Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Listen 7:00- 9:00 pm (PST) to the WeThePeopleRadioNetwork.com and to our guest - Sherry Healy.
Since 2002, Sherry Healy has been singularly dedicated to the election integrity cause. As a result Sherry Healy is co-founder of the California Election Protection Network, and is a coordinator for the Election Defense Alliance. Locally she is Chair of Marin-Democracy for America's Election Reform Committee, as well as a delegate for California's 6th Assembly District.
Sherry has been singularly dedicated to the election integrity cause since 2002 resulting in over a 70 written materials--from articles to position statements. Some notable articles are "Machinations Behind Closed Doors" and the "No Hearing Hearing." Some notable position papers are the "California Election Protection Network's Centralized Voter Registration Recommendations to the Election Assistance Commission" and the "Titanium Standard audit protocol. Sherry also wrote a humorous play titled, "How to Maintain Our Democracy's Election Hygiene," which was performed by CodePink at the Sparc Theater in Venice, California.
Also, with the aim of raising awareness, Sherry has orchestrated important public events, including a highly successful San Diego Town Hall meeting in November of 2006, which was hosted by Ed Asner and featured prominent national election integrity leaders. It is notable that this San Diego Town Hall meeting, with its important recommendations to voters, received extensive airplay on Link TV, as well as other outlets, in the critical week prior to a pivotal California Secretary of State race. Recently, Sherry joined the Board of Directors for California's Tangible Ballot Initiative.
More recently, she put her creative and entrepreneurial experience to use in co-creating Equalivote, which is a non-computerized ballot marking device for voters with disabilities.
In Vote by Mail We Trust, But Why?
Turnout, turnout, turnout, is the mantra of campaign managers. And fast, easy and cheap is the mantra of election officials and consumers. Apparently, Vote by Mail has something for everyone, and so it’s no wonder it now constitutes 40% of California’s vote and its popularity is rapidly gaining momentum nationwide.
Not too surprising then, that if you say vote by mail is a fast track to fascism, people’s eyes roll in disbelief. But listeners may want to suspend their disbelief to learn about vote by mail's structural unreliability and much more, and then see what you think.
Elections have been stolen, ever since they have held them, but the techniques and technologies have evolved over time. Is it even possible for citizens to oversee the processes and be sure that their votes are counted? Sherry has delved into the labyrinth of modern voting which is evolving as rapidly as technology is evolving. She can point out the dangers, pitfalls, shortcomings, blatant criminality and corruption that she has discovered on her journey and the direction that we need to go, if we are to avoid institutionalized fascism.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Listen 7:00- 8:00 pm (PST) to the WeThePeopleRadioNetwork.com and to our guest - Evan Ravitz.
Listen 8:00- 9:00 pm (PST) to the WeThePeopleRadioNetwork.com and to our guest - Laura Wells.
Evan Ravitz has been championing the National Initiative for Democracy, written by former US Senator Mike Gravel. The National Initiative empowers people to share law-making power with representatives, similar to ballot initiatives in 24 States, but at all levels from national to local and with several improvements. The People as check and balance against legislators, Congress, lobbyists, and money!
Senator Gravel among others tried to get Congress to ratify a similar National Voter Initiative in 1977, but of course Congress refused to share power (as also happened in 1917 and 1937.) Since then, Gravel discovered that the Founders had the same basic problem: the existing 13 Legislatures refused to share real power with the upstart USA. The Founders pondered and "resorted" to their First Principle ("The People are Sovereign.") and decided to have The People ratify the Constitution, at the Constitutional Conventions.
The National Initiative, is the most powerful reform since the Constitution, to make real the promise of "government by the people." The National Initiative consists of the brief Democracy Amendment and the more detailed Democracy Act. Similarly, YOU can now vote to ratify the National Initiative at Vote.org!"
Initiatives put the people in the drivers seat. Responsibility brings more responsible people: more people vote in States with initiatives. In Switzerland, centuries of national initiatives result in the highest newspaper readership in the world.
Initiatives are competition for legislators, which brings more representative behavior from representatives. The National Initiative will break Congress' monopoly on national legislative power.
People are less influenced by money than representatives. This study and book show that people favor "grassroots" initiatives over "big money" initiatives while the Associated Press shows Congress usually votes the way big money wants.
When legislators make mistakes they cover them up --to protect their careers & egos. Citizens lack the coverup incentive but have incentive to fix mistakes: regular people suffer more than the privileged. Thomas Jefferson said "The will of the majority is the natural law of every society and the only sure guardian of the rights of man; though this may err, yet its errors are honest, solitary and short-lived."
