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Society and The Need For Political Change

Sunday, August 12, 2012
With the current economic climate and the 'election worries' in the air, it is clear that what our political leaders are worried about is a lot more than an impending election but what is it going to take to make it for the long haul.

You see, with the whole world now changed from a structure that 'used to work' now into a social, economic, demographic, gender and race stratus that now screams for equilibrium we're need to all take careful and wise action for the change we need, which will only really take place once our leaders step in line with what is necessary to lead us all, world wide, through the new political world climate we're facing.

Economic upheaval is peaking as tensions rise all over the world in this current writing. And their doesn't seem to be an end to it all or least the light at the end of the tunnel is a long way off, but not necessarily the 'oncoming train'. We all hope that the train would go by, however, and we could get on with a more normal life.

None of the 'good stuff of life' is going to happen, however, unless we show some fortitude and find a way to start doing something intelligent about our situation.

The key: with a very low popularity and approval rate, it is unlikely that our governmental leaders (here in the U.S.A.) have, nor are they doing something about the issues. So as things go, the next thing we all need to be aware of what is between us and the chair we're sitting on. We have to act if things are going to change.

Let me explain. One 'set of actions' led the voters in one state to give a felon (still incarcerated) about 40% favorable votes versus the current sitting President. A number of incidences I have run into would prove Americans to be lazy, unhelpful or otherwise self-involved. This all is so much that it is surprising that things are not worse in the U.S.A.

We need to get involved with grass roots politics. We need to vote before the election 'due date' comes upon us. This means commenting on blogs, tweeting that tweet, clicking on a social link, writing that email or letter, and frankly anything else on an issue of concern that will get your representative(s) to pay attention. We all did this with SOPA and yes; they threw more on to the fire of Internet freedoms shortly thereafter. We were then called 'Cyber Bullies'. Well? What is it going to take to get the government and our leaders to listen? Some have resorted to greater extremes (NOT CONDONED) in the occupy movements.

When things are heading toward 'serious' then serious things need to be done. A call to action, indolent in a political movement, an active place in government, getting involved in political action committees, communicate but what ever you do get educated, understand the issues affecting your world and life today, develop a plan then implement it. Before it is too late.

By Joshua A Sinclair

Politics in India - What Is There for Common Men?

Saturday, August 11, 2012
India is the World's largest democracy with the largest number of political parties. Here every Indian has a right to vote but does everyone get a fair chance to stand for Parliament? Moreover how many young men and women want to make a career in politics? The current situation of politics in India is beyond understanding. Every political party anyhow wants to come to power.

If we look at the current scenario of politics we will realize that Indian politics is facing a lot of burning issues. Whether it is the popular Jan Lokpal Bill or the 2G scam, helplessness of Government on inflation or to cope with Naxalism, the list is endless. Politics and politicians have lost all respect to the common man. Slapping and hitting the shoe has become a common practice which clearly shows the disrespect for politicians today. Now politics is full of scams, controversy and allegations.

Recently, agriculture minister of India and President of International Cricket Council Sharad Pawar was slapped by one Harvinder Singh, and senior advocate Prashant Bhushan was not only slapped but kicked also in his chest and dragged by his feet in his own chamber near the Supreme Court. You can buy latest images and videos of these powerful slaps from big media houses. The popular Jan Lokpal Bill is making headlines even today and Anna Hazare is still in the battle against corruption, an important question which needs immediate solution.

When we talk about politics how we could forget Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, daughter of former Chief Minister Karunanidhi, who was arrested on charges of involvement in 2G spectrum scam. However, she was finally bailed out on 28 November 2011. To deal with inflation is another challenging task for the Government but the government seems to find no way to solve the problem. You too can buy content for these political movements. The possible Russian ban on Bhagawad Gita, the holy book of Hindus rocked the political aisle recently. Whether it is Telangana movement to create a new state of Telangana; the various militant communist groups known as Naxalite; extremists terrifying the common man or the corruption spreading all over India, these are just some of the issues that Indian Government is finding the solutions for.

The current political scenario of India clearly shows a worse picture that nobody wants to see. But this is the truth. You can also witness these incidents as you can buy latest news images about these from reputed media houses.

Every political party is trying its best to come to power by degrading one another irrespective of the fact that they too are the part of same dirt. Do they have some better plans for the growth and prosperity of the nation? Finally it is the poor common man who suffers the most without harming anyone.

Although the movements such as Jan Lokpal Bill against corruption are quite relieving still it is not enough. We need some young, educated but responsible leaders who can give a new direction to the nation and can do something good for the betterment of our motherland.

By Joanne Elizabeth

US Federal Government - It's Not Perfect, But Should We Expect More?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012
There sure are a lot of people criticizing the United State's Federal Government. They say things such as; the Federal Government is wasteful, corrupt, incompetent, and inefficient. And whereas, one could say with such a huge blob of bureaucracy one is bound to find some inefficiencies, waste, corruption, and incompetence right? Sure that makes sense, nothing is perfect, not you, your family, not your company, and not your closest friends either.

