Archive for the ‘Democracy and Freedom (or lack of)’ Category

FDR started the Long Peace. Under Trump, it may be coming to an end.
By Fareed Zakaria, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017

In his first days in office, President Trump has begun to reverse the domestic policies of the previous eight years. But with regard to the United States’ relations with the world, Trump seems far more radical. In word and deed, he appears to be walking away from the idea of America at the center of an open, rule-based international order. This would be a reversal of more than 70 years of U.S. foreign policy.

[Read more →]

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

[Read more →]

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist and commentator, was national Hispanic campaign chairwoman for John McCain in 2008, national Hispanic co-chair for Jon Huntsman’s 2012 campaign and was supporting Jeb Bush’s candidacy for 2016. Follow her on Twitter @ananavarro. The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers.

I didn’t want to write this. I avoided making a decision as long as I could. I schlepped my absentee ballot all over the country for almost four weeks. I would periodically take it out of the envelope, look at it, shake my head in disgust, and put it back in my suitcase.

I had decided to write-in my mother as a symbolic protest vote against the Democratic and Republican nominees. I didn’t want to vote for either of them.

[Read more →]

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

#WhatWeNeedToSucceed: A Letter to the Next President on Behalf of Women Entrepreneur

Elizabeth Gore, Dell EIR Elizabeth Gore, Dell EIR 1 Nov 2016
#WhatWeNeedToSucceed

Nov. 1, 2016

To: Secretary Hillary Clinton / Mr. Donald Trump

Dear Madam Secretary / Mr. Trump:

We write to you today on behalf of our nation’s leading innovators, entrepreneurs and influencers regarding one of the largest untapped economic and social opportunities in our country – women entrepreneurs. If women and men participated equally in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, the United States’ GDP could rise by $30 billion.

While women are starting businesses twice as fast as men, they face unique challenges, including experiencing disproportionately high failure rates, receiving only seven percent of venture capital and being represented in only seven percent of media stories. Through leadership and sound public policy, our country can benefit from the economic and social opportunity women entrepreneurs cultivate.

Over the last month, top business leaders – from enterprise CEOs to leading entrepreneurs – developed a set of policy and leadership recommendations that we believe will help women entrepreneurs start and scale businesses. Our suggestions for the necessary elements for success for women entrepreneurs focus on access to capital, expanding and supporting networks and markets, and addressing the changing face of business through technology.

[Read more →]

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

This brief piece in the National Review provides very provocative contrast about the way Trump’s new campaign CEO thinks about building the right wing (“turn on the hate”) and how traditional conservatives do (“love of country”).

We shouldn’t give a pass to those in the ‘Establishment’ that flirted with the racism and hatred that over the last eight years allowed many to delegitimize President Obama – not just to question his policies which is more than fair game, but to question his citizenship and allegiance to America. But this is elevating the source of that aggressive hatred to the leadership of the Republican Presidential campaign and threatening the entire party.

This issue is not just going to impact the conservative movement or Republicans. It will impact America and the world.

Any place in the world where extremism and radicalism are celebrated ends up harming the very society that tolerated and encouraged it, ultimately boomeranging against those that unleashed that intolerance against others.  The ruling house of Saud in Saudi Arabia promulgated Wahabbi teachings across the world, spreading a militantly intolerant version of Islam across the world. This more than anything metastasized into Al Qaeda and ISIS, which now also consider the Saudi rulers as apostates and attack them also.

If we teach our children to disdain those different from them as opposed to teaching them empathy and respect for those different from us, they will grow with hatred as a reflex, which is so destructive to them and to our world. The antidote is to teach them empathy, the strength it requires, and the strength it provides. The same goes for adults, only it is so much harder by the time we’ve developed our habits, our instincts and our way of thinking.

Article below:

[Read more →]

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

My father, Roman Lubetzky, was a rarity among survivors of concentration camps. Most of his fellow survivors either were immersed in the horror of the Holocaust and sadly embittered by it, or were determined to shut it out of their lives and never again talk about it.   My Dad would talk about it to anyone who would listen, and would reignite suffering as he recounted his experiences as a little kid from 9 when the war started to 15 when he was rescued from Dachau. 

And yet he always talked about it with humanistic positive hope for the future, emphasizing the importance of building bridges and preventing the suffering of any human being.  He taught me compassion for the Palestinian cause, just as he was a fervent believer in Israel as the one homeland of the Jewish people.

Ziad Asali, whose latest article is here, is among the very few people I have ever met who reminds me of the moral courage that my Dad had – to proudly wear his historic pain on his shoulders, not to recriminate and as a way to guilt others, but as a responsibility to forge a better way for his people and for humanity.

Most Palestinians and Israelis would want to move on with their lives and would accept a two state solution.  But not enough people take it upon themselves to bring it about.

In the meantime, passionate minorities with far more extremist perspectives – that would deny the right of the other side to freedom, dignity, respect, security, and a State of their own – take it upon themselves to speak loudly – as often evidenced by those who take the time to express mean comments on these boards, from either extreme side.

