Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Here it is as a blog post, with a few formatting inconsistencies, if you want to view it on Google Docs or print or download, see this post:


First Issue: Template For Change 5 March 2016
You know you are powerful. Maybe the knowledge of your power is buried beneath the weight of your day-to-day life. Maybe you don't always have the chance to exercise that power, but it is there. You know that you matter.
You have a vision of a better life for yourself and your loved ones. You have a vision of a better world. Your vision is as valid as the visions of Mayor Slay, or Rex Sinquefield, or Governor Nixon, or the Koch Brothers. You have a right to a good life.
It may seem that to use your power you must find a large group of like minded people and stage large demonstrations or actions. Or have a lot of money. Or have a lot of guns. All you need is your own mind, and a decision to use it to make change. Just a commitment of a little of your time, to exercise your power.
It may seem that changing something in your own life takes so much of your personal power that there is little leftover to change things for other people. That is exactly why you are so powerful. The vision that you have, as a (seemingly) “powerless” person, is a vision that is shared by many people.
Your issues are the issues. What you need is what everyone needs. You speak for millions. Your thoughts, your solutions, your actions, can change the world for everyone.
Take the $15 minimum wage movement as an example. Even if each one of the individual people in that movement had demanded a raise for themselves it would have created a similar result. By joining together and synchronizing their actions, they created a visible movement. Done in unison, they were able to prevent retaliation on individuals (by firing them). But it began with just a few people, speaking up for their rights. People that knew they had power and weren't afraid to use it.
The Fight for $15 is a great example of just how much change a few people can create. Each person in the movement is acting on their own interests, and their interests align with many other people's. Like small drops of evaporated water, naturally gathering together to form large storm clouds.

Practical people know that to change something, you must have a vision of how things should be. That vision should be “idealistic,” the best we can imagine. We don't have to like each other, or agree on everything.
We just have to start with what everyone needs.
Clean air.
Clean water.
Arable land for food.
Health care, medicine, and emergency services.
Shelter and clothing.
Child care and Elder care.
Education, including college.
Safety nets for disability, disease, and old age.
We also need:
(Real) Civic responsibility.
Travel through community, civic or military responsibilities.
Freedom and leisure to pursue our own interests.
Very few humans on this planet have all of those things, and those that do are mostly in “developed” nations like ours. There is enough for everyone: enough air, enough water, enough food, enough medical care and medicine, enough clothing, enough homes, enough work. Travel, civic responsibility, and freedom and leisure are also available in abundance.
THE WORLD'S RESOURCES NEED TO BE DISTRIBUTED MORE FAIRLY. And that includes work. There is plenty of work, but not enough jobs. Everyone should work, even if they are rich. A minimum amount of work should be required of everyone on this planet to provide for that person's basic needs, and to ensure equitable distribution of natural resources. If everyone worked at the jobs that were necessary, for 10 hours a week, people that chose to work and earn more would still have the opportunity. But every person should have a job.


Altering local government and institutions will automatically change the power structure at the top. Even many Federal laws can be altered at State and Local levels.
Local laws and regulations effect your day to day life much more significantly than national or state laws. Representatives are easier to reach. And careful monitoring at a local level would ensure that only the best of local leaders make it to the state and national congresses.
We have more power in our own communities. Occupy Wall Street sought to shut down Wall Street. To change something nationally- and globally- requires changing a lot of big structures and networks. In other words, changing Wall Street means changing St. Louis. It's actually simpler and more effective to do it in the reverse. Change St. Louis, and the country changes.
We have to become more involved by keeping in contact with local politicians, by being aware of what laws and legislation are affecting our communities, and by monitoring elected judges and their records, and watching who is appointed to run government funded entities (like John Nations appointment as CEO of Metro).
Most of the City's funds for business development are used to lure discretionary spending by county residents. This does not always benefit city residents. In fact, it often robs the city to do this. (Ballpark Village, Cortex, etc.)
City leaders waged what they knew was a losing battle to keep a football team. And they fought hard until the end.
If our city leaders can rally around a $1 Billion stadium on their own decision, We The People can force them to rally $1 Billion for jobs, social services, and to save our schools! The level of organization, energy, time, and resources that was given to the Rams stadium project needs to be forced into real economic development. If that money was available for a football team, it must be available to hire unemployed citizens to clean up, repair, educate, and reorganize St. Louis. IT'S UP TO US TO MAKE THEM DO IT!


