Thursday, April 23, 2015

Only The People Can Force Lasting Change On This Broken System

                   It's election time and the system is Rigged Please read
                                               February 12,2016

That change begins with understanding: The people must recognize that corruption is not just one among many important problems. Corruption is the root problem, that makes solving the others so difficult.

As Henry David Thoreau wrote - 


- so will we practice.

 I have written about the now $1.3 Trillion student loan debt for several years now. What I have found is that Congress main goal....their true mission with the help of special interest and the Lobbyist is to keep our eye off what is really important and keep use fighting against one another How else could Congress approval rating ratings be so so low and still  these same career politicians  continue to get re-elected  ?  I ask you to watch and take the challenge   share this with your friends talk about it at work... at post this what ever it takes !     ( will be amazed !..)
Thank you Professor Lawrence Lessig for a brilliant and truthful understanding of how our election work in America!  

The Lesterland Transcript

0:11Once upon a time, there was a place called Lesterland. Now Lesterland looks a lot like the United States.Like the United States, it has about 311 million people, and of that 311 million people, it turns out 144,000 are called Lester. If Matt's in the audience, I just borrowed that, I'll return it in a second, this character from your series. So 144,000 are called Lester, which means about .05 percent is named Lester. Now, Lesters in Lesterland have this extraordinary power. There are two elections every election cycle in Lesterland. One is called the general election. The other is called the Lester election. And in the general election, it's the citizens who get to vote, but in the Lester election, it's the Lesters who get to vote. And here's the trick. In order to run in the general election, you must do extremely well in the Lester election. You don't necessarily have to win, but you must do extremely well.
1:16Now, what can we say about democracy in Lesterland? What we can say, number one, as the Supreme Court said in Citizens United, that people have the ultimate influence over elected officials, because, after all, there is a general election, but only after the Lesters have had their way with the candidates who wish to run in the general election. And number two, obviously, this dependence upon the Lesters is going to produce a subtle, understated, we could say camouflaged, bending to keep the Lesters happy. Okay, so we have a democracy, no doubt, but it's dependent upon the Lesters and dependent upon the people. It has competing dependencies, we could say conflicting dependencies, depending upon who the Lesters are. Okay. That's Lesterland.
2:08Now there are three things I want you to see now that I've described Lesterland. Number one, the United States is Lesterland. The United States is Lesterland. The United States also looks like this, also has two elections, one we called the general election, the second we should call the money election. In the general election, it's the citizens who get to vote, if you're over 18, in some states if you have an ID. In the money election, it's the funders who get to vote, the funders who get to vote, and just like in Lesterland,the trick is, to run in the general election, you must do extremely well in the money election. You don't necessarily have to win. There is Jerry Brown. But you must do extremely well. And here's the key: There are just as few relevant funders in USA-land as there are Lesters in Lesterland.
2:56Now you say, really? Really .05 percent? Well, here are the numbers from 2010: .26 percent of America gave 200 dollars or more to any federal candidate, .05 percent gave the maximum amount to any federal candidate, .01 percent -- the one percent of the one percent -- gave 10,000 dollars or more to federal candidates, and in this election cycle, my favorite statistic is .000042 percent — for those of you doing the numbers, you know that's 132 Americans — gave 60 percent of the Super PAC money spent in the cycle we have just seen ending. So I'm just a lawyer, I look at this range of numbers, and I say it's fair for me to say it's .05 percent who are our relevant funders in America. In this sense, the funders are our Lesters.
3:49Now, what can we say about this democracy in USA-land? Well, as the Supreme Court said in Citizens United, we could say, of course the people have the ultimate influence over the elected officials. We have a general election, but only after the funders have had their way with the candidates who wish to run in that general election. And number two, obviously, this dependence upon the funders produces a subtle, understated, camouflaged bending to keep the funders happy. Candidates for Congress and members of Congress spend between 30 and 70 percent of their time raising money to get back to Congress or to get their party back into power, and the question we need to ask is, what does it do to them, these humans, as they spend their time behind the telephone, calling people they've never met, but calling the tiniest slice of the one percent? As anyone would, as they do this, they develop a sixth sense, a constant awareness about how what they do might affect their ability to raise money. They become, in the words of "The X-Files," shape-shifters, as they constantly adjust their views in light of what they know will help them to raise money, not on issues one to 10, but on issues 11 to 1,000. Leslie Byrne, a Democrat from Virginia, describes that when she went to Congress, she was told by a colleague, "Always lean to the green." Then to clarify, she went on, "He was not an environmentalist." (Laughter)
