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May 26, 2003



When we get that contact, will our leaders speak to us? Or will they hide behind who it is they want us to believe they are, or worse, the masks of "you can't say that" image consultant advisors.

In one government agency where I installed a forum system, a manager became so incensed at a comment he pressed libel charges, and from there, fearing retributions and pink slips, the forum fell silent. Presumably the real discussion moved elsewhere.

In open blogspace, we appear to be peers and we can pare and fence freely, but would I be so bold if you were my boss, my primary client ... or my electorate?

In my local county, we support our provincial rep even though we detest his party because he's the sort who tells it like he sees it, and he sees it our way. He'll stand up and bitch about his party's pet bill if it's just plain wrong. By contrast, we have a federal representative who has never come out with anything but the party line.

For fun, I contacted the Toronto Mayoral candidates, underdog provincial parties and lesser federal candidates to propose campaigning via blogs. I recieved only one reply, from the Ontario Liberals, a comment on a side point, saying their policy makers didn't care if their site worked only for MSIE6.

Doug Kenline


Thank you very much for blogging for the people. Yes, my thoughts exactly. Building trust in the government.

Even though we may have a democratic system it must be based on a republic so that 51% of the people cannot vote away the individual's God given right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

mrG who commented above appears to be from Canada. I think this is a great thing. In the blogosphere there are no geographical boundaries.

A government of the people, by the people and for the people should be the standard throughout the world.

A man by the name of Walter Burien has come up with some evidence that there may be some very funny money games going on within the government at this time. He says the government has all the money it needs and then some. Please take a moment to look at Walter Burien's web site here...


Building trust takes time. Please continue to be a good and true leader of the people. There is much work to do.

I also commented further on your blog at my blog. See headline from today titled "Pierre Omidyar Blog."

Thank you again very much for blogging for the people.

I look forward to reading your blog.

Doug Kenline
Atlanta, Georgia

Fred Smart


Thank you for bringing up an incredible subject: trust.

What is trust?

It's the sacred link of 1) the End - ie. divine energy, light, truth and love - from the creator of the universe that 2) is transmitted as an infinite number of spiritual causes which 3) manifest in our natural-temporal world in use - ie. actions that are naturally aligned in the "right divine order" which help and serve others in ways that bring forth the ongoing redemption, regeneration and salvation of mankind.

Trust is divine.

Trust is the connectedness of divine love that orders, organizes, plans, compells, teaches, guides and supports everything in the universe.

If mankind attempts to claim trust for ourselves then we will pervert/invert the flow of divine energy, light, truth and love from our almighty Father who created us in His own image.

Personal trust that is "claimed" for oneself or others shuts out the free and unconditional energy, light, truth and love that defines what it means to be spiritually human and alive.

Mankind wants to always claim the godhead of the Lord's energy, light, truth and love. Mankind's world is all about love of self and love of this world. Trust to the vast majority of individuals in this world is conditional - ie. quid pro quo. But divine trust is actually unconditional and we all are simply called to freely and unconditionally receive and share this trust with others for it's really not "ours" to claim to begin with.

This doesn't mean we simply smile, trust and roll over. It means we are called to 1) trust 2) question and 3) act in a unifying circle which renews and fullfills itself in growing concentric circles of energy, light, truth and love that radiate in a pool of water from the dropping of one pebble.

But mankind teaches us to 1) distrust 2) do not ask questions and 3) do nothing. This is the mantra of the matrix-virus of slavery and control that's been destroying our world for centuries.

Fred Smart
Evanston, Illinois

William Martin

It seems to me that trust and communication are different sides of the same coin. The better the quality of communication the better the quality of trust - and vice versa.

When one is debased (or lacking) the other automatically becomes debased. To build trust we first need to esablish lines of communication. The better those lines of communication the better the quality of trust that can build.


