We the Governed: In this City Council Race – Every Politician Is Breaking the Law

From Glen Morgan at We the Governed, In this city council race – every politician is breaking the law.

In the City of Port Angeles, the politicians expect the little people to follow the law, while they apparently don’t believe the laws apply to them.

 

Port Angeles, Washington State

In many cities and counties across Washington State, primary elections are in process as voters complete and mail in their ballots.  In the City of Port Angeles there are two contested primary races for city councilHowever, in one of the council races, every politician running for office is breaking Washington State’s fair campaign practices act (RCW 42.17A).  Some are not even trying to comply with the law.  When every politician breaks the law, how can a voter decide which one is best to represent them? 

Washington State’s all-mail in ballots were sent to every registered voter (in a jurisdiction with a contested race on the primary ballot) last week.  The ballots are already trickling back into the 39 different county auditor’s ballot boxes around the state with the first scheduled announcement of election results 8pm on election night, Tuesday, August 6, 2019.  Washington State law allows ballots which are postmarked before 6pm that day to count towards the final election results (as opposed to having the ballots in-hand by that date and time), so the final election results are not known in many close races often for several weeks as the later ballots trickle in from throughout the state, and sometimes local auditor offices (typically King County, but they are not alone) suddenly find “missing” ballots in car trunks and back rooms.

In the Northwest corner of Washington State, in Clallam County– the City of Port Angeles has two primary races for city council seats.  A total of four seats are up for election in 2019 (out of a council of seven including the mayor).  Of these, two races have more than two people who have filed to run, which is why Council position no.7 and position no. 5 are on the Primary election ballot.

These candidates need to file with their local county auditor in order to legally run for office, but they are also required by Washington State Law (RCW 42.17A) to register with the Public Disclosure Commission in order to ensure that their campaign contributions, expenditures, and other information about the candidates are open, transparent, and available to review for all voters, media, and interested citizens.  Unfortunately for the voters in the City of Port Angeles, most of the politicians are running “stealth” campaigns, ignoring the law, and generally blundering through the process under the belief there are no consequences for violating the law...

 

Click here to read the entire article at We the Governed

Liberty Blitzkrieg: The Next Revolution by Murray Bookchin

Michael Krieger at Liberty Blitzkrieg has a short review/discussion of Murry Bookchin’s collected essays published as The Next Revoltion: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy. Bookchin believed that the ideal was for people to make decisions for themselves in public assemblies or municipalities.

…While there are numerous key points on which Bookchin and I would have disagreed spiritedly, that’s not the purpose of this piece. Aside from being a wealth of information and knowledge (he closely studied nearly every major revolution in the Euro-American world), his greatest service here is a framework through which to understand human governance and how and why it’s all gone so terribly wrong. Many of his themes cover ideas and realizations I’ve come to on my own, but the clarity with which he describes certain key concepts helped refine my thinking. The purpose of this post is to outline some of these ideas…

In The Need to Remake Society he writes:

To create a state is to institutionalize power in the form of a machine that exists apart from the people. It is to professionalize rule and policy-making, to create a distinct interest (be it of bureaucrats, deputies commissars, legislators, the military, the police, ad nauseam) that, however weak or however well intentioned it may be at first, eventually takes on a corruptive power of its own.

One would have to be utterly naive or simply blind to the lessons of history to ignore the fact that the state, “minimal” or not, absorbs and ultimately digests even its most well-meaning critics once they enter it. 

The notion that human freedom can be achieved, much less perpetuated, through a state of any kind is monstrously oxymoronic – a contradiction in terms…

In Cities, he explains:

But democracy, conceived as a face-to-face realm of policymaking, entails a commitment to the Enlightenment belief that all “ordinary” human beings are potentially competent to collectively manage their political affairs — a crucial concept in the thinking, all its limitations aside, of the Athenian democratic tradition and, more radically, of those Parisian sections of 1793 that gave equal voice to women as well as all men.

Bookchin was a huge supporter of direct democracy, in other words, of the people making decisions for themselves within their own communities. He envisioned this being done in a face-to-face manner within public assemblies. Like myself, Bookchin believed this sort of thing would only work properly (and resist statist tendencies) if employed at the local level. He understood that centralization leads to statism and vice versa.

So what did Bookchin see as the ideal political unit for self-governance? He saw it in the municipality…

Further, in Libertarian Municipalism: A Politics of Direct Democracy, he notes:

Today, with the increasing centralization and concentration of power in the nation-state, a “new politics” — one that is genuinely new — must be structured institutionally around the restoration of power by municipalities…it presupposes a genuinely democratic desire by people to arrest the growing powers of the nation-state and reclaim them for their community and region.

Importantly, Bookchin believed such self-governing, decentralized municipalities should be connected with one another in a system called confederalism. He defines the term in his essay, The Meaning of Confederalism:

What, then, is confederalism? It is above all a network of administrative councils whose members or delegates are elected from popular face-to-face democratic assemblies, in the various villages, towns and even neighborhoods of large cities…

What humans employ for governance in 2019 primarily consists of “states,” i.e. professional power, as opposed to people power. The general public is made up of electoral constituents, not free citizens participating in the governance of their communities. Bookchin was in favor of decentralized, local rule via direct democracy in contrast to today’s world governed by centralized mega states showcasing a facade of democracy in order to mask an underlying corporate oligarchy or bureaucratic technocracy.

