Thursday, July 08, 2004

Arcata City Council Delays Action on No Confidence Resolution

Forgoing their first historic opportunity to pass the No Confidence resolution, last night the Arcata City Council chose to take more time to study it with an eye towards revising the language. This is both good news and bad news, though it is common with progressive ideas entertained by the Council.

As shown below in the prepared remarks I made last night to the Council, I framed the situation as an "opportunity" and a "hopeful plan" addressing "what would be better?" Still, the "No" part of No Confidence was deemed negative and it was suggested that instead we should be commending the CA Sec. of State for his de-certification of Diebold machines. While I certainly think that was a good move, it hardly ensures legitimate elections will prevail across the land, and it does nothing to address the overarching myth of democracy in America. In fact, no Councilmembers even commented on the myth framework though Mayor Bob Ornelas did say flatly that he had "no confidence" and that any further revisions would not be "strong enough."

Oddly, it was mentioned that the resolution should have more teeth but should not give the appearance of discouraging people from voting. (As an aside, incessantly fraudulent elections deter people from voting, not an attempt to call the bullshit on its face.)
Fortunately, this wasn't simply thrown back in my lap. Councilmembers Dave Meserve and Elizabeth Conner have agreed to work with me. This is a great pairing because the two are not obvious allies. If they can agree, unanimous support will then be much easier to attain.

So, the challenge as I now see it is to continue to compromise on the language that will make these two Councilmembers happy while maintaining the overall concept and strategy that has made this effort unique from the start. Up to and including last night, I have still not spoken privately with Councilmember Conner. I am optimistic that finally doing so will reveal or create a much more open mind that grasps the connection between the mass delusion in which we live and our ability to show, by example, how to think globally and act locally.

Remarks prepared for Arcata City Council – July 7th 2004

We are here tonight because we have observed the abject failures and rigged nature of our electoral system. Pondering the question “what would be better?” has led to the creation of the opportunity before you; a choice - to initiate a hopeful plan of change.

We are here tonight to take responsibility for not allowing ourselves to be lied to anymore; to urge you, our community spokespeople, to make this statement on our behalf; and to begin the cumulative process of building national consensus for remaking democracy in America based on competition of ideas.

While the resolution was originally my idea, the wording you see now comes from three months of consensus building in our community. The present version bears almost no resemblance to the original, except for the overall concept and strategy. The distinction is important because it shows the plan has always met with approval, subject to debate merely about how best to articulate it.

To be perfectly clear – our argument says there is no BASIS for confidence in the legitimacy of US elections. No opposition has yet argued that there is a basis for confidence, a litmus test I hope you will apply in your deliberations which I also hope will exclude the unquestioning blind faith that helped get us here.

The brave people of our community have dared to imagine a future in which we genuinely participate in our democracy. This is supposed to be an American birthright yet democracy in the US is a myth.

The election and voting issues cited in the No Confidence resolution are merely one set of examples to demonstrate the denial of the Consent of the Governed. The myth of democracy is also seen in “free speech zones” that prevent Americans from petitioning their leaders for redress of grievances; “safe” Congressional seats in gerrymandered districts; and the taxation without representation of spending our federal budget dollars in secret.

We are here tonight to exercise and enforce our inalienable rights and to reaffirm the timeless and immutable self-evident truths listed in the Declaration of Independence. It is no exaggeration to say that the town meetings leading to this moment have spawned a growing No Confidence Movement already active in at least eight other towns.

Passing the No Confidence resolution means power to the people, and to the peaceful. While I recognize your prerogative to make further changes, I respectfully request that you pass our collaborative effort as-is in deference to the many views already considered.



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