Trust government? Personalize institutions? As a general rule it is probably inappropriate to trust government without access to an accurate accounting of what's going on inside. In America at least, the infrastructure of government was architected with the noblest, most selfless of intentions, and I think the echoes of this are still audible. But the scale of government now to government circa 1783 is like WindowsXP to DOS. There is now just way too much going on in there to trust it completely at face value. You have to be able to see inside. You need to be able to ask specific questions and get accurate answers immediately. RDBMS and the Internet are the only real hope here. Otherwise there is nothing but a huge opportunity to hide what is going on in there and use it (if you happen to be in control) for your own selfish ends.

Keep pushing for access to the inner workings. The technology is more than mature enough to provide this. What needs to be personalized is the necessary hand-holding to get people who are unfamiliar with the technology comfortable enough to participate through the magic access the machines provide.



Trust is such a unique occurence in our lives. It happens on many, many levels which makes it difficult to wrangle in. The trust that I place in my spouse is different then the trust that I place in my co-workers, boss or even my relatives. This is where I think it is hard to trust the government.

I am not saying that we shouldn't trust the government I am just saying how do you trust our government? I think what you said is true, communication is key. However, how do you have open lines of communication with elected officials when they sometimes represent hundreds of thousands of people.

I have met some politicians in my life and I agree, once you get to speaking with them they seem down to earth and pointed towards the greater cause, society. I also believe they think they are accessible, however, when it comes down to it, it is very hard to access them. Only if you live in a small town or county do you have ready access to the mayor or representative in your area. Thus it becomes difficult to trust the government with anything more then running zoning restrictions.

I think as time wears on we can trust the government, but as you said that trust needs to begin with the people that run that institution.

Walter Burien

Whom would you trust the most?

1. A self sufficient Government that operates by the return on investments without Taxation, having a goal of streamlined operations and public satisfaction to accomplish for themselves self serving reward;


2. A dependent government that operates by and through taxation utilizing, deception, extortion, and arrogance to accomplish self serving reward by expansion.




In God We Trust . . .all others pay cash!

Jeffry R. Fisher

I find a rare (for me) pro-government response to the topic: Government can facilitate trust. It's one of the few things that government is good for.

Sure, we can develop trust among those people close to us. But how many people is that? To create our complex and mobile economy, we need to develop trust between total strangers.

We need to trust people we've never met for the following reasons:

* We travel well beyond our home communities

* We want to do business with people travelling from elsewhere.

* We want the productivity gain we get when modern labor specializes to such a degree that we can't possibly know all of the people involved in producing all of the goods and services that we buy.

Being able to trust strangers is perhaps the most significant difference between "advanced" and "primitive" economies: "Poor" countries rely extensively on informal, personal trust mechanisms, and those can only extend as far as personal relationships. Their governments are not facilitating trust between strangers the way that governments in "advanced" economies do.

Government facilitates anonymous trust in the following ways:

* Enforcing contracts, usually by the mere threat (not exercise) of cival courts.

* Defining and prosecuting violations of life, liberty and property as crimes.

* Clearly defining and recording title to private property. When you know that somebody owns an asset that can't be moved out of the jurisdiction that will enforce your contract, then you can trust the person more than if s/he can jump in a car and vanish forever. Also, when a property owner's title is clearly defined and defended, that owner can trust enough to sink capital expenditures into it.

* Remedying torts and other liabilities through a civil court system.

Needless to say, government can undermine trust also. In fact, it's probably far easier for government to shatter trust than to facilitate it.

In the US, we may have over blown our civil court system, turning it into a litigation lottery. Look at how that raises risk (therefore prices) in sectors like medicine. Similarly, when the government grants an environmentalist or labor union the power to erase some property rights by fiat, suddenly businesses prefer to invest elsewhere. The rights don't even need to be erased, just threatened.

BTW, Pierre wrote in part, "We take for granted today that people don't trust government." Although I meet plenty of healthy skepticism, I find entirely too many people who place way too much blind trust in government, asking it to do so many unnecessary things that we should be able to do ourselves. When those people want something, they don't even stop to think about how many ways that there might be to create it, they just jump to the conclusion that government should "make it so", clamoring for yet another government panacea.

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