Assembly District 16     The only game in town     04 February 2018
Orinda, Moraga, Lafayette, most of Walnut Creek, Alamo, Danville, San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton & Livermore
Of all the congressional, state senate and state assembly districts in the bay area, there is only one Republican held seat, it is AD 16.  The Republicans are not competitive in the bay area, accept in AD 16.  The rest of the bay area races are between Democrats, but not AD 16. 
Since Democrat Joan Buchanan was term limited out of the assembly, Katherine Baker a Republican has been elected twice in AD 16.  The 286,521 voters registered in the district 41% are Democrats, 30.8% are Republican, and 25% decline to state.  (Source July 7 2016 Report by the Secretary of State).  Despite the registration advantage Baker bested Democrats Tim Sbranti and Cheryl Cook-Kallio (info of left source: Ballotpedia).  Baker will be difficult to beat since voters seem to like her more after her first term than in her initial election.  Persuading voters that they made a mistake twice is a hard sell. 


Voters were convinced that the two union backed Democratic candidates  - they were both teachers- were responsible for the BART lockout.  Commuters were very angry about the lockout which was the main issue in the bitter primary between Tim Sbranti and Steve Glazer.  Leaving Sbranti's campaign wounded by the allegations. 

Sbranti & Cook-Kallio were vilified by EdVoice the charter schools lobby, the Chamber of Commerce lobbying against all kinds of legislative protection and real estate millionaire Bill Bloomfield who funds conservative campaigns where he can buy a legislative seat for a few million dollars.  Bloomfield funded Glazer & Baker by sending mud aimed at Sbranti & Cook-Kallio.  The strategy used by EdVoice, the chamber and Bloomfield was mudslinging into our mailboxes.  Everyday US Mail trashing the Democrats arrived in district mailboxes.  The mud in the mailbox had the effect of suppressing the vote.  Many Democrats did not come out in 2014, others voted Republican because of the BART situation.



In 2018 the game could change, if our candidate does not attack Katherine Baker but instead unmasks her backers.  Our candidate has to say they are a DEMOCRAT which infers not Republican.  The Republican brand has been destroyed from within in the last year and the Republican Party has become a threat to the environment, world peace, protection of all kinds, democracy and the rule of law.
Our candidate also has to talk about how the charter schools folks have worked to under fund our schools so they can claim the public schools don't work and must be replaced by privately owned charter schools.  Our kids are threatened by charter school scams because those schools do not have the same financial transparency required of public schools, Republicans work to counter transparency. 

Our candidate must point out that owners of commercial real estate owned since the late 1970s are not paying a fair share and that short fall is the reason the schools are under funded and our infrastructure is suffering from the same underfunding.  In 1978 about 30% of state revenue came from residential property taxes, with 65% from commercial property taxes.  Today about  24% comes from residential property taxes PLUS 40% from non-property taxes, leaving 36% from commercial property taxes. 

The real revenue shift is from 65% of total revenue from commercial property taxes in the 1970s to 36% now. Source  California Legislative Analysts Office.
Two forces work together to maintain underfunding - the charter schools folks who don't want public education to work and those who own commercial property with unfairly low tax rates.  Unlike residential property owners, commercial reality is owned by corporation that never die causing a reassessment and when corporations buy a property they do it through merger/stock trades.  For example when Exxon bought Texaco it was a stock swap merger, the Texaco refineries were not reassessed.
The winning formula
Democratic values: democracy, people & planet,
fully funded public education & infrastructure,
fair share taxation by closing commercial real estate loopholes and giveaways.


Democrats choose a candidate for Assembly District 16
On January 28th the AD 16 delegates to the California Democratic Party and representatives of the local Democratic clubs voted for Rebecca Bauer Kahan to be the official Democratic Party endorsed candidate.  At the Pre-Primary Election Caucus at the Lafayette Library, Rebecca needed 70% of those voting to vote for her in order to be endorsed by the state party.  She exceeded the 70% by a considerable margin.  That means her name will appear on the door hangers from the state party and she can claim party endorsement when promoting her candidacy.  The strong showing also indicates that party activists are behind her campaign.
You have the choice of sitting out this election, stressed by what you see and what you hear, OR you can seize the opportunity to do something about it.  You can let the other side convince you that you are powerless, that is what they want you to believe. 
OR you can click here to volunteer & be empowered - your choice.


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Here is the plan

Art of the Swerve 2018 version   January 8, 2018

In December 2017 the Republicans passed a Tax Bill that most voters hate.  They were supposed to go home and convince those voters not to hate it.  But instead those congressmen are defending Trump's intelligence, so they don't have to defend the Tax Bill.  They find it much easier defending a "Mr. Magoo" Trump than defending the Tax Bill.  How did this happen?  Just by coincidence the POTUS allowed an author known for tabloid style journalism to sit in the White House for months chatting with his staff and him.  The author gathered salacious stories turning them into a sure best seller.  Just at the precise moment that congress was supposed to be making voters happy with the Tax Bill, Fire & Fury was published, essentially changing the channel and swerving away from the Tax Bill.

In October 2016 the swerve was the ACCESS HOLLYWOOD tape, released on the same day as hurricane Mathew was battering the gulf coast, US Intelligence reported the Russians were responsible for hacking the DNC emails, Trump's buddy Roger Stone was boasting that Wikileaks had Hillary Clinton's hacked emails and the last presidential debate was about to happen. The tape swerved everything else off the media radar including the debate's outcome.. 

We have lived with POTUS' who are indeed idiots, morons, and stupid, but this one is truly evil, and the name calling and distractions are a swerve that distracts a limited attention span public as the Republicans pick our pockets.  It is very tempting to listen to quotes from the book, but remember Trump is a "Media Mogul" and understands news cycles and how they can be manipulated.  How many votes will he lose because of the book? NONE.  How many votes will Democrats gain because of the book? Same answer - NONE.  How many voters forgot about the Tax Bill? LOTS!


