| America’s Gulag: Obama sentences political prisoner Lynne Stewart to Death!

America’s Gulag: Obama Sentences Political Prisoner Lynne Stewart to Death ~ Stephen Lendman, Global Research.

Lynne’s crime was compassion. She was imprisoned for doing the right thing. She did it honestly, admirably and courageously.

She did it defending some of America’s most disadvantaged for 30 years.

She’s dying. She has Stage Four cancer. She was given 12 months to live. She qualifies in all respects for compassionate release.

Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) authorities denied her. Doing so reflects official Obama administration policy. In Lynne’s words, BOP “stonewall(ed) since August.”

“They know (she’s) fully qualified.” Over 40,000 supporters “signed on to force (BOP) to do the right thing which is to let (her) go home to (her) family and receive the advanced care in New York City, (her) home.”

“Yet they refuse to act. I must say it is entirely within the range of their politics and their cruelty to hold the political prisoners until we have days to live before releasing us,” Lynne stressed.

Indeed so! Longtime political prisoners Herman Wallace and Marilyn Buck were treated this way. On October 1, Wallace was released. On October 3, he died. He was too ill to be saved.

Buck called prisons warehouses to “disappear the unacceptable to deprive their captives of their liberties, their human agency, and to punish (and) stigmatize prisoners through moralistic denunciations and indictment based on bad genes – skin color (ethnicity, or other characteristics) as a crime.”

Many thousands of prisoners aren’t incarcerated because they’re criminals, she said.

They’re locked in cages for their activism and beliefs, she stressed. For advocating peace, not war.

For resisting injustice. For defending freedom, equality and other democratic values. For struggling courageously for beneficial change.

On July 15, 2010, BOP authorities released Buck. On August 3, she died. She served 25 years of an 80 year sentence.

Her crime was opposing racial injustice and US imperialism. In 2009, she was diagnosed with uterine sarcoma.

With proper timely treatment she might have lived. Obama prison authorities wanted her dead.

They kept her imprisoned long enough to kill her. They’re treating Lynne the same way.

She’s one of thousands of wrongfully incarcerated political prisoners. They’re confined in US gulag hell.

It’s bar far the world’s largest. It’s the shame of the nation. It reflects the worst of unconscionable ruthlessness. It’s the American way.

Around 2.4 million prisoners languish in federal and state facilities, local jails, Indian, juvenile, and military ones, US territories, and separate Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities.

Many are imprisoned for supporting right over wrong. The Free Dictionary call political prisoners people “imprisoned for holding or advocating dissenting political views for holding, advocating, expressing, or acting in accord with particular political beliefs.”

In the 1960s, Amnesty International (AI) coined the term “prisoner of conscience.”

It denotes anyone incarcerated for their race, religion, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, beliefs, or lifestyle.

Incarceration is an instrument of social control. Prisoners are denied all rights. They languish under cruel and inhumane conditions. Some die. Others fade slowly.

Many endure punishing years of isolation. Proper medical care is denied. Abuse is commonplace. Perfunctory parole hearings are a travesty of justice.

A November ACLU report is titled “A Living Death: Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses.”

“Ever wonder what could land you in prison for the rest of your life,” asked ACLU?

For thousands it was “shoplifting a few cameras from Wal-Mart, stealing a $159 jacket, or serving as a middleman in the sale of $10 of marijuana.”

Children young as 13 get life sentences without parole for nonviolent crimes, invented ones, or dissenting political beliefs.

“People convicted of their first offense will be permanently denied a second chance,” said ACLU.

“Many young Black and low-income men and women will be locked up until they die. And taxpayers will spend billions to keep them behind bars.”

Dissenting advocacy is considered terrorism. ACLU’s report focused on extreme sentences for minor property and drug-related crimes.

America’s criminal injustice system “reached absurd, tragic and costly heights,” it said.

Locking nonviolent people in cages longterm reflects sentencing them to death slowly. Imprisoning children this way is unconscionable.

So is incarcerating people for their political beliefs and advocacy. ACLU calls life imprisonment without parole (LWOP) “the harshest imaginable punishment.”

Any hope for freedom is denied. LWOP is “grotesquely” unconscionable. It “offends the principle that all people have the right to be treated with humanity and respect for their inherent dignity.”

ACLU documented thousands of ruined lives. Families suffer with loved ones behind bars. Wives are separated from husbands, husbands from wives, children from fathers or mothers, extended families from one of their cherished members.

America spends billions of dollars annually keeping people locked in cages. Decades ago, historian Arnold Toynbee said:

“America is today the leader of a world-wide anti-revolutionary movement in the defence of vested interests.”

“She now stands for what Rome stood for: Rome consistently supported the rich against the poor…and since the poor, so far, have always and everywhere been far more numerous than the rich, Rome’s policy made for inequality, for injustice, and for the least happiness of the greatest number.”

Criminal injustice defines US policy. It’s morally and ethically reprehensible.

America spends more on prisons than education. In the last two decades, prison spending increased around 570%. Education funding grew only one-third.

One year in prison costs more than Harvard’s annual tuition. America has 5% of the world’s population. It incarcerates 25% of world prisoners.

Many thousands are held for their political beliefs and advocacy. HL Menchen once said:

“The most dangerous man to any government (is someone) who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos.”

“Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable.”

Attorney/activist Stan Willis said earlier:

“The United States is very, very concerned when its citizens begin to raise (uncomfortable) questions.”

America “prefers to posture itself, including the Obama administration, as the leader of the free world and that they don’t have any human rights violations, and they certainly don’t have any political prisoners, and we have to dispel that notion in the international community.”

US officials want this issue hidden from public view. It preaches democracy at home and abroad.

It practices injustice writ large. It locks thousands in cages unconscionably. It does so for political reasons.

It sentences them to slow death. It violates constitutional law doing so. The Eighth Amendment prohibits “cruel and unusual punishments.”

The First Amendment guarantees free speech. Democratic principles include equal justice under law.

In Griffin v. Illinois (1956), the Supreme Court said “there can be no equal justice where the kind of trial a man gets depends on the amount of money he has.” Nor when core constitutional rights are denied.

Everyone is entitled to constitutional protections. Too few get it. Thousands are denied it for their political beliefs and advocacy. They’re imprisoned for doing the right thing.

