Saturday, December 25, 2010

Now, that's more like it.

The efforts of Congress this past week, passing crutial bills, working together, compromising, looking out for Americans, that's what a Congress is supposed to look like. Look how much they accomplished in one week, what if they would work that hard at what else is on their agenda and actually clean up the legislation, clean up the I.R.S. write-offs, not pay our vendors until the actually complete the work as designed, stop the over-runs. This mid-term election was a wake-up call for all politicians--they still must account to the people. The voters CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

New Leadership, new ideas?

Congratulations to the Republican Party. They have regained the House of Representatives majority and will receive the benefits including Committee Chairmenships and Majority Leader ( who is third behind the President) and a whole set of things they want to change/repeal. Almost immediately, they are going after allowing the tax cut on those over $250,000 to be extended and it appears that Mr.Obama is going to go along, as long as no one else has taxes applied. This will be a reprieve for the very wealthy as their tax cut was running out December 31, 2010, as it is predicted, it may be extended 2 or 3 years. No politican wants to raise taxes in this economy, immigration is going on the backburner, a possible trade war is brewing world-wide, currency changes in America and China are also possibilities, cuts to the budget are being directed at sacred cows--a sacred cow is an untouchable item in the budget. An example, defense budget is usually never touched,however, there is discussion about a possible 30% cut, pulling troops out of countries, an example would be pulling troops out of Japan, South Korea, and Europe, think of the possible savings. But, social security benefits are not going to be touched, in fact, there is talk of a $250 across the board, one-time check in January. Why won't they touch the biggest "sacred cow", social security? Social security benefits for the most part, go to elderly people. They are the people who study the elections and VOTE more than any other group. I hope I have whetted your appetite for items to investigate in Congess. This when you start studying for the 2012 election. The stakes will be bigger. The President will be re-elected/elected, all House of Represenatives, and 1/3 rd of the Senate. Depending what the Democrats do, or the Republican do, that election may set the tone for the next four years.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Power Shift--The headline in the AZ Republic Nov 3rd

Thank you all for voting. This turnout was very high for a mid-term election. It showed that people wanted to get their message out to the world.
The big winners were the Republicans. They took the House majority back, as well as help from Tea Party winners. The loser, the Democrats, losing the majority in the House of Representatives, but retaining the majority in the Senate.
Majority means a great deal in either house. First, the majority party gets to set the agenda, they get the
Chairperson of the active committees.
That Chairperson sets the agenda for the committee. If you are a House member and you want your bill to be considered by a certain committee, you must place
bill in the "hopper" and that bill is then doled out to the various committees that would have oversight on that specific bill. The committee would look into
the possibility of passage and would have hearings to gather evidence to support the passage of the bill.  But, if you are not the majority party,
or have made an enemy of the chairman, or the chairman needs a "favor", etc. your bill may end up at the bottom of the agenda and may never see the light of day.  All bills must start over each legislative session.  A legislative session is two years.  If your bill never gets discussed, it may never get voted on, thus is the "game" of politics.  Commonly known as "you scratch my back, I scratch your back." 
What exactly is going to get done this coming legislative session?  Well, the Republicans have an agenda that is completely the opposite of the agenda the Democrats have, but the Republicans do not have any power to get bills passed the Senate, nor passed the President. And, the Democrats do not have the power, nor the votes to get things passed in the House of Representatives and  the President has the power of the veto.  That means he can stop a bill by refusing to sign it.  Now Congress can "override" a veto with a 2/3rds majority--commonly known as a "super-majority", in both houses, which is very difficult to obtain.  In reality, there will be a STALEMATE for the next two years, where virtually NOTHING will get done!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Put it all together--NOW

In the United States of America, November 2, 2010, elections are going to take place for elected positions. This election has had more advertising dollars spent than any other election year. That is the result of the recent 5-4 decision in the Supreme Court in the Citizen United case, allowing corporations the privilege of the 1st Amendment, of free speech by being able to spend money on political candidates with unlimited funds and anonymity. The political right has used this new twist very heavily.
If you have been following this blog and using the tips to prepare for your vote, you should be ready with your decisions on the candidates and various other ballot votes.  Please remember to take the practice ballot and fill it out with your decisions, so it will not be a fearful event, but a triumphal event.  You will have looked at the candidates and issues over a period of time and made reasoned decisions.  If your candidates or issues don't all win, at least you know why you voted the way you did and can feel good about it.  Next time, you might have to work a little harder trying to get others to support your candidate and issues.  A small tip:  voting absentee ballot is becoming more attractive to voters.  They can sit down at a table at home figure everything out, place their responses on he actual ballot and mail it to the County Recorder.  The entire state of Oregon now only uses the mail-in ballot.  Good Luck.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Readers read Blog worldwide

This blog was intended for United States citizens, however, a check of who is reading the blog shows, yes, the majority of the people are from the United States, however nine other countries have been reading the content. People in the following countries are reading the content of this blog: Netherlands, Germany, China, Canada, Latvia, France, Moldova, Russia and Brazil.
It is good to see people in other countries desire to find out what it takes to be an educated citizen.
If you desire to make comments, go to the bottom of the blog to the comments section. Type in your comment, or as the case may be a request for a topic that needs explanation, or a request for a new topic. A return comment is written in response to your request.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mid-term elections

