Graphic of a government building saying that the Electoral College member should not be bound by party but by voting of the candidate who is qualified.

Letter to Electoral College Members

 

Graphic of a government building saying that the Electoral College member should not be bound by party but by voting of the candidate who is qualified.

The Electors need to join the 156 “faithless” electors in our nation’s history by putting country above party.

 

 

I received an email asking me to write to some or all of the electors across the country in the 2017 Electoral College. I decided to just focus on the 21 Trump electors here in Pennsylvania.

I took their letter and did some customization.  If you want to do the same, you can go to http://directelection.org to get the instructions and letter to customize and send out yourself.  Note, these letters MUST get to the recipients before Monday, November 19 before they vote.

Here’s what I said  in the letters I just put into the mail:

I am writing to you in your capacity as a presidential elector. I don’t envy the responsibility that you bear during these difficult times when we face a new split between the popular and apparent electoral votes. While I believe that Hillary Clinton’s popular margin of victory, over 2.5 million votes nationwide, ought to convince the electors to vote for her, I am writing to ask you to choose her for a different reason: that the Electoral College was designed specifically to bar people like Donald Trump from the presidency.

Our presidential system, conceived in 1787 and not amended since 1804, empowers the electors to use their wise judgment to choose our president. Whatever we may think of this system now, there were sound reasons for it at the time.

Among these reasons for the Electoral College is to ensure that the incoming president has the requisite qualifications, abilities, skills and ethics to do the job. As Alexander Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Paper 68:

“The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.”

Donald Trump continues to demonstrate that he lacks the necessary qualifications and skills for the presidency.

There are many reasons to reject Donald Trump as unfit to be president. I will name just one: he will pervert our standards of law and ethics by using the presidency to enrich himself and his family. He has been sued more than any candidate in our history. On November 18, he agreed to pay $25 million to settle lawsuits alleging fraud at his “Trump University.” Since the election, he and his children have continued to pursue their business interests with foreign leaders.

And now Mr. Trump has stated that he will not announce how he will handle this conflict until after the Electoral College meets. This, IMHO, is a major concern because you, as my elector, have limited, if any, information to make a qualified vote on this grave ethical and constitutional issue.

As Richard Painter, President George W. Bush’s chief ethics lawyer from 2005 to 2007, has pointed out, Donald Trump’s hotel in D.C. would violate Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the Constitution, which bars officers from receiving profit or gain from foreign powers. We don’t even know the range of his interests because he has refused to release his tax returns or place his companies in a true blind trust. Let’s not inaugurate a president whose greed destines him for impeachment.

I am grateful for your service to our nation as an elector. You may, in fact, believe that Donald Trump would make a better president than Hillary Clinton or anyone else. But if you share my fear that Trump would weaken and shame our country, then I encourage you to exercise the power granted you by the Constitution and join the 156 “faithless” electors in our nation’s history by putting country above party and blocking Donald Trump from the presidency.

Hamilton would have wanted you to do so.

So would I.

Thank you!

 

Is Donald Trump’s Cabinet Anti-Woman?

Central Oregon Coast NOW

anti-women Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Donald J. Trump’s campaign was dogged by accusations of misogyny. Now his cabinet is shaping up to be one of the most hostile in recent memory to issues affecting women, advocacy groups for women say. Tax credits for child care and the prospect of paid maternity leave are exceptions to a host of positions that could result in new restrictions on abortion and less access to contraception, limits on health care that disproportionately affect women and minorities and curbs on funding for domestic violence, as well as slowing the momentum toward raising the minimum wage or making progress on equal pay.

Consider their positions on these issues.

