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Democracy On Trial In Egypt

Democracy and more, on trial in Egypt.  We look at the ways the crisis could play out, and its message to the Muslim world.

Opponents of Egypt's Islamist ousted president Mohammed Morsi wave national flags as they celebrate in Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, July 5, 2013. (Amr Nabil/AP)

Opponents of Egypt’s Islamist ousted president Mohammed Morsi wave national flags as they celebrate in Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, July 5, 2013. (Amr Nabil/AP)

From bad to worse in Egypt today. More than 40 killed and 300 wounded when Egyptian military gunfire poured down on supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

The Muslim Brotherhood is calling it a massacre. The military claims self-defense. But no one disputes these were bullets not ballots defining the day in Cairo.

Egypt’s rough experiment with democracy — the country’s future itself — is reeling in a welter of hope, revolution, the military’s might, and political Islam.

This hour, On Point: Egypt in uproar, again, with everything on the line.

–Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Borzou Daragahi, correspondent for The Financial Times covering North Africa and the Middle East. (@borzou)

Mona El Ghobashy, assistant professor of political science at Barnard College, whose research focuses on political mobilization in contemporary Egypt.

Karim Haggag, career Egyptian diplomat, visiting faculty at the National Defense University’s Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies.

Wael Khalil, a long-time activist against the Mubarak regime. He voted for Morsi in the second round, but — like millions of Egyptians — called for him to step down.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Guardian: Egypt Prepares For Backlash As Morsi Allies Reject New Regime – “The shockwaves have resounded in Egypt since [Wednesday], with scenes of euphoria in the capital being met with foreboding in some towns and provinces, particularly in impoverished areas that had remained loyal to Morsi throughout the past turbulent year.”

Foreign Affairs: Redoing The Egyptian Revolution – “The Egyptian uprising of 2011 was about many things, but one rallying cry that united almost all Egyptians was the need for a new constitutional order — one that would promote democracy and ensure that the government serves the interests of the entire society. Dissatisfied with the outcome, large numbers of Egyptians renewed that protest on June 30.”

The Christian Science Monitor: With Egypt’s Morsi Detained, A Muslim Brotherhood In Turmoil – “For some Brotherhood members it’s beginning to look like a flashback to the 1950s, when the military officers the Brothers had supported turned on them, ordering mass arrests and long imprisonments. Amid the current arrest campaign, some wonder if Egypt is headed for another era of Brotherhood repression.”

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  • Shag_Wevera

    Even with all the hatred and vitriol directed at President Obama in this country, does anyone believe it would be good for our democracy if he were removed by the military two years into his term?

    I also again challenge the notion that western style free market democracy is the be-all end-all pinnacle of human governance and economy. 

    • HonestDebate1

      I don’t know about it being the end all be all but it sure beats the hell out of Muslim theocracies.

      • Shag_Wevera

        Remember, we aren’t talking about Democracy in Denmark.  We are talking about Syria or Egypt.  Maybe in those countries, democracy is inneffective.

        • HonestDebate1

          That may be true but I just can’t support oppression of women, brutal torture and murder. I think a little freedom is nice too. But that’s just me.

          • jefe68

            But you support the GOP’s political platform and that clearly is about controlling women and oppressive as well.

          • HonestDebate1

            No it’s not. I’m assuming you’re one of those who regard unfettered abortion as the only issue that counts to women and further assume women’s views are monolithic. Not so. Some refer to abortion with euphemisms like, reproductive rights or women’s health. It’s crazy.

          • jefe68

            Abortion does relate to women’s health. 

            I guess I could say stop putting words into my mouth, now who says that all the time… You do. 

          • 1Brett1

            It’s crazy that women’s gynecology is part of women’s health, jefe, just crazy, I tellz ya, cr-cr-cr-crazzzzeeeeee!!!

          • jefe68

            And how dare they want to be in control of their own bodies.

            How do they think they are?

          • HonestDebate1

            I didn’t say it wasn’t part, duh. I said it wasn’t the “only issue” and that women were not monolithic in thought. If you want to talk about abortion then talk about abortion. 

          • jefe68

            And yet you did.

            Sometimes it seems you confuse yourself.

    • margbi

      I question whether “democracy” as we think of it can be simply installed somewhere else,  without the basic requirements of adequate educational, judicial, and legislative functions established beforehand. If these functions are not in place, it’s all too easy for religious or other groups with different agenda to frighten people into returning to more restrictive rule. Remember, we don’t have a democracy in the United States, we have a republic.

  • HonestDebate1
  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Will anyone in our country learn from this?

    We have the radical right working through God’s Only Party pushing so-called religion-based laws and legislation at the state and local level.

    They love to invoke everything in the constitution except separation of church and state.

    • Ed75

      Ultrasounds aren’t invasive, they work like an echocardiogram. We do have laws against murder and stealing – they aren’t religious laws, but natural law and common sense. The attempt to legislate against abortion isn’t to establish a religious law, but to re-establish  natural law and common sense.

      • Yar

        Based on the ten commandments?

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        Transvaginal probes are invasive. There is mo medical reason justifying requiring that procedure. This is an excercise of power over the woman: this constitutes a form of rape.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          The whole ultra hard-line on abortion is based on the opinion that something with less function than an amoeba is a human being. Who says? Who put them in charge?

          • pete18
          • TomK_in_Boston

            By “ultra hard line” I meant those who oppose all abortion, even at 0 weeks, ie the current fashion on the far right. I completely agree that abortion at 20 weeks should be only for a threat to mother’s life. We need to draw a line and stick to it.

          • pete18

            Well, one could easily flip the the question and ask, “who put you in charge to terminate a life at 10 weeks but not 20? Who made you God? ” There’s just as much presumption and arrogance in your line in the sand as the one  the “ultra-hard -line” draws.”

            One could soundly make all your same arguments about “wanting to control women” and take away their rights at 20 weeks that you do at 10 weeks.
            The only difference is your presumption of when “life” starts.

            Instead of condemning conservatives and assuming great wisdom and nobility in your position, you might consider that this is an extremely difficult
            issue with honest and well-meaning differences of opinion on both sides.
            Conservatives tend to  error on the side of life, and liberals on the side of woman’s reproductive rights.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            I propose practical compromise and you rant, business as usual.

          • pete18

            I think you are engaged in a bit of projection. All that stuff about amoembas and hard liners sounded a lot like ranting to me.  My goal was to clarify the differences between the two points of view, both which I think are honestly held, and to point out the fallacies of your argument against  the hard line pro-lifers by applying the same 
            logic to your “compromise” position. Maybe your concern over rants is a way to avoid more of that discussion. I don’t think there are any easy answers to this because if abortions were out- lawed there would definitely be a return to back alley abortions, which would be a real problem.