Judicial unfairness is US official policy. Guilty by accusation is standard practice. Constitutional scholar Thomas Emerson (1908 – 1981) once said:

The FBI is an instrument of repression. It “jeopardizes the whole system of free expression which is the cornerstone of our society (raising) the specter of a police state.”

“In essence, the FBI conceives of itself as an instrument to prevent radical social change in America. The Bureau’s view of its function leads it beyond data collection into political warfare.”

It protects privilege from beneficial social, political and economic change. Criminal injustice in America denies fundamental constitutional rights.

Society’s most vulnerable are harmed most. So is anyone for dissenting political views and advocacy.

Howard Zinn called dissent “the highest form of patriotism. (It) means being true to the principles for which your country is supposed to stand,” he said.

“(T)he right to dissent is one of those principles. And if we’re exercising that right, (it’s) patriotic.”

“One of the greatest mistakes (about) patriotism (is thinking it) means support(ing) your (government right or wrong).”

“(W)hen governments become destructive (of life, liberty and equality), it is the right of the people to alter or abolish (it).”

Michael Tigar is Washington College of Law Professor Emeritus. He’s a constitutional law expert. He’s one of America’s most respected defense attorneys.

He’s written extensively on litigation, trial practice, criminal law, capital punishment, and the role of criminal defense attorneys. He represented Lynne. He did so at the district court level.

He called it a “great honor” to do it. He represented her struggle for freedom and justice. “The entire legal profession ought to be standing up and shouting about (her) case,” he said.

He called charges against her “an attack on the First Amendment right of free speech, free press and petition.”

Lynne was targeted for “speaking and helping others to speak.” Doing so was fundamentally unconstitutional.

So-called evidence against her “was gathered by wholesale invasion of private conversations, private attorney-client meetings, and private faxes, letters and emails. I have never seen such an abusive use of government power,” said Tigar.

Convicting Lynne was chilling. It warned other defense attorneys. It intimidated them. Representing clients prosecutors want convicted is dangerous. Doing so leaves them vulnerable going forward.

US police state laws are menacing. Anyone can be targeted for supporting right over wrong. America is unfit to live in.

Thousands of political prisoners reflect its harshness. Justice is a four-letter word. It’s systematically denied.

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| Sacred Topography: Jerusalem and the cityscape of faith(s).

Sacred TopographyJerusalem and the cityscape of faith(s). ~  BENJAMIN BALINT, The Weekly Standard, BOOK REVIEW.

In “The Eternal City,” the Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai observes that his native city has rebuffed most of those who would project onto her their own ambitions, imperial or religious or otherwise. Neither Jerusalem’s conquerors nor its miracle-seeking glorifiers, he wrote, stopped to wonder why She hid herself behind a wall within a wall. / The eternal city like a brown fist Clenched in stone.

joel carillet / getty imagesJOEL CARILLET / GETTY IMAGES

Their discoveries, comprehensively surveyed here, have brought to light nearly 4,000 years of human settlement and building. The Archaeology of Jerusalem, amply illustrated with photographs and drawings, details the distinctive finds for each period and uses them to illuminate the historical context: fortifications from biblical times (the Bronze and Iron Ages); silver amulets from the seventh century b.c. inscribed with biblical verses; Hellenistic tombs and ossuaries inscribed in both Greek and Hebrew; Roman statuary and civic architecture; Byzantine churches and mosaics; illuminated Crusader manuscripts from the scriptorium of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher; Mamluk minarets still standing after more than seven centuries; and elaborate Ottoman public fountains.

Galor and Bloedhorn show that, taken together, these physical remnants tell the story of Jerusalem from prehistoric times through the end of the Ottoman period in 1917. The authors begin their story with a Canaanite town encircled by limestone hills and ravines and sustained by a single perennial spring, the Gihon. King David made the hill above the Gihon the political and religious capital of the Jews in about 1000 b.c. The city, where heaven and earth were said to meet, is mentioned nearly 2,000 times in the Hebrew Bible.

As the city expanded uphill, the colonization of the region by the Greeks and Romans (who renamed the city Aelia Capitolina) inaugurated an era of monumental building projects. None surpassed those of Herod (a megalomaniac often said to have suffered from an edifice complex), including the magnificent Second Temple and the esplanade on which it stood, the largest of its kind in antiquity. Two millennia later, Herod’s platform, now graced by the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aksa Mosque, remains intact. Its Western Wall is today venerated by Jewish worshippers.

But little else from that time remains. In the year 70 a.d., the Roman 10th Legion besieged and then sacked Jerusalem, a place Pliny the Elder had only recently called “by far the most famous city of the East.” Prosperity was followed by desolation.

A thousand years after David, a new faith emerged from Jerusalem, a city now hallowed by the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. In the fourth century, Constantine identified and enshrined sites associated with the life of Jesus, places that were soon woven into Christian liturgy and pilgrimage. (Although nowhere does the New Testament require such pilgrimage—John Calvin went so far as to call it “counterfeit worship”—the practice flourished.) Under Byzantine rule, Jerusalem, where Jewish residence would be banned for 500 years, became a major Christian city, one of the most celebrated in the empire. In the year 451, Jerusalem became one of the five patriarchates, beside Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, and Rome.

Following the path of Muhammad’s Night Journey, Islam arrived with the Caliph Omar in the seventh century, and al-Quds (The Holy), as the city became known in Arabic, became increasingly prominent. The great medieval Arab geographer (and Jerusalem native) al-Muqaddasi wrote: “The hearts of men of intelligence yearn towards her.” From now on, the Dome of the Rock, a perfectly proportioned octagonal masterpiece of Umayyad architecture, would dominate the skyline. And although Jerusalem would never serve as a Muslim capital, neither between 638 and 1099, nor between 1187 and 1917, Islam left an indelible mark on the city’s increasingly multifaceted appearance.

So did the Crusaders, who, driven to “liberate Jerusalem from the Mohammadan yoke,” conquered the city in 1099 and made it the capital of the independent Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. And so, in a more muted way, did Saladin, who conquered the city in 1187. Mosques that had become churches became mosques again. Until they were replaced by the Ottomans, the Mamluks from Egypt—whom F. E. Peters calls “veritable Carnegies and Rockefellers of piety”—enriched and embellished Jerusalem. Finally, the Ottoman conquest in the 16th century gave Jerusalem the distinctive wall built by Suleiman the Magnificent, which surrounds the turrets and domes and enclosed courtyards of the Old City to this day.