Mid-term elections are those elections, primarily of all representatives, and one third of the senators. These elections can turn the fate of a newly elected president. If a newly elected president has had the majority support of Congress until this point, this election will be a referendum upon his first two years of service. If the people like what has been accomplished to date, they will vote for his party again, placing the Congress back under his party's control, if they are not pleased, it could swing the power pendulum to the other party, or worse, make it a draw, when nothing gets accomplished.
At the local levels, this election may have governors, state legislatures, referendums, initiatives, city, education votes, and any other miscellaneous elections. Usually a phamphlet is sent out to voters on these local issues. It is up to the voter to peruse these items and select the ones they can support. Usually money is involved or something to do with changing the state constitution. It is up to the voter to read, select what they can support, then either take in a list of your selections with you to the voting booth, or place them on your absentee ballot and mail it in. Please do not allow these selections to be only in your brain, take something in writing . That speeds up the voting process and insures that you will be happy with your selection. Of course, if you feel compelled to spread your decisions to friends or relatives, prior to the election, that is your choice.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Educated Citizenry: Will History repeat itself with the mid-term election?

Educated Citizenry: Will History repeat itself with the mid-term election?
See March 27,2009 Blog, Frame of Reference II

Will History repeat itself with the mid-term election?

When George W. Bush was running for his second term, intelligent, voters could not conceive his re-election. But, he was re-elected to his second term as our President. Carol Simpson, a newscaster , found that people who voted for G.W.B. were not current with news, legislation, war-items, local news, they just voted, without doing their due diligence.
Will this next mid-term election coming up in November be a re-run? Current news, many pundits, think the Republicans will win as many as 47 house seats and regain control of the House of Representatives, and perhaps the Senate. Again, is history headed to repeat itself?
Evidence: The Democrats have been selling HOPE, in the form of passed legislation, say, the Health Care Reform, Financial reform, the Republicans have been selling the politics of "No" , as an example they stretched out the health care reform legislation so long, this Congress could not address Immigration, perhaps THE most important legislation that needs passage NOW. They have not been bi-partisan in just about everything except an occasional meeting. They have not been for the Greater Good. The Republicans have been selling "No", why would any person in his right mind vote for a group of people that is only looking for the return of GWB politics? Is the only reason Republicans are saying no really about politics or is it about the fact that a black man is President ?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why emphsize being a knowledgeable good citizen?

The evolution of citizenry has overcome many difficulties along the way. When the Founding Father's saw an opportunity to make a New World with a democratic basis, they jumped at the occasion.
When they formulated our country they did not desire a country where everyone was "equal" as we have it today. They felt the free enterprise system was essential to an economic success and those people who had the most to say about that were the landowners, retail and commercial businesses, men, landed gentry. People who had a stake in the country based on their investment in the country were the people given the vote. Renters, slaves, indebted servants, and women were not allowed to vote, they usually did not have an investment or stake in the country.
The "voters" usually had time and money to read and discuss the issues, favor one over the other and had time to vote. All others were working people and did not have the time or money to get involved.
Over the years, the Constitution has been added to and stretched via Supreme Court decisions to include "all citizens".
Until the past fifty or so years, voters have been involved because they had enough free time provided by good salaries and benefits to get involved in "politics" and make good decisions. Starting around 1973, when the Lobbyist really "got it", and started to lobby congressional members heavily, hire former congressmen because they can get on the floor of their former "body" and discuss lobby goals, our country has started to move from:
Upper-upper class usually inherited wealth and CEO's
Middle-upper class-- Higher management
Lower-upper class-- Lower management --some entrepenuers
Upper-middle-class Hands on upper management Over all
Middle-middle-class Hands on middle management-some independent contractors - successful entrepreneurs
Lower-middle-class supervisors over workers retail managers
Upper-lower class Upper workers responsible for finished work
Middle-lower-class Team leaders, retail workers, independent contractors
Lower-lower-class Hourly workers

Because corporations have been moving out of the nation, with our government's assistance, jobs have been erased, especially in the middle class. People who have many degrees and a little age to them have been let go in favor of younger more technologically sound employees, also, salaries have not increased for the past 15 or more years, yet inflation and the dollar slide has made what people actually receive much less than they have been accustomed to and had made plans upon. The real estate slide has really been a key as well as the financial world's greed towards lowering the class structure in America.
Our class structure looks more like this now:
Upper-upper class old money, Greedy CEO's, investors scaming
people--financial instutitions scaming people
1% of the people have approximately 92 % wealth
those upper class people being able to take
advantage of a taxation system built for them.

