Wanted: A Magna Carta for the 21st Century | openDemocracy

800 years ago the Magna Carta was signed by John and the world of government changed……..

Is it possible that we need a new form of the Magna Carta in the 21st century?

Please read and comment………the world is changing at an alarming rate…….maybe it is time to re-think everything…….


Wanted: A Magna Carta for the 21st Century | openDemocracy.

It’s Time to Rethink American Exceptionalism | The Nation

I have written a few times on the subject of “American Exceptionalism”……I have found that it is a subjective topic….has many definitions and some not so comprehensible…….it has been a rallying call…..and a political slogan……and a bumper sticker……..but seldom understood.

Regardless what you think the term means…..maybe it is time to re-think the slogan……I found this article over the weekend……give it a read and let me know what you think……


It’s Time to Rethink American Exceptionalism | The Nation.

Where “Compassionate Conservatism” Falls Apart | Perspectives | BillMoyers.com

Remember GW?  I know many of us would like to try and forget him….but we cannot.  Remember when he was running for office he had what he called “compassionate conservatism”?

Looks like his master plan is starting to fall apart……read on…….enjoy.


Where “Compassionate Conservatism” Falls Apart | Perspectives | BillMoyers.com.

Is Politics Dead?

A little full disclosure…….when I was at university I took many philosophy courses and by grad school I was intrigued with political philosophy…….I wanted to find answers to the really big questions of life and thought that philosophy would help in that search……

To me politics, in the beginning of my quest, was to help me in my search for the right balance to turn this country that I felt it could become…but year after year things have gotten worse………No longer does politics help in answering questions….all it accomplishes is creating more questions without useable answers……

When I began this post I was trying to work out the best way to present it….and then I saw this bit of info that will help…….

Politicians devote a lot of energy to what Ezra Klein calls the “More Information Hypothesis,” the theory that voters would agree with them if they understood the issues better. But a 2013 study suggests that’s not true, Klein points out at his launched-last-night site Vox. Researchers first polled the participants on their political ideologies and tested their math skills using a word problem about skin cream. Then they gave them some more word problems, about gun control and climate change. The result: Respondents were drastically more likely to arrive at the right answer if they agreed with it politically, and vice versa—and being better at math actually exacerbated their likelihood of getting it right or wrong depending on their political sensibilities.

The authors theorize that “humans reason for purposes other than finding the truth,” like “ensuring they don’t piss off the leaders of their tribe,” Klein explains. If Sean Hannity changed his mind about climate change tomorrow, it would have profound personal costs. “He would lose friendships, viewers, and money. He could ultimately lose his job.” He’s incentivized to use his intellect to reinforce the ideology he socially identifies with—and to a lesser extent, that’s true of almost everyone. Washington has made this easy; our two parties (or “tribes,” per Klein) have developed “their own machines for generating evidence and their own enforcers of orthodoxy. It’s a perfect storm for making smart people very stupid.” Click for Klein’s full column.

We put ourselves in political camps……we do not know what a conservative is or for that matter what a liberal….what we have is what the media and select special interests that form our opinions for us…….it is as if we do not really want to have to think about solutions to our problems…..we had rather to point fingers and accuse each other of dogmatic ideals…….

NO politician can stay on topic beyond a 30 second ad…….henceforth there will NEVER be any useable answers to our mounting problems…….ergo…politics, in the classical sense, is dead!

What Happened To Democracy?

Let’s play politics today……there is plenty of chatter but little dialog…….

There is a lot going on in this country, the good old US of A, you know that shining light of democracy that we love to point to as the cure for all ails?

Before I go any further….please if you want to attack this post do NOT use the BS of “we are not a democratic country but rather a republic and a representative republic at that…….if you believe this then everyone needs to cease the use of the words “democracy” and “democratic”  (notice that is a small “D”)….it is that simple…..cannot have both no matter how much one desires.

One of the main tenets of a democracy is the free and unhindered elections and the right to vote.  In the last years there seems to be a push to make voting more difficult……I am not talking about the elimination of the right just that there are laws that make it a wee bit more difficult to do so……another thing….please do not use the voter ID thing as a defense……that has nothing to do with what I am writing.

This is what I am writing about……..

The Presidential Commission on Election Administration has released its report and recommendations, and reasonable people everywhere rejoice. The bipartisan commission was formed by Barack Obama following the 2012 election, which was a bit of an embarrassment for a nation that considers itself something of a model democracy. Across the country (but mainly in urban areas and black and Latino neighborhoods), Election Day featured hours-long lines, broken voting machines, inaccurate voter rolls and confusing ballots.

“The Editors” of Bloomberg View declare the report “so resolutely practical that it’s hard to imagine its recommendations stirring much debate, much less controversy.” (They acknowledge that “not all politicians want to make it easier for Americans to vote,” but they fail to specify that that’s more or less part of the Republican Party platform.) Jeffrey Toobin calls it “an unexpectedly bold document.”

The commission’s key recommendations are eminently reasonable: Expand online voter registration, expand early voting, improve and modernize voting machines, and improve efficiency and alleviate wait times at polling places with better training and techniques that have been proven to work elsewhere. Everyone should be able to support all of this, and, best of all, the commission’s recommendations don’t require any federal action at all. They just need to be voluntarily implemented by state and local officials. And how hard could it be to convince state and local officials to make voting easier?

