Sunday, March 01, 2015

Community, Disharmony, Healing, Character, and Sovereignty

Approximately 16 years ago I was writing something for a group to which I belonged. As was often the case when I was writing, I had the television on in the background so that I could feel connected to the world even while being isolated from it ... a psychological trick designed to help me cope with the loneliness of being a long-distance writer.  

The television was tuned to a Canadian station. The program was a morning program similar, in format, to the Today Show.

The person being interviewed had just written a book and was making the rounds to promote his work. The title of his book was: Returning to the Teachings.

The author’s name was Rupert Ross. He was an Assistant Crown Attorney for Canada.

During the interview, he provided some background which attempted to place his book in context. In 1992 he had been assigned to fly to a small Aboriginal village in northwestern Ontario.

Among the cases awaiting him were 20 Aboriginal youth who were charged with having consumed intoxicants in contravention of by-laws. The children had been discovered at three o’clock in the morning, waist-high in lake water, screaming, and sniffing gas fumes.

The children constituted 1/20th of the entire Aboriginal population for the community that was situated by the lake. Whatever decisions were made concerning those youngsters might substantially impact the future of that community.

Substance abuse has been a significant problem within many Aboriginal communities – not just among the youth, but among adults as well. The homes of many Aboriginal families have been devastated by substance abuse and its ramifications ... violence, rape, sexual molestation, and murder.

Ross indicated that from the perspective of many western systems of law, the commission of a crime is an indication that the person who has committed a crime is, in a sense, ‘bad’ and, as a result, punishment of some kind is an appropriate response. However, from the perspective of many Aboriginal systems of understanding, a person’s misbehavior indicates that some sort of appropriate moral teaching is needed or some form of pathology is present and requires a process of healing.

At the time, the Canadian legal system‘s solution for dealing with the behavior of the youngsters would be to label it criminal and, then either send the individuals to jail, or fine them, or require them to perform so many hours of community service. The Aboriginal suggestions concerning the matter were much more comprehensive and inclusive.

First, rather than structure the legal proceedings in an adversarial manner with a judge, crown attorney, police officers, and probation officers on one side of a table, while the accused sat on the other side of a table, three elders of the Aboriginal community made an alternative suggestion. Why not include anyone who might have something to contribute to the proceedings and form a circle with no particular order to the seating arrangements.

Presumably, the purpose of those proceedings should be about collectively finding a way to make life better for both present and future generations. People in the circle should be committed, as equals, to find a lasting solution to the problem confronting them and not merely be preoccupied with issues of judgment and punishment that might deal with symptoms but not necessarily with their underlying cause (s).

All misbehavior occurs in a context. If one does not understand the dynamics of that context, then one will not understand the character of the misbehavior.

With and without the presence of substance abuse, all too many people in Aboriginal communities have done terrible things to one another in the form of dysfunctional coping strategies intended to deal with a lifetime filled with abuses of one kind or another. Those actions were a destructive and ineffective form of communication.

The Aboriginal elders indicated that, perhaps, parents needed to be taught better ways of communicating with one another about why they were together and how the pain and suffering they were feeling in relation to a life of difficulties was feeding their abuse of one another. Teaching circles and healing circles were ways to begin that kind of a process.

Aboriginal children were often traumatized and confused by the violence which they witnessed in their homes. If the elders of the community did not intervene and help the children to understand what was taking place, the children and youth might well grow up to become just like their parents, and, once again, teaching and healing circles were ways to engage those issues.

The problem was not just the behavior of an individual. The problem was a manifestation of something much broader involving parental relationships, family relationships, and community relationships.

For years, the Western approach to justice had imposed itself on the Aboriginal peoples and insisted on doing things in a way that tried to make sense of things – to whatever extent this was possible from such a perspective -- within the context of a certain kind of arbitrary worldview. In doing so, the Western approach to justice had been violating the natural law systems of native peoples.

For Aboriginals, misbehavior is not a matter of crime and punishment. Instead, misbehavior is a sign of disharmony and calls for appropriate steps to be taken that are capable of restoring harmony within an individual, marriage, family, and/or community.

Punishment would not necessarily make things better. Teaching and healing circles often were able to achieve what punishment could not accomplish.

From the perspective of Aboriginal peoples, jails or prisons remove those who have committed some form of misbehavior from the very people who are not only the victims of such behavior, but who, as well, are the key to healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Putting people in prison or jail removes the one who has committed some form of misbehavior from having the opportunity to be held accountable by, learn from, and be healed through, the process of interacting with the person or people she or he has affected in some problematic way.

