The Third Sector – (YOU) – the fargo kantrowitz’z literary campsite peace project

According to the United Nations, there are three sectors: Government, Business and, the  third sector, The People, YOU! It is time for you to understand just how important you really are.

 

What Civil Society Can Do to Develop Democracy

 Presentation to NGO Leaders, February 10, 2004,

Convention Center, Baghdad

Larry Diamond – Stanford University

 

 

Good afternoon.  I want to speak to you briefly today about the role that civil society plays in building and strengthening democracy.  You are all civil society leaders, who are engaged in this effort in various ways, so I am very pleased to be able to share these ideas with you.

 

By civil society I mean the entire range of organized groups and institutions that are independent of the state, voluntary, and at least to some extent self-generating and self-reliant. This of course includes non-governmental organizations like the ones in this room, but also independent mass media, think tanks, universities, and social and religious groups.

 

To be part of civil society, groups must meet some other conditions as well.  In a democracy, civil society groups have respect for the law, for the rights of individuals, and for the rights of other groups to express their interests and opinions.  Part of what the word “civil” implies is tolerance and the accommodation of pluralism and diversity.

 

Civil society groups may establish ties to political parties and the state, but they must retain their independence, and they do not seek political power for themselves.

 

Often in transitions, groups arise that seek to monopolize the lives and thinking of their members.  These groups do not tolerate the right of their members to dissent, and they do not respect other groups that disagree with them.  Some of these groups may merely be fronts for political parties or movements that seek to win control of the state.  These groups are not part of civil society and they do not contribute to building a democracy.

 

What, then, can the independent, voluntary, law-abiding, tolerant and pluralistic organizations of civil society do to build and maintain democracy?

 

The first and most basic role of civil society is to limit and control the power of the state.  Of course, any democracy needs a well-functioning and authoritative state.  But when a country is emerging from decades of dictatorship, it also needs to find ways to check, monitor, and restrain the power of political leaders and state officials.

 

Civil society actors should watch how state officials use their powers.  They should raise public concern about any abuse of power.  They should lobby for access to information, including freedom of information laws, and rules and institutions to control corruption.

 

This constitutes a second important function of civil society:  to expose the corrupt conduct of public officials and lobby for good governance reforms.  Even where anti-corruption laws and bodies exist, they cannot function effectively without the active support and participation of civil society.

 

A third function of civil society is to promote political participation.  NGOs can do this by educating people about their rights and obligations as democratic citizens, and encouraging them to listen to election campaigns and vote in elections.  NGOs can also help develop citizens’ skills to work with one another to solve common problems, to debate public issues, and express their views.

 

Fourth, civil society organizations can help to develop the other values of democratic life:  tolerance, moderation, compromise, and respect for opposing points of view.  Without this deeper culture of accommodation, democracy cannot be stable.  These values cannot simply be taught; they must also be experienced through practice.  We have outstanding examples from other countries of NGOs—especially women’s groups—that have cultivated these values in young people and adults through various programs that practice participation and debate.

 

Fifth, civil society also can help to develop programs for democratic civic education in the schools as well.  After dictatorship, comprehensive reforms are needed to revise the curricula, rewrite the textbooks, and retrain teachers in order to educate young people about the crimes of the past and teach them the principles and values of democracy.  This is too important a task to leave only to officials in the education ministry.  Civil society must be involved as a constructive partner and advocate for democracy and human rights training.

 

Sixth, civil society is an arena for the expression of diverse interests, and one role for civil society organizations is to lobby for the needs and concerns of their members, as women, students, farmers, environmentalists, trade unionists, lawyers, doctors, and so on.  NGOs and interest groups can present their views to parliament and provincial councils, by contacting individual members and testifying before parliamentary committees.  They can also establish a dialogue with relevant government ministries and agencies to lobby for their interests and concerns.

 

And it is not only the resourceful and well organized who can have their voices heard.  Over time, groups that have historically been oppressed and confined to the margins of society can organize to assert their rights and defend their interests as well.

 

A seventh way civil society can strengthen democracy is to provide new forms of interest and solidarity that cut across old forms of tribal, linguistic, religious, and other identity ties.  Democracy cannot be stable if people only associate with others of the same religion or identity.  When people of different religions and ethnic identities come together on the basis of their common interests as women, artists, doctors, students, workers, farmers, lawyers, human rights activists, environmentalists, and so on, civic life becomes richer, more complex, and more tolerant.

 

Eighth, civil society can provide a training ground for future political leaders.  NGOs and other groups can help to identify and train new types of leaders who have dealt with important public issues and can be recruited to run for political office at all levels and to serve in provincial and national cabinets.  Experience from other countries shows that civil society is a particularly important arena from which to recruit and train future women leaders.

 

Ninth, civil society can help to inform the public about important public issues.  This is not only the role of the mass media, but of NGOs which can provide forums for debating public policies and disseminating information about issues before parliament that affect the interests of different groups, or of society at large.