      • Shag_Wevera

        They are invasive if you must insert the device into the woman’s Hoo Haa…

      • jefe68

        You should have one then. Then lets probe your private parts. 

        Common sense? Natural law? Bullocks. 

      • HonestDebate1

        I’m not so sure I agree with the decision but commenters below are clearly misrepresenting the law. Women are not forced to be probed. They can opt for a abdominal ultrasound.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        It’s never invasive when the gvt controls the behavior of someone else.

      • J__o__h__n

        Most human cultures have practiced some form of abortion, birth control, or exposing unwanted infants after birth.  Many animals kill or even eat their offspring.  There is no natural moral law.  Laws evolved as societies formed and were then codified as societies became larger and more complex. 

        Ultrasounds aren’t natural.  Why is it fine to intervene and prevent nature from taking its course when an infant is born needing medical services?

        • Ed75

          This was a pagan practice that was avoided by the Jews and the Christians. Natural law doesn’t mean instinct that guides the animals, it means law that is built in to creation as regards man’s moral activity.

          In an ultrasound a gel is put on a wand and the want is run over the woman’s belly to see the child, it’s not invasive.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        You didn’t work NaturalLawAndCommonSense in there enough.

    • Yar

      Yet, they never seem to require a prostate exam for the expectant father.

  • John Cedar

    Democracy has a long conviction record for its mob rule mentality. That is why our founding fathers chose a three branch representative republic rather than a purer form of democracy.

    No Bees had better Government,

    More Fickleness, or less Content.

    They were not Slaves to Tyranny,

    Nor ruled by wild Democracy;

    But Kings, that could not wrong, because

    Their Power was circumscrib’d by Laws

    Of course, without the invisible hand of Judeo Christian (emphasis on Christian) philosophy, guiding our founding fathers and our country’s voters, leaders such as Lincoln would have never come to be.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Why was Christian so crucial?

      • John Cedar

        It is a culture passed down from one generation to the next which encouraged people to embrace being nice to each other. Its like liberalism without the hate and jealously.

        “How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some
        principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortunes of others,
        and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing
        from it, except the pleasure of seeing it.”

    • TELew

      Not to mention the two hundred years of Enlightenment rationalism and new scientific discoveries (such as the fact that the earth orbits the sun–not quite a Judeo-Christian thing) that guided our founding fathers–both those who were Christian (but not fundamentalists) and the deists.

      Oh yes, the prevailing idea of the period was that God’s chosen government was a monarchy, not a democracy (or republic–that was a pagan Greek thing).

      Hmmmm.

      • John Cedar

        I never read the bible before. Does it really talk about the sun revolving around the earth, and was that really important in the forming of our republic?

        • TELew

          Part I

          This is long–please bear with me.

          No, the Bible does not talk about the sun revolving around the earth.  However, in the Bible the earth is created before the sun, and in fact, the earth exists before there is any light, and light exists before there is a sun, IIRC. 

          The geocentric model (everything around the earth) of the universe actually was developed by the ancient Greeks, and was inherited by the Romans.  It is commonly called the Ptolemaic model after a Roman, Claudius Ptolemy (ca. 100 CE) who made modifications to the theory.  With the Emperor Constantine’s adoption of ca. 312 CE, Christianity went from a sometimes persecuted minority faith to the official state religion (with some lapses back to paganism).  Constantine’s power made it possible for one faction of Christians (there were several different factions with very important differences of belief competing at this period) to codify what we consider orthodox (not the Greek Orthodox) Christian belief today.

          Now the geocentric model of the universe was part of the cutting-edge science of its day.  Christian leaders found it compatible with scripture, and it became the model of the universe accepted by Christians.  One of the most important aspects of this is the notion that man is the center of creation, and the earth is correspondingly the center of the universe, ie. creation.  With us having grown up with the knowledge that the earth orbits around the sun, it doesn’t sound like this notion of the earth at the center of the universe was such a big deal.  But for the Christians of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the idea that the earth orbited the sun (heliocentric model–assumes the sun is the center of the earth), was a really big deal. They viewed the heliocentric model as a threat to Christianity, because it denied the importance of man as the center of creation.  Yeah, it takes some imagining to wrap the mind around this, but that was the case.

          The various natural philosophers (there weren’t actually “scientists” at this time–1500s-1600s) who experimented with new inventions such as the telescope were branded as heretics by both the Catholic and Protestant churches (this was also the period of the Protestant reformation), which was a death sentence.  New ideas such as the heliocentric model were the foundation of the scientific revolution, which in turn was part of the phenomenon called the Great Enlightenment.

        • TELew

           Part II

          To turn to the Founding Fathers, just who were these men.  First and foremost, they were wealthy (more often than not “rich”) and if not educated, the well-read in philosophy and history, what we consider the ancient classics of the Greeks and Romans, as well as more contemporary works, such as those of Rene DesCartes, Herbert Spencer, and John Locke.  Yes, the culture they inherited was “Judeo-Christian,” but what that meant back then is different from what we think of today (more below).  When they looked for a model for a new government, they did not look to the Bible for a model.  It’s model governments were religious oligarchy, monarchy, and tyranny.  Instead, they looked to the ancient Greeks, who developed democracy and the idea of a republic.  As for law, the law in the American colonies tended to be either English common law, which had evolved over hundreds of years, and Roman law.  The idea of basing laws governing civil society on Biblical law was a fairly radical notion, and when the Puritans in Massachusetts created their “city upon a hill” with such laws in place, the ultimate result was the British government revoking the colony’s charter in the late 1600s.  The Founding Fathers did not use Puritan laws in creating the new American republic.

          Many if not most of the Founding Fathers were observant Christians.  However, as I said above, to view them as “Christians” in the sense we hear the term used today–evangelical with distinct fundamentalist tendencies–is simply inaccurate.  As I wrote above, they were very well educated in the cutting-edge “philosophy” of the day.  And that philosophy made a radical departure from the Christianity of the day.  It included the idea that God did not intervene in “history” (no miracles), that God was essentially a divine clockmaker who created a universe, set it into motion, and then basically receded into passivity.

          John Locke’s highly influential notion of the mind as a tabula rasa (blank slate) implicitly denied the orthodox Christian notion of original sin.  This orthodox belief claimed that with the sin of Adam, all the human race were born with the taint of sin, and there was nothing one could do to change it except become a Christian.  By contrast, the tabula rasa implied that men were born good (original sin men born evil) and that what they became depended upon how they were educated.  Locke’s ideas were extremely influential on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. 

