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Tao Te Ching
"When a country obtains great power, it becomes like the sea; all streams run downward into it. The more powerful it grows, The greater the need for humility. Humility means trusting the Tao, thus never needing to be defensive.
A great nation is like a great man; when he makes a mistake, he realizes it. Having realized it, he admits it. Having admitted it, he corrects it. He considers those who point out his faults as his most benevolent teachers. He thinks of his enemy as the shadow that he himself casts.
If a nation is centered in the Tao, if it nourishes its own people and doesn’t meddle in the affairs of others, it will be a light to all nations in the world.”
-- Lao Tzu
Selected Politics Links
American Prospect attempts to provide common ground for the Democratic Leadership Council-led corporate wing of the party and the more progressive elements in the party’s mainstream. That’s no easy task, as any political animal can tell you.
This ambitious liberal public policy magazine and website was founded by Paul Starr, Robert Reich and Robert Kuttner. Starr, a Princeton sociologist, served as a senior advisor to the Clinton administration concerning its ill-fated healthcare reform project. Reich, a liberal economist, was Secretary of Labor for Bill Clinton. Kuttner, a co-founder of the Economic Policy Institute, one of Washington’s foremost liberal thinktanks, is also a regular contributor to Business Week.
Black Box Voting
Bev Harris’s book, Black Box Voting: Ballot Tampering in the 21st Century, is available for free as a download or as a conventional book on the homepage of this website, the epicenter of the controversy about the security of electronic voting machines and their possible abuse by corporate interests associated with the Republican party. In researching her book, Bev spent over two thousand hours researching voting machines, and interviewed dozens of witnesses including many election officials and even voting machine programmers who work directly for the firms that build these machines.
The news media have picked up on the problems with these electronic voting machines, which leave no paper trail, and hence produce vote totals that can never be verified in any way. Bev’s website has an invaluable archive of news stories about electronic voting systems.
For anyone who wants to understand this issue fully, investigative journalist Ronnie Dugger’s prescient article, Counting Votes, which originally appeared in The New Yorker in 1988, provides a historical overview of the early attempts to computerize elections in this country, and details the many problems encountered from day one, ranging from error to fraud.
Campaign Finance Information Center
This website is a project of Investigative Reporters and Editors, an organization for professional journalists, and it contains industrial strength tools for tracking the influence of powerful lobbies and individuals on our political process. These tools are for IRE members only, including a database of federal contracts and another database enabling reporters to track political contributions and cash flow across several states simultaneously.
Capitol Hill Blue
The oldest 24/7 daily political site on the world wide web, Capitol Hill Blue was founded in 1994, and is published by ex-newspaperman and Capitol Hill staffer Fred Thompson. Here’s your source for well-informed rants by an admittedly cynical Washington insider who has never given up on his quixotic quest for truth, justice and, yes, the American way. The site also features news stories from the major wire services, selected to appeal to sophisticated consumers of political news.
Center for Democracy and Technology
The Center for Democracy and Technology works to promote democratic values and constitutional liberties in the digital age. With expertise in law, technology, and policy, CDT seeks practical solutions to enhance free expression and privacy in global communications technologies. CDT is dedicated to building consensus among all parties interested in the future of the Internet and other new communications media.
Free Speech Online
Internet Global Domain Names
Online Resources for Internet Activists
Find out about pending legislation in the US Congress that impacts all Netizens, find out about your privacy rights, and communicate with Congress on key issues.
Center for Public Integrity
The Center for Public Integrity sponsors investigative journalism in the public interest. This is the online home of The Buying of the President 2004, an invaluable book investigating the conflicts of interest entangling Presidential candidates and detailing the investments special interests make in the candidates. Here’s where you’ll find in-depth reports and commentary on international issues such as the privatization of water, and US contractors reaping windfall profits in Iraq, national issues including Bush administration assaults on liberty and constitutionally guaranteed civil rights, campaign finance, and media concentration.
Christian Science Monitor>>USA>>Domestic Politics
Christian Science Monitor’s daily compendium of inside-the-Beltway news stories provides information about political strategies, personalities and issues.
Common Cause regularly publishes investigative studies on the effects of money in politics and reports on a variety of ethics and integrity-in-government issues. These studies and background materials on a wide range of reform issues on the national and state levels can be found on Common Cause's web site, along with special "Take Action" components that allow citizens to act on issues of open, honest and accountable government.
Common Cause has more than 200,000 members and supporters nationwide, with active members and volunteers in every state.
Financed by the dues and contributions of its individual members, Common Cause does not accept foundation or government grants or solicit contributions from labor unions or corporations. Because it is a lobbying organization, contributions to Common Cause are not tax deductible.
Corporate Crime Reporter
This website contains excerpts from the very expensive and authoritative Corporate Crime Reporter newsletter, edited by investigative reporter Russell Mokhiber, a favorite of public prosecutors, trial lawyers and news media. You’ll also find transcripts of interviews with CCR by major media, law firms and international activists, reports such as The Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the 1990s and links to major stories about corporate crime in the major news media.
Electronic Privacy Information Center
EPIC is the most famous public interest research center in Washington, D.C. to emerge from the subculture that built the Internet. It was established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values both online and in the “real world”.
EPIC publishes an award-winning e-mail and online newsletter on civil liberties in the information age – the EPIC Alert. EPIC also publishes reports and even books about privacy, open government, free speech, and other important topics related to civil liberties.
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
FAIR is an advocacy group that publishes powerful ongoing critiques of the mainstream media, analyzes their corporate bias, and works to educate news consumers about sources of exceptional, hard-hitting journalism that puts the interests of the people above the interests of political and economic elites.
FAIR publishes Extra!, the award-winning magazine of media criticism, and produces the weekly radio program CounterSpin, the show that brings you the news behind the headlines. FAIR distributes regular Action Alerts to an international network of activists-- as of March 2002, the FAIR list has over 25,000 recipients, with more signing on every day.
For an in-depth explanation of FAIR's critique of the mainstream media, see "What's Wrong with the News?" You might also check out the article "What's FAIR?", by FAIR founder Jeff Cohen.
In These Times
In These Times is a national, biweekly magazine of news and opinion published in Chicago. For 27 years, In These Times has provided groundbreaking coverage of the labor movement, environment, feminism, grassroots politics, minority communities and the media. In These Times features award-winning investigative reporting about corporate malfeasance and government wrongdoing, insightful analysis of national and international affairs, and sharp cultural criticism about events and ideas that matter.
The voice of the progressive wing of the Internet generation, MoveOn.org was founded to facilitate a rapid response to the news media’s rush to judgement concerning Bill Clinton’s impending impeachment, and to persuade Congress to “move on” to other issues. Through the MoveOn.org Political Action Committee, more than 10,000 everyday Americans together contributed more than $2 million to key congressional campaigns in the 2000 election, and more than $3.5 million in 2002 election. MoveOn.org consolidated its position as the premier online progressive political organization by playing a key role in sparking the massive anti-Iraq war demonstrations in the US in 2003. In the 2004 election cycle, MoveOn.org played a very important role in the Democratic primaries, and now has a nationwide network of more than 1,700,000 online activists.
The Multinational Monitor tracks corporate activity, especially in the Third World, focusing on the export of hazardous substances, worker health and safety, labor union issues and the environment.
America’s foremost liberal weekly magazine, The Nation presents the work of economic policy guru William Greider, internationally acclaimed peace activist and geo-strategic thinker Jonathan Schell, and a host of well-informed voices speaking for progressive advocacy groups and constituencies on issues of the day.
OpenSecrets.org is a project of The Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan, non-profit research group based in Washington, D.C. that tracks money in politics, and its effect on elections and public policy. The Center conducts computer-based research on campaign finance issues for the news media, academics, activists, and the public at large. The Center’s work is aimed at creating a more educated voter, an involved citizenry, and a more responsive government.
Support for the Center comes from a combination of foundation grants and individual contributions. The Center accepts no contributions from businesses or labor unions.
Track Who Gives by industry and by individual donor, including soft money, PACs and lobbies. Track Who Gets by individual member of Congress, with special focus on the leadership of both parties, including Leadership PACs, and track giving in particular Congressional races, and of course, Presidential campaigns.
This website facilitates online activism by making it easy to send web-generated letters to your representatives on an array of issues from peace in the middle east to AIDS funding, missile defense to racism in welfare policies. More than 2,800,000 letters have been generated by this policy portal to date.
Forty national leaders, including former Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, formed Project Vote Smart (PVS) in 1992. PVS has constructed a user-friendly database providing information about thousands of candidates and elected officials across America, including their backgrounds, campaign finance, positions on issues, performance evaluations by public interest groups, and their voting records.
Nonpartisan and nonprofit, Public Agenda was founded by social scientist and author Daniel Yankelovich and former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance in 1975. This New York based organization is dedicated to unbiased public opinion research. Here you can get results from polls done by PA, and handy research guides on many major issues of the day, including abortion, the economy, America’s global role, gay rights, health care, privacy, poverty, race and Social Security.
Public Campaign’s online home for the Clean Money, Clean Elections initiative, which offers full public financing for candidates who agree to spending limits and reject private contributions. This system, which is now the law in Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Vermont, has given greater energy and focus to campaign finance reform efforts in many states as well as at the federal level.
