Open Letter to My Congressman

Dear Congressman/Senator/Governor/other Elected official,

First off, I would like to point out to you right on the onset I consider you mine. You are my representative, my voice, my conscience, my will when it comes to the law, rules, and regulations of this country. You speak for me. You bear my vote and my witness. Clearly we must establish this up front because, as so often appears the case, you rarely invoke “me.” You tell me about what YOU will do quite often but what will you do in my name? How will you use my name? Remember that you speak for me and as such, I have a thing or two to tell you.

Thomas Paine said “government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.” You are fast becoming an intolerable evil. Let us begin with the volume of waste that has arrived at my doorstep in the past few weeks. I could paper and entire living room in the sheer junk that has arrived for you or any number of your opponents. Yes, I understand that in many cases, you had nothing to do with it. Yet, you did. You created the environment that allowed this kind of waste and ridiculous spending to occur. Millions upon millions of dollars were spent in this country to elect you – to sway my vote one way or another with splashy campaign ads and mailers.

I didn’t read one.

Would that your money, or the money of those who would elect you could have gone to do something better for the world. That would have swayed my vote. Would that you had spent it philanthropical groups, on public works, on libraries or schools, on roads and homelessness. That would have surely bought my vote. Would that you had spent it by giving jobs to people, rather than to volunteers who mail these things or place them on doorsteps. I would have cast a YES vote for you in a heartbeat.

Stop calling me at all hours of the day to ask me to vote for you. I hang up, as do thousands, if not millions, of others. Stop sending people in your name to court me, to buy me, to seduce me. I am not so easily led. Instead, call me personally. Talk with me, not at me. Find out what my life is like and what I have to say. Find out what is important to me as a person, as a wife, as a homeowner, as an employee, as a business owner. Find out what it’s like to live where I live and deal with what I do, day in, day out. Learn me and you learn how to speak for me.

“Every two years the American politics industry fills the airwaves with the most virulent, scurrilous, wall-to-wall character assassination of nearly every political practitioner in the country – and then declares itself puzzled that America has lost trust in its politicians. ” Charles Krauthammer

Don’t be surprised at my disillusionment with politics and government. I am a libertarian, pure and simple. I believe there does need to be a government but minimal, and with my voice in the lead. We are a republic, which Webster’s says is “b (1) : a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law (2) : a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government.”

Do you want my vote next time? Do you want what I have to say? Then work for it. Don’t WORK in Washington – work for me. Ask me what I want, listen to what I have to say, then do what I ask you to do. THAT is why I vote for you. Work for me, and I will provide you that one little check mark you want, the one that might put you over the top. Find some values – ones that are real. Find some ethics – ones that I would live by. Find some heart – remember what it’s like to be a person in this world, in this country. Take a moment and breathe the air I breathe, walk in my shoes.

You might actually find that soul that you lost so long ago.

I am a realist enough to know that tonight, election night, I will lose once again. We all will. And the Democratic Republic of the United States of America gasps, another death rattle in all our chests. Tonight, we again lose our choice under the guise of democracy. Again, we lose our right to be a nation of individual thinkers, bound to the lowest common denominator: the politician.

Gods help us all.

-TDD

Barack ON!

I, Too, Sing America by Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.
Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed–

I, too, am America.

–TDD

Let’s talk something new…

“Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state. “
Thomas Jefferson3rd president of US (1743 – 1826)

I’ve never really been one to join into the hysteria, on either the Right or the Left, regarding politics. I’ve been able to see both sides and usually, I take my time making my judgments about things. I believe that there’s one side, and another, and somewhere, beyond it all, there is a truth.

A friend passed on to me the Zeitgeist Movie. If you haven’t seen it, I do recommend watching it. If the current King of the U.S.A. would have us believe that we are living in a time of fear, the makers of this movie would have us living in anger. Nothing stirs people up like a good bit of anger, fear, or hatred. Trouble is, emotion tends to shoo aside that pesky logic process and eschews facts. This movie is filled with opinion and stated “facts.” Like anything, though, that people would desire my belief in, I need to be sold.

If there’s one thing I agree with on this movie, it is the fact that we need to get out from behind the TV, behind the media we are provided, and dig deeper for answers. Fears come from the presentation of evidence as “real.” Anger comes from the expectations we place on others to do what we would have them do. Rather than being opposites, they are another end of the spectrum of the positive things we would like in our lives. Having said that, it falls upon us to create a reality with which we can live. Did I just say create “a” reality? Yes. If you believe that you will ever have all the facts, I think you are wrong. Even being in the same room where an act is committed, you have possibilities:

1. The fact that you are there affects the situation and outcome. (Usually I don’t use Wikipedia for a direct reference, but this isn’t a bad article as it stands.)

