Voter Suppression Laws

Walter L. Bell, Ph.D.

The voting rights act was put into place to provide citizens of the United States with the opportunity to vote without undue registration requirements. With the Republican Party desperately trying to win the next election for President, the House of Representatives, and the Senate, their best opportunity appears to cheat by passing bogus laws which makes it more difficult for the poor, the aged, and the minority voters to vote. If our Supreme Court were awake and concerned with all members of the United States, it would not have passed the Citizens United ruling allowing the billionaires to buy votes. I have not forgotten how my vote was ignored and suppressed in the 2000 election when the Supreme Court appointed George Bush as President, and again sat silent when the Secretary of State for Ohio ignored pleas for a recount when thousands of ballots disappeared, and George Bush was appointed again by the Ohio Secretary of State.

In a Democracy, the right to vote is sacred if were are to survive as a free nation and not end up as dictatorship. A judge in Pennsylvania has allowed the new law which discriminates against about 750,000 voters who have voted in previous elections, by requiring new voter identification rules and not allowing any voting on weekends. Many of these voters are poor and cannot afford the cost of new identification, and have no way to get to the proper place to register or to vote once they get their new registration. Many of the elderly black people were not born in hospitals because the white run hospitals would not allow them to give birth in a hospital. An elderly black woman who marched with Martin Luther King will not be able to vote. Latinos, young students in colleges will not be allowed to vote unless they vote via absentee ballots.

Here is what I would suggest for all Americans to do, because it appears that our dysfunctional Supreme Court has gone to sleep again. It appears that certain members of the Supreme Court have contracted the BAT-CRAP-CRAZY-VIRUS that infected the Tea Party Members, such as U.S.Rep Michelle Bachmann. Clarence Thomas and his wife were also infected by the virus with regard to the $800,000 she earned from the Tea Party. Clarence Thomas claimed he did not understand income tax rules. He got a second dose of the virus when he attended the secret meetings hosted by the infamous Billionaire Koch Brothers. Also infected by this virus were Antonin Scalia and Samuel A. Alito who also attended these secret meetings.

It is no wonder that to please themselves and the other Republican members of the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as most of the Billionaire group, they voted to pass the Citizens United law that gave Billionaires the right to buy votes nationwide to influence legislation and buy Senators, Representatives at the National and State level. The Citizens United law was the most biased and stupidest law ever passed by any Supreme Court in our history, by declaring corporations to be persons. The last I heard, only children born by other people were legally persons. This same Supreme Court has been silent regarding Voter Suppression Laws passed by states with a vast number of minority citizens, both poor, old and ethnically impure with the basic intent to prevent them from voting and thus ensuring that a Republican President is elected. So in order to help these voters to be able to vote in the next election I am suggesting the following:

1. Send a letter to the Supreme Court Justice of the United States, John Roberts, and to the Associate Justices as well. If you need help get together with your friends and neighbors and send out letters as a group. Explain your discontent with their inaction and mention the attendance of Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas at the secret meetings with the Koch Brothers where much of these actions were discussed and planned,

2. Send a copy of the letter to the State Supreme Courts, the Secretary of State for your state or whoever is in charge of elections, the local person in charge of elections. If you can, try to get a bipartisan group involved, but I would not be disappointed if you do not get the cooperation of the Republican Party. It is not in their best interest to have fair elections in our government.

3. Also, send a letter to the Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, telling him you support his efforts to challenge voter suppression laws.

4. Start a fund drive to help those voters in other states who do not have the financial means to pay for voter registration.