The story of Jerusalem, a city so long convulsed by ancient angers and competing pieties, is excessively well worn. The dates are already familiar. In another of his poems, Amichai writes that, here, numbers designate not bus routes but dates: 70 after, 1917, 500 b.c., ’48. These are the lines you really travel on.

This book, too, is thick with dates. Its style is necessarily dry. Yet, in transposing the story of Jerusalem into a different key, in telling it for the first time not as history but as a loving examination of the detritus of history, Galor and Bloedhorn shed light on how tactile things can act as batteries and conductors of memory. Archaeology at its best is the study of how excavated objects and buildings carry the currents of memory between then and now.

But the more basic originality of this book lies in the way Galor and Bloedhorn persuasively demonstrate the virtues of reading Jerusalem as a kind of archaeological palimpsest of material culture. Much as the three Abrahamic faiths inscribed themselves on earlier faiths, erasing some features and embellishing others, so too can Jerusalem be seen as layer upon layer of sacred topography, a physical record of longings for a redemptive future and of mourning destructions past.

Benjamin Balint, author of Running Commentary, teaches at the Bard College liberal arts program in Jerusalem. 

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| Freed hostages claim chemical attack was Syria rebel provocation!

Chemical attack was Syria rebel provocation, former hostages say ~ RT.

Two Europeans who were abducted and held hostage for several months in Syria claim they overheard an exchange between their captors which proves that rebels were behind the recent chemical attack.

Follow RT’s LIVE UPDATES for the latest on Syria

In a number of interviews to European news outlets, the former hostages – Belgian teacher Pierre Piccinin and Italian journalist Domenico Quiric – said they overheard an English-language Skype conversation between their captors and other men which suggested it was rebel forces, not the government, that used chemical weapons on Syria’s civilian population in an August 21 attack near Damascus.

“It is a moral duty to say this. The government of Bashar al-Assad did not use sarin gas or other types of gas in the outskirts of Damascus,” Piccinin said during an interview with Belgium’s RTL radio station.

Piccinin stressed that while being held captive, he and fellow prisoner Quirico were secluded from the outside world and had no idea that chemical weapons were deployed. But the conversation which both men overheard suggested that the use of the weapons was a strategic move by the opposition, aimed at getting the West to intervene.

“In this conversation, they said that the gas attack on two neighborhoods of Damascus was launched by the rebels as a provocation to lead the West to intervene militarily,” Quirico told Italy’s La Stampa.“We were unaware of everything that was going on during our detention in Syria, and therefore also with the gas attack in Damascus.”  

While stating that the rebels most likely exaggerated the accident’s death toll, the Italian journalist stressed that he could not vouch whether “the conversation was based on real facts.”However, he said that one of the three people in the alleged conversation identified himself as a Free Syrian Army general, La Stampa reported.

Based on what both men have learned, Peccinin told RTL that it would be “insane and suicidal for the West to support these people.”

“It pains me to say it because I’ve been a fierce supporter of the Free Syrian Army in its rightful fight for democracy since 2012,” Piccinin added.

 

Belgian national Pierre Piccinin (L) disembark from the airplane on September 9, 2013 at Ciampino military airport in Rome (AFP Photo)Belgian national Pierre Piccinin (L) disembark from the airplane on September 9, 2013 at Ciampino military airport in Rome (AFP Photo)

 

Quirico seems to agree with Peccini’s assessment.

“I am extremely surprised that the United States could think about intervening, knowing very well how the Syrian revolution has become international jihadism – in other words Al-Qaeda,” Quirico said, as quoted by Italy’s Quotidiano Nazionale.

The 62-year-old La Stampa journalist believes that radical Islamic groups operating in Syria to topple Assad “want to create a caliphate and extend it to the entire Middle East and North Africa.”

In a number of news appearances, both Quirico and Piccinin shared stories of how they were subjected to two mock executions, beaten, and starved during their five-month captivity.

“These have been very tough months. We were beaten on a daily basis, we suffered two mock executions,” Quirico told reporters upon his arrival in Rome, AFP reported.

 

Italian journalist Domenico Quirico disembark from the airplane on September 9, 2013 at Ciampino military airport in Rome (AFP Photo)Italian journalist Domenico Quirico disembark from the airplane on September 9, 2013 at Ciampino military airport in Rome (AFP Photo)

 

“There was sometimes real violence…humiliation, bullying, mock executions…Domenico faced two mock executions, with a revolver,” Piccinin told RTL.

Both men were kidnapped in Syria last April by a group of armed men in pickup trucks who were believed to be from Free Syrian Army.

According to Piccinin, the captors soon transferred them over to the Abu Ammar brigade, a rebel group “more bandit than Islamist.”

“We were moved around a lot…it was not always the same group that held us, there were very violent groups, very anti-West and some anti-Christian,” Piccinin said.

Both men tried to escape twice but their attempts were unsuccessful, prompting the rebel group to punish them for their actions.

The Italian government announced on Sunday that both men had been freed after Rome intensified negotiations with the rebels for the release of the prisoners ahead of an anticipated US strike on Syria.

Another 13 journalists are still believed to be missing in Syria, according to Reporters Without Borders.

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| Racism: Italy’s first black minister: I had bananas thrown at me but I’m here to stay!

Italy’s first black minister: I had bananas thrown at me but I’m here to stay ~  in RomeThe Observer.

Cécile Kyenge has faced racist insults and threats, but insists she will not be deterred from her plans for integrating immigrants.

Cecile Kyenge, Italy's minister for intergration

Cécile Kyenge pushed for greater rights for immigrants before winning a seat in the Italian parliament in February. Photograph: Nick Cornish/Rex Features

Three mannequins stained with fake blood were dumped last week outside a town hall where Cécile Kyenge was due to make a speech, the latest in a stream of racist protests and insults aimed by furious Italians at the country’s first black government minister.

After being likened to an orangutan by a former government minister and having bananas thrown at her while on a podium, it is getting tougher for Congo-born Kyenge, 49, to keep up her oft-repeated mantra that Italy is a tolerant country – but she is trying hard.

“I have never said Italy is racist, every country needs to start building awareness of immigration and Italy has simply arrived very late,” she said on the day the mannequins were discovered.

