] This is unlawful. The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves” (Liptak, 2010). The court in the majority decision also gave a more subtle indication within their ruling that “independent contributions could not corrupt (Hasen, 2012). In part of a twenty minute decent from the bench Justice John Paul Stevens stated “the majority had committed a grave error in treating corporate speech the same as that of human beings” (Liptak, 2010). The ruling fell across political lines with the five conservative justices backing Citizens United and the liberal justices descending leaving a huge loophole for political spending poured into the political spectrum and having a congress as divided as the courts resolution progress on creating a resolution to the action taken by the court seems unlikely.

Citizens United Ruling and the Rise of the Super PAC

Though in the 1976 Supreme Court ruling, the justices ruled that an individual could spend unlimited amounts of money to advertise for or against candidates, this money had to be used by the individual and could not be given to a political action committee or PAC (Hasen, 2012). Since the individuals would have to declare in the advertising that they had paid for it, few individuals chose to make individually funded advertising even though it was ruled to be legal (Hasen, 2012). Prior to the Citizens United ruling PACs had been limited to five thousand dollars in individual contributions and corporations and unions were forbidden from making any contributions to these groups (Hasen, 2012). Following the Citizens United ruling the 527 groups (named for the section of nonprofit tax standing under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code they fall under) claimed they could take unlimited funds from not only individuals but also corporations and unions as they were not considered PACs under the FEC’s definition of PACs and led to the rise of the super PAC that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money (Hasen, 2012).

Looking only at presidential elections since BCRA was enacted, so called super PACs had the following spending activities : 2004 – $14,193,530 / 2008: $37,509,249 / and following the Citizens United decision in 2010 the 2012 spending jumped to over a billion dollars with $308.7 million having no disclosure at all (Hasen, 2012) (Outside Spending, n.d.). In looking at this current year’s midterm election super PAC, 527 and 501C spending based on FEC daily updates through November 16, 2014 nearly five-hundred and sixty million dollars with only three-hundred and forty million having full disclosure, it should also be noted that the super PAC is by far and away the largest receiver of dollars and spending on electioneering communications (Outside Spending, n.d.). This kind of expansion of corporate personhood affording free speech to such entities only act to mute the individual voice that the First Amendment was designed to protect, not to mention the corruption that can only follow such unbridled spending.

Corporate Citizenship in the United States Supreme Court

Citizens United Supreme CourtSince the inception of the United States there have been at least nine Supreme Court decisions beyond the Citizens United case that have weighed in to classify companies and corporations individuals in the eyes of the law. The first rights to be decided by the court revolved around the citizen classification and jurisdictional questions. In 1809 in the Bank of the United States vs. Deveaux as federal and state jurisdictions were still being established, the defendant argued that since corporations are not people, they could not bring a case to federal court and the court agreed meaning that corporations could only have legal standing in federal courts if all shareholders or at least one of the opposing party lived in the same state (Park, 2014). In 1844, it had become apparent that the 1809 ruling had put corporations primarily out of reach of the federal court system and ruled in Louisville, Cincinnati, and Charleston Railroad vs. Letson that “corporations were “citizens” of the states where they incorporated” (Park, 2014). Marshall vs. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in the Supreme Court’s 1853 ruling further defined the corporations as citizens as applied to jurisdiction of the courts and outlined that corporations did not enjoy the same constitutional rights as real people thus making shareholders to be considered citizens of the companies home state making it easier for federal court proceedings to be brought by and against corporations (Park, 2014).

Following the United States Civil War and the enactment of the Fourteenth Amendment the Southern Pacific Railroad in County of Santa Clara vs. Southern Pacific Railroad stated that as corporations are citizens it was illegal for the county to enact a tax specific to the railroad (Park, 2014). Though the court never eluded to the railroad being protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, the court reporter did include in the published notes of the ruling that the rights afforded under the Fourteenth Amendment and this adage would be used later citing this case as grounds to uphold corporate protection under the Fourteenth Amendment in 1898’s Smyth vs. Ames decision which protected corporations from property seizure without due process (Park, 2014). Hale vs. Henkel in 1906 continued to uphold a corporation’s protection under the Fourteenth Amendment but drew a distinction that companies were not protected from self-incrimination afforded under the Fifth Amendment (Park, 2014).

