17 Dec 2016
Demand the Electoral College do its job.
In the words of Jesse Jackson, evidence abounds about “the systematic and purposeful voter suppression that certainly cost Clinton the election. The Russians didn’t do it. It was done by right-wing partisan state officials eager to suppress the vote of people of color, the young and the working poor.”
Using Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program (IVRCP), 27 states have knocked one million legal voters off the rolls. IVRCP wrongly tagged voters as registering in two states or voting in two states, a felony crime. The suspect list of potential criminals contains an astonishing SEVEN MILLION NAMES — naming ONE IN SEVEN voters of color (including Asian-Americans) in the Crosscheck states.
This “Jim Crow election” knocked 55,000 mostly minority voters off the rolls in Michigan where Trump “won” by less than 11,000 votes. Recounts of the votes in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania – where exit polls showed Clinton was the winner - were stopped. So we don’t know for sure whether Mr. Trump actually won those states..
The Founding Fathers intended the Electoral College to stop an unfit man from becoming President. The Constitution they crafted gives us this tool. Conscience demands that we use it.
Join others in Sacramento on Monday, 12/19, to demand the Electoral College do its job.
Learn more at http://www.hamiltonelectors.com/events or http://www.december19.us/?refcode=g-Electors1215.d-20161215.m-8719.s-27935
Also, e-mail your viewpoint to the electors at http://asktheelectors.org/
If you want the voter-suppression details, for $3 you can watch on Amazon or Vimeo "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy": http://thebestdemocracymoneycanbuy.com/dvd-streaming/
http://www.gregpalast.com/ voter suppression background
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP46nJWH7OE 3-minute trailer
Here’s an important message for the electors:
15 Sep 2016
The banking system is precarious. Here's a 13-minute description
of how it actually works (as opposed to how you think it works) from the
Thom Hartmann Program.
24 Aug 2016
Will the Presidential election be stolen? It has happened before. The "strip and flip" actions that subvert democracy are briefly described in this
3-minute audio clip
from the Thom Hartmann Program.
During the primaries, nearly all Red states instituted voter-suppression laws that suppressed the vote of seniors, students, minorities,
and the poor (http://pages.ucsd.edu/~zhajnal/page5/documents/VoterIDLawsSuppressionofMinorityVoters.pdf)
- exactly the groups that favored Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton.
Additionally, illegal voter roll purges ("stripping") and registration tampering tilted the field.
Rigged voting machines have exhibited "Red shift" ("flipping") and been electing Republicans since 1998. The most famous case was to depose (and then jail)
Alabama Governor Don Siegelman (https://free-don.us/). Now, the "Red shift" has favored Hillary as shown in the graphic below and detailed at
The exit polls and the electronic vote totals are very different in eleven states. The Media Consortium and Edison Media Research cancelled the exit polls
in 8 more states to further obscure the fact that the voting machines were rigged. Voting integrity activist Cliff Arnebeck has filed suit in Ohio
to get the raw data in order to prove to the court that the voting machines were rigged in favor of Hillary
Republicans have a long history of selecting the Democratic nominee to run against; this is just the latest example.
Here’s the Redacted version of the story:
11 Aug 2016
Arthritis symptoms? According to this 2-minute audio
from the Thom Hartmann Programm
eating too much from the nightshade family of plants (tomato, potato, peppers and eggplant) may be the problem.
28 Nov 2015
For years I've been curious about the potential for live electronic voting at meetings. Rather than counting hands,
have folks indicate preferences digitally. At the Podcar City Conference, I got a first-hand experience.
Rather than special equipment (like the old days), this system uses smartphones. Here's the tagline and website:
Voting with smartphones during presentations, https://www.mentimeter.com/.
For simple yes/no subjects, hand-raising is still the best way to get a flavor of the group intention.
This tool also provides for multi-choice and fill-in-the-blank options.
26 Nov 2015
After all the reports over the past year of police murders of unarmed blacks, those of us who enjoy white privilege would do well
to read an opinion letter published in the New York Times entitled
"Where Are Black Children Safe?".
It starts this way:
Black children are not allowed to be children. They are not allowed to be safe, not at home, not at pool parties,
not driving or sitting in cars listening to music, not walking down the street, not in school.
For black children, for black people, to exist is to be endangered. Our bodies receive no sanctity or safe harbor.
We can never forget this truth. We are never allowed to forget this truth.
26 Nov 2015
About 39 minutes into the 20 October 2015 podcast of the Thom Hartmann Program, Thom says :
The last Republican who was legitimately elected as president of the United States by a majority of the people of this country
- without fraud - was Dwight Eisenhower.
Listen to this
6-minute explanation of that statement
or read Thom's longer explanation.
