Book Review – The Monarchy of Fear

The early rumblings of the 2022 political campaigns call for some serious soul searching including an in depth look at WTF (What the F..)  or HTF (How the F..) did this happen.  Martha C. Nussbaum presents a philosopher look at our current political crisis and the retributive response to fear that has polarized American for the last twenty years.   In the book titled “The Monarchy of Fear”, Nussbaum untangles the web of emotions and fear and articulates the politics of constructive work and hope.

Nussbaum first look at fear begins at the everyone’s beginnings, when we first enter the world and are confronted with unknowns that we can’t understand but only respond with emotional outbursts that apparently always gets someone’s attention.  The author draws from historical and contemporary examples of fear-based motivations and traces likes and dislikes and value assignations to emotional responses to fear.  It is a fascinating read and may upend the world as you know it and understand it and it will take you out of your engrained comfort zone.

Dr. Nussbaum discusses the book at length at a Politics and Prose event at the Bookstore Coffeehouse. Please watch this short video:


Martha C. Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, appointed in the Philosophy Department and Law School of the University of Chicago.

Elections 2020 – America’s Most Consequential Election Contests

Elections 2020 – America’s most consequential election contest will be decided in less than two weeks. The election will decide what the future will be for America and also for the world. We witnessed the best and the worst of Americans during this struggle.

However a plague is upon us and for many of us our entire being is focused on the existential matters presented by a pandemic that is raging in the United States and most of the world.

We are again looking at disasters facing us like never before and the dire situation in Utah appears to be only the beginning and an example of what is yet to come. Today, October 19, 2020 in the state of Utah began like the last three weeks with COVID cases in excess of 1,000 per day. COVID deaths have doubled in less than two months. The State of Utah and the Trump administration seem to want to stay the course. No change in plans or better stated:  No plans at all. Utah hospitals are at or above capacity. Hospital ICU units may have to turn away, not just COVID patients, but patients with other potentially fatal conditions.
This drama has been reenacted since February 2020 in almost every state of the United States and in most of the world. Our fight against this pandemic and our climate crisis have not yielded a plan to resolve these critical life and death matters for every human being on our planet.

America and the world is in search of a plan. It is within our power to determine this plan and demand this plan of action to address our health and our ability to continue to thrive in our country and on our planet.
A proposal was made in July 2020.  The proposal outlines the deliverables that will stop our downward spiral into an abyss that will darken our nation for generations to come.

It is we that must enable this plan.  It is we that must demand this plans deliverables.  It we that must work together to execute this plan.    It is all within our power and all we need to do is just say so.  We have less than two weeks to speak up.

Debates. Debates, Debates ! SUU Joins the Debate Frenzy

The Southern Utah University (SUU) student organizations also got caught up in the debates frenzy of this politically unpredictable election year. The Student organized Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service hosted a debate between Socialist, Democratic and Republican party elements of the student body at SUU.

Tom Cloward a member of the Leavitt Center executive council served as the debate moderator. Cloward is in his first year at SUU studying history. He is from South Ogden, Utah. He loves comedy and making others laugh and understand things just a little clearer. His main political interests include foreign policy, wildlife conservation, and health care.

Tanner Faddis, a fellowship intern and first year student at SUU served as co-moderator.



Taking the stage are the debaters:

Savannah Robinson, also a member of the Leavitt Center executive council, took the debate stage represented the Democratic party. Savannah is a junior philosophy major from Las Vegas. Some political topics she is passionate about are civil rights, gun control, and mental health. She completed a study abroad during the spring 2019 semester in Greece. After college she plans on attending law school to continue her studies.




Sam Cook, a senior majoring in philosophy and history, represented the Socialist party.

The Republican party was represented by Nick Piedmonte, a senior majoring in political science.





The debates centered on the following questions:

“Should the U.S. fund foreign wars?”
“Should the U.S. participate in the Paris Climate Agreement.?”
“Should the U.S.’s immigration system be changed?”
“Should student debt be forgiven?”

The audience was encouraged to provide feedback by determining the winner via an app (like in Iowa?). While some of the audience saw Cook as the clear winner of the debate, many were surprised when Piedmonte was declared the winner of the debate.

The Leavitt Center debate was refreshing in that the usual rhetoric, name calling and tribal nonsense we find so often in our politically charged world was kept to a minimum. The issues while debated with some passion, were discussed within the boundaries of reason and civility.

Please view the full debate here:

Grass Roots Politics – Tomorrow Will Be Negotiated in The Lobby

When the hate mongers speak of separating us with walls and herding many of us like cattle into pens for later disposal. Many aspiring lawmakers shout in support of the slogans of the past and illusions of national greatness and racial and ideological superiority. Compassion and caring even for those that meet nefarious standards for racial and ideological inclusion are cast aside in favor of those that have the wherewithal to spout lofty platitudes of self-determination and self-righteous protection of wealth and gains obtained at the expense of those less capable. Barriers, physical walls and social constructs prohibit interactions and powerful messages are propagated and repetitively shouted over every message channel drowning out any attempts to curtail the insanity.

But let us return to the subject of parties. Political parties? There are parallels to be construed here. And here also we are beginning to see a demise of what used to be and a replacement with that which is yet to be determined. We are still hampered by political party loyalties, but shifts in those norms have shaken the foundations of political, cultural and social structures during 2016 starting with Great Britain and culminating with our own 2016 election. The realignment of national powers is just as unpredictable and contradictory of traditional comfort zones as those of political constructs and associations. Alliances are forged with a singular direction regardless of the ideological, sociological and even political basis from which they arose. A moral compass is not in play and a populous stampede with a singular purpose is leading, like lemmings, blindly to a precipice destined for self-destruction.

