Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Note to IHEU

Of course open debate is essential for free and open societies. Voicing one’s opinions is central to the very concept of Democracy: “I disagree totally with what you say but defend to the death your right to say it.” But more is needed.
To speak truth to power is fine, but too often futile, and ignored. And there are no Democracies anywhere in the world. For the people of the world to weigh, measure, analyze, and agree or disagree on statements, and then implement the conclusions and actions inferred or plainly stated in those freely made statements they must be able to vote on their implementation. The Constitutions of the world all have “Representatives” making the laws, voting for the laws, under which the people live. The legislative function must evolve, and devolve, back to the source of its power: the people. The people have avoided their legislative responsibility throughout history, consciously or other wise. The rationale behind Republic governments has always been “We all can’t fit under the town’s central tree and openly debate and discuss our common needs and wants and then make legislation.” Today we live under the branches of our communication satellites and debate freely and often on all topics. We also vote electronically for television entertainers on a variety of shows. The “ways and means ” of debating and voting on the laws under which we live is available. We should cease begging our legislatures, with our free speech, to implement our desires, hopes, wishes, and considered judgement, and vote directly on the laws ourselves. See assocactualdemocracy.com.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Notes to friends in Occue-Evolve (O

OCCUPY Congress: Don't replace congressmen, replace Congress, replace with Actual Democracy, the people as the Legislature!

To be free, to be equal, to be counted, our votes must count! Vote for laws, not for men. I'll say why I firmly believe this in a moment.

Our voices will count only when our actions do, the action of voting for laws is the only true way to govern ourselves. We must cease pledging allegiance to the flag and ”The Republic for which it stands”, and pledge allegiance to the Flag and “The Democracy for which it stands...” once we make it an Actual Democracy. The details of how to do this are coming. But this is my goal, man ruling himself, governing himself.

Represent yourselves. Represent your children, your future and their future. Represent America by voting for economic equality, vote for equality of opportunity at work, school, in the market place, in the media, in your religions, in your sex life, in your taxes, in your very lives. For our votes to count we must become the Congress. We must become the law makers. 200 million of us can do it better than any group of Congressmen possibly can. We group-source, group-think, group-research, every Corporation is a group, a think tank, on how to get our money with minimal exertion and maximum return. The only chance we have is to “group-govern” our nation, and the best group we can form is the group of all the people, of “WE the People”.

Would you vote for the issues you march for, advocate over social media, advocate in conversation, beg your representatives to vote for? Things like reversing the climate-energy-environment troubles that threaten our very existence, like equal justice in the courts, at work, in health care, in education, and in life, generally? Well, you can't. And the only way you and all the other citizens and their children down through the ages will be able to is if we become an ACTUAL DEMOCRACY: one where the people make and vote directly on the laws and not for other flawed and corruptible people to make the laws “for them”. Who makes the rules RULES. We are RULED by our Congress, not Represented by our Congress.

The mechanics of ACTUAL DEMOCRACY:

Right now Article I of the Constitution assigns the Legislative Responsibilities of the Nation to the Congress: that is the House of Representatives and The Senate. They make 'bills' that are proposed laws by having these bills generated in subcommittees of committees. When a subcommittee passes a bill it 'passes it on' to the full committee for passage, which is passing it on the full House of Representative for them to vote on the proposed bill. It's a three step procedure. The Senate hase the same procedure but only with fewer members on the sub committees, the committees, and the full Senate. If both the House and Senate pass the bills, they frequently need to “reconcile” the bills because they are usually slightly different versions in the House than the Senate. Once the “joint House and Senate” reconciliation vote succeeds in passing then the 'final bill' is voted on by the full house and the full Senate. If it passes it goes on to the President to be signed into law, vetoed, or neither. If neither happens within ten days the bill is automatically vetoed.

The Congress can override the President's veto by a 2/3 majority vote in both houses of Congress. In which case it becomes a law.
The Executive branch enforces and administers the laws. This is set out in Article II of the Constitution. Article III requires the Courts to interpret the laws and run trials for those accused of violating the laws.

