Individualists United

D&C is a movement to fight for and protect our individual rights and sovereignty.
We are diverse.
We are contradictory.
But we are united in our resolution to protect that diverse and contradictory nature.
We follow the CREDO of the D&C movement.
If you believe that your uniqueness is worth fighting for - Join Us!

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Diverse and Contradictory

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Will the real George Bush please stand up?

Here is a quote that I can get solidly behind:

James Madison highlighted the importance of our Constitution's separation of powers when he wrote, "the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands . . . may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."

Throughout our Nation's history, we have been reminded repeatedly of the wisdom of the Framers' design. Our system of separation of powers has safeguarded our liberties and helped ensure that we remain a government of laws.
Can you guess where it came from?

This is a from a Proclamation from George W. Bush, announcing Law Day 2006 last Monday.

Does he even read what he signs?

Yesterday I posted this piece about his consolidation of power. This would be funny if it wasn't so out of touch. Which GWB should we believe?

Personally, I think actions speak louder than words.



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Sedition in America

Montana's Governor Brian Schweitzer will be pardoning nearly seven dozen Montana residents convicted of sedition.

Many of those being pardoned were overheard in bars criticizing the president and his wealthy supporters, and were immediately arrested and sentenced for up to 20 years for expressing opinions contrary to the government or one of it's agencies.

Sound Scary? It is. These were ordinary Americans talking, in public, to friends.

This happened about 90 years ago during the last part of World War I. The pardons are the result of the work of a Montana journalism professor and a number of UM law students. See The Montana Sedition Project for details on their efforts and the victims.

Congratulations should go to the people who worked on this project, and to Gov. Schweitzer for rectifying the injustice. The lesson is to never let it happen again.

But I'm afraid.

With the consolidation of power to the executive branch, a president who doesn't believe he needs to follow any law contrary to his agenda, and an expanding domestic spying program - the next step will be arrests for sedition.

The difference this time is that the power that would be exercised requires no warrant, no trial, no legal representation, and no acknowledgement a prisoner is being held. It merely requires the assertion that the person was engaged in suspicious activities.

I find hope in the fact that we can recognize the injustices of nearly a century ago. If we are vigilant against those injustices now, perhaps we can keep history from repeating itself.

History has hard lessons for us, and a tendency to repeat until we learn them.

Let's hope we learned this one.



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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Voices of the Revolution

Below are posts worth reading. Are they the voices of the coming revolution? Maybe. I hope they are just the voices that start the wakeup call to Americans concerned about keeping their freedom and government.

The true way to fix the entire government
[police] State of the Union
I Have Seen the Enemy, and He is The People
The Direction We're Headed

And to our CIA Readers, I hope this helps your "intelligence" gathering operation.



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I couldn't have said it better myself

Midtopia has a post, Bush: I AM the Law! that sums up the scary nature of Bush's administration and it's consolidation of power.

The parallels between what our executive branch is doing and what many monarchies have done throughout history is frightening. I've pointed out before that the "war on terror" is being fought more at home than abroad, and that the tactic seems to be the erosion of individual rights of Americans in the name of our own good rather than the development of the worldwide structures that are actually necessary.

Could any of us live with ourselves if we had to explain to our grandchildren that we did nothing while freedom died through our own complacency?

This needs to stop and it needs to stop now. We have the opportunity to correct this erosion now without the major social and political revolution it will require if it continues unchecked.

Stand up and be heard!

A special toast to Sean Aqui of Midtopia for his concise and clear analysis.

What Bush and his administration is doing is nothing less than a coup. The longer it takes for us to recognize it, the more difficult it will be to get our government back.



"The revolution will not be televised."

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Friday, April 28, 2006

Standing up...

I'm on the road at the moment and a little out of touch. The hotel has, of course USA Today, and that's where two nods come from.

Arlen Specter has threatened to withhold funding from the NSA's warrentless wiretapping program.

Christopher Shays has criticized the lack of substance in the modified lobbying reform bill.

So a brief nod for standing up for the right thing. It's a start. We need more. Redemption is possible for even the most entrenched politician. They just need to listen to their heart (and constituents).

In the words of Rep. Shays:

"Republicans are losing the moral authority to lead this place, and I can't say much more about the Democrats. It's a race to the bottom."

Keep it coming. I'd love to see this as a forum announcing the good work of individuals. At the moment they're just hard to find.



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Friday, April 21, 2006

Why Parties Shouldn't Rule

While the Republicans are busy creating issues, like ethics reform, personal responsibility, and immigration to distract us from what's really going on, the Democrats can't seem to figure out what to talk about.

No surprise all the way around. In order for an organization of any sort to exist cohesively, they have to have a clear message that everyone involved is aligned with. This is usually put together by the leadership of the organization in the form of three statements: The Mission Statement, The Vision Statement, and The Value Statement (though a lot of organizations miss that last part).

The challenge an organization faces is in generating those statements and gaining consensus among it's membership. The Republicans and Democrats have tried so hard to be the party of everyone, that it's impossible to gain any real consensus among their members.

