We Need a Tribune

The title, of course, is ancient Roman – tribuni plebis. Tribune of the Plebes. The common folk. You know: you and me. While the title Tribune was applied through Roman history to a variety of offices and functions, the part I’m most concerned with is the actual tribuni plebis. Those charged with protecting the people from the Ruling Class.

In the Roman Republic there were ten Tribunes, one for each of the Roman tribes and they had the power of legislative veto and ius intercessionis – they could veto Senate legislation and they could intervene to protect any commoner. That isn’t exactly what I have in mind for an American Tribune because I also take a bit from the Roman Censor – who was periodically elected to look after public morals and how the officials were conducting their offices. I just want one Tribune and here’s the powers I want it to have:

  1. The ius intercessionis: I want the Tribune to be able to intervene in any federal prosecution and simply annul the charges against the accused, prior to or after conviction. It isn’t a pardon (though it would work out to one given our Constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy): it just releases the accused and prohibits the government from prosecuting over the crimes charged at the time ius intercessionis is invoked.
  2. The Tribune is empowered to investigate any elected or appointed official of the federal government. No elected or appointed official can refuse access by agents of the Tribune to any federal document or property: the investigative power of the Tribune is to be absolute, not subject to review or check, no official can refuse a Tribune’s demand for documents or access. For appointed officials (the bureaucrats) the Tribune would have power to prosecute (with a jury trial) and punish without recourse to federal appeals courts. For elected officials, the Tribune presents the evidence to Congress and calls for expulsion (of Congress members) or impeachment (of Executive or Judicial office holders). The Tribune would not have the power to investigate State or local officials, nor any citizen who isn’t employed by the federal government. The Tribune is a watchdog on the federal government, nothing more.

I’d have the Tribune elected in odd numbered years by national popular vote with a limit of one term per Tribune who cannot seek another federal office until seven years after leaving office. The election would be held on the second Tuesday of December, the Tribune taking office at the stroke of midnight, New Years Day with a four year term. The Tribune would be limited to a staff of no more than 100, the budget provided by a set tax which can’t be reduced or abolished but which does rise indexed to inflation to keep the budget stable in real terms (it wouldn’t really require much: no more than a few million dollars a year; we could probably fund it by a penny tax on the sale of shoes or some such).

What I want here – and others can modify my idea – is a person, elected, who has no other role than to check up on the government. That is all the office is empowered to do. It can’t be interfered with by other branches, it would be very difficult to bribe, it can’t be used as a launching pad for a different office as the gap between running for a new office is long. What is wanted is a looming threat over all officials of government…that their game will be exposed. True, a Tribune with a small staff couldn’t find all problems…but it could find a lot of them, and merely exposing them would often be sufficient to force reforms. And it would also serve as a fallback for Americans oppressed by their own government – there would be a lot less chance of trespassers being held in solitary confinement or people being entrapped in a FBI scam to kidnap a governor if there was an official who could, just on their say so, stop the whole thing in its tracks.

We had thought the checks and balances of the Constitution were sufficient. They weren’t. To secure justice for ourselves and punishment for corrupt officials, we need a new power in the land…one which only we, the people, can raise up and who has no other job than to glare at those who would rob our substance and oppress us.

30 thoughts on “We Need a Tribune

  1. Retired Spook April 19, 2022 / 7:33 pm

    We had thought the checks and balances of the Constitution were sufficient. They weren’t.

    The biggest problem is that we have one party (and a few in the other party) that ignores the safety valve built into the constitution – the Tenth Amendment.

  2. Cluster April 20, 2022 / 8:36 am

    Career politicians and rigged elections go a long way in eliminating any “checks and balances”, so yeah we need to do something and this is an interesting idea. One might also think that our media would hold the powerful accountable but that “check” has also been compromised.

    And think about how responsive the government would be if we actually followed the Constitution, and the Tenth Amendment, as Spook mentioned. A Governor is a lot easier replaced than a President.

