Congrats to the >chinese for their lunar landing! They join only us and the former Soviet Union in accomplishing a soft-landing on the moon. May humans continue to explore space in peaceful cooperation.
Shutdown plurality voting!
- Government shuts down, due to
- Ideological fundamentalism in Congress, due to
- Ideological fundamentalists voted into Congress by the American people, due to
- Dysfunctional, big money, two-party political system generating few election options, due to
- Widespread use of simplistic, poorly-representative, winner-takes-all, Plurality Voting system based on single-mark ballots, due to
- It being used when the country was founded and now being ingrained in our culture, due to
- Single-mark ballots being easy to tabulate by hand.
Yes, in 2013, after landing rovers on Mars, sequencing the human genome, and creating a machine than can beat humans on Jeopardy!, Americans still use a simplistic system based on single-mark ballots and plurality voting because historically they were easier to count by hand!
Fortunately the Constitution (and local and state law) can be changed. ;) That means it's actually on us. Do we want to move to more evolved, robust systems, such as Preferential Voting (ranked voting) or Proportional Representation (wherever possible), to create a more representative, satisfactory, efficient government? Or do we want to keep our 'merican gladiator system that produces ideological meatheads who'd rather fight on camera than solve problems?
Congress... You idiots.
We believe >iranians want to peacefully coexist with us, despite the rhetoric and actions of t...original
"To gain relief from sanctions aimed at Iran’s support of terrorism, its nuclear program, and its human rights violations, Iran would have to undertake enormous reforms across the board. The Iranian government would have to prove that it has not supported terrorism in the past six months; it would have to release unconditionally all political prisoners in the country, end its human rights violations, and establish an independent judiciary; and it would have to assure the world that its nuclear program is designed only to provide peaceful nuclear energy. These are not changes that anybody expects to see in the short term from the current Iranian government, if ever."
We believe >iranians want to peacefully coexist with us, despite the rhetoric and actions of their government in recent history. We only want the same, so we are cautiously optimistic about the recent developments. However, until we understand what has brought about this change, we will remain guarded and skeptical.
We support those who use their time and talents for the public good. Code for America is an excellent example as they use technology to make governments more responsive. As an example, San Mateo County in California has one of the lowest rates of food-stamp participation in the country, due to a difficult application process. Changes in the process would require 18 agencies to overhaul their data-processing software. The participants want to create a program that would ask simple questions to applicants and use the answers to populate the complicated government form.
New or a rehash of the same old ? I'm hoping for something fresh and it just launched today. I will give it a week of steady watching, but some suspect it to be a more polished version of CNN...
Al Jazeera English had an bias - but it's always nice to see an outside America or more critical perspective. This show will be funded by money from outside the US, but made by those who reside in the US. I hope a beneficial combination for those who are able to subscribe to this channel.
They started off on a bad foot though, banning content basically from the other Al Jazeera networks around the world...
Stand Your Ground laws make no basic sense! It's illogical, unfair, unjust to hold that a person has a right to start a fight with another and, if the fight turns starkly in favor of the other, to then kill that person. Such laws need to be repealed!
When the branches of government collaborate to set a few well-placed wrenches in its innermost works to break the mechanisms of public accountability, civil disobedience becomes a moral necessity. So, indeed, Edward Snowden /is/ a hero.
This breach of trust can't be overstated. The American government itself is guilty of moral treason. Game theory tells us we can't expect any entity to act but in their rational self-interest, but I am incensed all the same. One must only assume, therefore, that this exposure will not diminish surveillance, but drive it further beyond the sight and reach of the public. I do have faith however that Americans (and not just corporations) will use their freedom to protect their freedom, and strive to invent private means of communication that remain beyond the sight and reach of Big Brother.
The new web page attachment feature allows us to show a summary of a webpage along with the vox, ...original
We love this new feature! It will heighten the political discourse and accountability throughout the land for decades to come! (This is an example of a "Reply" post, which encourages and supports long-lasting topical discussions between groups--all driven by democratic processes.)
Progress toward justice: George Zimmerman charged with second-degree murder!
Where is history anymore. Is what matters most the things that are happening now? Shall the past not inform our current opinions any more? Education really seems to now really be indoctrination, or selective learning influenced by the local community. Can it be any other way, when we have the world of information at our finger tips now? Is knowledge democratized currently? If so, why haven't we expressed our collective power of democracy. Each one representing themselves, instead of voting their responsibility away.
Kudos to NPR! Last month they released updated journalistic guidelines that state "if the balance of evidence in a matter of controversy weighs heavily on one side, we acknowledge it in our reports." It does not serve the public good for the media simply to be enslaved as an amplifier for voices of manipulation. Any kindergartner is capable of repeating someone else's words. And it's time journalists stopped fearing the worst, most hypocritical offender and manipulator of media markets: Fox News Channel. One giant leap for journalist kind... one small step for American political awareness.
"U.S. soldier in Afghanistan goes on a shooting rampage." If anything is surprising about this, it's that it took so long to happen. We have a culture that glorifies violence, and praises aggression as the American way to solve problems. Our educational system is completely devoid of tolerance and diversity instruction, has failed to equip students with adequate job skills, and completely down-plays the greatest of American traits, a overriding respect for the content of one's character. And then we fill the frontlines of our military, literally the faces of our nation to those countries who are at greatest ideological odds with us, with the most extreme personifications of these problems. We weren't surprised 10 years ago, and we're not surprised today. It's time we re-learned what it means to be American.
Yesterday President Obama lambasted Republican presidential candidates for their vague, amorphous criticisms of weakness in his handling of Iran. While it's reckless, premature, and dangerous for these candidates to imply the need for war, they force the President into a sticky situation. While we support his desire for a diplomatic resolution, we do feel the President must take care to balance his political desire to point out the flaws in the Republicans' rehetoric, with the nation's strategic need to be extremely assertive with Iran. Specifically, he must craft his statements about Republicans not to signal to Iran that military force is completely out of the question. Otherwise, he can embolden Iran and ironically bring us closer to war.
Kudos to the Russian people for not going down under Putin's rule without a fight. The only way Putin can hope to be re-elected (a whopping six years from now due to constitutional changes in 2008) without resorting to all out fraud, will be to incite fears of "the West". It's now in his interest to drive relations with the U.S. into the ground, which won't help our ability to militarily confront terror threats. While on the one hand that is scary, on the other hand it may hopefully force U.S. foreign policy to be more bilateral.
For the second consecutive year China boosted their defense budget over 10%; now topping $100 billion. Buy "made in China" and we arm a soldier. Buy "made in USA" and we give our neighbor a job.
I just noticed in the workspace for the vox, it is hinted that I use "we" instead of "I" - as Americans, we need to shed some of our individualism in this iCulture.
What is necessary for the American mindset to lose it's hubris is opening itself to listening to and encouraging the criticism of the rest of the world. But, this also applies to the Western mindset in general no matter where on this Earth it is established systematically. This world may be controlled by money for now, but ideas are the currency of the future.
I believe that online we must seek out ways to dialogue with other world citizens in a more organized forum, and I feel like combining news and information items in a more collaborative, open and uncensored environmentalists is necessary. Without fear of reprisal or intervention of law enforcement. It's not about secrecy or privacy, but liability and freedom of expression.
I enjoy watching http://stream.al