5. Current Members of the Supreme Court of the United States:

Name Service Assoc Justice Chief Justice Birth Place Date Religion

Antonin Scalia 1986– *** N.J. 1936 Roman Catholic

Anthony N. Kennedy 1988– *** Calif 1936 Roman Catholic

Clarence Thomas 1991– *** GA 1948 Roman Catholic

Ruth Bader Ginsberg 1993– *** N.Y. 1933 Jewish

Stephen G. Breyer 1994– *** Calif 1938 Jewish

John G. Roberts 2005– N.Y, 1955 Roman Catholic

Samuel A. Alito, Jr. 2006 *** N.J. 1950 Roman Catholic

Sonia Sotomayor 2009 *** N.Y. 1954 Roman Catholic

Elena Kagan 2010 *** N.Y. 1960 Jewish

Mailing Address for the Supreme Court:
U.S. Supreme Court Building, 1 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20543

ON DAY ONE I WILL DO THE FOLLOWING

Since the Republican hopeful for POTUS needs only one day to completely change the direction and function of the United States of America, I suggest limiting Willard Romney to a one day Presidency. After all, he constantly talks about firing people, doing away with Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the Department of Education, Commerce, all Wall Street reforms, taxation for the Wealthy, etc. I suggest that he also do away with the Supreme Court since it has become so inept and biased toward the Citizens United Billionaires that it no longer functions as the third branch of government. He could also revoke the citizenship of all the 1% millionaires and billionaires and send them to the Cayman Islands and other off shore tax avoidance havens. He could export Jaime Dimon(James Dimon). James “Jamie” Dimon is an American business executive. He is the current chairman, president, and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase, one of the Big Four banks of the United States. Under his expert leadership JPMorgan Chase lost at least 2 Billion dollars gambling with derivatives. He reportedly lost 3 Billion dollars or more, but who is counting with such exemplary leadership. He could serve as a one day Secretary of the Treasury and continue to Bankrupt the United States as President George W. Bush did with Treasury Secretary Henry(Hank) Paulson(The Sky is Falling Treasury Secretary). Hank Paulson, knowing that our treasury was in default, and knowing that the four of the largest banks in Great Britain were near default bought Puts on three of their largest banks and earned 5 Billion dollars. If Paulson had purchased Puts on the US Banks which were also in default, he would have been guilty of insider trading and could have been sentenced to prison. You buy puts on financial trading as a bet that the price of a commodity or some other financial transaction is going to decline. You buy Calls on a financial transaction if you think it is going to increase in value.

So you see that we need Romney as President for one day only to finish the job of bankrupting this country started by eight years of the failed Presidency of George W. Bush. We would then fire Romney and turn the Presidency back to Barack Obama in order to clean up the destruction and disorder imposed upon this great nation by the Supreme Court, the Bush and Romney Administrations, and rename the Republican Party, the “Citizen United Party for the Destruction of the United States with the aid of Republican Supreme Court Justices of the United States”. That is a very long title for the Republican Party but since we would have our one day President Romney, not only firing himself but the entire Republican Supreme Court Justices and all of the Republican Representatives and Senators, including Rep. Eric Kantor, Rep. Paul Ryan, and especially Sen. Mitch McConnell, who would in his final act as a Senator make Romney a ONE DAY PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, I do not have the time at this moment to come up with a shorter title.

Some song writer could write a stirring melody for this occasion commemorating the One Day POTUS and the former Republican SCOTUS members would be replaced by newly appointed members by the the Second Term President Barack Obama. I have not exhausted my store of ideas, but I need to stop at this point and Cook Breakfast, which given my limited cooking skills includes only making coffee. You see my definition of cooking is applying heat to some food or beverage.

The Vulture

Since our home backs onto a wildlife refuge, we have all kinds of wild animals including hawks, vultures, blue herons, geese, ducks, ravens, crows, mountain jays, fox, coyotes, deer, eagles, five different snakes, rabbits, feral cats, humming birds, and frogs. The one animal I will tell you about is the turkey buzzard because the buzzard or vulture doesn’t kill anything it only eats dead animals.

