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Bone broths have become quite the hot item in recent years.  Strong claims as to their curative and preventative properties have been made, having advocates in both the GAPS diet camp and the traditional foods movement. Broths are even being touted by such high-profile personalities as Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers. Restaurants and mail order supply companies have opened just to meet this “new” demand. 

Are bone broths the new cure-all?  To begin, let’s define some terms for the purposes of our discussion:

• A broth is made by simmering meat with a small amount of bones, such as a whole chicken.  It is not as concentrated in flavor as a stock, lacking the gelatin content of either stock or bone broth. Excellent when used as a base for lighter soups.

• Stock is made by simmering bones with meat. (I will buy bone-in cuts of beef, pork, and poultry, cook them, and then freeze the bones, making stock when I have accumulated enough.) Vegetable scraps are often added to stock.  Stocks are simmered for several hours in order to reduce the liquid, concentrate the flavors and extract gelatin.  Stocks are a fantastic deglazing liquid, base for sauces, or as the liquid for hearty stews and soups.

• Bone Broth is mostly bone, sometimes with small bits of meat, and often with the addition of knuckles or other joints (this is a way to increase collagen extraction. Bone broths recipes, like stock, usually roast the bones first to deepen the flavor. The simmering of a bone broth is usually in excess of 24 hours, with some recipes recommending 72 hours. This is to ensure maximum extraction of mineral content and gelatin.

Broths are long established in wellness circles.  Chicken soup is certainly regarded as a nourishing meal and has been prescribed for millennia in treatment of colds and respiratory ailments.  As a cook, I can personally attest that making my own stocks has more vastly changed the quality of my home cooking than any other recipe I have. 

This bone broth, though – this was new to me.  Cooking down chicken or turkey frames (a less grisly term for carcasses) for days is a strict no-no in traditional stock craft.  Some practitioners have slow cookers dedicated to the purpose. At the beginning of the week, they add a whole chicken and cover with cold water. Then 24 hours later they ladle out what is needed for the day, adding more water to the pot.  I have even read accounts of people blending the entire contents of the pot – bones and all – to get all of the nutrition therein.  (As an editorial note:  This seems uniquely American in a sense of going overboard.)

Bones and joints contain collagen and gelatin. These properties liquefy in the long cooking process and become infused in the water. Following the Chinese/Greek/homeopathic medicinal principle “like cures like”, the theory is that, by imbibing this collagen, the body will use it to repair damage to joints, rebuild bone, patch up leaky gut, remineralize teeth, repair skin and have many other positive reactions in the body.

The documented and researched science behind all of these claims does seem to be somewhat inconclusive. The problem seems to be that, once the collagen reaches your stomach, it is broken down to amino acids and your body simply uses these building blocks however it sees fit.  Another thought is that, by adding apple cider vinegar, you are extracting more of the minerals from the bones than normal simmering would allow. One of the few medical studies done on the nutritive properties of bone broth (McCance and Widdowson 1934) did not find this to be the case; the acid is too mild and/or the bones too strong to allow much calcium or other mineral seepage.  Practically, the largest hurdle in making specific claims about the benefits of bone broth is that this product is made from such a wide variety of ingredients and amounts; there simply is no recipe on which to base statistics.

Lest we venture too far into the skeptics camp – bone broths, or broths in general, are not without significant merit to the home cook.  Firstly, this is still a nutrient rich food. So what if drinking a quart of bone broth doesn’t cure your arthritis?  It is still extremely good for you. It is a protein and mineral rich food. (My personal suspicion is that most of the perceived benefits from eating bone broth is that it balances a deficiency which previously existed in the subject’s diet). Broths are also a very cost-effective means of providing nutrition to your family. By buying whole and bone-in cuts of meat, you are stretching your food dollar. You are not only saving the processing fee of the butchering (I am looking at you, boneless/skinless chicken breast), but by turning around and using the bones after you have roasted your bird, you lower both the cost of the roast and the eventual soup.

Another benefit you reap is in quality; store-bought broths and stocks are not in the same ballpark as what you are capable of making (for less money) at home. That gelatin you have extracted creates umami in your dishes. The fact that you made it yourself means that you control the salt and other additives in your finished product. Lastly, I am a firm believer that every choice you make to prepare food for yourself and your family impacts the physical and psychological health of those members in a wholly and measurably positive manner.

