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csziggy

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Hometown: Leon County, Florida
Member since: Tue Feb 12, 2008, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 22,755

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After Trump victory at Electoral College, world views collide

This is a long article with some very good information about the election. I found Ion Sancho's comments most interesting since he has been the Supervisor of Elections in my county (Leon, Florida) for 28 years as a non-partisan official. He is retiring now and for the first time is criticizing one of the major political parties.

I also found some of Sancho's comments very relevant to discussions here about what we as Democrats, liberals and progressives should work on to make our elections fairer. His comments are what I extracted, the entire article is worth a read.
After Trump victory at Electoral College, world views collide
Text by Christine BUCKLEY , reporting from Tallahassee, Florida

Latest update : 2016-12-21

<SNIP>

{Ion} Sancho later questioned the integrity of electronic voting machines used in Florida elections and was featured in the award-winning HBO documentary "Hacking Democracy". He was not surprised by Monday’s outcome at the Electoral College. “I’m a pragmatic realist,” said the man who will retire at the end of the month after almost thirty years (seven terms) on the job. But before he does, he hopes the American people will realise they’ve fallen asleep on the job, and act quickly to take back their power.

The voter suppression story ‘no one cares about’

“It’s good to see that people are disturbed,” Sancho told FRANCE 24, “But now I hope we can focus this energy on real election reform, because voter suppression has been going on here since 2000.” He estimates that more than 1.5 million African-American votes were suppressed in Florida during the 2016 election. Which for him, means that “the real story is not whether Putin manipulated the US election - he did. But our elections aren’t fair; they’re manipulated by both major parties, and I haven’t even started to talk about gerrymandering yet".

<SNIP>

“Since 2010 when the ‘ideological Republicans’ came to power in this country, the focus has been on ideology over facts, which has all kinds of ramifications,” Sancho said. “Evidence or data is irrelevant because faith-like ‘beliefs’ do not rest on evidence and I believe this has destroyed the American republic. Because it means that the end justifies the means for this kind of public official. And that can only lead to disaster for this nation.”

So what does Sancho suggest the average citizen do now? Read history. Educate yourself and your children. Vote and ensure that others have access to the polls. Believe in the public good. Talk about politics and listen to people who don’t agree with you. Debate. Hold politicians accountable. Demand proof and underlying evidence for everything. “All across the board, we need to get to evidence,” he said. “Opinions are irrelevant. One of the greatest con jobs politicians have pulled off in the last 25 years is to convince people that if you’re arguing on principle, you don’t need to compromise.”

Much more: http://www.france24.com/en/20161220-trump-victory-electoral-college-world-views-collide-protests


A favorite quote of Ion Sancho:
Principles is another name for prejudices.”
Mark Twain, 1900

Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump! - Why didn't we see this before now?

Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!

Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs".



Also seen at http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/dinosaur-explains-trump-policies-better-than-trump/

OMFG - Just got a call inviting me to a Donald J Trump event!

I missed a lot of the call - I was swearing at the recording by Ivanka and some other nutjob woman.

I stopped swearing long enough to note the call back number: 646-736-7139 The call came from "Donald J Trump 334-521-3063."

So, if anyone in the Tallahassee, Florida area wants to go to a victory rally for the short fingered vulgarian, call that number. Apparently it is free.

If I were younger I might consider infiltrating the event but I never liked crowds and would not be able to hold my thoughts back. They'd probably beat me to death.

I wonder about them calling me - I am a registered Democrat and have been registered Democratic since I was old enough to vote. I have never voted for a Republican in my life and never will. If they are calling Democratic registered voters, maybe they are having problems filling their Nuremberg style rallies?

Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda

A link to this document was posted to Facebook by Robert Reich. It could be useful to organizers who want to fight back.
Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda
Former congressional staffers reveal best practices for making Congress listen


<SNIP>

One Page Summary
Here’s the quick and dirty summary of this document. While this page summarizes top-level takeaways, the full document describes how to actually carry out these activities.