I once had a poster of two buzzards sitting upon a road sign out in the desert with two signs pointing in two directions. At the bottom of the sign was a sun bleached skeleton of an animal which had been picked clean. Since I grew up in the high desert of Eastern Oregon, it takes less than 30 days for a dead cow or horse to be nothing but a skeleton with only a few pieces of hide and sinew left on the bones. After a year of two the sun will have bleached out the skeleton so that the bones are completely white. My poster, in which my wife saw no humor, had two buzzards sitting on the sign post looking down at the bleached out skeleton. One buzzard turned to the other and said, “Patience hell, let’s kill something.”

We have been hearing on the news about Venture Capitalists buying a company, selling off all its assets, laying off all its employees, confiscating its pension funds and leaving the company with a mountain of debt, so that it has to file for bankruptcy,and keeping all the profits for themselves. This is the kind of business Mitt Romney was involved in when he started Bain Capital. Venture Capitalists, now referred to as Vulture Capitalists do not create anything but only leave a skeleton of a company that is bankrupt and lies bleaching it the sun as a dead company. Romney will try to explain that he merged companies or reorganized them into viable companies, but what he doesn’t tell you that his investors or partners never lost money. Instead, they stripped all the assets out of the company and kept the money for themselves. In order to keep from paying taxes on their money they established off shore accounts which were not taxed. This is how he set up a hundred million dollar offshore account for his sons. It is also the reason he is reluctant to present his income tax records for the public until the very last moment before the next election.

Romney also wants to defund public sector unions, including teachers unions, and use that money for other schemes he and his cronies in ALEC have set up. One only has to look at Romney’s record as Govenor of the State of Massachusets, which he left with a huge debt, to get an idea on how he would try to run the Federal Government. It would be a government of the Rich, for the Rich, and by the Rich. He wants to cut taxes on the rich and has probably already signed the “Vulture Document”, authored by Grover Norquist, never to raise taxes.

We need to spend money to get us out of this depression. We will have to do deficit financing on a scale similar to the Great Depression of the 1930’s and after World War II in order to get us out of this quagmire the Republicans have got us into with their refusal to fund any public works projects such as building roads, and bridges, and schools. You do not see the employees of banks and other financial institutions working in buildings which are falling apart. Go to any small town or big city and you will find that banks waste more space than any other institution. By contrast, public schools in large and small communities are overcrowded, have high levels of molds that make students ill. Many were built either in the 1930’s or after World War II. The high school where I taught was literally falling apart. It got so bad it was finally torn down and a new building was built. My students were always asking me why we did not have air conditioning, to which I always replied, “We do, it is air conditioned hot and hotter.”

Senator Mitch McConnell, from Kentucky refused to allow his Republican colleagues in the Senate to provide money to rebuild a bridge in his own state, that is unsafe and causes traffic delays which ultimately costs more than the cost of rebuilding the bridges. This is sheer stupidity and makes one wonder why the citizens of Kentucky keep electing people like he and Rand Paul. The bridges and freeways were built after World War II when President Eisenhower, a liberal and well respected Republican, signed the highway bill to bring our roads up to the standards he saw in Germany during World War II. Our level of national debt was higher in proportion than at the present time. So the solution is to use deficit financing until we have rebuilt our factories, employed our own workers, and have a fully functioning private and governmental work force which is able to buy our own products. You will hear the argument that our goods and services will cost more because of labor unions, but at least our citizens will be employed and have more money to spend. This plan worked well until the past two Bush Presidencies out sourced our jobs, failed to finance two wars, gave tax breaks to companies and wealthy individuals to set up companies overseas.

An update on current events has Bain Capital moving a company to China because it can make more money and escape paying taxes in the United States. The final irony, is that current employees of this company are required to train their Chinese counterparts in the job they are doing. I have always wondered why an employee would do agree to train someone else for their job unless they were getting a large severance package to do this work.

