Monday, August 31, 2015

US Presidential Election 2016: Primary and Caucus Schedule

Primaries and caucuses are the mechanisms used by political parties to choose candidates for public office in states across the US.
There are three forms of primaries, the direct primary, indirect primary and caucus. In direct primaries, party members vote for their preferred candidates, while in an indirect one, the ballots are for delegates who will in turn vote for their favored candidates.
Unlike state-run primaries, caucuses are party-organized political forums which are usually held behind closed doors. Primaries and caucuses are typically held before each state or national level election. 

The first ever direct primary was organized by the Crawford County Democratic Party in Meadville, Pennsylvania, back in 1842. The practice was soon emulated by other political parties in other states across the nation. All fifty states, the District of Columbia, as well as the nine US territories, now depend exclusively on primaries and caucuses to determine a party's election nominee.
Election 2016 Primary and Caucus Schedule by Date [Some Dates Still Tentative]

  • Monday, February 1st, 2016 - Iowa Caucuses
  • Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 - New Hampshire Primaries
  • Saturday, February 20th, 2016 - South Carolina Primaries and Election
  • Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016 - Nevada Caucuses
  • Super Tuesday - 12 states will hold primaries or caucuses on Tuesday, March 1, 2016.

From that point on, there are primaries or caucuses almost every week through June 2016. 

To see the complete schedule of primaries and caucuses across the country, go to

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Local Clarendon County Football Team Scores and Schedules - August 28, 2015

The first games for several of the county's high school football teams were held on Friday, August 28, 2015. Here are the results for all Clarendon County local HS Football teams:
  • Manning HS Monarchs defeated the Summerton Scott’s Branch HS Eagles 53-12.
  • The Clarendon Hall Saints lost to Patrick Henry 38-20.
  • Laurence Manning Academy Swampcats defeated Augusta Christian 34-6 on the road.
  • East Clarendon HS Wolverines lost to Green Sea 16-14 in an away game.

The following are links to the 2015 Football schedule, roster, and stats for Summerton and other local high schools across Clarendon County, SC:

* Check out MAXPREPS, a web site for team standings and more complete statistics across the state.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Religious Leaders: Speaking Out on US Politics and Public Policy

Editorial: Religious leaders from all faiths should consider taking the opportunity to speak out on a wide range of public policy issues currently being raised and debated by politicians running in the upcoming 2016 Presidential Elections. It could prove enlightening. For example:
  • Immigration - Finding a reasonable solution to this issue. Do we want to build a wall? Send all illegal immigrants home, including their children who were born in the US? Providing a workable plan for many of them to become legal residents... The candidates for President are currently all over the board on this issue which effects millions of Hispanic people already living and working in our country. What would be the most acceptable solutions for the Christian and other religious communities to support?
  • Womens Rights - What is the right position Christians should take with regards to womens rights in the US? The political candidates are currently all over the map on the issues. Do we think candidates ought to be free to publicly disparage or show disrespect to women? Do we want to curtail healthcare services for women? Do we want government to tell a woman she can never get an abortion under any circumstance? Do we think women's pay across the US is not an issue? What is the role of a woman in US society today? Tomorrow? Religious leaders should probably speak out more about women's rights and their role in our society.
  • Environmental Issues - Stewardship of the planet seems to be an issue of prime importance to Christians and other religious believers. The Pope has spoken out forcefully about the environment, but many politicians supported by Big Oil promptly attacked him. What about practices that are leading to destructive Climate Change? Its impact on our weather, food, water, life... Should we encourage drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean and off our coasts, continue widespread fracking for oil and gas... We could use clear guidance from religious leaders on this crucial issue. It now appears our survival depends on it.

