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“At the heart of DeJoy’s and the Postal Service’s actions is voter disenfranchisement,” said Judge Stanley Bastian. Whether his order will or even can be carried out, time is still of the essence for US citizens casting ballots from Panama in this year’s general election.
Denouncing “intentional effort” to sabotage election, judge orders nationwide reversal of DeJoy mail changes
A federal judge late Thursday issued a nationwide injunction temporarily blocking and reversing dramatic changes to mail operations imposed in recent months by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, slamming the policies as a “politically motivated attack” on the US Postal Service that—if allowed to stand—would disenfranchise voters in November.
“Although not necessarily apparent on the surface, at the heart of DeJoy’s and the Postal Service’s actions is voter disenfranchisement,” wrote Judge Stanley Bastian of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Washington in a 13-page ruling (pdf), largely granting a request by 14 states for a court order halting the postmaster general’s sweeping changes.
Bastian said that based on President Donald Trump’s repeated and ongoing attacks on mail-in voting, it is “easy to conclude” that DeJoy’s changes are part of “an intentional effort” by the White House to “disrupt and challenge the legitimacy of upcoming local, state, and federal elections, especially given that 72% of the decommissioned high-speed mail sorting machines… were located in counties where Hillary Clinton received the most votes in 2016.”
The judge’s ruling requires the USPS to immediately stop instructing postal workers to leave mail behind in order to leave for their trips at set times, continue treating all election mail as First Class mail, and return or reconnect any sorting machines deemed essential for efficient processing of election mail.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who led the coalition of states in suing the Postal Service, celebrated the ruling as a major victory that “protects a critical institution for our country.”
In a statement to the Washington Post, USPS spokesman Dave Partenheimer said the agency is “exploring our legal options” following the nationwide injunction.
“There should be no doubt that the Postal Service is ready and committed to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives,” said Partenheimer. “Our number one priority is to deliver election mail on-time.”
Pointing to statistics showing that “there has been a drastic decrease in delivery rates,” Bastian dismissed the USPS leadership’s “remarkable position that nothing has changed in the Postal Service’s approach to election mail from past years.”
An investigation led by Senator Gary Peters (D-Michigan), the top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, found that “on-time mail delivery fell abruptly following Postmaster General DeJoy’s July 2020 directives ordering operational changes to mail service and delivery.”
“By the second week of August 2020, on-time delivery of First Class mail nationwide had fallen nearly 10 percentage points compared to the week preceding the changes,” reads a report (pdf) Peters released this week. “This means approximately 85 million more deliveries were late in a single week, compared to what the late deliveries would have been that week under on-time delivery rates before the changes.”
In a statement late Thursday, Peters applauded Bastian’s ruling as further confirmation that “Postmaster General DeJoy’s changes were directly responsible for slowing down the mail for seniors, veterans, small businesses, and other Americans.”
“While today’s ruling is a welcome development,” said Peters, “I will continue to work to push Mr. DeJoy to ensure the Postal Service returns to providing reliable, on-time delivery and pass my legislation that would reverse changes to the Postal Service during the pandemic and provide necessary funding for the Postal Service during this crisis.”
Are you a Yellow Dog Democrat? Yellow Dogs ALWAYS vote. In the primaries they may participate in some ferocious dogfights, but come the general election they always vote for the Democratic ticket. Photo by José F. Ponce.
The ballots are supposed to be sent to overseas voters on September 19, but you can still vote if you don’t get yours
by Eric Jackson
Yesterday I went into the city for the first time in months to get my ballot in the mail at the US Embassy yesterday. That part was relatively easy. I also did some other research on voting possibilities on this, my first bus ride into the city and back in months. It was a long day.
Panama’s Correos is not functioning. In any case the US Postal Service is not taking mail from Panama. But you can do like I did and put it in the diplomatic mailbox, so that your ballot goes in the diplomatic pouch to the USA, then gets put in the US mail system when it gets to the States. (The BIG slowdown, we expect, is when it get into the hands of the US Postal Service.)
The blue ballot drop-box is near the main entrance of the American Embassy in Clayton. Those who wish to drop their forms or ballots in the drop box may do so at any time during regular business hours: Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to noon.
