Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Looming U.S. Midterm Election disaster

It appears that the pollsters are predicting that the I-won't-votes are going to hand over another election to the faith-based Republican party and their slick attack ads.

Thereby allowing the Republican's headstrong dedication to their pursuit of profits and religious absolutists, at the expense of rational assessment of evidence, to rack up yet another win in their ongoing War On Science - with it's rejection of real experts and the learning process.

And why is the GOP/TeaParty going to receive another election victory?  

Because too many good American's are going to be too good to bother voting, yet again?

But, the election isn't over yet - it is now and apathy has handed the faith based, science rejecting, faction another big victory - 

If you live in the United States and you care about our future, please do what you can to vote and to convince other rational acquaintances to get off their butts to vote.  Challenge your friends and neighbors: Don't they realize it's the only time their opinion matters?  

Why let that opportunity go to waste?  

Why keep letting Faith-blinded people control our government?

Here's some food for thought . . .

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

U.S. Midterm Elections Offer Little Hope for Science

November vote is unlikely to break a political stalemate that has squeezed research funding

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Here's a look at the Republican's new strategy to win elections, restrict voting rights.  

Partisan Divide Over Voting Rights Has Intensified In Obama Era

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The election of the first black president and the resurrection of voter suppression efforts was hardly a coincidence. New voting restrictions took effect in nineteen states from 2011–12. Nine states under GOP control have adopted measures to make it more difficult to vote since 2013. Since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in June 2013, half of the states (eight in total) previously covered under Section 5 have passed or implemented new voting restrictions.{…}Things weren’t always this way. In his new book about the Civil Rights Act, An Idea Whose Time Has Come, Todd Purdum tells the story of Bill McCulloch, a conservative Republican from Ohio who championed civil rights as the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. The Politico excerpt from the book was titled “The Republican Who Saved Civil Rights.” 
There would have been no Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Voting Rights Act of 1965 without the support of Republicans like McCulloch and Senate minority leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois. For decades after the 1960s, voting rights legislation had strong bipartisan support in Congress. Every reauthorization of the VRA—in 1970, 1975, 1982 and 2006—was signed by a Republican president and supported by an overwhelming number of Republicans in Congress. 
It’s also unfortunate that many in the media continue to report on voting rights like it’s a left-versus-right issue, as if supporting a fundamental democratic right suddenly makes one a flaming liberal. 

If you can vote, do you own it to fellow Americans who are denied the right to vote? 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

For a bit of background:
Where Voting Rights Are Under Attack 
Southern states are moving quickly to change laws that will adversely affect minority voters. 

In June, almost 48 years from the day Johnson declared victory, the Supreme Court invalidated a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder.  
The rule essentially gutted Section 4, which included a formula that determined which communities would be subject to something called preclearance -- a requirement that the jurisdictions submit every change in voting practices, procedures, locations or election districts to federal officials for approval. 
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley called the court's decision "the most significant ruling" in his lifetime. 
In the weeks that have followed, states around the country, mostly in the South, have begun to implement a raft of measures that voting-rights advocates say threaten minority voting rights and political influence in a manner unseen since Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law. Proponents of the changes insist that voter fraud represents a real, if largely unsubstantiated, threat that states must act to combat. The changes aren't illegal because even if they may disproportionately stymie some groups of voters, the new rules apply to all.
It's a situation that makes Johnson's speech and his metaphor of choice seem not only apt, but prescient. 
"Within hours of the Supreme Court decision you had Southern officials saying things like, 'We are free and clear,' " said Sherrilyn Ifill, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund's president and director-counsel.   
Just two hours after the court's ruling, Texas announced plans to 
Mere weeks after the Supreme Court's ruling, North Carolina's Republican governor signed a law that scaled back voting hours and early voting time  
"They (GOP) came out strong with a 40-page plus magnum opus on how we can make it harder for voters who don't agree with our agenda to vote," said Edward Hailes Jr., general counsel and managing director of the Advancement Project. 
Hailes, who is both a minister and an attorney, investigated voting problems in Florida following the 2000 election.  
South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Virginia have indicated that they will also implement their own voter-ID laws by next year.  
Since 2012, 41 states have introduced voting changes that PBS' Frontline described as "restrictive." Voter-ID laws may be the most popular.  
"This is no time for business as usual," she said. "This is really time for anyone who cares about democracy, who cares about equality, to call their Congressional representatives and say it's time to go to work, to pay close attention to what's happening in their community and report those voting changes to us, to the Department of Justice, to other groups trying to defend this democracy."