5:19So here too we have a democracy, a democracy dependent upon the funders and dependent upon the people, competing dependencies, possibly conflicting dependencies depending upon who the funders are.
5:33Okay, the United States is Lesterland, point number one. Here's point number two. The United States is worse than Lesterland, worse than Lesterland because you can imagine in Lesterland if we Lesters got a letter from the government that said, "Hey, you get to pick who gets to run in the general election," we would think maybe of a kind of aristocracy of Lesters. You know, there are Lesters from every part of social society. There are rich Lesters, poor Lesters, black Lesters, white Lesters, not many women Lesters, but put that to the side for one second. We have Lesters from everywhere. We could think,"What could we do to make Lesterland better?" It's at least possible the Lesters would act for the good of Lesterland. But in our land, in this land, in USA-land, there are certainly some sweet Lesters out there,many of them in this room here today, but the vast majority of Lesters act for the Lesters, because the shifting coalitions that are comprising the .05 percent are not comprising it for the public interest. It's for their private interest. In this sense, the USA is worse than Lesterland.
6:34And finally, point number three: Whatever one wants to say about Lesterland, against the background of its history, its traditions, in our land, in USA-land, Lesterland is a corruption, a corruption. Now, by corruption I don't mean brown paper bag cash secreted among members of Congress. I don't mean Rod Blagojevich sense of corruption. I don't mean any criminal act. The corruption I'm talking about is perfectly legal. It's a corruption relative to the framers' baseline for this republic. The framers gave us what they called a republic, but by a republic they meant a representative democracy, and by a representative democracy, they meant a government, as Madison put it in Federalist 52, that would have a branch that would be dependent upon the people alone.
7:26So here's the model of government. They have the people and the government with this exclusive dependency, but the problem here is that Congress has evolved a different dependence, no longer a dependence upon the people alone, increasingly a dependence upon the funders. Now this is a dependence too, but it's different and conflicting from a dependence upon the people alone so long as the funders are not the people. This is a corruption.
7:55Now, there's good news and bad news about this corruption. One bit of good news is that it's bipartisan,equal-opportunity corruption. It blocks the left on a whole range of issues that we on the left really care about. It blocks the right too, as it makes principled arguments of the right increasingly impossible. So the right wants smaller government. When Al Gore was Vice President, his team had an idea for deregulating a significant portion of the telecommunications industry. The chief policy man took this idea to Capitol Hill, and as he reported back to me, the response was, "Hell no! If we deregulate these guys,how are we going to raise money from them?"
8:34This is a system that's designed to save the status quo, including the status quo of big and invasive government. It works against the left and the right, and that, you might say, is good news.
8:46But here's the bad news. It's a pathological, democracy-destroying corruption, because in any systemwhere the members are dependent upon the tiniest fraction of us for their election, that means the tiniest number of us, the tiniest, tiniest number of us, can block reform. I know that should have been, like, a rock or something. I can only find cheese. I'm sorry. So there it is. Block reform.
9:13Because there is an economy here, an economy of influence, an economy with lobbyists at the centerwhich feeds on polarization. It feeds on dysfunction. The worse that it is for us, the better that it is for this fundraising.
9:30Henry David Thoreau: "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root." This is the root.
9:42Okay, now, every single one of you knows this. You couldn't be here if you didn't know this, yet you ignore it. You ignore it. This is an impossible problem. You focus on the possible problems, like eradicating polio from the world, or taking an image of every single street across the globe, or building the first real universal translator, or building a fusion factory in your garage. These are the manageable problems, so you ignore — (Laughter) (Applause) — so you ignore this corruption.
10:20But we cannot ignore this corruption anymore. (Applause) We need a government that works. And not works for the left or the right, but works for the left and the right, the citizens of the left and right, because there is no sensible reform possible until we end this corruption. So I want you to take hold, to grab the issue you care the most about. Climate change is mine, but it might be financial reform or a simpler tax system or inequality. Grab that issue, sit it down in front of you, look straight in its eyes, and tell it there is no Christmas this year. There will never be a Christmas. We will never get your issue solved until we fix this issue first. So it's not that mine is the most important issue. It's not. Yours is the most important issue, but mine is the first issue, the issue we have to solve before we get to fix the issues you care about. No sensible reform, and we cannot afford a world, a future, with no sensible reform.
