I’m a Libertarian, officially

This past Thursday, I wrote that I had submitted my voter registration change form to switch from the Democratic party to the Libertarian party.  Here is the screen grab I made to signify the change.

changeofparty
There were ONLY three choices, another example of how we’ve been forced into a two-party system with no real choice.

Years ago I had been registered as an Independent and revelled in the calls and visits to my home practically begging me to switch to the Republican or Democratic party. The only real argument that really had any weight with any of these people is that I didn’t have the ability to vote in primaries and was “stuck” with who won both parties at the regular election in November. It wasn’t until 2008 that I decided to switch to the Democratic party so that I could vote in the primaries for the next President. Out of both parties, which I now see more similar than different, I aligned more with the Democrats (at that time). I’m going on record here that I actually voted for Clinton in my state primaries and in my defense, I had no idea about our political system in 2008, my eyes were still covered. When she lost, I ended up voting for Obama and 4 years later, voted for him again. If I had known then what I currently know now, I probably would have not voted for him in 2012, but still would have voted for him in 2008. Obama’s challenger in 2008 did not appeal to me in any way and his policies were old-fashioned.

Well, fast forward to this past Friday and my state election board accepted my voter registration change and is sending me out an updated card. I feel this is the right choice to make right now for several reasons that I’m going to go into shortly. I had a long conversation with my wife over this weekend about this change as she used to be a Republican but recently has been questioning the political system as I have been. It was a spirited conversation that had its moments of raised voices and interruptions to make points, mainly from her as I kept myself rather reserved in tone and volume. I’ve invested significant amounts of time reading, learning, reading some more, observing, more reading…… My wife is more the “did you see this on Facebook?” kind of person that asks questions about whether what is posted is real or not. I’m working on her, but it’s a slow process as politics is so not her favorite subject to talk about let alone read about. She did admit that she voted for Johnson in this past election based on the conversations we had leading up to the election. My views and supporting detail of those views convinced her that neither Trump or Clinton were good choices and I’m sure she checked up on some of them.

At this point you’re probably wondering why I would remove my ability to vote in the primaries. The blunt and simple answer is that I think the primaries are ineffective. As voter turnout is public record, I did some research on the recent elections for my state and was shocked to see the numbers for voting-elegible population (VEP):

  • 14% Primaries (2012)
  • 59% General Election (2012)
  • 36% General Election (2014)
  • 33% Primaries (2016)
  • 62% General Election (2016)

SOURCE: United States Elections Project

Looking at the 2016 general election, across 50 states and the District of Columbia, the average turnout was only 60.5%! In raw numbers, an average of 39.5% of VEP did not vote for our current President. This represents a 20 year low in voter turnout that has been showing a down trend in recent years. Nearly 40% of the country that is eligible to vote doesn’t bother to show up and actually vote? That is just sad. I personally refuse to be so jaded that I stop voting all together because damn, it’s still my right in this country and hasn’t been taken away (yet).

I changed my party because I want to bring awareness to the people in my small circle that a two-party system is no longer effective anymore and in some arguments is just broken. It has been warped and altered, slowly, over the last few decades, to become something of a trivial formality that is constitutionally required but rigged for the candidates that named their number and are now playing the game as pawns in the oligarchy that has emerged. All the emails leaked leading up to the general election painted a picture of corruption, manipulation, media control and a general lack of accountability to the American people. Would Bernie Sanders have won the Democratic nomination if there wasn’t corruption and fair coverage in the media? We’ll really never know as it’s doubtful that he will run in 2020.

libertarian_party-svgBy my being a Libertarian, I’m rebelling against the status quo and sending a message that I’m not a sheep that can be placated and condescended into thinking that my life is only worth as much as I can spend at the store. I have joined the revolution that is questioning the system, interrogating the system, researching and learning all the details that the system doesn’t want me to know. Changing my party to Libertarian is a signal that I’m now aware of the game that has been perpetrated for at least the last 40 years. I’m going to encourage others to do the same; whether Libertarian, Green, or even Independent. Choosing anything other than Democrat or Republican on the voter registration form is sending a strong message to the ones that are in control. The sheep have seen the wolf and word is spreading.

