Thursday, February 02, 2017

Democracy Index: From Pariamentary to Presidential Libraries

Almanac: Terrence Malick on nostalgia

“Nostalgia is a powerful feeling; it can drown out anything.” Terrence Malick (quoted in Beverly Walker, “Malick on Badlands”Sight and Sound, Spring 1973, courtesy of Ellen Fraher) more

Capitalist shoots pushing out of socialist pavement...
Back to Cold River observations about loving the long lines inside the communist shops 💃🏿 Checkout lanes for people who want it to be slow?
Not too many guys can pull off a silver bomber jacket and matching metallic Jozef Imrich 
– but who’s going to argue fashion with the man Who runs Sydney taxing political queues?

 Via CBSNews: “As a new president is about to start making history, the legacies of our former leaders are enshrined in presidential libraries. There are now 13 libraries across the country, and President Obama’s in Chicago will be the 14th. CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg joins “CBS This Morning: Saturday” to share some of the fascinating places preserving the presidential legacies.”

Finding Balance of Public and Private in Community Fellowship for Intentional Community. Using permaculture’s zone system to organize public and private boundaries.

The Dying Days of Liberalism: How Orthodoxy, nProfessionalism, and Unresponsive Politics Finally Doomed a 19th-century Project Zero Anthrology. Today’s must-read. Grab a cup of coffee for a massive takedown.

Alternative Facts and recollections of recent amalgamation stories:

Leaked document reveals billions to be made by land titles operators

Plebiscite plan on the cards to head off council merger backlash

Win win for Randwick
The son of a former Deputy Prime Minister Lionel Bowen who was the kindest politician in the world, Tony  links to NSW Gerrymander story:

Tony Bowen

Twitter › Tony__Bowen

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian says council merger decision is 'imminent'…
7 mins ago - Twitter

According to the 2016 Democracy Index almost one-half of the world’s countries can be considered to be democracies of some sort, but the number of “full democracies” has declined from 20 in 2015 to 19 in 2016. The US has been downgraded from a “full democracy” to a “flawed democracy” because of a further erosion of trust in government and elected officials there. The “democratic recession” worsened in 2016, when no region experienced an improvement in its average score and almost twice as many countries (72) recorded a decline in their total score as recorded an improvement (38). Eastern Europe experienced the most severe regression. The 2016 Democracy Index report, Revenge of the “deplorables”, examines the deep roots of today’s crisis of democracy in the developed world, and looks at how democracy fared in every region.” [full report req’s registration to download]

Has South Korea’s Leading Soprano, Sumi Jo, Been Blacklisted By China?

A coloratura who’s had a big international career (including numerous appearances in China) for 30 years, Jo had been planning to appear with three of the country’s major orchestras next month; over the weekend, all three orchestras announced that she had been “forced to withdraw.” Other South Korean musicians have had performances in China cancelled as well, and they fear that it’s because of tension between Seoul and Beijing over a missile system.

Alternative ideas on alternative facts

When President Trump's Counselor Kellyanne Conway told Chuck Todd that the White House press secretary had presented "alternative facts," she probably didn't suspect her formulation would fill headlines around the world (and apparently help sales of "1984"). Beyond guffawing at unfortunate formulations, however, interviewers should come better prepared to hit back at falsehoods with facts

Around noon on January 30th, Hitler was sworn in
"I will employ my strength for the welfare of the German people, protect the Constitution and laws of the German people, conscientiously discharge the duties imposed on me, and conduct my affairs of office impartially and with justice to everyone," swore Adolf Hitler

The road to Kafkaesque bureaucracy is paved with good intentions — Two recent media reports of tragic experiences of citizens at the hands of state employees in WA and Victoria have very little in common, apart from demonstrating the truth behind T.S. Elliot's wise aphorism that "most of the evil in this world is done by people with good intentions" and the high standards that public sector agencies are held to.