Ch. 1: How grassroots advocacy worked to stop Obama. We examine lessons from the Tea Party’s rise and recommend two key strategic components:

1. A local strategy targeting individual Members of Congress (MoCs).

2. A defensive approach purely focused on stopping Trump from implementing an agenda built on racism, authoritarianism, and corruption.


Ch. 2: How your MoC thinks, and how to use that to save democracy. Reelection, reelection, reelection. MoCs want their constituents to think well of them and they want good, local press. They hate surprises, wasted time, and most of all, bad press that makes them look weak, unlikable, and vulnerable. You will use these interests to make them listen and act.

Ch. 3: Identify or organize your local group. Is there an existing local group or network you can join? Or do you need to start your own? We suggest steps to help mobilize your fellow constituents locally and start organizing for action.

Ch. 4: Four local advocacy tactics that actually work. Most of you have 3 MoCs--two Senators and one Representative. Whether you like it or not, they are your voice in Washington. Your job is to make sure they are, in fact, speaking for you. We’ve identified four key opportunity areas to pressure MoCs that just a handful of local constituents can use to great effect. For each of these always record encounters on video, prepare questions ahead of time, coordinate with your group, and report back to local media:

1. Townhalls: MoCs regularly hold public in-district events to show that they are listening to constituents. Make them listen to you, and report out when they don’t.

2. Non-townhall events. MoCs love cutting ribbons and kissing babies back home. Don’t let them get photo-ops without questions about racism, authoritarianism, and corruption.

3. District office sit-ins/meetings. Every MoC has one or several district offices. Go there. Demand a meeting with the MoC. Report to the world if they refuse to listen.

4. Coordinated calls. Calls are a light lift but can have impact. Organize your local group to barrage your MoCs at an opportune moment and on a specific issue.


More: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DzOz3Y6D8g_MNXHNMJYAz1b41_cn535aU5UsN7Lj8X8/preview#heading=h.1t4uu5uonb6f

Computers Modem Melts Down While Stop Sabal Trail Activist Sends Violation Reports to FERC and DEP

Computer’s Modem Melts Down While Stop Sabal Trail Activist Sends Violation Reports to FERC and DEP
12/15/16

Abnormal activities are occurring in Levy County and other locations in Florida. In Levy County, Sabal Trail Transmission is installing a portion of a 516 mile, fracked gas (methane) pipeline. Violations have been duly noted and documented at the work sites by activists as the crews are rapidly installing this pipeline with no oversight.

Today a concerned resident who has been carefully documenting the violations being done by the Sabal Trail Transmission employee's, Price Gregory workers and crews from affiliated companies had her modem melt down while sending her documentation to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and other agencies.

This person’s documentation included videos, still photos and written reports.

From the activist before the computer shut down: “Not paranoid. Whilst preparing my latest DEP violations report I sit back and watched as someone took over controls on my laptop. Spybot alerted me but nothing i did gave me back contol. I was able to send reports and video I think? Not paranoid. #STOPSABALTRAIL PIPELINE”

<SNIP>

#StopSabalTrail
http://www.stopsabaltrail.com
http://www.facebook.com/groups/stopsabaltrailpipeline
http://www.facebook.com/stopsabaltrail
http://www.twitter.com/stopsabaltrail
Anita Stewart
anitastewart@gmail.com
813.312.2292

More: http://stopsabaltrailpipeline.blogspot.com/p/press-releases.html


More about the pipeline:

We want to #StopSabalTrail pipeline, a natural gas pipeline that will threaten the lands, waters (including aquifers, watersheds, rivers, springs, ponds, wetlands), our environment and flora & fauna in three states. Over 160 eminent domain lawsuits have been filed. Citizens' properties are being seized to complete this project. Most of the people that live closest to the pipeline are not even aware that it is being installed.

Natural Gas would be transported on commuter trains and the entire system will consist of staging areas, compressor stations and areas to process and export the natural gas. One of the latter is close to a nuclear power plant. This puts lives in danger. The human impact cannot even be estimated at this time and could occur from mistakes such as work hazards, derailments and possible explosions.