Like many others, I generally stop reading an article when it runs past 1 page. So let me just list some of the other major issues politicians are raising and taking a stance on heading into the 2016 Election. What are our religious leaders advising with regards to sound policies the community should support with regards to:

  • Foreign Policy - Sending US troops into wars around the world? Use of drones by the US to kill people in other countries? ...
  • Healthcare - Providing access to healthcare for all Americans, including the poor, the elderly...
  • Voting Rights - Current efforts by many states to curtail voter registration?
  • Gay Rights - Their civil rights with regards to marriage, restricting their access to certain government and businesses and services ...
  • Political Campaign Funding - Allowing unlimited campaign funding by billionaires and major corporations to support their candidates?
  • US Justice & Prison System - Unfair treatment of black citizens by police; the world highest rate of imprisonment of citizens ...
  • Family Values - Sanctity of marriage, adultery run amuck, disrespectful behavior, unchecked greed, immorality in so many forms ...
  • Equal Rights - Corporate welfare vs. welfare for poor individuals and families; Big corporations and billionaires owning 90% of all wealth; excessive pay of bosses vs. workers.

It could help many people to make a better choice in the upcoming election if religious leaders spoke more to some of these major policy issues and the public positions and behavior of the current crop of political candidates. They don't necessarily need to talk about particular political parties, but should focus on public policy issues and the type of characteristics and behavior we ought to look for in political candidates from all parties.

What do you think? Should religious leaders speak out or remain quiet?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Local Clarendon County Football Team Scores and Upcoming Schedules - August 21, 2015

The following are links to the upcoming 2015 Football schedule, roster, and stats for Summerton and other local high schools across Clarendon County, SC:

The first game for several of the county's high school football teams were held on Friday, August 21, 2015. Here are the results:

  • The Clarendon Hall Saints football team had a home non-conference game vs. John Paul II (Ridgeland, SC) today @ 7:30p. Clarendon Hall won 56-12.
  • The Summerton Scott's Branch Eagles football team had a home non-conference game vs. Lake View today @ 7:30p. Scott's Branch lost to Lake View 32-12.

* Check out MAXPREPS, a web site for team standings and more complete statistics across the state.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Renewable Energy Solutions and Micro-Energy Technologies

There are no technological or economic reasons why the US and the rest of the world cannot largely completely replace fossil fuels with renewable sources of energy over the next 20 years.

  • A recent study by Stanford researchers found that using existing technology, the world can abandon fossil fuels and adopt renewable energy in as little as two decades.
  • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) also released a study on Renewable Electricity Futures which found that using a diverse array of commercially available technologies, the US could easily supply 80 percent of its electricity needs with renewables by 2050.
  • The Union of Concerned Scientists also recently published a plan for renewable energy to provide 80 percent of our electricity by 2050.

  • As of 2014, Europe accounted for 90% of the installed global offshore wind turbine capacity.
  • China has installed more wind capacity than the US and has half the global market in solar cells.
  • Currently, German and China lead the world in clean-energy exports.
  • US power plants used renewable energy sources to generate about 13% of its electricity in 2014.

With regards to cost/benefits, in addition to curbing climate change causing greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy will also contribute to improved human health. Minimizing climate impacts and reducing health costs would generate trillions of dollars of cumulative savings and generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

Cost and political will are challenges that will need to be addressed, but the bottom line is that its going to happen - it's just a matter of time. For all our sakes, though, the sooner the better.

Germany currently generates about 25% of its electricity by renewable energy sources and expects to generate 35% of its electricity from renewables by 2020. This has created a problem during certain times of day when the surge of solar and wind power flooding into the grid exceeds the demand for electricity, resulting in negative prices. Similar situations are starting to occurr in Hawaii, Texas, New Mexico, etc. - Read "The Zero Marginal Cost Society"

The following are a few selected links to alternative energy sources that we need to consider using in cities and states across the U.S.

Several alternative energy technologies that are often forgotten in discussions include Micro-Hydro and Micro-Wind solutions. Check out these recent articles:

Micro-Hydro Energy


Finally, South Carolina is actually in pretty good shape as we move forward with the transformation of our state's Energy infrastructure - and our citizens seem to be very receptive to the changes that need to be made. See collection of recent news articles.

