Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Karl Rove : Guilty of Treason

Last night, significant news broke that directly impacts our push for Impeachment Hearings and a possible Inherent Contempt charge for Bush Administration officials such as Karl Rove:

Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan has revealed in his upcoming book that:

• Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, and Vice President Cheney lied about their role in revealing the identity of Valerie Plame Wilson – actions easily amounting to obstruction of Justice.

McClellan also admitted that:

• There was a coordinated effort within the Bush Administration to use propaganda to pump up the case for the Iraq war and hide the projected costs of the war from the public.

Scott McClellan must be called to testify under oath before the House Judiciary Committee to tell Congress and the American people everything he knows about this massive effort by the White House to deceive this nation into war.

Last week, a subpoena was issued for Karl Rove to testify before the Judiciary Committee. It appears he will take every legal action to block this subpoena. The truth is that Congress has the right – and obligation – to hold him accountable now - not months or years from now. It is long past time to pass Inherent Contempt and bring Rove, Libby and others before Congress.

We simply cannot ignore these recent developments, nor should we postpone serious inquiry until after the next election.

Your commitment to accountability for the Bush/Cheney Administration, and the support of 230,000 other Americans who signed up at, has inspired and motivated me in my effort to hold impeachment hearings for Vice President Dick Cheney and Inherent Contempt for Rove and others. During the past months I have been a tireless and dogged advocate of this vitally important cause.

Many of you have written me, asking for an update on where we stand with regards to impeachment hearings. I know most of you believe - as I do - that impeachment hearings for Vice President Cheney – are not only justified, but that it is our constitutional obligation to look into the serious allegations of wrongdoing that have been raised. This is especially true based on the newest revelations from Scott McClellan.

I believe that it is the duty of Congress to pursue impeachment whenever there's significant evidence of wrongdoing, be it by Republicans or Democrats, regardless of the timing of elections or the current political environment.

Some of you have written me demanding that I deliver hearings or impeachment. As hard as I have been fighting for this cause, I cannot make impeachment happen by myself. What I can do, and what I have been doing at every turn, is trying to communicate two simple messages to my colleagues:

• the serious allegations of wrongdoing and the clear-cut rationale for impeachment hearings;and
• the fact that the public will support our efforts when Congress boldly acts on the side of justice and accountability.

Unfortunately, to date, these arguments have not been enough to convince even a majority of the liberal and progressive Members of Congress to support impeachment hearings. In addition, the leadership of the Democratic Party in Congress genuinely feels that pursuing impeachment will jeopardize our congressional agenda and threaten gains in the November elections. Although I genuinely disagree with this view, to date I have been unable to convince them to change this policy.

I understand the challenges that we are up against, and I recognize the odds that we face. Nevertheless, I remain unfazed and unyielding.

This new evidence from Scott McClellan could be the tipping point – but we must move quickly. I will use the McClellan admissions to help convince my colleagues that we must hold impeachment hearings.

Regardless, I will continue to fight for progressive values and our Constitution. I will do everything I can to pursue accountability for criminal actions taken by this Administration and this Vice President. I will be a furious opponent to any expansion of this misguided war, and I will fight against the use of torture by our government and to protect our civil liberties here at home.

Most of all, I will continue my efforts to convince my fellow members of Congress and voters, that we should not be a party of passivity - but that we succeed when we present the public with stark choices that are based on the guarantees in our Constitution, and not on the politics of the moment.

I will continue - at every pass - to call for impeachment and accountability. While I wish more of my colleagues supported our movement, we must not let our discouragement lead to apathy and distraction in this important election year when we must break free from eight long years of illegalities, corporate handouts, and a tragic and devastating war.

We should not end the calls for impeachment. I will push against the crimes of the Bush Administration whenever I am provided the opportunity. I will use my role on the Judiciary Committee to take on Administration officials – like I have done with Condoleezza Rice, Attorney Generals Gonzalez and Mukasey, and FBI Director Mueller.

I have not given up our fight to hold this Administration accountable and neither can you. I am grateful for your patriotism and your support. I'll continue to keep you informed and part of the conversation.


