August 22nd, 2007

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Good Morning!!

The moon was certainly a presence in the sky last night. 

The following is an important interview to watch, even though it takes some time, but it is worthwhile and essential.  Also, read what Ann Wright, a one-time colonel in the US military, has to endure, to travel to another country.  Freedom, anyone?  

The US government continues to pursue a policy that the majority of the American people no longer want.   Meanwhile this country is dangerously unprotected.  It is an odd way to begin the morning but so it is.  We need to pay attention.  Many of our government representatives aren't  listening to what we say, but there are some good guys out there.  Dennis Kucinich is one.   Many of us have thought he was a long-shot, but if we start paying attention, maybe he isn't.  Maybe we can speak in a way that will be heard.   

Check this out:
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Since we are here -

Pascal in Pensees

When I consider the brevity of my life, swallowed up as it is in the eternity that precedes and will follow it, the tiny space I occupy and what is visible to me, cast as I am into a vast infinity of spaces that I know nothing of and which know nothing of me, I take fright, I am stunned to find myself here rather than elsewhere, for there is no reason why it should be here rather than there, and now rather than then. Why set me here?  By whose order and under what guiding destiny was this time, this place assigned to me?

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The Electoral College -

I present this subject again because it is so important.  We all know the electoral college needs reform, but what is being proposed in CA means it will be very difficult to elect a Democratic president.  All the states need to use the same system.  Again, we need to pay attention NOW.   We knew voting computers could be manipulated, that Diebold was for the Republicans and we sat back.  Let's pay attention here.


Stacking the Electoral Deck

Published: August 22, 2007

The Electoral College should be abolished, but there is a right way to do it and a wrong way. A prominent Republican lawyer in California is doing it the wrong way, promoting a sneaky initiative that, in the name of Electoral College reform, would rig elections in a way that would make it difficult for a Democrat to be elected president, no matter how the popular vote comes out. If the initiative passes, it would do serious damage to American democracy.

California currently gives all 55 of its electoral votes — the biggest electoral college prize in the nation — to the candidate who wins the statewide popular vote. Virtually all states use this winner-take-all method. The California initiative, which could go to a vote in June, would instead give the 2008 presidential candidates one electoral vote for every Congressional district that they win, with an additional two electoral votes going to whoever got the most votes statewide. (Democrats appear to have backed off from plans to try just as anti-democratic a trick in North Carolina, which is good.)

The net result of the California initiative would be that if the Democratic candidate wins in that state next year, which is very likely, the Republican candidate might still walk away with 20 or more of the state’s electoral votes. The initiative, backed by a shadowy group called Californians for Equal Representation, is being promoted as an effort to more accurately reflect the choices of the state’s voters, and to force candidates to pay more attention to California, which is usually not in play in presidential elections. It is actually a power grab on behalf of Republicans.

The Electoral College should be done away with, but in the meantime, any reforms should improve the system, not make it worse. If California abandons its winner-take-all rule while red states like Texas do not, it will be hard for a Democratic nominee to assemble an Electoral College majority, even if he or she wins a sizable majority of the popular vote. That appears to be just what the backers of the California idea have in mind.

If voters understand that the initiative is essentially an elaborate dirty trick posing as reform, they are likely to vote against it. But judging by the misleading name of their organization, the initiative’s backers want to fool the public into thinking the change would make elections more fair. They are planning on putting it to a vote in June 2008, an election when there will be few other things on the ballot, and turnout is expected to be extremely low. This bad-faith initiative is yet another example of the ways in which referenda can be used for mischief and a reminder of why they are a bad way to resolve complex public-policy issues.

Opponents of the initiative announced yesterday that they are sponsoring their own, rival initiative, which would commit California to a national plan that aims to ensure that the winner of the national popular vote becomes president. That idea makes much more sense.

Leading Republicans, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, have been silent about the initiative to split California’s electoral votes, but they should be speaking out against it. The fight isn’t about Republicans vs. Democrats. It is about whether to twist the nation’s system of electing presidents to give one party an unfair advantage. No principled elected official, or voter, of either party should support that.