Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Florida Still Flawed

Recently moving to the notoriously terrible administrate voting state, after living in Washington DC for the past eight years, I was overly eager to vote in this years’ historic primaries. The first time to vote for a black man or a women to be president in the United State, I was ready. I trained to be poll worker, read ballot information and attended several local political talks and public discussions about the referendums that were on this year’s ballot. Above all, I was excited that my personal vote for the primaries election would finally count. Yet, it didn’t.

After arriving to the Miami-Dade polling office, registering my id and signing my name two times, the older gentleman prepared the voting machine. He asked me to verify that the machine was correct! Thinking it must be okay, I voted for the referendums first. Then the red button was blinking; I pressed it wondering what about the primaries. The machine went to the home screen.

Wait! I want to vote for the first black man or women to be president in the United States, what happened? I went to ask what happened to my vote, and was quickly dismissed, as I hadn’t registered for a party, and that if I hit the red button then I had voted. But I hadn’t. When I registered to vote I declared my first time Democratic Party affiliation. After a rude bickering session, I relented. I didn’t have a chance to vote because the machine was not set up properly. Thus demonstrating Florida’s stilled flawed voting system.

Heidi Smith
Coral Gables, FL

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Feeling Yourself Disintegrate

Something you should know about Feeling Yourself Disintegrate Lyrics

Love in our life is just too valuable
Oh, to feel for even a second without it
But life without death is just impossible
Oh, to realize something is ending within us
Feeling yourself disintegrate

by: The Flaming Lips ---

Friday, January 11, 2008

The decline of the state

The decline of the state, underway since the close of the Cold War, paired with the rise of participatory democracies and escalation of free-market policies, have created a world climate of exceptional encouragement for human initiative.

According to the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project, "the nonproft sector outpaced the overall growth of employment [in the overall economy of the countries studied] by nearly 2.5 to 1... Even this does not capture the full scope of the nonprofit sector, for this sector also attracts a considerable amount of volunteer effort. Indeed, an average of 28 percent of the population in these countries contribute their time to nonprofit organizations."

In a December 1999 article in The Economist, the rapid growth of the citizen sector was expressed through the exponential rise of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The article reports that "One conservative yardstick of international NGOs (that is, groups with operations in more than one country) is the Yearbook of International Organisations. This puts the number of international NGOs at more than 26,000 today, up from 6,000 in 1990. Far more groups exists within national borders." The Economist went on a recent article by World Watch, the bimonthly magazine of World Watch Institute (itself an NGO), which "suggested that the United States alone has about 2m NGOs, 70 percent of which are less than 30 years old. India has about 1m grass-roots groups, while another conservative estimate suggests that more than 100,000 sprang up in Eastern Europe between 1988 and 1995."

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

kenyan politics today

One important thing to recognize is the 2000 bad election in the United States. Al Gore won the popular vote and George Bush became president. They went to the courts who decided that GB could be president and Al Gore conceded. The same thing happened in mexico last year where the LEFTist party received more votes but the courts decided that Calderon be president. The left created chaos in streets, sleeping in the main plaza in Ciudad de Mexico for months. I think the succession took nearly 6 months where the left would not leave.

Democracy is not perfect. It is a people's institution for governance. And of course, it not as divine as God ruling over us, because it is man made. But part of democracy is letting go and fighting back again when the opportunity is right. Also, institutions matter on how they manage these tensions. BUT conflict can be good--it shows where there are inconsistencies in reality. I just heard about the FAMOUS MOU. I think that is terrible that both candidates would need to sit down like that and make decisions about how the country should be run. That shows the system is sick and broken. More candidates not running on tribal lines would help Kenyan Democracy. But that will take a long long time. We in the US are just finally seeing that a women and a black man do have a shot at being president... yet these things take time.

I just read something interesting. The Orange party has majority rule in the parliament. That is exactly the case when George Bush was elected. If I were Kenyan, I would be mad that Odinga would have back promises in a fancy country club. Fighting isn't about making compromises. I would pay more attention to how the parliament could rule. To me, its not correct to make back deals. That is unfair and doesn't work. I look for more integrity over a particular candidate.

Metropolitan Cooperation and Administration in Mexico

The Role of Metropolitan Cooperation and Administrative Capacity in Subnational Debt Dynamics: Evidence From Municipal Mexico Authors ...