Congressman Robert Wexler

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Guantanamo Bay Prison Camp Update

If there is anything that symbolizes the horror of American atrocities, the sacrifice of our freedoms, the distortion of our law, it is Guantanamo. Keep track of this story, don't let this embarrassment be forgotten, lest you be the next secret prisoner.

Primer: Guantanamo Detainees' Rights

June 29, 2007 · The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday reversed course, deciding to review whether Guantanamo Bay detainees may go to federal court to challenge their indefinite confinements.

The unusual move is a setback for the Bush administration, which has argued that a new law strips courts of their jurisdiction to hear detainee cases.

In April, the court turned down an identical request, although several justices indicated they could be persuaded otherwise.

The justices did not indicate what changed their minds about considering the issue. But last week, lawyers for the detainees filed a statement from a military lawyer in which he described the inadequacy of the process the administration has put forward as an alternative to a full-blown review by civilian courts.

"This is a stunning victory for the detainees," said Eric M. Freedman, professor of constitutional law at Hofstra Law School, who has been advising the detainees. "It goes well beyond what we asked for and clearly indicates the unease up there" at the Supreme Court.

June 29, 2007 · In a highly unusual reversal, the Supreme Court has agreed to review whether detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, can challenge their confinement in federal court by filing what is known as a writ of habeas corpus. The announcement represents a rare change of course for the nation's high court, which earlier decided not to take on the case.

Here, a guide to some of the legal issues involved:

What is habeas corpus?

"Habeas corpus" is a Latin phrase meaning "you have the body." It's an ancient concept. In old English law, it was used to refer to a judge's order (or "writ") to bring a prisoner before a court to determine whether his imprisonment was unlawful.

The Guantanamo military tribunals, called military commissions, were created by executive order in November 2001, but in June 2006, the Supreme Court struck down the system. In October 2006, Congress passed the Military Commissions Act, establishing a new system of military tribunals to hear cases involving Guantanamo detainees. Those cases include allegations of war crimes, and determinations of whether a detainee is an enemy combatant.

Without habeas corpus, there are currently two routes to the federal courts. (See accompanying chart.) The Combatant Status Review Tribunal determines whether a detainee is an enemy combatant. The Court of Military Commissions decides whether a detainee committed war crimes. Both of those decisions are ultimately reviewable by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court of the United States.

To be released from Guantanamo, a detainee must either be deemed not an enemy combatant, or successfully challenge his detention on some other grounds through habeas review. If acquitted on war crimes charges, a detainee remains at Guantanamo as an enemy combatant. If convicted of war crimes, a detainee stays at Guantanamo until the end of his criminal sentence, even if the remaining detainees are released.

In 2006, in the final days of a Republican-led Congress, lawmakers made what some consider a serious mistake.

In a law establishing military commissions, Congress did away with habeas corpus protections for all foreigners detained by the United States as suspected terrorists. That means that, unlike U.S. citizens, these people do not have access to federal courts to challenge their detention.

July 30, 2007 · The Pentagon has been trying to gradually reduce the number of prisoners being held at the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Scores of terror suspects — held for years without charge — are being repatriated to their home countries, or to other nations willing to take them.

Rumsfeld said Guantanamo contained prisoners "perfectly willing to kill themselves and kill other people."

Critics, however, say that the release of hundreds of detainees undermines the administration's assertion that all Guantanamo prisoners are extremely dangerous. They say it is likely there was not enough evidence to hold them in the first place.

August 7, 2007 · Some prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, do not want to go home. The Bush administration wants to lower the number of prisoners there and is set to release some 80 detainees, but neither their home countries nor a third country will take them. About 420 detainees have been released. While many prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have fought for years to gain their freedom, at least some are now petitioning U.S. courts to remain in custody for fear they would be tortured or killed when they return home.

The ironic twist has complicated the Bush administration's plan to shut down the politically embarrassing U.S. military prison that since Sept. 11, 2001 has housed nearly 800 prisoners, many of them languishing without charge.

Currently, about 80 of the 360 detainees still at Guantanamo are cleared for release. But some fear they will be tortured if they return to their home countries – and there are problems getting third nations to take them.

