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Top 10 Reasons to Use the Citizens' Advisory

Advisory Manifesto

Motivation and History

Taking the Money Out of Elections [PDF]

Book: The Politics of Health

Rebuttal to George Will's Assertion that Minorities Shouldn't be Represented in Government



Advisory Archive

Washington's Misguided Priorities  (27 Sep 05)
This letter to the editor, sent to 5 newspapers in the San Francisco bay area, talks about Washington's misguided priorities. It never mentions George W. Bush by name--because as far as I'm concerned it's the people pulling his strings who are responsible for these policies.
Government Can Be Good for Your Health  (20 Sep 05)
You're a red-blooded, self-reliant, independent American. You don't want government intruding into your life, and I don't blame you. But there's something you need to know: You want socialized medicine--not for the diseases it can cure, but for the millions of premature deaths it can prevent.
Billionaire's Estate Tax  (21 Jul 05)
An open letter to the idiots in the NFIB who persist in calling the billionaire's estate tax and "death tax", and who now want people to tell their congressional representatives to oppose it, in the interests of "small business". As IF.
Democracy Under Attack--In the Media  (07 Jul 05)
In a recent blog post, Arianna Huffington asks why the media is ignoring a Karl Rove story that, by all rights, should get him indicted. But that issue is only one small part of a much larger problem--a problem that threatens the very existence of democracy in America
Contacting Your Elected Officials  (14 Jun 05)
From the Right Use of Technology Department: It has never been easier to contact your elected officials...
The Unsung Benefits of Universal Health Care  (27 May 05)
Even if you never use it, Universal Health Care is something you want to support--because it just may be the best way to ensure that you never need health care.
An Open Reply to an Angry Citizen  (18 May 05)
An open reply to an angry, health-conscious consumer...
Stocks are Intrinsically Worthless  (08 Apr 05)
In reality, stocks are no more valuable than baseball playing cards. In fact, they are valued in exactly the same way. That reality has a substantial, and undesirable, impact on our future.
Money is the Root of all Evil  (08 Apr 05)
In politics, it is indeed true that money is the root of all evil. The folks in Wisconsin's Clean Money campaign have done an exceptional job of pointing that out.
Americans Should Be Mad as Hell  (29 Mar 05)
They're growing fat, getting sick, and going broke. They've been taking it on the chin, and they just shouldn't take it anymore--because it's not something they're doing, it's something that's being done to them.
The Meaning of Life  (07 Mar 05)
This is an article you want to read. It's a hoot! And it's a perfect illustration of the garden of Eden lifestyle we want, contrasted with the corporate lifestyle we have. (It's from Living Nutrition magazine's humor page. After you read it, check out their sample articles and other great stuff. And while you're there, subscribe!) The article here is a mirror copy, to help ensure that this great story is never lost. But please visit their site to read the article!)
The Fundamentalist Flaw  (03 Mar 05)
Fundamentalist religions give people what they think is an absolute right to dictate the destinies of others. The notion would be laughable, if the consequences weren't so tragic. In This article explores the impact of fundamentalism on future generations.
Meaning of Life (Mirror)  (28 Feb 05)
Reprint of the fantastic (and funny!) article from Living Nutrition magazine. It contrasts the natural Eden we want with the corporate lifestyle we have. (Be sure to read the original at http://www.livingnutrition.com/laugh.html#meaning.)
We Are Not At War  (23 Feb 05)
We are not at war! But the pretense that we are is being used to erode fundamental American liberties. And the American public is going along with it. Worse, the left is complicit in the process.
Impartial Redistricting Isn't Enough  (22 Feb 05)
As desirable as impartial redistricting is, it isn't enough. As author Steven Hill argues, it won't change the fundamental nature of the problem--single-seat, winner take-all districts that give incumbents and their parties lifetime job security. But the alternative we need--multiple-choice ballots--represents a sea change in the American political system. The Citizens' Advisory can serve as an alternative, and as a vehicle to make it happen, and as a resource to help it run better, when it exists .  
Instant Runoffs Make Better Choices  (16 Feb 05)
This short article by  Martin Dyckman argues persuasively that Instant Runoff Voting produces cleaner campaigns and more moderate candidates who reflect the party's mainstream, rather than it's extremists. And it guarantees the person who is eventually elected is the one that a majority of voters prefer, instead of Naderizing the vote. (Naderizing: siphoning off enough so many votes from a similar candidate that a dissimilar, and less popular, candidate wins--as Ralph Nader did to Al Gore in 2000. Remember you heard that term here first!)
Free Market Redux  (07 Feb 05)
The free market advocates I've met so far have been intelligent, patient, and extraordinarily civil. I'm not yet fully convinced by their arguments, but that's not as important as that fact that the Citizens' Advisory represents their best chance (and perhaps their only chance) to make the changes they want.
An Open Letter to a Free-Market Advocate  (02 Feb 05)
The concept of a "free market" is a seductive idea that has captured the attention of many bright people. Unfortunately, that theory overlooks the realities of complex systems.
Sueing the AMA  (30 Jan 05)
The American Medical Association should be sued. A successful lawsuit would improve medical practice considerably, and it could even reduce malpractice costs.
Corporations: The Good News  (29 Jan 05)
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, "Corporations are like a chainsaw. They're a powerful tool, but if you don't control them, they'll rip your leg off." Most of the articles on this site spend their time ripping corporations--but only because they've gotten out of control. This article redresses the balance somewhat, and tells what's good about corporations.
Food Labels, Coprorations, and the Media  (22 Jan 05)
The food industry clearly has too much power in Washington. It took 10 years before the FDA finally got the industry to list trans fats on food labels. That law takes effect in 2006. In the meantime, millions of people have suffered obesity, disease, and death, even though the science has been known for more than 20 years. Unfortunately, the labeling law is too weak--which reflects the weakness of the FDA.
Taxing Bad Foods is Good for the Environment  (17 Jan 05)
Taking the "food tax" concept one step further has positive implications for the environment.
Taxing Bad Foods  (16 Jan 05)
A small "health tax" would make a huge difference.
The Systems View, Part III: The Advisability of Social Security "Reform"  (10 Jan 05)
In Part II of this series, we saw seen how the money in individual retirement accounts is, in effect, destroying our economy, our environment, and our health. In this post, we'll discuss the impending disaster that is being planned under the name of Social Security "reform".
The Systems View, Part II: Financial Markets and Corporate Short-Term Thinking  (10 Jan 05)
In Part I of this series, I argued that corporations are the major force in the destruction of the environment, that the average citizen has little political influence, and that the average consumer has little economic influence. This post shows how financial markets are putting irresistible pressure on corporations, how we are unwittingly complicit in that problem. The third and final part of this series then shows how the proposed social security "reform" will work to deform our environment and our economy even further.
The Systems View, Part I: The Environment and Corporations  (10 Jan 05)
A recent edition of the S.F. Chronicle contained a story on pensions that mentions social security "reform" and a book review on the possibility of environmental collapse. On the surface, they seem entirely separate. But an examination of the deeper system impacts shows that the issues are inextricably interwoven--and the social security "reform" is really social security deform.
Do Term Limits Help?  (08 Jan 05)
Can term limits act to counter the effect of money in politics? In my Jan 8, 2005  post at democrats.com, I argue that they don't.  I'm willing to discuss any idea that has the potential to minimize the impact of money in politics. But I don't believe that term limits address the real issue. (The post is reproduced here, as well.)
Arizona's Triumph  (05 Jan 05)
Arizona and other states have managed to make money irrelevant to politics, and it's changing the face of democracy.
Money, Media, and Politics  (04 Jan 05)
Together, money and the media means propaganda--and that's what controls the political process at this time.
America Lags Europe  (03 Jan 05)
With the 2004 elections ended, our ears are still ringing from the never-ending series of feel-good statements issuing from the mouths of politicians, about how America has the best democracy in the world, the best health care system, the best this, and the best that. It would be nice if it were true. But the evidence is clear: America lags far behind Europe when it comes to both health and politics.
The Citizens' Advisory -- A Manifesto  (27 Dec 04)
 The Citizens' Advisory is working to take the money out of politics. The Advisory system appeals to voters because it's convenient. It appeals to social activists and their organizations because it levels the political playing the field and empowers them with a stronger political voice.
District Maps  (24 Dec 04)
An ad for The Campaign Store just arrived in my mailbox. They have a poster that shows California's districts (URL below), with a picture of the current legislator. $17. Pretty cool when you want to know who to contact.
Motivation and History  (24 Dec 04)
Why I began looking for a way to get the money  out politics, and the background responsible for producing the insights that led to the Citizens' Advisory.
Keyword Index  (20 Dec 04)
The keywords used in these newsfeeds.
Only Luxury Shopping is Up  (20 Dec 04)
In Christmas Shopping Down Turn, I pointed out that the financial numbers are misleading economists---that better business numbers aren't translating into a better economy, because the money isn't showing up in consumer's pockets.  Now comes an Associated Press article by Anne D'Innocenzio, printed in the Sun, 19 Dec 2004  edition of the S.F. Chronicle. It shows that luxury stores are doing well, but both discount stores and department stores are lagging far, far behind.

