Monday, July 25, 2016

Cola Wars Dedux

By the time I post this, the Republican National Convention (Republic-Con) will be over and the Democratic National Convention (Demo-Con) will have started, and I have a few things to say about these two pretenders to the throne.

I was a teenager in the 1980’s and as such I was subjected to a nightly barrage of “cola war” commercials.

Most young people today won’t remember the cola wars, so I’ll tell you what they were.  Toward the end of the 1970’s and on into the ‘80’s, Pepsi Cola started an ad campaign that they called “The Pepsi Challenge.”  It involved a blind taste test, where participants drank from two cups of cola, one filled with Pepsi and the other with Coke.  They were then asked which tasted better.  In the commercials, of course, they always showed that the participants chose Pepsi.

The point of this is, that the idea of the Pepsi Challenge, that there are only two choices, is flawed.  The Cola War assumed that Coke and Pepsi were the only two cola-like soft drinks.  They banked on the assumption that you, the American consumer, were unaware that there were and are other options.
Shasta, makes a pretty good cola, and it will cost you about a dollar less per bottle.  RC Cola, bottled by the Dr. Pepper company, (also a very fine choice, by the way), has a very unique flavor that I almost prefer to Coke or Pepsi.  Although not truly a cola, per se, Moxie is probably one of the oldest cola-like soft drinks out there and has a flavor that is probably more different than anything you have ever tried.

Some of these other cola brands may be a little hard to find.  You may need to do some research, look around, walk into specialty stores rather than your local mega-mart, be informed, but once you find one of these smaller brands, the experience and rewards will be so worth the effort.

I hope that you are understanding my analogy here.  If not, let me be very blunt.

Last week, while listening to my local NPR station, they were interviewing some Republican hack from the floor of Republic-Con and he kept saying that the American People have two choices.  That they can vote for, either, Donald or Hillary.



To my way of thinking, the American People have at least four choices (although it’s probably closer to six).
Americans can choose between Donald and Hillary, of course.
But they also have Gary Johnson from the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein from the Green Party.

That’s way more than just 2 choices!  But do the American voters know that?  No!
Why?  Because the two major parties don’t want you to know about the other candidates.  That’s why.

It’s the Cola Wars Redux… American politics style.

What if the political taste test (We’ll call it the Demo-Challenge) comes up with a “neither” answer.

Unbiased poll taker: “Which do you prefer cup ‘A’ or cup ‘B’?”
Average American Voter: “Well, they both are pretty nauseating, but ‘A’ totally made me toss my cookies, so I’ll choose ‘B’.”
Unbiased poll taker: “Did you know that there are two other choices? Why don’t you try cups ‘C’ and ‘D’?”
Average American Voter: “Wow! ‘D’ is very tasty! But ‘D’ has no chance of winning, so I’ll stick with ‘B’, the one that can win, and didn’t quite make me throw up.”

Where is the logic in that?

Republic-Con, just ended, and the hall was filled with people who like Trump & people who don’t like Trump, but who will vote for him because he’s not Hillary. There were also a few people there, the Utah delegation comes to mind, who do not like Trump, and because of that, they got death threats.  I’m not even joking about that.

Donald Trump’s acceptance speech was dark, designed to make us afraid.  Now, I’m not one to sit here and tell you that the country is all full of wine and roses.  We have a lot of problems, but Trump didn’t offer a single policy idea that would change things, all he said (in a nutshell) is that America is circling the bowl and the people who flushed it are the immigrants, Muslims, and the Democrats.

Donald is banking on your fear, and so will Hillary.  I guarantee it.

It is time for Americans to wake up to the dog and pony shows that are Republic-Con and Demo-Con.  It is time for a 3rd and 4th party.  It is time to force the major media to cover the campaigns of down-ticket candidates, and inform American voters of the other choices for president.
It is time for Americans to take back their country and to reject the two major parties.

Vote 3rd party!  Your satisfaction guaranteed or return for a full refund.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Time for a Third Party?

I’ve found that there are quite a few Americans out there who feel trapped by the political process and have no idea which of the two underwhelming candidates to vote for this November.  If they vote for the Republican, they will be voting for a blow hard bigot and if they vote for the Democrat, they will be voting for an untrustworthy uber-politician.
There are many Americans who just can’t stomach either one.
I could be one of those undecided voters who just don’t know who to vote for and may just stay home this November.

For years we’ve been saying that it’s time for America to have a third party but the rules and policy changes that would allow a third party are constantly being blocked by the two major parties.

If a third party were ever to get a foothold, the two other parties would lose power and influence, and that would be like a nightmare to them and something that they just can’t allow to happen.  So, they create laws and policies to keep other parties from getting on the ballot, the major news outlets, in thrall to the two parties, create policies to keep the smaller parties from getting into the debates and give only minimal coverage to their campaigns, thus giving them no exposure, and no chance that they will make any kind of a difference to the country.  When they do cover any of the 3rd parties, the stories have a condescending “oh how cute” feel to them.

Recently, I received an email from one of the third party candidates informing me that they were trying to get on the ballot in Georgia and that in order to do so, they needed $30,000, the reason was that Georgia doesn’t recognize 3rd party candidates, so, in order for the candidate to be on the ballot in Georgia, the party needed to collect 15,000+ signatures, and then the state had to verify the signatures and would be charging the campaign $2 per signature to verify.
That is beyond ridiculous!  Who set up those rules?  State elected officials who are more beholden to the party they belong to than the country they are supposed to serve.

In a country that says that it honors free and open elections, any legitimate political party should be able to get their chosen candidate on the ballot.  To do otherwise is a disservice to the laws and traditions that made this country great.

