Category: Blogs

Mathematics of urban environments

By Matt Johnson

I remember when I was in grade school, Jr. high, and high school, my fellow students and others told me that math was useless. As they put it, “You’ll never use that stuff in real life.” So sure of themselves, and ignorant of thinking any differently, I took their word for it. But as I learned later in life and my training, boy were they wrong.

Today, mathematics is one of the most important tool kits I use to analyze, study, and make predictions about urban environments. The forms of mathematics I use probably would sound like ancient Greek to the untrained ear and stating them here isn’t useful for this discussion. Just know that the entire foundation of our civilization is based on mathematics, and this is why I can use math to analyze and understand cities and the people who live in them. This is why I can endeavor to find solutions to complicated, urban problems.

As a consequence of mathematics and the scientific method, I have been able to unlock some very interesting behaviors and patterns in depressed parts of cities. For example, the city I study and draw my systems hypotheses from is Minneapolis and the city has shown some interesting systems’ behaviors with respect to its subsystems.

Like most American cities in the United States, Minneapolis has evolved in such a way that there are parts of the city which are predominantly occupied by those who are of African ancestry; and there are parts of the city which are predominantly occupied by those who are of European ancestry.

And as plenty of studies and news articles have pointed out, there are many socio-economic discrepancies between these two groups and their respective subsystems. In fact, this blog has illustrated these discrepancies in the form of data analysis on several occasions. But these sources, although useful, still don’t get to the behaviors of the systems and how they interact with these respective groups. This is why mathematics is desperately needed.

I have been able to use math to analyze crime data from different perspectives. That is, I have analyzed crime as a time series over a one year period, and compared multiple years to each other. As a consequence, crime overall and at the very least has been decreasing in the city of Minneapolis over the past few years.

In addition, I have also analyzed crime in a non-linear format; that is, I have analyzed the behavior of crime in different parts of the city in a spatial context (a space that is multidimensional and probabilistic). What I have not been able to do yet is predict how crime will behave going forward in time series and spatial modes. This will take a combination of additional advance mathematics and game theory. But what should also be considered is how crime adversely affects traditionally disenfranchised groups, both in utility and incarceration rates.

And this is just one variable. This doesn’t account for housing issues such as foreclosures and condemned and vacant buildings, nor does it account for unemployment and education level. And it certainly doesn’t account for how all of these socio-economic factors interact with each other in these depressed systems.

As you can see, this stuff gets complicated very quickly. But it also lends a little light to why these socio-economic discrepancies can be so difficult to find solutions for, and why the mathematics of urban environments is so important.

 

Matt Johnson is a writer for The Systems Scientist, and a mathematical scientist. You can connect with him directly in the comments section, and follow him on Twitter or on Facebook

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Photo credit: Math Boost

 

 

 

Copyright ©2016 – The Systems Scientist

 

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Hillary’s speech, a sign of trouble?

By Robert J. Garrison

Day four grade: C-

Overall DNC convention grade: B

The last day of the DNC was filled with bad headlines, boos and a year old nagging cough for the Democratic nominee.

First, many in the media were doing their best to lower the bar for Hillary’s speech. They all said that she couldn’t possibly do as good of a job as Michelle and Barak Obama or even Joe Biden.

Second, the news broke that hackers not only grabbed emails but also voice mails from the DNC office. And just as it seemed it couldn’t get any worse, news broke that Hillary’s campaign was hacked as well! This whole DNC convention as been filled with bad optics and distractions.

Leaders in the DNC have tried their best to build unity in the party but the Bernie supporters aren’t having any of it. They did their best to make their feelings not only heard but also seen! Add this tweet pic:

The Bernie supporters protested both inside and outside of the area. They also booed anyone they disagreed with, including President Obama and especially Hillary!

Not only were the Bernie people heard but so was Hillary or should I say her cough. Someone give that woman a Ricola! This has been a problem for Hillary going back to the beginning of the primaries last year. While the coughing or clearing of her throat every couple of minutes was not the only problem Hillary’s address had, it was also rather bland and low energy.

