Is the 2016 Presidential Election Rigged? They all are!

By Harold Pease, Ph. D

For some time Donald Trump has said that this election is “rigged” in favor of Hillary Clinton.  He talks about the “pile on” against him by the establishment media, establishment Democrats, establishment Republicans, establishment bankers and corporations.  He could have added the globalist establishment special interest groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bilderbergers. There has been collusion amongst all these groups for decades more easily seen now than at anytime since Barry Goldwater.  This is evidenced most clearly by the establishment media’s reluctance to cover Wikileaks released emails so devastating to Clinton and the Republican establishments hostility to their own candidate, as for example, George H. Bush’s vow to vote for Hillary. 

Remember, Trump is the only “outsider” still in the race.  From the onset non-establishment candidates Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump collectively had at least 60% of primary voters.  Most Americans have felt something amiss in Washington DC in both major political parties for some time.  We have mentioned in previous columns that Wall Street “elites” have, by their funding, owned both political parties and the mainstream media for most of a century and Trump threatens their continued power.

But most Americans do not understand that presidential elections have been “rigged” for decades by deliberate media exclusion of other political party candidates.  I write the Federal Elections Commission every October of every election year to find out who is running for president as the establishment media has not told me.  Yes, I know the candidates of the two favored political parties, but little else.  I wish not to have my choices limited by the managed media. 

The Federal Elections Commission requires that anyone running for president that spends or collects $ 5,000 or more on his/her candidacy for president file with them.  My students are surprised to learn that there are always over 200 persons who do so, often many more.  In every presidential election there are at least 20 political parties offering a presidential candidate.  Part of the “rigged” system is the agreement among the mainstream media to cover only Republicans and Democrats. 

The Libertarian Party has offered a presidential candidate in every election for decades and are on the ballot in over 45 states in every election but are seldom mentioned and never invited to the “big debates.”  Certainly, they feel excluded.  One may argue, “but they do not have enough voter strength to warrant inclusion,” but in fact, they do not have sufficient voter strength because the establishment media does not cover them. 

When the establishment press wishes to advantage a candidate it suddenly allows inclusion, such as when Ross Perot was “allowed” real participation in 1992 because he would take more votes from George H. W. Bush than Bill Clinton giving Clinton, the then media favorite, the White House.  Ross Perot was on the ballot in every state in the Union because he received sufficient media attention to be there. 

Such would be the case today for anyone else getting media attention.  The media get to vote first by its collective exclusion of those not registered with the Democrat or Republican Party.  In political science, we learn that the first election is theirs.  We get to choose from those the media have not excluded.  The wisest, most experienced, most gifted and most honest person in America could not be president of the United States unless he/she were a Democrat or Republican.  

Media corporate owners have allowed media collusion and, as we have said in other columns, they are overwhelmingly also globalist.  Trump survived this media filter by running as a Republican and vaulted over the establishment by funding his own primary campaign enabling him to say it as he saw it and win over the majority of Americans who have also felt something amiss in Washington DC.

So what other political parties offer choices for president on the ballot this year?  They follow: Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party), Jill Stein (Green Party), Darrell Castle (Constitution Party of the U.S.), Gloria LaRiva (Party of Socialism and Liberation), Rocky de la Fuente (Reform Party USA), Emidio Soltysik (Socialist Party USA), Alyson Kennedy (Socialist Workers Party), Evan McMullin (Better For American Party), Frank Atwood (Approval Voting Party-Colorado), Scott Copeland (Constitution Party of Idaho-Texas), Princess Khadijah Jacob Fambro (Revolutionary Party-California), Jim Hedges (Prohibition Party-Pennsylvania), Mike Maturen (American Solidarity Party-Michigan), Monica Moorhead (Workers World Party-New York), Rod Silva (Nutrition Party-New Jersey), Peter Skewes (American Party of SC-South Carolina), Tom Hoefling (America’s Party-Iowa), Chris Keniston (Veterans Party of America-Texas), Kyle Kopitke (Independent American Party-Michigan), Bradford Lyttle (US Pacifist Party-Illinois), Dan Vacek (Legal Marijuana Now Party- Minesota), Jerry White (Socialist Equality Par-Michigan). These persons were able to go through the different state hurdles to get on the ballot without significant media coverage.  The list ends with another 550 running for president as write-in candidates. 

