Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Why You Shouldn't Believe Poll Numbers

Why You Shouldn't Believe Poll Numbers
by Angela Smith, HEAL Coordinator

The Commission on Presidential Debates requires that candidates receive 15% in five different national polls in order to qualify.  The polls they are relying on in the 2016 election are: ABC/Washington Post, CBS/New York Times, CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, Fox News, and NBC/Wall Street Journal.(1)  ABC/Washington Post based their poll results on a total of 1002 respondents of which only 647 were "likely voters" in the 2016 election.(2)  CBS/New York Times based their poll results on a total of 1753 respondents of which only 1433 were registered or likely voters.(3)  CNN/Opinion Research Corporation based their poll results on a total of 1001 respondents of which only 886 were registered or likely voters.(4)  Fox News based their poll results on a total of 1006 respondents, all of whom were registered voters, and 867 which responded they would likely vote in November.(5)  NBC/Wall Street Journal based their poll results on a total of 1000 respondents, all of whom were registered voters.(6)  That means a total of 5762 people were polled and are deciding who is permitted to participate in the 2016 presidential debates.  That's a lot of power for those 5762 respondents and seemingly undemocratic. 

There were 129,100,000 voters in the 2012 general election.(7)  And, 5762 is .00446% of all voters.  "The larger your sample size, the more sure you can be that their answers truly reflect the population."(8)  The average of the 5 poll numbers for Green Party Candidate Jill Stein provided by the outlets relied upon by the Commission on Presidential Debates is based on the response of 5762 people total and averages 3.2% and the poll questions are skewed to favor the two major parties.(9)  A local Pennsylvania Fox News poll that sampled over 77,000 respondents (over 10 times the aggregate of the 5 "official polls") showed Jill Stein winning in a landslide with 85% of the vote.(10)  An NBC poll that sampled 69,823 respondents (again, over 10 times the aggregate of the 5 "official polls") showed Jill Stein coming in second to Trump with 19% of the vote.(11)  Based on a rudimentary understanding of statistics, it would seem that the polls with ten times more respondents would provide a more accurate result.

Now, let's just say all the polls are unreliable because they do not provide a sample size effective to determine the true position of most voters in the United States.  When you look at the Brexit debacle in the United Kingdom versus the polls leading up to that vote, you can see polls really are not valid indicators regarding voter sentiment.(12)  If we take our total referenced polls in this article, which is 7, and say 2 show Jill Stein winning or coming in 2nd, then you have 2 out of 7 with any arguable accuracy.  2/7 = 1/3.5 which is close to the 1/3 number of polls whose numbers correlated with the actual result of the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom.  But, there are flaws with this reasoning, so let's agree to throw out all polls.

Now that we have no polls, how do we determine who is likely to win in the 2016 general election?  Well, let's take a look at Facebook "likes" of all four candidates.  We could consider Twitter "follows" and Facebook "likes", but, many people "follow" people on Twitter for reasons that have nothing to do with supporting the people "followed".  So, examining Facebook "likes" may provide a better basis for making any determinations.

On the official campaign pages on Facebook, the breakdown on September 25th, 2016 is: Jill Stein has 576,617 "likes", Gary Johnson has 1,534,003 "likes", Donald Trump has 10,800,664 "likes", and Hillary Clinton has 6,156,232 "likes".   If we base our "poll results" solely on Facebook official "likes", we work from the aggregate total of 19,067,516 "likes".  Based on Facebook likes out of all possible likes, we have Stein at 3.02%, Johnson at 8.04%, Trump at 56.46%, and Clinton at 32.28%.  Calculating with the Facebook numbers alone, it would only represent 14.76% of voters and only if all "likes" were doled out "one per customer" and represented actual or "likely" voters in the 2016 election.  The total number of users of Facebook in the US is 162,900,000.  7,500,000 Facebook users are 13 or under.(13)  There are 25,000,000 teens aged 12 to 17 in US.(14)  And, 73% (or 18,250,000) of 12 to 17 year olds use Facebook.(15)  So, we can subtract 25,750,000 from the total number of Facebook users in the US to get the number of voting age users (18 and older) and that total is 137,150,000 which is more voting age users of Facebook than people who voted in the 2012 general election.  In 2012, only 7.3% of Facebook users reported "voting".(16)    7.3%  could be read as 7.3% of all voters given that more US adults are on Facebook than voted in 2012.  And, I'm sure you can see why even this gets tricky and wouldn't result in truly comprehensive and accurate statistics or poll results.  But, it seems on its face more plausible than the polls we are supposed to "respect" and rely on.  But, is it really?  Or, should we ignore these statistics as well?