LEGAL INVESTIGATION OF CITIZENS UNITED AND ALEC

The Supreme Court decision declaring that corporations are persons in the Citizens United case is drawing much adverse publicity. The reason for this adverse publicity is the amount of money flowing into Super-Pacs with no requirement to disclose the source of the money which could be an international corporation or a domestic corporation. You can easily look up membership in ALEC for your own state and see which elected officials are members, and see which ones are singled out for recognition, which means that money was a motivating factor in securing such recognition.

In a previous post I explained that ALEC provides what is called “Boiler Plate” legislation which can be tweaked to suit the particular State Legislature needs or desires. Because of the actions of ALEC and the Koch brothers and other billionaires in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, there is great concern that our rights to collective bargaining, voting rights, influence by foreign nations in our laws and voting rights, and the passage of laws without our own citizens approval, that we we could easily become a nation without our own citizen participation and approval.

I recently received an email urging me to sign a petition to send to all 50 State Attorney Generals requesting that they petition the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn their Citizens United decision and remove the Corporation as a Citizen, and to prevent organizations such as ALEC from interfering with the political outcomes of elections such as the funding of Super Pacs with money from the large corporations and the purchasing of politicians whose vote is for sale to the highest bidder.

I do not know if this will do any good, but it is certainly worth the effort because we can easily lose our freedom and rights as citizens of our states and of this nation. Your willingness to act should not be constrained by any political party or other affiliations, because we are all citizens of this great nation and have an obligation to help preserve our freedoms. The right to vote and to have that vote count is the reason this nation has been a beacon to people all over the world. Part of my ancestors left Scotland for the opportunity live in a free country while the other ancestors were already here trying to preserve their own freedoms.

FINDING MONEY FOR A COLLEGE EDUCATION

Getting a college education is becoming more and more expensive to the extent that it is becoming extremely difficult for a person of modest means to go to college. Trying to work while one goes to college can be frustrating because the amount of money one can earn at a part or full time job is rarely enough to pay for housing, plus tuition, books and other fees. There are many resources either on line or available at a local college or university. At the university I attended, there was an extensive library devoted to scholarships, grants, writing proposals and so on. I discovered this library when I went there not as a student but as a professional writing a proposal for a research grant. Here are some of the categories I found:

1. Scholarships and grants for students whose parents lived in a particular community and worked for a specific company or had a specific occupation are available. The category of scholarships and grants is particularly useful because, unlike loans, they do not have to be paid back. Many students have no idea that these kind of scholarships and grants exist.
2. Work Study is often offered by Community Colleges, Four Year Colleges, and Universities can be combined with grants, loans, and scholarships to provided the student with some extra spending money. Some colleges and universities have learning centers where students can go to get help in study skills, writing skills and topics in mathematics, science, and other technical areas where they need help. Let us say for example that you have good writing skills. If you have the time and patience to work with other students, you can get paid to help other students. There is another advantage of working in a learning center and that is that in teaching others you will enhance your own learning because students will ask you questions that you never thought of because the particular subject was easy for you to learn.
3. Loans are another way to get through college which is an advantage, but loans do have to be paid back and usually have to be guaranteed by your parents unless you are independent and self employed.
4. What ever choice is open to you, you need to get started early and start before you graduate from high school if you are still in high school. The internet is a good place to start, but you do not have to pay someone to apply for a grant, scholarship, or loan. You will need to to have financial information from your parents or from your own income statement.
5. Make absolutely certain that you check your spelling and sentence structure when you apply for admission to a college or university. There is nothing worse than to project yourself as lacking in skills. Remember you are trying to sell yourself to a committee who does not know you. Have someone else check your work and chose someone who you know has good writing skills.
6. Finally, you have to choose a specific set of schools that fit you as a person. For the first two years, a community college is a good choice because not everyone has to go to an Ivy League College or University such as Harvard or Princeton. Luckily for myself, I chose to go to a small four year college which had a good faculty and a small student body whose back ground fit my own. I went to this college with the attitude that I was going there to learn and not to party. Learning should be approached as a job

