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Your Vote Won't Count

This nation’s lack of free and open elections is particularly appalling, given our pretense of being the greatest democracy ever. My belief is challenged by those ignorant of the electoral process.

Here is an example of the self-serving restrictions imposed on candidates for public office. It is California’s Assembly Bill 372 [TEXT in PDF], authored by Frank Bigelow, which recently passed the Elections Committee 4-2, and heads to the full body for a vote.

It requires write-in candidates for congress or partisan state office who place first or second in the primary to pay a filing fee to appear on the November ballot. With the top-two primary recently adopted in the state, the primary qualifies candidates to appear on the ballot. Having qualified, it is absurd requiring them to pay, after having met the standard.

According to Ballot Access News (BAN), the bill appears to violate the California Constitution, which states the top two vote-getters will “compete in the ensuing general election.” Learning of this, Bigelow amended the bill to allow indigent candidates to opt out of paying. He plans to amend it again to require a petition in lieu of filing fee, although that still appears to be unconstitutional.

Why is Ass’man Bigelow so insistent on this restriction? It may have something to do with his being the only legislator opposed by a Libertarian in the November 2014 election, VOTING WRONGSthe rest effectively shut out by the Top-Two system. Patrick Hogan ran as a write-in candidate for the primary, and placed second because Bigelow had no Republican (or Democratic) opponent. Without Hogan, Bigelow would have been unopposed. In the November election, Hogan garnered 26% of the vote, the incumbent 74%, which most would view as a comfortable margin received by a candidate with fascist tendencies.

BAN notes that California has not charged a filing fee for write-in candidates before an election because of a State Supreme Court ruling [Steiner v Mihaly, 1972] of unconstitutionality because fees are justified to keep ballots from being too crowded, which does not involve write-ins, since they are not on the ballot.

This is no isolated instance of laws attempting to restrict access, in every state. Subscribe to BAN to see how incumbents try to protect their jobs, at the expense of democratic elections. The top-two gimmick was sold by one legislaturor as a way of allowing more diversity in elections. So far, its result has been the opposite, chasing independent candidates off the ballot and, apparently, reducing voter turnout in the formerly Golden State.

Posted 6 May 2015   Jerry Brown + Cat

Nader on tyrannical election barriers

do not cross

Greg Gutfeld You saw it first here, unless you saw it somewhere else already. “The Greg Gutfeld Show” makes its debut on Sunday, the last day of May, 7:00 PM (10:00 Eastern). Joanne Nosuchinsky will be there. The show will cover cooking, music and travel, with Greg singing a capella versions of Kansas songs, the musical group, not the state. After extensive focusing, the show’s name edged out such contenders as “Everybody Loves Greg” and “Huckabee!”


cartoon Lady Bug

Went to the hardware store down the hill to redeem my birthday discount. Would you believe they sell lady bugs? They had a sign advertising them, so they must. I always thought insects were free, like rainwater and rainbows.

Bought a squeegee to replace the one I lost. It had a Prop 65 warning sticker which stated, among other things, “Wash hands after handling.” Reminded me of a woman I dated in the 1980s, although she would have come under a different Proposition. Seems as if you would necessarily wash your hands after your windows. Speaking of which…

Hillary is here, want her or not Hillary rides again!

THE TIME HAS COME

Barack Obama has fulfilled his promise of visiting every state in the union, the last being South Dakota. He thought he had more remaining, but it turns out there are only fifty, including Alaska and Ohio. Obama follows in the footsteps of only presidents Nixon, the first Bush and the first Clinton.

Having accomplished his lofty goal, it would be an opportune time for him to resign as President.

Quit while you're ahead, I say. (Well, before falling further behind.)



green eats

MILK raw 

Nothing counterintuitive here. For decades, we have been brainwashed into believing any kind of fat is bad, resulting in an unprecedented “obesity epidemic.” Turns out the health risk is drinking pasteurised milk, since cooking kills the good bacteria, leaves the bad. Keep the federal fools out of our bodies and our minds. They are idiots, who should stick to what they know. Nothing.
Posted 21 May 2015

FREE SPEECH IS NOT FREE

After a thwarted assault on a free speech group in Texas, some Americans have commented that the group (American Freedom Defense Initiative) brought it on themselves, more or less. That, while we are entitled to free speech, there are clear limits to that freedom. [See First Amendment, below, with relevant portions highlighted.]

Amendment One
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Truly, you have the god-given right to say or write any damned thing, however offensive. You even have the right to remain silent, like Hillary Clinton, when she is being viewed as offensive. You do not have the right to remain unoffended, or to kill those whose words offend you.

Some blowhards implied that you may say what you want unless someone threatens to kill you, in which case you should keep it zipped. Without screening the controversial cartoons, commentators pronounced them offensive to Muslims which, once again, prompted a violent reaction from Jihadis. Christians and other religious followers are oftentimes maligned. That never justifies a murderous reaction.

There is a logic to the criticism, and commentators have the right to make such statements, even if they are at odds with the facts. Violence by Jihadis has nothing to do with their being offended; by the way, everything offends them. You need not call them crazy Islamists.

Terrorists do not forbid anyone from making fun of Mohammed the prophet, they forbid any depiction of Mo at all, begging the question: If there are no pictures of their prophet, how can they recognise one when they see it. AFDI’s president, Pamela Geller, noted that the event included an art exhibit chronicling 1400 years of depictions of Mohammed, belying the charge of drawings or photographs being anti-Muslim.