Rupert Ross indicated that one of the things which he discovered was that under the Aboriginal way of dealing with disharmony in the community, people who had committed some form of misbehavior – for example, sexually molesting a minor – would often voluntarily come forth and seek assistance from the elders. However, in all his years of working as a Crown Attorney, Ross had never known of anyone who voluntarily came in and indicated that he or she wanted to be prosecuted for sexually molesting someone.

Rather than being hierarchically organized – e.g., government, judge, Crown Attorney, misbehaving person – such that the way of power is disseminated along certain authorized pathways for purposes of implementing judgment and punishment, Aboriginal approaches are often centered on the dynamics of consensus involving the whole community. The dynamics of consensus-making entails struggling with issues involving the restoration of whatever community harmonies have been disturbed.

The Aboriginal approach to justice requires people in a community to establish a balance between two things. On the one hand, misbehavior must be publically acknowledged and condemned for what it is – a disruptor of harmony – while, on the other hand the person who has misbehaved must continue to be accepted as a person of value who is worthy of reclamation, teaching, and healing.

Society is an ecological system. When that system exhibits disharmonious disequilibrium, the dynamics need to be restored to an appropriate form of harmonious functioning ... and dynamics are always about more than judging and punishing one individual.

In a community – as is true in all ecological systems -- everything we do affects other people. This network of interactions can be conducted in a constructive, synergistic, and symbiotic manner, or it can be carried out in problematic, parasitic, and pathological ways.

A person who has misbehaved has ceded away his personal agency to forces of disharmony (whether internal and/or external in nature). If that individual is to undergo a process of ecological restoration through teaching and/or healing, then that individual must be helped to reclaim his or her moral and intellectual capacity for constructive agency.


The ecology of western society is in shambles. Despite a surface that seems to reflect order and prosperity, disharmonies manifest themselves everywhere through the cracks that are present in the glossy surface in the form of: Poverty, prisons, substance abuse, rape, murder, exploitation, infidelity, suicide, manipulation, corruption, wars, greed, oppression, cruelty, indifference, abuse, violence, depression, dishonesty, injustice, delusions, and dysfunctional systems of governance.

Although individuals are the ones through whom those disharmonies often are manifested, the underlying causes are systemic. More specifically, the form of governance within which we operate has induced us to cede away our moral and intellectual agency to an array of pathological forces that control the current dynamics of our communities.

To have a realistic chance of healing, we must all begin to reclaim what we have been induced to cede over to the way of power – that is, our basic sovereignty ... the right to have a fair opportunity to push back the horizons of ignorance concerning the nature of existence, along with our relationship to ourselves and the rest of Being. A properly functioning human ecology is rooted in basic sovereignty and not in the way of power ... in fact, the exercise of power always gives expression to disharmony in one way or another.

The way of power is about arbitrary forms of: hierarchy, authority, control, logic, and oppression. The way of sovereignty is about what can be demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt through: decentralization, consensus, reciprocity, and the realization of the constructive dimensions of human capacity.

The way of power leads to, and gives expression to, ideological psychopathy, or disharmony, in one form or another. The way of sovereignty leads to, and has the potential to give expression to: healing, essential learning, reconciliation, and restoration of harmony.

The existence of ideological psychopaths is nature’s way of telling us that our system is in serious disequilibrium. The ideological psychopath is -- in his or her own way -- also a victim of the pathology that besets our social/political/economic ecology even as that individual also bears responsibility for having ceded her or his agency to various pathological forces.

225 years ago, the Framers/Founders made some bad choices. Their decisions put America on a path that would lead to a way of power rather than to a way of sovereignty.

Giving the Framers/Founders the benefit of a doubt, they probably thought they were realizing the latter (that is, a way of sovereignty), when, unfortunately, they actually were busily engaged in establishing the former (that is, a way of power). In many respects, things could not have turned out other than they did – at least, in general terms – because the whole idea of the Philadelphia Constitution was about inducing people to cede their agency to a central, hierarchical, powerful source of governance.

