New West Citizen

Friday, December 29, 2006

Public Review via wiki

1st in a Series: We the Wiki

One of the glaring problems inherent to our legislative process is the lack of public review. Yes, there's the Congressional Record and although it has been gamed by politicians most likely since the Second Continental Congress, it was meant to be a valid check in the checks and balances' process.

Not only do I dare say that legislation should be transparent but subject to public review before voted on. Yes, there I've said it. I think every issue addressed in every pending Bill should be published in a wiki and be posted in a final form for at least 1 week. No more sneaking in riders in a the 23rd hour!

Today, AT&T is attempting to push legislation thru the FCC that would permit them to circumvent citizen's concerns over Net Neutrality. With a required public review period, legislators and bureaucrats would hear from their constituency and know the consequences of their actions.

In the future when big business and the government conspire to slip something under the table, citizens would cut their hands off. Try and slip something over on the public, pay for it in the press and risk extraordinary fines that would suddenly make the government less reliant on individual taxes.

Public Review via wiki another very good idea for the New West Citizen to consider.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Electronic Voting Guidelines

It appears that NIST has taken an position on voting procedures and standards which might be a very good thing.

NIST has posted a couple of position papers and made recommendations with regard to voting systems. They include:


Although this give rise to all manner of political paranoia, it would seem that NIST is providing a governmental function that is truly needed. And, they are mandated and funded by the Help America Vote Act passed in 2002.

Now the question becomes, does the government listen to the government?

Thanks Freedom to Tinker

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Iron Triangle explained...




The concept of an Iron Triangle is one I find makes the case for buying politicians and legislation a simple and for me easy decision. Not bribing them mind you, buying them, owning them and contracting with them to represent the issue we the buyers are paying for. Buying a politician is cheap and really how much of a leap is it really from what they already engage in? We become the high bidder in the right to run our country instead of the current group of buyers. (more about this here).

Back to the Iron Triangle...

The subtlity of how the the legislature, government bureaucracies, and special interest groups result in tight policy-making circles is very insightful. As is the notion that an agency's power is determined by its constituency, not by its consumers.

In case it wasn't obvious, the vast majority of us are consumers and not a constituency, however that all changes when New West Citizens organize into their own special interest groups to fund and buy politicians and legislation in the good ole American way with cash on the barrelhead.

BTW...For these purposes, constituency is defined as a group of politically active members sharing a common interest or goal; consumers are the expected recipients of goods or services provided by a government bureaucracy and are often identified in an agency's written goals or mission statement.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

How is my Tax Revenue spent?


In an extraordinary moment of brillance a very astude designer has published a visualization of Where Your Taxes Dollars Go. (Full sized Version).

This leads me to a thought I had a year ago or more...Why can't I see a real time budget of The United States of America? If I own it, which I do and it works for me, which it does, then I should be able to see right down to the level of fund depletion, know what funds have been allocated, which funds have been distributed and as a final measure of full political involvement, how funds have been spent and with who, down to the $1,000 level.

As a result of having this kind of access to real time budget information, I think taxpayers might convert more readily into voters and voters might know who and what they are voting for.

The New West Citizen should insist that government budgets are transparent and accessable and not hidden under a sea of paper reports (some accurate and some "consulted") gathering dust in the Library of Congress.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Another reason why Voters should buy a candidate

Someone accessed 40 Palm Beach County voting machines
The internal logs of at least 40 Sequoia touch-screen voting machines reveal that votes were time and date-stamped as cast two weeks before the election, sometimes in the middle of the night.

Black Box Voting successfully sued former Palm Beach County (FL) Supervisor of Elections Theresa LePore to get the audit records for the 2004 presidential election.

After investing over $7,000 and waiting nine months for the records, Black Box Voting discovered that the voting machine logs contained approximately 100,000 errors. According to voting machine assignment logs, Palm Beach County used 4,313 machines in the Nov. 2004 election. During election day, 1,475 voting system calibrations were performed while the polls were open, providing documentation to substantiate reports from citizens indicating the wrong candidate was selected when they tried to vote.
More at Black Box Voting.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Put your money where your mouth is

Maybe the time has passed when elected officials repond to their constituents. Maybe its time that instead of exclusively electing officials we buy them off AND elect them. Seems that's how special interests place their bets. Why should the people be left out of the market?

VOTExchange
Here's a wiki to seed your ideas.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I'm sending the FCC a bill for $200B

It's time Americans get what we pay for.

The Telecomm industry is asking for it with their walled gardens, permissive spam policies and privacy complacentcy. I say we send 'em a bill for $200 Billion and put a few out of business.
I mean its a free market right? I'm free to bankrupt them if they break my trust, right?

Damn right !

Let's say the government makes a few mistakes. It pork-belly's the defense spending. It sells meetings in the White House. It provides a means for lobbyists to write legislation. OK, America has a few greedy bastards. Fine. You play it your way and I'll play it mine. I'll hire and fire my lobbyists and buy the government I want. Thank You very much!

First in my world, anyone and everyone in government can be fired by a recall and dismissal by a citizen mandate. It doesn't matter if your elected, appointed, hired; if you work for the government and you're paid by the government no matter where the slush fund is located, you're subject to review and recall by the American people.

Second, if you take a contract, agree to a program, accept payment, tax deductions or any value from the government be it trade, cash or consideration, you're subject to a citizen mandate and the American people may demand payment be returned or your assets may be claimed and put to auction.

If the telecomm industry has taken $200B in value of any kind as a result of FCC or government contract or support such as that suggested in this eBook, then Americans need to demand payment if full...forthwith.

Americans are not going to tolerate and absorb another Enron, WorldComm or Chrysler de-bunking. We are about to review, recall and dismember political and governmental organizations that out manuver and decieve the American public applying the new tools of democracy, digital freedom of the press, digital journalism and digital representation.

Woe be the politican that trys to stop the will of the people or the corporate brand that tries to out spin public opinion.

Meetup, MoveOn and other online political action groups that organically organize and communicate will crush lobbyist "payola" over a very short time.

To the Telecomm industry, time to pay the piper, and dude we're the freakin' piper.
Watch GoogleComm and public wireless co-ops disintermediate you in a heartbeat.

Hey FCC...be you're either with me and the people of American or the telecoms; better shape up or we'll ship you out.