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New Paper! 11/15/2022 - Go to paper

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In 1787, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison & John Jay set out to convince the people of the newborn United States to adopt a constitution.  They undertook this task in the manner any group of 18th century gentlemen w/ a lot of spare time & strong opinions would do so in the pre internet age…they wrote a bunch of essays & published them in the newspapers, using a fake name from Ancient Rome.

These essays came to be known as the Federalist Papers. They were eventually collected & published in book form, & excerpts from them turn up in court opinions & Broadway shows to this day. As a bonus, they got their Constitution.

Now we are about to enter the 3rd decade of the 21st century, & it seems as good a time as any to bring back this tradition in our own small way.  The constitution that Hamilton, Madison & Jay advocated for seems like it is going through something of a rough time, as is the country they helped birth. We have some thoughts to share…

So, welcome to the BND PAPERS…w/ 100% more internet, & at least 50% less Ancient Rome… What Hamilton, Madison and Jay had going for them was enthusiasm, determination, and a vision of the kind of place they wanted to live.  Also the kind of place they didn’t want to live.  A lot has happened in the 200+ years since they sorted things out.  And as mentioned above people have propensities to reinterpret the best of papers…. sometimes to benefit some and not others.

So the Communications/Values team believes it’s time to give some serious thought to how our Democratic Republic is operating and how we want to live. You can help, After you have read one or more essays the team has published, we want you to send us your thoughtful responses so we can have a real conversation about how our BOLD NEW DEMOCRACY will unfold.  It behooves us to use this pause in the action to get our path clear.  To express how our values will guide our actions come the next election.

Friend, What Do You Think?

When I went to vote this past Tuesday, I had my list of candidates and issues tucked away in my back pocket. I pulled it out to mark my ballot. I had carefully selected my choices beforehand. Being a Democrat who has never intentionally voted for a Republican, it wasn’t much of a problem. - 11/15/2022...

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Lady Liberty: Femme Fatale or Hope

My childhood was spent in a small town in northern Ohio. I remember somewhere in the first few grades at school having to practice duck and cover drills. Duck under our desks, put our hands behind our heads, and lean down as low to the tile floor as possible. As if that would protect us should the Soviets launch a surprise nuclear attack. But children that age listen to the adult when told what may happen. - 11/7/2022...

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More of Us Than Them- Progressive Resistance in the Rise of Skywalker

In a dark, uncharted corner of a galaxy far, far, away, our hero has lost all hope. The brash X-wing pilot Poe Dameron leads a puny band of freedom fighters against an unstoppable force of enemy ships, each equipped with world-destroying weaponry fueled by ancient, unfathomable depths of evil. For three films Dameron has kept the spirit of resistance alive past the point of reason. Now, he calls across to his allies to abort the mission. “There are too many of them.” As he prepares for certain death, and the end of the New Republic, a familiar, friendly voice calls back. “There are more of us, Poe… there are more of us.” - 10/30/2022...

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Pride and Politics

Driving north from Cincinnati to Columbus you will pass a billboard advertising more than its simple statement—Holy Matrimony is Between One Man and One Woman. It presents itself as a universal truth chiseled in stone like the next sign on your right depicting the Ten Commandments.  They loom over highway travelers, not as overtly threatening as what you will find when you head back south—bold black letters reading HELL IS REAL and another asking “If You Died Tonight, Where Would You Spend Eternity?”- 6/20/2021 & 10/24/22...

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Women’s March for the Nation

We are re-posting this paper from July because it speaks directly to the spirit that continues among activist women. Hope to see you among the participants at Fountain Square on October 8th.

On the way home on the bus so looking back on the day - all the people and preparations and expectations. Satisfying. The experience fed me. So glad I went - to feel connected - continue to be connected directly and indirectly with literally millions of women and their supportive and supported families. - 7/12/2022 & 10/5/2022 ,,,

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The Farm Bill and Your Food

BND friends, and others: I’m on again about food policy. So much is going on at every system level with regard to what we eat. I wish you would re-read my previous paper titled, “Who’s Hungry” before you start this one, but if not, we’ll start from here. This time we’ll season the pot with some of the climate implications of food and farm policy. - 9/26/2022

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Are We All Just Big Government Liberals?