The Philadelphia Constitution was described as an experiment in self-governance, and, indeed, there were a few – very few – indications that this idea had formed some part of the intention of the participants in the Philadelphia Convention. For example, the Preamble to the Constitution suggested as much, and, to a certain extent, so did Article IV, Section 4, that guaranteed a republican form of governance to every state such that qualities of: disinterestedness, fairness, honesty, integrity, compassion, nobility, and generosity of spirit were supposed to guide the decisions of governance that were to help: form a more perfect union; establish justice; ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense; promote the general welfare, and secure liberties in such a way that people would be able to realize the promise of the Declaration of Independence – namely, the inalienable rights of: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

In addition, the first ten amendments – which were ratified several years, or so, after the ratification of the Philadelphia Constitution – also suggested the formation of a framework through which people might establish some form of self-government. However, less than twenty years later, the meanings of: the Preamble, the Constitution, and the amendments were held hostage to the hermeneutical activities of the representatives of the way of power – in the form of: the Executive, Congress, the Judiciary, and the state branches of governance.

For more than 200 years, there has been a battle taking place for the soul of America. On one side of the tug-of-war is the way of power, while on the other side of the line of demarcation that determines the winner or loser of the struggle is the way of sovereignty.

The unfinished revolution concerns the struggle to fully realize the way of sovereignty. The foregoing revolution was started by individuals prior to the convening of the Philadelphia Convention or prior to the writing of the Articles of Confederation, but that revolution, unfortunately, was usurped by a way of power or governance that began to be instituted through: The Continental Congress, the Philadelphia Constitution, the ratification process, and the ensuing history of federalist government which gradually induced people to cede more and more of their agency to serve the way of power rather than retaining such agency in order to journey along the path of sovereignty.


Just as the law of ignorance indicates that the only human right which can be demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt is the idea of basic sovereignty – that is, the right to have a fair opportunity to push back the horizons of ignorance concerning the nature of reality and our place within that reality – so too, there is just one set of teachings to which virtually all spiritual, humanistic, and atheistic traditions subscribe and consider to be valid beyond a reasonable doubt. This set of teachings concerns what might be referred to as the natural law of character.

There is no one who can bring forth a non-arbitrary argument – that is, one which can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt – which demonstrates that: honesty, patience, compassion, empathy, fairness, balance, gratitude, reciprocity, nobility, integrity, sincerity, forgiveness, courage, tolerance, humility, friendship, and charitableness are not desirable qualities to realize during the events of everyday life. Similarly, there is no one who can bring forth a non-arbitrary argument – that is, one which can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt – which demonstrates that: dishonesty, impatience, callousness, indifference, unfairness, imbalance, thanklessness, selfishness, ignobility, untrustworthiness, insincerity, holding grudges, cowardice, intolerance, arrogance, hostility, and lack of charitableness are desirable qualities to apply to the events of everyday life.

Furthermore, if one were to engage people in conversation about the issue of character, I believe there would be considerable agreement concerning the meaning of most, if not all, of the foregoing terms. For example, we all have a sense – and I believe this remains true across many cultures -- of what friendship, honesty, sincerity, gratitude, humility, courage, tolerance, and so on entail, just as we all have a sense of what selfishness, greed, hostility, cruelty, and so on look like.

Some of the social conventions that are used to express the foregoing dimensions of being human may vary from culture to culture, but, nonetheless, the underlying phenomenology of character issues remains pretty much the same from location to location. The positive and negative dimensions of character are all principles which might be variable in the way they are manifested but tend to be constant with respect to the way in which people are able to recognize the presence of this or that facet of character.

Character in the foregoing two-dimensional mode of properties (that is, in a positive and negative, or constructive and destructive sense) is antithetical to the way of power. Or, said in another way, the way of power reverses the polarity of the two dimensions of character, and that which most people, cultures, and traditions acknowledge to be desirable qualities are considered to be undesirable from the perspective of the way of power, while that which most people, cultures, and traditions consider to be undesirable are treated as being desirable by the way of power.

However, character – in the sense in which the vast majority of people, cultures, and traditions consider to be desirable – is integral to the way of sovereignty. In fact, to whatever extent an individual is dominated by, or has ceded his or her agency to what most people, cultures, and traditions consider the undesirable dimension of the character issue to be, then, sovereignty is not likely to be realized.

When the way of power is in ascension within a given individual, family, community, or society, then under those circumstances, the dynamics of human ecology will tend to place the positive or constructive dimension of character under siege, while creating opportunities for the negative or destructive dimension of character to be manifested. When, on the other hand, the way of sovereignty is in ascension within a given individual, family, community, or society, then under those conditions, the dynamics of human ecology will tend to place the negative or destructive dimensions of character under siege, while creating opportunities for the positive or constructive dimension of character will tend to be manifested.