15 Oct 2015
Bernie Sanders calls himself a "democratic socialist". The lame-stream media and most political insiders drop the "democratic" part
and make a big deal about the "socialist" part - as though it were a bad thing. As though it were Soviet-style authoritarian socialism.
Reality check for folks who just plain don't like anything socialist: I like my socialist police and fire departments, schools, roads, sewer and water systems.
I'd also like to have a socialist Internet service like Chattanooga, TN, and electric service like residents of Santa Clara receive.
So, here's what a democratic socialist really is. Are you one?
"A few words about democratic socialism from some democratic socialists" published Tue Oct 13, 2015
The Democratic Socialists of America is the largest such group in the United States. Today the stated view of DSA (which has formally endorsed Sanders) is this:
Obviously, not every democratic socialist is a member of DSA, including Sanders himself. And other democratic socialists take a different view on some matters. But the approach laid out above is clearly not the authoritarian socialism that some would like to make of it.
Democratic socialists do not want to create an all-powerful government bureaucracy. But we do not want big corporate bureaucracies to control our society either. Rather, we believe that social and economic decisions should be made by those whom they most affect.
Today, corporate executives who answer only to themselves and a few wealthy stockholders make basic economic decisions affecting millions of people. Resources are used to make money for capitalists rather than to meet human needs. We believe that the workers and consumers who are affected by economic institutions should own and control them.
Social ownership could take many forms, such as worker-owned cooperatives or publicly owned enterprises managed by workers and consumer representatives. Democratic socialists favor as much decentralization as possible. While the large concentrations of capital in industries such as energy and steel may necessitate some form of state ownership, many consumer-goods industries might be best run as cooperatives.
Democratic socialists have long rejected the belief that the whole economy should be centrally planned. While we believe that democratic planning can shape major social investments like mass transit, housing, and energy, market mechanisms are needed to determine the demand for many consumer goods.
14 Aug 2015
Letter to the San Jose Mercury-News published on-line 8/17/2015 about PRT capacity
In the interest of truth and clarity, throughput numbers above should be reduced about 50% as noted in the
October 17, 2012 memo (page 5) from Hans F. Larsen to the
TRANSPORTATION AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE regarding the AUTOMATED TRANSIT NETWORK FEASIBILITY STUDY:
It's troubling when elected officials who make transportation decisions misrepresent advanced transit options like
Personal Rapid Transit (PRT). Such was the case at Thursday's Transportation Town Hall sponsored by the SJ Chamber of Commerce.
Our State Senator dismissed the option of using above-ground PRT technology rather than underground BART by saying
PRT did not have enough capacity. Although he believes that PRT cabs (or “podcars”), each carrying only 1 or 2 people,
cannot deliver as many people per day as BART trains, he clearly did not run the numbers.
VTA projects daily ridership for the extension of BART from Berryessa to Santa Clara at 55,000, or about 28,000 each direction.
If each computer-controlled podcar only contained 1 passenger, and headways (spacing between podcars) were the 2 seconds
recommended for human-controlled cars, each PRT guideway could deliver 1800 people per hour (p/h) – or 86,400 passenger per day
(1800 p/h x 24 hr). At a cost of $180M, PRT could provide 24/7 service, start operating years sooner, and save the taxpayer $4700M
and the need for another screw-the-poor sales tax.
Realistically, throughput for an ATN is likely to be much less — perhaps even less than half — of what would be indicated
from an idealized capacity calculation derived from simple line-haul formulas.
Even a 50% reduction in throughput, however, could be cost-effectively offset by reducing the headways from 2 seconds to 1 second
to double the capacity. Or double capacity by building another guideway. In the case of replacing the BART Burrow,
doubling the PRT system cost from 4% to 8% of BART's cost is still a great deal.
ATRA presents another way to see capacity as outlined in this
which includes the chart below:
The Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee passed this resolution supporting a Constitutional Amendment:
RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING AS A POSITION OF THE DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY THAT 1) ONLY HUMAN BEINGS HAVE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, 2) MONEY IS NOT SPEECH, AND 3) WE CALL FOR A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO ESTABLISH THAT POSITION.
WHEREAS, the people's right to free speech and fair elections are essential to democracy and effective self-governance; however, U.S. Supreme Court decisions have granted multi-billion dollar corporations and other artificial entities the same rights as natural persons to unrestricted spending on political speech, thus severely restricting the ability of federal, state and local governments to enact reasonable campaign finance reforms and regulations regarding corporate political activity; and
WHEREAS, the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights are intended to protect the rights of human beings – not artificial entities such as corporations which have special advantages not enjoyed by human beings plus the many traditional and necessary rights and powers provided for by state law, and usually put profits for shareholders ahead of concerns for the greater good of society – but the U.S. Supreme Court decisions extending constitutional rights to corporations have resulted in increasing domination by these powerful entities and a corresponding loss of rights for people; and
WHEREAS, sixteen states and more than 550 local governments throughout our country have passed resolutions or ballot initiatives calling for a constitutional amendment establishing that corporations should not have constitutional rights and money does not equal speech, and the people of the United States have previously used the constitutional amendment process to correct decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court that are widely deemed to be egregious, wrongly decided or significantly out-of-step with the prevailing values of the populace;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that it is the position of the DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY that A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT IS NEEDED TO ESTABLISH THAT
1. The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only, and that artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities, established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.
