Fmr Ecuador President Rafaell Correa: Latin America is now experiencing an aggressive return to its neoliberal past

Rafael Correa is charismatic man who knows how to communicate. Two qualities that helped him to reach the presidency of Ecuador in 2007, a nation that up to that point had been on unstable political ground. Before Correa at least seven presidents had alternated between scandals, popular protests and replacements – until the Palace of Carondelet had as its occupant this economist turned leader. During the 10 years of his tenure in office he promoted a Citizen Revolution which improved the conditions of the poorest Ecuadorians with a vast improvement of social programs. Working now as journalist with Russia Today Correa has been able to reflect on what it takes to be a strong decisive leader. “It isn’t about if someone dislikes me or not, I have no control over that. I never looked at my job as President as trying to please everyone it was about what was needed to move the country forward.” With that same clarity Correa warned during our interview in Caracas that, “what we have in Latin America now is an onslaught; an aggressive return of the neo liberal past. It is a terrible neo conservatism that respects absolutely nothing, neither democracy nor human rights, nor constitutional order and with an impressive double standard at the inter-Americanism at the world level.”

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Colleges Cracking Down on Free Speech: A Threat to Democracy Itself?

But many of those so-called homes of higher learning are bowing to censorship. Free speech advocates warn the growing movement to shut down certain speakers and opinions on college campuses threatens First Amendment rights. Berkeley was ripped up in …

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Safe in Hungary, Viktor Orban Pushes His Message Across Europe

By finishing first in national elections in Slovenia on Sunday, the hard-liner Janez Jansa has brought a right-wing populist wave into another European country. Among those he can thank is Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, who campaigned at his side and darkly warned that the election was about “the survival of the Slovenian nation.” Mr. Orban has become a right-wing hero with his blunt attacks against liberal democracy. Yet if his support was important, so, too, was the help of Mr. Orban’s friends. In the past two years, Hungarian businessmen close to Mr. Orban have quietly invested in, or…

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These 5 Navy Men Took The Stage, And The Crowd Exploded As Soon As They Looked Up

Navy service members have a reputation for being tough as rocks. And they need to be resilient people because they are out on the open ocean for long stretches of time. Although Navy service members are often seen as tough and stern, they’re not like that every moment of every day. And every once in a while, they find a few moments to enjoy themselves and have some fun.

But the U.S. Navy Band seems always to be having some fun.

They are the Navy’s dedicated band after all and what could be more fun than playing music to honor the United States military and the people who join and risk their lives to protect American freedom and democracy? So when you see the Navy’s band, the “Sea Chanters” performing before the crowd, a smile will grace your lips. But when you see how talented they are, your jaw will drop. Especially when you recognize the song, they’re about to sing.

The video starts with five uniformed Navy men standing at the front of the stage all bowed forward at the waist.

And as soon as they pop up, the crowd goes wild because they’re singing a favorite song from the hit musical “Jersey Boys.”

According to the Sea Chanters’ website, “The ensemble performs a variety of music ranging from traditional choral music, including sea chanteys and patriotic fare, to opera, Broadway, and contemporary music. Under the leadership of Senior Chief Musician Adam Tyler, the Sea Chanters perform for the public throughout the United States. At home in Washington, they perform for the president, vice president and numerous congressional, military and foreign dignitaries.”

Lt. Harold Fultz was the visionary and music lover who formed the group back in 1956. He recruited the singers for the group from the Navy School of Music. He wanted a group dedicated to singing patriotic songs and chanteys to inspire the members of the government at the State of the Nation dinner.

Later, when the group became a hit, they expanded and began singing more songs than just patriotic verses. And as you’ll see in the performance below, show tunes are some of the most popular songs they perform while out touring the country.

“Throughout their history, the Sea Chanters have remained true to the Navy’s watchwords of pride and professionalism, and they continue to flourish as a vibrant ensemble,” their website added.

The Sea Chanters are not the only Navy music group. They also have other ensembles including Chamber Ensembles, Cruisers, Country Current, Commodores, Ceremonial Band, and the Concert Band. Talk about a division of the military that respects and celebrates with music!

The performance below comes from 2014. It has proved to have lasting popularity. And it occurred during the Concerts on the Avenue series that was hosted at the United States Navy Memorial.

If you’re a patriotic American and a fan of Jersey Boys, this Sea Chanters performance will know your socks off. Press play below to check it out today! to watch the talented service members.

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5 Years on, U.S. Government Still Counting Snowden Leak Costs

Edward Snowden participates in a conversation via video with John Perry Barlow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, at the Personal Democracy Forum at New York University in 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Whistleblower or traitor, leaker or public hero?

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Liberal democracy is in crisis. But … do we know what it is? | Helena Rosenblatt

To address the future of liberalism and democracy, we must think clearly about the terms. That means looking to the past

It was 25 years ago that Fareed Zakaria warned against a new and growing threat: the rise of “illiberal democracy” around the world. Democratically elected governments were routinely flouting liberal principles, openly violating the rule of law, and depriving their citizens of basic rights and liberties.

Today, many believe that we stand on the precipice of an existential crisis. Liberal democracy is “closer to collapse than we may wish to believe”, writes Ed Luce of the Financial Times. In a bracing new book, the former secretary of state Madeleine Albright even warns of a revival of fascism.

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How to end partisan gerrymandering

If you want your state to end gerrymandering, you’re going to have to get actively involved, and demand it One of the biggest challenges to our democracy occurs when states draw congressional district lines with the principal goal of helping one political party and hurting the other. It’s called “partisan gerrymandering.”

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Political Institutions and the Governmental Burden on Businesses – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

Abstract: Businesses are burdened by government through corporate taxes and bureaucratic procedures. We interpret these two channels as tools for raising revenues and study, theoretically and empirically, how different political institutions rely on these tools. We establish two stylized facts: the degree of democracy has inverted-U relationships with both the bureaucratic and tax burdens. We match these facts with a dynamic political–economic model of fiscal policy where revenues are raised through the burden on businesses and the returns to public capital, and where the degree of democracy is modeled as the limit on the appropriation of capital by misbehaving politicians.

 

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Read the working paper version.

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