The US House of Representatives and the US Senators Getting Rich

It appears that members of Congress are immune from the laws governing insider trading on the stock market. Suppose a member learns that a firm is going to come out with a new invention that will cause the stock price to increase dramatically. They can use that information to get rich, but if I were working for the same company and used that information to help out a relative, I would be subject to being indicted and possibly sent to prison for the same act. But members of Congress can use such information without fear of reprisal. Retired Senator Judd Greg and his brother made millions over the closing of an obsolete Air Force Base.  This explains why so many members of Congress do not want to increase taxes on  millionaires, because they are protecting themselves from paying more taxes.  No wonder the middle class voters have such a low opinion of Congress.   It is too bad that so many members of the middle class, who are uninformed, do not choose to vote out these millionaires and allow public financing of elections.  Public financing of elections would bypass the need to become a millionaire first or rely upon corporations to buy a Senator or Congressperson in order to become a member of Congress.

The other problem is with the Supreme Court.  We appoint the members of the Supreme Court for life, with no real means of removing them for failure to uphold a balanced view of the law and the constitution.  We have seen the willingness to the Current Supreme Court members to sell themselves to the highest bidder in their Citizens United case making a Corporation a person and allowing corporate money to buy anyone without any moral or  ethical values.  The current crop of would be Republican Presidential Candidates has gathered millions from Corporations, and the Supreme Court has made themselves available for purchase by attending ALEC meetings and have dipped into the Corporate coffers for their own accumulation of wealth.

The Republican Presidential Candidates have made their approval of the Citizens United windfall by using podiums which are labeled “Citizens United.”  I have no doubt that if we have a Republican elected as President, it will be business as usual and that the middle class will continue to decline until we have as a richer class of the “Haves and the Have Mores.”  to quote the Supreme Court Appointed but not Elected President George Bush.  My final admonition to the voters is to become informed, and to vote for those with ethical values which favor the entire population.  We do not need Senators like Mitch McConnell or Congresspersons such as Boener.  We need people willing to compromise and to vote for laws favoring the best interests of this nation.

Politicians, Supreme Court Justices, and Other Public Officials for Sale or Already Sold

Walter L. Bell, Ph.D.

It is amazing that with all the attention paid by various media outlets that more attention is not paid to investigating politicians who are obviously for sale or have already been sold by large corporations who funnel money to them. We have not yet heard anything new regarding Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas who failed to file proper income tax returns on money earned by his wife. His excuse that he did not understand the tax laws is inexcusable. I personally do not understand all the tax laws, so I do the next best thing and hire a trustworthy Certified Public Accountant to do my income tax. We have also not heard anything about censoring Supreme Court Justices Thomas, Scalia, and Alito for their attendance at the secret meetings held by the Koch Brothers to plot ways to secure control of state, local, and the federal government by buying politicians such as Governors Scot Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasik of Ohio.

To give you a concrete example of the great Governor of Ohio, Cooper Tire Company negotiated a contract at one plant in Ohio and convinced the union employees to give up about $30,000 each, in wages and benefits over a three year period of time, to help make this particular plant profitable. The union did so and the plant became one of the most profitable in the Cooper Tire Company. After getting the union to give up wages and benefits, the management used much of the money to vote themselves huge bonuses. Now after three years of profits, the management of this particular Cooper Tire installation is trying to coerce the union to renegotiate their contract to again give up more wages and benefits so that they can again give themselves huge bonuses.

It is time for the workers to vote out any politician, like Walker and Kasik, who were bought and paid for by the corporations belonging to ALEC, and to get a Democratic majority in the House and Senate, with Obama as President and recall the Supreme Court Members who voted for Citizens United. Only the House of Representatives can recall a Supreme Court Member, so we need a solid majority of Democrats who have not been bought and paid for by the Corporations who belong to ALEC. You can easily tell who those politicians and corporations are by looking up www.ALEC.com. You can easily find your own state representatives and senators as well as the corporations, such as WalMart, who are providing the money to buy the politicians.

