Trump Versus Trump – Hailing Nationalism While Undermining Democracy

photo montage of images of Donald Trump

  by Richard Cameron   I happened to be the recipient of a post on Facebook from a publisher I formerly contributed articles to. It was sort of out of the blue after a considerable time of non-communication and was also puzzling as to its content. Of all things this person might tag me on or post to my wall, it was a link to the full video of Donald Trump’s recent speech before the United Nations! The title of the link was, “The Speech They’re Trying To Hide: President…

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The United States is Backsliding Towards Autocracy and Taking the World With Her

The United States ranks behind 51 of the 87 free nations of the world.

by Tony Wyman “Democracy in Retreat.” That was the headline for the annual assessment of global freedom completed recently by Freedom House, the independent watchdog group founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. that works to expand freedom and democracy in countries around the world. The year 2018 marked the 13th consecutive decline in world freedom recorded by the group and included declines in the majority of nations the world depends upon for the defense of liberty.  The report blamed populism and nationalism as the major forces reducing freedom in…

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Democracies Don’t Disappear With A Bang, They Go Out With A Whimper

cartoon style image in which professor asks student "What's Democracy" and student answers, "Democracy is the freedom to elect your own dictators"

by Tony Wyman To learn all we need to know about the death of a democracy, all we need to do is look at what dictator Daniel Ortega did to Nicaraguan democracy after his election as president in 2006 with just 37.99% of the vote. His party, the Sandanista National Liberation Front (FSLN), failed to gain a majority in the legislature, but allied with the Liberal Constitutionalist Party (PLC) to form a coalition that held more than two-thirds of the seats in the National Assembly.  With allies in the legislature, Mr.…

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Marco Rubio’s Performance At The CNN Stoneman Douglas Shooting Town Hall

photo of Marco Rubio speaking at CPAC convention

by Richard Cameron   Marco Rubio made an appearance at the CNN town hall last night, which was touted as a forum to discuss solutions to school shootings in the wake of 17 deaths at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. That is to his credit, as it was noted by the moderator, Jake Tapper, that President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Rick Scott were invited to participate but either declined or chose not to respond. CNN's Florida shooting town hall draws nearly 3 million viewers https://t.co/uoTKnLSvKz…

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I Just Propositioned My State Representatives – Feel Free To Do The Same

by Oletta Branstiter Voting Day! November 7, 2017, is a voting day all across our nation. Citizens in a few states will be electing their state representatives, and voters in numerous states will be participating in direct democracy by voting for changes and additions to their state constitutions during this midterm election cycle. Wait, what?  In the words of John Matsusaka, the author of “For the Many or the Few: The Initiative, Public Policy, and American Democracy”,  “Some might wonder how direct democracy squares with the U.S. Constitution guarantee to each…

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Our Nation’s Foundations – The Constitution Lesson Two: Rule of Law

gavel and block

by Oletta Branstiter Rule of Law Once the bedrock is found, a builder will lay a solid foundation.  Our Founders and Framers of the Constitution called it the Rule of Law.  They were sick and tired of the whims of the selfish and power-hungry King George.   The government of the new United States of America would have laws for everyone to follow- the rich, the poor, the powerful, and the weak.  They insisted on a Constitutional Republic – one that had written laws that guaranteed justice for all. Democracy…

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A Copy of the Declaration of Independence Foments Controversy

by Oletta Branstiter A copy of the Declaration of Independence has been discovered by two Harvard researchers in Chichester, England. After two years of study and verification, they have released their findings to the public. The copy, found at the West Sussex Record Office, is believed to have been created in the 1800s. The researchers, Emily Sneff and Danielle Allen, were surprised to find that the names of the signatories were not displayed in the same way as the original document. While all the names of the representatives of the existing…

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Prepare the Ground

by Oletta Branstiter It’s like Christmas for gardeners. The seed catalogs began arriving in February! We can’t wait to get our hands dirty again. We’ve been pacing our gardens since the last harvest in late summer, covering our plots with cardboard, paper bags, leaves, grass clippings- anything and everything to minimize weed growth. I was most worried about the proliferation of dollar weed flourishing under a generous layer of leaves I swept up from my neighbor’s pin oak that stretches its limbs far into my backyard. I had mixed results…

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