Shut Up and Stand Up!

ktadmin Post in OffTopic, Self-Defense

A few weeks ago I commented on a blog of someone who is fighting against some government injustice.  As is typical in these things the person and their supporters seem more interested in gaining the support of others then actually succeeding in their plight.  Some how in this age of the Internet the mob has evolved to a new shallow dimension.  More then ever we live by proxy and more to the point by Poll.  We use the Internet to vent our frustrations which for most, the writing and even the reading gives some sense of accomplishment.  This of course is folly.  Venting and “raising awareness” does little to change anything yet we are drawn to it like moths to the flame.  We have been so fooled by this culture that people feel engaged in the political process when they call a talk radio show but they would never think of calling their Local, State or Federal government representative.  As I said I resently commented on this topic and so to illustrate my point further here are my thoughts on this topic…

I respect everyone here for standing up for what they believe in and trying to change the system.  I also respect that you understand that as tax payers these are your employees.  But that is where it ends.  As the employer you are inept.  I am not flaming you just pointing out an important fact.  Blogging and newspaper articles change nothing.  Government officials generally only care about these things just before an election.

What Government employees hate most is work, which as an employer you can easily give them.  One of you wrote that you requested documentation from one for the board member and they didn’t respond.  Shame on you.  See they are counting on you reacting the way you did, dismayed and publicly outraged but powerless.  You are powerless because you don’t know the rules and shame on you for that.  See Government employees have rules they must follow, you don’t.  They are accountable, you are not.  But they are only accountable and only have to follow the rules when someone makes them.  Remember these 3 letters FOI (Freedom of Information).  The rules vary slightly between states however the FOI can be used to bring government to its knees.  See there is typically a short window to respond to an FOI Request after which civil ($$) penalties can be assessed.  So hit them where it hurts.  And no you do not need to be an attorney to file an FOI request.  If you need help with the process call the Attorney Generals office and have them hold your hand, that is their JOB!

Hopefully someone listens to the above.  A good FOI Request would be all phone records including cell phones, detailed copies of all attorney billings, minutes from all meetings…basically anything you can think of and yes they have to provide it, excluding personal data (SSN,etc).  You can however get copies of certain personal records but they have to clean the data before giving it to you.  Here is the kicker, you may have to pay for copies so what you do is request all of the information then tell them you will come down and select what copies you want.  When you show up just take one copy, about $0.35 and next week repeat the request:-)  They will want to bend over backwards to make you happy.  The glory of it, it is completely legal and within the system.  Who know you might even find evidence of the misappropriations you were talking about!  Then they are looking at jail time!!

So do your homework and learn the system otherwise it will just ignore you until you wind yourself crying, like the helpless 3 year old you are.  Imagine their workload if even half of the concerned citizens out there filed an FOI request…or made an inquiry by phone.

Being involved doesn’t mean calling a radio talk show or posting to a blog, those things are honorable as they raise awareness but do nothing to change or improve the system.

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