Currently viewing the tag: "politics"

The Plastic People of the Universe (PPU), started with no political agenda but is widely regarded as having spurred a revolution in Czechoslovakia. The band started in 1968, the same year that Prague was invaded by Soviet tanks to shut down the liberalization known as the Prague spring. The new communist government suppressed free speech, imprisoning many musicians,. The PPU were forbidden by the government on several occasions to play, not because of any inflammatory lyric content, but because of their long hair and emulation of capitalist bands like the Velvet Underground and Frank Zappa. (The band took their name from a Zappa song.) In 1970, the government revoked PPU’s musician licenses, which made it impossible for them to get equipment or gigs; they had to play underground concerts to avoid government detection and arrest. –The World in Six Songs by Daniel J. Levitin

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story in which music creates change.

Journaling Prompt: What song made you think about the world in a different way? Write about what you learned from the song.

Art Prompt: Protest Music

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the history of protest music in your country.

William Mark Felt, Sr. (August 17, 1913 – December 18, 2008[1]) was a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) special agent who served as the Bureau’s Associate Director, the FBI’s second-highest-ranking post, from May 1972 until his retirement from the FBI in June 1973. During his time as Associate Director, Felt served as an anonymous informant, nicknamed “Deep Throat”, to reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of The Washington Post, providing them critical information about the Watergate scandal, a scandal which ultimately led to the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon in 1974. Though Felt’s identity as Deep Throat was known to some in Washington, including Nixon himself, and was speculated by others, it generally remained a secret for the next 30 years. In 2005, Felt finally acknowledged that he was Deep Throat, after being persuaded to reveal his identity by his family. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a government whistle blower.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a political scandal that helped form your opinion of politics.

Art Prompt: Cover Up

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the history of political scandals and how their fallout is affecting politics today.

Photo Credit: Mark Felt on Wikimedia

The ability to deceive someone by telling the truth is not only possible, it has a name — paltering — it’s common in negotiations and those who palter can do serious harm to their reputations, according to research published by the American Psychological Association…

Paltering is used by politicians commonly, according to Rogers. “Politicians often palter when the truthful answer to a question would be harmful,” he said. “When candidates get questions they don’t want to hear, they often focus on continuing to make truthful statements, but try to mislead listeners.”

One famous example Rogers cited was when President Bill Clinton said “there is not a sexual relationship” between him and former White House intern Monica Lewinski. The Starr commission later discovered that there had been a sexual relationship but it had ended months before Clinton made that statement — thus, it was technically true but clearly misleading. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use a scene in which paltering is used to skate consequences of a previous decision.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about politicians paltering?

Art Prompt: Paltering

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the problem with paltering and how it allows politicians to maneuver behind the scene.

Photo Credit: National Constitution Center on Flickr

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dark horse n
  • (idiomatic) Someone who possesses talents or favorable characteristics that are not known or expected by others.
  • (idiomatic, politics) A candidate for an election who is nominated unexpectedly, without previously having been discussed or considered as a likely choice.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the word of the week in whatever you write today.

Journaling Prompt: What talents do you possess that no one suspects?

Art Prompt: Dark horse

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt:Use the word of the week in your article or speech.

wed papal conclave

A papal conclave is a meeting of the College of Cardinals convened to elect a new Bishop of Rome, also known as the Pope. The pope is considered by Roman Catholics to be the apostolic successor of Saint Peter and earthly head of the Roman Catholic Church. The conclave has been the procedure for choosing the pope for almost a thousand years, and is the oldest ongoing method for choosing the leader of an institution.

A history of political interference in papal selection and consequently long vacancies between popes, culminating in the interregnum of 1268–1271, prompted Pope Gregory X to decree during the Second Council of Lyons in 1274 that the cardinal electors should be locked in seclusion cum clave (Latin for “with a key”) and not permitted to leave until a new Bishop of Rome had been elected. Conclaves are now held in the Sistine Chapel of the Apostolic Palace. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set during a papal conclave.

