Many of us suspect that our government doesn't work for us, but we don't feel confident enough in our ability to explain why and don't think it will make a difference, so we don't speak up. Maybe that's why nearly 90% of Americans don't approve of Congress, but haven't taken a stand as #rootstrikers.
Talking about corruption is the first step to fixing it, so it's time to start talking.
If you've ever experienced disappointment or confusion about our government's actions, then you've experienced a "tell." In Republic, Lost Lawrence Lessig describes "tells" as puzzles caused by the conflict between what we expect of our elected officials and what they actually do .Tells can be simple observations:
Childhood obesity is on the rise, and high fructose corn syrup is found in more and more packaged foods.
They can also be controversial:
California blocks a sex crimes bill that makes it easier for schools to fire teachers convicted of assaulting students.
When we perceive that our government isn't acting in our best interest, and especially when we see money involved, we lose trust. Even though we may want to disengage, it is our duty as citizens to confront our government with this knowledge—to tell our tells.
So I ask: Does your government work for you? Tell us below, and share your story with others using #rootstrikers.
Nearly 90% of Americans don't believe in our government, so if you suspect politicians aren't doing the job we elected them to do then you're not alone. Let's talk about the corruption we sense, so together we can do something about it.
The problem is not so much the fact that establishment politicians failed to rise up against the NDAA in defense of our most basic freedoms (in fact, the vast majority of Congress came together to support the “bipartisan” legislation); such elected leaders can be voted out of office by an enlightened voting population. The REAL problem is that too many otherwise “enlightened” voters have actually convinced themselves that the right of an American citizen to charges and a trial before a jury should no longer be protected. They actually say – with a straight face – that it is necessary for us to allow the President to arbitrarily decide that a “citizen is killing and plotting to kill other citizens and in fact is an enemy combatant” without a judge ever reviewing the evidence or any shred of accountability moving forward. Even the most elementary understanding of the principles upon which our country was founded is sufficient to realize that to condone such unchecked authority to be concentrated to the executive branch is to undo centuries of progress in which we moved away from such authoritative, dictatorial regimes and into a free society.
And there are actually many other generally rational, “awake” people (not just Steve Banicki) who support Obama, and therefore feel the need to defend every one of his positions and actions. Even though they know exactly how ridiculous they sound when they say things like “Obama is pulling out” (this statement is an insult to the intelligence of any literate adult with internet access), they still go ahead and say it anyway, because that’s what their “team” is supposed to do. Next thing you know, you’re participating in “principled” political activism, unapologetically advocating such policies as taking away Americans’ right to free speech and giving the President the authority to indefinitely detain or assassinate anyone he wants at any time, no questions asked. In America. Seriously. Right here on this website. A website which, on the surface, seems pretty damn principled.
So I’m wondering, Rootstrikers.org, do you truly not have a stated position in favor of the Fourth Amendment? I know you’re not big fans of the First Amendment, but the Fourth as well? Is this movement seriously attempting to shift power from the corrupt establishment to the people by reforming the electoral process, while at the same time tolerating the repeal of Americans’ right to due process? And is it so difficult to see that money will always be a part of elections, that the wealthy and well connected will always have better access to elected officials, so long as we tolerate those officials’ power to dispense privileges? Is there anyone involved here with answers to these questions, or is this movement reserved for those who choose to ignore these questions?
In 2009, my community could not pay for public education costs, due to lost revenue gained from the housing crash, (school districts get money from property taxes). So, the People and Elected Representatives set out to make some cuts – no one could afford a raise in taxes. No one wanted to cut money for education, or teachers.
The Teacher’s Union was overcharging us for healthcare and pensions, and forcing dues from teachers against their will. Since the teacher’s union was the top lobbyist for decades, it was State law that we had to accept the teacher’s union healthcare corporation even though they overcharged the district by twice the normal market rate. http://gab.wi.gov/node/594
The “Tell” came when We the People broached changing to a different healthcare provider, and no raises (to avoid layoffs of teachers) to which the teacher’s union boss refused A number of us spoke out, and here is one of the speakers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCXr67knbEU Note the speaker states if the teacher’s union does not accept the wishes of We the People – we will use the ultimate trump card in our form of government – we will elect a legislature and a Governor that will make change happen for us.
The teacher union boss just laughed, replying – "We own your budget. There is nothing you can do. "
As a year passed, we realized our community was not alone – and that the teacher’s union was attacking communities throughout the state in their bid to maintain their greed and power over us. This came to a head through Democracy – hundreds of entire communities voted for candidates who were not corrupted by the teacher’s union, from the Legislature to the Governor, and even a Supreme Court Judge.
The elected representatives changed the laws – and took the power back from the teacher’s union (which apparently was needed in 1959) – and was revoked by We the People, through our elected representatives because we had enough. Alot of us had enough.
You see, the teacher’s union was skimming so much money intended for public education, an entire school district could easily balance their budgets, not layoff teachers, and not impact public education. In fact in some districts, it actually lowered property taxes, it did in my community).
