America's Crisis

Introduction and Table of Contents


Nothing is so powerful as an idea whose time has come
Victor Hugo

THIS COULD BE THE SECOND BEST SELF-HELP BOOK EVER WRITTEN
THE FIRST WAS COMMON SENSE BY THOMAS PAINE

 
AMERICA'S CRISIS:
The Direct Democracy and
Direct Education Solution

Author: Daniel B. Jeffs, founder
The Direct Democracy Center
Publisher: Hard Shell Word Factory
October 2000

CONTENTS

Introduction: Solution to America's Crisis:

A Simple Amendment

Chapter 1.

State of the Union
The 2000 elections and the two-party system
The people are kept ignorant and insignificant
The injustice system

Chapter 2.

Declaration of Independence
Thomas Paine's American dream
Civics lesson on government
Are we a democracy or a republic?
Crushing history and free speech

Chapter 3.

Enlightening Experiences
Stomping on democracy
Direct Democracy in our Town
Crushing history and free speech

Chapter 4.

Change of the Political Guard 1994
Partisan terrorism, 1996 style
The Direct Democracy Center
Debate with an educator?
Constitutional crisis, 1998-1999 style
Partisan politics and the two-party system
Author's petitions to the Supreme Court
End the two-party system

Chapter 5.

Comparisons of the way America was and the way we are
The debate begins with a gagged public
Real democracy from C-Span
Our Titanic dilemma.
Common sense tells us we must complete the American Revolution.

Chapter 6.

The First Democracy
Why representative democracy failed
Aristotle's Types of States

Chapter 7.

What's so bad about the way things are?
Economic euphoria and political irresponsibility
History could repeat itself
Corporate America and the monopoly factor
Economic Dilemma
The Internet and the revolution
Free speech abuses

Chapter 8.

Big government and the two-party system is bad government
Paine would say finish the revolution
Elements of direct democracy
Voter initiatives and referendums
Uninformed polling fraud
No more campaign finance corruption

Chapter 9.

The tyranny of the majority is nonsense
Voter apathy is another myth
Tyranny of the minority is real
Society gaps
The Kennedy legacy
The next generation
Generation of people power

Chapter 10.

Superficial society of selfish interests and extremes
Who do you trust?
The direct democracy of citizen home rule
Liberals, moderates and conservatives
Citizen coalition of the vote
What worries us and what we can do about it

Chapter 11.

The political trail of the 1992 elections leads to direct democracy
Beating up on Clinton
And Hillary too
The China syndrome
The John McCain factor
Judgement Year 2000
The legacy of Thomas Paine
The Pericles connection

Chapter 12.

Who will our leaders and heroes be?
The media decides elections and influences public policy
The Elian Gonzales factor
We're up against the new elite establishment
Super citizens on the information highway
The Ventura-Perot factor

Chapter 13.

An amendment for all the people
Public airways and the news media
Wake the sleeping giant of democracy
Direct democracy is inevitable
Speak the language and get results
Turn the media and government around
Repeal the income tax amendment
Establish a fair sales tax

Chapter 14.

Break government's destructive monopoly on education
It's time for school choice and privatization of education
It's the curriculum stupid!

Chapter 15

Direct education is inevitable - Do it now!
Direct education books
Relief from property taxes

Chapter 16

The fraud of higher education
Our experiences with education
Imagination and common sense

Bibliography

Appendix

A. The proposed 28th Amendment
B. Petition for the proposed 28th Amendment
C. State model ballot initiative amendment
D. Supreme Court petitions for nonpartisan government
E. Author's letters to the editor published in major newspapers

INTRODUCTION (excerpt)

SOLUTION TO AMERICA'S CRISIS: A Simple Amendment
DIRECT DEMOCRACY AND DIRECT EDUCATION
THE GREAT EQUALIZERS
Crisis in America runs so deep and wide that it simply cannot be entirely explained in one book. But I'll do the best I can, including what I'm convinced is the solution.

America is steeped in uncertainty, enveloped in a fading democracy and weakened by the lack of education. Through the last half of this century our society has been assaulted by selfish interests and battered by the failures of good intentions. We have been subjected to political terrorism, social aggression, legal anarchy and media-driven chaos. Our public schools have become factories of ignorance and warehouses of violence. Yet through it all the vast majority of us have remained silent.

We are now in a crisis and in danger of losing democracy. We've lost our voice in government, education and almost everything else in society. But we have now entered the age of communications and information technology. We have the Internet, and with it, we are discovering democracy all over again.

Unless the power of electronic democracy is taken away from us, the Internet can make direct democracy and direct education possible, even inevitable. Rapid advances in network technology means that voting networks and education networks could be connected to all of our homes. But unless we make it happen sooner than later we run the risk of losing democracy entirely.

Our democratic republic is supposed to be based on maintaining a balance between order and freedom. The Constitution intended government to be strong enough to preserve order, but to leave society free enough to prevent tyranny. Over the last half of the 20th century a silent crisis has developed in America that has seriously upset that balance. Too many people and factions have abused their freedoms at the expense of the tolerant majority. As a result, government has become too reactionary, too tyrannical and too large. The causes and effects are obvious, yet clouded by the growing intensity of the problems we face.

Most of what the people know about the conditions in America is what they are exposed to through the news media and entertainment. Most of what people really know about is through their personal experiences. Things may or may not appear to be all that bad, but when it comes to the real condition of our society, it's much worse.

The news media and entertainment industries show us little more than endless dramas of tragedies, victims and survivors to play upon our compassion. They feed on our passion with sex, our anger with outrage and our fears with violence. And they create and exploit instant celebrities with highly competitive mass marketing. The corporate news media and entertainment industries combined are, indeed, a vast wasteland. It doesn't matter what they tell us. It only matters what they can sell us.

The media fills television and radio with talking heads speaking volumes and saying nothing. Even worse, they punch the hot buttons of controversy at every opportunity, inciting public outrage and encouraging reactionary government responses with bad politics and bad laws...

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