Not long ago, I was debating this with an acquaintance who stated; "There are holes in the system." Well, indeed, there always will be, it is the nature of complex systems and Murphy will always exploit the weaknesses. My acquaintance also noted; "There are both right and wrong policies. Good and bad policies." Yes, and it would be hard to argue with that either. And when it comes to incompetence, yes, there are "Competent officials and incompetent officials."

Surely, I think we all accept that, or should at least be honest with ourselves on those points. Likewise there are corrupted and less-than-corrupt officials, at all levels of the bureaucracy. Now, my acquaintance asks a most dubious question, one not often asked; "The question is; are the scales tipped in the wrong direction?"

Okay so, that is one way consider it, however, I'd like to form a different question, as I am not so comfortable with where the answers to this question takes us. You see, since historically political decisions lead to unintended consequences, shouldn't government be smaller, making fewer decisions, therefore they'd have fewer messes to clean-up. Further, if government makes a mess, why would we put our faith in their ability to fix it?

Let's discuss one more inquiry in this thought of the day, shall we? "Is there more wrong, bad and incompetence than right, good and competence?"

Once again, I'd like to state that maybe that is the wrong question to ask as well, because, maybe the system is not working because it's gotten off track;

1.) Revolving Door of Politicians, Bureaucrats, regulators, government lawyers going to work for those who work to abuse the system, using those insider connections.

2.) Abuses of privileges of all three branches of government, over stepping their checks and balances. Legislating from the bench, obscure executive orders, DOJ witch hunts of other branches, legislators interfering in regulatory investigations, etc. etc.

3.) A pay-to-play government, for lobbyists, corporations, unions - without the ability for a citizen or small businesses to express their concerns.

If the system of checks-and-balances has been corrupted, then in reality it does not exist, without it, the natural human tendencies will rear their ugly heads early and often. Some might say that it's because "democracy is messy" as Obama said in his State of the Union Address. No, I'd say that Chicago Mafia style dirty politics is messy, and it's no way to run the greatest nation in the history of mankind.

"This is not a perfect world we live in!"

No, it's not, but that doesn't mean it can't be, or that we can't do better with our Federal Government than we have in past periods. Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this.

By Lance Winslow

Government, Politics and Spirituality

Monday, August 6, 2012
Origins of Nationhood and Government

All life emanates from the single source (God, Spirit...). On taking physical form we become distant from that unity and adopt a distinct individuality. The purpose of physical incarnation is to experience that disconnection from source and those things that can only be experienced through interaction with other incarnate entities. As such the knowledge of our origin is hidden.

In the beginning, incarnate entities existed independently. However, the mechanics of evolution demonstrated the benefits of co-operation. Working together each member achieves more than it could in isolation. Thus groups, tribes, nations, societies... were formed. To be effective each group needs rules, and a means of enforcing those rules (laws). Hence the need for leadership (government). At essence laws encourage selflessness by curtailing selfish behavior.

Governments have enabled enormous human progress on the material plane by providing the infrastructures that promote enterprise and creativity, eg who would bother to make an effort if his neighbor could simply come along and snatch the fruits of his labor? Government-provided health, education and welfare services underline the sanctity of life, a very Spiritual ideal. Without the benefits of formal government humanity probably couldn't have reached its current heights.

But there is a negative side to government. Most notably the wars perpetrated in "national" interest. Such behavior indicates Spiritual immaturity. Unfortunately the technological progress that created a whole a host of weapons of mass destruction outstrips our Spiritual growth, hence the tragic devastation caused by warfare. More subtly, all governments curtail individual liberty and freedom of expression to some degree.

Many forms of government have existed and continue to exist, ranging from the jungle-like dictatorship where the strongest holds dominion over all else, through to democracy in which everyone has a say on who leads, can lobby the leadership, and even run for the job themselves. Though democracy appears, and probably is, the most agreeable form of government, consider that most democratic governments enjoy (sometimes substantially) less than 50% of the possible votes, and are not the choice of the majority. Furthermore, even their supporters probably don't support every single policy and detail.

Politics and Spirituality

Politics is the process of proposing governmental policies and arguing the merits of those policies over others. That wild differences of political opinion have always existed and continue to do so proves only that there is no single best way. Indeed there is not even common agreement as to the role of government, never mind how it should be achieved.

Elections are a barometer of the current state of society's Spiritual progress. If one happens to live in a democracy should one participate, and if so, how? While on earth our Spiritual duty is to engage with earthly affairs (else we wouldn't be here). As election time approaches we ought to familiarize ourselves with the available options. You might find one choice better for you personally, while another favors society as a whole. If so, it becomes a question of degree, eg can you sacrifice a little extra tax in return for vastly improved public health services? Remember, abstention is also a valid option, though ideally it should come from a considered decision rather than apathy. In the final reckoning, be guided by your inner instinct.

By J Finnis