Upper lower-class Old middle class college graduates that still
have their jobs.
Middle lower-class All others looking for jobs that are non-
existent, because people still think there is a
chance at "The American Dream".
Under class People who have given up looking for jobs,
People who are homeless because they lost
job, home, car, everything and are subsisting on government entities, relatives, part-time jobs and charity .
Salaries are deceiving also. A $40,000 salary looks great on paper, however it has an approximate spending value of $10,000--The American Dream is vanishing.
Once the world community figured out how to compete with our juggernaut economy their lower labor costs beat our labor costs all to pieces. If you were a board of a company and were faced with an assembly line worker making (a hard fought for) $75 per hour in wages and $75 per hour in benefits and moving your corporation to a country where the labor costs were $5-10 per DAY and no benefits, and no regulatory commission telling you what you can and cannot do at the workplace, the decision is a very easy, yet harsh. We can no longer compete. America is in the painful process of lowering wages and no benefits for its workers. Even both parents working doesn't cover the expenses. We are not going to talk about the cost of higher education in this Blog, however, it is getting to look like a two "class" society. Those with education and those without.
There was a survey on TV the other day that says our children are not learning cursive writing. They are so into "texting" and writing(or plagarizing reports from the internet) that they see no need to "write" with a writing implement and paper--as in taking notes!!
This Blog has been longer than I intended. This is just the starting to explain, why you need to be a knowledgable citizen. As with money being taken away or stagnating, "rights" are also being taken away. Later.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Be a good citizen based on your frame of reference and knowledge of democracy

Be a good citizen. Of course, that means following the rules. Being a good example to everyone, be fair in evaluations of businesses and individuals, help your family and friends understand democratic processes, help get out the vote. If you do not fully understand a specific area, say, the electoral college, do research so you can explain it to others. With Goggle and others, you can type in a word and have a pretty good understanding of that word, almost instantly. That assumes you have picked up technological skill along the way to help yourself and others work with and within the democratic process. A democracy MUST have democratic principals deeply engrained within a person's frame of reference. Constant revision of those items and updating them makes you a more informed citizen.
Up to this point, this blog has been explaining what is needed within a citizen in a democracy to function and benefit the society.
In reality, all our lives are becoming full from sun-up to sun-down. Raising kids, getting ahead at work, keeping everyone happy, paying bills, makes it difficult to enrich our frame of reference in democratic activity.
Start your quest by considering what you think is reasonable for you. No, we can't be activitist full-time, just take a small chew of the problem. Choose an issue that interests you most, then start contributing what you can towards progress--contacts, money, time, skills, etc. No contribution is too small.
Try to keep yourself informed. Pick your media to coincide with your beliefs and it will give you insights on any given topic, allowing you to gain a "citizen's level" of expertise so you can talk with others about it.
Use the computer that you have available, in home, in library, use it.
Our democracy is a living breathing thing. It belongs to all its citizens. Join with others, everyone feels better when they're part of a group, a movement, a community (whether real or virtual).
Become the media, write a blog, a newsletter, internet radio broadcast, etc.
Start up a local neighborhood group that meets periodically and discusses the issues. Move the group around, not always at one house, have the group bring refreshments--many successes in politics have come from these type meetings.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Major areas of modern knowledge

An educated citizen needs to be able to apply concepts and foundations learned in one area to other areas as part of a lifelong learning process. The educated citizen needs to be able to live and work intelligently, responsibily and cooperatively in a multicultural society and to develop abilities to address complex issues and problems using disciplined analytical skills and creative techniques.
An educated citizen checks out the society and his role within, does he see how other citizens fit into that broad overview? Does he obtain knowledge of cultures and civilizations on an overall global understanding? The world is definately going global. What happens on the other side of the world effects our side of the world and what reprocussions does it have for us. Perhaps one of the largest problem confronting America and our population is the job situation. Americans have long been receiving large wages and benefits when you compare the remainder of the world. Now is the time when Americans are seeing their wages and benefits stagnating and declining. The "American Dream" is starting to disappear, the middle class is getting smaller, requirements for jobs are becoming steeper for less money. Expenses are skyrocketing due to world demand for the same supply that had been America's. China, and India have more and more people entering the "middle class" and demanding the same resources, thus prices are increasing. America is having to come to grips with vast changes that most do not comprehend.
An educated citizen needs to absorb all the information and translate that into decisions within. They need to be able to communicate their opinions to friends, neighbors, church groups, civic groups anyone that can help change for "The Greater Good".

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Greater Good

The Greater Good is a term that is being used nationwide in the past few months. I have looked up the term and going to give you a breakdown of what it really means. The information comes from a great site:
Basic definition: "All for the Greater Good is a philosophy that embraces the vast-untapped power of humanity to focus collectively on wisdom that improves our world's sustainable quality of life."
"Purpose: To improve our world
Vision: Influence our worldview with wisdom that improves sustainable quality of life.
Basis: Scientific Method
Emerging Ecological Worldview
Greater Good Theory, a.k.a., Greater Good Philosophy--asserting that civilizations whose leaders and people center their worldview around Greater Good values ultimately improve their sustainable prosperity.
Progressive Scientific knowledge and Classic wisdom.
Value-oriented--love, truth & happiness, liberty, social justice, and unconditional mutual respect, tolerance, empathy and patience, synergistic relationships and functional ego, anti-scarcasm, anti-avarice and non-aggression, humanitarianism and Meliorism, optimistic, proactive, and pragmatic attitude, tactiful cooperation and collaborative spirit.(Meliorism def. noun, the belief that society has an inate tendency toward improvement and that this tendency may be furthered through conscious human effort.--The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, third edition)
Key Method: Transform our educational philosophy to foster nurturing learning environments, which inspire love for life, knowledge, and creativity, while emulating our most noble ideals."
"Vast increase in Quality of life and sustainability for all.
Global security
Fulfilling & harmonious society
Improved educational system
Self correcting citzenship, through a collective purpose.
Broadmindedness & emotional intelligence
Less aggression and lower crime rate
World Patriotism
Salvation for our civilization"

