EASIER OR JUST BLOWING SMOKE?

New Voter Law Is A Trojan Horse, What’s Inside?

Back in my high school days, education officials made a rule that disallowed wearing jeans to class. There was no reason given for this draconian rule. Had we not been in the suburbs but in a rural area this law wouldn’t have worked. The administrators believed that wearing tight jeans would somehow make us act up and disturb the educational process. Really?

Sometimes we make a law in search of a crime and it takes the outcries of people to reverse it. I remember when the Atlanta Braves opened a new stadium and a woman was stopped because she was carrying a small cooler containing formula for her newborn baby. Less than 48 hours after this story broke the team ownership pulled the rule. Later, they loosened the restriction even more by allowing patrons to bring in food.

Voting has always been a challenge in America. The first mistake was not making the federal election day a holiday so that no one would have to miss work to vote or miss voting to work. Not one of the newly minted voting laws fixes that problem, which is #1 on my list.

Long Voting Lines in Georgia

Then there’s this. Early voting, whether it’s motivated by a pandemic or not, is a good idea. Any rule stating that tabulation of early votes cannot take place before election day, or worse, can’t begin until after the polls have closed, is foolish. How does that help the voting process?

Because we have many states that allow mail-in voting, which is a good thing, we must make sure the United States Postal System works properly in all fifty states and territories. The idea of no-excuse absentee voting is not a rare bird, nor should it be. You can see a list of all the states that support the concept here. And in case you didn’t know, Washington, Utah, Oregon, Hawaii and Colorado use mail-in voting exclusively, so what’s the fuss all about?

Lurking inside these new laws are grievance politics, partisan wounds and leftover racism that isn’t comprehended by many, including those people forging the new laws. The concept of disallowing a person to bring food or water to a voter waiting in line is a masked attempt at voter intimidation. Here’s the language, “No person shall … give any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector…within 150 feet of the outer edge of any building within which a polling place is established,” but there’s a trick in that stick. First, “the outer edge of any building” is inappropriate, given a polling location may have voters form a line around the perimeter or the building and “150 feet” might include everyone in the voting line. Also, are states actually prepared to arrest anyone who brings food or water to those of color waiting in line? That would be very intimidating, especially since cops have guns.

What’s really upsetting is the lawmakers know there will be long lines and they are attacking their citizens in the voting lines rather than working to make the lines shorter, the wait times less and the voting process faster. Anyone who views food and water you are giving your granny as temptation for voting a certain way is irrational, cynical and stupid. If anything, one waiting in a ridiculously long line to vote might be tempted to cast their ballot against the foolish people in power.

Here’s something from today’s New York Times, “Amazon, BlackRock, Google, Warren Buffett and hundreds of other companies and executives signed on to a new statement released on Wednesday opposing ’any discriminatory legislation‘ that would make it harder for people to vote. It was the biggest show of solidarity so far by the business community as companies around the country try to navigate the partisan uproar over Republican efforts to enact new election rules in almost every state. Senior Republicans, including former President Donald J. Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell, have called for companies to stay out of politics.” The sad reality is these politicians take money from large companies for campaign expenses, but when those same companies point out a problem the grifters bark at them to back off. If they feel so strongly, why not pass a law that prohibits corporate funding of any candidate, party or Super Pac? Fat chance.

We live in a fast, souped-up world where we demand speed, efficiency and accuracy, not partisan bickering and built-in voter suppression. I am sure Brian Kemp, the Governor of Georgia, believes the new voting law he signed makes things better for his state. Why then are so many people telling him the law is bad?

Here is a major flaw that has nothing to do with food and water, it’s about power and control. One of Georgia’s new provisions is the state’s right to take over county elections offices the legislature believes have “persistent problems.” It wouldn’t be a surprise should they snatch control in Fulton County, which has 800,000 mostly African American voters. The Democrats won big there, and the Republicans believe there was corruption in that county, yet after three vote recounts no fraud was found. These idiots prefer Donald Trump’s lies over their own Secretary of State, Election Board members and, oh yeah, their voters. The law effectively changes the sixty plus year tradition of the Secretary of State being the sole keeper of Election integrity and places that responsibility in the hands of a party loyalist, perhaps appointed to overturn the will of voters. WHY IS THIS NOT A BAD IDEA?

We can debate the requirement of having a picture ID to vote, We do it in Florida and it’s not a problem. Florida lets you register to vote when you get your driver’s license. A voting ID card is not a bad idea. These are frightening times.

Were you to ask representatives in the Georgia State assembly if they were racist, they would honestly say no. But should you ask any of them what would give their party a better chance of winning in the next election, he or she would tell you that fewer votes from Black people would do the trick. So, you see, it’s not racism at all, it’s merely normal southern politics. By the way, they aren’t wrong. The more African American voters the more votes will be cast for Democrats. I guess people of color don’t like the policies of those Republicans who are pushing the trojan horse into the town center. Wouldn’t it smarter to figure out what the voters really want and just give it to them? Why try to take a bottle of water out of their hands? Remember, Coca-Cola makes DASANI and they certainly would be happy to provide the state with enough water for every voter, at a reasonable price or course. After all, they are capitalists.

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The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


WHY REPUBLICANS HATE VOTERS

GOP Thinks Voting Should Be Hard

My head is about to explode from the sheer number of people who lie to get what they want, but before I have a grand mal seizure, I’ll take a deep breath and follow the facts. It seems that one of our political parties has a plank in their platform against voting. Some call proposed voting law changes suppression, some call them racism, I call them what they are, BULLSHIT!

