Jan Gregory

Someone is shy

Jan hasn't completed a profile. Should we look for some other people?

Comments & conversations

Noface
Jan Gregory
Posted over 1 year ago
Lawrence Lessig: We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim
Hi Jeremy, I'm returning your comment. Love this discussion. Lots of great ideas including yours. I think we agree on the need, but a divergence of thinking on practicality. Restrictions on the electoral process, such as restricting the amounts of money spent, always seem to run head-on into serious complex debates with heavyweight debate points that are legitimate. And the argument to restrict money is an easy target for Judges and constitutional lawyers. Same for providing candidates only public platforms for their message. Unfortunately, many great ideas can only exist in a perfect world. In my experience, KISS is what usually wins out. Simple works because everyone gets it. Easy to communicate the message. If the idea needs no defense because there are no legitimate arguments against it give you the winning advantage. In this case of corruption in the political process, we are talking about the history of civilization. Corruption is corruption, and it has always been around in every form of governing mankind invented. And it always will be in my opinion. All human beings are fallible. Throughout history, the pragmatic solution was usually exposing corruption. That's why you don't hear many arguments against a free press and the right to free speech, and the right of the people to know what going on. However, it's only recently in human history we have governments based on documents guaranteeing these rights. We have the privilege and the right to expose corruption. Barring politicians and public servants from freedom to choose private employment after government, I'm afraid it would fails for the same reasons. Hey, I could get behind the idea, they have given themselves huge pensions and benefits after their public service. So shouldn't we have the right to restrict what they do one can do? No matter how much I agree, restricting personal freedom will always will run straight into the constitution and civil rights.
Noface
Jan Gregory
Posted over 1 year ago
Lawrence Lessig: We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim
Hope no one minds, here's the wrap-up to my comment reply above: Transparency is common sense. No one can be fully trusted. No one is incorruptible. Not you. Not me. Not politicians or public servants. Corruption is a crime of opportunity. Only way it can happen is in the dark. Removing the opportunity to steal is a smart move. A good business owner creates transparent systems and audits to prevent embezzlement. There is also personal accountability and responsibilty built-in. There's nowhere to hide. So the crime won't happen. Shouldn't we the citizens do the same? Does anyone believe we get transparency, personal responsibility and accountability from Washington. And we won't until we demand the constitutional right. It's our money, let's send Congress a message. They can argue there is transparency now, and create their own execution. The emporer is naked no matter what he says. Public hanging and beheading were once customary forms of execution. It was also customary for the convicted to tip the executioner. What for... a quick painless death. Dull axe or sharp axe. If there was an upswell of support from the electorate supporting a publicly funded Department of Transparency, now that sends the proper message. Let's be kind and give congress fair warning. Choose. A long process of public shame as they expose their nakedness, or support the idea and provide the trivial funding. Make it quick and painless. Simple ideas communicate, because they are simple. Dull axe or sharp axe?
Noface
Jan Gregory
Posted over 1 year ago
Lawrence Lessig: We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim
Hi Jeremy, good point. You are correct, there are other options. Private funding for one. My preference for public funding gets more mileage. Public funding is constitutional. Pubic funding for a citizens website to reveal all their actions is a direct message of supporting the constitution and its original intent for the public good. We all pay for good roads and education whether or not we drive or have children. Common cause. This transparency and legitimacy about public money is inherent and inarguable... based on common sense and the constitution. Which is a setup for corrupt politicians in this idea for an independent 'Transparency Agency". Transparency and light inherently create an informed electorate. Politicians and special interests prefer the dark for corruption. Then the people stay meek and mild and let corruption continue. Let them argue against what everyone clearly knows but cannot see... at least not yet. Now, they hide their corruption in dark corners. C-span does not show the true nature of legislation and how it happens, only a fool would think otherwise. We do not have an open government inherent in a democracy or a democratic-republic. We are losing the republic. Let them argue against public funding for open government, which would be trivial amount. That's great PR for an idea and a cause. Those politicians step right into the light to make a case they will lose and aid the cause. The constitution gives congress the power of the purse. They are charged and entrusted to spend our money for the public good. Not for private gain. It's common sense and constitutional right to look over the shoulder of your financial officers and payroll clerks as they disburse the money. Selling out for favors. is still taking money for influence. The K street Favor Bank still has a financial heart. Favors are the currency, and K street is the de factor center of the congressional branch. Your money is over there, not under the Capital dome.