The fast food chain McDonald's has 67,160,654 Facebook "likes".(17)  The fast food chain Burger King has 7,905,567 "likes".(18)  This makes the total "likes" of both chains on any given day 75,066,221.  And, McDonald's receives 89.5% of those total "likes" with Burger King receiving 10.5% of those total "likes".  Based on these numbers, one might assume that McDonald's is 89.5% more likely to be the restaurant of choice of most fast food consumers when choosing between Burger King and McDonald's.  McDonald's has 36,525 locations world wide.(19)  McDonald's serves 68 million customers per day.(20)  Burger King had between 13,667 in 2013 and now reportedly has over 15,000 locations worldwide.(21)  Burger King claims 11 million customers per day.(22)  Now, based on customers served alone, it shows that about 86% of consumers prefer McDonald's to Burger King.  But, Burger King has approximately 41% of the number of locations when compared to McDonald's.  And, based on the numbers it would appear each Burger King location serves an average of 733 people per day.  Each McDonald's location serves an average of 1861 people per day.  If you add the total number of people served each day at any given location at both restaurants, you get 2594 total customers served per day.  Based on a side by side comparison of consumers per restaurant per day, Burger King receives roughly 28% of the total customers per restaurant per day and McDonald's receives 72% of the total customers per restaurant per day.  So, the Facebook "likes" do not provide an accurate picture of the true favorability based on consumer behavior when analyzed through existing factual data.  In fact, the facts show that Burger King is nearly three times as favorable, receiving 28% of the consumer support than is reflected in the Facebook "likes" analysis. 

What if we looked at each of the candidates based solely on small individual donor contributions to their presidential campaigns?  Would that give a more accurate idea of the voter support for each of the four 2016 presidential candidates?  Hillary Clinton has received $70,714,091 (19% of her total contributions) in small individual donor contributions.(23)  Donald Trump has received $48,353,930 (29% of his total contributions) in small individual donor contributions.(24)  Gary Johnson has received $5,534,943 (70% of his total contributions) in small individual donor contributions.(25)  And, Jill Stein has received $1,134,508 (60% of her total contributions) in small individual donor contributions.(26)  This gives us an aggregate total, of all small individual donor contributions to all four candidates, of $125,737,472.  This gives Hillary Clinton roughly 56% of the individual donor financial support.  This gives Donald Trump roughly 38% of the individual donor financial support.  This gives Gary Johnson roughly 4% of the individual donor financial support.  And, it gives Jill Stein roughly 1-2% of the individual donor financial support.  Do these results reflect election results?

In the 2012 general election, President Barack Obama received 65,918,507  (51.01%) total votes and Republican Nominee Mitt Romney received 60,934,407 (47.15%) total votes.  Gary Johnson received 1,275,923 (0.99%) total votes.  And, Jill Stein received 469,015 (0.36%) total votes.(27)  Now, what did their political contributions look like in 2012 in small donor contributions? 

