Monday, September 28, 2020

How to Protect Your Vote


"Vote"  by Vaguely Artistic is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

As I write this, people in America are already voting early. Many are voting by mail. Many others are voting in-person. It all depends what options their states will allow. Our current President, Donald Trump, is using distraction, bullying, fear, and threats power his re-election campaign. He is benefitting from many single-issue voters who base their votes on preventing and ending abortion. He is also benefitting from voters who have a penchant for conspiracy theories, dislike or detest the government, do not follow the news, or simply because his identity is not Joe Biden.

Vice President, Joe Biden, is the opposite of Joe Biden in many ways. Unlike Donald Trump, he is seeking to reach voters with a message of hope, unity, and grace. He is benefitting from voters who want social justice to be done for women, immigrants, working-class and poor people, those with disabilities, migrants, and others. He is also benefitting from many voters who do not like or detest the current President. Whatever Candidate we vote for, we all can agree that we are facing an historic election with unusual Candidates. 

It is my understanding that we all can do some things to protect our own votes and that of others.' It does not matter what party or candidates we vote for. 

1). Make sure you are registered to vote. Without being registered to vote, it goes without saying that we cannot vote. Below are websites where you can make sure you are registered to vote. If you have not registered to vote, you will be connected to resources where you can register,.

2). Learn the voting laws of your state. Voting laws differ from state to state. Some states allow early voting; others may not. Some states allow everyone to vote by mail without having to cite a reason to do so. Other states send out request forms; voters must provide reasons to vote absentee, like age, disability, poll worker duty, or other reasons. State voter laws vary on many other laws governing voting.

3). Vote early. It is smart to do so. Experts tell us that it can increase the odds that our votes will count. If you are voting absentee, cast your votes as soon as you get the ballot. Then get it in the mail or in a ballot drop-box. If you are uncomfortable with those options, you can drive to a designated local polling place. You can have a person you trust do this for you. If you want to vote in person and your state offers it, consider early voting in person.

4). If you are voting by mail, learn the regulations of your state and follow them closely. Studies indicate that votes cast by mail run the risk of not counting if we do not properly cast out ballots according to our state's regulations. Below is a page where you can locate your state and learn about your state's absentee ballot regulations. Study them carefully. (Note: If you vote in Pennsylvania and are voting absentee, make sure to include the second secrecy inner envelope that comes with your ballot and outer return envelope).

5). If voting in-person, wear a face covering, use vigorous sanitation, and proper social distancing (if possible). We are still in the middle of a global pandemic. A virus does not know holidays or special days. Studies show that wearing face coverings works. It saves lives. If you vote in person, please wear a mask, practice vigorous sanitation, and socially distance as much as possible. 

6). Consider becoming a poll worker or election volunteer. Reportedly, most poll workers have traditionally been elderly. Now we are in the middle of a pandemic. Public health experts consider elderly people (officially 65 and over) to be among those most at-risk of getting sick with COVID-19 and dying of this virus. Most states are recruiting and training people who apply to work the polls. States are seeking people who are younger and have fewer COVID-19 risk factors. They are doing so now. And we can volunteer to protect people's votes even from our vehicles or from home.

7). If you are a voter with a disability (ies), you know that you face barriers to voting. I have searched for resources that can assist you in using what is every American citizen's basic right. Sadly, the media are not addressing disability access and voting. Unfortunately, absentee and mail-in ballots may generally not be disability-accessible to most with physical or mental disabilities. This is what my research bears out. 

This is an official government website. Check your voter registration, be re-directed to your state's resources, and learn much more! Visit website.
This website provides all the information needed to vote safely. You can sign up to be a poll worker or election volunteer. Visit website.
This website provides all the tools needed to safely cast your vote. Visit website.
This page provides links to each state and how to safely vote by mail. Learn how to make sure your vote counts. Visit web page.
This website provides just about all you need to know about many Candidates and their Campaigns. Visit website.
This is a resource for those who are culturally Deaf or native ASL signers. Visit website.
This is a website devoted to making voting accessible to blind people. Visit website.
This is an official government website about voting access for people with disabilities. It links to other resources. Visit website.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Supreme Dilemma for a Divided Nation


This past Friday, September 18, 2020, the Grim Reaper dealt Americans a curveball.

Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, died of the complications of pancreatic cancer. She was in frail health and aging.

Her dying wish, as reported, was for the Senate not to replace her until a new President is installed (on January 20, 2021).

Almost immediately, both the Right and the Left swung into action as if it were wartime.

Those on the Right are scrambling to replace Ginsburg. Donald Trump is ordering the GOP to "replace Ginsburg ASAP." 

The Right are reversing their 2016 stance when they would not let Barack Obama have even a hearing on his then Supreme Court (SCOTUS) nominee, Merrick Garland. Back then, they argued that voters should be able to pick a new President who would pick a nominee fill a SCOTUS vacancy that year.

Most politicians on the Right have reversed their 2016 stance.

Those of the Left have shifted to panic mode. Democratic Leaders are consulting in conference calls and devising ways to block a possible nominee.

Across the country, people leave memorial tributes to Ginsburg and hold vigils. They continue to do this, even as political Leaders on the Right and Left fight over a SCOTUS vacancy.

Almost as soon as Ginsburg passed away, her death was politicized. The bitter battle has begun!

Guess what issue has become front and center? 

Political Leaders on both the Right and Left are making the SCOTUS battle largely about abortion. On the Right, reports tell us that Trump is considering possible SCOTUS candidates who are staunchly anti-abortion and conservative on a wide range of other issues. Their votes would be reliably conservative regardless of what case they would hear on the Court. The President is obviously applying an abortion litmus test to every candidate on his shortlist, making sure they are pro-life about abortion. On the other hand, political leaders on the Left have not released any possible SCOTUS picks. However, the terms "a woman's right to choose" and "abortion rights" have been frequently coming up in their conversations. The Director of NARAL and a former Planned Parenthood Director have made TV appearances in the wake of Ginsburg's passing. 

Since the tragic, sudden passing of Ginsburg, most talk about COVID-19 has died down. In the meantime, over 200,000 Americans are listed as having died from this virus. Over the weekend, people in my home state held a potential "superspreader event." In Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks, the area held a large gathering for motorcyclists. "Are you concerned about catching covid?" a reporter asked an attendee of this event. "Oh, I feel some concern. But I will not let it stop me from living." The reporter asked another person the same question. The person stated something like, "If we get covid, we get it." In the meantime, Missouri cases are rising. Media are trying to keep covering the pandemic, but politicians seem to be laser-focused on their SCOTUS battle.

In the meantime, Congress has not yet passed a second, desperately-needed COVID-19 relief bill. They seem to have placed it, again, on a backburner.

Are Democrats wise to make the SCOTUS battle, from their end, about abortion? As I write my first draft of this piece, Cecile Richards, the former Planned Parenthood Director, has come on TV to make a second appearance since Ginsberg's death. She also made a second appearance in the evening. Are Democrats wise to let controversial public figures make the case for them? People largely know Richards for her role as the past Director of the largest abortion provider. Thanks largely to the power and influence of Planned Parenthood, woman's rights have become divorced from and untethered to the right of unborn children to live. Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and Emily's List have championed women's rights. Tragically, they have tied and tethered women's rights to the "right" to abortion access. Today, many consider abortion to be "the core "women's right." They view the pro-life movement as fighting against women and their rights. Thus, Trump's potential SCOTUS nominees, because of their anti-abortion stance , are seen as anti-women. In checking Twitter, I am deeply disappointed to view a retweet from Joe Biden. The tweet indicates that he will impose an abortion litmus test on any SCOTUS nominee he selects, if he becomes President. Is there any wonder I feel sad, angry, and frustrated with him and the Democratic Party now? Will it take a second loss to Donald Trump for Democrats to finally learn that they cannot dismiss and take pro-life voters, including those in their own party, for granted? 

In a speech later, yesterday afternoon, Joe Biden made his case for why, in January 2021, the new President-Elect should fill the vacancy. He listed all that is at stake in the 2020 election. He also stressed that he would be the President of all people, not only those who would vote for him. He stressed, "This is about much more than politics." Can't this apply to people choosing to stay in the Democratic party and oppose abortion? 