Noface
Jan Gregory
Posted over 1 year ago
Lawrence Lessig: We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim
Thanks. It's a real idea too. Would be cheap and easy to put into play. Could be started in less than a month. The technology exists, and no special interest group owns the internet... yet. And I can't imagine how the Supreme Court would ever get into to. This idea requires congress for public funding, which I think is an important step but if this idea caught on... the publicity would shame them into action. Ben Franklin would love it. Genuine transparency would help us keep the Republic, by allowing "We the People" our democratic civil right to see what is really going on behind closed doors.
Noface
Jan Gregory
Posted over 1 year ago
Lawrence Lessig: We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim
Wolves are wolves. It's the natural order of things. Ask any cop. But they often don't wear signs that ID them as wolves. Here's a radical idea... publicly funded transparency for all politicians and govt employees. Maybe we take a tiny portion of taxpayer money and create some independent systems owned by we the people. Intense, bright light shone into the public lives and actions of every politician and lobbyist in DC. That's a good start. Why not a publicly funded 24/7 real-time website for total transparency? One with real celebrity style journalism by our govt employee reporters appointed for a lifetime to avoid corruption. Reporters who can pander to our fickle public with sensational headlines to get their attention... which is about as long as a gnat's whisker these days. Maybe we can get all the people to PARTICIPATE as well informed citizens by watching "Celebrity Lobbyists" streaming video showing 24/7 on their iPad app provided by "we the people" and not powerful cable channels. "Here we are ladies and gentleman, outside the luxury resort in Antigua, at this 4 day agricultural conference sponsored by Archer-Daniels Midland. So far we have the arrival of Senator Poobah from Iowa accompanied by his new 24 year old intern, Rhonda Twaddle, who will taking notes at the conference. And Representative Sam Jones is arriving now in the next limo..." "Good morning ladies and gentleman, here we are with our cameras at the posh Komi restaurant in Washington where the average bill is $439 per person. But insider opinion here... lobbyists regularly right off $1000 dollar bottles of wine along with the $700 a plate lunches." "Oh, I see Senator SwizzleStick arriving with the lobbyist for the NRA and the guy for Pfizer pharmacueticals too. That looks like a bit of spirited cooperation there in the public interest, ladies and gentleman... the old quid pro quo power play. And yes, here comes 3 congressman with lobbyists for..."
Noface
Jan Gregory
Posted over 1 year ago
Lawrence Lessig: We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim
Love these comment discussions here today The founding fathers would be happy too, I'd wager. They didn't seem to think anything was wrong with money either. Money isn't evil. Capitalism and free enterprise are the shining examples in the 20th century of something that really, really works well. Money is not the problem in our government, it's corruption. Sound, common sense protection is always necessary to keep the wolves away? I think so. That's why wise politicians created sound legislation to keep speculators away from your personal savings and home assets. The Glass Steagal Act of 1933 did that very well for a long time. Until we had passage of the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, whereby commercial banks, investment banks, securities firms, and insurance companies were allowed to consolidate. we all know the result and the taxpayer bailouts of huge banks and financial institutions that committed legal thievery. Who opened that door and let the wolves inside the walls? Would not a well-informed electorate be up in arms about the single biggest robbery in the history of the world and the perpetrators? The framers said having arms are okay and we should defend our country. No one needs to point the finger. The culprits are in plain sight under the big dome in DC and on wall street. Why is it that the Justice Department can't seem to prosecute the named individuals who perpetuated this massive fraud? The undeniable linkage is right there in plain sight. What about politicians Gramm, Leach and Bliley and the supporters who let the wolves in the door? Is anyone holding them accountable? Well PBS has, maybe you should tune in some time and get away from the narcissism of Facebook liking and stroking... and get informed. The wolf metaphor is okay, but maybe the real story is not who let the wolves in the door. Is it possible our gatekeepers and guardians under the big dome might be wolves in... okay I'm not going to say it:).