libporcupine
Unofficial logo of the Libertarian Party, a porcupine, symbolic of just wanted to be left alone (from the perspective of government)

Call to Action: Electoral College Reform

electoral-college-map-400

This isn’t the first time I’ve complained about the Electoral College (EC) on this blog. It’s an old idea that has endured the test of time and survived into the modern era where we have had at least two elections now that produced a victor that didn’t win the popular vote. There are two ideas that I am going to float and why I think that one or both of them are valid ideas to overhauling the EC rather than abolishing it. The election comes out different on one plan than it does on the other, however I think the first plan is the most fair and most efficiently removes the stranglehold our current two-party system has on the country. That is the larger problem we face and a change to the EC is one step in eliminating that two-party system.

Option 1 – Electoral Votes by State Popular Vote

Source: What if Electoral Votes Were Awarded Proportionately This Year?

Hypothetical 2016 Presidential Result: Clinton 261 / Trump 259 / Johnson 17 / Stein 1

With a change to the EC that awards EC votes based on State popular vote, the difference between Clinton and Trump is much closer to result of the actual popular vote. If this system had been put in place in 2000 during the election of Bush vs. Gore, Gore would have won. I don’t have the actual numbers on that election, however some quick math would back up that statement. Both of the elections with Obama would have also been much closer to the actual popular vote and in this case, he would have won both 2008 and 2012 elections, but by much smaller EC margins. In the spirit of the EC and how it was intended to be used, a change in how the votes are awarded is a small change that doesn’t fundamentally alter its function.

I was not a supporter of Trump or Clinton, but would have accepted this result (as I have accepted Trump) none the less. The main road block I see with this potential change is the current two-party system as a whole. Everything for the last 240 years has been based (and gamed) on having only two parties existing. It would no longer be a race to “270”, rather, it would be a race to see who can capture the most American votes in an election. The Republican and Democratic parties would, for a short time, still hold most of the seats in Congress and capture most of the popular vote, but as more candidates enter in from other parties their control would slowly erode away. As a result of this change, the primaries in each state would have to allow everyone to vote, regardless of party, to choose who will stand in the elections. My belief is that making these changes in the spirit of modernization will better help our country into the future and strengthen our Democratic process and stop it from weakening.

Option 2 – Electoral Votes by Apportioning Congressional Districts

Source: What would happen to the electoral college if Congressional districts were apportioned evenly?

Hypothetical 2016 Presidential Result: Trump (math not given, not verified)

This option wouldn’t necessarily change how the EC works, however would make the population more representative in the House. In short, the 1929 Act that limited the House to 435 seats would be repealed and replaced with a new amendment that changes the maximum size of a congressional districts to somewhere around the size of Wyoming.

By fixing the maximum size of every House district equal to the size of the smallest district—currently the entire state of Wyoming and its 563,626 residents, according to the 2010 census—proportionality would be returned to the House. Under this system, called the Wyoming Rule, the House would grow to 545 representatives, with California gaining 13 new seats. Texas (nine new seats) and New York (seven) would also be among the big winners.

The benefits of this change would be a more representative government based on population:

Rebalancing the House would be healthy for lots of reasons. Among them, urban areas would finally have equal weight, and federal dollars might start flowing in proportion to where more people live.

And while small states would lose some clout, as long as they all send two senators to Washington, they would still have an outsized say in government.

In this scenario, Trump would have still won the EC. This option also doesn’t reduce the reliance on a two-party system as instead of 270 to win, it would require 325 to win. As with the previous option, any change in the right direction is a good change in my opinion. As the system currently exists, smaller populous states have much more power than larger populous states that in 1910 wasn’t a problem, but in 2016 has unbalanced the system of representation.

Final Thought

I think both of these options are necessary to bring balance to the system of representation. An election of President that mirrors more closely the actual popular vote would go a long way in restoring American’s faith in a system that has consistently shown it can and does fail them. As with any proposed amendment to the Constitution, it is important to note that the process is complicated and requires support from at least 38 states. The uphill battle is just starting and this year I don’t think it will fade as it has with previous years.

