Friday, May 30, 2014

"An Unfortunate Accident"...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

It was bound to be said. For at least one republican politician, Iowa State Senator Joni Ernst, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, the UCSB shooting was an accident. A strong 2'nd Amendment supporter (nothing wrong with that) endorsed by the NRA she made a couple very concerning comments during a televised primary debate.
"Mrs. Ernst, a viewer wrote us saying in light of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, the shootings at the Aurora, Colo., theater, and most recently at the UC Santa Barbara campus, 'we have a Joni Ernst in the television ad that is running continuously on all local television stations that contains violent imagery pointing a gun directly at the viewer and vowing to quote ‘shoot them down’ and hateful language directed toward their opponents. Is this really what politics has become in this country?'" the moderator said. "Mrs. Ernst, what do you say to this viewer?"

"Yes, I would say to this viewer that what happened in that shooting and that stabbing is an absolute tragedy," Ernst said. "However, I remain firm in my commitment to the Second Amendment. I have been endorsed by the NRA in this race, and again, just because of a horrible, horrible tragedy, I don’t believe we should be infringing upon people’s Second Amendment rights."

The moderator then asked Ernst if she would change the ad or its timing in light of the UCSB shooting.

"I would not -- no. This unfortunate accident happened after the ad, but it does highlight that I want to get rid of, repeal, and replace Bruce Braley’s Obamacare," Ernst replied, referring to a Democratic Senate candidate. "And it also shows that I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. That is a fundamental right."

A tragic accident or an intentional act of violence and murder(s)? You decide.

What is apparent is that as long as the NRA can peddle their fear to the people, and influence legislators like Ernst, there will be no possibility of arriving at a responsible and reasonable solution to a very real problem. Nothing trumps the 2'nd and in the eyes of the unthinking there is no need for a national discussion.


Via: Memeorandum

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Gun Deaths By Country... Is There a Direct Correlation to Number of Firearms in Circulation?

from: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

No matter how much we argue about the details of its meaning today, in the opinion of many, the Constitution signed in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787 represents the greatest expression of statesmanship and compromise ever written. In just four hand-written pages, the Constitution gives us no less than the owners' manual to the greatest form of government the world has ever known.

We have no tribal council, nor can we vote anybody off the island. But, we do live in the land of the free, and as long as the Constitution stands, we always will.

Yes, the 2'nd amendment establishes the right of the nation's citizens to keep and bear arms, a right I personally agree with. When handled by responsible sensible individuals who keep there firearms and ammunition secure firearms in theory at least are as safe as knives, hatchets, axes and such.

In 1787 the framers of our Constitution recognized the need for a well armed militia to insure the security of or new republic. Today we have the world's most efficient, effective, and lethal military with the best hardware money can buy to protect our nation.

Things were different in those days, unless I am mistaken firearms were single shot and it took some time to prepare and load the next round for discharge. Today, with our modern firearms, semi auto assault riffles, GlockS, high cap magazines, and quickly interchanged clips, as well as the proliferation of high powered weapons across the nation, the landscape looks a bunch different than is did at the time of our founding. Not to mention the population was approximately 3.9 million, in 2010 our population was 308.74 5 million.

What does this all mean? I'm not sure, perhaps just idle musings of a concerned person. I think the following tells us something though..

Country                              Guns per 100                        Total Firearm-related Deaths per 100,000

United States                        88.8                                        10.2
Switzerland                           45.7                                        3.84
Finland                                 45.3                                         3.64
Sweden                                31.6                                         1.47
Norway                                31.3                                         1.78
France                                  31.                                           2 3
Canada                                 30.8                                         2.44
Austria                                  30.4                                         2.94
Iceland                                  30.3                                         1.25
Germany                               30.3                                         1.1
New Zealand                        22.6                                         2.66
Greece                                  22.5                                        1.5
Belgium                                 17.2                                        2.43
Luxembourg                          15.3                                        1.81
Australia c                             15                                           1.04
South Africa                          12.7                                        9.41
Turkey                                  12.5                                        0.72
Denmark                               12                                          1.45
Malta                                    11.9                                        2.16
Italy                                      11.9                                        1.28
Spain                                    10.4                                        0.63
Ireland                                   8.6                                         1.03
Portugal                                 8.5                                         1.77
Israel                                     7.3                                         1.86
United Kingdom                    6.2                                         0.25
Netherlands                           3.9                                         0.46
Japan                                     0.6                                        0.06


Given our nation's apparent lack of responsibility it just might be a good idea to start looking for solutions rather than keeping our heads buried in the sands of time.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Promised Land, Elvis Presley

From: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Now, for some great music by a legendary artist. Rational Nation USA dedicates this tune to FreeThinke. We know how much he enjoys Rock-n-Roll!