Why can't we seek to protect the lives of the unborn (Right) and also protect people from the spread of the current pandemic virus (Left)? Why can't we fight for the lives of the children in the womb (Right) as well as the lives of  migrant children?

In 2016, a James Comey letter is credited with doing much to deciding the 2016 election. Is it too much to hope that our "October surprise" is Joe Biden announcing that he will consider a nominee who is a pro-life Democrat?

This is a lengthy WIKIPEDIA profile of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away from the complications of pancreatic cancer on September 18, 2020. Read article.

This is a WIKIPEDIA profile of Amy Coney Barrett, a front-runner among Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominees, Read article.

This is an article of Barbara Sagoa, another front-runner among Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominees. Read article.


Friday, September 18, 2020

Must We Choose Between Protecting the Unborn & Democracy?


Vote"Vote" by Vaguely Artistic is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

President Donald Trump has done much to protect the unborn, since ascending to the White House. He has installed many pro-life judges on the courts. He has spoken at the March for Life, He has called for the defunding of Planned Parenthood. The President has reportedly states: "I will stand in the trenches for the unborn." He has called for defunding Planned Parenthood overseas. At the recent GOP National Convention, he has invited many pro-life speakers. Abby Johnson, a Former Texas Planned Parenthood Director, spoke graphically about abortion when it was her turn to speak.

Arguably, Donald Trump is no most anti-abortion President in U.S. history. Religious right and pro-life leaders have called him "the most pro-life President in United States history." 

On the other hand, President Donald Trump is also an authoritarian President with dictator tendencies. His entire tenure, so far, has been spent abusing the considerable powers that he enjoys as President. In fact, because he, unlike preceding Presidents, has so often abused his rightful powers as President, that I frankly never realized how much power a President possesses.

Donald Trump has fired a deputy Attorney General, Sally Yates, because she did not go along with his travel ban to Muslim countries. Without cause, he fired FBI Director, James Comey. He has called for the prosecution of political enemies like Hillary Clinton and James Comey. He has demanded the pulling of "licenses" of journalists at news networks whose coverage of him he did not like. He has showed admiration and affection for dictators like Kim Jong-un of North Korea, referring to "love letters. And he has trashed U.S. intelligence officials. During the Bob Mueller investigation, he has dangled pardons to possible witnesses against him. He has sought to control and manipulate that probe. He had ordered his White House Counsel to fire Bob Mueller (which the White House Counsel would not do). He has bullied his first Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, because the latter recused himself from the Mueller investigation. He hired William Barr as Attorney General, though Barr has acted as a Trump apologist and loyalist than his actual title. He has threatened to withhold military aid from Ukraine, if they did not announce a probe to "dig up dirt" on Trump's political opponent, Joe Biden and Biden's son. He has floated the notion of a Third term in office. I can go on and on......

Joe Biden? Judging from his years as former President Barack Obama's Vice President and his own record, Joe Biden would not abuse power nearly as much. He would remember that he is supposed to serve us, not rule us. He would reach out and serve all people, not only those who support him. He would not cozy up to dictators and try to imitate them. And he certainly would not fire people without cause. To vote for Joe Biden would assure that we would not have to deal with Donald Trump's authoritarian tendencies and attacks on institutions that protect and strengthen our democracy. There is one nasty problem, though........

Joe Biden currently supports taxpayer-funded abortion. He has been silent on late-term abortions. But if his choice of Senator Kamala Harris is any indication, it is troubling, If anything, Harris is even worse about abortion extremism than her running mate at the top of the ticket. She reportedly has fought to tightly regulate pregnancy resource centers in her state. She has taken legal action against a pro-life whistle-blower against Planned Parenthood. She has been vocal in her support for abortion on demand. Multiple pro-life organizations have called Biden and Harris the "most pro-abortion ticket in United States history."

To vote for Donald Trump would protect the unborn. But it would endanger our democracy and human rights for multiple groups of vulnerable, marginalized people, particularly communities of color.

To vote for Joe Biden would uphold our democracy and protect the less fortunate and the vulnerable. Sadly, to vote for Biden is to disregard the lives of the unborn.

