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Sat Jan 2, 2016, 11:57 PM

Question on Socio-Political Issues

This morning, an associate that I have known as socially and politically active since the 1960s called, and asked my son to tell me that he planned to stop by today. He’s one of those people who has a couple of Ph.D’s, in different areas that are of interest to him. More, he is a very good and decent person, someone I have long had the highest respect for.

When he came this evening, he went right to the issue he had come to discuss. He wants to write and publish a book on “current events” on sociological-political-legal issues, with the intention of breathing life into the Constitution of the United States. His idea is to have four authors, who contribute three chapters each.

Although I am -- by far -- the least formally educated of the four proposed authors, the others consider me as an “equal.” In fact, two of the three have asked if I might contribute to one or more of their chapters. So it sounds interesting.

My question to you: what issue (or issues) would you identify as the most interesting and important to be covered in such a book? Thank you for any contributions to this discussion.

Peace,
H2O Man

14 replies, 1153 views

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply Question on Socio-Political Issues (Original post)
H2O Man Jan 2016 OP
Buzz Clik Jan 2016 #1
Rebkeh Jan 2016 #2
rug Jan 2016 #3
Gregorian Jan 2016 #4
Nye Bevan Jan 2016 #5
Downwinder Jan 2016 #6
hfojvt Jan 2016 #7
Old Codger Jan 2016 #8
Sensitive soul Jan 2016 #14
ANOIS Jan 2016 #9
snot Jan 2016 #10
LooseWilly Jan 2016 #11
Scuba Jan 2016 #12
H2O Man Jan 2016 #13

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 12:10 AM

1. ..

 

I'll toss out a few ideas, but please do yourself a favor and settle in as the expert your colleagues are certain you are.

Keeping in mind current issues in the sociological-political-legal issues:
  • Control of firearms
  • The perception of police not valuing human lives, particularly minorities
  • Emerging complexities of religious freedoms (Muslims, Christians, atheists...)
  • Immigration
  • Environmental issues (land rights, oil exploration in protected lands and offshore)


There are so many more. Stay with what you know...

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 12:26 AM

2. For me it's not so much one or a few issues

But the interrelated nature of all/most of them, the primary one being climate change. As far as I can tell, there is no single issue that encompasses pretty much every issue, on every level, and literally affects everyone.

This is what fascinates me the most, the environment as the ultimate 'intersection', and it is a supremely important subject.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 12:42 AM

3. War powers.

 

Free speech and capital (OWS vs Citizens United)

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 12:43 AM

4. Democracy is about participation.

I would think topics would include the press as well as ways to facilitate voting and elections.

In order to even participate, we have to have information. That would be the press. Integrity of the process is broken if perverted through force, like money.

Those are my thoughts on what could be of importance. It sounds like an interesting project. Wow.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 12:54 AM

5. "Microaggressions" versus the First Amendment? (nt)

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 01:17 AM

6. Doesn't it all boil down to equality under the law?

White/non-white
rich/poor
government agent/private citizen

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 01:36 AM

7. most of my work

is on income inequality, but that's my education and interest, more than my estimation of its importance.

The Constitution would seem to need an answer to the apparent purchase of elected officials by the upper echelons of society.

In a related issue would be the purchase of the "free press" by the same monied interests.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 02:06 AM

8. Sounds like great deal

 

Not knowing the others involved I would have to say that it will indeed be a stellar group.

I am pretty much in agreement with the idea that there are too many aspects to choose from.... I would say that the biggest real overall problem comes down to the total inequality across the board in almost every aspect of our daily lives we see the rich,famous,powerful being treated better in almost everything that happens to anyone..Lower sentences, better representation being bought at every level from government to judicial..Health care, education..wow way too much

Way too much to tackle really..

P.S. I would love to see this when it is completed..should be monumental.

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Response to Old Codger (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 11:11 PM

14. I agree

With Old Codger. The canyon that separates the rich and the poor will make the country a mass of dim witted followers with no way to recover our lives. Basically prisoners to a few.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 03:03 AM

9. Respect, Ethics, Truth (nt)

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 03:30 AM

10. Gald to see this, for several reasons:

glad they were smart enough to ask you, and glad for the smarts/generosity that led you to ask for suggestions.

I actually think the Founders did a fantastic job on the Constitution. I'd nonetheless have several suggestions or areas for tweaking or further research:

The ERA + similar laws protecting the otherly-gendered

Campaign finance reform (ditch Citizens United)

The right of privacy apparently needs to be spelled out

The right of travel – ditto

The right to a decent education and health care. In general, cf. what other countries have declared as fundamental human rights.

