Posts Tagged 'corruption'

Restoring Democratic Government

Obviously a lot of people are working on this.  These ideas are a brief compilation of some of the best solutions.

An overwhelming majority of Americans, conservative, progressive, and moderate, want a well-functioning democratic government.   But we have different definitions for what that means – because we use different terms and listen to different sources, and because we don’t listen well to each other.

This has been a perfect opportunity for special interests and corruption to whittle away at “government for the people and by the people” and to shift our democracy to either government for the special interests and by the special interests, or else to gridlock.

The principles that make corruption work are:  “divide and conquer” (pit citizen against citizen) and “hide the true motives” (pretend to be interested in “reforming” government but in actuality work for one’s own profit and special interests).

To protect and restore real democracy, we the people need to re-unite, and to do that we need to explore and expose the corruption that has drastically weakened democratic government.

There are a few principles that can guide us:

To expose corruption: Verify the facts and Follow the money.

To restore democracy:  Listen to each other and Engage in authentic dialogue.

To regenerate governmentElect candidates who care about all Americans.  This means we must elect people who are not beholden to special interests and mega-contributions from super-wealthy people and corporations.

These are principles that we can all agree on.  Armed with these we can expose corruption, start dialoguing with each other, and restore democracy.

The 2nd post in this series will expand on “Follow the money” using privatization of public resources as an example.

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Are Genetically Modified Foods Safe?

Are genetically modified foods (GMOs) really safe?

One would hope so, given how prevalent they now are.  Unfortunately, the FDA does not require testing due to the intervention of Michael Taylor, an FDA executive who was previously a Monsanto attorney.   Taylor ignored FDA scientists’ warnings to push through the “no testing needed” policy.   Later he became Monsanto’s Vice President, and he is now back at FDA as the U.S. food safety czar.

These facts, plus many other hair-raising examples of corruption and bad policies are contained in a recent interview of Jeffrey Smith, author of Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods.

The full interview is here:

http://www.redwoodhealthspeak.com/2012/06/05/gambling-with-our-genetic-future-gmos-and-the-world-food-supply/

Who is the enemy? Who are the socialists?

In the major industrialized countries that have public health care and legal abortion the abortion rates are much lower than they are in the U.S.  Is that really so startling?   Taking good care of pregnant women and new mothers and their children seems to be a good idea.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/12/AR2010031202287.html

How long will it take for so many Americans to get over fears of “socialism”?  Maybe not so long.   The problem isn’t “socialism” – it is corruption, abuse of power, bureaucratic bloat and inefficiency.   Socialism is discredited because it has been associated (fairly and not fairly) with the creation of  ineffective, self-serving, over-reaching systems, not because socialism – taking care of each other –  is inherently bad.   We need to unite, progressives and conservatives, against the real common enemies:  Corruption, greed, abuse of power, and irresponsibility – wherever they can sprout and grow, whether in government, corporations, or non-profits.

(Later the same day)

On the other hand, I think I’m being a bit too rational here – in talking about uniting differences when the differences are so extreme, for so many, and so based on fear, frustration, and desire for … gaining a sense of power.   Something very unrational is going on right now.    A kind of hysteria unleashed and amplified so that it is spilling out into public view, with scary effects.    Unfortunately, those who could have the most influence are motivated to keep their influence, and thus to either say nothing or to further stoke the anger of “their” people.


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