Drawn to Mohammud

Of course, pictures and cartoons are the least of Sharian prejudices. Not belonging to a particular Muslim sect (Sunni) results in execution, as well as being affiliated with any other church, or religion, or no religion. Theo van Gogh was marked for death (and executed in the street) for filming a study of evils being perpetrated in the name of Allah. Other capital offences under Sharia are committing adultery, being raped, being a homosexual, eating treif (Hebrew) and so on. In cases like the 11th September 2001 attacks, just being in the wrong place resulted in a death sentence.

In the United States, hate speech is protected, as is speech you hate. Otherwise, the right to free speech would be no right at all. Popular utterances need no protection. So whether it’s Charlie Hebdo or Theo van Gogh in Europe, Eric Cartman, the Klan or groups attacking overtaxation in the US, no one, not even the IRS, is empowered to silence them.

  The bottom line is clear: Our politically correct sensitivity
  often broadcasts not respect for Islam but weakness in
  the face of bullies, and in the Middle East weakness is the
  one unforgivable sin.
  — David French, National Review

DINKY LINK: AP misleads, links deaths of fanatics to AFDI
  — they asked for it
BETTER LINK — more on Nolan Chart

Posted 9 May 2015   cat in a vat


 

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Assembled a toy for my pussycat. It came with a warning:
To ensure the safety of your pet, supervise your pet at all times. This toy is intended to be used only with supervision. Have you ever tried supervising a cat?

Biden
 
head

Essay of interest in Green Horizon magazine, an international journal from the Green Horizon Foundation.

Jon Olsen writes “The United Nations is a Failed Institution.”
I agree and, oddly, many on the political Right do, too. After the requisite digs at the United States, Margaret Thatcher and capitalism, which he calls the “world-wide united fascist regime,” the writer makes a lot of sense.

The United Nations was, indeed, intended to prevent wars and ensure human rights. And it has never achieved that goal or, to be honest, come close to doing so. From war to slavery to genocide, the UN is impotent.

Olsen blames this on the weight given to the Security Council, especially the veto power of the central members. Of course, that built-in flaw was necessary for these nations to join. Unless they could exercise this control, they would have refused.

He includes the principles of international law, most of which are mostly excellent, like forbidding slavery, torture, subjugation and so on, none of which the UN prevents.

Then he offers a solution, one similar to my recent suggestion of targeted attacks on horrific human rights violators. However, Olsen calls for a new organisation, instituted by the smaller, non-warmongering states, to which I would suggest these states are more peaceful precisely because they lack size and a military might. This proposed body would be centered in a neutral locale, whatever that means. It would be great moving the UN headquarters out of Manhattan. Many Americans, including New Yorkers, could support that. It would not be an international government, but it would maintain what Olsen terms a “peacekeeping force,” which means an army of some sort.

The problem is not a capitalist cabal, but governments trying to advance their own agendas. I suggested the United States take the lead in such efforts, abandoning their flawed selective, arbitrary war policy. If it works, other nations would join the effort. No doubt, I place too much faith in Washington [or any faith]. They do have the guns and the expertise to conduct strategic strikes.

Jon Olsen wrote a very thoughtful article. I never found much in common with the US Green Party because they are like the short-lived Occupy Wall Street, a movement looking for a raison d'être.

from issue #31, Spring/Summer 2015 see: their web site. Did not have this article on the Web, as far as I could determine, so I am including a PDF file which, I assume is ©2015 by them, although they posted no notice.

Posted 17 May 2015  round kitty
Line
 

They’re taking my MONEY

Reeling from the distressing cancelation of “Forever,” I wasn't expecting devastating news about television news, but a shakeout at Fox Business Network (FBN) has resulted in the loss of one of my favourites, “Money with Melissa Francis.” It has its own DVR directory because I record it religiously. This is the worst Fox Business development since Cheryl Casone left “Cashin In” or Judge Napolitano's show was canceled. Not to mention “The Independents.”

Writer-commentator Melissa is not going away. She will be co-hosting a show with David Asman at 1:00 PM (4:00 Eastern), but it won't be “Money” which, I believe, will be two years old on Friday. I'll miss the great theme song, the spinning question mark, the format and her astonishment at things Gaspo blurted out. No more “Money?” Next they'll be canceling David Letterman.

Counting down to the final show, I thought I was watching a new installment on artificial Memorial Day (i.e., not the thirtieth), which turned out to be from last Thursday. Seems I partied so much on my birthday, I returned home too incapacitated to watch the telly. Not a bad trade-off, I suppose.

The rationale for changing the schedule is the departure of Donnie Imus, who will no longer be televising his radio programme, prompting me to wonder if some of his crew will be leaving FBN as well. I sure hope that delightful Dagen McDowell isn’t going anywhere, unless she’s coming to dinner with me. Dagen is one of the best “Red Eye” guests, always delightful. Say, maybe Melissa will be the new “Red Eye” host. I could live with that.

Otherwise roll me over and call me Ham Burger!

Posted 26 May 2015  round kitty

Melissa with yellow jacket MONEY logo

On the positive side, Neil Cavuto will expand into two hours on FBN (his show, not his girth), in addition to “Your World” on Fox News and his great weekend show that highlights the biz block. Also, Sandra Smith, Lauren Simonetti and Nicole Petallides will have a new show, “FBN·AM,” which seems to begin right after the now-shorter “Red Eye” on Fox News. Sadly, “The Willis Report” is history, or should that be herstory? I hope not.

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