Friday, December 2, 2016

Open Source Podcast: What is the Appropriate Response to the Trump Presidency?

by Nomad

Despite our new age of open communication, intelligent and informed discussion is not always easy to find. It's hard just find civil discourse online and on television. If you don't prefer confrontation over explanation, aggressive cross-talk, and questions that never get answered, you may just want to turn off your television altogether. 

You might not have heard of this weekly podcast but Open Source is, in fact, the world's longest-running podcast. Hosted by Christopher Lydon, a former New York Times journalist, this radio program focuses on the big ideas in culture, the arts, and politics with the smartest people in the world. It has been called "an American conversation with global attitude.”

In this week's show, we examine the very different world in the aftermath of Donald Trump's stunning election victory. Even as the Left attempts to pick up the salvageable pieces, we need to ask ourselves what is to be done next?

Of special interest is the opening interview with the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis who offers some advice for disheartened progressives. We should be very afraid of what Trump represents and what he could do.

However, he adds, we should not allow ourselves to be paralyzed by fear. The time to come together to prevent erosion of civil liberties is now. 

Introducing the Nomadic Politics Corkboard

by Nomad

If you are observant, you might have noticed I've added something new to the blog. Right under the blog title, you will see a list of pages. 
Got it?
See the one between Home and Embedding Content listed as "The Corkboard"
Click on that. That's a feature that allows you the readers to easily add their own links, photos, videos, post ideas or whatever they feel like.  
Because there are so many trolls on the prowl, anybody who'd like to contribute can put their name on the list and I will be glad to add you. 
After that, it's super easy to figure out. How you want to use it up to you. Of course, the comment policy for keeping things respectful will still apply. 

Every month or so, (depending on the number of posted notes, I'll clear the board and we start fresh again. 
Tell me what you think.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This Century-Old Article Recalls the Connection between Fair Wages and Freedom

by Nomad

Over a hundred years, this progressive essayist from asked a vital question: Can there be any meaning of the word "freedom" without economic independence?

A Voice from the Past

In many ways, the following essay about the vital importance of a living wage- as the first step to all progress for a nation- could have been written last month. In fact, it's well over a hundred years old. 
Journalist and novelist, David Graham Phillips published this article in The Arena in 1909, two years before his shocking murder in the streets of downtown Manhattan.
His phrase "the politicians of privilege" is an eerie reminder that progressives have fought  this battle before.

Economic Independence, the Basis of Freedom

It is true that we are a free people in name only. It is true that, in fact, we are no freer than if we had a king over us and a powerful nobility. But it is also true that our possession of the power of freedom, of the political machinery of freedom, makes us better off than if we still had that first step to take. If we were on our way down, this would not be so, but we are on our way up.

Freedom does not come from without, but from within. It is, first of all, a state of mind, an attitude of thought. We used to have more actual freedom than we have now, but it was a freedom insecurely based and it was swept away. 

It was insecurely based because it was merely a sentiment. We did not understand what freedom meant; we did not understand how to keep it; we did not understand that it had a practical value of the highest kind and was not a beautiful ideal only.

We did not understand that freedom meant a better house to live in, better clothes for our families, better food on the table, more leisure for amusement and improvement, more money in our pockets, better education and better prospects for our children. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Secret of Putin's Political Longevity? Old Soviet Wine in New Russian Bottles

by Nomad

A St. Petersburg professor asks the question a lot of people have been wondering: How long will President Putin be able to hold onto power?

The Real Reason why Putin is Still Around

Professor of the Department of Economics at the European University in St. Petersburg, Dmitry Travinpoints out in an article for The Moscow Times, that, even though the corruption of the ruling authorities is "too obvious for thinking people to hold out any hope of progress" the Russian authorities have been effective at suppressing (or at least, discouraging) mass protests.
It would appear, Travin postulates, that Putin's expiry date will come when he himself sets the date.

But why? What could account for Putin's political longevity, which in modern Russia is the only measurement of success? 
The answer is something that many Americans long accustomed to a certain degree of political tranquility, (at least until recently) tend to overlook: stability.