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Coffee Q4 Who are the good guys versus the bad guys - Tip We're not talking about TV or games


Coffee Q4 - Who are the good guys vs the bad guys?

Tip - We're not talking about TV or games




Coffee Q4: 


Who do you think are 
the Good Guys 
versus 
the Bad Guys?



1. The whistle blowers who have informed the public about what government, government contractors, big business and big business interests have really been up to? 

or,


2. The members of government, government contractors, big business and big business interests who have:
  • been involved in, or turned a blind eye to wrong-doing; and/or 
  • have been implicated in the reduction of democratic rights and privileges and personal privacy - either through direct action or willful inaction (and/or through law changes they have been behind that have this effect); and/or 
  • have been behind the change in, or creation of new laws - geared to consolidate power in a power elite, and to disempower the public?

Coffee Qs are questions we'd like you to think about and talk about over coffee or tea, when chatting with friends, family and fellow-workers.  

If you wish to leave a comment here, please click on the "Post a Comment" tab at the bottom of this blog to give your views.

The topics on this site are of general interest even if there is local content.
For non-English speaking guests, we hope that the Translation gizmo at the bottom of the green block above is helpful - and we hope that our use of the vernacular (local turn of phrase) is not too confusing. We'd like to hear what you think about these questions and issues too.  
But mainly we'd like you to start talking about these matters with family, friends and fellow-workers.
Some discussion around this subject

Eritrea

I came across a very good summary (apparently derived from US State Department references) on the principles of democracy from a most unexpected source - an online site that has articles mainly about Eritrea. 
http://asmarino.com/articles/1442-principles-of-democracy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eritrea
Here is a link to another thoughtful analysis of Democracy:
http://www.democracybarometer.org/concept_en.html

Eritrea is a good example of how a democracy can be easily usurped by a power elite.

Eritrea is a tiny African country. It established independence from Ethiopia in 1991 and it was internationally recognized in 1993. The People's Front for Democracy and Justice was elected in 1993 shortly after independence, but there have been no general elections since its official rise to power in 1993. The Eritrean constitution, adopted in 1997 (but never implemented), stipulates that the state is a presidential republic with a unicameral parliamentary democracy and allows for multiple parties. This has not happened. 

Eritrea serves as a warning of the importance of being aware of the implications of people in power being able to change or create laws that will consolidate their power and disempower the public - and the consequences this is likely to have.

After the one election, Eritrea become firmly established by those in power as a one-party state. National legislative elections have been repeatedly postponed to maintain the status quo. The People's Front for Democracy and Justice is the "ruling" party. Other political groups are not allowed to organize. 

Freedom of speechpressassembly, and association are limited in Eritrea. In Sept 2001, the government closed down all of the nation's privately owned print media. Outspoken critics of the government have been arrested and held without trial.

Those that practice "unregistered" religions or who worship secretly in a house or any other unregistered place of assembly are arrested and imprisoned without charge or trial. Religious prisoners are often tortured in Eritrea. Anyone who tries to flee the nation, or escape military duty are arrested and put into prison. 

Known prisoners are usually held in underground cells and less known prisoners are usually put together in cargo containers or in very overcrowded prisons. Domestic and international human rights organizations are not allowed to function in Eritrea. 

All told, despite the name of the ruling party and the fact that it was actually elected (once), and the country has a (non-implemented) constitution which suggests it is a democracy  - nothing could be further from the truth. 

Eritrea is a country which quickly devolved into a repressive, oppressive authoritarian regime. 

All told Eritrea is unlikely to be a recommended tourist destination any time soon.

The story of Eritrea is mentioned because it shows how the desire for power and control is difficult for some people who come into power to relinquish. It shows the consequences of authoritarian, oligarchical rulership (versus democratic governance). 

The recent problems in Egypt are worthy of comparison. The Egyptians elected a government (as did the Eritreans). But the new Egyptian government then proceeded to change or make laws that were undemocratic, and to act in a manner that was seen as oppressive by many of the Egyptian people. Unlike the Eritreans, many Egyptians rose up against the usurpation of power from the public and the imposition of oppressive laws. 

