My Blog List

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Right's Dirty Little Secret

"Free Things == Lower Taxes

The right wing in the United States have a number of dirty little secrets. But the biggest dirty secret, is that the wealthy are dependent on government welfare for their wealth and privilege. They love to talk about the mob "demanding Free Things", but it is all projection as it is our wealthy and connected who assume privilege and demand "free things" from Government. Case in point is the con about our Corporate taxes being "higher" than other countries. The truth is that:

  1. Our effective tax rate is already among the lowest.
  2. They point to the nominal rate, but the nominal rate is based on the principle of marginal taxation, which differentiates between actual capital, encourages it, and loot, which should be taxed. When they point to closing "loopholes" that is a distraction, as taxes should always be on net income after legitimate expenses and compensation, and most "loopholes" are legitimate except when they are purchased by corporate lobbyists.

  3. The economy does better when the nominal rate is higher!
  4. Our economy has done better when the nominal rate was even higher. Corporations do not hire people, pay higher compensation or any good deeds in any quantity, out of the goodness of their hearts. Lowering the rates means more stock buy backs, dividends and more money for the CEO, but almost none will "trickle down". The hucksters advancing this fraud are lying.

    If you want higher pay for employees, then subsidize payroll an punish substandard wages. It is a simple as that. If you want corporations to be better citizens, put it in the law and punish them financially when they break it. If you don't want them to cheat, hold cheaters liable, incentivize whistle blowers and auditors, and make it profitable to do the right thing. Simple things like a finder fee on reporting fraud. Of course our current corporate climate incentivizes bad behavior.

So the first dirty little secret is that the corporate culture in our country thinks they own the government and can loot the treasury with impunity.

Allying with Nasties

The second dirty little secret is that the business right allies with those who will distract the general public and let them loot with impunity. Thus they have traditionally supported hard right causes, sometimes because it is in the financial interest of the CEOs, but more often because economic power is easily converted to political power and political power buys more loot than productive capital does. After all actual capital has to be spent to produce any gains. A politician can be bought for a few thousand dollars. Imagine making a million dollars and only spending 1000$? It's no wonder that whenever we get oligarchic ownership of business we get oligarchic features in our government.

https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2017/10/29/tax-cut-fraudulence-the-usual-suspects/
https://www.npr.org/2017/11/13/563420070/is-a-corporate-tax-cut-really-what-the-economy-needs-right-now
https://www.democracynow.org/2017/10/4/in_1898_white_supremacists_killed_60

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Mafia State Patriarchs, Oligarchs, Poligarchs

Masha Gessen writes in the New Yorker, an Article titled:

"The Poligarchs, Oligarchs, and Stooges of the Paradise Papers":

The subtitle of which is:

In Russia, Vladimir Putin has created a mafia state, with him as the patriarch.

I liken these dictators and wannabe dictators to Pirate Captains, but Mafia Dons works as well. The analogy M. Gessen uses compares them to Mafia organizations, which makes sense, since the Sea Dogs of Britain, the Netherlands, France and Spain are the Mafioso of those lands. Gessen draws on the work of Bálint Magyar, who compares them to Mafioso. Marauding Invader's works as well. The analogies to Vandals and Goths might apply too, except these people are integrated into their societies and emerge from within.

A Hierarchy of Fear, Oppression and Tyranny

Gessen describes a hierarchy of Putin's Russia, with it's "Poligarchs", who always have a chief, an extended family. The chief is the patriarch, who provides unified direction and keeps the bloodthirsty "family" members from offing each other. A Poligarch is a political chief. Gessen writes:

"The word “poligarch” combines “political” and “oligarchy”; the poligarchs are first endowed with political power, which they use to procure material wealth."

But in the Polygarch Scheme, the oligarchs get their wealth and power from those with power, and in return must do as they are told. In Putin's Russia, Hitler's maxim of not nationalizing Industry, but nationalizing the Industrialists, has become a reality. Oligarchs either bend to Putin's rule, or they find themselves losing everything. Politicians can draw wealth and hidden power from the Oligarchs, and the Oligarchs exercise power from behind the scenes.

And Always the Stooges

And below them are the stooges. Always the Stooges.

He also writes on the Paradise Papers, which details the corrupt money relationships between Putin, his pet politicians "polygarchs", and oligarchs. All of whom are bound by secret stashes of money in Caribbean and Mediterranean Islands.

The point is that Trump wants that system for here.

For more on this read:

https://www.icij.org/investigations/paradise-papers/
https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-poligarchs-oligarchs-and-stooges-of-the-paradise-papers

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

If Trump were Mexican

I was trying to get into Mexico. Somehow I was trying to get over the wall into Mexico, but there were police and military Guarding the boarder to keep the Gringo's out. I couldn't do it. But then you know how it is...

I was suddenly in Mexico. But it was too late. The People's paradise of Mexico had just elected Donaldo el Trompetista and the Gazpacho were everywhere in their red Vans blowing their Trumpets. We ran til they stopped along the road and took out their red bowls, ate Gazpacho soup and took a siesta. We stopped at the Tavern and the La Resistencia started drinking Sangría azul. Our fight was between the red and the blue here too!

His cry "Make Mexico Great Again!" And "Throw the Gringos out was very popular. But today the fighting was done. Mañana! I needed a break anyway.

I wandered around the country, and all the common folks were out wearing traditional garb and saying "how did we elect such a maleducado our president?" And I heard him on the TV in the Cafe:

Trump: "I really respect my country! I want to make it great again!"
Trump: "I think you need a strong leader, and I'm here to lead you!"
And the Announcer said:
"We've already had too many Caudillos. We don't need another."
Trump: "Get him out of here!"
That is when I remembered, Trump is our Caudillo, and woke up sweating. The Mexicans have already had their share of cheesy Caudillos. This one is our mess.

That is what I get for eating Gazpacho soup late at night.

Please Vote. We don't need a Caudillo!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Voter Turnaway not Low Turnout

Snopes will tell you that there is no evidence that three hundred thousand voters were turned away at the polls due to voter ID requirements. Given that turnout in the USA is often abysmal, it is likely that the numbers were 300,000 more or less. There is no evidence they weren't either. We will never know how many were turned away, so the honest answer is "unverifiable." Blame the voter critics count people discouraged due to improper ID or caged, as "no-shows", most just don't show up. There is no doubt that approximately 16,800 in Milwaukee County and Madison’s Dane County. Extrapolated to the rest of the state the numbers probably come out to nearly 300,000.

When people know they'll be turned away when they show up to vote, many will simply not show up. Election dates and times are designed to suppress the votes of working people. Republicans don't like attributes of democracy, because they claim that most of us are too stupid to act like anything but a mob when we are allowed to assemble. Since that attitude also justifies manipulating voters, they wind up the ones stoking fear, anger and bigotry in mobs. We Democrats believe in participation. Republicans used to. Voter suppression is designed to intimidate people not to show up and vote. They want to turn away voters, but they don't want to appear to be so.

