Saturday, August 1, 2009

Author Frustrated - Starts Pirate Party

Pirate Party of Oregon
A Draft Manifesto

We are driven in extraordinary times to take extraordinary actions to protect our Union and preserve our rights and way of life.

The Country was founded at such a moment, and we find ourselves gripped by historic challenges and opportunities once again.

At the same time, we recognize that powerful special interests, like the banking & investment giants, large Pharma, and the insurance companies have accumulated richly funded war chests with which they’ve purchased vast amounts of influence. Just check out the lobbying reports around the current attempt to reform health care. Special interests are spending billions to buy our democracy right out from under us. Congress is clueless and out-of-touch; and, when they’re not, our legislators are hopelessly deadlocked and unable to lead. The net result is government by special interest. Top-down, prescribed by CEOs, Lawyers, Bankers and members in good standing at the local country club. Do you really think *this* is what the founders had in mind?

So with this backstory, and an enormous amount of impatient frustration with both political parties, Pirates everywhere are taking action. Aarrrrgh.

The Pirate Party of Oregon, as The Author imagines it, will be built on a commitment to reform, transparency, and, bottom-up governance. That's right, bottom-up. What a concept. Think of us as Open Source politicians. The party was founded by techies in Sweden and The Netherlands around copyright & patent reform, net neutrality and personal freedom…with a focus on privacy protection & open technology standards and systems. That sounds about right to a lot of Oregonians as well. The European Pirates just won several seats in the EU parliament, so the movement is for real. New Pirate Parties have already started-up in Germany and Switzerland. Not a joke.

The Pirate Party of Oregon believes in citizen-moderated State involvement in regulation, ensuring basic rights & basic services, health, education & safety.

Pirates believe Government needs to be out of everything else, especially the “social” issues like individual choice in marriage, reproductive and end-of-life matters. In a Pirate Party world, Govt. stays out of herbal and minor drug enforcement, while maintaining vigilance over criminal cartels pushing dangerous, hard drugs until such a time as a general consensus has been reached on how to move forward. Legalization is on the table. We believe that government functions best when it facilitates freedom and the pursuit of happiness. And we don't believe that the federal government has any business spying on American inside US borders, so we have trouble with the wholesale interception of voice and text communication of average citizens by the NSA.

Pirates pick their fights carefully and stay out of foreign wars whenever possible. So the Pirate Party believes in reduced military spending and a changed focus in public and foreign service to planetary renewal, combating climate change and reducing our footprint. But don't even think about taking our guns away from us. That doesn't mean we feel comfortable with our current status as the No. 1 weapons producer and seller to the world.

Pirates demand sustainability…and accountability. Hey, it takes a Pirate to steal back our country from the special interests. Make no mistake about it, that is just what we need to do and it will be a long and hard fight. Just right for a band of angry Pirates. That said, Pirates are techies and the Party has a commitment to continued space exploration specifically, and to unfettered scientific investigation in general.

Government’s legitimate role is to safeguard and promote individual rights & liberties; protect citizens; provide health, education & basic safety-net services; and, act as the voice and authority of the people in dealings with mega-corporations and sovereign, foreign nations.

Pirates recognize that it takes money to run the state, and believe that a fair and equitable system of taxation, subject to regular review and renewal, is a legitimate mechanism for our elected authorities to employ as a funding mechanism. In general, Pirates believe that taxation should be progressive, not regressive; and that the tax code must be simple and non-punishing. The Party believes that tax breaks, exemptions and loopholes are often complex, difficult to understand, and tailored for a select few – so they would be subject to review and re-configuration. No more millionaires who pay no taxes or corporations receiving public subsidies and tax exemptions. All should pay their fair share, and the authorities must be accountable for the expenditure of our funds. Or we'll make them walk the plank.

Pirates also understand commerce, and we know thievery and exploitation when we see it. There’s a lot of that going on right now, in creative fee structures, unexpected charges, and a variety of bank-driven financial manipulations. So ironically, Pirates are strong supporters of vigorous regulation and enforceable transparency. We’re not big on closed-door deals that don’t stand the light of day. Pirates allow that currency and the exchange of goods is the foundation of commerce, and that commerce is a source of creativity, value and growth. But we’ve seen too graphically in the last few years what rampant greed in an unregulated environment can bring – the damage it can do. Don’t want to go there again anytime soon. So Pirates want to see the masters of the financial universe constrained, supervised, and only then cut-loose to do what it is they do that feeds the star-maker machinery behind business.

And you may have noticed that Pirates come in all sizes, shapes, colors and sexual orientations. Not a mistake, that. Our tent is really, really big – so you need no special doors to enter. If you’re mad as hell and you just won’t take any more, consider becoming a Pirate. If you’re frustrated with both the Republicans and the Democrats, think about the Pirate Party. No really. Our fellow pirates in Europe have set an example, hooked-up and got stuff done. Not a revolution, but a great start. We can do that. America’s got talent, and lots and lots of pirates. Join now.

Technorati Tags: Pirate, Politics, Manifesto

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