an international think tank dedicated to global harmony
In your government what is the need of killing? If you desire what is good, the people will be good. The character of a ruler is like wind and that of the people is like grass. In whatever direction the wind blows, the grass always bends. -Confucius
progressive news sources
Air America Radio
april 8, 2004
keywords: youth voting
An Open Letter to America's Youth
"Decisions are made by those who show up."
It's a deceptively simple statement.
Do you know who always shows up? The old-timers, the reactionaries,
right whose idea of "family values" seems to tend more towards Germany's
domestic policy in the 1930s. These are the people in America who have
absolutely nothing better to do than write letters and wave signs and, most of
all, vote. And you know what gives them more satisfaction than anything else?
They know how seldom YOU vote.
By "you" I mean the 18- to 30-year-old crowd. The
ones who overwhelmingly
opposed the war in Iraq and who know beyond a shadow of a doubt that George W.
Bush is the worst thing to happen to America in decades. I've heard your
voices, I've read your blogs and forum posts, but do you think the fat old
white men in Washington are paying any attention to those things? No. They pay
attention to the voters.
Why am I writing this pleading, semi-patronizing open letter?
It's because I
have watched my generation's ambition, so dazzling 30 years ago, swirling down
the toilet as we slide into our "golden years." I don't know what's happening
to us; we had such incredible potential, such power, in our youth. But now the
overwhelming majority of this influential group has swung to the far-right.
Why do I feel differently? Why do I engage in protests that
land me in jail?
Why am I repeatedly drawn to political roles? The West Wing is not a reality
show. It has nothing to do with reality. We have a phrase we use sometimes:
"Present issues of great importance," and we hope this will cause some measure
of public debate, because the issues are so important. But we don't advocate
it, and most of the time we don't even know what effect the show is going to
have, if any. But sometimes we ring a bell. Sometimes we can bring an issue to
the forefront, and by just mentioning it, whether it is global warming or
women's rights, or the environment, we bring attention to it.
What we try to say is that it doesn't matter if you are a Republican
Democrat or conservative or independent. You are equally responsible for your
place in the culture, and you must make a contribution, and you must accept
responsibility for what goes down on your watch. You have no excuse if you are
a conservative not to be concerned about the environment. You are equally
responsible. Future generations are not going to ask us what political party
were you in. They are going to ask what did you do about it, when you knew the
glaciers were melting. On the show, we are not trying to get people to eat
their vegetables; we are not trying to get people to become Democrats. We are
basically trying to encourage people to get involved with public life so that
politics isn't left to the wealthy and privileged.
It's not a fair fight. Your strongest weapons -- your intelligence,
awareness of technology, your understanding of the global community -- will
carry you far, but in our stunted and crippled political system, the weapons of
war are antiquated, and they are this: Register, go to the polls, and vote.
These smug old men love it when they hear an 18-year-old say "why should I even
bother to register? My vote doesn't count for anything." They LOVE it! This is
what gets the Dubyas elected! Every vote we -- you -- don't cast is a
double-whammy for them, because you can bet that their constituents are
flocking like sheep to the polls and voting the way they're told to. They are a
mob and they function with a constant mob mentality. What they lack in brains
(and it's plenty, believe me), they make up for in numbers. And they always
This is why, if you care at all about changing America, you
need to stoop to
their level and fight them with their own fire. You NEED to vote. Yes,
certainly, your single vote is insignificant; but you have the potential to be
an unstoppable force if you work together. You have the Internet at your
fingertips, and it gives you the ability to communicate instantaneously with
thousands of people who feel the same way you do. What if you convinced five of
your friends to vote, and each of them convinced five more, and so on? How long
before the sheep began to shuffle uncomfortably, watching your numbers grow?
How long before you gained an undeniable influence in this country? It won't
take long, believe me. Your generation has the lowest voter turnout in history;
the right-wingers only need a handful of loyal followers to outperform you at
the polls. It won't take much to outdo them, if you stand together.
I spoke out publicly against the war, and I was filled with
pride when I saw
how many people -- how many of YOU -- took to the streets to voice your
passionate disagreement with this administration's policies. But this cannot be
your only tactic. The government in this country is older and wiser in the ways
of propaganda and protest than it once was, and the strategies of old are not
as effective anymore. America lost its innocence in the Vietnam era, and it
knows how to deal with dissidence now. The U.S. news media is nothing more than
a glorified press secretary for the powerful men in Washington. Never before
have we been so vulnerable to mass media's manipulation. Seventy percent of
Americans believe that there was a clear connection between Iraq and Osama, and
you KNOW that's false. Ironic that in the "information age," it has become even
more difficult to convey the truth.