But what they are doing is voter turn away. not low voter turnout. We combat it by turnout. They combat turnout by voter suppression:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/10/wisconsin-shows-how-to-do-voter-suppression-right/?utm_campaign=socialflow&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=social
http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2017/09/26/wisconsin-voter-id-law-deterred-nearly-17-000-voting-uw-study-says/702026001/

Monday, October 16, 2017

Trump's Practice of the Big Lie

The Big lie is an old technique. I've written about it so many times in blog posts and similar I hardly need my references anymore: Orwell, Hannah Arendt, and of course the practitioners; Hitler, Stalin, Orwell, etc... The practitioners of the big lie are cagey about what they are doing. They will talk about it, but always in the context of defaming opponents. But Hannah Arendt:

Trump isn't that different from those who came before him. He calls his version of the Big Lie "Truthful Hyperbole". To him if it is supposed to be true one day, or he thinks he might be able to make it true. Then it is "Truthful Hypberbole." He calls it "truthful" because he can carry off the affectation of "truthiness" while telling his abusive lie. Lies are lies, not hyperbole. But to Trump...

...well who knows?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Mnuchin Subverts These United States

Steve Mnuchin stated;

"We can't have the Federal Government keep subsidizing the states."

Which is a very unconstitutional thing to say for two reasons:

  1. The States fund the Federal Government.

    The Federal Government is a Federation of "The several states" and it has always been the regulatory arm of "them." So this is a very anti "states rights" statement... and abusive.

  2. The States ceded the power to coin money in the Constitution and the power to issue notes as money. This was a delegation for the sake of efficiency and common-wealth.

Therefore the money power rests with the Federal Government, which in the Constitutional Government scheme is in service to These, not their tyrannical overseer. The Federal Government under the 14th amendment has some oversight rights as the collective will of the whole body of the people of the United States, but because states don't have the independent power to issue notes to pay their debts it should be the role of the Treasury through a well constituted Federal Reserve to front the money. Then taxes can collect any unmerited or unearned incomes from their spending on infrastructure and other citizens needs. Mnuchin's schema would treat them like Greece, allowing taxes and Wall Street to siphon off wealth and then punishing them for the vanishing tax receipts from a vanishing tax base. It would push all the costs of government onto States while continuing to let Wall Street eat the revenues.

Mnuchin's plan treats States as Colonies. He and Trump seem to be testing it on Puerto Rico. The combination of centralization and wealth siphoning by loan is toxic. We need to stop him. Mnuchin's idea is poisonous.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/12/treasury-secretary-mnuchin-says-state-and-local-tax-breaks-a-major-loophole-that-were-trying-to-close.html

I've got a lot more to say so I may update this post later with more information.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Still Wrong the Day it was Decided

Updated Commentary on Wrong the Day it was decided

The trouble with divining "original intent" is that it can lead to anachronistic interpretations and faulty reasoning beyond simply anachronism fallacy! The trouble with the terms "cannonical" and "anti-cannonical", is that they try to apply religious terminology to what is essentially a human endeavor. Legal systems are designed to bind society to the wisdom and prescriptions of accepted law. But human interpretation is still necessary and so, just as the Plessy Versus Fergussen or Dredd Scott decision were later overturned; our understanding of law can and must change as society evolves. The constitution is a dead document unless we who live apply its principles as well as its dictates rationally and are able to use legal process to change those that must change. In some cases that might mean the amendment process, in others it is a matter of definition. The author of "Wrong the Day it was Decided" sought in the concept of "Constitutional Historicism" to bring principles of textual analysis to judicial decision making.

Monday, October 9, 2017

A right to Vote but not to have your vote counted

It goes back to Bush V Gore

In 2000 and 2001 the Supreme Court affirmed the corrupt process of Florida and other states in Bush Versus Gore. In Bush Versus Gore, they conceded that they could stop a recount despite it being obvious that votes were not being counted:

“there could be no question that there were uncounted "legal votes"” [Bush V Gore]

Nevertheless they held that actually counting those "uncounted legal votes" violated the "equal protection clause of the constitution. Part of their justification was lack of time, due to SCOTUS stopping the recounts earlier. But the real corrupt heart of Bush Versus Gore, is something that is itself eitter unconstitutional or poorly constituted because they held that:

“ The individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the United States unless and until the state legislature chooses a statewide election as the means to implement its power to appoint members of the electoral college. U. S. Const., Art. II, § 1 ” [Bush V Gore]

So while the constitution states that no one can be denied a right to vote "on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, or sex;" there is no requirement for that vote to be counted in electing the President per Bush Versus Gore. The decision was so badly decided that all subsequent examples of corrupt election process are all predicated on it. The same corrupt Justices who decided it would decide that bribery is speech.

SCOTUS could over-rule the State Supreme Court on the grounds that their SCOTUS ordering a recount violated "the equal protection clause" despite the reality that the Constitution does give those powers and responsibilities to the States and they didn't have standing in the first place. They could over-rule our own Constitution and the State Constitution to disestablish existing laws while inventing new theories of bribery=speech. They'd go on to over-rule 100+ year old corruption laws on equally specious grounds. Sandra Day O'Connor ruled with the majority on this case, she later regretted it. But it gave us 8 years of Bush and that gave us a Court even more corrupt than the one she was on. It also gave us a fraudulent war, massive economic fraud and speculation and an economic collapse.

This decision started me on being alarmed about our politics. The alarm has only grown as the GOP has become more and more authoritarian and the Corrupt Court ratified their actions.

https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/531/98/case.html
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/11/just-how-bad-was-bush-v-gore/343247/
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-1213-raskin-bush-v-gore-anniversary-20151213-story.html

Thursday, October 5, 2017

To Govern utilities well local government must be involved

Democratic Subsidiarity

The pejorative "socialist" is a dog whistle and propaganda term, but not much use in fashioning good government of utilities or dealing with monopolies of any kind. Using it as a pejorative is a tool of our grifter pirates in their desire to loot US common folks. Far left Socialists misuse it too. The issue with socialist government versus "capitalist" government is who governs business. "Capitalist" becomes code for piracy. Modern pirates want to govern vital public goods privately so they can "extract maximum value" from them — i.e. loot them.

But the real issues left and right are:

Centralization
Bureaucracy

Both of which are exacerbated by both thoughtless socialism and privateering Monopoly Capitalism.

This post reinforces earlier posts, including:
Healthcare as a Utility
Principles of Federalism
Principles of Subsidiarity
Community Policing

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Corporations Hoarding Loot

Our Blindness towards Hoarding

Today I listened to an "economist" on Bloomberg talk about the slow US economy and how "neither fiscal nor monetary policy" could spur more growth. For him and the businesses he serves this is 'caused' by excessive "government regulation." We've been hearing this claim since the late 70s and from the 80s to about 2008 policy makers bought it. It is not true. But nobody debated him when he started. Now that the Trickle Down Crowd ideas have been refuted, they claim nobody knows what to do. None of that is true! What causes recessions and depressions is looting and the hoarding of that loot!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Twitler and the Hurricane Maria

Cold Comfort

Twitler reacted to the disaster in Puerto Rico by declaring war on Football players, North Korea, Republicans and ....

Puerto Rico!

Meanwhile the people of Puerto Rico are still without food, water, medicine, energy or basic support from our Federal Government. His FEMA director finally said something, goaded by Hillary Clinton, all the living Presidents and a lot of bad publicity. He said ships were on their way. He lied. The Comfort was still in port and won't be in Puerto Rico for a week. Supplies sit on the docks. Trump won't waive the Jones Act. Turns out Trump lost money on a Golf Course in Puerto Rico. Twitler seems to be punishing Puerto Rico for his own incompetence or petty hate.

