What is a Timocracy?

Monarchy, democracy, communism, socialism–you’ve heard of the most popular forms of government, but you certainly don’t know them all. There are a number of kinds of government that are primarily theoretical. Some haven’t happened yet, and perhaps many never will. Some theoretical governments are controlled by those who develop that civilization’s technology. Others are controlled by the scientists and researchers who govern which technology might someday be built. A timocracy is built only by those people who own land and wealth, and those who rule usually do so because of ambition or honor.

This form of government was an idea conceived of by the Athenian ruler Solon in the 6th century BC. He built a timocracy, and allowed rulers into his timocracy according to a hierarchy with four tiers inside of the civilization’s population. If you were a manual laborer, for example, you were considered a member of the “thetes” tier of the timocracy. The thetes were the lowest rung of the ladder, and so they couldn’t get close to elected office. However, being a member of the poorest class had at least one benefit that most Americans would love–the thetes never paid any taxes.

The next tier on the ladder was known as the zeugitae. These were tillers of the land. Their class was defined in a few different ways, all of which were applicable. To be considered a member of this tier, you needed to be the proud owner of at least a pair of pack animals. You needed to produce at least two hundred bushels of produce annually (this was the primary requirement). Although you had to pay taxes, you could expect to hold minor offices that no one on the higher tiers would ever want. You could also afford armor, and so zeugitae could serve in the army as hoplites.

If you produced just a hundred more barrels a year–three hundred, to be exact–you were a member of the knight class, or hippeis. You could afford weapons and armor and cavalry because of the extra money. Members of this tier could expect to command a great deal of respect, and again you could hold offices slightly higher up the ladder.

The highest tier of Solon’s timocracy was–get ready for this–a pentacosiomedimni. Go ahead and try to say that five times fast. Members of the pentacosiomedimni produced five hundred bushels of goods annually are were granted the means to hold the rank of general. Because you reached such a high level of prosperity in ancient Athenian society, you could make an attempt to insert yourself into extremely high positions within the government. They included the ecclesia, the Council of 400, the Council of Areopagus, and nine archons and treasurers.

Even though democracy doesn’t expressly suggest a tier system regarding the amount of property or wealth you have in exchange for government qualifications, your chances of obtaining office obviously increase substantially if you have both.

What Is The Inanimate Objects Party?

With Democrats and Republicans looking a lot alike nowadays, there has been a growing push to look into alternative options for political parties to support with our donations, time and effort canvassing neighborhoods.

At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in upstate New York, the students have already been rallying behind a third-party, and they are bound and determined to get an inflatable whale into office.

Fill in your favorite politician joke here.

In one of the great running parodies in politics, RPI has embraced its own third-party for going on 20 years, with the goals of electing either a seven-foot-long inflatable whale named Arthur Galpin or Alby the Albino Squirrel – a real squirrel.

Welcome to the Inanimate Objects Party, a satirical “political” group that has been in existence on campus, run by students, since 1997. It started as a protest over a college-wide rule that required all students and classrooms to use Microsoft Windows-powered computers. The IOP proceeded to put out various posters and fliers that poked fun at the mandate.

Eventually, as campus elections were held, Arthur Galpin, the inflatable whale, was introduced as the IOP candidate, and reportedly he (and his furry friend Alby) received nearly 7 percent of the vote in 2006 in the race for President of the Union (the student body). Legend has it, however, that Arthur had done much better than that in the past, but the campus rules committee never considered votes for Arthur to be valid (something about him being an inflatable whale and not an officially registered student, or something).

Arthur’s buddy, Alby the albino squirrel, really did exist as an animate object, first reportedly sighted on campus in 2001. As squirrels do not live more than a few years, it was believed that Alby became an official member of the inanimate world just after his last sighting in 2005. Now inanimate, Alby is entered into several elections along with Arthur, which can often mean splitting the votes and risking certain defeat for both of them.

