Historical Lessons in a Digital Age

History, being a subject all but forgotten in a digital age, possesses with it essential information regarding who we are and where we came from. It is often said, though misquoted, that “those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.” I state “misquoted” as the original remark was “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This often misquoted remark was penned in Reason in Common Sense by George Santayana published in 1905. From my perspective, I prefer a thought from Cicero in that “History is indeed the witness of the times, the light of the truth.”
 
Often I am asked to state a given position regarding certain issues. As those issues are almost always political in nature, I tend to reflect on “where we came from” in order to postulate my own positions. I admire the set of principles set forth by our forefathers. I admire and respect the Constitution (both state and federal). Understanding the principles of enumerated powers came later in my life. It certainly cannot be claimed that I always upheld such a belief.
 
A little over a year ago, I published an article titled “Government Run Amok” in which I admonished both elected officials and city employees for not only the lack of concern for the obligations regarding city owned property, but for their attitude towards the citizens of the community in general. As I write this, little has changed. Elected officials continue to ignore their obligations, continue to violate the Constitution (state) and continue to denigrate those who they are supposed to represent.
 
I discontinued writing shortly thereafter because I answered the call by those who wished for me to represent them on the council. I ran a clean and honest campaign. In contrast, those who promoted my opponent utilized typical negative tactics to dissuade voters from supporting me. These tactics included, but were not limited to, intimidation, lies and innuendos. Though I was castigated for not agreeing to sign the “Code of Fair Campaign Practices” (a non-binding declaration), it was not I who delved into dirty politics. To be fair, my opponent never went negative as far as I know. Indeed, my opponent never expressed a position on any issue at all. However, those who supported my opponent did engage in negative and unethical campaign practices even to the point of utilizing intimidation against my poll volunteers and supporters.
 
In today’s society I find it unconscionable that a municipality would deny due process and equal rights on a routine basis. As stated in my previous article the provision violated due process by asset (money) forfeiture. Should you choose “not” to pay for the repair for city owned property, they can file a lien against your property and foreclose on your home. Since that time, and as a direct result of my previous campaign, the city council has revisited and altered the ordinance. However, there remains no due process provision and lien authority still exists.
 
The only significant change in this measure is that the city has decided to repair their own property “if” their assessment revealed that existing vegetation did not cause the damage. The existing vegetation was originally planted by the property developer (one of their benefactors) in direct violation of existing city ordinance. The city simply decided not to enforce the law and allowed the trees to be planted in the first place. This is called selective enforcement of the law. Should our elected officials be allowed to selectively enforce city ordinances and turn a blind eye when their benefactors violate the law?
 
Additionally, I view this decision to provide some repairs while denying others to be a direct benefit (emolument) by government. Therefore, this too creates a situation whereas our municipal government is yet again violating the constitution. Article 1, Section 3 states : “All free men, when they form a social compact, have equal rights, and no man, or set of men, is entitled to exclusive separate public emoluments, or privileges, but in consideration of public services.” Ironically, this provision of our bill of rights was derived from our original (Republic of Texas) constitution. It means that you can not provide benefits from government to some and not to all. It is very simple and to the point. Unfortunately, our elected officials do not to understand the concept of equality, or so it would seem.
 
As if all of these violations were not enough, you are also at risk for speaking your mind in public. Should you say something bad about those in power, you may find yourself the beneficiary of a SLAPP suit. SLAPP Suites (Strategic Lawsuit against Public Participation) are utilized primarily by corporations to silence opposition to any given objective. It is the ultimate form of the denial of our right to free speech.
 
Should you be so bold as to point out an elected official’s unethical behavior, their benefactors may file a SLAPP suite against you on the official’s behalf. Why you say? Because you could hurt the bottom line of the benefactor should the elected official lose his position in office? In these cases, the “truth” of a statement is not provided merit. The only thing considered is whether you did, or could, cause “damage” to the profits of the corporate welfare recipients. This, yet again, violates our constitutionally protected rights.
 
Article 1, Section 8 states:
 
Every person shall be at liberty to speak, write or publish his opinions on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that privilege; and no law shall ever be passed curtailing the liberty of speech or of the press. In prosecutions for the publication of papers, investigating the conduct of officers, or men in public capacity, or when the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence. And in all indictments for libels, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases.

This too is quite clear, yet often only observed if you take the fight all the way to the Supreme Court. The moneyed special interests now controlling the public agenda will attempt to bankrupt you in order to silence you.
 
Let us take score, shall we?
They selectively enforce the law.
They violate our due process.
They violate our equality under the law.
They violate our freedom of speech.
 
I don’t know about you, but having my rights violated by elected officials is getting to be a bit tiring. Our forefathers would never have tolerated this type of behavior from government. History teaches us that much less has lead to much more decisive action on the part of the citizens. Why should we then allow these violations to continue? Why? Because by in large we don’t vote! Until you turn entrenched incumbents out and bring in reliable representation by those not seeking profit from your tax money, you will get more of the same. They hope you are not paying attention. They hope you will remain sleeping. They hope you will keep your mouth shut and be  good little servant citizen. For should you awaken and decide to act, they know you will win. 

As a result of the pure sophistry and demagoguery which intimates out of the chambers at city hall, I have decided that I would once again seek to dethrone those who would rule as opposed to represent. As such, I have filed so run for the At Large, Position 2 seat on the council. It is often said that if you want something done right, you must do it yourself. Well, I suppose that is true in politics as well.
 
When you get this message, I will have already redirected my website back over to the campaign web page. I bid you farewell for now…and God help us all.