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late night across america with Michael & Debbie

because it's never too late!

NOT Wasting Your Vote (or Voting 101)

Debbie Lewis
September 29, 2016

Political Parties “…are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government…” George Washington

(Let’s just suppose for a moment, and for the sake of argument, that our votes actually count.)  If one more person tells me I am wasting my vote if I don’t vote for Trump or Clinton, I might just scream.  If one more person tells me if I vote for a third party candidate I may as well be voting for Clinton or Trump, I may pitch an all-out fit.  If one more person tells me I should just keep my mouth shut if I don’t vote, I may be forced to throw them out the nearest window.

People seem to have forgotten this country was not designed for a two-party system.  People have also forgotten how presidents were originally elected in this country.  People seem to have dismissed the true qualities for a real leader.  Yes, I know, I have several issues going at the same time.  But, if you’ll just bare with me, I think you’ll see it’s all related.

Let’s start with point number two, a very brief summation on the way in which the president and vice president were originally elected.  The states were assign a number of electors.  The job of each elector was to search out the most qualified candidates and cast their vote for two hopefuls.  The votes were collected at the state level, counted, sealed and sent to Washington DC to become officially counted.  The hopeful garnering the majority of the votes would become president.  The runner up would become vice president…yes, they were NOT necessarily from the same party (perhaps yet another check on executive powers?).  Of course, that’s not how it happens anymore.

This brings me to point number one, the two party system.  I bet most people don’t even realize George Washington did not belong to a political party when he was elected, and he remained unaffiliated during his entire presidency.  Washington believed parties would corrupt the hopefuls (maybe he was on to something!).  That notion was, however, short lived as John Adams was a Federalist and Thomas Jefferson and the next three presidents were Democratic Republicans.  After that, we’ve had fifteen Democrats, eighteen Republicans, and four Whig party presidents.  Not only that, but I wonder how many people realize that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson belonged to two separate parties?  Also, Jefferson and Aaron Burr, his vice president, were of two separate parties.

Did you catch the point up there about the most qualified candidate?  That brings me to my third point…a qualified candidate.  The search for the most qualified candidate has been cast aside for more nefarious things, like control, power and greed (Washington called it!).

So, what, exactly, makes a “qualified” candidate; a candidate of character, if you will?  Our very first clue comes from the Constitution, itself, in the form of the mandated Oath of Office;

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

To preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, one must first understand it. They should understand that the Bill of Rights was included because the Anti-Federalists saw the loopholes for governmental power grabs and demanded it be written to protect the people’s unalienable rights, as well as the rights of the states.  The office of the President was not established to chip, erode or outright steal our rights.  Anyone committing these acts against the population is not only not presidential, but needs a quick course in exactly what is meant be unalienable rights.

On June 14, 1963, Time Magazine published an interesting article with regards to Presidential Character. Among the things Former President Dwight Eisenhower felt were of the utmost importance were:

Self-restraint
Making decisions on positive ground, No extreme measures
Understanding why this country is so great, which includes:
“a respect for the freedom of people to work for themselves, their families, their
communities; and this with a minimum of interference from government.”
An inner calmness that helps him maneuver through crisis, which affords the ability to
make mature decisions
The where-with-all to surround himself with strong people with strong views
Experience – being wholly ready to take on the task if the Presidency
A principled leader

Jim Lehrer hosted a most interesting portrait of presidential nature in a mid-1990’s PBS special based on a collection of essays about former US presidents. During the special, Character Above All, James Cannon, author and former advisor on Domestic Affairs under President Gerald Ford, made the statement that presidential character consists of ethics, morality, self discipline, will power, and, of course, the ability to act in the best interest of the country. And, Cannon says these characteristics should reign supreme without regard to the person’s chances for re-election.

Many of the authors and historians participating in that PBS special see honesty, confidence, and courage as vital characteristics of a US president. Still other distinctive qualities considered of the utmost importance are consistency, vision and practical good sense.

Do any of these qualities ring true with either Trump or Clinton?  Yeah…I don’t think so…

Also, in watching a good portion of the first presidential debate, and remember, at the time, we were less than two months from the election, did either stand out as a shining example of a truly honorable candidate possessing outstanding character?  Yeah, I don’t think so.

So, now we get back to my original thought…not wasting your vote.  A wasted vote is a vote for someone devoid of true character.  A wasted vote is a vote for someone wholly unqualified, by virtue of their own political record.  A wasted vote is a vote for an “evil” person…even the lessor of two evils is still evil.  A wasted vote is a vote cast AGAINST the other candidate, not taking into account the actual qualities of the candidate you are voting for.  AND, by becoming informed, should you choose NOT to vote, couldn’t a “no vote” be an actual vote…a vote of no confidence?  Of course it can!  So, the next time someone tells you you are wasting your vote by not voting for one of the two major party candidates, remember these arguments…they will serve you well!

 

 

 

Is It Worth It?