Actual Democracy, as I envision it, will replace Congress with the people directly voting on the laws. Instead of the 438 members of the House of Representatives and 100 Senators generating or submitting bills through subcommittees, to committees, from the committees to the full Houses for Votes, the people will do it, almost exclusively electronically. There will be subcommittees of various types set up, probably, at the beginning, the same ones currently in Congress. They will be made up of citizens who volunteer to be on such a committee. People interested in labor will go on the labor committee. Those interested in banking to the banking committee. Same with education, military, commerce, transportation, the budget, etc. They will elect members for subcommittees. The subcommittees will debate issues, call on experts for their opinions, then propose bills to become laws, which the full committees will vote on and send to a docket of proposed bills. The bills that get a majority vote from the full committee will then be scheduled for open debate by the people and after a given time, probably months, will get voted on by the people. A majority of the votes for the bill will send it on to the President for his signature. Democracy, plain and simple.
If problems arise in the process then the people will address the problems, change the process by passing laws to change it. We have amended the Constitution 26 times. There is no counting how many laws have been changed, replaced, or thrown away, Any interference in the process of voting and making laws will be severely punished. In future years we may not even recognize the law making process of the people from what it was when it began. That is not important. What is important is the majority of 200 million citizens will be choosing and voting on the laws under which they will live. Each coming generation will no longer be tied to the previous generation's laws that they inherit through inertia and laziness of the current and previous generations.

What problems appear will get fixed. What path to travel in the progress of the nation will be chosen by the people. Then corrected by the people. The American governmental experiment will continue, evolve, and serve for the benefit all the people. Nothing else is political equality, a just society, and a free and independent society of the people, by the people, and for the people. The media will publish all the various opinions they care to publish, but lies of fact will be subject to legal and civil attack. The Corporations will generate goods and services, hire employees, sell stock, but do so under the watchful eye of the people. Power will no longer slip away from the people into the hands of a few.
The real and probably final question is a big one:

Are the people wise enough, responsible enough, involved enough, smart enough, strong enough, and concerned enough to 'bother' making the laws, to expend the time and energy it takes to study, evaluate, challenge the guess that the law will be a good law

The best answer to this is Jefferson's answer in his first inaugural address in 1800, when he became the third president:
"It is often said man is not wise enough to govern himself; then he should govern others?" It's there, in the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C., carved in stone!

There are many others who have answered this question. Plato, in his book “The Republic” concluded that the people were not wise enough to govern themselves, that they should be governed by “Philosopher Kings”. And it reads like he might have been running for the office.
The best answer I've that challenges this claim is Bertrand Russell, in his 'Historhy of Western Philosophy, p 107:
  But even if we suppose that there is such a thing as "wisdom," is there any form of constitution which will give the government to the wise? It is clear that majorities, like general councils, may err, and in fact have erred. Aristocracies are not always wise; kings are often foolish; Popes, in spite of infallibility, have committed grievous errors. Would anyone advocate entrusting the government to university graduates, or even doctors of divinity? Or to men who, having been born poor, have made great fortunes? It is clear that no legally definable selection of citizens is likely to be wiser, in practice, than the whole body.
    It might be suggested that men could be given political wisdom by a suitable training. But the question would arise: what is a suitable training? And this would turn out to be a party question.
   The problem of finding a collection of the "wise" men and leaving the government to them is thus an insoluble one. That is the ultimate reason for democracy.

Our elected representatives, our Congressmen, make the laws. Laws are limits on the free actions of men required to keep the peace when people differ. To protect the weak from the strong. To use tax dollars to build and maintain the infrastructure, to keep a police force, a judicial system to punish law breakers, to guide the course of commerce and economics, set up schools, etc. Once the criminal code is made law becomes an adventure is spending tax dollars. There are inevitable 'kick backs' to the law makers when they help a group of businessmen get wealthy. The 'special interests' buy the votes of representatives. Those who have capital, a lot of money, which is power over others, fight hard for laws that let them keep that power, and even enable more power to be gotten. Every hour of labor gives a good percentage of the fruits of that labor to the 'owners', the bosses, the rich and powerful, making them more powerful. The citizens of the United States have been through this economic theft of their productivity for 218 years under the Constitution and Capitalism. That's 11 generations of oppressed workers, teachers, scholars, artists, machinists, bricklayers, artisans, manual laborers, and just folks and citizens. Too much greed has taken away all faith in this government's form and function. The only solution is to change the form and function of the government and move on to a 'more perfect' form of government: Actual Democracy.