President Barack Obama raised $234,388,190 in small individual donor contributions in 2012.  Mitt Romney received $80,058,900 in small individual contributions in the 2012 election.(28)  Gary Johnson raised a total of $780,345 in small individual contributions in the 2012 election.(29)  And, Jill Stein raised a total of $319,221 in small individual contributions in the 2012 election.(30)   The aggregate total of all donations to all four candidates in 2012 was $315,546,656.  This gave President Obama roughly 74% of the small individual donor contributions total.  This gave Mitt Romney roughly 25% of the small individual donor contributions total.  This gave Gary Johnson roughly 0.25% of the small individual donor contributions total.  And, this gave Jill Stein roughly 0.10% of the small individual donor contributions total.  But, as shown above, President Obama received 51.01% of the vote, not 74% as the donations to his campaign might otherwise suggest.  Mitt Romney received 47.15% of the vote, not the 25% donations to his campaign would suggest.  Gary Johnson received 0.99% of the vote, not 0.25% which donations to his campaign would suggest.  And, Jill Stein received 0.36% of the vote, not the 0.10% that donations to her campaign would suggest. 

Based on the above, we have Clinton receiving about 1/3 of the donations that President Barack Obama received in the 2012 election cycle, and he was an incumbent.  And, Donald Trump receiving about 2/3 of the donations that Mitt Romney received in the 2012 election.  Gary Johnson has received roughly 700% more donations than he received in 2012.  And, Jill Stein has received roughly 355% more donations than she received in 2012.  While the Democrats and Republicans have lost between 1/3 and 2/3s of their overall support, the third parties have grown their support exponentially.  Of course, this is based on current numbers available in the 2016 election and these numbers may change throughout the election cycle.

What does any of this mean?  Well, even an intelligent person trying to find the true and accurate percentage of voters supporting any individual candidate based on available objective data will find predicting the outcome of any election very difficult and the true percentage of voters backing any particular candidate virtually impossible until election day. 

As voters and citizens, we are responsible for electing government officials who represent us domestically and globally.  For the majority of us, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump do not represent our domestic nor international interests.  We should demand a working democracy that includes all candidates, who are on enough ballots to win the election, be included in any scheduled general election debates.  We can achieve that by getting independent and third parties to 5% (or more) of the votes in the general election.  The polls are biased and rigged.  So, our only choice to save democracy is to vote third-party and ignore the lies our media tells us about what our choices are and whether we have the power to change that.  We do! 


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Don't Trust The Pen/The Peace Team: Establishment Masquerading as Independent

Don't Trust The Pen/The Peace Team: Establishment Masquerading as Independent
by Angela Smith, HEAL Coordinator

On Sunday, September 18th, 2016, I received an e-mail from is a project of The Pen.  The mailing address for both is PO Box 35022, Los Angeles, CA 90035.  According to online resources, The Pen is an organization for independent voters who do not support establishment politics and parties.

I've been receiving e-mails from The Pen for many years and have participated in many of their action alerts.  In addition, they claim contributors such as Glenn Greenwald on their website.  But, they are not a registered organization in California and have no publicly recognized leadership.  They do not in any way identify themselves.

In researching this organization today, I ran a search for the phone numbers attributed to The Peace Team and The Pen.  The Pen claims the phone number 1.310.494.0114 and that number appears to belong to Dean Larson of Santa Monica, CA.  I could find no detailed information about Dean Larson's association with The Pen.  The Peace Team claims the phone number 1.202.403.0766 and that number appears to belong to Kermit Farley of Washington DC.  I could find no detailed information about Kermit Farley's association with The Peace Team.

As of now, I have no idea who The Pen or The Peace Team is nor why they would endorse Hillary Clinton and spread fallacious propaganda for her campaign. 

In their e-mail (provided in its entirety below), they said the following:

"Yesterday we told you the Jill presidential run was effectively over... Show us the campaign infrastructure where the Greens can get a dog catcher elected."

