Direct Democracy Blogging In The Netroots
© by Stephen Neitzke, 2006Even a short time spent barging around in the blogosphere demonstrates that a DD/rep-govt blogging community is sorely needed here. We need cross-country organization to help clean up the unconstitutional and arbitrary control of local- and state-level I&R. Governments constantly perpetrate felony conspiracies against I&R rights and citizen-proposed law in the states. They get away with those felonies because they are not being watched anywhere near closely enough. We're just flat not organized enough to do the watching and reacting, let alone the proactive stuff that should have been done decades ago.
The blogosphere gives us -- the DD/rep-govt community -- the best set of organizing and action-item tools available anywhere in our society.
We could do all the needed organizing and consensus-finding in face-to-face meetings, Internet bulletin board communities, and email discussion lists. But we'd still be short, compared to what we can do in the blogosphere.
The half-again that we can gain in the blogosphere is in the built-in connections with the MSM (mainstream media) and the BAM (blogatomic media -- never did like "BSM", blogstream media, bullshit media). Those connections are becoming more populated, more complicated, and more sophisticated every month. The political, economic, environmental, alt-fuels, sustainability models, and anti-war facets of our society are plugging in more and more to the blogosphere -- for many different reasons. Google now provides a separate service for searching just the blogs. We need to pay attention.
We'll have more access to more Americans if we take care of business in the blogosphere.
The most-visible majority of reform-minded netroots junkies today are "progressives", rushing back to the Democratic Party, with little baby half-step thoughts of reform done from inside the system. They've lost track of those of us 1960s denizens of change who took our shiny new educations on top of military experience inside the machine and were ground up like hamburger. They've lost track -- again -- of money-power's corruption engine and its enormity. But forget you if you try to warn them off or want anything different than what they want. Most of their minds have clanged closed, emotions-triggering propaganda flies around and rules, and few are interested in examining the evidence.
Our DD/rep-govt talk of working outside the system, of breaking out of their hermetically-sealed box of corrupt-to-the-max pure rep govt, is little more than ignorant, unAmerican, alien sedition to most of them.
How dare we talk of changing the magnificinet, omnipotent founders' work? (As if that change hadn't already been made constitutional law in 34 states and thousands of "home-rule" jurisdictions over the past hundred-plus years.) How dare we suggest that we, the only nation to have democracy right, go over to the direct democracy that the magnificient founders loathed and hated -- and that history has proven can't work here? (Despite the fact that it's been working here very well, thank you, for over a hundred years -- despite corrupt state govt's unconstitutional and arbitrary delay, alteration, and/or rejection of any citizen-proposed law offensive to money-power.) How dare we waste their time?
Now, if it wasn't for that sticky business with Jefferson's founding principles in the Declaration Of Independence -- where all our DD/rep-govt components are clearly made the inviolable rights of all Americans for all time -- today's progressives would be right up there in the cat-bird's seat, along with super-slime mouthpieces like David Broder.
Today's "progressives" -- mere shadows of the Reform Era Progressives -- are the only positive-reform netroots in the blogosphere now. Their reform heart is good, but they are snarled in place, inside the pure rep govt box, making nice with the Democratic Party corruption monster, and going nowhere.
They will be valuable once the corruption engine cuts them off from a hundred different directions -- again -- and they realize that corruption-busting can only be done outside the box, out on the DD turf, as history amply proves. For now, it must be enough for us that they are pioneering Internet citizen organizing for political matters, and we should pay attention.
Anyone tuned to DD/rep-govt at the state and local levels knows that rep govt is made as good as it can be ONLY when DD has the traction to prevent rep govt's corrupt actions. We've seen a trend in small govt toward more refusal to acknowledge DD's constitutional authority, in more unconstitutional actions to arbitrarily control citizen-proposed law. Many citizens have been frustrated enough by such cross-pressuring to withdraw from politics.
Come back. We've got the power to clean up the unconstitutional, arbitrary, small-govt gauntlet. We just haven't been appyling the power to the right places. I've some pointed suggestions, and we can talk.
To save our state and national constitutions' worthy cores, and the rights and liberties they house, we need to think and work outside the corruption box, out on the DD turf. We've got to amplify our voices with cross-country organizations -- just as the Reform Era citizens did over a hundred years ago. More strength in numbers, for many reasons.
DD/rep-govt political junkies are needed in the blogosphere. Show up. Do what you can.
I started my blog to encourage re-tooling from consumers to citizens, as a platform for political philosophy topics, and to aid the crushing of Bush-Cheney. But I'm expanding on those themes.
DD blogs, it now seems to me, should also be voices for state- and local-level political issues. If the site's lead blogger is located in Montana, then his/her blog should cover Montana state and local issues. If the lead blogger is in Florida, ditto. If in South Dakota, ditto. So on and so on.
First, in the I&R states, we should spotlight the I&R campaigns in which petitions have already been filed. We should say which are good for the people, which are bad for the people, and why. We should say which are good for the corrupt elitist slime, and why.
