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Tag: democracy

Bill Moyers Fights the Good Fight

Here is a selection of the words of Bill Moyers. The first is from Salon and is in print today, February 14th, Valentine’s day. The next three are closing remarks from episodes of Bill Moyers’ Journal. You might say that this is a valentine to Bill. May he live a hundred years and continue to inspire us every day of that time.

James Pilant

America’s billionaire-run democracy – 2012 Elections – Salon.com

We are drowning here, with gaping holes torn into the hull of the ship of state from charges detonated by the owners and manipulators of capital. Their wealth has become a demonic force in politics. Nothing can stop them. Not the law, which has been written to accommodate them. Not scrutiny — they have no shame. Not a decent respect for the welfare of others — the people without means, their safety net shredded, left helpless before events beyond their control.

The obstacles facing the millennial generation didn’t just happen. Take an economy skewed to the top, low wages and missing jobs, predatory interest rates on college loans: these are politically engineered consequences of government of, by and for the 1 percent. So, too, is our tax code the product of money and politics, influence and favoritism, lobbyists and the laws they draft for rented politicians to enact.

America’s billionaire-run democracy – 2012 Elections – Salon.com

Plutocracy and Democracy Do Not Mix

Bill Moyers on Greed

Bill Moyers on the American Dream

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Democracy is the Solution (via Out of the Black)

Democracy is the Solution (via Out of the Black)

This blog post is an analysis of Dr. Aswany’s words and the state of the nation of Egypt. In the United States, there is an assumption that foreigners are always moving toward an American style democracy. I do not believe the current American government is a shining light on a hill to virtually any foreign nation or its people. The adoption of torture demonstrate to many that the United States has given up on moral absolutes and operates only along the lines of what action is most profitable at the time. The best we can hope for is the development of democratic reform. A nation with the kind of rich educational and philosophical history of Egypt is quite capable of developing its own democratic institutions.

James Pilant

This is my favorite paragraph –

Ultimately, I think Dr Aswany’s answer is that the revolution was the cry of wounded human dignity. Firstly, many of his stories involve Egyptians being sent to several different hospitals and being refused treatment at each, like a scene from The Death of Mr Lazerescu, or being asked for a bribe. Secondly, Egyptians regard Gulf States seeking domestic servants in their country as an affront, especially as the idea of Pan-Arabism is a deep political instinct. Thirdly, attitudes to women and sexuality play a highly significant part in Dr Aswany’s rejection of the cult of power and formulaic Islam. Despite, or rather, because of the introduction of the hijab and the niqab, sexual harassment has risen exponentially, leading us to conclude that societies which seek to place the blame on victims merely encourage the urges of the perpetrators.

On the State of Egypt; What Caused the Revolution by Alaa Al Aswany (2011) Addressing distinguished guests at the Mansion House last month, William Hague called the Arab Spring ‘perhaps the main event of the twenty-first century so far.’ More significant than the rise of al-Qaeda, which changed the course of Western foreign policy in the region, or the global economic crisis, which has accelerated the relative decline of the West vis-à-vis China … Read More

via Out of the Black

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Worker march blocked- Phnom Penh Post (via Mu Sochua: MP & Human Rights Advocate)

Are workers entitled to severance pay when their facility burns down? It is not the custom in the United States. Is it the custom in Cambodia? If it is, should the cultural expectation override the “realities of global competition?”

It took many years for Patriotism, human decency and custom to disappear as issues in the loss of jobs in the United States, how long will it take in Cambodia? Or will it at all? In some countries, is the perception of fairness still a major issue?

James Pilant

Police in Sen Sok district blocked a march planned for yesterday by workers from the June Textile garment factory, who have been demanding severance payments since the facility burned down in March. Roughly 100 workers and activists gathered outside June Textile yesterday, planning to march to the capital’s Freedom Park and to government buildings. Read the full article at the Phnom Penh Post website. trackback urlhttp://www.phnompenhpost.com/ind … Read More

via Mu Sochua: MP & Human Rights Advocate

Michigan Kills Democracy, FDA Kills Babies (via Consciously Evolving Our Planet)

Anger and a lot of it.

I’ve been watching it now for years. But I’ve noticed changes in the past few weeks. Generally, I would see tea partiers or the like raging against the government. Now I’m seeing regular bloggers more and more often. They are outraged. They are disgusted. They want something to change.

We’re crossing some kind of line here in America. I don’t understand what’s happening. I can’t help but believe that something is.

This article is well written and thoughtful. You should read it.

James Pilant

In the three years of the Great Recession, more than 5 million families have lost their American Dream. Through foreclosure or short sale, another 6 million face the same fate during the next 3 years. As more than 10% of us endure this particular type of “homelessness”, with its anxiety, shame, and loss, no one has gone to jail. The few who protest openly are mocked or ignored. Corporate profits are at record levels, driven primarily by the incre … Read More

via Consciously Evolving Our Planet

A New Model?

The impact of the new technologies, even something as ubiquitous as e-mail have only begun to be felt in many parts of society. For instance, take shareholder voting. Usually, this ratifies selection of the board of directors and takes place once a year. This is a reflection of the difficulty of getting all the shareholders together to vote or was. Really, it’s obsolete. Shareholders should be empowered by the new technologies and there should be multiple votes each year. For instance, the extravagant pay and benefits offered CEO’s and other officers of the company might require ratification by the shareholders instead of being chosen by a board of compensation often appointed by the CEO himself.

What about government? How many places could the government in this country empower citizens to make a difference in the decision making. Right now, floods of e-mails are fired in whenever a major issue appears. But we can do better. I believe right now we have the technology to eliminate fake e-mails and other nonsense from the process. If one of my websites can screen out spam and confirm my identity so I can download modifications to my video games, surely a congressional office can do the same. I don’t think they want to do this. Floods of e-mail enable a representative to vote anyway they like. Accurate e-mails reflecting the actual views of the citizens, particularly the most energized and interest citizens would likely reflect real public concerns and handicap a representative freedom to do any act they wish for any constituency for instance a corporation having made large campaign contributions.

We don’t think about these things. We act as if the world were connected by horse drawn vehicles from another age when people communicate with every part of the world in tenths of a second. Let’s start thinking and start building a society where people matter.

James Pilant

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