So whose lives should we choose? And what about democracy and the world those lives would inhabit? Wouldn't it be great if we did not have to choose? Many pro-life leaders and Christian leaders state that questions of democracy and human rights for the already-born are "just" quality-of-life issues. The right of the unborn to live is a sanctity-of-life issue. I get their point in that abortion DIRECTLY cause deaths. But are other human rights abuses that INDIRECTLY cause deaths less urgent, less important, less priority?

Some observers have pointed out that regardless of who is President, the abortion rates do not change. Roe vs. Wade does not get overturned. Observation and research indicate that local and state politicians who are pro-life make much more of a difference. And direct services to girls, women, and families can and do help moms and save babies regardless of who occupies the White House. So does voting for an anti-abortion President really spell the most effective way to end abortion?

Tragically, we in America do not live in a system that permits us to protect both AND unborn lives in our political system. Until I have to cast my votes, I am marking time. And I pray for hearts to change.....

This article details the extent of Senator Kamala Harris's pro-abortion stance. Read article.

This article makes the case for voting for Joe Biden and against Donald Trump; the author writes from a Christian, pro-life perspective. Read article.

I found this screenshot on Twitter, which speaks to these concerns. View the screenshot and read.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Donald Trump We have Tapes! Oh, Wait, But....



"Audiotape" by davidkjelkerud is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

"Lordy, I hope there are tapes."

A former FBI Director, whom President Donald Trump fired in 2017, uttered these words in a Senate testimony. He was giving an open, public testimony at that time. James B Comey was testifying about the President's secret meetings when he would get Comey alone. to try and get Comey's loyalty. Blind, unquestioning loyalty. The former FBI Director refused to pledge the President this kind of adoring loyalty. The President responded by firing Comey. 

Some weeks later, a Special Counsel investigation was launched. Former Director, Robert Swan Mueller began investigating what occurred during the 2019 Presidential election. He also investigated the firing of James Comey, to discern if Trump fired him with a corrupt intent. That is, did Trump fire Comey with the intent to end the investigation that Comey was conducting into Trump's National Security Advisor, Micheal Flynn, at that time? 

As it turned it, no one was able to produce any tape recordings that could have provided solid evidence as to the circumstances surrounding the firing of James Comey. Thus, Mueller could not establish that obstruction of justice occurred in the firing of Comey. Reportedly, Trump had ordered secret service not to allow any tape recordings in the White House. Aside from state Justice Department policy that advises against indicting a sitting President, Trump has been able to duck any criminal charges because of the lack of "smoking gun" tape recordings. The closest that has come to solid evidence of alleged possible criminal conduct have been witness testimony.  Even then, multiple witnesses have faced charges for lying to investigators to do what? To protect the President!

Only a week ago,. we learned that there are tapes.

These tapes do not pertain to alleged criminal activity. But the tapes have to do with words and actions that are immoral, inhumane, and not pro-life by any standards. I have linked to three audiotapes below. One captures the President betraying that, for months, he had been lying to the public about a global public health crisis. The other betrays that he knew that he was involved in behavior that may endanger national security. The third linked tape captures the President betraying this brazen attitude about racism. 

Thanks to reports of an upcoming release of a new Bob Woodward book, reports have disclosed multiple audiotapes. The President has reportedly spoken to legendary journalist, Bob Woodward. His interviews may number as many as 16.

I will deal with only one of the tapes, for the purpose of this blog post. AS early as February 2020 of this year, Trump revealed on tape that he knew about the seriousness of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). He states on the tape how deadly the virus is. But he also says on tape, "I wanted to downplay the virus to not cause people to panic."

Is the President kidding? How phony! His campaign strategy has been to panic his supporters about his opponents from the very beginning!

The President, from the beginning, has scared his supporters about immigrants. He has repeated that they are criminals, rapists, and wanted to "take over the country."

Currently, he is alarming his supporters, declaring that "low-income housing" will "abolish" the suburbs. Many view this as a veiled racism.

Currently, he is panicking his supporters about his political opponent. He is claiming that in "Joe Biden's America," crime, violence, anarchy, and lawlessness will take over.

