We need you, our planet needs you.October 5, 2020
As wonderful and idealistic as our younger generation is, it does not vote in large enough numbers. If young people voted at the same rates as older people, they could transform this country.
Are you tired?August 21, 2020
Me, too. Exhausted.
Everyday endless push notifications reminding us that We the People are getting close to falling off the existential cliff that is our American experiment.
We can’t look away from any of it.
Joe Biden’s campaign and the DNC raised $70 million during the convention.
— 122M people watched, including 35M streams. Another 128M views across Biden/convention social
— 1.1 million people texted 30330
— 700K uniques on IWillVote
We can do this. YOU can do this.
Our latest institution to be attacked and depleted is the United States Postal Service. This one must hold our focus beyond the explosive 24 hour news cycle.
Make a plan. Request an absentee ballot now. And vote early.
Eye On Sun Valley
Voting Options Questioned Due to Post Office Chaos, Pandemic
by Karen Bossick
How to vote?
That’s the all-consuming question with just 77 days left until the 2020 November election.
The U.S. Postal Service has warned that it may not be able to get ballots to election offices in time because of lags in mail delivery. And it’s anyone’s guess at this point whether Wood River Valley residents will be able to vote in-person.
The Blaine County Election Office will begin early voting at the courthouse on Tuesday, Oct. 13, provided the county is not seeing a surge in coronavirus that would cause the office to be closed to the public.
Hailey Postmaster Ken Quigley has been praised by those at Blaine County’s Election Office for going out of his way to gather ballots by hand and deliver them to the Election office as deadlines approach.
This is what it’s going to take as voter suppression continues, all of us to do what we can to protect votes.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has reportedly removed mail processing equipment, eliminated overtime and slowed some mail delivery. DeJoy, who is reported to have financial stakes with competitors of the U.S. Post Office, has been accused of trying to handicap the Post Service to hinder mail-in voting.
The Guardian: DeJoy, conceded on Friday [August 21] he had implemented recent changes that led to mail delays at the USPS but said he would not reverse the decision to remove mail equipment ahead of the election.
DeJoy has moved to the top of the deplorable list, and while the Senate remains silent & Congress cries foul…and does nothing…We the People know what we have to do and encourage everyone in our communities to do:
V O T E
Dayle’s Community Cafe started posting about the post office and the GOP plot to diminish and privatize our sacred institution.
Before they declared their independence, the American colonists decided that they needed a better way to communicate with one another. In the summer of 1775, at the Second Continental Congress, they created the Postal Service and named Benjamin Franklin its first Postmaster General. Where before letters or packages had to be carried between inns and taverns or directly from house to house, now there was a way for Americans to safely, discreetly, and reliably correspond across long distances. After the Revolution, when Congress ratified the Articles of Confederation, legislators included the Post Office in the ninth of those articles, and later enshrined it in the first article of the Constitution.
The Founders saw the Postal Service as an essential vehicle for other rights, especially the freedom of the press: one of the first postal laws set a special discounted rate for newspapers. But they also understood that a national post unifies a nation, allowing its citizens to stay connected and connecting them with their federal government. When Alexis de Tocqueville toured the young country several decades after its founding, he travelled partly by mail coach, noting in “Democracy in America” how “the mail, that great link between minds, today penetrates into the heart of the wilderness.”
Senator Bernie Sanders was talking about re-establishing banking services at the post office to help lower income and Americans and strengthen the middle class. I had hopes about developing community communication centers at post offices, newspapers and local non-profit community radio stations. Instead, now we’re just trying to save the institution.
“Abraham Lincoln was U.S. postmaster and a storekeeper in the original version of this restored building in New Salem, Illinois.” -Historian Michael Beschloss
Senator Sanders: “We have a president who has admitted that he is trying to destroy the Postal Service to prevent people from voting. This election is about whether we retain our democracy. […] I stand with Danny Glover. We will not let Trump destroy a generational source of good, unionized jobs for Black Americans. We will save and expand the U.S. Postal Service—not privatize it.”
The founders were right to realize that the Postal Service isn’t only a way of moving thoughts and goods from every corner of America to any other, but also a way of uniting one of the largest and most diverse nations in the world. At a time when too few things connect us as a country, and too few of us have faith in our public institutions, we can’t afford to lose the one we trust the most. -Casey Cep, May 2020
Author Ari Berman:
USPS ordered to remove 671 mail sorting machines under DeJoy:
59 in Florida
58 in Texas
34 in Ohio
30 in Pennsylvania
26 in Michigan
15 in North Carolina
12 in Virginia
12 in Wisconsin
11 in Georgia
Really, how did we get here?