That gives you a better idea of what The Greater Good is about. Notice, it is about everyone, not some at the high end of the class structure. Several people send me emails saying that you can't attain wealth, if you have to share it with the entire population. What they don't say is; they only care about "their" bottom line, no one else. It is a very "I" centered situation. The Greater Good is not "I" centered, but doing what is right for the entire civilization.
We are now starting into that era. The Green Earth means we all have to work together to be able to sustain our existence. It also means the people looking only at the bottom line MUST stop looking at the bottom line only. They have to start putting anti-pollution devices on chimneys on factories, safety devices for employees, etc. They have to get their eyes off the bottom line and look at what is best for their employees and the entire population.
If you haven't been following the solar energy movement, it has been a very slow climb to even get recognition. Yes, the product has had to get better, but in reality, the real reason is solar energy doesn't bring in bottom line dollars. It is for the Greater Good, however, not for the financial giants.
The "Populist" party has been using this term for years. Populism is usually used in expressing thoughts from the people in a particular region, especially involving farmers, that protest against depressed economic conditions for example, the Populist Party from 1892-1908.
With the Republican and Democratic parties both falling on their faces with their constituencies voters are starting to look around for alternatives. More and more independents are registering to vote because existing Republican and Democratic voters can not "buy" what their parties are "selling". The Populist party is gaining in this area also. If you would like to see some of their views, check out Jim Hightower's site: Lowdown from our resources section on the first page.
This is getting pretty long, so I will cut it off for now, more later.

Monday, June 14, 2010


14. Be flexible in order to adapt to changing economic and social conditions, new workforce needs and the demands of a multicultural society.
Being flexible is a person who is capable of taking their frame of reference and bending their data to new changes, without bending his/her basic standards.
Being flexible needs to be a portion of every educated citizen's make-up. The world has certain standards that many people have followed for years, however as new data emerges, change needs to be made. An educated citizen needs to investigate those potential changes, and see if those changes can influence a change in his/her frame of reference. Once done, how does he/she make adjustment with new legislation, new representation, or healthy living. Learning that drinking cold water after dinner is not good for digestion, do you check it out and change behavior or not?
New workforce: an educated citizen realizes that change is what he/she has been taught, so someone who has been taught to do something one way, can learn to change their workplace activities to the new style. All these changes need to fit into a new society that is changing all the time.
New identities to be recognized: new ideals to be fit into the society, new products to make life easier, all within a culture that grows ever larger, diverse and fluid. Considering all these items, and more, need to be within and educated citizen's frame of reference as he makes the selections on the ballot.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Be able to think critically, creatively, and independently

13. Be to think critically, creatively and independently.
As an educated citizen you should be following the various events within our world. As you look at individual political items, you need to look at them, first with a critical eye. Does the item make logical sense or does it send a message that someone is trying to make political gain with your backing. If you back a proposition, or candidate, do you do it with a well-thought-out reason, not just because the party says you should back it? Do you back a person after searching his background, searching his thoughts about the issues--do they fit with yours--if not where don't they, could they be fixed, how--questions, questions? When doing this, try to do it 1)with an open mind, 2)don't be mizzeled into a scam, 3) do you feel good about supporting the issue/person?
Do you use creativity in your search for support? Could you help in the candidate's campaign with a certain skill/knowledge that would support him/her or issue? Could you look at the issue/candidate and the campaign and see how if a few things were changed it would help? Using the brain god gave you and the items you have stored in there to help the Greater Good is what is necessary.
Do you use independent thought in your assessment of your goal? Or, are you a follower, a person who follows what others have already created? Independence in your thinking is something you need to attempt to acheive as an adult. Can you stand before a group that is doing something wrong and say No, I stand for that which is right. That is what courage is all about. America needs people that will stand up for her in times of need , in times of planning the future, in equality of all citizens, in showing examples of what is right in the face of what is wrong. Of course, the next item is how do you turn that group from wrong to right?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Understand that learning is a continuous lifelong process

