Category Archives: International – other

For Sanders, National Security and Socialism Make an Odd Mix

by Emily Schultheis, The National Journal, 11/19/15

The White House contender tries to blend his standard campaign message with a more urgent one in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.

Bernie Sanders had two goals Thursday af­ter­noon when he stepped on stage for his ma­jor speech at Geor­getown: to fi­nally of­fer an ex­plan­a­tion of what he means when he de­scribes him­self as a “Demo­crat­ic so­cial­ist,” and to prove his bona fides on for­eign policy is­sues.

Try­ing to ac­com­plish them to­geth­er made for a slightly strange event with what felt like two dis­tinct parts—and that jux­ta­pos­i­tion high­lighted the chal­lenge Sanders has in jus­ti­fy­ing his usu­ally-sin­gu­lar fo­cus on eco­nom­ic-pop­u­list is­sues in the wake of the ter­ror­ist at­tacks in Par­is.

Sanders said that to him, Demo­crat­ic so­cial­ism means simply that the Amer­ic­an eco­nomy be­ne­fits not only the bil­lion­aires he fre­quently rails against.

“Demo­crat­ic so­cial­ism means that we must cre­ate an eco­nomy that works for all, not just the very wealthy,” he said.

Draw­ing on the leg­acy of Frank­lin Roosevelt and re­call­ing New Deal-era re­forms, Sanders said that people are only “truly free” if they have a sense of eco­nom­ic se­cur­ity. …

continue reading at The National Journal

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Filed under 2016 election, Economy, Labor, Tax, International - other, US President

Pope Francis Drops a Bomb on Washington

by John Grant, This Can’t Be Happening, 9/24/2015

A political society endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk.
– Pope Francis speaking to the US Congress

Pope Francis’ speech to the US Congress struck me as a message with strains long demanded in the corrupt halls of our government. It was a message that took me back 30 years to my travels in Central America during the Reagan years, which was a pivotal moment in modern US history for the rise of a money class and the problems of inequity we currently face.

I was raised an atheist by a right-wing militarist. As a little boy, when my father worked in research for a pharmaceutical company in suburban New York, there came a time he aspired to enter the corporate end of the business. So I was sent to Sunday school for a brief period. There I learned that Jesus Christ was this cool guy in robes who loved people and was nice to them.

My father’s honeymoon with the corporate side of the company did not last long….

continue reading at This Can’t Be Happening

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Filed under International - other, John Grant, National govt & politics, Religions

Weakness & Thuggery: Wrestlemania and the Return of American Greatness

By John Grant, This Can’t Be Happening, 9/18/15

The United States of America ain’t what it used to be. The expansive, frontier energy of our past is a lost dream. Good fortune is assumed, taken for granted, leading to laziness and arrogance. Imperialism on the down-slope is not pretty. The long, festering list of shortcomings symbolized by the nation’s neglected infrastructure has a cost. For someone like Donald Trump, it’s an opportunity.

The rocket-like advance of technology dazzles us as it gnaws away at the dignity and integrity of our lives. Fear of the other and outsiders rules from the NSA down to local police departments; it’s a favored flogging topic for pandering politicians. Power is never static. The world created out of the ashes of World War Two — when the US assumed the mantle of top dog — is shifting before our eyes. People dream of getting it all back in the box. Formerly colonized nations now compete directly in a globalized capitalist market against former colonizers. Resentment from abuses of the past strain relations. This is especially true in the Middle East. Citizens flee for their lives into the perceived safety of Europe from the confusing wreckage that was once Syria. And let’s not forget Iraq and Afghanistan as they both try to sort out the aftermath of US intervention and occupation….

continue reading at This Can’t Be Happening

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Filed under International - other, John Grant

Why We Need the International Criminal Court – An Analysis (15 February 2015)

by Lawrence Davidson, To the Point Analyses

This is the first of two analyses on the International Criminal Court. The second one will consider the Palestinian appeal to the Court. 

Part I – The Need for Rules and Laws

Americans consider themselves citizens of “the Land of the Free” with a tradition of rugged individualism that still provides mythical fodder for organizations such as the Tea Party and the National Rifle Association. People associated with such organizations (and their numbers are in the millions) also exhibit a deep suspicion of government. They believe that the politicians they elect should, as one-time Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater put it, “aim not to pass laws, but to repeal them.” They believe that the fewer rules and laws there are (except those promoting their own peculiar brand of morality), the greater is the citizen’s freedom. 

It takes just a little bit of historical knowledge to know that this attitude is dangerous nonsense. The fact is you cannot have a stable and safe human environment without rules and laws. That is one reason why they have always existed in one form or another at multiple levels of human society, in the family, the classroom, private clubs, the town, the state, the country, and so forth. In fact, human history can be read as the expansion of enforceable rules or laws from smaller to larger groupings. Wider circles obeying the same set of hopefully humane rules….

continue reading at To the Point Analyses

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Filed under International - other, Law, justice, Lawrence Davidson