On the federal level, U.S. Representative John F. Tierney (D-MA) and fifty-one of his colleagues introduced a “Clean Money, Clean Elections” bill in the 107th Congress and are preparing to introduce a new one; a companion bill was introduced in the Senate and preparations are underway there to introduce another version in this Congress.
Public Citizen’s CongressWatch Campaign Finance Reform Project
Research key campaign finance reform issues, track disclosures and electronic filings by key political players, Congressional voting records, and ongoing investigations and other efforts by this Ralph Nader affiliated organization to make the US Congress accountable to the general public.
Public Eye, a project of Political Research Associates, is America’s number one website tracking right-wing extremism in all its forms.
Political Research Associatesis an independent, nonprofit research center that studies antidemocratic, authoritarian, and other oppressive movements, institutions, and trends.
A vast database of articles is listed by topic, including, anti-semitism, apocalyptic dualism, Christian right and theocracy, hate and ethnoviolence, heterosexism and homophobia, militias and the patriot movement, racism and xenophobia, rightwing populism, 9/11, sexism, surveillance and spying.
In addition, Public Eye offers an invaluable introduction to the American right, activist resource kits, and much, much more.
Southern Poverty Law Center
The Southern Poverty Law Center was founded in 1971 as a small civil rights law firm in Montgomery, Alabama, the birthplace of America’s civil rights movement. Today, the Center is internationally known for its tolerance education programs, its legal victories against white supremacists and its tracking of hate groups.
The Center's legal department fights all forms of discrimination and works to protect society's most vulnerable members, handling innovative cases that few lawyers are willing to take. Over three decades, it has achieved significant legal victories, including landmark Supreme Court decisions and crushing jury verdicts against hate groups.
In 1981, the Center began investigating hate activity in response to a resurgence of groups like the Ku Klux Klan. Today the Center's Intelligence Project monitors hate groups and tracks extremist activity throughout the U.S. It provides comprehensive updates to law enforcement, the media and the public through its quarterly magazine, Intelligence Report. Staff members regularly conduct training sessions for police, schools, and civil rights and community groups, and they often serve as experts at hearings and conferences.
To combat the causes of hate, the Center in 1991 established Teaching Tolerance, an educational program to help K-12 teachers foster respect and understanding in the classroom. Teaching Tolerance is now one of the nation's leading providers of anti-bias resources – both in print and online. Its award-winning magazine is distributed free twice a year to more than 500,000 educators, and its innovative multimedia kits are provided at no charge to thousands of schools and community groups.
TomPaine.com provides daily political commentary from a progressive viewpoint, available via email updates for your convenience. Sign up on the homepage.
TomPaine.com is a project of The Florence Fund, a 501.c.3 non-profit corporation based in Washington, D.C.funded by foundations and individual donors. TomPaine.com takes no corporate or union funding, nor do they accept. Principal funding comes from the Florenceand John Schumann Foundation, a major supporter of other independent media efforts, including National Public Radio, the Columbia Journalism Review, public TV's "Frontline" and "POV" documentary series, and The American Prospectmagazine.
TrueMajority, a nonprofit founded by Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, generates email alerts on key political issues of interest to progressives and cultural creatives, and sends them to registered users, who can generate faxes to their Congressional representatives simply by clicking the “reply” button.
Urban Think Tank
A Brooklyn-based public policy research organization for the Hip-Hop generation, Urban Think Tank is the first group that analyzes and frames political, economic and cultural issues, particularly those of concern to people of color, from the perspective of the Hip Hop generation.
A buzz-worthy inside-the-Beltway magazine for everyone who wants to understand how the aliens who live in Washington think and why they act in the strange ways they do. Written by political insiders for political insiders, and fueled by the efforts of underpaid, overly ambitious young writers willing to invest uneconomic amounts of time and money in pursuing stories that pierce the veil of spin and counter-spin generated by hacks and wonks on both sides of the aisle, Washington Monthly is a genuine alternative star in the DC media galaxy. The rest of us need a strong stomach and a disciplined mind to avoid unwanted and unpleasant side-effects from being exposed to so much naked political lunch.
The brainchild of globalization critic David Korten, YES! Magazine focuses on uplifting stories about individuals and community groups that are creating viable alternatives to mainstream consumption culture and corporate business as usual. Find out what really works on the ground to foster environmental sustainability, social justice, economic democracy and peace and discover how you, too can participate in the myriad of grassroots initiatives that are changing the world, one step at a time.
(All photos on this page are from stock photography, with the exception of YES! Magazine's logo)
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