Please Visit:

Comfort
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/09/26/fema-head-says-more-ships-and-troops-headed-to-puerto-rico.html
http://www.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article175507151.html
http://patriotnotpartisan.com/general-commentary/heres-can-help-people-affected-hurricane-maria/
Maria Fundhttps://t.co/dsWvKGrps3

I'm glad they didn't repeal ACA protections but we live in truly insane times. And 35% of us only believe whatever Trump and his flying monkey's tell them, true or false, it is only true if Trump likes it. And he does take revenge.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Gerrymandering in Redistricting is Bad Constitution

The real issue with redistricting and gerrymandering is that it reflects a poorly constituted system of Government.

No System is sailor proof from people determined enough to sabotage it. But an antiquated system is like a fermenting fruit bowl attracting Fruit Flies. Our system is antiquated. It has many wonderful features and works well enough on most issues. But it has not been updated more than needed to patch glaring faults. As a result where it works well for the general population this reflects kludges, often opposed by a tiny minority of extremely wealthy and powerful privateers.

Our charter was optimized for Thirteen Colonies, for a narrow elite of wealthy white males and for a relatively small population. It still favors a minority of privileged wealthy white males. Gerrymandering is a symptom of this. It needs fundamental reform. This post describes how Gerrymandering impacts functionality and infringes on people's rights.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Democratic Facts

I'm still reading the book Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean. This is taking longer than I expected, for two reasons,

  1. It is long and detailed.
  2. It is about James Buchanan, so fact checking means reading his writings and some of the sources.

Waging Totalitarian War on the 90%

It is also about how conservative doctrine has become totalitarian.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Confusing Capital with Rental Opportunities

I keep running into the same faulty arguments that hinge on the same devious argument. They heap all kinds of wealth formation under the title "capital formation" and so deliberately mislead people. Now:

Capital in the Twenty First Century, by Thomas Piketty,

Does define most forms of wealth, for simplicity sake, as capital; but he did that to simplify his argument. The word capital is also misused in finance and accounting (deliberately) to refer to financial wealth. To use that simplification in formal economics however is misleading. Capital, strictly speaking is:

"wealth that is used in production, including wealth that is in the course of exchange."

That meaning excludes wealth that is used to generate rents, financial wealth, labor and "nature's bounty"; land and mineral resources. Usually those selling capitalism use the later definition for the sales, but the former definition for the reality.

And there is a reason for that.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Esotericism and the Books on the Shelf

A new translation of the Zohar, puts it in reach of modern English Speakers. The work is an apocryphal work, purportedly written around the same time as parts of the Talmud, but actually possibly not written down til the late 13th century, it represents oral teachings handed down and later written down by Rabbi's and their disciples. Who knows how many? The Zohar, like much of Mahayana Buddhism, Tendai and Nichiren Teachings, represents the work of teachers following a contemplative tradition. The Jewish Authors may not have been monks (Buddhist or Christian) but their insights are part of a tradition of meditation and contemplation with roots from before either Christianity or Judaism took their present form. That is what makes the work interesting to me. This translation of the Zohar can be useful to anyone studying religion, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim or non Jew. Arthur Green, in is review of the book illustrates some of why that is true. My book (if I ever finish it) explains why. At the very least folks should read his article:

Zohar Kabbalah & Mainstream Judaism

Thursday, September 7, 2017

How Government is and isn't a Business

People in this country are really confused about how Government should function. Many think it should be run like a business. Indeed Government should be run like a well run business. But more importantly a well run business is a well governed business.

The reason people are confused about the relationship between business and government is that businesses are governing entities! When Government is run for the sake of Oligarchs only, it is tyranny and privateering!

The Lockean Definition of Tyranny is government for "private, separate advantage.":

We give the people within them the privilege of governing property, their own affairs and in return a sane society expects them to operate within the parameters of that title or charter. This corporate privilege allows Businesses to be run for the private separate advantage of the owners and senior management, within restrictions set by law. When everyone behaves it works for the greater good. When they don't, you get tyranny and privateering.

Government is a business of all the businesses, all the many factions and associations of the people within its jurisdiction. So it has to be run for the people's business, like a virtuous business, and not like a pirate camp.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Libertarian Bait and Switch -- The role of James M Buchanan

I'm wading through a rather large book named "Democracy in Chains" by Nancy MacLean. The book focuses on James M. Buchanan, the Koch Brothers and their role in allowing elitist activsts to use exoteric movements to promote esoteric causes via deception and manipulation. Her book focuses on how the Far right expresses itself through movements that are basically projects of program offices based in far right institutions. She fills in much of the story of how the University of Virginia helped birth a deeply subversive movement when it founded "Thomas Jefferson Center for Studies in Political Economy." It follows familiar territories and provides missing pieces to the puzzle of how this all was integrated. She helps demonstrate how:

"What we think of as dysfunction is the result of years of strategic effort." [Review]

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Trump Goes Full Nixon

Trump gave a policy speech last night. He sounded so incoherent I fell asleep. Before he gave it I figured he might try something old as new (see: "Will Trump Create an American East India Company"). As bad as that idea was and yes the Robert Clive idea may be completely mercenary and privateering (and therefore so Trump) but at least it would have shown some imagination. He went Nixon instead. Incoherent and tricky.

He made three points that, like his Watergate-like corrupt politics remind me of 1969. His speech was pure Nixon:

Monday, August 21, 2017

Will Trump Create an American East India Company?

Trump is going to give a policy speech tonight. If he promises to keep troops in Afghanistan and the Mideast he'll be doing what every other flaccid spine Politician does to avoid humiliation, with one of these wars. I suspect he has another idea in mind; to privatize the war. Trump is a privateer, and as I wrote previously; Privatization is a tool of Privateering, and has been since a group of "adventurers" (pirates) and businessmen (same) petitioned for the Creation of the East India Company around 1600. This would duck responsibility for human life by offshoring it and shucking it off to yet another International Company.

I believe that Trump is going to try to establish an "American East India Company" to privatize our Efforts in the middle east ala Blackwater and Erik Prince's other freebooting efforts.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Overview of the Russian Challenge

The Issue is with the GOP

The Russians have become a source of money for GOP efforts to disrupt democracy, protect hierarchy and divert people to nationalism.

From the Administration eliminating the Election Assistance Commission to pedaling an investigation into nonexistent in person election fraud, Donald Trump was demonstrating his support for racism and James T. Crow in an open fashion. Trump is embarrassing the Republican party by dumping Lee Atwater's Politically Correct coded language for open support for KKK and Nazis. For more on the Russian Investigtion see:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbQYLnXPwcs
http://billmoyers.com/story/trump-russia-timeline/

Monday, August 14, 2017

Privatization Historically is a tool of Privateering

...And Privateering is Legalized Piracy

    Privateers wage private war, They:
  1. Raise Private Armies
  2. Privatize and Extract Resources
  3. Privatize and loot Government Services
  4. Sell their looting as Good for the looted.