When I first heard the label ‘Progressive’, this was in the 1960’s in reference to President Lyndon Johnson, I must admit I thought Liberals were just trying to avoid the negative connotations given their label. However, after studying the two philosophies, I decided the differences are real and, in some ways, the two are nothing alike. Progressives and Liberals can often agree on goals, but their approaches to reaching those goals—when defined in their purest forms—can be quite different. Furthermore, once those differences are understood, I think it’s important that Progressives—such as myself—not describe those differences in unnecessary terms. I’ll get back to that later in this paper. - 9/7/2022

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Biden Works Tough

A bullet point list of President Biden's first term accomplishments so far is appropriate to keep in front of us as we begin to campaign for the next Congress; since clearly the former president's 'walk of shame' accomplishments are going to be front and center in the media for the near future. I have cribbed the following list from William Rivers Pitt's column in Truthout August 8, 2022: https://www.federalregister.gov/presidential-documents/executive-orders/joe-biden/2022   08/21/2022...

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There is No Middle Ground to Stand on

We have all seen the news, read the punditry, heard the words of our friends and family members…_ “the country is so divided…both sides are so extreme…why isn’t there any compromise? What about us in the middle?” In the words of Rodney King, “why can’t we all just get along?” - 8/15/2022...

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Trump & Ohio Republicans:  Partners in Crime

Like many Americans, I have been watching the January 6th Committee hearings. What I have seen has been absolutely terrifying, and not at all unexpected. Although the committee has brought forth new information in each hearing so far, the general outline of Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election has long been known to those following the story. Trump and his henchmen publicly stated much of their rationale for ignoring the will of citizens and abusing the Constitution before, during, and after the insurrection, and continue to do so to this day. - 7/25/2022 ...

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What if Every American Vote Counted the Same?

Every junior high student learns about the separation of powers between three branches of government. Congress makes the laws, the President approves or vetoes, and the Judicial branch interprets them. With enough support, Congress can override a presidential veto. The President appoints the justices. The Senate confirms them. The court can effectively throw out laws made by Congress and signed in the Oval Office. When the system is running well, Americans are rewarded with a functional representative government. - 7/4/2022 ...

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Leave the place better than you found it.

“Leave the place better than you found it” reminds me of a scouting slogan. We know we want to leave our children and grandchildren with a planet that is still a wonder to behold and gives us a place to get rest, relax, renew and get balanced. One way to help our mother earth is to reduce our carbon footprint. Here are some amazingly easy things we can do in our own home and our own lives that can make a big difference… especially as more and more of us start living this way. Together we can educate ourselves and those we care about to: “Become the change you desire…” Mahatma Gandhi - 6/26/2022...

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CONNECTING SOME OF THE DOTS…

Why should Russia’s invasion of Ukraine matter to Americans? Don’t we have our own problems to worry about? I hear these questions asked by pundits and tv commentators all the time, and by regular citizens too… - 6/12/2022...

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An Unexpected Call

My son’s call was unexpected. We had spoken over the weekend just a few days before. The tone of his voice said we would not be discussing the blast of Arctic air that had descended on his home in Green Bay or how his fantasy NBA basketball team was doing.  - 5/30/2022...

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“School Choice” is No Choice at All

There is a carefully constructed myth about so-called “school choice”, and it has several layers. Overall, the myth is: that choosing where the tax dollars for their child(ren) will be directed, will put parents in the driver's seat, making them the “agent of their child’s future”, placing them “in control”, creating an era of parental choice. The impression given by politicians (who have charter money in their pockets as they shape this myth) promoting so-called school choice is that this represents an advantage and expansion of parent’s rights when in fact it would collapse students’ and parents’ rights like so many houses of cards. - 5/23/2022...

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Women's Rights are Everyone's Rights

As we continue to do battle with the newly transformed GOP now focused more than ever on destroying many of the fiercely fought for freedoms and protections we the people have come to take for granted in this country, let us remember and celebrate some of the women who dedicated their lives to improving the lives of their fellow men and women by fighting for their rights. - 5/16/2022...

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Democracy…. or Autocracy?

I thought I’d never get through David Pepper’s thorough analysis of how the Republican Party, under the guise of protecting conservative economic principles over the past 40 years, has patiently set up the evolution of the U.S. government to create an autocratic Republic. My depression and dread just kept growing. Fortunately for me and other readers of Laboratories of Autocracy, https://www.laboratoriesofautocracy.com/ Part 3 is filled with excellent ideas of what patriotic Americans can, should, must do now to support and literally save our Democratic Republic. The first 2 parts clarify all the reasons why we must do this. - 5/1/2022...