Republicans have fought this weakness by creating polarizing issues and then standing for them. The Democrats haven't fought that weakness, which leads to a muddled message and no clear direction. The only thing this leads to is the ability of the opposing party to point out the weaknesses of the other's strategy.

Parties are literally unable to do this and remain the large, overarching, all-issue, conglomerates they want to be. They squabble internally, and rip themselves apart by overindulging in the stands they think they want to take. There can actually be no strategy for them to implement.

Individuals on the other hand, have no trouble putting together personal statements of Mission, Vision, and Values. That is why Individuals have strength: Strength of Purpose, Strength of Conviction, and Strength of Faith.

Our current system means that any viable individual, small political party, or alternative viewpoint cannot be a force in American politics.

That is.... Unless we call it out, put a name on it, and take action.

I suggest that anyone who understands the fallacy of the two party system do only two things:

1. Throw out any intellectual or historical allegiance you have to any political party.
2. Vote for and support the person whose stated Mission, Vision, and Values, closely resemble your own.

This is not an easy task. You will not find someone you agree with 100% - you'll need to let some things slide. You will need to do it actively - tell people what your Mission, Vision, and Values are, AND why you have chosen the person you choose to support. You will be told in very compelling and graphic terms that you are throwing away your vote if you break from the two main parties. You may discover that you've been supporting the wrong people for the wrong reasons, and you'll have to own up to that.

What you gain - Clearer vision, conscience, and ownership over your role in government. A stance that is defensible in the face of the issues. A way of clearly communicating your vision and individual value within our society. A way of making positive statements when discussing the issues - an elimination of debates that involve "bashing the opposition."

Try it - you'll rest easier. All you need to give up is your way of looking at the world, and all you need to accept is your inalienable right to question everything - including yourself.



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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

In case you thought no one was listening...

After having written this post on making sure you are heard, I came across these two links:

CIA mines 'rich' content from blogs

MoodViews: Tools for Blog Mood Analysis

Speak Up! You are being heard!



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Give Me Liberty.... A Call for everyone to be Heard

An editorial in USA Today titled American Inquisition, is the first direct call to disarm our runaway loss of individual rights and liberty that I've seen in the mainstream media.

It compares our current situation with that of the Spanish Inquisition rather eloquently. Despite what many believe are the political leanings of USA Today, we should read the undercurrent that lead to the ability to print this.

Seemingly unrelated: according to Technorati's latest report, the number of Blogs is doubling every 6 months and a new Blog is created every second. The state of Politics in the US is one of the largest and fastest growing topics, even in personal and non-political blogs.

Why are the two related?

Because the fight against the Inquisition started in the blogosphere, and it's membership is growing.

Because there is a voice that can be given to the concerns of all people in the world of the blog.

Every blogger is, to some extent, an individualist. They share their voice with the world in the hopes that someone may listen, but not necessarily caring if anyone does. The voices are the collective cry of the human population. Some louder than others, but all poignant in what they represent.

USA Today's editorial isn't the first on the subject. It's not even the first to use the comparison. Bloggers were there first. Little voices aching to be heard.

As Americans finally wake up to what has been going on since the opportunistic takeover after 9/11, those voices will become louder.

I'm calling on every individualist everywhere - say something! Say Anything! I don't care if you are liberal, conservative, centrist, Republican, Democratic, Independent, Libertarian, extremist, moderate, optimist, pessimist, realist, intellectual, reactionary, proactive, or any other adjective I've missed.


I'll leave you with a few quotes:

The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. - Plato, Greek author & philosopher in Athens (427 BC - 347 BC)

The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. - Dante Alighieri, Italian national epic poet (1265 - 1321)

In times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. - George Orwell, English essayist, novelist, & satirist (1903 - 1950)

Find your voice and speak out! It may be the last right you have. Use it to your dying breath.



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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Holding Out for a Hero

We need a Hero.

History has created a moment where great things could happen, but we need someone who can pull the sword from the stone.

As Voters' Frustration Grows, Distress Could Shake Up 2006 Midterm, 2008 Presidential Races

More and more, Americans are frustrated with politics as usual in Washington, where incompetence, arrogance, corruption and mindless partisanship seem the norm rather than the exception - a pox on both the Republican and Democratic parties.

This is it.

This is the time where independents could shine. This is the moment where we can take back our core values. This is point at which we can re-assert the rights of the individual. This is the where we can break the death hold of the two party system and start making politicians accountable for their actions.


We need a Hero.

Nearly half of independents say the Democratic and Republican parties are equally corrupt. An AP-Ipsos poll in December found nearly 90 percent of all voters believes political corruption is a serious problem.

President Bush's approval rating is at the lowest point of his presidency, and the public gives even lower marks to Congress. Republican and Democratic congressional leaders are held in equally low esteem.

Nearly 70 percent of the public believes the country is on the wrong track.
The in-fighting has got to go. The "My Party Above All Else" approach to politics, the voting along party lines, has all got to stop.

I don't want to vote for a party. I want to vote for a person. I'll even vote for someone I don't agree with in some areas, if they come with a back-bone and stand up and fight for what they believe in. I want to vote for an individual - a real person, not a party affiliation.

