U.S. Mayors Desperate To Fix Crumbling Infrastructure But States, Feds Hold Them Back

U.S. Mayors Desperate To Fix Crumbling Infrastructure But States, Feds Hold Them Back
Disconnects between different levels of government make it challenging to address important challenges that confront American cities, such as fixing worn-out infrastructure. These issues require federal, state and city agencies to work together to identify funding – mostly from higher levels of government – and to plan and carry out projects.

What Damage Are We Doing To Our Children And Ourselves?

What Damage Are We Doing To Our Children And Ourselves
Sociologists understand experiences of violence and neglect in childhood are part of what’s known as a Toxic Socialization (TS) process. Put simply, TS is a socialization process characterized by violence and neglect. Violence includes emotional, psychological, spiritual and physical violence. Neglect includes neglect of our physical, emotional, psychological and cognitive needs.

Protesters Lose Public Support When They Get Violent

Protesters Lose Public Support When They Get Violent
Violent protests can undercut public support for popular causes, according to new research inspired by recent confrontations between white nationalist protesters and anti-racist counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Berkeley, California.

How Moral Outrage Can Turn Into Social Change

How Moral Outrage Can Turn Into Social Change
While outrage is generally considered a hurdle in the path to civil discourse, new research suggests outrage—specifically, moral outrage—may have beneficial outcomes, such as inspiring people to take part in long-term collective action.

How The Internet Has Failed Democracy

How The Internet Has Failed Democracy
Hardly a week goes by without news of another data breach at a large corporation affecting millions, most recently Facebook. In 2016, the issue became political with evidence of Russian interference in the U.S. election and the spectre of foreign control over public opinion.

A Time for Truth, A Time for Healing

A Time for Truth, A Time for Healing
There seems to be so many things going on these days that need to be addressed. I compare the situation to a "healing crisis". You may have had a weakness in your body for years, and then the situation becomes acute, obvious, and unacceptable. It is the same with the world around us...

The Un-united States Of America and A Way Forward

The Un-united States Of America and A Way Forward
For better or worse the radical remnants of the Republican party have now captured the American government completely. Whether they can hold it more than a month is all that is left to be seen.

Why Diversity Is Vital For A Healthy Democracy

Why Diversity Is Vital For A Healthy DemocracyDemocracy demands a robust contest of ideas to thrive, and diversity is the best way of protecting the democratic foundation of the American experiment, a new paper argues.

Who Can Save Our Democracy? Open Letter from Michael Moore

Who Can Save Our Democracy? Open Letter from Michael Moore
I ask one simple question in my new film: how the hell did we let this happen and what the hell do we do now? Democracy is not a guarantee. Freedom is not inevitable. All of the myths and heroic tales we've told ourselves about America have been exposed. The mask has been removed. And in the battle for the future of America, there is no guarantee of victory.

5 Ways Small Actions Have Huge Power

5 Ways Small Actions Have Huge Power

To those who take the bus or refuse plastic toothbrushes: Don’t listen to the cynics. Research shows the little things matter.

Making Society Civil Again

Making Society Civil AgainThe United States media has been awash with debates about civility in recent months after a number of officials in Donald Trump’s administration have been heckled and shamed in public places.

4 Ways To Defend Democracy And Protect Every Voter's Ballot

4 Ways To Defend Democracy And Protect Every Voter's Ballot4 Ways To Defend Democracy And Protect Every Voter's BallotAs voters prepare to cast their ballots in the November midterm elections, it’s clear that U.S. voting is under electronic attack. Russian government hackers probed some states’ computer systems in the runup to the 2016 presidential election and are likely to do so again – as might hackers from other countries or nongovernmental groups interested in sowing discord in American politics.

John McCain Helped Build A Country That No Longer Reflects His Values

John McCain Helped Build A Country That No Longer Reflects His Values

Arizona Sen. John McCain – scion of Navy brass, flyboy turned Vietnam war hero and tireless defender of American global leadership – has died after a year of treatment for terminal brain cancer.

“With the Senator when he passed were his wife Cindy and their family. At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for sixty years,” McCain’s office said in a statement.

The Infantilization Of Western Culture

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What happens when an entire society succumbs to childlike behavior and discourse? If you regularly watch TV, you’ve probably seen a cartoon bear pitching you toilet paper, a gecko with a British accent selling you auto insurance and a bunny in sunglasses promoting batteries.

Can You Change the World with Civil Disobedience?