Debbie Lewis, September 8, 2016

According to a July 10, 2002 GPO report on Water Resource Management Issues on the Missouri River, “The Missouri River directly affects over 10 million people in eight Missouri River Basin States, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Montana, Kansas, and Wyoming. The management of this river is significant to the people in all of the States…”

So, Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, decided there wasn’t enough press covering his opinion, and he wrote an article in the Bismark Tribune discussing the other side. He is, of course, on the side of the pipeline…the side in favor of building the pipeline, which is his right. He makes the case that the pipeline will employ around 12,000 people over 4 states and raise $129 million is taxes. We need jobs in most places, so that seems like it would be a good thing.

But, when you take into account the millions of people who rely on the Missouri River for water and other things, including the wildlife for food, not to mention the sacred lands of the Native American’s, does a few thousand jobs seem a fitting argument for the pipeline? While we’re at it, the side against the pipeline argues, what happens to the water supply if something should happen to the pipeline? Those in favor of the pipeline seem to think that’s a bit of a stretch. Really???

Just last month in South Louisiana there were three consecutive oil spills. The same article reported that “the average volume of oil spilled annually in Louisiana is 330,000 gallons. That’s a lot of contamination. If that was in a main waterway, say one that supplies over 10 million people water, who knows how much damage that would do and when that would get cleaned up! Not to mention the damage and contamination an oil spill could do to the sacred land of the indigenous peoples there!

So, I must ask, is that damnable pipeline worth 12,000 jobs and $129 million in tax revenues? Yeah, I didn’t think so…

Disgusting Treatment of We The People!

Debbie Lewis, September 5, 2016

While researching for an article I was preparing to write regarding the recent Nestle’ travesty involving the loss water rights to the community of Fryeburg, ME, my research took a turn into a ten year summation of Monsanto Lobby activity.  As we fight for our right to clean water, we’ve lost our right to know what’s in our food…As anyone who has taken any amount of science in grade school knows, good food and clean water are vital to our health and survival.  As anyone who has taken any manner of REAL history knows, we have a unalienable right to LIFE.  I’d say that includes good food and clean water.  Apparently Nestle’s nor Monsanto think so.

First, let me say the appalling stance taken by Nestle’ Chairman, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe is simple unconscionable.  To actually think a corporation could deprive a community of its water supply is criminal…to actually do it is…well, unthinkable, and yet that’s just what Brabeck-Letmathe want’s to do.  he has gone so far as to propose that clean fresh water is not a human right!  Later, though, in full damage-control mode, Nestle’ posted on it’s website that Brabeck-Letmathe was NOT against clean water for communities…Maybe Nestle’s and its Chair don’t remember that once something is out there, it’s there:

“The one opinion, which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGOs, who bang on about declaring water a public right. That means as a human being you should have a right to water. That’s an extreme solution.

As you can see, Brabeck-Letmathe’s opinion is that water isn’t a public right.

But, as I said, I stumbled on some disturbing figures concerning Monsanto Lobbying activity.  The ongoing fight for GMO labeling may have been doomed from the start.  Why, you may ask?  Well…money, of course!

Lobbyists are prevalent in Washington, D.C., and where are our representatives?  Yeah, in Washington, D.C.!!!  Over the past 19 years, lobbyists averaged 12,600 in D.C. spending, on average, $2.37 Billion PER YEAR to peddle their particular legislative wishes to OUR representatives.  Now, you and I have nowhere NEAR that amount of money, so do you think our representatives are listening to us?  Apparently not, as congress passed the Dark Act, basically shunning the wishes of their constituency for their apparent benefactors!

Monsanto is the main company pushing GMO’s on the market, and the people, and therefore it stands to reason they would be against labeling.  They aren’t the only one.  BUT, a ten-year analysis on Monsanto lobbying spending habit sheds some much needed light into just how far a company will go to get their way.  Let’s take a look.

In the industry of Agricultural Services/Products, Monsanto has held the Number 1 spot for spending, followed closely by CropLife America, The American Farm Bureau, and Archer Daniels Midland (CropLife America and the American Farm Bureau jockeyed for 2nd and 3rd place 8 of the past 10 yrs.  ADM held the 4th spot for 6 of the past 10 yrs).  Are you ready for this?  Monsanto spent an average of $6-plus MILLION averaging 19% of the total spending in this industry!  We have 535 representatives in D.C. and that totals a whopping $11,000-plus spent to lobby on behalf of their sinister agenda. It’s purely disgusting!

What adds to the disgust is the government’s all-out attack on the First Nation people in North Dakota over the Dakota Pipeline.  That pipeline is coming over Sacred Land AND will contaminate the drinking water there (maybe why Nestle’ is taking water from the East Coast!).  Doesn’t anyone care about that?  The Mainstream Media is not properly covering that…why?  The protests have been nothing but peaceful, yet recently, the protesters have been attacked by what appear to be mercenaries.  Wonder why?  could it be the government doesn’t want to get its hands dirty?

If you’re not outraged, you aren’t paying attention.  So, maybe these problem don’t affect you personally, yet.  Believe me, though, if you aren’t taking a stand, they will, and heaven help us all if we aren’t willing to stand up to this corruption!