12. Understand that learning is a continuous lifelong process.
When you graduated from high school, everyone hopes you were prepared for the world of adulthood. Unfortunately, one of the biggest items that all that content in school neglected was the fact that you were only practicing learning skills that were supposed to be learned to be used in adulthood. Specific examples: outlining skills, summarizing, 5 paragraph essay, vocabulary, spelling, math, problem-solving, identifying problems, etc., etc. The content was only the vehicle to have you use these skills. College was another avenue to use them, to fine-tune them, to make you a better leader, to get along with people, to master one specific area enough so you could get a good job. After enough "practice" you should be confident enough to be given a task in your work and acheive success, by whatever definition. As you get older, you master these techniques. Now, how does that effect our subject, being an educated citizen?
You should have evolved a process of evolution that shows the more you learn the more you benefit. As an educated citizen, you should be able to volunteer for "committees" at your local church, school, etc. You help that committee by using your mastered techiques to help the group to acheive there goal. As you work in these settings, you gain more techniques; for example, you learn how to set up a meeting to acheive the goal you feel is best for the group/organization. You learn Robert's Rules of Order. Knowing these rules puts you in control, because once you have established the committee using the "Rules of Order", you can use that to your benefit. Learning becomes an enjoyable thing. You like to succeed, and knowing things helps you win "battles" The time it takes to know more than your opponent usually takes longer, but it makes you a better person and more knowledgable to help along the rough spots. Because you have spent more time, you have looked at the situation in all kinds of ways and understand better why things work and why they do not work, and you can explain that to your committee to have their support behind you. Always remember, especially in today's technological society, learning is always continuous. You would not like to play a video game using last year's version against someone who has been playing the newest version and plays you on their home court.
A very new change that is in the process as you read this blog is, books.
Books have been the newest innovation in academia since the Dark Ages. There have been some basic changes, mass market, etc., however a book printed in the Middle Ages can still be read today.
Books are starting to become passe. Starting with audio tapes, books have been read to us for years, CD's do the same, but the very latest item is books on line and "readers". Soon you will not have libraries that you go in to check out a book, you will simply order it on line and download it to your reader, then you will read it on the "moniter" and hit a button to turn the page. Don't become frustrated, you have become accustomed to change. You already do most of this with your e-mails, texting, buying on line, etc. Learn to use it to better "The Greater Good."

Friday, April 30, 2010

Bill Moyer's Journal--last show

Bill Moyer's Journal's last show was 4-30-10. His first guest was Jim Hightower. He is the publisher of Hightower Lowdown. ( Mr. Hightower is a populist. He is not a liberal, he is a populist.--one of his favorite quotes from a friend is, "Everybody does better when everybody does better". The discussion centered on America today. How the rich have taken over our country at the expense of the workers. They discussed the existence today of a Plutonomy, which is how the wealthy uses their wealth to have government do their bidding. Grassroots politics is at the heart, not corporations being allowed to have the same privileges as a person, being allowed to give money to political entities at will. Populists are people helping people, think of co-ops in the farming community. They are not necessarily desireous of making government bigger, only helping the greater good. It is very apparent that Corporations through their lobbyists now control unions, supply, you name it and have help from our government. Congressmen are receiving excessive funding from the lobbyists for their votes that will help Corporations make more money at the expense of the lower classes and for the upper classes.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The New Secessionists

In the Monday, April 26, 2010 edition of (it is in your resources area of this blog) there is an article called: The New Secessionists. This article indicates there are as many as two dozen states, but it specifically mentions: Texas, Hawaii, Alaska, and Vermont.
The article does not mention Hawaii'and Alaska's movements, mainly because they have been vocal for years, but it does discuss Texas and Vermont. You might want to take a look to see why these states are upset.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Be Able to consider ethical issues thoughtfully.

11. Be able to consider ethical issues thoughtfully.

In starting to explain this item, references need to be discussed. In writing this blog, I have no idea what you know, what you do not know. I will write this portion as if you know about the concept of ethics. I will help somewhat, but the following reference can help: I realize wikipedia is not the greatest source, however, in this case it covers the subject in 19 pages, enough for a better understanding. Wikipedia also gives a pretty complete Notes and References area for further research.

Ethics is not a course in most high school curriculums. It is however a subject touched on to receive a college degree. Ethics can not only be read about, it must be discussed in a classroom- like setting with a moderator that can help direct the discussion.

"Ethics (also known as moral philosophy) is a branch of philosophy which seeks to address questions about morality; that is, about concepts such as good and bad, the noble and the ignoble, right and wrong, justice and virtue."(Wikipedia)


What do you do about the "prisoners" in Guantanamo?

What about abortion?

What about the death penalty?

Do we close the border?

Do the ends justify the means?

If you have been watching TV news lately, you have seen groups that have gathered together to support pieces of legislation, or not support that legislation. People in these support groups have made an ethical decision based on their "frame of reference" about that particular decision and are willing to get in a crowd to voice their opinion, or mail/call their Congressman about the way they feel about "pending " legislation. This is what an educated citizen does. He follows current events, watches TV news, reads periodicals, listens to radio talk shows, WHATEVER HE HAS TIME FOR AND THE DESIRE TO STRENGTHEN HIS FEELING FOR A PARTICULAR SUBJECT.

People who have had religious upbringing usually have been involved with moral discussions. They attempt to follow what their church leadership has already sorted out for them. As you grow older and start thinking for yourself, you will be stronger for having the church up-bringing, however, you must be able to keep an open enough mind to alter some of these learnings if new data is presented. How you value the data in your specific instance will determine your actions.

Perhaps the most polarizing issue in America today is abortion. How do you feel about that issue?

There are two main items to this discussion: Do you feel the woman should have control over her own body? OR, Do you feel the "fetus" has rights and should be protected by the state? If you have not made up your mind, you need to; the reason, in the new book, The Nine, Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin, he brings out that there are two kinds of appeals that are being brought to the Court today, in a 50/50 ratio, Abortion Issues and All others. As you can see, abortion is a very important ethical issue.

Please, anytime you discuss ethical issues, start with your frame of reference and an open mind. Starting with your frame of reference and a closed mind does nothing to help the greater good.