Judging by the venom directed at Kyenge since she was named minister for integration in April, Italy needs to do some fast catching up as the ranks of foreign residents in the country swell to around four million, about 7% of the population.

But from her office in Rome, Kyenge insisted that children growing up in Italy’s burgeoning melting pot are free from the prejudices of their parents. “It’s easier for the young who have grown up with a different mentality, who have come across people from other places,” she said. “If you ask a child in a class who is their friend, it is more likely he will say ‘the one with the green jumper’ rather than ‘the black one’.”

That is not quite how Forza Nuova, the far-right party that left the Ku Klux Klan-style mannequins at the town hall, sees things. Kyenge’s work on behalf of immigrants, said party member Pablo de Luca, was aimed at “the destruction of the national identity”.

Such views are keenly shared by members of the Northern League, Italy’s anti-immigrant party, which propped up Silvio Berlusconi‘s government until it collapsed in 2011.

MEP Mario Borghezio set the ball rolling in May by claiming that Kyenge would impose “tribal conditions” on Italy and help form a “bongo-bongo” administration. Africans, he added for good measure, had “not produced great genes”.

In June, a local councillor for the party called for Kyenge to be raped, while in July Roberto Calderoli, a party member and former Berlusconi minister, compared her to an orangutan before bananas were lobbed at her as she made a speech.

To top a vituperative summer, a rightwing deputy mayor in Liguria compared Kyenge on his Facebook page to the prostitutes – often African – who line a local road, while a well-known Italian winemaker, Fulvio Bressan, shocked wine lovers by reportedly calling Kyenge a “dirty black monkey”.

It has been a tough reception for a woman who moved to Italy to work as a home help while she trained to become an ophthalmologist, marrying an Italian man and plunging into local politics in Modena to push for greater rights for immigrants before winning a seat in parliament in February.

“When I arrived in 1983, I was one of the few; I was a curiosity. Then, in the 1990s, when mass immigration started, immigrants began to be seen as a threat,” she said, recalling patients who had refused to be visited by her. “The process needed to be accompanied by more information in the media, in schools, better laws.”

A shock survey in 2008 found that when people were asked who they found “barely likeable or not likeable at all”, 81% of Italians mentioned Gypsies, 61% said Arabs, 64% said Romanians and 74% opted for Albanians.

Then came the crippling economic downturn, which sliced 15% off Italy’s manufacturing sector, pushed the unemployment rate up to 12% and further hardened perceptions of “job-stealing” migrants.

What is really upsetting the Northern League is Kyenge’s work to overhaul Italy’s citizenship law, which currently forces the children of migrants born in Italy to wait until they are 18 before they can apply to become Italians, leaving a generation of children growing up feeling like Italians, talking local dialects like Italians, but unable to be Italian.

It has been dubbed the “Balotelli generation”, after black footballer Mario Balotelli – who was born to Ghanaian parents in Sicily and is now a mainstay in the Italian national team, but has faced stadium chants of “a negro cannot be Italian”.

Kyenge points out that she is not pushing for a US-style law that hands a passport to anyone born in the country, but for a toned-down version that would require the child’s parents to have spent some time in Italy or to have taken integration courses.

Meanwhile, she has backed new measures simplifying the bureaucratic nightmare faced by the children of immigrants, who have one year to complete a blizzard of paperwork needed to gain a passport when they turn 18. “You have from the age of 18 to 19 to apply and requests are often turned down due to a few missing documents,” she said.

It is just part of an ambitious programme to which the soft-spoken Kyenge has committed herself, stretching from working on housing issues for nomad families to inter-religious dialogue designed to make it easier for Italians to adopt overseas.

Her key task, she said, is convincing a country that has no shortage of culture – from its food to its art – that there is always room for more. “Diversity, sharing something you don’t have, offers a huge amount,” she said.

Turning to her own field, medicine, she said: “There are small examples of foreign customs which are being adopted by hospitals, like carrying your baby on your back, which can help children with ankle ailments as well as increasing physical contact with the parent while helping the posture of the parent.”

Critics have rounded on the fact that Kyenge’s father was polygamous, fathering 38 children by numerous wives, a custom she said she would not trying to encourage in Italy. “Let’s be clear,” she said, laughing, “this is a form of marriage I don’t agree with.”

Rather than threatening Italian traditions, Kyenge said the asylum-seekers now heading for Italy from sub-Saharan Africa and Syria could be taught to revive trades now being abandoned by Italians, especially if they were allowed to set up shop in the medieval hilltop villages that are rapidly being abandoned up and down the country.

Take, for example, the Calabrian town of Riace, which has reversed depopulation by welcoming the migrants landing on rickety boats after a perilous Mediterranean crossing and setting them up in trades such as dressmaking, joinery, pottery or glass-blowing.

“This is a good practice, using depopulated villages where there are many empty houses, where old farms, shops and workshops can be reopened,” said Kyenge, who visited Riace in August. “It offers a welcome to migrants, it’s good for the national economy and good for saving trades that risk disappearing.”

Back in Rome, as she works to get her message across, Kyenge is getting ready to dodge the next bunch of bananas as she continues to insist that Italy is not a racist country, just learning fast.

“Balotelli and I are both opening new paths in our fields,” she said, “and anyone who does that will face huge difficulties.”

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| The Papal Hall of Sexual Shame – The Ten Most Deviant Popes!

The Papal Hall of Sexual Shame – The Ten Most Deviant Popes ~ American Live Wire.

This list of the ten most deviant popes of all time would not be possible without a sordid history of popes gone wild, and the fact that there were no camera phones, video recorders, or zoom lenses for most of recorded history – popes would have behaved like holy men if celebrity paparazzi  were able to zoom a lens into the Vatican from half a mile away!

deviant popes

Deviant popes image from Flickr.

In the beginning, priests and popes could have sex – celibacy was not a requirement to be ordained. However, sometime back in the Dark Ages, 1139, to be exact, all that changed after one of the Church’s many Councils. From that year forward, ordination was only possible for those who took a vow of celibacy. Of course, if the past fifty years is any indication, that vow has been forgotten far too many times by too many priests. Though popes in these modern times seem to be sexual saints, those old school popes knew how to party like rock stars…and well, pedophile priests.

