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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: New England, The South, Midwest
Home country: USA
Current location: Chicago
Member since: Sat Mar 5, 2011, 11:32 AM
Number of posts: 20,033

About Me

Human. Being.

Journal Archives

A Look At Their Pasts & Who Will Make the Future -- Trump's People or Biden and The People

The crime bill of 26 years ago -- the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act -- was a product of its time, when Clinton oversaw the nation’s longest peacetime economic expansion since the Eisenhower era. The Black Caucus in the days of Clinton clamored for the crime bill, including former Panther Bobby Rush.

What was then the biggest bipartisan spending bill on law and order, now gets revised by the Republican line that Biden "spearheaded" and is solely to blame for what was actually Clinton's push to be as "tough on crime" as the Gingrich Republicans, Republicans who started "their way or the highway" politics -- the racist Willie Horton fearmonger politics they now veil today with nazis, militias and Cuban ethnic racists. The old playbook: fear of a black planet.

Today, the Republicans cast themselves and Trump as the only hope to save this country from "falling apart in anarchy and anger in a radical Democratic state of America" that will leave no one standing. The old playbook: Democrats will always be weak on ____, and Republicans will always be strong.

Michelle Alexander lays out the most accurate history of the Clinton Crime Bill and its time in The New Jim Crow. Republicans need to read it.

The Old playbook: never apologize, never regret. Drive the playbook and back the boss.

In days ahead, they will cast Democrats in general as the old playbook "takers," "debt makers" and "tear-downers" because Pelosi, Pelosi, Pelosi with her spending demands for all those radical socialists that don't want to work.

Today's language veils the old Republican political playbook. Which deserves a harder look.

The campaign isn't about Biden and Trump. It's about their comparative achievements, their party package, their world view, the people they bring with them.

There are playbook lines. We ought to list them. It's a history lesson playing out in the next 70 days.

Ari Berman Counts the Removed Machines From Nine Battleground States

Katie Porter reduces Trump's DeJoy to clueless jello

Start :51

Governor Cuomo Press Briefing August 24 2020

Day 177

Start 5:35

House Grills De Joy Today

Currently live

When You Have to Duke It Out Online With The Right Wing

Moderation v. Discretion v. Censorship: They're Not The Same

Moderation is a platform operator saying "we don't do that here ... a conversation ender. If you are the newcomer and someone who has been around a long time says "we don't do that here", it is hard to argue. This sentence doesn't push my morality on anyone. If they want to do whatever it is elsewhere, I'm not telling them not to. I'm just cluing them into the local culture and values.

Discretion is you saying "I won't do that there". Some people might think of discretion as self-censorship. But that phrasing focuses on the negative idea of chilled speech. I prefer to think of discretion as an act of personal restraint. What makes discretion different from censorship? In the example above, Joe wouldn't have faced any legal fallout for his reply if he had posted it. No one forced him to not post the reply. He made his choice based on whether he wanted to face negative social consequences. Joe took responsibility for his actions and showed restraint all on his own.

Censorship is someone saying "you can't do that anywhere" before or after threats of either violence or government intervention. Lawsuits. Arrests. Fines. Jail time. Threats involving any of those four. Any one of those things suck more than an industrial-strength vacuum cleaner. When they're attached to speech, they become the tools of censors.

Moderation As "Censorship"
Some people refer to moderation decisions that affect them as "censorship" because they feel they've been censored. Maybe they think a platform punished them for holding certain political views. Maybe they think a platform punished them for bigoted reasons. Whatever the reason, those people feel that losing their spot on the platform is censorship. But they're not angry about losing their right to speak. (Twitter, Facebook, etc. can't take that away from them, anyway.)

... opinions should be discussed, debated, and even changed.
Think of this, then, as an opening for that debate. Use this as a springboard to form your own opinions, and share them in the comments. Agree with me? Great. Disagree with me? Even better — because through disagreement and reasoned discussion, we can improve and refine our opinions.
But don't get mad if one of your comments gets flagged. That isn't censorship — it's moderation, working as intended.

More details:

73 days and counting -- boogie buddha break time!

Every man has a place
In his heart there's a space
And the world can't erase his fantasies
Take a ride in the sky
On our ship, fantasize
All your dreams will come true right away

And we will live together
Until the twelfth of never
Our voices will ring forever, as one

Every thought is a dream
Rushing by in a stream
Bringing life to the kingdom of doing
Take a ride in the sky
On our ship, fantasize
All your dreams will come true miles away

Our voices will ring together
Until the twelfth of never
We all will live love forever, as one

Come to see victory
In a land called fantasy
Loving life, a new degree
Bring your mind to everlasting liberty

As one, come to see victory
In a land called fantasy
Loving life for you and me
To behold, to your soul is ecstasy

You will find other kind
That has been in search of you
Many lives has brought you to
Recognize, it's your life now in review

And as you stay for the play
Fantasy has in store for you
A glowing light will see you through
It's your day, shining day
All your dreams come true

As you glide in your stride
With the wind as you fly away
Give a smile from your lips and say
I'm free, yes I'm free, now I'm on my way

Come to see victory
In a land called fantasy
Loving life for you and me
To behold, to your soul is ecstasy

You will find other kind
That has been in search of you
Many lives has brought you to
Recognize, it's your life now in review

Supreme Court's Failure To Protect The Right To Assemble

Has Led Directly To Violence Against Protestors
by Tim Cushing

...Qualified immunity was created by the Supreme Court in 1967 as a way to excuse rash decisions by law enforcement if undertaken in "good faith." Since then, it has only gotten worse. Fifteen years later, the Supreme Court added another factor: a violation of rights must be "clearly established" as a violation before a public servant can be held accountable for violating the right. Further decisions moved courts away from determining whether or not a rights violation took place, relying instead on steadily-decreasing precedent showing this violation was "clearly established."