The I word

We try to wake up from this nightmare presidency but it remains our reality.  The word impeachment passes through the dream along with the reality of Pence as President followed by Ryan as a new Vice President.  One path that could circumvent Pence & Ryan is for Democrats to take both senate & congress in 2018, followed by an impeachment by congress and a trial in the senate with a conviction of both Trump & Pence.  That could make a Democrat speaker of the house the new POTUS.  The scenario does not happen if we remain the party of NOT TRUMP (aka THE RESISTANCE) and nothing else.  We cannot win congress with that kind of strategy.  A strategy that stresses FIXING DEMOCRACY can differentiate the Democrats.  With FIXING DEMOCRACY in mind the TriValley Democratic Club voted to send this open letter to the Democratic National Committee.

A Better Deal = Not as bad as the last deal 

The Democratic Party’s re-branding called A Better Deal is the kind of thinking that lost the last election.  "A Better Deal – better jobs – better wages – better future" assumes that voters will believe Democrats can deliver while not making basic changes to the political and party structure.  A Better Deal assumes voters will cast their vote for whichever party they believe can deliver on economic promises. Voters believe the system is rigged and no matter who is doing the dealing, winners are determined beforehand.  The party not only needs a better slogan it needs to aim higher if we Democrats are going to win in 2018 and 2020.  We propose a better plan: 

To make your government work for you
the Democratic Party champions Democracy, People & Planet.

Democracy can make government responsive to our needs if we unrig the election process.  Elected representative can be responsive to the needs of the people by making structural changes including: 

> direct election of the President & Vice president by popular vote
> a fair and equitable primary process
> getting big money out of politics

> protecting against voter roll purging and voter suppression
> preventing dirty tricks from corrupting elections
> prevent Gerrymandering

People means working for social & economic justice that benefits society and makes government responsive to human needs 

Planet means reclaiming environmental world leadership and using diplomacy toward peace.

Voters are not satisfied with unfulfilled promises they heard before with no plan for delivery on the promises.  Democracy can be the delivery system, but today American democracy is broken. Trump has shown us how perilous & dangerous a broken democracy is.  Your Democratic Party can repair ; our broken democracy with your help.  Tell those who lead the party what you want; Speak out, speak up and speak often.

Tri Valley Democratic Club also passed a resolution authored by member George Reid to support the
impeachment of Donald J. Trump. 

WHEREAS Donald J. Trump has repeatedly violated his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and represent all the people of the U.S as demonstrated by the following examples:

                        a) Donald J. Trump and his agents supported subversive actions by a foreign government (Russia) for the purpose of interfering with the 2016 election for U.S. President;

                        b) Trump violates the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution in that he has not sufficiently removed himself from business connections and he personally gains financially from official actions with foreign countries and corporations;

                        c) Trump repeatedly shows disrespect for U.S. Courts and the Rule of Law including interfering or attempting to interfere with the conduct of investigations by the Dept. of Justice, the FBI (e.g. firing of FBI Director James Comey) and pardoning of convicted Sheriff Joe Arpaio;

                        d) Additional examples of abuse of executive power resulting in many lawsuits from impacted residents including banning transgenders from the military, trying to impose an illegal travel ban against certain “Muslim Countries”; reversing U.S. progress in actions to mitigate climate change, working to eliminate DACA resulting in potential deportation of hundreds of thousands of people, reversing environmental regulations (cuts to US EPA budget and personnel) and attempting to reduce boundaries of National Monuments, and

WHEREAS through his actions, speech, and behavior Trump appears to be mentally unfit to be President; many members of Congress (including in the President’s Republican Party), leaders in the U.S. and foreign countries are questioning his mental fitness; and Congressmember Zoe Lofgren (San Jose) has introduced a Resolution (H. Res. 497) for Trump to be examined by health professionals to see if he should be removed from office as mentally unfit to serve as President under the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; therefore be it


1) There is sufficient evidence that Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, has committed high crimes and misdemeanors and is unfit for the Presidency, and

2) Therefore Donald J. Trump should be removed from office as soon as possible per procedures provided in the original Constitution and in the 25th Amendment.


Body language & Persuasion

In 2018 many of us will be campaigning, meeting voters who we don't know, body language can make a difference. 
Two Body language tools may be of great help to you in these situations:

What you do with your hands -
A lecturer gave the same lecture to many audiences, at the end he asked the audience to separate in a particular way.  When asking some groups he asked with his palms up, some with palms down and with others he just pointed his finger.  84% of those asked with palms up responded as requested, 50% with palms down and 25% with just finger pointing.  Palms up is read as please help me, palms down is read as I know what is best for you and pointing finger says listen to the boss.
Spend 14 minutes watching Body language, the power is in the palm of your hands | Allan Pease |

What you do before the encounter -
Testosterone makes you feel brave, macho, empowered, cortisol rises as you become more stressed.  A quick method is to take one or more power positions to raise your testosterone level and lower cortisol level.  The Wonder Woman pose, with hands on hips legs spread, shoulders back is a power position as is the winner pose with both arms over the head as if crossing the finish line the winner. 

In a study a groups levels were tested before posing 2 minutes in the power position, then after.  They then each took a job interview with the interviewer not responding in any way to the answers, this was calculated to raise stress levels.  They then were tested again for levels.  A second control group defensive posing and took the same interview.  Two results were found

  • When a video of the job interview was watched by others the group members who first posed were those chosen for the jobs while none of the defensive posers were chosen for the job

  • Participants increased the level of testosterone and decreased cortisol level after power posing.   The defensive posers had the opposite results.  After the interview power posers testosterone levels did not decrease as much as the defensive poser groups and posers cortisol level did not increase as much as non-poser levels.