 

Tenth, civil society organizations can play an important role in mediating and helping to resolve conflict.  In other countries, NGOs have developed formal programs and training of trainers to relieve political and ethnic conflict and teach groups to solve their disputes through bargaining and accommodation.

 

Eleventh, civil society organizations have a vital role to play in monitoring the conduct of elections.  This requires a broad coalition of organizations, unconnected to political parties or candidates, that deploys neutral monitors at all the different polling stations to ensure that the voting and vote counting is entirely free, fair, peaceful, and transparent.  It is very hard to have credible and fair elections in a new democracy unless civil society groups play this role.

 

Finally, I want to stress that civil society is not simply in tension with the state.  Because civil society is independent of the state doesn’t mean that it must always criticize and oppose the state.  In fact, by making the state at all levels more accountable, responsive, inclusive, effective—and hence more legitimate—a vigorous civil society strengthens citizens’ respect for the state and promotes their positive engagement with it.

 

A democratic state cannot be stable unless it is effective and legitimate, with the respect and support of its citizens.  Civil society is a check, a monitor, but also a vital partner in the quest for this kind of positive relationship between the democratic state and its citizens.

Published in: on January 26, 2017 at 4:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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There Are a Million Ways – Joey Kantor

there are a million ways

 

 

 

by joey kantor

 

 

 

space. the final frontier. space. the final frontier. oh no, not another one of those books where the Mac hunter welcomes you and belittles your sense of now. Well, then why don’t you get the popcorn. because i don’t have any money. well, do you think money grows on trees?  soon. soon. you will see why.

 

 

there are a million ways subtly and not so subtly to finally die into the arms of love and sheer bliss.  don’t worry too much about any little old one. another will come. you trust it and that too shall pass and lucky for you…it’s good. there are a million ways for all of us.

 

 

Published in: on December 29, 2016 at 11:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Brighter Side of Existentialism – a short, short story by Joey Kantor

The loneliness involved in being a writer. Sometimes I think being a writer is being a closer, always closing in on something until you can’t stand it anymore. A closer. Gonna close the deal. Yeah, right…

Sometimes you can’t write at all

it is always the shorter sentences which make the greater impact, but sometimes it is the long ones where you say fuck it. Punctuation, mostly punctuation is a way to make every fucking kid writer not be a writer but sell dope instead. Good writers out there too. It isn’t always the closing. Punctuation is part of the closing. The closing off from the process. The corruption of it even to the point of believing it is deserving of being “closed off”. Life. Love and happiness. The three things that we must remember when we write. Life love and happiness.

 

Fuck those great dead writers who were closed off completely. Celebrate the ones that knew better. The ones that lived a long time. But disappointment comes and the closing off is eventually inevitable. Better to stave off that lightlessness by being light. Being happy.

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on December 16, 2016 at 6:49 am  Leave a Comment  

Letters Never Sent (Albert)

Letters Never Sent (Albert)

 

 

The danger of history

 

 

The danger in history is thinking that you have to ride it through to victory for your favorite teams, tribes, traditions, religions, sports, smiles, children, community, money, ad infinitum. Life!

 

And it’s not true.

 

We don’t have to make sure that our anscestors ultimately won. We won’t be bad children. Sometimes our anscestors were going about things all wrong. Our job is then to stop the madness of the generations doing the same thing over and over and over again. Like Steinbeck said, it’s all about moving along to someplace new. That’s what makes an American great.

 

Published in: on October 27, 2016 at 4:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Luminos – Joey Kantor

Walk down here
forget about steps
a float down onto a cloud
you down here now
no there, no forward
come down here
and I will show you
where you are

All that no more
of course no more
how could it be
when your love is gone
and you, you, you
just you and you are
not enough

So where, what, how?
Now that love is gone?
Here, follow me
and I will show you
yes, that’s it, down now
float down, forget about
the step, no more steps

What space, huh?
What glorious white space
of the world of nothing
no wonder you can’t do
now you can only be
the ghost of the girl
somewhere out there
up there, but gone
definitely gone and so
you ask about what’s next

Next? What time now
that she’s gone and you
you you do not truly
believe in a next
but here now you are
alive, still you
look around and maybe
you’ll see something

Let’s do.
Let’s see. Look! Over there!
A cloud. A white cloud.
Let’s leap to it like it is love
come on, do do do
ah, feel that, down now
down we go on to this
cloud where we are
but there is no is

She entered the machine
and disappeared
she did not want your cloud
and your mind and your
thought and your you and
your you and your you

