Thursday, December 8, 2016

Calling out truthout.org

After an irritating couple days long empty exchange with an editor at truthout.org I realized he offered me an excellent opportunity to highlight one of many reasons the progressive movement is so good at losing.  

You see, Greg Palast spent a lot of time and effort putting together a well written concise report for TruthOut.org: “The No-BS Inside Guide to the Presidential Vote Recount”  It was posted November 30th, based on research and interviews with Robert Fitrakis, lead lawyer of the Green Party recount effort.  

No doubt it required monetary investment and TruthOut.org deserves renumeration, I have no argument with that.  But, it is also worth considering that some articles are more important than others.  Consider timing.  Today we have a newly aroused public, who is under informed and thirty for information.
  
Palast’s article is of particular civic interest:  
* Who imagined that nearly 3 million votes get shelved and ignored in a typical Presidential election?  He explains it.
* Issues with verifying that vote counts are accurately transferred from one computer to other tabulating computer?  There are some.  
* What’s the story behind Trump’s claim of millions of multiple voters?  Oh yeah, this on is a wonderful example of creating fiction, because the reality don’t suit one. 
* What are “Placebo” Ballots?  
*Revelations about the abysmal track record of Mail-In Ballots? 
*Who’s making money, or not, off the recount effort?  
And so on.

In this time when We The People need to learn how to re-exert ourselves, the wider public has a real need for this sort of education about what's really going on with our elections and voter counts!

Democratic Senators and Representatives and state level Representatives can only stand fast against the coming assault if they have demonstrable grassroots support like never before.  How can that happen without an informed aroused electorate? 

TruthOut.org does some awesome investigative work, but they need to do a better job of broadcasting it !


Presidential Vote Recount - Truthout.org reports


Since Truthout.org has refused to entertain my requests for permission to repost this article in its entirety, I have decided to engage in a little civic disobedience in order to make the point that it’s time for such enlightened progressives and their organizations to get over their petty turf battles, we got bigger problems to worry about! 

After all it is no exaggeration to say that USA’s democracy has been placed under its most extreme existential threat, short of the Civil War.  (Frighteningly, there are strong elements within the Trump camp that actually talk like they want to foment a new civil war, but I digress.)  For the details to why I’ve chosen to do this please read my introduction, which includes an index to Greg Palast's extensive work.
_________________________
The No-BS Inside Guide 
to the Presidential Vote Recount

Truthout | News Analysis
November 23, 2016

There's been so much complete nonsense since I first broke the news that the Green Party would file for a recount of the presidential vote, I am compelled to write a short guide to flush out the BS and get to just the facts, ma’am.

Nope, They're Not Hunting for Russian Hackers

To begin with, the main work of the recount hasn't a damn thing to do with finding out if the software programs for the voting machines have been hacked, whether by Putin's agents or some guy in a cave flipping your vote from Hillary to The Donald.
The Green team does not yet even have the right to get into the codes. But the question of flipped votes is not the core of the work.

The Ballots in the Electoral "Dumpster"

The nasty little secret of US elections is that we don't count all the votes.

Demand January 3rd - Vote on Merrick Garland's nomination!

Democrats have one last chance to return some checks and balances into our American political system before the Trump vandals arrival with their determination to dismantle much of American's most valued protections and advances. Think I'm exaggerating? Then you haven't been paying attention to who Trump's filling his Cabinet with (and here).



Senate Republicans pulled a historically unprecedented stunt to simply deny (the across the board highly regarded moderate) Merrick Garland a hearing for the past year. On January 3rd, while the Senate is temporarily in Democratic hands, please vote to confirm Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Trump and his oligarch pals already have grand plans in store for a right-wing reactionary Supreme Court.  Are We The People going to simply sit by and acquiesce to these belligerent political bullies?  When are we going to grow some backbone and fight back - reasoned, rational, but firm!    

The Republican Congress have made clear they want to lock up the Supreme Court with a packed house of right wing reactionaries - ready to put the seal on Koch's Transformation of America's Democracy into the Corporation of Amerika - and yes, our democracy is in precisely this serious an existential crisis - the likes of which America hasn't experienced since the civil war.  


