Lack of Voter Turn Out? The Reason Might Surprise You

BESTPIX  Homelessness Reaches All-Time Record In New York CityI hear so many people on social media talking about voter apathy, lack of voter turnout. How, if only all the Dems turned out to vote everything would be better. I hear many belittle the people who don’t turn out to vote, as if all they can do is stand on a perch and lecture how the people who don’t turn out are the ones responsible for the state of American politics.

I see this view as both naive and incorrect. I see the lack of turnout as the people of this Country saying ‘it doesn’t matter who wins, everything remains the same.’ Both parties are owned by donors, special interest groups and our laws are written by lobbyists.

Case in point: Barack Obama, who we all originally thought had the best of intentions for helping the American public, the middle class, people in poverty has proven to do the exact opposite. Mr. Obama’s recent tax proposal, which included closing loopholes was really a sham. He left all of the loopholes open for his biggest donors. How is that helping the average American? It’s not. Obama’s new trade deal he is working on will cause Americans a great deal of harm in the future.

So, president Obama has sold himself to the highest bidder. His behind the scenes mega-rich donors. How would Mitt Romney have been any worse? It’s hard to say if he would have been.

But, voter turnout out for presidential elections is far higher than for midterms and Congress. If you look at the state of Congress over the last 5 years it is pretty simple to see why people don’t turn out to vote. Congress is a global disgrace with nothing getting done to help the American people. Instead the body is filled with people who have only their own interests in mind; their jobs, their donors and their viability to run for higher office.

President Obama did a fantastic job in getting people out to vote in 2008 and 2012. His contribution to our society will have positive long lasting benefits. His standing up for gay rights and equality had been unheard of. Flash back to the 1980s when Ronald Reagan wouldn’t do a thing to fight the spreading of AIDS; he wouldn’t even say the word AIDS out loud until 1987. Yes, Reagan is one of the primary reason for the global spread of AIDS. He did nothing because this was just a disease gay people got. Wrong. Contrast that with Obama’s stance for gay rights, equal rights for all.

But, election Obama wasn’t enough. The Congress is where the trouble is. Congress is where all bills go to die. Everyone mistakenly says that Obama had a supermajority his first term in office. This is absolutely incorrect. With the death of Teddy Kennedy in August of 2009 there was no more supermajority.

What no one knew at the time was that the GOP had a plan, a scorched earth approach to destroying Mr. Obama. Their only goal was, and still is, to make President Obama’s term in office a failure.

You ask why people don’t show up to vote? I believe many see no difference in the slight majority of GOP or DEM in Congress. Everything is filibustered, everything is stalled, nothing moves forward. I think most Americans feel screwed over by both parties so their ‘get out to vote’ motivation isn’t too high.

Now, what I am saying is an opinion I have of why potential voters don’t turn out. I have done no scientific studies that prove this hypothesis; however, to me this makes complete sense.

Our government is broken. So many changes need to be made. When 20 radical right-wingers in the House are able to bring the government to a halt you should know something is wrong. Very wrong.

I can think of about a million changes I would make, from voting by mail to no midterms, to  completely updating the way our government runs. Unfortunately, I am not a dictator that can make these changes and the very people that can makes changes, Congress, has no interest in change. We need to make changes in order to get more people engaged enough to want to vote.

Next time you belittle people for not going out and voting, ask yourself, is the system working for them? Is there any reason or motivation for them to vote? Look at the problem at the very root, not from your Ivory Tower

Fame Money Addiction Michael Jackson Whitney Houston Death

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Whitney-Houston-R.I.P The tragic news of Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, being found in a bathtub face down in the water was tragically horrify to learn about. As we all know, Whitney was found face down in a bathtub three years ago, dead. Her daughter is still alive, and I know everyone hopes she will fully recover. That’s my hope.

Addiction is something we don’t know enough about. Yes, we say it’s a ‘disease’ but what do we do about it. How do we help people who are suffering with it. I think much much more research needs to be done in this field. We need an answer for the question of why some people can kick an addiction and others can’t. Willpower is not the answer.

With Michael and Whitney, I believe they experienced something very few people on earth have experienced. Fame. Infamy. Wealth beyond belief. Success. Their every move watched, analyzed, reported on, rumored about.

