Posts Tagged ‘Voter ID’

Right

December 12, 2017

Computer dictionary gives: “a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way”. WIKI, from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, elaborates: “Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory.” In a 12-11-17 Washington Post Op Ed piece, Emily Miller (deputy press secretary at W’s State Department) writes about the current proposed federal Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. Notable: “Donald Trump is the first president who has a concealed carry permit. Trump is one of more than 16 million Americans with a concealed carry permit legally exercising the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Now that Trump is president, gun owners are pushing for legislation to make it federal law that a permit to carry a gun be valid when crossing state lines, just like a driver’s license.” Analysis finds the correlation to “driver’s license” to be abhorrent to the notion of “Right”, something near and dear to 2nd Amendment aficionados. Further on she drills deeper with: “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act allows a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun in any other state. The bill says the person must be eligible to possess a gun under federal law, meaning that he or she is not a felon, dangerously mentally ill, a domestic abuser or any of the other disqualifying factors for having a gun. The bill specifies that a person carrying a concealed gun must have valid photo identification on hand. Also, the person has to have either a valid concealed carry permit or be eligible to carry concealed in his or her state of residence if the state has “constitutional carry” (which means it doesn’t require permits for law-abiding citizens).” Analysis finds this to be a “Right” that is qualified with layers of who has the right and who doesn’t (If sexual harassment were considered as domestic abuse, the apprentice president’s CC permit would be in jeopardy!). This is something 2nd Amendment followers have vehemently denied as part of their “right to bear arms” without qualifications, in the same vein as the right to practice religious belief, the right to speak freely, the right of the press, etc. (see dictionary and WIKI above). After this she writes: “A key addition to this bill from previous versions is that if the gun carrier is arrested and charged for carrying in another state, but then found innocent because of this law, the state pays the defendant’s legal fees and the defendant has the right to bring a civil action for damages.” Analysis finds this very curious (and disingenuous to say the least). The mindful reader will immediately recognize this provision as the one that Big Pharma’s Dale Butland (the opposition spokesperson) used extensively to denigrate Issue 2 in Ohio’s 2016 election (you know, the drug price control thing). Now it is OK with regard to concealed carry across state lines. Analysis likewise notes the distinction, in regards to Right, of the “concealed carry permit” legitimization of some states within the US, and the “constitutional carry” of other states, which doesn’t require a permit. In an interview with Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs (Columbus Police Chief: ‘Our Resources Are Being Taxed’, 12-11-17) Adora Namigadde for WOSU records the Chief as saying: ““Our resources are being taxed. Our overtime is significant at this point because of the increases. And our garage was full over the weekend, Saturday night, with cruisers that are arresting people,” Jacobs said. “It’s not that we don’t arrest people. We arrest people all the time, many times for violent crime and carrying guns.”” Analysis clearly points out that the Chief is charged to consider “carrying guns” in a much different manner than 2nd Amendment Right stumpers, or the proposed Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. “Well, this is an approach to the second amendment “Right” as an entitlement, a privilege that can be lost if not meeting certain qualifications, mumble, mumble, etc. (with lots of hand waving)” say the stumpers. Not like the “right to remain silent” Analysis concludes, but a qualified privilege and entitlement. More like a driver’s license with photo ID, or state authorized photo ID to exercise the right to vote, or an official party in power imprimatur as to what is considered as news (and what is discredited as fake). Analysis notices a drift in the definition and application of “Right” from something inherent, unearned and undeniable to something which is a purchased entitlement, maintained through privilege and status. That’s not right.

Is Everyone Unhappy?