    There are already the machinations in place to give more power and control back to the people, we just need the right people to follow that blueprint and the will of all of us to fight for it. And again, career politicians and “mail in” voting will ensure that blueprint is never followed and we have all seen that play out in real time over the last 40 years.

  3. Cluster April 20, 2022 / 8:56 am

    Just a heads up, MSNBC has found an “angry, white, straight, Christian female” to lecture the rest of us on how hateful we all are. She will soon be on a media outlet in your area so accept your punishment and ask yourself, what can you do for a trans kid today?

  4. Retired Spook April 20, 2022 / 10:51 am

    Great segment at Coffee & COVID this morning about Disney.

    Florida’s special legislative session began yesterday. The most significant item up for debate is whether to end Walt Disney World’s special exemptions from sales taxes and local government. Ruh-roh, Mickey!

    I want you to really think about what a tectonic shift this is, and how quickly things spiraled out of control for the corporate giant. And I want you to think about how quickly a woke board of directors can destroy a legacy American corporation by hiring “diverse” super-woke termites to run the company instead of proven corporate executive talent. Who needs expertise when you can achieve diversity?

    But maybe — maybe — those particular diverse voices have been historically un-heard for a reason. Just saying.

    Remember, Disney has been THE most politically powerful entity in Florida, for decades, or even longer. So what’s happening now is truly remarkable. Here’s the timeline. First, Florida passed a law protecting very young kids from grooming. Then about three hyper-woke Disney employees with face tattoos complained, and Disney’s woke managers sprang into action.

    Disney announced it was cutting off all political donations in Florida, so there. Well, money is how you grease the wheels of government, and plenty of lawmakers that had been expecting their annual contributions from Disney were probably not too happy about that. But then Disney nailed itself into its coffin.

    The media giant announced that, instead of supporting legislators, it was going to financially support a slew of kooky leftwing activist groups that oppose Florida’s new law, and was going to help work to get the law reversed. YOU might not have gotten the message, but our lawmakers got it, loud and clear. Disney just threatened them. In other words, Disney said it would indirectly fund most lawmakers’ political opponents in Florida. In yet other words, Disney said it would help REPLACE the lawmakers.

    I’ve never heard it said this way before, but Disney seems to have touched some kind of “third rail” with its political threats. You simply don’t do that, not if you’re trying to do business in a state. But they did it. Every conservative lawmaker in Florida now has notice that Disney plans to shift its billions to help get them UNELECTED.

    Dumb, dumb, dumb. Dumb Disney!

    Disney not only threatened our KIDS — our most precious gifts — by promising to support groomers and pedophiles over parents, but for some deranged reason it also simultaneously threatened legislators. Not just a couple. All of them. Including lots of legislators who are ALSO parents.

    Right now, at least, Disney has made itself politically toxic. If the legislators don’t sent the corporate giant a strong message now, they’ll be digging their own graves and encouraging more political brinksmanship from other big corporations in the upcoming cycle. A strong message seems inevitable now.

    And anyway, what’s Disney going to do if their special tax breaks and political district are ended? Close the park? Nope, they’ll just have to take it, and start over. I could argue persuasively that none of this would have happened absent the pandemic.

    If Disney wants my advice, here’s what they should do. The board should immediately purge the entire C-suite of managers. The new managers should be impeccably non-woke, and the company should announce a review of all pending projects to ensure they meet family-friendly standards. It should also issue a public apology to Florida.

    Let’s see if they take the advice!

    🔥 Disney is reeling, now trying to stealthily backpedal from last week’s disastrous pro-grooming messages, bizarre internal corporate videos showing execs promising to shove our kids’ faces in unwanted LGBTQ++ content, and its poorly-considered threats to Florida lawmakers. First, it’s largely shut up about “don’t say gay.” But yesterday, the media giant made a major policy announcement, desperately trying to quench the flames of public outrage. Check out yesterday’s story in the AP, coincidentally published for wide distribution just the same day that Florida’s special session to debate Disney’s fate was firing up. The headline: “Disney World: Face Masks Optional for All Areas of Resort.”