Powers of and restrictions on the fourth estate. I currently see this a one of the most important oversights in the Founders' work. The fourth estate should function as the watchdog of democracy, not the lapdog of its rich owners. I see no way to fix this except to prohibit direct or indirect ownership of any news media operations by any person or entity that makes any money from or raises money for any purposes other than investigating and reporting news. I immediately see complications that will have to be addressed; but the fourth estate cannot facilitate the kinds of checks and balances needed on the other estates unless it too is subject to checks and balances.

I would like someone to analyze the potential of the 14th amdt to prohibit the state from forcing women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term or to compel organ donation or other assaults on or intrusions into a person's body. I.e., the minute the state can remove an embryo and commits to nursing it to full term, and caring for it or finding someone else to care for it from there on, I'm on board with restricting abortion. But it is clearly outrageous to compel women to subject their bodies to the slavery of an unwanted pregnancy. For that matter, we don't seem to be very clear on whether a person owns their own body, or its DNA, etc. A lot of work needed here.

Related: we need clarification on the degree to which the state can invade our biological and digital minds. Among other things, when should we have a reasonable expectation of privacy (even if Millenials have grown up without any)?

Maybe clarify once and for all that the U.S. is NOT a Christian state,

Ok those are just a few thoughts off the top of my head.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 04:34 AM

11. An intriguing prospect, but a question presents itself - is the book meant to elucidate?

That is to say, is the aim of the project to elucidate socio-politico-legal issues already under discussion as "current events"?... or is it aimed at investigating issues/angles that might be relevant to current events?

The former seems to be easily culled from headlines... state power to act on immigration issues, congressional vs. judicial power regarding campaign finance (citizens united vs. the ability of simple legislation to overrule the power of the judgement that money is speech), voter suppression laws by states and other consequences of the supreme court repeal of portions of the voting rights act of 1964, gun control laws (is there some appropriate second amendment limitation similar to the "fire!" limitation of the first amendment?), etc.

The latter seems to be potentially more interesting, though a stretch if the book is on current events on issues.

Does Congress have the power (assuming it mustered the courage) to use the "public ownership of the airwaves", the basis for the FCC's placing limitations on profanity, to insist that broadcasters give some "reasonable" amount of airtime to each and every "serious" candidate in every market as a condition of those broadcasters keeping their licenses for whatever airwaves they're licensed to otherwise use? (No need to repeal Citizens United, if the use of the airwaves is defined in such a way as to be guaranteed to be relatively equal, and if corporate money used to purchase ads favoring some candidate would legally require that a like amount of time be provided to all other candidates for free...) Campaign financing would need a lot less reform if this radical measure passed.

Are there grounds for bringing a lawsuit against the government in its entirety over gerrymandering and insisting that the congressional districts be drawn up in geographically "sane" shapes so as to limit the capacity for future abuses? Give voters at least a chance at representation.

Are there grounds for bringing suit against the federal, as well as all state governments, for violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment for the treatment of corporations which are, on one hand, judged to have the rights of "people", while on the other hand they are not held equally accountable and incarcerated for their crimes, but only fined? Ought some judgment to be sought to ameliorate this un-equal protection by either insisting that corporations be stripped of their "personhood" rights, or that, conversely, they (or their officers as agents thereof) should be incarcerated for any wrongdoing, the same as would have occurred had an individual, for example, killed several workers as a result of malfeasance? Force the corporate officers to behave like people again, or face the consequences (or just end special considerations for corporate entities).

And, just for a quick last one, shouldn't stock market traders be charged a per-transaction fee the same way that taxi drivers and limousine companies are charged a per-pickup fee for picking up passengers at an airport? Why is one form of "work" less regulated &/or taxed to pay for its own regulation, than another?

I'd mention something about climate change, but the information on that is just so overwhelming that more information won't help... that's an issue of willful denial that just needs to be overrun by popular demand, once there's enough popular demand.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 08:15 AM

12. I'll suggest consolidation of the media following the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and ...

 

... the subsequent homogenization of the messages those media bring to America.

“The heaviest restriction upon the freedom of public opinion is not the official censorship of a press, but the unofficial censorship by a press which exists not so much to express opinion as to manufacture it.”

Dorothy L. Sayers
1893-1957

British writer, essayist, playwright and translator.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 01:19 PM

13. Thanks to everyone

who responded so far. I will hopefully have time in the next 48 hours to respond individually. Until then, I really do appreciate your input .....the responses illustrate why DU:GD remains a valuable resource.

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