Spend 21 minutes watching Your body language may shape who you are | Amy Cuddy to see and hear about what to do before an encounter.

Post Mortem: Election 2016

What were voters thinking?


A study by the Voter Study Group questioned a fixed group of 8000 voters over a more than four-year period from before the 2012 election until after the 2016 election. The study looks at attitude shifts, party and intra-party divisions & directions.


The study looked at voters in two dimensions; social and fiscal, dividing voters into four groups: Populists who are fiscally liberal but socially conservative, Conservatives who are both fiscally and socially conservative, Libertarians who are socially liberal but fiscally conservative and Liberals who are liberal socially and fiscally. The chart below was derived from the study, as was the table that follows.

Clinton 44%, Trump 43% & Other 13%


The study notes “Clinton won only 83.4 percent of liberals, while Trump won 6.3 percent of liberals. By contrast, Trump won 90.2 percent of conservatives, and Clinton won almost no conservatives.” Populists a major deciding factor voted for Trump with19% vs. Clinton at 4%. Social issues trumped fiscal issues for Populists (pun intended), clumping close to the “don’t care” middle on the fiscal axis while clumping high on the conservative side for social issues. Strongest attitudes are furthest from the vertex, caring less closer to the vertex.


Partisan agreement & disagreement

Politics is a rigged game


stronger for Clinton voters

Social security is important


stronger for Clinton voters

Foreign trade important


stronger for Trump voters

Gender roles


stronger for Clinton voters

Pride in America


stronger for Trump voters

“people like me” in decline


stronger for Trump voters

Attitudes toward Black people, Muslims, immigration


for all 3 questions

Moral issues



Economic inequality



Government intervention




Bernie Sanders Populist factor

In Did enough Bernie Sanders supporters vote for Trump to cost Clinton the election? the Washington Post reports that several polls indicate that between 6 and 12% of voters who voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary later voted for Trump in November. Many Sanders supporters voted for third party candidates in November. There are no polls indicating how many Clinton supporters who voted for her in the primaries would have voted for Trump over Sanders in November. A better title for the report is “Could Bernie have won if he had the nomination?”


Many Populists might have voted for Sanders, because they trusted him on fiscal issues. Many Populists voted for Trump because they disliked more and distrusted Clinton more than Trump. Neither Clinton nor Sanders would have many Conservative votes while the Libertarians are split and few. Clinton is very solid amongst Liberals, but Voter Study Group report says ”Clinton won only 83.4 percent of liberals, while Trump won 6.3 percent of liberals. By contrast, Trump won 90.2 percent of conservatives, and Clinton won almost no conservatives.” Although Clinton won the popular vote, Populists delivered the Electoral College win for Trump. Conservative social issues outweighed liberal fiscal concerns for Populists.


Democrats counted on the 73% of voters inclined to a liberal fiscal agenda for a win in November, while not understanding how angry voters were about their social agenda indicated by the large red clump near the top-center of the chart. Trump’s strategy was to enflame social conservative feeling so they became more important than any liberal fiscal concerns. Democrats had not delivered on the liberal fiscal agenda anyway, so Trump promised jobs and prosperity just as Clinton & Sanders did, reducing the importance of a liberal fiscal agenda. Voters were split on who would deliver jobs & prosperity.


American Oligarchs Agree by Gordon Miller     August 4, 2017

Venture capitalist Peter Thiel, quoted in an Alternet article
"declared that he no longer believed that 'freedom and democracy are compatible' and
lamented the extension of voting rights to women because they tend to not lean libertarian."

This implies two things about how some of our betters look upon freedom and libertarianism. First - freedom for some like Thiel and Koch is economic freedom and democracy is expendable because it gets in the way of their economic freedom. Economic freedom, as revealed in the Koch-Buchanan letters, is the aight of the rich to do whatever they want to with their property as espoused by John C. Calhoun back in the days of slavery. And libertarianism only applies to economic freedom. Forget about the Bill of Rights (except for the Second Amendment so long as white males are the ones packing heat). Thiel’s libertarianism is merciless, in the Calhoun tradition, so women may be put off by it.

Also note Governor Andrew Cuomo (“D” - NY) is associated with a miscreant billionaire. This unfortunate marriage was consecrated by the 1976 Buckley v. Valeo decision that declared that campaign contributions count as speech protected by the First Amendment.

Many admire the rich and are ready to give rich people a free pass, but some rich guys are like Thiel and Koch. Some are dangerous and NOT to be admired.   Here’s the article

How to make money legally with fraud & identity theft


If you own a legitimate business, like a bank, your customers sign an agreement saying they will submit any disputes with your business to arbitration – all in the fine print.  Once the customer signs the agreement, your company can use the customers account information to incur expenses to the customer without their knowledge.  If caught the dispute goes into arbitration.  Sounds like someone might get caught.


Ř      Wells Fargo revealed that the originally estimated 2.1 million unwanted accounts it opened without consent may have been a low number.  Source

Ř      More than 400,000 people who took out car loans from Wells Fargo were charged for auto insurance they did not need, and some of them are still paying for it, according to an internal report prepared for the bank’s executives.  Source.  
Customers who already had car insurance say they had no idea they were being charged for this insurance from Wells Fargo. And the bank acknowledges that tens of thousands of people wound up in default, which affected people's credit scores, and thousands had their cars repossessed.  Full story

Ř      Wells Fargo has asked a Federal District Court to order dozens of customers who are suing the bank over the opening of unauthorized accounts to resolve their disputes in private arbitrations instead of court, according to legal documents.  Source


SB 33 is a bill before the California legislature that prevents financial institutions from using the arbitration defense in cases where the financial institution used fraud & identity theft to rip off customers.  The Alameda County Democratic Party Central Committee voted to support SB 33.  Wells Fargo Identity Theft Racket Inspired SB 33 (Dodd): Justice for Victims

The Consumer Federation of California is co-sponsoring legislation by State Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) inspired by Wells Fargo’s fraudulent creation of two million customer accounts. Senate Bill 33 will make sure that in the future, victims of banking fraud and identity theft are not forced to give up their right to bring a case for damages to court. High ranking Wells Fargo executives masterminded this criminal enterprise, which began as far back as 15 years ago.  Source


When a case goes into arbitration a private judge or lawyer decides damages and may award a small percentage of the real damages.  Forced arbitration can prevent class action suits.  The arbitration case frequently is out of the public view and results may be kept secret as part of the agreement.  The Return On Investment for this fraudulent business model is rather high, but the barriers to entry are higher, you need to be too big to fail and too rich to jail.  Amorality helps too.


