I've just returned from 10 days of travel with my family in Scotland. The "Yes" side in the battle over the referendum on Scottish independence, to be held September 19, is another example of aspirations for civic empowerment, especially among young people, appearing around the world.
Every year millions of Americans are summoned to jury service. Yet, no organized, centralized space exists to collect or share what jurors think about this experience. Juror voices are lost. And, this is a loss for the court system and American democracy.
If leaders with an agenda begin to surface from Occupy and take the electoral route, will they become only well-funded democrats? Can Occupy have an impact without moving inside; without mounting a full effort to reform the system?
Citizens, for their part, grow cynical and angry and learn nothing from poorly designed, empty-gesture or cynically rigged public participation exercises. As a consequence, the spiral of mistrust, gridlock and political dysfunction deepens.
The window of opportunity only shrinks. Now would be the time for the so-called Democratic base to signal -- via active constituency -- that we've got Barack's back. I'll call my congressional delegation if you call yours.
Former British diplomat Carne Ross doesn't know why we're spending so much time following the presidential campaigns. "We have been led to believe that one little vote every few years is meaningful when I think intuitively, secretly we know it's meaningless," he says.
It's a world of risky reaching out, groping for connection. What I got was music, art, story. What I got was politics, courage and craftsmanship, sometimes wrapped around anger, more often wrapped around love.
We find these views to be mutually relevant... that all people, by virtue of their basic humanity, deserve the opportunity to live, work, and associate according to the dictates of their own consciences and capacities
I'm a former banker, a one percenter, and I'm mad as hell too. Beyond my anger is a real concern for democracy, for America, for the people of the world, for the planet upon which we all depend, and for my children's future.