Can Civil Disobedience Change The World?
It is not often that a neighbourhood squabble is remembered as a world-historical event. In the summer of 1846, Henry David Thoreau spent a single night in jail in Concord, Massachusetts after refusing to submit his poll tax to the local constable. This minor act of defiance would later be immortalised in Thoreau’s essay ‘On the Duty of Civil Disobedience’ (1849)

Millennials Are So Over US Domination Of World Affairs

Millennials Are So Over US Domination Of World Affairs

Millennials, the generation born between 1981 and 1996, see America’s role in the 21st century world in ways that, as a recently released study shows, are an intriguing mix of continuity and change compared to prior generations.

Why Politics Needs Hope Yet No Longer Inspires It

Why Politics Needs Hope Yet No Longer Inspires It
In the late 2000s and early 2010s, the word ‘hope’ was ubiquitous in Western politics. While its use in the Barack Obama presidential campaign has become iconic, appeal to hope was not limited to the United States: the Leftist Greek Syriza party relied on the slogan ‘hope is on the way’.

Why Mexico's Election Was A Victory For Democracy Itself

Why Mexico's Election Was A Victory For Democracy Itself
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, popularly known as AMLO, won a landslide victory in Mexico’s presidential elections. He now stands poised to form the country’s first left-wing government for generations, and his triumph has stirred great hope – but it comes with enormous challenges.

Why Mexico's Historic Elections May Bring About Big Change

Why Mexico's Historic Elections May Bring About Big Change
The election of a leftist party in Mexico for the first time in decades has the potential to transform the country as it dislodges its ruling elite, challenges the economic consensus and promises to eradicate violence and corruption.

The Hope Of A Blue Wave Is Dangerous To Democracy

The Hope Of A Blue Wave Is Dangerous To DemocracyThe best way to discourage voting—and thwart democracy—is to predict a big win for any party. Here’s what the primaries are indicating about the political landscape ahead of the midterms.

Exploring Common Ground To Preserve And Enhance Our Quality Of Life

Exploring Common Ground To Preserve And Enhance Our Quality Of Life
People can no longer leave sociocultural, as well as economic, decisions to a few controllers, while themselves concentrating on a range of personal problems from the search for shelter to a good vacation spot. We now need to admit that each of us must be concerned with the total situation of our society...

How Christian Media Is Shaping American Politics

How Christian Media Is Shaping American Politics
For Americans growing up between the 1950s and the 1980s, religion was not a regular presence on television. Today is different, however. Not only are there entire networks devoted to religious broadcasting, but also Christian television has moved directly into covering news and politics, reaching millions of Americans daily with a conservative perspective on current events.

How Women On The 2018 Ballot Are Busting Perceptions Of Motherhood And Leadership

How Women On The 2018 Ballot Are Busting Perceptions Of Motherhood And Leadership
Motherhood is taking center stage in U.S. politics. Two Democratic gubernatorial candidates, Maryland’s Krish Vignarajah and Wisconsin’s Kelda Roys, made waves with campaign ads that, in addition to touting their capabilities as leaders, also show them nursing their babies.

How Paper Trails And Random Audits Could Easily Secure All Elections

How Paper Trails And Random Audits Could Easily Secure All Elections

As states begin to receive millions of federal dollars to secure the 2018 primary and general elections, officials around the country will have to decide how to spend it to best protect the integrity of the democratic process.

How To Take Baby Steps Towards A New Reality

How To Take Baby Steps Towards A New Reality
If we were able to remember how we felt as a child learning to crawl, we probably would remember looking on with amazement at the giants we saw around us. This memory might help us when we are learning a technical skill, or a behavioral skill such as unconditional love, patience...

Why We Need To Rethink Our Moral Obligations To Create A Better World

Why We Need To Rethink Our Moral Obligations To Create A Better World
Antibiotic resistance is an example of a collective action problem. These are problems where what is individually rational leads to a collectively undesirable outcome. Small things that many of us do, often on a daily basis, can have disastrous consequences in aggregate. The most challenging problems humanity is facing are in one way or another collective action problems.

Zero Tolerance Discipline Policies Won't Fix School Shootings

Zero Tolerance Discipline Policies Won't Fix School ShootingsAs outrage over the Parkland school shooting persists, lawmakers are looking for actual policy solutions. Unfortunately, they sometimes misunderstand or misuse the facts that should drive policy.

History Tells Us How Student Protests Can Work

History Tells Us How Student Protests Can Work
When 17 students and teachers were murdered on what should have been a peaceful school day, students across the US took to the streets to demand change.