A special place in Hell must be reserved for the popes on this list as they pursued women, men, beasts, and sometimes all three. Though some popes appeared to be pure evil because of their murderous ways, this list only sorts through the 265 Popes for their sexual achievements. Though there are many wings in the Vatican Hall of Shame, here are the deviant popes who populate the Vatican Hall of Shame – Pervert Wing.

 

Ten Most Deviant Popes of All Time

 

10. Pope Benedict IX (1032-1048)

Benedict was just your garden variety pedophile who had his fun with young boys in the Lateran palace. Would have fit in well during the past few decades.

 

9..  Pope John XII (955 – 964)

Pope John was a randy fellow who envisioned his place in the church a bit differently than most of us, if we were elected to be the ruler of the Church. He turned the Lateran palace into brothel, stole church offerings, raped female pilgrims, and supposedly died after being beaten by a jealous husband.

 

8.  Pope John X (914-928)

Pope John deserves a big high five because he hit the sexual lottery by fornicating with both a mother and her daughter – probably not at the same time, but still a damn good story to tell down at the local Pope pub.

 

7.  Pope Julius II ( 1503-1513)

Julius was a stud – he had three illegitimate daughters and was accused by the Council of Pisa in 1511 of being “a sodomite covered with shameful ulcers. He is considered by those who consider such things, to be the first pope to contract what was called the “French disease”, or, what we called syphilis, though it wasn’t the French who gave it to him, it was the male prostitutes in Rome. Though accusations of his extreme perverted behavior may have just been harsh rumors spread by his enemies, he undoubtedly failed the celibacy test and deserves to be on this list of naughty popes.

 

6.  Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303)

Another lucky guy who scored the mother-daughter combo, he is also remembered as a wicked pedophile. He supposedly declared that having sex with young boys was no more sinful than rubbing one hand against another. I think a few priests in the modern era tried to use that excuse; perhaps it worked since so many of them escaped prosecution. Besides his sexual proclivities, he also massacred an entire town – guess he didn’t get laid that day; he had to release his tension somehow!

 

5.  Pope Sixtus IV (1471-1484)

Not only was he sexually active, he was also a hypocrite.  He had six illegitimate sons, and in his best hillbilly impression, one of those was with his sister. However, he also charged priests for having mistresses and levied a Church tax on prostitutes. Some historians have argued that taxes on mistresses and prostitutes only increased the amount of homosexuality in the Church. Let’s see, if Congress taxed you for sleeping with the opposite sex, would that turn you gay?  Most people would vehemently say no, but perhaps it might depend on how much the tax is.

 

4. Pope Benedict IX (off an on between 1032 and 1048)

He was an all around kind of deviate. He was accused of participating in rapes, orgies, bestiality, homosexual acts, and even murders.  His perverted life prompted Saint Peter Damian to pen a treatise against sex and homosexuality. Though it was believed that he was primarily attracted to the men, he resigned in the middle of his pope years to pursue marriage. Guess he couldn’t decide which team he was on.

 

3. Pope John Paul II (1978 – 2005)

It is doubtful John Paul did anything remotely perverted, but he is on this list of ten most deviant popes of all time for things he ignored and things he condemned. He publicly condemned gay marriage and all forms of birth control, while failing to condemn pedophile priests. He only began to defrock a few of the perverted, criminal priests after intense public pressure came his way, but his actions told the world that being gay or wearing a condom was worse than violating young boys.

 

2. Pope John XII (955-963)

One writer called him the “Christian Caligula” and it is rumored that he turned the Vatican into a whorehouse.  Though the palace sounds like it was a much more happening place in the 10th century than it is today, no camera phones were around to verify these claims. Legend has it that he slept with his two sisters – blood relatives, not the kind in habits who once used rulers to smack the hands of mischievous Catholic school children. Rumors of how he died may provide some proof that he was a horny guy – he was rumored to have either died after being stricken by paralysis during sexual intercourse, or to have been killed by a jealous husband during the act of adultery.

 

1.  Pope Alexander VI (1492 – 1503)

Though we have no photos, video tapes, recorded phone messages, or tweets from any of these Popes or the paparazzi who followed them, Alexander most likely deserves his place as Numero Uno Sexual Deviant, at the top of the list of ten most deviant popes of all time. Though he conquered much of Italy by force, his real claim to fame is his lust and affinity for all things sexual. He had a sexual relationship with his daughter (and perhaps had a son with her), and threw extravagant parties, which often turned into orgies.  He once threw a party called the Joust of the Whores, where several women were brought in to strip for his posse; in the spirit of generosity, he offered prizes of clothes and jewelry to the stud who could fornicate with the most women that night.  In a portent of the future of the Church, some of his parties often culminated in young boys jumping out of cakes. Yes, – they were naked. But, in an attempt to prove what a heterosexual stud he was, he fathered at least seven illegitimate children. Historians believe he presided over more orgies than masses – now why can’t we have a pope like him today – more people would be going to church and confession!

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Popes Gone Wild: What the Catholic Church Would Rather You Forget ~ 

The man pictured above is the poster boy for Catholic debauchery. His name was Pope Alexander VI. He wasn’t the first, nor the last, of a string of simply sinful popes. In fact if he had a trading card the back might read something like this:

“Achievements: Successfully started the world’s first recorded crime family, sired at least four bastard children, hosted orgies within the walls of the Vatican, and shunned the poor in favor of flamboyant decadence.

Good Qualities: Severe loyalty to kith and kin (even to the point of almost plunging Italy into all out war just so his bastard children could have the life he wanted for them. Awe.)

Scandals: Still being accused of breaking up his daughter’s marriage in favor if an incestuous relationship with himself, whispered to be involved in a few choice assassinations, and oh yes, there was that whole mistress and string of wild Vatican orgy parties…

God’s Judgment: Death by slow intestinal bleeding.”

Charming guy that pope Alexander VI. Rumor has it his entire bastard clan were murderous and drunk on power. And so the love spread, long after his death. Just the fact he wasn’t stabbed or poisoned is a small miracle in itself. I’m just using him to illustrate a point. The papacy is full of scandals, rife for the pages of Catholic Inquirer.

