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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Vetting and Accounting for Candidates and Officers

Improving Scrutiny of Government Officers

To modernize the Democratic party and counter the effective but diabolical marketing agitation-propaganda psy-ops of the Mercers, Bannons and their Ilk, we need to use electronic democracy to ensure that people have a direct channel to information, to working together and to communicating with elected officials and party leaders. We need to institute the lessons from OFA (see Post on Lessons from Organizing for America).

This will have the benefits of:

Countering targeted but deceptive moral messaging.
Ensuring that we get the best possible candidates for our efforts
Ensuring genuine debate and deliberation in choosing candidates, platforms and laws.
Countering deceptive advertising and big money.
Promoting local democracy and thus strengthening the democratic features of our system

Extreme Vetting of potential officers

Key to making any kind of government, and especially a Democratic republic, more functional and responsive to the people (representative) is to put effective controls over officers. That requires better scrutiny of candidate officers and accounting for their behavior at the end of their term. Any control mechanisms can be subverted, so the controls have to be designed well from the start and applied systematically and using the most virtuous people available to execute them.

Election Judges need Juries

In our society that means using Jury like structures to judge the deliberations. We already use election judges to manage elections. However, a just judicial system employs juries to ensure that decisions are made objectively, on the facts, and in the case of elections represents a broad spectrum of the population. Using election judges with the power to supervise the process but not boss, requires juries. The juries need to be run under well defined democratic deliberation procedures with the powers needed to get testimony & debates under oath and examine records. They should have the power to make recommendations, refer for prosecution and put out reports.

We need such juries involved because neither legislatures, Judges or Executives should be trusted to police themselves, even if they can, on principle. Judges are expected to be less political than legislators and executives, juries can be representative of a spectrum of points of view. They need formal oversight and that would be the purpose of election judges. Judges know how to both unobtrusive as possible but also ensure the panels follow best process. Eventually we can do this for the country as a whole yet. But for now we could make this part of the Democratic Party process.

Professional Investigators would drive the process. Election Juries would moderate debates, question candidates and review accounting data based on professional expertise.

Vetting and Accounting

The controls I'm talking about start with democratic features that worked well for hundreds of years in Athens. The greek terms for them are Dokimasia and Euthenia. There is a lot of talk about "extreme vetting", mostly in the context of preventing immigration. And politics has all been about "accountability" as a slogan for years. But the Greeks effectively implemented these concepts thousands of years ago. We can do the same thing, updating them for the Present.

Dokimasia δοκιμασία; Scrutiny as in Vetting/Testing
Euthuni Ευθύνη (modern pronunciation: Efthýni); Scrutiny as in Accountability
The greek term is also associated with Euthenics, which is the study of improving human conditions. And the Greek Goddess of Prosperity. As used by the Ancient Athenians it was a performance review that officers had to endure.

Essentially a Jury works with investigative officers to investigate and vet candidates for office or re-election. They would perform the following functions:

Each Jury would be constituted for a short term from the Jury Pool
They would perform or review background checks on the Candidates.
They would interview them under oath (eventually) and with a Judge overseeing the interview on their plank, history, past transgressions, etc...
Those deliberations would be public record.
They would Judge debates between candidates (threshold), under oath (objective), and question them.
They would have the power to issue a report with majority and minority opinions.
If someone lied to them they could request the Judge cite them for contempt.
If a candidate lies to the Jury, later they can be tried for Perjury.
A second Jury type structure would review the finances and performances of Officers at the end of their term.
These structures would be supplemented by electronic reporting of Town Halls, Leaders Meetings and a requirement that all of them are televised, shared electronically, and that people can participate electronically.


Of course, the Democratic party can't implement this idea initially in it's full fledged form. The Juries ought to have powers to put people under oath, to question and to review records. The juries be formal but they'd have no prosecution power, they'd be like grand juries in that they could refer evidence to the courts for actual prosecution. We might not be able to force others do do this but we could institute these ideas within our party informally.

Trouble Reporting, Surveys and Votes

Vetting and Accounting also needs to be performed using electronic democracy. The candidates might not be under oath, but everything said or talked about would be a permanent record that we the people can use to judge their merits for reelection and such.

In addition to the vetting and accounting milestones, the system should provide issue reporting so that complaints and infractions can be reported, tracked, returned to periodically until marked as resolved. Anyone should be able to report an issue. And it should stay open until someone at a final accounting session moves it be closed as resolved by the Accounting "Jury." Or until the person reporting the incident or issue reports it as resolved.