By all means, boil that broth.  It irks me that we tend to be so all or nothing with our idea of wellness.  Bone broth, like every healthy food that has had recent time in the spotlight (tart cherries, leafy greens, quinoa, etc.), does not have to be a magic bullet to have worth, to have a place in your diet.  Maybe it won’t fix every problem that you have.  That doesn’t mean that it has lost its centuries-old position as a cornerstone of balanced nutrition, along with other whole foods of a wide variety, in moderation. 

If you are interested in further information on bone broth, please consider visiting the following links!

http://thenourishingcook.com/beef-stock-anyone/

http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/broth-is-beautiful/

Below is my base recipe for chicken stock.  I would like to mention it is rarely if ever this precise.  A pound more or less of chicken scrap, or a handful more of vegetable is not going to make a noticeable difference. This recipe is intended more as an illustration of method than a hard and fast rule; please do not hold off on stock production due to being short a stalk of celery.

Chicken Stock

12 pounds Chicken carcasses/meat

2 medium Onions

2 medium Carrots

1 stalk Celery

9 quarts Cold Water

1 large Bouquet Garni (thyme, bay, parsley)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Rinse carcasses with cold water, make sure they are fresh (sniff), trim off any excess fat. If using whole chicken cut into 10 pieces (4 breast, 2 leg, 2 thigh, 2 wing).  Spread carcasses/meat in a single layer in a roasting pan and place in oven.  Chop your onion, carrot, and celery. Check your chicken after 20 minutes, it should be golden brown.  Give it a stir and add your veggies and continue roasting.  Check in 25 minutes (45 minutes of total roasting time), though it may require 1 hour of total roasting time – make sure that chicken is dark brown and juices have caramelized on the bottom of the pan.

Remove pan from oven and place on stove.  Remove any excess fat that has accumulated in the bottom of the pan with a ladle.  Add 1 quart of water to roasting pan and heat over high heat on the stove, using a wooden spoon to dissolve caramelized juices from the bottom of the pan.  Transfer the chicken parts to a large stock pot w/ the deglazing liquid. Add the remaining cold water (it should only reach about ¾ of the way up the chicken). Bring stock to a simmer – DO NOT allow to boil.  Skim surface regularly to remove fat and scum, after 45 minutes most of this will be removed and you can add your Bouquet Garni (push down into the pot with the back of a ladle to keep from floating to the surface).  Cook for 3 hours, uncovered.  Strain the stock first through a coarse strainer and again through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.  Do not press on the pieces or stock will cloud.  Allow stock to cool to room temperature and place in an ice bath in the fridge.

 


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FARMER'S FORUM / Landowner GIS mapping course and map packages
« Last post by alaliber on December 17, 2016, 08:47:17 AM »
Learn how to map your land using open source software and freely available data. This self-paced, video-based course on DVD is an excellent introduction to digital mapping tools (GIS) for landowners or permaculture designers. It will allow you to visualize the terrain of the land, perform site planning based on slope, aspect, and other features, and use GIS maps with open source software and Google Earth. You will learn where to obtain freely available aerial photos, topographic data, soil maps, and other spatial layers, and how to view and manipulate the data. Details at: http://www.earthmetrics.com/courses/
For those that prefer a final product, I offer different levels of map packages that include the finest detail mapping layers available for your property. The products can be customized to your land and needs, include free visualization software, and require no specialized mapping knowledge. Details at http://www.earthmetrics.com/landowner-mapping-services/

Andrea Laliberte
Brownsville, OR

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Recipes / From the beginning of time humans have been eating bone broth
« Last post by Little Feather on December 13, 2016, 03:17:24 AM »
From the beginning of time (well, at least since there's been fire), man has been eating bone broth. Have you ever wondered why?

I’m sure you remember your mother or grandmother telling you to make sure to eat your chicken soup when you were sick. And likely when you did, you actually felt better. Have you ever wondered why?

I recommend everyone make bone broth and incorporate it into your dietary routine. Here’s why.

The gelatin in bone broth protects and heals the mucosal lining of the digestive tract and helps aid in the digestion of nutrients.

Fights infections such as colds and flu. 

A study published in the journal Chest shows eating chicken soup during a respiratory infection reduces the number of white blood cells, which are the cells that cause flu and cold symptoms.

The glucosamine in bone broth can actually stimulate the growth of new collagen, repair damaged joints and reduce pain and inflammation.

