How I Vote

I vote for principles, not individuals. People are fallible, but principles are enduring.
I vote for democracy, a word not heard from the "leader of the free world" for four years.
I vote for decency and human respect, which have deteriorated in our country to unprecedented levels. 
I vote to resurrect the American dream based on belief in the dignity of every human being regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or background.
I vote to restore the economy and economic opportunity for working people who struggle day to day.
I vote for freedom of speech and thought, once championed by a political party that now has become a cult which says and does what it is told.
I vote to restore science, because ignoring it has led to over 200,000 deaths in our country and environmental deterioration.
I vote for a woman’s right to choose what is best for herself with her doctor.
I vote to restore international cooperation to overcome the effects of climate change, to work together…

Herd Mentality

On September, 15, 2020, during a televised town hall, President Donald Trump stated that the best way to defeat Covid-19 is to establish "herd mentality." He probably meant to say “herd immunity” but couldn’t think of the words. Looking at his history, “herd mentality” is clearly what he most believes in.
For his entire career Trump has expected those who follow him to fall in line, regardless of the validity of his views or statements. His inability to listen and work with others has led to a career plagued by failures and bankruptcies. Only those willing to put aside their ideas of what is right and wrong or what is true and false have earned themselves a place on his team.Trump creates a false narrative about what is real that his followers believe while ignoring his moral and leadership shortcomings. America actually is worse off under his watch. These include the environment, education, the economy and health. Wildfires and floods have increased due to climate change de…

Only You Can Prevent Voter Suppression

My wife and I have just spent an hour at the kitchen table, writing postcards to total strangers. We are two of thousands of people in this election season doing the same. Many of you will know the drill. We write to tell people that they may have been purged from the voter rolls and how to reregister to vote. We write to provide information about early voting. We write to inform about upcoming primaries. We try to inspire, as much as hastily written postcards from unknown writers can. “Your vote is your voice!” “The November election is crucial!” We punctuate with exclamation marks!We’re volunteers with Reclaim Our Vote, but we could also be working for Swing Left, Vote Forward,[1] and many other organizations[2] that write postcards and letters, make calls, text, all with the aim of encouraging voter turnout. It sounds like a grand success story for our democracy: voter-to-voter contact to get people to participate in that most democratic of all institutions.But it also reveals our…

California’s Use of Force Law Offers Hope of Reducing Police Killing

The cornerstone of our constitutional democracy is the principle that no person can be deprived of life or liberty without due process of law. As the events of recent weeks have confirmed, there is no greater threat to due process than the arbitrary use of lethal force by the police; no clearer gap between the ideal and reality of our democracy than the police’s needless killing of George Floyd and so many other black and brown men and women. A number of proposals to reform, defund, and even abolish the police are being currently debated. This post will discuss one recent change in California law concerning police use of lethal force that could make a difference.

California in August 2019 changed its lethal force standard. Previously, in California, police officers were justified in using deadly force if a “reasonable” officer could have acted a similar way, following US Supreme Court precedent. Only if they failed to meet this reasonableness standard could they be criminally prosecut…