Ordinarily the cheapest courier service in Panama is the ecomienda services. By those you can send an envelope or a package by bus to the National Bus Terminal in Albrook, in the name of someone you can trust to pick it up and take it over the embassy in Clayton. But COVID-19 has closed a lot of the bus syndicates’ ecomienda systems. Still, you can use a private courier service – UNOExpress, Fletes Chaval, Transporte Ferguson or so on – to get your ballot to the embassy. Using a courier service, address the larger envelope containing your official postage-free envelope with filled out and signed ballot inside that to:
Embajada de los Estados Unidos ATTN: Voting Officer Edificio 783, Ave. Demetrio B. Lakas Clayton, Panama City, Rep. Of Panama
If you vote in a state that allows some sort of electronic voting, do THAT instead of using the mailbox at the embassy. Those are MOST states. By email:
…or by fax:
There are some complications in your calculations if you must vote by postal mail. One of these begins with the difference between the states with the “received by” and “postmarked by” rules. In some of the latter, your ballot my arrive weeks later and still be counted, while others put a time limit on when it must arrive.
(IF, because it’s postage-free, they don’t stamp the envelope to prevent a stamp from being used twice, that has been known to cause clerks in some places to reject a ballot in a “postmarked by” jurisdiction. Some clerks will also do that to a ballot that comes in with a private courier. In some close race this year, expect that stuff to be litigated during a recount process.)
In any case, we who vote in the “received by” postal mail only jurisdictions face this criminally created time squeeze, and it’s a moving target that makes your calculations uncertain. Moving target because of labor and management struggles in the US Postal Service — as in if Trump and DeJoy order postal workers not to deliver ballots on time and the workers and their unions defy them. As in, more certainly, litigation in several state and federal courts to expand the “received by” window due to criminal interference with the mail. As in, we don’t know for sure HOW MUCH Trump’s demolition of more than 600 mail sorting machines will slow the US Postal Service mail.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY? Get your ballot in the mail as quickly as possible if you vote in a “vote by postal mail state:
Mystified by the possibilities? Narrow them down as it applies to you by going to https://www.fvap.gov/ and selecting the state where you vote to see the detailed requirements.
Clicking on the state where I vote, Michigan, we get the “received by” deadline. Other states have different ones.
ALSO NOTICE THAT Michigan is one of the states with same-day voter registration. If the state where you vote has that, you can send in your voter registration with a proper write-in ballot and if it arrives in time it should be counted.
The general rule is that you vote in the last place where you lived in the USA, or that if you are a US citizen who has never lived in the USA you vote where a parent who was a US citizen last lived. Again, you can go to the Federal Voting Assistance Program website for more advice on this: https://www.fvap.gov/citizen-voter/voting-residence.
IF you cast your absentee ballot in a vote by postal mail state, then download and print (or have printed in one of the many businesses that will do this for you) this envelope:
Use this link to find a printable and usable — IF you have registered to vote and ordered your ballot — Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot form in PDF format: https://www.fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/Forms/fwab.pdf. You definitely want to use one of these if you are to cast your ballot in a vote by postal mail only state and there is any delay receiving your ballot. The sabotage of the US Postal Service is intended to cause further delay. You don’t want to add to all of that by procrastinating.
In most jurisdictions you still have time to register to vote. Check the deadline where you vote. In a lot of them, you can “register on Election Day,” which means outside of the USA that you can send in your FPCA voter registration form along with your write-in ballot. Put the filled-out form in the envelope along with your filled out and signed federal write-in absentee ballot and get your vote counted. (OR BETTER YET, if you vote in a state that allows this, do it online.)
The two most common ways that ballots from abroad get invalidated are if they arrive late, or if they are not signed. Time is of the essence. So is your signature.
Under federal law, your ballot cast for federal offices only — US Representative, US Senator and President of the United States — may not be used for state tax purposes to declare you a resident of the state where you cast such a ballot.
The governor of Guna Yala was moving this in a specially modified smuggling car. Policia Nacional photo.
Notice that this is one of the rare “War on Drugs” police trophy photos that has appeared in The Panama News. That lost US-led “war” is a catastrophic failure that has corrupted almost every part of Panama’s government.
Might the honest cop, the honest civil servant, take umbrage at such a statement? When she or he doesn’t know whether those in higher rank, or those working alongside at the same level of the hierarchy, are on the take?