The distinction in regards to the Fifth Amendment was then back tracked in the Russian Volunteer Fleet vs. United States stating that foreign corporations are also protected from illegal government seizure and had an equal right fair treatment in the legal system (Park, 2014). In 1977 the right to shield a corporations from double jeopardy was also upheld in United States vs. Martin Linen Supply Company (Park, 2014). Finally in 2012, the Supreme Court ruled in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby that corporations are also legally protected by the First Amendment’s freedom of religion (Park, 2014). Reviewing the consistent rulings of the court it has been made clear that corporations have been afforded rights traditionally viewed as individual citizen rights under the constitutions the blurring of a reality what are actual individual rights for a physical individual to poses and which are the rights afforded to both individuals and corporations as a pseudo citizen.

Constitutional Amendment

It is clear that a corporation, though founded by individuals with shareholders whom are also people, in everyday life no one would mistake a corporation for an actual living breathing human being. It can be seen why the courts have been put into the position of needing to adapt certain provisions of the constitution to adequately protect and litigate corporations but the time has come to clearly define the limitations of the corporations protections afforded by the constitution and limit the influence and power that such organizations can wheeled within the United States political system, especially if the corporation is looking for anonymity from the scrutiny of disclosure. It is the responsibility of the legislative branch of the United States government to look at over two centuries of court rulings that have gradually created the corporate citizen and the ambiguity that that has fashioned to know that it is time for action that is much less open to interpretation.

Such a movement to create the Twenty-eighth Amendment due to the process of a constitutional amendment will require that it be designed to show the benefit for corporations, the individual citizen, as well move above political partisanship that has created gridlock and division not only in Washington D.C. but across towns, families, and states over the past several decades. Compromise and partnership were the cornerstones of what this democracy were built on and must be rekindled in order to save the union from its own apathy in the face of critical problems.  A bipartisan recognition of the problem that exist needs to be made as a first step, though the reasons for such an identification do not need to be the same, the recognition of a problem must be a vital step in creating an understanding.

The writing of the legislation must also take bipartisan roots and impute should be actively solicited through congressional hearing from civil liberties organizations, as well, from corporate leadership and organization. By using congressional hearing as an avenue to create transparency around the process, any lobbyist for or against such an amendment should also be given the opportunity to present their case under oath in congressional hearings. Though there is no way legally to stop lobbyists from inserting pressure from their backers it would be admirable for all members of congress to take a pledge to only take official testimony from lobbyists if only on this one issue. By doing this the air of unofficial influence can be remediated in the process and deciding factors within the legislation can have known origins.

It would be best to use the tradition of starting a constitutional by providing a two thirds majority in both the United States House and Senate and then look to two thirds of the states for ratification. But if the gridlock that has prevented major legislation from moving through both chambers of congress cannot be overcome and in a time of instant information sharing and given the critical nature of this legislation, citizens should coordinate and call on their state legislatures to act in calling a constitutional convention which can be demanded with such passage by two thirds of the states in the union (Constitutional Amendment Process, n.d.). This subject has the potential to unify America in the address a problem that has been growing through the existence of the country and must be dealt with from the legislatures within this country instead of deferral to the courts whom are not elected or accountable to a constituency.

References

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Midterm Election Voter Help

Voting Help for Midterm ElectionsHere is a little voting help this midterm election. These are all issues that the political realm has debated over the last couple years. The information is out there, but if you haven’t been able to keep up on the insanity of American politics, this little cheat sheet should help.

Ask yourself these yes or no questions and tally up your yes versus no at the end.

