Getting Government to Communicate Honestly…
Or, “All Men are Created Equal” needs some clarification

I have long realized that, as with almost every other social problem, the problem of dishonest communication between government and its citizens is best solved by going back to basic, well-established principles. And in the case of written documents, those principles are simply the basic rules of good writing, including grammar, word usage, and sentence structure.
          Indeed, it may well be argued that the Constitution itself, in spite of its being our most precious of founding documents, has flaws in its writing that have led to many of the most devastating political problems we face today. Think, for instance, of what a difference it would have made if "interstate commerce" and "general welfare" had been just a little more clearly defined. Perhaps government wouldn't be so easily able to invoke the interstate commerce clause in the name of any substance or transaction it wished to control. And perhaps the general welfare clause (and its use in the Preamble) wouldn't provide such an easy excuse for government to try to correct every ill of society, regardless of the inevitable impact of its heavy hand.
          And in the Declaration of Independence, couldn't we have made life a whole lot easier if we had just defined "men" a little bit better — you know, in that phrase, "all men are created equal"; that could have resolved a lot of problems, maybe even helped end slavery, prevented the Civil War, and stopped segregation.
          So I see good writing skills — and any tools that help improve those skills — as essentials of good government and good citizenship. Government must communicate with America's citizens more clearly and, therefore, more honestly; and in so doing it will increase its transparency and accountability. (That's one reason why we're carrying in our Writers SuperCenter Store the StyleWriter Software, which converts writing into plain English. Tools like this are excellent for getting government to write in simple, understandable, plain langage. And they also are useful for businesses, organizations, and individuals for making any written communications — emails, reports, essays, term papers, etc. — more readable and, therefore, more honest. So I encourage everyone who needs help with their writing to consider using it, and I am especially proud to be promoting this to government agencies.)
          Laws, regulations, and even day-to-day correspondence between government and citizens are filled with legalese, bureau-speak, jargon, and gobbledygook, not to mention poor grammar and overall problematic writing. And if government bureaucrats learn to write in simple, direct, plain English, much of the problem will disappear. Even when government intentionally (or unknowingly) subverts the Constitution and foists illegitimate constraints upon the People, government is, at least, far less able to hide behind false words when it must write with clarity and consiseness.

Get The Fed Out Of Here

Get The Fed Out Of Here is a lively group with a serious purpose that my wife (see her blog at LibertySweeper’s Thoughts) and I have established and started running in our hometown, and we hope that it will grow both there and in other places. Basically, we talk about ways that government at every level — city, state, and (mainly) federal — has intruded in the lives of American citizens and we learn about how it's happened and what needs to be done to help reverse the trend. The resources listed in this Honest Government blog (labeled as "Reference" in the Categories in the right-hand column) are an important source for knowledge about the extent of government's reach.
          Government is like plastic; it's in everything — many things that we don't think about and some we aren't even aware of — from small businesses to giant corporations, from day care facilities to emergency rooms, from public schools to teachers' unions, and on and on and on. And like plastic in waste dumps, it's starting to overflow, stink, and bury us all. But the effects of excess government can be reversed. The first steps are as simple as care, thought, knowledge… and honesty. Honesty is a key ingredient: honesty about what's happening, honesty about what government is and what it should be, honesty about who's benefiting and who's not benefiting, honesty about what needs to be sacrificed, honesty about what are our rights and what are not our rights, and honesty about what we are doing, aren't doing, and must do.
          We should have Get The Fed Out Of Here listed on meetup.com and other sites very soon. Look for more about the group in the coming days and months.

          See also LibertySweeper’s Thoughts.

Reference: Exec. branch: Laws

The Code of Federal Regulations, which contains all the regulations of Executive agencies of the Federal government, are codified, by broad subject categories (called Titles, listed here), and can be searched here or here.

The Federal Register, which is a daily listing of such regulations, can be searched here, here, and here.

Reference: Leg. branch: Laws

The bills proposed and debated (as well as ultimately passed into law) in Congress (legislative branch) are first listed in the Congressional Record.  Those which become laws – Public Laws and Private Laws – are then listed, chronologically, in the Statutes at Large.  And they are later codified, by broad subject categories (called Titles), into the United States Code (U.S. Code), which is published every 6 years.

At gpoaccess.gov, the 2006, 2000, and 1994 editions of the U.S. Code can be browsed by Title (there are 50 Titles) here or searched here.

The Statutes at Large for the 108th and 109th Congresses can be searched here and here.

The Congressional Record can be searched here.

Historic Views on Government – Weyrich

Honest opinion about government from Paul Weyrich:

Whether in Russia or in the United States, bureaucracy rewards immoral behavior and punishes the honest man. And so it works to turn the honest man into a liar and a cheat. That is not an accident. It is part of the soul of bureaucracy.

   "Bureaucracy: An Inherent Evil?" in Future 21, 1984

A political organizations executive, Paul Weyrich has been a newscaster and a political reporter. He was an assistant to U.S. Senator Gordon Allott of Colorado (1966-1973) and U.S. Senator Carl Curtis of Nebraska (1973-1977). He was the founder and original president of the Heritage Foundation (1973-1974), the largest conservative think tank. He has also been the national chair of the Free Congress PAC and president of the Free Congress Foundation. Recipient of a number of awards, including the Documentary of the Year Award for Wisconsin TV (1965), Weyrich is president of National Empowerment Television. He is the author of The Role of Rails series (1964), an editor of Future 21: Directions for America in the 21st Century (with Connaught Marshner, 1984), and a contributor to The New Right Papers (Robert W. Whitaker, editor, 1982).

Quotation and short bio from The Quotable Conservative: The Giants of Conservatism on Liberty, Freedom, Individual Responsibility, and Traditional Values. Rod L. Evans and Irwin M. Berent, editors. Holbrook, Mass.: Adams Publishing, 1996.