I have recently learned that, in the Democratic Primary Debate, scheduled for tomorrow, 12 September, 2019, ABC News has once again opted not to air the following commercial, sponsored by the FFRF:

Sadly, there is little new in this decision, being that none of the major networks are given to offering air time to the FFRF. That does not change the fact that they deserve to be well and properly spanked when those failures occur. That said, the following was just posted to ABC News’ feedback site:

I am disappointed to hear that you have refused to air a commercial, sponsored by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which features President John F. Kennedy, stating: "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute." Why should such a statement be controversial? Church / State separation is codified in our Constitution and further reinforced in Article XI of the Treaty of Tripoli, yet you apparently are frightened of the response of those who would have us believe that the United States is something other than a secular nation, who most likely think the US is a Christian nation, where the Christian powers-that-be do all they can to strip away the wall between government and religion and favor THEIRS over others. What is saddest of all is that the above-mentioned commercial was intended for airing during the Democratic Primary Debates, whose audience would include both secularists and religionists who strongly support the idea that there should be no interplay between those two establishments.

The fact is that I watch very little of ABC's programming as it is these days. While I will almost certainly take in at least some of the debate, your failure to consider that portion of your audience which endorses Kennedy's statement gives me that much more incentive NOT to bother with your offerings any further.

It’s pretty clear to me that ABC’s decision-making personnel are not keeping up with the times. They certainly fail to recognize that the number of non-religious citizens in the United States is doing nothing but going UP, while US religiosity in general is going DOWN.

I would urge any of you who feel as I do about this blatant inequity to contact ABC News through their feedback site, add your voice to my disapproval and let ABC know that it is well past time they got with the program.

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Comment by Grinning Cat on January 20, 2020 at 6:00am

A personal experience with broken voting: a few years ago in Philadelphia's city council primary elections, there were four candidates in my district. Three were fairly progressive and fairly similar; the fourth wasn't. Guess who won, despite being disfavored by most voters. :(

(If the ballot had allowed people to approve of all the progressives, one of them would have won.)

That's an example of the "candidate cloning" problem, where adding a candidate who's like another hurts them both, despite not affecting voters' actual approval.

Comment by Grinning Cat on January 20, 2020 at 5:54am

... the DNC shies away from progressive ... 
... Both major political parties take money from the corporations who want to control legislation ...

One piece of the solution would be a voting system that isn't broken, that allows more than two parties to have a real voice. As mathematician Warren Smith writes at rangevoting.org :

If you were trying to design the worst way to vote, you might:

  • Force voters to say the least possible amount – name just one candidate, and say nothing about how much you like or dislike any of the others.
  • Make it reward voters for not voting for whom they really want.
  • Make it operate, over time, in such a way as to diminish your number of choices to the minimum – only 2 (or 1, meaning no choice at all).
  • Make it easy for fraudsters to invalidate ballots ("overvoting").

But wait! That's our voting system now

There's a better way: score voting (also known as "range voting").

You've all seen score voting in action as the Olympic scoring system. Judges give the competitors scores and the highest average score wins. Similarly, in a score voting election, voters would give the candidates scores, and the one with the highest average would win.

Score voting permits voters to express their opinions about any number of candidates (not just one). It eliminates the "spoiler," "wasted vote," and "candidate cloning" problems. All candidates compete on a level playing field, whether Democrat, Republican, Independent, or other. It's simple enough to run on all of today's voting machines and to be used by kindergarteners.


Comment by Michael Penn on January 18, 2020 at 7:53pm

I watch very little of American media these days because there is an attempt to control us while selling us. We have become the product and greed and money is what it is all about. BTW, you need my apps and refinancing, maybe a second mortgage. Hey, it will help you for right now. Fuck the future and give us your money. The powers that be do not care that you are distracted or angry on both sides of politics.

Back to real news, I watch it from all over the world in order to stay in perspective on events. I see France24, Al Jazera, BBC, etc. to decide what is real. The bottom line today is still that nobody cares. It is all greed and about the money. The DNC shies away from progressive in such a way that they guarantee Trump will be re-elected and Bernie will not be their man. Trump appears to have asked the Ukraine to step in because he knows in advance that Biden will be the choice of the DNC this year. Both major political parties take money from the corporations who want to control legislation and it is all very scary to me. There is lip service about making it better but no real action.



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