2. Quantum physics states that if there is no observer, it doesn’t happen. Ergo, there must be someone to have seen something happen for it to have happened (makes your mind hurt, doesn’t it?)

3. What you observe changes as the situation changes and any one moment in time is different than any other. (Doppler Effect)

Soooo, what is truth and what is reality? Okay, Okay, I get that we have to get to some point to agree upon for the sake of human communication. However, I don’t think we should ever forget that there are as many realities out there as there are human beings (or other organic life forms, for that matter.)

Facts are… well, pieces of information presented as having objective reality. Again, we have to be careful with reality but I think we can agree upon something that appears to be authentic is factual. A memo written by someone is certainly written but the question becomes (and should always be) who wrote it and whence came it?

Now I’m on a binge about the Federal Reserve Bank, the World Banking System, and all those other things that people have relied upon for years but know nothing about. There are reams of information about all the things that impact us and yet, we never really read them. I think one could go crazy if one tried; yet, the fact does remain that most of us (it’s estimated that 98.5% of Americans own a TV and watch 51 hours per week. Over 85% have two TVs!) are addicted to the TV. How do we get our news and information about the place where we live? Ask yourself that and ask yourself if that company which provides it to you doesn’t have its own agenda? Of course it does.

I think that’s what Zeitgeist – the Movie is really all about; it should be about asking questions, reading, learning about the things that impact you deeply. Do you care about your retirement? Then care enough to figure it out and figure the system out. Do you care about your civil liberties? Then care enough to read the Patriot Act (yeah, right) and see what the officials YOU elected are doing with them.

It shouldn’t make you mad. It should make you active. The best way I think we can do that is by voting. It’s one vote, sure, but it makes a difference. Remember to not believe every thing you read, hear, or see. I don’t believe in conspiracy theories: I believe everyone has their own agendas and the facts, however you perceive them to be, may be difficult to find short of being “the” observer. We can only do what we can do. In the end, we all play the game and have to live by the rules. But, as my old friend Dan Simmons would say…. if you don’t like it…

Choose Again.

–TDD

Dear Mr. President,

Let me begin by saying that I never voted for you. Ever. I never will. I will never vote for anyone in your administration, past, present, or future. Never. That being said, I actually have a few words to say to you. Please don’t respond. I wouldn’t understand your response, regardless. With an IQ that is half of mine, I doubt there is much logic or reasoning behind what you would say.

That out of the way, let me open the topic to our listening audience via an article in the current New Yorker, by Seymour Hersh. It’s located here: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/10/08/071008fa_fact_hersh. I would encourage everyone person in America to read it. For those of us who actually feel despair and hopelessness at our current administration, this will just make you mad as hell. A good dose of impotence is also thrown in, for those of us who actually have a conscience.

Back to you, Mr. President. My first question to you is, are you insane? What part of region destabilization did you not get when you decided to invade Iraq? Invade, much to your chagrin, has become the nomenclature of the day. WE ARE OCCUPIERS. We have invaded not one but two countries and here you go, deciding just how you’re going to plot to destabilize and overthrow yet another country. Do you understand the implications of your actions? Are you really that mad to believe that your “God” wants this? How dare you impose your idealism and “virtues,” to use the term loosely, upon another society. Like Iraq, I’m sure that you’ll continue to believe that you’re doing the right thing and “free” the Iranians. Please. Do you understand the term “dictator?” Let me help you with that big ol’ dictionary, Mr. Prez. It means one who dictates, one who acts, imposes, or states authoritatively. You have issued orders to tell the Middle East just how it “should” conduct itself. Forgive me for being so blunt but who died and made you God? Evil Doers? It seems to me that one who invades not one but two countries, does it in the name of an “ideal” that is imposed on these other countries, and does so at his own whim is the dictator – the evil doer. Making up reasons to invade yet another country, because you “feel” like it? That’s just plain fruit loops.

Listening to the interview on NPR today, with Seymour Hersh, I sat in the car and cried today realizing that my country wasn’t my country any longer. It held no ideals that were mine. It did not speak for me. It did not hold me in its embrace and enrapture me. It did not make me proud. I can only realize now how our forefathers felt under the oppression of another George. Yes, he was insane, too. It seems we have come full circle.

