2011/03/17

To regain control of our agents

There is a widespread and growing perception that our agents, mainly organized into large public and private institutions, have gotten out of control. There is less understanding of what we need to do about it.

Some turn to litigation, usually without much effect. Others try legislation, only to find it tends to produce armies of bureaucrat administrators that try to apply simplistic rules developed in response to previous crises, and who get co-opted by the objects of their regulation. It hires a lot of government workers who then tend to vote for more power and larger budgets, and for the party that got them their jobs. Others try to terminate or reduce the funding of programs, only to encounter organized pushback from reliance interests.

Most such regulatory legislation is also unconstitutional.

Some call for more regulation, and some for deregulation. They are both wrong.

The traditional, constitutional, and still best, remedial response is grand juries. We need swarms of them, investigating every official and every institution, governmental, business, eleemosynary, financial. Impanel randomly selected teams of 23 citizens and direct them to probe into every institution and official department that might pose a risk to the public, with no established rules to be applied, with the power to subpoena testimony, issue indictments that appoint prosecutors, and report on their findings to anyone who needs to know about risky or illegal practices they may find. Give them a budget and allow them to hire staff, but with a mandate not to let staff run them.

To do the job right would be a monumental undertaking. Given the number, size, and power of public and private institutions, even if every one of the 250 million adult Americans were to serve on a panel for four hours a week, it might still not be enough to investigate and find all of the pathological practices that deserve attention and correction. Needless to say, most of those people would not want to serve, or would not have the needed skills, but the situation we face is not going to fit itself to our preferences or limitations.

This is the way forward, like it or not. We cannot depend on our agents to police themselves or each other. We have to do it.

1 comment:

Dick said...

Jon Roland
The government has converted individual sovereignty and the concept of limited government to communitarian rule of law and a federal supremacy extending privileges. Redress of grievances against government agencies and public officials has been negated by the courts through monopolistic economic costs and the imposition of convoluted civil procedures. JAIL for Judges attempted government financed grand juries in California and South Dakota. The opposition of the legal community and complexity of the initiative resulted in defeat of the ballot issue.
The servants have become the masters and no longer represent the people of this country. Every effort to communicate with them has been totally ineffective. Courts have diminished the concept of grand juries to a charade. I agree with the concept of grand juries being called by a group of individual citizens. Anticipating government cooperation and financing is a diversion of time and energy to satisfy their detailed demands. Independent groups (civil grand juries) should be formed to hear the public's complaints. Publicize the findings, recommend a public response and submit the findings to the county attorney for prosecution. The county attorney will no doubt reject the prosecution request, (present practice for civil complaints), but it puts the government and courts on notice that the people object to the government practice at issue. Public disclosure, civil disobedience, noncompliance, boycotting and any other creative practice should be added to the list of recommended responses.
The country is rapidly being transformed into a fascist country and headed towards government tyranny. Government will not voluntarily relinquish power, we cannot succeed by playing with their rules and we must be proactive in restoring our rights and liberties.
Thank you for raising the question of grand juries. Hopefully, the American spirit can be rekindled and we can return to a Constitutional Republic.

Dick Motta
dickm@blackfoot.net

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