I think no one knows what it’s like to be a global celebrity and all that entails. I know I certainly don’t. I can come and go and do as I please, the only people who might notice are my doormen, and I am sure they have more  interesting things to watch.

It sickened me a few weeks ago to see that there was a Lifetime movie on the life of Whitney Houston. Why? Because a movie about her life on some lame channel, for the purposes of profit, won’t do anyone any good. We all know the tragic ending. That’s not what we need to learn about.

What we need to explore and learn more about is the devastating impact on a person who is a global celebrity. What their lives are like; their anxieties are, what it’s like to have that. Like I said, I don’t think anyone could understand it until they have experienced it. But, maybe we could all be educated as to what it’s really like. Celebrities don’t live like you and I do. What sounds like vast, endless supplies of money can easily be spent by lifestyles we don’t know. We don’t need security; publicists, managers, stylists, etc.

Celebrity thrust upon someone is something we need to understand more. Yes, performers are public people, yes they put themselves out there. But, once there very few know the intense pressures. Whereas most people worry about employment, mortgage or car payments celebrities have none of those issues. But they have their own unique challenges we should know more about.

Both Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston died of drug overdoses after being longterm drug addicts. Both of their families had many interventions to try to help them get off the drugs they were abusing. Neither family was successful. But, what we have to understand is what it’s like to be a global superstar. Especially for someone like Michael who had been a household name since childhood.

More must be done to understand about addiction. It’s not just the rich and famous who suffer from it. It is also the people who can’t afford their rent/car/child payments. Knowing that the lack of money is not the reason for plunging into a life of drugs should really tell us a lot. Many people want to get break from their lives; you just never think it would be a global, very wealthy superstar.

The reason we need more answers on addiction is because of the unthought of casualties like Bobbi Kristina. But there are many more. The people who were briefly on top then saw their careers sink. No, maybe they didn’t try to end their lives, but knowledge would help all.

The reason the Lifetime movie about Whitney nauseates me is because it’s about the wrong topics. What we need to know is what it’s like to be a young girl and have world wide attention on everything you do. What it’s like to not be able to kick the addiction.

I want to see a deeply investigated and researched documentary on these topics. It could help so many people. In the meantime let’s keep our thoughts with Bobbi Kristina and her recovery.

News Media Fail ** The United States Is Turning Into North Korea

IMG_0091The last few days have been the latest example of how the so-called news media fails our Country, doesn’t do its job and pretty much only focusses on the newest shiny object they see. The relentless coverage of the “historic” “deadly” “life changing” Blizzard is just the showing of the low point of news media in the U.S.

The news media had always been referred to as the 4th estate of the U.S. government. Keeping America informed and keeping its leaders to upholding the truth. In its heyday, the news media brought down a president of the United States of America. Today, it’s CNN Breaking News: it’s snowing. Such a sad state of affairs which hurts just about everyone.

It is a reality and a disgrace that the news media has to focus on profit instead of informing the public. Having the best news used to be a symbol of a great organization. Now it’s all about the bottom line. How much money do they bring in and how to get higher ratings. Really, it’s devastating.

Where has the news media been since 2008 financial meltdown and modern day American Depression? Why has no news outlet fully looked into what exactly happened, why, and how to prevent it in the future? The point would not be to put blame on president Bush, the point would be to see what led to this calamity. President Clinton was involved with his deregulating laws that were put in place after the original Great Depression in the 1920s/30s. Again, the goal is not to ruin Bill Clinton, the goal is for the American people to never have to go through such tragedy.

The news media should be challenging all presidential administrations, whether they be Democrats or Republicans. We all know they failed us on challenging the perfectly orchestrated lead up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Perhaps if they had done their jobs American people might not have been for that war. And, do not forget, in 2003 Americans were behind that war.

The news media needs to be there to inform, get the truth out and then the American public can decide, by voting, what they want to do. Instead what we get is pandering to get interviews by only saying the talking points the people being interviewed want told.

This is outrageous. This puts the United States in the same league as North Korea. We aren’t hearing the truth, and neither do they. The extremes might be a different, but the concept is the same. “Tell the people what YOU want them to hear/understand/believe. What a disgrace.