DailyKos is circulating a petition that I'm featuring in this post along with information and quotes from a number of article that offer greater detail for the curious.  


By David Dayen | November 16, 2016 |  NewRepublic.com

By Maya Parthasarathy |  December 7, 2016 | Bustle.com

By Alan Rapport  |  AUG. 19, 2016 | Washington DC | NewYorkTimes.com

Commentary by Mark Kende | June 21, 2016 | Fortune.com

Michael Bowman  |  March 30, 2016 | VOA News.com 

FYI  - This is for keeps - America, it's your move.  Democracy Use It Or Lose It !
Trump's 21 potential court nominees are overwhelmingly white, male and from red states
Richard Wolf | USA TODAY | December 2, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump's 21 potential nominees to the Supreme Court -- the people he has said he will choose from, not just to replace Justice Antonin Scalia but for any other seats that fall vacant -- are straight out of conservative central casting.

__________________________________________________________________

Sign the petition to Joe Biden and Senate Democrats: Confirm Merrick Garland to Supreme Court on January 3

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Follow the Money - ConservativeTransparency.org


Sometimes I get sucked into projects that overwhelm as they evolve into endlessly bifurcating wormholes enough to justify a team of researchers, but I have none, just me doing the best I can, with what I have, then my time's up and I must run off.  My recent excursion into Charlie Kirk’s Koch front group “TP USA” has turned into another such hideous, if enlightening, journey into the paranoid hostility saturated mind-scape of our Republican neighbors.

Seems that Republicans can’t see anything but an enemy in ‘the other’ - Unfortunately if that’s all you want to find, that’s all you’ll ever see.  

Seems that Republicans believe any information or facts they disagree with can be labeled a lie and dismissed without consideration. - They call it Free Speech. 

Worse Republicans seem to believe that Free Speech means that it’s okay to misrepresent others and to fabricate fictitious facts to fill in where the real objective facts don’t fit into their power/profits driven agenda. - Come on, can we get real, can we grow up?  Were does such an attitude leave constructive learning or sane communication between people?

What does this sort of Republican hate-mongering do for the United States of America and We The People?  Why do Trump’s most enthusiastic followers sound like they want a civil war more than they want to work towards a functioning society ready to deal with the realities of the future heading at us?

Where does that leave objective evidence gathering, fact finding, assessing the data at hand?
  

Profiles in Fraud - Nell Hughes: Facts not facts no mo.

I'll let a serious comedian explain this one.
__________________________________________________
Donald Trump's False Claims and Foreign Policy Moves: 
A Closer Look

Late Night with Seth Meyers | Published on Dec 5, 2016
Seth takes a closer look at Presidential-elect Trump's willingness to make false claims 
and his shoot-from-the-hip foreign policy approach.


_____________________________________________________




5:35 - yup, no such thing as facts, 
they make it all up as they go along, 
bluffing and hoping for the best. 

Why are we handing our government over to such infantile delusionals?
    
