Tomyamaguchi’s Weblog

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I don’t like (Cyber) Mondays

I just spent another Thanksgiving weekend manually deleting emails that contain “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.” Each year I consider configuring my junk mail filter to delete them all automatically. Maybe, next year.

While many head to the malls on the Friday after Thanksgiving, I am one of those who celebrate Buy Nothing Day. Again, this year, I did not spend a cent that day.

And Cyber Monday? I can’t understand why this still exists. It may have had a purpose back in the early days of the Internet when people only had dialup modems at home and had to wait to get back to work in order to shop via a high-speed connection. Now, the only thing special is that online retailers use this day to offer big discounts. There is nothing to stop a few renegade retailers from proclaiming a Cyber Sunday and offering their discounts then. They can even have a Cyber Thanksgiving, so people can eat and shop at the same time.

Meanwhile, Thanksgiving weekend offered US voters another chance to experience buyer’s remorse. It came in the form of tweets from Donald Trump. Now he tweets that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote through election fraud. That’s a first for American politics; we now have a sore winner.

George W. Bush was quite conciliatory when he lost the popular vote to Al Gore by a narrower margin. He even put a Democrat on his cabinet. If Trump wants to heal the country and bring us back together, this is not the way to do it. In the short term, I expect his handlers to take his Twitter account away from him again. Over the longer term, I am expecting a rather short Trump administration. He may not even make it to the mid term elections before getting impeached or being forced to resign. Settling the Trump University lawsuit and admitting his Trump Foundation was a fraud is just the start. His refusal to sell his international businesses will continue to raise questions of conflict of interest. Then wait until his followers discover he is either unable or unwilling to deliver on his promises. Putting Hillary Clinton in jail? He has more or less acknowledged he has no legal case against her. Building a wall along the Mexican border and having Mexico pay for it? Yeah, right.

That’s why I am against any attempts to keep Trump from taking office. If he is denied his votes in the Electoral College, his supporters will have good reason to believe the system is rigged against them. If he actually becomes President, they will soon enough discover that they have been conned by a Reality Show TV star who became our biggest political con man. Let his own supporters hound him out of office. Of course, then we’ll be left with President Mike Pence. Good grief.

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November 28, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yes, they really want to put Hillary Clinton in jail.

I have just sent the following email to President Obama:

I would like to share to the text of a email I just received from a group called Stop Hillary PAC. I have pasted it below. In short, they are looking for support to make good on Donald Trump’s pledge to put his opponent in jail. I have been reading suggestions that you pardon Secretary Clinton to prevent such a horrendous trial from taking place. I can understand people’s desires to spare Ms. Clinton from a grueling trial. However, I must say emphatically, do not pardon a person who has committed no crime. She has been cleared twice by the FBI. A pardon would give be interpreted as “proof” of wrongdoing.
Personally, I believe that the Trump administration would prefer to drop it as quickly as Trump dropped his birtherism. On the other hand, if the next president decides to make good on that promise, I say, “Bring it on.” I will do everything I can to stop such a miscarriage of justice. I hope we will have your support.

breaking-president-elect-trump-new-poll

Breaking: Urgent Poll – Immediate Response Required

We are conducting an exclusive survey of specially selected citizens. You have been selected. The following survey for tomyamaguchi@mac.com should be completed by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday Nov. 15th, 2016.

—————-

Participant: tomyamaguchi@mac.com

Polling ID: #5837593

Polling Completion Status: Not Complete

—————-

Thank you for your immediate participation.

Official Poll Question: Should President-Elect Trump pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton?

President Elect Trump has repeatedly charged that Hillary Clinton is “guilty” of numerous crimes: Revealing classified emails, deleting official emails, obstruction of justice, lying to Congress, pay-to-play criminal activity with the Clinton Foundation, criminal neglect and lying that led to four dead Americans in Benghazi. Crimes that every other American citizens would already be in jail for.

Official Poll Question: Should President-Elect Trump pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton?

