Changing the Conversation--At Last!

For a very long time,I have felt extremely depressed and dispirited by the state of American politics and society. My disillusionment goes back decades, in fact, all the way to the 1980 presidential campaign, when President Carter battled in vain against the rising tide of American conservatism which would deliver Ronald Reagan, with his promises of tax cuts, smaller government, and more "freedom" to the White House. Carter warned that the election of his opponent would result in a tearing apart of American society with an increasing division of rich from poor, black from white, and so forth. Boy, was Carter ever right, and was America ever wrong to follow the siren-song of Reagan's smiling, flag-draped conservatism, with its grim undertones of racism, greed and militarism.

In the three decades since President Raygun took office, the conservative vision of America has dominated our political life and determined some very important social trends. Accomplishments of this era including an ever-increasing prison population, with a disproportionately high number of African-American males incarcerated, with devastating social consequences for African-American communities; an ever-increasing gap between rich and poor, which has now become better and more widely understood thanks to the "Occupy" movement; stagnation in wages for most Americans who live through paychecks rather than stock portfolios and investment dividends; an ever-expanding and ever-more expensive military domination of the world, from Reagan's Star Wars fantasies to Bush's invasions to Obama's love affair with remote control political assassination by drone; and a triumph of anti-tax, anti-government, anti-regulation, tax-cutting-solves-everything rhetoric, typified by Grover Norquist's "No New Taxes Ever For All Eternity" pledge, now followed religiously by nearly all Republican Presidential candidates, the intention of which Norquist explained as "shrinking the federal government so that it can be strangled in a bathtub," with the result that apart from blank-check military spending, our government is constrained from engaging in any kind of large government programs that might actually improves the lives of average people, from infrastructure repair to mass transit development to more support for public schools to lower cost higher education to the development of green technologies. This is Reagan's "Morning in America," and it has had a good long run of 30 plus years in ruling the mindset of the vast majority of Americans and setting the parameters of American public life...UNTIL NOW.

Occupy Wall Street has blown this tired old set of ideas and assumptions out of the water, and opened up a whole new menu of questions and possibilities for Americans to ponder. FINALLY people are realizing that government is not to blame for stagnant wages, a crashed economy, and immense suffering grounded in extreme social and economic inequality: it is the financial and corporate elite who are most responsible, as they are the ones who have been reaping great benefits while raping the rest of us. They are the ones who have made great profits with every increase in oil prices, every rise in penalties and fees on credit cards and bank accounts, every ingeniously misrepresented mortgage, every foreclosure on the poor, every lay off of workers, every pay cut to employees, every movement of factories to China and other low-wage, low-regulation havens, every reprehensible trick in the book to evade taxes, deceive investors and reward their tight little incestuous circle of crony capitalists. We have all been told this was the only way it can be, that we must simply accept and obey that we are all doomed to sinking wages, rising debt,disappearing pensions and diminishing futures...but now there is an alternative.

Let the great struggle begin! Now is the time to make a new economy and a new society that serves human needs over corporate profits! OCCUPY wherever you are!

I have been waiting thirty years for this, through the initially promising but ultimately disappointing presidencies of Bill "The Triangulator" Clinton and Barrack "The Compromiser" Obama. I really hope that this time, some change is actually going to happen.

Keep the pressure on and the questions and conversations going!

The Strangeness of the American Political Election

Am I the only one who finds the American elections for President, well.....weird? A few weeks ago or sometime then, I first tuned into the DNC convention in Denver. "DNC?" even that sounded odd to me. It reminded of me of some type of medical procedure. Okay, it's Democratic National Convention. The first bias I noted was in the political reporting and coverage from the different networks and cable affiliates. I had to check to see if the different "commentators" were actually at the same event.

If I wanted to get a spin more favorable from the republican side, I stayed on Fox. I tried to be fair and though I didn't connect with the democrat candidates, mostly because there's something sinister that hangs over Hillary and Bill, I would tune into CNN. My God, I wish I wasn't so shallow, but at least Osama is relatively appealing to look at and listen to. Old man McCann, it's hard to think how long he can hold up.