As long as there is air in Arthur and as long as the squirrel remains furry, chances are good that the IOP will continue to run, collect donations and run two quality “change” candidates in the hopes of transforming their community and eventually the country. In the Era of Trump, after the Era of Bush’s Don’t Mess With Texas, don’t underestimate the power of disrupting the status quo.

And what could be more anti-status quo than two objects that aren’t breathing?

Again, enter your favorite political joke here.

What Is The OWL Party?

If you’ve never heard of the OWL party or its contributions to the political arena that is Washington state, then you shouldn’t be too surprised. It isn’t the most serious political party in existence and was conceived of by the owner of Jazz club Tumwater Conservatory, Red Kelly. After successfully creating the new party, Kelly convinced a few other fellow musicians to join up and run for state office in 1976. Suffice it to say, they failed to get out the vote. Shocking.

Kelly didn’t stop at the recruitment of fellow musicians. His mother-in-law ran for secretary of state on a platform that stood against psoriasis, bedwetting, post-nasal drip, etc. What could she have achieved during her time in higher office? Unfortunately, we’ll never know. Today, most people you might ask would consider the OWL party a satirical joke rather than a sincere act of political posturing in the real world. They wouldn’t be wrong.

OWL stands for:

“Out With Logic, On With Lunacy.”

You know a particular political party isn’t as high and mighty as the rest when its motto jokes about its own acronym-based name: “We don’t give a hoot!” You also know it isn’t so serious when the party’s Facebook page has a whopping 19 likes after decades of operation. In addition, the page has a photograph of a keyboard on which there is a key that says “Release The Kraken.” Other political parties cannot hope to compare.

You might say that the OWL party’s biggest contribution to modern politics was the effect its introduction had on those who wished for fewer smaller political parties on the ballot. The OWL party found its way into Washington with so little trouble that area politicians decided to draft a whole new set of regulations to make the process a lot more difficult for political parties that are smaller or less serious in nature. Therefore no one can sue the government

The changes were implemented after a fair amount of backlash from other parties whose effect on Washington is usually blunted by those that hold more power due to size. The Socialist Workers Party wasn’t a fan of the increased number of hurdles placed in front of those who wished to create and implement their own political parties and attempted to stop the new regulations. It didn’t work out, and today the path to creation of a new party is much more difficult.

Who knows what other political parties may have been devised had the OWL party not led to more difficult restrictions for smaller organizations! Then again, who really cares? This is what we know for sure: President Donald Trump isn’t responsible for all the laughter following political office in the U.S. We’ve always laughed about it; some people just weren’t paying attention.

Consequences Of Leaving The Paris Agreement

Currently, The United States is responsible for nearly one-fifth (20%) of all the global emissions. By leaving the Paris Climate Change Agreement there are serious consequences.

The entire world is working together for three major things:  and their leaving this agreement is a big slap in the face.

  1. To reduce carbon output
  2.  Transition to renewable energy sources
  3. Locking in future climate measures

And with The United States leaving this agreement, it is a big slap in the face to the global community at large.

President Trump defense is that the Paris Agreement would impose a high cost on the U.S economy. He claims:

  1. Job Losses – Trump claimed that 2.7 million jobs would be lost.
  2. Not Effective – Trump claims the tiny temperature decrease isn’t worth it
  3. Economic Impact – Trump claims that the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) would lose $3 trillion dollars
  4. Blackouts and Burnouts – Trump claims we need fossil fuel for electricity
  5. We Already Donate – Trump claims we don’t need to be in the agreement because we already donate the U.N.

With Trump’s America First Plan, the climate change agreement puts the world first and that is why we left the agreement.