The military has intervened in Egypt. The jury is currently out on whether democracy will really get another chance in Egypt - or whether power brokers in the military take over oligarchic rulership either directly as a military junta or through a puppet government - or whether they will actively work to broker peaceful genuine democratic reform.

Eritrea and Egypt are examples of how Democracies may start out with proper elections and law - but incumbent governments can change the fundamental nature of these - and quickly devolve into repressive and oppressive oligarchic authoritarian rule.

In authoritarian regimes, laws are routinely ignored, or broken, or new rules are made to strengthen and centralize power to the power elite and to prevent criticism and dissent from the press or public in order to protect that power.






____________________


Democracy is not something you are born with, or can pass along to your children.

It is something that must be fought for and defended.



____________________




_______________________


What do you think?

Who do you think are the
Good Guys versus the Bad Guys?





____________________

7ATDQPD6VPPR

If you want to leave a comment you are welcome to do so.
Click on "Post a Comment" below the very bottom of the Post
and a comment box will appear.

____________________



If you are interested in reading more on 
surveillance and privacy,
you might also be interested in...

The New Zealand GCSB Spy Bill - 12 steps closer to Big Brother surveillance

Eye Spy - Echelon, Big Brother and New Zealand - in the Global Spying Network

Submission example for the NZ Spy Bill

Coffee Q5: Would you vote for, or respect any politician - who votes in favor of the GCSB Spy Bill?

Peeping Toms - Seventy years of government led domestic surveillance and repression through Spy Agencies

States of Surveillance: New - Mandatory blood testing of all Americans age 15-65 

States of Paranoia - Evolution of a Police State and Constitution Free Zones

Julian Assange, Robin Hood of the Information Age - and Pandora's Box

Leaks, Peaks and Lost Letters

Privacy, Secrecy and Coverups

Secret Squirrels and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner



Lies disguised as truth D33
Puppet D33


Some politicians and bureaucrats think the general public are dumb. They want to keep us that way by controlling what information we are given. 

The information we are provided may be "truthiness" (which is not the truth, and involves all manner of deception), not truth. Lies and deception are often used to put a positive spin on matters  we would not agree to, or would disgust us if we knew the truth. Secrecy is another tool of "impression management" to cover up wrong-doing, shameful or corrupt acts.

Freedom of information is a cornerstone of democracy and justice. Without it, the risk of a decline into an authoritarian form of government is virtually inevitable.

Are we "sheep-les" or mere puppets who can be led to believe and do whatever our masters say; or are we thinking people who want to be truthfully informed? 

Are we willing to speak up and insist on the truth? Are we prepared to take action to guard our democratic rights and our rights to justice and fair treatment?
_____________________________


Thinking Tiger D33





The people generally trust their government, law-makers and the publicly funded bureaucrats who are responsible for representing their interests. But the "people" are being deceived in many instances. We feel this is wrong.  The "people" - ordinary folk like you and me have great power in democratic countries. We can and should do something about this.

Lies, deception, cover-ups and corrupt practices must be "out"-ed if they are to end. This is necessary for democracy and justice to survive.



Tiger sleeping D33







The "people" are like a sleeping tiger.





Tiger jumping D33



If you pull the tail of the tiger; it is to be expected that the tiger will wake up, take notice of it's tormenters and give chase.






In the interests of democracy, justice, world peace and a stable economy for ordinary people - the tiger must run wrong-doers to the ground.


Tiger running wrong do-ers to ground D33


Separator D33
Original 3 Monkeys D33
Original 3 Monkeys


All that is required for evil to take hold and grow is to: close your eyes, block your ears, shut your mouth - and do nothing.


If we do nothing - then nothing will improve.
Spreading the Word D33

Spread the Word!
One person can achieve little or nothing. 
Many can move mountains.

3 Freedom Monkeys D33
3 Freedom of Information Monkeys

Thank you from
3 Monkeys & me

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