"The paradox of all this is that he didn't want to be in Algeria in the first place, and now they're going to send him back to a place where he desperately doesn't want to go; worse, even, than being in Guantanamo," Detainee Lawyer, Smith said.

Then there is the third option: "Then without any warning at all we received a phone call in November 2006, and we were told that Dr. Mohammed had been released from Guantanamo and was then en route to Tirana, Albania," she said.

Castle says Mohammed now lives in a single room, without any central heating, at a refugee camp in Albania. It's not Guantanamo, it's not Algeria, but it's not home.

August 25, 2007 · The new U.S. Court of Military Commission Appeals has heard arguments in its first case. Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr was captured in Afghanistan in 2002 for allegedly killing a U.S. soldier. A semantic dispute over the term "unlawful" is at the heart of the debate.

"This is about the credibility of the U.S. and the perception at home and abroad of our commitment to the rule of law," Lt. Commander William Kuebler told reporters outside the courthouse. Keubler is leading Khadr's defense and, as he sees it, the Bush administration is creating a legal system for the Guantanamo prisoners on the fly.

"We are designing a process after the fact to convict people we have already basically determined are guilty," he said. "And that is an absolute affront to the rule of law."

Civil liberties advocates say the trials are a sham. The head of the government's office of prosecution, Mo Davis, said detainees were getting the same due process as soldiers facing court martial.

"If these rules and judges are good enough for members of the U.S. armed forces, then it is good enough for these trials," he said. "We have nothing to be ashamed of in this process. This isn't a kangaroo court."

August 27, 2007 - Israel has a system that affords far more rights to detainees than we do at Guantanamo. The eight safeguards are: prompt review by independent courts; access to a lawyer for the detainee within a month of capture; a bar to coerced testimony, including, in Israel, a ban on stress positions and sleep deprivation; judicial review of classified evidence to determine if secrecy is justified; and periodic review of the detainee's status.

September 19, 2007 · The Senate on Wednesday voted against legislation that would have given Guantanamo detainees and other terrorism suspects the right to challenge their detentions in federal court.

The defeat was a blow to human rights groups that say a current ban on habeas corpus petitions could lead to the indefinite detention of individuals wrongfully suspected of terrorism.

President Bush and conservative Republicans have said the ban, which was enacted last year, was necessary to stem the tide of legal challenges that were flooding civilian courts.

"The truth is that casting aside the time-honored protection of habeas corpus makes us more vulnerable as a nation because it leads us away from our core American values," Leahy said. "It calls into question our historic role as a defender of human rights around the world."

In 2006, Congress passed and President Bush signed into law the Military Commissions Act, which established a military-run tribunal system for prosecuting enemy combatants. The provision bars habeas corpus petitions, which means that only detainees selected for trial are able to confront charges against them. That leaves most military detainees in custody without a chance to plead their case.

October 1, 2007 · The detainees claim that they have the right to challenge their imprisonment in the U.S. courts, using the constitutionally guaranteed procedure called a writ of habeas corpus. Historically, the writ has been an important mechanism in safeguarding individuals from arbitrary state action. It guarantees a complete review by a neutral fact finder to ascertain whether the government has justifiably jailed someone. The Guantanamo prisoners contend there is no neutral fact finder at Guantanamo hearings, no way for the prisoners to rebut secret evidence, no lawyer to help them to secure evidence of their innocence, and that the legal standard presumes them guilty.

Congress, they contend, violated the Constitution, when it stripped them of the right to challenge their detentions in court after an earlier Supreme Court ruling that permitted them to do so. The Constitution, they note, provides for suspension of the writ of habeas corpus only in cases of invasion and rebellion, and even then requires an alternative system of basic due process rights.

The Bush administration, backed by a federal appeals court, counters that since the men are being held outside the United States, they have no constitutional rights.

October 10, 2007 · The Pentagon has been stopped from transferring a Guantanamo Bay detainee to Tunisia, where he allegedly faces torture, according to a federal court ruling that marks a milestone in the treatment of detainees.

