Thank you for publishing my letters
By Daniel B. Jeffs, founder DDC
April 3, 2009
Democracy at its best is all about the freedom of participating in government and society, speaking out and being heard. Letters to the editor of newspapers have been the traditional way people express themselves publicly in response to issues in the news or Op-Ed pages. One of the purest forms of free speech, and gratifying to the few who are fortunate enough to have their letters published, particularly during these difficult times.
Sadly, it seems the days of letters to the editor are numbered as are those of print newspapers and other print news media -- slowly but surely being replaced by the rapid growth of the new media of the Internet information and communications technology revolution. Now it's instant news with 24 hour coverage and updates from television news, newspaper websites, Internet information sites, bloggers, instant text messaging and twitters. Anyone can post a comment on a news article, editorial, commentary or issue, or email their elected representative and officials, and that's a tremendous boost to democracy.
But it's simply not the same as holding your newspaper while you read it, and once in a while, feeling the gratification of seeing your letter in print. Indeed, since 1994 I have been fortunate enough to have 227 letters published in my local and regional newspapers, and major newspapers such as USA TODAY, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and U.S. News & World Report and Newsweek magazines.
Sixty two of my letters have been published since my book, Letters to the Editor: From the Trenches of Democracy, was published in 2005 containing 165 letters, commentary and tips for writing letters.
Scrap political parties
Letter - Press Enterprise - March 2, 2009
So if you're a Republican, your vote on an issue should be the same as that of all other Republicans? And if you're a Democrat, the same is true?
I've seen that way of thinking played out in the recent votes in Congress on the bailout and stimulus bills and in the Legislature with the recent vote on California's budget.
That being the case, why do we need all those folks representing us?
If individuals can't think for themselves and a party is expected to vote as a bloc, why not just have a couple of senators representing us instead of hundreds? We could save a ton of money and make the legislative process much more efficient.
For the Many or the Few: The Initiative, Public Policy and American
Author: John G. Matsusaka, President Initiative and Referendum Institute
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Ballot initiatives represent the will of the people - not special interests - according to a new book by a USC professor. 'Unprecedented growth' in the popularity of the process has been integral to democracy's progress for more than a century.
Letter to the Los Angeles Times
By Daniel B. Jeffs, founder DDC
December 20, 2008
Re: Brown asks justices to toss Prop. 8 and Letters, Prop. 8 pain, Aftermath of a donation
Editorials, commentary and letters make it abundantly clear that the Los Angeles Times joins gay/lesbian activists' efforts to intimidate anyone who supported or voted for Proposition 8.
Jerking around the majority
How much longer will the majority of people endure the tyrannies of minority activist groups? From tyrannies of environmental extremists who mislead the public with incredible fear and indoctrinate the education system, use obstructionist litigation and activist judges to get what they want, and raise the cost of living with unreasonable laws and regulations.
To the tyrannies of anti-religion activists, animal rights activists, racial activists, and gay/lesbian activists who use mob violence, intimidation, intolerance and the courts to force tolerance and submission to their unreasonable demands.
Indeed, how much longer will the voting public tolerate being jerked around by the tyrannies of government, the failed education establishment, teacher unions, the ACLU and all the selfish interest tyrannies of the few at the expense of the many -- including the social, political, moral and economic fabric of our society?
Lest we forget, the results of the 2008 elections may very well be the final test....
October 19, 2008
(letter edited for space)
Scrap income taxes
A citizens group in Massachusetts has qualified a measure for the ballot to abolish the state's income tax. The group attempted it in 2002, and it nearly passed. The group calls the state, "Taxachusetts."
California citizens should do the same in "Taxifornia." We have good reason to put such a measure on our ballot, and to pass it, just as we did Prop. 13 in 1978 to slow state thieves from taxing us out of our homes.
Considering the growing tax-and-spend monster California legislators have created, it's certainly time to cut off the legislative lunatics who sit in Sacramento plotting the next looting of taxpayers.
Original letter submitted:
Abolish "Taxifornia" income tax
The Committee for Small Government, a citizen group in Massachusetts, has qualified a measure (Question 1) for the state ballot to abolish the state's income tax. The group attempted it in 2002, and it nearly passed. They have labeled the state, "Taxachusetts."
California citizens should do the same in "Taxifornia." We certainly have good reason to put such a measure on our ballot, and to pass it, just as we did Proposition 13 in 1978 to slow state thieves from taxing us out of our homes.