What are your thoughts?

Open letter to Commission on Presidential Debates

I would like to offer my congratulations to you for once again stifling the opportunity of the American people to learn about more than just two candidates.  This year I believe is going to be the last year that you’ll have the opportunity to operate in the shadows quietly supporting the Republican and Democratic parties and the two-party system.  There is a growing sentiment in the American public that believe that a two-party system no longer represents them completely.  The favorability number on Trump and Clinton are clear indications of this sentiment.  In addition, the arbitrary rules that you have created to prevent another Ross Perot 1992 incident from happening appears to be in contradiction of your own mission posted on your website.

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) was established in 1987 to ensure that debates, as a permanent part of every general election, provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners. Its primary purpose is to sponsor and produce debates for the United States presidential and vice presidential candidates and to undertake research and educational activities relating to the debates. The organization, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) corporation, sponsored all the presidential debates in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. (Source:  Commission on Presidential Debates:  Our Mission)

According to your own mission, you “ensure that debates … provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners.”  The requirement that a candidate (not part of the Republicans or Democrats) meets 15% support in allegedly random polls selected by your organization is unfairly biased and restrictive to anyone opposing the two-party system.  Two of the five selected national polls were owned by the same company.  I wrote about that here.  This 15% rule was enacted, I believe, after the 1992 election cycle where Ross Perot had secured 20% of the popular vote that year and threatened the two-party system as an Independent.  The 15% rule is too high, and, if a candidate is listed on the ballots for all 50 states, should automatically receive a spot in the debates so voters can be given the best possible information on a candidate that is statistically able to achieve 270 Electoral votes.

The CPD obtains the funds required to produce its debates every four years and to support its ongoing voter education activities from the communities that host the debates and, to a lesser extent, from corporate, foundation and private donors. Source:  Commission on Presidential Debates:  An Overview

As I’ve not reviewed the tax records for the CPD, I’m only theorizing as to the sources of funds required to produce the debates.  It’s stated here that corporate, foundation and private donors provide a smaller portion of the funds required.  Corporate donors as in large mainstream media corporations?  Foundation donors as in The Clinton Foundation?  Private donors as in oligarchs such as Rupert Murdoch and the Koch brothers?  I’ll leave this one for others to think about.

The final sites and dates for the debates are chosen by the CPD board of directors and announced approximately one year in advance; this allows for complete logistical preparation by the CPD and the media, and for the sites to take full advantage of debate-related curricular additions. (Source:  Commission on Presidential Debates:  An Overview

Although the dates were selected for this year over a year ago, they interestingly fell on dates that traditionally had other major events going on:

  • September 26th: Monday Night Football
  • October 9th:  Sunday Night Football

Why wouldn’t all the debates take place on a Friday or Saturday to maximize complete viewership and accessibility?  It just seems odd to me and I’m sure I’m not the only one that has made this complaint.  Case in point:  Trump Complains About Debates Conflicting with NFL Games, ABCNews

As a registered voter and an American, I’m disappointed with the CPD and their obvious manipulation (with their own rules) to ensure that the people don’t have everything they need to be as informed as possible.  I agree that the CPD is required, however it should have membership with people who are not affiliated at all with politics to remain as nonpartisan as possible.  I support Gary Johnson’s and Jill Stein’s fight against the Commission on Presidential Debates, however the system had prevailed and blocked them from being able to participate unless they met the 15% polling requirement (which they didn’t).

It would appear an informed electorate is frightening to the rulers of the “used to be” Democracy.

Real news makes me nauseated

 

counterpunch Inside the Invisible Government; War, Propaganda, Clinton & Trump

So, I read this over lunch today.  I stopped eating, having gotten sick to my stomach.  What I can’t figure out is whether the American people are so trusting that they believe everything they see on mainstream media (MSM) or they just don’t want to discover the truth through a collective TL;DR mentality.  I read Counterpunch.org on a daily basis now.  I choose now to not fall into line with the rest of MSM and what they’re feeding the American public because I think its important we know what is actually happening.  If all the details aren’t known, the opinion you form on what *is* known is fundamentally flawed and incomplete.