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Who’s Doing the People’s Work?

How responsive should an elected official be to a constituent seeking information about that official’s position regarding a critical issue? The issue, in this case, is the climate crisis. Our elected officials in DC seem to agree that the climate crisis is a serious issue, but beyond that acknowledgement, there is no general agreement that this issue must be addressed urgently, or in due time, or even at all. Furthermore, while the Democrats have formulated a plan to address this issue, the Republicans have refused to even consider the Democratic proposal and have failed to formulate their own proposal. - 4/24/2022...

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Who Is Gerry Mander??

‘I’m not sure, but I know his sister, Sally…,’ get it, ‘Sally Mander?’ Never mind, I give it a six out of ten! But seriously, The term is named for NY governor Elbridge Gerry, who drew a district shaped by a salamander back in the early 1800’s. - 4/17/22...

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Let’s try Cooperation for a Change

Competition for land and its resources is as old as life on earth. According to Chris Hedges’ "What Every Person Should Know About War”, humans have only been entirely at peace for 268 of the past 3,400 years (i.e. just 8% of recorded history), and the total number killed in all wars is estimated to be between 150 million to 1 billion. - 4/3/2022...

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4 easy steps to becoming an effective Political Communicator

Matt McGuire uses examples from Lincoln’s Gettysburg address to show us how it’s done.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal - 3/27/22...

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Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship

A couple of weeks ago, when I signed up to be part of a team that would offer newly naturalized citizens the opportunity to register to vote, I was excited to show up. Four members of the League of Women Voters, who prioritize the right/responsibility to vote in their work, signed up and showed up. We were ‘trained’ on site by a board of elections employee (I was the only novice) on the procedure for contacting and instructing each applicant on how to fill out the registration form. We then presented each one a form to fill out - not to be signed until after they took the oath - while they waited to speak to the immigration staff one last time. - 3/14/22...

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Voting Rights and Ohio’s Identity

For a time the state was branded as “Ohio: The Heart of it All”, and as we discussed in Part One, the legislative and common law practices in the state often emblematically acted out the struggle at the heart of voting rights for the entire young, developing nation. In review, Part One walked through some of the tugs and tumbles of the General Assembly beginning in 1803 to about 1855 from just one level of analysis: legal access to the vote. On one hand, Ohio shied away from granting voting rights to free black* men (labelled by society by various anachronistic terms to describe non-white status), officially asked people considered black to register with the state, and looked the other way when racists rioted in Cincinnati. - 3/1/2022...

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The Local is National & Vice Versa

Like many other sayings we’ve all heard, “All politics is local” is simultaneously true and not true. It is true in the sense that we, as political actors in America, can act only at the local level, with some rare exceptions. All the votes we cast are dictated by the systems established where we live, even for national offices such as President, Representative, or Senator. Even though the senate seats in, for example, Kentucky have huge influence in my life, I do not have a vote in Kentucky. I only have a vote for my own representative, not for Speaker of the House. Since the presidency is not determined by the popular vote, my vote only matters in determining who Ohio’s electors vote for in the electoral colleg. -2/13/22...

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Criminal Justice System?

Over the past three weeks, I have written six pages about the Criminal Justice System that you won’t see here. Doing this brought me to the conclusion that said system is operating just as intended - creating criminals to feed the part of the corporate capitalist system that sustains itself by locking up poor, Black people. The stage was set for them by Nixon’s war on drugs and suppression of people's movements starting in 1970. Then it really cranked up as Reagan’s economic policies (the original tax cuts for the rich) became the accepted norm during the 1980s.  https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/history-mass-incarceration - 1/20/2022... 

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Beyond Distributive Justice

Michael J. Sandel’s book, The Tyranny of Merit, offers an insightful explanation for why many working-class voters voted for Donald Trump in our last two presidential elections. Basically, Donald Trump understands what Sandel calls “the politics of humiliation”. Sandel then goes on to offer insights into how we got to this point and where we need to go from here. - 1/17/2022...

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Remembering and Awakening

The members of Bold New Democracy’s Communication/Values team share their thoughts one year after the attempted insurrection on the U.S. Capital. As we plan and participate in a Remembrance ceremony honoring those who stepped up to defend democracy a year ago, we are aware that we must not assume the job they started is done. It is not now and never will be finished, unless, of course, we let the authoritarian forces win. Then the great experiment that our founders began will be over. As you contemplate these statements we hope that the flame of democracy will flare up in you and you will work with Bold New Democracy to accomplish just what our name implies.... - 1/6/2022...