Some examples. Many, including myself, have relentlessly condemned the White House for not explaining what #ACA was, how it would work, what the plusses and minuses were of the law. I still blame president Obama for not better articulating this new law and also its massive failure in NYC. But, I equally blame the media. Why weren’t they there to read through the law, report on it, challenge the administration? To me, that’s unacceptable. Not one word from any news outlet about the ACA looked at and judged in its entirety. President Obama himself has said there are many things that can be improved. The news media could have brought them to the forefront.

Another example of complete and total media failure is the state of the U.S. economy today. The media hangs on the headlines that are given and don’t look deeper. They don’t ask why 90% of the Country is extremely anxious about the economy and job security. They don’t mention there are some 40 million unemployed people not included in the 5.6% unemployment rate. They rarely mention that the so called thriving economy and job creation has created predominately much lower paying full time jobs and millions of part time jobs. Their lack of giving the public real news is detrimental to our future. If we looked at this honestly today we could try to fix it.

It’s not to blame president Obama, it’s to make the future better for all of us. When people are out of work, working part time, or earning significantly lower wages the economy stalls, like ours is now. If consumers, workers, don’t have the money to buy things companies don’t hire and there is a downward spiral.

The examples of news media failure are endless. What really happened on 9/11? Why are those 28 pages of the 9/11 report still redacted? Why aren’t we informed that the U.S. created al Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIL? If we knew these things we could make better decisions as voters.

As it’s going, we here in the U.S. are fed information that is at best half truthful, non investigated and informative. How does this make us any different than Iran and North Korea?

More Changes To Our Electoral Process To Add Fairness and More Participants

IMG_2044As I have outlined in other postings, I think much needs to change in order for the United States of America to be a truly democratic place.

It is far from it now. We are owned and controlled by billionaires, big business, big companies and lobbyists. We are living in a world that is called an Oligarchy: where the rich run the world and the rest play by the rules.

All money out of politics would help drastically. The ending of gerrymandering districts and voter restriction would be completely necessary.

Today I want to discuss a few other things. What I wrote above is extremely essential to a better place for all, and I want it all addressed. Now I am talking about our outdated political process. The primaries in specific.

As I have said, many times, our primary schedule needs to change. Immediately. We have a pathetic process where the same states, year after year, decade after decade, get to be the ones to choose, narrow down, the nominees. In concept this isn’t a bad idea. What is a devastating concept is that it is the exact same states, every decade, century, that gets to decide on candidates.

Why is this so? I can’t think of any fathomable reason why. Why, on earth, would Iowa get such a big decision in this process? Then New Hampshire? Why? As I have said many times before: who are they to decide what the rest of the American people want? More deeply, having a set schedule allows would be and potential candidates to troll these states for years before any primaries.

Is this democracy? Not in my book. The times/dates/schedules of the primaries should be changed every election. Let Nevada, New York, California, Connecticut be the first to decide. The way we have it now is a mockery of hearing the voices of the people. We need more input from other sources to make a good decision.

Changing the order would be huge. No more Iowa Steak Fries 2 years before a presidential campaign. Come to Massachusetts and see how you fare. I want this changed immediately.

Other things that need to change for a more representative president? Let’s start with getting rid of the electoral college. It serves no purpose. Presidents should win a majority of the people’s vote; otherwise we end up with George W. Bush.

Next, change the architecture of the Senate. Replace 2 Senators per state to an equation where the number of Senators per state has to do with the population per state. In a true democracy majority should rule. It doesn’t today and that is a smear on our Country.

Start with these simple and easy measures to make a better democracy. As these go, we will learn more about what changes need to be taken next.

By doing what I have outlines above we can change our Country for the better; we can also, by example, change the World for the better.

Can We Learn To Tell The Truth For The Future of the Country

IMG_1684It amazes me when I read different news media and their completely factually incorrect articles they put out. The articles, of course, are to promote either Democrats or Republicans. Has anyone ever had the idea to promote articles, knowledge and experience that would help both parties and the entire Country?

It seems not, since I don’t ever recall seeing anything of this sort. We are one Country and we all have similar goals: making our lives better, safer and a better future for the next generation. Each side may have a different way of realizing the goals; but knowing we have the same goals is very important.