MSM is so good at delivering news to us, usually in the background, that broadcasts almost have a lulling type of cadence to them.  Speech is measured, tone is even and dull, anyone listening is lured into a false sense of security and understanding.  Where is all the reporting of even half of what’s in the above article on Iraq, Iran, Honduras, Syria, Yemen?  Why aren’t people angry over the fact they’re getting played for idiots?  Well, not being one of them, I can’t give an honest answer; I’m reading real news, I’m angry, I’m talking to anyone who’ll lend me half their attention to shake the fog that has descended over the American public.  Knowledge is the power the MSM, government, politicians, and rich white privileged people don’t want “commoners” to have.  The propaganda spin machine is full throttle and speeding along faster than ever in the last 100 years.

counterpunch Roaming Charges:  Comfortably Dumb

Here is the opposite side of MSM and it’s minions.  When things are happening that are hard to hide from, you just ignore them.  No comments, no reports, no opinions.  Just play “dumb” to the few scant reports that actually get through the paid-off, sort of self-imposed, media blackout of the events.  HRC has a long and verifiable history of dodging claims of impropriety, greed, war mongering, and the such.  When you know the media is owned and controlled by people that are in collusion with you to feed the propaganda machine, it’s frightening easy to make up whatever story that suits your needs.

I think I’m going to create the CounterPunch diet.  Read real news, everyday, and you’ll lose weight because you won’t WANT to eat anything.

Being uninformed is not bliss

Inspiration: Media to Voters: Drop Dead, We’re Getting Hillary Elected

How can we fight this? The mainstream media has implied, we as voters, are stupid. Sheep following the Sheep Dog, obeying every nudge in the direction of the fenced corral that leads to slaughter. Mainstream Media (MSM) is now a juggernaut controlled by the will of a few people to manipulate what we see, read, hear, watch all over this country. Mountains of damning evidence has been posted to WikiLeaks (WL) in the past week with barely a mention on any of the major news networks or sites. This is what happens when the majority of MSM is owned by people with special interests and something to gain by selectively reporting on certain news to support their private positions.

For the last week, I’ve been reading CounterPunch and The Intercept several times a day. I’ve discovered, not to my surprise, that MSM has selected to report only on the information it receives and is approved to report on. Several WL emails released are literal proof that this is happening and is hard to ignore. CounterPunch more than anywhere else, is reporting news in a format that all MSM has lost the ability to or been prevented from doing. As an example, here is a listing of articles that have recently been posted to CounterPunch:

counterpunch

For contrast, here is Bing News and Google News:

bingnews

googlenews

What is unfortunate though, is that the majority of people who *do* end up going out to vote are typically the older generations of 50 and over. This group of people have traditionally received their news from newspapers (local and national) and the local news outlets (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, etc.). I’ve not seen a newspaper or watched local media for several years, so am far from an expert on what they’re choosing to report and broadcast. What I can observe are my parents, whom still get a daily paper and watch ABC primarily, spout off nonsense details that, to an informed individual, are obviously nonsense. Appeals to their individual intelligence supported by facts that can be proven go unanswered and unwavering support for a “lesser of two evils” candidate continues.

My real fear in all of this discovery, is that until a generation used to getting their news from print and local media outlets goes away, we’re going to continue down this path of monopolization. At what point do people finally decide to question whats going on and start to make a change? I’ve made my change, I’m questioning everything until I’m able to verify it from multiple sources. E.g., the “official” warning that claimed that the Podesta emails were forged and tampered, without proof to back that statement, is a flat-out manufactured LIE to deceive and divert a public to other stories. It was successful though, as you don’t see a single WL news link in anything from Google or Bing. My simple point here is that in order to change this MSM monopoly, enough people have to choose to NOT read what MSM is spewing. We have to choose to be informed and find news sources that allow that to happen.

The appeal I’m making is not focused on getting people to listen. Rather, its focused on getting people I know to just read a few articles on CounterPunch or The Intercept and then DECIDE for themselves if its worth their time to continue. Some do, some don’t. The ones that don’t, I stop trying. The ones that do, however, generally are open to some discussions that continue the conversation towards an informed consensus. What conversations are you having?

