July 10, 2007
By Perry Willis
Today's Downsizer Dispatch . . . Quote of the Day: "There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse." -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, April 27, 2005. Subject: Taking new steps to Downsize DC Downsize DC's three year anniversary is near at hand. With it will come many new things. * We will launch a refurbished website with a powerful new Congressional Contact System. * We will launch the "One Subject at a Time Act." * We will begin doing new types of campaigns We are learning from our successes. * More votes have gone our way in Congress * Our Army is growing * Our ideas are starting to penetrate the Congressional Echo Chamber June was perhaps our best month all year. We recruited 930 new Downsizers, which was only 8 shy of January's high-water mark. On top of that, we slammed Congress with 47,109 messages -- THE MOST EVER. We also made budget. We're ahead of last year's pace for recruitment by 1,117, and for messages by 56,523. Our monthly pledges are also at an all-time high (you can add to the success by contributing here). And as if that's not enough, Congress is starting to hear and heed our message about reading their bills. We're still a long way from forcing them to introduce the "Read the Bills Act," let alone pass it. But every day my Inbox sees Google-news items in which commentators, members of Congress, and even the President invoke the "Read the Bills" concept. WE ARE HAVING AN IMPACT. Congress and the media live in an echo chamber of their own creation. There's even a name for it -- The Beltway. They say the same things to each other so often that they assume the whole world holds the same views they do. We are changing that through our relentless pounding. We are penetrating the echo chamber. We still have a long way to go. We need a larger army and more visibility. We need to build mechanisms for dealing with the media. But we are making progress on all fronts. We are getting there. And we're going to start doing MORE to influence the Mind of Congress by disrupting their Echo Chamber with new sounds and new thoughts. We're going to spend a little less time reacting to Congressional bills, and a little more time hitting Congress with correctives to the mythology by which they see the world. We will unveil the first salvo in this new direction this month. We're going to tell Congress how to win the War on Terror . . . INSTANTLY. Curious? Stay tuned. All will be revealed. In the meantime . . . Let's remind Congress that we haven't forgotten about the Patriot Act. While we were busy with the Immigration Bill there were massive new revelations about the degree to which the Justice Department has abused the powers created by the Patriot Act. The Emperor's nakedness is being exposed. Alberto Gonzales claimed to the Senate on April 27 that there had been no violations. But we now know that he had reports of numerous violations sitting on his desk six days before he plead innocent to the Senate. How do you know a government official is lying? His lips are moving. How do you know the government is abusing its power? It has the power to abuse. How do you know a government program is going to fail? The program was passed by Congress. We need to make these the default assumptions of the American Mind -- and of the Congressional Mind too. Because the evidence OVERWHELMINGLY warrants these assumptions. It is up to us to create this change in America's basic operating assumptions. And we will do it by pounding on Congress and sharing the evidence with our fellow citizens. Let Congress know that you know that the Patriot Act has been abused. Tell them you think the very existence of the Patriot Act is an abuse. Tell them to repeal it. You can do so here. Now, before I close, I'm pleased to report that there were well over 200 people who offered to help with the testing for our refurbished website. Nearly every state has multiple volunteers. No more volunteer testers are needed in any state, except for Rhode Island (no one has stepped up from there). I tried to keep up with the flow. Most of the people who've been turned away (with gratitude) have heard from me. If you volunteered and you haven't heard from me, you're probably a tester, and you'll be hearing from our programmer, Robert O'Gwynn. It is quite important that you respond promptly so we can launch the new site for everyone. Contributions, as always, are welcome here. Thank you for being a DC Downsizer. Jim Babka President, Inc.
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