By request 5/29/14

Okay Shaw, this one's for you.

And okjimm, one for you as well.

The Koch Influence...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Special interests at play in the political arena. Money does indeed talk and what it buys is usually not good for this floundering democratic republic.

When a federal judge blocks an investigation into the possibility of illegal spending during a recall election it should raise some eyebrows, especially when the judge orders all the evidence gathered destroyed.

If you're thinking the name Koch figures into this somehow you'd be correct.

PR Watch - The federal judge who ordered a halt to Wisconsin's "John Doe" criminal investigation into spending during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections has regularly attended all-expenses paid "judicial junkets" funded by the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and other ideological and corporate interests.

On May 6, federal District Court Judge Rudolph Randa blocked an ongoing John Doe criminal probe into allegedly illegal coordination between nonprofit groups like Wisconsin Club for Growth, which spent $9.1 million on electoral ads during Wisconsin's recall elections, and the recall campaigns of Governor Scott Walker and state senators. John Doe investigations are similar to grand jury investigations, and Wisconsin Club for Growth -- and its director, Eric O'Keefe, a longtime compatriot of the Koch brothers -- asked the federal court to stop the probe, alleging it violated their "free speech" rights.

Judge Randa sided with O'Keefe, and also ordered prosecutors to destroy all evidence gathered in the investigation, an extraordinary edict in a criminal case made even more astounding by the fact that it came in the context of a preliminary injunction. The Seventh Circuit has blocked this part of his ruling; an appeal of the remainder of his decision is pending.

An analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy shows that Judge Randa attended privately-funded, all-expenses-paid judicial seminars put on by George Mason University in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012, according to publicly-available financial disclosure forms. (The 2013 disclosure form has been requested but has not yet been publicly posted).

The George Mason University seminars are bankrolled by a long list of right-wing foundations, like Koch, Bradley, and the Searle Freedom Trust, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and corporations like BP, Exxon Mobil, and Dow Chemical. Many of these interests have long opposed limits on money in politics,... a

It is time to neuter special interests and take the influence of money out of politics.

Read the full report BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

As the Senseless Violence Continues...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

In the spirit of Patriotism no doubt 'Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher in one breath offered condolences to the slain victims of the UCSB shooting and in the next declared that "your dead kids don't trump my Constitutional rights. Technically I suppose he's right. Depending of course on how one interprets the 2'nd Amendment.

Support for the 2'd Amendment and the right for the populace to bear arms for hunting and sport is something I believe the majority of of Americans are fine with. But this right must be regulated and uniformly applied across the nation. Our patchwork of gun regulations and laws have done little to control the firearm violence that has spread in recent years.

Firearm manufactures with their money and lobbyists, along with the NRA have effectively stymied any reasonable, responsible, and needed national policy to improve the public's safety with respect to firearms and the violence that no one can deny is increasing at an alarming rate. For a civilized people to accept the level of firearm violence the USA is experiencing and do nothing is astonishing.

One has to question exactly what the founders would say today if they had a voice. I suspect they would not take the present position of the NRA and the firearms manufactures. It is is more likely they would find a way to protect the concerns of legitimate firearm owners and yet institute safeguards that more effectively protect the general public.

My right to own a firearm for the purpose of hunting and sporting is protected by the 2'nd Amendment. However, what about the right of innocent people to live their lives without fear of being mowed down by someone with a semiautomatic weapon or a handgun. Yet we have states with open carry and such lax regulations that it is not difficult for anyone to acquire a firearm.

I am not against responsible law abiding citizens owning firearms, not at all. I am however like most people, against the needless death of innocent people. Especially when we can do something about it. Unfortunately money and the NRA seem to trump common sense.

TPM - Samuel Wurzelbacher gave his condolences this week to the families of the victims of the mass shooting near the University of California, Santa Barbara. But no tragedy is going to stop "Joe The Plumber" from defending the Second Amendment.

In an open letter published Tuesday on the website Barbwire, Wurzelbacher went out of his way to explain to the victims' parents that the deaths won't undermine his "Constitutional rights."

"I am sorry you lost your child. I myself have a son and daughter and the one thing I never want to go through, is what you are going through now," wrote Wurzelbacher, who became something of a mascot for John McCain's failed 2008 presidential campaign. "But: As harsh as this sounds – your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights."