Hunger and Hungry Times

I was coming home by bus from the Docs Office and the store. And, I'd bought more, and heavier Groceries than I should have. Never go Shopping while Hungry.

Now, I faced a killer Hill. Smoketown is a killer town for Hills and the temperature was 90 degrees eff.  So I set off to walk up the Street to cut through the Smoketown Baptist Church. I was already huffing and puffing after 100 feet and my healed fracture was starting to cry for attention. Usually it is just A dull ache. But now it was really hurting.

My salvation came in the form of two elderly ladies in a sedan who stopped and offered a ride. I was happy to accept!

As we ride up the hill we introduced ourselves. One of them started telling me stories;

"I used to live on C street. I've been in your house! All us kids knew the Stranges. I grew up with Olivar Strange and Gommer. Did you meet them?"

She started telling me stories about the people on my street. How;

"We kids played in everyone's yards and ate out of everyone's refrigerator. Except we didn't eat from some refrigerators 'cause there was nothing in them."

  "My mom said"

"she didn't mind"

"cause as she said;"

"No child should go hungry because there's no food."

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wag The Dog by a Con Artist President

Trump is now threatening Nuclear War on North Korea. The North Koreans have the ability to reply to a violent threat, in kind. The pundits are normalizing his Hitlerian threats.

Most of what Trump says is Braggadocio and bluster.
But when he makes a threat he tries to deliver with all his muster.
Trump has lied all his days since he was a youth.
The whole truth is that he is a grifter

All true, but what do we do?

Trump is entirely capable of launching an attack on North Korea. The pundits may think he's talking to China. He may think that his brinkmanship may make the Chinese will back down. I'm afraid he is trying to start a war.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

National Emergency Response Service and the Militia

National Health Service

The best way to manage our health care rationally, and to provide for good healthcare for everything, is to put at least a component of it under a National Service Framework. The education, training and minimum provisioning "arming" of healthcare providers all should be organized at a National level and also carried out in each State.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Pirates, Loot and the East India Company

East India Company Looted India

The East India Company is the Model for the Modern Corporation. This is an extraordinary fact because that company ran its own foreign relations, own armies (The famous Sepoy's), fought their own wars,bribed, subverted, suborned, got contracts to perform government services and then exploited those to take over governments. They went from running trading posts in coastal cities on a lease from the Mogul Emperors, to keeping them virtual prisoners on a pension. They invaded what is now Afghanistan and both loved and despised the Moslems who had formerly dominated in India. Eventually their greed and stupidity forced them to step aside from Governing India to the role of continuing to loot it. Heck the word "loot", both as noun and verb, comes from India.

The Right of the Individual To Himself

Section One Establising the Rights of Natural persons over Artificial persons

Article 1 Rights of Natural Persons

"The rights and privileges of natural persons under this constitution originate in the right of the individual to himself, therefore these rights are the rights of natural persons." [Source: Henry George in the Condition of Labor]

Article 2 Privileges Derive from the People

"Any privileges of Artificial entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state derive from the people and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, as appropriate. These rights are not to be construed as inherent or inalienable but are privileges established to serve the public good."

Article 3. Right to participation

All citizens shall have the right to participate in the political process, to vote in elections in their permanent domicile and to effective representation in Federal, State, and local governing entities.

Article 4 Transparency

All contributions of any person, or artificial entities to the political process must be publicly disclosed. Undisclosed contributions may be construed as bribery or undue influence with or without evidence of quid pro quo.

Article 4 Free Press

A Free Press being necessary to a Free Republic, all meetings and interactions of Government officials, elected or appointed, executive, Judiciary or Legislature; shall be recorded for posterity; and unless a compelling reason exists for the deliberations to be kept secret, shall be witnessed by members of the press and reasonable representation of the general public. Any records marked secret shall only be kept secret for the minimum appropriate time for such secrecy, and only those parts such as necessary to protect actual natural security shall be redacted when released before that time. The press shall be compensated for performing recording, reporting, archiving or witnessing efforts by the hour at the same hourly rate as the House of Representatives is compensated.

Article 5

The President shall be elected by a majority of voters. If no candidate shall achieve 50% + 1 of the popular vote, then there shall be a run off election between the 2 candidates with the highest percentage of the vote.

Article 6

The Post Office shall enable people to cast ballots through the Post Office in all jurisdictions where there is an election and shall accept ballots from 5 days before the election to Midnight of Election Day.

Article 7

No Government, State, Federal or local may infringe on the right of citizens to cast their ballots within their neighborhoods and for each citizen to cast one vote in the elections of their permanent place of residence that have jurisdiction over them. Reasonable identification may be required and the security of ballots shall be protected. But no legitimate voter may be denied a vote due to improper challenges of their identity and no vote may be ignored or thrown out that was cast by a citizen without that citizen being notified and given a chance to make a correction.

Article 7

The People shall have the right to vet all candidates for elective office and to require that they disclose relevant information on their fitness for office under oath. All elective and appointed offices shall be audited at the end of their term of office and the information reviewed by a bipartisan or non partisan panel and put into a report.

Section Two -- Second Bill of Rights

Article 1

All Citizens and legal residents residing in the United States or its territories shall have the right to meaningful work and to be compensated for such work at a reasonable wage.

Article 2

All Citizens and legal residents residing in the United States or its territories shall have the right to adequate shelter and to be secure in their possessions within such shelter from unreasonable search and seizure.

Article 3

All natural persons residing in the United States or its territories shall have the right to adequate medical care

Article 4

All Citizens and legal residents of the United States shall have the right to economic care during sickness, accident, old age, unemployment or infirmity.

The above is suggested language.

Background Notes

"This right of property, originating in the right of the individual to himself, is the only full and complete right of property. It attaches to things produced by labor, but cannot attach to things created by God." [Condition of Labor]

Said Henry George in a letter to Pope Leo XIII in response to Rerum Novarum in 1891. Of all the responses to Rerum Novarum his was the most electric & most enduring. Rerum Novarum was cited by Catholic groups around the world, incited Catholic Social Action but also was part of the creed of Mediterranean fascists in the 19th century. It started as a seemingly radical left doctrine, but because it also protected ownership of land, it became a conservative force for the next century and into the present. Henry argued against being branded a socialist. And the above quote was the basis for that argument

""To attach to things created by God the same right of private ownership that justly attaches to things produced by labor is to impair and deny the true rights of property. For a man who out of the proceeds of his labor is obliged to pay another man for the use of ocean or air or sunshine or soil, all of which are to men involved in the single term land, is in this deprived of his rightful property and thus robbed." [Condition of Labor]

We humans have a basic right to possess land, shelter, work-places, access to markets and transportation:

"While the right of ownership that justly attaches to things produced by labor cannot attach to land, there may attach to land a right of possession." [Condition of Labor]

But that right is not unalloyed, without limits:

“God has not granted the earth to mankind in general in the sense that all without distinction can deal with it as they please,” [Condition of Labor]

And there are logical and rational rules to such limits:

"regulations necessary for its best use may be fixed by human laws. But such regulations must conform to the moral law — must secure to all equal participation in the advantages of God’s general bounty." [Condition of Labor]

If man would apply moral law to the access to, control of and disposition of resources, we'd be in much better shape.