If you can vote, do you own anything to fellow Americans who are denied the right to vote?  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Republicans Are Trying to Make Sure Minorities and Young People Don’t Vote This November
Control of the Senate could hinge on a few crucial court battles over voting rights.
—By Stephanie Mencimer | Wed Oct. 8, 2014 
Since the last midterm elections in 2010, 22 states have passed strict new voting restrictions, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Some of those measures took effect before the 2012 election, as in Florida, where long lines at polling stations apparently deterred at least 200,000 people from voting that year. Nationally, fewer people cast votes in the presidential race in 2012 than in 2004, even though the country saw the number of eligible voters increase by 8 million. In 15 states, this year's midterms will mark the first federal election with a host of these new voting restrictions in action. 
The most recent wave of laws was enabled by the 2013 US Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder. That decision, in which the court essentially declared racism over, undermined a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. It ended the requirement that some states, particularly in the South, had to seek Justice Department approval for changes in their voting laws. GOP-controlled legislatures in states with large minority populations immediately began passing restrictive voting laws that the VRA had previously blocked. Within months of the decision, six states previously covered by that part of the act advanced new laws that critics claimed would create hurdles for minority voters.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Like the song goes, America Where Are You Now? 
Don't You Care About Your Sons and Daughters?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Here's my two bits worth which has also been printed in the October issue of the Four Corners Free Press:
{Check out the informative links at the end of this article}  
{Incidentally, if there's anyone with an interest, 
you are welcome to copy and recraft any of this in your own way, 
it's for the sharing and developing and learning and hoping.}

Why bother to vote in USA's Nov 4th election ?                                      

Recently I received a call from a local Democratic Party worker that went something like this: Hey Pete, how’s it going? Haven’t seen you around this campaign, we could really use some help at the office, any chance we can count on you coming down to lend a hand?
You see I’d been a slightly active Democrat, particularly the past decade, even attending the State Assembly and Convention thrice, twice as a delegate representing Hermosa, La Plata County, but this year nothing.
My friend was curious why the depression and lack of interest, what happened to me?
Well, Obama happened, yet another crushing disappointment for those who believed in his campaign talk. The man made assurances to We The People, but seldom fought for them once in office.
Admittedly, I believe that had we the people - I’m talking about regular educated citizens who possess humanist and rationalist instincts - been busy putting pressure on the President, he’d have acted more valiantly.
After all, it’s the votes and vocal grassroot voters who put The Backbone into our representatives but it seems we the people abandon our newly elected leaders as fast as they take office. Reminds me of the saying, “we get the government we deserve.”
Of course, there’s also the Republican Party to consider, our one time loyal opposition which has morphed into some malicious hulk possessed by the single-minded desire to wreck Democratic Presidencies and to heck with our nation’s problems.
Think I’m exaggerating? For an introduction to the GOP’s disregard for our nation’s best interests you’ll find Robert Draper’s “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives” an interesting read.
Well then… having written all this, why am I not marching down to the Democratic Office to lend a hand and some cash?
My ‘out’ is I’m tremendously busy this year - but I do toss in some cash when I can and now I want to reach out to folks who share my love for liberty and being an American citizen and member of my community. 
Folks like me who have broken free of blind dedication to other’s interpretations of ancient “holy” books. Folks who believe in experiencing their lives on this wonderful home planet of ours. Folks who are so disgusted by our political process that voting seems a farce or worse.
I’d like those Americans to consider the real world consequences of not adding their (your ?) vote to the final count. I’m haunted by the 2000 election and all the jaded civil libertarians and rationalists and humanists and environmentalists and such enlightened citizens who chose not to vote. Or even more hideous, sacrificing their vote by giving it to that vainglorious has-been fool Ralph Nader.
I often wonder if those too busy to vote in 2000 ever ponder the direct consequence of their abandoning the Democratic Party? I say this because it was the “I won’t votes” that handed our government over to a tribe of faith-based self-interested zealots.
Where were the loud concerted demands of worried citizens telling the Supreme Court to “leave it be, allow the votes to be counted”? We turned away, too busy with our daily lives, abandoning the meek liberal to the ruthless right-wing bullies to work it out and they certainly did.
The “I won’t votes” gave President Bush, Cheney and their Republican Neoconservative mentality our government. Then these God fearing people proceeded to display nothing but contempt for their national security advisors, reacting with equal dismissal towards all rational objections to their sophomoric Rambo war schemes. 
I won’t even get into their utter contempt towards our planet’s life-support system and scientific observations and our accumulating knowledge or all the irreparable harm that has been inflicted on the world, and indeed the course of history, since that fateful 2000 election, when so many good Americans were too good to vote.
Here we are fourteen years later, has anyone learned anything? Have the Reaganomics masters-of-the-universe made the world a better place to live and raise our children? Have the neocons and tea partiers learned anything from their mistakes? Do they even recognize any mistakes? How do you feel about your future?
The thing is, we live in America a nation that still follows Democratic Principles which includes relatively open elections that install the representatives and law makers who will govern us through the next years.
Yea, sure you laugh, the system is corrupt, my response: cry me a river. The fact remains, it’s the system that sets all the rules and exports our soldiers and treasure and weapons out into the world to multiply their, and our, miseries.
What I’m driving at is that no matter how disappointed or even disgusted I feel towards the Democratic Party, I’m a humanist and believe in the Scientific Enlightenment and personal freedom. I reject people who literally believe they understand God Almighty the creator of time and life.
I mean really, what are we to make of politicians who are so full of themselves they are convinced they’ve tapped into God Almighty’s Mind - it boggles my imagination.
What happened to good old time religion? When faith was personal and between you and Jesus or the God of your choice. Back when your faith was reflected in how well you lived your life and handled its challenges.
The Democratic Party no matter how weak at least continues to represent the “intellectual enlightenment” which ushered in today’s rational understanding of our world. Democrats appreciate the scientific process and the need for us to listen to real experts, unlike the Republicans with their political and religious absolutism and their “litmus tests” for whom or what to pay attention to.