But anyhow, very little of the "reporting" felt like actual hard news, and the candidates? Such posturing. I couldn't get over how much they have to play to each other. Poor Obama, he was so left out on the porch to appease Hillary's supporters. It's obvious these people don't really like each other. By the time Hillary came on to "strongly" express her unwavering support for Obama's presidency, it felt more like a dry run for her own candidacy. Give her credit, she finally showed up, in a strong and confident address, but for her it was too late. This was all about creating "party unity" but even one of those covering the convention exhumed, Hillary, probably hope's Obama loses, so she can run in 2012. Now, that's somebody I'd want watching my back.

Globalised Economic World and Regionalised Political Orders Must Harmonise

Yesterday, Britain's prime minister, Gordon Brown, called for a "new global order" to deal with the economic crisis and warned against the protectionist policies that were put in place in the 1930s.

Tackling issues on the global economy, the prime minister said that a "radical step-up in global cooperation" was necessary to prevent the emergence of "financial mercantilism".

On the same day, Timothy F Geithner asserted that "China manipulates its currency". This was indeed unhelpful, to say the least, as Sino-American detente and cooperation is the essence of Brown's statements on creating a new global order.

Maps of the World - Top 7 Changes in the Last Decade to World Political Geography

Geographic and Political Changes in Maps of the World

Educational for children and inspiring their imagination, maps of the world really are interactive. Having one on the wall means you can quickly look at places you hear about in the news. Where are they exactly and who are their neighbouring countries.

With their bright colours and clear, easy to read designs, maps of the world look great on any walls. Did you know however, how many changes take place every day? Maps are being continuously changing and evolving to reflect our ever-changing world.

There are various changes maps of the world need to show to be fully accurate. These include country borders changes, place name changes, capital city changes and the emergence of new states. Some high quality maps of the world also contain country flags which also need to be updated.

Local Politics, News Coverage, and Capitalism - Politics That Sell

On September 14, 2010, the State of Tennessee held a debate in Cookeville between the two candidates for Governor, Bill Haslam and Mike McWherter.

I wonder which appalls me more, the actual debate or its news coverage?

Let's start with the political debate. We have reduced political debate to 5-10 categories around which politicians usually dance and parade or from which they divert to jab their opponents' political integrity.

Haslam and McWherter dribbled about the same tired topics: education, religion, and health care.

Fundamentally, the structure of this system endorses the status quo because categories over which politicians fight control and restrict political possibilities. Debating political issues isolates each topic from other realms of political concern and neglects the intricate interrelation of political categories.

For example, we hardly consider publicly that high health care prices encourage abortion. Or we do not consider that broadband encourages Internet users to buy from websites, name from large company websites, and discourages shopping locally. Politicians largely argue their positions in terms of dollar signs and not for the political well-being of the commonwealth.

5 Things to Look for in Online Conservative Politics News Sources - Choose Wisely!

In this day and age there is such a flood of information online, that it can be tough to choose which sources to turn to for your daily blast of news updates. This can be particularly challenging in niche arenas, such as conservative political news as an example. We want to know that our attention, the short bit that we all have left after Facebook, Twitter, cleaning out our email inbox, and reading a blog post or two, are worth our time. Here's 5 tips that will help you to evaluate your conservative political online news options so that you make the choice that is best for you.

1) Is it objective? While we own have different political views, some news sources can lean heavily in one direction or another. I'm not talking about Republican or democratic, but rather within a republican news source, are both sides of the equation being presented?

2) Is there interaction? Look to see if there are comments on blog posts and articles, and if it's a forum type atmosphere, are there active conversations going on, an active community if you will.

3) Look at the advertisers on the site. Nearly all online publications make the bulk of their revenue through online advertising partners. Generally speaking, if the companies listed on their site with large banner ads are large, well known brands, you can assume they are charging a hefty fee for the space and therefore have the web traffic to support it, an excellent indicator of popularity and therefore, often quality as well.