Let’s stop the lies and start working together to make things better. I just saw some posting about how George W. Bush squandered a $5.6 trillion dollar surplus. That is 100% inaccurate. Before people shoot their mouthes off they should do some research. That figure of $5.6T was an estimated figure if the economy continued to grow at the pace it was in the late 1990s. It didn’t. The burst of the dot com bubble was so severe not only did it eliminate any surpluses it also took away all of the value of the growth of the late 1990s.

Why is this important? Am I picking on Bill Clinton while propping up George Bush? No, it’s important because it’s factual information that we can learn from in the future. You need facts to build better policy, bills and laws for the future.

And this needs to be our goal. A better future by learning from all of the successes and failures of each administration. Ego has to be let go; our Country’s future is the most important goal.

Obviously George Bushes’s wars were both fiascos that won’t be finished for years and have put a very deep stain on the competency of the United States of America. President Obama has had to play clean up to get us out of these wars. My goal is for someone non-partisan to look at our invasion of Afghanistan and give a scenario of how we could have done better. Perhaps not targeting the whole Country, just al Qaeda. Yes hindsight is 20/20, but this isn’t about blame, it’s about what to do in the future. In my view, if we had just gone after al Qaeda we would not have had America’s longest war. We might have troops there still, but a small number with a limited assignment.

Iraq was another, is another, complete disaster. Rather than saying Bush was a fool (which wouldn’t be incorrect) what is the bigger lesson? How many troops were sent in? Why was the U.S. unable to tamp down the insurgency? Bush 1 sent 600,000 troops in 1990; Bush 2 sent 150,000 troops in 2003. Maybe this is the very reason Iraq was able to turn from mass insurgency to what it is today.

Each administration should look to the past to see what kind of help they can get to plan a better future. Perhaps Condi Rice has things to offer about Iran dragging their feet and stalling; perhaps she has something to offer about U.S. Russia relations. Of course she does. Contact her.

The only President in modern history that has been utilized for his experience by both Democrats and Republicans is Richard Nixon. Yes, surprising, but true. We need to do more of this. If H.W. has good advice, listen and takes notes. If Bill Clinton has good advice also listen also take notes. It can no longer be a tit for tat game. Country first.

The economy? My goal is for Mr. Obama and his aides (both D and R) look at all the info available at what invigorates the economy. What produces more higher paying jobs. Our economy is not in good shape as most polls have noted. Despite the promising figures people don’t feel positive about the economy. Why? Because most/all of the gains have gone to the .01% not the general public.

When people brag about the Obama economy they should really ask themselves a few questions first. One being, if everything Obama tried to do to stimulate the economy was obstructed who is responsible for the numbers that sound good today? The president who offered a few jobs packages, or the people that obstructed them.

The point? R’s and D’s need to drop their egos at the door and look to each other for what has worked and what could work in the future. From the economy to Russia, Iran. We have a vast quantity of knowledge, let’s utilize it for all Americans.

Does Anyone Listen to the Entire Story, Or Just What You Want To Hear?

IMG_2182To me it seems like most people listen only to the headline, or the headline they want to hear and not the entire story. Not the background behind the story and what can be done in the future to improve things for the American people.

Right now I am specifically talking about the economy of the United States. I see so many people posting how far we have come, how good things are, all because of President Obama. To me, this is overkill. If people felt good about the current state of the economy there would be no need to post accomplishments every 15 minutes.

I, for one, hope the latest round of statistics are true. That the U.S. is on solid footing to finally recover from the devastating crash of 2008. That crash was, according to The Wall Street Journal, worse than the crash from the the Great Depression in the 1920/1930s. That is in itself is almost impossible to imagine. But, it’s true.

The relentless posturing from the Left about how spectacular the recovery has been is not only out of touch it’s incorrect. Like I said, if everything was great, no one would have to say it.

You have to look deeper. You can’t listen to the talking points and not do more research. Yes, we have had unprecedented job creation. But, you need to ask what kind of jobs were created? What kind of salary do those jobs have? Are they full or part time jobs? If you don’t ask and know the answers to these questions, you really don’t know what is going on in the economy.

Unfortunately, up until now, the jobs created are low paying and part time jobs. That doesn’t help the average person. The ‘unprecedented’ growth and economic boom has almost entirely gone to the top 1% of the Country. This also does not help the average person trying to get by.