Teaching Students How To Dissent Is Part Of Democracy

Teaching Students How To Dissent Is Part Of Democracy
In scenes unprecedented in previous school shootings, the past few weeks have been marked by students taking to the streets, to the media, to corporations and elected officials in protest over gun practices and policies.

7 Myths Of The Social Media Age

7 Myths Of The Social Media Age
The internet was expected to renew democracy, tackle the hegemony of the monopoly news providers and draw us all into a global community.

Why We Need Radical Imagination

Why We Need Radical ImaginationImagination, as Hawaiian Native rights advocate Poka Laenui describes it, is more than an antidote to hopelessness. It is a source of power.

Democracy, Freedom and Cheap Stuff: Can We Pay More For Our Coffee?

Democracy, Freedom and Cheap Stuff: Can We Pay More For Our Coffee?
The paradox of ancient Greek democracy is that the freedom and rights of citizens depended on the subjugation and exploitation of others. Recent events remind us that we might not have come as far from the flawed ancient model of democracy as we would like.

How to Become a Warrior of Light: A New Energy, A New Reality

How to Become a Warrior of Light: A New Energy, A New Reality
The stable concept of identifying ourselves as Hungarian, Dutch, Vietnamese, Maori, or whatever, is falling apart. A new energy is sweeping through the planet, an energy that is not local, not just planetary, but cosmic. Now you have to stand in the Light and fight for the whole planet. You now...

Meet The Theologian Who Helped MLK See The Value Of Nonviolence

Meet The Theologian Who Helped MLK See The Value Of Nonviolence
After this last tumultuous year of political rancor and racial animus, many people could well be asking what can sustain them over the next coming days: How do they make the space for self-care alongside a constant call to activism?

Improving Our Odds of Survival by Mimicking Life

Mimicking Life -- Improving the Odds and Our Lives
We are not larger than Life, and we cannot live apart from Life though we have tried mightily to do just that. Life is the only context within which we can understand what we need to do both to survive and...

Connection and Cooperation: The Hundredth Monkey Resonance Field

Connection and Cooperation: The Hundredth Monkey Resonance FieldMargaret Mead is famous for noting, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." In many communities there are numerous groups for individuals to support one another's efforts to make changes in their lives and in the world.

Here's Why Your Local TV News Is About To Get Even Worse

Here's Why Your Local TV News Is About To Get Even WorseConsidering the history of television news a few years ago, iconic anchor Ted Koppel declared that CBS’ 1968 debut of “60 Minutes” forever altered the landscape of broadcast journalism:

Why Social Media May Not Be So Good For Democracy

Why Social Media May Not Be So Good For DemocracyRecent revelations about how Russian agents inserted ads on Facebook, in an attempt to influence the 2016 election, present a troubling question: Is social media bad for democracy?

Dream Things That Never Were And Say ‘Why Not?'

Dream Things That Never Were And Say ‘Why Not?'Lack of personal meaning and fulfillment is endemic to contemporary Western and Westernized societies. Why are depression, anxiety, and suicide increasingly common? I believe the cause has more to do with what we bring - or don't bring - to life than with...

All The Lessons Donald Trump Is Teaching Us

donald trump lessonsRecent surveys suggest that people who do not like Donald Trump as United States president find nothing at all to like. But, like him or not, Trump has shown us a great deal in his short time on the political stage. For that, we should be grateful.

I Don't Want To Waste This Life: It's Time to Act!

I Don't Want To Waste This Life: It's Time to Act!I need to remind myself not to waste time. Not to click on too many hyperlinks and certainly not to spend to much time on Facebook. Not to distract myself with too much retail therapy at the antique mall or on Amazon. Not to obsess over whether my...

Does Donald Trump Have A Passion For Cruelty?

trump 10 2Donald Trump seems addicted to violence. It shapes his language, politics and policies. He revels in a public discourse that threatens, humiliates and bullies.

The Power of Showing Up and Helping

The Power of Showing Up and HelpingI was listening to a news reporter in Texas listing all of the destruction, and then he started talking about all of the volunteers who have showed up to help, and he started to cry. Through tears, he said that he has never seen humanity show up in such beautiful ways to be of service and help others in need.

Is Populism Democracy’s Deadly Cure?

Is Populism Democracy’s Deadly Cure?It is impossible to follow the news without catching reference to the rise of populism. A once little-used term that denoted a handful of parties in otherwise unconnected political contexts, populism now seems almost definitive of a political moment in time.

What Can You Do with Justified Anger?