Additionally, anyone should be able to suggest items for legislative consideration, propositions, amendments, etc... and these should be deliberated on until sufficient majorities support them to move them on to the formal legislature or take public action.

Encouraging Participation and Activism

We Democrats need Social Media. We need objective reporting. We need a systematic way to ensure that everyone's concerns are addressed. And we can do that by taking control of our electronic media and making it as "bottom up as Possible." More Democracy is the answer to the fascism we are encountering. Not circling wagons or hiding. The "other side" is using our emotions and prejudices to con us.



Related Posts:
Further Reading

Monday, February 27, 2017

East India Company and Islamic Jihad

I wrote this post after reading "God's Terrorists" by Charles Allen. I ended up writing several posts based on that book. But then Trump made his incredibly stupid comments about General Pershing and I realized another reason why people need the book. It is ostensibly about Wahabiism and Islamic Jihad. But it also touches on the execrable behavior of the East India Company, which was a pirate outfit that wound up privatizing much of the Far East, and wrecking India:

God's Terrorists; East India Company & Terror

This remarkable book by Charles Allen called "God's Terrorists" is writing about the birth of the Wahabi movement and Islamic Jihadism, in both India and the Mideast.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Parallels between the 2010 Ukrainian Election and 2016

In both elections the crowds were fired up with shouts to:

"lock her up! lock her up."

As president Putin's Trump-like client, Yanukovich, threw Tymoshenko in prison!

What do Paul Manafort, Tad Devine and Jill Stein have in common?

They all three worked extensively with Russia.
And Manafort and Devine worked for Putin's Man, Yanukovich!

Friday, February 17, 2017

What are ICE's plans for their GULAG?

ICE is very enthusiastically,
making sweeps of US Citizens, arresting detainees, [In Arizona]
and denying it. [Fox reports reports are false]

Yet the press releases tell reporters:

“Reports of ICE checkpoints and sweeps or “roundups” are false, dangerous and irresponsible,” the agency said in the first of several tweets.

Worse, they are saying the "reports" are irresponsible. So when a reporter sees a round-up going on Ice claims:

"Any groups falsely reporting such activities are doing a disservice to those they claim to support."
— ICE (@ICEgov) February 16, 2017

So I guess we'll see laws saying reporting on roundups are illegal next. ICE seems to be threatening the family members of the people they are rounding up for complaining about the roundups.

But what are they planning?

Saturday, February 11, 2017

A United States GULAG: Trump's Wall

During his election Twitler, #Trumpenführer promised to deport 2 Million "illegal immigrants" immediately. That there aren't 2 million illegal immigrants unless you include those who entered illegally but are otherwise are good residents, implied that he had some pretty strong intentions towards the immigrant community. I figured he was serious. What is going on today indicates that ICE was cheering and got serious about planning for keeping his promises. What does that take?

2,000,000 divided by 200 working days = 10,0000 people per day!

ICE considers cities "Target Rich locations" []

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Lessons from Organizing for America

Review of "Obama's Lost Army"

The New Republic article "Obama's Lost Army" [] which tells part of the tale of how "Organizing for America" got lost in the shuffle of his Presidency. MICAH L. SIFRY wrote this on February 9, 2017. I was a member of OFA during the election season and loved it. I also remember a few angles on the story that seem to be lost in the reporting. So I tweeted about the meaning of the article and how the structures and capabilities of "Organizing for America" could be the nucleus for modernizing our party and instituting real electronic democracy.

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Power of Doublespeak

Welcome to the Flying Monkey Palace

This last election, while still dealing with the insanity on both the far left and right, I was driven to pull out my copies of the works of Hannah Arendt, George Orwell and others. The following property had been obious in the ideology of the GOP for years:

"It is this freedom from the content of their own ideologies which characterizes the highest rank of the totalitarian hierarchy. These men consider everything and everybody in terms of organization, and this includes the Leader who to them is neither an inspired talisman nor the one who is infallibly right, but the simple consequence of this type of organization; he is needed, not as a person, but as a function, and as such he is indispensable to the movement. In contrast, however, to other despotic forms of government, where frequently a clique rules and the despot plays only the representative role of a puppet ruler, totalitarian leaders are actually free to do whatever they please and can count on the loyalty of their entourage even if they choose to murder them."