Why does everyone make this about President Obama? In general, job growth and the economy have very little to do with a sitting president. Yes, things seem to have improved since Mr. Obama was sworn into office in 2009, but you have to ask yourself why things have improved. And whom they improved for. That’s the key.

Seventy percent of the Country is unhappy and wants a change in direction for the future. This is not good news for any Democrats nor president Obama. So, rather than bragging about how different things are today from 2009 we must see to, and make sure that the gains go to the right people.

I have always been against any kind of wealth distribution. I don’t think it’s right or part of the American values. However, I do believe that those who have been more fortunate should pay a larger share in taxes. Yes, if your income was in the 7 or 10 figure category part of it should be taxed at 90%.

We need to make sure everyone prospers from good economic news and real life figures. It helps no one if our GDP is 5% but the bulk majority of the gains go to billionaires. You need the working people to earn more. That will actually drive and stimulate the economy. Our GDP comes 70% from consumer spending. If consumers aren’t spending, the economy isn’t growing and no new jobs will be created.

My biggest hope for 2015 is that the current economic numbers continue to grow. Instead of bragging about President Obama’s accomplishments, I’d rather see people, policy makers, future politicians, focus on how we can continue to have a thriving middle class. I want to hear ideas, proposals and solutions. Saying the stock market doubled is very unimpressive for anyone that knows about finances. When the market dropped in half most knew it would recover. Many made a fortune knowing what would happen.

We are at a crossroads now. We can either rest on the laurels of President Obama and let someone from the GOP swoop in and take the White House. Or, we can stop the happy talk and find some one who will take all of the country forward to a prosperous and enlightened future.

It’s our choice. Speak the truth and make a plan for better days; or watch someone in the GOP do it.

An Open Letter to Sony Global; Listen Up Or Lose It All

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Let me start by introducing myself; I have been a loyal viewer of your movies and buyer of your products for decades. I am the kind of person, as are most of my followers, that you should be paying attention to.

First, let me start with the easy low hanging fruit. If you have anyone in your employ that uses Company products that go against your public stance on non-discrimination and positively using diversity to make not only a better workplace but also a better product; you need to let go your top executives whom have made a mockery of your position. Worse than dismissing your corporate pledge, these people mocked the president of the United States with racial and bigoted emails. This cannot continue. These individuals must be let go.

On to other issues. I believe you made the exact wrong decision on not releasing the movie ‘The Interview.’ How can you let a thug nation intimidate the most powerful Country on earth with some veiled references to 9/11. If you have to look back to George W. Bush for an example, look back to his saying, days after the attacks, let your lives get back to normal. Fly on airplanes, don’t be afraid.

Sony, your decision will make people more afraid than they need to be. Your decision has elevated North Korea into a position of changing U.S. behavior: through fear. Your decision has given the green light to al Qaeda, ISIL and any terrorist group to give an off the cuff threat and change our behavior. Sony, you aren’t seen as being a hero and saving American lives. Your decision seems more like an attempt to save your bottom line.

Americans are for Capitalism but detest grandstanding and showboating about safety while behind the scenes you are really concerned about profit.

What to do now after all of these screw ups?

My advice?

Start today, right now. No putting this off or ‘waiting to see what happens.’ Today come out with a  press release saying that in fact The Interview will be shown to the American audience. Take a new bold approach. Offer the movie for sale via streaming or DVD. On Christmas Day anyone interested should be able to purchase or stream The Interview into their homes to watch it. Charge people $12.99 or $9.99 to purchase this film. You will see an outpouring of American support.

Americans will not be intimidated. I don’t have much of an interest to see this movie but I would purchase it. By releasing it directly to all households you could see the biggest profit you have ever seen. Far surpassing what the box office would have produced.

Taking my advice would show a number of things. Starting with showing America will not be intimidated by a rogue nation. It will also show America’s strength and support by all that purchase the movie. Sony, you have screwed this situation up on so many levels. Now is your opportunity to stand out from the crowd and show the world what you and the American people are capable of.

I, for one, am sick of the cowardliness of for profit companies. If you want to stay in business and keep the profits rolling in contact me for more details. Otherwise, continue to hide and lose the respect of the world.