          I could go on and on (I’m sure some people already think I have).

          The point I was making is that the “Judeo-Christian” ideal was not an exclusive influence on the Founding Fathers, and in terms of creating a new nation, it was not the most important.  I cited heliocentrism as only one of many new scientific discoveries that marked the decline of the “Judeo-Christian” ideal’s monopoly over what men think, and as such, it is part of a complicated mosaic of intellectual developments that influenced the Founding Fathers.

          I would suggest that reading the Bible would be a good thing for you.  Not so much to convert you, or for your spiritual development, but because it gives you knowledge.

          Popular discussions of history is problematic because so much of what people know is acquired from loud “experts” such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Bill O’Reilly.  None of these men are historians, and all of them have a well-defined agenda (that’s true of a lot of left-wing people as well).

          If you are interested in history, and in particular the creation of the nation, then seek out credible historians.  One of the best today is Forrest McDonald, who has written several books on the subject.  He is a real historian, who does real research.  And other real historians who do real research seek to “balance” his work.  Read them too.
           

          • John Cedar

            I tried reading the Bible but lost interest when the main character died.
            I appreciate your scholarly efforts to prove a negative but find it a little disingenuous that you don’t put the same effort into exploring the positive.

            We cannot even agree on yesterdays history and so we have to take the word of historians with a grain of salt. I don’t know what the religious belifes were of the founding fathers or of the unwashed masses that rallied behind them. But from what I have read, clockmaker or deism was not as popular as some contend.

            Was Christianity a positive influence on the shaping of our country and government or was it a non factor or a hindrance? Did Christianity play a significant role in the enlightenment or did the enlightenment occur in spite of Christianity? Were church organs and ceilings just a convenient place to express yourself? I note  Columbus is said to have withheld baptism from some in order to legitimately enslave them. The exception proves the rule, in that apparently the church disapproved of enslavement for those who were baptized.

            I’m not sure about Rush and Beck but I think O’reillywrote a couple best selling history books.

          • TELew

             John,  This is the last I will write on this.  First with regards to having to “take the word of historians.”  In this regard, I am talking primarily about academic historians.  The fact is that such historians have years of training in academic institutions, where they learn definite means of doing research and evaluating sources.  When they publish their work is peer reviewed.  There is also a self-correcting mechanism within professional history, by which I mean it is not satisfactory to dismiss something because you don’t agree with it.  If you make a statement you MUST back it up with credible evidence.  By the same token if someone presents an idea that you find fallacious, you present credible evidence as to why this is the case.  All sources of information are cited so that other historians may validate (or refute) your assertions. 

            Yes, I am an academic historian (Ph.D.), and my education consisted of four years of undergraduate and eight years of graduate study.  For me to receive my doctorate I had to finish some thirty hours of classwork, pass two foreign language exams, pass comprehensive exams in four different fields, write a satisfactory dissertation (ie. book–mine was right at 500 pages long), and pass a final oral exam on the dissertation.  These requirements are pretty much par for the course for academic historians, who are far more trustworthy than your statement about grains of salt implies.

            Yes, Bill O’Reilly has written best-seller “history” and I haven’t.  I wager it was not peer reviewed by credible historians, and if it had ever been submitted for graduate credit would have been laughed at.  Furthermore, people like O’Reilly seldom really write their “own” books anyway ie. ghostwriters.

            Concerning positives and negatives, I was not trying to prove anything.  I was just stating facts.  The bottom line is “proving” something is not something that I could do on a forum like this.  It would require pages upon pages of information based on reading ten, twenty, maybe thirty or more credible books on the subject.

            To answer specifically:  no, there were not necessarily a large number of deists, but many of the Founding Fathers (this term does not refer to the generation of the Revolutionary War; it refers to a small group of men very powerful in the politics of the time, people who were involved in the actual writing of things such as the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution) were deists. And those who were not deists were still heavily influenced by Enlightenment ideas.

            With regards to Christians and the Enlightenment–some perhaps most Enlightenment thinkers were Christians, but their Christianity was informed by ideas that made their Christianity very different from we know today as evangelical (especially fundamentalist) religion.

            With regards to Christians and the creation of the new nation:  as I have indicated, Christian thought really did not have a lot of impact on things like the Declaration of Independence or Constitution.  That is not to say that their authors did not practice Christianity.  Thomas Jefferson, who was regarded as an infidel by his conservative Christian contemporaries, highly admired the ethics of Christ, but he despised the supernatural elements in the Bible.  He went so far as to edit his Bible by cutting out references to miracles.  I have a copy of this “Jeffersonian Bible” from my years as a graduate student.

            John Adams was a Christian of Puritan ancestry.  However, he was also a child of the Enlightenment.  Perhaps a little known fact is that the Unitarians were also descendents of the Puritans who were so influenced by the Enlightenment that they left the Congregational Church (what the Puritans became after the 1600s), discarded the doctrine of the Trinity (God is three persons–Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), and gradually morphed away from anything you could call orthodox Christianity.

              

          • TELew

             Part II

            As for Christian concerns incorporated into the Constitution, the most important was the so-called separation of Church and State.  The problem here was not what you will hear today about the Church being free from interference from the state but rather stems from the fact before the American Revolution most colonies had an established church.  In the majority of colonies, especially in the southern colonies, the established church was Anglican.  And in Massachusetts it was the Congregationalists.  The problem here lay in the fact that these established churches not only had privileges that other denominations did not, but that they often used bullying tactics to suppress minority denominations.  One of the most important minority denominations was the Baptists, who were strong advocates of a ban on an established church.  So, the principle of no established church made it into the Bill of Rights of the Constitution. 

            As for Christianity and the Constitution, the fact is the Constitution did not address things issues that Christianity addressed.  Christianity has to do with morality and ones relationship to God.  Established common law already dealt with morality.  With regards to God, the writers of the Constitution allowed the individual to have freedom of conscience, ie. you worship God as you decide.

            But that does mean that Christianity was not important in the early years of the Republic.  Of course it was, the majority of religious people in the new nation were Christians, and it is a fact that Biblical morality had been codified as laws for centuries.  But that is not the same thing as the idea that our laws derived from the Bible.

            Like I said, I can go on and on.  The bottom line is that all of these things are very complex, and unfortunately, there is a tendency for people to simplify things.  This is necessary to communicate, but a lot of accurate knowledge gets sacrificed in the bargain, leading to discussions such as this.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      ROTFL
      Next you pass the basket, right?

      • John Cedar

        Not likely. I only go to church for weddings and funerals.

        Of course we can afford to ROTFL when it comes to baskets, because what we drop in them is voluntary. Not so with you Librul tithing  charity “donators”, which involves compulsory “donations” of other peoples money for you to spend.