In our representative government, we elect people to carry out the general wishes of the citizens. Once we get past, “all men are created equal” and “the pursuit of happiness,” we all must go with the will of the majority. Sure, a minority can voice their grievances and wants, that’s America buddy, but when the vote is taken in Congress, the new bill, or act or regulation has been passed by the majority. It’s important that our elections be open and fair so the winners ascend to power with the mandate of a majority of voters.

That brings us to sore losers, who tend to get aggressive right after they get shellacked in an election. Republicans took a beating in 2020, and their first reaction was trying to use the ancient form of voter suppression called Gerrymandering. I won’t get into the details of that evil act here, so if you’re interested you can learn a lot by following the link. The next thing the bastards try to pull off is enacting laws to keep certain “kinds” or classes from registering and voting.

What Would MLK Jr. Think

From History.com we see, “Jim Crow laws were a collection of state and local statutes that legalized racial segregation. Named after a Black minstrel show character, the laws—which existed for about 100 years, from the post-Civil War era until 1968—were meant to marginalize African Americans by denying them the right to vote.” Using tactics from voter taxes to intelligence tests, the white men in power wanted to keep the African Americans from having a say in the American political system. They feared the leaders that Black people would elect.

And that brings us to what is happening today. The election of 2020 took place during a global pandemic, and most reasonable people welcomed changes to voting procedures. Both Republicans and Democrats endorsed and allowed mail-in voting. the expansion of absentee voting and early vote counting to speed up the process, but no one foresaw that this would dramatically increase the number of people voting. 66.7% of those eligible to vote engaged in the process and only two previous elections had greater turnouts, 82.6% in 1876 and 73.7% in 1900.

Out of 239 million eligible voters, more than 159 million registered voters cast ballots in the 2020 general election. Some people are arguing that there are only 133 million registered voters in the US, but that’s not true. So, what is true? I spent some time on the US Bureau of Census website today, and I could not find the exact number of registered voters for 2020, short of making my own spreadsheet of all the state data posted there. According to Reuters they first reported that, “Around 239,247,182 people were eligible to vote in 2020. While there is no available “official” figure yet for nationwide registered voters for 2020, most centers for voter information believe that 66.7% turned out to vote.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, “As of February 19, 2021, state lawmakers have carried over, pre-filed, or introduced 253 bills with provisions that restrict voting access in 43 states, and 704 bills with provisions that expand voting access in a different set of 43 states. Note that, in some cases, a single bill can have provisions with both restrictive and expansive effects.”

These legal maneuvers are based on two factors. First, the Republicans lost the White House, and they believe Donald Trump’s argument about people rigging the system with mail-in voting. Second, they believe that some of the Covid-19 provisions should be rolled back. They have an ongoing belief that registration should be more difficult, and that people should show a picture ID and vote in person to guarantee the accuracy of the vote. As our modern, technological world advances, these Luddites are saying we should go back to paper ballots, in person voting and NO MAIL-IN VOTING. That last bit is based on another tall tale of Donald Trump that Republicans will never win another election if mail-in voting is allowed. Why are they listening to him? He’s a loser.

I must ask if writing a law about something you don’t like will hurt Americans. Having any Democrat in office will not hurt citizens. After all, they voted for him or her and we’ve had many of them in office throughout the course of our history. Of course, you don’t like losing, but that is no reason to mess up the system. It’s not just voting rights that you are attempting to take away.

More than 82 anti-transgender bills were introduced in the 2021 state legislative sessions, surpassing the 2020 total of 79, and marking the highest number of anti-transgender bills in history. It’s clear that many people are bothered by certain types of sexual orientation, but those citizens aren’t hurting anyone. These state laws are focused on sports and restrooms. They don’t want a young man who identifies as a woman playing women’s sports because, they say, that’s unfair. And even more important than Betsy not getting that college sports scholarship is her having to pee in the same room as “those people.” Are we really going to write laws that hurt minorities?

Our representative form of government is being challenged left and right. You may think that Marjorie Taylor Greene is unfit to be in Congress, but hey, the voters put her there. I am sure if a reasonable Democrat ran against her today, she would not be reelected, but it’s too late now. The only way to stop her from pushing her whacky beliefs and conspiracies on America is a majority of voters having their say at the polls. If rolling back voter’s rights keeps people like Ms. Greene in Congress, I am against them. If blocking Blacks from voting on Sunday is suppressing the vote, courts should just rule against it. If Georgia makes a law that prohibits bringing water and food to people in a voting line, then something is seriously wrong. If Sunday voting and mail-in voting are allowed, maybe there wouldn’t be those long lines.

The headline on this post might make people defensive but let me share a recent encounter with one of my doctors. He actually said, “We have too many people voting in elections. We should only let certain people vote.” That is the same argument John Adams and Thomas Jefferson put forth to keep women from voting. They believed women would disrupt the results because they were so ill-informed. Of course, African Americans couldn’t vote because they weren’t even “whole people.”

Republicans would be better off finding more appealing candidates than suppressing the vote, and Democrats would be more productive if they didn’t have to run around suing those states trying to pass unfair voting laws. Let the people vote. When they do, sometimes you get a Biden and other times you get a Greene. Let’s just make sure the good guys do the right things and let the votes fall as they will.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.