Friday, August 14, 2015

History of Clarendon County SC: The 1900's

The following are key historical events that took place in and around Clarendon County, South Carolina, in the 1900's:
  • In 1902, electricity came to the town of Manning. This was followed in 1911 by the introduction of telephone service and the first sewage system.
  • On March 18, 1902, the Alcolu Railroad was incorporated. It was primarily used for hauling logs from the forest, to the Alcolu mill, and then on to the Atlantic Coast Line for shipping to other parts of the country.
  • In 1915, a tornado swept though Manning destroying or damaging numerous stores in the downtown district.
  • In 1906, D.W. Alderman founded the Paroda Railroad that operated in the four counties of Clarendon, Williamsburg, Florence, and Sumter.
  • In 1919, the "Alderman's Twenty Stores in One" opened in Manning. It was one of the largest department stores in the state. It also contained the first elevator in the county.
  • With the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920, women across America finally obtained the right to vote in elections. The amendment was the culmination of the women's suffrage movement in the U.S., which fought for decades, at both state and national levels, to achieve the right to vote. Several decades passed before South Carolina finally ratified the Amendment.
  • In 1939, the Bank of Clarendon was officially chartered by the state of South Carolina. Prior to this, during the 'Great Depression', it was known as the Clarendon Cash Depository.
  • In November 1941, Lake Marion was created by the construction of the Santee Dam. The dam was built across the Santee River to supply hydroelectric power, as part of the rural electrification efforts initiated under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal during the Great Depression.
  • Lake Marion and the Santee Dam were part of the Santee Cooper Hydroelectric and Navigation Project. This project also included the construction of the Pinopolis Dam (also known as the Cooper River Dam) which created Lake Moultrie, just downstream. It also consisted of a diversion canal seven and a half miles long that connected the two lakes.
  • Two historic trials held in Clarendon county, Levi Pearson v. Clarendon County Board of Education (1947) and Briggs v Elliot (1952), paved the way for the famous Brown v. Board of Education court case. It  was found that 'separate but equal schools' based on race were unconstitutional in the U.S.
  • In 1956, Althea Gibson, a native of Clarendon county, became the first black person to win a Tennis Grand Slam title (French Open). The following year she won both Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals (U.S. Open), then won both again in 1958, and was voted Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press in both years. In all she won 11 Grand Slam tournaments, including six doubles titles, and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame.
  • In 1957, the title of Miss America 1957 was won by Marion McKnight from Clarendon county.
  • As early as 1960, Manning became known as one of many towns across the South for staging peaceful Civil Rights demonstrations and sit-ins. Unlike some other areas, the demonstrations in Manning occurred without significant incident.
  • In 1964, the Civil Rights Act was passed by Congress officially ending racial segregation across the U.S.
  • In 1969, Pansy Ridgeway became the first woman to be elected mayor of Manning. She served as mayor of Manning from 1970–1996. She was the third woman elected mayor in South Carolina and the first woman elected president of the South Carolina Municipal Association.
  • In 1973, the Clarendon County Area Vocational Center was built. In 1981, its name was changed to the F.E. DuBose Career Center.  In 2003, the facility was renovated and substantially expanded and was officially renamed the F.E. DuBose Manning Campus of Central Carolina Technical College. 
  • In 1979, the annual weeklong Annual Striped Bass Festival was started in Clarendon county. The county is home to the first population of landlocked striped bass in the U.S.
  • In 1989, Hurricane Hugo hit South Carolina wreaked tremendous havoc across the state and caused 27 fatalities.
  • In 1994, a new state prison, the Turbeville Correctional Institute, was built housing over 1,300 male inmates.
  • In 1995, two churches were destroyed by Ku Klux Klan arsonists. A civil lawsuit was subsequently filed against the Ku Klux Klan. The church won a record $37.8 million judgment in July 1998, effectively shutting down the Klan's activities in Clarendon county for good.

For more detail about the county, make sure you visit the HistoricClarendon County web site.