Wurzelbacher singled out Richard Martinez, whose son Christopher was one of the six students killed by Elliot Rodger in Isla Vista, Calif. Since the deadly rampage, Martinez has twice railed against politicians and the National Rifle Association for the failure to pass new gun laws after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

"There are no critical words for a grieving father. He can say whatever he wants and blame whoever he’d like – it’s okay by me. You can’t take a step in his shoes – at least I can’t," Wurzelbacher wrote. "But the words and images of Mr. Martinez blaming 'the proliferation of guns', lobbyists, politicians, etc.; will be exploited by gun-grab extremists as are all tragedies involving gun violence and the mentally ill by the anti-Second Amendment Left."

Related information can be found AT THE LINK.

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, May 23, 2014

Speech, Money, Influence, Power, and the RNC...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Some say money is speech. At one time I argued that money was speech and corporations, individuals, political parties, and organizations (special interests) ought to be able to spend freely to "get their message out." After all isn't that one way voters keep informed?

My position has, shall we say evolved. Money can be considered speech if all parties have the same ability to spend large sums of it to get their voices "heard." Of course we all know this is not the case and realistically it never will be. The larger the corporation, the more wealthy the individual, or the more flush the super PAC the bigger voice they have. So, what does this mean from a practical viewpoint? In a word INFLUENCE.

Money buys influence. Money combined with influence is power. And the more money that is available the more influence and power can be bought. So if you're the average person on the street, the small business competing against the big guys, or a politician with a small campaign war chest you simply don't stand an equal chance. The big money gets people elected, the big money buys influence, and the interests of the those without the same ability to spend rarely get noticed and if they do it's generally amounts to being tossed a bone.

Just when the nation ought to be looking at real campaign finance reform and limiting the influence money has on the political process the RNC has filed a lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission to allow it to solicit UNLIMITED cash amounts from individuals. Of course the argument is again the Article 1 of The Bill of Rights; aka the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Here is what Campaign finance watchdogs had to say, "If the RNC is successful, we will again see party committees brazenly soliciting $1 million contributions from wealthy contributors seeking to directly purchase influence over candidates and officeholders, with the party committees acting as the sales agent," said Lawrence Noble, general counsel to the FEC from 1987 to 2000 and now an adviser at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center.

Lawrence Noble is right. Anyone who understands the nefarious effects of money in politics should be highly concerned. Those who don't fully understand, rather than buying the rhetoric, should do some independent research so they do understand.

here is much more and it can be FOUND BELOW THE FOLD.

What say you?

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Howard Dean Rant...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Ration USA
Purveyor of Truth

The tolerance hyperbole of Howard Dean. Wants republicans to move to Russia.

Personally I am hoping for Howard to figure continue to speak out vocally. And loudly. Very loudly.

The public just might get to see another Howard tirade like the one that ended his presidential aspirations.

h/t: Libertarian Republican

Friday, May 16, 2014

Voltaire's Wisdom...

from: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Voltaire Quotes worth reflecting on, and, it seems the more things change the more they stay the same.

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.

It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.

What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly - that is the first law of nature.

In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to another.

It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.

Of all religions, the Christian should of course inspire the most tolerance, but until now Christians have been the most intolerant of all men.

Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy the mad daughter of a wise mother. These daughters have too long dominated the earth.

Prejudices are what fools use for reason.

And now my personal favorite.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

Friday, May 9, 2014

You Just Can't Make This S**t Up!...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Texas Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) proving once again there really are looney tunes populating the the republican party. Really folks, dudes (and dudettes) with beliefs like this are trying to take America back to 1950. All we can hope for is a bolt of lighting to strike them (from above guided by the divine hand of their god)) and transform them into reasoned beings.

So it is amazing that in the name of liberality, in the name of being tolerant, this fascist intolerance has arisen. People that stand up and say, you know, I agree with the majority of Americans, I agree with Moses and Jesus that marriage was a man and a woman, now all of a sudden, people like me are considered haters, hate mongers, evil, which really is exactly what we've seen throughout our history as going back to the days of the Nazi takeover in Europe. What did they do? First, they would call people "haters" and "evil" and build up disdain for those people who held those opinions or religious views or religious heritage. And then the next came, well, those people are so evil and hateful, let's bring every book that they've written or has to do with them and let's start burning the books, because we can't tolerate their intolerance.


Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

14 Points Of Fascism...

from: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Fascism, a word tossed about frequently. Conservatives will say progressives lean fascist and progressives will say conservatives lean fascist. So, what's the truth? Or is there some truth both display some if not all of the characteristics?

Dr. Laurence Britt, a political scientist who studied the fascist regimes of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Suharto, and Pinochet and found common themes running through of all these. He compiled a list called "The 14 Points of Fascism."

1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism
2. Disdain for the importance of human rights
3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause
4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism
5. Rampant sexism
6. A controlled mass media
7. Obsession with national security
8. Religion and ruling elite tied together
9. Power of corporations protected
10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated
11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts
12. Obsession with crime and punishment
13. Rampant cronyism and corruption13. Rampant cronyism and corruption
14. Fraudulent elections

Do you see any evidence that some (or all) of these are present in America today. If so which political party do you believe demonstrates the most attributes of fascism and why?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Democratic and Independent MSM...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

It has been fairly common knowledge that the majority of journalists are democratic leaning. But the percentages that are was surprising, even to me. The shift away from a more conservative or middle of the road (note the 70's) to a more liberal or progressive journalist pool explains at least in part why Obama and democratic candidates running for office are generally given softball questions. It also explains why the administration gets as many passes as it does from the MSM.

Unfortunately this trend is likely to continues unless and until the conservative movement and the republican party gets it's act together and puts forth a positive, sensible, and realistic vision for America in the 21st century. Americans is not happy with the democratic leadership just as it is unhappy with the current republican leadership. This provides an opportunity for conservatives and republicans to formulate a no nonsense agenda of fiscal conservatism, a social agenda that addresses the concerns of the middle and lower economic strata, and changing the party to truly a party of inclusion.

It's time for the republican party to shed it militaristic love for the MIC and realize we should no more break the bank with war machine spending than we should break the bank with domestic spending. Oh, and to believe you can continue to cut, cut, ct taxes and provide the kind of society that the MAJORITY of Americans want is just insane.

The Washington Post - A majority of American journalists identify themselves as political independents although among those who choose a side Democrats outnumber Republicans four to one, according to a new study of the media conducted by two Indiana University professors.

Write Lars Wilnat and David Weaver, professors of journalism at Indiana, of their findings: Compared with 2002, the percentage of full-time U.S. journalists who claim to be Democrats has dropped 8 percentage points in 2013 to about 28 percent, moving this figure closer to the overall population percentage of 30 percent, according to a December 12-15, 2013, ABC News/Washington Post national poll of 1,005 adults. This is the lowest percentage of journalists saying they are Democrats since 1971. An even larger drop was observed among journalists who said they were Republicans in 2013 (7.1 percent) than in 2002 (18 percent), but the 2013 figure is still notably lower than the percentage of U.S. adults who identified with the Republican Party (24 percent according to the poll mentioned above).

The great thing about this survey, called "The American Journalist in the Digital Age", is that its been conducted four previous times -- in 1971, 1982, 1992 and 2002. That allows for some fascinating comparisons of how partisanship (or the lack thereof) among reporters has evolved over that time.

Back in 1971, the first time this survey was conducted, there was simply more partisanship among reporters. More than one in three (35.5 percent) said they were Democrats while more than one in four (25.7 percent) described themselves as Republicans. At that point, 32.5 percent called themselves independents.

Over the last several decades, three things have happened: 1) The number of Democratic-identifying reporters increased steadily prior to a significant drop in the latest survey 2) The number of Republicans has steadily shrunk with that number dipping into single digits for the first time ever in the new survey c) more and more reporters are identifying as independents. What seems to be happening -- at least in the last decade - -is that journalists are leaving both parties, finding themselves more comfortable as unaffiliateds.

These numbers will likely affirm the belief in conservative circles that "all" reporters are secretly Democrats. (The study was conducted via online interviews with 1,080 reporters.)...

Another suggestion for conservatives and republicans: Since religion is personal and money has no place in politics drop both from your agenda driven ideological paradigm.

Via: Memorandum

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Maurice Bisheff, Ph.D. on Thomas Paine...

from: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Found while giving thought to our founding principles and one of the giant's of the revolutionary era in America, Thomas Paine. The article, 'The Moral and Political Thought of Thomas Paine", was written by Maurice Bisheff, Ph.D., it is a good read for anyone interested in Paine. Thomas Paine and his views are as relevant today as they were during his era, erhas even more so.

Now, for the teaser.
Tom Paine thought of himself as a "gardener of ideas".