In this election, many wish to know of options other than Clinton and Trump.  The establishment media reluctantly noted the Libertarian and Green Party candidates, but unless voters do their own research they are not well informed on either and are totally ignorant on the other political parties running candidates.  Obviously, Trump is mostly arguing that elections are “rigged” because of the “pile on” against him, but it can also be argued that they were “rigged” long before him.

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2016 Art Restart Holiday Collection

DENVER — Halloween is over and now the holiday season ensues bringing a celebration of happiness to share with loved ones. Art Restart has the perfect holiday card collection to make family, friends, business associates, customers, and all those near-and-dear feel special. With an Art Restart card you can express holiday wishes with a purpose — helping women who are experiencing poverty.

“No time of year inspires the sentiments of love, caring and generosity quite like the holiday season,” said Teresa Densmore, Director of Art Restart. “This year, we’ve truly topped ourselves with the most unique assortment of greeting cards featuring original art, created by members of The Gathering Place. There’s a card for every person on your list. 

Art Restart is a social enterprise of The Gathering Place, Denver’s only daytime drop-in center for women, their children, and transgender individuals who are seeking programming and necessary services to help them become self-sufficient.  For nearly 30 years, it has been a place of hope where positive relationships and essential resources transform lives every day. 

Densmore says, “The Art Restart program provides opportunities for women who are experiencing poverty to transform their lives through art.  As Art Restart artists, they receive royalties when their art is chosen by companies and individuals, while the rest of the proceeds from each sale go back to The Gathering Place to assist with the furthering of programs and services.  You literally can do good without much effort.” 

Companies like Vectra Bank are using Art Restart cards as a demonstration of their commitment to corporate social responsibility.  “Not only do Art Restart cards meet communication needs for our business and individual customers, but it’s also an easy way to help others,” says Densmore.

Bruce Alexander, president and CEO of Vectra Bank says, “When The Gathering Place launched Art Restart as its social enterprise, we just knew Vectra had to be a part of this endeavor…   We’re so proud to have been Art Restart’s first client and thrilled to be able to share their story and our warm holiday wishes with our clients and prospects through their cards each year.”

The 2016 Holiday Collection features original art that portrays beautiful scenes of holiday and winter.  Most notable are Gold Trees by EHS, Mountain Cornucopia by JJJ, and Snow Storm by VEC.  “The initials of the artists are used here because of the need to respect the privacy of our members, many who are victims of domestic violence,” said Densmore.  “And there is no reason companies cannot get the jump on 2017 holidays by ordering cards from this collection now,” she added.

Art Restart was conceived to develop new revenue streams to support the vitally needed services The Gathering Place provides and is built on four principles. 1) Transformation: artists earn royalties on sales of their art securing an income that can help lead to self-sufficiency. 2) Expression: artists use our safe space for creative self-expression. 3) Affirmation: our women are truly artists and with every sale, and gain self-confidence which positively affects their lives. 4) Sustainability: to provide additional funding to The Gathering Place, ensuring it can continue to serve members in meaningful ways. 

“It is a creative way for businesses to demonstrate a commitment to being socially responsible and directly help women who are experiencing poverty,” says Densmore.  “Our catalog features 100 unique images created by more than 20 talented artists who earn money to help them put their lives back together and get on solid ground financially and emotionally. “

Through Art Restart, The Gathering Place licenses artists’ designs, reproduces and sells them for commercial usage. The benefits of this effort accrue to helping women who are experiencing poverty to get back to a place of feeling self-worth and economic stability.

