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That’s what President Obama said moments ago on global television, but not to make too fine a point, that’s not how he himself was elected President of the U.S. In the last election, my vote in Chicago counted for less than 20% of the value of a vote cast for President in Alaska or Wyoming! Does that sound democratic? I’m not happy about it, as a Chicagoan, and if voters in Alaska (except for Palin) or Wyoming were honest about it, they’d say it wasn’t fair — not democratic.
Why is this so? Because although we elect our mayors, governors, U.S. representatives and senators, etc. through a popular voting system, when it comes to the Presidency, we use an obsolete system that was an 18th century political compromise between true democracy and states rights, in which Presidents were and are indirectly elected by a system that doesn’t accurately reflect the votes of the national population. It’s called the Electoral College, and it flunks the course in true democracy and ought to be changed, before the day our own citizens take to the streets because the wrong President takes office, or at least the one who lost the national election. Yes, I said “another,” because it has happened 4 times already, most recently in 2000, when Bush II received hundreds of thousands fewer votes than the other candidate, but was put into office by the ridiculous Electoral College.
Don’t believe me? Don’t want to see it potentially happen again, either way politically, in 2012 or thereafter, see my other posts or go to http://www.natinalpopularvote.com and get the facts. Why do we talk about “red and blue states?” See my essay, “One Collage Too Many,” under “Roll of Members” on http://www.chilit.org and learn the non-democratic collage of red and blue states should, if honest, be one democratic carpet of purple. Don’t like purple? Ok, call it a green carpet, just so it reflects a democracy in action. Only then will our own U.S. government truly be “grounded in democracy.”
Below is sensational segment of a U.S. Cairo embassy SECRET classified cable to the Secretary of State of 4/4/07 — four years ago! –that predicted a meltdown in Egypt because of rampant corruption related to Mubarak’s son Gamal and his
“cronies.”. The cable was released by Wikileaks on 1/28 this year. It had originally been scheduled for declassification in 2047!
(S) XXXXXXXXXXXX said XXXXXXXXXXXX had commented to him in a recent
private meeting that, “he has had it ‘up to here’ with Gamal
and his cronies, and the tremendous corruption they are
facilitating.” “XXXXXXXXXXXX told me he is having trouble sleeping
at night,” he continued, “and that he cannot stand what has
happened to the country, and what may yet happen to the
country.” Disappointed by the recent constitutional
amendments, and skeptical about the will of either Mubarak or
Gamal to push forward meaningful political reforms, XXXXXXXXXXXX
said he viewed a post-Mubarak military coup as “the best
possible way out for Egypt … we are in a terrible spot, and
that is the best of all the bad options available.” (Note:
XXXXXXXXXXXX provided no further details about a possible coup
scenario, and appeared to simply be theorizing about the
future. To date, we have not heard other interlocutors
speculate about a possible coup option. End note).
206 years after the Rosetta Stone made its way to the British Museum, thanks to a British defeat of Napoleon’s Army in Egypt in 1799, Vicki and I came across it on a spring day there in London, and took this photo of the fabled block of basalt, which had opened the door to 1400 years of previously untranslated ancient Egyptian history. Hieroglyphics, the enigmatically graphic script which recorded the sound of the language of the Pharaohs, had been lost to the world since 400 AD, when Egyptians were no longer able to read or write it. Recording a royal tax decree, the Rosetta Stone, carved in 196 BC, was found by French soldiers embedded in the foundation of an ancient building in Rosetta, Egypt. It contained the same 1600 word tax decree repeated in three languages, 1) hieroglyphics, by then used only by priests, 2) Demotic, the native script in daily use, and, 3) Greek, the language of the land’s administrators. It was eventually realized that the Greek corresponded to the symbols in Hieroglyphic, allowing the archaic language to finally be translated, opening up a window to the culture of that time and place. Egypt has long, unsuccessfully, sought the return of the historic stone.
One day, will there be unearthed some relic or device that acts as a key to open the history of our modern times, so that another race, in another time, can gain perspective on our lives, and learn of our experiences? Let’s hope so.