Current Events - Presentation

Third Saturday Seminar 2016-2017
Return of the Elders, Unleash your Wisdom
   Session 2

“Are you ready to amend?”

Is it time to add another amendment?


Disclaimer – This session is not to promote any candidate or party –
It is for the  participants to share his or her observations aware regarding
the shape the Presidential election campaign has taken.
It has never been necessary agree with the facilitator.
The final exam is Nov 8, 2016

Saturday, 15 October 2016 9:30AM to 12:00 NOON

 Room B-102, Lone Star College - Montgomery
3200 College Park Drive - Conroe, TX - 77384 - 936.273.7000

This is the first session of the 2016-17 Academic Year. There will be three sessions in the fall semester.

It time for some relief from just the election.  Of course, we can’t ignore trying to figure out where things stand after two presidential debates and a vice presidential debate.  We’ll do that in Current  Events I.  Remember,  for a candidate to win the presidency, he or she must win at least 270 votes!

Saturday we will watch a 30 minute video, “Legalize Democracy presenting a  really interesting chronology of how corporations  have achieved super-personhood starting with a supreme court decision in 1819 and reached it’s epitome in the Citizens United ruling and it’s social and economic  consequences and how they encroach on our personal liberty.  (You are encouraged to watch it before the session.)

28th Amendment proposed by the group Move to Amend
(House Joint Resolution 48 introduced April 29, 2015)
Section 1.
[Artificial Entities Such as Corporations Do Not Have Constitutional Rights]
Section 2.
[Money is Not Free Speech]

(Some of you attended an excellent A.L.L. live presentation on this several months ago.)

Sidebar: Sometimes it may not pay to go down a rabbit hole.  As you know I normally find Wikipedia a reliable and convenient source of information. 
Well, in preparing for this session a question grew in my mind about how corporations are regarded in other countries and through history. 
This led me to:  this Wikipedia article 
which opens with:

A corporation is a company or group of people authorized to act as a single entity (legally a person) and recognized as such in law. Early incorporated entities were established by charter (i.e. by an ad hoc act granted by a monarch or passed by a parliament or legislature). Most jurisdictions now allow the creation of new corporations through registration.” 

I could find nothing in the article regarding how the rights “artificial persons” are different  from human beings in the eyes if the law..  I must be missing something!  I’m sure this will add to the conversation and distract us from election matters. (Or, will it?  Citizens United connects them.) It appears that corporate personhood is not a new concept.  The problem seems to be having the right rules for them to live by so they don’t swallow us we humans as well as our governments.

In this election, both candidates are highly Critical of  so called Free trade treaties which empower large international corporations to trump (pardon the pun) national and state laws and regulations when they feel their profits are being affected.  

Question: In Texas, not being a battleground state we have been spared the heavy political advertising  by the national candidates.  So we may not have been able to the observe role of money, especially PAC money hasn’t been so obvious.  In the last presidential cycle the impact of large sums of money did not make up for the impact or lack thereof of the candidate himself.   Where have you seen money at play in politics, local or national or international? Did it accomplish its purpose?

An amendment may be proposed by a two-thirds vote of both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a national convention called by Congress at the request of two-thirds of the state legislatures.

The Amending process is described here

Amending the United States Constitution is a two-step process. Proposals to amend it must be properly Adopted and Ratified before becoming operative.

A proposed amendment may be adopted and sent to the states for ratification by either:
The United States Congress, whenever a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives deem it necessary;
A national convention, called by Congress for this purpose, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds (presently 34) of the states.

To become part of the Constitution, an adopted amendment must be ratified by either (as determined by Congress):
The legislatures of three-fourths (presently 38) of the states, within the stipulated time period—if any;
State ratifying conventions in three-fourths (presently 38) of the states, within the stipulated time period—if any.

Upon being properly ratified, an amendment becomes an operative addition to the Constitution.[3]


Current Events I - The Election - Have you printed out your personal sample ballot yet?

Sample ballots are available for Harris County and Montgomery County

For those who still like to think or work in numbers and are trying forecast the winner of the election, I suggest the following links: Many give you the chance of manipulating your own figures.

As I do a cursory visual analysis of  the 12 prediction maps at the following  link  as I write this  I count 4 Predictions strongly in favor of Hillary with votes well above the required 270.  There are 6 maps that show Hillary being only 2 or 3 points above the minimum 270.  And there are 2 that show her below the 270.  That says there is still some uncertainty the outcome.  Remember if neither Hillary nor Trump get 270 or better.  The selection process goes to the house and would include Johnson (my guess).  NOW if you believe Five Thirty Eight’s calculation of the Probabilities then Hillary gets it  83.6%  to Trumps 18.4%.  However, remember the professor at American University who has called the winner for 32 years? Well, September 23 was his Groundhog Day and he says Trump will win.  GO FIGURE.  Me? I am undecided.

 270 to Win gives prediction maps based on data from the data bases of 10 different pundit organizations.  Note the spreads. Hillary goes from 348 to 270, Trump is forecast to pull in about 190 or 170.  I don’t believe any of these estimates believe in third party candidates.

