March 20, 2017
During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump often criticized previous presidents for playing too much golf. Now, he plays golf so much that his staff is trying to figure out ways to hide what he's doing.
At a time when the administration claims it is necessary to make huge budget cuts that are likely to reduce the quality of life for many (perhaps most) Americans, Trump's seemingly endless vacations at resorts and golf courses are costing the taxpayers a fortune.
March 18, 2017
March 17, 2017
Would you prefer a world where mentally ill people get treatment, or one where they live and die in the streets? A world where elderly people, who have worked and paid taxes all their lives, receive the care they deserve in their final years, or one where they are cut off from food and medical care, and allowed to starve and die miserable deaths?
Do you want to live in a world where science, medicine, and technology continue to advance and make our lives better, or one in which progress stops (and maybe goes backwards)? Do you want your tax money to support programs that benefit you and your neighbors, or do you want your money to support gold-plated mansions, yachts, and fancy vacations for arrogant aristocrats, while you drive on streets full of potholes and you can't even afford to take your kids to the local amusement park?
Would you like to look at blue skies while you breathe fresh air, or would you like the view to be hidden by yellow clouds of chemicals that make you choke? Do you want to drink clean water, or would you rather be poisoned? Do you like the current world where most people in this country have a life expectancy of more than 80 years, or would you like to go back to the days when the majority died before age 50?
Do you want your children and grandchildren to have a great future? Or do you want them to live lives of fear and misery?
The first kind of world is the one most of us want. We want decent lives for ourselves and others. The second kind is the one our current Congress is trying to create. They want enormous wealth for themselves and their rich sponsors, and they want ordinary citizens to pay for it. They truly do not care what happens to us. In fact, many of them actually prefer a world in which the population is mostly poor and sick, because people who are suffering and struggling just to live are too weak to fight back.
While we are paying attention to the things the president posts on Twitter, Congress is quietly and rapidly introducing hundreds of bills that would make life much worse for normal people, while handing over yet more wealth and power to people who already have everything. The majority of people in Congress do not represent the people who voted for them. They represent the wealthy business people who pay them.
It doesn’t matter what party you belong to, where you live, what your background is. These people do not care about your interests. They will say they do, but then they will vote for laws that hurt you and help only the one percent. The only hope of stopping them is to call them and tell them that what they are doing is wrong, explain that they will no longer get your votes, and then vote against them when they run for re-election. Get rid of these people who use your money to live luxurious lives at the same time your life gets worse. Forget party loyalty. Be loyal to yourself, your family, and your neighbors.
- GovTrack will help you find the names and numbers of your representatives. Just enter your zip code.
- 5 Calls suggests some issues of interest and will guide you through the process of making calls.
- This government website links to information for federal, state, and local officials.
October 27, 2016
What they really mean is that they haven't been able to rig it in their own favor.
So, in desperation, they decide that their only chance is to prevent people from voting.
In some locations, bullies and thugs will be present at polling places, attempting to interfere with the right of citizens to vote. In particular, they will target people of color and people whose first language is not English. They may also target people they think might be poor, gay, Muslim, college students, or members of almost any ethnic minority.
They may do this simply by hanging around the polling place, possibly wearing fake badges to make themselves look official. They may call out insults to the people who are in line to vote. They may try to intimidate voters by taking pictures or videos of people coming and going from the polling place. They may try to conduct "exit polls" of people leaving the polling place.
Some may carry this further by challenging the eligibility of voters. They may try to claim that you are not properly registered, or that you are not who you say you are.
Some may try to use other kinds of scare tactics. For example, they may post flyers near polling places, claiming that people with outstanding parking tickets or unpaid child support can be arrested when they identify themselves to vote. This is not true!
Here's the good news: This kind of voter intimidation is uncommon. Most of us will not run into anything like this. Even though you may have heard a desperate candidate encouraging his supporters to do these things, in most places it will not happen.
What if something like this does occur in your town? Don't be intimidated. Voting is your right. The system cannot work unless everyone has a chance to participate.
- If someone is trying to intimidate voters on election day, notify the poll workers. They know the rules and know how to deal with the problem.
- Before you go to the polling place, write down the phone number of your local election board. If you run into a serious problem, you can call them for help.
- You do not have to tell anyone how you plan to vote. If you are approaching a polling place and someone asks you how you are going to vote, ignore them and keep on walking.
- Some news organizations conduct exit polls so they can report the progress of the election. Some intimidators may conduct exit polls as well. You can participate in an exit poll if you want to, but you do not have to. You can simply say no thanks and keep on walking.
- If your eligibility to vote is in question, ask the poll worker for a provisional ballot.
- Do not get into an argument with anyone at or near the polling place. This will not solve the problem, and it could get you in trouble. Bullies and troublemakers should be ignored or reported to authorities.
- Don't let anyone scare you. If you feel a little bit scared, breathe slowly and deeply to calm yourself. Then vote.
October 22, 2016
In addition to the presidential race, there are many people running for Congress and other offices.
In the area where I live, we have 17 propositions on the ballot!
Don't let bad weather or long lines or other people's opinions keep you from voting. This election is extremely important, and in many places it is likely to be a close race. Every vote will matter.