Ah mountains distant
perhaps there is ground there
let us go to them and see
ah, fly yes fly but where joy here
not here, at all, no joy in flight
until there, until on ground firm
ah here we are down down down
ah, a mirage, not a mountain
down down down on to another cloud

you thought you saw her there
but she was not there and you
you you must get used to her her her
not knowing you, seeing you, loving you
because otherwise you will disappear
move move move move move move

she holds all mystery
she talks into the ear of God
God loves her and you God
through her
all untrue, but true, no denying
the truth of untruth
when you believe it

let’s journey to the sea
ah krita, the rocky beach, the wind
her spirit flying amongst the other spirits
so full her heart, the sea and her home
no no no no no no no no
don’t fall away for fear
of your loss of God
she no more owns God than you

ah, but i see you don’t believe that
i can see. there! let’s go there.
another mountain. Athos!
there is the mystery.
There she runs like a wolf
free, untamable and you you you
no, let’s not go there
for you lose her there don’t you
or you think you do
but you don’t, well, only
if you think you do

Where else? Back up?
To the world again?
What are you there?
Are you not just a pair of eyes
and a flabby brain
with no understanding?
No not there.
There is no there for you
there anymore

We are together
seeking a happy ending
or just floating
yes, floating, wishing
never to come down
or go up again
wishing because even
our belief is waning

But there is her smile
And her limited promises
that she will see you again
but your heart is dead
because doubtful
because you think her heart
is dead, doubtful

Worship her then
Let her be what she is
Like a goddess
live with that until
she gives to you the right
to see her as she is
until then
take her as you see her
for she can be nothing else
and maybe God will whisper
into her ear.

Mortal mortal mortal you you you
The immortal whispers to her:
Do not turn away from him
Although blind and stupid
Do not turn away from him
For there is more to him than
you realize
The mortal carries a secret store
of mystery and knowledge
And he has seen you
Why not believe until you know?

There there there.
See? Her head turns slow.
An invisible power released
from between her honeyed lips
and she does not look away from
you you you
See? Is that what you came to see?
I think so.
We will take you back now.
Now, you must wait.

Published in: on October 22, 2016 at 3:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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From 101 of the least asked questions of all times

Why do intellectuals often think they’re smarter than circus clowns?

 

While circus clowns do not necessarily pride themselves on their intellectual prowess, they cannot be said to know less than intellectuals, whose assumption of superiority in itself would be an intellectual mistake.  This makes the score from the beginning of the debate 1-0: circus clowns.

 

Whereas a circus clown may not have read The Nichomachean Ethics, the intellectual has most likely never reduced a sad child to happy tears through the flapping of their size 26 boot. In each case a catharsis may be the possible result, yet whereas the circus clown does not judge results or knowledge according to intellect, but rather, to emotion, he can be said to know more depending upon his dedication to his craft, natural abilities and even age.

 

 

Why are NRA guys so into law and order yet cops hate their guts?

 

While it is true that the right to bear arms is in our constitution, it is also true that the founding fathers had not considered the fact that thirteen-year-old psychopaths in the future could find myriad ways to exercise their right at twenty to one hundred bullets per minute. Cops are well aware of this fact and therefore believe there should be limits on the types of guns to be sold and also stricter regulations concerning the sale. The NRA guys are also aware of this situation, an awareness which, for them, points right back to the constitution in the form of desire for self-protection and law and order. Unfortunately, the NRA guys cannot see banning any weapons at all for fear of blighting the holy words “right to bear arms.” Cops say that because of this cops die. Unfortunately, criminals also readily admit their love of this constitutional right as well. However, criminals will most likely never attack the NRA guy, (who is ready for him, but unfortunately lives far from the criminal, on his ranch in Texas) but will instead kill small children playing on their front porches from L.A. to New York City. Ultimately, the entire debate comes down to one other question: Do children really matter?

 

 

Why does the media believe that it is important for me to know that the President enjoyed a golf game yesterday?

 

 

The media will usually use the President’s golf game as a lead-in to what it wants to say about current events. However, this does not sufficiently explain why the camera or the writer’s pen or the photographer’s lens naturally finds the president swinging a four foot pole at a two inch ball relevant and a good place to start.

 

Two concepts may help to explain this. The “reeling-in”  and the “give the public a break” Ideas.

 

The former uses the golf game as backdrop because it does not expect the general public to pay attention to the intricate details of the story without first having a mental pacifier handed to them.

 

This “reeling in” leads the viewer by the hand to la la land where the under-lying message is coyly announced, for example, that the president is calm, cool, and collected, so “don’t worry when I tell you that he is on his way to prison for fraud, etc…”

 

This “give the public a break” technique is a sort of buffer between the story and what it really means, a public service to us from the media.

 

Combined, these two tricks of the trade lead to an intriguing story whereas there was previously only the possibility of a slightly different take on the never changing and endless stream of beaureaucratic red tape run amok that the journalist must call news or else lose his job.

