SHOW AUDIO: kpft_2014-07-16_2200, MOVE TO AMEND
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Welcome to Thinkwing Radio with Mike Honig (@ThinkwingRadio), a listener call-in show (every Wednesday night from 10-11PM CT) on KPFT-FM 90.1 (Houston). My engineer and discussion partner is Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies).
Listen live on the radio or on the internet from anywhere in the world! When the show is live, we take calls at 713-526-5738. (Long distance charges may apply.)
For the purposes of this show, I operate on two mottoes:
- You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts;
- An educated electorate is a prerequisite for a democracy.
GUEST(S): (My guests’ full CV’s are at the bottom of this post.)
- Mike Badzioch is chairman of the Houston Area Move To Amend (HAMTA). After graduating from college he joined VISTA (Volunteers in Service To America) and served in northern Michigan. Over the years, been involved in cancer research at UT/MD Anderson and the World Health Organization. He has been a Peace Corps volunteer, after which he helped start the local organization of Move To Amend in Houston. He spent 2 days at the 2014 Texas Republican State Convention in Dallas, which must offer some karmic credit.
- Ben Ball is a retired executive with Gulf Oil, spent 30 years with Gulf Oil Corporation and retired as Corporate Vice President. he has degrees from MIT and Harvard Business School and done teaching and research at M.I.T. He’s served as a management consultant to corporations and governments worldwide, given expert testimony in dozens of state and federal court cases and before Congress and the United Nations, and served on many prestigious committees.
- Madeleine Crozat-Williamshas lived in Houston since 1973. She is an LSU graduate with BS and PhD degrees in Chemistry. She owns and operates Las Manos Magicas, a gallery specializing in fine Mexican and Guatemalan folk art and fine ethnic jewelry and ethnic textiles. She’s taught Textiles and Visual Merchandising at the University of Houston, and Weaving at Texas Southern. She co-founded the Park Civic Association in the Montrose area. She’s been active with Code Pink, Keystone XL, and Iraq War protests among others, and helped to organize two public hearings, most recently about over-aggressive HPD behavior against demonstrators.
- MOVE TO AMEND and the 28th Amendment to the US Constitution
NOTE: This post is subject to update before and after the show.
Some of the links used for this show are BELOW the break:
SOURCES (Below the break) Not all topics discussed on tonight’s show:
- Houston Area Move To Amend (HAMTA)
- STOP ALEC AND DEFEND OUR DEMOCRACY: Website for details and ALEC information: http://www.ExposeALEC.com
- Ben Ball: www.benball.com
- Senator Jon Tester’s (MT) Constitutional Amendment: Corporations are not ‘people’ (PRESS RELEASE): Text is here
- Read the Sen. Mark Udall Amendment | freespeechforpeople.org
- H.J.Res.29 (The Nolan [MN-08] Amendment) – Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States providing that the rights extended by the Constitution are the rights of natural persons only.
- The People’s Rights Amendment
- America’s Most Dynamic (Yet Under-Covered) Movement: Overturning ‘Citizens United’
- Federal Amendments of the 113th Congress
- Democracy Amendment USA: Organizing an Article V Constitutional Convention Online for Democracy
- Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation of 18 April 1999 (Status as of 3 March 2013)
- Mike Badzioch was born and raised in the Central Valley of California. After graduating from college he joined VISTA and served in northern Michigan where he met his future wife who was also a volunteer. After his term ended he worked as a high school truant officer in Ohio for 5 years before starting graduate studies in Houston. He worked for 12 years at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in studies of familial cancers and became a collaborator in an international consortium for prostate cancer genetics. After completing a fellowship at the cancer research branch of the World Health Organization in Lyon, France, he was at the University of Washington, Seattle, until retiring. From 2010 to 2012, he was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mpumalanga Province, Republic of South Africa. Upon his return he helped start the local organization of Move Move To Amend in Houston. He is currently active in MTA matters and recently completed organizing and staging musical entertainment for World Refugee Day-Houston for their June festival. He spent two days at 2014 Texas State Republican Convention
- Ben Ball was born and raised in Texas, received BS and MS degrees in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and he completed Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. After 30 years service with Gulf Oil Corporation he retired as Corporate Vice President. He then held for 25 years various teaching and research appointments at M.I.T., including that of Adjunct Professor of Management and Engineering and was a member of their Energy Laboratory and Director of their international Integrated Energy Systems Program. As a management consultant, he co-founded The Technology Assessment Group of Schenectady and The Faculty Group of Cambridge, MA. As founder and president of Ball & Associates, for 25 years he served as a management consultant to dozens of corporations and governments worldwide, gave expert testimony in many more dozens of cases in state and federal courts and before the U.S. Congress and the United Nations, and served on committees of the National Academy of Engineering, the United Nations, and the University of Texas Energy Laboratory. He authored or coauthored over 100 publications, including two books, and was a pioneer computer programmer, having written his first computer code in 1957 for the world’s first mass-produced computer. He is a Class A Certified Pistol Coach and in pistol competition is ranked as “Expert.” For over 60 years he taught adult Sunday School in various United Methodist churches, and is certified by the United Methodist Church as an Adult Laboratory Leader. He was a senior faculty member of the Ecumenical Institute of Chicago, is a founding member of the Research Symposium for Christian Resurgence in Century Twenty-one, and is an active member of the Foundation for Contemporary Theology. Several of his woodworking, woodturning, and inlay pieces have won best-in-show in juried exhibits. In duplicate bridge, he is ranked as a Life Master, and he holds Amateur Radio Licence WA3VTX. Helen, his wife of 57 years, died in 2007; he now lives in Sugar Land near the homes of his three daughters and their families. He has traveled extensively to all seven continents and all five oceans, in the last few years having visited Europe, North and East Africa, the Sea of Cortez, Antarctica, the St. Lawrence River, India, the Lewis and Clark Trail and the Rio Grande by horseback and canoe, the South Pacific, and completed a trans-Mediterranean/trans-Atlantic cruise from Cairo to The Barbados. He recently visited the Galapagos, Machu Picchu, and the rain forest surrounding the source of the Amazon, followed by a transit of the Indian Ocean and the Arabian and Red Seas, from Singapore to Aqaba, Jordan, visiting on the way Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, U.A.E., Oman, Eritrea, and Egypt. This spring he transited the Panama Canal and visited Great Britain and France. Now, at age 86, he swims daily and continues to actively pursue all of his interests, to which he has recently added weaving–having built his own looms–politics, and an appreciation of the arts. – June 16, 2014