Maybe, collectively, what we’ve realized is that democracy is fragile and progress is not permanent. And 44 million people can not choose not to vote…like in 2016.
“We have got to grab our comfortable shoes, put on our masks, pack a brown bag dinner and maybe breakfast too because we’ve got to be willing to stand in line all night if we have to.”
COVID ShiftsApril 22, 2020
Our dear Gaia has mandated pause, a collective time-out, giving opportunity for us to re-consider what is possible. Planetary operations and behaviors are conducive to shifts now. Together, we can accomplish so much, in spite of ruthless and dangerous national and global leadership. We the people, sans greed, power and patriarchy. ‘Everything old is new again.’ What if we did things differently? -dayle
Defend the Post Office, Defend Black Workers
The United States Postal Service is a crucial institution for black workers in America. That’s why Bernie Sanders’s strong support for defending and expanding the USPS is a key racial justice issue.
For the average black worker, the postal service represents a stable, decent-paying career that is hard to find elsewhere. Today the average salary of a USPS employee is $55,000, and 21 percent of USPS employees are black. The history of black postal workers demonstrates the critical importance of government employment and a robust public sector for the advancement of black people in this country.
Saving and expanding the public sector will be a key fight for racial justice in the 2020 presidential race. Bernie Sanders, with his call for postal banking and robust government programs, is the only candidate offering a real plan to revive the postal service and the futures of black public-sector workers.
As Sanders puts it, “Post offices exist in almost every community in our country. There are more than 31,000 retail post offices in this country. An important way to provide decent banking opportunities for low-income communities is to allow the U.S. Postal Service to engage in basic banking services.” And beyond increasing revenue and employment for the USPS, this measure would eliminate the prevalence of payday loan centers that prey on poor communities of color.
The story of black workers in the post office begins with the legal end of slavery and the soldiers who fought for that freedom. As early as 1861, federal employment was opened up for black workers. In December 1864, Senator Charles Sumner passed a bill banning discrimination in postal employment. Though not always enforced, this protection was critical for enabling black workers to establish a foothold in a relatively stable and secure occupation.
A common theme throughout black history has been the importance of an activist federal government for advancing fundamental interests. Postal workers utilized executive orders in particular to improve their situation in the 1960s. This activism and the resulting legislation created a home for black women workers in the post office as well.
Among the few highlights in John F. Kennedy’s lackluster record on civil rights are his executive orders related to federal employment. Executive Order 10925 was issued in March 1961 and banned discrimination by employers and unions in federal contract work, followed by Executive Order 10988, which provided limited collective bargaining rights for federal employee unions that didn’t practice racial discrimination. These orders came after intense lobbying pressure from NAPE and the Negro American Labor Council.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was a key factor in helping black women find work in the post office in large numbers.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN Postmaster General
July 26, 1775 to November 1776
Franklin’s postal career began in 1737 when the British Crown Post appointed him postmaster of Philadelphia. In Franklin’s day, newspaper printers often served as postmasters, which helped them to gather and distribute news. More important, postmasters decided which newspapers could travel free in the mail – or if they could travel by mail at all. Philadelphia’s previous postmaster, who printed a rival newspaper, had barred Franklin’s Gazette from the mails.
He encouraged postmasters to establish the penny post, a British idea he had implemented while postmaster of Philadelphia, whereby letters not called for at the Post Office were delivered for a penny. He also ordered postmasters to print in newspapers the names of people who had letters waiting for them. Remembering his own experiences as a printer and postmaster, Franklin abolished the practice of letting postmasters decide which newspapers could travel through the mail and mandated delivery of all newspapers for a small fee. Thanks in part to Franklin’s efforts, the British Crown Post in North America registered its first profit in 1760.
William Howard Taft
27th President of the United States
Inaugural address, March 4, 1909 [excerpt]
The incoming Congress should promptly fulfill the promise of the Republicanplatform and pass a proper postal savings bank bill. It will not be unwiseor excessive paternalism. The promise to repay by the Government will furnishan inducement to savings deposits which private enterprise can not supplyand at such a low rate of interest as not to withdraw custom from existingbanks. It will substantially increase the funds available for investmentas capital in useful enterprises. It will furnish absolute security whichmakes the proposed scheme of government guaranty of deposits so alluring,without its pernicious results.