Domestic violence

Jeff Sessions, Mr. Trump’s selection for attorney general; Tom Price, chosen for Health and Human Services secretary; and Mike Pompeo, the pick for C.I.A. director, all voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act in 2013, which funds…

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Victory at Standing Rock

I am so pleased that the Sioux Nation has won the day. For their people and for Mother Earth. This is one of two great blogs I’ve seen this morning that provides a very good background summary on this civil rights battle. Read on…

Nel's New Day

CANNON BALL, ND - DECEMBER 04:  Fireworks fill the night sky above Oceti Sakowin Camp as activists celebrate after learning an easement had been denied for the Dakota Access Pipeline near the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 4, 2016 outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The US Army Corps of Engineers announced today that it will not grant an easement to the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under a lake on the Sioux Tribes Standing Rock reservation, ending a  months-long standoff.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) CANNON BALL, ND – DECEMBER 04: Fireworks fill the night sky above Oceti Sakowin Camp as activists celebrate after learning an easement had been denied for the Dakota Access Pipeline near the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 4, 2016 outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Protesters across the United States celebrated today after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would “explore alternate routes” for the Dakota Access Pipeline instead of granting an easement the pipeline. Over 2,000 U.S. military veterans had joined the thousands of protesters at the site to protect them from the authorities, and federal officials had given them until tomorrow to leave the site .

Native American tribes began last April to block the part of the current 1,172-mile-long pipeline’s $3.8 billion project designed to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota at the confluence…

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picture of PSU's Old Main Building surrounded by students, faculty, staff, and community members at the "#NotMyPresident Walk-Out/Love Trumps Hate" Rally

Love Trumps Hate Rally

picture of PSU's Old Main Building surrounded by students, faculty, staff, and community members at the

Outdoor portion of the PSU “#NotMyPresident Walk-Out/Love Trumps Hate” Rally

Penn State University held a “#NotMyPresident Walk-Out” Protest on Tuesday, November 15. It was one of many held at universities across the country. Students who believe in human rights and who oppose the election of Donald Trump got up, walked out of class, and headed to a designated meeting space on each campus to “show their resistance” to this election.

Students at PSU left their classrooms at the University Park Campus and headed to Old Main’s front lawn where protests have historically been held since the civil rights protests of the late 1960’s.

It quickly turned into what I believe would be better called a “Love Trumps Hate”  Rally.  The speakers acknowledged that Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. We, as citizens must, therefore stand up and speak out for all people and the environment.

Caring for all of our brethren including LGBTQIA people, people of color, Muslims, documented and undocumented immigrants, and women is an absolute necessity. Like in the 1960’s, the civil rights movement must rise again.

The rally occurred at two different venues.  The first one happened in front of the Old Main Building.  Somewhere between 800 and 1000 people appeared to be attending this part of the rally. Since the university did not allow any voice amplification, most people, including myself, were unable to hear what was said.

So the best I could do was take pictures of the signs that were carried by the participants.  Here is some of what was expressed.

The “#NotMyPresident” Type Signs

sign saying Donald Trump is NOT My President with Sponge Bob saying,

Grr! Donald Trump is NOT My President

banner asking whether Trump is/will be the President or a Predator/

Prez or Predator???????????

picture of a boot underneath the words

Anger sign declaring those opposing Trump will “Make Racists Afraid Again.” This was the only non-peaceful statement I saw at the rally.

cardboard sign saying

Put a “Fence Around Pence.”

The Public Discourse and “Love Trumps Hate” Type Signs

black sign with a flag at the top. Underneath the flag are the words,

Democracy is Dissent. A statement declaring that we have a 1st Amendment constitutional right “of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress.”

picture of two signs. Once says

Get White Supremacy Out of the White House (a call for Trump to reverse his decision to make White Supremacist Steve Bannon his Senior Counselor) and a call for “Civic Engagement.”

Large fiberboard sign saying

Nasty Women Keep Fighting

The March

After the speeches were done, about half of the participants marched over to the Hetzel Union Building to hold a second rally calling people to stand up, support our brethren, and to fight back just as those that fought segregation did in the 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s during the Civil Rights Movement.

picture of people leaving Old Main and heading towards the HUB

Leaving Old Main

picture of people moving from the outdoor rally into the HUB for the second part of the program.

