power

Feel Better

We believe in the power of stories to help us learn from and better understand one another and serve as a reminder that there is more that unites us than divides us.

500 Pens

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Last week, we posted a “feel good” story about free medical tuition.  If you could use another dose of feel good, maybe even on a regular basis, check out 500 Pens which describes itself as an “anti hate news project”.  Organized around the values of inclusion, opportunity and respect, 500 pens seeks “to produce honest and compelling content that encourages readers to care, connect and act”.

To get a better sense of who is behind 500 pens, read through their About page.  Even better, if you really want to know what they have to offer, read through some of their articles.  Perhaps you might discover a place of continued rejuvenation.

Big

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Sometimes, size matters.  Sometimes, we can only accurately define “size” within specific contexts. Most times, the situation is not about “size” per se but something considerably more profound. This post is a bit different from what usually appears on this blog.  It is meant to be heuristic rather than specifically informative. This is to suggest, that as you work through the superficially different videos below, ideally, you will come away with an integrated idea that no one video presents on its own.  Hopefully, you will develop ideas regarding large and small actions in the world, actions which uniquely apply to your own life situations. As always, as has been a major orientation of this blog, indoctrination is not the goal, but rather, expanding opportunities for personal enablement through information and imagination. So imagine this … (more…)

Where is Your Money?

A consideration of public banking

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
~Henry Ford

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Where is your money?  Well…okay…if you actually had some, where would you put it?  Why? Wherever you store your monetary wealth, do you gain benefit from allowing that storage solution to reliably insure your financial security? Can you trust that solution to work in your best interest?

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What if We Owned the Banks?

Economic Inequality: Part 3

In June of 2015, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Barclays, among other Libor-rigging giants, pleaded guilty to felony charges related to the [Libor] conspiracy and greed to pay more than $2.5 billion in criminal fines to U.S. regulators.

Protesters and Chase(AP Photo / Edouard H.R. Gluck)

Representing only a single instance of a commonplace practice played out the world over, this corporate criminality instigated the outage of Craig Brandt, an attorney from Oakland, California. He set out to enact an audacious plan. With other individuals, Mr. Brandt endeavored to have the Oakland City Council “take radical action to combat plutocracy, inequality and financial dislocation”. Mr. Brandt wanted to create a city-owned “public bank”.

Recent posts on this blog have explored economic inequality and its ramifications. The post this week continues this series, beginning to focus on potential solutions to what some see as a looming economic catastrophe. As Part 3 our Economic Inequality series, consider this article by Jimmy Tobias: “What if People Owned the Banks Instead of Wall Street?

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Democracy That Isn’t

Antidemocracy does not take the form of overt attacks upon the idea of government by the people. Instead, politically it means encouraging …“civic demobilization,” conditioning an electorate to being aroused for a brief spell, controlling its attention span, and then encouraging distraction or apathy.  ~Sheldon Wolin from Democracy, Inc.

Demacracy as Fraud and Illiberal.pngIf we remain faithful to the cause of “democracy” as we know it, will everything turn out alright? Maybe? But maybe not. According to David Frum and others, we are beginning to experience what to the average mind appears as the unexpected fragility of democracy and democratic systems. Most of us feel this vulnerability as a “wrongness” within the current sociopolitical situation. To be sure, we differ on what is wrong and how to fix it, but most of us feel that our society is “off” in some way. Regardless of our current sociopolitical perspectives, Sheldon Wolin’s notion of “inverted totalitarianism” is most likely at the root of our troubles. Whether by its direct effects or the structures necessary to sustain it, our society has been skewed in various ways, skewed away from the revolutionary Thomas Paine’s notion of “democracy” and “freedom”.

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Corruption of the American Republic

We are living through the most dangerous challenge
to the free government 
of the United States
that anyone alive has encountered.”

~David Frum

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Juxtapositions, oxymorons and other somewhat paradoxical encounters can presents useful intrigue, piquing our interest considerably more than more mundane occurrences. David Frum and his new book Trumpocracy, might present just such an experience for you. (more…)