In fact the only high energy during the speech came from the Bernie supporters on the floor. However the loud energy by the Bernie supporters apparently couldn’t keep Hilary’s husband Former President Bill Clinton from falling asleep during her speech.

Khizr M. Khan

This speech overshadowed every speech last night. Mr. And Mrs. Khan are parents of Capt. Humayun Khan. They were there to address Trump’s Muslim ban policy. They stated that if the ban was in effect, it would have prevented them from coming into the US and denying their son, a brave and loyal military man, from serving. To be fair Trump has not called for a permanent ban, only a temporary one until the United States government can get a better process of screening those coming in, which on its face sounds reasonable but we shall see how that plays out.

Anyway back to the speech…The climax of the speech is when he pulled out of his pocket a copy of the constitution. He stated the ban was unconstitutional and Trump could borrow his copy of the constitution if he needed it. The crowd erupted in applause. It was an emotional moment that connected with the crowd and with those at home.

The last couple of days of patriotic rhetoric and how America is and always will be a great superpower of the world, is just the Democratic party trying to contrast the campaign message of “Make America Great Again” of their opponent, Donald Trump.

Should a few days of patriotic rhetoric of “America is great!” and a few nice words about the founding fathers at the DNC give us amnesia? For decades the Democratic party has criticized all the ills of America and how the Democratic party will change America. Also they labeled the founding fathers as white racist slave owners that should not be looked up to. Some in the media ate up the patriotic rhetoric but will the rest of America, especially Independents? I am not so sure.

Also the ratings are in and its a mixture of good news, bad news.

The Good News

The DNC beat the RNC in overall ratings. I’m sure that the musical entertainment had something to do with this. The DNC’s musical talent of Paul Simon, Alica Keyes, Lady Gaga, Lenny Kravitz and many others was by far better than the RNC’s, who decided to just have G.E. Smith and the SLN band.

Also the DNC videos were very well produced and polished. They also used a lot more videos at the DNC than the RNC.

The Bad News

When the two candidates went head to head, Trump beat Hillary by more than a million viewers. Also the day after, political buzz seemed to be higher for Trump than Hillary. Hillary’s campaign was hacked.

Hillary’s numbers continue to drop! This is something that should never happen during a candidates convention! I am sure that Hillary will get some kind of convention bounce but just how much will it be, and for how long can she hold on to it, remains to be seen.

Rest assured it will be a tough, long and nasty 3 months. Will America be able to tolerate these two candidates that they really don’t like for much longer? Or will we see third-party candidates, Libertarian Party Gary Johnson and Green Party Jill Stein finally start to gain traction? I hope so. In a Representative Republic (The United States is NOT a democracy) it is ALWAYS better to have more voices and opinions in elections.

 

Robert J. Garrison is a political and religious contributor for The Systems Scientist

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Uncle Joe steals the show at the DNC

By Robert J. Garrison

Convention Grade: B-/C+

Theme: Working Together

Well the day started off with a bang. Donald Trump stole the spotlight by holding a press conference and answering questions for an hour. Trump as always said something that was just off the beaten path. He encouraged a foreign government to launch a cyber attack on his political opponent, Hillary Clinton!

It was such an outrageous statement that Trump’s VP, Mike Pence released a statement right after the press conference to clean up the unprecedented remark.

The hacking of the DNC came to light yet again. Wikileak’s released 29 voice mails that were obtained by hackers. As an American I find this highly disturbing. Just how much information did the hackers obtain? This issue has defiantly shed light on how warfare is evolving in the 21st century. Warfare is now more than just missiles, bombs, tanks, ships and battle plans; it is now about computers and hacking.

Now while this is a huge issue, we will most likely only hear from one candidate on hacking and cyber warfare – Donald Trump. Hillary will most likely not talk about it because of her own email scandal, so most likely we will hear from Hillary’s supporters about the issue. This was not the only disturbing thing that happened during 3rd the day of the Democratic convention.