Launched in 2014, Art Restart’s strategy is to provide corporations and individuals with a valuable product to keep in touch with customers, friends and family while also supporting a social cause.  Each card is customizable and co-branded with company logos and personalized messages. Through the sale of high-end, large quantity reproductions of the art created by local women and transgender individuals, large companies, small businesses, politicians, entrepreneurs, foundations, and organizations are purchasing cards for all types of occasions.  Holidays, birthdays, wedding packages, thank you notes, and more can be customized and co-branded with The Gathering Place, communicating a combined business and socially responsible message directly with key audiences.

“It sends a powerful message to an organization’s audience about who they are,” says Densmore. “If we know anything about consumers and commercial customers today, it is this:  when given a choice between virtually equal service and product options, almost 90 percent will choose the one that links to a social mission,” she continued.

To learn more about the 2016 Art Restart collection, contact [email protected] or call 303-996-9034.

About The Gathering Place

The Gathering Place (TGP) created Art Restart as a social enterprise to provide its members with opportunities to earn money and to build earned revenues.  For 30 years, TGP has offered essential resources and personal growth programs to women, children, and transgender individuals during the day.

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DPS 2016 School Performance Framework results

NORTH DENVER — Denver Public Schools released the results of the eighth School Performance Framework (SPF) on October 27 at one of NW Denver’s rising star elementary schools, Trevista at Horace Mann. Principal Jesús Rodríguez and his team embraced the opportunity to showcase their students to visitors as the young welcoming committee greeted them at the blue doors with full-on eye contact, handshakes and welcoming smiles. The ECE students opened the formal presentation with a joyful dance choreographed to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

Trevista has a good reason to be happy. The Northwest Denver school was rated Red in 2013. This year DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg and Denver Board of Education Vice President Barbara O’Brien joined Trevista Principal Jesús Rodríguez, Trevista teachers and students to celebrate that school’s first-ever Green rating, highlighting the school as an example of strong growth.

“I know how hard it is to get here,” O’Brien, who served with community members and families on the Northwest Working Group to improve area schools, told the Trevista team. “It’s heroic work and we all thank you for what you’ve done.”

Rodríguez said the school is determined to reach the very highest rating, or Blue. “Last year, we painted our doors blue because we want everyone … to see that we are on a mission to be blue,” he said.  “We know we have a long way to go, but the determination of our staff and community make the future bright blue for us.”

The 2016 SPF Results

Not all schools felt as happy as Trevista as the SPF color-coded “stoplight” system ratings dropped in 40 percent of DPS schools by at least one color rating according to a Chalkbeat analysis by reporter Melanie Asmar. The analysis did not include the district’s alternative schools or early education centers.

The SPF evaluates a comprehensive set of factors to create a color rating for each of the district’s nearly 200 schools. The SPF is similar to a report card for each school, rating how well the school supports student growth and achievement and how well it serves students and families. It helps a school focus on its strengths and highlights where improvement is needed. Of the four factors it evaluates (Academic Growth, Student Achievement-also known as “Status,” Equity, and Parent Satisfaction), Growth is weighted the most heavily.

The 2016 SPF is the first released by the district since the implementation of more rigorous academic standards and assessments. Boasberg has supported the tougher standards as more in line with what students truly need to be prepared for success in college and career.

In 2016 the results showed 7% Distinguished (Blue), 43% Meets Expectations (Green), 28% Accredited on Watch (Yellow), 7% Accredited on Priority Watch (Orange) and 16% Accredited on Probation (Red).

DPS did not have an SPF in 2015 because the state moved from the TCAP test to CMAS. Overall school ratings have been historically based on two year’s worth of growth data to help equalize “one-off” situations that might swing the data pendulum. Boasberg acknowledged at a Board meeting prior to the SPF result release that because of the switch to PARCC tests, and only one year of growth data there would be greater swings in school ratings.

