How the U.S. Constitution Amendment process works.

To abolish the Electoral College used in Presidential Elections would require a Constitutional Amendment.

The Constitution provides that an amendment may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures. None of the 27 amendments to the Constitution have been proposed by constitutional convention. The Congress proposes an amendment in the form of a joint resolution. Since the President does not have a constitutional role in the amendment process, the joint resolution does not go to the White House for signature or approval. The original document is forwarded directly to NARA’s Office of the Federal Register (OFR) for processing and publication. The OFR adds legislative history notes to the joint resolution and publishes it in slip law format. The OFR also assembles an information package for the States which includes formal “red-line” copies of the joint resolution, copies of the joint resolution in slip law format, and the statutory procedure for ratification under 1 U.S.C. 106b.

The Archivist submits the proposed amendment to the States for their consideration by sending a letter of notification to each Governor along with the informational material prepared by the OFR. The Governors then formally submit the amendment to their State legislatures or the state calls for a convention, depending on what Congress has specified. In the past, some State legislatures have not waited to receive official notice before taking action on a proposed amendment. When a State ratifies a proposed amendment, it sends the Archivist an original or certified copy of the State action, which is immediately conveyed to the Director of the Federal Register. The OFR examines ratification documents for facial legal sufficiency and an authenticating signature. If the documents are found to be in good order, the Director acknowledges receipt and maintains custody of them. The OFR retains these documents until an amendment is adopted or fails, and then transfers the records to the National Archives for preservation.

A proposed amendment becomes part of the Constitution as soon as it is ratified by three-fourths of the States (38 of 50 States). When the OFR verifies that it has received the required number of authenticated ratification documents, it drafts a formal proclamation for the Archivist to certify that the amendment is valid and has become part of the Constitution. This certification is published in the Federal Register and U.S. Statutes at Large and serves as official notice to the Congress and to the Nation that the amendment process has been completed.

Oath

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Trump has not done this……..Biden will.

US Presidential Election

After 4 years of lies, corruption, denial of climate change, tax non payment and many other calumnies, 72 million Americans still voted for Trump to nearly 78 million for Biden. I find this extraordinary that almost half the U.S. population still support a man who has shown absolute disregard for the Constitution. It is quite alarming and it makes you wonder if the U.S. can survive as a democracy without another civil war.

Another issue is with the people of Kentucky. They have reelected Mitch McConnell who has supported Trump and made the Republican Party, the old party of Lincoln, the party of Trump. It is example of putting party before country and demagoguery before rationality. Same for South Carolina reelecting Lindsey Graham for the same reason.

It is fascinating to note that P.M. Johnson in the U.K. who clearly supported Trump on whom he models himself is now experiencing some important changes at 10 Downing Street. Two advisors to Johnson who are prominent Leavers, are departing number 10 – Lee Cain, Director of Communications and Dominic Cummings, Senior Advisor. One wonders if this is anything to do with the election of Biden and the changes that will occur in relation to Brexit and in particular Northern Ireland.

Apple One

Apple One is being introduced today. It provides for one monthly fee for many of the services offered by Apple as follows:

Individual

Music
TV+
Arcade
iCloud 50GB

£14.95 p.m.

saving £5.80 p.m

Family (may be shared with up to 5 people)

Music
TV+
Arcade
iCloud 200GB

£19.95 p.m.

saving of £7.50 p.m.

Premier (may be shared with up to 5 people)

Music
TV+
Arcade
iCloud 2TB
News +
Fitness + (coming late 2020)

£29.95 p.m.

saving £22.00 p.m.

A great letter to a Conservative MP

Anthony Mangnall M.P.

House of Commons

London SW1A 0AA                                                                  26 October 2020

Dear Mr Mangnall

I’m writing this open letter to you in reply to yours of 27 July 2020, which reprimands me for calling Brexit out as a “resurgence of the disease of fascism”.  

Be in no doubt: that’s exactly what Brexit is. The case is not yet terminal, for sure, but the disease advances daily and the patient is now seriously ill.

As you may know, the institutions that became the EU were founded in the ashes of World War 2, to put an end to centuries of conflict among the states of Europe. In leaving this highly successful peace project, the UK has embraced a dangerous right-wing nationalism of just the kind that characterizes fascist projects.  

Like fascism, Brexit is two things that never work: isolationist and populist. Its isolationism is plain to see, as we face a hard Brexit that severs us from virtually every EU institution that connects us with our neighbours and builds our shared lives, work and culture. Its populism is more difficult to define but a central feature, in my view, is the making of big promises that are superficially appealing but cannot be delivered because they are based on lies. Indeed, as in all fascist projects, Brexit’s outcomes will be the opposite of what was promised: we were told we would “take back control” but in fact we will lose it, as we can no longer influence policy making in Brussels and Strasbourg and will be increasingly humiliated by the major global powers – the USA, China and Russia. (For an early taste of this, watch a Biden-led White House spurn the UK’s “mini-Trump”, castigate his threat to the Good Friday agreement and place us at the back of the queue for a trade deal.) Again, we were promised a “global Britain” but instead we are likely to face the death of the UK as Scotland votes for independence and Northern Ireland rejoins the republic. In 1930s Germany it was the same: the promise was national supremacy, but what was delivered, in 1945, was national defeat, destruction and disgrace. 