Panama needs to follow the lead of many US states and European countries and get out of the drug war business. Not to say that the battle should not be joined against addiction and other substance abuse, but that the criminal law should only be a tangential and minor part of how we confront a serious public health problem.
Drug smuggling through Panama provoking another US invasion? By all rights it shouldn’t, given how some of the worst offenders here are remnants of Plan Colombia death squads that notwithstanding all denials once enjoyed US support. But really, to protect our status as the centerpiece of important world trade routes, shouldn’t we withdraw the constitutional protection of smugglers and turn them over to countries into which they are caught moving contraband? That probably would not satisfy this US administration, which continues long-standing policies of cloaking political interventions for other motives in anti-drug disguise.
In the USA itself the states are increasingly breaking with the federal government to reject drug law extremism. In many cases it’s for frankly economic reasons. They need the tax revenue from marijuana sales, and to cut the expenses of mass incarceration.
Like the US alcohol prohibition of the 1920s, the “War on Drugs” has created institutions on both sides. Organized crime in that time and place grew into the US incarnation of the mafia, which got into other rackets once alcohol became legal again. If the money is taken out of the drug racket, a lot of those racketeers will move into other crimes.
Some already have. President Cortizo’s appointed governor of Guna Yala, Erick Martelo, was according to police nailed moving drugs in a specially modified smuggling car. Legislative secretary Lourdes Camarena, who worked for the PRD-allied MOIRENA deputy Miguel Fanovich, was arrested for allegedly moving drugs shortly before. Neither Martelo nor Camarena are in jail at the moment — he, because only the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to investigate him, she, because she is apparently pregnant.
Because criminal activity in the various branches of government is rarely punished, it’s only natural that gangsters would move onto that turf. They have.
Set aside Washington’s obsession with drugs. In Panama we need to be concerned about any sort of racketeering in public life.
Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Bear in mind…
If I advance follow me, if I stall push me, if I retreat kill me.
A happy childhood is poor preparation for human contacts.
It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.
Anthropologist Fernando Santos-Granero has pieced together the story of a change agent whose life spanned an important period in South American history in his book, Slavery and Utopia, now available in English and Spanish.
Peruvian Amazonian shaman rose to power on promises of liberation and immortality
In Peru they called him Tasorentsi: ‘divine messenger and world transformer.’ During the first half of the twentieth century José Carlos Amaringo Chico rose to power as a charismatic Ashaninka shaman-chief. His personal evolution mirrored the tumultuous times. His unwavering belief in the potential to transform the world and achieve immortality contributed to his success as a leader. Fernando Santos-Granero, anthropologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, tells Tasorentsi’s story in Slavery and Utopia: The Wars and Dreams of an Amazonian World Transformer, now available in both Spanish and English editions.
Tasorentsi lived for 83 years (1875-1958). To understand his life, it is useful to understand the evolution of the rubber industry. Made from latex extracted from Hevea brasiliensis and Castilla elastica trees, rubber was invented by Amerindians. But it was not in great demand until 1839 when Charles Goodyear invented vulcanization, a process that made rubber harder and more durable. When the bicycle became a popular form of transportation in the late 1800’s rubber was needed for tires, but it was expensive because it was still harvested from wild trees by indigenous and mestizo workers. The workers were often paid in advance by rubber companies to travel to areas where latex was being harvested and thus became permanently indebted.
By the late 1800’s people realized that it was easier to grow rubber trees in plantations and exploit inexpensive labor—especially in British and Dutch colonies in Southeast Asia. As new banks sprang up in China to finance the Asian plantations, the supply of cheap rubber soon far exceeded demand and the wild rubber economy collapsed in 1910.
As an adolescent, Amaringo worked as an indentured, quasi-slave laborer for a local rubber extractor and, thus, knew well the sufferings of indigenous people forced to extract rubber. After escaping from his master, he became a shaman and engaged, first as a middleman and later as a slaver, in the capture and trafficking of children and young women on behalf of white-mestizo rubber extractors. By the time the wild rubber economy collapsed, Amaringo was to experience a moral conversion, which changed the course of his life.
