70 years ago I rolled up my sleeves alongside the Russians and together we turned the Nazis from the most terrifying killing machine the world had ever known into Colonel Klink and Sergeant Schultz. The Soviets sacrificed more lives in that conflict than anyone. Wikipedia puts “total Soviet population losses due the war (sic) at 26.6 million.” The US has got nothing close to that in our collective memory. So while we were curling up with our situation comedies and blithely forgetting how we ended that conflict, the Ruskies were firmly caught in the crazy-making historical remnants of that nightmare.
In this article:
the guy who fought city hall and won, Larry Klayman, pictured above, says that the NSA was sending fake emails on his behalf. Here’s why I doubt it. It’s an insanely strong accusation to make, and if it were true, I would imagine Klayman would open up access to a trusted third party who could review the log files. Emails are pretty hard to utterly delete. There’s records all along the way. A traceroute has so many hops, and it’s all searchable. Who is his email provider? Anyway, if true, not a one comment toss off, not from a guy whose career is literally making a federal case about everything. I love his quote about King George reading our email and catching us before we could revolt, but that’s the point isn’t it? You’re a terrorist until you win.
Shocked, I’m shocked gambling is going on here!
OK, so honestly I already knew we were being spying on, really. The issue with the NSA scandal is what is a 29 year old high school dropout doing making well over 6 figures, given access to the most secret security clearance there is, able to have individual people investigated, able to do what he did, which is turn in all this information, which is probably great, but the real question is, how does a guy like that be given access like that so that he could be prosecuted like that? It’s like, you fucked up, you trusted me.
We have a 28 year old 1 yr Booz Allen contractor who gets a thumb drive and goes leaking the entire guts of the spying apparatus. It’s awesome! But how low a bar that people can get this kind of information and leak this?
We the people say:
“Hey, we hire you to look out for us!
What the fuck are you doing giving this loser top gun status?
And then as it turns out he’s not a loser. He does the right thing. How did you know? You’re brilliant.”
I came up with the the following thought while researching the ZIP code and how it began. We just realized we needed it, created a committee to do it, and, voila, then they did it.
So I was thinking about America and how we’ve lost what we never really had, and it got me sad, and I decided we didn’t have to accept defeat, and I decided the problem is we don’t meet.
Did you know the Greeks did not have representative democracy? They had direct democracy, but only among perhaps 10% of the population. But if you had a vote, you had to show up and participate.
And today, we have a head of government, and he hears from his advisers, secretaries of the various departments, and the 635 elected representatives. but with 350 million people, that’s 551181 people per representative. But what about coming together as a community, or other shared group, and deciding ourselves what we want?
Here’s how it could work.
1) We decide what we think. We decide what we care about and what’s most important to us.
2) We talk with our family and immediate friends to get a sense of how we fit in. We educate ourselves and refine our opinions.
3) We take the top stuff and dig a little deeper to see what’s being done to fix it.
4) We get a little involved in the very top stuff, one or two things we’re most passionate about. We get an insiders view of these “top topics.”
We get together with people in our geographical locale, and also around issues we care about. We think about how we could make small adjustments and changes so that we can reach broader consensus.
Among the local hood, we pick one representative for each ZIP code. so now we have an in between congress made up of 10,000 representatives, which is a little under 20 people for every existing legislator. So that’s a group that can talk, debate, agree, disagree, solve problems. 21 people meeting, all with a constituency, that then groups themselves together to their geographical representative, but, here’s the cool new part, also goes fishing for others OUTSIDE of their district that match theirs. So that’s a huge benefit. If composting or changing laws so reusing gray water, or so that composting was legal, or so that restaurants were allowed to give away food, or moms could leave their kids in the car, or whatever, maybe new laws would be passed, or new programs would be initiated, or new reforms would happen.
I have known Van Jones since I met him in early 2000 at the seminal “Creating Our Future” conference and retreat at Walker Creek Ranch. He has evolved into an incredibly powerful and poignant speaker who at this point now stands alone as a voice for what historically has been known as Progressivism. I am sharing here two minutes of Van explaining what I think should be the mission statement of, if not the Democratic Party, the Occupy Movement. In the two minutes he speaks, he deftly rebranded liberalism, renaming it Progressivism (which is technically correct IMHO). He said that loving America is loving _Americans_. Sounds obvious, but I think that’s a new one, and he can claim it. And I hope he runs with it. He recast the debate in terms of Emma Lazarus, implying that the true America is embodied in the “mother of exiles” nature of the Statue of Liberty, and in so doing redefined the key buzzword at the heart of the debate of the day: “patriotism.” He stood up to the Tea Party and the increasingly radicalized right in a clean, clear, proud-yet-humble, unambiguous way. As the “other” icon of this great land, Uncle Sam, I am proud-yet-humbled to be associated with him. And, for the record, I would consider the following words to be as appropriately associated with me and what I stand for as they are with Lady Liberty.
The New Collosus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”