“Overall, the number of Green and Blue schools are down this year, which comes as no surprise with new state standards,” he said. Approximately 50% of schools were ranked as Green or Blue in 2016, a 10% drop since 2014. The numbers could have been worse were it not for a last-minute school board decision to lower the bar on the percentage of students who were required to meet or exceed expectations on the PARCC tests.

Some positive wins and challenges for equity

Boasberg focused on the positive and celebrated “the extraordinary progress that some of our schools are making” by acknowledging the Principals of Fairview Elementary, Trevista, University Prep Charter School, Collegiate Prep Academy, DSST: College View High School Charter and Respect Academy, a multiple pathways school.

“Clearly one of the things these schools have in common is overwhelmingly serving students who come from families in poverty and helping … those students achieve extraordinary growth,” Boasberg said, telling the assembled school leaders: “The work that you are doing to drive the growth of our students is the most important work we have in our society today, and I speak on behalf of our whole community in thanking you for that work.”

Boasberg noted the significant gaps among students by ethnicity, race and income: “Our commitment as public schools is to ensure all of our kids succeed, and it is fundamentally a civil rights mission.”

For the first time this year, DPS schools are receiving an equity rating based on how well they are supporting students in poverty, students of color, English learners and students with special needs. In 2017 all schools will be required to meet or exceed expectations in this category to reach an overall Blue or Green rating.

Some hits and misses for Northwest Denver

In addition to Trevista’s Green ranking, Valdez also moved from Yellow to Green. Fairview Elementary is another NW neighborhood school that moved the needle from Red in 2014 to Green in 2016 based on very high growth scores. “This means we are closer to ensuring that our students who struggle the most with poverty have a great education,” said Fairview Principal Antoinette Hudson, whose school is on the edge of the Sun Valley neighborhood. “Setting high expectations for student learning is extremely important.”

North High School was another shining NW example of a High School that moved from Yellow in 2014 to Green this year. An exuberant FB posting with a green fireworks display had the community cheering the school on. Nicole Veltze, the firecracker Principal that set the rocket in motion before passing on the torch to her highly capable AP, now Principal Scott Wolf, said, “Congratulations Viking Team! Thanks for showing it was possible. So proud!”  Another friend of North, Lynne Van Bebber Rerucha said, “This has & continues to be, a great school without the totally fake & scarcely valid scores from tests created for nefarious reasons. Get excited about real kids doing lots of cool things that will help their lives and love of life long learning. North High School is great because kids and teachers continue to give it their all.”

Lake International Academy, a Middle School, moved from Red to Yellow, a two-color jump since 2014. Of significance, the school had a Green rating in Growth which is a core focus for the educators that measures how much students grow from year-to-year compared to their peers. It has its work cut out for it earning a Red mark in Parent Satisfaction. That, however, is changing dramatically as highly involved families from Brown and Valdez are entering the middle school and focusing on bringing parent engagement to a new high.

While parent satisfaction is measured on the SPF, parent engagement is not. That factor, however, has undoubtedly helped bring once-failing schools like Brown International Academy and Skinner Middle School into some of the most coveted neighborhood schools of choice.

For other NW schools, there were some unexpected blows that hurt. Some of the most highly regarded neighborhood schools like Skinner, Bryant Webster, Ana Marie Sandoval and Edison dropped from Green to Yellow.

Although Boasberg noted that some schools dropped in their SPF ratings due to new state standard testing, the overall results can be dinged based on a variety of factors including a lack of response or poor responses in parent satisfaction surveys that pull down the overall ranking.

A classic neighborhood example is Skinner Middle School, which has proven to be an outstanding educational option for the neighborhood and includes Honors Classes and a robust enrichment program. Its waiting lists for admittance have been feared by those who wished to “choice in,” and a great point of dispute for the NW Working Group last spring as they debated the new Middle School enrollment zone.