Published in: on September 28, 2016 at 12:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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Adam and Eve – Katherine Gianaclis

Published in: on July 18, 2016 at 2:46 am  Leave a Comment  

thieves

when the day dream becomes a hum
then you stop and listen
and hear nothing distinct
but know you must decipher something
if you are to keep from drowning
in the inner fuzz born of a world too large,
too too much for unconscious man.
We lean into punches given out freely,
feel them, request them from others
so as to feel and know that maybe
there is such thing as force, a force,
something that can move
the cloud-wrapped buzz of the brain.
but we don’t conceive brain, only cloud
and that silent buzzing, that hum
moving us into the future.
thoughtless and blind but moving,
ever moving, oh yes,
and we must grasp the sides fearful
and the fathers we claim
never seem to be moved by the same.
Some come to grow the world
others to destroy,
but many don’t know the difference.
All they see is force that penetrates us
a real live being in the diaphanous nothing
of our unfortunate invisible non-views so pliable
If we place anything inside
as rescuer of our unconscious
it is all physical prowess imagery.
We are intrigued by death for sure
because it proves most that we exist.
Big desperate human-like symbols arise
and are paramount to we the unknowing
giving birth to demagogues,
thieves in saviors clothing

Published in: on July 11, 2016 at 3:53 am  Leave a Comment  
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Jai la Jai la Jai la and the hunmphs

Somebody told me to write something. Something. Anything. Something new. Something else. Write something. Something. Anything. Just write.

So, I decided that I would write something. Not look something up on the internet, but write something without any connection to the internet. That’s “research.”  Well, here I am back again. Now what? Cleaned up the yard. Wow. What now? Blahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblah!

 

The world is alright today. Today the world is alright.

 

What do you want? What do you want? Then why do you want it? Why do you want it? What worlds are alright? What worlds are alright? Everyworld. Everyworld. Taste. Taste. The worlds we’re led into through taste. Taste. Taste in every respect of the word. Taste. Respect. Respect taste.  Your best works will be written by angels weeping for you. Your best works will be written by angels weeping for you. Wandering Jew. Deny literature! Rustic ways already as you reach for words and the hunmphs have already come. The hunmphs have already came. Wild wandering Jews words wandering forty days and forty nights. Wilding wandering Jews ways away into the sandy day. The hunmphs came. The hunmphs came.

 

Good, never thought I’d get out of that sentence. Sometimes it’s like sentences are chasing me and I’m looking back and they’re gaining on me and I keep running or, er uh, typing and when it stops I stand there breathing hard and suddenly there is this place, the sudden place and you are stopped and you don’t know where you are really or even hardly what you are but you stop and you look around and you think about why you’ve been running and you see the letter A standing there shaking his head like “ you shmuck” and he comes up and gives you all of the great things about the letter A that you’ve ever wanted to know and it’s cool and stuff, you know, coupons and samples and stuff and then B and there’s just so many of them and you don’t know where to put it, but you take their samples and some coupons for a few dollars off at a cool coffee bar or something and you go there and after it is all said and done and you’ve met the entire alphabet, you can then go use those letters for your own advantage, like you make money off of them and use them as tools and make things right with them and some people can really screw things up with them, but this is America (I hope) and all kinds of things and because you listened in school you make No money, but if you hadn’t and had just started working on engines and been a bad, non-caring student you could be having a nice big house and a wife and kids and four by fours and really cool things, but no, you listened in school and tried to “take it all in.” Thank God for a sense of humor to debug the reality of our modern education system. If you’re going to teach a kid English it’s important you’d better also tell him that man does not live on spirit alone either. Everybody needs a little dough. So, the “smart” ones, they make it to the top in law and government. We’re the ones left out so we’re trying to make the best of it. Because we’re good with words we lead the discussion about politics, religion, law, war and the difference between “right and wrong.”  But if only we had worked on our own engines! What if we hadn’t “learned” what “they” said was important. Maybe we wouldn’t be dreaming up all of these silly reasons to “fight.”  And I do use the word loosely. I would like to see some of these trumpeters of war in a fistfight. They would look silly, so, instead, they send a kid who thinks that since someone’s gotta do it it might as well be him because he is the “strongest” person around anyway and here goes and yeehaaaW….gunk. plerp.  I wanna go….hOme.

 

Right off, the paragraph size thing is off. Second, the words, the words, they aren’t clear. They’re scattered come on, man, wake up! Third, well, there is no third I guess, but if there was you’d…..well, anyway. I can’t let my anger get away from me. Jai La, Jai la, jai la.

 

 

Published in: on June 17, 2016 at 6:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Low Sound

a writer a writer is what i said i was

a writer a writer is what i am

can’t even make that poem ryme.

they tell me i am wrong

i’m sailing the wrong way

into an orange ocean rather than blue

they say i will die

 

but i won’t let them kill me no matter how brave that may sound

we held them off with righteousness

 

Published in: on June 16, 2016 at 3:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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