Now before I get into the first thing that I found disturbing, I must make this disclosure:

I am a moderate kind of guy that leans more times to the right than the left. Noticed I said more right than left which means I don’t believe that one party holds the mantle of truth or has all the best ideas. Now with that said, for me life begins at conception, for example. I am NOT calling for an outlawing of abortion. I just believe that life is precious and should be cared for after the moment the sperm enters the egg. Now on to the DNC.

Ilyse Hogue

The first troubling thing that happen was the remarks by Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. (watch the full video here) This was the first time ever at any political convention where someone talked about their abortion. She went on to tell the crowd how she got pregnant, even though she didn’t want to have a child because it wasn’t the right time for her so she terminated the pregnancy.

The fact that the crowd cheered at the mention of her getting the procedure not because of a health issue but because someone just didn’t feel they wanted a child right now, just rubbed me the wrong way. It just came off as so self-centered that someone, who would eventually want children would end a pregnancy not because of a health issue but because they didn’t feel it was the right time to have a child. That was the first disturbing thing that happened last night on to the second one.

Leon Panetta

The second incident that happen at the 3rd day of the DNC was the booing of Former Secretary of Defense and stronger supporter Leon Panetta. Due to the recent terror attacks in Europe the last couple of days, the Secretary felt the need to talk about terrorism in his speech. Well the crowd didn’t want to hear about it. The crowd started to boo him when he suggested we fight terrorism (watch video here).

I understand being anti-war and I respect that position; however, these are evil people who won’t think twice about killing you or your family at the drop of a hat. We must take the fight to them and stopped them at all costs to prevent them from spreading their hate and killing innocent people.

Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg was the New York city mayor from 2002-2013. Mayor Bloomberg was the counter New York city mayor to Rudy Giuliani who spoke at the RNC. I’ve heard of dueling banjos but not dueling former mayors. It is interesting that they would have a mayor that flirted with the idea of a third-party run. Yet Hillary’s drive to do anything to attack her opponent led her to have Mayor Bloomberg speak at the convention.

Mayor Bloomberg’s attack on Trump was scathing. He called on democrats to put aside their differences and be unified to defeat a “dangerous demagogue”. He went on to talk about Hillary’s ability to work with both parties to get things done. He then went on to tell the crowd that he was a New Yorker and he can spot a con when he sees one, alluding to Trump being a con man.

He pointed out how Trumps actions didn’t match up with his rhetoric on the campaign trail. He ended his speech by calling on those to unify not under party loyalty but under love for America by voting for a sane and competent candidate.

Joe Biden 

Vice President Joe Biden came out to the Rocky theme…so that was cool. The thing with Vice President Biden is that you never know if he is going to give a good speech or shot himself in the foot by saying something off the wall. With that said, I felt that Biden’s speech was the best speech of the night. It was positive, uplifting and patriotic. This was so needed at this convention or any other convention for that matter.

He pulled on the heart-strings of the crowd by speaking of his late son Beau. It was the death of his son that greatly impacted VP Biden so much that he sat out of the 2016 primaries even though people were urging him to get into the fight.

He then went on to give an inspiring tone by telling the stories of people who embodied the unbreakable spirit that is inside all Americans. It was a touching and heartfelt moment that allow him to connect with people in the crowd and those watching. He even got them to chat “Not a clue!” due to his comments about the middle class and Donald not having a clue about the middle class.

He then pivoted to a more serious demeanor by pointing out Trump’s inexperience to be president and how that inexperience will make America less safe not more safe. He ended his speech by rallying the crowd by listing all the great things about America and talking about the strengths of its citizens. He was truly in rare form. He wasn’t just speaking to the crowd at the convention, he was speaking to the independents that were watching, which you saw little of at the RNC.

Tim Kaine

Vice President Biden really raised the bar high for the night’s speeches. Poor Senator Kaine didn’t have a chance. It’s always hard to follow a great speech but it seemed even harder for Kaine whose speech came off as drab, boring and sometimes just outright pandering to Latinos.

