Thursday, June 15, 2006

What Does Withdrawing Consent Look Like?

"Governments are instituted among Men,
deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed"
--U.S. Declaration of Independence

I first started writing about the Consent of the Governed more than two years ago, when I launched the GuvWurld Blog. Read through the hundreds of essays I posted there and you'll see a theme exploring our Consent, which is being taken for granted. I wrote the Voter Confidence Resolution, which has been adopted in Arcata, CA, in order to provide a tangible way for People and Communities to indicate their Consent is not granted, and should not be assumed. All the while, I've been suggesting that the stronger our resistance grows, the more we must collectively raise the question: Has the Consent of the Governed been withdrawn, YET?

If we emphasize this question it will be framed as a matter of when, not if the Consent is withdrawn. So what does withdrawing Consent look like?

An increasingly popular way of withdrawing Consent is declaring no basis for confidence, as the Voter Confidence Resolution does regarding election results. BradBlog.com has recently embraced this line in condemning the conditions used in last week's election in San Diego. Both Bob Koehler, a syndicated columnist with the Tribune Media Services, and Warren Stewart, Director of Legislative Issues and Policy for VoteTrustUSA, make no confidence statements regarding San Diego in their latest columns. White County (AR) Election Commissioner John Nunnally has no confidence according to this June 5 article in the Daily Citizen. And VelvetRevolution.us (VR) now has a form letter page that transmits a statement of no confidence to the San Diego Registrar and Democratic Congressional Candidate Francine Busby.

I've been working with the California Election Protection Network (CEPN) on a related response likely to be released on Thursday. It looks like pressure will soon begin to really mount for a hand count of all ballots in San Diego. See BradBlog for the most complete details and chronology.

There is more to withdrawing the Consent of the Governed. In the Progressive media talking points memo I posted on Sunday, I listed a mere 10 injustices to which we must say WE DO NOT CONSENT. Right now the focus has turned to preventing power and authority from being conferred upon candidates claiming victory in illegitimate elections. It is clear to me that We The People must do everything within our Constitutional and Human Rights to protect and preserve possession of this power that is inalienably Ours to be given but never taken away.

This space will continue to monitor the many ways in which the Consent of the Governed is being withdrawn. For suggested background reading see the essential essays from the GuvWurld Blog compiled into a book called We Do Not Consent. Download a free .pdf copy here or purchase a hardcopy for $10 on the top right of the page at We Do Not Consent, the new blog spawned by the book.

Posted by Dave Berman - 3:10 PM | Permalink
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We Do Not Consent, Volume 1 (left) and Volume 2 (right), feature essays from Dave Berman's previous blogs, GuvWurld and We Do Not Consent, respectively. Click the covers for FREE e-book versions (.pdf). As of April 2010, paperbacks are temporarily out of print. Click here for the author's bio.

Back Page Quotes

"Give a damn about the world you live in? Give a damn about what you and I both know is one of the most shameful and destructive periods in American history? If so, do something about it. You can start by reading We Do Not Consent."

— Brad Friedman, Creator/Editor, BradBlog.com; Co-Founder, VelvetRevolution.us


"If in the future we have vital elections, the "no basis for confidence" formulation that GuvWurld is popularizing will have been a historically important development. This is true because by implicitly insisting on verification and checks and balances instead of faith or trust in elections officials or machines as a basis for legitimacy, it encourages healthy transparent elections. It’s also rare that a political formulation approaches scientific certainty, but this formulation is backed up by scientific principles that teach that if you can’t repeat something (such as an election) and verify it by independent means, it doesn’t exist within the realm of what science will accept as established or proven truth."

— Paul Lehto, Attorney at Law, Everett, WA


"Dave Berman has been candid and confrontational in challenging all of us to be "ruthlessly honest" in answering his question, "What would be better?" He encourages us to build consensus definitions of "better," and to match our words with actions every day, even if we do only "the least we can do." Cumulatively and collectively, our actions will bring truth to light."

— Nezzie Wade, Sociology Professor, Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods


"Dave Berman's work is quietly brilliant and powerfully utilitarian. His Voter Confidence Resolution provides a fine, flexible tool whereby any community can reclaim and affirm a right relation to its franchise as a community of voters."

— Elizabeth Ferrari, San Francisco, Green Party of California


"This is an important collection of essays with a strong unitary theme: if you can't prove that you were elected, we can't take you seriously as elected officials. Simple, logical, comprehensive. 'Management' (aka, the 'powers that be') needs to get the message. 'The machines' are not legitimizers, they're an artful dodge and a path to deception. We've had enough...and we most certainly DO NOT consent."

— Michael Collins covers the election fraud beat for "Scoop" Independent Media


"What's special about this book (and it fits because there's nothing more fundamental to Democracy than our vote) is the raising of consciousness. Someone recognizing they have no basis for trusting elections may well ask what else is being taken for granted."

— Eddie Ajamian, Los Angeles, CA


"I urge everyone to read "We Do Not Consent", and distribute it as widely as possible."

— B Robert Franza MD, author of We the People ... Have No Clothes: A Pamphlet for every American