50 minutes I won’t get back

stupiddebate
Two people NOT right for this country!

So, I watched 50 minutes of the Trump vs. Clinton debate last night, streamed it through Twitter. It’s 50 minutes that I won’t get back again. I should be angry. I should be frustrated with the choices we’ve been provided. I’m actually disappointed for the whole damn system. My blame stares aren’t directed at anyone in particular, all the parts of the machine are to blame, though some more than others. We have Trump because voters in this country are angry with corporate America, of which, Trump is a member. We have Clinton because the DNC was caught manipulating the primary process in favor of Clinton. We have a corrupt government that is no longer, by any stretch, interested in the common American. We have a financial system configured in such a way where only a select few of the population control a ridiculous percentage of the country’s total wealth. We have media that is filtered, censored, manipulated, and controlled by a handful of companies with ties back to the corrupt government. We have a population that has been duped into believing that the “news” they watch (as their parents did, and there parents’ parents, etc.) is truthful and based on fact.

The only hope I see are the nearly 10% of the country (if you can believe the accuracy of the 5 CPD polls) has seen through this facade and is supporting a third-party. I no longer care which third party is represented at this point so long as any third party can break the two-party dinosaur that has existed for over 200 years. The names have changed, ideals and issues have changed, but the fundamental choice of only two people is obsolete. Several foreign countries have multiple party systems and are functioning in a greater capacity than the U.S. has been functioning over the last 2 decades. We need to adopt a multiple party system. While I have opinions about the Electoral College (EC), I do understand the function it provides and believe that changes are required to bring it into the modern century. The EC was created for two reasons; provide a buffer between general population and the selection of the President and provide extra power to smaller populous states. Hamilton and the founding fathers didn’t trust the population to make the right choice (tyrants had potential to manipulate if EC didn’t exist) and the EC only met once per election cycle removing the manipulation over time by foreign governments.

My main problem with the EC is the concept of “winner takes all” in all but 2 states. A candidate can win a state with 50.1% of the vote of 90%. There were several states in the past elections where the winning candidate received only 55% of that states votes but was awarded the entire EC count for that state. In this manner, 45% of the voters in that state did not choose the new President. State votes for the EC is not mandated by the constitution making it up to the state how the EC votes are distributed. Using Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, a candidate receiving 60% popular vote would get 12 EC votes and the other receiving 40% of the vote would get 8 EC votes. Changing the EC in this way would not necessarily make the Presidential Election based on popular vote, but would put it as close to possible based on popular vote while maintaining the integrity and purpose of the EC. This change would also allow for third parties to have as fair a chance as Democrats and Republicans.

Returning to my original thought though, the debate last night has provided me the justification that I’m making the right choice to support a third-party. Neither candidate, Trump or Clinton, I believe is right for the next four years or this country as a whole. The fragile nature of the world economy, propped up on debt, will collapse equally regardless of whether Trump or Clinton wins as the country is polarized in a near 50/50 split. My support of a third party is based on research and knowledge that is not provided by mainstream media outlets. A third party candidate winning the Presidency has the potential to make everyone stop and think, breathe a sigh of relief, and start to shed the “sheep” mentality that’s been forced on us for 40 years.

Debating on watching the debates tonight

The first Presidential debate is tonight squaring Trump and Clinton on the “major issues” (selected by the moderator) of America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity, and Securing America. I actually stared at the topics for a long time thinking of how ridiculous they actually are when measured against the growing personal knowledge that we’re in a socialist elite (1%) and capitalist non-elite (99%) system. How can any Presidential debate actually discuss anything of importance when the socialist elite are essentially immune to the countries laws when the two people on stage are well within that 1% group. When you consider that 97% of the country makes less than $250k/year, showing support for either of them is basically endorsing the status quo.