Noface
Jan Gregory
Posted over 1 year ago
Lawrence Lessig: We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim
Nice talk. Great satire. On point. No argument from me, Larry. We have massive polarization in the electorate today where everyone is a special interest of one aligned with their tribe. And Larry is on the pulpit shouting it out. Anything is possible if we become Americans again. Keep your views and your biases, but get in the game as an American. However, the big message for me is this idea of "corruption" in Larry's talk. Isn't this a two way street? Are we getting what we deserve? I recall a phrase ages ago in civics class... participatory democracy. Kinda implies personal responsibility. To not just be a member of that democracy and vote... not because the person is handsome and really good family man.... but because you feel like you will get the best on the issues that affect your life. The catch is simple... you must know what the issues are and exactly how they will affect your life. Are you a well-informed citizen educated about all sides of the issues. Participate yes, but please can't we include that part of the framer's vision about being well-informed and educated on the issues in the power to vote? This is not a requirement that can be regulated, I'm just issuing an invitation here... to be a full citizen and take on the hard work so you are a well-informed voter and not just herding along with the sheep.
Noface
Jan Gregory
Posted over 1 year ago
Lawrence Lessig: We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim
I love the spirited comment discussions here on Ted! Democracy by cell phone app where everyone can stop facebooking, youtubing, and downloading crap to place their equal and egalitarian vote on every little thing concerning the public governance issues. Wow, that's a geek's dream come true. Hey, what about electronic security and voter fraud on those cell phone apps? Hmmmm... what about informing oneself on the each of those issues. Got time for all that? That might drastically cut into facebook time budgeting. True democracy? That one usually has a very short shelf life... historically speaking at least. For the reason why true democracy goes like a Lord of the Flies tale, go right to the lowest common denominator, the Pareto Principle aplied to the general population.
Noface
Jan Gregory
Posted over 1 year ago
Jon Ronson: Strange answers to the psychopath test
Hi John, I think you're pointing to the common characteristic shared by both sociopaths and psychopaths... lack of conscience. And I respectfully contend there is a reason for two classifications. There are many difference to be noted to make the distinctions meaningful. One in particular is violence. They both share lack of conscience, lack of empathy and inflict pain on others, but psychopaths stand out for the violence of their actions. Psychopaths cannot be understood on the basis of anti-social behavior or in how they developed as children or adults. They have something different at the core of their being. Psychopaths are relentless, emotionless, fearless and dangerous monsters. Loners who never form a long-standing bond with another human. Scientists conjecture that something in the makeup of their central nervous systems creates these people. It is not learned behavior or conduct as with sociopaths. Google "what is the difference between sociopaths and psychopaths" You will find a lot to consider, such as these http://www.cassiopaea.com/cassiopaea/psychopath_2.htm http://voices.yahoo.com/sociopath-vs-psychopath-there-difference-1906224.html?cat=72
Noface
Jan Gregory
Posted almost 2 years ago
Failure should be respected for those trying to accomplish something
Tabor: "...instead they are either unperceived, or unheeded. " That's the nail on the head metaphor right there. Beginning with Bill Clinton in 1994, there were many, many small efforts to unseat Glass-Steagall and other good regulations that went unperceived and certainly unnoticed by the larger population. All of these small cuts led up to creating the securitization or mortgages that become the debacle we still are living. Was is a cult or a conspiracy behind those thousands of cuts... perhaps guided by some Star Chamber? The Occupy Movement doesn't quite articulate it this way, but when they rail on about "corporate greed" and "special interests" running America through buying politicians to change legislation favorable to the special interest goals... who would argue that's not far off. The reason they are special... is that these interests seek out from politicians is not usually favorable to the public good. There can't be two masters. The paymasters get the attention. Simple as that. Wall Street got what it wanted. Health insurance companies get what they want. Credit Card companies get what they want. And on and on... until someone forces campaign reforms onto Washington DC... nothing will change. There is the small mistake we should learn from. Greed fuels politicians because they cannot continue their jobs without massive campaign funds. Why do we allow this if we are learning from our mistakes? No one is seeing this clearly as the hinge point in the series of mistakes leading up to the big events. Sorry... just couldn't resist going with "nail on the head" :)