 Yes, Pursue Criminal Charges → 

 No, Let Hillary Off The Hook → 

 Undecided → 

(Click one)

http://support.stophillarypac.org/criminal-charges

November 14, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

If Trump Wins-one last post on this election

This will be my last blog entry before the election. I have been stating my reasons why Donald Trump should not be President. While Trump has shown himself to be uniquely unfit for that office, Hillary Clinton has shown herself to be quite fit and prepared to take on the job of President.

I know a lot of people intensely hate both candidates. 60 Minutes just did a piece on how no one is voting for their candidate, but against the opposing candidate. Their report featured Republican pollster Frank Luntz who believes this is a new phenomenon, going back to the Gore/Bush race in 2000. I’m afraid it goes back much longer than that. It started when political consultants like Luntz discovered that mudslinging works and you can manipulate people with language that invokes fear and anger. If you reinforce a negative image of a candidate, you can discourage potential supporters from coming out and voting for the candidate. So as more cash flows into negative ads, voting turnout keeps going down. Now, Citizens United has unleashed even more money into the campaigns, generating more negative ads. Don’t like the crop of candidates we have in these elections? It is amazing how many good people subject themselves to the humiliating process of running for public office. Hillary Clinton has received two decades of such vilification. Clinton continues to stand up to such vile attacks, giving me more reason to support her.

I understand that all the work I have done can result in failure. Trump can win this election. He can do that because, not only does the right wing hate Clinton more than they hate Trump, they see how important the Supreme Court is in this election. We have one vacancy already and will probably have one or more in the next four years.

No matter who wins, two things will be certain for me. One is that I will wake up on Wednesday morning knowing I did all I could in this election. I spent more hours working on this presidential campaign than any other in my life. I knew that if I did not, I would regret it. On this last day of one more shift of contacting voters in battleground states, I have no regrets with that work.

The second thing I will be certain is that my work will not be over. A Trump win would make that work much more difficult, but I will still not be discouraged and give up, especially on the issue of climate change. Having two climate deniers in the White House will be a be setback in our attempts to put a price on carbon.

If Clinton wins, that work will still be difficult, especially if the Republicans still control the Senate and the House. That makes my work with Citizens Climate Lobby even more important. The only way to get a price on carbon is with a bill that has the support of both Democrats and Republicans.

If Clinton wins, the sad truth is that over 40% of the voters will wake up believing the election was stolen and the system is rigged against them The work to heal this nation will probably be the most difficult of all. For the sake of our democracy, we have no other choice than to try.

November 7, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Woman in the Arena: another reason to reject Trump

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. – Teddy Roosevelt

The actual title of the speech was “Citizenship In A Republic” when it was delivered by Teddy Roosevelt in Paris in 1910. It has become known by the phrase that appears in one paragraph of that lengthy speech. It is no surprise that both US Representative Joe Crowley and President Barack Obama referred to it when they spoke at the Democratic Convention last summer in Philadelphia. They were both contrasting the experience of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and their fitness to be elected as our next president.

I have been blogging as many reasons as I can why Donald Trump is unfit for the office of President. Crowley and Obama make good cases for Clinton, and the links to the texts are below if you want to read their speeches.

Trump has consistently lied about or distorted his record. Let’s start with his position on the Iraq War in 2003. He now says he always opposed the war before it started, and he has better judgment than Clinton because she voted to authorize President Bush’s use of military force. There is no evidence that he opposed the war before the invasion, and there is a recording of an interview with Howard Stern in which he expressed support for going to war. I have viewed lists of celebrities who publicly stated their opposition in 2002. Donald Trump’s name is on none of those lists. Martin Sheen spoke at rallies organized against the war. In that case, Sheen has better judgment than Trump and, by playing the role of President on TV, has more experience.

I remember marching in those demonstrations in San Francisco, in February, and then March, before the invasion began. I went to an all-faiths religious service in the Mission District. I was praying for President Bush, as he had asked us to do. (At the rally, Sheen told KPFA, “I pray because I don’t know what else to do. Praying is all I can do.”) As I prayed, I considered the question that I always find myself asking as a challenge my own positions; could I be wrong?

Was Saddam Hussein the next Hitler, as Bush wanted us to believe? What if Bush is right and I am wrong? Was war the only way to save the world from a madman?