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January 6th 2021 - Culmination or New Beginning?

Donald Trump’s presidency was one stark reminder after another as to how much our democracy relies on traditional norms rather than Constitutional clarity. Trump abused the office of the president in countless ways, exposing serious shortcomings in the Executive branch along the way. These ranged from fundamental—a president divesting himself from his corporate interests, which Trump refused—to ceremonial—the president filling his speech to an assembly of Boy Scouts with maniacal political ravings comes to mind. For his final act, he went after perhaps our most sacred norm dating back to George Washington—the peaceful transition of power from one president to another. - 1/2/2022...

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Three Spirits: The Past, Present, and Future of American Democracy

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is our most popular holiday tale, told and retold by generations one after another. Hollywood in particular has had its way with it, with new versions every few years, the best of which stars Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge and Kermit the Frog in an understated performance as Bob Cratchit. Perhaps the reason for the tale’s enduring power is that its template is easy to overlay on our own time and place. - 12/21/2021...

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Are Americans Behaving Like Victims? Examining the Victim Archetype

Americans are living through a political myth that has a dark side. The dark side blames others, shows self pity and resentment. Hatred of the other prevails. Many fear not just physical survival but survival of their identity, a sense of self, of their hopes, desires and dreams. Our deepest need for security has been violated. We feel victimized, but we need a “Villian” to be a victim. - 12/13/2021...

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Inequality is Growing in America & What to Do About It

It was likely in the 1980’s that I encountered the concept of inequality and its threat to democracy in the United States as well as in other parts of the world. The growing divide between a small number of extremely wealthy Americans and the rest of the population has grown to the degree that it may in fact be the primary factor in Americans losing their faith and trust in government. There has always been a difference in the earnings between workers on the factory floor and top management personnel. - 12/5/2021...

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Cincinnati's Voters Trust Black Women—You Should Too

Change has come. From 1991 to 1997, no African American women served on Cincinnati City Council. From 1998 to 2004, only two. Then, from 2005 until today, never more than one Black woman sat on the council. That will change in 2022 when Meeka Owens, Victoria Parks, and top vote-getter Jan-Michele Lemon-Kearney are sworn in on Plum Street. When they are sworn in, African American women will make up one-third of city council. For a city that’s 52 percent female and at least 48 percent black, it’s a change that's long past due. - 11/30/2021...

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Voting Rights in Ohio: Part one

An unfinished, rigorous debate as to who may have a voice, who may have a vote, and what might shout over the top of those voices and votes has been underway in the United States since the formation of the nation’s identity. We commonly zero in on one of four pivotal moments in history in this debate: the constitutional convention and the 3/5ths abomination; the incomplete promises of the fourteenth amendment; the suffragists’ strong but limited legal arguments; and the Civil Rights era victories on paper that have been weakened by acts of the flesh. - 11/21/2021...

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What If We Had an Election & Nobody Came?

Here in Cincinnati, we just elected a new mayor & City Council. The turnout in this election was 24% of registered voters. The mayor won with 33,799 votes, out of 51,402 cast. To put that in perspective, the population of the city is 307,266…the adult (voting age) population is 235,170…Some quick back of the napkin math tells us that the mayor got elected with the votes of about 16 % of eligible voters. - 11/6/2021...

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What Open Border?

It seems everyone has an opinion about Immigration to the U.S. I have gotten sick and tired of hearing on newscasts and in newspapers about "Biden's open border policy". Yes, more people are approaching the border hoping to get in, even though both the President and V. P. have repeatedly and publicly asked them not to. This does not mean they are simply crossing and running free in the U.S. - 10/24/2021...

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Just Who Are “The People” Anyway?

Populism-a political or cultural  ideology calling for power to be  exercised by “The People”

“The People United Shall never be Defeated!” I’ll give pretty good odds that just about everyone who reads this paper will have heard this chant at some point in the last few years. I’ve heard it at several women’s marches, voting rights rallies, & anti-trump protests since 2017. I’ve probably even chanted it myself at some of these occasions… 10/6/2021...

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More responses to American Joe

Hi Joe, Like the others, I’m not going to try and convince you of anything. I think we’ve all had enough ‘commentary’ to fill a lifetime. By that I mean the talking heads we see on TV that give us their view of how the world works. I just like the basic news. This happened. That happened. - 9/26/2021...

