Monday, April 23, 2012

THE POLITICAL WORLD : Political Exercise


Let’s say you are so fascinated by politics and follow so many issues that you are virtually a human switchboard of connections and investigations into policies, issues and people in politics.

But, let’s also consider that you live without thought of politics.
Maybe you are a college student and feel you have no time to research political issues, or you just have no interests in politics in general. Maybe you consider yourself even staunchly apolitical. Maybe you grew up being taught politics is a dirty subject.
Whatever your reason for neglecting politics, you nevertheless live in the thick of it.  Always. Every day. Everywhere.
If you live in any kind of society at all, from group housing, college, town, etc., you live in a political world. If you spend money and are a consumer, you are exercising political power. From issues on drinking age, student loans, jobs for graduates, birth control, the air you breathe….it’s all inextricably woven in with politics.

Some politics seem easily accessible like candidates in elections.  But so much of the politics that affects us all for years to come and sets the path for the country’s direction, works behind the obvious scenes. This kind of politics needs some detective work to reveal connections, financial sources, who really benefits---the political trails.

Remember Unleashed had an earlier entry about how Kommen for the Cure organization was about to help destroy Planned Parenthood but because of political pressure from the public (that public is you), Kommen decided to support PP after all.
Remember another Unleashed entry about the behind-the-scenes organization called ALEC (The American Legislative Exchange Council) that has a right-wing agenda with copious corporate and organization support  (like the National Rifle Association) that helped make Stand Your Ground law in Florida---remember the teenager who was shot and the shooter was not even put in jail until public outcry forced the Florida legal system to reconsider and the shooter is now going to court for 2nd degree murder.

So, how might you become more informed on political issues that do or will affect you and your whole life?
Here are some links that are a great start to becoming informed:

The New York Times has great articles and opinion pieces on current issues:

ProPublica, “Journalism in the Public Interest” is a free collection of very informative articles written by diligent, well-respected journalists on current issues. Check it out and sign up for the free newsletter:

The Nation Magazine has a free publication of concise articles on hot issues, many on women’s political issues as well. This publication is a great source even though it has more of a political slant. Check it out and sign up for the free newsletter:

Research groups like:

Common Cause, “Common Cause is dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest and accountable government that serves the public interest, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard in the political process.”---from CC’s website

The Center for Media and Democracy, “Reporting on spin and disinformation since 1993”---from CMD’s website

The Woman Behind the Politic World Section:
Lesa Martin, after retiring from a career of professional ballet and graduating from UCLA, has sparked a wonderful career as a multi-media artist. She has shown her work in the SF Momma Rental Gallery, and has many ambitious plans concerning enticing new paintings people are itching to see! Multi-faceted Mrs. Martin is also deeply engaged with politics, nose buried in the New York Times daily. Here, she brings us a real, accessible woman's perspective on politics. Enjoy!


ofilbrandt said...

I love these recommendations!

I think Unleashed´s target audience is college students so another place to get quick news in a nutshell is, a site powered by Newsweek that features top 10 news stories that are constantly being updated. They also have links to outside, more complete, articles for those that want it after reading the short updates.

Mike Cornelia said...

I too think it is amazing that it takes public outcry to find justice in a case. The entire Florida court system should be re-evaluated starting from the judge all the way down to the people who do the Court reporting in West Palm Beach FL.