Friday, April 9, 2010

#10 Be able to conceptualize a problem and solve it.

#10. Be able to conceptualize a problem and solve it.
This is an item that is very complex, so much so, that it can not fit into this blog. I will try to put the "answer" in as small a space as possible, but I must give articles for you to read to gain the full meaning.
The idea of conceptualizing a problem is a very intellectual term. This is one reason that a democracy is made up of "educated citizens". An educated citizen has a "Frame of reference" that they continue to build throughout their lifetime. This must include organizational skills that helps the individual "see" that there is a problem that needs to be solved and possible avenues of attack towards solving said problem. When doing this, the citizen needs to remember "nothing is set in stone". The answer that is presented as a solution to the problem then needs to be discussed within the citizenry for strengths and weaknesses. The citizen needs to be able to work with other citizens, bringing their strengths to the discussion, yet being flexible enough to bend their position to coming up with a final solution. Learning the procedural ways that work in the political process is a strength that needs to be placed into their "Frame of Reference" so they can call upon items that further their solution to the representation for their consideration.
Thinking Object-Oriented,
The Theory of Citizen Participation,
Why is Consumer Involvement needed?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Congratulations President Obama for shepherding Health Care through the system

Congratulations to President Obama for perservering and leading the Health Care Reform Act through the trials and tribulations of the bill passing process.
Further congratulations should also go to the Leadership of Majority party in both houses of Congress for twisting enough arms and making things happen to insure a positive outcome.
But, perhaps the largest CONGRATULATIONS should be handed out to the educated citizenry of America. Your written, vocal and organizational skills supplied the pressure on Congress to realized YOU wanted this legislation passed. Congressmen started to realize they would be history in the next election if this bill was not passed and that message was backed up by your constant pressure.
The minority party in Congress is not looking at a very bright future. Their constant bickering, not really having worthwhile suggestions and their political disingenious discussions and statements.
Let us hope this "victory" will translate into good things for America.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

#9. Be able to communicate and listen effectively.

#9 Be able to communicate and listen effectively.
An educated citizen needs to be able to speak effectively on the issues. Reading on the issues from available sources establishes a basis to start discussion on them. It is from several sources from radio/TV, print media that you start gaining working knowledge of those items that you may want to support.
It is in discussion with others that you practice how effectively you have grasped the main portions of the issues, and listening effectively to others for their point of view, that you had no frame of reference on that strengthens or weakens your belief.
When you listen to others, concentrate on what they are saying and follow their discussion. The best listeners "listen", they are not planning their next talking point and not even hearing what is being said. People who break into someone's discussion because their point is so much better are afraid if they do not get their point into the discussion, THEY will forget the point and not get their point into the discussion. Learning how to listen is an art, concentrate on the people talking. Your eyes and facial expressions give you away if you are only thinking about your next response. Listen to their response, let it settle into your frame of reference, settle accounts with your existing frame of reference and come back with intelligent questions or points about the issues. Listening makes you a more effective educated citizen.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

#8 Be open-minded

#8. Be open-minded. Being open-minded means that when you see a problem, you view the problem without pre-conceived notions about its solution. Of course, you can never be entirely open-minded, you have a frame of reference that you have developed over the years. This is why you need to be selective about what you receive and keep in your frame of reference.
Now, how does that translate to your life. What you read, what you see, who you associate with, what kind of upbringing you have, many other items make up the way you look at life. If you were Adolph Hitler when he was growing up, he associated with Anti-Zionist in Vienna, and read racist material he discussed items of interest with only certain groups of people. All this helps to form the man he became.
What can you do to help keep an open mind:
Listen to all sides of the issue before you, not only one particular side. After you have done this, select your position based on your judgement of the situation.
Read/watch neutral based books and shows. Read the Christian Science Monitor instead of race-based, conservative only books, liberal only books, try to see all sides so you can make a neutral based decision. Don't only listen to one side on the radio/tv. Watch all the news channels, not only one. Perhaps CNN news attempts to be the most neutral, however, they have been charged with liberal leanings. Foxnews is accused with being conservative in their leaning. What do these terms mean? Conservative is usually associatied with the Republican party. It represents the beliefs that free enterprise should not be burdened with governmental regulations or infringing on their profits. They are strict constitutionalist in interpreting the constitution. Liberal people usually try to keep an open mind. They feel that government is necessary to help the less fortunate and to watch over free enterprise for wrong doings. Of course there is much more to these, however, as you develop your frame of reference please read both sides of the issue. I am leaving this open for your questions. Please comment with your specific questions and I will try to answer them to your satisfaction.

Friday, February 26, 2010

#7. Be able to lead.