Presidential debates are rigged from the beginning to support a two-party system. My belief is that we need to remove the obstacles of the two-party system to allow all party candidates so that the American people can actually find out who all the players are, not just the ones spending millions. Simply put, if a candidate regardless of party is on the ballot in all 50 states, they should be default be allowed to debate. Ross Perot was allowed in the debates, but the rule of 15% didn’t apply to him as it was put in place for the 2000 election cycle.

Reviewing the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) criteria for allowing a candidate to appear on the stage, which states:

… in addition to being constitutionally eligible(1), candidates must:

Appear on a sufficient number of state ballots(2) to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College.
Have a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate (3) as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations’ most recently publicly-reported results at the time of the determination.

I’m going to break this apart into several pieces as I don’t think that most people know that these rules even exist.

1 – Requirements to be President

As directed by the Constitution, a presidential candidate must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, a resident for 14 years, and 35 years of age or older. These requirements do not prohibit a woman from being president, yet this has yet to occur.

2 – State Ballots

I’m actually a bit peeved at the fact that this one requirement doesn’t permit a candidate to be on the debate stage. The monumental feat of getting through all the red tape and hurdles for EVERY state is an accomplishment in of itself. Gary Johnson has managed to get on the ballot for all 50 states. Jill Stein is on the ballot in 45 states, 3 states write-in, and 3 states not on the ballot. What actually qualifies as a “sufficient number” of state ballots? I would venture to guess that if you hit 75% of the states, or 38 states, that would indicate a sufficient number. Oh, but there’s that “mathematical chance of winning” portion that, if argued properly, is never going to be achievable in regards to the Electoral College (EC). No lie, I could write an entire post about the EC and how it is horribly dated and no longer appropriate for a system where 1 person = 1 vote.

3 – 15% Support in National Electorate

This is rub on this short list of requirements. First, who decides the five selected national public opinion polling organizations? My spidey sense is telling me that the selection is rigged and the public opinion polling organizations chosen are in fact not truly public opinion. I still don’t quite understand how 600-1500 people are a large enough segment of the population to have a “public” poll. As it stands right now, based on RealClearPolitics, Clinton 42.6, Trump 41.1, Johnson 7.2, Stein 2.3.

genelecpolls

The 5 polls selected by the CPD are as follows:

  • ABC-Washington Post (Nash Holdings, LLC, controlled by Jeff Bezos)
  • CBS-New York Times (The New York Times Company)
  • CNN-Opinion Research Corporation (InfoUSA, partnership and majority investment by Lake Capital, private equity)
  • Fox News (Fox Networks Group, 21st Century Fox, Rupert Murdoch)
  • NBC-Wall Street Journal (News Corp, Rupert Murdoch)

I’m not surprised that most of these polls track back to just a handful of companies and people. It’s no wonder that a third-party candidate can’t get any ground to be included with the debates when the polls playing a part of the decision are stacked against them. The poll threshold should be lowered to 10-12% to give the American people more of an informed choice. Johnson and Stein have garnered support from 9.5% of voters on average in all the polls pictured above. In a country with 250 million or so potential voters, that translates into approximately 23 million people. How can 23 million people be denied in supporting a third party candidate?

What’s the harm?

Seriously, what’s the harm in allowing a third-party candidate on the debate stage? The format can be altered to allow 3 or even 4 people address questions from the moderator and still easily fit into a 90 minute program. Are the Republicans and Democrats THAT afraid? The massive hurdles and effort required to get on the debate stage is proof enough for me that they are in fact afraid to have any real competition. It’s a sad time for America when the people no longer are represented by the elected officials put into office. Our first issue is actually taking the time to vote for those officials. Things right now would be a lot different if more than half the voting age adults actually, well, voted.