History of Clarendon County, SC: The 1800's

The following are key historical events that took place in and around Clarendon County, South Carolina, in the 1800's:
  • The War of 1812 between U.S. and Great Britain ended in 1814. It was essentially a stalemate, but it did reconfirm America's Independence from Great Britain.
  • On December 19, 1855, a legislative act was passed establishing the Clarendon District with the same boundaries defined in the Act of 1785. The State Constitution of 1868 would later change districts to counties.
  • Shortly after the re-establishment of Clarendon as a county in 1855, Captain Joseph C. Burgess was selected to determine the geographical center of the county so that a courthouse village could be built. The commissioners responsible for locating the county seat then decided on the site where the present courthouse now stands in Manning. Captain Burgess deeded to the state six acres, which provided sites for the courthouse and jail, in addition to streets 75 feet wide on four sides.
  • On June 25, 1856, the Clarendon county post office was officially established.
  • On April 21, 1858, the "Sumter Watchman" reported that court was held in Clarendon county courthouse for the first time with a large number of lawyers in attendance. 
  • In 1859, a weekly newspaper called the Clarendon Banner opened in Manning and began publication.
  • The town of Manning was officially chartered by an act of the state legislature on January 28, 1861. It was re-chartered by the Secretary of State, March 15, 1904.
  • The American Civil War began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter, a key fort held by Union troops in South Carolina. Eleven states seceded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America (CSA). South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union. The war came to an end four years later with Gen. Robert E. Lee's surrender to Gen. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.
  • In 1865, a body of General Sherman's Union troops under command of General Potter raided Clarendon county. A large portion of the original town, including the court house, was destroyed during "Potter's Raid". The raid took place only a few days before Gen. Robert E. Lee´s surrender at Appomattox. The county recovered slowly from the Civil War.
  • Following the Civil War, the difficult Reconstruction Era of former Confederate states began, lasting from 1864 to 1877.
  • On December 6, 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, thus officially abolishing slavery in the U.S.
  • In July 1868, after the S.C. State Legislature ratified the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the state was finally permitted to regain official representation in Congress. The amendment addressed citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws for all citizens, including former slaves.
  • In 1869, Joseph Rainey became the first African-American in South Carolina to be elected to serve as a Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • With the controversial election of Gov. Wade Hampton III in 1876, new state and local laws began to be passed restricting voting and civil rights of black citizens across the state. See Jim Crow Laws.
  • In 1884, The Manning Times newspaper was established. It is the oldest ongoing community newspaper in Clarendon county. See Manning Live.
  • The town of Alcolu was established in the mid-1880's by D.W. Alderman. It housed the employees of his timber company and lumber mill and their families.
  • In the 1890's, Telegraph systems were introduced into Manning and Summerton.
  • In 1890, the first public school, known as the Manning Collegiate Institute, was opened. By 1899, the school was in debt and in danger of being closed. Local farmer, merchant and civic leader, Moses Levi, bought the property, cleared the debt, and donated it to the city. The school was renamed the Moses Levi Memorial Institute, which operated from 1899-1910.
  • In 1895, a large fire spread through downtown Manning destroying numerous stores along Boyce Street across from the courthouse.
  • In 1898, there were 18 townships listed in Clarendon county which included: Douglas; Sandy Grove; New Zion; Midway; Plowden Mill; Harmony; Sammy Swamp; Manning; Mt. Zion; Brewington; Calvary; Fulton; Concord; Friendship; St. Paul; St. James; Santee; and St. Mark.
  • The Spanish American War began in April 1898. Company D, 2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment, was formed in Manning, S.C., and mustered into service May 21st, 1898. Fortunately, the war came to a quick end with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. The unit was mustered out of service on April 19, 1899.
For more detail about the county, make sure you visit the Historical Clarendon County web site.

