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Measuring the Deep Corruption of the U.S. Political System

January 24, 2019 | By | Reply More
Measuring the Deep Corruption of the U.S. Political System

How corrupt is the U.S.? This video by Represent US gives us the shocking result. We have the best government that money can buy.


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온라인 슬롯머신United States Interference with foreign elections

July 24, 2018 | By | Reply More
United States Interference with foreign elections

There is so very much hypocrisy in the air and on the ground these days! One type that is prominent is the claim that Russia has interfered with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. If true, that is obviously a bad thing. But as this article from Mint News indicates, it is a rare news article that reminds its consumers that the United States has a long history of interfering with the elections in other countries:

Despite that the U.S. has hypocritically exerted influence over foreign elections in all corners of the globe — in fact, it has arrogantly done so a whopping 81 times between 1946 and 2000, alone — with just one-third of those operations undertaken overtly.

Check out the article for the details.


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A 2,500 Year Old Warning About Our President

July 19, 2018 | By | Reply More

Aesop had a tale that is quite apropos right now: The Frogs Desiring a King (a.k.a “King Log and King Stork”) is about a group clamoring for a strong handed leader, someone to declare moral rules and enforce them on the people. The Republicans (the party currently wanting to have government enforce ones personal morality, especially in the bedroom) chose Trump (as amoral an individual who ever took the proverbial throne) and somehow got him into power. Splash.

The Democrats, aghast at the dangerous ignorance and exemplary incompetence of this purported moral leader, strive to have him impeached; to oust this King Log. So who would be our King Stork?

Pence, a man who is neither uneducated nor incompetent. One who is actually a willing enforcer of a particular moral code, a one size fits all set of rules that most Americans don’t actually live by, but some few vocal ones want to enforce it on everyone. This, despite the constitutional prohibition about the government enforcing the moral codes of a particular religion, is why he had the second seat next to the regularly bankrupt (both morally and financially) head of state.

So, from frying pan into fire?


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It’s Time to Clean Up Missouri Politics: About the CLEAN MISSOURI Ballot Initiative

April 19, 2018 | By | Reply More

Today I had the privilege of attending an informational meeting regarding the CLEAN MISSOURI ballot initiative. The organization will be finished collecting signatures in a few weeks, and is on target to having the initiative on the Missouri statewide ballot this coming November. Who could possibly be against a Ballot Proposition that will read exactly like this:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:
● change process and criteria for redrawing state legislative districts during
● change limits on campaign contributions that candidates for state legislature can
accept from individuals or entities;
● establish a limit on gifts that state legislators, and their employees, can accept from
paid lobbyists;
● prohibit state legislators, and their employees, from serving as paid lobbyists for a
period of time;
● prohibit political fundraising by candidates for or members of the state legislature on
State property; and
● require legislative records and proceedings to be open to the public?
State governmental entities estimate annual operating costs may increase by
$189,000. Local governmental entities report no fiscal impact.

Here is the Policy Summary.
Here is the actual text being proposed for the Missouri Constitution.

Here is the website for Clean Missouri.

If you would like to get involved in this effort, contact Campaign Director Sean Soendker Nicholson at sean@cleanmissouri.org.


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Jeffrey Sachs Traces U.S. Syria Mistakes from Trump back to Obama

April 19, 2018 | By | Reply More

Jeffrey Sachs has analyzed foreign policy for years. In this recent video, he is explaining that U.S. involvement in Syria was a terrible decision by Barack Obama, now perpetuated by Donald Trump.


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When the issues are more about tribal identity than the merits of the issues

April 7, 2018 | By | Reply More

To what extent are the issues really about the merits of the issues, rather than about tribal identities?


THE LOOSE CONNECTION some voters have with policy preferences has become apparent in recent years. Donald Trump managed to flip a party from support of free trade to opposition to it by merely taking the opposite side of the issue. Democrats, meanwhile, mocked Mitt Romney in 2012 for calling Russia the greatest geopolitical adversary of the United States, but now have flipped and see Russia as exactly that. Regarding health care, the structure of the Affordable Care Act was initially devised by the conservative Heritage Foundation and implemented in Massachusetts as “Romneycare.” Once it became Obamacare, the Republican team leaders deemed it bad, and thus it became bad.

Mason believes the implications of such shallow divisions between people could make the work of democracy harder. If your goal in politics is not based around policy but just defeating your perceived enemies, what exactly are you working toward? (Is it any surprise there is an entire genre of campus activism dedicated to simply upsetting your perceived political opponents?)

“The fact that even this thing’s that supposed to be about reason and thoughtfulness and what we want the government to do, the fact that even that is largely identity-powered, that’s a problem for debate and compromise and the basic functioning of democratic government. Because even if our policy attitudes are not actually about what we want the government to do but instead about who wins, then nobody cares what actually happens in the government,” Mason said. “We just care about who’s winning in a given day. And that’s a really dangerous thing for trying to run a democratic government.”


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Libertarianism as Not-Politics

March 6, 2018 | By | 2 Replies More

David Masciotra of Alternet explains why Libertarianism is not actually a political movement, and why it is actually a “childish sham”.

Ayn Rand is the rebel queen of their icy kingdom, villifying empathy and solidarity. Christopher Hitchens, in typical blunt force fashion, undressed Rand and her libertarian followers, exposing their obsequiousness toward the operational standards of a selfish society: “I have always found it quaint, and rather touching, that there is a movement in the US that thinks Americans are not yet selfish enough.”

Libertarians believe they are real rebels, because they’ve politicized the protest of children who scream through tears, “You’re not the boss of me.” The rejection of all rules and regulations, and the belief that everyone should have the ability to do whatever they want, is not rebellion or dissent. It is infantile na?veté.

As much as libertarians boast of having a “political movement” gaining in popularity, “you’re not the boss of me” does not even rise to the most elementary level of politics. Aristotle translated “politics” into meaning “the things concerning the polis,” referring to the city, or in other words, the community. Confucius connected politics with ethics, and his ethics are attached to communal service with a moral system based on empathy. A political program, like that from the right, that eliminates empathy, and denies the collective, is anti-political.


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Trump exposes vulnerabilities of the U.S. Constitution

December 30, 2017 | By | Reply More

At the U.K. Guardian, Jonathan Freedman writes the following in his article, “The year of Trump has laid bare the US constitution’s serious flaws”:

I once thought the US constitution – a document crafted with almost mathematical precision, constructing a near-perfect equilibrium of checks and balances – offered protection against such perils. And there’s no denying that that text, as interpreted by the courts, has indeed acted as a partial roadblock in Trump’s path, delaying and diluting his Muslim-focused “travel ban”, for example.

But this year of Trump has also shown the extent to which the US has an unwritten constitution that – just like ours – relies on the self-restraint of the key political players, a self-restraint usually insisted upon by a free press. Yet when confronted with a leader unbound by any sense of shame – and shamelessness might just be Trump’s defining quality – America is left unexpectedly vulnerable.


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Trump’s Three Main Techniques for Avoiding Honest Communication

December 10, 2017 | By | Reply More

I have a difficult time even wanting to think about the man who is further degrading the Presidency every day, but it is important that we cut through the noise and work hard to understand how he convinced so many people to vote for him.

John Oliver identifies three specific techniques Donald Trump uses to avoid meaningful communication:

  • Delegitimizing the Media
  • Whataboutism
  • Trolling

This video is filled with video illustrating these problems. This video is one month old, but very worth watching for its precise analysis of these problems.


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