There’s no excuse anymore to not vote

Call me jaded, or disheartened, about this year’s Presidential election. That’s fine. Over the last several weeks of finding and reading truly unbiased and factual information on the Internet from sources that boast their verifiable pedigree, my eyes and mind have been opened more than in my entire life since I turned 18. My parents, almost polar opposites from me, are focused on the “standard” issues that have been discussed on the election campaigns for more than three decades. Heck, my Mom is voting for Clinton because she wants to be part of “history” in helping the first woman ascend to President of the United States. It is a very narrow point of view and indicative of a tragically closed mind. I get it, and I certainly don’t hold it against them. I am not opposed to and strongly support equality among men and women, but is Clinton really the best choice? My parents and their generation aren’t going to foster the change that I am now convinced we need in this country. Yes, I’m generalizing, I mean no offense to anyone that is in the boomer generation. Generation Y, my generation, is at a cross-road where they need to decide if the status quo is adequate, or if revelational change is needed. One has no risk at all, but has the potential for damage into the next 2-3 decades. The other is loaded, dripping, on fire with risk, however has the potential to upend and reboot the system in ways that could benefit us much longer.

I have not endorsed any one particular person strongly other than that I support third-party candidates in general. My view of the two-party system is that it reinforces the other, unspoken, two party system that we’re all currently living with now. We’ve all heard of the 1%/99% division in the country, but I think it goes much deeper than that. The 1%, aka elite, are a group of people who control an overwhelming majority of the wealth in this country and truly can do what they want, how they want to, and essentially without impunity by the law. The remaining 99%, aka non-elite, is the rest of the country who are unfairly measured against the law that has been distorted by the elite to keep all of us in check. The law is no longer equal. The elite have managed to completely distort the founding fathers ideal of a true democracy where absolute law is the core belief in only 40-50 years. We are essentially two types of economies; the 1% socialist elite and the 99% capitalist non-elite. They want us to keep buying stuff, creating more debt, surrendering our freedom to become modern slaves to our debt. Debt that is becoming increasingly harder and practically impossible to get away from.

With this explained, I am now officially supporting the Libertarian Johnson/Weld bid for the presidential election this year. It was recently announced, that for the first time since 1996, a third-party candidate will be sitting along side the Democrat and Republican nominees in all 50 states. In an election year where a lot of normal Americans do not like either Clinton or Trump, a third party nominee is a welcome relief. His platform is more in alignment with my newfound understanding of the problems in our country right now, more so than either Clinton or Trump combined. My fear is that, should he actually pull off the upset of the millennium, he won’t have any traction during his entire 4 years as President due to the gridlocked House and Senate. Executive Orders aside, he absolutely needs to have support of the Legislative branch of the government in order to effect any real and lasting change. The more likely scenario is that he garners a much larger chuck of the Electoral votes that prevents Clinton or Trump from reaching the minimum 270. The election in 1800 was the last time that this happened. The process to decide the President/Vice President is truly bizarre and is explained HERE.

The 1% is, in my opinion, truly afraid of one thing. That the 99% remaining population catches on to their deception, lies, manipulation, and socialist ways and decides to make a change through who they decide to vote for. Regardless of whether you think your vote matters or not, the fact we can still vote despite the control the 1% has of us is a core Constitutional right. Granted it took more than 100 years to even get that right, it eventually did get changed to where 1 American equals 1 vote. I’m happy that a third-party candidate is on the ballot in all 50 states because I was seriously close to not voting for the next President. I would be no more effective than a rock at that point. We as Americans need to start realizing that knowledge is power and individually we have the power to affect change at the highest levels of government. We need to take the time to re-learn how to wield this power again and flip off the elite in this country. I’m still appalled that 97% of the people in this country make less than $250,000/year yet the majority of them have decided to not vote for multiple reasons. I’m sorry, but if you don’t vote, you need to get off your ass and get to the voting booths and make your voice heard. There is a powerful message sent when 97% of the country unites and screams at the same time demanding change to the current system. Well, you going to vote?

America is broken

After recently ordering a plush toy and an A-line skirt for my daughters Halloween costume this year, I was surprised to see that it would take both over 2 weeks to arrive to my home. Inspecting further on the eBay listing and confirmation, they’re both shipping from China. It got me thinking about how, despite a lot of people claiming America is “first”, in reality we’re not. We actually haven’t been for a number of years. Most countries in the world got a really good lesson in how broken we actually are during the 2008 global market crash that in every way, was started by wealthy and greedy Americans. Sure, you can claim that other countries caused the crisis to worsen through a cascade of crashes, but it started with us. What is scary to think about, is that the system that existed in 2008 is the same system that exists today. Nothing has fundamentally changed to stop it from happening again, banks are still huge, and individuals affected by the crash are now past the 7 year mark when a foreclosure is falling off their credit report and applying for credit and mortgages once again.  Forclosure and bankruptcy didn’t do much in the way of learning from our mistakes.

