How do Democracies Perish?

I have been hearing this meme as of late, but thinking back, I can remember the same sort of theme in some of politics of the past. I’m not sure I completely buy into the whole thing, but it is an interesting read which looks like, at times, what is going on. I agree that there is criticism and self-criticism with in the society, that is needed to keep the country from tilting one way or another. The claim of exaggerated criticism or exaggerated self-criticism pushes democracies over the edge is interesting, but I’m thinking that they are temporary and are pushed away by the mainstream once recognized as such.

American Thinker: By the Book: How Democracies Perish.

The American Democratic Debate Process

DebateI often feel that the extreme right and extreme left pull us into this kind of discourse. Not because they have any new ideas, but they just can’t bring themselves to agree at all with the other side.

How True – Barriers to Innovation video

I saw this on the UMNS reporter’s blog yesterday and heard about it on an NPR podcast yesterday as well. An astronaut within NASA made a point about the barriers to innovation within NASA. It has been shown to senior NASA personnel, they thought it was funny and painful to watch, because it was true.

This is so true not only in NASA, but in the UM church as Amy Forbus points out. I say that most organizations that get large get into this rut. I think that Christians in general get into a tradition to the point that it is made into doctrine. All need to work at  breaking down those silos of compartmentation.

As funny that I could point at NASA, but my own agency can suffer from it as well, although I have seen some changes in recent years. I also see it in agencies that I have to work with as well, not only in the Federal government, but the state and local levels as well.

So, is this rampant in your own company or organization?  Look for ways to change. The end of the video has probably the best way for change…Servant Leadership.

Here is One Thing about the Former Prez

Love him or hate him, President Bush did some things that most people would have thought him impossible to do. Here’s one and it has gotten little press:

The information director at the UM sponsored Africa University has written an interesting article for UMNS with thoughts from some of the students about what an Obama presidency means for Africa. I had many differences with President Bush over the years, but I never quite understood why most of the people who hate him never gave him credit for what he did for Africa. During his time in office, he more than tripled humanitarian aid to the continent, and he made AIDS and HIV a huge priority. Tens of thousands (maybe more) of people are alive today because of his policies, and it would be good to see his detractors at least give him props for this.

I hope that President Obama can do more.

The Pro-Life Obama Voters: What Do They Want?

My brother-in-law pointed me to site on his twitter feed the night of the election, or somewhere around there, about this. It was about a pro-lifers who support Obama. Then Scot McKnight posted a link to this article on his Jesus This was the breakdown of the statistics.

So what do they [Obama pro-lifers] believe? They are fundamentally different from McCain Pro Lifers because they simply don’t believe that criminalizing abortion is the most effective means of reducing the numbers.

Here’s the key:
11% believe the best way to reduce the number of abortions is through legal restrictions
87% believe the best way is “by preventing unintended pregnancies (through education and birth control) or providing financial assistance to pregnant mothers.”

Just as surprising, is that a third of McCain pro-lifers, and 42% of McCain voters, agreed that the second approach was more effective.

The Pro-Life Obama Voters: What Do They Want? – Steven Waldman

I have stated (maybe not on the blog) that I could vote for someone even if they don’t want to reverse Roe v.Wade, if they have good plans to do the “preventing unintended pregnancies (through education and birth control) or providing financial assistance to pregnant mothers.” However, I didn’t see enough proof of that from Obama, and a few other things. I didn’t vote for McCain for the same reason I didn’t for Bush Sr. v Clinton (I voted for Clinton.), no vision and a disorganized campaign.

I really would like a two pronged attack on abortion. It would be both of these options. Surprisingly to most, I came to my beliefs about abortion through my science roots. The fact that I oppose all life ending things (death penalty, abortion, euthanasia, etc.) comes from my faith as well. I look at life starting from conception and ending any life should have legal consequences. However, I think that before we can get to that point we need to look at how we defend the weak and oppressed. I think that there are better ways than to terminate a pregnancy when one comes along. I think that a child should be looked at as a blessing, whether that blessing is meant for the mother, or possibly to another if she carries it to full term.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Am I really a fundamentalist?

I don’t do a word for word literal interpretation of the Bible.

I do believe in Jesus dying for my sins and rising on the third day to give me a new life.

I do believe, that life begins at conception, not because its in the bible (because it’s not), but because as a scientist that is the conclusion I have come to.

I believe that a Christian should be generous and that our hope is not found in the government.

I’m not sure that I agree with the redistribution of wealth that Obama proposes. I think that like the Hebrews began to enslave Hebrew during Jeremiah’s time that American corporations are enslaving Americans through debt.

I don’t agree with McCain in the campaign finance, doesn’t that limit the freedom of speech?

I’m beginning to see that I am more libertarian and I am conservative or liberal. Although, I’m not 100% sold on the libertarian ideas either.

I get tired of the name calling, the half truths and things taken out of context. Like Obama being  a Muslim and Palin being as right wing as they say.

I get tired of the conspiracy theories, on the left and the right. But I can see how some things appear to be like they do.

I guess this last month of the election has tired me out that I don’t want to approve either side. I want my voice heard.

I’m tired of the making fun of the other side. It is leading to anger in this country. An anger that we cannot afford to have.

I love all. I try to help all. I try…

Christianity is totally hijacked

Now that the Republican party has hijacked what being a Christian is, and with stories like this, I predict that despite the Christians in the Democratic party, that there will be larger backlashes that what we have seen for people of faith.

Why I voted for Bush

I was reading Instapundit and ran across this post which sums up why I voted for Bush and why I grew to dislike Clinton (most people don’t know this, but I voted for Clinton both times!).

My Politics or my reasons for independence

I guess I could be described, politically, as a somewhat “conservative” independent. I have sometimes blogged about some of the things that I support that some would say is “liberal” and other things that are “conservative.” A couple weeks ago, I listened a Mars Hill sermon where Rob Bell was describing their mission XYZ and in it he was talking about that in Jesus there is no R or D. This has been how I have been feeling for a while. Well, earlier today, I read the news out of Grand Rapids about how the state Republicans are going after the congressional representative for my area (MI D-1). I began thinking about the R versus D struggle and I think I finally have put into words what I have been feeling as of late.

So now the Republicans want to unseat a Democrat in northern Michigan. The only problem with that is that this Democrat is not your typical Democrat. If you could put a label on Bart Stupak, he would be a conservative Democrat, at least in my mind. He stands for thing like pro-life like I do, and he looks out for the little guy, from what I can surmise. So I have voted for him every election since I moved up here.

Now here is my point. I’m getting somewhat cynical about the politics of this nation in some ways. I think that most people only look at the labels and not at what someone personally stands for. That’s why I am an independent. There are some things that I identify with the Repubs on, and some with the Demos. In some ways the Repub identity has shown through on a the last few elections. However, that is due more to the positions on a few things that I felt were just wrong from the Demos. I guess I would prefer that the Repubs of this state would target other Demos that truly disagree with their positions rather than one that is more than likely to find common ground with them on. One that, in my mind, votes his conscience rather than the straight party line.

I’m probably just being naive.