April 1, 2016

“I’m not happy unless you’re unhappy” seems to be an underlying, almost subliminal mantra within a good part of the political aspirant for the future of self-governance here in the US of A (both individual as well as ideological). Quick, without checking a smartphone, what was the reason given by the freshly, first time elected Mayor Jeff Hall for why Newark’s streets could not be paved? No, you don’t need to phrase it in the form of a question. That’s right, the bungled Longaberger public- private partnership. Well, just like Arnold, it’s back. The Newark Advocate headlines “Leaders discuss Big Basket future without Longaberger” by Kent Mallett (3-31-16). “The company [parent company JRJR Networks] owed $472,859 in delinquent property taxes for the Big Basket on Feb. 17, and will owe $568,132 at the end of the year.” But wait, superheroes “Mayor Jeff Hall, former Longaberger President Jim Klein, developer Jerry McClain, chamber President and CEO Cheri Hottinger, County Commissioner Tim Bubb, Newark Development Partners Director Fred Ernest, Grow Licking County Director Nate Strum and representatives from higher education and local foundations discussed ideas for the building.” Holy love handles, Bubbman, this could be fraught with danger! No problemo, Wan Woman “Hottinger said the building could be used for seminars. It has a large cafeteria area and a 100- to 120-seat theater, with a stage, several conference areas for board meetings or training. The building could have a tourism function to it, she said, but still needs multiple tenants and at least one pretty large company before it also could be used as a visitors’ center.” According to the official Licking County website “‘Grow Licking County’ is a Community Improvement Corporation and a cooperative effort between Licking County Government, The Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority, and the Licking County Chamber of Commerce.” “based at the Licking County Chamber of Commerce”. So much for getting the streets paved, Boy Blunder. On the state level we find “Republican Gov. John Kasich’s administration is moving forward with plans to require more than 1 million low-income Ohioans to pay a new monthly cost for Medicaid or potentially lose coverage.” (Waiver readied to require cost-sharing in Medicaid, Ann Sanner for AP, 3-31-16). For those of you keeping score at home, we just learned of Jobs and Family Services losing funding through a program promoted by Newark’s US Congressperson (and all around good guy) Pat Tiberi after losing previous funding from the State, never restored by its wannabe US president. That self same presidential candidate nationally justified his embrace of Medicaid (while vowing to destroy the ACA), on religious (compassionate) grounds. Folks are on Medicaid because they can’t afford medical care (let alone premiums). “But I can’t be happy, till I make you unhappy too.” Is everyone unhappy? Almost, but not quite! “Ohio assures profits for 2 energy companies” by Jessie Balmert for Gannett (3-31-16) reports that “The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in a 5-0 vote Thursday approved plans from Akron-based FirstEnergy and Columbus-based American Electric Power that require customers to subsidize aging plants.” And “Ohio Consumers’ Counsel initially estimated the plans would cost customers as much as $6 billion over eight years. That amounted to an extra $800 for every FirstEnergy customer and $700 for every AEP customer over that time.” After what we’ve witnessed with the price of petroleum, FirstEnergy and AEP must be very happy. But wait, there’s more! “Republicans lied in Wisconsin: Here’s how you know the state’s voter ID law is a complete sham Wisconsin GOPers insisted the law wasn’t intended to suppress the vote. A new report suggests that wasn’t true” by Elias Isquith, staff writer for Salon (3-30-16). “On April 5, when voters cast ballots in Wisconsin’s Republican and Democratic primaries, the state’s controversial voter ID bill will face its biggest test since Governor Scott Walker signed it into law in 2011. For the first time in a major election, citizens will be required to show approved forms of identification in order to vote. The law mandates that the state run a public-service campaign “in conjunction with the first regularly scheduled primary and election” to educate voters on what forms of ID are acceptable. But Wisconsin has failed to appropriate funds for the public education campaign.” Not only that, but “the Government Accountability Board [“the nonpartisan agency responsible for producing voter education materials”] decided against making a formal funding request to the legislature, which had already introduced a bill to dismantle the agency.” Isquith concludes “With anywhere between 200,000 to 350,000 Wisconsin citizens potentially facing disenfranchisement, according to [Pro Publica’s Sarah] Smith’s report, the voter ID law is on pace to work exactly as intended.” Is everyone unhappy?

Can You Afford To Be Who You Are?

October 31, 2015

The 10-30-15 AP reports: “Alabama Teacher of the Year told she’s unqualified, resigns”. 2015 Alabama Teacher of the Year and 2015 National Teacher of the Year finalist Ann Marie Corgill chose to resign after the Alabama Department of Education deemed her unqualified to teach the class she was assigned by the local school board that had employed her. “”After 21 years of teaching in grades 1-6, I have no answers as to why this is a problem now, so instead of paying more fees, taking more tests and proving once again that I am qualified to teach, I am resigning,” Corgill wrote.” This, all, in a state that requires official proof of identification to exercise the right to vote. To obtain an official ID there requires visiting a registrar in person (akin to the DMV registrars in Ohio). Multiple counties have no state registrar offices capable of doing this. To rectify this inconvenience with their new proof of voter ID law, the state provides a kind of book mobile registrar service, available at a specific site on a specific day and time (for the entire county, not individual municipalities). As with Ann Marie Corgill, the burden of proof to establish who it is you are lies with the individual. Analysis finds evidence of “prove it” requirements and the burden they imply to be widespread, and quite selective. Though most good teachers like Corgill will tell you learning is continuous, ongoing and indeterminate (one thing leads to an unexpected other), students are constantly required to “prove” they are learning (with the exception of Ohio charter schools). Tim Schaffer would have all public assistance recipients pee in the cup to “prove” they aren’t drug users (though self-medicating is ubiquitous and almost the norm throughout the U.S. Such business must be good for Walgreens just chose to buy out Rite Aid). A priority of proof supersedes need in everyday exchange. Ultimately proof of identity requires more than recognition (“so instead of paying more fees, taking more tests and proving once again that I am qualified to teach,”). Analysis finds there to be a correlation between the cost of “proving it” and official legitimacy (What’s in your wallet?). The recent elections, along with the current preliminary, appear to bear this out. The “minor” candidates, hustling for funding, continuously need to “prove” their worthiness while those who have self-financed their campaigns only need to say: “I’ll be terrific!” It seems to be a variation on the snide “If you need to ask (the price), you can’t afford it.” Only in this case it is more like “If you can afford it, you don’t need to prove it.”