Until the two major parties get punched in the nose by the American people, nothing will change.

For years, I have touted the idea of never voting for an incumbent with the idea of firing the career politicians.  I’ve modified my ideas on the subject.

NEVER vote for a republican or a democrat, ever, unless there are no other choices.  Let’s not just fire the career politicians, let’s fire the oppressive parties that back those do-nothing politicians.

Those who remember back to when Ross Perot ran for president back in 1992 as a third party candidate will recall that he ended up splitting the conservative vote, and putting President Bill Clinton in the White House.  Since then, voters worry about doing that again, and so, instead of finding a candidate (from any party) that best reflects their ideas, they plug their noses and vote against the candidate that least reflects their ideas.  They vote for the lesser of two evils.

Well, voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil.
Those of you who plan to vote for Trump because you can’t stomach Secretary Clinton, or vice versa, are voting for evil.  Plain and simple, you are perpetuating the problem.  So you have a choice:
  1. Vote for evil and perpetuate the problem
  2. Stay home and not vote at all.
  3. Find a 3rd party candidate who best represents you and your ideals.

This year there are two perfectly viable candidates for president who are not Republican or Democrat, and who, represent conservatives and liberals better than the two major parties.

Gary Johnson is from the Libertarian Party.  He’s a former Republican Governor of New Mexico.  I really don’t know much more about him other than he seems to hold up the traditional conservative values without being a lunatic (I’m looking at Trump when I say that.)
You can find out about him at

Jill Stein is the candidate for the Green Party.  If you were a Bernie Sanders supporter, like I was, Stein should make you all kinds of happy because she stands for just about everything that he did.  I like Jill Stein, and I plan to vote for her this November.
You can find out about her at

By throwing my hat in with Jill Stein, am I throwing away my vote on someone who cannot win? Many will say that.  The way I look at it is this.  I am voting my conscience. I am voting the way our founders envisioned our elections.  They didn’t design this system to be a sporting event, all of us sitting in front of the televisions with beer and pizza watching the states fall to blue or red, cheering our side.

Every year I watch Utah turn red with 0% of the returns counted, because Utah is a traditionally Red State.  This year, Mormons just can’t stomach Trump, but without another candidate, they may just stay home, leaving the conservative wack-jobs to vote for Trump.  If my fellow Mormons would just get out and vote for Stein or Johnson, the news outlets wouldn’t know what to do!

Wouldn’t it be great if on election night, the news people called Utah Red, and then later that night had to back off their prediction?  Oh my gosh that would be so awesome!  I would love to see Utah go Green, or whatever color they decide to make the Libertarians.  If it’s going to happen, this is the year to do it.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Enough of the Rah-Rah

The 4th of July is Tomorrow, and this is the one holiday of the year that I do not look forward to in any way.  In fact, for anyone who is not proud to be an American, the 4th of July is downright painful.
And the fact that I’m a Mormon makes it just that much worse.
In the LDS church (in the US, at least) the sunday closest to the 4th is dedicated to talks about the wonderfulness of the USA, patriotic hymns, and the divine origins of the US Constitution.
And while the rest of the congregation seems to be feeling the spirit testify the truthfulness of such statements, I feel nothing.  Nothing at all.  In fact, all I really feel is sadness for the direction that our country has taken.
240 years ago, I’m sure that the men who signed the Declaration of Independence felt a nervous optimism about where this new country would be going in the future.  I’m sure that they never anticipated the corruption that they were actually releasing on the world.
I’m sure that they hoped that there would be no career politicians.  No rich old men and women who would spend most of their lives in Washington selling their votes to the highest bidder; or evil oligarchs (ie Congress) who would care more for the power of their political party than the needs of their constituents.
I’m sure that they would have never expected that the people of this country would play along with Washington corruption, content to wave the flag and support their political party and demonize the opposing party as long as they have a job and food on the table.
Last night, my family stopped at the Riverton City Park to watch the fireworks.  It was a fun time, but all night I sat feeling only contempt for my countrymen cheering the national anthem like it was their team’s fight song.  Cheering the USA as the greatest country on the planet, all evidence to the contrary.
The thing that makes me the most sad, is that, if we as Americans keep cheering our country as the greatest in the world, nothing will ever change for the better.
So on this 4th of July, I’m going to tell my countrymen a few things that I’m sure they do not want to hear.
  1. The USA is a fallen empire.
  2. There is only one thing that the US is the greatest at: Incarceration.
  3. We used to vote people into office who cared about the people more than their own personal power.  That hasn’t happened in a long time.
  4. We are selling our children’s future to the highest bidder by not balancing the national books.
  5. Come this January we are going to have one of two people on the White House.  Who will you be voting for?
    1. The narcissistic criminal
    2. The narcissistic nazi
    3. Does it matter which one we get?
  6. Your freedoms are being taken away, but like the frog in a slowly warming pot of water, you fail to notice.
  7. You no longer live in a democratic republic.  As long as you continue to vote for the incumbents, you will continue to be ruled by an oligarchy.
  8. We have turned our backs on God, and as long as we continue to do so, we will never again be the shining light on the hill to the rest of the world.  Without God, we will only continue to fall into chaos and tyranny.
  9. We all need to wake up and realize that the USA is not the greatest country in the world, but that it could be again, if we just change our thinking.  Stop cheering our side, roll up our sleeves, and get to work changing things.
  10. Nothing will ever change until all primary elections are free and open.  Political parties should never be able to tell citizens who can and cannot vote in their primaries.  It’s just this kind of closed elections that gave us the two presidential candidates that we have.

That’s all I have to say.
Have a safe and happy 4th.
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