Mr. President, is that you?

I’ve noticed that when governments run by dictators fall they usually fall in a matter of days or weeks. I wonder if the opposite is true of democracies? Do democracies fall very slowly over time? What are the signs that a democracy is falling?

When a democratic government spies on all of its citizens, is that a sign? When a democratically elected president assassinates citizens, is that a sign? When corporations become people, is that a sign? When banks are allowed to crash the economy and make billions while average citizens suffer, is that a sign?

I’m not sure of the answer. But, I do feel that we citizens of the United States are less free than we were a decade ago. How can you be free when you have no privacy from the government? How can we be free when corporations have more power than the people to control government. We citizens seem to have become an after thought. The government only seems to seek our approval at election time.

Maybe this stuff has always gone on. Maybe we just have more information now.  But, even if these things have always gone on, don’t we owe it to ourselves to act now that we know?

What do you think? Is the American democracy falling? Are we less free?

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People, Places and Things

Here are some people, places and things on my mind at the moment.

People

01. Robin Thicke spends way too much time trying to be that cool White boy giving Black women advice on dating and not enough time doing what he does best, which is making some seriously cool and sometimes funky music.

His brand new song, “Blurred Lines” featuring T.I. and Pharrell is seriously funky and is the perfect spring/ summer jam. Check for it to top the charts in a few weeks.

02. President Barack Obama is making sure that corporate America gets its money’s worth with his new nominee for Federal Communications Commission Chairman. His nominee, Tom Wheeler, who as FCC Chairman will oversee America’s broadcast media was a lobbyist for guess who? The wireless and cable industry. That’s who. Which not so coincidentally will be the same companies that he will now oversee. Isn’t that nice and cozy! I bet AT&T and Comcast are having a party as we speak.

Places

03. I know that some of you that read this blog on a regular basis probably think I’m a little weird or at least a little off-beat. So, this next little item will reenforce those thoughts.

I’ve been thinking for a long time now about starting a cult intentional community. According to Wikipedia, an intentional community is a planned residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle.

Detroit seems like the perfect place to do this. There are blocks and blocks of empty land for farming as well as thousands of empty buildings and homes that can be bought many times for literally a few hundred dollars.

I’d love to get a group of young progressive African Americans and others together to build a community form scratch with the intent of living in a safe, self-sufficient and welcoming environment.

Anyway, maybe this is just a dream or maybe one day I’ll say f it and hit the road for Detroit.

Things

04. Boeing‘s plane of the future, the 787 or Dreamliner, was grounded this past winter after fires on at least two of the brand new jets started because of its high-tech batteries. This past week the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) cleared the Dreamliner for service after months of testing the batteries but without mandating a change of batteries. Instead allowing only modifications to the problem batteries.

Of course the grounding of Boeing’s brand spanking new plane cost the airplane maker and its commercial airline users millions of dollars. Which may have been the reason the FAA gave the plane an AOK to fly without mandating any major changes.

Once again the FAA has shown itself to be more of an advocate for the airline and airplane industry and less of an ally for the travelling public. Many of you know that I love airplanes but, this is one plane I will not fly on. I personally believe it’s a lemon.

Do you like Robin Thicke’s new song?
Are you surprised by the President’s FCC nominee?
Have you ever been to Detroit?
What do you think of my idea to start an intentional community?
Would you fly on Boeing’s 787?