July 27, 2017

Better Deal = Not as bad as the last deal


The Tom Perez Chair of the Democratic National Committee, leaders Nancy Pelosi & Chuck Schumer 8 months after the election did a post mortem and decided to rebrand the Democratic Party. Pelosi put a web page to explain the Better Deal. Schumer wrote an Op-Ed for the NY Times A Better Deal for American Workers while Perez brought the message to the PBS Newshour audience.


The Better Deal is an insult to our intelligence. It assumes that voters will believe Democrats can deliver while not making basic changes to the political structure and the party structure. Better deal assumes voters will cast their vote for whichever party they believe can deliver economic promises. The system is rigged and no matter who is doing the dealing, winners are determined beforehand. The Democratic Party should stand for Democracy, Justice and countering Climate Chaos.


Democracy happens when every vote is counted as cast and government acts for the people and only in our best interests. Justice is when every citizen is treated with dignity and is assured human rights like; healthcare, fair criminal justice, economic opportunity, freedom to love... Countering climate chaos is urgent and important but is hampered by the influence of money in politics. Until the money is out there will only be promises of Not as bad deals. If the Democratic Party is not just rebranded but actually becomes the party of the grassroots and not dependent on Wall Street’s money, then the country might return the deck to the Democrats for a deal from an unmarked deck, WE DEAL.


Democratic Party leaders claim they have our backs, but in 2008 when Democrats were doing the dealing, the best they could do was Obamacare with the insurance companies at the table writing the legislation. In 2008 Wall Street bankers drove the world economy off a cliff, the Democratic Administration could have prosecuted the bankers to insure this kind of behavior will not happen again. The banks were too big to fail and the bankers too rich to jail – under the Democrats.


Today the Democrats are fractured at the intersection of Wall Street & Main Street, Fix Obamacare & Single Payer. The party not only needs a better slogan it needs some serious mission counseling.


Interstate Crosscheck list – another narrative


Last summer the major progressive media, MSNBC, CNN, NY Times, Washington Post and others carried stories about Kansas Secretary Of State Kris Korbeck’s Interstate Crosscheck list. Names of those on the Interstate Crosscheck list, Korbeck alleges vote in more than one state. Korbeck distributed the list to 33 Secretaries Of State, so that they can remove their voter rolls of the names on the list.


Watch Greg Palast: Cross Check- Motherlode of Vote Purge Scams to see how Crosscheck worked to steal the election.



While removing the names the Secretaries Of State ignored the middle initials and social security numbers. They removed all those named on the list, which just happen to be typical Black, Latino & Asian names. When the removed voter came to the poll to vote they were told they are not registered and were given provisional ballots. When those ballots were checked and the names not found on the rolls, the ballots were tossed out. The voters were not informed that they were cheated out of their votes. Possibly millions of voters were cheated this way. Since Black, Latino & Asian voters are highly likely to vote for Democrats, the Interstate Crosscheck list cost the Democrats the election last November and more recently in Georgia.



The Russia/Trump narrative is that Putin stole the election for Trump, the Interstate Crosscheck list is a competing narrative. It is probable that both narratives are true, both are complex and can be confusing.


VP Pence & Korbeck have been named to the Voter Intergity Commission by Trump to federalize the Interstate Crosscheck list. That is why Korbeck requested the voter rolls from Secretaries Of State. Many states including California have turned down the request


FEAR & UNbalanced: Confessions of a 14-Year Fox News Hitman       June 26, 2017

Tobin Smith tells how Roger Ailes & Fox News Got Rich Scamming America’s La Z Boy Cowboys and Selling Out America’s Soul

Alles: I created a TV network for people 55 to dead,”
Tobin: “What does our viewer look like?
Alles:  “They look like me…white guys in mostly Red State counties who sit on their couch with the remote in their hand all day and night.”
Tobin:  “What do they want to see”
Alles:  “They want to see YOU tear those smug condescending know-it-all East Coast liberals to pieces . . limb by limb . . . until they jump up out of their LaZ boy and scream “Way to go Toby…you KILLED that libtard!”


Trump, Russia and a Shadowy Business Partnership
An insider describes the Bayrock Group, its links to the Trump family and its mysterious access to funds. It isn't pretty.

Bloomberg News published a report by by Timothy L. O'Brien on June 21, 2017 that connects many dots between Trump and the Russians that goes back to when Trump was close to bankrupt due to his casino mishaps. US banks would not loan him money because his credit was awful and his reputation for stiffing banks. At the same time the Russian oligarchs were flush with plundered cash with a need to lauder and stash it. Trump through BayRock Group, a real estate organization was able to get Russian money for various real estate deals.

Trump and the oligarchs is a 45 minute film that tells O’Brien’s story. 22 minutes into the film Congressman Eric Swalwell asks fired FBI Director James Comey if Felix Slater was part of the investigation of Russia’s ties to the election. Comey said he could not comment. Slater was a principal in Bayrock.

It may turn out that a paranoid dream about Trump being the head of a world wide crime organization may be true.