You might think that your contributions, your votes, can't make
waves enough to
change the situation in your lifetime. But one thing our government's recent
performance has shown us is how quickly it can all change. George W. Bush
unraveled more than thirty years' worth of carefully-cultivated international
relations with Europe in under a year. Under a YEAR! What do you think will
happen if he gets another four years? What's left to ruin?
The future, both short- and long-term, is truly in your hands.
hassle of voting (and if you think it's a guaranteed jury-duty call, think
again -- most states have changed that rule because it deterred voters), it's
nothing compared to the disaster this nation will face if your half of the
population doesn't make its voice heard by the people with power. You've GOT to
vote. You can change this country.
I'll close with a quote:
"Twenty-five years ago, half of all eighteen to twenty-four
year olds voted;
today it's 25 percent. Eighteen to twenty-four year olds represent 33 percent
of the population, but only account for 7 percent of the voters. Think
government isn't about you? How many of you have student loans to pay? How many
of you have credit card debt? How many want clean air and clean water and civil
liberties? How many want jobs? How many want kids? How many want their kids to
go to good schools and walk on safe streets? Decisions are made by those who
-- C.J. Cregg, "The West Wing"
Thanks for reading this. Please pass it along.
keywords: the faces of war
march 18, 2004
keywords: homosexual unions
Considerable controversy is raging around the world about the rights of homosexuals to get married. Right-wing fundamentalists are attempting to justify their positions with vacuous appeals to Scripture. Now is the time to recognize the rights of homosexuals. For more, please see essay.
february 17, 2004
phenomenal flash presentation exploring the futilities of war- www.endofexistence.org
january 23, 2004
keywords: the cost of war in iraq- human lives
US Troops Dead=
Iraq Civilians= ? (approximately 10,000) see Iraq Body Count
cost of war in iraq- financial cost
may 20, 2003
keywords: Peace Without War
WE CAN ESTABLISH GLOBAL PEACE WITHOUT WAR!
When will our politicians and global leaders finally realize that we do not need chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons to establish peace on Earth? The Bush Administration and other war mongers across the globe need to be held accountable for their actions. Stealing oil is an international crime! Destroying cultures is an international crime! Going to war unilaterally is an international crime! Message to U.S. military- you do not own Iraq! Get the fuck out! Give the oil fields back to the Iraqis! If you want to help the people of Iraq, then do so appropriately. If the peoples of the earth desire to help rebuild Iraq, then let us do it collectively and internationally. Rebuilding contracts dispersed to a handful of pro- Bush administration cronies is not likely to help anyone but the cronies. As a U.S. citizen, I am appalled that my tax dollars are going to these companies. I am tired of pro-war rhetoric day in and day out. The peoples of the world must unite and say no to these morons. The terrorists are the ones who commit human atrocities- those who murder, destroy land, and local culture. I am concerned about the terrorists inside my own country- the Bush Administration and any other fanatical group that will kill others for their causes or their fears. I don't need your secuirty Mr. Bush! The U.S. does not need your lame ass Department of Homeland Secuirty. We don't want your Patriot Acts. We don't want any more of your wars. May we all dismantle this regime peacefully and quietly. One by one, may we assert our freedom to chose peace. Those who chose war must be fought peacefully. The war is against war itself. Love shall overcome. War divides. Peace unites.
Global security will not be established by stockpiling more weapons of mass destruction. International peace is no longer an option- it is imperative for the survival of the planet! The U.S., as sole superpower, should be setting the highest standards of international decorum, but instead, the current administration is making a mockery of decency and morality. If you want the world to be peaceful, you must exhibit peace at home and in every part of the world. Start dismantling your own weapons of mass destruction! Stop supporting military build-up! Educate your citizens, help provide for their basic needs, and feed the hungry. For Christ's sake, we don't need any more of your trained killers! Separate Military and State! Move money out of defense! We can feed the world for god's sake on what we spend on guns, and killers, and tanks, and nuclear bombs. What would the citizens of the world rather have? Guns and more fucking weapons of mass destruction or educated and healthy global citizens?