The Ashaninka believed they had once been as immortal as the gods but had been cast out because they did not uphold a moral code. As the rubber economy evolved and then collapsed, Amaringo took a strong anti-slavery stance and rose as the leader of several major social liberation movements, fueling his efforts with the idea that if a morally just culture could be reestablished, immortality would follow. When Seventh Day Adventist missionaries arrived, telling a similar messianic tale, he skillfully blended the two ideologies to achieve a peaceful transition.
According to the publisher of the 2018 English edition, the University of Texas Press, “Slavery and Utopia convincingly refutes those who claim that the Ashaninka proclivity to messianism is an anthropological invention.” The Spanish edition was featured virtually on the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos’ Facebook page on Sept. 3 as part of Lima’s annual Book Fair. In a YouTube interview in Spanish by Javier Torres on his channel, La Mula, Torres describes the book as a “collective collaboration.”
“Learning about the life of someone who lived in a remote area at the turn of the twentieth century and who left few tracks in the oral tradition and fewer in the written record, was a challenge,” said Fernando Santos-Granero. “I have to thank a large group of anthropologists, historians and linguists who shared their data in ways that are not necessarily customary in our profession.”
One of the central clues to the impact that Tasorentsi played as a multicultural mediator was a song from the early 20th Century, La Cancion del Rio Celeste, which Santos-Granero found in an interview of Carlos Perez Schuman recorded by anthropologist Jeremy Narby from the 1980’s. With words in Ashaninka, Yine and Shipibo, the lyrics describe a time when indigenous groups will regain their immortality and people of the Earth will once again become part of the celestial matrix.
“The song mirrors Tasorentsi’s moral conversion from a person who actively supported slavery to a person who rejected violence as the road to indigenous liberation and advocated a strategy to attain autonomy through economic independence, rejecting slavery and providing formal education to children,” Santos-Granero said.
Santos-Granero’s work at the Smithsoninan ranges from the historical study of native Amazonian peoples in colonial times to the analysis of present-day indigenous cultural practices, through the examination of the historical processes leading to the configuration of modern Amazonian regional economies. He also authored: The Power of Love: The Moral Use of Knowledge among the Amuesha of Central Peru (1991) and Vital Enemies: Slavery, Predation, and the Amerindian Political Economy of Life (2009). He is co-author of: Selva Central: History, Economy and Land Use in Peruvian Amazonia (1998) and Tamed Frontiers: Economy, Society, and Civil Rights in Upper Amazonia (2000) (both with Federica Barclay). He edited the following volumes: Comparative Arawakan Histories: Rethinking Language Family and Culture Area in Amazonia (2001) (with Jonathan D. Hill); The Occult Life of Things: Native Amazonian Theories of Materiality and Personhood (2012); Images of Public Wealth or the Anatomy of Well Being in Indigenous America (2015); and the six volumes of the Guía etnográfica de la Alta Amazonía (1994-2007) (with Federica Barclay).
Santos Granero, Fernando. 2018. Slavery and Utopia: The Wars and Dreams of an Amazonian World Transformer. Tucson: University of Texas Press.
Santos Granero, Fernando. 2020. Esclavitud y utopía: las guerras y sueños de un transformador del mundo asháninca. Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos/ Centro Amazónico de Antropología y Aplicación Práctica/Instituto Smithsonian de Investigaciones Tropicales.
Captain Herrera and his troops, Perené Colony, June 1914. Captain Herrera (center), commander of the Mounted Infantry of the Andean town of La Oroya, was one of the first officers to be sent to the Selva Central to punish the Ashaninka rebels. Here he appears in the company of friendly Yanesha and Ashaninka chiefs while his soldiers raise the Peruvian flag. Source: Variedades No. 309, January 31, 1914. Courtesy of the Biblioteca Nacional del Perú.
Ashaninka delegation in Metraro, Upper Perené, Circa 1928. Stahl’s presence in the region created great expectations among the Ashaninka and other Selva Central indigenous peoples. The rumor was that a “white god” had appeared in the Perené Valley. As a result, people began to flock to Metraro, sometimes in small family groups or, as in this case, in larger groups led by their chiefs. Source: Ferdinand A. Stahl Photograph Collection (P08619). Courtesy of National Museum of the American Indian.