Produces gorgeous skin, hair and nails. 

The collagen and gelatin in bone broth supports hair growth and helps to keep your nails strong.

Helps with bone formation, growth and repair. 

The calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in bone broth helps our bones to grow and repair.

Homemade bone broth is cheaper and healthier than store bought.

All you need is a crockpot. Throw all of the ingredients into the crockpot and it cooks while you sleep.

Healthier than buying supplements. 

Homemade bone broth contains all nutrients and minerals found in bones and tendons rather than just one or two found in pills. Slow cooking preserves the nutrients better than the high heat extraction used to make supplements.

Bone broth is very high in the anti-inflammatory amino acids glycine and proline. 

Promotes sleep and calms the mind. 

The amino acid glycine found in bone broth can be very calming.

Gut-Healing Chicken bone broth:

Ingredients:

    1 organic whole chicken
    8 c of water
    4 -6 stalks of celery, finely chopped
    ½ white or yellow onion, finely chopped
    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
    1 inch ginger root, finely chopped
    ½ teaspoon sea salt
    ½ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

Directions:

Place all of the above ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low heat for 8 -10 hours.

I like to cook mine until the meat is falling away from the bones.

I make this just before bed and it’s ready and hot for breakfast.

You can store any excess broth in the freezer and defrost for a later time.
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Eat Well / All about Jerusalem artichokes
« Last post by Little Feather on December 09, 2016, 07:04:12 AM »
All about Jerusalem artichokes


Pronounce it: jer-oo-sa-lem ar-ti-choke


The Jerusalem artichoke, also called sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambour, is a species of sunflower native to eastern North America, and found from eastern Canada and Maine west to North Dakota, and south to northern Florida and Texas. It is also cultivated widely across the temperate zone for its tuber, which is used as a root vegetable.   Scientific name: Helianthus tuberosus. 
This vegetable is not truly an artichoke but a variety of sunflower with a lumpy, brown-skinned tuber that often resembles a ginger root. Contrary to what the name implies, this vegetable has nothing to do with Jerusalem but is derived instead from the Italian word for sunflower, girasole.
                                       
The white flesh of this vegetable is nutty, sweet and crunchy and is a good source of iron.


Availability:  At their best from November to April.

Choose the best:  Jerusalem artichokes are knobby by nature and they do not need peeling before use.  In fact, when roasted or fried the thin skin adds texture by becoming semi-crisp when cooked.  Skins should be pale brown without any dark or soft patches and the artichokes should look firm and fresh not soft or wrinkled.

Prepare it

Like carrots, Jerusalem artichokes are excellent raw or cooked.  When consumed raw they are crunchy and tasty eaten out of hand or as part of a salad or cole slaw.  If they are stored in a cool and dark place they will keep well for up to 10 days.

Cook them:

Jerusalem artichokes can be cooked in much the same way as potatoes or parsnips and are excellent roasted, stir fried, sautéed or dipped in batter and fried, or puréed to make a delicious soup.

Produced Organically

To order tubers for planting click here:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/184605424/jerusalem-artichoke-tubers?ref=shop_home_active_24

To order food grade tubers click here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/497940739/edible-organic-jerusalem-artichoke?ref=shop_home_active_1

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What would you think about planting a crop for your livestock and never having to plant again?
Jerusalem Artichokes are a perennial tuber crop with edible tubers, leaves, stalks and flowers that contain up to 28% protein and come back year after year. Stalks will grow up to 10 feet tall with enormous yellow flowers on top.

The Jerusalem Artichoke is not a widely known plant in our country, but it can and does grow here from Canada to Florida. Each plant produces up to 10 pounds of tubers that are delicious and consumed by people the world over. They are even considered a gourmet food in Europe. The rest of the plant, and even the tubers, can be fed to every kind of livestock from chickens to pigs to cattle with favorable results. They are an extremely vigorous growing plant and once planted will completely take over an area so they should not be planted unless you desire them as a perennial crop. They are very hard to get rid of once planted.

The variety we grow is called Stampede, and is one of the most sought after of all varieties, which is why we grow them! They are superior in flavor and size to all other Jerusalem Artichoke varieties, some of which are barely suitable for human consumption. This variety is delicious.  I am currently selling fresh tubers to 3 grocery chains and a restaurant.