We don't have much time, perhaps weeks as Sabal Trail under Spectra and other parent Big Oil and Gas companies have already broken ground in three states: Alabama, Georgia and Florida. The pipes are being installed rapidly and in multiple locations throughout the three states right now. This pipeline is expected to be operational by June of 2017.

It is important to note that this pipeline has been APPROVED. There is no more asking nicely from elected representatives. They can't help us. We need to move forward in an attempt to save our future.
http://stopsabaltrailpipeline.blogspot.com/

How honeybees are protecting elephants and saving crops!



How Bees, Elephants, And Farmers Are Keeping Each Other Safe In A Genius Way
Laura Caseley


Being a farmer is hard work — but being a farmer in places like Kenya, Botswana, and Sri Lanka has a unique challenge that other areas of the world don’t: elephants!

Wild elephants, whose natural behavior is to roam, have been known to march right through fields, damaging and destroying crops.

When the human farmers try to intervene, things can turn ugly, and both human and elephant injuries and even deaths can occur.

Sadly, like too many animals, elephants face many dangers at the hands of humans. It’s a shame, because these creatures are intelligent, sensitive, and have complex emotional and social connections, forming strong bonds with one another, and with different animals, too.
More: http://www.littlethings.com/bees-and-elephants-vcom/

(Video at the end of the story has been blocked due to copyright issues. The video I posted above is a shorter version that is not blocked.)

Dozens of Florida political committees being fueled by millions in dark money

Dozens of Florida political committees being fueled by millions in ‘dark money’
Posted December 10, 2016 06:01 pm - Updated December 10, 2016 09:44 pm
By Tia Mitchell

<SNIP>

State campaign finance rules require political committees to provide basic information about their missions, the candidates they are backing and issues they support or oppose. Often that information is too general or too vague to provide a clear understanding of the committee’s focus. Place holder information like “to be determined” is accepted by the state and never updated despite a requirement in law that once a change is necessary new documents should be filed within 10 days.

A Times-Union analysis of the nearly 1,000 political committees active in Florida found that one out of every seven committees are operating in the shadows. Even after combing through public records, various state databases and internet search results, it’s difficult to pinpoint why these committees were created or whom they are intended to benefit. While their income and expenses are reported, the details of those expenditures are not. Also left unclear is who exactly is calling the shots.

In federal political campaigns, increasing amounts of money are being donated and spent without any public disclosure. Dubbed dark money, this spending originates from nonprofit and corporate entities that by law do not have to disclose their political contributions.

<SNIP>

Florida’s biggest dark money committees are frequently interrelated, passing money to each other in ways that make the elections process here even murkier. Of the 10 dark money committees in Florida that raised the most money from 2014 to November 2016, the most recent election cycle, eight have financial connections to one another and the Republican Party. In that time, at least $2.2 million flowed between them.

More: http://jacksonville.com/news/2016-12-10/dozens-florida-political-committees-being-fueled-millions-dark-money

Why I Will Not Cast My Electoral Vote for Donald Trump

Why I Will Not Cast My Electoral Vote for Donald Trump

By CHRISTOPHER SUPRUN DEC. 5, 2016

DALLAS — I am a Republican presidential elector, one of the 538 people asked to choose officially the president of the United States. Since the election, people have asked me to change my vote based on policy disagreements with Donald J. Trump. In some cases, they cite the popular vote difference. I do not think presidents-elect should be disqualified for policy disagreements. I do not think they should be disqualified because they won the Electoral College instead of the popular vote. However, now I am asked to cast a vote on Dec. 19 for someone who shows daily he is not qualified for the office.

<SNIP>

Mr. Trump lacks the foreign policy experience and demeanor needed to be commander in chief. During the campaign more than 50 Republican former national security officials and foreign policy experts co-signed a letter opposing him. In their words, “he would be a dangerous president.” During the campaign Mr. Trump even said Russia should hack Hillary Clinton’s emails. This encouragement of an illegal act has troubled many members of Congress and troubles me.