I know Hillary picked the Senator from Virginia because of his ability to speak Spanish and his missionary work in Honduras as a way for the campaign to connect with the Latino demographic. Hillary is focusing on Florida with Kaine as the VP nominee, because she sure didn’t do it for his speaking ability. It almost turned out to be a Spanish lesson from Rosetta Stone. Kaine’s speech was the total opposite of what Biden’s speech was.

President Barak Obama

The convention was running very behind and late. and to top it off, they showed a very long video about the Obama presidency. I mean it went on for almost 10 minutes! President Obama’s speech seem more about cementing his legacy than it was about Hillary. That’s not to say that he didn’t say good things about her. He did. He touched on her vast experience, her passion and her coolness under pressure and how that helped him be a better president.

However, Obama did mention himself over 100 times in his 45 minute speech that was supposed to be about nominating Hillary Clinton. The moment of the speech was when people in the crowd began to boo for some reason or another, in which Obama encouraged the crowd, “Don’t boo, vote!” That I thought was a great comeback.

Other than that it was a rather boring speech and since it was already late, it seemed to drag on and on. It wasn’t one of his better speeches for sure.

Who would’ve thought that Biden would have had the best speech of the night and of the convention, in my opinion. His speech I think had people wishing that he would’ve gotten in the race, which in the opinion of this writer would have been a good thing. Not only that but I believe that he would be killing Trump in the polls and giving the Democratic party a better chance of winning in November. Of course that’s if he didn’t pull a Biden by saying something totally off the wall and become a laughing-stock.

 

Robert J. Garrison is a political and religious contributor for The Systems Scientist

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Copyright ©2016 – The Systems Scientist

Bill’s “weird” speech and no American flags?

By Robert J. Garrison

Convention Grade: B+

Theme: A Lifetime of Fighting for Children and Families

The day started off with Bernie speaking to supporters at a rally in Philly. They booed him again for saying that we must support Hillary for president. The group of supporters that the media has labeled the “Bernie or Bust” supporters are the ones that are the loud vocal opponents against the Senator’s support for Hillary Clinton.

The media has tried their best to categorized these people as a small fringe group; however, I believe there are more of them than what the media would like to admit. Yesterday details were reported of what the Senator received in exchange of back Hillary (You can read about here).  It appears that 30 pieces of silver back in Jesus’ time is the equivalent to a private jet now when adjusted for inflation.

The optics of the convention changed after media reports started to surface that there were no American flags anywhere to be found at the DNC. Well on day 2 they made sure they were visible. Really guys? Speaking of optics, the desire for the Hillary campaign to use Senator Sanders to bring the party together just left a bad taste in my mouth.

After the roll call of the states where they reported the number of delegates for the candidates, Vermont requested to go last. The reason was to have Senator Sanders make a motion to have a voice accumulation to nominate Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee. This parliamentary procedure nullified all the delegates that went to Senator Sanders and gave them all to Hillary.

Their drive to unify the party is too tunnel focused and could cause those that are new to the process, which many of the Sanders supporters are, to become disillusioned with the whole process. This could lead them to vote for a 3rd party candidate; for example, Jill Stein of the Green Party.

Last night, the convention was packed with a group of mothers dubbed “The Mothers of the Movement.” These were mothers that lost loved ones after their encounters with police officers.This issue has been very divisive and the topic always gets heated but all that is distraction from the real issue: inner city violence.

Now I understand the plight of the African-Americans and their uneasy and hostile relationship with law enforcement, but I just cant help but wonder why there isn’t a bigger outcry about the crime and violence that is going on daily in many of the inner cities throughout this country. We ALL need to stand together and fight for the children that will be the next ones to lead this country, which was the motto of the night and the main point of former President and Hillary’s husband, Bill Clinton.