More Papal Oopsies

  • Pope Stephen VI was probably the perpetrator of the most bizarre event in papal history. After being elected to be pope he had his predecessor exhumed from his grave, brought into court, and tried for various crimes. The corpse was unsurprisingly found guilty as sin and his three blessing fingers were hacked off as punishment. He was then reburied before he was dug up once again in order to be thrown into the Tiber. Forgiveness anyone?
  • Pope John XII didn’t even have a good start. He was said to have been born to a fourteen year old mother, sired by a man who was both his father and grandfather. Never one to shun tradition he continued this Oedipal cycle of dysfunction and also took his mother on as a lover. He was only eighteen when he became pope and only twenty-seven when he left it, by way of death. Rumor has it he was murdered during a jealous rage when the husband of one of his mistresses walked in on them in bed. This would indeed be a fitting end to a pope who was such a womanizer he was have said to have violated virgins and widows alike and had so many women filing in and out of the Vatican that everyone said it had been turned into a brothel. Sex wasn’t his only downfall though; he was rumored to have murdered several people and was fond of hacking off his enemies limbs. Far from being a saint I think this pope was trying to reach a new record of depravity.
  • Pope Benedict IX: Depending on what sources you believe Pope Benedict IX was given the papacy anywhere between eleven and twenty years of age. St. Peter Damian accused him of routinely screwing other men and his four legged friends amongst other crimes. Apparently that wasn’t even scratching the surface when it came to grievances thrust into his direction. Bishop Benno of Piacenza accused him of committing, “many vile adulteries and murders.” He was also accused of rape and murder by his eventual successor before he decided to be the first and only pope to bring the free market to the papacy, selling his position to his Godfather John Gratian.
  • Pope Boniface VIII decided to take the free market a bit further and was accused of simony (that’s accepting cash for appointing religious positions) in Dante’s infamous Divine Comedy. Though he was alive at the time he showed an uncharacteristic apathy and didn’t order Dante tortured, maimed, or killed. Lucky Dante!
  • Pope Urban II cowed France into attacking the Muslim world, throwing the region into five hundred years of religious warfare, which as you can see by the current day turned out remarkably well…
  • Pope Urban VI is best remembered for his gratuitously violent nature. Like any true psychopath he was said to have complained when his enemies didn’t “scream loud enough” under torture. God apparently likes screaming more then He likes hymns.
  • Pope John XXII was the first to persecute “witches.” Although he was the richest man in the entire world at the time he was still not happy with his lot in life. He deemed that all the “witches” and “heretics” could be accused after death and that all their land should be seized.
  • Pope Sixtus IV authorized the Spanish Inquisition and all it’s various forms of torture to gently convince the Jews, Moors, and Heretics that Catholic love and compassion were the way to God. While all this was going on it’s rumored that Pope Sixtus IV was busy fathering children with his eldest sister and carrying on several bisexual relationships. Not surprisingly he was also said to have suffered from syphilis. God’s wrath? Maybe for him.
  • Pope Gregory XII burned John Huss of Bohemia at the stake after declaring his safety from such a fate. His crime? He spoke out against papal corruption. The pope’s response? “When dealing with heretics, one is not obligated to keep his word.”
  • Pope John XXIII reigned for five years (1410-1415) before he pissed off so many other Catholics that he was striped of his title and declared anti-pope. So what was so bad about this mobsteresque pope? For one he decided to terrorize the students at the University of Bologna by demanding they pay a price to be protected from violent thugs who just happened to be under his order. That’s not what earned him his anti-pope title though, that had to be credited to the accusations of murder, rape, sodomy, incest, and piracy.
  • Pope Urban XIII struck up a friendship with a young Galileo which is probably what spared his life later on when the pope tried him for heresy. Galileo was sentenced to life imprisonment which was later changed into house arrest. He died nine years later still under house arrest for claiming that a spherical earth revolved around the sun. This decree of heresy was not lifted until 350 years later.
  • Pius XII reputation comes from his lack of action rather then from anything he did personally. He was the pope during Hitler’s reign of terror and didn’t so much as speak one direct harsh word about the man who was slaughtering millions. Hitler was Catholic after all and never antagonized the papacy (which is apparently the one way to get excommunicated.) His continuing refusal to say anything against the Nazi party lasted throughout the war with lame excuses being put forth behind the reasoning as to why this was. He claimed he would not decry any individual atrocities publicly and when faced with the Holocaust he merely claimed there wasn’t enough evidence it was actually happening. Perhaps he was afraid of pissing off a people who could easily kill him. But then again, for someone who is supposed to be the closest man to God his moral senses should have outweighed any thought of self-preservation. After all Jesus didn’t seem particularly keen on pussyfooting around the corrupt people of his era. Catholicism and Christianity love martyrs!
  • Pope John Paul II Publicly condemned all forms of birth control and gay marriage, his only reaction to the pedophile priest scandals was merely to issue a feeble apology for 2000 years worth of pedophile church swapping, record burying, and secret payoffs to families for not denouncing the church publicly. He never condemned the behavior and only started defrocking priests when the masses started to put intense pressure on him to do so. Even so not that many priests were let go compared to what are likely out there. Apparently pedophilia is a more forgivable sin then birth control.
  • Pope Benedict XVI – Our current pope was in all the papers when the media realized he was part of the Hitler Youth. Now I get comments like, “That wasn’t a voluntary position” but that just doesn’t cut it when you’re talking about the man who is supposed to be closest to God. If he were really that holy he would have been a martyr, not a pope.

 

Conclusion

I have merely listed a few personalities in this article. If you dig deep enough you could probably find incriminating accusations about most of the popes to serve through history. In the end I fail to see how any of the men ever elected pope could possibly be closer to God then the rest of the human population when their short comings are so pathetically enormous. Very few of them seem to have any idea what Jesus was talking about with the whole love, compassion, and forgiveness thing and between them all they’ve probably violated every commandment.

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| Pope Francis: A look at the life of the first South American pontiff!

Pope Francis: A look at the life of the first South American pontiff ~ Associated Press.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is the first ever from the Americas, an austere Jesuit intellectual who modernized Argentina‘s conservative Catholic church.

Known until today as Jorge Bergoglio, the 76-year-old is known as a humble man who denied himself the luxuries that previous Buenos Aires cardinals enjoyed. He came close to becoming pope last time, reportedly gaining the second-highest vote total in several rounds of voting before he bowed out of the running in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI.

Groups of supporters waved Argentine flags in St. Peter’s Square as Francis, wearing simple white robes, made his first public appearance as pope.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening,” he said before making a reference to his roots in Latin America, which accounts for about 40 percent of the world’s Roman Catholics .

