jiacinto -- Your trollish exagerations of my "CA-50" text are freaking laughable. You bring quotes from my text mentioning "fraud", or saying that Busby won the election, or saying that Bilbray lost the election. Oh, yeah, and that boy who cried wolf fable? That was really well handled -- for a Republifascist troll. The rest of your vacuous arguments fit very well with your trollish self.
antiHyde -- Yes, I'm aware of that Busby stumble and the Repubs blasting it from the rooftops. And, yes, she might have won otherwise. Does not, however, change the fact that the milquetoast "politics-as-usual" strategy gave the unregistered and withdrawn nothing to hook into. The number of new votes that could have been brought into the game by a more honest strategy of tying any Republican win to advancing the massive criminality of the 2-party, 3-branch national despotism would have been, I'm convinced, the election. If an independent wing of the Democratic Party does not adopt that more honest strategy soon, I'm convinced, there goes Election 2006.
Am I wrong about this? Doesn't the netroots -- or at least its informal reps -- generally see the netroots as backing an independent wing of the Democratic Party?
Sure seems counterproductive to me for the independent wing to be campaigning just like the Vichy Democrats would campaign. All's well. Step right up. We stand for everything, and we've got something for everybody. Freaking nonsense.
It's a fair question. The tie, I think, is loose. It's based on my perception that Bowers and other bloggers who are working with the Democratic Party and the netroots-approved -- and financially-supported -- candidates pose themselves as representatives of the netroots. Those representatives are doing, it seems to me, a lot of talking and a lot of campaign work "in the name of" the netroots.
When push comes to shove, the netroots have not spoken for themselves in any sort of fair-vote referendum. So, yes, my hanging this failure on the netroots is at least marginally unfair.
My baldfaced intention is to provoke aggravation, if it's there. Clearly, this milquetoast and deceitful strategy of the Democratic Party, rubber-stamped by worker bees speaking for the netroots, is flat-assed wrong for the nation.
Direct Democracy League
DD Revival -- The Blog
The blogosphere is a runaway, rushing back to the Democratic Party, staying inside the box of the massively-failed, mega-corrupted, pure representative government.
It's a peculair blindness that Americans have. It starts with a lack of enough distinct knowledge of US political history to have any sort of a sense of history. That lack quickly blurs into a lack of political sophistication.
Compared to the political sophistication of the Reform Era progressives -- approx 8.5 on the 10-scale -- our current crop of proressives is running a political sophistication index of about 0.5 on the 10-scale.
For starters, they seem clueless as to the ability of money-power's mega-corruption of our national govt and national economy to quickly misdirect or end any threatening move the people might make inside the box of pure rep govt. There seems to be no perception of the multi-level, in-depth defense and offense that money-power has groomed since the end of the FDR social justice administrations and the money-glut of WW2.
Modern-day progressives are betting that their new crop of Democratic Party candidates, with their oh-so-new promises of reform, will just handle the Bush-Cheney problems in a twinkle.
Hrrrmmm. No collective memory of Clinton's many reform promises going into Election 1992 -- or his total reneg job by the time he'd been in office for three months. No imagination for what new planning might have been done for money-power since Clinton to catch any new variation on the campaign reform promise problem-set. Nah, those big-money guys plan and scheme? Nah.
There's little or no hope that my puny little self can do anything to re-direct the ignorance engine of the massive blogosphere. Not only are the netroots snarled in a lack of political sophistication, the inability to see governance from the people's point of view, the emotional need to see governance from hierarchical govt's point of view, and the whacked-out notion that we are the only country that has democracy right -- but they are also snarled by agents provocateur, who are diahhrea-mouthed cheerleaders for go-nowhere yakity-yak while, at the same time, highly skilled trolls ready to squash anyone who shows up with constructive, action-item ideas.
The netroots of the blogosphere are badly snarled in near-zero action. And what actions some of their leading members are taking are snarled in the mega-corrupt political party system.
In this RFK-Jr bit, Bowers goes through the same old political party drill of off-the-mark electoral systems problems and our need to boost voter confidence. No mention of political party corruption from beginning to end. No mention of the post-HAVA, dual-party drive to imbed more Diebold hack-o-matic vote-counting software in our electoral system. No mention of the institutional mega-corruption that has been neutralizing idealistic newbie incumbents for over two centuries. And a badly clichéd gloss on getting out the millions of voters who are so turned off by the lies and corruption that they run screaming at the slightest hint of the same old badly clichéd politics.