Bill Clinton gave everyone a detailed description of Hillary’s life and her passions. Clinton’s use of the phrase “this girl” while telling of the courtship between him and her could be seen by some as sexist and rude. This was the opinion of MSNBC host Rachael Maddow. While she liked the speech overall, she felt that the first part of the speech was shocking and rude.

Bill’s speech was an introduction of her to the swing voters that may have been watching to convention. It was definitely aimed at those outside the Democratic party. This is something that you really didn’t see too much of at the RNC. The main theme woven throughout Bill’s speech was Hillary’s passion to enact change and empower children.

The tactic of the DNC is to create a narrative that America is a great country and can be even better if we continue to empower the next generation. This is a sharp contrast to the narrative of the RNC which states America has lost her glory and that we all need to stand up and restore it.

We will see which narrative connects with the voters. According to Rasmussen, more 2/3 of Americans believe that the country is on the wrong track. So one will think that the pessimistic view would favor the Republicans message but on the other hand if Hillary crafts the message well she will be able to convince voters that she can create new growth and economic opportunities for the working class, just as her husband did in the 90’s. I must say that the economy we have now is vastly different from what it was in the 90’s.

Either way nothing will happen unless there is cooperation and compromise by both parties in congress. This will be a close election; so close that events that happen outside this country could determine who will win the presidency. For political junkies like me, my mouth waters at the idea of staying up all night and well into the next morning to watch all the results coming in. America is in for a long electoral ride.

 

Robert J. Garrison is a political and religious contributor for The Systems Scientist

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French priest killed, western society attacked by “Hate!”

By Robert J. Garrison

France is under attack again by radical ISIS supporters. Details are still coming out but what appears to have happen was two men, that claim allegiance with ISIS stormed a church during Mass and slit the throat of the priest and stabbed a nun.

According to reports, one of the attackers was a terrorists, convicted of trying to join forces in Syria, was out on bail and ordered to be monitored by an electronic tag. According to a United Kingdom paper The Daily Mail, his bail terms allowed him to be unsupervised between 8.30am and 12.30pm. Note, the attack happened between 9am and 11am.

European society is under attack. In the midst of this tragedy, one of many; the French people have got to start to wonder what good these emergency powers that were extended can do against these kinds of attacks? Another question is, did the influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees that are streaming into Europe from Syria play a part in these safety concerns of the citizens in Europe? Also will these attacks sway the Pope to change his call that Europe must welcome these refugees?

It might be too early to answer these questions right now, but one can’t help but to think that the process of screening these hundreds of thousands refugees is overwhelmed. It’s also clear that the process that is in place, if there is one, isn’t working to weed out the terrorists.

Yet the world is in a war against barbarians of hate. Society should condemn hate in all its forms without concern for political correctness. We can’t worry about hurting people’s feelings when we have barbarians of hate seeking to hurt our free society and its citizens.

Please know this isn’t an anti-Muslim article, nor is it an attack against all Muslims. It is against HATE, pure and simple. It’s against barbarians that are storming the gates of our societies to spread hate and intolerance towards those different from themselves. WE all must rally together and defend our society against these barbarians of hate.

What is more powerful? Hate or Love? I say Love is because Love can build things up, while hate does nothing but destroy. I end this article by leaving you with the words of Jesus from John 13:34-35

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (ESV)

I believe in Jesus, but whether you do or not, we can still follow the sediment of His words and Love one another.

 

Robert J. Garrison is a political and religious contributor for The Systems Scientist

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Copyright ©2016 – The Systems Scientist

The DNC’s wasteful food habit

By Robert J. Garrison

In the article Delegate slams DNC for not donating leftover food to poor the delegate wanted the DNC to donate the food that was left over at a welcoming event for the delegates. The caterer for the DNC stated wrongly that they couldn’t. This is a common misconception among many businesses. The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act of 1996 was passed to minimize the liability when donating food to non-profits.

At my mission, we gladly take donated food left over from events. In fact we had a foreign embassy that had an event where they had plenty of left over food and asked us if we could take it, which we did. Also we worked in partnership with stores to receive their “outdated” food, which is still good and very rarely makes people sick.