History of Clarendon County, SC: Its Earliest Settlers and the 1700's

Prior to the arrival of European settlers, the Native Indian tribes living in what is now South Carolina included the Bear River Indians, Cape Fear Indians, Catawba, Cheraw, Cherokee, Chowanoc, Machapunga, Moratok, Natchez, Occaneechi, Santee, Saponi, Shakori, Tuscarora, and the Waccamaw tribes. See YouTube videos on the History of Native American Indians.
  • In 1566, the colony of Santa Elena was established in South Carolina by the Spanish.
  • In 1670, the first English settlement was established in South Carolina at Albemarle Point on the Ashley River.
  • In 1682, Craven county within the Carolina colony included the area now known as Clarendon county.
  • Clarendon county  is named after Edward Hyde, the Earl of Clarendon, friend and supporter of King Charles II of England. At one time he served as the Lord High Chancellor of England. He was one of the lords proprietors to whom the King gave all the land in this part of the American colonies.
  • In 1701, John Lawson, an English trader and explorer wrote of the Santee Indians of this area. In his writings he spoke of the friendliness and hospitality of the Santees. Examples of their ways of life and customs can still be found in and around their burial mounds at Fort Watson near the Santee waters.
  • In 1711 the Santee Indians joined the settlers to fight the Tuscarora Indians of North Carolina, but in 1715 the Santees joined the Yemassee Indians in a war to destroy the South Carolina settlers, and they almost succeeded. The few Indians left at the end of that war moved up the river to join the Catawba Indians, leaving no Santee Indians in our county.
  • In 1721, South Carolina officially became a Crown Colony.  Sir Francis Nicholson was appointed the first royal governor of the colony.
  • In 1757, St. Mark's Parish was formed out of Craven county. It contained the area of land that would eventually become known as Clarendon county.
  • In 1769,  the colonial general assembly divided the occupied part of the colony into seven judicial districts, each with its own courthouse and county officers. St. Mark's Parish was put in Camden district.
  • The American Revolutionary War began in 1775 when local militias clashed with British troops at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts. By the end of 1775 rebels had seized control in all thirteen colonies and on July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress issued the Declaration of Independence. 
  • In 1778, the British shifted their attention to the southern colonies, recaptured Georgia and South Carolina for the Crown. In 1781, British forces suffered a major defaeat at Yorktown, Virginia. The defeat broke Britain's will to continue the war. Limited fighting continued throughout 1782 until the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783, officially ending the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States of America.
  • A number of Revolutionary War battles or engagements took place in Clarendon county. They included the Battle of Half Way Swamp took place December 1780. Various other battles that took place in the general area are the Battle of Richbourg’s Mill, the Battle of Nelson’s Ferry, the Battle of Fort Watson/Santee Indian Mound, and the Battle of Tearcoat.
It was General Francis Marion's strategy to surprise and strike the British forces and then disappear into the swamps. British General Lord Cornwallis sent one of his top officers to try to catch Francis Marion and they chased him to the edge of our Ox Swamp and then turned back in disgust, with the comment that the devil himself could not catch that fox. From then until now, General Marion is known in history as the 'Swamp Fox'. There is now a Swamp Fox Murals Trail which consists of historical landmarks depicting the American Revolution and the exploits of General Francis Marion.
  • In 1785, a legislative act was passed which divided Camden District into seven counties. One of them was Clarendon county.
  • South Carolina was admitted to the Union on May 23, 1788. South Carolina was the 8th State to join the United States of America.
Many of the first settlers of Clarendon county were Huguenots, French Protestants who fled their country between 1685 and 1787 in order to avoid persecution in France because of their religious beliefs. Many of these early settlers came up the Santee River from coastal areas around the year 1700 and received land grants in the area. Some of the names are still with us, such as DuBose, Gaillard, Des Champs, Richbourg, Lesesne, Guerry, Millette, Mouzon, and others
  • In 1790, Clarendon county had two representatives and shared one senator with Claremont County, which included neighboring Sumter County.
  • In 1792, Salem County was created from Eastern Clarendon and Claremont counties.
  • In 1793, the Santee Canal was constructed to facilitate the transportation of settlers goods inland. The canal was closed early in the 1850 as the railroads made the canal obsolete.
  • In 1798, three counties - Clarendon, Claremont and Salem - were combined to form Sumter District.
For more detail about the county's history, make sure you visit the Clarendon County Historical Society and the Historic Clarendon County web sites.


Investing in Big Oil and Fossil Fuel Companies in the 21st Century

Editorial - The end of the “Age of Fossil Fuels” is fast approaching. More leaders are speaking out against the use of fossil fuels as scientific data mounts showing it is leading to destructive global climate change. Fortunately, competitive alternative energy sources and new technologies now exist that can be used as the world starts to phase out its use of oil and coal to generate energy.

Another clear sign that the end of the “Age of Fossil Fuels” is now upon us can be seen in the growing movement by individuals and large organizations to divest themselves of stock holdings in “Big Oil” and other fossil fuel companies.