Continuing with What should an educated citizen be able to do: BE ABLE TO LEAD.
Leadership is something that is a learned activity. Most people start out in life as a follower. After many experiences they "learn" that they have already accomplished the new activity and know the best way to acheive it. So they help people acheive the goal. In helping others, they learn what works in acheiving success and add those success activities to their frame of reference for future use.
The most important item in leadership however is: LEAD BY EXAMPLE. As a parent, if you want to instill character in your child, you show the item all the time in your activity. For example: You and your 13 year old go to the movies. You get to the ticket seller. You see that children 12 and under pay less for a ticket. Do you pay the lesser amount for your 13 year old because he looks 11, or do you pay the rate for a 13 year old. When you pay the lesser amount you are showing your child that you: 1) Have no character, 2)should bend the rules to meet your pocketbook. You are not leading by example. If you pay the higher fee and child asks, "Dad, why didn't you pay the lower amount, I look 11?" That is when you go into your lead by example speech.
Leading by example is important in all ways of life, including political. The people of America are finding their elected representatives are not leading by example when they fall behind their "party" and voting in a bloc to stop legislation. Representatives are supposed to vote for the Greater Good, not for how much power their political party gathers.
Leading by example is what a leader does to have others follow. Officers in combat must have the confidence of their men for them to follow his orders. He must lead them into battle and show courage if he expects his men to follow. Would you follow a leader into battle if you knew he did not know what he is doing?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New resources

Please look at the resources area of the Blog. It is on the left side. I am trying to remain "neutral", so I have placed an assortment of links for your research. The links are all multi-link links.
NBC News = MSNBC = Moderate leaning
Fox News = fsnews = Conservative leaning
National Center for Constitutional Studies= constitutional materials
Common Dreams = Progressive leaning
Tom Paine Common Sense = moderate/liberal leaningd
Legislative information from the Library of Congress: Congressional activity
Center for Responsive politics--lobby groups and influence

Each of these links have many links to choose from. If you want Rush Limbaugh, click on Fox News. His website is within. If you want Bill Maher, click on NBC News, his website is within. If you want to check on what is going on in Congress, click on the legislative website--its official name includes" Thomas Jefferson that is". Many sites including; Constitution, Amendments, current legislation, past legislation that is going into law, and to existing new laws. Tom Paine Common Sense=discussions about how our government has evolved. Another source is the Federalist Papers, explaining how the Founding Fathers thoughts progressed in the writing of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Center for Responsive politics is a multi-link site that discusses lobbyists and their activities.
If you know of a site that we need to include, please write a comment with the website on it and your explanation as to why we should be using it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What are voters to think?

Massachusetts voters have changed the scene of American politics with this last special election. It brings out what voters are thinking.
1. Government is becoming to intrusive.
2. Perhaps Health Care should be the responsibility of the states, as Massachusetts already has it. They cover 98% of their state already, why take on another burden?
3. They are upset at the constant spending, trying to right several sinking ships, perhaps it would be better to allow them to sink.
4. The identities of political parties are becoming fuzzy. Democrats, Republicans, and Independents are all looking alike.
5. Can you honestly believe Coakley. She was an arrogant JOKE.
6. Perhaps the Administration should pare down their agendas to less items, mainly the most important ones. You know, little things--LIKE JOBS,people do like to eat in a warm home. Remember, FDR within 100 days of his first election came up with the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) and had 250,000 young men out in the forests WORKING. What is Obama going to do?

Next subject: Haiti's Earthquake

America and other nations have come to the rescue. They are pouring money, services, medical aid, rescue crews, security, aircraft carrier, helicopters, you name it. The American government has spoken up with $100 million in aide, and the American people have donated over $57million in the recent tele-thon, and $35million via a new device--dial a specific number on your cell phone and $10 will be donated (don't you think that won't be used this fall in the coming elections).
What is going through American voters minds who have been out of work sometimes up to one year, had their homes foreclosed on, may even be homeless, as they watch all this money and effort put into a sovereign nation who is so poor that they have no funds, no infrastructure, working government, you name it, they don't have it, yet everyone is pouring assistance into this country. They seem to project a feeling of entitlement--that America, especially, and all others OWE them all this aid. Yes, citizens of the world have generous hearts, but what of our own people?
Questions that come up? Why are we in at least two wars, spending approximately $1 Billion a week, why are earmarks still being used on legislation when belt tightening tactics should be in effect? Why are people in Wall Street and banking giving BILLIONS in BONUSES when they should not be allowed by SOMEONE to do that. Do I remember a promise by then candidate Obama that he was going to get us out of Afghanistan's--humm, 30,000 more troops are being sent to Afghanistan?????? Something is definitely wrong. It needs to be fixed--but, unfortunately we are not getting any support from the Supreme Court!!!!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

#6 Be able to engage in discussions...

6. Be able to engage in discussions about political and economic issues that affect his or her community.
Do you discuss political, or economic issues in your family? Personal friends? Church? If you do, then you are on the way to engage in those issues that affect your community.
You need to supplement those discussions with constant vigilance of talk show news, for both local, national and international news, local TV/radio news, mail from your political party, whether it is via the internet, or snail mail. Of course any of the material you hear, read, see needs to be placed into context and into your frame of reference to see if you accept or reject the discussion points. If you reject, why? If you accept, why? You need to know the reason so you can substantiate why you believe as you do.
Some aids:
1. Watching TV shows that discuss issues such as Meet the Press, Chris Matthews, Glenn Beck,Larry King see how they discuss the issues, how do they substantiate what they are saying, what do they use for evidence, do you value that evidence?
2. Listen to radio talk show about politics. Favorite hosts include Glen Beck, or Rush Limbaugh.
3. Reading the editorials in newspapers, magazines, internet news.