Sources and Further Readings

The Condition of Labor — An Open Letter to Pope Leo XIII by Henry George September, 1891
http://www.wealthandwant.com/HG/the_condition_of_labor.htm
Rerum Novarum Text
http://w2.vatican.va/content/leo-xiii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_15051891_rerum-novarum.html
https://www.brennancenter.org/issues/new-constitutional-vision
Move to Amend's version of Citizens United Repeal
https://movetoamend.org/press-release/immediate-release-constitutional-amendment-introduced-congress-ensuring-rights-people
The Death of Henry George
https://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-death-of-henry-george.html

Second Bill of Rights

This post is part of a series intended to clarify how to write a second bill of rights and what should be in it in order to implement not only F.D. Roosevelt's vision, but the lessons of subsequent years. Obama proposed a constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United, but clearly that alone will only deal with one piece of the problem.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/politico44/2012/08/obama-calls-for-constitutional-amendment-to-overturn-citizens-united-133724
https://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2017/05/establishing-second-bill-of-rights.html

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Lost Piqueteros of the Radical Left movements

https://goo.gl/images/nJ136x

My wife and I couldn't visit Argentina for the first few years we were married. Her passport was good everywhere but back home, yet Argentina lacked passport quality paper to make new passports, and so if she'd returned to Argentina she'd have been stuck there. She would have had to renew her passport there and it would have been months before they could do so. That is how dysfunctional Argentina was. She had no control over her own finances, her own money supply, etc...

Lies, More Lies, Big lie and Propaganda -- Today's News

In the News for August 2017

Trump's Speech

There is so much happening right now, that if you are only watching Fox TV you'll never know half of it. And if you aren't reading critically, you'll never grasp it's significance. I'm not really interested in the ephemeral minutiae of the moment right now. But current scandals are enduring, historical events, so it is important to help people keep up. In the news today, are leaks of Trump's conversations with foreign leaders, threats to attack North Korea, Mueller's investigation standing up a Grand Jury & more and more evidence that we elected a Traitor. And that this has been a long term project. These are the important stories to me and a brief summary of why:

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tories Rodef and Scoundrels

Pursuers and Scoundrels

The term "Tory" comes from a Celtic Root, and the Irish,

"toraidhe ‘outlaw, highwayman,’ from tóir ‘pursue.’" [Multiple Dictionaries]

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Restoring the Utility of a Free Press

The Free Press Under Assault from Incipient Oligarchs

A Free Press has to have these three Attributes:

  • Free And Unfettered Access to News Sources and events
  • A means to get paid and eat
  • A means to reach their audiences

Currently all three of these attributes of a free press are under assault

The Free Press in the United States is under attack from enemies & counterfeiters. These overt enemies want to either take over and control the news for corrupt partisan purposes, or to shut down legitimate news and substitute "entertainment" and propaganda. The usurpers are succeeding principally by buying networks, local TV and Radio and replacing local news staffs with centralized propagandists and central instructions. This is concentrating ownership of news and creating local monopoly and reinforcing local, regional and national oligarchic power. Meanwhile Counterfeit news is propagated by partisans with no means to verify and validate accuracy. This news is often picked up by the Oligarchic news as if it were the real thing.

If this is allowed to continue the Utility of honest and accurate reporting will be replaced with agitation propaganda, advertising & purely partisan information.  This is already happening with Companies like Fox News and Sinclair Broadcasting. And the influence of front office and back office powers over editing and content is felt across the media. Meanwhile many qualified veteran reporters are doing web broadcasts or blogs. That is not a stable or efficient substitute to truly free press.

This is a threat to both the Democratic Party and Democracy. Until it is fixed we have to act as inadequate substitutes for the press ourselves.

Dirge for the Deep State

When they broadcast their hate
Talking darkly about the "Deep State"
Pirates told long and dark tales of piracy
And laid cause to ugly dark conspiracy.

The Deep State does nefarious Deeds
Government is the enemy
They said from their captains Desk
While working at some Agency.

While piling cash on a legislators desk
They'd spin their tale of perfidy and woe.
The pirate captains in the room all agreed!
To take a vow among themselves
The Deep State must go!

They feared the Deep State,
Afraid They'd be caught.
But they were rarely even sought
Many of the policemen They'd bought!

While sailing seas of Industry
The pirate captains talked
Of regulative perfidy
The bureaucrats kept telling them

They couldn't take the last whales from the seas
Or drown the earth in poison.
At such regulations they balked.
The Deep State was their enemy.

And the captains in their washrooms
Told tales of Deep State Tyranny
As they waged their private wars
And smuggled arms to all combattants!
"Pick a side" the Captains would say
"We can't let the Deep State get in the way
When there is money to be made!"

When they broadcast their hate
At the men and women of the Deep State
When they attacked big Gubbornment!
The pirates took out their guns & took Aim
They'd put an end to the Deep State!

Many of the Deep State Agreed
Government was inefficient
And there was too much greed!
But the pirate captains had other needs
They were after efficient loot!

They won power telling tales
Of dark conspiracy & pirate sails
The pirates called the "deep state" piracy
And vowed to terminate it.

The Pirate Captains had other plans
For the millions of professionals
In their hands.
They lined them up, calling all hands,
And took aim and fired.

Oh, the Deep State now we mourn
Millions of lives gone
Pirates in charge
The looting has begun
And the killings.
The Deep State was our Government.

Christopher H. Holte

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Legalizing A Corrupt Election Process

Vote Suppression, hacking, massive official fraud

Increasingly, with the help of databases of personal information and unlimited money for buying politicians, planting fake information and by manipulating pretty much everyone, We have people who think they can buy our elections with impunity and manage our Democracy. This is bigger than mere fraud. This threatens the survival of our republic's Democracy. If the Russians weren't involved it would be harder to get anyone paying attention, but Trump is a walking Confessional.

Trump has to be stopped before he can legalize and institutionalize a corrupt election process, loyalty requirements and his tyrannical policies. This post focuses on his efforts to corrupt the election process.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Hannah Arendt On Revolution Liberty and Freedom

Why Revolutions Occur, Succeed, Fail

In this lecture, which Hannah Arendt, probably authored & may or may not have given to her students, Hannah Arendt talks about liberty, Freedom, why revolutions occur, why they succeed, why they are a result of the "disintegration" of the legitimacy and effectiveness of the lands where the revolution occurs, and why when they fail disintegration intensifies. When she wrote this, it had been more than 20 years since World War II. And with the rise up of former colonial countries then and now:

"Revolutions have become everyday occurrences since, with the liquidation of imperialism, so many peoples have risen “to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature’s God entitle them.”

To Read the Lecture in it's text, visit:

http://lithub.com/tag/hannah-arendt/

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bill Browder's Testimony and Trump/Russia

The only mention of Trump Russia I saw in the general news today was from Sarah Sanders, who said the whole thing was a fraud. But in reality, Bill Browder (who I always get mixed up with one of my favorite actors Ben Browder), was testifying about it. Bill Showed up. They also were supposed to take testimony from Glenn Simpson of Company Fusion GPS that produced the Trump Dossier, that kicked off so much trouble, but Glenn refused to testify. Apparently he would plead the 5th amendment if they put him up for testimony. Bill Browder did testify, and he told the whole story, including the fact that the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, works for Vladimir Putin. Browder verified that the June 9th Meeting was about "The Magnitsky Act." [see drip drip drip post] and further explained why Putin so much wants to repeal the Magnitsky Act. It turns out that the Trump Dossier may in part be something created by Russian FSB in order to blackmail Trump. They bribe Trump, and they hold the ability to "bring him down" in reserve as extortion. Hence the term "Kompromat."