So why is the President expressing concern over alarming people over a pandemic? Withholding the truth from people when they need the information to save themselves is not pro-life. Reportedly, the President has been, from the beginning, more concerned about saving the economy than about suppressing the spread of COVID-19. Reportedly, COVID-19 has killed about 190,000 people in America. According to one poll after another, people believe that the President handles the economy better than Joe Biden would. Many people, including Joe Biden himself, have pointed out that the economy will never recover until we in the United States can get COVID-19 under control. Because the President has so politicized the virus, many far right-people, who form the "base" of his support pool, are also viewing COVID-19 through a partisan lens.

We now have a tape that provides solid evidence that much of the current pandemic could have been prevented. I'm convinced, though, that we are so divided that each person will listen to the tape (or any tape or other piece of evidence) through a partisan lens. For now, we have "alternative facts." Once, the President was caught on tape declaring something like, " Don't believe what you can see with your eyes. Believe me."

How did we get to the place where a life and death pandemic has been politicized? How did we arrive to the place where even tapes can convince half a population that is baked in to their own views? Even the simple act of wearing a face covering to protect oneself and others has become a controversial act? And protecting human beings before they are born has split the country?

God help us. I have no easy answer. 

In an audiotape, Donald Trump reveals how early he was aware of how deadly COVID-19 is. He also shares his intention to downplay the virus threat. Listen to this tape.

In an audiotape, Donald Trump disclosed a secret weapons system. Listen to this tape.

In an audiotape, Donald Trump dismisses the question about white privilege. Listen to tape.   

Monday, September 7, 2020

How is a Pro-life Democrat to Vote?


In a matter of weeks, my family and I should receive our absentee ballots in the mail.
I understand that the state of North Carolina is in the process of mailing out their absentee ballots now.
As a pro-life Democrat who believes that abortion is wrong, my choice should be clear-cut and simple. Risking their tax-exempt status, high-profile pastors and Christian leaders are urging Christians to vote pro-life. Some of them are even calling on Christians to re-elect President Donald Trump.

He has recently stated that if re-elected, he will totally defund Planned Parenthood. 
One pro-life news source quotes him as stating: "I will stand in the trenches to defend the unborn."
This President has spoken at pro-life events. 
He has appointed many anti-abortion judges at all court levels. 
He has shown support for pregnancy resource centers. 
One pro-life leader has called him "the unborn child's best friend."
So why am I not falling all over myself to support Donald Trump?

He has called immigrants criminals and rapists.
He has mocked a reporter with a disability.
He has demanded a travel ban to Muslim countries.
He has called high-profile athlete protesters "---------."
He has allowed top-level security clearances for his daughter and son-in-law. However, intelligence officials have expressed concerns that both were security risks.
He has called for an end to asylum for those fleeing danger from their own lands.
He has called for an end to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This would mean deportation for many people who came to the United States as children illegally, through no fault of their own.
He has threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine if Ukraine's President declined to announce an investigation into supposed corruption of the son of his political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.
He has established a policy that has separated many migrant children from their families, deporting many relatives and "disappearing" many children.
He has threatened to stay in office even if he loses the 2020 election. He states that he may not accept the election results.
He has asked voters in North Carolina to vote twice, though this is illegal voting fraud. And he himself may be breaking the law by making this request.
He has mocked those who shed blood, even died in war, as "suckers" and losers."
He frequently demonizes mail in voting as fraudulent, though he and his family reportedly use this absentee voting system to cast their votes. 
He has mocked his political opponent's stutter.
He has reportedly been caught in at thousands of lies.
I can go on and on......

On the other hand, former Vice President, Joe Biden:

He has born unspeakable losses with grace. These include the losses of his first wife and young daughter. Later, he lost his adult son, Beau, whom he was very close to, to cancer.
He has struggled with and largely mastered, a stutter.
He is known best for empathy.
He is known for reaching out to people of any age, including children, who share their needs with him. He even provides his phone number.
He has served as an excellent VP for former President, Barack Obama. The former President speaks highly of his former VP.
He has helped the former President enact many polices that have benefited not only Americans but people all over the world.
He has authored the Violence Against Women's Act.
He has called for a ban on assault weapons.
He has stated that if elected, he will stand up to Russia.
He has plans for the issues surrounding Asian-Americans and African-Americans.
He has a plan for protecting America's faith-based communities.
With the help of others, he has a plan to rebuild the economy from COVID-19.
He has once put forth a detailed plan to combat COVID-19 on his website. (I cannot find it there now).
He has stated that he will work for every vote. He has stated: "This campaign is not about me. It is about you."
He has visited the family of Jacob Blake, the black man gravely wounded in a police-involved shooting. He has visited to Jacob himself.
Until the year 2019, he has consistently upheld the Hyde Amendment, opposing taxpayer funding for abortion. He has called for limiting abortions, stressing that it does not serve women's long-term best interests.