Large, diverse groups of independent people make better decisions. The award-winning book "The Wisdom of Crowds" shows how and why. The National Initiative is endorsed by a wide variety of movers and shakers.
Evan Ravitz is an activist, performing artist, programmer/analyst, writer, and has led a very adventurous life.
Laura Wells has over 21 years experience in financial systems – investments, pension funds, union dues accounting, and real estate loans. She holds a B.A. from Wayne State University (Detroit, MI, Phi Beta Kappa), and an M.Ed. from Antioch University. She lives in Oakland and is the proud mother of Natalia, a 23-year-old musician and graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz.
In 2006 she ran (again) for the office of "State Controller" on the Green Party ticket in California. http://www.laurawells.org/ is her campaign website. (She had the distinction of getting more votes than any other Green candidate- over 400,000, when she ran for the same office in 2002.) Controllers basically “Follow the money!” and keep track of where the taxpayer's money goes and report to the real boss — the people of California. The Controller manages the state’s checkbook, collecting money and signing checks. She serves on many boards and commissions, affecting public lands, water, taxes, and the state’s pension funds. When it comes to whether Green Party statewide candidates in California can win, if everyone who agreed with Green Party values, votes for them, the Green Party candidates would win!
However, the system is messed up. Nowhere in the Constitution are political parties mentioned, and yet we have a two-party system that seems as unsinkable as the Titanic seemed. Luckily, the life raft of the Green Party expands to hold everyone that jumps on board.
Our current political system is Democracy 101. It was a state-of-the-art political system 200 years ago, but it needs to be updated for today.
Laura Wells will speak on the show immediately after participating in a meeting on Wise Democracy Oakland ( See- Wisdom Councils http://www.wisedemocracy.org/ and http://www.wisedemocracyvictoria.com/.) This project will be an experiment in direct, participatory democracy in Oakland, where ordinary citizens come together to address the issues they deem important in our civil society. Thr group includes those who responded to this appeal at a recent Democracy Forum in Oakland:
- "Let's take as our focus the possibility of holding a Wisdom Council on March 14-15, 2008, with approximate 12 participants, who would be a randomly selected group of folks from Oakland. The group would be facilitated with dynamic facilitation, and would come to a consensus statement to be presented to the community, public officials, and the media. This Wisdom Council is meant to be the beginning of a continuing process of engaging more and more people and building consensus toward action around the issues that concern us all. Who here would like to be part of a group working toward that possibility?"
Everywhere in the U.S. and the world where regular folks have been involved in policy, their ability to handle complexity and to devise creative and practical solutions, has surprised themselves, and public officials. (See An Experimental Framework for Community Democracy.)
The Green Party, which has Grassroots Democracy as one of its four main values, has been one area of activism for Laura. She ran as a candidate for State Controller in order to open up the electoral process, and she was on the campaign team that got a 69% "yes" vote in Oakland in November 2006 for Instant Runoff Voting, a form of ranked choice voting.
Laura has also visited Venezuela, where in the past couple of years participatory democracy has made great strides, in the barrios of Caracas and the towns of the campesinos, in a way that is the complete opposite of how the media and U.S. government portray the Hugo Chavez government (Her recommended websites for more accurate information regarding what is happening in Venezuela are: http://www.venezuelanotes.blogspot.com/, http://www.veninfo.com/ and www.vensolidarity.net.)
She is applying her learnings in Venezuela, the Green Party, and the Dialogue and Deliberation movement (See-
Deep Democracy and Community Wisdom) to the local experiments being planned for Oakland. In so doing, she hopes at least to plant seed for a feeling of empowerment and hope - which she sees as a vital nutrient in these times - in ordinary people.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Listen 7:00- 9:00 pm (PST) to the WeThePeopleRadioNetwork.com and to our guest - Frank Morales.
Frank Morales is an Episcopal priest, writer, musician and activist born and raised on New York City's Lower East Side. He is a central leader of New York 9/11 Truth and the foremost investigator on the militarization of the police and preparations for military rule in America.
His articles Homeland Defense: Pentagon Declares War on America and Bush Moves Toward Martial Law were voted voted #2 Most Censored Story in 2003 and 2006 by Project Censored. He recently spoke at their Media Accountability Conference whose theme was- Media Censorship and the erosion of Civil Liberties
In the first half hour of the show, Frank shares his personal background, growing up in the Vietnam Era and his inspiration by the activists and spiritual leaders of that time. He was actively involved in the squatters' movement. His own direct experiences led him to investigate and understand the government's use of the police as a counter-insurgency tool to displace people who might provide pockets of resistance. Eliminating their housing, access to food, community, dispersing the poor in the inner cities was one of the tactics. The squatters' movement helped to create community and space for resistance, art, music to flourish and they have had their skirmishes with the police, but have triumphed to some degree, although certainly gentrification and the struggle continues.