But that's not the only way the general public is being screwed by SCOTUS. As Kia Rahnama points out for Politico, the right to freely assemble -- long-considered an integral part of the First Amendment -- continues to be narrowed by the nation's top court. As violence against demonstrators increases in response to ongoing protests over abusive policing (enabled by qualified immunity's mission creep), those participating in the violence feel pretty secure in the fact they'll never have to answer for the rights violations.

For more than 30 years, the Supreme Court has failed to take up a freedom-of-assembly case. As a result, this fundamental constitutional right is in sore need of an update, such as a ruling that would protect protesters from the unduly harsh police response that has become all too common as a response to demonstrations in recent years... as Rahnama points out, the Supreme Court has not taken up a case involving freedom of assembly in more than fifty years, allowing this right to be subject to decisions more than century old that limited speech in favor of protecting companies from their employees.

The Supreme Court shirked this responsibility first by holding that the right to assembly did not protect anything like the right to protest in the streets, beginning with a formative ruling in 1886. At the time, labor unrest and revolt were widespread, and many state governments were passing laws aimed at preventing potential insurrections by workers’ organizations.

A lot more on corporate lobbying rights overtaking human assembly constitutional rights at


What Is The Soul Of America?

What Is The Soul Of America?

1. Voting numbers matter.

Total population of US = 327.2 million (2018) per Census

Total persons below voting age = 74,200,000 per Census

Total adult population of US today = 253,000,000 (18 yrs +)

Total voting age population 2016 = 249,485,228 age 18+ (Federal Register)

Total undocumented immigrants = 10,000,000 est’d by Pew


Total actual voting age population minus undocumented immigrants, under age 18 = 239,485,228

Total registered to vote 2016 = 214,109,360 = 89% of voting age population

Total unregistered to vote in 2016 = 25,375,868 est. = 11% of voting age pop.

Trump 2016 vote = 62,984,828

Clinton 2016 vote = 65,853,514

Total Registereds who voted in 2016 = 128,838,342 = 60% of total registereds

Total Registereds who did NOT vote in 2016 = 85,271,018 = 40% of total registereds


Voters in 2016 who actively engaged democracy maintenance = 39% of America, overall.

Voters who COULD always actively engage in democracy maintenance = 73% of America, overall.

No charts match the above numbers, which are pretty accurate, give or take six figures. The percentages and sources are solid regardless of slight total variations.

2. Nonvoters matter.

I wish there were an accurate demographic breakdown of the unregistered voting age population.

One good source I've seen for explaining nonvoters is this year's Knight Foundation report. I only skimmed, not examined the meat of the report (pp 9-21) in detail yet.

The study reveals that persistent non-voters are by no means a monolithic group, but as varied as American society itself.
There is not a one-size-fits-all description of the non-voting population, nor is there a single, unifying explanation for their lack of participation.
They can be found across the political spectrum, at every level of education and income, and from every walk of life.

There were, however, several themes that emerged from the study:
-- Many non-voters suffer from a lack of faith in the election system and have serious doubts about the impact of their own votes: Thirty-eight percent of non-voters are not confident that elections represent the will of the people, and non-voters are more likely to say that this is because the system is rigged.

-- Non-voters are less likely to believe votes are counted fully and accurately, or to say that decisions made by the president or others in Washington have a strong impact on their lives.

-- Non-voters engaged less with news and are left feeling underinformed: Non-voters are twice as likely as active voters to passively encounter news versus actively seek it out, and to say they do not feel they have enough information about candidates and issues to decide how to vote.
Their media diets involve less news and more entertainment as compared to active voters.

Voter numbers give us a clearer map of activity and passivity when as Americans do or don't maintain democracy (or help us control COVID).
And these numbers perhaps show a map of how the adult population identifies, or doesn't, with the "united" part of the United States.

It's the nonvoting numbers that have bothered me. How do their numbers reveal how the rest of U.S. adults live with, or think about, "events" that precede the 2020 General Election, or what comes after, the way we voters do.

So the Knight Foundation report is worth considering.

Precision without accuracy (the forest for the trees problem) is a forever problem of science, and mapping reality.
And mapping a democratic society.
Does the numbers map of Americans humans in and out of the "united" part of the U.S., maybe show us who make up the soul of America?
Is it only they who can help us see that soul more accurately? Would knowing more about nonvoters matter as we 'see' how they see themselves in the U.S., and whether or not they want to be "saved"?

How do they compare to traditional voters?
Do they even care about the idea of "soul" or "saving," or America as advertised?

Four out of ten people we meet appear not to be of any politically interested in this nation.
Do we meet them? Work with them? Know them?
Is their freedom the price of our voting?
I don't know and probably never knew.

3. What is the soul of America?
I bring numbers and questions up because an accurate perspective matters. Or maybe an emotional map matters.
Is non-participation part of freedom, or part of the soul of America, or part of the cost of freedom?
Is non-participation irresponsible?
Is non-participation just a random difference in values? a random difference in human capacity?
Is freedom, as many say, not valued unless it's hard to get?
Does this have anything to do with why the founders did not constitutionally protect the vote to all?

I ask because during the next 72 days, we could care enough to think about these things, since it's not as if the issue of voting and nonvoters hasn't come up. It has.

It seems to me that if America's soul is the people in it, that becomes way more important to us than "America is an idea."
And so mapping voters and nonvoters maps the "soul" of America.
Which helps Americans to know who, not what, we're fighting for, not just against.

Friday Depeche Mode Mood -- Lookin' At You, Republicans

Better with

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