Democracy at risk in Thailand

I find it troubling that over the past few weeks I’ve caught only glances of stories decrying the ongoing destruction of democracy in Thailand. There is currently underway an operation by the Thai military to eliminate the right or ordinary citizens to live in a country where free and fair elections are not a hope but have become an expectation.

As Americans we all know how truly wonderful and uplifting the Democratic process – when fully and fairly exercised – can be. Democracy is an institution that affords each person in our state an equal opportunity to cast their ballot at the polls in support of candidates who reflect their vision of a better North Carolina.

This is what democracy looks like

This photo blog is composed of images from the Raleigh-Durham office of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Earlier today, with the help of the Democracy Summer interns, we were able to register to vote many of our newest citizens who had just sworn their oath of allegiance. I am given hope by looking at the diversity in this electorate of the future. There were so many smiles as folks checked that first box.

Rob Christensen gets it right

The nature of journalism is often to challenge those in power, which may explain the News and Observer beginning to find its progressive voice again. Whatever the case, this week's column by Rob Christensen is a good one. Check it out.

There are some ideas being seriously discussed in the legislature that should trouble most citizens – Democrats, Republicans and independents, liberals and conservatives, and those who fall in the middle. Here are five citizenship questions that affect the quality of democracy in North Carolina.

And to those who say, "Yeah, but Democrats did it too," I have to wonder about your moral compass. Two wrongs do not make a right.

Transparent Government

Crosspost from 'Dumbed Down Politicos' at blogspot:

Transparent Government: How do we get there?

...reversing the attitude that “the ends justify the means” is required for Democracy to prevail over oligarchy. The US until recently had a meritocracy, but I believe that lack of transparency in government transactions--especially campaign funding--has led our country to become an oligarchy.

Read More here:

Meta madness

If you feel as though our elected members of Congress don't represent the North Carolina you live in, you're right.

Regardless of whether the Supreme Court, or the individual states, take any future steps to restrict the abuse of partisan gerrymandering, the Republican-dominated composition of the 113th House of Representatives that took their seats on January 3, 2013 did not reflect the will of the American electorate.


Maybe corporate personhood is a good thing?

No, no, really (he says, doing his very best, over-the-top, under-the-weather Ricky Gervais). Bear with me for a sec. If those who advocate for corporations to be persons (*cough* *hack* -- the 1%) follow through consistently with their political beliefs (granted, with Gingrich and Romney as standard-bearers, not very likely – but this is my satirical piece, so let me finish) …

Occupy Democracy at the Local Level

This video, courtesy of Public Citizen's occupy democracy website, highlights the juxtaposition between the ease with which money speaks, and the difficulty everyday citizens face just trying to make their voices heard. But there is something you can do about it at the local level, and in your own community. Learn more, below the fold.

A Song of Solidarity (Red, White & Blue)

This is a bit of a stretch for a blog on Blue NC. But not much of one. After all, why shouldn't Blue NC also be the place where progressives in NC come to sing progressive songs?

All around America, progressives are concerned at the civil rights of ordinary workers, and the plight of those most at risk in society. Not least with the effect at every level of government of the new austerity - whether natural or Republican-driven. And that goes for NC too.

Sometimes a song can have more immediate effect than a thousand speeches. So I wrote a song. Inspired by the fight for rights by workers both here in NC and all around America.

I had become tired of tax-cutters, tax-dodgers and war-mongers claiming to themselves the mantle of patriot. When it is ordinary working Americans and those who fight every day to make ours a better state and country, it is we who are the true patriots. Not those who would run down government and destroy the safety net.

Report: Voter ID laws 'unaffordable' for North Carolina

Cross-posted from the Institute of Southern Studies, by Chris Kromm.

On The View From Egypt, Part Six, Or, Let's Review Where We Are

We’re a week into the Egyptian uprising now, and it’s time to reassess what has taken place so far and what might come next.

We know a few things, and we don’t know a lot—and from what we can tell, the folks on the ground are also not sure what might happen. That said, we do know enough to begin to figure out the right questions to be asking.

As was true Friday, things are moving fast, so let’s jump right in.

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