"This is the first time since Congress tried to strip court jurisdiction over detainees that a court stepped in and said to the administration, 'Hey wait. You can't do what you say you want to do,"' said Jennifer Daskal, senior counterterrorism counsel for Human Rights Watch.

"It's the first time the judiciary has given a detainee any substantive right — in this case it is the right not to be tortured by the Tunisian government," Denbeaux told AP by phone.

The State Department, citing human rights groups, said sleep deprivation, electric shock, submersion of the head in water, beatings and cigarette burns were among Tunisian security forces' torture methods.

February 13, 2008 · Six detainees at Guantanamo Bay, including suspected Sept. 11 conspirator Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, have been formally charged with murder and conspiracy. The Pentagon is seeking the death penalty if convicted.

Why haven't the trials of the accused September 11th bombers ever been broadcast in the mass media?

February 22, 2008 · Guantanamo Bay detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan faces life in prison if an upcoming military tribunal convicts him of conspiracy and supporting terrorism. Now Col. Morris Davis, the former chief military prosecutor at Gitmo, says he will testify on Hamdan's behalf if permitted to do so.

A photo perspective, by Louie Palu's, from the Atlantic Monthly.

Learn More.

Boots on the Ground by Dusk

Remember Patrick Tillman?

On April 24, 2004 he was killed in Afghanistan. A football hero, who turned down a $3.7 million/year Football contract after 9/11 to fight the "evildoers". He and his brother, Kevin Tillman, Joined the Army Rangers and helped bring Jessica Linch out of that airfield in Iraq. Then Pat was killed, and his body returned to his family, and they even gave him the Silver Star, the US Army's highest medal of honor for his heroic death.

Ironic that he was really killed by "Friendly-Fire". You see Donald Rumsfield needed a hero, because his wars were going badly. So they lied to the family, and made up a story, covered up the true story of his killing. They did it to play on your emotions, and create a hero you could believe in. They didn't want you to know how easily they wasted his life.

Now after four years and many investigations, Mary Tillman, Pat's mother, has written a book, a tribute to her son. Buy the book, and remember the Tillman family every Memorial Day. Remember what war is all about, and who is responsible. Pat will always be a hero in my book, but I see from his family's actions that he comes from a long line of Heros. May they someday have a nation worthy of them, again.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Winter Soldiers

If you are a Veteran of the War on Iraq, an active duty soldier, or someone at risk of being sent back by stop-loss or national guard service you need to know about Iraq Vets Against the War.

The Iraq war is based on lies and deception, violates the U.S. Constitution, and violates international law. Corporate profiteering is driving the war in Iraq. Unnecessary civilian casualties are a daily occurrence in Iraq. Service members are facing serious health consequences due to our Government's negligence. Soldiers have the right to refuse illegal war.

The war dehumanizes Iraqis and denies them their right to self-determination. The Iraq war is robbing us of funding sorely needed here at home. Our military is being exhausted by repeated deployments, involuntary extensions, and activations of the Reserve and National Guard. This combination of racism and war profiteering is causing critical morale problems as soldiers question why they are fighting. This combined with the psychological and moral crisis many soldiers experience due to combination of war stress and justifying their actions to them selves, is damaging to our military and this reduces national security.

Listen to the Winter Soldier transcripts online, then make up your own mind. What is the right thing to do?

The reasons and rationale given for the invasion were fraudulent. The occupation is now a primary motivation for the insurgency and global religious extremism. We can no longer afford to fight this war of choice because national security is compromised. Due to the war in Iraq we have a broken military, we have lost our 'moral' authority, and now live in a more dangerous world.

Learn about Winter Soldiers.
Iraq War Vet? PTSD? Suicide risk? Click Here.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Citizen Oversight

There are few times when what we do in life actually makes any difference. That is not our own fault, the laws of nature and the size of the numbers involved simply outweigh anything an individual can usually do to influence the outcome of events. But in times of crisis, their comes a moment when the actions of a few can change everything.

