From Victoria: "I'm so happy that you are sharing John's valuable insights with your audience. He has such an extraordinary mind and I'm delighted his voice is being heard by more people in America than just me!
I feel the two of you make the perfect pair! I think it is a great idea to create an American/European discussion. If America is to truly survive and evolve it has to speak with an inclusive/global voice, rather than exclusively." ******* From Paul: "Having served in government for a long while, and been responsible for one of the few major changes in policy that resulted in both savings and greater efficiency [in a national government] I know exactly what you mean. I also know from that experience how extremely difficult, bordering on impossible, it is to change anything of significance. But, as you point out, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try." ******** From Madlyn: "I read it to my husband, and he agrees with you, as do I. My thoughts are for immediate social help, and what most American's see as obvious. The points you bring have even more serious implications, it is a secret society that makes everyone rich that plays the game ... why aren't we using natural gas, which is so plentiful in this country? The powers that be obviously don't want that." ************* From Leeya: "You offer much to think about. Networking shared views is wonderful. Sometimes people feel that no one else shares their view and feel consequently very alone...Your dialogue process sounds intriguing. Tomorrow I am meeting with some people for our first planning session of Transition Town in ____. Rob Hopkins is the founder of a "transition movement" with a bottoms
up (strategy where) every community does it differently... returning government into
the hands of local people. His book is The Transition Handbook: from oil dependency to local resilience...Let's see if we have evolved enough to
create a truly transparent, intelligent, and evolved group!" ************* From James Madison: "If it be asked, what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer, the genius of the whole system, the nature of just and constitutional laws, and above all the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America, a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it." (Federalist No. 57, 1788) ************ From Linda: "I certainly am not a political animal, but the time has come to 'step up to the plate' and be counted. Thanks. ************ From Dave: "The brightest nugget that I have gleaned from your message is that "waste" is really new capital and power for the corporations structured to scoop it up. This I will integrate into my (teaching)." ************ From Eileen: "... it is so important for people to realize that they have power as individuals and can change the world if they wish to. The government are not there to make our lives better but to make their lives better; we are in control. We shouldn't have to do or put up with anything we don't think is fair ,,, change will start small like you say in communities who can then become networks of change. You got me all inspired again, here in ______ corruption is everywhere and I get very disheartened sometimes." ************ From Bev: "Thanks for your insightful observations and call to action." ************ From Julie: "Your thoughts on the state of our government mirror my own. You have firsthand experience, up close and personal, and so it gives your voice an enormous amount of clout. I never worked directly in government but I wrestled with it when I served in administrative positions in the medical care system and in medical education where waste, inefficiency, fraud and unethical behavior is rampant." ************ From Marilyn: "I have not been in public service the way you have. Instead I teach yoga and do bodywork helping people to be more connected to their inner source so they can make decisions based on their inner guide which I believe will change the consciousness of the planet. I realized fully about a year ago that to rely on the Government for the change that needs to happen is a lesson in futility.... Community is the key." *********** From Jack: "Good to hear that you are still trying. Your message is particularly germane at this time. I have just seen for the first time "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" (1939) and was surprised to be so inspired by it.
In 1976, on our farm ... here in Tennessee, I had read Benjamin Barber's "Strong Democracy" -- and in that mood I began writing about and trying to promote a plan. Barber's work was much like you propose: citizen involvement as opposed to representative democracy which Barber referred to as "thin" democracy. I got no response to my efforts to promote participation.
...we are up against...not only apathy, but a kind of unwillingness to pursue a course of considering all possible ways to countervail the status quo - on a steady, long-range basis. In other words, not just when a crisis arises." ********** From Rosemary: "Thanks Paul, I agree, we need to reduce spending and downside the government. The first target I think is the TSA, the 2nd Target is the Education Dept. and then all the duplicate anti-terrorism organizations that have developed since (9/11). And again yes, things have gotten worse since the early nineties..." ************ From Debi: "I feel that "We The People" could really sustain a grass-roots rally for true change ... starting here in our local communities. Yet ... I believe that we would need careful and thoughtful leadership in such efforts to keep from recreating such a human disaster (as in the French Revolution).... what can be done to encourage public support for grass-roots renewal without creating another hate explosion?" ****** From Karin: "What will it take to have a majority of citizens become involved at their local level of politics and decision making? What needs to happen first? I used to be involved, but I left. You should see me right now---brow furrowed, worried looking. I'm in another country and still worried about back home.
Things are similar here in ____, I fear, with powerful rich people controlling change while miming "democracy". We even know about bankers thumbing their noses at all of us, and that we're powerless to make them pay us back. Instead - all the poor, the sick, the old, and the young have to lose their faith that government cares about them. It's sickening. But maybe this is what needs to happen first."