See www.assocactualdemocracy.com.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Practical Benefits of Actual Democracy

                               The Practical Benefits of Actual Democracy

If the People had the right and duty, the power and responsibility, to vote on their own laws then a majority of their votes for a proposed law would make the proposition the law. For example, if a majority of the people wished to limit the amount of Carbon dioxide and other “green house” gases put into the atmosphere, their voting for and passing such a law would give the expressed limitation the force of law. The Executive would be obliged to administer the law by any means he saw fit that lead to the limitations defined in the law. The Courts would be called upon to interpret the law that implemented the limits and determine if it did or did not violate The Constitution. And both the Executive and Judges will be elected by the people and term limited: the Executive to two 4 year terms and the judiciary, to two 9 year terms. Subject, of course, to the will, and votes, of the people should they decide differently.

Those who were in the minority on the voting would be able to try and muster a greater number of supporters and get the law replaced with one they wanted.If the majority of people voted for limitations on gun ownership those limitations would be law.If the majority voted for a higher minimum wage, higher taxes on corporations or the wealthy; even lower taxes on the corporations and the wealthy, that would be the law, until such time as a majority changed their mind.

Most laws passed by Congress are budgetary. The same can be presumed by Actual Democracy where the people are performing the legislative duties. So the majority of people would determine how much money was needed to run the Federal Government, implement the laws, preserve the peace, pay for the Courts, police agencies, the military, scientific research, health and welfare, run the Social Security Office, the Internal Revenue Service, etc. It would be the people who decide if the Government requires 4 trillion dollars to run, if banks should pay 2% interest on deposits and charge 30% interest on loans. That commerce should have more or less controls. Whether corporations should have limits on their profit, on management's salaries, on Teachers salaries, etc. Even on what kind of economy we should have and support.

The Criminal code and punishments would be voted on by the people. Limits on the Judiciary sentencing practice may or may not be implemented.

And always, after a period of time, error will get corrected, the government will evolve to become a “more perfect” government. The powerful will need to influence the majority of the citizen voters. The media will be guided by laws, perhaps exposing outright lies and slanders to legal action and criminal correction.

This is the current important step in the evolution of government: from a Republic to an Actual Democracy. We should hurry and implement it:

www.assocactualdemocracy.com; join it, support it, work hard for it, make us a truly free and independent people and a government of the people's votes, by the peoples votes, for the people's freedom and equality.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Please leave comments, email addresses, start an argument, or an agreement...

This is one of the historical blogs that have "Fallen still born" from the web.

If the idea is good tell my why. If its good but futile, tell me why. If you agree, or don't, tell me why.


Am I getting the idea across, clearly and simply?  Where am I going wring in my attempt to engage and motivate people to support Actual Democracy?  Criticize me, the website, the blog, the idea, ...

Friday, October 10, 2014

What the People Want.

We the people” are going to the streets to beg our representatives to represent us. We want justice from the Courts; equal opportunity in the workplace, in schooling; we want fair taxes, and fair return on our taxes from the Legislature; and we want the laws fairly and equally applied to all of us by the Executive.

Today, too many of us are imprisoned just to employ guards, mid level administrators, and placate the frightened; the prison industry exists so the representatives have patronage jobs to give to their supporters. Certainly not to rehabilitate, re-educate, recoup the talent and save the life of offenders. Too many people routinely loose their incomes and their savings. Corporations and their executives violate sanctions against terrorist countries, launder money for drug cartels, avoid paying fair taxes, and do so with impunity. Only five out of nine Justices of the Supreme court seem to know what the law is; the other four learn what the law is when the other five tell them. Banks pay 2% interest on deposits and charge 30% interest on credit cards.