    • Sy2502

      “Of course, without the invisible hand of Judeo Christian (emphasis on Christian) philosophy, guiding our founding fathers and our country’s voters, leaders such as Lincoln would have never come to be.”

      That must be why of the 10 Commandments, the first 3 are in direct contradiction to the Bill of Rights, the last one goes entirely against the idea of Capitalism, and commandments 4, 5, and 7 would be laughed at if anyone tried to make them into laws. So really only 3 out of 10 made it into our laws, just like they are part of every other system of laws, starting from Hammurabi’s Code in 1772 BC. Also that must be why things like slavery and treating women like property are specifically forbidden by the Constitution while strongly encouraged by the Judeo Christian belief system.

      I wonder what you know less of: what the 10 Commandments say or what the Constitution says.

      • John Cedar

        While I appreciate your bitter contempt for all things Christian, I’m not convinced you made much of a point at all. While you point out that Christianity didn’t invent the concepts in commandments 3 and 10, you conveniently omit making the same point regarding slavery or women as property. Yet our country did have slavery and treated women as property at one time…proof positive of Judeo Christian influence.

        I did mention an emphasis on christian, I believe the ten comandments were in the old testament. (I think that is the Judeo part???). So basically you used one page out of the entire good book to feebily attempt to refute the irrefutable…and you picked the wrong good book.

        • Sy2502

          Really? Where’s the contempt? I pointed out facts, and the facts, Bible in one hand, Constitution in the other, are that the law of the US is NOT based on the Bible. Please point to anything that is ONLY in the Bible and not found in any other religion or civilization, which is also in our Constitution. 

          Also, unlike the Bible, our Constitution realized its mistake about slavery and women rights, and moreover it doesn’t claim to be the direct and infallible revelation of God. And finally as for the 10 commandments, if they are obsolete and can be thrown away why do religious fundamentalists make such a fuss about having them displayed in government buildings?

    • TELew

      I do agree with your comment on mob rule mentality, ie. the tendency of majority populations to adopt laws that deprive minorities of rights (witness the thirty-something state bans on same-sex couples getting married).  Both Plato and Aristotle considered democracy the worst of the possible political systems because of this tendency, with Plato favoring the Philosopher-King.

      Of course, I am by no means advocating that.  I think our republic is a great thing. 

  • John Cedar

    There are a bunch of idiots that think that a fetus is a live living person. The ultrasound is intended to bring awareness of this alleged person to the mind of the the person contemplating snuffing out that life. It is a voluntary procedure, only required of those women considering the infanticide option. Prostate exams wouldn’t serve such a purpose.

    • Shag_Wevera

      I don’t think you know the law that they were talking about.  It isn’t the “rub the belly” ultrasound that they refer to.

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      I apologize for drawing us off-point in earlier commentary, but I think this detour demonstrates the depth of conviction and emotion at conflict in Egypt.

      The Egyptian people have a lot at stake and I pray that secularism rules the day to help preserve the rights and peace of everyone and help protect good folk from the evil that disguises itself as religious devotion but is nothing more than an act to co-opt faith as a vehicle to power… And then there are those with messianic complexes who can justify any act, no matter how evil, to achieve ‘the will of God’.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Yes, I’m in favor of anything that removes religion from politics. It’s not good to have the Islamic Tea Party turning secular Egypt into an islamic state. The army did the right thing.

        Unfortunately, the faction favoring a return to the middle ages is growing in the middle east, as in the USA. Even tho the army supports a rational gvt, instability and terrorism will probably be on the increase. A bad situation.

        • pete18

           That you would try to make a comparison between the Islamic Brotherhood and the Tea Party is absurd and shows a complete misunderstanding of both our democratic process and Constitution and the Tea Party itself.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            You mean I’m confusing the Christian Brotherhood and the Islamic Brotherhood?

            LOL, you pontificate about the Constitution, and probably think the amendment about the government’s need for a well-regulated militia somehow translates into an unlimited individual right to have military style weapons.

          • pete18

            The Tea Party is a political movement, not a religious one
            and they are neither violent nor do they favor a theocracy.
            There is not a scintilla of similarity between the Tea Party and the Islamic Brotherhood except your dislike for them both (although I’m willing to wager that you believe the Tea Party is the more backwards and dangerous of the two).
            However, if if the Tea Party actually were a religious organization and had policies that were influenced by their religious beliefs they would be as legitimate and constitutional a political movement as Planned Parenthood, Move On.org Code Pink, Common Cause, Color of Change, the Working Families Party, the Sierra Club or any other of your favorite secular or atheist left-wing groups. Our Constitution allows for freedom of expression for
            both religious and non-religious reasons. What it doesn’t allow for is a state religion similar to what the Islamic Brotherhood are trying to impose in Egypt.

          • jefe68

            Or North Carolina.

          • pete18

            OK, I’ll bite….????

          • jefe68

            Have you seen what’s happening there?

            One state rep put up an amendment to make a NC a Christian state.

  • creaker

    Syria really got shoved to the back burner, didn’t it? It went from the front page to like it doesn’t even exist anymore. If dead and wounded are actually considered an issue, the numbers have been much, much higher there.

    • tbphkm33

      In some respects, Syria is another page of the same social forces sweeping through not only the Middle East, but to some extent, the entire world. 

  • William

    The radical element in the Islamic religion is on trial. 

  • sheb white

    The only way to have a stable democracy is to exclude all religion from government. Until the Muslim world gets that religion and government don’t mix there is no hope for a successful democracy. 

    • Kathy

      It would be nice of the Republican Party would get that message too.

      • J__o__h__n

        How is the gerrymandering in Egypt? 

        • Ray in VT

          Served with a side Konafah.

    • tbphkm33

      Religion is indoctrination into a shared belief system, as such, any religion will always have a political element.  No country has succeeded in squashing the influence religion places upon governance.  However, religion is just one of many societal special interests, the challenge is to insure that all interests are heard – and more importantly, the majority does not quell the voice of the minority.  

      The U.S. struggles with this concept today, in the form of the abortion debate.  The anti-abortion side is deeply steeped in religious conviction.  It is a factor where religion is influencing the realm of governance.

      • John Cedar

        Religion in the US is not indoctrination any more than public education is. People in the US born into religious families are allowed to be critical of their religion and often are. And they are encrouaged to be by society if they are not naturally so inclined.

        While the abortion debate has strong religious ties, there are a lot of young people today opposed to late term abortion just because its gross and who are not religious.

