My website has a mission of getting that word out in a hyper-captive media area like Maryland. We do not have to watch a few people lead.....WE CAN BECOME THE LEADERS!!!!
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT!!!!!!
Remember the Leo Strauss approach that Conservatives and Third Way adopted: 'Tell them what they want to hear, then do what you want'. This is the spin that has killed our institutions and is why the article in my previous blog showed dismal poll numbers for public trust in all US institutions.
The Death of Telling the Truth
Telling the truth sounds easy, but social and professional expectations increasingly dictate how honest we can be with one another.
By William Damon, from “Endangered Virtues”
May/June 2012 Utne Reader
We seem to be reaching a dysfunctional tipping point in which an essential commitment to truthfulness no longer seems to be assumed in our society.
People do not always stick to the truth when they speak. Some of the reasons are justifiable—for example, humane considerations such as tact and the avoidance of greater harm. Reassuring an ungainly teenager that he or she looks great may be a kind embroidery of the truth. In a more consequential instance, misinforming storm troopers about the whereabouts of a hidden family during the Nazi occupation of Europe was an honorable and courageous deception.
Compassion, diplomacy, and life-threatening circumstances sometimes require a departure from the entire unadulterated truth. Some vocations seem to demand occasional deception for success or survival. Politicians, for example, are especially hard-pressed to tell the truth consistently. Perhaps this is because, as George Orwell once observed, the very function of political speech is to hide, soften, or misrepresent difficult truths. It would be naive (or cynical) for anyone in today’s world to act shocked when a politician tries to hide the real truth from the public.
Yet to recognize that honesty is not an absolute standard, and that we can expect a certain amount of deceit from even our respected public figures, is not to say that the virtue of honesty can be disregarded with impunity. A basic intent to be truthful, along with an assumption that people can be generally taken at their word, is required for all sustained civilized dealings.
No civilization can tolerate a fixed expectation of dishonest communications without falling apart from a breakdown in mutual trust. All human relations rely upon confidence that those in the relations will, as a rule, tell the truth. Honesty builds and solidifies a relationship with trust; too many breaches in honesty can corrode relations beyond repair. Friendships, family, work, and civic relations all suffer whenever dishonesty comes to light. The main reason that no one wants to be known as a liar is that people shun liars.
U.S. Capitalism and Economic Injustice: Can We Do Better?
While criticizing U.S. capitalism remains taboo, Richard Wolff and David Barsamian discuss this failing economic system.
By Richard Wolff in conversation with David Barsamian
Since the 1970s, economic injustice has worsened and further corrupted politics as well. “Occupy the Economy” not only analyzes the crisis in U.S. capitalism today, it also points toward solutions to shape a better future for all. Today’s economic crisis is capitalism’s worst since the Great Depression. As more and more people lose their jobs, benefits, and even their homes, the rich keep getting richer. Why has the government bailed out big banks, insurance companies and large corporations while millions of Americans work harder just to get by? Occupy the Economy (City Lights Publishers, 2012) is a hot-button primer on the taboo subject impacting most Americans today: the failure of capitalism. In eye-opening interviews with prominent economist Richard Wolff, David Barsamian probes the root cause of the current economic crisis, its unjust social consequences and what we can and should do to turn things around. The following excerpt is from the book's introduction.
For the last half-century, capitalism has been a taboo subject in the United States. Among politicians, journalists, and academics—and in public conversation generally—the word has been avoided or else exclusively praised in over-the-top prose. Professional economists have used words like “perfect competition” and “optimal allocation of resources” and “efficiency” to teach their students and assure one another how absolutely wonderful capitalism was for everyone. Politicians repeated, robot-style, that the “U.S. is the greatest country in the world” and that “capitalism is the greatest economic system in the world.” Those few who have dared to raise questions or criticisms about capitalism have been either ignored or told to go live in North Korea, China or Cuba as if that were the only alternative to pro-capitalism cheerleading.
Americans have criticized and debated their educational, medical, welfare, transportation, mass media, political, and many other institutions and systems. They have questioned and at least partly transformed such traditional institutions as racism, sexism, the heterosexual family and the state. They have even sometimes challenged this or that aspect of the economy such as prices, Federal Reserve actions, and so on, but almost never the particular economic system.