Considering the growing tax and spend monster California legislators have created over the years, it's certainly time to cut off the greedy income tax hands reaching into our pockets and paychecks. The word, budget seems to be an oxymoron to the legislative lunatics who sit in Sacramento plotting the next looting of taxpayers.
Fractured political system
By Daniel B. Jeffs, founder DDC
July 28, 2008
How do the American people line up in the current political system?
On the political Left, we have the federal and most state and local governments, liberals, socialists, academia, the news media, the television and film industries, indoctrinated college students, environmental zealots and government dependents. On the Right, we have some state and local governments, conservatives, free marketers, independents and the self-reliant. The remainder of us are in the middle, who decide most elections.
We have a unbalanced two-party system of Democrats on the Left and Republicans on the Right that is fractured and on the verge of shattering. All this is happening in a world of terrorism, war, economic uncertainty, and social/political unrest. How do we resolve this dilemma? Be informed, look in the mirror and vote for our security, protection and well-being.
The Far Left's War on Direct Democracy
By John Lund
Wall Street Journal
July 26, 2008
What's wrong with America?
Other than devolving into a dishonest, litigious and superficial society of instant gratification, selfish interests andextremes -- the gross failures of good intentions over the last half-century have cause many Americans to be infected by a parasitical "Andromeda Strain" disease with symptoms, including but not limited to: misrepresentation in government; rancorous politics; partisan corruption; congressional inquisitions; monarchial presidencies; lawmaking judiciary;
Jimmy Carter ANational Embarassment
By Michael Reagan April 24, 2008
Talk about bad pennies always turning up; Jimmy Carter's at it again.
It would be easy to blame the 83-year-old former one-term president's frequent excursions into irrational behavior on senility were it not for the fact that he appears to have been senile most of his public life.
Switzerland and Canada: the Internet and Direct democracy
Enitiatives.ch revolutionizes direct democracy
A new Internet tool aiming to promote and facilitate popular initiatives is born. Behind this project unifying ideas is Nicolas Durand, who wants to accelerate the process of direct democracy globally and to spread the Swiss political model to other countries.
Runaway American Brainwashing
By Joel S. Hirschhorn
You may not want to know this. Americans have been successfully brainwashed to fear exactly what their revered Constitution gives them the right to have. Those smart Framers of the Constitution decided that we needed exactly what the establishment, pro-status quo elitists who run our plutocracy do NOT want us to have. There is even a well funded semi-secret group organized to prevent what we the people have a right to.
IDEAS FOR DIRECT DEMOCRACY
Ideas designed to improve representation and voting access for everyone.
DIRECT DEMOCRACY IN CALIFORNIA
A brief history of California's direct democracy initiative and referendum from The Initiative and Referendum Institute:
Re: A better direct democracy
L.A. Times editorial
November 17, 2005
The Times' editorial analysis and suggestions to reform the initiative process is a step in the right direction. However, to fundamentally preserve and reform the process, it must favor those for whom it was intended. The people.
California voter fraud
November 9, 2005
The results of California's special election made it painfully clear that selfish interests of public employee unions, the media and the Democratic Party have retained and tightened their grip on state government, regardless of the best interests of the people. Indeed, it was a shameful epic of "wagging the dog" and whipping democracy.
California's November 8th special election
It seems as though whenever the subject of voter initiatives and referendums (direct democracy) comes up, the knee-jerk reaction from those in power is to employ the scare term, "tyranny of the majority. That scare term is used because the two-party system and minority selfish interests are afraid of losing power over the people.
California Proposition 75
Published in The Daily Press
September 20, 2005
THREAT IN VENEZUELA
While we have our eyes on the Middle East and the recent good news out of there, a danger to democracy is brewing right here in our backyard. Venezuela, long one of Latin America's strongest democracies, is now under siege by its president, Hugo Chavez.
The blame, shame and demonization game
Published in the Daily Press September 11, 2005.
Using a horrific natural disaster for rancorous partisan attacks against President Bush and his administration by biased news media, racial antagonists, radical activists and dishonest Democrats is simply unconscionable.
Blame Amid Tragedy:
Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin failed their constituents
By Bob Williams
Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal online September 7, 2005
(Bob Williams is a former state legislator in Washington State who represented the district most impacted by the Mt. St. Helens erruption in 1980)