About that “Seat at the Table”…

You want a Seat at the Table. You fight for it. You get it. Yippee. Let’s consider it.1

(Welcome back to the DTP Blog. I’ve been absent from this table because, among other things, May is a huge month for gardening in Wisconsin and mine needed lots of TLC so I could put food on my table. But back to your Seat.)

“Wanting a Seat at the Table” is one way citizen activists express their desire to be part of the decision-making process, instead of being merely audience, cheerleaders, dues-payers, observers, onlookers, demonstrators, or the blubbering supplicants role that we play in regulatory agencies.
Continue reading “About that “Seat at the Table”…”

Corporate Law Secrets Exposed By Anthropologist (1998/2015)

A Short Preface: The View from 2015…

The piece below, once available as a pamphlet, was written in 1998 to try to induce “activists” to pierce the invisible force field that seems to keep them from reading the history of corporate law. Whether or not it succeeds in that sense, it offers a perspective on current democratic efforts that I thought then and still think is essential before any real progress will be made in turning around national and world trends. Continue reading “Corporate Law Secrets Exposed By Anthropologist (1998/2015)”

Why There Aren’t Any Jokes About Regulatory Agencies

OK, here’s a joke about a regulatory agency, as told by the corporate manager of a big polluting factory.

He says…So, I’m in my office one day and the Man from EPA comes in and slams down a huge stack of papers, saying — You’ve got 22,221 violations, and you better do something about them by next Friday.

So I says, Oh yeah, and what if I don’t do anything about them by next Friday?

Well, says the Man from EPA, then you’ll have twenty-two thousand, two hundred and twenty-TWO violations.

Hah, hah. Continue reading “Why There Aren’t Any Jokes About Regulatory Agencies”

Help, I’ve Been Colonized and I Can’t Get Up (1998) (Take a lawyer and an expert to a hearing and call me in a decade…)

by Jane Anne Morris

CentrifForColonizedA third of your friends are locked down in an old growth grove or at a corporate headquarters, with law enforcement officers rubbing pepper spray in their eyes. Another third are preparing testimony so you can be persuasive at a generic regulatory agency while you’re begging them to enforce a tiny portion of our laws. The third third are trying to raise money to pay lawyers to get your friends out of jail (after they’ve been released from the hospital) or take the regulatory agency to court (after it declines to enforce the law).

Continue reading “Help, I’ve Been Colonized and I Can’t Get Up (1998) (Take a lawyer and an expert to a hearing and call me in a decade…)”

Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing (1998)

By Jane Anne Morris

A rusty bicycle bell with the top off, obviously non-functional.If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, you can count sheep, or read a book about the history of regulatory agencies. It may turn out to be the same thing.

The nation’s first federal regulatory agency, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), was established in 1887. Concerned citizens, having failed to solve their difficulties in more traditional ways, sought the intervention and assistance of the federal government. Over the next three decades, these mavericks worked to defend the ICC’s existence and increase its powers to regulate the railroad corporations.

Who were these pioneers who dared to go where no one had gone before, to urge the formation of and expand the powers of the first federal regulatory agency? Continue reading “Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing (1998)”

Regulatory Agencies Have Failed Us–Let’s Fail Them: Out of the Agencies and Into the Legislatures (2010)

By Jane Anne Morris

Too Big to Fail?

Billowing smokestackRegulatory agencies are not, and never were, the Great Protectors of the public interest that hazy origin myths suggest.1 Understanding regulatory failure entails accepting this inconvenient truth and then moving on.
Continue reading “Regulatory Agencies Have Failed Us–Let’s Fail Them: Out of the Agencies and Into the Legislatures (2010)”

Try This At Home (2004)

by Jane Anne Morris

1: The Ambassador

Frame and outer shell, during construction, of a stringed instrument, perhaps a viola.The ambassador’s entourage — two edgy men with ear wires down their backs, and a few hangers-on — formed an irregular security perimeter. Handlers steered her around to avoid ambassadorial stumbles over uneven footing in the cramped space. It was Colómbian Independence Day, so I suppose I should have expected to bump into the U.S. ambassador in the mummy room of the National Museum in Bógota. Continue reading “Try This At Home (2004)”