Officials in office today are frequently in bed with corporate businesses, fundamentalist evangelical churches, special interests and others. They sometimes sneak in decisions that may never reach the light of day, to line their own pockets, improve the position of their friends, or promote their own religious or partisan beliefs. This sort of corrupt behavior is unfortunately more prevalent than can be at first imagined, and yet, putting ethical progressive candidates in office is all but impossible. To top it off, local media is frequently just as corrupt, with no motivation to point out the ineffective operation of our government bodies. We are left with only one option, police these government positions, 'holding their feet to the fire,' making sure we review their decisions and make sure that bad decisions are revealed to the media and the public. How can we do this?

First, the problem is too big for any one individual. To succeed we need to organized. If each person specializes on some small part of the problem, a specific politician, issue, or project, and then communicates what they learn to others who are focused upon mass communication of the facts to the broader public, then as a group we can drag these cockroaches into the light of day and watch as their corrupt juices dry in the sun.

Together we can:

  • Monitor public meetings and decisions

  • Speak out publicly when the opportunity arises

  • Gain and produce media exposure

  • Train Candidates: both influence those in power and prepare future candidates

  • Create effective campaigns

  • Share responsibility and make a real tangible difference

  • Continued Vigilance: Keep the spotlight on our elected officials, make sure their exposed at all times, so that they don't lapse into unethical behavior.

  • Hang the guilty, and step into their place to change the systems that be whenever the opportunity arises

The Citizen's Oversight Projects are one way to work within the existing structures to effect change. Through concentrated vigilance and radical transparency we effect change by shining sunlight on every aspect of local politics. Everyone should be part of at least one Citizen's Oversight Project, it is your duty as a Citizen in the American Democracy.

So, find something you care passionately about: an issue like education, or energy, housing, employment, or food, and step up to the plate and chair a COP committee, then stay informed and network with other COP's in our area to keep the citizens informed about the systems that affect their potential.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Join the Debate!

Last Sunday, at the San Diego County Community Coalition's Progressive Summit Meeting, five progressive candidates from around the county gave their stump speeches and answered questions from the crowd.

Mike Copass - A Progressive Democrat for U.S. Congress, 53rd District (Running against Susan Davis)
Copass, a molecular biologist, said some interesting things about education and opportunity, and the "systematic destruction of American potential".

Raymond Lutz - Democratic Candidate for California's 77th Assembly District and founder of the Citizens' Oversight Projects. Ray had some very interesting ideas about how to provide accountability and transparency in our democratic voting processes. Namely: NO electronic Voting Machines, Paper Ballots, and Visual Scanners to Digitally Copy Every Ballot and make them available online for independent verification by all!

Ray Lutz, also answered questions about the SDG&E "Sunrise Powerlink", a $2-BILLION scam to import liquified natural gas from Indonesia, turn it into electricity in Mexicali, then bring the energy across the border by way of this new taxpayer funded transmission link. We must stop the Powerlink!

Next, Floyd Morrow - Running for San Diego Mayor, Democrat. He blew me out of the water with his candid comments about the nature of politics and his understanding that the systems of power are created to put our natural resources in under the control of a very few.

Cheryl Ede - Democrat for US Congress, 50th District, running against Brian Bilbray. She was very composed and professional, gave her speech with aplomb, then stepped out before questions were asked.

Rudy Reyes - Running for San Diego County Supervisor. Reyes was a burn surviver from the 2003 San Diego County Cedar Fire, and after watching the county burn again in fall 2007 he has stepped up to fix the problems with our fire fighting policies. His tragic story may give us a progressive, proactive approach to county supervision.

Next Sunday: come witness a historic debate between incumbent Democratic Congresswoman, Susan Davis, and up and coming Progressive, Mike Copass.

Contact: Jill Kleinman
Phone: 619.818.6353
Date: Saturday, May 17, 2008

Democratic Challenger Mike Copass to Debate Congresswoman Susan Davis

San Diego -

- Declaring that voters are "frustrated by the incumbent's refusal to take action on issues, particularly Iraq," Democratic congressional candidate Mike Copass will meet four-term Congresswoman Susan Davis for a debate on Sunday, May 25. Sponsored by Common Cause and moderated by The League of Women Voters, the debate will be held at 2:30 p.m. at the Joyce Beers Community Center in the Hillcrest/Uptown Shopping Center on Vermont Street, 1-1/2 blocks north of University Avenue.