Ashkaninka people attending Sabbath School, circa 1928. This picture was probably taken in Cheni, on the Tambo River during missionaries Stahl and Peugh’s 1928 trip to Iquitos. The visitors stayed several days in Cheni teaching the “word of God” to the locals. They were surprised by the large number of people that attended the Sabbath School and their willingness to learn. Source: Center for Adventist Research (P 003995) Courtesy of Center for Adventist Research.
Stahl and 2nd Lt. Carlos Gensollen visitin the Tambo River, 1928. This picture of Stahl and 2nd Lt. Gensollen, commissioned to determine the veracity of the accusations raised by local patrones against Adventists missionaries, was probably taken in Colonia Pira. It also seems to feature chiefs Ompikiri (first man standing from left) and Tasorentsi (fifth man standing from left). Source: Stahl 1929: 19.
STRI staff anthropologist Fernando Santos-Granero.
Of an estimated 228 million cases of malaria worldwide each year, around 93% are in Africa. This proportion is more or less the same for the 405,000 malaria deaths globally.
That’s why there are huge efforts underway to provide detailed maps of current malaria cases in Africa, and to predict which areas will become more susceptible in future, since such maps are vital to control and treat transmission. Mosquito populations can respond quickly to climate change, so it is also important to understand what global warming means for malaria risk across the continent.
We have just published a new set of maps in Nature Communications giving the most accurate picture yet of where in Africa will – and won’t – become climatically suitable for malaria transmission.
The malaria parasite thrives where it is warm and wet. Air temperature controls several parts of the transmission cycle, including the mosquito lifespan and rates of development and biting.
If it is too warm or too cold then either the malaria parasite or the mosquito that transmits the parasite between humans will not survive. This suitable temperature range is relatively well established by field and laboratory studies and forms the basis for current projections of the impact of climate change on malaria.
Yet, surface water is equally crucial as it provides habitat for the mosquitoes to lay their eggs. While flowing water in large rivers does not provide suitable larval habitat for African vector mosquitoes, nearby smaller water bodies, such as bankside ponds and floodplains can be highly productive, as can associated irrigation schemes or ponds and puddles forming anywhere in the landscape.
But estimating future surface water is tricky. River levels fluctuate with the seasons, ponds and puddles emerge and disappear, and it’s hard to predict exactly where will be farmed and irrigated years from now.
Previous models of malaria transmission suitability across Africa used simple monthly rainfall totals to estimate how much habitat would be available for mosquitoes. We instead looked at the formation of water bodies in more detail. When we include these hydrological processes in our model, we observe a different pattern both today and into the future.
In the tropics, if it rains a lot then mosquitoes can breed and the area is probably suitable for malaria transmission. If this location is also within the right temperature range, we can say it is climatically suitable for malaria transmission. It may not presently experience transmission – perhaps because the disease has been eradicated there – but the climate would be suitable for it.
Generally, this approach works well, especially over the whole of Africa. But it isn’t really how surface water works. To take an extreme example, it barely rains at all along much of the Nile River yet there are plenty of mosquitoes and we know malaria was prevalent in Ancient Egypt.
Rain water can infiltrate the soil, evaporate back into the atmosphere, be absorbed by vegetation and, of course, flow downslope into streams and rivers. Since rainfall doesn’t always match up with how much water is left on the surface, a new approach was needed.
A more complex pattern
In our recent study, we applied a continental-scale hydrological model to estimate surface water availability. This highlighted a much more complex and arguably more realistic pattern of hydro-climatic suitability. Unlike rainfall-based approaches, our model highlights river corridors as potential year-round focal points of transmission.
Our work shows that some areas which were very obviously missing from previous models are in fact suitable for malaria transmission. This includes the Nile system, where our estimate of present day suitability for transmission extends prominently to the north coast of Africa, supported by historical observations of malaria outbreaks.
Similarly, the Niger and Senegal rivers and Webi Juba and Webi Shabeelie rivers in Somalia extend beyond the geographical ranges previously estimated to be climatically suitable. This is especially important since human populations tend to concentrate close to such rivers.
When we compare projections of the hydro-climatic model into the future with those from previous rainfall-threshold models we again see differences. Both suggest only very small changes in the total area suitable across the continent up to 2100, even under the most extreme global warming scenario. However, once hydrological processes were taken into account, we observed a greater shift in the areas that are hydro-climatically suitable and locations projected to change were very different.
