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Sanders endorsement of Clinton -> Vote for a 3rd party!

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Just a quick note for the record here.

Sanders endorsed Hillary, as expected. He’s got to go back to the Senate, that’s fine. Part of his deal for his time in the limelight was that he has to play the part of the sheepdog now. That’s ok, we don’t have to go along with it.

First of all, Bernie’s candidacy was an amazing success, given the uphill odds, the game being rigged against him, etc. Here are some of the things we learned in more detail:

Bernie got something like 45% support among Democratic primary voters, and he regularly outperformed Clinton in heads-up polling against all Republican candidates. Alternative candidates *are* absolutely viable – the line that “a non-standard candidate would be unpopular/unelectable” is now fully debunked.

We got to dig into Hillary’s qualifications as a Democrat and boy, did we find a mess of reasons why she would not be at all acceptable as a president. My top two are that Hillary is pro-war to the point of surrounding herself with NeoCon’s and acting like one herself, and Hillary is is fully pro-corporate status quo, which means economically anti-progressive. In addition to policy, there are also some troubling ethical questions with the tens (hundreds?) of millions in “donations”, blatant evasion of FOIA while she was Sec of State — in other words the trust factor is far from adequate for the job.

We found out that the mainstream media is in the pockets of the mainstream parties — so one should double check news and dig deeper to get any semblance of the truth on controversial political subjects.

We found out that the process of counting votes is… um… well there’s something funny about it. Look at the California Dem. primary election, the numbers that were reported on election night and what they really turned out to be.

And last but not least, we found out that our 2-party system gives us 2 bad choices. In my opinion, accepting either of those choices will only guarantee that you continue to receive 2 bad choices in the future. The thing to do is bite the bullet, and vote for a 3rd party regardless of the consequences. Only then will the your “usual” party, whichever one it is, have the incentive to actually represent you.

Jill Stein (Green) (my personal pick)   –or–  Gary Johnson (Libertarian)

In the long run, the thing to do is promote Ranked Choice Voting / Instant Runoff Voting, and Proportional Representation — these are well known technical ways to conduct democratic voting in a way that avoids locking everyone into a “2-party” black-and-white format. Read up on these and inform others when these issues arise!

GMO food labeling- a good thing

link: http://motherboard.vice.com/read/mandatory-federal-gmo-labeling-is-on-its-way

Label = consumer still gets to choose

No Label = It will take longer to get the information to have a choice. Years will go by and a generation of consumers will play the part of involuntary guinea-pigs before the wisdom of this decision will be proved good or bad. Eventually though it will be ok. A non-GMO certification body will have to form and regulate negative labels (that the product is free of GMO’s, or whatever new technologies whose side effects on both consumers and the food production ecosystem are unknowable due to lack of historical data).

No Negative Label allowed ? = sooner or later. some creeps lobbying congress will suggest legislation that forbids a voluntary negative-label… best to preempt this: We should positively affirm the benefits of consumers having as much information about controversial technology choices in their food (and other products) as they desire.

— Follow-up (20160711): http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/07/how-the-corporate-food-industry-destroys-democracy.html

FBI Comey’s kiss of death to Clinton

see-no-evil-hear-no-evil

Although the outcome is not at all a surprise, the statement by James Comey is going to hurt Clinton.

After several paragraphs elaborating everything Clinton did to evade official government communication systems, counting the number of instances in which classified information was stored on a variety of private systems, he says:

In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.

To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.

[emphasis added]

Also, as this investigation was about alleged mishandling of classified materials, there is still the FOIA angle out there, of which Clinton is obviously very deeply guilty, with the servers being there specifically to guarantee her privacy, which, as an employee of the federal government, is contrary to the purpose of FOIA. Not that I expect her to be indicted for that either, but I think most people can do the math here.

Lastly I want to reiterate my belief that the US government’s obsession with secrecy is very overblown, and causes much more harm than good. Take a look at the Glenn Greenwald article on that.

4th of July

What a nice summer weekend.

I think I’ll l try to cut back on non-work computer use for a month or so, unless it rains heavily. (And I hope it does, the plants around here could use it).

Happy 4th of July to all reading this in the US!

Brexit: What Next [Steve Keen / Forbes]

link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevekeen/2016/06/27/what-next-after-brexit/

Syria: US Intel Vets condemn ‘Dissent Memo’ [antiwar.com]

Former US Intelligence officers, under the organization Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, condemn the recently publicized dissent memo from the “State Deptartment 51”, as reckless, etc.

link: http://antiwar.com/blog/2016/06/25/intel-vets-call-dissent-memo-on-syria-reckless/

A Note on Lesser Evil Voting

I agree with this wholeheartedly.

WORDVIRUS

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Noam Chomsky, John Halle and Henry the First: 

In today’s edition of CounterPunch, Andy Smolski lays waste to the feeble and patronizing lesser-evil argument advanced a couple of weeks ago by Noam Chomsky and John Halle, which demanded that the Left vote for the neoliberal war-monger Hillary Clinton as the last bulwark against the fearsome Trump and his rampaging band of post-industrial Visigoths.

Hillary Clinton is a living refutation of the logic of lesser-evilism, since her candidacy as the most rightwing Democratic nominee since Harry “A Bomb” Truman is the inevitable consequence of decades of lesser-evil voting. This toxic political pragmatism engenders a process of natural selection in reverse, where the candidates get more-and-more retrograde because their opponents can always be painted as fractionally more odious. Well, let each pick their own poison in the privacy of the voting booth. Rationalizing, however weakly, a vote for Hillary Clinton…

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