There are great things to be done, but they're all outside the box. They're all bad for The Party. They're all about the people assertively riding politicians and their corporate sleaze into the ground. They're all about -- cringe and re-cringe -- all eight direct democracy governance components being heavily used until the Bush-Cheney abomination is gone and the corporate sleaze so suppressed by a Constitutional renewal that they've no chance of doing a Bush-Cheney again.
So -- now we're waiting for the next big catastrophe. Maybe the next huge shock to the system will do some wake-ups.
Maybe the progressive community winning the battle for Election 2006 and -- again -- losing the war against corruption and the dual-party, three-branch despotism will interrupt this insanity of doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Heh-heh. I think some old-school citizenship is all we need. But feel free to get wild-eyed.
Here are thumb-nails for a few of the civics lessons campaigns that have occurred to me. You might have add-ons.
(1) Reducing the now-mega-corrupt state legislatures from partisan bicameral to nonpartisand unicameral in as many as possible of the 17 states in which citizens have the CAI (constitutional amendment initiative) and bicamerals. The 17 target states are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Moussouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and South Dakota.
Nebraska citizens used their CAI in 1934 to cut their corrupt bicameral to a nonpartisan unicameral. Just eliminating the "conference committee" causes a huge reduction of corruption. You can read about it on the Nebraska legislature's site, in the piece, "The History of Nebraks's Unicameral Legislature".
(2) In 1996, the Clinton administration killed a research project that was working on algae biodiesel. The project team had just proven in broad outline how the US can replace ALL of its annual road transport fuel needs with homegrown algae biodiesel. They were at work on the details when money-power schemed the corruptions needed to kill the project.
You can read about the project's revelations, the ease with which we could have been independent of Middle East oil BEFORE Bush's War, and the pick-up work done since by the UNH (Univ New Hampshire) Biodiesel Group, in Michael Briggs' essay, "Widescale Biodiesel Production from Algae".
Our civics lessons project here is to promt the development of home-production units that can produce enough algae biodiesel "feedstock" to provide biodlesel for a family with two diesel-engined cars and a diesel-fuel-powered furnace. Additionally, we need to prompt the development of small, but still profitable, biorefineries -- where a local area's algae feedstock from home production units can be processed into biodiesel fuel.
Needless to say, diesel/electric hybrid cars would be great for an algae biodiesel economy, but money-power -- obviously seeing that such vehicles would be a magnet for more algae biodiesel production -- are making all kinds of stupid noises to keep from having to make diesel/electric hybrids.
Part of our civics lessons project would be putting pressure on car makers to manufacture diesel/electric hybrids.
Another part of our project would be formulating new federal statutes to mandate volume production of algae biodiesel to ensure national independence from foreign petrofuel sources. The Briggs essay has all the pointers we need to get this started.
(3) Boycotting really bad, stateless, "multi-national" corporations is not a new idea. There are several citizen groups trying, I think. We need a huge, nation-wide organization to plow effort into this. If we can stop the purchase of a corporation's goods/services in the US marketplace, we quickly end that corporation's existence. None of those rat-bastards can survive without the US marketplace.
The advertising for our boycott project would, of course, spotlight the social justice reasons for our actions. Presto -- instant civics lessons.
Let these babies perk through your brain. Imagining the citizen action groups needed to make them work is a rush all by itself.
This is an excellent piece. I'll pick nits about your lack of case names and hot links to court rulings, but, otherwise, this is excellent thinking.
Have you done a study of the Supremes's anti-Constitution, anti-social-justice, anti-rights, and pro-business rulings from about 1918 to FDR's threat to pack the Court? If so, what parallels do you see between that period and the Bush-Cheney despotism?
They're loaded questions, of course. I'm convinced that we are living in at least the 2nd iteration of federal bench hostile takeover in the name of wealthy corporations. Seems to me that the facts support the assertion that they -- the immortal corporations -- have done this to us before. "Fool me once ..." comes to mind.
Stick around. We'll need the expertise of you and your friends when we're able to put together a Constitutional re-write of corporate and federal bench rules. I'm thinking in terms of a well-protected and interactive 2nd NCC (nat'l constitutional convention), after which the re-write will be ratified or rejected -- not by bought-out, sold-out slimeball "representatives" -- but by national referendums carrying the huge legitimacy of "doube majorities" (Swiss mechanism for their national-level citizen lawmaking -- a majority of all those voting, plus approving majorities of those voting in a majority of states).