        Regardless, there is a need for abortion equality. If the father cannot have a say in abortion, he ought to at least have the right to disown the fetus at any time before it is born and relieve himself of all child support obligations, just as if he was a woman having an abortion.

        • C LeFay

          Absolute nonsense- and exemplar of bigotry.   Religion in the US DEPENDS on indoctrination- just as it does everywhere else.

      • Tyranipocrit

        and gay marriage. and war. and health care. and education. and science. and medicine.  Religion retards the nation and harms–HARMS the people.

    • Tyranipocrit

       until America gets that religion and government dont mix there is no hope for a successful democracy/

      until America gets that capitalism and government dont mix there is no hope for DEMOCRACY–period.

  • Jim_thompson

    Tom,

    I do not think the Egyptian military was keen to intervene, but had no choice.  The lower house of the parliament was dissolved so there could be no impeachment proceedings undertaken.  The people saw the Muslim brotherhood “gaming” the new system and solidifying permanent power and Morsi attempting to institute his own authoritarian regime.  The people felt they had no other choice and the military saw it the same way.  In order to save the revolution and democracy this had to be done.  Our own democratic republic took 100 years and a civil war to begin to get things right.  A transition from dictatorship to democracy is tough and never linear.  We pray for the people of Egypt and the region.

  • Jon

    The utmost irony in this world is all people are so sure that democracy is the right way to govern. The problem with this competition like all competitions is that there is only one winner and it’s not always the right one. Might or majority doesn’t make right.

    • jefe68

      So in your world  majority vote doe not work if it’s not the one you agree with. Is that correct?

      • Jon

        No. That’s precisely the problem to compare and compete who is right.

        • jefe68

          If you live in a town where there is a bond issue and a majority of people how vote for it vote it down, and you don’t like it that’s not democracy at work in your view? 

          • Jon

            Living in a town like a tribe is the problem at the first place.

          • jefe68

            You know what, you have some issues.

          • Jon

            yes I do. so do you because you care.

          • jefe68

            Wow, a little sociopathic in the behavior department.

          • Jon

            Im not sociopathic and Im just against tribalization.

      • Jon

        just to give you an example – is gay marriage right or wrong? The trend is ‘right’ but is it really right?

        • jefe68

          I don’t care if a gay or lesbian couple want to get married. It’s a non-issue to me other than everyone, and I mean everyone deserves the same rights in terms of being married in the civic sense. How this pertains to contrat law and work benefits and so on. 

          That you use gay marriage as your example  is telling.  

          • Jon

            Gayship not issue to you, and why  nondemocratic is an issue to you?

          • Jon

            Obviously you believe in the new god – human rights. What about the old god – gay destroyer? Which god is right?

          • jefe68

            What? You don’t believe in human rights?

          • Jon

            I don’t believe in man made theories.

          • jefe68

            Such as the Universal Law of Gravitation,
            Newton’s Laws of Motion, Big Bang Theory, 
            Hubble’s Law of Cosmic Expansion, 
            Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion, 
            Laws of Thermodynamics, 
            Evolution and Natural Selection, to name a few.

            So by the above comment is one to take away that this short list means nothing to you?

          • Jon

            mere speculations to facts nothing more.

          • jefe68

            whydon’tyou find out if the the lawsof gravityis a mere speculation.

          • Jon

            I don’t need to test a fact. There’re too many gravity theories to test.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity

          • Tyranipocrit

             yes you do.

          • J__o__h__n

            Who else makes theories?

          • Jon

            you’re right – only human

          • Tyranipocrit

             idiot

          • Jon

            you have the virtue of confidence for a leader

          • J__o__h__n

            Human rights are not a god.  Why do the religious ascribe their modes of worship to things secularists value.  We don’t worship rights, science, Darwin, etc. 

          • Jon

            human rights given by god.

          • J__o__h__n

            No, they are asserted by humans. 

          • Jon

            guess we have to vote

          • Jon

            don’t mean to upset you but it’s just a thought experiment – do you care if a man wants to marry his dog (a futuristic human right) and claim federal benefit with it? What philosophical base do you have to argue against it?

          • jefe68

            Here we go with the dog meme. I”m not upset at all.
            I’m not going to engage with your nonsense about dogs.
            Dogs are not human beings.
            What is it with you right wingers and beastiality?

          • Jon

            how about animal rights?

          • jefe68

            Well sparky, any man or woman who abused a dog, or horse for that matter would be arrested if they were caught. 

          • Tyranipocrit

             exactly–they are savages and perverted freaks

          • Tyranipocrit

             you are just an idiot.  And offensive.  Your analogy is absurd.  Your lack of intelligence shimmering. 

            I would sooner marry my dog than a christian barabrian. The dog has mor empathy and  intellect and far more understanding of human nature.

        • Tyranipocrit

           yes it is right–there is aboslutely nothign wrong with gay marriage.  The question should be–is it right to have religion in a nation?  You corrupt so…

          the question should be, is marriage right? 
          marriage itself is ridiculous and unnatural and primitive and cheered on by the pitch fork carrying mob

    • jimino

       So what does “make right”?

      • Jon

        simple – don’t try to make it right; whenever whoever trying to make right is doing wrong.

    • tbphkm33

      Successful democracy requires the institution to protect the minority.  While democracy is majority rule, it only works if it also protects the rights, interests and views of the minority.  Otherwise you just have a dictatorship by the majority. 

      • Jon

        Everything sounds neat in theory. Is Obamacare a dictatorship of majority or protection of minority?

        • pete18

          Given that it did not have a majority of the public’s support when it was voted on or now it would be a dictatorship of the minority.

          • Jon

            so what makes the US exceptional as the beacon of democracy?

            ironically, true pluralism and inclusiveness can be achieved under tyranny not in democracy. A good example is the Maurya Empire in ancient Indian (I could be wrong about the name).

          • Tyranipocrit

             explain

        • Tyranipocrit

           obama like bus and cheny represents the corporate aristocracy

          • C LeFay

            That gross over simplification removes so many features as to make the truth unrecognizable.   Try again.

          • Tyranipocrit

             how so?  try again

      • jefe68

        That’s why we have the rule of law, and in our nations case a Constitution and Bill of Rights.

        • Tyranipocrit

           which is ignored and demolished

          • jefe68

            In that lies the rub. We have been driven down the road to a plutocracy.

  • Sy2502

    Egypt is an example of how Democracy needs to be part of the ingrained culture of a nation and can’t simply be parroted or imposed. Much good did  Democracy do to Egyptians when they democratically elected a religious fundamentalist government out of their own free will. What exactly did they expect would be the outcome of that? Democracy, like everything else, takes practice.

