We citizens have one small chit in our Democracy--the vote. But without a robust and truly free news media, our vote is worth nothing.  Knowledge is power, and in an age of moneyed interests--interests that control the media itself--it is the only power, as exercised through our vote, we citizens have a hope of possessing.  Advance The Dialog is a tool for the public.  It asks the media to follow common sense Rules designed to elicit factual data, Calls Them Out when they do not, and holds them accountable in the performance of their duty as The Fourth Pillar of Democracy.

So Welcome to ATD.  I hope you will join me by adding Your Input to this site.  Vote on the issues.  Comment on my blogs.  And Call Them Out when they break The Rules!

Advance The Dialog Challenge! (right) Featured Video! (bottom): Trump, Clinton, on Terrorism
  

There is a saying in the tech industry: garbage in, garbage out. It refers to computers and the fact that, because they cannot differentiate between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ input, simply process everything, and produce commensurate results. In its description of the phrase, Wikipedia adds: “The principle applies to other fields as well.”

Like our political system, perhaps.

Historically, the media has long favored covering ‘the horse race’ over actual issues in elections. It has been particularly pronounced this year, making Focus On Issues, Not Politics the biggest Rule break of the political season, by far.

On top of … read more »

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Though I was shocked to realize that neither education nor healthcare—two giant issues—were chosen as topics for any of the 3 debates, in the end, it’s still ‘the economy, stupid’. Through all the diversions, and outrageous, unseemly and sad degradation of this election, that is still the take away for me.

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Whatever you think of the candidates, too many people really are suffering as the American Dream drifts further and further away, and that’s not going to change until we deal with our chronic reality of stagnant wages and low growth. That is why, though the official topics are Debt … read more »

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For the second Presidential Debate, which will be in a Town Hall format, half the Questions will come from the public. You can still get yours in by submitting them to this site. I’ve included mine below. Some are from my previous blog since they were not asked in the first debate.

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Environment

Background: Renewable energies have become more cost effective than fossil fuels in price per mega-watt hour, with wind & solar thin film at $55 & $43/MWH, vs. gas & coal at $65 & $108/MWH, respectively.
Question: How much will you invest in renewables, and how many … read more »

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The topics chosen for tonight’s first Presidential Debate include: America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity, and Securing America. Here are some of the Questions I want to see Asked.

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America’s Direction This is one of those non-specific categories tailored for generic, boiler plate answers. I’m not crazy about the topic, but here goes…

ATQ:  In order of priority, what are the 3 biggest problems negatively impacting the direction America is currently taking and, briefly, what would you do to change direction for each?

ATQ:  If “investing in the future” is key to setting and maintaining a positive direction for … read more »

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I recently came across another story—the third in a few months—on economic turn around of disadvantaged who live in cities. Rather than add it to the other two in my May 2015 blog, I decided it deserved its own.

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The NYT opinion piece is about the successful Houston nonprofit Neighborhood Centers, and its ‘bottom up’ approach to helping people lift themselves out of poverty. The author, David L. Kirp, writes that Neighborhood Centers “has enabled hundreds of thousands of poor residents, many of them immigrants, to move up the ladder of economic and educational opportunity each year. It’s a strategy that … read more »

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