For example in South Africa, rather than increased suitability being focused in the east of the country centered on Lesotho, our approach predicts that the area of increased suitability will stretch along the courses of the Caledon and Orange rivers to the border with Namibia. We no longer observe aridity-driven decreases in suitability across southern Africa, particularly in Botswana and Mozambique.
Conversely, projected decreases across west Africa are more pronounced. The largest difference is in South Sudan where our hydrological approach estimates substantial decreases in malaria suitability in the future.
Routing water through the landscape in a realistic way maps a very different pattern of malaria transmission suitability both today and into the future. But this is only a first step.
There is a lot more we can do to embed state-of-the-art hydrological and flood models into estimates of malaria suitability and even early warning systems of local malaria epidemics. The exciting challenge now is to develop this approach at the local scales required by public health agencies, to help in their fight against the disease.
Películas panameñas seleccionadas para competir en Guatemala
por el Festival de Cine Icaro Panamá
El jurado seleccionador del 13° Festival de Cine Icaro Panamá 2020, compuesto por los cineastas Delfina Vidal (Panamá), José Luis Rodríguez (Panamá) y Mauro Colombo (Italia) tuvieron la responsabilidad de seleccionar las películas panameñas que nos representarán en la competencia centroamericana del Festival Icaro Internacional con sede en ciudad de Guatemala y que se realizará este noviembre.
Son 8 filmes de cortometraje documental, animación y ficción los que nos representarán en esta importante competencia regional, seleccionados de entre los 21 inscritos por nuestro país y que podrán ser vistos antes de este encuentro en el Festival Icaro Panamá, que se realizará de manera virtual en esta ciudad, del 30 de septiembre al 4 de octubre.
Los títulos son:
Djaba Wera (Panamá 2019) Dir. Duiren Wagua;
Vuelta al sol (Panamá 2019) Dir. Judith Corro;
Artesano (Panamá -Cuba 2018) Dir. David Iglesias;
Biotipo (Panamá 2019) Dir. Fátima Díaz, Mabel Guerra y Javier Salas;
El toque de la libertad (Panamá 2019) Dir. Henry González;
Mentes egoístas (Panamá 2019) Dir. Brayan Viera;
Después de todo (Panamá 2020) Dir. Deneb Cerrud y
Adiós Bárbara (Panamá 2019) Dir. Mariel García.
El Festival de Cine Icaro Panamá es una producción conjunta del GECU de la Vicerrectoría de Extensión de la Universidad de Panamá y la Fundación pro Artes Escénicas y Audiovisuales (FAE), con auspicios de la Dirección de Cine del Ministerio de Cultura. Más información a email@example.com o al 6984-3448. Facebook, Twiter, Instagram: @IcaroPanama / www.icaropanama.com
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“Another such victory and we shall be utterly ruined.” King Pyrrhus leads the troops on to victory – of a sort.
by Miguel Antonio Bernal
The hubris syndrome, a form of ego disorder, has taken hold of our main rulers. It is evidenced, according to scientists, by “a narcissistic propensity to see their world primarily as a setting where they can exercise their power and seek glory”
During these past 14 months, conscientious citizens have been able to verify that we have been kidnapped for some time by deceitful “leaders” who are drunk with power and its privileges.
Two books, one by David Owen and J. Davidson (2009) “Hubris syndrome: an acquired personality disorder? A study of US Presidents and UK Prime Ministers over the last 100 years,” and “In Sickness and in Power” (2008), deepen this concept.
They emphasize, after studying the brains of political leaders, that: “power is so intoxicating that it ends up affecting the leaders’ judgment.”
Let’s look at some of the “Hubris syndrome screening” rules, based on Owen’s studies:
1. A predisposition to take actions that can give the individual a favorable light, in order to embellish his image.
2. An inordinate concern for image and presentation.
3. A messianic way of commenting on current affairs and a tendency to exaltation.
4. An identification with the nation or an organization to the extent that his individual values, point of view and interests are identical.
5. A tendency to speak of oneself in the third person or to use the regal form of “we.”
6. Excessive confidence in your own judgment and a disregard for the advice or criticism of others.
7. An exaggerated personal approach, tending to the omnipotence, of what they are capable of carrying out.
8. A belief that before being accountable to all of their colleagues or to public opinion, the court to which they must answer is History or God. And the unshakable idea that such a court will absolve them
9. A loss of contact with reality, often linked to gradual isolation.
10. Agitation, recklessness and impulsiveness.
It is up to citizens to exercise control to avoid the irrational exercise of political power.
