Everything About The Way We Vote Must Change, Part 2

IMG_0274I can’t emphasize enough primaries and easier access to voting as I talked about in Part 1. Let a candidate come to New York for their first primary, see how well they fare. It bothers me a lot that inconsequential states like Iowa and New Hampshire can make or break a candidate. Who are they? Also to reemphasize about easier voting. This is a must. No more talk of voter suppression; all states should have voting by mail and/or voting online. We must stop making it difficult, or inconvenient for people to vote.

Electoral College This needs to end. Maybe it was feasible when our Country had 12 states, it’s not now. Winning the vote means you win the most votes. George Bush won the election when he was 500,000 votes behind Al Gore? That’s not right. I live in New York. New York is a Blue state so I could say I don’t even need to vote. Everyone needs to vote. And majority rules. I am sure there are other people in Red states who might vote DEM and their vote is overwhelmed by GOP votes. This needs to stop. One person one vote. This will make candidates talk to the populist and their issues rather than cow-tow to the loud voices of the right or left wing. They should be speaking for America, not fringe groups with agendas.

The Senate I don’t think it is right for the Senate of the U.S. to have 2 representatives per state. That is not democracy. Tiny states shouldn’t have the same voting rights as large states. We should have the number of Senators per state based on the population of the state. This would make the government run much smoother. No more letting the few who are pandering to a vast minority to obstruct our government to the point of complete paralysis as it has been for the last 5 years. What is happening today in the United States is an exact replay of the Great Depression. The last few years, as in the 1930s, you have a base of people who think austerity is the answer. If we look at history we will know that austerity is what caused the second recession and kept the U.S. in Depression for over a decade. Having more voices in the Senate can change that.

Other things to think about 

Term limits is something to consider. Although with what is going on today, the lunatic tea party is being somewhat curtailed by the old guard. So, term limits would get rid of the old and let the insane run the asylum. But, on the other hand, maybe they would be good. Letting new people come into govern and it might help the culture of corruption. I am undecided on this issue, let me know what you think.

You have to ask yourself at some point, why hasn’t president Obama, or Bush, changed the tax laws so corporations aren’t able to save tax dollars by keeping Trillions overseas? The American people would be behind that. The American people would be behind tax incentives for hiring right here in America. Why doesn’t that change?

It makes you wonder, who really is running this Country. Stay tuned for Part 3.

 

Everything About the Way We Vote Must Change, Part I

BocaThe way our Country votes is completely undemocratic. On just about every level I believe everything must change. Perhaps this is a fantasy, since it seems like we are owned by “big money” and lobbyists, but without changes we should no longer call ourselves a real democracy.

Primaries This is a great place to start. Why do we continue to have a set schedule of primaries that lets potential candidates kiss up to people in Iowa and New Hampshire? Why should those states have so much say in the vetting process? They don’t represent me, or probably most of the Country. It’s nauseating to watch potential candidates going to those states for the purpose of the primaries. I say immediately stop this unfair practice and one year before a presidential election have some sort of lottery that sets which states and what dates primaries will be held. That way candidates will be vetted by a broader section of the people.

Voting  Why do we have an archaic voting system that makes you go wait in line at some public school for hours at a time to vote? You wonder why there is such a low turn out in elections, that’s why! This is the 21st Century, we have the technology to do much more, make it much easier for people to place their votes. Seems the IRS can locate each and every one of us, know how much we have earned, contact us directly and get their money. All done confidentially. Why can’t we use some of that kind of technology to either let people vote by mail or vote on their smart phones? This would cause such a revolution, imagine 100% of the population voting. If you don’t have a smart phone or access to a computer voting by mail should be an option. And make the return envelope have postage on it.

This would be a game changer. No more photo ID arguments or changing early voting, or people having to get on a bus to go vote. Everyone, through a cleared method similar to what the IRS does, could vote any time they want. Obviously you couldn’t mail in your vote on election day, time periods would have to be set. The goal is to get everyone to vote.

Money The SCOTUS decision to allow anonymous money in elections was so wrong in so many ways. Money should be completely taken out of politics and elections. Fundraising should not be something politicians have to think about. We elect them to govern and legislate. Not pimp themselves out so they can run again. People in government shouldn’t only be rich people who can self fund a campaign or people who know rich people.

This is the first in a series I will be doing. Let me know what you think.

Why Isn’t Technology More Intuitive ** It Is, It’s Just About Advertising

IMG_0844I ask myself this question a lot, whether texting, emailing, doing searches. It can be maddening.