If you remember, former WalMart women employees tried to get the Supreme Court to force WalMart to compensate them for wages and promotions given to male employees while ignoring equally qualified women employees. It was reported that Supreme Court Justice Kennedy was rude and made disparaging remarks to and about the women in the this class action suit. We as citizens should not tolerate actions by the Supreme Court which are derisive to 99% of the citizens of the United States. I am in favor of the so-called Tea Party and the 99ers who have been out peacefully protesting politicians of all flavors who flaunt the will of the people. I do not always agree with the solutions proposed by these two groups, but I applaud their dedication to our nation.

We also have two of the Right Wing Supreme Court members who were invited to a meeting and lavish dinner by the big pharmaceutical firms, and who want the Supreme Court to rule on the Obama Health Care provisions and return the laws to the same firms who disallowed Health Care for preexisting conditions and for the provision that would require everyone to pay for at least a minimal amount of health care. This provision would allow the costs of emergency medical care to be added to those members who already pay for their health care. It appears that the Supreme Court is going to hear the case that the pharmaceutical firms want them to hear, so it certainly appears that the Right Wing members have already made up their minds to vote against the new health care laws just as they did on the Citizens United Case. Again, we have not only our Congressional politicians being bought and sold, but the Right Wing Supreme members are apparently on the “Take” as well.

RICK PERRY SECEDES FROM THE UNION TO BECOME PRESIDENT OF THE NATION OF PERRY-SIMMONS

Since Rick Perry has described Social Security as a Ponzi Scheme and has decided to Secede from the United States, we need to allow him to do so and take all of his billionaire buddies with him. I think it is now time for the United States to provide Governor Perry with a little slice of Texas for his own country. The part I am referring to is in Andrews County in west Texas where for $100,OOO Rick Perry signed the legislation to allow billionaire Harold Simmons to set up a radioactive waste dumping site. Now that Rick The Great has decided to run for President of the United States, Harold Simmons has apparently donated $1.2 million to Rick(The Great)Perry to help his presidential bid. Since Perry does not want any government regulations, the NATION OF PERRY-SIMMONS would not need a constition, an army, a police force, hospitals, trains, airplanes, or any kind of motorized vehicles. They would not need hospitals because billionaires and on-the-take-politicians are too unscrupulous to die from disease. No self respecting microbe, germ or virus would go near them for fear that they would mutate into some kind or organism that would alter their way of life.

There is one problem with this proposal. It appears that Perry and Simmons have violated the laws of the United States with respect to the setting up of the nuclear waste site. I doubt if the Federal Government will allow the State of Texas to dump nuclear waste because any nation or any corporation could dump their waste on United States soil, poison the soil, the water supply, and the citizens of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

There is another problem associated with Rick Perry and his candidacy for President of the United States. Mr. Perry likes executive orders or signings whereby he can bypass the congressional and judicial system or our government and become a unitary executive or the supreme ruler of our nation without any checks and balances. An example of this tactic used by the Texas Governor is the appointment of persons to boards which govern the various functions of the State of Texas. For example, Perry appointed a person to the board governing teacher pensions so that funds from these pensions could be monitored and used at his discretion. In exchange for such a favor one such candidate paid the governor over $100,000. There are hundreds of such organizations in Texas such as the board that governs drugs. An appointment to the drug board provided Perry with another large amount of money and provided drug companies with many favors in return such as freedom from law suites in case the drug killed the patients who had been administered a particular drug. In fact in his years as Governor, Perry has become a very wealthy multimillionaire . If Perry were to be elected as President of the United States we would expect the same tactics to be instituted at the national level because Perry does not believe in governmental regulations nor does he believe that receiving money for appointments or for any other reason constitutes an illegal act. In this instance and many others, he is a reflection of the ethical values of the Republican Party and of individual Republicans who are willing to sell their souls for individual gain at the expense of the national interests.