So they could have donated the left over food to one of the many homeless shelters in the Philadelphia area. If we can properly educate the public and businesses about the food laws, just maybe there will be more for those that don’t have anything.

In fact, you can do what Chris Thomas, founder and president of Yahweh Outreach Ministries does. He has a network of volunteers that go drive around to all the Panera Bread stores and gathers the bread they discard, and donates leftovers to many of the nonprofits that can use the bread. A few hours of your time can be used to educate and gather resources that can help those that have a need. A few hours a week can make an impact on others lives. It’s a way to see the unseen and to show love towards others.

 

Robert J. Garrison is a political and religious contributor for The Systems Scientist

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Garrison: Democratic Convention Recap Day 1

By Robert J. Garrison

Convention Grade: B-/C+

Day 1 theme: Party Unity

Hello again readers! Last week I recapped the RNC. It was a wild ride full of excitement. This week I’ll be recapping the DNC which is starting off just as wild and as exciting.

Before I get into my recap I must say that the Democrats are just horrible at planning. First off they should have changed the theme after the email scandal broke. Party unity was the last thing on the minds of many at the convention. Another thing they have is a list of speakers for each night on the convention site. There’s only one problem, Elizabeth Warren wasn’t on that first nights list!

Before the convention even began, Wikileaks released emails that were obtained by hackers. These emails showed how some at the DNC tried to tilt the scales in favor of Hillary which caused unrest among the Bernie supporters. These emails played into the narrative that the system was rigged in favor of Hillary and that Bernie was fighting an uphill battle. So with that hanging in the air, the convention atmosphere was tense. As my fellow colleague Matt Johnson wrote about yesterday the convention began with a “Boo!” fest.

The first “Boo!” fest came from the Florida delegation when Debbie Wasserman-Schultz addressed them at a breakfast. She was booed off the stage by her own delegation! It only got worse as the day went on. Bernie Sanders arrived Philadelphia to address his supporters.

The crowd eagerly awaited to hear their leader and to hear what he had to say about the email scandal. They were hoping that the Senator was going to fight and stand up for the voice of the voters. The crowd became very disappointed when Senator Sanders told them that they had to get behind the Hillary/Kaine ticket. The crowd went nuts – responding with a mix of anger and disappointment. You could see the surprise on the Senator’s face as the crowd booed him.

This anger and disappointment carried into the opening night. I mean the crowd even booed the invocation. They booed when the pastor mentioned Hillary’s name. This was just the beginning of a long night. Many speakers were booed when they mentioned the H word (Hillary). Yet the mood slowly started to change the longer the convention went on. Now on to the speakers.

Cory Booker

Booker’s speech seemed more of a sermon than a political speech. Sometimes speeches sound one way in an arena and another on TV. This was the case with Booker’s speech. The speech was well received on the floor and electrified the crowd and the tone sounded OK. However on TV, the tone of the speech seemed to come across as angry and nonstop yelling. Yet the content of the speech I thought was good and the message of it really connected with the audience. It was a rousing and inspiring speech that did a lot to start to change the crowds mood.

I must say that the DNC convention is focusing on more of a positive note about America. They are going with the narrative that we don’t need to make America great again, but that it is still a great nation. I do have to say it felt at times that I was watching and hearing a GOP convention. So the democrats are doing a good job with their messaging so far.

This was the heart of Booker’s speech. He focused on love and compassion and how we as a nation must share those virtues with everyone one so we can be united as a country. Yet I did have issue with his point of cynicism. He urged the crowd not to be seduced by cynicism about our politics because it’s a refuge for cowards. I take issue with that statement. I know that the night was about bringing the party together and to temper the hardcore Bernie supporters but they have a right to be cynical, especially after the email scandal! So to call people cowards that feel that way is wrong and comes off a being dismissive of their concerns.