    • tbphkm33

      Democracy is a sword with two edges…

      • C LeFay

        And truisms are rarely true- they are more oft a recourse when confronted by an inability to demonstrate, articulate.   Democracy is not a sword- or a hammer, or a toilet plunger.   Such simplistic visions only serve as self satisfied excuses for superficial apprehension.

        • Tyranipocrit

          you have serious problems.  tell us why in you infinite and agile mind why it is not true to any degree.  Explain.  Try again.  

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          toilet plunger- priceless

    • Jon

      democracy is just rule of the jungle, a civilized rule of jungle.

      • Tyranipocrit

         stupid

        • Jon

          you father must’ve called you this way when you little?

          • Tyranipocrit

            question mark. Shucks–i gotta stop that–i m talking to the wall again. I keep forgetting the wall doesnt think. I keep confusing it with Americans.

          • Jon

            people often forget heroes like you when theorizing American values.

    • Sy2502

      The trick with democracy is that it requires informed, thoughtful, and vigilant participants to function. The preferred “natural” state of affairs (if we look at history) is power concentrated in the hands of few individuals. It’s the duty of each citizen to make sure this doesn’t happen, and to keep watch over their own freedoms. In this case, the Egyptians did a better job than others.

      • Tyranipocrit

         agreed.

    • Tyranipocrit

       you could easily be talking about America–democracy parroted but we have no culture of democracy ingrained.  I think if you honestly consider your fellow americans you will see that they are nasty little selfish arrogant despots who resent and hate that people they dont like have opinions.  Thus–”if you dont like it go live somewhere else.”  America is a nation of savages thrusting pitch forks.  A largely ignorant and delusional people but also arrogant –very dangerous and psychotic–thus americans enjoy gunning people down in movie theaters and slaughtering school children–domestically and abroad with a carpet of bombs and so called heroes in planes.

      • Sy2502

        So one deranged individual is supposed to represent 300 million people? Oh boy… But then given the irrational content of all your posts, why am I surprised that you wrote one more irrational post?

        • Tyranipocrit

          what are you talking about? what one individual? Are really that stupid? You confuse dictatorships with democracy? You think of yourself as an individual but you dont think you have rights or a valuable opinion or that you should be able to participate in your society? wow you really are deep in the delusion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dhrosier Dreighton Rosier

    Loaded dice means the crap shoot cannot possibly be fair.

    Same true about elections.  Muslim Brotherhood has been organizing for decades.  Of course they want to rush into elections, before the rest of the people of Egypt have an opportunity to hold the discussions and debate that are critical to a free democracy.

  • tbphkm33

    No easy answers… just hope the CIA has enough intelligence to stay out of things.  Washington does have a penchant for sticking their finger into the wasp nest.  

    Challenge is that you want to promote democracy, but is the West prepared to live with the results.  Religious parties are going to continue to play a major role throughout the Middle East.  At best there is potential for the Turkish secular state model, backed by the military.  Of course, when is the military a protector of the secular state and when is it the puppet master of the secular state? 

    • J__o__h__n

      Turkey is going in the wrong direction. 

      • Jon

        who are you to judge the Turks?

        • jefe68

          Who are you to judge him?

          • Jon

            ain’t that the American spirit and responsibility, the very theme of this talk show?

      • C LeFay

         Turkey is going in the wrong direction.   Over the last several weeks, we’ve had bands of AKP supporters taking to the streets with knives, spears, hammers, clubs, and machetes- all with the sanction of the police.

        Just a few days ago, there was a brawl involving the Deputy Prime Minister, supporters, and the opposition CHP in the Turkish parliament over these state sanctioned thugs.   Blood was spilled.

        Little to none of this in the Turkish or world press- all eyes are on Egypt- and the Erdogan administration could not be happier.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      why would we want to promote democracy?

      • Tyranipocrit

         for the same reason we allow you to speak here even tho you rarely say anything significant and enjoy instigating people.  You have a voice and we should listen.  do you want a master, buddyboy?

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          thank you for demonstrating why democracy is lousy.
          ” we allow you to speak here ”
          that’s life in a democracy
          “I have a right to speak”
          that’s life in a constitutional republic
           
          I would never want to be a subject to the whims of the masses and would never want to live in a democracy. why do you want to be a subject? I prefer to be a free man.

          • Tyranipocrit

            you are tiwsting words and splittinng hairs. In a direct democracy it is you right. Inn a so-called “constitutional-republic” you are “allowed”–for the time being–but you are silly if you think your constitution means anything or that you have democracy–you do not. And the bill of rights is not part of the contstitution and has all ready been eradicated by your beloved corporate arisocrats who control your profit-motivated Plutocracy.

            you keep repeating this nonsense about tyranny of the majority. You really have no idea what you are saying. Its hard to seperate militainment and corporate sponsored news i know–but you really need to stop fantasysing. Your ideas about the republic are nothing more than a fetish.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            how do you manage to misspell so many things with the new spell checker? the utopia you describe does not exist yet you fantasize I live in a fantasy? 

  • Geheran105

    A critical mass of Egyptians proved to be quick learners. In about a year, they (correctly) concluded that the MB’s “peace and justice” is a complete charade and opted for a “democratic coup” – the lesser of two evils. Meanwhile, US political elite, epitomized by Director Clapper’s laughable assertion “the MB is largely a secular organization”, remains in a deep slumber at the reality switch. What prevents the WH from reading the MB motto, mission statement and fiendishly clever plan for defeating North America “from within” and doing what Egyptians will likely do – outlaw

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    Democracy is a terrible idea

    • HonestDebate1

      I agree, it’s mob rule.

      • Tyranipocrit

         you have no idea what you are talking about.  In fact what you are saying is dumb.  We do not have democracy.  We are ruled  and manipulated by a plutocracy–essentially a cartel, an oligarchy.  These people are the mob you speak of.  So in fact coporatocracy is mob rule.  Not democracy. 

        I think you would find, even in this dumb ass country of the United States a referendum or pure democracy would ultimately reflect a thoughtful reasonable and empathic results. 

        What we have no is a mob of idiots ranting and thrusting pitch forks stirred up by sinister corporate 1% forces behind the curtain–FACT.  We have mob rule now because we have no democracy. 

        • pete18

          Yes, so where are you going to be moving to?

          • Tyranipocrit

            next door to you patriot. I bet i got a bigger pick-up than you.

          • pete18

             Yes, I’m sure you do. Built by those sinister capitalists pursuing a profit. Same with the computer you’re typing on and all that technology that you will be using to deliver us nirvana.