Each tuber left in the ground over the winter will produce numerous new plants with each of those plants producing up to 10 pounds of tubers the following fall. This plant puts on tubers in November throughout the winter. The plants will grow in any type of soil regardless of whether it is sand, clay or mulch and can tolerate drought conditions without failing.

I sell the plants as both a livestock crop and for human consumption in home gardens. My family loves them. They are a bit like a potato with a nutty flavor. They sell about as fast as I can grow them, and that is saying a lot because these are extremely vigorous growing.

If ordered for food, I have 5 great recipes that will be sent for free.

To order tubers for planting click herehttps://www.etsy.com/listing/184605424/jerusalem-artichoke-tubers?ref=shop_home_active_24

To order food grade tubers click here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/497940739/edible-organic-jerusalem-artichoke?ref=shop_home_active_1


Herman Beck-Chenoweth
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Systems Research Handbook: Innovative Solutions to Complex Challenges

NEW FREE SYSTEMS RESEARCH BOOK FROM SARE

As farmers and ranchers strive to maintain profitability, they face a multitude of pressures such as protecting water and air resources, conserving biodiversity and limiting soil erosion. Too often, however, single-faceted agricultural research fails to account for the complex links between critical environmental, social and economic factors. The result? Piecemeal solutions to complex and interrelated problems.
   
Systems Research for Agriculture Cover Image

Now, SARE's groundbreaking Systems Research for Agriculture provides the theories and tools that researchers and producers need to design and conduct interdisciplinary systems research projects that advance sustainable agroecosystems.


Order or download Systems Research for Agriculture now: www.sare.org/Systems


Systems Research for Agriculture features multiple case studies, including SARE-funded research trials, that mimic an entire production system rather than substituting and comparing individual practices. Modifying research trials to fit local best farming practices allows systems-level changes in economic, social and environmental conditions to emerge and be better studied. While the model requires close collaboration between researchers and producers, it provides producers with practical insight into the on-farm adoption of new techniques.


Systems Research for Agriculture addresses the theoretical basis for agricultural systems research and provides a roadmap for building effective interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder teams. This handbook is essential reading for researchers and producers working together to plan, implement and analyze complex, multifaceted systems research experiments.


Systems Research for Agriculture is available as a free download at www.sare.org/Systems. Print copies can be ordered for $20 plus shipping and handling. Discounts are available for orders of 10 items or more.


Author Laurie Drinkwater is a professor in the School of Integrated Plant Science at Cornell University. She was raised in Key West, Florida and became interested in agriculture while attending graduate school at at the University of California, Davis. Her research focuses on improving the ecological efficiency and sustainability of agricultural systems by studying the mechanisms governing carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous biogeochemistry in agroecosystems at scales ranging from the rhizosphere, where plant–microbial interactions dominate, to the field and landscape scale, where human interventions strongly influence ecosystem processes.
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New tool helps consumers measure their emerging contaminant footprint

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Consumers who want to calculate and reduce their use of products containing chemicals that can contaminate water supplies now have a tool to assist them, thanks to a Penn State researcher and her students.

Heather Gall, assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering, led the creation of an emerging contaminants footprint calculator, which is a downloadable spreadsheet consumers can use to document the types of products they have in their homes and calculate the potential water-quality impacts of those chemicals.

Three students, working with Gall as part of summer undergraduate research programs at Penn State over a three-year period, developed the calculator, which one of the students presented at the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International Meeting earlier this year.

Humans use a large variety of chemicals in their everyday lives -- including over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs and personal care products -- that become part of the wastewater stream, Gall explained.

"Wastewater treatment plants were not designed to remove these chemicals, so these products and their metabolites persist in the effluent," she said. "These chemicals then are introduced into the environment during combined-sewer overflow events, wastewater effluent irrigation and land-application of biosolids."

Gall noted that many of these chemicals are known or suspected endocrine disruptors and cause adverse impacts to aquatic organisms at trace concentrations. "There currently are no surface- or drinking-water standards for these chemicals. Therefore, the best way to reduce their presence in the environment is to reduce their use."

The goal of this project, she said, was to develop a calculator that the public can use to estimate an individual's footprint of emerging contaminants -- primarily endocrine disrupting compounds, or EDCs.

"Studies have shown that these compounds can cause gender-skewing in fish and amphibians, in which organisms develop intersex characteristics," Gall said. "This has been a problem in the Susquehanna and Juniata rivers, and although pesticides are thought to be a major cause, personal-care products also are a factor."