When the war started, I knew that there was nothing else to do than pray that it would be short and that Iraq would be become stable and democratic. Unfortunately, that would not come to be. As a result, I am more committed to non-violence and against war than I ever have been. Iraq shows that war is never the answer for achieving peace.

I remember the political climate after 9/11. I understand the pressure put on Democrats in Congress to back President Bush’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. To oppose Bush was considered to be unpatriotic. Whether you are willing to give Clinton and the Democrats a pass on their vote or not, the truth is that they were in the arena where the political battle was being waged. It is easy for Donald Trump to stand on the outside of the ring and criticize the decision. He was never in a position to be accountable by casting a vote. (To be fair, neither was Obama who did not enter the Senate until 2005. He did speak against the war while in the Illinois Senate.) In fact, Trump has never been held accountable for a vote because he has never held a public office.

Trump has never been a senator, a member of congress, or a governor. He has not even been a city council member or county supervisor. He has been a lobbyist, so he knows how that part of government works. He has given campaign contributions in exchange for political favors, showing he is not the solution but a big part of the problem.

If he has served on any civic commissions or provided policy advice to government agencies, I have yet to find it. He is mostly known for giving money to charity, and that amount has been called into question. Otherwise, he has been mostly concerned with advancing his own business interests.

Trump does have one loose connection to Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy used to say, “Bully!” Trump, on the other hand, is a bully. He is unfit to be president.

https://www.demconvention.com/blog/new-york-representative-joe-crowley/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/07/27/president-obamas-speech-at-the-democratic-convention/

http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html

November 4, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tired of money influencing politics? You don’t want Trump.

If you are in the least bit politically active, you are probably tired of looking at your email inbox. The messages are urgent and straight to the point:

  • Send money or we will lose.
  • We are down in the polls.
  • Our opponents are outspending us.
  • It all depends on you whether we win or lose.

In 2012, I registered Republican in order to vote in the presidential primary. I have been receiving Republican fundraising emails ever since, even though I have not given them a penny. (Well, I did respond to a Trump fundraising letter, as I blogged earlier.) Regardless of party, the messages are all the same. Send us more and more money. Many people agree there is too much money in politics. How we get it out is the issue.

In the 2008 primary, I was registered Democratic and about to mark my vote-by-mail ballot. I was choosing between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, two good candidates who had strengths and weaknesses. For me, Obama’s biggest weakness was his lack of experience in elective office, mostly in the Illinois legislature and a couple of years in the US Senate. On the other hand, Obama came with a lot of life experience, growing up outside the US and understanding what life is like for people who are not like us. He also had a lot of campaigning experience as a grassroots, community organizer. If you don’t have the skills to run for office, you will never get the chance to use your skills for holding office. Clinton had more experience than Obama, but I was concerned about the strong animosity against her, which I believe is rooted in misogyny.The right wing has been organizing since she was elected to the Senate, sensing that the White House would be her eventual goal. On the other hand, Obama would have racism to contend with as the first black nominee.

As I looked over my ballot, my housemate Bob came to my room to tell me the latest news he had heard.of a 527 political group calling itself Citizens United Not Timid. Yes, the initials spell out CUNT, and the man who organized the group is Roger Stone, who now works for Donald Trump. http://www.salon.com/2008/01/24/roger_stone/. As soon as I heard that, I was angry enough to mark my ballot for Clinton. I would go on to vote for Obama in the general election, but I am still proud of my vote for Clinton as a blow against such blatant misogyny.

The Citizens United that created the anti-Hillary movie and took its case to the Supreme Court was a different group, and that is a strange story. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/09/time-trump-aide-sued-trump-adviser-over-anti-hillary-group-called-cunt. Both are examples of how big money has been used to create negative images of Clinton and her trustworthiness that are devoid of any evidence of wrong doing.

In her current run for the presidency, Clinton does rely on Super PAC money. She realizes she needs to use that money to combat the Super PACs that have been organizing against her for years. One that has been sending me emails calls itself the Stop Hillary PAC. It spent much of last year boosting Trey Gowdy’s Benghazi investigation. This year, they are supporting Donald Trump.

stop-hillary-pac

If elected, Trump promises more judges on the Supreme Court like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Scalia and Thomas ruled in favor of Citizens United. He promised that to the religious right. In addition, he promised them to end the IRS rule that prevents churches from using their tax-free money to fund partisan political campaigns. I call it Citizens United for the Mega Churches.