          • Tyranipocrit

            i dont drive. I use a bike. i built it with spare parts I stole from capitalists riding thru my woods. i walk. and capitalism can be tempered with green social regulation. I work with a cooperative and 20 percent of our profits is donated to green interests in the local community. I also have other interests and projects. There are other better ways to be–not just the uber-rich way.

          • pete18

            Notice, you needed to have capitalists to steal from (the new moral code of the enlightenment) to make your equation work. There’s nothing wrong with simple living, actions to make yourself greener and businesses donating to causes they find just, you just can’t mandate that for everyone (tyranny), or rely on it happening in large enough numbers (unrealistic expectation of human nature) to create the great society you dream of. Nor should you vilify the pursuit of profit or capitalism. None of those high tech gadgets that are the architecture for the Eden that you hope to live in came into being without investors pursuing a profit.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            are you typing this on some sort of gilliganish coconut computer?

          • jefe68

            You stole someones bike.
            I noticed you said “your woods”, was this some kind of toll that you decide to evoke on hapless strangers while acting all self righteous and superior?As I said, you are a real piece of work.

      • Ray in VT

        I see nothing in the definitions or practices, either current or historical, to back up that oft stated belief.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          then you are not looking very hard. look at any current or historical civil rights issue.

      • Ray in VT

        I don’t see anything in the definitions, either current or historical, to suggest that that is the case.

    • Tyranipocrit

       and what would you have in its place?  Corporate rule?  A king?  A mafia thug cartel?  A queen? 

      You are talking about tyranny of the individual or tyranny of the minority? 

      Representative democracy is flawed because money controls it. 

      An educated population with a fair, honest and open voting platform would be more just and equal.  

      What we have now is a corporate aristocracy that deliberately and systematically dumbs down the population, misdirects, and manipulates, manufacturing consent for absurd atrocities. 

      A dumb people vote against their interests because they simply cant understand the world they live in–no comprehension of it–they are delusional.

      Solution:  free education, a culture of education and higher-learning, rather than war and machismo, and free health care would create conditions necessary– foundation of security and prosperity and happiness that fosters an intellectual, self-actualized, hyper-aware society–that demands and expects and will have direct-democracy. 

      In a direct-democracy with such a sophisticated and broad education without capitalism and media-brainwashing by the evil 1%–human civilization would leap into a new stage of evolution saving the planet and boldy going where no man has gone before.

      In a direct democracy, the minority opposed in any given situation will be so small as to be insignificant (as far as discontent is concerned)–and that group would not be extremely opposed, only by subtle nuance–never being completely unhappy.  Because their would be no central power manipulating, lying, and manufacturing evil BS. 

      Anyone who says democracy is not the way is a person who is extremely dangerous and needs to be monitored.  Such a person is the enemy of humanity and earth.

      Unless that dictator imposes a green rule of law forbidding pollution and harmful manufacturing.  If ever there was a time for such a thing–it is now.  But people would just resent such a regime.  It doesn’t work.  The world needs a transformation in social consciousness–and that is thru free and broad education. 

      And an end to the military industrial complex and an end to the capitalist 1%.

      I don’t believe we have ever had true democracy on this planet.  The wealthy capitalist always corrupt it.  And few are actually represented. Its all a show. 

      so, it is not that democracy doesn’t work–it is that we DO NOT have democracy.  We live in a plutocracy.  Everyone knows it and denies it.  And the plutocracy that rules us is not benign, and not kind, and not just–it is tyrannical.  and evil. 

      • pete18

         ”Solution:  free education, a culture of education and higher-learning,
        rather than war and machismo, and free health care would create
        conditions necessary– foundation of security and prosperity and
        happiness that fosters an intellectual, self-actualized, hyper-aware
        society–that demands and expects and will have direct-democracy.”

        How are you planning to bring about this utopia? 

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

           iphone app?

        • Tyranipocrit

          i am not. Thick thick thick…why would you think it has to do with me–a direct democracy is everyone–you dont want to vote on referendums? You dont think you hava right? You people keep confusing dictators and representive shills with democracy.

          Movements make change–not individuals. You think liek a dictator. But dont be disheartned–so do most americans. Preceiselyw hy your experiment in plutocractic democracy is failing. You all have fetishes for a tyrant. Fascism–corporate culture. religion. militant. everyting about america is totalitarian–in culture and mind–but sadly ironically you have this fantasy of being individuals and free in a democracy. ironically your notion of individualism is the essence of dictatorship.

          WHy do you give up your right to vote to a representive who will never share your interests? o r your community?

          how does anything change little petey pan? Time, energy, mass movements and social awakening–until the small minded naysayers and fanatical militant religious nuts are in the radical minority and reasonable minds take back the airwaves–its all ready happening my freind. Samll changes. baby steps. look how much has changes n the way people think just since 911. look at egypt. the entire middle east. look at china. the occupied movement–this is a result of large populations coordinating and organizing and thinking.

          With technology direct democracy is possible–more effective–but technology isnt really needed. Local referendums. local economies. local community. local food. lolcoal energy. All it takes is a few people who care and get off the couch and stop listening to talkin gheads and corporate pawns.

          Ignore thier establishment. Dont shop at walmart and target and gap. Dont bank with crooks. dont throw away your vote for democrats and republican pawns. Dont join the war machine–a terrorist organization. Undermine it.

          • pete18

             So exactly how do you propose protecting the rights of the minority via direct democracy? The reason Representative democracy with all its faults is better than direct democracy (although I do believe referendums are workable at a local level) is that there are more checks and balances. Direct democracy would have extended slavery for at least another 60 or 70 years beyond 1864.

          • Tyranipocrit

            this is not 1864. so think harder.

          • pete18

             Times have changed but human nature has not. The potential for the tyranny of mob rule never goes away.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        plutocracy is also bad like democracy. tyranny of the masses is no way to live.  it would be great if everyone was smart but that’s impossible. no matter what you do about half of people will be below average.

        • Tyranipocrit

          not true. The brain is like a muscle. Use it and i gets more powerful. People dont use the brain because our culture discourages it and mocks it. its not masculine–or as so many here like to say–its crazy–you should be on meds. We live in a culture that despises intelligence because our coproate owned media systematically dumbss down and brainwashed the people quite effectively and with sophistication.

          As i said before a culture of education in a direct democracy–the two are symbiotic–ther woudl be no tyranny that you speak of. Your bran has been molested with these false notions. Where is your evidence to back up your fears?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            try again bro “about half of all people are of below average intelligence”
            you disagree?

          • Tyranipocrit

            i dont know. I just think the brain is capable of extraordinary things. Yes people seem dumb but they are capable of so much more. That is why I get angry and disappointed and depressed and sling mud in their faces here when they willfully regurgitate crap. I’m just sick of trying. I will go to my grave knowing half the population is wilffully ignorant. perfectly happy to be dumb and resentful of people who see and know different–absolutely pigheaded and unwilling to accept change or diversity.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            is there an emoticon for the “over your head” gesture?