Like all populist projects, Brexit is highly divisive, appealing to only a proportion of the people. And as in Germany, that proportion will end up falling out of love with the project, because, being based on lies, it will fail. In the UK, polls already show a strengthening majority for Remain/Re-join. Brexit is now extremely unpopular among young people. The only crumb of comfort one can derive from this disaster is that, once the fantasies that brought us Brexit have crashed and burned, the young will return us to the European fold. In the meantime, those who cherish our country’s traditional values of moderation and pragmatism must mourn their betrayal and hang our heads in shame at what our country has become.

To distract attention from its failure, the project rounds on scapegoats. In 1930s Germany it was the Jews, Communists, the disabled, homosexuals and gypsies whom the people were taught to hate. In today’s UK, Mr Johnson and his pro-Brexit ministers blame anyone but themselves for the mess they are making – Remainers, the Lords, the Commons, the media, the judiciary and, most of all of course, the EU itself. Racist attacks and abuse have multiplied since the 2016 referendum, often at the prompting of government or its backers on the far right. A recent knife attack at a London law firm is alleged to have been directly motivated by the Home Secretary’s claim that “activist lawyers” were frustrating the removal of migrants.

In fascist projects, ideology always trumps pragmatism – and the real interests of the country and its people are sacrificed in the relentless pursuit of the dream. Those who sold us Brexit sold us the lie that the EU and its institutions were holding us back, that without them we would prosper. The exact opposite is true: under none of the government’s economic scenarios will we be better off out of the EU than we are in it; inward investment has fallen off a cliff since 2016; jobs and companies were already disappearing in the run-up to our January exit, a trend accelerated by the pandemic. The government’s refusal to extend the transition period during a global public health crisis shows its contempt for business people – a contempt epitomized by Mr Johnson’s “Fuck business” retort of two years ago.

Also characteristic of fascism is the government’s wanton cruelty to the poor and vulnerable. The “hostile environment” that led to the scandalous treatment of the Windrush generation persists, as the government threatens increasing numbers of asylum seekers with eviction and deportation during the second wave of the pandemic, a move described by one charity as “reckless and irresponsible”. Tory MPs, you included, have also refused to honour the UK’s commitment to child refugees. And now you have voted to deprive hungry school children of a daily meal during the Christmas holidays. It’s their parents’ fault they’re hungry, right?  

Corruption, law breaking and authoritarianism are further hallmarks of fascism. With every passing day the government wades deeper into all three.

Using the pandemic as cover, ministers have awarded numerous contracts to their friends without a proper bidding process, wasting billions in taxpayers’ money. The most notorious example is the national track and trace system, a catastrophic failure run by a woman with no experience in public health whose husband is the UK’s anti-corruption champion! Law breaking characterized both Leave campaigns and in a functioning democracy the results of the 2016 referendum would have been disqualified. Mr Johnson broke national law when he prorogued Parliament last autumn; now he proposes breaking international law by tearing up the Withdrawal Agreement he hailed as a triumph less than 9 months ago. Revenge against those who stand against him is promised: attacks on the BBC and Channel 4 will undermine our freedom of speech; attacks on the judiciary, especially the Supreme Court, will sabotage our rights under the law. Most worryingly, on 5 October the government passed the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill, which enables a wide range of state actors to commit crimes, including torture and murder, for ill-defined purposes that include “preventing disorder”. Unless reversed, this slide into authoritarianism could sound the death knell for our already broken democracy.

During its early stages, fascism is seldom recognized for what it is by either the people or their rulers. It’s a creeping disease, a characteristic that makes it doubly dangerous. For what starts as a joke – a little poking of fun at a minority, a little bending of the truth in newspaper articles about bendy bananas – can, if unchecked, progress, through the erosion of rights and freedoms and the unleashing of hatred, to a final act played out in the darkness of the death camp.

We aren’t there yet and you may think it sounds fanciful to say that one day soon we could be. But that is the truth: those who witnessed Germany’s descent into fascism in the 1930s testify to the frightening speed at which it happened. If you see the signs of the disease yet say in disbelief, “It couldn’t happen here”, you are guilty of an enabling complacency. Remember Burke’s dictum that, for evil to triumph, it is sufficient only that good people should do nothing.

In leaving the EU, the UK has placed itself in the vanguard of the fascist revival taking place across Europe and the world. That is no place for our country to be, and history will condemn us for going there.

Mr Mangnall, you and your fellow MPs must turn back from this project while you still can.

Best regards

Simon Chater

5G

The emphasis Apple have put on the new iPhone 12 phones was very much 5G.