Basically, corporate profits are rising while average income falls. The resulting concentration of wealth means that haves are well off, while the have nots are becoming penniless. The inevitable result of this trend is a new feudalism---a Corporate Feudalism. (I have an article in progress on that subject, which I hope to have published shortly---in Europe, of all places.)
2004: How the Democrats Lost the Heartland of America  (20 Dec 04)
In 2004, the Democrats didn't win a single state that had a farm or ranch in it---with very few exceptions. This article shows what they overlooked---and why they may not be able to do anything about it until we get the money out of politics.
Advisory Technologies  (17 Dec 04)
Fortunately, the time is right to create a voting advice system. Much of the technology already exists and is freely available. Much of it has been on display, in fact, at planetwork.org.
When is Impeachment Warranted?  (14 Dec 04)
When does it make sense to impeach a sitting president? At this time in our history, it's a reasonable question to ask.
Drug Companies: We Need a Cure  (12 Dec 04)
Drug Companies have gotten way out of hand. Their litany of excesses and abuses is growing dangerously long, and the billions of dollars they pump into the American system of government is giving them a free hand to do so.
Was the 2004 Election Stolen? How Would You Know?  (09 Dec 04)
Did voting irregularities change the outcome of the 2004 Presidential Election? How would we know?
Christmas Shopping Down Turn  (30 Nov 04)
Christmas shopping is down in 2004. The experts say it will pick up. Are they right?