Let’s start with auto correct with emails and texts and tweets and everything else. I can’t even finish typing in a word before the auto correct goes into effect and changes what I am typing to something I have never typed before. What’s all this bullshit with Apple and the others that the device with learn how you communicate and auto correct will facilitate that? By changing any number of words to something I have never typed before? I am stressing never typed before because that is not a device learning from what I have typed in the past. As everyone knows it’s maddening if you don’t re-read your communication (which I generally don’t) before sending it out because auto correct puts words in that make it look like I don’t understand the English language.

In a perfect world, not only would something like auto correct fill in words I use a lot rather than ones I never use. But it would also help with grammar. So many people make the mistake of your and you’re, then and than, affect and effect. It would be nice if the all touted auto correct help with those. And, not just to correct our mistakes, but so we can learn from it.

The we get to searches. I generally, ok always, use google. Every time I do a search I have to pull down like 3 menu bars to get to “date range of search.” One would think that after doing that on 90% of my searches the all mighty and powerful google would learn that and have that option open to me front and center after my search. But, no.

Almost 100% of the time if I am doing a search on something I don’t want results from 2008. I want them from the last month, 6 months. This puts me, the consumer, having to click through 3 or more menu bars to get what I am looking for.

Then there is the epiphany; the technology is there to do everything I have discussed above. Companies don’t bother making the user experience better. They are appealing to advertisers. So the advertisers can more precisely target potential clients.

That’s all well and good and the nature of the beast. But, what if the public gets sick of lame google searches, knowing the search isn’t about you or your convenience it’s about advertising dollars. I was on the Barneys website recently looking at sunglasses. Now, every ad I see is for sunglasses. There is a tipping point, there is a time when you get so disgusted with the intrusion on your searches just to feed you ads that it backfires on the company doing the advertising.

As I have said before, online advertising is out of control. It’s time to take a step back. Remember who buys things and start catering to them. Fix auto correct. Google make your searches more intuitive for me, not people you sell ads to.

Unfortunately people will take my advice about 5 years to late, when consumer sentiment for companies and products is negative.

 

Obama’s Wars *** Weigh In

IMG_3815I know everyone today will be talking about Mr. Obama’s speech at West Point laying out his future approach to terrorism and America’s place in the world. This piece is not about that. It’s about President Obama’s Wars.

First, it’s so ironic to call them Obama’s wars, since he didn’t start them, wasn’t involved in their strategy. They were handed to him when he came in to office in 2009. Now, it was no surprise to him that this is what he was inheriting and this is what he campaigned for.

The other day President Obama laid out a time line of withdrawal from Afghanistan. He was immediately criticized by Senators McCain and Graham. Now the 2 of them do bring up good points about setting a date certain for withdrawal and how that is not the optimal way of ending a war. It should be more about ‘conditions on the ground.” Whereas that’s a nice sentiment it’s completely unrealistic.

The GOP hawks have criticized Obama to no end about the way he removed our troops from Iraq and how there is a Civil War going on there now and al Qaeda has captured land the U.S. Military fought and died to liberate. As I have mentioned before, that disgusts me. That our soldiers lost their lives and now Qaeda flags fly there.

What everyone is missing is that ‘conditions on the ground’ will never be good enough for us to leave. The McCain’s of the world say we should have left 10 or 20K troops there. Nice thought but, that would not have been enough to fight off al Qaeda, since the 200k troop force we had there didn’t fight them off.

The same goes for Afghanistan. The conditions will never be right for us to leave. We need to understand we weren’t there to remake their Country. We tried and it didn’t work. Our mission there was to decimate the al Qaeda group that attacked us on 9/11. Between Presidents Bush and Obama that goal was accomplished. We should have drawn down years ago.

In Afghanistan we are in a no win situation. Since the ‘core’ Qaeda was mostly decimated every terror group calls themselves affiliates of al Qaeda. President Obama was correct when he said that now it is time for the Afghans to set their own  future. It’s time for them to protect themselves and time for Americans to come home.

This might be pie in the sky dreaming, but I wish George W. Bush would come out and applaud what Mr. Obama has decided to do. I also wish he would have had his back over the NSA spying scandal.

Whether you are an American citizen, a past president, me, we should all have the same goal. Keeping the United States of America safe and the best place on earth!

It’s All About The Numbers Math ** How To Create A Better America

1382907_10151688597293030_1260643780_nWhen I look around at what is going on in our Country today the problem and the fix are both very easy. It’s all about math, the numbers and how much money our government has to pay for things.