Personally, I'd like to see a Constitutional end of corporate immortal personhood and the federal bench made dependent on the citizens living within the Court's jurisdiction.
"Judicial independence" is an 18th Century device to insulate top-tier judges from the rabble, as well as from powerful individuals in govt who would create a despotism. Bad joke on we the sovereign people today -- now that the federal bench is a key part of money-power's dual-party, three branch despotism.
Regardless of my personal druthers, it's clear that we need a Constitutional renewal in which a significant fraction of US citizens are immediately involved -- after which we let the people decide. We're a long way from having the political sophistication to pull that off, but look where the 1870s citizens were when the ramp-up to corruption-fighting in the Reform Era started with the co-op economics of the Nat'l Farmers Alliance in 1877. And with the Bush-Cheney Abomination as a motivation, our long way to go for the needed political sophistication might be done in a very short time.
How would you feel about the re-write firing the entire federal bench, in preparation for our electing the judges with the citizens resident in the Court's jurisdiction?
See my "SCOTUS Thugs At It Again", discussing yesterday's Garcetti v. Ceballos (1st Amendment free speech abridgement for public employees) on this site as well as on my own blog, "DD Revival".
We all have our own priority systems for political problems. For years after beginning my DD political project in early 1994, I made long lists. And then the horrendous unconstitutionality of the Bush-Cheney anti-law regime happened.
My list was quickly reduced to only three crucial problems: (1) end the Bush-Cheney Illegitimacy with impeachments and criminal prosecutions, (2) rip its illegal statutes out of our legal fabric, and (3) make Constitutional changes that give us the best chances of preventing anything like Bush-Cheney from ever happening again.
Everything else is important, but can wait. Until the crucial problems are handled, we will not have the power to put our good solutions into place against the power of the predators.
We have multiple "expert citizen groups" working in every important societal problem area. Good for them. I hope they don't give up the fight. I hope they keep on, developing their expertise. We will need them desperately, as soon as we have the powers of fully independent, national citizen lawmaking. But until then, we can't help them.
Imagine the attention we can give to education with our political dynamic running on nonpartisan elections, nonpartisan unicamerals (on the successful 1934 Nebaraska model), and nonpartisan national citizen lawmaking.
Imagine the legitimacy we can give to our nonpartisan national activities by using "double majorities" -- the Swiss legitimacy steamroller for their national-level citizen lawmaking. It's an approving majority of all those voting, plus approving majorities of those voting in a majority of states.
We don't have democracy right, nationally -- not yet. But we're closer, I think, than most Americans know.
Looking at the history of the Reform Era -- from the co-op economics of the Nat'l Farmer's Alliance in the late 1870s, to the People's Party of the late 1880s to the late 1890s, to the muckrakers bridge between Populists and Progressives, to the increases of direct democracy forced by the citizens of 26 states, 1898-1918 -- it's easy to catch hope for the increasing of our own political sophistication.
Our solving of the crucial problems depends on our political sophistication. Right now, we don't have it.
Getting it would be realtively easy. There are several things we can do to make the civics lessons flow like water. But effort is required. And I think the motivation for doing the work is not in us yet.
I hope the next catastrophe will kick us over the edge. I hope it will not be a nation-destroying catastrophe.
Peaceful revolutionary change has been my core topic for the past dozen years. Please read Hamilton's "Federalist 78" as a starting point. I think you'll be interested to find that the 1780s Federalists acknowledged the rights of the people to alter the Constitution significantly, if they make that change in a "solemn and authoritative" event.
Using the seccessions of states leading to the Civil War as an argument aginst peaceful revolutionary change doesn't work. Although the "keepers of the Union" ultimately relented to war to put down the sedition, seccession was the furthest thing from a "solemn and authoritative" act of changing the Constitution. It was, in fact, an open sedition that unconstitutionally denied the rights of the US citizens in its geographical area.
Article 5 of the Constitution allows the people to choose the holding of a constitutional convention by simply announcing it. It allows the people to hold a "solemn and authoritative" act of change.
I'm not saying that our "keepers of the Union" would treat such an event fairly. They might make war on any attempt of ours to create a 2nd NCC (national constitutional convention). If they did, however, it would very probably be -- one way or another -- wall-to-wall bloody revolution. I doubt that most Americans will ever cave in to an absolute despotism -- no matter how swimmingly this proto-despotism is going for the superrich, the corporate predators, and the predator politicians.
