Thomas Jefferson wrote, in a letter to William S. Smith on November 13th, 1787 that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time”:
God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. … And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
Of course, we aren’t talking about taking up arms, just separating a few certain folks from their jobs.
Dave Kanner called me at the start of business hours this morning returning my call. As the Bulletin reports top and center on the front page this morning, two out of three county commissioners decided to abstain from signing the DCDDAA contract today.
Therefore I have to retract some of my previous comments; this government did in fact follow the will of the electorate. Dave mentioned that the county does face some legal exposure by delaying; obviously this is not the same as the exposure they face from signing a contract protecting employees which Flaherty intends to disrupt.
Of the decision makers, who is most supportive of the DCDDAA? It appears to be County Commissioner Alan Unger and County Attorney Mark Pilliod.
The Bulletin reports that Unger moved to sign the union contract immediately. Alan was quoted as saying that the county is “stuck between a rock and a hard spot.” In essence, Alan wanted to put the county at further financial jeopardy yesterday. Two more sensible commissioners struck him down.
Apparently, the (soon-to-be) fired DDAs are likely to counter with a suit claiming unfair termination for union involvement. Yet, if the union contract was approved yesterday, the terminated DDAs would have much more solid ground to sue to the county. It’s only logical that Commissioners Luke and Baney decided against this stupid course of action. The Bulletin also quotes Unger as saying “I would rather see it on the bottom side of a half-million dollars than on the top side.” Actions speak louder than words, and Unger clearly acted to make it on the top side of a half-million dollars (or more). Unfortunately Alan Unger’s term does not expire on December 31st, 2010 like Baney and Luke’s do. (Baney is re-elected for another 4 year term, and Luke is replaced by Tony DeBone, who will be an excellent commissioner.)
Mark Pilliod is reported by the Bulletin to have dismissed Flaherty’s accusation that imposing restrictions with the union contract would frustrate voters. Yet letters like mine from last month (and the Bulletin’s from yesterday) clearly show this is not the case, these letters show that we are very frustrated by his interference to protect his buddies.
“They voted in favor of Patrick Flaherty and not in favor of Mike Dugan,” Pilliod said. “Did they say something else? Did they say, ‘We want the house to be cleaned?’ Are there members of the District Attorney’s Office that need to be terminated?”
Yes. Clean it up, guys. What if people had confidence in our DA? That would be a first. Twenty three years is too long for anyone with this much power. Put everyone in the DA’s office and the court system on notice that we expect them to act with the same level of honesty and integrity that these institutions imbue with their tall stone buildings and meticulously maintained walkways. We pay for the buildings to have integrity, what about the people inside?
Was Thomas Jefferson suggesting in his 1787 letter that we re-form our government every 20 years? That’s exactly what’s happening right now. Patrick Flaherty knows that anyone, including himself, who stays in this position of power for over twenty years is not going to be serving the interests of justice, freedom and liberty. Flaherty has been fighting these fascists as a defense lawyer. He knows better than most about their unethical, immoral exercises of power. If he could prove their intent, he could label some of their moves as illegal. That’s a lot of work; as we see, just firing them has turned into a huge debacle. He’s cleaning the house, please step out of his way.
Today’s Bend Bulletin carries an article about the current situation. The DCDDAA contract is scheduled to be signed today by Deschutes County Commissioners.
Concurrently, the Bulletin published an article that bears an uncanny resemblance to what I wrote to both the Bulletin and to the Deschutes County Commissioners over a month ago. Literally, “Allow Flaherty to do his job.” This was released the same day the commissioners vote; much like my own letter, it is a strong message against the tying the hands of the new DA, a message against allowing Dugan’s DDAs to get special treatment.
Dave Kanner’s previous call to me was disingenuous. He claimed, simply, that the county had to negotiate with the DCDDAA, or the county would lose out in the negotiation (by forcing it to arbitration.) He implied that it had to be done now. Not so fast.
Let’s review the logic here:
- First, it’s blatantly obvious that the only reason behind the formation of this union was to protect DDA jobs that are threatened by Flaherty’s course of action.
- Second, it’s clear the County has 150 days, according to Oregon state law, before the contract negotiations are pushed over to arbitration.
The DCDDAA was not formed 150 days ago. It was formed in mid October. One hundred and fifty days from mid-October, 2010? That puts the arbitration mark out to March, 2011. That means the County Commissioners can wait until well after Flaherty has time to get rid of the fascists before putting a new contract in place. As both the Bend Bulletin and myself suggest, the County Commissioners should wait. That is, unless they want to simply override the will of the voters, destroy the cohesiveness within the new DA’s office, and cost the county hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) in lawsuits from soon-to-be former DDAs.
So why are the current County Commissioners voting to cave to these fascists before Flaherty takes office? I left Dave Kanner a voice mail asking why.
He hasn’t called back yet. But, I have a sneaking suspicion that the reason is simple, and like much else in politics and government, it follows the needs of the decision makers. As my good friend pointed out to me regarding this latest incident, “Everybody has dirt on everybody. I’m sure all kinds of threats have been quietly made.”