Officials in Colorado, California, and Washington state on Friday were forced to publicly clarify local election procedures and guidelines after the US Postal Service began sending out mailers containing potentially misleading information about the voting process to households across the country.
In a series of tweets late Friday, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold raised alarm about the USPS postcard, which includes a checklist advising voters to request mail-in ballots “at least 15 days before Election Day.”
“I just found out the USPS is sending this postcard to every household and PO Box in the nation. For states like Colorado where we send ballots to all voters, the information is not just confusing, it’s WRONG,” Griswold tweeted, posting a photo of the mailer. “Here in Colorado (and also in CA, DC, HI, NJ, NV, OR, UT, WA, and VT) voters don’t request ballots because a ballot is mailed to every registered voter. But the USPS is confusing our voters by telling them to request a ballot.”
Griswold, a Democrat, said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy “refused” when secretaries of state asked to review a draft of the postcard before it was sent to millions of US voters.
“This may have started off as a well-intentioned effort by USPS, but their refusal to listen to election experts combined with the recent postal slowdown in some parts of the country is beyond suspect,” added Griswold, who said she is exploring legal action against the Postal Service. “Confusing voters about mail ballots in the middle of a pandemic is unacceptable. It can undermine confidence in the election and suppress votes. I will do everything in my power to stop USPS from sending misinformation to voters.”
I just found out the @USPS is sending this postcard to every household and PO Box in the nation. For states like Colorado where we send ballots to all voters, the information is not just confusing, it’s WRONG. (Thread) pic.twitter.com/RoTTeJRJVl
— Jena Griswold (@JenaGriswold) September 12, 2020
Other state officials also took to Twitter and issued statements reminding residents of the mail-in voting process in response to the USPS postcard, which mentions that “rules and dates vary by state” before offering specific timelines on requesting and sending ballots—advice that could be helpful in some states but misleading in others.
“Appreciate the effort USPS, but this could be confusing for California,” tweeted California Chief Deputy Secretary of State James Schwab.
In an attempt to prevent confusion, Janna Haynes, a Sacramento County elections spokesperson, released a statement reminding residents that “in California, you do not need to request an absentee ballot—all active and registered voters will be mailed a ballot beginning October 5.”
Appreciate the effort @USPS , but this could be confusing for California. 1) No need to request a mail ballot. 2) Return postage is pre-paid – first class. 3) We allow ballots postmarked by Election Day to count if they arrive with 17 days. Follow @CASOSvote for Official CA Info pic.twitter.com/6eC297NCh9
— J Schwab (@jmschwab) September 11, 2020
Washington state’s Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman also put out a press release noting that “voters in Washington do not need to request a ballot, as ballots are automatically mailed to all registered voters at least 18 days prior to Election Day.”
“The Office of the Secretary of State and county election officials were not made aware this mailer would be sent to Washington residents, nor were we apprised of its content,” said Wyman, echoing Griswold’s account. “By the time we learned of the mailer and reached out to the postal service to inquire further, the mailers were already in the mail stream.”
The mailers were sent as part of broader election “advertising” effort that comes as DeJoy and other top Postal Service officials are facing accusations of deliberately undermining mail-in voting to help President Donald Trump win reelection. DeJoy, a Trump megadonor, imposed changes on USPS operations that resulted in dramatic mail slowdowns across the nation, sparking concerns about the timely delivery of mail-in ballots.
As the New York Times reported, the Postal Service is working to reassure voters and state officials that it is “prepared to handle an expected surge in voting by mail as a result of the pandemic.”
“The agency has reached out to political party and campaign officials in all 50 states and designated more than 400 ‘political and election mail coordinators,'” the Times noted. “And it has begun an advertising campaign, including a mailer to households across the country and a television spot. Mr. DeJoy is scheduled to meet next week with secretaries of state from across the country to offer guidance on voting-by-mail deadlines.”
“The Postal Service recently warned states that it might not be able to process all last-minute ballots,” the Times continued, “opening the possibility that hundreds of thousands could arrive too late to be counted.”