The I&R Institute site still provides a good shortcut to basic info on the filed petitions in each state. You can still go to IRI, at http://www.iandrinstitute.org/ -- click on "Ballotwatch" in the horizontal nav-bar in the header, scroll way down to the US map, click on, say, California, and then, in the left column, click on "Elections Division". Now you're on a state govt page where the main mission is to baffle you with bullshit. The fewer of us who figure out how to access information, the fewer problems for them. You'll have to be pretty thorough in your exploration of this "Elections Division" page's links.
On the California page, the current ballot measures are found by clicking on the red button, "Vote 2006", sub-titled, "Voter Information Guide". (Easy stuff, once you've outlasted the blizzard-of-bullshit array of cute buttons with no clear clues as to what they link to.) Once on the "Voter Information Guide" page, the most complete info is accessed by clicking on "Ballot Measure Summary" in the left column.
Second, DD blogs in the I&R states should write about any issue that should be turned into a citizen-proposed law -- a citizen-formulated initiative -- a petition. This is a good gig for "guest authors". Watch the local newspapers and contact anyone who is passionate about an idea that should go into citizen lawmaking. Tell 'em you'll publish whatever they write on the issue, and to not be afraid, because you'll give them whatever editorial help they might need.
We should say whether the hot-button issue's petition can be a statute initiative or whether it must be a constitutional amendment initiative so that the people are protected from the meddling of corrupt politicians.
Until further notice, every citizen-proposed law should go straight into the state constitution, no matter how seemingly trite or trivial. Any citizen lawmaking in the statutes that is offensive to money-power will be immediately amended or repealed by the mega-corrupt legislature. Things will change for the better until we're on the other side of the 2nd NCC (national constitutional convention).
Third, DD blogs in the I&R states should write about any depraved law passed by the mega-corrupt, partisan bicameral. Such depraved laws deserve to be vetoed.
Of course, we should have reduced all of the bicamerals to nonpartisan unicamerals in about 1944, when the Nebraska nonpartisan unicameral had about 7 years of successful operation behind it -- and when the society's social justice of the FDR years was about to disappear into the corruption of corporate sleaze. 20/20 hindsight is aggravating The corporate sleaze now control EVERY state legislature. There is not a one of them that is anything less than mega-corrupt.
The citizens in I&R states are not doing anywhere near enough to veto the depraved law grinding out advantages for the superrich at the expense of ordinary people. The multi-branched and speedily growing abyss between rich and poor starts at the state level. The failure to veto is anchored, I think, in ignorance and indifference.
DD blogging, I think, has the potential to change that ignorance and indifference. The more "contributors" that each DD blog can pull together in its "team", for expert and/or passionate coverage of different topics, the better.
Vetos are also possible in non-I&R states. All the state legislatures, except Delaware, REFER constitutional amendments to the people to be voted up or down in a referendum. Many states allow referral of statute law to the people's referendum. Both referrals for the corrupt legislatures are almost always topped by something that the people want for themselves, but almost always underpinned by provisions that directly aid the superrich, the corporate sleaze, and the predator politicians at the expense of ordinary people.
This double-doping of referrals, getting the people to cut their own throats with inviolable constitutional law has become a vile legislative cliché. Blogs in the non-I&R states should unload on such dirty tricks and their corrupt authors.
Two more-general topics.
Fourth, the DD blogs should be emphasizing any and all corruption connected to the state's national, state, or local representatives. Corrupt individuals make the climate of corruption. They are treasonous felons against the nation and in violation of the public trust. The climate of corruption is mostly Republican -- and I personally want those rat-bastards so diselected that the Republican Party ceases to exist. But the climate of corruption spans both parties, and we shouldn't hesitate to slam Democrats.
Corruption kills rep govt, turning it into little more than despotism.
Fifth, the toughest one of all, is state govt expenses. This is not state expenditures. This is narrow-focus state govt expenses. What public funds are the rat-bastards spending on themselves and their buddies? How many govt salaries are paid to PR flacks? How many public university presidents are looking the other way while subordinate financial officers illegally pay bonuses to faculty, staff, and visiting lecturers? How many airplanes have the predator politicians given away to their corporate buddies? How many new carptets decorate their buds' corporate offices? Where have all the new computers gone? For that matter, where have all the old computers gone?
This is the toughest topic, because state govts have been hiding the detailed information for so many decades that it's something they've actually become good at.
Nonetheless, state govt expenses are a major chapter in state govt corruption. Find some "citizen expert group" or two who are looking at state govt expenditures and income. Such organizaitons can give us a starting place on what the state govt is doing to hide the information on its expenses, what it is doing to reject all requests for the information, and, ultimately, what it is that they're spending on themselves and their buddies.
Coverage of those five topics will connect the DD blogs with local politics. IMO, it's still the best political connection in the republic.
If I ever get to where my blog's team of contributors -- who? what? -- is covering my original intentions plus the five state & local DD/rep-govt topics for Oklahoma jurisdictions, I'll be a happy man.