Quotes of the Day: "Who are you who wanted only to be told what you knew before?" -- Walt Whitman, from "By Blue Ontario's Shore"
"A very popular error: having the courage of one's convictions; instead, it is a matter of having the courage for an attack on one's convictions!" -- Friederich Nietzsche
Subject: Creating a diversified portfolio of Downsize DC campaigns
Today we want to preview and explain some coming developments in the life of Downsize DC.org. We'll begin with a comparison . . .
When you join a political party you're effectively supporting everything that party stands for, even those stands with which you disagree. And when you vote for a political candidate you're essentially voting for all the things that politician will do, even those things you loathe. Political parties and candidates are a package deal, an all or nothing proposition.
DownsizeDC.org is different. You can either take action or not on our campaigns, depending on whether you agree or disagree. It should also be noted that . . .
We plan to spend the bulk of our money promoting the Downsize DC Agenda, including the "Read the Bills Act" and the "One Subject at a Time Act" -- things with which nearly all DC Downsizers agree. Very little of your money, if any, will ever promote things you might oppose.
But there are a variety of issues that might attract people to our Downsize DC Army. DownsizeDC.org is very much like a store, where you can pick and choose what you will buy. We offer no package deals. Unlike political parties or candidates, we're not an all-or-nothing proposition.
But we also think there's a benefit to you on those few issues where we may disagree. Too many Americans want only to be exposed to ideas they already accept. While this may be comforting, it's also mentally confining. Thus, our quotes of the day . . .
* Is it really good to only hear what we already believe?
* Do we have the courage to hear and consider arguments that disagree with our current beliefs?
We make these points because we plan to diversify our portfolio of campaigns in 2009. We'll retain our focus on RTBA and OSTA, and continue to respond to the current political debate. But we don't want to be merely reactive to what the politicians do. We also want to look ahead, and build public support for proposals with a longer time-horizon. In addition . . .
We want to tackle a few issues that are consistent with Constitutionally-limited government, but where the support of Downsizers may not be so unanimous. For those of you who agree with our positions on these campaigns, this will be exciting. For those who disagree, remember . . .
* You don't have to participate in campaigns with which you disagree
* You can even oppose our efforts on such issues by sending a message using your elected representative's individual contact pages
* Your donations will promote RTBA and OSTA, unless we do targeted fundraising for some other issue
* It's good to be exposed to contrary ideas and information
And let me add one more thought: If we let the little things separate us, bigger government awaits us.
We share these thoughts now because bad things are happening that compel us to take action on a controversial issue -- the war on drugs. You'll learn what these compelling things are this week. We hope you'll give our proposals on this issue your thoughtful consideration.
In the meantime, the new American President is being inaugurated today, and the rush to pass the usual 100-day agenda will begin. At the top of the list is nearly one trillion dollars in supposed stimulus spending. We need to continue opposing this with everything we've got. Tad DeHaven at the Cato Institute has provided some specific examples of the kind of waste this bill will likely produce. We highlight this one . . .
Community Development Block Grants: “$1 billion for community and economic development projects including housing and services for those hit hard by tough economic times.”
In 2006, the HUD IG [Inspector General] looked at the CDBG program and found that fraud by local governments and private grantees was common and increasing. After reviewing only 35 of nearly 1,200 CDBG grant recipients since 2004, investigators tallied $100 million in improper or questionable spending. For example, a December audit of the City of San Diego’s use of CDBG money found that $1.8 million was spent on ineligible activities and another $11.1 million in spending could not be supported due to insufficient reporting. In one instance, thousands of dollars were spent on a festival to celebrate a shopping center.
You can use your personal comments to paste in the above example as one reason you oppose this bill.
Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army.