Links to RESOURCES
The primary site for this effort is Issuewiki.us. Issuewiki is a building collection of issue papers on U.S. National Problems that is similar to Wikipedia in that issuewiki is open to contributions by all. It will however eventually have a group of editors who will bring more order in terms of style and format. It will not like many sites pretend to be bipartisan but will endeavor to bring all parties of the political spectrum to the table. Issuewiki is however intended to encompass a balanced presentation of opposing viewpoints. It is intended to be a basic resource for a better conversation between contending parties of the political spectrum
An additional feature of issuewiki is an effort to bring some brevity to the pros and cons of issues so that all may grasp the contending sides. Empathy and ability to bargain successfully starts with a basic understanding of your opponents viewpoint.
http://www.leap.cc/ For those in considering the failure of the U.S. Drug war and possible other approaches this site will provide some ideas worth considering from the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition site.
For Hot topics in National Politics See
For a collection of stories, editorials, blogs, twitters videos etc this is a good place to start. Sign up for their newsletter and you'll get the a guide to most of the articles of interest in the U.S. See:
Religious Political sites
To look at some of the Muslim Sites see below.
memritv.org (translations from muslim sites).
Dailybeast. Politics, Entertainment, Books Video, Fashion, Business, Art and Newsweek, It covers the waterfront with good visuals and the politics of the old Newsweek.
The political site at politics1.com bills itself at the most popular political site on the net. It is certainly comprehensive. Some special issue areas are listed under “Issues” and “Issue Lists”. A more complete view can be obtained at politics1.com but some special sites of interest are listed below. For individual state issues go to stateline.org.Checking your facts: We are all prone to getting our facts wrong and there is a lot of false agitation on the web. Some sites to help are:
TruthorFiction.com - go there for those stories we get in the mail, slanders and assertions in the news that are flat wrong.
Free Columbia Encyclopedia (except for ads) http://www.bartle.com/65
Encyclopedia of Philosophy -Stanford www.plato.stanford.edu
Great Links and info from Smithsonian Institution http://www.si.edu/resource/faq/start.htmThe unconstrained vision people:
thenation.com - Liberal or left. Probably a bit far out for many people. I'm sure some will tell us about more moderate unconstrained publications for the unconstrained view.
democrats.org - Democratic National Committee. State sites can be reached from here.
Democrats movement to the center www.ndol.org/index.cfmThe constrained vision people:
Patriot.com -was "The Conservative e-Journal of Record" Now?
rnc.org - The Republican National Committee. State sites can be reached from here.
www.reason.com/ Free minds and free markets is their tag. Conservative and Libertarian but like New Democrats trying to get to the middle.
cato.org - Libertarians - In the middle or on the fringe depending on your issue, but if property rights and limited government are your issues you might start here. Their issues come primarily from the Republican side and serve as a balance to the Greens whose votes come from the Democratic side. See John J. Miller's Nov 16 article of the National Review )a Conservative publication for the impact of these votes on the Republicans.
http://www.americanpolicy.org/ They favor property rights, free enterprise and privacy, They have problems with the U.N. and environmentalismNational-level Independent and personality groups:
natural-law.org - A personality led Natural Law Party which has minimal connection to the western classical conception and meaning of natural law. John Hagelin was the Natural-Law Party presidential candidate in 2000. The vedic tradition of India and teaching of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi are inherent parts of the party platform.
Single issue parties
greenpartyus.org Green Party of the United States is a confederation of state Green Parties. They state that they are committed to environmentalism, non-violence, social justice and grassroots organizing. See on non-violence. The Green Party draws most of their votes from liberal Democrats and can and has caused elections to go to the Republicans.Erudite comments on propaganda and B.S. in the press:
newcriterion.com - The New Criterion is probably what we would like to look and sound like if we had couth, more money and more smarts. In their own words, " The New Criterion, founded in 1982 by the art critic Hilton Kramer and the pianist and music critic Samuel Lipman, is a monthly review of the arts and intellectual life. Written with great verve, clarity, and wit, The New Criterion has emerged as America's foremost voice of critical dissent in the culture wars now raging throughout the Western world." Well!