Only if people like Ziad Asali lead the way will this conflict and the suffering that comes with it come to an end.  Anything other than a two state SOLUTION is just an illusion that will condemn those who live there with continued hatred and war.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

The Jason Puracal story (below) is so sad that it’s difficult to read.   To speak out against this injustice, sign the petition.

 

Spotted by Daniel Lubetzky, by Adeena Schlussel

[Read more →]

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

This NYT article by Joe Nocera argues that Jon Corzine is going to get off the hook for pilfering money from segregated consumer accounts.  It’s ridiculous to believe that the MF Global Executives took this money by accident as they have claimed- and it’s even more ridiculous that they may exit blame free as it sets a concerning precedent for future “accidents.”

Spotted by Daniel Lubetzky, by Adeena Schlussel

[Read more →]

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Thanks to Harriet Green who shared this extraordinarily powerful viral video by Invisible Children about a campaign to stop Joseph Kony, a heinous murderer who has abducted tens of thousands of African children to join his army, often forcing them to murder their parents and dismember others as a rite of passage.  It is incredible that someone like this has been able to elude justice for decades!  He must be stopped.  I pledge to join the campaign.  I have forwarded the video to all my team members, made a donation, and requested their kit to post posters, and encourage you to do the same.  It is our duty as human beings.

And for activists and campaigners anywhere, this video is also a must-watch.  The organization and team putting this together is extraordinary.  This is one of the best campaigns I have witnessed ever.  Truly commendable and cutting edge.  Lots for us to learn about.

STOP KONY IN 2012!

KONY 2012 from INVISIBLE CHILDREN on Vimeo.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Jeffrey Goldberg writes in Was the Arab Spring a Victory for Extremism? that Mubarak warned him a dozen years ago, “"My people expect a firm hand. If we don’t lead strongly, they will turn to the mosque for leadership."  Goldberg concludes that it turns out Mubarak was right – that he was the only thing standing between Egypt and the rise of fundamentalist Islam. 

The above analysis is probably factually correct in the short and mid term. But it is the wrong or incomplete question or issue to focus on. 

The bigger question is what did Mubarak’s (and other equivalent dictators’) rule do and does to help those populations evolve into more democratic and tolerant societies? And does turning to Islam for guidance have to equate with a closed society? The dictators aggravate the push towards Islamist power, as well as the notion that their government and all it pretends to stand for is anything worth supporting.  In the short term, Mubarak put a cap on extremist groups that used Islamic tenets to justify their often intolerant views.  But at the same time, their very actions increased the pressure away from moderation in the long-term because they foster more resentment and more hatred of the ideologies supposedly espoused by the West that subjugated and oppressed them with injustice.

Just lifting the lid is not a workable solution, I agree.  It is not workable not just because it will put the Islamists in power.  If that is all it would do BUT the Islamists would respect democracy and permit elections and accountability and democracy in another round, then 4 years of pain would arguably be tolerable to start building true democracy rooted and buttressed by freedom and protection of minority interests, etc.  as any abuse of power (and closing of society) would probably be disliked by a majority of Egyptians.  But as they did in Iran, once in power, it is possible Islamists will then support “One Man, One Vote, One Time” as Bernard Lewis once wrote, and will then prevent future elections and the self-correcting power of democracy.

What is the answer? As sad as it may seem, it may well be SOME role for the military (or another enlightened ruler who oversees the military) to be the arbiter for fair government and elections – to ensure that the elected government will be accountable to the people and will accept defeat in future elections if they are not re-elected.  

Managing this process may be (and probably is) too much to ask of the military rulers, who above all want to protect their privileges and what amounts to essential control of the country.  But if you were to find a progressive military ruler or leader, or one that would have the vision and enticement to modulate a steady move towards accountable government, then Islamists could win one or two rounds of elections but be accountable to their people and unless they enacted the policies that will build a better future for their people, which I affirm requires openness and freedom, then they’d be voted out in the next round…or certainly within a generation. 

The question are a) whether we can have enough patience to wait at least one election cycle and possible a generation, and b) whether a force that can act as the right arbiter and selfless ensurer or democracy and openness and freedom will emerge and not be corrupted by power.

All of my thinking presupposes that people will ultimately price and covet freedom, justice, openness, respect, and democracy.  Is it possible that they will actually prefer the rule of a few clerics if given the choice? I guess so, but that is rather unlikely.  Is it possible that foreign policy will be far more aggressive against the US or Israel? Very likely, but it doesn’t have to remain that way as long as interests end up being aligned and the West and Israel end up working with respect with their counterparts.  It will be a painful correction process – and it all has to entail a resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.  But as a long term proposition, it seems to be the only way for true stability, peace, tolerance and respect to come about in the Middle East.

Is it possible that they will choose conservative policies that to many in the West will be abhorrent, subjugating women or minorities or people with sexual preferences they disagree? Yes.  But in the West, including here in the US, we also face all those challenges.  The key is to balance democracy with constitutional rights protected by a separate branch of government, and that will only come with time.

[Read more →]

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)