    • jefe68

      “We the People  of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        yes our constitutional republic is pretty awesome.

  • disqus_fw2Bu1dEsd

    Churchill’s famous dictum: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” 

  • disqus_fw2Bu1dEsd

    “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” – Winston Churchill 

    • ExcellentNews

      Those who have paid their dues defending democracy are allowed to make fun of it….

      …and in a democracy, those who have not paid their dues can make fun of it too…

  • KeithWR

    I’ve never commented before, but I really wanted to thank you for having on Mr. Daragahi from the Financial Times. His frank analysis of the situation in Egypt was much more helpful than the traditional NPR tactic of attempting to be so unbiased as to legitimize the illegitimate, rationalize the irrational, and excuse the inexcusable.

    I hope you continue to rely on Mr. Daragahi to help us understand the events in Egypt as they unfold.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    “Honest” Debate: “What’s you’re opinion on why Obama extended the employer mandate by decree with no authority to do so?”

    Probably he was following orders from his controller in Kenya. He should be impeached for this criminal act.

    • HonestDebate1

      Snark is not an answer, it’s a dodge. That’s fine.

    • ExcellentNews

      Our constitutional history since 2000 is this:

      - unelected Presidents have the mandate to do whatever they (and their corporate pals) wish

      - elected Presidents are sabotaged and prevented from implementing the will of the people into policy.

      • pete18

        Poor, helpless President Obama, nothing is his fault.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Don’t you mean everything is his fault?

          • jefe68

            I woke up the other day and the street sweeper missed a large section of the road, I blamed Obama. 

          • TomK_in_Boston

            They don’t have clean streets in Kenya!

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        that’s the same guy who signed the order making extrajudicial murder of citizens legal right?

      • HonestDebate1

        Mitch McConnell is the most powerful man in the universe. Obama is helpless.

  • Tyranipocrit

    I wish our military had the morality and courage to overthrow the corporate aristocracy illegal controlling our republic.  The US military should overthrow the plutocracy and impose a constitutional convention with direct democracy–handing the country back to the people.  That would be the honorable and noble thing to do.  But as it is our military is the lap dog of the plutocracy.  

    • jefe68

      Are you thinking of the Posse Comitatus Act:
      Sec. 15. From and after the passage of this act it shall not be lawful to employ any part of the Army of the United States, as a posse comitatus, or otherwise, for the purpose of executing the laws, except in such cases and under such circumstances as such employment of said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by act of Congress ; and no money appropriated by this act shall be used to pay any of the expenses incurred in the employment of any troops in violation of this section and any person willfully violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or imprisonment not exceeding two years or by both such fine and imprisonment.

      There is also the The Insurrection Act of 1807.

      • Tyranipocrit

        laws are just words on paper. since when did anyone abide by them. Are we a beuracracy or a nation of humans with ethical and moral will.

        I am quite aware of laws and the absurdity of the MIC ever doing anything just or worthy. its only insurrection if you lose. The winner declares justice and morality.

        • jefe68

          You are one piece of work.

    • disqus_fw2Bu1dEsd

      You  mean the MilitaryINDUSTRIAL Complex?

    • Jon

      I see you have the talent of running for the president of u.s. and am sure you will have lots of support from people like you.

  • Tyranipocrit

     where do we have a democracy?

  • C LeFay

    The circumstance in Syria and Egypt stem from the failed Baathist
    unification of the region- which led to both radicalizing portions of
    the Muslim Brotherhood and the dominance of the Military State.   Present day Syria and Egypt are feeling the legacy of that failure- when partisans were all too ready to marginalize former allies.

    The chance of reconciling past transgressions with the Muslim Brotherhood
    was priceless.   Unfortunately, decades on the outside left the Muslim
    Brotherhood ill prepared to successfully integrate.   What was needed was a strongly invested party with a stake in an egalitarian outcome- but not a direct beneficiary of advantage -to moderate.  

    The US could not have credibly played that roll through civil council and monetary sway over the Egyptian military- as our hand is poison in the eyes of most of the world, lacking all moral authority.  

    If the situation is to be saved, the power balance must shift to compel cooperation-   both the military and Muslim Brotherhood must believe that their welfare depends on it.

  • ExcellentNews

    Speaking of theocracies, we have one right here at home. Corporate shills in Congress are falling over each other to denounce science, evolution, individual freedoms beyond that to make money or stockpile guns, corporate responsibility for consequences such as global warming or pollution…etc – all in the NAME OF GOD. In fact, if it was not for our tradition of constitutional law and social democracy, we would be not very different from Saudi Arabia or Egypt.

    • C LeFay

      Your rant suffers from target drift- decide who you want to paste with tomatoes BEFORE you start throwing.   The influence of religion in the US is demonstrable- theocracy is not.   There are most definitely corrupt representatives in congress- and a portion may have the motive you suggest- none of which points to theocracy.   Our constitution and democratic franchise is like the keel on our national ship- a critical contributor, but not the totality of who we are: lacking either, the United States would still be radically different than Saudi Arabia or Egypt- both of which differ from each other to a degree that makes the comparison ridiculously superficial.

    • jefe68

      I think the word you’re looking for is plutocracy.

  • Pingback: A Possible Model For Democracy In Egypt? Look At Turkey | Cognoscenti

  • Ed75

    Yes, the Ten Commandments are an expression of natural law, they apply to everyone, the law ‘written on our hearts’.

  • TomK_in_Boston
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Oceans in Space. The new discovery on a moon of Saturn, and the possibility of life there.

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Apr 17, 2014
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men burn leavened items in final preparation for the Passover holiday in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish town of Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday, April 14, 2014. Jews are forbidden to eat leavened foodstuffs during the Passover holiday that celebrates the biblical story of the Israelites' escape from slavery and exodus from Egypt. (AP)

In the week of Passover and anti-Semitic gunfire, we look at the history of the Jews with acclaimed historian Simon Schama. Plus, Pope Francis and the Catholic Church today.

 
Apr 17, 2014
Students cheer and wave as President Barack Obama, not pictured, exits the podium after speaking at the University at Buffalo, in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, beginning his two day bus tour speaking about college financial aid.  (AP)

The inside dope on college financial aid. The way it really works, who gets what, and how.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

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Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

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How Boston Is Getting Ready For the 2014 Boston Marathon
Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014

Boston Globe metro reporter Maria Cramer explains how the 2014 Boston Marathon will be different than races in the past.

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