Copass, a Stanford- and Harvard-educated microbiologist and small businessman, has received the endorsement of Progressive Democrats of America, San Diego Democracy for America and Southern California Americans for Democratic Action. "Voters have rejected Congresswoman Davis in frustration, because she continues to vote to fund and extend an occupation in Iraq that the nation neither wants nor can afford," Copass states.

Copass and Davis are competing in the primary election on June 3 for a seat representing California's 53rd Congressional District. With a cosmopolitan population, the 53rd encompasses the greater part of the urban San Diego area, holding a 16 point Democratic voter registration advantage.

Copass cites resource independence as another reason he is vying for Davis's seat. "We need to have a viable, economically sound energy and water security plan for our region. The numbers are absolutely frightening. We import 90 percent-plus of our water and 98 percent of our energy. It's time to retool our local economy, create green collar jobs and plan for a sustainable future."

For more information or to book an interview with Mike Copass, contact Jill Kleinman at or visit

Monday, May 19, 2008

A new foreign policy.

How about this, we stop invading countries that are no threat to us, and start spending the money to educate the dumb ass soldiers who would rather follow others than think for themselves.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Blackwater is Back

Hi everyone,

I'm sure some of you have already gotten this information, but it is worth spreading. The threat is that mercenary training is becoming the foundation of our economy, boarder security will be sold-out to private military forces, and our acceptance of these gunmen as an economic backbone on our growing empire will allow war profiteers a legitimate form influence in government. We must not allow the American Dream to become the Blackwater Nightmare.

I thought you might be interested in this letter to San Diego Mayor Sanders that I just signed at the Courage Campaign. The letter thanks Mayor Sanders for launching an investigation into the false pretenses Blackwater used to obtain a permit to build a base of operations in San Diego and asks the Mayor to take further leadership -- on behalf of Californians -- to block Blackwater before it's too late.

The danger from Blackwater does not end at the San Diego city limits. And it certainly will not end with the conclusion of this investigation. When it comes to the threat to Californians that is Blackwater, we are ALL citizens of San Diego.

As a fellow Californian, please join me today in signing the letter to Mayor Sanders, which will also be delivered to Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Bob Filner:


Friday, May 9, 2008

The Advantage of Self-Deception and the Disadvantages of Truth

On this weeks RADIO LAB from WNYC, we learn a little about human nature. Download MP3.

This expose on Deception is a VERY Provocative adventure. It posits that self-deception (DENIAL) is a useful 'skill' that all 'successful' people have. That like "The Secret" or 'positive thinking', lying to yourself will give you a competitive edge.

"We're so vulnerable to being hurt, that we're given the capacity to distort as a gift." - That shook me up a bit.

What do you think are all 'honest people' just deceiving themselves. If not what evolutionary niche did we fill, that allowed us to not completely die off?

Then get some highlights from Noam Chomsky and Robert Trivers

Please leave your comments below.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Word for the Day: ARMAGEDDON


Body of War is an intimate and transformational feature documentary about the true face of war today. Meet Tomas Young, 25 years old, paralyzed from a bullet to his spine - wounded after serving in Iraq for less than a week.

Body of War is Tomas' coming home story as he evolves into a new person, coming to terms with his disability and finding his own unique and passionate voice against the war. The film is produced and directed by Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro, and features two original songs by Eddie Vedder. Body of War is a naked and honest portrayal of what it's like inside the body, heart and soul of this extraordinary and heroic young man.

In theaters Now!

The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread

Know Your War Profiteers Card Deck

Get the War Profiteers Card Deck

With so many EVIL DOERS out there in the world, it is hard to keep track of those accountable.

I just wish I would have thought of this. Download the WAR PROFITEERS DECK in .pdf

Order your Deck today! - get the card deck

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

EVIL is the knowing destruction of a sentient being.

Real Americans leverage enlightened self interest to better society using free market economics, these greedy sociopaths use loopholes to destroy American companies and lives for their own profit, and use the money to buy legislators so they don't go to jail. Greed is not the problem, evil is the problem. We need to teach them the difference between right and wrong.