  1. Do you make less than a million dollars a year?
  2. Do you have a business that makes less than a million dollars a year?
  3. Do you respect women?
  4. Think women are equal to men?
  5. Do you think men and women can make their own healthcare choices?
  6. Do you believe in freedom of religion?
  7. Do you want money out of politics?
  8. Do you want access to health care?
  9. Do you want to pay reasonable prices for medicine?
  10. Do you want to pay reasonable prices for health care?
  11. Do you like to breathe clean air?
  12. Do you like to drink clean water?
  13. Do you want to keep poison out of your food?
  14. Do you want to stop banks from gambling away America’s future?
  15. Do you want to hold those accountable for the Great Recession?
  16. Do you want to have decent roads to drive on?
  17. Do you want reliable electricity?
  18. Do you want the police to police?
  19. Do you want to stop the spread of Ebola?
  20. Do you want a government that actually functions?
  21. Do you want this America to progress in the world?
  22. Do you want the American Dream?
  23. Do you want a reasonable education?
  24. Do you want decent schools for your children?
  25. Do you want scientific advances to continue?
  26. Do you want medical advances to continue?
  27. Do you want a choice in broadband internet?
  28. Do you like Free Speech?
  29. Do you want a democracy?
  30. Do you want good American jobs?
  31. Do you want American jobs to stay in America?
  32. Do you want renewable energy?
  33. Do you want a sustainable future?
  34. Do you want to slow climate change?
  35. Do you have or want beachfront property?
  36. Do you like any place that is currently on a beach?
  37. Do you want to earn what you are worth?
  38. Do you want to be able to vote without having to pay for it?
  39. Do you think 40,000 lives are more valuable than 40?
  40. Do you want to know what is in your food?
  41. Do you want to be sure your house is not going to collapse on you?
  42. Do you think people should be able to marry who they love?
  43. Do you think that all people deserve to eat?
  44. Do you think we should take care of our veterans?
  45. Do you think we should be the best educated society in the world?
  46. Do you want to be part of the best country in the world?
  47. Do you want to help make this the best country in the world again?
  48. Do you care about the quality of your life?
  49. Do you want a better life?
  50. Do you want to make a difference?

One or More ‘Yes’ on Political Survey

If you answered any of these questions then you definitely need to make sure you vote!

If you answered yes to any these questions than you need to make sure that you vote Democrat or Independent. It is simple as that.

Unless of course you like the government quagmire and enjoy the plummeting quality of life for Americans, then vote Republican.

If you want a better America, if you answered YES to any of the above questions vote anyone other than a Republican. Doing so will help to move the government back to being influenced by the people. It might not be the perfect solution, but at least we should be able to get the slow government machine moving again and working for the people of America.

Get educated and go vote. Thank you for participating in your government, it needs you!

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Supreme Court Circus Continues With Hobby Lobby Ruling

Supreme Court Rules Hobby Lobby Personhood Trumps a Person's PersonhoodThe horrifying implications of today’s Supreme Court decision (BURWELL, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, ET AL. v. HOBBY LOBBY STORES, INC.) is an incredible shattering of a women’s protection of privacy and personal choice. However, this gut wrenching and mind boggling decision’s true repercussions are yet to be fully realized. This awful and obviously flawed decision can easily be construed to now branch off into a myriad of arbitrary “religious or person choices” that a company will be able to impose on its employees. This will open the flood gates for a huge variety of other lawsuits by companies to justify their will to take away rights from their workers. This will also create a flurry of suits and challenges against the ADA. If one part of the ADA can be challenged and overturned such as the mandatory coverage of birth control to do something as opaque as “religious objections” what else can be challenged? The answer, everything can. Using the same belief, because religion isn’t logic, people or corporations now have an opening to challenge anything and everything based off of “religious belief”.

Not only that, the Supreme Court just ruled that Hobby Lobby can now legally break the law. The ADA was specifically designed to guarantee a certain set of healthcare standards that has been deemed absolutely vital to the health and well-being of American citizens.  This Supreme Court decision states that Hobby Lobby no longer has to FOLLOW THE LAW because they have some kind of vague religious objection. This is truly mind boggling. There is over 50 years of very sound scientific study showing that birth control offers a large array of health benefits, treatments, management, and control. Overall, countries are better because of it.

Taking a look at the entire idea of someone’s freedom, we also see the hypocrisy in this decision. People have the right, and the freedom, to make decisions for themselves. This right however, ends with them. They do not have the right to take away the decisions and freedoms of others. This is exactly what this type of decision makes. It says that an employee does not have the right to make decisions regarding their own birth control but the company they work for does. You are not granting freedom when that “freedom” takes away the freedom and choice of another. Simple as that.