    Hahahahahaha! Too late, Mickey!

    The AP ties the Mouse’s sudden reversal to the judge’s convenient decision Monday vacating the CDC’s transportation mandate. But Disney’s previous policy didn’t track the travel mandates at all. It was specially obnoxious, requiring only UNVACCINATED guests to wear face masks, but allowing jabbed hostages, I mean guests, to take them off in some spots in the park. It seems to me this announcement shows Disney was well aware that its policy was EXTREMELY irritating to many park-goers, or else the media giant wouldn’t be trying to use it as some kind of peace offering now.

    In other words, Disney’s saying, “look! We’re sorry! We’ll even drop our stupid mask mandate. We’ll behave, we promise!” Wouldn’t you have just LOVED to have been in the conference room in California where the tattooed pierced lunatics running the company came up with this idea?

    CEO: “What are we going to do, Kwanje-Dorothy? Those transphobic bigots in Florida might cancel our giant tax break!”

    Co-CEO: “I don’t know, Kujawamana-Felicia, when they/them said just now that they/them didn’t know what to do, I agreed with xur, I, I mean xi, sorry, I can’t remember; anyway I don’t know either.”

    E-VP: “Wait! Why don’t we, I mean wur, sorry, I mean xour, or xe, hang on let me look at the chart again, yes, XE should stop making people wear masks in the park in Florida. We, er xe, all know transphobes hate masks. That could work.”

    CEO: “Okay, that might work. Call our AP liaison and have xim, um sorry they/them, or it, oh never mind, we don’t have time for that now, just have ‘him’ run a story on it. Let’s get it out in time to convince the special session.”

    Oh man, THIS is the kind of great family-friendly entertainment we expect from Disney, and boy are they delivering.

  5. Retired Spook April 20, 2022 / 5:49 pm

    Anyone have any thoughts as to why Democrats would openly side with radical teachers grooming and sexualizing young children? I don’t see any upside for them come November 8th.

    • Cluster April 21, 2022 / 7:52 am

      Well like Amazona said a few days ago, I think Democrats don’t worry about elections anymore. With universal mail in balloting, and their own people counting the votes, they will never lose.

      Joe Biden got more votes than Barack Obama. And if you believe that, I have some real estate I want to talk to you about.

      • Retired Spook April 21, 2022 / 9:11 am

        Joe Biden got more votes than Barack Obama.

        And only two other incumbent Presidents in the history of the country got more votes in their second election and lost, Martin VanBuren in 1840 and Grover Cleveland in 1888. And of the two only VanBuren got a bigger percentage increase than Trump. The anomalies in the 2020 election were so numerous and consequential that cheating is the only plausible explanation.

        I know – WE know that the Donkeys are going to cheat in November. It’s baked into their DNA. Just as a side note, what must it be like to belong to a party whose ideas are so unappealing and unworkable that they can only win by cheating? We’ll see whether or not they can cheat enough this time to overcome the outrage building among normal, ordinary Americans across the country. The fact that we haven’t had a hot civil war yet speaks volumes to the patience and civility of Conservatives, but there has to be a limit as to what we’ll tolerate, and I think for a lot of us that limit is a repeat of 2020.

      • Cluster April 21, 2022 / 11:14 am

        Agree. The two main problems with Democrats, and there are many more, is that they are convinced of their moral superiority and they are emotionally immature so those two dynamics create a toxic political environment. I have never known so many people to have such high levels of self esteem and with very little reason for it.

  6. Cluster April 21, 2022 / 8:29 am

    Follow the science !!!! and listen to your Doctor because they really do care about you

    The suspects, who include doctors, nurses and businessmen, were arrested by federal prosecutors in nine districts across the country over the last two weeks.

    The Justice Department has accused them of trying to cheat schemes such as Medicare by charging fees for unneeded services or ones that never took place.


