Blog

This blog is written with YOU in mind. To help you get involved, I write:

  • Success stories of people like you who have made a difference in their communities
  • Tips on what you can do to make your political voice heard
  • Background on how our political system works
  • Comments on current issues from a non-partisan perspective — issues like preserving our freedom, problems with the electoral system, and how politics relates to the rest of our lives.

And every once in a while, I do something just for fun like Presidential trivia or a movie review.

One more thing. I don’t want to have the last word. I want your comments, so please give me your thoughts in the Comments box below each blog post!

Harold Thomas named columnist for Ohio Chinese-American News

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in News | 0 comments

Three years ago, the Ohio Chinese-American News published an article describing the A Bit Political concept. Following discussions with its editor, Jung Jing, we are pleased to announce that beginning today, A Bit Political will have a regular column in the Ohio Chinese-American News. The articles, like this website, will encourage members of the Chinese- and Taiwanese-American communities to become more involved politically, but will endeavor to meet the needs of immigrant Americans. The first column, entitled “Writing Political...

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What lobbyists do

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Political U[niversity] | 0 comments

The stereotypes Everyone thinks they know what a lobbyist is. It is perhaps the most stereotyped profession in the world: How voters see lobbyists           How legislators see lobbyists               How lobbyists see themselves             The reality First, a definition: Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. There are several types of...

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Brewer keeps vow to help his high school

Posted by on Jan 20, 2016 in Motivation, Success Stories | 0 comments

This is not a political story, but an activism story well worth sharing: Sometimes, all you have to do is ask. This is the lesson Ally Jeffers learned last May as a freshman at Watkins Memorial High School in Pataskala, Ohio, according to a report by Eric Lyttle in The Columbus Dispatch. Fearing that a school levy would fail and cut funding for the band, she searched for ways to help. Learning that Greg Koch, the CEO of Stone Brewing Company in Escondido, California, was a Watkins alumnus, she wrote him a letter asking for a donation to help...

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African-American woman candidates face special challenges

Posted by on Jan 18, 2016 in Get Involved!, Motivation | 0 comments

Last Wednesday, we wrote about the difficulties facing women who want to run for office. Today, for Martin Luther King Day, we will drill down to the specific challenges African-American women experience. Mary C. Curtis, writing in 2014 for The Root, an African-American news blog, observes that black women are often the backbone of political campaigns, but that the number of elected black women does not reflect their enthusiasm. At first, this seems puzzling. A study of the 2012 Presidential election shows that a much higher percentage of...

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Why women do not run for office

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Motivation, Political U[niversity] | 0 comments

Why so few women run for office It’s not hard to find articles bemoaning the small number of women who choose to run for office, despite the fact they perform just as well as (and often better than) men once elected. My Yahoo search on “too few women candidates” turned up more than 5.7 million results. There are plenty of reasons given: A 2008 study by The Brookings Institution shows that women lack political ambition, are less likely to endure the rigors of a political campaign, are less likely to be recruited to run for office, and have...

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When public officials try to silence criticism

Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 in Political U[niversity] | 0 comments

It is human nature. People don’t like to be criticized. However, those who hold public office must accept criticism as part of holding office. We have the right (and the duty) to hold our officials accountable for respecting our rights and spending our tax dollars wisely. Usually, the way public officials try to hide from accountability is to persuade the legislature to frame sunshine laws as narrowly as possible, and by passing laws limiting public (including journalist) access to public records. However, there are occasions when public...

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Does “slacktivism” work?

Posted by on Jan 6, 2016 in Get Involved!, Motivation | 0 comments

“Slacktivism” is better than nothing, but it’s not hard to do more. Brett Bittner at The Advocates, a libertarian site, wonders whether sharing, favoriting, retweeting, and pinning things on social media really accomplish anything. On reflection, he understands that when many people pin, like, or share social media posts, there is an impact; and there are busy times when that is all we can do. However, he has some ideas for action that does have measurable impact: Look for events where you can put up a table, where you can meet people and...

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Did you get broken links?

Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in News | 0 comments

We made some changes recently to our website that caused many links on our pages and blog posts to be broken. All links on the web pages have been fixed (we think!) and all links since 1/1/2015 have been fixed on the blog posts. We also are taking steps to ensure this does not happen again, by subscribing to a service to report broken links to us, and by inviting you to submit any you find by clicking on the link under the Ask Harold button on the right panel....

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Should we consider e-voting?

Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in Current Issues | 0 comments

As we approach an election, we hear people asking why they can’t vote online using their personal computer or mobile devices, just as we do banking. People favoring e-voting argue that Internet voting offers greater speed and convenience, especially for overseas and military voters. However, computer and network experts point out that online voting is dangerous to the integrity of U.S. elections. They say that the security, privacy, and transparency requirements we set for offline elections cannot all be met with any practical technology....

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How Activists Create Change

Posted by on Dec 30, 2015 in Get Involved!, Motivation, Political U[niversity] | 0 comments

How do activists create change? Last June, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University asked the question, “How does activism drive corporate change?” While their research focuses on activism’s impact on corporate management, most of their insights also apply to political activism. Sometimes the impact is direct: A shareholder group filed a resolution urging McDonald’s to replace its foam beverage cups with a “greener” alternative. The resolution did not pass, but it got management attention. McDonald’s switched to paper cups...

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