Journaling Prompt: How do you believe spiritual leaders should be selected or determined? How is that done in your spiritual practice?

Art Prompt: Papal conclave

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the intrigues surrounding one of the papal conclaves.

Photo Credit: Bendicion pio X.JPG on Wikimedia

Punch_and_Judy_Show_Adelaide

Create whatever this visual prompt inspires in you!

Photo Credit: Man vyi on Wikimedia

Tuesday enclave

An enclave is a territory, or a part of a territory, that is entirely surrounded by the territory of another state. Territorial waters have the same sovereign attributes as land, and enclaves may therefore exist within territorial waters…

Enclaves exist for a variety of historical, political and geographical reasons. For example, in the feudal system in Europe, the ownership of feudal domains was often transferred or partitioned, either through purchase and sale or through inheritance, and often such domains were or came to be surrounded by other domains. In particular, this state of affairs persisted into the 19th century in the Holy Roman Empire, and these domains (principalities, etc.) exhibited many of the characteristics of sovereign states. Prior to 1866 Prussia alone consisted of more than 270 discontiguous pieces of territory.

Residing in an enclave within another country has often involved difficulties in such areas as passage rights, importing goods, currency, provision of utilities and health services, and host nation cooperation. Thus, over time enclaves have tended to be eliminated. For example, two-thirds of the then-existing national-level enclaves were extinguished on August 1, 2015, when the governments of India and Bangladesh implemented a Land Boundary Agreement that exchanged 162 first-order enclaves (111 Indian and 51 Bangladeshi). This exchange thus effectively de-enclaved another two dozen second-order enclaves and one third-order enclave, eliminating 197 of the Indo-Bangladesh enclaves in all. The residents in these enclaves had complained of being effectively stateless. Only Bangladesh’s Dahagram–Angarpota enclave remained. –Wikipedia


Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set in an enclave where the setting drives the plot.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you felt surrounded on all sides by something (by love, by fear, by obstacles, etc)

Art Prompt: Enclave

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience an historical story involving an enclave.

gop tv debate

“Throughout the presidential primary process, people are trying to find an ideal candidate in a crowded landscape. The person in the lead — say Donald Trump — gets more media coverage and attention, which could lead to more people thinking about voting for him based on name recognition,” said David Hagmann, a Ph.D. student in CMU’s Department of Social and Decision Sciences. “Eventually, the added exposure could highlight information that people do not like, causing a candidate to fade in the polls.” –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a presidential race from the POV of the early frontrunner.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your feelings about politics. 

Art Prompt: Front runner 

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the political process in your country / state / area and give a suggestion to make it better.

Photo Credit: Mike Licht on Flickr

2014-077 - red vs blue

A politically polarized society implies several risks, such as the appearance of radicalism or civil wars. –Rosa Maria Benito, a professor at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about the outbreak of civil war in a politically polarized society.

Journaling Prompt: How willing are you to listen to an opposing point of view?

Art Prompt: Political polarization

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the perils of political polarization and give them some steps to restoring civil discourse.

Photo Credit: Robert Couse-Baker on Flickr

Entering the Sanctuary

There are good reasons why organized religions generally side with powerful elites and autocratic rulers:

  • They derive power and influence by siding with rulers whereas political leaders derive legitimacy by cozying up to religious leaders. It is a win-win alliance whereas churches that oppose monarchs or dictators tend to lose out.
  • More equal societies are less religious as illustrated by the difference between Europe and the U.S. – Europe being both more equal and less religious.
  • Comparatively unequal societies experience a lack of social trust and a great deal of fear, uncertainty, and human misery that boosts religion.

Nigel Barber


Fiction Writing Prompt: Set a story in which organized religion and the ruling powers are aligned to create inequality.

Journaling Prompt: What are your feelings about organized religion?

Art Prompt: Organized religion

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the importance of the separation of church and state.

Photo Credit: Phil Roussin on Flickr