2. Federal, State and local government shall have the right to regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, for the purpose of influencing in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure, and shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY calls on other communities to join with us in this action by passing similar Resolutions.
Here's a video that graphically shows our environmental situation.
Wake Up, Freak Out, then Get a Grip (video)
http://wakeupfreakout.org/ An ingeniously clear and engaging 11 minute animation explaining why the next few years are the most important humanity has ever faced, or will ever face. We who are lucky enough to be alive now are effectively the most powerful people who will ever live, and future generations are breathlessly watching our every choice.
At the 3/7 Let's Get Moving Silicon Valley Summit, this question was submitted to the panelists but was not read:
The BART Extension to Santa Clara seems to be a black hole for transportation funding. Rather than passing a regressive
sales tax to pay for it, why not replace the $4B 4-station BART extensin with a
100-station Automated Transit Network (ATN) for half the price?
Here's a 21-minute audio clip from the
Thom Hartmann Program that presents a
fascinating story of the revolution you never heard about.
Democracy is not just a human invention, but rather common in nature.
This 6-minute audio clip from the
Thom Hartmann Program summarizes a
finishes with this:
We conclude that consensus decision making is common in non-human animals, and that
cooperation between group members in the decision-making process is likely to be the norm, even when the
decision involves significant conflict of interest.
Here's a 1-minute audio clip from the
Thom Hartmann Program in which
Senator Bernie Sanders presents a summary of current climate science.
Here's a 2-minute aerial view of the
People's Climate March on Sept. 21, 2014, which
the "lame stream" media ignored. When 400,000 people are on the street in one place (New York), and the media ignores it,
that qualifies as deliberately suppressing the news. If your news source did not tell you about something this big,
what else are they not telling you?
Yeah, the Republicans won big in the election. However, they had to cheat to do it.
This 10-minute audio clip from the
Thom Hartmann Program outlines some of the ways
Republicans and their sympathizers cheated people out of voting.
Perhaps the most remarkable fact about this local election was the low turnout. An average turnout of Milpitas voters
in a mid-term election would be about 54%. According to the Registrar of Voters (ROV), only 29% of registered voters cast a ballot.
In the world of statistics and human behavior, that is a huge difference. And not a good sign for a healthy democracy.
This 6-minute audio clip from the
Thom Hartmann Program offers two suggestions for increasing voter turnout.
Citizens United was a legal case decided by the Supreme Court that effectively endorsed the spending of large sums of money
to corrupt our democracy. We've seen the effects of big money on both national and state elections. Now we can see it in our local
election in the form of Measure E.
First, the big-money Bumb family (that owns Bay 101, the Berryessa Flea Market, and several other enterprises) pays nearly $250,000 to put
Measure E on our Milpitas ballot. Then they hire a lobbyist (Bob Livengood) and funnel lots of money into convincing us what a good
deal this card room is for Milpitas residents. In addition to the many mailers we can expect before election day, Bob and the big
Bumb money have arranged a big kickoff party,
ads on the front page of the Milpitas Post, a so-called "Job Fair", and distribution of yard signs.
Fortunately, a few community members are offering
a different view of Measure E. If not for their efforts, the big Bumb money
would likely convince enough voters that Measure E is really good for Milpitas - rather than questionable at best.
Getting big money out of our politics is necessary to restore the health of our democracy - which is clearly ailing. That is
why a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is needed that says money is not speech. Then, we can
do what we did before the Supreme Court 5 changed the rules. We can regulate how much money
wealthy people can spend to influence our elections - and our lives.
When asked whether I support the proposed "casino" (actually a card mansion), my response comes from my vision for the future of Milpitas -
a sustainable and family-friendly future for Milpitas. First, any gambling establishment does not pass the family-friendly test.
A sustainable business would be one that provides
food, shelter, or any of the many products and services we need for civilized life. A card mansion that diverts money from the
community into the hands of the rich (the Bumb family) is not sustainable. The sole benefit to the residents of Milpitas is
the estimated $8M of net revenue. While I agree money is needed for the City to restore services, there is another,
better way to increase revenues!
So, no, I do not support the proposed gambling establishment.
On the campaign trail, two good ideas were suggested:
1) As new housing is being built in the transit area near the BART station, pipe recycled water to toilets.