In the rest of the first hour, Frank looks at the larger pattern and the Military Commissions Act and the most recent H.R.1955 - Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, passed by Congress and now in the Senate- pre-emptive measures to control thought and dissent. See the Baltimore Sun article-
Here come the thought police.
In the second hour, we respond to a couple of callers who questioned the veracity of a book on The Franklin Cover-Up (See the film Conspiracy of Silence) and the illegality of Martial Law which raised the issues of the evil/ the demonic within government, and the existence/persistence/definition of martial Law in various forms. Frank recommended a book entitled Hitler's Justice: The Courts of the Third Reich by Ingo Muller which showed how Hitler created a parallel legal structure to the court system in Germany to implement his agenda. We are seeing new structures being created to replace the Constitutional, accepted legal system within the United States to implement an agenda which serves a very small segment of the population at the expense of everyone else.
Despite the litany of Executive Orders, and horrific legislation, Frank believes that the resistance is growing stronger and truth will triumph. Local initiatives include getting an initiative on the ballot in New York City for a real investigation into 9/11 with subpeona power. He uses the metaphor that Jesus used of the "mustard seed" for truth which was considered a weed by farmers who tried to eradicate it- but were never successful. His work has obviously inspired him and he sees how historically movements have grown and succeeded over time.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Nov. 12, 2007- Media Renaissance- from Selling War to Serving Life Show with David Mathison and Eduardo Cohen
Listen 7:00- 8:00 pm (PST) to the WeThePeopleRadioNetwork.com and to our guest in the first hour- David Mathison.
Listen 8:00- 9:00 pm (PST) to the WeThePeopleRadioNetwork.com and to our guest in the second hour- Eduardo Cohen.
David Mathison is an internationally recognized media expert with more than 20 years experience in content management. Some of the world's largest publishers use his solutions to directly connect with mass, globally distributed audiences for maximum exposure. His legacy provides millions of global citizens with free news, financial data, audio and video information on the web's most popular sites.
David's resume includes-
*1995: Masters degree from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs
* 1994-1999: Vice President with Reuters, the world's largest news agency
* 1999-2001: Chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Kinecta Corporation, now part of Oracle.
* 2002-Present: Publisher of the book, BE THE MEDIA.
His new book-BE THE MEDIA is an extension of Mathison's award-winning work in eliminating inefficiencies in publishing, providing all participants with more egalitarian, democratic and open systems. The book is the result of a decentralized, collaborative effort by some of today's leading media activists, educators and experts. BE THE MEDIA offers solid, practical and proven techniques that show artists how to inexpensively create and widely distribute their content.
In the introduction to his book, the notion that a media renaissance is underway is explored. This renaissance is creating an upheaval in existing social relationships and new possibilities, as we improve people's ability to communicate with one another directly rather than allowing the most powerful to monopolize mass communications. We are in the birth process of opening new media possibilities to nurture genuine informed democracies, while the illegitimacy and lies of the dominant structures are challenging and destroying those who have abused their power.
Eduardo Cohen hosted and produced "The Other Americas Radio Journal" for fifteen years, providing analysis of US foreign policy and it's coverage in US news media with a focus on the distorting affects of racism, propaganda and corporate nationalism. The program aired on several radio stations, including KPFA.
- Served in a combat unit and in an Army press information office in Viet Nam. It was there he first observed the gaps between the realities of US foreign and military policy and how they are reported in the United States.
- Witnessed the impact of US policy during seven years living and traveling in Latin America and while investigating human rights violations in the Middle East during the Gulf War.
- Has been documenting anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism in the news for more than twenty years.
Eduardo Cohen is a member of Veterans for Peace and Alternatives to War Through Education. He speaks and gives workshops to activists to improve their skills in getting their message to the media, and covered by the media. At the same time he is very aware of how the media works and will focus on "News Media Complicity and the Selling of Never-Ending War." He will analyze the "monumental journalistic failure" in coverage of US Middle East policy, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the manufactured threat of Iran, and the War on Terror.
He will describe how anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism, propaganda, nationalism, ethnocentrism and militarism combine with news media complicity to distort and even reverse reality in Middle East coverage.
He will also connect the Cold War with globalization and the War on Terror and discuss the importance of critical news consumption, and support of alternative media.