July 15th, 2011


Meaning of Democracy

Recently there have been fantastic discussions broadcast on Al Jazeera on the transition to government in Egypt. The need for a constitution underlying the democracy and the character of what is permitted are lively topics. One of the shows I've watched had a number of seculars and someone from the Muslim Brotherhood discussing these matters (mention was made of an emerging Salafi minotirty there as well); the MB focuses on the democratic side, the seculars stressed the importance of a constitution that was nonreligious, reforms to family code and laws that established full formal equality between women and men, christians and muslims. What is the legitimate scope of democracy? How do the first years of a democracy shape the later ones?

I've talked enough about my answers to these questions on here recently. It's interesting to see open discussion of these matters in a way where it might might be an open contest soon.


The government we deserve

If we have a Democrat who's willing to damage really valuable social programmes in order to compromise with Republicans who have drawn a hard line on protecting tax cuts for the rich, ... it's hard to believe that we deserve an out from this budgeting problems. I'm almost keen to give the tea partiers a taste of what a failed state looks like since they seem so determined to make us one.

I am livid that the democrats have been so bad at message that even in the wake of an underregulation disaster, they failed to do very much, suffered a landslide electoral loss, are seeing what few things they did being rolled back, and are compromising with the hard accomplishments achieved over generations.