Here’s the reality of the situation:

  1. Solar energy jobs continue to increase as coal jobs continue to decrease. As the world becomes more environmentally conscious new technology will emerge and so will new jobs
  2. In the past 100 years, the temperature has risen .9 degrees and there has been devastating consequences to our planet. If we can reduce the overall increase in temperature fluctuation by .9 degrees by 2100 – how can it not be significant?
  3. This claim is based on the current carbon tax rate that the US imposes. With less carbon, less tax which equals less income for the government. Real estimates believe the GDP would lose only .10% of its total income
  4. This is incorrect. Here’s what causes blackouts and brownouts: weather, animals, equipment failure, earthquakes, digging, and lightning. High energy demand is a cause but only on very hot summer days and it’s not from lack of power. It’s from excessive heat – heat from the environment and the equipment causing equipment failure! And with global temperature annual rising this will be a problem regardless.
  5. If you produce most of the emissions, donating does not make that any less. You still make the emissions and you should try to stop it.

As you can see, this is a very frustrating situation. The Individual States have agreed to be part of te Paris Agreement and plan on implementing state-level changes to help reduce overall emissions.

What Is The Guns And Dope Party?

This isn’t the most easily answered question. The party’s founder Robert Anton Wilson was a novelist, editor, and futurist among many other things. Certainly more than anything else, he was a man of eclectic tastes and beliefs and was perhaps ahead of the rest of us, philosophically speaking. He was born in 1932 and died in 2007, and his dark sense of humor persisted to the bitter end. He laughed through it all, even in spite of everything he disagreed with in life.

The Guns and Dope Party that he founded promotes several beliefs and causes on its website, many of which are reminiscent of the founders’ beliefs and others which are simply just absurd. They believe that all people have the right to arms, but that no arms should be forced upon other people (this is akin to the libertarian belief that if you want guns, you should have guns–but if you don’t want guns then don’t buy them).

The Guns and Dope Party also believes that you should be freely allowed to enjoy any type of drug so long as you don’t force that drug unto others. In addition, they believe in constitutional democracy (as much as they believe that our current system of government is far, far from that), and fighting for the rights of ostriches. Yes. Ostriches.

Venturing to the Guns and Dope Party website unveils several other positions taken by the interesting political interest group. Get rid of at least one-third of Congress. Leave other people alone. More than anything else, the group wants to get rid of tsars in the White House. They rightly believe that the U.S. drug tsar functions under the assumption that one person can know more about what drugs we should and shouldn’t have than the doctors who study them. After all, the tsar has never met you or studied your health.

The Guns and Dope Party is perhaps best known for its annual celebration in Black Rock City (not really a city) in the corresponding desert of Nevada. You know the one: Burning Man. The event first transpired in 1986 and has since grown exponentially into a non-profit organization with tens of thousands of participants. The popular festival is known for its view of self-expression through art and creativity while fostering a sense of community among its temporary members.

Wilson and his Guns and Dope Party are strong opponents of the fruitless war on drugs, believing that the money invested should be redistributed for other more worthwhile causes. The Guns and Dope Party still remains a relevant and thought-provoking, if comical, organization today.

Libertarians And What They Believe

If you are getting sick and tired of the government telling you what to do and you just want to be free to enjoy your life, you might want to consider joining The Libertarian Party. Libertarians believe in individuality and freedom above all else and want to limit the role of government in society. Read on to learn more about libertarians and what they believe.

Libertarians believe in individualism. They believe that everyone is responsible for their own actions and that everyone is responsible for their own happiness. As an individual, you have the right to be secure and enjoy liberty and property. No one has the right take this away from you.

A libertarian believes in spontaneous order where people are free to live but also have to live in a larger society that is determined by those living in the society and not the government. Libertarians respect the rights of others equally and any rules that are imposed need to protect individual freedom.

Limited government is an important part of the libertarian philosophy. They believe that big government is harmful and even dangerous to individual freedom. They don’t believe in the concentrated power of government because it has a corrupting influence so they want to limit it as much as possible.

Libertarians believe in free markets where the market dictates the price of a good or service. The also believe that people can be more prosperous if the government stays out of business. They also believe that social harmony is created when people are free to pursue their business interests without the government interfering with them.