For the last several hundred years, the growing ascendency of the way of power within the American form of governance has placed the constructive sense of character under increasing stress. The way of sovereignty can only be reclaimed by refusing to cede our agency to the way of power and, instead, use our agency to give expression to the constructive or positive dimension of character that, in turn, will lead toward the realization of the way of sovereignty.

 To achieve the foregoing sort of transformation in orientation we must return to the teachings of natural law – both with respect to sovereignty and character -- which are the principles underlying all great humanist traditions ... whether secular or spiritual in nature. We must gather together in teaching and healing circles to work out principles of consensus, reciprocity, decentralization, and co-operation that will serve the way of sovereignty and not the way of power and that will provide constructive character qualities with an opportunity to develop rather than nurture problematic qualities of character.

If societies and communities ignore the natural laws of character, no manner of governance will function to the advantage of those societies and communities. This is especially true in relation to the issue of self-governance.

If societies and communities ignore the natural law of ignorance -- from which the idea of basic sovereignty is derived -- then all forms of governance will be inherently oppressive and ruled by the way of power. Moreover, the idea of having a form of self-governance which is rooted in something other than basic sovereignty is oxymoronic.

Despite media, educational, and governmental hype to the contrary, the American system of government does not, for the most part, give expression to a form of self-governance. Instead, the way of power has devised a way to induce people to believe they are participating in self-governance through the process of elections which is nothing more than an exercise in changing, or confirming, the face of power that will rule over society.

There is, however, one dimension of the American way of doing things which has nothing to do with the electoral process but has everything to do with the issue of self-governance. The dimension being alluded to in the foregoing sentence is the jury system.

Juries have as much, if not more, to do with regulating order and justice within society than, perhaps, any other facet of governance. All across America, five days a week, ordinary people, who are not elected officials and are paid very little money, gather together, listen to evidence/testimony/arguments, evaluate that material, discuss it, and struggle to reach a consensus about that material in relation to a given case – whether criminal or civil and on both a state and federal level.
 Those jurors are independent of the government and are free to arrive at whatever conclusions they feel are justified. The only principles which are intended to guide their deliberations are those of impartiality and common sense. 

Although, on occasion there might be problems here and there, nevertheless, on the whole, the unelected, poorly paid, ordinary jury participants using nothing more than common sense do a far better job in the exercise of self-governance than do all the various branches of state and federal government. Moreover, their decisions affect the quality of our daily lives in countless ways – mostly in an unseen and unappreciated -- or underappreciated -- manner.
Given the foregoing, let’s undertake a thought experiment of sorts. What if we were to wed three ideas together – namely, the trial jury, the grand jury, and the Aboriginal healing/teaching circles – and utilize this combination as a real system of self-governance.

Forget about elections with all their attendant corruption, inequities, abuses, negativity, and money. Elections have become a tool of the way of power, and as long as there are elections, people will never be permitted to exercise self-governance.

Instead, perhaps, there should be a series of – let’s call them – ‘grand jury oversight committees’ whose task would be do deal with the disharmonies which are manifested in a given social ecology. The purpose of such committees would not be to determine, say, the criminality of actions or to make public policy but, rather, to use their collective experience and common sense to help people re-establish harmony within a given community.
The committees would be a resource in the process of self-governance ... not a director of self-governance. That is, the proposed committees would not be able to tell people what to do but would only be able to assist them to make the journey from misbehavior to the restoration of lost character and sovereignty.
The issue of misbehavior covers a lot of possibilities – from: family life, to: social, economic, and financial matters. In fact, there really are no aspects of community life that might not be considered in relation to the issue of misbehavior and/or the emergence of disharmony. As is the case with grand juries, trial juries, and healing circles, members of the proposed committees would be selected from the community at large. In part this is a ‘random’ process – for example, the means through which names are arbitrarily selected from a pool of possibilities. However, once the general pool of candidates had been identified, one could use a nominal culling process of sorts – as occurs with trial juries through the process of voir dire -- to eliminate either hardship cases or potential problem selectees – in order to arrive at the final number of committee members who are prepared to engage issues before the court through constructive properties of character.  
Unlike grand juries which are conducted by a prosecuting attorney or unlike trial juries that – until their turn arrives -- are largely observers in a trial that is conducted by opposing attorneys and a judge, the proposed ‘grand jury oversight committee’ would be more like the healing/teaching circles of Aboriginal peoples. Participants in the committee would determine what cases, ideas, evidence, and testimony would be considered ... as well as in what order or at what length and with what ramifications.