Bergoglio often rode the bus to work, cooked his own meals and regularly visited the slums that ring Argentina’s capital. He considers social outreach, rather than doctrinal battles, to be the essential business of the church.

He accused fellow church leaders of hypocrisy and forgetting that Jesus Christ bathed lepers and ate with prostitutes.

“Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit,” Bergoglio told Argentina’s priests last year.

Bergoglio’s legacy as cardinal includes his efforts to repair the reputation of a church that lost many followers by failing to openly challenge Argentina’s murderous 1976-83 dictatorship. He also worked to recover the church’s traditional political influence in society, but his outspoken criticism of President Cristina Kirchner couldn’t stop her from imposing socially liberal measures that are anathema to the church, from gay marriage and adoption to free contraceptives for all.

“In our ecclesiastical region there are priests who don’t baptize the children of single mothers because they weren’t conceived in the sanctity of marriage,” Bergoglio told his priests. “These are today’s hypocrites. Those who clericalize the Church. Those who separate the people of God from salvation. And this poor girl who, rather than returning the child to sender, had the courage to carry it into the world, must wander from parish to parish so that it’s baptized!”

Bergoglio compared this concept of Catholicism, “this Church of ‘come inside so we make decisions and announcements between ourselves and those who don’t come in, don’t belong,” to the Pharisees of Christ’s time — people who congratulate themselves while condemning all others.

This sort of pastoral work, aimed at capturing more souls and building the flock, was an essential skill for any religious leader in the modern era, said Bergoglio’s authorized biographer, Sergio Rubin.

But Bergoglio himself felt most comfortable taking a very low profile, and his personal style was the antithesis of Vatican splendor. “It’s a very curious thing: When bishops meet, he always wants to sit in the back rows. This sense of humility is very well seen in Rome,” Rubin said before the 2013 conclave to choose Benedict’s successor.

Bergoglio’s influence seemed to stop at the presidential palace door after Nestor Kirchner and then his wife, Cristina Fernandez, took over the Argentina’s government. His outspoken criticism couldn’t prevent Argentina from becoming the Latin American country to legalize gay marriage, or stop Fernandez from promoting free contraception and artificial insemination.

His church had no say when the Argentine Supreme Court expanded access to legal abortions in rape cases, and when Bergoglio argued that gay adoptions discriminate against children, Fernandez compared his tone to “medieval times and the Inquisition.”

This kind of demonization is unfair, says Rubin, who obtained an extremely rare interview of Bergoglio for his biography, the “The Jesuit.”

“Is Bergoglio a progressive — a liberation theologist even? No. He’s no third-world priest. Does he criticize the International Monetary Fund, and neoliberalism? Yes. Does he spend a great deal of time in the slums? Yes,” Rubin said.

Bergoglio has stood out for his austerity. Even after he became Argentina’s top church official in 2001, he never lived in the ornate church mansion where Pope John Paul II stayed when visiting the country, preferring a simple bed in a downtown building, heated by a small stove on frigid weekends. For years, he took public transportation around the city, and cooked his own meals.

Bergoglio almost never granted media interviews, limiting himself to speeches from the pulpit, and was reluctant to contradict his critics, even when he knew their allegations against him were false, said Rubin.

That attitude was burnished as human rights activists tried to force him to answer uncomfortable questions about what church officials knew and did about the dictatorship’s abuses after the 1976 coup.

Many Argentines remain angry over the church’s acknowledged failure to openly confront a regime that was kidnapping and killing thousands of people as it sought to eliminate “subversive elements” in society. It’s one reason why more than two-thirds of Argentines describe themselves as Catholic, but fewer than 10 percent regularly attend mass.

Under Bergoglio’s leadership, Argentina’s bishops issued a collective apology in October 2012 for the church’s failures to protect its flock. But the statement blamed the era’s violence in roughly equal measure on both the junta and its enemies.

“Bergoglio has been very critical of human rights violations during the dictatorship, but he has always also criticized the leftist guerrillas; he doesn’t forget that side,” Rubin said.

The bishops also said “we exhort those who have information about the location of stolen babies, or who know where bodies were secretly buried, that they realize they are morally obligated to inform the pertinent authorities.”

That statement came far too late for some activists, who accused Bergoglio of being more concerned about the church’s image than about aiding the many human rights investigations of the Kirchners’ era.

Bergoglio twice invoked his right under Argentine law to refuse to appear in open court, and when he eventually did testify in 2010, his answers were evasive, human rights attorney Myriam Bregman said.

At least two cases directly involved Bergoglio. One examined the torture of two of his Jesuit priests — Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics — who were kidnapped in 1976 from the slums where they advocated liberation theology. Yorio accused Bergoglio of effectively handing them over to the death squads by declining to tell the regime that he endorsed their work. Jalics refused to discuss it after moving into seclusion in a German monastery.

Both men were freed after Bergoglio took extraordinary, behind-the-scenes action to save them — including persuading dictator Jorge Videla’s family priest to call in sick so that he could say Mass in the junta leader’s home, where he privately appealed for mercy. His intervention likely saved their lives, but Bergoglio never shared the details until Rubin interviewed him for the 2010 biography.

Bergoglio — who ran Argentina’s Jesuit order during the dictatorship — told Rubin that he regularly hid people on church property during the dictatorship, and once gave his identity papers to a man with similar features, enabling him to escape across the border. But all this was done in secret, at a time when church leaders publicly endorsed the junta and called on Catholics to restore their “love for country” despite the terror in the streets.

bergoglio.jpgNewly elected Pope Francis I waves to the waiting crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica on March 13, 2013 in Vatican City.Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Rubin said failing to challenge the dictators was simply pragmatic at a time when so many people were getting killed, and attributed Bergoglio’s later reluctance to share his side of the story as a reflection of his humility.

But Bregman said Bergoglio’s own statements proved church officials knew from early on that the junta was torturing and killing its citizens, and yet publicly endorsed the dictators. “The dictatorship could not have operated this way without this key support,” she said.

Bergoglio also was accused of turning his back on a family that lost five relatives to state terror, including a young woman who was 5-months’ pregnant before she was kidnapped and killed in 1977. The De la Cuadra family appealed to the leader of the Jesuits in Rome, who urged Bergoglio to help them; Bergoglio then assigned a monsignor to the case. Months passed before the monsignor came back with a written note from a colonel: It revealed that the woman had given birth in captivity to a girl who was given to a family “too important” for the adoption to be reversed.