They don’t believe in war and they think that society would work well if people are free to pursue what they want as long as they aren’t hurting anyone or trying to take away their things. Libertarians are often socially liberal and have no problem with gay marriage or drug legalization. They also are generally against the death penalty.

Fiscally, they tend to be conservative and don’t believe in paying any taxes. They believe that people will donate to charity to help the poor and make good decisions because it helps the environment and their pocketbook. They don’t believe on government bailouts either. Libertarians don’t believe in intervening in foreign policy because it can restrict freedom. The libertarian party is the party you want to join if you believe in freedom.

What Is The EEOC and What Are Its Duties?

Many US states and the Federal Government make most kinds of discrimination during the hiring process illegal. There are a variety of different laws that prohibit discrimination for color, race, age, sex, religion, gender identity and sexual orientation. It is the job of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce these laws and make sure that employers understand how the law works. There is also a law that makes firing someone for filing a complaint with the EEOC illegal as well. The laws mostly cover employers with 15 or more employees, however, it has been used successfully with smaller companies as well.

The EEOC Covers More Than Just Hiring

While the hiring process is the main focus of the laws and commission, it also covers discrimination in other work situations such as promotions, harassment, training, wages, benefits, and firing as well. The EEOC will investigate the employers and make an attempt to be fair and balanced in their approach. In most cases, their goal is to settle the charge out of court and get the employee what they’re due. If they can’t come to an agreement they will then bring a lawsuit against the employer to protect the rights of the workers.

There is an outreach program that the EEOC uses to help educate employers on the proper way to handle discrimination in the workplace and avoid problems in the future. In order to bring a case to the commission, the employee must be able to show that the employer intended to discriminate against them by their actions. Sometimes just showing a pattern of previous discrimination is enough to bring the action. Workers have up to 180 days from the occurrence of the discrimination to file.

The Process Begins With An Informal Complaint

At that time the Commission will send in a special counselor that will examine the complaint and point out how the law applies. Then the counselor will make contact with the employer and try to settle the situation for the best result for all involved. If the dispute can’t be solved within 30 days then the complaint will turn into a formal complaint in the EEOC office.

There will be a formal investigation, where documents are reviewed, witnesses are interviewed, and other property evidence is gathered. Then the EEOC will examine everything and offer a solution which could involve changing company policies, payment of back wages, re-hiring a person that has been fired depending on the situation.

If no remedy can be found then the EEOC may take the case to court which could end up being quite expensive for the employer. In most cases it’s far better to solve the problems outside of the court system for all of the parties involved.

What is Gerrymandering and How Does it Work?

Gerrymandering is a practice that is sometimes used in politics to divide districts in a way that will allow one side to have a political advantage in an election.

Imagine that a state has 100 precincts, of which 60 are in favour of Party A, and 40 are skewed towards Party B, but voting is done by district not by precinct. Depending on which precincts are in which district, it could be possible for Party B to control more precincts than Party A, thereby winning the election.

Historically, districts or constituencies have been decided by geography alone, which makes the election process broadly fair because political alignment does not come into account – however if the central government has typically focused on, say, “the rich south” then “the poor north” may skew towards a different government because of a feeling of isolation from those in power. If there were some strongholds towards the current government in areas where it typically struggles to get votes, then in theory the practice of gerrymandering could be used to turn constituencies ‘the right color’ in the voting process.

Gerrymandering has negative connotations, and it is not something that is considered good practice, but it can be hard to tell the true motivations of changing the lines for a district or constituency. If the reason behind the change was one of practicality, or even intended to ensure that elections were more fair, then that is a different case. Manipulating boundaries to create more competitive elections is still a form of gerrymandering, but it is less controversial because it offers better representation for the whole population. Such changes are achieved by the use of neutral bodies that work with statistics or through the work of cross-party bodies, to ensure everyone has a voice. There have been occasions where such work has been vocally opposed by parties that benefit from gerrymandering, especially in the UK and the USA.