My wife was watching a movie one evening this week as I arrived home, called The Big Short. I missed the majority of the movie and really only caught the last 30 minutes, however I was aware of all the detail surrounding the crash as I had been personally affected by almost losing my house (even though I had never gone underwater). The crash was a blindingly complicated event that had so many facets that helped contribute to the collapse. The focus of the movie was on a group of individuals that saw the collapse of the credit and housing bubble and took on the banks in their own game of insuring their assets in order to capitalize on the collapse, not the expansion of the bubble.  Seeing this movie coincided with my belief that at least the credit bubble is starting to expand again with the double-digit increase of sub-prime credit lending. Sub-prime, as I understand it, is lending to people with credit scores below 640 (I believe this is the FICO score). I’ve read so much in the past few weeks, there may be other requirements to meet the sub-prime categorization I’m still not aware of. My point here is that we’re heading towards another bubble bursting event that currently has NO compensating controls in the system to correct it. The Fed is powerless right now to correct another downturn event due to the fact that the correction mechanisms are already tapped. The rest of the world isn’t much better either. The end of the movie ended in a joke where there was sweeping legislation, hundreds went to jail, and big banks were broken up. Sadly the truth is that no one went to jail except for one person and Lehman was allowed to go out of business to be used as an example for everyone else that was eventually bailed out.

A really good video capture (link below) from a show called The Newsroom gives a fantastically blunt and factual answer to the question “What makes America the greatest country in the world?” I was amazed at how harsh the answer was delivered despite it being a fictional television show.  Everything that was said was based in true and verifiable facts. I believe this is the kind of rhetoric we need to be having across the country, the rhetoric that scares the crap out of career politicians that are also multi-millionaires and part of the top-tier of society. This resonated with me to the core. The question in the video is being asked by someone in a generation that I admit I have trouble relating to on so many different levels. Relating to the previous generation has been a struggle forever and is often referenced with jokes like “Get off my grass” said by an elder to a young child. I don’t have the proper frame of reference to adequately relate to a generation that has grown up with technology and has a fundamental understanding of its potential that will forever be outside of my grasp.

YouTube Video:  Is America the greatest country?

There are so many problems in our society and we’re all pointing fingers at each other. How immature we are for not holding ourselves accountable for all the hate we’re spewing on others. This is not the first time I’ve written about this topic and I’m unfortunately certain it isn’t the last time either. Global economy arguments aside, we can’t help others if we’re not able to help ourselves. The divide between haves and have-nots is a massive chasm that won’t be closed until the have-nots, with their greater strength in numbers, decides to do something about it. My own way of doing something about it is educating myself on the true system, the system behind the smoke and mirrors of mainstream media, and spreading what I know to others. Not by preaching, not by beating it into them. More along the lines of putting reasonable doubt on the table so that, if they choose to, they can pick up and discover for themselves the truth in all the lies. We need an open dialogue amongst each other where flame throwing puts you into time out. We need to start opening our eyes and seeing the truth that is there for the taking if we only just start scratching at the surface to find out what’s beneath.

This is our call to arms to not elect one man who claims he can “Make America Great Again”. This is our call to arms to not elect one woman who claims there is nothing nefarious about tens of millions of dollars in donations to her “foundation” from countries with laws that oppose all the foundation stands for. This is our call to arms to decide for ourselves, not be mindless sheep, and elect a person that has actually listened to us and is willing to join the fight against the system. It isn’t going to be easy, in fact, it will be damn difficult and seemingly impossible at times. I’m starting this fight personally by choosing to elect a third-party candidate, whomever that may be in my state election. I ask you, my small list of followers, to do your own research and decide for yourselves what the best choice for you should be.

America is broken, and it’s up to us, the have-nots, to fix it!