This website was borne of a frustration that our world is headed in the wrong direction, with a belief that a different approach might possibly address intractable problems, even across our political divide, in particular: high incarceration rates, excessive income disparities, healthcare in chaos, guns and drugs threatening families and communities, and environmental decline.
Political gridlock tragically ignores growing problems, yet command-and-control compromises will be too little, too late, and simply won’t work in a free society. Rules and regulations criminalize a working economy, and our lock ’em up mentality is fundamentally contrary to our great social experiment of a free and democratic society.
In the following pages, I outline solutions that protect freedoms within our constitutional framework. Proposals require fiscal responsibility for all, enlisting peer accountability and therefore peer pressure within consumer groups (preferred over “enforcement”) in order to offer choices, yet ensure both “liberty and justice.” I begin with social justice, with respect for fellow Americans.
Page 1: The “Jury of Peers” essay is the exact copy of a handbill I handed out at the entrance to a county courthouse, with considerable effect forcing prosecutors to double the jury pool. It’s a powerful tool – I suggest a coalition of activists carefully consider reasonable reforms in a coordinated campaign to expedite changes in the criminal justice system. If frustrated citizens are in need of an outlet, know that “juror (pool) education, including handing out informational materials outside courthouses, is protected by the First Amendment” (Paul Butler, Let’s Get Free, p. 76). Please do not leaflet actual jurors or specific cases.
Page 2: I explain the reasons for peaceful resistance to civil rights abuses to our own citizens.
Page 3: The “Policing Reform” page offers a proposal that could save lives of both the public and the police.
Page 4: Saving our forests is a compelling reason for tax reform, starting with property tax breaks that incentivize stewardship. While respecting private property rights, I also suggest incentives for housing density to reduce homelessness, and to motivate emergency preparedness – all natural and national security issues. In the words of the Sightline Institute, this appeal is for a “tax shift, off our backs and on our side.” It takes “taxation without representation” one logical step forward where taxes represent a cause and effect link to the source of a problem. I call it “source taxes” that contrast to “ticky taxes” which penalize groups unrelated to the problem.
Page 5: “Fare Enforcement and Riders’ Rights” outlines compelling reasons to rethink Sound Transit 3, a piecemeal approach paid with flawed taxation, that disrespects citizens and does little to keep our economy flowing.
2nd Blog post: “Donate your Diet to Science” suggests a revenue source and fundamental foundation for healthcare reform.
This blog is a response to reactionary populism and our slide toward authoritarianism. The proposals share fundamental concepts: free will, personal and peer accountability, respect for science-based statistics, and faith that competition within Responsible Market Economics (full-cost accounting) can have a better social and environmental outcomes than command-and-control caps/mandates/standards/targets and regulations.
At its core, the root problem of social injustice and environmental degradation is the same: the “plunder not just the bodies of humans but the body of the Earth itself (author Ta-Nehisi Coates).” It is the core unwillingness to accept responsibility, the unwillingness to pull our weight and pay as we go, the unwillingness to compensate for damage done to others from our choices.