PS the Russians were only letting us adopt the very sick and ill among Russian Children, so when he retaliate for the Magnitsky act, many of those children simply died. Please Read the Atlantic Article or go to CSPAN to hear Bill Browder's testimony. Or listen to Randi Rhodes Broadcast that she gave today where she dissects all this. It is Amazing Stuff.

https://t.co/Jl7EMVPqEr

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Of Pigeons and Pirates

Smoketown Pigeons

Early in the morning,
Smoketown sleeps at last!
But the pigeons from their eyrie
Come and go seeking their repast.
 
From their Hilltop keep.
They stand watch in their tower
All the town do they see.
But the only thing on their little minds
Is where their next meal may be.
 
The Tower is their fortress
Its bell is painted white
In flocks they come and go.
Dancing in the air!

Christopher H Holte‏ @CHHolte 7/26/2017

Note: Had to share this before I forgot it!

Pirates Bones

The pirates will come and go
Leaving whale bones mouldering on the beach
With bones of ships & men
 
Their treasure is an illusion
Vanishing in black smoke
Only trinkets of idle scrimshaw
To tell the tale of men and sail.
Treasure Gone!
 
They hunted beheameth to near extinction
Then dug the soil seeking His remains
Reveling in gushing poison
Building empires built on oil!
 
In the ancient game of piracy
The captain's crew comes to town
Promising ease and riches
Spreading paper all around!
Their promises are lies
 
And those who see their invisible cloth
Find a knife in an alley way.
While the glamoured masses scoff
"It can't be other than a new great day!"
 
But their promises are hollow
Their king a glibe practiced grifter
Soon they've robbed the town naked
And depart, seeking riches swifter!
 
Dead men tell a mournful tale
Broken bones, evidence of disease.
Nature recovers but remembers
The land mourns lost virginity.
Rachel weeps.
 
And animals make their homes
In the ruined bones
castles of extraction
Become pigeon eyres.
Smoketown sleeps
Dreaming disturbing nightmares.

Christopher H Holte‏ @CHHolte 7/26/2017

I had two different thoughts here that kind of meshed in a fugue of analogy. One was from watching the pigeons in my local Church. The other is the pressing weight of our American History.

"Deep State" B.S. And Reality

Conspiracy Mongering "The Deep State"

In reading a book by Mike Lofgren titled "The Deep State," I didn't have high expectations for clear argumentation, despite the blurb claiming that Lofgren was encouraged to write the book by Bill Moyers. Sure enough reading it, it's the same kind of bait the base and blame the usual suspects playing out, except Mike is attacking the establishment! Mike manages to mix into a conspiratorial stew the forces of the media, bureaucracy & government, mixing left and right conspiracy stories to create a completely incoherent narrative.

"Bill Moyers! What were you thinking! I thought you were a progressive?

Anyway, the book became a textbook for both the far left and the far right. It was a text for Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders and the Trump Campaign. Which is why I waded through it in the first place.

This essay is at Bill Moyer's Website:

http://billmoyers.com/2014/02/21/anatomy-of-the-deep-state/

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Trump Wants Chaika!!!

Yesterday I made the quip that Trump doesn't want a US Style DA. He doesn't want Sessions!

#Trumpenführer wants Chaika!

With the revelations that Natalia Veselnitskaya and other Russians who met with The Trump campaign on June 9th 2016 were working as proxies for Yuri Chaika. You should have heard a mike drop. But you didn't. That was bad enough but then Trump goes to the G20 and has a two hour meeting and a one hour meeting with Putin. Witnesses describe them as having a merry time. That all was worse.

Well today he confirmed that that is what he wants! He spent the evening yesterday criticizing Jeff Sessions for doing his job and for not ending investigations into him, like he was hired to do! Trump wants a General Prosecutor, who will persecute and lock up his enemies, and never, never, look into corruption inside his administration!

Randi Rhodes says he's a schmuck, чмо, she used a different translation, but it's all the same. I'd use stronger language to talk about #Trumpenführer!

Well Who is Chaika???

Torture and Death
Pussy Riot on Chaika

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Bernie Sanders and Russian Kompromat

I still, kinda sorta, like Bernie Sanders. But he revealed himself to be no Saint Bernard during the election, and so I'm a little alarmed with some of his behavior as he's got a one tracked mind and for other reasons. Last night my suspicions about one piece of the election were confirmed. Though I don't expect him to ever admit it.

Listen to Segment near end of broadcast at Segment 8:37 Pm [ET] 7/18/2017:
http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/sanders-trumpcare-fail-is-victory-for-american-people-1002975811547

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Drip Drip Drip And A Fraudulent Election is unmasked

Donald Trump is essentially admitting he worked with the Russians.

While the Russian Interference Affair is just the tip of a Vote Suppression, hacking, massive official fraud going on, this fraud is far more than just "opposition research." It threatens the survival of our republic's Democratic features. Increasingly, with the help of databases of personal information and unlimited money for buying politicians, We have people who think they can buy our elections with impunity.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Gresham's "law" versus Sovereign Money

One of the primary historical obstacles to complete economic stability, sovereignty and harmony historically has been the difficulty in economies of the people and their government to establish and hold control over their money supply. The concept of Modern Monetary Theory tries to delink money as a trading tool and measure of value from money as a commodity. However this is only possible in the modern era because the banking system has already done this. For years the so-called "Gresham's law" made it difficult for countries to control their money supply. If countries minted money on cheap coins, merchants would refuse to use them. If they did use them, they would hoard gold and silver and the value of the cheap coins would fall. If they rested their money supply on Gold or Silver by weight, the wealthy would export, hoard, or exploit those commodities as a tool over others. As long as local people are subject to the power of international oligarchs and monied person, disruptions in economics will continue.

For more on this read Robert Mundell's:

Uses and Abuses of Gresham's Law in the History of Money
http://www.columbia.edu/~ram15/grash.html

I go into detail about this in my post:

Gresham's law as a tool of regulation
http://www.columbia.edu/~ram15/grash.html/dd>

Mundell writes:

"The great international currencies--shekels, darics, drachmas, staters, solidi, dinars, ducats, deniers, livres, pounds, dollars--have always been "good" not "bad" money."

"Good money" means that the money is redeemable, holds it's value, and is stable. Not that it is of gold or silver. Mundell also says:

"Bad coins will drive out good only if a change occurs to bring about an excess supply of money. An excess supply of money could result because of a decline in the demand for money. If this occurred in a closed economy, prices would start to rise and the value of the best coins as metal would be higher than their value as money, with the result that the best coins would be withdrawn from circulation until the excess supply of money had been eliminated. If, on the other hand, the economy were open to trade with the rest of the world, the good coins would be sent abroad until the money supply were reduced to its equilibrium level."