Remember, any of the above must be taken with a grain of salt. That salt is what is the viewpoint of the speaker. Rush Limbaugh is a conservative, so his information is usually conservative oriented. Chris Matthews is a liberal, so his information is liberal oriented. Also, both TV and radio suffer from processes called SELECTIVE ATTENTION(the citizen sees and hears only what he or she wants) and MENTAL TUNE-OUT( the citizen simply ignores or gets irritated by messages that do not accord with existing beliefs) Citizens tend to listen to those shows that reflect their Frame of Reference.(American Government, James Q.Wilson, pg283)
Do you keep up with the business section of the media? Do you understand economics? If you do not, you need to do some homework. An example: The Supreme Court made a decision this past week that cancelled over 100 years of legislation and court processes. The decision: INTEREST GROUPS AND CORPORATIONS MAY SUPPORT POLITICAL CANDIDATES WITH AS MUCH MONEY AS THEY DESIRE. In the past, it was found that those entities have had too much influence on candidates and receive special attention on government regulations and contracts. They would buy their way to profit. The government went about to stop these practices with legislation and and Supreme Court decisions, they did and the practice was curtailed. Since 1973, special interest groups have formed at an amazing rate. Their effect has been great. They went to the Supreme Court this year and said that spending money on a candidate was their "right" to free speech. This was a new tact. By spending money for advertisment they should be allowed to support a candidate as much as possible. The Supreme Court decision was 5-4 in favor.
This was a win for business. Now, go back and read the Founding documents. This country was not based on freedom for all Americans, it was based on protecting the business community/property. The Bill of Rights were AMENDMENTS to the Constitution, within those "Rights" are those things having to do with individuals.
How do the economics of the nation, state and local entities affect you?

Change is in the Wind!!

The election in Massachusetts seemingly has changed the political agenda for the democrats.
It does not seem that the Democrats are getting it. They can not even control their own people to get a meanful piece of legislation through in a reasonable amount of time. Perhaps, one should look inside their party to see if they really wanted the camel that started out as a horse.
That election in Massachusetts was a scream from the independents, the moderate democrats and republicans to get back to normalcy, to quit spending, to get a significant Health Care Bill passed, that everyone wants and that won't break the bank.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Government depends upon informed, involved citizens

A newspaper article in the Arizona Republic, January 8, 2010, written by John W. Greco discusses why he feels the end result of poor governance comes from "an uneducated and undereducated public..." "When voters do not know how government works and do not get involved, our system simply falls apart."

"This is the case in our state (Arizona) and in America today, where increasing frustrations with bad economic times have resulted in all kinds of proposed solutions, many of which are dangerously based on ideology rather than fact."

"The public must monitor what elected public officials do, and knowledgeazbly participate in the political process. And there must be a state and national commitment to educating everyone in what we used to call "civics".

"Even competent political leaders are no substitute for a well-informed citizenry. We have been told this time and again, beginning with Socrates and continuing with Thomas Jefferson. It's about time we listened, learned and reformed, because today we are part of the problem"

Mr. Greco is a former interim city manager of Tempe and lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Mr. Greco's article brings out exactly what this blog is talking about. It may not necessarily be the fault of the citizenry. Their lives are jammed with work, responsibilities, child care, salaries deminished, etc., however, being a citizen has certain responsilities that are necessary for a democratic-republic to exist.

The Founding Fathers founded this country based upon people who were responsible citizens in the society. Initially the term "men" in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, meant exactly that, men. The term Freedmen was defined in 1639 in the form of the "Freeman's Oath". A Freedman was defined as: A person of Sworn Alligance to the Crown, 21 years of age, male, owned personal property generally valued at 40 pounds or 40 shillings per year, must be of a quiet and peaceful manner, must have membership in a duly recognized church, and other Freemen in the area endorsed him. Those were the responsible members of the society and were the only ones eligible to vote because they would know the issues, because they had a vested interest.

"Being a Freeman brought certain duties and rights among others:
1. The right to vote in town meetings
2. The right to hold public office
3. The right to elect deputies to the General Assembly
4. Required to pay taxes
5. The right to elect new Freeman.
These people were the ones that were entitled to vote etc. in the new Government as of 1787. Over the years the term "men", through legislation and judicial review, has changed to mean "a people above the age of 18. People above the age of 18 does not necessary represent those who have a vested interest in the government/society. Politics has caused this problem. The two major political parties want more voters in their party. An example is the Democratic party pushing for illegal immigration rights, because they have found people coming across the Mexican border generally register as democrats, thus the Democratic Party has the immigrants on their agenda, because it has more to do with the numbers.
People entering most industrialized countries are required to have an occupation that will allow them to live without falling back on welfare, health care, etc. An example is New Zealand. You must take a preparatory citizen test online, answer many questions, usually finding out if you will be a burden on the society and how much money you are bringing into the country. They are not really interested in a business man unless he is bringing AT LEAST $100,000.00. College degrees are usually required and how much time you can use the degree in their country.
Early immigration into our country had a list of requirements, including funds, contact people already in country, clear bill of health, and usually an occupation that could allow you to NOT to be a burden on the society.
Our requirements were altered in legislation moved through Congress by Democrats led by Ted Kennedy,in 1973, to remove the occupation requirement. This lowered the requirement and established many of the problems we currently have in our country.