Political Predictions

Several political predictions:

Dan Rink – Dems take back the house with a modest margin. Dems pick up 8 to 10 senators. House votes impeachment proceedings. Trump resigns – declaring victory in reshaping government. Republicans with Koch Brothers and Chamber of Commerce announce a major political & governmental reform initiative with a corporate & billionaire dominated commission. Dems still struggle to get there act together on a vision & strategy for 2018 and finding a strong candidate for 2020.

Pat Scofield – Trump will keep fighting and never resign.

Alan Nakisher – Democrats win house in 2018 & within 60 days Trump resigns.

Sharon Goldberg – More Crisis. Trump will be effected by the Russia investigation. He & his staff are guilty.

Ellis Goldberg – Optimystic Predictions – ( I can spell optimistic)

Ř Trump is found to head a world wide crime family resulting in a crackdown on worldwide crime.

Ř Election integrity is found to be corrupted due to conspiracies including Interstate Crosscheck lists resulting legislation preventing voter suppression and tampering, as well as campaign funding by non-US citizens.

Ř Corporate corruption of the legislative process results in constitutional changes that bar any corporate funding for political purposes with criminal penalties.

Ř The Republican health (don’t) care law causes major legislative loses for the party.

Ř Environmental disasters force universal recognition of human caused climate chaos.

Eloise Hamann – I have no clue. When one amazing awful thing after another happens, how can one predict the next or occassioanl positive thing?

Michael Karsh – Just as the Jews escaped the Pharaoh, we will escape corporate personhood & money is speech by 2025. This year we will get a senator to introduce HJR 48 the We the People Ammendment in the senate. We will get 5 senators to co-sponsor and 5 states requesting a constitutional convention if congress does not pas HJR 48.

Paul Karsh – Chief Orange hair will resign before the end of his term.

Beverley Berman – The wonderful state fo California will carefully consider independence, single payer healthcare, if we don’t get rid of Trump before his term is up. I predict he will be impeached, but will resign before he is removed.


Submit your predictions

June 2, 2017

Doing things ON PURPOSE

Purpose is a double-edged sword; guiding towards fulfillment and questioning actions to determine if they move towards fulfillment of purpose.  Many avoid defining purpose or publicly stating it to avoid judgment of outcomes.  Defining political purpose allows planning of strategies, objectives and tactics.  Political purpose brings people together when they buy into a common purpose and work toward achieving objectives. 


After last years election many decided to organize political groups because they were shaken out of complacency.  Some did not appreciate the importance of defining & agreeing on purpose as the first step in organizing any movement.  Instead of defining purpose many demonstrated in opposition to what they did not want to happen.  The things we do not want grows daily and are overwhelming, so finding a clear purpose is the great challenge & an necessity. .


Finding purpose

To find your personal purpose requires looking deep inside, writing down what you found, refining it, looking at it daily, memorizing it and living it. In Life on Purpose: 15 Questions to Discover Your Personal Mission by Tina Su published in happiness, motivation she says:
A personal mission consists of 3 parts:  What do I want to doWho do I want to help?  What is the result?  What value will I create?

Mark Manson says in 7 STRANGE QUESTIONS THAT HELP YOU FIND YOUR LIFE PURPOSE “What should I do with my life?” or “What is my life purpose?” what they’re actually asking is: “What can I do with my time that is important?”– the questions include:


In 6 Keys to Finding Your Purpose, Solve the mystery of what you're meant to do with your life, Dr. Susan Biali, M.D identifies the 6 Es (keys).

1) Elusive  - your purpose will slowly emerge
2) Evolving  - sense of purpose will evolve and change.
3) Emerges - experience or purpose is calling to you - Give it a chance
4) Exactly perfectly timed  - If you’ve got a dream and your heart still beats with it, even though nothing seems to be happening, keep at it and don’t let go
5) Eminently  - qualified life considered you qualified for this amazing adventure.
6) Enjoyable Adventure - Don’t get too stressed about this or put too much pressure on yourself about clarifying your purpose. Your purpose might indeed be something grand and complicated, or it may be as simple as dispensing love and kindness wherever you go. Remember to be present in the moment, and delight in watching it all unfold. Life really is beautiful.


Giant Computer Network Rules the Planet


In the age of black & white Sci-Fi films & the Twilight Zone series two giant computers took over the world demanding that they be connected to each other.  Today the network is the internet, telephones, cable TV, content providers, social media, spies, crooks and YOU.  The network began with radio, which at the time seemed to be free as air and water – none of that was actually free.  The price for radio & newspapers before that was advertising.  Today advertising is the cost for being connected to the network.   Additional costs include; democracy, health, privacy, social interactions and productivity.  Although the advantages of the network are vast, the point of diminishing returns may have been reached, when advantages are out weighed by the costs.


Network Cost Consideration

Democracy – With the availability of information growing exponentially it has become more difficult rather than easier to discern truth from opinion or fake news.  The network has become a political playing field where twisting messages and media manipulation have become art forms, with devastating results.

Productivity – A worker can produce more with two hands than with one.  Smart phones have rendered much of the workforce one handed and distracted.  Pedestrians are hurt or killed in traffic because of the distraction of the smart phone.  Squeezing in a little more smartphone work cuts into restful sleep and makes you more prone to mistakes and zaps energy according to a study at Michigan State University in MSU Today

Health – Apps for cell phones are designed to addict, it is called brain hacking: programming methods that hijack peoples' minds to form a habit by using design techniques embedded in the products to make smartphones so appealing that you will use them, and other devices, more often.  People check smartphones compulsively and that causes anxiety particularly if there was no call or a call was missed.  An overload of cortisol caused by anxiety poses a health risk. While we need cortisol, as it has many functions, elevated levels interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, and odds of heart disease. It also increases risk for depression and lowers life expectancy. explains how it works

Social interaction - Communication is 57% body language, 35% tone & 8% words.  Texting and email are at best ˝ as effective since they are essentially one way communication modes as compared to online chatting which is 2 way.  The best communication is face to face, but today we rely on less effective modes more than ever.  When a face to face conversation is about to occur and one party takes out their smartphone the conversation is trivialized because it can be interrupted by whoever happens to call, text, email  or sends an alert to the phone.  Parents picking up their kids at school with a phone embedded in their hand similarly trivialize the conversation with their kids.  The University of Derby found smartphone users in study spent an average of 3.6 hours a day on devices, often causing severe distraction from relationships and ‘real life’ while making them narcissistic. 