So, with all of Biden's strengths, why am I not falling all over myself to support him?

The answer is simple yet weighty: The former Vice President has called for a repeal to the Hyde Amendment. He now favors taxpayer-funded abortion. Planned Parenthood and NARAL have endorsed him as a Candidate. In a debate, he expressed pride of being endorsed by NARAL.

What can Joe Biden do to earn my vote?

It is simple. He can respond to pro-life political pressure and try to modify his position on abortion--not just to get more votes, but because it is the right thing to do. As deeply as I dislike most Republicans, I must concede that Donald Trump and his Party have it right on this issue. And my Party, the Democrats, fall on the wrong side of abortion.

What can Donald Trump do to earn my vote?

He would have to demonstrate a dramatic transformation and show that he is going to right his many wrongs. 

As a person who deeply dislikes Trump but who finds Biden's pro-abortion stance unacceptable, I soon will have to make my tough call. Shall I vote for Trump's horrific agenda because I am with him on abortion and religious liberty? Shall I vote for Biden, whom I am with on many issues but whose abortion platform has become too extreme? Shall I vote for a Third Party Candidate who cannot win? Shall I decline to vote for a President? 

If only, if only, if only.............

This page is devoted to both Candidates' position on issues. View resource.

This is a thorough WIKIPEDIA page for President Donald J Trump. Read article.

This is a thorough WIKIPEDIA profile for former Vice President, Joe Biden. Read article.

This article illustrates how and why a decision about the 2020 election is painful and excruciating for pro-life Democrats and most pro=life voters who deeply dislike Donald Trump.. Read article.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Help Find Kassanndra Cantrell, Missing Pregnant Woman (TRAGIC UPDATE: BODY FOUND, BOYFRIEND ARRESTED)

 The body of Kassandra Cantrell has been found and her boyfriend has been arrested. Comfort for her family at the loss of their loved one & her unborn baby!

This blog post features the case of a missing woman who is pregnant. The simple act of circulating this information gives us an opportunity to help save two lives: the life of a mother and her unborn baby. Information below are the facts of her case. Included below is a page filled with links about this missing pregnant woman. Cantrell is considered to be missing under suspicious circumstances. This means that foul play is suspected in her case because of the situation.

Kassanndra Cantrell, 33, is a resident of Parkland, Washington State. She was last seen leaving her family's residence on Tuesday morning, August 25, 2020. Cantrell is three months pregnant. She may have been headed to a grocery store. She was driving a white 2014 Mazda 3 sedan with the license plate AXV1638. Kassanndra Cantrell's financial records don't show any activity. She hasn't used her phone or contacted her family.

Cantrell's vehicle was found Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, at night. It was located in the 300 block of 25th Street E. It is near the Tacoma Dome. Detectives are asking businesses in the area to check their surrounding cameras.

Cantrell stands around 5’7 ” tall; she weighs 180 pounds. Cantrell has brown hair and blue eyes.

Have you seen Kassanndra Cantrell? Do you know of her whereabouts?  Do you have information on this case? If you have any information, you are asked to please call the Pierce County Sheriff's Office at 253-798-7530 right away! 

Thank you very much for helping to save the lives of Kassanndra Cantrell and her unborn child!

***TRAGIC UPDATE***: The body of Cassandra Cantrell has been found. What happened to her probably also happened to her unborn child. Her boyfriend has been arrested. Read article.

This article is the original source.

These links provide updates for Kassandra Cantrell's case. Visit this page; read articles.

The above flier and information are courtesy of Locate the Missing via their Facebook page.

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