Well, today I received multiple Green Party and Jill Stein for President email updates and the campaign is still growing and going strong.  So, the first sentence I provide above is clearly a lie.  The second sentence requesting information on whether the Greens have ever run a successful campaign winning any election in the US, is easily answered.  There are over 100 elected Green Party officials throughout the US right now.  Source:  And, in order to get federal election funding for third parties, we the people have to help them reach 5% of the vote in the general election.  Then, they will qualify for federal funding which will aid in getting more Greens and Independents elected going forward.  This is why it is imperative for strong third parties like the Greens and the Libertarians to run and as imperative that we vote for them and work to get their numbers where they need to be for inclusion and resources in future elections.  Source:  So, both of the sentences from The Pen above are not reasonable, not factual, and quite honestly made me lose all respect for The Pen and anything they have to say.

But, that wasn't all...  The Pen also wrote:

" We've got people yelling at us that the last message was not supportive enough of Hillary, and just as many people yelling at us that it was too supportive of Hillary. Which we suppose actually tells us we struck about the right balance, when we said we were very unhappy with Clinton, but that we had no choice but to hold our nose for her . . . enthusiastically."

So, here we have the organization claiming to be Independent whose symbol is:

And, these "independents" are telling us our only option this election is Hillary Clinton.  It would appear that The Pen and The Peace Team are front groups for the establishment trying to manipulate independent voters into supporting Hillary Clinton.  And, just like Clinton, they are willing to lie, distort the facts, and use insulting rhetoric to abuse Jill Stein supporters while propping up Clinton and throwing a slight nod of approval to Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Candidate.

Based on this, I will personally no longer support The Pen nor The Peace Team.  I believe they are an astroturf group likely lying about their association with Glenn Greenwald or that they have duped him as they did me for years with their diversionary campaigns and rhetoric.  Be careful who you trust.  Be careful who you support.  And, check everyone and everything out thoroughly before backing individuals and organizations intent on misleading you and destroying your political strategy with front groups for the establishment.

Sources/References [not included above]:

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On 9/18/2016 7:31 PM, The Pen wrote:

Dear Angela, 
We have a message for the haters we hear from every day. If it does 
not apply to you, for CRYING out loud don't take it personally. 
We're talking about the Hillary supporters who hate both Jill and 
We're talking about the Jill supporters who hate both Hillary and 
Bernie (calling him a sellout) 
We're talking about the Bernie supporters who hate both Jill and 
Where is the end of all this hatred? 
We'll cut to the chase and tell you where this all leads . . . 
President Donald J. Trump the Fraud, the biggest hater of them all. 
We gave you the magic answer before the Democratic convention, but 
you would not hear it. 
When it became obvious to us that Bernie had fallen short, that 
Hillary had an insurmountable lead in the pledged delegate counts, we 
did an action page calling for Bernie to be tapped for the VP slot. 
The strategic solution was painfully obvious to us, and should have 
been likewise to anyone who actually wanted to win on policy. 
Everybody now is asking how Hillary can get the millenials behind her 
and nobody has an answer. 
That's Bernie's core base. With him on the ticket, the Democrats win 
the young vote, they win the change vote, they win it all including 
the Senate majority and possibly the House as well. No matter how 
passionately Bernie pleads with them to get behind someone else it's 
not even close to the same thing. The team of their respective bases 
would have been unbeatable. 
But NOooooooo . . . 
What was the response to our Bernie for VP action page? Abuse, 
yelling, condemnation, and people telling us to just shut up. 
We tried at least two more times to generate interest in the Bernie 
for VP action, same response, never got any real traction at all. Not 
that the knucklehead so-called strategists with the Clinton campaign 
would have been especially receptive to the idea. BUT, we could have 
forced their hand if enough people had spoken out. 
We told you without Bernie on the ticket as VP this election would be 
a chancy toss up. You would not hear us. We told you in the midst of 
#TrumpTheFraud's post convention nose dive that he would get on 
script, that he would come back to life like Jason in Friday the 
13th, using those exact words. Do you hear us now? 
Yeah, well, that's just swell. Because now it's too late to pick a 
winner for VP. But hey, the news isn't all bad. Lots of Republicans 
like Kaine a bunch, not that they would ever vote for him. 
Yesterday we told you the Jill presidential run was effectively over. 
At some point people need to deal with reality and not base their 
strategic political decisions on some fantasy parallel dimension, 
where 40 million votes suddenly fall out of the sky for Jill. 
Show us the campaign infrastructure where the Greens can get a dog 
catcher elected. Then we'll talk about state legislature seats. Then 
we'll talk about runs for Congress. And THEN, we can talk about a 
moon shot for the White House. Anybody can be a frequent candidate. 
Actually winning is quite another matter. 
At least Johnson shows as a tiny, less than 0.1% blip for his 
presidential prospects on the 538 site. Jill can't even muster that, 
with 7 weeks to go. 
We had no trouble giving away about 15,000 Bernie bumper stickers, 
and frankly we were bitterly disappointed the number was not much, 
much higher. 
32% of you said you were supporting Jill in our post-convention poll, 
so we did a bumper sticker run for her. 
Do you want to take a wild guess how many Jill bumper sticker 
requests we've had, even giving them away for free? We'd be 
embarrassed to tell you. The good news is we've got a lifetime supply 
of shelf liner here. Honestly though, the Hillary stickers are not 
moving all that much better. 
How desperately do you folks want to lose? Really. We're about as 
tired of begging you to request free bumper stickers as you probably 
are tired of hearing us beg for you to cost us money. 
We've got people yelling at us that the last message was not 
supportive enough of Hillary, and just as many people yelling at us 
that it was too supportive of Hillary. Which we suppose actually 
tells us we struck about the right balance, when we said we were very 
unhappy with Clinton, but that we had no choice but to hold our nose 
for her . . . enthusiastically. 
But hey, some of you folks, again if it actually applies to you, you 
just keep up with yelling and the screaming and the abuse and the 
rancor, and Mr. Big Hate himself will mop the floor with all of you. 
As it turns out, he's just your kinda guy, a hater. 
By the way, ya wanna know what other action page of ours got 
practically no response, our call to authorize the Zika defense 
Stop Zika Action Page: 
We lost count of the number of arm chair amateur Nobel prize winners 
cursing at us that the microcephaly was really being caused by 
pesticides, or the GMO mosquitos themselves that were so effectively 
wiping out the mosquito populations where they were deployed. 
Today a study from Brazil was published in the Lancet, the most 
respected medical journal of them all, with ironclad, conclusive 
proof that Zika was the cause, the only cause of relevance, by 
demonstrating the major detectable presence of Zika virus in the 
affected babies, and NO Zika in non-deformed children. But of course 
anyone capable of competently reading the scientific literature 
already out there knew this already, which is to say off of something 
besides a quack website. 
All the while Zika spreads out of control in Florida, and it already 
nearly endemic in Puerto Rico. 
We're not even going to bother to link to any gift pages today. If 
you want to support our voice and our work, dig up a previous alert 
from your inbox and follow one of the links there, or you can find 
them through the Zika action page link above. 
And good luck November 8th. You're going to need it . . . 
You may forward this message to any friends who would find it 
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Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Un-Democratic Parties: Open the Debates

The Un-Democratic Parties!
By Angela Smith
[This was submitted as a letter to the editor of my local paper but was rejected for being too long.  The requirement is "around 200 words".  So, here it is in full for anyone interested.  Updated on September 20th, 2016 to reflect ballot access information update.]

First, let me begin by saying I support Jill Stein and the Green Party.  I believe that a true democracy would welcome public participation and open discussion.  I believe that since Jill Stein is on the ballot in 44 States (and DC) and people can vote for her in 48 states (and DC), that she is a viable candidate deserving of participation in the general election debates.  The two states that do not include her are currently Oklahoma and Nevada .  A candidate needs 270 electoral votes out of 538 total to win the election.  And, Oklahoma and Nevada have a combined electoral vote count of 13 total.    Therefore, gaining or losing those two would not determine the outcome of the election and Jill Stein can win enough electoral votes given the ballot access achieved this election cycle.  This should be the standard for participation in general election debates.  Both Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party's Jill Stein meet that requirement.