Modeled after existing water and carbon footprint calculators, the spreadsheet contains lists of products grouped under three categories: cleaners, laundry, and health and beauty. The user conducts an inventory of these products in the home and inserts the amount of each product they own by volume (milliliters) or mass (grams).

The Excel-based calculator is programmed with average values of the EDCs in each product, which enables it to calculate an estimate of the user's contaminant footprint based on the products present in the home at that moment. The results are summarized visually in several graphics to help with interpretation.

"The EDC footprint is estimated in grams, so the total mass of EDCs in products owned by an individual family may seem insignificant," Gall said. "But given the potential environmental impact of these contaminants in the environment even at trace concentrations, these estimated footprints are significant."

To help consumers understand the implications, amounts are presented to show a hypothetical total impact if everyone in the United States was using the same amount of EDC-containing products as the person using the calculator. The mass is then converted to the equivalent number of commercial aircraft to provide a way for the user to visualize the results and provide a more tangible perspective.

"If users want to reduce their EDC footprint, the calculator helps them to identify what products are contributing the most and to make informed decisions about how to best approach reducing that footprint," Gall said. "For example, if laundry detergent is the single largest contributor to the total footprint, they may want to consider replacing conventional laundry detergent with a product made from plant-derived ingredients."

Future goals, Gall said, include the development of a web-based version of the calculator, which would permit data to be collected anonymously, and research could be done to better understand the typical ranges of EDC footprints for households nationally and globally.

"Information then could be provided to users about how their footprint compares to others, which could encourage users who have relatively large footprints to reduce their footprint."

She added that the potential future development of an associated smartphone app would allow users to scan products as they shop and link to a database that estimates the EDC footprint of various products, helping users make more informed buying decisions.

"Our hope is that this calculator serves as a tool to increase awareness of EDCs and their potential effects on environmental quality," Gall said. "We hope it will be utilized in classrooms and shared with users' families and friends as a way to engage the public about EDCs and the role we all play in contributing to their presence in the environment."

The calculator is available for download at Penn State Extension's Water Quality website at http://psu.ag/2fPRLTf.

###

EDITORS: Heather Gall can be reached at 814-863-1817 or by email at heg12@psu.edu.

Chuck Gill
Penn State Ag Sciences News
814-863-2713 office
814-441-0305 cell
cdg5@psu.edu
http://agsci.psu.edu/news
Twitter @agsciences
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In the News / Trump doesn't want to live in the Whitehouse
« Last post by Little Feather on November 12, 2016, 02:28:29 PM »
According to the New York Times, president-elect Donald Trump is reluctant to move into the White House full-time, the reported Friday.

Trump is reportedly talking to his adviser about splitting his time between Washington and his penthouse apartment in Manhattan, where he would often spend his nights during the campaign. Advisers told the Times that the president-elect would like to spend his weekends either in his Trump Tower home, his New Jersey golf course or his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Trump has also expressed interest in continuing to hold large rallies as he did throughout the campaign for “the instant gratification and adulation that the cheering crowds provide,” the Times wrote.

UNBELIEVABLE!

He fooled half of this country into believing he really wants to be president!

Stop him via the Electoral College
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REMINDER: Donald Trump Isn’t President Till The Electoral College Casts Their Votes (DETAILS)
By Tim Keller -
November 10, 2016

For the last month, tens of millions of Americans have sent their ballots by mail or shown up at the polls to voice their opinion on who should be President of the United States. On Tuesday night, all the major news organizations had proclaimed a victory for Donald Trump. The real estate mogul delivered a victory speech, and told the country that his opponent had delivered her concession to him in a telephone call. Later on, Clinton herself formally conceded in a speech and President Obama welcomed Trump to the White House.

But the process isn’t over yet. The country has over a month before the decision is final. That’s because the electoral college doesn’t cast their votes until December 21st. And a lot can happen in that time.

A large contingent of Americans (perhaps even most of the country) believes that a Trump presidency is a threat to the country. Moreover, the Electoral College was not founded purely to echo the voice of the people. Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 68:

    ‘The immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation… [who] possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.’

It’s no stretch to say that many of America’s elites and working class alike believe that these traits do not apply to Mr. Trump, and that his victory was won at too great a cost to be valuable; to him, his party, or the country.