In truth they get at all the weak minds of the press and other published works. At the moment they seem to be jabbing at the idiocies of the left but I wouldn't count on that being a permanent condition - there are idiocies aplenty on the right.
Follow the money
opensecrets.org Organ of The Center for Responsive Politics which is a non-partisan, non-profit research group which conducts computer based research on campaign finance issues for the news media, academics, activists and the public at large.
“In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is a liberal education.” A. Whitney Griswold
For a political change maker or analyst some references are essential. The following are short, quick, and easily accessible as starters:
"History of The United States" -The Teaching Company, Audio Tape of Course Number 830 - 70 lectures (45 minutes/lecture) lists at about $400, wait until they have it on sale, which seems to occur about once a year, for about $100.
Note: New Social Contract has no financial interest in this or any other references listed herein.
There are many worthwhile histories of the United States but these tapes may be the quickest and easiest way to get there. If you want to change an institution or culture from inside the system you must first have an understanding of how and why it became what it is now and what the failures and successes were. These are not the best lecturers of The Teaching Company but they are a long way from the worst. Combining these tapes with daily walks or treadmill exercise will enable you to enjoy both the exercise and know more of the people around you, as well as learn more about the political development of U.S. institutions. The Teaching Company makes a serious effort to find some of the best lecturers in the U.S. If you can work while listening to a cassette, you've found a great way to pass the time and start, or revisit, a college education.
There are few things new under the sun, but the political development of America is a fortuitous innovation that still offers hope to the world. The lessons and possibilities of the experience are endless. You can find more detailed histories but you will find it difficult to locate one with a daily program that will easily get you the knowledge you need.
A short, but very important, discussion of why people end up on opposite sides of some fundamental, political, religious, and moral questions. One of the quickest ways to get an understanding of the conflicts between Conservatives (constrained vision) and Liberals (unconstrained vision). Sowell is a black conservative who writes with clarity and much balance.
“A History of God: The 4,000 Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam” by Karen Armstrong. You might also want to scan her text on Buddha.
A book like this is essential to understanding religion-based morality as a base for politics. Armstrong's book is perhaps the shortest and fastest route to an understanding of the religious ideas that got us here. Her books discuss the complexities and interrelationships of the human search for ultimate meaning, and the twists and turns of many of the priesthoods, which captured and changed the teaching of the prophets and sages who were the starting points for many of our moral concepts.
The study of religions is crucial for understanding how the teachings of the sages, prophets and Buddhas have been converted over the years to fit the political desires and uses of various religions. Not anti-religious, Armstrong must endure the disdain and hatred of many true believers, or various priestly casts. If you want a clear time-line of Islamic history your might also read Armstrong's Islam. The priesthoods and true believers slam all her books, but even if you fit in that category you need to know what is in A History of God, a current best seller. Morality shapes politics and in the end contributes to many laws.
“Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
Why: The best book I know of that tells how most people become happy. In short, wrap yourself up in something bigger than yourself, keep learning and help others. If you embrace the effort of the New Social Contract and help us make it the finest expression of our mutual search for justice, freedom and equality of opportunity, you will have done all these things.
Keep your mind working on problems of the day and see how others view them. Find something to work on as an issue or to research, and make your life more meaningful.
"Natural Law and Human Nature" - The Teaching Company and Joseph Koterski - Audio Tape
The tapes provide all busy people easy access to a college course in the ethical and moral base for all man-made law. Some interpretations of natural law stem from the divine, but for those skeptical of divine morality interpretations, also covered are virtue ethics, duty ethics and utilitarian ethics. The speaker is a Jesuit but his presentation is impressive and his beliefs do not detract from the value to all, believers or not.
"A Nation Under Lawyers" by Mary Ann Glendon
While most of love to hate Lawyers some would argue that the Legal profession is the balancing mechanism which has allowed our unique Constitutional system to prosper. Currently some of the most capable and knowledgeable observers cite chaos in the ethics of the legal profession as a central problem to our continued prosperity. Mary Glendon's book is a very interesting and extremely worthwhile book. If you want to change things it is essential.
“A liberal education is open to even the most time challenged person. Some of the best and most interesting college lecturers are available cheaply and on tape.” Publius
“The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.” Mohammed 570-632
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