It's in your power to bring about change!
may 19, 2003
keywords: Imperial Democracy
Bush Administration policies are beautifully exposed here: http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0518-01.htm
april 22, 2003
keywords: Theocracy vs. Democracy
As the reorganization of Iraq gets underway, a fundamental political question is beginning to surface within the country: Who should ultimately decide what form of government Iraq ought to implement? U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in a press conference today, "we hope (for) a system that will be democratic and have free speech and free press and freedom of religion... the United States expects an eventual government of Iraq to be a democracy where the rights of minorities are guaranteed, not a theocracy run by clerics such as in neighboring Iran." On the surface, this sounds like a noble plan and vision for Iraq, but what if the Iraqi people want to implement a theocratic government? Ought not Iraqi rights and freedoms be protected in this regard also? What if Iraq freely chooses a theocracy? Should U.S. forms of democracy trump Arab forms of theocracy? Addressing such questions seems paramount in attempting to permit freedom and justice to reign.
We must ask ourselves precisely what is meant by 'freedom.' Is the democratic form of government truly free? Is capitalism a necessary complement to democracy? Must they go hand in hand? If the citizen population of a country decides to elect a leader who is Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, or Taoist, should another government or superpower intervene and hault the process? Simply because U.S. forms of democracy attempt to separate Church and State, does that mean that all countries should?
As an American and global citizen, I am not entirely convinced that democracy is truly free. Especially as I find myself reflecting upon the manner in which most elected officials obtain their posts. In the U.S., democracy is in fact synonymous with capitalism where $ and greed seem to trump virtually all other values within society and culture. Officials are often elected simply because they have enough money to run for office and create enough revenue to support a campaign. In recent years, large multi-national corporate conglomerates have begun to yield enormous power in Washington. Now, I ask you to consider, is this freedom? Is such a system just?
What if a theocracy could be implemented at the purest and highest level of manifestation known to humankind? What if peace and compassion, rather than money and greed, fueled societal endeavors? Should Iraq be prevented from attempting such a project? Perhaps they would enjoy a freedom yet unknown or only faintly glimpsed at in the West.
I also wonder whether a form of theocracy is motivating the Bush administration. Here, we find a form of Christian fundamentalism dictating poltical policies. According to Christian fundamentalists, the Arab world and its leaders are indeed the 'evil ones.' Unless you are saved by Christ, they argue, you are considered either an enemy or subject for hopeful conversion. A strict dichotomy and division separates the 'good' from the 'evil' in a strong reading of evangelical Christianity. Therefore, the 'evil ones' are replaceable and extinguishable for a higher social good, namely, the preservation and extension of Jesus' church on earth. Yet, in Iraq, we are witnessing a severe clash in cultures and religious sentiment. The differences between evangelical christians and shiite muslims are so stark that we may be witnessing a rather volatile situation unfold in the Arab world that is far from over.
april 15, 2003
keywords: Human Genome Project, Genetics, Societal Implications
The National Human Genome Research Institute announced yesterday that scientists from across the globe have successfully mapped the human genetic code with a 99.99% level of accuracy. Now that the genetic map of the human has been completed, scientists and physicians will likely use this information in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The promises of genetic engineering, therapy, and assessment are quite remarkable and will lead to tremendous advancements in medical science. However, perils loom in the wing in the midst of such monumental accomplishments. Since human DNA contains vital and sensitive information pertaining to a person's health, likelihood of developing diseases, physical durability, and perhaps even help determine a person's IQ, how this information is used will be of utmost significance in the near future. Who should ultimately have access to a person's DNA information? Will governments attempt to catalogue their citizens by their DNA sequence? Is such informational leverage fair in democracies that respect privacy? Will insurance companies be able to access DNA information? Such questions must be addressed in a thorough assessment of sociological implications of the human genome project.
april 14, 2003
keywords: Democracy in Iraq, Halliburton
As the war in Iraq appears to be coming to a close, the re-building and political environment within the country is now being decided. Washington is taking measures to ensure and protect its own interests however. Halliburton, Dick Cheney's former place of employment, has just received a $500 million contract to help rebuild Iraq. Additional U.S. companies are being chosen based on their apparent level of support for the Bush administration. Clearly, a conflict of interests is surfacing. Who will ultimately profit from the war in Iraq? What leaders will now come to power? Will the Iraqis be able to freely choose their new leader or will Washington push its own form of democracy down the Iraqi throats?