There's nothing written that says we have to stay docile and servile until after we've responsibly handled a solemn 2nd NCC. We the sovereign people have powers that most have not dreamt of.
Please work your way through the 4 parts of my "Bush-Cheney Trainwreck -- Undo". I think you'll find some interesting ideas in there on how we can use the powers we have to accomplish a peaceful revolution.
You're OK -- I'm OK. You're right about impeachment. It should already be happening. However, I'm not describing a "special impeachment" when I discuss criminal prosecution for felony conspiracy under 18 USC 241. The two actions are very separate consequences of federal judges committing felony violations of federal statutes. Impeachment and removal ends with removal -- there is no further remedy available. Separately, it is the duty of the district's US attorney to convene a grand jury and bring a criminal indictment in federal court. Felony prosecution goes from there and, in the case of federal judges who have committed felonies, ends in their probable imprisonment.
They're not political opponents. They are legal adversaries of the constitutional criminal and felon-in-waiting stripe. The only reason they're still tap-dancing around the politics-as-usual stage is because fuzz-thinkers don't or won't recognize that the nation is under attack by fascist usurpers masquerading as office-holders. Then there are hacks like you slathering on the ad hominen attacks instead of dealing with the issues.
I've enjoyed your columns at PPA (populistamerica.com), where I am slso a columnist.
While everything you say here is well-reasoned, you've omitted any sort of effective remedy. Truth is, we've been this low on political sophistication before.
Reform Era I, late 1800s to early 1900s, was the greatest democracy movement in recorded history, regardless of its being buried since by bought-out, sold-out American historians who call themselves "Madisonian scholars". It started with the co-op economics of the Nat'l Farmers Alliance losing to eastern bankers and was bridged by the nation-jolting exposés done by investigative reporters called, " muckrakers", into the urban progressive movement. The urban progressives organized across many states, ramming direct democracy down the elitist throats of 26 state constitutions. Some of our highest courts, including the US Supreme Court, ruled direct democracy mixed with rep govt to be a republican form of government intrinsice to the Constitution.
Looking at the history books today, you might easily miss that such things had ever happened. But they did.
Point is, that from the beginnings of Reform Era I in 1877 (beginnings of the NFA), the civics lessons flowed like water into a civil society whose ignorance and indifference exceeded what we have collectively today. At its end, circa 1914 and diverted from reform by the over-exaggeration of WW1 non-issues by predator politicians badly in need of escape, our civil society had a political sophistication that far outstrips ours today.
Getting back to a political sophistication level that will allow civil society to fight today's corruption is clearly possible. All we need to do is to make the civics lessons flow like water.
Imagine the citizens of just 10 out of the 17 states with the CAI (constitutional amendment initiative) and corrupt partisan bicameral legislatures suddenly working intently on reducing their legislatures to relatively incorrupt, nonpartisan unicamerals -- on the successful 1934 Nebraska model.
The move to a nonpartisan unicameral eliminates the "conference committee" and their behind-closed-doors corruptions, including their injection of undebated "riders" such as wild horse butchering and pork barrel obscenities. Automatically, the nonpartisan unicameral is relatively incorrupt.
It cuts corrupt legislator numbers by about two-thirds, making the nonpartisan unicameral less expensive, more efficient, less secretive, and more cooperative with civil society.
Tough to argue with the 69 years of success in Nebraska. And today, we have citizen expert groups who can detail provisions establishing "clean money" campaigns.
Imagne determined citizens in 10 states passing a constitutional amendment that fires their entire legislatures and sets up the election of just one-third the number as new Senators. The civics lessons would flow like water, clear across the country.
The 17 target states are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Moussouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and South Dakota.
LOL -- Ahhh, Troll, your trollish repertoire is as limited as knowledge and logic. You are persoally attacking a 60-something. I earned dual majors in philosophy and history from the University of California over 35 years ago, with a personal emphasis area in the philosophy of law that has kept me active in political philosophy ever since.
Pity, if you were a normal person, you could have known why the SD legislators have forfieted legislative immunity with their blatant rejection of protecting SD citizen rights, blatant criminality against fundamental constitutional rights, and ommission of any legally redeeming graces in the anti-abortion bill. Legislative immunity was never intended to cover blatant criminality.
And now I will not waste any more time with your trollish self. Game over.