The negroes are now Americans. Their ancestors came here years ago againsttheir will, and this is their only country and their only flag. They haveshown themselves anxious to live for it and to die for it. Encounteringthe race feeling against them, subjected at times to cruel injustice growingout of it, they may well have our profound sympathy and aid in the strugglethey are making. We are charged with the sacred duty of making their path as smooth and easy as we can. Any recognition of their distinguished men, any appointment to office from among their number, is properly taken as an encouragement and an appreciation of their progress, and this just policy should be pursued when suitable occasion offers.
“We cannot allow Donald Trump to use this horrific pandemic as an opportunity to bankrupt and privatize the Postal Service,” Sanders tweeted earlier this month. “Now, more than ever, we need a strong and vibrant postal system to deliver mail 6-days a week. Congress must act now to save it.”
“The situation is absolutely dire,” Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), told New York magazine in an interview last week.
The USPS has been hit hard by the sharp decline in mail volume caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The Postal Service also remains shackled by a congressional mandate requiring the agency to prefund its retirees’ health benefits through the year 2056.
“The post office will likely run out of money sometime between July and September of this year,” said Dimondstein. “If they run out of money, then the people lose the service.”
‘The workers are part of a workforce deemed “essential” during the coronavirus crisis, meaning that — like grocery store workers, firefighters, garbage collectors and more — they still have to show up to work every day, even as large swaths of the country have closed stores and schools, and companies have mandated employees work from home.’
Senator Bernie Sanders conducts a news conference on July 5, 2011.
“If the goal of the Postal Service is to make as much money as possible,” Sanders told The Nation, “tens of millions of people, particularly low-income people and people in rural areas, will see a decline in or doing away with basic mail services.”
First among the Vermont senator’s proposals is an end to the USPS’sburdensome pre-funding mandate, which requires it to prepay decades of retiree health benefits. This unique requirement, which costs the USPS billions every year, was imposed by Congress in 2006, when mail volumes were historically high, but after the recession it became impossible to make the payments.
Since 2006 the agency has been barred from offering new products and services: At present, it cannot notarize documents, wrap presents, or ship alcoholic beverages. Sanders argues that Congress should allow the agency to do all these things and more, even suggesting it could expand into digital services and “offer a non-commercial version of Gmail.”
These proposals may sound surprising, but experts say they enjoy broad support among Postal Service stakeholders, and that the USPS would probably offer many of them if it could.
“Bernie may seem like a radical on some issues, but on the post office, he’s just plain common sense,” said Steve Hutkins, an NYU professor who runs the website Save the Post Office. Hutkins says most of Sanders’s proposals have been endorsed by the unions and the major mailers.
“Today, while more than 600,000 postal workers in the U.S. are putting their lives on the line delivering mail and packages, the institution itself is at risk of going bankrupt as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
The USPS is expected to lose about 50% of its revenue due to a loss of mail volume during the pandemic. And what most people do not know is that the USPS does not run on taxpayer dollars — it relies completely on revenue created by postage and postal services.
With such a significant drop in revenue, the USPS will be unable to carry out its work.
If we can bail out large corporations, we can damn well help the Postal Service — the most popular government agency in America — from going bankrupt because of this horrific pandemic.
That is why I am asking you today:
Add your name if you agree that Congress must act now to save the United States Postal Service and protect its workers.
Unlike privatized delivery services, the Postal Service is required by law to deliver all mail and packages to everyone nationwide, regardless of where they live. And each year it is responsible for delivering 1.2 billion packages of medicine to those who need it.
How will people get their prescription drugs and, once they become available, their coronavirus test kits? How will we allow people to vote by mail in an election that is facing unprecedented hurdles to getting voters out to the polls? How will these things be possible if we do not have a fully functioning Postal Service?
Without relief or intervention, the United States Postal Service will not be able to sustain itself for the long term, which means it will not be able to deliver mail and packages to 160 million addresses all over the country.
That is why we must do everything we can to protect the Postal Service, which is at serious risk as a result of the economic crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic.”