The damage that the Supreme Court has been doing to this country is ridiculous. It is now grossly obvious that these majority rulings of the Supreme Court are bought and paid for. Over the last few years they have systematically dismantled a person’s rights. When such basic fundamental human rights are stripped so a companies can save a few dollars there can be no doubt that the Supreme Court has failed us. Our democracy has failed us. Our government has failed.

Our only course now is to oust those corrupt politicians that support and praise these decisions that shatter our basic human rights. The people of this country fought, bled, and died to secure basic human rights that are being stripped away one after another. With the completely polarized politics now it is very easy to see the terrible excuses for human beings that support these decisions that take away our rights. These are the politicians that need to be called out and cast out of positions of power. Those that speak out against these atrocities need to be lifted up and put into those political positions to further improve this country.

However, removing corruption from our government is only the beginning of the solution. We must stay informed about those we elect to make this country better. When those politicians begin to falter and cave to the corporate influence we must call them out until they represent the people, not the corporations.

To prosper we must have personal rights, not corporate rights. To prosper we must have free speech, not monitored and metered communications. To prosper we must remove money from politics and put the public back into politics. To prosper we must have a free and independent media, not corporate funded propaganda channels. To prosper we must support and respect one another. To prosper we must have compromise and consensus, not hard lining and bullying. To prosper we must be informed and vote. So please make sure you are registered to vote. If you are registered make sure that those around you are registered. Support the creation of a national holiday on Election Day. The more we vote, the more power we wield. With this power we must change the direction of this country before it is too late.

If you can do more than vote and get others to the polls I would also encourage you to actively avoid going to any stores that support discrimination and the stripping of human rights. Make no mistake: Freedom is having the freedom to disagree and still have the same choices. If enough consumers stop buying their produces and using their services they will be unable to pay our politicians and Supreme Court justices to undermine our personal rights. It is high time we stop paying these companies and corporations to undermine their own employees and customers.

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Supreme Court Sunders a Century of American Progress

United States of America Supreme CourtOver the last couple of years the Supreme Court of the United States of America has destroyed protections that have been in place for a hundred years or more. In several short but brutal strokes, the Supreme Court has made meaningless the suffering of countless Americans who fought back against discrimination, lack of representation, and persecution. The recent appalling decisions of the Supreme Court defy logic, fairness, and have strayed far from what America is supposed to be.

Citizens United and Private Contributions

people-politico-grip-moneyWe have known. K N O W N. That money is an absolutely corrupting and destructive influence in politics and governments. I’m not saying we have figured this out in the last couple years. We have known this for thousands, yes, THOUSANDS of years. This practice of plutocracy has destroyed countries, nations, and entire empires of humans. That is why we have had laws to limit and highly regulate what money gets funneled into politics. These limitations have been fairly effective over the last hundred years. We have, for the most part, truly had a democracy where the average American people mattered in politics. But the Supreme Court ruled that corporations may contribute to political campaigns, basically ruling that corporations have the same rights as people in regard to free speech, and more chillingly, giving corporations the go-ahead to buy politicians, and thus, elections. This decision has got to be one of the most destructive to American democracy.
How can the Supreme Court of America come to such a terrible and obviously flawed decision?

And instead of learning from the consequences of their ruling, they made another ruling to make sure the country is run by the rich and that democracy will no longer be decided by individuals, ruling to lift the limit that individuals can donate in politics. In fact, this changes America from a democracy, to a plutocracy.

  • Democracy: A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
  • Plutocracy: A country or society governed by the wealthy.

This is simply horrifying.

Voter Rights Act Ruling

voter-infoThe Supreme Court argued that racism is no longer a problem in America so there is no need to have voter law protections. This is an absurd line of thinking.

First, racism is alive and well in this country. It is far from being gone. If anyone fails to see racism, it is because they are actively ignoring it.

Second, many proposed voting laws have been struck down by these voter protections. These laws were not drafted 20 years ago. They were struck down in the very same year as being obviously and overtly intended to make it harder for certain races to vote. On tape, at press conferences, and speeches around the country, republicans ACTUALLY stated their intent to keep certain voters from the polls.  Here is a great article showing many cases of voter discrimination. It is worth the time to read.

