Wednesday, June 09, 2004

More Exposure for No Confidence Movement

On Tuesday I did my third radio interview (.mp3) on the No Confidence movement. This one was with Mike Dronkers on KHUM. At nearly 15 minutes, it was a pretty good exploration of the campaign though it never got into Consent of the Governed. The size of the .mp3 file may be the reason that it wants to make you wait for it to completely download before it will play. I am working on a solution so that it will automatically play right away like the two KMUD interviews. When I get that fixed I'll add the link to the nav bar here.

I have also found what I believe to be the first other blogger talking about the No Confidence movement. See The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. Simon seems to generally favor the plan. Some of his comments warrant response and so indented segments below represent excerpts of Simon's writing.

"Personally I've grown tired of government's adamance that the only way to proceed is to just fix infractions of the law instead of trying to solve the systemic problems that cause those laws to be broken over and over again."

Yes, we must address root causes or continue to subject ourselves to futile efforts at change. The state of affairs in the US cannot be repaired with any one simple reform.

"At first glance the resolution looks like a simple appeal to express discontent with the ability of the government to accurately and fairly asses the will of its people...However as you get to the bottom of the "whereas" list you find...a much more substantial resolution" [includes reference to final resolve clause of the No Confidence resolution] "...Initially I felt like adding such a finale to a call to reform voting was somewhat disingenuous. While I am certainly in favour of all the suggested remedies - making voting a day a holiday seemed a particularly inspired celebration of peoples soveriengty [sic] - I didn't think it would help the cause to get reform by asking for abolotion [sic] of the government itself."

There are several important things to note here.

  • Before we can get to reform, We The People must demonstrate that we are organized enough to wield the power we inherently possess, rather than continuing to delegate it through bogus elections to those who pretend to be our representatives.

  • Smaller aspects of this campaign serve an overall strategy. It is heavy on means so that we may at last have a genuine chance to affect the ends.

  • When we eventually "trigger a domino effect that builds to a tipping point," the responsibility for remaking American democracy will be shared by all. The specific changes listed in our resolution appear at the behest of community members who felt it important to provide a starting point for the national dialog we must jump start.

  • Abolishing the government is not an overtly stated goal, but rather a possibility to which we must declare ourselves open. Simon's remarks, however, have pointed to an omission in the resolution that I will now correct: the final passage will now refer to "...the Right of the People to alter or abolish..." which is a more literal and complete reference to the Declaration of Independence.

  • The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul appears to be a stenographer's account of the inner dialog in Simon's head. He wonders whether to support the No Confidence movement and if a cure to systemic problems can arise without completely replacing the system. But, he eventually realizes, the No Confidence movement is "an expression of a lack of faith in the system to heal itself voluntarily." This is a powerful realization, opening the door to recognizing the problems identified are not unintended consequences of leaders who can't clean up their own mess. We are confronting the myths of democracy and capitalism in America, illusions maintained at all costs by people in power.

    In his conclusion, Simon cites the "one problem" he'd like addressed in the No Confidence resolution, requesting explanations for the suggested remedies in the form of more "whereas" clauses. It is certainly reasonable to seek justification for these proposed reforms: "The benefits of such things should be self evident but are clearly not and should be cited in support for the final reoslution [sic]. Otherwise they look like those pesky "riders" that get added to government bills at the last minute that have nothing to do with the original topic."

    There are three aspects to my response. First, the resolution has been written in the language customary for the Arcata City Council. Councilmembers will have a chance to make any changes they want before voting. I doubt they will want more "whereas" clauses, especially given point #2: as mentioned above, this resolution is meant to be a trigger mechanism for a domino effect and relies heavily on strategizing the means to reach a tipping point, an end which will be much, much more like a new beginning. Finally, while elements may not appear self evident, they are couched in a context of "implement[ing] a new democracy in America which encourages competition in "the free market-place of ideas."" Perhaps the olive branch I can offer to Simon is embedding more links so this final passage can more readily educate readers.


    On a related note, on Wednesday I spoke with Arcata City Councilman Dave Meserve about the protocol and timing for introducing resolutions. I was advised to submit the resolution with a cover letter to each of the Councilmembers next Monday. I can then use the "Open Communication" segment of the Council's agenda next Wednesday to formally and publicly request that the measure be added to the agenda for the following meeting, scheduled for July 7.



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