One thing I didn’t expect to see in his work, but proved a pleasant though sobering surprise, was an admission that people themselves need to change in order to successfully implement the sort of governance model he advocates. Since the public is so used to being mere subjects, it’ll be a monumental task to transform them into actual engaged citizens…

Click here to read the article at Liberty Blitzkrieg.

The Burning Platform: US Politics – Us vs. Them

This Burning Platform, two-part piece discusses the monoculture of the US two-party system, contrived divisiveness, and the relation of that to President Trump.

Us vs Them, Part I

Us vs Them, Part II

“I’ll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. “I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs.” “I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking.” “Hey, wait a minute, there’s one guy holding out both puppets!”” – Bill Hicks

Image result for “I’ll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. “I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs.” “I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking.” “Hey, wait a minute, there’s one guy holding out both puppets!””

Anyone who frequents Twitter, Facebook, political blogs, economic blogs, or fake news mainstream media channels knows our world is driven by the “Us versus Them” narrative. It’s almost as if “they” are forcing us to choose sides and believe the other side is evil. Bill Hicks died in 1994, but his above quote is truer today then it was then. As the American Empire continues its long-term decline, the proles are manipulated through Bernaysian propaganda techniques, honed over the course of decades by the ruling oligarchs, to root for their assigned puppets.

Most people can’t discern they are being manipulated and duped by the Deep State controllers. The most terrifying outcome for these Deep State controllers would be for the masses to realize it is us versus them. But they don’t believe there is a chance in hell of this happening. Their arrogance is palatable.

Their hubris has reached astronomical levels as they blew up the world economy in 2008 and successfully managed to have the innocent victims bail them out to the tune of $700 billion, pillaged the wealth of the nation through their capture of the Federal Reserve (QE, ZIRP), rigged the financial markets in their favor through collusion, used the hundreds of billions in corporate tax cuts to buy back their stock and further pump the stock market, all while their corporate media mouthpieces mislead and misinform the proles.

There are differences between the parties, but they are mainly centered around social issues and disputes with little or no consequence to the long-term path of the country. The real ruling oligarchs essentially allow controlled opposition within each party to make it appear you have a legitimate choice at the ballot box. Nothing could be further from the truth…

Click here to continue reading at The Burning Platform.

AIER: The Real Problem Is the Politicization of Everything

Kai Weiss at the American Institute for Economic Research has a nice, short article on the problems of over-politicization and the solution thereto – The Real Problem Is the Politicization of Everything. Unfortunately, at least one of the sides will reject the idea of a less-intrusive state.

…This is a problem the great C.S. Lewis also saw when he mused that we should focus on “a household laughing together over a meal, or two friends talking over a pint of beer, or a man alone reading a book that interests him.” Meanwhile, “economies, politics, law, armies, and institutions, save insofar as they prolong and multiply such scenes, are a mere ploughing the sand and sowing the ocean, a meaningless vanity and vexation of the spirit. Collective activities are, of course, necessary, but this is the end to which they are necessary.”

So what is a possible way out of this conundrum? A multitude of proposals have been made to detoxicate today’s climate, and it would frankly be pretentious for me to claim to know the solution. Nonetheless, one surefire way, as friends of liberty will quickly point out, is to get politics out of our lives. As Kristian Niemietz notes, “The most obvious antidote to a dysfunctional, adversarial political culture is just to do less politics.”

What does that require? It necessitates a dramatic reduction in the size and scope of the state, the building of a wall between the state (so long as it exists) and the rest of our lives, and the restoration of the conviction that society works best when it is left alone. In other words, we need desperately to resurrect the vision of classical liberalism and draw lessons from its modern heirs in the libertarian tradition…

To regain civility in human interactions and finally treat other human beings as human beings again, we would do well to get politics out of human affairs.

Click here to read the entire article at AIER.org.

Forward Observer: 2019 Is Shaping Up to Be an Ugly, Brutal Year

From the intel guys at Forward Observer:

civil unrest

…The central hallmark of low intensity conflict is action below conventional war but above peaceful competition. We’ve had some pretty low lows in politics, but this period does seem to have escalated above peaceful competition between Republicans and Democrats. Fundamentally, there’s nothing inherently wrong with winning elections to stop an opposing party’s agenda. But when politics becomes subject to rule bending and breaking — the erosion of political norms often referred to as “guardrails” in civil society — we’re no longer seeing peaceful political competition. We can go as far back as gerrymandering, IRS targeting of conservative groups, and the show stopping of Merrick Garland as three prominent examples. And if that’s truly the case — that we’ve devolved into sustained open political warfare — then the country may well be stuck in a low intensity conflict at continual risk of organized political violence.

Looking forward to the next 12 months, I fear the convergence of two major trends: incivility in politics that breeds political violence and a recession that puts 10-25% of Americans out of work. It’s entirely possible that we arrive at this juncture of American history in 2020. Since the Democrats plan to make 2019 disruptive, there’s no reason to believe that 2020 would be any calmer. As ugly as the past two years have been, there are reasons to believe that 2019 and 2020 will be worse.

Click here to read the entire article at Forward Observer.