Is It Time To Go To Non-Partisan Primaries To Address Growing Polarization?

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A segment on MSNBC’s 11th Hour w/ Stephanie Ruhle(06/22/22) delved into the very interesting discussion as to whether, given the staggering levels of polarization in the country, we should change adopt a non-partisan primary voting system. Ruhle’s guest Nick Troiano, Executive Director of Unite America, says this change, which is already in place in several states, notably Alaska, would incentivize candidates to look for support beyond their party affiliation thus making them more likely to seek bipartisan solutions to problems. Unite America is a national organization trying to bridge the growing partisan divide by supporting political reforms and candidates who put people over party.

Troiano told 11th Hour host Ruhle(video at 1:22):“I think we spend a lot of time focused on who we elect, not enough time focusing on how we elect, because it’s the systems of our elections that are really pushing our parties further and further apart, and I think our politicians, as a result, are much more polarized than we the people. We’re not seeing the types of solutions and bipartisan policy making in Congress as the American people want and deserve, and the core reason of that is because of our system of partisan primaries. In the last election, it was only 10% of Americans who elected 83% of Congress, because the vast majority of our elections are decided not in the general election in November, but in the primary election, and that problem is getting even worse this election cycle after the latest round of redistricting. We’re going to have the least competitive elections of our lifetime. It’s going to lead to the least accountable Congress of our lifetime. So if we want different outcomes out of Congress, we have to change the process, and fortunately, there’s a growing movement to do that at the state level all across the country.”

Below are some of United America‘s suggested reforms

Troiano singled out the primary system in Alaska as the “best example” of what should be emulated nationwide, if we are going to address the growing polarization problem. He said: “Senator[Lisa]Murkowski was one of the 14 Republicans who voted to advance the bipartisan gun legislation. She’s the only Republican up for election this year, and what’s notable is that this is the first time where the Senator doesn’t face a partisan primary. She’s standing for election in front of all Alaskan voters because in 2020, Alaskans adopted a ballot measure that replaced both parties primaries with a single non-partisan primary. So all the candidates compete in one election, all the voters get to participate on that ballot, the top four finishers go to the general election and through an instant runoff, whomever wins the majority of support gets elected, and so it gives voters more voice and choice in elections, and it incentivizes candidates and leaders to campaign and be responsive to the whole constituency, not just the 10% who may vote in a partisan primary. Now imagine if additional states were to adopt this reform, we can have dozens of our elected leaders in Congress finally being able to be responsive to the majority of Americans and not the political extremes.”

Troiano also said non-partisan primaries would encourage more people to throw their hats into the political ring without fear of being labeled “spoilers”, something he acknowledged, keeps a lot of otherwise good candidates from both parties, on the sidelines.

Bottom line folks, non-partisan primaries is a very interesting suggestion indeed, which Yours Truly hopes, will be given serious consideration given the crippling levels of polarization in our politics today. Simply put, when the likes of Boebert(CO) and MTG(GA) start showing up in Congress, then reasonable people will agree, that the selection system is surely broken!!

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Havana Syndrome: The Less Talked About Public Health Angle

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Dr Beatrice Golomb, Founder of the Golomb Research Group, and Professor of Medicine at UC San Diego.

While the investigation into who’s attacking our diplomats and causing Havana Syndrome is still ongoing, a different but related debate is playing out in American living rooms, and that is, what the federal government is doing to protect the general public from the health effects of exposure to radio frequency(RF) radiation, which includes microwaves.

A Havana Syndrome webinar conducted by the University of Texas Southwest(UTSW) in Dallas(02/10/2022) led to among other conclusions that (1) pulsed microwave radiation was the most likely cause for Havana Syndrome and (2) that microwave technology is already being used in the United States, Russia, China, and many of our Western allies for surveillance purposes. Therefore even setting aside the question as to who attacked our Diplomats in Havana and elsewhere, reasonable people will agree that there needs to be a serious debate regarding the effects these microwave technologies have on the general public.