Despite this written evidence in a case he was personally involved with, Bergoglio testified in 2010 that he didn’t know about any stolen babies until well after the dictatorship was over.

“Bergoglio has a very cowardly attitude when it comes to something so terrible as the theft of babies. He says he didn’t know anything about it until 1985,” said the baby’s aunt, Estela de la Cuadra, whose mother Alicia co-founded the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo in 1977 in hopes of identifying these babies. “He doesn’t face this reality and it doesn’t bother him. The question is how to save his name, save himself. But he can’t keep these allegations from reaching the public. The people know how he is.”

Initially trained as a chemist, Bergoglio taught literature, psychology, philosophy and theology before taking over as Buenos Aires archbishop in 1998. He became cardinal in 2001, when the economy was collapsing, and won respect for blaming unrestrained capitalism for impoverishing millions of Argentines.

Later, there was little love lost between Bergoglio and Fernandez. Their relations became so frigid that the president stopped attending his annual “Te Deum” address, when church leaders traditionally tell political leaders what’s wrong with society.

During the dictatorship era, other church leaders only feebly mentioned a need to respect human rights. When Bergoglio spoke to the powerful, he was much more forceful. In his 2012 address, he said Argentina was being harmed by demagoguery, totalitarianism, corruption and efforts to secure unlimited power. The message resonated in a country whose president was ruling by decree, where political scandals rarely were punished and where top ministers openly lobbied for Fernandez to rule indefinitely.

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| Is Our Republic Ending? 8 Striking Parallels Between the Fall of Rome and US!

Is Our Republic Ending? 8 Striking Parallels Between the Fall of Rome and U.S. ~  Steven Strauss

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As Benjamin Franklin observed, we have a Republic — but only if we can keep it.
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Lawrence Lessig‘s Republic Lost documents the corrosive effect of money on our political process. Lessig persuasively makes the case that we are witnessing the loss of our republican form of government, as politicians increasingly represent those who fund their campaigns, rather than our citizens.

Anthony Everitt’s Rise of Rome is fascinating history and a great read. It tells the story of ancient Rome, from its founding (circa 750 BCE) to the fall of the Roman Republic (circa 45 BCE).

When read together, striking parallels emerge — between our failings and the failings that destroyed the Roman Republic. As with Rome just before the Republic’s fall, America has seen:

1 — Staggering Increase in the Cost of Elections, with Dubious Campaign Funding Sources:Our 2012 election reportedly cost $3 billion. All of it was raised from private sources – often creating the appearance, or the reality, that our leaders are beholden to special interest groups. During the late Roman Republic, elections became staggeringly expensive, with equally deplorable results. Caesar reportedly borrowed so heavily for one political campaign, he feared he would be ruined, if not elected.

2 — Politics as the Road to Personal Wealth: During the late Roman Republic period, one of the main roads to wealth was holding public office, and exploiting such positions to accumulate personal wealth. As Lessig notes: Congressman, Senators and their staffs leverage their government service to move to private sector positions – that pay three to ten times their government compensation. Given this financial arrangement, “Their focus is therefore not so much on the people who sent them to Washington. Their focus is instead on those who will make them rich.” (Republic Lost)

3 — Continuous War: A national state of security arises, distracting attention from domestic challenges with foreign wars. Similar to the late Roman Republic, the US – for the past 100 years — has either been fighting a war, recovering from a war, or preparing for a new war: WW I (1917-18), WW II (1941-1945), Cold War (1947-1991), Korean War (1950-1953), Vietnam (1953-1975), Gulf War (1990-1991), Afghanistan (2001-ongoing), and Iraq (2003-2011). And, this list is far from complete.

4 — Foreign Powers Lavish Money/Attention on the Republic’s Leaders:Foreign wars lead to growing influence, by foreign powers and interests, on the Republic’s political leaders — true for Rome and true for us. In the past century, foreign embassies, agents and lobbyists have proliferated in our nation’s capital. As one specific example: A foreign businessman donated $100 million to Bill Clinton‘s various activities. Clinton “opened doors” for him, and sometimes acted in ways contrary to stated American interests and foreign policy.

5 — Profits Made Overseas Shape the Republic’s Internal Policies:As the fortunes of Rome’s aristocracy increasingly derived from foreign lands, Roman policy was shaped to facilitate these fortunes. American billionaires and corporations increasingly influence our elections. In many cases, they are only nominally American – with interests not aligned with those of the American public. For example, Fox News is part of international media group News Corp., with over $30 billion in revenues worldwide. Is Fox News’ jingoism a product of News Corp.’s non-U.S. interests?

6 — Collapse of the Middle Class: In the period just before the Roman Republic’s fall, the Roman middle class was crushed — destroyed by cheap overseas slave labor. In our own day, we’ve witnessed rising income inequality, a stagnating middle class, and the loss of American jobs to overseas workers who are paid less and have fewer rights.

7 — Gerrymandering:Rome’s late Republic used various methods to reduce the power of common citizens. The GOP has so effectively gerrymanderedCongressional districts that, even though House Republican candidates received only about 48 percent of the popular vote in the 2012 election — they ended up with the majority (53 percent) of the seats.

8 — Loss of the Spirit of Compromise: The Roman Republic, like ours, relied on a system of checks and balances. Compromise is needed for this type of system to function. In the end, the Roman Republic lost that spirit of compromise, with politics increasingly polarized between Optimates (the rich, entrenched elites) and Populares (the common people). Sound familiar? Compromise is in noticeably short supply in our own time also. For example, “There were more filibusters between 2009 and 2010 than there were in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s combined.”

As Benjamin Franklin observed, we have a Republic — but only if we can keep it.

About the Author: Steven Strauss was founding Managing Director of the Center for Economic Transformation at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). Steven was one of the NYC leads for Applied Sciences NYC, NYC BigApps and many other initiatives to foster job growth, innovation and entrepreneurship. He is an Advanced Leadership Fellow at Harvard University for 2012. In 2010, Steven was selected as a member of the Silicon Alley 100 in NYC. He has a Ph.D. in Management from Yale University, and over 20 years’ private sector work experience. Geographically, Steven has worked in the US, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

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