DownsizeDC.org
July 12, 2007
Your Inner Strategist
By Perry Willis
Today's Downsizer Dispatch . . . Quote of the Day: Life is not lost by dying, life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways. -- Stephen Vincent Benet Subject: Mobilizing your Inner Strategist How can you get more of what you want as a DC Downsizer? You must raise the costs the politicians pay to plunder you, and lower the costs you pay to stop them from plundering. The recent fight over the Immigration Bill shows us how to impose these costs on Congress. We must rattle their nerves and come at them from all directions. The cost to you is very low -- a few key strokes and mouse clicks, maybe a couple of minutes on the phone, and maybe a few pennies a day. Small investment. Big result. Who knew it could be so easy? The hard part is motivating ourselves to do the easy things, the small things. "Life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways." We respond to urgency. We respond to deadlines. We respond to sudden death situations. This is good, but it is not sufficient. Life is not lost by dying, so much as it is by incremental omissions -- tiny failures to act when there is no sudden death looming. It is the things we do when there is no urgency, when there is no deadline, that will make the difference. We need to make Congress nervous before they are ready to act. By the time they're ready to do something it may already be too late. We need to do more things more often to prevent Congress from making mischief while they're still in the "fixing to start" stage. For instance . . . Congress is in the "fixing to start" stage when it comes to habeas corpus, torture, and military tribunals. Who knows what they're going to do about these problems. Most likely it will be some kind of non-reform reform. You know how that works. Ambrose Bierce nailed it in his "Devil's Dictionary" . . .
"Reform: A thing that mostly satisfies reformers opposed to reformation."
This kind of reform can sometimes make things slightly less bad, but it hardly ever makes them good. These kinds of reform are how politicians seduce us into letting go of our passion. And so we take a rest while government power ratchets ever upwards. This is how government advances and liberty recedes. Life is lost, day by dragging day . . . And so, we need to act not just in urgent moments, but with strategic forethought. Activate and mobilize your Inner Strategist, who will surely tell you that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We must tell Congress what we want, and make them nervous about it, BEFORE THE URGENCY COMES. But, if you need a little extra emotional juice to get you going for today's action item, consider the story of Khaled el-Masri, a German citizen. He was detained by the CIA in December 2003. They kidnapped him, drugged him, beat him, and took him to Afghanistan where they held him for four months without charges. Eventually the CIA realized he was guilty of nothing so they took him to a lonely hilltop in Albania and abandoned him there, hoping he would disappear from history. He did not. Masri eventually brought charges against the CIA. But he was prevented from making his case because the U.S. government invoked national security to keep evidence out of court. And the judge went along. First they came for Masri, but no one cared because they were not Masri, then they came for . . . who? You? Or someone you love? Life is not lost by dying, it is lost minute by minute, in all the small uncaring ways. Care. Live. Act. Tell Congress that truth must count, innocence must matter. Tell them to repeal the Tribunal-Torture-Habeas-Corpus-Repeal-Bill before they get to the urgent point of giving us a non-reform reform. You can send your message here. Please also consider providing a few pennies or more to pave the way for more action in the future. If you do we'll mail a "9/11: Press for Truth" DVD to your home. Here's how to get one . . . If you're an existing monthly credit card pledger in good standing as of June 15, 2007, all you have to do is increase your monthly pledge by at least $1, and we'll send one to you. If you're NOT an EXISTING monthly credit card pledger then you can start a monthly credit card pledge of at least $6, or make a one-time credit card donation of $35 or more, and we'll send you the DVD. (Sorry, for technical reasons we cannot make this offer for PayPal pledges or donations). You can make your contribution here. Thank you for being a DC Downsizer. Perry Willis Communications Director DownsizeDC.org, Inc.
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