First Lady Michelle Obama

I have to say that this was one of the best speeches of the night and she did more to settle down the crowd’s mood. Even the Bernie people didn’t have the guts or heart to boo the First Lady. Her speech was inspirational and struck the right tone. She was focusing on who we would like to have in the White House – shaping the thoughts and minds of our kids for the next four years.

She then pivoted to Hillary and how she has been a champion for children. She went on to list the accomplishments that Hillary has achieved for children throughout her career, fighting for child healthcare, and fighting for children with disabilities.

The First Lady called her a relentless champion; the right kind of champion that we need as president. The kind of champion that will leave this country better off for our kids. It was a great speech and it stole the show. She ended the speech by telling the crowd

So don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country isn’t great, that somehow we need to make it great again. Because this, right now, is the greatest country on earth.

Great and positive tone that was a strong contrast to the RNC convention message.

I must mention an observation from my colleague Matt Johnson. Not once did Michelle Obama mention the name Donald Trump. Might not seem like a big deal; however, I felt that it was done on purpose.

Elizabeth Warren

First off let me say it’s hard to follow-up a great and powerful speech given by a current First Lady. Yet the Senator tried her best. However throughout the speech I couldn’t help but feel as though she was holding back. A lot of people have seen her go after Trump on the campaign trail with Hillary. She is a firebrand and goes after the wrongs she sees with conviction and passion. I didn’t see that in this speech.

What I saw was a focus group politics type of speech. What do I mean by focus group politics? I mean that sometimes candidates vet their words and speeches through a focus group of people to see how they react. They use these reactions to craft the right kind of tone or to use words that trigger emotions with voters. That is what I felt watching Senator Warrens speech.

She stayed even toned and spoken softly throughout her address. She didn’t ooze passion or convection because her tone never changed. There was no cadence to her voice during the speech. Also since I studied anthropology, a career that I was going to go into before God called me into ministry, I could tell by her body language and face that she was holding back. You could see that she wanted to turn into the firebrand that most are used to seeing but she didn’t and stayed even keel. For me because of her holding back, the speech was boring, lacked passion, and came off as just contrived words.

Bernie Sanders

Sadly this speech was anti-climatic because we heard a preview of it earlier that day. What can I say about this speech? My heart just doesn’t even want to address the speech because he chose party over principles. HE SOLD OUT! He abandoned the voice of the voters, his supporters, and the fight against the corruption and rigging of the electoral process.

I mean the emails proved they put their fingers on the scale to favor Hillary. This proved what Senator and his supporters had been saying throughout the primaries and caucuses. Instead of standing up and running with this story, the Senator just rolled over and basically said “It’s OK. Next time will be different!” The Senator tried to ease the hurt that the supporters where feeling after he sold them out by talking about the advancement of progressive ideals.

They got Debbie Wasserman-Shultz fired from leading the DNC. They also got the a reduction in the number of super delegates (why even have them at all!?!?!?). Last but not least, the Bernie supporters got the most progressive party platform ever passed by the Democratic party. Which I have to say, who gives a rip! For the most part, no candidate ever runs on the party platform anyway! Party platforms are made to give a bone to the fringe parts of the party.

Throughout the Senator’s speech, the media showed shots of Bernie supporters crying because they felt the pain of losing a hard-fought passionate battle for their candidate. However, I also think they were crying because they saw a man who campaigned against corruption in politics, against the rigging of systems, against rabble-rousers, and against big money in politics, but then turned around and endorsed the very person that embodies all those things. They witnessed a man who they believed turned against his words and endorsed Hillary. They witnessed a man who chose party of principles.

WE witnessed the death of free and open process of voting for a person that WE wanted. Instead we are left with what the ELITES want, voters be damned! I’m not even a Bernie supporter or liberal (mind you I’m not voting for Trump either), but it was still painful to watch this speech. What was even more painful, was that even after the emails showed that the party leadership did their best to effect the outcome, no one stood up and defended the voter or the process in which their voices are heard! Last night a small part of America died; last night the Democratic party became a Banana Republic!

 

Robert J. Garrison is a political and religious contributor for The Systems Scientist

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