Thomas Paine's moral and political thought raises the question, "How can we become a more self-governing society?" Paine's vision of self-governance can be seen in his moral and political thought which is relevant today to each and all.

I. Reason and Self-Governing Individuals

Self-governing individuals are necessary to have a self-governing society. By self governing is meant the willingness of individuals to consciously choose and hold to principles or an ideal yet flexibly apply that ideal in diverse situations. Thomas Paine said "My country is the world and my religion is to do good." For Paine the source of the good went beyond a commitment to world citizenship. "The true deist has but one Deity; and his religion consists in contemplating the power, wisdom, and benignity of the Deity in his works, and in endeavoring to imitate him in every thing moral, scientifical, and mechanical" (A of R p.84). James Tepfer describes this as "our living awareness of the Infinite Presence."(Tepfer, p.1) Thus, Paine felt that the moral duty of man consists in imitating the moral and beneficience of God manifested in Man and Nature's laws. This was the ever renewing source of man's reason.

Placed in the language of the Age of Enlightenment, Paine believed that natural law is inscribed in the divine order, and emanates a Cosmos-a beautiful harmony and order which exists prior to and superior to history or governments. Natural law is at least partially knowable through the moral disposition in man and the depth of his conscience. Paine wrote, "As for morality, the knowledge of it exists in every man's conscience." (A of R p.185) If you break natural law, your conscience will tell you if you practice being attuned to it. In this regard, Paine quotes Cicero, "The true law is right reason, comfortable to the nature of things, constant, eternal diffuse through all, which call us to duty by commanding, deters from sin by forbidding, which never loses its influence with the good." (TP-Social and Political Thought p. 93)

The exertion of natural reason in pursuit of the good is the core basis by which individuals can become self-governing; thus strengthening a self-governing society. Paine advocated moving beyond "local thoughts", and encouraged individuals to think more principled and universally, which then permitted greater flexibility in application. Paine believed individuals can expand their ability to apply their reason for the good to greater and greater circles of social interaction. It is "by the exercise of reason that man can discover God. Take away that reason, and he would be incapable of understanding anything."(A of R p.70)

II. Self-Governance and Societal Interdependence

Paine believed that man can infuse and draw out the good of fellow men in society in theatres of political participation by using his conscience and his reason. Society arose because men needed one another, and is a workshop for its citizens to experiment and self-correct. "As nature created him for social life, she fitted him for the station she intended. In all cases she made his natural wants greater than his individual powers"(R of M pg. 187) ; thus the need for a natural reciprocity recognizing our moral and societal interdependence. It is through our sociability that we can expand our perspectives to greater mutual understanding and more inclusive, universal thought. In the process of reasoning with each other, we can view our own limitations, those of others, and correct our errors in thinking.

In order to let happiness blossom in society, men need the right to express their conscience. Self-evident human rights such as freedom of conscience and religion are the foundations of equality. Paine felt that human rights get translated into shared natural rights through making claims to be tested by reason. In order to help enforce these rights, then civil and legal rights by government create a civil society for citizens to manifest their political claims.

Each right has a corresponding duty. Paine said our first duty is to be kind to others. Paine also said that a person's corresponding duty is to allow the same rights to others as we allow ourselves. From this basis we can use our abilities to promote mutual understanding. These expanding circles of reciprocal duties and rights weave a tapestry, built on democratic norms, of liberty in the context of societal interdependence.

The right of commerce was seen as transforming the mind-set of feudal, dependent relations between men and their government. It helped transform subjects into confident citizens. Trade was viewed not as laissez-faire, but in a web of social interdependence. It was seen as a major modality for individuals to use their active minds to develop better mutual understanding of others interests in society. While aware that too much indulgence in commerce could lead to the decline of spirit and patriotism, making reason subservient to commercial interests, Paine believed commerce was an important element in a strong self-governing society of expanding universal happiness.

Paine felt that man would use his religion of reason to place commerce within a broader quest for lifelong education in the arts, sciences, engineering, and philosophy in order to progress to a universal society and universal happiness. For Paine, knowledge starts with the Divine. "It is from the study of the true theology that all our knowledge of science is derived; and it is from that knowledge that all the arts have originated." (A of R p.76) Thus, the arts and sciences should illuminate man's highest spirit of reason in its motives and applications such that it does not have to be concentrated solely in pursuit of commercial interests. Art, science, and commercial enterprise can be placed in service to humanity and universal happiness.