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Initial Replies to American Joe (aka - If I Were Turning Thirty)

Since the letter from Ordinary American Joe was published last week, we have received various responses from readers which we will publish over the next couple weeks. We hope these responses will help you develop your own thinking around the great partisan divide that exists in our society. - 9/19/2021

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If I Were Turning Thirty

If I were turning thirty-years-old in 2024, had a load of debt—probably medical bills, childcare expenses, and housing, been waiting—the key word—for that blue-collar job that was going to change my life, I‘d probably be in good company. I’d also not be too far different than over half of my age group. If you add to that the fact that I am white, I’d look at the landscape and very likely be nervous. - 9/12/2021

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Race & Caste & Democracy

If you had to make a choice, would you vote to live in a democracy or in a country where white people rule? Which do you think the current electorate would choose if there were a secret ballot on such an issue tomorrow? The implications of this question hit me hard when I read, in a discussion of the predictions extrapolated from census data, that people identifying as white will no longer be in the majority in the U.S. by the year 2042. - 9/5/2021...

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The Limitations of Liberty

Our nation was founded on the principle that every American has a fundamental right to “life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness”. These words are Thomas Jefferson’s, & his interpretation of their meaning guided understanding of them for at least 80 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. For many Americans, they still do today. So, what did Jefferson mean when he talked about “Liberty”? - 8/29/2021...

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A systems examination of our political culture

It has been said that the Challenger disaster was a result of engineers, who well knew about questionable parts being used in the mission, gave the go ahead regardless. They were caught up in wanting to achieve their goal and just discounted their concerns. The goal was that important. - 8/22/2021...

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Public Engagement Should Be the Rule Not the Exception

Community engagement improves city government. Want proof? Here's a tale of two Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) projects that demonstrate how neighboring communities can improve outcomes of city projects, and what happens when the community is left out of decision-making. - 8/15/2021...

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President Obama - redux

A Promised Land, President Obama’s memoir about his first term is a page turner. One doesn’t expect a political memoir to be so totally engaging because, after all, one knows the outcome… and perhaps even has followed the narrative as it took place. - 8/8/2021 ...

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“Evil Geniuses” and Democracy

  “What’s wrong with people? '' my 85 year old spry, retired Montessori school teacher friend in frustration asked her Smartphone. The replies she got are more of the same old same old: Covid 19 fatigue, financial stress, the full moon! We could go page-turning in Kurt Anderson’s book Evil Geniuses the Unmaking of America to find the historical patterns that have framed our current political and social life. - 8/2/2021...

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The COVID Case for Medicare for All

7/25/2021 At the height of the COVID pandemic, 20 million Americans lost their jobs, according to The Pew Research Center. This was bad enough but 5.4 million of them lost their health insurance as well. This is even worse than it looks because the “good” news is that of the 20 million newly-unemployed by COVID, 59% or just under 11 million of them never had health insurance to begin with. - 7/25/21...

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Profits and Corporations Are Winning over Democracy, Community and Nature: a Call for a New Paradigm

In the state of Ohio, as in many states, the wishes of corporations are controlling our legislators. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) for example, is writing legislation that legislators are putting into law, often exactly as ALEC has written it. - 7/19/2021...

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Plastic, Climate Change and Ethics

Sharing an issue of daily and long-term interest, I will expound briefly this week on plastic in the environment. Some may say this isn’t important enough to be discussed as a political paper, but bear with me.

Do political activists have more important things to discuss than plastic junk in our homes, streets and landfills? In my view we do not. - 7/11/2021...

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An Activist’s Messaging Guide to Beating The Big Lie

What is going on in the Republican Party?

Louie Gohmert thinks we can move the moon. Marjorie Taylor Greene believes in Jewish Space Lasers & a vast left wing pedophilia ring. Donald Trump thinks he will somehow be restored to the Oval Office, which he most definitely did not lose (magic? Putin? Who knows…) - 7/4/2021...

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WE DON’T NEED “GOOD PAYING JOBS”

Within our present Culture of capitalism having Good Paying Jobs makes sense. We are told that money and stuff will make us happy, and if we aren’t happy, we don’t have enough money and stuff. Believing this we desire lots of money so we can buy lots of stuff. Good paying jobs provide us with this. - 6/27/2021...

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Who Works For You? Civil Servants Do.