Read his article.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Gresham's law as a Tool of Regulation

Gresham's law, in a sovereign country, becomes a tool to manage money. So-called "Good money" becomes a commodity, measured by the governments accounts, paper and issue. Bad money is really money that is outside the control of society. In this post I explain why "good money" tends to be actually bad money, from the Point of View of Society as a Whole.

It is a faulty assumption that rare commodities like gold or silver are better money than, say the bronze tokens the Romans use. Good money is actually money that:

  • holds its value (is safe),
  • is readily used and accepted in markets
  • and that stays in Circulation:

Therefore it is an illusion that gold and silver is "good money" unless your point of view is one of wealthy people who need portable assets that they can hoard. It is a faulty assumption.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Black Propaganda against Democracy

What Happened In Kansas and the Country?

I wrote this almost a year ago, when I thought we might have a chance of pulling off an improved political climate. Then the Trolls Elected Donald Trump. I was going to add links and mostly leave it alone. But now I realize I can't just do that.

We progressives should be happy right now. We are mostly united and we should be united.

Last year I was saying:

"We should be beating Donald Trump hands down right now. This election should be a certain thing. Yet many of my friends, and former friends, are spreading garbage arguments, with the hash tag #NeverHillary. They are spreading stories about how Hillary "committed election fraud, is corrupt, took bribes when she worked at the State Department, is a War-Monger, etc..." Most of these myths are exaggerations, misinformation or outright lies. Yet they get wide currency. It makes me ask the question?

What is the matter with the Progressive Movement?"

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

What Really happened with the 1992 "Hillary Care" and Bernie

HealthCare should be a Basic Right and its' Service A Utility

Ultimately Healthcare should already be a basic right. It would be except the Right Wing pushes back against treating Health Care as a Basic Right. Not helping is the Left insisting on imposing pure socialism modeled on the Soviets and thinking this can be done by fiat.

We moderates believe it can be established by working with both left and right via incremental, strategic change.

In 1992 Bill Clinton was elected and instantly branded as a "neo-liberal" by the left for believing we could work with the Right. The result was that "the perfect became the enemy of the Good" and his initial efforts to establish Universal Health Care were defeated in his first year in Office. Both Ted Kennedy and Bernie Sanders gave a stiff shoulder to Hillary Clinton's efforts to get it passed and a combination of events blocked Bill's Bill from passing. There has been a lot of disinformation Since.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Charlatans, Dominionists, Fanatics! And Russians???

Religion in his world has always been dominated by Charlatans and Fanatics. Typically the Charlatans pose as holier than thou folks who can speak for God, and stir up fanatic followers. Their sociopathy and/or narcissism appeals to those who want to be told what to think and believe. Those who fear their own shadow, and those who are otherwise angry and deeply frustrated. In the United States, our religious right used to be deeply fanatically anti Russian. Then the Russians shed Bolshevism, collapsed, turned into a kakistocracy of oligarchs and re-emerged as an ultra-right nation. The Socialist paradise became a hell. The state melted away into a merger of Mafia and Oligarchy. And our Right Wing found a love affair with Russian Spies and a Bromance with President Putin.

And since fanatic authoritarian religious people are used to being led by Exploitive, Manipulative, Amoral & Dishonest Narcissists, who cynically tell them what they want to be they found Donald Trump and turned him into their King David or Cyrus the Great! [Franklin/Trump]

Putting the "d" into the Democratic Party

Implementing Electronic Democracy

Fixing our Democratic Party Is how to strengthen the Party

Tom Hartmann made the statement a few years ago during one of his programs about the need to:

"weaken the parties and strengthen the people.*"

On the contrary we need to strengthen our political party system in order to empower the people.

The Democratic Party was created out of Democratic Societies or Clubs that represented the interest of common people against the then centralizing interests of the Federalists who created the Constitution we operate under, partly with an interest in weakening the power of common people. This battle became a tug of war between party and leadership interests, the country's interest and that of party or leadership. To bring all this together requires structural form. The way the party is constituted and operates is as important as who is involved. The current Key Issue Gaps in both our party and our country are:

  1. Selection and Vetting Process for Candidates
  2. Vetting, Review and Accounting Process for Officers
  3. The way we identify and Track Issues
  4. Our Weakened Press and Speech capabilities.
  5. Our weakened deliberative Process.

Little "d" in the Democratic Party

All these issues are tied to one another. And all of them can be addressed with threshold kludge fixes and by setting an objective to make more permanent fixes to our charter and constitute a more just society that addresses those issues. Ultimately they need to be addressed permanently with a Second Bill of Rights, but as a Democratic Party, we can institute many of these changes as a party. Thomas Jefferson did this when he constituted the Democratic party in the first place.

We Democrats win when we;

  1. fight to make our party inclusive and that our leaders represent us.
  2. Organize so that people are involved in every election top to bottom.
  3. Organize electronic democracy and provide social & official communication between candidates, representatives & general members.
  4. Use electronic democracy as an informal tool in decision making.
  5. Use the Chapter, Club and member organization system to provide diverse yet inclusive leadership backup and local participation.
  6. Make people feel this is "our Democratic Party" instead of seeing it as some tool of corporate interests.
  7. Stop talking about "those Democrats" and start using we and us.
  8. Articulate our ideas, concepts, democratic and non-violent strategies and legislative principles.
  9. Recruit people of all faiths and beliefs.

What we need to do is to:

strengthen the Democratic Party and its democratic attributes so that the people will be strengthened

Parties like the Democratic party exists in order to serve their members and to give us the power to be stronger together, and has so since the beginning of the country. Since the party is a big tent and contains all sorts of interests, from ones that are powerful with or without a party, to others who are only powerful when they work with others. The purpose of letting the party have clubs and other semi permanent sub groups is to channel all that information and energy to running the country sanely.

Ultimately we would have a system where the Republicans were run similarly and the country as a whole run justly as a result.

The Democratic Party as a Networked Utility

The Democratic party is US. And our leaders are our standard bearers, not "them", or they need to be replaced. We have to have officers to run the party and those officers should probably be prohibited from also being candidates or running for election. This would be a major change, but it would deconflict the primary process and prevent the kind of games that lead the personal ambitions of politicians to over-rule the function and health of the party. The Democratic party has to be run as a democratic utility.

Centralized Issue Tracking and Bottom up Information Flow

The purpose of organizing the IT centrally is to keep well ordered control over how those groups debate and work together. They need to be free to work out their differences. But there need to be rules to minimize trolling and oppressive bullying.

We are going to have internal struggles, and one of the purposes of an institution like the Democratic Party is to moderate and officiate/adjudicate these internal struggles through the candidate selection system and primaries. There has to be vigorous debate to achieve true unity and consensus. Fake unity is when 51% permanently decides or minorities stop debate. Real unity is achieved through relentless deliberation and parliamentarian participation.

Better Primary process

The Primary process should be about identifying, vetting, training and fostering candidates for public office.

As a party we should train everyone in civics and legal issues, broadcast pertinent information, record issues, and moderate the debates between candidates.

Primary Vetting

Anyone should be able to throw their hat in the ring for public office. But when they do so as Democrats we should require them to sign a contract with the People to:

  • Testify on their background and fitness for office, preferably under oath.
  • Provide documentation of their fitness, criminal and civil record for review by a review panel
  • A review panel should have the power to issue a report on their fitness an qualifications. No more.
  • The Review panel should also moderate debates and get candidates to commit to plank and campaign promises, on the record.