The systems and modes that worked up until World War 2 are no longer relevant or viable. That includes revolutions. Violence against the government and ruling classes is no longer a path to transformative change for We The People.
We live in a truly “New Age.” The population of the planet has doubled since 1970, and of all the people that lived on this earth, half of them are dead. In other words, the global population (7 billion) is now twice that of all the people that have ever lived before us. Never before have humans been a greater threat to nature than the other way around. Never before have we had technology like we do today. Never before have governments had “weapons of mass destruction.”
Our world is run by bankers and the Departments of Defense (and their contractors) in a few governments globally, the U.S. being the top dog. We cannot fight them with weapons. We don't need to, and it wouldn't be effective change, anyhow. Violence would simply change the faces in power. The real power is the active voice of We The People.
Right now politicians decide what issues will be placed before voters. We need to start dictating the issues to them. To change the power structure we have to change. The current government structure does need many changes, for instance, the electoral college. George W. Bush's election is proof of that. But no changes are going to matter until we take control of our government. Right now, the government has no reason to take us seriously. That has to change first.
We don't need more people running for office. WE THE PEOPLE need to start running all of the government offices and public institutions by individually starting our own revolutions. Each one of us needs to become just a little more active and aware, socially and politically, in our own communities.
When the people fear the government there is tyranny. When the government fears the people there is liberty.” John Basel Barnhart

What we need is for more motivated people to create a culture where social activism and civic responsibility is woven into the fabric of our day to day lives. If we all do a little more, none of us will have to do too much. The Armchair revolution is on-going, which means that We The People will stay in control.
Social change is created through the actions of as little as 12% of the population. In St. Louis city that is roughly 37,000 people. Imagine the changes in our city, if everyone at the Card's game was a registered voter (whether they voted or not) and called an elected official once a month? Or 4700 people made 5 phone calls a month (still 37,000 calls a month)? An increase of this size in telephone calls from registered voters would create widespread change in our local government, and shift the balance of power in St. Louis.
Marches, rallies, and demonstrations are still necessary. But too often they create extra revenue for the police, in addition to putting burden on a lot of individual people. And often mass actions without consistent, active follow-up, achieve only small results. The work of the Ferguson uprising continues almost 2 years later. Every day dedicated people make phone calls, write letters, sign petitions, and have conversations in our communities. This work has to be done! Let's start now, before things get critical enough that we have to take to the streets!
We can “gather” and “create large mobs” and “demonstrations” simply by using our cell phones. Registering to vote, calling elected officials, researching issues and power structures, can all be done from a cell phone.
The Armchair Revolution does not require an oath or dues or signing any contracts. It does not require you to agree with anything or anybody but yourself. You do not need to tell anyone you are a revolutionary. It requires only that you make a decision to use your power, a little of your time, every day, week, or month, to do a little more to create change in your life and your community. 5 additional actions a month, 11 months a year.
People should not be afraid of their governments; Governments should be afraid of their people.” -V for Vendetta