Transforming Anger Into Nonviolent PowerAnger, rage and a desire for revenge are all reasonable and justified in the face of armed attacks, abuse and exploitation. What matters is what we do with these things.

5 Tips For Stretching Your Donation Dollars

5 Tips For Stretching Your Donation DollarsThere’s no shortage of media reports listing which groups are taking donations, often with scant guidance about what kinds of relief these organizations can offer.

For A Primer On How To Make Fun Of Nazis, Look To Charlie Chaplin

For A Primer On How To Make Fun Of Nazis, Look To Charlie ChaplinWhile many anti-fascists offered serious and potent arguments against Hitler, comedians like Charlie Chaplin responded to the mortal threat that the Nazis posed in a different way: They used humor to highlight the absurdity and hypocrisy of both the message and its notorious messenger.

The Inner Compass, Human Evolution and Democracy

The Inner Compass, Human Evolution and DemocracyThe understanding that each individual has their own connection to the Great Universal Intelligence is the basis of our democratic way of life. Democracy is a social system that is based on the right of each individual to be who he or she is.

A Feel Good Story: Messing Up the President's Schedule

A Feel Good Story: Messing Up the President's ScheduleThere was a lot of excitement around the Hughes Memorial School in Danville, Virginia, in 1952. It. has "school" in its name but it is really an orphanage. The names of six of the youngsters had been drawn from a hat as the ones who would go to New York to see the Macy Thanksgiving Parade.

Crossing the Great Divide: United We Stand, Divided We Fall

United We Stand, Divided We Fall: Crossing the Great DivideEveryone is looking for solutions to the gridlock that grips Washington. Most suggestions are complicated. But there’s a simple step that could move our Congress in the right direction. We could stop seating the parties on opposite sides of the aisle...

Why Our Global ‘Age Of Rage’ Is Entering A New Phase

Why Our Global ‘Age Of Rage’ Is Entering A New PhaseProtesters have recently been out in force in Russia, Poland, Hungary, northern Morocco and Venezuela; sizeable democracy marches have mobilized to mark key moments in Hong Kong and Turkey

To Defeat Tyranny Today Look To The Past

tyrannyDemocracy is under assault. Vladimir Putin’s authoritarianism, ISIS terrorism, the nuclear threat from North Korea and Donald Trump’s populism are just a few examples of the forces challenging our societies.

If Democracy Is To Survive, Youth Must Stand Up And Defend It

If Democracy Is To Survive, Youth Must Stand Up And Defend According to famed anthropologist Arjun Appadurai, the central question of our times is whether we’re witnessing the worldwide rejection of liberal democracy and its replacement by some sort of populist authoritarianism.

A Look Inside The Minds Of Trump’s True Believers

A Look Inside The Minds Of Trump’s True BelieversWhen Donald Trump gave the commencement address at Liberty University this spring, he told the graduates that “America has always been the land of dreams because America is a nation of true believers.”

How Mainstream Media Can Still Effect Social Change

How Mainstream Media Can Still Effect Social ChangeWhile there is much to critique about the news media in this age of “post-truth” within a landscape dominated by a handful of media conglomerates, we need the press to hold our leaders and institutions accountable. Locally, when the occasion calls for it, we should laud the press.

Independents Day Message: A New Common Sense, A New Common Cause

 Independents Day Message: A New Common Sense, A New Common CauseI now call the 4th of July "Independents Day" as I've come to realize that the only way we the people can take our country back -- and forward -- is by declaring our independence from the two political parties, the two-party duopoly, and the two competing narratives that keep us divided ... and conquered.

Can We Predict Political Uprisings?

Can We Predict Political Uprisings?Forecasting political unrest is a challenging task, especially in this era of post-truth and opinion polls.

It's Time For We the People to Face the Music and Dance Together

It's Time For We the People to Face the Music and Dance TogetherCall me a hopeless hopium addict, but I believe that we are "in the same boat". Our ship of state has run aground, because the "propeller" (the guiding principles of our founders, along with perennial and native wisdom) is broken.

Can Charity Save Journalism From Market Failure?

Can Charity Save Journalism From Market Failure?A foundation created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam recently announced it’s giving US$100 million to investigative news outlets and other initiatives, a rare boon for media institutions under duress.

How To Use Building Blocks Towards Our Global Future

How To Use Building Blocks Towards Our Global FutureWe have a choice. We can futilely try to protect ourselves and our families behind high walls, electric gates, etc., and turn a blind eye toward chronic human rights violations and an economic globalization that is not accountable to anyone. Or we can join with people and organizations from all the world's nations to lay the foundations for...

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