Tag: Democracy

Democracy Under Attack

 

I hear that a lot these days, that our democracy and our Constitution are under assault. There’s a grain of truth in it, though neither so much nor of the nature those who use the phrase intend when they say it.

Ours is not really a democracy, of course, but rather a democratic representative constitutional republic: we democratically elect representatives who then create and execute the law on our behalf, themselves bound by a Constitution intended to limit their authority.

Founding Editor in Chief of the Washington Free Beacon and self-described “Reagan enthusiast” Matthew Continetti discusses Reagan’s relationship with populism, #40’s take on democracy promotion, and the state of Reaganism today.

Christina Hoff Sommers is a former philosophy professor and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. She’s one of the Femsplainers on the podcast Femsplainers and has a series called the Factual Feminist on YouTube in which she corrects feminist myths within women’s and gender studies with truth and solid research. She and Bridget cover the disturbing rise of contempt within contemporary feminism, the appeal of Jordan Peterson, the erosion of Americans’ desire to protect free speech and democratic processes, why lack of gratitude is such a problem in our society, and the perceived sense of persecution and contagion of hysteria that is being taught in liberal educational systems. They discuss the infantalization of college students, going from common humanity (humanism) to common enemy (tribalism), the attack on centrists, and the fact that history is one long lesson in the dangers of dogma mixed with moral zealotry, distortion and bad information – it leads to fanaticism. They also cover the gender debate, the power dynamics between girls and boys, and why Harvard should have known better. It’s a fascinating conversation and definitely one you shouldn’t miss!

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 Our old friend, Claire Berlinski, has a very good piece in the City Journal about a communist festival she attended last Fall. In classic Berlinski style, she captures the fist in the air punch with all its Marxist glory, using her funny/serious, tongue-in-cheek writing style. It’s a snapshot of the mindset of current zombie European […]

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The Future Is Coming for You

 

It may be irrational to fret about the solemn frippery contained in a BBC editorial. Still, I can’t help but shiver in absolute terror when I read pieces like this. Roman Krznaric, the author, believes that our political order is fatally flawed. Why? I’ll let him explain:

The time has come to face an inconvenient reality: that modern democracy – especially in wealthy countries – has enabled us to colonise the future. We treat the future like a distant colonial outpost devoid of people, where we can freely dump ecological degradation, technological risk, nuclear waste and public debt, and that we feel at liberty to plunder as we please.

How to Automate a Job Out of Existence

 

This is an elaboration of a comment I made in @indymb ‘s post “Is there any point in writing to a Congressperson?” and I’m indebted to him and @Misthiocracy (who has experience working for a Canadian Member of Parliament, I understand) for the details on how all this works. Briefly, we’ll look at a simple task done every day in the houses of government and at how we’d train a computer to do it better.

Briefly, as you may have expected, the letter to your Senator isn’t so much read as processed for the minimum amount of information and interaction required. I’ll quote the meat of his description of the process and then describe how I’d go about automating it. You’re encouraged to go back and read his post (and it should go without saying on Ricochet but the comments too).

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@jamesmadison recent post on the company Google titled “Be Evil”, reminded me of the censorship and removal of talk show host Alex Jones. I’d never heard of Alex Jones until I stumbled on his Fox Network radio broadcast starting at 12:00 noon in my area during the 2016 presidential campaign. I am self-employed and drive around […]

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The recent Helsinki Summit between Putin and Trump, on the heels of meeting with NATO, is upsetting the usual people. What isn’t being talked about is the full-on, deliberate import of socialism, and the denigration of capitalism across all parts of society. Claire Berlinski writes in The Daily Beast, “The United States built the modern […]

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During the 2016 election, my conservative county and specifically, my neighborhood, sported a few Hillary signs, but more noticeably were the Bernie Sanders signs. One neighbor is a young couple with little children, self-employed, successful and Bernie was gracing their driveway. That gave me pause. At one point, he was almost neck and neck with […]

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After a particularly contentious June, America settles into the 4th of July holiday – and with it, an opportunity to reflect on the privileges of living in a free society. Thomas Gilligan, the Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution, discusses the individual, economic and political freedoms that are quintessentially American – and Hoover’s mission as the Stanford-based think tank approaches its centennial anniversary.