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." - 6/13/2021...

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Restricting the Role of Money in Politics 

In what was likely the last interview given by Senator Ted Kennedy, weeks before he died of brain cancer in 2009, he was asked to describe what had changed in the Senate between the beginning of his tenure (1963) and the present. He mentioned that in the early days, senators went about learning the job of legislating—research, debate, public presentations, posting legislation—and in their sixth and final year, they started to dedicate some of their time fundraising for their upcoming campaign if they intended to run in upcoming elections.- 6/6/2021 ...

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Alexander Hamilton, climate change, and infant industries

In March, Joe Biden rolled out the American Jobs Plan, his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan. This includes many incentives for clean energy. One of the big arguments against these types of incentives is that they “distort markets.” - 5/30/2021
...

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The Tools of Democracy Are There If We Pick Them Up

We’ve all heard the phrase “with great power comes great responsibility”…. It is a theme that is so culturally pervasive as to be almost taken for granted at this point in history. We can see it anywhere from Spiderman to King Arthur, to Shakespeare’s tragedies, from the Bible to Norse mythology, from Star Wars to Star Trek to the epic of Gilgamesh. The cultural rule “much shall be expected from those to whom much has been given” probably goes back to our earliest ancestors, telling parables over the firelight, feasting on mammoth tenderloin. - 5/23/2021 ...

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Who's Hungry?

Three of our BND Values concern Food Policy, which in turn concerns Hunger.
  III. That access to affordable health care, education, housing, food & economic opportunity are human rights…
  VI. That clean air, clean water, & a sustaining, healthy environment are basic needs for humans & all other species on our shared planet…
  VII. That the rights & freedoms of employees are the basic building blocks of a fair economy, & are equally important as the rights & freedoms of employer
...
 
5/16/21
 ...

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We are the Infrastructure

It’s not a long stretch of the imagination to think about ourselves, Americans, as the infrastructure of this country. Those who arrived early—the earliest perhaps more than 15,000 years ago—worked and fed themselves through hunting and gathering. Today we call those earliest people indigenous people or American Indians. - 5/9/2021...

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On Education

“I love the poorly educated”
D. Trump, 2016

Growing up in Europe I became familiar with both socialist and “western” style high-school and college education. Later, I was able to witness my Swedish-born nieces’ and nephew’ s freedom to study for free in most of Nordic and EU countries thanks to their tax funded education (common to all EU students). - 4/30/2021...

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What in the World is a Constitutional Republic?

If you have spent any time in the past few months paying attention to political social media, reading the comments on any article about voting rights, or been sentenced to watch right wing television, you will have heard that we Americans live in a constitutional republic. - 4/26/2021...

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Healthcare is Personal – And the Personal is Political

In perusing the types of issues that progressives are hoping to push through the Biden/Harris administration, I see that health care is often mentioned, most often in terms like ‘single payer’ plans, references to Obama-care, the structures through which people pay for ‘health care’, and the efforts to make health care available to more people. - 4/18/2021 ...

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Republicans, Russians, & the American Memory Hole

One thing I have done a lot of this pandemic year is think about how our time will look to future historians. We have definitely been cursed to live in interesting times, & I can’t help but wonder how all of this will be viewed by our descendants. Historians may look with interest on our response to the pandemic, and certainly on the small steps we’ve taken toward improving race relations. But I believe one topic that historians will be very interested in... - 4/9/2021...

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Lost in the Shadows: Major League Baseball’s Canceled Culture

Growing up in Cincinnati, I was predisposed to fall in love with Major League Baseball. Professional ball was born here some 150 years ago, and if our town is famous for anything, it’s living in the past. I couldn’t play a lick, filling with more and more dread each year as I stood at the plate, but my growing curiosity dovetailed with my favorite school subject—history. Baseball had reams of it. - 4/1/2021...

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We Mutually Pledge to Each Other

I just finished reading a book, Post Corona, written last summer by a marketing professor, Scott Galloway. I took a marketing course in college and ended up wishing the department well. Literally, I sat down with the professor at the end of the course and explained my situation. I had simply been curious about the subject matter. - 3/26/2021... 

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BND and BIPOC

BIPOC – (Black, Indigenous, People Of Color) was a new acronym to me a few weeks ago. In this paper I will address relationships of BND with BIPOC after making some observations of recent racial history. Note the date at the beginning below.

July 12, 2016 
-
3/21/2021...