Privacy - The intelligence community knows lots about our communications except maybe face to face private conversations..  Search engines, internet service providers and various smart devices like smart TVs sell personal information to marketing databases; who in turn mine it for great profit.  There are not any safeguards that prevent your private information from being misused to harm you or to shape election results.  We are in the middle of a cyber combat zone, with hacking, phishing and network shutdowns in an age when we are dependent on technology in so many ways.


The network exists and we are part of it,
we can try to make it work for us or we work for it


May 4 2017

The best democracy money can buy  Trailer

Movie review of the Greg Palast 2016 film (made before the election)

Palast presents one answer to the question: How did the 2016 election happen?  The simple answer – Voter suppression.  The more complex answer has to do with a a document called the CROSSCHECK LIST created by the Kansas Secretary of State with the encouragement of the Koch Brothers.  Palast plays detective – only he is not playing – as he unravels how CROSSCHECK was used to steal the 2016 election.

Palast wrote in Rolling Stone

When Donald Trump claimed, "the election's going to be rigged," he wasn't entirely wrong. But the threat was not, as Trump warned, from Americans committing the crime of "voting many, many times." What's far more likely to undermine democracy in November is the culmination of a decade-long Republican effort to disenfranchise voters under the guise of battling voter fraud. The latest tool: Election officials in more than two dozen states have compiled lists of citizens whom they allege could be registered in more than one state – thus potentially able to cast multiple ballots – and eligible to be purged from the voter rolls.

Millions of voters with names predominant in black, latino and asian communities were purged from voter rolls because they were suspected of voting in more than one state.  The Secretary of State can make purges without notifying the purged voter.  Watch Palast explain how.


A second answer to the question: How did the 2016 election happen?

Hillary Clinton offered other reasons for the 2016 election results saying she was “on the way to winning” until two things happened: FBI director James Comey released a letter saying the agency was reopening its investigation into her use of a private email server as secretary of state and WikiLeaks published hacked campaign emails.  Watch her explain in an article Hillary Clinton: I’m ‘part of the resistance’

A third answer: Shattered, How Clinton’s Campaign Went Off the Rails

Jonathan Allen covers the White House and the 2016 presidential campaign for Bloomberg News just published a new book Shattered, How Clinton’s Campaign Went Off the Rails.  Allen was granted access to the Clinton campaign on the condition that he not write about it until after the election.  He insightfully tells the story of a campaign full of swerves and fast curves, where the possibility of her losing were not on the radar. 

Listen to Allen’s answer’s as to why the 2016 election happened in an interview by Mitch Jeserich on KPFA’s Letters & Politics.  He says after losing to Barack Obama in 2008 she went through the emails of her campaign staff to find out what went wrong.  She decided that a private server was needed to maintain campaign security.  Allen also points at a management style that discouraged criticism, making staffers too wary to point out errors or missteps, such as not campaigning in critical swing states.

April 27 2017

School Choice is No Choice

By Anita Johnson – PLUS Education Editor

Notes from Education Forum hosted by LaMorinda Democratic Club

On April 13th, the LaMorinda Democratic Club hosted an Education Forum.  The panelists agreed that schools in California are seriously underfunded. Privatization advocates are using problems caused by underfunding to justify charter schools.  Because charter schools are not accountable to the public, this trend is undermining our democracy and our children’s futures.  A very promising source of additional funding for school is corporate property tax reform. 


State Superintendent Tom Torlakson spoke followed by four panelists including Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, Acalanes School Board Member Craig Cheslog, Daniel Hagen from Evolve and Kim Davis from Parents United for Public Schools FULL ACCOUNT of this important discussion.

Remains of Civilization
The super moon is still beautiful
It does not know.
A baby's coo still delights a roomful
She does not know. 
The birds warble unaware.
The fox slinks unknowing to its lair
The fall color of leaves lingers longer
Not knowing why.


We still hold our loved ones dear
Even more intently out of fear
We fight to distract ourselves from truth 
Knowledge is painful, pity the youth.
Ignorance bleated and then elected
A man by decent people not respected
His groping crudity and lack of worth
Is nothing compared to the demise of Mother Earth.

Eloise Hamann wrote this near the time of the 
November super moon after the election

Jerry Brown - April 7, 1938 vs Diane Feinstein - June 22, 1933

Diane Feinstein has pretty much declared her candidacy for the senate seat she has held since 1992.  There is only one political personality in California capable of taking the Democratic nomination and the seat from her, the governor.  Nobody is better suited to take on Trump head on than Jerry Brown.  Brown polled well recently.  Many progressives are looking for a younger replacement for Feinstein.  Brown looked young and tough last week - video.

In some of his harshest words to date against President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans, Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday rallied a ballroom full of climate policy wonks and activists, telling them to ignore the “Alice in Wonderland” scene in Washington and continue fighting climate change.  But he stressed that the battle against global warming will be a long, difficult road.“Stopping carbon will be like stopping a heroin addiction,” Brown said in a keynote speech at the Navigating the American Carbon World conference in SF.   Full SJ Mercury Story

HJR 48
Corporations do not have constitutional rights
Money is not speech

Big money in politics is a cancer on democracy, with a cure in sight.  House Joint Amendment 48 is the constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizen United and Buckley v Valeo, the two Supreme Court rulings that unleashed vast sums of money into the political system corrupting the electoral process and influencing actions on all levels of government.