Entering the Hetzel Union Building (aka the HUB)

Inside the HUB

Once inside, people gathered on the steps near the HUB-Paul Robeson Center that  was created to “provide cultural, educational and social support for Black students. It was also expected to provide a place for ‘building bridges to understanding.'”  Using the Center as a backdrop, the rally focused on standing up, fighting back, making sure our voices are heard, and spreading the message of civil rights for all.

I was able to hear much of what was said and sung in this venue.  Here are some of the additional messages I saw and some of the words I heard.

picture of signs and people standing on the steps leading up to the Paul Robeson Cultural Center at the HUB on PSU's University Park Campus.

Rally on the steps of the HUB-Paul Robeson Cultural Center.

Picture of what looks like two federal officers holding a Confederate flag and two other officers carrying a flag that says

A Wall is NOT an invitation to dialogue.

Hand-drawn sign that says,

We are fighting for what’s right.

Hand-drawn sign that says,

We are Stronger Together

A friend and colleague, Peter Buckland, also attended the rally.  Here’s his view and commentary from inside the HUB. If I can get a YouTube link, I’ll embed it here.

And this is how the rally ended:

Let the Sunshine In

What I did not get a picture of was everyone coming together at the end of the rally to hug one another, saying that “I’ll be here for you.” Black. White. Latino. Muslim. Gay. Straight. Women. Cis. Men. As the Three Musketeers said, “All for One and One for All.” Love does Trump Hate.

Farewell, America

Originally published in Moyers & Co., Neal Gable calls upon the media to bear true witness to what is happening since the election of Donald Trump on November 8, 2016, and the consequences that result:

“…[T]he disempowered media may have one more role to fill: They must bear witness. Many years from now, future generations will need to know what happened to us and how it happened. They will need to know how disgruntled white Americans, full of self-righteous indignation, found a way to take back a country they felt they were entitled to and which they believed had been lost. They will need to know about the ugliness and evil that destroyed us as a nation after great men like Lincoln and Roosevelt guided us through previous crises and kept our values intact. They will need to know, and they will need a vigorous, engaged, moral media to tell them. They will also need us.

We are not living for ourselves anymore in this country. Now we are living for history.”

Central Oregon Coast NOW

No matter how the rest of the world looked at us on Nov. 7, they will now look at us differently.

memorial The sun sets behind the Jefferson Memorial in Washington. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

America died on Nov. 8, 2016, not with a bang or a whimper, but at its own hand via electoral suicide. We the people chose a man who has shredded our values, our morals, our compassion, our tolerance, our decency, our sense of common purpose, our very identity — all the things that, however tenuously, made a nation out of a country.

Whatever place we now live in is not the same place it was on Nov. 7. No matter how the rest of the world looked at us on Nov. 7, they will now look at us differently. We are likely to be a pariah country…

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Dear World, We are so sorry but we got this one wrong.  Really, really wrong.

Dark clouds rising over the US. Particularly for women, people of color, & anyone who teeters on the brink of healthcare or economic crisis.

So here’s what we need to do…

Stand up. Fight back. For our country. For the environment. For women & children. For all races. #HateTrumpsLove today but not forever.

Margaret and Helen

Margaret, I love you. We will survive, but now it is up to the next generation. If we raised them right, they will find the good in people and this country will find a way forward.

It is my hope that my daughters will one day see a woman as President. Like Hillary, we have fought the good fight for the right reasons. That spirit does not die tonight. It lives on in the next generation of strong, confident, smart women. Thank you Hillary. I wish we could have broken that ceiling together.

Hang in there. I mean it. Really.

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Watch “Michael Moore in Trumpland”!

This video cost $4.99 through either Amazon or iTunes but should be well worth the 70 minutes of showtime.

And remember to vote and vote wisely on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.

 

Central Oregon Coast NOW

trumplandIf you’re still on the sidelines when it comes to this election, or if you’re feeling conflicted about voting for Hillary, or if you love Michael Moore’s films and are a strong Hillary supporter, then I strongly encourage you to take an hour and 10 minutes right now and check out “Michael Moore in Trumpland”. No one else has made the unique and persuasive arguments Michael Moore is making in “Michael Moore in TrumpLand” — and  you’ll want to hear what Moore has to say and share it with your friends and family. If you’re in need of a “pick-me-up” today, this is the movie for you.