Questioning and criticizing U.S. capitalism have been taboo, treated by federal authorities, immigration officials, police and most of the public alike as akin to treason. Fear-driven silence has substituted for the necessary, healthy criticism without which all institutions, systems, and traditions harden into dogmas, deteriorate into social rigidities, or worse. Protected from criticism and debate, capitalism in the United States could and has indulged all its darker impulses and tendencies. No public exposure, criticism and movement for change could arise or stand in its way as the system and its effects became ever more unequal, unjust, inefficient and oppressive. Long before the Occupy movement arose to reveal and oppose what U.S. capitalism had become, that capitalism had divided the 1 percent from the 99 percent
Read more: http://www.utne.com/politics/us-capitalism-economic-injustice-ze0z1206zsie.aspx#ixzz1yiQO6OHe
I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT INCLUSIVENESS OF ALL EXISTING COMMUNITY MEMBERS IN THIS PROCESS MEANS WORKING TOWARDS HEALTHY INTERACTIONS NOT TOWARDS A CHANGE IN DEMOGRAPHICS. DESIGNING COMMUNITIES/SCHOOLS WITH RATIOS WOULD MAKE IT HARD TO MEET THE OBJECTIVE BELOW. YOU WOULD KNOW YOU ARE NOT MEETING OBJECTIVES IF LARGE POLICE PRESENCE AND SECURITY CAMERAS BECOME NECESSARY AND WINDOWS ARE SHUTTERED AND CONVERSATION LIMITED.
12 Steps Toward a Better Neighborhood
by David Sloan Wilson On Being/NPR
1) Create a Neighborhood Identity.
Name your neighborhood. Create and display a symbol for it. Design t-shirts, baseball caps, buttons, and decals, so that residents of the neighborhood feel like members of a team.
2) Develop an agenda.
Groups exist to get things done. The more you work together to achieve common goals, the more bonded you will become. Choose positive goals, such as creating a neighborhood park, in addition to solving problems such as reducing crime.
3) Meet face-to-face under pleasant circumstances.
The internet is great for many things, but there is no substitute for getting together in person. Mix work with play whenever possible. Meet in each other’s homes, quite cafes, or that park you are designing. Meeting under relaxed circumstances with people you trust to accomplish important objectives can be one of life’s greatest pleasures.
4) Be inclusive.
Ideally, a neighborhood group should include everyone in the neighborhood. If someone doesn’t want to participate, it should be their decision and not because they weren’t asked. Small steering committees might be necessary, but everyone should feel that they have an opportunity for input, as in a democracy.
5) Share the work and make it proportional to benefits. Too often, groups consist of a few people who do most of the work while the others enjoy the benefits. This is unsustainable over the long run. It’s only fair to share the work and to make sure that those who go above and beyond the call of duty are appropriately recognized and rewarded. Unfair inequality poisons cooperative efforts.
6) Make decisions by consensus or by another process regarded as fair by group members. Most people hate being bossed around but will work hard to implement their own decision. If consensus decision-making proves to be unwieldy, make sure that the decision-making process is transparent and faithfully represents the interest of the group. Even the potential of factionalism poisons cooperative efforts.
7) Monitor good behavior.
Research shows that in the best neighborhoods, neighbors not only like each other but can also enforce each other’s good conduct, which in turn requires monitoring. Monitoring need not be invasive; it’s just a matter of knowing whether we are keeping up our end of the bargain.
8) Graduated sanctions.
All of us fall out of step now and then, and a friendly good-natured reminder is sufficient to keep us in solid citizen mode. But stronger sanctions must be available for those who refuse to cooperate or actively exploit others. Not everyone is nice, much as we might wish otherwise, and nice people must be able to protect themselves. Develop the art of niceness with attitude.
9) Fast, fair, conflict resolution.
Most groups experience conflict now and then, which needs to be involved quickly and in a manner regarded as fair by all parties. A common best practice is for everyone to take turns serving on a judicial committee, like the jury system. There’s nothing like acting in the role of judge for making one behave responsibly the rest of the time!
10) Gain the authority to make your own decisions.
Your neighborhood won’t be able to pursue its agenda if it must ask permission every step along the way. Cities vary greatly in how much authority they grant local groups such as neighborhood associations. Try to get as much elbowroom as possible to accomplish your objectives. Nobody knows what’s good for your neighborhood better than the neighborhood itself.
11) Work with other groups, large and small.
Congratulations! After your neighborhood has become a well-organized group, you’ll find that you can interact with other groups more powerfully than before. Your city will take you more seriously. You’ll be able to work collectively with other neighborhoods. You’ll become a more important lobbying force at the state and federal levels. In short, your group will become a more effective member of society at a larger scale--like the cell of a multicellular organism.
12) Plan for the longevity of your group.
Your neighborhood group needs to last longer than any individual’s participation. Of course you want to make use of members with the most talent, skills, and initiative, but you must also plan for the day when they must leave or reduce their participation. Create offices with terms of service. The most dedicated people can serve multiple terms, but the mechanism will be in place for someone else to fill their shoes when the time comes.