~~~   Scary times America   ~~~

Democracy demands an informed 
and engaged citizenry.  
Wake up America.  This is not a drill !
This is for keeps.


Monday, December 5, 2016

TurningPoint USA - Vandalizing Honest Dialogue

While we slumber…  Behold “Turning Point USA”!  
Steadfastly building a movement hell bent on keeping tabs on all non-faith-based academics they don’t like, with the promise of future intimidations.  Of course, they don’t audit the reactionaries, or people who’ve convinced themselves that their self-centered, body bound human brains are actually in personal direct communication with the God of Time and Creation, Life and Love, and that this personal conviction justifies ignoring all objective evidence that doesn’t fit into their self-certain personal dogma - something that is human egomania and hubris taken to it’s ultimate extreme.

If you count yourself a rationalist who respects the constructive learning process that is serious science and academia, …

If you count yourself amongst the humanists who care about respecting diversity and you believe in cooperation among peoples, and dealing with the world that is, …

If you like “progressive” ideas, etc. here is yet another extreme right-wing group who wants to mortally damage all you believe in as part of their personal conviction of being god’s own warriors.  

Here’s an example of the witch hunts they are already conducting within serous learning institutions throughout our country, with far worse coming our way in the very near future.  You’d better get prepared!

Professor Watchlist is a project of TP USA*

The mission of Professor Watchlist is to expose and document college professors who discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom. 

This website is an aggregated list of pre-existing news stories that were published by a variety of news organizations throughout the past few years. While we accept tips for new additions on our website, we only publish profiles on incidents that have already been reported somewhere else. TP USA will continue to fight for free speech and the right for professors to say whatever they wish ; however students, parents, and alumni deserve to know the specific incidents and names of professors that advance a radical agenda in lecture halls. TP USA will continue to fight for free speech and the right for professors to say whatever they wish.  

Just remember their “free speech” demands attacking and trying to deny your right to Free Speech and fact based constructive learning !

They have done one heck of a job of singling out all outspoken academics for profiling in the most extreme manner possible.  Randomly going down the list I find things said I certainly don’t approve of, but it’s also very clear that this is a one-sided prosecution effort and has nothing to do with rationally auditing or understanding what any of these professors were trying to convey.

I mean taking first day introductory talks were professors regularly inform their students of their own biases so that students have a better frame of reference as the instruction continues - always seemed like a very honorable American approach - but these paranoid souls see everything as a personal attack.  Or perhaps they are the ones who want to muzzle everyone else?  Think about it.

And what of this FREE SPEECH these right-wingers go on about?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Petition the Electoral College, Roger Wolfson

Not much to add.  I know many will think this is ridiculous, abhorrent, impossible - but all those sentiments can just as easily be pointed at the Trump Presidency.  

Our American government the way are founders envisioned it and what generations worth of concerned citizens exercising their democracy has been able to create is literally under existential threat by a tribe of people who actually believe they are doing God's work and that all who oppose them are detestable enemies.  These people feel it's their right to fabricate facts when the objective known facts don't suit their personal faith based goals.  Since they presume themselves to be god's chosen (Having no conception of the difference between personal truths and universal truths.) all others get treated with hostility, slander and hidden desires of extermination.  Tragically that really is what lies in the heart of all holy warriors, check that link.  

Rational Liberal leaning American's be scared, be very scared - but be scared into thoughtful constructive action, help turn this tide around.  Here's an example that will get the Trump team's attention and even if not fully successful, if it's a very strong showing, it will help send a warning shot across their bow, while helping jump-start an effective community in defense of traditional American values.  The stronger the outpouring of nation wide indignation at this Russian Obligate self-promoter CEO of American, the more we will moderation the coming carnage.  {The following appeared at the Huffingtonpost blog and is meant to be shared, I thank Roger Wolfson (and Jared Berenholtz) for writing it.}
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Here’s What Has To Happen In The Next 14 Days

Roger Wolfson | 12/4/2016

 Www.asktheelectors.org is a simple tool to reach out to electors directly. 
Sign a petition at Change.org, and share it on social media. 

A lot of wishful thinking is happening in America right now. “Maybe Trump the President will be different than Trump the Candidate.” We already know this is a fallacy. Trump the president-elect is exactly the same as Trump the candidate. “Maybe he’ll suddenly become more responsible and balanced.” “Maybe this is the kick in the pants America needs.” “Maybe he’ll be impeached.” 

But the most damaging wishful thought of all is: “Maybe I don’t have to do anything — maybe the electors will choose to appoint someone else, on their own.” 

The Electors should. But they won’t. Not without political pressure the likes of which America has rarely seen before. 

Which means we all need to be motivated. Well — how about the safety of our own lives, and the lives of everyone we love? Because let’s not fool ourselves. Anyone with a rudimentary appreciation of the powers of the president of the United States knows that the stakes are life and death. Pretending otherwise is wishful thinking.