5G is available in the U.K. but not everywhere yet. If you plan on buying a 5G phone either an Apple or another manufacturer’s phone you are advised to do the following:

  1. Check online to see where it is available with your chosen provider – EE, O2, Vodafone or Three.
  2. Check when it is likely to be available where you live if it is not already available.

I live in Devon and it is certainly not available there yet.

So if you are in the market for a new mobile, you need to decide it 5G is on for you or decide whether to wait for another year to see if it is more established. It will likely take a year or two to become as plentiful as 4G is. If you live in a rural area it may not become available at all. If you decide to wait the iPhone 11 models will suit you as they are now cheaper than before due to the arrival of the iPhone 12. Having said that, the 12’s do have some improvements and they will be future proofed when 5G does come your way.

5G will eventually replace WiFi as it is extremely fast.

For your information the main Virtual Mobile Networks that piggyback on the 4 major networks are as follows:

ASDA Mobile uses the EE network
BT Mobile uses EE
giffgaff uses O2
Plusnet Mobile uses EE
Sky Mobile uses O2
TalkTalk Mobile uses O2
Tesco Mobile uses O2
The Phone Coop uses EE
Virgin Mobile uses EE
Network Rail uses all the networks – EE, O2, Vodafone and Three.

EE is owned by BT as is Plusnet
O2 and giffgaff are owned by Telefonica of Spain

iPhone 12 announcements plus…..

Apple introduced 4 new iPhones today.

iPhone 12: available in Black, White, Product Red, Green. Blue. 6.1″ screen. 5G. from £799. Order Oct 16 available Oct 23

iPhone 12 Mini: 5.4″ screen. from £699. Order Nov 6 available Nov 13

iPhone 12 Pro: 6.1″ screen. from £999. Order Oct 16 available Oct 23

iPhone 12 Pro Max: 6.7″ screen. from £1099. Order Nov 6 available Nov 13

Also introduced was a HomePod Mini at just £99.

Presidential Election

The U.S. Presidential Election occurs on November 3, 2020.

Due to the Pandemic, it is quite likely that there will be a huge number of postal votes. These votes must bear the signature of the person voting otherwise the ballot could be discounted.

This election could create huge problems with lawyers challenging votes and people taking to the streets to support their candidate.

Trump has already said if he trails in the vote he will say it is a fix and will challenge. In other words unless Biden wins by a large amount of votes and gets enough Electoral College votes, Trump will not accept the results. The Electoral College has the votes by States equal to that States’ number of Congressmen plus its two Senators. Thus California has 55 votes whereas Montana has just three votes.

If neither candidate gets enough Electoral College votes to win (270 needed), the Constitution requires the House of Representatives to select the President and the Senate the Vice President.

Under the Constitution, each STATE delegation in the House gets 1 vote. If States with an equal distribution of Democrats and Republicans, Biden and Trump may not succeed in getting the 26 votes required. The House becomes deadlocked.

The Senate can choose the Vice President by simple majority vote which has a Republican majority.

If the House is deadlocked when Trump’s term expires on January 20, the line of succession kicks in and either Pence or Harris become President. With this Senate that would be Pence.

THIS IS WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT EVERYONE VOTES EARLY AND REMEMBERS TO SIGN THEIR POSTAL VOTES SO THEY ARE NOT CHALLENGED.

We know already that Putin wants his puppet Trump re-elected and the Russians will do what they can to mess things up.

Ignorance of the Holocaust

A study of young Americans has shown some terrifying results about the Holocaust.

  • 23% says it’s a myth or exaggerated
  • 10% don’t think it happened
  • 12% had never heard of it
  • 11% think the Jews were responsible
  • 63% are unaware that 6 million Jews perished

Adults between 18 and 39 (48%) could not name a single concentration camp or ghetto in the second world war.

These facts are astonishing and very disturbing.

Arbeit macht frei – work makes you free – a big lie at Auschwitz
The train would bring those who were to be gassed through this gate at Birkenau
Memorial stone at Auschwitz
Zyklon B cannisters used at Auschwitz to gas people
The cattle cars that bought those be gassed at Auschwitz-Birkenau

On the 16th October 2019, I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oświęcim near Krakow, Poland. It is a place that will haunt me for the rest of my life.

On the 12th October 2019 I was in Berlin and visited the part of Berlin called Wanssee and the house where the Final Solution was planned by a group of highly educated men

Wansseekonferenzhaus

The highly educated men were Reinhard Heydrich, Otto Hofmann, Heinrich Müller, Adolf Eichmann, Martin Luther, Erich Neumann, Wilhelm Kritzinger and Drs. Roland Freisler, Josf Bühler, Alfred Meyer, Wilhelm Stuckart, Rudolf Lange, Eberhard Schöngarth, Georg Leibbrandt, Gerhard Klopfer.

It is truly alarming this ignorance as the right wing in several countries are on the rise so could genocide once again be inflicted on the human race?