keywords: Iraq Oil
U.S. and British forces have taken control of Iraq oil fields and the second largest crude oil reserve in the world. Iraq's estimated revenue from oil production is approximately $22 billion annually. This accounts for 95% of Iraq's yearly revenue. Iraq must retain control of their oil fields to survive as an independent nation. Any leadership that is established within the country must be able to regain control of oil reserves and production centers. The United Nations may be needed to help facilitate this process and wrestle control away from U.S. and British corporations and private interests.
april 8, 2003
keywords: War in Iraq
Despite approximately 150 children being freed from an Iraqi prison who were imprisoned because they refused to join in Saddam's military efforts, the realities and devastation of war are making themselves known. The website http://www.marchforjustice.com chronicles the plight of Iraqi civilians in the midst of military onslaught.
april 7, 2003
keywords: Anti-War Movement , Oakland California
Police launched an attack against war protestors today in Oakland, California using rubber bullets and other forms of physical means to disperse protestors. According to Reuters, during the first two days of the war, approximately 2,000 protestors were arrested in nearby San Francisco. This incident appears to be the first instance of blatant physical force on protestors.
Approximately 750 protestors gathered in Oakland today at a local docking station to block access to American President Lines, a shipping company known to profit from the war in Iraq.
keywords: Patriot Act II, Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003
Civil liberties within the United States are now under serious attack. Patriot Act II, otherwise known in Washington as the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003, is likely to have wide-ranging effects on freedom and democracy in the US. Apparently, this act is attempting to curtail privacy rights of US citizens by making it legal for law enforcement agencies to detain any person suspected of "terrorism " without due process of law. Furthermore, law enforcement would be able to spy on individuals without a court order, obtain personal information including internet usage, books checked out, and banking histories. Any person who falls within the largely ambiguous connotation of "terrorist" could be taken from their homes without the notification of friends and family. Once detained, DNA samples can be obtained from suspects without regard to personal privacy. The Patriot Act seeks to make it legal to house all DNA samples in a central database. There may be no information pertaining to individuals that is more personal than that contained within the DNA sequence.
Patriot Act II is being pushed through Washington at a time when the US is at war and preoccupied . However, the Patriot Act gives absolute powers to government officials to spy on, detain, and monitor activities of US citizens in a way never seen before in American history. Presumably, the Bush Administration is attempting to use this act as a way to squelch dissention and any individuals or parties who are not in total accord with admistration policy. The ramifications of such a breach on civil liberties ought not be underestimated.
In the past week, ebay was sued by the Bush Administration for violating the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act is immediately being used by the Bush Administration to attack financial and political rivals, including ebay. This situation is likely to intensify in weeks and months to come. The war abroad with Iraq may come to a close in the near future, but the war on domestic civil liberties appears to be in its infancy. If this act is not challenged in Washington, the ramifications could be catastrophic to American freedoms.
april 6, 2003
keywords: David Bloom, War with Iraq
This afternoon as I arrived to work, I learned of the passing of NBC reporter David Bloom. I considered David to be one of the top news correspondents working in journalism. He will be dearly missed around the world and to those close to him. May our prayers go out to his family and friends. Although his passing does not seem to be combat related, the war with Iraq marches on as casualties continue to mount. According to Reuters, the latest tally of Iraqi civilian casualties is approximately 1,200, 27 British are dead, and an additional 75 from the U.S. have been killed. The number of Iraqi soldiers dead remains unknown. The minimum deaths recorded thus far stands at 1354. see
april 5, 2003
Welcome to psitank. I am in the early stages of developing a global think tank to address political, social, and economic issues around the world. If you are a scholar, social activist, or political commentator who would like to join in these efforts, or you know of an urgent political matter anywhere in the world that you would like to see mentioned on this site, please contact me directly at email@example.com
I have decided to develop psitank as an alternative news source upon matters pertaining to global politics, justice, and peace.
think tank links
(key indicates political leaning dem=democratic, gre=green, rep=republican)
Acton Institute the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is named after the great English historian, Lord John Acton (1834-1902). He is best known for his famous remark: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Inspired by his work on the relation between liberty and morality, the Acton Institute seeks to articulate a vision of society that is both free and virtuous, the end of which is human flourishing. To clarify this relationship, the Institute holds seminars and publishes various books, monographs, periodicals, and articles
Ayn Rand Institute the center for the advancement of objectivism
Benton Foundation seeks to articulate a public interest vision for the digital age and to demonstrate the value of communications for solving social problems
Brookings Institution dem an independent, nonpartisan organization devoted to research, analysis, education, and publication focused on public policy issues in the areas of economics, foreign policy, and governance
Carter Center dem guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering; it seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health
Cato Institute rep a non-profit public policy research foundation headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Cato Institute seeks to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets and peace
Center for National Policy dem CNP uses findings from its public opinion research and undertakes technical, substantive and political research and analysis to frame options and to formulate policy recommendations.
