Voting system suggested
Since I began college at UW-Stout, I have had to register to vote three separate times.
The United States is built on democracy, the idea that every member is represented. Being able to vote is a way that citizens get to have their voices heard. In Wisconsin alone, there are 1.2 million residents that are unregistered to vote. That is where Automatic Voter Registration comes in.
AVR places eligible voters on voting rolls when they interact with state agencies, such as the DMV, unless they choose not to be. This creates a process that is more efficient and convenient since those agencies then share the information to state election officials.
AVR not only gives more citizens who are eligible to vote a chance to have their voices heard but saves taxpayer money. It also helps to prevent the 7,000 voters that were purged before the February primaries in Wisconsin. AVR will make it more accessible for college students like myself to be able to vote quicker and easier.
Whoever is reading this may ask, what can I do? Well, you can contact your local representatives to ask them to publicly pledge their support for passing AVR legislation in Wisconsin.
Developments a concern
Have we, as “the people of America,” lost our claim to the moral high ground?
The latest round of self-interest acts by the Republican Party, as led by Donald Trump, has changed from mere corporate and the wealthy’s greed to something much deadlier. The death toll in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico has been multiplied by the GOP’s acute distain and disinterest for its largely black, Spanish-speaking people ... people who are U.S. citizens.
Now we’ve kidnapped the children of refugees who’ve fled to the U.S. to protect their kids ... only to have our government take their children away and ship them hundreds, even thousands of miles away; and now the U.S. government under Trump not only doesn’t know where those children are but it wants these refugees to pay for DNA testing to identify any child-parent matchups.
That’s not “a deterrent to illegal immigration.” This is a crime against humanity, an abandonment of all things decent and an offense against everything America’s supposed to stand for.
It’s bad enough that Trump bragged he could grab a woman’s genitalia with impugnity, or that he wanted to reinstitute torture or that he insults our allies and praises our enemies — even as they cyber attack us — and I can even ignore Trump when he says that some anti-Semites, white supremacists, religious and ethnic bigots and even Nazis are “good people” because it’s all part of the man’s ignorance, ego-tripping and stupidity.
But that man had better keep his filthy hands off the world’s children.
Significant change urged
Two-hundred years ago, in 1818, Mary Shelley published “Frankenstein.”
In it a Swiss college student creates a man that is large, quite smart, very athletic and extremely ugly. Upon realizing how ugly he is, the man becomes a monster that goes on a murderous rampage against his creator’s friends and family.
Now 200 years later, there is another monster on a rampage. He is not a fictional character, but is real. His target is the president’s friends, family and associates. He resembles Boris Karloff, who first played the Frankenstein monster in the movies. His name is Robert Mueller.
Unlike Frankenstein’s monster, he was not created by another human. He is instead a swamp creature defending the swamp against a president who wants to drain it. He is not the only swamp creature that has gone on a rampage. As an example, a few years ago a wannabe bride of Frankenstein named Lois Lerner used the IRS to suppress the conservative Tea Party movement.
During the Obama presidency, the swamp grew in power and wealth. Some of the richest counties in the U.S. are D.C. suburbs. They and their many allies, which include much of the news media, will continue to turn loose monsters to defend their turf. They view President Trump and many conservatives as their mortal enemies.
As a conservative, I’m not sure how to harness their power and “drain the swamp.” Trump is trying, but his success could be limited. One idea I support, which is being pushed by conservatives such as Mark Levin, is to use Article 5 of the Constitution to call for a Convention of the States. New amendments could then be crafted to rebalance power in this country.
Climate a key concern
As carbon-free sources of energy become more efficient and less costly, the biggest remaining obstacle to solving climate change is creating political will.
The science on global warming was set 30 years ago. Since then, the predictions are coming true with alarming accuracy. Weather- and climate-related disasters are becoming more frequent and intense.
According to NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information, over the last 38 years the U.S. has had 233 weather/climate disasters where the damage exceeded $1 billion with a total cost of $1.5 trillion. Fifty-eight of those billion-dollar disasters occurred in the last five years.
When climate experts began urging our Congress to address global warming as early as 1980, the less noticeable effects led to a “go-slow” approach. Ironically, now that the effects of climate change are being hammered home on a nearly daily basis, our political will to act is being eroded. Examples include efforts to roll back fuel efficiency standards and limits on power plant emissions, among others.
But before we put all the blame on politicians, we should remember they work for us. We need to demand action on climate or they will think we don’t care. As elections approach, let’s get active. Attend meetings, town halls and debates. Ask the candidates what they will do to address climate change. Then vote. Without creating the political will to solve climate change, we become the problem.
Space Force ill-advised
With all of their infinite wisdom (wiz-dum), in a new vision for 2020, Donald Trump and Mike Pence (space cadets) are planning to create a sixth branch of our military, the U.S. Space Force.
It is not plausible to launch another expensive, bureaucratic new service. The Air Force and NASA have dominated the skies for 60 years. Duh, we already have boots on the ground and we were the first to have boots on the moon.
The Pentagon has five sides, one to symbolize each of our military branches. It would be goodbye Pentagon and hello to the Hexagon if a Space Force were added.
The idea of a Space Force is a farce. Not to worry, we simply don’t need it.
In search of the truth
Recently, some letter-writer claimed that Democrats had lost their way. Sadly, since at least 2016, most Republicans and Trump supporters have lost their minds.
How anyone, unless they are quite wealthy, can justify someone who is nothing more than a greedy, self-centered liar to occupy the Oval Office is beyond me.
Before someone talks about misguided Democrats, they best step back and take a good look in the mirror. As another writer noted in a letter the same day as the one mentioned above, Trump didn’t drain the swamp, he turned it into a cesspool.
I urge everyone who agrees with this to vote in November for those who will speak truth to the power and put a check on the national disgrace. Enough is enough.