In some cases, rather than changing boundaries, the changes are achieved by counting prisoners as being a part of the district in which the prison is located, rather than in the area that the prisoner usually lives. This affects the percentage of non-voters significantly, and can have an impact on the overall outcome of an election as an indirect result, while adversely affecting the areas where there are no prisons, by comparison

What Exactly Is The NSA?

The National Security Agency is an agency that is part of the DoD, responsible for collecting information on foreign intelligence. They are responsible for processing that data, monitoring global situations, usually for counterintelligence purposes. They are responsible for using what is called signals intelligence, looking for specific indications of what could be potentially dangerous activities that could put people in harm’s way. The measures that they use are primarily clandestine, and the strategies that are implemented by the NSA are very different from the CIA and DIA.

How The NSA Differs From Other Intelligence Agencies

The NSA is different from the Defense Intelligence Agency, and even the Central Intelligence Agency, because of the way that they gather information. For example, they do not use foreign human espionage in order to gather data (good news for politicians who are divorced). They are able to gather information using signals intelligence, something that the other agencies are not able to use. Their tactics have been used to gather information on anti-Vietnam War leaders and were even responsible for exposing Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor that stole classified secrets from the government. It is an organization that was first enacted back in 1917 following the official declaration of war on Germany in World War I.

How Is The NSA Organized?

The leader of the NSA is the Director, currently Michael S Rogers. There is also the Inspector General and many other individuals that are responsible for gathering and processing this information. There are dozens of directorates which are responsible for different components of the operations of the NSA. Much of the information gathering occurs through the NSAnet, a highly classified and secured computer network which is not available to the public. Although this organization is constantly working to help Americans, there was some controversy years ago where to agents defected to Russia, as well as problems with security. Today, it has recovered from these problems and is now under new leadership, helping to improve its ability to gather this pertinent information.

This organization is much more secretive than many of the others. There is no official number of employees. The way they collect information is not specifically known, nor are the exact operations of this government organization. However, it is a very crucial part of monitoring the activities of other countries that might lead to problems for America, as well as other countries. As long as it continues to gather information in this ultra secret manner, it can lead to helping people stay safe.

An introduction to How the US and Israel Became Allies

The history of the world is fraught with conflicts and resolutions, some of which are still under debate to this day. History books only cover a certain amount of the story, and it can be difficult to understand how certain allegiances were made. For instance, a lot of folks don’t realize how the United States and Israel became allies.

It has been more than a century since Zionism began and the Jewish people in Europe began relocating toward what is now Israel. However, it was the involvement of the European and American politics which had the most dramatic and lasting impact in establishing Israel as a country to be respected.

At the end of WWII, the formation of Israel established an ally in the Middle East. The relationship has benefited both parties, though it has not always been a steady and stable one. As Israelis infringed on the rights of the Palestinians, there were many countries in the Middle Eat interested in helping them to fight back. However, with certain American and European leaders promising to back Israel during a conflict, it has created difficulty for their allies in helping the Palestinians.

One of the reasons that some cite for American support of the tiny nation is a shared value system. Because the US was founded and established using many of the Christian values of the European culture at the time, they have a basis in the Old Testament writings of the Bible. These are the same texts that Jewish adherents use for their faith. Although their historical beliefs diverge at the point of Jesus Christ being the savior born and many people in the US today no longer even believe in Christianity, the common history provides a strong foundation for an ongoing friendship that benefits both sides.

With an established ally in the Middle East, the US can keep a close eye on what is happening in the region. Meanwhile, Israel gets to enjoy the support and backup of their larger and more powerful buddy on the other side of the world. This win-win situation is likely to continue as both sides receive benefits from the other. Should a political upheaval occur in the US, it is possible that the new value system would no longer be congruous and that the relationship could suffer as a result of the change. Only time will tell what the future holds.