It is in the hope of the events of 2018 that I look toward foreign lands and the renewal of the dreams and the celebration of the totality of our common humanity. Recent elections in European countries and worldwide movements of resistance have resulted in turning away the tide of fascism, finding a foothold in the populous movements in a United Europe. However, that less insane political climate is facing strong headwinds whereby the future direction of the European as well as the world political movements are best described as very uncertain.

Our own next elections will be in November 2018. And so, we are here again. At another crossroads and a choice of directions. Or so it seems!

Election victories have come at a price and the choice is a not one for the party of choice, but the candidate of choice. The candidate that matches the electorates’ whims will succeed. However, no single issue will rise from the ashes of burnt out America and result in the progress that we expect from our legislators. The parties will support any issues that may result in a victory at the cost of any party direction because the party will support the direction of the candidate. Republican ideals concerned with a burgeoning budget and a bureaucracy set aside for the dictates of a few super rich power brokers. Democratic ideals are set aside for a few marginal votes by displaying AR-15’s and a disregard for the Rowe vs Wade supreme court ruling.

What happened to the party? And I do mean the party or the celebration of freedom, liberty, justice, and truths that were self-evident. We didn’t feel the need to make this country great again, for we knew how great it was. We reached out to all with empathy and compassion and love. But now we are faced with a change that has altered that celebration of our many accomplishments and replaced that celebration with a fear of impending doom and a longing for conquest and enforcement of dogmatic ideas and values with the point of the sword.

The new-found wealth resulting from the recent tax windfall will not be invested in trickle down anything but will be paid to legislators to assure that the tax windfall will remain intact and that further power swings will turn even corporate America into that of oligarchs. The anticipated blue wave will constitute a sham and will be blue in name only. Senator Sanders may have captured the hearts of our youth, but his ideals have not swayed the minds and the pocket books of voters who are not concerned with the day after tomorrow.
Our own national security apparatus is minimalized and being dismantled at the whims of a few who do not want their affiliations with foreign dictators exposed. Our corporations are increasingly closely affiliated with legislators who dish out policies which do not have middle America interests at heart and are being passed into law by elected officials regardless of party affiliation.

What are we to do? Well not unlike any other kind of problem resolution method, a bit of homework and inquiry will help to send you in the right direction. It is usually easy to ascertain the rights and wrongs of any candidate’s position with three questions. What will you do for me? How will you do it. And when will it be done? Never ask why it will be done. I repeat never ever!! Ok give it a shot and if you are not inundated with a barrage of rhetoric (bullshit in other words) which attempts to circumvent any of the what, when and how questions I will be extremely surprised. Be sure to ask if the candidate will agree to a expedient and efficient method of recording their answer. Video records are the most efficient and expedient in assuring that spoken comments can’t be denied later. Feel free to point out that recordings have not dissuaded Trump or his entourage of clowns from appealing to the crowds that can’t seem to get enough of his theatrics.

Party politics will continue to be played in picking a party candidate during the primaries, but the real game begins after that. Now you are totally confused because what choices do you really have after that? Well none really, unless we can start to wrap our heads around supporting candidates that do not spout the rhetoric of party politics and anything goes ethics (actually – unethical practices) to win an election. Can we really start to demand specific directions and ask specifically what our representatives are to represent and demand a recall if they don’t comply? A simple three step will get you there!

Step 1:   Clearly state your demands (what) and get how and when answers

Step 2:  Don’t bother to listen to what they are opposed to, because it is a step around or more like a reach around.

Step 3:  Keep track of what they do while in the elected position.

Step 3 is where they will get you all the time, because they know that when they do not do what is promised no one remembers. Do not forget that you need to repeat the question before during and after the election cycle and meticulously keep track of their answers. Let them know you are doing exactly just that. Let them know their promises are the sole reason for their representing you in their elected capacity. This is the real work of democracy and it is not at all political, but simply is what it is. That being said, the only recourse after election is a recall, impeachment, or forcing a resignation. A bit like closing the barn door after the bull has left the building.

These are the reasons for lobbyist. These methods are tried and true and with appropriate funding the individuals that have much to gain finance an army around each and every local, state and federal legislator to make sure that they do their bidding.

How can I conclude? With a heavy sigh of despair? Well I can and so can you, but it may be more productive if we demand that your representatives do your bidding. A lobbyist is nothing more than just someone who demands that their representative does what they asked them to do. Remember to ask what, how and when and hold them to that promise. Let the lobbyist in you come out and make demands. Share your hard work with others, by simple letting your friends and neighbors and the world know who stands for what and how and when they intend to bring us a future that we want for ourselves.

Cracks In The Growth Ceiling !

Most business and government development models advocate growth as solutions to social and economic problems. Growth in real terms requires an ever-increasing population and an incessant search for the resources required to service the burgeoning global population. Growth expectations are a cultural remnant of the feudal societies of the middle ages.
The monarchist ruling parties required strong adherence to growth goals to facilitate expansion of power through violent wars and economic monopolies. Population growth was needed to replenish the ranks of those lost on the killing fields as well as a source of cheap labor to supply the machinery to wage these constant power struggles. Cultural dogma was veiled under well orchestrated and mass marketed righteousness and ascertains that population growth was a valued principle.

Read more