Tuesday, November 4th, Election Day, is coming up fast, early-voting is happening now - another chance to participate. It is the one time your opinion can make a difference and the Democrats sure could use some extra help, buddy can you spare a vote?
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Bottom line: not voting 

is a vote for giving control to 
people who think like this . . .

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Inside the Christian Right Dominionist Movement That's Undermining Democracy
by Chip Berlet
~ ~ ~ 
Indoctrinating Religious Warriors
Charles M. Blow - January. 3, 2014
~ ~ ~ 
Christian Insecurity is the Real Driving Force Behind Republican Attempts to Force their Religion on Others  
By Allen Clifton - November 10, 2013
~ ~ ~
Timeline: The Religious Right and the Republican Platform
by Lauren Feeney - August 31, 2012
~ ~ ~ 
Republican Presidential Hopefuls Get Religious Scrutiny Before 2012 Primary Campaign
By Devin Dwyer - April 22, 2011
~ ~ ~ 
What is Dominionism? Palin, the Christian Right, and; Theocracy
by Chip Berlet - September 05, 2008

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Regarding the treasonous Bush/Cheney Administration:

New NSA docs contradict 9/11 claims
“I don’t think the Bush administration would want to see these released," an expert tells Salon
Jordan M. Smith - June 19, 2012 

"… Many of the documents publicize for the first time what was first made clear in the 9/11 Commission: The White House received a truly remarkable amount of warnings that al-Qaida was trying to attack the United States. From June to September 2001, a full seven CIA Senior Intelligence Briefs detailed that attacks were imminent, an incredible amount of information from one intelligence agency. …"
~ ~ ~ 
Also see 
~ ~ ~ 

Warnings on WMD 'Fabricator' Were Ignored, 
Ex-CIA Aide Says
By Joby Warrick - June 25, 2006
Washington Post Staff Writer
~ ~ ~ 

Ex-CIA Official Faults Use of Data on Iraq
By Walter Pincus - February 10, 2006
Washington Post Staff Writer
~ ~ ~ 

New Woodward Book Says Bush Ignored Urgent Warning on Iraq
By David E. Sanger - September 29, 2006
~ ~ ~

Fool Me Once
Paul Wolfowitz, Bill Kristol, and their fellow neocons botched Iraq. Now they want to tell you what they think. Ignore them.
By Jamelle Bouie - JUNE 16 2014
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Regarding the Republicans putting destruction of Democrats above our nation's problems/needs:

Inside the Worst Congress Ever
A look at some of the lowlights of Robert Draper’s new history of the House.
By David Weigel - April 2012

~ ~ ~ 

UPDATE: Eric Cantor Plotted to Sabotage US Economy in Secret Meeting with Hensarling & Luntz
June 11, 2014 
~ ~ ~

The Conspiracy to Commit Legislative Constipation
by James Wolcott - September 21 2014

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Regarding the Republican attack on science and rational learning:

Merchants of Doubt 

In their new book, Merchants of Doubt, historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway explain how a loose–knit group of high-level scientists, with extensive political connections, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. In seven compelling chapters addressing tobacco, acid rain, the ozone hole, global warming, and DDT, Oreskes and Conway roll back the rug on this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how the ideology of free market fundamentalism, aided by a too-compliant media, has skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era. 
~ ~ ~

Why we should trust scientists
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

FactChecking ‘The Pledge to America’
Republicans' 'Pledge to America' falls short on some of its facts.
September 24, 2010
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Republican dirty tricks and smears: An ignoble history
September 18, 2004
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Republican War on Science Returns
Chris Mooney - August 22, 2011
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Time to start paying attention to how badly we need this to remain healthy.
Take a look at our 
Earth From Space and from within:

Published on YouTube by maverick on May 29, 2013
The groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The following came from a Mark Udall email - it's a link that will help you check if your voter registration is valid, or allow you to register to vote, if you have a valid Colorado Driver's License. 

"The first step to voting in this election is to make sure you're registered. 

No comments: