Democracy Vs. Republic?

Man, I hear this ALL the time! A really good break-down of the debate. “…if you think these people are indifferent toward democracy, you couldn’t be more mistaken…it certainly wouldn’t hurt their cause any to convince a large part of the public that democracy never even existed in the first place.”
From what I hear, lots of people already believe that.

The Propaganda Professor

It’s bound to happen. Mention something about protecting American democracy within earshot of a right-winger, and you are pretty much guaranteed these days to get a canned response like this: “America is not a democracy, you libtard snowflake moron! It’s a republic!” This is a snappy comeback intended to “own the libs”, but all it actually does is demonstrate ignorance and gullibility.

Saying that a nation is “a republic and not a democracy” is like saying that an animal is a dog, and not a mammalian quadruped. Because democracy and republic are not at all antithetical or mutually exclusive. Rather, a republic is a particular kind of democracy: namely a democracy in which citizens elect representatives to make laws on their behalf.

As the entry for republic over at Britannica states:

republic, form of government in which a state is ruled by representatives of the citizen body. Modern republics…

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R.I.P Thích Nhất Hạnh

I learned of Thích Nhất Hạnh many years ago when I was in the Cleveland Dharma Study Group.  He was one of many Buddhist masters whose books I read & cherished.  I am very sad to hear of his passing.


by Đinh Trường Chinh
kính tiễn Thích Nhất Hạnh trở về với quê hương đích thực. tin ông ra đi trong một ngày tuyết lạnh nơi tôi ở, mút phía bên kia địa cầu…
thank you so much for your words of wisdom.
“The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.
Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful…How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow? It is natural–you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow
Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free …
To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be…

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Our Naive Assumption

A must-read.

On The Fence Voters

Brooking’s Lib began his last essay by asking why anyone would ever vote for a Republican. He then went into great detail about why Republicans represent a clear and present danger to America today. He concluded his essay by asking, “Am I wrong?” No Jeff, you’re not wrong. You’re 100% correct. I’d like to offer some additional thoughts I’ve had for quite some time however.

To answer your question simply, people vote for Republicans because they like what they’re hearing from Republicans. That part has never changed.

But many things have changed. Things are very different now. We see what’s happening on the news, we read about it and we feel it in the air. We’re at each other’s throats and we literally hate each other. Many say it’s not impossible that we’re heading for another civil war, and it wouldn’t surprise me because the hatred and feelings of justification…

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Makara Sankranti and Sesame Sweets

I have never heard of this festival before. The world is filled with wonderful celebrations.

Kaushal Kishore

Today is the day when the Sun enters the constellation of Makara (Capricorn). It’s celebrated as Pongal, Bihu, Bhogi and mostly as Makara Sankranti in India to express gratitude to Mother Earth for providing sustenance in the form of grains and other edibles, and also to the farm animals, especially the cow, which is worshipped and treated as mother. We are the only mammals who drink the milk of other species.

This festival is important, because a  society can survive without rocket technology, but not without agriculture. This day of gratitude and celebration of the bountifulness of the earth and nature is a beautiful Indian festival that all environmentalists, irrespective of the religion and geography, should participate in.

This is celebrated by flying kites, lighting bonfires, bathing in holy rivers, worshipping Lord Sun, making, eating and distributing sweets made from sesame (til) and jaggery.

Now on a…

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Nguyễn Văn Thiện | Bits and pieces of shattered sound fell from the seventh level of clouds (54)

I love this poem


By Nguyễn Văn Thiện, translation by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

Bits and pieces of shattered sound fell from the seventh level of clouds, by the time they reached the tip of Mount Chư Mang they were no longer whole, they were much like the whisper of a blood cell through a vein. Y pointed at the sky, exclaimed for no reason at all, so it’s the warm sunlight, but is it that far away? A drop of cold dew landed on the wing of his nose as though it was some kind of consolation, just before it evaporated with the last rays of settled winter sunlight.
Những âm thanh vỡ vụn từ tầng mây thứ bảy, rơi xuống đến núi Chư Mang thì đã không còn nguyên vẹn nữa, nhỏ xíu như tiếng hồng cầu đi trong huyết mạch. Y chỉ tay lên bầu trời, hỏi trống không, ừ…

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An Open Letter to White Evangelicals in the United States (Get Vaccinated Otherwise I Propose That Your Death From COVID-19 Should Not be Mourned)

I wholeheartedly agree.

Wondering Eagle

This is an open letter to white evangelicals in the United States. It’s time for you to get vaccinated. If you are a Christian prove yourself. Otherwise, if you refuse vaccination, and contract COVID-19 this blog would suggest that you should not be mourned in death. One aspect to your foolishness is that you have proved the Charles Darwin is right.

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WOMEN AND HEART ATTACKS: Things Every Woman Should Know, and So Should the Men Who Share Their Worlds

This is really important. The difference in symptoms in heart attack shows the sex-based differences in men & women. You cannot “identify” yourself into the other sex & for medical reasons alone, COMPLETE HONESTY about your birth sex should be maintained, regardless of how you identify. For your own health & the collective health of all of us.

A New Spirituality

Do you know, when women have heart attacks, they seldom experience the same symptoms as men experience. Yet men’s symptoms are well and widely known. We men are told what to watch for early in life. So why are women not told what symptoms and signs they should watch for! Heart attacks are the number one killer of women in the world. If we do not know how to spot them coming, the earlier the better, how can women get the help they need before or when they need it.

Until just recently I had no idea heart attacks for women did not present the same as heart attacks for men. And when I found out, I was furious. Even in the medical world, where women dominate by numbers, most women are not aware of their signs of an oncoming heart attack, or an ongoing heart attack. So how do…

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