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The Politics of Spectacle

Politics is what you do to get elected…governing is what you do the politics for. - 3/15/2021...

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Just Saying: You Know What They Should Try Next?

The landed gentry—excuse me*—or rather Republicans in the U.S. have done their best to carve out issue specific voters (i.e., voters who react favorably to the Republican’s stated views on capital punishment, abortion, gun control, socialized healthcare, same-sex marriage, immigration, and so on) in order to maintain control of our democracy. - 3/10/2021...

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Twenty Lessons in the Loss of Democracy

It is your ability to discern facts that makes you an individual, and our collective trust in common knowledge that makes us a society. The individual who investigates is also the citizen who builds. The leader who dislikes the investigators is a potential tyrant. – Timothy Snyder - 3/6/2021...

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The Burden of Memory...

The last 4 years have provided the nation w/ countless moments of public heartbreak & sadness. We have witnessed the continued & accelerated destruction of the natural environment. We have seen the gutting of many of the institutions of our democracy. - 3/2/2021... 

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Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

The fundamental task of leadership, we argue, is to prime good feelings to those they lead. That occurs when a leader creates resonance—a reservoir of positivity that frees the best in people. At its root, then the primal job of leadership is emotional. - 2/26/2021...

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Be Careful what you ask for

Do something!

DO Something!

DO SOMETHING!

That was the chant from the Dayton crowd of enraged citizens gathered to meet Ohio Governor Mike DeWine at a memorial ceremony after the horrific night club shooting on the morning of August 4, 2019. - 2/22/2021...

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Jim Jordon vs the rest of us

Jim Jordan said something recently that made me think, although I’m not sure it was intentional. He said something to the effect that the GOP had become the party of “blue jeans & beer” while the Democrats had become the “elites”, the “wine & cheese party” (for the record, I am writing this while both wearing blue jeans & drinking a beer, although I harbor no ill feelings for either wine or cheese.) - 2/18/2021...

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Who are you Calling a Socialist?

When I decided I would tackle this issue with an opinion piece on BND’s site two months ago I thought it would be a timely topic. Since it’s taken me this long to put my thoughts on paper, I’m behind the curve. Trump went out in a blaze of insurrection, and Robert Reich has a tutorial on Socialist fear mongering. Even some of the moderate democratic officials are dodging and feinting about how far President Biden should lean. 2/14/2021...

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Political Manipulation

William H. Riker was a professor of political science at the University of Rochester and served as department chairman from 1962 until 1977. He is the author of several books on the subject. I chose to read The Art of Political Manipulation*. Basically, the book provides a number of stories (his term) about how decisions are made. Most, but not all, are political stories. - 1/31/2021...

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7 Things Our Founders Believed

Our founders believed education was critical for democracy and avoiding an “aristocracy of wealth,” that it should be available to all, that is should be free from religion and ideology, that it should be equal for all citizens, that it should be public, and that the investment was worth the cost. Here's some useful quotes about what our founders believed when it comes to public education. - 1/3/2021...

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Gerrymander Made the Kraken

There are many reasons I can point to when trying to explain the extremism that has overtaken the Republican Party (white identity politics, dark money, right wing grievance media like Fox News & Rush Limbaugh, the Devil’s deal w/ militant Evangelical Protestantism, etc…) but one that is rarely brought up is Gerrymandering of congressional & legislative districts. - 1/3/2021...

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Every Election is Important

President-elect Biden was right when he said that 2020’s apparently never-ending election was about the soul our nation. He & his team did their part. They ran a solid campaign, during a pandemic, and won a fairly comfortable victory in both the popular vote and the electoral college. He did about as well as it was possible to do in this period of hyperpolarization. - 12/30/2021...

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Quick to Taser

I was appalled this morning when I read the Enquirer article ("Taser incident brings training on autism", Dec. 14) of the young man who was recently subdued with a taser in Forest Park. In the end, it was discovered he suffered from autism and was taken home to his parents. He was carrying a hairbrush with a pick that appeared to some as a knife. - 
12/14/2020...

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Racism and Fear

Disclaimer: I am white. I grew up in an educated family that valued academics in the mostly all-white suburbs in Western Pennsylvania. Most of my family are Democrats. Take that as you will. - 12/13/2020...

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Time to Choose

If we are to build a bold new democracy that holds true to our principles (Social Contract), we have no choice but to recognize how we got to where we are now. - 12/13/2020...

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