-Sen. Bernie Sanders, (D) Vermont
Seth Godin. John Oliver. And Bernie.October 17, 2016
3rd party vote? Not this election. Seth Godin explains with ketchup, John Oliver offers his 18 minutes of persuasion, and Bernie, well Bernie could be a powerhouse in the senate with a democratic majority.
Sir Kensington’s Ketchup is better ketchup. Most adults who try it agree that it’s more delicious, a better choice. Alas, Heinz has a host of significant advantages, including dominant shelf space, a Proustian relationship with our childhood and unlimited money to spend on advertising.
The thing is, you can buy Sir Kensington’s any time you want to. And when you buy it, that’s what you get.
You’re not buying it to teach Heinz a lesson. You’re buying it because that’s the ketchup you want.
The marketing of Sir Kensington is simple: If you want better ketchup, buy this, you’ll get it.
Elections in the US don’t work this way.
I’m calling it a third-party problem because the outcome of third-party efforts don’t align with the marketing (and work) that goes into them.
Ross Perot, the third-party candidate who ran against Bush and Clinton, cost Bush that election. The people who voted for Perot got Clinton, and it’s pretty clear that the Republicans learned nothing from this, as the next winning candidate they nominated was… George Bush.
Ralph Nader, the third-party candidate who ran against Bush and Gore, cost Gore that election. The people who voted for Nader got Bush, and it’s pretty clear that the Democrats learned nothing from this, as the next person they nominated was… John Kerry.
[Irrelevant aside: John Kerry was married to the heir of the Heinz Ketchup fortune.]
[I’m calling it a ‘problem’ because I have such huge respect for people who care enough and are passionate enough to support change. The problem is that since Gus Hall, and then John Anderson and then the more recent candidates, just about all the changes that third parties have tried to bring to national politics have foundered. It just isn’t a useful way to market change in this country.]
If enough people spent enough time, day after day, dollar after dollar, we could fundamentally alter the historic two-party system we have in the US. But it’s been shown, again and again, that the easy act of letting oneself off the hook by simply voting for a third-party candidate accomplishes nothing.
The marketing of the third-party candidate is: Teach those folks a lesson, plus, you’re not on the hook for what happens. But…
No one in government is learning a lesson.
And you don’t even get who you voted for.
The irony is not lost on me. A small group of voters who care a great deal are spending psychic energy on a vote that undermines the very change they seek to make.
It’s a self-defeating way of letting yourself off the hook, but of course, you’re actually putting yourself on the hook, just as you do if you don’t vote at all.
No candidate has earned a majority of all potential (regardless of registration) voters, not once in my lifetime. Which means that the people who don’t vote, or who vote for a third-party candidate, have an enormous amount of power. Which they waste.
Yes, it’s on you. Your responsibility to vote for one of two people, and to be unhappy with that conundrum if you choose. And then work to change the system, and keep working at it…
But it’s not like ketchup. With ketchup, you get what you choose. With voting, we merely get the chance to do the best we can on one particular day, and then spend years working for what we might want.
It turns out that democracy involves a lot more than voting.
Paul Ryan:f the GOP loses seats in Congress, Bernie Sanders could become the Senate Budget Committee Chairperson.
ranking member of the budget committee, and if Democrats gain control of the chamber on November 8, he would be in line to chair it. But Sanders could also end up chairing then powerful Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, which he could use to advance many of the proposals (for affordable college, empowering unions and investing in public-health programs) that made his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination so popular.’The senator from Vermont is the
“The Washington Post, in an excellent article, showed us how far the country is moving toward becoming an oligarchy. Incredibly, just TEN donors have poured more than $1.1 BILLION into super PACs in this election alone.
The lesson here is that the political system isn’t broken, it is rigged and owned by the billionaire class. One of the best chances to un-rig the system is with ballot initiatives this November that will help get big money out of politics.
California and Washington both have ballot initiatives that will instruct their state’s elected officials to do everything in their power to work to overturn Citizens United. And Howard County, Maryland, has the chance to enact a strong system of public financing to level the playing field for local elections.
CALIFORNINA PROP 15
If these ballot initiatives pass, they will send an unmistakable message that the American public wants to get big money out of politics.
As Abraham Lincoln reminded us more than 150 years ago, there must be a government of the people, by the people and for the people. That starts with taking the country’s destiny out of the hands of the billionaires who want to buy elections.”