Primaries

Once all the candidates are done debating etc... the Party should provide a report & summary of the debates, with objective information, and leaving out the personal feelings of the reporters.... to the people in the party who will vote on them. Then the voters can make informed decisions about who to select to be a candidate for elected office. This can be replicated at State and National level. Candidates for State Office should be vetted by representatives from around the State. Local Candidates locally.

Presidential Campaigns

Presidential candidates By representatives from around the country. Debates should be held in each subdivision that the candidate represents. The process should be longer the larger the representation. My opinion is we should elect Presidential candidates on a Single Primary Day after they've debated around the country. But the exact rules should be set by the Democratic party at an annual convention. There is value to making them visit each State. There should be a debate in each State.

Performance Accounting

At the end of each elected or appointed term of office, there should be an accounting audit. First auditors should examine the economic behavior of the Officer for appropriateness and financial rectitude and create a report. Next a panel should examine the record of the candidate against his campaign promises and interactions with lobbyists and special interests. That panel would also look at the audit report. If the officer wants to run for new or re-elected office, that panel report should be a public record going into the vetting for the next election. The panel should also have the ability to refer such reports to prosecutors.

Internal Officers And Clubs

Each sub-division of government in the United States should have a formal subdivision of the Democratic Party with everyone living in that subdivision having a right to participate. [this is pretty much already the case] Officers should be elective and serve a term that ends with an election and a Party Convention. The Party conventions should be televised and offer virtual participation. Party Officials should be prohibited from being elected officials. In addition to these the Democratic party should have Democratic Clubs to represent all the various subgroups of our party: women, liberals, conservatives, youth, minorities etc... These should also have elected officers, but membership should be fluid. Elected Club Officers should have the power to moderate discussions. The Democratic party membership should be open to all declared Democrats. The rules should be standard and National clubs encouraged to have chapters and recursive subchapters. The Clubs would provide news, two way communications and have access to a tool for tracking issues, debates, policy and legislative proposals. Most of this should be transparent to everyone. Candidates could create campaign Clubs with even more fluid rules. The purpose of this is to promote debate and two way communications. Information should be pushed up to national officers on national issues.

Reconstituting a Free Press

Unfortunately the Press is being oppressed or disappearing in much of the Country. The Democratic party should have a built in Press Feature. Members of the Press should have some rights and responsibilities. There should be a volunteer press, and a certified press. The Press should be subject to some standards of objective reporting and these should be determined by the members of the Press itself. The Press would be a special Democratic Club. They'd have a responsibility to record & report on:

  • All meetings, activities, legislation and policies of the Government in their Area of Jurisdiction
  • Any legal or social matter of their choosing, of interest to the general public.
  • All Democratic Party deliberations should be reported on and/or broadcast.

The Certified Press should be cleared to listen in on "private matters" of the Government as background information. Members of the Press should have the ability to Join the Press freely. Certification should be granted by the Press Club. They should be sworn to embargo time sensitive information, and to keep confidences on sources and confidential information, and follow basic Press Ethical rules created by the club. The punishment for breaking such confidence would be loss of certification initiated by the parties who agreed to share confidence with them. Their colleagues would have the power to restore certification via panel. But mainly both Certified and Volunteer press would be given a broadcast medium for Stories. Maybe through a deal with groups like the AP. Maybe the Dem Party having it's own network.

A Free Press is absolutely necessary to investigate matters such as corruption. Vetting and Accounting panels would have certified Press members monitoring them. The Party would be required to let certified Press sit in on meetings. Eventually the formal government would use similar procedures. WE should be broadcasting Government proceedings as a rule and private meetings should be an exception for time sensitive matters.

Improved Deliberative Process

The purpose of all this is to bring an improvement to our deliberative process. Members of the party should have the power to influence the plank that candidates run on and enforce that they represent members rather than special interests, often outside the party. Improved deliberative process is also served by setting up the Club and Party System with media built in.

Kludges

If the party doesn't do this, we can build some of this informally. We already have democratic groups on facebook and similar. The risk is that Facebook is a private for profit organization that is not exactly democratic. That is why we need to build the infrastructure I'm talking about.

Further Reading

Related Posts

Note, this post draws on previous posts, but also refers to them. All these were inspired by wanting to throw a shoe at Thom Hartmann*

Vetting and Accounting for Democratic Candidates And Officers
Implementing Democratic Subsidiarity
Lessons from Organizing for America
What Electronic Democracy Means
A More Effective Democratic Infrastructure
Definitions Related to Democratic Republicanism
Principles of Federalism
"Demos" in the Federalist Papers
Lakoff & building a Party that can be all it can be
http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2017/06/a-more-effective-democratic.html
http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2016/06/it-takes-party-it-takes-movement.html
Critical
The Trouble with Bernie Sanders
If the DNC (tries to) Rig the Primaries they risk the election

*Note, they didn't rig the primaries, but that was a concern. This is here because of Project Ivy

Our Democratic Movement is not a Totalitarian Movement
The Paranoid Left's insane demonology
Wonky
Community Policing and Democratic Subsidiarity
Organizing Local Democracy around the Post Office

Appendix note:

I had reruns of Thom Hartmann I was listening to a couple of years ago. He started talking about the need to "weaken the parties and strengthen the people.*" My immediate reaction was that I emphatically believe that is demented! (fortunately he later started talking about the need to participate in the party). As long as we see "the Democrats" as "them", we'll keep losing. The Democratic party is US. And our leaders are our standard bearers, not "them", or they need to be replaced. I started to draft a series of articles then as I thought about how you go about strengthening a party and putting the little "d" into the Democratic party, effectively. I wrote that series of posts. But the more I read and wrote, the clearer I got on what was needed. But it all comes back to the same vision. I also lost interest in Thom's show. I still feel so close to him in some ways, but I think he's off track on others. I learned a lot from him. But it was time to move on.

* I just wanted to throw a shoe at the TV. But I would have broken it, so I just fired up my blogger instead. About half the list above were inspired by that shoe.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Blaming Democrats for the Ukraine Revolution

Using Propaganda to Justify Invasion

I didn't realize we were being played with Russian propaganda when it began. I know enough about the Shoah (Holocaust) and World War II, to know that the Ukrainians, BeloRussians and other East Europeans were not saints when it comes to nationalism and nativism. So when there were upheavals between Russo-phile and Nativist Ukrainians, I was inclined to be sympathetic to the Russo-philes. But then I saw this was propaganda.

But when I dug I realized I was being too simplistic. Both Russians and Ukrainians have a mixed history. And the Russians perpetrated atrocities on Ukraine during the Soviet Era that were as traumatic as what nearly the entire of Eastern Europe did to their Jewish and Gypsy populations (extermination and expulsion). When the Russians started putting out Stories of Ukrainian atrocities, I soon found that they were mostly exaggerated and were basically propaganda. This post is based on material I gathered explaining the parallels between the Hillary Campaign and the 2010 Ukrainian Election.

https://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2017/02/parallels-between-2010-ukrainian.html

Framing, Diversion, Deflection and Trial Balloons!