11:28Okay. So how do we do it? Turns out, the analytics here are easy, simple. If the problem is members spending an extraordinary amount of time fundraising from the tiniest slice of America, the solution is to have them spend less time fundraising but fundraise from a wider slice of Americans, to spread it out, to spread the funder influence so that we restore the idea of dependence upon the people alone. And to do this does not require a constitutional amendment, changing the First Amendment. To do this would require a single statute, a statute establishing what we think of as small dollar funded elections, a statute of citizen-funded campaigns, and there's any number of these proposals out there: Fair Elections Now Act, the American Anti-Corruption Act, an idea in my book that I call the Grant and Franklin Project to give vouchers to people to fund elections, an idea of John Sarbanes called the Grassroots Democracy Act. Each of these would fix this corruption by spreading out the influence of funders to all of us.
12:33The analytics are easy here. It's the politics that's hard, indeed impossibly hard, because this reform would shrink K Street, and Capitol Hill, as Congressman Jim Cooper, a Democrat from Tennessee, put it,has become a farm league for K Street, a farm league for K Street. Members and staffers and bureaucrats have an increasingly common business model in their head, a business model focused on their life after government, their life as lobbyists. Fifty percent of the Senate between 1998 and 2004 left to become lobbyists, 42 percent of the House. Those numbers have only gone up, and as United Republic calculated last April, the average increase in salary for those who they tracked was 1,452 percent. So it's fair to ask, how is it possible for them to change this? Now I get this skepticism.
13:39I get this cynicism. I get this sense of impossibility. But I don't buy it. This is a solvable issue. If you think about the issues our parents tried to solve in the 20th century, issues like racism, or sexism, or the issue that we've been fighting in this century, homophobia, those are hard issues. You don't wake up one day no longer a racist. It takes generations to tear that intuition, that DNA, out of the soul of a people. But this is a problem of just incentives, just incentives. Change the incentives, and the behavior changes, and the states that have adopted small dollar funded systems have seen overnight a change in the practice.When Connecticut adopted this system, in the very first year, 78 percent of elected representatives gave up large contributions and took small contributions only. It's solvable, not by being a Democrat, not by being a Republican. It's solvable by being citizens, by being citizens, by being TEDizens. Because if you want to kickstart reform, look, I could kickstart reform at half the price of fixing energy policy, I could give you back a republic.
15:03Okay. But even if you're not yet with me, even if you believe this is impossible, what the five years since I spoke at TED has taught me as I've spoken about this issue again and again is, even if you think it's impossible, that is irrelevant. Irrelevant. I spoke at Dartmouth once, and a woman stood up after I spoke, I write in my book, and she said to me, "Professor, you've convinced me this is hopeless. Hopeless.There's nothing we can do." When she said that, I scrambled. I tried to think, "How do I respond to that hopelessness? What is that sense of hopelessness?" And what hit me was an image of my six-year-old son. And I imagined a doctor coming to me and saying, "Your son has terminal brain cancer, and there's nothing you can do. Nothing you can do." So would I do nothing? Would I just sit there? Accept it? Okay, nothing I can do? I'm going off to build Google Glass. Of course not. I would do everything I could, and I would do everything I could because this is what love means, that the odds are irrelevant and that you dowhatever the hell you can, the odds be damned. And then I saw the obvious link, because even we liberals love this country.
16:31And so when the pundits and the politicians say that change is impossible, what this love of country says back is, "That's just irrelevant." We lose something dear, something everyone in this room loves and cherishes, if we lose this republic, and so we act with everything we can to prove these pundits wrong.
16:55So here's my question: Do you have that love? Do you have that love? Because if you do, then what the hell are you, what are the hell are we doing?
17:12When Ben Franklin was carried from the constitutional convention in September of 1787, he was stopped in the street by a woman who said, "Mr. Franklin, what have you wrought?" Franklin said, "A republic, madam, if you can keep it." A republic. A representative democracy. A government dependent upon the people alone. We have lost that republic. All of us have to act to get it back.
17:53Thank you very much.
17:55(Applause) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. (Applause)