Spike Lee for Bernie.April 18, 2016
…to ensure the survival of America’s representative democracy: that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Turn left…on Main Street.September 14, 2015
Bill Moyers & Michael Winship:
“The progressive agenda isn’t ‘left wing.’ The progressive agenda is America’s story — from ending slavery to ending segregation to establishing a woman’s right to vote to Social Security, the right to organize, and the fight for fair pay and against income inequality. Strip those from our history and you might as well contract America out to the US Chamber of Commerce the National Association of Manufacturers, and Karl Rove, Inc.”
Bernie. ☀September 12, 2015
“Through the first half of 2015, there is now enough solar installed in the United States to power more than 4.6 million homes.”
We can do so much better if we get support, not obstacle, from our nation’s power companies.
Sun Valley Institute for Resilience (sunvalleyinstitute.org). Part of their mission statement:
Leaders around the world are embracing resilience as a critical priority to deal effectively with shocks and our rapidly changing times, the increasing risks we face from greater economic interdependence and environmental disruptions. The concept of resilience is receiving great attention from individuals, businesses, communities and nations alike.
The founder of the institute is passionate about homegrown renewable energy. According to an op-ed piece she wrote for the Idaho Statesman newspaper in Boise, Aimee Christensen shared that she is an “energy strategist, having worked for global corporations and governments for more than 20 years, including Duke Energy, Google, Microsoft and the U.S. Department of Energy.” She monitors Idaho Power closely in our state, a controller public utilities conglomerate, as they continue to find methods subtle, and not so subtle, to restrict solar energy development in our state. And this struggle is not exclusive to Idaho, but across the country most recently from Michigan to Nevada. Idaho’s power grid is currently 40 percent coal, all from out-of-state plants in which Idaho Power is invested. Christensen reports, again from her op-ed piece, that Georgia, in contrast, is a state where the “evil capitalist” Georgia Power is working with environmentalists, along with tea party activists to create change that provides low prices for power and creates sustainable energy providing “500 megawatts of utility-scale solar with 20- to 30-year contracts without rate increases, offering its residents rooftop solar installations, Nest Thermostats (reducing power bills), and Tesla battery storage systems (increasing power reliability).” Recently on the CBS Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Telsa Founder and CEO Elon Musk stated: “The most important issue that needs to come out of the 21st century is sustainable energy.“
Where was Hillary?July 21, 2015
From the Netroots Nation website:
Netroots Nation stands in solidarity with all people seeking human rights
“Netroots Nation stands in solidarity with all people seeking human rights.
With today’s Town Hall, our aim was to give presidential candidates a chance to respond to the issues facing the many diverse communities represented here.
Although we wish the candidates had more time to respond to the issues, what happened today is reflective of an urgent moment that America is facing today.
In 2016, we’re heading to St. Louis. We plan to work with activists there just as we did in Phoenix with local leaders, including the #BlackLivesMatter movement, to amplify issues like racial profiling and police brutality in a major way.
It is necessary and vital to continue this conversation. We look forward to doing so in the coming year.”
Democratic Presidential Candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley wanted to speak, we’re trying to speak, and your audience wouldn’t let them. They hackled, harassed and disrespected them. Bernie Sanders has done more Civil Rights than any other candidate combined. He organized anti-segragationn sit-ins in the ’60’s…he helped and campaigned for Jesse Jackson when he ran for president in the late ’80’s. And where was Hillary? After two days to reflect she responds through the Washington Post saying that it’s more than ‘economic inequality.’ OK…so why wasn’t she there expressing her message? Because Hillary doesn’t do anything she can’t control – – she knew, and was most likely advised as to how this event would play out and didn’t participate. Sanders and O’Malley tried and weren’t give than grace, or the space, to speak. One of the leaders from Netroots Nation, Ashley Yates, admitted in an interview on MSNBC last night that the response these two candidates were given was orchestrated two weeks ago – – they didn’t have a chance.
From a post on Netroots Nation fb page:
Cole Shores: “Every American deserves a voice… except when they are invited on your stage as a guest. It doesn’t matter if someone is black, white, blue, purple, green, yellow, or aqua… it is all PEOPLE. Feel the Bern – – Bernie Sanders 2016 is the only guy you have running trying to help people with an actual course of action. How your organization treated him as a guest is disgusting.”
Here’s what happened in Phoenix Saturday night:
Martin Davis: Are We There Yet?
‘Real Questions for Presidential Hopefuls’