The proposed committee would be free to bring in consultants to help the members of that committee gain the most balanced and objective understanding of various testimony and evidence. However, the final authority would rest with the committee.

The length of service could last anywhere from one to two years. Moreover, although the participants might have to be paid more than jurors are currently paid – a lot would depend on the nature of the social ecology in which such committees are embedded -- participation would be a matter of civic duty just as is the case with respect to grand juries, trial juries, and the healing/teaching circles.
The size of the committees would be open to community debate. The Goldilocks principle might be of assistance in relation to those considerations – neither too big, nor too small, but something that was: ‘just right.’

Grand juries often consist of 23-30 people. This might be an appropriate size through which to permit a diversity of perspectives to be exercised.

Those committees would be appropriate for neighborhoods, communities, towns, cities, counties, states and nationally. The number and size of those committees would depend on the dynamics of the social ecology at any given location.

I believe that some sort of security system – whether policing in nature or some other kind of arrangement – would be necessary. However, whatever security arrangements were chosen, that system would be working in conjunction with the proposed grand jury oversight committees, rather than have some sort of power relationship over those committees ... in other words, security arrangements or policing should be servants for the way of sovereignty and not for the way of power.
In many ways, lower courts are concerned with issues of epistemology. That is, they are preoccupied with issues of fairness concerning the presentation of evidence.

As such, I think the epistemological aspect of the court system is, in some form, an important process to retain in relation to the proposed grand jury oversight committees. On the other hand, epistemology does not have to be handled through an adversarial system that tends to reduce down to a zero sum game in which only one side can be victorious and with respect to which winning often becomes more important than truth, justice, or actually resolving a problem.

As noted earlier, the grand jury oversight committees that I have in mind would not be responsible for generating public policy or establishing laws – indeed, no one would. Those committees would be focused entirely on issues of: disharmony, character, sovereignty, consensus, reconciliation, fair opportunity, and a re-establishing of harmony ... issues with which public policy and laws are supposed to deal but often do so in self-defeating, dogmatic, linear, inflexible, and polarizing ways.
Public policy is the secular version of religious dogma. No one should be required to submit to someone else’s ideology – whether secular or religious in nature.

Moreover, previous postings in this blog should have made it quite clear that there are a number of facets of governance as currently practiced that I consider inherently problematic. For instance, although I believe that under the right circumstances (ones that serve sovereignty and are done in accordance with the qualities of positive character) commerce can be a good thing, capitalism is a theory of commerce which is no more capable of being demonstrated as being true beyond a reasonable doubt than communism or socialism can be so demonstrated.

Similarly, corporations – unless they are controlled by the qualities of constructive character, help to establish and enhance basic sovereignty, and are closely regulated by various grand jury oversight committees – tend to be antithetical to the best interests of society. More often than not, in the absence of conditions of restraint and control, corporations exhibit the symptomology of ideological psychopathy, and, therefore, are likely to create disharmony rather than restore harmony.

In addition, banks should not be privately owned. Everything which private banks allegedly do for society can be done more constructively and cheaply by local communities themselves.

Most forms of currency are about the perceived value of arbitrary characteristics. Real currency, however, is about the intrinsic value of characteristics that are often not appropriately perceived.
Character, labor, and sovereignty have intrinsic values which tend to be de-valued in many, if not most, modern, commercial systems. On the other hand gold, silver and paper money, have arbitrary characteristics that are perceived to be of intrinsic worth and, as a result, are confused and conflated with matters of intrinsic value, resulting in cycles of inflation and deflation.

Although markets are hyped as the means through which financial capital is set free to move the invisible hand of the market in ways that serve everyone’s interests, this simply cannot be demonstrated to be true, beyond a reasonable doubt. By and large, financial markets are merely legalized, and in many cases unregulated (e.g., derivatives), forms of gambling which often have devastating consequences for maintaining harmony within neighborhoods, communities, towns, cities, states, and nations.

Similarly, stock markets are, for the most part, just legalized forms of gambling that have destructive consequences for labor, businesses, the environment, justice, and society. In fact, almost all markets are inherently unfair because one, or more, of the participants in those markets are participating under some form of duress (for instance, consider labor) or playing on an unfair playing field in a game that often is refereed by people with vested interests.

Supposedly, stock markets are, in part, a method for valuing what businesses have to offer. However, more often than not, those valuations are shaped by individuals who are engaged in the manipulation of perceptions concerning that kind of a process of valuation.