35 members of congress are co-sponsoring HJR 48 including local congress members Barbara Lee, Jared Huffman and Ro Khanna.  2/3 of the congress, 2/3 of the senate and 3/4 of the state legislators would have to ratify the same ammendment for constitutional change.  An alternative method of changing the constitution is through a convention.  The threat of such a convention moved the passage of the amendment that gave women the right to vote. 
More info

What does ISIS want?

·           The group's ultimate ambition is a global caliphate won through a worldwide war between the US & allies and Russia, Iran, Syria & there allies.  With no air force, navy, ISIS relies on captured artillery and vehicles.  ISIS mostly relies on jujitsu and trickery to create confrontations. 

ISIS’ strategy is to help elect and promote nationalistic alt-right candidates who are blatantly anti-Muslim, causing resentment and fear in the not-yet radicalized Muslim communities.  Terrorist attacks like the one in Paris drive voters toward the nationalistic candidates, who in turn take actions that help ISIS recruit new terrorists.  French voters moved toward LePen because of the attack.  Nationalists like Trump and LePen are ISIS recruiters playing into their hands. 

 Read, What does ISIS really want at

Is alchemy another word for Political Science?

On Earth Day 2017 there were hundreds of March for Science events round the world.  Although elected officials were at the events in Walnut Creek & Livermore, there was not a whisper about political science or anyone claiming to be a political scientist.  At Livermore no one mentioned atomic bombs, they talked about the labs protecting the country.  The scientists bragged about positive achievements in medicine, energy, electronic gadgetry, labor saving devices and safety.  Political science has its great achievements too, like government, democracy and justice.  And political science has its failures: war, WMDs, climate chaos, dictators, genocide, refugees, hunger. 

Political Science is really alchemy, turning poop into POTUS.  A weapon of democratic destruction using big political data to help campaigns micro-target voters for desired results is a recent political science & technology breakthrough.  Cambridge Analytica is a major purveyor of big political data with 5000 data points on 220 million Americans (watch on CBS).  The company owned by the Mercers, one of the Trump campaign’s largest donors.  According to Wikipedia the Trump campaign spent $15M with the UK companyThe Mercers’ company might have been more of an election year game changer than Vladmir Putin.

RESISTANCEMANUAL.ORG is a game changing positive breakthrough - a grassroots weapon of mass resistance created by activist political scientists based on the belief that “Action begins with information.  There are more of us who believe in equity and justice than those who support Donald Trump's ideology of fear and hate.  Together, we can harness the collective power of the people to resist the impact of a Trump presidency and to continue to make progress in our communities.”   The wiki-style website has political information on the state, local, national and international levels.  It tracks legislation, legislators, voting records, sponsorship of bills, and recommended actions you can take.  It is your political Swiss army knife.  They are looking for help creating new knife blades. 

As soon as you concede there is an elephant in the room,
you have to start cleaning up the poop.


Vermont’s former governor Madeleine May Kunin
thanks Trump for getting us off the couch and creating an activist nation

Watch an uplifting Democracy Now interview of the pioneering politician & former Governor.

April 12 2017

The Art Of The Swerve

Pickpockets work in teams that distract and pick.  Similarly magicians distract to draw attention away from what they are really up to.  The Trump team uses distractions to move its real agenda.  Kellyanne Conway hawking Ivanka brand clothes was clearly a distraction that used up the media oxygen for a couple of news cycles.  Sean Spicer saying that no one not even Hitler used poison gas – forgetting the holocaust and napalm in Vietnam – was also a distraction.  Trump’s tweets are distractions.  The world wonders what the Trump agenda really is.

It is estimated that 400,000 people have been killed in the 6 year Syrian war.  Over 180 people killed each day on average is horrific.  Trump concluded within 3 days that Assad killed 86 people with poison gas then Trump retaliated by killing 14 more people.  Trump got his information from the slam-dunk team that got us in so much trouble with the WMD slam-dunk in Iraq.  The Russians claim ISIS had the gas in a storage area that was inadvertently bombed, releasing the gas.  90 minutes before retaliating Trump alerted the Russians who told the Syrians the missiles were coming, the 14 people killed may not have been told. 

A week before the April 4th poison gas killings Trump was saying his primary fight was with ISIS and he would leave Assad in place.  What could have been Assad’s motivation to switch to chemicals from barrel bombs, which kill, really well?  Why would Putin allow it to happen?  MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell theorized that the attack was the result of a calculated move by Vladimir Putin to deflect attention from the mounting scandal that has engulfed the Trump presidency since the Kremlin’s hack of the 2016 election; a scandal bolstered by continuing news reports on the metastasizing body of evidence that some of his surrogates may have been in on it.

Consider the 72 hour response by Trump; shooting 59 missiles at the place where the gas attack was launched, how did he know he was not going to hit a poison gas depot?  If US Intelligence knew which buildings housed poison gas and avoided them – why did not the US ask Putin to get the poison gas out of there before it was used, per the treaty?  Half the US missiles missed their targets, but hit something else accidentally; the missile strike could have hit a poison gas storage area. 

In a swerve Eric Trump, the son said “the Syria Strike Proves My Dad Has No Russia Ties(no ties with hammer and sickle) he also claims his sister Ivanka convinced their dad to bomb Syria in retaliation for the poison gas attack. 

Image result for ivanka trump Daddy please punish Mr Assad, the pictures on TV really freaked out Jared  and I.   

Is Eric just being mean to his sister?