This point of view doesn’t just apply to Clintonites and people too far left or too disgusted by modern politics to vote. Conservative journalist George Will of the Washington Post wrote;

    ‘[The GOP has] won a ruinous triumph that convinced them that they can forever prosper by capturing an ever-larger portion of an ever-smaller portion of the electorate.’

Other journalists, such as Jennifer Rubin, also of the Washington Post, are concerned that the GOP has lost its way. She theorizes a separation of conservatism and its proponents from the GOP itself, and even goes so far as to postulate a dying out of the movement following this fiery resurgence. Because Trump won, not through glorifying the tenets of Reaganomics, but through charisma, populism, and a deep connection with his base. In this way, he has more in common with Bernie Sanders than with Romney or Bush.

The Electoral College has failed to represent the country at large, for the second time in 20 years. The organization that benefited from it both times now has as much power as a political party can have in a democracy and stands to gain significantly more, should another Supreme Court justice retire or die in the next 4 years.

Moreover, there are Electoral College voters who have made public their disdain for Trump, and may act on it. According to POLITICO, one elector in Texas may refuse to cast a vote for Trump because of his “approach on military issues,” specifically his blatant endorsement of war crimes.

The implications of electors going against what the system declares to be the proper result are frightening. But given the rhetoric Donald Trump used to shore up his base during this election season, perhaps it’s preferable to the alternative.

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In the News / Electoral College: Make Hillary Clinton President on December 21st
« Last post by Little Feather on November 12, 2016, 03:15:48 AM »
The election of Donald Trump as president is a bitter pill to swallow for millions of Americans — and some are backing a quixotic campaign to reverse that outcome.

As of Saturday morning, more than 3.5 million people had signed a petition to the U.S. Electoral College, urging its members to ignore their states’ votes and cast their ballots for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“Mr. Trump is unfit to serve. His scapegoating of so many Americans, and his impulsivity, bullying, lying, admitted history of sexual assault, and utter lack of experience make him a danger to the Republic,” wrote Elijah Berg, who launched the petition on Change.org.

Berg, of North Carolina, argued that the Electoral College can award the White House to either candidate and should use its own “most undemocratic” institution to ensure a “democratic result.”

Berg continued: “24 states bind electors. If electors vote against their party, they usually pay a fine. And people get mad. But they can vote however they want and there is no legal means to stop them in most states.”

Another petition on Faithlessnow.com similarly calls for more than 160 Republican electors to set aside their votes in states that don’t have laws binding them to do so: Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia. The petition has assembled a list of the relevant electors.

Clinton is the first presidential candidate since 2000 to win the popular vote while losing the White House. In that year, Al Gore lost the Electoral College to George W. Bush. While Americans were still waiting to see whether Gore or Bush had won Florida’s 25 electoral votes, Clinton, the first lady at the time, called for the college to be disbanded so that no one would ever have to doubt again whether his or her vote counted.

“We are a very different country than we were 200 years ago,” she said then. “I believe strongly that in a democracy, we should respect the will of the people and to me, that means it’s time to do away with the Electoral College and move to the popular election of our president.”

And in a deep twist of irony, Trump has also called for the Electoral College to be abandoned. On the eve of the 2012 election, between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, Trump called the Electoral College “a disaster for a democracy.”


After that election, in a tweet he has since deleted, Trump said, “The phoney [sic] electoral college made a laughing stock out of our nation. The loser one! [sic]” Trump tweeted this at a time when he thought Romney would win the popular vote, which ultimately was not the case.

The last time Gallup checked to see whether Americans would vote for a law to abolish the Electoral College was in 2013 — and 63 percent said they would.

So what is the Electoral College, exactly? American citizens did not in fact elect a president on Nov. 8; they chose electors. On Dec. 21, the 538 electors of the Electoral College will cast their ballots for a candidate and ultimately decide the next resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The authors of the Constitution established this system for two reasons.

First, the founding fathers intended the Electoral College to serve as a buffer between the electorate and the presidency. They feared that a tyrant or someone incompetent would be able to manipulate the population and that better-informed, judicious electors could prevent this from happening. In other words, the Electoral College is supposed to act as a check on the citizenry, should it be hoodwinked by a demagogue.

So far (Saturday November 12th, 11:AM) over 3.5 million Americans have signed the petition.  You can add your name by clicking this link: https://www.change.org/p/electoral-college-electors-electoral-college-make-hillary-clinton-president-on-december-19?source_location=discover_feed
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