Hamilton also reminded us that a president cannot be a demagogue. Mr. Trump urged violence against protesters at his rallies during the campaign. He speaks of retribution against his critics. He has surrounded himself with advisers such as Stephen K. Bannon, who claims to be a Leninist and lauds villains and their thirst for power, including Darth Vader. “Rogue One,” the latest “Star Wars” installment, arrives later this month. I am not taking my children to see it to celebrate evil, but to show them that light can overcome it.

More: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/05/opinion/why-i-will-not-cast-my-electoral-vote-for-donald-trump.html

No to ExxonMobils Tillerson for Secretary of State

Pam McVety, My View 11:07 a.m. EST December 8, 2016

History and past actions don’t seem to matter to President-elect Donald Trump, but they matter to most of us. Investigative reporters, NGOs and more than a dozen Attorneys General believe that ExxonMobil Corporation may have obstructed and delayed action to address climate change for decades. Now Donald Trump is considering rewarding its CEO, Rex Tillerson, by appointing him Secretary of State.

The Dec. 8 New York Review of Books article “The Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF) vs. Exxon,” by David Kaiser and Lee Wasserman, explains why ExxonMobil has not been a good corporate citizen when it comes to climate change, based on findings from a RFF funded investigation by a team of independent reporters from the Columbia School of Journalism to determine what Exxon really knew about climate science and when.

The findings of the reporters were published in the Los Angeles Times in the fall of 2015. They found that Exxon’s own scientists warned the company repeatedly as early as the 1970s and into the 1980s about the seriousness of climate change and that the burning of fossil fuels caused it. Knowing this, Exxon had a choice: It could join the growing scientific consensus that action was needed to curb carbon emissions or it could fight it. It chose to fight – although Exxon denies this.

A quote from the article: “For decades it published frequent ‘advertorials’ on the editorial page of The New York Times, questioning the reality of climate change or its human cause, or arguing that predictions about global warming were too unreliable to justify efforts to prevent it.”

More: http://www.tallahassee.com/story/opinion/2016/12/08/mcvety-exxonmobils-tillerson-secretary-state/95139802/


I'm very proud to say that I know Ms McVety!

OMG - I HATE insurance companies!

I wrote last week about my husband's health problem. Well, first off he's doing much better. But he ruptured his appendix on Thanksgiving morning and didn't realize it. Last Wednesday I took him to our regular GP's office, got a CT scan, and he was sent to a surgeon on Thursday. Friday morning he got a CT scan with an interventionist radiologist who put in three drains in some of the abscesses he had from the crud out of the appendix.

He spent Friday through Monday at the hospital then they sent him home with supplies to flush the drains. Problem is, they didn't add up the amount of supplies right and I am almost out of the saline needed.

I figured, no problem, it's saline and while I didn't expect our regular pharmacy to have it, I thought I could get it at a surgical supply place. When I called, I was told they had to have prior approval from the insurance company. I called them and was told the doctor had to get the approval and it would take 24 hours. 24 hours is too long - that would mean we'd skip several of the prescribed flushes and take a chance on the drains clogging, maybe causing more infection.

I went off on the insurance company woman and basically told her that if my husband ends up back in the hospital it will be her fault and the insurance company would have to pay through the nose for his care.

FOUR hours later I am still waiting to hear from the doctor's office about where they got approval to get the saline.

It's fucking SALINE, for fuck's sake! It's not as if we are trying to get a controlled substance or an antibiotic that could be misused. It's sterile water and SALT.

Add to my frustration is that I needed a shower this morning but I have been making calls or waiting on call backs all damn day. So when I do find out where to go to get the saline, I will have to go with greasy hair and stinky body.

We need SANE healthcare in this country. I've used more time of the people at the pharmacies, insurance company, and doctor's office that it would cost to go out and buy on fucking bottle of saline solution. Add in my time and the total amount of time wasted cost more than several cases of saline solution.
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