From Mr.Doug Hughes   Thank you for sharing links to Rootstrikers, Wolf-Pac and Represent Us
and a video of Doug's freedom flight

excerpt from Doug and Mike's  Civlist Papers  and The Vision That Unites Us

Civilism is Mike’s idea, but we distilled a broad concept down to four specific principles built around the goal of energizing democracy. We came to our conclusions BEFORE we heard about Rootstrikers and the greater movement. Without getting into details, which are on the site, those principles of The Civilist Papers are:
1) Free and Fair Elections (without fraud)
2) Shutting down the control of Special Interests and Lobbyists
3) End profiteering by Congress while in office
4) Campaign Finance Reform

The Vision That Unites Us

An esteemed republican president speaking in 1863 at the commemoration of a veterans memorial concluded with a prayer and an oath that burns true in the heart of every patriot - even in 2015.

"It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. . .
that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . .
that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from the earth. " 

This vision unites us, left and right, young and old, rich and poor, who feel in our hearts that of which Lincoln spoke. The organizations listed here are united in opposition to those who subvert the cause of democracy for their personal gain. Over the centuries, too many have served the cause of freedom for this generation to surrender our democracy to the control of few wealthy men driven by greed or a lust for power. Restoring government of the people is not our task - it is our duty. The power has always been ours, if we only exert that power - TOGETHER!
The Democracy Club is not an exclusive club. If you know of a nonprofit organization dedicated to Congressional reform, have them contact any of us. We'd be pleased to invite them to add their vision to the greater movement.

excerpt from....... "Why are only our children held accountable"

I tell you this because I have not changed into a liberal or libertarian are any other party.I have become an independent. Our 2 party system is broken, and has become corrupted to the very core.
When our country's last Mid-Term  Election cost an estimated $4 Billion, and now just in case you were unaware, or may have forgotten with the new Supreme Court rulings the next Presidential election is being said could double the estimated $7 Billion spent in 2012...can you imagine $14 can these amounts of money be justified? Please I have added a link below Congress ratings approval are so low won't calculate ?!

I'm going to continue to add to the links below.....then let's talk about wasting taxpayer $$!!

Corporations in America pay virtually no taxes?

Too Big Too Fail?

Still waiting for the first executive from our 2008 financial meltdown to go to jail?

University Presidents now making $Million salaries to be the Universities promoter?
Shirley Ann Jackson Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy N.Y. Total compensation$7,143.312!!!
How can you justify this salary and compensation??????.... Please Shirley tell us

I love college football but, again it's become big business at our Colleges and Universities
depending on the sport less than 2% and more realistically less than 1% will even have the chance to become professionals! College athletes greatly overestimate their chances of playing professionally.
Why not pay the players a percentage of the huge profits generated along with a personal mentor to help invest their money while in college.Think about these student athletes being able to come out of college with a degree and the seed money to start their own business hopefully back in their own community. Now this is an investment in the future of our children and a true stimulus program to help our great country economy start to prosper again especially in our poorer community.   
I know this would be very difficult, but we just need a couple of schools to step up and say this is the right thing to do for children. Our inner cities are crumbing before our very eyes.Think about the farmer son  football ability what that would mean to be able to start his own farm, or whatever his dream may be The list just goes on and on......

We have allowed our  Colleges and Universities to make $Millions...some looking at $Billions in Television contracts.      Our children have got to come 1st.......not the huge profits....  when are we as a nation going to demand this?

you will find the rest of the post


  1. I started
    I know there are solutions to the ungodly estimated $1.3 trillion student loan debt..I now realize there is so much political cronyism and so much money being made off our children backs Congress has taken away our children's student loan consumer protection rights for their own selfish gain...We have to take back our Congress our great country depends on it ... the internet is a powerful tool this does not have to be done with violence......! I want make sure this is done peacefully with knowledge and the truth being our swords The truth is on our side and the truth will set you......and we... the Majority free!

    So....... "Where can I find the Answer" was created, but I need your help....this is meeting place to find answers..yes debate...but no bashing...just the facts and place to to justify that this is for the Majority...not just the select few that seem to be running our great country. This now about right and wrong! We need writers, thinkers who are not afraid to stand alone to come up with the answers needed to help kick start our great country problems.your time, your love for this great country...Should this be the the "first think tank" from all walks of life that money can't buy the answers.The so called think tanks that Congress depends upon to try to justify how they trying destroy "OUR GREAT COUNTRY" and our freedoms

  2. I would like to see the anti "big money in politics" groups stir the unions to get off their butts and strike, in order to compel the congress to do what they know needs to be done. Quickest, easiest and least violent way to get real reform within "the system".