  7. Cluster April 21, 2022 / 11:21 am

    The amount of student debt in America is all the proof needed to show that the US Government has completely failed it’s citizens. Prove me wrong.

  8. Cluster April 21, 2022 / 4:03 pm

    Wow. The dumbfuck “experts” are starting to figure it out.

    Even with a strong economic revival, if elevated levels of work-from-home persist, the study authors estimated demand for space, and prices for commercial real estate, could fall by between 12% and 25% among eight cities examined.

    • Retired Spook April 21, 2022 / 4:41 pm

      Those pesky unintended consequences again. Glad I no longer have a REIT in my retirement portfolio.

  9. Cluster April 21, 2022 / 4:13 pm

    Christy Wallace is out of a job. Thank goodness he got away from all those Trump supporters

    Warner Bros Discovery is expected to shut down CNN+ after the $300million streaming service failed to take off. Bosses at the media conglomerate were said to be ready to can the struggling venture after less than a month because a mere 150,000 signed up. Staffers were reportedly set to hear the news during an ‘important meeting’ at lunchtime on Thursday. The move is a major embarrassment for the network after it being unveiled to much fanfare only a month ago. It also raised pressing questions about the decision making at the top of the company, with about $300million being blown on launching the streaming service.

    • Retired Spook April 22, 2022 / 12:02 pm

      Christy Wallace is out of a job.

      Yeah, too bad, so sad. FNC is a better network without him. I have nothing but contempt for Liberals who try to hide who they are. Wallace’s problem was that he didn’t do a very good job of hiding his inner Progressive. He’s just another intellectually dishonest Lefty.

      • Cluster April 22, 2022 / 4:07 pm

        Spot on

    • Amazona April 27, 2022 / 11:22 am

      I wonder if any of these marketing geniuses are going to lose their jobs.

  10. Cluster April 21, 2022 / 4:15 pm

    I guarantee you that they were all vaccinated

    Body building star and mother of two, Stacey Cummings, died suddenly on Wednesday at the young age of 31 from undisclosed causes. The death of Cummings, a beloved leader in the world of female bodybuilding, has been met with an outpouring of support and affection from those she touched. The news of Cummings’ loss is only the latest in a slew of high-profile premature deaths that have rocked the bodybuilding world in the past 12 months. Just last week, 2017 Arnold Classic champ Cedric McMillan died of a heart attack at the age of 44 while running on a treadmill.

    • Jeremiah April 21, 2022 / 6:36 pm

      I’ve never seen so much death in my life. All very young people. Every week there’s news of a number of high profile people dying.

      • Cluster April 22, 2022 / 8:32 am

        Then there is this …

        U.S. health officials have sent out a nationwide alert warning doctors to be on the lookout for symptoms of unexplained hepatitis in kids, after clusters of mysterious cases in the US and UK. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding its probe after scores of young children came down with severe liver inflammation, but did not have the viruses hepatitis A, B, or C that usually cause it. In the alert on Thursday, the CDC said it is working with counterparts in Europe to understand the cause of the infections, and urged doctors across the country to report potential cases.

  11. Retired Spook April 22, 2022 / 8:55 am

    I’ve been thinking about this Tribune idea all week. My first thought was there would be some pitfalls, not the least of which is that Congress would never pass the legislation necessary to establish it. The Convention of States movement is continuing to chug along with 19 states having signed on out of the 34 states necessary to convene a Convention of States for the purpose of amending the Constitution,

    The thrust of COS is quite narrow so as to avoid tearing the Constitution to shreds and starting over as was done in 1787. Fifteen state legislatures have adopted applications based on a model proposed by the “Convention of States Project:” a convention limited to proposing (1) term limits for federal officials, (2) fiscal limits on the federal government, and (3) reductions in the size and scope of the federal government. Topics outside those three items would be outside the convention’s scope, and safeguards have been established to prevent a runaway convention.

    I followed the COS movement quite closely several years ago, and am still on their mailing list.
    I don’t recall hearing or reading anything about a tribunal process being part of their recommendations, but the proposed amendments are going to need some sort of enforcement mechanism.