- Madeleine Crozat-Williams was born in New Orleans and lived there until attending LSU for her BS and PhD degrees in Chemistry. She has lived in Houston since 1973. She was a textile and mixed media artist for years and taught Textiles and Visual Merchandising at the University of Houston and Weaving at Texas Southern University in the mid to late 1980’s. Since the early 1990’s, she has owned and operated Las Manos Magicas, a folk art gallery specializing in fine Mexican and Guatemalan folk art and fine ethnic jewelry and ethnic textiles. She has been involved in many areas of activism since the 1980’s. She was a co-founder of the Park Civic Association (and their citizens’ patrol) in the Montrose area, which formed because of the high incidence of drug dealing and prostitution which resulted from the severe economic downturn of the area. As the Iraq War began, she became one of the leaders of Code Pink in Houston and was an organizer of many of their antiwar protests. She helped to organize two public hearings – one in Montrose in the late 1980’s and one about over-aggressive HPD behavior towards protesters in the rally against Halliburton at the beginning of the Iraqi War. Currently, She is active both with Houston Area Move to Amend and with groups opposing the Keystone XL and other tar sands pipeline.
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. . . Call-in KPFT subscriber and GP-TX member Alán Alán Apurim described the concept that, since money is believed to strongly support campaigns, monetary contributions are, in effect, equivalent to votes for a candidate, and unequal contributions means some “voters” get to vote more times than others, and prior to the official election. He supports the concept of a tax-supported equally shared pool of money made available to qualified registered candidates, as the only legal source of campaign contributions, as not only PACS, lobbyists, “special interests,” corporations, and any other collective source of money or “in-kind” contributions would be illegal, but personal contributions or use of direct funding by individuals (including the candidates and their families) as well. All campaign contributions would be shared equally by all campaigns.
. . . The antiquated “Electoral College” should be totally abolished; direct national popular vote should be the sole determinant of Presidential selections. But reform of the corrupted system should go much further.
. . . First, we should make the USA a Democracy. I know, we’ve been lied to since birth to believe “America is the greatest democracy.” It is no such thing, it is a Republic. Look to Switzerland for an example of democracy: http://www.admin.ch/ch/e/rs/1/101.en.pdf The site provides an English translation of a truly democratic country that has existed for hundreds of years longer than the USA (compare the Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation of 18 April 1999 to our own constitution to see how much more comprehensive and modern it is; although neither directly addresses the problem of inequality in campaign financing). Study the downloadable PDF from The above link — note Article 6, Article 73, and those under Title 4 beginning with Article 136, as unique examples.
. . . American electoral campaigns should be publicly funded through taxation and general-purpose contributions, and registered eligible candidates would equally share a portion of their electoral competition’s pool of money, their campaigns thereafter would decide how to spend it. Licensed print and broadcast media would be required (as a public service) to make free time available equally to all candidates, but the lost campaign-ad revenue would more than be made up by advertisements bought by the corporations and special interests trying to persuade the public to approve; no more secret “backroom deals” would be allowed and all arguments would be out in the open (transparency and accountability). For more study http://PhoenixProjectFoundation.US for real solutions to employment, ecology, energy, and needed 21st-Century U.S. Constitutional amendments.
The simply worded DEMOCRACY AMENDMENT:
. . . “We the People hereby empower the majority of American Citizens
to approve all Federal legislation, Presidential executive orders,
and any Judicial decisions that impact the majority of citizens.”
. . . Consider the power of the above 28-word 28th “Democracy Amendment”: The elected legislators would merely be civil servants to design and write proposed legislation, but would NOT vote on it … the bills would be posted on the Web and using a double-blind encrypted verification, certified voters would be enabled to vote on the legislation, and would receive a printable verification of their vote (the vote-counting program would verify the vote was received one-time from the voter, without naming who it was to those on the counting end of the process). Even if one half of one percent voted on any one bill, that would still be thousands more eyes reading and considering its merits than presently do in Congress. There would be a time limit for each bill to be voted on (I suggest two months for most legislation, but a week for emergency measures such as funding disaster relief) as bills are posted throughout the year while Congress is in session. Voting for candidates to elective office, typically an annual late-year event, would be entirely different than voting on legislation and referendums, which would go on throughout the year as described above.
. . . See website https://DemocracyAmendmentUSA.net and its top-of-page link to an easily printed PDF of a petition to the state government for a Constitutional Convention.
. . . To those who say ordinary citizens are not educated or experienced enough to make decisions on national and state legislation, consider that our country was founded escape the rule of kings, and evolved, to eliminate the elitism (of male-only land-owners, and through unions and women’s suffrage, the end of poll-taxes, etc.) to include all adults (even felons who have “done their time” are now getting the right-to-vote restored). So, have educational debates, but trust the voters, not a privileged elite, to approve legislation.
. . . The system is broken. Let’s construct a new arena. As R. Buckminster Fuller said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”