The Executive branch invades countries, tortures people, spies on the citizens, selectively prosecutes the citizens, selectively assists the poor or totally ignores them. It permits unarmed citizens to be shot down in the street by the police, with impunity. It permits guns everywhere so the angry and ill can routinely slaughter the people in the streets or at work, and the children in their schools. A large percentage of health care costs go to insurance companies. Health care has become the largest businesses in the United States when it once was a place for scientific and humane caring of the sick. Doctors and patients are Managed. Why? So those who don't know medicine, don't care for the sick, can earn money off the knowledge, work and understanding of the Doctors and nurses. Educators are doing the same thing: there are as many assistant principles, principles, counselors, security officers, janitors and maintenance personnel, office secretaries, as there are teachers; maybe even as many as students. And we come in 24th in educational effectiveness while spending more money per student than any other nation. It's a bad return on our investment.

The Courts are not just. The Legislature is unresponsive to the will and needs of the people. The Executive ignores justice, equality, and human rights. 

The rich and powerful influence all decisions in the United States and the people pay them, unwillingly, to do so.

We all know this. It's why there were over a thousand groups and organizations pulled, and pooled, together and marched in the People's Climate March hoping and begging the representatives to fix the climate.

We know the problems. We are seeking the answer. And it is right in front of us. Look at the signs carried in the People's Climate March. They demand, seek, beg for representation, justice, and simple common sense, to be applied to a problem. We have been doing so on the climate for 30 years. It is futile.

Every revolution where good people have overthrown bad people has, in time, seen the 'good people' become 'bad people' and another revolution takes place; to get another set of good representatives who go bad in a rather short time.  It must stop. We must stop it. We must take control of our lives, our government, and our future. And it is simple and could be easy, but it won't be. We must replace this representative Republic with an Actual Democracy. The people must become the Legislature and vote directly on the laws, they must vote directly for the President and Vice president, and vote directly for the Judges. We must make the laws and vote directly for the administrators and interpreters of the laws, with no intermediary “representative” (Rousseau called them elected Aristocrats).

A Constitutional Amendment along these lines is needed:

The right of citizens Of the United States to directly vote for the laws under which they live, to directly carry out the legislative functions defined in Article I of this constitution, to directly vote for the President and Vice President, and to directly vote for the Judiciary, shall not be abridged by the United States or by any State.

Think of the consequences. The people vote, after open debate, raucous argument, discussion, study, analysis, and with full responsibility for their vote, which will count as much as the vote of every billionaire, every Nobel Prize winner, every drunk, every parent, every religious and irreligious, every moral and immoral citizen of this nation. The Government spends 4 trillion dollars every year. 538 representatives decide how to spend that much money. And they even fail to make and publish the budget. We will decide how much to spend and on what it will be spent. We the people, all 200,000,000 citizen voters (if two heads are better than one, 200 million are better that 538), will decide what the criminal code will evolve into. We will honor the Constitution's bill of rights. We will ensure justice, domestic tranquility, the common defense, the general welfare, and all human rights, justly and equally. We will be an Actual Democracy. Only then will we get what we seek: justice from the Courts; equal opportunity in the workplace, in schooling, in everything; fair taxes with fair return on our taxes from the Legislature; and the laws fairly and equally applied to all of us by the Executive. We will get it because we will vote for it, not beg for it.

We the people are seeking Actual Democracy.

Support The Association for the Advancement of Actual Democracy with your time, money, and determination to finally have political equality and personal freedom: www.assosactualdemocracy.com

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Response to Constitution rewrite

  • Shoshana Osofsky This is not a smart ass question - I recently read the Constitution for the first time in my life (I'm ashamed to say). It was not the brilliant document I expected. It's obtuse, slavery is written into and I'm sure I'd have other concerns if I could understand it all. Do we need another constitution? One that is clear and at a minimum honors all humans?
    2 hrs · Like · 1
  • Roger Duronio Clarity would be good. Equality would be good. Responsibility and authority to carry out that responsibility given to the people as the legislature would be good. The AAAD is looking for a simpler way than a complete rewrite via a Constitutional convention. We trust people, don't  get me wrong. But A Constitutional convention, now, would stay under control of the 1% and current political structure. An amendment is very straight forward, We have done it 16 times after the bill of rights, for a total of 26.
  • Roger Duronio Also, we have no leverage now with our representatives. What real pressure do we have? We won't vote for them? A lot of them would consider that a blessing, now that they are among the 'insider' group, and can start lobbying for 'real money'. The real threat would be: "Fix the climate-energy-environment problem or we will fix the Government so we don't have to beg congress to save the world, we will just have to vote for it - after considered and open debate, of course. We'll make the Government an Actual Democracy and put legislative politics aside. We'll make the laws we live under. That, I believe, is a good threat. And if we start enough of a movement to so, which certainly has vast merit of its own, they will take us seriously and fix the climate-energy-environment problem to keep the move for Actual Democracy down.. But we save the Climate. Without a viable threat they will commit suicide and take us with them.
    6 mins · Like

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

An Amendment can be made.