Late Night Across America

Things are happening all around us…time is moving too fast and we just can’t seem to keep up.  Late Night Across America wants to help by bringing you information you might otherwise miss.  Things the mainstream media won’t cover.  Things our schools don’t teach.  Things our churches ignore or gloss over.

Independent thought is quite nearly a thing of the past, but it’s still out there.  If you are there, GREAT!  We welcome your input.  If you’re not there yet, well, we are here for you.  Gathering information and dissecting it is what we do.

Our best advice is to question everything…even things we put forth!  Question them until they make sense…and if they never make sense, maybe it’s time to take another direction, just never give up.

 

What Bothers YOU Most?

Debbie Lewis, August 22, 2016

“Out of everything going on today, what bothers you the most?” a friend at asked.  You see, I am fortunate.  At least some of my friends are interested in what’s going on in the world.  It’s a hard question to answer, to be sure, because there are SO many things that SHOULD be bothering us.

It took a couple of minutes to mull over all the topics that could be bothersome to nail it down to one…the utter complacency of the American population…in ALL things.  Yep!  That’s the one!

Most people who know me well would have guessed I would have said our political system.  Those who would not have surmised that would have said either the upcoming election, our education system or our healthcare system…all good answers, as well!  Why?

There are people out there who are so busy in their lives, they fail to see what is going on of importance around them.  Out of some sort of societal code, we, as a population, feel we need to be entertained and busy all the time.  If our children have any free time whatsoever, we feel the need to fill it.  We enroll our children in every imaginable sport all year long.  Whether it’s through school, recreational or competitive leagues, most kids today participate in some sort of sport back to back without a break.  Some of these sports take families away during holidays and weekends.  Also, rather than interact with and discipline our children, today we slam them with so many forms of entertainment, they can barely communicate anymore.  Kids as young as 3 can use their parent’s tablets and cell phones better than I can use mine!  I see it every day…multiple times a day.  Then there is television…the ultimate baby sitter!!!

We meet ourselves coming and going; working all day (or night!), getting our children to and from their respective functions (if you have more than one child, you KNOW what I mean!), household chores.  If we are single, we want to live life to the fullest, and we should, so we are always looking for something to do, before we get too bored…it never ends!

Rather than look into something that sounds a bit odd, we take the word of the mainstream media, even though trust in the media is nearly at its lowest.  The last two presidential election cycles were rife with outright manipulation of the would be candidates running for president.  This one is shaping up to be the same.  And even though we don’t, overall, trust the media, we allow this to happen without checking into the information for ourselves.  Ever heard of the phrase, knowledge is power?

The media has been caught either lying to or withholding information about other subjects from the general population, and yet we still continue this love/hate relationship without holding them accountable for their blatant misrepresentation of the facts. Why don’t we seem to care?

We trust one political party or the other to take care to things, but when business as usual occurs, we don’t seem so surprised.  Next election, we elect the other party, hoping things will change.  We continue playing a game of musical chairs, of sorts, with our elected officials, back and forth, and everything pretty much stays the same.  Rather than taking it upon ourselves to throw them out, we wait for a regime change.  And the cycle starts all over again.  Why just this year, the Democrats were caught outright blackballing Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton, and yet we’ve turned a blind eye.  Is it easier to just buy into the lie?

I wonder how many people realize, or even think about history, in general?  Do you realize history is written by the winners?  Which means there was another side.  And, just because one side won, doesn’t mean it was right.  But we don’t ask questions.  Maybe we don’t realize the need!  And yet there are whole scores of historical information that we do not know anything about, because that stuff didn’t make the front page.  That stuff wasn’t important.  That stuff didn’t belong to the winners.  But, to learn from our mistakes, we have to know the whole story…don’t we?

What about modern medicine?  For an industrialized nation, our country is extremely ill.  Also, I have to wonder how many people realize what the term Iatrogenic Illness means?  How many have even heard of it?  And yet, that particular illness is a leading cause of injury and death in the United States.  On top of that, we have been forced to insurance, but I know many people who have insurance, and still cannot afford to go to the doctor when the need arises.  Yet they continue to pay a bill from which they cannot hope to benefit.  Still, what about those of us who do our own research and use alternatives, with great success, but our our preferred method of healthcare is frowned upon by nearly every person who doesn’t question modern medicine?

We have access to information from every corner of the planet, but we are so busy, we never ask questions.  We never bother to look into things that need our attention.  We are bombarded day after day with programing that tells us what to think, how to dress, what to do, and we never bother to look into any of it.  Instead we get offended if someone challenges what we believe, and as the stubborn fools we are, we never consider what’s been offered.

Combine everything, and maybe it isn’t fair of me to say “complacency of the American population” as the one thing, above all else, that bothers me.  But it is…because if we, as a population, do not pay attention, our children will not have a future in which to participate, learn and grow…they will be slaves to a society that cares nothing about them!  If we cannot fight the wretched tyranny on all levels, our children will pay a dear price.  Is that what we really want…to shirk what is ours to watch over?  To pass a colossal mess over to our children to sort out?  I know I don’t.  So, yes, I stand by my answer.  Complacency is the MOST exasperating thing…

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