To support these claims, check out the following news and information published over the past two months:

As you can see, “Big Oil” keeps lobbying hard and pushing ahead with their attempts to keep us all hooked on fossil fuels for as long as they can, no matter what the cost to our planet.

As the 'Age of Fossil Fuels' slowly comes to an end, oil companies are racing to drill for oil in every sensitive environmental location on Earth they can find while they can - off the Carolina coast, in the Arctic ocean, at the North Pole, off California's coast, near sensitive underwater reefs...

One would thing that if “Big Oil”companies want to survive in this 21st century, they would be trying to invest heavily in the growing alternative energy industry - solar power, hydro-electric, wind energy, fuel cells, nuclear power... Unfortunately, that doesn't yet appear to be happening. Their focus is still on the short term, driving the cost of oil down, and keeping the world hooked on the use of costly, polluting fossil fuels.

Fortunately, we now know that strategy will fail over the long term and more and more individuals and companies will continue to divest themselves of stocks in these companies if they don't change. What do you think? Give us your feedback on the Future of Energy in America.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Clarendon County Democratic Party Meeting - August 2015

The Clarendon County Democratic Party is the local county affiliate of the South Carolina Democratic Party (SCDP). The local party meets the 1st Thursday of each month in Manning, S.C.

The Clarendon Democrats met this past week at Bassard’s Pond House, 4162 Rev. J.W. Carter Road in the Ram Bay community of Clarendon County. SC Senator Kevin Johnson was on hand to give a brief overview of the past legislative session and plans for the next session, e.g. Roads, domestic violence, economic development, police body-cams, healthcare. He praised the legislature for their actions related to the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of our state capitol.

A statement by SC Representative Robert Ridgeway III was then read and entered into the minutes. This was followed by a presentation emphasizing the need to build up the local parties information and communication infrastructure as we head into the 2016 election cycle. Specifically, the need to work on the Clarendon County Democatic Party Facebook page, Twitter, web site, ...

Attendees were urged to bring a friend to the next meeting. Efforts will also be made to ensure precinct representatives attend the monthly meetings whenever they can. The meeting came to a close just as a major storm rolled across the county.

The following are key links to state and county Democratic Party web sites and social media pages:

The South Carolina Democratic Party (SCDP) is the state affiliate of the national Democratic Party. It is headquartered in Columbia, S.C.

The Clarendon County Democratic Party is the local county affiliate of the SC Democratic Party. Within the county, there are 26 precincts.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Republican Party Overview and Links to Key Web Sites

The national Republican Party, commonly referred to as the Grand Old Party (GOP), it is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States. It was founded by anti-slavery activists and members of the Whig Party back in 1854.

Politics is defined as the art or science of government. In other words, it encompasses a wide range of activities that relate to influencing the actions and policies of governments and its use of its resources.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) is responsible for overseeing and promoting Republican campaign activities. This includes managing the process of writing the Republican Party National Platform. The RNC also organizes and supervises the activities of the Republican National Convention.

The South Carolina (SC) Republican Party is the state affiliate of the national Republican Party. It is headquartered in Columbia, S.C.

While the GOP came into being back in 1854, the SC Republican Party only came to dominate state politics over the past 50 years. The Democratic Part was dominant from 1880 through 1948. It was the 1948 Presidential Election that marked the beginning of the winds of political change in the state when Senator Strom Thurmond broke away from the national Democratic Party and ran for office as a State's Rights Democratic Party (Dixiecrat) candidate. The shift in political climate continued with President Lyndon B. Johnson's signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This finally led to the current domination of the state's political landscape by the conservative Republican Party.

The Clarendon County Republican Party is the local county affiliate of the SC Republican Party. Key web sites include:

2016 Republican National Convention - The gathering at which delegates of the U.S. Republican Party will choose the party's nominees for President and Vice President of the United States of America that will run in the 2016 national election. The Republican National Convention will next convene in Cleveland, Ohio on July 18-21, 2016.

No matter what your political party affiliation, it's time to start getting ready for the 2016 nation-wide elections. Pay attention to the candidates and their stance on the major issues facing the US. Also, check out the political platforms of both major parties.

* Visit America's Future: 2020-2050 web site to learn more about the political parties in the US.