Skinner lost its Green ranking by .13% based on a 1- point drop in the parent satisfaction survey. The school was faulted for lack of communication which shocked many parents given the fact that the school texts, emails, and calls multiple times per week. It also has one of the most active parent communities in the neighborhood that has raised over $ 80,000 since 2014 to help supplement technology, and other classroom needs not covered by the school’s budget. At the recent Parent/Teacher conferences, 89% of the families came a statistic that startled the new Assistant Principal Lindsay Young who has been at four different DPS schools. She said, “I have never seen that kind of involvement and engagement by families at conferences or Back-to-School Nights.” Unfortunately, this kind of engagement doesn’t get reflected in the SPF, and begs the question, “Why?”

Principal Michelle Koyama and her teachers are solidly focused on the school’s results in growth. Koyama noted, “We are green in growth which matters the most to us.  We are growing our students who come to us at ‘meets expectations,’ and are growing them to ‘exceeds expectations.’  We are also growing our students who are coming to us at the opposite end from ‘does not meet expectations’ on up.”  Both she and the parent community are concerned that this ranking will adversely affect morale when all indicators continue to point up for the school.

DPS Board issues an SPF cautionary warning

The school board, too, knows that there are some sharks in the water when it comes to many of the DPS schools dropped rankings. Families often make decisions about school choice based on “color.” Boasberg warned caution at the last board meeting saying, “As we talk to parents and community members, we say, ‘Yes, the SPF is important, but the most important thing is to go visit a school, talk to parents, talk to students.’ People do care deeply about the SPF. It does tell an important story. But it’s important that we tell that with humility and we tell that with caution.”

Deputy Superintendent, Susana Cordova noted, “There are great things happening in different schools with different color ratings. The SPF gives us specificity on where we can improve. Families are encouraged to attend our next Board meeting with a Focus on Achievement Study Session to learn more specifics.”

Focus on Achievement

The Focus on Achievement school board meeting will be held November 3 at 4:30 p.m. in the Emily Griffith Campus, 1860 Lincoln Street.

To learn more about how DPS monitors, supports and holds schools accountable at The site also is available in Spanish.

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Ska Mexican Logger Wins Bronze Medal at 2016 Great American Beer Festival

DENVER — Ska Brewing’s Mexican Logger polished off another great summer season with a medal at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) this past weekend. Mexican Logger clinched the bronze medal in the International Style Pilsner Category at GABF 2016.

Last year, Ska’s Mexican-style lager rendition won a Silver medal in the same category.

“We always knew Mexican Logger was a crowd pleaser, but to have it win a medal two years in a row at the Great American Beer Festival is super exciting for us,” said Kristen Muraro, Marketing Director at Ska.

Originally brewed in 1999 and first enclosed in cans in 2011, the Mexican Logger has been our top seller every summer. To keep up with demand for Mexican Logger this year; Ska Brewing increased production of the beer by twenty percent and anticipates increasing it another twenty percent in 2017.  To answer the most frequently asked question, Mexican Logger will not be available year-round.

Mexican Logger offers a superhuman balance of sweet malt and mild bite. Crafted with fresh grains and Saaz hops, the Mexican Logger is a refreshing brew for warm weather days. At 5% ABV and 20 IBU’s this highly seasonable beer features a light to medium body and a clean, crisp finish.

Mexican Logger has just wrapped up its 17th thirst quenching summer to make way for its winter season sibling: Euphoria Winter Pale Ale. Look for Mexican Logger next spring in all of Ska’s regions of distribution, which are largely Colorado, Southern California, Chicago, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

About Ska Brewing
Based in Durango, Colorado, Ska Brewing was founded in 1995 and produces over a dozen award-winning beers.  Pioneers in the canned craft beer movement, Ska Brewing is known for an array of styles in 12 oz cans including Modus Hoperandi, Mexican Logger, Euphoria and Pinstripe.  For information (a lot of it), music, and a good time, visit Plug into the latest updates, beer releases and shenanigans at and

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Regis University to host final Presidential Debate event October 19, 2016

DENVER — Regis University and the producers of the nonpartisan public affairs program, “The Aaron Harber Show TM” (HarberTV.comand its special election series, “Your Decision 2016 TM” ( announced a joint project to engage all Colorado citizens in the 2016 General Election.  The broadcast series is the only one in Colorado offering in-depth debate and discussion programs of an hour or more on the State’s major ballot issues.