Slavery took 80 years, from the declaration to the civil war, and 600,000 deaths to get taken out of our way of life, by three Constitutional Amendments. Woman's right to vote took 60 years, from 1860s 'til 1920 to get into effect, and it took a Constitutional Amendment. And most of us know the task is not easy. It's much easier to analyze the problem, which you have fairly well done, than work for a plausible solution. This isn't pie in the sky, no nirvana or Utopia will come from Actual Democracy, but it is the next logical evolutionary step in practical politics aimed at liberty and equality. You asked for an answer. Then you say it can't be done. You say it was a rhetorical question. The answer wasn't. There are a million reasons why things don;t get done,there's only one reason why they do, because you do them. We can keep begging for representation or represent ourselves. Does this seem logically flawed to you? We can beg for freedom or vote for it. We can beg for equal opportunity, equal rights, equal justice, or we can vote for it. Which do think would be more effective? And the cost, no matter what it may be, must be paid. The price of liberty is not "vigilance" it is time, money, hope, cooperation, and a determination to free and equal, and to live in a just and equal society. We don't have this, and we should work to get it. I thinks its plain and simple. You think it's impossible. At least one of us is wrong.

What can be done to combat nihilism and corruption?

  • Roger Duronio I most certainly have asked myself that question (What can be done?). All is not lost. There is an ages old idea that hasn't yet been tried: Actual Democracy. We the people simply become the legislature and vote on the laws directly, like we can vote on 'the voice', 'American idol' etc.
  • Roger Duronio We must quit begging representatives to represent us. And if we replace one generation of representatives we will have to beg the next generation to represent us. The answer is a Constitutional Amendment : . The right of citizens Of the United States to directly vote for the laws under which they live, to directly vote for the President and Vice President, and to directly vote for the Judiciary, shall not be abridged by the United States or by any State. Which keeps power from being centralized, keeps the people free to debate, argue, lie, cheat, reason, openly debate, do politics, then choose, by voting, the laws under which they will live, Choose by voting for their Executives and the Judiciary. Only that is Democracy, Freedom, and political equality. If there are no representatives there is no one to be directly bought or directly influenced by corruption. There are arguments against Direct Democracy. But they come down to only one: the people can't do it, won't do it, and shouldn't do it. Jefferson said, "It's frequently said man is not wise enough to govern himself, then he should govern others?" it's carved in stone, at the Jefferson Memorial, in his first inaugural Address. The majority votes of 200,000,000 Citizens will probably be more accurate in representing the considered judgement of the people than the current 538 representatives judgement. Actual Democracy would not give an equal voice to everyone, it would give and equal VOTE to everyone. A billionaires, Nobel prize winner, local drunk, all the raw uneducated glorious citizens, all the grand Ph.D. researchers, teachers, the brilliant and the indifferent, all with equal power, equal say, equal vote. We build buildings, cars, planes, make electricity, educate our youth, exchange knowledge, emotions, hopes, dislikes, disgruntlements, etc. We can certainly decide which laws we should live under and quit delegating those few decisions every year to others. The government, 538 representatives, spend 4 trillion ( 4 with twelve zeros, 4 * 10^12) dollars every year. And they are no more qualified to do so than any 538 individuals randomly picked from the general population. And 90% of our laws are budgetary, how to spend the money. We have "Escaped from freedom" (Fromm), surrendered our responsibilities, and are now ruled by others. And we are angry about it, don't know how to fix it, and march in the streets saying "we won't take it any longer". We're taking it because we're doing IT. We should stop delegating our responsibility and right to govern ourselves and start doing it. See assocactualdemocracy.com, Support it, work for it, spread the idea, become, finally, a Free and Equal people.