But the corruption of the teacher’s union had deep roots, and entangled not only an entire partisan political party, but also judges. The stump was in Wisconsin, but many of the roots infected those outside of the state as well. It compelled the corrupted senators to flee the state to their donors to gather more money out of public view in another state, and delayed the legislation.
The legislature did manage to pass the bill into law, but only to be stopped by a corrupted circuit judge whose family were public sector union activist. BUT – there there are some judges on the higher court, the supreme court – that recognized the lower court judge’s corruption, and called out her action as what it was – a breech of Separation of Powers.
So, at least even some of the most corrupted cannot stand against the foundation of our government – the Constitution. It is made of stuff far more strong than the diseased wood of the Root.
Of course it did not end there – the corrupted attempted to recall the democratically elected Governor, (within nearly one year of being elected interestingly) and money poured in from the out of state roots, hundreds of millions of dollars so the teacher’s union could continue to be funded handsomely by skimming education dollars through their healthcare corporation, and force teachers to give them money against their will, (and have the government collect the money on top of it!).
The candidate for this special election was not chosen by the people, or even a political party – the teacher union bosses blew their whistle and the corrupted came running, attacking each other to be the boss’s favorite. The candidate was chosen, and the teacher’s union decreed to the political party that was addicted to their money that they have chosen a candidate for them.
That candidate did not even have enough votes to advance beyond the primary.
The teacher’s union lost, again, but not by federal, or state, or any kind of other law or this or that – they lost by a Vote. They lost because the “Funders are not the People.” They lost because they were not elected. They represented not only no one but their own greedy selves – they represented the evil and the root of the corruption.
And We the People made that change, We the People, through a vote, struck the root of corruption by setting aside the petty differences and voted with one clear voice – We the People democratically elect our representatives, and those in public service serve us, its not the other way around. Those who claim they have a right to make decisions for a community must be elected – it cannot and will not be a pubic sector union.
I think the whole ordeal touched on a fundamental principle of our government – and FDR articulated this better than anyone before or since:
“All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.”
FDR – 1937
We were successful in striking the root of the corruption of the teacher’s union only because we believed in the power of the democratic process, and chose representatives that we knew could make the change. And while many were from one political party, on this particular issue, enough people from all background and philosophies had the same “tell”
So this voting thing works – our form of government works. We defeated several of the top 10 lobbyists in the nation. I would say this, however – before you look to change something at the federal level – look to your community, then your state first. You will be surprised what you can accomplish in your own community.
1.) How do you win a âwar on terrorâ?
That is why Obama is pulling out.
4.) Please articulate when it is acceptable to assassinate US citizens. -I would LOVE to hear a response here.
When the citizen is killing and plotting to kill other citizens and in fact is an enemy combatant.
1.) How do you win a âwar on terrorâ? -There are a very few ways to answer this honestly, sans political jargon and/or legalese. One, the token answer of fighting the terrorist cells where they pop up, taking the fight to them, spreading democracy, this list goes on, however, it equals perpetual war. Two, perpetual war.
2.) [Follow up to #1] How many American lives (or any lives rather) are worth it, to âwinâ the war on terror, which weâve clearly established cannot be won? -I want a number. How many Americans have died now overseas fighting this illegal war? How many innocent Iraqis? Afghanis and others? Lets deal not in dollars but human lives, gentleman, how many?
3.) Please articulate why one individual [the president] should have complete autonomy to decide when an American citizen has crossed the imaginary boundary to âenemy of the stateâ, which then warrants this same individual to arrest and indefinitely detain that citizen with complete disregard to the Bill of Rights.
4.) Please articulate when it is acceptable to assassinate US citizens. -I would LOVE to hear a response here.
And another of my posts this morning:
Please realize this if you decide to tune into the debates tonight: One of those men, and whomever succeeds them, will have absolute power, as Mr Obama does now. When the dissolution of our Bill of Rights is complete, as it nearly is, the world as we know it stops. And I mean this in the most literal sense.
Think about this for a second. We had a federal judge rule that section 1021 of the NDAA was completely unconstitutional. Mr Obama immediately filed an appeal and had three of his own appointed judges rule the previous ruling by Judge Forrest null and void and blocking any further rulings. Pardon me here, but if this isnât the biggest âfuck youâ to the American people and our Bill of Rights, I donât know what is. But when asked, Mr Obama âpromisesâ heâll never enforce that clause. One, bullshit, he already hasâ¦ ask Bradley Manning (who will spend over 1000 days in jail with no trial completion) about that. Two, ITâS THE PRECEDENCE!!! Like Iâve always said, itâs not about NOW (which, in this case it unfortunately could be) itâs about LATER! Do you want to live in a USA where President Santorum or President Rubio has absolute power? I donât.
Checks and balances my ass. The Founders created a system where NO despot would have powers even remotely close to those of our âleadersâ. That system is entirely gone. However, we can still turn back the clock. It takes us. It takes awareness. It takes not VOTING FOR THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS – which is complete bullshit. It takes knowing exactly what our government is doing and holding them accountable. Folks, please please please, even if you hate politics, I hate politics, I really do, just read up on whatâs going on here recently.
Please, again, if you do nothing else today, PLEASE read up on this ruling, and what it means to you and your family.