The first Boston Tea Party took place on December 13, 1773. When this was not enough to subdue the “colonists,” the Intolerable Acts were passed. How many of you know the history of your own country? How many know what happened and why? Let me see if I can simplify it for you, Mr. President. The authoritative power over the country enacted legislation that did not represent the ideals, the goals, and the liberties of its citizens. It did what it could to put down dissension, oppressed the voices, and taxed them to death to fund its own coffers (used for its own purposes.) Does all of this sound familiar?

History does repeat itself for those who are deaf to its lessons.

I’m going to enact a Literary Boston Tea Party. What I can’t do with commodity, I will do with words. I will channel all my anger, my fear, and my dissension into creating lasting works that will do all it can to take away your dictatorship. I will do everything in my power to unshackle the American Public from your lies, obfuscation, and hatred. Let me quote this to you, for you Mr. President are completely unfamiliar with it: “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” Look to December 13th, Mr. President – I plan to lay the groundwork for some literary overthrow.

You, sir, are a despot. Put that in your Merriam-Webster and spin. Go Thomas Jefferson!!

Your incredibly disloyal subject,

–TDD

The Principles of Political Right

Next endeavor: Rousseau. I picked up The Social Contract on a total whim, on a recent trip to Utah. It is a small but powerful read. In someways, the 18th century language is difficult (even translated!) but it seems to have such ideals as we aspire to, or did aspire to, in this country. Yes, yes – I know that his ideas sparked the French Revolution. But honey, ours came first. Here’s a bit of it:

“It will be said that the despot assures his subjects civil tranquility. Granted; but what do they gain, if the wars his ambition brings down upon them, his insatiable avidity, and the vexations conduct of his ministers press harder on them than their own dissensions would have done? What do they gain, if the very tranquility they enjoy is one of their miseries? Tranquility is found also in dungeons; but is that enough to make them desirable places to live in? The Greeks imprisoned in the cave of the Cyclops lived there very tranquilly, while they were awaiting their turn to be devoured.”

What is interesting to me is that I take this and apply it to world leaders, all of them. And do you know, what I find, is that none of them are so different as the despot described above. What I also love are his explanations for the very things that we, enlightened American Citizens take for granted, as far as knowledge. Do you think you know what a city is? Read on…

“The real meaning of this word has been almost wholly lost in modern times; most people mistake a town for a city, and a townsman for a citizen. They do not know that houses make a town, but citizens a city. The same mistake long ago cost the Carthaginians dear. I have never read of the title of citizens being given to the subjects of any prince, not even the ancient Macedonians or the English of to-day, though they are nearer liberty than any one else. The French alone everywhere familiarly adopt the name of citizens, because, as can be seen from their dictionaries, they have no idea of its meaning; otherwise they would be guilty in escarpment it, of the crime of lese-majeste: among them, the name expresses a virtue, and not a right. When Bodin spoke of our citizens and townsmen, he fell into a bad blunder in taking the one class for the other. M. d’Alembert has avoided the error, and, in his article on Geneva, has clearly distinguished the four orders of men (or even five, counting mere foreigners) who dwell in our town, of which two only compose the Republic. No other French writer, to my knowledge, has understood the real meaning of the word citizen.”

Rousseau seems to me to be required (REQUIRED!!) reading for anyone who is a citizen of the world. At the very least, it should be required reading for anyone prior to their becoming a governmenofficialal or leader, and then read every year thereafter. Perhaps they won’t then forget what their true purpose is in the world.

For those of you with a Masonic bent, he was NOT a Freemason. He hung with his homies, though – Ben Franklin and Voltaire..Yeses, both Masons. Check out the wikipedia article on Rousseau – it’s actually pretty good. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rousseau Enjoy!

-TDD

Rant the Vote – again!

So, I’m thinking of starting the educational blog again – Rant the Vote. I’m so tired of people acting like cows and paying no attention to what is going on. Is Gary Trudeau the only one who gets it? I don’t think so. It’s just so much of the conservative minority running things now that the reason and logic seem be lost in the din. The noise. The awful bluster. Yeah, you get it.

The last time I tried Rant the Vote, I tried education. I’m thinking of trying it again. Who knows? If I can sway a few people to reason and logic, maybe it’s not all that bad. But then again, who is reading this stuff anyway?

http://patriot-x.blogspot.com/2004/10/why-political-blogging.html

Looks like it’s been done. Ah well. Onto another topic. Still – go pick a party and vote. But don’t just pick any party – pick one that reflects your views. Own it. Then, it’s all good.

–TDD