  12. Cluster April 22, 2022 / 9:03 am

    Just in case you missed it, the Biden administration and the American tax payer are now paying the salaries of Ukraine’s government and they are very thankful. No word yet from the administration on any financial help for the tens of thousands of American small businesses, or the many victims of crime and drug abuse across this country, but maybe someday. Also, has anyone heard from Brittany Greiner? I wonder if she will continue to vote for Democrats?

    The new package includes $800 million in military aid for heavy artillery, 144,000 rounds of ammunition and drones for the escalating battle in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. It builds on roughly $2.6 billion in military assistance that Biden previously approved.

    There’s also a fresh $500 million in direct economic assistance to Ukraine for government salaries, pensions and other programs.

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his gratitude to the United States in his nightly address in Ukraine, saying the military aid was “just what we were waiting for.”

    • Retired Spook April 22, 2022 / 10:13 am

      The new package includes $800 million in military aid

      Less than one one hundredth of what we left in Shitholistan. Perspective.

  13. Cluster April 22, 2022 / 9:05 am

    FUCK this guy …. he’s a criminal

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Thursday that Ukraine needs $7 billion per month to make up for economic losses caused by Russia’s invasion of his country.

  14. Cluster April 22, 2022 / 9:13 am

    I’ll just leave this here


    And re: COS, conservatives are always trying to over think what needs to be done when in reality, we all just lived through applied conservatism from 2016-2020 and we just need to reenact all of those policies. It’s a simple as that. Energy independence, secure borders, repatriation of our manufacturing base, and law and order. Done

    • Retired Spook April 22, 2022 / 9:58 am

      I think the proposed amendments would make life a lot easier for another Trump presidency (or someone like him).

      BTW, did your package arrive?

      • Cluster April 22, 2022 / 10:40 am

        My USPS advanced tracking notification tells me yes .. today. I will confirm and again gracias amigo

  15. Cluster April 22, 2022 / 11:47 am

    To what extent is Zelensky holding the Biden administration hostage?? And threatening to expose the Biden family corruption?? Asking for a friend.

  16. Cluster April 23, 2022 / 8:40 am

    My spirits are lifted realizing that there are some young aggressive conservatives who just don’t give a shit anymore and are shoving this progressive shit right down Democrats throats (think: Musk, Rogan, Tucker, Gutfield, etc.) and we need more this, and everyday. Get in their faces and argue, demean, mock, belittle, shame, and make them question their very existence.

    Tesla founder Elon Musk dissed Bill Gates’ gut on Twitter today, posting a photo of the Microsoft mogul alongside Apple’s controversial pregnant man emoji ‘in case you need to kill a boner.’ Musk, the world’s richest person and chief executive of the American company, posted a follow-up image in response to the Friday post of six hooded figured captioned ‘shadow ban council reviewing Tweet.’ The lowbrow joke could further infuriate woke Twitter staffers angered by Musk’s ongoing bid to buy the firm after saying he’d take a hardline stance supporting free speech. That is because the pregnant man emoji is aimed at being inclusive to transgender people – with Musk frequently taking aim at what he sees as woke overreach, while repeatedly insisting that he bears no ill-will towards the LGBTQ community. Many have moaned about Musk, accusing him of being a transphobe over a 2020 tweet mocking pronouns, as well as a bully. But others have said he is the breath of fresh air that American needs against big tech censorship. Responses to the richest man’s jab at the fellow billionaire’s expense garnered mixed reactions on the platform: ‘How is this man such a savage hahahaha,’ wrote one user.

    • Retired Spook April 23, 2022 / 9:35 am

      (think: Musk, Rogan, Tucker, Gutfield, etc.) and we need more this, and everyday. Get in their faces and argue, demean, mock, belittle, shame, and make them question their very existence.

      Gutfeld is off to a good start. He’s unmercifully ridiculed and mocked Chris Wallace’s decision to leave FNC for CNN+.

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