Polycentric Wanderings

Keith's random and sundry thoughts on the challenges of working together.

Month: April, 2013

Automatic Voter Registration Only A Recent Idea…

Oregon’s Secretary of State is pushing hard to make Oregon the first state in the nation with “automatic” voter registration (I use quotation marks because the system automates when you get your drivers license). 

The United States has a proud history of being a democratic republic.  This is an idea whose time is looooooong overdue, if we are to truly keep advancing the meaning of democracy.

When Gun Rights Become Farce

The NRA line since the 2008 Presidential campaign has been “the government is going to take your guns!”  Reasonable assessment of all of the policy proposals up until this point shows this not to be the case, at all.  But the heightened rhetoric has pushed some gun (“rights”) advocates over the edge. 

Take for example this small Georgia town.  Barring the numerous legal exemptions, the city council has mandated that every one of the 1500 citizens must own a gun and ammunition. 

I have a question.  If one has a “right,” must they use it?  Do we not limit freedom when that “freedom” is forced upon people?  Is there not a place for rights to go unused if one chooses? 

Me thinks this city council hasn’t given that much thought.

Greek Neo-Nazi Group Going Global

Greek Neo-Nazi Group Going Global

I am not one to take the desires of supremacist groups lightly.  People should be concerned, and they should mobilize to tamp this down in their backyard.  More importantly, we need to be working outside of our communities to help whenever such violence-prone groups infiltrate another community.

We will see more of these groups.  Public policy centralized in the hands of failing governments means popular discontent.  If one part of civil society does not rise up in this vacuum to create something better (co-operatives, I say), then another darker part of civil society will rise up and attempt to gain control over centralized power. 

We all bear a burden in this era.  No way around it.