One of the most notable pieces of evidence that this Supreme Court decision was a grave mistake was that as soon as the decision was announced, the state of Texas ‘immediately put into effect’ the very voting right laws that had previously been blocked by the Voting Rights Act for racial targeting.

Supreme Court Strikes down the Separation of Church and State

sad-political-stateIn yet another mind boggling decision the Supreme Court has said that it is OK to hold religious prayers in government meetings.

Though the Constitution doesn’t explicitly mention the separation of church and state, it is accepted that the founding fathers intended for this separation.

And indeed, this separation has been important for fairness and inclusiveness. When the government stays out of religious organizations and vice versa, there is one less agenda involved. This most recent ruling is chilling, as is Justice Anthony Kennedy’s answer that if you don’t like it, you can just leave the room: “Should nonbelievers choose to exit the room during a prayer they find distasteful, their absence will not stand out as disrespectful or even noteworthy” This is such a juvenile and ignorant response to come from a Supreme Court Justice, and Justice Elena Kagan pointed that out, but much more eloquently.

Regardless of whether you are a Christian or not, prayers have no business in a government meeting, where people of all faiths or none should be recognized as equal contributors to the democratic process, and all should feel welcome. The core of democracy is a government of people, not of religion.

It seems such a simple concept to empathize with another and their point of view. This is a perfect example of this Supreme Court’s inability to do that. If the five majority justices are unable to empathize with people who are unlike themselves, it is obvious they are terribly underqualified for their jobs, since empathy is the primary trait one needs to judge fairly. How might they feel if they were the one Jew, Muslim, atheist, or other non-Christian person that was effectively being ostracized at one of these meetings?

Supreme Court Supremely Dysfunctional

The Supreme Court is no longer fulfilling the purpose of being unbiased judges. The Supreme Court is no longer the moderators of what is morally right, fair, and lawful.

Either they are so out of touch they no longer possess the skills to accurately see and judge the REAL America we live in, or they are so blatantly partisan and pushing an agenda it is sickening.

I almost want to think they are ignorant, because maybe they would have an excuse and could be educated. Unfortunately, I know this isn’t the case. You do not become a judge, let alone a Supreme Court judge, by being an ignoramus.

How to Regain a Just and Fair Supreme Court

collums-and-stairsThese Supreme Court Justices are obviously and overtly pushing a right wing agenda. This is terrifying. I come to this conclusion because America is so polarized right now the choices of a “side” are obvious. The choices of Supreme Court judges should NOT be obvious. In fact, in this time of extreme polarization the Supreme Court Judges should be a mystery. They should surprise us with every decision finding the middle ground. Sadly, this is not the case.

But what can we do? Seeing the corruption all the way up and including Supreme Court members tells us that the problem with America is systemic. With systemic problems we must change the system.

The first step would be to open the mystery of the Supreme Court by allowing cameras in the court. This should not be set up like a frantic press conference of a Hollywood star having an affair. Instead, it should be a CSPAN-like feed with static, always on, cameras that show us, the people, how the Supreme Court comes to its decisions. This would help us understand the how and whys behind their decisions. We could also uncover possible issues that could be corrected and the court enhanced to be more fair, moral, and efficient.

Next, lifetime appointments need to be eliminated. This is the ridiculous way that political parties “rig the system” in their favor. The effects of these appointments last for years and do terrible harm to our country. Terms should overlap major elections so no matter who is on the benches they will be judging and ruling for what is right and constitutional, not along party lines.

Finally, I would like to see more and more people take an interest in what the Supreme Court does. Many of us find it hard to keep informed and up to date on some of the most important decisions that affect us. Once more are staying informed on what the Supreme Court is doing, then those can take better educated actions to make sure that their votes, their conversations, and their lives are influenced by being better informed.

Ultimately I think that the people of America still have enough power to make the changes to America that truly benefits our society. If we do not exercise this right, we will be surprised to find that we have given up our rights, without a peep, while the people we trusted with our rights give them away.

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