You can get it on iTunes here.Or you can get it at Amazon by clicking here.Both of them, are letting people buy it and OWN it (not just “rent” it) for under five bucks.

So if you’re feeling fed up by this election and…

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For Many Women, Trump’s ‘Locker Room Talk’ Brings Memories of Abuse

A version of this article appears in print on October 11, 2016, on page A1 of the New York Times.

Central Oregon Coast NOW

OCT. 10, 2016

assault Jill Gallenstein of Los Angeles wrote on Facebook about her experience with sexual assault. “This is RAPE CULTURE — the cultural conditioning of men and boys to feel entitled to treat women as objects,” she said. Credit Emily Berl for The New York Times

It was the author Kelly Oxford, a social media powerhouse, who got things started on Friday night.

“Women: tweet me your first assaults,” she wrote on Twitter at 7:48 p.m. “They aren’t just stats. I’ll go first: Old man on city bus grabs my ‘pussy’ and smiles at me, I’m 12.”

When she first posted the message, Ms. Oxford said in an interview later, she did not expect more than a handful of replies. “It was such a personal question,” she said. “I thought, ‘No one is going to share anything on Twitter.’”

Yet by Saturday morning, she was getting…

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Republicans Must #DumpTrump: Trump’s Lewd Language & Sexual Assault Braggadocio

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, here’s something you can do.

Yesterday, the Washington Post released a 2005 video of Donald Trump. In this video and news article, Trump, using lewd language where he essentially brags about sexually assaulting women.


Video Courtesy of the Washington Post (Trigger Warning: Crude, lewd language)

A few hours after the video was released, Trump released a classic non-apology in a statement, saying “I apologize if anyone was offended.” What he said was that he was sorry for others being offended by his language and behavior condoning sexual assault.  Not that he was personally sorry for his offensive behavior.

A few hours after that, he released a short video again “apologizing” saying“I said it. I was wrong and I apologize.”  I put apologizing in quotes because he then immediately segued into blaming the Clinton’s for abuse of women saying that they both abused women but he only used bad language.


Video Courtesy of USA TV.

His “apology,” stated:

“I’ve said some foolish things. But there’s a difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary [no last name mentioned as he consistently does with men] has bullied, attacked, shamed, and intimidated his victim”

Trump saying he hasn’t abused women???!!! His words in the 2005 video speak otherwise:

“I did try and f— her. She was married.”

“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married”

“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”

Grab them by the p—y. You can do anything.”

All of these statements meet the definition of sexual assault as defined by the FBI:

Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.

In 2013, I wrote a blog about the climate of indifference related to sexual assault on college campuses.  This is no different. Trump’s indifference towards women and his misogynistic and possibly criminal behavior is unacceptable and disgusting.  As Bridgette Stumpf, co-executive director of Network for Victim Recovery of D.C. told the Washington Post:

“That’s nothing less than someone talking about committing sexual violence — the kissing, the grabbing. He’s talking about women as if they’re objects, as if they don’t have a right to consent to the way someone touches them. This is how sexual violence becomes accepted in our culture.”

So what can you do?  If you are a survivor of a sexual assault or abuse OR personally know someone who has been assaulted or abused, please take a moment to sign the UltraViolet.org letter to Republican leaders, candidates, and elected officials.

Only your first name will be used to protect your privacy.  This letter calls upon…

 “ALL Republican leaders, candidates, and elected officials to take a stand against sexual assault and abuse–and take a stand against your own nominee for President. You must not only denounce Trump’s words, but clearly and unequivocally denounce his candidacy and do all in your power to make sure that this sexual predator never sets foot in the White House. And we urge you to support strong policies that will end the epidemic of sexual assault in this country and support survivors of abuse.”

This has to stop.  No “Assaulter in Chief!” Please sign this letter now!