The project will include two key components: (1) making the programs produced for Your Decision 2016 more available to voters and (2) producing a free public Debate Watch event for the final Presidential Debate which will offer the public the opportunity to discuss the most salient issues of the campaign as well as analyze the outcome of the October 19th debate via an open forum and a live streaming.

The live streaming will be carried by Regis but also will be made available to all members of the Colorado Broadcasters Association. CBA President Justin Sasso said, “We’re very pleased to work with Aaron and his team as well as Regis University to bring this nonpartisan public affairs educational opportunity to Colorado television and radio stations across the state right at such a crucial juncture in the election cycle when citizens are receiving their ballots.”

Colorado Press Association CEO Jerry Raehal described the project as ideal for his members, “Given the prominent print journalists on the panels and the fact many Colorado publications have Websites which can offer the live-streaming of the event, this is a great public service for everyone in Colorado.  Colorado publications exist to serve their communities, so we’re delighted to partner with Aaron, a CPA member, to bring these discussions to our members’ readers across the entire State.”

John Hickey, Regis University Associate Dean and Chair of the Communications Department, explained, “This is a wonderful opportunity for Colorado citizens to hear from and interact with some of the best-known and most insightful journalists in our state. We are especially grateful to have someone of Aaron’s caliber — who is known for his balanced and effective moderating skills in challenging debate situations — leading this effort.”

Moderator Aaron Harber stated, “We’re delighted to work with Dean Hickey and everyone at Regis University to bring this opportunity to as many people as possible.  By live-streaming the event, Regis is making this as accessible as possible to millions of Coloradans. I’m also honored by the incredible line-up of journalists that we have on our two panels.”  The following are participating as panelists in the event: 

• Award-winning investigative reporter & former Denver news anchor Tamara Banks
• Editor of The Denver Post, Lee Ann Colacioppo
• KNUS Radio Host and Colorado Christian University Professor Krista Kafer
• blogger and former Rocky Mountain News Media Critic Jason Salzman

The schedule for the event, which will be held in the Mountain View Room of Peter Claver Hall at Regis University, 3333 Regis Boulevard, Denver, CO 80221. The schedule for the event is detailed below:

5:30 pm –  Doors open to the public with time for journalists to informally interact with the audience, including students, faculty & staff.  There is no charge for attending any portion of the event.

5:50 pm –  Introductions and explanation of audience involvement procedure for broadcast purposes.

6:00 pm –  Panel with journalists addressing questions (including from the audience) regarding Media coverage of the debates to date and what to expect.

7:00 pm –  Presidential Debate large-screen viewing with real-time live-tweeting of Debate.

8:30 pm –  Follow-up discussion with journalists giving their insights and answering audience questions. 

Hickey concluded, “Regis University also will be focused on making all the programs produced for “Your Decision 2016” available to as many Coloradans as possible.  The television series is the only one in the entire state devoting an hour or more to Colorado’s major ballot issues, so we know it’s important to make certain voters have the opportunity to view these in-depth discussions before they cast their ballots.”

For a short explanatory video for “The Aaron Harber Show,” please go to more information or questions about the program, contact Jana Martin, Producer, at 720-335-1414 or [email protected].

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Trump vs. Trump — the Colbert edition

Donald Trump may have escaped the Fox ‘News’ debate last night, but there was a wholly entertaining debate broadcast last night featuring Donald Trump. Squaring off against Donald Trump.
Courtesy of moderator, Stephen Colbert. #2016, #Donaldtrump, #Gop2016DonaldtrumpTrumpup, #Trump, #Trump2016, #Trumpup, #DonaldTrump, #StephenColbert