I was reading about LBJ on the 50th anniversary of his creating the ‘The Great Society.’ One of the things one of the articles said was that the government had surpluses and wanted to use them to help the people.

Today our government has no money to do anything. Why? Because a while back we decided that government money should be returned to the people and not used for strong future growth. The government doesn’t have the money to invest in America’s future. This is a tragedy since the future is exactly what we should be and should have been focusing on. The United States of America is the best Country on earth but we have totally neglected it for the past 40 years and today we are seeing the decline happening. Our students are no longer tops in the world; our life expectancy is not the greatest in the world; our infrastructure is compared to third world countries. This is a disgrace.

For all of those out there not wanting government to get bigger, you are misguided; it has nothing to do with the size of government. For those that think ACA ObamaCare is the government taking control of healthcare you couldn’t be more wrong. With ACA you are working with private insurance companies, not the government.

Getting back to the math. Getting back to the government having more money to invest in the upkeep and future of this country it boils down to a simple fact. We need more money in the government. How do we achieve that? Lots of ways. First, change the tax code so wealthier people pay higher taxes. That’s the way it always has been and that’s what we need to go back to. Also, closing loopholes that rob the government of even more money. More importantly, we need a massive jobs creation bill that will not only create jobs for the some 92Million unemployed but will bring in tremendous amounts of revenue when those people are paying taxes.

An investment now is what we need to save the Country. Yes, it might cost $2 or $3 trillion dollars, but those amounts will pay for themselves over time. We should have a short term goal and a long term goal. Short term, get people back to work and part of society. This not only brings in more tax revenue and takes people off of government assistance it also will make our Country better.

There are so many things we should be investing in but aren’t. Bullet Trains, fixing and upgrading our infrastructure to 22nd Century technology. Our education system is in serious trouble and that should be addressed and fixed immediately. When we look to the future we want those young people to be able to keep this Country the best in the world. Education can make that happen.

Our longterm goal should be reducing and eliminating our Country’s debt. We should always keep it in mind, but today it is not the top priority. By putting people back to work, changing the tax code, we can do a tremendous amount to lower the long term debt. We don’t want to do this by gutting everything (teachers, police, firefighters, fixing infrastructure) we want to do it by creating higher paying jobs that will lead to more revenue coming into the government.

The tax codes that give breaks to U.S. companies to hire workers out of the Country needs to be changed and stopped. The tax loopholes that let Billionaires hide money overseas to save on taxes needs to end.

Our government needs more money to keep this Country the best of the best.

I personally would like to know why Congress, POTUS and SCOTUS don’t believe what I believe.

And When The Country Was Falling Apart Betsy Ross Got It All Sewed Up

photoAnd then there’s Maude! What a fun show that was for me as a little kid to watch. The loud mouthed nemesis to Archie Bunker!

But, our Country is falling apart now much more so then it was back in the 1970s. Income inequality is the most severe it’s ever been. More than the Gilded Age. There are so many things going wrong today and no one in our government is even remotely seriously trying to fix any of it.

There are some 95 million people unemployed in our country today. Some are retirees, some are students. But the vast majority, according to the Wall Street Journal are eligible for work and looking for a job. That is a catastrophe.

Our unemployment rate is completely inaccurate. No one is lying or cooking the books, the government just has no way of knowing who is ‘actively looking’ for a job or someone who has given up. The unemployment rate went way down this month. Why? Because over 800,000 people in April were so discouraged they stopped looking for work. That 800K figure wipes out all of the new jobs created for the entire year. Why is this not taken seriously? The consequences of this will have dire longterm effects on our country and we shouldn’t be surprised when the government is overwhelmed by people needing money for food.

What’s even more disturbing is the Supreme Court. Are they American citizens? Do they have the best interests of the American people on their minds? It’s seriously hard to tell.

They approved of prayer in government meetings. Prayer that is almost completely Christian. Is our country not based on the separation of church and state? This decision is completely unacceptable. If you want to pray, go to church, synagogue or mosque not at a government meeting. This ruling take the U.S.A. one step closer to becoming a larger Iran.

Citizens United? Why don’t we just say it? The rich can buy elections and control the country. We don’t live in a democracy, we live in an Oligarchy. This is NOT what our Founding Fathers wanted for this country. I think if they were alive now they would be appalled at what goes on in this so called democracy.

Lady Godiva was a freedom rider, she didn’t care if the whole world watched….

photo copyrighted the SRG Foundation.