The Very Public-ness Of Democracy

November 11, 2014

“It’s the economy, stupid.” was the issue of elections in the 1990’s. No matter boom or bust, this has carried through as the case until the recent US Supreme Court Citizen’s United ruling. Since that decision, the focus has shifted widely, unpredictably and spasmodically. What is “the issue” is no longer being determined consensually.

The recent election, with its record low turn out and high stakes implications, was also the first post Citizens United mature exercise of money as speech. It was notably marked by a significant absence of any central consensual issue. It certainly wasn’t the economy, or national security, or jobs. Analysis finds that “non issue” was the predominant characteristic of the recent mid term election. This disparate but central (and ever present) “non issue” was primarily created and driven by the machinations made possible by the Supreme Court’s Citizen United ruling.

Analysis reveals various materializations from this recent “non issue” exercise in democracy. Labor (organizations and unions), the great bug-a-boo equalizer of the pro Citizen United argument, played a practically non existent role within the non issue midterm election. This is (and was only obviously) to be expected. It is impossible and illogical to believe that those whose labor exists solely to benefit and produce wealth for business ownership could ever “outspend” ownership itself. The NFL Player’s Association can never outspend the NFL owners who ultimately make union funding possible. Money, as speech, pretty much pre determines who is speaking (and being heard) now. Much of the ALEC driven legislation that fostered the candidacy and issues meant to undermine and eliminate labor organizations, public or private, was and is central to the recent election outcome (like right to work legislation). Why are organized employees such a threat to business ownership and its associations? Analysis finds that, with money legitimated as speech and the creation/predominance of “non issues” within the publicly accessible but privately owned media of recent elections, compelling reasons emerge. Organizations such as the AARP, NRA, or NAACP, etc. usually involve the exercise of free speech and communication within the organization itself (as well as outside). Newsletters and internal communiqués function to relay, reproduce and reinforce information and outlooks critical to the maintenance of the members’ interest. By eliminating employee based organizations, owners eliminate this communication, this exercise of free speech. Individual teachers, bus drivers, EMT’s, laborers, electricians, etc. become cut off from any speech or communication regarding their particular interests and needs. Employees become totally subservient to whatever issues are created, determined and broadcast by privately owned media. As recently witnessed by the “non issue” election, their genuine interests and needs will not be communicated at all.

Analysis articulates this degradation of democracy with its sibling, the emphasis on restricting access to the ballot box through personal ID requirements. Privately, within the sphere of what is today taken as essential social exchange (communication), an email address is a given presumption. Yet obtaining an email address is not a given. Without an ISP or some form of mobile communication service contract, an email account is not. Be it for reasons of super cookies or just plain old advertising mailing list, account providers (owners) need to know how to keep track of (and be able to contact) the account holder. The same applies for anyone entering the rolls of verifiable electorate. From there it is only a hop and a skip to requiring that the voter’s official ID be regularly “updated and stay current”. Given the Freedom of Information Act and the wonders of computer programming, exclusive and customized communication access to potential voters (customers) is virtually guaranteed. As the recent election just showed, with money as speech, “non issues” can readily be communicated as not only essential but central to upcoming elections. Without access to any alternate communication that is not privately owned (and determined by sale to the highest bidder), election results can be more easily managed by those with the most money. Analysis finds the image of an electorate having its heads bent, preoccupied by smart phones or tablets, totally absorbed within their own private “personal” communications to be rather derogatory of the very public-ness of democracy.