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The ISHV Cyber Think Tank A digest of articles, interviews, and blogs of consequence for thinking humanists and secularists everywhere        (Compiled by Robert Tapp)
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Is America a Post-Democratic Society? by Paul Kurtz At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in September 1787, a citizen approached Benjamin Franklin and asked what sort of government the assembled statesmen had given them “A republic if you can keep it ” Franklin is reputed to have replied.  Can we keep it? That is an urgent question hat needs to be asked anew today, more than two centuries after the American Republic began. The Roman Republic lasted but two centuries, and then it was supplanted by the Roman Empire. Has the American democratic republic, too, become so fragile that its survival is in doubt?     This gnawing question is being raised again, as we face ominous terrorist threats and as demands for security preempt concerns for civil liberties, at least in the minds of many. America has faced awesome challenges in its past. Slavery engulfed the young republic in discord, for it contradicted the very premise of the new democracy—that each person was equal in dignity and value. Only the Civil War could resolve that conflict. The Great Depression of the 1930s and the Cold War that followed World War ll also posed awesome challenges. Similarly, the exclusion of women, blacks, gays, and other minorities from full participation in American democracy aroused bitter controversy.
Led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, major legislation to improve the economic condition of all working Americans was discussed by the Democratic House leadership on the East Capitol Steps in Washington, DC, at 9:30 am on Wednesday, July 16.  Called the 100 Day Action Plan, several separate bills were described briefly, all dedicated to improving the economic welfare of all working people whose income has continued to fall compared to the corporate and financial elite.  One example of this legislation was a provision introduced by Chris Van Hollen of Maryland that would tie salary increases of corporate executives to pay increases for the workers.  Another was an improved measure that would guarantee equal pay for women doing the same jobs as men, a goal not yet fully achieved and promoted by Pelosi with the phrase “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds.”  Other measures include relief for students seeking a college education and provisions to provide jobs through “made in America” programs. The Republicans were not forgotten during the presentations.  As the 100 Day Action Plan was being revealed, it was noted that the House Republicans were busy discussing ways to sue the president.  While no direct reference to the Hobby Lobby decision was made, it was noted that women’s rights have taken a few steps backward recently and there is a clear need to reverse that.  ISHV does not formally endorse any political party, or any candidates, in order to maintain an open-minded stance on the issues of the day.  Nevertheless, for those concerned with socioeconomic justice, there were many attractive features of the legislation to be pursued.  The hope of the Democrats is for some progress from the current slow-moving Congress, followed by a return to a majority in the coming mid-term election.  That is for the American voters to decide.
ISHV Board Member Stuart Jordan to stand with Democratic Leader   Nancy Pelosi
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