I want to vote for a HERO!

I'm not alone. Listen to the quotes of voters from
"I don't see any great leaders on the horizon."

"If they stop fighting and bickering and put the American people's interests in front of where they should be, they could cure a whole lot of problems."

"I don't see either party doing anything advantageous for the population."

"I'm not happy with either party on national security."
No one is talking about people, just the parties. We all are tired of The Party.

We Want A HERO!

Do you know one?

Remember Credo 29. The person who pulls the sword from the stone won't be looking for the job. The Republicans and Democrats will hate them. They will be forced to stand on their own, and they'll only succeed by uniting the nation. They'll be independent, but surrounded by and supported by the best people available. They will walk through darkness and bring us to a golden age. They will be the stuff of legends.


I just don't know where to find one.



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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

An interesting view inside the business of lobbying

This provides a fascinating view of the business of lobbying, at least for Abramoff's former firm:

E-mails Show Abramoff Using Donations in Effort to Force GOP Help for Client

Regardless of all of the allegations of wrongdoing (on both sides of the aisle, by the way) I find the business of the business very telling.

We all know that lobbyist have a major role in how our country decides what to do, but look at the strategies and the players:

First the lobbyists internally:

"The tribes that want this (not just ours) are the only guys who take care of the Rs," Abramoff deputy Todd Boulanger wrote in a June 19, 2002, e-mail to Abramoff and his lobbying team, using "Rs" as shorthand for Republicans.

"We're going to seriously reconsider our priorities in the current lists I'm drafting right now if our friends don't weigh in with some juice. If leadership isn't going to cash in a chit for (easily) our most important project, then they are out of luck from here on out," he wrote, referring to political donation lists.

They know they have power, but look at how this is worded to the internal team. This particular project - federal school funding for one of their clients - was one of their most important projects at the time, and it was in jeopardy. The lobbying firm was telling the lawmakers - this is important to our firm, and if you can't help us on this, we won't help you with our other clients and projects.

That's power. The validity of the lobbying effort and the importance of the legislation or funding didn't enter into it. The support was necessary for Abramoff's group to look good to a lucrative client, and they weren't hesitant about making that clear to lawmakers in an effort to influence them.

Abramoff's team turned to Congress, getting Michigan Democratic Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow to persuade their party's leaders to request the money in a spending bill. Democrats controlled the Senate in 2002.

Abramoff then turned to Republicans, including Sen. Conrad Burns of Montana, to overcome the administration's objections and secure $3 million specifically for the Saginaw when the GOP regained control of the Senate the next year.

No surprise that when the balance of power shifts, so does the focus of the lobbyists. As I said in this post, whatever party is in power always seems to have corruption and ethics scandals. But think about it - why try to "influence" someone with little or no ability to help your agenda?

The plan had hit a snag in summer 2002 when a single GOP House appropriations staffer, Joel Kaplan, objected.
That's when the team got mad. They contacted the NRCC - the fundraising arm of the Republicans, to discuss strategy. Based on that they stepped up donations and published a list showing the donations made by their clients to Republican candidates. They enlisted DeLay to try to talk to the staffer. They called the White House to talk to the staffer.

Then the congressional leadership stepped in:

In early 2003, Kaplan's new boss, House subcommittee chairman Charles Taylor, R-N.C., ended any problems in the House when he signed onto the Saginaw money. Burns' office took up the fight in the Senate.
It was basically all over except for the posturing (and the donating). No staffer can put up with that kind of pressure:

The two lawmakers wrote a letter in May 2003..."We hope our collective response has cleared up any unnecessary confusion."
unnecessary confusion is, of course, any opposition.

All of this is what lobbyists are hired to do - like it or not. People with influence can sell it. There isn't even anything technically wrong with that, although I'd like to think common sense and civic duty should override "influence". But then again, I'm an optimist.

My larger problem with the system is that groups that are not political insiders (like women, minorities, tribes, individuals...) have to hire lobbyists to get anything done. That's where the money comes in. Money for Abramoff and his group, and money for lawmakers:

A month before the letter, Abramoff's firm threw Taylor a fundraiser on April 11, 2003, that scored thousands of dollars in donations for the lawmaker's campaign, including $2,000 from Abramoff and $1,000 from the Saginaw. The tribe donated $3,000 more to Taylor a month after the letter.

Burns, likewise, got fresh donations. Several weeks before the letter, Burns collected $1,000 from the Saginaw and $5,000 from another Abramoff tribe. The month after the letter, the Saginaw delivered $4,000 in donations to Burns.

This is what got everyone in trouble. The fact that it looks like money changed hands to influence legislation. It's actually sad that you have rules like that - Backroom handshakes, legal; Payment to handshaker, legal; Payment to handshakee, not legal.

Wouldn't it be nice if everyone just legislated in the best interests of those they represent and according to a moral code, a Credo if you will, that stated a simple set of beliefs and guiding principles?

Wouldn't it be nice if we discussed the issues we disagreed on with the goal of finding a mutually acceptable solution rather than a mutually profitable one?

Wouldn't it be nice if government was of the people, by the people, for the people?

I think so.



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