The American people have come to expect swerves from Trump, but what about Chinese President Xi, does he believe the swerves?  China has been trying to lead the world Golbalization Caucus, while Trump, LePen, Putin and alt right politicos in Europe are the Nationalism Caucus.  China has its own intelligence service that may know what is really happening and what is swerve.  The other major player is ISIS, they would love to see Russia and the US in confrontation, it is their only path to victory, and they too know how to throw a swerve.  It is possible that the gas was release by ISIS to coincide with Syrian bombing. 

Psychological concepts that explain the Trump era of politics
American politics can seem baffling. Psychology is here to help.

Click for full article on


It is time to stop thinking of those we disagree with politically as idiots. The concepts that follow will help us understand why there is disagreement and why we have to respect others motives before we can have a meaningful conversation with them.  

Ř Motivated reasoning: rooting for a team changes your perception of the world. Root, root, root for the home team if they don’t win it is a shame
Motivated reasoning is the reason your “judgment calls” favor your favorite team, party or candidate.

Ř People who are the most well informed about politics are often the most stubborn about it.

Ř Evolution has left us with an “immune system” for uncomfortable thoughts.

Ř The argument that’s most convincing to you is not convincing to your ideological opponents

Ř Many people seem unashamed of their prejudices

Ř Fear has a powerful influence on political opinion

Ř Social norms that protect against prejudice can change in the blink of an eye.

Ř Authoritarianism is a personality trait correlated with fearing outsiders and supporting strong, punitive leaders. Trump tapped into authoritarian concerns, which helped form his political base.

Ř Collective narcissism is a personality trait similar to authoritarianism. Collective narcissists are a group of people who desperately need their group to be admired and validated by others. Collectively narcissistic Americans would feel the need for America to be revered the world over. They would need America “to win.” The political benefits of a narcissistic personality: Trump may not have a personality disorder, but he does have narcissistic tendencies. Studies find narcissists are good at obtaining power, but tend to be impulsive and self-defeating when they obtain it. Also: Scientists find that obtaining positions of power magnifies personality traits like narcissism. With power, people are freer to be their authentic selves.

Swalwell Dares Trump:
Declassify The Surveillance Documents

A Democrat on the House panel investigating Donald Trump’s ties to Russia is issuing an ultimatum: If the president is going to accuse members of the Obama administration of breaking the law, he should prove it.

“If the president wants to say that Susan Rice committed a crime, he has the power to declassify. No one else does,” Rep. Eric Swalwell of California said Wednesday. “So, he could actually show us where the crime was. I don't expect he will, because I think this is just more obstructionism.” Read more

DeSaulnier Town Hall Presentation

In February Congressman DeSaulnier hosted a political town hall in Concord to discuss the new Administration and how we can work together to fight for our progressive values and the rights of all Americans. This is the slideshow that was presented at the town hall.

March 28 2017


Robert Reich identifies four reasons Trump should be impeached for violation of the US Constitution which Trump swore to uphold:

1. The Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause: China’s recent decision to grant his trademark applications for the Trump brand — decisions Chinese authorities arrived at directly because of decisions Trump has made as president. He owns a number of investments that probably also violate the clause.

2. Freedom of religion: Muslim ban’

3. Freedom of the press: Attacking the press.

4. Treason: Colluding with Russia during his presidential campaign.

The political will required for both houses to vote to impeach him does not exist today but as the evidence mounts and the public outrage builds it will may turn into an untenable situation for Republicans. The question for Democrats is impeachment worth the effort given Mike Pence.

Kris Welch on KPFA discussed To impeach, or not to impeach with author Norman Solomon & John Bonifaz of which says “Anyone becoming president in the wake of an historic impeachment and removal from office of the sitting president based on massive corruption of the Oval Office and defiance of the Constitution will be under even closer scrutiny to follow the Constitution. It would crucially re-affirm the bedrock principle that no one is above the law, not even the President of the United States. The alternative of allowing President Trump to remain in office while he continues to defy the Constitution and the rule of law is unacceptable and extremely dangerous to the future of our republic.”

Norman Solomon argued that no one is above the law, especially the President. Trump cannot get away with violating the constitution, loosing hard fought for ground in terms of nullifying portions of the constitution is unacceptable.

Impeachment requires a congressional investigation and then a trial in the senate. 2/3 in each house is required. When we get to the point Trump leaves office, the Republicans will be divided between those who voted for and against impeachment. A President Pence will be saddled with the Trump legacy and a divided party. That sounds like a much better situation than the current one. 

Congressional Inquiry – first step toward impeachment

Watergate was a slow process investigation with revelations and surprises all along the way. The process not only undid Nixon but it changed public opinion. Similarly today an investigation of the connections between Trump and Russia could result in the demise of his brand of politics.

TriValley Congressman Eric Swalwell is on the Intelligence Committee investigating the Trump Russia connections and has published publicly available intelligence called CONNECTING THE TRUMP RUSSIA DOTS .which includes:

After FBI Director James Comey revealed the existence of an investigation of the Trump Russia relationships Eric Swalwell quizzed the director. Watch Eric question Comey on C-Span (two segments at 3:17:30 & 3:39:30 of a 5 hour video). Eric connects the dots in 11 minutes.o


Read the NY Times article What to Ask About Russian Hacking by Louise Mensch to learn more about the relationships in the diagram and the difficulties in dealing with FISA warrant obtained information. It is illegal to reveal that a particular FISA warrant exists. If a witness actually kn

ws there was a FISA warrant to eavesdrop on Trump and his campaign then revealing that would violate the law. The article says “Witnesses cannot confirm or deny even the existence of a current national security investigation.” If Trump knew about a FISA warrant and TWEETED about being tapped, then he violated the law. More from Ms Mensch at Heat St (on the day before the election) concerning a FISA warrant giving counter-intelligence permission to examine the activities of ‘U.S. persons’ in Donald Trump’s campaign with ties to Russia. Ms Mensch works for Newscorp (Rupert Murdock) which owns Heat Street.


The congressional hearings will be like Watergate on steroids.