Recycled water is already being delivered to that area. By using it to flush toilets, a relatively inexpensive
addition during construction could save lots of drinking water.
2) Deploy Blue Star Savior
around town so that deaths from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can be reduced. SCA is a leading cause of death in
the U.S., and strikes people of all ages. This smart-phone app enables untrained people to summon CPR-trained and certified people to
aid a victim of SCA.
Aug. 7, 2014 e-mail to supporters:
On Tuesday, I filed my paperwork to run for Council.
I thought you might like to see what will be printed in the sample ballot.
Candidate Statement for Rob Means running for Milpitas City Council
(200 words maximum using up to 22 lines, each with a maximum of 72 characters wide)
After a successful computer software career, I've dedicated many of
my 37 years living here to working for a family-friendly Milpitas:
leading efforts to develop bicycle paths & creekside trails;
helping our schools & libraries maintain their facilities;
supporting development plans that benefit our community while
protecting our hillsides.
On these issues, I advocate for the community & its long-term
future. As a Council member, I would create public-private partnerships
to develop infrastructure with community-wide benefits, such as:
1) Working to locate a K-8 school in the fast-growing transit area
with joint City/school use of sports fields.
2) Inviting advanced transit companies to build a critical crossing
near the BART station. Then, at little City cost, expand to serve
the entire transit area – possibly all of Milpitas.
3) Supporting home/business upgrades with water- & energy-saving
features - creating jobs & keeping money in the local economy.
I am ready to serve as your Council representative. In 2012, the
San Jose Mercury-News agreed by endorsing me as “a straightforward,
thoughtful guy ... a true believer in transparency in government.”
Please see MeansForDemocracy.org & vote Rob Means for City Council.
On August 5, without discussion or input from the public, the City Council approved installation of signs
in public buildings across Milpitas saying "In God We Trust". Those of us who believe in the separation of church and state
bristle at this latest step in joining the two. Contrary to popular belief, the U.S. is not a Christian nation,
nor did the founding fathers think so. In fact, Thomas Jefferson (a Deist) fretted that church influence would corrupt government.
On the other hand, Madison (a staunch Christian) believed that a co-mingling would corrupt religion and churches.
Now we see that both were correct as the Christian Right both corrupts and is corrupted by its involvement in politics.
As one more aligned with a Deist/Buddhist/Wiccan/Native American view of god, I would rather see signs saying
"In Mother Earth We Trust".
The July 4th debut of the mobile billboard was more popular than expected. A good fraction of the estimated 20,000 attendees of the
fireworks show saw me and the billboard - many with smiles, thumbs up, and comments of support.
The 6/13/2014 Milpitas Post Editorial concluded with a voting suggestion I endorse:
Perhaps the time has come to have the entire election process modernized moving toward 100 percent voting by mail.
The hybrid system we have is costly and not very efficient. It limits turnout and sows confusion.
Several years ago, it was reported Milpitas was spending about $1M/year on repairing pavement that was breaking down at a rate of $2M/year.
The Pavement Condition Index (PCI) of Milpitas streets (a measure of the quality of our streets) was falling.
Via e-mail, I asked Steve Chan, Traffic Engineer for the City, about the matter.
He responded on October 17, 2012 with this:
The fact that we are deferring maintenance on our streets (and lots of other things) during financially difficult times is not surprising.
Continuing to neglect infrastructure maintenance costs is a short term way to balance the budget. However, it will cost us more in the long run.
The average weighted PCI of the entire Milpitas street network was 67 for 2011, 68 for 2009, and 70 in 2006.
The City received ~$2.5 million in ARRA funding towards street rehabilitation of North Park Victoria, South Park Victoria and Abbott Ave.
The Betrayal of America's Middle Class Was a Choice, Not an Accident (Amy B. Dean, Truthout)
The outsourcing of good jobs, the elimination of pensions, rampant home foreclosures; skyrocketing higher education costs and mounting debt:
Given these stark realities, the American middle class seems to be sinking fast.
The renowned reporting team of Donald Barlett and James Steele insists it is no accident.
"We were impressed with your proven passion to protect the environment and knowledge of environmental issues."
- 9/15/12 Sierra Club letter to Rob Means
"Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love."
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Since writing my original letter about the apparent mismanagement of the City, more mistakes have been reported:
A ruling by a Public Employment Relations Board judge found that the City "violated employee rights ... in connection with its treatment of past ProTECH President Nancy Mendizabal."
According to the State, the Milpitas redevelopment agency wrongly transferred hundreds of millions of dollars worth of assets.
Learn more from this
Milpitas Post article.
Contact Webmaster Rob Means at 408-262-8975, Rob@MeansForDemocracy.org
1421 Yellowstone Avenue, Milpitas, CA 95035