Some men and women, through greed or disproportionate natural or social advantages, will contribute to others being systematically impoverished in the imperfections of manmade civilization. Since in a natural state, "The earth is the common property of the human race"; thus each human being is equally entitled to have dignity and minimal share of the earth's bounty, including clean water, air, and access or rents from land.(T.P.-Social and Political Thought p. 93) Gregory Claeys points out that what was important in Paine's thinking is that property not be made a pretense for unequal or exclusive rights, and poverty should not be made insufferable.(T.P-Social and Political Thought p.100)

Thus, men and women must discover those laws operating in society which will create a greater harmony of overall interests. Democratic communities will have to choose to redistribute some minimal baseline of societal resources to those at least most vulnerable not as charity, but as a right in the name of social harmony.

III. Government and the Common Good

Paine's ideal of a self-governing society is encapsulated as "The more perfect civilization is, the less occasion has it for government, because the more does it regulate its own affairs and govern it." (Rights of Man p. 189 Appleby) In this context, government was not to be glorified, but is simply needed as a contingent, malleable solution to restrain our vices and to restore some degree of harmony and social justice through minimal social welfare to each and all.

Raghavan Iyer writes in Parapolitics, (p. 290-291) "No man can fulfill his many wants except in the company of others; because ofthe collective wants of human beings, there is validity and value to human societies. But unfortunately, men want to bequeath the burden of finding fulfillment to some external authority. When embodied in imperfect men, whatever the laws, systems, or government, this will gradually license every abomination" .

Paine wrote that democratic republics would be judged by its citizens through a standard of res publica or a common good. The "common good" involves a mental posture taken by citizens in their deliberations where they account for yet transcend partial interests to look at the good for each and all in their decisions. The common good and a democratic government are thus posited as broad criteria for making government indirectly self governing because representative government is "owned" by citizens, and citizens are free to appraise the outcomes of their government. Fair elections, clear laws impartially enforced, clear performance accountability, and a transparent appraisal of governmental outcomes were qualities of a democratic republic. Since all human institutions can become deformed over time, Paine recommended that each generation should renew their associations in developing new written Constitutions appropriate to their times.

As individuals become more adept at using reason to becoming more self-governing, collectively they would be able to self-organize, trust each other, and need less government. Thus, the spirit of communes, collectives, and self-organization can be seen as microcosmic experiments in direct self-governance, providing prospects and possibilities for a society of the future and a more self-governing society.

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Friday, May 2, 2014

America, Living In the Twilght Zone...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

In a nation where any and everything goes the drama by Wisconsin democratic candidate for governor Brett Hulsey is NOT at all surprising.

Sometimes theatrics serves a valuable purpose. Sometimes not.

Candidate Hulsey's approach may have a positive effect. We'll never know unless somebody tries it, right?

What is interesting troubling is that in the 21st century America apparently is incapable of having the honest dialogue that might move our nation forward forward to a place where discussion is no longer necessary.

More likely than not the fringe elements will continue to fester and grow. Because in the USA it seems more and more each day that is what we do.

Did I mention Hulsey is a democrat?

MADISON, Wis. - Democratic candidate for governor Brett Hulsey plans to hand out white Ku Klux Klan-style hoods to Wisconsin Republicans as they gather for their annual convention Friday to highlight what he says are their racist policies.

Hulsey, a state representative from Madison who is white, came into the state Capitol press room on Thursday to show off a hood he says he made with his daughter's sewing machine using curtain material he purchased for $1.

"It's a Wisconsin Republican Party hat," Hulsey said. "And people can interpret it any way they want."

When asked whether he was serious, trying to be funny or provocative, Hulsey answered: "All of the above."

Hulsey, a two-term state representative, is running a long-shot campaign for the Democratic nomination against the better-funded and more broadly supported candidate Mary Burke. She is a former state commerce secretary and Trek Bicycle Corp. executive. Her campaign spokesman Joe Zepecki called Hulsey's latest stunt "completely unacceptable and totally inappropriate."

Hulsey has a history of outlandish behavior.

Hulsey contemplated bringing a musket onto the Assembly floor to call attention to GOP policies, like legalizing carrying concealed weapons, that he opposed. Last year, one of his legislative staffers told police she feared for her safety because he brought a box-cutter to the office.

In 2012, Hulsey pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct citation after police accused him of flipping a 9-year-old boy off an inner tube at a Madison beach and taking pictures of the child. Hulsey told police he just walked by the boy and didn't "touch or molest him." He also said he needed to point his camera toward the boy in order to get a shot of a sailboat and the sunset.

It sometimes we are living in the Twilight Zone. Doesn't it?

Via: Memeorandum