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home : opinion : opinion May 24, 2016


7/18/2013 6:00:00 AM
Guest Column: The powerful are abusing their power
Dean Wolslagel
Kingman Resident

Does our government - federal, state or local - support the ideas and civil freedoms written in our Constitution, or does government try to repress those freedoms? The answer to most of America is repress, but why?

Why do people we hire as "public servants" work against our ideals?

Unfortunately, the battle the Founding Fathers fought 230 years ago during the Revolution is a never-ending one. One weakness in our government's structure is the makeup of the House and Senate. It's clear the English idea of commoners and lords carried over to the framers' idea of our federal government.

It seems those with enormous wealth (ill-gotten or earned) do not want the shoemaker to have a voice. The idea of free speech by all the people is one that many of the wealthy and influential hate. Why are free speech and the right to vote so important, and why is it the fundamental cornerstone of the Constitution? Because it makes us all equal.

Look at our U.S. Senate. It's just a copy of the English House of Lords, and lords don't like the shoemaker to vote down their ideas. Have you ever tried to communicate with a senator? It's almost impossible. Form letters are the norm - unless you're a donor of wealth and power. Look at what has happened in the last 25 years to this country and then look at the terms of certain U.S. senators. It looks as if this is our problem. Power is never released, and power corrupts. One senator can completely block all the workings of government.

That is clearly too much power.

Lately we heard the Gang of Six or the Gang of Eight making decisions for the entire Senate. What? Who decided to remove our elected representatives from making decisions because a gang has decided something?

In our society, we have three branches of government for a good reason - a checks-and-balances system for the control of the power-hungry few. In the last few years, a great erosion of our ideals has happened to this country due to the fear of terrorism. Notice how our judicial branch seems almost powerless to control the excesses of power due to congressional controls and new restrictive laws.

Kings used fear for the control of the people before this country was formed and we must not let fear destroy the constitutional freedoms so many of our men and women have died for.

What's one federal solution? Term limits! Senators should only serve for 12 years and no more. Look at a typical senator. By the time they leave government, they are millionaires! The Constitution is in real jeopardy due to our government being out of control with fear and warmongering. The recent power now given to a president is what kings used three centuries ago.

We must make all our governments a voice of all the people and not a voice of the few elite.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Article comment by: You Don't Say

@ LA

"The real problem is, we have thrown God out and with Him, morality which is the cornerstone of good government."

As I've stated before, I think it is absolutely ridiculous to say that you cannot have good morals unless they are propped up by God or the Bible. Bush certainly did not exercise good morals by starting two wars using "our" Social Security monies. Myth Romney did not show good morals when addressing the 47% in front of his constituents. People use the Bible as a cop out just like addicts use drugs as an excuse.


Posted: Saturday, July 27, 2013
Article comment by: nnp .....

A comparison between the House of Lords and the U.S. Senate is weak on several counts, not the least of which is the large Anglican clergy contingent amongst the Lords. An historical commentary would also mention seats reserved for hereditary titles, although recent governments in London have been whittling this segment down. At any rate, whether we're discussing the Senate or the House, one striking feature of our abuse at their hands is when major affecting pieces of legislation consisting of thousands of pages are reviewed in minutes, then voted upon. The present immigration "reform" bill is a particularly gross example. Buried among this tome's pages are provisions fining U.S. employers for hiring American citizens over illegal immigrants, citizenship for Mexican gang members who simply give a one-off oral renouncing of their gang affiliation to INS, and various other measures which will demean American citizenship to the gutter. "The powerful" are letting themselves be used as whores (or rubber stamps, if you will) for the Most Powerful behind the scenes.

Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013
Article comment by: Doing Research

(delete)

I explained all this to you in March.

That's why I'm asking what the recent spat in Senate-bashing is about, it's not just this letter, it's that since 2010 didn't produce a majority House and Senate for Republicans, they would rather change the constitution to get their way than let the American people vote on it. Typical.

(delete)

A very simple Political Economy concept is weighting of favor. A Senator elected by the people has to get elected by the majority of votes. As an example - in Nebraska that means convincing 900,000 people to vote for you.

However, Nebraska has the smallest state legislature - 49 people. So it takes 25 people to decide on a Senator without the 17th Amendment.

So if you were, let's say, Standard Oil or Monsanto, and you wanted to sway a Senate committee in your favor by buying a Senator, do you think it's easier to do that by lobbying to 25 politicians? Or 900,000 voters?

Or READ THE PAPER I SUGGESTED YOU READ THREE MONTHS AGO! (delete)

212 Words


Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

(delete)BR>
“Yeah those founders really did a Cracker Jack job.”

Well, you have to admit not allowing women the right to vote was the right thing to do. And now I will act like a 12 year old girl and say, “LOL!”


Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

critique of the tea parties latest gathering and some of those who showed up is why this 2014 mid terms might be a awe and shock moment for the GOP, they are thinking of taking senate when they might lose congress, one cannot grow I one is not willing to change and a lot depends on who runs the party, congress and senate are two separate bodies but one can cancel the other out and hence Mexican stand off!

Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Congress presently is controlled by republicans, senate by democrats and white house by democrats a classical Mexican stand off, very little can happen but that is our system, like it hate it no government in world is any better!

Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013
Article comment by: George Washington

@ Linda Athens
You say the founders had it right by system they created. Yeah those guys really had it right especially the part of counting certain people by 3/5ths of and let’s not forget this all mighty perfect document had to be amendment 27 times. Apparently these all mighty founders forgot a thing called SLAVERY and the RIGHT TO VOTE.
Yeah those founders really did a Cracker Jack job.


Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

@ Doing Research

"I don't watch CNN or Fox News... what's the origin of this Senator-bashing?"

Did you read the letter to the editor above?


Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: S A

The republican party and the democratic party are all the same they just have thrown that out there just to make people think that there is a difference. Both parties are under control of the elites, out to destroy the USA and we the people are still fighting over parties, people have been fooled.

Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: Jim Consolato

I think Dean has hit the nail on the head, he has identified a invisible elephant in the room. I am not a redistribution type guy but if power is in question and should be controlled it should be done in the most fair way during elections. I want to see elections fair to all and representative of all. HB 2305 has some serious issues and that needs to be looked at. It would seem our first concern should be our electd leaders taking advantage of the people for personal gains.

Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: Doing Research

@OKR

I thought we cleared this up a couple months ago. If you need me to link to the paper (which I'm sure you read) that shows the reduction in corruption the 17th Amendment produced, I'm happy to do so. Again.

I don't get it.... is AZ not happy with their two Republican Senators? Is McCain not returning anyone's angry emails?

I don't watch CNN or Fox News... what's the origin of this Senator-bashing?


Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: origional kingman resident

@ Ano-Ano

"Wow Original Kingman Resident, angry at 17th amendment! "

I gave a reasoned explanation of the 17th amendment and the outcomes it produced. No anger there.


Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: origional kingman resident

@ Lost in America


"The founders are dead. Let them rest in peace. Let's be grown ups and fend for ourselves. Isn't that the tea party way?"


You apparently don't pay very close attention to current events.

The Tea Party wants our country to be run according to the Constitution. If the grown ups in the country want changes to the constitution, there is a means to accomplish that through the amendment process.


Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: origional kingman resident

@ Doing Research

Prior to the passage of the 17th amendment the Senators were accountable to the voters by means of the voters electing the state legislators representing their local districts.

The people actually had more response and hold on their US Senators that way than they do now. When you are elected by 10 million constituents, you don't need to listen to the concerns of the 10 thousand who may contact you.

People complain about the unfunded mandates passed down to the states through the federal government, but the states have no stake in the decisions of the federal government since the Senators began to be elected by popular elections.


Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Ms Athens

“The real problem is, we have thrown God out…”

Speak for yourself. There are millions of Americans who proudly have God in their lives and fortunately that God is not the one the christians (small “C” deliberate) such as yourself proclaim to follow.

“The Bible being, ultimately, where they got all their ideas …”

Untrue, as it is each and every time you post it.

“Gone the Bible, gone those principles in our government.”

That’s an odd statement considering the Bible is still in use throughout our nation.

“They instead, have made outrageous decisions that are NOWHERE close to our Constitution such as finding a right to kill the unborn in some ‘right to privacy’.”

The personal and indeed private medical decisions of a woman is no ones business, least of a all a bunch of hypocritical, nattering busybodies. I will ask you once again (pointless I realize) exactly how the personal and private decision of a woman to undergo a legal medical procedure impacts your life? Please be succinct in your reply. Thank you.



Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: You Have My Vote

Well said, Dean. You need to run for local office.

Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@anonymous anonymous

"a law demanding all public media allow any candidate rich or poor the same time on television, radio these are public airwaves"

"demanding"? Good luck ever getting that passed. As to public airways, that would only apply to the major networks and not to cable news outlets as they are cutomer paid for and in no way broadcast on public airways. I am not 100% certain, but I believe any pay for service radio like Serius would also be exempt from any such law, as would print or other advertising methods. A candidate could buy all the billboards and campaign posters they wish and can afford. Same for interenet ads.

Now try to imagine radio stations under the NPR banner willingly going along with your idea. The idea would fail to get support from the left or the right.

I seriously doubt you would get politicians on either of the aisle to support your idea.

"Now imagine a system with no allowance for donations period to campaigns,...."

No need to imagine, I am sure that is somewhat how it already works in Cuba, Iran, etc. Unfortunatly, in those places the only candidates you will ever see advertised are the governments.


Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: Lost In America on the right wing

@ Linda:

"The Founders had it right, we are simply abusing the good system they meticulously created."

The founders are dead. Let them rest in peace. Let's be grown ups and fend for ourselves. Isn't that the tea party way?


Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: Unite Means Get Out There, Get Involved, Vote

Oh, what the heck. Let's just continue to be ruled by the few wealthy elite since the vast majority of Americans are too lazy to even vote.

The big dark fear of the power elite is that the masses will unite. The last election is a good indication that there is a chance to stand up to money (remember Adelson). Also what do you thing really shut down third party efforts - the establishment money.

However it is only possible to chance the direction of our area, state, and country by giving your time and effort to the opposition. In this area the opposition force with the best chance to remove the Goodales, the Watsons, the Flakes, the McCains, the Wards is the Democratic Party (wish there was a viable 3rd choice)..

The Republicans are the party of the rich - they can afford to buy what is needed to win elections. The Democrats are the party of the rest of us - they can't afford to buy elections so EACH of us must volunteer our time. Call up the Dems (listed in phone book under Democrats of Kingman -718-0075) and offer a hour of your time.


Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Wow Original Kingman Resident, angry at 17th amendment! One can repeal it, but good luck on that one, takes 2/3rd vote by states to even get a constitutional convention convened let alone the 2/3rd for repeal! Why would one think giving appointment power back to congress be a good thing? Might it be that congress today is held by republicans and senate by democrats?

Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

The real problem isn't what this writer has stated.

The real problem is, we have thrown God out and with Him, morality which is the cornerstone of good government. The Founders had it right, we are simply abusing the good system they meticulously created.

They stated many times, without God and morals, this constitutional Republic would not work. The Bible being, ultimately, where they got all their ideas teaches personal responsbility and along with that comes taking care of your own family, not going into debt, etc.

Gone the Bible, gone those principles in our government.

Incidentally, the third branch, Judicial, they deliberately intended to be the weakest branch. They instead, have made outrageous decisions that are NOWHERE close to our Constitution such as finding a right to kill the unborn in some "right to privacy". The Judicial was not intended to make law in the first place.

Term limits would be fine with me.


Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: Doing Research

Dean - some history to consider

Before 1913 each state's legislature elected Senators. They had no accountability to voters before the 17th amendment was ratified. Before that it was much easier to buy a Senator, just buy 1/2 of a state legislature.

That was 100 years ago. Only in the last 60 years did we enact term limits on presidents. So the concept at a federal level is not something the Founding Fathers ever wanted. Or maybe some did and never all agreed on it.

Finally, Senators serve 6 year terms because they are supposed to be the long-term, less reactionary side of congress implying that they are supposed to use judgement and not popular opinion in their decision-making. The House is for the shoemaker. The Senate is for long-term legislative planning that still keeps the shoemaker happy.

It's sort of like the difference between macoeconomics and microeconomics. That being said, make the term limits 24 or 30 years and I might be interested to hear more.


Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

@Dean

The Senators were never supposed to be elected by the people. The Constitution was designed for the legislators of each state to select 2 senators to send to the US Senate.
Early in the twentieth century the 17th amendment was passed so the people in each state elect the 2 senators.

As a result each senator represents half the population of their state and it is difficult for them to respond to the number of people who contact them. At the same time, it is too easy for them to be non-responsive to the vast number of people in their districts.

The passage of the 17th amendment was sold as a way to give more power directly to the people, but as you have pointed out, this hasn't been the result.

It was actually designed to lessen the amount of power the states had and to allow the federal government more power than the Constitution originally intended. Unfortunately, in this respect, the 17th amendment was successful.


Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Interesting letter, one of the few I have read of someone complaining that I do not scoff at and just let go in one ear and out the other, fact is one could not get elected without money behind you, hence we set up the present system for those with the money or ability to get it to be elected and the ones without and without the ability to get it to not be even allowed to really have a chance at being elected without getting advertisement out to the voters ones name merely on a ballot is not enough! Is there a simple solution as this person seems to think? No, term limits would mean only one thing the revolving door of the rich and those who the rich can buy would rotate positions a bit faster! Now imagine a system with no allowance for donations period to campaigns, a law demanding all public media allow any candidate rich or poor the same time on television, radio these are public airwaves they do not own them they merely have a license to operate on these public airwaves! Eliminate the root of all evil as the key thing and level the playing field between that shoe maker and the millionaire, billionaire and their minions you might see some shoemakers get elected will it eliminate all corruption? No to do that one would have to be God!

Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Article comment by: justanobody sr

I agree, it appears the current party in charge has done more to suppress the general public, than any in history!
the "presidential appointments" and "end run" laws, go way beyond what was ever intended by our founding fathers.
life time politicians are not what is good for America, someone who has the interest of our country not their personal gain, is whats needed.




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