I'm not going to go into a discussion on rigged elections.  I think the evidence is quite clear that the system is rigged to benefit decrepit, decaying, and corrupt politicians at the expense of the working class majority.

Instead, I will argue that both major party candidates are unfit for office and that we can only turn the tide by voting independent this year. 

Hillary Clinton is not fit to represent the Democratic electorate.  There are thousands of reasons this is a factual statement.  But, I will limit my evidence to five main points or issues. 

Hillary Clinton is not fit to represent us because she is highly unethical.  During her time as Secretary of State, the Clinton Foundation received over $10 million in donations from Saudi Arabia, according to the New York Times.  During that time, she also brokered generous weapons deals for Saudi Arabia.  This is a huge concern and conflict of interest.

Hillary Clinton is not fit to represent us because she is a war criminal.  During her time as Secretary of State, Clinton assisted fascist Juan Orlando Hernandez in his military coup ousting democratically elected and rightful President, Manuel Zelaya in 2009.  She based her strategy on that of Henry Kissinger, her trusted advisor and a war criminal in his own right.  Kissinger's State Department assisted the fascist dictator and war criminal Augusto Pinochet in assassinating rightful and democratically elected President, Salvador Allende in 1973.  This type of interference and destruction of working democracies is undemocratic and criminal. 

Hillary Clinton is not fit to represent the Democratic electorate because she is not a Democrat and is in fact a Republican who is trying to dismantle the Democratic Party from within.  In 1989, Al From made Bill Clinton an offer that if he agreed to chair the Democratic Leadership Council, they would push through a new "Democratic" agenda and destroy progressive politics in the US.  Bill Clinton agreed.  Why is that a problem?  Because, here are just a few of the members and financiers that ran the Democratic Leadership Council: Charles Koch (Koch Brothers), Koch Industries, ARCO, DuPont, Chevron, Merck, Microsoft, and Philip Morris.  Bill Clinton was chair of the DLC from 1990-1991.  Hillary Clinton was a member of the DLC leadership team during her entire tenure as Senator (2000-2008).  And, Clinton was a member of the DLC until it disbanded in 2011.  Now, given this and the above 2 criticisms, no intelligent person would even consider voting for her.  But, there's more...

Hillary Clinton does not believe in the separation of Church and State.  In fact, it was Bill Clinton that signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law in 1994.  The very law that is being duplicated at the state level and used to allow for faith-based discrimination today. 

Hillary Clinton is unfit to represent us because she supports fraudulent and abusive private schools and programs including KIPP.  She plans to put all poor kids in 24 hour lockdown boarding schools that already have horrific reputations.  In addition, this further breaks up families and is detrimental to child development.  Therefore, it is more of the same and the US can't afford another Clinton presidency.

That being said, I implore voters protesting Clinton with their vote to choose independent candidates that are progressive and share your values over Donald Trump.  And, here's why...  Donald Trump ran a fraudulent "university" and used intimidation tactics to silence his victims.  Donald Trump busts unions that organize his employees.  Donald Trump is sexist and racist (as are the Clintons).  Donald Trump uses foreign labor for his clothing line.  And, the Republicans lied in their platform claiming that private schools are too regulated and are hampered by excessive oversight.  The facts are that only 5 states require private schools (including boarding schools) be licensed and that of those 5, faith-based schools and programs are exempt from any oversight.  So, either the Republicans are completely incompetent or totally dishonest.  Either way, neither of those qualities meet a reasonable persons expectation for leadership.  And, that goes for the whole party given their 2016 platform.

The Green Party seeks to stop privatization of public education and actually educate children rather than indoctrinate them into subservience to the 1% and "status quo".  This issue is the most important issue to me personally.  And, it is the primary reason I am voting for Jill Stein.  I won't be watching the circus people call the "debates" unless it includes truly viable candidates like Jill Stein or Bernie Sanders.  I encourage everyone to check out of the spin and lies from the 2 "major parties" and think for yourself while voting for your best interests and not out of fear or stupidity.

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