It’s certainly possible. Do any commissioners, administrators or others in the county fear reprisal? Are there threats of investigations and prosecutions if they don’t vote in favor of the DCDDAA? Or, perhaps something more subtle? I bet.
We’re all human. We all make mistakes, no matter how minor or innocent. Every person reading this blog entry, or the Bend Bulletin’s editorial page should be paying attention here. All of you, every citizen of Deschutes County has some historical issue that the DA could pursue as a felony charge. You don’t believe me? What do you know about the law that these DDAs don’t know? Did you dot every i and cross every t? Just hope that you are never in the cross-hairs of some of these unethical, immoral fascists. What other reason would the Commissioners have to go against the entire electorate, and even the Bulletin, prompting an article in the most prominent position of the editorial page? What reason other than protecting themselves, and their friends? You be the judge.
When the voters can’t even get what they vote for, the problem becomes obvious. This government is out of control.
In Roman times, Roman soldiers sometimes were not paid. So they would go on a rampage looting the countryside, collecting their wages directly from the local population. That’s what the U.S. government has turned into: disorganized crime, operating out of control.
There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns; there are things we do not know we don’t know.
– Donald Rumsfeld
WikiLeaks is, day-by-day, publishing hundreds of some 250,000 leaked US Government diplomatic cables. Compiled details about the diplomatic cables reveal the true feelings of the diplomats serving in various foreign embassies and consulates. These diplomats are only one step removed from both the US Secretary of State, and the field agents of the numerous US intelligence agencies (when diplomats and agents are not one and the same, that is). Governments around the world continue the time-honored diplomatic tradition of saying nothing by voicing vapid opinions about the leak. Amusingly, Israel finds the current leaks favorable, while Iran has decided they are part of a propaganda campaign orchestrated by the US Government.
Bradley Manning faces certain decades in jail over the leak, which he unwittingly confessed to. Snippets of a chat session between the naive and unstable Manning, and media darling Adrian Lamo show how a desperate, troubled soul searching for a confidant gets taken advantage of by a spineless, worthless pile of dog shit.
Lamo, who gained notoriety after hacking the New York Times web site, is far from honoring the early “hacker” ethic of information transparency that I grew up with. To protect his government contractor job, he’s turned into an informant of the lowest kind, preying on weak people to protect himself in light of his own weaknesses. As it turns out, I’m not the only person who is utterly repulsed by Lamo.
With more of his own weaknesses published on WikiLeaks for all to see, Lamo pushes for prosecution of Julian Assange (the WikiLeaks leader-in-hiding). Julian conducted an eloquent interview weeks prior to the cable leak. It explains why the work that WikiLeaks does can (in a theoretical way) be important. Following the cable leak, Swedish rape charges (initially brought after the Iraq war SIGACT leak, and later dropped) were renewed via Interpol.
Sarah Palin’s response to the current WikiLeaks episode displays her typical ineptitude that repulses both the average Alaskan and usually supportive Fox News reporters. I can’t see the republicans choosing her as the 2012 presidential candidate, unless they are willing to give this coming election to ye olde incumbent.
“In a free society we’re supposed to know the truth”
This is the first time we have seen an attempt at the international community level to censor a website dedicated to the principle of transparency. We are shocked to find countries such as France and the United States suddenly bringing their policies on freedom of expression into line with those of China.
–Reporters Without Borders
The Wikileaks phenomenon — the existence of an organisation devoted to obtaining and publicly releasing large troves of information the U.S. government would prefer to keep secret — illustrates just how broken our secrecy classification system is. While the Obama administration has made some modest improvements to the rules governing classification of government information, both it and the Bush administration have overclassified and kept secret information that should be subject to public scrutiny and debate. As a result, the American public has had to depend on leaks to the news media and whistleblowers to know what the government is up to.
–American Civil Liberties Union
“According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” That’s what was said on September 10, 2001 by Former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Apparently things were so out of control back then, the government’s mix-mash of accounting baloney couldn’t keep track of itself. Just imagine what it looks like now that we’ve blindly increased “defense” spending year after year.
With a $14 trillion dollar debt, (of which the war machine consumes $600 billion per year, as much as the rest of the world combined, and growing), there is a growing perception of US Defense Spending Bringing Down An Empire. (Now, depending on who you listen to, we’re beyond bankrupt with a debt as high as $200 trillion. That depends on how you figure in future spending and future revenues.)
Two years ago, Geraldo was in New York City, standing in front of “9/11 Was An Inside Job” protesters, representing Fox News, and calling them crazy. Now that Obama has been in office for a while, the “Inside Job” protesters are acceptable to Fox News, Gerlado eats his words and admits that the controlled demolition of WTC Building 7 was more than just a strange coincidence. The first question I’d ask, why exactly did the World Trade Center towers have explosives ready to blow in the first place?