There is only one power in the government that cannot be bought or sold. It is the only legal power capable of overthrowing the oligarchy** our government has become.
Politicians only pay attention to people that are registered to vote. It doesn't matter if that person has actually voted. In order for a politician to gain or keep their power, they must be voted into office. By becoming a registered voter, you are another potential source of election (or re-election) to a politician. (You don't have to vote. Just register to vote. But as a form of protest, you can also legally write-in anyone, including people that aren't running, and exercise your voting rights. Your vote is your voice.)
Every person that registers to vote becomes another person politicians have to call and send mailings to. Another person they have to (at least pretend to) listen to. Right now elected officials only have to communicate with roughly 30% of the population (averaging out very low local voter turnout with higher state and national turnout). Which means those 30% have more power with politicians than lobbyists. You have more power now as a registered voter than when the majority of people are registered.
Our government answers to very few people. The voting public is so inconsequential that election years are the only time we really matter. Dishonest politicians do not want more registered voters. Honest politicians, who truly want to do the will of the people, are working in an environment where corruption is “business as usual.” The more people that register to vote, the more power politicians have against the lobbyists and special interests, and even other politicians. Which means you have greater power.
Super wealthy, special interests are trying to make it more difficult for people to vote. They recognize the power of a registered voter. Even if you don't vote, please register and stay registered.
I am the ballot in your box...”
You can go to any library or department of motor vehicles, or register on-line: https://www.sos.mo.gov/votemissouri/request .
**Oligarchy: a small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution.


Everyone is guaranteed a home, basic food, clothing, medical care, education, and work 10 hours a week at a wage that pays for the basics. (This wage might be more than $15, or less.)
Community daycare and elder care are available free.
All utilities are public services are publicly owned, NON-PROFIT, and managed by the government. Not publicly “held”. Publicly owned. Water, electricity, gas, telephone, internet, trash and waste removel, public transportation, health insurance and medical services, hospitals, emergency services (ambulance and fire), police, prisons.
HUD and Section 8 buys people homes.
Stores like Wal-Mart and Costco are community owned and operated co-operatives (like WinCo, for example). Every community has a publicly owned and operated “Superstore” Co-op. (These large chains can sell non-necessities for profit.)
Our schools have 100% what they need. Every child deserves a GREAT education, including tutoring, extra-curricular activities, sports, and social events. Every child is given what s/he needs to thrive and prosper. High school drop-out rates are low, and post secondary degrees (college, trade school) are the norm.
Our communities are centered around school districts. All other districts- fire, police, transportation, voting, etc.- are organized around the school districts.
Every 6 block area has a community garden and collects rainwater. (Our planet's supply of drinkable water is set to run out in 2025. This will effect developed nation's like ours first.)
Everyone is automatically registered to vote at age 18.
Every resident has a personal public transit pass, with free fare days on July 4th and election days. All resident passes “cap out” each month when fares totalling the cost of a montly pass are reached. Discount passes for low income and unemployed are available, as they are for seniors and the disabled currently.
All of this is possible NOW! Other communities around the world have made changes like these. So can St. Louis!

5 FOR 11:
  • Register to vote
  • Make a call to a political official
  • Sign a petition
  • Learn about something! Globally: the TPP. Nationally: Glass-Steagall, the Carried Interest Loophole, the Electoral College. Locally: Metro's $5 million “contributions to outside entities”. (The same amount of money Metro needs, supposedly, from rider fare increases this July!) All of these things directly impact the St. Louis economy.
  • Encourage someone else to take action. Share this 'zine on-line, or print and distribute it. Feel free to use part or all of it to make your own leaflet or 'zine.
  • If you were arrested at a political demonstration DON'T TAKE THE PLEA AND PAY THE FINE. Take it to court. Protect the First Amendment and your right to political action. Don't let your political activism be an easy source of revenue for the police and courts. Even if you lose, your challenge will remain in the judicial record, and will contribute to future cases. (Many criminal arrests need to be challenged as well.) The police and courts, and lawyers, are very powerful (and wealthy) in St. Louis, and often get away with taking actions and powers that are not legally theirs to take. Law and Order are not the same as Peace and Justice!
IDEAS ARE BULLETPROOF” 5 For 11 and the Armchair Revolution are inspired by the movie “V For Vendetta”. Instead of planting bombs, plant information and knowledge. Instead of blowing up buildings, “blow up” the phone lines with calls.
PAG2STL MISSION STATEMENT: To encourage citizens of Saint Louis to register to vote (whether they vote or not). To encourage powerful, visionary citizens to create social, political, economic, judicial, legal, environmental, and community change via “The Armchair Revolution.”

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