The 270 to Win Map  aggregates the electoral ratings from ten organizations to come up with a composite forecast for the 2016 presidential election.
Here is a list of the organizations.  For purposes of this map, only states rated safe by all 10 pundits are shown in the darkest shade

The summary map at  shows Clinton with 270  voters committed or leaning, Trump with 161committed or leaning leaving 107 toss-up votes.  The  map shows a potential for third party candidates, in that it predicts a liberal number of tossup votes (gray) giving the independent voter a feeling of greater power and an incentive to chose a third party candidate

Chance of Winning: gives Hillary a 83.6% (up from 66.3%) chance of winning and Trump 16.4%  (down from 33.6%) based on the “Polls-Plus” Model (as of 10/11/16)

The Fix Are you ready for this?  (note the qualification “popular vote” I wonder if that’s hedging? GCG

Trump is headed for a win, says professor who has predicted 30 years of presidential outcomes correctly

Allan Lichtman

Allan Lichtman, a distinguished professor of history at American University,
created his "13 Keys to the White House" more than 30 years ago
and he's ready to predict who will win in 2016.
(Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)

Who will win the 2016 presidential election? This professor has predicted correctly for 32 years

By Peter W. Stevenson

Nobody knows for certain who will win on Nov. 8 — but one man is pretty sure: Professor Allan Lichtman, who has correctly predicted the winner of the popular vote in every presidential election since 1984.

When we sat down in May, he explained how he comes to a decision. Lichtman's prediction isn't based on horse-race polls, shifting demographics or his own political opinions. Rather, he uses a system of true/false statements he calls the "Keys to the White House" to determine his predicted winner.

And this year, he says, Donald Trump is the favorite to win.


Third Party Candidates


 These Numbers Say A Third Party Can Win The Presidency” You don’t need a majority, or even a plurality, of electors to win the presidency. By Josiah Peterson , 16, 2016, The Federalist

For those who were serious about their  Never Trump Never Hillary  hashtags (or who would have been if they were on Twitter), it’s time to start rallying for a third-party candidate for the 2016 election. A third-party candidate isn’t just a protest against the system,  but it just might (big “Might”) claim a couple of key states  and prevent either Hillary or Drump from achievibng the necessary 270 electoral votes to become president.

What happens if no presidential candidate gets 270 Electoral votes?

“If no candidate receives a majority of Electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects the President from the 3 Presidential candidates who received the most Electoral votes. Each state delegation has one vote. The Senate would elect the Vice President from the 2 Vice Presidential candidates with the most Electoral votes. Each Senator would cast one vote for Vice President. If the House of Representatives fails to elect a President by Inauguration Day, the Vice-President Elect serves as acting President until the deadlock is resolved in the House.”

The Historical Precedent for a Third Party

Abraham Lincoln (whose accomplishments seem to be completely unknown to the Republican nominee) would take umbrage with those who say a third party can never win. This two-term congressman from a six-year-old party beat the sitting vice president and a two-term senator, former War secretary, and speaker of the House to be president of the United States with almost 40 percent of the popular vote and 60 percent of the electoral vote.

Thankfully, our country is not as divided as it was during the antebellum period, but the comparison between Republicans and the mid-nineteenth-century Whigs is less of a stretch. While Lincoln is in many respects in a class to himself, we don’t need to have Lincoln’s level of electoral success to win. You don’t need a majority, or even a plurality, of electors to win the presidency.


Current Events II

As usual, our world is still in “interesting times”  We will start the session with Current Events (Distractions)


·        The World Health Organization warns that the Zika virus will continue to spread across Asia with cases already reported in Singapore and Thailand. (BBC) Deaths of pregnant women double from 2011 - 2015

·        North Korean Nukes (Much ado about nothing?  Is China discouraging or encouraging them?

·        Syrian Cease Fire didn’t even get started (why did we bother?)

·        Military Readiness (Is ISIS really the threat? What about Russia and China? Are our allies firm?   Will NATO discourage Russia from crowding the borders of Latvia and Estonia?

·        Samsung announces an end of production of the Galaxy Note 7 after continued problems with its battery. (The Verge)

Have you printed out your personal sample ballot yet?
Get them for Harris County and Montgomery County

The General election will be Tuesday, November 8, 2016   Will you be ready? 7:00 a.m. – 7:p.m.

Early Voting: October 24 - November 4

Registration Closed


Early Voting Hours of Operation (Harris County)

October 24 - October 28:

8:00 a.m.


6:00 p.m.

October 29:

7:00 a.m.


7:00 p.m.

October 30:

1:00 p.m.


6:00 p.m.

October 31 - November 4:

7:00 a.m.


7:00 p.m



Third Saturday Seminars – Fall 2016 – 3 Sessions

To refer to an ancient Chinese saying, “our world is in interesting times” and individual citizens are assaulted with a blinding array of propaganda from every conceivable source. The Third Saturday Seminar is about demystification of what is going on around us. Time will also be spent on current events.

Meets 9/17, 10/15*, and 11/18.    (*shown in error in schedule as 10/22, a change is being issued.)

Meets on Montgomery Campus in B-102.


17826 S 9/17-11/18 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. B102 Gibby


3200 College Park Drive, Conroe, TX 77384
ALL- Montgomery Links:

Academy for Lifelong Learning: LSC-Montgomery
Steven Gorman
Program Manager, Academy for Lifelong Learning,
LSC-Montgomery 936.273.7259

How do I register for a class? You can fill out a registration form and submit it to ALL:

         In person: LSC-Montgomery (3200 College Park Dr., Conroe, TX 77384), Continuing Education/ALL Office Building E (Room 205)
         Phone: 936.273.7446 ,Fax: 936.273.7262

Reminder for ALL members:
Please let ALL know if you change your address, phone number, or email. Call 936.273.7446 or email:

"Some part of our being knows this (the universe) is where we came from. We long to return. And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us; We're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."  Carl Sagan

See you Saturday, 15 October 2016 at 9:30am, Room B-102
Curt Gibby, Director,