National defense should be just that ... national defense. The United States has no business setting up more than 700 military bases world-wide (at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars a year) or engaging in military adventures whenever and wherever vested financial and economic interests need to have their bottom line protected ... and two-time Medal of Honor winner Smedley Butler was emphatically correct when, based on his own experience, he proclaimed that ‘war is a racket.’

More than fifty years ago, Dwight Eisenhower warned us against the military-industrial complex and the problematic impact it had on democracy. All too many people and businesses in the United States earn their living by making the death of others a horrible reality.

If one got rid of elections, corporations, private banks, stock markets (and other markets which are vehicles for gambling, manipulation, and exploitation), the military-industrial complex, most facets of governance (with the exception of the proposed grand jury oversight committees and associated minimally necessary security apparatus), as well as capitalism, socialism, and communism (but not commerce), one would eliminate a great many of the sources of disharmony in society. Of course, people being people, one would not create a utopia, but maybe – just maybe – the problems of disharmony which remain after all of the foregoing considerations have been eliminated might be become far more manageable.

The ecological system known as America is dying. When it runs down to a final state of stagnant, putrid equilibrium, most of the people who presently populate it will also die ... as will character and sovereignty.

I am not a utopian idealist. The struggle to bring the positive sense of character into ascendency, as well as to establish, protect, and enhance basic sovereignty is a very difficult one.

On some days, I am not hopeful with respect to the prospects for America’s future with respect to either the issue of sovereignty or character. I fear for America and its people, as I fear for the people of all countries.

On the one hand, the aforementioned fear is rooted in the way in which negative character seems to be ascendency in all too many places – federal, state, and local governments, commerce, education, legal systems, and religious institutions. On the other hand, the foregoing fear is rooted in the manner in which the way of power, with its tendency toward ideological psychopathy, is making the planet uninhabitable for every manner of ecology.

The present system of governance will not be able to avert the human tragedy which is not only heading our way, but is, in all too many ways, already here. A substantial change must be made in the manner through which we go about governance for us to have any chance to save either present or future generations ... we must move in the direction of a true form of self-governance that is rooted in the natural laws of ignorance and character.

There will be many people who will dismiss what is being said in this posting. Their rejection of this material will not be because they can bring forth arguments and evidence that are capable of disproving, beyond a reasonable doubt, what has been said here but because their vested interests are being threatened by what has been discussed across the paragraphs of this work.

The 1% versus 99% issue is not a matter of class warfare or the financial version of penis-envy. Rather, the real issue in the foregoing divide is that the 1% (and, maybe, one should refer here to the 10% rather than the 1%) is responsible for 99% of the problems which plague society, and, yet they want the other 90-99% of the people to subsidize the way of power which has been instituted by the 1% (10%) and which has led to the current condition of extreme disharmony.

The part which the 90-99% has played in the present crisis is, for a variety of reasons, to have become vulnerable -- through the presence of an array of forces of undue influence – to ceding our moral and intellectual agency to the way of power which, in turn, has leveraged that process of ceding to fashion a cult of democracy. The revolution which was started more than 230 years remains unfinished and will continue on in that condition unless we – individually and collectively -- reclaim our basic sovereignty ... the most fundamental of rights for all human beings.

However, if the process of reclamation is not filtered through the qualities of positive character, then we will run the risk of becoming ideological psychopaths. By all means, reclaim the basic sovereignty that has been ceded away ... but in doing so choose wisely and by means of the potential for constructive character – rather than the destructive capacities – which are within each of us.

Everyone wants change, but few people are willing to change themselves or the way in which they go about life with respect to the activities that are necessary to truly enhance the health of the social/political/economic/moral ecology in which we live. Change is going to come whether we like it or not ... the only choice we have is whether we will reclaim the agency that we have ceded to the way of power and establish a viable form of self-governance through the way of sovereignty ... or continue to permit ourselves to slide ever closer to the abyss which is being fashioned by the ideological psychopaths of the world. 

This posting has focused mostly on the United States (with some of the discussion directed toward Canada) ... its history, form of governance, problems, and the challenges that populate the existential horizons of the near and distant future. However, the underlying principles that have been delineated here are applicable to every nation and every person on the face of the Earth, and in this sense, the United States is but a case study concerning the manner in which the way of power and the way of sovereignty are involved in a battle for the souls of both nations and individuals everywhere.

More, perhaps, might have been said about how the proposed grand jury oversight committees work or what they would do. However, I feel those issues are best left to the people who are on those committees ... after all it is their future – and the future of their families, friends, neighbors, and posterity -- that is at stake.