On this AEI Events Podcast, AEI’s Roger F. Noriega hosts the new US ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Carlos Trujillo, for a conversation on President Trump’s strategy in the Americas.

In the conversation, Amb. Trujillo introduced himself to the audience and discussed how his busy first few weeks in the Trump administration have progressed. He recently returned from the eighth Summit of the Americas, where he and Vice President Mike Pence met with leaders from around the hemisphere and reenergized the efforts of civil society groups that have been working to restore democracy in challenging political environments.

No Feminist Fanfare for Gina Haspel

 

Etched into the wall of the main lobby at the CIA is a Bible verse: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

I watched the well-covered grilling by Congress of Gina Haspel for CIA Director but struggled to find headlines when she was confirmed as the first woman to lead the CIA. The media gave it barely a token of coverage. I winced as some members of Congress zeroed in on her regarding the interrogation of suspects involved in 9/11. Ms. Haspel repeatedly stated that while she was chief of the Thailand site where enhanced interrogation of three 9/11 suspects occurred, her role was that she ordered tapes destroyed that were leaked to the press, showing the identities of undercover officers that she wanted to protect. Any interrogation methods were approved by the president. A written documentation remained for the record.

Where was their memory? They say the masterminds behind the attack, where thousands lost their lives that day, and during which Democrat Bill Clinton was president, took five years to implement. George W. Bush had barely been in office eight months, after a hotly contested election where the transition period was deliberately made difficult. Back up….

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I (and many others) have been saying for a while now that America is set to enter a “hell period” sometime around 2018-2022, as the so-called “demographic mismatch” between a large cohort of retiring white Boomers and an electorate that is trending less so really starts to bite. To my knowledge, most countries do not […]

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In the dramatic closing moments of 2017, the following has happened: United States President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem the Capital of Israel. Jerusalem, the heartbeat of the Jewish people, was described in the Old Testament as a gift from God. In the same week, the UN declared it null and void. One hundred and twenty-eight […]

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Quote of the Day: Democracy

 

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” — Winston Churchill

Yes, he also said democracy is the worst form of government, except all others, but watching the votes this Tuesday makes me sympathetic to what I chose as a quote today. As H.L. Mencken said: “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

On this AEI Events Podcast, experts convened at the American Enterprise Institute to celebrate Pew Research Center’s new report on global public opinions of democracy.

In his introductory remarks, Pew Research Center’s Richard Wike outlined the main findings of the report, which collected data from 38 countries to explore international support of democracy and attitudes toward nondemocratic forms of government. He explained that while the report’s data suggested broad support for representative and direct democracy worldwide, significant minorities endorsed nondemocratic alternatives.

In this AEI Events Podcast, AEI’s Michael Barone hosts Cass Sunstein, author of “#Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media” (Princeton University Press, March 2017). Mr. Sunstein’s book explores how the internet once promised to be the great equalizer, removing barriers between people and fostering the exchange of ideas. However, today’s internet is driving political fragmentation and polarization.

Mr. Sunstein offers some possible solutions for social platforms which would allow users to see varying opinions. He discusses that exposure to opinions different that one’s own are essential in fostering a healthy democracy.

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There is a Khmer saying that translates to “a mountain cannot be ruled by two tigers.” And that saying manifested in a coup d’état in Cambodia twenty years ago. It all started with the result of the UN-backed Cambodia’s general election in May 1993. The country elected the royalist FUNCINPEC, led by Norodom Ranariddh. But […]

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Years ago, I worked for a consulting firm in an administrative capacity. We were worldwide, and consulted to the following: Automotive, Chemicals and Process Industry, Electronics, Energy, Financial Series, Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals, Semi-conductor, Telecommunications, Manufacturing, Aerospace and Defense, and other markets. If you can imagine any leaders in these fields, we consulted to them, including […]

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