Donald Trump bills himself as an outsider who is unbought by special interests. I blogged earlier how that is a myth. Trump is in the pocket of the religious right and, possibly, the Russians. He uses his wealth for lobbying and promoting his own business interests.

That is another reason I urge voters to reject Trump. We need to overturn Citizens United and get Supreme Court justices who recognize the corrupting influence of money in our democracy. I have heard some argue that money does not influence elections, using examples where the candidate who spent the most had lost. I have my own theory of how the current system hurts democracy, though I don’t have evidence to back it. I have been observing how the percentage of voter participation continues to decline as the money spent on campaigns continue to grow. Much of that money has been spent on negative ads. Even though people say they don’t like the negative ads, the sad fact is that those commercials are effective. They are effective at suppressing the vote. They are designed to get supporters of the attacked candidate to give up and not bothering to vote. (Trump is relying on voter suppression to get elected. During the primaries he told those who were not supporting him to not vote. Not voting in this election is giving Trump exactly what he wants.)

If you want to stop the obscene amount of money going into our elections, you are better off with Clinton, not Trump.

November 3, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If you think there is no difference between the two candidates, I ask you consider this.

What’s the difference?

In my last post, I expressed my own dissatisfaction with the current two-party system. At the same time, I have a problem with the concept of “voting for the lesser of two evils.” For one thing, I do not believe that people are inherently evil. Candidates can be flawed, inexperienced, or unfit for office. Evil, no.

I don’t believe Donald Trump is evil. My arguments against Trump are that his personality is deeply flawed, he lacks the needed experience, and he has shown himself to be unfit to hold public office. All candidates have flaws and come to the job with various levels of skills and experience. It is impossible to find a candidate without flaws. Candidates, like all humans are imperfect. No matter whom we vote for, in one way or another, we will be disappointed.

That is why, when I go to the polls, I choose candidates I believe would be the least disappointing. If I find that the major candidates running for a particular office to be completely unacceptable, I have no problem registering a protest vote, such as a write-in candidate or another listed candidate who has no chance of getting elected. That is not the case in this election. I have no problem casting my vote for Hillary Clinton.

I know there are many on the left who dislike and mistrust Clinton. They supported Bernie Sanders and are angry with a primary process and Democratic Party establishment that clearly favored Clinton. The Wikileaks email dumps have been designed to further feed the anger of Sanders supporters. Even before Sanders jumped into the race, Democrats on the left were showing their dissatisfaction with Clinton. Groups such as Move On and Democracy for America were actively campaigning to draft Elizabeth Warren. I am actually thankful to Sanders for taking that heat off of Warren, who clearly wants to stay in the Senate and continues to be effective there. Sanders also made Clinton a better candidate in the general elections, as Clinton did for Obama in 2008.

I find it incredible for liberals to hold the belief that there is little or no difference between the two major presidential candidates. Did we not learn from the 2000 election? Does anyone still believe there was little or no difference between Gore and Bush?

Think of the Supreme Court. I keep wondering why liberals seem so unconcerned about the selection of future Supreme Court justices. Conservatives are certainly concerned. That is why many of them are falling in line to vote for Trump. They are willing to look beyond his flaws because he has promised them justices in the mold of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. The court majority that ruled in favor of Citizens United included Scalia, Thomas, and the appointments of George W. Bush. And one more question: do you think that if Mitt Romney had been elected president in 2012 we would only have 8 judges on the court today?

When I think of anyone considering Trump, I imagine a scene from one of the old Warner Brothers cartoons where a man lost in the desert comes upon a pond of water. Next to it is a crudely painted sign with a skull and crossbones and the word DANGER.. The dried skull of a Texas Longhorn rests disembodied by the bank. As the man goes to drink the water, the skull open its jaws and moans out, “You’ll be sorry.”

Given the increasing impact of climate change and the window for corrective action steadily closing, the election of two science deniers, Trump and Pence, will be more than a disappointment. They will take this country on a dangerous course that will be very difficult, if not impossible, to reverse.

November 1, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment