A Seat at the Table is defined as any elected government official (city, county, state, federal, military) or high-ranking government individual (Cabinet, Pentagon, Ambassadors, etc.) that has power to manipulate situations for personal gain or for that of his/her family members friends and business connections.
It is well documented that absolute power corrupts. Each of these persons with a seat at the table will become corrupt, compromised or coerced to some extent. Those in political positions of power owe so much to those who put them there; this excludes the citizen voter; all manipulation of the voter was done upstream prior to the election (advertising, group think, money, etc.). The degree, frequency, and value depend upon the individual and how much he/she owes or can usurp (what he/she can sell or influence).
Those in office, or running for office, who paint corporations and the rich as villains, and that we must increase their taxes and redistribute their wealth to the poor, are telling you (the poor and middle class) what you want to hear. Do not drink the Kool-Aid! What is true is that the middle class will always pay the majority of the taxes. When the government increasing the debt, it is using your credit card in essence – you will ultimately be held accountable to repay it.
As long as those with a “seat at the table” can keep the poor and middle class riled up and at odds with the rich and corporations, their seats are safe. With all this rhetoric in the media, the voter’s eye is off the ball.
The rich, corporations, and small business create jobs and employment opportunities, not poor or working-class individuals! Think before you cast your vote! It is your one true action (barring voter fraud).
FBI, Police, ICE, Border Patrol, and the military protect and serve the country, citizens, and property. Just like any profession or trade, a small percentage are not worthy of their job (corruption, poor performance, bad attitude, etc.) Take any of these populations, also include doctors, lawyers, teachers, civil servants, unions, etc., and there will be those who should be removed. Unfortunately, there is “job protection” by virtue of seniority or by the organization itself. To improve the images of these organizations, changes need to be made (peer reviews, customer complaints, accountability, performance testing). Protecting bad apples does not help society or the country.
Consider these non-partisan topics that will improve your knowledge as a US Citizen Voter. The goal is to give you real satisfaction that your vote was cast with as much rigor as you could muster to ensure your action was not frivolously cast.
Term Limits: Elected paid positions with benefits should have term limits. Prolonged tenures will generate roots and the inclination to maintain the status quo, complacency, unsavory alliances (for some), and losing touch with the reason you were originally elected – to serve and improve the quality of life of the country and its citizens. The founding fathers have set these limits for the presidency, but not for congress or the judiciary. What those limits should be are a topic for discussion. Remember, each generation represents the current norm of society’s majority.
Holding on to the status quo has some merits (tradition, continuity, evolutionary in intent, etc.) but the way is forward. Forward is driven by time, technology, and changes in societal norms. You might consider that all those who have only been in elected office or positions their entire careers, have been on full expense report – never having had to pay a personal nickel for living expenses! This on situation, puts long term office holders out of touch with the man on the street. The lack of term limits could be the single biggest contribution supporting Special Interest Groups (SIG).
Lobbyists: There is a whole industry built around quid pro quo (something for something). Corporate and political organizations have representatives to influence the government to pass laws and policies that would be favorable to them. Most of these have activities that cross state and international boundaries. Keep in mind each state has two (2) lobbyist in the federal government – their senators.
The lobbyists have a direct link to the assets available for political favors. There is also the perception that lobbyists draft the appropriation bills for the House of Representatives – most of which are “addendums or riders” to major legislation (known as pork). This is the system we have.
The current republican administration has issued an Executive Order (EO) delaying for 5 years, breaking the network links between prior government employees and lobbyists. There is a rampant trend of congressional, military, and government retirees (at all levels), going to work directly with government contractors and lobbyists that are associated with their former government position deemed to be of value (technical knowledge, Network connections of influence) to the contractor or lobbyist.
Ethics: The televised (including social media) news clips for government employees and prominent individuals are voicing such misleading information and character assassinations that have only sensational news value – but no value to the citizen voter. It seems that corporate America and the politically correct police, hold corporations to higher standards than our elected officials. In corporate America, you cannot slander or libel any one while at work – customer, fellow employee face-to-face or on social media without consequences. This seems no to hold for government employees or elected officials.
It would be nice if negative personal attacks could be off-limits and that the truth be required and speakers held accountable with meaningful consequences. A bell that has be rung, cannot be un-rung! There are fact checkers that officials can verify the truth before communicating. Today there are no formal consequences for those in office for what they say. The same can be said of the press and media. There is one major collateral impact – the citizen voter is being intentionally mislead, which will bring bias into the vote. It should not be too much to ask of our public leaders to tell the truth and the facts in context and time. There is no reason why not, these are the “experts” on what they are communicating to the citizen voter.
Safety & Sanctity of the Workplace – With corporations and organizations allowing political slogan, group titles, and media, the sanctity and safety of the workplace for all peoples.
News Media: In the 1960’s you would see on TV, 30 minutes of news in the evening on week days: 15 minutes of local news followed by 15 minutes of national/international news (Huntley/Brinkley Report) as an example – no commercials inside the news segments. Today there is no national political unbiased news that deal with facts and data not taken out of context. The majority of the political news is not pure news – it’s bias opinion, many times presented as fact. The citizen voter can no longer depend on object information from the media. Where can he get the facts and data in context?
Perhaps the FCC can clearly segregate opinion news from pure news – by channel, time, network, etc., or other way.
Unions: Unions should share in the blame for police excessive force and death incidents. Seniority is the keystone of unions. All benefits advance with increases in seniority. For the trades, they are considered the experts. Clients should expect and receive the best. A drawback or seniority is when companies cut back, the younger, lower seniority are laid off, regardless of skill level. Unions should consider improving the quality of service they provide through the following:
· Set minimum quality standard of service
· Have alternative jobs when physical skills decline and minimum quality standards can no longer be met (safety for the member and the client) – especially for law enforcement.
· Where appropriate, members should be tested annually to maintain current status – those that do not pass, should receive targeted training and have a mentor as long as appropriate
· Where appropriate, members should be judged on the success of their clients (for example, for teachers, if 85% of their students to not pass their class) – In this case, teachers should be monitored for 90 days, and if minimum standards cannot be achieved, relinquish their credentials
Political Statements – Fortune 500 companies, and the majority of small
business, by policy, do not allow political or religious discussion, communication, activity on company property or time. Political views and religious beliefs are personal and have no place in the work place. This is acceptable to main street and wall street. In 2020, this has been violated by local and state governments as well as sports teams and organizations. This is not broadly received by main street.
Perception of Government Corruption– Persons under 18 perceive the government at all levels to be corrupt-free; only totalitarian governments in communist or third-world countries are perceived as corrupt. With the recent events in the USA, the perception of a corrupt-free US government has been abolished. From mayors, city councils, state representatives and senators, House of Representatives and Senate officials, it has become apparent that corruption is well and thriving.
There is a perception of the “good old boys/girls” club, the elected elite, from all world countries, are living on full expense report of the citizen taxpayers of all countries. The US national debt is akin to the elected government officials using the taxpayers as a credit card with know limit, yet holding them to repaying that debt. The clique of world government leaders and their inner circles are on an exempt level (unaccountable for expenses, quid pro quo, and the law) on full expense report.
There is a question as to the value of the United Nations. The bad actors say one thing, vote one way, but there is no change in their behavior. It is a boondoggle for the privileged few. Another question, what good is the World Trade Organization (WTO) if all nations, except a handful are members, and many of the members cheat with impunity
ANTIFA (Anti-Fascist) - a political protest movement comprising autonomous groups affiliated by their militant opposition to fascism and other forms of extreme right-wing ideology.
ADL (Anti-Defamation League) – Motto: Fighting Hate for Good. Formerly known as the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, is an international Jewish non-governmental organization based in the United States. It was founded in late September 1913 by the Independent Order of B'nai B'rith, a Jewish service organization. ADL subsequently split from B'nai B'rith and continued as an independent US section 501(c)(3) nonprofit. ADL states that its mission is a dual one: "To stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all" via the development of "new programs, policies and skills to expose and combat whatever holds us back.” Opposing antisemitism and extremism, ADL describes its "ultimate goal" as "a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.”
Black Lives Matter Mission - Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.
Doxing: Search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent. Doxing is totally unethical and illegal under state criminal laws. It's a crime and can lead to serious legal consequences like imprisonment, if you get caught harassing others and sharing their private information.
Structural discrimination is a form of institutional discrimination against individuals of a given protected characteristic such as race or gender which has the effect of restricting their opportunities. It may be either intentional or unintentional, and it may involve either public or private institutional policies.
Institutional racism (also known as systemic racism) is a form of racism that is embedded as normal practice within society or an organization. It can lead to such issues as discrimination in criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power, and education, among other issues.
Domestic Terrorism Domestic terrorism or homegrown terrorism is a form of terrorism in which victims "within a country are targeted by a perpetrator with the same citizenship" as the victims. There are many definitions of terrorism, and none of them are universally accepted.
Quid pro quo – something for something
· dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery
· the process by which something, typically a word or expression, is changed from its original use or meaning to one that is regarded as erroneous or debased
Metrics – The following metrics based on accurate data if shared to all would be
beneficial in helping all parties better understand the facts:
· Number of total police shootings that killed alleged suspects by:
o Total number of shootings nationwide
o Total number of deaths by ethnicity
o Race of police shooter to race of shot suspect
o Gender of shooter to gender of suspect
· Net worth of Executive, Legislative, Judiciary, and Military elected/appointed persons and their immediate family members before assuming their positions and their networks after gaining office, current and when leaving office if no longer in office.
The Logan Act - The Logan Act (1 Stat. 613, 18 U.S.C. § 953, enacted January 30, 1799) is a United States federal law that criminalizes negotiation by unauthorized American citizens with foreign governments having a dispute with the United States.
U.S.C. sections created: 18 U.S.C. § 953
Enacted by: the 5th United States Congress
Long title: An Act for the punishment of certain Crimes therein specified
Statutes at Large: 1 Stat. 613
The Hatch Act - The Hatch Act of 1939, An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities, is a United States federal law. Its main provision prohibits civil service employees in the executive branch of the federal government, except the president and vice president, from engaging in some forms of political activity.
Public law: Pub.L. 76–252
Statutes at Large: 53 Stat. 1147
Long title: An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities
FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) - The Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act of 1978 ("FISA" Pub.L. 95–511, 92 Stat. 1783, 50 U.S.C. ch. 36) is a United States federal law that establishes procedures for the physical and electronic surveillance and collection of "foreign intelligence information" between "foreign powers" and "agents of foreign powers" suspected of espionage or terrorism. The Act created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to oversee requests for surveillance warrants by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies – Location, E Barret Prettyman U>S> Courthouse, Washington, DC. It has been repeatedly amended since the September 11 attacks.