An interesting and quite informative interview on Green Street Radio (03/01/22) featuring the esteemed Dr Beatrice Golomb, delved into that very topic–harmful effects of microwaves and other RF radiation. Dr Golomb is the Director of the Golomb Research Group. She is currently a Professor of medicine at UC San Diego. She received her B.S. in Physics Summa Cum Laude from USC. She worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as an Engineer, and then got her PhD in Biology and a medical degree from UC San Diego. She is an expert in among other things, the effects of exposure to radio frequency microwave radiation, which many experts have pinpointed as the most likely cause for Havana Syndrome.

Dr Golomb said in the Green Street Radio interview(video @ 17:00 onwards): “Radiation is often divided into two different types–ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation is the radiation in the higher end of the frequency range, from part the ultraviolet range up to things like x-rays and gamma rays. This is referred to as ionizing because higher frequencies are associated with higher energy, and when the energy is high enough, it is sufficient to dislodge electrons from atoms and molecules. This is referred to as ionization. So there is sort of a mantra that is incorrect, that it is only ionizing radiation that can cause damage, or only ionizing radiation that can cause DNA damage. In fact most of the evidence about the harms from ionizing radiation come not from the ionization, but actually from oxidative stress…In fact, oxidative stress also occurs with non-ionizing radiation. It occurs with radio frequency radiation which by the way encompasses a very broad set of frequencies, the upper end of which are called microwave radiation. So microwaves are a subset of radio waves…All of those frequencies are capable of causing damage by oxidative stress…The exposures that are tied to these non-ionizing radiation…are exposures that themselves promote oxidative stress…affect mitochondria[DNA]…There are now multiple studies showing that even though this radiation[microwave] is designated as non-ionizing radiation, it causes DNA injury…There’s basically a disinformation campaign that tells people that unless radiation is ionizing it can’t cause problems.”

There is no other way to interpret Dr Golomb’s remarks other than, the government’s stance that only ionizing radiation can cause harmful health effects is not entirely accurate. Dr Golomb is stating categorically that non-ionizing radiation, which includes RF microwaves, can also be very harmful to the public, and can even cause, in her words, “DNA injury”. According to Dr Golomb, the dispositive factor when it comes to evaluating the harm caused by radiation is not whether its ionizing or non-ionizing, but rather, whether it causes “oxidative stress”. Dr Golomb says both ionizing and non-ionizing radiation can lead to oxidative stress, meaning even RF microwaves are harmful to the public.

Dr Golomb goes as far as accusing the government of running a “disinformation campaign” when it says non-ionizing radiation like RF microwaves are not harmful. Back in 2015, she wrote a stern letter to the New York Times, castigating one of its journalists(George Johnson) for downplaying the health effects of EMF radiation in one of his articles. Folks, Dr Golomb isn’t fooling around–the real deal!!

There’s a growing sentiment in the country that given the rapid advancement in technologies, the federal government is not doing a good job in informing the public about the public health risks associated with such advancements. One classic example is the Havana Syndrome. In the course of looking for the culprits who attacked our diplomats in Cuba, we have discovered that microwaves are also used in the U.S., presumably by law enforcement, for surveillance purposes. Given Dr. Golomb’s educated assertion that microwave radiation can cause “DNA injury”, it’s not a lot to ask that the government levels with the public as to how these microwave surveillance technologies affect public health. In other words, if you expose a “dangerous subject” to very high levels of microwave radiation daily, for an extended period of time(months, even years), as part of his/her “necessary surveillance”, are you really surveilling the target or just irradiating them to death? Simply put, guardrails need to erected when it comes to the use of these microwave technologies.

On that front, it’s very encouraging to learn that the good folks at Green Street Radio, through their non-profit Americans for Responsible Technology(ART), have filed a petition with the FDA, demanding that the agency “immediately issue an ‘Imminent Hazard’ declaration regarding public exposure to radiofrequency radiation from wireless devices and infrastructure…” Hopefully this is the beginning of a movement by concerned citizens demanding more government accountability when it comes to new radiation technologies.

Bottom line folks, the government cannot/must not be allowed to continue hiding behind the “it’s classified” excuse when it comes to RF radiation technologies. The public has a right to know what they are being exposed to, and how such exposure affects their health. Congress needs to hold hearings regarding this issue, preferably with the esteemed Dr. Golomb as one of the subject matter experts.

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