Drowning Torture

Sign the petition: Condi Must Go

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A vague sense of malaise

I want to spend a minute ranting about Hierarchy vs. Decentralization. I've been pushing a concept of what I call SOVEREIGN INDIVIDUALISM, which requires 'distributed authority', where each individual will be free, even required, to take the initiative to make life's choices, and will reap the benefits, yet will also be accountable and responsible for the consequences of those choices.

All in all, we do not know what a truly decentralized society would look like over a long period of time since it has never been permitted to exist. The closest we have come is this republic, our Jeffersonian Representative Democracy based upon an ideal of the self-sufficient landowning farmer.
In an artificial world, only extremists live naturally.

Most of us, I speak generally, work for someone else, that is, not for ourselves. Unfortunately, the systems of power have been arranged in a hierarchy of cascading infrastructure that divides our collective freedom into microscopic fractions of what human liberty would be in a state of nature. The problems that face us now require new thinking. At every level we are faced with mortal threats due to human greed and competitive zero-sum mentalities. Thus, the restriction of our freedom under centralized controls has become a plague that threatens our very survival.
If you're not allowed to implement new ideas, you stop having them.

How do we avoid extinction? How are we to live in such a way as to preserve our natural liberty and sacred freedoms without imposing our ambitions on others? How are we to maximize our individual potential without suppressing the collective potential of our society, or our species?
A large organization could only avoid slowing down if they avoided tree structure. And since human nature limits the size of group that can work together, the only way I can imagine for larger groups to avoid tree structure would be to have no structure: to have each group actually be independent, and to work together the way components of a market economy do.

Is the only solution then a form of ANARCHISM? I think there is a better solution. I think that once educated to the mistakes of our history, any literate group of individuals will come to the conclusions that complete anarchy is untenable and yet any collective control stifles individual potential. As groups, or tribes, come together for mutual safety, and nations are built of tribes, we find ourselves sunk deep in a morass of control systems, but there is a way out. In forming a federation of small groups of people, all committed to the same ideals, yet independent and free to choose the best path to success, we can avoid the overlord mentality of military hierarchy, and its potential stiffening effects on the individual.
it's doubly important to hire the best people. Mediocre hires hurt you twice: they get less done, but they also make you big, because you need more of them to solve a given problem.

In maximizing our potential, and encouraging self-sufficiency, within small groups, and rejecting authoritarian control while taking responsibility for our choices, we gain liberty, the combination of independence and accountability.
For individuals the upshot is the same: aim small. It will always suck to work for large organizations, and the larger the organization, the more it will suck.

I'm not sure if anyone actually reads these rants, but I know I'm not the only one with these ideas of freedom. If we have free-will it is our destiny to strive for some balance of rational self-interest.
Having seen that happen so many times is one of the things that convinces me that working for oneself, or at least for a small group, is the natural way for [people] to live.

The state of nature, absolute freedom, does not maximize our individual potential because only in social groups can we produce the strength of diversity needed to survive ever changing environments. But the weight of our massive population is crushing individual potential because the hierarchy has taken on a life of its own. We must break the chains of control, end this slavery of 'security', and accept the risk of failure and insecurity. That is the kind of world our wild ancestors evolved to survive and prosper within.
[Potential] Founders arriving at [Entrepreneur's Workshop] often have the downtrodden air of refugees. Three months later they're transformed: they have so much more confidence that they seem as if they've grown several inches taller. Strange as this sounds, they seem both more worried and happier at the same time. Which is exactly how I'd describe the way lions seem in the wild.

The courage to adapt to new environments, to accept the anxiety that comes with change, and reject the paralyzing worry and fear of 'security', is what sets free men apart from the slaves of conformity. If we are to be happy, we must be free.
Watching employees [slaves] get transformed into founders [free men] makes it clear that the difference between the two is due mostly to environment—and in particular that the environment in big companies [organizations] is toxic to programmers [people]. In the first couple weeks of working on their own startup [for themselves] they seem to come to life, because finally they're working the way people are meant to.

Never Forget

Building 7 WTC 2001

Events - The San Diego County Community Coalition