This blog entry makes a good point on beginning a democracy movement to take back our civil liberties from the current administration.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/naomi-wolf/time-for-a-democracy-move_b_58507.html

Minnesota Atheists

July 17, 2007

Just a link to the Minnesota Atheists.  A group representing your friendly neighborhood atheists.

North American Union

July 16, 2007

An interesting theory on how our government (in a bipartisan manner) are trying to create a North American union that would dissolve our borders and give up the sovereignty of the United States potentially tossing out the Constitution.

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Russia claims that the North Pole is theirs.  It contains a huge supply of oil and natural gas and they paid scientists to say that some geographical feature is present that makes the North Pole part of Russia. 

The UN or NATO better push back on this.  This is ridiculous.  The North Pole is currently governed by the United Nations and it should stay that way.

I wonder what Bush and Putin really talked about when they met in Maine last month…

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1642905,00.html?xid=rss-topstories

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The new guilded age

July 15, 2007

A good article about the new Guilded Age.

Today the house passed a bill calling for withdrawal of most troops by April 2008.  There is no way that Bush will sign it but it is good that they did what they could.  They need to keep pressure on him and the people involved so maybe after September they can get a 2/3 majority to overrule any presidential veto.

I don’t believe in a full withdrawal because we need to keep a presence as a base of operations to keep terrorist groups from getting too entrenched and to keep the Iraqi police forces in check but I think we should let the factions in Iraq knock them selves out for a while.

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Civic Duty Campaign

July 12, 2007

I think that there should be a bi-partisan initiative to push for a Civic Duty Campaign that would be funded by the government and hire ad agencies to come up with a non-partisan but energetic campaign to get people out to vote and to perform other civic duties.

There is nothing more important to our democracy and will help it succeed more than getting 90-100% of eligible voters voting.  I suspect even an attempt for a non-partisan campaign would be stomped on by the corporate political machine (both Republican and Democrat) but we should push this hard enough so that any attempt to squash it would be obviously undermining our democracy and hence being un-patriotic.

There should be ads in our children’s Saturday morning cartoons telling them how important it is for their parents and eventually them to vote and say how they WILL make a difference.  It is a shame that there is not such a campaign.  Occasionally some group will come out with a “rock the vote” campaign but it is not well funded.  The program I am talking about would be government funded.  Like I said there is no thing of greater importance to our democracy that getting people out to vote and so it should be given higher priority than our military in trying to get something done.

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Some examples:
 – “Go and vote for things you care about [no matter what that is]”
 – “Report suspicious activities because if you don’t do it no one will”
 – “Help an old lady across the street”

An article in PR week that talks about he growing voice of the Atheist movement.  My belief is that the growing voice is in response to the loud voice Fundementalism has received and become evident in the Bush administration and the Republican War on Science.

http://www.prweek.com/us/news/article/660943/Growth-atheism-play-political-role/

Media consolidation

July 9, 2007

One great threat to our representative government is the consolidation of the media.  This will surely cause less descent of opinion in “journalism”.  We have already seen the effects in the poor coverage of the build up for the war in Iraq.  The ultimate problem is a lazy population that doesn’t aggressively look for accurate news but just takes what the corporate media dishes out.

Journalism should be in the small and thank goodness for blogs in their ability to act the way newspapers did in the time of Benjamin Franklin the the like.  I may not agree with all bloggers but at least the small people get a voice.  It then becomes the job of our lazy population to filter the media as their free will dictates.  Ultimately I believe if people filter out the corporate media they will become more moderate and liberal because the corporate media works hard to get people to believe non sense and prays on our instincts to follow.

The media fills the waves with “Paris Hilton”esque non-sense to satiate our thirst of incredulity so that we have had our fill and don’t get angry at the events that are truly deserving of our ire.  The corporate media certainly doesn’t want us to through off the de-facto shackles of consumerism and sheepism (e.g. being herded into Iraq).  The fight against media consolidation doesn’t need to be a liberal-conservative fight although economic conservatives will fight against it because it is against their own interests.  I would think that anyone who wants a strong democracy would insist on open media.

People should turn off CNN, Fox News, ABC, NBC, CBS and stop reading the papers that succumb to “Murdoch”ian media consolidation and switch to independent media outlets.  We have two media outlets that are pseudo-free of corporate consolidation (PBS and NPR) but they are even having to pander to raise money and so are not in a position like the BBC or CBC has historically been in (even they are loosing their journalistic integrity).

Besides having people realize that they need to switch to small media outlets I don’t know of a good solution.  I don’t think government run media is the answer but some education on “media literacy” is greatly needed.

I don’t know the best way to educate people on one of the biggest, quiet evils of our time (media consolidation) but it needs to be done.  The media certainly won’t cover it so how will it be done.  I would definitely join a group that tried to get heard.  I don’t have the leadership ability to start something like this.  Maybe I could start with a community education class on “media literacy” and try to remain apolitical while teaching it.  I will have to refine a class description here and see where I could learn more on how to teach people how to become educated media consumers.

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Powell on Iraq

July 9, 2007

Some news about sanity in the period before invading Iraq within the Bush administration (Colin Powell).  I knew he was on the side of reason on Iraq but it is nice to see him speaking up about it.

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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article2042072.ece