Foundation for National Progress an independent nonprofit whose roots lie in a commitment to social justice implemented through first rate investigative reporting
Harvard National Model United Nations dem the oldest, largest, and most prestigious simulation of its kind. Each year, HNMUN brings together nearly two thousand students and faculty advisors from colleges and universities across the globe and provides them with a unique opportunity to experience the challenges of international negotiation
Heritage Foundation a research and educational institute - a think tank - whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense
Institute for Global Communications beginning in 1987, the Institute for Global Communications (IGC) played a formative role in bringing advanced communications technologies to grassroots organizations worldwide working for peace, human rights, environmental sustainability, women's rights, conflict resolution and worker rights. Our flagship global computer networks -- PeaceNet, EcoNet, WomensNet, ConflictNet, LaborNet and AntiRacismNet -- became trademark names in the struggle for democratic use of the media and the world's communications infrastructure
Institute for Policy Innovation a non-profit, non-partisan public policy "think tank" based in Lewisville, Texas and founded in 1987 by Congressman Dick Armey to research, develop and promote innovative and non-partisan solutions to today's public policy problems.
Institute for the Study of Civil Values established in Philadelphia in 1973 to promote civic idealism--the philosophy of all those who work to bring citizens and government together to achieve our historic civic ideals
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), established in 1962, is an integral part of the infrastructure of social science research. ICPSR maintains and provides access to a vast archive of social science data for research and instruction, and offers training in quantitative methods to facilitate effective data use.
International Institute for Sustainable Development IISD promotes the transition toward a sustainable future. We seek to demonstrate how human ingenuity can be applied to improve the well-being of the environment, economy and society.
John C. Stennis Center for Public Service the Stennis Center for Public Service is a federal, legislative branch agency created by Congress in 1988 to promote and strengthen public service leadership in America.
National Election Studies the mission of the National Election Studies (NES) is to produce high quality data on voting, public opinion, and political participation that serve the research needs of social scientists, teachers, students, policy makers and journalists concerned with the theoretical and empirical foundations of mass politics in a democratic society.
Open Society Institute dem the Open Society Institute decided to reestablish a Washington office in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the resulting policy changes within the U.S. government. The office focuses on addressing violations of civil liberties in the United States and expanding OSI’s policy and advocacy work in the areas of criminal and civil justice reform. In addition, OSI is building a framework to influence debates over global economic policies, such as those involving international development assistance.
Cascade Policy Institute Cascade Policy Institute was founded in January 1991 as a nonprofit research and educational organization to focus on Oregon state and local issues. The Institute's mission is to explore and advance public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility, and economic opportunity.
Policy Research Action Group founded in 1989, PRAG is a consortium of community-based and community-focused nonprofit organizations and urban universities which currently include Chicago State University, DePaul University, Loyola University of Chicago, National-Louis University, and University of Illinois, Chicago.
Progress & Freedom Foundation the Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. Its mission is to educate policymakers, opinion leaders and the public about issues associated with technological change, based on a philosophy of limited government, free markets and civil liberties.
Public Communication Technology Project at ASU the mission of the Public Communication Technology Project is to promote the transfer of computer-based communication and information technology to the public and governmental/civic organizations.
RAND - Public Policy Research and Analysis a non profit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis
Urban Institute a nonpartisan economic and social policy research organization
W.E. Upjohn Institute the W.E. Upjohn Institute is an independent, nonprofit research organization devoted to finding, evaluating, and promoting solutions to employment-related problems.
World Water Council the World Water Council is the International Water Policy Think Tank dedicated to strengthening the world water movement for an improved management of the world's water resources. The World Water Council was established in Marseille, France, in 1996 as a non-profit non-governmental umbrella organization.
International Center for Scholars established by an act of Congress in
1968, the Wilson Center is our nation's official living memorial to President
Woodrow Wilson. As both a distinguished scholar—the only American President
with a Ph.D.—and a national leader, Wilson felt strongly that the scholar and
the policymaker were "engaged in a common enterprise."
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