Okay, for Obama haters this will be a point of contention…….only because it is a presidential report….which is just silly……I have read many reports from many states and most of them have some sort of voting “reform” and most of them either want to close polling stations or lessen early voting or shorten the hours or……I am sure you get my drift here.  None of these have anything to do with voter fraud…….they are attacks on the rights of citizens to vote……..PERIOD!

With this assault on our democratic right there is an idea that has more than a little merit……that is a new movement for Americans to embrace….a pro-democracy movement……

What would this movement detail?

One–get rid of cash!  Citizen’s united must be repealed or blown up or whatever we have to do to rid the process of all that cash….it is destroying what little integrity we had……

Two–open up the voting process……..

Three–Prosecute ANY breeches in ethics!…..and that means even minor breeches.  (Think Vitter, Ensign and the coke dude from last week)

Four–Make elected officials work at their job, not at making contacts……(force to work at least 150 days a session)

Five–If you truly want a democracy then go to a direct democracy where the people are involved at almost every stage…..

Without substantial change…..nothing will be repaired…the country will stay in the grips of those that we all profess that we dislike……as long as the money remains….so will be the buying of election….as long as the Congress works less than 150 days a year then no substantial laws will be enacted…..obstructionism will be the rule of the day……as long as the voter is being taken out of the equation there can be NO democracy and less representation…….

So ask yourself…..what has happened to our democracy?

Conservative Vs Conservative

College of Political Knowledge

Subject:  Conservatism

Today is my final day of policy and issues analysis for the coming year……today I want to focus on politics.

Remember Mad Magazine and its strip Spy vs Spy?  Real life has a situation as comical as the strip…..that situation I will call conservative vs conservative.  It seems that the conservative movement is attacking itself…..why?

An excellent question!  It appears that everyone in the “conservative” movement is trying to redefine what it is to be conservative.

I am an old fart and educated in the ways of political philosophy and in my studies I found NOTHING in the modern conservative movement that bears any reflection of the conservatism of Edmund Burke.  Of course we could always say that we, as Americans, have a unique brand of conservatism…….yes we could say that but it would be bullsh*t.

Conservatism….real conservatism means…….a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and opposes rapid change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism and seek a return to “the way things were.” The term derives from conserve; from Latin conservare, to keep, guard, observe. To a conservative, the goal of change is less important than the insistence that change be effected with a respect for the rule of law and traditions of society; since the 1940s the term has been closely associated with preservation and promotion of capitalism and opposition to liberalism, socialism and communism.  (thanx to wikiquote)

But in today’s American political climate, conservs are not true conservs but rather a neo-liberal.    That’s right if you adhere to the percepts of the GOP or the Tea Party you are a neo-liberal.

Think not?  Then answer these questions…….do you hold any of these ideals sacred?

  1. THE RULE OF THE MARKET. Liberating “free” enterprise or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the government (the state) no matter how much social damage this causes. Greater openness to international trade and investment, as in NAFTA. Reduce wages by de-unionizing workers and eliminating workers’ rights that had been won over many years of struggle. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services. To convince us this is good for us, they say “an unregulated market is the best way to increase economic growth, which will ultimately benefit everyone.” It’s like Reagan’s “supply-side” and “trickle-down” economics — but somehow the wealth didn’t trickle down very much.
  2. CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES like education and health care. REDUCING THE SAFETY-NET FOR THE POOR, and even maintenance of roads, bridges, water supply — again in the name of reducing government’s role. Of course, they don’t oppose government subsidies and tax benefits for business.
  3. DEREGULATION. Reduce government regulation of everything that could diminsh profits, including protecting the environmentand safety on the job.
  4. PRIVATIZATION. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which is often needed, privatization has mainly had the effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few hands and making the public pay even more for its needs.
  5. ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF “THE PUBLIC GOOD” or “COMMUNITY” and replacing it with “individual responsibility.” Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves — then blaming them, if they fail, as “lazy.”

Do you like the sound of any of the above?  If your answer is yes then you are a NEO-LIBERAL!  Congrats! Did you notice there is NO mention of a “moderate conservative”?  That is a new term coined by the media to explain what cannot be explained.  If you are moderate does that make you a centrist?

Meanwhile back to the conservative movement…..who decides who is a conserv?  There are many sub-species of conservative thought…..there is the liberal conserv…..the libertarian conservs…..fiscal conservs……religious conservs and my fav “progressive conservs……my point is that there are many many strains of conservatism and to belittle someone for not being conserv simply because they will not agree with you is nothing short of MORONIC!

Just like all Americans need to find a way to work together to move this country forward….so should the conservs….if they cannot move forward then they will remain just a minor player that has nothing but NO as a platform……maybe that is what these tools from the Tea Party want….if they have NO plans to govern then it is easy to be a thorn in the foot of democracy…….maybe that is all they aspire to…..there is NO future for the conserv movement as it is today………and unity is not something they understand only on their terms…nothing these will do…….the movement is screwed!